So here is chapter two. I am a bit sad for the low response, but I am hoping this chapter will suck more people in; we finally get a glimpse of life inside the Tong. I have had to add a lot of details, but I figure you'll appreciate it. I have to imagine the Tong are pretty powerful and feared and so they'd have numerous underground bases of operation to live in. I figured that there would be servants for everything, and that the Tong would have both men and women. After all, Gene has a driver in canon, so he must have plenty of people working for the Mandarin.
I tried to research Hong Kong as best I could, so you will see some details such as (999) instead of (911) and actual areas in Hong Kong. Any mistakes I make are mine alone. On another note, warning for some graphic child abuse. No blood, but quite a bit of pain for poor little Gene. I figured that that if they can show Gene begging the Mandarin for mercy for even speaking out of turn, this guy must be pretty heavy handed. But I have to wonder why he keeps Gene if he hates him so much? A question to ponder and one I hope my fic can answer.
Feel the power here, power has its price,
Some can live like Gods, some must sacrifice.
Through the centuries, many backs have bent,
Many dreams are built, many lives are spent.
Look and be humbled, learn what your place is
Behold the Glory
Gene was surprised he didn't have to wait too long for someone to check on him. Happily, he had dried his tears by the time the door opened an hour later. To his disappointment, a young woman walked in, carrying a tray of food.
"Welcome to your new home, young master. My name is Jia, and I will be your personal maidservant," she said, dressed in a traditional red cheongsam. Gene had moved to run, but the door locked behind her by unseen hands. He scowled as she bowed deeply while perfectly balancing the tray and then placed it on his bed. "It is my honor to assist you. Please eat up; it's fresh from the kitchen. We want you to feel very welcome here."
"How do I know it's not poisoned?" Gene asked, staring at the presented meal with disgust, steamed ground pork and salted duck egg meatballs, with a large cup of tea. He liked American food much better.
"Because, young master, if the Mandarin wanted him dead, you would be dead already," Jia said with another bow. "And why would your beloved Tong wish to poison you? We are honored you are living among us." Gene glared at her and pointed to the locked door. "That is for your personal protection. The Hall of Dragons is a dangerous place and you must not run off alone. Now eat up and then change into the clothing I've prepared for you. I'm sure your teachers will be seeing you soon and you must look your best. I can bathe you as soon as you're finished."
"I don't wish to bath or change my clothing," Gene snapped, shoving the food to the floor. "And should you see the Mandarin, tell him I will be happy to see him as soon as I can see my mother. I am a Khan; he should be visiting me and paying me respects." If he wasn't happy, why should anyone else be?
Jia shrugged and began mopping up the floor with a rag from her pocket. "I must advise against it, young master. The Mandarin's displeasure is extremely painful," she said, switching to perfect English. "Your mother wouldn't want you to be disobedient to someone who can make life very painful for you. Please don't be foolish." She sighed, and returned to Cantonese. "The Mandarin is our lord and master; it is our pleasure to show him deference. I shall fetch you another plate of food."
"Don't bother, I'm not hungry. Do you know where my mother is?" Gene asked quietly in English. A spark of hope light up in his heart. "Please, I'll give you anything, I'm a Khan, and I'll give anything in the world. I will do anything if you help me find her."
"Young master, you must be silent on such a matter. Never speak of her again, or you will find yourself in terrible danger," Jia said, her brown eyes wide with fear. "The Mandarin says she is gone and he speaks what is truth. Not another word on the matter or things will go badly for us all."
"Let me worry about. I demand to see him," Gene snapped, folding his arms. "And if you don't take me, I will escape and wander around. I know enough about this place to know about the traps set out to protect it. If you don't take me safely, I'll find a way to go wandering alone and whatever happens to me will be on your head."
"You are not making this easier on yourself," Jia sighed. "It would be better for you if you listened to your humble maid's advice. You can't win; you will be locked up here until you are deemed willing to remain on your own free will. Why are you fighting us so much?"
Gene studied his servant for a moment, before he hung his head. "I just miss my mother," he whimpered, throwing himself at Jia for a hug. "I'm so scared. I'm locked up and I have no idea where I am and no one is telling me anything. You just shoved me into a room and tell me to be a good boy and wait. But I don't wish to wait, I want my mother!"
Jia hugged him close. "My poor master, I'm sorry you are sad. But you will like it here, we want you to be happy," she explained, as Gene's hand slipped into Jia's pocket and removed her cell phone. He had quick hands; years of piano had made him neat fingered. Without changing his expression, he placed the cell phone back into his own pocket and tried to hide his smile. "I promise, you will be happy here. The Mandarin is stern, but as long as you behave and do as you're told, you will be happy."
Gene nodded. "All right," he whispered, letting go. "I hope so." He nodded sadly and looked up at her. "I guess this is my home now. What boy wouldn't want to live in a house made of darkness and tunnels?"
"The House of Dragon is mostly tunnels, but we have gardens as well. Our private art collection is one of the finest in the world, and we have some beautiful safe houses all over the world. Once you settle in and aren't trying to run away, I will show you around. You will find yourself quite happy here," Jia explained. "So, are you ready to eat? What would you like, young master?"
"I think I shall have roast beef and mashed potatoes for lunch. Would you be able to get me some ice cream?" Gene continued, sitting down on his bed. "Cookies and cream is my favorite, but I like strawberry too."
"Well, I have to admit, you're settling in nicely. Just this once, since it is your first day, young master. But please remember you need a healthy diet so you can grow up strong like your ancestors," Jia said, bowing deeply. "I'll have the cook prepare you something nice."
Gene waited for her to leave and lock the door behind her. He then whipped the phone out and quickly dialed 999 and waited for an answer. "Hong Kong police department, what is your emergency?" a woman's voice asked.
"My name is Khan Gene and I've been kidnapped," Gene whispered into the phone. "They took me from my home in Victoria Peak. I don't know where I am, but I think I'm underground, there are no windows. Also, I think they hurt my mother. I stole a cell phone from one of the kidnappers. You have to find me."
"Calm down, let me get everything done. We will find you, just keep talking. Where are you right now?" the woman said. "Can you tell me anything about the faces of the people who took you?"
The cell phone was ripped from his hands, Jia giving him a dangerous look of fury. How had she come in so silently? "Now, Jiang, I told you to never bother the police with your stories," she said loudly. "Officer, I apologize for my son. Clearly I'm unhurt and my son hasn't been kidnapped. He will be properly disciplined for making prank calls, it will never happen again. Kids, you look the other way for a moment and they get into such mischief." She paused and nodded. "I am so sorry for bothering you; please continue your wonderful work."
Gene growled in frustration. She was just a servant; she wasn't supposed to be this intelligent. He thought of screaming for help, but the officer would just think he was a lying child demanding attention.
"Oh master Jin," Jia said, as she hung up the phone and pocketed it. "What have you done? I trusted you and you have made a terrible mess. I had a feeling you wouldn't be giving in so easily, I'm glad I didn't let you alone too long, you could have gotten us into even worse trouble."
Gene folded his arms. "You're kidnapping me, what did you expect me to do?" he snapped, glaring at her. "Did you expect me to just obey and sit in my room like a caged beast?"
"Of course I did, you seemed like a smart young man. You should know you must never reveal Tong business to outsiders, especially the police," she said desperately, her eyes wide with tears. "You have gotten yourself into much trouble; I can't protect you from his wrath. We will both suffer for this." She sighed and gently grabbed his arm. "Come along, master Jin. I can't protect you from this."
Gene allowed himself to be dragged along, not caring of his dignity. He was waiting to give Zhang a piece of his mind and find out where his mother was. He walked through the dark halls, feeling Jia's worry in every step. He was a Khan, and he could handle some imposter. "I will go where I please, I am a Khan," Gene sniffed haughtily. "Don't worry, I will not allow him to hurt you."
Jia sighed. "I made my mistake, I will accept it. Please worry about yourself, young master," she explained, as she pulled him through the tunnels. "The Mandarin will be furious. You must not be so defiant, just grovel and apologize and he will most likely show mercy to you." She motioned towards a door, decorated with metallic dragons and phoenixes. "Here we are."
Two men in dark cloaks waited outside the door. "What is the meaning of this?" one said in a cold tone, walking over to them. "The young master should be in his room, resting."
"Apologies, Captain Han, but Master Gene stole my phone and called the police. I managed to control the situation, but I felt the Mandarin should know," Jia said, bowing deeply, her eyes filled with fear.
The man who Jia called Captain nodded. "Dismissed, sai mui." Interesting, Han was Jia's brother, the Tong was a family enterprise. "Don't worry about what happened, I will bring him inside," he said, waving his hand away. "There is no need for both of you to suffer. Go and finish your work. As for you, young master, come along."
"You do not get to order me around, I am your master, remember?" Gene snapped, feeling the man's cold fingers dig into his arm.
"Then act like a young master and not like a spoiled brat," Captain Han said, dragging him inside. "How dare you risk all of our safety, especially the safety of poor Jia who was showing you such kindness? We may serve you, young master, but you serve us as well. The Mandarin will not be pleased."
Zhang was sitting behind a desk, flanked by two black clad men. Gene had to admit, the office was beautiful. Ancient paintings and scrolls decorated the wall, light by huge torches on the walls. Someday, this would be his. The imposter looked up furiously when he noticed them. "What is the meaning of this?"
"Lord Mandarin," Han said, kneeling and pressing his fist to the floor. "I regret I have bad news. Your stepson stole a phone and tried to call the police. We have managed to contain the situation, but felt you should decide what must be done with him."
"I called the police because you've locked me, Zhang. But you can't keep me here!" Gene burst in, hands on his hips. "I demand you release me at once and bring me to my mother."
"Is this the way you show respect to the Mandarin?" Zhang asked, glaring at him. "On your knees when you enter and you must beg leave to speak."
"I am a Khan and I kneel to no one," Gene said haughtily, standing his ground. "I am not here to ask. I demand you release me and send me back to my mother." He raised his chin and imitated his mother's look of power and control. He was her son; surely he could make Zhang afraid.
"Your demands and wishes are irrelevant, child. You must learn that you are no longer Mei's spoiled little child but the ward of the Mandarin, bound to serve and obey," Zhang snapped, slamming his hand on his desk. "I can barely stomach looking at you. You are a humiliation to your family's name. You should be cast out into the street like the worthless bastard you are. But as she was my wife, you remain my stepson. As such, I will allow you to remain here. I will even have you educated as befits my ward. You are very fortunate and yet you dare call police. A few hours of you in my home and already, you are a thorn in my side."
"So do me no favors and release me, I would rather be on the streets than your prisoner," Gene challenged. "My mother will take me back and I will never bother you again. If you do so, I will even show you mercy when I take over the Tong," he said, folding his arms. Someday, everything here would be his, he didn't need to remain here a moment longer.
Zhang laughed cruelly. "You take over the Tong? Do not make me laugh, Jin, you are a child and a weak, foolish one who is unworthy of your bloodline. You are just like your mother, corrupted by the West, selfish and disgraceful."
"How dare you speak that way about my mother?" Gene snapped, infuriated. "She was a Khan and you aren't!"
"Silence, I will not be disrespected by a mere child. You should be on your knees in gratitude to me for taking you in. You should be starving on the streets, instead of being raised as a fosterling, given the best education and opportunities so you can serve me with proper filial piety and obedience," Zhan said in a dangerous tone.
Gene looked up at him. "You aren't my father and I will never be your son. You are an imposter and a servant who reaches too high. One day, I will have you kneel before me in chains and begging for your miserable life, you old fool," he said quietly. He was a Khan, he was royalty and no one had the right to speak to him with disrespect. Zhang rose from his seat and stalked over to him, looking enraged. Gene opened his mouth to continue, but the blow came too swiftly for him to duck.
"I would never have a disrespectful son like you, Jin. But the fates have forced you into my home and therefore I will break you until you will learn your place," Zhang hissed, standing over Gene with a cruel expression. "How dare you raise your voice and threaten me with your pathetic dreams? You are my ward and you will behave with deference to me."
"Respect is earned. I want my mother!" Gene sniffed, trying to be brave even as the pain from his nose made him dizzy. He could feel blood dribbling down his face. "She isn't gone, you're lying to me. Let me see her."
"Your mother is gone, as will you if I decide you are no longer worth keeping," Zhang thundered, lifting Gene up by the collar and letting him dangle helplessly. Gene choked in terror as he was shaken like a rag doll. "Question me again and I will make sure you never see her again. Is that understood?"
Gene forced himself to nod, more out of terror than actual understanding. No one had ever raised their voice to him before, how could the last Khan be so abused? Shouldn't his ancestors intercede on his behalf? "Yes," he squeaked, actually realizing he was in over his head.
"I will spare you for now, but the Mandarin will not allow a child to disrespect him, especially a worthless fosterling. You must be punished for your words," Gene forced himself not to wince and to keep his gaze level, even if he was terrified as he dangled there. "Severely."
Gene looked wide-eyed at him, trying to breathe. He realized now how foolish it was to confront Zhang, but he had no way of remedying the situation. "You're hurting me," he choked, as the shirt cut into his neck.
"Fetch a cane," Zhang commanded, dropping him hard on the floor with a sickening crack and rolling up his sleeves. The two Tong grabbed him and pulled him to his feet. Gene waited for someone to speak up, someone to say that a Khan could not be subjected to such abuse. Surely, someone loyal to his mother would speak and defend him.
It didn't seem real when a thick rattan cane was offered to his hated stepfather's hands. Surely this couldn't be happening to him. "Prepare him," Zhang said, looking amused.
"I'm a Khan, you can't do this to me," Gene pleaded, but neither of the two seemed to be listening to him. They were disloyal to the Khan line, they had abandoned him. How could this be happening? "You can't. My mother will have your head for this."
It was only Gene was pinned helplessly face down over the smooth wooden desk, his shirt pulled up to let the cool air touch his skin that he realized he was all alone. No one would be saving him. No one cared what happened to him. He, the heir of the Khan dynasty would be beaten like a dog and no one would say a word. "I think six lashes should suffice. Six of the best, as those wretched Westerners would say. Let us see if my stepson finally learns a civil tongue," Zhang said, clearly enjoying this moment.
Gene steeled himself. He had been trained in martial arts, he could take pain. He would say nothing; he would take this unfairness with stoic dignity, just like his mother would. He would never let them see his pain. "I'm not afraid of you," he whispered.
"I will remedy that." A wave of fire broke through the cold with a searing crack and Gene gasped uncontrollably as he reeled in pain. Before he could process what was happening to him, another blow fell on him and a whimper escaped his lips. He wanted to think of being dignified, but all he could think about was fire and pain and wanting it to stop. By the time the third whistling blow came, Gene could feel tears dribbling from his eyes. It hurt so badly, he had never felt so much pain in his life. It was worse than anything he had learned in Wu Shu.
"Tears? I thought the grandson of Lord Khan would be stronger than this. A mere three strokes and you're breaking down like an infant. You've disappointed me yet again; you're just like your mother. Weak and soft," Zhang said. "Shall we continue or have you something to say?" Gene wanted to plead for mercy, but the words would not come out of his mouth. "Very well, I am happy to carry on."
A fourth stroke sliced through the air, landing on the three previous weals. Gene managed to hold in the scream, only by biting his lip. Before he could gain control of himself, a fifth stroke broke his nerves and a piercing shriek escaped his lips. By the sixth blow, Gene had lost control and was howling in pain. "The heir to the Khans, the bloodline has run thin with you. Have you decided to humble yourself? Let him go, let's see if the great little Khan can stand on his own," Zhang asked, with a chuckle as the hands let go of Gene. Gene's knees gave in, forcing him to the floor. "Or would you prefer another lesson in manners?" To his shame, he had fallen at the feet of his tormentor.
Gene sobbed, unable to breathe due to the pain as his shirt was pulled down over the tender skin. He couldn't last anymore; he would never be able to hold himself together. "Mercy," he finally gasped, hating himself more than he could even hate Zhang. He was a miserable failure, who had given up and allowed himself to admit defeat.
"Mercy? Is the son of Mei begging for leniency? I thought you weren't afraid," Zhang mocked, with a laugh. "Changed your mind?"
Gene sobbed in agony, trying to get a hold of himself. The room was spinning in misery as he tried not to break down completely. His back felt like it was billowing with smoke and flames. "I'm sorry for making you angry. I beg you, no more," he pleaded, hating himself.
"That is not sufficient. Address me properly…or we start from the beginning," Zhang drawled. "I have no qualms about beating respect into you as often as you show the need to learn it. In fact, I would be remiss in my duty if I didn't instill some discipline in you."
Gene hung his head as he tried to raise himself on his elbows but the pain was too horrible. "Mercy, honorable stepfather," he gasped, shaking in pain. He just wanted the agony to stop; he would do anything if he was allowed a respite. After a long pause, he was forced to continue. Otherwise, he knew the worst would happen. "I humbly beg your forgiveness."
"Do not tempt my patience again or you will not receive it so easily," Zhang said "You are fortunate to have a home and food and clothing to wear. I should sell you to a slave merchant for your insolence, but I allow you to remain here. Have you anything to say for yourself, child?" he demanded, tapping the cane against his palm. Gene winced anew at every tap, hoping the next blow wouldn't fall on him."I advise you show proper respect this time or we start over from the beginning."
Gene shakily forced himself to his knees and lowered his eyes. "Thank you for keeping me, Stepfather," he whispered, forcing himself to abase himself to this impostor. Tears streaked down his cheeks, from disgrace and pain as he bowed and pressed his forehead to the floor. A Khan, kneeling and begging for his life. If he truly was worthy, he would have taken death. "Please forgive your unworthy stepson's insolence." The words were poisonous to say. "It will never happen again."
"For your sake, that would be best," Zhang said softly. "You may rise. Since you seem to require things stated plainly, I will state the rules of your new life for you in words even you can understand. Your grandfather charged me to do my duty to you, but that doesn't mean I have any affection towards you. You are a burden I did not wish to have." he snapped, slamming his free hand on the table. "And you are only trying my patience further."
Gene trembled and tried to keep his eyes downcast as he lifted his forehead from the floor. He didn't want to give his stepfather any excuse to have him over the desk again. 'Yes, Stepfather," he said, bowing his head.
"If I could be rid of you, I would. Alas, my duty is to keep you here and make sure you aren't used as a kidnapping target that would hurt Tong morale. But since you are already unwanted, you will not add to the inconvenience to me. As my stepson, you will be deferential and obedient. You will address me properly. You will do where you are told quietly, without disturbing the Tong. You will not speak unless spoken to. You will attend your lessons and you will remain in designated areas unless you have permission to leave. If you ever try and contact the outside world again, I will have you in chains in a dark cell where no one will ever find you," Zhang snapped, taking Gene's ear and giving it a sharp twist. "If you cannot learn to behave, I will beat you within an inch of your life."
Gene nodded, willing to agree with anything to avoid further pain. "Yes Stepfather," he whispered, resting his hands on the floor to take some of the pain away from his shoulders.
"And there will be no more questions. I have more important matters to take care of than listen to your petty demands," Zhang said, in a satisfied tone, handing the cane to a servant. "Very well, you are forgiven." Gene nodded gratefully, tears still streaming down his face as he rose to his feet. "Take him away, I have no wish to lay eyes on him," he continued, snapping his fingers. "He can go without dinner tonight. Perhaps hunger will remind him why he should show more gratitude."
Gene would never forgive himself for being dragged out of the room tearfully like a naughty child, instead of a Khan. As he was lead to his chambers, he swore his revenge. Someday, he would get his vengeance and it would be swift and terrible. Someday, he would be as great as Genghis and Kublai, his illustrious ancestors. He would be the lord of the crime underworld and Zhang would be his prisoner, to be tortured at his whim.
As Gene's legs collapsed under the pain, and he was half carried, half staggering along, he occupied his mind with thoughts of revenge. Even if they locked him up and took his food, they couldn't take away his destiny. He was still the son of Mei Khan, something that could not be beaten out of him. Zhang was making a terrible mistake.
He tried to ignore the fact that he was weeping pathetically and shaking with agony, that he was being carried back to his room to be confined at Zhang's wishes, that he had completely surrendered and begged for mercy. He would break down completely if he allowed the truth to stop his dreams.
As Gene threw himself on his bed, he again heard the sounds of the door being locked. "Post guards and make sure he stays here. The young master is headstrong and requires supervision," he heard Han say.
Gene threw a book at the wall. He wasn't headstrong, he was just miserable. He had woken up free and would be going to bed a prisoner of the most cruel man in the world. His back burned like he had been branded, blazing with the lines of fire. No one had intervened, no one had cared. He was on his own.
Where was Mama? She should have been here already!
The next morning, Gene lay on his bed trying to ignore the pain in his shoulders. Lines of burning fire crisscrossed his back, throbbing painfully. He felt like a turtle with a burning hot shell, unable to escape the smarting. His only solace was planning the revenge he would pick when his mother returned and trying to ignore his complaining stomach. He was so hungry, but he knew he wouldn't be getting food until the Mandarin allowed it.
It had been a long and sleepless night and he had plenty of time to think about all he had lost. Yesterday, he had been the treasured young master of the home, every whim his servant's command. Now he had to beg for his meals and live at the mercy of some….of some parvenu, the worst word he could think of. Mama had not come and Gene's stomach churned at the reasons why she was delayed. Could Zhang have….he couldn't think about it without crying. So he decided to ignore it and concentrate on thoughts of vengeance, swift and terrible.
Gene figured at as long as he was quiet, they would ignore him and he could be spared more beatings. He didn't even turn around when the door to his room opened. "Still in bed, little one?" a new voice said in Cantonese, stepping into the room.
"You may go away," Gene ordered in English, trying to hide the wince. He was ashamed to admit he was terrified of further punishment. "I'm indisposed. I haven't even had dinner or breakfast, and I'm not feeling well."
"You have no one else to blame, little one. That cheek you showed last night earned you your richly deserved punishment," the man said softly. "A child who talks back to his elders deserves nothing less. The Mandarin is severe with you, but you brought it on yourself."
"I was kidnapped from my home and torn from my mother. How do you expect me to react?" Gene asked sullenly. He wouldn't be rude to them if they would just let him go home to his mother where things made sense. "Just agree to be kept your prisoner and be beaten if I displease a man who hates me?"
"You cannot fight your fate, you must learn to accept it," the new man answered. "It is best not to dwell on the past. This is your home now, and this is your life. As such, you have lessons to attend, starting today. I am Master Feng, your new tutor. Have you no manners to greet your teacher properly?" Gene turned his head painfully and noticed a middle aged man in clan robes, standing over him. "Rise and bow and speak the language of your ancestors."
Gene lazily glared at him. "I like to speak English and frankly, the Great Mandarin has made me quite incapable of showing you any respect," he said, putting his head down. "Kindly leave me alone. I am your master's stepson; shouldn't that grant me some peace and quiet?" He enunciated every English word carefully.
"Perhaps the lesson was not learned. Shall I have a servant fetch a cane and see if your memory needs to be refreshed?" Master Feng mused, in a cruel tone as he stroked his black beard. "The Mandarin has given leave me to double the lesson should I see fit."
Gene's self hatred only increased as he forced himself to his feet and bowed deeply from the waist, hands at sides. He really would have to build his pain tolerance, or they would have him like a leashed dog. "Zou san, Sifu," he managed to spit out through the pain of forcing his bruised muscles to bend. Good morning, teacher. It was a struggle to avoid adding some editorial on what he thought of his teacher.
"Have you never been taught to kowtow to a teacher? Lady Mei raised her child to be undisciplined and spoiled, not to mention discourteous," Master Feng sniffed, placing his hands into his sleeves. "Disgraceful."
"Don't talk about my mother," Gene sniffed, before closing his eyes. He didn't want to be beaten again; he just didn't want to hear her name so abused. Why did these people seem determined to break him? "She was a Khan."
"Then act like a Khan and learn the ways of your people," Master Feng said in a cold tone. "Your honorable mother was one of my finest students and I expect nothing less from you, Master Jin. You may be her son, and a Khan but in my classroom, all are equal. You will have to prove yourself worthy."
An unexpected kindness, Gene was grateful for it. It almost assuaged the harsh words to know his mother was remembered well. "Yes, master," he said in Cantonese, forcing his aching body to kneel to the ground and perform the kowtow. "Good morning, master," he repeated, placing his forehead on the floor.
"That is better. Perhaps there is some of Mei in you, after all. I should hope that I do not need to hold the threat of the cane over you to garner a measure of obedience," Master Feng said, bowing slightly. "I would prefer you obey because it is your duty to learn the ways of your people."
"Understood, master," Gene said, rising to his feet and waiting for the next command. Master Feng was strict, but at least he didn't hate him.
"You will be studying languages; martial arts, economics, and psychology, everything that help you serve the Tong. You will be diligent in your studies or you will suffer accordingly," Master Feng said, giving him an appraising glance. "The Mandarin has ordered that your progress be noted to him."
"I'm honored," Gene muttered, but decided not to fight this rule. An education would help him achieve his goals; he would be a model student. And then he would use his skills to rule the Tong. "I know the entire history of the Khan and I can speak French, Italian and three dialects of Chinese as well. My mother wanted me able to travel the world."
"Mei has begun well, but more is needed. You will also learn Hebrew, Arabic and Hindi, and we shall see if that lazy mind of yours will retain them," Master Feng said in low tone, handing him some scrolls. "But I think we shall begin today with a study of the first Khan. History is very important. Come along, we shall study in the gardens today. It is a beautiful day and it should not be wasted." The ghost of a kind smile flitted over the teacher's face as he gestured for him to follow.
Gene managed to return a small smile of gratitude as he followed his teacher. He may have been cruel and harsh, but at least Gene knew the currency to gain privileges with him. And anyone who had taught his mother and cared about her was a friend to him. "Yes sifu."
This was only the beginning. He would learn and then he would find his mother and take his vengeance for every lash he had endured.
AN- That was horrible to write, poor Gene!
I researched what types of discipline methods might have been used, and decided that Zhang would be cruel enough to use a British punishment on the stepson he sees so corrupted by the West. Poor kid, he really didn't expect such treatment. He was pretty spoiled by his mother and he will not submit easily to being a proper son to a man who doesn't like children, and especially does not like Gene.
I have to say, I doubt the Tong would feel too sorry for Gene, he tried to get them all arrested by calling the police and I'm sure they're glad he got punished. I noticed in the show that while they respect him as their young master, they do refer to him as a child quite a bit and dismiss him. So I figured he must have acted childishly in their eyes for them to have so little regard for his authority.
So here is a question, do you want more of Gene's life when he's young or to move on to his life now that he has met Tony? Also, I think I figured out who Gene's father should be and it will be an excellent twist. I plan to really build Gene up and give Tony an enemy to reckon with, as well as explore the pairings of the story. But I have some stuff from Gene's childhood planned and I would be just as happy to focus on that, especially on Gene's mother who will be making a return in the story. The choice is yours, dear readers.