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Unclean.

Unclean.

A man went searching for the fountain of youth, desperate to cling onto his good looks.

This was a learned man, whose vanity was matched only by his hunger for knowledge.

He scoured the world over, seeking such a fantastic prize as this.

Along the way, he began to acquire great information, secrets from ways much older than his.

Such knowledge provided much-needed clarity and focus on his journey.

As he read from ancient texts and spoke with men who interpreted them, he became much more enlightened.

This enlightenment finally brought the man to his destination.

He found himself standing before the fountain, a satisfied grin on his face.

He achieved his goal, he reached the finish line.

And now, the healing sustenance was at his disposal.

But in his travels, there was one secret kept hidden from him.

A horrifying secret that manifested itself as he reached into the fountain, eager to quench his thirst.

This water was kept pure only by the absence of unclean hands and unclean souls.

And, to the man’s dismay, his bountiful knowledge came at a terrible price.

Instead of healing his body, the water acted as a plague upon him.

Rapidly deteriorating, the man lamented his folly.

Looking to the heavens, he called for pity…for mercy.

And he received neither.

Such is the temptation of knowledge, of vanity, of a long and fulfilling life.

Many men have fallen in their quest for such knowledge, but a small few push on.

I see Banzan as one such man.

A man who craves knowledge on his journey to the fountain he seeks.

So wise is this great Mountain, and yet…there is a fatal flaw, a critical error, just waiting to be exploited.

His hunger for wisdom has slowly corrupted his soul, without even realizing.

And the fountain he draws from will no longer accept dirty hands.

With his source of power taken from him, he begins to deteriorate before your very eyes.

And ol’ Simon is right there to break him.

The journey I took to immortality reached its end long ago.

It left me with not only great knowledge…but the responsibility to use it wisely.

With the great Mountain slowly crumbling away, there is no better time to strike.

A great force will fall upon you, Banzan.

Bringing you to your knees.

Making you look up to the sky and call to your Teacher.

You will cry out for pity.

You will beg for mercy.

And you will get neither.

All you will see is me, a grin on my face as you fall upon yours.

You will recognize that you have been defeated.

Your quest for ultimate wisdom will be your downfall.

And where the great Mountain falls, the Taskmaster will rise.

I will take what is rightfully mine.

And all will bear witness to who the wisest man of all truly is.

They will praise me for my intellect.

They will fear me, as they should.

And it will leave me satisfied.

Simon