Childhood Backstory
Part 3
Shotoken Dojo, Japan 
Still the mid-Spring of 1974. 
  

The storm raged through the night beating down everything in its path. Thunder roared and lightning clawed its way down to earth. It rained so hard that it created a veil of water darkening the already dark night. Young trees unable to withstand the howling wind were uprooted. By morning the storm began to relent. 

At this time of the morning young Ryu automatically wakes when his stomach clock began to growl. He rouse from sleep to scent of rained drenched grass and started to choke. 
  

He coughed rather violently as he realised that there was some foreign material in his mouth. And then he realises just what the noodles he dreamt he was eating were. As he sat in slight puzzlement staring at the length of hair he coughed out, something beside him squirm. 

As he scrambled up, sleep began to clear from his head slowly dragging him out of a strange morning. And there she was nestled close to him a moment ago, curled up and still sleeping soundly. 
  

“AHHCCHHOO!!!!” ChunLi sneezed, feeling the cold draught of the rain when her ‘personal heater’ moved away. Ryu scratches his head realising that he was chewing on ChunLi’s hair. He couldn’t help but wonder why he wasn’t aware of the young girl’s presence the moment she sneaked into his bed for he was always a light sleeper. 
  
  

With a breath of resignation he closed his eyes to run through what chores he has for today. 

<  Seems like I have quite a few chores left over from yesterday. Chores are going a lot slower with Li mei mei (younger sister) around….. Not that I mind the company. Okay… Let’s see. Today.. today what do I have to do today. Oh yeah. Besides chopping more wood. Have to get fish for this week’s supply….Ummmm fish……  > Ryu licked his lips upon the thought of one of his favourite food. 
  

A little giggle disrupted Ryu’s train of thoughts. Opening his eyes he was face to face with ChunLi 

“BOO!” she gave a loud clap in front of his face throwing him off guard and causing him to stumble backwards. With his hand on his chest Ryu tried to calm his heart down. One of these days this girl is going to give him a heart attack. 

ChunLi giggled again as she watches him with her head titled slightly to the right. She smiled sweetly at him in an apologetic manner. Ryu had no idea whether he should get angry or laugh this matter off. 
  

“He hee. Serves you right for chewing on my hair.” She said, grabbing a lock of her hair and whisking it gently across his face. 
“Heh. You still hungry?” 
“When did you get into my room?” Ryu flicked ChunLi’s hair aside. 
  

“It was so loud and scary last night….” She referred to the last night’s storm. 
“I got a little scared last night…And it sounded like it was right outside my room…The next thing I knew I was in your room. I know I will be safe with you, You promise Zannah Jie that you won’t let me get hurt.” She beamed. 

<  Great.. What I have I got myself into.  > Ryu slapped his forehead. 

“Hee. You’re so much like Amuk and Peng-bat. So warm and nice.” She hugged the older boy all of a sudden.  By now Ryu know that it would be silly to get angry over such a minor little thing. He couldn’t help but feel that the younger girl was twisting him around her little finger some how. 

“Amuk? Peng-bat?” 
“Amuk is a husky and Peng-bat is a collie. They are both big and strong like you.” She smiled again as she releases Ryu from her hug. 

“So What are we going to do today?” ChunLi asked as she plaited her hair into two braids. She then rolled the braids up and tied a few ribbons into her hair to secure the two rolled up braids. 

“Uh…. Fishing.” 
“Fishing?” 
“Yeah Fishing. Sensei wanted me to stock up on supplies.” 
“Sounds like fun! Can I come along too?” 
“Oh well. Why not. I can use the help.” 
“Yippee! You’re the best!” ChunLi hugged him once more before jumping up. 
“I’ll go wash up then pack us some food.” She ran out the door. 

Ryu just shrugged and get up from his futon and headed outside to wash up. He knew he’s going to have long day ahead. 
  

------ 
  

Some time later after washing up and some light breakfast, the two young ones took leave from Gouken and headed out of the dojo via the back gate. Heading up a little forest trail till they reached a gentle stream that was surrounded by grooves of cherry blossom trees in full bloom. 

“Wahhh.” It’s so pretty here!!” ChunLi spun around the little clearing by the stream. Then she ran up towards a tree and unleashed a few kicks at the trunk. 

The tree tremble and the leaves rustled, raining down  a small of shower of rain that was caught on the leaves on the little girl and it also rewarded her with a light rain of pink cherry blossoms. 
  

“How come we were never here before?” ChunLi asked as she squatted down beside Ryu. 
“We took another path then. The bridge further up leads to that ledge over looking that field of flowers.” 
“Oooo. Is there a way to go down to that field?” 
“Not that I’m know of.” Ryu looked up. 

ChunLi was now in the middle of the knee-deep stream. Splish-splashing around in the stream driving the fishes away. 

Ryu sighed, knowing that if she keeps this up they are going to be here for a long time and catch nothing. And then she came out of the water and squat down beside him, watching him intently with her curiosity filled deep-brown eyes. 
  

“So how do we go about doing this?” ChunLi asked seriously now that she had enough of her fun. 

“Well I’ll show you.” Ryu removed his gi and placed it on the ground using a rock to weigh it down. He then rolled up the hem of his pants before wading down to the middle of the stream and stood still. 
  

Moments later his hands shot into the water like lightning. Water splashed all around as he struggled with a fish. He managed to pull it out and he tossed it into the basket that was on the shore. 

“Like that?” 
“Yeah. Just like that. It won’t matter if you miss the basket. Just don’t give the fish the opportunity to swim away.” 
“You know. It will be much faster if you can you use Hadoken.” 
“What do you mean.” 
“I mean. You blast the water. And the fishies all die and float up. Won’t that be easier to collect? Maybe you can get a shrimp, crab or prawn or frog or two.” She got up and stretch a little. 
“…. You know that might just work. I’ll keep that in mind.” 
  

This time ChunLi joined him in the stream without splashing the water about. They caught quite a few fishes a few hours straight without any incidents. 

“SPLAT.” Something wet and squishy slithered down Ryu’s back. A disgusted grimace on the boy’s face. He turn around to where ChunLi was only to hit in the face by another fish. 

“That’s not funny.” Ryu said wiping his face. 
“Sorry. Hee hee.” ChunLi splash a handful of water at Ryu. 

After Ryu wiped the water from his eyes he found that ChunLi had seek refuge on the shore, she stuck her tongue out at him before starting to collect the fish that are lying around the basket while Ryu shook his head and return to the task at hand. 

ChunLi watched the older boy return to his task. Ryu always seem to attack his tasks with such seriousness that she couldn’t help but admire that trait of his. Quietly she sneaks up on him and made to cover his eyes. But Ryu grabbed her wrist and flipped her over his shoulders. 

“WAAAHHHH!!!” ChunLi yelled as she landed with a ‘splash’ she frowned at the older boy. 
“You okay?” Ryu asked, he offered her his hand to her up but she slapped his hand away, the older boy was puzzled by her actions. 
“Chey!…mmn ho fan ge (Bah! You’re no fun at all).” ChunLi blew at her fringe, instead of taking his hand; she just got up from the water. 

“I think we have enough fish. You should get dry. I’ll go build a fire.” Ryu said as he waded out of the stream. 
  

------ 
  

With a fire going on, two fish speared through a branch and cooking over the fire. ChunLi hung her clothes on an overhanging branch. She knew she was right in wearing the swimsuit but in her excitement she had forgotten to change into them before taking to the water. As Ryu watch over the fish. ChunLi gathered all the blossoms she could find. 
  

When the fish was well cooked Ryu brought the fish over and handed one over to ChunLi. 

“Careful. It’s still hot.” He said. She took it from and stuck on end of the stick into the ground to let the fish cool off. By now her masterpiece was complete so she slung the wreath of a variety of wild flowers around Ryu’s neck. 

“What’s this for.” He sat down beside her. 
“For being the bestest friend I ever have.” She hugged the older boy once more. 
“Uh…Thanks.” Ryu didn’t really know how else to answer. 
  

He knew that there had to be a good reason somewhere in helping Zannah Jie to take care of ChunLi. He figured that despite her playfulness it was kind of fun to have ChunLi around. He was starting to like the idea of having the young girl around. 

The two kids sat leaning against each other as they eat their meal of fish and rice cakes. Later they would have to lug the basket of fish back to the dojo. For now they take the opportunity to rest and enjoy each other’s presence as another rain of cherry blossoms spiralled down towards them created an ethereal picture. 

 
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