Shadowlaw Main palace.
The guest quarters are surrounded by the landscape gardening just like the other quarters of the Palace. Here the companions of Ryu and ChunLi rest in recuperation until they decided on a course to take. From the outcome of the battle it was clear that Charlotte and Shizumaru would not be continuing the journey with the main group any further.
“Hate sitting around
with nothing to do.”
“Isn’t it clear by now that we should kill her now that she is vulnerable.” Nakaruru looks up after staring at the miniature waterfall. The others all turn to look at her with that ‘same old answer’ look.
“Killing her would
serve no purpose. A natural death would be the same as killing her. No
good to anyone at all.” Zannah ignored the comment.
“And why do you want
to keep the demoness alive?” Nakaruru asked with contempt in her voice.
Something within Nakaruru ‘click’, something about this tall silver hair warrior reminded her of a few tales she heard as a child. Something about someone fighting alongside a bunch of demonic warriors.
But in Nakaruru’s point of view this woman could not be the same woman, for that battle happened a thousand years ago or so as Michiko had said. Unless this woman is a descendent or another woman in her likeness, trained to take over that warrior’s place.
But if this Zannah
is who Nakaruru thought she was, would that not make her an immortal? And
if she is who she is, the demons are real as well. That look on Nakaruru
betrayed her to ask a thousand questions of who, what and why.
“So what if I am
who you think I am. That is not what matters. What matters is that if we
kill her we lose both of them to that dark spirit within her. What matters
is that if we don’t get Ryu to cooperate with us, we won’t be able to help
ChunLi. And if we are unable help ChunLi, who knows how long her will can
confine that that dark spirit.”
“But how do we help?” Rimururu asks
“Ah.” Iwa raises
one finger as if someone had finally asks the right question.
“Then if this person
is so powerful then why didn’t you mention that in the first place?” Galford
“And that place would
“Let’s go back then.”
Zannah ushers the two younger women away
Watching the trio go Nakaruru had another thought. The two women with that silver hair witch seems to know more then they were willing to tell or is that a habit of the people around here? In fact there is something strange about the trio.
Then again as Nakaruru
thinks more about it. If this Zannah is indeed that silver hair warrior,
then there is a possibility that the demons she fought alongside are indeed
real and still are around in another guise. What could their agenda be
to this? Could they be swapping one demon for another? Who knows. Who knows.
All Nakaruru knows that she might be the only one who sees things for what
they are here.
In dim light of the cave Ryu remains curl around ChunLi’s still form, he ignores the bouts of pain that gnaws away at him. He ignores the dull and cracked scales that littered the ground, what once had a metallic white sheen lies dull and unnatural on the cave floor. He ignores the reddish flesh on his left flank.
The pain that he tries to prevent ChunLi from suffering is now eating him away. He knows this is not a solution but it is one that he knows had to attempt until he finds a solution.
Quietly he reaches into ChunLi’s mind in an attempt to find her but all he found was an empty chaos in the shell where once was someone he held dear. He searches for her qi signature but found a door blocking him from reaching further. He sighs and returns to thinking.
What he knows was
that a lot depends on whether ChunLi is willing to fight this off and return
to him. There was nothing much he could do except to wait and to call out
to her to reach out. He lowers his head to floor and closes his eyes hating
the feeling of helplessness.
But one thing distracts him from his depression, the sound of water dripping in the northern area of the cave. Ryu open his eyes and shifted his gaze to the northern entrance. Trespassers had came in from the waterfall cave. The sound of dripping water is an indication that whoever it was had triggered a few of the traps along the tunnels.
He watches in silence as a group of four enters. Two males and two females, from what he could see is that there is a pair of warriors, a young mage girl and a wolf boy. The male warrior seems to be slightly burnt and seemingly bruised.
A clear indication
that he was likely to be the one who triggers both the flame trap and rockslide.
While the mage girl was wet from head to toe. What amuses Ryu was that
this quartet had decided follow the cave through, of course they had to,
what with the entrance shut the only way out was via the cliff face.
“Okay so here we
are.” The woman said
“He dead yet?” The
wolf boy asks.
“Rule number one.
Don’t ever touch anything belonging to a dragon until its dead or until
permission is given.”
Ryu rears his head
causing the quartet to stumble off the raised platform.
“Please. We meant
her no harm. All we seek is the Sword of Dragonbone.”
In irritation, one
swish of Ryu’s tail sends the man flying across the room into a pile of
treasure, shields, armor and the occasional skeleton.
“Uh which is the
sword?” Shayman got up he saw a large boulder in which many swords were
stuck within. Some plain, some elaborate and some weird looking.
“A test huh. Let’s
see then.” Shayman wanders around the boulder then clambers up.
“As you see this
is the apprentice that I’m stuck with.” Keera shrug as Shayman limps forward.
“You gonna eat her?”
Shayman asked pointing ChunLi
Ryu drew his head back a little and roars into Shayman’s face, the man could only cover his ears. He didn’t notice Ryu’s tail whipping towards, the fiery crest slams into Shayman sending him flying into the eastern chamber that would lead to the cliff face.
“LEAVE!!!!!!” He roars, this irritation stems from absorbing the painful fits to which ChunLi would have felt. The remaining three scurries out the direction where Shayman is.
Ryu realizes that this time the pain was more intense, he wonders if ChunLi was losing and he hopes she was not. To lose her would be terrible indeed. He let loose another roar and his tail trashes about smashing a few boulders and a few suits of amour.
He wished he knew
what was happening to ChunLi. He wished he knew what to do, he wish he
could help her somehow. But then if this pain happens because of some battle
that ChunLi was fighting within in her self, then whatever and however
painful it would be he’ll take it all.
Moments later the bouts of pain subsided, Ryu was panting by now, his tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth, no noticeable change in ChunLi. Ryu raises his head and screams in an inhuman voice fill with much anguish. To lose his mate would be terrible indeed, but if he the Dragonlord is unable to save the one he holds dear, what use then is all this power.
still as beautiful as the first time I saw you. >> A beautifully
familiar presence fills his mind.
should be the one in pain. Not you….. >> sorrow fills the space in
physical one, yes. But the mental one hurts me even more so. Why didn’t
you kill me. Could have spared everybody the trouble…. >>
tired… I don’t know how long I can hold my sanity. I can’t move. And I
am afraid of this darkness that threatens to swallow me every now and then.
long can you do it? You will tire one day and feel that I am a burden.
What would you do then? >>
With the presence that he felt to be that ChunLi’s, for the moment he felt confusion and sadness as she contemplates his words. Even before he knows it he found that he was losing control of the dragon form, changing back into the man he was. Scales turning back into skin and cloth.
Holding ChunLi in his arms Ryu smiles the moment he felt ChunLi consenting. Ryu strokes ChunLi’s head and kisses her lips gently. It may not be anything but her consent and her willingness to return is a small but good start.