|A barn in a small
Two weeks have gone
by and the eleven were slower they thought and now they are stuck in this
little town. They would have gone faster but the weather seems to worsen
as they head north. They would have continued they journey even in this
storm but they were stuck with a few problems.
For one ChunLi keeps falling into this freezing spell more and more often, the problem that this brought was that they can't afford to have her fall off her horse at some river crossing or hilly pass.
The second problem is that Nakaruru had fallen ill. The only thing that makes that worse was that in her fevered sleep she kept mumbling away. And this made the others suspect that the Maiden of Nature's illness was linked to this weather.
The third and final
problem that drove the eleven into renting this barn in this little farming
town, was that this storm never really seems to end had not only cause
a mud slide on the return road to Shadowlaw but also wash away the bridge
of the road ahead.
"Well at least we'll
be warm for a while. And eating food that is not caught after long hunts."
Haohmaru takes another sip of his wine and passes the wine gourd over the
Evil……." Nakaruru mumbled away in fevered sleep. Which made Galford and
Rimururu even more upset as they quietly replace the wet cloth on Nakaruru's
"We could at least
stay for a few more days." Kyo ran in from the rain. He tosses the leather
hide aside and join Ryu and Haohmaru by the fire.
"Well Okay in the
general sense of the word. Had arrange for some decent warm food to be
"Oh yeah don't wander
around this town too much. Zannah Jie." Kyo called out to silver hair woman
who was sitting with Kumori and Iwa.
The two young ladies
seem to be busy carving at what seems to be two halves of a box. One is
container and the other is a lid. Both halves have some rather intricate
The entire design
are not only present on the tops but on the sides as well. Except the both
only craved half of the design on the sides in such a way that it would
become the entire design when joined together.
"Well. People here haven't really seen much pretty silver hair women roaming around these parts much. I think we all should be cautious the next few days. They only tolerate us because of the rain. What more I'm not comfortable the fact these superstitious people were mumbling away at some omen of a falling star. The appearance of strangers like us tends to scare them." Kyo put his hands near the fire for more warmth.
"Would you need a
physician for your sister?" Haohamru called out.
The storm seems to be slowing down for now. But then of late the storms only slow down to gather more rain to rain on them. Which brings to mind a certain 'old friend' could be up to It's usual tricks again.
Ryu got up headed over to ChunLi, he worries about how ChunLi seems to be isolating herself from the group even much more. So much so that Ryu had taken it to be his responsibility to make her feel comfortable about the group.
"Sorry I'm late!!!"
a cheerful voice called out. The visitor was wheeling in a small cart.
The visitor removed the hood of her cloak to reveal a petite young woman who seems to be familiar with farm work. Obviously with a sweet and pretty face like hers she would have no lack of suitors.
"Hmmphh. No wonder."
Zannah mumbled to Iwa and Kumori who are still busy craving away.
The girl's face seems to light up on hearing the name, her eyes immediately searches for the owner of the name. Disappointment seems to take over when she saw the owner of the name holding a woman so intimately in his arms. The young woman shifted her gaze to stop staring at the couple. And so her gaze fell onto Zannah. Feeling that someone was watching her, Zannah looks up staring straight back at the young woman.
"I'll come back later to collect the dishes!" The young woman was taken aback by the fearsome cold blue eyes of the silver hair woman and runs off.
"There we go again."
"You better not lose
Zannah Sempai. My money's on you." Kyo joined in.
"Come on people.
Eat what you can and keep what you need. Tonight's a busy night. Rimururu
could you come here for a while. We need your help in this." Kumori had
finished carving her half of the box. Grabbing a little more food the young
woman joined Iwa and Kumori and thus their rather animated conversation
"And that would help
my sister?" Rimururu exclaimed moments later.
"If we could do that
we would have done so." Kumori looked over the two boxes once more. The
boxes are a perfect fit and the designs on the sides became whole when
the two halves came together
"Hwah!" No wonder
It couldn't stand her." Iwa snickered. Noting the effect that the Maiden
of Light has on her surroundings.
A while later Kumori
noticed that the quartet (Iwa, Zannah, Kyo and Haohmaru) were all wearing
the same wicked grin and had burst of laughing at some private joke. The
others were staring at the laughing quartet wondering if they had lost
their minds due to boredom.
The sun sets and
darkness came quick swallowing everything in its path. The villagers all
headed frantically to headman's house. Of late they had much troubles with
their crops and their animals. And it seems that the headman had came up
with some solution. The only lights that burn tonight are that which came
from the stoves that warm the houses and lights from the headman's house.
The eleven warriors had decided to retire early for the night with every intention to leave first thing tomorrow morning. Snores filled the air along with the words of one in fevered sleep.
A few hours of sleep later, ChunLi rose from Ryu's side, her eyes closed but still she moves as if guided towards Nakaruru. In ChunLi's sleeping mind a nightmare seems to be unfolding. All she sees and hears were her companions taunting her. Although she couldn't hear their words she knows what they meant to say.
She could sense IT
in front of her calling her name, IT asks her.
Still IT guided her right hand, sliding her right hand slowly down from her thigh to her boot where she had a concealed dagger. ChunLi forces her herself to back away from the sleeping Nakaruru. Practically dragging herself across the barn, she wanted to call out for Ryu but no voice came from her throat.
It was a tug of war
between herself and the non-material Tianzai who was pulling her towards
Nakaruru. She could hear the silent screeches in her ear. Screaming for
her to kill Nakaruru before the young woman kills her. IT yells once more.
ChunLi saw that her right hand was pulling her forcefully towards Nakaruru, she was practically dragged across by the invisible force. With her own will she fight against this invisible hand. IT stops pulling her, but the moment ChunLi takes one step backwards. The unseen Tianzai raises ChunLi's right hand and slaps her across the face with so much force that she was turning summersaults in the air before she lands on the hard floor with a loud thud.
With enough noise
to even wake the dead ChunLi couldn't help but wonder why the others were
still sleeping soundly.
woman. It calls her.
Oh IT snickers
Oh yes clever,
clever self to be so smart as to know that ChunLi would indeed enjoy the
companionship of a crippled lover, considering that he be just a sitting
duck. IT laughs shrilly and loudy in ChunLi's face. Seeing how the
horrifying thought affects her. IT dances in glee, before returning to
the task of pulling ChunLi towards the feverish Nakaruru.
Shock. Tianzai screams away shrilly at what could have stopped them in mid-tracks. The strong arms that was wrapped around ChunLi attempting to hold her in place. Silent howling fills her ears as Tianzai screams hate in the name of Ryu. Cursing him for stopping what was to be. IT screams at Ryu, screaming that if this is the way he wants to play? So be it!
"Release me!!!!" ChunLi hiss in a voice that was not her own. Moving towards Nakaruru despite Ryu's attempts to hold her back. Every step the dark spirit forces her to take, Ryu was dragged along too.
"Li!! Fight it!" Ryu called out, shaking her slightly in hope of helping her regain her senses. He wonders to what is taking the others so long. Could the sleeping spell take so long to break? His thoughts return to now. ChunLi had stop struggling and is now limp in his arms.
"Li?" he whispered
in her ear.
Screams of inhuman
pain escape from ChunLi's mouth at that very touch. She struggles like
a wild cat trying to get loose. Spewing all sorts of curses at Ryu. Screaming
away about how filthy his very touch is. ChunLi screams again with hands
clawing the air and legs kicking away. She kept ramming her head backwards,
smashing Ryu's face again and again. But despite the abuse his grip remains
strong, for to lose her, all will be lost indeed.
Within the screams
Ryu could hear soft chanting, he recognizes it as Chizuru's voice. The
screams that escape from ChunLi became louder, trying to drown out the
screams. Ryu knows that his two wards had finally managed to release Chizuru
from the spell. A second voice joins them in a archaic langauge. He recognizes
the owner by the beautiful voice that sings it.
"Stop it!!!! Please!!!! Ryu!!! No more, my lord!!! No more!!!!! All this hurting is hurting me!!!!!!" ChunLi screams away. But then, is it Tianzai or ChunLi?
A third voice joins
them. A sweet, soft voice of a young girl. This singing chant made ChunLi
howl instead. Rimururu's voice join the chanting duo in a song, that sings
of the bad things that Tianzai had done, the pain It had given to ChunLi.
And that IT should leave her alone.
screeches Tianzai's answer.
"Even you!!!!" Even
you!!!!!!" Hate that was not hers to begin with was etched on ChunLi face.
The two half rune glows on completion and becomes one. On cue, Rimururu sings another song. This one sings that however much that Tianzai tries to wreck the beauty of the relationship of Ryu and ChunLi. IT will never succeed. She sings of hope. Hope from friends and loved ones that bless the beautiful union that even Tianzai could not destroy however much IT is to try.
The love that is
found in Rimururu's voice combined with the Light that is within her forces
the dark spirit to leave ChunLi. The small dark sparkling mist seeps out
from ChunLi. Another batch of dark mist flows outs from the fevered Nakaruru
and joins the main cloud in hovering the air before ChunLi.
There was a silent scream coming from the mist as Iwa and Kumori forcefully brings the two halves of the box together to contain the misty spirit. A warm ball of light glows lovingly in the Rimururu's palms. Slowly she lifts it towards the misty spirit.
Another unheard howl escape as the misty darkness flows unwillingly into the ball of light. As the last drop of darkness is gone. Iwa and Kumori managed to close the box. On the rims where the two halves are joined a violent light shines. The entire box shakes and trembles.
With the tip of her finger Rimururu traces the outline of that joins the two halves together. Only then did Iwa and Kumori removed their hold on the violently shaking box letting it hover in mid air.
Zannah still chanting
brings out a reel of thin red thread witch which she ties the box up with.
Only after the box was tied did it drop to floor still shaking violently.
"And Its finally
gone?" Galford got up.
No answer came from
Galford for he was checking on Nakaruru's fever. Relief overtakes him as
Nakaruru's fever had subsided. Kyo called out to him and whispered something.
Though puzzled Galford did as he was told and carried Nakaruru away.
The huge barn door barn door burst open as Ryu carried ChunLi. Four burly men carrying a battering ram were staring at them. The entire adult population of the town is here, carrying pitchforks, torches and scythes.
"There!!!" An old
man points shakily at the limp form of ChunLi.
"Quickly!" Zannah called out to Ryu who immediately, carried ChunLi up the wagon that Zannah was driving. As soon as the couple are on board Zannah spurred the horses into action. Automatically the villagers leap out of the way as the two wagons thundered out of the barn.
"Get her magic box!!!
Get them all!!" the old man yells. A villager toss his pitchfork at the
wagon but misses its mark. The wagons thundered away from the little town,
they won't be stopping anytime tonight
Ryu held ChunLi in his arms, stroking her head to comfort her and himself. She smiles back up at her husband knowing that for the moment they would be free from Tianzai's visitations. Gently she touches Ryu's bloodied face, he smiles back at her.
The three young women who were riding the wagon with them grinned and face forward, leaving the couple a decent bit of privacy.
The box, which Iwa was holding, was still shaking violently. Seeing Rimururu is in the same wagon as they are. Iwa grins as she handed her the box that Tianzai is in. The young girl was wide eye in puzzlement at the gesture.
"Our kind can hear IT whining away if contact is close. So for the next forty-nine days. You're the offcial Guardian of the box." Iwa snickers away at a private joke.
"And if you don't mind. Sing to IT for the next forty-nine days? We're hoping that we could keep IT calm till we reach wherever it is that we're going." Kumori added, trying hard not to giggle.
"Okay." Rimururu beamed, unaware of the real reason she was made the keeper of box. The box began trembling once more. But this time ITs silent screams were ignored.