Zero
Introduction
Day 2 
 

The chimes tinkled when the night breeze blew through her windows, it brought the scent of her prized roses along with it. Her tense body relaxes as she loses herself to the warmth of her bath. The boy needs more training, as does she. She thought she was in control but she was wrong, she had underestimated the boy’s power and will. 

She was careless but lucky enough to escape from the boy’s mind before he struck her, she had to interfere or the boy would have killed the gigantic Muay Thai warrior. And when that happen she would never be able to stop him much less make him take an alternate path. In her hasty escape the boy’s violent qi had very much disrupted hers and that had left her somewhat weakened. 

The first move had being made because of her interference and the rest will come and she has to recover her strength and make sure the children never meet. Her index finger swirled gracefully above the bubbles, which cleared to reveal the soapy water beneath. 

The rush of images worry her somewhat as all the branches are the same, many will die in the boy’s rampage herself included, her own interference again. The branch she dreaded the most, the one in which the boy meets the girl, boy goes berserk, boy rampages, boy kills herself again, the Implication happens and its goodbye Jiang Hu (martial arts society). The children’s lives are intertwined in such a way that currents they create sweeps away anyone who gets to close. Isn’t there something she could do. 

“The children must never meet. He still needs his training and she would only set things in motion should they meet.” She reminded herself as she sank beneath the water 
 

She rises from the water only to feel a powerful hand grip her neck and pushed her underneath again, she struggles to free herself but the grip remains strong! And then the hand pulls her out of the water. She could feel his breath in her ear. How did he get in?! She would have known if he tried to get in! And there it was, a shimmer of blue in the darkest shadows of her candlelit room, something grinned and waved at her. A hideous grin mimicking that of the one who held her hostage, that thing had become stronger since the last time she saw it. 

“You worry too much Rosalind.” The voice behind her said. She could feel his thumb stroking her neck and at the same time his grip prevented her from turning to look. But she need not look to know who her captor is. By association with that thing she knows only too well who her captor is. The only thing that puzzled her was the slight difference in his qi signature. 

“The children must not meet.” She said. One hand remained in a firm grip on her neck while the other hand roamed her back slowly and very much distracting her from gathering what little qi she has to use against him. Resisting him might make things worse for her. 

“But thanks to your interference they will meet. I should thank you for setting things in motion.” 
“Don’t you understand? You will die too if you send her to Japan.” She pleaded, half in pain when his thumb pressed heavily into the small of her back. 

“You care? I am touch. But its a risk I have to take. Because for all you readings you still can’t see beyond your nose.” He said, pulling her closer to him. 
“Tell him!! Make him change his mind. Do you want your master to die?!” She snapped as his thumb prodded part of her shoulder. 

And then she realised what he had being doing as her qi moves smoothly once again. As the disruption that the boy had earlier cause slowly dissapates. She nearly panicked when she felt his hand atray upwards from her abdomen to underneath her breasts. And added a few quick hard pushes inwards, she almost vommited from each thrust. 

With a cough she spat out a ball of qi above the size of a golf ball. She could feel him reluctantly removing the offending hand while the other hand still held her neck. Somehow he condescend to give her this little bit of aid. But for the help she never asked for, there will be a price she has to pay. That thing picked up the little ball of qi and studied it. 

“Heh. You can’t see beyond your nose. The currents they create, sweeps away all those who try to interfere. Its too late to stop now that our dear boy is losing control.” It said to her, a huge Cheshire cat like grin appears in the dark. She frowned and the grin vanishes. She could sense it moving towards her captor. 

“You really can’t see beyond your nose. Interfering where you believe is right.” He sighed. She could feel his lips pressing against the back of her neck, even though puzzle by the fact that he had grown a mustache she dared not resist nor move for she fear that would only invite him even if that thing is watching them. Would he really be that bold? She does not know. 

“You wish to stay? I could come back later or maybe tomorrow if you want me to.” It hinted severely, suppressing a laugh. 
“Rosalind would appreciate me staying but we have to send my daughter off to Japan I doubt you would appreciate it the children miss their chance to meet.” He laughs heartily as he returns a snipe to the thing. However reluctantly he releases his grip upon her. 
  
“The children must not meet!” She shouted as she turns but the duo had already vanished. Nobody but her, sitting alone in her bath, her skin still tingling from his touch. Violet eyes closed as she sinks back under the tepid water. Her qi would soon be fully restored and she needed to take a little trip. She has to be stronger and the children must not meet. 
 


Day 3 
Some time later in the morning over at Hong Kong 
 

16 years old ChunLi anxiously glanced at her watch as she leaps up from the sofa and strode to the window. Her father would be home soon and they would fly off to Japan to visit an old friend. Seeing no sign of her father’s car, she checks her bags once more making sure she had left none of the important gifts out. 

“And my training gear! Yes must not forget training gear!” she checks her bags once more and smiled on seeing the little vest and leotards. She had brought at least five sets of her specially altered training gear for this trip. 

Checking her passport once more she made sure that it had not expired. She wanted nothing to go wrong for this trip, checking the calendar she knew that today is the day of departure and there would be no mistakes. By tomorrow latest 

The doorbell rang and ChunLi sprang to her feet wondering why her father didn’t bring his keys. He had being so busy the last few days that it was no surprise that he would forget his keys. But he better not forget that they had to go today. And she went on to pick non-existent lint from her new jacket 
 

“Good morning Miss. I’m a representative of the Mishima corporations and we have an insurance policy that will be suitable for a young lady like you….” The man bombarded her with endless list of reasons why she should purchase a piece of policy. 

“And then we have this premium life insurance for the working men in your life---” 
ChunLi cut him off by slamming the door in his face. She looks at her watch as she flops down on the sofa. The phone rings and she rushes to answer it. 

“Hello?” 
“Simui? Simui can you come out? For a movie?” It was Fei Long. 
“Oh its you. I’m expecting an important call. Could you call back later?” 
“Simui wait! There’s something I need to talk to you about. I need to talk to you about us---” 
“Goodbye Fei Long. See you in a month or two.” She cut him off and ended the call the moment she heard the keys turning in the lock. 

“Daddy!!” she exclaimed vaulting from the sofa and landing in front of her slightly startled father. 

Her father with his crew cut black hair and pencil thin mustache looks haggard from his late night of clearing out tons of paperwork. His red checked shirt looks as if it hadn’t being washed for the last few days. The most noticeable feature about this man is that the cleft in his chin seems to make his jaw more prominent. ChunLi sneezed as the strong scent of roses from his shirt irritated her. 

“Can we go now?” she sniffled, grabbing a tissue to clear her nose. 
“Behave yourself Li.” He ordered, his sternness threw her off slightly. 
“I have a sudden assignment.” He watches the disappointment in her eyes. Lifting her chin he smiled and continued. 
“And you’re a big girl now. I am letting you go by yourself.” 
“You’re not coming?” 
“No. This assignment is too big to delay. The chance to put it into play has finally come I can’t afford to miss it. And hand this over to Gouken.” 

“You don’t need me to stay?” Taking the letter, she shoves it into her pocket 
“I don't think you want to stay. Its time for you to be a little independent.” 
“Okay then.” 
“I’m sorry. And do take care of yourself. Kick your little boyfriend’s butt for me.” 
“He’s not my boyfriend.” ChunLi blushed. She missed her old friend although she kind of liked him. 

“Oh. And Chi Long will drive you to the airport.” He picked up her bags. 
“Auntie Liu’s son?” ChunLi opened the door and head downstairs. 
 

Downstairs a young man in his mid-twenties waves on seeing them, he pushes back his floppy center-parting fringe even though a red sports band held it up. ChunLi giggled when he smilingly opens the passenger door for her. ChunLi waves back watching the other neighbours gathers around her father as they drove off. 


“Why do you keep looking at me like that?” Chi Long asked as they near the airport. 
“You remind me of someone.” She had seen him flip his fringe at every traffic light they stop at. Yet she can’t help but feel he reminds her of an old friend, since he’s almost a dead-ringer especially his side profile. The thought of that made her beam even wider 

Partly it was due to the resemblance that made her see him as the big brother she never had. And since he was her ‘ming fu qi shi’(de facto) dai si-heng (big brother of her martial arts class). He’s someone whom she counted on to fend off Fei Long. 

“What? Your little Japanese boyfriend?” 
“He’s not my boyfriend.” 

 “Yeah like Fei Long is not your boyfriend?” 
“Of course he’s not. He’s always bugging me.” 
“Ah. No wonder.” He flips his fringe with his right hand again 
 

Reaching the airport, ChunLi found that she still has enough of time to waste and hence dragged her si-heng around the shops to make sure she has all the things she needs. At a confectionery shop her eyes sparkled at the rows upon rows of chocolate on display. Her sharp nose caught the scent of roses and a hint of purple hair intruded the corner of her eye. 

“He should be training. You should not go to Japan.” A soothing voice whispered in her ear startling ChunLi. 

“Si-heng! You said something?” She stood up in alert, scratching her left ear, as the scent seems to make it itch incredibly. There was something annoyingly familiar about that smell. 
“Hmm?” he glances up and ChunLi realised that he was standing at her right side. She turns towards the other direction watching the entrance of the shop and the people passing. 

“Last call for passengers of Flight CX064 leaving for Osaka. ” the announcement made her forgot what she was doing. Paying for her choclates she remembered something else. 

“I’m sorry I can’t attend your wedding. Since they had both just return to the dojo.” 
“It’s okay. Li-Li understands. You better go now or you’ll miss your flight.” 
“Bye then.” ChunLi gave him a quick hug. 

“You take care now. And kick your little boyfriend’s butt when you say hello for me.” 
She grins and waves back, for once not arguing about whether the old friend she was to see had achieve boyfriend status or not. Latest tomorrow she would see her old friend again. 

 
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