Zero
Chapter 13

 

Morning sunshine warms the air as the trio strolled in the park nearby. They hadn’t particularly decided where to go as of yet therefore they decided some fresh air and sunshine would do Ryu some good. 

So there they were, now by the pond, sitting around a stone table. The duo or rather just ChunLi kept an eye on Ryu as he timidly drank the strong smelling liquid from the Thermos. 

By the look of the more identifiable ingredients Ryu hazard a guess that it contains chicken, a bit of ginseng, something reddish like wolfberry or dates, a piece of black something that could be longnan and a whole lot more questionable ingredients. He took a breather from drinking only to look up into the intense gaze of ChunLi. 

“Its basically Sup Qun Yen Sam Gei Tong (10 ingredients ginseng chicken soup). I don’t know what Gen sifu put in to get that funny smell though.” She said lazily, her elbows were propped up against the tabletop with her palms supporting her head. 

Ryu look back down at the soup and back up at her again, a pleading look on his face but she answered with a look that threatened to force feed him the soup if need be. 
 

“Hot babe!! Hot babe in trouble.” Ken exclaimed all of a sudden, the trio sprang up from the stone benches. Ken stretched out his arm indicating to the couple that he would handle this 

“Sir Kenneth to the rescue.” He trumpeted, trotting over to the scene. 

Ryu and ChunLi saw that the damsel in distress is a rather attractive blond. Slightly older than ChunLi by a year or two prehaps, slim and healthy looking in a white sundress. Golden curls that tumbles down her shoulders. 

It seems that somehow she managed to attract the attention of a blond hair young man. The man had held on to her hand and it looks as if he refuses to let go. The way he was acting towards her resistance was like the way of a boyfriend pleading for forgiveness, a picture that was completed with the lady was hitting him with her purse. That picture seems wrong somehow. 
 

“He’s taller than Ken. Would he be okay?” ChunLi glanced at Ryu. The hair on her back of her neck was standing. There was something about that blond hair man that didn’t seem too right. She thought that the blond was too calm about the fact that almost everybody in the park were watching them. 

“His ego is tall enough to make up for it. Do not worry.” Ryu  answered, partly aware of the fact that ChunLi had held onto his arm. Partly ready for a fight should Ken needed his help. 
 

The man with the long blond hair seemed rather astonished when Ken burst into the scene. The lady took the opportunity to pull her hand away and stepped behind Ken. The tall blond towered over Ken and stared down at him. 

Ken had mentioned something and the tall blond’s expression went from astonish to mild disbelief. And thanks to Ken’s good luck or the lady still having enough of her wits with her, she nodded in agreement to Ken’s statement. 

Disappointment was written on the tall blond’s face, he did an about turn causing the tail end of his hair to slap Ken in the face. But Ken did not flinch. The tall blond took a few steps and suddenly halted and turn to face the lady and bow deeply. He smiled dangerously before continuing on his way. Ryu and ChunLi realized that they too had being holding their breath. 
 

With that tall blond gone, Ken finally faced the lady he just saved. She smiled gratefully at him and Ken had the strangest look upon his face. It looks as if someone had struck him hard. Ken regained his composure quickly and introduced himself. 

“He’s starting to sell himself.” ChunLi commented, rolling her eyes. 
“He does that every time. Quite a lot of village girls fall for him.” 
“What about you? Any village girl caught your eye?” 

“What? They were mostly interested in Ken.” he shrugged, not quite getting what she meant and at the same time there was a certain look in her eyes. 

Then again he didn’t remember any village girl mentioning anything else apart from placing an order for his boxes. Although the only girl who ever spoke to him about things beyond boxes stood right next to him now. 

“Wave back.” ChunLi touched Ryu lightly on the arm. 
“Huh? Oh.” Ryu did as she asked. The blond lady was looking their way and waving to them as Ken was doing. In a matter of moments, Ken escorted the lady to their little group. 
 

“Well as I mentioned earlier, this is my bro – Ryu and his girlfriend also our good hostess - ChunLi. Guys this is Elizabeth McKenzie. Air-stewardess.” 
“Eliza.” She corrected as she shook Ryu’s hand. 
“Eh?” Ken looked back at her. 
“My friends call me Eliza.” She smiled warmly at them, or as ChunLi noted at Ken in particular. 

“Ah. What brings you this far off the beaten track?” ChunLi asked after shaking her hand. 
“Colleague of mine recommended the porridge here. Who knew I be accosted by the Spanish Casanova himself. He’s creepy.” She shuddered. 

“And the ever so kindly Mr Masters saved me from harassment by saying that he’s my boyfriend. Thank goodness I was quick enough to pick up on his meaning.” 
“Does the ever so humble Mr Masters stand a chance?” Ken looked hopefully at her eliciting a giggle. 
“If the delightful Mr Masters deign to visit my family home back in San Francisco for an official visit and an interview with my father.” 
“I am so there.” He made the ladies laughed at his theatrics 

“Oh! I almost forgot. I gotta go or I’ll be late for my flight.” 
“Then we shall escort you.” Ken decided. 
“Why not.” 
“Let’s go then.” 

-------- 
  
Down the road some distance away later 
 

He was a little sad that the frisky little lamb had gotten away, pondering in his own thoughts he ignored the fascinated stares and jealous looks from both women and men. Considering commoners have never seen beauty as perfect as he. 

That short blond had the nerve to challenge him for the lovely lamb, if he were back home he would have dealt more harshly with such audacious behavior. He would like to have a bout or two with the capable young man and see how long he last but alas he had not the time though, his assignment comes first. 

There was not much beauty in these busy streets, the charm of commoners perhaps but not the dazzling beauty that only his keen eye can see. 

Stopping by the mirror in the window of a shop, his slim elegant fingers brushed some non-existent lint from his long pale coat. He then ran his hand through his fair golden hair. Earning him a couple of adoring sighs from a group of passing schoolgirls. 

No doubt they would be  thinking that he was a real life Mills and Boons prince (I wouldn't know) on his way to fulfil some lucky girl’s wildest dreams. 
 

Once he was able to tear himself away from the mirror he continue his way down the street, eventually reaching his destination. He pulled out a piece of paper from his coat and squinted at the words on the paper and matched it to the address on the wall. This is the right place. Out of habit he ran his fingers through his hair. 

“May I help you?” A Cantonese accented voice asked in English. It took him a moment or two to register and realized that someone was speaking to him. 

Looking up, he gaze straight into the strong brown eyes of a local. Slightly younger than he perhaps. Small in built but definitely agile. This commoner bears a resemblance to a certain Hong Kong martial artist who wowed the world with his movies. 

He had caught one of the movies in particular, It couldn’t be Game of Death as much as he liked the name. Was it Fist of Fury? The one where the warrior was in a contest and fought the boss with the claws in a house of mirrors. Pity the claw one had to die. 

Out of curiosity he wondered if this young man could humor him in a bout or two re-enacting the house of mirrors scene with him, although he doubt the young man could survive his claw. But then work comes first. 
 

“I am looking Senor Gen. Eh? Be this his dojo?” He realized that his accent had the same effect on the young man. He made a mental note that after he got the house of mirrors built he would definitely invite this young man to a fight. Of course he had to see how well the house of mirrors reflect his beauty before consigning it as a battleground. 

“It is. Gen sifu is inside. I will show you in. ” The young man was probably studying his potential worth as an opponent as well. 

“Ah. Thank you.” He followed the young man inside. 
“Please wait a moment while I inform my Sifu.” Pouring him a cup of tea and left him in the reception room. 

He naturally gravitated to the trophy shelves, curious to see what achievement the old man or his various students had craved for himself. A photograph of someone made him take a double look and made him raised an eyebrow in curiosity.  Shrugging it off, he studied the other photos instead. 

A photograph of a group of students celebrating the victory of a girl in a local tournament caught his eye. The golden girl of the dojo has quite an amount of achievements indeed. He found her photograph on the hierarchy board. Rather impressive for one so young and so beautiful. A princess amongst peasants. 
 

“Chey-yun… Ree…” he whispered her name with a touch of his accent, it sounded lovely on his tongue. How well would she fare against him, that he would like to know. It had being quite a while since common girls caught his attention.  How nice that in losing a lamb he would come across a rabbit. This little hunt will be interesting indeed. 

“Hello. May I help you?” A voice addressed him. 
“I seek Senor Gen.” He turned around. 
“I am he.” 
“Ah. So nice. I do wish for some privacy?” 
“Its alright Fei Long. You may go now.” 
“I take my leave then. Sifu.” He turned and leave. 

“Senor Fei Long!” he called out, halting the young man in his tracks. 
“I hope we could arrange a spar some time soon yes?” 
“I will be honoured to. I hope to see you then too.” He bowed and left them alone. 
 

“What do you want Balrog(Vega)! How many times have I told you never to set foot in the front door of my dojo.” 
“I am so hurt that you treat me so, Old man. It will be a great dishonor to you should I sneak around like a common thief. The master had sent for me, his little falcons had came home with prey.” 
“Come with me.” 
“Lead the way. Grand Assassin.” 
“I left that profession years ago. You should mind your tongue.” The old man shot a dark glare at him. 

“My apologies. I would not do wanting to incur your wrath and risk the touch of death.” Even though Balrog had seen the so call touch of death, he knew full well that it had something to do with accupoints and qi. Although whether the old man is still capable of doing it now was a whole different story altogether. It would be rather interesting though. 

“And Balrog.” 
“Yes Senor Gen?” 
“You better not have any designs on any of my students.” 
“I am not entertaining such thoughts in my head.” He smiled innocently, knowing full well it annoyed the old man. 
 
  

Iwa says - Apprently Balrog (Vega) refers to certain SF women as certain animals. It never happened anywhere I think. This came up because in the SF animated movie he mention something about skinning a rabbit and drinking its blood (memory fuzzy now). I remember reading it in the Cantonese subtitles though I can't remember if its in the English version. 

And since everybody uses 'senorita' I went with 'rabbit'. Although when I'm reading it aloud I had to get rid of the word's attachment to Winnie the Pooh's voice(okay fine I caugh some Wiinie the Pooh Cartoons while waiting for some anime). LOL. I should really watch the movie again so that I could have Balrog's voice attach to the word 'rabbit'. By the end of writing a certain anchor chapter my reading aloud voice developed a Spanish accent. 

Anyway so far some terms are confirm 
Rabbit - ChunLi: Because of the movie 
Lamb - Eliza: I dunno, I think its her bouncy hair and the way she seem quite mellow in the movie. Even though in some mangas she violent to Ken 
Kitten - Cammy: Dunno where this comes from, but could be the SFX Gaiden comic book in which she was surrounded by quite a number of cats. I cannot say where she is right now 
Falcons - Xiayu and Yanyu. Don't know why I call them that 
Ferret - Satsuki. I like Satsuki. And in this particular story. Satsuki comes down with dual personality on account of her being the temporary host of Geotao. Geotao had chosen Satsuki based on her resemblance to Iwa. Okay so Geotao is a sentimental creature. Screen time is a little more towards Geotao though.

 
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