Zero
Chapter 9

 

Reaching her room, ChunLi’s heart ached to see that the young man was still suffering, She grabbed his hand  to reassure him that she had return with help, she could not tell if he knew. As much as she wished to hold his hand and comfort him, she had to relinquish him reluctantly to Master Gen.  
  

Gen took the young man’s pulse and check his tongue and lifted his eyelids, he had a rough diagnosis but shot a look at ChunLi’s father, a brief silent conversation seem to take place and the stern man in the red checkered shirt just nodded.  

Gen took out an acupuncture kit and begins to administer to the young man. Both ChunLi and Ken seem to wince as the long thin needle prodded Ryu.  
“You two wait outside.”  

“Will he be okay?” Wishing she could do more for the young man.  
“He’s a strong boy, Li. He’ll be fine. Go check on my soup. I’m sure he’ll be hungry .” Her father said, putting one hand on her shoulder and ushered her out.  
“But—“  
“The boy needs his privacy.” It took a while for that to sink in, but she stole another glance at Ryu before heading out of the room.  

“Keep an eye on her.” Her father said as Ken followed ChunLi out.  
“Yes Qinpui (elder /sempai).” he closed the door behind him.  

Under the scrutiny of ChunLi’s father, Gen worked quickly and steadily. Placing certain needles into specific pressure points, to unlock, to clear and to divert his qi. Slowly but steadily the young man responded as his tremors subsided.  
  

Through Ryu’s hazy rest he thought he felt two high level qi nearby, there were voices too. He tried to open his eyes but they were too heavy, his body would not respond. The duo then started conversing away in some dialect he heard Chun Li used before, he couldn’t quite follow it as she hadn’t got around to teaching him anything yet.  

“Ah Shen ge zai tai hei lei gei mn chou ah. (Sho’s son is not bad looking)” A stern voice commented. Something about this voice sounded familiar and somebody wiped the perspiration from his forehead. He felt rather uncomfortable about this person, he didn’t know why. He thought he felt Burning red eyes in the same room. He could feel that his dark half was highly agitated about something. What did he meant by the source of odd heat ?!  

“Lei mai fong sum lor. Lei ge loi ge ngan gong gau ho. (You should be comforted that your daughter has good taste)” A sharp retort as a strange third qi join the duo.  
   
He almost panicked at Burning Red eyes’ increased agitation. It felt like something he had encountered back when he was in Japan. Has it follow him here? He heard the stern one mention something he couldn’t quite hear.  

“Zhui yan! Ngo mo yoke doo hui! Oui guai zao guai lei ge Muei Kwai tai ken cheong (Master!  I never touch him! Blame your dear Rose for being too anxious.). An odd little laugh answered it. He had heard it before but can’t remember where. His heartbeat lowered and finally his breathing even out.  

As time went on by the conversation became mumbling to him and through that he felt more and more drowsy until he fell into a dreamless state of sleep.  

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Back and forth she kept pacing, the soup could take care of itself for all she cared. Ken was seated at sofa helping himself to a bowl of soup. There was a knock on the front door and Ken noting that ChunLi didn’t noticed answered it for her.  

A young man near his age, sharp looking lad who bears a passing resemblance to a certain late great kung fu legend. As much as Ken enjoyed the works of that great legend, something about this guy bothered him. The young man was startled to see Ken at the door. Ken thought the visitor was sizing him up.  

“Is Simui home?” he asked, his English slightly accented.  
“Hold on.” Ken turned to ChunLi and called her over.  
“Is everything alright? Did something happen?” he grew more concern on seeing the worried girl.  
“I’m busy right now could you come back later.” She said, unable to tear her eyes away from her room door.  
“Can I help?”  
“Just go.” She said, the knob on her room’s door turned and ChunLi practically leapt over the sofa, she nearly stumbled on landing but managed to catch her balance.  

The young man tried to force his way in but Ken  prevented him, he simply offered an apology and closed the door. He needed to check on Ryu too.  

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Ryu looked a whole lot more serene as he lay upon her bed, now wearing one of the newly purchase t-shirt as his sweat stained shirt lay on the floor. She was by his side once again after pulling up the peach coloured comforter for him.  

Using a small towel she wiped off the perspiration on his forehead , her hand lingered upon his face. She was relived that he turned out to be okay. She felt that she was responsible for his illness since she willfully dragged him out of his dojo knowing that he might be unwell.  

“Its not your fault.” Ken  said as he came in  
“At least you brought him to someone who could help.” Ken said, squeezing her shoulder in comfort.  
“Go take shower, I’m sure you wanna look your best when he wakes.”  

“Call me when he wakes.”  
“What!? And have you rushing out of the shower? The poor guy’s gonna get a nosebleed! Who knows how long he’ll be out then! For shame Chunny! OW! OW! OW! Stop pulling my hair! You gonna wake Ryu!!” And that made her stopped and check on Ryu again. Convinced that he’s still asleep she head over her closet.  

“Whoa! That’s a whole lot of cheongsams!” Ken commented.  
“Got them when I part-time at a couple of restaurants.” She grabbed something from her closet while Ken plonked himself into a comfortable couch of teak and cushions between the bookshelf and window.  

Grabbing himself a book: Shadow Lore Chronicles Book 6 – The Legacies of Bloodlines, he raised an amused eyebrow at the title and began to read, and then looks up and waved the reluctant ChunLi away.  

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Slow as it was, the gears in his mind begin to turn again. Sleep reluctantly left him allowing him to wake, his heavy eyelids tried to open but shut immediately when blinded by sudden light. He opens them again only to be greeted by the most beautiful sight he ever seen .  

His somewhat fuzzy mind took in every detail of her youthful beauty. She was in the midst of braiding up her hair  when he woken, by the time she had them braided up he still couldn’t figure out what scent it was that she was using. Noticing that he had wakened she moved closer to him. Her infectious smile warmed more than just his heart when she placed her palm upon his forehead to check his temperature.  

She was wearing a pale green cheongsam inspired sleeveless blouse with matching knee length shorts . A pale bluish scarf tied to her waist like a sash. He felt he could get lost in those beautiful brown eyes, groggily he smiled her, enjoying the blush  that she answered him with.  
  

And then he recognized and remembered her name, his mind now fully awaken and clear. He attempted to get up but felt a little sore.  
“Let me.” Chun Li said quietly as she helped him sit up, propping some pillows behind him.  

Ryu found himself in a slighty larger than single size bed, sitting upon a thick foam mattress. A peach coloured comforter covered his lower body . The room he is in is pale blue in colour.  

“Feeling better? A male voice asked him. He turned to the voice of his blond friend. There he sat by the window, a small waist height bookshelf beside him and a work desk beside the shelf. Ken wasn’t looking at him, he was still reading his book.  

ChunLi had with her a bowl of warm soup  and she proceeded to feed Ryu. Cubes of carrots, potatoes, some slices of onions, bits of tomato and some shredded chicken meat was in the soup as well as some rice. The warm soup tasted somewhat peppery.  

“How long have I being out?”  
“The whole afternoon.” Ken didn’t look up.  
“Your wrist.” Ryu said noting the angry bruise on her. She glanced at it casually as if she had forgotten.  
“I’m not the only one.” You got some too. She set aside the empty bowl and bent over the bed’s edge and started fishing for something below.  

Ryu realised with a blush that he had being staring at her rather rudely and averted his gaze. Ken chuckled earning himself a fearsome glare.  
“What?” His blond friend asked innocently.  

ChunLi straightened with her find, a large bottle of whiskey – swirling within the transparent bottle along with the alcohol were leaves, roots, what seem like a lizard, some other unidentifiable ingredients and what Ryu thought to be a crackle of wispy blue energy. (I got a bottle of this at home minus the lizard). ChunLi gave that bottle of liquid another slow swirl in front of Ryu.  

She unstopped the bottle and Ken waved his hand before his face as the pungent alcoholic scent invades the very air.  
“I…don’t have… to drink that.. Do I?” Ryu gulped timidly  
“3 capfuls of Daddy’s secret brew .” She smiled indicating the little cap-cup that’s almost 2 inches in height.  

“Only if you have internal injuries.” She giggled seeing Ryu sighed in relief while Ken chuckled. Pouring a tiny bit in her palm she then grabbed Ryu’s arm and rubbed the bruised in a downward motion. By the time ChunLi finished tending to both their injuries he was feeling a little giddy from the alcohol in the air.  
  
 

Interesting thing about this soup is that the original one as made by Grandma contained pork ribs, Dad later took over the recipe and threw in the chicken and tomatoes. Eventually I got involve with the mainly chicken version and added pepper seeds.  
Usually cook on a charcoal stove and letting it boil and simmer for a couple of hours. By evening the taste is incredible. Best drunk on cold days or days when I'm suffering from a cold.  

And as for the soup and bits of ingredients covering the bit of rice, that's how I like to drink my soup when all I want is just something to drink. For a full meal, it be a bowl of rice covered by soup. *slurp*  

Carrot Soup  

2 Carrots - cubed  
3 medium potatos - cubed  
3 medium reddish purple onions - sliced or diced em  
3 tomatos - cut  
Around 10 seeds of pepper  
A pinch of salt for taste  
Either 300g of pork ribs or 1 whole chicken cut up or 1 chicken husk + how many chicken wings, drumlets or drumsticks you would like  
   

Toss carrots, potatos, onions, tomatos and pepper seeds into pot of water.  
Bring soup to a boil  
Toss in chicken or pork ribs  
Add a pinch of salt or two  
Let it boil for an hour or so under medium flame  
Let it simmer for a while (the volume of soup should have drop about 2 or 3 inches by now)  

And of course serve with a bowl of rice by the side. 

 
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