Bound and gagged, as ChunLi was carried away she watched in horror at that tortured look in Ryus eyes. She worries now, as she watched the injured figure of her husband diminish in size as the distance between the lengthened.
She knew he needed help very badly and there was nothing she could do. Soon she saw that Ryu was nothing more then a small figure in the distant ground surrounded by the others.
The man, who took her, he was insane, riding five horses to death in less than two days, passing through two villages and a town. ChunLi noted that in this blond hair mans haste he had out-distanced his companion and his army. The horse they were on finally skidded in exhaustion throwing them off before collapsing in death.
ChunLi landed in a bush and rolled behind it while the blond hair man managed to land on his feet. He was searching for her in a panic. She could hear him talking to someone. Although he had been talking to air for the last two days.
Please!! Stop screaming! Im bringing her to you as quickly as I can! Frantically looking in every bush, Gill was starting to foam at the mouth as he was wrecked with exhaustion.
Tian-zai (Calamity that amber encased sword and the aura share the same name). Please! I know you are anxious to see her!! Gill yelled, his blond hair flying wildly as he ran from place to place.
Offhand ChunLi thought that this man was driven by a higher power, driven so badly that whatever it was couldnt care if he dies. All it wants is results. She wondered if it would drive him to death like it did the horse. Maybe then she might get a chance to escape, she tried moving her fingers.
< Yes! The spell had worm off! > ChunLi smiled, but still it was too early to celebrate. At least no celebration until shes back to poor Ryus side.
. Please be strong for me. > She prayed silently.
A pair of large hands ripped apart the bush she was hiding. Gill, blond hair slicked with perspiration, his eyes show a hint of fear and insanity. His nostrils kept flaring and he was foaming at the mouth.
Now ChunLi noticed something that she hadnt notice before. This man is some kind of a freak. The hood of his cloak had fallen off revealing his face in the full sunlight. One side blue and one side red.
And he just stood there. As still as some kind of statue in a park. A squirrel leapt down from a tree and onto Gills head and intends to leap up to another neighbouring tree, As soon as the squirrels feet push off. The man began to shake and started to fall backwards like some large tree that has being chopped.
< Timber! > ChunLi added, watching Gill fall with a loud thud and raising a cloud of dust. The squirrel that had being thrown off balance by the falling man was now beside her looking a little shocked. ChunLi blew at its tail, catching its attention. It looked at her and the man and sprinted up the nearest tree in panic.
< Okay. I can either lay here, wait for help or him to wake up. No way. Oh yeah. Must get back to Ryu. > She began squirming and wriggling. No contortionist she was but she did what she could to slip her bound hands underneath her knees. She knew she had to work fast, since there was no telling when Gill might wake up or when his people might come.
< Well, good thing I never stopped training even after marriage. > she smiled, her thoughts turning back to Ryu. She hopes that Zannah and the others have found a way to help him.
< Owww. > There was a little pain in her back as she got her bound hands clear of her foot and are now in front of her face. ChunLi tapped her right heel three times.
There was a metallic shink and a three-inch long blade shot out from the sole of her right boot.
< Thanks goodness for standard issue boots. > she laughed at a private joke that someone had once cracked.
There and then she work the ropes on the blade. Freeing her sore wrists in no time. With that done she pulled out the scarf and started to work on the ropes.
As soon as the ropes were untied, ChunLi clicked a small button on her heel and the blade retracted back into its hiding place. She walked over to Gill with the coil of ropes. Mentally cursing him for causing Ryu so much pain.
She pulled the large man to the nearest big tree and rolled him so he faces downwards. She pulled him again so that now his legs flanked the tree and then she tied his ankles together with a dead knot.
< Serves you right for messing with me. > She smirked and now wonders how she was going to leave. A furry shape ghost pass her in the distance, a few pair of eyes was watching her.
< Wolves. Good. Things are looking up. > she smiled as she walked towards the pack, drawing a rune in the air at the same time. But the rune fizzled, as her spells remain muted.
< Darn. Guess its back to the old fashion way. > she mumbled as she continued her path. Guess it was time to remember the lessons learnt as a rookie.
The ruins where everybody else were
Hes gone?! Ryus gone! Haohmarus shouts woke everybody from sleep. The pile of dried grass and cloth that was Ryus makeshift bed was empty. A crippled and injured man missing? The group spread out and search the ruins and the surroundings. A crippled man could not have gone far.
Somehow it seems that whoever was suppose to standing watch had not being doing his or her job. But that dont matter now, because they have to find Ryu before anything goes wrong. Or worse if infections set in.
I found tracks!! Over here! Kyo called out. The rest rushed over to see what he found.
Trails of something that seem to have being dragged to the ground. A little distance away, blood mixed in the tracks. Their faces were drained of blood as they started to worry.
Hurry! Zannah shouted. They ran after the tracks fearing for the worst.
They have underestimated him greatly. Despite his injuries his determination fuels him on. With much disbelief they found Ryu, crawling on the ground. His fingers were bleeding from pulling the ground. Gritting his teeth, he ignored the pain and soldiered on.
His already injured legs suffered the further abuse of the gravel and sand. Sickly yellow pus mixed with blood on his legs. Though they admired his will and determination they can’t help but wonder if he knows where he was going. The four members of the Inner Circle were looking at each other in silent conference again.
The moment their silent conference ends, Zannah walked towards Ryu who still ignore her and crawled on. She squatted down by his side and placed a hand on his shoulder.
There was a short almost electrical tension between him and Zannah. Ryu is known to be very stubborn when it comes to ChunLis welfare and would break down the very doors of hell at her whim. While Zannah who went to hell and back was equally if not more stubborn. Plus she is very much like an elder sister to the couple.
Ryu stopped and slumped down though he refused to look at her. Zannah sighed, it was hard to dealing with the Dragonlord. Getting him to compromise is not easy.
The rest of you go back and bring our things and the litter. Ill stay here with him. We are heading to town with a willing Ryu or we can go there find him in a coffin. Zannah said flatly.
Who died and made you queen? Nakaruru spoke up.
You will if you keep talking. Ryu wish to be in town sooner than later. Unless you have a better idea I suggest you stop agitating him any further, he has suffered greatly.
Nakaruru was about to speak when Haohmaru placed his hand on her shoulder and shot her warning look. The rest were about to leave as Zannah called out again.
Haohmaru I need your wine and two water pouches. Okay Ill pay you back triple when we reach town.
Haohmaru answered by tossing it to her his wine gourd and the water pouches.
Turning Ryu gently over, she noticed the blood and pus on his legs. She frowned and got to work silently. Disinfecting the wounds with the wine and then washing the wounds clean.
I failed her. Ryu said, slamming his fist into the ground as Zannah bandage the wounds with clean cloth.
But I failed to keep her safe from harm! I failed to keep my word! I promised her! And now I failed her! Ryu stared at his fists
Zannah kept quiet as she listens to him rant and rave. She knew the couple for a long time. And she knew how much the couple had gone through together.
Though the couple is the strongest in their fields, emotionally they had grown very attached to each other that some point it baffles Zannah on how their link works. Somehow she wonders if such a bond would be a liability to a warrior or a drive?
You did what you could. She would be proud of you. Zannah said as she secured the bandages.
Ryu looked at her, about to argue once more but Zannah silence him with those icy blue eyes.
And would you crawling to find her do her any good? Should she return and find us giving her the answer that you died of infections be fair to her? Zannah asked again, heaving him up and dragging him into the shelter of the tree. Gently she lowered him to the ground.
But shes in danger!
Zannah rolled her eyes heavenwards, and shook her head slightly.
So will you if you dont listen to me. Besides Well be going to town to find out what we can.
I can feel where she is Zannah. Please just help me there! Or Ill go by myself!
And die trying?
Better than lying here and do nothing!
Zannah handed Ryu the wine gourd. Shutting him up by forcing him to glug down a mouthful of wine or two. It seems to her that she was still prone to bullying him when need be.
Like you I am anxious to find Li. But we wont do her any good. If her husband does not co-operate. Do tell. Am I talking to you or talking to your delirious mind?
There was a bout of silence, then Ryu slammed his fist into the trunk of the tree behind him, a shower of rain fell on the both of them.
Zannah please. Get me a horse and let me be on my way. Ryu said in an almost pleading tone.
And what? Have you fall off the horse and break your neck?
No buts. If you keep this up. I will have to tie you up to the litter. Do you want that?
The other warriors were returning with their things. Charlotte was carrying Rimururu on her back. The girl still has yet to awake.
She had a hand in saving your life. She will attempt to fix your legs once she feels better. Come on. Well be going to town as you wanted. Zannah said,
With help from Haohmaru they carried Ryu to the stretcher and continued the way to town as Ryu brood silently over ChunLi.