Morning, Village by the river  


It had taken the nine warriors two days to reach the nearest town. Rimururu has woken up by now, though she still feels a little woozy. It would take her at least a week before she could start healing Ryu again.  

Rimururu had discussed this issue with Zannah who suggested that she heal Ryu one leg at a time. First off this could help Rimururu to conserve her energy and second off they needn’t worry about Ryu running off to find ChunLi the moment he could walk. Rimururu understood that Zannah worry about how Ryu’s anguish could lead him into trouble.  



While Ryu was tended to by a local village physician, the others had went out to gather supplies and information. Ryu had turned increasingly silent and moody ever since the incident at the ruins. He couldn’t help but feel that it was his fault somehow. He also thought that he felt that his companions were hiding something from him.  


Closing his eyes, Ryu let his senses reached out, calling for any traces.  

<  Southeast…. The pull is strong in the southeast direction.. Li. Hold on for me.  >  

“Excuse me.” Ryu broke his silence  

“By any chance you seen a large army pass by. Likely to be led by a blond hair gaijin(foreigner)?” he asked  

The doctor was silent for a moment.  

“The only blond hair gaijin I saw was one on horseback two nights ago. He rode his horse to death and came into village. Screaming to someone named ….tian…zai or something to stop pushing him so hard. He just took a horse and threw a piece of silver to the groom and rode off. The man was dragging a woman with him.”  


“Woman? Did you have a good look at her?” Ryu’s hopes were up.  

“Poor thing was tied up. These days the kidnapping of women is quite commonplace. I doubt she would ever see her family again.”  

“What does she look like?” Ryu was starting to loose his patience. Chances are that ChunLi could have pass by this place.  

“Oriental but she don’t look Japanese one bit. Might say that she is some Chinese woman brought in by a local lord. Could even say that this woman is no commoner for that matter. This gaijin will sure get a high price if he sells her.”  

<  Li….  >  

“Here. You should rest. Your legs are quite badly crushed.” The physician said and got up to leave.  



Later when the others returned Ryu began asking them if they had heard anything. They all look towards Zannah. She nodded and called Kyo over while the rest went about packing their supplies.  


“Ryu Sempai. I have to tell you first that you should not get your hopes up to high.”  

“Just tell me what you know Boy.”  

“I had heard that an insane man dragging a woman with him had passed by two nights ago.” Kyo stopped a moment to watch Ryu’s reaction. There was none for what Kyo told him had simply confirmed what he had just heard.  

“Also. There was a silver hair male gaijin with a rag tag army that had passed by here yesterday looking for them as well.”  

“And they all headed southeast.” Ryu completed his sentence.  

“Yes Sempai.”  

“Zannah. I felt Li’s presence coming from the southeast.”  

“I know. Ryu, I know. Why don’t you rest now. We would set out tomorrow morning.”  

“And find Li?”  

“Yes. We’ll find Li.”  



Later in the evening  


<  Slow… Too slow. Who knows where Li would be by the time we get there….  > Ryu thought to himself as he lay on the litter. He then thought of something. If he can’t go out there physically, then mentally he needed to give it a shot. It was after all something One Eye had included as a part of his training as Dragonlord.  

Looking at the others, those that are here would have no idea what’s he’s up to. As for the lot who would know what he’s doing, they are out in the village taking dinner. So no one would be interrupting him anytime soon.  


Turning quiet within, Ryu let his mind relax and began to let his mind reach and search. In a matter of moments he found an accommodating mind. A small little mind whose main concern was finding grain to eat and avoiding the village cats. Ryu sigh as he nudged the mouse with little suggestions of going out of the room.  

The mouse scented the air wondering if there was rice grains in the direction of southeast and scurry in that direction. The mouse hid on seeing the two cats lying nearby. It scurried underneath a bucket. Ryu cursed his luck and reached out once more, gently prodding one of the two cats. It hissed at him for probing, Ryu back off and tried the older cat.  

The older yellow and white cat got up and stretched itself for a moment, it sat up and groom its fur. Moments later as Ryu subtly suggested of mice in the southeast direction. The cat silently padded its way out of the village.  


<  I’m still too slow.. > Ryu thought, but still he can only suggest and not force the cat to do his bidding. There were after all rules he had to follow. Still he can’t afford to corrupt the minds of the animals that he had borrowed. The cat tensed up as it saw a ghostly white shape in the forest.  

<  A wolf….. Things are looking up.  > Ryu smiled as he mind move on. Wolves have always being the type of creatures he loves to work with. Their senses are strong and to point he could be a little more direct with it.  

The white wolf raise its shaggy head to scent the air, picking out a scent that had being mixed with lilies, though cold it led to right direction – southeast. The wolf followed the trail as it began its lopping run through the forest.  



Three hours later  


The white wolf stops by a stream and laps the cool water. When it raises its head, it ended up staring into the cold blue eyes of a silver wolf. Ryu cursed his luck. The silver wolf padded over to the white wolf and swatted its snout with a swipe of its paw. The white wolf whimpered.  

<<  Go back. Baby Dragon.  >> Ryu heard Zannah saying. The glare from the silver wolf was glaring, its fangs was bared slightly.  

<<  But Zannah. I caught Li’s scent! I know where she is.  >> A pleading look on the white wolf’s face  

<<  And what? Endanger yourself while your mind is still not well. We are all doing what we can to help. I know you are anxious to find Li. That’s why we all have to work together.  >>  

<<  But Li’s in trouble.  >> The white wolf glanced towards the southeast direction and howled. A howl filled with pain, anguish and pining.  

<<  So well you if Li finds out you foolishly endanger you life when you are badly injured. >>  

<<  ….  >> An embarrassed look on the wolf’s face  

<<  All I ask of you is to get yourself well first. Maybe then I might allow you to rush off like that. >>  

<<  Very well…. I’ll listen.  >>  

<<  Good.  >> The silver wolf placed a paw on the white wolf’s paw.  

<  For now  > Ryu added in his thought.  

With that the two wolves headed back to village.  






One town and one village away  

Edge of the forest  


The wolves that accompanied her faded back into the depths of the forest, ChunLi with a branch in hand made her way across the plains to the nearest village. There is a crescent moon in the sky tonight. She wonders if Ryu was watching the moon tonight. Somehow she must find a way back to Ryu.  

And then she saw him. Red hair burns bright in the light of the moon. A maniacal look in his eyes. The crescent moon shape scythe gleams wickedly in the night.  

“Die.” He said as he ran towards her.  


ChunLi instinctively block the slash with the branch. She cursed her luck when she remembers she had no sword. She rolled out of the way a wide arc slash. The red hair man looks up in irritation and started to run towards her slashing left and right like cutting grass.  

Calculating her time, she leaps over his head, stunning him momentarily as she stomps on his head. As she lands she turns and unleashes a flurry of kicks right into his back. Taking the opportunity that the red hair man was down ChunLi started running to town. No point fighting when its better to save one’s strength.  

The red hair man rises once more. He must kill the woman so that the master would stop bothering him and he can go back to bothering Kyo. He started to chase the woman down.  

As ChunLi started to run, she began charging her qi, stopping she turned and unleash the ball of qi right into the red hair man’s face. He screams as it sent him flying. But the mad man rose once more.  


A mind numbing cold, ChunLi began to fight it off. But unlike the last time it was faster as the three had decided not to fool around. This time ChunLi knew she was in trouble. She couldn’t move a muscle, the more she struggle the more pain her mind felt. The same woman with the red tint in her hair watching in the distance.  

The red hair psycho getting nearer. Her life flashes by her. And then she watches as the red hair man freezes as ice covered him. The curved blade of his scythe was only a hair’s width from her nose.  

Gill appeared from behind the red hair man, a leer of his face as he placed an iron choker with rune markings around her neck. Gill and his cronies had caught up to her again.  


“You humiliated me!!!” Gill screeched at her.  

“You should never ever try escaping!!” A sounding slap across ChunLi’s face sent her reeling. Blood trickled down the side of her mouth.  

“Now brother. You should never do that. Who knows how she might treat you when the time comes.” Urien chuckled as he helped ChunLi up. She stared at them with anger filed eyes.  

“She’s mine! I do whatever I like!” he grabbed ChunLi’s chin. His insanity filled eyes angered at her refusal to submit. His free hand caress her cheek. He stopped on seeing the disgusted look on her face.  

“Proud wench!! Soon you will beg me for affections!”  

“Ignorant fool. Your actions will lead you to your doom.” Urien said as he carried ChunLi over to the carriage. The woman with the red tint in her hair joined them.  

“Bring him along.” Urien pointed to the red hair man.  

“Your brother is not himself anymore Urien. Seems like Tian Zai has gotten to him.”  

“That’s none of your business. Legrene. You are here because my brother hired you.”  


“I would be here even if he didn’t. I would never miss the opportunity for revenge. Isn’t that so Princess?” Legrene sneered. She looks like a woman of barely twenty, yet the wrinkles on her forehead says otherwise.  

“You’re not doing your five hundred years any justice. What? Virgin blood could only keep you at forty? You’re losing your touch. No wonder you’re a hag and traitor of the coven. ” ChunLi insulted her, knowing where it hurts the most. But earned herself another slap.  

“You will regret that. I will take my revenge against those damn wards of yours! Your mate the Dragonlord will serve me.” Legrene kept caressing her face to make sure that her face was still smooth.  

“Tsk tsk. Foolish like my brother. Falling into the same trap.”  

“You best mind your words Urien. Or I might not help you..”  

“I can get another of your clan. You are not the only one of the Demeanous lineage around my dear.”  


“I what? Get in the carriage and shut up woman.”  

Cursing underneath her breath, the heretic witch was unwilling to give up the chance of striking back at the coven that denounced her.