Chapter 13A week later
It was a gloomy little fishing village, fear was thick in the air. A sad little village with no children below the age of ten, no babies crying for that matter. It was like the children had all disappeared somehow.
ChunLi noticed that the villagers scurry away in fear and hatred upon their arrival. It hit upon her that something had happen in this little village.
YOU KILLED MY CHILD!!!! a woman screams as she ran towards Urien with a chopper. But his soldiers blocked her off and kick her repeatedly till all that was left was a whimper. A frightened man scurry over pulled her away as quickly as he could.
Urien and entourage continued till they reached a pier. A splendid barge awaits them. ChunLi was escorted upon the barge personally by Urien.
< Great . Now hes taking me away from the mainland Damn this choker. > She thought, her finger twitched to start a rune to call her familiar for help but Urien stopped her before she could start.
Dont make this harder for yourself than it already is. We will take you there bind in spells and chains or you could walk there with us with some semblance of pride. Frankly I do not wish to humiliate you in front of Tianzai. It does nobody any good. Do we have an understanding my dear Princess? Urien said with a frown.
Her last chance to try for escape had just fizzled away to nothingness. Hope for her had died like the dying sun in the west. All that awaits her in the southeast is approaching darkness and despair. Shes not willing to resigned to an unknown fate. Yet she lives in hope of seeing Ryu again.
Thank you for your cooperation my dear. Urien said when he felt no resistance from her.
With his entourage and the hundred or so soldiers that remain they headed out to sea for the island covered by fog.
Entering the fog ChunLi could hear thunder, but beneath that thunder there was something else that sounded like a malevolent glee for all the wrong reasons. Strangely ChunLi thought that it was actually maliciously joyful of her arrival.
The fog clear to show a pier that leads through a forest which would lead to castle in the middle. Further beyond leads up to a jagged cliff where waves had bashed a cave through it. Waves that could send a man hurling to death into salt sprayed jagged rocks.
As ChunLi set foot upon the earth she felt a sharp cold covering her. She look back, the barge was gone as the sea separated her hope from her. The presence was getting stronger here. It dances and prances around unseen by all only felt.
The disembodied joyful malice was welcoming her with an off key little song of death and power.
< Power corrupts. One either learns to master it or be enslaved by it. > the words a ward of hers had always used came to mind.
She felt another here as well. It was glad to sense her but sadden that they would meet under such circumstances. She knew at once it was the mind of a young dragon that she had felt. It had been here for awhile.
After a while ChunLi came to the drawbridge of the castle. She remembered something she had learnt in her training. Something about Points.
In Shadowlaw, Points are marked holy places that forbid entry to those who knew not the secrets. The one near Summerlodge, the place that was named Witchess Groove. That little patch of clearing that was used in every Gathering is known as Point of Power.
Most points were situated within the different Dragon Mesas. This one here, was filled with darkness waiting to swallow any form of light, any form of hope and any life. No wonder this place was called Demons Island. For the Point of Evil in the very center of this island. And the castle was built around the tower that the Point of Evil was situated.
It sang with glee as the gates open, like the mouth of hell yawning when awaken, hungry for more souls to feed on. What awaits in the inky darkness was this presence that yearns for her for all the wrong reasons.
There was a strong tang of jealousy in the air as ChunLi thought of Ryu. Gill had mentioned that she would see Ryu again, but under what circumstances? She thought about her dreams.
It scares her that the path she was suppose to walk, she had to walk the dark, cold path without Ryu by her side. Alone she walks into the darkness step by step, the little dragon in the cell laments their sad fate with a cry that none could hear and help.
Ah Home sweet home. Legrene laughed as she moved forward. This was not her place but she felt at home in this gloom.
The doors closed behind ChunLi as hope dies like the light. In darkness she stood, the musty air of the castle getting to her. She could hardly see her hands before her.
And yet she felt something laughing, laughing with joy that she was finally here. Singing her name and promising her anything she wish. Yet it refuse to give her Ryu and freedom. It spat at Ryus name, cursing him, calling the Defender a foul card up the Chaos Mothers sleeves.
One by one the torches lit up with a ghostly green fire, Urien led ChunLi away to a room with two maids in tow. Nine planets will align in a few days time. Then the first phase will begin.
The same disembodied presence left her. It wanted her to rest, to be rested well as it wanted her at her physical, mental and emotional best.
ChunLi refused to cry the tears of despair. She will not give whatever it was the satisfaction of watching her suffer. She held onto thoughts of Ryu, for he was the only ray of hope left in her life.
Kamui Kuten, late evening
Pain, not the physical pain that his left leg was causing him but the one his anguish heart felt. Life seems to suddenly lose various meanings for him. Ryu knew why, this sudden depression that hit him had came from ChunLi.
Though their Mindlink was forced down, he could sense that she was directly east of Kamui Kuten. There was something else near her that he wasnt sure what it was. But he felt av strange tang of jealousy coming from it.
Rimururu was spared from the healing his left leg this time as an older Maiden of Light took over. As for Zannah, she was speaking to some of the elders.
The two covens were related but are two split branches, the coven that Zannah and ChunLi belong to were in charge of taking care of the Point of Power. While the one Nakaruru and Rimururu are in were in charge of the Point of Nature. Still Nakaruru had taken a certain incident to heart and hard to forgive.
She sulks with her hawk Mamahaha, ignoring Galford. Rimururu was listening to what the Elders had to say. But instead of reprimanding her. They praise her for her actions in helping to heal Ryu.
Dinner time, Ryu limped slightly over to the Communal dining hall. The others were there waiting for him as well. He sat down and ate without the passion that he generally had for food.
Among the elders there was trio of women. An elderly one, a mother and a young maiden. The old woman mumbled something in thick accented dialect.
Dragonlord, there are two paths laid out for you. That Grandmother Michiko had said. The middle age woman translated.
I am aware of that. But my ward spoke of three. Ryu answered, he glanced east again.
The old woman frowned, beside her another elderly woman wearing a black kimono spoke to her. Then the old woman named Michikos eyes brightened with understanding and mumbled something.
She apologizes that she kept forgetting that your wards are the Guardians of Balance.
Yukina, Tell her to get back to the main topic. Time we do not have much of. Zannah said.
Nakaruru frowned, no one had ever tells the Trio what to do. She noticed a frown on Michikos face as the old woman said something again.
Young Nakaruru, Please do learn from your sister to see things in a different light or that shall be your downfall. Yukina said.
As said, two main paths lay before you. Your wards spoke of three but these two we focus on. The third we know but are unclear of. For sadly we are limited by our powers. Yukina stop to sip her tea.
The young godling had shown himself and intend to unleash Ken no Tensai(Sword of Calamity). That which houses the ancient Tensai(Tianzai), a primal spirit, without a human host. Yukina stops to listen to Michiko talk further.
Grandmother is repeating herself again. Two paths as said, one allows Tensai to return to earth fully the other brings the Fujin no Konton (Lady of Chaos – Chaos Mother) back instead. This is what Tensai would want to avoid, for it had to return to its creator.
Forgive me for intruding. But the Bearer of Wind mention Ryus sempai and ChunLi sempais wards coming from the same source or power. Shizumaru asked.
Michiko chuckled much to everybodys surprise, she then continued talking.
Tensai was an experiment that failed. The Guardians of Balance were the ideal product that Chaos mother wanted to make sure that power remains in balance. Partly why the Gathering exist and partly why they will die like humans die and be reborn like humans are to let them live life like humans. Detachment from humanity would cause apathy and would not be too good for them.
Yukina listened again, then she lectures Michiko. There was an apologetic look on Michikos face.
It was said that if the Defender dies then the godlings goal is achieved, Tensai and five others will take the godling as host. But what it really wants is to reside in a female form to spite the Fujin no Konton. And thus the godling is but a tool for transition. Yukina stopped to rubbed her forehead.
But if the godling dies, the Fujin no Konton will walk as the personification of ultimate pure power on this sad earth. The Defender is both slave and lover. Sad indeed. Tensai is no more but we are exchanging one devil for another.
And why is Li involved in all this? Ryu demanded
Your mate is a fine vessel for power. She is born into a family with power, trained to wield power, associates with power and married power. Yukina pointed at Ryu.
What can I do?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing, not even the rest of you can do anything. For the choice lies not in your hands but that of Dragonlady and if worst as a last resort she may have to fight against her wards. For it is their job to prevent the Fujin no Konton from been unleashed. You will lay down you life willingly for her. Sadly so, sadly so. Yukina shook her head, as does Michiko.
What about the third path?
We do not know, it remains unclear to us. Know this young Dragonlord. It is thy mate that makes the decision that who dies become the sacrificial lamb. Not Tensai or even the Fujin no Konton. Be she the Black widow spider or the wolf none knows except her. Now you can head east.
Seiko finally spoke as she and Yukina help Michiko up and headed to their hut. Leaving Ryu and gang to ponder what was said.