Chapter 17The fishing village west of Demon Island
Even before the sun sinks beneath horizon, this little village that was devoid of childish laughter was already dark and gloomy by the time the nine warriors arrived. The villagers scurried away eyeing them with fear and suspicions.
Strangers were not kind to them of late. Strangers had robbed them of a hundred of their children all below ten years of age. And of late fishing had being poor.
Haohmaru looks towards the bloody western sky, he frowned, the sunsets of late kept resembling blood baths. He got down from his horse and spoke to a man in Japanese.
*We come for provisions. We will live soon after.* He said to one middle age man who pointed out a hut to him. Taking Rimururu, Nakaruru and Shizumaru with him they head off for the hut to buy provisions.
Moments later when they returned, the nine warriors rode out of the quiet little village and set up camp in and old abandon temple nearby. They said nothing at all as they set up a fire to cook their meals. Ryu kept his eyes trained eastwards.
< So close yet so far away. > Ryu thought, his hands automatically sharpening ChunLis blade. No purpose, no hope.
About a some distance south of the abandon temple
ChunLi strolled into the clearing, by the light of the full moon she saw that the clearing held a hot spring that was back by a rocky outcrop, Various streams of water trickles out from the holes in the rocky outcrop.
She moved towards the edge, testing the temperature of the water she found it to be lukewarm. The area was well surrounded by foliage to give her the privacy they seek. Its not likely that anybody would be foolish enough to harass her.
ChunLi removed her clothes and placed a large a rock on them, her boots and Tianzai by the side and strolled over to the pool. A light breeze caress her bare skin, sending a tingle down her spine. She removed the ribbon that held her hair letting it tumbled to its full length, the breeze caught her hair lifting it like a cape that surrounds her.
If anyone had saw her then they would be likely to think that she was some sort of a spirit of the wilderness or a nymph waiting for her human lover. That is if they survive to tell to the tale
Gingerly ChunLi set her foot into the hot spring and slowly immersed herself in. The warmth of the spring began to slowly flood throughout her body and relaxed her senses. She waded to the other side of the pool, she stood under the trickling water
Allowing it to flow down her back, soothing her tense muscles. ChunLi sank herself into the depths of the pool, her hair seem to take on a life of its own as it floated freely like seaweed in water.
While in the water a strange feeling came to her, the presence she felt a few days ago, was now north of her. Somebody else is with him but they dont matter. She felt that it was time to meet this presence.
Back to the abandon temple.
This night seems to be getting colder as eight of the warriors gathered around the fire. Ryu still sat where he was despondent and preferring to be alone. Nakaruru came over and handed Ryu a bowl of stew.
Youre not eating much. She said handing him the bowl of stew.
Ryu ignored her and continued with his brooding. Nakaruru pushed the bowl in front of his face but Ryu slapped it away spilling the contents. He opened his eyes glaring at her.
Leave me alone. He said, closing his eyes again.
You said it so! Shes dead! Gone! Youre still here! Wake up! She wont want you to be this way!!!! Nakaruru grabbed Ryu by the shoulders and started to shake him to his senses
A sounding slap across Nakarurus face sending her tumbling across the floor and Ryu got up. Nakaruru held her redden cheek in shock. She couldnt believe that this is the same gentle and peaceful man she known eight years ago. Galford came to her trying to comfort her. The others watched in silence.
Why would you care. You wanted her gone. Why should you feel bad? Which part of ‘leave me alone’ do you not understand?! Ryus eyes narrowed. Some people have nothing to do but to pick a fight with him. too bad for them he’s in a bad mood.
Naky meant you no harm! You dont have to treat her so harshly! Galford came face to face with Ryu.
And why dont you rein her in before she started this? She deserves to be slap! Nosy and pretentious. Ryu growled. He was itching for a fight and Galford might prove to be a worthy fighter.
<< Ryu .. >> A voice, a strangely familiar voice he long to hear called his name. Ryus eyes widen and he froze. One name escape from his lips.
The others got up and were on alert once more, half expecting him to go berserk at anytime.
Succubus? Chizuru asked.
Could be. Haohmaru mumbled. They all knew that Ryu is quite vulnerable at this point in time. If whats out there is indeed a succubus, they will all be in deep trouble if she gets her claws on Ryu.
.. Dont you love me anymore?
.. >> Ryu spun to face southwards. He cant feel her qi signature but knew she gave him the directions he needed.
Li!!!! Ryu yelled with panic written on his face.
<< Listen to me? >>
<< Yes Anything! Come back to me Please!!!!! >> Ryu fell silent.
Ryu. Are you okay? Zannah came forward, placing her a hand on his shoulder. Ryu look up, a tired look written on his face. He seems to be calm now, completely forgotten about the incident with Galford and Nakaruru.
ff..fine. he stuttered.
Im . tired and I wish to be left alone .Please Ive being through .much . Ryu said, trying to contain his excitement the best he could.
Zannah considered what he just said, she felt uneasy especially with the possibility of a succubus out there lying in wait. But then Ryus fuse had being incredibly short. She had a feeling that she might regret whatever her decision may be. Zannah sighed.
There may be a succubus out there. There is a back room in this temple, You can rest there. Just be careful. Zannah patted Ryu on the shoulder.
Thank you Zannah. Ryu said as he quietly headed to the back room. Rimururu got up
Dont agitate him too much. Zannah said watching Rimururu follow in.
Ryu eyed the new visitor wearily, the girl with the large eyes sat down with a smile on her face.
Im sorry about Nakys behavior. She can be a bit irrational at times.
Its okay . Ryu said, wishing Rimururu would leave. He looks around the room and spotted a window with wooden rods blocking it.
Could you let me sleep alone? Ryu yawned and close his eyes.
You get rested okay. Rimururu smiled as she got up to leave.
The moment Rimururu was gone, Ryu sat up quietly. The wooden rods dont look that strong. He took his black broadsword out this time. He stood in silent concentration. Moments later the blade slice through the air quietly.
Ryu quickly sheathes the black blade and reaches out to catch the wooden rods as they fell from the windows. Quietly and steadily he climbs out the window and ran south as fast as his legs could carry him.
He got his bearings right, heading south as directed. He refuses to believe that some succubus was trying to lure him into a trap. No succubus can imitate that soft, gentle voice with an underlying hint of steel. Like a blind man he anxiously ran through the forest stumbling now and then.
Yearning and excitement were written on his face, Ryu had decided to keep away from the main path. Fearful that his companions might find him missing, fearful that they might find him before he got to ChunLi. Fearful that they might get separated even before they could meet.
<< Ryu . >> her sweet voice called his name again. Sounding neither impatient nor fearful. But welcoming instead, yet there was an underlying hint of sadness in her voice. He knew she must have missed him as much as he missed her. Ryu long to see his ChunLi again. He long to hear her whispered his name in his ear. He hopes to be the one to extinguish the hint of sadness in her voice.
As he stumbled along his path many thoughts came to mind once again, he hopes to her in his arms, taking in the sweet lily-based perfume that was enhanced by the warmth of her body. He long for the taste of her sweet lips in his once again.
On this full moon night where fireflies danced and guided his path, Ryu could hear the familiar peals of laughter that that led him deeper into the forest. Mist lies thickly on the ground. His path ended when Ryu stumbled into a moonlit clearing, steam from the hot spring rising into the cold air like ghosts.
Ryu heard the sound of water trickling from the rocky crevices into the pool, The breeze shook another rain of leaves, flowers and petals loose to cover ground. Blossoms of yellow flowers that fills the night air with their perfume. Yet Ryu seeks the lily-based perfume.
Li!!! Where are you!! Ryu broke his silence, he could not believe that he had come all the way here to find an illusion. He heard her laugh yet he couldnt see her.
I am here. My Ryu. The leaves rustled as Ryu turned around to see her stepping out into the path of a moonbeam. He realised that there was a change in her qi signature and proceeded to learn this new signature. At once the new signature flooded him and fills him.
Ryus heart skips a beat on seeing her. She bears welcome in her eyes. It struck Ryu that since they were separated she had grown more beautiful. Absence made his heart grew fonder for her. Ryu rubbed his eyes to make sure that this was no illusion.
Standing there with her long dark hair dancing gently like ribbons in the wind welcoming and beckoning him over. She was wearing only the dark blue wide cuff silk dress coat with ankle length gathered skirt that was buttoned to above her knees. The flaps of the skirts were fluttering around her legs like wings.
Ryu? ChunLi smiled questioningly at him, breaking his train of thoughts.
LI!! Ryu stumbled forward in his excitement, earning himself another peal of laughter from ChunLi.
He embraced her tightly, kissing her on the lips fiercely. The familiar warm lips responded to him. The feeling was so right and so magical that he could feel his heart singing and soaring into the sky. Tears streaming down his eyes to know that she was safe from harm.
The familiar curves of her body pressed tightly against his like a piece of the puzzle that fits together. The very touch of her fingers on his skin brings warmth and healing to his once cold and broken heart. Ryu was practically intoxicated by her very presence. So many questions yet he never ask. All he needs to know that she was back in his arms again.
ChunLi broke off from their kiss, an uncomfortable look on her face.
Ryu. Youre crushing my ribs. She said softly.
Im sorry!! I didnt mean it!! he exclaimed letting her loose a little, a silly smile on his face.
ChunLi started thinking as she strokes Ryus head, this man is so in love with her, unlike that blue and red freak. Another thought came to her. This man is destined to be her Defender so why should she sacrifice a man of such blinding loyalty for the sake of a fool who thinks hes a god and not know that he was but a transient tool.
She smiled in satisfaction as she watches Ryu fawned over her. Amuse by the fact that his loyalty to her is stems from the blinding love he has for her. Why should she submit herself to the whims and desires of that petty godling?
When right beside her stood her partner in greatness. This Defender will prove himself useful. Still she refuse to choose her path right here and now. But some plans change, she was not about to make life easy for anybody.
Bringing up one hand ChunLi caress Ryus face gently, his eyes brightened as she showered his cheek with little kisses until he turned and met her lips to be rewarded by a full kiss. Breaking off their kiss, ChunLi put her finger on his lips to silence him. He kissed her finger, so much to say yet it was not necessary at all. It seems to ChunLi that all Ryu wanted from her was her affections.
Did you miss me? A generic question.
My heart aches for your return. I will let no one take you away from me again! Ryu swore, his hand holding on to ChunLis hand.
What will you do for me? She had to know if he was worthy enough for her affections. She showered kisses on his cheek affecting his judgment a little.
Anything for you. My life in your hands if thats your wish. Ryu took in another deep breath, The scent of the blossom filled night air mingled with ChunLis lily-based perfume, intoxicating as he nuzzled her neck. Ryu look up waiting for her response.
Your heart on a silver platter. Here and now. A cold glint in her dark brown eyes and a smile of cold snake like seduction on her lips.
Wordlessly Ryu reached for the blue blade that was strapped to his back, he turned the blade so the tip face his chest and handed it hilt first to ChunLi. Eyes filled entirely with love for her, his only regret was they had to part so soon. He waited for death to come from her hands, one of the many ways he had wished to go from this world.
ChunLis hard smile soften as she her hand slides slowly up from his chest to his shoulder and down his arm to the hand holding her blue sword, waving away his intention. She showered his cheek with little kisses, demanding his attention away from her wish. Another full kiss was rewarded to him as he let the intention go. She broke off their kiss after a while
No need. You will serve me better alive. My warm warrior ChunLi murmured as she pull him down to the ground, the carpet of flowers as their bed., her soft hands stroke his face slowly as she watches the loving expression on his face. Her eyes locked onto his as she began a spell in a hypnotic and seductive voice. Ryu didnt even notice for he was lost in her eyes.
To ChunLi, Ryu is her chosen one and Defender. His love, his loyalty, their bond and his yearning for her makes up four of the five elements. The spell in itself can be considered redundant, but it was an excuse to give him the awareness of his role as her chosen Defender
And electrical tingle went down Ryus spine as ChunLis finger runs a path on his bare back. A circle, a shield within and within the shield the Chinese character for his name Long(Dragon). The rune glow eerily blue then fades. ChunLi chuckled inwardly.
Their lips locked together once more as does their destiny, ChunLi was determined to walk her path with Ryu by her side. His very soul and life in her hands. The same three paths still open and looms unchanged over their heads.
The couple locked in passionate embrace fueled on by the cooling air and the scent of blossoms in the wind. The very act of renewing of their marital bond sealed their fates together.