Evening in the Shadowlaw palace as the dining room was buzzing with activities. The musicians played in the background as servants waltzed in and out of the kitchen with what seem like trays after trays of delicacy piled upon the grand table.
The usually regal Dragonlord’s lack of manners has being overlooked for today. For he had being gone long enough to miss the wonderful dishes that this particular chef had prepared.
“So What are your plans.” Vega asked, Ryu looked up with a chicken drumstick still in his mouth. ChunLi stifled a giggle, nearly spilling the wine in her glass.
“Edo. We’re going to Edo.” She took another sip from her glass and puts it down. Vega steepled his hands and placed his elbows on the table, he leaned forward.
“Li. Is it possible for you to not go to Edo?” he asked, his face showed no hint of emotion. Ryu turned his attention from Vega to Ryu, at the same time still chewing on the drumstick.
“There are some answers that I seek. It seem that these answers lie in Edo. Is there something you wish to tell me Father?” She looked at him straight in the eyes.
Vega had never questioned her on her wanderings with Ryu. And when he does, she couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss.
“As you know that the Gathering is approaching soon. Things are usually
.’unstable’ during this time of the year.”
“I understand Father. It is a risk that I have to take.” She looks up to the ceiling and sigh.
Then for no reason at all ChunLi clapped both palms in front of her face. Shocked were those around her as they saw her clamping onto a dagger by the blade between both palms. Blade and skin was separated by a hair’s width.
Deadpan as she was, ChunLi gave her palms a slight upward motion tossing the knife upwards and stood up at the same time, she then grabbed it by its handle and toss it with full strength towards the balcony above. A shriek hails from above. A shadow darted from the table up to the gallery above. A shruffle was heard.
Moments later the same shadow leapt down from the gallery with another person in tow. It was a woman with mid-length hair. Dressed like a kitchen maid, she was bleeding from her left shoulder where the dagger was pierced. Iwa dragged the woman over to ChunLi. Kicking the woman in the back of her knees to make her kneel. Her left hand holding onto the back of the woman’s neck.
“Who sent you. How many more are there?” ChunLi asked, firmly
“Who sent you!” ChunLi asked again.
“You will never know WITCH!!!” she screamed attempting to get up but her struggles were futile.
“I have ways to make you talk.” ChunLi hissed in front of the woman’s face. The woman turned her face away and mumble something.
“Your pet demon would never be able to tear my thoughts from my pure mind.” She muttered.
“Ah but she can.” ChunLi smiled and gave Iwa a hand gesture.
Iwa’s gloved right hand began taking on the appearance of a claw. Like a cat her nails lengthen as it shot out, she waved her right hand/claw in front of the woman’s face, the sharp edges glinted evilly. The woman began to panic, she stole a glance at Ryu.
“FORGIVE ME MY LORD!!!” She screamed, looking at Ryu.
“I have failed the mission you sent me! I am not worthy my lord!!!” She bit on something underneath her tongue.
Iwa noticed and tried to force the woman to spit it out. But moments later foam began to appear in her mouth, her eyes glazed over and her body grew cold and her pulse fades away. In silence two guards came over and took the dead woman away.
“Well? What did you picked up?” ChunLi asked
“Random thoughts.” Iwa sat down at the table grabbing a pie.
“Random emotions .fear, hate, anger, jealousy and what seem like spite.”
ChunLi frowned, apparently the highlight for the moment were attempts to drive her crazy or end her life. She looked towards Ryu who was as puzzled as she was, no explanation had he even though he was associated by the claims of the woman. The merry atmosphere was destroyed by this, her appetite gone by now.
ChunLi excuse herself from the table and headed to the garden that leads to her chamber. She sat down on the stone bench. The palace was designed in such a way that surrounding most of the sections and chambers were pockets of greenery designed specifically to the likes of the one staying within that section. She took off her robe, placing it beside her. She could see the stars in the sky and fireflies were flitting about the garden like little stars on earth.
Many thoughts were in her mind, many questions left unanswered. Betrayal was the word that kept haunting her. But she refused to believe that the one to betray her would be Ryu. They had being through thick and thin together, if he had no love for her, he would have left her to die of her wounds during that battle with the demonic warrior.
Rough hands gently massaging her shoulders brought her back to reality, she knew he could have broken her neck if he wants to, but his touch remain gentle. She refuses to believe that her husband would prefer to kill her slowly. Ryu sat down beside her wordlessly.
“Were you hurt?” He asked in regards to the incident just now.
“No . We’ll being going to Edo tomorrow. I have to speak to the Kaguras” ChunLi said.
“In regards to the Oruchi?” All Ryu got was a nod in answer.
“And the Kamui Kuten . But I doubt I’ll find much answers there.”
“I can call in a favor from them.”
“There’s no need to. I don’t want to force them. Our covens have enough bad blood as it does now.” ChunLi patted Ryu’s hand.
“Come.” ChunLi said as she pulled Ryu up.
“We’ve a long day ahead of us.” She said as she led him to their chambers to rest for the night.
As sleep claims them, dreams began to form in ChunLi’s mind once more. This time she sees herself in a black kimono with tiny sprigs blood red cherry blossoms motifs. She was surrounded by five elements – a platform of earth, a column of swirling water, a coloumn of wind, a column of fire and lightning that seems to rip the sky apart. She knew that she was standing on the top of a tower with a blood red stormy sky looming over her.
The throne of skulls that was on the earthen platform was where she was sitting. Standing upright from the body of a greenish colour young dragon was a jagged edge sword with grooves that seem like a network of veins running from the crossguard to the tip of the blade. The hilt of the sword she was holding onto was like a black backbone. Blood on her hands.
All around her was the screams of a thousand tortured souls. Friends and enemies alike all mingle and intertwine together. What was worse was that to her the sound of crying was like music to her. Especially the pain of the one who was chained to her throne. The mighty Dragonlord who was now neither dragon nor human but a mindless defender, hers to control at her bidding.
As ChunLi jerked out of bed she found Ryu looking at her with concern. She found out that he had being waken by her mumbling.
“No delay .there must be no delay ..” ChunLi continued as Ryu held her trying to comfort her.
“We must leave tomorrow .. Whatever the consequences we must go .” ChunLi continued. She couldn’t sleep not that she wanted to sleep. Especially since everytime she close her eyes images would plagued her. To her all it meant that she was being driven to walk one path and everything seem to lie in Edo ..
Kamui Kuten, somewhere in Edo.
Rimururu was shaking her sister roughly hoping to break her out of her nightmare. The elder was screaming away. Moments later Nakaruru finally broke out of her dreams. Wet with perspiration she was panting heavily as she accepted a drink from her sister. The wolf -Shikururu and the falcon – Mamahaha watched on in silence.
“Naky?” Rimururu started. Her big round eyes filled with concern for her sister. Nakaruru had being plagued with dreams for the last few days. She could see the fear in her sister’s eyes as she glugged down the water.
.” Nakaruru started. Choking on the water.
“ .I don’t know her name but she’ll bring death and destruction!!! Rimy pass the message to Galford to Charlotte, to Haohmaru San .Warn them, just warn them tell to to come if you want .Just tell them ..”
“ .Tell them that We have to stop her if she comes ..”
“Who is she Naky?”
“ The Kurayami no Hanayome .Dracona Lilian .Ryu no Fujin (Lady of Dragons) Whatever her name or title is!!!!” Nakaruru was trying to calm down.
At this point a messenger pigeon flew in. Rimururu went ahead to retrieve to message. She read it and hurried over to Nakaruru.
“Who is it from?”
“Haohmaru San. He said that Ryu San would be arriving within the next few days. He would be meeting them at the harbour, Charlotte will be there too.”
“Ryu San .I have not seen him in over eight years .. I hope he’s well.”
“Naky Haohmaru San also said that Ryu San is bringing along someone.”
“Didn’t say. Haohmaru San seem to in hurry when he wrote this.”
“It will be good to see Ryu San again ..” A smile form on Nakaruru’s face.
A hut somewhere in the high mountains.
“Awake Now Yagami
.” A woman’s voice said.
“Awake!!!” Another yelled into the sleeping man’s ear.
He shot up almost immediately. Anger burned in his eyes as he stared at the two women. The moon shaped scythe in his hand.
“Now Now Yagami. Geonitz has a job for you.” The blond one said
“I worked for no one.” The red hair man mumbled. Narrowing his eyes as he got up from his futon a snarl on his lips.
“Master Oruchi is in danger,”
“I care not about him.”
“From a friend of the Kusanagis. ”
“I care not about this friend of his.”
“Ah But that is a close friend of the Kusanagis. Kill her and he will be angered enough to fight you.”
“Who is she?” he stopped. Suddenly paying attention.
“They call her the Lady of Dragons.” With that the two woman moved into the darkness and vanish leaving a thoughtful Yagami who suddenly burst out into laughter ..