Two days, two days too long had pass by since ChunLi relapsed into that discomforting silence and leaving Ryu with that empty chaos once again. He couldnt understand why it happens, he had her back for a mere moment but then she was gone just like that..
He tried reaching for her the same way but fail in every attempt. It was always the same, something was herding him away from his goal. Something which made him feel that it was stronger than he is.
Ryu got up and scopes ChunLi into his arms, there is still something he has to try even though he might risk injury. Carefully he headed into the tunnel behind the platform, for this one attempt he needed more energy than he could muster up. Energy so pure, so powerful that if he fails, he risks being consumed by that energy. But then every risk he makes for ChunLi is worth it.
Hours pass and the tunnel led him into the basement of Summerlodge and from there he made his way to Witches Grove. It was slightly windy today, leaves spiraling from one end of the path to another driven by an invisible force. No sound beyond that of the wind and his footsteps were heard.
Entering the Grove he lets ChunLi lean against the tree trunk while he prepares for what he needs. He hopes that things would go well because if it didnt, hell be in big trouble. So off Ryu went back to the Crossroads and take the southern path that would lead him to Dragonspring.
He ignores the beckoning warmth of the spring and heads for the small hut hidden slightly by the foliage. With a bucket he found there he collects the warm water from the spring and headed back.
Arriving back Witches Grove he found a trio of curious foxes watching ChunLi, he realise that they were them, helping him keep an eye on things while he was gone. The foxes look at him questioningly
I need to borrow. Ryu said quietly.
What seems like silent conference between the trio of foxes ended with the bigger silver fur, blue eyed one nodding in consent. All three gave him be careful look and vanishes in the foliage.
Ryu moves towards the fire pit that is situated in the center of the Grove. Even though the Gathering had ended barely two days ago, the place still feels strong with the residue qi and it would be strongest here for the whole year until it is replenish once again in ten years time. Qi so strong that it would be difficult to wield if one is not up to that level.
Standing right here in the middle of it all Ryu could feel it, the warmth from the suns rays, the cool of the breeze that gently tugs his hair. The same energy but in different forms but it is here as it always has being around except it makes one feels more sensitive to it here than anywhere else.
Standing here he could also feel a sense of darkness, a sense of dread leering at him. This darkness he felt came from ChunLi. Whatever it was in her knows what he was doing. Ryu could feel that it was laughing at him.
He squats down and picks through the ashes, seeking out small crystals the size of a childs fist. Choosing seven pieces of different colors he sets them into the bucket of spring water. He then let seven drops of his blood drip into the water. It sizzles and the water swirls violently then settles down quietly.
Gently he lays ChunLi in the center of the Grove, he then uses his finger to draw out a shallow groove so that it would encircle them. Following that he pours the water steadily into the shallow circle groove. Finally he takes the colored stones from the bucket and place them at equal distances apart damming up the flow of water. Gently pulling ChunLi to a sitting position, he held onto her hands and closes his eyes.
Tianzai taunts her, IT laughs in glee as it dances around ChunLi. IT without shape or form, IT laughs without sound as IT prevents her from going back to her beloved. IT gave her the feeling that soon Ryu will join her, but as the defender of its host body (ChunLi) as much as ChunLi is the its host.
IT says without words
That Ryu is not only weak but does not love her enough to bring her out of this mess. Soon IT will have both and soon it will have a shape and voice to match
A lovely pair at that. ITs host that wield Its immense power and ITs defender to match. One offensive and defensive. What the couple had gone through was a mere fraction of ITs powers. Together not only would they give IT two beautiful forms, they would give IT the ability to walk this earth and experience what ITs two beautiful hosts would allow IT to do. IT gives her two choices: the easy or the hard way, they both lead to the same thing.
I wont give in. ChunLi answers, too much is at stake here, to give in is to go against what she believes in.
ChunLi could feel IT laughing at the fact that whatever the couple do.
IT will still win its host and defender in the end. Because without the sword not only IT is alive and running about within her, It would be near impossible to exorcise.
ChunLi tries to fight her way out of the dark invisible web, soundless laughter greeted her attempts .IT sings wordlessly at her
Futile attempts to try something that would lead her back to IT in the end.
IT seems to say to her,
That would save everybody the trouble
No! ChunLi yells back at spirit.
Curiosity was the feeling here now,
IT wonders why she clings on to humanity when before her lies the answer to everything. IT wont vanquish her soul or that Ryu. All IT wants is their bodies, their souls would reside on another plane and remain untouched. Why wont she want that? Or does she not want to see dear Ryu again?
Alert now IT stops dancing, silently still IT remains. IT screeches wordlessly at ChunLi to let go of hope.
Ryu is here to join her in this dark world forever and ever. IT sings unheard.
Dont you dare hurt him!!! ChunLi could hear her words in echo.
IT laughs at the notion.
Why in the world would IT want to hurt ITs beautiful other half for? IT asks ChunLi as It swirls around her.
Both halves are here now.
IT dances in glee and leaves her in the darkness.
In the darkness ChunLi sat, the invisible web is gone and inky darkness is before her. She gets up and starts walking, It doesnt matter if she was heading left or right. What she believes in is that as long as she keeps walking she will find Ryu. Together they will fight their way out of this. There must be a way to exorcise this dark spirit.
Silence and darkness greeted Ryu the moment he opens his eyes. He started walking forward. But somehow he feels that he had not made any progress at all.
LI!!!! he calls out but no one replies.
Ryu continues to walk onwards. After some time in this timeless place he starts to have this feeling that someone was watching him. Laughing and mocking him without words. Something starts to materialize before him.
Youre not Li. Ryu said and walk onwards without looking back.
How can you be sure? ChunLi asks.
Doubts seems to flood Ryus mind but Ryu knows those doubts are not his to begin with. This woman that is harassing him is not the woman he knows.
How can you be sure? ChunLi asks again, this time reaching out to touch his cheek. Ryu flinch back to avoid her touch and she laughs.
Dont you love me? Dont you miss me? Dont you want me anymore? Her voice was dripping with seduction but still Ryu ignores her.
A peal of laughter that Ryu found strangely familiar, but Ryu ignores it and walks on. ChunLi runs up to him, laughs and vanishes before his eyes. Undaunted Ryu walks on.
Help me.. ChunLi appears behind him once more. Haggard with her hair covering her face, kneeling on the ground and trying to reach for him. But still Ryu ignores her.
Wordless taunts fills his mind.
How can you be so sure that she is not who she is? How can you leave her suffering like this? Didnt he want to save his beloved? Didnt he want his beloved safe in his arms again? You dont love her anymore?
The feeling now change to one that seems to mock him.
Fear of facing ChunLi after you fail to keep your promise not once, twice but three times? Fearful of what ChunLi might have become now? Guilt? Hate? Do you really want to be with her? Do you dare to take this offer?
The feeling of temptation was gone but here now begins another, Ryu could feel that something is here with him. It taunts him even further.
So what if you are able to bring ChunLi back into your world? Would the others forgive her? Would her suffering end there and then? Would you give in and kill her yourself?
Tianzai dances before him unseen. IT laughs shrilly unheard as IT plagues Ryu with more doubts and questions
IT gives Ryu the picture that he has brought ChunLi back to his world. But without the full sword that had carried Tianzai once, ChunLi will never be normal again. And the only solution is to have the full sword is the heart of another young dragon.
Sure the dragons will offer themselves for their lord and lady, but could Ryu take the life of one young dragon in exchange for his mates sanity? Can he live that down?
Anger is hot in the dark air for IT felt Ryu ignore him.
So what if there is another way? Would SHE give up the perfect host for him. No SHE would want Ryu to host HER defender. Makes no difference if the couple is offered to IT or HER.
IT laughs at Ryus naivete for thinking that SHE would help.
Regardless it was a matter of giving up one demon for another. So why not save everybody the trouble and give in now. IT wont tear them apart anymore
In that same darkness, ChunLi appears once again this time running towards Ryu, this time Ryu quickens towards her. Ignoring the mocking laughter that send doubts as to whether or not that this is the real ChunLi.
A barrier of fire forms between them and Ryu seems to be drag further and further away. He calls out to ChunLi but found himself muted.
As for ChunLi. All she sees is this color wheel dropping into the fire before her. It started to spin. Faster and faster. Giving her the feeling that her life is not in her hands. ChunLi yelled in silence as she rams her way through the spinning wheel and now runs towards Ryu.
IT taunts them, amused by the fact that despite the hopelessness that is to come they would still want to be together?
Well then if the couple wishes to face the inevitable then let them!
IT seems to howl, swirling in rage around them.
The couple attempt to reach for each other but the distance remains, as much as Ryu tries he remains out of reach, as does ChunLi. But ChunLi gave another silent yell and leaps forward. The silent howling was filled with insane rage at the moment the couples fingers touches. A bright light broke forth washing over everything, then darkness returns taking everything away
After some time Ryu opens his eyes to darkness. It was not the darkness of the that plane but the darkness of the night sky. Ryu realised that he was wet with perspiration, he felt he was lying on something soft and someone was stroking his forehead.
LI?! he calls out seeing that she was before him no more.
Yeah? A familiar voice answered from behind his ear.
Ryu turned slightly, his heart skips a beat on seeing ChunLi. Warmth fills his otherwise cold broken heart. He turns to embrace her, the familiar warmth and scent of the lily based perfume fills him once more. In his arms again like the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that fits, she is once again alive and well and in his arms once again.
Well fight it together. ChunLi whispers into his ear.
Yes we will. Ryu answers holding tightly onto ChunLi, just to make sure what is before is real. But is it? The couple ignore that question and held onto each other