Chapter 31Shadowlaw Main Palace.
Theyre back!! Iwa yells and runs off
Whos back!? Rimururu
Theyre here!!!! Kumori added.
Who? What? Rimururu got the feeling that shes was ignored.
BY THE GREAT RIVERS OF EDO!!!! THEYRE BACK!! BRING MORE WINE!!!! NEVERMIND THAT BRING MORE FOOD!!! Haohmaru yells at the top of his lungs.
The people who were now technically recovering from the recent battle had forgotten about their injuries. As two of their comrades have return.
Naky!!!! Theyre back! Rimururu squeals to her sister runs after the others
Well. Lucky them. Nakaruru cursed under her breath.
Great to have you, little sister. Zannah hugs the younger woman.
Good to be back. Im sorry.
Not your fault. Haohmaru offered ChunLi a flask of wine, which she accepted.
We were thinking of paying you a visit, but you beat us in coming here. Iwa added
Thought we might take a walk. Cant spend my time laying around. ChunLi smile as she patted Ryus arm.
It? Chizuru asks
Still here. Unfortunately, but we intend to fight it. Ryu said firmly.
Thats good. Here. Rimururu handed a pouch to ChunLi.
Grandmother says that when youre back to normal. I should hand you this. She said it would help you somehow. Rimururu smile brightly.
Uh Thank you.
Really. You just waltz in here and these people act like nothing happen. Like Charlotte and Shizumaru werent injured. Kamui Kuten wasnt fully destroyed. Like blood is not on your hands. Nakaruru points her finger accusingly at ChunLi.
For some reason, she could not stand the thought of that woman returning, she felt threatened by ChunLis presence
Whats done is done. We wont get our job done by harping on the past. Zannah repiled
Precisely. The blood is on her hands. She must pay for her sins! My friends were hurt because of her!
ChunLi narrowed her eyes and grabs Nakaruru by her shirtfront, pulling the younger woman off her feet.
I am not proud of what I had done. No amount of apologies can make up for the atrocities and I will not hide from that fact. This dark spirit must be exorcise regardless. I am already living with my guilt but if you want my blood along with it, take my life if you have what it takes. ChunLi shoves Nakaruru aside and strides off.
Naky. Rimururu knelt down by her side.
I dont want to join them.
No choice Naky. Remember what Grandmother said.
Glaring at her sister Nakaruru stalks off without a word.
The garden area of ChunLis chamber
Opening the pouch that Rimururu gave them. ChunLi found a note with instructions written.
For you. ChunLi handed the note to Zannah.
Interesting. Michiko shares the same idea.
Pardon? Ryu looks up from his roast chicken.
She wants us to go look for HER too. Kumori added. Rimururu was wondering who is this HER they all were talking about. It was as if half the people here knows who this woman is but had refuse to call her by name.
The very heart of Chaos huh. ChunLi sigh.
No choice. Michiko says that Tianzai was HERs to begin with. SHE plays a major part in putting Tianzai in that sword. And SHE is still the only who can remove Tianzai. Zannah read Michikos reasoning out loud.
A gust of wind blows the leaves in a spiraling circle. Kyo reaches for his sword by Chizuru stops him.
Thank you for calming the boy down Aiko. Geonitz took a cup of tea from the stone table.
SHE can help. But are you ready to pay HER price? Geonitz questions ChunLi in particular, But before she could answer Geonitz cuts in again.
Think about it. You are the perfect candidate to be HER host, which is why Tianzai wanted you as well. What makes you think that you are not trading in one demon for another.
Thats a risk we intend to take. Ryu butted in, hes starting to find Geonitzs sudden appearances on the verge of irritating, and up to some point it seems to lead to some bad events.
That is good to know. And you. Beyond irritating this lot to death. You have to go along with them on this trip else it would fail. Geonitz spoke to Nakaruru who was eavesdropping.
See told you she serves some annoying purpose. You owe me lunch. Kumori told a grumbling Iwa.
Ah good, the two of you are here. I was starting to wonder which two of your kind would aid them in this trip. I would have believe that you were not comfortable with the idea of going back before it is time.
Well. Kinda expected. Iwa started
Since the door to least dangerous path can only be open by our kind. Kumori added.
Stop that. Geonitz started
Cant. Have to wait at least a week after the Gathering. Kumori started
Before the paths of our seven collective minds return to its individual state. Iwa continued.
So deal with it. The two said together.
What more can you tell us about HER. Bearer of wind. ChunLi asks.
Loopholes. My dear. Loopholes, there are loopholes in HER bargains. So stay alert. With that said, a small dust storm begins to spiral around Geonitz, when it dies down the bearer of wind was gone.
Come people. Our paths are set. We should get cracking. The faster we start the sooner we reach our destination. Haohmaru got up and took another sip of his wine.
Where are we going anyway. Galford asks.
Guilin. Iwa answered
And you couldnt tell us this before? Galford was starting to be irritated by the conspiracy.
No. Have to wait for them. Kumori thumbed Ryu and ChunLi. With that the entire group disperse leaving the couple alone to their thoughts.
Later that evening the couple chose to have dinner in their quarters, they felt somewhat awkward about rejoining the group after what had happen. As Nakaruru had said, what is done will always be there. Even if the others believe that it was not ChunLis fault. The burden of responsibility is there.
Li? Ryu call out gently.
Yeah? ChunLi jolted out of her train of thoughts.
Still thinking about what Nakaruru said?
In a way, it was my doing. Im not sure if you know.
That it feeds on your deepest and darkest desires?
It told me.
Do you know how I feel that day? I felt violated. Rip apart and put back again. I didnt want to hurt you. I dont know how to make it up for them and worse of all I dont how to face you. ChunLi got up and head outside.
Ryu sighed, there was a sudden feeling of invisible glee taunting him. It was like someone pointing out to him and saying:
It demanded him to look at what she has become. It hopes that he should be really happy now. Since he wanted her back. It gave her back to him. But now she torn and broken. Does he still want her? No? Then kill her and return her to It. Oh and kill himself by the way too. Thank you oh so very much.
Ryu knew who it was that was taunting him, apparently this dark spirit has yet to give up on ChunLi. The more reason to fight back.
Outside at the garden area, ChunLi knelt by the side of the ornamental pool. One hand constantly rubbing the other hand underneath the flowing water. Her hands are clean yet she sees them as dirty. She suddenly jolted up as the feeling struck her. Guilt weighing heavily on her shoulders.
It then locks her in that private world and invades her thoughts.
The blood of innocents was shed for her. No one truly forgives her. Not the innocents, not her friends and certainly not her beloved Dragonlord. To get rid of It, she has to kill another innocent. Accept or reject It. Blood will always be on her hands. No perfumes of Arabia would ever sweeten these little hands.
And now It asks her why does she suffers so.
The price to pay for marrying the Dragonlord, For loving him, distracting him away for his path of the warrior. Weakening him so much. Now dragging him through hell with her. Her fault, her fault. It dances unseen. Guilt is hers forevermore.
She could see Ryu coming into the garden but couldnt call out to him. Frozen like a statue she stood. An unheard shriek was heard as Ryu put his arms around ChunLi and held her. The feeling of Tianzais presence was gone for now. ChunLi responded to Ryus embrace with a whisper that echoes his answer to a question they both left unasked.
All the more reason to fight back.