Chapter 34In the forest at the outskirts of a trading town
With Tianzai encased in the box, the journey had gone on rather smoothly without too much interference. It occurred to ChunLi that although immaterial Tianzai could still influence minds and to a point even the weather. No wonder IT was sealed away in amber and buried deep underground.
For even in amber IT had still manage to influence Gill. She stole a glance at the wooden box that Rimururu was assigned to keep. The girl’s singing and her presence had managed to disorient the dark spirit from IT’s true target.
The box had also greatly limited Tianzai’s influence, she had decided not to the touch the box again. For when she had, Tianzai had filled her mind with painful shrill screams that shriek away demanding, pleading to be release. For if not, IT swore vengeance by the time IT gets out her precious Ryu will be the first to suffer.
She shuddered at the thought of what would happen if that by the end of forty-nine when the box could no longer contain the violent dark spirit. But then ChunLi need not worry that much for they would be nearer to their target by then.
The camp itself was set up at the outskirts of a busy trading town far from the little farming community that Tianzai had influenced into becoming a torch and pitchforks bearing mob. Haohmaru and Chizuru had taken one of the wagons into town to trade for horses and some supplies and Galford had taken Nakaruru into town to consult a physician on her present condition.
ChunLi smile fondly as she watch the ruckus going about at the back of the camp. She had the feeling that breakfast is going to be late today. Considering the fact that Iwa, Kumori, Kyo and Rimururu were chasing around a few uncooperative wild fowl.
"BODY GA!!! AME~ ZE!!!!" Kyo yelled, smashing a fistful of flame into a bush.
"Ahhhhh.. KOREDA OWARI DA!!!!!!" And one large burst of flame at the panicky wild fowls that came flying out. Short-lived squawks ended with the sizzling of feathers and aroma of wild fowls overly well done.
"Heh heh. Moetaro." Kyo grins at his accomplishment. A rain of burning feathers flutter around him.
"Show off." Iwa growled and walked away to look for fruits instead.
"Overkill." Kumori mumbled. Bringing Kyo’s ego down to size.
"Kyo san. That was not necessary at all. Now it’s inedible. The poor things suffer because of you." Rimururu’s words caused further embarrassment.
Kyo was left standing alone with an extra crispy overdone wild fowl in his hand. His embarrassment increase when he heard stifled giggles that broke into hearty laugh.
"What?" He said in an annoyed.
"Nothing . Nothing .hheee." ChunLi tried to hold back her laughter.
"Well Breakfast is going to be late unless you care for this." Kyo said with a frown. His attempt at showing off had not gone too well.
"You kids have fun. I’m going to see how Ryu and Zannah are doing." ChunLi said, trying hard not to laugh and further embarrassed Kyo. She had this feeling that the quartet was having too much fun chasing wild fowl than actually catching them.
But then again they deserved this break, ChunLi thought to herself. After all that everybody had gone through, a little cheer is always appreciated. Even the sound of her own thoughts is much appreciated. No shrill scream trying to influence her, no one threatening her or the ones around her. Relief is what she felt now. And for once she could actually see beyond the gloom that Tianzai had cultivated in her.
"So. How’s the catch." ChunLi found Ryu and Zannah by the stream.
"Slow. Fish too smart to bite." Zannah points at the slow moving stream and the sad looking basket that contains one miserly fish.
"You feeling better?" Ryu puts his fishing rod down. The injuries of last night seem to be heeling slowly. But despite the injuries he seems more relaxed, but that was due to the fact that he is relived that ChunLi has gain some respite from the meddlesome Tianzai.
"Yeah. Much better. Thanks to everybody. You?" ChunLi gently touch the bruise on Ryu’s chin. He nearly flinches from the pain but yet he maintains his composure.
"No big deal. What matters is that you’re okay." He reaches for her hand.
"You hungry?" She asked.
"Since when is he not?" Zannah butt in.
"Not really. Is breakfast done yet?" Ryu ignored Zannah.
"Kyo burnt breakfast. Though I think the four of them are more interested in playing with their food." ChunLi shrugged
"Okay. I know what to do." Ryu nodded and walks to the edge of the stream.
The stream is alive with fishes swimming about but none seems to take bait. With a frown, Ryu rolled up the hem of his pants and steps into the stream. Splashing water about as he chases after the large silvery fish.
The two women broke out in laughter over his failed attempts. Ryu stops and narrows his eyes in frustration. He glances at the two women who are still laughing and the fishes that seem to taunt him. Closing his eyes he concentrates, letting the qi flow.
"HADOKEN!!!!!!!" He yells, a large explosion of water was sent flying by the qi projectile. Soon it was raining fish, some crab, fresh water shrimps and some unlucky frogs.
"SPLATT!!!" A large fish drops down on Ryu’s head and slid down his face. The look of disgust appears on his face on seeing how the two women are laughing at him.
"Oy." He calls out to them. A frog fell onto the top of his head.
"Oy!" He calls out once more. Kicking water at the two women.
. You reminded me of Kyo
Do wash up
.heee." ChunLi giggled.
"Don’t want you smelling fishy now." Zannah chuckled as she helps ChunLi gather the fishes. As they walk away Ryu could still hear their laughter.
"Well. At least Li is feeling better." He took pride in that, but still felt a little foolish standing in the stream with a dead frog on his head.
Back at the camp, ChunLi found that Hahmaru and Chizuru had just return.
"How’s Nakaruru?" ChunLi asked as she unloads the fish.
"She’ll be fine. Haohmaru-san said that she’ll be okay by tonight." Rimururu answered
"Oh. Nobody said anything about that farming town so I rented a few rooms at the local inn." Chizuru added.
Kyo was grinning as he watches the firewood that seems to beckon for his flame. He raises his arm to the air, a small flame spark to life at the tip of his finger. Iwa, Kumori and Rimururu glared at him, reminding him. He mumbled as he grudgingly bring his arm down slowly and let the little flame light up the wood, displease with the fact that he was denied of a dramatic way to light up the firewood.
At this point Ryu joins them for breakfast. The others were looking at him questioningly and were about to comment of the fishy smell when he glares at them.
"Not a word." He warns.
And so breakfast went on quietly though occasionally broken by bouts of stifled giggles. For soon after breakfast they would check in at inn for a little rest and cleaning up.
In Rimururu’s bag however was the box that held a screaming spirit that screams in pain at the cheery mood of the group.