Within this mountain fort, it would seem strange to ChunLi that not only were there enough be chambers for each and every one of them but these rooms were well furnished as well. It had made no sense at all that in this abandon place, the furniture within these rooms showed no signs of dust or degeneration. Such sharp contrast within and without.
When asked, Iwa and Kumori just shrugged and offer no explanation. Ushering the couple to a room the duo smiled and retired to their own rooms to rest for the night.
Ryu and ChunLi had of course being ushered to the room with the balcony that overlooks the well-kept garden where the prominent statue of the Water Bearer and her dragon are. As ChunLi steps into the balcony, the one most distinct feeling that of being intently watch the whole time she was in this forsaken place had greatly diminish.
Even then she hopes that tonight will be the only time she had to spent under such strong scrutiny. From her vantage point she could see mist rolling in, the feeling she gets was that there was no way she could leave now. Which was probably why she was not watched as intently as before.
ChunLi sighs as she return to the bed, deep in thought as before. Weighing her options about tomorrow, trying to plan a course of action. The haunting words of Tianzai came to mind but she brushes it aside.
Who knows if IT is the one that is lying. She whispered to Ryu, who had begun to massage ChunLis tensed shoulders, hoping that he could ease her tension.
Ryu smiled as ChunLi relaxes to his kneading, she had felt so relaxed that she slowly melts with Ryus soothing touch that sleep slowly overcomes her in a matter of moments. As gently as he could, Ryu eases ChunLi into bed. Restful sleep is a rare luxury for ChunLi ever since this horrid incident began. Ryu had made it a point to what he could to help his wife get the rest she so needed.
Quietly Ryu lies on his side, watching the sleeping ChunLi, listening to the sound of her breathing. He drew ChunLi into his arms as he took in another breath, remembering once again the scent of her hair and the feel of her skin. He then gave into his urge to stroke her hair.
Come what may tomorrow. I will make sure no harm come to you. Ryu swore as he kisses ChunLi gently on the lips. Even as Ryu held ChunLi in his arms, soon even he fell into the lull of sleep. From the balcony, a pair of bats hung side by side and watches the sleeping couple.
Sleep, the balm that eases hurt minds. Yet when sleep claims ChunLi, dreamless rest was only for so long. For from sweet dreams, nightmares slip through.
Off and on, events, lies and possible futures flash before the confused ChunLi. They soon gather and form spokes of a wheel. While in the spaces between spokes more scenes flash as if forcing her to choose. It shows her tomorrow and what that choice led to Eternal servitude.
Eternal Servitude not for her alone but Ryu as well, an innocent sacrificed for her selfish wish of freedom. More scenes appeared and it shows death for Ryu and loneliness for ChunLi. The soundless voice sings once more. Selfish ChunLi who would rather sacrificed her beloved Ryu then to adapt.
No! ChunLi yelled.
The wheel begins to move, slowly, slowly in a clockwise manner. And then it takes up speed gradually. Spinning so fast, spinning like ChunLis life was beyond her own comtrol.
Questions from the silent One piled upon her. No Ryu to wake ChunLi up from such a nightmare? What a pity indeed. The soundless one chuckles. Ryu could have rescued poor ChunLi from this nightmare.
Ryu could be there to comfort ChunLi when she wakes up screaming, if IT lets her wake of course. IT chuckle once again. ChunLi could scream for Ryu all she wants. IT gleefully laughs ITs silent laugh. But no Ryu will come.
Not that Ryu could care less about playing hero to sweet little Chunny-Whunny-wifey. Ryu could not come because of one minor detail that IT neglects to mention. IT apologies and laughs again, Ryu is also trapped in this dream, somewhere
From the darkness Ryu could see ChunLi screaming away, he keeps running but could not reach her at all. Running in place was all that he could do. The feeling of something laughing at his helplessness strengthens.
Once more Ryu attempts to move towards ChunLi, gladden now that he is getting nearer. Concern made him run faster towards his wife. Ryu yelled but no sound came from his mouth. He kept calling out for ChunLi to look out as he is now running uncontrollably towards her. Ryu tried to stop but realised that he was being drag towards ChunLi at a breakneck speed.
WHAMM!!! Ryu hits an invisible wall just behind ChunLi. Gleeful malice takes in his suffering, watching Ryu thumps away at the barrier, He had to watch his fearful wife confront the spinning wheel.
Li!!! Fight it!! Its only a dream!! Fight it!!! Ryu yelled, but there was no response from ChunLi.
Unfortunate isnt it? Words of the immaterial Tianzai now forms in Ryus head. Of course Ryu would want to suffer for sweet little wifey. Alas that is not possible since ChunLis there and he is here.
Then take it out on me and leave Li alone!! Ryu yelled, he could feel the presence swirling around him.
Stupid, stupid man, It throws various profanities at Ryu. IT would definitely take it out on Ryu if IT had a host. And would Ryu be so kind as to loan IT his-self? And since IT wants the couple as host, dear Ryu need not worry about anything bad happening to Chunny-Whunny.
Of course you also happen to know of an easy way to free her from it all. Could he please satisfy ITs curiosity and tell IT why in the world would he want to send ChunLi to suffer by walking this path of eternal servitude? What kind of fuzzy logic makes him thinks that the ONE they seek could help dear ChunLi regain her sanity?
There was a hint of frustration coming from Tianzai, a ripple on the barrier tells Ryu that Tianzai had went back to bothering ChunLi.
KIKOSHO!!!!!!! ChunLi screams as she unleashes her pent up frustration and qi at the turning wheel. A crack starts to form and slowly spreads out. The wheel shatters and drifts away.
The sound of ChunLis panting fills the air as she sits in the darkness. Beads of perspiration dotted her face while her eyes darted left and right. She tenses as a hand landed on her shoulder, gripping it firmly. ChunLi lets out a breath of relief and relaxes. Without a single shard of resistance she lets the hand draws into the darkness.
From one void into another, but at least this time she is with Ryu. Together hand in hand the couple walks towards the light at the horizon that never seems to get any nearer.
Why? Why soldier onto a hopeless tomorrow? Adapt. It would not separate them, not like HER. IT does not want to kill them. All IT wants is to be a part of them. IS that too much to ask?
From this darkness a hint of colour blooms in the form of a white lily with a blue tint from its heart. Tianzai shrieks. Leave this castle now!!!! Agree to leave now before there is no turning back!! There is no tomorrow if they stay.
Why? Are you afraid that if we do not listen to you. You might loose your own freedom? ChunLi ask firmly, catching a hint of fear from the dark spirit. She has this feeling that something is happening and that Tianzai was trying to prevent the events coming.
Motion fills the air, the sound of wings flapping through the air. A pair of bats shrieks and swoops down on the air before ChunLi and Ryu. The immaterial Tianzai howls and cowers away from the bats, like a whipped dog, the presence slinks away.
The darkness soon fades as the light of the moon and stars lit the night sky, from this light the couple realizes that the place theyre now at is the garden with the fountain and statue.
The sound from the bats drew the couple attention to the statue as the bats hung from the Water Bearers arm. Slow realization hits the couple, they were standing on the fringes on something and yet as they tear at it the further it goes. This dream like world fades away sending them back to dreamless sleep.
Ryu and ChunLi jerk to wakefulness as sleeps spell weakens. The nightmarish ordeal still fresh in their minds. They stare at each other in silent conference, quickly the couple left the bed and headed straight for the balcony.
Two bats, two bats hanging from the Water Bearers arm drew their attention. ChunLi could feel Tianzai presence once again. She could feel the rage and hate the spirit has for the Water Bearer as IT gathers the mist and throws the mist against the Water Bearer.
ChunLi felt something else as well. A hint of annoyance towards actions of Tianzai, there was somebody here as well. And to Her Tianzai is nothing more than irritating tantrum throwing child.
A feeling of someone smiling at her now, strangely enough ChunLi couldnt help but feel that that smile was meant for the fact that she had arrive on a certain train of thought. She directed Ryus attention towards the Water Bearer, he nodded as he felt it too. A strange familiarity with an underlying sense of sternness.
Were the prize, Ryu. ChunLi suddenly said. She still feel Tianzai screaming away, a theory about the relationship, but as much as she try to grasp it her mind felt drowsy until she slump in Ryus arms while sleep overtakes her.
<< Thank you defender. >> A very real voice spoke in Ryus mind as he carried ChunLi back to bed. There was something about the voice, he had heard it before, but where he could not remember.
<< One need not ask who we are. >> The voice answered before Ryu could ask.
<< Sleep beloved, sleep. >> A strange force made Ryu return to the bed where ChunLi is and made him join her in slumber.
<< In good time beloved, In good time. >> the voice said to someone else.
The sense of a third presence joined the second one as they watches the sleeping couple.
<< Jealous? Silly dragon what is there to be jealous about in the first place? >> A hint of good humor sarcasm.
<< Apologies beloved? There is no need. Let us go then, tomorrow is a busy day and much still need to be done. >>
The duo presence left by then, Ryu whose sleep was light, felt a bead of cold sweat trickle down his forehead. He knows now exactly who they are and why one of them sounded so familiar. But now tomorrow has only one answer.