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Chapter Eight

 

The morning sun raised itself into the clear skies of Edenia creating various different colors. Most people in the villages around the kingdom were still slumbering away, but some had come up bright and early for early morning chores.

Princess Kitana had managed to sneak her way out of her room once again that morning just before dawn. She had been up most of the night thinking about what had happened last night at the masquerade ball, especially about her time with Rain. After the slow dance they had shared, Rain spent the remainder of the night with her. Kitana had tried to return to Kenshi, but Rain had wanted it to be just him and her. Kenshi had left the party when he got the idea that she was with someone else.

The one thing that Kitana was thinking about the most was the short but tender kiss Rain gave to her. Kitana had been frozen in her place and did not even bother to return the kiss. It was the only kiss that they had shared that night.

She stared off towards her favorite view of the small village down the cliffs below with the large body of water next to it while sitting on a large rock. The wind softly blew in her face forcing her to hold on to the hood of her dark cloak.

Did I make the right decision in accepting Rain’s proposal?’ she thought with a small sigh.

It was then that she heard the sounds of footsteps coming towards her. After a few moments of this, Kitana slowly reached for her left boot to the handle of her fan blade thinking to be an intruder ahead. She stayed still until the footsteps were much closer. She quickly whirled around holding out her blade. To her surprised, she heard the suddenly clinging of steel against steel as her blade hit another weapon. Kitana regained her composure and looked up at who was in front of her.

“Kenshi…” she could only say.

“I have been searching for you Kitana,” Kenshi said placing his sword back in his scabbard behind his back.

Kitana looked at him for a minute. She closed her fan blade up and placed it back in it’s scabbard on her boot. A bit of angry developed within her as she looked back at Kenshi. “Why did you follow me!” she demanded.

Kenshi was surprised to hear her sudden tone of voice. “I’m sorry Kitana but-”

“I’m sick of everyone thinking of me being a helpless poor little Princess! I don’t need my mother sending out escorts every time I go out, I don’t need to tell every detail of where I’m going, and I don’t need everyone asking me if I’m all right when nothing happened!”

“Kitana-”

“So what, did my mother send out for me? Did you want to-”

Before she finished, Kenshi finally spoke over her. “I followed you because you weren’t in your room when I came to see if you wanted breakfast and I went looking for you even after that knowing you went here-”

Now it was Kitana’s turn to speak over him. “Well couldn’t you wait until I was-”

“I didn’t want you to end up the way you found me!”

That ended it with Kenshi gasping for breath for saying his last statement in one quick breath. Kitana looked at him again now feeling awful about not letting him speak before going on her ranting.

“I’m, I’m sorry Kenshi,” she finally said after a moment of silence. “It’s just I’m tired of everyone thinking of me still being a child.”

“At least you have people who care about you,” Kenshi replied. “Would you rather have people around you who care about you than to have none at all?”

Kitana sighed as she sat back down on the rock. “You’re right. I guess sometimes, I take things for granted. I can be so nave sometimes.”

Kenshi sensed a log next to the rock. He slowly made his way to it and sat down being a couple of feet away from the Princess. “So what brought you here early in the morning?”

Kitana looked down at her hands. “I usually come here to think, especially after a night of getting hardly any sleep.”

“Do you care to tell me what is on your mind?” Kenshi asked with curiosity.

The Princess stayed quiet for a minute before replying. “Rain and I are, sort of, together now. He had asked me during the masquerade ball to be his lady. I had accepted…but I wonder if it’s the right decision.”

“He seems like an honorable man. Why the sudden second thoughts?”

“I…well…he is indeed a fine gentleman, very dedicated in his duty as General and I admire him for that. The thing is…there is another side of him, a rage that may be forever burned within him. His father was once an Edenian General and was killed by the former Outworld Emperor himself. Rain had once serve the Emperor until he found out what he had done to his father. Since then, Rain served the Edenian army to redeem himself from his sins. His promotion to General served him well. But even so, the rage is still branded in him and would get angry even over the littlest things.”

“So, you are afraid that you may do the wrong thing and that he would end up hurting you?” asked Kenshi.

Kitana gulped. “You know…I never even thought about him hurting me because of his rage. He does try to hold everything in front of Mother and I, the other guards have told us that.”

“But you never know Kitana…what if he does something to you without thinking? I’m not saying you should leave him, but I’m just giving you a precaution.”

“I don’t know,” Kitana sighed. “My Mother had always wished for me to be with someone and to never be alone like she had been these many years. I want to grant her wish, but it’s so hard because men only want me for the treasures. Rain is not like that, but, well, you know.”

“Just follow whatever you desire,” Kenshi said. “It’s the best way for one’s happiness.”

Kitana smirked after his advice. “Thank you for listening.”

-

The day came and went like a light, so it seemed. The sun had set for the day again leaving behind a dark beautiful sky with countless stars.

In the back portion of the castle was what was called The Sky Room. This room was a circular one with the floors made of tile and the columns made out of concrete holding up a roof. It looked like a large version of a gazebo. The only items in the room were countless numbers of plants watered by the servants everyday along with a large red rug under a coffee table, two black leather chairs and a matching couch, all which were covered by plastic by 9pm.

It was here that Kitana joined General Rain for tea. They had not seen each other all day due to his long-hours of duty to guard the castle from intruders. After his duty ended for the day, he requested to Queen Sindel for her daughter to join him in the Sky Room for tea. This was about two hours ago. Kitana accepted the request and now they sat on the couch, the ivory teacups and pot on the coffee table.

“How has your day been?” asked Rain as he grabbed a cup of tea and sipped some into his mouth.

Kitana did the same and took a sip before placing it back on the table. “It was fine, thank you.”

“Same here. The men and I were discussing about the ball last night. Though a ball dance is not something in our agenda, it was a fine party last night. Don’t you agree?”

“Um, yes it was,” Kitana replied nodding.

She quietly sighed to herself. She suddenly found herself not wanting to even think about the masquerade. Sure, it was a fabulous party, but once Rain came into the picture, she found herself trying to shake the images out of her mind.

Perhaps I don’t care for Rain as much as I thought,’ she thought feeling a bit guilty for putting the General in this position. ‘Why in the world did I accept his purposal?

The reason soon came…it was all because Rain had promised he would always be there, unlike the other men she had been with in the past. But would he actually keep his promise. Should she have just neglected the promise and went on with the relationship anyways instead of worrying about it?

Then, there was the blind swordsman who she had found near death only two weeks ago. ‘Has it already been that long?’ she thought. There was something about Kenshi, something she just couldn’t pinpoint, but whatever it was, it was drawing her to him and farther away from…everything else.

It was then that she felt an arm wrap around her shoulders. Kitana looked over at Rain. While she was deep in her thoughts, he had decided to take the chance to put his arm around her.

“You seem to be deep in your thoughts,” Rain exclaimed. “Is anything the matter?”

Kitana immediately shook her head. “No, it has been quite a long day.”

“It has indeed.” Then, Rain leaned over to her ear and whispered, “You are so beautiful, Kitana. I don’t think anything else is as beautiful.”

Kitana only managed to smirk. Then, to another surprise, Rain placed his hand on her leg and slightly rubbed it a bit. This was starting to make Kitana a bit uncomfortable.

“Rain…aren’t you moving a little too fast?”

Rain looked at her. Kitana immediately bit her lip as she saw the rage in his eyes again, but she could tell he was trying to remain his composure.

“I think this is a good pace.” Then, Rain began to lean over to kiss and used his other hand to reach for one of her breasts. Kitana gasped and quickly got up.

Rain looked up at her a bit confused. “What’s wrong?”

Kitana tried to find the words. “I, eh, just realized that, I, eh, need to be in bed early tonight. Mother wanted me to speak to her about something important. I’m sorry to cut this short.”

Before Rain could protest, she dashed her way to the staircase and made her way down. She was only halfway down when she heard a loud angry-like crash in the Sky Room.

-

Instead of heading off to bed for the night, Kitana went into her large private bathroom to take a long bubble bath. She surrounded herself with scented candles making the room smell like flowers.

She leaned her head against a bath pillow and closed her eyes. She tried to clear her mind from any thoughts that may try to appear. Before she knew it, she had fallen asleep.

The sleep was not a long one, but it sure seemed like it. In her dream once again were the shadows battling each other in battle. All she could see were the shadows in front of the red background. Kitana tried to cry out, but no sound came out.

When Kitana woke up, her head had been submerged under water. She quickly got her head out and gasped for breath as some of the water splashed out of the tub and on to the floor. Kitana looked around the room as she tried to catch her breath.

The dream,’ she thought a bit shaken. ‘It felt so real this time…

She stayed in the tub for another minute before emerging out of the tub. She dried herself off, wrapped herself in her blue silk robe, and drained out the tub. Normally, she would let the servants clean out the bathroom, but she had decided to do it herself this time. She needed to keep herself occupied for a bit. Besides, the servants would highly appreciate this.

Once she was done, she left the bathroom and returned to her room. She got herself dress in her nightgown. Just as she was about to tuck herself in, a knock was heard at the door nearly startling her.

“Coming!” she called out. Kitana quickly dressed herself back in her robe and tied the robe closed. She walked over to the door and was surprised to see Kenshi on the other side.

“Kenshi,” Kitana said with a little smile. “What brings you here?”

Kenshi smirked a little. “I heard you come in here and thought I’d come by to say good night.”

Kitana suddenly felt her heart skip a beat a bit as he said this. Other than Jade and Sindel, no one else had come by just to say goodnight.

“That’s very kind of you,” she said.

The smirk on Kenshi’s face faded. “Is something the matter?”

Kitana looked down the halls to see if anyone was down there. She brought Kenshi inside and locked the door behind her. They moved away from the door and stood next to the balcony.

“I’ve been having these visions,” Kitana began. “It has been very constant the past few weeks. I see these figures in black fighting one another and the only other color I see is red. I…I feel like it’s a sign…that…that something bad is going to happen…”

Kenshi sighed a bit. ‘She seems haunted by so much,’ he thought. ‘I really hope she finds peace someday.

He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I’m sure they are just nothing. Maybe they were events of your past…or perhaps your past life.”

“I know…but I have this horrible feeling that something is going to happen.”

Then, without thinking, Kitana threw her arms around Kenshi. When she did realize it, she wondered what brought her to do it. Perhaps she was desperately in need of comfort.

Kenshi too was surprised by her sudden embrace and slowly wrapped his arms around her. Kitana placed her chin on his shoulder and leaned her cheek on his feeling the warm fabric of his red blindfold.

“I’m sure everything will be fine,” Kenshi assured her as he whispered into her ear. “And if anything, I won’t let anything happen.”

Kitana felt completely relaxed then. “Thank you again. I’m glad I am able to talk to.”

“And I am glad I am able to listen.”

They kept their embrace for a bit longer. While this was all going on, Rain had stood by Kitana’s door eavesdropping in on their entire conversation.

-

Somewhere In Outworld…

A single Outworld soldier walked into a large palace. The place was large, everything built with concrete. The sky above was of a dark purple with no stars.

The soldier kept himself at a good walking pace until he reached the main throne room. There was a large army there dressed in the same brown garments and silver body armor he wore.

He made himself to the thrones, where a man dressed in red sat in one of the smaller ones. The red garments were filled with yellow trimmings and designs of fires and dragons and black boots covered his feet. His hair was black and long and a goatee hung from his chin.

The soldier bowed down to the man in the throne. “Master Shang Tsung…all of the people of Edenia are now aware of the news about the Emperor’s death.”

Shang Tsung smirked at him and stood up. “Good.” Then he cried out, “Tomorrow, we will destroy the Edenian portals…and attack!”

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