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Chapter Forty-Four

Cave

“Chun-Li?” a voice said waking the Interpol detective out of her sleep.

Chun-Li moaned a little as she forced herself to open her eyes. Having been lying on her side, she shifted her body so that she was laying on her back. Once she did, a sudden smell hit her nose…a good smell at that. She got herself to open her eyes a bit more and saw her friend Lei sitting at the edge of the bed holding a plate of food in his hands.

“Good morning,” Lei said with a warm smile. “I figured you were hungry so I brought it to you while it’s still hot.”

Chun-Li slowly sat herself up and took the plate in her hand. “That’s very nice of you Lei,” she said as she picked up the fork which was on top of the food. “But you didn’t have to go through the trouble…what’s the occasion?”

Lei laughed a little nervously. “Eh, well, Yin made food this morning and I thought you’d be hungry.”

Chun-Li chuckled a little. “Don’t worry if you didn’t make the food. It’s the thought that counts and I thank you.”

“It’s no problem.”

Chun-Li dug into the food with her fork and took a few bits of her food. While trying to think up of a conversation starter, Lei came up with an idea.

“Say,” he said. “Since there are no tournaments today and Round Five begins tomorrow, why don’t I make us some dinner tonight.”

A smile came over Chun-Li’s face. “I didn’t know you cooked. Wow, I can’t wait to try out your food. What do you think you will be making?”

Lei sighed a bit. “Gee, eh, I’m not even sure yet, but I’ll figure it out. But either way, let’s meet up at the campfire at seven o’clock.”

“It’s a date.”

“Cool…well, see you.” Then Lei quickly got up and left the room, finally realizing what he just said.

Just great,’ Lei thought while biting his tongue. ‘Lei, what the hell were you thinking! You can’t even cook a TV dinner in a microwave! Now you only have…’ He briefly looked at his watch. ‘…Ten hours to learn how to cook!

Unsure of what else to do, Lei quickly left the cave to figure out a plan.


Main Palace

That wasn’t a bad breakfast this morning,’ Kitana thought to herself as she began to take her leave from the dining quarters.

Though it was still morning, she actually considered this a late breakfast for her, since there was only a few more hours before lunch was going to be served. She ended up sleeping in a little bit late this morning, something she rarely did. Not wanting to wait around, her mother Sindel and her best friend Jade had already went down to breakfast earlier. Currently, the two of them were training for Jade’s sake in preparations for Round Five of the tournament, which began tomorrow.

As she exited through the doors, Kitana spotted Siegfried a few yards away, heading into the direction of the main doors. She had only seen him once since their encounter with Mileena and the Tarkatan hordes, but it was so brief that she couldn’t remember exactly what they had talked about or if they even talked at all. Either way, now was her chance to talk to him again, considering the fact that it could be days before she saw him again.

“Siegfried!” the Princess called out as she paced herself towards him. Siegfried heard her call his name and turned to face her, a warm smirk appearing on his face.

“Good morning Kitana,” Siegfried said once she was a couple of feet away.

Kitana smiled in reply. “Good morning to you as well. So where are you heading off to?”

“Just off to train,” Siegfried replied. “Since round five of the tournament starts tomorrow, I should prepare for it. You never know whether or not I have a match tomorrow when I get the notice.”

“That’s true. Well, um, do you need a training partner?”

Before Siegfried could answer however, the smirk on his face seemed to fade suddenly. As it did, he looked down at his right hand, which began to slightly shake a bit.

Not again!’ he cried out in his mind.

“I’m sorry, I have to go,” he said and began to leave.

Kitana had enough then. Almost every time she met up with him, he always left quickly without any sort of explanation. Plus, she always could pinpoint when he was going to do that…it was whenever he looked at his hand. Now it was beginning to officially drive her crazy.

Quickly, the Princess stepped forward and grabbed on to Siegfried’s arm. Siegfried turned her head to her, a bit surprised by the gesture.

“How long have I known you since coming to Outworld?” she said. “I’ve known you for days, yet I feel as though I hardly know you at all. Why do you keeping running away? Please tell me, Siegfried.”

Siegfried sighed to himself. He wanted to tell the truth, but he just couldn’t for her own sake (and her family’s for that matter).

“I wish I could tell you,” he replied. “However, it would only endanger your life. I’m sorry.” Then he pulled his arm away and paced himself out of the main palace.

I’m tired of being left in the dark!’ Kitana yelled in her mind. Without thinking much about it, she stood where she was for a minute to give Siegfried a head start. Then she walked out of the main palace and began following him, unsure of where his path will lead her.


Unknown Area

“The time has come,” Shang Tsung said looking slightly upward. “The Emperor has requested your participation in the fifth round of the tournament, which begins tomorrow.”

Standing up from her throne, Sheeva stretched her upper arms up a bit. “It’s about time,” she answered. “I’ve waited since day one for this moment!”

“Yes,” Shang Tsung said as he slowly paced himself around the large room, which was considered Sheeva’s Lair. He slightly looked around the room. Most of the food that had been around were long eaten and the brightly lit candles were halfway down from finally burning out.

“The Emperor believes that we are in a crucial moment of the tournament,” the sorcerer continued. “With less and less fighters in the tournament, they are getting stronger. Unfortunately, Ivy, Viper, and Havik are the only ones allied with us who are still in the tournament. With you in the tournament now, we have a much better chance of obtaining Chishio No Me.”

“Let’s not forget mine and the Emperor’s deal,” Sheeva began to remind him. “I get a share in that medallion when I emerge victorious in the tournament.”

“Yes, he has not forgotten, he explained that to me just before I left to meet with you.” He then stopped pacing and looked at the Shokan woman. “Now to let you in on a couple of secrets about your upcoming match. It’s scheduled in two days in the Underground Lair. Would you like information on your opponent?”

“I’d rather be surprised,” Sheeva answered. “For one thing, I bet they’ll be quite surprised when they see me.” A grin came over her face. “So that way, we’ll both be surprised when we see each other.”

Shang Tsung sighed a bit, not expecting that sort of answer. “Very well then. One other thing before I take my leave. The Emperor would like to meet with you later this evening in his lair after dinner hours in the main palace.”

“Tell him I’ll be there.”

Shang Tsung nodded before taking his leave from the lair. When she was sure he was out of earshot, a smirk came over Sheeva’s lips.

“The time has finally come…soon the medallion will be rightfully mine and our Shokan race will be more powerful than ever before.”


Cave Grounds

Sitting at the lit campfire, Jin Kazama placed his hands just a foot near the fire, feeling it‘s warmth. Wearing his blue and white jacket, he had it’s hood over his head only because he liked having it over his head. The air was descent for right now, but he knew that it would be much cooler than this by nightfall.

And to think that it’s the beginning of summer back in Japan,’ he thought.

“Jin?” he heard a female voice call out. Jin turned his head, his hood falling off as he did. It turned out to be a good thing as it gave him a better look at who was coming over to him. Upon seeing the person, he recognized Cammy. She wore the long braided pigtails she always wore, but this time she wore a pair of jeans with black and white basketball shoes and a dark green long-sleeved shirt.

“Hey there,” Cammy said as she sat next to him. She pulled out a brown bag and opened it up. “Are you hungry?”

“Sort of,” Jin replied. “I was thinking about going down to the main palace in about an hour.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Cammy replied with a smile. “I made some sandwiches today for my crew and I thought you’d be hungry so I made an extra for you. I hope you like ham and Swiss.” She then took out a bag which contained the sandwich on white bread.

Jin smirked a little. “It’s all right, but I won’t mind having it. Thanks for the thought.”

“Don’t mention it,” Cammy said as she handed the bag to him. “Besides, it does save a trip to the palace, right?”

“Yeah it does,” Jin answered as he took the sandwich in his hands. He opened up the bag before taking the sandwich out. Then he bit into it, taking a moment to chew before swallowing. “Not bad.”

“Oh good,” Cammy said. Then for a moment, silence fell between the two of them, neither of them sure of what to say next. Cammy decided to at least let Jin finish most of his sandwich, watching the campfire in front of them in the meantime. As she did, she didn’t realize that she had spaced out a bit, time slipping by a little quicker than she thought when Jin spoke.

“Thanks for the sandwich again,” he said.

“Oh,” Cammy said a bit startled. She blinked a couple of times before turning her head to him. “I’m glad you like it.” She then looked back at the fire. “So…wow, you’re still in the tournament, aren’t you?”

“Yes I am,” Jin answered. “I should get my match notice tomorrow.”

“Who do you think you’ll go up against this time?”

Jin shrugged. “Not a clue. However, I did notice a pattern during my meditation this morning. In all four matches, I’ve been in thus far, they have all been men. Everyone else has fought at least one person with a different gender, unless they lost the first round of course. It was some guy who’s name I can’t remember, Guile, Nightwolf…and another guy who’s name I can’t remember.”

“Uh oh,” Cammy said with a grin. “Hopefully I don’t jinx you in the next round, but something tells me it’ll all end when you have your match with a woman.”

“Ha ha,” Jin laughed. “We’ll have to see.”

The cool wind seemed to pick up at that moment and the temperature seemed to also drop a bit. This forced a chill up Cammy’s spine and she could feel the goosebumps developing on her arms. Taking both her hands, she began brushing her arms with them.

“It got cold all of a sudden,” she said. “I should’ve brought my jacket.”

It was then that they heard footsteps behind them, making them turning around to see who was coming. They both recognized Yin, who seemed to have a couple of cooking equipment with her.

“Starting up lunch today?” Cammy asked her.

Yin set the stuff down on the ground. “Yup. I’m going to be making some teriyaki chicken and noodles, under the request of a couple of people who are in the mood. You guys want any?”

“We just ate, but thank you,” Jin replied as he stood up along with Cammy.

Yin smiled. “All right, but you don’t know what you’re missing.”

“Don’t worry,” Cammy said. “You’re a good cook, so we know we’ll be missing out. Let us know when you’re cooking a meal again.”

“Hopefully I remember,” Yin said laughing a bit.

Then Cammy and Jin began walking away from the campfire to give Yin some room to make her lunch. An idea came to Jin and he looked at Cammy.

“Say,” he began. “It seems like a pretty peaceful afternoon. Mind going for a walk?”

Cammy smiled. “Sure. Let me just get my jacket-”

“Here,” Jin cut in as he unzipped his jacket. “I’m already wearing a thick sweater underneath so I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure?” Cammy asked.

Jin took the jacket off of him completely and handed it over to Cammy. “I insist.”

Cammy slowly took the jacket in her hand and placed it over her before zipping it up. The jacket was really big on her, but she didn’t mind. She then looked over at Jin, who was wearing a black long-sleeved sweater with a low V-neck cut. The V-neck exposed a little part of his upper chest. Chills went up Cammy’s spine and this time she knew that it wasn’t because it was cold.

Something tells me this is going to be quite a walk,’ she thought.

Meanwhile back at the campfire, Yin had just finished setting up the equipment. Just as she was getting the food ready, she heard footsteps coming towards her, causing her to sigh a bit.

That better not be Yun asking me if the food is ready!’ she growled in her mind. She quickly turned her head, completely expecting Yun to be standing there. However, it turned out that it wasn’t Yun, but rather Chun-Li’s Interpol partner Lei Wulong.

“Hey Yin,” Lei said to her. “Starting up lunch?”

Despite her surprise, Yin managed to smile. “Yeah, I’m making chicken teriyaki with noodles. Do you want me to make you a plate?”

“Well I already ate but thank you anyway,” Lei replied. “However, I actually came here because I was hoping you could do me a small favor…and I guarantee you that it won’t pry you away from what you are doing now?”

Yin’s smile faded into a smirk. “And that would be?”

“…Could you teach me how to cook?”

Yin looked at him, not expecting him to ask her that. “You want me to teach you to cook?”

Lei nodded as he kneeled down next to the younger woman. “Yes…you see, I kind of told Chun-Li that I was going to make dinner for her tonight-”

“No need to explain!” Yin cut in. “You want to wow her, but you realize that the way you want to wow her will turn into disaster!”

Lei blinked a couple of times. “…Yeah, that’s about it.”

“Well, normally I’d say, ‘maybe another time,’ but since Chun-Li is considered family to me, I’ll help you. However, I must warn you that learning to cook doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been learning to cook since I was seven all thanks to my Aunt.”

“Well, um, that’s good to know,” Lei said.

Yin looked around a bit before clapping her hand and rubbing a bit. “All right, let’s get started! Now obviously in this case, we’ll be using a frying pan over a campfire for this, thanks to this lovely steel stand. Once the frying pan is ready, just wait three minutes so that we can give it time to heat up a bit since we’re not using a standard stove.”

“All right, that sounds easy so far,” Lei said.

“Great,” Yin replied as she picked up a bag of chicken. “The good thing is that I had this on the stand for two minutes before you came here so now we can place all the chicken on the pan.” She then slowly turned the bag upside down, letting all the chicken fall into the pan with small sizzles being heard. “Now of course, this is raw chicken so you need to give it time to cook. Since they’re already chopped up, we’ll give it about seven minutes.”

“Ah I see,” Lei said. “One question and I bet everyone in the cave wants to know too…where do you get all this food?”

Yin smiled in reply. “This will be between you and me but…I made a deal with the main chef at the palace during our first week here. What I did was cook him some curry chicken and he loved it so much that he said he would provide me with food to cook, so long that I make him curry chicken every three days.”

“That explains everything,” Lei said.

“Yeah,” Yin sighed. “But by the time we go back to Earthrealm, I’m going to be sick of curry chicken for about three years.”

Lei laughed a little. “I can only imagine.”

For the next several minutes, Yin showed Lei how to move the chicken around in the pan with a spatula so that the chicken would cook more. She even let Lei take a turn moving the chicken around.

“And don’t worry about going slow,” Yin said. “Just make sure you don’t burn the food. Now to check to see if the chicken’s fully cook. You want to cut the biggest piece. If it’s white, that means it’s fully cooked. If it’s pink, then it need a few more minutes of cooking.

Lei nodded as he cut a piece of chicken with a spatula and saw that the inside was all white. “Now what?”

“My favorite part,” Yin said taking a large bottle of teriyaki sauce in her hand and opened the top. “Just pour some teriyaki sauce into the pan until I tell you to stop.”

“All right,” Lei said as he took the bottom. He brought the bottle above the pan before tipping it, letting the contents out and into the pan. The pan sizzled even more and bit of the sauce began jumping out in the air.

“Okay Lei you can-” Yin began to say.

Suddenly, one bit of the sauce hit Lei’s hand and felt as though a heated razor blade sliced on his skin. “OWE!” he called out dropping the bottle he was holding. The bottle fell into the pan, but because of the sudden movement, more teriyaki sauce dripped out of it.

“Oh no!” Yin cried out. “Now there’s too much sauce in the chicken!”

“I’m so sorry!” Lei said a bit frantically, waving his hands. As he waved his hands, however, his elbow knocked the handle of the pan, causing it to tip over off the stand and landing upside down on the ground. All of the sauce and chicken either landed on the ground or in the fire causing them to burn to a crisp.

“NO!” Yin cried out. “Now lunch is completely ruined! How am I going to explain this one to the chef!”

“I’m really sorry Yin!” Lei cried out. “If you want, I can come with you and explain everything to the chef.”

Yin sighed a bit, realizing that Lei felt bad for what he just did. “It’s okay. I’m just going to-”

“Say,” a voice suddenly called out. Yin and Lei turned around and saw Yun standing there with a goofy grin on his face. “I was going to ask if lunch was ready, but I guess I spoke too soon.”

Yin fumed a bit as she and Lei stood up. Lei brushed himself off a bit and sighed. “Well, I failed that one. Thanks for trying anyway Yin. Do you want me to help you clean up?”

“It’s fine,” Yin replied. She then glared at her brother. “I already got help anyway.”

“All right, but if you need anymore help just let me know.” Then Lei walked away.

Yin huffed a little as she walked over to Yun who’s eyes were a bit widened. “Hey, why do I have to clean up?”

“Because that was a bad time to say something like that!” Yin called out a bit frustrated. “Poor Lei was trying to cook and he feels like a failure now! I really should kick you for that!”

“It’s not my fault!” Yun yelled. “And I dare you to try and kick me!”

In reply, Yin quickly kicked Yun in the shin, something Yun didn’t actually expect his sister to do. “Owe…” he moaned rubbing his shin.

“You so deserved it,” she said.


Unknown Area

Walking himself into a large room, Noob looked on at a large machine that stood in the other end of the room which Sektor was already standing next to. It was a bit bigger than the last machine that was built, this time containing two pods rather than one.

“Is the machine finally complete?” Noob asked.

“Yes it’s finally done,” Sektor replied.

“Excellent. Exactly how does this machine work?”

Sektor turned around as he began to activate the machine. “It’s quite simple. We each go in our own pod and this machine will take care of it from here.”

Noob nodded after the explanation. He went into one of the open pods, lying himself slightly back before close the door tightly. Sektor pressed a couple of more buttons before a humming noise was heard. Then quickly, he went into the other pod and closed the door.

The humming noise became louder and louder as seconds passed. Soon it became nearly a deafening sound and electricity began to surround the two pods. Neither one of them was sure how long this lasted before the electricity slowly stopped and the humming noise went down. Soon, all was quiet.

Sektor reached for the pod’s door and opened it with Noob following just afterwards. The two of them stepped out of the pod, taking a few steps forward before looking at each other.

“There’s only one step left,” Sektor said to him. “Jump towards me.”

Noob nodded. He leaned himself back a bit before taking a leap towards Sektor. When he was two feet away, his body turned into black liquid and quickly sucked itself into Sektor. The cyborg body then completely blackened, almost looking like a shadow.

After a few seconds, the shadow disappeared. Though the body mostly looked like Sektor’s, there were some new additions to the cyborg body. A black aura surrounded the body and the Brotherhood of Shadows logo was embedded into the back. A majority of the wirings were gone along with Sektor’s dreadlocks. What stood out the most was the fact that the eyes were now a glowing blue.

“In this form, we shall call ourselves Noob-Sektor,” the new body spoke. “We now have the ability to fuse and un-fuse at our own will thanks to this new machine. I can already feel the new immense power that has been combined.”

Then, the body was surrounded by the black shadow again and the black liquid emerged, forming itself back to Noob’s body. When the shadow disappeared, Sektor’s body was back to normal.

A sadistic laugh escaped Noob. “Now we are more powerful than ever before. No one can stop us now!”


Forest Area

Princess Kitana continued following Siegfried through the forest area, keeping herself as far away as possible from him. Even so, she knew that some time had passed since she began following him here, but for once she didn’t care. She would rather explain everything to Jade and her mother later.

Back at the main palace, Siegfried had been in a rush to leave without any explanation. Ever since Kitana met him, that has always been the routine. She did know some things about him, but to her she felt as though she hardly knew him. She only wished that he would explain why he always ran away like this.

Kitana wasn’t sure how far she had gone before she was able to see Siegfried again. Much to her relief, he stopped in a small clearing surrounded by the tall trees. She hid behind one of the trees a few rows back so that he didn’t see her. For a moment, she wondered if she should approach him.

It was then that Siegfried fell to his knees. His back was facing Kitana so she wasn’t able to see his face. She did notice, however, that his right arm was raised to his eye level.

What is he doing?’ she wondered.

Suddenly, she began to hear grunts coming from him. Kitana looked on feeling frozen where she stood. Then her eyes widened more upon seeing blue electricity coming from the sky and seeping itself into Siegfried’s arm, causing him to grunt even louder. Kitana was about to step forward and call his name but, unknown to her, she was about to discover exactly why he was always running away from her.

Siegfried’s body seemed to burst into flames, causing Kitana to jump a bit in surprise. This time, the young man was screaming. Then, the blue electricity that was surrounding his right arm began to cover his arm, which soon formed into a heavy blue armor with gold trims and a red cape developed and stuck out from his new helmet. The flames that had surrounded his body seemed to have already went out at that point.

The screaming stopped then as Siegfried reached up his right hand, which looked monstrously deformed and a dark brown color. He then spoke in a demonic-like voice;

“Souls…must have more souls!”

Fear came over Kitana at that point. Now she fully understood why Siegfried ran off, why he didn’t want to tell her anything about it. He was doing it to protect her from this monster. She felt like a fool now for following him to begin with.

Kitana then realized that this new monster was hungry for souls. If he saw her, he was sure to devour hers. She took a couple of steps backwards before turning the other direction and began running for her life, obviously the only thing she could do at this point. As she ran, she could still feel the dark energy behind her. She didn’t dare to look behind her and could only hope that the monster wasn’t anywhere near her at this point.

The Princess of Edenia continued running through the forest and for a second, she had thought that she got herself lost. However, she soon found herself in a clearing with the main palace just another half a mile from her. She didn’t stop once, not until she reached the stoned ground that surrounded the palace. When she did, she began to pace herself to the main doors, up the stairs to the top floor, and soon reached her room.

Quickly, Kitana opened the door, jumped into her room, then closed the door behind her, finally given the chance to completely catch her breath. She looked up and was a bit surprised to see Sindel and Jade standing nearby looking at her. A pile of clothes laid before them, the both of them obviously doing laundry.

“Where have you been?” Jade asked her almost right away.

Kitana frantically tried to talk while catching her breath. “Mother…Jade…Siegfried-”

“Calm down dear,” Sindel said as she walked over to her daughter then placed a hand over her face. “Your face is flushed! Go sit on the bed while I fetch some water in the other room.”

Kitana nodded, agreeing that it was the best thing to do at the moment. She walked herself over the bed and sat down. Sindel went to the other room to get her water while Jade walked over to her friend and sat next to her.

“You must’ve done quite a run,” Jade said to her.

Within another minute, Kitana was finally able to catch her breath. By then, Sindel came back with a cup of cold water in her hand. Kitana took the water and drank nearly half the cup.

“Don’t drink too fast, you‘ll get hiccups,” Sindel suggested. “Now, tell us what happened.”

From there, Kitana told them everything that happened, from the moment she met up with Siegfried at the dining quarters during breakfast hours, to the moment she saw him transform into the blue-armored demon.

“…and I heard him speak,” Kitana continued. “His voice completely changed. It nearly sounded as though he was the ruler of the Netherealm. He said something about needing more souls…”

Jade stared at the Princess in disbelief as Sindel jaw dropped in surprise, covering her mouth in the process. The Queen then managed to regain herself before sitting down on the other side of her daughter.

“I’m so surprised by this,” she said. “He seems like such a nice young man.”

“He could be being controlled for all we know,” Jade replied. “After all, he did tell Kitana that he didn’t want to put her in danger.”

Sindel nodded. “That’s true.” She then looked at Kitana and Jade seriously. “Whatever the case, it’s best that the three of us keep ourselves away from him. I’m sorry to say, but especially since he wants to keep us from danger…cutting all contact with him is the best thing we can do…”

Jade nodded in agreement. However, a sad look came over Kitana’s eyes as she looked down slightly to the ground. All she wanted was to get to know more of the handsome young man from Keisei. Now with this, she would no longer be able to do so.

Why does it have to be like this…


Forest, Near Cave Grounds

Cammy looked on at her surroundings as she and Jin continued walking along the trail. Some of the leaves on the trees were falling off the branches, slowly twirling a bit as they made their way to the ground. A breeze came by and she wrapped her arms around herself, feeling the blue and white oversized blazer jacket that belonged to Jin.

“I remember days like this when I was a child,” Jin said, breaking the silence between then. Cammy didn’t turn her head to him, but she listened to what he said as she continued looking at her surroundings. “I grew up living in the forest. I always find areas like this peaceful. I can’t ever imagine living anywhere else.”

A small smirk came over Cammy. “Ever since I was seventeen, I’ve been living with Colonel Guile, who was part of a program that protected victims of Shadolaw. Wagner was already living with him for a year by then. Along with Guile’s wife and daughter, they became family to me. Even though I’m far from them now, since joining Delta Red in England, we still keep in contact with each other.” She then smiled. “So you wouldn’t believe my surprise when I found out Guile and Wagner were going to be in this tournament.”

“So…is it because of Guile’s influence that Wagner prefers to be called by his last name?” Jin asked curiously.

Cammy laughed. “I sometimes like to think that. Either way, that’s why he introduced himself to me at the airport that morning. Maybe I should ask him about that. But that doesn’t matter since I call him by his first name now…which by the way, he only lets people close to him call him Scott.”

Jin laughed a little. “I see now. Well…my whole life it has always been me and my mother. On her side of the family, my grandparents had already passed on. She also had an older brother, who she hadn’t seen since before I was born. Not sure what happened to him. Sadly, my mother passed away just after my fifteenth birthday. I’ve…sort of been on my own since.”

“What about your father?” Cammy asked.

Jin was silent for a moment as he thought about the now-deceased Kazuya Mishima. Aside from trying to suck him dry of his powers and kill him off afterwards during the King of Iron Fist Tournament, what else had the man done for him?

“I never knew my father,” Jin half lied. “I never bothered to look for him, but something tells me that it may be for the best.”

“I see,” Cammy said. She then looked up into the sky and noted that the sun was just beginning to set. ‘Have we been walking for that long?’ she asked herself a bit surprised. She then turned his head to him. “Say, we should get back to the cave grounds before-”

Unknown to Cammy, however, she ended up in the path of a large rock. The young blonde never saw the rock and ended up tripping over it, letting out a small yelp in the process. Jin saw her beginning to fall and tried to catch her, but Cammy ended up grabbing him and she took him down with her. Both of them landing on the ground with Cammy on her side and Jin right on top of her!

Cammy managed to shift herself so that she was lying on her back. Once she did, she realized that Jin was facing her. The both of them looked at each other, feeling a bit awkward at that moment.

“Um, sorry,” Jin said. “I didn’t mean-”

“It’s all right,” Cammy assured him. “I was the one who pulled you down…”

As she was talking, Cammy suddenly found herself gazing into Jin’s eyes, which were a dark brown color. His bangs, which fell over just near his eyes seemed to bring them out more and Cammy wondered why she didn’t notice this before. By now, she had already forgotten about her newest addition to her embarrassing moments with Jin.

Jin also found himself gazing into Cammy’s eyes as well. They were a deep blue. Having been in Japan most of his life, this was an eye color he rarely saw.

Then, to his surprise, Cammy ended up leaning her head upward and softly pressed her lips against his. Her eyes had already closed, but Jin had his wide open for a moment. Thoughts passed his mind, mainly the fact that he possessed the devil gene. However, another part of him fought with him.

This would put her in more danger,’ he thought. ‘Yet, I can’t help but…

Soon, Jin slowly closed his eyes and returned the kiss, causing Cammy to softly moan as she wrapped both of her arms around him. Jin placed his hands on both sides of her face as the they both deepened the kiss. They let themselves get lost in their passion for just a minute as they parted their lips and let their tongues slowly dance together. Cammy brushed one hand slowly up and down Jin’s back as he began to softly caress the side of her face which contained her scar.

Neither one of them were sure how long their kiss lasted before they pulled away. They opened their eyes, finding themselves looking at each other again, neither one of them helping but smile.

“We should get back before it gets dark,” Jin suggested as he got himself back on his feet, helping Cammy up in the process.

Cammy laughed a little. “Hey, I was the one who suggested that to begin with.”

“I know,” Jin said as he placed an arm around her shoulders. “But I thought it’d be nice to remind you.”

Cammy smiled as she put her arm around his waist. “Well, thank you.”

Jin nodded as he looked ahead. He thought about the passion they just shared for a moment. He still worried about his devil gene…yet, for some reason, this moment somehow felt right to him.


Cave Grounds

“I so failed this…” Lei said to himself.

He looked on at the campfire, which contained a stand and a frying pan. Using chicken he got from Yin, he tried to make some chicken, hoping that maybe if he tried again, he would be better than he was this passed afternoon when Yin tried to teach him to cook. However, he ended up failing when he realized that he overcooked the chicken, causing black burn marks to appear on the outside.

Lei briefly looked at his watch. It was now seven o’clock on the dot, the exact time he told Chun-Li to meet up with him. “Great, what am I-”

“Hey Lei,” he heard a female voice say right next to him.

Lei jumped a bit as he turned his head to the right. Chun-Li was already sitting next to him. He had been in such a mind fray that he didn’t even hear her sitting next to him.

“Um, hey Chun,” Lei replied. “Um…hey listen…”

Then, Chun-Li pulled up a paper bag that she had with her and opened it up. “Hey, don’t sweat…Yin told me everything so I brought food over from the palace.” She then took out some food that was wrapped up in a white cloth napkin.

Lei sighed a bit. “In a way, that brings a lot of relief since I know now that you won’t go hungry. However, I do feel bad now, especially since I sort of lied…”

Chun-Li smiled. “Hey…don’t worry about it. Even if Yin didn’t say anything, I kind of figured it out the moment you offered to make dinner this morning.”

Lei looked at her in a bit of surprise. “Really?”

Chun-Li nodded. “Just from a little tidbit I remember from last year…you tried cooking for Detective Fang Qing to impress her. Turned out to be a disaster because you put too much hot sauce in the already-burnt beef and she then she ended up in the hospital because she was allergic to that hot sauce.”

Lei rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Um, wow I almost forgot about that…you know, sometimes I think that’s the reason why she transferred to Taiwan.”

Chun-Li laughed. “No no, it was because she wanted to be closer to her family. But hey, you know…you gave it your best. In the end, it’s the thought that counts.”

Lei laughed nervously. “Unless you end up in the hospital.”

Chun-Li placed a hand on his shoulder. “The bright side is, she lived and you learned a valuable lesson.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

Lei then noticed a piece of a leaf in Chun-Li’s hair. He reached his hand over and managed to pull it out. “You had this in your hair,” he said.

Chun-Li saw the leaf and laughed a little. “Don’t you hate that?”

Lei nodded as a small smile appeared on his face. “This is sort of off topic but…you have a nice laugh.”

“Really?” Chun-Li asked. “I always hated my laugh. I sound like a donkey sometimes.”

“Not at all,” Lei assured her. “At least you don’t snort…like me.”

This made Chun-Li laugh even more, though she didn‘t mean to. “Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.”

“That’s all right,” Lei replied. Then a thought came to him and he decided to ask Chun-Li a risky question. “Um…can I sort of ask you for something?”

“Shoot.”

Lei took a quiet deep breath, hoping that Chun-Li didn’t act weird around him afterwards. “Can I kiss you?”

Chun-Li looked at him in a bit of surprise, not expecting this sort of question. She then realized what he said and she smiled. “Of course you can kiss me…everyone has the ability to kiss…”

Lei laughed a little, realizing what she meant. “All right all right…then…may I kiss you?”

Once he corrected himself, Chun-Li’s smile seemed to turn into a warm one as she brought herself closer to him. “Do you have a crush on me Mr. Wulong?”

Lei smiled. “You could say so.”

Chun-Li chuckled a little. “Teaser. Well in that case…yes you may.”

Yes!’ Lei called out in his mind. ‘I’m much better at this than cooking any day!

Then, Lei slowly leaned forward before lightly pressing his lips against Chun-Li’s, who immediately returned the kiss. Lei was about to pull away, but then Chun-Li leaned herself more forward, deepening the kiss a bit more, much to Lei’s surprise. He let himself sink into the kiss, slowly opening and closing their mouths in a slow rhythm.

Both of them knew the kiss didn’t take that long before two people behind them cried out, “Awwwwww!”

Lei and Chun-Li pulled away from their kiss and looked behind them, laying their eyes on both Yun and Yin. Both of them had goofy grins on their faces, having witnessing the two of them kissing.

Chun-Li spat her tongue at them before saying, “You two get going before I make you do push-ups and whatever other activities I may make you do.”

“Yes Miss Xiang,” the both of them said before running off.

Lei laughed a bit as he put an arm around Chun-Li. “And for sure I thought you were going to hate me after this.”

“Awe,” Chun-Li answered. “Lei, you’re a very likeable guy. Any girl would be lucky to have you. I sure am.”

Lei smiled. “I’m glad it all worked out.”


Shao Kahn’s Fortress

The Outworld Emperor Shao Kahn sat in his throne as he looked over at Quan-Chi, who stood in front of him. Standing next to Quan-Chi was a tall man, dressed in an orange shirt with a white kanji in front of it, blue jeans, and a heavy blue helmet.

“My lord,” Quan-Chi said. “This is Sodom, one of the men you had requested.”

Shao Kahn nodded. “Very good Quan-Chi. You may take your leave now. I would like to speak with Sodom alone.”

Quan-Chi nodded as he bowed to him before leaving the throne room, closing the large door behind him. Once the door closed, Shao Kahn stood himself up as he looked down at his new recruit.

“You are here because I feel that you will benefit greatly to our developing army. Things will be slow for a bit, at least until the end of the tournament. For now however, you will be working on any assignments I give you. Tonight, one of my guards will give you the tour. He should be here in a moment.”

Watashi wa o kitai suru ni tsukaeru anata ga (I look forward to serving you),” Sodom said.

“Good,” Shao Kahn replied. “Now…is it true that you have the desire to seek out the man named Guy Hinato?”

Sodom nodded. “Hai, sore no shinjitsu no (Yes, it’s true).”

“I see,” Shao Kahn said, now believing what Quan-Chi had said to him previously. “It’s quite a coincidence. You see, we too have the desire to search for Guy. We still want him to be a part of our army as well.” Then, an idea came to the Emperor. “It would seem that I have your very first assignment, which you will begin tomorrow.”

Sodom stood still as he awaited for his assignment.

“…You shall find Guy and bring him back here alive.”

To Chapter Forty-Five

iceangelmkx

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