Author: Luminous Blue PM
A collection of Xianghua-centric one-shots. Spoilers range from mild to heavy. Rating might change, but content will stay worksafe.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Xianghua - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,826 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-02-08 - Published: 08-01-08 - id: 4440903
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
01:00 (Focus is on wholeness of self and the banishing of any shadows.)
Disclaimer: The game series Soulcalibur and the character Chai Xianghua belong to NAMCO and any other copyright holders of the franchise. You all got lucky I don't own the game series anyhow, because Xianghua would have been made god tier in my hands.
Author's Notes: This is the first one-shot for my fic challenge at 24hour-themes (LJ). If all goes well, I'll have twenty-four Xianghua-centric one-shots for everyone's reading pleasure (?). Well, I certainly hope you find some remote amusement here.
The story itself takes place during Xianghua's pre-SCIII story. I welcome comments and any feedback. Flames will be consumed with tea and biscuits.
Delivering a swift horizontal slash in the air, Xianghua loosened her grip on her sword, mentally noting this moment as her 'break.' As she lifted her head upwards to see the cloud-veiled moon, the Chinese swordswoman could not help but feel lost and helpless. The gentle wind may have successfully eased her physiological state, but her internal conflicts refused to disintegrate. Even after taking a deep breath, she still had to fight the tears that wished to come out of her eyes.
In the end, I couldn't do a single thing.
The memory of the scythe-wielder continued to haunt her nonstop. The man did more than just brutally injure Kilik – he made her nothing but a useless spectator. All she could do was watch the man beat her partner up like a child would to a rag doll. Not even her seemingly polished skills stood a chance against him. She could not even land a small scratch to the man. In the aftermath of the fight, she was only able to carry a beaten-up Kilik to the Edge Master's home, where he could recover from his wounds.
Why? Why am I incapable of doing anything right?!
She flung her sword meters away from her, clutching her bare hands as tight as possible. Despite being an accomplished fighter, she could not help but constantly ask herself this question. The training with old general was greatly sharpening her swordplay abilities, yet these bitter feelings continued to linger on.
During most of her nights, she would drown herself in deep thought to fall asleep. Her dreams were either manifestations of her fears or remnants of her past, some of which she quickly forgot when dawn arrived.
Sometimes, Xianghua was not very lucky. Hours would pass before she acknowledged her case of insomnia. No book or mental diversion would ease this ailment – she needed physical exertion to cool the flames in her mind. Thus, she utilized the unsung part of the day for additional training in the garden her current mentor maintained.
"It must be past midnight now," Xianghua softly mused.
A short chuckle escaped from her mouth. The thought of the early hours reminded her of the times when she was under her mother's wing. As much as she loved her, Xianghua's mother was a strict teacher. Swordplay training occupied most of their days, beginning as early as one in the morning. Back in those days, Xianghua would lament and wish nothing but the warm comfort of slumber. On days she was not graced with luck, her mother scolded her as if she had done something immoral. Several beatings later, she would wordlessly comply.
However, some days were better than others. On such days, the mother and daughter maintained healthy conversations with each other. Sometimes, they rambled about irrelevant things, such as upcoming holidays, pending news around the country, and their life in general. During the bleaker moments in Xianghua's life, her mother would share her words of wisdom. Funny enough, her mood would immediately skyrocket, leaving her pumped up to tackle any obstacle. For instance, her mother once spoke of her beliefs of the harsh days, and the young girl took the words to heart and swore to earnestly follow them.
'Sometimes, negativity – such as the sense of incapability – will dominate and even distract you from walking your set path in life. However, you must always concentrate on perfecting oneself. In turn, the shadows that bind you from your success will disappear, and you will grow stronger and create harmony between the body and soul. This is why one must consistently train. You must never let anything get in the way of your chosen path, my child.'
"Mother…" Xianghua whispered, moving her eyes to her blue sandals. A single tear hesitantly ran down her face, but she swiftly wiped it with her wrist.
"You are still watching over me, right?"
Her meek words contrasted with the confidence that her face showed. Shortly after inhaling the lukewarm air around her, Xianghua rushed over to her sword and firmly gripped its hilt. She then began a series of relatively easy warm-up exercises, ending the break she initially started.
The fighter may have continued her typical routine, but something was quite different now. Her typical aggressiveness to fight more effectively became a part of her past. Instead, her dance-like movements were fluid like flowing water, her focus solely on improving her own sense of self.
Seconds turned to minutes, and minutes soon accumulated into hours. As the sun rose up from the horizon, the warrior banished the shadows that once followed her, taking the first step to the future that awaited her arrival.