Disclaimer: See previous chapters

undaed15 – Thanks. It's been a bit stalled, but I intend to continue and finish this (barign any unfortunate event of course). As for Scorpion, I can't wait either.

airnaruto45 – *shrug*


-0-

Walking upon a stone path alongside the trees, Sonya wandered about the island. After departing from the ninja trio, she continued her search for her hated adversary. However, after an hour of getting nowhere, she decided to slow down and take a…less active approach, mainly investigating the current matches. At best, she would find Kano occupied in another match, at least, she could keep an eye out on possible future opponents. She had yet to be called for a match, which was well and good, since that would give her time to find Ka-

"Rrah!"

The battle-cry alerted her attention and Sonya turned to see a match in progress. The first fighter she didn't recognize at first, but soon realized was the action star Johnny Cage. She had heard of his presence in the tournament but hadn't actually seen him until now. But it was his opponent that she recognized immediately.

'Kalus Raines!'

A member of the Black Dragon, Kalus serves as one of Kano's top lieutenants in the organization. 'This complicates things.' Having Kano on a lone island with backup were not good odds for her. But now she had a possible lead to Kano's whereabouts. No doubt Kalus would have kept in touch with the Black Dragon leader for whatever reason that brought Kano to this island. All she had to was track Kalus to Kano.

And if that didn't work, interrogation made a fine plan B…

Of course, all that would have to wait for the match to end, which at this point, was turning viscous. She expected that from Kalus. From what she remembered from his profile, Kalus is one of the more brutal fighters in the organization, with few being able to rival him, Kano included. The fact that Cage was matching his brutality wasn't expected. She hadn't actually seen him fight in the tournament (although she caught a movie or two of his), but this wasn't what she expected of the action star.

Not in the least…

But in the back of her mind, she recalled seeing this same behavior before, almost to a tee. When Kano was fighting Sakura, the girl began behaving the same way. Now granted, she didn't know either Sakura or Cage personally to know for sure, but she had a gut feeling that this violent attitude wasn't a part of their natures. And after having met Sakura briefly after her fight, she knew that feeling was probably well-founded. 'It's like there's something in the air' she mused, half-jokingly.

If she only knew that wasn't a joke, at all…


"Naruto! Hang on! I've got you."

After Raiden's forfeit and the shadow monk declaring Naruto the winner, Sakura quickly rushed down to the bridge of the pit, grabbed hold of Naruto's hand and began pulling him up from over the edge. Naruto grimaced as he was hauled up and eventually brought back onto the bridge. Naruto managed a groan as he slumped onto the structure while Sakura simply fell into a seated posture. To be perfectly honest, both ninja were surprised that Naruto was even conscious after that thunderous uppercut Raiden gave him.

"You must be special, for Lord Raiden to personally engage you in Kombat."

The sound of the new voice caused both teens to snap their attention to the source. Walking across from the opposite end of the bridge, a man dressed in black pants approached the two. They were wary of the man's presence, but regardless they let him help them up to their feet.

"I sure don't feel special." Naruto mumbled as he stood upright, rubbing the side of his head.

"I suppose not." the man shrugged. "But at the very least, you were able to keep your bloodlust and the beast within you in check."

That caused Sakura to stiffen and Naruto to freeze almost outright. "H-how do you know about that?"

"I sensed it when we first arrived. I didn't know for sure at first, but I have heard tales of those in another world that were said to serve as vessels for creatures of great power." His head tilted slightly to Naruto. "I assume you are one such person?"

"I- uhh..."

"Who are you?" Sakura asked finally.

"My name is Liu Kang. I am a monk of the Shaolin."

Snapping out of his shock, Naruto blurted out. "A monk? You don't look like one."

"Naruto! Don't be rude."

"I suppose not." Liu shrugged again. "But then again, you don't look like a ninja now, do you?"

"Hey!"

"He's got you there." Sakura snickered.

Naruto wheeled on her. "Whose side are you on?!" Naruto wheeled at her, scowling. When she returned the glare, he merely turned back to Liu. "How do you know the old man anyway?"

His eyes straying slightly, the Shaolin monk answered softly. "Like you, I was chosen as well."

-0-

It was odd for him to be called into the main hall during the hour for meditation. Actually it was odd for anyone to be called into main hall during meditation hour. Such time periods were taken quite seriously in the Shaolin Temple, so for someone to be called during such much have been of great importance. Still, he didn't understand what could be so important that he would be called. Upon entering the hall, he was surprised to see many of the other monks in the temple seated in a semi-circle in the midst of the hall. Only one was standing, Master Oris.

"Master." Liu spoke, bowing his head.

Returning the gesture, the elder monk then indicated to circle. "Please sit with the others."

Nodding, Liu soon sat down at the last space left, completing the circle. A long moment of silence passed at which time Liu Kang was still in wonder as to what this was all about. 'Patience opens the door to all' he recalled one of the many lessons he learned upon coming here to the Shaolin temple after his time with the White Lotus Society. A lesson he was also told would have to be learned day by day and proven by this time here.

The wait soon ended when another figure entered into the hall. Oris bowed deeply to the newcomer, but didn't say a word as the newcomer briefly returned the gesture and then approached the circle. Liu had to hold himself keep his features calm. The chi the newcomer was generating was stronger than any he had ever sensed before.

'There's no way he could be human.'

The stranger stopped suddenly and his gaze turned to Liu. The uncertainty he felt increased, but the young monk held his gaze with the newcomer's own blue…sparking eyes?

"You are the dreamer."

It wasn't question; merely a statement, yet Liu felt a bit rattled by it. In the time prior, he had been plagued with a series of dreams, many of them of violent battle and ending with total destruction. And since having these dreams, the only one whom he related them to was Oris. But surely the master monk wouldn't relate such things to an outsider. Briefly, Liu turned his gaze to Oris, who merely nodded his head forward in allowance.

"Yes."

Turning away, the newcomer walked back over to Oris and toward the exit. Stopping in front of the doors, he turned and gave both monks a quick glance.

"It is him. He will do."

The newcomer soon left and the circle of monks began to murmur. This had gone unnoticed by Liu Kang, who was silent in slight confusion about the whole ordeal. Master Oris soon called for silence and directed his attention to Liu Kang, who snapped out of his semi-dazed state.

"You have been chosen, Liu Kang; for Mortal Kombat."

-0-

"You…you were?"

"Yes. And it was a surprise to be sure. I would have never imagined to be chosen for the sacred tournament." His gaze turned away from them for a moment, seemingly in contemplation. "And at such a time as this…"

"Are there others?" Sakura found herself asking. "Chosen ones?"

"From Lord Raiden?" Liu answered. "I can not say for sure, although I believe there may be at least two others."

Naruto tilted his head. "How can you tell?"

"For those chosen, either by Lord Raiden or by Shang Tsung, a distinct mark lingers on their chi, a mark I can detect." His gaze swept from Naruto to Sakura and back again. "It is how I began to suspect the two of you."

"Two of…?" Naruto suddenly turned his head about in search. "Hey, where's Kakashi-sensei?"

Blinking, Sakura looked about as well, but there was no sign of the copy-ninja anywhere. He had been standing next to her throughout Naruto's match; that much she knew for sure. He must have left during her rush to help Naruto. But he would have told them he was leaving, even if he was called away for a match.

At least, he should have, right?


The shadow monks passed through the hallways of the palace, silent in their activities to their sinister master. Despite their shared appearance, there were marked differences in their uniforms. While they were dressed in black shrouds with hoods, there were a few whose robes were a bit more elegant and stylish, indicating a higher rank. It took him a good minute or so to distinguish the difference, all the while being equally silent as he watched them pass by, his own presence completely undetected by them.

'That one will do.'

Focusing on one such monk, he made his move, remaining silent as he swiftly moved through hallway, with his target continuing on in front of him oblivious. Veering close, he made a quick look around to make sure no one else was around before he then lightly tapped on the monk's shoulder.

"Excuse me. I need a bit of help."

The shadow monk turned, only to be faced with a masked figure with a very familiar red and black spiral of an eye. Too late, the monk had found himself frozen in place as his vision and mind was filled with the said spiral of the Sharingan.

"I have some questions that need answers."