A/N: Chapter Five, ladies and gentlemen! This is another majority of writing by Death for One, and I really appreciate it. I went through a minor...issue...with my computer. But anyways, here we go!
I wake with a hard pounding in my head and a ringing in my ears.
"Where am I?" I mutter groggily as I rub my eyes. It takes a few seconds but soon the memories come flooding back. Groaning I slowly get out of bed and get dressed. I fling open my door and instantly hit by a blinding light, a blinding light that says I'm late.
'Crap' I think to myself while I rush out the door and toward the arena.
"Today's fighters will be Huang Li versus Reptile." Shang Tsung states as I trot up to the crowd. The crowd roars as the two men step forward. An eerie calm washes over everybody as Shang Tsung shouts the well-known word.
Reptile leaps forward with a quick jab, but it's quickly blocked. A swift counter attack followed, by Huang. Reptile hit the ground with a thud from the force of Huang's kick. Snickers scatter through the air; and I'll admit I joined in.
"Ooh." The man next to me groaned for Reptile. I send him a look, shake my head and return to the fight just in time to see Reptile spit acid. My nose crinkled in disgusts as Huang staggered back from it. He had just regained his balance when Reptile sent a force ball. Huang recovered a bit faster this time and was ready for Reptile as he tried a kick. Light surrounded his fist as he brought his fist up and into Reptile's jaw.
"Whoa." I state reeling from the sudden flash of light. Reptile flew up in the air a good distance before slamming back down onto the earth. He hadn't even straightened all the way when another bright light flashed and Huang was right behind him. Huang grabbed Reptile's right leg while dislocating the left knee with a literally bone-shattering kick. Huang is almost emotionless as he twists the right leg, once Reptile falls he clomps on his neck, crushing it. Reptile slowly and barely was able to get back up. It was evident who had won.
"Finish Him!" Shang Tsung commands, staring hard at the Earthrealm fighter.
"Mercy." Huang replied without hesitation. Shang glares with disgust but does nothing. With the match over many people went over to congratulate him, but I couldn't. Pounds of guilt and shame wash over me as I watch Huang get the respect he deserves from sparing lives. Quietly I turn and run into a yellow clad chest. Wincing I look up to stare into pupil-less eyes.
"Sorry about that sugar. I'd best be going." I say with a nervous chuckle. I hurry away but a glance behind me shows that he's still glaring at me.
"What did I ever do to him?" I wonder aloud as I kick a rock from my path.
"Sub-Zero." A low voice said from behind me. Startled I gasp as I twist around. "You startled me." I laugh with a smile.
"Sorry." Huang replied and took a step back.
"It's okay. Um I have to go so… bye." I began to walk again, only faster. Unfortunately somebody up there hates me, because I knock heads with Sonya; literally.
"Watch where you're going!" She yells as she pushes. Red blazes before me, but I quickly smother the embers.
"I'm not in the mood for this." I mutter. I step around, ignoring her outbursts and head back to my house.
I'm beginning to wonder-seriously this time-if I should tell Kasai about Sub-Zero and Scorpion. The way that I saw the yellow specter glaring at the girl was seriously concerning me. If there were a method of keeping Kasai away from Scorpion, I would use it.
I consider my options in this matter. I dare not ask anything of Tsung, despite his rather generous nature he seemed to give off as far as requests. I can't enter the Netherrealm, as my soul is not tainted. So, I guess I'll wait it out.
As I finish receiving congratulations of the other Earthrealmers, I begin the trek towards my quarters. I haven't even reached the end of the Warrior's Shrine when I become cornered by Scorpion.
"You. Why do you give Mercy to your opponents." He says this in a fashion that makes in more of a statement than question. He seems to study me, seeing if I am weak. Confident enough, I am not scared.
"I am here for one life, and one life only." He eyes me curiously, and I stare him straight back in the eye, unafraid.
"And who might that be?"
"I do not yet know. I am here with a similar goal to you; vengeance of a family."
"Yes we share similar goals," he echoes, "But mine was taken from me."
I already see where this is going. "Kasai?"
He glares. "You know her name?"
"We've met." Calm.
"Do you know the location of her quarters?" Bloodlust.
"I might." Calm.
"You will tell me, or have your throat slit." Rage.
"I will not let you slay her, specter." Insistence.
He sends a slice of his kunai my way that is clear to see. I get into my fighting stance, as does he, and he lunges first. It is a kick that I see, but a punch that I receive. From behind. This confuses me, as he was just in front of me. I catch a fist, and as I wrench the hand back, his face contorts in pain, and he falls to his knees. I ax kick him in the head, and he is knocked unconscious.
That's when I realize, spontaneously, that Kasai didn't congratulate me. I head to her quarters, hoping that she is okay.
– – –
As I reach the door to her hut, I pause and listen. I hear soft sobbing, almost too soft to hear. She must be crying. When I knock on the door, I receive no answer.
"Kasai, it's me." She's learned to recognize my voice only three days into the tournament.
When she finally opens the door, my suspicion of her crying is confirmed by red tracks on her cheeks. Her black hair, usually in a tidy braid, is frazzled, and she is holding her hatchet in her hand tightly.
"Hi." She attempts-and fails-a smile, and is soon sobbing again.
"Is something wrong?" She steps into her quarters and I follow.
"I feel ashamed for killing Sub-Zero, while you get an incredible amount of admiration and respect from the rest of the Earthrealmers for sparing lives. I was not worthy to congratulate you."
Her head is down, almost in a timid way, being the polar opposite of her usual social and slightly obnoxious behavior. This must be a result of my outburst at the event.
"Kasai," I say. She still looks down. "Kasai, look at me."
This raises her head.
"You are more worthy to congratulate me after a successful match more than any other male or female in this tournament."
She stops, probably registering what I had just said, and her sad eyes slowly become happy. A wide grin creeps its way onto her face. "You think?"
Suddenly, she hugs me. This surprised me.
"I came here for a reason though." I break the hug and tell her about the story of Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and my recent encounter with him.
When I finished, a face of realization appeared. "So that's why he was glaring at me."
"Yes, and he probably wants to kill you." That unintentionally scared her. "But I will protect you. Even if I die, I shall ask the Elder Gods to watch over you with the utmost care."
She hugged me again, mumbling her thanks, and tears start to fall again.
"Don't cry. Be strong. You'll be protected," I tell her. After a small peck on the cheek from her, I turn to leave, but she stops me.
"I want to see that dagger you were talking about in action." A mischievous grin is on her face.