I sit cross legged on the rocky surface as I look out over the water and at the small sliver of sun peeking over the horizon. I stare directly at the blinding sun 'till two spot, one yellow the other black, appear every time I close my eyes. My eyelids begin to droop and my breathing slows down until a voice flows through the air and makes me jump.
"Hey Johnny." I sigh as I push myself to my feet and pull the legs of my shorts down to cover more of my thigh. "What's up?"
"We never finished our talk."
I attempt a smile which he buys and he begins to drone on about his many movies and fans.
"Conceited much?" I mumble under my breath but Johnny was too distracted by his story telling to notice.
"So what do you think?" Johnny pauses and looks straight into my eyes. Inwardly I cringe at the question as he watches me expectantly.
"Um… I'm not quite sure what I think." I say with a half-smile and a shrug.
With eyes wide and mouth agape he blubbered, "How can you say that? He was the one in the wrong not me."
The color drains from my face as I search for a suitable reply. A smile form on my lips as I found my answer, "Yes, well from what you told me I was unable to make a decision. But now I do since you pointed it out."
His brow furrows but soon clear and is replaced by a smile, "I can see how that could have happened."
"Glad you understand."
"So how come you're out here so early?" He asks before turning his head to face the slowly rising sun.
"Couldn't sleep and I wanted to think a bit." I reply as I too look out to the sun, "You?"
"I was on my way to train, so I should probably get going. See you at the arena and hope your neck gets better." he says and he begins to saunter off.
"Bye." I call out to him as I reach up to trace the cut on my neck. The footsteps fade into the distance until they disappeared altogether. I took in a deep breath when the sound of footsteps parade through the air and then suddenly stop. I think nothing of it and continue to watch the horizon. Without warning I feel a hand on my back. Before I can move there's a pressure on my back and I tumble forward.
I fall to the ground; my head, shoulders and part of my upper torso over the edge of the cliff. I start to pull myself back when the two rocks I was using for leverage falls out of their sockets. They clank as they plummet and land in the water with a splash along with the other rocks they had knocked out. I bump my head on another rock as I slip another three inches from my perch. Groaning from the sharp rocks jabbing into my stomach I attempt to push myself backwards but more rocks come loose and spiral down.
"Aah!" I yelp as I flip down. I grab unto a larger rock and stop myself from plunging into the water. My fingers begin to slide off the rock and I search for a hole. I find nothing. It isn't long until my fingers slip all the way off and I am unable to grab onto anything. Suddenly something grabs a hold of my wrist.
"You're going to have to help."
I look up into the face of Huang and I smile, "Okay."
With him pulling me up and me stepping on rocks I get on solid ground in no time.
"Thanks." I smile before pulling a few rocks out of my hands.
"No problem, but we should probably get going."
I nod and he heads off but I stop to take one last look at the sun. Shaking my head I turn and follow Huang.
– – –
I slowly walked by the cliff Kasai was sitting on. She was staring out into the sunrise, about a day after the incident with the gray ninja, who I now know is named Smoke. It was as simple as asking Raiden who he was. So, now I knew who I wanted to fight as a rival, as the thunder god had promised.
When I noticed Cage walking toward her, I stopped to make sure he didn't try anything. I had seen him flirt with Sonya Blade and is probably still trying. I saw him grin, and I knew my waiting was a good idea.
It turned out to be a simple conversation, or rather, Cage gloating about his career. Such is typical for an actor, I suppose. When he walked off, I was about to leave as well.
That is, until I witnessed Smoke teleport in, walk up behind Kasai, and push her off the cliff.
I was sprinting the one meter from me to Kasai, wanting to murder Smoke for his audacity. When I heard Kasai scream, I ran faster. I didn't want to lose...no, don't think that.
She started falling as soon as I grabbed her wrist. Kasai slowly opened her eyes, probably registering that she was still alive. When she looked up at me, she smiled wide, and helped me as I pulled her up.
"Thanks," she said.
"No problem," I replied.
This is about when I turned to leave the cliff. I turned and glanced into the forest, and didn't see that gray ninja. I continued walking, and it was just now that I realized the length of the walk from my quarters to the cliff face. I noticed Kasai walking the same direction as me.
"Hello again," I said nonchalantly.
"Who was that guy?" She asked that as if she didn't know.
I glance at her. "Remember your attacker from a few days ago?"
At that moment I watched her face. In the span of about a second her emotions spanned from realization to grief to anger.
"That bastard!" She. Was. Pissed.
"I agree. I think the Lin Kuei might have a price on your head." Kasai gave me a look of confusion. "For killing Sub Zero."
"What is the ninja's name?"
We both stopped. She was in another bloodlust.
"I'll kill him." I knew that she was seeing red. It was rather obvious.
I close my eyes. "No. You do not have the skill to face a Lin Kuei assassin."
When I opened my eyes, Kasai was already walking away.
I caught up and grabbed her shoulder. "I can't let you fight him. I...I don't want someone else I care about winding up dead."
When the red mist in her eyes faded, she registered the sentence I had just said. In particular, she heard the part about my caring about her. Her eyes went from a state of rage to a...thankful state, I don't exactly know how to describe it. Her arms fell limply to her sides, and she began to tear up.
"You...you care about me?" This is about the time when she broke down. Knowing she has only done this once before, I hug her and let her cry into my shoulder.
We stand like this in the middle of this trail in the woods for about ten minutes when her breakdown rolls through.
She jumped out of my arms. "Th-thank you for that. I-I needed it." You could tell she had been crying, and that she was embarrassed, as her face was a stark red.
"It's no problem at all. And I do care about you. Too much to let you kill yourself over a couple of attacks. I'll kill him."
She digested that statement for a bit. "No. You don't need to kill him. You haven't killed yet, don't start now. If you spare him, he might stop his attacks out of honor for being spared."
"Might." I look at her, straight into the eyes. "I just don't want him attacking you again."
"I understand that, Li." She stared into my eyes as well. "But don't do what I did."
– – –
When I return to my quarters, there is a fighting notice posted on my door. It is a fight between me and...Smoke.