Wow, sorry for the incredibly late update. Exams started and I had a wedding to go to in Alaska. I live in the east coast, so it was quite an amazing trip.

I do not own any of the characters. They are owned by KOEI Corporation.

~ The Wu Palace, The Dining Hall

After going through many hallways, we finally reached our destination. I stared in amazement at the two giant double doors that led to the dining hall. Lu Xun peeked inside and then turned to smile at me. *Hmm? I wonder what's going on…I hope there aren't too many people inside. I don't want to be around other people I don't know.* Lu Xun opened the door all the way for me to see.

It was so bright, but there was a pleasant atmosphere resonating from the giant room. I saw a huge, sparkling chandelier, several giant royal rugs, a number of long dining tables, and two giant fireplaces on either sides of the room. *Spectacular!* I took a few steps forward and realized that there were many eyes on me. The people who were in there, stared at me with looks of shock and happiness. *I don't like this.* I looked back and forth at the many different sets of eyes that stared back at me. *Too many people.* The eyes looked at one another and then back at me again. *Too many people I don't know.* I began to sweat. *What if they want to hurt me?* My hands began to shake. *So many dark deeds.* My heart beat rapidly. *Dark…just like…just like…*

"Shang Xiang…Shang Xiang, are you all right?" Lu Xun began to kneel down next to me.

"The darkman…" I whispered. "N-no-no-no-no…just…KEEP AWAY FROM ME!" I shouted in pure fright. Without thinking, I began to run away. I went as fast as my body allowed me. It ached from exhaustion and overexertion. It felt like I had two heavy weights tied to my legs. I ran down random hallways, without the slightest clue as to where I was going. Suddenly, I felt two hands grab my arms, and I came to a halt.

"No! Not again! Please!" I turned around and slapped the person behind who had a hold of me.

POV of Lu Xun-

*Where is she? What happened back there?* I ran down the halls in search for her. *Was she afraid of everyone? Was I trying too hard and reintegrated her with everyone else too quickly? Was she simply not ready?* I heard a scream down a few hallways.

"Shang Xiang! Stop running! I'm coming! Just stay where you are! I'll find you!" I turned a corner and saw someone kneeling down, with their back to me. The person turned around. It was Zhou Tai. And standing in front of him was Shang Xiang, staring up at him in wonder.

"There you are!" I ran over. "Lord Zhou Tai, please forgive me." I bowed in apology.

"Hmm." He stood up and looked over to Shang Xiang, who was still staring at him in interest. "Behave. Stay with him." He pointed at me. She smiled slightly and nodded at him. He turned to me and bowed, and then walked away.

I ran over to Shang Xiang. "Are you all right? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you back there." She again backed away from me a little bit as if I was a tad too close.

"No, I'm fine. Hey, Lu Xun. Who was that man?"

"That was Zhou Tai. He's our lord's body guard. He makes sure our lord is safe from harm."

"You know…that makes sense!" She turned to me with astonished eyes. "He came up from behind me and well, I accidentally slapped him because he scared me, but when I looked into his eyes…I felt a reassurance…as if I suddenly just KNEW I was going to be ok…does that make sense?"

"Well, sure. He's our Lord's body guard for a reason, right?...So tell me, what happened back there?" I insisted to know. She looked at me, then at the ground.

"I got…I realized I had to go to the bathroom! Yeah, bathroom." She terribly lied. *Yeah, that's Shang Xiang. Not wanting to admit when she was afraid.*

"Be honest. The sooner you tell me the truth, the sooner I can solve the problem."

She looked ashamed. She kept her head down and continued to fiddle with her fingers. The hallway was quiet.

"I got scared, Lu Xun." She finally admitted. "I saw so many people. So many people were looking right at me. Some looked shocked and others had smiles, but there were so many of them. Too many strangers. I don't know them. I don't know what they're capable of. What if one of them was the dark man? What if one of them worked for him?" she turned to me with panic in her face.

"Shang Xiang…no one is going to hurt you." I went to give her a hug. But she stuck her hand out to keep me away. I put my arms back down and gave a quizzical look.

"I'm sorry, but…even you…I…I am still a little unsure of. I know you're not bad. I know you're not going to hurt me. I even know that you and I are very close and have been for years, but…I still don't know quite yet." She gave an apologetic look.

It hurt me to my core to hear her say that to me. I felt my stomach drop. "No, I understand. It's just your first day back. You still need time to get to know everyone again." I stood up. "And as for the things that you feared, let those drift away from your mind. You are safe here. All of the people in that dining hall are people who care about your well-being."

"Okay. I'm sorry for what I did back there. I feel a little better now." She took another deep breath.

"Me too. I think I have a little better understanding of you now as well."

"Umm, for now, can I just eat by myself…away from everyone else?" she nervously asked. I didn't want her to be isolated. I wanted her to be around the people who care about her. The people who also worried about her as much as I did should see her, too. But maybe it's not good for her to be thrown into a crowd. Maybe she needs a slower approach.

"Yeah, I think it will be ok."

As I stated, it isn't a very fast-winded story. Not a short one. So if it's your cup of tea, then fantastic! :D

Again, thanks for sticking with me. Read, enjoy, and review pretty please.