Lonely Sunsets: Chapter 3

Knocked to the ground she did not yield, instead fought to take as many with her as possible. She could not use her techniques on this bunch, they would have been killed. Instead she took the normal staff Katas she had learned and worked.

Her mind and senses could not be everywhere at once and as she was overwhelmed one of the boys struck at the base of her neck knocking her out. She never saw what happened after.

Lights slowly awoke the mystery girl and her mutterings of revenge and aspirin the size of Tokyo alerted her host that she was awake. She heard more than saw the movement from her blurry vision as her mind made it very clear to her that she hurt and she hurt badly. Gently raising one hand to her forehead the first thing to contact her mind was that she was not wearing her kasa and she was not in her room above the restaurant.

Snapping fully awake she turned her head to look for her staff and kasa when her neck reminded her of where she took the hit that knocked her out. "Oh, Kami-sama. What the hell did they hit me with?"

Her face was uncovered and she was probably going to get in trouble soon but she didn’t care. She hurt too much to care, right now all she wanted to do was get to the beach as soon as it was dark and get some meditation in. The healing chants would work, but she needed the proper frame of mind to do it.

A softened voice answered her question though startling her out of her mental reverie. "You were hit with an aluminum bat."

Her eyes snapped open at the voice and she groaned. To be hauled off the beach by the village guardian. How cliché. "How many know about this?"

Cye looked at her in surprise. He had not expected her to be so calm about her face being revealed when she had taken such pains to keep it hidden before. Swallowing his surprise he looked at her carefully not letting a hint of his thoughts of what he saw past the guard on his face. "No one but myself. For a traveler, you fought well."

"You saw my fighting then." She was really glad now that she had not used any of the special techniques. If Cye was able to walk up on her fight, who knows how many others had seen her.

"Yes, I am Mouri Cye. I only saw what happened as they caught you off guard when they mobbed you. The entire group is sitting in a jail cell right now being tended to by the physicians." He paused and then thought about what to tell her next, he could tell that her pride had been hurt as well and that made her possibly dangerous if he said something that she could construe as an insult.

"I came on the scene as you went down. An unfair fight and I was fresh, so I lent my assistance in the situation to keep you from being killed. Afterwards I brought you here to rest and heal. Then called the police, somehow I had the feeling that you would not have liked going to the hospital." His half smile disappeared as she glared at him.

"Look, I did not ask for your help, and if you had just let me be those thugs would have done someone else’s work for them. Now that you have seen my face, I have to kill you in open combat." Nikki was furious with this man’s stupidity. He seemed nice enough, but what she said was true, He had to die now. She preferred to do it in combat since it made it a slightly better chance that she would die. Unfortunately she never did die; she always won and killed the loser. Her anger was focused and the only gauge that she was even mildly peeved was her eyes. Her black eyes. They never reflected anything and she was born that way. The people of her village said she was cursed and wanted to kill her. They marked her with the brand of a dragon with its mouth open around her right eye to keep her from escaping as a child.

Her mother gave her over to the care of grandmother and they lived in the mountains for many years. Her grandmother teaching her everything she knew about healing and the martial arts. Her mother visited her once to give her a scroll. It was the family record. Any of the special techniques found in there were not to be shown to outsiders. She memorized the scroll and then burned it. The only record of her family history and the techniques remaining was now in her mind.

The village found her and her grandmother a few years ago and from there it was the beginning of the end. Grandmother sent her away with a purse of money, the staff that was carved specially for her and her traveling cloak. A few months ago the hood of the cloak was ripped off to expose her, she used the cloak itself to hide her face until she could get to the country.

Once there she came upon a merchant that sold hats. The kasa fit perfectly and it covered her face enough that she would not be bothered on her travels. Now it did not matter any more again. It was time to move on. Hopefully she would be killed this time instead of having to kill yet another innocent for having seen her face. But she could not risk being found. No matter what, She knew what happened to the last place she was in and did not kill the girl that saw her. The town was razed for fear that the curse had touched it.

Cye looked at her strangely and moved to continue the cleaning of her wounds. Nikki batted his hand away. "Did you not hear me? Why are you still trying to help me when I have to kill you now for seeing me."

"I know, but if it is going to be combat I do not want an unfair advantage." Cye was outwardly calm as he continued to treat her. She was extraordinarily alert for the wounds she had taken in the fight. Inwardly however he wondered just what the mark and the eyes meant. He was not about to admit to her that what had drawn him to the brawl with the Torrent Yari in hand was the surprising amount of energy that was not there for a fight of that size.

He had seen all of the people that had been knocked out of the fight but that still did not explain to him why he could not feel her energy. Even when he focused on her in her fight he could barely feel her, emotionally or otherwise. It was as if she was in the near perfect calm that Sage had been trying to reach ever since their last battle with Talpa.

She sniffed and eased herself into the sitting position against his protest when she came back at him. "Good grief, my pride is hurt worse than I am so just back off." The last part of the sentence came out in a snarl that made the warrior of trust step back in surprise. Looking over at the stool on the other side of the small hut they were in he grabbed the kasa and handed it to her hoping that once she was back into her anonymous state she would cool down. ~Sheesh, she worse than Ryo at times.~

Cocking her head at him he wondered if she had actually heard that mental remark and was relieved when she sat up straighter in the cot. Testing the edges she twisted herself around and the loud cracking noise that shot through the room startled the other occupant as she repeated the process in the other direction and then proceeded to do the same to her neck.

She relaxed even more and her voice became slightly softer as she recognized the unmistakable signs of her body on its way to a fast recovery. Turning to Cye she commented. "Tomorrow evening. After dark. I will meet you at the beach that the fight took place at. We will have the battle and the victor walks away. The loser gets buried."

She stood carefully knowing that she had some strained bones that were knitting. Moving to her staff she moved out of the hut before Cye could stop her. When he ran out to catch her before she did some permanent damage to herself he looked around and it was as if she had vanished.

Cye picked up his Yari and ran back to his home. Once there he picked up the phone and hit speed dial. "Comon you guys, pick up!" He had hit Rowen’s Cell number because like most nights at this hour he was usually awake studying for college. He was about to hang up when a voice on the other side answered. "Rowen here."

"Good to know you can be reached inside those books of yours. Listen get the guys and get down to my place tonight. There is someone you all might just want to see. Sage most of all." Cye wasn’t sure he was doing the right thing here, but that woman had a death wish for some reason and he was hoping that his friends would be able to help him out of this one. Granted the girl could fight well and might even be a challenge even in sub-armor, but something about her unnerved him like nothing in the dynasty ever did.

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