"Hey! You are back! I've been waiting for you guys." Kylie leapt off the chair to welcome the duo. It was evident that she had been sleeping ( she was rubbing her eyes and yawning ).
"Ah. We were at the library searching for stuff." Andy announced.
"So did you people find what you were looking for?" She asked.
"Yep." Andy chirped.
"No. Not really." Shu Han replied coldly and stuffed his hands into his pockets. "So, what are we here for?"
"Oh. My father told me to get you a weapon. Since we are going to have the mission soon, I reckon you should train and practice with a weapon. Come, let's go to the armoury to select yours."
"Okay. But what about you guys. Don't you need a weapon too?"
"It's all right. When you were in a coma, we had already selected ours." She took from her closet a long, curled length of rope. "This is mine. It's a whip. Our family has been using it for centuries. It's passed down to me by my mother. So I didn't really have to get from the armoury."
Shu Han turned to Andy. "What's yours then."
"Oh. Mine's a katana." He brandished a thirty inch long thin blade that shimmered under the room light.
"Nice. It's pretty long and sharp. Dangerous man. What should I choose then? I really don't know. I mean, I've never handled a weapon before."
"We will help you then. But it's really up to you."
"Thanks a big deal." He followed Andy and Kylie out of the room, down the corridor and towards the armoury.
"Here we are. Come in." Kylie unlocked the door with a key and kicked it open.
He stepped into the massive room and looked around it. It was an enormous storage room containing hundreds of different weapons. They glinted sharply in the dim light and Shu Han started to feel cold.
The voice stirred in him and screeched. "Murderers! Evil! The very ones that slain my fathers!"
Shu Han clasped his ears and forehead, the words ringing in his mind loudly.
"What's wrong Shu Han?" Kylie asked worriedly.
"Huh? Oh, nothing." Shu Han replied coolly.
He continued to explore the room. At times, he played around with a dagger, and dangled a whip from his hands. Those did not fit him. He tried slashing the air with a katana and attempted to lift a claymore ( which was too heavy ).
"So, what's your choice?" Kylie asked.
Shu Han sighed and sat down on the floor, lifting his head to glance around the cupboards. "I really don't know. Nothing seems to fit me."
"I believe you will find something for yourself. Oh, you are Chinese right?"
"Yea. Why do you ask?"
"I thought of something that might fit you. Come!" She leapt off and practically dragged Shu Han along on the floor in her excitement.
"Here's the Chinese Dao or sabre. Try it. We don't really have many of them. Nobody really knows how to use them anyway."
The moment Shu Han's palms came into contact with the Dao, he felt a tremor of excitement vibrate through him.
"It's correct! I found my weapon! I found my weapon!" He roared.
The voice smiled and nodded his "head" in approval. "Very well then. Why don't you try out what you have just learnt?"
"Wah?" Shu Han asked aloud.
"Water Sabre." The voice growled sinisterly and its will paralyzed Shu Han's sanity temporarily.
"Look at my eyes."
"What's wrong?" She lifted her head to stare into his eyes and her jaw dropped open. It was sapphire blue.
"Andy come here! Something's wrong with Shu Han!" She called out urgently. Andy came jogging towards her from a corner where he was practicing with his katana.
"What's wrong?" Andy inquired curiously.
"His … his eyes!"
Shu/Wu Han nodded. "Yes … yes. My eyes are nice, aren't they?"
"Uhh. Not really." Andy tried to laugh but there was no sound.
Shu Han glanced in his dazed state down at his Dao and glared at Andy's katana.
"Braze yourself Andy." He hissed and leapt up into the air. Tapping his feet at the knob of a cupboard, he ascended higher and executed a swift flip in the air. Slashing out the word "Shui", he landed on a surprised Andy who quickly took the blows with his katana.
"Why? Why … you attacked … me?" Andy asked bewilderedly.
"I don't know. Sor … sorry." Shu Han hesitated.
The voice boomed. "No! Don't stop! Fight! Water Sabre again!" Its will and mindpower crushed more of Shu Han's consciousness and his eyes became crystal blue.
Grinning, Shu Han pounced on Andy and brought down multiple slashes in the form of "Hai" , all aimed at his chest.
"Argh!" A startled Andy cried out as his vest was torn apart. His katana immediately shot out to ward off the remaining attacks.
Shu Han flipped around to deliver a cut to Andy's shin.
The voice sighed. "No … not enough. Not good enough. Use He."
Shu Han nodded and drew the Chinese word "He" with his Dao. Each stroke was deathly and Andy was now perspiring.
"Shu Han! Stop! Please stop! You are going to kill Andy!" Kylie yelled and joined in the battle to protect Andy. She wielded her whip and threw out the end of it towards Shu Han.
"Girl. Get away." The voice moved Shu Han's mouth to form words.
Shu Han was now familiarized with the Water Sabre art. He had learnt all the different nine stances – He, Shui, Hai, Han, Yu, Jiu, Zheng, Xi, Wu. Again and again, he brought them down at Kylie and Andy. His attacks were now swifter and more coordinated.
"You are doing good." The voice praised. "Now try out combinations. Use your aura. They then will not be of any threats to you."
Shu Han nodded silently. He shouted. "Zheng! Wu! Han! Shui!" He closed his eyes and pictured all four stances executed together at the same time and allowed his arms to direct him. To finish off the final touches, he concentrated his Yang fire aura and allowed it to flow from his crystal ring into the Dao.
Shu Han released this combination at the duo and they were thrown off a few metres away.
The voice sighed. "Very good. Ahhh. I'm very tired." It yawned and went back to sleep.
The sudden release of the voice's will suppressed on Shu Han's sanity resulted in the instant return of his consciousness. Though without any ill intention, it was a hard blow to Shu Han ( how would you feel to wake instantly from sleep to alertness ) and he collapsed onto the ground and fainted.
"You are awake." A concerned voice exclaimed in relief.
Shu Han gazed around lazily with half-opened eyes and closed it again. He tried to recall what happened before he slipped into consciousness. But it was returning slowly. Not fast enough.
"What happened?" He asked, frustrated.
"You fainted." Andy shrugged.
"You attacked us." Kylie added.
"You are kidding."
"No we are not." Kylie and Andy replied in unison.
"Look at my injuries!" Andy rolled up his sleeve to reveal multiple cuts. His other arm was in a cast while his left leg was wrapped in plaster.
"And mine too!" Kylie was leaning on crutches and her head was wrapped in bandadges.
"YES!" They chirped angrily in unison.
"What was that for!" Kylie yelled.
"Why did you hit me?" Andy roared.
"It … it was unintentional. Something …" Shu Han attempted to recall again. There was a trickle. Then a flow of memories. "Something took over me. It whispered in my ears. I couldn't control myself."
"Is he gone now? Are you okay?" Kylie asked softly. Her previous rage was almost instantaneously erased.
"I don't know. I think he's still in me."
Andy backed away frightfully.
"I think." Shu Han emphasized. "But mostly he's gone now for the time being."
"I really wouldn't want him to come back. Did he come to you before?" Andy asked worriedly.
"I think so. On that stage where I killed …. Killed the guy. What's his name?"
"Jake." Kylie helped him up into a sitting position.
"Oh. When I killed Jake, I felt something powerful in me. And the moves just came to me."
"Man … are you dangerous." Andy took a few more steps back.
"Andy!" Kylie glared at him angrily. "He's our friend you know!"
"But after what he did to us back at the armoury?"
"Andy!" Kylie glared harder at him.
"Okay okay! I'm defeated." Andy raised his hands up above his shoulders.
Shu Han grinned at the commotion. "So how long was I knocked out?"
"Four days. You'd better heal faster or you wouldn't be able to participate in tomorrow's mission."
Shu Han groaned. "Not again. The day when I woke up … I go back to this bed." He sighed.
Kylie sat down beside his bed and tried to calm him down.
"Oh. What about you guys? Aren't you injured?" He gestured to both of them.
"Not really." Andy tore off his cast and plaster and Kylie stood up and unwrapped her bandadge.
"Wah." Shu Han looked lost.
"With the first-class technology of LKC, do you think we will stay injured for long? Of course not. Don't look down so much on your own company. Our disguise was mainly to convince you how much damage you dealt to us." Andy shrugged.
Shu Han brightened. "Does that mean I can … you know … recover in a few hours?"
Andy's smile slipped off his face. "No. Your injury is not a physical one. There has been some mental damage to your mind. It could take days to recover."
"I don't feel anything wrong."
"There is. Try moving." Kylie probed.
Shu Han attempted to lift his leg but found out that he was currently immobile.
"Oh no. What … what happened."
"Apparently. The doctor says you have a mental disorder."
"NO! I don't."
"We say the mental wound was made by the sudden removal of the "something's" control, when your mind suddenly snapped back free. Take a rubber band for example. You pull it but when you release the pressure while still holding onto it, the rubber band hits back at you. Same stuff. If you recover fast, you can join us tomorrow."
Shu Han groaned sadly.
"Oh, don't do that. It's a get-back-at-you for whacking us." Andy smiled and left.
"He didn't really mean that." Kylie said. "You know how he jokes around."
"I know." Shu Han looked down and answered softly. "I know."
"Well." Kylie stood up and blushed sheepishly. "Hope you get well soon. We really want you to make it to the mission. It's our first after all."
She bent down, kissed him quickly and left.
"So you have awakened." The voice spoke quietly in his mind.
"You again!" He shouted out aloud.
"Shhh. No need to speak verbally. Think. With your mind. To me. I have a lot of things to tell you."
"Bring it on then." Shu Han thought.
"How old are you now?"
"I slept for 15 years. No wonder I'm so tired. Damnit. If I'd slept more, I would not be able to wake up again."
"Listen up. You are in grave danger - "
"Don't cut me."
At this point of time, Kylie chose to enter the room.
"Uh. Who were you speaking to?"
"Nobody? Me. Myself. I think."
"Nothing. Never mind." Shu Han raised his hands to sweep the thought away.
Kylie stood rooted to the ground, her movements frozen. "What did you just do?"
"Huh. What do you mean."
"You just waved didn't you?"
"Yea. What's wrong with that."
It was at this moment when Kylie leapt into the bed and hugged Shu Han. "You can move now! My god! You recover so fast."
Shu Han frowned and finally, her words made sense to him. He could move! He reckoned that the voice's appearance had something to do with it.
"What are you two doing?" An enraged voice boomed.
"Oh! Andy!" Kylie took off from the bed and sprang to him. "Shu Han can move, he can join us tomorrow."
"No. I mean. What were you doing in his bed?"
A/N: Here's another chapter. There isn't much in this but I'd felt that I cannot just leap to their first mission directly. There needs to be a precursor to fill up the gap. But I promise that the next chapter will have a hidden surprise. Anyway,we now learn in this chapterthat Kylie's cousin may have some feelings for her. So, could it be that Shu Han is stuck in a love triangle? That's for you ppl to guess. R & R pls! I will treasure them. It would do alot for me.Thanks.