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PostPosted: Mon Sep 6, '10, 3:46 pm
This is the final part of "The Demon Rods". I had to retcon (i.e. edit) a small bit of dialogue from the previous chapter the make room for the events of this chapter, but nothing really major.

Kaire, still aching all over from the numerous zan blasts she had taken, dragged her body along the floor to the other side of the room, wincing with each movement. She groaned and whined, but soon made her way to the vial of dai mei that Zi-Ou had left her before leaving. Although she still seethed with anger toward her colleague, Kaire set those feelings aside in order to focus on her getting out of the house and to safety before she was found out by anyone. Opening the vial of the curative liquid, she rubbed a little on her legs and torso, which quickly negated a fair portion of the pain she was feeling and gave her the strength she needed to get back to her feet.

Kaire limped out of the room she was in and back into the main room of the house. She saw that the dead bodies of Xie A’Tou, Gi Le-Fa, and Li Fa-Gan, were still lying on the floor. The entire room looked like a war zone, with the blood of the slain splattered about and the furniture reduced to splinters. Kaire saw the fallen form of Saya, whose body began to fade into nothingness. Kaire remembered the heart-wrenching sight of Saya’s final moments, and her anger flared once again at Zi-Ou. For a moment, she imagined herself pouncing on that murderer and stabbing him with her piercer until the fiend was completely unrecognizable as a human being. Kaire quickly banished the thought from her mind, however, as she focused herself on the task at hand.

Inspecting each of the three fallen sorcerers, Kaire found a bag of money on each of them, which she removed and placed in her pouch, which had fallen from her belt when she began dueling with Zi-Ou. Rummaging through her pouch, she found one last vial of dai mei that she herself had brought and applied it to her wounds. Feeling more refreshed than before, Kaire was able to move about a little more quickly and gathered together her things. She removed one of her piercers from the throat of Li Fa-Gan and picked up the other one from off the ground and stuffed both into her brown vest. She picked up her leather cap from off the table and covered her bloodstained blue hair with it. Near the wall lay her eight-trigram mirror, which she grabbed and tied to her belt.

“What to do with the bodies of these three scoundrels,” she said to herself.

Kaire then had an idea. She dragged the three bodies outside one by one and piled one on top of the other. She stepped back a couple of steps and placed her right index and middle fingers on her forehead. She began chanting an incantation and then said the word “nafoi” under her breath. A large ball of dark-orange fire formed above her left palm. Pointing her right hand at the three bodies, the fireball flew towards the three bodies. In a matter of seconds, the bodies were reduced to a pile of ashes, which were quickly scattered by the wind.

It was while she was outside that Kaire spied a small pile of blue flower petals on the ground near the wall of the house. Kaire solemnly walked over to the wall and saw the mangled green stalk of the bellflower, of Saya herself. Kaire wiped away a tear as she lifted up the stalk and petals and examined them closely. Getting to her knees, Kaire dug into the soft black earth with her hands and made a small hole. Placing the twisted, shredded stalk and beautiful blue petals into the hole, Kaire began to cover it with the earth.

It was as she performed Saya’s “burial” that Kaire spotted something in the soil that immediately gave her a warm feeling. Half buried in the dirt was a dry, tan-colored object. She reached over and grabbed it, taking a close look at it. With a light shake, she heard a comforting rattle.

“A seedbox,” Kaire whispered to herself.

Kaire quickly stuffed the seedbox into her pouch and went back into the house. She rummaged through the house and was able to find a pen and a small piece of paper. With a current of hope flowing through her veins, Kaire scribbled a small note for Han, Saya’s husband. Something had to be done about Zi-Ou and, more importantly, Lau Shek, before more innocent lives were lost. As she placed the note on the table and headed for the door, her mind began to fill with various different ideas of what plan she could elaborate to put an end to this madness. Nonetheless, she could not do it alone. If Lung Han were to agree with her, than he would be her first ally. But she would need more than simply one scholar by her side.

As she stepped out the gate and started hurrying to the rendezvous point, a single idea made its way into her head and refused to leave. The idea was summed up into one word: Refuge.
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