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 Jade Empire: The Departure(chpt 1)

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Kokujin
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PostSubject: Jade Empire: The Departure(chpt 1)   Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:07 pm

The Departure

“Let’s do this nice an’ slow, put it in the bag…”

The thug grabbed the merchant from behind, covering his mouth with one hand and gently pressing his curved scimitar into the man’s back, just hard enough to let the merchant know just how serious he was. The merchant flailed about as he mumbled eventually as he calmed down, the thug relaxed his hand, allowing the merchant to talk.

“I-I-I don’t w-want any trouble now! My silver is in the draw and my wares are all around.”

The thug smirked as he tossed the merchant into a corner of the stand, throwing things about. Another thug stood guard on the street, tapping his foot impatiently. In a dark corner, a young student watched the chaos as one of the thugs flipped over a shelf covered with pots. The loud clang caused the student to flinch and then suddenly he dashed towards the stand, lunging in the air towards the guarding thug. The bald student let out a sharp battle cry as he landed a powerful series of kicks onto the thug, sending him to the ground. The thug collapsed and the loud thud that followed caused citizens of the city to flee in all directions and the rest of the raiding thugs to stop their looting. One of the thugs, clad in dark black robes leapt out from behind the stand, the metal collar covering some scared flesh shown brightly in the sunlight.

“’Ey now, what’s this? The kid knows a few tricks eh?”

The thug was obviously the leader; he crossed his arms with a smirk beneath his black cloth veil that covered his nose and below. The rest of the ruffians clambered out from the stand, dropping their large bags and cracking their knuckles simultaneously.

“I-In the name of the Emperor I will stop you where you stand!”

The young man swallowed hard, clearly nervous at the daunting odds set before him. The leader of the gang chuckled as he walked towards the nervous student who tried to keep it obvious that his guard was up and strong as ever.

“You must be the pupil of this new Emperor. A perfect opportunity eh boys?”


The thugs chuckled as their circled around the student, the young man’s eyes darting about the six enemies ready to kill him. Panicking, the bald student lashed out with a kick to his right, knocking back one thug before turning around and landing a punch on another. The other four rushed towards him but suddenly stopped as their master whistled sharply, the thugs instantly halting.

“Skilled yes, but not enough to repel us.”

The gang leader extended his right hand faster than the mind could register, knocking the student into a fruit stand across the street with exploding force. The stand shattered completely, burying the Emperor’s pupil with wood, fruit, and debris. Moaning, the young man pulled himself from the wreck and straightened his faded orange robes. As he shuffled over to the thugs who laughed hysterically, save for the two who were rubbing their bruises.


“Tell your master that we’re waiting…and of course we’ll be having a little fun to occupy ourselves while we wait. I hope he’s hasty.”

The student quickly ran down the road towards the shining Imperial Palace as the sun was beginning touch the heart of the Empire…

The golden glow of the warm morning sun reflected off of the shining floors of the Imperial Palace. The throne room was just being kissed by the light of the rising sun as Eriku the Burning Spirit, now ruler of the Jade Empire, sat unmoving in his golden throne looking out over the beautiful jewel that was finally free from tyranny. The massive throne room was emptied but still memories of the battles that took place here danced across his mind as he stared out blankly. Eriku hadn’t slept much in the past week despite the extravagant celebrations and jovial moments. Although it wasn’t easy to begin the curing of the land and erasing the evils committed against the Empire and its people. Suddenly the Emperor turned his head as he heard the clicking of heels from his right. Empress Lian strode towards the throne still in her morning robes with a look of concern on her face as she approached the throne.


“Did you sleep at all?”

“No…”

Lian sighed a bit as she leaned on his shoulders and looked out at the priceless view that lay before them.

“The worst is behind us, sleep easy now. Please, I hate to see you like this.”

Eriku paused until he turned towards her again with a faint smile.

“There’s just a lot of pressure…the fate of the Empire lies in my hands. Soon enough things will be alright.”

Lian kissed his cheek, rubbing his shoulders briefly before standing up and walking a few feet forward, looking out at the view. Her long and majestic robes flapped with the intense breeze that whirred past the height of the Imperial Palace.

“It’s good to be with you here but…you seem distracted, like you’re out of place. I know how you feel about all of this but I promise that staying with me here will be worthwhile.”

She glanced back, beaming a warm and caring smile at him. Eriku stood from his throne, slightly quaking with fatigue before he walked over to the smiling Empress. He took her in his arms and smiled as they stared out at the rising sun. Before the moment could be taken in, a young student of Eriku’s barely managed to get past the guards of the throne room. Panting as he bowed, the bald headed young man grinned at his startled master.

“M-Master, Master Eriku! There is a group of thugs in the city who are startling the people. Their leader…he demands to see the Emperor or they threaten to kill innocent citizens! They’ve killed a guard already, you must come quickly!”

Eriku slowly let go of his Heavenly Lily, kissing her cheek briefly as he whispered something in her ear. Approaching his student, he grabbed his long sword that sat beside the throne and swung it freely.

“I’ll humor these thugs; come student, you have much to learn.”

The Emperor walked down the steps slowly, the yellow sash billowing in the wind as his young student scurried along to catch up to him. Empress Lian just leaned in the doorway, watching the out of place warrior stride into the alleys. She knew he didn’t belong here, rationalizing to herself, she believed that he would stay with her here ‘til the end of his days.

Anxious, a few of the thugs had been flipping over stands up and down the wide and normally beautiful street of the Imperial City. Two of the men kicked and cussed furiously at a poor man who tried to stand up for himself, now curled in the fetal position and bawling. The leader of the ruffians merely watched the chaos that ensued, his men wreaking havoc upon the poor people and no one seemed to do anything about it.

“This’ll teach ya’ to mess with us!”

One of the thugs snickered as he grabbed a spear from one of his fellows, raising it over the crying man, ready to plunge the cold steel into his unprotected flesh. Then suddenly, a blur of blue whirred past, knocking the thug off his feet and sending the spear flying. Emperor Eriku the Burning Spirit moved with unmatched grace, a true master of the Leaping Tiger form. Before the thugs even knew what happened, the vicious man dropped to his knees battered and bloodied. The Emperor turned to face the crowd of thugs and slowly approached, claws seemed to sprout from his hands as he moved close.

“Coming into the city, flipping over a few stands, and beating up a few peasants, that is a bold move for a rag tag bunch of thugs.”

Three masked men rushed towards Eriku; quickly, the Emperor parried one blow and grabbed a fist that was coming right for him and throwing the thug into the collapsed fruit stand on the corner. Eriku made short work of the other two, landing a clean punch to the face of one while knocking the other down with a sweep kick. Flipping backwards, the Emperor rolled his neck, cracking it in a dozen places as he readied himself for more enemies.

“So, this is the Emperor, savior of the land eh? You’re…shorter than I imagined.”

The leader of the gang strode over confidently, laughing lightly to himself as he approached Eriku. The Emperor relaxed a bit, his form loosening as he turned to face the leader of the thugs, taking note of the steel that surrounded his neck and the cloth that covered most of his face.

“And you must be the one who my student speaks of…you demanded to see me, well here I am.”

Eriku glanced over at his student who waited in the ally for a signal to attack. The gang leader looked around as if embracing the beauty of the sky, sadly enough the sun was concealed by a black layer of clouds. Glancing back at the Emperor, the thug drew a shining black scimitar and spun it about as he spoke.

“Well Emperor, it seems that your rule has caused many pirates to disband after multiple attacks against them by your troops. Many of these pirates were my business associates and my pockets have been running empty for far too long, I’m here to collect what you owe me.”

The thug swung the blade high; Eriku leaned back and quickly drew his own long sword, stepping back as he readied himself. Spinning quickly, the Emperor clashed swords with the thug, exchanging a fast paced series of attacks and parries. Some street side merchants emerged from their hiding to watch the spectacle of skill as the two continued their duel. Locking swords, the two breathed heavily now, surprised with each other’s skill.

“You handle a sword well for a common thug.”

Eriku grinned as he narrowed his eyes, pushing hard as his blade and forcing the thug backwards. The gang leader threw off his large black cloak and spun his curved sword with increasing speed, seething hate in his every motion as he charged towards the Emperor. The sharp sound of metal screeching together struck at the eardrums of onlookers as the two continued their dance of death.

The Emperor knocked the gang leader back with a powerful kick to the gut but was suddenly swarmed by two of the other thugs. Ducking the first punch, Eriku drove his blade into the first thug’s gut, a spray of gore splattering against the other shocked ruffians. Tearing his blade from the fresh corpse, the Emperor turned and hacked the second in half before effortlessly turning to the leader to parry yet another blow without pause. Hacking and slashing through the air, the thug leader was losing his grace as the battle ensued. Capitalizing on this weakness, the Emperor slid between the thug’s guard, forcing the blade through steel, flesh, and bone. As Eriku pulled his sword from the thug’s gut, he dropped to his knees as his followers fled. The strange markings on the gang leader’s collar matched the now bleeding scars on his forehead. Chuckling, blood dribbled from the thug’s lips as he struggled to form the words.


“Good…you are strong. But the evil that…drove us here w-w-will not be dis…patched so easily…”

Before he could finish, the thug collapsed to the ground, a cheer rising up throughout the streets. Wiping his blade clean with a rather elegant looking cloth, the Emperor spun his blade into its sheath, slowly walking through the streets with a sense of modesty in his step. The crowd that gathered around the scene was silent for a moment, watching the heroic leader walk into the shadows. Eriku’s student raced to the alley in which his master had disappeared to as the authorities came to clean up the scene…

The sparkling marble staircase shimmered gloriously in the light of the setting sun. Eriku and his student bowed to each other as they wrapped up their lesson. The young student walked off down the long hall, disappearing into the distance. The Emperor looked back at the shining steps of the palace; finally his Heavenly Lily had stopped screaming at those who she thought were responsible for the events earlier that day. Instead, Empress Sun Lian watched from the top of the steps, leaning against a pillar as she smiled down at her husband. Giving a faint smile, Eriku climbed the steps and Lian pushed herself away from the pillar as she blushed a bit. As he reached the top of the stairs, Eriku swept her up and gave her a kiss.

“I was so worried about you this morning, I…”

Eriku merely silenced her with a soft, but teasing kiss before letting her down. Cracking his shoulders, the Emperor walked into the throne room, taking in the shining marvels of royalty. Lian followed close behind, watching his every motion with great interest, moving closer as he sat on the throne, looking out at the view again. Unsure of what exactly he should say, the Emperor verbally stumbled around a bit before finally speaking up.

“My sweet Lian…something’s not right here, it’s just not working out.”

Knowing this conversation would come; Empress Lian approached him, resting her hands on her hips, her vibrant yellow robe billowing with the slight breeze. Eriku stood only an inch or so away from her face. Taking one hand, he held it close, gently rubbing it.

“You can sense it too, I do not belong here.”

“But I belong with you.”

Lian snapped quickly, obviously upset despite her prediction of this conversation. She writhed until her hand was free from Eriku’s grasp. A torn look in her eye, she rested her hands on his shoulders and stared into his eyes.

“You’ve made a choice; you gave up your dangerous life of fighting for a life with me, above the war and hatred.”

“Please…we both know that I am no noble, but you are the one who will lead this Empire through peace and war.”

A tear glistened as it rolled down the soft cheek of Empress Lian as she looked down at the floor, shattered. Eriku tilted her chin up and wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Don’t you feel the same for your Heavenly Lily?”

The Emperor seized the weeping noble from off her feet and kissed her passionately. After a long kiss, Eriku broke away slowly, staring into her eyes before releasing Lian and walking down the many steps towards the outcropping of the palace, looking out at the sparkling night sky. Lian stayed by the throne, trying hard to hold back the tears, finally storming off unable to bear watching him.

Again, the sun kissed the Imperial Palace as it rose to light up the beauty of the Jade Empire. Empress Lian sat up and yawned, covering up with the sheets as she looked over to where Eriku slept that night, a note lying where he should be.

News of a rising evil on the outskirts of civilization has reached my ears and I will heed the calls of my people. Forgive me my love for leaving this way but I promise to return, to feel your sweet touch again. You are all I think of, please be true to me my Heavenly Lily.

With Love,

Emperor Eriku the Burning Spirit
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PostSubject: Re: Jade Empire: The Departure(chpt 1)   Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:20 pm

Wow! Sorry for taking so long to read the post when you took all that time to write it. You got your tajii. : )
Though I don't like romance too much. : P
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