Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires

5/4 To Take A Breath

The siege had been long and taxing. Through dragons and yin storms and helicopter massacres, the Wu came to the other side of this trial more or less unscathed. They had even squared off directly with a potent pack of werewolves and lived to tell the tale (with spoils to prove it). The climax of the battle was a nuclear meltdown that mysteriously ‘disappeared’ along with several floors of the subterranean complex. Several important elders of the Sentai were missing as the Yomi took what it wished from this plane, including the blast and subsequent fall out.

When the groups went to their separate corners to evaluate their finds and lick their wounds, they finally were allowed a moment’s peace. Another meeting was held with the river sentai to discuss the trophies taken and the future plans for recovering the elders. Over tea, much was discussed and the true nature of the hengeokyi were revealed. A more patient people than the Wu had been led to believe.

At the return from this meeting, the Wu discovered Zhu Wrong interrogating one of the zombie like priests that sang to the glory of the Empress. It seemed that something within the temple had told the outside world of things it should not. Things like the library and the fallen glory of Zao Lot. The Wu was troubled by this revelation, but little could be done in the moment. The Wu elected to put aside that potentially nebulous threat for the time being and continue on to secure the grave sites of Johnny and Takeshi.

Securing travel to Bejing and onward to Hong Kong proved to uneventful. However, when they arrived, the world was not as they’d left it. The grand old cemetery which had housed their bones was being turned into a mall complex. Most of the heavy digging had already been done, and the bones had long been displaced. Investigating the grave-turned-dig site revealed the company name and some of that relevant information.

The Wu was… charged, and did not pause for rational thought. They went straight away to the company responsible and tracked agents that would know more to the local bar ‘Candy Corns’. Inside they found the club to bear the markings of the mandarin monk; the very same monk which had nearly killed Johnny and driven Takeshi to murder him instead. Too much to be coincidence.

A violent altercation was narrowly avoided, and the Wu began the trip to the CEO’s sprawling estate.

On the way, their car was attacked by chi-charged humans capable of unbelievable feats of strength and skill. A brief battle led to a duel; Johnny was frustrated by the slow progress, but secretly had already begun the murder of this mandarin, and super hero humans might have a plan in that. The wu collectively decided to spare their lives (presuming they had the strength to end them), and continued on their way after exchanging tense pleasantries and contact information.

The house was a nightmare. Inside, watery footsteps marked the way, and a knocking moan sounded in the halls. Konda recognized this creature as an agent of Yomi; a long haired pale ‘woman’ thing. They searched the house until they found it, sadly moments too late to save the CEO. The creature was banished, and a pinch of the dust taken from the battle revealed the truth from the corpse.

They found the company responsible for moving the bones, Dy Yu, inc. Dy Yu, of course, being an ancient king and supposed father to the mortal Zhu Wrong. Coincidence piled on coincidence. The person who had arranged all this chaos was none other than Fi Hai, the monk mandarin. An internet search of this company revealed that it was out of Suffix, UK, not Chinese at all. More troubling revelations that the Wu lacked the insight to pierce.

The Wu sought the advice of their mentors, the first time they had in months. Their advice on the matter was…. unhelpful.

As the Wu contemplated what to do, in another plane of existence, the terrible and lovely Emma-O looked down on the now familiar CEO’s soul. She leans forward, hinting at her terrible loveliness and pale exquisite frame.

“So,” she begins in a seductive keen. “Tell me of these graves you uncovered…”

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RobBennett

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