Tonight I have a little something that has been a few months in the making. Yes the return of Siu, no Jung Harimasu but not quite focusing on what he is doing back but the why and the how. So sit back, have a cup of coffee and welcome him back to the storyline.
As the blade from the freshly killed hulking goliath of a man cracked through his rib-cage Siu felt the warmth from within his body fade. As he watched Choi’s lifeblood seep out of a deep gash on his chest the doors that were barricaded behind them splintered open and the freshly dead soldiers rushed out.
“Please let Kyoko be safe” he muttered under his breath as he felt darkness close in upon himself. But that wasn’t the end. As he felt his consciousness recede he felt his body grow lighter until he was floating as if on a pillow of light. With a slow realisation he opened his eyes and looked around at the marbled walls and jade statues that were familiar as if a distant memory.
“Welcome home Jung” a deep voice rumbled, one that he would not forget so readily. Around him on several raised benches stood his ancestors with heads bowed in respect. “We have been watching you and what you have endured in your endeavours to redeem yourself.” The great dragon rumbled.
“Great Huangdi.” he began as he struggled to raise from the floor. His body weak and his coordination felt off as he realised his lithe dragon-form had disappeared and was replaced with his matted, hairy bestial form. “Before I meet my judgment I have a single request.” he asked as he managed to get his too-long legs under him. “Can you tell me of Kyoko and the adventurers? Are they safe? Did they get out?”
Huangdi smiled and lowered his head to Jung, stretching out a great claw and lifting the head of his servant. “Only because of the actions of their ancestors.” he said. Jung nodded and let out the breath he didn’t realise he was holding.
“Then with that knowledge I accept the fate that the ancestors and you deem fit for me.” he said before adding after a moment. “But I am confused why I was brought back. My actions as you said were my own and served my purpose. But why have I returned to my families halls?”.
“Because little one,” the dragon replied, “your actions may have been born from selfish need and want but along the way, in your journey to prove yourself and save your own soul you realised something. What we do in our life isn’t for our betterment but for those who follow us. You looked out for your cousins descendant. You put her life ahead of your own and even were willing to sacrifice yourself so that your Kin could continue to live.” The great golden dragon rumbled, a near-purr like sound coming from his great throat.
Jung nodded as he listened before speaking. “But its as you said. My actions..” he began before another voice cut through the crowed.
“Jung, Enough.” the voice brought upon a tremor of a murmur from those gathered in the temple. “You never learn to you.” Turning slowly Jung looked upon the stern and angular face of his cousin, much older than what he was when they were young men but wouldn’t forget his face. “You need to listen, Jung.”
After a moment Jung frowned. “you said my name… but that’s been made forbidden by Lord Huangdi. Cousin please don’t lest you face further anguish on my behalf.”
But Siu, his cousin, just smiled and looked towards the great dragon. “If your cousin can forgive you and see what you have done for your family then you should also be able to see your worth Jung” the great dragon added as he exhaled a puff of smoke that began to coil and drift around Jung. “Your punishment has been decided. Your external form will reflect what you truly are within”
As the smoke touched his brown fur it began to shrink and change. As it fell to the ground it smouldered, turning into golden powder as it fell. Fine, hard and light scales spread across his body and he felt his bestial body shifting and growing longer. Within a matter of moments his fur had disappeared completely and a layer of golden scales had appeared.
As the process finished Jung shook the sensation of vertigo from his head and looked down upon the body of an ancestral dragon. “Welcome home Jung, guardian of the Harimasu Lotus.” Huangdi said. “Welcome home Jung” echoes his ancestors that stood above him but their voices were lost as he gazed into the eyes of his cousin. “Welcome home brother. Thank you for looking after my kin.”
In the palace…
behind the forgotten walls of the lotus pond tiny buds pushed through the watery veil and as the first rays of moonlight touched their budding petals they began to shine.
Thanks for joining me tonight. For a while now I was wondering what the best time to bring Siu back would be and the troubles at the Heavens reach castle provided me that opportunity. Although not something that the party would see it is something that Jung, not Siu, would be able to tell them about. Don’t forget that this week we look to wrap up the month and we still have some exciting content to provide. So I will hope to see you back then if you don’t forget to come back and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe