Week 20.4 – Yi Fan

Previously: Twain attempted to escape from the Cobalt Czar’s men, only to run into a mysterious Chinese woman who hugged him as if she knew him. And now…

She pushed back from him to look into his eyes. Her expression clouded at his confusion. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else,” Twain said.

She stepped away from him, equal parts hurt and angry. “No mistake.”

Before Twain could say anything else, he heard a cry of triumph behind him. He turned to see the big Mongolian glaring at him. As he advanced up the narrow alley toward Twain, he said something menacing in Russian that included the words, “Tsar Kobalta.” Two of his buddies staggered up behind him, wheezing. One followed the big man up the alley, while the other paused outside with his hands on his knees.

Twain turned to face the men and pushed the girl behind him. “Get out of here,” he said over his shoulder.

The big man glanced suspiciously at the girl. While his attention was diverted, Twain leaped to attack. He popped three quick jabs at the guy’s face, which were blocked, but they kept him occupied while Twain swept his leg. The guy’s hands dropped as he lost his balance, and Twain clocked him a hard one on the jaw.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]Kung Fu Showoff. Twain had no use for that fancy stuff…[/blockquote]As the big guy fell to the side, Twain sprang up against the wall and launched himself at the next guy in line. He kicked the guy in the face with a shoe still wet from splashing through rancid garbage runoff. The second man stumbled back, gagging, and Twain saw the third man drawing his pistol.

Twain twisted, locked the big guy’s wrist as he was getting back up, and threw him around so that he was between Twain and the pistol. Twain noticed the girl still watching him. The scar kept one eye wrenched partially shut. It made her look skeptical.

“I told you to run,” Twain said. “I’ll keep them busy while you get away.”

Pain exploded in his cheek. He stumbled back and looked up at the big Mongolian who had just punched him. The man’s arms moved in an intricate pattern that ended in a fighting stance.

Kung Fu Showoff. Twain had no use for that fancy stuff. He’d picked up a little Krav Maga here and a little basic dirty fighting there for the times when planning failed and he’d had to resort to his fists. Which wasn’t to say he hadn’t studied any formal styles. He’d studied a lot when he was younger, under a man who was supposed to be one of the best.

But it never made sense to him. It seemed like a lot of posing and wasted motion, and the other part, the secret chi power that only the most select few could summon, had never worked for Twain at all. He rarely even thought about it.

But here and now, facing this man in front of this woman, he decided to bust out the old moves. His hands flowed into a brief fragment of a basic form, and he heard the woman gasp behind him.

Showdown time! Will Twain get away?  And what’s the deal with the woman? Join us tomorrow for our next exciting episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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