Week 41.4 – Time Travel Never Helps

Previously: Twain traveled back in time, hoping to warn Yi Fan of the danger in the future and save her life. Only he ended up going back further than he anticipated, and is now trying to keep her from being possessed by the Ghost in the first place. And now…

“What’s wrong with him?” Yi Fan asked, looking at Twain apprehensively.

Twain glanced down at his hands and saw that his skin had not returned completely to normal. A trace of blue still remained, just enough to make him look almost dead. And he was still bigger than before he had been exposed to the crystals in the cave. His ripped clothes still clung tightly to his musclebound physique.

“My body has been warped by the power you seek to possess,” Twain said, in his spookiest voice. “Learn from my example and flee while you are still whole.”

Even as he said it, Twain realized that he could as easily say the same thing to himself. And because he knew exactly how much good such an admonition would do against him, he prepared for a pushback from the man facing him.

“No,” the man said, assuming a fighting stance. “You Dragons destroyed my clan. I will use the powers of your own scroll against you, destroy your order completely and restore my people to their former glory!”

“Dude, you sound like a movie,” Twain said, adopting his own fighting posture. “And not one of the good ones. Forget the scroll, go home and raise your daughter. She needs you.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]He caught sight of young Yi Fan’s face, watching in terror as her father battled some vaguely human monster…[/blockquote]“Don’t tell me what to do!” the man yelled. “You don’t know anything about me!”

He charged forward, and the battle was joined.

The man was skilled in a Northern style Twain was only vaguely acquainted with, but Twain’s recent exposure to the crystals seemed to have sharpened his muscle memory. He easily countered the man’s every attack with the forms the old man had taught him years ago, even though he had barely practiced them in the time since. Just like in his fight with the hooligans in the alley, days ago, when the skills had seemed to come back all by themselves…

And then he caught sight of young Yi Fan’s face, watching in terror as her father battled some vaguely human monster, and her words came back to him. That kung fu you used… I’ve seen it before, a long time ago.

The man struck him a hard blow across the jaw in his moment of distraction, and in a flash of anger, Twain struck the man in the chest with an open palm that flashed blue. The man flew back across the small clearing, got tangled in the lower branches of a tree, then finally fell to the ground, senseless.

“Father!” Yi Fan cried and ran to his side. When Twain approached to see if he was okay, she turned with tears in her eyes, snatched up a big rock from the ground and winged it at his head with wicked accuracy. It hit him in the forehead, drawing blood; the pump from the crystals was wearing off.

And then she was flailing at him angrily. He stumbled back, managed to grab her arms and hold her still, but before he could explain, the knife struck home.

Will Twain save Yi Fan from the Ghost? Don’t miss our next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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