Raiden - Trails Gone Cold[Toggle Names]
Description: With his brother missing and no further leads on where he might be, Tundra seeks insight from the Lord Of Thunder. A path forward is offered, but what lies at its end remains to be seen.
Answers were needed to Tundra's questions.
Bi-Han had gone missing. Last Tundra had heard, he was being hunted by another warrior. His name unknown to him. But, despite all he wanted was being acknowledged by Bi-Han, or the current Sub-Zero, Tundra was a great warrior in his own right, who may have even surpassed Bi-Han by now. But...he is the grandmaster of the Lin-Kuei. The future of the clan depends on Bi-Han's survival and return.
So, he went to the one person who may indeed know where he is.
Tundra doesn't sneak through the sky temple, though he makes no effort to anger the god who resides there. Not out of a doubt of his own skills, but rather an effort not to anger a friend. Tundra is dressed in a mixture of Lin-kuei robes and light armor, a hood covering his head and a facemask covering the lower side of his face. His arms are covered by sleeves that come down to the elbow, with fingerless gloves at his hands.
As he crosses the entrance, the White Lotus member calls out simply. "Raiden!" He calls the name of the Elder God who resides in the Sky Temple. "I seek your wisdom." he says softer as he sits in a cross-legged fashion to wait.
Shafts of golden sunlight slant through the small windows set into each tier of the shrine, casting striped shadows across a simple stone altar scattered with loose offerings of flowers and balls of rice. Within the walls a cool wind circulates, causing dangling chimes of wood and bamboo to clatter together in rhythmic patterns just shy of actual music.
"The young brother returns."
The response is quiet and lightly musing, the faintest hint of an electric crackle hiding beneath the easy greeting. With the open acoustics of the temple it is difficult to tell where the voice might be coming from. Above, perhaps? But no...
A slight shift between rays of light reveals the familiar silhouette of Lord Raiden standing not ten feet from where the chryomancer now sits. An ambling step forward carries the Guardian into the light, long white hair gleaming as it spills over the shoulders of his grey robe, though his face remains shadowed by his straw harvester's hat.
"An unusual request. I have never taken you for one lacking in wisdom, Kuai Liang."
The faintest flash of white glints within the shadow of his hat as the god half smiles, planting one end of his metal staff upon the ground with a clank and leaning comfortably upon it.
"But yes. Tell me why it is you have come, and perhaps I just might be able to lend you some of mine."
Tundra remains sitting there, his eyes closed. But then, the light seems to break way, Tundra's breath visible as his body temperature remains low in the face of the heat of the golden sunlight. He does not look up when he hears the voice of the God of Thunder, eventually his eyes shift upwards to reveal the radiant form of Raiden.
"Lord Raiden." He bows his head slightly, but the look that Raiden sees in Tundra's eyes is not the certain, wise-beyond-years man he knows. It was almost as if it were desperation, the quality of being lost, whether it was himself or another.
"Where do you look, if you have searched everywhere for what must be found?" He questions of Raiden. "My brother, Bi-Han. He has gone missing. I know not where he has gone, whether he is alive or dead, or if he has abandoned the Lin Kuei willingly. I know not what to do next."
Tundra has -never- shown weakness to anyone. But it's his -brother-. The one person he looks up to more than anybody else. His eyes close. "I call upon the allies of the White Lotus. I know further that Bi-Han is being hunted. Though whether or not the hunt has been completed, is unknown to me."
Exhaling his understanding into the cool air of the shrine, Raiden allows himself a moment to consider the delicacy of the problem before him. Webs of fate, potential outcomes that grow fainter and more uncertain before passing beyond the limited range of his sight. There is some good to be done here. A thin thread of peace stretched taught toward the future. Narrow, a billion to one odds. And yet...
"Bi-Han yet lives. However, whether he is to be the hunter or the hunted has yet to be decided."
The lightest tug upon the thread of fate and the flow of time shifts around him. To do any more would have a horrible cost, and so he must proceed now with caution.
"If every Where has been explored, the question answers itself. You can search no Where further. Perhaps, then, you should try a When. Neither cat nor mice stand still for the chase."
Chin lifting slightly, Raiden gazes down at the seated man from beneath the brim of his hat, twin points of bluish white crackling within the dark. What is left of his smile drops away, lips pressing together into a solemnly contemplative line as he pushes upright from his lean.
"The wandering ronin Kenshi has met the shade that stalks your brother. You should seek him out in South Town. Many of the others are busy. Great powers stir beneath the surface, Tundra. I sense that this moment of relative peace will be short lived."
Tundra is patient.
He will wait as long as he needs to in order to recieve a straightforward and useful answer. The God of Thunder has the wisdom of the ages, and a knowledge that transcends Tundra's own. Though when Raiden reveals that Bi-Han is alive, Tundra's eyes widen, but he does not yet speak. Even as Raiden continues to speak, Tundra continues to ponder and decide his next move.
Nowhere further can be searched. It is not a where, but a when.
"Kenshi? I have heard of this name. I will seek him out for answers of this shade that seeks to torment my brother. Do you know of the reasons a shade is after him in the first place, Lord Raiden?" He questions curiously of the Elder God, but when talk of war seems to emerge, Tundra's eyes narrow.
"Then we will be ready to protect Earthrealm. I fear of what will come to pass for the Lin-Kuei. For the moment...It is the only action I know how to take, since Bi-Han's fate will decide much, I feel."
"Your brother's past runs red with the blood of many victims." Raiden responds quietly, almost gently. Chin dipping, he once more hides the twin sparks of light that are his eyes, presenting a rather grim figure in his dark robe and hat. "That you can not tell which this might be speaks of their number. This is a trial of his own making, and he must face it alone."
Lifting his staff from the floor, the somber god slants the silver weapon across his body, allowing the upper half to come to rest in his cupped palm. There is true regret in his voice when he continues, regret underlined with somber certainty.
"I am sorry for this. But I must not act directly.".
"I know he is not a good man." Tundra replies. "But he is myblood all the same. He would do the same for me." Or so Tundra hopes. It's a blind admiration for his elder brother, mayhaps, but he's always been the golden child. The one who inherited Sub-Zero, the one who mastered the Lin-Kuei techniques first...you name it, Bi-Han did it first. But he shakes his head ever so slightly.
"There is nothing I can do?" He questions of Raiden, other than finding Kenshi of course. When the Thunder god mentiosn he cannot interfere directly. "It would upset the balance." Tundra mentions in response, understanding the nature of Raiden and the necessity for his neutrality.
"What can be done, will be done. There are always choices to be made, but until the hand of another power touches events my own must remain tied."
Stepping forward through alternating slices of light and shadow, Raiden stops before Tundra's seated form and offers his hand down to the larger man. Though the assassin has seen the Lord cloaked in lightning and ready for battle, he is not so now.
"What I can do, is give you a suggestion. Wise words spoken by a fellow human. Time, is money."
Another flash of white teeth gleams in the shadow of his hat.
"Such a curious turn of phrase. After all, the truly enlightened often teach that you should relinquish your hold on such base concepts as greed and wealth. I think perhaps a wise man might consider time to be something else. A resource for mortals to treasure just as dearly as their loved ones."
"Thus you are unable to assist me in my quest as much as you may or may not like." Tundra wasn't a fool, though he shakes his head softly. Though he notices the hand coming down to perhaps help him up to his feet, Tundra trusts Raiden with his life. He takes Raiden's hand, likely to stand to his feet and full height, being just slightly taller than Raiden, further obscuring the god's eyes from Tundra's sight.
"Time is money...seemds the words spoken by a greedy man." he replies to Raiden, though he understands the reasoning...
Alas, he takes a deep breath as he considers just a moment. "I will seek out this Kenshi to learn about the shade that pursues my brother across the world. Perhaps by finding one, I will discover the other."
Grasping Tundra's hand in a firm, calloused grip, the Lord of Thunder helps pull the chryomancer to his feet with easy familiarity. Glancing up beneath the assassin's hood, he reaches up to rest that same hand on the mortal's shoulder, reassuring.
Hand falling away, the god turns to step back through the patches of light, staff ringing against the floor with every other step. As he goes he becomes harder to track, outline never quite where one might expect it to be.
"Go with my blessing, and know that there are no set paths. The Elder Gods gave mortals the ability to plot their own destiny. But the path that is chosen must be walked."
Stepping into a deeper patch of darkness at the back of the room, Raiden speaks a final time, words low and somber.
"For better, and for worse."
That said, a low rumble of thunder rolls through the empty sky beyond, golden sunlight dimming for only a moment. When the gloom retreats, the outline of Raiden has vanished, leaving the troubled assassin alone with his thoughts.
Tundra is pulled up to his feet. He doesn't stumble or lean one way or the other. But rather, the movement is controlled and perfect. However, what Tundra was not expecting to receive was the blessing of Lord Raiden. THAT was a surprise. Despite this, however, he allows the shoulder touch asnd the giving of wisdom.
He is in command of his own destiny.
A most comforting thought. But, then the thunder rolls through the heavens, and the figure of Raiden has vanished. With a heading and a person of interest, Tundra knows exactly what he needs to do. It's this determination that allows Tundra to turn around and head straight out of the Sky Temple.
He hunts for Kenshi.
Log created on 01:05:48 03/21/2021 by Raiden, and last modified on 03:48:46 03/23/2021.