Chapter 1: Reminiscence
Chapter 1: Reminiscence
A peaceful and lighthearted late afternoon in Sun Do betrays the thick fog that envelopes the village, as the villagers are all outside carrying out their daily routines and holding casual conversations amongst each other. Large mountains surround the small village and the main entrance is located to the northeastern portion of the village. A tall, fair-skinned and well-built middle aged man, in actuality Jinhai, makes his way through the main entrance. As he had just returned from his work as a weaponssmith, Jinhai is covered in sweat and blisters all over his hands.
He wipes some of the sweat from his forehead and walks towards the middle of the town, where a stone statue of Fei Yen resides. As he walks up to it, he looks at his surroundings, smiling to himself at the warmth and friendliness displayed at the villagers. Finally arriving at the statue, Jinhai stops, closes his eyes and bends down on one knee, paying respects to his deceased wife by having a moment of silence for her.
As he stays there in silence, Jinhai starts to have memories of his life with Fei Yen, more specifically a vivid memory of him and Fei Yen in the local grass fields observing a younger Li Mei together. Li Mei stares at the familiar pink sky, observing the dragons and other winged creatures flying in the distance. Hoping that she could knock one of them out of the sky, Li Mei picks up a nearby rock and launches it into the air. Her wide-eyed stare quickly turns into a look of disappointment and a sigh as the rock simply drops back down to the ground, the dragons remaining unharmed, causing both Fei and Jinhai to let out a warm and hearty laughter.
Li Mei then turns around to Fei and requests to ask something to her. Fei Yen responds yes. Li Mei then looks down for a moment and then looks back up to her mother. She then goes on to ask her mother if she can become strong someday, as strong as her. Fei walks up to her daughter, bends down and places her hand on Li Mei's right shoulder, smiling while telling gher she believes that she is already stronger than any other person.
The memory then fades out in favor of another memory, this time much more vague than the previous one. It is dark and raining hard outside as an older Li Mei and Jinhai are both in a remote location, apparently unable to pass through a wall of transparent light of some sort. Li Mei is shown crying and pounding on the wall of light as Fei Yen slowly walks away from the two. Jinhai himself is shown to be visibly shocked and speechless by whatever is happening in his memory.
Just as tears start to form in both of Jinhai's eyes, a nearby woman's voice is heard. She calls out to him, calling him father. Jinhai, recognizing the voice, turns around immediately.
The woman is revealed to be none other than his now fully grown-up daughter Li Mei and a young boy accompanying her. Jinhai greets Li Mei as he starts to recognize her now. He stands up to face her while Li Mei walks up to embrace him. Li Mei greets him as well as she smiles, and then her father comments on how much she’s grown over the years, saying that it is getting harder to recognize her by the day. Jinhai then notices the young boy by Li Mei's side and asks her about him. Li Mei introduces him to her father, telling him that his name was Jianyu. She explains that she has been teaching him to do practical work around the village, and he’s been with her all day. She thought it would be best to take him with her this time instead of leaving him by himself in the fields. Kneeling down to him, she tells him that he should head back home to his grandmother as she is probably worried about him. Jianyu simply nods his head and runs off.
After seeing him off, Li Mei turns back to her father and tells him that she has something important to talk to him about. She goes on to say that Shang Tsung and a few bodyguards paid a visit to the village earlier in the day, and that they came to her and asked where Jinhai was. She responded that he was still working in the foundry and that he wouldn’t be back here until later on in the day. Shang Tsung then said that they came because they had some private matters to discuss with Jinhai and then left, not coming back since then. Jinhai thinks for a moment, and then says that if Shang Tsung wanted to talk to him personally, then it would most likely have to deal with his participation in the upcoming Mortal Kombat tournament.
Li Mei, curious, asks him why he would think such a thing. He explains that there is a rumor of the emperor looking for warriors all over the realm to fight against the powerful Earthrealm warriors, and that since Kahn knows of his accomplishments as a weapons smith, he would consider Jinhai to be useful in the tournament, even going to say that he might be considering doing the same with the other villagers working as weaponssmiths.
He says that he doesn’t want to have any part in Kahn’s conquering over another realm, but he then states that if he refused, then there would be no way of telling what Kahn would do to him afterwards. He reasons that Shao Kahn may have let the two of them live for this long, but he isn’t the type of person that would take no for an answer.
Li Mei, puzzled, asks her father if he is absolutely certain about everything he just said. With a look of assurance painted on his face, Jinhai responds that there is nothing else that this could mean, and that even if it is different from what he thinks, that it is still worthy of real concern. He thinks to himself for a few moments and then finally comes to a conclusion...
He says that tomorrow he is going to visit to Shang Tsung's palace; although he is still uncertain of whether he should participate in the tournament or not, he hopes that discussing things with Tsung tomorrow will provide him with solid answers. Although he was able to go there right then and there, he wanted to get some rest first before going there, wanting to think things through and not make any rash decisions.
Jinhai asks Li Mei to look after the village in his absence, to which she confirms. The two then decide to walk back home with each other, Jinhai eager to rid himself of the blisters on his hands and indulge himself with the leftover Outworld liquor. Li Mei simply chuckles and tells her father that he hasn't changed a bit over all these years as they approach their house.