The Adventures of the Jade Dragon
The Jade Dragons Defeat
Chapter 9 Journey
Sun Lin floated on an ocean of pain, a voyage made worse by the sound of Huan Yue sobbing. She drifted in and out of consciousness, awake only long enough for the terrible pain of her crucifixion to register. The weight of her body was fully supported by the spikes driven into her bloody wrists. Somehow, with almost surgical precision, Larson had driven the nails home without breaking her wrist bones, but that was small consolation for the pain and horror of her ordeal or the plight of her daughter.
Huan Yue was on her knees in front of the cross, forced to watch while her mother died, an ordeal so painful that it was beyond anything she had ever experienced. Sun Lin could feel the life escaping her body. It slipped away by degrees as her internal organs slowly settled and her blood pooled in the lower extremities of her body. It was a horrible way to die; one that would take hours or perhaps days if Larson made any attempt to prolong her agony.
She had no idea how long she had been on the cross. It seemed like days, but was probably only a few hours. Huan Yue was always there when she regained consciousness, her tear-streaked face a picture of heartbreaking grief. She wanted to reassure her daughter, but could think of nothing to say and it seemed too soon to say goodbye. When she was conscious it took all of strength of will not to moan piteously, but it was becoming harder and harder to exert that sort of self-control. She hoped that the peace of insensibility would save her from the demeaning ordeal of whimpering in agony for Juan Yues sake if nothing else. If she was to die she wanted to die bravely; not screaming in anguish.
She could feel herself fading again. Looking down at her daughter she managed to force a whisper through lips that wanted to scream. Be brave, my daughter. We will find a way to win. Then the vision of Huan Yue faded as she drifted into oblivion.
This time there were no nightmares. The images of Huan Yue being brutalized that had haunted her previous sessions of unconsciousness were absent. Instead she was flying down a long luminous tunnel toward a distant light that seemed somehow welcoming. And then the tunnel was gone and she was in a place that she knew well. She was standing on a grassy sward beside a sky blue pool of water. To her right a small spring- fed stream tumbled into the pool in a series of small waterfalls. Rushes and other aquatic vegetation grew near the edge of the pool. The chirping of birds and the hum of insects added to the tranquil ambience of the place.
She looked down at her
body. She was no longer nude,
but was dressed in cream coloured loose-fitting quilted trousers and a
long-sleeved top in the style of ancient
But it seemed a very real
dream. Without thinking she lowered
herself to the grass and assumed a lotus
position. She had come often
to the serene pool during her stay at the
A slight sound behind her caused her to turn her head and her face lit up in a smile. Master, she said, moving to her feet in one easy motion and then prostrating herself before him.
No, Cai Hui said, motioning for her to rise. No longer do you kowtow to me. He took her hand and raised her to her feet.
Sun Lin felt a shiver run down her fingertips. It was the first time her master had touched her in so intimate a manner. Nevertheless, she stood before him with head bowed in a position of proper respect.
Please sit, he said, lowering himself to the grass and indicating that she should sit next to him. It was the first time he had ever done that in all the time she had known him. It was a position of equals, not that of master and student.
Sun Lin kept her head bowed. Master, I have failed. I led my daughter into a deadly trap and now she pays the price of my folly.
Not so, Cai Hui replied, laying his hand upon hers. You were betrayed by one you thought you could trust. It is not possible to be on guard against everyone.
Sun Lin could see the wisdom of Cai Huis reply, but it did nothing to ease the guilt she felt about what had been done to Huan Yue. Her mentor seemed to sense this. Placing his hand under her chin he raised her head and forced her to look into his dark eyes. There is no blame. You took it upon yourself to protect the innocent and Huan Yue followed you willingly. She knew the dangers faced by a heroine and she made her choice willingly.
Sun Lin understood Cai Huis reference to her daughter. Huan Yue had been conceived when Sun Lin had been captured by her arch nemesis the Black Leopard and repeatedly raped by one of her minions. Her daughter knew of her origins, but that had not dissuaded her from following Sun Lin on her crimefighting adventures. The answer, however, did not satisfy her. Somehow she thought she should have been able to prevent the capture and violation of her daughter.
Clear your mind, Cai Hui said. He touched Sun Lins head lightly with his fingertips and her memories of her horrific ordeal were pushed to the back of her mind. She could still remember every detail of what had happened, but the horror was gone. She knew, however, what Cai Hui had done.
Master, she asked. Why did you do that? I must find a way to save myself and rescue my daughter.
You have already found that way,
Cai Hui answered. You have
While you are here no time will pass in your daughters world. Only when you return will your life resume.
Then why am I here?
It was your will that brought you here, Cai Hui said quietly. Can you think of no reason?
I sought to escape the pain, Sun Lin replied. She could not tear her gaze away from his. Cai Huis eyes were mesmerizing wells of darkness, drawing her into their depths, but it was a darkness she welcomed.
To see you, she said quietly. The answer seemed absurd in light of the predicament she had been in, but somehow she knew that answer was the truth. In her moment of greatest despair she had reached out to the one person she knew might be able to help her.
Cai Huis handsome features smiled. That is an answer I have long wished to hear.
But this cannot be, Sun Lin protested. How can a dream help me?
Cai Huis hand caressed her cheek. Does this feel like a dream?
What else can it be but a dream? she asked. But she made no effort to move away.
You are the Jade Dragon, Cai Hui replied. You have willed this meeting and so it exists.
But why would I will such a meeting? She knew the answer even as she asked. But it was something she had long denied; a longing she had buried deep within herself in order to avoid the inevitable disappointment.
Cai Huis smile widened slightly. He dropped his hand and took both of hers in his. Look at me and tell me that you do not know why you have come.
I I cannot, sun Lin stammered, but she could not tear her eyes away from his. They framed her entire existence and forced her to face the lie she had just uttered.
Like many a pupil before her, Sun Lin had fallen in love with her teacher. But this was not just any teacher. He was Cai Hui, guardian of the Goddess of Heaven and keeper of the gates to her mythic realm. Although appearing no older than a man in his thirties, she knew that his years numbered in the hundreds or perhaps even thousands. To have her love returned by such a man was an impossibility, and so she had suppressed her emotions, denying that the notion of her love even existed. It had worked - until now.
I think you can, Cai Hui replied softly. He moved his hand to the back of her head, and drawing her close touched his lips lightly to hers.
An electric spark seemed to flash between them and the world narrowed to a place where only she and Cai Hui existed. The kiss deepened, Sun Lins lips parting to allow her tongue to intertwine with his and her hands finding their way to his powerfully muscled back, pulling her soft curves against his male hardness.
Sun Lins heart pounded within her chest. In spite of the dozens of men who had violated her during her career as a heroine she had never voluntarily given herself to any man and she felt like a virgin bride on her wedding night. She was filled with a strange sense of longing mixed with fear. Her body trembled as he moved his lips from her mouth and began to gently kiss each of her eyelids and then her nose, cheeks, and earlobes, before moving his mouth to hers once again.
Cai Hui seemed to sense her uncertainty. He gave her a lingering kiss before easing her to the grassy sward. It is alright, my princess, her murmured. I will leave you with one final gift before we part.
Sun Lin did not answer. All of her resistance flowed out of her and she raised her body slightly to allow him to slide her quilted blouse over her head. At the same time her hands found his cloth belt and undid the knot allowing his garment to open. As his fingers removed the twin bands holding her breasts she welcomed the sensation of the warm sun on her skin. What she and Cai Hui were doing seemed very natural and her fear left her as he removed her slippers and then slid her trousers over her hips down her long legs.
My love, Cai Hui murmured and Sun Lin arched her body into his as he ran his tongue over her bare shoulder. Her breathing quickened as his hands stroked her back and then moved to her belly.
Sun Lins hands were not idle. By now Cai Hui bodys was as nude as hers, and her fingers played over the powerful muscles of his arms and shoulders, reaching around to caress his back and then sliding down to move over his muscular backside.
There was no urgency in their lovemaking. Cai Hui touched her lovingly, gently; deliberately staying away from those areas of her body that were most erogenous. It was almost as if after all the times she had been forcibly taken that he was trying to show her that love could be gentle and unhurried.
It was an approach that worked for Sun Lin. When he finally kissed her nipples and moved his hand over her pelvis she moaned softly. Her legs parted of their own accord and she guided him into her.
He took her slowly, easing himself into the warmth of her valley of paradise. It was only then that she fully responded as a woman, crying out at the pleasure of his touch and wrapping her legs around him as her body bucked into him with a strength and ardour that surprised even her.
She lost track of how long they made love. She only knew that when they were finished she was filled with a pleasant exhaustion and the sun was low in the sky. In spite of the fact that her body was wet with sweat, she was not cold, but she clung to her lover, molding her body into his and wrapping her arms tightly about him.
They did not speak, but lay quietly together until the sun set. And then in the warm darkness they made love again. This time their lovemaking was more passionate. It was as if the first session had removed Sun Lins inhibitions. As Cai Hui thrust into her she cried out and drove her body hard into his, seeking to have him bury himself as deeply within her as he could. Cai Hui responded to her ardour driving hard into her and biting her lightly on her breasts and shoulders. The combination of pain and pleasure exploded within her. Her loins convulsed in a powerful orgasm, as her womb sought to capture her lovers seed.
Cai Hui climaxed almost immediately and once again held her close. Secure in his arms Sun Lin closed her eyes, and fell asleep to the rhythm of her lovers heartbeat.
She awoke to the rising sun. Sometime during the night Cai Hui had covered her with his robe. With a yawn she sat up and looked around. There was a soreness between her legs, but it was a pleasant soreness quite unlike the brutal aftermath of a rape. A few feet away Cai Hui sat watching her. He had dressed, leaving only his robe to her. Good morning, my princess, he smiled.
Sun Lin returned his smile. For a second I was afraid that I had dreamt everything that happened, but I see that it was real. She hesitated. It was real wasnt it?
More than you know, Cai Hue, replied. But now you must return. Your daughter and companions need you.
I had not forgotten, Sun Lin said. It is just that what happened to me seemed so far away, that it was almost as if it happened in another life. She got to her feet, shedding Cai Huis robe, her body gleaming gold in the early morning light. She saw no reason to dress; she doubted that she would be able to take her clothes with her and she felt no shame standing before her lover.
She faced the prospect of returning to her brutal ordeal with a calm that surprised her. Cai Hui had said nothing, but she knew somehow that she would find herself exactly as she had left. The pain would be frightening, but she faced it without qualms. It was something she had to do. Will I see you again? she asked. It was a question she had to ask. After a lifetime she had finally found the man she loved. To live without him seemed harder than anything she had ever done.
You know the way here, Cai Hui smiled. I will be waiting whenever you return. He stepped toward her and took both of her hands in his. Their parting kiss was not long enough, even though it took Sun Lins breath away. Then as his mouth left hers Cai Huis image wavered. Goodbye, my love, he whispered. And then he was gone.