As So It Begins: Part 3 Edit
Edenia was perfect – "the realm of paradise," it was called – until the Conqueror made his horrifying debut.
It was the day of the arranged marriage between Shao Kahn the Conqueror and Kitana's mother, Queen Sindel of Edenia. All of Edenia's citizens had earlier crowded underneath and around a balcony of the grand palace, where the grand wedding ceremony took place. And Kitana was forced to sit through the entire thing. She did let out a fake cough once or twice, and noisily changed her sitting position frequently. This did, of course, attract Kahn’s attention, and he sent many glares with his glowing red eyes at the princess during the ceremony. Each time, he would have succeeded in silencing Kitana, but that didn't stop her from provoking him.
But her defiance soon gave way to tears when the words that united Kahn and her mother were spoken.
And as Sindel's new husband, the Conqueror has crowned himself as the Emperor of Edenia.
"Kitana? Are you in there?"
Kitana sat up and sniffled as she wiped the tears from her eyes. She held her pillow close to her as a dark-skinned child about the same age in the dull green clothes of a servant girl entered her bedroom.
"I saw the whole thing…"
"Of course you did!" Kitana snapped. "The entire realm did, and that's why you're here now. Any citizen who refused to watch the wedding was being put to death under Shao Kahn's orders."
Jade walked over to Kitana and sat across from her on the large bed. "I know. There were a lot of people executed during the wedding. They were his––"
"I don’t care!"
Jade looked away. "Next subject…"
Kitana stared at her blanket sheepishly. "I’m sorry, Jade. Of course I care. It's just that… that…"
"I can't help it but to hate myself for what I didn't do…"
"You didn't do anything, Kitana."
Kitana glared at Jade. "That's exactly what I mean! I didn't do anything! I hate myself for what I didn't do! I mean, if I had done something… anything, anything at all, that could have stopped what happened… maybe… just maybe my father would still be here…"
"Kitana…" Jade reached out and hugged her friend.
"I still think it’s my fault… everything," Kitana continued, turning away from her dark-skinned friend and stared out the window at the exact spot where she stood when she witnessed her father's death. "My father's death… it was my fault. I could have stopped it but I didn't. And if he didn't die, he'd probably be executing Kahn right now. And with Kahn executed, my mother wouldn't have to marry him, and if she didn't marry Kahn, he wouldn't be the Emperor, and––"
"Kitana," Jade broke in. "Do you really think that you could have beaten Kahn?"
Kitana turned to her friend.
"Think about it. You’ve barely lived more than 5,000 years, and Kahn is almost twice your size. And if your father couldn't get rid of Kahn, do you seriously think that you’d be able to?"
Kitana stared down at her blanket again, clenching the fabric between her small fingers. The tears reappeared in her eyes. "But… still… I should have at least tried…" She buried her face in her hands as she continued her sobbing, and Jade leaned in closer, trying to comfort her best friend.
As the two children sat alone in the bedroom, Queen Sindel of Edenia stood behind the slightly open doors in a beautiful, glittering white wedding gown instead of her normal royal purple one, listening to their conversation. Assilently as possible, she closed them and let out a deep sigh.
"My poor Kitana…"
And with that, she started down the hallway and disappeared into the darkness of the torch-lit hallway.
* * *
Sindel sat at her ornate desk, opened the diary, and pulled out a pen.
"I can't stand this anymore. I've been married to that thing for three weeks, and he's already driving me insane. It is my own fault, though; I was the one who agreed to marry him in the first place. But it's not as if I love him. I had no choice; he would have killed Kitana if I didn't yield to his demands. And she's so young…and she's still growing up.
"Three weeks ago, after the wedding, I was on my way up to my room to get out of that wretched dress and watch it burn to ashes in the hearth. But I couldn't help it but to hear the sobs and sniffles of a little girl––my little girl––coming from her room. The door was open a crack and I was about to enter to comfort her until I heard Jade speaking. My poor daughter feels it's her fault all this happened, and it's not. Several times, I've already tried explaining to her that it's not anyone's fault but Kahn's. And each time, she would shake her head and cry.
"Jerrod, how am I supposed to explain to her that it's not her fault but Shao Kahn's fault? Things would be so much easier for us if you were here. I thought that I'm just about ready to give up hope. The citizens, on the other hand, are not. I've heard them saying that I'd rise to power over the Emperor one day, but seeing the direction things are headed, it most certainly will not happen.
"Jerrod, he hurt me. He beats me until I bleed if I don't submit to his demands. Either that or he threatens to defile and kill our daughter. And he tries to force me to sleep with him but I refused. I kept on trying to stand up to him. I snap at him once and multiple times; I even slapped him twice by causing him to fall down on the steps and hurt his head. But though I know how to battle, he always manages to somehow overpower me… If only I could find the right words to tell you what he does to me when we are alone… it's so horrible that I break down whenever I merely think about it. What am I to do? If only you were here–"
Sindel slammed her diary shut and locked it. She shoved it into a drawer, rammed it shut, and shot up straight as the new Emperor, Shao Kahn, entered the room. "Sindel!"
"What do want of me now?" Sindel snapped.
"Where is that wretched daughter of yours?" he asked her with glowing eyes. "I told her to polish my armor over an hour ago, and she refused to do so because it still has Jerrod’s blood on it!"
"My daughter?" Sindel yelled. "My daughter? Well, maybe my daughter doesn’t want to polish your armor because it reeks of her real father’s blood! She’s no servant girl, Kahn."
Kahn snickered. "You’re right. She’s not. But when I simply request her presence to do a simple task for me, I expect the job to be done."
Sindel glared at her new husband, her mouth agape. "How can you be so heartless? You are asking her to wash away her father’s blood! That’s as if you’re telling her to wash away his memory."
"I never said that… but yes, it would be quite pleasant if she did forget about him, wouldn’t it?"
"Oh, I don’t believe this," Sindel sighed and paced around the bedroom.
But Kahn just kept his poise and watched his new queen with glowing eyes. "When I came here, I expected to have a disciplined, obedient stepdaughter and a loving, patient queen."
"Then step down from your Emperor status and go conquer some other realm," Sindel muttered. She returned to her desk, sat in her chair, and let her chin sink into her right palm. "Kitana’s well disciplined and does what she is told – she just hates you. And I am a loving and patient queen, but only to Jerrod."
"Jerrod?" Kahn looked at the ceiling, as if he was trying to think. "I’ve heard that name before. Let’s see… Jerrod… Jerrod… ah, yes. I remember him. He was your husband."
Sindel looked up at Kahn coldly. "He IS my true husband."
"No, he WAS your first husband because he is DEAD. I am your new husband now, remember? We were wedded no more than three weeks ago."
"No, we weren’t," Sindel replied. "No marriage is real unless two are bonded by love."
"And what makes you think I don’t love you?" Kahn reached down, grabbed Sindel’s chin, and brought her lips to his.
Sindel was caught by surprise. The unpleasant aroma of his warm, sour breath filled her nostrils as the distance between them grew smaller and smaller. And the next thing Sindel knew, her lips met Kahn’s.
Alarmed, Sindel shot up out of her chair and pushed him away harshly. She wiped her mouth in disgust and spit at Kahn’s feet. "Don’t you ever, EVER, do that to me again! You don’t love me, you never have, and we both know that you never will!"
The Emperor cocked his head to one side. "How true. But what about my armor?"
"I don’t know. Go… do it yourself."
"Fine." The Emperor turned towards the door, but quickly looked back at Sindel. "By the way, Sheeva will be here in the morning."
She glared at him. "Who?"
"Sheeva. An outstanding Shokan warrior whom I’ve assigned as your protector, my dear," Kahn retorted.
"Protector?" Sindel raised an eyebrow. "I don’t need a protector. I’m an experienced warrior and I don’t need anyone protecting me, thank you very much."
"True, but just in case, that’s her job from now on. I told her she could move in tonight."
"And who gave you permission?"
"Who’s the Emperor?"
The Emperor and the Queen stared at each other coldly, unblinking, for what seemed like hours, until Sindel finally gave up. "Leave me alone," she said, turning and staring out the window. "Just leave me be."
"I hope you realize that––"
"Damn you, LEAVE!" Sindel roared. "I order it!"
Shao Kahn’s eyes widened in surprise. He smiled. "It’s nice to know that you’re not as pure and innocent as you seem to be, my Queen."
Sindel kept her cold, stern gaze fixed on the horizon. "What did I say?" she demanded.
Kahn snickered. "As you wish." And with that he started out of the room.
Sindel stared at the door silently after the large figure left the room. Slowly, she turned back to her desk, opened the drawer, and reached for the diary. But as she did, her eyes caught a gleam of gold from beside the book. It was a frame with a small but life-like painting of her, a baby Kitana in her arms, and a proud, smiling King Jerrod of Edenia.
"Oh, Jerrod," Sindel whispered as tears flooded her eyes. Still gazing at the painting, she picked up her diary, opened it and continued what she had not finished.
"If only you were here, Jerrod, I would not do what I have decided to do. But I can’t stand this anymore. I end all of this tonight."
And that she did, for in the morning, Edenia’s second sun never appeared in the sky, and Queen Sindel was once again with her husband.
* * *
"I already told you! I don’t know where my mother is! Go ask that freak Sheeva!"
"I already did, and she reported to me that your mother was missing. And now, you are going to tell me where she is right now before I slit your throat!"
"You wouldn’t dare touch me! My mother would kill you!"
"Not if I kill her first…"
"Don’t you ever dare speak to me like that, Kahn!" Kitana shrieked. She kicked him hard in the leg, causing him to lose his balance painfully and then she quickly turned around at stomped up the majestic staircase to her room.
"I’ll speak to you any way I please!" Shao Kahn yelled back at her. "I am your father!" He began to follow her limply up the steps, and when both stepfather and child reached the large bedroom’s open double doors, Kitana looked up at the towering man before her defiantly and coldly.
"No, you are not my father. You're a monster!" She slammed the doors shut in the Emperor’s face.
"Imbecile," the princess muttered as she walked into her room. But no sooner as she took one step, she felt something beneath her shoe. It was a scroll. She picked it up and turned it around so she could see whom it was addressed to.
"To my Kitana," was all it said.
Kitana recognized the Sindel’s handwriting instantly. Remembering that she hadn’t seen her mother at all that day, she anxiously opened the letter.
"My dearest Kitana," it read.
"My child, before I continue, I want you to promise our realm, yourself, and me that you will not choose the path that I have."
"I promise," Kitana replied.
"When was the last time you saw light peek over the horizon? When did you last see the suns of our kingdom? The suns of our kingdom died with your father, and thus there is no longer any light for me. Gray clouds hide the brilliant blue sky from our weary eyes, an icy cold wind surrounds us everywhere we turn, and darkness hovers over our heads not only in nighttime, but even on our warm summer days."
Kitana was intrigued by her mother’s descriptive words. "What is she talking about?" she thought as she looked out the window. Only the smallest of the realm’s three suns shone brightly in the late morning sky.
"Where are the other two?" she asked herself. Confused and curious, she continued to read.
"I promised your father that I wouldn’t give up, my child. I promised that I would keep the light of Edenia burning, that one day we would have the power to overturn Kahn. But my fire has lost its will to live, and it is time for you to face your destiny. I know you are still young. And I’m sorry. I hate to leave you with a heavy and strenuous burden on your shoulders, but you are still young and can adapt to change easily. I, on the other hand, cannot take this any longer. I can barely live underneath the rule of that tyrant whom I must call my husband. So, my Kitana, I have chosen the logical choice. By the time you read this, I will be with your father."
Kitana froze. Her entire world did. And after her head stopped spinning and her heart resumed beating, warm, salty tears once again flowed out of her eyes like the crystal rivers of Edenia that had dried out after Kahn’s takeover.
"You are now the Queen of Edenia, my child. Kahn did not adopt you, meaning the throne is no longer his. But do your very best to rid the realm of him. I have left plans for the rebellion behind the painting in your room, but don’t make your actions obvious. The ambassador knows of these plans. Show them to him in the morning and if it’s needed, explain my actions. But if you see it fit not to take any action against Kahn at all, I understand."
Kitana broke down. "Of course I’m going to take action! Look what he made you do, Mother!" she sobbed in the silence of the room. "Look what he made you do!"
"I love you, my child. You know I always will. Take the best of care, and don’t cry for me. I am with your father now, and we will be forever watching over you. With love always, your mother."
And then the new Queen Kitana cried herself to sleep at that spot on the cold floor, dreaming of the time when she would see the faces of her loving parents again.
* * *
The Emperor Shao Kahn looked down at Sindel’s corpse on his bedroom’s balcony. The young queen had stabbed herself so many times that she now lay in a shallow pool of her own deep scarlet blood. The knife she used lay on the floor next to her. "So, this is where you’ve been for the past few hours… trying to escape to be with that idiot Jerrod…"
"Master," croaked one of the hooded Shadow Priests next to him. "Her body is still warm. Her soul hasn’t left the body yet."
Kahn’s eyes glowed red with evil. "Perfect!"
The Shadow Priests looked at him, confused. "We… don’t understand…"
Kahn turned to the priests with amusement. "Don’t you see why she killed herself? The fool wanted to be with Jerrod! But as long as her soul still lingers in her body, she can’t!"
Slowly, more glowing red eyes of evil came into sight in the dark hooded faces of the Shadow Priests. "So, Master," one began. "Will you do the honor, or shall we?"
Kahn grinned maliciously. "Watch me do…"
The Emperor knelt down next to the blood soaked corpse and positioned his hand inches away from Sindel’s chest.
"…What I do best." Narrowing his eyes, he focused his energies on her soul and nothing else.
Seconds later, the wind began to pick up. It moaned and cried through the trees as a transparent female figure rose from the corpse toward Kahn’s open hand. The ghostly image struggled to break away from his close grasp. And then suddenly, it screamed like a banshee.
* * *
Kitana immediately awoke and found herself in on her bedroom’s floor, her mother’s letter sprawled out in front of her. A shriek had awakened her, one that was all too familiar.
"AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" the scream sounded again. Kitana shot up and ran to the source of the sound, her mother’s bedroom. There was no doubt left. That was her mother screaming. No one else in Edenia could scream like that.
"But my mother is dead…" Kitana thought as she rushed. And she soon understood what was happening as she flung open the doors to the Emperor and Queen’s chamber. Through the open doors of the balcony, Kitana saw a ghostly feminine figure trying to escape from Kahn’s clutches. But it was too late. Kahn had just added Sindel’s soul to his infinite collection of fallen foes.
"NOOOOOOOO!" Kitana yelled. She ran to Kahn and landed punches in his stomach, her eyes raging with anger. "You let her go! Let her soul go!"
But her fury and punches had no effect on Kahn. He grabbed the child and stared into her angry but frightened eyes. "Kitana, your father and your mother… are dead! Gone! Never again to be seen by the eyes of any being!" Kahn let go of her and began to laugh maniacally.
"And now, the realm of Edenia is mine!"
Instantly, Sindel’s words rushed through Kitana’s head. "…You are now the Queen of Edenia, my child. Kahn did not adopt you, meaning the throne is no longer his…"
"My parents are dead, but that’s no reason for you to be happy either, Kahn," she told him, "because the throne to Edenia isn’t yours anymore."
Kahn looked at the girl curiously. "What are you talking about? My wife is dead, which makes me the lone and supreme ruler of this kingdom."
Kitana smirked through her tears. "Not exactly. The laws of Edenia clearly state that if should both rulers of the dynasty pass away, the inheritance of the throne falls to the next living person of the family bloodline. And that person… just happens to be me."
"But I’m your stepfather…"
"Not anymore," Kitana retorted. "You were my stepfather through your marriage to my mother. But you didn’t adopt me. So, her death makes me the new queen."
Kahn stood on the balcony with his glowing eyes wide and his mouth gaping open. How did just a mere child know so much about law and inheritance? He turned to one of his Shadow Priests. "Is what she says true?"
The hooded figure nodded. "I’m afraid so. It is as she says. Kitana is no longer a princess, but a queen."
The glow in Kahn’s eyes brightened. "Well, I guess I’ll have to rid myself of you too," he mumbled, taking slow and threatening steps toward the new queen.
Kitana backed away in fear. "Oh, charming job, Kitana," she thought to herself. "Open your mouth and now look you’ve done…"
"Wait!" she cried out. "If you kill me, the citizens of Edenia will surely rebel against you and your armies will be outnumbered! You’ll lose the throne anyway!"
The Emperor stopped himself in his tracks to think. "Hmm… how true," he agreed. "I guess I can’t kill you then."
Kitana breathed a sigh of relief.
The Shadow Priests obeyed Kahn’s command and grabbed Kitana by her arms: one on her left, one on her right.
"What are you doing? Let me go!" Kitana squirmed to break free from their harsh grips.
"Take her to the dungeon and prepare her for brainwashing," Kahn ordered.
"What?" Kitana struggled more, but there was nothing she could do now. So she screamed. "Jade! Help me!"
Almost instantly, Kitana’s best friend came running to her rescue. "Kitana? What is it? I heard you calling and – what the? Hey!"
A Shadow Priest grabbed Jade as well. "What shall we do with this one, Master?"
"Do the same to her," Kahn ordered. "She may cause some trouble for us later if we don’t deal with her now."
The two best friends looked at each other with trembling, teary eyes. They were in deep trouble now.
* * *
"Do you think she remembers anything?"
"Not if we… shh! She’s coming out of it!"
The brown haired girl’s brown eyes slowly fluttered open. Blinking in the dimness of the room, she looked around. She saw a fireplace… then a desk… then a chair… empty walls… a large bed on which she had awakened. And a hooded figure and an even taller man with a mask of a skull stood at her bedside.
There was nothing here that she could remember.
In fact, she couldn’t remember anything at all.
"Where am I?" She sat up and craned her neck to look at the skull-masked man who stared down at her. He looked awfully strange, but she needed answers. "Who are you?"
The man took off his mask, revealing a bald head and the ugliest, most hideous face the girl had ever seen. That is, if she could remember the faces she’d seen. "Kitana," he whispered gently. "Don’t you remember me?"
The girl sat back and relaxed against the bed’s headboard. "Kitana…" she repeated. "Kitana. Is that my name?"
"Why, yes, it is."
"I like it."
The room then fell silent, with a sense of uneasiness lurking in the air.
"Child, do you recall anything about yourself or me or anything else at all?" the ugly bald man questioned her.
Kitana looked up at the eyes of the strange man. He seemed… frightening, unworthy of her trust. But for now, she had no choice. "No…"
The bald man sighed and then turned to the hooded figure. He nodded to him and the person with the hood walked out of the large bedroom.
"Who are you?" Kitana repeated as the ugly bald man looked back at her. "Why don’t I remember anything?"
The ugly bald man placed his hand on Kitana’s head. "You poor child. Poor, poor child. You truly don’t remember what happened to you?"
Kitana shook her head.
"I should introduce myself first. I am the Emperor Shao Kahn of Outworld, and we are in my palace."
Kitana gasped and immediately lowered her head.
Shao Kahn looked at her questionably. "What’s wrong?"
"You’re royalty," Kitana responded, her head still lowered.
"Oh." Shao Kahn was surprised. He didn’t expect that from the child who had tried to thrash him the day before. "Well, raise your head. You are highly respected yourself. That’s why you are here."
"I am?" Kitana raised her head; a look of confusion still lingered in her eyes.
"Yes," the Emperor replied. "You see, your parents were my close friends and eminently revered members of my court and––"
"Oh, I’m sorry… I forgot you lost your memory. Your parents were killed in the invasion."
"A tyrant from another realm tried to overthrow me, my dear," the Emperor explained. "I did manage to dispose of him in the end, but when I did, it was too late. I’m sorry."
Kitana was silent and stared down at the blanket. "Not only did I lose my memory, but my family too…" she thought to herself. A small tear trickled down her cheek and fell to the blanket. She watched as the perfect circle soaked into the fine fabric.
"I know how you feel. I lost my loved ones in the war as well."
Kahn shook his head. "No, but my wife and daughter…" He looked away and closed his eyes, as if he was trying to block a cruel past from his mind.
"I’m sorry, my Emperor," Kitana continued, "but could I hear their names?"
"Well, their names might be familiar to me and maybe some of my memory will return…"
There was a brief stillness before the Emperor continued. "The invader was named Jerrod… my precious wife was Sindel. He tried to take her to become his queen. When she objected, he insisted… and she killed herself."
The room fell silent again as Kahn walked to the bedroom window and stared out into the horizon. The last of Edenia’s three suns had begun to set.
"My daughter was named… and your parents…" Shao Kahn raised one of his hands and wiped away the tears that had begun to appear in his eyes. "I’m sorry, Kitana. I’d tell you more, but it… it hurts. If you excuse me, my dear…" Kahn turned around and looked at Kitana, who still sat up in the bed. He then left the room, about to break into tears.
* * *
Hours later in his chamber, Shao Kahn pranced around laughing like the maniac he was. He couldn’t resist the refreshing flush of victory that actually flowed through his body. Everything was going according to plan. The brainwashing was successful and Kitana, unable to remember a thing, swallowed every word he fed her. He had worked the names of Kitana’s past into his story of lies so well that she’d never remember Edenia and would grow up in Outworld. Now all that was left was to do was to somehow legally take the throne.
And he already had that taken care of.
He walked down the extensive staircase and down the even longer hallway until he came to a pair of large double doors. Laughter rang from the inside of the room. Curiously, he raised his hand and gently rapped on the door.
"Who is it?" one of the voices asked.
"It’s me," he answered.
"Oh!" Kitana replied. "Come in."
Kahn opened the door and stepped into the room, but stopped as he saw that Kitana was no longer alone in her room. She was with a young dark-skinned child in the dull green clothes of a servant girl.
Kahn was shocked. What was Jade doing with Kitana? He had both girls brainwashed, and he was certain that they didn’t remember anything, And now here they were, laughing and talking like the two girls they were before anything ever happened.
"What are YOU doing here???"
Kitana stood up from her desk. "Emperor, this is Jade, one of the servant girls. She lost her memory in the invasion too."
Kahn breathed a sigh of relief. They didn’t remember a thing. "I know. I’m quite sorry, dear, but will you excuse us, Jade? I must speak with Kitana."
Jade bowed her head and left the room.
"So what do you need? Have you found something that belonged to my parents?"
Kahn shook his head. "No, however I did do something that I hope will lift your spirits."
"What did you do?"
Kahn forced a fake smile onto his face and caressed Kitana’s cheek. "You look so much like my daughter. In fact, every time I look at you, I see her face and hear her voice."
"I’m sorry if my appearance causes you pain, Emperor."
"Don’t be. Since I found you underneath what was left of your family’s mansion, my sad days have brightened," Kahn lied. "And now, to retain this happiness, I’ve decided to adopt you as my own… with your consent, of course."
Kitana sat at the desk with her eyes to the floor, trying to decide to say. Even though Kahn was royalty and had been spoiling her since she had awakened in the luxurious palace, she still had that feeling of uneasiness whenever he was present.
However, he looked more sincere now more than ever…
… That is, in the few hours she had known him.
She smiled. "It would be an honor to be your adopted daughter, Emperor."
"She bought it!" Kahn thought ecstatically.
Kahn gathered his newly adopted daughter in his arms with a false smile and false hug. Then he walked out of the room almost skipping.
Minutes later, he walked back in with the adoption scrolls in hand, and Kitana signed the documents with a look of hopeful renewal on her face. She looked up at her new stepfather with smiling eyes.
Kahn forced himself to smile back. "Welcome, my daughter."
He was taken aback when Kitana jumped up and gave him a hug, but had no time to react. "I’ll be back, Father. I just want to tell Jade the good news!" Kitana exclaimed as she ran out of her bedroom. "Jade!"
Kahn sneered venomously. "Was that it?" he asked himself. He began to walk out of the room. "If I had known that things would be this easy, I would have conquered this realm earlier!"
He stopped. His right foot had hit something underneath Kitana’s bed. Bending over, he reached down and pulled out an unraveled and extremely old scroll and a ceramic chest. The ink of the writing on the scroll was fading, and Kahn could barely recognize the Edenian characters. Squinting his eyes, he read the portion of the scroll that was left unrolled and exposed.
"The Suns of Edenia will meet incompatible fates.
Each will be attained on different dates.
The first will extinguish in all honored glory
While all of Edenia buries his story.
The second sun, too, burns out with the lark
Before she returns, but to the side of the dark.
The last will burn on but will set in the night.
5,000 years must pass before she brings light.
Edenia will be Edenia no more
Until this is fulfilled in years to wait for."
"Suns?" he asked. He raised his head and looked out Kitana’s bedroom window. "Surely there’s a deeper meaning…" he thought. "But no time. Guard!"
Instantly, one of Jerrod’s knights entered the room, unwilling to serve the new Emperor. "What do you wish, Emperor?" he asked through clenched teeth.
Shao Kahn rolled up the Scroll of Prophecy and placed it in the chest. He looked at the knight with his eyes glowing red as he tossed the chest into his hands. "Put this in with the rest of Jerrod’s rubbish. Burn it as quickly as possible."
He brushed his cape behind him and proceeded to leave the room. "Oh, and if anyone ever finds these things before they’re burned to ashes – ESPECIALLY Kitana," he continued as he entered the hallway, "you’ll suffer a fate worse than Jerrod’s or Sindel’s."
The knight was alone in the room with the chest. He looked out the window just in time to see last sun slip beneath the horizon. The sky over the kingdom slowly changed from a soft, pale blue into a deathlike black.
With a heavy sigh, the knight carried the small chest out of Kitana’s bedroom for disposal.
However, both he and Shao Kahn failed to see the ornate key that peeked out just behind one of the Princess’ pillows.
End of Saga 1