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Chapter 6

As Ariel reached Taiwan, she wasn’t sure exactly which part of the country she was in. She knew that this place was covered with tall buildings and neon lights that would blind even the strongest man. She walked on the soil and begun her journey. Treading through the sidewalks she looks in front of her and sees the mass of people that consume the walk way. Never in her life has she witness so many people in suits and such beautiful clothing. Suddenly she overhears a conversation in front of her.

“Taipei is so pretty at night, don’t you think?” said a relatively short lady in her 20’s.

“Yes, it is. I hear we can get the best noodles in Taipei in this restaurant. You want to go in?” said her male counterpart. Probably her boyfriend, Ariel guessed.

As they enter the restaurant, Ariel stops in front of the neon sign that wrote “Happy Noodles” and sees a lively group of people trying to do business. She was amazed at the streams of food coming out of the back doors and she was happy when she saw other shout with glee and optimism when they received their food. So this is how happiness looks like, she wondered. Apparently Taipei was a very happy place to be and she was glad to have found it. As she continued walking she noticed that many stores had started closing their shops and closed their lights. She wondered where she would be sleeping at a place and time like this.

Suddenly, she sees a girl with barely any clothing covering her come out from behind an Alley with a cigarette in hand. She decides to approach her and ask for help, but instead another problem occurred. A hand appeared out of nowhere and the girl was being dragged behind the alley with a gag in her mouth. Screams from the girl sent shivers down Ariel’s spine. She herself had made those same screams when she was frightened therefore she couldn’t help but feel a sense of guilt if she didn’t help this girl.

So, she rushed to help the girl as fast as she could. As she reached closer and closer to those screams, Ariel reached for the man attacking the woman and punched him straight in the face. He was wobbling from the hit and stunned at this small little girl could be so strong. Just as everything seemed OK, the man reached for his back pocket and revealed a shiny object. Clear and clean, the blade from his Swiss-army knife shone in Ariel’s eyes causing great fear for the girl behind her.

The smirk from the man grew as he came closer and closer to them, however Ariel did not budge unlike the girl. She drew both swords from her back quickly and smoothly with ease and gave the man a strong stare which seemed to have said “Bring it on.” She was not afraid of this waste of human flesh. She knew how to handle trash like this! Terrified of the swords, the man dropped his puny little blade and started running for dear life but instead, ran into a trashcan lid which slammed in front of his face! Ariel was shocked at this and saw another man holding the lid as the body fell lifeless. He approached her cautiously and revealed a badge indicating that he was a part of the police department.

“Hey! Both of you come here now!” he said, but the scantily clad woman had already fled for her life leaving Ariel, still in possession of both swords in hand.

“Drop your weapons!” screamed the officer. Ariel put the swords back in their casings swiftly.

“Ok…” he said but something interrupted him. In the corner of Ariel’s eye, she sees thug trying to attack the officer with a knife. “Hey!! Look out!”

But it was too late. The officer had been cut across the arm with a blade and was screaming at the top of his lungs.
A net from above covered his body and soon a group of men from every side of the alley came and huddled close to their victim.

“So officer, who’s defenseless now? OO, I haven’t heard a scream like that in a while…but most of the time they came from women! Wanna go cry to your momma” said one thug laughing.

“Ain’t so tough without yo crew here to help ya huh,” laughed another

Ariel then unconsciously, probably due from the adrenaline rush from before, yelled “hey, leave him alone!”
The thugs all stared at her, and started moving toward her, all grinning from ear to ear.

“And what do we have here? A little street mouse huh? HAHA” said one thug.

“What should we do with this pretty little thing huh? HAHA”, said another.

Ariel, still not backing down, swiftly took both blades out from the casings on her back and stood with the strongest look on her face.

“What did you call me?” she said with a fierce tone.

Staring, wide-eyed, at the enormous pieces of weaponry in front of them, they decided to leave before they could face their power.

“Let’s get outta here man, she’s too crazy for this job man! Just grab the cop and jet!”, yelled another.

Just as they were about to flee the scene, the man in the net had already gotten himself out and was pointed a gun barrel in front of their trembling faces. Ariel stood in back, so there was no exit.

“Leaving so soon? Aw, and we were getting to know each other” said the officer with a mock pout. “Get down, maggots! And put your hand on top of your heads, NOW!” he screamed.

Ariel, already trembling herself, followed orders as well. “Not YOU!” he said.

In about three seconds later the whole SWAT team came to their rescue and all the thugs were slammed against the walls, having their hands cuffed behind them. Ariel, terrified of the lights, fled the scene.

“Wait, wait! Hold up, where is she?” said the officer.

“Who?” said a SWAT officer.

“The girl, she was here a minute ago, the one with the twin swords,” he said anxiously looking around.

“Wait, the Twin Sword Warrior was here?! Wow! Wait till I tell my mom that the Twin Sword Warrior was here! In this very spot… And I MISSED it!!! What the he…”

But by the time the SWAT officer was able to finish his sentence, the officer had already left to find the girl. Who was she? Why was she here? He thought she was still in Shanghai. Apparently news about the Twin Sword Warrior caught rapid fire as it headed towards places like Taipei. As he stumbled around the neighborhood alleys looking for her, he suddenly sighed a very defeated sigh. He finally found his culprit and she had already fled the scene before he could do anything about it.

“Oh, God!” he screamed from the pain in his arm. All this action had left him unaware of his wound. As he fell to his knees from the pain, he searched for a wall for him to rest on.

Suddenly, a figure emerged from the alley. It was the Twin Sword Warrior. Shocked, he sat still at the wall. She crawled towards him like an ape and examined his wound. She took the shirt which she tied onto her waist and ripped the bottom of the cloth. She tied the cloth around the wound and their eyes met.

He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. She had the most amazing eyes; they were beautifully crafted yet something in them made her look so sad. Her face looked like porcelain against the moonlight, which only elevated her beauty. She barely had any makeup on, and yet her natural look amazed him so much. She looked at him some more with a confused look. This was the first time she had a close look on him.

He was tall and lean, had a decent haircut and wore casual clothing unlike many officers. Sure was cute though, she thought. His eyes drew her closer to him as if she had no understanding of personal space. This man was quite different from any man she had seen before; he has soft eyes, a scared disposition and a furrowed brow due to his wound. She took one last look and slowly got up and walked away.

“Hey!” he yelled at her. He tried to get up slowly but was a little weak. “Who are you?”

Ariel didn’t know what to say to that. Probably because she didn’t know herself, so how could she have given him a direct answer?

“I don’t know…” she said quietly as she began to turn to face him. “But we’ll find out, won’t we?” she said with a small smile and fled to another alley.

“Wha…wait!” he said while trying to catch up with her, but was stopped.

“Hey, Lieutenant! Lieutenant!” yelled another officer. The wounded officer stopped dead silent.

“Yeah!” he said, without turning away from his original position, his back facing the SWAT officer.

“We’re done for today. Turns out they were from Alex’s gang again. Geez, when will they ever learn? You wanna hang back at the station?”

“Sure…” His heart raced faster and faster, but he didn’t know why. As he pressed his palm next to his chest he could feel the palpitations slow down as the girl’s face disappeared from his memory.

For Ariel, her heart was out of control too, but she thought it was from the fear, excitement and adrenaline rushing through her small body. Men were the last thing on her mind let alone a romance. First thing was first; where was she going to sleep? She found another alley with a darker corner and decided to crash there for the night. As she huddled against the way, tucking her legs in and wrapping them warm with her arms, she thought about the night.

How the wind would pierce her flesh, how the moon would blow her cover, how the ground she was sleeping on would keep her up. But overall, she thought of her mother. Oh how she longed for her mother to comfort her like she did when she was young. She stared at the stars and realized that maybe her mother could be part of that mesh of lights looking down on her, protecting her from afar. The last thing she remembered thinking about before she slept was the officer’s eyes; slowly they began to fade in her dreams as she slept her first night in Taipei.



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