This is one of Chance’s scenes. Admittedly he’d very bad ass in it, but the scene ended up being unnecessary. However, it makes for good additional content.

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Chance’s deleted Scene.

Chance rolled onto his side and spit out a mouth full of blood, spotting the pristine bamboo floor with red. The inside of his cheek had been shredded by his teeth from the last punch he’d received. His jaw was already getting stiff and his head was still spinning. He didn’t want to get up. Because if he got up off the floor, he’d likely get another punch to the face, or worse, to the throat, but he had to get up.

Rolling on to his stomach, he lifted himself onto his hands and knees before the sudden sharp pain of a foot in his stomach stole away his ability to breathe. “Pathetic,” a monk named Eli hissed from above him. “I don’t have the training the Priestess has had, and you’ve yet to lay a finger on me.”

Chance knew very little about Eli. He believed Eli was about his age, was mostly blind, and was very skilled in fighting. It didn’t take much effort on his part, before Chance found himself bleeding or on the ground. The one thing Chance knew about the man for certain was that Eli hated him. This was the monk that had been assigned as his trainer.

Heaving in air, Chance fell to the floor and curled into a ball lest Eli kick him again. “Sickening,” he spat. “Get up and clean up your mess.” He turned and walked out of the room, leaving Chance alone to catch his breath.

It took a long time before the painful spasms of his stomach muscles calmed. A long time after that he could finally pick himself off the floor, even if he wasn’t sure how long he’d remain standing. Through force of will, he managed to clean up the blood on the floor and trudge into the cold room they had given him before he could no longer hold himself upright. He fell onto his futon, uncaring that every part of his body felt like it was bruised. He was aware of that he had several broken fingers, and if his hip wasn’t dislocated, he’d be surprised. Pain had become a familiar friend. It had also become a constant reminder of his failures.

Sitting up, he took the small cup from the tray that had been left on the floor beside his bed. In it was a thick bitter fruit concoction that burned his mouth when he drank it, but he’d become accustomed to its flavor because he drank it daily. It was an elixir that healed all the injuries that Eli had inflicted. Downing the flowed in one gulp, he coughed through the burning, before settling back onto his mattress. He would have thought Eli kind for leaving him the daily dose of magical fruit cocktail, but Chance had a feeling it was so he could inflict daily pain on him without fear of Chance dying.

He settled into the mattress. The burning in his throat and chest had spread to his back and stomach, and would soon radiate out to his limbs. From experience, he’d learned to relax and let the concoction do its work. Closing his eyes, he let his mind wonder. His thoughts went to the same place they always did. They turned to Keely and their past.

He thought of night he’d gone into a jealous rage and accused Keely of being a prostitute. He vividly remembered how she’d tried to explain, her face showing how confused and unsure she was. Then how it transformed into heartbreak when he’d refused to listen to her. He’d never forget seeing the color of her eyes fade as her face fell. That moment had changed the course of his life. It led to the fight with the neverborn and the loss of his soul. In all of his life, he’d never felt so much regret in one moment. Keely’s sad eyes reflected the pain he’d inflicted. Thinking back on it broke his heart.

He couldn’t blame her for leaving without saying goodbye after the fight with the neverborn, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t angry. He was angry that she didn’t tell him the truth. He was angry that she didn’t trust him. More than anything, he was angry at himself. His mind started to drift into ‘if only’ territory, but he stopped himself. ‘If only,’ wouldn’t change anything. He had hoped that he could change his future. No, he would change the future. Keely loved him and he loved her. A little blood and a few broken bones wouldn’t stop them from being together.

In the distance a gong rang signaling that it was time for the evening meal. Taking a deep breath, he turned on his side and lifted himself up on one elbow, wondering if the magical elixir had had enough time to heal him. He tested his limbs and was pleased to find he could move pain free. Getting up from the futon, he righted his clothing and headed toward the small dining area at the back of the temple.

Eli sat at a wooden table spooning a heaping helping of rice into his mouth. When he noticed Chance, his face hardened. Chance had considered missing meals, but then he knew the value of sustenance, especially when he spent eight to ten hours a day training. Wordlessly, he walked up to an elderly monk who handed him a tray overly full of food with a proud smile on his face. Chance took the tray, thanking the man earnestly before he walked over to the table and purposefully choose the seat opposite Eli.

Dropping his tray on the table, he took a seat. “I’m not going to quit,” he said, staring at Eli’s hardened features.

“I never thought you’d quit. I’ve plainly stated you’re not good enough to be considered a monk and certainly not the caliber of one that the Priestess would require from her personal guard.”

 Chance had lost his patience dealing with the man. Even if it meant that Eli threw him out of the shrine and disgraced him, he was going to say what he needed to say. “So when the student doesn’t live up to the trainer’s expectations, who’s fault is it?” He picked up his chopsticks, grabbing a piece of curried meat and putting it into his mouth. “I came here to learn how to protect Keely…”

“You don’t have a right to even say her name,” Eli roared and stood up, reaching across the table and dragging Chance out of his seat by his shirt. “You don’t have the right to breathe her air, much less touch her. So, don’t say her name.”

Chance raised his hand and blocked the fist that came at his face. “Her name is Keely and she may be your priestess, but more than that to me.”

“She’s nothing to you.” Eli used strength Chance didn’t know he had to lift him off the floor and send him flying backward over the chair and the across the room. Chance hit the floor hard, skidding across it, but still rolled to his feet. “Leave us,” Eli ordered to the older monk in the kitchen and he scurried out of the room. “Do you even know anything about her?” he asked, taking a menacing step forward. “Do you know when the ministry discovered what she could do they took her away from her family and put her through years of rigorous physical training? Did you know she was thirteen at the time? She’s been fighting neverborn ever since.” He took another step forward and Chance had to force his foot not to take a step back. “And, that’s just the history of her we have recorded. What isn’t common knowledge is how deeply she feels things.” He took another step. “It surprises me you don’t recognize me, because I recognize you, by the signature of the filth that you left on our Priestess’s soul.”

Chance was puzzled. Should he have recognized Eli? He took a moment to really study the monk’s face. He was exceptionally handsome, and it would be unlikely that Chance would ever forget meeting the man. Then it dawned on him. Eli was the man in the video. Eli was the man that had infringed on something that Chance considered intimately his, Keely. Eli had been Chance’s undoing.

Everything got quiet. Chance couldn’t hear anything but the sound of his heavy, panting breaths. Rage took over, even though he knew the video he’d seen was a ritual to protect Keely. His rage wasn’t just at Eli, it was at the ministry, it was at the neverborn, it was at the entire world that had made Keely their warrior in a war that could never be won. It was her humanity that was slowly being stripped away because she was to fight that war alone. Eli became the focus of Chances rage, not because of what he’d seen in the video, but because Chance knew that this man, and many other like him, weren’t there to protect Keely. Despite their professed love and loyalty to her, they still sent her to risk her life to fight for them, for everyone.

Chance took a step forward the same time as Eli recognizing the tale tell body movement that preceded a hard punch. Chance squatted down, lifting his foot at the same time. He drove his foot hard into Eli’s knee and was satisfied with the loud crack the resonated in the quiet room. “Tell me again I’m not good enough for her.” He demanded as he drove his fist hard into Eli’s stomach, expediting his fall to the floor. “Say it,” he yelled as he drove a foot into his chest. Eli slid back, knocking over the table.

“I don’t have to repeat it. You know it’s truth,” Eli rolled to his feet, hopping on his uninjured leg until he managed to find his balance. “The ministry thought she left Japan because the battle in the suicide forest was too much for her. Only I knew the truth, and that was because I had the privilege of being bound with her. She may not have been aware of it until that moment you destroyed her, but she loved you.” He readied a fighting stance. “She loved you and you tore her apart.” He lifted his hands, ready to strike but holding his pose. “And, here you are ready to beat me bloody because you’re jealous.”

Chance knew he was waiting on him to move first. He didn’t move, yet. “IF want to beat you bloody because you think your protecting her.” It was his turn to act as the menacing hunter. He took a step forward. “Your ministry sends her into one battle after another, exposing her to pain over and over again, and tell yourselves you’re protecting her. She’s just a tool for you to use until you’ve used her up.” He took another step forward. “But, that’s going to change, because I am going to protect her. I’m going to protect her from all the monsters in her life, and that includes you.” He raised his fist and moved to punch Eli, but found his hand caught in Eli’s

Neither of them moved, and their breathing seemed loud in the quiet room. A small smile touched the corners of Eli’s mouth before he shoved Chances fist away. “Osamu.”

The older man that cooked and served their meals came back into the room. He looked from Chance to Eli and bowed his head. “I apologize for the mess we’ve made.” Eli bowed his head. “If there is more, please bring it out Chance will need his sustenance.” Osamu bowed and left the room.

Chance turned his attention back to Eli still feeling the overwhelming need to kick his teeth in. Eli offered him a smirk before he pulled a phone from the folds of the robe he wore. He dialed a number, and Chance heard a familiar male voice, Jasper, say “Hello.”

“He’s ready,” Eli said, then handed Chance the phone.

Chance took it, unsure what he was supposed to do or say. He put the phone to his ear. Before he could say ‘hello’, Jasper said. “I’ll be there in twenty-four hours. Get ready Chance, your training starts in earnest tomorrow.” The phone went dead. Chance pulled it away from his ear and handed it back to Eli. Real training would start for him the next day. Instinctively, he knew it was going to be much worse than what he’d already endured, but he was more hopeful than he’d been moments ago. Jasper wouldn’t come to train him, if he hadn’t passed a major test. He was one step closer to seeing Keely.



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