The ten rings clatter anticlimactically to the ground, their glow fading from a warm orange to a cool, deep blue.
His father lowers his arms, “I have to save her.” He says, emphatic. Imploring. “She’s calling to me.”
“I wish that were true.” Shangqi says, his own voice sad in his ears.
His father shakes his head, jaw clenched, shifting where he stands in frustration.
“Dad, please.” He begs, “Your family needs you.”
His father looks at him with anguish.
“I need you.” He tries.