After the death of the great Eirakutei, the Ming Dynasty was left open to plundering by pirates from southern Japan. Li Long was sent by the emperor to assassinate the leader of the pirates, and bring Soul Edge home with him. Li Long, however, didn't really care about Soul Edge, so, instead, he decided to not only assassinate the leader of the pirates, but the Daimyo feudal lords as well. This was not part of the mission, but there was no doubt in Li Long's mind that he would succeed.
However, Li Long was not as strong as he thought, and an attack on the head of a powerful family went wrong. Li Long was badly injured, but he was rescued by a young girl named Chie. Chie was the daughter of an innkeeper named Yahei. She was traumatized by the death of her mother as a child, and had lost the ability to speak. She devoted herself to the care of Li Long. They fell in love, and Li Long stayed with Chie long after he was fit for travel again.
One day, while Li Long was out, a fight broke out at the Inn. Chie was thought to have been killed. A wounded Yahei told Li Long that a wandering swordsman had started the fight and left. Witnesses thought that it may have been Heishiro Mitsurugi. Mitsurugi, however, was not the only swordsman wandering the land.
Li Long set out for revenge. He learned the Mitsurugi was looking for Soul Edge. He decided that if he found the swords first, Mitsurugi would eventually have to come to fight him. And if it turns out that it wasn't Mitsurugi who was responsible for Chie's death, then he would seek out every last swordsman until he got his revenge.