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“Forgive me, father. It’s been too long since I’ve come to visit.”
Dan sniffed and wiped away tears that had already begun to flow.
“The most important thing I have to tell you…”
His voice gained a measure of strength, and he bent to lay a bouquet of roses before the weathered headstone.
“I’ve avenged your death. I think you’d be proud of me. I held Sagat’s life in a closed fist – if I had clenched, he would be dead.”
Dan stood and briefly held a tightly balled fist out at shoulder level. His stern gaze was fixed on some far-off point, and his visage seemed to be carved from stone.
His arm went slack and his stony countenance softened.
“Instead I opened it and allowed him to choose to stay on as my pupil and learn from the style that bested him. My style – Saikyo-Ryuu.”
A brief pause, a sigh, and then:
“I did it without anyone’s help. My power, my training techniques, and my style. That’s all I needed. But Father, what should I do now? I’ve spent my whole life pursuing vengeance. The road ahead is bleak for me. I need your help.”
Dan settled slowly into a cross-legged position, facing his father’s grave.
“There must be others like me. Others who have had fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters taken from them. They deserve the choice I had. But they shouldn’t have to go it alone. Not everyone is as strong as I am, after all.”
He stood up abruptly, head held high and eyes bright with newfound purpose. A huge grin blossomed on his face.
“I must dedicate my life to spreading the Saikyo way! Thank you.”
He turned and bowed respectfully before leaving his father to rest.