Old Guys Rule: The Master of the Fists
This was his favorite path. Kouryu Street, where many unsuspecting passerby would, as their name suggests, pass by. He hid in the bushes, completely invisible to the naked eye, and waited for prey. It was at least midnight, meaning that prey would be hard to come by, but he hoped.
?Aha! There some sap right now!?
Lo and behold, he saw a figure, obscured by the night?s darkness. But when the shape moved closer, strange things were perceived. It looked like floating gout of fire. The man in the bushes was confused, but waved his imagination off.
?Probably one of those stereotypical gaijin punks,? he thought.
Then he noticed a slight chill around him. It was as if the night had just become darker, the forest scarier, and the gout of flame larger. Then the man?s blood ran cold. The figure, bathed in sunlight, was something not human. A dark violet gi, torn and battered by thousands of fights, flaming hair that defied gravity, tanned skin that was no byproduct of the sun or salons, and crimson eyes that unhinged the soul. The overall feeling was that this was a man? no demon, to be fucked with. The man in the bushes wisely decided that he?d call it a day and scamper back to his home. Yet he was nailed to his place, the aura of this demon held his fascination as well as his horror. The demon didn?t notice him until he passed right next to the spot the thief was hiding. Then he stopped, and the thief?s heart skipped about 36 beats. The demon?s head turned and his eyes glared right at the thief.
(Oh Kami! I?m going to die!)
The ends of the demon?s lips raised a centimeter, and the pools of red narrowed. And then he was gone, down the path to wherever demons go. Unknowing, unwillingly, the thief had just fertilized that one patch of bushes.
He chuckled with no humor. It had been entertaining to do that to people maybe 50 years ago, but now it was old hat. The Path was indeed a lonely one. But that was a small price to pay for what lay at the end. And so he kept going, one foot in front of the other. He had much food for thought. The discipline of Shotokan, and its apex, Anatsuken, had many more followers these days. Admittedly, Gouki could only think of two others who actually wielded a form of Anatsuken similar to his own. Yet even then, theirs was not his pure art. Gouki knew his prime wasn?t gone yet, but he had seriously considered a pupil.
(For if I train a worthy one, then I will be rewarded with the greatest gift of all)
For a man such as Gouki, this ultimate gift was death. But not just death, but a warrior?s death. He wanted to die with the Fight strong in his soul, the smell of earth in his nostrils, and ki coursing in his fists. This was the greatest gift of love between a teacher and his student. Gouki had felt this love before, and did what he could for his master. Everyone knew that Goutetsu had died with a smile on his face. That was pure contentment, and Gouki hungered for it. His brother never understood, and he left the Path to train others. But Gouki would be damned if his brother did not receive the death he deserved, even if Gouki had to drag him kicking and screaming. He loved his brother, and still prayed Gouken would not be mad at him in the afterlife.
Of all the Shotokan fighters he had fought, only the wanderer Ryu had shown the skill recognized as Anatsuken. The rest did not have enough drive; they had too many things cluttering their thirst for the Fight. Ryu had nothing, and gave his all for the Fight. But Ryu was too ensconced in Gouken?s beliefs. He would not wield the Satsui no Hadou.
But once more, Gouki would be damned if he wouldn?t train a student far stronger than even Ryu.
-Outskirts of Tokyo, Japan
Gouki stood atop a grassy knoll, staring out at a sea of lights.
(They forsake the ways of old, and grow fat and weak within their cities. Is their no room for men such as me anymore?)
Gouki?s life was spent traveling and fighting in seclusion, in place where man?s technology couldn?t reach. Staring at those lights, he remembered one particular street fighter. An outlandish getup unsuitable for a fight. Unending and vexating exuberance. And a fervor for Ryu that sickened him. Sakura Kasugano. Beneath that annoying exterior slept a potential for fighting possibly greater than even Ryu. By herself, she learned complicated Anatsuken techniques and held her own against the greatest of World Warriors. But one thing impeded the dream of training her. GOUKI HATED KIDS. Gouki grunted and considered the pros and cons.
(A Satsui no Hadou warrior of unparalleled skill, or the discomfort of being in public and being rejected a sugar-high tween.)
?What the hell.?
And Gouki leapt off the knoll and sailed down to the edge of Tokyo.
A rocketing sphere of blue flew into the distance. Sakura was hot. Even though she had to say in a totally calm mood when invoking ki, the process of using it burned her out. After watching an episode of DBZ she felt the need to practice her hadoken, but with a twist.
A miniature Moses miracle occurred, the force of the ki separating the ocean betwixt it. It was satisfying to watch the waves created form the hadoken, but it got old fast.
?Maybe yelling out hadoken will make the move better. I suppose it?s worth a try, Ryu does it.
Sak did just that, and the results were?
?Meh, doesn?t do anything. Doesn?t Ryu-kun know he?s telegraphing his moves??
Far be it from Sakura to doubt her idol and the champion World Warrior, but she wondered sometimes. Important questions like:
Is he seeing anyone? What?s his favorite color? Does he take baths?
So many mysteries. Sometimes she wondered whether Dan Brown had made a novel about Ryu. He probably couldn?t even get enough subject material for a chapter.
Even though she was a beginner, Sakura could feel the aura. Like Ryu?s but not Ryu?s. Greater, but not so great. But she did know one thing: It was dark.
(She?s noticed me. Good.)
?Who are you?!!?
Gouki uttered nothing, merely flowed into his stance, feet bouncing slowly, right arm to guard the face and upper body, left arm to guard the abdominal and lower areas.
?You wanna fight!? Bring it on evil carrot top!?
Gouki grinned and lept up into the air.
The next thing Sak saw was a tanned heel ramming into her jaw. Sak backed up and sized up her opponent. He wore a black gi similar to Ryu?s, with large prayer beads around his neck and worn sandals on his feet.
?Are you one of Ryu-san?s pupils??
The man chuckled and rushed.
(Gaccckkk!!! He?s fast!!!)
A left uppercut sent her reeling, a single-hit tatsumaki senpuu-kyaku sent her airborne, and a shoryuken imbedded in her her gut and sent her 15 feet into the air. Sak got up slowly coughed up sand and pinkish seawater.
?Are you the one Ryu talks about!? Are you Sheng Long!??
(What did she just say? Who?s Sheng Long? If Ryu has talked about this person, then he or she must be a powerful fighter. I?ll have to investigate this later.)
Once more he went on the offensive. He battered her defenses with numerous punches and kicks, quickly permeating her kindergarten defenses with blows aimed at arteries, temple, and joints. He could almost feel the body breaking down, the blood vessels popping and bleeding. This is true Anatsuken. But the girl fought back. She dashed away and came back with a slopping tatsumaki which grazed his chin, and a roundhouse.
The RH was ducked and her feet relieved of the earth. She got up crouch defending, but Gouki spoiled that with an UOH punch to her jaw, and a vicious axe kick sent back to the earth?s embrace. She got up once more, and ran at him spouting something. He saw the shoryuken motion and prepared himself accordingly. He was surprised when multiple jabs at him in the upper body and a shoryuken ripped into him.
Sakura was huffing and puffing, but her opponent was still fresh, barely having been hit at all. This had to end NOW.
(Go for broke!!!)
But when she flew through the air, she didn?t feel a head being pulverized by her Chucks.
The air exploded over his head. If that had hit, he would?ve been finished.
Gouki leapt and shot out his foot.
The next thing Sakura knew, she was being tossed, turned, and battered like Bush at an unscripted news conference. The edges of her sight became black as she rocketed away from Gouki, still awash in the Messatsu Gou Rasen. As she landed, she only felt one thing: ANGER. Who was this man who beat her so easily? Was all her training worthless? She could see Kei shaking her head disapprovingly.
She all of a sudden felt power, power flooding into her veins.
(I won?t lose! I?LL KILL HIM!)
Sakura charged with a tortured battle cry and swung at the portrait of her misery.
The fist was caught and enclosed in a much larger one. He could see the blood red eyes, sunburned complexion. He could feel the murderous aura. This was what he wanted. This was his new pupil.
(Damnit! Why does this feel so wrong?!)
The other fist was held and his feet placed in a position to stop all kicks before they even started. But she was too exhausted to put up any offense. His grip on her fists was keeping her from collapsing. He felt the aura in her fists.
(Unrefined anger. Like a wild beast. Family and other facets of life cause this. What will be the repercussions of taking this pupil?)
He made a decision.
He placed her drained body on the sand, her shocked face still plastered on.
?When? If? you find your skills to be inadequate, seek me. I will teach you things Ryu never will.?
And with that the carrot top of doom was gone.