The Path, SFxT Oneshot


#1

They weren’t used to all of this attention.

Apart from having a rather productive judo dojo, with several of its students either going on to national competitions or transitioning to mixed martial arts, this small village located around the base of Mt. Fuji didn’t get many visitors. Unless one of its residents went down into the city and brought someone over, this village was often overlooked unless someone was looking for it on a map. Living in this village meant living a quiet, peaceful life, and those who sought adventure would leave the village and go out into the wide world that was just beyond the forest trees that surrounded it.

Unfortunately for the residents who enjoyed that peaceful life, the chaotic outside world was now disrupting the harmony of the village. The first warnings of trouble came only twenty minutes ago, when one of the teenagers playing in the woods ran back into the village to warn his parents that very soon they would have a problem. Then the first few armored soldiers rushed into the village firing their guns into the air barking commands. By the time ten minutes had passed from the first warning, there were a grand total of thirty armed men holding the village hostage.

All of this, just to make sure their leader didn’t get interrupted in his interrogation.

“So…this family is the last one we have to question?” the leader asked his lieutenant, who like himself was not wearing a helmet and armor that the rest of their lower-ranking subordinates had. Given how small the village was, it only took two hours to find everyone in the village and gather them for questioning. There were several conflicting stories about the topic in question, either fabricated to throw their captors off the scent or confusion as to what they were talking about. It wasn’t like asking if they’ve seen a monstrous freak of nature was something they were asked commonly.

If Jin Kazama had his way, he would never have come here, for the questions he was asking the civilians was a question he never hoped he would ask again. The creature he and his Zaibatsu sought was an ancient entity of malice and destruction, one that Jin had believed to have slain years ago. A monstrous being that fed on the souls and techniques of strong warriors in order to increase its own strength, this creature slew Jin’s beloved mother and it took all of Jin’s power to defeat it.

But a week ago, rumors began to circulate that the creature had returned, more powerful than ever. While there was no proof that it had indeed come back from the dead apart from a couple of peculiar-looking corpses, Jin could not leave anything to chance. Gathering intel as to where the monster was seen last, Jin gathered a small group of his Zaibatsu army and went to this small village that had been mostly isolated by the modern world. Jin would have preferred it stayed that way, but he could leave nothing to chance.

That is why it was a necessary evil to shake down these civilians like a two-bit hood and get the information he required. This would be the final family he would need to interrogate before he could truly determine if the monster had moved on. If it had, then Jin and his Tekkenshu would leave the village and let them return to their normal lives. But if it hadn’t moved on, and it was still in this area…then Jin pitied this village that would be engulfed in fire and blood with the resulting clash.

“This is the last family we found here, and the troops guarding the borders have caught anyone trying to escape…but what I want to know is why the hell you’re going through all this trouble to find this thing,” Jin’s dark-skinned lieutenant, formerly known to the fighting world as the Capoeirista Eddy Gordo, replied as his lips curled into a snarl. “With all of our computers, we could track this thing with our radar. We didn’t have to harass these people for all of this.”

“Sometimes it is better to gather intel the old-fashioned way,” Jin replied before walking towards the family consisting of a strong-built father with a stern face, a mother with a look of concern, and two small children who seemed terrified of his presence. Jin was wearing a new white military uniform with a long cape that one of his allies told him would make him appear more favorable to the people, but the look of terror in the children’s eyes told him otherwise. In the end, it would take more than regal-looking clothes to make the people forget that Jin Kazama was the ruler of the Mishima Zaibatsu that had engulfed the world in chaos.

Jin approached the father, who seemed the least afraid of the family, and politely bowed. Even if he was a fiend now, Jin hadn’t abandoned the lesson in manners his mother had taught him before her demise. “I apologize for this inconvenience to you and your village, sir,” Jin said quietly before lifting his body. “I need you to answer a few questions for me. After that, my troops and I will be on our way and we’ll leave your village alone.”

“And tell me why I should answer anything you ask?”

“Because the topic of my questions are of mutual interest to us, good sir,” Jin replied calmly, not letting the fact that this man was the only one who gave him a response like that bother him. “As the leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu, it is my duty to watch over my subjects and protect them from harm. Your village, unfortunately, is believed to be involved in such a danger to my kingdom, and it would be ill of me to neglect it.”

While the rest of the village had been cooperative with Jin, likely out of the fear he had instilled upon them with the show of force he demonstrated with the Tekkenshu, this man did not show any sort of fear whatsoever. If I were to guess, this man must be the grandmaster of the judo dojo here, Jin surmised as the old man glared at him. Perhaps some additional coercion is necessary.

Though it was only a quick flicker, Jin’s crackling red ki flashed across his body, causing the man’s children to jump back in surprise. “…is that supposed to intimidate me?” the man growled, not even flinching at Jin’s feat. “I am well aware of who you are, and what kind of power you wield. But a true warrior does not use intimidation to get what they want…if you were truly the fighter you claim you are, you would know that.”

Jin folded his arms and allowed a smirk to come across his handsome face. “That sounded like a challenge, sir,” he said as he watched the man clench his fist. “Let me reiterate that I am not here to attack your village or harm anyone. All I want is some information, and judging from the look you are giving me, I think you know EXACTLY what I want.” Reaching into his sleeve, Jin pulled out a photograph of the monster he sought and showed it to the man. “There are rumors that this creature has been seen in the area, and I was wondering if perhaps you could tell me more.”

The man’s eyes shifted to the picture quickly before going back to Jin. “…I have never seen it in my life.”

Jin looked at the man’s eyes carefully, taking note of how they seemed to be avoiding the picture on purpose. Letting out a sigh, Jin put the picture back in his sleeve and shook his head in exasperation. “…now why would you lie to me like that?” Jin said with a sigh. “You and I both realize that this monster cannot be left alone, especially if there’s a well-known judo dojo in this village. If you withhold information from me, it could put your villagers at risk.” Leaning in closer so that he was next to the man’s ear, Jin’s soft voice fell to a whisper. “Think of your family, sir…”

“…the only monster I see here is you,” the man whispered back. “You barge into my village with your soldiers and guns, interrogate these people with questions that couldn’t hope to understand, and then make threats to my family. Even if I did know where this monster is, there is no way I would tell you.”

“And why is that, sir?”

“Because I’d rather take my chances with that snarling beast than with someone who terrorizes innocent people to get what he wants.”

Jin frowned as he backed away and again looked at the man’s stern eyes. “I was hoping it would not come to this,” Jin said solemnly before lifting his fists and assuming his fighting stance. “You are a martial artist, yes? I see the only way I will be getting any kind of information from you is by fighting you for it…but you do realize if it comes to that, you will lose, correct?”

Pushing his family away, the man lifted his arms in a judo stance and parted his feet slightly. “A true martial artist does not fight only to win,” he grunted. “It is the fight itself that matters the most. By fighting you, I will learn for myself if you are truly the altruistic man that you claim to be…though I doubt my opinion of you will be changing any time soon.”

Before the fight could begin, the sound of gunfire entered the ears of the two would-be combatants, causing them to turn westward to see what the commotion was about. Quickly removing his comlink from his right sleeve, Jin placed it to his ear and spoke. “What is going on with the west perimeter?” Jin demanded as he turned his body fully to wear the action was. “I thought we confirmed that the villagers had been rounded up.”

“We have an intruder taking out the soldiers,” the voice replied with a hint of panic in his voice. “He’s not armed, but he’s taking us out like we’re not-ACK!”

And then, Jin sensed what the source of the commotion was. As a dedicated martial artist in addition to a worldwide tyrant, Jin was deeply attuned to the world around him and was especially sensitive to people who wielded immense power. The ki signature Jin was feeling from the west certainly fell into that category: an overwhelming presense that made even him sweat. This ki signature doesn’t have the same evil taint that Kazuya and Heihachi have, Jin thought he felt the ki signature come closer. So who else could have this much power if he’s not a Mishima?

“While it’s true that I have never seen that monster with my own eyes, this village does believe it exists,” the man Jin was going to fight growled, causing Jin to turn to him with a raised eyebrow. “Some of my students that left the village to pursue other endeavors have gone either missing or dead, and those that are found dead had their corpses withered like mummies. So using my connections in the world of street fighting, I contacted someone to protect this village and investigate what’s been going on.”

“So you do know what I’m talking about…that means that the monster is close,” Jin replied as the immense ki signature continued to advance through Jin’s Tekkenshu. However, when he saw that his troops were leaving their post to go to the where the commotion was happening, Jin quickly went to his comlink. “All units, stand down,” Jin commanded through his comlink, causing all of the Tekkenshu to stop in their tracks and the gunfire to cease.

Questioning his commander’s command, Eddy walked next to Jin and voiced his concerns. “Are you sure this is a good idea, Jin? Even I can sense that whoever is coming is serious business. What if it’s who we’re looking for?”

“It’s not,” Jin replied curtly as the source of the power finally came into view. Now that Tekkenshu had lowered their weapons and made way for the intruder, both Jin and Eddy could see that the man that had given their troops so much trouble was definitely human. The man had short brown hair and a light tan, with a ripped muscular build that rivaled even Jin’s and Eddy’s, both of whom spent several hours a day working to reach their physical limits through training and exercise. He was wearing a brown coat over what appeared to be a white karate gi, and a red headband was tied around his forehead with the tassles flowing freely into the cold winter wind.

“Is that who I think it is?” Eddy whispered to Jin.

“There’s no question about it,” Jin replied as he stepped away from the family that he was interrogating and instead walked over to the man that had dealt with so many of his Tekkenshu without so much as breaking a sweat. “It seems that we weren’t the only ones drawn to this village to search for our target.” Turning his head slightly to look at Eddy, Jin lifted his hand and pointed to the family. “Stay here and keep an eye on them until I come back. I’ll deal with our intruder.”

With his Tekkenshu standing at attention as he passed them by, Jin and the intruder stopped walking and stood several feet away from each other, assessing each other as if they were two cowboys about to have a fated showdown at sunset. “I did not think that I would find you here in this small village,” Jin shouted to the man as he put down his white duffel bag and kicked it to the side. “Let me start by saying that it is a supreme honor to finally meet you…Ryu.”

The name “Ryu” held reverence in anyone who called themselves a martial artist. Even without using a surname, a martial artist would instantly be able to tell someone what the name meant to them. A wandering warrior using a hybrid fighting style centered around three devastating techniques that when used in harmony could overcome any obstacle, Ryu made his name for himself in the world of street fighting by toppling the mighty Muay Thai Emperor Sagat and winning the very first Street Fighter tournament. If you were a martial artist, you either respected his accomplishments or idolized him.

Even though Jin had technically put the life of street fighting and tournaments behind him in favor ruling the Mishima Zaibatsu, the respect he had for Ryu was immense. From what other fighters from the street fighting world told him, he and Ryu had many things in common: both of them lost someone important to them to murder and both had at one point held the title of the world’s strongest fighter. But there was one thing they had in common that wasn’t quite as public knowledge: the real reason Jin was so interested in one day meeting Ryu.

Like Jin, Ryu’s soul housed a terrible demon of destruction and chaos that once unleashed would destroy everything in its path. But unlike Jin’s father Kazuya who relished his evil power, Ryu made it a point to hide it as much as he could: the only reason Jin knew about it is because of data his other lieutenant Nina obtained from the United Kingdom’s Delta Red unit. In a way, meeting Ryu was something even more important to Jin than finding his current quarry.

“…I wish I could say the feeling was mutual, friend,” Ryu replied politely, though his stern glare told Jin volumes about what the man was thinking about him. “I’ve been searching this forest for some terrible monster that killed a couple of friends of mine, and instead I find armed thugs harassing these poor villagers that were kind enough to give me shelter while I helped them figure out what happened to their lost loved ones.”

“It is a necessary measure: once I have what I need, we shall leave this village and everything here can continue as it was intended,” Jin answered politely. Bowing his head to this man that he had heard so much about, the Zaibatsu leader introduced himself accordingly. “My name is Jin Kazama: like yourself, I am a martial artist hoping to use my skills to make this world a better place for those that come after me. To that end, I won the fifth King of Iron Fist tournament to gain control of the Mishima Zaibatsu.”

“I’ve heard of you, Jin…but I’m not so sure you’re here to help anyone,” Ryu replied harshly. “I admit that I don’t know much about the Zaibatsu’s history or the King of Iron Fist tournament, but everything I’ve heard about your organization reeks of evil. Every single one of its leaders have tried to take over the world in some form or another, and from what I’ve seen, you’re the one people consider the worst of the worst. All of Asia right now bows to you and it’s not the kind of bowing they’d do if you were someone to be respected.”

“I have my reasons for acting the way I do,” Jin responded before motioning to his Tekkenshu. “I admit that to an outsider I’m nothing more than a tyrant, but rest assured that when everything is said and done, the world will be a better place and its people will rejoice. If being a villain is the price I must pay for this better world, then so be it. While I have had my dissenters, these men realize that I am doing this for the world’s good.”

“…so your mother has told me.”

Ryu’s response was, to say the least, quite unexpected. The words that came out of Ryu’s mouth sounded like some kind of backhanded insult, but he said them with such seriousness that Jin couldn’t help but seem surprised. Was it possible that what Ryu said wasn’t an insult? Unable to completely hide his surprise, Jin’s voice became solemn. “…what would you know about my mother?”

“Jun Kazama is your mother, correct?” Ryu answered with the same serious voice, again confusing Jin. “When we met about a month ago, she told me all about you. She spoke about you with such pride, saying how proud she was of you and how you’ve exceeded all of her expectations as a martial artist, and how you’ve taken initiative in life even if the world sees you as an enemy. Her regret was that she couldn’t have been by your side after what happened in Yakushima: she thinks that this current plan of yours has flaws and there are better ways you could go about it.”

“You…you must have been confused with someone else,” Jin replied with lethal somberness as his fists clenched. “My mother has been dead for years. You must have been talking to an imposter.” *But how could he have known about what happened at Yakushima?, *a voice in the back of Jin’s mind asked. The only other person who I’ve told about that is Heihachi. With his ki crackling around him, Jin’s eyes narrowed and his lips curled into a snarl. “But if you are saying this to throw me off-guard…know that doing so will result in a long coma.”

“I don’t really agree with your mother, myself,” Ryu added as he slowly assumed his fighting stance. “If you’re attacking this village and endangering its people with your troops, then maybe your mother doesn’t want to believe her son has become as bad as Kazuya…who I’ve also crossed paths with and is not nearly as hospitable as her.” The wandering warrior eyes narrowed as Jin’s ki became focused into his fists until they shown with red light. “But now’s not the time to talk about that, is it? So how about after I beat you, you leave this village alone and let me deal with this monster we’re looking for?”

“And if I win, you tell me everything you know about my mother,” Jin growled as he charged forward. “And I find out that you are indeed lying to me about meeting her, I can promise you that you’ll be spending the next few weeks in the emergency room!”


#2

While Jin was normally a very calm and collected individual, there was still a part of him that cared deeply for his lost mother, whose death was the very reason he was here violating this village’s privacy searching for her killer that he had thought he defeated years ago. No matter how much respect he held for Ryu and his accomplishments before this encounter, all of that respect and reverence went up in smoke when he started talking about his mother. Now Ryu would just become a number: a nameless individual that would be just one of the many that Jin had defeated with his fists that had earned him the nickname “Fatal Lightning.”

“Hadoken!”

Quickly gathering blue energy into his hands, Ryu fired off a basketball-sized bolt of ki at the oncoming Jin. Even though it was rare that he encountered warriors that could project their ki as projectiles, Jin had studied the Hadoken technique many times while watching Ryu’s matches. As such, he instinctively tucked his head in and ducked under the ball of energy to continue his pursuit of Ryu. In another couple of instants, Jin would be in striking range and would punish Ryu for trying to confuse him.

But to Jin’s surprise, Ryu fires off a second Hadoken with his arms still outstretched from the first one. Taken off-guard from this seemingly new variation of the Hadoken, Jin took the full brunt of the ki ball face-first and let out a grunt of pain. While not a physical attack, the force of the Hadoken was every bit as real as the fearsome punches that won Ryu so many matches, and even the mighty Jin recoiled from the attack and backed away several feet.

“Your father used that dashing technique against me, too, and I got pounded by it,” Ryu said as he pulled back his arms and resumed his fighting stance. “That’s why I came up with that new variation of the Hadoken where I can fire off multiple bolts in one motion.” Seeing that Jin was already back in his fighting stance, Ryu took to the offensive and lifted his leg for a roundhouse kick. “Though I guess now that I gave it away so early, anything else you do from this point on will be a surprise!”

Lifting his hands and swatting around Ryu’s foot, Jin countered with a monstrous Electric Wind Hook Fist that sent Ryu spiraling away until he landed on his neck and shoulders several feet away. “Never EVER compare me to my father,” Jin growled as he watched Ryu flip back to his feet and rub his jaw. “I am nothing like him…and anyone who says otherwise is asking to get pummeled by these fists made solely for defeating him!”

The two warriors charged forward simultaneously with Ryu rearing back for a fist and Jin lifting his leg for a roundhouse kick. With both their limbs shooting out at the same time, the two warriors parried each other’s attacks with the resulting impact causing a buffeting wind that spread out and hit the Tekkenshu watching the fight intently, slightly breaking their ranks with the force of the wind that came from the point of impact. After a brief standstill, Jin lowered his leg and went for a low sweep, but Ryu hopped into the air at the same time to strike the ducking Jin in the side of his head with a hopping spin kick.

But when Ryu landed and ducked down for what appeared to be an uppercut, Jin was the first to get up and strike the wandering warrior with an uppercut of his own: a crackling standing uppercut that launched Ryu several feet into the air. With his opponent still airborne as Jin stood upright, Jin continued the flurry with an elbow thrust and a high palm before sending Ryu flying away with a straight punch filled with his crimson ki: an attack appropriately named “Evil Intent.”

The wandering warrior landed on his hands and flipped back to his feet to see that Jin was already charging him to continue the attack. With only one attack in his arsenal that could effectively stop Jin when he was coming at him that fast, Ryu crouched down slightly just as Jin’s fist was about to come into contact with his head and soared into the heavens with his own fist catching Jin under his chin and launching him into the air with him.

“Shoryuken!”

Jin tasted blood in his mouth as he experienced the same attack that left scarred the mighty Sagat. But even as the pain rushed through his head and made it difficult for him to think clearly, Jin formulated his game plan and what would happen when they landed. Ryu probably expected the attack to daze him and leave him unable to attack when they landed, but Jin still had enough wits about him to land of his feet if he needed to. As soon as they landed, Jin would charge Ryu and make him pay…

…if not for Ryu charging his blue ki in mid-air and firing off a Hadoken at his opponent still hovering just above him. And then Ryu fired off several more Hadokens to keep Jin afloat in the air even though Ryu was now descending towards the ground. It wasn’t until Ryu’s feet were planted on the ground that Ryu ended his Hadoken flurry and allowed Jin to plummet down back-first into the ground. Clearly Jin’s data on Ryu would need to be updated as he was using techniques that were not into any of the Zaibatsu’s databanks.

Yet even after experiencing this new and painful combination of attacks, Jin rolled back to his feet just in time to avoid a downwards punch. With Ryu still kneeling down, Jin made the most of his opportunity and delivered a painful two-hitting backhanded combination to Ryu’s temple, stunning the wandering warrior long enough for Jin to kick him in the stomach with his Savage Sword technique. As a result, Ryu crumpled to the ground and gripped his midsection.

Jin wasn’t even going to let Ryu enjoy the pain of the kick he received, instead reaching down and pulling Ryu back up by his hair. “Now let’s try again,” Jin growled as he waited for Ryu to open his eyes and look at him. “What do you know about Jun Kazama?”

“The fight isn’t over yet, young man,” Ryu retorted before wrapping his strong hands around the arm that was holding him and squeezed as hard as he could, causing even Jin to release his hold on his head and try to pull himself free. Turning around with Jin’s arm still in his grasp, Ryu let out a shout before pulling Jin over his shoulder and spiking him onto the ground with a shoulder throw. “Don’t count victories that haven’t been won yet! Any fighter knows that!”

Rolling backwards to avoid any kind of follow-ups Ryu might have had planned, Jin rose back up only to crouch down and tackle Ryu to the ground with a double-leg takedown. Now mounted on Ryu, Jin rained down punches on the wandering warrior before transitioning into an armbar. “I was offering you mercy, but I guess someone of your renown wouldn’t give up easily,” Jin said as he pulled down as hard as he could, threatening to break his foe’s arm. “But there’s no way you’re getting out of this. Either you can talk, or you can snap!”

But to Jin’s surprise, Ryu was not only able to escape the hold, but willfully pull himself free of Jin’s grasp and return to his feet. Due to the supernatural strength that came from being of the Mishima clan, there were a shockingly small number of people who could break free of Jin’s armbar just by brute strength. But to Ryu’s credit, he was now part of that select few as Jin returned to his feet to see Ryu charging at him with his fist raised. He’s certainly everything the rumors say he is, Jin thought as he blocked Ryu’s midsection punch.

Jin again when for a high kick, but Ryu ducked under the attack and countered with a foot sweep that knocked Jin onto his back. But when Ryu tried to follow up with a downwards punch, Jin kicked Ryu in the shin and stunned him long enough for Jin to stand up and pummel Ryu with a rapid series of punches with the final lunging punch causing Ryu to stumble backwards. This stunned Ryu long enough for Jin to use another roundhouse kick, this time with the attack successfully hitting the wandering warrior in the head and sending him spiraling away.

“Y-you’re strong,” Ryu said with a stutter as he stood back up and tried to shake away the stars clouding his vision. Hearing Jin’s footsteps rapidly approach him, Ryu instinctively jumped into the air and narrowly vaulted over Jin’s head. When Jin turned around to face Ryu, he received a powerful hook punch to his jaw, followed by a thrusting kick to his chest and sent him sprawling away: Ryu’s Joudan Sokutou Geri. “The rumors about you were definitely true: you’re definitely your father’s-“

“What did I tell you,” Jin hissed as he slowly stood back up with his entire body crackling with energy. But Ryu noticed something different about him as he stood up: a strange marking on his forehead. For a moment Ryu thought it was a wound that he gave the young man, but upon closer inspection he realized the mark on Jin’s forehead was more akin to a tattoo: black scribblings surrounding a glowing red dot on the center of Jin’s forehead. “I thought I told you to stop comparing me to my father. Why must you continue to do something so unforgivably vile as put me in the same class as that fiend!?”

“This evil aura,” Ryu whispered as Jin’s red ki darkened considerably until his crackling energy was more akin to the color of blood rather than the bright red energy he had exhibited earlier. With his eyes narrowing as Jin’s facial expression continued to sour, Ryu very carefully approached Jin with his fists lifted. “Kazuya used a similar technique to get the upper hand when we fought each other last. I guess I should have expected you’d have something-“

“I thought I told you to SHUT UP,” Jin roared as the red mark on his forehead suddenly flashed like a star with his ki rising sharply as a result. “If you don’t be quiet when I tell you to, then I will have no choice but to silence you myself!” Realizing what was going to happen, Ryu quickly charged his ki and fired off another blue Hadoken at Jin, but it wasn’t fast enough. The red mark on Jin’s forehead reached its critical mass and unleashed a thin beam of energy that pierced Ryu’s Hadoken as easily as a nail gun would pierce a ballon, and Ryu barely moved away in time to avoid the beam as it sped past him.

Frustrated with Ryu’s resistance, Jin fired off another beam at the wandering warrior, and again he dodged…but this time not without consequence. Directly behind where Ryu had originally been was a group of villagers that had been gathered by the Tekkenshu during Jin’s interrogation. “NO,” Ryu blurted out as he watched the beam speed towards the civilians…

…only for the beam to suddenly veer into the air and narrowly miss hitting anyone, the ray of crimson power instead shooting into the cold night sky. Surprised at the sudden lack of disaster, Ryu turned back around to Jin to see the look of relief on his face, though it quickly returned to a harsh glare at the wandering warrior. Rapidly approaching Ryu once again with the same rapid dashing technique he used to avoid the Hadoken, Jin clenched his fist and prepared for another Electric Wind Hook Fist.

Unfortunately for Jin, Ryu was ready for him with another standing roundhouse that struck the Zaibatsu leader in the side of his head, stunning Jin long enough for Ryu to hop into the air and spin around like a top, striking him in the head yet again with a powerful spinning kick that sent him spiraling away. Landing on the ground from his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, Ryu quickly ran after the flying Jin and caught up to him to continue the assault with a trio of punches, followed by a powerful Joudan Sokutou Geri that caused Jin to ricochet off of a nearby hut and bounce back towards Ryu like a racquetball.

Launching the airborne Jin further into the air with a standing uppercut, Ryu jumped up after Jin and pummeled him with a pair of uppercuts and a hook punch before a thrusting kick sent Jin plummeting back into the ground. Regaining enough of his senses to land on his feet, Jin looked up to see that Ryu was now glowing with a blue aura with his hands tucked inward. “The Shinku Hadoken,” Jin identified the attack as Ryu seemed to hover in the air while he primed the enhanced version of his signature attack. With his forehead flashing with dark red energy, Jin’s eyes flashed with violent intent as he primed his own deadly ki attack. “If you think that’s enough to defeat me, then do your best. My mother told me to never back down from an opponent if the cause was just…and making you pay for using her name in vain is a noble cause I will gladly put my life on the line for!”

“Shinku…HADOKEN!”

Unleashing his stored energy in the form of a rushing flood of ki as wide as his body, Ryu fired off his signature technique at the young man still standing on the ground below. Planting his feet on the ground, Jin let out a shout and unleashed another red beam of energy, this time considerably wider than the one he has used previously. The two streams of power clashed with each other like two rows of linemen crashing into each other in an attempt to keep the other from advancing. Both warriors had spent their life practicing their respective martial arts: Ryu trained so that he could achieve nirvana and protect those close to him, while Jin trained to put an end to the evils of the Mishima bloodline and bring peace to the world. Under normal circumstances, either man would have been honored with one of them defeating the other.

But Jin was not going to bow down.

“The right to defeat me…has already been promised to someone else,” Jin said with a strained breath as he poured more of his forbidden Mishima power into the beam, feeling it slowly push Ryu’s back. “Until she has reached the level she needs to be at where she can take me down…I refuse to fall to anyone!” Feeling the enemy beam’s resistance waver, Jin pushed further and faster until he was certain his beam would win. “No matter how powerful you are or how much I respect you…I will not bow to anyone, even to-“

“GrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAGH!”

Just when it seemed like Jin had triumphed, he was sent buffeting backwards as a red explosion rocked him from where Ryu had been hovering in the air. It wasn’t just Jin that felt the effects of the explosion, as Tekkenshu were sent sprawling and windows shattered around the nearby huts and houses. Rolling back to his feet, Jin looked up in shock to see Ryu crash back down to the ground…and promptly let a cold sweat fall down his face.

Ryu’s body was now dripping with dark red energy, with his hair now a crimson tinge and his eyes shining with vermillion fire like they had become windows to hell. Noticing how Ryu’s teeth and now sharpened to almost canine levels, Jin gulped as he stood back up and resumed his fighting stance. This was the dark energy that was rumored to live in Ryu’s body coming out to play: that overwhelming aura of bloodlust and carnage that was thought to have only existed in a street fighter’s nightmare.

Just as the Mishima bloodline held a dark hidden power that no mortal should have, those who wielded Ansatsuken and its variations ran the risk of unveiling the forbidden art of the Satsui no Hado. With that realization, Jin steeled his nerves as he told himself that the real fight was only just beginning.

But that “real fight” never came, and as quickly as it came, the red aura disappeared and Ryu’s hair and teeth returned to more normal appearances. “…damn it all,” Ryu cursed as he carefully sat down into a kneeling position. “I was hoping I had done away with the Satsui no Hado…but I guess I still have a long way to go.” Looking up to the bewildered Jin, Ryu put his hands on his lap and bowed his head. “I will concede this fight to you, Kazama-san. Congratulations on your victory.”

“You’re…you’re giving up?” Jin blinked as the markings on his forehead disappeared and calmness returned to his mind and soul. “Why would you do that when you just had your second wind?”

“To use the Satsui no Hado is to sell your soul for power. You enter a murderous rage where you have no choice but to rip apart anything that stands in your way,” Ryu explained solemnly, still looking at the ground. “By tapping into it, even unintentionally, I automatically forfeited any right I had to claim victory in this fight.” Lifting his head to see Jin walking back towards him, Ryu allowed himself a smile. “Now I can see why your mother is proud of you even though you run the Zaibatsu…and I imagine she’d be even prouder if she saw you this evening.”

“And why would you say that?” Jin asked as he looked down at the “defeated” warrior. “I had to use my damnable Devil Gene to get the edge in our battle. If she were here, she would have scolded me…”

“She would only scold you if you used it wantonly…but during our fight, you went out of your way to make sure that no one was caught in the crossfire. To me, that spoke volumes of your true purpose in running the Zaibatsu in positioning yourself as the villain,” Ryu said as he stood back up and dusted himself off. “For whatever reason, you don’t want the world to think well of you, even though you’re clearly a good person. And to be able to control your dark power while retaining your sense of right and wrong…” Ryu placed a hand on Jin’s shoulder and smiled again, “…well, you’re way ahead of where I am trying to control the Satsui no Hado. There’s a lot I can learn from you, Jin.”

“…how is it that you know my mother, Ryu?” Jin finally asked, even though the pride he felt of getting such a huge compliment for someone as respected as Ryu was difficult to hide.

“She helped me get out of a Shadaloo ambush last month,” Ryu answered. “Before we parted ways, she told me about you and how maybe you could help me control the Satsui no Hado. I can see that she was right.”

“And where is she now?” Jin asked eagerly, realizing that Ryu was indeed telling the truth.

“…she told me to keep this a secret from you, but we made a wager and I’m not going to break it,” Ryu replied. “The last I heard from her, she was working alongside Interpol. I know that doesn’t help much, but I think I can reference you to someone who-“

BOOM!


#3

A loud explosion echoed throughout the village from the north side, causing everyone to turn to the fires that were now engulfing the forest trees on that side. Quickly reaching for his comlink, Jin turned it on and spoke. “What the hell was that? I thought I told everyone to hold your fire until I said otherwise!”

“The target has engaged the north side and detonated our trucks!”

“This overwhelming murderous intent…this must be the thing I’m looking for,” Ryu said as he clenched his fists and turned to Jin. “Kazama-san, I’m going to get everyone here to safety. I don’t mind if you take care of this for me, but these people come-“

“Already done,” Jin interrupted before going back to his comlink and tapping an icon on its screen. Once the name of the person he wanted to contact was on the screen, Jin spoke. “Eddy, tell the troops to evacuate the civilians and lead them to the Sector D-12. Once everyone has been safely cleared out, wait for my order to send a retrieval unit. Until then, you are in command.”

“Understood, Mr. Kazama,” Eddy’s voice replied as Jin and Ryu quickly ran over to the north side. “Tell that Ryu guy that after all of this is over, I get first dibs on his next match.”

As the Tekkenshu received their orders and transformed from the village’s captors into their saviors, Jin and Ryu reached the northern part of the village and saw their quarry: a monstrous beast with the tail and wings of a dragon, the fur of a lion, a right arm composed entirely of hissing snakes, and a face that could only belong to a demon not meant to walk on Earth’s soil, its dripping fangs thirsty for blood. “That’s definitely Ogre…it’s my worst fears come to life,” Jin said solemnly as the beast effortlessly swatted aside twelve of the Tekkenshu before turning its attention to the two warriors. “I suppose if my mother is still alive, it’s only fair that her would-be killer would be alive, too.”

“Kazama-san, I understand if you want to do this alone given your history with it,” Ryu said quietly as his body once again began to glow with blue ki. “But with your permission, I’d like to get my licks in with this thing for all of the horrible things it’s done. One of the people it killed offered me shelter when I was in this area, and I at least want to repay him by allowing his soul to rest in peace.”

Turning towards Ryu, Jin lifted his fist in front of the wandering warrior and smiled. “Ryu…sharing this fight with you would be an honor,” he said sincerely, finally letting his true nature show through that his mother told the wandering warrior about: the nature that fought for righteousness above all else.

Seeing the sincerity in Jin’s eyes as the Zaibatsu leader crackled with red ki, Ryu gently bopped his fist against Jin and returned the smile. Turning back towards Ogre, Ryu took off his jacket to reveal the top of his trademark white gi while Jin undid the buckles of his cape and allowed it to blow away in the wind. “The honor is all mine, young man. Now let’s take care of business!”

Letting out their respective war cries, Ryu and Jin charged Ogre even as the creature unleashed a stream of fire from its mouth, causing whatever vehicles that were still parked around it to explode violently in fiery plumes. Completely ignoring the fiery maelstrom erupting around him, the two warriors jumped into the air and lifted their fists as Ogre looked up at them with its eyes flashing with murderous intent. Whatever reasons they had for fighting, or whatever paths they took, the two warriors could at least find solace in knowing that wherever their paths lead them…tonight they could take comfort in knowing that, if only for this fight against Ogre, their journey would not be completely lonesome.


#4

Good! I like that you made Ryu a hero more convincingly than Capcom has ever managed to. And you related Ryu Jin and Kazuya nicely, although it seemed that Ryu was trying to troll Jin with the mentions to Kazuya. XD

So, are you posting the Chun and Jun one here? I don’t know why but I feel a bit lazy to comment on Deviantart.


#5

I’ll post the others tomorrow. I’d have done it today but river city bowl took all day.