The Path


#1

2007 UPDATE
Chapters 1 through 23. Smashed together and revised. It is a Microsoft Word document.
A notepad version of the same.

===================
Chapter I: Beginnings

  • Japan

?We have to leave?..there is no time for this?..? A young boy stated flatly, his voice carrying the hint of annoyance at his brother?s dawdling. They stood at a fish stand they regularly visited?.late for their return home yet again. The air carried the scent of many things, spices and foods that seemed to drift through the air and play with one?s nose and imagination. The smell of animals such as chickens and pigs among other things. The smell of sweat from a hard day?s work coming from so many. The sounds of people screaming out their wares or people arguing over prices?..these things were normal at a market.

?In a second? Gouken replied, staring at a group of young Japanese soldiers marching in the distance a couple miles away, his eyes wide with admiration and curiosity. In one hand he carried a bag full of fish ready to be cooked and eaten for dinner, the bag slipping out of his hands?.his full attention locked unto the troops far away. Suddenly he turned away and began walking away from the market, completely silent as he began the trek back home. The road was lonely, a beaten path stretching out for miles, with wild grass on the sides. Gouki grunted loudly and started walking moments later, trailing behind his brother and following in silence.

Gouken was the elder sibling, at least three years Gouki?s senior. Gouken was 11, Gouki was 8 years of age. Gouken?s frame was lean and firm, a typical build for a young boy. Gouki?s however, was thin and frail, and he was at least a foot shorter than his brother. Gouken was the stronger one, he always was. While Gouki was frequently stricken with illness and confined to his bed, Gouken often ran in the fields and played much more than most adults wanted him too. While Gouken was loud and expressed his views freely Gouki often remained silent unless he truly felt that something needed to be said. Gouken wore his emotions on his sleeve and was as carefree as anyone could be?.while Gouki was downright stoic, often thought of as cold and emotionless by the other children??children he never played with. Gouki preferred to hear stories of great samurai and pursue the academics. These two brothers were truly exact opposites, yet they got along just fine. They kept each other at a distance, as much as two brothers could.

?Hey Gouki???

?What.?

?Where?.where do you think those men are going? They look so unhappy?.I bet those uniforms must itch.? Gouken frowned slightly as he thought of himself wearing one. His face was round and kind-natured. His hair was a short black mop on top of his head, he did not pay any attention to it except in the morning. His frown faded into a smile as he turned and looked at his brother.

?Well??

?They are going off to fight. To take part in some major battle far away??a war no doubt.?

?A war? WOW! Hey Gouki?..what?s a war??

?Arghh??.? Gouki mumbled to himself as he reflected upon the absent-mindedness of his sibling. He had to explain everything to him at least twice?.he always forgot it the first time. Gouki face was always expressionless, his long completely straight jet-black hair going all the way to his chin. His face was slender, and his eyes carried a weight and awareness beyond the years of a normal boy.

?War is a conflict between two parties?.usually two or more nations. Right now Japan (our country)?.is in the beginning stages of a plan for occupation of China-?

?OH LOOK!!? Gouken suddenly shouted as he dived to the ground, picking up a small crystal. He stared at it, his eyes wide and his mouth in an O. Gouki began to wonder once again why he even bothered.

?Like I was SAYING??

?Bah forget it! Let?s go home!?

Gouki sighed to himself as the two brothers slowly walked home. Gouki?s eyes found themselves staring up at the sky, a large group of clouds that were beginning to block out the sun?s rays. The sky was beginning to darken also?..

?A storm is approaching.? He said to himself as he closed his eyes and continued walking.

++++++++++++++++++

?My dear friends, we must stand up!?

The voice of a man tired of corruption stood on a pedestal. He was dressed in a brown suit, the jacket missing. Sweat dampened his white shirt, and his glasses were fogged. He was an esteemed professor of the local university, and considered a radical by many of his colleagues. He was in his late thirties, and being watched by the government.

But he didn?t care.

?We must tell our government?.war is not the answer! The occupation of China by Japan is unnecessary and downright tyrannical! If they will not listen?.we will FORCE them to listen!!? The man shouted, answered by the uproar from supporters listening to him. There was an anti-imperialism rally going on, a crowd of at least 100 came to hear this man speak. Who knows how many more caught a brief satch of speeches while walking past.

The speaker paused to wipe his glasses, his breathing heavy yet patient. He silently slipped his glasses back on, and wiped some hair that had fallen into his eyes.

?Do you see what our government is trying to do?! They?re trying to control the world! I have proof of this?..a document called the Tanaka Plan?.and I will reveal it in a week?s time. This document will-?

Suddenly something caught the eye of the speaker. Someone in the crowd suddenly began to leave. He aggressively pushed through the crowd on his way out, his back was turned but the speaker could clearly recognize??

The uniform of a Japanese General.

++++++++++++++++++

?DAD!?

Gouken shouted as he saw his father in the doorway to their house. He immediately took off running at full speed, just to spring up into his arms.

?Ummm…what?s this?? The father wondered as Gouken handed him the bag.

?Fish. How was the rally for the thingie??

?The rally against the Tanaka plan you mean? It went wonderfully son.?

?GREAT!?

Gouki slowly approached his father, his lips began to curl into a slight smile when his father greeted him with a playful noogie.

?And how are you, my other son??

?I am fine.?

?Good.?

?A storm is approaching father.?

?I know son?.I know.? Suddenly his father?s smile faded, his eyes looked distant and worried. Gouki stared up at his father, trying to find something to say yet nothing came.

?Now?.let?s go eat.? His father?s smile returned as Gouki and his brother were herded inside.

++++++++++++++++++

It was now night, and still no rain had come.

The house was modest, the dwelling of a comfortable middle class family. There were pictures on the walls, and rows and rows of old books. The family dug into their food like they were truly hungry. Gouken ate like a wild animal, while Gouki ate slowly and carefully. Their father watched them while eating himself, in a mood of reflection.

?Gouken?..has Mitsuko?s spirit??? The father thought as he reflected on his late wife and mother to his children. She died in labor?.Gouki never knew her, and Gouken could barely remember her. It was a shame?she was such a beautiful person. The only women he had even known that really rebelled against Japan?s traditional roles for women. You catch her in jeans before you?d ever catch her in a Kimono?..the father chuckled at the thought of it.

?Good food dad?love it.? Gouken said with a mouth stuffed full of dinner. Gouki nodded, seconding the notion.

?I?m glad you like-?

Suddenly there was a loud rapping on the door. An impatient knocking that signified poorly masked anger. Instantly a cold chill ran up the father?s spine.

He got up to answer the door. Once opened there stood the same general from before, his hard facial features and cold gaze locked onto the professor.

?General Fujima, greetings.? The professor opened the conversation with.

?Professor??I need to have a conversation with you?..alone.? The general said, his eyes quickly pouncing upon the children when he uttered ?alone?. Fujima?s voice was deep and commanding.

?Boys, go play.?

?But Dad it?s night-?

?go play.? The father?s voice suddenly gained an intense authority, and the boys slowly exited.

?Now?what did you come here for Fujima.?

?That guy?s scary.? Gouken said once they were outside, 15 feet away from the house.

?Yeah???

The general stared at the professor, his intense gaze trying to intimidate, but it had no effect.

?The government?.does not approve of your actions professor.?

?Well, I never asked the government to approve?.and it doesn?t concern me if they do or not.? Fujima?s eyes suddenly widened at the response, then he regained himself.

?We?.cannot tolerate your course of action any longer professor. Your protests and rallies?..will stop.?

?The hell they will.?

Fujima?s fists clenched and so did his teeth. He stared at the resistant professor, and the gaze was returned. Neither side was willing, or able to relent.

?Professor?..the Tanaka Plan will never be mentioned. Do not mention it.?

?The world needs to hear it. The world needs to hear what you monsters plan to do?.and have already done. I will never stop.?

The tension in the room was a thick shroud that lay over all. Sweat beaded, and cascaded down the professor?s soft facial features, but his eyes were hard as steel.

?I hope you understand professor?..I cannot leave until you are silenced.?

The conversation had escalated; Gouki and Gouken could now hear it from outside.

?Wow?they?re fighting about something?.?

?They?re fighting about Dad?s protests???

Suddenly a crash could be heard inside. Gouken jumped, and Gouki turned to see. Seconds later, their father came crashing out of the house through the window, laying on the ground 10 feet from the house, peppered with shattered glass. The general calmly walked outside, his movements crisp and mechanical. The professor quickly picked himself off the ground and unbuttoned the top buttons of his shirt.

?Fujima, is this how you want to settle this? I have the ability to fight you off?.I?ve been taught martial arts.?

?So have I?.you should not be a problem.? Fujima stated flatly as he cracked his knuckles and rotated his head, stretching his neck.

?Prepare yourself.?

?My boys?.run.? the professor whispered as he got into stance. The boys stood frozen, paralyzed by fear.

The general rushed forward, faking a left hook which the professor concentrated on?.only to strike with a right hook. The professor staggered, and the general did a quick and powerful roundhouse, knocking his opponent to the ground.

?Are you kidding me? Pathetic?.? The general said as he walked over to the boys? father. Suddenly the professor lashed out with back flip, knocking away the general and regaining his footing at the same time.

?Wow?.dad?s strong.? Gouken muttered.

?Why hasn?t he taught any of those moves? ??..Gouki?? Silence was the response he got from his brother.

Fujima rushed forward, the professor leaned forward with a punch but missed horribly. The general kneed his opponent in the chest?..then he kneed him again?.and again?..and again?..and again. The professor coughed blood as Fujima let him go, the professor falling to the ground limply.

The boys stood horrified as Fujima viciously kicked the professor as he lay on the ground, forcing him to get up. The professor obliged, only to be hit by a punch to the chest, and a backhand so powerful it instantly knocked the professor down.

Thunder roared across the sky, and it began to rain. Hard, fast rain that cascaded from the heavens, the tears of the gods themselves. Fujima?s lips were pulled back in a snarl, his white gritted teeth exposed as he stared down at the beaten professor. He kneeled, and grabbed the professor by his black hair, lifting his head up?.facing his children.

?Any last words before I end your pathetic life, you traitorous dog?? Fujima?s voice carried a sick glee to it as he held the professor?s head in his hands, his eyes wide with madness.

The boys could only stare, speechless?.terrified. The rain beat down on all of them?soaking their clothes.

?My boys??? The professor began?still coughing up blood.

?I love you?always know that?.and I?m sorry-? The professor was interrupted by Fujima savagely snapped his neck. The general let the professor fall to the wet ground, a sick smile still on the general?s face. Lightning flashed through the sky, bathed Fujima in an eerie light as he stared up at the boys.

?Children?..you are now orphans.? And with that, Fujima turned to leave.

Tears welled up in Gouken?s eyes as he began to shake uncontrollably. Gouki was silent, his hands balled into tight fists at his sides, his upper teeth sinking into his lower lip, holding back the tears.

?My dad?..you killed him?.YOU KILLED HIM YOU BASTARD???

Gouken screamed at the top of his lungs as he threw himself at Fujima, with pure murder in his eyes. Before he could attack, a sharp roundhouse without even looked from Fujima stopped him, the force of the impact so powerful it flung him against a tree trunk 17 feet away, knocking him unconscious.

Gouki?s lower lip now oozed blood, the tears now streaming down his face. His fists were shaking violently, but he said nothing. He stared up at the grinning Fujima, his eyes sad and filled with the strongest rage.

?And I suppose you?re going to fight me too boy??

???

?Hmph. You?re more pathetic than you brother. Die in the streets for all I care.? Fujima turned to leave, the rain beating down on all?.the tears of the gods bathing them all. Gouki stood there, for seemingly hours?crying silently, his blood mixing with his tears with all of this mixing with the hard rain.

?Do you…wish to be strong child?? A voice suddenly said. Gouki turned to find a man standing behind him. The man wore black, the veil of the night was too thick for him to see what in particular. The man had long straight black hair that extended to the middle of his back, with frequent streaks of gray peppering it. The man?s face showed that he was at least middle aged, but his form was that of a fighter in his prime. The man stared down at his with piercing black eyes.

?Well boy!? Do you wish to be strong?? The man said again. Gouki nodded slowly.

?Well gather your brother and come with me.?

Lighting flashed across the night sky as the gods continued weeping, and the lives of two young boys changed forever.


#2

Bullshit


#3

GOUKI!!! GOUKI!!! GOUKI!!!

Oh, and is Mitsuban (or whatever) really the name of Goutetsu’s wife?


#4

Aw, baby Gouki. How cute. I like where this is going and can’t wait for the next chapter.


#5

Great chapter FoF!! The detail was excellent and the mood, setting, and atmosphere were top-notch. I loved Goutetsu’s understated appearance at the end of the chapter. Forget Son of Bison for now, this is too good.

Darkstalker: Mitsuko was the name given to Gouken and Gouki’s mother, not Goutetsu’s wife. Afaik, it’s unofficial.
-Clay


#6

Whoa… Couldn’t wait for the next chapter! Keep going!


#7

Its funny how I can never read a lone fic on these boards, theres always way more than one great fic which gets me hooked, and this is by no means an exception. This fic just from reading the first chapter is shaping up to be as great as Son of Bison.

Its gonna be really interesting to read how Gouken and Gouki trained and became what they now are. Cant wait for the next chapter.

One thing though, can we expect Still Burning to be updated anytime soon? That was and is an insanly amazing fic, and I would love to be ale to finish it sometime.


#8

Whoops, typo. I meant Gouki and Gouken’s dad (I was a little sick then, so I suddenly thought that Goutetsu was Gouki and Gouken’s dad…^_^;;)…

Thanks for the info.


#9

GO FIST OF FURY…I LIKE THIS STORY AND WHERE IT’S GOING, CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER. !!! :cool:

BTW, about 2 years ago i read on another site that Gouken and Gouki’s mother died in childbirth giving birth to Gouki. I didn’t know if that was true or not, but maybe it is.


#10

Screw my fic. You’re much better than I am, and this is the proof. Great fic, I’ve been waiting for the next “Son of Bison”, and this seems to be it.


#11

that’s not the right attitude!

It doesn’t matter if I’m “better” or not, if you got an idea…WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN! It’s not about me, it’s about you

Write your fic you will:)


#12

That’s what I was going to tell you when you were complaining about writer’s block. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

I regret not posting as I was reading son of bison but words can not describe the masterful writing I witness with every fanfic you post. It’s amazing, now with that said HURRY UP AND POST CHAPTER 2!!!


#14

claps while smiling


#15

cheering

Like others said: write the next chapter now, and do it!! I am not going to wait any longer, I expect the next chapter NOW!:mad:

Anyways~ Keep going!


#16

Ok, I just saw you respond to tsj’s fic, so I know you still come to these boards, and that you are in fact alive.

Now, please dont leave us hanging this long for the second chapter to this great fic. Seriously hoping you didnt forget about it, that would be a shame, as people with talent and skill for writing like you do, and also a few others here, dont come often. You are an amazing writer, and your fics more than prove it.

So I still await the next chapter to this amazing fic, and also too see if you bring back Still Burning.


#17

I’ve begun the second chapter…it should be ready by Tuesday.

And I have brought back Still Burning…but there is no chapter 5. I’m probably going to just continue without it…have you checked the thread?

the reason for my leaving? I was on vacation for a week:sweat:


#18

Nice, finally got an update from the man. Ok guess we can only wait now till tuesday hopefully.


#19

(eyes begin to glow bright red as he waits until tommorrow to read the continuing saga of “The Path”)


#20

Chapter II: No work, No Eats

“I love you…always know that…and I’m sorry-”

“!!”

Suddenly Gouken’s eyes shot open. He jumped up, only to topple to the ground. His body smacked the hardwood floor with a low thump, and a split second later a wave of fabric washed over him. He thrashed wildly, flinging the covers from over his head. He then realized where he was. A bedroom, and he had just fallen out of a bed. His eyes darted around his surroundings…a small room. The sunlight softly poured into the cozy place, and the air was comfortable and quiet. There was minimal furniture. A desk with a chair neatly arranged, a half-full bookcase to the far wall, and a drawer that went up to Gouken’s shoulder. He heard birds chirping outside, through a closed window. He bounded up on his feet, only to stumble. He was still weak.

“Oh, so you’re up!”

Gouken turned around sharply to find a woman staring directly at him, a woman he had never seen before.

She was middle-aged, but it didn’t really show in her body. She was lean, but still slightly curvy. She was wrapped in a long purple kimono, her black hair peppered with gray wrapped up and impaled by two purple sticks jutting out of the back of her head. Her face was kind-hearted and her smile was warm, the creases of wrinkles evident. Her hands were clasped behind her back as she looked at the confused and slightly frightened Gouken.

“Hello Gouken! There is some soup in the kitchen if you are hungry…you’ve had a long sleep.”

“Who are you?! Where’s my brother-”

The woman put a single finger to Couken’s lips, silencing him with a soft ‘shh’. Instantly Gouken’s mind calming itself, and his tense muscles began to relax. His fear and confusion began to melt away.

“Who are you?” Gouken said, softer this time.

“My name is Afaik, I am Goutetsu’s wife.” She said sweetly. Gouken stared up at her, puzzled beyond belief.

“Who’s this Goutetsu?”

“Oh yes! You don’t know him! Silly me…well child you have been unconscious for the past three days. Goutetsu is the kind man that brought you and your brother here.”

“three days…”

“Yes, the injuries you suffered would have killed the average person your age…somehow you survived without any serious damage. You’re a lucky little fellow!” Afaik said as she playfully pinched Gouken?s cheek.

Gouken swatted her hand away, not in the mood to play.

“I want to see my brother.” He said, sterner this time.

“He’s right outside. Do you want anything to eat or drink Gouken?”

“No…thank you.” Gouken said as he stared down at the floor.

“I almost forgot! Here are your clothes!” Afaik suddenly disappeared into a different room. Gouken stood there for a few minutes in silence and alone…thinking.

His father was dead…and he and his brother were orphans. People he didn’t even know suddenly took him and Gouki under their wings…

Gouken was puzzled, the entire situation confused him.

What am I going to do now? he thought to himself.

Suddenly Afaik emerged, holding an olive colored gi, in Gouken’s size.

“Here, go wash up and put this on. They’re waiting for you outside.” Afaik said with a bright smile.

Gouken wordlessly obeyed.

++++++++++++++++++

Goutetsu eyed his two new students, his piercing gaze locked on to the two young brothers. Gouken and Gouki both stood ridgidly upright, their chins high, their feet together, and their arms held tightly at their sides. Neither stirred under their master?s cold stare.

The area around them was a dense forest. Mountains could be seen in the far distance, and the dojo was surrounded by dense trees. Right next to Gouken and Gouki lay a shallow stream, but this stream carried a rough current. The sun was merciless as it beat down on master and teacher.

Gouki stood in a neat earth-colored gi, an intense expression on his face. He was staring directly at Goutetsu…directly into Goutetsu. He seemed eager to learn and ready to begin. Gouken concentrated on his new master also, but in a different way. Gouken stared at Goutetsu the way a mischievous schoolboy would look at a teacher that was threatening to call his mother.

“Your father is gone. You are with me now. And I can teach you, show you how to be strong. I can bring things out of you that you never knew you had. Your body, mind, and spirit can be one…if you listen to my instruction.” Goutetsu paused, and looked at the two boys. Their eyes were locked onto his, absorbing every word.

“My name is Goutetsu…and if you desire to learn my art, you must prove yourself worthy. You must show me that you are strong in spirit, then I will begin to teach you. See that stream over there?” Goutetsu pointed, and his students’ heads quickly turned to look.

“That is where your test lies. You must best that stream. If you can conquer it’s powerful current, I will train you.”

Gouken stared at the stream in amazement and horror. The water rapidly rushed in the stream, the water so clear you could see the water’s floor. His mouth hung open as he imagined himself quickly drowning.

“Master…when does our test begin?” Gouki asked humbly.

“NOW!”

Without warning, Goutetsu picked both boys up by the collars of their gis and flung them into the water. With a loud splash they fell, water spraying outwards in all directions.

The second they hit the water animal instinct took hold. They began to claw at the water, thrashing and screaming and kicking. But it got them nowhere, only carried them further downstream.

Goutetsu drove a stake into the ground at a certain point upstream.

“If you can reach this point, you are ready. Remember my pupils…‘Where the mind goes, the body follows’” With that…he turned and left.

The two boys struggled to fight the raging waters, but to no avail. They only were swept farther away from the stake in the ground.

that thing has to be at least 20 yards away now…I have to stop myself… Gouken thought as he dug his feet into the ground below the water, slowing down his momentum. His toes lachted onto the sand as he gritted his teeth to hold his ground.

“Argh!” Gouki shouted in frustration as he was further carried downstream. He was now completely underwater, and his breath was getting short. He only sunk deeper as he thrashed, his lungs losing air…feeling like they were about to explode. His shoulder crashed into a large rock lodged at the floor of the stream, making him shout in pain…which made him lose more air.

Suddenly an arm reached out and grabbed Gouki’s arm…pulling him back to the surface.

“Brother…” Gouki muttered, in between coughing up water.

Gouken held on to his younger brother, a determined look on his face. They were deadlocked, the two and the raging river. Gouken and Gouki stood still, fighting just to hold their position. The water went up to their necks, and the current was as vicious as possible.

"We can’t do it…we aren’t strong enough…the current is too fast…we’re too little… Gouki muttered, his hope crumbling.

“We have to try. If we work together, we can do it! If we combine our strength and weight…we can win!”

“…”

“Have faith Gouki…for once…trust me.”

After a few minutes Gouki nodded, and they latched arms, holding on to each other tightly. They were now unified in one mission: conquer the current.

“Let’s take it slow, take one step…” They slowly took one step, then another. Then another.

Suddenly Gouken slipped and sunk underwater. A split second later he was caught by his brother.

“I won’t let you fall. We can do this.” Gouki smiled, something he rarely did.

Slowly but surely, they fought against the current and began to move forward. The rushing water slammed into their young bodies, but they kept on. The stake was now but 5 yards away.

“Husband, look!” Afaik grabbed her husband and pointed to the window. Afaik was proud of the boys, and excited for them.

“They’re actually doing it.”

Goutetsu muttered something and stared at the two boys struggling through the water. They were progressing quite nicely, it seems as if they would succeed. Goutetsu grunted and then returned to drinking his tea. Afaik frowned at her husband’s lack of an excited response.

“We’re…almost…there.” Gouken muttered, drained of all energy. The both of them were. A couple steps later, both the boys hands had touched the stake. They hoisted themselves up to the bank of the stream, dripping wet, cold, and tired.

“We…did…it…” Gouki muttered, his breathing labored. They both collapsed on the ground, not moving, still breathing and staring up at the setting sun.

“You did well boys, your father would be proud of you.” Goutetsu appeared outside. The boys tired eyes instantly began to light up at the thought of honoring their dad.

“You have passed the test, and proven yourselves worthy of training. Now…rest. Tomorrow, may very well be the hardest day of your young lives.”