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Chapter Four

 

Unknown area…

In an area somewhere in the mountains, a group of men in black trench coats surround a single man in a circle. The man looked around from under his dark sunglasses, his face expressionless, just as the figures surrounding him.

The man looked at each figure before turning to the largest of the group. “Kanaye…hand over the government data,” he asked as politely as possible. The figure knew, however, that the leader Kanaye wasn’t just going to hand over the disk filled with secret government data. The data contained secrets including nuclear weapons. If any terrorist managed to get their hands on the data, the world would be doomed in a nuclear explosion. Kanaye and his gang were a group of Asian terrorists working for a secret organization. The figure too worked for a secret organization, but for a better cause…to maintain the safety of Earthrealm and it’s people.

Kanaye let out a maniacal laugh. “You think I would hand over the data that easily, stranger…think again!”

The figure slightly brushed his bleach blond hair, then scratched his face, which was part of his dark complexion indicating that he was of African descendent. Going across the middle of his face was a large scar in a shape of an X. “Then I have no choice but to use force.”

Still keeping the blank expression, the dark figure reached behind his back for his large knives, which rested in his scabbards. Kanaye and his gang saw the dark man reach for them. As though in cue, they do the same, reaching out for their own weapons.

The wind blew a bit. The dark figure’s black scarf was carried by the wind and flapped a bit. For a moment, nothing or no one else was moving.

After some time, one of Kanaye’s men dived right after the stranger and attempted to slaughter him with his knives. The lone man was too fast for him and he managed to take him down with a single blow to the head. The other men followed and all attempted to try to kill him. Kanaye watched in delight as his men ambush him.

To all of their dismay, however, the dark stranger was what you would imagine as a true ninja, one without all those garments which would completely cover him. He fought in his ninjitsu fighting style and quickly took down all of the minions in lightning speed. Kanaye’s delight suddenly turned into shock as all of his men crumble to the ground in defeat.

The dark man immediately gazed at the leader afterwards. “And you call yourselves a terrorist organization. A dozen of your men couldn’t even take one man down.”

Kanaye’s rage fumed within his blood and he quickly took out his straight sword. “Curse you son of a-” Before he could even finish his statement, he quickly ran towards the stranger and swung his sword at him. The dark man blocked it with his knives followed by steel after steel colliding with one another.

They fought like this for five minutes before the lone stranger kicked Kanaye on the side. Seconds after, he head something that sounded like both plastic and metallic hitting the ground. It quickly occurred to him that Kanaye lost his grip on the stolen data. The stranger had no reason to keep fighting the leader anymore. With a quick swift of his knives, he opened Kanaye’s throat deeply, blood immediately pouring out from the fatal wound. Kanaye looked at him in utter shock before collapsing into the ground, his now-lifeless body still.

The stranger took no time to reflect the fight he just won. Instead, he walked over to the floppy disk that laid before him, quickly picked it up, and placed it safely in his pouch. Then, he reached his right finger to his ear where a small headset was placed. He slightly pressed the ear piece inward until he head a light beep noise.

“This is Raven,” he stated. “The government data has been retrieved. Mission complete.”

A voice came in right after. “Good job, return to HQ immediately.”

Raven nodded and took his hand away with a sigh of relief. No doubt, he loved this job and was completely dedicated to it, but lately during these past few months, he has been easily taking down criminals without putting up a good fight.

They have been making me fight amateurs lately,’ he thought. ‘This has been becoming boring for some time now…

He wondered though. He was considered one of the most skilled and ruthless agents in the world and the only one who has never failed a mission, even when the job was against all odds. Raven wondered thought, is this all just coincidence that he’s been given the boring assignments, or is the people he work for giving unskilled agents the harder missions?

Raven shook the thought out of his head and scold himself for drifting off into his thoughts. He can’t lose it now. He trained himself to not show emotion or think of the past as part of his job and drifting off into another part of his mind was a very rare occasion.

I should head back,’ he thought. Before he could move however, he heard the beep noise from his head set.

“Agent Raven, come in Raven,” a voice said.

Raven quietly sighed and pressed down slightly on the ear piece. “Raven here.”

“We have another assignment for you and this one cannot wait.”

Raven became confused by that. “What about the government data?”

“One of our men will meet you in San Francisco, give him the data there.”

“What’s the mission?”

The commander paused for a moment before continuing. “It appears that there will be a tournament being held, but this seems to be no ordinary tournament. It’s called The Blood Tournament. A ship will be leaving from both Hong Kong and San Francisco in a few days to take the best warriors to the tournament. San Francisco is the closet location from where you are now so head there.”

Raven nodded a bit and spoke into the headset again. “How does it seem like it’s not an ordinary tournament?”

“…it’s not taking place here?”

The agent became a bit confused. “What you mean it’s not taking place here?”

“It’s taking place in another realm other than Earth. Unfortunately, the exact location information is currently confidential and no one can figure out where, but intelligence has a feeling it will be in Outworld?”

“Outworld? What makes them think that?”

“Rumor has it that the host of the tournament goes by the name of Shang Tsung, a native of that realm. According to intelligence, he is a sorcerer bent on stealing souls for himself to maintain his youth. We have the idea that he will steal the souls of warriors, but the reason for it is unknown. That’s why we need you to go out there and investigate.”

A side smirk appeared on Raven’s face, a very rare thing to happen. Just as he thought his missions were becoming boring, they give them this…a mission to another world to a tournament hosted by a soul-feasting being. ‘This may be interesting after all,’ he thought.

The voice came back again after a moment of silence. “You’re our best agent Raven…we are aware that this will be your first mission outside Earth and who better than it be you? Your mission is to find out the sorcerer’s motives and report to HQ immediately after. We are counting on you. Good luck.”

“Raven signing off and heading to achieve mission.”

The lone agent cracked his hand a bit. ‘Time for a real mission,’ he thought. He walked a few feet forward before leaping up into the air in high speed.


Somewhere in rural Japan

A light fog covered a natural forest with only the sounds of chirping birds being heard. The sun was rising up to help the day begin, but it was unfortunately hidden by gray clouds which was threatening to rain. The air was fresh otherwise with it’s natural forest smell.

In the middle of this forest laid a medium-sized dojo, a trail leading up to it. Right as one would enter, a lone person in an orange ninja suit would have been seen near the back sitting on his knees with his hands placed on his lap. A candle was lit on either side of him as his eyes were closed, fully concentrated in his meditation.

The figure was quite handsome to say the least. He was of medium build, wearing a net shirt under his sleeveless garment. On the left side of his chest, there were two kanji writings on them in white. Around his slim waist was a yellow band-like belt, the color matching his fighting gloves. On his feet were, oddly for a ninja, orange and white tennis shoes. Also on his head was short but wild dark hair, the front of it in bangs just ending above his eyes.

This figure was known as the Bushin ninja Guy Hinato. The dojo he was surrounded by was home of those training in the Bushin arts. He had been training here for years along with his younger siblings since the death of their parents at a young age. Though he did leave for sometime a few years back to Metro City, USA, he still called this place his true home.

Usually during his meditations, Guy was in full concentration, not even the loudest sound in the world would get him out of it. But this time, the sound of someone entering the room disturbed him from his relaxation.

A small grunt escaped the Japanese man’s throat. “Haru, I told you not to disturb me when I’m meditating,” he slightly barked knowing that this particular student had the tendencies to pull pranks on unexpected people.

Feeling a bit annoyed, Guy quickly opened his dark eyes with a blank expression on his face. At the entrance of the door, a tall muscular figure stood there with a small smirk, his arms folded in front of his white shirt. He also wore blue jeans and had a blond version of Guy’s hair only a little shorter.

“Nice to see that you’re still the same, Guy,” the figure said now smiling.

The blank expression turned into a bit of a surprised one, followed by a smirk. “It’s been a long time…Cody Rein.”

Cody smile turned back into a smirk. He put his arms down and began walking over to his friend. Guy noticed that his old friend had bruises around both of his wrist. He knew that Cody had been in jail for sometime, it was the last he heard of him a few years back.

Guy stood up then. “Last I heard, you were in jail for assault.”

Cody sighed a bit, the smirk disappearing. “Yeah, I just got released a few months ago. I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself…still don’t know really.”

“What brings you here then?” Guy asked with curiosity.

“Jessica Haggar.”

“Your ex?”

The blond nodded. “I know, surprising. I haven’t seen her in years ever since she moved out of Metro City with her fiance. They just divorced last month though. It’s too bad it had to end the way it did, our relationship.”

“I’m still curious to know,” the orange-clad ninja asked. “How did she have you come here?”

Cody took a hand and rubbed the back of his own neck. “It’s a long story, but in a nutshell, she made me realize that I should rekindle my sins. I think I’ve been a drifter for far too long. She made me remember how much I loved her and what I fought for back in the day, back when you and I along with Haggar fought the Mad Gear gang to save her. I guess a part of me still cares for her, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. What we had then, it’s long gone.

“Anyway, what has been up with you lately?”

Guy was silent for a minute before reaching into the pocket of his outfit and pulled out a white envelope. “This came to my attention last night. I spent all night meditating, trying to figure out what it could mean.”

Cody took the envelope out of his old friend’s hand and took out the invitation that was inside. Cody half expected it to be for a tournament and it was, but even to him, it felt different.

“Does any of your fellow companions here know about it?” Cody asked.

Guy shook his head. “I preferred they didn’t. Only sensei knows about this. I don’t want the others to get too excited, even Maki. I don’t think she’s ready for something like this.”

“That’s too bad. Speaking of Maki, how are you and Rena?”

The Bushin ninja sighed. It definitely has been way too long since he last saw Cody. “Leukemia, four years ago. I’ve moved on since though.”

Cody was in a bit of a shock to hear the horrible news. “I’m sorry to hear that. How is Maki now?”

“She’s doing all right, getting better everyday.”

The two fell silent for a moment before Cody placed the invitation back in the envelope and handed it back to his friend. “Are you going?”

“Yes,” Guy answered. “I feel that I should go to this.” Then he looked at Cody seriously. “Since you know about this, would you accompany me? Without getting into trouble of course.”

Cody laughed a bit and lightly slapped his friend on the back. “Of course I will. And don’t worry, I’m not that crazy.”

“I object otherwise.” Guy lightly laughed after the comment.

“I should let Jessica know though,” Cody said.

“Why?”

“Cause she’s waiting at the hotel we’re staying at.”

Guy sighed. “You definitely failed to mention that. Since the tournament is in a few days with Hong Kong being our closest departing location, we should get going immediately. I’ll have one of my students inform her.”

“Yeah, it’s best,” Cody said. “She might ring my neck if I ever mentioned anything that involves fighting.”

They both lightly laughed before Guy spoke. “Welcome back old friend.”

“Yeah, it’s good to be here again.”

While they talked, a female figure was listening in on them since Cody walked in. This was the girl Guy mentioned, Maki. A bit of disappointment appeared on her face as she looked at them.

Why would Guy not tell me about this?’ she thought a bit frustrated. ‘Am I not good enough to fight in this tournament?

She knew Guy was quite stubborn, especially after the death of her sister Rena, who was engaged to him at the time. In the later years, Maki had hoped that somehow, another woman would come to his life to change him back to who he once was, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Maki tossed her thick blond hair away from her shoulder as she watched the men continue to talk. After some time and after talking to a few students, they left the dojo and began heading their way.

Not realizing that she’s nearly just as stubborn, she got herself geared up, her baton packed away, and began following the boys to the tournament.

I’ll prove to them that I’m good enough to fight in this tournament!

Little does she know was what she was about to get herself into…


Hong Kong, China

In the streets of Hong Kong, a large crowd of pedestrians and drivers crowded the area as rush hour began. People tried to go about as quickly as possible to their destination knowing that it would take a long time to get there.

One of many people’s pet peeves were that they always had to move out of the way for those ‘punk’ kids who were always riding on their bikes, roller blades, etc. For those in downtown Hong Kong however, today wasn’t their lucky day.

A pair of brothers skated their down through the crowd in high speed. One was on a skateboard, his black and blue cap covering the upper portion of his face. His braided hair was tossed around as he rode forward. On him was a white Chinese garment.

The other, a bit older, was on roller blades. His dark hair, matching his brother’s, was spiked outward in front of his face only moving every once in a while thanks to the large amount of gel he used to keep it up. He wore a similar Chinese garment, but in red.

Both of them wore large black baggy pants and black and yellow sneakers.

The crowd growled or cursed out at them as they passed by. Neither one of them cared however because they were racing each other home after a full day at work.

The younger of the two looked over and smiled. “You can’t beat me Yang!” He saw a garbage can coming and jumped over it with ease.

Yang only smirked at the comment. “Don’t be too confident Yun.” He saw a large crack in the curve and jumped over that as well.

For some time, they raced each other, avoiding collision at any cost. At one point, Yang did bump into an old lady. Feeling guilty and having respect for the elderly, he took the time to help her up and made sure that she was all right before continuing the race. With the lost amount of time, Yun was way ahead of him.

Soon, Yun reached the building they lived in first. He waited by the front door until his brother caught up with him.

“I win,” Yun said with a grin.

Yang glared at him. “Whatever. Come on, let’s go see how Grandfather is doing.”

Yun’s grin disappeared then and his expression became just as serious as his brother’s. They entered the building and through what was once the Genhanton restaurant their grandfather Gen had owned. Six months ago, the restaurant was forced to close down after the business went bankrupt.

At the same time, their grandfather was diagnosed with a rare disease and only had a year to live, so the doctors declared. Since then, the Lee brothers had been working odd jobs to raise money to pay off loans.

They quietly went upstairs and reached an opened door leading to their grandfather’s room. Yang opened the door more and went in followed by Yun. Gen looked up at his grandsons and a faint smile appeared on his face.

“Good evening my grandsons,” he said, his voice a bit rash. “Come in closer, I have something for you.”

The boys figured that Gen was going to give them another life lesson. It was boring, but they try to listen anyways, for his sake.

But instead of another life lesson, Gen reached for an enveloped that laid on his nightstand. He grabbed it and gave it to Yang with his shaky hands. “I want you boys to have this.”

“What is it?” Yun asked with curiosity.

“Open it.”

The brothers were hesitant at first until Yang opened up the envelope. After they read what was in it, they were very surprised by this.

“A tournament?” Yun asked surprised.

Gen nodded and coughed a bit. “Yes. This was given to me a couple of days ago. The inviter must have not realized my current condition. So that is why I am giving this to both of you. You may chose to go or not. Do not worry about me, the caretakers will care for me.”

“Are you sure grandfather?” asked Yun.

“It’s all right with me grandson. You both love the fight and I allow you to do this. You have much to offer than I can.”

Yun nodded decided to go to the tournament. However, Yang shook his head. “I think at least one of us should stay. I can’t leave you like this grandfather.”

Gen forced a smirk. “It’s all right Yang, I allow you to go. If anything, escort Yun to the dock on the day of departure. If you don’t return, I’ll know why. Good luck then.”

Yang felt a bit grim. Even if he did decide to go, he would feel guilty leaving his sick grandfather behind. Even in this condition, he wondered why his grandfather was insisting on making them go.

The truth was the only thing Gen knew, something that he wanted to pursue while the boys were away. Something that the brothers, forever, would never know…

 

To Chapter Five

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