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The Legend of...
Oh, really, you thought I would do that?
I can't believe that! You're an idi-
Author's Note: Quiet, Maya. Let me write the damn story!
Maya: "Ian, are you really gonna use a title like that?"
The Legend of Maya! Of course. It sounds perfect, doesn't it? Zelda did it!
Maya: "It's totally cliche and just plain sore on the eyes. Come up with something sarcastic! Witty! Original!"
But... oh, fine!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."Chapter One: Valuable things hurt
A third of the process of fighting was being able to move in the right direction at the right time. Another third was being able to know when to attack. Another third was knowing how hard. Another third...
"Wait, that would be four-thirds. Damn it!"
Maya Collins wasn't even sure that half of those were right. God, this fighting stuff was difficult- and her overbearing teacher didn't help much either.
A snort and a surprised gasp. "Whawuzzat?"
"Oh, Lil' Missy! Hi! What are you doing here?"
"I live here, Kamesennin..."
She looked at the balding man with mild annoyance, but was careful not to look into said baldspot. From the bright light above, she feared the reflection would make her go blind.
"Oh, that's right..."
"...Go back to sleep, Kamesennin."
"Nonsense! Good teachers never sleep on the job! I was just resting my eyes."
"Oh, alright then. Whatever you say."
"So! The three thirds of martial arts are..."
Maya Collins shut her eyes and drifted off for a moment: just a moment, thinking of how she got herself into this mess.
The day was fine, the sun was shining and the force of the weight on her back was about to break her spine, but Maya Collins wasn't all that unhappy. She loved days like these for sure: she went out for walks and sometimes did not come back until late that night. These were the days in which she just sat around (in a mental, symbolic sort of way) and thought.
But today was not that type of day for this type of action, she thought.
Today was a day for something different, even if it still had the same qualities. She had taken a job for the first time, at her ripe young age of sixteen, a simple babysitting gig. But the problem was that this babysitting gig lasted basically from morning 'til noon - a single mother was out enjoying a day to herself, while she left a sixteen year old in charge of her kid.
Maya supposed it was reasonable. The mother hadn't had any alone time in forever, but the child was relatively calm. He was a boy, roughly seven (his birthday was still, like, three weeks away, his motherh ad told her, but Maya would say he was close enough to qualify), with a pretty nice personality: he was timid, especially around girls he didn't know. All she had to do was keep him company for a little, feed him and then she could go and do whatever she wanted as long as she stayed in the house with him.
She had, of course, loopholed her way to where she was now. She had thrown her cellphone into her pocket, grabbed her wallet in one hand and the boy in the other - she would use the money that the lady had left for good just for that: food. But it would be fast food. She and the boy were going out on the town.
They had a fun day. He had obviously enjoyed himself: she had skipped her lunch to buy him a cheap dinosaur toy to keep him content, while she had done her reflective walk. It was growing late now, though: it was around eight o'clock to be exact, and she was actually past the time that the mother had said she would get back home. Maya had left a note to call her if she was worried: she hadn't done so, but she supposed it was time to get back home.
The kid was dead. Well, dead asleep, but he may as well be dead, because he wasn't helping her at all with handling his weight as he rested on her back, hands around her neck, nearly choking her while he was snoring in her ear. She didn't have the heart to wake him up, admittedly. She was glad her leg muscles were decently developed, because otherwise, she would be dragging across the ground. And pretty obviously, that wasn't a desirable option. She could envision it now... crying child, screaming mother, fleeing teenaged girl and leaving this whole day without the cash.
That would totally suck.
So, as it turned out, the mother hadn't found the note and had totally flipped out.
"You kidnappin' lil' replace! Why, I oughta...!!"
"Miss Kidd! Please-"
Maya hit the floor, pushing herself up just a second later, done originally in the intent to dodge the vase that was thrown at her.
"I KNOW YOU LEFT! With my BABY!" the lady screamed.
Meanwhile, the poor kid was bawling. Probably wouldn't be going to sleep for a while now, Maya thought miserably.
"...a note! On the dining room..."
Another odd, probably valuable object was thrown, and Maya gave up on reason. Time to go into ninja mode, and use her stealthiness to sneak into the kitchen and grab the note she had left from her table, then hold the lady down and make her read it.
That would be nice. Instead, she dropped to her knees to avoid the oncoming projectile, and weighed her options for a moment: she decided on option A, make a run for the dining room table and hope the mother could calm down after seeing such a note really did exist, or option B, get the hell out of dodge. She was leaning toward option B.
Of course, she was an idiot.
She got to her feet, placed her hands at her sides to streamline her body for speed and bolted in the direction of the kitchen. In the process, a hand mirror (one that, from the looks of its decorated rim, was also decently expensive) was tossed and struck her right on the arm. She realized immediately it was already broken: a fraction of glass cut into her arm before sliding down to the ground. It was a thin, shallow cut, but those were the ones that hurt the most. She cursed loudly, but kept on going, before making a swift right turn at the dining room table.
She made a quick decision then - in order to avoid having the next object (another vase, she believed it was) hit a window (which it would if she kept on her path) and thus get her sued (even worse), she jumped up over the dining room table and pushed herself across, grabbing her little note in the process. She hit the floor with a thud and didn't take a moment for breath.
"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! I'm CALLING THE POLICE! Cody, go grab the phone, call 911 and tell them your mama-"
"READ THE ****ING NOTE YOU CRAZY *****!" Maya Collins bellowed, and shoved it in her face.
Once her eyes locked onto Maya's close face, the mother immediately delivered a quick blow right to her face.
Maya fell flat onto the floor. The only thing to save her now would be a miracle: such as the big ol' phone number posted on the note which was now falling onto the floor. Quickly, the mother grabbed and scanned it over with insanely angry eyes that dimmed down slowly into apologetic and eventually horrified.
"...I'm so sorry, Miss Maya..."
"Miss Kidd.. did you know... valuable things hurt?"
Maya Collins went home that night with a pretty little slice on her arm covered by a bandage, some antibiotic ointment spread across the bottom of said bandage (free of charge), an extra two hundred zenni alongside her initial five hundred zenni salary, a day of thoughtful... well, thoughts out of her head, and a bit of mental scarring. And of course, the knowledge that she was apparently one badass when she needed to be (with the sliding across the table manuever).
Pretty sweet deal if you asked her.
Author's Note: A few things to note in this opening chapter. One, that little scene at the beginning was for two reasons: One, humor. Two, for me to practice the character and what she will eventually turn into (oh em gee spoilers). I'm going to try to make it a semi-regular thing: a chat between me and a character at the start of a chapter (befpre the actual content, after the title). I can't guarantee every chapter - but I'm thinking once every two or three. Mainly when new characters are introduced. I think it's a good excersise. SUE ME.
Second, Kamesennin, for those who are fans of the English Dragon Ball, is basically the title given to Muten Roshi- Master Roshi for you ENGLISH WATCHIN' PEOPLE-, Turtle Hermit.
Third,Maya's salary may indeed seem a bit heavy. But if my understanding of the yen system is correct, the yen is worth about a tenth of the American Dollar - thus, it would total to about seventy bucks in American money. Seems a reasonable sum for a day of watching a seven year old, then getting your ass handed to you by his bat**** insane mother. Yes, I'm basing the zenni currency off yen. SUE ME. Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, please.
Yes, hi. This here will be a project of mine just to try and annihilate this total loss of will to write, where I can hopefully get onto a more regular schedule with my main stories again. Hopefully that will be soon.
See ya guys next chapter. Next Author's Note won't be nearly as lengthy as this one.
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
Super enthusiastic about writing this. So much that I’ve already written seven chapters!- Okay, I started it a week ago, but that’s beside the point. Think I’ll put it on a twice a week release schedule, starting next week. Maybe Mondays and Fridays. :p Just for a treat, I’ll go ahead and release the second chapter today.
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."
Chapter Two: Turtles
Maya Collins awoke the next day with an aching head, a spot of annoyance in her heart and the force of lucidity on her all too well. It was an understandable feeling, considering the previous day's events.
She slid her lithe form out of bed, walking over to a drawer where her clothes awaited her- or so was her fantasy. She glanced in the mirror on the way to said drawer, and saw her "lithe" form become reality. She wasn't fit, but she definitely wasn't fat. Small deposits of fat sat on her bare waist, and the short black hair matted to her face by sweat proved she wasn't beautiful - at least, not when she first woke up. Said face had an all-too-large forehead, and her eyes were almost egg-sized.
She picked her clothes for the day, sighing. Her choice of attire was a pair of jean shorts that reached down to her knees, a belt (her mother tended to give her clothes that were a bit oversized, so Maya had grabbed the belt with her own spare cash), and a plain white shirt.
She moved to the shower, and stood in it for a few moments, enjoying the hot water. It felt good on the cut on her arm - she thought about that for a moment. She would need to replace the bandage. Probably get some more neosporin for it too. Of course, she wouldn't have needed it if it weren't for her own slow reflexes.
She got out of the shower and walked around in the nude for a few moments, allowing herself to air-dry. It was what she preferred. She could be a bit odd like that, preferring some things in which normal people did not, and would look at her as almost stupid for not thinking the same way they did.
"C'mon, Maya," she told herself, looking in the mirror. "Wise up. Thinkin' too dark."
She sighed, and went to get dressed. After she was done, she brushed her hair, then sat down at her computer desk and flipped open her laptop. She would waste away a few hours on the net.
"Mornin', mom," Maya murmured.
"What's that? Speak up. You mumble so bad sometimes it frustrates me," her mother said, glancing up from the bowl of cereal in front of her.
"I said mornin'."
"Oh. You just waking up? It's nine o'clock."
"I've been up since six thirty. Who's the one just now eating breakfast?"
"Shut up, ****," Jasmine Collins said, half-grinning.
"You first. I'm heading out..."
"Where you going?"
"Places. Don't quite know," Maya said, half-lying. She had an idea of where she was going -- a local place she had found out by the internet. Who said it was all for porn?
"Be back by the evening. Else I'll call the police and report you missing."
A sly smile crossed Maya's lips. "Maybe that would be best. I'll be baack by seven at the latest."
It was a decent day today. The sun was shining, bright but not uncomfortably so, the birds were chirping, cheery songs of sitcom-esque foreshadowing, and children were playing around her -- games of hopscotch on shoddily drawn panels on the sidewalk, jumprope with thick pink ropes and bouncing pigtails, boys playing "war" with sticks and sand-box buckets as swords and helmets, things like that.
Of course, Maya wasn't paying much attention to this. All it did was intensify her headache, and cause her slight annoyance. The speed of her feet picked up, and her mind wandered off into another world of the oddest mix of emotions: self-loathing, wonder and excitement toward of future of uncertainty.
She walked for roughly three hours. She took a few breaks here and there to catch her breath, but other than that, she simply let her legs work on autopilot until she stood in front of the buildiing that was her destination.
It stood rather small for something of its kind. The force of it, though, was intimidating enough to make Maya shrink back. In the sunlight, its shadow felt like it was enveloping her. She stood in front of a small home, maybe a fifteen-by-fifteen foot home with two floors, painted an odd shade of blue - perhaps a bit lighter than royal blue. It was also odd for a house in these days, being an older model of a slanted roof instead of the circular dome-home. Maya supposed they still existed in this particular area of the Earth - Summersville, the town she lived in, was still considered out in the boonies for the technological wonder that was the rest of the world.
Above it was a sign: a sign that simply read, "Kame House". The infamous Kame-Sennin, Timothy Reh lived here, and according to the internet... well, she had some opportunities here, and she wasn't going to deny the opportunity to take them.
She approached the home and gently knocked on the door.
"Oh, oh, old bones... come on in, I suppose!" a voice called from inside.
Maya grabbed the knob, and gently turned it. Or so she would have, if the knob moved.
"C'mon in!" the voice repeated. "I'd rather not get up."
"If you don't want to come in, just leave!"
Maya slapped her palm against her face, sliding it down gently, as if trying to remove her worries. A thin sigh escaped her lips, and she stepped backward, turning her body so that her good shoulder was facing the door. Time to wreck her other arm too.
As she ran toward the door, she got a big surprise as the door opened, a tall, balding man stepped to the side and watched her barrel through his doorway, and crash onto the living room floor.
"Hey, hey!" the man said, shutting the door behind her and walking in, his hands in the pockets of his khaki shorts. "You damn near broke my door! What's the big idea?"
"...Is there any particular reason why I have to deal with crazy people, God?" Maya asked as she slowly got to her feet. She quickly scanned the man over - for somone of his reputed age (somewhere in his late seventies), he appeared to be in pretty good shape. He had a bald spot on his head, working back from his forehead to about mid-way. He wore khaki shorts and a plain blue polo shirt. "You wouldn't unlock the door when I asked. You told me to come in."
A smile crossed the man's lips. "Inspired, certainly. And..." She swore she saw a glint in the man's eyes. "Not half bad a lady either. How old might you be?..."
"...Sixteen," Maya said, raising an eyebrow.
"Damned laws," the man said. His voice sounded slightly disappointed. "So, what is it you come here for? Just heard of old man Reh and decided to comfort him in his loneliness?"
"I read about your job offer on the net..." she said. "I wanted to apply."
"What job offer? I don't post no offers on fishing nets!"
"...Internet," Maya said. "To quote what you said roughly, 'Hi! I'm Tim Reh, old martial arts superstar in retirement. My muscles are so very weak these days, and living is rough. Offering a job for a housekeeper! Nothing big. Just cleaning, a little cooking, and some company for me. Oh, and feeding Maek. That's pronounced like Mach, just so you know... oh, I'm rambling, aren't I? Pay is five hundred zenni bi-weekly. It's coming out of my welfare. Sorry if the low wage frustrates you.'"
"...Quite the memory," Reh whispered. She could tell he was admiring her skill.
"Thanks. So, I came to apply..."
"Okay then! Follow me. First of all, what's your age?"
"Sixteen... I just told you."
"Sorry, sorry! My memory's so bad. Okay, you're legit for a worker under the law. So, let's see your skills!"
Four hours later, Timothy Reh was sitting on his couch and Maya was fixing him a bologna, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mustard sandwich, grumbling something about slave-driving.
Once it was done, on a plate and in his hands, he pointed toward the counter. "Okay! Lil' missy, underneath there should be a bag. Yellow with a red rim around it. Just pull it out and find the bowl in the backyard. Pour some out and come back in, then I'd say the job's yours."
"...Seriously? Alright!" Maya hurried over to the counter, grabbed the bag (labeled, oddly enough,
"Turtle Feed Beta" in neat handwriting), and headed outside, only to see the reason why the bag was labeled as such.
The backyard consisted of two things: a tiled section, and an underwater section, presumably a pool. In the tiled section, a small bowl sat empty, labeled "Maek".
A deep voice penetrated her ears, and she looked around for the source. However, she found nothing.
"Hello? Who's there?" she asked.
"Oh- oh! Food... can I? Please?"
It hit her. She looked down to her feet to see a large brown shell, small fins of a lighter shade of brown poking out of it, as well as a lighter brown head looking up to her with desperate eyes.
"Got'cha... Maek, right?"
"Uh-huh... can I have food please?"
"Right." She poured the food out into his bowl, and watched the turtle eat with mild curiousity. After he was done, she decided to strike up a conversation with this oddity of nature.
"...It's not common for turtles to talk, is it?"
"No. But Kame-Sennin taught me."
"Oh... it's kind of neat," Maya mused.
"I get that a lot... what's your name, girl?"
She curtsied, trying to be polite. Unlike the old man inside, this guy- er, thing- turtle- seemed to be pretty nice company. "Maya Collins. I'm... apparently now a housekeeper for him. Say, what was Reh like when he was younger?"
A booming laugh came from Maek. "Exactly the same as he is now. Good at faking, a pervert, and an oddly wise man."
"Really? To me, he seems like just an old fool..."
"Emphasis on 'good at faking', genius," Maek deadpanned.
Maya felt the blood rush to her cheeks. "Point taken."
"Why do you ask?" Maek continued.
"Is he really capable of living on his own? I'm not gonna quit the job, but... I'm curious."
"Yes. Certainly. I believe he's just lonely."
"I see... nice meeting you, Maek."
"You too, Miss Collins," Maek said, before turning and beginning to drag himself toward the pool.
Maya walked inside, slipping through the kitchen and into the living room. She sat down on the couch across from Old Man Reh. "It's done. So the job is mine?"
"The job is indeed yours, Lil' missy. Your bedroom will be..."
"Whoa, whoa- I can't leave my house just like that!" Maya interrupted.
"It's part of the job description! Take it or leave it."
"I'll... I- No. I'll find something different then..."
A smile crossed the old man's lips. "You're desperate for some money, correct? A teenager always is. It makes a self-confidence-lacking young missy like yourself feel worth something.”
Maya froze, breaking a slight sweat. How had he known that much about her in the short time she had been with him? It wasn't all too much, but it was still surprising nonetheless.
"Besides, you're probably here for something more than a job. Expert Martial Artist, Timothy Reh... getting a job in his house works out well for a power seeking girl such as yourself, correct?"
"...How did you..."
He nodded toward her. "The cut on your arm. Was it got in a fight?"
"It's complicated," Maya murmured.
"Why is it you fight?" Old Man Reh asked.
"I don't... it was..." She quickly explained the incident. "I want to be able to defend myself against people like that. Plus... well, I guess... it's just... yeah..." She was at a loss for words, physically - in her head, she knew. All her life, she felt like utter ****. Her appearance, personality and interests were not up to social standards, and of course, people shunned her for this. Being a fighter would give her a sense of power. The old man was right.
"For the time being, I'll give you a deal. Work here for eight hours a day - from nine to five - for half the wage, and for three hours a day, I'll give you some basic fighting lessons. You'll learn from a legend. Of course, not the full course, goodness, I'm too old for that... but..."
"Half the wage!? C'mon, that's... oh... I guess it's good..."
"You guess?" A glint in his eyes again.
"Okay! I'm sure! That's a great deal, sir, and I accept it with open arms!"
"A hug, then! To close the deal." The old man stood and opened his arms wide. Reluctantly, Maya approached - and felt a hand press against the flesh of her buttocks. She brought her knee upward, not trying to knee the old man in the stomach but instead push him back. It worked. He toppled back onto the couch, and turned around, walking for the door.
"Pull that again, and I'm going to aim lower. Perverted little..."
She walked out the door, and couldn't help but smile.
"See ya tomorrow, Old Man Reh."
"That's Kame-Sennin to you now, lil' missy!"
Author's Note: By the way, let me warn you guys that... *gasp* I may just be borrowing an entire arc from Dragon Ball. Ideas from the original series! In a FAN FICTION! I know, right? Impossible. Don't worry, it's just going to set the stage for further events in the story.
By the way! Bonus points for those who can figure out the origins of Tim Reh and Maek's names. Simple if you know a few basic japanese words and think. :p
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."
Author's Note: Blah. I hate that title! It's too depressing. Well, I guess if you take away the we're all going to die part it would be different! So I'll do that!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the children are playin-
Hey! Lloyd, you bastard, don't try and take my position! I'm the author, damn it, and it's my choice.
Lloyd: C'mon, Ian. That stuff puts off readers.
Since when did you know about reader's choice?
Lloyd: Because I read news articles online! It's accurate stuff.
Probably on Fox News- Oh, did I say that? I'm not supposed to show opinions. It could cause people to get angry at me. Crap. CHAPTER START, GO GO GO GO..
Oh, and there's a reference to one of my favorite games ever in this chapter. Whoever can recognize it gets a cookie. Chocolate Chip! The melty, gooey kind.
Chapter Three: Partners in crime- or housework, whatever you wanna call it
Lloyd Hensen stood at the foot of his bed, staring down at the floor in desperation. Very little concerned him these days, so used to the climate and depravity of his environment, but this was going to be very tough.
Lloyd was a boy. Not meant in the gender-specific term (while he did indeed fit that description), but instead in the age-specific term: he was only thirteen years old, but as the oldest of three children, and the most physically fit in the home, he had the responsibility of taking care of everyone, including himself.
It wasn't that large a responsibility to him. Really, he loved that he could help others like this. With his abilities, he wasn't all that troubled by it. But this was starting to grow too large. He walked into the bathroom and stared at himself in the mirror for a while. His skin wasn't too dark for his part of the city -- typically, ghettos like this housed under classed black and hispanic families. He was a rarity, being a caucasian. His hair was a bit long- okay, a lot long, considering he didn't really have the money to get it cut, and there was no way in hell he was going to let his little sisters anywhere near his head with a pair of scissors. It was in a ponytail for convenience, reaching down to his shoulders, and a reddish-orange color.
Lloyd shut his eyes and let loose a sigh. He turned around, opened them again and walked toward the window. He would sneak out. From the second story, it wasn't that big of a jump to do... besides. He had work to do.
Maya Collins was convinced that today was going to be the last day of her life- and the hours leading up until that five o'clock time were the most hellish seconds she had ever experienced. She sort of wished she was back in school - she had dropped out, despite her mother's bickering about it. At least if she was still in, this never would have happened.
And then the clock hit five P.M., and Maya Collins sat down on the couch across from the old man, and let a fake smile of confidence cross her lips. "Time to start, Old Man-
I mean, Kame-Sennin."
Old Man Reh nodded in agreement, an odd wisdom evident in his gaze. "Indeed it is." He stood, and began to walk toward the back door. "Are you ready, Lil' missy? I am about to put you through the toughest thing you will have ever done in your life. This will not be an easy task - Martial Arts isn't. Come meet me outside... only if you are prepared."
"I've been prepared, Kame-Sennin..."
"Then come on out."
The two headed outside, where Maya stared at what was occupying the backyard. The task at hand was enigmatic, leaving her in little more than a puzzled stupor. Next to the pool was a small batch of rocks, each in various shapes and sizes, but all around the general size of a golfball; give or take a few centimeters.
"The task at hand is simple. There are fifteen rocks in this pile. I want you to take them and hit me with at least eight of them - that's just a half of a rock over half of them. You can do that, right?"
Maya nodded slowly, leaning over to pick up the rock on top of the pile. She gripped it tightly in her hand, waiting for Reh to signal the start of this little exercise. After a few moments, he nodded and she took this as such - she aimed quickly and threw with her maximum strength.
The rock flew right over the old man's head.
"You missed," Reh said simply.
She picked up another, and this time, aimed carefully before throwing. She watched as the rock sailed right on track, then was awestruck as the old man did not move an inch - but the rock hit the ground at his feet.
"What's the matter? That was right on track! How come it missed?" Reh asked, raising an eyebrow.
"...T-...that's a good question..." She leaned down and swiped at the rock pile, chucking another quick rock at him, then clapsing her hands together. She did something then she hoped would take Reh by surprise - she chucked another rock at him, before the other one even hit him.
The first rock was dodged easily by a simple step to the left. She made a quick mental note - three out of fifteen rocks had missed so far. And as the other one hit the ground, she made that mental note into four.
"...How are you doing this!?" Maya exclaimed.
Reh remained silent. This left Maya furious - if there was anything in life she hated, it was being ignored. She chucked rock after rock, as quick as possible, and before long there were only three rocks left in the pile. The other twelve lay around the yard, six or seven of them at Reh's feet.
"Three left! Come on, Lil' missy! Show me if you can manage the last three!"
Maya kicked at the rocks, letting them fly toward the side, then used the other foot to stomp on the ground. She screamed in frustration.
"Why is this so hard?! You're cheatin'! You gotta be!"
Reh smiled slyly. "The key to this is your ki."
"The key is my key? That makes no sense!"
"Key one... k-e-y. Key two... k-i."
"K-i? What's that? C'mon, Old Man- I mean, Kame-Sennin, be clearer!"
"What makes the body run? Biological functions, right? The heart's beat, the brain's function, even the kidneys and their urine-making process. Ki is the energy that keeps it all running. It's biological function - and if you know how to control it, a physical manifestation of the soul. All good fighters manipulate their ki in one way or another - not all necessarily KNOW that they do, but they do. All I'm simply doing is using my ki to block the attacks!"
"But that's not fair! I-...I don't know how to use ki..."
"Not many people know it right from the bat. It takes some physical training. To know
how to use one's ki, one must know their own body first."
"I know my body, Kame-Sennin... I've... I've used it all my life!" Maya said emphatically.
"You don't seem to understand... ah. Ah well. You'll understand well enough soon. Let me outline your training for you.. you will simply learn how to control your ki to become a good martial artist. Once you can do that, I will teach you no further. But for today... go on home. Get some rest, and calm yourself."
Maya Collins, without a word, turned toward the door and walked away.
Maek glanced up at Tim Reh with a bit of curiousity in his eyes. "Why her? You've had people with so much better potential show up at your door..."
Old Man Reh shrugged. "I felt like it."
Just then, Reh heard a knock at the front door. Of course, his acute hearing had grown less and less accurate over the years, but it was still good enough for that. He waddled through the house and toward the door, opening it to a young man in jeans, a white tank top and a long head of hair tied into a ponytail. The boy bowed respectfully.
"Good evening, sir! My name is Lloyd Hensen, and I have a request..."
Maya Collins arrived the next day to find a surprise in the humble home of Tim Reh.
She knocked lightly on the door, standing at it for a few moments before the door swung open. What met her sight was a bit confusing, and she stepped back, looking at the home in front of her to make sure she didn't arrive at the wrong place. Sure enough, this was Tim Reh's home, and the boy in front of her look at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Kame-Sennin! There's a woman at the door."
"...I have a name you know," Maya muttered.
"One who groans!" the boy continued.
"Ah! It must be Lil' Missy. Let her in, Lloyd- in fact, both of you, come to the living
So the two of them came to the living room and sat down on opposite ends of the couch, with Reh sitting in the section in between them.
"So! I'd like you two to meet each other. Since you came first, Lil' Missy, I'll introduce you first. Lloyd, this here is Maya Collins, part-time housekeeper, part-time student."
The boy with the ponytail - she assumed his name to be Lloyd glanced over to her. "A student? But... Kame-Sennin..."
"I'm not going to send her as far as you, Lloyd. At least, I'm not planning on it..." Reh winked in Maya's direction. "Maya, this is Lloyd Hensen from Lower South City. He's come here to Summersville to learn from lil' ol' me, for whatever reason..."
"You're the master, Kame-Sennin! One of the best in the world at Martial Arts! I'll surely win the Tenkaichi Budokai with your help..."
A sly smile crossed the old man's lips. "I guess so, huh?"
"Tenkaichi Budokai? You actually intend to enter?" Maya asked.
"I have to," Lloyd said. His admiring glance toward Old Man Reh narrowed into a gaze of utmost sincerity as he looked at Maya. "My mother is suffering from a rare heart disease called HBD... there's a surgery that can fix it, but it costs so much, and my family can't afford it. I have to use the prize money..."
Maya looked at Lloyd for a moment, before nodding slowly. "I see. Good luck."
"Well, then! Maya, off to your duties... Lloyd, why don't you help her? You can clean and such, right?"
"I have to. For most of the day, my mother's in bed, and-"
"Oi, oi! No depressing details. You can! So, help Maya as your rent for living here. Simple as that."
Lloyd stood and bowed. "So it shall be done, Kame-Sennin!"
At five o'clock, Maya sat down on the couch, and Lloyd plopped down next to her. The day had been full of silence, as the tension between the two students kept them seperated for most of the day -- even if it was unecessary tension.
"That was easier than usual. Could relax a little... jeez. How does Old Man Reh manage to get this place to be such a mess? That combined with the daily grocery trips, the cooking..."
"...Don't complain," Lloyd said. "You should be honored Kame-Sennin has agreed to even let you inside his house. Don't you know a thing about him?"
"I know he's a good fighter. But that's about it."
Lloyd slammed his palm against his face, removing it a second later to glance at her
disgustedly. "Kame-Sennin beat a demon. A real live demon."
"You don't mean-"
Lloyd nodded. "Zeka."
Maya's eyes widened, but the rest of her body was frozen in shock. She had heard the name before. It was mainly in legends - it was history that the world refused to acknowledge, but almost everyone knew.
Zeka was a demon that had, about sixty years ago, plagued the Earth with his unimaginable power. Armies upon armies had fought him, the legends said - but nothing was able to beat him. That was, until a hero came along, and sent him back to
Hell with a magic spell, or so it was said.
"Where did you hear that?..." Maya asked. "All the identity I've ever heard of the hero was... he was a hero. That's it. There's no way that... that old man..."
"Oi! Slacking on the job, you two?"
Old Man Reh appeared behind them out of the blue, causing Maya to jump in surprise.
She sat back down upon realizing the man's identity.
"Oh... it's you... no, Kame-Sennin, it's five."
"Already!? Oh, fine. You two, come outside with me... to the backyard again."
The two stood in an unintended formation, both of them about two feet from the pool
and three or four inches apart from each other, their heads focused in Reh's direction, their hands balled into fists.
"So. Simple enough, today's lesson will be on hold. I wasn't expecting young Lloyd to show up here! Haha!"
"You... made us come outside to tell us that?" Maya asked.
"Of course not, Lil' missy. I want you two..." A smile crossed his lips. "To fight."
Both of them glanced at each other, then back to Old Man Reh. "No way!"
"Oh, not to serious levels, of course. But I want to see what the two of you can do..."
"...Fine," Lloyd said.
Maya was still hesitant. Lloyd had a pretty good body to use: it was obvious he had done strenuous physical activity before, and plenty of times at that. But really, she did not know whether or not she should give up.
"Alright! Fine. Let's do this!" Maya exclaimed.
"That's the spirit! Take your stances!"
Lloyd slid his left leg forward, bending it at the knee. One hand was placed on the knee, while the other was at his waist.
Maya stood there, absolutely confused as to whether or not she even knew any stances to go into. She stood there for quite a few moments, before Reh finally spoke up about it.
"Is that your stance, Lil' missy?"
Not knowing what else to say, Maya nodded.
"Okay then! Begin!"
Almost instantly, or so it felt like, Maya received a fierce punch to the gut. Lloyd was fast. Too fast for her to handle. In that instant, she knew she should be giving up, because Lloyd had experience and power, when she had neither.
But as she stumbled back, holding onto her gut, she could not help but smile.
"Nice shot. Too bad it's gonna be the only one..."
Maya leaped off the ground, forcing her body to get back into drive. When she landed, she ran as fast as she could in Lloyd's direction, managing to score a quick punch. But just as fast as she threw it, it landed on his arm, lifted up to protect the blow's true target - his face. She cursed mentally.
"Is that your fastest speed? Have you lifted a finger in your life? This is just pathetic!" Lloyd said.
"You want to see pathetic!?" Maya exclaimed. "Try looking in a mirror!"
"Hey! That's just- low..." Lloyd intended to finish his sentence much more emphatically, but Maya used the distraction of her insult to lift her leg up and connect her shoe against Lloyd's chest, sending him onto the ground. "Dirty tactics, Kame-Sennin!"
"I'll allow it," Reh said simply.
"Fine! You wanna use dirty tactics... I'll fight dirty too! HYAAA!" Lloyd ran at her this time with a much slower speed: but still fast enough so that her reflexes couldn't manage to avoid the arm that went up to grab at her own. Groaning loudly, Lloyd flipped her onto her side and sent her toward the ground, letting go of her arm. She hissed as gravel on the checker-tiled patio dug into the cut on her arm, which she had stupidly decided didn't need a bandage anymore.
"Gah! That... why you..."
"Heh! Serves you right."
"Left!" Maya yelled, leaping up to her feet. She smiled widely, figuring out that her new dirty tactic worked out as well - it was a mindgame. With the screaming of that particular direction, his attention was directed toward it, however momentarily, and she took that opportunity to deliver a quick elbow to his stomach.
"Alright! That's enough," Reh intervened.
"Aw! But I was just going to pull off my signature move on her!" Lloyd complained.
"I believe we'll be cutting today's session short. You see, I'm very, very hungry..."
Maya slumped with a mixture of disbelief and mild aching. That was all they had stopped for? As much as she hated to admit it, that was the most fun she had had in a long time. "...Lloyd. You wanna fix some dinner with me? I ain't gotta be home 'til eight."
Lloyd looked at her, sighed then nodded. "Alright. Let's cook, and then eat... now that you mention it, Kame-Sennin, I'm starving too!"
Author's Note: Introduction of a new chara cter! Hurray. Been looking forward to this guy... well, solely because I like his name.Lloyd written down is just awesome to look at.
Hope you guys liked this first fight scene. As you guys can tell, it was basic, and just meant to test out my own skills in writing fight scenes. Things will grow more advanced - it's a Dragon Ball/Z fan fiction. :p
Also, this release date may feel a bit early, but it's done to start up my official release schedule of Mondays and Fridays. Look forward to Chapter four this Friday!... or just leave this story and never come back. Hopefully the former. Otherwise you'll hurt me feelings.
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."
Chapter Four: And times just ticks on and on
The skies were a shade of mesmerizing black, giving the world a dark and disheartening atmosphere. Thunder boomed in the girl's ears: it was a familiar sound. The clouds danced tauntingly across the sky, as if mocking her because they were safe and she wasn't - she never would be safe. Not with Shadow lurking over her all the time.
The girl was small and Shadow was big. The girl had pigtails, and Shadow was bald. The girl had blue eyes and Shadow had red: horrible red eyes that felt like living pools of blood staring at her, constantly begging her attention so that they could suck her in and torture her.
Shadow did not need to do this. She was tortured anyway. Daily. Every second, pain flowed through her being as if a thousand needles were stuffed deep into every pore of her young body. Shadow stood behind her however, accentuating the pain, accentuating her suffering. She screamed as loud as her lungs could manage, but this barely made a sound.
"You... are... nothing."
"I am so! I'm gonna kick- AGHHH!!"
The pain grew to agony. White hot sheets of agony, so fierce that she willed them to not be true. It felt as if they were cruel illusions of Shadow's creation.
Shadow revealed its face for the first time to her at that moment. Looking at her with deep red eyes of evil, Shadow revealed its form to be that of her own. She looked at Shadow and let loose a long, tortured wail.
Maya Collins was awoken by a loud banging. She knew immediately what it was - her mother banging on the ceiling with a broom handle. She slept downstairs, while Maya slept upstairs. Her screaming had probably woken her mother up.
Her body was enveloped in a cold sweat. The sheets were soaked. There was no way she was going to be able to go back to sleep - she sighed, glancing at the clock. It was five o'clock A.M. Not too bad, she supposed, but it was still going to be a long, long day.
Maya pressed down on the bottom of the Turtle Feed, forcing out the last of the contents. She nodded slowly toward Maek. "Sorry, bud. Looks like I've lost track... thought we still had at least two day's worth. I ain't got the time to go to the store to buy some more. I'll bug Lloyd to do it, okey?"
"Okay... I understand. I won't kill you..." A deep, bass laugh. "...this time."
Maya walked inside, then sat down on the couch. Lloyd and Old Reh were already there, but none of them spoke for a few moments, until Maya looked at Lloyd and struck up conversation.
"Oi, Lloyd... I ain't got time to go to the store, and it looks like Maek's out of food. Mind running later on to get some?"
Lloyd nodded. "Sure."
Maya looked down at her feet, letting loose a sigh. "Thanks."
"Well, then!" Reh said. "I have something sp-"
"Old Man Reh- I mean, Kame-Sennin... can I ask a favor?" Maya interrupted.
"I suppose after a good week's hard work like this, I can offer you something. Since you're not payed 'til next week," Reh said, nodding.
"I want you to make a call."
"...If you tell her that this job requires me to stay here all day, she will believe you. My mother. She's always bugging me to get some responsibility... so why not? I wanna stay here."
Reh raised an eyebrow, and a quick glance at Lloyd showed a competitive glare in his eyes. This made Maya smile weakly.
"Are you sure about that? You're only fourteen."
"I'm sixteen, Kame-Sennin..."
"Then why did you tell me you were fourteen!?"
"Kame-Sennin, I didn't."
"...Oh. Alright then. If you're sure," Reh said, nodding slowly.
And so it was done. Reh got Jasmine Collins' phone number, and called to inform her that the job her daughter had been working at was, "Slowly getting intense with my growing age. Yes, ma'am, she is required to stay over here all day... I need someone with me. Sure, I can send her home one more night... I'll just keep the phone nearby... no, not necessary? Oh. You'll send her things over? Thank you, ma'am."
Reh set the phone back down in the receiver. "Quick to get rid of you, wasn't she?"
Maya couldn't help but laugh at that. Loudly, too. "I figured she would be... me and mom don't exactly get along too well, I suppose..."
"Anyways, out into the yard we go! Today's lesson will be special. Well, in the fact that I won't be present! I'll be taking a nap. You two just spar or something..."
So the days rolled on, starting in the monotony of work hours - which were, now that Maya lived with Timothy Reh, done for free - and ending in the mild excitement that was the training sessions. Reh seemed to refuse to teach the two seperately: it was together or nothing. Poor Lloyd barely did anything he hadn't done before, but Maya slowly but surely improved in her skills. Her reflexes grew faster, her muscles grew quicker, and even her mind grew in strength.
One of these days, Lloyd looked lay in the backyard after training was done. Old Man Reh had gone in for a nap, Maek was enjoying himself in the pool, and only Maya was out for company. Against her better judgement, the sixteen year old lay on the ground next to him.
"What's up, Lloyd?"
He looked over to her, his brown eyes shining. She could see the moisture growing in them, and felt a pang of sympathy for the boy.
"...The Tenkaichi Budokai is in less than a year," he said.
"Wasn't it, even when you started?" Maya asked.
"Yes, but... it's so close now. Just four months. And Kame-Sennin isn't teaching... us anything. All we've done is fight each other and do some heavy lifting around the house."
"So you're worried that you've not improved enough to win?"
"...Yeah. In short, if I don't win this tournament, not only does my mother die, but me, Holly and Monica will get seperated."
Maya assumed those were his little sisters. "...and I'm slowing you down."
Lloyd looked at her silently for a few moments. "You want my honest opinion?"
"Yes. You are. It's not entirely your fault, but I know Kame-Sennin is trying to catch you up with me..."
Maya stood up slowly, nodding again. Her muscles were tense, her shoulders heavy, legs wobbly like statues of Jell-O. She felt so bad for Lloyd: the poor boy actually had a mother he got along with, and because of this HBD ****, she was going to die. Because of Maya, he wasn't going to win this tournament.
She would have to fix that.
"Think fast." Maya leaped into the air, hugging her knee toward her chest while the other leg stretched as far as it could. The tip of her shoe slammed into Lloyd's stomach, causing him to yelp in a mixture of surprise and pain.
She jumped off of him just as quickly as she connected, slipping into a defensive fighting stance: her legs spread evenly, arms crossed in front of her.
Lloyd stood up, shock and hurt in his eyes. "What was that for? Y-you asked my opinion..."
"Are we going to spar or not, Lloyd?"
"...Training off of Kame-Sennin's schedule?" Lloyd suddenly smiled.
"Got'cha. Thanks, Maya."
"Hit me, Hensen!"
Lloyd leaped forward, delivering a fierce blow toward her stomach. Maya jumped back, avoiding it with some difficulty.
"The first aspect of fighting," Old Man Reh figuratively whispered in her ear, from out of nowhere, "is knowing what hits you can take, and dodging the ones you can't. Preferably the ones you can, too, but don't worry too much about them."
Maya quickly lifted her knee up, attempting to smash it against Lloyd's chest and knock the breath out of him. However, the boy fell backward, supporting himself on his hands and lifting his legs up, pressing them into Maya's chest. Pain pulsated throughout the general area.
"But Kame-Sennin, hits you can take still hurt, don't they?" Lloyd asked.
"Yes. But those hits can be used to create advantages. Say, your opponent punches you in the gut. You allow it to happen because you can identify it to be something that you can take. You use the opportunity to grab them, send them to the ground and deliver a quick, precise strike. Which leads me to the second aspect of fighting..."
"Being able to identify openings in the opponent's guard," Maya thought out loud. She jumped back and took her stance again, and Lloyd did the same. A few moments of silence, then Lloyd spoke up.
"Going over the basics in your head? Let me help you. That's the second, so I'm assuming you're looking for the last. The last aspect of fighting is knowing when and where fighting is a wise idea. Here and with me? It ain't."
Maya grinned. "You forget something, Lloyd."
Lloyd raised an eyebrow. "What's that?"
Maya took to a running start, moving at speeds she didn't know she could. She would be impressed later. She delivered a quick blow to the stomach (she kept going for the middle section of the body as was Old Man Reh's rule- nothing below the waist or above the chest), and watched Lloyd's eyes widen in surprise. She wasn't going to end it there. She pushed him as he stumbled back, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the floor.
"...I'm a stubborn jackass."
clap clap clap
"Very impressive, Lil' missy... you too, Lloyd. Some true improvement is shown in the both of you."
Maya looked at the approaching figure, identifying him immediately as Old Man Reh. She raised an eyebrow, turning toward him. "...You... you were watching? What happened to your nap?"
"A girlish scream tends to draw my attention," he said simply.
"But I never screamed..." Maya said. Then it struck her. She burst out laughing.
"H-hey! I take offense to that!" Lloyd murmured.
Maya finished her laughing a few moments later, then looked seriously at the elderly Martial Artist.
"...Kame-Sennin, sir, I want you to take us serious."
"And I'm not already?" Reh asked.
"No. I don't think you are. You're trying to bring me up to speed with Lloyd and it's slowing down his progress."
"Do you agree with this, Lloyd?"
"Oh, fine. I guess I'll consider you two on an equal level right now... but we still need to get the basics down. Neither of you can control your ki. Neither of you have suitably fit bodies. Neither of you have the mentality of a true Martial Artists... but things will go much more intense from here on out. Still think you can keep up, Maya?"
"Good," Reh said with a smile, "because your name is already enrolled in the Tenkaichi Budokai."
"Okay, then- wait, what!?"
Lloyd glared at Reh. "...You purposefully put in competition? Why? I need to win that tournament!"
Reh simply shrugged. "Impulsiveness got the best of me! But it's too late now..."
Three and a half months passed.
Maya Collins was well aware of the old adage - time flies when you're having fun. Of course, she had pretty much expanded that to, "Time flies when you have something to do". It seemed more logical to her. She knew it to be a lie, now.
The past three and a half months were the hardest of her life. But they were now over, and she felt the best she had ever felt before. Her confidence in her looks and abilities was sky-high, and her skills had gone through the roof. Truly, she had learned from the best in the world. Lloyd had too. The sparring sessions with him had gotten harder and harder, his speed and determination a very intimidating force. She knew he was a top candidate for winning this upcoming tournament.
But if it was up to her, she was going to be the winner. She did not care about the money. She woul willingly give Lloyd all of it. What she wanted was the glory - to have her name known by the world. To be the Earth's strongest fighter.
Lloyd Hensen was nervous. Rightfully so. He had a great competition, just in the old man's other student. There would probably be even more heavy competition, but he had to win. His aunt was willing to watch his mother and little sisters for the time he was gone - but only if she got her cut of the prize money. The moment she saw news of him losing on the television, she would up and abandon them - that was her promise. He had to win, to keep his family under care, and to get his mother to live. He looked in the mirror and nodded to himself.
It was time for him to fight his hardest. Harder than he had ever fought in his life. He would push through anything: even his friends.
He had to win.
Author's Note: Bit shorter of a chapter than normal. Sorry 'bout that. But this is an end to the beginning, and a start to the midpoint of the story (yes, it will be a relatively short story; I don't see it going past fifteen chapters).
So, next chapter of really-long-acronym-made-out-of-story-title (tsistbactcapawagtd if you're curious)...
Exciting Beginning! The preliminary rounds of the Tenkaichi Budokai - I must win!
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
I do not know if I will have the time to access a computer until late tomorrow, so I'm going to go ahead and post the next chapter now. Next release will still be Friday.
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing, and we're all going to die."
Author's Note: Yes, I did take the lazy way out on the training of the two young'uns. However, I will make up for this with every writer's favorite tool - flashbacks! Eventually. Sorry if this is annoying to ya'll.
Oh, and I left a treat for any of you guys who know your musical history. I warn you, it's opinionated. :p Don't let it turn you off. Just let it turn... him off.
Chapter Five: Preliminary Rounds
Maya Collins and Lloyd Hensen stood side-by-side, each with wide, wonderous eyes. The two of them had lived in Summersville for a while: Maya for her entire life, and Lloyd for roughly seven months. The two were used to its small town, peaceful atmosphere. But a city as big as this one was something neither was used to. Papaya Island was certainly amazing.
Each of them wore seperate uniforms. Well, they were roughly the same, but different colors. Maya wore a reddish pink gi, held up by a blue sash, and her feet in blue shoes. Lloyd was in the opposite - a blue gi held up by a reddish pink sash, and his feet also in blue shoes.
It was the Turtle Uniform, as Kame-Sennin had called it. It identified them to those who knew about Old Man Reh as students of his. They had been pressured quite a bit by the old man this particular day - it was drilled into them not to disappoint him. They did not have to win, he told them- but they had to do good if their lives with him didn't want to be a living hell. But both ignored that. Because they both knew that they were going to win. They had to.
The crowd around the two was huge. The Tenkaichi Budokai was a huge event, attracting thousands of people, all eager to watch people beat the crap out of each other. It was somewhat interesting, Maya had to admit.
Some of the people were obvious participants. People dressed in gis, others with huge muscles: the two young people were pretty much standouts in the crowd of those who would be entering.
Eventually, the two of them shuffled their way inside the building. It was a large one with a slanted roof (once again, an oddity for the city), painted a bright shade of red. The inside of it was entirely wooden, excluding the glass windows.
Chatter was all that filled the room, overtaking the presence of human beings. Maya and Lloyd talked for a few moments, and Maya felt the tension in the air. She couldn't help but wonder what she was going to face here - what the reasons for their fighting was. Glory? Need? The simple thrill? So many people, so many different motivations... it was fascinating.
Suddenly, a new noise filled the room, causing the crowd to cease their discussion. The loud crash of a gong rang through Maya's ears. She looked to the source - a rotund man dressed in an ornate orange outfit. Probably one of the referees, Maya guessed.
"Good evening, Martial Artists! Welcome to the Preliminary Rounds of the Tenkaichi Budokai, better known as the World Martial Arts Tournament! Are we all excited to be here?"
A few cheers came from the crowd, but before everybody got too worked up, the man continued, a welcoming smile on his face.
"As is customary, we are to inform you of the rules before anything else. First of all, be aware that this is a tournament for the purpose of fun, sportsmanship, and entertainment for the public - a way to bring the world together."
"**** the world! I wanna kick some ass!" a voice said in the crowd.
"Second of all, this establishment will not tolerate those of violent hearts. Cursing, fighting outside the arena, especially with intent to cause harm... those people will be disqualified."
"You had best be, my friend. Third, no weapons are allowed in the building. If you have something other than what you came out of the womb with that is not an article of clothing or jewelry, please be sure to discard it with Lucas, the man outside the door. You will get it back, or if it does end up getting stolen... which is doubtful... compensation will be provided.
"What if it's a piece of paper-"
"Not clothing or jewelry."
"Not clothing or jewelry."
"I have a cast!"
"Not clothing or-..."
"...Ahem. Disqualifications come when the competitor is knocked unconscious, hits the ground out of the ring, or sends a clear signal to forfeit. This is rule four, and the final rule. Are there any non-smart-aleck questions?"
"Can I bring a white flag into the ring and place it outside and grab it if I
want to forfeit?"
"No. I said no smart-aleck questions! The next person to say something like
that is disqualified."
"But my name is Tyler, not Aleck! Oh, and isn't that a fifth rule?"
Maya was biting her lower lip, trying to prevent herself from laughing at the, 'I hate you all...' look in the referee's eyes.
"...The preliminaries will start now. Phillip will be bringing in the punching machine. Let me explain what we will be doing." The man let loose a quick sigh, then sucked in a sharp breath. "The punching machine is simply a soft bag attached to a spring that is attached to a scale. The large amount of people here today is what is causing us to bring it out. The machine registers the strength of a punch on the scale of one to ten. Everyone will be giving it their all: a five or more is what it will take for you to pass into the preliminaries. Let me warn you all, though... the highest score ever received on this was a eight. It takes the strength of an elephant to get a perfect ten. Good luck."
So the line of monotony was montonous beyond the most monotonous monotony that montony had ever invited to the monotony family reunion. A slow line of pain and frustration in both physical and mental ways - a lot of disqualifications occurred when people got frustrated at their rank and punched the next person in line. Those who did manage to get above a four usually only got a five - there were about three sixes and one seven in the line. Soon, Maya's turn was next.
Quickly, she cocked her elbow back and balled her hand up into a tight fist, slamming it forward into the soft red cushion with all of the strength she could muster.
A few gasps were in the crowd at her score. Maya grinned widely, viewing the nicely shaped number in front of her.
"...It's- an eight. You... you pass..."
"Alright! Am I good or what, Lloyd?"
Lloyd nodded. "Not bad. But I'm gonna get a nine, you competitive... er, arse."
Lloyd's turn was next. Maya stood in the sidelines and watched him work his magic: his prediction was wrong. Like Maya, he got an eight, also leaving a small dent in the cushioning.
"Another eight... I think... this year's tournament is going to be a fun one indeed, folks!"
All-in-all, a grand total of sixteen people passed out of a crowd of one hundred. Convinient numbers, Lloyd Hensen mused: it worked out well.
The first round was uninteresting. It was a battle between two young men, some kung-fu students or something. The two had amazing endurance, Lloyd had to admit. The fight lasted roughly an hour, which was pretty nice.
But the next fight... well, that was a different story.
"Next fight, Mana... manakuh... uh..."
"Thank you! Manoka versus Ajissa!"
Ajissa Pisoco stepped onto the stage, taking her trademark pose: the thing that anyone that had tussled with her before learned to fear, she mused with a smile. One hand on her hips, fingers seemingly grasping for her bare stomach. She was leaning forward, her long black hair falling over her eyes, hiding them from view.
The man in front of her stood firm, ignoring her flirtatious pose. So that one
tool wouldn't work on this guy, she knew. Still, it was a good position to start in, giving her a nice advantage on readiness.
Ajissa dashed forward with about half of her maximum speed - that seemed to overwhelm this guy. Good. He stepped aside, barely avoiding her initial attack. She made a quick turn as to prevent herself from falling off the edge of the arena, instead trying to push him.
This continued for a few moments. Her chasing the guy around, toying with him, testing his speed and confidence. Both were lacking. Once again, this was good. Finally, she backed him up to the edge of the arena, where the two of them simply stood there.
Looking him deep in the eyes, she let a smile cross her lips - and blew.
The man fall flat out of the arena, and flat onto his ass.
"...That was... simple," Maya Collins said.
Lloyd Hensen nodded. "Wow, she was fast..."
"Some tough competition here. It oughta be fun..."
"Easy enough for you to say," Lloyd deadpanned.
"Next fight... Lloyd Hensen versus Blair Lindsey!"
"Why are there so many women in this tournament?" Lloyd asked, stepping onto the stage.
"Good question. Maybe you should just leave before you get hurt, little miss," his opponent said, stepping on stage - quite obviously, with the toned muscle-bound body, shirtless torso and smug smile that he adorned, a male.
"W-what- hey, it's you who has the feminine name! Lloyd is perfectly masculine!"
"But hey, by that logic, if I have a feminine name but am a guy, who says you can't have a masculine name and be a woman? Besides, you're absolutely puny."
" Now, are we gonna fight, or what?"
"Whenever the r-"
"HYAAA!" Lloyd charged forward, leaping into the air last moment and delivering a quick knee to the jaw. A cracking sound split through his ears, and Lloyd knew immediately that a few teeth had probably just cracked inside the guy's mouth. He cried out in pain, stumbling back, hands over his mouth.
He removed them a few moments later, growling and revealing a mouth
painted a bright red in his own blood, teeth absolutely shattered..
"I probably... overdid that a bit... uhm, you might wanna go-"
"I'mph gonna kih yoo you shfit!"
"You're gonna cover my shift? Wahhh?"
Blair Lindsey slipped forward, swinging his fist in Lloyd's direction. Lloyd leaped up to avoid the attack, his heart pounding, coming down behind Blair and thrusting his elbow against his back. Blair fell to the ground, and did not get back up.
"Participant knocked unconscious! Lloyd Hensen wins!"
Lloyd leaped down onto the ground, walking over next to Maya.
"Wow, that guy looked pretty tough. Nice one, Hensen."
"Didn't he barely manage a five on the punching scale?" Lloyd asked.
"Yeah, but that's still a feat for you!" Maya said, snickering.
"Why I oughta..."
Maya Collins felt her heart leap up to her throat. She was fine with fighting in the home - it was just her, Lloyd and Old Man Reh. People she knew relatively well by now. But up here in a room full of people? Maya had a history of stage fright. And she knew this one was her fight.
"...Robert Zimmerman versus Maya Collins! Looks like this is the final round of the preliminaries!"
She was right. This was it. She jumped up onto the stage, examining her opponent with cautionary eyes - he was pale, sporting a head of curly blonde hair, with a face only a mother could love, five o'clock shadow on his chin. He wore a pair of gray sweatpants and a black vest with a red shirt beneath.
The normal looking ones were always the deadliest.
"...N-nice to meet you," Maya murmured.
"Seek shelter from the storm, my friend," he said in a somewhat nasally
voice. "For one is coming. Soon."
Maya was growing more and more nervous by the second. Was she going to freeze up at the most inopportune moment? At this point, she was convinced it was going to happen. There was no way it wasn't. She made up her mind... this was pointless. She hadn't signed up for this anyway.
Suddenly, Maya did not have the time to get out her sentence, as her ears were filled with the most horrible sound she had ever heard in her life. It was worse than nails on a chalkboard; worse than the screams of the tortured damned souls.
"Oh, the times, they are a-changin'-" Robert began to sing.
"Oh god, it's horrible!" Maya interrupted, slamming her hands over her ears.
"What are you..."
"Hey," someone in the crowd said, "I kinda like this..."
"You're an idiot!" another chimed in.
Her vision wavered for a moment, and she had to stop herself from falling. He had some sort of force in his voice that disoriented the senses - it was a good tactic. Easy win. She was not going to let him have it.
She tilted her head back and began to scream in the highest pitch her vocal cords could muster. If she was right, and it was the sound waves, her voice would drown them out and give her the opportunity to attack and make this all end.
"Eh, eh, what're ya doin', it's- gah!" Maya stopped her screaming the moment the man fell to his knees, hands over the spot in his stomach where her fist had just smashed. "I... I give up... oh, the pain, ag-oh-nee, I should have seeked shelter from your storm, oh..."
"Robert Zimmerman forfeits! Maya Collins wins!"
"Strategy is an essential part of battle. Without the ability to think, you're destined for little more than a life of being a fool..." Reh said.
"I understand it helps," Maya said. "But what if you've got enough brute force to just... smash someone? Do you need strategy if you can take them out quickly?"
"Many people have many different skills, Maya. Brute force, even when combined with speed, is not always enough to win. Four key things are required in battle. Power, speed, knowledge and confidence. Without any of them, it's impossible to win - and missing even one can be your downfall."
"...Okay, I guess."
"You guess?" Reh said, raising an eyebrow.
"Go hit the books. Read the first three chapters of the seventh grade physics book in my shelf, then the first four of ninth grade Earth Science."
"What?! But... I..."
"Haha! Sucks for you," Lloyd mocked.
"...*******," Maya muttered.
"Nice job," Lloyd said. "Screaming and crying means you get your way sometimes, but don't think it'll work much out here..."
"Hey, I wasn't cryin'!" Maya said, jumping down next to him.
"Yeah you were. You didn't notice?"
"...Whatever. Let's just get on with this."
"Alright! Our eight winners, please step forth!"
Maya and Lloyd stepped forward, their heads held high. Six other people stepped forward.
First, right next to Maya was Ajissa Picoso, the diva with shoulder-length black hair, light skin and a curvacious form dressed in shorts and a tank top.
Then there was Yuji Minake, a young man probably just a little older than Maya. He had a well-defined, but slim physique that probably kept him streamlined and fast while powerful as well. He wore a goofy grin on his face.
After him, a man named Hyou Ton, a mystery sort of man dressed in all light blue, his face not quite handsome but not quite ugly either, with a set of small eyes and a thin, fish-fin-like nose.
The rest were out of Maya's sight. She wondered if she could ask Lloyd later on who they were. It wasn't like it mattered now. She would beat all of them. Lloyd included - she would give him the money when she won. It wasn't like she needed it. She just needed to win. Which she knew now she would. These guys? All chumps. She grinned.
Lloyd's tension was growing higher. Six other people were competition - six people who would be wasting the money he needed away. He sighed. He couldn't identify three of them: Maa was in his way.
The three to his side were all standing firm and straight. Real serious types, he saw from their facial expressions. That was trouble.
First was Morus Hiten, a rather elderly looking man dressed in business wear - and Lloyd meant that literally. A fine black suit with a white undershirt and red tie, and shining black dress shoes. He had no hair at all, and showed no real signs to be feared - but Lloyd felt intimidated by him anyway. He supposed it was the atmosphere: and what was stake.
Hiazi Samson stood next to him. An odd name, but a powerful fighter from what Lloyd had seen of him in the preliminaries.Of course, everyone here was powerful, but this guy... whoa. He, along with some woman named Ajissa had been the only ones to make sevens on the punching machine, like he and Maya had been the only ones to hit eight.He stood at about six feet tall, broad-shouldered and holding fierce black eyes.
Finally, Bach "Mach" Yach (which oddly enough nearly rhymed with the sound, "ACK!", Lloyd mused) stood at the end, his body the perfect mix of muscle in every right area to make him faster than Lloyd could see when he was running. Another thing he had learned watching the preliminaries. He had a dark complexion, with sheer white hair and was wearing a black vest with no shirt beneath, and a pair of jeans.
"Alright, all of you, starting with mister... "Mach" on the far end over there, to come and pick a ball randomly out of this box. The number you get here will determine whom you face in the actual tournament!"
All eight of them picked their numbers, and Lloyd checked out the matchups as they were being written down, trying to find his own.
Hyou Ton v. Yuji Minake
Ajissa Picoso vs. Morus Hiten
Maya Collins vs. Hiazi Samson
Lloyd Hensen vs. "Mach" Yach
So he had gotten the speedy little bastard. A grin crossed his lips, despite his nervousness. Despite his needs, he knew for a fact that he was about to have the time of his life.
Watch out, world, he thought, Lloyd Hensen's at'cha!
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
Special post here today, folks! In celebration of... well, getting guaranteed an award for this story on the Bulbagarden Forums, I'm going to go ahead and post an early chapter -- and a chapter tomorrow. So, enjoy this and look forward tomorrow's chapter!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."
Chapter Six: Cold Combat
"So, the matches are all up here. Check them out, and prepare your strategies. But before we begin anything," the referee said, "you all will be allowed a two-hour rest, for lunch and for medical attention if necessary. Good luck and Godspeed to all competitors. You may be dismissed!"
Six of the competitors dispersed immediately, going off on their own business. But Maya and Lloyd stayed at the board for a few moments, before looking at each other and nodding once, firmly.
"Good luck, Lloyd," Maya said.
"You too, Maya," Lloyd responded. He added with a smug smirk, "You're going to need it."
Maya grinned. "So will you, especially if you manage to get far enough to face me..."
Lloyd turned toward the door. "I'm going out to find Kame-Sennin, so he can buy us lunch. Join me if you want to eat."
"Right, right. Let's go."
"Oh! There you two are!" Reh exclaimed, hobbling over to them, an excited look in his eyes. He lifted a hand up, waving to try and grab their attention, which wasn't really necessary, as they had it already. They met each other at midway. "So? What happened?"
"Kame-Sennin..." Maya started.
The elderly man's eyes darkened and narrowed, staring at the two of them. "...You didn't?"
"Both of us passed. With flying colors, might I add," Maya finished, smiling widely.
"Thank the Lord! You worried me for a moment, Maya..." Reh said, obvious relief in his voice.
Maya noted something. This was the first time he hadn't called her "Lil' Missy". Her grin widened a bit. Things were going to be good. She knew that now. She could do this.
"So, Kame-Sennin, I'mmm..." Lloyd started off, but once again, the old man cut him off.
"Hungry? Come, come! Lunch on me, two students of mine!"
"Do you haff any idea how longfh it'fh been sinf I'fh had food likfh thisf!?" Lloyd Hensen exclaimed emphatically as he chewed furiously on a chicken leg. He swallowed and began to speak a little more clearly, but bit off mid-sentence again. "My mother used to cook..." Chomp. "...likfh this on holidaysfh. Wash amafhing!"
"Lloyd, don't speak with your mouth full," Maya murmured, looking around to see if anyone was watching. Like she was going to be seen with this spectacle, this oddity of nature that somehow slipped past the "normal" scanner.
"Finfh, finfh!" He swallowed, and set the leg down for a moment, taking a swig of the orange juice in the glass next to him. Seeing him do it made her think of her own glass, and she took a sip through her straw. Both of them had wanted orange soda, but Kame-Sennin had refused to let them have something bad for their physical health.
"I still think we at least deserve one soda," Maya thought aloud.
"Nonsense!" Old Man Reh said. "So, can I ask who your opponents might be? Maybe we'll get a familiar face to me amongst them."
"Uhhh... Ajissa Picoso, some lady... Hyou Ton, some weird guy... Yuji Minake, some kid..." Maya started.
"...Hiazi Samson, Morus Hiten and 'Mach' Yach," Lloyd said. "I'm going to be facing this 'Mach' guy, and Maya's gonna be facing-"
"Hiazi Samson," Maya finished.
"I recognize Hiazi Samson and 'Mach' Yach, but no one else, I'm afraid," Reh mused. "I'll warn you both now, you got stuck with two powerful opponents."
Both looked at Reh, waiting for further explanation. Sensing their wishes, the old man nodded and continued to speak. "Hiazi Samson is from the northeastern part of the globe, near the Northern Pole. He's famous as the area's most powerful Martial Artist due to the intense training he does in the cold. He is a loner, so what little is publically known about him is seen through battle. He's strong, he's fast, and he's smart."
He exhaled, then inhaled sharply. "'Mach' Yach is from here on Papaya Island, and renowned as one of the fastest men alive. He retains his win-streak because very few can manage to land a hit on him, much less force their way past his high levels of endurance. He is not too strong - but he is fast and can take quite a few hits. He wears his opponent down. Lloyd, I'm sorry, but it looks like you got the most screwed over. But both of you need to plan. I have faith that you can win." He smiled softly. "You two show massive potential... besides, if one of you win, I can borrow some of the prize money for my magazines! Lots and lots of wonderrrrrful ladies... heheh..."
Maya flicked the bald head of the old man with as much strength as she could muster, causing the old man to flinch to the side- and fall off of his seat. Lloyd, and moments later, Maya, bust out laughing.
Yuji Minake versus Hyou Ton was the first fight, and it started the Tenkaichi Budokai off with a bang, Lloyd thought.
The two fighters walked out onto the stage, which was surrounded by a sea of cheering fans.
Some held signs that cheered on fighters (one, he noticed with amusement, cheering on "ginger with the ponytail" with a heart next to it), others pumping their fists in support of the fighters, while others stood and waited patiently for people to start beating the crap out each other. The fighters switched into their stances - Yuji, an offensive oriented one, Hyou in a more defensive stance.
The referee walked out to the front of the arena. "Do both fighters understand the rules?"
Both of them nodded firmly just one time.
"Very well then. May the battle of Yuji Minake and Hyou Ton..." A gong sounded. "BEGIN!"
Yuji rushed forward at an intense speed, but Hyou did not seem frightened. Quite the opposite, in fact: the mystery man stood as still as a stoic stone statue, up until the moment Yuji was about to fully close in. In that moment, Hyou leaped up and landed behind him, swiveling on his heels to face the opponent. Yuji stopped himself just before going off the edge of the arena, instead falling flat and supporting himself on his arms.
He pushed himself up and did a backflip, trying to round-house kick Hyou. Hyou was hit by the attack, likely out of surprise, Lloyd guessed. He knew he would have. Hyou was sent flat onto his back, and Yuji did not allow him time to get up. He leaped, landing directly on his opponent's stomach.
"...Taking a hit you know you can is sometimes advantageous," Kame-Sennin said, making Lloyd raise an eyebrow.
Lloyd was now cheering for Hyou Ton. The guy knew his basics. Hyou grabbed at Yuji's leg, throwing him off balance and taking him down to the ground with him. Hyou quickly jumped up into the air, landing on Yuji's stomach as if to give him sweet, sweet vengeance. But unlike Yuji, Hyou jumped off a second later and landed a couple feet away, taking his defensive stance again.
Yuji got to his feet, taking his sweet time as he saw his opponent wasn't going to attack again. He stood up, a wide grin on his face.
"Got a taste of my own medicine. Not half bad, old timer," Yuji said. He reached up, wiping sweat off of his brow with the back of his hand. "Hurt like a *****, too."
"You won't win," Hyou said simply.
"Maybe I won't. But I sure as hell am gonna try!" With that, Yuji dashed forward again, this time with his body down and his arms out to the side to streamline himself. He gathered up some pretty good speed, before taking his right hand, balling it into a fist and attempting an uppercut aimed in between the outstretched, crossed arms of Hyou Ton. The hit connected successfully, causing Hyou to be lifted off the ground slightly, and for his crossed arms to break apart. Yuji took advantage of this, grabbing them and lifting the man's full weight off the ground - with an amazing show of strength, Yuji then spun around for a few moments, before tossing Hyou toward the outer areas of the arena. It was obvious to Lloyd now - Yuji was going to be the winner.
Hyou, mid-air, curled himself up before unfurling again just a second later, his legs pressed out and kicking against the wall. The momentum sent him right back into the arena, where he landed square on his feet.
Yuji began to quiver, looking toward the referee. "C'mon! That can't be allowed-"
"Momentary Pause! Both fighters will stop while the referees discuss the situation," the referee said. After a few moments of obvious heated argument amongst the three or four rotund men near the front of the arena, the main one stepped forward, nodding slowly. "Contender Hyou Ton did not touch the ground outside of the arena. Therefore, he is not disqualified. The fight may continue!"
Yuji was now shaking full-force, and slowly shook his head. He looked desperate, almost frightened. "...S-so...cold...I give up! I n-nuh-need a blanket, some h-hot chocolate, uh-an-duh-duh s...so..." Yuji Minake fell onto the ground, and did not get back up, instead laying there shivering.
Hyou Ton looked out toward the referees. "He will be injured if he is not immediately treated for hypothermia. Please do so."
"...R-right... uhm, Yuji Minake is down and out! Hyou Ton is the winner of this match!"
With that, Hyou Ton walked off stage. Lloyd quickly stepped aside as the man passed him, his frigid aura giving Lloyd the unexplainable urge to go buy some hot chocolate and maybe a flamethrower to warm himself up some. The coldness of the man sent shivers down his spine, freezing Lloyd's heart in fear.
He looked to Maya. "...That was just too weird."
Maya nodded slowly, a grim, frightened look in her eyes. "How did he win? He hit the guy once. And hypothermia? How did that happen? It's the middle of summer... something's going on with that guy..."
"I agree. Let's just hope he's beaten by whatever chump faces him next."
Maya looked at him oddly. "Lloyd, it's a fifty-fifty chance for both of us that we're going to be the 'chump' that faces him next."
"Uh...oh... well, then..."
She smiled reassuringly. "I'm sure things'll work out."
Lloyd nodded. "...I sure hope so."
Author's Note: Wanted to share something I found funny with you guys. The line "Maya nodded slowly, a grim, frightened look in her eyes." was originally typoed as "Maya nodded slowly, a grim, frightened look in her ears." Hehe. Don't know what was going through my mind then...
Short chapter. Sorry for that, but I want to try and stretch the tournament out a bit.
Next time on really-long-acronym-for-a-name...
The natural flower Ajissa Picoso! Is the beauty of plant-life really so hard to fight?
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
Okay, I was late with my promise. Sue me.
I'll do that some other time. As of right now, I only have one more completed chapter left, which will be released Friday. I'll try to work on another few chapters this week, but with some other projects needing writing, I can not guarantee that we may be on a regular release schedule again. Sorry, folks.
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."
Chapter Seven: Devilish Diva's Daisies
The next match was going to be another interesting one. Maya knew this for a fact, after seeing the competitors - well, at least one of them - in the preliminaries. Ajissa Picoso versus some old man named Morus Hiten... she knew who would win. Morus couldn't be much of a match.
The two competitors took their stances in the arena, Ajissa with her hip cocked out to the side, one hand on it, leaning forward with a seductive look in her eyes. Morus took a more traditional boxer's pose, fists balled and up around his shoulders.
"Don't think I'm afraid to harm you, young lady," Morus said.
"Oh? Please, hurttt me," Ajissa whimpered. An obvious blush came to Morus' cheeks, and Maya laughed softly.
"Ah... your dirty tactics won't work on me!" Morus proclaimed.
"Do both fighters understand the rules?"
"Yep," Morus said.
"M'hm," Ajissa said.
Ajissa jumped high into the air, coming down behind Morus, but not doing anything. Morus, however, thought otherwise, lifting his arms up to block the nonexistent oncoming attack. Ajissa seemed to take the few moments of vulnerability in his lower-body to press a rigid combination of four extended fingers toward his stomach.
Morus stepped back, narrowly avoiding the attack. He lowered his guard, instead opting for the offensive on his own this time, lifting a leg up and attempting to press it downward again and obviously smash her fingers. But Ajissa was as quick as the old man was, withdrawing her hand and leaving Morus to do little more than stomp on the ground.
"Heh. Pretty fast for an old coot," Ajissa said.
Morus grinned. "Age means nothing if you do enough for your body. Tip for you."
"Oh? Thanks. I'll remember that. But truly beautiful flowers will never wilt."
"Is that so? Well, I can rip a few petals off you!" Morus exclaimed as he dashed forward, stopping just inches from collision with Ajissa just to raise his knee up, colliding it successfully with Ajissa's bare stomach. He did not stop there, bringing his hands together in a hammer fist and slamming it down onto her head. He then stepped back, and let the girl fall to the floor.
Maya was surprised. The old man certainly had more spunk than she was expecting. She watched as Ajissa fell to her knees, hands over her stomach. She was retching: and moments later, blood hit the arena floor. Ouch.
"Had to hurt," Maya said, looking toward Lloyd.
"Yeah. After her show in the preliminaries, Ajissa is sort of disappointing me..." Lloyd responded.
Ajissa stood up, her chest rising and falling quickly with sharp breath. "You son of a *****, you broke my ribs... gah..."
"You acknowledged possible injury the moment you entered this tournament, my dear," Morus said.
"I'm gonna make you pay for this... no more missy nice girl!" Ajissa screamed, before leaping into the air. Maya was impressed: for a girl who believed she had broken ribs, she got some pretty impressive air. She raised her hand, but Maya saw with squinted eyes that two of those fingers were raised while three were curled down over her palm.
She inhaled sharply as the arena suddenly burst into life - not traditional biological, moving animal life, but plant life. Daisies, to be exact. Starting in the blood on the floor of the arena, a field of daises sprouted from the arena, cracking through the floor and blooming into an oddly ominous looking flower arrangement.
"This can't be allowed!"
"Cheater! What is this?"
"They have to do something if she's using them!"
Ajissa landed on the arena, facing the crowd. "Shut up, all of you! I've talked to the referees. This is ki! Chi! Energy! Whatever you wanna call it - it's a part of me. It's legal!" Maya noticed something that made her feel somewhat horrified. The edge of pain on her voice was gone.
Ajissa turned to face Morus, a grin on her face. She reached up, wiping a bit of blood off her chin with the back of her hand. "Old man, by the time I'm done with you, these will be all you're seeing."
"Pushing up daisies.. very clever," Morus murmured.
Ajissa dashed forward, open-hand slapping Morus right across the face. Her speed was blinding - it almost seemed like she teleported the five feet distance between them. Without letting up, she raised her knee, connecting it to the old man's stomach, followed up by a revenge hammer fist and finished off with a punch right to the face by her right hand. A content sigh escaped her lips as she stepped back, and Maya watched in horror as the old man crumpled to the ground and did not get back up.
"That was... brutal," Lloyd said.
Maya nodded slowly. "Ouch."
"A fine warrior," a voice said with a thick, Russian-esque accent. Maya turned around for a moment to check out the source - the shirtless, tall and handsome man that was to be her opponent soon.
"...I suppose so, huh?" Maya murmured.
"...Countdown! If Morus Hiten does not get up within the next ten seconds, he will be declared the loser! One... two.."
The intensity in the air was evident. Maya felt it pierce through her pores, and cause a thin layer of sweat to form on her forehead.
"...Five... six... seven..."
Lloyd spoke grimly. "The match is to Ajissa."
"...Eight! Nine! Ten! Ajissa is the winner!"
"Like there was ever any doubt," Ajissa said. And thus, she walked off stage.
When Ajissa walked past the two of them, Maya's legs and jaw worked on autopilot. She walked toward her and began to speak. "Morus hit you pretty hard out there. You okay?"
Ajissa looked at Maya for a moment, obviously a bit surprised that she had spoken to her. But a sly smile crossed the slightly older woman's lips a moment after. "I'll be fine."
"Quite some magic trick out there with the flowers," Maya continued.
"Thanks." Ajissa continued walking along, obviously heading in the direction of the restrooms.
Maya was lucky to be able to continue following her.
"Almost seemed like you're no longer in pain. Broken ribs tend to hurt a lot, or so I hear."
"Who's to say you didn't hear wrong? Besides, adrenaline tends to let a person ignore pain for a bit," Ajissa said, now only looking at Maya through her peripherals. She pushed open the restroom door, and stopped at the sink, turning the faucet on.
"Or maybe..." Maya started.
Ajissa gave her a sharp glance. "Or maybe what?"
"I was taught a lot about ki by my teacher. I know what it can do."
"Yeah, like grow flowers. Whoopdee ****in' doo," Ajissa murmured, splashing her face with
"Yeah, flowers that heal someone with a energy connection to them."
Ajissa gave her a glare that would make a dinosaur turn and run the other way. Good thing Maya wasn't a dinosaur. "How did you figure that?"
Ajissa turned the faucet off and walked toward the door. "No matter. If Hiazi doesn't kick your ass in the first round, little girl, you'll see the true extent of what my flowers can do." The door shut just as quick as Ajissa opened it, leaving Maya alone in the restroom with a heavy sense of anxiety on her shoulders, along with a mix of curiousity and horror in her head.
"Fine then," Maya murmured. "I'll be there. And I can't wait."
"Alright, folks! That's the conclusion of today's fights! As you all know, the Tenkaichi Budokai is a three-day event, containing the preliminaries and the first two quarter-final fights the first day, the next two on the following day, and the semi-finals as well as the finals on the last. Please go home, get some rest and come back tomorrow with even more spirit!"
Lloyd Hensen was growing more and more nervous. He had the feeling things were really about to get started now - and they would only grow more and more intense as time went on. The next two days were going to be hell.
But oddly enough, he was looking forward to it.
Author's Note: Aiyaiyaiyai, yet another short chapter. So sorry. But I felt it best to cut things off at this point, considering it's basically the end of the day. Chapter Eight will be the start of the real action, with our main two characters of the moment. Promise things will pick up.
Also, dunno if I've asked this, but another little trivia question - can anyone tell me where I got the name Ajissa from? Hell, all of the winners of the preliminaries have a basis in their name except for Hiazi (well, he does, but no one but one other person on Earth would get. Inside joke.), of course Maya and Lloyd, and Yuji. Hyou Ton, Morus Hiten, Ajissa Picoso and “Mach” Yach (obviousss) have a sort of pun or reasoning in their name. I’ll give you a hug and a token of my eternal love.
Oh, and maybe a degree in nerdology. Or really-good-at-using-google-ology. Whichever your method was.
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
"The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die."Chapter Eight: “Hey, Kame-Sennin, can you buy me a coffin?”
“Hey, Kame-Sennin, can you buy me a coffin? Because I’m pretty sure I’m dead out there tomorrow,” Lloyd murmured.
Old Man Reh tilted back his head and let loose a burst of laughter. “Hue Tonsils doesn’t seem too hard an opponent, Lloyd! Don’t be so scared.”
“...His name is Hyou Ton,” Maya said. “And yes, he does seem like a hard opponent.”
Reh raised an eyebrow. “Well, we’ll worry about him later. Today, neither of you has to face him. Today you can go out there and kick some butt!”
The two students of the old man looked at each other and nodded once, both of them faking smiles in the other’s benefit. “Right!”
“Hello, folks! Welcome back to another day of the Tenkaichi Budokai, also known as the World Martial Arts Tournament! Today we will hold the last two rounds of the quarter finals!”
Lloyd felt the pressure: with the feeling of anxiety on his shoulders and the premonition that he would be coming up first thing off, he was surprised he wasn't weighted to the floor, unable to even slide his feet forward.
Indeed, moving came with surprising ease when he heard his name called.
“Mach” Yach's followed shortly, and Lloyd allowed himself a nervous grin, faking confidence for the sole purpose of entertaining the crowd.
“As is tradition, we will be going over the rules a second time, for this second day, to refresh everyone's memory-” Lloyd nodded to confirm his remembrance once the rules were listed, keeping his eyes plastered on the dark face of his opponent, who did the same. “Good! Then the battle... may...”
The referee ran from the position in between the two fighters where he had been, making one skillfull leap off the edge and landing next to his fellow employees. “Begin!”
Lloyd felt his heart rise to his throat, and immediately stumbled backward in order to avoid the oncoming strike he saw... only for it never to come. Mach stood stoic, not having moved an inch – or so Lloyd initially thought. Upon more careful inspection, he noticed small scuff marks on the arena floor, signifying that some movement had been done. All in the time it took him to blink... twice, maybe.
With that kind of speed, Lloyd knew he had no hopes of winning.
“Hmph,” Ajissa Picoso murmured. “Wimp up there, eh?”
“I hope at least that... Mach man can give a more entertaining show than the kid is,” Hiazi Samson indirectly agreed.
Ajissa glanced over to him. “Say. Be careful with that opponent of yours, Hiazi.”
Hiazi looked over to her, frowning, disgust in his firm gaze. “That woman? You of all people should know she isn't a match for me, Ajissa...”
“...I just got a bad feeling. That's all,” Ajissa said.
“You have bad feelings all the time, and how many of them come true?” Hiazi asked.
Ajissa offered a quick smile. “Yeah, you're right.”
More than you know, Hiazi... more than you know...
“Are you going to fight back, little boy,” Mach started, “or should I just throw you out of the arena now?”
Lloyd shut his eyes for a moment, taking a few seconds to gather his senses. He knew he was hopeless: that didn't mean he didn't have to try.
“That depends...” He opened his eyes and placed a thumb on his chest.
“How do you plan on catching me?”
Mach scoffed. “Brazen. Don't you know? I'm the fastest on the planet...”
“Guess who's here to take the title?” Lloyd said.
“Hmph. Then show me! Show me the agility that gives you such audacity!”
Lloyd decided that if he was going to go down, he was going to go down to that challenge. He took off- in the opposite direction, earning a large percentage of boos from the crowd, some gasps and oddly enough, some cheers. Perhaps the cheers came from the part of the crowd that realized just what he was doing.
“Coward!” Mach exclaimed.
At those words, Lloyd cut a sharp right, beginning to run toward the right side of the arena. At the corner, he cut another sharp right, building up a steady supply of speed. He suddenly realized: he was wrong. He had a chance. If he could build up enough momentum...
“Bleh! Blah, can't catch me!” Lloyd teased as he darted past Mach.
“Why, you- that isn't going to work on me!”
Lloyd knew that if this was kept up long enough, he would be dead meat just from exhausting himself. He needed bait. Something to make Mach come close.
“Then why ain'tcha t-tryin'!?” Lloyd asked. “Afraid you'll be humiliated!? By a thirteen-year-old at that! Big ol' Mach Yach is gonna watch his opponent get exhausted instead of fighting him like a man!”
“Why... you... gah! Take this, you little punk!” Mach dashed in Lloyd's direction, and without a moment's hesitation (simply because he couldn't afford to do so), turned in the same direction. At any moment now, the two fighters were going to collide.
”You know, Lloyd,” Tim Reh said absentmindedly. “I've taken a nice old likin' to you.”
Lloyd bowed quickly. “Thank you, Kame-Sennin. That means a lot. But is it really enough to warrent calling me out into the backyard in the middle of the night?”
“Of course it is, if I say it is,” Reh said, looking at Lloyd sternly, annoyance evident in his eyes.
Quickly, Lloyd straightened up and only bowed his head, shaking his hands furiously in denial. “O-of course, Kame-Sennin! I would never insult you like that- I was- I just-”
Reh tilted his head back and burst out laughing. “BUAHAHA! I'm just joking, Hensen! Don't be so serious all the time. Really, though, I have to come like you. You show some pretty nice potential in the martial arts field – so, starting tonight, we're both getting up a little early... well, it's optional, really. But if you do, the Kame-Rendan is yours!”
“Kame-Rendan, sir?” Lloyd asked, raising an eyebrow.
“One of my most powerful moves in the book, that's all-”
“And how early?”
“Four o'clock. A good three or fours hours or so before normal – I repeat, I do not want Miss Collins knowing about this.”
“You never said it in the first place-”
“Lloyd...” Reh arrowed his eyes.
“BUAHAHAHA! Calm down!”
“...You confuse me, Kame-Sennin...”
“Kame-Rendan!” Lloyd Hensen screamed, and just before contact, Lloyd went into a hypothetical “overdrive mode” - combined with his ki going through a momentary spike, his adrenaline allowed him a sharp left turn- his fist slamming right into Mach's gut. Without stopping, Lloyd lifted his leg up and turned on his one foot on the ground, connecting it with Mach's back: and the brutality didn't stop. Mach went stumbling forward a few inches, and Lloyd used this opportunity to jump up, pressing down on the opponent's back to gain some distance, landing in front of him, only to jump up again – landing a fierce uppercut.
Lloyd's muscles ached. The exhertion forced onto them by this move was immense: if this didn't finish off Mach Yach, he did not know what would. He wanted this to end already. Unfortunately, the Kame-Rendan still had two more steps to go.
“Only the truly skilled...”
Lloyd grabbed the man by his shoulders, shoving him with all of his strength toward the ground.
“...can handle the weight of a turtle shell on their backs!”
The finishing move. Lloyd came down onto the ground, both of his feet colliding against “Mach” Yach's stomach. “Weight of a thousand turtles – Kame Rendan!”
Mach Yach lay there, immobile, as Lloyd stumbled backward, struggling to keep his footing, but succeeding. The Kame Rendan drained energy hard and fast – it was a miracle he had been able to complete the full thing. He stood there, his arms dangling in front of him limply, legs like towers of Jell-O beneath him: but he stood. And all he knew was that.
“...Competitor Bach “Mach” Yach is on the ground! Ten seconds! Ten... nine...”
“You did it, Lloyd!” Maya exclaimed from the sidelines. He smiled, and offered a quick thumbs up, but then realized that he could barely move his arms.
“Mach lost!?” a voice in the crowd said, exasperated. “There goes my money...”
“Or not,” another voice said.
Lloyd watched in horror as Mach slowly stood up, blood running from the corner of his mouth, his breathing sharp and heavy.
“Competitor Bach “Mach” Yach has gotten to his feet! The match will continue!”
“That was... certainly impressive,” Mach whispered. “I wasn't expecting that... not from a s-sh-shrimp like you...”
“You wuh-weren't s-s-suh-supposed t-to g-g-get uh-up...” Lloyd stammered.
“...And I wasn't supposed t-to d-duh-do this either, was...I!?” Mach said through clenched teeth, before running forward and delivering a quick punch right to Lloyd's face. Lloyd felt his stamina drift away as he fell back. It was only adrenaline's fault that he caught himself falling backward, stumbling and catching his balance.
“How!?” Lloyd groaned.
“Because I'm not weak! I can't be beaten...”
“You are going to lose!” Mach exclaimed, running forward and delivering a sloppy uppercut: but still clean enough to make Lloyd scream in pain, falling back onto the arena floor.
“You are going to feel the worst pain you have ever felt!”
Lloyd staggered to his feet, only to be knocked down again through a kick to the chest. But he got up yet again, his muscles aching and his mind begging for him to stop before serious damage was done.
But Lloyd did not listen. “I...I...”
“You are going to-”
“AM GOING TO WIN!” Lloyd bellowed, before pulling his hand back and swinging it forward like a pitcher throwing a baseball – a glowing one, in this case. A glowing ball of light emerged from Lloyd's hand, crashing forward toward Mach's direction. The ball hit him and then bounced off, but beneath the contact point was a smoldering spot of clothing, and a red-hot patch of skin. Mach Yach screamed, clutching the area, before the merciful grasp of unconsciousness grabbed him.
“Lloyd... Lloyd Hensen wins by knock-out! We need some medics on the field – for both of them!”
Lloyd smiled happily. He had won. He probably wasn't going to be able to participate in the next fight, but that was on the back of his mind for the moment. Right now, all he knew was that he had won, and that he was happy about it.
Maya was impressed. On the phone, Tim Reh had been able to identify the phenomenon of Lloyd's creation up on the stage to her: it was called a “ki blast”, a forceful projection of ki that could come in times of stress for those who didn't know how to do it – but amazingly enough, there were people out there who could do it on will.
“Will Mach be alright?”
“Oh, oh... depends. 'Desperation' Ki Blasts are typically very, very weak in power due to the inability to control them. But their main damager is the heat... the heat could have fried his insides if it were high enough,” Reh mused. “But, these emotionally-forced-out-power-packs tend to also be low in heat. It would be like... let's say, punching someone with iron knuckles that have been out in the sun too long. The only reason it took him down is because of previous damage with the Kame-Rendan. I'd say he'll be fine.”
“That's good... thanks, Kame-Sennin.”
“Not a problem. I'm surprised Lloyd was able to do it... especially since it took you so much to-”
“Shh! I don't want to talk about that...” Maya whispered, glancing around.
“Fair enough. Kick some butt out there, Lil' Missy...”
Author's Note: Premature end here because I thought it would help build up suspense. I'm a sucker for suspense. See ya guys Monday.
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!
New chapter is coming, oddly enough, at three o'clock in the morning because that's when I feel like releasing it. Understand that this is probably going to be one of the few remaining chapters to come out on a schedule - from now on, they're likely gonna be released on a "whenever the hell I'm done with 'em" basis.
“The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the children are playing and we're all going to die.”
Jane: “Is such a dank and depressing title really necessary?”
Author: “Why is it that all you people hate this title?!”
Jane: “Because that's how you write us.”
Chapter Nine: “Nasal Rape! Ref, c'mon!”
Hiazi Samson stepped up onto the ring first, his broad figure almost seeming to block the sun out of Maya Collins' view. Maya sighed, her hands locked together behind her back for some last minute stretching, her eyes focused onto the bare back of her opponent. Each step she took felt heavy: like it would be her last one.
The foreign man stood at the eastern part of the arena, while Maya took a firm stance at the western. She faked a confident smile the best she could, but it wasn't quite enough, it seemed. Hiazi laughed, speaking in his thick accent.
“Shaky smile, girl,” he taunted.
“Shaky with excitement,” Maya responded. “It's going to be so much fun kicking your ass all around the arena.”
“I say the same to you, little girl.”
Maya slipped into her stance: a defensive one, right arm raised slightly above her head, while the other was just above her chest. She slid her legs apart, preparing to intercept the attack that was bound to come at any moment. Hiazi Samson was a son of a *****, but he was one who put his offensive skills in priority. He was not about to let the opponent attack first, and she knew it.
“Are both fighters ready?” the referee asked.
“Ready and willing,” Maya said.
“Ready...” Hiazi responded.
“And both fighters understand the rules?”
A firm nod from both sides.
“Then... you may begin!”
Maya was impressed by the opponent's speed. Or so she would have been, had she not in the next few seconds been forced to duck down and dodge the oncoming blow. Her defensive stance was of no matter: she knew immediately that all of the fist-catch she had planned would have resulted in was her own pain.
She offered a return blow, a quick fist to the stomach, but such a thing was not going to be decisive, even if she managed to land it. She didn't: Hiazi side-stepped, leaving her punching at mid-air. Without wasting a second, she pushed herself up and swung her leg in Hiazi's direction, resulting in a missed kick that swerved over his head of blonde hair.
The two of them stood there for a few moments, utterly silent. Then...
“Not too bad,” Maya said.
“Not bad yourself,” Hiazi admitted. “But don't think we're done yet.”
“As of yet, it seems neither side has been able to land a hit! What impressive skill, folks!” the referee announced.
Maya made the next move, opting for a simple rush. She knew he was going to dodge it, but it would start up the action again, and that was when she thought best. Like she predicted, as she ran toward him, he made a quick curve left. He apparently decided to take advantage of the moment of vulnerability she had, returning her rush. She brought her elbow backward, managing to land the first successful blow, but only shaving him, as he still moved quickly enough to dodge the major part.
She flippd herself around, and the two started firm hand-to-hand combat.
I need to get away from this...
She lifted her knee up, aiming for Hiazi's stomach. A quick curve left dodged the blow, but she was still locked in. She cursed mentally, deciding to go for a quick backward leap.
He took the bait.
He rushed in her direction, swearing and calling her a coward, before she had even fully landed. He came quick, and before he could land an attack, she landed on the tip of her foot, bouncing up using his shoulders as a boost, brushing overtop him. Her legs kicked backward, landing a firm strike with both feet to his back.
Without wasting a moment, Hiazi quickly flipped himself around, taking the hit to the chest instead. This allowed him to grab one of Maya's legs and toss her off balance, and thus she tumbled to the arena floor. Hiazi was on top of her in an instant.
No hesitation shown, the foreign man proceeded to shove his fingers up her nares.
“What the-” she said in a choked voice. “Get- this- what-”
She had no idea what was going on right now. All she saw were shades of pink, hearing a screeching sound ringing in her ears: was it her? She did not know. The weight on her chest persisted, continuing after she saw Hiazi stand up.
She forced herself to her feet. All the oddities continued. “What did you...”
Maya felt her heart leap up to her throat. Hiazi opened his mouth in a grin, revealing a pair of sharp fangs, glistening with liquid. She could only assume it was her own blood. How had she not felt that?
“Ref, that can't be allowed!” Maya screamed, but the referee did not respond. It was then that she realized that she had not opened her mouth... but she had heard herself as clear as day! How was this possible?
Her mind was in a tizzy, and she was tripping over her own two feet. Her balance was insanely off. She was going to die here, wasn't she?
Pain. Severe pain in her lower stomach, almost out of nowhere. She grabbed onto the affected area, groaning loudly. “What's...going...”
She felt tears rise in her eyes, spilling over her eyelids.
“Little baby crying? Are you scared?”
Hiazi's voice. It had no specific point to it. Instead, it seemed to be coming from all around her, am omniscient force.
“...Tears of joy,” she said. “On how close I am to beating you!”
“While acting like a bumbling baboon? I don't think so.”
She made a random punch forward, striking air. She cursed loudly, and heard a devious laugh.
“Very cold, my friend!”
“...Then tell me where you are so I can get hot,” Maya murmured, frustration evident in her voice besides her best attempts to hide it.
Pain again. This time, so much more of it: multiple blows delivered to multiple areas, she realized. She was getting assaulted, and her opponent wasn't even in a visible range of sight. Was this some trick? Was she going insane?
She was scared.
“...Stop,” she whispered.
“I'll stop with just three words,” Hiazi's voice returned.
“HANG IN THERE, MAYA! YOU GOT THIS!”
Her heart skipped a beat. Lloyd Hensen's voice? Tim Reh's? Someone's. Someone cheering her on.
“C'mon, don't lose so easily! This is disappointin' from the girl who did so well in the preliminaries!”
That same voice. It started to sound more refined. A voice she knew and recognized: yes, Lloyd Hensen.
“Lloyd, I'm scared...” she said.
“Don't be! C'mon, kick this chump's butt!”
Pain all over. She could barely stand after the assault stopped. Blood trickled from multiple breaks in her skin, and she probably had some bruised or even broken bones. No doubt about any of this. But oddly enough, things were starting to clear up: and right before Maya Collins passed out from the pain, she realized. Hallucinations. He had stuck his fingers up her nose in order to get as close as possible to her brain. To modify it. Hallucations. It was all so simple.
Maya Collins fell backward, hitting her head hard on the arena. Blackness took her over.
Maya woke up under the cover of darkness, a blanket laying over her body. Her muscles ached miserably, and the suspicions of broken bones were most certainly true – her right arm was in a cast, and her breathing was sharp and painful, signature of broken ribs. Her body was dotted with odd material here and there, which she theorized to be bandages, but she did not dare look. Her body hurt too much: if she sat up to examine herself, it would only lead to more pain, which she wanted to avoid.
Her eyes had some trouble adjusting to the lighting, but when they did, she allowed her eyes to do the roaming and figure out her surroundings. Judging by the steady, ryhtmic beeping of a heart monitor, the steady sounds of people speaking and the glass door that allowed her to plainly see the sign labeled “PAPAYA GENERAL” hanging above the nursing station, she deduced she was in a hospital. Had she been beaten up that bad?
It was late at night. She had one person in her room, but she could not identify them because of the blackness and the fact that they were in a corner, sleeping in a chair. The form was well-built, and a bit broad shouldered, but also a tad on the short side.
Reaching out to the side, she groped for the nurse-calling button until she found it. She hit it, and within moments, the glass door slid open, and a young woman walked in, wearing a pink nurse's uniform that went down to her knees. She ran a hand across her forehead, pushing her green-ish blue hair away. The light switch was flipped on.
Maya looked at the person in the chair and smiled softly. Lloyd Hensen slept soundly on the chair, not even stirring at the light. Quickly, Maya looked at the nurse as she spoke.
“I'm glad to see you're awake. My name is Jane, and I'll be the nurse attending to you while you're here... how can I help you?” Jane offered a sweet smile. A sweet girl, it seemed, probably no older than twenty. Thus, foolish to the horrors nursing could bear. Maya only knew because her mother was one. She would play along.
“I'm... I'm sorry, what happened to me exactly? I mean, physically,” Maya said.
A single finger lifted up, along with another after the next in the list. “Well, your right arm is broken in three different places, your left arm bruised on the bone, two broken ribs – one true and one of your false, if you want to be specific –, a torn muscle in your left leg, and multiple skin-level bruises and cuts all over your body.”
Maya's eyes widened to the point of where she thought they would explode. “I... all of those?”
“At this rate, it'll be a miracle if you live through another fight. I mean no offense, Miss Collins, but you got absolutely ravaged out there... but, you've already gone through all the traditional things while unconscious – Mister Hensen over there consented, you don't mind, right? – and we've made the guesstimate that you oughta be on your feet again in a couple of weeks, mainly because you've only got one real injury down there, and you oughta be able to get back to fighting again in a couple of months. Isn't that great?”
“...Totally,” Maya whispered. “Okay, thanks. Now can you please leave, so I can go back to sleep?”
“Certainly!” Jane said. “Sleep tight, Miss Collins!”
Months? That long? She cursed mentally. Her mind was filled with a variety of subjects at the moment, but all she could do for the moment was lay back, close her eyes and hope that she could fall asleep and put them off for a couple more hours.
Thanks to ShinySandshrew of serebiiforums for the banner!