Canto 23: Heros' Battle!
"Round 2, Fight 7, Joe v Sogetsu!"
Man, somebody has got to stop that bloody Ryuji! Galford was just able to slide by, but not without Poppy nearly getting killed! He's vowed to take out Terry after his match with Haohmaru. From what I've heard, Terry and Haohmaru will be having their match--soon. That's sure to be explosive. I doubt that it will be explsive as the one with Terry and Ryuji or Haohmaru and Genjuro. Just don't overlook this match, I'm still going to be kicking ass! He got lucky with Andy; ain't going to happen with me!
Finally, the dead has been done. I guess, in part, we have to thank this Ryuji. He was possessed by some dark force, causing him to go mad. He killed off several of them. That had them all on edge, and perfect for Kazuki and I to finish them.
Now, to my current opponent. He is of similar calibur to the man I had fought last round. He was successful in his fight against Ukyo. Now, let us see what...
"Hurricane, Upper! Slash Kick! Tiger Kick!" exploded Joe, even faster than before. The Upper blasted twice, as before. This time, the Slash Kick hit twice, and the Tiger Kick connected before Joe landed!
"Heh, heh, heh! I just keep on getting better, man. So, what have you...argh!" gurggled Joe, as Sogetsu spund, and a tower of water shot Joe skyward, and back down with a nasueaus crunch.
Sogetsu then shot a bubble toward Joe, and as he got up, he was vulnerable for the next hit. He vanished and reappeared in a puddle, and then smashed Joe's face, and Joe fell too the ground, feeling as if his brain had just been knocked out his skull. Joe then screamed as Sogetsu penetrated is blade into his arm.
Sogetsu attempted to crash his blade through Joe, but Joe grabbed his arm. Joe then grabbed Sogetsu's arm, and stainously powered his way to his feet. He forced Sogetsu to drop his weapon, and then repeatedly bashed his knees into his gut. He then did a crude frankenstiener on Sogetsu, and both men were down, each trying to get their breath back. Joe was blacking out a bit, the result of loosing so much blood from so deep a stab. Sogetsu was dazed from his head being smashed into the ground with force that he had only thought a man the size of Zankuro would have.
Suddenly, they felt a dark power, rip throughout their cores--a power that wasn't Orochi in nature. Who, or what, was the source of this new evil? Both men got up, ice flowing through their veins. Whatever the power was, it seemed to be as dark as what Ryuji had; yet it was very differnet.
Sogetsu then had a quick burst of power, and shot forth toward Joe, his finishing move dead set. At the last second, Joe side stepped, and Sogetsu flew by.
"Oh-sha!" yelled Joe as he ran into Sogetsu, and began pounding him. He then unleashed a series of Hurricane Uppers, and smashed Sogetsu into the sky.
"Damn! I'm good! I...don't fell so good," and Joe stumbled.
"Winner of Round 2, Fight 7, Joe!"
"Joe! Joe, get up! You don't look to swell. You're going to need help."
"Uhn, Ling? Yea--just not by the nose," and they both smiled as Andy and Mai went to help him out.
Something quakes and ravages in my depths. What is it that struggles so within me? There is some small part that seems to be resisting my control. What...of course. How silly of me. Mizuki, my host, you still harbor feelings for that fool--Kyoshiro. It will not come to be. He opposes us, and he will die, along with the rest. Before, it was arrogance. Now, it is desparation and confusion. It matters not, Mizuki. You and I are intertwined in our fate. Even if you break free this time, I will reclaim you. The harder you try, the harder it will be for you to break free. You are mine, now and forever.
Alone, in a small part of her depths, Mizuki is very afraid. This demon has taken total control of her once more. It made her nearly kill the man she loved. What could she do to over come it? How?
"Ah, so I will have the honor to fight you, Wan-fu! Very good! Tell me, have you recovered from your fight with Genjuro? I do not think you have. Are you ready to meet your friend, Yagu? Death is upon you. Now, you suffer the death that Kyoshiro will soon share."
"Mizuki! How can you do this? The man loves you, and yet you treat him like scum. How can you do such a thing?"
"The weak Muziki you may be know would care about such things. However, I have been enlightened as to what my true destiny is. He will not serve along side with my guiding power, so he will die. You shall also die, dirtbag. So is the fate of all who oppose me!"
She sent a portal toward him, but Wan-fu was ready, and use his Confusious Bomb on her, blasting her several feet away. Just as he was about to pick up his weapon, her pet, still in it's small form, ran head-on into him, preventing him from getting it back.
"That has always been your flaw, Wan-fu. Such a powerful attack. Once it has been used, though, unless you are quick you are at a lose. Now, it is time for you to die!"
"Stow it, witch! I have a big surprise for you," and he brought out a giant rock, shaped like part of a column of a building.
"You think you can beat me with a rock! Then death has...aahh!" Wan-fu interrupted with his own uppercut, knocking her to her back.
"I usually don't like attacking, a lady. Forunetally for me, ya ain't no lady!" and he pounded on his downed foe before he punted her away. He brought her to her feet, and batted her the rest of the way across the tattered arena, as the walls trembled from the power.
"You thought that you are something, eh? Yea, and I think I'm Cleopatrah! What!?" and the Demon dog did it's job, and hit Wan-fu with the force of a train.
Mizuki rose like the dead, and threw a portal toward Wan-fu. It sucked him down, and several feet into the air, it dropped him, breaking bones upon impact.
He tried to get up, but Mizuki's foot put him back down. He looked up at her, and saw the reaper. She looked down, a blank expression on her face.
"Now where have I seen this? Oh, yes. Kyoshiro. Unfortunetaly for you, there is nobody here to save you. Now, to fulfill my promise to you," and the blade crashed down, and through Wan-fu.
"Winner of Round 2, Fight 8, Mizuki!"
A familiar darkness that Joe and Sogetsu felt passed through Mizuki. So, it looks like this Genjuro will be able to give Haohmaru a very good challenge after all. Good, I wouldn't want to only see Terry and Ryuji steal the show. She climbed onto her ride, and they were gone. All that was left was a very evil aura, and the question of what Mizuki meant.
All right! Here is the fight (well, one of them) of the fic! The two heroes go at it, to see who's number one! Place your bids, and let the game, begin.
So, the time is finally here. I wonder, what will be next for me, and Terry? His power does seem akin to mine, yet there is some strong differences. The most obvious is our auras. Mine is red, while his is blue. I don't know if it means anything, or if it's irrelevant. We seem to share a lot of other common--issues as well.
We both have two demons that have made our lives, and others, Hell. He has Geese and Krauser. I have Amakusa and Zankuro. We eeach have some rival who wants to waste us. They have each sworn that after Terry and I fight, that they will rip us open. The only difference there is that Ryuji wants to destroy Terry for Mary. Genjuro just hates my guts. Man, doesn't he hav a life?
I was beside myself when I said that to Charlotte. She said that in that respect, we are exactly alike! At the time, and I guess even now, she's right. I don't have what too many would consider to be a life. In some ways, this tournament has changed it, and changed it a lot. A future w...with Charlotte. I still can't say the M word!! I also have an adopted brother, Shizumaru Hisame. In some ways, though, it would almost be like he's a son. I know that Charlotte has thought of him as one. Then, there would be the girl that he may share his future with, Rimururu! That would also bring is her sister, Nakoruru, and Galford...Nakoruru's special guy. That would really make us one--big family.
I know it's not exactly the brightest for this little group, as Hisame, Rimururu, and Charlotte have already lost. Nakoruru and Galford have been able to advance into the next round...and I will too! Terry had better be ready for a war!
"Haohmaru, we need to talk!"
"Charlotte? Galford? Nakoruru? Hisame? Rimururu? I know this will sound a tad bit crazy, but I was just thinking about--all of us."
"Haohmaru...I haven't been able to stop thinking about that dream you had told me about. Genjuro kills Hisame, and then me. I fall into your arms, and then he kills you. We all have a good idea as to the power he has. I guess what I'm trying to say is to be careful. I know this match with you and Terry is the one we've all been waiting for, but I'm worried about Genjuro. We all know what he'd be willing to do to get you. Just be careful."
"Yeah, man," Galford added, "I'd swear that he's got some sort of darkness within; maybe something like that Ryuji. Let us hope that I'm wrong, for the chaos Ryuji has unleashed, one is enough!"
Even after all these years, I still have the image play over in my head...Jeff's death. I wonder, if he wasn''t our real father, who was? Are Andy and I really brohters? That would usually be something that Andy would think about, but I have to be honest; I think of it a lot. I may even think of it more than Andy does...
It's funny, though. Once I defeated Geese, things just continue to go crazy. It's one storm after another. I was glad to have a friendly challenge from Kim. Those are the kinds of things I can live with. However, Krauser wanting to kill me, just "to amuse himself;" I think it's crazy! Then, there's this whole Mars sitiuation. A real pain, plain and simple.
When the first King Of Fighters comes with teams of three, we get a lot of--surprises. I'd say the biggest was Rugal bombing at the end. The second one comes, and he's back, with cybernetics. This is where the news of Orochi first comes into the big picture (I wonder how long it had been working behind the scenes, especially with Goenitz). The third one is total chaos, thanks to Goenitz. Finally, we face off against Orochi himself. I's just able to survive that one. That brings me to my newest threat, Ryuji!
The crazy Bastard has it in his skull that he can simply take Mary for his own. Unlike before, I doubt I'll have assistance from anybody in this battle. I might be able to handle him; but for him to be waiting for me for after my war with Haohmaru...
"Terry, it's me, Mary!" and she came in, followed by Andy, Mai, Joe, and Ling.
"Joe? Are you alright? You look like..."
"Easy, Terry. Joe just had his fight with Sogetsu. He won, but as you can see, he had as much shit knocked out of him as he knocked out of Sogetsu."
"Oh, thanks a lot, Ling. Now you ruin the great story I had for him. I had something that would make him green with envy," and they all burst into laughter.
"Well, here I go. Wish me luck!" and Terry had all the wind knocked out of him as Mary gave him a tight bear hug. She joked saying that he was in trouble if she could do something like that--imagine what Haohmaru could do.
There they stood, two of the heroes of legends, and they were going to face off against one another to see which of them truely is the best. They each play thousands o ideas aas to how it may go in their heads. They then picture what may happen next. Regardless of who wins, they will both be exhausted. To know that a man whose sole purpose is your elimination will be waiting is unnerving.
After quick bows, Haohmaru opened up with a cyclone. For some reason, Terry didn't seem to reply. Then, he pounded the ground, and a Round Wave neutralized the attack. Each knew that Terry couldn't use his best attacks as long as Haohmaru still had his weapon, and he learned to be much more careful after his first round. He flipped over, his sword exploding with power. Terry just barely hopped back to avoid it. A quick Fire Kick brought him back within range, and he nailed Haohmaru with a Crack Shot, and caught him in part of a Power Dunk, before Haohmaru used his sake to knock Terry out of the move.
Terry went for his Burn Knuckle, but was cut by Haohmaru's Crescent Slash, giving first blood to him. Terry flipped up to his feet, but Haohmaru planted his balde into the ground, and then slammed Terry's head into the ground. He picked up his sword, and Terry grabbed him, and smacked Haohmaru with his fist, nearly causing Haohmaru to loose his grip on the weapon. Terry ran in, and hopped over a sweep, and delivered a hard kick toward Haohmaru's face.
However, Haohmaru blocked the kick, and was safe, for the moment. Terry landed, and a spark exploded in Haohmaru's eyes. He began a series of cuts, hacks, and slashes, and began to cut Terry to shreds! He fininshed with a heavy slice, sending them both into the air, and blood rainned below.
Terry was barely conscious, and felt like his entire body was being ripped apart. His memories were flashing like a wild-fire. With each memory, a stream of blood ran from him. His entire body was on fire, and he thought he was certain that death was upon him.
Haohmaru looked at Terry, and he also flinched in the pain, for some unexplained reason. Maybe he felt the dark fire that was burning on the horizon. The power seemed to be as evil as Ryuji's, yet it wasn't him...at least Haohmaru didn't think it was. He also wondered about Charlotte and Hisame. He was the last one of their little trio left in this tournament. So far, it was going well. Now, to finish it. What?! That aura! What is...
The memories that tourment Terry aren't important, as they have already been explained. They burn like the fires of chaos, and it seems ready to engulf him. Then, a familiar, and caring voice, says his name. It is the woman he is fighting for, and defending from Ryuji. MARY! his mind explodes as the image of Ryuji holding her rips it's way to the front of his focus, and he feels more power than he has ever felt before.
Haohmaru jumps, and sends a cyclone at Terry. Terry waits until the last possible moment, and rolls out of the way.
"OVERKILL!" calls Terry with every ounce of power in his core.
He Power Tackles Haohmaru just as he lands, and then hits Haohmaru with several fists to the face. He then feels a Power Duck, and upon landing, Haohmaru is leveld by three Power Geysers! Haohmaru falls, and doesn't move a muscle, while Terry is on his hands and knees, on the border of passing out.
"Winner of Round 2, Fight 9, Terry!"
As friends come in, Terry falls to the ground. The last thing he hears is Mary telling the others to get him up. He aslo hears Charlotte, before going black...
Terry wakes up, in his room, and sees Mary, Andy, Mai, Joe, and Ling all gathered around, each with relief on their faces.
"Hey, there. I just had the maddest dream...oww! Oh, it ain't a dream..." he trailed as he saw the horrific scars under the crude bandages they had created for him.
After some time passed, Mary sat down beside him, and he knew what was troubling her. Ryuji had vowed that after the match, he would be coming for her, and there wasn't a damn thing Terry could do about it! After a moment, he took her hands, with her help, and told her what he hoped would enspire her.
"Mary, and everyone else, we all know what Ryuji has promised. I won't pretend to be confident; I've never felt more shaken in who knows how long. Ryuji's power is greater than anything I've ever had to face. Only the three clans can deal with Orochi. However, as master Tung has said, I can fight Ryuji, and I think I know how."
"How?" Mary asked, as she, and the rest of them gathered closer.
Terry smiled, and looked into Mary's eyes, and said, "You, Mary. You are my inspiration! I was thiniking of you during my match with Haohmaru. I then recalled how he grabbed you. I vowed to never let anyone hurt you, and I WILL keep that vow. Then, I felt more power than I had ever felt before...I won!"
"You see, it's just like I say: `Love conquers all,' right Andy?" and everybody burst into laughter.
"Haohmaru, please, look at me. It isn't the end of the world, just because you lost the fight. Hisame lost, as have I. What is important is that you learn from it, so that you will be ready for the next fight," but, Haohamru just looked blankly past her.
"Haohmaru, ya know she's right man. You need to get ready for the next fight. Genjuro ain't going to go away, and this won't help you. You need to get off you ass and get ready for war!"
"You have to do this, Hahomaru," urged Nakoruru, "I'm not sure, but this new power could be Genjuro. Terry won't be able to stop it; you must! Think of your frineds, Hisame, and Charlotte," and he finally looked at her, at their vision locked.
"I still think that it's odd, Shizumaru. I mean, how can we be here, and not meet any of the people that live here. Their men can't keep them all out!"
"I think you are right! Look!" and as she looked, she saw two kids who looked like their age, run off as they were spotted.
"Am I crazy, or did that girl look a bit like Galford..."
"...And that boy looked a bit like you? What is this?"
What indeed? Just in case you forgot, the SS are about 100 years into the future, and FF are 100 years into the past. More to come in the next part!