Disclaimer: Broke, don't sue, yada yada yada . . . . . . .

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The following events take place quite a number of years ago.

A pair of strapping young men sat in a small bar playing Shogi and discussing their plans for the future. OK discuss is a little strong for a long meandering conversation involving alcohol and beer nuts. You know what I mean.

"So Soun, how does a little training trip sound to you?" He removed his glasses and cleaned them with a napkin while he spoke.

"Sounds like a good idea. I could use a little fresh air." Seeing his friend distracted for a moment he flipped a couple of tiles while reaching up to stroke his moustache.

Putting his glasses back on and examining the board he raised an eyebrow. "Soun . . . "

Soun sighed. "I can't help it. The Master", he snorted in derision "taught me how to play a little too well."

Soun was quiet, his eyes downcast waiting for words of admonishment from his friend and fellow master. He truly didn't want to cheat, but the Master had trained him well and he found he didn't have the strength of will Genma exemplified. Genma had always been the stronger of the two and had helped Soun resist the worst of the master teachings, but even he had been unable to escape all of the lessons pounded into them.

Genma for his part sat quietly in a quandary abought what to do. On the one hand Soun's actions weren't honorable, on the other hand it was only a game, and it might help take some of the strain of needing to cheat instilled by Hap. . . the Master, by channeling it into a harmless pastime. If you look at it as just new rules to an old game truly making it Anything Goes..

Genma grinned. "Everyone makes mistakes. We know each other so well that our regular games.." He fell silent looking behind Soun to the door. His eyes slowly widened as his face drained of all color.

Soun turned quickly, drawing Ki from his surroundings, his senses straining to catch a whiff of danger. Seeing nothing he turned back to find his friend smiling with a 'too innocent to be real look' on his face. Glancing down at the board he quickly hid a smile behind his hand as he stroked his moustache. Clearing his throat he waved for another round from the bartender.

"As I was saying a training trip sounds like just the thing. A little fresh air and peace and quiet to clear our minds and perfect our art away from distractions like family and friends."

Genma's smile faded and he sighed at the mention of family.

"Sorry didn't mean to hit a sore point there. So no luck yet?" Soun asked quietly.

Genma just shook his head staring at the board.

Soun sat deep in thought for a moment. "I know of something that could be a big help."

Genma looks up from the board hopefully. "Really?"

Soun smiled "It's worked wonders for the size of my family. All girls so far though."

Genma laughed "Soun old buddy I wouldn't mind having a girl at all. Hell if it's a boy I'll marry him to one of your girls."

Soun laughed along with his friend "I may just hold you to that Genma. Now as I was saying there is this temple . . . "

AN: Yes it does seem wildly OOC for Genma but it's not. Trust me. *grin*
All shall be revealed in time.