HAPPY 4th OF JULY for all of my American readers!
So, here is a new story for my "Hearts & Fists" series! Sorry this one, in particular, took so long. I'd been planning it for the longest time but a concept that recently came along in Street Fighter V fit PERFECTLY with what I wanted to do here! You'll see what I mean a little later on. Also, go check out ScrewAttack as they just premiered a Death Battle with Ryu VS. Jin Kazama. Which reminds me, maybe I need to do more Tekken stories. We'll see.
Like always, let's establish the timeline:
Hearts & Fists
Hearts & Fists –The First Date
Hearts & Fists – Lovers' Sparring Match
Hearts & Fists – The Proposal
Hearts & Fists – The Wedding
Hearts & Fists – A Deal's A Deal
Hearts & Fists II: Retaliation
Hearts & Fists – Fear
Hearts & Fists – Kindred Spirits
Hearts & Fists – Youthful Drive
Hearts & Fists – Motivation (CURRENT STORY)
Hearts & Fists – Motivation
Ryu, Chun-Li, Mei, Ken, and Sakura were all in the doctor's office as they waited to hear from the doctor about the baby. Ken had flown all the way to Hangzhou when Ryu told him they were going to find out the sex of the baby. Ken was pacing while Sakura was entertaining Mei, who was sitting in Sakura's lap.
Ryu was holding Chun-Li's hand and started to watch Ken pace. "Will you sit down?" Ryu asked.
"When we're about to find out if you're having a boy or a girl?!" Ken asked. "Not even!"
"This really is nail biting, though," Sakura said. "I mean, where is the doc, already?"
"Yeah!" Mei shouted. "Baby brother or sister!"
"Yeah!" Sakura shouted, in agreement. "Baby brother or sister!"
Just then, the door opened and Dr. Guo walked in. "Good afternoon, everyone," he said with a smile.
"Boy or girl?!" Sakura and Mei shouted at the same time.
Guo and Ken burst into laughter while Chun-Li shook her head and Ryu rolled his eyes.
Guo chuckled some more as he sat down, "Well! I know that you're all very much looking forward to the results." He looked at Chun-Li, "Are you ready?"
Chun-Li took a deep breath. "Yes." She looked at her husband, "You?"
Ryu nodded, "As I'll ever be."
Guo smiled. "Do you have any names for a son in mind?"
"IT'S A BOY!" Ken shouted as he jumped in the air. "WOOHOOO!"
"A baby brother!" Mei shouted. "I'm gonna be a big sister!"
Ryu and Chun-Li hugged each other, doing their best not to cry.
"A son," Sakura smiled. "Yeah, that kid is gonna be all kinds of tough." She looked at them both, "He's got the strongest pairs of DNA in the world coming together."
Chun-Li smiled and looked at Ryu, "I really do want to stick with the name I came up with."
"Are you sure?" Ryu asked. "We can name him anything else. It's entirely up to you."
"What name?" Ken asked.
"Ryutaro," Chun-Li said.
"Ryutaro," Ken repeated. He thought about it and smiled, "Yeah." He nodded, "Yeah, I like that. It's a really good name."
Ryu looked at Ken, "You think so?"
"Positive. Strong name, just like his dad."
"Ryutaro," Sakura said. "Oh, yeah! That's really cool!"
"Ryutaro!" Mei said. "Baby brother!"
They all went back to the house where Ryu and Ken cooked dinner for the family. It was great celebration, which included video calls to Guile and Cammy, which lead to even more cheers. Ryu even called Sagat. While Sagat was not as over the top with his praise as everyone else, Ryu could tell that his former enemy's congratulations were sincere.
Night came and the house fell still, all of the excitement leaving everyone exhausted. Ryu and Chun-Li were asleep when Ryu felt a shiver go up his spine. Ryu slowly woke up and looked out of the window, towards the night sky.
Ryu swore he heard his name. He slowly got out of bed, careful not to wake Chun-Li, and exited the bedroom. As he walked down the hallway, he heard the door to the guest room open and Ken walked out.
"You heard that, too?" Ken asked, whispering.
"Yeah," Ryu answered.
They felt a pull of force leading them outside and they walked on into the backyard only to find Rose, floating in midair with a young dark-skinned woman floating behind her.
"Rose?" Ken asked.
"Ryu, Ken," Rose greeted. "Good to see you."
"Good to see you," Ryu said.
"Who's your friend?" Ken asked.
Rose motioned toward the girl, "This is my new apprentice, Menat."
Menat bowed and rose up, "A pleasure to meet you both."
"Same here," Ken replied.
"What brings you here, Rose?" Ryu asked.
"I come at the behest of another," Rose declared. "It has to do with the expanding of your family, Ryu."
Rose motioned her hand toward the ground, "If you both wouldn't mind, having a seat. In a more… formal position. I think one you're used to. You'll want to do so, trust me."
Ryu and Ken looked at each other, confused. But, they sat, taking a kneeling position as they did when they were students in Gouken's dojo.
Rose raised her hand and Menat summoned an orb to appear before her. A light purple-colored cloud appeared and surrounded the four of them. They entered a realm made of the same clouds.
"What are we doing here?" Ken asked.
"You're about to be a father, Ryu," Rose said. "And I know that concerns you. Not because of your inexperience at fatherly duties."
"That is part of it," Ryu said.
"True. But that's not the biggest problem." Rose brought up another orb of light then changed to show a swirling dark energy. "The Satsui no Hado, the Dark Hadou. The evil within."
"The thing I fear that I will pass on to my son," Ryu said, sadly.
"Wow," Ken whispered. "I never even really thought about that with Mel. I guess because Eliza doesn't really want him fighting. Which I'm cool with but… I never thought about him having it."
"I can't help but think it." Ryu looked at Ken, "But yours, it's… it's never been as bad as mine."
"You got control over it through," Ken said.
"I didn't with Akuma. I let it take control. To fight against him."
"To save us. To save Chun-Li. You didn't have any other choice. Besides, Guerrilla forced you into that. It's not like you went looking for that fight. Well, that time, anyway."
"It's not excuse, Ken," Ryu said. "But now… I have even more motivation to do better. To find a better way to become a stronger warrior. I will master my darkness. I will find a way."
"Perhaps it's easier than you believe," a voice echoed through the fog.
Ryu and Ken were stunned at hearing that. They recognized the voice, immediately.
"You heard that, too, right?" Ken asked.
Rose smiled, "You did. Menat."
Menat maneuvered her hands in an elaborate pattern around her orb. A large human silhouette stepped through the fog. Slowly, the image of a man came into view and Ryu and Ken both became star-struck.
Menat smiled. "Gentlemen. Allow me to present your master, Gouken."
Gouken stood in complete view of them both and bowed, "Ryu. Ken."
Both men kowtowed to him and said, simultaneously, "Master."
"Rise, my students," Gouken said.
They both looked up and sat up straight.
Gouken smiled. "I am so proud of both of you."
"Master," Ken said, still in shock. "But… but-but-but we thought you were dead."
"It was… extremely close. Akuma's power was too difficult to overcome. So, I had to find another way to survive the attack."
"But… we-we buried you!" Ryu said.
Gouken laughed. "Quite well, in fact. But I managed to dig myself out."
Gouken sat in a posture mimicking his students, "I found a way to… empty myself. It prevented Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu from killing me. It saved my life. I've spending the past few years constantly learning it. Finally, perfecting it."
"Such a thing exists?" Ryu asked.
"Yes. It's known as Mu no Ken, the Power of Nothingness."
Ryu and Ken looked at each other, surprised. They looked back at their teacher.
"And soon," Gouken said, "I'll be teaching you both this power."
"A chance to learn from you again, Master?" Ken asked, smiling. "Nice!"
Gouken smiled. "It won't take long, I promise. I know you both have your lives. Come back to the dojo soon. I will be there, waiting for you."
"Yes, Master," both warriors said.
Gouken smiled and looked at Rose and Menat. "Thank you both for this."
Rose nodded, "Of course, Master Gouken." She looked at Ken and Ryu, "Thank you both for your time."
"Thank you, Rose," Ryu said.
"And congratulations, Ryu."
"It was very nice to meet you both," Menat said.
"You, too, Menat," Ken said. "Be seeing both around, I'm guessing."
"You most certainly will," Rose said.
Ryu and Ken looked at Gouken and bowed, "Master."
"See you soon, boys," Gouken nodded at them.
Rose raised her right hand and the fog slowly dissipated.
Seconds later, Ryu and Ken found themselves back in Ryu's backyard. They were both still lost in wonder at what they just experienced.
Ken stood up and started walking around, rubbing the back of his head. "Wow."
"Master," Ryu whispered. He got to his feet and folded his arms, contemplating what his master just told them.
"A new way. A way to substitute the Satsui no Hado."
Ryu looked at Ken.
Ken chuckled, "And Master's alive."
"That…" Ryu took a breath. "That's a lot to absorb."
"Yeah, it is." Ken took a deep breath, as well. "So. The Mu no Ken. A way that doesn't involve becoming all murder happy."
"A path that I can take."
"And if anyone can master it, I know you can."
"We can," Ryu said. "For our families. My son won't fall to darkness. I will master the Mu no Ken. The Power of Nothingness. I will learn it. For my family, for all I hold dear. I will become stronger than I have ever been. And I will do it the right way."
A/N: Ryutaro: (Japanese origin) "son of the big dragon", primarily used in English and it is an alternate form of Ryuutarou.
So, how did you guys like it? "Hearts & Fists III" is still in the planning stages so we'll see what happens there. I feel like I'm Square Enix talking about Kingdom Hearts III. I have a few other projects I'm working on so "Hearts & Fists III" might still be a ways off.
Hopefully, though, you guys enjoyed this! Leave me some feedback and let me know what you think! See you all soon!