Disclaimer: I make no claims in owning the SNK characters mentioned and used within this story.

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He had finally tracked down the murderous brute. He was feared throughout the land for his immense power and skill with the blade, his trademark being his shock of crimson hair that trailed behind him in a taught pony-tail, and the huge scar that was adorned across his back. The dark blue hakama disguised the position his legs had taken on and his form was built up of thick muscles of corded steel, his face pulled into a permanent sneer. He raised his arms up into his solid stance, his weapon glinting with an ominous flash.

And yet, Kaede couldn't quite comprehend that he was about to take on the legendary Kibagami Genjuro. Alone he knew he would stand little chance against his fearsome prowess. Kaede felt that even Moriya would be hard pressed to triumph over Genjuro. But despite this, he felt eager to battle him. He was the successor to the Blue Dragon after all.

"I shall be honoured to cross blades with you," said Kaede with a polite bow. Genjuro's expression remained the same, but Kaede could see a minute change in it. It was like Genjuro could portray quite a bevy of expressions through the same evil sneer.

"That is enough boy, " spoke Genjuro in a harsh tone, "Flattery will get you no where. It is time you die."

For once, Kaede allowed himself a small smirk. "Do not take me so lightly, for I shall be alot more challenging than you expect."

And with that, Kaede's usual uncertainty gave way to a certain arrogance as he brought his arms back, to his side, and was swallowed whole by a blast of thunder from skies, despite the solid blue sky above. And Genjuro was a little shocked. It seemed as if the Gods had done his work for him.

"What a waste of time."

Genjuro sheated his sword, turned around and began to walk off, when he suddenly swung round ripped his blade out and upwards in a heavy slash, a card of ki produced countering the spark of electricity that had blitzed through the rustle of leaves on the ground.

Genjuro was amazed to find that not only had the boy survived the blast, but he had somehow awakened into what seemed his true form. Genjuro grunted. He was correct the first time in his brief assessment over the boy. His scrawny form in comparison to his own seemed to contain an impressive hidden strength, but he couldn't quite place it. It wasn't the boys weapon, although it was a finely crafted blade, much like his own. It was if his power flowed from within. The boys new appearance was quite something as well. His sleek black hair was now a flowing mane of golden locks, arranged in a haphazard manner atop his head. His eyes were now a deep crimson colour, brimming with confidence and skill. The sheer power of the boys ki caused the boys clothing and hair to flow constantly, as if there was a swift wind. The boy had now taken on a more cocky attitude. Nothing seriously obnoxious like that of which Haohmaru was full of, but a certain brand of arrogance, displayed in the way his new battle form was, his sword arm hanging back and his other arm brought up slightly and his legs in a loose stance. The boy's initial stance had appeared to him as a variation on what Haohmaru himself used, but now, just oozed with self confidence..

"Impressive boy, but this new arrogance shall lead to your death upon my blade."

"We shall see about that. Enough talk. We let our blades converse for us."

His voice, noted Genjuro, had gotten deeper as well. More commanding than timid. Genjuro had never quite encountered something such as this before. He had seen alot of twisted things in the world during his wretched lifetime, but he had never seen such a thing as this that had transformed the boy into something different. Genjuro ignored it. Now was not the time for thought. Now was the time for battle.

And with that he dashed forward, swinging his blade in a horizontal arc. And the boy met the attack with his own swing, with surprising strength, that matched his own, despite his size and form. A second swing and against their swords clashed. The boy then leapt up and swung his blade round once more aimed at cleaving Genjuro's head from his neck. Genjuro at the last moment was able to block the attack at the last moment. From there, they both leapt backwards, for brief thoughts on their first clash.

Genjuro was surprised. Not only had the boy changed in attitude and appearance, he had become faster and stronger as well, and his mastery over lightning revived a few faint memories on the two ninja brothers who had natural affinity with fire and water. This brief encounter had stirred up other memories that involved Haohmaru and their countless previous duels. And Genjuros face creased into a grin, although his eyes remained in the same glaring frown. Perhaps this truly would be worthwhile and a match to remember. If killing this boy in battle would bring him one step closer to the demise of Haohmaru, then so be it. Who was he to dishonour the final wishes of a brash young man.

"A nice warm up don't you think?"

"Very," came the snide reply.

"Well then, lets not waste any more time on small talk."

"You are the one doing the talking boy."

"True. Well then, lets see how you handle rolling thunder."

"Bring it on boy. Show me your thunder."

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