Nanto Sei Ken: Son of the South Star

Written by: Tinhamodic

The wind is hot and arid. The earth is cracked, dry and dusty. Not a blade of vegetation is in sight. And there will never be because there is no more precipitation. Well, not the healthy kind anyway. If it does rain it is acid rain and even that is quite rare. For miles and miles around not a single living soul could be seen.

Except for one lone cloaked figure.

His features cannot be seen because of a hood over his face. He is clutching his cloak close to him as he trudges through the wind and dust. He had been journeying for the greater part of the day. The hot sun overhead does not bother him. He has already walked 15 miles and still walking.

After cresting a hill he sees a nearby shantytown and walks towards it. The few people who are out quickly runs and hides. In this new Dark Age any outsider are considered suspicious. As there are many desperate people around now.

The man spots what appears to be a bar and walks in. The few people inside quieted immediately when he walked in, measuring him up and wondering what purpose he has in the town.

When he walked to the counter the bar tender barked, "What'll it be?"

The hooded man in a soft voice simply said, "Water."

The bartender arched an eyebrow then proceeded to serve him and said, "$50".

The man threw him the money. Nothing is free in that future. Not even water.

The bartender started walking away until the man's quiet voice got his attention again.

"Have you seen a man with 7 stars on his chest or heard anything about him? He might be called The Fist of the North Star." the man asked.

The bartender immediately pales then stammered, "N-No, n-never heard o-of him!" then turned quickly away to help another customer. But the bartender was whispering to a rough looking character eyeing his direction.

The rough looking man broke away then whistled. Soon a crowd of thugs seems to be surrounding the hooded man. There was about 6 of them.

"Say, stranger! Heard you were looking for a scarred man! What do you want with him!"

"Do you know him? I seek him!" the hooded man said not turning around.

"Yeah, we know him but you better tell us why you want him. He just doesn't see anybody!" the rough looking thug said.

"Has any of you been to the Salt Hills 9 leagues to the east?" the man said sipping his water.

They all looked around puzzled. Until one ugly looking brute said, "Oh yeah! I 'member dat place! Yeah, oy wuz one of da raiders! Good looting dat! Har, har, har!"

The rogues all laughed with him. They weren't there at the raid and didn't join in but wished they had.

They all went quiet when the sound of shattering glass was heard. The hooded man had crushed his glass.

The man turned around and spoke to the ugly thug who said he was at the raid.

"You I want a word with. The rest can leave." He said quietly.

"Wot's that? 'oo d'ye think ye are, eh?" said a thug grabbing the cloaked man from the left and another thug grabbed him on the right. One thug came up to face him with a bat imbedded with nails.

"Heh, heh, tired of living I see! Oh well, we all have to die sometime and lifted up his club for an overhead smash.

All of a sudden the cloak was pulled away and the thugs all gaped at the man before them. He was powerfully built and tall but what caught their attention was the man was really quite beautiful, perfect complexion, finely chiseled features, pretty could almost be used. He had long flowing locks of white hair. Even his brows are white. But his eyes were like stone. The few girls in the bars gaped at him, not a few were turned on.

"Hey, hey, pretty boy! You shouldna be talking like dat! Someone might mess up your pretty face! Har! Har!" and everyone laughed.

"I will say again. Leave. Except for you!" eyeing the ugly brute that said he was at the Salt Hills.

They all looked at each other and an understanding passed through them. Let's take him. They all charged in.

The white haired man didn't even seem to be moving fast. In fact he seemed slow and his moves non-threatening. One man took a swing with his club but the white haired man merely stepped passed him brushing his face with his hands. He seemed to be just swiping at his face not doing anything. Another threw a punch; again he danced out of the way and swiped at the thugs face.

Spinning and twirling his hands making graceful patterns in the air, the thugs didn't touch a hair on him. Then he faced the ugly thug. The other thugs just remained frozen in place not moving nor making a sound. It was as if they were paralyzed.

"Ey! Wot's da matta wid yous guys?" the ugly thug said.

As if his voice was the signal all of a sudden the guys who's face that the white hair man swiped their heads seem to fall apart, slice-by-slice. Or their bodies came apart. Head cleanly severed. Arms and torsos falling with wet plopping sounds. The patrons ran out screaming. The ugly thug was paralyzed in horror.

"You will now tell me where the man with the seven scars is located!" said the white haired man.

The ugly brute was shaking his head in denial as if he couldn't believe what is happening.

"Tell me, now!" the white hair man yelled.

In terror like a trapped beast the ugly thug only thought about self preservation and lashed out in fear of the white haired man. Angry now the white hair man made a series of hand movements that doesn't seem to even touch the ugly thug. Then as if whatever was holding the ugly thug together seemed to be pulled out, all of a sudden the ugly thug simply fell apart, disintegrated was more like it.

With each step the ugly brute was shedding pieces of himself as if he stepped into a food processor.

His body collapsed, falling to pieces in a gory rain.

The white haired man stood staring at the destroyed corpse then turned to the bartender who was mewling in terror and wetting himself.

"The man with the seven stars in his chest." He said coldly to the bartender.

"H-He l-left 5 h-hours ago. T-That m-man" he was dry heaving, "was l-left behind!"

Not saying anything the white haired man retrieved his cloak and wrapped it around him again.

"Which way?" he said not turning around.

"W-West! W-West!"

The white haired man looked around then started to trudge westward.

While walking he was flashing back when he had a relatively peaceful existence living in obscurity in the Salt Hills. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A man was checking his backpack and was double-checking all the items before he begins his journey to a nearby town. He will be bartering for new supplies as his weekly trek takes him to the nearby town to learn of news also. When he thought he was ready he shouldered his backpack and was starting off when someone was calling him from the distance.

"Rei! Rei!" a woman was calling after him. He stopped and smile at her. The woman reaching him was stunningly beautiful with flowing tresses of white hair with white eyebrows. The same could be said of the man who also was very handsome and bore some striking similarities to the woman. They were brother and sister.

"Airi, why the rush! You know I'm leaving now!" said Rei.

"Rei, will you be home in time for the wedding?" she asked him breathless.

He put his hand on her head and gave it a brotherly ruffle.

"I wouldn't miss your wedding for the world! I'll be there!"

"Please Rei, please take care! I heard there are bandits out there!"

"Thanks for your concern Airi, I will take care! Now run along! I'll see you later."

She nods and hugs him. He pats her back and broke away from her. She runs back to the small building where she came from. He smiled fondly after her and waved goodbye. Rei then turned and started walking. A few residents of this small village waved to him as he begins his journey to the nearby town 12 miles away.

He thought back how he missed his sister, not seeing her for 13 years. Ever since their parents died he was taking care of her. When he was eight he and his sister was taking shelter from a storm in a nearby temple. It so happens that an old master was there temporarily was also taking shelter from a storm noticed him. The old master saw something in the gangly young boy and took pity on him. After convincing him that his sister would be fine in the care of a relative the old master took Rei to another temple.

It was the traditional home and training ground for the Nanto Sei Ken practitioners.

Nanto Sei Ken, The Divine Fist of the South Star. It is the martial art of assassins. Brother style to Hokuto Shin Ken, The Holy Fist of the North Star, whose temple was only on the next hill over. Nanto Sei Ken is thousands of years old and originated from China. There are 108 different forms but the principle of the style remain the same throughout the 108 forms, the style utilizes the Yin or negative energy externally. Normally the Yin energy is internal. The style is also unique as it conditions the hands and fingers, utilizing them to extend the Yin energy from it. With this technique it is able to use the hands and extremities to slice and pierce hard and dense objects. There are some techniques and forms that are even deadlier still but only the most promising and skilled of students will learn it.

The style is very demanding as the powers wielded by a Nanto Sei Ken practitioner demands rigorous discipline. There are like about 30 students. But in the end only 6 are selected, a tradition that dates back more than a thousand years ago, 6 for the special guardians of the 6 gates of the emperor's palace, and they were all masters of Nanto Sei Ken.

Almost all of the current students are quite young like Rei.

"Master, why are all the students young like me? Aren't there any old students?" asked Rei.

The old master liked the question showing the young boy was quite observant.

"Training must begin at an early age! Every 5 years the students will be tested. If they fail they are released. There is no second chance. It would seem practitioners aren't what they used to be. Our style is very demanding. Are you afraid, young Rei?"

But Rei had a look of challenge in his eyes, the fierce spirit of a survivor.

"I'm not afraid of anything!"

The old master merely smiled and patted young Rei on his shoulders.

Not only did Rei pass his 5 year test the master saw within Rei not only an extremely promising student but also the strength of character within him and taught him the deadliest and most coveted of the Nanto Sei Ken form, the Nanto SuiJou Ken, The South Star Swan Form. And thus for the next 8 years began more intense training.

Until the Apocalypse came.

The Nanto Sei Temple was located in a small hidden valley surrounded by mountains. It was quite isolated when nuclear war broke out. Fortunately the weapons used weren't doomsday weapons but used to razed cities and minimized radiation output. The master journeyed alone outside the temple. He never returned. The Temple was isolated for another 3 years before it was deemed safe to travel.

All this time Rei was worried sick about his younger sister Airi. He and another 3 students went their way, leaving their temple. The two remaining students, Shin and Julia went to go consult with the Fist of the North Star Grandmaster, and to seek one of their students. Rei left to search for his sister. Rei searched for months and eventually found his sister safe. They settled in Salt Hills, a small community they found that was friendly and wasn't afraid of strangers. To repay them for their kindness Rei would run errands to nearby towns because of his martial skill.

It was nearing the late afternoon of the next day when Rei was returning from his barter run. He was invited to stay overnight which he appreciated. But when he was about 3 miles away he saw the smoke on the horizon and there was foreboding in his heart. He ran towards Salt Hill. He's boosting his energy and using his light skills so he's speeding through the terrain and obstacles.

When he reached Salt Hills he was horrified to see the town destroyed. People were slaughtered in the streets.

He ran around shouting Airi's name. A moan caught his attention he ran to the direction of the sound. It was a young girl of 8 or 9. She had a bolt in her chest.

"Don't move!" he told her. He was hitting some of her pressure points to first ease her pain and to slow down her body functions.

But the girl expired. He was greatly saddened and lowered her head gently to the ground. Now fury filled his heart. He got up and continued to yell out Airi's name.

He saw some movement from the corner of his eye. He ran towards another victim. Again the man was barely alive.

When Rei reached him he was coughing up blood.

Rei gently raised the man's head, he knew the man, Carlson, a mechanic. The man's eyes fluttered open and smiled when he recognized Rei.

"R-Rei - attacked - gang - m-man with seven stars in chest - Fist *cough* Fist of the N-North Star! Ooohh!" Carlson choked out before he died.

The man named Rei closed the man's eyes. When he stood up there was rage in his eyes. If one with the 'sight', the ability to see Ki the living energy of living things, was there they could see a silvery aura building around Rei. His Yin energy is building up. Thin threads, fine like gossamer filaments were spreading around him.

Rei focused his rage then screamed out his sister's name, "AIRI!" He weaved his arms and thrust it towards a boulder. Webs of that Yin energy gossamer filament flew towards the boulder when it hit dust came off of the boulder as scores of fine lines formed on the boulder. Then it just disintegrated.


Everyone in the shantytown cleared out. Some people peered fearfully from their windows then ducked back in. Even the dogs sensing something deadly about the Nanto Sei Ken Master shied away.

Rei couldn't care less about whatever happened around him. There were only two things that mattered.

Finding his sister.

And finding the man with 7 stars on his chest

He looked west and muttered, "Fist of the North Star."

Then he started walking westward.


Here ends Fist of the North Star: Son of the South Star