Let it be clear to all who read this that all material will be based on 1) the Beyblade anime, with the time after G-Revolution as a takeoff point, and 2) the Sakura Taisen TV series, going to Sakura Taisen 2 OAV and the movie. Some material from other versions(such as the Beyblade manga) will be sporadically used as deemed suitable for the story. Sakura Taisen is 1995-2005 Sega, Red, Overworks, Bandai, and/or Media Factory; Beyblade(anime series)2001-2003 Aoki Takao/ Hudson Soft/ TAKARA/ Beyblade Project/ TV Tokyo
Screams of terror filled the air as ominous, monstrous figures lashed out all their fury on all the people around him. Fire and ruins littered the landscape as he helplessly bore witness to all the carnage around him.
Then suddenly, a thunderous clang of metal and the fume of steam met his senses. As he looked up, he saw another set of ominous figures that fought off the demonic forces that razed this city.
The earth shook.
A tremendous gust of wind caught him…. and high above, he saw...
The blue dragon loomed over him...as if trying to tell him something…
A flash of light met his eyes.
"AAAAAAAAAGHK!" (SFX: BLAG!)
His eyes met the ceiling as he realized that his chair had fallen backwards and was now flat on his back. The room thundered with the laughter of his classmates as his seatmates looked at him helplessly.
The teacher, peppered with crossmarks, yammered, "Being the world champion doesn't give you the right to sleep in my class, Takao Kinomiya! Go stand in the corridor, RIGHT NOW!"
"Aw c'mon, Shirakawa-sensei," Takao muttered sleepily as he stood up. "with all of your assignments, who would get a decent sleep?"
"THEN WAKE YOURSELF UP IN THE CORRIDOR!"
"It's always been like this," mumbled the blue-haired fellow, "I always get to do the water can balancing act in the corridor. Who invented assignments anyway?"
"For sleepyheads who don't know how to budget their time?"
"AAAAAGK!" (SFX: SPLASH!)
Hurriedly grabbing the water can, he looked up and saw his seatmates looking at him rather amusedly. "That's not funny, guys!"
"And skimping on schoolwork isn't funny either," said Kyoju, who adjusted his glasses for the nth time. "Don't you know how much you're lagging in your schoolwork?"
"Yeah, yeah, blah, blah, whatever," Takao muttered.
"And I bet you're watching too much Godzilla," seconded Max, "judging from the look on your face when you woke up a while ago. For heaven's sakes, don't do anything headlong! I mean, the next tournament will be right after the end of this school year. You hadda get in shape..."
"…that's exactly what I'm preparing for," said Takao as he squeezed the water out of his longish, navy-blue hair. "…but that's not exactly what's making me go nuts these days."
Remembering something, Max jumped forward and said "Whatever that is, better get your mind off it! Your match with Ronnie's gang's gonna start in an hour from now!"
"What?" yelled Takao, "Why didn't you say that sooner?" Paying no attention to the water can at his feet, he sent it bouncing off with a loud clang as he ran down the corridor. Max followed suit.
"Wait guys!" cried Kyoju, but the two had already disappeared into a corner. Snorting in resignation, he leaned back against a locker. "When will he ever learn to be responsible?"
"Maybe when the world's gonna end?"
From the door of a nearby classroom, Hiromi was watching the whole scene and was now beside Kyoju.
"I'm afraid it may be so, Hiromi.." He said as he let his gaze trail off into the hallway.
But far from Kyoju's assumption, Takao does have some worries set in his mind, and it was in those visions that haunted him these past days.
The bloodshed,..the monstrous figures,..I still can't get it off me.
What does it all get at?
"Ring out! Winner, Takao!"
Again, Ronnie's gang got a beating from the pros. They can only stare helplessly at their tops lying flat on the ground. "This can't be!" yelled Ronnie. "You cheaters!"
"Losers always say that." said Takao with the distinctive impish grin, "I'd suggest that you better train hard for you to get to our level."
"Would you stop being arrogant, Takao?" said Kyoju, who has his trusty old laptop with him as usual. "It's not very becoming of you. And besides, all your bragging might get back to you!"
"Aw c'mon Kyoju, enough of that karma thing. Isn't my victories enough proof that I have the right to brag?" as he said this, he stooped down to pick up his Dragoon that was still spinning in the Beystadium.
The whole tirade was cut short when suddenly; a strong earthquake shook the whole area. Everybody struggled to stay still as they crouched down, but the tremor was so strong that some fell down the ground.
As the ground shook, the Beystadium tipped over and Dragoon came flying out, straight to Takao... and as it met his eyes, its dark pansy iris widened as he saw, not a Beyblade, but...a machine...steel, almost humanoid machine...a robot…and it flew straight at him.
"AAAAAAAGH! A FLYING HOUSE!"
As the earthquake receded, the people in the area slowly regained their bearings and stared at each other.
"That was a pretty strong tremor," said Hiromi, as the others around them said the same.
"Maybe old Fujiyama's at it again," commented Max, "isn't it, Takao…EH!"
Everybody facefaulted as they saw Takao lying flat on the ground, with eyes set in a spiral and his Dragoon lying upside down. They all tried to get him on his feet, but he was out cold and they can't wake him up.
"Looks like we have to lug him all the way to his house" sighed Kyoju.
"Goliath got topped down by the same divine force," Max said wistfully as he and everyone else tried to lift the unconscious fellow, but all had a hard time doing so.
"Man, by Goliath, we mean it! NGH! I know that Burger King promo will do this to him.
"Er, Kyoju," said Ronnie, "hate to sound uncaring, but.."
"We all have to go! See ya!" and their opponents hurriedly ran out of the area.
"Oh great, just great." muttered Kyoju. "Just when you need help. Now HOW are we supposed to carry Takao without help?"
The gang looked back and saw a familiar sight of Chinese clothing, razzled jet-black hair and amber eyes.
"What are you doing here?" asked Kyoju, "aren't you supposed to be..."
"Back in China? I should be," approaching them, Rei handed out some envelopes to Max and Kyoju as he continued, and "until I got this really strange letter addressed to me. Judging from the letterhead and the envelope, I think it's from a military outfit or something."
"Now that's strange," said Max, as he looked at the envelope. He was startled when he saw what's on the envelope. "Hey, this one's addressed to me!"
"And this one's to me!" said Kyoju as he stared at his. "And this one's for Takao! Now what do these people want from us!"
Rei shrugged his shoulders. "That's what I asked Mr. Daitenji. I thought that somehow, he knows what's going on, but when I went to his office, he just said that I must follow whatever the letter says and give this to you."
"The Chairman never runs out of surprises eh?" Max remarked. "Wonder what he has in store for us."
"Whatever it is," said Kyoju, "I don't have a good feeling about it. And I think it will be better if we first lug Takao back to his house."
"Affirmative," said Rei, as he proceeded to carry the unconscious blue-haired fellow on his back. Watching him rather amusedly, Hiromi said that he looks like that he's pretty used to carrying someone like so. Replying that he always carries a lot of kids that way back in his village, Rei started asking what's with Takao, noticing the under-the-weather look on his face.
"He's been like this in the past days," said Kyoju. "It's nothing really. He's just shortchanged on sleep or something."
"I don't think so," said Max, as he stared at Rei's unconscious burden.
"And why so?"
"Don't you guys notice? He seems to have his mind flying off elsewhere. It's as if there's something that's troubling him...specially a while ago. It's as if he saw something that really freaked him out."
"Do you suppose," said Hiromi, "that those letters have something to do with this?"
Back at the Kinomiya dojo, the gang all recounted to Takao's grandfather everything that has happened these past days, along with the strange letters addressed to them. The elderly Kinomiya promptly sent off his grandson to the hot bath to somehow shake himself off. "And it's high time that he did." said Max, "he's starting to stink!"
"I think I wanna be next, "said Rei, as he sniffed his clothes.
"That grandson of mine never learns eh?" Mr. Kinomiya harrumphed. "Still ain't watching his step."
"I don't think it's his fault sir," said Hiromi. "Whatever's bugging him must be the one that makes him slip off his tracks. And these letters…what's with the Chairman anyway? Why doesn't he at least say what is this that he's giving us?"
"I don't think you need to worry," the old salt assured them. "We all know the Chairman as someone you can really trust. Whatever he's up to, we can be sure that it's something very important."
"I hope you're right," said Kyoju.
"I don't think so."
At the sound of another familiar voice, the gang spotted on the dojo's doorway, another familiar figure of an athletic frame and the arrogant stance they all know too well.
"And what are you doing here?" asked Kyoju. "Aren't you supposed to be in your boarding school or something?"
Flashing another one of the strange envelopes in front of them was all Kai needed to do to tell them why. Sure enough, the whole gang was startled with what they saw.
"What! Even you got one!"
"Now this is too much," said Kyoju. "What do these people want from us?"
"That's what I want to find out," said Kai, as he approached the front corridor where the gang is gathered. "I was about to go to the place indicated in this letter, but I've also thought of dropping by this place to see if you've also got one."
"Now that's something," said Max, "and all this happening just before the tournament? It would be easy to say that all of these have to do with that but..oh what's the use! Wracking my brains on that one ain't my job!"
"And what do you mean by that!" said Kyoju, "that it's my job?"
"You've put your own judgement into your mouth," said a laconic Kai.
"WHAT! I don't believe this. You're all ganging up on me for no reason at all!"
"STOP IT!" screamed Hiromi, as she stomped on the dojo's elevated wooden corridor. "Can't you guys stay put for a sec! Don't you realize that your arguments aren't going anywhere!"
"And what do you think we're supposed to do?"
Raising one of the envelopes, Hiromi said, "Read these."
"Of course!" yelled Max. "Why didn't I think of that!"
They all hurriedly(with the obvious exception of Kai, who calmly opened his envelope), opened their envelopes and scan through the contents' well-printed material. After reading their own letters, they peered into each other's letters and were surprised when they noticed that the bodies of the letters are all the same. It read as follows:
We have received word from the Beyblade Battle Association(BBA) that you may be what our institution has been looking for. I am aware that this comes as an unsolicited message, but the accompanying seal stamped on this letter can assure you that this is a legitimate message accountable to us.
You had been chosen for a great and urgent mission that our institution has been founded for. If you are interested, you may proceed to Teito Broadcasting Studios, whose location is stated in the returning address of this letter. If you think that this mission is a mere waste of time, you may choose to ignore this message. But we strongly suggest that you give us the honor of your service. The stakes might be higher than anyone might expect.
We are hoping that you could give your answer as soon as possible.
Yun Asakawa, GNTCJ
Armed Forces General and Head of Neo-Imperial Capital Defense
Rei whistled. "Man, sounds big-time. Almost too good to be true."
All were about to agree when Kyoju noticed something. "Guys, it IS true!"
"What do you mean?"
Pointing to the dry seal embossed on the letter, the bespectacled beanpole said, "Take a look at this. It's genuine!"
"How did you know?" asked Hiromi.
"One of my special projects in school involves identifying important government seals and distinguishing the fake from the real thing. Take a look at the watermark on this paper and on the dry seal. That scribble...it's virtually impossible for anyone to copy!"
"So that means that it's really from a big shot?" asked Max.
Yes, and I'm afraid that complicates things even more. Just think: if it's a fake, we can just act as if these letters don't exist. But here it is, all genuine, which means that we really are into something..." Kyoju's voice trailed off when he saw Kai walk into the dojo's doorway. "Hey, where are you going?"
"Your little talk seems to be getting nowhere."
"Aren't you at least worried about what's in store for us?"
"I couldn't care less about what those big-shots are up to. But I might as well make myself useful. By the way," he turned to Takao's grandfather, "where's the bathroom?"
"Er...walk straight ahead in the left corridor and then, turn right. The bathrooms right at the end of that hallway."
"Oh" he proceeded to where he was told.
"Wait Kai!" You can't come in just yet..." cried Kyoju.
But he was gone.
"...Takao's still in there."
Staring at the ceiling at the ceiling in a daze, Takao tried to piece everything together. Those weird visions. Those frightening dreams. No matter how he looked at it, it all doesn't make sense. "What's bugging me is that...I can't get it off my head!"
Yes. It was everywhere. In his dreams. In the cherry tree. In the sky. In the surrounding city. In people's faces. Even in the toilet (er...). These visions are getting more and more frequent with each passing day. And by each appearance of the vision, Dragoon's glow gets brighter. "Is he sensing something that I don't?"
As he got out of the tub, dried himself and dressed up, his thoughts drifted to the mysterious glow that surrounds his Bit Beast every time the visions come to him. "I've got a feeling that the coming days won't be the same as now."
He was cut short when he noticed that there was something wrong with his reflection in the mirror. Looking into it, he was startled when he saw what he was wearing, not a shirt and shorts, but...a costume.
A weird military costume.
Not aware that it's another vision, he was taken in by shock, a shock so great that he hasn't taken notice of Kai's arrival. The latter wasn't short of puzzled by the expression on the former's face and he said, "You practicing for another Mr. Stupid contest?"
Takao, in his shocked state, heard what Kai said as "Drop and give me 150!" With no further ado the blue-haired fellow fell down and with a hurried "sir, yes, sir!" did the push ups.
Flabbergasted, Kai stared blankly at the "demerited" goofball and as the other entered the bathroom, Kai said to the elder Kinomiya, "You better watch your grandson. He might be loading up on crack or something."
The others couldn't agree even more as they stared helplessly at the blue-haired-fellow giving the one hundred fifty.
But the next thirty days was shorn of the gang's silliness as most of their attention has been balanced between passing the final exam, and of course, practicing for the upcoming National Beybattle Tournament. So enthusiastic was the majority of Takao's school in supporting him...yes, even the grouchy Shirakawa-sensei seems to be cutting him some slack that he had almost forgotten the strange letters and the visions. Not only him, but the whole gang...well, almost all of them.
And so did they bury their heads into their respective schedules, not knowing what lies ahead of them…
Tension and excitement fills the air as the grand coliseum opened the ceremony for the semi-finals. Once again, the event began with the thunderous intro by no less then the lively announcer, DJ Jazzman:
"HELLO, EVERYBODYYYYYYYYY! Welcome to the exciting semi finals of this year's National Beyblade Tournament! As always, we bear witness to the great skills of today's contestants. The usual suspects had made it to the top of the line, but we also have new faces that are instant shoo-ins as well! Ladies and gentlemen, are we ready to see some real action?" As the audience shouted an approval, the DJ shouted, "ALL RIGHT! LET'S BRING IT ON!"
In this corner, the kid who had a mouthful in all senses of the word! Be it in the World Tournaments or in the eat-all you-can, this chap is one big winner, being the World Champion for three years in a row! The one, the only TAKAO KINOMIYA!"
Peppered with crossmarks, Takao strode to the ringside as he yelled "All right all right! You don't have to BROADCAST it twice!"
"Sheesh. You're too much of a celebrity for THAT to be a secret" muttered Kyoju.
"Well, at least he's full of energy for later…" said Hiromi.
"And in that corner," the DJ continued, as he motioned to the other corner of the ring, "a surprise entry at the preems… a self-proclaimed Beyblade genius."
"GENIUS!" (Takao facefaults)
"Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome, HIROYA SAKUMA!"
Everybody did a deadpan stare as they saw the aforementioned walked, or rather strutted, to the ringside. Self-proclaimed he is, as his stance shows it to be, it seemed that finally, someone had matched Takao's wind (er..) in the show-off department.
"So, you're the CHAMPION, huh?"
"Yeah? What's it to you?"
"Oh nothing. It's just that this Beybattle's just a waste of this genius' brains."
"Genius! Who are you calling a genius!"
"Oh no," muttered Kyoju, "looks like two ballooned egos had finally met at the dish."
I've got a feeling that something's gonna happen" sighed Hiromi.
Meanwhile, a few of the gang's schoolmates were loitering with Max in the arena's hallways. Asked why he did not join the tournament, Max explained that he wanted to take a break from the blitz and fury of the tournament for the meantime.
"And there's one more thing that bugs me. Why did you come back here? I mean, you already had a good life in the States..."
"Well, it's just that I don't wanna waste my scholarship in the Academy. Besides, Mom and Dad will need me in the long run. And by the way," Max pointed at a nearby cherry tree at a window, "do they have that in the States?"
(Points at a nearby sushi bar) "Do they have that there?"
(Points at a ramen stand) "Do they have that there?"
(Brings out something from backpack) "And do they have this there?"
All stared and looked nauseated when they saw that it was a wasabi pizza.
Max, that's more of a reason for you to return to the States."
"Oh c'mon, this tastes great!" (munch)
All facefaulted as one said,
"You're weird, Max."
(AN to Filipinos: this is my recreation of the popular "Walang ganyan sa States" commercial in case you're wondering.)
Suddenly, a familiar clashing sound interrupted their silly moments and realized that they had no time to waste since the Beybattle has already begun. Everybody in that part of the hallway started to run towards the entrance gates. Max was about to follow suit when he heard his name called by someone down the hallway. Turning back, he saw that it was Rei.
"Yo Rei! You came to watch Takao's match? Hey that rhymes..."
"Save your jokes later Max. I have something important to tell you."
"What's the matter? You look so serious."
"You do remember this right?" Rei said as he handed Max a piece of paper.
"Hey! Isn't this the strange letter that we all got a month ago? What about it?"
"Whoever sent us these may have the answer to what's going on these past days."
"What do you mean?"
"Remember the earthquake that happened when I met up with you guys? There's something very odd about it. Usually, the tectonic plates go up, down, or sideways because of the forces from inside the earth. But the force of this earthquake seems to be coming from above the earth, as if a great force has stricken it. And that's not all. As soon as I felt this tremor, I felt a faint but distinct wave of some eerie force from the direction of the tremor's apparent source. Not only was it eerie, but..."
"But what?" asked Max, who was getting a bit worried.
With a surprising look of uncertainty in his amber eyes, Rei said, slowly but clearly, "It was frightening."
"And that's the reason why we came here." said another voice down the hallway. Startled, Max turned and was even more surprised when he saw that it was Kai, who was wearing a ninja's outfit, complete with his trademark scarf.
"Whoa! Where in the world did you dig that getup?"
"I'll explain that later. Anyway, that was not the first time that I and Rei had felt this kind of tremors. Since we were both in mountainous locations that are prone to earthquakes, we had felt those and we really got suspicious when we received these summons."
"But wait," said Max, "one thing that really bugs me is, why us?"
Holding up Dranzer, Kai said, "It's because of these. They believe that since we can control beings such as the Holy Beasts that we, somehow, could be useful to their plans."
"But that's all a theory now" said Rei, "until we have gathered enough proof and of course, if we directly answer to these summons. What's certain now is that we have to watch our backs. Somehow, I have a terrible feeling about all of this."
"Whatever that is," said Max, "we gotta tell the others! They must know this..."
But they have no time to think as a powerful presence made itself felt through deep, powerful rumblings. With surprise, shock and fear in their eyes, the three all gazed at the part of the wall that was slowly cracking from the impact….
The wall exploded, and…