Dean and Anne sat listening intently to Master Sensei. "Yes, young Stoppable-san was a…unique…student. He was filled with much self doubt when first he came to Yamanuci. There was even a short time that I myself began to feel the nagging doubt that he had brought with him.

"However, after Yori-dono took it upon herself to retrieve the stolen Lotus Blade from Monkey Fist, Stoppable-san changed. He went forward filled with purpose, filled…with love. Much the same as when he journeyed to the Amazon to save young Kimberly-dono."

Master Sensei looked to both Dean and Anne as he spoke the next lines, "Love, true love, pure love, is a most wondrous thing…don't you agree?"

Dean and Anne shared a glance, as well as a small smile before answering in unison, "Yes."

Master Sensei began to stand, and Dean and Anne both stood up quickly to help him to his feet. "Thank you, it is good that you both know respect for your elders."

"Master Sensei," Anne said, "I think of you almost as my grandfather, you're the only link that I have to my mother."

"No Anne Jun'ai, you have a much deeper link to her, here." He tapped his finger on her chest, just between her breasts, over her heart. "In your heart she lives on, never do forget that."

Dean draped his arm over her shoulder and gave her a small squeeze. "He's right Anne, your Mom and Dad are always going to be with you, in your heart."

Master Sensei asked Dean, "What of your parents young one? Your Mother is here with you but where is your father?"

"I…don't know my father." He replied flatly.

"I see…do you know of him?"

"He was with my mother in the early summer of 2005. They were only together a short while before he left her, she hasn't seen him since."

A look of concern flashed through the wise old man's eyes. "Ah, well, I will not dwell on the subject then. Perhaps I could convince you, the two of you, to join in our afternoon training session?"

Dean and Anne had a silent discussion and came to a mutual agreement, "Sure."

"Excellent. Then I will see you again after lunch, good day." He bowed slightly at the pair and they returned his bow with deeper ones of their own.


"Now we will enjoy a short demonstration by our honored guests, Anne Stoppable and Dean Sullivan." Master Sensei took his seat next to Kim, Sheila and Nana. Dean and Anne stood up and gave a respectful bow first to him, then to the students, and finally to each other.

A One boy, standing close to Dean, asked. "Why do we allow these outsiders to interfere with our training Master Sensei?"

"I deem what is necessary and proper for your training Akihiro; I deem this both necessary and proper. Now sit back, relax, and learn."

Akihiro sat back, but he would neither relax nor learn. After all what could these outsiders show him that Master Sensei could not? They were not even to be demonstrating Tai Shing Pek Kwar.

Dean and Anne set into a routine that would demonstrate the basic fundamentals of Eskrima, they started slowly, each one telling what was happening. "One partner feeds an attack." Dean said as he threw a straight right punch at Anne.

"Which the other counters." She parried his wrist with her left palm, scooped his wrist with the back of her right palm, slapped his arm down with her left palm, "Flowing into a counterattack," and punched toward him with her right fist.

"Which is then countered." He parried her punch in the exact same manner. "Flowing into a counterattack. And so on." Anne and Dean steadily increased the pace of their routine until the rapidity of their motion was such that their hands appeared as mere blurs.

Akihiro let out a short huff, all this demonstration was proving to him was just how pointless it was for them to be wasting time watching it.

Master Sensei gave a single sharp clap of his hands, the demonstration ceased. "Akihiro, do you have something you wish to add?"

Akihiro grumbled, "I only wish this demonstration to be at an end."

Sensei stood, "Then it is so ended." He turned to the assembled students, "It would seem that Akihiro feels there is nothing to learn from our honored guests. Who here has a different opinion?"

All of the other students raised their hands.

"You appear to be in the minority Akihiro." Sensei noted.

Akihiro grumbled and stormed off to the dormitory, ignoring Sensei's admonition about his rudeness.

Sparring Partner

Master Sensei sat with Anne and her family, as well as Dean and his mother. Enjoying the early afternoon sun. "Once again, please accept my most humble apologizes for the behavior of Akihiro earlier this afternoon. He is being punished for his insolence." Akihiro ran past them, carrying two large buckets of water. "Remember Akihiro," Sensei called to him just before he rounded a corner. "Do not spill any of the water or you shall have to repeat the course yet again."

"Yes, Master Sensei." He called out before rounding the corner.

"I realize that this is a sensitive subject," He paused. "But, I must ask. Do you feel that Anne is ready for the test?"

"What test?" Anne and Dean asked in unison.


AN: I figured this would be an okay update, even if it is short. It's an update. Next one will be longer, a lot longer.