DISCLAIMER: Kinnikuman Nisei/Yudetamago doesn't belong to me. If it did, Monsieur Cheeks would have a powerful Fart Cannon ability.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Well, I'm back for like… the third or fourth time already? I don't like keeping track of those things so you guys do the math.
I find it funny how, whenever I used to post something here back in the day, I started showing how awesome my story supposedly was and how it'd take the fanfic world by surprise and such by writing pointless rants that nobody would really care about. In the end I'd either suffer a lack of motivation or I'd get bored of what I was writing, calling it quits and making a whole drama out of it.
Right now, I think I've matured a bit as a writer and as a person. There won't be any egotistical banter this time; it'll be only you, me and the chapter you're about to read.
As for the story, I can't really talk about it because I'd get everybody's hopes up and I'm afraid of being a major disappointment again. Let's just say it's something I pondered out of pure curiosity, like an experienced gambler predicting the aftermath of a Blackjack game.
Hope you like it.
SUMMARY: (Post Chojin-Crown AU) After Mantaro's defeat at the hands of Kevin Mask in the Chojin Crown finals, the Kinniku Prince takes what's left of his pride and ponders if there will ever be room for a comeback.
(ROFL. Gay… But I swear the story itself is pretty manly!)
A Sonata for The Fallen
Chapter 1: Shame That Lived On For Generations
Elegant, yet monotonous and solitaire, the dining room of the Kinniku royal castle boasted an excellence found only in fairy tales, anecdotes of aesthetic grandeur passed down from generation to generation ever since the dawn of knowledge and reason in the universe. Amongst the curtains made entirely out of exclusive ranch mink, the massive windows framed by gold, the glorious statues that resembled the fifty eight brave men to occupy the Kinniku throne, the beige walls of the splendid locale were almost parched by photographs, paintings, newspaper cutouts and even holograms that accurately portrayed and celebrated their memorable prowess in the ring. From the very first victory of Mayumi Kinniku against his arch-rival Harabote, to the climax of brute strength and determination shown by Suguru Kinniku in his victory against the almost invincible Kinnikuman Super Phoenix, and lastly, to the actual Prince Mantaro Kinniku's first professional victory against dMp member Dialbolic, the history of all the brave Muscle Men was summed up to become one of the universe's greatest legends ever known.
However, to Suguru and Bibinba Kinniku, the current rulers of the barren and desert like Muscle Planet, the table they were comfortably sitting at, the Wall Of Fame and their hearts were invaded by a hollow feeling of dread that crept over everything that reminded them of their son Mantaro, almost like an invisible plague. Nearly three months ago, in the final round of the Chojin Olympics tournament, the Kinniku heir ended the legendary streak of the royal family by suffering a devastating loss against an infuriated and driven mad Kevin Mask, falling victim to his three most powerful moves one after another. With his arms, his back, his neck and his now manifested pride broken, Mantaro somehow managed to survive thanks to the intensive care and support of his friends and family.
Through time, his splintered bones melded together, the painful contusions on his skin faded away and the rest of his injuries healed, but there was nothing anybody could do about the Prince's shattered psyche. He remained silent for entire days, and not even the dirty jokes of Terry, Dik Dik's and Wally's words of encouragement or his mother's freshly cooked gyuudon helped him leave such a stoic state. One day, not caring enough to leave a goodbye letter or a logical explanation behind, Mantaro disappeared without a trace while his escorts were distracted.
Bibinba could still remember the intense sadness and desperation she felt when she turned the doorknob of her son's room to meet with such a desolate image, a vivid representation of melancholy, defeat and burning shame. The loud, exasperating sound of modern rock music that used to linger in the small, green room had been replaced by the inane ruffling and fluttering of the recently opened window's curtains against the autumn wind. That same dry and stagnant feeling remained in her mouth as she tried to eat a small portion of chicken salad, her first meal in days.
-Bibinba, please eat…- A worried Suguru furrowed his old brow with concern while looking at his wife, who idly continued to draw deformed circles around the freshly cut lettuce with the aid of her fork.
The Queen, who was always famous for her beauty, almost mystical and uncharacteristic of her age, eyed her King with painful monotony across the table. Her fine auburn hair unkempt, her cheeks devoid of their previous fullness and her eyes almost dead and emotionless made Suguru wonder if the woman who was about to address him was his wife.
-I'm trying, honey. I'm really trying…- Bibinba let out a sigh that forcefully came out like a sob. She brushed away a few bangs from her forehead and took a few slices of chicken into her mouth, chewing lazily.
-Mantaro will come back eventually. He's still young and hot blooded. I'm sure if we give him enough time…-
Before he could go on, Suguru was abruptly interrupted by Bibinba.
-Why are you so sure of that?-
The question pierced through Suguru's heart like a pitchfork, but he had to remain calm for his wife's sake.
-I have faith in our son. He's maturing, and will come back to us as a better person. Soon he'll be a real man, and not a clumsy, farting Chojin like his dad.- The King gathered all his courage to put up one of his trademark wide, dumb grins. –Mantaro has embarked on a quest to find himself.-
Bibinba chuckled at her husband's joke, and smiled at him for the first time in a month. Suguru returned the smile and gently leaned forward, puckering his thick lips; Bibinba giggled and graced her pink, soft looking lips against her husband's. –I hope you're right.- She said in a weak voice.
Suguru stood up from the chair and smiled sweetly at his wife. –I'll be at the holophone room with Meat waiting for any possible calls. Will you be alright in the meantime?-
The Queen nodded at her husband and continued eating, her expression a bit more hopeful and serene. She followed Suguru outside of the room with her eyes and, once he left, she dropped her fork on the plate and stared blankly at it before grabbing the porcelain dish and flinging it violently against one of the few empty spots on the Wall Of Fame, the one that would belong to Mantaro's Chojin Crown victory.
Meanwhile, a Kinnikuman taken aback by an intense sorrow broke into tears in one of the castle's many well-illuminated hallways.
Days went by and Mantaro's whereabouts remained a mystery. The King's and Queen's hope faltered like the flame of a dying candle. Bibinba's psychological state became worse, to the point where she wouldn't speak to anyone and would lock herself in the royal bedroom to wait for her son's arrival, always sitting by the window that led to the castle's magnificent courtyard and most of its surroundings.
The Queen simply sighed and rubbed her swollen eyes. Nearly two days ago, a blizzard had struck most of the planet, coloring its fields a bright porcelain white that seemed to purify each and every corner of the deserts, villages and cities. Bibinba hoped that this rain of unsullied purity would somehow bring her son back, but nothing happened during the course of the day.
She was suddenly pulled out of her trance by a dull knock on the wooden door of the bedroom. The knocks continued for a few seconds but she decided not to answer until the person behind the door identified itself.
-Lady Bibinba,- A somewhat obnoxious yet stifled truck driver voice echoed through the room. –It's me, Meat. I came to bring you some appetizers; may I come in?-
Bibinba sighed and let the plump assistant in. He was carrying a small tray of sliced sandwiches and a small glass of milk in his short hands, which he balanced perfectly like the most experienced butler. Meat finally reached a small bureau placed right by the window, stood on the tip of his toes and gently placed the silver tray on the piece of furniture with an almost feminine delicacy; afterwards, he greeted the Queen with a bow.
The auburn haired woman skipped through all the etiquette. -Any news about my son?-
Meat exhaled deeply and shook his head, adjusting his big glasses with a push of an index finger. –We've been doing our best. The space police force will inform us immediately if they find him, and even some of the new Seigi Chojins are helping them to the best of their ability. I'm sure they'll find Nisei soon.- The small trainer laced fingers with Bibinba and gave her a sympathetic smile, but the Queen, desperate to see her son once more, simply fell on her knees and leaned against Meat's shoulder. Almost instantly, her face contracted, her lower lip began to tremble and finally she began to cry while clenching her assistant's cape.
The plump trainer couldn't help but run a hand through Bibinba's hair, whispering soothing words into her ears while letting her take out all the frustration by screaming against the fabric of his cape, and slamming her fist softly against his collarbone.
His eyes reddened and soft sobs escaped from his mouth, tempting him to join the painstaking ritual; but he was about to finally give in when a small, unfamiliar shadow materialized in the vast indigo horizon seen through the window, apparently moving closer towards the castle at a slow yet consistent speed. Meat adjusted his glasses once more and even forced his eyelids to obtain a clear and less arbitrary conclusion; after all, it could be anyone… anyone but him.
The steady pace of the individual, visibly a tall and fit man, continued rhythmically. He approached the castle limits further until the guards taking care of the main gate, the so called sentinels, aimed their surveillance lights at him.
Wearing a pair of worn out jeans; a leather jacket and beret torn almost to rags; a pair of boots that would be otherwise rendered unusable and a hefty backpack that hung over his right shoulder, the hobo-like Mantaro Kinniku shaded his eyes with the aid of his hand and waved at the sentinels frantically to turn off the light. Several pounds of snow rested on his shoulders and beret, reflecting those intense lights like natural mirrors.
-Nisei!- Yelled Meat upon recognizing his protégée and friend, his eyes already watery due to the immense joy.
Bibinba's body skipped a heartbeat once she heard her son's name and simply continued crying, this time out of happiness and relief. She decided not to turn around; her prayers and faith had finally paid off, so there was no room in her heart for any doubt: Her baby boy was finally home, where he belonged.
The Kenyon Ranch, somewhere in Texas…
It was around noon outside of the Kenyon residence. The intense sunlight that showered over the modest wooden house, the place where Terry The Kid had spent most of his childhood, cast pitch black shadows over the dried desert terrain. The outline of each and every object that was scattered around the massive structure, from the thick heaps of hay to the old and crusty blue pick-up truck Terryman drove around the ranch, was deeply defined by morphed bodies of dense twilight.
-Pa…- Terry Kenyon groaned, wiping the sweat beading on his forehead with a handkerchief he pulled out of his denim overall. –I'm done packin' all the hay an' I fed the broncos like you wanted to. I hope that's enough fer ya.-
Terryman, the old hero whose face was filled with wrinkles that gave him a sage-like appearance, adjusted the brim of his cowboy hat and chuckled.
-I'm not sure, son. We still need to park da truck inside the new garage we built, remember?-
The son slapped his forehead. –Dad… That's not even a garage. It's just a really huge tent made out of… canvas and wood?.-
The American legend continued chewing up his tobacco while shifting his attention towards his newly built garage. Indeed, he noticed it lacked the refinement and compact appearance of a common city structure; however, assuming the role of the stern and stubborn father, Terryman nodded to himself and spat the now flavorless tobacco towards an empty Coke can that rested on the wooden fence surrounding the house. The loud yet satisfactory metallic sound heard as the tin can fell made the Texan chuckle; his ace marksmanship was still intact.
-I gotcha, kid.- Terryman cupped his chin and frowned his upper lip, inspecting the sorry excuse of a garage once again. –Then we're drivin' to the city first thing tomorrow morning. We'll get all th' materials we need to build a real man's garage: iron bars, bricks, cement, paint, and maybe even a few steaks and a pack o' brews t' make a nice barbecue once we're done.-
Terry's jaw slammed the ground hard like a slab of concrete. –Are you serious! Buildin' a garage will take us more than just a few hours! It'll take us days!-
-Then it'll be good to have ya around a bit longer, son.- Terryman wiggled his eyebrows at the young Chojin.
The Texan Muscle Leaguer was about to start complaining at the sudden change of plans when his mother, the beautiful and exuberant Natsuko, came walking down the stairs of the house's porch wearing a plaid shirt, deep blue jeans and shin high cowboy boots.
-Don't worry about your father, Terry. He's getting old after all…- She giggled, gently nudging Terryman's ribs with her elbow. The Texan legend blushed and tried to parry away Natsuko's arm. –Plus, I'm sure you wouldn't have a chance to stay once I give you the good news.-
Terry's big, blue eyes narrowed to sapphire slits. –What good news, ma?-
Natsuko grinned and wrapped her arm around the crook of her husband's elbow. –Mantaro came back home last night. He's at his castle in Kinniku Planet.-
-No way!- The bronco's tired and sullen expression suddenly became almost as bright as the sunlight that heated his skin. –Then I gotta go and celebrate his return! I gotta call everyone in the league!-
Terry happily continued verbally organizing his agenda with a giddy and optimistic mood, stammering and sometimes even saying nonsense while Terryman and Natsuko looked at him with a big smile on their faces.
The former journalist poked Terryman's ribs, biting her bottom lip and wiggling her eyebrows. –Someone's gonna have a lot of work to do now that our son is going to leave. That garage needs a good fixing now that I think about it.-
Terryman grimaced, lowering the brim of his hat to cover his eyes.
-Fudge.- He mumbled.