Disclaimer: I do not own Tenjho Tenge or any other anime.
Summery: Masataka fights alone against a horde of lethal ki-users who have various intentions upon the young fighter.
Trial by Fire, Water and Air
Life is a strange thing.
No one knows how it's going to turn out. No one can foresee who you're going to run in to. Just like no one can predict that the start of a great battle... begins with a closed laundromat.
Masataka Takayanagi walked away from the 10th Street laundromat where he used to do his own laundry, and hightailed it to the one over on 27th.
He arrived just in time to see a certain fire-haired punk in a loud plaid jacket force a girl in overall jeans down to the ground.
"Hey! Stop that!" he shouted.
The redhead looked up and grimaced. "Who the hell are you?"
"I'm just a guy coming by to do his laundry." Masataka stated.
"I know you. You're Mitsuomi's little brother."
"That's right. And you're Ryuzaki Tsutomu, of the Enforcement Group."
"What are you doing here? I thought you lived on the other side of town."
"I do. But the laundromat I usually go to was closed, so I came here."
"Well, find another place. I've got business with my girlfriend here." he said, gripping the girl tightly by the throat and mouth so that she couldn't say anything.
Masataka squinted his eyes. "She's not your girlfriend." he said.
"She's not your girlfriend." he repeated. "And even if she was, it doesn't look like she's enjoying you touching her like that. I think you'd better let her go right now."
Ryuzaki narrowed his eyes. "You don't wanna get involved in this, kid."
"Better than the alternative."
"You wanna fight, is that it?"
"If that's what it takes."
Ryuzaki pushed Chiaki away, his fist roaring to life with flames.
Masataka didn't flinch. He knew that most ki-fighters often use the elements of nature to fight. Ryuzaki's element was fire.
"This doesn't involve you. If you get involved, you'll have to face your brother as well."
"Keeping an innocent girl from being raped wouldn't be an objection to my brother."
"Don't be so sure. She's the girlfriend of one of those punks who have committed serial violence against the school. Punishment must be dealt out."
"Then punish them, not her." Masataka said. "Not like this."
"Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you." Ryuzaki growled as he flew at the boy.
"Let's do this." he said, as his own hands glowed with power as well, pure energy.
Chiaki watched, unblinking, as the pair flew at each other with tremendous speed and power, unable to hide as the explosion rocked the laundromat.
High above the city, a trio of powerful individuals just stared over the grim metropolis.
"How long do we have to do this?" the blond haired man asked, sounding bored.
"Until we find what the master seeks." the largest of the trio, a well tanned man with red hair said.
"I have to agree with Hauer." the shapely, short-haired woman said. "I'm getting a little..."
"There." the large man said as he leaped towards the fight.
The pair followed him.
Bob and Souichiro arrived at the laundromat and froze when they saw two human figures duking it out on the streets. Souichiro recognized the first one as the clean-cut kid who nearly killed him at the school. The other one he didn't recognize.
Just then Chiaki emerged from the laundromat and seeing Bob ran over to him.
"Chiaki!" the tall, dark-skinned boy shouted.
"Bob!" the shorter girl shouted as she ran into his arms.
"What happened?" he asked her.
"That guy with the reddish hair attacked me. He was about to rape me... when that other guy showed up." she said, pointing to the brown-haired young man who leaped into the air and threw a ferocious kick to the redheaded man's face, knocking him down.
"HEY! That's the guy who beeee..." Souichiro started to say.
"Beat you?" Bob finished the sentence.
The blond boy growled.
"Really? He's the one?" Chiaki asked.
Masataka stood up straight as he stared down at the badly beaten Ryuzaki, now lying face down in a hole the shape of his body.
"Way to go, Sempai!" Bob shouted.
Masataka turned around and just stared at the dark-skinned man he remembered from school.
"Huh? What are you doing here?"
"Came to see if my girl was alright." he said to him, pointing to Chiaki.
"She's... your girlfriend?"
"Oh, nothing. I just... didn't expect that." he said. Though it would explain why Ryuzaki attacked her, if it was to get to him.
"Oh. Well, thanks for saving her from that punk."
"Hey! It's starting to rain again!" Souichiro whined. "Can we go home now?"
"Yeah, yeah, keep your hair spray on." Bob said.
Souichiro growled at the taller man.
"Thanks again, Sempai!" Bob said.
"Yes. Thank you very much!" Chiaki said with a smile and a wink before the trio took off.
The rain started falling harder as a trio of individuals watched from a nearby alley.
"Master. We have found someone." the woman said into her cellphone.
(Is he strong?) The deep voice on the other end asked.
(Good. You know what to do.)
"Yes, master." she said as she hung up the phone.
Masataka was heading back to his apartment, now that the laundromat had been demolished in the fight with Ryuzaki. He paused as he saw a flash of lightning illuminate the night, and a heard a clap of thunder reverberate across the sky, and then felt a strong presence behind him.
"Boy." a deep voice said.
Masataka quickly turned around to see a very large and athletic man dressed in strange ceremonial armor towering over him.
"Impressive fight. Put your affairs in order. We will come for you tomorrow. High noon." he said as he suddenly leaped into the air.
Right after the man had left, Masataka saw two shadows behind him leap into the sky after him.
What in... was all he thought as the rain started falling harder.
It was the a new morning at Todou Academy when Masataka walked in to see the same familiar scene.
Maya was talking to his older brother Mitsuomi, which surprised him to say the least.
Souichiro was being chased by Aya.
Bob... he didn't see.
Maybe he's spending time with his girlfriend. He thought as he looked over and saw Souichiro run out of the lunchroom with Aya on his heels. Wish I knew what that was like.
Classes passed and lunch eventually came around. Masataka found himself sitting in the lunchroom alone once again. He was halfway through his lunch when he felt it.
The entire lunchroom started clearing out of students, and filling up with others.
The Enforcement Group.
There were maybe forty of them, and they were all surrounding him.
Guess I should have expected this. Bob and Souichiro beat up a couple dozen students and they get Ryuzaki sicced on them. But beat up one rapist and I get this. He thought as he looked up at the clock. One minute to noon.
Masataka finished up his lunch, glad that they let him have that, and stood up to face the group.
"Do I have to ask why you're here?" Masataka asked them.
"I'm sure you know why." one of them said.
"So... who's first?" he asked.
As if all at once, the group attacked.
Punches and kicks from all sides lashed out at him. Masataka expanded his powers to give him some breathing room. He pushed several of the group back, then lashed out with his own martial skills.
He was on his 20th member when the lunchroom itself exploded inward, knocking dozens of people back. Masataka turned towards the trio who seemed to fly into the lunchroom and proceeded to march towards him. They were lead by the tall man he had met last night. He had bright red hair, strange, almost Egyptian-style ceremonial armor on his body, and looked really ripped. To his right was a woman with short wine-colored hair and a darker-than-her-hair skin-tight bodysuit that left nothing to the imagination. To his left was a shorter, but athletic man with long blond hair, dressed in a whitish outfit, the same ceremonial style armor as the taller man, and a gold mask over his face.
"Who the hell are you?" one of the Enforcement Group members shouted.
The taller man walked up to him, and backhanded him with little effort, sending him flying across the decimated lunchroom. The rest of the still-standing Enforcement Group charged towards the trio, only to get blasted by what Masataka figured was a sudden, freak whirlwind, slamming all of them against the doors and walls of the cafeteria.
"I hope you enjoyed that." the woman said to Masataka. "Because they were just a warm-up."
The trio stepped up to Masataka and bowed to him.
"I'm Panni." the woman in the skin-tight wine-colored outfit said.
"I'm Hauer." the blond haired, masked man in white and silver robes said.
"I'm Jamin." the large man with short red hair said.
"I'm Masataka Takayanagi." the boy said, bowing to the trio. "And you're here to fight me. Is that right?"
"It is." Jamin said.
"We can't tell you that right now." Panni said. "The only thing you need to worry about, is staying alive."
"And with that said, I'd say 'ladies first', but since we don't have any, why don't you start us off, my dear." Hauer said to Panni.
"Chauvinist pig." Panni grumbled as she stepped forward.
At first Masataka didn't question why Jamin and Hauer were backing away. Probably wanted to give Panni more room to fight. It wasn't until he felt a strange rumbling beneath his feet that he realized why that had been.
Panni's hands and body seemed to glow as an explosive torrent of water erupted from the floor and started to swirl around the woman. It didn't take much to figure out what her elemental use was, nor where she had gotten the water. The school's water pipes!
WHOA! She's pulling out all the stops right out of the gate! Masataka thought as the woman suddenly flew right at him.
"TERMINAL WATER FORCE!" Panni shouted as the torrent of water surged towards him.
Masataka dodged the torrents of water left and right, flipping and leaping all over the cafeteria, before he rebounded off the back wall and flew directly at the on-coming surge of water.
"URAATE!" (Reverse Striking) he shouted as he threw his ki-force towards the water torrent, blasting it back towards the shapely young woman, nailing her hard in the stomach and slamming her into the opposite wall on the other side of the cafeteria.
"Impressive. Very impressive." Hauer said, a strange surge of air flowing around him. "But can you handle this?"
Within seconds, Masataka finds himself picked up off the ground and launched out of the cafeteria and into the main courtyard.
Hauer flew after him, whipping around him through the air to punch, kick and strike at him.
He's using the wind to keep me off balance so that I can't even touch him! I... I have to turn this back against... him...NOW! Masataka shouted as he charged up his fists with ki-force and then released it the only way he could think of. "HAKKA SOUDOU SHO!" (Eight-Way Fracas Blast) he shouted and released his ki-force in eight different directions. The energy blasts were caught by the wind and redirected in a spinning torrent of hurricane force that eventually collided together at four different points, all of which were around Hauer.
The energy blasts stunned the wind-user enough to allow Masataka to get his footing, spring-boarding off a large tree and back towards Hauer, slamming his foot into his chest and shooting him threw a nearly concrete and steel wall.
Masataka landed on the ground and breathed hard.
"O-kay! I really didn't think... that was going to work." he heaved, the wind-tunnel he had just been in nearly sucking out all the air around him enabling him to breath. Now free of it, precious air filled his lungs once again.
"Impressive, boy. But are you man enough to fight with me?" Jamin said as he stepped up to the exhausted boy.
"Guess I don't have a choice." he said as he looked around, wondering where everyone else is. The Juken Club should have heard all this by now. Where are they? At the very least they would have come to watch.
"EARTH-QUAKER!" Jamin shouted as he slammed his fists into the ground, causing a fierce eruption of both Earth and Fire to shoot towards Masataka.
"COSMIC THUNDERING HORSE HOOF DEATH ATTACK!" Masataka shouted as he slammed his feet hard into the ground, sending a pulsing wave of ki-energy towards Jamin.
Around the battle pair, dozens and dozens of students who had the courage to watch, just stared in awe as the two fighters put their strongest attacks to work against the other, causing a massive explosion of energy that exploded the school grounds, ripping them apart and even battering down the concrete walls of the school itself.
However, neither refused to give up. Their powers crashed into each other as if the power of two exploding suns were being released at the same time in the same universe.
And it was clear to everyone around, that their powers were virtually even. Two irresistible forces colliding against each other, neither one relenting, neither one giving any quarter.
They were going to destroy each other.
Then suddenly, Jamin relented.
Masataka felt the power of his opponent drop. Not by much, but enough to overwhelm him and blast him back with tremendous force. Jamin was hurled backwards by the blast, slamming into several trees and through a dozen walls before coming to a rest in the parking lot.
It was nearly ten minutes before Masataka finally located the defeated warrior.
"You... you decreased your power. Why?" he asked Jamin.
"Because... with so much power against each other, we both would have died."
Masataka still looked confused. "Yes. But why did you..."
"You have a chance... to stop him." Jamin said.
"Me? Stop who?" Masataka asked.
"The Master." he said, blood dripping from his mouth. "Others will come for you. Other... assassins. Fight them, and defeat the Master. For us all to be... safe." he said as he stretched out his hand, a small surge of energy passing from him to Masataka himself, flying to his chest and disappearing into it. "This... is all I can do." he said, before closing his eyes forever.
Masataka hung his head, realizing that this man was a true warrior. And warriors deserved nothing but respect as they died.
"Thank you... my friend."
On the other side of the parking lot, the two members of the Juken Club, Maya and Aya Natsume, just looked at the young martial artist as he knelt before the larger man.
"Sister... what is going on?" Aya asked.
"Right now... nothing we need to be a part of." Maya said, turning towards the roof where the imposing figure of Mitsuomi just stared down at his younger brother.
Far away in his dark citadel of evil, the Master watches with interest as the video monitors replayed the three-part fight and Masataka's eventual victory.
"The boy shows great promise. We'll have to keep an eye on him." The Master said.
"Yes, master." the servant said as he went back to his task. "Who shall I send next?"
"I think... Anna."
Well, here's my first chapter of a story I've been working on, here and there, for a long while. With any luck I'll have more updates for you later. For now... this will have to do.
And yes, this story was intentionally uploaded on 8-8-08 for reason.
And if you haven't figured out by the title, Masataka is going to be doing all the fighting on his own! No help from the Juken Club. Which isn't saying much since he usually does fight on his own, right? Anyway, hope you liked this chapter and will give me lots of reviews.