Disclaimer: Tekken and Tekken characters are the property of Namco Limited. This is nonprofit fan fiction.
The Folly of Ganryu
"You have a strapping face, but you're not very good, are you?"
(Lili Rochefort to Ganryu, Lili's Story Battle, Fourth Stage, Tekken: Dark Resurrection)
Ganryu was in love. An angel had danced to him in battle, during which he had been tricked by her graceful moves. The Valkyrie with a goddess-like mien had swept him on his knees and onto the ground, and Ganryu had fallen hard.
Just as he had lain there, defeated, she had soothed him and spoken words of affection to him. After hearing that he had a strapping face, he had ceased listening and fallen victim to Cupid's arrows.
Ganryu was babbling even in thought, but he was smitten with the lovely Emily Rochefort, with her angelic features and the snow-white dress she wore when he first set eyes upon her. She was his queen-to-be, and he would be her most loyal, loving subject.
Emily Rochefort... Ganryu tasted every syllable lovingly. Monaco... what a beautiful, lush place that must be! Only a land rivaling to the pristine beauty of the Shiretoko and Yakushima could have captured the celestial essence that still danced within his eyesight. The grace, the beauty! In his mind, he coined her The Grace of Monaco.
"What's on your mind, sumo?"
Ganryu frowned at Paul Phoenix. How dare the man interrupt the noble thoughts that lingered in his mind? Regardless, Ganryu felt an overbearing urge to share the news with someone, and Paul Phoenix had been a fellow competitor since twenty years back.
"I have met an angel, Paul Phoenix," he said dreamily. He coupled the words by swinging his arms up in the air, as though delivering an operetta.
"Oh... kay." Paul wondered why, again, he attempted to strike up conversation with the loony tunes dragged to the tournament from all over the world. Probably 'cause you can't beat them, a voice inside him nagged, prompting him to hiss "shut up" sotto voce.
Luckily, Ganryu remained in a world of his own. Paul looked at him a little curiously. So, the sumo had an eye on one of the women at the tournament? The look on his face didn't speak about a meet with the White Angel of Death, that mysteriously silent Russian guy, so it must have been some romantic pursuit. Ganryu's flings hadn't been news twenty years ago, with that Michelle business, but he wondered what prompted the show now. "Who is it?" In his mind, he added, ...this time.
"I will ask you to speak with respect, Paul Phoenix," Ganryu said, and his eyebrows furrowed as one. "She is above your street-manners."
"Sorry," Paul managed with something of an apologetic smile. Touchy, these Japanese chaps. "Who has taken your heart, Ganryu?" There. That was poetic, not to mention sickeningly cheesy. Paul's skin crawled. He'd need to punch something tonight—maybe hit the bars and knock someone out cold—to feel human again.
"The lovely Emily Rochefort."
"Emil— Lili Rochefort?" Paul couldn't help the rise of his voice and the exclamation, which earned a scolding look from Ganryu. "I had no idea?" he tried helplessly.
"You would not understand these things," Ganryu said serenely, back in his world of make-believe.
Paul scratched the back of his head. "Don't you think she's a little young for you, Ganryu?"
"Pure love sees no age."
Pure love? Paul Phoenix shuddered mentally. This guy was something else. He tried to put himself in Ganryu's shoes, and failed. The sumo was mental, he decided. Aloud, he said, "Seriously. You should think it through. You do realize—"
A roar cut Paul off, and he turned around like shot. Kuma, his pet hate, had tracked him down and was pawing at the air, summoning him to a fight.
Paul's eyes narrowed. The bear was begging for it. He'd have a nice bearskin on his wall by the end of the day, if he had his way fully, but for now, he'd just settle for flogging the bastard for all its worth.
"Bring it on!" he roared before lunging onto Kuma, dead set to pay the bear his due.
His attention now freed from the interruption, Ganryu searched for the object of his affections, but she was no longer there. While the American had preoccupied him, the lovely Emily, Lili, had taken her leave. Ah, Lili... the name befitted a delicate flower so angelic.
Ganryu realized his mind was wandering off again, no doubt caused by the joyous pounding of his heart. As he now looked at the spot where Miss Rochefort had previously been, another fighter stood there, and a guilty pang dampened his spirits for just a while. It was Julia Chang, who had no idea of the dishonor Ganryu was showing her by thinking of another maiden. This lack of regard could no longer be borne, and boldly, Ganryu stepped to converse with her.
"Yeees?" What did this impossible man want with her? He had followed her around for too long to give little tirades she was growing wary and weary of. Julia took particular aversion to his affectionate address, which never failed to shatter her ease.
"Dear Julia," Ganryu repeated with conviction, sparking a slight shiver from Julia, "I have found an angel in my life. You must take it as no discourtesy to your person if I pursue this interest. Will I have your approval to do so?"
Huh? It took Julia a while to wrap her head around what Ganryu was saying; even then, she placed little faith in her interpretation. Did Ganryu want her permission to date someone? It made no sense. She thought it through again, all the while too conscious of the man's avid, pleading stare, only to reach the same conclusion. He wanted her approval? He'd have it, no hesitation.
"You are a woman of virtue, Julia, and your heart is made of gold. I worship the ground you walk on!" Ganryu declared heartily, momentarily lost in the flame of Julia and the memory of the equally enchanting Michelle.
Please don't, Julia pleaded in her mind. What was wrong with this man? The way he kept repeating her name alone made her uneasy. "I wish you happiness," she said finally.
"And I wish you all the happiness, dear Julia, and your revered mother Michelle as well." Ganryu bowed low and left the scene with a light feeling in the heart. Left behind, Julia made a mental note to pry information out of her mother and, this time, not accept any excuses, such as "it was a long time ago."
Ganryu, on the other hand, saw he had fulfilled his duty as a man of honor and felt ready to approach the woman of his dreams. The words of Paul Phoenix sprung back in his mind, though. What had the American said—that she was too young for him? That must have been a joke between men, for surely she would not be as shallow as to let the age bother her. Surely she would recognize a man in his prime who had everything to offer, unlike the young, brash lads, who knew nothing of the world. He was only 55 years young, after all.
The remark troubled Ganryu, though, and the absence of the divine being withered him. He must make his intentions known soon, or have her escape the tournament to return to her Monegasque castle. Ganryu's imagination flew freely; he imagined Lili in a crown, looking from a tall ivory tower, blond hair waving in the wind gently as she looked over the verdant forests... And realized he must cease daydreaming and approach the maiden now, lest she slip away upon the tournament end.
Ganryu set out in pursuit and, soon enough, he found Lili Rochefort chatting to an elderly gentleman, her delightful laughter carrying to his ears at a distance.
"Excuse me, miss," Ganryu interrupted timidly as he reached them.
Lili looked up and a cheerful expression spread across her face. "Sebastian, wait for me." She dismissed the elderly man with a swing of her wrist. The man must have been a servant, as Ganryu surmised correctly. It was only befitting; this divine being did not belong in the same reality as mundane tasks did. To Ganryu, Lili said, "Why, if it isn't the handsome man himself."
Ganryu's pride swelled. She thought him handsome. Though, looking at her, he noticed that she seemed very young. She could have been 18 for all he knew, but he quickly dismissed the thought. It was just his own age rendering himself incapable of judging the ages of youth; she was at least 20, ergo, an adult. Ganryu inhaled and drew his chest in just a little. He found his tongue. "Hello again, miss."
The silence hadn't fazed Lili. "The tournament is off, and I will be heading home to Europe. How about you? Where do you live?" Her feet swung back and forth as she sat on the edge of her seat and regarded Ganryu curiously.
"Here, in Japan."
"Must be fun. I would love to stay for a real holiday, but my father expects me. He is terribly lonely without me," she sighed dramatically.
Her father? Did Lili Rochefort still reside with her parents? The way he had heard, the Western girls left home already at 18, sometimes even younger, abandoning their parents in a most dishonorable way. That this young woman still remained at her parents' household at the age of 22, as Ganryu raised his earlier estimate, showed strong family connections, much to the spirit of traditional Japan. That was meritorious, and Ganryu was filled with devotion.
Lili continued, "I love to fight, but my father disapproves of it. I would not have him disappointed for all the victories in the world."
She respected the wishes of her elders? Truly, this woman was an angel in disguise, and Japanese at heart.
"I should go. He misses me." She jumped down from her seat and turned her back, but Ganryu interrupted her quickly.
"Wait, miss! I wish you wouldn't go."
"That's very sweet of you, but I must. Sebastian will be in such trouble if I return late."
Ganryu continued eagerly, "At least, may I visit you? In Monaco?"
"Really? I don't know about that. Father can be such a stickler about having friends over...," Lili said doubtfully. "But I guess it would be fine; we have room. Just make sure you come in during school holidays; father wants me to study properly during the semester."
The youth today used such odd names. Surely she meant university? What else could a 24-year-old, as Ganryu now estimated her age, possibly mean by a "school?" Ganryu should not act in such an old-fashioned manner; he should suggest something modern to her, to show that he was still in touch with the world despite following the traditions of sumo.
"Perhaps we could go have a drink?" At least that was a suggestion that could not be interpreted in other way than the intended one.
Lili laughed joyfully, spinning around in carefree circles, enjoying the sunshine playing on her face. "That is so sweet of you! But I can't buy alcohol for two years yet. I have to wait until I am 18, right?" She closed her eyes and completely missed the stunned expression on Ganryu's face. Lili halted and studied Ganryu's features. "You really remind me of my father. He has such robust eyebrows, too!"
Ganryu's shock knew no limits.
"I must be off. Goodbye for now," Lili said and pounced to meet the awaiting Sebastian, who held the limousine door open for her. As they took off, Ganryu was able to form coherent thoughts.
He had been about to court a school girl! What would the wrestlers in makuuchi say if they heard of this? He would be relegated to sekiwake faster than he could tie on a mawashi—before even having donned the keshou-mawashi! Fear settled in Ganryu. He could not go back to them now, if ever.
He would... find a new line of trade. He would... open up a restaurant... in Hawaii. Yes! He would do exactly that. Exhibiting swiftness a man of his build shouldn't have, Ganryu left the tournament faster than a whirlwind.
A restaurant... in Hawaii. That he could do.
I hope you had a pleasant read. Thanks for reviewing!
Intentional fallacies in this fic included the verdant outlooks of the city-state of Monaco and the characters' misconceptions about the legal purchase and drinking ages of both Monaco and Japan, which are 16 (18 for hard liquor on the premises) and 20, respectively.
For real were the sumo terms and the pristine beauty of both Yakushima and the Shiretoko Peninsula, both of which have made it to the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. I trust you picked the reference to HSH The Princess of Monaco, known as Princess Grace of Monaco, born as Grace Kelly.
Mawashi is the loincloth that the sumo wrestlers wear.
Keshou-mawashi (keshō-mawashi, if special characters work on your screen) is the ceremonial attire that the high-ranking sumo wrestlers wear.
Many thanks to Gypsie (Gypsie Rose) for the proofreading!
Published August 25, 2008.