Chapter Four: Don't Have a Problem with That, Right?
In a matter of days, Motoko's curiosity over the new manager of the inn grew, someone of her Aneue's calibre in fighting merely showed no disposition that he was a martial artist, let alone of master level.
She didn't know why, but when Keitaro had countered the flow of ki of her attack back then, something struck her,
Keitaro was on a level that was far greater than her seemingly on a whole other mountain, along with her sister, and he dared not to use his skills more than what was necessary, for Motoko, that was an insult to all martial artists everywhere. What was the use of strength if one cannot use it most of the time? Such attitude towards the art of combat would rust and wear down the practitioner eventually dulling his skills!
No matter what, she saw Keitaro as possibly her antithesis, his will not to fight, but his resolve if worse comes to worse, for her, words do not matter, let actions speak for themselves. It was the right thing, after all, might equals right!
As she descended down the stairs to the teashop, she saw Keitaro tuning up his motorcycle, checking for any damage after the stunt he pulled in taking Naru to school.
The young Todai student quickly noticed this and glanced up at the young woman who was watching him in apathy, yet with a hint of curiosity,
Keitaro gave her a simple grin and asked, "Yo, going to school?"
Motoko had simply scoffed and said, "Is it not obvious? What about you, Karinrin-san? Is it not a school day?"
Keitaro scratched the back of his head and said, "Well, no, I've got no classes today, the university contacted me earlier this morning, apparently, they said that the professor was not there for the rest of the day, said he got the flu… Anyway, I was just about to take this baby…"
Keitaro pointed to his bike and then continued, "For a test run, the inspection's done and the engine roaring great, maybe I could take you to your school and not spend the money on train fare."
Motoko merely turned her head and another scoff, "Hmph, a man taking a woman to her destination, I would rather die than seeing it happen, especially from you."
Keitaro scratched the back of his head from wonder, "Someone's a little cheesed off today."
Motoko angrily replied, "No! I meant that I simply don't want to depend on men. It is revolting!"
Just then, a limousine had arrived at the side of the teahouse, and out came, the same man wearing the sunglasses and was crying at the side of the dorm that day
"Takezo… What the hell are you doing here!?" Keitaro asked, the man simply replied,
"I am sorry, Keitaro-sama, they said that you need to come to your office now, they want to talk about the new proposition that your grandmother left." Said Takezo, Keitaro simply said, "Oh… Well then, okay, but could we go and drop her off to school on the way? I'll just clean up and we'll get this over with."
Motoko had began to protest then and there, "I never agreed to such a thing! How dare you…"
"Bah, I need to go to the company right now, so I'm sure this won't bother you at all." Keitaro simply replied
"But- limo- found- out…" Motoko was at a loss for words right now.
Keitaro simply said, "Ah, c'mon, it isn't that bad, and you could save up money later on to buy something nice."
"I-I don't need your advice!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever, you're going to ride that limo, like it or not, and that's my say so!"
With that, Keitaro went inside the teashop to wash up and change his attire.
Once he had come out, Keitaro was wearing a navy blue suit and black leather shoes with a white long sleeve shirt underneath, a red necktie supporting his attire and his ever spiky hair, once he entered the limo, he was greeted by an irate looking Motoko.
"I hope you understand that I am angry at you right now!" Motoko said and Keitaro merely said,
"Geez, I'm only thinking of your interest and then you spat at it like a redneck. Why are you so adamant about it?"
Motoko looked at Keitaro straight in the eye and said, "Because I hate men!"
Keitaro had a hit his palm with the distal part of his hand, "Ah, so you're a lesbian… No wonder you like living in the dor"
"Finish that sentence and I will kill you." Said Motoko, meanwhile, at the front Keitaro's men were laughing hard,
"Bozu is still clueless." Said the one on the driver's seat, Takezo meanwhile, laughed harder, the boss was clearly a helpless case when it came to women
"Okay, okay, geez, so you have an irrational hate for men, don't see why you lash out at me all the time…" Said Keitaro mumbling if he did something wrong
Motoko calmed down a little and said, "This limo would cause a huge scandal when I go to school, I have to remind you that I have an image to uphold."
Keitaro then said, "Then I'll drop you off at the side of the school. Geez, I don't know why people need to satisfy others just like that, after all, as long as we function well in society then it's all right, identity is the biggest thing to have, but image is like money, you can't take it with you once you die."
Motoko merely stayed quiet at that statement as she was dropped off at the side of her school, careful not to cause a scandal.
Keitaro adjusted the knot on his necktie and went gave a huge sigh
"Tough handling a bunch of teenagers?" Takezo asked, Keitaro meanwhile got some water from the small fridge to the side and drank it.
"No, it's tough handling a bunch of immature brats. I swear, those women would be the death of me!"
Takezo merely said, "Keitaro-sama, you act as if you're forty."
"I can't help it, those women don't know a single thing about jurisprudence and the like. They're all fucking romanticists and idealists that think that the world should revolve around them!"
Takezo nodded, "In that case, might I suggest an eviction, bozu?"
Keitaro shook his head, "No, I'm not a heartless bastard, even though they act the way they are, they have harsh pasts that they want to escape. I may have some sort of distaste towards them, but I am not willing to send someone like Shinobu back to a home where her dad is an abusive father and her mom is submissive, there's no one to watch over the kid, Haruka gave me the complete profiles of each person there."
Takezo merely gave a small smile to his bozu, "As expected of Oyabun."
Keitaro just shrugged, as the limousine stopped at the front building, Keitaro got out and went to the office that he had not used since two years. His grandmother had used it for him until he was ready, now that Hina was touring the world with his sister, she thought that Keitaro was ready for the real deal, his grandmother had started training him about executive work a year ago, surprisingly, Keitaro took her lessons in management well, and having an economic advisor was a big help.
Once he got to his office, he adjusted his necktie and entered his office, he was greeted by his secretary,
"Good morning, Keitaro-sama, the board of directors are waiting for you."
The secretary with a petite face and a cute smile bowed and Keitaro said, "Thanks… Ikuko, right? Where are the files that I need?" Asked Keitaro and the said secretary handed to him over a folder
"Thanks." Was all Keitaro said as he made a beeline inside the board of director's meeting room, once he was inside, he was met with an empty room, and four monitors dropped down and the monitors turned on, all the while, Keitaro thought in amusement, 'Ah, the wonders of modern technology, good thing Granny helped me set up this little room.'
Four faces then appeared from the screen and Keitaro gave a fake smile,
"Good Morning ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, I will now be handling things for the meantime until my grandmother gets back from her trip, now, I want to discuss to all of you about the project proposal of expanding our hotel into the international market, starting with building a hotel within the vicinity of one of the most frequently toured beaches and is in near vicinity of our country."
Said Keitaro, as he flipped the folders and placed them on his desk, he then grabbed a removable disk drive and inserted it to the USB port on his table,
"Attached to the file, are the pictures of the sight and whom we would be cooperating with, my grandmother has already talked to the governing bodies in the Philippines when she went out of the country, I am sure you all know of this project proposal, it's on a grand scale that we have never seen in this company. Ever heard of the beach in Palawan called El Nido? If we can set up a five star hotel there, many high profile guests would surely flock to it like bees on honey."
"I refuse." Said one of the members, Keitaro raised an eyebrow at this and inquired, "Tell me Sadoyuki-san, why do you refuse this project proposal?"
The man on his far left monitor replied, "This is such a high stakes gamble, if the project fails, we will lose MILLIONS, and we are not speaking in terms of Yen!"
"While that is true Sadoyuki-san, the project still stands, we have enough reserves for us not to go bankrupt for the next four years, if we lost in this gamble, then we shall simply NOT do anymore international expansions. But if it did, can you look at the possibilities of building in another first world country such as say, Switzerland? Germany? France?"
To this the members seemed to think this through, Keitaro then stood up and said, "Urashima Zaibatsu started as a small company, and this company who had but a few staff back in Hinata city, had enough power to take over Renge Zaibatsu, that was a big gamble that paid off."
Keitaro said, "I meant that to take such a huge risk is one of the possibilities that any company has to decide in any given time, like many scenarios, this is a make or break decision, we can't always remain stagnant, 'we have to up the ante' as they say."
Eight Hours Later:
Keitaro left the office and went home, deciding that a limousine was too much for him, he took the train back to Hinata Inn, once he reached the place, he quickly went to his room and shook his necktie loose,
"Damn, I'm exhausted… But there's still a lot of work to be done, I need to check my list for the maintenance of this place."
First up, was cleaning the Onsen,
Once Keitaro had arrived at the onsen, he put a sign on the front door that read, 'under maintenance, do not enter!'
He looked around and cringed at the picture of the place,
"This place was the crown jewel of the Inn back then, now there are potholes everywhere, missing tiles and the bonsai near the hot spring itself is a mess." Keitaro sighed he was glad he had brought the shears with him and a few elastic cement to place on the pot holes, he had no idea what to do for the missing tiles at the moment, so fixing potholes and the bonsai trim would be his first priority. After that, he would clean the place.
Unbeknownst to the Urashima, five people had ignored the clear sign that was posted outside and Keitaro glanced back, he saw five women, who wore nothing more than their towels wrapped around them.
"You idiots didn't read the sign outside did you?" Keitaro deadpanned, and the focus of the women went to Keitaro who was looking at them with an annoyed face, sure back in the recesses of his mind, he rather enjoyed what was coming to him, but if it meant that the blame would be shifted to him…
"You goddamn pervert!"
Yep, he got annoyed.
Naru, out of instinct, swung her arm and tried to punch Keitaro in the face. Keitaro leaned back and letting the fist pass him for a moment, with an effortless look,
"If you're going to punch me, punch me with a little amount of push and extend your arm faster." Said Keitaro as he simply sidestepped Naru and simply tipped her into the hot springs, the said girl lost her balance and fell into the hot water and Keitaro walked away. Next that came at him was Motoko who suddenly had her sword with her, she came from below and slashed upwards only to see nothing but an afterimage.
"Surprised?" Keitaro asked as he was holding the tip of the blade his fingers. Motoko tried to yank the blade but found it hard to do so
"Anger clouds judgement, prejudice leads to hatred my dear." Said Keitaro disarming Motoko by flipping the sword away and landing the hilt in his other hand.
He then looked stern and said to them, "I specifically placed a sign there for all others to read, unfortunately, it seems that you girls like to ignore reading the said sign and just jump into the hot springs, did you not see the big white sign with the black letters that said, 'Under Maintenance, Do Not Enter!'?"
Kitsune had sheepishly scratched the back of her head and laughed lightly, Keitaro glanced at her and said, "Let me guess, before any of the women entered, you removed the sign."
Kitsune had the urge to nod slowly, Keitaro then said, "You're lucky I do not hit women, and that I convinced most of my men to not fucking come into the dorm or else they could have a, gunned you down and have more holes than Swiss Cheese, or b, tackle you all to the ground and have tazers jammed in your necks."
Kitsune gulped, of course she would be scared, Keitaro was a Soban after all.
"Listen and listen well, the damages to the dorm are quite apparent, I can fix them, but I can't maintain them every time. Since I am the Karinrin, I've decided to split the chores that regard this house, I can't pamper young adults like you, you all need to learn how to live." Keitaro then pointed a finger at Kitsune
"You, Kitsune, starting next week, you're going to have pay me the six month debt you owe Granny Hina, the payment would be for the maintenance of the dorms. Aoyama," He said looking at the woman who was frowning at him, "I am confiscating this sword for the moment, I have a bokken as a substitute for you, you aren't worthy of holding the blade yet."
Keitaro sighed, he had hoped for Motoko to understand why he didn't want the woman to wield a katana, "Your actions caused you to judge before seeing the situation, tell me, is that what someone like say, Uesugi Kenshin or Takeda Shingen would do in battle?"
Motoko frowned at that, "I stand by my actions."
Keitaro merely shook his head,
"Motoko, there is a line between Justice and undeserving punishment. I should know, I felt that back then too."
Keitaro looked down, remembering his time as a delinquent back then, "Did you know… When my friend Seta died, the one who did it, Mori got away with a not-guilty plea on his first trial?"
Rain, it never rained that much before in Keitaro's life, as the coffin of his friend Seta was then placed to its resting place. There was one thing that littered Keitaro's mind back then, it was to get revenge.
As Seta was being buried, his fists were shaking as he was crying, his grandmother holding his child's hand as they watched Seta's coffin being covered in soil, Keitaro kneeled down and wept harder
"It's my fault!" Keitaro shouted, as he punched the ground that he stood on, hard.
"Damn it! It's my fault why he died! I was careless! I didn't move in fast enough to avoid the gun from firing!" Keitaro said as he began to pound the ground with his fists, his grandmother embracing him
"There, there child, it is only but the fault of your enemy, Seta-kun did the most honourable thing in protecting his friend." Hina looked on as the parents of Seta began to weep as well, the father of the said child couldn't even look straight at the grave
"That is the greatest sacrifice that one can give. It is to live for others. Keitaro-chan, treasure your life, never doubt that for one moment, Seta gave his to protect yours." Said Hina, Keitaro could only cry louder, as the guilt began to rise in him and his helplessness in the situation…
As he looked on at the grave, he could see a motorcycle at the back of the grave it was too far for the others to notice, but the man removed his helmet with the help of the one on the steering wheel and Keitaro quickly noticed it was Mori.
Mori was grinning from ear to ear, Keitaro with his sight, was surprised for a moment, all seemed to quiet just then, as Keitaro looked at Mori in the eye, wearing that disgusting grin on his face.
All of a sudden, Keitaro grew angry, letting his feelings cloud him at that moment, he saw Mori put on his helmet and left, Keitaro felt his ki began pulse loudly, Hina immediately felt it.
"Mori… Will pay… He will pay!" Said Keitaro. Gritting his teeth and blood came flowing out as he bit his lower lip
Hina had chastised him by gripping his shoulder tightly, "Do not waste your life on petty revenge Keitaro-chan. It will only leave you with a sadness greater than the death of your friend."
"Then what can I do!? I can't just let Mori get away with this!"
Keitaro then stood up, Hina then said, "Leave it to me child."
A few weeks later, he had heard that an arrest warrant for Mori was made, he was captured that very same day, and a few weeks later, Mori had pleaded not guilty despite the incriminating evidence that had been presented and the two of the eyewitness accounts happened to be Keitaro and Tatsu themselves. Mori's family had a certain sway in the case, so Mori was set free of the charges.
It would only take a month for Keitaro to discover that the one responsible that held the court's sway was Mori's father, who was the head of Renge Zaibatsu and was also head of the Yakuza as well. Mori's father threatened the judge for a not guilty plea in exchange for the man's wife and kids. Needless to say, the judge had to agree.
Keitaro came to his grandmother the day that he found out and requested another month of special training, with anger in his eyes, Keitaro said to his grandmother,
"Granny, I want you to train me, run me to the ground, I'll train and train until I become unbeatable, I'll be so unbeatable that even the Yakuza will fear me." He said, his eyes showed their resolve, Hina had merely shook her head, and said to her favourite grandson,
"Why are you seeking strength Keitaro-chan?"
Keitaro looked at her grandmother in the eye with a steely gaze and said, "Because I want justice."
Hina paused for a moment, in a matter of days, Keitaro grew up, that gentle demeanour was reduced, it was there, but it wasn't noticeable anymore. Hina had become sad how much the events that had played out and made Keitaro grow up, with a mere nod, the aging woman said to her grandson,
"Okay… But let me remind you grandson, there is a fine line between justice and vengeance. Keitaro-chan, when you are pulled into the world of fighting, you cannot stop, you WILL not stop, the best way to live in peace in that world is to die or to fade back to nothing. Are you sure about this?"
Keitaro knew of his resolve then, he nodded to the old woman and Granny Hina turned her head and shouted, "Haruka, prepare the umbrellas and the pins, I'll get the ball and chain."
And Keitaro trained for a month, he disappeared from his school that day, giving a notice of absence to his homeroom, and saying that he'll be back after two months.
Tatsu was forced to go to another country because his parents feared for the safety of their son, many thought that Keitaro went into hiding and that he would not be back within the designated two months,
After his one month training in Hinata, Keitaro had arrived at Renge Zaibatsu, wearing a black suit and a red necktie, he adjusted his sunglasses, looking to settle the score with the people who did the injustice on Seta, once he was inside the building he was greeted by the receptionist, and asked if he had an appointment with anyone within the building, he told the receptionist he was Kikawa Shingetsu's guest. Once he had gotten the floor of the man's office, he went up without even bothering to give the receptionist his name. Once he had reached the top, he was greeted by countless men that wore suits with their pinkie fingers either cut off or didn't have a nail, one person came to approach him,
"Do you have a meeting with the bozu?" Asked one of the members as he was effectively decked in the face by Keitaro and the man flew out to the nearest wall, as and one after another, the men came at him, with knives, tanto and even guns.
Keitaro simply stood and then in a blur, he appeared to the other end, the men that were trying to take down Keitaro, were blown away in a flash, but Keitaro didn't stop there, grabbing one of the fallen member's leg, Keitaro swung him around like a rag doll and then tossed the man straight to the office door, ramming the door open, inside was a very scared looking Kikawa Shingetsu, the man with a scar over his right eye was shaking to his feet, Keitaro then ducked as one of the persistent men, swiped a dagger horizontally at him, he countered by elbowing the man in the gut and then shoving the man to the window, making a crack as his head stuck out on the window and the man was kneeling , he was lucky that the window was small, the panoramic view below was blocked by cement underneath the glass,
"W-WHO ARE YOU!?" Shingetsu said, as he began step back and fell down on his butt
"Why Shingetsu, you don't remember me? I was one of the witnesses that testified against your son back then, the son that shot Toujiro Seta in the chest and killed, I'm here… To find Mori and to deliver the justice that Seta rightfully deserved." Keitaro said, Shingetsu frantically pushed himself back,
"U-Urashima!?" Shingetsu asked as he was now shivering
"Yes, and I'm here on Seta's behalf to track down your lowlife son and beat him down like the scum that he is." Keitaro said with contempt, as he kneeled down, and faced Shingetsu eye to eye
"I'm also here, to beat you down to the ground, pound you till you're at an inch of your life, make you feel just how miserable and helpless you are as Seta's parents were when they found out that the killer that I saw with my own eyes was not guilty of the charges that were incriminating enough to send him to prison for life, and also…"He said as he punched the window next to Shingetsu that shattered like dust with a simple blow
"For threatening an innocent woman and child just to sway your game..."
By now, Shingetsu found his voice and shouted, "D-Don't fuck around with me!"
"I am Kikawa Shingetsu, Yakuza Soban! Ruler of the underground world of Japan! You think that your petty threats will amount to anything? Right now my men are going up the floors as we speak, all with guns powerful enough to turn you into a human sponge!"
Keitaro did not show fear.
"Unlike your fucking threats, I've got the real fucking deal! You're just an insignificant pest on my doorstep, and once that door opens, I'll be laughing at your fucking carcass as I watch you dance from the fucking hail of bullets!"
Keitaro deadpanned him, "You done already?"
With that, he grabbed Shingetsu from the collar and hoisted the man up, with a pair of knives hidden in his suit, he impaled the man's hands and feet on the wall
Shingetsu yelled, Keitaro then punched Shingetsu in the face.
"Watch me thrash your men on this wall and you'll see just how fucking serious I am about beating you and your worthless son at an inch of your life."
With that, the elevator door opened and the men pointed their guns at Keitaro, Keitaro simply dashed to towards the man in a frightening blur. He appeared in the middle as he quickly kicked the man in the middle to the chin planting his face on the elevator roof, Keitaro then grabbed enveloped his body in ki as he expanded it in a small field around him, with one gun invading the field, Keitaro's body was quick to react and disarmed the man, throwing the gun away he planted a fist on the man's underarm, shocking the man's nerves and temporarily paralyzing him.
Keitaro then gave a sweeping kick in a flash effectively putting some of the men down, disarming one of the men, Keitaro then grabbed a .45 calibre pistol and fired it on the on of the man's legs, the bullet pierced the man's leg and the man cried in pain, Keitaro then punched the man in the face and then disarmed another by pressing the pulse of the man's arm tightly, the man instinctively let go of his gun, Keitaro grabbed another .45 calibre pistol and then fired with his other hand, Keitaro began firing the guns, hitting the armed men on the legs and hands, once the bullets were empty, with countless men groaning on the ground, he looked back to the man pinned on the wall,
"Now that your power is gone, I'll be getting what I need to know about Mori."
With that, he closed the door of the office, the frightened face of Shingetsu was the last thing to be seen before the door finally closed.
"During that time, I had managed to almost kill someone, I hated Shingetsu with a passion, when granny heard what I did, she immediately went to the company and announced that the Urashima family will be taking over the Renge Zaibatsu, and that all of the people inside that building would be kept silent on what happened, a few phone calls later, everything was swept under the rug." Said Keitaro and then went out, before he closed the door he said,
"I regret that I almost killed someone that day, although it was the very man that let Mori escape the law, I can't even look at myself like I used to. When blood is dripped in your hands, you are forever changed."
Keitaro steeled his resolve, memories of his past were beginning to surface, he had to maintain a strong and stern look, he then said to his tenants, "I'll be making a maintenance schedule of the work here in Hinata-Sou, I will not be responsible for your everyday mundane chores, as I am the manager, all repair and budgets should be referred to me, and I give clearance to the needed budget."
"Don't worry, I'm giving a fare share of the work to be done, since Shinobu is doing laundry and cooking, I'll reduce some of her work by making us do our own laundry. I'll be buying laundry baskets tomorrow and all of you, enjoy your next few days, since this is now a dormitory, it should be treated as such."
With that, Keitaro left.
Naru was fuming, "Ooh! Who does that man think he is? He's barely older than me!"
Kitsune chuckled slightly and sat down on the hot springs, "He may be, but he certainly knows how to act like an adult."
Su nodded, "Yep! Karinrin-san acts like Dad! But he sometimes acts like Onii-chan!"
To this the residents turned to her, "Yeah, he acts like my dad, giving advices and then showing some tough love. Like what he did with Naru and Motoko on the first day."
The women except for Motoko and Naru nodded.
"Sempai has seen the harsh realities of life, like the rest of us, yet compared to him, he didn't run away." Said Shinobu, looking down
Motoko however, when she sat down on the hot springs, was irked, "A man like him who travels the path of a monk can never understand the one who travels the path of a warrior!"
Kitsune smiled at this, "If your views about this clash, why not settle this in a match of mettle?"
Motoko considered Kitsune's proposal, after all, ideals are better fought if one cannot express and fight for their ideals, then they are not warriors. She isn't willing to bow to any man, especially not now, even if Keitaro is another mountain altogether, Motoko realized that she still must face any adversity. Fighting Keitaro would mean fighting his sister. Even though she considered Keitaro a dishonourable man and a waste to society due to his delinquency, he was strong. Strong enough to have an even match against her sister.
"I'll think about it…" She said to the group and the rest relaxed and enjoyed the hot bath of the natural outdoor spring.
A few days later:
Shinobu was cooking in the humble kitchen of the Hinata Inn, and as per orders of the manager, she felt a little relaxed when she didn't have to do much housework anymore, everyone had their fair share of chores to do now, she no longer had to do everyone's laundry, honestly, she was embarrassed at first that the thought of Keitaro giving her his laundry but found out that the industrious manager of the inn did his own laundry and iron his own clothes. He says that it was better that way and not bothersome or embarrassing to Shinobu who was scarlet red when Keitaro said that everyone should at least wash their own underwear.
She was a bit happy though, that the inn was alive and well. Ever since Keitaro had set foot into the dormitory, a lot of the chaos that Naru ever managed to throw at the lone male were wither heightened with Keitaro's near effortless and indifferent view on handling things. There was one time he dodged a punch from Naru while holding a bowl of ramen to his face. Keitaro merely ducked out of the way and tossed the ramen into the air, not even looking Naru in the eye, Keitaro caught the bowl with a single hand and all of its ingredients in it, no spill.
Once she was done chopping with the onions, she had heard a knock on the door, being that she was the nearest, she decided that she was to answer it, not until Naru had beat her first. As soon as she was about to head back to the kitchen, a voice, a tone of low tenor entered her hearing, that voice was all she could hear, when she felt her hand shake and run to her room to lock the door. Fear escaping from her body as tears began to fall from her eyes, all the nights that she had run away from was coming back to her, the bruises the cuts, the burns and the lacerations of both hers and her mother's… It was coming back…
"Is Maehara Shinobu here?" Asked the person upfront, Naru looked at the man suspiciously and asked,
"Who are you, sir?"
Naru didn't want to sound rude to the man that was bulking, Naru was intimidated by the man wearing the summer buttoned shirt and white pants, tan skin, a gold necklace hanged on his neck and a few piercings stuck out on his ear and left eyebrow.
"I heard she's living here, I came to take her back." Was his only reply
"You didn't answer my question first sir, who are you?" Asked Naru and was soon shoved to the side, by a mere push from the man, as soon as he entered the house, Naru shouted, "You can't enter an all girls' dormitory without permission!"
The man swatted her away and said, "I do what I damn well please! Now where's my daughter!? Where's Shinobu!?"
As soon as Naru was shoved, the man quickly turned his back and began scouring the Inn. Making a scene inside the house, the man ran around the house opening each door that he encountered and angrily slamming it back when Shinobu wasn't there.
The man ran upstairs while shouting Shinobu's name,
"Shinobu! Let's go home! Back to where mommy is! Daddy misses you so much!" Said the man
On the manager's room, Keitaro had closed his book on hydraulics, and settled it down the table, he stood up and went outside, unnoticed by the man as he had finally reached Shinobu's room.
It was locked. Keitaro watched as the man desperately tried to get into Shinobu's room, finally slamming it down with his own strength. Upon entering the room of the poor girl, the man gave a smile as he saw his precious daughter.
There she was huddled into a corner, her hands covering her head as she was shaking in fear, tears forming in her eyes as she saw the one she called a father.
That smile… It was one thing that scared her most about his father, that smile was always of something indicative of pain. As he approached his daughter, Shinobi started to crawl away from him, Keitaro was frowning while this was happening, he dared not to interfere with a parent finding his daughter, but he couldn't do anything about it, he was an outsider.
Shinobu felt her voice shake as she shouted to the man, "D-don't come closer!"
The man's face changed from a smiling Buddha to a menacing Asura as he grabbed Shinobu by the arm and held it tightly,
"Now Shinobu, it's not nice to push daddy away!"
The man cocked his fist back, and in one fluid motion, he was stopped when Keitaro held back the man's fist firm with his grip
"Familial problems normally aren't my concern but…" Keitaro tightened the grip
"No parent has the right to hit their own child, much less one that can't even speak or fight back because of fear."
Unbeknownst to them, Kitsune and Su had managed to peek into the scenario unfolding,
Shinobu's father then said, "This is discipline! Don't you dare stop me from showing my wayward daughter some tough love! It's for her own good!"
With that, the man released Shinobu's arm with his other hand and punched Keitaro in the face, Keitaro didn't even flinch move to evade, for he had only one thing in mind; to save both Shinobu and himself from this man. If he was forced to evade, the man would've been able to file a case of assault against him, but if he had even one piece of evidence from the man, Keitaro would be off the hook.
The punch connected to his left cheek and blood seemed to come out of Keitaro's mouth, with the boy hitting Shinobu's wall tearing of the skin on Keitaro's right temple. Blood oozed from it, as Keitaro didn't force himself to fight back. The man grinned as he held Keitaro by the collar and pushed him against the wall, with cocking another fist he punched the boy to his right cheek and kneed him in the gut. The man pummelled Keitaro to the floor of Shinobu's room. Flashbacks of the beatings of when she was a child crossed her mind, in the middle of her sobs, she muttered
"It's e-enough… S-stop… Don't let him hit yourself anymore… Sempai!"
It was enough to let Kitsune tell the very nervous Su to let Naru call on Motoko. If Keitaro let himself get hit, it meant that Keitaro was simply avoiding a tarnish in the inn's name…
Once the man could determine that Keitaro couldn't possibly fight back, Shinobu's father turned around and faced his daughter,
"Now, time for some discipline!" Said the man, cracking his knuckles and grabbed Shinobu's hair, yanking her up, Shinobu winced in pain and sobbed, she was being dragged back to her personal hell courtesy of his bastard she called her father.
This was it… The pain was coming back, those nights where she and her mother got beat up constantly, she didn't think Keitaro would allow himself to get hit.
As her bastard father cocked his left fist back…
Only to scream in pain as his left arm was covered in pain…
Naru had to get Motoko… A man had forced himself inside the dormitories! Not only that he was violent and had even pummelled Keitaro to mush! She had only one other option, Motoko!
Once she had made her way to Motoko's common training spot, she shouted,
"Motoko! Quick! I need your help! Shinobu's dad came and is about to beat up poor Shinobu!"
Motoko suddenly grew tense as she held her bokken at her side, it would have to do, her Ki attacks were enough to cut through wood, and this would surely be enough.
As she ran back to the dorms, she asked Naru
"What happened to Urashima?"
Naru merely said, "He let himself beat up, I bet he was worried he would be charged with assault."
Motoko clenched her teeth and thought angrily, 'Men are useless!'
The man yelled in pain, as he let go of Shinobu's hair and the girl landed on her bed with a flop. Her father cradled his left arm and turned around, he found Keitaro, who was bleeding from his forehead and mouth, looking at him with eyes of intensity.
It was like watching a fire that was forcing itself out of a container, though the oxygen that fed that fire was fading, the fire itself was forcing out, finding a way to burst out causing an enormous explosion inside the boy.
Keitaro gave wicked grin, he looked at Shinobu's father in the eye and said, "Now that I got away with a few bruises and cuts, you can't touch me now… With this, you got no complaints of me hitting you back."
Keitaro then grabbed the man's hair and said, "You know… I really hate people like you."
Keitaro continued, "You, who step on other people's dignity, without so much as a remorse and to do that to your own family as well…"
Venom laced in Keitaro's voice, how he loathed the man that was before him. Someone who beat up a little girl, to get his point across, using the stick for his arguments, Keitaro spat on the ground that the man worked on.
"Since you gave me quite a thrashing, I'd like to return the favour, SINCE IT'S MY DUTY TO PROTECT MY TENANTS FROM IMMATURE PARENTS LIKE YOU!"
With that, Keitaro cocked his fist back and said, "You don't have problems with that, right?"
With that, he threw his punch on to the man's face and letting go his hair, Shinobu's wall shattered from the force of the punch that shattered teeth, throwing the muscle man through the window and landing on the lawn below the house.
Outside, Motoko halted her run seeing the muscle bound male landing on the grass. Keitaro jumped on the window as he pointed a thumb to himself.
"Get this through your head. Until you treat your Shinobu like the daughter she is to you, I got every right to shove your ass out of the dorm I manage! I'll make it clear to you; the Asura does not bring mercy to those that bring harm to his friends. Get lost!"
With that, the man stood up in contempt and walked away… Not even glancing at the frowning Motoko all the while, Keitaro began wiping the blood from his forehead, his white t-shirt stained with the blood from his forehead and mouth.
With that, he went inside and gave a relieving sigh, he walked to Shinobu who was still crying and ruffled her head, giving it a little massage to ease the frightened girl.
"It's okay now… Shinobu-chan…" Said Keitaro grinning at the girl and affectionately ruffled her hair more.
"I'll be here to make sure he's straightened out." Keitaro said and Shinobu, in a moment of utter weakness, cried on Keitaro's chest, letting all her emotions out… Just for that moment…
After that little incident, Keitaro decided to let Shinobu rest from her duties for the moment.
Now sporting a bandage like a crown, a gauze on his left cheek and a black eye, Keitaro had no choice but to reach for the funds of the inn and ordered take-out.
When the tenants, minus Shinobu, sat down at the dinner table, Motoko looked at Keitaro in the eye as they ate and said,
"I want to challenge you to a duel…"
Keitaro stopped eating his cheeseburger for a moment and looked Motoko in a serious gaze.
"What are you implying?"
Motoko replied, "I want to challenge you on the right of ownership to this inn as well as release of my sword, Shishi-oh."
Keitaro stood up from his seat and slammed his palm on the table suddenly, scaring Kitsune and Naru for a moment.
"You got guts challenging me to a match… To top it off, you want to take the possession of this inn and transfer it to the Aoyama family? Why Motoko, if I didn't know better, it's as if you are challenging me in a Sengoku (Warring States) era style duel…"
His expression changed in that of a frightful demon, he continued, "A deathmatch…"
Motoko had forgotten about that type of duel for a moment, Naru and Kitsune paled while Su innocently asked if a deathmatch was something good to eat.
It never crossed her mind before, when she trained later that day, she was sure that she would lose, but right now, she had to reclaim her honour, for her sword was her honor, and let someone be damned, a warrior must not be separated from her blade!
But Keitaro seemed to think differently, "A weapon exists to kill Motoko, didn't your school taught you that?"
Motoko stood up in her own fury and said to the manager, "A weapon exists to protect! You, who tread the path of a monk, will never understand the dishonour you have given me by separating me from my sword, Shishi-oh!"
"And you don't understand that I am trying to prevent you from doing a fatal mistake!" Keitaro now emphasized.
"Don't you see Motoko? Do you even feel regret when you use your techniques so brazenly upon an unarmed man? Is the thought of actually almost killing someone not crossing your mind as you use your Special Techniques? Motoko, I am not dishonouring you, I'm teaching you to be responsible in using a blade!"
"I do not need an advice from a man that does not even try to prove his might to others!"
Keitaro gaze sharpened and literally, he slapped Motoko on her cheek
"You fucking idiot! Wake up, Motoko! Has your school taught you nothing of prudence!? You willingly use your techniques on civilians! With almost devastating results no less! How much more techniques must you use, in order to get my point across!?"
"There is no point to be given to me! You are being irrational, that I, a swordswoman, must not wield a sword because I am not responsible enough? Preposterous! What of the council of elders entrusting me with it then!?"
Keitaro then clenched his fist together, he guessed there was no choice but to let Motoko do as she wishes. He then said to her, "Fine, but as stipulation, you get a portion of Naru's, Kitsune's, Su's and Shinobu's work around the house if you lose. You'll also be treating me to beef bowls once a week for two months when I am here, preferably Saturdays!"
'No much of a bet is there? Though I could use the break from Haruka's slave driving, I swear she's enjoys making me suffer.'
Down at the teashop below, a woman sneezed causing her cigarette to fall off from her mouth.
"You will see just how much I have improved…" She answered as she was about to leave the remaining food.
Keitaro just turned his back and was about to walk outside when he said to Motoko, "You won't even be able to see Hiryu, Ama Tsurugi no Kakeru (Rising Dragon, Descent of the Heavenly Blade.)"
With that, he went out into the night…
To be continued…
Next chapter title: Duel
Phew… Now that's done, let me tell you a little something-interesting on this chapter…
In this chapter is a scene similar to GTO (or should I say from its latest spinoff), if any of you can find it, you get a cookie! RnR people! No, really!