Chapter 16 :Matsue Park

The sky was a flaming red and it was barely dawn when Kenichi, disciple of Ryozanpaku, spotted Renka beckoning him with a finger, from a corner. His white 'gi' was completely drenched with his perspiration after working on the wooden pole since four in the morning. Since it was the weekend, he had the luxury to spend all his time on his training. The yard was unusually empty as if everyone had left the dojo. He cocked his head, bemused at the need for secrecy and reluctantly approached her before she forced her hand on him.

"Are you trying to refine your techniques?" questioned Renka eagerly, looking intently at him. There was a bright gleam in her eyes that kept him naturally on his toes.

He rubbed the back of his head nervously, glancing at the wooden stump he had been practising for hours. "That should have been quite obvious," muttered Kenichi, more to himself than to Renka.

"It won't do," replied Renka, folding her arms. "It's impossible to work on your techniques this way."

He titled his head slightly and blinked continuously at her solemn words. "So what should I do?" questioned Kenichi worriedly.

Renka had to fight the grin that was threatening to bloom on her face as she pretended to think really hard. It was so easy to bait someone as trusting as he. "I have an idea! A change of environment will be good for you. If you're serious of growing as a martial artist, grab a change of clothes and follow me."

Kenichi nodded, his eyes gleaming with excitement at the prospect of training properly.

It took them an hour to get to the place and Renka kept the location a secret throughout the journey there. She appeared to be genuinely concerned about his life and his family, probing him with questions about school, his family and his training.

Renka seemed to be lapping his tales from school like a sponge, nodded her head excitedly at every scrap of information of his life he provided. Kenichi was genuinely surprised – most of his friends do not express that kind of curiosity about his life. It made her more approachable and less wilful and he began to enjoy his time with her.

She was most fascinated by his recollection of his childhood days. A dreamily expression appeared on his face as he shared tales about growing up in a secure and loving family. Renka seemed surprised that the biggest problem of his life prior to becoming a disciple of Ryozanpaku was getting bullied in school.

Renka even looked beautiful and young when she doubled up, laughing.

"Don't you realised that you have such an effect on others?" asked Renka, giggling. He had just shared with her his tale of befriending Takeda and Ukita through a fight. Her penetrating gaze was remarkably filled with admiration, tenderness and mirth.

His cheeks grew pink with embarrassment and he turned his gaze away from her.

Thankfully, she changed the subject.

The mirth from her eyes was replaced by curiosity.

"Your family don't practice martial arts and you have been bullied nearly all your life for being weak. I don't understand why you would willingly continue to practice martial arts, become a formal disciple of Ryozanpaku despite all the harsh training? Did you not already learn enough to ensure that you won't be bullied?" questioned Renka, cocking her head slightly, baffled. Like Miu, she was born into the world of martial arts and began learning Chinese martial arts from her father from a tender age. The dangerous and corrupted alleys of China were her playground, the unfortunate and oversized thugs were her playmates. She grew up with the darker elements of life, scarcely protected by her father. Moreover, she was talented in martial arts too, unlike Kenichi.

The corner of his lips lifted in a gentle and tender smile. He knitted his fingers behind his head and stared at the celling of the bus they were sitting on. "I'd no choice. Not after watching her stand up courageously alone to uphold justice and defend the weak. I am aware that I have no talent for learning marital arts. However, I made up my mind to become stronger that night. I want to be strong enough to defend the weak and share her burden. I know she will never back down from any situation if she knew it was the right thing to do, so I want to be there for her. I want to protect her, so I've never stopped training since," said Kenichi, his tone hitched with passion while his eyes gleamed with resolute.

The sight of a zealous Kenichi set her pulse racing and coloured her cheeks red. It was obvious from the blaze in his eyes that he was deeply in love with the person he wanted to protect with everything he had. Her heart ached momentarily. Her brows drew into a frown, aware of the clawing need in her heart- She desperately wanted to be that girl who brought a light to his eyes and a tender smile to his lips.

Moments ago, she was merely interested in him because he was a rare pedigree in her world. Now, she was quite certain that her feelings for him had intensified and could no longer be described as simply being 'interested in him'.

Kenichi rubbed the back of his head self-consciously when he noticed that Renka was staring at him grimly. "W-was that difficult to understand?" asked Kenichi, letting out an embarrassed laugh.

Wordlessly, she shook her head. In a solemn and thoughtful voice quite unlike her usual tone, she replied. "No, it was quite clear." Her brows furrowed. She turned away from him and stared out of the window of the bus.

His eyebrow winged upwards in surprise. "Renka?"

"Is that girl Furijin Miu?" asked Renka in a subdued tone, still not looking at him.

His eyes widened in surprise as he gaped.

"Am I right, Kenichi?" questioned Renka, turning to look at him. It was the intensity of her penetrating gaze that astonished him.

For a moment, Kenichi wondered about the reason she was so concerned about it.

"Kenichi?" repeated Renka, cupping his face so that he would meet her gaze.

Afraid to speak, he dipped his head in a nod.

To his surprise, she let out a sigh and released her hold on him. She turned away from him and did not speak to him for the rest of the journey, leaving Kenichi to read his book without any interruptions.

Her mood changed drastically again when they finally reached their destination, Matsue Park. She shed her pensive mood on the bus and was the excited Renka he was familiar with. Before he could even orientate himself, she cheerfully grabbed his hand and led him inside, almost skipping in joy.

They went to the changing rooms to change into their swimming attire and head into the park itself. When he entered into the park itself, he was stuck by the size of the place. It was huge, with towering water slides almost four stories tall, curving in the most outrageous manner. There was a man-made waterfall by the side of the park and gushing water plunge almost three stories. He spotted a wave pool that generated waves of different intensity near them and several other large pools. Sunlight entered through the glass ceiling above, lighting up the entire park.

He could hear sounds of gushing water and excited screams.

It looked like a place to play rather than to train. The culprit, Renka, was dressed in a simple one piece swimsuit that highlighted her sensuous figure. She was clutching a blow up dolphin shaped float, standing in the pool, beckoning eagerly at him.

The pool they were in was built to mimic the sea, with its gentle waves. It sloped upwards, leading to a man-made beach, with fine soft sand and swaying palm trees.

"You need to relax sometimes too," added Renka, grinning brightly. "Oh come on!" yelled Renka, splashing water at him. She grinned cheerfully at the sight of him. He was dressed only in a swimming trunk, leaving his torso exposed. His body was lean and toned and it was the product of his daily training.

He yelped and tried to duck. "I don't know how to swim," admitted Kenichi, covering his face with both of his arms.

Her eyes widened in shock. "You don't know how to swim?" repeated Renka, staring at him as if he sprouted wings.

He rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment. "I never needed to learn," countered Kenichi in small voice, twiddling his thumbs awkwardly.

Renka giggled girlishly at the adorable sight of him. For some odd reasons, learning of his lack of abilities did not frustrate her. Swept by the tender feelings she had for him, she hugged his arm gently, steering him. "We'll just play in the shallow end of the pool," said Renka, leading him out of the pool, up the gentle slopes to the man-made beach.

His brows shot into his hairline at the change of her disposition but he did not comment.

Kenichi was astonished when he caught a sight of all his masters lounging around on the chairs, dressed in their swimming trunks. "All of you are here?"

It was quite a terrifying sight since his masters' bodies could shame any professional body- builder. In Sakaki, Elder and Appachai's case, their hefty and towering bodies bulged with overly-large muscles. Akisame, though lean, had an abnormally defined muscular body and that made his appearance even creepier. His masters were either sipping tea or enjoying the warmth of the sun. He was quite surprised to see Shigure. She was simply dressed in a loin cloth, with strips of cloths wrapped around her ample chest, playing in the sand with Appachai.

Kenichi scratched his head nervously, wondering if Shigure would be accused of indecent exposure due to her attire. It revealed a lot more skin than a two piece swimsuit. Appachai had a child-like gleam in his eyes, excitedly building a sandcastle with Shigure.

"Why?" demanded Renka, her eyes grew as large as saucers.

"Didn't you invite us, Renka-san? It's Ma-san's treat today!" exclaimed Miu eagerly, with a large smile on her face. Her long blonde hair was pulled up and tied into a neat bun and she was wearing a plain black bikini and stringed black bottom. Her eyes were narrowed in a glare when she saw that Kenichi had allowed Renka to cling onto him again.

Kenichi's lungs protested in agony when he stopped breathing when he laid his eyes on her. He had no words to express her beauty."Wow," was all he could say, gaping at the sight of Miu.

Miu chuckled shyly to herself at the dumbfounded look on her friend's face.

Renka clenched her fist at the sight of Kenichi being completely smitten with Miu. Frustrated, she shot a deathly glare at her father. "Why did you do that to me?" demanded Renka. "You spoilt all my plans!"

"You said you wanted to help him with his training, that's the reason why we're here," answered Kensei cheekily. "Besides, it's a nice place to visit. So many pretty girls to look at."

"Dad, don't you even think about the happiness of your daughter?" pressed Renka, almost on the verge of crying.

"I do, my dear daughter, all the time," assured Kensei, patting her on her back. He did not have a chance to elaborate since his eyes fell on a large group of pretty girls in bikinis, playing. Ignoring his daughter, he took out his trusty camera and headed to take photographs of them.

"Now that you're finally here, we should start your training," said Akisame, smiling. Renka protested violently against it but to no avail. His declaration was nothing new since it would be exceedingly abnormal of his masters not to make use of the opportunity to further his training.

Kenichi felt the hair at the back of his neck stand at the sight of his eager smile. Learning from the past, that smile always meant bad news. "It's really nothing difficult," added Akisame, smoothly. Before Kenichi could make his decision, Akisame hastily steered him to one of the largest slides.

It was nearly three stories tall, curving around the large tower like a coil. Water was surging out of the slide in large powerful jets. It looked so powerful that it could knock a person out. "The manager is really kind-hearted. He has allowed us to reserve a slide for our use. Your task is climb up the slide."

"That's impossible!" declared Kenichi, gaping. "I'll be washed away by the force of the water."

He shook his head. "It is possible. Miu, please do me a favour and demonstrate it for Kenichi." Miu nodded obediently. She crossed the pool in even strides, creating small waves as she approached the pool. She stood before the mouth of the slide, against the gusting water and gripped the top of the entrance. Effortlessly, she pulled herself into the slide. With the jets of water working against her back, she turned to face Kenichi.

"Catch me if you can," said Miu, blowing a raspberry at him, her eyes twinkling with mirth. She disappeared into the tunnel.

His lips curved into a smile of amusement. Hastily, Kenichi followed after her. Water pounded mercilessly on his body when he heaved himself into the slide. He could feel the power of the jets as he began to crawl up the tunnel.

The force of the jets worked against him as he climbed up the dark tunnel. Miu was ahead of him, climbing painlessly up the curving tunnel as if the pressure of the water meant nothing to her. Encouraged, he scrambled up the tunnel, trying to catch up with his friend. "I'll catch up with you!" yelled Kenichi as he picked up his pace.

No matter how fast he was, she was always ahead of him. At his fastest speed, he managed to catch a glimpse of her creamy smooth leg before vanishing teasingly into the tunnel. It was a cat and mouse game that he knew he could never win. Yet, he was having fun because occasionally his mouse would goad him on.

"It can't be the fastest you can manage," teased Miu, her words echoing through the channel over the noises of rushing water gushing against the walls of the slide. "I'm taking a break." The noises lost its constant rhythm as if the water was crashing onto something prematurely, a short distance above him.

He sighed at her amazing strength of her core muscles, knowing that even if he tried to take a respite, he would be knocked down the slide by its force. Once again, he picked up his pace, hoping to catch up with Miu while she was resting.

Despite her break, Kenichi never managed to catch up with her or catch a rare glimpse of her legs. Miu climbed out of the tunnel gracefully first, stretching her body as if she had completed a simple warm-up exercise. Kenichi, on the other hand, threw himself wearily out of the tunnel as if he had fought a draining battle. He landed ungracefully next to his friend, sprawled across the floor, much to his friend's delight. He looked completely exhausted.

"If I know any better, it feels as if you're trying to punish me," complained Kenichi, panting. "You goaded me on purpose," accused Kenichi, closing his eyes tiredly for a short respite.

Miu merely smiled and shrugged indifferently. Kenichi's lips curved in amusement when he caught sight of that impish smile.

She gave him a few seconds of respite before helping him back onto his feet. "I think Sakaki-san has some plans for you. He's waiting by the waterfall," said Miu. "I'll see you later."

"Miu,"called Kenichi, looking at her intently. She spun around, with an enquiring look on her face. "Have fun. I'll try to join you after my training. We could try the slides or something later,"said Kenichi, scratching his head.

She smiled, with radiance akin to a rising sun. "I'll look forward to that." Miu gracefully climbed down the tower to look for her grandfather.

Tiredly, Kenichi exited out of the tower and headed for the waterfall. Master Shio was there, waiting for him at the bottom of the waterfall. He led him to do a thousand forward kicks in the pool, kicking up against the plunging water. His muscles groaned and protested at the abuse of fighting against the weight of falling water. It felt very heavy and the simple exercise put a greater strain on all of his leg muscles. When he was through with the first exercise, muscles he did not know exist protested loudly from the mistreatment. Master Shio then instructed him to do a few routines in the shallow water to build the power of his lower body.

The rest of the masters were enjoying themselves. Shigure was doing her own training by scaling the slippery cliff of the man-made waterfall as she defied the resistance of plunging water and gravity. Appachai, on the other hand, was playing with the children, tossing them across the shallow waters while they were riding on a float so that they would skid on the surface as if they were surfing. The Elder decided to enjoy his beverage, while lounging on one of the chairs. Ma Kensei , on the other hand, was studying the girls playing in the pool.

"Thank you for treating us," said the Elder. "It is good for him to have a change of environment." He chuckled when he saw Kenichi slumped at the side of the pool, completed wore out from the training. Renka kindly helped him out of the pool to one of the chairs so that he could take a breather.

"Don't mention it. It is good that my secret funds are put to good use," said Master Ma, smiling. His eyes gleamed when they fell on two well-dressed guys. They looked quite decent, dressed in proper jackets, shirts and flat trousers and they dressed well enough to attend a formal event. They were searching the park carefully, as if looking for someone. They stuck out of the crowds like a sore thumb since they were still fully-clothed and Kensei recognised them immediately. "This is going to be interesting."

Renka hastily hurried off to grab a drink for Kenichi after his training, excited that she finally had some time with him. Her eyes widened with shock when she spotted the two well-dressed guys. She knew both of them- they were the disciples of Uncle Hakubi. She began to see red when she realised that her father did not keep his promise.

"I'll speak to him later," muttered Renka to herself, hiding behind the vendor machine and watching them. It was clear that they were tipped by her father; otherwise they would not have searched this location.

She clenched her fists in frustration, trying to formulate a plan so that she will get to spend more time with Kenichi. An idea struck her when she spotted Miu walking towards Kenichi. She grabbed Miu before she could reach Kenichi. "Something bad has just happened!"

"What's wrong?" asked Miu worriedly when Renka finally let go of her hand.

"The Chinese mafia are here! They are part of the gang that always target Uncle Hakubi. I'm not too sure how they managed to find me here but it is clear that they want to take me as hostage!" exclaimed Renka.

Before Miu could answer, the two guys spotted Renka and Miu. They each restrained a girl wordlessly.

"We finally got you!" yelled the taller guy with long black hair. He was holding Renka in a lock.

"Come with us quietly," added the other guy, in spectacles. "And we'll let your friend leave."

Renka smiled when she saw Miu's eyes gleaming- she had taken the bait and fallen for her trick. As fast as lightning, she broke out of his hold and aimed a kick at both of them. The two guys neatly dodged her attack, backing away so that they would face her.

"So you know a few moves," said the taller guy, lifting his arms in a fighting stance that resembled a praying mantis. It was clear from his stance that he practiced Chinese martial arts.

"We'll not let you interfere with our business," answered the bespectacled guy, his arms clenched in fists as he stared at her.

"Since my swimsuit is tight, I don't really want to play with you," said Miu offhandedly, keeping a close eye on both of her opponents. Renka, knowing that Miu was more than capable to deal with them, secretly sneaked away to spend time with Kenichi. It was a good idea since it killed two birds with a stone.

The knot that held her bikini together snapped resoundingly when she moved as both guys attacked her at the same time. "Oh no!" yelled Miu, grabbing her bikini so that her modesty would not be compromised. The two guys, noticing an opening, took the chance to attack her.

Miu barely had the time to block from his kick. She let out a yelp when the impact from the kick sent knocked her onto the floor and sent her skiing. It was a bad position to be in, especially since she was trying to cover herself with a hand.

The two guys, seeing that their opponent had fallen, chose to attack simultaneously to end the fight. Before they could hit Miu, they were knocked firmly out of the way by another boy. He had appeared from nowhere, leaping into the battle before they could even notice him. He had even dropped a towel on Miu to protect he modesty as he flew over her to parry those blows.

His opponents skidded across the floor from the force of his blow.

"Kenichi?" echoed Miu, blinking continuously, clutching to the towel in amazement.

"I won't let anyone hurt her," declared Kenichi, his eyes blazing with determination. Miu dumbly stared at his muscular back, amazed that he had grown this strong. Miu grew flustered when she realised that Kenichi had just protected her. She hastily tied her bikini together, after recovering from that pleasant revelation, climbing onto her feet.

"Are you okay, Miu?" asked Kenichi, glancing worriedly at her, while still keeping both of his opponents in full view.

"I'm fine now," answered Miu coyly, her cheeks tinted red.

"It's clear that you have some abilities," said the taller guy with long hair, his lips curving into a small smile of delight."Ryuu Genson" announced he, removing his jacket, as if he was ready to fight with all his might.

"Shokatsu Kouan present!" yelled the bespectacled guy, dropping his own expensive jacket onto the floor.

"Ryozanpaku's disciple, Shirahama Kenichi. I accept your challenge," answered Kenichi sternly, lifting both of his hands in his fighting stance. It was rare to see Kenichi so fired up and ready to battle. He also looked as if he wanted to punish the two guys for nearly hurting Miu.

Miu chose to sit aside, knowing that her bikini might really snapped into two pieces if she persisted to fight. Moreover, Kenichi looked as if he had everything in control. For once, Kenichi made the first attack, stepping into his centreline, aiming for his neck. Kenichi hastily ducked to the side when Kouan attacked and kicked at the same time. He slammed his elbow at his exposed chin, but Kouan took a step to his right, dodging him completely. It created an opportunity for him to use the protean kick, aiming first for his head before changing its direction to strike straight at the bottom ribs.

Kouan nearly gaped when his leg contacted with Kenichi's feet. Kenichi had used a half-crescent kick to take his attack fully. Using only his sheer leg power, he countered the attack and sent his opponent whirling in air before colliding on the floor with a loud crash. Kouan passed out from the intensity of that blow. The impact of that crash created an intricate web of large fissures on the hard floor, stemming from the epicentre and spreading across the ground.

"That's some amazing leg strength," commented Renka, in part disbelief and admiration. She did not notice it herself during the skirmish she had with him just the night before. She was on the top of the slide, a few metres away from the battle, observing. She was too occupied with the battle to even notice that someone had joined her.

"Naturally" answered Ma Kensei, stroking his moustache. "His lower body training is finally complete." Kenichi had gone through many different kind of torturous training to achieve this state. "Perhaps, it is also due to the motive of this battle therefore it reveals the real extend of his development," added Kensei, pensively, glancing at Miu before returning his attentions to the raging battle.

Without a warning, Genson stepped into his centre line, getting as close to Kenichi as possible as he began to rain powerful attacks on him, alternating between high and low blows. Kenichi parried every single blow effectively, trying to find an opening in which he could attack.

His need to protect Miu was overwhelming and Kenichi only desired to obliterate anyone who tried to harm her. His mind was unusually empty from the nuances of stray thoughts and a strange of peace was upon him. In fact, he found that his enemy's movements was getting slower with each second, as they continued to exchange blows.

His body appeared to react naturally to these attacks, as if it was tuned to fight. Kenichi realised that he need not think, since fighting felt almost as seamless and easy as breathing.

"His attacks are getting more precise and faster. It feels as if he has discovered the temp of his opponent," commented Renka, her tone threaded with disbelief.

When Genson managed to lock one of his arms, Kenichi used that hold as a pivot, seamlessly swinging so that he was behind Genson in a split second, giving him an opening. Kenichi elbowed him on the base of his neck, causing him to fall forward. He spat blood as he fell. Kenichi followed by changing the grip on the arm Genson was grabbing, using that momentum, he tossed him effortlessly over his back into the pool.

His opponent was a well-seasoned veteran- he overcame the shock of being thrown.

"You get in too!"

However, before he fell into the pool, Genson hastily latched onto the front of his swimming trunks with all his life, dragging him into the pool. That embarrassing action nearly exposed him as Genson yanked Kenichi in. Helplessly, Kenichi fell into the water with a loud splash.

Kenichi felt as his breath being knocked out from the sheer impact of crashing into water. Before he could orientate himself, he felt a punch on his cheek and a stream of bubbles erupted from his mouth. It was lighter than he imagined but it reminded him that he was still fighting. Without a thought, he aimed a kick at his opening and it sent his opponent flying out of water.

He was suddenly conscious of the painful protest of his lungs. He was running out of air! He let out another burst of bubbles as he frantically tried to swim to the surface. However, he was not moving fast enough. Kenichi felt himself getting drowsily as he agitatedly tried to move up, but more bubbles escaped from his mouth. He was much too late to reach the surface. Slowly, he slipped into unconsciousness.

Kenichi's powerful kick had defied all rules of nature, sending Genson soaring out of the pool onto the side, together with a large portion of the water. For a moment, it looked like a fountain – a giant jet of water shooting out of the pool before falling back into the pool.

Genson slammed onto the floor with a loud 'thud'. The impact from that descent knocked him out instantly and made a huge dent on the flooring of the pool.

"Amazing. It is as if he is a different person," commented Renka, her face completely red. The sight of such a strong Kenichi made her heart flutter wildly. She suddenly recalled the words he spoke to her on the bus and her gaze fell on the person he was doing everything for – Miu. The girl was biting her fingernails, as she stared anxiously at the pool.

Suddenly a thought occurred to her. "Wait, Kenichi doesn't know how to swim!" yelled Renka, leaping straight into the pool.

Her body cut into the water smoothly and she spotted Kenichi at the bottom of the pool, with his eyes closed. He was drifting slightly in the water, his body unusually relaxed. There was an ethereal expression of peace on his face as he drifted along the bottom of the pool. It was clear that he had lost consciousness.

Without a moment of hesitation, she dived deeper. When she felt him, she immediately pulled him close to her with an arm as she kicked powerfully upwards. Within a few seconds, they broke the surface of the water and she took a few gulps of that precious air. "Kenichi has passed out!" yelled Renka, treading water. She adjusted her grip so that one of her arm was under his chin, tipping his head upwards while she swam skillfully towards the side of the pool.

Worried hands heaved both of them out of the water, back onto the side of the pool. Akisame calmly started the resuscitation process as if he had used it on Kenichi quite frequently, alternating between compressing his chest and blowing air into his mouth. The other masters watched on, since there was nothing else they could do. After several attempts, Kenichi coughed wildly back into life, expelling the water out of his lungs.

The crowds burst into a loud applause.

He looked a bit muddled after regaining his consciousness. Clutching his head, he sat up slowly. Before he could speak, Kenichi was immediately tackled by a hysterical Miu. She sobbed into his chest as she wrapped her arms possessively around his waist. Her arms were around him like a vice, nearly breaking his ribs from the power of her hug.

He returned the hug enthusiastically, patting on her back.

His masters sniggered, knowing that he was actually suffering.

Kenichi never felt happier, despite the groaning of his ribs.

She released her hold of him, leaving her arms loosely around his waist. "Don't you ever do that again!" chided Miu when she pulled away to look at him. Kenichi chuckled in embarrassment, scratching his head in his usual fashion. When he saw tears on her cheeks, his gaze grew tender. Gently, he wiped them away with the pad of his thumb, meeting her gaze.

Her eyes held a hint of surprise before her face broke into a smile.

"I'm sorry," offered Kenichi contritely, his heart aching at the sight of her tears. "What happened? I only remember being punched by that guy with long hair."

"Don't you think you're holding him a bit close?" demanded Renka, her hand on her hips in an akimbo as she glared at Miu lethally. "I saved him" snapped Renka.

Miu released him immediately, climbing onto her feet. She lowered her head quietly.

His eyes widened incredulously. "You saved me?" demanded Kenichi, climbing onto his feet slowly. He was much too bewildered to notice the strange expression on Miu's face.

"Yes, I don't think any one of them actually know that you don't know how to swim," sniffed Renka, folding her arms as she glared at his masters.

"I do not know," deadpanned Shigure.

"I didn't have a chance to tell everyone," answered Kenichi, scratching the back of his head. He glanced around and found Miu being unusually quiet and strangely troubled. Before he could say anything to Miu, he was interrupted by the Elder.

Elder threw the two guys over his shoulder. "I think it is best we leave now. We're getting too much attention."

When Kenichi looked around, he saw that a large and excited crowd had gathered around them, discussing about the stunts they saw. They were indeed too attention- grabbing.

They hastily headed to the changing rooms for a shower and a change of clothes before making their way back home. They were quite flabbergasted when every one of them received a free annual pass to the park from the manager.

Miu was strangely quiet as they made their way back to Ryozanpaku. Instead of taking public transportation back to the dojo, they opted to travel by foot. Renka used the journey home to reprimand her father for breaking his promise. Kenichi was much too troubled by Miu's behaviour to pay attention to anything but her. He knew he could only talk to her when they reached the dojo.

She hastily excused herself when they finally reached the dojo, rushing off to prepare dinner. She appeared to be avoiding Kenichi, leaving him at loss of what to do. Akisame did a throughout check of the two teenagers to ensure that they did not sustain major injuries from their battle. It was only after a while did they regained their consciousness.

They hastily explained that they were sent by Uncle Hakubi to retrieve Renka and it was only due to a misunderstanding that they began fighting.

Kenichi and Miu hastily apologised for their behaviour, bowing deeply.

"It's not their fault," said Renka, shooting a death glare at her father. "Papa's the one at fault – he did not keep his promise."

Master Ma sighed, touching his bowler hat. "Go back and tell Uncle Hakubi that Renka will be staying with me. I'll start the procedures for her to transfer school too. Please help me to pass the message to your master."

"Master Hakubi really misses you, Renka. He single-handedly destroyed an entire gang the night you sneaked away," protested Kouan, looking pleadingly at Renka.

She sighed. "I'll return daily to help run the restaurant. I really want to stay here and train with my Papa."

"Renka," protested Genson, trying to dissuade her.

"I've made up my mind," answered Renka firmly, her eyes falling on Kenichi. "I'm staying here to train, however, I'll return to Chinatown daily to help out with the restaurant after school. "

They nodded reluctantly, excused themselves after thanking the masters for saving them and returned back to Chinatown.

A/N: Thank you for all your helpful reviews. Since I'll try to update more frequently, I don't think I will actually need to do a recap. Have a blessed week.