The next few days were hell for Dre, Losing Mei-Ying was harder than he thought it would be.

Cheng sympathized with him, he was feeling the same way since Mei-Ying had been like a little sister to him.

They went to the park about a week after Mei-Ying left, and that's when everything fell apart.

Dre and Cheng were trying some loose workouts on the play structure, just to strengthen Dre's leg a little more. They took a break, sitting on a bench. They talked casually until they noticed a group of boys started walking towards them. Dre and Cheng noticed immediately that the group meant business.

"You with me on this one?" Dre asked, standing.

"I got your back" was Cheng's only reply.

The two stood and met the group in the center of the pavilion. Other children watched carefully.

A tall boy stepped forwards.

"I hear you won the Kung-Fu open"

Dre nodded.

"Let's see how tough you really are"

The boy's cronies fanned out to stand behind Cheng and Dre.

Dre tested his leg. Best not to do anything too drastic.

The boy smirked.

"My name is Lao Tse. I tell you, so that you can tell others the name of the one who beat you"

Dre ignored him. Overconfidence in an opponent is good; ignore them, and they get angry, make more mistakes. Lao took a step forwards, curling his hands into fists.

Dre and Cheng took their stances.

For a split second, it was completely quiet. Then the pavilion exploded with action.

Lao leaped at Dre, trying to catch him off balance by going for his left side, Dre expected it and jumped sideways, kicking the other boy's feet out from under him. Another boy in the group went for Cheng, and they fought toe to toe until his opponent viciously kicked him in the stomach, then punched him in the face.

Cheng fell on the pavement, his assailant still attacking him until he passed out from the sheer force of the blows going to his head. Dre looked over his shoulder, then back to his assailant, just barely ducking under the fist that would have caught him squarely in the jaw.

Children were crowding around them, watching the fight with eager anticipation. Dre ignored them, the sweat starting to drip down his back. Behind him, Cheng was down, in front of him was Lao. To the sides were Lao's cronies, slowly cornering him.

Attack, counter attack, hit, miss. The pattern went on and on. Cheng stirred a little. Then Lao made a slight slip, misjudging the distant, and coming right into Dre's guard.

Right where Dre wanted him.

The ending result was Lao stumbling back, clutching the right side of his face. The anger flared in his eyes, and he jumped forwards, flipping into a kick, aimed right for Dre's head.

If Dre blocked it, it would probably break his arm.

He couldn't go under, couldn't go over. Only one other direction.

Dre took a step back, and watched Lao land roughly on the ground, sprawling badly out of the kick. Dre snorted in laughter. This guy was an amateur.

Lao picked himself up, his face red with anger.

"Now you're going to get it"

He lunged, his fist moving insanely fast towards Dre's nose. Dre blocked it, and stepped back, trying to block the barrage of punches that were trying to hit him.

Then, Lao's hand grabbed onto his collar.

Oh no.

His fist drew back, the grin on his face doubling in size. The fist was heading towards him now... Dre closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable impact. It never came.

Dre opened his eyes, and saw Lao's fist about five inches from his face, stopped by someone's hand.

He followed the hand, up the amr, and into the face of his savior.

Chocolate brown eyes met his. His savior was a Ninja.

No. Way.

A real ninja?

It seemed to be. The Ninja wore a length of black cloth that covered their face, leaving only the dark eyes unhidden. Their outfit was also black, a long shirt with billowing sleeves, and loose pants. Brown boots adorned their feet. Dre looked back into the Ninja's unwavering gaze. Then Lao broke the moment by ripping his fist away from the Ninja and punch Dre in the chest.

The breath whooshed out of him, and he fell backwards onto the pavement next to Cheng, gasping for air. The ninja attacked Lao, catching him off guard as he gloated. With a series of kicks and punches, the Ninja drove Lao back against a wall. Then Lao changed styles, changing into a more forward attack pattern.

He drove the Ninja back against the playground. Without even looking up, the Ninja got the upper hand. He jumped off His feet, flipping in a split legged backflip, landing one foot before the other on the top of the play structure.

Dre watched in amazement.

It was about 7 feet up to the ledge the Ninja had just jumped on. How had He done that? Dre looked for wires attached to the Ninjas clothing.


Lao was surprised too. He stared in awe at the Ninja now atop the empty play structure.

"Still want a fight, boy?" The ninja called in a heavy accent.

Something flared in Lao's eyes, and he began to climb the steps leading up the play structure.

The Ninja watched.

When Lao was about five feet away, then ninja turned and dove away, going down the large slide on his stomach.

Lao followed.

Right into the Ninja's trap. He slid off the end of the slide and stood, looking for the ninja. When Lao had gone down the slide, the Ninja had gone under it, just where he wouldn't be Lao looked around, the ninja jumped out, tapping a few pressure points on Lao's neck. Lao crumpled to the ground.

The children that had been watching the spectacle cheered. Lao's cronies went to go pick him up, and the ninja walked over to Dre, helping him up.

"You fought bravely for someone with an injury" The ninja said, still grasping his hand.

"When will I see you again?" Dre asked.

"Sooner than you think"

Then the mysterious Ninja was gone, disappearing into the crowd in the street. Dre helped Cheng up, and stared in the direction the ninja had gone.

"That was one helluva fight" Cheng siad, dusting himself off.

"If I were you, I would watch your back from now on"

Dre nodded, barely listening. There was something about the ninja... That night, Dre barely slept, his mind filled with images of fighting Ninjas.

Even so, it barely prepared him for what would happen the next day.