The captains of the Shinpaku Alliance are now a little over 30 years old, Hayato "Elder" Fuurinji is dead, and Kenichi Shirahama has just become an S Class master. In order to complete his training, he left Ryouzanpaku to train in wandering isolation, and now he's returning home with stories to tell. However, a new generation of disciples are running around Kenichi's old town and they need to learn the true meaning of martial arts. Also, lurking in the shadows, Kenichi and Miu's love for each other rekindles, but they are unsure if they should restart their relationship without the Elder's approval.


Chapter 1

Exordium

...

"Apa! Akisame! Akisame!" Apachai Hopachai's bellowing voice could be heard across the dojo. Miu Fuurinji, curious at the eagerness in Apachai's voice, rushed out to see.

"What is it?" Akisame Koetsuji, who had assumed authority of the dojo after the Elder's death, asked. By now, all the masters of Ryouzanpaku had gathered at the entry to see what was going on.

"Apachai found an intruder!" he said enthusiastically but blankly, with a small girl kneeling down on both knees in front of them. Sakaki Shio eyed her with disdain, but kept silent.

The girl's eyes were steely and cold, something rare in a girl so young. She was probably 12 years old or in her early teens. A black fedora lay perched atop light silver hair that fell down to her mid back. She wore a black suit vest over a white dress shirt with its long sleeves rolled up to her elbows and a short black shirt that reached the middle of her thighs.

Ma Kensei could tell that in a few years she would be perfect.

"Any reason in particular that you've come here, or are you lost?" Akisame asked her.

"My name is Lisa Kugenin," she said flatly. "My master and I separated a month or so ago and he said to come here to Ryouzanpaku today to wait for him."

Kugenin? Miu thought the name sounded very familiar, but couldn't for the life of her remember why. She wondered who this girl's master was, and why he'd instructed his disciple to come here.

"You think we'll let some brat stay here for no reason?" Sakaki started. "We don't let just anyone in this dojo! This isn't a motel!"

"Aren't you… curious?" Shigure Kosaka asked from the ceiling.

"Yeah! Apachai wants to know who Lisa's master is!" Apachai bellowed, joining his comrades.

"I'm sorry this is so sudden, but my master insisted that I be here a few days before him," Lisa said.

"Who is your master?" Akisame asked. "Is it someone who knows us?"

"I was also instructed not to say," Lisa said without emotion.

"I think Li-chan should stay!" Miu enthused. "We don't get guests often, and it wouldn't be any trouble! Plus, she's so cute!"

"I agree," Kensei laughed, and Miu smacked him lightly in the head.

Lisa looked at him apathetically then turned back to Akisame.

"Apachai wants her to stay!" the bronze behemoth whined.

"Me…too," Shigure agreed.

"Ah, as long she doesn't bug me," Sakaki mumbled.

"It'll be fun to have a guest in the house!" Kensei pointed out.

"Ple-e-ease, Akisame?" Miu begged.

"Fine, but we'll reassess the issue when her master appears," Akisame agreed.

"Li-chan, do you have any bags we need to help you with?" Miu asked immediately.

Miu noted the sharp and concentrated look in Lisa's eye when she looked at her. Actually, Miu thought, Lisa seemed to look at everything with analytical eyes. She never seemed distracted or bored, but always focused. Whenever Lisa answered a question, her words had a specific audience and she never spoke to the general public.

"Thank you, Miu-san, but I can handle it," she stood nimbly.

"How did you know her name?" Akisame asked.

"My master described each of you in great detail, Akisame-san," she answered. "I'll bring in my things now; if you'll excuse me." Lisa turned and walked out the door.

They waited for the door to close entirely before turning to each other.

"Is it just me, or is the name 'Kugenin' eerily familiar?" Akisame asked.

"I thought so too," Kensei agreed. "And what was that about her master? Do you think he wants to challenge Ryouzanpaku? He may be trying to take advantage of the element of surprise."

"What about her strange ki?" Miu offered.

The other masters murmured in agreement.

"Lisa isn't scared of Apachai!" Apachai noted.

"She's pretty high-level for a disciple, that much is true," Sakaki amended.

"She has training in… weapons," Shigure pointed out.

"How do you know that?"

"I can tell."

"Everyone shush! She's coming back," Miu gestured for them to be quiet.

Lisa walked in, a large hiking pack strapped to her back and a tote bag in her left hand. The masters inadvertently stared at the girl in the doorway, and she stared back level-eyed.

"Could someone show me where I'm staying, please?" she asked in a very formal tone.

"Miu, could you please show her to Kenichi's room?"


Tanimoto Natsu landed on the familiar roof of his old high school. He glanced around. It seemed that the gardening club was no longer active, and all that remained of it were the sparse dead remnants of the potted plants that had once flourished on this rooftop.

"Tani-sensei," the young boy next to him landed beside him. "Where are we?"

"Took you long enough to catch up," Tanimoto snapped. "Be quicker, stupid boxer! Anyways, this town is where I lived for a while as a teen. This is also where Ryouzanpaku and the majority of the former Shinpaku Alliance is, and that man called a meeting here."

"What man? What are you talking about, Tani-sensei?" the boy asked eagerly.

"Stop asking questions! And don't call me Tani-sensei!" Tanimoto fumed.


"Oh my gawd," a woman in the streets pointed the next day when she saw him. "It's Prince Tanimoto!"

"Prince Tanimoto?" a few other women turned. By now, Tanimoto's old classmates were already married and were out shopping with their children (and some of them husbands), but the women still ran over to Tanimoto just as they did in their days as school girls.

"Hello, girls! Or should I say, ladies!" he smiled dazzlingly, and several of the women looked like they were about to faint. "I'm so sorry to bother you, but could you tell me where Haruo Niijima is staying?"

They told him immediately.

"Prince Tanimoto, are you staying in town? How long?" many of them shouted similar questions.

"I'm not sure how long I'm staying, but I'm very busy. I'll definitely see you girls again later!" he waved charismatically and chuckled. "You've all matured into beautiful women! I'll see you all later!"

He strode away confidently, with his disciple by his side.

"So, Tani-sensei," the boy jested as he flipped his black braid over his shoulder. "Were you a ladies man in high school?"

"Shut up, kid, and I told you not to call me that," Tanimoto snorted, switching back to his true personality.

"Whatever you say, Prince Tanimoto-sensei," the boy snickered.

Tanimoto ignored him, and as they turned the corner to enter a dark alley, they both quickly climbed up the buildings to the roofs to hasten their journey to the alien's dwelling.


"P-Prince Tanimoto!" Yuka Niijima, formerly Yuka Izumi, gasped in shock. "What a surprise! Are you here for Haruo-san?"

"Y-You married the alien?" Tanimoto was more than a little shocked as well.

"Yes, well," Yuka blushed and scratched her head. "Please come in, and I'll call him for you."

"I really must be on my way," Tanimoto shook his head. "If you could call him out, I just need to tell him a quick message from an old friend."

"Of course," Yuka bowed quickly and retreated into her home.

"Did you date her? Is she your ex-girlfriend?" the boy asked.

"No," Tanimoto hissed.

Haruo Niijima, former general to the Shinpaku Alliance, had changed a lot. His ears were actually not as pointed or as big as they used to be and much resembled human features, although the same could not be said for his nose and antennae. He also sported a short mustache on his top lip.

"Hermit! It's been a long time!" Niijima tried to pat Tanimoto's shoulder, but the unwilling martial artist twisted his arm and released.

"I'm not here for a great reunion, alien," Tanimoto interrupted. "He called a meeting for everyone in the Shinpaku Alliance."

"Silly Tanimoto! Didn't you hear? The Shinpaku Alliance doesn't exist anymore!" Niijima reminded him.

"Well, everyone in the former Shinpaku Alliance! Really, he just wanted all his old friends back together," Tanimoto waved his hand. Then he noticed that Niijima was wearing a very formal black suit and he recalled that his wife Yuka had also been dressed very darkly. "Are you going somewhere?"

"We're visiting our son and Kisara," Niijima answered after a moment.

"What do you mean? Did she take him in as her disciple or something?" Tanimoto demanded.

"You didn't hear?" Niijima was a little confused. "They were both killed a few years ago in a gang war. Kisara had a dojo opened and my son was a disciple there, but the gangs tried to burn it while they were training and killed them both."

Tanimoto fell silent.

"That's unfortunate," he said stiffly. "I'll see you later, alien."

"Bye, Hermit," Niijima waved as Tanimoto and his disciple took off.


"Well, if it isn't Tanimoto Natsu," Ma Kensei greeted him at the door of Ryouzanpaku.

"Hello, Kensei-san," he nodded to him in greeting. "Could you please gather the other Ryouzanpaku masters? I have a message from your disciple."

Sakaki peered into the room. His disciple had sent a message their way?

Needless to say, it didn't take long for all the masters to be gathered in the dojo once they'd heard that their beloved disciple had something to say. They lined up on one side facing Tanimoto and his disciple, who sat opposite of them.

"What…did he say?" Shigure demanded.

"I'm also very curious to see what his message is," Akisame stroked his mustache.

"I can't imagine him sending us a message without it being important," Kensei pointed out.

"Apachai hopes his first disciple is not dead!" he exclaimed.

"D-don't say such ominous things, Apachai!" Sakaki stammered.

Miu stayed silent. She hadn't heard from her childhood friend in more than 10 years. She hoped that he was safe and the news he had for them wasn't bad.

"First of all, he said that the Shinpaku Alliance and Ryouzanpaku should have a meeting to discuss a pressing issue that hasn't been addressed," Tanimoto said.

"What issue?" Akisame asked.

"He didn't say," Tanimoto answered him. "Please listen to the whole message before asking questions, if you don't mind."

Tanimoto's disciple sat uncomfortably. He'd heard his master relay this message a thousand times already and was unbelievably bored. He didn't bother being discrete, because in a room full of masters there was no way that they wouldn't notice his escape, but he attempted to be quiet as he exited the room and entered the kitchen.

The disciple stalked around for some time. He investigated the hallways and peered into the rooms whose doors were light enough to open.

As he opened one of the doors, he realized someone was in that room. It was someone he recognized.

"Lisa!" he grinned widely. "What are you doing here? I thought you and your master were in Brazil!"

"We left there ages ago," Lisa nodded to him in greeting. "I'm a little surprised myself. I thought Tanimoto-sensei took you back home to China."

"Nah! I thought so too, but when he said home he meant Japan!" the boy whined. "Here I thought I would finally be able to return home, but ol' Tani-sensei said we had to come here!"

Lisa told him a bit about what she had been up to since they last met. After she fell silent (sworn to secrecy, she claimed), the boy went into great detail about his last three months. In fact, he told about every little thing that had happened, including what he'd had for breakfast for the past few days.

"Stupid brat, don't go revealing secrets!" Tanimoto's voice sounded from behind him, and he struck his silly disciple.

"Wah! But Tani-sensei, I haven't seen Lisa in foreve-e-er!" he whined.

"Who is that kid anyways?" Sakaki asked as the other masters came up behind him.

"Kensei-san should at least recognize his own grandson," Tanimoto answered.

"Grandson?" The masters, including Kensei, exclaimed.

"I have a grandson?! Which of my daughters-"

"Of course, Renka needed an heir," Tanimoto interrupted the confused Chinese master.

"When did Renka get married?" Miu asked, trying to imagine the cat-like Kenpo master in a wedding dress. Somehow the image didn't stick.

"About 12 years ago, the year after this brat was born," Tanimoto said. "To that laid-back boxer, Takeda Ikki."

"Eh?!" That name still made Miu blush as she remembered the day so many years ago that she'd been forced to reject his love in Kenichi's absence. "So this kid's name is Ikki?"

"No," Tanimoto said. "Uh… What was your name again, kid? Introduce yourself, dammit!"

"My name is Kenichi Ma! Pleased to meet you all! Especially you, Miu-san! Papa told all about how amazing you are!" Ma smiled and bowed in respect.

"His name is… Kenichi," Shigure repeated in surprise.

"Yes, Kenichi Ma!"

"They heard, stupid brat!"

"What about me?! Aren't you pleased to meet your own grandfather!" Kensei whined to Ma.

"Well, sure, but I haven't exactly heard marvelous things about you!" the boy laughed loudly.

"He's Takeda's son, alright," Miu chuckled.

"And the other one? You seem to know Lisa Kugenin as well, Tanimoto," Akisame asked.

"This girl? Can't you tell by her name and her face?" Tanimoto asked. "Not even you know, Miu?"

"Um… the name Kugenin sounds familiar," she admitted sheepishly.

"My father is Hibiki Kugenin, also know as the 5th fist Siegfried," Lisa said. "My mother is Kaname Kugatachi, also known as the third fist Freya."

"Freya and Seigfried?!" The masters were unable to hide their shock.

"They're married?! That kid with the hat and that busty girl?" Kensei cried, gesturing to Shigure's chest in a depiction of Freya.

"No," Lisa answered. "I am a child born out of wedlock. Anyways, if you're quite finished, I have to train. Do you mind if I use the dojo, please?"

The masters were surprised by the girl's attitude as well, but granted her permission.

"By the way, Kensei-san," Tanimoto asked. "Do you know where the ones who killed Kisara are?"

"I could find out for you."

"That would be… helpful."


"Miu… are you… okay?" Shigure asked.

"Yeah," she answered.


He stood at the dojo's doors with strength in his heart and martial arts in his fists.

He recalled the days when the gates to Ryouzanpaku were heavy against his scrawny arms and his weak knees trembled under his growing fear.

He looked at his fist and at his fingers. Deep in his memory, he saw the Elder, Hayato Fuurinji, opening the door with one finger.

He placed his index finger on the door and gave it a little push.

The doors swung open to greet him.

Sakaki dropped his bottle when he saw his beloved disciple at the gates, now a man of over 30 years.

Akisame looked up with interest.

Apachai, Shigure, and Kensei ran out to see him.

Miu stared at him, frozen in place.

Lisa moved to say hello to her master.

"Hey, guys," Kenichi Shirahama grinned. "I'm back!"


Author's note: I'm sorry that Kenichi only showed up at the very end, but I thought it was more poetic that way.

-JubJub