Disclaimer: Do not own anything of Naruto (manga or anime), Street Fighter, King of Fighter, Dead Or Alive game series. I'm only inspired by those series but I do not gain nor do I seek any form of profit. I do this on my own dime.
Chapter Two: Chance Enlightenment
Naruto Uzumaki was glad that his team's first mission outside Village Hidden in the Leaves was coming to an end and with positive results. Well, relatively positive results. Despite the fact they were on opposite sides, Naruto was indeed sad that the one called Haku died. The battle on the still-under construction bridge taught Naruto that the world always changes, always on the move no matter what happens and more times than not does the unexpected happen.
What started out as a simple escort mission turned to an effort in giving a town and the land around it back to the people that lived there. It was certainly a mission that could have easily gone to higher ranked shinobi but there was a part of Naruto that was glad he had gotten the mission.
It was as if he had a feeling or his instincts told him that if it had been anyone else but him and his team, things might've turned out different. Possibly worse if anything, is what his instincts told him.
The people of the land finally stood against the ruthless businessman who had strangled them for so long. But despite the fact that Gato was eliminated, there were unfortunate casualties as well. Haku and Zabuza, two renegade shinobis that were their enemies in the beginning but, in the end, proved to be the most unlikely of allies. They also taught him a lesson in their own ways. Haku taught him what it means to protect that which is most precious to you. Zabuza even taught him a lesson, about what it means to follow a dream even though his dream was a violent one.
All of this was a lot for Naruto to process, more so then the revelation that he was Jinchuriki of the Nine Tailed Fox. Even still, all the days after the fight on the bridge, Naruto still had a hard time trying to make sense of the pieces he had been given and trying to fit them together in a mental picture that made the most sense to him. Because of it, Naruto actually forgot why he was sent into the market district of the village in the first place. Took him about a minute to remember that Tsunami had asked him to get a couple of items that she had forgotten to get earlier.
Luckily for him, Naruto remembered that Tsunami had given him a list of the items she needed. However, Naruto didn't really have much experience or even the most basic knowledge when it came to shopping so he didn't know who to really ask. One of the items Naruto knew he would more than likely not find at a vendors stand. He somewhat knew what a vegetable peeler was but Naruto never used the one he had at his own apartment.
It was at this moment of deciding where to go did Naruto encounter a unique situation.
Near one of the merchant stands was an elderly man who looked like he was having trouble breathing. Despite being treated harshly in his life, Naruto was genuinely worried and didn't hesitate to see if the man needed help.
"Old man, are you okay?" Naruto did know that when someone was panting and sweating when it wasn't all that hot outside, something was wrong.
The old man looked at Naruto and could see that he was concerned for him. "It's my heart. It's reminding me that I'm not as young as I think I am."
Naruto heard the light tone of voice in the man's words but it didn't do anything alleviate the worry.
"If you would be so kind, can you take me somewhere a bit more private at the moment?"
"I think you need to see a doctor." Naruto said while helping the old man to his feet.
"No, no doctors. I can take care of this myself but I don't want anyone staring."
Naruto was still confused but decided to do what the old man asked. It took a couple of minutes but Naruto helped the old man to a bench outside of the market district. Once he sat down, the old man suddenly acted like he was dead which greatly worried Naruto. The Konoha genin called out to the old man but his response was the old man suddenly acting like he just woke up and was ready for a fight with the look on his face.
This was confusing at first but then it slowly become more and more confusing to Naruto as he watched the old man. The old man took in deep breaths while move his hands to his side. From the way it looked, it seemed like the old man was holding something in his hands. That was when Naruto saw something happen around the old man. In Naruto's eyes, it looked as though a kind of blue-green flame started to consume the old man, specifically around his upper torso area and arms but there was definitely no heat coming from these flames. Naruto also saw that the old man wasn't reacting to the flames that almost completely covered him which told the teenager that this weird sight was some kind of normal for the old man.
Naruto watched as the old man continued his deep breaths as well as somehow controlling the flames in order to form a bright blue orb in his hands as he closed them together. He then lifted the orb up to his face where put the orb into his mouth and swallow it. At the moment the old man swallowed the orb, he shot his hands down until they were parallel with his stomach. To Naruto, it was like the old man had to add extra effort to swallow what he had just created.
While that was unbelievable sight, Naruto couldn't believe he could actually see the orb in the old man's stomach nor understand why it seemed to explode which momentarily blinded him. When he could see again, Naruto saw that the old man seemed to be in better shape than he was moments ago.
"Ah, now that's much better." the old man said after letting out a contented sigh.
Once he got back on his feet, the old man turned towards the good Samaritan and was a bit puzzled by the dumbfounded expression on the teenager's face.
"Well, thank you for your assistance young man. I'm feeling better now so I'll be on my way."
The old man didn't get any kind of response at first, except the same dumbfounded expression and after an uncomfortable moment of silence, bid farewell to the teenager. However, he didn't even get three steps away from where he was before Naruto ran and got right in front of him.
"Hold on, old man!" Naruto had a million questions running through his mind and wanted immediate answers to them. "How did you do that? With the flames and the light show? What was all that?"
The old man was confused at the questions that Naruto was relentlessly firing at him. "Calm down, young man. Take a breath and calm down."
"Calm down!? How can I when I just saw you do something that…that…seems…impossible! That thing with the blue flames!"
That got the old man's attention, specifically the fact the teenager had seen something he didn't think anyone on this side of the world could see. He looked closely at the teenager's blue eyes and saw that he was speaking the truth, that he saw something he had never seen before. This definitely intrigued the old man but not as much as when the teenager openly asked if he could learn this 'trick' as well.
"Why do you want to learn this technique? If you did learn it, what would you do with it?" The old man decided to give the teenager a little test. Depending on how he answered, the old man might be inclined to teach him since he already proved he might have the 'gift'.
Naruto almost answered right away about to achieve his dream of being the Hokage, but he stopped. With the recent events still fresh in his mind, he knew a better way to answer the question. Something that Haku helped him to see since it was basically right in front of him and he didn't notice it.
"I want to protect those that are precious to me."
The old man heard the answer and saw the conviction in the boy's eyes. There was no hint of subterfuge or even indecisiveness in his eyes. The level of conviction in them was definitely a rare thing in someone so young. Before now, the old man had heard of the shinobi team that defended Tazuna from Gato's ruthless ambitions and he recognized the teenager in front of him as one of the members of that team. But having some experience with shinobi, he merely assumed that they thought nothing else except the mission they were assigned to.
Before this team of shinobi had arrived, the old man was considering doing something about Gato himself but he also knew he couldn't just openly attack the man considering the kind of men he had at his disposal. But having heard about these particular shinobi, especially about the one in front of him, the old man was actually glad things turned out the way they had.
That being said, the old man did something he hadn't done in the last 20 years. He decided to 'teach' this shinobi this particular 'trick' but he first wanted to see if this teenager can 'learn' it.
A quick look around on the ground, the old man picked up three simple looking stones and handed it to the boy. Each stone was about the size of the teenager's palm
When the teenager gave him a puzzled look, the old man told him that this was a simple test. He told the teenager to stack them on top of each other and keep it balanced on the palm of his hand.
"Now, I am aware of the skills and the techniques they teach shinobi or at least the very basics but what you saw isn't really part of what a shinobi learns."
"Okay, but what does all this have to do with these three stones?"
"Simple." The old man's smile was a bit smug but it was mostly at the possible upcoming amusement for himself. "I want you to break the stone in the middle but not break the others at all. Oh, and the middle stone can only be broken while the other two stones are next to it."
The old man was indeed amused when he saw the expression appear on the teenager's face.
"You've got to be kidding me! I'm supposed to break one stone but not break two others to pass this test?"
The old man nodded before saying that the teenager had one minute to complete the test.
The outburst from Naruto also made the old smile some more but not as much as watching Naruto trying to figure out the answer to the test. Naruto first tried to keep the stones together with one hand and use the other to break the middle stone. After about 20 tries to break a stone with only his fingers, Naruto thought about breaking the middle stone by using the other two to crush. Again, his strength wasn't enough and left Naruto with very few ideas on what to do next.
While wracking his brain for a possible answer, Naruto couldn't help but feel that he was doing the bell test all over again. When that bit of a revelation hit him, Naruto remembered the true meaning of the test and with that in mind, decided to see if the answer worked here as well.
Using the Shadow Clone technique, Naruto created two other clones and had them hold onto the other two stones while keeping the middle one in place. Naruto also applied what he had learned when he did the tree climbing exercise about proper chakra control.
Before the minute was up, the old man watched as the teenager used his shinobi knowledge and technique to break the middle stone just by touching it with his fore and middle finger pressed against it. The stone instantly shattered with the two other stones falling into place minus the middle stone.
'Wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for but it still proves his ingenuity.' the old man thought to himself after watching what had happened in front of him. 'Plus, thinking on one's feet is a useful trait.'
He had seen other ninjas before, both shinobi and kunoichi and each time, they showed some sense of being able to think outside of the proverbial box but they were still set in their ways. Even when they were as young as the one in front of him. In a way, the boy's weird method to solving the puzzle in front of him proved he wasn't one to be underestimated at the very least.
"So, how's that?" Naruto said while the smile on his face practically said that he had learned one of the greatest secrets of the universe.
"Well, that's not exactly what I had in mind but it'll work nonetheless." the old man said while giving the teenager a genuine smile.
Several minutes later, both the old man and Naruto were at a tea shop owned by the old man himself. Having never been in one before, Naruto was asking questions to the old man that puzzled him. If he had to guess, the old man could have sworn this boy had never been in a tea shop or practically any other kind of shop before.
Once the old man made some fresh tea and poured himself and the teenager a cup, he decided to get to know the teenager better.
"Before we get started, you mind telling me your name young man?"
"Naruto Uzumaki, future Hokage of Konoha."
The old man almost chuckled when the blonde teenager told him where he was from. It seemed that irony was at work at the moment since the last time he taught this technique to anyone, that person was also from Konoha.
"Well then, Future Hokage, you may call me Tea Shop Yo." Yo said and saw the puzzled look on Naruto's face. "Well, my name is Yo Sen Kai but everyone here calls me Tea Shop Yo and I kinda like the name. Sometimes the simplest of things are the best of things in this world."
Naruto thought about it for a moment and couldn't really see any fault with that kind of logic.
"Ok Tea Shop Yo. So when are you going to teach me how to do that technique you used earlier?"
Yo actually let out a laugh at that since the question was worded the exactly the same as with the other shinobi years ago. "Impatient, aren't we? But before I teach you, I should tell you what it was that I did back there. Follow me."
Yo and Naruto headed to a back room of the tea shop where Naruto saw many things even he didn't think would be inside a place like this. He didn't know the names of some of the weapons but there were definitely a variety of them. Staffs with various bladed designs on the ends and some that looked like a variation of the shurikens and kunais that he uses. He also saw various tapestries and artworks on the walls but there were three that caught his attention the most.
On the wall to left was tapestry of a white tiger, possibly the fiercest tiger that could ever be drawn in Naruto's opinion. On the wall to the right was a green dragon and they way it was drawn almost made it look like the dragon was made out of crystals. In the center of it all was a man Naruto had never seen before but something caught the teenager's eyes right away when he looked at what the man in the drawing was holding.
It was same thing that he had seen Yo make earlier or at the very least, it seemed extremely similar to it.
Yo sat down at a table that was in front of the three artworks and saw Naruto's gaze fixated on the objects behind him.
"Ah, I see you've noticed the portraits of Ryuujin, Byakko, and Bodhidharma. And if you're wondering, what you saw earlier is not the same thing that Bodhidharma has in his hands but in a way, the fundamentals are the same."
Naruto was surprised that Yo knew what he was thinking when he saw the middle portrait. He then asked which ones were Ryuujin and Byakko.
"The white tiger is Byakko and the emerald dragon is Ryuujin. Legend says that it was these two who taught Bodhidharma the ways of Hadou."
"Hadou? What's that?"
Taking another sip of his tea, mostly to make sure he was able to tell Naruto what he wanted to know, Yo took in a breath and gathered his thoughts before he spoke. He then gestured Naruto to have a seat at the table.
"When you were in the academy, they taught you the nature of chakra, right? How it is inside one's body and is capable of being manipulated depending on the will of that person?" Yo wasn't all that surprised when Naruto gave him a kind of unsure answer. A safe bet in Yo's view that he didn't pay that much attention in class most of the time. There was something that just said to Yo that Naruto was a kind of hell raiser in class at least. "Well, Hadou is similar but it's nature is more on a universal level while chakra is at best only on a personal level."
"Are you saying Hadou is stronger than chakra?" Naruto knew it was a far fetched idea but the way Yo talked of Hadou, it entertained the possibility in Naruto's view.
"In a manner of speaking it is but is also equal to chakra. The best way to view the two as yin and yang. One is equal to the other but is capable of more than the other is like wind and water. Both are kind of fluid, like wind and water are, moving either by nature or design around the world. This was the knowledge that Byakko and Ryuujin imparted to Bodhidharma countless years ago."
"Huh? How are wind and water the same?" Naruto scratched his head when he heard that. He also doubt his hearing for a moment, thinking that maybe Yo said one word but meant something else completely even though the word Naruto heard meant what he thought.
Yo let out a small laugh at that question. Mostly because when he taught the last Konoha shinobi, he asked the same question, word for word.
"Water and Wind are the same in how they move and what they are made of. For example, water or rather moisture is in the air all the time especially when it rains during the springtime or when it gets humid during the summertime. Wind or air is in all forms of water and it can be especially seen when water is frozen or when water put on a hot surface and becomes steam. Because of this nature, Water and Wind form a cycle, being one element for a period of time and becoming the other element in either the same or opposite manner for another period of time."
"And that's what Hadou is, another form a chakra but different enough to be it's own?" Naruto asked, hoping that he following the logic Yo laid out for him.
"That is the gist of the knowledge that Bodhidharma was given or rather the first lesson he was taught. Bodhidharma was taught that chakra is the underlying force of a person and at times the underlying force of the world and Hadou is the underlying force of the universe."
"How are the two separate then? I mean, if the universe is what this world resides in, wouldn't Hadou be the one true power?" Naruto's curiosity was definitely getting the better of him but Yo found no fault in it.
"Let me ask you this: when you younger and would look up at the sky, did you think to yourself why the sun come when it did? Or when you looked at stars and thought that maybe they were pinholes in the curtain of the night?"
Being asked that caught Naruto off guard. Mostly because Naruto remembered that he did have such thoughts back then, when he had so many questions and so very few means to get the answers.
"Bodhidharma did ask the same kinds of questions that you did but the answers he was given at the time were only meant for him and him alone." Yo continued to speak while his listener was focused on each and every word he said.
However, before Yo could continue, Naruto assailed him again with questions. Question like why the answers Bodhidharma had been given were only meant for him and no one else. Among the other questions, Yo was asked one question he found more interesting than all the other he was previously asked.
Was Bodhidharma a protector and was it because of that he was taught by Byakko and Ryuujin to use Hadou?
"There's probably an answer to your question but I'm pretty sure you won't find it anywhere around here or even on this side of the world." Yo said while gesturing Naruto to drink his tea before it got cold.
After taking a sip himself, Yo continued the story.
"In time, Bodhidharma imparted the knowledge to the world and like water, that knowledge changed into different forms as it passed from person to person all over the world. Sometimes it was used for destructive purposes but more often than not, it was used for the betterment of life." Yo took a sip of his tea again to soothe his throat before he spoke again. "The technique you saw me use is meant for the betterment of oneself."
"Like a means to heal yourself?"
"Yes. While there are techniques out there that allow the use of chakra to heal injuries, the Hadou technique is able to do that but is more potent. I have not mastered it myself but I have heard that a true master of this technique can actually heal someone is dying or who has just died. Then again, I have heard many, many rumors of what can be done with the knowledge that Bodhidharma was give by both Byakko and Ryuujin."
Not wanting to sound like he was more interested in the destructive application of Hadou, which he honestly wasn't, Naruto was able to word his question properly enough to ask how Hadou could be used offensively. In truth, when Yo said that the Hadou technique he used could help save the dying, Naruto couldn't help but image the possibility that maybe he could have saved Haku or Zabuza if he had learned all of this beforehand.
If he could do that once he learned it, Naruto knew he would be one step closer to achieving his dream as well as being able to do what he claimed he would do at Haku and Zabuza's gravesite.
Yo thought about it and realized that events were playing out almost the exact same way like before with that other Konoha shinobi. He had wanted to know if Hadou could be used as an offensive tactic but the key difference between the two of them was clear in the teenager's eyes. This one sought to protect with his will first, not with his strength. As Yo was taught when he first learned of Hadou, the will of a person literally is everything.
Yo decided that a visual demonstration was needed. Walking over to a bookshelf, Yo picked up one of the candles he used for reading light. After lighting it and setting on the table, Yo told Naruto that what he was about to do was something of a parlor trick in his view.
Standing off to the side, Naruto watched as Yo took on a stance with his legs and arms in positions that reminded him of a kind of taijutsu stance. Yo took in three deep breaths before he extended his arms out and made a circular motion with them going clockwise and then counterclockwise. After two full rotation both clockwise and counterclockwise, Yo brought his hands forward and then brought them back to his right side. Naruto saw what looked like a kind of wave motion in-between Yo's hands, like he was actually holding a ball of air itself.
A couple of seconds later, Yo thrust his hands forward like he was throwing the ball of air. Naruto could see the ball fly right at the candle, hitting it and causing the flame to go out. A second later, the candle re-ignited all by itself. While Yo saw the whole thing as a parlor trick, he didn't realize that what he did in front of Naruto was something the teenager saw as a man moving a mountain with his own hands.
"That…was incredible!" Naruto's joy was clearly evident on his face. He was practically ready to start bouncing up and down all over the shop because of what he saw.
"Some parlor tricks are incredible but that's all it was, just a parlor trick." Yo said to the energetic teenager.
"Can I try it?"
Yo raised one of his eyebrows at that request. "I thought you wanted to learn the technique you saw earlier?"
"I do but what you just did now was equally amazing. Can you teach me both of them?"
Yo contemplated for a moment on how to proceed. But then he remembered Naruto saying he wanted to protect that which is precious to him. The boy showed talent in his ability to see Yo controlling Hadou to heal himself so maybe there was something to this boy that Yo had yet to notice. If anything, a quick test would help to see if Naruto can learn either techniques.
Yo instructed Naruto to take the same stance in front of the candle like he had. Having a little fun with the teenager, Yo told Naruto he would have to maintain that position for 40 minutes since he was just starting out. The comical disbelief on Naruto's face about the order was amusing but Yo told him he was only kidding after he stopped laughing. The old man told the teenager to close his eyes focus on taking in three deep breaths and to do exactly what he did with his arms like he had.
Yo watched as Naruto did as instructed. When Naruto did two rotations with his arms, he brought them together like Yo did and move his hands to his right side. The last time he had taught this to someone else, the Konoha shinobi didn't manifest anything even thought he had tried several times. This time was completely different for Yo could see that Naruto had something in his hands. The outline of his hands faintly glowed in two different colors, one hand was blue and the other was green.
When Naruto completed the move by thrusting his hands forward, nothing happened to the flame on the candle. At least, that was what is looked like to Naruto. To Yo, he saw something he had figured was impossible for someone so young to do. Yo had to quickly change his expression from the wide-eyed surprise to somewhat passive he had on moments earlier.
Even though he didn't achieve the same results as Yo did, Naruto was only a momentarily deterred before saying he'll master the technique soon enough. Yo heard what Naruto had said but he was still in a bit of a shock at what he had saw. Quickly brushing it off by saying his mind was elsewhere at the moment, Yo said that what Naruto did was right. All he needed now was more practice.
After an hour had passed and Yo taught Naruto the other technique, the blonde shinobi quickly realized how much time had passed. He also knew that he still had yet to get the items that Tsunami had sent him earlier to get. Yo had seen many things in his lifetime but he honestly never saw a teenager move as fast as Naruto did to get back to the market district. To say Naruto ran like the wind would almost be an understatement in Yo's view.
As Yo walked over to the candle to put out the flame, he thought about the teenager and the hidden skill he demonstrated. The only thing that was unclear to Yo was whether or not if Naruto could use Hadou but Yo could tell the answer to that question would come in time.
He only hoped he would be around when the day came Naruto Uzumaki realized his potential.
Yo remembered the last shinobi he taught had talent and potential. Above average at the very least than the typical shinobi he had encountered before. But this Naruto was something else entirely. Had these two met in a contest, Yo would bet on Naruto being the victor against…What was his name again?
Naimsak… Namsake… Namiseke…
Yo wracked his mind for several moments before he finally remembered the name of the other Konoha shinobi: Minato Namikaze.
Now that he really thought about it, Yo truly believed that Naruto would definitely be the better fighter against Minato. As one of the few truths of the world, the will truly is everything and Yo remembered that Minato definitely had a strong will but if what Yo saw was indeed true, it was nothing compared to Naruto's own will.
Looking back at the artwork of Byakko, Yo had a strange thought enter into his mind. With his strength of will and the whisker marks on his face, Yo could almost see Naruto being like a tiger himself once he matured some more.
"He's definitely an interesting boy, there's no doubt about that. Interesting…and a bit unpredictable." Yo quietly said to himself before a small smile formed on his face. "No doubt in my mind that is probably the best aspect of that boy."
"And who might that be, Yo? Possibly that kid who had just run out of here faster than the wind itself?"
Though the sudden voice startled him, Yo immediately knew who it was that had just entered into his shop. Yo turned around to face the man he had been expecting to see for some time now.
Despite the clear signs of his age, some wrinkled skin around the face and snow white hair and beard with the hair tied into a ponytail with a large bead tied near the end, Gouken still looked like he was in his prime. Wearing basically a dark colored tunic that only wrapped around his left shoulder and cloth pants, it was clear to anyone who set eyes on him that this was a man who clearly stayed in shape and then some.
Truth be told, Yo was a bit envious of Gouken in that fashion.
"Ahh…my old friend Gouken. It's a pleasure to see you again. I must say time has been nicer to you than it has to me after all these years."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that, Yo. I haven't lived this long without being tested thoroughly from time to time."
Yo knew what his old friend meant by that but decided to keep the details to himself.
"I guess the old saying is true for people like us. We never really retire." Yo said while motioning for Gouken to sit at the table he was currently sitting at.
"To the people of the world, we're seen as street fighters. Though it's been said we're no different than shinobis, I think you'll agree that our reasons to fight are completely different than any of the shinobi villages' reasons."
Yo did agree with that but he also let out a small laugh at what else Gouken was hinting at. "For a man of your character, I always find it funny that you somehow work in some of your stories of when you faced against the samurais. You do know I was there for a couple of them and one of those times I told you to stop showing off."
"What can I say, I was getting tired of all those samurais coming after to me in order to make a name for themselves."
"They wouldn't have come after you had you not done what Gen and I warned you about doing."
"I'll admit that people of certain positions are supposed to be given a certain amount of respect from the beginning but give me a break. That daimyo was so snobbish and had his head so far up his own backside that he was practically daring anyone to punch his teeth out." Gouken said while taking a sip of tea Yo had offered him. "Besides, when you think about it, you and Gen were only upset since I beat you two to the punch. I could see in your eyes how hard it was not to shut him up with your fists."
Yo contemplated for a moment before he concede to Gouken's point. Though the daimyo was still in his position of power, Yo had to admit that the man was more mature after the 'incident'.
After the old friends talk a little more about past events, Yo decided to get to the matter of why his friend decided to visit him.
"As strange as it might sound, a dream told me to come here."
Yo raised one of his eyebrows. Not in confusion but in realization of the seriousness of Gouken's visit.
"Last time you had what could be called a prophetic dream, we ended up going through quite possibly the craziest adventure in our lives." Yo said after taking a sip of his own tea and then setting down the cup.
"And as I recall, you didn't believe me at the time." Gouken replied with a rather smug smile on his face.
"In my defense, when someone says a dream that they had told them about an upcoming battle that potentially decide the fate of the world, that person is more often ignored."
Gouken let out a rather heartfelt laugh after Yo had said that.
"I seem to remember a little fact you're overlooking. Out of all the people we've met during those travels, there was one we met that had more dreams of that nature than me and both you and Gen never hesitated to believe her."
"That was because whenever she had a dream, it made more sense in the end than yours did. You know that old saying: The devil is in the details."
"True but we did end up saving the world in the end." Gouken replied before finishing his tea.
"And yet, the world at large is completely unaware of our actions that day." Yo said while finishing his drink. "I'm not complaining about the lack of recognition but I am wondering why out of all the people like us, such dreams are seen by you."
"Can't really say why in that regards but this dream is different from that dream."
"Oh? Well, tell me what it was that you saw in your dream."
Yo watched as Gouken's expression became as serious as he had ever seen his old friend become like. Yo knew his friend Gouken was more lighthearted than most would expect him to be but he also knew that his friend's serious side would only surface when the situation warranted it.
Obviously, the situation was as serious as any of the fights Yo had been in with Gouken.
"In my dream, I saw a tiger walking in a forest. I knew this was no ordinary tiger and I could tell that it wasn't alone in the forest. I know in a dream you see what you can only see but I swore I saw red fox following the tiger from the shadows of the forest."
"Hmm. Well, we both know what a tiger and a fox might symbolize in a dream, a powerful warrior and protector being followed by a cunning trickster." Yo said, picturing in his own mind the scene Gouken was talking about.
"True but then the dream takes a stranger turn once I realize there's a fox following this tiger. In the tiger's path are toads. There's three of them that I can see, two small ones and a large one with a very deep scar over one of it's eye." Gouken said while making a motion over which eye he had seen on the toad that had a scar on it.
Hearing that made Yo suspect something. "Not to be insulting at this point, but are you sure it was a prophetic dream you had and not one with just some random elements thrown into it?"
"What makes you say that?"
"I remember you getting into a fight with someone that could summon toads."
"Oh, that dumb self-proclaimed super pervert?" Gouken couldn't help but let out a sound of disgust when the memory of his encounter with the 'man' enter into his mind. "I tell you, if he's supposed to be a great shinobi, then the standards for being such are incredibly low if not ground level. And besides, when we fought, I easily put his head into the ground."
"An oversimplification of events but I do agree you did win the fight." Yo replied, also remembering the fight between the two combatants. Yo knew Gouken tended to embellish some facts in the fights he had been in but Yo was there when Gouken defeated the man.
Honestly, Yo never thought it was possible actually drive someone's head into the ground in that manner. Especially with one punch.
"Anyways, in my dream, the tiger is actually barred from continuing deeper into the forest by the toads and the fox starts whispering into the wind. The tiger hears these whispers and somehow, I can tell these whispers are menacing in that they are convincing the tiger to slay the toads. The toads were also speaking to the tiger, telling the tiger it was bound to them and must do whatever their will commands."
Yo was interested before in listening to what Gouken said but now he was even more interested since in his travels he had heard about the toads being somewhat arrogant. Yo had heard, if these were the toads he had heard about, were indeed powerful but Yo also knew those with power more often than not become corrupted by the power they wield.
"The toads then tried to bind the tiger while the fox still continued to tell the tiger to kill them. That in order to be free, the tiger had to spill the toads' blood."
"So the tiger had to choose, I take it. Did it make a choice?" Yo asked.
"No. Or rather it didn't get a chance to because I saw myself intervene." Gouken said but made a hand motion to Yo to hold his obvious question to what he had just heard. "I saw myself appear next to the tiger and watched as I told the tiger that there was a third path it could take. It's own path."
Yo's interest in listening to his friend definitely peaked but he also knew there was one last bit of information Gouken had yet to say.
"Right after I told the tiger there was another path that it could take, I watched as the tiger changed forms. The tiger turned into a person, a teenager with blonde hair and blue eyes. But the thing that stood out the most about this boy was the fact…"
"He had whisker marks on his face. Three on each cheek." Yo couldn't help but feel a sudden realization hit him when Gouken started to describe the individual from his dream.
The look of reaction on Gouken's face easily confirmed for Yo that he had hit the proverbial nail on the head with his own words.
"Did you have the same dream?" Gouken didn't think his friend Yo could surprise him but he quickly remembered that everything in the world is much more connected than most people could understand.
"Actually, I met the boy just moment before you arrived. He could see my healing technique as well as show clear signs that he can learn to use Hadou. Also, when he saw the artwork of Byakko, he became very interested in it and I somehow felt as though the boy was like a tiger once he matured."
Gouken absorbed what his friend Yo had told him and suddenly things started to make a little more sense to him now. And it made more sense to Yo when Gouken told him what he had done after he had this dream. When Gouken finished, Yo had to say he was both worried and a little annoyed at what the situation was developing in to.
"Rose is sure of what she has said?" Yo asked which got a serious nod of acknowledgement from Gouken
"I don't doubt her but how this is shaping up, I can't help but be worried about what's the come and that maybe this time we won't be able to stop it." Yo said after several moments of contemplation of Gouken's words.
"As strange as this may sound but people like us are meant to stop it. What the dream told me and how I know it is a prophetic dream is that it is now our time to train the next generation to protect this world. Rose told me that all of us will train the next generation of fighters. I received the dream of who I'm meant to train. In time, you and Gen will received the dream of who you are meant to train. Who knows, maybe all three of us are going to train this one individual."
Yo thought about it and in his experience, the idea wasn't that farfetched. Maybe he had already trained the boy by showing him those two techniques, started him down the path that would lead him to Gouken. But there was several questions that Yo hoped Gouken could answer first.
"What of your brother, Akuma? Is he still following his dark obsessions?"
"Yes which is why I'm worried that if I'm to train this boy, I may as well be putting a target over his head. My two other students have encountered him and he barely let them go. They're training now like never before so when they have a rematch, both of them will be better prepared for Akuma."
Yo had encountered Gouken's brother before. Even their friend Gen had and it was only by narrow margins that they defeated him on their own. Akuma was a force to be feared and reckoned with and Yo knew that if he caught wind of Gouken training someone else, Akuma would seek him out and personally test him in the fight.
Having fought Akuma before, Yo knew the fight was to the death and Akuma would not hesitate to kill. The man was without mercy and the only reason Yo could see for Akuma letting Gouken's students go was because Akuma saw that they had the possibility within them to become stronger and strength was Akuma's obsession.
Then Yo's thoughts returned to Naruto and what Gouken had told him about his dream.
"Maybe this boy is the one to defeat Akuma. I don't doubt your students' skills but Akuma is more demon than man and that was years ago. What he has become now maybe more than those two can handle and this boy might be the one to finally defeat him."
"You mean kill him." Gouken said, narrowing his eyes at his friend.
"I'll be honest, my old friend. I do sometimes regret that I didn't kill Akuma when I had the chance. I know Gen might be of the same mind considering the bodies Akuma has left in his wake. I can also say that I can't see either Ryu or Ken killing a person, even someone as evil as Akuma."
"And if that's the case, I won't train him. The Shotokan arts that I train in are not meant for murder of any kind. Akuma may use them for such but he dishonors the teachings of our master by doing so. I won't add to my master's shame in teaching someone who is willing to kill."
Yo smiled at his friend's words. In a way, Naruto was about to become Gouken's greatest student since now Yo decided to tell Gouken where to find the boy.
"Well, he may not kill Akuma but I don't doubt he'll lose to Akuma either." Yo said which surprised Gouken since the certainty of such an outcome was clear in Yo's tone of voice. "You do remember where Gen is currently residing at, don't you?"
"Yeah. I remember he opened up a noodle shop in a shinobi village some time ago. A kind of retirement plan that he often talked about with us. I'm actually glad he had achieved that dream of his."
"Well, I suggest you go pay a visit to him as well. The boy you're looking for comes from that village. No doubt he'll tell you where you can find him." Yo wanted to tell Gouken that the boy was still in village but he felt that the time for these two to meet wasn't to happen just yet.
Gouken could only laugh at how certain things were falling into place. He had been wanting to visit Gen for some time now and also he had been wanting to see if that self-proclaimed super pervert had actually gotten better after all these years as well.
Before getting p to leave since it was getting very late in the day, Gouken asked Yo if he happened to know the name of the boy he was searching for.
"His name is Naruto Uzumaki."
"Uzumaki, huh? Sounds like me might come from that clan of people that once lived out on that island surrounded by all those whirlpools." Gouken remembered encountering one or two people from that clan that were indeed strong fighters and quite possibly the most honorable of people he had ever met.
"If he is, it's possible he doesn't know anything about it from what I've gathered when I talked to him. Seems to me you'll be doing more than just training with him."
Gouken acknowledged that as a possibility but then again, having trained his two other students and learning that there is always something new to learn even for a teacher, the man saw it as another challenge that he was ready face.
The only question he actually had was if the boy was ready for the challenges Gouken would have him face.
Somehow, Yo managed to pick up on the question that Gouken had in his mind about the boy.
"I be careful with this one if I were you, Gouken. If he truly is an Uzumaki, you know the kind of stamina he'll have and how far he'll push himself."
Gouken looked at his old friend and gave him an all-knowing kind of smile.
"Would you expect nothing less from a tiger?"
As I said before, there will be other characters from the fighting games, King of Fighters, Street Fighter, and Dead Or Alive. Not all of them will be in it, just the ones that can help the story but that also means for the pairing of this story could be anyone. I haven't planned that part yet and probably won't make the final decision until chapter 10 or so.
And so, read and review please.