The Beast Within


Disclaimer: By now you know the routine. Everything and everyone mentioned in this story isn’t mine, but I wish they were.


[ ]: French Language

{ }: English Language

< >: Thoughts


Chapter 13

World Tour Part 2

Gathering of Fighters


In Japan, two days after the Stonehenge incident…


Kasumi smiled as she looked over the picture of Nabiki at the ancient ruins of Stonehenge. She also held in her hand the letter that her sister had sent. Nearby, Soun was hard at work, trying to keep Genma’s nonstop growing hair from over-running the Tendo Compound. It hadn’t stopped growing ever since his friend had dumped the contents of the Miracle Hair Grow Shampoo on his head. It had gotten to the point that scissors, electric razors, and even a katana blade couldn’t keep it in check. The head of the Tendo household started to think about using a lawn mower. Beside him, Akane growled as she brushed out the hairs in her training gi.


At that point, Kasumi began to read the letter.


To my family,


How are things going in Japan? I hope everyone is all right. I’m doing fine. I hope you are all enjoying the gifts I sent you. Oh, and I just recalled something. Remember that Miracle Hair Grow Shampoo that Mr. Saotome wanted? My friend from that Chinese Amazon Village had told me about the side-effects when she gave it to me, especially for Jusenkyo-cursed victims. I hope Mr. Saotome read that Japanese translation and didn’t dump all of the contents onto his head. According to what Shampoo told me, all his remaining hair follicles won’t stop growing for about a month.


Genma moaned and shook his head, while grumbling. “NOW she tells us!”


Kasumi read on.


If you happen to be buried under a thick carpet of hair, Shampoo did tell me how to stop it from growing. Apparently, the Miracle Grow formula’s effects can be reversed by bathing the victim in a special mixture of various ingredients for about a day. With this letter I’ve provided you a list and the instructions on how to make the Anti-Hair Grow formula. You’ll also find the ingredients in the crate I sent to you.


Akane walked over to the crate the postmen had left and opened the wooden container. She then took out several bottles and containers. Her expression soured as she read the labels.


“Skunk oil… concentrate of poison ivy… bat saliva… yak hair… Chinese monkey fingernails… ewwwww, where did Nabiki GET all this stuff?!”


Her elder sister nodded as she continued to read.


You’d be surprised what one can get when you happen to be friends with a rich family like the Talbanes. In any case, I hope this helps. I also sent some souvenirs from England, and now I’m heading to Paris, France! I’m already saying “Ooh la-la!” Matt’s father wants me to experience some French martial arts like Savate. I’ll see if I can get some of that French wine that Dad always wanted to try.


Soun perked up at the thought of tasting European alcohol. Sake was good, but he had always wanted to sample those beverages from the West. After a moment of dreaming of imbibing French wine, he went back to cutting down Genma’s hair.


As always, I love you all and I hope to see you again.




At that point, Akane went over to Kasumi and took the recipe for the Anti-Hair Grow Formula. She read over the instructions and smiled.


“This is an easy formula! I could make this stuff up, no sweat! Leave it to me!”


The rest of the Tendo family and Genma turned pale at her announcement as she went off to get some cooking pots and equipment. Kasumi looked down at the letter and read the last part…


P.S. Kasumi, please do NOT let Akane try to mix the formula. Even Shampoo and her great-grandmother aren’t sure what the side-effects will be if she makes it wrong.



In Paris, France


“Ooh! What does this say?” Nabiki asked as she held up a bottle of red liquid in a local wine shop.


Matthew nodded as he knew how to read French. “It says Chateau Basque… year 1973.”


“That’s a good year.” Jon concurred as he selected three more bottles of fine liquor and paid for them. After making the arrangements to have the wine delivered to the Tendo Dojo, the group left the store and headed out toward the Eiffel Tower. As they walked down the streets of Paris, they discussed what they planned to do in their search for the next medallion piece.


“It’s a shame that Felicia and her group couldn’t come with us.” Nabiki remarked.


Matthew’s father nodded. “Yes, well her show had already toured Paris last month, and then they got that message from Las Vegas…”





“Can you believe it? Caesar’s Palace is actually offering TEN TIMES as much for us to do our show for a month.” Felicia said as she and her troupe prepared to head out overseas to the United States.


“Congratulations, Felicia.” Jon said as he and his son were saying their goodbyes to the catwomen and the Gerdenheim siblings. “So you’ll be gone for the next month?”


“Not really. I agreed to a two-week contract. Say, why don’t you and your son join us?” The sexy catgirl walked up seductively to the elder werewolf, then traced a finger on his well-muscled chest. “I’m pretty sure I can work a couple of werewolves into the act.” She then leaned forward and whispered intimately in his ear. “And I know of some VERY nice places in Vegas we can visit afterwards.”


Matthew’s sire cleared his throat and said in a polite tone, “Sorry Felicia. I’m afraid that finding the other pieces of the medallion takes priority. Thanks for the offer though.”


Awwwww!” The feline female pouted. She then sighed and nodded. “Yeah, I suppose you have to help that Tendo girl. But keep me updated on your quest, okay? Maybe, we’ll run into each other again soon.”



End of flashback…


“In any case, we still have about 11 more pieces to go.” Jon remarked as he held up the incomplete medallion. “According to the legend, this was broken up into 13 pieces and scattered all over the Earth.”


“So why was the medallion broken, and spread over the world?” His son asked.


“Hard to say, really. The legend gets fuzzy over the reason.”


It was at that moment that the trio noticed a large crowd that was surrounding a ring. In the ring were two fighters. One was a huge Frenchman, using the martial art known as Savate. He wore hard, rubber shoes, loose pants and was bare-chested.


His opponent had long, blonde hair tied in a stylish ponytail. He was wearing a red, baseball cap with a metal plate, a sleeveless red jacket with a large star on the back, fingerless leather gloves, blue jeans and high-top shoes. He was lean, but muscled and was obviously American. He gave his foe a friendly smile and dared him to attack.


The Talbains and Nabiki stopped to watch the spectacle and Matthew pointed to the American fighter.


“Hey, don’t we know that guy?”


Jon Tabain chuckled and nodded. “Indeed we do son, indeed we do. And he’s not the only one.” He gestured to two other people who were standing beside the ring. One was a blonde man who was wearing a kind of sleeveless tunic, matching pants and ninja tabi shoes. Hanging lovingly on his arm was a voluptuous, large-breasted woman with long, red hair done in a topknot, ponytail. She was dressed in a simple ensemble of blouse, skirt and low-heeled pumps.


“Come on son. It’s time for the Talbain Wolves to meet with the Hungry Wolves again.”



Back in Japan


Akane, please! Let me make the Anti-Hair Grow formula.” Kasumi pleaded as she watched her younger sibling stir the brew in the kitchen.


“I can do this!” The stubborn girl insisted as she haphazardly added the ingredients to the pot. She had already added several dubious foodstuffs that weren’t on the list. After barely glancing at the recipe, she looked about the table for the next component to the formula. “Hmmm… I don’t see any of the powdered butterfly wings. Oh well, this powdered sugar should do fine.”


Akane!” The elder sister pointed to the correct ingredient that was on the edge of the table. She would have rushed in to stop her; however the fumes that were emanating from the pot were so noxious that she couldn’t get past the kitchen doorway.


Behind Kasumi, Soun and Genma cowered in absolute terror as they too had serious misgivings to letting Akane make the formula.


Then Akane proudly turned up the heat on the stove and said, “Now the recipe says to add one teaspoon of this secret ingredient. That doesn’t sound like it would be enough. It would be better if I just use all of it.” With that, she dumped the entire contents of the bottle into the pot. This made the brew begin to violently bubble and give off sparks.


At that point, Kasumi, Soun and Genma ran for cover. However, since the father of ‘Ranma’ was still under the effect of the Miracle Hair Grow Shampoo, he tripped over his ever-lengthening beard, causing him to fall flat on his face. He also knocked into Soun, causing him to trip as well. Only Kasumi managed to get far enough away before…




The entire Tendo compound shook violently as the explosion sent a fireball through the halls. Kasumi shut herself inside a broom closet and was thus spared from the blast. Her family and their houseguest however, were not as fortunate.


When she finally emerged from the closet, Soun’s eldest child was horrified at what she saw. The walls of her home were blackened and smoking. There was a pungent smell of burned wood, leather and fabric. Then she walked over to the kitchen and saw three figures sprawled on the floor. She breathed out a sigh of relief as they moaned and groaned, indicating that they had survived. And there was some good news.


The good news was that ensuing fireball had seared off all the hair on Genma’s body, and gave him some impressive burns, thereby preventing his hair follicles from growing any more.


The bad news however, was that the blast had burned off Soun and Akane’s hair as well. The kitchen was in shambles and when Kasumi sniffed about, she discovered the second effect of her sister’s concoction.





Later at Dr. Tofu’s clinic…


“What is that SMELL coming from the waiting room?!” The good physician and shiatsu master said as he held his nose. The odor was so overpowering, that he felt none of the Kasumi-itis with her in the office. In the waiting room, were Genma, Soun and Akane. The other patients immediately left the clinic once they got a whiff of the stench that clung to them.


“So do you smell rotten eggs and sakura petals?” The brown-haired girl asked. (1)


“Actually, I smell ginseng tea with sulfur.” Dr. Tofu replied.


“That’s strange. One of the patients swore he smelled okonomiyaki and burning truck tires. Another one said that Akane, Father and Mr. Saotome smelled like rotting fish heads and gumballs.”


“What exactly happened?”


Akane’s sister paused for a moment to collect her thoughts, and then she replied, “Well, it all started when we received a package from Nabiki…”


Ten minutes later, after finishing with her tale, Kasumi handed Tofu the recipe for the Anti-Hair Grow formula. He looked over the ingredients and nodded before addressing her again.


“This is a Chinese Amazon potion. It’s very ancient, but it’s an effective antidote to the Miracle Hair Grow Shampoo. I happen to have the same recipe in my files. However, you must mix this very carefully and in the correct proportions. Too much or too little of even one ingredient can be disastrous. Adding other ingredients is just as hazardous. And from what you just told me, Akane didn’t follow the instructions properly.”


Soun’s daughter nodded sadly. “Unfortunately, Akane becomes over-enthusiastic whenever she tries to cook. However, she becomes very careless as well.”


“Yes, I thought as much. And from what I can gather, she produced some kind of potion which caused her, Mr. Tendo and Mr. Saotome to give off an odor that varies from person to person. That’s why everyone is reporting a different combination of liked and disliked smells.”


“Oh my! Is there any way that you can get rid of the odor? They’ve already taken three baths each, and they still smell!”


“Unfortunately, I can’t prescribe any remedies until I know exactly what Akane put in that potion and in what proportion. If it was just the skunk oil, then I would have simply had them soak in tomato juice and peroxide. I’m afraid that they’ll just have to wait until I can research the proper antidote or until that scent wears off. Until then, I would suggest that they stay downwind from any populated areas. I’m going to need to fumigate my clinic after today.”


Kasumi could only shake her head in disbelief and made a note to purchase a LOT of air fresheners for the house.





Terry Bogard swung his right leg in a vertical arc, which connected solidly with his opponent’s temple. This caused the French fighter to hit the floor of the ring. When it was obvious to everyone that he wasn’t getting up anytime soon, the referee declared the American the winner. Andy’s brother gave his signature victory pose by tossing up his cap into the air and cried out.




A pair of medics came in to check in on the fallen Savate expert. After signaling to the judge, they carried the man out of the ring. The announcer then said in French, [“Monsieur Terry Bogard wins again, demonstrating why he is such a great champion in America. Is there no one else who wishes to challenge him?”]


At that moment, a certain figure leapt from the crowds and landed lightly in the ring. Everyone, including the one who defeated Geese Howard, was surprised at the sudden appearance of a tall, slender, dark-skinned girl with short, white hair. She had a cute appearance and seemed to move with a subtle grace. She was dressed in a simple outfit of slacks, t-shirt and sneakers. She gave everybody a friendly wave and spoke in English.


{“I will challenge you!”}


Terry smiled at her enthusiasm and responded. {“You’re very direct. I like that. You sure you want to do this? This contest only allows you to attack with just your legs. You can block, but no hand strikes.”}


{“That’s fine with me! I never use my fists! I thank nature for my strong, flexible legs!”}


Using a fancy twirling maneuver, she shed her civilian clothes and was instantly garbed in a kind of ceremonial bikini, and was barefoot. There were several whistles of appreciation from many of the male spectators, as she displayed a lithe figure with lean, muscular legs. She got into a crouching stance on the balls of her feet.


{“I am Elena, and it is a pleasure to fight you, Mr. Bogard!”}


The Hungry Wolf nodded as he assessed her fighting stance and movements. {“Capoeira-style eh? This could be interesting.”} He then got into his basic stance and waited for the bell to ring.



Capoeira-style?” Nabiki asked.


Jon nodded as he explained. He had been all set to enter the ring to challenge his old acquaintance, but Elena had beaten him to the punch. “Capoeira is a fighting style that has its origins in Brazil and Africa. This Elena person is obviously from Africa, and judging by her wardrobe, I’d say she’s from Nairobi. Capoeria focuses mostly on kicks, sweeps and evasive tactics. It’s said that it evolved from ceremonial dancing moves.”


“Do you think she has a chance against Terry Bogard?” Matthew inquired.


“Let’s just wait and see.”


At that point, the bell rang signifying the start of the match.



Meanwhile in Nerima…


“There’s no more Miracle Grow Hair Shampoo?!” Genma exclaimed.


Kasumi shook her head while keeping her distance from the smelly houseguest. “I’m sorry Mr. Saotome. Dr. Tofu only had enough in stock for my father and sister.” <And I thought you had learned your lesson from the last time.> She silently added to herself.


At that moment, Soun and Akane entered the room, both with their hair restored.


“Whew! It’s a good thing Dr. Tofu had a supply of that shampoo. The smell I could probably live with, but there’s no way I could go to school bald.” Akane remarked.


Genma growled as he looked upon his old friend, who had not only a full head of hair again, but had gotten his mustache back as well. Not only was the Saotome patriarch still bald, but he would have to wait a long time for his eyebrows and the rest of his body hair to grow back naturally. It was then that the front door opened and ‘Ranma’ entered the house.


“Whew! I finally found my way back!” The false heir to the Saotome School remarked, and then he caught a whiff of a strange odor. “Yuck! What’s that smell?!” His nose pinpointed the source of the stench and said without any subtlety, “Akane, why do you smell like raw sewage and potpourri?”


The automatic response to his comment was of course…






Ranma’ was then shot into LEO via Akane’s rage, where he promptly got lost again, after he landed some distance away. The short-tempered girl smiled in satisfaction, then sniffed the air around her. Even though she knew that it wouldn’t do any good, she decided to take another bath,. Just to relax from the tension of course. It wasn’t because she happened to smell like roses and wet water buffaloes.



In France….


Terry Bogard knew that he was in trouble as his opponent kicked and danced about him. Elena’s fighting style allowed her to move with impressive speed and agility. She wasn’t a power-hitter, but her quick strikes were starting to add up. He was at a very big disadvantage without the use of his fists. Her long, tanned legs gave his opponent an extended reach. Then she suddenly glowed with a bright aura and shouted out.




<Oh boy, this is gonna hurt!>


In an instant, Elena began delivering a flurry of kicks and knee strikes in a graceful symphony of movements, all while standing on her hands. To all those who watched, it was as if it really was a dance. Terry managed to block most of the blows, but the attack pushed him back toward the edge of the ring. He knew he had to do something. Then he saw his opening as she tensed on her hands, about to push off and strike with her legs at full force.


The Hungry Wolf ducked down and struck out with a sweep kick. His foot connected with her wrists, knocking her off-balance and throwing off her rhythm. Then he pushed off with his own hands and went shooting upward inverted.




The extended foot caught Elena in the midsection, sending her sprawling. Unlike his usual technique, Terry did not lash with his fists as he went spinning upward, since the contest did not allow for hand strikes. As he came down, he caught sight of his opponent as she struggled to get to her feet. Knowing that this was his chance, he swung his left foot in a wide arc while spinning his body about.




The glowing foot caught the African girl in solar plexus, knocking her out of the ring. She landed roughly on the ground, but got back up. Since she had been forced out of the ring, she was automatically disqualified, leaving Terry as the victor. She acknowledged her defeat with a wave and a smile.


There was a large round of applause as Terry was declared the winner for beating ten opponents in a row. As he waved to his fans, Terry locked eyes with another ‘wolf’ fighter.


Jon Talbain.





“So you’re here for a fighting tournament?” Jon asked as he and his group joined the Bogards, Mai Shiranui and Elena for lunch at a French café. Matthew’s father and the Elder Bogard Brother were sitting at a small table while the others conversed at a larger one.


“The French are holding their version of the King of Fighters competition.” Terry replied. “I got an invitation to participate. Personally I don’t care much about the prize money, but I heard that there were some strong fighters here, and you know me. I’m always looking for a challenge. That little contest you were watching was just one of the practice rounds they allow for the competitors to warm up before the main contest begins tomorrow.”


“I see. Are your brother and his girlfriend competing as well?”


“Yes, they both received invitations.”


“Where’s Joe? Didn’t he get an invite?” (2)


“Actually he did, but he had to turn it down. He has several matches coming up and it’s his obligation to defend his title as the Muay Thai Champion.”


“I see. So it’s just you, your brother and Mai then?”


“That’s right. There’s also another reason why Andy and Mai came to France with me. You see, they’re getting married soon.”


Ahhh.” Jon nodded knowingly. “So I take it Mai finally got him to pop the question.”


Terry chuckled a bit. “Yes. Mai wants to wear a western-style wedding dress and there happens to be a famous dressmaker here in Paris.” The American then added in a low whisper. “I think she also wants to pick up some French lingerie… you know, for AFTER the ceremony?” He gave his friend a sly wink.


“No need to explain any further on that part.” Matthew’s father chuckled again. “Although, I am a little surprised at this news. I’ve always thought Andy was too conservative around Mai. What made him decide to finally tie the knot?”


Terry grinned even further before explaining. “I’m not too sure of the details, but from what I can gather, Mai finally cornered my brother at this hotel and… well, there’s no way I can say this with any subtlety, but she… uhm….”


“Seduced him?” Jon supplied.


“THAT would be the understatement of the century. Judging from what the hotel manager told me, they didn’t check out of that room until FIVE days later. Afterwards, Mai told me that she owes a lot of thanks to a pen pal of hers. She says her pen pal gave her some very helpful tips on breaking down Andy’s resistance to expressing his feelings for her. After that time, Andy tells me that it’s almost impossible for them to keep their hands off each other, and they’ve been doing the ‘deed’ nearly every night.”


“A pen pal made suggestions to Mai on how to seduce Andy?”


“I was told it was someone from Scotland. Mai calls her ‘Morry,’ but I think her full name was… Morrigan Aenslade.”


Jon could only stare in total disbelief for a long while, making his friend somewhat confused. Finally, he started to chuckle and chortle at the irony, and then he burst out into laughter.


“What’s so funny?” The Hungry Wolf asked.



In Japan


“Well now, this is a surprise.” The succubus in question remarked as she looked over her e-mails. Like the Talbains, the Aenslade Clan had several connections to the human world, which included a private mansion in Japan. The green-haired, supernatural beauty smiled mischievously, as she read the message sent to her from her pen pal, Mai Shiranui.


<So the little ninja girl finally snared him. Good for her! I knew those pointers I sent to her would come in handy. She had all the goods, but didn’t know how to present them properly. Ah, it looks like I have an invitation to her wedding. Excellent! I’d like to meet this Andy Bogard… and his brother. From what Mai told me, he’s almost as delectable as her fiancé.>


At that moment, Morrigan’s daughter entered the house and took off her shoes.


“I’m home!”


The older succubus nodded as she signed off on her computer and went to meet with the slender youth. Giving her child a warm hug, she asked, “Welcome home, dear. How was your day?”


Lilith shrugged as she replied, “Fine, Mother. Although something strange did happen near the Nerima district.”


“Oh? What was it?”


“I’m not really sure. I was just flying past someone’s home, and it suddenly began emitting low levels of magic. Then there was this explosion, which caused the house to shake. Then I started smelling something REALLY foul! It was even more disgusting than anything I’ve ever smelled in the rankest, slimiest pits of the Makai!”


“Foul you say? I can’t believe that you actually came across a stench that could be worse than what we’ve encountered.”


“I’m telling you the truth! I swear I smelled a combination of ogre dung and lilies!”



In France


“It’s a pity that you didn’t get an invitation to this competition.” Terry said. “We never did get to finish that match of ours three years ago. I would have liked to see how much stronger you’ve gotten since then. I can sense you’ve improved a lot.”


The werewolf nodded. “I wanted to fight you as well, but Elena beat me to it. Perhaps another time. My son and I happen to be on a bit of quest and…”




Jon stopped as his cell phone buzzed on his belt. Taking it out of its case, he excused himself from his friend, and walked over to a secluded corner of the café. He then flipped the device open.




On the other line, William Dubroke smiled as he replied.


{“Ah! Master Jon! It is so good that I managed to get a hold of you.”}


William’s employer smiled as he replied. {“Good to hear from you, William. So what’s the reason for calling me here in Paris?”}


The loyal butler nodded as he held up a letter. {“A correspondence came to the castle just today addressed to both you and Young Master Matthew.”}


{“Really? What did it say?”}


{“It says that you and your son are cordially invited to compete in a freestyle martial arts tournament in Paris. Apparently, you and your son have a bit of fame after winning all those tournaments under the name of Talbane. The letter also says the other famous fighters will take part, including an old acquaintance of yours; Terry Bogard.”}


Jon immediately became intrigued at this new development. {“Now there’s an odd coincidence. I just ran into Terry Bogard and his brother just an hour ago. He told me that he was taking part in a tournament in Paris. I was just telling him that I couldn’t compete since I didn’t have an invitation.”}


{“Well, you do have one, Master Jon. Both you and your son will be able to compete.”}


{“But we can’t just take part in a tournament with our passes still at the castle.”}


{“Not to worry Master Jon. Simply give this invitation number to the judges when you arrive and they shall confirm your right to participate. Your number is 1449A. Your son’s number is 1449B.”}


{“Very good, William. It looks like I will get my chance to test my skills against Bogard after all. But I’m not really certain if we should take time off from our quest to compete in this tournament.”}


{“Actually sir, I think it would be a good idea that you and Young Master Matthew take part. Are you near a fax machine?”} William walked over to an office fax.


Jon looked about and saw a coin-operated photocopier/fax machine near some public phones. {“Yes, I can get to one. Why do you ask?”}


{“The letter came with a photograph of the tournament’s trophy. Once I fax it to you, you shall understand.”}


Matthew’s father nodded as he went to the machine and slipped in some coins in the slot. After punching in the correct button sequence and set it to receive, he then directed his butler to fax the photo. A minute later, the machine printed out the photo facsimile, which depicted a large, ornate trophy… with a certain pattern design etched on the top. Upon closer inspection, Jon realized what his faithful servant was telling him.


The trophy had a medallion fragment imbedded in it.


So the next course of action was clear. To get the third piece of the medallion, Jon Talbain the Werewolf would have to win the tournament, and beat Terry the Hungry Wolf Bogard.


Tomorrow was going to be a very big day…



Furinken High School, the next day…


Akane grumbled as she trudged to school. Despite having taken more than a dozen baths and almost drowning herself in perfumed body wash, the stench that she had created in the kitchen STILL clung to her. Since she had been next to the pot when it exploded, her odor was by far stronger than Genma and Soun’s combined.


She couldn’t understand it. She was positive that she had followed that stupid Anti-Hair Grow formula exactly. Surely she didn’t make any mistakes, right? The recipe had been written wrong, that was it. And she didn’t smell THAT bad, right?


Ewwww! What is that STINK?! Did someone bring in dirty gym socks and ginger snaps?” One student said as he pinched his nose with his right hand.


Peee-Yeeew! Did a sewage line just leak near a flower shop?” Another student said.


“I smell tennis shoes and fudge cake!” A third one added.


“You’re all wrong! It happens to be lilacs and cow manure!” A fourth declared.


Soun’s youngest daughter growled as she hurried into the school before people realized that the smell was coming from her. She was certain that amid her classmates, her odor would mix in with all the other smells. As she entered her homeroom and sat down, she let off a sigh relief.


She was safe… NOT!


In that confined space, her unnatural odor was intensified and…










Several shouts of anguish and disgust were heard, as the room suddenly shook and trembled by the impacts of over thirty students and their teacher struggling to flee the immediate area. The door was knocked down as a dozen teenagers attempted to squeeze through. The windows were immediately shattered as more high-school attendees leapt through them. The teacher immediately scrawled a brief message on the chalkboard which read:




Nearly all of Akane’s homeroom gasped for air, with several students vomiting their breakfasts. Some of the girls fainted and had to be carried out. In less than a minute, the entire classroom was empty save for one.


Akane let off a sigh as she stood up from her desk and walked dejectedly out the door.



Back in Paris


[“Oui, Monsieur Talbane. You and your son’s invitations are verified.”] One of the judges said as he looked up the invitation numbers on his laptop at the entrance table. He then switched to English as he addressed Matthew who stood beside his father and Nabiki. {“We welcome you and your father to ze tournament. Now please register to ze Junior Division Section.”} The man pointed to an area of the large stadium, where the competition was to take place. There was a large crowd of teens present.


{“Junior Division?”} The young werewolf asked. He had been expecting to go up against the more seasoned adult fighters.


{“Oui.”} The judge nodded. {“This tournament is divided in two sections; ze adults for those 19 and older, and for ze youngsters 13 to 18.”}


{“But…”} Matthew began to protest, and then he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked over to his father and saw an encouraging expression.


{“Don’t worry about it, Son. I hear that there are some very strong and impressive fighters near your age. And keep in mind the reason why we’re in this tournament.”}


Jon’s son paused in thought, and then glanced over to Nabiki, who gave him a shy, yet reassuring smile. Nodding to his father, he and the Tendo girl walked over to the Junior Division Section. Since he was the one who had received the invitation, Soun’s daughter would have to be content to cheer him on from the sidelines.


Not that Nabiki was complaining. Though her skill level had improved, she didn’t feel confident enough to go up against opponents that had been training longer than she had; werewolf abilities or not. And there was always the risk that her secret could be exposed if something were to happen to the pendant she was wearing. As she looked about the throngs of martial artists and fighters, she began to recognize several styles. Some groups were advertising their schools and inviting others to sign up for classes. This made her think about her own family and wondered what they were doing right now. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t watch where she was going and inadvertently bumped into someone.


“What the?! Watch where you are going, you peasant!”


The haughtiness and arrogance of the tone of voice almost made the middle Tendo girl think she bumped into Kuno. However, as she gazed into the face of the individual, she knew for certain that it was not the Blue Blunder.


The girl was about her age, and wore what appeared to be a red, sailor fuku school uniform. However, instead of panties, she wore mid-thigh length shorts, and red sneakers. On her hands was a pair of leather gauntlets. She had shoulder-length, blonde hair, done up in a series of fancy ringlets, with a blue ribbon tied at the back in a large bow. She had light, brown eyes and a snobbish attitude about her.


“Well? Aren’t you going to beg for forgiveness for intruding upon myself?” The girl demanded.


Just as Nabiki was about to reply, Matthew held out a hand in front of her and addressed the haughty girl.


“Hey, it was an accident. No harm, no foul. Just let it go.”


“What?! How dare you presume that I would let such an affront go unpunished?! Do you have any idea who I am?!”


Matthew gave the girl a slight once-over, and then nodded. “Yeah, I’ve seen your picture in magazines. You’re Karin Kanzuki of the Kanzuki Family, one of the wealthiest families in the world. You’re also the heir to the Kanzukiryu Kakutoujutsu martial arts style.”


Karin smirked at Matthew’s casual reply. “So you know of me. Not surprising. My family’s style is world-famous, known by all, even to simple commoners like you.”


Jon’s offspring shrugged, then said, “As I recall, the Kanzukiryu Kakutoujutsu took a real blow to its image, when a commoner soundly defeated you.”


The rich girl’s expression became even more irritated as she responded to his statement. “That is a black mark, which I shall permanently erase when I defeat her in this tournament!”


At that point, Nabiki tapped her boyfriend on his shoulder and inquired, “So who defeated her?”




As if by magic, the answer to her question came barreling into the area. She was a skinny, teenage girl, who wore a blue-colored, sailor fuku, had short brown hair, and a white, hachimaki on her forehead. On her feet were sneakers, and like Karin, instead of panties, she wore shorts under her skirt. She came to a screeching stop with her arms flailing, and then stooped over to catch her breath.


“(Huff) Whew! I made it! I… (Puff) thought I was going to be late!”


Heh… you haven’t changed, have you Sakura Kasugano?”


At the sound of Matthew’s voice, the person in question looked up, and then let off a whoop of joy as she leapt toward him, ending in a fierce hug.




At this sudden display, Nabiki’s eyes narrowed.



A little later…


“Oh come on, Nabs!” Matthew said as he and his girlfriend walked toward the main stage where the official opening of the tournament would be held. “Don’t tell me you’re jealous of Sakura. She’s just a friend of mine that I met during one of the competitions I took part in.”


“No. Don’t be silly! Why would I be jealous?” She shook her head in denial, though a small voice in her head was repeatedly saying ‘liar.’ “I was just a little surprised that you knew someone like that.”


“Yeah, well Sakura’s more interested in a certain fighter named Ryu than anyone else. She’s got this obsession over finding him and becoming his disciple. This probably means that he’s taking part in this tournament. That could also mean that Ken Masters would be here as well.”


“Speaking of fighters, you seem to know a lot of them.”


Jon’s son nodded as he began pointing out some people in the crowds. “You get to know the competition really well, after you been around the fighting circles like my Dad and I.” He first gestured to a short-haired, Japanese girl who wore a yellow training girl and a long, hachimaki about her neck. Her intense expression reminded Nabiki of her sister Akane. However, unlike her easy-to-anger sibling, this person had a kind of determined aura, and possessed far more skill and power.


“That’s Makoto, heir to the Rindoukan Dojo. She practices a very brutal form of traditional-style karate. She’s been trying to revive her family’s dwindling school of martial arts ever since her father died.” He then pointed to a couple of Chinese boys; one of them was wearing a baseball cap. Both were dressed in Kung Fu outfits. “That’s Yun and Yang from Hong Kong. I believe they are disciples of Gen; a kung fu master of the Mourning and Hateful styles.”


Nabiki nodded as she then noticed a familiar face. Elena waved to the pair as she stood in the crowds. After her match with Terry Bogard, she got along very easily with her new friends and rivals. Then her boyfriend pointed to a trio near the podium.


“Over there, you can see the three disciples of the Kyokuganryu Karate-style. The guy with the orange gi happens to be Ryo Sakazaki. Beside him is his little sister Yuri, (whom I’ll probably be fighting against in the Junior Division), and their friend from Italy, Robert Garcia.”


The second daughter of Soun Tendo took in all the information as they waited for the sponsors of the tournament to show up and begin the competition.



In another area of the arena…


“Come one! Come all! See for yourselves the true power of Saikyo-ryuu! After I win this tournament, I will be accepting all applicants for my dojo! Take advantage of my special, low-rate entrance fees! Buy my merchandise!”


Terry and Jon could only shake their heads in disbelief as the fool in the pink gi continued to advertise his dojo, and hand out gaudy, 8 x 10 autographed photos of himself.


“How did a moron like Dan Hibiki get invited?” Terry wondered.


“Most likely he sneaked in.” The werewolf suggested. “Either that or the sponsors probably thought he’d make good comic relief.” Then Jon noted another person. “Unlike Hibiki, I’m not so certain to let THAT person compete. This is supposed to be a friendly competition, and he’s more likely to turn it into a bloodbath.”


The individual he was referring to was a tall, lanky individual with red hair, and sported a leather jacket that had a crescent moon pattern on the back. Iori Yagami looked on with cold eyes that could give shivers to even the dead.


“If I were to guess, I’d say that Yagami is here because of him.” Terry noted another person who was dressed in a white shirt, leather jacket, jeans, running shoes and fingerless gloves. Unlike the Hungry Wolf, Kyo Kusanagi didn’t wear a baseball cap.


Matthew’s father nodded and considered the consequences of going up against opponents such as these two. Both used pyrokinetic flames that were magical in nature and connected to the Yamata No Orochi legend. That meant they had the power to seriously injure, or even kill a lycanthrope. He would have to face them with caution.


At that point, he also caught sight of some other notable fighters such as the Americans, Colonel William Guile and Ken Masters. He also saw Interpol Agent Chun-Li and Cammy from Delta Red. Jon and his son had helped them out with several missions in the past. The massive, rotund figure could only be Sumo champion E. Honda. The large, muscular man with scars was Zangief from Russia, who had earned his body marks by fighting Siberian grizzlies bare-handed. He would have his hands full competing against his Australian counterpart Big Bear, formally the masked wrestler Raiden. There was also the Tae Kwan Do champion Kim Kaphwan from Korea, King from Terry’s old home in Southtown, and Jubei Yamada, also known as Yamada the Demon.


The aged master walked toward the pair and waved to them. With his other hand, he slyly pinched the derriere of one of the female fighters present, who immediately belted him in the face. However, the old pervert easily shrugged it off as he approached them.


Terry bowed and showed him the proper respect, even though he was a lecher. Jubei had also been a very close friend to the late Tung Fu Rue; the former master of the Hakkyokuseiken style, and Terry and Andy’s mentor. He was also Andy’s master in the art of Judo. He was grooming him to take over the Yamada Dojo, in addition to carrying on the Shiranui Ninjitsu school, after he had married Mai and finished training under her grandfather Hanzo Shiranui.


“Good to see you again, Master Jubei.” Andy’s brother greeted, then gestured to Jon. “I didn’t know that you were going to compete in this tournament. May I introduce you to Johnny Talbane? He’s a good friend of mine and a great fighter.”


“Actually, I’m here as one of the judges. As for your friend, we’ve met before.” The aged Judo master gestured with a finger for Matthew’s father to lean toward him. As he did so, Jubei whispered into Jon’s ear and said, “You’re looking quite well, Jon Talbain. I know why you’re going under a different name. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”


The lycanthrope nodded as he stood up and explained to Bogard. “Jubei Yamada used to be my old Judo instructor sixteen years ago. It’s been a long time, Master Jubei.”


The blonde fighter nodded in understanding, then caught sight of his brother and future sister-in-law. The couple came up, both dressed in their fighting attire; Andy in his tunic, leggings, and tabi boots, and Mai in her revealing ninja outfit, complete with swishing tails and plunging neckline.


This of course, got Jubei immediately groping for her chest. “Mai! Andy! Good to see you again and…”




Before he could get a hold on Mai’s bosom, he was immediately stuck upside the head by one of her fans. He staggered back a bit and rubbed his left temple.


“Keep your hands to yourself, you old pervert!” The red-haired ninja said in disgust, and then she cuddled against her fiancé. “The only one who gets to touch me like that is my future husband!” She gave her love a seductive smile and added, “Just like last night, right darling?”


Andy blushed a bit as he recalled the activities of the previous night. No sooner had they gotten back to their hotel room, when Mai jumped him and got his hormones raging. He wondered just where she had gotten such seduction techniques. Even the Kama Sutra would be considered tame in comparison. They had already gone through twelve boxes of condoms, just only a week after he had proposed to her. (3)


It was at that time that a loudspeaker announced that the opening ceremonies of the tournament were about to begin.



Back in Japan


In a large, Army Surplus store, the owner scratched his head in befuddlement as he looked over the recent sales report. He couldn’t understand why his entire stock of gas masks would be bought out by the student populace of a local high school…


To be continued…


Author’s Notes


This chapter was getting a bit long, so I decided to cut it here. As for the next part, we’ll see some more of your favorite KOF and Street Fighter characters as Jon and Matthew fight their way to the top to get the next medallion piece. See you then!


(1) Got this idea from an episode of Danny Phantom.

(2) Joe Higashi, friend of the Bogards from Fatal Fury and KOF.

(3) When Morrigan gave her those seduction tips, Mai REALLY put them to good use! ^ _ ^