|エンジェルファイア：時間旅行者 AngelFIRE: The Time Traveller
Author: InTheNightlight PM
Framed for a murder, a teenager and his friends are on the run from the police, all the while planning to track down the real murderer, and end a tyrant's reign. A world with two sides, a power with three wielders, and a mysterious number await.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 19 - Words: 83,406 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-17-12 - Published: 06-09-12 - id: 3030266
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Episode 10: The Master of the Swan Song; Your Month of Training Begins Today!
"Oh god..." David whimpered, curled up into a ball. "What the hell was I thinking?"
"Cahlm ya ass!" Chad rolled his eyes, dragging David behind him by the collar. "He was ya mahtial ahts teachuh, wasn' 'e? What's th' prahblem?"
"I told you both before, he expelled me!" David protested. "I don't wanna go back!"
Eddie smirked. "Stop being such a baby." He pointed ahead. "We're here."
"F*CK." David swore, digging his heels into the dirt as Chad pushed him forward. "Guys, I'm sorry, I don't wanna do this!"
"Too bad." Eddie grinned oddly once more, shoving David into the door. "Unfortunately for you, my bitch isn't around, and so I'm feeling irritated."
David gulped, raising a fist, and knocking on the door. Moments passed, and after half a minute, the door creaked open, revealing a slouching old man, a cane keeping him upright. "..." He and the blond teenager stared at one another for a bit, before he raised a hand towards the boy...and patted his shoulder. "Yo."
"H-Hello, Hakuchō-san..." David stammered. "I-I mean, Hakuchō-sensei!" He bowed respectfully.
"This is him?" Chad scoffed, jerking a thumb at the old man. "He's a li'l ol' mahn!"
The slouched-over mentor glared at Chad, before grinning, extending his hand. "Hello, young man!" He greeted. "You must train like the dickens!" He grinned beneath the mustache and beard. "Put 'er there!"
Chad smirked. "Careful, ol' mahn! I jus' might take ya ahm ah—EGH ? !" He cried in shock as Hakuchō grabbed his hand, swinging him over his head and throwing him into a nearby oak tree. "O-Ow..."
"Hmph!" The man scowled. "That will teach you to respect your elders!"
"H-Hakuchō-sensei!" David bowed, on his knees and hands. "P-Please, forgive him, he's an idiot!"
"I can see that." Hakuchō nodded. "Now, what have you all come here for?"
"It's a long story." Eddie sighed. "In short, we need you to train this p*ssy," he pointed to David, "so we can save his girlfriend."
"You look like you could use some training, too, beanpole!" Hakuchō pointed his cane at Eddie's stomach. "And maybe a turkey or two; you're scrawny as a broomstick!"
"Trust me, I can take care of myself." Eddie smirked. "Now, about David's training-"
"Nope." Hakuchō spun on his heel. "Once expelled from my school, a student cannot simply come back in." He smirked. "Of course, if he were willing to undergo initiation again..."
"AGH!" David shook his head. "NonononononononoNO!" He waved his hands wildly, panicked. "Not the initiation again!"
"What's wrong with the initiation?" Eddie raised an eyebrow.
Hakuchō nodded. "Indeed, it works better with children, since it isn't as embarrassing." He held up a sailor uniform, smiling innocently. "But a teenager in this? He'd never live it down."
"Huh." Eddie smirked. "My bitch would have this down pat."
"Oh well." The old man shrugged. "I suppose if he doesn't want to save that girl-"
"Gah!" David flinched, clenching a fist. "You're kidding me...there's really no other way?"
"Nope." Hakuchō grabbed the doorknob, about to close it, before David snatched the dress from his hands and spun around rapidly, doing a quick-change. "...Huh." Hakuchō deadpanned. "He actually did it."
"Chad, please, just don't." David sighed, a sweat droplet rolling down his head. "This is humiliating enough as it is."
"I don't understand." Eddie placed a hand to his chin. "I mean, I love to watch people suffer like this, but what does this have to do with martial arts?"
"One must build up an icy 'wall' of Qi around one's heart. If you cannot look humiliation in the face without panicking, then that makes mastering the techniques of the Swan School that much harder." His eyes narrowed as he looked to the ground. "David never managed to build a strong enough wall..."
"Is thaht why he w's expelled?" Chad asked.
"No, he was expelled for a very different reason, which, in a way, is related partially to his weak wall..." Hakuchō sighed. "He gave up in the middle of a competition."
"What?" Chad's eyes widened. "But David nevah gives up!"
"There was one time he did..."
"Alright, I did the stupid initiation." David growled. "Please, Hakuchō-sensei, teach me again!"
The man placed a hand to his chin, before smiling. "Very well, follow me inside..." he waved for the three to follow, and closed the door behind them. "David, you know the basics of the Swan Fighting Style, correct?"
"Yes, sensei." David nodded, quick-changing back into his normal outfit. "An icy heart, a swift body, and a keen mind." He counted on his fingers. "These are the three basic principles of the Swan-Style, and each one is relevant to releasing one's full Swan-Style potential."
"Precisely." Hakuchō nodded. "Tell me, what techniques have you mastered of the Swan-Style?"
David placed a hand to his chin. "It's been so long since I've used them...The ones I remember being the most good at are the Kubi-Shitsuren, the Hakuchō no Tsubasa, and...the Shirotobikomi."(1)
"You mean you've only mastered the three beginner-level techniques?" Hakuchō growled, having whacked David on the head with his cane. "Now I remember how you were always the number-one flunky."
"I'm just a little rusty, ya old fart!" David snarled. "And don't give me that 'respect your sensei' crap!"
Hakuchō smirked. "Oh? I suppose you want a fight, then?" The blond immediately flinched, lowering his fist. "I thought so...You never did pass your midterm." He raised a hand to his lips, whistling. "Ryoshi, get in here!"
From the next room entered a young man, who couldn't have been older than twenty. His black hair was shaved to the scalp, and he was wearing a white training uniform, slightly yellowed with age. "Hakuchō-sensei, you called?"
"Yes, I did." Hakuchō nodded. "I want you to take David to the tailor's and have him fitted for a new uniform."
"David?" Ryoshi looked to the blond, before smiling. "Yo, Haisan! How's it hangin'?"
David grinned back, raising a hand and waving. "Good, for the most part, Himura-senpai. What about you?"
The two continued back into the room Ryoshi had come from, and Chad and Eddie attempted to follow, only for Hakuchō to hold up his cane, preventing them from leaving. "I'm afraid you two cannot follow them."
"Huh?" Eddie raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"
"Yeh!" Chad crossed his arms. "We c'n take anythin' thaht's down theah!"
"It's not a matter of handling a strong opponent, it's the fact that without the proper training on the surface, your bodies would be crushed within the caverns beneath us." Hakuchō explained, pointing primarily at Eddie. "Especially you, beanpole! Since David has trained under such pressure in the past, it won't take very long for him to re-adapt to the environment."
"Ya kidding." Chad growled. "So we're jus' gonna sit up heah an' do nuthin'?"
Hakuchō placed a hand to his chin. "Well, there is a way you could join David down in the training caverns, but it would take months for you to train enough for your bodies to handle the pressure..."
"Three weeks." Eddie smirked. "Give us three weeks, and we'll be training with him in no time."
"Hmph." Hakuchō scoffed, crossing his arms. "Fine, but if you want to be done in three weeks, I'll have to triple the amount of training you two must endure."
"Alright, then." The blond continued to smirk, holding up three fingers. "I promise, three weeks. And not a day more."
The two continued to stare each other down, before Hakuchō turned away, sighing. "Birds of a feather flock together, don't they?" He looked back at the other two. "Follow me to the tailor's. We'll get you fitted."
The three new students stood opposite their mentor, awaiting their first training session instructions. "Now," Hakuchō straightened up slightly, "to see how strong you are, and also how 'rusty' you are, David." The blond ducked his head a bit, sheepishly. "Attack this mannequin as hard as you can. Use any attack you like." He pointed his cane at a wooden training dummy.
Chad smirked, pretending to roll up his shirt's sleeves(he had ripped the real ones off earlier). "Stan' bahck an' watch." He dashed at the mannequin, roaring an attack, before slamming his fist into it's head, full-force. A nearby counter ticked upwards rapidly, slowing until it reached Chad's calculated strength: Four-Hundred and Eighty Two. "Yeh! Hah d'ya like thaht- ? !"
"I've seen a child do better." Hakuchō scoffed. "Children who train under my wing up until your age could easily strike a One-Thousand."
"EH ? !" The teenager's eyes widened. "N-No way..."
"Alright, you next, beanpole!" Hakuchō pointed at Eddie, and the sadistic teenager nodded, stepping forward. Eddie stood up straight, relaxing his shoulders a bit, before sprinting at the dummy at full-speed. "There's no way he'll score higher than a Two-Hundred."
The blond struck out, slamming his knuckles into the mannequin and continuing to sprint until he had snapped the dummy's neck backwards. The counter remained at zero for a moment or two, before ticking up one...two...three, four, and it continued to climb, faster and faster, higher and higher, until it finally stopped: Nine-Hundred and Sixty-Three. "Hm." Eddie smirked. "How was that?"
"Hmm..." Hakuchō placed a hand to his chin. "Indeed, you did much better than I thought. Alright, then." He turned to the final contestant. "Now, David, your turn. Hit it as hard as you can. Use your strongest attack and show these wet-nosed pups the results of Hakuchō school training."
David nodded, gulping, before raising his hand up. A small core of energy floated up over his palm, glowing brighter every second. He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath, before growling and thrusting his arm forward.
The ball of energy soared towards the mannequin, hitting it in the chest. The dummy stood strong against the energy sphere, and the attack rebounded, disappearing as it's energy dissolved. The counter ticked upwards, finally stopping after about ten seconds: Five Thousand Six Hundred and Forty-One
"J-JEBUS!" Chad exclaimed, eyes going wide at the number. Even Eddie had to stare in shock. "Thaht's his most pahwafuhl attahk ? !"
"It was the strongest I could make it." David nodded.
Hakuchō smirked. "Now do you see just how far ahead he is compared to you?" He seemed to glow with pride. "Even if he's a flunky, he was still one of the physically strongest students I've ever had!"
Eddie nodded, clenching a fist. "I see...so this is the result of training under immense pressure..." He smirked, an excited look in his eyes. "Already, I want to get on with this..."
"Remember..." Hakuchō scowled. "If you wish to train alongside David in one month, you will have to pack all of his rookie training into one month." He explained.
"Shuh, shuh!" Chad scoffed. "Hah long did it take 'im? Five months? Six?"
"Two years." David deadpanned. "It took me two years before I was able to successfully pull of an energy attack, and then three more years of training to get to my current strength."
"No matter." Eddie smirked. "One month. Not a day more. We'll have two years done by then."
"It's going to be rough." Hakuchō warned. "You'll have to pack a week of training into one day, and let me tell you, it will just get more and more difficult. The further into these caverns you go, the more pressure you're going to put on your bodies. If you try to go through it too fast, you will literally break."
"Well, what're we waiting for?" Eddie continued to grin confidently. "If we want to catch up to David, we'd better get started."
The old man nodded, waving for the two to follow him. "Good luck, David." He looked to the blond. "As soon as these two are caught up, I'll teach you all something that will knock your socks off."
"Almost a week has passed, and yet there are still no signs of the Mach Seven Team's Sector Ten, or Green Comet." The announcer reported, shuffling her papers. "Police are still searching for the heroes, as well as evidence to further help the investigation of Tetsuya Honda's death."
Nikata sighed, placing down his book. "It's already been a week, huh...?"
"Hey, Ni-ka." Kaede grinned, approaching her step-brother. "Me and the girls are gonna go hang out at the beach. Wanna join us?"
"No, thank you." He declined.
Kaede pouted, marching over to the tawny-haired teenager and flicking his head. "I know you're upset about the Mach Seven Team being on the run, since they were your heroes, but sulking isn't going to do you much good." She crossed her arms. "You need to relax!"
"I am relaxed." Nikata stated, glancing at her. "I told you, I'm fine staying here." He smiled. "Go on and have fun. Maybe I'll join you next time."
"You'd better!" Kaede waved, jogging out the front door. Nikata looked at his watch, brow furrowing at the date; July 11th, 3234.
One year, five months and ten days left.
"Alright..." Hakuchō waited for his two new pupils to get into stance. "This first move is the most basic. As you both should know, Qi is released from the body via points of concentration. Inside of each of us is a series of intersecting pathways through which Qi flows, beginning in the 'Heart' and pulsing outwards to different outlets all over our bodies." He explained. "Can either of you tell me where these outlets are?"
"Yes." Eddie nodded. "The outlets for Qi are as follows; hands, feet, and it can also be excreted from the stomach and chest."
"Very good." Hakuchō approved. "However, there are other pathways. I take it you simply were never taught them." He smirked. "There is a reason, of course..."
"Why naht?" Chad raised an eyebrow.
"Because..." Hakuchō's smirk grew. "They are life-threatening, even if they are pulled off correctly." The two seemed to flinch a bit. "The pathways include the eyes, ears, fingertips, and mouth. This first technique, we will be utilizing the Qi in our hands and fingers." He pointed to the training dummy in the corner of the arena. "That dummy over there is what we will practice on."
"Well, let's get ahn with it!" Chad tapped his foot. "We only hahve a month!"
"Hold your horses, kid." Hakuchō growled. "Now, I want you both to gather as much Qi into your hands as possible. Be sure that you contain it within your palms."
The two nodded, and began to center their Qi into their hands.
"Alright, now, to use this technique, the Kubi-Shitsuren, you must transfer all of that Qi into your fingertips."
"Our fingertips?" Eddie scowled. "But with all this Qi, won't our fingers be blown off?"
Hakuchō smirked. "If you don't feel the need to risk a few appendages, then I can expel you right now." When neither complained further, Hakuchō turned around, pointing at the dummy. "That mannequin is rigged to emit a beep when you perform a correct Kubi-Shitsuren on it. Aim for it's neck, as if you were trying to press a pressure point and knock it out."
"Kay." Chad nodded. "Say when, old mahn!"
The man scowled, glaring at the teenagers. "Whenever you're ready, snot-nosed brat."
"AHLRIGHT THEHN!" Chad cackled, sprinting forward and chopping the dummy in the neck, a whitish-red cloud of radiant energy sparking on his hand. The dummy rattled, letting out a high-pitched whine, and Chad smirked. "Heh...first try!"
Hakuchō placed a hand to his chin. "I see...This is just a guess, but perhaps that's his strong point..." He pointed at Eddie. "Alright, beanpole, yer next!"
"Very well." Eddie nodded, taking a moment to make sure his Qi was properly placed, before dashing at the mannequin, slamming two fingers into it's neck. As soon as his fingers hit the wood, he cried out in pain, losing his balance and falling onto his back, gripping his hand.
"Ed, you ahlright?" Chad jogged over, holding out a hand.
"I was right." Hakuchō smirked. "It's not every day I get a rookie like you, kid." He looked to Chad. "You may not be very bright or strong, but at least now we know your strongest point." He motioned to the dummy. "Qi Containment and Qi Control." He explained. "You managed to contain your Qi in your fingers without having them be ripped off while attacking. It appears you've mastered this first attack already..."
"Hell yeh!" Chad smirked, clenching a fist in pride, before his expression turned serious. "Wait, Ed- ? !"
"I'm fine." The blond grunted, pushing himself up. "I...just miscalculated my Qi." He panted, grasping his left hand, which had begun to bleed from the fingertips. The boy's fingers were either cut open on the tips, or bruised all over, and Chad flinched. "I'll be fine with some bandages."
"Ya got spunk, beanpole." Hakuchō nodded. "Let me tell you both right now, it's only gonna get harder from here on out."
Eddie smirked. "Good...heheh..." His brow furrowed. "I was afraid it'd be too easy..."
Two days later, and both disciples had successfully mastered the Kubi-Shitsuren. They moved further down into the caverns, training under the immense pressure of the cave, until the fifth day after their graduation from the first technique.
"Now, for the next move." Hakuchō cleared his throat. "The Hakuchō no Tsubasa. As you can probably guess from it's name, it is a cutting-type attack." He raised one arm up. "Unlike last time, I'm going to demonstrate. Watch closely, this will be the only demonstration you get."
The two nodded, and the old man closed his eyes, focusing as much power as he could into his raised hand. Suddenly, his arm seemed to vanish as he whipped it forward, firing a blade of Qi at the two, who barely had time to dodge. The blade continued, striking the wall and burrowing deeper and deeper into the stone.
"J-Jeez..." Chad gulped. "It bore through solid grahnite...!"
Hakuchō nodded. "This is a combination of Qi Storage in one's arm, hand, and fingers." He explained. "The more Qi that is stored, the larger the blade and the longer the aftershock that follows it." He pointed at a pair of training dummies. "Now, both of you, try it."
The two nodded, storing Qi in opposite arms. Chad growled, feeling sweat drip down his forehead. "Damn..." He thought. "Qi over a spread area isn't my forte, exahcly...It's taking up every bit of Qi I have just to fill my arm and hand, let alone my fingers...!"
He growled, swiping his arm through the air, aiming at the dummy. "SWAN'S BLADE!" He cried, watching as the wave of energy soared at the mannequin. The blade hit it, however, the surface remained unscathed, save for a diagonal scratch on it's chest. "Dammit!"
Eddie smirked, raising his arm, and swiftly chopping the air, firing the attack. Unlike Chad's, which had wobbled uncontrollably, Eddie's seemed to be following a strict pattern of spins, like a top doing a horizontal nose-dive.
The wave hit the mannequin, cutting through it with ease and dissipating only after the dummy had been chopped to slivers. Hakuchō nodded again. "I'm beginning to understand you two, now..." He waved for them to come closer. He looked them both up and down, before smirking. "I see...You're better at compact, brutish attacks," he motioned to Chad, then to Eddie, "while you specialize in attacks that utilize a spread-out pulse..."
"Yeh, and?" Chad raised an eyebrow.
"And it tells me exactly where your training will go next." Hakuchō sighed. "Chad, you stay with me." He pointed at a nearby door. "Edward, you take the elevator to the next floor down, and ask for my grandson, Shiratori Kenta."
The blond nodded, waving goodbye to his friend, and jogging towards the door. Chad looked back at Hakuchō, skeptically. "Why d'we hafta have different training?"
"Because, now that we know exactly what kind of attacks you're good at..." The man grinned, as if he were explaining this to a three-year-old. "We have to teach you not only how to utilize your styles, but also how to utilize each other's styles."
"Eh?" Chad crossed his arms. "I don' unduhstahnd..."
"Think of it like this." Hakuchō held up a hand. "You're good at strong, compacted attacks, and your friend is good at sharp, spread-out ones." He explained. "I'll teach you how to control your own style, while Kenta helps Edward. Then, after a few weeks, depending on your progresses, we will switch, and I will train Edward, and Shiratori will train you."
"I see..." Chad scowled. "Ahlright, thehn!" He smirked, confident. "Bring it ahn, ol' mahn!"
"HAH!" David cried out, swinging a punch for Ryoshi's head. The man ducked backwards, bringing his feet up and kicking straight for the blond's chest. David blocked, grabbing Ryoshi's foot and swinging him in the direction of the wall.
Ryoshi spun in midair, feet landing on the wall, before leaping back to the fight. As he soared closer, David rolled backwards, dodging his punch and charging a small sphere of Qi in his palm. He thrust it forward, and Ryoshi fired his own, the two spheres colliding and exploding, creating a small crater and covering the arena in dust.
As soon as it cleared, Ryoshi looked around wildly for his opponent, growling when he failed to see him or sense his Qi. A few seconds passed, and he straightened up a bit, before sensing a massive energy coming from beneath him.
David launched himself out of the ground, punching Ryoshi in the face and rearing back a fist, an energy core the size of a baseball in his palm. He brought it forward, hitting Ryoshi in the chest point-blank and sending the martial-arts graduate flying, crying out in shock as he crashed into the ground.
"Whew!" David smirked. "I'm not the soft little kid I used to be-"
"That was close..." Ryoshi sighed in relief, revealing himself behind David. "I'll admit, using the Qi ball as a farce and hiding in the crater, pretty slick move.
David spun around, looking between Ryoshi and the body on the floor. "B-But if you're there, then- ? !" The dust from his attack settled, revealing that the one David thought he'd hit was really a marionette with Japanese characters making up it's face, dressed in the same uniform as his sparring partner.
"A substitution doll." He smirked, wiping his brow with his sleeve. "It can be rigged to help a person out of any jam...But..." He dashed towards the older warrior. "It's just a matter of how many you have left!"
Ryoshi blocked David's punch, grabbing it with both hands and spinning around, momentum carrying the blond past him. David smirked, leaping feet-first into the wall and jumping back at his opponent. Ryoshi jumped backwards, pulling his fist back and firing another Qi Burst at the boy.
David smirked, rearing back his own hands, blue flames engulfing his palms. "KASAIKEN!" He shouted, thrusting his hands forward and firing a giant fist of fire at his opponent. The attack engulfed the Qi Burst, and Ryoshi stared in shock, raising his arms up to block the attack.
He pushed away with his arms, repelling the attack and rolling backwards, back onto his feet. He and David leapt at each other, letting out battle cries...
Before punching each other at the same time in the face.
It was going to be a long, long, long training session...
To be continued...
(1): Kubi-Shitsuren is the Neck-Heartbreak.
Hakuchō no Tsubasa could mean multiple things; the kanji for 'Tsubasa' can be read to mean either wing or blade, so the full English title would be either the Swan's Wing, or the Swan's Blade, which are both fitting titles.
Shirotobikomi is the combination of Shiratori(swan) and tobikomi(dive). However, when put into a translator, it is changed into White Dive, which, personally, I think works just as well.