CHAPTER 3: RYU

Maarc had a dream he was back on earth with his cat Dusky. They were walking to school when a vortex pulled them into an endless ditch. Dusky turned in to a cougar and ran up the wall leaving Maarc alone. He pulled out the glove and put it on but nothing happened. He fell down and down into a pit of eternal darkness. He couldn't believe Dusky left him in this kind of situation. He let out a loud yell for Dusky and jumped up. Einku was standing at his side telling him "I'm here Maarc, there's no need to worry." Maarc was feeling a little embarrassed. How stupid did he look being a fifteen year old still having nightmares? What would Destiny think of him? He looked over to see that she was sound asleep. "Geez what a heavy sleeper, I thought I was going to wake up the entire planet." He said trying to force a smile in to cover up his shame. Einku looked to him and said, "You weren't yelling. You only wanted to but in fact you broadcast it mentally. I was the only one who heard you because you and I are mentally linked." This was good to know. Maarc was relieved and at the same time worried. "So you can read my mind any time you want?" Einku tried to explain it as simply as he could, "no, only when you choose to put your thoughts out for me." Maarc looked puzzled "but I didn't even know I could, how did read them then? I couldn't possibly have put them out without the knowledge of how to." Einku already knew that would be his response and had already prepared an answer. " When ever you're in trouble, your subconscious brain automatically signals to your brain to do so, even without your knowledge." Maarc was still confused but he didn't care to hear much more. He knew he could trust Einku, or rather, Dusky. "Now please, get some rest, you have a long day ahead of you tomorrow." Maarc agreed and slept, with Einku lying next to his side. This time, he had a good dream

The next morning Maarc woke just before sunrise. He got up and ran to go pray. As he got into Zhou's "prayer room" he noticed it was the only room that wasn't decorated in the whole temple. Even the halls were decorated with gold bottoms and golden frames around the portraits of Zhou and Vanyo. The doorknobs were made of silver and some of crystal. But this room was plain. But Maarc didn't have much time to ponder this; he had to pray, so he did. He returned to ask Einku where he could go to take a bath and was shocked at the reply. "We're not that close to earth's technology, actually we're really quite far behind, we don't have bath tubs and showers. Luckily, I'm a cat, so all I need is to lick myself clean. But you and Destiny, well, you'll have to use the nearest waterfall." Destiny flipped out of her bed at that statement. "Are you serious?" She was at so much shock that she'd forgotten she'd taken her armor of and was only wearing a tight almost see-through jumpsuit. Maarc could've sworn his jaw had dropped. He knew it was impolite not to, so he decided to tell her of her clothing, even though he was enjoying "the view." She jumped back in bed and covered herself with the blanket. "So you have these nice beds and pictures and all that good stuff but no freak'n showers?"

Einku smiled at her and said "yep. And you'll have to deal with it because in fifteen minutes we're out to leave for hunting!" Destiny was kind of "pissed off"! She walked out of the room without a word more. Maarc however was fine about it. "I'll be back in two hours." "Einku looked up and asked "Why?" "I need to eat, I'm going hunting. Do not follow me."

Maarc walked out the temple and looked around. He looked up the trees and jumped straight up. He climbed to the top and jumped to the next. This power, I can feel it increasing. He thought to himself. I never felt this way before. I can do almost anything. He jumped and grabbed a branched and flipped himself into the next one. This is amazing; I never thought this could be possible! He stopped in mid-air and began falling. There wasn't a close enough tree to grab. Darn it! I'm going 200 ft down his can't be the end, not yet! I've got to think quickly! He thought back over his day and remembered that he had that energy blasting. He flipped over to face the tree and blasted his way to the next way. He flipped facing downward and ran down the tree. Then he flipped over to avoid the falling tree trunk. That was close. Now, where did I see that waterfall?

He began walking forward. He didn't even know where he was going; he just wanted to go walking. He flipped into another tree. Being able to jump 12 feet into the air, this is truly amazing. I wonder what it would be like to fight with my more developed abilities. Just as he thought that he was suddenly knocked into a tree by a quick burst of wind. He crashed through a tree and hit a large rock. What the heck was that? And why didn't that kill me? He thought to himself.

He looked up and saw before him a young man just around his age in long baggy green pants, a maroon martial arts belt around his waist, and a brown vest. He had a black band around his left wrist and red straps down his brown boots. He wore his vest open to show off his battle scars. His black hair was in 4 layers of thin spikes. He had two small dark brown earrings. And he had a little fuzz under his nose. He wore a brown scabbard on his back, which encased a dreadful jagged blade, painted with blood.

He grinned evilly at Maarc as he pulled the serrated sword out. He seemed to like the look of fear in Maarc's eyes. He jumped straight at Maarc with another burst of speed. Maarc couldn't even blink before the warrior was standing right in front of him. Maarc's eyes opened wide with fear as hew stood there, motionless. He tried to move but even as he thought of moving the boy was three steps ahead of him. He appeared in front of Maarc and raised his fist to punch him. Maarc saw everything happen slowly but couldn't do anything to about it. He got hit and upon impact he flew 10 feet straight into the air. The boy jumped up right behind him and gave him a good axe kick to the ground. When he hit the ground Maarc was sure he would die. But he didn't feel much pain. He felt as if he'd only been slammed into a wall two feet behind him.

He stood up with anger in his eyes. He looked at the warrior and prepared himself for an energy blast. "You won't hurt me with that." The warrior spoke. "My sword is an energy absorber, I could simply deflect your blast back at you." This was the first time Maarc had heard him talk. "So you speak English?" Maarc was trying to start a conversation to keep him distracted in order to gain enough time to figure out a way to defeat him. How do I defeat someone so fast I can't even see him? And why am so strong. I should've been dead by now. But instead of dead, I feel the exact opposite. I feel more alive than ever before, this adrenaline rush, this power, I can't contain it anymore. I'm going to win this! He was done thinking. He knew exactly what he was going to do. But he had to catch the warrior off guard. So far, that kid didn't seem to lose concentration or forget what he was doing. "I am Ryu Chhuelsto, the best-known fighter in this land, other than my brother Tai." He finally spoke.

Ryu: I know what you're thinking and it won't work, you can't catch me off guard. Even if you were to catch me off guard, I am the fastest warrior in this land and that of your own! My brother Tai is the strongest ever. I am also twice as strong as the average man from your world. I have never lost a fight, seeing as my brother and I have never fought.

Maarc: Is that so? Well, Ryu, I happen to be Maarc Shizuni, soon to be champion of this world. So you're gonna have to lose this fight.

Maarc grinned back and jumped forward. Quickly, Ryu jumped over him and mule kicked him in the back. "You can't beat me, you aren't stronger than me and certainly aren't faster!" He said. Maarc fell to the ground and flipped up. Every time he got hurt he felt stronger. He smiled. He knew he wasn't stronger than Ryu yet but could do a lot of damage to him. He flinched as if he was going to jump forward and quickly turned around and threw a fist. He was kicked in the back once more! He thought he'd outsmarted Ryu but he only fooled himself. Ryu smiled and said "You almost had me there. But I told you, I won't be caught off guard!"

Maarc's blood was rushing faster than ever. He could feel his power level was higher than ever. But he was ready to pass out. He'd been knocked around so much he was almost dead. He wasn't ready to give up however.

He blasted off an energy ball as quick as a person could throw a baseball. He hadn't even realized it but everything about him was far more advanced than when he first arrived on Sainokun. But contrary to what Maarc expected, Ryu smacked the blast back at him with his bare hand. He saw it coming and crossed his arms and put them over his head. The explosion from the blast caused him to slide back a little. When the smoke cleared he looked up at Ryu. "You should know a simple ki blast like that won't kill me." He bombarded Maarc with a series of ki blast of the same power. Maarc crashed into the ground and coughed up blood. He was seriously in pain now. "They're not strong on their own but a cluster of them will cause serious injury."

Maarc was quaking when he stood up. Ryu dashed at him and unleashed a onslaught of devastating blows. Maarc finally collapsed and his eyes closed into a darkness. He later woke to a smiling Destiny. She had been treating his wounds. He felt a cold hand on his chest and found that his shirt had been removed. He stood up and put it on, then walked towards the door.

"Wait, Maarc, you're not well you need to rest!" She spoke. She began to walk after him when he said, "Where is he?" He balled his fists tightly. " You can't be serious, you've been terribly beaten and your wounds are fatal! All you care about is your stupid pride!" She said trying to convince him to rest. Maarc turned around and grabbed her throat. "That other warrior, I know you brought him here, I can sense his power level, it's faint from here but I know he's here." Maarc spoke. "I will destroy you if you don't tell me where he is!" She was struggling to breathe but managed to say, "he is in the training room."

Maarc dropped her to the ground and began walking off. "Follow me and I'll obliterate you!" he said as he began to walk off.

Maarc walked down the long halls until he came across a room with a picture of two men fighting. He guessed that that might be the training room. He entered slowly, looking all about. He saw Ryu on the ground doing push-ups. "534...544…545…546…oh hey Maarc!" he exclaimed. He stood to face Maarc and said "I apologize about the butt-kicking I gave you earlier. He began to put his vest on as he noticed Maarc's fists balling.

Ryu: I didn't know what else to do. You see my brother fell ill after trying out a new technique he'd just learned and I needed to find the temple of spirit and health to bring him here. I'm poor if you haven't realized and I planned to take you down in hopes that the nurse would help him to pay the ransom for your life. But lady Shibikulu explained everything and decided that if I swear allegiance to you guys she would help my brother.

Ryu: My brother was ill because his body wasn't strong enough to handle the type of damage that technique delivers. It gives you great strength and power, but once it's all over, it can be dangerous, sometimes even fatal. I know first hand this Xulo guy is pretty strong. I got to get stronger so that I might be able to utilize this technique. I mean, at least two of us has to be strong, my brother only counts for one and well, judging by our previous fight, you're certainly not very strong.

Maarc's veins began to pop out. He was getting angrier by the moment. "You!" he said in anger. Ryu smiled and said, "I see you're not very strong-minded either." That was all Maarc could take. He jumped at Ryu furiously. He threw a punch but missed. Ryu dodged it by an inch! "That was pretty close, you've gotten better!" he said. Maarc whirled around quickly and gave him a downward crescent kick to the shoulder.

Ryu hit the ground and flipped right up. He was serious now. He flipped up high into the air and hit the ceiling. He bounced off and began blasting at Maarc. Maarc moved swiftly to avoid the numerous qi blasts. He eventually got hit however and fell to the ground. Ryu jumped in front of him about to stomp on him when he rolled over and flipped backwards three times. He stood facing Ryu. He leaped forward and they resumed melee combat. Maarc Threw punches and kicks but Ryu blocked every single strike. Likewise, every strike Ryu threw Maarc parried. They continued on blow for blow for about four minutes.

Not having experience with this type of blast before, Ryu was motionless. He stood in fear as the forceful blast flew ever closer to him. A direct hit! There was a thunderous boom and brilliant flash. Nothing could be seen through this flash. Then when the flash was over there stood two figures and one figure lied on the floor. "That is what I call a finisher move!"