This was a fairytale I wrote for my Fairytale Anthropology class. I hope you enjoyed it, my teacher did. Start the fic.
Once upon a time in the land of Japan, there were two boys named Saito and a boy named Densuke. The two were rivals since the day they met as toddlers, for you see Densuke lived for mayhem and chaos while Saito thrived for order and peace. This lead to a bitter rivalry where their competitions had no ends. They competed in everything from hunting to fishing to horseback riding to girls to basically anything you could think of. Because they were polar opposites, Saito felt as if it were his duty to stop Densuke at every turn and keep him in check. Densuke on the other hand, looked at their rivalry as challenge, a tool to help sharpen his abilities for the days to come when people would try to stop him and his ways. As hard as Saito tried hard, however, he would usually end up losing to Densuke pretty badly which eventually lead to Saito growing to fear Densuke.
Time went by and their competitive spirits started to wane and fade. Densuke was losing interest because of how often he won and felt as though Saito was no real threat to his goals and ideals. Saito had begun to think that perhaps his competition with Densuke was actually a distraction to keep him from helping the people in some other way. The two met up one day and agreed that they must find a way to end their rivalry once and for all. The idea of a fight came to their collective minds but they were both nothing but informal brawlers so they decided to seek a martial arts master to teach them. The one they found was truly an old and wise master indeed and agreed to train them so long as they agreed to meet his every condition without question. They agreed to these terms and begun their training. Over the years, the master fine-tuned their bodies in to physical totems of wellness and strength. Of course Saito and Densuke's competition continued in the training as well, but Densuke continued to dominate Saito, he won every sparring match and mastered every technique before Saito could. Saito was beginning to question, if it was even possible for him to defeat Densuke.
One night, Saito dreamt of a wildfire which was burning an entire town. When he tried to confront one of the panicking peasants they were cut off by the roar of what sounded like a tiger. Saito followed the roar to where he thought the source was but only found a burning pile of bamboo. An evil laughter echoed throughout the area striking Saito in his soul. From out of the shadows leapt Densuke, but he no longer looked like the Densuke that he knew. Orange and black stripes raced across his now gigantic body, and a pair of Oni horns were crowned upon his head. Densuke grinned evilly, pulled back his fist and threw it forward aiming at Saito's face. Saito thought for sure this would be the end of him but before the fist could connect he was saved by a miracle… he woke up. In the middle of their training journey, the three of them had set up camp by the Urauchi River; Saito looked over at Densuke's sleeping form and saw that Densuke wore the same smile sleeping that he had on in his dream. Saito laid back down in hopes of putting the dream out of his mind but sleep never took him.
The next morning, the three of them took a boat across the river to Iriomote Island. Iriomote Island was filled with a lush jungle filled with many different and powerful animals. The master took them inland to reveal to them a big surprise he had planned for both of them. He took them to the top of Pinaisara Waterfall and told them that it was time for their master's test. They would have one month to train separately in this jungle alone and attain any improvements to their combat style in any way they could. Then when one month was over, the master would come back and judge them on their progress. The one had improved the most would be deemed the winner through a martial arts duel and declared the true successor to his martial arts school. As the master left Saito was left at a loss of how he was to improve himself with nothing but a jungle for an asset while Densuke boasted he would go to the deepest darkest area of the jungle so surviving itself would be training.
Saito went to the pool the waterfall poured in to clear his head. "Oh woe is me!" said Saito. "I am no match for the strength of Densuke. I am surely doomed." A giant koi fish hearing his cry came to the surface and said "Why do you cry?" Saito replied "I am to fight my rival in a month and his strength is so immense I am sure to die within the first blow." The giant koi fish understood Saito's plight and said "Strength is not everything. I am a koi fish and I outswim many a greater predator through nothing but my grace." Saito looked to the koi fish and pleaded "Then please, teach me how to be graceful so I may survive my fight with Densuke." And so the giant koi fish taught Saito how to move with grace. About a week later, Saito wasn't feeling any better about his odds and went for a hike in one of the thinner parts of the forest, there he met a deer. The deer said "Man, why do you look so fraught with fear? If anything it is I who is to fear you." Saito replied. "I am to fight my powerful rival in less than a month, and although I have learned to move gracefully I fear he will kill me when we come to blows." The deer took pity on Saito and said "Strength is a matter to take in to a consideration but it is pointless without speed. Come and run with me and I shall teach you of speeds and agilities the likes of which man has never known." So Saito agreed to run with the deer, and in about another week he found there was no more he could learn from him.
Saito eventually traveled to a wide river in the middle of the island. He sat on a rock and thought very deeply about his upcoming fight. A water buffalo happened across him and asked "What is it that is worth so much thought that you would ignore the world and wildlife around you?" Saito looked to the water buffalo and said "I am in a bind, in about two weeks' time I am to fight my rival. And although I have learned grace from the koi and speed from the deer, I fear I will not be able to prevail over him for he is built as of a stone." The water buffalo cocked his head to the side. "A stone you say? I know a thing or two about stones. Follow me." So Saito followed the water buffalo further upstream to a large pool which fed in to the river. In the pool where three large jade boulders, and the water buffalo said to him "If you can move all three boulders from the pool to the river than his stone body will be no concern." Saito doubted a little if the water buffalo actually understood his plight but agreed to the task none the less. Using jungle vines to make a rope he was able to drag all three jade boulders to the river in under a week.
Saito was feeling different now, more confident, so he began his journey back to the top of the Pinaisara Falls to meet his master. On the way there though, he came across an Asiatic Black Bear who had a warning for him. "I know of who you are," said the bear "And I know of why you trained to improve yourself with the other animals. However, you cannot defeat your rival as you are now. For you see he has traveled to the deepest, darkest part of the jungle where he has aligned himself with Oni. The Oni have made a pact with him that should he gain your master's title then he shall use the power they have given him to wreak havoc across the land." Saito was alarmed but he did not dread like he had before. He asked the bear "What power have they given him." The bear answered "The ritual the performed on him has given him the strength and body of an Oni. He has horns on top of his head and his own evil is transparent upon his face." Saito was at a loss for how to handle this, so he looked to the bear. "How am I to overcome him? I have always dedicated myself to stopping Densuke but if his humanity is truly gone than how may I prevail?" The bear answered. "If you were to break his horns then his deal with the Onis should be broken. However, he is not likely to let you do this so you must do it during your fight. Train with me and I can teach you the proper way."
So Saito trained with the bear to learn how to properly break Densuke's horns. This involved climbing many a tree and breaking as many branches as he could on the way down. Finally, the day of the fight arrived and Saito met with his master and Densuke on top of the waterfall. Densuke was everything the bear had made him out to be, Densuke's build was massively large which was seemed inappropriate to his tiny horned head. The master judged that while Densuke's body was radically changed, there was something to be said about the improvement Saito had accomplished. He even had the tiger stripes from his dream. Therefore they had until sunset to make the other yield in their martial arts matched, the whole jungle was allowed to be their battleground. No sooner had their master informed him on this, Densuke made a mad grab for Saito but he quickly slipped out of his grasp. "I am slippery like a fish now, you'll have to do better than that to defeat me." With that said, Saito dashed in to the jungle like deer. Densuke gave a beserker roar of rage before pursuing after.
Densuke searched for Saito but as far as he could tell, his opponent had merely run away. So Densuke shouted how Saito was a coward along with many other insults. As he was about to turn around a boulder came tumbling down from up on high. This surprised Densuke but he quickly smashed it with his fist, two more came down but he crushed them just the same. Finally, he leapt up on high to where the boulders were coming from and found none other than Saito waiting for him. There was a cave behind him and a rope made of jungle vines on the ground next to him. "You actually tried a dirty trick against me?!" accused Densuke. "Not a trick," rebuffed Saito "I just needed you to follow me." Saito flicked a small pebble against Densuke's forehead and ran in to the cave. Enraged, Densuke quickly followed, but the deeper in to the cave he went the darker it became and he soon lost sight of Saito. "Where are you?!" he hollered. "You have never been a match for me before but at least you never ran… or tried to use dirty tricks!" Saito replied, "Densuke," his voice seemed to echo from everywhere "I am sorry. I thought I needed to be the one to stop you from your evil deeds but perhaps what I should have been trying to do was save you from them. If I had tried to help you find a new path instead of just blocking the one you are on then perhaps you would not have sold yourself to the Oni." Densuke laughed outrageously at Saito's apology. "I sought THEM out! I knew exactly what I was doing and found their price worth a bargain." Saito was quiet for a moment. "Then perhaps you are already lost." Saito mourned. "I shall at least free you from their grip then!"
Saito dropped down from above but Densuke caught him and punched him through the cave wall. Saito managed to pick himself up just Densuke leapt through the cave wall. In an act of desperation Saito threw out a kick and Densuke went flying backwards. Saito was astounded by the effectiveness of his kick but then remembered his training with the water buffalo. Those boulders were clearly heavier than Densuke's new body so perhaps this match up wasn't as one sided as he thought. Densuke was quickly up though and charged at him like a wild animal. Saito let out a punch and Densuke's head reeled backwards in response. Densuke was in such a blind rage that he had forgotten all about the martial arts he had learned and swung wildly at Saito, but these swings were so wide and sluggish that Saito dodged them with effortless ease falling back once again on the grace he had learned from the koi. The fight dragged on and Densuke had worn himself out to the point of being helpless, Saito launched a double chop and cut off both of Densuke's horns. Densuke fell to his knees and his body quickly regressed back in to the one he had before he had met the Onis. Saito took pity on Densuke and carried him back to where their master was waiting.
The master congratulated Saito on his victory and revealed his very purpose in agreeing to train them both was so Saito could put a stop to Densuke's evil ways. He foresaw that so long as Densuke was the one dominating their competitions he would never truly consider the consequences for his actions and remain unchecked. When asked about how he felt towards any evil for the future Densuke replied that the lust he felt for it once was now completely gone. This put Densuke in a bind, evil was all he had ever known and without it he was unsure of where to go or what to do. Saito offered to help Densuke find his place in the world. And so the two became like brothers, burying their rivalry and dedicating their lives to spreading the martial art of their master across the land.