"Okay, right there's good!" shouted Kawamitsu, as he was guiding the driver of the supply truck into the loading bay. The shipments of supplies to the Manji Clan Complex were growing few and far in between, so it was important to make these available as soon as possible.
Kawamitsu, Yoshimitsu's right-hand-man, then opened the back of the cargo truck and, clipboard in hand, began filing the supplies into the lacking inventory. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he made the calculations. The throwing knives that adorned his dark ninja garb shone in the sun as he continued to record the sparse supplies. Giving a heavy sigh, he reached for the black scarf around his neck and used the end to wipe up the few beads of sweat that began to collect on his forehead after working all morning. Just then, he saw Yoshimitsu making his way from the entrance of the complex to the central headquarters, commonly referred to as the Main Building.
"Master!" called out Kawamitsu, who set the clipboard down on a nearby crate and began to make his way towards Yoshimitsu, "How did things turn out?"
Being back at the Manji Clan Complex, which was constantly full of sick and hungry refugees, Yoshimitsu's mood had sunk a little and his voice grew grave.
"My venture into the city did not fare very well at all. I've failed to make progress with my search for the group that is after Kunimitsu. I…" he held his hands to his helmet, "I don't even know if Kunimitsu is still alive."
"I remember Kunimitsu when she was here last year, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that she's one tough woman," reassured Kawamitsu, "I'm sure she'll turn up, and not in enemy hands."
"I hope you're right," added Yoshimitsu, as he began to walk up the wide steps of the Main Building- the building where all of the clan members and he resided. Kawamitsu returned to his place at the truck and, with the help of other nearby clan members, began hauling the supplies to the storage facility.
Yoshimitsu entered through the heavy wooden doors of the Main Building and walked through the spacious room that served as a sort of lobby, with low furniture lining the edges of the room. His armored feet make metallic patting sounds as he walked across the smooth wooden floor. He continued on down hallway after hallway until he reached his own quarters. Once inside, he sat down on a tatami mat and began to meditate. To help with concentration, he began chanting prayers as softly as his altered voice would allow. After about an hour of this, he opened his eyes and started to gather his thoughts.
'Who else knew about Kunimitsu being in this city? I should have been more inquisitive. I should have established who her contacts were.' Yoshimitsu could feel a pressing thought in his mind, as if he was forgetting something very important.
When he last saw Kunimitsu, he had been 'damaged' by a sniper who had shot him with a very technologically advanced dart. That dart had been able to penetrate his human skin and connect to his integrated computer system, and when it did, it had unleashed a horrible virus that shut him down as if he was nothing more than a flimsy laptop. Thinking about it made his insides shudder, bothered at the thought of someone having that much power over him.
But, luckily, Kunimitsu showed him mercy and took him to a friend of hers. He was a young man who lived in the city, Yoshimitsu knew, and he was incredibly skillful for his age. He managed to connect Yoshimitsu with his own computer and eradicate the virus. Yoshimitsu could remember that much, but he couldn't quite remember the name of the man. He had been back to that young man's apartment building a few times to try to find him, but he had moved and no one around knew where to. Hopefully he was still in the city, because right now, he was Yoshimitsu's only chance of finding Kunimitsu.
Yoshimitsu suddenly sensed someone nearing the door to his room, and unsurprisingly, there was a soft knocking sound on the door's wooden frame.
"Enter," granted Yoshimitsu, who stood from his seat on the mat.
A young woman who had a tendency towards physical beauty, and piercing eyes to go with it, then entered Yoshimitsu's room. She was dressed very similar to Kawamitsu, only she wore metal gauntlets that she used for both defense and a means for attacking. Her long dark hair, which was normally tied back, now flowed over her shoulders and down her back like black silk.
"Good afternoon, Master," greeted the young kunoichi, as she bowed with natural grace, "It's nice to see you back in one piece." She winked at him as she rose, smiling.
"It's very good to see you too, Hiyamitsu. How are things?" asked Yoshimitsu, motioning to her right leg.
"Oh, this?" she asked, patting her thigh, "It's doing much better. I was able to have Dr. Bosconovich fine-tune it, so now it's working even smoother than before."
Yoshimitsu was glad to hear it. Hiyamitsu had lost her leg in a fierce battle against the Black Pheasant Syndicate, who had once tried to kill Yoshimitsu and destroy the Manji Clan. With Kunimitsu's help, they were able to stop them, but that didn't prevent losses on both sides.
"You've gotten back up to speed, then?" asked Yoshimitsu. He then stepped out of his room- with Hiyamitsu following him closely- and began to head towards the back entrance of the Main Building, which led to the Manji Clan training grounds.
"Yes, everything's fine now. Even still, I don't think I can keep training Harper all by myself. I know you're busy, Master, but if you could take the time to instruct the boy yourself, he would improve tremendously." She was, of course, referring to the newest Manji ninja who had shown his dedication during the struggle with the Black Pheasants. The young man was a foreigner, but he was now just as much a part of the Manji Clan as Kawamitsu or Hiyamitsu.
"We're only as strong as our weakest link," began Yoshimitsu, making small bows to a few ninja who he passed by in the halls, "So I will take charge of his lessons for the rest of this week. Give yourself a break, understood? Go spend some time with Kawamitsu. I'm sure he misses your company."
'Yes!' thought Hiyamitsu triumphantly.
"Thank you very much, Master!" she bowed and darted off to find Kawamitsu, hoping his work shift was almost done.
Eventually, Yoshimitsu made his way to the training grounds and saw Harper standing in the middle clearing, going through a chain of balance-enhancing techniques. His blond, messy hair seemed to contrast with his traditional ninja clothing, and it made his blue eyes gleam like ice.
"Very good," stated Yoshimitsu, who surprised Harper enough to make him wobble a bit as he balanced with one foot off the ground.
"Master! I didn't see you there," Harper stood straight and bowed, "How are you today?"
"Fine, thank you. And how, may I ask, are you doing?" asked Yoshimitsu, looking over Harper carefully.
"Me? I'm doing great," replied Harper, a hint of fake cheer in his voice, "It's just that… I've been spending a lot of time training, as I'm sure you already know, but… Master, when am I going to be assigned to a mission? I've gotten a lot better, really." Yoshimitsu nodded slightly, deep in thought.
"Yes… Yes, you have, but you still need more time to perfect your skill. Even one more day, one more second of perfection can mean the difference between life and death, my young friend," stated Yoshimitsu. Harper bowed again, thanking him for the advice.
Then, Harper said in English, "Thank you very much, Master."
"You… are welcome," responded Yoshimitsu carefully. "It is my pleasure to help for you- to help you." He sighed. His English was getting better, thanks to Harper's instruction, but it was almost impossible for him to not make a mistake. "It seems," began Yoshimitsu, "that I need to work on perfecting my English."
"What?" mouthed Miharu Hirano, Xiaoyu's Japanese school-girl friend. The two were sitting in one of their classes at the Mishima Polytechnical School and, instead of listening to the professor's lecture, they were trying their best to have a silent conversation.
"I have something to tell you," Xiaoyu mouthed in return.
"I halve something blue cello?" asked Miharu, bringing her voice up to a mouse's whisper.
"I said," began Xiaoyu, her voice rising up to a whisper that was slightly louder than Miharu's, causing the students sitting nearby to glace over at her, "I have something to tell you!"
"Oh!" loudly exclaimed Miharu, who quickly covered her mouth with her hands. Fortunately, their professor, an elderly woman, didn't seem to notice.
Thinking it best to wait until after class, Xiaoyu brought as much attention as she could back to taking notes. Eventually, the bell rang and the shuffle to leave the lecture hall began. Xiaoyu quickly swept everything into her backpack and made her way to Miharu.
"Okay Xiao, now what do you have to tell me?" asked Miharu, putting the last of her school things in her own backpack.
"I can't really tell you here," informed Xiaoyu, making suspicious glances left and right. She couldn't help but smirk a little as she said, "There's eyes and ears everywhere."
"Ha ha, what?" inquired Miharu, as the two made their way out of the lecture hall and down the long gothic-style veranda that ran in between the older buildings on campus. The two then made their way out onto the grass and sat down on one of the many benches in the outdoor forum.
"Okay, now you have to promise not to tell anyone. Anyone!" said Xiaoyu, making sure to stress the importance.
"I promise!" assured Miharu, "Now tell me what's going on, Xiao."
"Alright. Well, remember my friend Jin Kazama?"
"The love of your life, Jin Kazama? Of course I remember him!" teased Miharu, causing Xiaoyu to glare at her.
"Anyway, he hasn't been around in a long time, and so I thought I would go to his grandfather Heihachi Mishima to try to talk to him. I guess I thought it would be easy, but before I knew it, I was running away from his security guards. It's my own fault, really, for trying to sneak in there so late at night, but I knew they'd never just let me in to see their boss, you know?" Miharu nodded intently, her eyes growing wider with interest.
"Well, I was actually getting really scared. I seriously thought they were going to kill me." Talking about it for the first time since it happened made Xiaoyu's spine tingle, but she just shook it off and continued, "At the last minute, I was rescued by Yoshimitsu! Can you believe that?"
"What? Yoshimitsu?! Isn't he that scary guy with the sword who fights in the King of Iron Fist Tournaments?" asked Miharu, almost not believing Xiaoyu, "Why was he there? How did he know you needed help?"
"I guess he saw me and decided to help me out," Xiaoyu shrugged, "All in all, he saved me and now I'm going to help him sneak into the-"
"Hey Xiaoyu! Hi Miharu!" greeted a young man, interrupting Xiaoyu, as he walked up to them. He had dark hair and glasses that almost made him invisible in his school uniform.
"Hi," the two girls repeated, looking up at him blankly.
"Umm… Xiaoyu… I was wondering if… Well, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out sometime tomorrow. Y-You can come too, Miharu, if you want." He rubbed the back of his neck nervously, hoping for the best.
"I'm busy, sorry," quickly answered Miharu.
"Actually, I'm busy too," added Xiaoyu, knowing it was the truth. "Maybe some other time?"
"Oh, sure, of course!" replied the young man, almost too eagerly. "See you around!" He then turned and began walking away. He could just faintly hear the two girls continue their conversation and, just for a second there, he could have sworn he heard them say the name 'Yoshimitsu.' This caused him to pause for a second, but then he remembered himself and continued walking.
'Yoshimitsu?' he thought, 'No… It couldn't be. They must be talking about a different Yoshimitsu. They can't be talking about the cyborg who I helped purge that virus from.'
The next day was their day off, so Xiaoyu spent the whole day training at the school's martial arts gym and, in the evening, she found herself in her room, preparing for that night's adventure.
Xiaoyu stood next to her bed as she continued to dry her hair, which was still wet from the shower she had emerged from not too long ago. She had displayed various articles of clothing on her bed in an effort to choose the best outfit.
"What would a spy wear?" she asked herself out loud, looking down at the various tops and bottoms. She eventually decided on black fitness pants and a dark-colored top. "At least they match…"
Just then, there was a knock on her door. Xiaoyu, who was only wearing shorts and a camisole, quickly put on the chosen clothes and rushed to the door. Her heart was pounding in her chest, and when she opened the door, she saw Yoshimitsu standing there just as she had hoped.
"Yoshimitsu! Come on in!" she offered, opening the door wider. "How'd you get here unnoticed?" She looked at his armor, which was silver and red. He looked like a demon, she thought, and his horned mask helped further the idea. She could see what looked like long, bright crimson hair coming from his head, and his sword- which looked more like a traditional katana as opposed to the glowing neon sword from his beetle suit- looked menacing in his hand.
"Are you feeling alright?" he asked, noticing how flustered she seemed. Xiaoyu nodded and stood aside to let him in, shutting the door quickly behind him. She could see his back now, and his back armor looked like the large face of a dragon. The silver-colored suit held reflections of Xiaoyu's apartment, and she could even see her own face.
"So, are you ready now or…? I just need to get my shoes on and put my hair up," stated Xiaoyu, as she began to make her way to the bathroom to get a blow dryer.
"Wait, please, Miss Xiaoyu," asked Yoshimitsu, "If I may suggest, I think you should wear your hair down. You'll be less recognizable."
"Oh! Of course. That makes sense," Xiaoyu answered as she continued on into her bedroom. There, she found a pair of socks and, after taking care of that, she slipped on her shoes and made her way back into the living room. "There! Ready!"
Yoshimitsu couldn't help but smile underneath his mask at seeing the young woman so keyed up and energized. His own emotions seemed to acclimate to hers, just from standing in the same room as her.
The two then made their way out of the apartment building and down the street. Xiaoyu, out of habit, made a left turn at the corner as if she was going to the bus stop. She looked back at Yoshimitsu to see him going the other way.
"Oh? Yoshimitsu, how are we getting there?" she asked as she rushed to catch up to him. This part of the neighborhood was quiet at this time of night. Most of the students who had afternoon groups they attended or night studying had gone back home, and so the commuting route to the academy would be much more calm than during the day.
"I've brought transportation," informed Yoshimitsu, looking back at her as they headed across the street to a public parking lot, "I hope you don't mind."
"Oh, not at all," she replied, but then she thought twice when she saw Yoshimitsu standing next to an intimidating street bike, black as pitch. He placed his sword into a scabbard that was attached to the bike and, pulling the keys from his arm guard, he sat on the bike and started it up.
He glanced back at her again, revving the throttle a little to wake the slumbering bike, "Miss Xiaoyu? Are you sure this is alright?"
"Um, yeah, I just…" Xiaoyu chuckled and walked up to the bike. "I just didn't picture you the kind of guy to ride a motorcycle is all." Yoshimitsu nodded to show her he understood.
"Well, it's still a little new to me. I usually prefer a horse or even a car, but this is better suited for a mission in the city. It gives us a quicker getaway." He then unlatched the strap that had kept a black helmet hanging from the handlebars and he gave it to Xiaoyu, "I hope it fits. I had to guess the size."
Xiaoyu took the helmet in her slender hands and, putting it on, she sat down behind him on the bike.
"Okay," she said, slapping the visor down, "I'm ready!"
"Alright, then, watch your feet and hold on tight," instructed Yoshimitsu as the bike pushed forward and carried the two of them out of the parking lot and down the street.
The two sped up as they passed car after car, which made Xiaoyu a little uneasy, but she held fast to his waist, which felt strong under the layers of cloth and armor. Yoshimitsu could feel her grip tighten and so he slowed the bike down slightly.
'This is fun,' Yoshimitsu admitted to himself, pleased that his ability to smoothly shift gears and turn tightly had improved enough to make this an enjoyable ride, at least for him. He could feel the rush of speed, almost like when he flew, and it caused him to fall into an alert relaxation.
Eventually, after about half an hour of riding, the two pulled up to the loading lane across the street from the entrance to the school. Aside from a few lights in the hallways, which the janitors used when cleaning, the large building looked empty. Relieved that the ride was over, Xiaoyu took off the helmet and glanced at her watch.
"It's 11:45," she began, "Everyone should be gone, now. The last study session ended at 11:30."
"It's still a bit too soon," Yoshimitsu said, calculating, "We should wait a little bit longer. But where?"
Just then, Xiaoyu's stomach cried out in hunger, making her cheeks blush.
"I guess I forgot to eat something earlier," she explained, "Do you think we could…?"
"Go get something to eat? Sure!" answered Yoshimitsu. Xiaoyu's smile shone at his easy-going attitude and, once she had the helmet back in place, the two sped off to the nearby market.
Once there, they found a spot to park and began heading towards the closest food stand. Xiaoyu had forgotten to leave the helmet at the bike, and so while she went to take care of that, Yoshimitsu sat down at the stand and placed his sword on the bar top. Ignoring the stares of the other patrons, he went ahead and ordered food.
"Sorry about that," said Xiaoyu, as she sat down next to her noticeable companion, "Oh, you already ordered?"
"Yes, well," began Yoshimitsu, looking over at her, "I already ate earlier, so I got this for you. I didn't know what you'd like, so I just got the dumplings…"
"I absolutely love dumplings!" cheered Xiaoyu, "Thank you so much!" Usually Xiaoyu, like most other young women her age, would try to be modest when eating, but she had decided that being around Yoshimitsu was different.
'Maybe we're becoming friends!' she mused to herself as she began eating the dumplings.
'Are we becoming friends?' Yoshimitsu asked himself in his mind, growing worried.
"So," began Xiaoyu, looking over at him from her plate of dumplings, "What did you do for the picture on your motorcycle license? You didn't wear your mask, did you?"
"Actually, I don't have a license," Yoshimitsu admitted with a hidden smile, "I'm not even a Japanese citizen."
"Really? Taking a risk there, aren't you? Well then, where are you from and how do you get around without an ID?"
"Oh, I was born here in Japan, but I denounced my citizenship when I joined the Manji Clan. The Manji Clan can't be affiliated with any country, because then that binds us to one, so to speak. We'd have to follow so many rules and hack through so much red tape just to transfer refugees to our base. I could still be detained for all of this, but at least we have more mobility. We just have to do everything ourselves. And even though I stick out like a sore thumb, there are not many police officers or government officials around here who don't know that it'd be useless to try to catch me." Yoshimitsu paused and looked over at Xiaoyu, who appeared to have lost interest and was busy poking at the filling of an opened dumpling with her chopsticks.
"Xiaoyu," he said, getting her attention. Xiaoyu looked over at him and smiled.
"I'm listening, I'm listening. Don't worry. And hey! You dropped the 'Miss' and called me Xiaoyu! Progress!" She cheered as she gave him a thumbs up.
'Damn, I did, didn't I?' thought Yoshimitsu. However, he felt okay with it. At least for now.
"Anyway, Xiaoyu, are you done eating?" he asked, suddenly feeling the urge to get out of the area.
"Yeah, I'm done," answered Xiaoyu, as Yoshimitsu placed a few bills on the bar top to cover the price and a tip.
"Alright, let's go," he said as the two made their way back to the bike. He was starting to get that prickly feeling on the back of his neck, as if someone was watching them.
"Thank you so much for paying for my dinner, Yoshimitsu. I really appreciate it," thanked Xiaoyu, her voice slightly muffled by the helmet she had placed over her head.
"No problem," casually replied Yoshimitsu. He hopped on the bike and started the engine, taking a quick look around for anyone suspicious. His mind elsewhere, he unthinkingly added, "You'll just have to get the bill next time." His eyes widened a bit when he realized what he just said.
"Oh? Want to meet up again? Alright, then. You got yourself a date!" playfully joked Xiaoyu. Without a word, Yoshimitsu revved the bike to life and, as the two took off back towards the school, Yoshimitsu cursed at himself internally.
Author's Note: Well, that's Chapter 3. I hope you enjoyed it. I made a reference to my previous fanfic in this one, considering it's a sequel and all. I hope it didn't confuse anyone. Anyway, like always, comments are greatly appreciated.