My Hero - Chapter 9 - You Have No Idea
"Ah, Miss Ling, so nice of you to join us," sardonically welcomed the instructor at his place in front of a long white board, marker in hand. Xiaoyu bowed quickly and practically ran to her seat, trying to make herself as small as a bird to avoid the looks of her fellow classmates. The instructor, eager to get on with this days latest, riveting lesson, turned back to the marker board and continued scrawling away.
"Xiao!" whispered Xiaoyu's best friend, Miharu, as she leaned over, "I was worried about you. You weren't at any of your classes yesterday. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," assured Xiaoyu, pulling her notebook and pencil bag out of her backpack and quietly setting them on the wooden desk top, "There's just been a lot of crazy things happening lately and-" Xiaoyu looked up at the instructor to make sure he couldn't hear that she was talking during his lecture, "… I'll tell you more about it later."
Class continued, seeming to drag on and on. Xiaoyu did her best to catch up with the lesson, and before long, Xiaoyu had finished the last line of her notes. Before long, all of the students began filing out of the classroom with the sound of the bell chiming, causing a cacophony of moving chairs and shuffling feet.
"Oh Miss Ling!" patronizingly called out the instructor over all the noise. Miharu gave her friend a sympathetic look before making her own escape out of the classroom like all the other students. Xiaoyu marched to the front of the class as quickly as she could.
"I'm sure you have a perfectly good excuse for missing yesterdays class," began the instructor, straightening out the collar of his dark grey suit, "but I'm not interested in excuses- only promises to work even harder." With that, he pulled a manila folder out of his desk drawer and practically thrust it in Xiaoyu's general direction.
Xiaoyu wasted no time in taking the folder, bowing deeply, and exiting the class room. In the hallway, Miharu stood patiently waiting for her friend as student after student navigated passed her through the crowded hallway. When Xiaoyu appeared out into the hall, however, she made her way directly to the nearest wall and hopelessly placed her forehead against it, almost as if she would rather bash her own brains out than think about all of the busy work that was certainly waiting for inside of the despicable manila folder she held in her hands.
De Garonne suddenly found himself ripped from the creaky wooden chair he had been sitting on and was thrown against the wall, his forehead hitting the bare cement.
"Fuck!" he scream, groaning in pain as he stumbled back. Using his free hand, he rubbed his forehead and spat out a bit of bloodied saliva, trying to ignore the pain in his skull and the throbbing of his other arm as it hung in its makeshift sling. Yoshimitsu grabbed de Garonne by his dark, button-up shirt and slammed him against the wall again.
"Who sent you?" demanded Yoshimitsu, his voice reaching new depths of darkness and ferocity. Yoshimitsu had re-donned his menacing beetle suit, adding to his intimidating appearance. There was a pause for a moment, and Yoshimitsu turned de Garonne around to face him, pushing him up against the cold wall.
"The syndicate that's after Kunimitsu, the one that hired you- What is it called?" he cold-clocked de Garonne across the face and continued to slam him repeated against the wall.
De Garonne's whole body was reeling in pain, and he was having trouble deciding why he was still bothering to resist. However, his lips managed to utter something, anything.
"I c-can't think with you beating me!" he retorted, which caused Yoshimitsu to grab him by the throat with his robotic hand.
"I don't have time for this! Tell me who hired you! Where are they?" Yoshimitsu took a step to the side and threw de Garonne towards the wooden table in the middle of the room. De Garonne screamed in pain when his injured arm hit the table. Using his free hand to steady him, he stood up and turned around to face his interrogator.
"You have no idea…" he began, spitting more blood onto the bare floor, "You have no idea who's really pulling the strings here…"
"What? You're not serious!" Miharu couldn't contain her disbelief as she sat across her best friend. She shook her heard and looked down at her lunch.
"Of course I am!" responded Xiaoyu through a mouthful of dumplings, "I can't just sit around here doing nothing! I have to go back to the Manji Clan and help Yoshimitsu." She continued eating as she looked around the outdoor dining area, with all of it's picnic tables and benches. The sun was particularly bright this afternoon, and it only helped Xiaoyu's optimism.
Just as the two girls were finishing up their lunches, Chiteki walked up to them, having debated on his next attempt for the past half hour.
"H-Hi, Xiaoyu, Miharu," he began, not stammering quite as much as usual.
"Hi Chiteki," they replied in unison, hardly looking up at him.
"Um… Xiaoyu… I was wondering if… Well, I have two tickets to the Mishima Amusement Park and I was wondering if-"
"Of course I'll go!" beamed Xiaoyu, before Chiteki could even finish his question, "I love amusement parks!"
Chiteki, shocked at his seemingly effortless success, smiled nervously.
"Wow, really? G-Great! Umm, I'm sure you're really busy with all the work you missed, so how about we go next week? I-I mean, if that's enough time for you."
"Sure thing! Thank you so much! I'll get back to you on that, okay?"
"Yeah, that's great! Perfect!" Chiteki, having reached critical mass of interaction time with Xiaoyu, quickly took off back inside the school building.
"Wow, he sure seems excited," commented Miharu, with a smirk, "I sure hope you don't lead the poor boy on." She winked at her friend, hoping to get a response.
"Oh please!" replied Xiaoyu as she began collecting her things, "I just couldn't say no to a free amusement park pass. Besides, after all the times he's asked to hang out, the least I could do is say yes just once." Xiaoyu was looking forward to some fun, but she was still as determined as ever to not get side-tracked.
Xiaoyu's determination, however, would be diminished if she had known what was going on in plain sight, right across the street. A perfectly normal-looking couple was posing together for a picture, but instead of snapping a shot of the two, their photographer was focusing his lens on the young woman with the pigtails who was eating lunch with her friend.
"Got it," muttered the photographer, quickly returning his camera to its case, "Why do you think Aikuchi wants all of this?"
"Who cares?" replied the woman as her "boyfriend" began walking towards their inconspicuous car, "Let's just get back to headquarters."
"Take him back to his room," ordered Yoshimitsu, as two Manji ninja pulled de Garonne to his feet. The anger had already begun to retreat from Yoshimitsu's mechanized voice, "But first, take him to the medical quarters. Have the doctor take a look at him."
As soon as they were gone, Yoshimitsu left the awful interrogation room and made his way to the exit of the small building, hidden deep in the forest. Once outside that cement shack, Yoshimitsu was able to breathe in the fresh mountain air, and he could feel himself relax.
"Were you able to get anything out of him?" asked Kawamitsu from his place next to one of the tall trees. He took a few steps towards his leader and friend, pushing a little dirt and pine needles around with his boots.
"Well, not much," answered Yoshimitsu, stretching out his arms under the sun, "There's something bigger at work here, that's for sure. He said something in there that puzzled me."
"Oh?" The two started to make their way along the narrow path through the forest, taking care not to snap any branches under their feet.
"He said that I have no idea who's "really pulling the strings around here." I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. Do you think… Do you think he could have a double-motive? What if there's someone else who's employed him? What if this whole thing is a distraction?"
"That's a possibility, Master," Kawamitsu said, playing with one of his throwing knives. Just as he was about to offer up more of this thoughts on the matter, the quiet static of the radio at his hip was interrupted by an urgent voice.
"Kawamitsu, Yuromitsu. Is Master there?" Kawamitsu took the radio in his hand and held it up to his mouth.
"He's got a little visitor."
Yoshimitsu sighed and placed his palm over the eyes of his mask, "You've got to be kidding me…"
"What are you doing here? How did you even find this place?" Yoshimitsu couldn't believe who was sitting down at his table, in his own room.
"I just thought I'd say hi!" cheerfully replied Xiaoyu while taking the liberty of inspecting the various ink boxes and Buddhist statuettes Yoshimitsu had on his table, "Kunimitsu was nice enough to show me how to get here. I was surprised I was able to find her!"
Yoshimitsu glared over at Kunimitsu, who was leaning against the doorway. She was back into her familiar purple body suit, an oni mask covering the upper half of her face. Yoshimitsu could clearly see the smirk on her face, and it didn't help ease any of his frustration.
'You think this is so funny, don't you,' thought Yoshimitsu, turning away from Kunimitsu and looking back down at Xiaoyu. It was hard to be too mad at her, in her perfectly innocuous school uniform.
"I thought it'd be good for you, Yoshimitsu, to have a friend by your side to keep you company," Kunimitsu stated coyly, biting her lip in glee.
"So, Yoshimitsu, have you found out anything from that assassin? Are you going to confront the guys who're after Kunimitsu?" asked Xiaoyu as she rose to her feet.
"Xiaoyu, the worst is over, so you really don't have to be here," began Yoshimitsu, desperately wanting to be anywhere but here.
"Oh, don't worry, Yoshi," assured Xiaoyu, "I don't really have anything else to do. I mean, I have a lot of school work to make up for, but I'm sure it won't take too long. Oh hey, did I tell you a friend of mine is going to take me to the amusement park next week? I'm super excited. I'm going with Chiteki; you remember him, right?"
"Chiteki?" asked Kunimitsu, thinking back to the young college student who she had become acquainted with during her short employment under Chiteki's uncle, Lord Aikuchi- the man now trying to track her down.
"Xiaoyu," cautioned Yoshimitsu, "I don't think you should be hanging out with that boy. He's-"
"-nothing to worry about," interrupted Kunimitsu, seeing her opportunity unfold, "I've known Chiteki for a while now. His uncle may be a shady character, to say the least, but young Chiteki is harmless."
Yoshimitsu glanced over at Kunimitsu, sensing that she had some sort of motive behind that last statement. However, as curious as he was, that would have to wait. He had much more pressing matters to deal with.
"Xiao, you don't have to leave just yet, but I have a lot of work to do," he began, helping the young woman to her feet.
"Do you mind if I tag along?" asked Xiaoyu, interlacing her fingers hopefully, "I'd like to see what kind of work you do around here."
"Umm, sure, that'd be fine," shrugged Yoshimitsu, making his way to the door.
Kunimitsu stepped aside, letting the two pass, but when Yoshimitsu took just two steps down the hallway, he turned back to look at her.
"Xiao, could you just meet me outside?" asked Yoshimitsu, "I forgot something." Xiaoyu answered with a casual "sure" and continued down the hall, leaving Yoshimitsu alone with Kunimitsu.
"Just what are you getting at?" asked Yoshimitsu, unconvinced.
"What? About Chiteki? Yoshimitsu, let's not be naive. You and I both know that Chiteki could very well be our key to getting Aikuchi off my back. We could use this little Chinese girl to get close enough to him to-"
"We don't kidnap innocent people for our own gain," interrupted Yoshimitsu, his voice, although firm, not reaching any louder than a statement of fact.
"Oh, please, Yoshimitsu, you know very well that this isn't a game," Kunimitsu crossed her arms and leaned against the wooden frame of the door, "We don't have to hurt the kid. We just have to… persuade him to help us get into his uncle's office so we can all… have a little chat."
Yoshimitsu sighed, placing a hand on his hips, "You know, Kunimitsu, when we last said goodbye- before you disappeared- I was very hopeful that you would be able to turn a new leaf and start a good life. But look at you," he motioned to her slender figure, "You look the same as you did twenty years ago, and it seems like you're still up to no good."
Kunimitsu's lips curved into a graceful smirk. She uncrossed her arms, letting them fall to her sides as she took a few calculated steps towards Yoshimitsu.
"You know that's how you always liked me."
Yoshimitsu, slightly overwhelmed by Kunimitsu's intimate presence, smiled behind his mask. He couldn't deny that it was great to see her, to have her back in the Manji Clan, even if for a moment. He had missed her.
"I… I should get going. I have a lot of work to do," he muttered, turning away. He tried not to look back at her, taking longer strides than usual.
"I'll be around," answered Kunimitsu, coyly. She grinned, hopeful for a chance to ease her boredom.
Once outside, Yoshimitsu found Xiaoyu surrounded by a small group of refugee children, all waiting for their daily rations. They were all laughing and playing with one of Xiaoyu's chunky bracelets, fascinated by it's glow and color. Xiaoyu, trying to talk to the children in both Japanese and Chinese, was too distracted to notice Yoshimitsu standing next to her.
"They can't understand you. They're North Korean," explained Yoshimitsu, entertained by Xiaoyu's effort.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, startled, "Hey, where did you come from? You just appeared out of nowhere! So, all of these kids are from other countries?"
"Most of them," Yoshimitsu answered, leading the children back to the waiting line. He looked around at all of the different stations, all full of activity. There were people everywhere- mostly refugees and a few Manji ninja scattered about, trying to help. "We try our best to bring them here and give them things they need, like food and clothes and medical attention. We're strapped for funds, but we get by."
"This is really a great thing," began Xiaoyu, accepting her bracelet back from the children as they went back to their mothers, "There's so many of them."
"We try to give them as much as we can. It's becoming more and more difficult with each new year. This world, Xiao, can be a cruel place." Yoshimitsu continued to make his way deeper into the crowd of people, and Xiaoyu was close behind him. Xiaoyu saw that there were faces everywhere, and they all seemed to be tired and worn. Even the children, with their innocence, showed the wear that comes with a life of struggle. Xiaoyu could see their hunger, their pain, and their loss. She had never witnessed anything like this before, and it seemed to waft all around her and fill her nostrils and eyes.
All at once, Xiaoyu's admiration of Yoshimitsu increased tenfold. He looked so courageous as he made his way through the crowd. He saw everything, everyone. These people weren't just nameless numbers to him. He was compassionate, strange, and ferocious all at once, and Xiaoyu was more aware of it now than ever before.
Just as she was about to say something- anything- to him, Yoshimitsu looked back at her and said, "Follow me; there's something I want to show you."
The brisk walk along the narrow forest path was enough to bring a soft pink to Xiaoyu's cheek, and she licked her drying lips as she looked up at the large house that stood before them. It looked very European in design, she noted, with its stone-wall exterior and high angled roofs. Xiaoyu counted three stories, including the attic, and she grew more and more curious about who owned this expansive, imposing house in the middle of the forest.
Yoshimitsu, despite his familiarity with both the house and its owner, politely rang the doorbell and stood patiently until it was opened, revealing an elderly gentleman in a lab coat.
"Ah! Yoshimitsu, so nice to see you on this fine day," Dr. Bosconovich adjusted his glasses and moved his gaze to Xiaoyu, "And this must be the lovely Xiaoyu Ling that I've heard so much about. Welcome to my home, young lady. Please," he opened the large oak door wider and motioned to them, "come in."
"You have a lovely home," complimented Xiaoyu, not quite sure of what else to say while she drank her cup of black tea, much different than the green tea she was used to.
"Why thank you," replied Dr. Bosconovich, smiling as he looked over at his long-time friend, Yoshimitsu. The three were sitting in the doctor's nicely decorated living room, with it's cozy atmosphere. "Now, Yoshimitsu, what exactly did you come here for? Certainly, with your busy schedule, it wasn't just to drop by and give this old man a visit."
"Yes," began Yoshimitsu, arms crossed as he leaned back on the couch, relaxing a little, "I wanted to show Xiaoyu something. I think it would be good for her to see what we've been working on. It would give her a… better sense of the future."
"I see," said Dr. Bosconovich, after a slight pause.
"Show me what?" asked Xiaoyu, curious. She was certain that this doctor had all sorts of inventions he was working on, which were probably hidden in a secret laboratory somewhere. Xiaoyu beamed at the possibility.
"Dr. Bosconovich and I have been working on something for the past decade that will completely change the type of protection we can give to the world's displaced refugees." Yoshimitsu stood from his seat on the couch, helping Xiaoyu to her feet.
"Oh really?" she asked, wondering what kind of invention could have such a profound influence on a global scale.
"Right this way," offered Dr. Bosconovich as he led them deeper into his expansive house, eventually leading them to the door of his laboratory. Xiaoyu, eager to see what sort of exciting contraptions were on display, was a bit surprised to see that the laboratory was extremely clean, almost bare.
"If you'd be so kind, please wait here while I go retrieve the blueprints," instructed Dr. Bosconovich, walking deeper into the laboratory. Yoshimitsu leaned against a lab table while Xiaoyu looked around the room she was currently in. There were a few exam tables neatly lined up, each being flanked by carts with trays of medical supplies.
"What is this stuff?" asked Xiaoyu, not really expecting these sorts of things in the lab of a scientist.
"This is the room where Dr. Bosconovich made me into what I am now," Yoshimitsu answered her while making a fist with his robotic left arm, hidden underneath the sleek armor of his beetle suit.
Xiaoyu nodded, showing she understood. She then resigned herself to sitting on one of the tables, where she kept busy by playing with the hem of her pastel yellow-colored skirt. She suddenly noticed how quite it was in the lab, the shuffling of Dr. Bosconovich in the other rooms muted by the thick walls. She wondered why it was taking him this long to find the blueprints to whatever it was they were going to show her. She continued to pull a thread or two from her skirt, and then she noticed a loose thread on the sleeve of her top.
Yoshimitsu, having been distracted by his thoughts and staring into nothing, snapped out of it as he noticed Xiaoyu pulling something from her shirt. He watched her aimlessly, thinking it was foolish of him to ask a girl like Xiaoyu to help him… and that he was really glad he did. Her quirky charm and inherent inelegance was somehow therapeutic.
In the silence, Xiaoyu's focus unexpectedly turned from her clothes to Yoshimitsu, who was halfway across the room. Upon meeting her glance, Yoshimitsu grew unexplainably uneasy, and he quickly looked away. He suddenly wished Dr. Bosconovich would hurry up with those blueprints.
Xiaoyu smiled, and broke the silence with, "You're funny, Yoshimitsu." He looked back at her casually, trying to look busy in thought and not really in the moment.
"Oh?" He didn't look at her.
"Yeah. At first glance, you look so scary! But, after what I've seen, you're a nice guy." Yoshimitsu didn't respond, so Xiaoyu continued, "I remember when you saved me from the Tekken Force on that night I was snooping around the Mishima Zaibatsu, and I really appreciate it. I'm glad I was able to become your friend and help you find Kunimitsu." Xiaoyu wasn't quite sure what was causing her to say all these things, and she assumed these were all just thoughts she had been meaning to tell him about this whole time.
"Yes, well, thank you," replied Yoshimitsu, his deep voice resonating throughout the barren room.
"Umm… Yoshimitsu… I was wondering… since you found Kunimitsu, do you think you could…? I dunno…"
Yoshimitsu was growing increasingly aware of his anxiety, and he kept glancing at the door Dr. Bosconovich had disappeared behind. He wasn't quite sure where Xiaoyu was going with all of this, and he really wished she'd stop looking at him so much.
"I was wondering if you could help me find Jin. I wasn't able to talk to Heihachi, while he was alive, but maybe I could find Jin and Kazuya. I really think that, if I can talk to them, maybe this whole family feud will end and-" Xiaoyu cut herself off, not wanting to reveal her deep feelings for Jin Kazama and risk looking like a wishful little girl. Yoshimitsu's eyebrows furrowed a bit behind his mask as a strange feeling crept over him. He didn't want to talk about Kazama, especially with Xiaoyu.
"Xiao, I've already made my opinion on the Mishima family quite clear. They're all far too consumed with hatred to move past their mutual disliking of each other. You should steer clear of them. I'm all about helping people, believe me, but that sort of beast is too big for someone like you to tackle."
"Someone like me?" Xiaoyu slid off the edge of the table, landing on her feet. "What does that mean?" Her voice rose to a more energetic, almost challenging tone.
"I merely mean that you're a young girl who has no place messing around with such dangerous people." Yoshimitsu crossed his arms as he faced her, feeling a bit confrontational.
"I knew it! You don't think I can handle it because I'm a girl! Well, I think that's silly. I mean, I'm the one who helped you find Kunimitsu and save her from those syndicate jerks!"
"Helped? Ha! Hardly. Do you realize how excruciating it's been trying to keep you out of harms way? You never listen to any advice I give you, and because of your naiveté, you were almost killed by that assassin! You always manage to get in the way."
"We both know that assassin was after you, not me! You're lucky I decided to stick around, seeing that there's always someone trying to kill you! I've been all over the place with you, running away from syndicate goons and assassins and all sort of craziness, and you don't even appreciate it!" Xiaoyu marched up to him, raising a small fist, "You're a jerk!" She began to repeatedly pelt him in the chest with her fist, like a hammer.
"Hey, knock it off," Yoshimitsu caught her hand in his with ease, and held it fast when she tried to wiggle away.
"You're mean!" retaliated Xiaoyu, but soon her attempt to escaped his iron grip was ceased, and she stood there with her hand relaxing in his. It was suddenly quiet again. She first looked at her hand in his, being held up at eye level, and her gaze traveled up into the bright, glowing eyes of Yoshimitsu's skeletal mask.
He could hear her breathing, which was starting to calm down from her temporary moment of frustration, and he could feel her hand relaxing more. She was so close he could see the details in the dark irises of her almond-shaped eyes. She was a bit too close for his liking, but Yoshimitsu disregarded his feeling of discomfort for this moment of peace.
"I'm sorry," began Yoshimitsu, his voice both calm and captivating, "You're right. You've been very brave, Xiaoyu. You're a strong fighter, and I really do appreciate your assistance. Right now, things are still dangerous. Sure, we were able to capture de Garonne, but I know that there's more to this than just him and the syndicate that's after Kunimitsu. Anything could happen, and I know you're a capable fighter, but I don't want anything bad to happen to you. Do you understand?"
Xiaoyu nodded, looking up at him with seriousness. She seemed unable to speak. Just then, the door on the other side of the room opened and Dr. Bosconovich reemerged, holding a couple of tall plastic cylinders containing the blueprints.
Yoshimitsu quickly let go of Xiaoyu's hand, and she hurriedly brought it back down to her chest, holding it close with her other hand as she turned away from Yoshimitsu. Dr. Bosconovich didn't seem to notice as he quickly went to work laying out the blueprints on one of the cold lab tables.
Yoshimitsu and Xiaoyu walked closer to the lab table, careful to not stand too close together. Yoshimitsu looked down at the two large images, already going over the specifics in his mind. He had deliberated over these blueprints time and time again. Xiaoyu, more than a little distracted, wasn't quite sure what she was looking at.
"These, Xiaoyu, are blueprints for two large-scale projects that we've been working on for quite some time. This here," pointed Yoshimitsu, his gloved finger resting down on one of the designs, "Is a combination passenger-cargo spacecraft that will-"
"Spacecraft?" asked Xiaoyu, incredulously. Her eyes went down to the drawing, surprised. "Aren't those expensive? I mean, I know there are a lot of private companies nowadays that have their own space shuttles, but those companies are rich! Like, really rich!"
"Yes," replied Dr. Bosconovich, removing his wireframe glasses to clean them with a cloth, "Our lack of funds has made progress quite sluggish."
"It will take people and supplies from our base here to this," continued Yoshimitsu, indicating the next blueprint, "An orbiting space station that will eventually house all of our refugees."
"You're serious," said Xiaoyu, thinking aloud, "Wow… Have you started building them?"
"Yes, we've actually already finished building them… sort of. These are updates of the models we've built, which are currently working as prototypes," responded Yoshimitsu, who began rolling the blueprints up and sliding them back into their cases. He wasn't quite sure why he wanted to show these to Xiaoyu, and now it seemed kind of silly to come all the way out here for this, but he at least took a bit of comfort in the fact that she now knew just what exactly he had on his plate.
"This world is growing more and more dangerous," continued Yoshimitsu, handing the cases back to Dr. Bosconovich, "The only hope for these people is to just get out of harms way until this war-obsessed world revolutionizes. And the sooner we're able to get the proper funds we need, we'll be able to
With that, fate saw fit to drive the point home with an urgent radio call from the Manji base. Yoshimitsu wasted no time in taking up the radio from his side.
"Yoshimitsu here. What's wrong?" He was more than a little surprised to hear Kunimitsu's resonant voice on the other end.
"Get back here now! We're under attack!"
Leaving Dr. Bosconovich behind, Yoshimitsu bolted towards the exit, dropping the radio along the way. Xiaoyu struggled to keep up with him, her slender legs propelling her up the stairs, through the lab door, and across the living room.
Once outside, Yoshimitsu surprised Xiaoyu by taking her hand and immediately springing into the air with so much thrust that it was hard for Xiaoyu to take a breath. Yoshimitsu pulled her closer to him as he cut through the air, flying as fast as he could towards the base. From his internal HUD, he could see that his heart rate was accelerating rapidly, and he could feel his senses heighten with each wave of adrenaline. All Xiaoyu could make out were the blurs of trees as they soared by.
Once the base was in sight, Yoshimitsu could see that there was already a great deal of damage dealt. Small fires were already burning and he could see the quick flashes of gunfire. Yoshimitsu dove down, and as he neared the buildings of the complex, he saw the complete ferocity of the intruding assailants.
"They're Jacks!" shouted Yoshimitsu, his internal indicators targeting each of the massive robotic soldiers. He carefully let Xiaoyu to the ground and continued to fly towards the nearest Jack-4 robot.
Xiaoyu, upon her feet hitting the ground, tried to keep up with the momentum but found herself falling forward. She quickly rose to her feet, ignoring all the dirt on her clothes, and looked around frantically. There were still refugees trying to take shelter, and most of the Manji ninja were now outside, trying their best to fight the formidable Jack robots.
Yoshimitsu dove straight into the Jack he had been targeting, causing both himself and the bulky machine to go crashing into the ground. Yoshimitsu quickly rose to his feet and turned to face the intimidating robot, which had also rose to it feet as was now marching towards him, gun aimed.
Yoshimitsu took no time in drawing his sword, it's high-charged blade glowing with intensity. He dashed towards the Jack-4 and, before the robotic soldier could even fire at him, Yoshimitsu slashed at his enemy, the hot blade slicing clean through both the arms and the massive weapon of the Jack-4. The robot, unable to fight back, took another blow from Yoshimitsu- a stabbing through the chest. With that, the Jack-4 short circuited and crumpled to the ground.
Xiaoyu, upon seeing another Jack-4 nearby, took a defensive stance and prepared to fight as it aggressively approached her. Xiaoyu, being so small and nimble, was able to dodge most of the robot's attack. But before long, the Jack-4 was able to get a hold of her, and it lifted her up as if she were nothing more than a piece of furniture.
"Ahh!" screamed Xiaoyu, who was just then being lifted into the air by the massive arms of another Jack-4 robot. It was about to crush her in half, but before it could, Kunimitsu appeared, leaping into the air and planting a swift kick to the robot's side. It stumbled to the side, dropping Xiaoyu in the process. She hit the ground with a hard thud, coughing from the dust. She staggered to her feet and quickly got out of the way as Kunimitsu planted kick after kick until the Jack simply caught Kunimitsu's leg in midair. She shouted in surprise as the colossal combatant swung her around and threw her to the side like a mere plaything.
Kunimitsu landed with her hands and, like a gymnast, sprung herself up onto her feet, but before she could have another go, Yoshimitsu had cut the robot in half at the waist.
"There you are!" called out Kunimitsu, running up to her former leader, "They arrived out of no where! They're all over the place!"
"Keep fighting, and you," he motioned to Xiaoyu, "Find a place to hide."
"Now!" With that, Yoshimitsu and Kunimitsu took off deeper into the Manji complex, leaving Xiaoyu to disobediently chase after them.
Xiaoyu could feel the warmth of anger bring a blush to her cheeks. She really didn't expect him to treat her like this, especially after their brief heart-to-heart in the laboratory, and so she was more determined than ever to prove her fighting ability.
There couldn't be more than a dozen Jack-4s left, but that meant nothing considering the immense firepower the remaining robots were able to unleash. Lucky for the Manji ninja, with their lithe bodies and advanced skills, they were much faster than the mammoth warriors they were fighting.
Meanwhile, in one of the holding cells nearby, de Garonne rose from his bed at hearing the commotion outside, being awoken from a hard sleep.
'What the hell?' he asked himself, unable to see what was going on outside due to the lack of windows in the room.
"Is it," he began aloud, "Is it them? It can't be. Someone else? Did they track me here?" He knelt beside the door, awaiting his chance to escape. Only moments later, the seemingly impenetrable door to the holding cell burst open from the forceful punch of a Jack-4 robot. De Garonne quickly grabbed the robots arm with his free hand, using all of his weight to slam the robot into the side of the gaping doorway. With that, he quickly bolted down the hallway, not really knowing where he was going.
De Garonne could hear the Jack-4 robot begin to chase him, and he knew there was no way he could survive unless he found his rifle, and fast.
"Yaa!" shouted Kawamitsu, as he threw a throwing dagger into the throat of one of the Jack-4s, hoping to cut a crucial wire. As he reached for another dagger, the massive robot charged at him, only to be knocked aside by Hiyamitsu. With her trim frame, she was able to bound into the air and, using her own mechanized leg, dealt a powerful blow to the Jack-4, knocking it's head off with a clean kick.
Hiyamitsu laughed at the brawn of her new leg, finding glee in her mastery of such cold, immense power. She looked over at Kawamitsu, grinning behind her oni mask.
"Thanks, Kitsu," said Kawamitsu, turning to face the other Jack robots. There were about seven or eight left now, all being dealt with by a handful of Manji ninja each.
"Look out!" suddenly shouted Yuromitsu, his aged voice rising over the sounds of clashing metal and robotic clamor. There were two Jack-4s charging at Kawamitsu and his deadly companion, but before they could get in range, Yuromitsu sprung out in front of them.
"Yuromitsu, be careful!" shouted Hiyamitsu, worried for the blind, elderly Manji member.
Yuromitsu wasted no time in drawing two swords, preparing for the unseen onslaught. However, as each footstep of the machines grew louder and closer, he held the two swords so that their points touched, and as they did, bright currents of electricity jumped up and ran down the blades. The crack of electric current was like the hissing and teeth-barring of two tigers, ready to fight.
The two Jack robots, upon surrounding the old man, both raised their enormous fists as if to crush the man where he stood. Yuromitsu miraculously dodged both strikes almost as if he were able to see them, and with each missed attack of the Jacks, Yuromitsu slashed at them with the swords, causing electric currents to lap at the metal hulls of the mechanized soldiers. With each strike, the electricity shot through the limbs of the robots, leading to momentary lapses in the Jacks' ability to move properly. One of the Jacks, however, was able to graze the side of Yuromitsu, causing him to stagger and hold his side, dropping one of the swords.
With the connection broke, the swords returned to their regular selves, and Yuromitsu cursed under his breath as he slashed in the direction of the attack. The sword, although without it's electric charge, was still as sharp as ever. It cut through the metal robot like a hot knife through butter. As the remaining Jack robot charged towards Yuromitsu, he planted a foot in the dirt and swung his sword in the gritty fashion of a baseball player. With the contact of the sharp blade against the metal of the robot, it fell backwards, a large gash exposing it's severed wires.
"Phew!" exclaimed Yuromitsu, relieved as he leaned forward, dropping the sword and placing his hands on his knees for support, "No one told me they were so tough! Good thing those swords I designed worked, for the most part."
"Yuromitsu!" called out Kunimitsu, as she ran towards her old friend and mentor, "Are you okay?"
"Ah, Kunimitsu," he said with a smile behind his oni mask, reaching out and placing his hand on one of Kunimitsu's strong shoulders, "Do me a favor, young lady, and help this old man back inside."
"I think we've slain all of them," Yoshimitsu announced to the crowd of Manji ninja, about thirty fighters total, "Everyone put out these fires and see to the other people here in the Complex. Check for injuries. Harper!"
"Yes Master!" replied the only blonde-haired Manji ninja in the Clan, having once been a refugee from Russia. He ran up to Yoshimitsu and quickly bowed, still breathing heavily from the fighting. Even though he dressed virtually the same as the other Manji ninja, his blonde hair and light skin tone made him stick out.
"Come with me," commanded Yoshimitsu, hurriedly making his way towards the Main Building, "We're going to find out just what is going on."
Once inside, Yoshimitsu went straight towards the wing which housed the holding cells. He wasn't surprised to see that the small room that had once contained Jean-Luc de Garonne now had a gaping hole in it's front wall, probably blasted away by one of those infernal Jack robots.
"Master!" warned Harper, turning to face the other side of the hallway upon seeing someone walk towards them. Yoshimitsu spun around to see none other than the assassin himself, standing there holding his prized rifle.
"Took me a while to find where you had stashed my baby here," said de Garonne, patting his rifle like it was a lapdog. Yoshimitsu was impressed with de Garonne's resiliency, knowing he must have had to search many places before finding it in Yoshimitsu's own room.
Harper, sword bared, stood in front of Yoshimitsu, ready to fight if this strange man tried anything. Yoshimitsu took a step in front of Harper, lowering the boy's sword with a calm hand.
"… You let us capture you, didn't you?" began Yoshimitsu, with a serious voice. He was starting to realize that de Garonne, although he seemed to be nothing more than an amateur, had definitely been holding a few things back.
"Ha! You don't seem that surprised," de Garonne chuckled a little as he rested the rifle on his shoulder, "I told you, Yoshimitsu. You have no idea what's really going on. I didn't really plan on being captured, but don't think for a minute that you've seen the extent of my skills."
"Well then! How about you fill me in on the details?"
"That small-time crime lord Aikuchi didn't hire me. I mean, he thinks he did, but there's someone else I'm working for. Someone much bigger," stated de Garonne, busily trying to open the butt of his rifle, "You've been meddling in a lot of other people's affairs, Yoshimitsu. Powerful people's affairs. Who do you think the Black Pheasants were working for? Do you really think you could bring them down without their own boss getting pissed?" He finally opened the end of the rifle butt, pulling out a small blinking device. "Ah, here it is. They bugged me." He dropped the small tracking device onto the wooden floor and squashed it under his boot, crushing the thing like a cockroach.
Yoshimitsu, oddly sensing no threat from the assassin, ordered Harper to inform the others that he and de Garonne were going to have a little chat.
"I don't believe this," grumbled Kawamitsu, resting his head in his hands.
Yoshimitsu continued to look towards de Garonne as the three men, along with Hiyamitsu and Kunimitsu, sat at the long table in the conference room. The high polished table, along with the intricately painted walls, looked far too serene to house such an intense conversation.
"Believe it," replied de Garonne, taking a sip of tea, "The Mishima Zaibatsu hired me to finally get rid of Yoshimitsu here, and I almost did, back at that airport."
Yoshimitsu nodded, remembering that time- just last year- when he was looking for Kunimitsu. He had be struck by a mysterious dart from an unknown sniper, and if it wasn't for Kunimitsu, he probably would have died.
"But after that, I had no idea if you had survived or not, and I didn't know where to begin looking for you," continued de Garonne, looking up from the small cup of green tea to the armored Manji Clan leader sitting across the table from him, "So when I found out that Aikuchi was looking for your long-time rival, Kunimitsu, I knew you couldn't be too far behind. So I took up the job to help out, knowing that if I just followed her, I'd eventually get to you."
Kunimitsu scoffed, crossing her arms incredulously, "Asshole."
De Garonne shrugged, "It doesn't matter now; everything's changed. Those Jack-4 robots were from G Corporation, the long-time rivals of the Mishima Zaibatsu's own research group. They had their own agenda, it seems, and I don't really know what it is. But now that the Mishima Zaibatsu doesn't have any control of this situation and G Corporation is involved, I really don't see the point in my being a part of any of this. I was sent here for a simple job, but now it's all blown out of proportion."
"And why should we believe you?" demanded Kawamitsu, not willing to be so quick to trust the man who had been trying to kill his best friend and master this whole time.
"The Mishima Zaibatsu was paying me to kill a single man, not fight the over-powered creations of their rival corporation!" replied de Garonne, "Now my only concern is figuring out just how in the hell G Corporation got that bug in my rifle."
"It looks like you've pissed a lot of people off, Master," Hiyamitsu bolding exclaimed with a smirk, as if she was excited by the idea of having so many enemies.
"It's seems I have," agreed Yoshimitsu, rubbing the back of his neck, "Kawamitsu, get in touch with Iiguru and Taka and tell them to have the helicopter ready by tomorrow morning. We're going into the city to find out just who is behind this attack by G Corporation. And one more thing, de Garonne."
"Yeah?" asked de Garonne, "What?"
"Who ordered you to kill me?"
De Garonne paused for a moment, not quite sure how everyone would take the answer. The focus in the room was so intense that no one noticed Xiaoyu open the sliding door quietly, trying to take a peek inside.
"I thought you of all people would know who the man who hired me to kill you is. You, Yoshimitsu, leader of the Manji Clan. Just think about it. The man who you've stolen from, who's business dealings you've continuously ruined. He's the most powerful man on earth who'd benefit the most from your death: …Heihachi Mishima."
Yoshimitsu's heart skipped a beat, everyone else's eyes widened, and across the room came a loud gasp from Xiaoyu as she could feel the renewed hope of her greatest goal burst back into life, into the realm of possibility.