Tekken Fan Fiction ❯ The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 ❯ Kenichi vs Asuka: Love is a Battlefield ( Chapter 20 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

“She is the niece of former King of Iron Fist 2 competitor Jun Kazama, and is competing in her second King of Iron Fist tournament. Using Kazama-ryu Jujitsu…Asuka Kazama!”
 
Sound of the drums
Beatin' in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You've been
-thunderstruck
 
Asuka came down the runway to the powerful lyrics of AC/DC. She was wearing a sapphire sleeveless jacket that was left unzipped, a pair of blue jeans, a navy blue sports bra, and blue fingerless gloves. Many of her friends from Osaka had attended the tournament to watch her fight, and it made her feel at peace. She stepped into the ring with a smile on her face and waved to the crowd.
 
“And her opponent this evening: a fighter who comes from a distinguished family of martial artists, and fellow schoolmate of Ms. Kazama. Competing in his first King of Iron Fist Tournament, using Namikama-ryu karate, please welcome…Kenichi Masamune!”
Lend me my life to you
This is the way I pray…
Living just isn't hard enough
Burn me alive inside
Living my life's not hard enough.
Take everything away…
The teenage martial artist walked down the runway to the lyrics of Disturbed with a face that showed very little emotion. He was wearing a gold karate gi that left his chest exposed, a black karate belt, and wooden sandals. As he approached the ring, he tossed the wooden sheath across his back to the nearby Eddy Gordo and said “take good care of this,” before stepping into the ring. Upon reaching the center, he straightened himself out and bowed to his opponent as the grated walls surrounded the ring.
 
After all these months, it's finally come down to this, Asuka thought as she returned Kenichi's bow and assumed a fighting stance. He wanted to see me stronger, and now here we are in the Quarterfinals in the King of Iron Fist tournament. Maybe after the fight…we can… finally…Asuka shook her head as the thought went through her mind. Get a grip on yourself, girl! There's a fight that needs to happen, and he's going to hold nothing back!
 
She is much stronger than she was earlier, I can tell just by her stance, Kenichi thought as he got into his own fighting stance. I think she's finally returned to her old self: the girl who always gives me that bout that makes me go for greater heights...
 
At that moment, Kenichi felt a warm sensation over his entire body. He wasn't sure what it was, but it gave him peace and made him feel at ease.
 
“Asuka,” he said out loud, “let's be sure to give this crowd a good show!”
 
“Right,” Asuka shouted with a smile, “let's go wild!”
 
There was no hatred or malice in their eyes as Kenichi prepared to defend against the attacking Asuka: only the joy of facing a worthy opponent.
 
Kenichi caught Asuka's punch with his hand and counterattacked with one of his own. Asuka backed away from the blow, but Kenichi pulled her back in by grabbing her arm and tossing her to the ground with a Judo throw. Her body hit the ground with a loud thud and the crowd roared its approval. “Come on Asuka,” Kenichi shouted as he brought his fist down on her fallen body, “don't hold back!”
 
Asuka caught the fist as it came down and pulled Kenichi down on the ground with her. Her grip moved up Kenichi's arm, and it gradually became an armlock. Kenichi gritted his teeth in pain as his muscles began to strain from the hold. Nice try, Asuka…but I don't go that easily! The young fighter reached with his free arm and grabbed Asuka's leg and gave it a twist causing his female counterpart to cry in pain and release her hold on him.
 
The two teenagers rolled away and scrambled onto their feet before engaging each other yet again. Kenichi jumped over Asuka's foot sweep and hit her with a leaping vertical chop to her head. She instinctively ducked back down to lessen, and possibly avoid the blow, and it nicked her as Kenichi landed back down to the floor, and rose back up with a backflip. Kenichi was sent skyward from the blow and was hit with Asuka's elbow as he came down, hitting the ground with a thud.
 
Ow…Kenichi rose back up and rubbed where Asuka had hit him. She's doing well so far, but something doesn't seem right. He sidestepped a low kick and struck Asuka in the side of the neck with a horizontal chop. She's not putting the same passion into her blows as she normally would…Kenichi pummeled Asuka with a flurry ofsix left-handed punches before sending her sprawling with aright roundhouse kick. And I think I know why…
 
“Asuka,” he shouted as Asuka slowly got back up, “Why do you hold back?”
 
“What are you talking about?” Asuka wiped the blood off her mouth as she spoke.
 
“Remember what I told you: don't hold back your feelings or let them get the best of you. Use them to make you stronger. This applies not only to hatred and rage, but all feelings. This includes ambition, competitiveness, righteousness…” Kenichi lowered his head slightly as his cheeks began to redden, “…even love. Do you understand?”
 
so he knows. Asuka's heart skipped a beat once Kenichi finished. And the way he said it…I've never heard him talk like this EVER. Not at school, not during our fights…not even when was training with me…A smile crept upon her lips as she resumed her fighting stance. Well, don't worry Kenichi…now that I know how you feel, I can fight without any more doubts! “I understand just fine, Kenichi!”
 
“Excellent!” Kenichi got into a horse stance once he was certain Asuka was ready. “Then let's do it! IKUZE!”
Asuka ran towards Kenichi with renewed vigor and rammed her shoulder into him, sending the boy sprawling backwards. Kenichi landed on his hands and flipped onto his feet as Asuka began running towards him again. Kenichi tried to sidestep from the second shoulder tackle, but Asuka was running faster than he could think. He again went flying backwards, this time landing flat on his back.
 
Kenichi scrambled onto his feet and ducked under Asuka's high kick to sweep her off her feet with a low kick. Asuka quickly rolled away and scrambled onto her feet when her male counterpart tried to bring his fist down. Now's my chance! Asuka grabbed Kenichi's arm and tossed him over her shoulder with a vacuum throw. Kenichi landed on his feet and began to charge at Asuka, but she sent him skyward with an open-palmed uppercut. As he came down, Kenichi was pummeled with a backhanded swat, a pair of open palmed blows, and a back-flip kick that sent him spinning in mid-air.
 
The boy quickly got to his feet and shook his head. …she did it. There is no way I can beat her now. He looked back up and saw Asuka spinning towards him. He knew full well what was coming, and there was little he could do to stop it. Here it comes…
 
Asuka's spinning roundhouse kick came into full contact with Kenichi, and he was sent spiraling into the air and crashing into the wall. As he heard the announcer start the count and began to lose consciousness, a single word past through his mind…glorious…
 
“…and 10! Asuka Kazama advances to the semifinals!”
 
The crowd roared its approval as the grated walls lowered back into their slits. With the walls no longer supporting him, the unconscious Kenichi slumped backward and his head hung over the edge of the ring. Asuka ran over to his fallen body and gently pulled him back into the ring. Did I overdo it?
 
Asuka's unspoken question was answered as she heard a light groan and she backed away to give her fallen rival some room. Kenichi's eyes slowly opened as he regained consciousness, and upon regaining his senses, got back onto his feet. He walked over to Asuka and outstretched his hand, and the two gave each other a light embrace.
 
“It was a good fight,” Asuka whispered in his ear.
 
“And an even greater defeat,” he responded.
 
The two fighters gave each other a pat on the back and they parted from the embrace. Asuka was about to walk away, but then she saw Kenichi get down on one knee and bow his head. “Is something wrong, Kenichi?”
 
“Asuka,” he said in a voice that seemed very calm, “you fought magnificently, and as such I have been defeated.”
 
“Hey Kenichi, don't take it too-“
“You have grown much since we began training together, and have matured into a powerful fighter…and a good person,” Kenichi lifted his head and met Asuka's gaze as his heart rate began to pick up speed, “I am proud to be called `your rival.'”
 
I must have hit him in the head too much, she thought to herself jokingly. Kenichi had always kept his feelings to himself, and sometimes he could come off as chillingly cold. But the way how he was slowly opening up to her just now…
 
“Asuka,” Kenichi lowered his head again as he spoke, “I was wondering if…you want to…do something together…sometime…” His cheeks began to redden to such an extent that they seemed to glow.
 
Kenichi…
 
Asuka's heart skipped a beat when she heard Kenichi finish that sentence. It seemed like she was dreaming, because Kenichi had never opened up to her this much. But there was something about him…that made her feel attracted to him.
 
“If you don't want to…then please forgive me for wasting your time.” Kenichi bowed his head even lower. He didn't want to sound like a lovesick little boy, but he had to confirm if what he was feeling was simple lust…or something far greater. The fact that Asuka was very beautiful did nothing to help his moral plight either.
 
“Kenichi…”
 
“Y-yes, Asuka?”
 
Asuka got down on her knees and lightly kissed Kenichi on the cheek and said, “I'll consider it.”
 
“Thank you…Asuka…” Kenichi bowed his head again and stood back up.
 
“All remaining fighters please go to the center of the ring.” The loudspeaker blared as Jin Kazama walked into the ring with the other remaining contestants following him.
 
“Hey listen Kenichi I have to g-“
 
“I won't keep you Asuka. I wish you luck in the upcoming battles.”
 
“…sayanora Kenichi!” Asuka said with a smile as she began walking away to the group of fighters.
Kenichi remained silent as he walked out of the ring. As he left, Eddy tossed him his sheath and said, “Good fight out there kid,” as he entered the ring. Kenichi bowed and headed to the locker room with mild applause from some of the fans who were leaving the stadium, lightly rubbing where Asuka had kissed him. She's not just my rival anymore…now she's my angel…my angel of the fight…
---------------------------
“He's perfect,” Yoshimitsu muttered as he watched Kenichi from his front row seat. He was clad in dark blue armor from head to toe, and his face was covered with a Hannya mask, which in turn was veiled by a purple visor. He had watched the fight with his close friend Ganryu, and had managed to listen to what the two teenagers had said as they fought.
 
Kenichi's comprehension of the martial arts was remarkable. The speech he gave Asuka was something he would expect from someone with more experience in life, like someone of Lei's or Paul's age. But the boy was only eighteen, so he was still a very young man and willing to learn. Not only was he skilled, but he was also wise.
 
And then there was his honor.
 
He held nothing back in his fight with Asuka, but at the same time he would occasionally assist her so that he wouldn't have any unfair mental advantages. Upon listening to what he said after the fight, it erased any shadow of a doubt that this boy was very much the honor-bound warrior as his samurai ancestor so long ago.
 
“Oh, pardon me, Bruce,” Ganryu squeezed by the African-American Muay Thai fighter as he returned to his seat with a large bucket of popcorn and a gallon-sized soda. He was wearing a white T-shirt, black pants, and a purple cap with the word “Tekken” on it. He sat down next to Yoshimitsu. “The lines to the concessions are so much shorter when almost everyone has left. And since we're competitors, it's free! Life is good,” Ganryu mused as he shoved a fistful of popcorn into his face. “Have I missed Jin's post-round speech?”
 
“No, don't worry Ganryu, you haven't missed anything like that,” Yoshimitsu reassured his sumo-wrestling friend. “I was just thinking about the boy.”
“Yes, that boy has plenty of soul!” Ganryu agreed with his mouth still full of popcorn, “With a little more meat, he'd be great for the art of Su-“
 
“His father was Takeshi Masamune. Do you remember him, Ganryu?”
 
“Of course I do! He was Kazuya's personal assistant back when he was the head of the Zaibatsu, and an expert blade-wielder. Everyone Kazuya went, Takeshi went with him. He was just like him: cold, uncaring, quiet,” Ganryu swallowed the wad in his mouth to talk to his friend before taking a sip of his soda. “Looking back on it, the boy does look very much like him: so cold.”
 
“Don't judge by initial impressions, Ganryu. My audio filters in my suit managed to record their conversation, including the one you missed when you were getting us some more snacks,” Yoshimitsu pulled a cord out of his shoulder to reveal an earbud. Ganryu put it in his ear and Yoshimitsu's visor lifted up when he took a popcorn kernel and placed it in the small slit in the hannya mash where his mouth was. After a few minutes, Ganryu nodded his head in agreement. “What a fascinating boy. You know, I happened to meet his mother, Miki Nawikawa, twenty years ago when she volunteered at a sumo expo. Perhaps if I dropped by their house, I can tell them that you would like to train him.”
 
“I would appreciate that very much Ganryu, but I think this is something that Kenichi must decide on himself. But if you feel that it would help, then I will not stop you.” Yoshimitsu bowed his head slightly in his thanks and turned his gaze back to the arena. Even though the boy is pure of heart and could easily take my place in the Manjitou, I cannot force myself upon him…the decision will ultimately be his…
 

Chapter 19
Chapter 21
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