Tekken Fan Fiction ❯ The King of Iron Fist Tournament 6 ❯ Scars ( Chapter 21 )

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

As soon as Doren and Heihachi finished signing the autographs of the fans who were patient enough to wait until the crowds have cleared, the two fighters went into the ring where Kazuya, Jin, and Asuka had gathered. There were some people in the stands who wanted to stay and hear Jin's post-round speech, most of them being competitors who had already been eliminated.
“Fellow martial artists, welcome to the semifinals of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6,” Jin Kazama began with his arms outstretched and a microphone tucked within his shirt. “Each and every one of you has fought valiantly, for different reasons.” He began pacing back and forth, “Some of you may have fought for justice,” his eyes met Asuka's gaze he spoke, “some for the sake of pushing your limits,” and then he looked at Doren. “Some of you may have fought to become stronger.” Jin's voice showed a hint of disdain as he looked at his grandfather Heihachi. “And some of you…may have fought for reasons…that might be considered less than honorable.” The contempt in Jin's voice became unmistakable as his gaze met Kazuya's.
“But regardless of your reasons, you were willing to fight for what you believed. Through bravery, skill, and discipline, each of you passed your respective battles and for that…I applaud you. Bravo!” Jin Kazama started clapping his hands together as the small crowd that remained in the Tokyo Dome did the same. Regardless of how much he disliked his father and grandfather, he still felt a slight bit of admiration of how willing they were to go the distance for their ideals. Besides, he had a reputation to maintain as the head of the Zaibatsu, because the criticism he had garnered from the board members due to his young age was less than savory.
After waiting for the applause to die down, Jin continued his post-round speech.
“However, we are now left with an unusual situation. We now have five competitors left in the tournament, because I competed as a normal competitor. As such, one of us will be granted a bye. Eddy, Xiao, please bring in the machine.”
Jin's two bodyguards and close friends, each dressed in tuxedos, pushed a clear cylinder machine that was sitting atop a tall platform up the ramp of the ring.
“It…looks a little bit like a lottery machine,” Doren said as he tilted his glasses slightly in observation.
“Very perceptive, Lt. Sharon, because that's exactly what it is,” Jin Kazama nodded to the Israel soldier as Eddy handed each of the fighters a ping-pong ball. Once he did that, Ling gave the fighters a black marker.
“Just as a lottery reveals numbers via these balls, so will this reveal who will get the bye. Each of the balls is the same size, mass, diameter, volume: there are no tricks. Please put your initials on them with the markers that are handed to you.”
“This is so ridiculous…but it's your tournament, so I guess I have no choice,” Kazuya grumbled as he wrote down some katakana on his ball.
“Humph! Can't you be a team player without making a fuss just once?” Heihachi said mockingly as he too wrote his initials down.
“Hey, you two! Stop ruining the experience for the rest of us,” Asuka snapped as she opened up the tip of her marker and jotted down her initials.
“Hey Jin, I hope you don't mind if I put my initials in Hebrew,” Doren handed his ball to Jin as he finished writing on it. Heihachi and Kazuya were the next ones to finish, and they tossed their balls to Jin. As soon as Asuka finished hers, she walked over to her cousin and gave him her ball. Then Eddy collected the ping pong balls from the five fighters as Ling opened up the top of the cylinder. Once she unscrewed the top, Eddy dropped the balls into the cylinder.
“While my two assistants warm up the machine, I'll tell you how this will work,” Jin gathered the black markers from the fighters as he spoke. “The bye will go to the one whose name is on the ball that comes out of the lottery machine. The winner will face the victor of the first match of the semifinals, and will fight immediately after the second fight. Of course, the winner of the first fight won't be getting too much rest, but that's an unfortunate side effect of having five semi-finalists rather than four. For example, if Asuka won the bye, and Heihachi and Kazuya were the first to fight, she would fight the winner of that fight right after my fight with Lieutenant Sharon.”
Asuka nudged Doren slightly and whispered into his ear once he leaned down, “That's assuming there's anything left of the ring after Heihachi and Kazuya are finished with it.” The Israeli soldier snickered as he straightened himself.
“Hey Jin! We're ready!” Xiaoyu exclaimed as the machine whirred to life. The balls began to ricochet inside the clear cylinder as she said that. After a few seconds, a single ping-pong ball popped out of the cylinder and landed in a cup that was beside it. Eddy picked the ball out from the cup, and showed the ball to the other competitors: it belonged to Jin Kazama.
“Huh…well there you have it. Looks like the bye belongs to me,” Jin said as he raised an eyebrow. “And now we get to decide who fights who tomorrow. Let's see whose ball will come out next.” As if on cue, the next ball fell out of the cylinder and into the cup. Jin went over to the machine and looked at the ball. “Asuka will fight first against…” he paused as he waited for the next ball. Once it came down, he completed his sentence, “Asuka Kazama will fight first against Lt. Sharon. And by process of elimination, that means that Heihachi Mishima and Kazuya Mishima will be fighting in the second round.” And maybe with a little luck, Jin thought to himself as he said that, they can disable each other long enough for me to look for my mother on my own. The last thing I need is Kazuya's twisted methods getting my way.
There was numerous whispering within the stadium as they heard Jin finish saying the pairings. Everyone who had watched previous King of Iron Fist Tournaments knew of the bad blood between Heihachi and Kazuya: this was a match they were expecting for the finals.
Look at how smug he is, Kazuya thought to himself as he noticed Heihachi smile, that bastard has humiliated me and foiled my plans not once, but three times. But this time…Kazuya clenched his fist and smiled coldly as the thought of victory crossed his mind, this time I shall crush him once and for all!
Look at the malice in his eyes, Heihachi thought as he watched Kazuya clench his fist, that idiot son of mine still hasn't learned that he cannot defeat me without clearing his mind of such thoughts. I guess it'll once again be up to me to put that pathetic wretch in his place…so much for facing a worthy opponent…
“Well I guess that's all for tonight. The five of us will meet back here at 6:00 PM tomorrow night, and the fights will start at 7:00 PM.” Jin Kazama turned away from the fighters to look at the crowd that remained. “I look forward to seeing all of you back here to enjoy the King of Iron Fist Tournament 6!”
40 minutes later…
Mishima Mansion…
“Hey Jin, that was an incredible speech!” Xiaoyu said as hung up her coat on a coat hangar near the front door. The traffic was fairly light, so what was normally an hour-drive became a 40-minute drive.
“Thank you Xiao, I appreciate that,” Jin nodded as he went into the kitchen to prepare some tea. He had a long brutal fight only an hour and a half earlier, and hot tea seemed like a godsend to him at the moment.
“That was some nice stuff there Jin,” Eddy shouted from the guest room as he came back from pulling up the car in the garage. “But do you think there will be anything left of the ring after Heihachi and Kazuya are done with it?”
But Jin didn't reply with any words: all Eddy and Xiao heard was a metallic clang.
“Hey Jin, are you OK?” Xiaoyu stood up and entered the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen, she let out a scream. Eddy leapt off the couch he was sitting on and ran into the kitchen to find what was wrong: Jin Kazama's chest wound had re-opened from the warmth of the teapot, and he was kneeling on the floor clutching his chest.
“D…dammit,” Jin hissed as he clutched his chest, “even when he's not here, that Sorel bastard continues to cut at me!”
“Eddy, help him to the couch while I get ready to stitch the wound closed!” Xiaoyu said as she turned on the hot water of the nearby faucet to sterilize her hands.
“Hey Xiao, shouldn't we get a doctor?” Eddy said as he put Jin's arm over his shoulder.
“There's no time! By the time they'll get here, his scar might become infected! We have to treat this now!” Ling put on some rubber gloves that were in a box near the faucet and opened the above cupboard to reveal a first aid kit.
“Hey Xiaoyu, I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but do you know what you're doing?” Eddy said as he placed Jin down on the couch in the living room.
“Don't worry, my Grandpa taught me how to do this a long time ago! It's also pretty basic stuff if you want to go to med school,” Ling came into the living room with a first aid kit in her right hand, and a bottle of peroxide in her left. She sat down next to Jin and began to unbutton his knit shirt. Her heart began to beat faster as it became fully unbuttoned, but she maintained her focus and took out a cotton swab from the first aid kit and poured a few drops of peroxide in it. Regardless of how desirable he was right now, she had to save him first.
“Jin, this may sting a bit, but we have to clean the scar before we begin,” she said as she began to wipe the cotton swab on Jin's chest. The Japanese fighter took a sharp breath as the swab touched his scar. It did sting, but it was certainly better than getting a serious infection.
“OK Jin, we're ready to begin…” Ling said as she took out a packaged needle and unwrapped it. Then she took out the roll of suture and connected it to the needle.
“Xiao…” Jin whispered as Ling prepared to stitch his wound, “…thank you very much.”
“It's nothing at all Jin. You saved me when that Jean guy was about to finish me off, I'm just returning the favor,” Ling smiled warmly as she began to stitch Jin's scar. As the needle touched him, it didn't hurt at all. In all honesty, it actually felt warm. Simply being around Xiaoyu made him feel…at peace…
2 hours later…
“She's so kind. I truly don't think that there is a sonar in existence that can sound out the depth of her compassion,” Jin said to Eddy as Xiaoyu left to throw away the needle. She had just finished stitching together Jin's scar: now he could be ready for the next day's battle.
“Jin…why don't you tell her?”
“Hm?” Jin raised an eyebrow as Eddy asked the question.
“She loves you, and she loves you a LOT. Believe me, she's told me, and I can tell that you don't feel too different.” Eddy got up from the couch he was sitting at and walked over to Jin.
“…because I care for her too much,” Jin answered, lying his head down on the pillow that was underneath his head, “you know firsthand what my enemies can do. While I doubt Heihachi would do anything to harm her, I wouldn't put it past my father Kazuya if he wanted to force me to do something via threatening to harm Xiao. And then there's Jean Sorel…” Jin closed his eyes as he spoke of the loathsome Frenchman, “the kind of man who would willingly and sadistically torture those who are close to me just to see me squirm. I knew, from the minute he attacked Xiao, that I was staring into the face of madness. When I was fighting him, he mentioned how he would take away everything and everyone I held dear…starting with Xiao.”
“Huh, I bet he was just blowing off hot air. You kicked his ass from here to Peru. I don't think he's going to be bothering you anytime soon.”
“Jean Sorel was one of the most lethal foes I have ever fought: he could've beaten me,” Jin shuddered slightly when he said that. “It's sad how someone so strong can be so…twisted…just like my father…”
Eddy simply shook his head and said, “It's the way it usually works Jin: some fighters get so drunk by their own strength they start to become cruel and selfish in order to prove that they're superior. Did you at least find out what you wanted to find out?”
“Yes…I did. But I think that's something for another night. Right now I'm a little tired.” Jin yawned as he stretched his arms on the couch.
“OK Jin. I'm going to go to the hotel and see if Christie made it there okay. I'll see you tomorrow morning, but in the meantime...get some rest.”