The Dragon of the Underground

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The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:25 pm

"Now remember, kid, this ain't like anything you've ever done before. I want you to keep your eyes open at all times, understand?" Roger Adren, former manager of the reigning martial arts champion, Thomas Price, was excitedly explaining to his new charge what it would be like fighting in the underground circuit. His new charge was Tom's son, Brandon, and the boy was a gifted martial artist. He guessed it ran in the family. Stopping for a red light, he turned and awaited the young man's response.

Brandon looked over at his manager, then smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I understand, Mr. Adren. I won't take my eyes off the competition. Where is the arena, anyway?" He looked back out and noticed that they were in a rather afluent section of Manhattan. Surely an illegal underground fighting circuit wouldn't be here amongst the glitz and the glamour?" "We're almost there, Brandon," replied his manager as he made a right turn. After driving a little while longer, they stopped. Brandon looked around and noticed that they were in front of nondescript building. Puzzled, he stepped out of the car along with his manager and looked around.

A bit of frost was in the air, it being so close to evening, so he had to rub his bare arms for warmth. His manager looked up and nodded. "This is the place. I hope you're ready, cause it's the real deal from here on." Brandon nodded and they entered the building. Inside, it was unfurnished, save for a desk. There was a man in his early twenties working the desk, and he looked up as someone entered. "May I help you?" He asked in a guarded tone. Roger stepped forward and leaned into the man as if they were conspiring. "I'm here for the underground fighting league," he whispered. The man relaxed and nodded. "Very well, if you'll come right this way, I'll take down your information." The man got up and began walking, and Roger motioned for Brandon to follow them.

The trio walked down hallway after hallway until finally coming to a door labeled 'fire exit'. The man pushed open the door and Brandon and Roger followed him down the staircase. Obviously, the fire exit was a cover for something else. They continued to walk down the spiral staircase until they found a solid metal door. The guy working the desk walked up and knocked on the door in a complicated, rhythmic manner. The door opened and they followed him in. Brandon heard the slam of the door behind him, but he was more concerned with what was in front of him.

The nondescript building was the perfect cover for the beautiful room that was before him. The walls were ornate with gold, the carpet was spotless, and there were fancy antiques all around from several places of origin. They continued to walk until they left the room, and the man took his place at another desk. "Now, then, I need the information of the registering fighter." Brandon stepped forward and gave all of the necessary information. The man opened a drawer behind him when they were finished and produced a folder. He then placed the info in, put the folder in the drawer, then shut and locked it. "All right, Mr. Price, you are a registered fighter. Your first match will be tonight. Head out of this room and take a left to find the changing room. I assume you have appropriate clothing for fighting?" Brandon nodded, and the man dismissed them.

Brandon, accompanied by Roger, headed down the hall until they found the locker room. He would wait at the door while Brandon changed into his chosen outfit. Brandon removed his shoes, socks, jeans and shirt before placing them inside an available locker in the same bag he had taken his chosen fighting outfit. Since he didn't want to be constricted during the fight, he had chosen on a single pair of black shorts. His manager was also feeling the excitement, but he was holding it in. After putting them on, he smiled as he began to do his warmups. Tonight would be his first fight in the underground, and he was going to make it a great one.
Last edited by CriminalMinds on Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:43 pm

(( Sorry it took so long ))




Didn't really make sense that it would be in a place like this if it was illegal which led her to a final declaration. "We're lost." was a sighed sort of statement from the young woman behind the wheel as she pulled into the parking lot of an imposing-looking building though not the one she needed to find, or her sister needed to find rather. This was who she then addressed, "Ayame, we should just go home."

The older girl in the passenger seat, Ayame obviously, only gave a careless wave as a dismissive reply. She was buried in a city map, the pastel-colored thing just inches from her face as if it being that close would help the current situation. She was not giving up until she found the place though written English was proving to be harder to understand than spoken. The general area she was looking for was marked on the map but not the building and that was the problem. Going home was out of the question and in her opinion, her younger sister Mina needed to stop being so wary of everything and live a little.

"And how did you find out about all this again?" Mina asked.

Underground pit-fighting. Of all the things in America to get into, it was this that the older of the two had somehow taken to. Then again, Ayame was the type to go out with a grocery list and come back with nothing more than a subway ticket stub and a story. By now, Mina was used to it but she was getting somewhat impatient with her sister. The only sound was her fingers drumming the side of the steering wheel since, again, there had been no reply but that didn't stop her from trying. Third time was a charm they said, right? "Where are we-"

"Here!" The older girl interrupted with a victorious cry. "Just turn around, it's only a few blocks away."

With a little sigh, Mina put the car into reverse and checked the street before she backed out and then headed down the block. To be honest, she would have been perfectly fine if they could have just gone home. Ayame had been unfortunately detailed about the last fight she'd watched thus Mina was uncomfortable with the thought. Fighting in general was something she'd never understood but her sister was rarely into anything that made much sense to her. "Why do you need a map if you've been here before?"

"Can't remember English street names and it's not like I could write down directions." Ayame replied with meaning. Of course not. Their mom would never have allowed them to play audience in a place like the one they were headed to. "Come on, we're late already."

Wasn't too much longer that they had stopped and were on their way into the place. They were through without a problem as it had taken Ayame's knowing of a guy who knew guy etc. to let her into the last two fights here. Mina wasn't sure what her first impression was supposed to be but it wasn't anything containing the ornate room they passed through. "Come on!" Ayame was rushing her again, sounding excited though that might not be a good thing. She glanced to her sister as they walked down the hall and the look on Mina's face clearly told lack of interest and skepticism even. "I heard a little rumor there was going to be someone new tonight." She added as if that would change her little sister's outlook on things. It did not but she was sure Mina wouldn't be so opposed as the night went on.

Finally, they passed through another door where seating encircled a ring, as much as was expected, but the noise was not. The place was positively alive with it. Mina couldn't begin to count how many people were here and the fact was certainly surprising. Apparently there were others as odd as her sister who got into this sort of thing. She didn't have time to take in much more before Ayame dragged her closer to it all an up an aisle to one of the few adjacent seats that were still unoccupied. Thus far, her opinion hadn't changed but Mina was a little curious. Maybe there was something to see if there were so many others interested.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:03 am

Brandon allowed his legs to remain hovered at six inches another minute before dropping them to the cold floor. This finished his warm-ups, and he felt quite tired. He put both hands at a forty-five degree angle and relaxed. Five minutes later, he felt good and stood up. Roger smiled. "All right, kid. It's time for you to make your big entrance." Brandon nodded and he and his manager left the locker room.

They continued down the hall until they saw the hallway leading to the arena. He could hear music and the murmuring of people. As he stepped out, he was blinded a bit before he could see. It was a huge, atrium-type arena. What surprised him most, however, was the thousands of people who had gathered to watch the fight. Their collective murmuring culmunated into a buzz that made his heart pump faster. The arena was at ground-level, with bleachers ten feet higher and stacking. Only the fighters themselves and their respective managers were allowed ringside. What surprised him even more was the amount of people who had showed up. Thier collective mumruring formed a droning buzz that made his heart pump faster with excitement. He was surprised as he heard the announcer begin to talk. "And now, may I draw your attention to the arena. One of the fighters has just stepped into the ring." He cleared his throat before beginning the official announcement.

"In the western corner, standing at 6'2", 160 lbs., Brandon Price!" He heard the crowd go wild and saw his face on a jumbotron so those at the higher floors could see him clearly. The announcer let the crowd quiet down before continuing. "Tonight is his first night fighting in the underground, but that does not mean he should be ignored. At only twenty years old, he boasts the impressive title of fourth degree black belt, and is the son of World Martial Arts Champion, Thomas Price. That's one heck of a calling card." The crowd went wild, and it was then that Brandon's opponent entered the ring.

"His opponent has now stepped into the ring. In the eastern corner, standing at 6'2" and weighing 200 lbs., Ethan Kenzington!" Ethan's face was displayed on the jumbotron and the crowd cheered loudly once more. The announcer continued when they had quieted down. "Brandon's challenger is also a newcomer to the underground. He is the American Kickboxing Middleweight Champion, and has promised to give his opponent one hell of a fight, according to his manager." The crowd continued to cheer.

Brandon looked over and studied his opponent. The guy was about his height and very muscular in his arms, legs, and torso. He wore blue shorts and fighter's tape over his feet. Roger was staying just outside the ring, as was Ethan's manager. Ethan himself was looking at him like a hungry dog, and Brandon knew that this was for real. He was going to have to batter or be battered. If that was the case, he did not have to hold back.

"Fighters, return to your corners for the starting bell!" Brandon turned and walked back to his corner. When he was close to Roger, his manager instructed him to stay on his toes and be prepared for anything. Brandon nodded and turned. The tension in the air was heavy, and the bell dinging was sharp. Brandon stepped forward and bowed, a customary way of showing respect to one's opponent.

The gesture of respect was not returned, as he felt a knee slam into his face, right above his lip. He felt his face go up, and before he could react, he was hit in the face twice, once across both cheeks. His vision was blurring, and he felt a kick to his side. The second knee to the stomach didn't hurt as bad, since he forced all of the air out before it hit, but this opened him up to a punch that sent him to the floor. "Brandon!" Roger called. Brandon was facedown, but still conscious. His vision was still doubled, but it soon went back into focus. More than anything, he was angry at the insolence of this kickboxer. Striking a man while he does a bow of respect may have been legal, but it was unethical in his opinion. Ten seconds after he hit the ground, he was back on his feet.

The all-out assault hadn't hurt him much, since it had all been shock and impact. He felt blood trickle out of his mouth as he cocked his head to look at him sideways. His head was held high to show that the desired affect had not occured. "So, honor's not your thing, huh?" He said as he wiped the blood from his mouth. "I guess I can understand that...but for disrespecting me, and my martial arts, I'm going to rip you apart!!" His brows lowered and his eyes grew rich with hatred, as befit his raging warrior's spirit.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:01 am

Amidst the massive noise, Mina recognized a sound check being made. Things were bound to get louder any moment now and her prediction was seen through in the next few minutes as music started from somewhere above. It was something American that Mina recognized and she could hear most of it in her head as, like all crowds, the people making up this one grew louder to make themselves heard and compensate for the extra noise. It was loud but electric in some way. Mina found her curiosity was maintained as the crowd's excited anticipation of what was to come seemed to affect the air itself. Thankfully, Ayame was so content to be back underground; she wasn't bothering the younger girl so Mina was free to take everything in. It was amazing to see the sheer size of this place and even more so to both hear and see that it was a packed house. She was overwhelmed with a sense of ill-placement concerning herself and this entire event.

Would the fight be worth all this? She wondered only briefly but if there was nothing to see, no one would be here so she easily came to the conclusion that it would have to be worth something what with so much noise. Speaking of which, this lessened somewhat when a single voice called for attention. Some who were still too excited to be quiet went on but the focus of the crowd, as per the announcer's words, was taken with the arena as he stopped to clear his throat. In the next moment, it didn't matter who'd listened and who hadn't as the mass in its entirety roared approval for the fighter now named. When the image flicked to a new one across the screens up above, Mina's dark eyes drew upward since the seats they had were not necessarily so close to the actual ring. Were all the fighters this young? She was sure this Brandon couldn't be much older than her.

"I knew it!" Ayame, startling her sister as this was her first exclamation of the night though it certainly wasn't about to be the last. Turning to look at the one sitting next to her, Mina was just a second from asking why knowing there was a new fighter beforehand was so important when the words 'fourth degree black belt' caused her gaze to draw back down to the arena. Something like fascination was evoked in her as the crowd erupted with more noise. That was, undoubtedly, quite the calling card. It caught her completely off guard that someone fighting here would know any kind of marital arts. The idea simply hadn't occurred to her.

For no reason at all, she was not as interested with the next fighter. The crowd was nothing but noise again before it was evident by announcement neither of the two young men had fought down here previously. Acting less like a girl and more like a total fan, Ayame let off a whistle to express her opinion having fresh blood to watch tonight. One or both of the fighters, likely each in turn, was going to get hurt before things ended. And while it wasn't a pleasant thought in general, Mina couldn't tear her eyes from the scene below. It had the irresistibility of a train-wreck immovably balanced with the suspense brought on by a calm before the storm. She couldn't see it, she was hooked already but would the thrill remain?

And so it began with an abrupt enough noise that it was reminiscent of a single gunshot. Being caught by surprise seemed nearly the theme of the day for Mina as it happened again now; given there was a martial artist, the bow was expected but what followed it was not. A collective “Oh!” swept through the crowd. And to literally add insult to injury, the other fighter didn't stop! It was so much, five more hits, and it was over in a matter of seconds. Well it couldn't be over already could it? Somewhat stunned, the crowd was divided, some holding their breath or urging the fallen fighter up, in addition to several other reactions. Seconds seemed to drag by but in a moment, he was up and the crowd cheered to see it.

Maybe it was her musing again but Mina was sure there was something entirely different about everything: witnessing how this fight started, even just being here in the first place. However this turned out, she doubted she’d forget it.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:47 pm

Ethan was nothing short of shocked. That combo had decimated his competition in the kickboxing circuit, and it had allowed him to become the Middleweight Champ. But this guy took it like it didn't even faze him! Then, he started to talk, and Ethan grew angry. No honor? Sure, his strike had been underhanded, but he was trying to take him down quickly, as a show of mercy. He did not want to unleash his bevy of kickboxing moves on someone not even trained in the discipline! But if this Brandon guy wouldn't go down easy, he'd make him go down. "After this kick, you won't be standing so tall!" He slid his right foot forward and threw a high side-kick at him.

Brandon saw the kick as it coiled up and ducked down. This would make the kick miss, but it also allowed him to counterattack. He twisted his body, sweeping his leg along the floor until he raised it and struck Ethan's leg and the side of the knee joint. There was a snapping sound as Ethan's leg was broken. He opened his mouth to scream, but Brandon cut him off by jamming his right index finger into the bottom of the throat, pressing down on a pressure point and completely immobilizing his opponent.

"Don't fall down just yet," he said, "I've got a little more work to do." He pushed him back with just one finger until his back was literally against the wall. He then released him, but only to begin striking more brutally. He eased into the left seishan stance; more specifically, the black belt version of the left seishan, with his striking arm cocked at his waist. Taking in a big gulp of air through his nose, he began striking Ethan's face in rapid sucession, utilizing both arms. He only let out a bit of breath each time through his mouth as he felt his hands doing their work. There was cracking noises and blood began to run down Ethan's face, splattering Brandon's chest and the ground.

When he had struck him the desired eighty times, he looked upon his handiwork. Through the blood, he could see that he had broken Ethan's nose, jaw, chin, cheekbones, and also cracked his forehead and eye sockets. Not bad at only half speed. He figured full speed would kill the young kickboxer, and he wasn't willing to do that. His left leg snapped out like a piston, breaking Ethan's left leg. The kickboxer, with his jaw broken, could not scream in pain, only fall forward. But Ethan slid around with his right leg and grabbed his opponent's right arm. His left hand was on the elbow joint, his right around the wrist. Ethan responded by tapping his right shoulder with his hand, attempting to tap out.

The whole thing had been seen on the jumbotron, and the announcer seemed to have taken notice. "It appears that Ethan Kenzington is attempting to tap out, but Brandon is ignoring his signal." Brandon began to apply pressure to his arm, which would have made his opponent's knees buckle, if they hadn't been disabled earlier in the fight. "No, you're not tapping out. For such blatant disrespect, you will leave this arena on a stretcher." With that said, there was another snapping sound as he broke Ethan's right arm. He was going for the left arm, but Ethan seemed to have had it with being a punching bag. He turned and grabbed Ethan by the throat, trying to choke him out.

Brandon could not believe the stupidity of this kid. The last thing you wanted to do was try to choke a black belt in karate. There are so many ways out of it that it's practically impossible. However, he was going to exercise a simple, but painful way out. He simply placed his hand under Ethan's elbow joint and pushed up as hard as he could. The arm snapped like kindling, and his grip was gone. Ethan's powerful legs and arms were useless now, and Brandon had the match in the bag. Now was only the matter of finishing him off.

He swept his right leg across the ground, taking both of Ethan's legs out from under him. He then grabbed his neck and slammed him to the ground facefirst. Kneeling down, he pulled Ethan's chin up and held it with his right hand. He then formed a phoenix eye with his left hand. He had to be careful about this move, as where he was intending to strike no longer had strong protective bone. Strike too hard, and he would hit the brain and kill him. No, he had to hold back. Bringing it back, he brought the phoenix eye directly between Ethan's eyes. The light went out behind the kickboxer's eyes, and he was out cold. Brandon let his face fall into the floor and stood up, wiping the blood off of his chest. He the raised his right arm in victory.

"Unbelievable!" Cried the announcer. "Brandon Price has bounced back and annihilated his competition to claim his first victory in the underground!" Brandon lowered his hand, then turned and walked toward Roger. His manager was thrilled, but keeping a serious face on. After all, it would be cruel to be happy while a man lay facedown in his own blood. Paramedics on a stretcher rushed in to carry Ethan off to the medical ward. He would need serious medical attention. Brandon and Roger left the ring and began walking to the locker room, the martial artist proud of his first victory.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:33 pm

Without even taking note of it, Mina's mind went off reasoning as was a habit of hers. A kickboxer versus a black-belt, she considered it. She was by no means and expert on any of this especially given that she was a pacifist or had been anyway. More or less, she'd followed along with some unspoken rule or sorts that specified violence as wrong. Maybe it still was but whether it was or wasn't, the thought was excused for the moment at least as she worked out an outcome to this fight. Brandon Price would win. She couldn't see it another way since as far as she knew, what one learned kickboxing was limited in light of martial arts altogether.

Mina's eyes drew up to the screens above as a kick was thrown and avoided subsequently. Had it not been too high to be discreet? Whatever the reason, she watched as the other fighter countered. You didn't even have to hear it to know Brandon had just broken the kickboxer's leg. The majority of the crowd gave an empathic "Oh." A broken joint? The guy had to be in pain but he wasn't even allowed to voice it or make a response at all for that matter.

Some of the crowd wasn't sure how to take this. How in the world could anybody be made to submit by just a finger? The idea seemed illogical and yet, Mina knew better just as her sister did, the latter of which was only too happy to send up another cheer. Just like that, full control was given to the martial artist and it was exemplified as the other fighter -Ethan wasn't it?- was forced back.

Brandon let him go and some of the crowd protested, thinking that this was the extent of what they would see him do but she saw the stance change. After that, everything was white noise; Mina didn't really hear the crowd, she was absorbed with everything her eyes could take in. It was a matter of seconds before blood sprayed as the martial artist dominated as she predicted. What control! Her mind wouldn't concentrate to count how many hits were served though it was too fast to tell. Finally he let off but the amount of blood made it obvious that there was a good deal more broken in addition to the first. Wasn't a moment later that the other leg was broken and the kickboxer pitched forward. Brandon took his arm and the other fighter finally responded.

The announcer's voice came through bringing back all the noise with a blast as if a radio on mute was suddenly turned back up and the place was louder than ever. "Woah." Ayame voiced, clearly in awe at what was said. Automatically knowing her sister would have not a clue what tapping out was she began to explain though Mina's eyes were unmoved from the fight, "By tapping out Kenzington's basically calling for a truce but I don't think Price is going to-" Whatever she said was lost as the crowd voiced a cry of surprise. The kickboxer had clearly had enough.

Mina would have shaken her head if she was thinking about it. Out of all the ways to attack Ethan chose choking? She had to blame it on lack of thinking on his part or nothing else would justify it since he was practically asking for it. And he got what he asked for. Mina winced as there was yet another break. Displaying control again, Brandon took the other fighter's balance from him with a sweep before slamming him to the floor. It was over as a last strike was made. As the martial artist rose, the crowd exploded with noise. Mina only just noticed she was on her feet with the rest of them and the place roared victoriously, louder than ever as Brandon acknowledged his own clearly decided win.

To be heard, the announcer had to call over the cries but he only confirmed what every single person already knew, Brandon Price was the victor of this fight. "Do you get it now?" Ayame exclaimed, ecstatic at the turnout but Mina was too stunned to respond, she was watching Brandon leave the arena. "Minako!" Finally, her young sister looked away as the young man disappeared into the crowd.

"Yes." She replied after remembering what Ayame had asked. The entire thing was replaying in her head. It was terrible and incredible all at the same time. She'd never seen anything like it in her life and she didn't know what to think. It was violent to say the least but so impressive her logic was excusing it. Though it had not seemed like it initially, Brandon dominated. His skill left her awestruck and without a word to singularly describe it. And he was American? She wasn't prejudiced in the least but this fact only seemed to draw more awe from her. Martial arts, fighting, was life and clearly defined this young man's.

Some of those who had come were making to leave now and so did the two sisters, waiting as the mass was attempting to filter out all at the same time. "And you were against coming here?" Ayame looked back over her shoulder, reminding of things previous to all this.

"I was." Mina confirmed. It sounded almost ridiculous now that there was little else in her head than the replaying match and desire to see Brandon fight again. "I want to know when he fights again."

Ayame burst out laughing. She wasn't making fun but was, rather, totally surprise. What a turn or events indeed. Her uptight younger sister had found herself a fighter she preferred. "It's not because he's attractive is it?" She might be a few years older than the martial artist but that didn't mean she was blind.

"That's not why." Mina answered, maybe a little quickly, and gave her sister a meaningful look. That certainly was a thought however.

"I was kidding." Amended Ayame. "Don't worry, I'll keep you updated." Apparently, the younger girl was still a little too uptight to take a simple joke but at least she was making some progress.

Mina's mind drifted back to a previous thought for a moment: life. It was different to see the results of someone's life dedication. For her, it wasn't so. Even at 19 now, she didn't know what she wanted out of life. Sure, she was taking college courses online but her degree remained as undeclared as when she first started. There were things she was good at but a path wasn't clear to her. She hoped things would look up soon since feeling lost was something she was starting to get tired of. Nevertheless, she was inspired. If someone could work hard and be that successful, then it wasn't impossible, she simply needed to figure out what to do.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:28 am

Brandon turned right down the main hallway and kept going, his manager directly to his left. They seemed to be the only ones in this section of the building, as he could hear the sound of each of their footsteps revertebrating off of the stainless steel walls. However, he knew that there was a much more personal reason for the silence, hiding behind that environmental facade. Pit fighting was new to both of them, though, to be more specific, only certain parts of it were new to them individually.

Roger had been his father's manager for over thirty years. From their borough's Martial Arts Tournament, where his father had met Mr. Adren as a teenager, all the way to the World Martial Arts Championships, Roger had been with him every step of the way. The lights, the music, the bustling crowd, almost everything about a stage for a major fighting event was nothing new to him. In fact, he felt lost without it. However, one thing was new to him about pit fighting, one thing that he had never experienced before tonight: a complete lack of rules.

In almost every fighting venue around the world, there are rules. Wrestling, boxing, martial arts fighting, even cagefighting have rules and illegal maneauvers. In pit fighting, there are no rules, no regulations, no illegal maneauvers. Everything is allowed in a pit fight, and there is nothing to stop you. Break their bones and bleed them out. That is the one and only rule in a pit fight.

With Brandon, it was totally different from his manager. He had never been in a public fight before tonight, so everything about it was foreign. All of his fights had been at three places before tonight: the private dojo his father trained him in, the public one his father owned, and the University of New York, where he had gone before the Black Belt Board and sparred as part of proving he deserved a black belt. Now, he had fought publicly, and found out that he loved it. It was exciting, fresh and new. To have people gasp in shock and awe as he showed his skill was a heady experience that he would not soon forget.

It was this very excitement that was fuelling the silence between them. Both could remember the quickening of their pulse, the pounding of their hearts, the numbing of their emotions as the fight played itself out. After feeling all of this, what was there to say? When such things occur, words, as wonderful in conveying messages and expressing the heart as they are, become superfluous.

The walk to the locker room seemed to be longer than it actually was, since he was reflecting and all. As soon as he entered, he made a beeline for the painted green locker he had chosen to stash his clothes. Opening it, he pulled out the bag and removed first his boxers. Sliding down his fighting shorts and sliding up the boxers, he laid the removed shorts on the bench and next pulled out a pair of Levi jeans. Sitting down on the bench and placing his left leg in the jeans, he could see that Roger wanted to say something. The way he looked off and kept puffing his cheeks up with air and then blowing it out were dead giveaways that he wanted to say something, but was trying not to.

"You may speak freely, Roger," he said as he inserted his right leg and pulled the jeans up to his waist, "we aren't in the arena anymore." Roger stopped leaning on the wall, then looked off, as if gathering the strength to say his piece before looking back at him. "You fought tonight in a way I've never seen anybody else fight, not even your father." Brandon buttoned and zipped up his jeans before reaching inside his bag for his favorite black shirt.

"You fought with rage just emanating from you, yet remained so calm and in-control that it was barely noticeable. You masked your emotions perfectly in a way no fighter I've ever seen can. It's...it's surreal, to be quite honest. But it's also strangely mesmerizing." Brandon put his shirt over his head, then adjusted it before reaching back into the bag for his shoes and socks. To say something now would be pointless, as Roger had not yet gotten to his point. All of what he had just said was the prelude to something, and Brandon wondered what that was as he slid his socks up to his ankles.

Roger walked over, then lifted his left leg up and planted it on the bench beside Brandon. He was hunched over like a coach preparing to give a star player a pep talk. "What got me most was the devastation you rained down on that Ethan kid. You destroyed him, yet remained in full control. I've never seen such polar opposites in emotional content come together in a way that was so perfectly executed. It was brilliant." Brandon put on his white and black Nike shoes, adjusting both his feet and the tongues until his feet were in complete comfort. He then looked up and met his manager's eyes. He had something to say, as well.

"I study Shorin-Ryu Karate today as a fourth degree black belt, having begun my journey thirteen years ago. Control, balance and most of all, respect, were all things I was taught right away. Respect is central to all forms and disciplines of the martial arts, and it is just as much revered in the countries my martial arts descended from. Shorin-Ryu originated in Okinawa, but has some Chinese and Japanese influence." He knew Roger all ready knew all this,but he was saying it to help drive his point home. "Kickboxing originated in Thailand, and it was used by kings to settle disputes. These were fair and honest duels. Much respect and honor is given in this style, as it is also a martial art, though not completely, given the influence of regular boxing," after a brief pause, he continued, "Tell me, then, if honor and respect are also valued in this form of fighting, why did Ethan Kenzington, a champion of the style, not exercise it during our fight?"

Roger nodded, having completely grasped Brandon's point. "Because he deliberately tossed it aside in the hopes of gaining a quick victory." Brandon made the gun sign with thumb and index finger of his left hand, pointed it at his manager and made a clicking noise with his tongue. "Bingo.He threw away respect in the hopes of victory. That reduced him to trash in my mind. Do you see any fault in my logic?" Roger placed his foot on the ground and shook his head with a smile. "Absolutelt not. Your logic is sound and correct, so let's get going. We have to get your money."

Brandon was confused. Money? He was actually getting paid for this? "So, I get paid to fight down here?" Roger laughed a bit, obviously finding great humor in his ignorance. When it subsided, he met Brandon's gaze once again. "Yeah, you get paid for it!" He exclaimed like he should have known it all along. Brandon would have to plead the fifth on his ignorance of the monetary value of his fighting skills. He placed his shorts in his white shopping bag and slung it over his shoulder. "All right, then. Let's get it and head home." Roger nodded and the two left the locker room before turning right down the hall.

While they were walking, Roger turned to him. "Y'know, kid, with the performance you gave tonight, I'd bet they'll pay you money in the thousands. What say we split it 50-50?" Brandon smiled and chuckled a bit. Roger had been a friend of the family for years, and he was genuinely a good guy. But, his manager genes came out when money was involved, and like everyone else, he was looking for the big money. It seemed pretty trivial to him, since he didn't fight for money, but if they were gonna pay him, why not take it? "Sure, Roger. 50-50." "That's the spirit, my boy," he said merrily as they continued down the long hallway. Before long, they had both eased into the comfortable silence of before.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:11 pm

Mina's thoughts only encompassed what she allowed and were still on life. It’s change was the reason she was in America in the first place. It had been only a couple months since she’d stepped onto foreign ground for only the second time, at the Kennedy airport. The place was so modern-looking it was like having some little representation of home in Yokohama here in her new home.

The majority of her time thus far was spent learning about the country she was now to call home by trying out anything and everything and tonight was something she did not regret in the least. She was still on her inspired high when Ayame pushed the door open to the outside. It was cooler now with it being even darker but Mina felt hardly affected despite the fact she was in a sleeveless dress.

Very few stars dotted the sky while so many more were hidden. It was always like that if you lived in the city. Whether it seemed like it or not, the air was never as clear unless you were away from the smog or higher in the atmosphere. Mina knew the latter from personal experience, her mom, Nicole, once took her and Ayame to stay up on Mt. Fuji over one summer break. Just the three of them. Things had always been like that though; all of her fondest memories involved herself, Ayame and her mom, her dad was never in the picture.

At one point, an older lady asked Nicole where the father of such lovely girls was and the mother could only reply that her husband wasn’t with them. Her exact wording made the lady think Nicole was a widow and even after sympathies were expressed, she didn’t correct the woman since, in truth, she more or less was a widow. What else could you call a woman with a husband so consumed with his job that he was barely ever home despite the fact that home was literally a few blocks away?

“I'll drive home to repay you for the torture you had to suffer.” Ayame punctuated the sentence with a chuckle.

Mina was only a second from what would have been a ridiculous “Huh?” when the sound of a car door opening reached through her thoughts. They were back at the car already but, all the same, she had no idea what Ayame just said.

The older girl leaned on the side of the car, a knowing grin quickly spreading over her face. She could both see and know why Mina wasn’t paying attention but she knew a remark on it would only earn her a reprimand. Mina was the more mature ‘older sister’ type to be honest. She repeated herself, “I said I'll drive home to repay you for the torture you had to suffer.”

Mina didn't argue. She knew if she did, Ayame would eventually back off and let her drive and she didn't want the burden of concentration on driving to drown out the brilliance of it all, she was going to take every second until it wore off. So, she got into the passenger seat without a polite argument. The seat itself was the same one as the driver’s seat in an American car. Mina loved the car and her mother had made its fate contingent on the divorce. When she won custody, Ken’ichi was made to, among other things, pay to have the Japanese Corolla-Axio sent to America. In court, it’s usually the rich that have to pay up and Nicole figured it was the least he could do after what he’d made the family go through.

A silence, not necessarily uncomfortable, fell between the sisters as Ayame was fine with letting Mina relive things, well remembering her own reaction the first time she’d been underground. There was little more going on than the low noise of the car’s engine and the city lights pausing and flashing through the windows. But Ayame spoke up when she had a thought, "Don't you have work tomorrow?"

Mina gave a sigh at having been forced to remember this. A Friday night wasn’t exactly enjoyable if you had work to worry about the next day. Work on Saturday. Probably three of the most unpleasant words in existence. That wasn’t to say she hated her job, on the contrary, she worked full time and she loved it, she just didn’t want to think about it right then. “Yes, and I have to get up at 8.” Another thought, getting up would not be fun.

She was still awed and inspired at the same time though it wasn't like a job at a music store, no matter how big it was, was going to get her success in life necessarily. It wasn’t impossible, just unlikely. Now college classes, those might get her somewhere if she could decide a major. Making a decision was another thing she did not want to think about but for a better reason: everything about it was difficult.

It was quiet again as Mina played with the hem of her gray dress, fingering the edge of a pleat while her thoughts pulled willingly from work back to the previous preoccupation of the night. Wasn’t too long before she was biting at the inside of her lip with thought, a definite habit of hers. Now, she wasn’t being quiet because she wanted to be. The desire to reflect was replaced with one to say more, ask everything about pit-fighting but she was almost surprised at herself with how much she was taking to the underground. Sure, it wasn't exactly legal, well it wasn't at all to be honest, but there was something about it. Mina couldn't stop thinking about it though it was not as if she was trying to. “So is this all you know, the fights? Is there more to it than that?” She finally asked as she glanced at the driver.

Ayame chuckled, well recognizing the tone to know Mina would assault her with questions should she allow it. “Tell you what, I’ll tell you what I know after we get home.” With all the questions she could think of then out of the way as they were promised answers later, Mina finally sighed, the fight playing over in her head yet again. Her mom would probably kill her if she had any idea such violence was going on in her daughter's head. Then again, wasn't the thought an oxymoron? It wasn't necessarily the violence of things that Mina was focused on but the experience as a whole, the lights, the collective reactions of the crowd around her, seeing the match play out before her own eyes. Incredible. There wasn't another word for it.

A few minutes later, Ayame was locking up the car after parallel parking outside a tall brick building. The two headed around the corner and up the stairs to the front entrance. It was a long way up so, like always, Mina took the elevator and Ayame was left downstairs to chat up the new doorman. The front door was left unlocked and she shook her head after stepping in and closing it. “You’re going to get all your art stolen if you don’t remember to lock the front door!” She called into the place. It was like the life of Japan, a modern flat with tall windows and white walls decorated with traditional art and various trinkets of the orient, new and old mixed together nicely.

“They’re going to have to get past the guard dog first!” A voice called back as Nicole came in, wringing her colorful hands into a short towel. The woman was a mess. Her hair was tied back off her face so the crow’s feet she had a habit of trying to hide were visible and there was paint of every color streaked up to her elbows. Said ‘guard dog’ of which she mentioned presently appeared, sliding over the hardwoord floor and into Mina’s arms as she scooped up the ball of fluff. The Yorkie was a true guard dog and his name proved it, Bruce, which made a whole lot of sense given that he wasn’t even five pounds. “How was the movie?”

“I didn’t really like it.” Mina replied with a convincing little frown. She hadn’t missed a beat. Ayame had told their mom they were going to see a movie and they’d even read the synopsis in case she asked questions. It was just a matter of the one with the plan remembering it whenever she got up to the house.

“I’m sorry it did not meet your standards.” Nicole replied with a light joke to which Mina answered, “Ha ha. I don’t hate every movie, just most. I’m going to bed.” She paused to place the squirming dog back on the floor, “Forgot I had work tomorrow.” “Goodnight.” “Night mom.” And with that, she left to her room, the same that Ayame was sharing with her so long as she was visiting. Speaking of which, where was that girl? Mina had at least a dozen questions about the fights to ask!

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:19 am

Brandon and his manager ended their long trek down the hallway by coming up against a reinforced door. There did not have to be a plaque saying 'Manager' on the door to let you know that this door led straight to the man in charge. There was no knob on the door or keypad next to it. It could only be opened from the inside, which was unlike any other door he had ever seen. To the right of the door was a button attached to a speaker, and was clearly the only way they were going to speak to the security-conscious owner of this underground fighting commission. Roger saw this, stepped forward and pressed the button.

"Uh, Mr. Janis, this is Roger Adren, manager of Brandon Price, the winner of tonight's pit fight." He seemed a bit confused, and who could blame him? This was the first time his manager had had to communicate with a fight promoter in the same fashion one would use to communicate with a shut-in. Roger let go of the button and stepped back. After a few minutes, the speaker clicked and they could hear the voice of Mr. Janis.

"Ah, yes, the man who defeated the kickboxer. That was an interesting battle, and better than most of the fights I have seen down here." The voice sounded American, but he could detect a slight European accent. Mr. Janis had obviously lived in America for a long while, as the accent
was very faint. Brandon could not place exactly where the accent hailed from, but it sounded to him like a Balkan accent. "I have all ready wired the money directly into your bank account, Mr. Price," he continued, "and I must say that I feel you have earned the ten grand I
have supplied you with. If there is nothing more, you may be on your way." Brandon looked over and saw his manager's eyes bugging out a bit. If it was possible to have money signs in your eyes in real life, Roger would have them. Their business concluded, they turned from the door and began heading for the exit.

As long as the hallways seemed, they were far from being a labyrinth. There were two hallways heading east, one headed south and one headed north. The direction changed depending on which direction you were going down that hallway, but the number of hallways did not. Having been blessed with a keen sense of direction, Brandon found it easy to maneauver through the veins of this underground body. This trait had obviously not been inherited by his manager.

"We turn left up here, right?" Brandon looked at him over his shoulder. "Yeah. Then we make a right, go up the staircase, then head straight down the hallway and out of the building." Roger looked at him with a small smile and narrow eyes. "Directions are not my forte, kid. My forte is negotiating fights, and getting paid for such fights." "Both of which you do very well, but it hardly takes memory to remember the route we took to get to the locker room and ring," Brandon replied as he turned his gaze forward and turned right.

Roger kept pace with him, walking alongside him. "Let us put it this way, not everybody is a human GPS." "I never hear you complaining when I act as navigator almost every time we go on one of your errands." The two began to ascend the staircase after Brandon pulled open the door. "Hey, who needs TomTom when I have got you, anyway, eh?" Roger asked with a chuckle. "Exactly." The two went out the door of the 'abandoned' building and began heading for Roger's Lexus.

"We are still splitting the money, right? 50-50?" Roger asked as he produced the keys. He pressed a button, the car made two beeping noises and the doors unlocked. Brandon got inside and attached his seatbelt. When Roger got in, he did the same before starting the car. "Yes, Roger, we are still splitting it 50-50. Five g's for you and five for me." He was beginning to get tired of his manager's greed. There was a reason it was one of the Seven Deadly Sins. "Very good. Let us go to the ATM, then." Roger placed the selector lever in drive, put on his turn signal, then away they went.

It was not a very long drive to the ATM, only about a half-mile north. It seemed that the bank the Price family used was in the same neighborhood as the underground arena. This was very convenient, and Brandon would make sure to keep this information stored away. As soon as they pulled up, Roger rapidly typed in the PIN number for his employer's account. He was one of the only people trusted enough to know such information, but he had earned it in his thirty years of service to the family. After typing in how much money he wanted, the five thousand dollars came out of the machine. Roger pulled a suitcase out of the back floorboard and put the money in before shutting it and returning it to its place. "Ah, today was a good day, Brandon. You fought excellently and made us both a good deal of money. I think this whole enterprise will be very lucrative for us. Better than those stingy bastards up in the professional circuits, eh?" There was a roar of laughter as he pulled away from the ATM. Brandon nodded absentmindedly , wondering if all the money he would make doing this was worth the change it was causing in Roger.

The ride the rest of the way was mired in a stony silence. Both knew that Roger was acting differently, and both knew how it was affecting Brandon. The latter didn't much care about money, fighting for the love of it and wanting to work for the same reason. He would gladly sacrifice a career paying one million dollars a year if it wasn't something he wanted to do. This was just how he was, despite how crazy some people thought he was. So, the clash between them was well-warranted , and he hoped Roger didn't let the money become his central focus. It would ruin what had been a good friendship.

Roger pulled the Lexu into the parking lot of the swanky high-rise apartment building that the Prices lived in. Maneauvering his car into the 'D' block of the building, he parallel parked it next to a Mercedes-Benz and put the car in park. He then turned to his client. "I'm going to go back to the underground arena and see when your next match is. Good night, Brandon." Brandon turned to him, mustered up a weak smile and nodded stiffly before stepping out of the car. Once again slinging the bag over his shoulder, he began to walk toward the door, hearing the motor of Roger's Lexus until it faded away.

Pulling open the door, he saw a bored clerk attending the front desk. She saw him and mustered a weak smile, looking very tired. He tossed her one back and she blushed a bit, hunching her shoulders. He knew she was inviting him to talk to her, and he knew what she wanted. A sweet girl like her wanted a handsome man in her life to cuddle up to and talk to about her problems. Unfortunately for her, he was not that guy. Beneath his youthful exterior lyed the soul of a fierce and graceful martial, who, despite being a talented fighter and guitarist, could not hold onto a girl. The martial arts and his devotion to it played a part, but it was mostly how busy he was.

In between training, reading, playing guitar and working a day job as a lifeguard at the local community center, how was he going to date? All of his other romantic relationships crashed and burned, and he wasn't willing to put her through that or put himself back through that. So, nodding to her, he walked through the lobby and approached one of the elevators. Pressing the call button, he stood there and waited for the doors to open.

Not once did he turn to look at the receptionist as the buttons lit up and the elevator descended. When it opened, he stepped inside and turned around. while searching for the button of his floor, he caught the eye of the girl. Though she looked a bit distressed at being ignored, she still smiled, even fluffing up her hair a bit. She was attractive, with silky brown hair, a nice body and a warming smile. She was trying to entice him with all she had, but it wasn't working. For one, he wanted to be single for a while, and two, he thought money was playing a role in this. She probably figured he was a spoiled rich boy with money to burn, and she wanted him to burn it on things she wanted. That was not going to happen. Breaking eye contact with her, he pressed the button for the 41st floor, where he lived. Before the door slid shut, he saw her anguished expression. Sorry, honey, but this bird is flying solo.

Brandon leaned against the wall adjacent to the doors as the elevator car climbed steadily higher. He was half-tired and a little sore about having to work on a Saturday. But, community centers were for the young, and school being out made it a fun day. He'd feel better about it later, especially since he was only expected to work a six hour shift from noon to six in the evening. Not bad for eight bucks an hour. After the work day came the stuff he loved doing. The elevator dinged and the doors once again slid open.

Pulling himself off of the wall, he turned and entered the hallway leading to the apartment he shared with his parents, but only until he had enough money to move out and find a place of his own. He was reminded of the underground when he walked this hall, and that was both a good and a bad thing. He found apartment number 1309 and used his key to unlock the door. Stepping inside, he shut the door, locked it and placed his keys back into his pocket. "I'm home!" Brandon called out as he set his bag on the living room table and entered the kitchen.

His mother, Claudia Price, was sitting at the kitchen table, looking through bills to see what needed to be paid. Her face was drawn in worry, and he knew it was not over the bills. When she heard his voice, however, she looked up, and the look of worry was replaced with a serene smile. Looking down, he noticed that her knuckles were still white, and he felt bad about contributing to her worry. "Brandon, you're home. Did everything--Oh!" She got up and moved over to him, her eyes settling on a spot just above his lip where Kenzington's knee had hit. He didn't know it, but there was a small cut there that his mother's eyes could easily see, her being used to looking for wounds.

After examining it and finding that it was a superficial mark, she looked at him with eyes filled with worry. "You're okay? No fractured bones, hurt organs, nothing like that?" Brandon shook his head. "No, I'm fine. I took some good blows at the start of the fight, but I was able to to come back and win the fight. It was actually easy when I think back, but that's a perspective thing." His mother sighed in relief and hugged him, her head resting against his chest. After a few moments of holding her son, she said, "Well, you're definitely your father's son." Then, she looked upa t him and let go. After rubbing her arms a bit, her eyes widened for a second in remembrance. "Oh, speaking of which, your father called from his dojo in Okinawa. He said that he was rooting for you in your first underground match, and that he was sure you would win. Now, I can tell him he was right." She smiled, and he noticed a few tears forming in her eyes. Brandon nodded and smiled, still feeling a bit bad in spite of his mother's happiness over his victory.

His mother was a gracious, loving, trusting and honorable woman. She was a great mother and a wonderful wife, and not just for the all ready listed reasons. Claudia was very brave, and very supportive of the men in her life. Both her husband and son had been inspired to devote their lives to Karate, a martial art that took a lifetime to truly master. In pursuit of better skill and a deeper understanding of their discipline, both Prices would have to train relentlessly and fight skilled opponents, no matter the danger. Claudia was brave enough to deal with that and support them, even if her heart ached. She was also trusting enough to let her heart fill with love for his father, even as they were separated by an entire country. Her grace allowed them both to follow their own paths, even if it meant not coming home alive. Words could not describe the magnificence of his mother, whose inner strength granted her the courage to allow them to fulfill their lives' desires.

Wiping away the tears forming in her eyes, she allowed her smile to drop to half-mast. "Your father said that he wanted you to teach at the Fang Martial Arts dojo while he's in Okinawa. He said it would help you move up to your next degree." Brandon was slightly confused. "Me? I thought Lucius was taking care of that." Lucius Kane was his father's assistant, and who ran the dojo while his father was away. His mother shook her head. "He said it'd be better for you to do it, being where you're at. Your rank is high enough to be an instructor, Brandon, but you have never acted as one. " Brandon shook his head. "That is because I really don't want to act as an instructor.Training students on the path to the black belt and beyond is not really my thing, but if dad asked me to, I will. I'll stop by tomorrow after work." His mother nodded. "Well, you know that you need to instruct before you qualify for the rank of fifth degree black belt. I also think you will find that you are a better teacher than you think, if you would only give it a try." Brandon nodded, not really convinced. "Maybe you are right. Anyway, I'm off to bed. Goodnight." Brandon turned and walked out of the room, only faintly hearing his mother's reply.

In his room, Brandon stripped down to his boxers and collapsed into bed. His last thought before he fell into a deep sleep was that he hoped he had remembered to set his alarm.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground (Grave and Yasashii PRP)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:53 pm

Upon entering her room, Mina promptly dropped into the chair in front of her desk. The lights weren't on and it was late. She should be changing, getting ready to sleep, especially in light of the fact she had work the following day but was she doing this? No. Mina sat exactly where she'd chosen to, waiting on her older sister to get upstairs. Granted, they lived in a top floor of the building, complete with roof access, but that didn't excuse her taking so long just because of the new doorman. So what if he wasn't hard on the eyes? Currently, there were more important things than that. Not that she was against her sister attempting a relationship, if she was even remotely serious, Mina just was not sure if any guy could keep up with the flighty older girl. As for herself, she didn't care so much. Twice, dating hadn't worked for her so she was not so inclined to attempt it a third time, definitely not if she was going to have to solely make the effort. From what she'd observed of the typical American male around her age, he expected a girl to approach him and she wasn't about to support something one-sided. Of course, she wasn't one to take to stereotypes but thus far, she hadn't been given evidence to disprove this particular one.

In some combination of boredom, already, and impatience, Mina pushed the swiveling chair around so that it faced the desk. Where homework probably should have been, was a mess of sheet music with notes dotting a few pages and not on others. Ordinarily, it wasn't such a mess but at some point, she'd gone out and forgotten to shut her door to keep the 'guard dog' out and he who had a certain liking for paper, or tearing it rather, so Mina was had to work restoring several destroyed sheets. She could remember pages of sheet music but not usually where she left her keys. Those, however, were actually buried under the mass of papers along with a notebook or two and a small volume on American history. The latter wasn't for school but her own free pursuits. She had been in the country long enough to begin understanding it but that wasn't to say everything made sense and a look into its history only seemed to serve as verification.

"And where were you?" Nicole's voice drifted back to her room though the door left ajar. Her tone was merely one of wondering since her eldest daughter had come back home with a little smile on her face.

"Downstairs." Ayame's voice answered lightly, unlike her if you did not know her.

"Oh." Was all her mother said in reply, though the single word was knowing. "Your sister said the movie wasn't too good."

"It wasn't." She confirmed.

Mina breathed a sigh. Fortunately, her sister had remembered that little detail about tonight. She listened to the goodnights as she moved to sit up straight in her seat.

"You could have turned on the lights." Ayame complained, flicking on the switch as she came in and closed the door. The light currently came from the single one overhead and threw the whole room into color. Basically, it was like the rest of the house, modern with clean lines in dimension and almost every noticeable piece in the room was from Japan itself, right down to the chair Mina sat in. After taking up a spot on the dark wood floor, she looked over to her sister and added, "Alright, go," well-knowing she had a hundred questions to ask that wouldn't be deterred even if she, herself, would have been perfectly fine talking about her new friend.

"Okay." Mina began, looking around her room as she paused. It was almost ironic. Now that she could bombard her sister with questions, she couldn't think of what to ask first. Drumming her fingers over the arm of the chair once, she finally came up with her first question, "Are all the fighters that young?"

"Not all of them; it depends." She shrugged, "But it's not like you're going to end up watching some 70-year-old."

Price, Brandon that was, couldn't have been so much older than herself, Mina had already gathered as much, and because of the age similarity, she wondered. Had he started off with a life choice like that? No doubt it was a risk every time he entered the ring. Did martial arts not call for something higher than that, especially with something as impressive to follow up like a World Martial Arts Champion title? She couldn't imagine anyone specifically choosing to fight in such a place but there had to be some reason for it; she asked, "What do they get for a win?"

"You mean besides the pride and glory of it all?" Ayame asked rhetorically, starting to grin just a little. The answer she was about to give was an element of what made it all against the law. As if it was some top secret she was about to reveal, she leaned slightly, lowering her voice a little without actual regards to the fact that they shouldn't be overhead talking, "Money." Was her one-word reply and she paused to wait for a reaction. And she got one in the form of Mina blinking as if in surprise. "I don't know for sure but it makes sense right?"

"I guess so." Mina's tone conveyed skepticism. It was almost an odd thought, initially, but not so much the longer you thought about it. If fighters were paid, she expected the amounts were astronomic. It only seemed to make sense if you considered the possibility of serious injury involved. In the end, it really did follow logic, as far as logic went when involving the illegal.

A mutual silence fell between the two as individual thought returned to the fight yet again. Though after a minute or so, Mina had another question, "What about rules? What's allowed, what's not allowed?"

Smirking, Ayame shook her head once, looking as if she was trying not to laugh, "It's the underground Minako, not a karate tournament." She said, "There aren't any rules. The fight ends when someone gives up or they can't fight."

Modestly taking the answer given, she thought about it. Judging merely on what she'd observed so far, Mina guessed most fights ended the second way. Somehow, general male pride and forfeiting did not seemed to properly exist in the same sentence. Of course, that could be argued by the same match she was judging by, Kenzington had been trying to tap out though that hadn't resulted well for him. Ayame's thoughts seemed to be somewhere in the same chapter, since what she said next proved so, "Out of all the fights I've seen so far, I've never seen anyone try to tap out and get…destroyed like that."

Minako almost sighed; the explanation for that one was obvious. "Martial arts, Ayame." She bothered to explain, "There's supposed to be a level of respect when it comes to that and Kenzington didn't care so what he got was justified." "I know, but still."

It was almost silent again until laughter broke it up. Mina looked to her sister, questioning without a word, and Ayame answered at length for her sudden noise when it stopped. "It's just, I practically had to drag you through town for the fight and now you're asking questions." A little smile gradually came to Mina's face; she didn't mind so much if her own behavior was proving to be ironic though her sister was exaggerating somewhat, she thought. It was still quite unexplainable, it being exactly why the dealings of the New York underworld interested, no, fascinated her. Still, maybe that wasn't the right word.

Already seeing her sister's focus drifting from the present, Ayame allowed herself a yawn she didn't even attempt to mask before she stood and departed, "Well I'm off to sleep, you've got work." Since she was thinking again, that sufficient to end the inquisition before it began, Mina exchanged her dress for a long chemise. It wasn't all that soon but she was eventually overcome by sleep.

It took three wake-up calls, all thanks to her phone's alarm, to motive Mina. Though the first two were shut off immediately, there was little other response until the third which was finally enough to get her up. Despite how the place she worked was just down the block from the building she lived in, it was another half hour before she was out of the house and on her way to work.

It might be early but the street was already populated, so much so that Mina had to maneuver around a couple of groups as she walked. A street like this generally drew a good-sized crowd, what with the tall-windowed storefronts beckoning to passersby, offering anything and everything to the individual taste. All the same E7 didn't see a whole lot of business. Presently, Mina approached the front door to the store. It had been around for some time, literally a family business of her managers. Ownership might not differ but the name of the place seemed to change with each family member running it. Now it was E7, after the supposed favorite chord of the current manager, though his actual guitar playing was a rarity to see. If he was going to bother changing the name, you would think he would seem more stressed about the place's slacking sales but he was a monotone sort of person altogether; it had taken Mina some time to translate his impassive mood into what he actually meant.

It was that general blankness which welcomed Mina into the place as the door swung closed behind her. As usual, there were only a couple people milling around the decent-sized place and Riley, the manager, was behind the desk with his face in a thick volume on computers as if there were no customers in the store at all. She long suspected the only reason he was here was the pressure of keeping the place in family possession; otherwise she figured he'd be off at some tech school. Not wasting time, Mina was quick to greet each of the two and ask if there was anything she could help with. Unsurprisingly, she received two no's and even if they were polite enough, polite didn't equal sales. With a sigh, she leaned back against a spare space of the fabric-covered walls wondering if it was worth it to talk to her manager about his involvement with the store. Yes, he took care of inventory, what kept the store open, but sometimes she felt like she took care of the place as she was the only full-time employee.

Where there was no black paint, deep maroon fabric outlined the walls. It nearly gave one the impression of what being in a guitar hard case felt like. On either side of her were instruments, practically brand new aside from her or Riley messing with them on occasion. The store was lined with the tools of music; there was even a piano in the front that had once been used for lessons. It was a great place, at least she thought, so it was a shame many didn't come in. Was it the music played in the store? Shaking her head to observe Riley had turned it off, obvious by the complete lack of music, she went to the back room to cut the overhead radio back on. And with a yawn, she made her way to the counter and not even looking from his book, her manager left, expecting her to take over.

The early afternoon was uneventful in a word. A dozen of people came in but less than half bothered to stay longer than a few minutes and buy something. The combination of being up late and waking early the next day gradually took a toll on her the longer the day went and her yawns were a little more frequent. It got to the point where she was leaning over the counter, with a blank look, oblivious to a noise beside her. Customers would be incentive to action but since there were none…

"Where were you last night?"

Mina looked up to find Riley, of all people, standing there. He was not any more than a few years older than her so it was not as if they had generations of differences, but he still didn't usually bother talking to her much. She was even more puzzled to note the coffee mug set beside her. Staring at him with an expression of slight questioning, he finally went on, even seeming to realize the oddity of him bothering to talk to her, especially with a question like that.

"I don't really care where you were." He shrugged. "Just don't fall asleep on the clock." This second and apparently final statement was punctuated solely by the somewhat soft noise of a mug being pushed across wood, toward her, before taking off. That was Riley, she supposed, and had a sip of the coffee offered to her. He was simply concerned that he might have to stop reading if she was asleep. He wasn't exactly normal anyway so it shouldn't be a surprise when he fulfilled the quota. "Hey!" She called after him, having remembered something, "Did we get in the new instruments yet?"

"They'll be here later." Was the reply as Riley disappeared into the small space he defined as an office.

This new shipment Mina resolved to completely sell. If not, it would be some time before there was another order. Handling a couple more customers as time went on, the coffee mug was steadily emptied over an hour, after which, she took an early lunch break and set the sign on the front door to indicate so. E7 was never really closed during that time, the doors were still unlocked in fact, but it didn't seem like anyone thought to disregard the sign, even if she could be seen playing piano from the store windows. Sitting at the ebony-finished instrument, as was her ritual, Mina tried to think up something to play, a task not as easy as usual with a certain pit-fight still playing in her head. Fingering the hem of her skirt, she briefly wondered if the rest of the afternoon would be this exciting. This was a damper in comparison to last night… Maybe another cup of coffee wasn't such a bad idea.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:03 am

A house is very much like any other organism, except for the fact that it does not live. It needs fresh air, food and water to perform its functions, and it is characterized by its individuality. Some even say that a house has characteristics of the owner embedded into it. A leaky faucet may be from a stubborn former owner and an easy sliding glass door may be from a relaxed former owner, as some would theorize.In these ways, a house lives vicariously through its owner.

Though Brandon did not live in a house, this did not mean that his home did not have its own form of natural personification. This subtle phenomena, like humans, seemed to dwell anywhere a home could be made. This morning, the apartment was silent, as no one had yet risen to make it live. Then, without warning, a sudden sound pierced the still air, bringing on a new day in a most unwelcome way.

Brandon's eyes gently slid open and his arm reached over to the source of the offending noise. With one tap of his finger, the house was quiet once more. It was eight in the morning, which was the same time he got up every morning. Rising from his bed, he headed down the hall toward the bathroom. Once inside, he stripped naked before stepping into the shower.After washing himself, he tied a blue towel around his waist and brushed his teeth. His final thing to do before leaving the bathroom was to apply a single layer of anti-perspirant to each armpit. He did not have to shave yet, having done so last week, but he knew he would have to do so again by the end of the week.

On the way down the hall, he did not look for his mother, as she would not be up for another two hours. Entering his room, he shut the door and threw the towel onto his bed. His new outfit was a black gi with two patches on the chest and one on his left sleeve. The two patches on his chest were the patches of the Shorin-Ryu branch of Karate and the Hakutsuru Kai overlay branch. The one on his sleeve was the Okinawan patch, which represented where his discipline of martial arts originated. A black belt was tied around his waist Asian-style, which was more complicated than its American counterpart. Some masters tied it American-style, but Brandon found the Asian way of doing it smoother and more professional looking. On his belt were two golden stripes. This signified that he was at least a fourth degree black belt in his chosen style, and also gave him the privelage of acting as an instructor, should he so desire. Of course, he did not desire, but he was thinking about it.

After tightening his belt, he left his room and went down the hall and into his parent's bedroom. Softly opening the door, so as not to wake her up, he walked over to a blank wall. Putting his hand on a particular spot, he held it there until the wall silently slid down. Behind the paint job was a concealed hand scanner, which could only be opened by by his father, mother and himself. Behind the wall was the dojo he had trained in for most of his life, and when he stepped in, the wall slid back up.

The secrecy and security of the dojo was not done because they were breaking building codes. He was sure that the building super would be only too happy to let "The Fang" build a dojo inside his building. No, the security was because of the lethal weapons that were kept here. As part of the Shorin-Ryu style, it was required for a student to be trained in seven traditional Okinawan weapons. Brandon had been trained to use ten, including such dangerous weapons as swords, shurikens and naginatas. There were even real guns in here to be used for disarms training, though they were kept unloaded. It would be a nightmare if the child of a visiting family was to wander in here and injure himself on one of the weapons. This was why the dojo was kept locked up tight when neither his father nor himself was training in there.

Brandon walked in and first bowed to the area he would exercising in. He then placed his hands on his hips and began the usual exercise of body rotations and workouts. He then dropped to the ground for many different kinds of pushups and did a stomach exercise. The stomach exercise was the most diffcult of the warmups, but to a black belt, it was simple. This was why Brandon had made it harder for himself by seeing how long he could hold his feet at six inches. His record was five hours. This time hour, he only held it for five minutes each, creating a thirty minute long final exercise. He then got up and continued his morning workout.

After a few floor exercises, Brandon took the sais off of their place in the dojo and practiced with them, wielding them with the deadly grace of a master. The sai was indeed a fantastic weapon, able to hold its own even against the mighty sword. After sufficent practice, he put away the sai, did a few black belt level katas, then left the dojo. Returning to his room, he disrobed down to his boxer shorts and neatly put away his gi. He then changed into a white tank top and blue jeans before slipping on his black sunglasses and proceeding to jog to work, another morning ritual. He even jogged to his workplace on days he did not have to work, since it was good for him.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:48 am

And there was another, another cup of coffee that was. She regretted bothering with caffeine but had little complaint considering she was enough awake now. Soon enough however, it wasn't even a thought when she noticed Riley venture out of his cluttered office, buried in yet another technology volume. Mina was dealing with a customer at the time, one she could tell was likely to buy one of the store's instruments. All the lady needed was a little more incentive, some detail about the guitar she was looking at getting for her son, and after that, Mina was fairly sure she'd have a sale. She gestured that the woman have a look at the instrument she was considering while Mina herself approached her stationary manager with a hint of amusement on her face though her slight smirk was a bit sarcastic, as was her statement to him, "Didn't think you'd be venturing out until it was closing time."

Surprisingly enough, he closed the book before nodding in the direction of the store's front windows, to get her to notice the truck outside as he explained simply, "New instruments are here," he said, "just direct the guys."

Mina in seventh heaven for both securing a sale that day and for the brand new instruments that were brought in. She directed where they went as Riley had instructed while he was outside near the truck taking inventory of what was brought in to ensure the store was receiving everything that had been ordered. In all, there were only about a dozen sets brought in, half of which were new guitars.

Some time later, the truck was off and the sign in the storefront was changed since customers would only hinder rearranging things. Mina was well aware that would take the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening but she looked forward to it. Actually doing work while on the clock was better since sitting around waiting for customers bored her.

Riley had stayed and further directed as far as particular placement, though Mina was sure it was only because he didn't want her to get too creative with arrangements like last time. She might have objected but the process in general was easier due to his direction and everything was taken care of in no time, in fact, it took less time than she'd thought it would. Three of the new guitars, all straight from Nashville, had ended up in one of the front windows. And while she didn't necessarily care to visit that part of the western US, Mina had nothing against the instruments that were made there as Riley assured her they were some of the better made out of the whole country.

Absentmindedly, her fingers traced over steel strings as she sat in the window. She suspected she'd be allowed to leave early since her manager wasn't bound to reopen the store. Smoothing out the back of her skirt, she'd only just gotten up to find Riley when her phone rang. As expected, it was Ayame who had come up with several very different suggestions for what they could do after Mina got off work. The first was something that had already been done and the fourth elicited a frown from Mina. Leave it to Ayame to suggest hitting a club to someone she knew wouldn't be interested. Then again, Mina knew she'd been against going to see the fight as well but hopefully that hadn't somehow given the go ahead to suggest anything. Just a moment from suggesting that Ayame call back after she came up with a few new ideas, Mina was interrupted by the seventh idea- "The beach."

"What?" Mina had replied before she thought about it. Though did anyone really think of things like beaches or pools when they thought of New York? Not really but that wasn't to say they were nonexistent. After all, the state's coast bordered the ocean. "It's still too hot outside." She reasoned.

On the other end of the phone there was a sigh, which Mina was sure accompanied Ayame rolling her eyes. "You don't do anything and don't try to say something about last night." She said. "You're going."

And before Mina had a chance to argue, she heard the dial tone. So, she was forced to admit defeat and continued on her way to the back of the store. But before she'd opened her mouth, her question was answer with an unceremonious wave of the hand: Riley's version of a dismissal so Mina had disappeared from E7 in a matter of minutes and walking up the block to the high-rise apartment building she lived in.

Given that it wasn't too late in the day, the door was opened for her by none other than the infamous doorman her sister had struck up a conversation with, well more like flirted with as Mina was positive. The guy was nice enough, she reflected as she waited on the elevator, and Mina had to be thankful he didn't seem like as much of an oddity as Ayame was.

After just a couple knocks on the front door, she found it was unlocked as usual and as soon as the door was closed behind her, Ayame appeared from elsewhere in the house to toss a couple pale pink pieces across the room before vanishing into the next. "Get dressed, you're going!" she called from another room as Mina figured out her own bandeau bikini had been thrown at her. Apparently, Ayame had made up her mind this time though she was still sure it was a cover-up, something to make her drive to the coast where, of course, all the supposedly 'good' clubs were. Mina was about to state that she wouldn't be driving but decided against it knowing her sister would only complain about "Americans driving on the wrong side of the road". So, she left Ayame preoccupied with whatever she was up to in order to change into her swimsuit and pull a long t-shirt over it, all the while doubting a particular had yet been chosen out of the three better-known beaches. Whichever one they ended up at, a little afternoon sun didn't sound too bad.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:56 am

Brandon walked up to the door and pulled it open before stepping inside. The inside of the recreational center was as expected. There was a linoleum floor, a front desk not too far from him with a secretary filling out paperwork, and the doorway to the pool on his right. To the left was a gymnasium, and down the hall was the locker room staff and customers alike used to change. The only difference with staff lockers was that they had locks on them. Brandon walked forward, casually waving to Dorothy the secretary. She did not even glance at him, probably too preoccupied with some slip of paper to even notice he had arrived. He had heard she was nice, but he had yet to have an actual conversation with her, even a casual one in passing.

Walking down the hall, he turned right and entered the locker room, moving over to his locker. After rotating in the combination, the lock gave and he pulled open the locker. Removing his blue jeans, he stuck them in and put on a pair of red shorts with "Quentin Recreational Center" emblazoned on the left leg. Closing and relocking the locker, he felt himself reminisce to last night, when he had opened and closed a locker before and after the fight. Pushing those thoughts aside, he exited the locker room and began walking toward the tower he was supposed to sit in.

The tower was standard, a plastic white chair built into supports that went up five to six feet. This height allowed him to see all over the pool area, so that he could help someone regardless of their position to him. Climbing the tower, he sat down in the seat and put on the whistle he used to blow at kids running poolside. Of course, Brandon almost never did that. After all, they were kids. Let them have some fun. Holding the flotation device he used to throw at drowning swimmers, he settled in and began scanning the pool areas, his eyes unreadable behind his solid black shades.

"Ohmigod, he is so hot!" Bridgett Anderson said as she entered the recreational center with three of her friends. "That's what you keep telling us anyway. I've been here three times in the past week and he hasn't been here. You sure he will be here today?" Marnie Goldstein was the smart one of the bunch, and usually kept the group acting smart when Bridgett went off on one of her foolish shenanigans. She was always going on about some "hot" guy, so she was used to this kind of talk. The other two, Andrea and Michelle Romero, were busy doing their own thing. Bridgett approached the counter, handing them money and holding out her arm so that it could be stamped.

"Of course he will be here today," she replied, pulling her arm away. "He's real new, so he doesn't show up a lot. But when he does, I can't take my eyes off of him. He's so gorgeous." Marnie had her arm stamped and looked at her with an amused expression. "Yeah, that's what you said about the weightlifter guy, too, and he looked deformed. So, your definition of "gorgeous" may be different from the Webster's dictionary version." Bridgett stuck her tongue out and crossed her arms while smirking. "Just you wait, Marnie. Just one look at this guy and you'll be drooling just like I was." Marnie sighed and walked past her. "If you say so..."

The four girls entered the locker room and began changing into their bathing suits. Bridgett had decided on a small two-piece that showed off her 'assets'. Even though the lifeguard, Brandon, she thought his name was, did not notice her, his eye would be drawn, if only momentarily. She was going to get him, no matter what Marnie said. So what if Jim had been using steroids? This guy was the real deal, and she was working up a good drool just thinking about him. When all of them were changed, Bridgett led the group out and walked over to the pool directly in front of where Brandon was sitting.

Brandon was scanning the pool when he caught sight of a girl he had seen before. This girl showed up every week and stared at him, as if she was planning something. This time, she had chosen a near racy bikini in the hopes of catching his eye. While it did catch his eye, it only made him feel bad for her, and he lost interest in her as he continued to scan the pools.

Bridgett swam and met up with Marnie, who was staring at Brandon. "Marnie, are you doing what I think you're doing? Are you...checking him out?" Marnie's head snapped toward her, and Bridgett gave her a knowing smile. "Of course not. I'm just trying to see what you see in this guy. He's got a nice body, but I can't see his face under those shades, so I feel a bit letdown." She swam away, but Bridgett had noticed the slight blush on her friend's cheeks. Giggling, she swam after her and the Romero sisters.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:13 am

Seeing that it'd been forgotten, Mina went to drag the beach bag out of the closet in the hall. Fortunately, she didn't have to add much to the contents considering she hadn't bothered to take much out of it since last week. Pulling it over her shoulder, she waited somewhat impatiently for Ayame to get a move on. "In the next four years?" She called and received no answer. Judging by the television-like noise coming from the next room, apparently it was going to take Ayame the equivalent of that time. And to think it had been her idea anyway. In the next moment, her impatience was pacified when a dark fur-ball slid across the floor and clumsily right into her ankle. He was shut in another room since she had no desire to find even less salvageable sheet music when she got back home. Finally, Ayame appeared, breezing past her sister and out the door. She even went as far as to rush things along as they walked down the stairs out front of the building as if she'd been the one waiting.

As far as destination went, Staten Island, like the previous week, was what Mina was settled on and had yet to voice it. Only after she'd turned the car onto the main street from the building did Ayame come up with a certain 'Manhattan Beach' out in Brooklyn. Mina hadn't heard of it herself and thought it was almost funny this place would be in the Brooklyn borough rather than Manhattan's despite the name. Though, as she soon found out, it was as busy as the borough it was actually named for. She sighed a little to see numerous bits of color dotting the sand clear up the shoreline. A crowd would have to do though at least parking hadn't been a complete nightmare.

The key made a clicking noise as Mina cut the engine off and it was almost at the same time as the passenger door shut. Wondering what the rush was, she got out of the car to see her sister was off down the boardwalk after some guy. And it only took about 3 seconds after that for her to realize she'd been exactly right, this whole trip was just a cover up of her sister's. That little habit was probably the more predictable of behaviors and Minako was barely surprised though. Whoever he was, had clearly been there waiting for Ayame and that was only confirmed when, upon returning to a girl in the middle of folding her arms, she felt the need to come up with some half-thought-out excuse for why they, herself and Mr. Nameless, were taking off. It was along the lines of, "He wants to show me around NY" like the city some new school and she was a foreign exchange student. Flat out, Mina knew her sister was headed back up to the main street since to the clubs and she let them go without a arguing the point. It wasn't until after the pair was headed up to the boardwalk that Mina finally registered it was the Ayame's 'friend' from the apartment building.

Easily, Mina could have argued the entire thing was wrong but she didn't mind. She wasn't a pushover but Ayame didn't live in New York, she'd be gone in a few weeks so why spend the time arguing? Instead, she got back in her car and pulled away from the beach and back onto the boulevard. It hadn't been her idea after all, and somewhere far less crowded sounded better the more she thought about it. Be it hitting the sand or the concrete of one of the pools a little further inland, the reason was the same: a little sun. As for Ayame, Mina could guarantee she would find a ride back home, whenever she decided to get home anyway. She just hoped her sister would remember to let their mom know so she wouldn't end up worrying even if Ayame was an adult, well legally in any case though she didn't necessarily act like one.

Mina had ended up heading back toward Manhattan though certainly not home. Recalling directions from memory, she considered a couple of rec centers not so far off from where she currently was. Still, she was turned around too easily and afterward figured it was best to work on remembering more street names when she was able to get the time to do so. Mina had ended up more than several blocks from where she'd meant to go but it soon didn't matter all that much as she'd passed a place she hadn't remembered ever stopping by. Regardless, being unfamiliar with this rec center wasn't enough to make her drive around to find one she knew just for the sake of it.

Parking taken care off, she shouldered the over-sized bag and walked up to the place. Upon entering, Mina glanced around the entryway. It probably wasn't too bad of a size considering where it was. Upon approaching the front desk she was given a summary of what the center contained as she asked but it wasn't like she currently planned to check out everything this place had to offer, after all, there was always time for that later. So naturally, after the obvious was taken care of, paying etc. Mina left her t-shirt in a locker, though that was the only thing, and ventured out of the recreation center. Unceremoniously dropping her bag into a chair, she smiled to note things weren't near as crowded in comparison to the beach. And, deciding to at least cool off a little, she sat poolside with her legs in the water and let her eyes wander absently over the other people there. Finally, her gaze ventured to her side and followed up the trademark white chair found by any decent-sized pool. Mina would easily have glanced away if a certain someone in shades didn't seem so familiar. She wasn't the type that went around looking for lifeguards necessarily but there was something about him. Her face gained a mildly confused expression while she sifted through memory in silence but the expression was only stayed when she recalled someone in particular: the fighter from last night, Brandon Price. Mina chanced another glance and was afterward fairly sure it was him but the almost oddity of the situation kept her from assuming. To go from fighting to a regular job like this? It was surprising in a way.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:12 pm

Brandon was watching all of the pools, making sure nobody was drowning or putting themselves in a dangerous situation. He even turned around and checked out the kiddie pool, just to make sure. When everything checked out, he noticed somebody staring at him from the side of one of the pools. Normally, he would ignore them and keep doing his job. But it was different this time.

She did not necessarily seem like she was checking him out. It seemed more like she was trying to recall his face from somewhere. It was a bit odd, as he did not remember ever seeing her. She was an attractive Japanese-American woman with neatly combed hair, and who, to be honest, looked great in her bikini. Her hair framed her face, which was easy on the eyes. Yes, he was sure he would not forget seeing someone like that.

A thought then occurred to him: Had she seen him fight at the underground arena? That would be a plausible explanation as to why she recognized him but he did not recognize her. If she recognized him, she could report him to the police, which would be very bad. Turning away, he continued scanning the pools, hoping that that last thought had just been a bit of paranoia.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:07 am

Finally catching herself, her eyes moved off to the direction of the pool she presently sat beside but she wasn't seeing much of it. Despite her excuse of trying to identify who it was she'd been looking at, the slight staring wasn't exactly polite, even if good-looking was more than a fair way to describe him in general. She could blame her sister for putting thought about appearance in her head in the first place but if she was honest, the thought had already been there. Though, that wasn't to say it was all mattered to Mina. After all, he was one of the more skilled martial artists she had ever seen and all the looks in the world didn't guarantee talent like that.

The fight most definitely back in mind, Mina was well aware she couldn't be contented just wondering. So, pulling her legs out of the pool, she got up and approached him. "Brandon?" She prompted, both to be sure she had his attention and for final confirmation this was, in fact, him. "Impressive fight last night," She commented as the hint of a smile began to appear on her lips. "Especially since it was your first there."

The moment she finished, her expression was a full smile, she couldn't much help it and she didn't mind. She certainly had been impressed, particularly the way he'd taken the match after Kenzington's disrespectful first strike. Well, if it could even be called a match anyway as, simply put, Brandon had dominated. So, of course, Mina was happy to have met the fighter himself though she was keeping calm. The last thing he needed was her to put a spotlight on him here for something obviously against the law.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:18 am

Brandon saw the girl approach, and when she spoke, he knew she knew everything. She had been at his fight last night, and he knew he could not lie his way out of it. Taking his sunglasses off, he looked at her and smiled.

"Yes, I am Brandon Price, underground fighter. Thank you, I thought I did well, too. You don't seem the type to get into bloodsport, which is interesting. What's your name?" He looked around to make sure everything was all right in the pools as he waited for an answer.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:29 pm

Half absently, she'd noticed his eyes were brown, a detail she'd apparently missed until now. And the fact that he hadn't denied he'd been involved in the fight was different in a way. He didn't seem to have a problem at all with it being illegitimate.

"You're welcome, and I'm Mina Yamashita." She offered as he had asked. "As for bloodsport, as you call it, I guess I wasn't exactly a fan until last night but there's definitely something about it." Unconsciously, she tucked a strand of her short hair behind her ear as she waited. After that, she went on with a hint of curiosity on her face, "If you don't mind me asking, was all this something you really just made up your mind to do?" That had been a question somewhere in the back of her mind after it had occurred to her. As exciting as the underground was, it wasn't any less dangerous to fight there

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby True Grave on Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:08 am

Brandon nodded. She was even prettier close up and he had to admit that she was intriguing. He would have to get to know her better sometime, even if his track record with women was terrible.

"Well, it is nice to meet you, Nina. As for my reasons for competing in the underground, that is something I'll have to tell you another time." The clock showed that his work day was up. so he slipped his sunglasses back on, got up and walked into the locker room.

Bridgett watched Brandon's conversation with the Asian girl through squinted eyes. She did not appreciate her moving in on Brandon, and she wondered just who she was. Marnie looked at her and smiled.

"Jealous much, Bridgett?"

"Oh, shut up, Marnie. Do you think that's his girlfriend?"

"Maybe," she answered. Bridgett sighed and swam away, hoping that Brandon was still on the market.

In the locker room, Brandon had just gotten changed when his cell phone rang. Picking up, he heard that it was Roger.

"Hey, Brandon, I just got word from Mr. Janis. You're fighting in the underground tonight."

"Again? I guess the guy doesn't believe in breaks."

"Oh, I think he believes in breaks a great deal, if you get what I mean. Anyway, your opponent is supposed to be a martial artist, though I'm not sure what discipline. Should make for an interesting challenge. I'll pick you up tonight."

"All right." Brandon hung up, left his place of employment and began walking home.

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Re: The Dragon of the Underground

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby korr.a on Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:14 pm

"Oh, well I hope I didn't hold you up or anything," She rhetorically offered out of courteousness. Absently, she watched as he headed off back toward the building. She could only guess he was off the clock now as she likely wouldn't have spent time idling in the place she worked. That wasn't without exception of course, no doubt she'd be at work longer soon enough since there was more to do.

With a slight smile, Mina trailed away from the pool she'd been closest to and took to reclining after moving her bag out of the lounge chair. Blinking, she regretted not remembering her sunglasses. She shut her eyes, mind drifting as what she saw wasn't taking up thought now. She wondered what her sister was up to by now and doubted she'd see her again until it was early in the morning. The prospect of staying in the house wasn't all that appealing but what else was there?

If only just to let her mind wander, she wondered at something she was sure she hadn't asked Ayame about, how often the fights took place. Was there one every night or was it more along the lines of once a week? That, she supposed, had to do with how many fighters there were and, naturally, how often they were willing to step into the arena. If the money was good, and she was sure it was, then a decent amount of fights must take place.

About an hour or so later, she got a call which turned out to be from her older sister, "Guess what?" Ayame loudly asked as she could barely hear herself over the noise in the background which could only define a party. She didn't wait for Mina to inquire, "'nother fight tonight. You want to go?"

Without much realizing it, Mina had started to smile. Now that was a much better alternative to sitting around the house. She could only guess Ayame liked playing spectator as much as she did if she was intending to blow off a party for it. Either that or she felt guilty for having deserted her earlier. "No, I'm going to stay home." She replied with mild sarcasm, suggesting her answer should be obvious.

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