A mountain range of precipitous ridges was cloaked in deep mists today as well, with only the peaks protruding into the open air. The charred remnants of a dojo towered atop one of the peaks, blending into the natural grandeur around it. From within, the passionate battle cries and sounds of immense destruction produced by a boy echoed outwards.

"Whew... I've finally gotten used to this power." "Yeah. You used to destroy the dojo every time you got serious before. Stopping you was a lot of work with just the master and me back then, Shun." "When are you talking about? That was back when I was a little kid." "Exactly, that's why I mentioned how much you've grown." "Oh... Yes, I've definitely grown compared to then. But it's not good enough. I've got to be able to fully control it..." "Hahaha... You're training well. Rushing is not an option. With how hard you're working, it will pay off in time." "In time is too late, Grandpa. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. That's why I decided to face my power, and that's why I've been training so hard up until now." "Shun..."

A shadow passed over the two boys' expressions, as though the fog was darkening their feelings. Unable to deny what he saw, Tung rested his chin on his hand and thought for a moment before making a suggestion.

"Well, this might be a drastic measure, but... I've got an idea." "Really!? Tell me, Grandpa! I'll do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult!!" "Mm-hmm. Well, it's... Participating in KOF." "KOF?" "Haven't you heard of it, Shun? It's a world-class martial arts tournament. The winning team receives a large cash reward and the highest honor a martial artist can achieve." "Even I know that much, Meiten. I just wonder what's the point in participating in a martial arts tournament." "True. If it were just about fighting great martial artists, the master would do it on his own." "Besides, if I sign up, I could seriously hurt opponents since I can't hold back."

Shun'ei understood the dangers and unpredictability of his own power. And because of this, even with the degree of control he'd learned to exercise up until now, he was hesitant and uncertain regarding the use of his power against other people. Then Tung spoke, seemingly having seen through Shun'ei's uncertainty and aiming to push him into action.

"Don't underestimate first-class martial artists, foolish boy. You probably couldn't even hurt them at your current level." "Whoa. There are people that tough out there?" "Mm-hmm. And I've heard that my students and Kyo Kusanagi will be there, too." "Kyo... Kusanagi?" "Yes, each generation of the Kusanagi clan has the power of purification. Kyo Kusanagi is the heir to that power, and has sealed immense powers away in the past. And there are other participants whose circumstances are similar to yours. You might learn something in these fights." "I see... That's why you brought up participating in KOF. But I think Shun could easily wipe the floor with this Kusanagi guy." "No, you mustn't let your guard down, Meiten. Moreover, as this old man's students, I can't let you embarrass yourselves in front of your seniors. So it's time for training, Meiten!" "Huh!? I was just thinking I'd take a nap..." "You just woke up a few minutes ago. Come on, it's you against me!" "H-Hey, wait!"

Tung once again found himself lost in thought, listening to the clamor of the boys who would be his last students. Lately, he had sensed something; while faint, it reminded him of Shun'ei's energy. When the force of yang increases, the force of yin does as well. And if yang grows stronger still... For better or worse, he prayed for the sun's light to disperse the fog.




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