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« BtF - Part IV

Before the Fire
Written by: FedeTkd
Published:
Part V: Payback

BtF - Part VI »



Nikaho, Akita Prefecture, January 27th 2022

Pair training at Kirei’s Dojo.

The Blue Ronin blocks a downwards strike form a sword, and then manages to step on the blade, making it slip from the hand of his opponent, he then moves his own directly to the neck, defeating him

Izumi clashes swords with Shun, but he without effort blocks most of his strikes and forces him back. Izumi makes a fast trike forwards but Shun eludes, and hit’s his leg with his shinai, making Izumi fall to the ground. He gets up and attacks his friend another time. After some of his blows, Shun parries the blade strongly, leaving Izuki with a huge opening which the Green Ronin uses to place a strong hit to the neck of Izumi, sending him to the ground for a second time.

He helps him up.

“You're getting better, but attack without thinking too much. If you're facing a stronger opponent, draw him to you and then counter attack.”

Izumi nods.

Both get ready for another assault, as Shun did the same.

Izumi attacks, this time faster and with less impulsiveness and reckless, but Shun defends still. He makes a diagonals slashes which is blocked and then tries the same move the opposite way and then go with his sword vertically, as both blows were also blocked by Shun, who started his counter attack, forcing hizumi back with a fast strike diagonally. Shun sees that he left his belly exposed, he attacks there with a powerful thrust, but Izumi blocks and then uses Shun's same attack from the previous round, delivering a powerful blow to the neck, forcing him back.

This catches Kirei’s attention, as even the champion of the Dojo looks at his newbie friend and nods his head to him in a sign of “well done”.

Shun: “Much better now.”

Kirei: “Wong, pair up with Suzaku. Kazeriya, with me.”

Izumi: “yes, Sensei.”

Izumi goes with Taichi.

“The mighty newbie returns. Or it's your corpse, to stubborn to fall to grass.” Taichi teases him.

“A bit of both.” Izumi replies with a smile.

“I thought you were hurt, with all the dust that you've been eating!”

He attacks him, but Izumi manages to parry and eludes Taichi's body. He falls to the ground after Izumi delivers other to his back.

“An acquired taste. Come! I'll serve you more dust.”

Tai laughs and grabs his friend’s hand helping him up, afterwards the beginning training.

“You worked well with the new boy Shun.”

Kirei looks at their practice while he gives a glass of water to Shun, while he drinks his own.

“Izumi has fear of battle and is undisciplined. But if he overcomes these problems, he shows promise.”

“Reminds me of other wild I schooled.”

“Me…” Shun looks at him.

“Yes.”

“I still remember your lessons when I was younger.”

“If you continue this way, and prove yourself in the upcoming test to decide the true champion of this Dojo, you may face Yamato once again.”

“Do you really believe it so?”

“I do. Your friend's undisciplined, reckless and without honor. The tittle of champion is deserved to someone more better for it. Someone like you.”

“Alright Sensei.”

The Blue Ronin eludes a vertical downwards strike, he clashes swords with his opponent forcing him back then tries to make a fast slash to his back, but his opponent blocks, and with the momentum spins 360º. Even still, he blocks it and kicks hard the leg, making him fall to the ground and winning again.

He helps him up and looks towards Kirei and Shun.

“Sensei! I need a more worthy opponent, perhaps if Shun's done with his drink…”

Kirei speaks to shun.

“Go and teach him the ways of a true champion.” Kirei tells him.

He smiles and grabs his Shinai on the ground as he gets ready his blade and also smiles.

Shun readies a vertical slash and his friend get ready to block.

They clash their blades.

---

Both friends laugh while they share drink on the room of Shun.

Shun's sat on his bed against the wall. His best friend was in the same position, but on the floor.

He turns to his right and grabs the jar of sake and offers it to Shun.

“I had enough alcohol.”

The door opens, and Sakura appears.

“Finally someone who can bear the sake!” He shouts out loud.

“I didn't know we had company…” Sakura tells Shun.

“He leaves soon.”

“Oh please! After we finish the jug.” He fills his glass and hands it to Sakura “This is the last of my treasures, and I'm shearing it with my best friends of the world.”

“Replace best with only and it becomes true.” She says, sitting  on the bed next to Shun

He laughs.

“Blondie, help us to finish this argument.” He says, before pointing with his thumb to himself. “Who was the best fighter as we sparred today?”

“My boyfriend.” She asnwers without any doubts

Shun laughs.

“You just say that  because you're his Girlfriend! One day we'll face each other and have true decision.”

“What would really happen, if you had to face each other on a serious battle?”

He becomes serious for a moment as he stares at his best friend.

“I'd give your boyfriend, a glorious and honorable defeat.”

Shun bends his head and looks at him in an “I don't believe you” and “seriously?” manner. His best friend begins to laugh after seeing Shun's face.

“You joke about defeating a person you love when some day you may be asked to…” Sakura says.

“Oh you two are the perfect couple, aren't you? Both of you afraid about what tomorrow may bring. Fate doesn't exist. And if it did, life would have no purpose. Full of rules to follow, things that you can't escape from and without freedom.”

“Even so…Society has rules. You're never truly free.”

“No. There's but one moment we're free: we are truly free when we fight!” He thinks again what he said. “Or when we fuck, WHAT I SHALL LEAVE TO DO PRESENTLY!”

He laughs

As Shun laughed and Sakura was a bit annoyed, he gets up and goes towards the door of the room.

"You and my boyfriend who are a perfect couple. One hides what he thinks in silence, the other in boastful jest.”

“Whatever...You two are my favorite women in this world!” 

He laughs again

“Let me ask you a question: what happens to the brave Blue Ronin, when you're on a situation where you can't fight or laugh your way out of it?”

He thinks for a moment, and looks at her then.

“Well I'd have to FUCK my way clear of it.”

He smiles and laughs one last time, and goes towards the door getting out of the room, leaving sighing Sakura next her laughing boyfriend to their privacy

“GOOD NIGHT!”

He walks by some doors going to his own bedroom before a voice from the back call him.

“Hey!”

“Miya! I didn't expect you to be here so late.”

“We and the others were on Izumi’s room. I wanted to call you.”

“Something bad happened?” He asked.

“No. Far the contrary, come inside.”

He enters the room of Izumi, next to his. All his friends were there, as Izumi was going to reveal something.

He spoke to his just arrived friend.

Izumi: “I'm glad you came.”

Taichi: “Where's Shun?”

“With Sakura on his room, I've just left.” He smiles, as he bends over the wall with his arms closed.

Izumi: “I have an important announcement to say.”

Miya: “We're all ears. Speak.”

Izumi:"I'll be quick. Remember the Game I talked you about my father is programming?”

Yeah, that game, how was it called?" The Blue Ronin says. "Sword Ass…”

Izumi: “Sword Art Online, SAO.”

Daisuke: “Ah, that fucking amazing game."

Yamato: "The one which will come out on November this year?”

Izumi: “Bingo. I have good news! My father can get you copies to play!”

Ikuto: “Amazing! Yeah!”

He raised his hand in joy. Looking to Takeru, who remained silent next to him, but he made sort of a smile to him.

“Brother, you're the coolest of all here Izumi.” He tells him

Daisuke: “What of the console?”

Izumi: “It's called NerveGear.”

Daisuke: “Whatever!”

Izumi: “Of course we are getting one. If not, why I'm telling you this?”

“Well, that was great, but if that's all…”

Izumi: “I'm not done.”

Miya: “Go ahead!”

Izumi: “Well, the alpha tests of the game are beginning next month….”

Taichi: “And….”

Izumi: “A bit of suspense makes everything better Taichi. The Alpha Testers receive some other few things as bonus. Among then a free copy of the game and a NerveGear.A lso they design and get their own weaponry, which is unbreakable and doesn't have level dependence.”

Other brief moment of suspense by the silence of Izumi.

Daisuke: “Get to the point!”

Izumi: “The truth is, most of the Alpha Testers are chosen randomly, and I sent all your names to it. And who won, was no one else, than the Blue Ronin!”

“FUCK YEAH!”

He jumps and once he falls, he kneels, screaming in joy.

“God. I. Love. Life.”

Yamato: “You're one lucky son of a bitch.”

“Yes I am!”

Miya helps him up.

“Well that's amazing. I need to know something else?”

Izumi: “not by the moment. This is all I know. I'll have you updated."

“Well, I am leaving, for more good stuff.” He laughs and leaves.

---

Nikaho, Akita Prefecture, January 30th, 2022

Shun gest out of Kirei’s dojo, as Sakura accompanies him after the days training. No one of his friends attended to class that day.

She grabs his had places her body close to him, bedding her head over his shoulder.

“How are you doing now?” Sakura asks.

“Better...seems that Kirei wants me to be the champion of the Dojo again. He doesn't favor our current. Not at all.”

“If he continues going to the arena rather going to the classes and training, he won't be capable of fighting you on the competition.”

“He still has plenty of time."

"You know him better than anyone, Shun. Do you understand why he does that?"

"He loves it. The roar of the crowd, all those things he's always talking about. It is the only place he is ever truly free, from everything." But let's stop talking about me. What of you, how was your day helping Sakura and the other girls in the Dojo?”

“Fine luckily. We're preparing everything for the next weeks festival. The winter festival.”

“Ah yes! I heard much about it. Where will it be?”

“On the mount Sakurasou, some blocks from here. It's a beautiful place.”

“Yes, those pink blossoms always flying across the sky and filling the air with that aroma. It is a great place to go next weekend.”

“I guess…that's a date?” She asks.

“Yes it is.”

“Amazing!” She hugs him stronger. “I'll have to go and buy a new yukata. I've seen one purple that looks beautiful. What of you?”

“I'll have to search for my own yukata. Or maybe I will wear my Hakama.”

“Alright. Hey.” She stops him as they arrived to the beginning of the block where the Dojo of Kirei was. “Shun, I l-"

“LOOK WHAT WE HAVE HERE!”

The look to their front, noticing Shinji Kato holding his shinai on his right arm.

Shun steps forward removes his shinai from his shoulder, leaving Sakura behind him.

“Kato, what do you want?”

“Uh nothing special.” He looks round as other five of his friends appear surrounding the couple, with either a bokken or a shinai on their hands. Sakura turns around, back to back with Shun. “I just wanted to send a massage to your best friend. Can you do it for me?”

“I'll tell him you wanted to, but I broke your jaw before you spoke, Kato.”

“Sieze them!”

The five of them attack the couple.

Shun kicks the first one back and faces Kato. Sakura manages to elude a sword for her own and deliver a hard and fast slap to one of them, slashing his eyes with her hands. As the clash swords, Shun manages to hold him back in two fast hits the his face, but other appears and kick Shun in the side, forcing him back. He quickly recovers and attacks his opponent, managing to deliver a powerful and direct thrust to his belly, but in the meantime, Shinji attacks him.

Sakura grabs the sword from her opponent. Another appeared, but she nearly manages to parry the bokken and with her other hand slash her opponents eyes, and then she delivers a hard kick to his groin. In the meantime, she's grabbed by the hair boy other of Shihi’s friends, and screams by the pain but she manages to elbow and then punch him in the face. Still, she's kicked to the ground and then forced up by grabbing her hair again. Shun gains the upper hand against Shinji and manages to deliver a blow to the side his neck and then kicks him to the ground. Other of his friends attacks him, and he still was able to Parry his blade, and then deal a second strike to his neck. He spins and directly hits the back of his head. He then looks and Shinji and get ready to finish him.

“STOP! OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND DIES!”

Sakura was being held by the hair, with a short knife to her neck.

“Shun no!”

Shun begins to doubt, but he resigns and throws his sword to the ground.

Shinji smiles.

“To sleep.”

They place a hard kick to his stomach letting the air out of his longs and looking consciousness.

---

Shun wakes up an hour later.

He looks around, he was on an abandoned factory. He quickly recognized the place. It was named “Shiba Heavy Armory” factory. It was abandoned building. The company existed, but theyleft to work on the center of Tokyo. It was several blocks from the school and Kirei’s Dojo.

“Ah, he's up!”

"KATOU YOU SON OF A BITCH!” He yells out.

He tries to get up and face him but he falls to the ground immediately. He couldn't get up.

“Don't try... Your ankle's sprained. I did that myself.”

“Fuck.” He looks at him. “WHERE IS SAKURA?!?!?!”

“Bring her.” He says grinning.

Sakura appears with ties on her legs and arms.

“Shun!”

“Sakura! What did you do to her?!??!”

“Nothing." he answers. "At least not yet.”

“You're doing this just because I am the best friend of the one that defeated you!?”

“Yes! That's why! That overconfident shit need to learn one thing or two. And I'll start with thing he most cares about: his oldest friends.”

“Wait until I get up.” He makes a gigantic effort to get up, and he manages. But his weight was too much for his other leg. He briefly stepped on his sprained leg, he falls to the ground. “FUCK!”

He couldn't move.

“We'll make him shit. And in the meantime, we should have fun guys, right?” He looks directly to Sakura.

“No don't dare to!!!”

“And....what if we did? We are all underage, and there's no one here to stop us.”

“Wait no! Leave her!”

One of the five cuts off the ropes while holding her close to the ground.

“SAKURA! NO!”

She looks directly to him, as a tear of hidden sadness fell down her cheek.

“I'll be alright Shun. This wo't hurt me...”

Shinji laughs.

“I had the hope to hear that! How much time you'll hold that pride of your last, tell me? 10 minutes? 20? 30? Hold it as long as you can!”

He removes is shirt in a by tear it off, braking it and also destroying the purple ribbon on her neck, leaving her in just her bra intact.

“SHINHI YOU BASTARD! SON OF A BITCH!”

He continues to laugh as they removed her bra, and then proceeded to go downwards taking out her black long stockings.

“Now...for the most important part!”

“I'LL KILL YOU ALL!”

“Now tell me what does it fell Shun eh? What?? The next one to suffer more than you's your friend! I WILL…”

Clap, clap, clap, clap…

An applause from a single person could be in the distance. Shinji stops talking as soon as he hears it. It came from the entrance of the factory. Soon afterwards, steps joined the claps, which sounded louder and louder by each second. He appeared there, the Blue Ronin, holding his Shinai to his back.

He stops clapping

“Brilliant speech, Shinji." he says sarcastically. "But you surprise me; you have a smaller dick that I expected. If you so much wanted to face me, you could've asked...”

Shinj leaves Sakura as he advanced closer to his enemy.

“What are you doing here?”

He makes that same confident smile

“Are you really asking? Isn't that obvious!? I'm going to defeat every single one of you, and free my two friends.”

Shun nods at his friend, as he crawls to get nearer to her.

“You alone?” Speaks one of them.

“Of course, I'm the only one needed to defeat six guys. Especially coward shits.” He removes the sword from his back, as he smiles. He winks his eye to his friends. "Relax, this won't take a minute..."

All six attackers, including Shinji looked directly on the one that just came; ready to face him as he kept his is confident smile.

“You are outnumbered and outmatched. Not even the great Blue Ronin can pass through this. Surrender!”

“Get on your knees!” One of them shouts.

“I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER LAST NIGHT!” The Roni responds

A second after hearing this, the guy attacks him, but he eludes the attack easily and deals a direct hit to the player face, sending him to the ground. Other soon appeared, and they briefly exchanged blows. He parries a horizontal slash and then countered with one of his own, which slashed the arm of the guy.

As they set distance, another attacker hits his back delivering a hard blow to the back of his neck, partially leaving him numb. Still, the Ronin quickly recovers and turns around and thrusts the wooden sword directly to the stomach. But at the same time, another appears and hits him on his right hand, making the sword slip for his hand. Nevertheless, he doesn't stop and delivers a right uppercut to the chin of the attacker sending him to the ground as the other three join attacking him as the other to get up. He eludes the first attack and then gets near him and elbows directly on the face, but he the receives a second hit to the back. He turns around to receive one more hit to the chest and falls back, falling to his knees as the attackers approach again. He gets up and blocks the first sword strike with his forearms and gets near, kicking his attacker with a circular kick. Other appears as he eluded the first sword strike, but was hit hard by another’s attack and then Shinji appears at last, and thrusts powerfully the sword in his gut. 

He's left laying on the ground, trying to catch his breath again.

Shinji: “Is that all what you can do? Really? And all that about defeating all us six?”

“Words fall from your mouth as shit from ass.”

Enraged, Shinji slashes downwards and powerfully.He still manages, block the move with his forearm but it hurt badly after. Still the power of the strike is enough to leave him laying on the ground.

“BE GONE!”

He raises his sword and prepares to make a downwards strike direct to his face, when someone catches his blade and kicks him back.

“You're late brother...”

Miya helps him up.

Miya: “I think I arrived just in time...”

"A few minutes ago would've been fine..."

“Well, I'm sorry...But I bring the cavalry...”

Suddenly Taichi, Diasuke, Yamato, Ikuto, Takeru and Izumi appear from parts of the factory, surrounding outnumbering Shinji and his group.

A desperate Shinji looks at the person he hated most.

“You panned this?!??!”

“Yep. I was the bait. Just bought some for my friends to surround you you.”

Shinji: “you son of a!

Miya appears and casts a hard fist directly to his chest forcing him back another time.

The Blue Ronin gets down, and grabs one bokken left on the ground with his left hand and his Shinai with his right.

“He's mine. Now ATTACK!”

While dual wielding, the Blue Ronin begins a savage assault while he attacks his opponent with two swords.

Miya advances on his opponent and eludes the strike with sword speed several times. After his opponent tries to smash him, Miya blocks the blade with both hands, and manages to make it slip from his hands. He starts a fast delivery of fist directly to his chest and finishes him with a right uppercut.

Yamato parries the blade with his forearms, resisting the pain the wooden blade infected, but he rapidly manages to defeat him with help of his brother, who slips down to his opponent and makes his legs to the ground. Taichi spins on the ground and parries the blade of his opponent with his own, he later grabs the head to his opponent and deliver a headbut to his nose and drives his blade deeply into his stomach blowing the air out of him. Izumi is nearly holding his own against his opponent, but suddenly, his opponent screamed; Takuru had driven an arrow to his butt. In the meantime, Izumi he makes a full strength hit to the face, defeating him. The Blue Ronin spins on the ground eluding his opponent’s attacks and then clashes sword with him and looks eyes. His were full with his love of battle and anger for what had happened to his friends. They part, and he leaves a big opening and Shinji attacks. The Blue Ronin smiles. He spins on the ground, Shinji as gets nearer. He parries the blade with his bokken and makes a deepest thrust with his bade his opponent. Shinji fall to his knees.

Shinji still crawls in the ground trying to get another sword in the ground, but he forces him to get around and looking at him.

“I told you...You should had prayed for this day not to come.”

"Finish him. Weaklings like him deserve that." Miya says.

"No. Forget about him. I think he's learned his lesson." Sakura tell him.

He raises his sword getting ready to strike him on the face. But just before striking, he changes his mind and punches him right on the face. Shinji passes out.

He rushes to see Ikuto, right next to Shun and Sakura.

“Are you both okay.”

“I will be..."Shun says, "But her…” 

“I'll be alight.” Shocked but happy that they were saved, as she covered her breast with her arms crossed.

The Blue Ronin takes off his blue jacket and gives it to her.

“You'll need this more than me.”

She gets up and goes to other place to change herself.

Izumi sits next to Shun, examination her feet.

“It's sprained...We should go to the hospital.”

Shun: “Shit...”

Daisuke and Yamato help him. Shun grabbed their shoulders and they help him to get up. Sakura appeared wearing the blue jacked closed.

She hugs Shun.

Sakura: “Are you alright?”

Shun: “I will be. A couple of weeks on the hospital and I'll be a new man....but you…”

Sakura: “Il be fine.” She placed her hand on his cheek. “They didn't do anything else.”

“Seems we arrived just in time.” The Blue Ronin adds.

Sakura hugs him.

“Thank you!”

He smiles, and hugs her also.

“No. Thank US..." He tell her. "My brain'd be on the ground in Miya hadn't appeared. I'd be nothing without all of you guys..."

They all nod back. Sakura separates from him 

"We should go to the hospital now...”

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