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File: DGA-Ken.png (975 KB, 1280x720)
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookerman32
Discord: https://discord.gg/yz7sDra
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dark%20Gate%20Academy
Character Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/s9JM8xxW
Quest Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiwpMw_Up_Y

Far off, nestled in an otherwise small Japanese town lies the Dark Gate Academy. An institution of tremendous size, the Academy holds a long kept secret. Unknown to the outside world, this unseemly town is home to a tear in our reality. A gate between our world and a bizarre dimension known as the Darkworld. The inhabitants of this hellish world breach this gate and attempt to flood into our reality and spread throughout the world on a regular basis. However, the Dark Gate Academy is home to students of truly extraordinary abilities. The ability to sense the presence of these evil Darkworld creatures, and defeat them in combat, sending them back through the gate.

They cannot close the rift between our world and the Darkworld, but the students and staff of Dark Gate Academy have dedicated their lives to using their amazing powers to hold back the darkness that plagues our world, even if it costs them their lives. They have risen up to the challenge and in secret have become great heroic defenders of the world as we know it.

For many years, Dark Gate Academy has held back the forces of the Darkworld, kept this unspeakable evil contained within their walls in secret. But now, with their existence revealed, a great cloud of change looms over Dark Gate Academy.

>Previously on Dark Gate Academy...
Ken's father returned, and a timer was set on Ryoji.
>>
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“Okay, let me see here… Kenshiro Tajiri…”

“Just Ken.”

Akihito Naito, a teacher, a counsellor, an administrator. A man who carries many roles in an understaffed schooled. He looks up at you with a curious look. “This is a formal setting, I’d prefer to use your formal na-”

“Kenshiro is my father’s name,” you respond. “I’m… just Ken.”

“Your father…” Akihito nods, flicking through your records. “Yes, I read of that… I understand. So… Ken. What bring you back to us? It seemed certain that you were withdrawing.”

You shift uncomfortably in your chair. His question was earnest, but you feel a hint of judgement. A judgement he likely does not hold, yet… one you feel. Does he see you as a coward? You would.

That first night… what you saw… it was too much for you to handle. You also fancied yourself a brave man… but you’ve often stayed out of trouble. Turns out when the trouble finds you, you’re kinda lost. Who would have figured?

“I…” you mutter. “I know I requested to pull out, but-”

Akihito looks at you. The man is tall and muscular, cigarette smoke emanating from his lips, and bags under his eyes that betray his relative youth. And yet, those eyes… they’re kind. You’ve always been able to recognise kind eyes.

The teacher speaks up. “Takeshi has already filled out the forms, you know. This school… this task, it’s completely optional.”

“I know.”

“You’re a bright kid,” Akihito points out. “You got a lot of offers. You really have your pick of the litter, as far as high schools go.”

“I know.”

“Then you really don’t feel like you have to stay here-”

“No, I do.”

Akihito sighs. Every sentence he speaks is oft accompanied by a sigh. “Can I ask what changed your mind? You weren’t pressured, were you? You don’t have to throw yourself into danger if-”

You shake your head. “I wasn’t pressured. Nobody spoke to me. I… I just saw them.”

“Saw who?”

“The others,” you reply. “They… they were just as scared as I was. Not all of them were as strong as me either… but… they’re staying, right?”

“None have pulled out,” Akihito admits. “That’s a rarity. It seemed you would be the only one.”
“Only 50% of those that enter make it to graduation…” you note. “I did my research into the school… what’s the ratio between departures and…”

“Deaths?” Akihito replies. His face falls.

“But all the others are staying?” you reply. “Then… I can’t leave, can I?”

Akihito shakes his head. “Of course you can. Nobody can force you-”

“I don’t mean I’m being forced,” you reply. “I mean… it wouldn’t be fair, would it?”

Your comment gives Akihito pause. “It… wouldn’t be fair?”

“Yeah… It wouldn’t be fair.”

“Huh…” Akihito ponders to himself. “I’ll inform Takeshi then. He can expect to see you in class tomorrow, then?”

“Of course.”
>>
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As you exit Akihito’s office, you spot a young girl by the lockers, rummaging through her belongings. Long pink hair, an unassuming plain face, yet the kindest blue eyes you’ve ever seen on another person.

“Fuji, right?” you ask as you approach.

“Nanami Fuji, yes!” she beams as she shuts the locker closed. “You… I thought you had left.”

“I was… considering it,” you reply. “You know… the stress.”

“Right…” Nanami replies. “I’m surprised you even recognised me.”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, I… no reason,” Nanami smiles a shy smile. She wasn’t so shy before…

You chuckle. “After all, you made quite the scene yesterday… you’re missing the tiara. What happened?”

Nanami gives a small laugh. “Oh, that? Well, the princess bit wasn’t really working…”

“Work?” you ask. “For what?”

“It’s not important,” Nanami replies. “I’ve just got to workshop something new…”

“How about the Kamen Rider look?” you suggest. “Always been a fan.”

Nanami shakes her head. “No way, I’ve only seen a couple episodes of Red Mask! There’s no way I could pull something like that off.”

“Then how about a pirate?” you ask. “Pirates are cool, right?”

You see Nanami’s face light up. “Pirates… pirates are super cool! That’s a great idea!”

You smile. “I can’t wait to see the final product, Fuji.”

She smiles back. “And I won’t let you down, uhh…”

“Tajiri,” you reply.

“Right!” she nods. “Kenshiro-”

“Call me Ken,” you reply.

Nanami’s face turns red, a small blush forming on her already rosy cheeks. “So familiar… Ken. Umm… see you in class!”

“Yeah… see you in class.”
>>
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>POV: Ryoji

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIY-Sl-mxz8

“RYOJI! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!”

Saki’s voice blares from the cellphone as you hold it to your ear. She’s upset… ‘course she is. Sak’s got every reason to be.

“Listen…” you explain. “I can’t sit tight and wait this thing out. If I need to sort out this business with Tori, I need to act now.”

“Without a plan?!”

“That’s where you come in, isn’t it?” you reply. “Me, Ken and his pops will be the frontline… you come in as back-up with the actual plan. That sound good?”

Saki pauses. “We don’t exactly have a choice at this stage, do-”

“HEY!” Akio’s voice explodes from the phone, clearly standing next to Saki in line to chew you and Ken out. “WHAT DO YOU BASTARDS THINK YOU’RE DOING?! RUSHING OFF INTO DANGER… WITHOUT ME?!”

“CUT IT OUT!” Saki yells back, before turning her attention back to you. “Ryoji… I figured you knew I’ll always be right behind you… I just hope you aren’t making a mistake…”

“We’ll be fine Sak,” you reply. “We always are. I’m not going to let Settan’s reject runt brother get the better of me, okay?”

“… Okay.”

You pause, before speaking. “I love you.”

“Don’t say it like that…” Saki sniffles.

“Like what?”

“Don’t say it like you won’t be saying it again,” she replies. “I’ll see you both soon. Chihiro will send out one of her doves so we can keep a constant line.”

As you say your goodbyes and hang up, your attention turns to Ken, sitting on a rock, leaning against his staff. Looks like Kenshiro is still grabbing food on your walking break. You’ve always wondered why you still get hungry, despite the infinite stamina. Hell, sometimes you feel like you get hungry quicker since you got this demon.

“Just another question for Stranger if he ever showed up again…” you think to yourself.

He really did leave us out to dry, didn’t he? I don’t even know how… he’s a part of you, and yet…?

“Maybe he’s starved,” you ponder. “I’ve felt past memories becoming clearer, maybe he doesn’t have the energy to speak? Then again, I’m not surprised that bastard bailed as soon as I needed him.”

You turn your attention back to Ken, he's been awfully silent. You were just muttering to yourself, but not a word from him. His eyes dart up… but they land just above your head, not meeting your gaze.

You sigh. “Staring at it won’t make it go away, y’know…”

He averts his eyes. “Was Nanami on the other line?”

“Surprisingly quiet, but an earful of Akio,” you reply.

Ken remains quiet. “I snapped at her before I left. I don’t like raising my voice with anyone, let alone…”

He goes quiet again.

>Why are you looking so glum, man? I’m the one who’s dying.
>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.
>You haven’t been yourself lately. Not since… you know.
>>
>>4782994
>>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.
Positive reinforcement and all that shit.
>But you should probably say something once things settle down anyway.
Tell him what he needs to hear as well.

But above all, don't guilt trip our boy.
>>
>>4782994
>>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.
It'll be fineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
>>
>>4782994
>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.

>“WHAT DO YOU BASTARDS THINK YOU’RE DOING?! RUSHING OFF INTO DANGER… WITHOUT ME?!”
Akio you glorious dumb bastard, it's going to be a shame when your heart finally decides to explode.
>>
>>4782994
>>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.
>>
>>4782994
>Why are you looking so glum, man? I’m the one who’s dying.
So are we planning to throw Tori in and out of a wood chipper then to burn through his lives?
>>
>>4782994
>>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.
>>But you should probably say something once things settle down anyway.
>>
Calling for
>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.

Writing now.
>>
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>She’ll understand. Tensions are high.

Ken shakes his head. "Nanami... I don't know. She should trust me not to be the type of-"

"You'll have time to talk it over," you reply. "When things have settled down. Trust me, she'll understand. You know Nanami."

"Right..." Ken mutters. "I just... feel guilty..."

His eyes dart there again. How much longer remains on the clock? You don't even want to know. You have tunnel vision, going straight for Toki's headquarters.

"Ryoji, I..." he mutters, but he's interrupted by rustling of leaves.

Kenshiro steps through the clearing, carrying three ice cream cones. "Winter's starting to clear up," he notes.

"I thought you were getting actual food," you reply.

Kenshiro looks down at the cones. "I think I picked well, getting you the peppermint. Think of it this way... five minutes stopping for food won't be the deciding factor on that ticker of yours... forty minutes? That's a bit less efficient. This way we can eat and walk."

"Right..." you mutter as you're handed the peppermint cone.

"Besides," Kenshiro beams a smile towards his son. "I know little Ken could never pass up his favourite, chocolate!"

"Right, dad..." Ken has a slight embarrassed blush as he takes the cone.

As the three of you get walking, Kenshiro leading ahead, he pipes up. "So Ryoji, tell me about yourself."

"Huh?" you raise an eyebrow.

"I want to know if my son's fallen into the wrong crowd," he notes. "That dye job doesn't give me high hopes."

"Dye job?" you mutter. "This is all natural silver hair, geezer."

Kenshiro chuckles. "So, born to be a delinquent?"

"He's one to talk, in those cuffs."

"You bet," you reply.
>>
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Kenshiro pauses. "Hmm... you know, I think I've met a Ryoji Shida once."

"My dad's a poet," you reply. "Maybe you bought one of his books."

"I don't read," Kenshiro mutters. "Can't be that."

"Figures," you shrug. "Nobody buys my old man's books. If they did we'd be living it up in Kingodoro, not in the slums of Kibo."

Kenshiro pauses. "Kibo... Kibo... oh, I remember now!" he snaps his finger. "I met your father once! I lived near Kibo at the time, we met in a hospital waiting room once. Why was that... I remember Ken's mother was giving birth to him at the time..."

Your head perks up. "Could be the same reason, Ken and I share a birthday."

"You..." Kenshiro pauses. "Born on the same day..."

"Yeah," you mutter. "Huh... pretty cool, Ken. Turns out we were born in the same hospital too."

Both Tajiri's are dead silent. Huh... guess this is the part where you just keep walking.

It's getting dark by the time someone finally perks up.

"The order's temple is just a mile to the west of here," Kenshiro notes.

"Then we bust in, take some heads?" you yawn.

"That yawn says otherwise," he notes. "There's an inn through here. I've studied the location a ton, dreaming of the day I finally rip those bastard's heads off."

Ken pauses. "And you're suggesting we rest? Dad, we don't have the time to-"

Kenshiro points to your forehead. "We quite literally do, son. We're a mile away, with over a full day left. We can't afford to hit that temple on anything but our best. A quick rest, then up at the crack of dawn."

Ken shuffles his feet. He hates disagreeing with his pops, doesn't he? "But..." he mutters. "Ryoji, are you okay with that?"

>Your old man's right. We need the rest before we make the final charge.
>If I wanted to rest and wait, I wouldn't have come out here, geezer.
>Only a short rest. Nothing more.
>>
>>4783168
>>Only a short rest. Nothing more.
Why are my trap senses tingling?
>>
>>4783168
>Only a short rest. Nothing more.
Can't believe we were railroaded by fate into being Ken's friend.
>>
>>4783168
>>If I wanted to rest and wait, I wouldn't have come out here, geezer.
>>
>>4783168
>>Your old man's right. We need the rest before we make the final charge.
d e s t I n yyyyy
>>
>>4783168
>Your old man's right. We need the rest before we make the final charge.
Kenshiro please don't let this be a trap.
>>
Calling for
>Only a short rest. Nothing more.

Writing now.
>>
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>Only a short rest. Nothing more.

"Of course," Kenshiro replies. "You're not the only impatient one, you know. I was going to lose 25 years of my life thanks to those bastards. I'll be happy to lose another 50 if it means I get to see them burn to the ground."

"Another fifty..." Ken mutters.

The inn is owned by a farmer and his family... and for some reason a polaroid of Akio and his uncle hangs up in the reception. A note attached stating "Barred for life". One the daughter of the family keeps looking at with a fawning expression... might want to ask him about that one later. Good thing normals can't see the timer, that would be a tough one to explain.

You waste no time in going to bed. You and Ken share a room, but neither of you share a word before you both lay down. You remember many nights were the two of you would stay up the whole night talking... but you don't have that time. And... well, neither of you are those guys right now.

Of course, the first thing you see in your dreams is Ken.

But... this Ken is older. He's a man grown... on a city street, in a suit.

"Ryoji?" he asks with a quizzical look as he spots you. "Ryoji Shida?"

"Uhh... yeah," you reply sheepishly.

"Ken Tajiri!" he exclaims. "God, I haven't seen you since... geez, since we graduated."

"Yeah..." you mutter. "How have you been?"

He scratches his head. "Good, good... I'm a lawyer now."

"Oh..." you mutter. "Yeah, you seemed the type."

"And you?" Ken asks.

"Janitor," you reply. "You know, Saki's the worker among us."

His eyes widen. "You're still seeing Saki Kobashi?"

"Yeah," you reply. "How's Nanami?"

"Hmm?" he pauses. "Oh right, Fuji-san. We broke up in my first year in college."

"Oh..." you mutter. "That's... a shame."

"Life goes on, right?" Ken replies. "I guess that means you didn't keep in touch?"

"It's been a while since I've spoken to any of the old gang..." you reply. "Uhh, Akio... he..."

"I heard..." Ken mutters. "But hey, life goes on, right?"

You stare at him. He was standing so close before... now he seems a world apart. For some reason, your eyes begin to well. "But... I don't want it to."

Ken shrugs. "Sorry, nothing last forever... look, I'm pretty busy... but you still have me on Line, I'm sure. Hit me up, we'll catch up again sometime..."

"No." Your response is blunt. "No we won't."

Ken nods, a cold expression on his face. "Yeah... we won't."

He walks away, and the city streets seem so less busy. You're alone.
>>
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You wake up in a cold sweat. Dammit... not the break of dawn yet. But... Ken's missing from his bed...

You step outside to grab some early morning air, only to find Ken at the picnic bench by the inn. "Couldn't sleep, huh?" you mutter.

Ken looks to you, but then slowly looks way. "It's like it's staring back at me..."

A silence falls, as you sit opposite Ken. He speaks up again. "Ryoji... I'm so sorry. If I hadn't kept you waiting-"

"Don't..." you mutter. "Don't blame yourself for this."

"But it's true!" Ken fires back. "I... I killed you."

"Not yet."

"And the worst part..." he mutters. "I was still only thinking about my dad... I'm a real shitty best friend, aren't I?"

>I could definitely have worse.
>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.
>Never known you to swear. You're really off today.
>>
>>4783280
>>Never known you to swear. You're really off today.
>>
>>4783280
>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.

>and for some reason a polaroid of Akio and his uncle hangs up in the reception. A note attached stating "Barred for life". One the daughter of the family keeps looking at with a fawning expression...
Naoaki was too good for this world.
>>
>>4783280
>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.
Oh damn, it's that farmer chick Naoaki tried to have Akio bang.
>>
>>4783280
>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.
>>
Calling for
>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.

Writing now.
>>
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>Between the two of us, you think you're the shitty friend? Come on, man.

"You're really gonna play the bad boy card?" Ken scoffs. "Ryoji, do you know what it was like growing up? The son of a murderer? Everyone in town treating you like you were next in line? Like it was inherited?"

"Ken..."

"There wasn't a single person who would trust me enough to even show their back to me," Ken explains. "And nobody has ever had my back... but you did. Always, without question. Even when I told you about my dad, it didn't even make you flinch. You didn't look at me differently. You've always taken me at face value... why?"

"You're a good guy," you respond. "I know, because I'm not. I know a good guy when I see when, and I saw you."

Ken shakes his head, exuding a sharp exhale. "I'm a good guy, and you're not? I don't know about that, Ryoji..."

A silence falls.

"What have we got?" Ken asks.

"We've got each-other's backs," you reply. "You said it yourself-"

"I don't have yours," Ken replies. "That's pretty clear now. I hate that, but I'm not going to stand here and pretend I didn't let you down in the worst way."

"Ken..."

"When all of this is over..." Ken mutters. "When we graduate, and I leave, what do we have holding us together? We're a mirror image, Ryoji... nobody can embrace their mirror? What do we have?"

"Well..." you mutter. "We both much prefer chocolate ice cream. What was your dad thinking? Peppermint?"

Ken sighs. "I haven't liked chocolate since I was a kid, man... I can't help but feel we're on borrowed time."

"Hey, phrasing," you respond with a smirk, as you point above your head.

Ken winces, stifling a smile. "God damn you Ryoji, don't make me laugh about that... I'm serious here. I'm sure you picture the future. And I mean... the real one, not the fantasy perfect one where nothing goes wrong. Do you see me in it?"

"It's a blur," you reply. "We never know."

Ken's eyes lower. "That breaks my heart. There shouldn't be a hesitation. Not between us. You don't question if your brother stays in your life, that should never be doubted."

"Well, we aren't brothers... not really," you reply.

"I... guess we're not."

You hear the chirping of crickets in the night. The door to the inn swings open, and Kenshiro steps out. "Am I hearing an argument? Lots of dour faces here."

Ken shakes his head as he stands up. "No... I'm going to bed."

"Get your rest," Kenshiro notes, ruffling Ken's hair as he passes. "You need it more than we do. And you, Ryoji?"

"I was getting fresh air."
>>
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Kenshiro nods. "I'll join you then. In fact, there's something I want to show you."

As Ken heads to bed, his father walks with you, leading you to a small clearing. A cliff face, overlooking far off into the distance. You sure are high up now...

"It's hard to see at night..." Kenshiro notes. "But do you see those lights?"

"Yeah..." you note, spotting a bright yellow off in the distance.

"That's it," Kenshiro notes. "That's where they lie in wait. I was set to wait twenty-five years to get my revenge on them. It'll be sweet knowing it took just under ten."

You chuckle. "These bastards can be worse than the demons."

"Shame you took out the older brother," Kenshiro replies. "I would have liked to carry that job out myself."

"It was satisfying..." you admit. "Settan was a prick. His brother might be even worse."

"You're scared of him, aren't you?"

You scoff. "I'm not afraid of anything..."

"Yeah, you are..." Kenshiro replies. "I've played the tough act myself, before. Even now... you think I really cared about being the one to shut up Settan? Nah... truth is, I'm just looking out for my boy. It's always been for Ken."

You go quiet.

"There's people you want to protect, aren't there?" Kenshiro replies.

"People I failed to protect," you state. "I can't make the same mistakes again. I'd happily die if it meant Saki or Ken or my folks could be safe."

"Mark of a good man, that..." Kenshiro nods. "So, you share a birthday with my boy? And you're named for your father?"

You nod your head. "Yeah... we've got a bit in common... all superficial stuff, though."

"Hmm..." Kenshiro mutters. "Want to hear a joke?"

"Shoot."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pS5soRsrKQ

"Well..." Kenshiro begins. "These two men are walking through the woods together. They're in the middle of nowhere, all alone. But then... what do they see? A bear."

"Spooky."

"And the thing's huge," Kenshiro elaborates. "It's huge and it's vicious and it's close. What's worse, it's spotted them. And it's making it's way over... so the first man, in desperation, gets on his knees and starts to pray. He prays for his life, he prays for someone to come save him... but the second guy... well, he gets down to tighten his shoelaces."

Kenshiro stands from the rock he's resting against, as the two of you overlook horizon, eyes focused on the temple. "And the first man is confused," Kenshiro elaborates. "He turns to his friend and he says... what are you doing?! You can't outrun a bear!"

Kenshiro paces, as a smirk forms on his face. "And his friend simply says... don't need to. I just need to outrun YOU."

"Good one," you reply as you turn around. "But I've heard it bef-"

As you turn, you feel his hands on your chest.

He pushes you, and you fall.

That's all for tonight! Will be continuing tomorrow! Thanks for playing!
>>
>>4783388
DAMN IT NOT AGAIN
>>
Well shit.
>>
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>Many years ago

"Meiji, what the hell is this?"

Flicking through the stacks of pages upon pages among his partner's hidden compartment, Kenshiro's face turns to horror. "You haven't showered in weeks, talk of demons... Dammit, this group really is a cult, isn't it?"

Meiji simply smiles a pained grin as he passes him another page. "Read... read and be enlightened."

"Enlightened? Shit on that..." Kenshiro curses as he reads the page. "What is this... what the hell the Silver Demon's Herald?"

"A traitor," Meiji spits. "Read on..."

"You're not making any sense," Kenshiro mutters. "You've lost your mind..."

Despite this, Kenshiro returns to reading. "Named for their father, born under the burning eleventh moon, the sacrifice who will herald the order's ascension... this is nonsense. Burning eleventh moon? What's that, an eclipse in November? A..."

Meiji's grin turns to a twisted grimace. "Your boy, Ken... when was he born again?"

That was when Kenshiro knew Meiji could never return from this. And neither could he.

>POV: Ken

"Where's Ryoji?"

Your immediate question as you spot your father. Ryoji wasn't in his bed when you arose. You tossed and turned through the night, unable to sleep, and at no point did Ryoji return to the room.

Your father hold his head down. "You sure pick the headstrong kind of friend. Your buddy didn't want to wait around, marched ahead as soon as I picked out the temple for him."

You sigh. "That sounds like Ryoji... I can't blame him."

"He can't be too far ahead," Kenshiro notes. "He doesn't seem the type to be good with directions."

"He likes to wander," you note. "But I doubt Ryoji would waste time. He's probably there by now... and likely needs our help."

Your father tilts his head. "I'm sure he can handle himself for a while. Doesn't he have one of those demons of his own?"

"He can't harm any other demons," you explain. "He has the resilience, but when it comes to power, he's pretty useless."

"What?" Kenshiro looks surprised. "The hell? I thought these things were supposed to give you unlimited power or something!"

"It's complicated..." you mutter. "Let's get moving."

You and your father move in silence in the direction towards the Order temple. Ryoji... why would he march on like that? March on to his possible death...

It's because of what you said, isn't it?

You didn't want to say those words, but you knew Ryoji was thinking it too... you needed to clear the air, but...

"You're awfully quiet," Your father notes. "Bad sleep?"

>It's been years, dad... why are you acting like it's not?
>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.
>Uhh... kinda. I was just thinking a lot about... stuff.
>>
>>4786644
>>It's been years, dad... why are you acting like it's not?
>>
>>4786644
>>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.
>>
>>4786644
>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.
Kenshiro's spent all his time in prison levelling his Charisma
>>
>>4786644
>It's been years, dad... why are you acting like it's not?
>>
>>4786644
>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.
Oh shit we're running again.
>>
Calling for
>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.

Writing now.
>>
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>I'm just worried about Ryoji... we had something of an argument last night.

"Oh right, I remember..." Your father mutters. "It seemed it was dour faces all around. I thought the two of you were supposed to be best friends."

"I... thought we were," you mumble as you walk through the forests. "But I... I guess we're just world's apart. He likes to call himself the king of all delinquents, and me... well, I want to study law abroad. Not exactly compatible, is it?"

"Studying abroad?" Kenshiro's eyes perk up. "A solid move, I'm sure you had to work hard for that."

He beams you a prideful grin, and you share a brief smile in return. "Thanks, I did work really hard for-"

"So what are you running from?"

You pause. "What?"

"You must be running from something," Kenshiro replies. "You have no reason to leave, do you? What is it? Being bullied? You and your girlfriend aren't working out?"

"No!" you protest. "It's just... I chose to stay in that academy out of fairness. I just couldn't leave them behind... but once I graduate, my service is done. I shouldn't hang around... right?"

"That doesn't sound like my boy at all!" Kenshiro replies. "A Tajiri never turns away from duty. They face their problems head on, fists clenched. You remember what I taught you, right? The Ken I know would do all he can in that school even after he graduates. A place like that... duty isn't ever really done, is it?"

Your father taught you a lot. Not just through his words, but through his actions. There's no way you could forget. "I... I just..."

"It's okay, son..." he reassures you. "You can tell me. Why do you want to get away. What are you running from?"

>I... I'm just scared.
>... You, I suppose.
>I'm not running from anything, I... just don't know what the future holds.
>>
>>4786787
>>... You, I suppose.
>>
>>4786787
Now this is a tough one,
>... You, I suppose.
I think this one works better.
>>
>>4786787
>... You, I suppose.
Man this roadtrip's a downer for everyone huh
>>
>>4786787
>... You, I suppose.
inb4 Kenshiro follows Ken abroad and kills more people there
>>
Calling for
>... You, I suppose.

Writing now.
>>
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>... You, I suppose.

Your father only laughs. "Ha... I can see that. It can't have been easy, huh?"

You shake your head. "No, sir."

Kenshiro's face turns to one of remorse. "I sure did cause you a lot of trouble, didn't I?"

"I... you did it for me, didn't you?" you reply.

"Sure did," Kenshiro smiles. "But it still hurt, right? All those years? I'm sorry."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L_CgMfnVy0

It's true.

All those years... you could never feel right... no matter what you did, you couldn't feel like the hero you always wanted to be. Yeah, Old Lady Oka would have her cat saved from the tree, you would rescue that kid from bullies... but every time you looked in the mirror you just... weren't clean.

In that town, you could never be Ken Tajiri. You were always Kenshiro Tajiri. The kid with a murderer for a father. No matter how many good deeds you did, the soiled hands would never wash clean.

You were worse than alone. You weren't even a person.

You kept the brim of your hat down and tried to never bother anyone...

Until you met Ryoji.

Your thoughts flood back to a year ago.

"So, how are you liking the Academy so far?"

"Like is a very strong word. So far, I've been nothing but traumatised."

"It can't be all that bad! I'm sure you've already made at least a few friends! Excluding myself."

"We're friends already, are we?"

"I would hope so, we share a bed."

"Huh, I think I caught something."

"Me too... Let's reel them in!"

A smile creeps on your face, remembering that day. Your fishing lines had just gotten tangled together, and as Ryoji tried to seperate them, ended up breaking his in half. Oops. You still remember his face, looking at you expecting to yell or something, but you just said...

"Ha, it's my biggest catch yet! A full grown human!"

Why?

From day one, the two of you had your lines tangled. You caught him, and he caught you.

Why didn't he see the dirt? The blood that surrounded you?

... Because he knew you. And you knew him.

It was never the school. It was never that lousy pond... heck, the two of you never even put bait on your lines.

It was always about the two of you. And it always will be.

... And you know Ryoji never would have gone ahead without you.

You father looks at you expectantly, before squinting his eyes at the rising sun. "We should get moving. We have time to reminisce later."

>Dad... what did you and Ryoji talk about last night?
>Do you think he's okay? Ryoji?
>... Right.
>>
>>4787008
>>Dad... what did you and Ryoji talk about last night?
>>
>>4787008
>Dad... what did you and Ryoji talk about last night?
Their mutual lust for revenge and their inability to fly
>>
>>4787008
>Do you think he's okay? Ryoji?
Let's not show our hand just yet.
>>
>>4787008
>... Right
Voting from work
>>
>>4787008
>>Dad... what did you and Ryoji talk about last night?
Loving this thread so far.
>>
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>Dad... what did you and Ryoji talk about last night?

"Hmm?" Kenshiro perks his head up. "Last night?"

"Yes," you reply. "You went and talked to him when I went to bed, right?"

"He just said he was going on ahead-"

"That couldn't have been all," you reply. "I was listening out. It took a while for you to come back inside. I'm just curious what you told him."

Kenshiro doesn't stop his stride. He keeps his back turned to you. "I remember him wanting to talk to an adult. He was definitely scared about what lay ahead of him..."

"Yeah, he was concerned... understandably," you reply.

Kenshiro lets out a small chuckle. "But he is an interesting kid. It took a while to get him to admit it, you know? He puffed out his chest and he told me... 'I'm not scared of anything, I'm the King of Delinquents!' Heh... you're right, he does love saying that..."

You nod, as your father continues.

"But..." he goes on. "He then told me he wanted to protect the people he loved. For you, for Saki... I assume that's his girl, he was willing to do anything. To make any sacrifice. You... you have a good friend there, Ken."

You cling to your staff. "Yeah, I so... Master."

"Hmm?" Kenshiro raises an eyebrow.

"Master Delinquent," you reply. "That's what he actually says. King of Delinquents? What kind of cheesy nickname is that?"

Kenshiro turns around. "But earlier, didn't you say-"

"I was testing you," you reply.

"Testing..." Kenshiro mutters. "Why would you be testing your own-"

"It just never seemed right..." you scowl. "It was too perfect... like a dream. There was always going to be a catch... and I should have known better."

Kenshiro raises an eyebrow. "Known better than what?"

"I've spent a lot of time around a wonderful, talented actress..." you explain. "Always carrying the chains because of your heavy guilt? Dad, I've come to know a phony character when I see one."

"Ken..."
>>
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"Where's Ryoji?"

Kenshiro stays silent. That's all you needed to know.

"Let's go," he grunts, turning around again.

You don't know why. You're usually not this cocksure. Maybe Ryoji is a bad influence...

But you instantly throw your staff at the back of your father's head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJo_3B5-1uk

Instantly, he swings around and catches it, easily breaking his chains in the process.

You charge, grabbing the hilt of the staff and kicking Kenshiro in the chest, sending him flying into a tree. A spin of the rod, and a mighty thwack to his chest, and you have him pinned against the bark. "What did you do to him?!" you demand to know. "What did you do to Ryoji?!"

"You petulant..." Kenshiro grunts in pain. "You're hitting me? I'm your father, boy!"

"And he's my brother!" you protest, your eyes welling. "I don't want to hurt you dad... just tell me the truth. Did you hurt Ryoji?"

Kenshiro wraps his fingers around the wooden weapon, and toss it aside with you in tow. He's strong...

"If you're lucky, that friend of yours is dead."

"If I'm..." you gasp. "How could you... you demon son of a-"

"This ain't the demon talking!" Kenshiro remarks. "But believe me son, you're making it real hard to hold that thing back! You think I'm just the kind of guy who pushes teens off cliffs without reason? No, that would be stupid. I'm doing it for you, stop being so ungrateful!"

"How could this possibly be for me?!" you scream.

Kenshiro cracks his neck. "If you knew, you'd thank me. Now, put down that weapon and calm down."

>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!
>I don't care why... you can't hurt my friend.
>Calm down?! You're the one who's gone insane!
>>
>>4787127
>>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!
>>
>>4787127
>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!
He'll have been an Archdemon before Ryoji let the others out won't he?
>>
>>4787127
>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!

>You think I'm just the kind of guy who pushes teens off cliffs without reason?
Kenshiro please, you still need a reason to push toddlers and the elderly off cliffs as well.
>>
>>4787127
>>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!
>>
>>4787127
>I don't care why... you can't hurt my friend.
Engage patricide
Ken and Reiji can finally have something in common
>>
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Calling for
>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!

Will be continuing the thread tomorrow! Thanks for playing!
>>
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>Tell me then. Tell me the truth!

Kenshiro grunts. "When... when I told you I killed Meiji in self-defence, that was a lie."

"What?!" you exclaim.

"Let me finish!" Kenshiro exclaims. "I killed him to defend someone, but it wasn't myself... it was you."

You pause, confused. "Why... why would The Order want to target me? I was just a kid."

"The Silver Demon's Herald..." Kenshiro mutters. "Words burned into my mind for years..."

"What is that?"

"Hell if I know..." Kenshiro replies. "It was one of their many prophecies. One of a sacrifice, a child named for his father born under an eclipse in November. Those crazies believed that such a child's sacrifice would herald some second coming of their powers, and they would ascend to a new level. It's total bullshit, but belief in it is dangerous."

"November, under a..." you mutter. "So that's... me."

"That's what Meiji thought," your father. "And I did to... until your friend Ryoji came along."

"Ryoji..."

"Think about it," Kenshiro mutters. "They want their sacrifice. He fits the criteria. He's already marked for death. He's our distraction... there's no saving him. There's saving us."

"Us?!" you exclaim. "I don't care about that! I didn't come out here to help myself! I... I can't just leave my best friend to die!"

Kenshiro raises his voice. "Dammit Ken, think! It's his life or yours! If you save him, they'll come for you! Why would you fight for that?!"

>Because it isn't fair!
>You always taught me to stand up for the little guy. How can you turn your back on that?
>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.
>>
>>4788706
>>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.
>>
>>4788706
>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.
>>
>>4788706
>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.
Good thing that this is a Shonen anime.
>>
>>4788706
>You always taught me to stand up for the little guy. How can you turn your back on that?
Ignore the fact Ryoji's taller than him
>>
>>4788706
>You always taught me to stand up for the little guy. How can you turn your back on that?
>>
Calling for
>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.

Writing now.
>>
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>I'm selfish... I tend to want my friends to stay alive.

"Oh great," Kenshiro replies. "My son grew up to be a smart-ass. What happened to the little polite boy I remember?"

He's trying to guilt you. He's trying to act like your father.

"He learned to stand up for himself," you explain. "Now, where's Ryoji?"

Kenshiro yawns. "I'm tired of this, Ken. With any luck, he's stuck in a tree back that way. Now, let's get going and-"

You instantly sprint in the direction he pointed. Sit tight Ryoji, you're coming...

"Dammit, son!"

Kenshiro jumps ahead of you, and grabs you by the collar, pinning you up against a tree. "Stop this now-"

You bash him with your staff, causing him to lose grip, but as you try to escape he tackles you again.

"You're giving your life for his?!"

"If that's what it takes!" you fire back. "But I'd rather we try something else! I'm not going to let either of us just be served up as a sacrifice!"

Kenshiro grunts. "Your legs will heal, boy. I'm willing to break them if it keeps you safe."

You swing your staff again, and Kenshiro dodges. It clears some distance though, as your father stands in a ready stance, attempting to block your way. He thinks you won't fight him, but if it's for Ryoji's sake...

>I can't beat him, but I can probably outrun him. I need to focus on slipping by.
>He won't let up. I'm going to have to tackle him head on, just like he taught me.
>>
>>4788872
>>I can't beat him, but I can probably outrun him. I need to focus on slipping by.
>>
>>4788872
>I can't beat him, but I can probably outrun him. I need to focus on slipping by.
Gotta go fast
>>
>>4788872
>He won't let up. I'm going to have to tackle him head on, just like he taught me.
If he can’t beat him what makes him think he can outrun him?
>>
>>4788872
>He won't let up. I'm going to have to tackle him head on, just like he taught me.
Reiji needs a friend in the patricide club.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4788882
>>4788909
>I can't beat him, but I can probably outrun him. I need to focus on slipping by.

>>4788914
>>4788915
>He won't let up. I'm going to have to tackle him head on, just like he taught me.

Rolling to break the tie.
>>
Calling for
>I can't beat him, but I can probably outrun him. I need to focus on slipping by.

Roll 1d100, Bo3
>>
Rolled 24 (1d100)

>>4788969
>>
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>4788969
>>
Rolled 83 (1d100)

>>4788969
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>4788969
Rock and roll.
>>
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>83

You rush towards your father, but as he widens his stance, you plant your staff into the ground, pole vaulting yourself into a jump. You land on a tree branch and hop to another before leaping down into a clearing and continuing your sprint.

Your dad was always the strongest guy you knew growing up, but that's every boy with his father. You need to keep your wits about you... you studied, you learned. You have technique, Kenshiro doesn't.

Granted, what he does have is an archdemon powering him along, but you can't think about that right now. Sure, he wouldn't use that against his own son... but if you've learned one thing about Archdemons it's that they can't be held back or contained for very long. Hell, your father is losing any good sense he ever had... how much of that is this demon's influence? You don't even know what it is, what it's called or what abilities it has... or what it's taken from your father.

You escaped him for now, but he comes back with a vengeance, as you hear the sounds of what you can only imagine is an uprooted tree. You look back and... damn, there it is. Your father tosses it, but you leap up, landing on top of it as it skids along the ground... and towards the cliff edge. YIKES, that was close.

You plant your staff in the ground to slow the crawl, as only one half of the now very much horizontal tree finds itself hanging off the cliff edge. Unfortunately, you still happen to be standing on it, as your father approaches.

"Trapped?"

"Not at all," you reply. "I'm in full control here."

"Then I'm not doing a good job," your father mutters. "Come to your senses, Ken. All this trouble for a troublemaker? You think he'd go through this trouble for you?"

"In a heartbeat."

"He wouldn't disobey his father."

"His father's a hippy poet, not a demon harbouring..." you mutter.

You've got some options here, and none of them are going along with your father. You look below... big drop, but there's some angles. As you glance back at your father, downward might actually be the safer route...

>Welp, happy landings.
>Leap over and past your father.
>>
>>4789033
>>Welp, happy landings.
>>
>>4789033
>Welp, happy landings
>Wave goodbye to your father
>>
>>4789033
>Welp, happy landings.
>>
>>4789033
>Welp, happy landings.
Can't wait to fail that landing roll
>>
Calling for
>Welp, happy landings.

Roll 1d100, BO3.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d100)

>>4789076
>>
Rolled 59 (1d100)

>>4789076
I call this form "Plummeting Brick"
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>4789076
>>
>>4789079
If we're rolling this bad just to get to Tori I'm dreading what we'll roll when we actually fight him
>>
Rolled 13 (1d100)

>>4789076
Have a late dice roll
>>
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>59

You give your dad a quick salute as you shift your weight on the tree, sending it careening off the cliff. You surf the log as it falls for a moment, before leaping off into a swan dive. You tumble through the air, and gauge your options. There's a thick clearing below, if your bend your legs just right and aim there, you can slow your landing and prevent a nasty fall. You lock on, and begin to careen downwards... only to hear a loud alert.

"KEEEEEEEEN!" your fathers voice booms, growing ever closer. You snap your head to attention to see him rebounding off the falling tree, and tackling you diagonally through the air, smashing you down into the clearing.

Nothing broke, but the pains shoots through every part of your body as your father holds you into the ground with one arm. You reach for your staff which has landed just out of touch... stretching your arm, you can just about get your fingertips on it, and...

Your father pulls you away. "Anything broken?"

"No..." you mutter.

"They will be," Kenshiro explains. "I'll break your leg, leave you here to wait, then I'll deal with the Order. How does that sound?"

"Great," you reply. "I-if you include Ryoji there... we could work together and-"

Your father spits. "ENOUGH! He's already dead, and you know it! If he didn't die after the fall, then that Tori bastard picked him off when he made it to them. Your friend is GONE, move on! Focus on your own fate!"

"NO!" you exclaim. "I... I WON'T!"

As you cry out, a burst of energy emanates from you, sending your father flying back. "What the hell?" he mutters.

Good question... this happened once before. Back when you fought the first of these escaped demons, Yami. Back then... it was explained it was a burst of your angel powers... all the good that will do. You could use with more than a burst here and there. You could do without the performance anxiety...

Still, you can now reach for your staff, and it helps you rise to your feet. That blow did a number on you... everything aches. There'll be no outrunning Kenshiro this time... you're going to have to stand your ground, and push him back. Somehow.

>He's still holding back on me, I'm his son. I just have to show my will, outpower him here.
>He has strength, but I have technique. Beating him here is a matter of skill.
>>
>>4789117
>>He has strength, but I have technique. Beating him here is a matter of skill.
>>
>>4789117
>He has strength, but I have technique. Beating him here is a matter of skill.
>>
>>4789117
>He's still holding back on me, I'm his son. I just have to show my will, outpower him here.
Man it's going to be real awkward when Tori wheels in a 3rd kid that was at the hospital to sacrifice
>>
>>4789117
>He has strength, but I have technique. Beating him here is a matter of skill.
Ken used leekslap
It was not very effective
>>
Calling for
>He has strength, but I have technique. Beating him here is a matter of skill.

Roll 1d100, BO3.
>>
Rolled 26 (1d100)

>>4789140
>>
Rolled 44 (1d100)

>>4789140
Can the Dexfag beat the STRCHAD?
>>
Rolled 78 (1d100)

>>4789140
>>
Rolled 85 (1d100)

>>4789140
>>
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>78

Chin up, face injustice head on!

That's what your father always told you... granted, he was simply quoting Red Mask, but the words rung more true when they came from him.

Words that you've lived by for years now... chin up, face injustice... but sometime head on isn't the best option.

Your father is a brute... no offence to him. He's got a lot of strength, but you know he's never trained in anything. You've been practicing the martial arts for years now, and you've developed quite the knack for it.

You ready your staff, and wait for your father to charge towards you. You aim for the knee, bashing the end of your staff against it to throw off his balance. He flies headfirst into a tree, taking it down in the process. You wish he wouldn't do that... but taking the fight into an open clearing could spell doom for you.

You keep up the steady pace. Every time he approaches, you keep manoeuvring. He's bigger and burlier, but that makes him a more awkward mover, and an easy target. Keep using your surroundings, and you'll wear him down...

He stays in pursuit, but you keep getting the better of him. But as you pick away at him with sneaky strikes and dodges, you face a problem... you need to hit him with something decisive. You can wear him out, maybe... but you can't take him down.

"You're testing my patience..." Kenshiro mutters. "You're testing... it..."

He charges, but you duck down, catching him in the neck with a poke from the staff. That ought to do some damage. He clutches his throat, rasping as you step further back... you're running out of forestation...

As you step back, your father takes another heavy boot forward and... falls to his knees. "D-dammit..." he mutters.

"Dad?" you speak in a concerned tone. No boy wants to see his pops in this condition...

But as you step forward, and elongated dark, sludge-like arm hits you like a bullet to the chest, sending you flying out of the forest and into the open area ahead. You quickly rise to your feet, wondering what the heck that was...
>>
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And the answer is pretty clear as the sludge retreats back into your father's body. "NO! DAMMIT!" he shouts, trying to contain himself. This isn't good...

"Dad!" you cry out. "You're losing control of that thing! Just... come to your senses, and I can help-"

"NO!" Kenshiro cries out as he tackles you to the ground. You can see the village with the temple in the distance, but your head happens to be resting near some unfortunately placed traintracks... it doesn't help as Kenshiro holds you down, and his grip tightens around your neck...

"IF YOU WANTED TO HELP ME, YOU WOULDN'T DO THIS!" Kenshiro protests. "Is this it, Ken? Think of your future! You could be a lawyer, a judge, anything! You have so much talent, you could become anything you wanted... and you want to throw it away on some delinquent?! Some deadbeat troublemaker?! The scum of the earth who would spit on your if you were on fire?"

You kick your father back, removing your head from the tracks, but he's on you again, kneeing you in the chest and bringing you back down.

"I'm trying to protect you!" your father yells as he kicks you back. Odd way of showing it. "Does this Ryoji really matter more than your own father?"

You gasp for air, sucking it in in order to fire out an answer. "It's not about Ryoji..."

"Then what is it?"

>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.
>There's always a better way. You're blind to that. Cynical.
>Whether it's for one person or one thousand people... no matter the number, I can't watch them suffer.
>>
>>4789198
>>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.
>>
>>4789198
>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.
Savage Ken
>>
>>4789198
>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.
It was TV's fault all along Kenshiro, it was the one that twisted Ken
>>
>>4789198
>Whether it's for one person or one thousand people... no matter the number, I can't watch them suffer
>>
>>4789198
>>>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.
>>
Calling for
>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.

Writing now.
>>
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>Someone once taught me to face injustice head on with my chin up. This is injustice.

"And just who was that?" Kenshiro raises an eyebrow. He's too far gone, he doesn't even remember.

"It was Red Mask," you answer, kicking him back and picking yourself up off the ground.

Of course... it was neither.

Kenshiro, Red Mask... they could only say the words. Empty, meaningless words.

Somehow, it took a law-breaking troublemaker to teach you what it actually meant.

That's right... all this time, you've never been alone. You haven't been an island, a rock tied to your rigid ideals.

You weren't the perfect boyscout you were often proclaimed to be.

But he pushed you there, he kept showing you the right path.

And now it's time to walk that path.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0E90DgZdqU

You never had the guts to look your father in the eye, but now you stare at him dead ahead with ease.

Your words of the past flood back to you.

"My whole life is built upon showing kindness towards others, protecting those who need help, standing up for the weak, and doing what's right!"

"Life isn't like that! You have your struggles, but life is kind, life is precious... it all depends on what you do with it! I don't intend on throwing my life of the lives of my friends away!"

“I mean… it wouldn’t be fair, would it?”

Every time you spoke, something held you back. You believed in your words, but you didn't understand them. Not yet.

You feel your arm lighting up, but you don't break your gaze from Kenshiro.

Ryoji... Nanami... no matter what the future holds, you know what you want to hold on to. You want to hold on to those smiles, and all the smiles in the world. Protect them... because life truly is precious. No matter what becomes of you, if you can uphold justice...

"That's right..." you chuckle to yourself. "It was never about catching the fish..."

Kenshiro's eyes widen. "Ken, what are you-"

"At this moment..." you declare, as your reach out your staff, energy swirling around it. "You are not my father! You are a malevolent force! A villain, true and true! And I will drive you out, return my father to me, then save my friend! Not because it's the right thing to do! Not because it's moral! Not because it's my duty! Not because it's my responsibility!"

A wave of energy sends Kenshiro flying back, as you let out your cry. "IT'S BECAUSE IT'S WHAT I WANT! I AM KEN TAJIRI, THE SPIRIT OF JUSTICE!"

As Kenshiro braces himself, he looks upon your new form. "What the hell is this...?" he mutters.

You answer.

"A fair fight."

That's all for tonight! Thanks for playing! Will be continuing tomorrow!
>>
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI3maNT2hU8

Ryoji... Nanami... this is all thanks to the both of you...

The power surges through your body, as you ready your stance. The Spirit of Justice...

Kenshiro clenches his fist. "You really want to fight?" he warns. "I've been holding back, but you don't have the nerve to hit your old man like-"

Kenshiro is sent flying by a wave of energy. Your whole body is surging... is this the power of your angel form? It's just overloading at all times... your drive, your determination... it all bubbles to the surface.

"JUSTICE WAVE!" you announce as you send another blast at Kenshiro, one he only barely manages to avoid. The name doesn't even sound cheesy to you... it's just what you do. It's what you know.

It's what you've always known.

"Are you done playing dress-up?!" Kenshiro announces. "What is this thing? I thought you didn't carry a demon."

"Angel."

Kenshiro looks unimpressed. "Oh, you're making that up!"

He charges, and you ready your staff, which glows bright as you twirl it around, blocking each of his blows, before pushing him back and going on the offensive yourself. Blow after blow, Kenshiro staggers back, until a swinging staff to the chin launches him into the air, your enemy crashing down onto the ground, an embarrassed expression on his face.

"Stop this!" he remarks, as you notice that sludge forming around his chin for a moment, before dissipating with a grimace. "If you're gonna fight me, fight me with your bare hands. None of that weapon of yours."

>Fine. I'm a better fighter than you, anyway.
>I'm not taking any chances, giving you any break.
>>
>>4790790
>I'm not taking any chances, giving you any break
>>
>>4790790
>I'm not taking any chances, giving you any break.
Keep the deck stacked in our favour.
>>
>>4790790
>Fine. I'm a better fighter than you, anyway.
Ken's lying about being the Spirit of Justice, he's actually using the power of THESE HANDS
>>
>>4790790
>>I'm not taking any chances, giving you any break.
>>
Calling for
>I'm not taking any chances, giving you any break.

Roll 1d100.
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>4790835
Rollin
>>
Rolled 68 (1d100)

>>4790835
>>
Rolled 32 (1d100)

>>4790835
>>
>68

Your grip on your staff tightens as you point it in Kenshiro's directions. "No lenience, no shortcuts. You have to face your sins, with full force!"

Kenshiro sighs. "I suppose I did ask for this... bring it then."

You can Kenshiro charge at each-other. You may be stronger, but you're not going to neglect your technique. You pole vault yourself over Kankuro, and catch him in the back with a strike from your staff. You continue to unload on Kankuro more and more... but as you do you notice that ooze poring from every area you hit. One blob of ooze manifest as a hand, which grips tight to the end of your staff. You concentrate, and a wave of energy blasts it away.

"Ken... I'm losing..." Kenshiro mutters.

"It's not to late to give in," you warn him.

Kenshiro grimaces. "You're not going to kill me?"

"Of course not," you reply. "I'm not a killer. I'm trying to make you see the light."

"Well..." Kenshiro speaks, but his voice comes out warbled and distorted. He raises himself up as you see his entire right side enveloped in the ooze. "It's too late for that, son."

The ooze envelops him further, until you see his eyes become swallowed up by the evil force. You charge forward but are pushed back by hands of the black ooze. You unleash a wave of energy and destroy the hands... but as you look where your father stood... something else stands in his place.

It's your father, but... not.

He's given in to that demon.

An armoured beast, wielding a massive axe.

And unleashing a massive wave of energy of his own, sending you flying. Even in this form with the protective aura around you, it feels like you were hit by a truck.

The demon speaks in your father's voice. He's still in there, but his sense is gone. "The Punishment..." he declares. "Every bit of pain and grief I've ever had to suffer... unleashed A THOUSAND FOLD."

So that wave... that was the result of the damage you dealt to him? Not good... but you suppose this evens the odds. A truly fair fight.

>Then I'll have to take him out before he can fire it all back. Go all out.
>I just have to keep up my footwork. Pick away at him and focus on avoiding his blasts.
>>
>>4790969
>I just have to keep up my footwork. Pick away at him and focus on avoiding his blasts.
Ken just dexfagging his way through life
>>
>>4790969
>I just have to keep up my footwork. Pick away at him and focus on avoiding his blasts.
Time to spam those i-frames
>>
>>4790969
>>I just have to keep up my footwork. Pick away at him and focus on avoiding his blasts.
Don't unleash everything on the counter boss.
>>
>>4790969
>Then I'll have to take him out before he can fire it all back. Go all out.
There'll be a limit to how much he can counter
>>
Calling for
>I just have to keep up my footwork. Pick away at him and focus on avoiding his blasts.

Roll 1d100.
>>
Rolled 82 (1d100)

>>4791063
Hopefully we don't get bodied
>>
Rolled 65 (1d100)

>>4791063
Hopefully Kenshiro doesn't get bodied too hard and can help us on the next dungeon and boss.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>4791063
>>
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>82

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73A2xkyj5VQ

You rush towards The Punishment, and as he lets swings his axe, you dodge to the side, leaping up to catch him with a shot to the side of the head. Simple potshots might not be the fastest way to take him out, but it's the smartest. You have to think smarter if you're going to come out on top here.

A few more shots to the chest of the armour. You drive the staff in with a lot of force, and you notice the armour begin to crack. Good... so if you can break through, you might be able to hit a weak-point, deliver a finishing blow.

With that hit though, The Punishment begins to charge up, so you're quick to back up. If he returns what you deliver tenfold, then you're going to have be scarce, limit your input. You can't go too far, or you'll eat it in turn.

Punishment's energy radiates, forming an arc aiming straight for you, but you're quick on your feet. You side-step, just about avoiding the attack, before making a new charge from under the arc. Your difference in height proves to be your advantage, giving you an opening to lay in another strike on the cracked armour. Followed by another, which chips away the armour... revealing the viscous substance underneath. No body, only the ooze. The sludge, the tar that lies beneath.

A hand emanates from the armour, trying to grab your staff, but your bat it off. Backing up away from him, and Kenshiro charges up once more. The radius seems larger this time, your punishment on his chest granting him a great deal of power. Dodging may not be an option... but you can still deflect.

"JUSTICE WAVE!" you exclaim, as The Punishment lets out his wave of energy in turn. The two collide in the middle, and form a singularity of pressure, pushing the both of you back. You plant your feet and hold your ground, Punishment doing the same. A stalemate.

"Is this your choice?" The Punishment asks, Kenshiro's distorted tone coming through. "You stand there, and you speak loud, all fury... but no meaning. Those who sin will be punished. There is no difference."

"I'm not trying to punish you," you reply. "I'm trying to save you. To save everyone."

The Punishment pauses. "Why?"

>Why wouldn't I? Justice is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.
>Life is kind, life is precious... it's never to be thrown away!
>>
>>4791273
>>Why wouldn't I? Justice is to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
>>
>>4791273
>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.
If Alice can live even after gutting Ryoji Kenshiro can live as well after he murdered a cultist.
>>
>>4791273
>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.
Surely we can finish the season with at least 1 host on our side?
>>
>>4791273
>>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.
>>
>>4791273
>Why wouldn't I? Justice is to protect those who cannot protect themselves
Votin from work again
>>
Calling for
>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.

Writing now.
>>
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>My father is still in there. I'm going to save him.

"Ken..." Kenshiro mutters, before the hole in The Punishment's armour clears up. Kenshiro's voice is gone. Only the demon remains. "You are nothing but a foolish child."

You hear the sounds you didn't want to hear.

The distant whirr of the oncoming train along the tracks.

Civilians.

"Save everyone?" The Punishment challenges you. "Then do so. Give your life for them."

"NO!" you exclaim, but it's too late, as The Punishment rushes the train, slicing through it and throwing the cars off balance. You instantly hear the screams, as the train pivots to one side, only a single half remaining on the tracks.

The whole thing is about to be derailed. All those people...

You don't care what happens to you. You instantly rush in front of the haphazard train. It rams you, but your protective aura of energy keeps you safe, yet being pushed along. Using the energy to form hands, you grab each end of the train car, and extend that wave down the tracks. You'll balance this train, you'll save them... even if it kills you.

And it will, as The Punishment appears behind you... driving his massive axe into your back, doing all he can to penetrate your aura. You flinch, and the train loses it's balance again, as you pull it back on.

"You made your decision," The Punishment declares. "You truly would give up the only life that could stop the injustices of the Order to save a car of people you don't know. Names you never learned. Faces you'll never see. Both Kenshiro Tajiri's will die here, and Punishment lives on."

Looks that way...

But if you go out helping others, whether it be Ryoji, your father, or just... anyone... it will be a life well lived, right?

>A year ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n608d8oQiSM

"Why do you do it, Fuji-san?" you ask the girl in the eccentric hat.

Nanami perks her head up from the desk. "I need sleep to live! If you're asking why I'm doing it in the class, then-"

"I don't mean that," you reply.

Nanami pauses. "Oh... then I don't understand the question. I don't understand a lot of questions, actually. The high seas are none for their libraries and literacy, are they? Are they? That might be important research..."

"Why do you put on the act?" you ask. "You... lots of people laugh at you, make fun of you... doesn't that hurt?"

Nanami shakes her head. "Not really."

"Why?"

"It's not about them," Nanami explains. "Let them scurvy dogs make fun! A pirate's heart is made of sterner stuff than that. Besides... it's about the others. The ones who smile when I enter. The faces that light up. The day's that are brightened just that little bit. I do it for them..."

"It's all for others?" you ask. "So... it's a sort of sacrifice."

"Entertainment is a sacrifice!" she laughs, before knocking on her head with a small bonk. "Of course not just for them, silly! It's for me as well!"
>>
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You pause. "For you..."

"Yeah!" Nanami replies. "I enjoy it! It's fun! And... knowing that a smile... a face lightening up... a day that becomes a little brighter, no matter how little... because I helped make it that way? It feels good, doesn't it?"

"Huh..."

Nanami smiles. "It's all about mass appeal! And the first audience you have to satisfy is yourself! Remember Tajiri... the most important smile is your own!"

>Present

The most important smile is your own...

No, it's not time to sacrifice.

There's always a better way. You've said that enough. You've believed those words.

Ryoji, Nanami... they can teach only teach you so much.

Now it's time for you to give meaning to your promises.

"No..." you mutter, as the energy flows through you. "I'll tell you about Justice..."

"Hmm?" The Punishment ponders with a tone of curiosity, their axe still trying to break your protective aura... but it only grows thicker and thicker. "What is this?"

"This is my drive!" you exclaim. "My resolve! But it is not my sacrifice! I'm going to help all... save all! I'm going to save these people, I'm going to save my best friend... I'm going to save my father..."

Your eyes begin to well. That wide eyed child, and idealistic boy who would receive a pat on the head from his mother... before a scolding for being so reckless, of course. That boy who always wanted to be a hero, to be relied upon, to stand up for what is right, to make the best possible future for everyone... you're not going to let that boy down.

"But first of all," you declare. "I'M GOING TO SAVE ME!"

You plant the train, it's progress has slowed, as the locomotive comes to a screeching halt, all still intact. With that secured, you spin around, twirling your staff and with all your might, as your weapon glows with all the holy energy you can muster into it, drive it into the armour of The Punishment, causing it to shatter into several thousand pieces. The ooze is all that remains of the torso, burning up and retreating in the light of your glow. The Punishment falls back in pieces, recollecting itself, defeated. You take the axe and toss it aside.

The Punishment looks to you with a stern face, nothing but confusion. "What...? How...?"

>You don't understand this world. You're naive.
>Now... return my father to me.
>I'm Ken Tajiri. A hero.
>>
>>4791443
>Now... return my father to me.
Damn you Ken, Kenshiro was trying to get us off the railroad!
>>
>>4791443
>Now... return my father to me.
We said we'd save him, got to make sure we deliver.
>>
>>4791443
>I'm Ken Tajiri. A hero
What's a party without cheese?
>>
>>4791443
>>Now... return my father to me.

Gib dad plz.
>>
>>4791443
>>Now... return my father to me.
>>
Calling for
>Now... return my father to me.

Writing now.
>>
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>Now... return my father to me.

"Kenshiro Tajiri is gone, only The Punishment rem-"

"You're lying," you warn the demon. "You've been beaten. Now, return my father."

"No."

The ooze reforms into a spear, one the launches straight towards you. You brace your ground, preparing... only to hear a familiar high-pitched voice cry out.

"Ken, noooooooo!" a pink blur exclaims as she leaps in front of you... thankfully not getting struck by anything, but falling flat on her face.

You look to The Punishment, and you see Kankuro, a hand grabbing the ooze, and pulling it back. He struggles with the form, as the armour dissipates, and the defeated and humbled man lays there in its place.

You return to your original form in turn... and then almost collapse as all the pain shoots through your body. You tanked a lot of damage in that form... it's taken a lot out of you when you return to normal. Luckily, you're caught by the rising Nanami. "Easy, there..."

"How are you here...?" you ask. "Actually, first..."

You muster up all that's left of your energy to wrap your arms around her and hug her tight.

"Ryoji's phone..." Nanami explains. "Last night, I received a text offering up a location. Here. But then... he didn't return any message or call, so I knew something was up."

Ryoji must have done that in a hurry as he was falling. You doubt his phone survived the drop... good thinking from him.

"I could barely contain that thing... I still can't..." Kenshiro mutters.

"HUH?!" Nanami exclaims. "Buh... wha?! That demon that was here was... your dad?!"

"You can leave the containment to us, Kenshiro Tajiri..." Miyoko's voice calls out, as the silver haired Demon Hunter approaches.

You step forward, but stumble. "Don't hurt my dad."

Miyoko rolls her eyes. "Please, my dear boy. We aren't monster, we only hunt them. Your father seems humbled to me."

Kenshiro's eyes dart to the ground. In a gruff yet defeated tone, he speaks. "You sure did set out to prove me wrong... it's every man's nightmare to look a fool in front of his son. I look even worse, don't I?"

"We all make mistakes," you explain. "You've been beaten. Now you have your chance to right your wrong."

Kenshiro chuckles to himself. "It sickens me... me, of all people, raised a good kid. Well... halfway. I think you did most of the work by yourself."

"Are the others here?" you ask Nanami.

She nods. "Sure thing! They've been split up trying to find you, we should gather them now. Reiji poured through records and found the location of the temple near here. Class 3 went on ahead as the first wave... we're running out of time to save Ryoji..."

Miyoko gives a smile. "Though... perhaps we should do something about our... ahem... audience?"
>>
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You turn... or rather, Nanami turns your limp body to see the crowd pooling from the train. Faces you didn't think you'd see moments ago, staring back at you with awe and gratitude. A little girl among the crowd is the first to break the silence.

"Are you Red Mask?"

You chuckle. "No... Ken Tajiri. And this here's my Captain. She'll tell you the rest."

Nanami and you share a smile, as she releases her grip on you and allows you to stand on your own. She welcomes the crowd warmly, as you turn to your father. "You aren't alone in your quest," you tell him. "But it's a quest not for punishment and vengeance, but for-"

"Don't say it," your father warns you. "If you say it one more time, I might puke."

You nod. "We need to find Ryoji. And you need to apologise. He could be anywhere near here right now."

Kenshiro smirks. "Your friend... if he's any bit as determined as you... there's only one place he can be."

>Earlier...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j48AbQkXWK8

"Master Taguchi, it would appear we have a guest."

Tori smiles, as he spots the figure approaching in the security camera feed. "Well spotted, Yota. Oh, and it's just the guest I asked for!"

He smirks, and snaps his fingers. "Kaori, my love... this is a fine robe. I would hate to stain it."

Kaori floats over to the leader of the Order, and he stretches his arms out. As he begins to walk, Kaori unravels the elegant silks from Tori Taguchi, displaying his pale, glistening body. With a smile still plastered on his face, he walks towards the entrance door as it is slowly opened for him.

"This is the day!" he declares to his followers. "This is the day of our ascension! Pray in the name of Settan! Pray in the name of Taguchi! Pray in the name of the Darkworld!"

Tori opens the door, and steps out onto the fresh snow. Slowly, but surely, making his way up the hill, is the man he expected. The boy of such promise and resolve. The last obstacle towards the Orders ascension.

The Stranger.

You.

"Ryoji, we don't have much time left..."

"Don't tell me the time," you mutter, carrying your green jacket over your shoulder. You spot Tori standing his ground in front of the temple. You toss the jacket to the side, and crack your knuckles.

"How good of you to join us," Tori announces. "Care for a cup of tea in your last moments?"

"You damn peacock, I'm gonna rip every feather of yours out one by one."

"I like those threats," Tori smirks. "Fine then. Make your move."

"Let's finish this."

END OF EPISODE 42
>>
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>Ending Theme
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F64yFFnZfkI

>Archive
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dark%20Gate%20Academy

>Twitter
https://twitter.com/bookerman32

>Discord
https://discord.gg/yz7sDra

Thanks for playing! Apologies for the long wait between threads, but the pace should increase as we are firmly in the home stretch of Season 3!

We'll be returning to Class 1's situation next thread! Follow the Twitter for any updates!

>Player Questions
Thoughts on Ken before and after this spotlight? How will Kenshiro progress from here? And how do you expect the showdown with Tori to play out?
>>
>>4791573
Thanks for running Booker.

>PQ
Nice to see Ken finally get the spotlight, surprised it took him this long seeing as he's the 2nd closest person to Ryoji after Saki. Hopefully with Tori out of the way (possibly) Kenshiro'll stick around, but probably not, doubt they'll let him out after escaping even if the guy he killed was an apocalypse worshipping cultist. And I fully expect Ryoji to get absolutely curbstomped by himself before backup arrives, highly doubt his firework gloves can melt away that many lives.
>>
>>4791573
I really missed this quest.
>Player Questions
Hopefully Kenshiro will survive but we know how it usually goes for reformed Archdemon hosts.
I liked Ken for being the McCoy and it was he finally got some more development even if it took him years to finally get his own arc.





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