Chapter 1:

Fall of Sukira

Clash of Champions

Champion no ClashBookmark here

Chapter 1: The Fall of SukiraBookmark here

Keikō; an incredibly formidable and potent energy when utilized properly. Creative in one’s hands while destructive in another. There exists a world where humans are born with the awakened ability to manipulate Keikō within their blood. This awakening stems from an unknown source but as far back as history notes, humans have always harnessed and lusted after the power of Keikō. These special humans whom are gifted with a reserve of Keikō in their life force are classified as ‘Champions.’Bookmark here

There was a boy named Yasuken Moji who grew up living in the outskirts of a town called ‘Sukira’ with his grandfather. Sukira is a lowly populated village located within the Domain of Metal. There are many domains scattered across the world. In this domain, citizens specialize in forging, building, and other forms of craftsmanship. Bookmark here

Yasuken’s grandfather, Yuuma, was a peaceful, loving man who always took care of Yasuken after the sudden passing of his parents. Yasuken and his grandfather saw eye to eye and agreed on everything. But the one thing they didn’t agree on was the prioritization of Champion Martial Arts. Champion Martial Arts is the style of combat utilizing Plasma in battle. Yasu believed it was imperative for a citizen of such a primitive town to learn how to defend and be strong; Especially for the role, Yasu played in his family. Yuuma saw otherwise. Yuuma thought involving yourself in the act of Champion Martial Arts is what will lead you to said danger in the first place. He believed it was unnecessary and that Yasuken’ll probably never encounter a scenario where he needs to fight for his life. Bookmark here

Every week, Yasu and Yuuma would go to the Central Metal (more urbanized region of the domain) markets together. After his grandmother died from sickness, Yuuma and Yasu spent a lot of time making products to sell for his family. Yasuken had friends, but not many, in Sukira as they were well below his age. There were many elderly citizens and toddlers in Sukira. Yasuken was the only youthful but responsible Sukiran. He was always going in and out of town making sales and doing tasks for other villagers within Sukira. Bookmark here

One night, Yasuken comes home from doing errands for his grandpa to see his entire town viciously slain. He spots blood on house walls, bodies scattered on the ground, and merchant vendors destroyed. He drops his goods and immediately dashes to his home to find his dying grandpa uttering his last words. His dojo is a mess and the scene clearly shows he put up a fight. “Who did this to you?!” Yasuken exclaims. Yuuma coughs up blood. “I refuse to lay that burden on you Yasu.” Yasuken, confused replies, “Wh-what do you mean!?” “You’re a bright, caring kid.” He says. “I’ve been caught up in the mess of evil in this world and now it’s led me to this moment. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I was responsible for you going down the wrong path.” Still not understanding, Yasuken exclaims, ”Grandpa you have to let me help you!” “You know how you can help me? Live your life. Run. Run far from here and don’t look back. My legacy is spiraling to an end and I can’t guarantee I’ll be breathing an hour from now. I can’t afford for your legacy to be tarnished before it begins.” “You’re not dead yet!” Yasuken argues. “We’re not certain you can’t be saved for sure!” “Yasuken!” Yuuma yells back, “Out of the 2 of us, we both know who knows best that death is creeping up on me. I don’t have much time left. Please.. listen to me. Live out your own life.” Tears continue running down Yasuken’s face. “Okay how!? How do I forget this and move on in the way you want me to?!” Yasu’s grandpa slides him a card with a peculiar-looking emblem on it and says, “I trust him.” Bookmark here

Confused but worried about his grandfather, Yasuken asks what this means. Yuuma’s reluctant in answering him but begins to speak. Just as he utters the beginning words, a man in a black cloak dashes (from what seemed to be nowhere) towards the two and crushes his grandpa’s neck. “So there were survivors,” the man says. Yasuken startles in terror of the man and the traumatizing death of his grandfather before his eyes. Out of anger, Yasu grabs a waster sparring sword and attacks the man. The man dodges and blocks all of Yasu’s hits with ease. He continuously leaps back trying to calm Yasuken. Yasu couldn’t care less and sprints toward the man full throttle. The mysterious man doesn’t flinch or budge an inch because, in the nick of time, 3 other men show themselves from the shadows and subdue Yasuken down to the ground. The leader of this gang of bandits (Man who finished off Yuuma) still tries to hold a convo with Yasuken but he quickly realizes that it is futile trying to and neck chops him. One of the other supporting bandits offers the man to kill Yasuken. The leader consents to it. Bookmark here

As the bandit approaches, Yasuken yells the words “You won’t get away with this! I’ll make it my life’s mission to defeat every last one of you devils!” The leader shows visible astonishment at the words of Yasuken and reorders the bandits to simply strike him unconscious saying, “I have a plan for this child. We’ll be back for him.” As Yasuken grows dazed from the hit, he finally realizes the logo of the bandits; A red snake. “I’ll remember your clothing and everything about you freaks! Don’t think you’ll get away with this.” Yasuken exclaims. The leader walks up to Yasuken and says, “It’s about time you relax kid.” Immediately, the man’s eyes flare bright red and his pupils transform into a triquetra symbol. A glare of light brightens the room and Yasuken collapses, completely losing control of his body. As his grasp onto consciousness slowly fades, he sees the men about to leave the room. He tries to move but he’s numb. He tries to scream but he can’t talk. He musters all his remaining strength to only keep his eyelids open and he witnesses the men searching for something. He ponders over what they could possibly be looking for. Three more men appear in the room at incredibly fast speeds. “Boss, we can’t find the Sword of Fulgur,” one of the 3 men says. “It’s gotta be here somewhere,” another man says “But it appears this geezer was smart enough to hide it elsewhere in town. Should we keep searching?” “No,” the leader responds, “We’ve got other affairs to tend to.” Helplessly, Yasuken feels his consciousness drifting away. Their now inaudible voices fade into nothingness.Bookmark here

Yasu wakes up in a hospital room. A nurse walks in explaining how he got lucky. “What happened to me?” Yasuken asks as he stares at his wrapped wrists. “The criminals that slaughtered your village spared you and tied you to the wall of Mr. Yuuma Moji’s home. Yasuken is baffled. “So, it wasn’t a dream?!” The nurse's face grows despaired. “I’m sorry,” she says quietly. (*Yasuken’s mind flashes back to him yelling the words, “You won’t get away with this! I’ll make it my life’s mission to defeat every last one of you devils!”*) “Wh-when am I released?” Yasuken asks. “You are discharged as of now.” “Wait. There are no bills to pay back or anything?” Yasuken replies. “You’re the grandson of Yuuma Moji, don’t sweat it. I can’t even begin to imagine the type of pain you’re going through right now.” An assistant nurse argues in saying, “That shouldn’t be so! Just because he’s related to some man doesn’t mean he escapes liability.” “Are you serious, Hanako?!” The first nurse shoots back. “What are we animals? This… child… has just been through the trauma of losing every person he’s grown up with. Why should we hold him in debt?” She looks at Yasu. “Preparations have already been made for you to sustain a living. There’s a home south of Central Metal that recently finished construction built to suffice for you. Hanako will chaperone you there.” Bookmark here

Yasuken and the nurse Hanako leave the hospital. On his way out, Yasu receives many looks from other employees and customers. After walking about a dozen blocks, they finally arrive at the district where Yasuken’s new living quarter is. “Here’s your place,” Hanako says grudgingly. “Thank you for the guidance Hanako-chan.” Yasuken looks at his newfound home, then the surrounding environment, then back at his home. “Is anything wrong?” The nurse asks. “This... this house. It wasn’t here the last time I was doing barters in Central Metal.” Yasuken thinks to himself, ‘I was doing errands on this exact street last night.’ “Hanako-chan. How long was I out for?” Yasu asks. “You were in an unconscious state of comatose for about 3 weeks. All the tests we ran came out fine with no sign of internal issues. There was something about your case that was odd. The fact you woke up today… we have no answers for it. What caused you to fall unconscious in the first place… we don’t know. A memorial service for the fallen Sukirans was repeatedly postponed in respect of waiting for you to wake up. We weren’t sure when you would so the town followed along with it anyway.” “Three weeks you say?” Yasuken remembers the final moments before he passed out and the odd shape within the mysterious man’s eyes. “I see,” Yasuken says dreadfully. “Thank you Hanako-chan” as she makes her way back to the hospital. Bookmark here

After trying his hardest to mentally piece the last 12 hours of his life together, he goes to his hometown Sukira. He immediately heads to his grandfather’s room to mourn. As he searches around, curiosity overtakes him as he begins exploring things he never had the chance to see while his grandfather was alive. He recovers notes and journal entries describing the life of a warrior; a side of the man Yasuken HAS NEVER seen. “My grandfather was a Champion?” He thinks to himself. “No-- not just any champion… One of the highest in command.” While still perplexed, Yasuken continues to stumble across many clues and antiques suggesting the now unavoidable fact: Yasuken’s grandfather, Yuuma, was one of the strongest and arguably most respected Champion to ever live. Yasuken is in disbelief because of how many memories he has of his grandfather rebuking the idea of becoming one. Until he remembers the words “I wouldn’t forgive myself if I was responsible for you going down the wrong path.” Bookmark here

After dawdling around his grandpa’s room and finally getting a hands-on look at it for the first time, he notices a drawer set apart from the others. He then realizes a clicking noise within the room walls with each drawer that gets pulled. He determines this drawer is a puzzle that leads to something within the walls. After some time of connecting dots with the contents of each drawer, he cracks the code and suddenly hears gears turning with the walls of the room. A secret room opened in the wall adjacent to the drawer. After peaking, he perceives the coast is clear and takes 2 steps in. In shock, he notices the room is filled with swords, shuriken, staffs, spears, and many weapons Yasu has never even seen before. “But grandpa hated violence. H-he despised it. I just... I just don’t get it. I don’t get why. Why? What affair did he find himself in to get murdered!?” Yasuken thinks to himself. “WHY?!” As he enters completely, he makes his way to the very end of the seemingly long room. From a distance, he notices a sword at the end of the hall. Not just any sword, but a katana with a streak running along the edge and the initials of ‘Y.M’ seared into it… He notices that unlike any of the other swords, this one is encased honorifically and elevated. He opens the casing and reaches for the sword. Upon contact, a rush of energy enters into his system and he grows nauseous for a second. A tingly sensation runs throughout his entire body stemming from his hand. “Ugh,” he groans as he holds his head. “Am I still recovering?” He holds up the sword and notices the weight within it. “Y.M? Was this belonging to grandpa?” Yasuken asks himself. Within the pedestal, he finds the sheath that holds the sword. He takes it up with the conscious belief that this sword holds value to the life of his grandfather. He leaves the secret room closing back the drawers that initially opened up the walls. Bookmark here

As he exits the village, he takes one good look back at his hometown in which he grew up. In shambles… pieces… torn down to the ground. Suddenly, Yasuken remembers the root of this destruction. The evil men who invaded and turned young Yasu’s life upside down. His thoughts flood with rage and right then and there, he embeds within his heart the indomitable will to find and destroy every last crook responsible for the death of Sukira. Even if it kills him. In that instant, he’s reminded of how helpless and defenseless he was against them. He acknowledged deep down that his standing alive was due to the mercy of those people. That if they really wanted, he would be in the mass graves along with all the other citizens of Sukira. “My life was spared by those devils.” This idea made Yasuken feel weak. But he knows fully that weakness isn’t an option in taking these people down. He’s oblivious to all but one of their techniques. The leader man. “His eye prowess… My guard was instantly dropped and there was nothing I could do about it. For goodness sakes, I was rendered asleep for weeks!” But he has to have more abilities-- that can’t be it. To defeat everyone in Sukira and leave unscathed, these men had to have been strong. But how strong!?” The mystery scared Yasuken. None of that mattered to him at this point. “It doesn’t matter if they’re as strong as the Metal Domain itself. Nothing is stronger than my desire to hunt down every last one of them. To stop future danger! For any people, they plan to hurt in the future... For Sukira! For my friends! For.. For Grampa Yuuma. His thoughts can’t help but flashback to the words of him saying “…Run far from here and don’t look back…” “I’m sorry grandfather but I can’t walk away from this duty.” Yasuken’s mind was made up. He needed to defeat the evil malicious plan behind the destroyers of Sukira. He needed strength. He needed knowledge. Yasuken didn’t know where to start and quickly became overwhelmed. He decided to go to his newly prepped home in Central Metal and finish settling his things. He leaves Sukira with a newfound resolve. Bookmark here

The next morning, Yasu wakes, and his eyes are greeted with the special sword which he brought home. He cherishes it as a keepsake of his now-deceased grandfather. After retrieving the katana, he decides to blunt the sword in the belief there’ll be no combative use for it, and he can safely keep it around. He takes it to all the smithies in Central Metal and they all come out saying their tools break in futile attempts. “There’s something very odd about this metal,” one blacksmith tells him. “It isn’t malleable.” “How’s that even possible? It’s in sword form so it obviously is.” Yasuken rebuttals. “I… don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Yasu carries forth looking for more professionals asking if they can blunt the sword. The very last smithy fails him but leaves him with a note on info. “If there’s anyone who could modify this sword for anything,” he says, ”It’ll have to be Toshiku himself.” “Where can I find him?” Yasuken asks. “No one knows. Ever since the Insurgency Realm War, he hasn’t been seen. He’s a man of age so it’s a common belief he’s long dead by now.” “What’s he look like? I could maybe find him!” Yasuken implies. “It’s not worth your time at all. The domain’s higher-ups spent years searching for this man and had no luck. I doubt some lowly desperate kid would have much of a better chance.” After much persistence from Yasuken, the smithy finally gives in and doodles a brief sketch of what he best remembers the blacksmiths forge sigil to look like. At first glance, Yasuken is astonished and surprised. The bewilderment on his face transitions to visible confusion. “What’s wrong, kid?” The smithy asks mockingly. “Surely this logo doesn’t seem familiar to you does it?” Yasuken is baffled. The briefly drawn sketch almost identically matches the notecard Yuuma handed him in his dying breaths. “What could this mean?! What correlation did this man have with my father?” Yasuken loudly utters. “Huh? Kid if there’s nothing left I could do for ya, I’m gonna ask you to leave my booth.” He turns around asking the village for info, this time showing the logo as a reference. Fruitlessly, every answer is the same: ‘You’re looking for Grandmaster Toshiku? Good luck with that.’ Yasuken didn’t give up. After the bizarre association he witnessed with this blacksmith, he was determined to find him. Bookmark here

Night falls and Yasuken has been on his feet all day reminiscing memories of his old clan while keeping an open eye for any building representing the logo. But to no avail. He sits down on a bench and lays the katana on the ground. Feeling tired and defeated, Yasu considers calling it a day. Out of fidgeting boredom, he brings out the picture card his grandfather gave him along with the sketch the blacksmith gave him. He holds them side to side comparing the two. He sighs. “What does any of this mean? How much stuff have I been left out of? Man…” As he’s about to put them back into his pocket, a slight gust of wind blows the card out of his hands and lands atop the katana’s blade. Immediately, the streak line on the blade of the sword lit up for a few seconds then dimmed. Yasuken’s eye widened. He picks up the sword and feels a tug in the south direction of his town. “The sword’s leading me somewhere.” Yasuken notices as he travels in the direction the tip of the katana led him, the light on the sword glows brighter and brighter. As he’s running, he realizes this sudden navigation was sparked via physical contact with the card Yuuma gave him. Yasuken is filled with hope upon this moment of discernment. He reaches the wall of a small mountain and the sword’s light drains. “This is it.” He whispers to himself. “Now what,” he thinks. At first, Yasuken tries throwing stones to crack the rock but no sign of effect was shown. He then tried using a sharpened rock to pierce the wall. This was when Yasu realized:Bookmark here

This is no normal rock. It has the characteristics and strength of metal. But it’s as hard as stone.Bookmark here

Yasuken begins knocking around the spot of rock searching for something. “Here it is! A hollow point.” Thinking back to how indestructible the sword seemed, he drives it as hard as possible into the spot he just marked out. Nothing. Just a clang. He tries countless more times and time after time… He fails. “I’m just now starting to make progress on this journey, I can’t stop now!” Summoning all his strength while motivating himself with the reminder of why he started, Yasuken takes many steps back, then sprints to the wall slashing the hollow point creating an opening. “Yes!” He enters and walks for what seems like an eternity. He notices the straight path of rock around him is now a large circular excavation with embellishment. On the floor he sees it. The forge sigil he’s been looking for. Yasuken’s grasp on progress grows stronger in this whole ordeal. He yells out loud to grab attention from whoever was there. “Is anyone here!? Is someone living here?!” He screams. “I come in peace but I’m seeking answers!” He proceeds to walk along further. “Toki? Totishi, was it? Ohh Toshupo?” The forgery resembles that of a villainous lair. Long tunnels, a dark setting, torches, and so on. As he proceeds walking forward, Yasuken falls into a booby trap that locks him in shackles within an iron cage. After moments of yells, loud movements, and struggles, Yasuken is silenced by the sound of distant footsteps approaching. From the shadows of the faint illumination of torches, he sees a silhouette of a lean, bearded man. The man walks clear into the light and with a loud echo-y voice says, “Who are you, where are you from, and what brings you within the presence of Toshiku.”Bookmark here

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