Chapter 1:

Ginga Scream

An Identity Beyond Self

The first thing most readers would imagine when thinking of a novel protagonist is a TOTAL CHAD!

Infinite potential...? Check!

Handsome...? Check!

Young...? Well, he wasn't youthful anymore...

And the list of character traits goes on. Even in the worst human being, there's always a seed of potential they show just from the way they talk or the way they act. Even tyrants can be redeemed if they become a protagonist all can root for...!

At least, that's what 'they' would lead you to believe through carefully devised machinations.

Aren't Authors such 'Masterminds'?

Anyway, let's move onto THIS novel's protagonist.

Like a certified drunkard, there was white-haired old man snoring... all while bound to a wooden chair by some shady individuals. The look on the thug who had to lead the team, which essentially kidnapped him, looked at his underlings weirdly.

The leader figure was like a Grimdark protagonist...

"You all... are sure this isn't the wrong person?" He couldn't help but ask, then looked at a data file:

{Name: Simon Stuman

Age: 81 (Suggested by his records)

Borrowed Money: 1.5 Million

Interest Added: 3.5 Million

Total Loan: 5 Million}

"Boss, he looks a lot like the picture." One man made his case, only to have his head slapped.

What a dumb response...

"My uncle looks just like this picture!" The thug with a scar-face roared. The picture showing the younger version of Alex didn't look anything like the old man with barf on his shirt they caught.

"We've checked his background. He fits the person we are looking for." One of the thug's underling wearing sunglasses spoke up. This only made the scar-face even more disbelieving. He looked at the rest of the file's contents on his mobile phone.

They say the man called 'Simon Stuman' was a living legends. A man who turned the tides of war on his own. He was a myth some believed didn't exist, and like a boogeyman feared in the underworld.

A great soldier and mercenary who could take on a tank by himself. Even rumoured to dodge bullets!

Some even thought of him as a successful super-soldier project gone rogue or someone who was blessed by a War God. His achievements weren't something a mere human could accomplish!

"You're telling me this is.... 'that guy'...?" The Boss was unable to hide his contempt for the drunken hippie sleeping on the chair behind him. He knew that the drunkard probably lied about his identity.

If the local Boss and loanshark didn't have limited personnel on-hand, someone would be dying now.

"...We confirmed the data."

"Even if you did, how are we supposed to get the money out of him when he's in this state?"

"Should we wake him up, Boss?"

"...Do it." One of the grunts got a bucket of water from the side and poured it over Simon's head.

He struggled a little and jumped upon being woken up, but he still seemed to be in a drunken state...

"Hey~ Can't you b-be gentle-er~ Huh? Huh~?" The old man bound to the chair coughed a few times weakly before speaking up. The scar-faced Boss didn't want to converse with him and just ordered:

"Our company has a motto of always taking back what's leant no matter who it's borrowed from."

"Eh~? Speak English~! I don't know Japanese!"

"You borrowed a loan from us and have to pay us back. Either with your organs or your finances."

"You want my money? My wallet in my pocket!"

"Are you frickin' deaf?!"

"I hear ya just fine! So give me back my favourite wine bottle~! Where's my beloved bottle?!!" The old man cried like a child. He even threw his legs around while stamping the floor violently.

This interaction seemed infantile...

It was so annoying that the Boss grabbed the wine they confiscated from this drunkard.

He walked up to him, which made the pupils of the old geezer shine brightly. His eyes holding desire.

"You want this back?" Simon nodded in response to the scarface's words, which was a bad decision.

*Crash!* The sound of flesh shattering could be heard. The bottle was smashed onto his head.

The large amounts of wine that was left covered the old hippie's face, yet he was still smiling.

"Oh~! This-" Just as he was about to speak, he instantly fell unconscious with a red face. The scarface widened his eyes... Even though he was expecting his consciousness to go hazy, he didn't expect him to get so drunk despite not 'drinking'.

'How low is his tolerance...?' The Boss couldn't help but ask himself, looking at the red-faced geezer who was deep in his sleep. He didn't even know where to start... The thug looked at his many underlings, who all shook their heads in response.

*Ring* *Ring* *Ring* Someone's phone alarm went off, and the underling in sunglasses took the call.

"...Boss... someone... who is calling himself a close acquaintance to the person we caught... is calling us." He had a strange look on the thug's face, as if he wasn't expecting to hear what he just heard.

"You gave someone your number? Also: Take your frickin' sunglasses off, ya cunt! We're inside!"

"First: NEVER!!!

Second: I didn't give anyone my personal phone number." The underling spoke rather ominously.

The scarface lifted his brow. He then whispered to one of the guy's closest to him before taking it:

"Go water torture him until he wakes up sober." A ruthless light arose in the thug's eyes. They took Simon away. He then took a deep breath to release his stress before listening to the other side speak:

"Can you let go of my- err... grandpa?" The clear voice of a youth could be heard from the other side. This made the scarface snort inwardly. He wasn't someone so easily reasoned with.

"I'm keeping him 'til I get my 5 Million."

"I'll pay for him, so please let him go." Even though these were the words he wanted to hear, it didn't seem right somehow. The way this youth seemed to be unafraid was getting on the man's nerves.

"How are you planning to pay us? I'm not dumb enough to think a kid could pay that amount."

"I'm in control of everything my grandpa owns. You could say that I'm the one with all his money."

"That doesn't explain how you got this phone number." The thug found this really suspicious...!

"Oh, I just looked through a phone book."

"Enough nonsense." Who would believe that?!

"Oh wait!" It seemed like the youth had thought of something before asking in cold sweat: "You didn't make Gramps drink water, right? Please let him keep his favourite bottle. He gets cranky without-"

"I already broke it." The local loanshark rolled his eyes, inwardly retorting: 'Ya think this a hotel?'

"...You.Frickin'.Did.WHAT?!!!" The young man on the other end exploded as if the thug did an outrageous act. The Boss narrowed his eyes. He wondered how the kid would react if he told him that he broke the alcohol bottle on the guy's head.

It was quite exhilarating treating a 'fallen' living legend like crap, causing him to smile as he spoke:

"Don't get so excited over a bottle and send the money. I'm only letting him go after you do it."

"Where is he now...?"

"He's still unconscious right now." The scarface found it funny seeing how the youth panicked.

"Please, make sure he stays under the influence."

"And why should I?"

"You wouldn't like him when he's sober." These words finally caused the thug to laugh out loud.

"Hehe, what~? Are you saying he's some kind of hulk? Will he get mad and smash this joint~~?!"

"...If you made a grudge with him: He would."

"Ha! Nonsense!" Did the kid really think he'd believe that? He felt no remorse for his actions.

"Gramps doesn't really think when drunk, but he remembers everything he did... and was done to."

A irritated and impatient voice cut his monologue.

"Just send the money." The scarface couldn't be bothered continuing their talk until the youth said:

"When did Gramps borrow a loan from you?" The man's business mode turned on as he searched it.

"Near our company's founding ten years ago."

"That was the day a terrorist group stole a country satellite, using it to take over a large army base."

"What does that international incident have to do-"

"Don't ask. Do you really, REALLY not know why?" This unexpected question made him think about it.

He looked up whatever he could and found articles about a rogue mercenary force that dealt with those terrorists not long after money was borrowed from his company. Once a certain idea of what the smart youth meant crossed his mind, he shivered.

"Impossible...!" He jumped in fright. Through connecting the dots, he found there was a sudden emptying of black market goods from arms dealers going out of stock around the time of the loan.

The fact that a strong mercenary group also went offline for few days before... 'that incident'. It made him realise that this money hadn't been spent on entertainment. The most scariest fact was something about this legendary figure's 'status'...

...It was the fact that Simon was still 'active'!

He hadn't retired in his fifties, but continued doing this kind of work even going into his seventies!

He hung up instantly and dug deeper, diving into the old geezer's recent actions... not knowing that his underlings were having 'fun' seeing if they could beat the 'living legend' themselves.

Simon was listless... He started reacting less and less. Eyes becoming emptier as time went on.

It was as if his life force was being 'drowned' away.

He finally came to after having gone through multiple simulated drowning experiences at once.

A spark of light remained...

The grunt in sunglasses smirked. It was after tapping on the old man's face that he woke up.

"Hey, are you sober yet?" The old drunkard didn't reply. His dark eyes held no hostility or liveliness.

They were murky and cloudy... A far cry from the jovial drunkenness be displayed not too long ago.

Yet somehow, they seemed similar on the outside.

"I heard you're strong. I'm curious, so just show me what you got~!" The four-eyes had him untied.

There was no bell or gesture to start the fight, the grunt just kicked his face and beat him to the ground, stamping on him heavily, all until the old man coughed out blood. They wondered if all the water torture had 'broken' him, even lifting him up.

"Urgh..." He finally made a noise and coughed up a little. More blood spilt on the floor. The drunk had a hangover. His world seemed to be spinning. He just looked around, causing them to laugh at him.

They were unknowing of the clarity he was regaining thanks to their violence and humiliation.

That their fates were being sealed...

"Hey, Bro is a Kick-boxer. Just lay down on the floor if you're done, alright?" One bald underling spoke to the drunk, who was unable to even stand up straight after raising his back. It made the thug in sunglasses snort. He glanced at the drunkard.

"Have you woken up?" He asked while taking the old man more seriously than anyone else there.

The way the drunkard stood up unnerved him...

"Barely, maybe I need another 'jolt'." The old hippie provoked while touching the bruise on his cheek.

It made a vein pop on the four-eyed thug's forehead. Feeling enraged by his demeanour.

"Do you wanna die?!" The thug roared, but the drunk just sloppily swayed after raising to his feet.

"You haven't got into a stance yet. The arrogant ones fall first, ya know." He continued with hostility.

This seemed to be spoken out of experience.

However, the standing figure with his head hanging low waved his index finger. Pushed around by air...

Yet they could tell the geezer was being serious...

"I'm already in my 'stance'." The drunkard's voice was more restrained. He stopped saying nonsense.

'What a bad bluff...' The man in sunglasses thought he was nuts to call tumbling around a 'stance'.

This rocking and falling, where he seemed to be noticing every time he was about to fall repetitively.

It looked more like he couldn't find his balance...

To 'bring him back to reality', the kickboxer lunged at him and punched him in the chest, causing the drunk to groan loudly and take a few steps back. It made a smile form on the thug's frosty expression.

He felt hitting flesh with his fist to be invigorating!

Just as he was about to continue and chase after the old drunkard, the grunt felt something was off...

His buddies gathered around into a circle so the white-haired old man wouldn't be able to escape from them, yet something about his movements started to bring an uneasiness into their hearts.

There was no consistency in his movements, but everything about him seemed calculated somehow.

Dizzily and groggily, the drunkard danced to the beat of his throbbing headache like a madman.

It was a really graceless dance at that...

"There was once a Capoeirista who taught me that Martial Arts was about 'listening' and 'expressing' things to each other." Not caring about what the drunkard was talking about, the grunt punched him again and again. Even so, he didn't stop talking:

"...I never needed to listen. 'Techniques' were all dumb to the 'super-soldier' who was stronger than most." It didn't seem like the strikes were affecting him much even though they were hurting his flesh.

"Stop talking and fight!" The mook in sunglasses didn't know what was going on, yet still roared out.

The thug in sunglasses kept on feeling irritated over time. He started to strike more ferociously.

The grunt's legs became deadly weapons!

However, things didn't go as expected. His target kept on trembling and overacting each injury.

It was to the point he was getting suspicious...

'Why does it feel like I'm connecting less? Is he reading me?' The man thought before realising it.

Before, the drunkard was focusing solely on his body vision. The old man was only reacting to what he was seeing in the moment, which was a really amateurish way of fighting... even for an adult.

However, it almost seemed like his dynamic vision was getting better and better the more he got hit.

The kickboxer's bruised and beaten foe started to laugh at him. Even going as far as to mock openly:

"Oh, did I sound too arrogant?" He licked the blood off his lips, feeling adrenaline through his body.

'Something' had been awakened...

"You're dead!" The thug punched him in the ribs and expecting the hippie to hunch onto his knees.

This was the common response to his body blows.

However, he underestimated the drunkard's shamelessness. It disgusted the entire group.

*Barf* Simon threw up his breakfast into the kickboxer's face, causing the thug to turn away in disgust. He couldn't believe what the bastard did to him! Who the heck throws up on other's faces?!

"You're dead...! Dead! Dead!! DEAD!!!" The grunt wiped off what was threw up all on his face with his sleeve. He was about to seriously kill him, but felt his brain shake before he suddenly blacked out.

A heavy kick slammed him into concrete!

This was an anticlimactic end, but one he was familiar with. One strike changed everything.

"I'm not good at 'listening', and really hate 'communicating' in fights. So I decided to just go on 'screaming' rather than talking. Since I suck at interactions anyway." Simon mused. He smashed the guy's sunglasses into pieces with a great kick.

The underlings were shocked. None of them could believe what happened, but still thought they might be able to take him on. There was more of them and only one of him. Little did they expect that he'd impatiently charge at them without warning.

Popping and locking and swaying and clocking, he was like a chaotic maelstrom in human form.

Nothing about him could be predicted anymore...

The putrid stench of his clothes also threw them off as they fought. It gave them stomachaches.

However, that was the least of their worry...

Different moves from various styles of martial arts were thrown, all these masterful techniques were disorderly bunched together into a combo sequence. His 'dance moves' would only serve to nauseate any true martial artist who looked at it.

'Imitation...?' One of the disposable gangsters thought while exchanging punches with him.

His moves were like they were imitated from action flicks. They seemed empty at a surface glance.

It was at that point Simon's sleeve pushed back...

Underneath was revealed to be scarred yet powerful physique that didn't suit his demeanour.

One of them also realised that this wasn't merely a copycat's 'imitation'. It went deeper than that.

No, this was actually called 'dabbling' in martial arts. Each move was like a perfectly crafted tool.

Wresting tackles, boxing punches, and much more were incorporated into his style of fighting.

And each move was trained to perfection...

There was no grace in his movements. It seemed more like he was just throwing out whichever battle tactic 'felt right' rather than what was right for the actual situation. It was a disorderly mess of strikes.

It made the crowd of thugs feel nauseous...

The core technique of Capoeira: Ginga (Swing) was integrated into his drunken movements, but there was no flare to this 'War Dance'. Even the Master Capoeirista, who taught about its functions and meanings, would shake his head upon seeing this.

This fighting style was juvenile... no matter how amazing it was that he was able to string together so many techniques. His 'expression' was like a young infant's cries without any regard for others.

The rhythm was too filled with different emotions that anyone who saw it wouldn't stay balanced.

Topsy-turvy... Much like what Simon saw himself.

There was nothing in his eyes about his opponents that caused him to react. He took full initiative!

This was the core of his technique: 'Ginga Scream'!

Unpredictable, unfathomable, and unable to be grasped, just like the mind of baby who had yet to learn how to 'listen'. The underlings fell one by one in fatigue. He made his way back to where 'the Boss' had previously broke a bottle on his head.

His walk contained aspects of his disorderly rhythm of fighting, making it extremely frightening.

And yet... there was nuance in his actions.

This created a strange blend between the attitude of a sober adult and child going on a tantrum.

One was filled with logic, the other being unable to be reasoned with. Sometimes a bit incoherent...

When he broke the door to where the Boss was located, the man gasped at what he saw. The old drunk was still bleeding from his forehead even now and was covered in wounds from fighting, yet he didn't seem to care. Even wobbling to him...

Behind his dizziness was clear mind, one that was somehow peering through his intoxication with clarity... Though whatever was behind those foggy eyes of his was like the sun hidden by dark clouds.

You never knew what he was thinking...

This dissonance made the loanshark feel more horrified. It was the first time seeing such eyes.

"Stop!" The scarface took out a gun, but was immediately disarmed with a single kick to the wrist. The accuracy seemed no different from a legend's. His kinetic vision was too damn freakish!

The Boss almost wet himself. The figure limping towards him looked scarier than the devil himself.

It was as if those indifferent eyes were the darkest abyss that threatened to swallow his life whole.

"Don't bother me again." Simon spoke before throwing a kick so strong it cracked the man's jaw.

The scuffle quickly ended in one stroke...

After knocking the man out, he looked around and found a alcohol can, opened it, then took a whiff to bring himself back to 'that state'. The darkness in his eyes vanished. He then forgot about pain and lamentations, going back to find his 'grandson'.

The young man who called, Jordan Fisher, sighed when Simon called him. He got up off his seat.

That youth sorted out this incident a little later...