Love Hina Fan Fiction ❯ Chapter Eleven ( Chapter 11 )
Several days had passed since Juli and Juni’s assassination attempt on Ryu, Chun Li and the residents of Hinata House. Since then, the girls have seen Ryu and Chun Li in a new light. The hatred was gone now, replaced by a degree of mutual respect and admiration for the interim managers, having put their lives at risk to save their own.
The two months were nearly over, but the residents of Hinata House were in for one more surprise. ===
There was one more week left in Ryu and Chun Li’s tenure as managers of Hinata House. The place was looking much better now, thanks to the repairs done by Ryu and Chun Li. Right now, Chun Li was sweeping the stone pathway when she noticed the odd-looking bird perched on the tree. It looked like a Japanese crane, but one that she had never seen before.
Then she noticed the woman walking up the stairs. She was taller than her, her hair was slightly longer and the face was partially concealed by her round straw hat. Chun Li took notice of the wedding ring on her finger and the two swords she was carrying in her hands. She was also dressed in the same type of hakama that Motoko usually wears.
The crane began to squawk until its mistress silenced the foul. « Shippu! That’s enough out of you. » She turned to the Chinese fighter. « My apologies. Shippu can be a handful at times. I am looking for the Hinata House. »
« You found it, » Chun Li replied. « What’s your business here? »
« I came to visit my sister, » the women replied as she removed her hat. From there, the resemblance was more than enough for Chun Li. « She is a resident here. I am her sister, Tsuruko Aoyama. » She looked at Chun Li closely. « I was told that the landlord of Hinata House was a man. »
« Keitaro is taking a break from his landlord duties, » Chun Li replied with the same courtesy. « My husband and I are acting landlords. »
Tsuruko inclined her head. « Your husband…wouldn’t happen to be Ryu Hoshi? »
« He is. I’m Chun Li Xiang. » Chun Li replied, bowing slightly.
The Shinmei Ryu mistress responded with a bow of her own. « Motoko told me about you. She spoke very highly of you. »
Chun Li nodded. « Pleasure to meet you. So what brings you to Hinata? »
Tsuruko gestured to one of the swords in her hand. « I came to visit Motoko, of course. And to bring to her a replacement sword. »
Chun Li gestured to the dorm. « Motoko is just inside. Please follow me. »
As Chun Li lead Tsuruko to the front door, the shoji door opened and out stepped the aforemtioned sister of Tsuruko Aoyama. She just completed her training session and after a bath and a change of clothes, she was about to head out for a walk around the grounds before dinner when she stopped.
Chun Li was walking with Tsuruko.
« O-Oneesan?! » Motoko gasped. « What are you doing here? »
Tsuruko tossed Motoko her new sword. « I came by to check up on you. Shin and I are visiting his parents in Tokyo. I decided to come here. I hope you like your new sword. »
Motoko quickly got over her shock and bowed to her sister. « Thank you, Oneesan. »
Then Ryu showed up from the front door, with Sakura behind him. Like a good mentor, Ryu was explaining to his student the finer points of Ansatsuken Shinjutsu.
Then he stopped when he noticed Tsuruko with both her sister and Chun Li. « I was wondering when you were going to show up, Tsuruko, » he quipped. « You look well. »
« And you, as well, » Tsuruko replied with the same courtesy. « It’s been a long time, Ryu. » She looked at Sakura. « Your student? »
Ryu conducted the introductions. « Tsuruko, my student, Sakura Kasugano. Sakura, Tsuruko Aoyama, Motoko’s older sister and master of the Shinmei Ryu style. »
Sakura bowed in greeting while Tsuruko nodded in reply before turning back to Ryu. « We have a lot to discuss, Ryu. »
« We do, » Ryu replied. « Come inside. Shinobu should have dinner ready in a few minutes. »
Inside, the gathered residents of the Hinata House Co-ed Dormitory were seated at the table. Even Keitaro showed up for dinner. The dining atmosphere was more easygoing then it was once the place was declared a co-ed dorm.
« The last time I was here, » Tsuruko said, « this place was a girls’ dorm. »
« I changed it into a co-ed dormitory, » Keitaro replied.
« I thought you were the manager here. Why are Ryu and Chun Li acting as managers? »
« I asked them to, after the girls took advantage of my kindness once too many, » Keitaro replied.
Tsuruko turned to Motoko. « Is that true? »
Motoko flinched under Tsuruko’s gaze. « Yes, Oneesan. Even I took part in this. He did everything to make us happy and all we ever did was abuse him for it. Even me with our school’s techniques. »
« Not only did Keitaro ask me and Ryu to take over for a couple of months, » Chun Li continued, « but we also did the repairs for the dorm. »
« We did everything we could to get them out of here, » Motoko confessed. « But then, assassins came, wanting to kill them and all of us inside. They saved our lives, and I saved theirs in return. »
Tsuruko studied Motoko for a long moment. For a second Motoko thought that Tsuruko was going to cast her out of the clan. Instead, Tsuruko said, « You finally understand, Motoko. »
That caught Motoko off guard. « Huh? »
« You finally learned some humility, » Tsuruko replied. « You’re finally getting that all men are not perverted. Maybe you will be worthy enough to take on the role of Shinmei Ryu Shihan when the time comes. » Tsuruko turned to Ryu. « So…you were responsible for destroying Motoko’s sword, right? »
« I did, » Ryu replied. « Motoko doesn’t take losing all too well. »
« I am aware of that, » Tsuruko replied. « I’m also aware that you’ve been keeping in practice with your swordplay. »
Ryu knew where this was going. « Are you challenging me to a rematch, Tsuruko? » When she nodded, Ryu smiled. « Very well. I need one hour to prepare. Outside at the annex. »
It was nighttime when Ryu appeared at the scene of the battle. Instead of his white karate gi, he was dressed in a white-and-blue-grey hakama. The jacket was white, the sleeves rolled to his elbows while the split pants were bluish gray. His pants were held together by his black belt and his red headband was around his head, as always, as were his fighting gloves. A pair of leather sandals was on his feet and his sword was in his hand, gripped by the scabbard.
Tsuruko, with her own katana and clad in her hakama, faced off against Ryu as Chun Li, Sakura and the others watched. « I’ve waited a long time for this moment, Ryu, » Tsuruko said. « You are the only person I consider my equal in the ways of the sword. »
« You mean I’m the only person that broke your winning streak? » he asked.
Tsuruko smiled. « That too. » She turned around, her back facing Ryu. « There’s something in me that makes me feel like a true warrior again. Maybe it’s because of you, Ryu. Whatever it is, I don’t care. » She closed her eyes and sighed. « I have never seen someone with clear eyes like you. Are you ready? »
Ryu’s hand slowly moved to his sword. « Ready. »
« Good. » With that, Tsuruko Aoyama somersaulted towards Ryu, unsheathing her sword in mid-air. Ryu just as quickly unsheathed his own sword as Tsuruko came out on the offensive.
Two masters in the way of the sword, clashed. Tsuruko, as with her style, went on the offensive, not using any ki attacks, but rather straight technique. Ryu countered and defended against Tsuruko’s attacks, backpedaling as Tsuruko was aggressively advancing on him.
Blade crashed against blade as Ryu and Tsuruko spun, parried and defended, this time, Ryu forcing Tsuruko on the defensive, the battle leading to the recently-exorcised annex. Chun Li quickly opened the door as the battling Ryu and Tsuruko went through, with the audience following at a safe distance.
On the first floor, the match continued. Tsuruko gained the upper hand by disarming Ryu, sending his sword clattering to the floor. Before the Shinmei Ryu master could capitalize, Ryu responded in kind by disarming her and flipping her to the ground. Rolling to her feet, Tsuruko charged at the Ansatsuken fighter, leaping into the air and planting both feet into Ryu’s face, knocking him down. Ryu quickly recovered and with a quick spinning back kick, sent Tsuruko spinning to the ground, near her sword. She grabbed it and by the time she got to her feet, Ryu had recovered his own blade.
They resumed their assault, blocking, parrying, and swinging their blades without abandon until they gained speed. Then they locked their blades. Tsuruko, knowing that Ryu clearly had the strength advantage, kicked him in the stomach, forcing him back. She then landed another kick to his torso, forcing him up the steps. Ryu then locked his blade with Tsuruko’s once again and backhanded her, knocking her back as he moved towards the stairs.
The battle moved to the second floor of the annex. Ryu and Tsuruko were careful enough not to use their ki attacks. Mainly because they would cause massive damage to the annex, as well as placing the lives of Keitaro and the others at risk.
Ryu was on the offensive, as he lashed out at Tsuruko, the Shinmei Ryu mistress playing hard defense. Before long, the two were fighting on the roof. As the audience watched from the ground, they saw that Ryu held the high ground.
However, as Tsuruko came charging after him, something unexpected happened.
She lost her footing and started to fall from the roof.
As Motoko screamed out her sister’s name, Ryu tossed his sword to the side and without thinking of his own safety, dove over the edge after Tsuruko. One hand caught the roof’s edge while the other caught Tsuruko by her own hand.
Their swords, however, fell to the ground. Even though the battle was over, there was the matter of Ryu and Tsuruko hanging from the roof’s annex. Using his arm, Ryu pulled Tsuruko to the ledge until she was able to climb up by herself. Once she was safely on the ledge, Ryu followed.
Both fighters were catching their breaths. The battle, as well as Tsuruko’s neat-death experience had taken a lot out of them.
« I think…we’ll call this one a draw, » Ryu panted.
Tsuruko nodded. « I agree. You’ve improved. »
« So did you. »
After things had calmed down, Tsuruko left the building. The last week went on without anymore incidents, until finally; Ryu and Chun Li gave back their authority to Keitaro. Promising to keep in touch, Ryu, Sakura, and Chun Li left Hinata House.
However, once Keitaro was back in control, Naru, Motoko and Kitsune thought that things would go back to before Ryu and Chun Li took over.
As they found out one day, they were completely wrong.
It hadn’t been three days since Ryu and Chun Li left Hinata House when Naru, Motoko and Kitsune confronted Keitaro inside his room. The manager was scribbling down notes in the dorm’s ledger when the three girls came into his room without knocking. Keitaro looked up from the ledger and saw the girls standing before him. He knew that things would relapse back to how they once were and he prepared for it.
« What do you want? » he asked.
Naru looked down on the manager. « The floors need mopping and you need to clean the hot springs. »
« And I need some sake, » Kitsune said. « Lots and lots of sake. »
« And since Shinobu had done the laundry, I need my uniform taken to the cleaners, » Motoko added.
« No. »
That shot all three girls down. « What? » Naru asked.
Keitaro stood up. « I said no. Just because Ryu and Chun Li are no longer here doesn’t mean things will go back the way it once was. Those days are over. »
« It’s the manager’s job to keep this place clean! » Naru objected.
« No. You all live here, so it falls to all of us, » Keitaro replied. « I am the manager of this dorm, not some damn house slave. »
« You are out of line, Urashima, » Motoko threatened, her hand slowly reaching for her katana. « I agree with Narusegawa. It is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the dorm. And when will you change the dorm back into a girls’ dorm? »
« That change is permanent, » Keitaro replied as he pulled three items from the ledger. « As I told Naru, you three are in no position to tell me what I should be doing or how I should run this dorm. You got a problem with how I run things, then that’s tough. » When it appeared that Motoko and Naru would try to lunge at him, Keitaro used his trump card. When Naru and Motoko closed in on him, Keitaro pulled out three folded pink sheets of paper and showed them to the three girls, causing Naru and Motoko to stop in their tracks.
The sheets of paper had the same thing written on them in both Japanese kanji and English: NOTICE OF EVICTION.
And each one had their names on them, neatly typed in kanji and English as well.
« You know what these are, right? » Keitaro asked coolly. « Sure you do. These are your eviction notices. » He paused to gauge their reactions. They were exactly what he was looking for. « This is how it’s going to be, ladies. We get along fine and act civilized, you can continue to stay. » His voice dropped to a serious tone as he gave them their first and only warning. « But…if you blackmail me, assault me or cause any kind of damage to this dorm, I will evict you and have you arrested. »
« You’re bluffing, » Motoko said. « You won’t evict us, Urashima. »
Keitaro turned to Motoko. « You think I’m bluffing? Feel free to call my bluff. Of course, what would Tsuruko think if her sister and heir to the Shinmei Ryu School continued to assault her manager. She would disown you. » He sat back down. « As far as I’m concerned, you three have one foot out of the door for the hell you put me through. I can’t even trust you anymore. You got to prove it to me that I can trust you once again. Are we clear? »
All three girls nodded.
Keitaro smiled. « Good. Now get out of my room. »
-Several years later…-
Ryu and Chun Li were walking up the stairs to Hinata House. Along with them was their two children, ages 4 and 5. The older child, a boy, was walking up the stairs with his parents, while his sleeping sister was being carried by her father.
In the four years after Ryu and Chun Li’s tenure as Hinata House managers, their school had become a huge success. With Sakura teaching classes, as well as Yun and Yang (Chun Li called them in from Hong Kong), Ryu and Chun Li spent more time raising their children, teaching classes four days out of the week. Of course, Ryu remained friends with the Urashima family, and gave out advice to Keitaro. Shinobu had also formed a close bond with Chun Li, who taught her how to cook Chinese dishes, much to Suu’s delight, since she had picked up a passionate affinity for Chun Li’s cooking.
Since their departure as managers, things have calmed down around Hinata City. Keitaro wasn’t launched into L.E.O. anymore, mainly because he threatened Naru and Motoko with eviction. Of course, he still had to chastise Suu for her inventions, but even that calmed down somewhat.
As the family walked up the stairs, the son asked his father, « Why are we visiting Uncle Keitaro, Dad? »
« Keitaro is getting married, Takashi, » Ryu replied. « He invited us to the wedding. »
« Eww…yucky stuff! » Takashi said, making a face. « Girls are gross…except for Lynn, » he amended, looking at his sleeping sister.
« Did Keitaro say anything about who he was getting married to? » Chun Li asked.
« He didn’t say, » Ryu replied. « I know that’s it’s not Naru, since she blew her chances with him long ago. Motoko is out, since she tried to kill him with her ki attacks. And Kitsune would bankrupt him with her gambling habits. »
« I’m still surprised to see that those three are still here, » Chun Li said.
« When your manager threatens to evict you and have you arrested, then you would play nice too, » Ryu mildly replied.
In the five years that had passed, Keitaro, as well as Naru and Mutsumi, had been accepted into Tokyo University. Keitaro had graduated a year before the other two on a History major, thanks to Seta. Mutsumi had gotten a nursing degree while Naru had majored in Education, having decided to become a teacher. In the meantime, Motoko was pursuing a degree in law (at Chun Li’s suggestion, due to the Shinmei Ryu School becoming a national landmark), as well as becoming a writer under an alias, writing raunchy love stories.
Kitsune was now the co-owner of the Hinata Tea Shop, now that Haruka had finally gotten hitched to Seta. Shinobu and Suu were both Todai freshmen. With Sakura tutoring them, they both passed the entrance exams with flying colors, the young Maehara deciding to pursue a double major in Business and Culinary arts, while Suu was taking on an advanced engineering degree. Sara was attending high school and would enter Tokyo University upon graduating.
As they reached the landing, a scream was heard from inside the dorm, followed by the sounds of a chase in progress. The front door abruptly opened and a girl came running out, hiding behind the couple as the girls of Hinata came running out.
« Help me! » the girl yelled as she hid behind Ryu.
The girls in question, which were Naru, Suu and Motoko, stopped when they saw the girl hiding behind the couple and their children. « Um…what’s going on here? » Ryu asked. « And who are you? » he asked the girl hiding behind him. Takashi was making faces at the older girls from the safety of his mother.
« Maeda, » the girl replied. « Ema Maeda. » Ryu saw that she was holding what appeared to be a bridal veil in one hand as the girl babbled out an explanation. « I…I was looking at the wedding dress. I didn’t mean to take the veil… »
« It’s okay, » Ryu replied. « What are you doing here? »
« I came here because I heard that if you live inside Hinata House, then your dreams will come true, » Ema replied. « I never expected this! »
While Chun Li was scolding the girls, Ryu reassured the young girl. « It’s okay. I wasn’t expecting this either when Chun and I took the job of interim managers some years back. » he looked at the girls. They may act crazy, but they will look out for you. »
Once everything was calmed down, everyone went inside. As the door closed, Ryu asked Motoko, « So who is Keitaro marrying tomorrow? »