Love Hina Fan Fiction ❯ Chapter Four ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Four
Shinobu announced that dinner was ready. Imagine everyone’s surprise that it was Chun Li who cooked, rather than Hinata House’s resident chef. Suu’s eyes were shining in delight at the Chinese dishes that were on the table. Once the girls and Chun Li were seated, Ryu made his appearance, dressed in fresh clothes, followed by Sakura and Keitaro. Ryu sat beside his wife, while Keitaro took a seat by Shinobu and Sakura sat by Suu.
Both Motoko and Naru were glaring at Keitaro, who paid them no attention as he ate his food. The tension between the two girls and their vacationing manger was very intense, and after seeing Ryu manhandle both Motoko and Naru without blinking forced the girls to hold their tongue, but the obvious violent thoughts that were going through their head about what to do with their manager were running rampant.
Their thoughts were interrupted when Chun Li cleared her throat, her gaze directed at Naru. « Don’t you have something to say to my husband? » she asked.
Naru glared back at Chun Li, and then broke eye contact as she turned to Ryu. « I apologize for my actions in the hot springs, » she said, although the way she said it made someone thing she had drunk acid.
« Let’s hope for your sake that it doesn’t happen again, » Ryu replied coolly.
Shinobu saw the anger in the girls’ faces and decided to make some conversation in an attempt to defuse the situation. She turned to Ryu, who was just finishing his third helping of food, his appetite rivaling that of Suu’s. « How do you know Sempai? » she asked.
Ryu turned to the young girl. « I’ve known Keitaro ever since this place used to be an inn, young Maehara. In fact, I stayed here one time with my friend and my master while on a training trip. »
« So what did you do before you married Chun Li? » Kitsune asked.
Ryu chose his words carefully. « I was pretty much a nomad, traveling the world, seeking out some of the world’s strongest fighters. At first, I was only fighting for no reason but to become the strongest. Now, I fight for another purpose. »
« And what purpose is that? » Motoko asked with contempt in her voice. She was seated next to him.
Ryu looked at Motoko. « Enlightenment. Like I said, I was fighting so I cam become the strongest fighter I the world. After I came back to Japan from training in Brazil, I’ve decided that becoming the strongest fighter wasn’t enough. So I decided to seek enlightenment by mastering myself. Sometimes, your greatest enemy can be the person that stares back at you in the mirror. »
Motoko scoffed. « Sounds pathetic if you ask me. »
« No, » Ryu rebuked, « pathetic is a wannabe kendoist who has a male-complex. »
« How dare you! » Motoko shouted. This was the second time Ryu has insulted her.
Ryu continued to turn the knife. « I’ve fought fighters your age who were trained assassins. You are not a threat. » He finished his food and stood up. « Excuse me. »
As he turned to leave, Motoko jumped from her seat. « You dare insult me, you vile male? » She pulled out her sword. « I don’t care if Urashima did hire you. You don’t belong here! »
With a yell, Motoko charged at Ryu, sword held high. As she brought it down onto him, Ryu quickly reacted. Sidestepping to avoid the blow, his hands shot out, grabbing her wrist and before Motoko knew it, she felt the cold blade of her own sword against her jugular.
Ryu had disarmed her and was now holding her own sword against her throat.
With the exception of Chun Li, Sakura and Keitaro, everyone was shocked. One moment, Motoko had her sword in her hand, the next; Ryu had disarmed her and was holding it against her neck.
Motoko gasped. ‘How…how did he do that?!’ she thought. ‘He’s as fast as Oneesan!’ One wrong move and her jugular would have been severed.
For the first time in her life, an emotion came over Motoko.
Complete fear. Not even Tsuruko was this bad.
Ryu was to the point. « Unless you challenge me to a fight, » he drawled, « don’t ever draw your sword at me. Was this a life-or-death battle with someone other than me, you wouldn’t last five minutes. I’m only going to say this once, Aoyama. If you EVER pull your sword on me and you didn’t challenge me beforehand, your insides will be on the outside. Are we clear? »
Motoko slowly nodded.
« Good, » Ryu said, seeing that his point was made. He then lowered her sword and in one smooth movement, tossed it at her, where it slid neatly inside her scabbard. He turned around and left.
Keitaro resumed eating his dinner as if the entire event didn’t happen. Sakura looked at Motoko. « That was a bad move, Motoko. You really shouldn’t have done that. »
Motoko wasn’t listening. Her knees buckled as she slumped forward. ‘That…that male has caught me off guard once again! What is he…he must be some kind of demon!’
Chun Li said nothing. After all, she knew first-hand what her husband was capable of. Naru was looking at a grinning Keitaro. He was pleased as to what he had seen so far. The grin soon vanished as he continued eating.

===

After dinner, the girls decided to take a bath while Ryu and Chun Li cleaned up the dishes. In the hot spring, Sakura was lounging on a rock, chatting with the Hinata House residents. Even though Naru disliked Ryu for embarrassing her and Chun Li for forcing her to apologize, she had nothing against Sakura. After all, she was Toudai.
Sakura knew that she was an outsider in this close-knit group. The last thing she wanted was to become an outcast.
The conversation was civil enough, Sakura telling them about training under Ryu, her rivalries and finally, being accepted into Tokyo University after passing the entrance exams.
Motoko then spoke up. « He attacked me with a ki technique. How is that possible? »
« Ryu is the Ansatsuken Shihan, » Sakura explained. « He has been practicing martial arts ever since he was four. The ki attacks are nothing. He can break stone with his bare hands and feet, his kicks have the destructive force of a hurricane. I even saw him, his friend and Chun Li take apart a SUV with their bare hands. »
Before Naru could ask a question, there was the unmistakable sound of a battle, which was coming from the rooftop. « What the hell is that? » the redheaded ronin asked as everyone looked around in alarm.
Sakura, however, simply leaned back against her rock. « They’re at it again. »
Kitsune turned to Sakura. « This is normal for them? »
The Ansatsuken apprentice nodded. « That’s one of the reasons why their bond is so strong. They both love to fight. »
The Hinata House residents watched as the duel took place on the roof. It was a sword battle. Chun Li was armed with a Chinese straight sword, while Ryu was armed with his own sword. The girls quickly donned bathrobes and towels and watched the battle take place.
Chun Li was an expert in Chinese swordplay and it showed as she deftly parried her husband’s feints and thrusts. Ryu was indeed the Shihan of Ansatsuken Shinjutsu. Motoko was watching the fight with interest. She knew that Chun Li was a master of the arts, but she was also watching Ryu.
‘I have seen this male before,’ she thought. ‘But I can’t remember…’ Motoko watched as Chun Li spun and when she came back facing Ryu, Motoko saw that Chun Li was holding TWO swords in her hands, forcing Ryu to step up his game. He succeeded in hacking one of the blades in two.
The dueling couple was now on the wire overhang; Motoko and the other girls were mesmerized at their amazing center of balance as they fought over the hot springs.
Chun Li lunged in, unleashing a series of sword strikes, of which Ryu defended and parried against. The audience were even more amazed when Ryu performed a split, then flipped down to the hot springs, with Chun Li somersaulting after them, the Hinata girls giving them a wide berth as they continued to fight.
Motoko, in the meantime, was watching Ryu fight. ‘Urashima said that he was a master of Ansatsuken Shinjutsu. He is especially skilled with the blade. He reminds me of Oneesan. »
The battle was growing in intensity as sparks began to kick off form the weapons. The girls were treated to a real show, a real display of sportsmanship and skill.
The match ended in a standoff, with their blades at each others’ throat. Chun Li smirked. « You didn’t touch me this time, Ryu. »
Ryu returned the smirk. « Are you sure about that? »
It was at that moment that Chun Li realized that Ryu had slashed the ribbons that were securing her hair. It had become unwound from the sides of her head, reducing her hair back into a pair of braids.
Motoko was impressed, even though Ryu was still a man.
The couple bowed to each other, then sheathed their swords. The girls then made a path for Ryu and Chun Li as they leave the hotsptings.

===

Minutes later, Ryu and Chun Li were taking their bath in the private bath on the third floor. With her hair tied up in a pile around her head, the Chinese martial artist rested against her husband’s chest, sighing contently as his arms were wrapped around her torso.
« You did call Haruka, right? » Chun Li asked.
Ryu kissed Chun Li on her shoulder. « I did. She’ll be expecting Kitsune tomorrow morning. You know the annex behind the main house? »
« What about it? »
« I talked with Keitaro on the way here, » Ryu said. « He wanted to see if he can get the curse lifted he can turn it into a boys’ dorm. Akuma and Gouken know more about exorcising curses more than I do, so when they come up in a couple of weeks, I’ll talk to them about seeing if they can do something about the annex. »
« You know the others won’t like this, » Chun Li pointed out. « They sure as hell didn’t like it when you showed up. »
« I know, » Ryu replied. « I also noticed that Narusegawa didn’t like the fact that you forced her to apologize. » He didn’t see the smile that was forming on his wife’s face.
« Just wait, » she replied. « They haven’t seen anything yet. »

===

The following morning, the Hinata House residents were told to meet in the common room following breakfast by Ryu and Chun Li for a meeting. After breakfast and helping Shinobu with the dishes, the girls found that their interim managers were waiting for them. Both were standing and Ryu was holding a book in his hand.
« I’m glad all of you have showed up for this meeting, » Chun Li said after the girls settle.
« What is this about? » Motoko asked.
« In order to keep Hinata House up and running, » Chun Li began, « everyone has to do their part. »
« Meaning what? » Naru asked.
« As of this moment, everyone has a set of chores to do, » Ryu announced.
The result was as expected. Almost immediately, Naru, Motoko and Kitsune voiced their disapproval, saying that it was the landlord’s duties to clean the dorm.
Ryu silenced them all by slamming the book onto the table. The title read HINATA HOUSE LEDGER.
« This is the dorm’s ledger, » Ryu explained. « Because of all of you, this place has significant damage to it, thanks to Narusegawa, Aoyama and even young Suu. Chun Li and I will work on the repairs, while the rest of you will keep this place clean. » He turned to Kitsune. « As for you, Konno, it says that you owe for back rent – six months worth. It also notes that you squandered Keitaro’s life savings on a trip to Nagoya. »
« Naru, your responsibility will be the first floor, » Chun Li said. « Everything must be cleaned. Motoko, you have the second floor. And the third floor will be done by the both of you. » She then tossed Kitsune an apron. « As for you, Kitsune, you will be working at the tea house with Haruka, » she said. « You will work there until you pay what you owe to both the Hinata House and to Keitaro. »
« As for Kaolla and Sara, » Ryu continued, « the both of them will help Shinobu with marinating the kitchen and laundry. » Ryu turned to Suu. « Suu as of this moment, no more inventions that go boom-boom. Two times a week, the hot springs will be cleaned by Narusegawa, Aoyama and Konno on a rotation. »
« That’s not fair! » Naru exclaimed. « What will Sakura be doing while we slave away? »
Ryu’s eyes narrowed at the redheaded ronin, causing her to flinch. « Unlike you, Narusegawa, she IS a Tokyo U student. But that doesn’t mean that she won’t lend a hand to the chores. She will help out with the chores, since she is also living here, if only temporary. » He then had a cool smile on his face. « If you don’t want to help with the chores, then we can switch, and you can work on the dorm repairs. If you refuse to do either… » He pointed to the front door. Almost immediately, the girls got the hint.
« Mutsumi is exempt since she helps Haruka at the tea shop, » Chun Li explained. She looked at Kitsune. « I think you better hurry, Kitsune. Haruka is already expecting you at the tea shop. »
Grumbling to herself, Kitsune took the apron and walked out the door, slamming it behind her.

===

At the tea shop, Kitsune stormed in. Mutsumi and Kentaro were already working, while Haruka was sitting behind the register. Keitaro was seated at the far end of the cafe, studying. « I don’t believe this! » Kitsune said as she sat down in a chair.
Haruka had a mild expression on her face. « Ryu and Chun Li told you about our arrangement? » she asked. Off Kitsune’s look, Haruka replied, « I’ll take that as a yes. »
Kitsune saw Keitaro at the other end and marched over to him. « Aren’t you going to do something about this?! » she half-shouted. « Those two got Naru and Motoko working maintaining the dorm while I’m stuck here! »
Keitaro looked back at Kitsune with none of his usual fear. « You brought this on yourselves, » he said in a cold tone. « Now leave me alone. I have to study. »
Kitsune was about to yell out something else when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning around, she saw that it was Haruka.
« Put that apron on and get to work, » she ordered.

Chapter Three
Chapter Five