In the Shadows
Chapter 9 - The Truth’s Veracity
“Uh oh Kaz, looks like Lei here’s bit dumbfounded,” Lee laughed, as Kazuya himself began to make his way towards the other two fighters.
Sure enough, Kazuya had been in this office the entire time. Where, Lei didn’t know. “What the hell is going on here?”
“Oh, who knows?” Kazuya remarked in his classic, spiteful voice. “Maybe I’ll just... have a seat in my chair here, and watch Chaolan fuck you on my desk?”
Okay, true, this hadn’t sounded very intelligently calm or anything, but... yes, Lei didn’t like the sound of Kazuya’s little suggestion in the least...
“You’ve been a bad little cop,” Kazuya mused just as Lee had before, indeed taking a seat in his office chair right behind Lei. “Spying on me, trying to steal Jun from me, spreading around naughty rumours about me... Damn, I just can’t seem to get rid of you, can I?”
“You’re so sick...” Lei remarked, realizing he couldn’t move out of place even a bit, now that both Kazuya and Lee were holding him down...
“What should we do to him?” Chaolan asked in that unchanging, derisive voice.
“Well I, for one, have always wanted to do this...” And with that, Kazuya gave Lei a rather ferocious backhand to the face. So hard, in fact, that the opposing side of Lei’s face slammed to hit the rosewood desk with the same force of impact.
Lei stopped struggling altogether as the pain of Kazuya’s blow took over. At this point, Kazuya walked around to the opposing side of the large, custom-carved desk to where Lee was standing, and gestured for him move. The Japanese took this moment to fully lean over Lei for himself, giving a temporary scowl, yet amused all the same.
“Now listen here, Wulong. I am going to blackmail you. You are going to do as I say, or I’ll send those little recordings of you and Fury out to the headlines before you have the chance to get in another blink,” Kazuya guaranteed in a threatening tone. “You are to tell your insignificant little force that I am guilty of nothing, or I’ll make damn sure you are nothing. I mean this literally, of course. I wouldn’t mind having Abel disintegrate you one fucking bit.”
“I’ll do nothing of the such...” Lei whispered, unmoving.
Kazuya grinned still more. “Chaolan and I figured that. Actually, we knew that. That’s why everything’s already been specially taken care of... So, as you wish, yes, you will die today.”
“You didn’t deserve Jun...”
Kazuya’s grin instantly faded, turning into an angry frown as his hands found their way to Lei’s neck. “You little bitch. I’m going to make you wish Fury had killed you, for no pain he could put you through will compare to that I can, and will, give you.”
As Kazuya’s grasp on his neck tightened, Lei found he couldn’t breathe. At all.
It took every bit of restraint Kazuya had imaginable to hold back on giving the detective his already prolonged execution ceremony this very second. “I’ve waited so fucking long to see you die...” Kazuya growled, “Too long. I kept coming so close in the past, but you’d always manage to escape... somehow. Not this time.”
When Kazuya’s grip on his throat relented, Wulong instantly gave a few loud and repetitive coughs one after the other. The CEO smirked, and lowered his right-hand to Lei’s heavily breathing face. He ran his thumb across Lei’s lower lip, watching the blood to smear.
From a few feet over, Chaolan watched as Kazuya continued to seemingly advance upon Lei, causing his dark brows to furrow beneath silver tendrils of hair. “Kazuya... are you really going to do this to him?”
“Why wouldn’t I?” Kazuya remarked as he pulled away from the man underneath him, licking the gathered crimson from his right thumb.
“Because I’m going to break your fucking neck, that’s why.”
Kazuya and Lee both turned around, to see yet another new, though expected, visitor...
“Ah, Fury,” Kazuya said with a grin. “You’re a little early.”
Lee nodded in concurrence. “Indeed. During our meeting last night, I blatantly remember telling you not to get here for another hour.”
The sound of a door shutting was heard, as Bryan fully stepped inside the lavishly large office. Fury extended his arm, pointing to Kazuya. “You get.. away from him.. right.. now..”
“Or what?” Kazuya questioned, certainly sounding amused.
“Oh Kazuya. You don’t have to ask that, do you?” Bryan grunted, beginning to step, or rather stomp, forwards. “I’m still trying to decide on what’s the most painful way I can watch you slip into your death as we speak.”
“Funny. I was thinking of the same thing regarding you,” Kazuya remarked in a rather contented voice. “And your little slut here, while I’m at it.”
“I believe you are gravely mistaken...” remarked Bryan, who was still continuing to step forwards in the general direction of the other three fighters pace by pace. As he neared, Lee fell into fighting stance, while Kazuya remained in a normal, upright standing position.
“I’ll show you a thing or two...” Lee lowly stated, before charging right at Fury.
“Fuck...” Kazuya instantly cursed under his breath. “Lee, don’t!”
Not thinking he had anything to worry about in the slightest, Bryan didn’t even revert into fighting stance as Lee ran towards him with no intention of going into retreat. Unfortunately, this gave Fury a nice taste of Chaolan’s silver whip in turn.
Lee grinned, then beginning one of his classic laser edge kick combos. Bryan could only block the attacks at the moment to his best. This guy was fast. Damn fast. Every time a kick came, it was like his leg was extended out again without ever having retreated in the first place. Lee suddenly pulled back, in preparation to launch one his most ferocious attacks.
“Taste my silver fang,” Lee scowled, right before his left-fist shot out at Fury.
Lee’s grin instantly took an abrupt leave when his fist was caught right in the palm of Bryan’s hand. When Lee tried to pull his arm back, he couldn’t. In a flash, the taller man jerked him forwards and twisted his body around. Next thing Lee knew, he had a knife to his neck...
Kazuya was angry.
“You weak little fool...” Bryan spoke, pressing the sharp features of the already blood-stained razorblade knife he held harder against Lee’s neck. “Looks like you’ll be the first in here of three to die...”
“Not so fast,” Kazuya smirked in turn. In a few quick motions all streamed together, he turned, and ensured his grasp around Lei’s neck, before raising the detective up to a standing position. Kazuya all but mimicked Bryan’s own motions. Surely enough, Lei had had a knife to his own throat now... Not nearly as big as the knife Bryan was holding, but hey... it’d still get the job done... One slash, and end of story...
“You take mine, then I take yours,” Kazuya once again smirked, though sounding more angered.
“You think I care if he dies?” Bryan questioned, directing his glance to Lei.
Kazuya actually grinned at this inquiry. “As a matter of fact, yes, I think you do.” The moment he spoke this, he pressed the blade harder against Lei’s flesh; just hard enough to where blood visibly coated the steel blade. Wulong winced in pain instantaneously.
Fury very evidently didn’t seem to like the idea of this. Not one bit. Either of Lee’s black-gloved hands were gripping onto Bryan’s arm which held the knife, trying to pull it away even one inch. It was useless. Lee too was then graced with the same pleasure Lei had previously undergone, as Bryan sliced the blade just enough to draw the thinnest gathering of freshly drawn crimson.
“Let him go,” Bryan ordered, his eyes narrowed right at the CEO in ultimate wrath. “I don’t care if Wulong dies. How he dies, yes. I want him to die, but it’s my kill to make. No one else’s.”
“Why is that?” Kazuya asked with a hidden presence of knowledge, yet knowing the answer.
Bryan grunted at this. “You know damn well he’s the reason I died. Therefore, it’s only fair that I bestow him with the same gratitude. I have every intention to shoot him in the exact same seven places I was shot when I died right before his eyes.”
“I know that,” replied Kazuya. “Your life truly is quite the empty space, isn’t it? Very well then. Release Chaolan, and I release Wulong.”
“Fine,” Bryan responded in an angered spat. “But let’s see. How exactly are we gonna do this? You don’t trust me, and I sure as hell don’t trust you. I doubt a countdown in this matter will be very suiting.”
“But if you’re a real man, you’ll leave this between you and I.” And with that, Kazuya removed the pocketknife from Lei’s throat; forcefully throwing the long-haired fighter aside to the floor as he balled his fists.
Bryan smirked, and did the same thing to Chaolan as the Silver Devil roughly hit the carpet floor with a loud clank. “This time Mishima, you will not win...”
“Noted you said ‘this time’. That clearly gives the detail that ‘last time’, no victory was in your possession,” Kazuya mocked.
“I’d watch that smart-ass mouth of yours, mister high and mighty Mishima,” Fury criticized. “Don’t think I won’t hesitate to rip your fucking head off as the rest of your body is thrown out the window to splatter on the streets while I make you watch. Then I’ll toss your shit-head out is well.”
Kazuya laughed at this, shaking his head side to side. “Amusing. Very amusing.”
“I’ll give you something to smile about, alright,” Bryan hissed.
“Very well then,” Kazuya said in his continued voice of contained amusement. “To the room’s center. No weapons. We fight to the death.”
“You fucking got it,” Bryan smirked in remarks, sounding vicious as ever.
Lee had once again joined Kazuya at the CEO’s side, giving Bryan the same temperamental glare of rage as Fury was giving Kazuya.
Wulong was just now the process of standing from the floor he’d been thrown to crash upon himself; still relishing in the pain Kazuya has previously presented him with. This was definitely not his day in the least... He closed his eyes, almost wincing at the sharp pain of the headache he was now experiencing. His glance was then unshielded, and redirected to where it was set right on Fury.
“Bryan...” Lei began, trying to gather his voice to a tone made up of sterner features. “Don’t do this...”
“Hmm...” Kazuya chuckled, rather devilishly. “Seems you’re not the only one in here who thinks you cannot defeat me.”
Bryan’s ice-cold eyes narrowed back at the Japanese, before the American began a rough saunter towards the room’s center. There lay a large, purely red square of unaltered space. It was unlike the rest of the office’s carpet, which was inundated in intricate designs of black and midnight blue patterns.
This was the exact same place those final matches of the second Iron Fist had been held...
Kazuya’s expressions were nonchalant when he began treading to the opposing side of the crimson-coloured rectangle, as Bryan already stood impatiently at the other. The Mishima turned back, directing his glance at Lee. “Chaolan, would you do me the pleasure of taking care of the other piece of trash in my office? I’d like to keep it presentably clean, after all.”
Lee’s grin altered to match Kazuya’s previous one, as he turned to look over at Lei. “No problem...”
Lei narrowed his eyes at Chaolan, knowing he was about to have a little fighting match of his own... As Kazuya reached his place in the office, something then rather entrancing happened... Lei abruptly looked around in sudden astonishment. The entire room grew nearly pitch black in a matter of seconds. Wulong turned to look at the windows, which were now overlapped by a long display of thick, cerise curtains. All of the light in the room being produced by electricity had also been shunned.
“What the hell?” Lei whispered.
Lee gave a rather dark laugh, matching the new atmosphere. “Mess with the devil, and you can expect he’ll show you a few surprises in hell...”
Bryan looked around in confusion, also wondering how Kazuya had done this. Things didn’t just... move on their own. “Your little tricks don’t frighten me, Mishima.”
“We’ll soon see what does, then.” Kazuya fell into fighting stance just as these words were spoken. His stance was in a few ways a lot like Bryan’s own, only with fists held at an even level, and chest facing more forwards rather than in a sideways position. Kazuya’s stance was surely one that said he was fearless when it came to taking hits, being his stance showed he didn’t expect to receive them in the first place. Bryan’s stance was actually angled to better avoid them, showing he actually did consider this possibility.
Bryan gave a sudden and rather malicious laugh. Afterwards, he proceeded to charge right at Kazuya, who also was quick into making his way towards the other fighter.
No sooner later, Chaolan and Wulong were also about to engage in their own battle alongside Kazuya and Bryan’s.
“You know, I’m surprised you never even figured out it was I who ransacked your hotel room,” the silver-haired man revealed with amusement in his voice. “Kazuya and I couldn’t have you going there, now could we? Then Fury surely would have gotten to you first...”
The detective’s appearance shown anger, but he didn’t have time to comment on this. Lee was quick to shoot out with a nice sliver heel, though Lei was quick to duck in order to dodge the attack altogether. When Chaolan swung a low sweep just as he landed, Lei jumped and also avoided the hit. The long-haired fighter fell into a much lower stance as Lee once more proceeded to attack him. Right when in direct range, Lei’s arms flailed from together, to apart, and then back again as his arms then separated vertically rather than in a swift, horizontal motion. Lee was delivered a harsh panther scratch as his body was knocked backwards to the point he nearly pummeled to the ground. Wulong then fell into phoenix stance as his right-arm and left-leg rose up.
Lee smirked, starting to get the picture. Lei’s fighting style was focused more on avoiding hits, and bringing the opponent to him to receive attacks, rather than going in to launch them for himself. Since the detective’s range of hit was so limited in comparison to his own, all this meant was he left a good amount of space between them, and victory was his. Fierce kicks were his specialty...
“Are you afraid now?” Lei smirked, remaining his current stance.
“Actually, considering you’re the one refusing to attack, I’d say it’s you that’s afraid. No sooner later, Lee when right in to do a shin head to flip kick. Lei was actually able to block the first two hits, but once Chaolan refrained into doing that back-flip kick of his, Lei took a rather harsh hit as he fell backwards to land on the dark, carpeted ground below.
“You’re fast,” Lei remarked as he sprung from the ground. “Very fast, but you fight carelessly.”
When Lei came in, Chaolan actually fell into hitman stance and gave him a nice come hither finger. However, Wulong pulled back at the last minute; instead giving the Silver Devil a nicely delivered windmill kick.
Lee’s head fell back at the attack, while he fell out of stance in the process. He and Lei both had matching, bleeding lips now. Chaolan was still angered from Lei’s previous statement against him, even more so than at the hit he’d just taken. “You may be agile, but your attacks have virtually no power. I’m guessing that’s why you have so many to make up for it.”
“If that’s how you feel about them, then come here and I’ll give you more,” Lei remarked in anger.
Chaolan noted the way Lei seemed to be clutching his chest from the direct strikes there he’d already received. Lee grinned rather evilly. “My pleasure...” After speaking this, Lee charged in. Lei had a great low parry, and it was obvious he was getting ready to use it. Escaping attacks seemed to be the detective’s specialty. Chaolan’s range was much greater, though, and this was where he held the power. His left leg flew out at the same time as Lei’s, though Lei’s never reached Chaolan. Instead, Lee was the one who was awarded with getting the hit in, and due to Lei’s failed attack, he was left wide open for reception. Lee kicked again. Then again and again and again.
This was the infinity kick, alright...
Neighboring this fight, Kazuya and Bryan were still in the process of having their own ongoing battle.
Fury arose, just after taking a nice demon god fist from Kazuya.
Kazuya was breathing heavily, though he still had all the strength in the world to smirk as he looked to the side. “What a pity. Chaolan finished taking out his half of the trash before I did.”
“Shut your mouth,” Fury spat out. “I’ll tear your jaw right off. We’ll see how much you’ll be smirking, then. Besides, how many moves all together do you have? Ten?” he laughed.
“Go figure. You’re not even smart enough to count correctly, are you?” Kazuya mockingly mused in reply. “Still, why would I have expected otherwise? You truly are stupid.”
“You pathetic shit,” Bryan retorted, balling his fists even tighter than they already were. “You’re the idiot here, Kazuya, for you dared to fight me in the first place. Anyone with an IQ above five would know that’s not a wise decision.”
Kazuya smirked and went back in. He’d see how much Fury would laugh at a nice abolishing fist, alright.
As Kazuya came within range, Bryan crouched while Kazuya’s arm was unleashed above him. In turn, Fury instead unleashed a nice fisherman slam upon Kazuya.
Kazuya didn’t even have the time to slip into bewilderment. His body was lifted into mid air over six feet. It was like his entire body was nothing more than a mere feather to Fury. A split-second later, and Bryan slammed him down straight to the floor.
“It’s a good thing your levels must be rather thick,” Bryan taunted following a laugh. “Otherwise, I get the feeling you would’ve gone right through the floor just now.”
Kazuya tried to sweep in from the ground, but Bryan backed away to instead give him another kick. Damn. Bryan’s range was even longer than Lee’s, yet so much more powerful. It was almost as if his legs could stretch out over space endlessly.
When the Japanese fighter fell back to the floor, Bryan merely walked up several long steps, and kicked him to where Kazuya’s body was flipped over like a skewering pancake on a skillet. Bryan actually spit down on him after this.
“That’s it. Crawl before me like the worthless, weak little bitch you are,” Bryan grunted with amusement. Kazuya was just now rising up to standing, and it didn’t take a genius to spot he wasn’t feeling very good at this point in time. Bryan’s attacks were just too powerful for the good of anyone else. What Bryan didn’t know was that Kazuya actually had many more powerful attacks than he did...
Kazuya stood, clenching his fists as he faced the floor. He had yet to look up at Fury since he had fallen.
Bryan simpered. One match kick would be enough to earn him the victory he deserved now.
From the ground, Lei first looked up at Lee, and recognized that same grin on his face from the previous night in the park. That same grin that unmistakably said ‘I know something’ without the need of vocalization being necessary to get this point across. Lei’s brows furrowed at this, before he looked back at Kazuya. Lighting was beginning to surge all around his fists and he crouched lower and turned slightly, just as Bryan was going in for the attack. Kazuya’s eyes also appeared to be glowing cerise red...
Lei’s own eyes widened. He already recognized this attack... He didn’t even have the time to get in a loud ‘don’t’ before Kazuya’s entire form surged upwards in a rapid, spinning motion. Bright streams of fluently violet-blue lightning filled the air as Kazuya’s famous lighting screw uppercut was performed at its maximum output.
When Fury finally fell to hit the ground this time around, he didn’t get up...
“All too easy...” Kazuya spoke between breaths.
“Took you long enough,” Lee mused almost playfully, as he began pacing forwards to close in the distance between him and Kazuya. “Do you know how long I’ve been standing here?”
“We’ll have plenty of time to celebrate together tonight,” Kazuya grinned deliciously.
“You two are both sick,” Lei managed to get out, still unable to get over the harsh pain searing in his chest from the incessant kicks he’d received one after the other. “No matter what you do to me, neither of you will ever get away with what you have done...” he whispered.
“Uh oh, I’m really scared now,” Chaolan teased.
“Never get away with anything?” Kazuya snickered, “Oh I’d say I’ve gotten away with quite a bit in my time... Maybe this would be a good opportunity to demonstrate the real reason no one on your insignificant little force are ever able to determine the cause of death in all these unsolved mysteries of yours... ” He then walked over to where Bryan had fallen to land, near to knocked-out...
Lei’s look of ultimate discontent didn’t fade when Fury was thrown right next to him.
“Now then, what should we do with the trash first?” Kazuya questioned, looking at Chaolan.
“I don’t know dear brother, what might you suggest?”
Bryan was just beginning to come around again, and for obvious reasons, felt like utter shit. He was actually having a hard time breathing sufficiently in reaction to that last viciously delivered blow of Kazuya’s. When Fury’s eyes opened, however, the first thing he saw was Lei’s eyes looking back into his.
“I know the words you spoke to me last night were sincere...” Lei whispered. “I’m so sorry... About all of this...”
“Tragic, isn’t it?” Kazuya taunted. “You know, it sure is a find out when you go on so many years never knowing the truth...”
“What do you mean?” Lei inquired, now looking back up at Kazuya.
“When Bruce Irvin became my bodyguard, you were the only one who ever came close to discovering I’d had him brainwashed to suit my needs...” he smirked as if he were the devil himself... “Just like you had thought in your motives for entering the second tournament, it was I who had Bruce blow your cover on the airplane, when your second partner was murdered, and it was I who gave Bruce all of his pending orders, and it was Bruce who gave Fury his. Having no control over his thoughts, Bruce had acted accordingly to every pull of his puppet strings... Even where matters of drug-dealing, for example, are concerned... Bryan Fury did not die because of you, Lei Wulong. He died because of me.”
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