Part 1: Inaugural Brawl
Being away from the Gotei 13, left him craving battle. Though he would not actively seek battle while in the Gotei, it provided him an outlet. But now he was reduced to a bodyguard. Not a bad gig, but he had only had few instances of actually fighting to protect the man. He approached him with the issue and Zamoreus came up with the idea to enter Tatsuya in an underground fighting tournament. Zamoreus had acquaintances just about anywhere in the world. Finding something like that was but a phone call away. Sumiko wasn't excited about Tatsuya fighting, but she supported him. She could see that he was getting restless. It wasn't long before they found themselves in Madrid, Spain. The tournament was being held at a massive private mansion, built nest to the side of a mountain just outside of the city. Normally this was an invite only tournament, but Zamoreus need only provided enough money, call in a favor or use less conventional means to get what he wants. Which one of those methods he used didn't matter to Tatsuya. They arrived at the mansion just after Noon. All fighters and representatives were to arrive before 7:00pm or be disqualified from the tournament.
They drove up to the mansion in an SUV limo. Had it been just Zamoreus, a regular limo would have sufficed. But since Tatsuya was not an average sized person, the appropriate accommodation needed to be made for comfort. As they drove up, Tatsuya noted that every one of the "guests" came in limos. This was a rich man's tournament. More than likely every representative here was worth no less then 100 million. A very specific clientele. They drove up to the entrance where staff members were there to greet them. The butler opened the passenger side door while another ran around to open the other door. Tatsuya stepped out from the driver side door, wearing a black silk suit, deep red shirt and black tie, with a pair of sunglasses from a designer he did not know or care to know. If it had been up to Tatsuya, he would have worn simple jeans and a t-shirt, but everyone needed to dress up for the tournament at least on the first night for the fighters. After that he could lose the suit and tie since he wouldn't need them in the match. "Señor De La Vega graciously welcomes you to his home."
He said with a spanish accent after recovering from the initial surprise of Tatsuya's size. "It's pleasure to be in such a lovely home."
Sumiko said from the inside of the limo before Tatsuya could say anything. "Yes it is."
Tatsuya said as he turned to the open door and offered his hand to help Sumiko out of the limo. She stepped out wearing a green dress that went down to her knees and had a deep V cut to just past her her breast area.
They were led into the mansion by the butler and to there rooms. Tatsuya and Sumiko had their own room and so did Zamoreus, which was adjacent to their own. As they settled into their room there was a knock at the door. Sumiko opened the door, and there were two men and a woman standing in front of her. "Ah, Forgive the intrusion Señorita, I am Señor De La Rosa. May we go in?"
A man with a voice so deep and soothing with its Spanish accent asked casually while smiling with his white teeth. He had short blond hair and blue eyes with a goatee, also blond in color. "Oh, of course Mister, excuse me, Señor De La Vega."
Sumiko corrected herself before stepping to the side to let him in. "Mister is just fine Señorita...uh...Forgive me I have yet to receive your name."
He stepped through the door and walked forward, only turning around to face Sumiko when he subtly asked for her name, extending out his hand for hers. "Sumiko. Sumiko Miyamoto."
She smiled and reached for his hand. He grasped it ever so gently, and leaned over, adding a peck of a kiss to the back of her hand. "Pleasure."
He said as he released her hand, before turning back to Tatsuya. "Señor Okibi was it? I believe that is what Señor Zamoreus said."
He extended out his to greet Tatsuya, which he did so without hesitation. "Yes Sir, Señor De La Vega. To what do I owe the honor?"
Tatsuya respectfully asked the man who stood no more then a foot and a half shorter then him. "I wanted meet the 'mountain of a man' who my staff had witnessed, for myself. Please forgive my impudence."
He said with such humility. "There is nothing to forgive, Señor De La Vega. I have been called much worse throughout the years."
Tatsuya stated not even thinking about it.
"Ah, A big man with just as big a heart."
De la Vega commented with utmost sincerity. "I think we can move on to the other reason we are here."
He continued on, looking at the older, graying male and the younger female with jet black hair to her back as he took a seat by the window. "Other reason?"
Tatsuya asked quizically with a slight tenseness in his body. "Just a basic physical Mr. Okibi."
The female finally spoke as the older male walked up to Tatsuya, asking for him to remove his coat and shirt. "Forgive the abruptness Señor Okibi, but this is standard procedure for all participants. You see, I am a man of fair play and only want to provide the best experience for the combatants and for the audience."
De La Vega tried to reassure Tatsuya. After a few seconds, he removed his coat and shirt from his body and the physician took the stethoscope from around his neck. "Olivia, if you would please."
De La Vega turned to the female. "Yes Sir."
She replied before turning her attention to Tatsuya. "Mr Okibi. I am just going to go over the rules and other information with you for the duration of your stay. Rule Number One - No fighting outside of the arena. Rule Number Two - No weapons allowed during the matches. Rule Number Three - No shirt or shoes during the match. Rule Number Four - You are free to be anywhere on the premises except to areas that explictly state otherwise. A violation of anyone of these rules will immediately disqualify you from the tournament and you will be forced to leave the premisis."
Olivia recited as the physician continued the physical. "The tournament consists of sixteen fighters and will last four rounds over three days starting tomorrow. It is a one round elimination. The winner continues, the loser doesn't. Losers are determined by four factors. First, if they are unable to stand back up before the official counts to ten. Second, they give up. Third, they are unable to continue due to loss of consciousness. And finally, death."
Tatsuya's eyes narrowed at the final factor. "Keep in mind that the latter is a rare outcome, but accidents do happen from time to time. If you should happen to lose, you are more then welcome to stay as Señor De La Vega's guest for the remainder of the tournament. Provided you adhere to rules one and four."
Olivia continued to finish her information for Tatsuya just as the physician finished the check up. "Do you have any questions, Mr Okibi?"
"No, everything is pretty straight forward."
Tatsuya answered as he began to put his shirt back on. "Well then Mr Okibi, I hope you enjoy your stay and I wish you luck."
Olivia said before turning to leave. "Un momento Olivia. Who is Señor Okibi supposed to fight tomorrow."
De La Vega asked from his seat by the window. Olivia flipped through a small notebook she had before answering De La Vega. "Here he is. Mr Okibi has the fifth fight tomorrow against Monsieur Jean Pierre Jeunet."
She said as she looked back at De La Vega a bit confused as to why he would ask. "Wonderful! One of our veteran combatants."
He said with amusement. "I was wondering Señor Okibi, if you would be willing to have that fight tonight during dinner. Keep in mind you would not hurt my feelings in the slightest if you wished to relax for the remainder of the day. I do realize that you had a long flight."
De La Vega leaned forward in anticipation for Tatsuya's answer. "As long as I get to eat after the fight, I don't see a problem."
Tatsuya said whole heartedly with a smile, to which De La Vega laughed. "Of course, in fact I'll make it worth your while. I'll have the chef prepare whatever your stomach desires after the match. Win or Lose."
De La Vega got up from his seat to shake Tatsuya's hand and seal the deal. "If I may ask, why do you wish to see me fight tonight."
He asked while shaking De La Vega's hand. "Ah, you are seeing right through me, Señor Okibi."
He chuckled and let go of Tatsuya's hand before continuing. "You see, Señor Zamoreus made me an offer I simply couldn't turn away. A large monetary wager that you would be able to win this tournament. But he failed to mention a key factor when placing the wager. Your size, Señor Okibi. Now I feel like I got the raw end of the deal and I want to confirm my suspicions. Keep in mind that I do not harbor any ill feelings towards Señor Zamoreus. After all I have made costly bets before. It is gambling after all."
He explained the situation openly to Tatsuya. "Though I cannot say I will be hoping you come out victorious Señor Okibi, I do wish you luck and a pleasant stay while you are here."
He added before starting to walk towards the door. "One last thing."
He turned before opening the door. "Yes?"
Tatsuya asked. "I do hope the accommodations are suitable for you. We were not expecting a man of your stature to be here."
He added with genuine concern in his voice. "No, this is quite alright, Señor de La Vega."
Tatsuya gave the room one quick glance before answering. "Perfect, then I will see you and Señorita Miyamoto at the dinner."
He said before opening the door and exiting."He seemed nice."
Sumiko said after the door closed behind De La Vega. "That he did. Looks like I'm gonna have a free day tomorrow."
Tatsuya said with a smile. "Why did you agree to fight tonight? He did say you can rest for the day."
She asked a little confused. "So that way I could have the extra day of rest before the other rounds. The other fighters will still be recovering from their previous fights when we fight."
Tatsuya informed Sumiko who still looked confused. "But why would you need the next day of rest? I could easily heal your wounds before your fights?"
Sumiko stated as a matter of fact. "That wouldn't be fair to the other fighters. We are all going to be bruised and beaten. Showing up to the next fight fully healed would be cheating AND humans can't heal that fast, so we would be drawing unwanted attention to us."
He walked over to her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "We couldn't have that now, could we?"
He asked as he rubbed her shoulders. "No, we couldn't. Just promise me you'll be careful."
She said as her big green eyes looked up into Tatsuya's. "I'll be as careful as a fighter can be."
He replied in truth. "I guess that'll have to do."
She replied. "So what's the plan?"
She asked before letting out a yawn. "Now. We nap."
He said, yawning himself in response to Sumiko's. "That sounds good."
She said as she made her way over to the bed followed by Tatsuya.
Tatsuya woke up around 5:30pm to nature's call. He figured he had slept enough anyways and washed his face, before going back to the bed and gently waking Sumiko. "Wake up sleepy head."
He gently shook her after sitting on the bed. Sumiko slowly stirred awake from her slumber. "What time is it?"
She groggily said as she tried to rub the sleep from her eyes and letting out yawn. "About 5:30. You should really get up. We need to be presentable for dinner, and I don't think you want to walk out there with bed head."
He chuckled as he played with her disheveled red hair. "I guess your right."
She said before getting out of the bed. "I'll let you get ready, and while you're doing that, I'll get ready myself for the fight. I'll see you at ring side."
He said as he got up from the bed and made his way to their luggage. "I guess there is no way I can get you to reconsider this tournament."
She said as she made her way to the bathroom. "Nope."
He smiled as he pulled out a pair of fighting shorts, a pair of mix martial arts gloves, and fighter's tape from his luggage. "Then I guess I'll see you there."
She said before walking into the bathroom and shutting the door gently. Tatsuya quickly changed into the shorts, a plain white t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers before walking out the door.
It took a bit to find the workout area, but after asking a few house staff, he managed to find it. It had all the facilities one needed and plenty of them for several people to use them at once. Which was a good thing at the moment. Tatsuya walked in to eight other men using the the facility. They all stopped their work out and looked at him with cold stares as he walked pass them. He could tell that these men were here for the entertainment portion of the visit. He stopped when he got to an empty treadmill and looked around at all the men. "So this is the feeling a deer gets when coming face to face with a pack of wolves."
He took a deep breath and mockingly shuddered on the exhale. "How exciting."
He mockingly commented before putting on an annoyed face and stepping onto the treadmill. When he started on the treadmill they continued on their workouts. Not long after Tatsuya arrived a butler went in to advise the fighters that dinner would be ready within the hour and that they should prepare for it. The fighters stopped their workouts and proceeded to leave. Not one of them acknowledge the other as the left. Tatsuya was the only who stayed behind. He kept his workout light, only doing enough to get his body warmed up and to stay warm until the match. A few sets with light weights and low reps did the trick along with a light go around with the heavy bag after taping up his feet and ankles.
About ten minutes before 7:00 pm, Olivia entered in to the gym and called out to Tatsuya. "Mr. Okibi. It's time. If you would please follow me."
She said as he punched the heavy bag a few more times. "Sure thing."
He said, leaving the heavy bag and reaching for the gloves and shoes he left on a wieght bench. Tatsuya was escorted to the back of the mansion, to the entrance of a cave. It had two large doors that were already open when they arrived. The inside of the "cave" was just like the interior of the interior of the mansion. Marble floors, Large columns holding up the ceiling, and well lit, like any of the rooms. Definitely nothing like Tatsuya expected for a cave. They walked into a stadium like area, with a caged arena in the center. People had already taken seats around the arena. Everyone was dressed in suits and gowns. Not something one expected to see at a match. There were quite a few more people then he had originally expected. He figured the fighters and their representatives stayed in the mansion while invited spectators stayed at hotels in the city. Tatsuya gave his shoes and shirt to a staff member that stood by the open arena gate and put on his gloves. He walked into the arena and past the lone official inside. He began to look around for Sumiko and Zamoreus, sweeping the on lookers with his eyes as he turned around. He noticed some familiar faces in the audience; the fighters he "met" in the gym. He soon spotted Sumiko and Zamoreus sitting in the first row, Zamoreus in is usual suit and tie, and Sumiko in an elegant blue silk dress that was sleeveless, held on by one shoulder, had two cuts in the side and beaded around the chest and thigh area. She smiled and waved at him, but he could still see the worry in her eyes. Through the side of his eyes Tatsuya saw someone else entering the arena. He turned his head to see a man about six and a half feet tall with brown hair and brown eyes enter with no shirt or shoes, wearing only a pair of karate pants. Tatsuya quickly knew this was the french man he was supposed to fight.
"Ladies and Gentleman. I humbly welcome you to my home."
De La Vega's voice loudly spoke over the whispers from his guest, gathering their attention and subsequently silencing them. "Before we get to the dinner portion of the night, I have an early match that both these fighters have agreed to. After all, what good is a dinner without some form of entertainment."
A few chuckles could be heard from the audience. "May I present to you, Monsieur Jean Pierre Jeunet and Señor Tatsuya Okibi."
De La Vega pointed to each fighter with his hand as he named them. "Gentleman...Whenever you are ready."
He gave the go ahead to start fighting. Tatsuya and Jean both looked at each other and slowly got into their fighting stances. It was a slow start. They circled each other clockwise, closing the initial gap in distance until they were standing on the side where the other stood. Tatsuya extended his left arm with a closed fist in a gesture of good will. Jean was hesitant at first but did eventually touch fists with Tatsuya. Both retracted their arm and started to circle each other again.
Jean led off first with a fast right front kick to Tatsuya's gut. Tatsuya blocked the kick and swayed back as the same leg swung around at his head. Tatsuya came back up only to block another kick to his face from the same leg, stumbling back when it almost connected. Tatsuya looked back at Jean, who held his leg up from the last kick and then repositioned himself so that his leg was completely vertical and he was perpendicular to the ground. All without his foot touching the ground. "Take it easy. We've got plenty of time."
Jean said with his french accent as he held his leg up. Jean ran forward and jumped into the air leading off with his right knee, but quickly turning back around into a reverse right side kick, pushing Tatsuya back more and then sweeping at his leg as soon as he landed. Tatsuya jumped to avoid the sweep and came down only to block the double front kick from Jean, sway back from another round house to the face, jump another sweep and block another double front kicks. A side kick to Tatsuya's face from Jean's last kick followed. He swayed back again and came back up to block his gut as the same leg side kicked at it. The blocked kick was shoved downward which led to Jean following up with a reverse kick with the idle leg, connecting with Tatsuya's chest, sending him stumbling backwards. Jean smiled when the kick connected, leaving his leg up for a second, before setting it down and slowly stepping forward.
Jean's speed and power definitely surprised Tatsuya, but what surprised him more was that he was using just his legs to make up for the difference in reach. Jean came forward switching his legs back and forth, and turning around quickly as if he wanted to kick, putting Tatsuya on edge and pushing him back. Jean threw another double front kick, which Tatsuya blocked and threw a quick round house kick while Jean was coming down. He blocked the kick and jumped up throwing a front kick with his left leg and a right round house kick. He landed and threw a cresent kick which Tatsuya swayed from and then swept his lead leg with the same leg. Tatsuya lifted his leg and dodged the sweep. As soon as his leg touched the ground he threw his own cresent kick. Jean blocked the kick and continued turning around lifting his leg as if to kick, faking out Tatsuya four times before throwing a round house kick and then a heel kick with the same leg. Tatsuya ducked under the heel kick and turned to his right, moving to his left to dodge a front with with that same leg. Jean continued forward and turned to his left, throwing a cresent kick with his other leg. Tatsuya swayed back, coming back up and blocking Jean's next two round house kicks at his gut then to his face. Tatsuya swung a back hand at Jean's face only to have it blocked. He turned and moved to his left dodging punch from Jean and throwing a round house kick at Jean. Jean blocked and countered with a jumping front kick then round kick combo. Tatsuya blocked and threw a front kick. Jean blocked and round house kicked then reverse cresent kicked and finally swept at Tatsuya's legs. Tatsuya dodged all three attack, swaying, ducking, and jumping accordingly. He jumped back to avoid a reverse jump heel kick from Jean, and ducked under a second one, sliding back again to dodge a round house kick. Jean jumped up once again and came around with a hard jumping round house kick. Tatsuya blocked the kick, but was sent to the ground because he didn't have time to set his feet.
Tatsuya was on the defensive and the crowd loved it. Seeing a man as big as Tatsuya being pushed back was as great an entertainment as they could get in a fight. Everyone was on there feet cheering on the fighters. Sumiko was on her feet too, but for a completely different reason. Seeing Tatsuya pushed back was not something she was used to or would ever be used to for that matter. Tatsuya quickly got up, narrowly dodging a kick to the face. He threw a back hand at Jean, who dodged and blocked the wide follow up punch, but not the straight punch to the chest after that. Tatsuya threw a wide right that got blocked, and then blocked two wide punches from Jean. Jean quickly connected a kick to Tatsuya's leg, dropping him down and following up with a round house to his face. Tatsuya guarded against the attack as he stood up countering with two quick, but blocked, back hand strikes. He followed up with three quick punches, which were also blocked. Tatsuya blocked Jean's follow up right hook and left upper cut, but got caught once again with a kick to his leg. Jean threw another round house kick and then a front kick. He blocked both kicks and got up charging and grabbing Jean. Jean stopped the charge and broke the grip before jumping up and planting a knee on Tatsuya's chin and sending him back. Tatsuya landed on his back and quickly shot his legs up, twisting on the ground, righting himself just in time to block a double front kick, before being able to stand up. He still had to four more front kicks and a round kick, before he threw a right hook at Jean. Jean ducked underneath the punch and then jumped back to dodge a round house kick from Tatsuya. Both threw high round house kicks and connected at the shin. Jean threw another low round house kick that was blocked by one of Tatsuya's kicks. Both then continued to throw twenty-six more round houses to each other's shins.
It was a test of endurance and pain tolerance as they hit each other again and again. The crowd was cringing and grunting in pain for them as the continued, knowing it had to be as painful as it looked. Both threw one final kick, Tatsuya down low and Jean up high, missing each other. "Come on!, Come on!"
Tatsuya provoked as Jean rubbed his shin. Once the initial adrenaline rush faded, Tatsuya dropped to one knee and rubbed his own shin. Jean took that opportunity and charged Tatsuya, leading with a round house kick and following up with a right cross, then another round house kick. Tatsuya dodged all three, but had to stay on the move, Jean's kicks were strong and fast. He managed to grab on of the kicks, but Jean quickly countered by jumping up with the other leg and kicking at Tatsuya, causing to let go in order to dodge. Tatsuya's feet tangled up and he went to the ground. Jean capitalized on the situation and kicked at the downed man. Tatsuya rolled out of the way from the kicks. Jean went down low to try and round house kick Tatsuya, but was blocked by Tatsuya's own kick and then hit with two kicks to his gut and face as Tatsuya twisted around. Tatsuya rolled forward to his feet and quickly turned to Jean.
Tatsuya was done being on the defensive. He charged forward and threw punch after punch at Jean. Being so close limited Jean's options to only punching, but it was equally limiting to Tatsuya due to his size. Both tried to punch at each other, but failed to land any significant blows. Jean pushed away from Tatsuya and quickly followed up with a front kick, connecting with Tatsuya's gut. Jean came in with a round house kick at Tatsuya's head, but Tatsuya stepped into this time and punched Jean's face. Jean took the punch then ducked the next punch, working his way behind Tatsuya. Tatsuya threw two elbows behind him, but was blocked and kicked in the back of the knee. He scrambled forward and threw a kick back connecting with Jean's stomach. Tatsuya got to his feet but couldn't block Jean's sliding side kick. He had the air knocked out of him briefly and Jean came around with a hard round house to Tatsuya's head flipping him to the ground on his back. Tatsuya grunted as he landed, but quickly flipping up to his feet, dodging a low reverse sweep kick to his head, and quickly jumping up and kicking at Jean's head as he came back up. Jean didn't think Tatsuya would be able to recover so quickly and got hit with he full force of his kick, slamming him back to the ground. Tatsuya landed right next to him and quickly rolled towards him with an elbow to his head, before he could recover. Jean's face was was slammed into the ground by the force of Tatsuya's elbow, breaking his nose. Tatsuya took the momentum he had and got on Jean's back, pulling his head back by the hair before slamming his it back to the ground, presumably ending the match. The crowd cheered loudly as Tatsuya rose to his feet. The official checked the unconscious male and declared Tatsuya the winner, setting off more cheers as Tatsuya exited the the caged arena.
The pyhsician that examined Tatsuya went into the the arena followed by two other men carrying items the probably belonged to Jean. Tatsuya figured they were part of his entourage. Sumiko was on not far from the arena awaiting Tatsuya. Once she saw him, she quickly ran up to him and gave him a hug. "I'm so happy you're alright. I was so worried about you."
She said after pulling away. "I figured as much, but here I am, safe and sound. And I have to say, feeling great. That was the most fun I had in a long time."
Tatsuya reassured Sumiko earning him a disapproving grunt. "Tatsuya you are so incorrigible."
She said trying to look mad, but couldn't hold the face. "Are you ready for dinner?"
She asked with a smile. "You bet, especially since I get anything on the menu.
" He chuckled. Sumiko was about to reply, but was interrupted by De La Vega. "Señor Okibi, Señorita Miyamoto."
He greeted both of them. "I must say Señor Okibi, that was an impressive match. I can't wait to see your next one."
De La Vega had a smile on his face. "Well, Señor De La Vega, I can't wait for my next match. But right now, your chef is my next opponent. I hope he can keep up."
He said causing De La Vega to laugh. "I sure he's up to the task. I doubt you would be able to order fast enough, Señor Okibi."
He said in reply. "We'll see about that."
He chuckled. "Indeed we shall. Now if you'll excuse me. I have guests to tend to. Please enjoy yourself tonight, and tomorrow. You've earned it."
De La vega shook Tatsuya hand before heading off. "Shall we go, Señorita Miyamoto?"
Tatsuya held out his hand to Sumiko. "Yes we shall, Señor Okibi."
She giggled as she grabbed onto his hand.