The End

Reunion

Bo crouched on the roof of a building, at the outskirts of the village, trying to pinpoint where someone who might still be alive through this horror might be. In order to get here, he was forced to go back into the forest to avoid possibly being detected, by any Marines that were left behind to guard the ships, as he crossed the coast. After a few moments, Bo finally noticed something that seemed promising: numerous marines converging on a single spot, guns and swords drawn. Unfortunately, he was unable to see who they were all attacking due to the chaos surrounding the whole situation, but he had an idea. If he was right, then even considering the turmoil and his Teacher's directives, he just may leave him; though the person would probably like that. Ultimately he couldn't just leave him, no matter how much he wanted to.

Using his agility to quickly traverse from roof to roof, sometimes dropping off into alleyways to avoid detection by marines who thought they heard something fall from a rooftop and hit the ground nearby, Bo made it to where he could clearly see the marines charging the same spot. After a few more stealthy moves, he settled on the roof of an apparel shop about three buildings away from the clash from which he would have a clear view of the scene of the clash and whatever group or individual the Marines might be confronting.

After dropping into the store and borrowing a pair of black sunglasses with dark red lenses in order to keep any brightness from the fires from impeding his vision and lining up the sights of his bow, Bo could clearly see the marines' target: a lone man who looked to be approximately 6'5 and just over 250 lbs. wearing worn, tattered khaki cargo pants and combat boots with no shirt showing off the fact that he was extremely well-muscled, actually possessing an eight pack with very little body fat. The man was swinging around a large sword, about as tall as he was, that had a jagged and chipped blade showcasing the fact it had seen numerous conflicts.

Bo watched for a while as the man swung the giant blade wildly, with no finesse or technique behind it, until he decided to help and shoot down some excess marines from his spot on the roof. After the number of marines was down to just under 20 and there didn't seem to be any more coming, Bo stood up and started heading towards the area where the man was clashing with the remaining marines.

As Bo arrived on the scene, the large man spoke without even turning around as he swung some of the blood off of his sword after cutting the head clean off of the body of the last marine attacking him. "Bo, what are you doing here?" he said in an annoyed, almost belligerent tone that seemed all too natural for him.

"I'm here to help, Leon." came the response as Bo held a fake smile on his face.

"Nobody asked for your help."

"Nice to see you to. The Marines are slaughtering the entire village. They're going to kill everyone on the island." Bo continued in a serious tone of voice, "Master Ming wanted me to save as many people as I could and escape from here."

"Oh! And where's the rest of the brownnosers?" asked Leon with slight bemusement.

Bo struggled to answer, "Th-They're… dead… all of them."

"Why does everyone seem to die around you?" probed Leon, still not taking the situation seriously.

Bo simply told him to shut up in a stern, commanding voice as he grew irritated with his blasé attitude. "We need to find others, now."

"What about Ray. There's no way he'd die." Leon answered with some seriousness, his signature smirk still on his face. As he said this, he looked over his shoulder only to see Bo standing there with his eyes closed. Turning back around, he waited a minute and inquired, "Find him?"

"Yeah, but they're on the other side of town."

"Yay." responded Leon in a bit of false enthusiasm.

"Don't get too excited." scolded Bo, "Most of the marines seem to be heading up the mountain by now or guarding the ships, which means that the Commanders are probably near the top. We have to hurry so we can get off the island."

They made it across the village with little trouble as Bo led and simply ran past most of the marines leaving them for Leon to take care of, simply adding to the numerous dead bodies of both marines and villagers alike, sprawled out across the streets, over fences, and in various other positions. Leon either killed them or left them to bleed out by slicing off limbs or with a single deep gash in the chest. Only once did Bo bother to turn around: when he heard a marine pull out a Baby Den Den Mushi, but was stopped from sending a call by an arrow driving through his mouth and the base of his brain and finally exiting through the back of his head leaving his limp body pinned to the remnants of a stone wall.

As they neared their destination- a quaint restaurant with slight damage to the front- Bo slowed down and walked the rest of the way, carefully weaving his way through the bodies that lay scattered in front of the building. As he approached the front doors, a blade flew near his head and would have driven into his skull if not for his quick reflexes allowing him to react and move his head to the side enough that it just nicked the bottom of his ear barely drawing blood.

Not even taking note of the scratch, Bo spoke out as he walked into the door holding what had just been thrown at him-a segment of a staff with a large knife blade at the end and a chain attaching it, most likely, to the other segment of the staff, "Now Ray, is that anyway to treat an old friend."

When they entered, Bo and Leon were face to face with a tall man- about 6'2 looking to be just over 200lbs.- with a shaved head wearing a white shirt that had been cut about halfway down the front exposing his broad, chiseled chest tucked into a green sash over loose fit trousers with a tropical design on them. The man was the first to speak. "Bo, you haven't changed much," he spoke in a calm, stoic tone, but then paused as he turned his attention to Leon, "but you certainly have been working out."

Bo then chimed in, "Yeah, but he's still carrying that bandit's old sword around."

Leon, seeming slightly offended by Bo's latest statement, pointed his sword at the man's staff, which was now twisted back together, and piped up, "Ray here is still using those old kitchen knives as a weapon." Leon paused as he returned his sword to his shoulder before continuing, "What happened to your long hair, though. Finally decided to look like a man?" he finished with a smirk.

Ray responded by bringing the blade up to eye level and running his finger over the sharp edge. "These blades are still as sharp as ever and they will forever remain that way. My hair on the other hand… It was either this or a hair net." he said with a slight smirk as he pointed to his shaved head.

Leon spoke again in a more upbeat tone than usual as he wrapped his arms around Ray and Bo's shoulders, "Eh, looks like the old band's getting back together."

At those words, Bo's shoulders sunk slightly as his head dropped and he whispered, "Not entirely."

Ray removed Leon's arm from his shoulders as Leon took his other arm from Bo's shoulders and Ray condolingly offered, "Don't worry, Bo. I'm sure Emma, Taylor, and Tyler are looking down upon us right now. How many years has it been, though? I don't see you two anymore since Leon moved to the other side of the island-"

"-and Bo stays up in that mountain. Those damn marines interrupted my training.

The trio's reunion was cut short as they all heard a rustling come from somewhere to the side. As they turned their heads to the curtain leading to the kitchen, Leon tapped his sword on his shoulder with a bloodthirsty grin, Bo raised an eyebrow in interest at who the newcomer could be, and Ray remained perfectly calm.

Before either of the other two could do anything, Ray held his arm out in front of them to hold them back and spoke to the person behind the curtain in a relatively soft voice, "Come on out."

Upon being prompted, the figure started to peek out from behind the curtain showing himself to be a small child with messy orange hair. Ray gave him a nod to go ahead and step out from behind the curtain and as the child complied, he stumbled and fell due to his nervousness. He quickly scrambled up to his feet and gave a quick bow as he hurriedly muttered, "I'm sorry Ray-san."

Leon, disappointed by the fact that it wasn't someone he could kill, heard the way the child referred to Ray and raised an eyebrow, "Ray-san?"

Before Ray could respond, Bo interjected and stated, "So, this is why you stayed here? You were protecting these kids."

"Yes. These are my students." Ray proclaimed as he led Bo, Leon, and the child into the kitchen to see a group of ten students of varying ages standing and sitting around along with some adult villagers, mostly women and old men, as well, all visibly shaken and scared from what had been occurring around them in the village. Ray then finished, "I teach cooking now. There are also some villagers who came here for safety." Bo nodded his head in understanding as Leon just scoffed.

"We need to get out of here. We're running out of time." Bo spoke up as he got his mind back on track after running into two old friends.

"What are you talking about?" questioned Ray.

"The Marines are the ones doing all this." Ray nodded his head. He already knew that; after all, he'd taken out a number of them as they tried to do harm to his restaurant or innocent villagers trying to run away. "They're most likely after Master Ming and they're already headed up the mountain. Even with all of the traps that only those familiar with the mountain know about, the Marines are probably near the dojo by now. Master Ming won't be able to hold them off forever, and if they're strong enough to take him down, we wouldn't stand a chance. We have to escape now." Bo continued.

Not fully understanding, Ray asked, "Who could beat Master Ming? He's one of the strongest men in the North Blue, even at his age."

"I don't know, but when I mentioned that there was a Marine warship and two smaller ships, he actually looked visibly shaken for a moment. Nothing surprises him!"

"Ah, forget the old man. I was going to get him soon anyway." Leon grumbled, waving off their concerns.

This only served to irritate Bo. He spoke sternly. "You will show Master Ming the proper respect. You may not have been under his tutelage anymore, but he still taught you all of the swordsmanship you know. As is, though, you couldn't even beat me." Bo then turned around and headed back to the front to go out the front entrance and towards where the marine ships were docked. "Let's go."

Leon could only grumble and mutter under his breath as he angrily followed behind to catch up with Bo. He was followed shortly after by Ray's young cooking students, the adult villagers Ray saved, and, finally, Ray.

The move to where the shops were docked was mostly uninteresting. The few marines still in the village were there simply to 'clean up' any remaining villagers, although they were being rather easygoing for the most part because they were sure that anyone they didn't catch would be caught in the hail of cannon fire as the Marines departed meant to burn the rest of the island to ashes.

Bo was easily able to take down any of the marines that crossed their path since they weren't paying complete attention to what was going on around them. In their rush to escape, Bo was thankful that due to the landscape of the mountain and the deadly traps lining the path to the dojo from the front, as well as the various creatures that lived in the forests of the mountains, it was not only much faster to use the side of the mountain to get up and down, but also nearly impossible for someone unfamiliar with the mountain to ascend it alone via the front path lest they were extremely strong. This bought him the time he needed to do as his Master commanded and was the reason he was currently so close to escaping.

Upon arriving at the Marine ships, Bo gestured for the rest of the group to stop before he proceeded to quickly climb a tree to get a better view of the people on the deck of each ship. Ray and Leon could see most of the Marines standing guard from their spots on the ground, but Bo needed the higher elevation for easier targeting.

After quickly deducing the basic pattern that the guards used to patrol and the general area that each could probably see, Bo proceeded to eliminate them one by one as quickly and quietly as he could so as not to alert any others before he was ready to deal with them. Bo paused as he looked at the remaining guards. There were about three left on each ship. Deciding that the most he could do alone was take out the guards on one ship while in view of the others, Bo decided to drop straight down the twenty foot tree he was crouched in, landing on his feet without a problem as opposed to alerting every marine that stayed behind by attacking outright since he was fairly certain that there were more marines on the ships than the ones keeping watch.

Landing next to Leon, Bo motioned for Ray to come closer and for both him and Leon to listen. He then told them his plan: he'd take out the guards on the right ship and once the ones from the other ships were distracted, Leon would clear the middle ship and Ray would take the one to the left. Bo then made his way back up to the position in the tree he was in before.

Once there, he took a breath and jumped towards the ship, shooting the two standing back with well-aimed arrows. After firing, he did a mid-air flip and landed on the deck, immediately impaling the front guard through the back of the neck with the bladed tip of his bow before the marine even knew what hit him. However, just as Bo predicted, the marines monitoring from the other two ships had a clear view of the entire scene due to how the ships were docked. Before they could even do anything, though, Ray and Leon were already on the move. Leon used his immense leg strength to jump on board the warship in the middle- an impressive feat to say the least- and stab the front guard through the stomach. Before the other two could recover from the shock, Leon had already slung the limp body off of his sword and was charging them; with one swift stroke they were both down, a deep slash in their chests. At the same time, Ray had hopped on board the third ship and used the superior length of his extended staff to cut down the three guards with only a few adept movements.

With all of the guards out of commission, Ray and Bo went to help the children and villagers onto the largest ship- the marine battleship in the middle- using a wooden ramp that Leon had let down. Once everyone was on board, they were finally ready to set sail and leave Todai Island, the only home many of them ever knew.


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