Welcome to the Battle Nexus
“Cannonball!” Mikey shouted, taking a running jump off a small rock outcropping.
He splashed down in the crisp, clean waters of the lake outside Casey’s Grandma’s farmhouse, joining the Hamato family as they swam. As the orange turtle surfaced, he spat out a small stream of water, reclining on his shell happily.
“Man, this is the life.” Mikey let out.
“I have to agree with him.” Raph spoke up, floating on an inner tube Don had found in the garage. “This is nice.”
“I’m glad Casey’s mom let us borrow the farmhouse for the week.” Hisako spoke up, letting her hair out of its usual ponytail before slipping into the water herself. “After the weeks- no, months we’ve had, we needed this.”
“That’s for sure.” Leo agreed, climbing onto a small rock jutting out of the water. “It’s nice to just kick back and not have any villains to fight for once.”
“I can’t believe that Shredder’s really gone for good.” Donny commented, sitting on the dock and kicking his feet in the water.
“I agree Donatello.” Splinter told him, sitting on the grass in a meditative stance. “Saki’s hold over our family is finally gone, and Miwa has found her place amongst the ranks of the true Foot Clan.”
“I hope she’s doing ok.” Leo voiced.
“You kidding, she’s a Hamato.” Raph reminded him. “And a Hamato can make it through anything.”
“Cheers to that, bro.” Leo declared.
As the group continued talking, Mikey swam under the water towards the docks. As Donny continued kicking the water, Mikey grabbed his foot and pulled him in. Donny fell in with a yelp, coming up for air while coughing slightly.
“Mikey!” he screamed. “What the shell was that for?!”
“No reason you should be dry as a bone while we’re all out here where a turtle should be.” Mikey argued.
“Maybe I didn’t want to get wet.” Donny countered.
“Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t,” Mikey replied. “But you are, so nah, nah, nah-nah, nah.”
“Oh, you are so gonna get it!” Donny declared tackling him.
They two went down into the water, the other three siblings grinning.
“Water fight!” they announced in unison, diving into the fray.
The five siblings all went at it, splashing and ducking one another without mercy. Splinter watched from the grass, shaking his head while smiling contently.
“Kids...” he said to himself.
Just then, the water began to swirl, forming a small whirlpool in the center of the lake. The siblings all surfaced, thankfully just on the outside of the freshly formed vortex.
“Hisako…?” Donny questioned.
“It’s not me, I swear.” she told him.
That’s when the water began to funnel upward, opening and allowing the strangest looking man to emerge. He seemed to be almost translucent, his entire body shimmering as if it was made of water. He was wearing a traditional Japanese outfit reminiscent of the gyoji from Sumo Wrestling, as well as a white mask that covered his entire face.
“What the…” Raph let out.
“Hamato Clan of Dimension 5th Earth.” the strange man announced. “On behave of the Daimyo, master of the Battle Nexus, I have come to extend an invitation to participate in the Tournament of Champions.”
“Battle Nexus?” Donny questioned.
“Daimyo?” Mikey asked.
“Tournament of Champions?” Leo inquired.
The Translucent Man seemed to chuckle.
“I apologize.” he told them. “I am certain this is all quite confusing to you. Perhaps this will help to clarify.”
He reached into his sleeve, pulling out a traditional war paddle. He shook it in his hands, and the water of the lake lifted again. This created a floating pool of water that suspended itself like a screen. The man used it to display crude images as he spoke.
“You see, your dimension is one of countless in an infinite multiverse.” He explained. “And at the center of all these worlds, is the Battle Nexus.”
“So, the Nexus is a point of overlapping subspace commonality?” Mikey questioned.
The other just turned to him, giving him confused looks. Even Master Splinter seemed surprised.
“What?” Mikey questioned. “Donny’s not the only one that likes Star Trek you know.”
“That’s more like it.” Hisako let out in relief.
“So, what is this Battle Nexus, really?” Leo asked. “As well as this ’Tournament of Champions?”
“The Battle Nexus was built by the great Daimyo in order to unite the various universes.” the man explained. “Every year, he invites the greatest champions of various worlds to attend. Up until now, no heroes have shown up on this world that were worthy of the tournament. Not until the six of you. You fight with great honor, putting the needs of others before your own, and even when face with your worst enemy, you showed mercy.”
“Aw go on.” Mikey brushed aside. “... no seriously, go on. We could use the praise.”
Raph just elbowed him in response.
“Normally, contestants would have to pass through the preliminary tryouts before attending, but in light of your recent heroics, the Daimyo has seen fit to grand you automatic admission, should you choose to accept it.” The translucent man concluded.
“Shell yeah we accept it!” Mikey exclaimed.
“Can we Sensei?” Leo asked, turning to Splinter.
“Please?” Hisako begged.
“It would be a nice change of pace, being able to fight against other honorable warriors.” Donny told him.
“Indeed.” Splinter pondered. “I cannot remember the last time I was able to participate in such a tournament.”
“So… is that a yes?” Raph asked hopefully.
“Yes Raphael.” Splinter confirmed. “We will participate in this tournament.”
“Excellent.” The translucent man told them. “When you are ready, enter the portal.”
With that, he shook his war paddle again. The shimmering pool fell back into the lake as the vortex returned. The man then descended into it, disappearing without a trace. The siblings all grinned, then got out of the water and ran towards the docks.
“Care to do the honors, Mikey?” Leo asked.
“You betcha!” The orange turtle announced before the five siblings all held hands. “Cowabunga!”
They all jumped into the swirling portal at the same time, disappearing with barely a splash. Splinter watched them go, shaking his head with a smile. He then jumped into the portal after them.
The swirling portal tossed the siblings around for a few minutes, all of them still clinging to one another tightly. Eventually, it spat them all out in the middle of an ornate gazebo, all of them landing in one big turtle pile. Splinter emerged after them, flipping over their haphazard pile gracefully before landing triumphantly on the ground in front of them. He straightened up, his eyes widening as he took in his surroundings
“My children,” he let out. “You must see this.”
The Hamato siblings slowly untangled themselves from one another, getting to their feet with many groans and moans. When they finally got to their feet, their collective jaws dropped.
“Guys… I don’t think we’re in Northampton anymore.” Hisako whispered.
The portal had dumped them out at the beginning of a long cobblestone path that cut through a field of lush grass with small, majestic rock outcroppings. Ahead of them was a large cliff that had dual waterfalls falling on either side of it. The waterfalls parted to reveal a large stone statue carved into the rocks. The statue stood over what could only be described as a large island standing in the middle of the waterfall’s pool.
The island was dominated by a large city, one that seemed to have been plucked straight out of Feudal Japan. It was surrounded by a large, stone wall with an ornate gate opening at the end of a large bridge that connected the island to the mainland.
“This… is… AWESOME!” Mikey cheered.
He began running towards it, but Leo stopped him.
“Hold on guys.” he insisted. “We’ve got a slight problem.”
“Leo, for once there is no problem!” Raph insisted. “We were invited here, this place looks freakin’ awesome, what’s the hold-up?”
“Two things.” Leo said, holding up his solitary two fingers. “First, none of us have our weapons. Second, we’re all still in our swimsuits.”
Everyone blanched, looking down at themselves. Sure enough, each of the turtles were wearing nothing but appropriately colored swimming trunks while Hisako was left in a green and black short sleeved wetsuit. Splinter, the only one who had elected not to go swimming, was the only one dressed and armed.
“Sewer cakes.” Donny swore. “What do we do?”
“We can’t go in there looking like this.” Mikey insisted. “We’ll look like idiots!”
“Maybe we could go back through the portal.” Hisako suggested. “Just pop back to Northampton, grab our stuff, and-”
She cut herself off as she saw the portal had disappeared, leaving the Hamato Clan without a way home.
“There are so many words going through my head, and none of them are very nice.” Hisako muttered.
“Hey!” Raph began shouting. “Weird water guy! A little help!”
From a small pool in the center of the gazebo, the Translucent Men emerged, facing the Hamato Clan.
“Is there a problem?” he asked.
“Unfortunately, in their eagerness to join your tournament, my children neglected to bring their clothes and weapons.” Splinter explained.
The Translucent Man looked at the five Hamato siblings, examining them.
“Oh my, this simply will not do.” he announced.
He lifted his war paddle, giving it a shake. The water from the gazebo rose up, swirling around each of the siblings individually. They vanished into cocoons of water, which began to glow briefly. After a minute the water flowed back into the gazebo, revealing the siblings in their new outfits.
They were all wearing black suits with large collars that could double as lower face masks. Metal arm plates protected their upper and forearms, with smaller plates attached to a pair of gloves. The pants bunched up a bit at the knees before tightening around their ankles, so their new sandals would fit. The turtles had large chest plates that covered their entire torso while Hisako’s only covered her chest. A quick pat on her stomach revealed a secondary plate under her clothes. The turtles also had shoulder guards and a codpiece, and all five of them had straps and scarves in their respective colors across their chests. As an added bonus, Hisako’s hair had been done up in a bun with decorative chopsticks sticking out.
“Whoa.” Raph let out. “Not bad.”
“I could get used to these.” Hisako commented.
“These are traditional battle garments worn by many of the soldiers that reside here.” the man explained. “Consider them a gift. As for your weapons, I shall go and fetch them momentarily. Take the opportunity to explore the Nexus. The tournament does not start until tomorrow, and I am certain you are eager to look around.”
“You are awesome, translucent dude.” Mikey complimented.
The man merely bowed respectfully, disappearing back into the water. Now properly attired, the Hamato family set their sights on the city.
“Shall we?” Master Splinter asked.
The siblings all nodded eagerly, then they made their way down the path and towards the large town.
Upon entering the large town, the Hamato family was floored by just how many different species of aliens there were. No two creatures looked the same, with every single creature there was as strange and unique as the last. There were shops across the square set up like a bazaar, creatures calling out with bets on the fights, souvenirs and food.
“Dudes...” Mikey gasped. “Do you realize what this is?”
“I’ll bite.” Raph declared. “What?”
“The opportunity we missed out on while on D’hoonib!” Mikey cheered.
“Mikey’s right,” Donny concurred. “Here we can walk around in broad daylight without anyone screaming their heads off at our passing.”
“And these cerebralites come in handy too.” Hisako added. “Everyone is speaking English.”
“What are you talking about?” Splinter questioned. “Every creature here is speaking English.”
The turtles exchanged confused looks.
“But that makes no sense.” Leo pointed out. “How can random beings from various planets and dimensions all know how to speak English?”
“Perhaps I can explain.” The translucent man offered, rising out from a nearby puddle.
Everyone jumped, turning towards him in surprise.
“You again.” Mikey let out. “Seriously dude, someone needs to put a bell on you.”
“The Battle Nexus had very unique properties.” the man explained, seemingly oblivious to Mikey’s bell quip. “The air is breathable by all, and the magic of this world makes it so no matter where you are from, you hear your home world’s native tongue. After all, this is a place where fellow heroes can meet, and that is much easier without a language barrier.”
“That’s handy.” Donny conceded.
“I’m liking this place more and more.” Raph agreed.
The translucent man smiled, then waved his war paddle. It left a trail of water in its wake, from which their weapons emerged from. The siblings all reached in grabbing their weapons and stowing them on their belts and backs.
“The first round does not take place until tomorrow, so feel free to explore the Nexus” the translucent man informed them. “Here is the key to your room in the Home of Champions, as well as a contestant wallet so you can enjoy the bazaar at your leisure.”
He waved his war paddle again, six ornate keys and small pouches emerged from the produced water. They all claimed their stuff, then the translucent man folded in on himself, disappearing once again.
“So, what do we do now?” Mikey asked.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m going to take a look around this Nexus.” Donny reported. “Just think about all of the various flora and fauna I can find that’s unique to this place. All of the unexplained phenomena just waiting for me.”
“Knock yourself out, Don.” Raph told him.
“Just make sure to report to our room by sundown.” Splinter insisted.
“Will do Master Splinter.” Donny replied before heading off.
“I’m going to see if there’s a training ground.” Leo decided. “I’m curious to see what we’ll be facing in the upcoming fights.”
“Suit yourself.” Mikey replied. “I’m going to go find something to eat.”
Splinter immediately turned to Raph, who held up a hand.
“You don’t even have to ask, Sensei.” he told him. “I’ll follow Mikey to make sure he behaves.”
“I’ll go with Leo.” Hisako declared. “I could use some practice anyhow.”
“I shall conduct my own exploration.” Splinter decided. “It has been some time since I could walk the streets freely. Only a fool would pass up a chance like this.”
“Then it’s settled.” Leo announced. “We’ll meet back at the room at sundown.”
Everyone nodded, then scattered about the Nexus.
As Donny walked around the Nexus, he was drawn in by all the amazing sights there were to see. He could see butterflies the size of birds flitting about the bazaar, cat-like creatures with multi-colored fur slinking through alleys. He continued looking around, wishing he’d been able to bring his lab coat, since it held his sketchbook.
“Maybe I can grab one from the bazaar.” he mused.
He managed to find a small parchment shop, getting himself a small leather-bound book and a quill. After figuring out the strange pen, and realizing he didn’t need ink like he believed, the purple turtle began sketching away at everything he saw.
“I wonder if anyone would mind if I took some flora samples with me.” He pondered.
As Donny looked up, he saw a small garden set up in a large courtyard near the center of the town. He made a beeline for it, marveling at the array of plants.
“Holy chalupa...” he gasped.
He plucked a few flowers, pressing them into his book for further study. However, as he reached for a darker flower with bright red pollen, a gloved hand grabbed his wrist, preventing him from getting it.
“I’d advise against that.” the owner of the hand advised.
Donny looked up to see a warrior clothed in navy blue and yellow armor with a purple cloak and a red oni mask standing over him. The warrior let go of his hand before gesturing to the flowers.
“These are Nexus poppies.” he explained. “While they are beautiful, their pollen is especially dangerous. It reacts violently with retinal fluid, and will rend its victims blind within hours.”
“Yikes.” Donny let out, pulling his hand away. “Talk about a blinding powder. Thanks for the save.”
“Think nothing of it.” the warrior replied, lifting his mask to reveal a younger face with long red hair that reached his back. “I am Ue-sama, the Son of the Daimyo.”
“I’m Donatello.” Donny replied. “I’m one of the contestants in the Tournament.
“Yes, my father told me of you.” Ue-sama informed him. “He says you and your family are skilled warriors. I look forward to seeing you in the arena.”
“Think maybe we’ll match up in the tournament?” Donny asked.
Ue-sama shook his head.
“No, not this time.” He answered. “My father forbade me from entering the tournament this year. I am merely a spectator.”
“Ah.” Donny replied. “Shame. You seem like a mighty warrior.”
“I have earned the title of Ultimate Ninja throughout my years in the arena.” he boasted. “But my father has told me that a title does not make a warrior, but how they use their skills.”
“My father’s told me the same thing.” Donny responded. “Well, if you’re not busy, would you mind helping me with my studies?”
“I’m afraid I cannot.” Ue-sama answered. “I have many duties to attend to for tomorrow’s tournament.”
“I understand.” Donny relented. “Hope to see you around.”
“Likewise.” Ue-sama replied before heading off.
Leo and Hisako made their way through the town, following signs for a training ground. As they approached, they could hear someone already there, the occasional grunt being carried on the wind.
“Sounds like someone’s getting their workout in.” Leo remarked.
“Yeah.” Hisako agreed. “They sound tough.”
As they finally reached the training ground, they found a lone warrior training on a dummy made of bamboo. The warrior was a white rabbit, one that wore traditional Japanese clothing from the edo period, and had its long ears tied up as if in a topknot. He carried two traditional swords, one slightly shorter than the other, and fought with the ferocity of a man who had spent his entire life fighting. Leo let out a whistle of admiration.
“Impressive.” he remarked.
The rabbit paused mid-swing, glancing over at Leo. He looked surprised, then sheathed his swords.
“I did not realize I had an audience.” he commented, bowing to Leo and Hisako. “My name is Miyamoto Usagi.”
“I’m Hamato Leonardo.” Leo greeted. “This is my sister, Hamato Hisako.”
Usagi perked up at the mention of Leo’s name.
“Interesting,” He commented. “I knew a warrior named Leonardo once. Though he was very different from you.”
“Really?” Leo responded.
“Yes, though I suppose it’s just happenstance.” He dismissed. “Have you come to train for the tournament?”
“We have, yes.” Hisako declared. “Though right now, I think my brother wants to test your skills.”
“Very well then.” Usagi replied, taking a fighting stance. “Test away.”
Leo drew his own swords and started circling around Usagi. Hisako settled onto the wooden fence that surrounded the training ground, leaning forward eagerly as the match began. The two clashed swords, both warriors eying the other as if analyzing their style.
“It’s strange.” Usagi commented. “You even fight like him.”
“I hope that’s a compliment.” Leo remarked, blocking a sword strike.
“Very much so.” Usagi reassured. “Though there is a fire in your eyes that he did not have. The fire of one who is not above taking a life when necessary.”
Leo then shoved Usagi off and tried swinging at him. The rabbit Ronin quickly ducked under the blade before bringing up his short sword to block it.
“Taking a life is never easy.” Leo replied. “But sometimes, to protect the ones I care about, I’ve had to cross that line.”
“I know, believe me.” Usagi replied. “I have been forced to stains my sword many times. The life of a Ronin is a difficult one, but it is the life I have chosen.”
“Sounds like you’ve been through a lot.” Leo noted.
“As have you.” Usagi added. “But there is a saying: Great men, or animals, are forged in flames.”
“I can attest to that.” Leo agreed, taking another swing at him.
Meanwhile, Raph and Mikey were walking around and enjoying the bazaar. Mikey’s arms were laden with several different foreign treats, chowing down on them.
“Raph, you’ve got to try this thing.” Mikey insisted, holding up a weird, purple pastry. “It’s like a cupcake and a jelly donut had a baby.”
Raph grabbed the pastry and took a bite out of it.
“Not bad.” Raph admitted.
“I know, right?” Mikey said happily. “Dude, I wanna live here. Like, forever.”
“That would be nice.” Raph agreed.
As they walked along, they walked past a humanoid rhino in a white, traditional Japanese gi. Once the rhino laid eyes on them, a smile broke out on his face.
“Well, well, I was wondering when I’d come across you!” he declared.
“Um… ok.” Mikey let out. “Who are you?”
“Names Gennosuke.” The rhino introduced. “Though my friends call me Gen. and you two must be a pair of those new warriors that were added to the roster.”
“Yeah that’s us.” Raph confirmed. “What about it?”
“My friend and I are contestants in the games ourselves.” Gen explained. “And I’m starting a bit of a betting pool on who’s to win. Got the odds all written out, and all I need now is info on the new meat.”
“You’re talking like you’re already slated to win.” Raph commented with his arms crossed.
“Well the odds of me winning are three to one.” Gen conceded. “What do you say?”
“I say you haven’t met us yet.” Mikey declared. “If you knew half the things we’ve done, you’d know that if anyone was slated to win, it’s one of us.”
“Ha! You?” Gen dismissed. “The odds of anyone of you is two hundred to one. You don’t have a chance.”
“Hey, only one person gets to badmouth my brother, and he’s standing right here.” Raph declared, jabbing Gen in the chest. “So why don’t you take your betting pool and turn your sawed-off horn elsewhere, okay?”
“Suit yourself.” Gen replied, walking off. “Your loss.”
“Thanks dude.” Mikey said. “So, let’s see if this place has any pizza. I’ve got one shell of a craving.”
Raph just shook his head, smiling as the two went off.
In another part of the Nexus, Splinter was just walking down the streets of the Nexus Plaza. The feeling of the sun on his face, as well as the casual chaos of the streets was music to his ears. It reminded him of his time of just simply being Hamato Yoshi.
“I cannot remember the last time I have felt so at home on the surface.” he said to himself.
As he continued walking, he absentmindedly bumped into a large, anthropomorphic tiger. Both stopped, the tiger turning to him with a snarl.
“You should be careful.” he growled. “Lots of races will tear you apart for such an offense.”
“My apologies.” Splinter insisted, giving a small bow. “I was just enjoying the plaza.”
The tiger looked at him, then sighed.
“Jeez, I can’t be mad at a face like that.” he let out. “This the first time ya ever seen daylight?”
“No, but I haven’t been able to go out into the light for many years.” Splinter admitted. “Beings like me are… uncommon in my world.”
“Hate to live there.” the tiger commented. “I’m Tigerclaw. You got a name?”
“Splinter.” He replied.
“Pleasure to meet you.” Tigerclaw told him. “You a contestant, or a spectator?”
“Contestant, as well as my family.” Splinter told him.
“Family?” Tigerclaw repeated. “You’re married?”
“Was.” Splinter corrected. “She died… a long time ago.”
“My condolences.” he replied.
“She is in a better place.” Splinter insisted. “I know she is watching over me and my children.”
“How many?” Tigerclaw asked.
“Six.” Splinter replied. “Though only five of them were able to attend. My other daughter is taking care of business abroad.”
“You must be proud.” Tigerclaw commented.
“More than I can ever express in words.” Splinter agreed.
Tigerclaw smiled, then seemed to glance at his wrist.
“I wish you luck in the tournament.” Tigerclaw told him. “Sorry to cut this conversation short, but I must be going.”
“Of course.” Splinter allowed. “Perhaps we will face each other in the tournament.”
“Perhaps so.” Tigerclaw replied before walking off.
Splinter watched him go, then turned and continued his own path. He was unaware of the fact that Tigerclaw turned back as well, scanning Splinter with a cold, calculating glare.
After sparring, Usagi and Leo had gone off to one of the Nexus’ restaurants. Hisako had elected to remain behind in the training grounds, sharpening her skills and allowing the two swordsmen to talk.
“I must say, the more I talk to you, the more I feel like we have met before.” Usagi declared.
“I wish I could say the same.” Leo conceded. “You seem like someone I would be lucky to call friend.”
“Friends are in short supply for me these days.” Usagi admitted, picking up his sake cup and taking a drink. “In my world, death is a constant figure. I have lost many friends along my path.”
He rubbed an arch-shaped scar over his eyebrow.
“It is for that reason I became a Ronin.”
“Really?” Leo replied. “What happened?”
Usagi set down his cup, letting out a sigh.
“I used to be a samurai, in the service of Lord Mifune.” he explained. “I rose in the ranks, and soon became the personal bodyguard of his family, including his wife and young son. Unfortunately, I failed to prevent a ninja from assassinating them both, leaving my lord heartbroken and vengeful.”
“That’s… That’s awful.” Leo let out.
“Indeed.” Usagi agreed. “We soon found out that a rival lord had ordered the assassinations, a vile man by the name of Lord Hijiki. Lord Mifune waged a war against the lord… and was slain in the final battle. It was the same day I got this.”
He tapped his scar.
“I’m sorry.” Leo tried to console.
“After burying the head of my lord, I was left masterless, and I became a Ronin.” Usagi concluded. “It has been many years since that fateful day. I have seen much in my time and raised my blade many times. It is refreshing to know that this time, it will be in an honorable and bloodless conflict.”
“I look forward to it myself.” Leo agreed, smiling again. “You got quite the skill set there.”
“Honed by years of experience.” Usagi replied, his smile returning as well. “Though for your sake, I hope we are not pitted against one another.”
“You think you can take me?” Leo remarked.
“It is a possibility.” Usagi retorted.
Leo smirked, then got to his feet, tossing a few bills on the table.
“I guess we’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow then.” he quipped.
“That we will.” Usagi replied as the two went off.
As the sun set over the horizon, the Hamato Clan reconvened at their designated room. It was a large, Japanese style room with an extremely large bed that had been set up in the center. The smaller futon beside it was clearly for Splinter, and the tasteful decorations and all-around homey feel of the place had all five of the siblings grinning.
“Look at this place.” Hisako gasped as she pulled the chopsticks from her hair, allowing it to cascade down her back. “It’s like a small slice of Japan meets the lair.”
“It is quite reminiscent of the barracks I once called home with the Foot.” Splinter recalled. “The attention to detail is remarkable.”
“You’re telling me.” Donny agreed, helping his siblings shed their armor for some provided night clothes. “I’ve got an entire notebook of plants and observations that are going to be keeping me busy once we get home.”
“Personally, I kind of wish we could make this place our home.” Mikey admitted, plopping onto the bed.
“What’s wrong with New York?” Leo questioned, helping Hisako tie her night kimono. “It’s been our home since we hatched and mutated.”
“Have you seen this place Leo?” Mikey asked. “The sights, the food, the people.”
“Not to mention we can walk around in broad daylight.” Raph added. “And no one wants to throw us in a cage or dissect us.”
“The Nexus is nice and all, but our home is, and will always be New York.” Leo declared, sitting down on the bed. “It’s not perfect, but it’s where we belong.”
“Eh, I guess you’re right.” Mikey conceded.
“He is correct.” Splinter agreed, laying down on the futon. “Now, get some rest, my children. The tournament begins tomorrow.”
The five Hamato siblings nodded as they flopped onto the large bed, eager to get some rest.
In the dead of night, Ue-Sama stood in a large temple called The Hall of Champions. He stood in front of a statue of himself, which marked him as a previous champion, his foot tapping impatiently as he waited for someone. Eventually, a figure emerged from the shadows, remaining out of sight.
“Took you long enough.” Ue-Sama snapped.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Ultimate Ninja.” the figure replied, a voice dripping with malice and cold contempt.
“No matter.” Ue-Sama dismissed. “You’re here and that’s what matters. Are you set for what you have to do tomorrow?”
“Yeah, yeah.” the figure replied. “I was just scoping out the competition. We’ve got a few contenders to deal with, and the new editions are definitely powerful warriors.”
“That won’t be a problem, will it?” Ue-Sama questioned.
The figure chuckled darkly, emerging from the darkness to reveal none other than Tigerclaw.
“No.” he answered. “It won’t.”