The Dark Horse Arrives
Point A to Point B. That's how it's been for him. Neon "Grim" Cross, nicknamed "The Drifting Mercenary" by many or "Grim Eagle", once again drifted from one place to another. This time his trip was from London, England to Tokyo, Japan. He doesn't make a big deal about it because he's used to travelling as it's been a hobby of his for a while and also due to his chaotic lifestyle. Not only does he drift from place to place, he also takes odd jobs to keep a steady income and livelihood.
Now in Japan with no idea of what he plans to do, he decides to just be natural and go with the flow, letting the drift take him wherever. Unknown to this Dutch-Japanese he's about to find himself in something that'll change his life big time.
At a port in Tokyo, 13:37 hrs.
"Here I am again in the same situation I always end up in." Neon sighed, "No wonder why my parents were always stressing the importance of planning ahead, although in all honesty I see no point in it since life always deal a different hand to you every time."
Neon Cross looked around the port he was in. There were a lot of cruise ships at dock with lots of people getting ready to go and have fun at sea and also some cargo liners ready to export or import goods. Once again it seemed that he'd drifted here from the city out of boredom.
"But then again I can also see their point." Neon sighed again, "Maybe I should plan for when I end up in places like this so that I don't end up looking lost. or frustrated. AAAGGGHHH!" He was clearly frustrated at his current situation.
He just walked around the port looking for something, anything to catch his interest and get him out of his boredom. And he was finding nothing.
'DAMN IT! I really need something to deal with my boredom right now.' Neon thought. He was clearly about to lose it! "I really need to get involved in something that is out of this world."
As if someone was listening to his request a poster showed up in his vision and caught his attention right away.
"Dead or Alive 4 Tournament?" Neon read out loud before smirking, "This may be the fix that I'm looking for. One problem... I don't have an invite..." His face fell at that realization but he quickly recovered.
"No matter, I don't need an invite to join. I'll just crash the party instead." He said, "It also seems like the cruise ship to take the competitors to the tournament is in this dock."
A mischievous grin came on Neon's face. It looks like he won't be bored anymore. So he went off to look for the ship. He used his street smarts and his sharp eyes to locate the ship that was going to transport the DOA competitors was and he soon found the cruise ship with the DOATEC logo on it.
"So that's the ship. And DOATEC... why do I get a feeling that I have seen that name before from somewhere?" Neon stood on the spot trying to recall something. "No point stressing myself out over it. Now to find a way to get in since I don't have an invite. And looks like there's security at the ship."
Neon saw two men at the ship who were in all black and white. They were checking some people who seemed to be the individuals who were invited to take part and watch. He looked around for a minute and an idea came into his head.
"Looks like I have found a way in." he said to himself with a huge grin on his face.
14:19 hrs. Inside the DOA cruise ship, Freedom Survivor
Neon was now on board the cruise ship after using a bit of parkour and stealth to make his way in. With his backpack slung over his shoulders he made his way inside the ship looking for the guest quarters to put his stuff down before exploring the rest of ship. He decided to check the map to see where those rooms were. As he was looking he heard someone lightly cough behind to get his attention and so he looked over his shoulder to see a man in all black and white like the ones on the entrance to the ship. Neon thought he'd been found out already and he was already prepared to knock this guy out, but that didn't seem to be the case.
"You are participating in the tournament right?" The man in black and white asked.
"Yeah." Neon lied, "Just looking for my room."
"I could escort you to your quarters if you don't mind." The man offered.
Neon nodded, "Sure. Lead the way."
Neon's escort led him to his room which was quite extravagant. It was spacious with a living room and a dining room with amenities, a bedroom with a king size bed, and adequately equipped bathroom. After thanking his escort, Neon entered the bedroom, dropped his stuff on the bed and fell on it. He was finally on a proper bed for once and not haystacks, car seats or just the cold floor.
"Time to catch some Zs.....finally." Neon said before he letting sleep come over him.
16:18 hrs, Pool deck
Neon was relaxing in the sun after swimming in the pool. He had his camo swimming trunks on, his shoulder length white hair was partially dry and blue sunglasses on. He noticed had gotten the attention of some of the people who were also at the swimming pool, especially a select few.
The first one was a young brunette who was intrigued by his medium athletic body which had a lot of scars on them and the cool and calm aura around him which made him someone she thought she could approach.
The second one was petite orange haired woman who looked at him with worry as she saw a man who has experienced so much pain and suffering and hiding a lot of anger just waiting to be unleashed. A lost soul trying to find solitude or maybe death.
Third was a woman who also had white hair like Neon but shorter. What caught her attention was his different colored eyes, the eyes of a cold blooded killer, a professional in his field. A man she had to be extra careful around.
Fourth was the lavender haired who just stared daggers at Neon, as if he had offended her in some way. She was very suspicious of him and felt that he was very dangerous and had to be watched carefully.
Even with his eyes closed Neon knew that he was being observed and he did not like it one bit!
'I don't need this! I'd prefer them to just come and tell me what's on their minds already! Unless they have an ulterior motive....' Neon sighed while he tried to ignore them and only be aware of everything else around him. Soon enough he heard footsteps coming his way. Opening an eye he spotted the young brunette walking towards him before he closed it. He finally sensed her standing over him and braced himself for whatever she wanted to throw his way.
"Hello there." The girl asked.
"Hello to you too young lady." Neon replied not seeing her blush. He then decided to have a little fun. "Like what you see?" Neon didn't need his eyes open to know that the girl's cheeks were now crimson red. He then added to the fire. "You can look but no touching."
"W-W-What are you talking about?" The girl asked in embarrassment.
"Hahaha! Relax. I'm just playing with you." Neon joked.
The girl managed to pull herself together and introduced herself. "By the way my name is Hitomi. What's yours?"
"Neon Cross. Why do you ask?"
"Are you fighting in the Dead or Alive Tournament?"
"You can say that. Let me guess the same applies to you?"
"Yes it does. You'll be in the preliminaries though and it's got some tough competition."
"Leave that to me to bother about."
Neon opened his eyes and looked at Hitomi who was now sitting in a chair next to him, while ignoring her polka dot bikini.
'Height: 5'3", Weight: I don't care for that, Age: 18, slender athletic build, blue eyes, shoulder length brunette hair, has a Western look to her though there's also a bit of Eastern too, definitely someone who keeps fit based on her figure. Energetic, friendly and quite skilled in the martial arts.'
One of the few skills Neon picked up during his drifting escapades was figuring out people at just a glance through their features, personality, habits and so on. This has helped him when dealing with clients he deals with or random strangers he meets and decipher if they are friend, foe or 'neutrals'. Neon could tell that Hitomi was a good person but he will still keep his guard up anyways.
Hitomi had noticed Neon looking at her from head to toe and smirked as she decided to get some payback.
"Keep that up Neon-san and I'll think you are a pervert."
"Nice try Hitomi but I just wanted to see who I was talking to." Neon said, seeing through her attempt to tease him, "Though I'll admit that you're cute."
And the brunette ended up red in the face again.
"Anyways...." Neon continued, "....I take it that you didn't come here for teasing, right?"
Hitomi managed to get herself under control again and answered, "Oh right! I came to ask you if you'd like to spar with me. I can already tell that you're a good fighter when I first saw you and besides this could help you to prepare for the preliminaries."
Neon pondered her offer for less than a minute. A sparring session with someone who participated in the last tournament wasn't a bad idea. "Okay I'll take you up on that offer."
"Great. I'll see at the gym in 15 minutes." Hitomi said before getting up and leaving.
Neon sat up from his chair and looked at the top of the ship. During his conversation with Hitomi he felt the presence of two other people and one of them had a hostile aura around them. He got up and took his towel and proceeded to go back to his room to change while getting a glimpse of the other people who had observed him as he talked to Hitomi.
'Seriously they should quit the staring and tell me what's on their minds. At least Hitomi had guts.'
16:40 hrs, Freedom Survivor Gym.
Neon was now in the gym wearing a white t-shirt with an eagle design on the front and back, black and orange trunks and his hands and feet in wrappings. He was waiting for Hitomi to show up for their sparring session and he wasn't the only one in the gym.
There was a guy who was shadow boxing. An African-American. He was bald, wearing black shades over his eyes, Muay Thai trunks, his hands and feet in wrappings too. Obviously a Muay Thai fighter.
'Though he's more of a party animal than a fighter.' Neon thought.
Next he saw a young teen who seemed to be around 16-17 with short blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a red and yellow hoodie, blue jeans and black sneakers. He was practicing his martial arts moves, Neon was impressed by his sharp moves and he knew that he was most likely competing in the tournament. 'Kid's got skills. Though I wonder what martial art style he's using. It looks like a mix Ba Ji Quan and Kung Fu.'
Neon then noticed a guy who was in his early 20s with spiky brown hair and brown eyes, only wearing a pair of black pants with a golden dragon on the sides punching and kicking the air. 'What do you know... a Jeet Kune Do user. No doubt inspired by the great Bruce Lee. Definitely someone that'll give me a challenge.'
"Hey! You're here." said a familiar female voice.
"You asked me to spar with you and I accepted. So here I am." Neon answered as he turned to face Hitomi. She was wearing a black crop top with pink hems and yellow eagle motif, stonewash jeans, brown boots, and red-and-black protective gloves and elbow guards
"Well then. Now that you're here..." Hitomi said as she got into her fighting stance, "Let's see what you got."
'Karate huh? This should be good.' Neon thought with amusement as he got into a southpaw fighting stance with his hands low and bouncing on his toes.
By now the other three people in the room had stopped what they were doing and were watching with interest at the match that is about to be unfold.
Neon and Hitomi moved around each other, briefly looking for an opening to exploit. Then Neon started things off, lunging in with a left cross. Hitomi blocked that attack but still took a vicious leg kick on her lead leg. She stepped away from the follow-up leg kick that was coming after and then found herself on the defensive from a barrage of punches from Neon at different levels before ending with another leg kick to her lead leg again.
Hitomi stepped back after that to quickly gauge what happened earlier while Neon just stood there in his fighting stance waiting for her.
'Based on the barrage of strikes that he threw, Neon is was a Muay Thai fighter like Zack but those attacks were much more savage and powerful like a brawler but with pinpoint precision as some of those attacks were aimed at my liver and temple.' Hitomi thought.
She was then brought out of her thoughts as she quickly dodged a double flying knee from Neon and one of those knees were aimed at her temple again.
Hitomi began her own offence launching a four-punch combo which Neon avoided with precise head movement before retaliating with a right undercut that caught her off guard barely blocking it but still managed to evade the overhand left but not the lunging leg kick on her lead leg that followed. Shrugging off the pain in her leg she fired back with her own multi-level combo ending with a jump kick which Neon managed to defend against. Hitomi launched a kick to the body which Neon caught and kicked her other leg from under her dropping her on her back.
He motioned with his hand telling his opponent 'stand up' with a straight face. Hitomi kicked up to her feet and rushed at him with a flurry of punches which Neon parried against with elbow blocks before countering with hooks. Hitomi responded in kind with her own parries and hit Neon with a straight right down the middle which snapped his head back, making him step back. He recovered in time to hop over a sweep kick and countered with superman punch while landing which Hitomi rolled away from.
Both got into their stances and rushed at each other with flurries of strikes that all missed their intended targets. Neon and Hitomi then threw a spinning back kick and spinning wheel kick which blocked each other's attack. Hitomi then threw another high kick which Neon caught and dropped her with a spinning back elbow.
Neon stepped back and watched as Hitomi managed to get up. She was surprised that he barely broke a sweat while she was a little exhausted. She brought her hand forward for a handshake which Neon accepted.
"You're pretty good." Hitomi said with excitement, "I have a feeling that you're going to easily make it past the preliminaries."
"You're not bad yourself Hitomi. You're a lot better than most karate fighters I've fought." Neon replied.
The Jeet Kune Do practitioner had walked up to them as they were talking and caught Neon's attention. "Neon." he said.
"Yeah, that's me. You want something?" Neon asked.
"Hello Jann Lee. What do you think of Neon?" Hitomi asked.
Jann Lee suddenly threw a punch at Neon which was easily caught.
"Isn't it a little too early to start a fight with me?" Neon smirked, "If you want a shot at me then wait for the tournament to begin." He then released Lee's hand.
Jann Lee looked at Neon from head to toe with a smirk on his face before leaving the gym.
"So that guy's Jann Lee. Interesting fellow." Neon said.
"Looks like you've gotten his attention." Hitomi said, "He must see you as a worthy opponent."
"Is that so? Then the feeling's mutual." Neon stretched. "Thanks for the sparring session Hitomi. I'm now much more excited to fight in the DOA tournament. See ya!"
18:00 hrs, The Main Hall
Neon was walking down the hallway in a white short-sleeved bodysuit, with fish-net shirt underneath, white shorts and white finger-less gloves. He had heard the announcement for all the fighters competing in the prelim to show up at the main hall and he was wondering what the rest of the competition was like before he reached his destination.
The main hall was the largest part of the ship. There was a large ring in the middle while the rest of the room was full of people all waiting for the preliminaries. Many of the people were itching and excited to see who were going to make it to the next round of the tournament.
Neon was not surprised at the large crowd that was in the hall and he wasn't surprised at the number of competitors around him. However, he was not impressed by the competition around him.
'Most of these guys aren't worth my time, except very few of them. Time to weed out the weaklings.'
Finally the captain of the ship entered the room. He walked to the center of the ring with a microphone in his hand.
"Ladies and gentlemen!!! Welcome to the preliminaries of the fourth Dead or Alive tournament. We have a lot of competitors for this year's event and we have randomly selected the opponents already with our high-tech computers. Now without further delay let's do this!!!"
The crowd went wild, cheering loudly as the computer displayed the match ups for the prelim. Neon blocked out the noise as he looked on with an emotionless face, just wanting to get this done already.
'I'm so gonna be bored outta my mind! Might as well just spare myself the headache and make it quick.'
For the next three hours the ring was a brutal war zone filled with only unhindered rage and pure determination to win and advance to the next round. One by one they all dropped, man and woman, unconscious and bloody messes. The most jaw dropping sight for the crowd was the white-haired, brown-skinned man, with green and red eyes, medium athletic frame who was blitzing through his opponents with terrifying ferocity. All of his fights ended by either one punch or one kick knockouts, brutal one-sided beat downs or crippling leg kick finishes. His unfortunate victims had to be taking out on stretchers and given immediate medical attention.
Some of the more well-known DOA fighters were just as surprised as the crowd while the others weren't fazed by the displays.
Hitomi already knew how strong and skilled Neon was after sparring with him earlier but never expected him to be this brutal. Jann Lee had focused his attention on Neon after seeing his one-sided beat downs, he was impressed by his fighting ability. Zack was in awe of Neon's Muay Thai skills. Kasumi was horrified at his brutal displays of power when he finished some opponents by one hit knockouts and bloodthirsty ferocity in his one-sided beat downs. Christie was very happy with the way Neon picked some of his opponents apart with precision and left them crippled, bloodied and in agony.
The other veterans had their own reactions which were either awe, disinterest or none at all.
The fighting was finally over with some of the crowd cheering tremendously for the winners while some were cursing and moaning because they lost their bets. Out of forty fighters that were in the preliminaries only four stood in the middle of the ring. One of them obviously Neon. There was also the young man he had seen in the gym earlier and the other two were women.
One seemed to be 17 yrs. old. She had black waist-length hair and blue eyes, she was wearing a Changsha styled outfit, two gold wristbands with dangling white balls and white shoes.
The other woman looked to be in her early 20s. She was slim, dark-skinned with a slender athletic body, brown eyes and short brown hair. She was wearing a white decorative unitard with knee-high boots, various arm accessories like a butterfly mask with cap.
The crowd cheered loudly again as the captain went on to introduce the contestants that would move on to the next round of the tournament. One of the women introduced herself as Kokoro and a practitioner of Ba Ji Quan and the other one called herself La Mariposa and a luchador. The young man beside Neon introduced himself as Eliot and a practitioner of Xing Yi Quan which Neon had never heard of, when the microphone got to him Neon made his introduction brief and called himself a Freestyle fighter.
'So he decided to reveal very little about himself. Smart move but also makes him very suspicious.' Christie thought.
Jann Lee didn't seem to care about Neon's introduction.
"Okay then... Well there you have it these four fighters are moving on to the next round let's give them a big round of applause again!"
The crowd cheered once again.
Up on the roof of the ship were three shadowy figure that had watched everything through the crystal ceiling of the room.
"That man is a monster." A female voice said.
"Indeed, he is ruthless but very skilled. What do you think of him Hayate?" A male voice said.
"He is an enigma and someone we should keep an eye on." Hayate answered, "Don't you think so Ryu?"
"True he revealed very little of himself. We don't know whether he's a friend or foe." Ryu replied, "Ayane, can you keep an eye on him?"
"Yes I can Master Ryu. I'll see what I can dig up about him and let you know." Ayane answered, 'And kill Kasumi when I find her.'
"Let's go." Hayate said.
The three ninjas nodded and vanished. Unknown to them Neon had sensed their presence back at the main hall, smiling on the inside.
'Looks like this tournament's become a lot more interesting. This will be entertaining.'
Chapter 1 end.