Ryu looked deep into the eyes of his evil reflection. His evil self looked just like him, except for the black gi, black headband, and the blood red eyes. It was not something he wanted to praise. It was more like a curse.
Fighting his evil side was not easy. His opponent knew him as well as he did. Every kick, punch, throw, and special technique would easily be countered. But he had to try anyway...
Ryu threw a combination of punches. Evil Ryu knew exactly where Ryu's attacks where headed, so he had no problem blocking them.
"You're going to have to do better than that to beat me!"
Ryu started throwing kicks now. But just like his punches, Evil Ryu easily countered them.
"This is pathetic! I didnt expect this from the man who defeated Sagat, Bison, Akuma and Gill! You are weak!"
That last comment was enough to make Ryu mad. Evil Ryu smirked, for he knew that he touched a sensitive spot.
"I'll show you!"
Ryu was now acting very reckless. His fighting style looked more like Ken's then his own. And this is what Evil Ryu wanted. He knew that if Ryu was not focused, he would make a lot of mistakes.
Ryu threw a kick towards Evil Ryu's abdomen. The kick connected, but it went right through Evil Ryu. Ryu finally calmed down enough to figure out what was happening.
Unfortunately, Ryu realized it a little bit too late, for Evil Ryu delivered a punch straight into Ryu's back.
Ryu fell down to his knees as Evil Ryu stood over him.
"I don't believe that you are this weak, Ryu. Even Ken would have put up a better fight than this. I realized that I dont need you or your body anymore. I can live like this forever. I don't have to worry about hunger, sleep, or aging. And all I have to do to ensure that my wish comes true is destroy you. Without you around, no one will be able to stop me from doing whatever I please!"
Sakura saw her idol on the floor and rushed over to help him.
"I wouldn't worry about him if I were you..."
Sakura turned around just in time to see Dark Sakura smash her in the face with her fist.
"If you want to get to Ryu, you'll have to get through me. But that is not going to happen..."
"We'll see about that..."
Sakura got into an offensive stance while Dark Sakura got into a defensive one. Sakura locked eyes with her evil side. Both women of Shotokan studied each other before Sakura broke the silence...
Sakura used her variation of the Dragon punch to stop Dark Sakura. Of course being the dark side of the original, Dark Sakura knew exactly when Sakura's attack would connect. She simply smirked.
"(So she thinks she can stop me? She is only fooling herself. I know all of her moves before she even makes them. But she doesn't know all my moves...)"
Right when Sakura's attack was about to connect, Dark Sakura used a sweep kick to send Sakura to the floor. Before Sakura could get up, Dark Sakura punched her a couple of times in the jaw. That was enough to send the blood flowing from Sakura's lower lip.
Sakura finally managed to stand. She used her forearm to wipe off the blood before getting back into a fighting stance.
"You bitch! I'm going to kill you!"
Sakura started to charge up a little bit of her ki. She finally collected enough and threw it towards Dark Sakura.
Sakura's fireball went zooming towards Dark Sakura. Dark Sakura just swatted the projectile away with her backhand like it was a fly.
"Was that supposed to impress me? That was pitiful. Just like your Shotokan skills. Let me show you a real fireball..."
Dark Sakura charged up some ki before finally throwing a fireball of her own. This one was much bigger and faster than Sakura's.
Sakura didnt have any time to dodge however. The fireball sent her back to the ground. Sakura's lip was bleeding again.
Ryu happened to see what had happened to Sakura.
"So you do care for her. How weak..."
Evil Ryu was disappointed in Ryu's growing affection for Sakura.
Evil Ryu pulled Ryu up by his hair before delivering a knee straight to the gut.
That knee attack took the air out of Ryu.
"I dont believe that..."
"you would allow that..."
"girl to make you..."
"weak because of..."
Evil Ryu delivered his sixth and final knee into Ryu. The last knee attack was enough to cause internal bleeding. Blood was immediately coughed out of Ryu's mouth.
"You want to know the true meaning of the fight? Its simple. Dont let anything distract you. Things like love, and friendship will only hold you back. A true warrior fights alone..."
"That's not true Those things only make a warrior stronger. And you are a fool to think otherwise..."
"Is that true? Then why am I beating the shit out of you!"
Evil Ryu used a right hook to send Ryu to the floor. Evil Ryu then attempted to stomp Ryu with his foot, but Ryu managed to roll out of the way in time. Ryu managed to stand up. He had his arms around his stomach.
"Give up the fight, Ryu. I know all of your moves before you even make them. I tire of this game. It's time to give you your death now..."
Evil Ryu started to charge up some energy before finally lifting one knee off of the ground and floating towards Ryu.
Sakura knew what Evil Ryu was attempting. The Shungokusatsu. If it connected, Ryu would be dead. She couldn't let that happen.
"Ryu! Look out!"
"Shut up you little whore!"
Dark Sakura stomped Sakura in her chest.
Now Sakura had internal bleeding. She coughed up some blood onto the ground before managing to stand.
Ryu got into a defensive stance
Evil Ryu was getting closer towards his target. His blood red eyes glowed even brighter as he floated across the ground.
Ryu just stood his ground and waited for Evil Ryu to approach him.
"(So you think you know all of my moves, huh? Well I've got something special for you...)"
"It ends now, Ryu!"
Evil Ryu was only inches away from delivering the Instant Hell Murder to Ryu. Right when he was about to deliver the first of fifteen fatal blows, he was knocked out of his attack by a move that he wasn't too familiar with...
Ryu dashed towards Evil Ryu smashing him with his fist before finally lifting Evil Ryu into the air with a rising uppercut.
"(He used my move! I feel so honored! Ryu, when this is over, I'm never going to let you go. But first, I have some unfinished business to attend to...)"
Blue ki started to form around Sakura. With renewed vigor, Sakura stood up and got into a defensive stance.
"Come on! I know how to defeat you now!"
Dark Sakura got into an offensive stance and immediately threw attacks at Sakura. Sakura blocked and dodged every attack that Dark Sakura threw at her.
"Whats the matter? Can't you keep up?"
That comment made Dark Sakura mad. She charged up some ki before dashing towards Sakura.
Sakura already knew what Dark Sakura was attempting. The Shoouken, her variation of the Shoryuken. Although it was a very powerful move, it still had a weakness against a particular move...
Sakura knocked Dark Sakura into the air with the true version of the Rising Dragon Punch. Dark Sakura fell on her back and immediately coughed up blood.
Dark Sakura slowly got up and wiped the blood from her mouth. She was pissed.
"No more games, bitch. This time, I'll finish you!"
Evil Ryu got beside Dark Sakura and the two of them got into a fighting stance.
Taking a cue from Evil Ryu, Ryu got beside Sakura and those two also got into a fighting stance.
"(I hope you are ready Sakura...)"
"(I am Ryu...")
Both Ryu and Sakura opened their eyes wide and looked at each other in shock.
"What just happened?"
"You read my thoughts and I read yours."
"But how did we do it?"
"We'll figure that out later. Right now, lets show those two the true power of Shotokan!"
Evil Ryu smirked at Dark Sakura.
Evil Ryu: So those two are starting to bond. How touching. But its time that we ended this...
Dark Sakura: Yes...lets end it...
All four warriors charged each other. Nothing could be seen except a blur of punches and kicks.
Evil Ryu and Dark Sakura couldnt keep up to the renewed energy of Ryu and Sakura. Every attack they attempted was countered.
Sakura and Dark Sakura were both throwing attacks. Dark Sakura threw a punch, but Sakura grabbed it and threw her.
Dark Sakura went for her version of the Hurricane kick, but Sakura knocked her out of the air with an aerial fireball.
Dark Sakura got back up one more time. Red and black ki started to form around her.
"This time it ends Sakura. There is no second round..."
While Dark Sakura was preparing for the Messatsu Go Hadou, Sakura charged up some energy as well.
Sakura's blue ki started to get darker. Eventually, the ki was purple.
Both Sakura's continued to charge up their energy.
Both Sakura's released their projectiles. Both fireballs ran smack into each other. For about a couple of seconds, both fireballs clashed with each other. But then it became clear who the victor would be...
Sakura's fireball was too much for Dark Sakura to handle. Dark Sakura's energy was absorbed into Sakura's.
Dark Sakura's screams of agony slowly diminished as she was quickly destroyed by Sakura's ultimate attack: The Nekketsu Hadou-ken.
Ryu and Evil Ryu continued to trade blows with each other. Neither one had an advantage though.
Evil Ryu started to glow black before releasing one of his most powerful attacks.
Ryu was immediately hit with multiple Dragon Punches.
The assault continued.
Evil Ryu used a final Dragon Punch to send Ryu to the floor. Ryu slowly got up to his feet.
"As I said before, you are weak Ryu. Now I will show you no more mercy!"
Evil Ryu was charging up more energy for another Messatsu Go Shoryuu.
"(The Messatsu Go Shoryuu...What is so familiar about that attack? My evil side is not the only one to use that attack. Ive also seen Akuma use it... But Akuma's attacks are the same as Ken's and mine...)"
"(Wait a second! Ken has an attack called the Shoryuu-Reppa. That attack is identical to the Messatsu Go Shoryuu! If I know how to counter Ken's attack, then I should have no problem countering this attack! I'm ready!)"
Ryu's fist started to glow blue.
Evil Ryu finally unleashed another Messatsu Go Shoryuu. Just as he was about to connect however, Ryu released his fist filled with ki into the stomach of Evil Ryu.
When Evil Ryu was hit, blood immediately came out of his mouth.
Ryu's other fist started to glow blue now. He used this fist and hit Evil Ryu in the gut again.
More blood came out of the mouth of Evil Ryu.
"(So this is how it ends. Ryu, I was wrong about you. You don't need me to be able to develop your true potential. Farewell...)"
Ryu's fist finally connected with the jaw of Evil Ryu. The impact of the blow was enough to make Evil Ryu's body disintegrate into nothingness.
Ryu fell down to his knees after executing the Shin Shoryuken. He was about to fall flat on his face, but Sakura was there to catch him.
"Ryu! We did it!"
Sakura helped Ryu up to his feet before embracing him.
"You are a very good warrior Sakura. You managed to get stronger, and you've overcome the evil intent inside of you. I'm proud of you."
"I couldn't have done it without you, Ryu."
"I guess my work is done now..."
Those last words were like a stake going through Sakuras heart. She suddenly realized what Ryu had said a couple of months ago.
"I'll stay here and train you until you learn how to control the evil intent inside of you..."
Now that the evil intent was no longer a problem, Ryu would have no reason to stick around.
Sakura's eyes suddenly got watery. After waiting for so long, she was finally able to see Ryu again. And now, he was going to be leaving her again. This time for good...
"There's something that I have to tell you..."
Just then, a purple beam of energy went right through the back of Sakura.
Ryu looked up and saw someone he thought he would never see again. It was his biggest rival. It wasn't Sagat or even Ken. It was Akuma...
Akuma simply smirked at his handiwork.
"Did I do something wrong?"
Ryu could feel a lot of anger building up inside of him.
"Why Akuma? She means nothing to you!"
"Oh, but she does Ryu. For you see, she shares a bond with you. That is one of the advanced techniques of Shotokan. Did you ever wonder how sometimes you and Ken can read each others thoughts? It's because of the Shotokan bond. Thats something that Gouken never got to tell you. We shared a bond as well. Thats how he knew some of my thoughts. But it wasn't enough to stop me from becoming what I am today. The true master of the fists!"
"That still doesn't explain what Sakura has to do with me!"
Akuma smirked again.
"I've been watching the fight between you and your evil counterpart. You are even closer to reaching your full potential now, than when I last fought you. I must see how much closer you are. And I don't want anything to distract you..."
Ryu was really upset now.
"If you wanted to fight me, all you had to do was ask! You didn't have to bring her into this!"
Ryu looked down at Sakura. Her eyes were halfway open.
"Sakura...dont try to talk..."
Ryu's eyes were starting to get a little watery.
"Ryu...there's something that I have to tell you..."
Sakura coughed up some blood.
"I...I love you..."
Sakura's eyes then closed and her grip loosened.
Although Ryu already knew that Sakura loved him, it was hearing those words that made him feel all warm inside.
Ryu laid Sakura down on the ground and closed his eyes. A couple of seconds later, both of his hands glowed blue. Ryu opened his eyes and laid his hands on Sakura's chest. He was trying to keep her life force from diminishing.
"(Sakura...please don't die on me...)"
Ryu's hands stopped glowing. He kissed Sakura on her forehead before standing up and walking towards Akuma. The sad expression on his face quickly became very angry.
"You will pay for what you've done to Sakura..."
Ryu started to charge up his ki. He was glowing a light blue.
"Yes!! Show me your true power!"
Akuma charged up his ki as well. First it was black, than it turned red. When Akuma's aura disappeared, Akuma's gi was no longer black. It was purple. His hair was white as well.
"This will be your final fight, Ryu! One of us will not walk away alive!"
"If thats how its going to be, so be it..."
Ryu got into a defensive stance. The look in his eyes was determination. This fight would be different from any ordinary fight. This fight was for the one he loved...
"(Sakura...I don't know how you did it, but somehow...you found a way inside my heart. The adrenaline that I get from fighting pales in comparison to what I feel for you. It's because of you that I feel such...completeness inside. This fight is for you, Sakura...I won't let you down...I love you...)"
With Ryu's final words, he prepared for the biggest fight of his life. The fight to save Sakura Kasugano, the woman he loved...