With a resounding crash, the Masterís son punched through a wall and into the next room, hitting the mats and rolling to a stop against the opposite wall. Matsui Shiro had challenged Chan Sakurami and lost. Spectacularly. The impact had knocked him unconscious.
Chan flipped her long black hair over her shoulder and turned to bow to Master Shiro. He acknowledged her respectfulness with a nod, and, pushing to his feet, went to check on his son. While Matsui was a blowhard and he was glad he had been taken down a notch, he hadnít expected him to be defeated with a single strike. He shouldnít have expected any less from the daughter of Ageha Sakurami, whose very name could make a grown man weep, but he was surprised nonetheless. Her daughter certainly lived up to her legacy, at least in a fight. He had yet to hear her speak, except to thank Matsui Shiro for fighting her and to greet them both when she had entered the dojo.
Outside, in the street, a low black sedan was parked partially on the curb. The man who had been driving Chan, Kinosuke Taijou, was smoking a cigarette. As Chan walked slowly down the steps, he stubbed it out and moved to the back passenger-side door and held it open. Chan nodded to him and slid in, closing the door herself. As Taijou walked around the hood of the car, Chan glanced out the window, and saw Master Shiro watching from the dojoís doorway. She met his gaze for a brief moment, then looked away. The car pulled smoothly into traffic, and drove towards Chanís new school.
Kumamora Academy was a new institution, the building itself only a few months old. The student body wasÖ different, to say the least. Every student was a fighter; there were over two hundred schools and styles represented, warriors called from the farthest reaches of the earth to attend. Chan Sakurami, as the only child of the legendary Ageha Sakurami, was one of the first to receive an invitation. Her mother had accepted it before she had even seen it.
The Academyís main building reared up in the center of the complex, ringed by other, smaller buildings that all looked just as new and just as beautifully-maintained. It didnít look like a school for people who spent their free time ramming fists into each otherís faces. As it was the first day of the first term, all of the students had gathered in front of the main building, on the Zen rock garden. At one end there was a massive board covered in names and numbers; the students were crowded around it.
Taijou drove Chan to the garden, all the way up to the decorative boulder fence, and got out of the car, swinging around to open her door for her. The silence that passed over the others was immediate and intense as Chan Sakurami stepped out into the sunlight, already wearing the schoolís uniform. She bowed briefly to Taijou, a gesture that made her seem very much the princess, and looked towards the crowd. They all looked back.