J'ki paused for a moment to gather his thoughts together and then he began. "I have joined a group of warriors who seek to fight against a great evil. His name is Ezekial and he desires to destroy all living things." explained J'ki.
"Hmph! Ones like him always appear every century or so." replied Isuru. "They usually are quick to perish."
"This one... will not be quick to perish." replied J'ki in a serious tone. "He controls an army of undead unlike anything I could ever imagine and he himself wields incredible power. I, in my current state, will not be able to help defeat him unless I become stronger."
"So you want to finish your training and learn the final technique of the Tenshou... is that it?" asked Isuru calmly.
"Yes that is so." answered J'ki. "I also have another issue."
"Your inner demon?" replied Isuru.
"So you know..." said J'ki slightly surprised.
"I've known for a while now that your inner demon was developing." replied Isuru calmly still. "I also know that you've been having trouble supressing it."
"What should I do?" asked J'ki desperately. "What can I do to defeat this demon?"
"Let it out." said Isuru.
"What?!" exclaimed J'ki as he was shocked. "Why should I do that?!"
"Your inner demon is not truly an evil entity but a neutral entity that was warped by the negative connotations you labeled to it." replied Isuru. "Your inner demon is your true power... the power to fight with a skill unmatched by any other."
"No. That cannot be. This is not true!" denied J'ki.
"It is true! Ever since the massacre of your friends and peers.... I've watched quietly as you unconciously sealed away your skill. Not only that but you swore to me that you would never draw the blade unless you meant to kill." explained Isuru. "You are afraid of killing the ones you hold dear! Your fear has driven you to label your talent as a curse... as something that must be shunned!"
J'ki could not look up as he stared, his eyes transfixed to the wooden floor. He knew deep inside that his grandfather spoke no lies. The memory of his friends' deaths still weighed heavily on his mind and soul. "This may be true... but I can deal with this fear for the moment. I have a greater need and that is to finish this training." said J'ki quietly.
"Finish? In the nine years you've been gone, your skill has barely increased since last we met! You want to finish?! You have yet to begin!" replied Isuru in a level but powerful voice. His eyes narrowed and his face turned very grave. "When you sealed away your skills, you all but crushed your aptitude for learning new skills! You have not even refined your Transcendental Blow technique nor even learned the Flash Step! You cannot master the final technique in this condition! Return when you've become stronger!"
"I cannot do that! I will be able to return if I enter this war without knowing that technique! If you think me unworthy then test me!" replied J'ki with anger in his voice.
"Foolish child! If you will not learn the old ways the way you are supposed to then you will suffer the pains of taking the quick path!" scolded Isuru before he stood up and unsheathed his katana. "Bare your blade! I will show you the gap between master and student."
J'ki unsheathed his nodachi and held it ready to attack. Every muscle in his body was tense and strained under the pressure of this final test.
"Begin." said Isuru curtly.
J'ki dashed forward to attack Isuru but Isuru leaned forward and disappeared. Moving at speeds that J'ki was not skilled enough to see, Isuru flanked J'ki and slammed the butt of his hilt into J'ki's kidney. Before J'ki knew it he was on his knees and clutching his back in agony.
"You cannot even see my movements. How do you suppose you will be able to defeat me, foolish child?" asked Isuru coldly. "This battle is not worth my full efforts."
"Stow your babbling, Old Man!" replied J'ki fiercely. "I will defeat you!" J'ki once again charged Isuru but he was no longer there. Once again, J'ki was dropped to his knees by Isuru's attack though this time he clutched his jaw.
Three hours passed and this brutal and slow battle dragged on. J'ki at this point was severely bruised and battered while Isuru hardly broke a sweat. J'ki was beginning to struggle again with his inner demon as he felt it creeping in again. Isuru moved again but this time J'ki partially avoided the attack and took a lighter blow. He was beginning to see Isuru's movements and reacting to them.
"Give it up, fool boy. I've tired of playing this game. I will finish this now." declared Isuru in a dead cold voice.
Isuru once again flanked J'ki but this time... something different happened. J'ki's sword blocked the attack and he turned quickly to deliver snap kick into Isuru's left knee. Isuru jumped, kicked off of J'ki, and landed smoothly a short distance away. Isuru's eyes were slightly widened as his shock at J'ki's ability to block the attack set in. "I can see your sword now, Old man. I will beat you." stated J'ki with a new confidence.
"I am hardly trying boy. Do not get so riled up." replied Isuru indifferently. "You are still not even close to matching me in skill."
"We'll see about that!" growled J'ki as he charged Isuru. Isuru simply used Flash Step to flank J'ki again and went for a slash that would disable J'ki's back muscles. J'ki suddenly moved out of the way and managed to flank Isuru. J'ki brought his nodachi down with frightening speed and force but it was easily blocked by Isuru. "That technique will no longer work on me, Old man." said J'ki in a low voice.
"This boy mastered a technique which took me three years to master... in three hours." marveled Isuru in his mind. "His ability to assimilate techniques quickly has returned."
Isuru spun around and pushed away J'ki, disengaging their swords. J'ki drew his sword back and a blue aura coursed through his sword as he prepared to use a technique. "Transcendental Blow!" chanted J'ki as his sword sped towards Isuru's torso. Isuru blocked the sword with his own and a massive explosion knocked J'ki away. When the dust cleared, Isuru stood unscathed as he managed to completely block the attack.
"Such power but it lacks focus... your power is still wildly fluctuating." critiqued Isuru. "You must unleash that demon if you wish to regain your true power and skill."
"Never. I don't need that thing!" replied J'ki angrily. J'ki charged again and used Transcendental Blow again. Isuru drew his sword back to his left till it was horizontal behind his back. "Zanmato!" chanted Isuru as he dashed forward and slashed in one quick smooth movement. J'ki dropped to his knees and gripped the gaping wound on his side. His sword was cut cleanly short to the length of a katana.
"This is the power gap between you and I. This technique is a refinement of all the skills you know but since you did not refine them... you do not know it." said Isuru in a powerful voice. "Bare your soul to me, J'ki. Show me that you can do more than this. Show me that fighting spirit that once burned in your soul! Release the power within!"
The pressure was too much and J'ki could no longer supress the demon within. Instantly his spiritual aura became visible but it was no longer a whitish blue but a red with a black tinge. J'ki stood up and the wound at his side sizzled and healed. His hair drained of it's usual black and red color to a deathly white.
"Heheheh.... ha.... Hahahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!" laughed the distorted inhuman voice that J'ki know possessed. He turned his head back to stare at Isuru with black eyes and yellow irises, a twisted grin plastered on his face. "You wanna see power OLD MAN?!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! HERE YOU GO!!!!"
The demonic J'ki blurred in movement so quick that the eye could not properly register it. Isuru barely blocked the attack at first but he quickly adjusted counter J'ki's every movement. J'ki seemed much faster... and much stronger... not only that but his power was far more focused. The two fought at incredible speeds with Isuru turning aside the viscious blows that J'ki was dealing out while he laughed that insane laugh. Isuru drew back his blade and performed Zanmato again. He cut through J'ki again and J'ki dropped once more to his knees. However, J'ki got up and turned around with that twisted grin still on his face.
"Why don't you try that again, Old man?!" taunted J'ki. "Maybe this time you'll do some real damage!"
Isuru dropped into his stance and drew back his blade. J'ki surprisingly mimicked him and held the stance as if he was waiting for the old man to continue.
"He's bluffing... he can't possibly have learned the technique after only seeing it." thought Isuru as he tried to fathom demonic J'ki's intent.
Isuru dashed forward and so did J'ki. Their next movements were so quick that could not be seen. They stood with their backs facing each other, on the opposite ends of the dojo.
"Not bad... Old Man." said J'ki in an impressed voice. "Not bad at all..."
With that said, J'ki slumped over and lay unconcious on the floor. Isuru's shoulder's slumped a little and he looked his age for once. Blood flowed from a side wound but it was hardly fatal. He looked back at the unconscious body of his grandson.
"You didn't do too bad yourself... my dear grandson." murmured Isuru in a small voice.