GAINING AN EDGE: A MASSIVE FIGHTING GAME CROSSOVER
After an intense back and forth battle in Baek Doo San’s dojo, (REF: BAEK DOO SAN VS. KIM KAPHWAN) Kim Kaphwan finally put Baek Doo San down for good with a powerful Hou'ou Kyaku attack. Baek remained on his back, unable to continue.
“Why must you be so stubborn, Baek Doo San?” Kaphwan asked. “This fight was entirely avoidable. Now will you agree to come with me?”
“No,” replied Baek as he struggled to prop himself up with his forearms. “There is nothing there for me.”
Kim Kaphwan frowned.
“I will admit that you are much more skilled than I had given you credit for,” Beak remarked. “Perhaps I should have sent Hwoarang to you instead.”
“Speaking of, where is Hwoarang? Where did you send him?”
“Hwoarang has become obsessed with defeating Jin Kazama, even in his Devil form. I have shown him all that I can, but I know it’s not enough. Deep down he knows this as well. So I sent him to find the one person that may be able to push him to the next level. I told him to seek out Hwang,” Baek explained.
“Hwang? As in the descendant of the ancient Korean hero, Hwang? The one we were told stories about as children?” asked Kaphwan.
“For those brave enough to climb to the highest peak of the tallest mountain...” Baek began.
“...he shall show you the way to become a true hero,” Kaphwan finished.
“It is a long shot, I know,” said Baek. “But at this point, Hwoarang is willing to explore all options.”
Kim Kaphwan sat down next to Baek Doo San. “Wow! I always wanted to go search for Hwang myself, but I was always afraid. Not afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but afraid that if I did do it I would find that there is nothing there. Those stories meant so much to me as a kid. To find out they are not true would be crushing. Incredible fighting knowledge passed down from generation to generation. I reasoned with myself that the inspirational story of Hwang would be more valuable to me than any words of wisdom an actual man could give me.”
“I hope for Hwoarang’s sake that you are wrong,” stated Baek.
“I very well could be. When Athena was asking me to help them against Kazuya and Jin and all sorts of evil men I’ve never even heard of, she mentioned many fanciful things. Things like ancient warriors from the past kept alive by pieces of an evil sword and being subtly manipulated by that same sword. (REF: ROSE VS. VIOLA) If her story is true, the legend of Hwang could certainly be true,” said Kaphwan.
“One way or the other, Hwoarang will soon find out for himself,” remarked Baek Doo San.
“How long ago did he set out?” asked Kaphwan.
“It has been several days now.”
Centuries ago, Hwang was one of several who had agreed to go along with Siegfried’s plan of severely diminishing the power of Soul Edge by taking in shards of the wicked sword into their bodies and then handing it over to Yoshimitsu to stash away for as long as possible. They went their separate ways after completing their plan and Hwang returned home to Korea with Seong Mi-Na and they became national heroes. They protected their land and fought evil wherever it appeared. Eventually, Seong Mi-Na elected to travel to see the world and Hwang decided to stay.
Unfortunately, as time went on the same people that he had been protecting and whom adored him, began to fear him. They could not understand why he wasn’t aging and suspected he might even be a demon trying to gain their trust for some evil end. Heartbroken, Hwang withdrew from society. After several years Hwang figured out a new way to help out and became a mentor to young Korean men with dreams of becoming a hero. He claimed to be a descendant of the original Hwang so that he would not scare the people, and chose to remain in his secluded dwelling. But, his life had purpose again, and he was again revered throughout Korea. As the years went by though, fewer and fewer people were willing to risk the arduous journey to be mentored by Hwang. Hwang once traveled back to civilization to see what had happened and saw a world he did not recognize. He feared that he had outlived his usefulness and that the world now viewed his skills as obsolete. Hwang could not even remember his last pupil and he began to despise his prolonged existence.
All of that changed in the last week. Hwang felt it, as he knew the others did to, the impending re-emergence of Soul Edge. The group was bonded in a mystical way when they all took in fragments of the sword. Hwang could feel that some of his former allies were joining together, and he also could feel the pain of some of his allies having their beacons of power extinguished.(REF: BENIMARU NIKAIDO VS. Z.W.E.I., MAKI GENRYUSAI VS. TALIM) He was not sure which ones they were (he hoped it was not Seong Mi-Na) or even if they were dead, but he could no longer detect their presence. One thing was clear to Hwang, and that was that this group was now under attack. Most likely from the ones whose aim was to resurrect Soul Edge.
Hwang knew a day like this might someday come, they all had talked about it. He was surprised it had actually taken this long. Hwang was going to be prepared though. He trained endlessly in his cottage on the mountain cliff. Originally, he had thought about traveling and joining the others, but remembered that the main reason they spread out throughout the world was to make it harder to collect all the pieces from them if someone desired to reconstruct Soul Edge to full power. Hwang wanted to honor that idea. He figured whomever had been going after his former allies must either be a powerful warrior or a conniving manipulator like that girl, Tira, had been. Hwang decided to stay where he was, wait, and prepare himself for anyone or anything that came his way.
On this day, A loud knock on his door interrupted Hwang’s training. He twisted his head to look out the window as his heart raced. The man who stood outside his cottage did not appear malevolent, but he did look strong. He also was adorned in battle gear that Hwang had never seen before. Hwang was convinced this strange man had come to kill him and collect the shards of Soul Edge from his body. He resolved himself to put up a great fight and not be beaten or manipulated.