Description: With Mitsuru in his clutches, Heihachi finally meets with the head of the Tokugawa family, to discuss her fate. But the Mishima finds his values challenged by Mitsuru's father, as they together decide Mitsuru's fate.
Heihachi had waited for a few weeks before contacting Tokugawa about his daughter. It was the Mayor's assassination that triggered it -- one of her alleged kidnappers was apparently present and thus cleared of all charges. Fujimura had informed Heihachi on the situation, and the old man knew it was time. The emotionless woman was the person who had been attending to Mitsuru -- she was infinitely patient with the rambunctious girl and didn't respond to her tantrums, only her requests, as long as they were 'within reason'.
Still, Heihachi decided to hold the meeting at one of his summer homes rather than at the bunker where he was keeping the poor girl -- though the summer home just so happened to be built right up at the middle of the mountain, in one of its more rugged regions. The other side of the mountain was where the installation that was holding her and NT01, but Tokugawa didn't have to know that. He had told the man his daughter was safely in his custody and that they should get together like old times. The implication that he'd see his daughter was there, but Heihachi had never explicitly said she would be.
Because there were no roads, Tokugawa was sent a helicopter, with Nakatomi as his escort. The helicopter was poised to land in the courtyard rather than on any helipad, and Heihachi stood there, waiting, wearing his trademark suit with the tacky gold scarf. Standing next to him was a massive giant of a man Tokugawa would recognize as Kawabota, the strongest of Heihachi's Parliament.
Nothing from Mitsuru would be within reason, short of things she needed to live.
It would have been several weeks of brattiness, fighting, anguish. She was angry. She would always be angry. Mitsuru would never surrender to Fujimura. She had met with many Fujimuras in the past, especially as a little girl. She had fought her wars with Fujimuras. And her own mother was a Fujimura in her own accord. Mitsuru would do everything and anything to make everybodies and anybodies life a living hell.
But Matsudaira Tokugawa would prove to be the greater challenge.
The head of the Tokugawa clan was a lean, serious man. His hair was coarse and thick, only just beginning to get peppered with grey; his expression in an ever present serene scowl. He is pale, with dark rings under his eyes. Mr. Tokugawa steps from the helicopter, arms behind his back. His moves with an awkward gait, too long and too lean. He too was in his suit; plain and elegant, with no frills or distractions from the slate grey. Familiar faces. All familiar faces. None of them his familiar men. And despite his length, he was not nearly the tallest, with Kawabota over ever him. But he shows no emotion as he advances towards Heihachi, looking at him with distant interest. When he reaches him, only then does he remove his hands behind his back. He extends his hand for a formal, business handshake.
Just like old times.
Heihachi is not so tall, but he's /broad/. He looks up at Matsudaira, encapsulating his hand in his own, heavily calloused and large one. It's a firm handshake -- Heihachi doesn't try crushing his hand or anything. Kawabota glares down at the man, but still he bows formally -- the consequences for disrespecting one of Heihachi's guests would be dire, after all. Nakatomi follows behind Tokugawa as if he were his aide rather than one of Heihachi's men, unhappily glancing around at the place that would be his prison, more or less, once again.
Heihachi's the first one to break the silence. "Matsudaira," he eschews formality, features softening in uncharacteristic warmth. "Welcome. Welcome. Would you like anything to drink?"
Already the old man turns, gesturing towards the mansion.
One other member of Parliament was watching them. Not even Heihachi could detect his presence. Why he was there was anyone's guess -- but no one knew he was. Like his namesake, the Owl perches on a tree, the branch he picked one none bothered looking upon.
His words carry a regal presence. It was unavoidable. The Tokugawas were married to princesses and were once the Shoguns of Japan. Only when Admiral Perry arrived and forced the country to reevaluate their leadership structure did they leave power. And yet, they did leave power. The Tokugawas were now banned from politics, and yet, everything found itself in their shadow. Now, they dealt in coffee. It was good coffee. At least, it the was the coffee used in every single public building in Southtown. He releases Heihachi's hand.
And the offer of the drink is made.
"Warm water, with lemon." He states softly. He avoids clarifying the specific temperature of the water. Such formality was not required with the old frenemy of the Tokugawas. He had given no read of his emotions, however. He did not see the Owl. He did not show any anger, or aggression. Just a cool, distant reasonableness. He begins his advance to the mansion. Matsudaira always had that cool, distant reasonableness.
IT's why there had to be so many security precautions.
A glance for Nakatomi has the man realize he's meant to go and do it, but he doesn't mind. He's glad to get away from the trio, and Heihachi leads Tokugawa to a table where he takes a seat and gestures for the one across from him.
Kawabota's eyebrows rise in befuddlement when Heihachi gives that order, and he squints down at the old man. "Sir, I --" He's cut short by Heihachi giving him the Iron Glare, the mask slipping for a moment -- not that the slip of the mask isn't anything Tokugawa hasn't seen before. To Kawabota's credit, he glares right back, but then bows his head in deference and storms off.
And then the mask is back on, and Heihachi goes through the pleasantries of small talk, first. "I hope this crisis isn't affecting your business too much, Matsudaira."
Matsudaira takes his seat, his cool exterior not thawing.
He doesn't even look at the exchange between master and servant. It would be rude to do so. Of course, it was rude for Heihachi to allow such an exchange to even take place. But he had expected some relaxing of formalities between each other. He appreciated Heihachi, in his own way. He was a valuable stone in the structure that was modern Japan. When the mask returns, The Tokugawa takes a moment of silence. Was he considering? Calculating? He swallows lightly, not breaking his gaze from Heihachi. Until finally, he answers.
"It is not."
There is nothing more for Matsudaira to add. Heihachi would very well know how well his business was doing, of course. Normal purchases have fallen through the floor; good citizens of Southtown had no interest in buying coffee, and stocks were being raked across the streets by looters and monsters. But soldiers needed coffee. Mercenaries needed coffee. And the NOL needed coffee. There was only one supplier of that in Southtown. Tokugawa would endure. There is another pause.
"Business is managable."
It was more than managable, Heihachi was doing rather well. Ultimately though, how well either of them were doing were irrelevant to the conversation, but Heihachi doesn't seem to mind, and it isn't very long before Nakatomi shows, placing down Tokugawa's glass in front of him while a tea set is put in front of the old man. He leaves quickly afterwards, with Heihachi already opening the pot then and there, deciding to prepare the tea in the kettle rather than in his cup.
"This Honoka Inue woman," Heihachi then brings up casually, working it into the conversation like he's asking about the weather. "What do you know about her?" The truth was Heihachi knew more than he was letting on. It was one of the few modern secrets the old man knew -- the woman's real identity, but he decided to hold that information to himself.
Instead, tea steepled, he prepares himself a cup next.
The difficulty was only beginning.
The aloofness of the Tokugawa somehow even elevated him above even the most extraordinary of men. When Heihachi states that business is manageable, Matsudaira gives a polite nod. And then, silence until the water his brought. He gives a gentle thank you to one far beneath his status, and drinks. He asks about his opinions on Honoka. A well known trouble maker in his circles, with a strong agenda of social upheaval, especially along ethnic lines. And successful one, based on her infiltrations. And yet, he stops his drinking once, to give his answer.
"Politics is a vice the Tokugawas are forbidden to indulge."
Matsudaira states coolly. "That was the price for our family to keep their lives in the Meiji Revolution. It would be unfortunate if I swayed your vote one way or another." He places the cup on the table. "How is my daughter doing." Matsudaira speaks with the same tone he had on the matter of politics. "I am very concerned about her-"
The Tokugawa suddenly coughs, bringing a fist to his mouth as he has a small fit.
Heihachi doesn't even look up from his tea when Tokugawa coughs. In fact, it isn't until the coughing fit is over that Heihachi brings it up -- he doesn't immediately answer the question Matsudaira asks about his daughter, instead showing faux-concern. Well, it's not all false, Matsudaira's an important ally regardless of his ability to participate in Japan's political landscape or not. Still, Heihachi can't bring himself to be too worried -- he's just incapable of caring that much for another human being, at least since the death of his wife.
"Are you alright, Matsudaira?"
His brow furrows to help express his sympathy for the other man, even while he's pouring himself his cup of tea. "Your daughter is in good health," he claims. "She is recovering from injuries sustained, but my medical staff do not forsee any permanent issues." He takes a testing sip, then pleased, has another.
"...You did not tell me she was able to manipulate chi," Heihachi remarks as an afterthought.
Matsudaira speaks very little, until he does.
When he did speak, it usually transformed the world. It was a gift of the Tokugawa family. They had seized control of Japan not through hot blooded warrior spirit. But simply taking it, when all others were mired in their own ambitions. Even now, the Tokugawa family was dangerous. If they found your weakness, you would not realize it until it was too late. And all your ambition would be theirs. Matsudaira had come at the position of ultimate weakness. When Heihachi clarifies how his daughter was recovering from unknown injuries, how he hinted what sort of violence the Mishima uncovered that revealed her chi, the Tokugawa father should have played the role of a terrified daddy. But he was still as calm as cool, when Heihachi mentions her chi. "You did not let me finish." He says, his throat now clear.
"I am very concerned about her education."
Matsudaira continues, looking at Heihachi with the same distant coolness as before. "The Tokugawa have always been paragons of stength, Heihachi. Yoshitora Tokugawa was a peer to Jubei and Hanzo, and his disposal of the rebellious General Gaoh, Daimyo Hinowa, was not by guile alone. Our power comes at a price. Our manifestations of chi is honed by indulgence and vice. Hedonistic exhibitionism of our desires. If it wasn't for that It is very distressing to her mother how she has begun to display her power." He sips the water again. "Good girls hone their minds, and discipline their bodies. I have no interest in fathering a woman Yoshitora. She has run from Seijyun High too many times. They cannot control her. And if they cannot control her, them they will not hold her." There was a fainting ringing in the air, like tinnitus. He leans forward slightly.
"What have you done to ensure her education, Heihachi."
"You should have come to me sooner." The mask slips again when Heihachi says this, his features doing a complete one eighty as they return to his permanent scowl. "Her power is strong, but her body is weak. The mind is willing, but she is fragile."
Heihachi's eyes slowly draw down to his cup of tea. "She has grown attached to one of my staff's patients," he reveals openly to Tokugawa. "One of the men that little worm Hachiko said kidnapped her. I will test and see if her chi manifests when she sees him in danger." His eyes flick up, gaze passing over Tokogawa after a moment before he sniffs.
"I have not yet began to see to the girl's education," he admits outright. "I've been busy -- the state of things has been keeping me that way. However -- yes, after seeing what she is capable of, I want to train the girl." And break her. Even if Heihachi can't (and with his track record of Jin, Kazuya, and Lee, he probably can't), there was a yearning in him to pass on his teachings. Sentimentality wasn't Heihachi's style, but his martial arts were in his mind the strongest in all the world. And in his old age...
The thoughts are banished with the old man leaning back in his seat, sipping on his tea again.
"Steve Fox. The boxer "
Matsudaira repeats back his knowledge of the man. "Hachiko blundered up the whole assignment. He has been dealt with." No more detail than that. "The private detective had no more information on her, and was acting out of morality. I do not punish people for doing the right thing, even if it inconveniences me." A sterling standard of morality. But with Heihachi's mention of his plan to teach her, the presence of the Tokugawa head shifts. It darkens, as his lips frown slightly.
He is at least polite in his rebuttal.
"This will be a point of disagreement, Heihachi." He begins, as it is his warning to Heihachi to prepare for the grounds of disagreement. "And this is why I have come to discuss with you. Mitsuru has always admired you for your stength, your warmth, and your drive for personal betterness." It was not flattery. Matsudaira had the utmost respect for Heihachi. And so did Mitsuru. But Matsudaira's coolness was but heating up, if only faintly. He shakes his head. "But you cannot foster her martial spirit. You cannot let her reach her potential."
You must quash it"
He clenches a fist, and bats it once on the table. A deep thud runs through to the foundations of the mansion. "I know her potential is a temptation, but I cannot allow it to grow into its full strength. Her vice is violence, competition, and dominating those weaker than her... Or stronger than her. No man of status will want a shrewish barbarian, who's only passion is to dominant and destroy. She must be recast, reforged into a delicate rose. The lessons she must learn, must be how to be a good, obedient housewife, that we can marry off without embarrassing ourselves." Matsudaira stares at his cup, lifting it up. "My wife... Her mother's only wish is that a strong man will be able to strike her, and she will have the personal strength and resolution to not only control herself from beating her husband half to death... But to demonstrate the true embodiment of feminine strength, in apologizing to her husband for inciting him to violence." He sips the cup, and places it down, steepling his fingers. "We have the steel, Heihachi. But it must be wrapped in silk. Can you do this, my old friend?"
"Can you break my daughter's spirit, and rebuild her into a woman we can be proud of?"
For a brief moment, Heihachi loses self-control. Fortunately for Tokugawa, the tea-cup is the only victim of it, but it is -- his hand clenches around it, and just like that, it's dust in his hand, completely crushed, decades of self-improvement and self-brutality keeping his hand from bleeding. He hardly even feels it -- though his hand is now soaked in the tea water. That control is seized back immediately -- for all his cruelty and sometimes outright evil, he does meditate, and it's that dedication that keeps him from flying off the handle.
"You want to... waste it?" The request is so alien to him -- for all his faults, Kazumi had shown a younger Heihachi -- who had much the same thoughts on women as the Tokugawas at the time - that they could become powerful weapons as well. "She can be your family's blade -- she can usher in a new age to the Tokugawa clan once more." His breathing is ragged as he struggles through the mental gymnastics of trying to understand Matsudaira's motives.
It's a strange day in history when Heihachi is the champion of women's rights, when he stands up for something he believes in that isn't himself.
"No. She /will/ become one of this world's strongest -- or she will die trying. I /will/ train her."
The mask is gone -- Heihachi is in full Iron Scowl now.
Matsudaira moves softly and subtly.
He was an old traditionalist, much older and much more conservative than the ambitious, worldly Heihachi. In many ways, Heihachi was the post-Imperial Japan. Where the Tokugawas held ideals before the rise of Imperialism. When Heihachi crushes the teacup, Matsudaira is patient. Standing in the path of the Master of the Iron Fist was a form of suicide. But he would not yield. He would just move slowly. Heihachi was not holding any illusions on Mitsuru's potential. But already, the Tokugawa was readying his counter, when the Mishima unleashes his scowl.
"Which one of your sons would marry to the world's strongest."
Matsudaira rarely leveled a direct attack. But Tokugawas always would strike where it was most lethal. "Strong, domineering women are not only undesirable to men, but dangerous to their husbands. They cannot be controlled. They cannot be tamed. And every challenge is met with anger and violence." There is no pressure from his words. But it comes with the power of an unseen fist.
"And sometimes, daughters do not survive their fights."
Matsudaira shakes his head. "You have seen Mitsuru. I do not even need to see her now. I know how she is. She treats you as she would her husband. You cannot love her. No man can love her. L" Damning, damning words. "If she was a man, if she was my son, I would have given her to you when she was of age. I could consider nothing more honorable than for you, old friend, to train my son in the Mishima arts, to make him the strongest in the world. I know you would succeed. But Mitsuru is a lady. Yes, her nature would make her a most formidable sword for the Tokugawa." He lifts his hand towards the arcway of a door.
"But where do swords sit now, Heihachi."
Matsudaira stares at the cup. Silver energy was silently, subtly tracing around his form. "They are not used to conquer, to hold land. No, they are only symbols. Decorations to kept in houses. Remainders of glorious days, where the Samurai once ruled. The Tokugawa Clan has not needed swords since we gave up the title of Shogun. The Tokugawa's strength will no longer be on battlefields. The future of Japan is not in warriors. It is businessmen, in commerce, in science, in diplomacy." He traces a thumb across the tea cup. "My daughter's talents are a curse in this modern time, not a blessing. And to unleash her power would make her unworthy and undesirable for any son of prominent businessman to wed, Heihachi." He places the cup down on the table again, holding it. He looks directly into the Iron Scowl. He would not flinch; his daughter wouldn't either. "Are you telling me, Heihachi, that you intend to ruin my daughter for marriage?" He releases the cup. It falls apart.
Bisected cleanly in two halves.
Matsudaira's words bring up a distant memory -- Kazuya was still a child, still hidden behind his mother's skirts at every opportunity -- but not that night. In the garden that night Kazumi tried to kill him. She had horns and wings -- it was unlike anything Heihachi had ever seen before. She was fierce in her attempt to kill him, her fingers becoming talons, light that burned coming from her eyes. Heihachi had no choice but to punch her at full strength -- the punch was a fatal one, and she died before he even got to say goodbye.
Those words, alongside Matsudaira's earlier comment regarding Heihachi's very, very disappointing sons were part of the verbal combo that the Tokugawa was brutalizing the old man with, but of course, Heihachi doesn't flinch -- he doesn't know how to flinch. Still, the brief aversion of the old man's glance is enough for someone perceptive to know that he might as well be in agony from the verbal barbs.
In fact, Matsudaira almost had him. He was so close that Heihachi was already trying to think up ways to turn poor little Mitsuru into the primest and most proper of housewives -- the V-Gage was one of the options. It isn't until Matsudaira points out that the future of Japan is not in warriors that the old man balks.
Heihachi was a businessman, this much was true. But he was a warrior, first. The energy around Heihachi was less subtle than Tokugawa's -- currents of electricity coursed through his limbs, though he wasn't absolutely wreathed in it like he might be in his most violent of battles.
"I despise weakness. If these men would not have someone like Mitsuru..." Heihachi says words he never thought he'd say, especially about the gangly little twerp who dared looked him in the eye that day in the elevator in front of some of his most trusted lieutenants: "Then they are not worthy of her."
"I /will/ train her, Matsudaira."
"No man will me worthy of her, if she reaches her potential."
It was the most defeated praise that Matsudaira expressed. He would not fight Heihachi with his hands. He had too much respect for the man, and too little respect for his own fighting ability. Besides. He might enjoy it. And what kind of example would that be to Mitsuru. "Men do not want strength. They want weakness in their women. They want them to be delicate lambs, delicate, porcelin dolls that they can dress up, and show to their friends. You will train her to be a woman, not a man, Heihachi." Matsudaira relaxes slightly. The tell. The ultimate tell of the Tokugawa.
"You have women in your employment." He begins, nodding his head as he looks aside. "They are obedient. Have them teach and train her. I will arrange something with Seijyun High. Remote study. If she is meeting milestones to my satisfication, then I will allow certain privilages." He nods at Heihachi. "Training with you would be the highest privilage. If she disobeys, or if she falls behind in her studies. Then she will be forbidden to train. If she is going to be your strongest fighter..." Matsudaira begins to stand.
"You must make her the perfect woman first."
Matsudaira's compromise has Heihachi's gaze dropping in thought, muscles in his jaw twitching. He knows that this will be difficult to do -- keeping Mitsuru in line. Fujimura has already reported on her attitude -- on how difficult she would be for any lesser person. His hand comes up and strokes at his goatee thoughtfully -- the one that's dry, not his tea-stained one. His eyes eventually lift up to Matsudaira and then the old man begins to rise with him.
And Heihachi nods his head stiffly. He wouldn't put Mitsuru in the V-Gage in that case. No one who is learning the Mishima way of karate should be subject to it -- it would make her weak, mentally. He had to prepare her. He might even need to use NT01 in some form or fashion to get this done, though he wasn't going to give that prize away any time soon.
"So be it," Heihachi decides. Even if he couldn't make her the perfect woman, maybe he can see about her pretending to be.
"...We should do this again sometime." The mask and the warmth are back, and Heihachi's smiling that big smile of his again. "These are troubling times, Matsudaira. Some respite is prudent, to keep one's mind sharp and their priorities clear."
He begins walking towards the helicopter, his way of walking Tokugawa out. "I will arrange for Mitsuru to call you on the phone, and when she is fully recovered, which I suspect is soon, I will send her home to you."
It was the new Tokugawa way.
"Yes. We should." Was Matsudaira's response. "Do not feel any hurry to return her. I have no interest in seeing her until she meets my expectations." The words come as easily and cooly as any other. He felt that MItsuru was truly blessed to have such concerned people in her life like himself and Heihachi. These thoughts swim in his head, as he reaches the helicoptor
Somewhere, deep away in a bunker, Mitsuru once again runs through what she is going to tell her father, when Heihachi finally lets her see him.
Log created on 11:14:12 06/26/2020 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 11:23:30 06/28/2020.