Island of Kyushu, 1985

Vacationing with his grandfather, Kazuya enjoyed the beautiful weather as he sparred with him in a lush, grassy field. It relieved Jinpachi for some reason that, his large forehead aside, Kazuya did not in any way resemble his father. The boy had a warmer nature that seemed more in keeping with his late mother's and he had been a joy to teach. At the age of five now, he was demonstrating a precocious capacity for martial arts but happily his interest was devoid of aggression.

Taking a break, Kazuya ran through the tall grass and nearly ran over a little girl. Smiling bashfully he apologized, "Sorry, I didn't see you."

"That's okay," she said, returning his smile.

"I'm Kazuya. Mishima Kazuya."

"I'm Jun. Kazama Jun," she introduced herself.

"Do you live here?" he asked

"Mm." Nodding, she pointed to a small house that sat about a half mile from the edge of a deep ravine. "Do you live here?"

"No, I'm just visiting with my grandfather," Kazuya explained. He noticed that she had something in her hands. "What's that?"

She opened her palms to reveal a featherless baby bird. "It fell out of its nest." She looked above her. "I was going to put it back, but I'm not very good at climbing trees."

"Here." Kazuya held out his hand. "Give it to me, I'll put it back for you."

She smiled again. "Would you really?"

"Sure." Taking the bird, he tucked it into the front of his gi and crawled up the tree. When he had safely deposited the runaway in his nest, he jumped down next to Jun. "Arigato, Kazuya-kun," she said brightly.

"You're welcome," he grinned. Pricking up his ears, he heard his grandfather. "Ji-ji is calling me. I have to go." He ran in the opposite direction, but not before waving goodbye. She waved back, watching him as he disappeared over a hill.

Glad to find another child close by, Kuzuya went back to the area by the girl's home the next day and was pleased to see that she was in the same place. Walking up to her, he saw that she was looking up into the tree. Seeing him, she smiled and said, "The mommy is feeding it."

"Oh good." He looked up and sure enough, the chick's mother was trying to feed it some worms. Suddenly he felt something on his shoulder and he saw the ground fly out from under him. "Hey!" Squirming, he knew that someone had picked him up. That someone turned him so that he could see his face. Kazuya instantly recognized him from photographs that his grandfather had shown him. What the photos failed to capture was the cold, unfeeling quality of his eyes, which Kazuya was staring directly into. "To-san?"

"So you recognize me, eh?" he leered. Sizing up the boy, he scoffed disapprovingly, "I see dad has been raising you in his usual weak manner."

"Put me down! Hanase!"

Heihachi's face contorted in an evil smile that made both children recoil. Holding the boy off the ground by his collar, he walked towards the ravine. Seeing where they were headed, Kazuya couldn't believe his father could possibly be considering what he feared. "What are you doing?" he squeaked.

Dangling him over the edge of the cliff, Kazuya nearly fainted when he saw how far the chasm stretched. "You asked me to put you down."

Panic tore through him and he desperately began crying out, "Oji-san!"

Laughing cruelly, Heihachi informed his son, "Your protector was called back to Tokyo on some, shall we say, unexpected business? Scream your head off for all I care, he won't be saving you. Eh?" He looked down, distracted as Jun pummeled his leg.

"Stop it!" she yelled, crying.

"Little brat." He kicked her away, and she fell backwards. Turning back to the boy, he stared icily into his eyes and said, "No son of mine will be allowed to live as a weakling. So, Kazuya, you must earn your right to live. If you truly are my son, when I throw you down this abyss, you will climb back up. If not, it means you were meant to die."

"NO!" Jun's high-pitched scream echoed through the ravine as Heihachi raised his arm and flung the boy down. Kazuya's own scream quickly faded until it was inaudible. Throwing one final glance at the girl, he walked away as if nothing had happened at all. Still sobbing, she crept to the edge of the ravine and peered into the darkness below. "Kazuya-kun!" she cried. She received no response to her call.

-end prologue-


to-san: dad

hanase: let go

oji-san: grandfather