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The Ultimate Challenge
Part Ten: The Situation At Hand

Saleem arrives at his flat safe and sound. He didn't expect the man to be so quick in his decision to accept his offer. That's not all, but he is not asking for anything in return!

Saleem:"This must be my lucky day so far!"

At the instant of finishing his sentence, Saleem gets a skull crushing hit on the back of his head. This caused him to fall harshly on the floor. Saleem, severely wounded, lies on his back and tries his best to focus his blurry eyes on the man's face, but to no avail. All he can make out is this gigantic, all black dressed guy with a huge crowbar that has blood dripping on his body from the edge of its tip.

Saleem<truly hurt>:"Urgh, my head! Who's..."

The wanna-be assassin tries to get another blow at his victim's jagged wound, but Saleem proved to be too quick for him. He grabbed the bloody crowbar by both hands and sends a killer kick in the assassin's stomach for good balance. Saleem then throws the muscular meat ball over his head and on to the floor. He could clearly hear the snap of the man's backbone when he made his journey to the ground. Saleem manages to get up on his feet and walk up to the now paralyzed wanna-be assassin.

Saleem:"I bet that hurts, doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?!"

Masked Guy<crying>:"Oh please help me! I beg you! Have mercy upon my poor soul!"

Saleem:"Poor soul?? You're calling yourself, a POOR soul?! You gave me a severe concussion you motherless bastard!"

Masked Guy:"I promise to tell you everything I know! Just help me PLEASE!!"

Saleem:"Yeah? Prove it..."

Masked Guy:"But I can't..."

Saleem gets a foot on the man's mid section and presses hard to maximize the pain. The man lets out a bone-shaking shreik!

Saleem:"Tsk, tsk, tsk...Now that's painful. Trust me, I really know how it feels!"

Masked Guy:"All right! All right! All I know is that a man wants you badly hurt. He hired me to do the job."

Saleem applies more pressure on the man's body. The guy screams to the top of his lungs.

Saleem:"Oh, you poor little thing. You really made my heart break. Still, that's not good enough!"

Masked Guy<paining>:"OH GOD! He's a fellow German, a soccer player. He has contacts everywhere. This guy is a shark! Very powerful personality..."

Saleem:"Is there any chance of the guy having a name??"

Masked Guy:"I really don't know his name. Please! You have to believe me!"

Saleem:"Don't worry...This time I do trust you. A man of this type must be a very cunning and cautious individual."

Saleem takes a last glance at the twisted carcass that lies under his mighty foot. He then lifts him up from his collar and presses his back to the wall. The man is on the brink of a comma. All this shocking pain is way too much for him to handle.

Saleem:"I will let you go, but bear this in mind...I will NEVER fall prey for any of you blondies! So get this message up and clear to the one who hired you. Tell him, that Saleem Qassim never forgets to pay his debts!"

After the man's nodding in agreement, Saleem throws the broken twig out of the building's door and over the steps. It was yet another painful experience, not to mention how hard it was raining that night. the man starts crying in his suffering and agony. Fifteen minutes later, a black Alpa Romeo pulls by the building. Two geeky-looking men got out of the car and carried the helpless guy. Just when the man got to thank them for saving his life (or what's left of it), he found himself thrown in the back trunk. Is it the best day of his life or what?!

Germany seems to be the place of all action, for we're still in it, but this time at a different location, yet the same time. Gino Hernandez is taking a sole walk on Magdenburg Avenue. His mind is busy with the vivid, romantic memories of Marie. All of a sudden he gets a wierd feeling of someone following him nearby. He can sense it strongly! The ace goal keeper turns his head half a degree to the back, but notices nothing unusual.

Gino:"Phew! It must be my imagination! I went through a lot of crap this week!"

Bang! Gino gets it real well on the neck. Gino, unlike Saleem, stood his ground and turned at his attacker's direction.

Gino<examining>:"Which Dojo did you come from?? Are you sure you're not lost? 'Cause if you are, I'll be glad to show you the way to the World Championship Tournament!"

He had recieved a neck chop from the hand of a Black Belt Karate masked guy. The two men began to move in circles, each maintaining his distance from the other. Both of them jumped into mid air at the same moment, the masked guy waving his arms like a crazy octupus, while Gino's leg was stretched out and stiffened like hard steel. As you may have guessed, the muscular leg broke the man's wrists when he got them crossed together. Gino balances his way to the ground with the other leg when the other guy fell on the ground writhing in pain.

Gino:"Ok! What have we got here? A blondie? Oh no! How terrible!"

Mr. Lee<hurt>:"Please Mr.! Spare my life!"

Gino:"What do you take me for? Ever heard of sportsmanship?"

Gino helps the man to get up on his feet with extreme gentleness. He cleans the dust off of the man and gives him a slight pat on the back.

Gino:"There! Good as new! Sorry for the broken wrists though. If you like I'd be glad to escort you to the..."

Mr. Lee<staggered>:"That..That won't be necessary. I can take care of myself, thank you..."

Gino:"Well, suit yourself! I better be going. You watch your steps now!"

Gino turns in the direction he was originally pursuig, through that didn't last for long. Mr. Lee ran towards him like a raged bull with a long knife clenched between his teeth. Hernandez summoned all his muscular power in one fist and sent it right on the man's sternum. While the goon started to lose his balance due to the shocking punch, Gino finished him up with a roundhouse kick, getting him to fly over the street and fall staright into the river. The body started to flow away like a floating log.

Gino<waving>:"I hope you have a nice swim! Ha ha ha ha ha! Arivadacci Signor!"

Meanwhile, back in Japan, Tsubasa is on his way to Tokyo where the practice camp is taking place. All this way and his mind is somewhere else. He's been thinking about Sanae all day long. He really misses her deeply. It didn't take long for the tain to reach its destination, so Tsubasa shook his head to see his daydreams shredding away like burned paper. He carried all his luggage out by himself. Besides, they were full of bills which Katagiri has to pay him back! When Tsubasa landed his foot on the ground of the train station, he was startled by a hyperactive limousine driver.

Driver:"Ohayougozimasu Tsubasa san! Welcome to Tokyo! I've been assigned by the NJFA to drive you to your hotel. I hope you enjoy your time around here! Now, may I have the honor of carrying your luggage to the car?"

Tsubasa:"By all means, be my guest!"

The driver moved at the speed of light and carried all the luggage. Tsubasa was obviously surpirsed, for he never knew that he had a strong impression over the population of Tokyo. Still, this made him feel as Royalty. While they were walking to the car, the driver slipped off the pavement and fell on the ground with the rest of the luggage. As a result of this, the Bill Bag got open and all the bills started flying in the streets of Tokyo!!

Tsubasa<hysterical>:"NO!!! THE BILLS!! MY MONEY!! LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE YOU, YOU..."

Driver<sad expression>:"I'm sorry Tsubasa san! I really am! Please accept my apologies! I'll do anything to straighten this out, just don't tell my superiors about this, PLEASE!"

Tsubasa looked down at the kneeling, depressed driver. He could see it in his watery eyes...All his life problems, the debts, the kids. At this moment only did Tsubasa consider the prestigious privileges given to him in life. Tsubasa started feeling sorry for the guy, let alone the haunting memories of Sanae that were throwing him off track.

Tsubasa<politely>:"Get up my man. It's all right. Nothing serious happened. Besides, it was only an accident. It was out of your control. I'm not telling anyone about this, so don't worry."

The driver couldn't believe what he had just heard. Tsubasa took the opened bag and closed it again, then opened the car's trunk and threw it inside. The driver is still staring in belwilderment!

Tsubasa:"Why are you staring at me like this? What are you waiting for? Throw the rest of the bags in the truck and drive me to my hotel, I'm dead tired!"

The driver managed to put a faint smile on his face and got up on his feet. The driver is sure now of Tsubasa Ozora being a supreme God. Merciful, skillful, powerful, and absent-minded!!

Back to Germany, where Schneider is holding Eman hostage. She is tied to the same chair for the past week! Talk about back pains...

Eman<to herself>:"I have to get out of here! I can't let these fools get hold of my dear brother!"

Eman tries struggling out of the rope she's been tied with. It took her over half an hour to loosen it up. She looked on the brighter side though...Now she's freed!

Body Guard:"Where do you think you're going fraulein?? You can't escape that easily!"

Eman:"Yeah? Well, check THIS out!"

Eman wacks a kick right in between his legs and runs out the door. The body guard is too busy easing his pain to give a shout of warning. Eman keeps running like Hell. Then all of a sudden, Schneider springs out of one of the corridors and bumps into her, getting her to fall on the ground.

Karl:"What the?! How did you manage to escape! Come with me!"

Schnieder pulls Eman from her hair and drags her back to the hostage room. He gives his body guard a kick in the stomach and throws Eman on the chair like a worthless toy. He then ties her more tightly then ever before and smacks her twice as a finishing touch.

Karl:"You insignificant BITCH! All I get from you is more and more toruble everyday! You're really getting on my nerves!"

Eman stares at him with her blood-shut eyes in silence. Schneider smiles.

Karl:"But that's OK. I got rid of your brother for good. That's what counts!"


Karl:"Yes! You've heard me right! I got him killed like a dog! HOAHOAHOAHOAHOAHOA!"


Karl:"Fine with me! You'll get an evidence real soon...His HEAD!"

Someone knocks the door after a couple of minutes. The body guard opens the door and lets the knocker get it. It was the masked guy who tried to murder Saleem, and he's in a wheelchair.

Karl<staggered>:"Franc! What the hell happened to you? You look like a miserable wreck!"

Franc:"I am terribly sorry, Herr Schneider...<gulp>...I have failed you."

Karl:"You failed?"

A moment of utter silence took over the room for a while. Schneider's face turned blue, while Eman was so happy to hear that her brother is still alive.



Before he could do anything to his worthless subordinate, another body guard comes running through the door, catching his breath.

Body Guard #2:"Sir! We have found Mr. Lee in the river bank unconscious!"

Karl:"What do you mean you have FOUND him? Did he snap out of it?"

Body Guard #2:"Yes, and he says he failed to kill Gino Hernandez!"

Karl:"DAMN!! How could the two bastards fail in one day?! It seems that it is time for me to take action, for the situation at hand is proving to be very dangerous. I'm going to take care of that red-headed buffoon later...But now, it's only you and me, Saleem Qassim!"

Body Guard:"If this could prove to be of any help, sir, the match between Japan and Saleem's team is postponed for the next two months. This decision took place because of Saleem's concussion."

Karl:"Excellent! This will buy me more time for my next plan."

A week later, The Japan National Team is gathered up in the practice camp. Katagiri, Mikami and Gamou are standing beside each other facing the team players.

Katagiri:"*Ahem*...Allow me to congratulate you guys on teaming up once again. This time, it's not for the World Cup, but for the sake of soccer's future in Japan. I trust that all of you know who you'll be against, so I don't have to go deeper into the subject."

Ishizaki:"Well, I don't know who we'll be against...Would you please..."

All:"Zip it Ryo!"

Ishizaki:"You people haven't changed, have you?!"

Mikami:"We would also like to thank Tsubasa Ozora for the splendid job he'd done to bring you all back together. Arigatou, Tsubasa san!"

Tsubasa:"Don't mention it. I only need my money back, that's all!"

Gamou:"I will call the players up by their names so we could figure out who's here and who's not."

Gamou called each player by his name. All were here, except for...

Katagiri<looking around>:"Where the heck is Wakabayashi??"

Tsubasa:"I couldn't find him. No one knew where he was. Though some have told me that he's still in Germany, and if you excuse me, I don't want to spend anymore of my private income. You're not even paying the expenses of my tour over here and that's why I hate you Katagiri!!"

Katagiri:"No bills, no money!"

Tsubasa:"You stingy prick! Don't you have a "Word of Honor" in your dictionary??"

Katagiri:"I apparently don't...Sorry!"

Mikami:"Enough of this chit chat already. Let's get down to business. That's how the team is formed up right now..."

Main Players

11. Taro Misaki
10. Tsubasa Ozora
9.   Kojiro Hyuga
8.   Syun Nitta
7.   Kazuo Tchibanna
6.   Masao Tchibanna
5.   Hikaru Matsuyama
4.   Mitsuru Sano
3.   Hiroshi Jito
2.   Makoto Soda
GK.Ken Wakashimazu

Coach. Gamou

Gamou:"The rest of you are spare parts."

Ishizaki:"SPARE PARTS??"

Sorimachi<sarcastic>:"That's a nice way of putting it!"

Katagiri:"Now, here's the formation that you people will abide with..."

                            Hyuga                                                       Nitta

                                     Matsuyama                                 Misaki


                            K.Tchibanna        M.Tchibanna        Soda            Sano



 Tsubasa:"Why have all four stand behind me?"

Mikami:"Saleem is dangerous, and by that theory we decided to make a defense wall. Jito will help Wakashimazu as much as he can, and will trigger a counter attack when he gets the ball."

Gamou:"Hyuga and Matsuyama are in a very sensitive postion, so they have to attack the opponent's goal whenever they get the chance. When the ball gets passed to Tsubasa, all must turn back except for Misaki. He shall go up with Tsubasa to the goal."

Hyuga:"That's an excellent strategy. You think you're up to it, Hikaru?"

Hikaru:"You bet I am Hyuga kun! Victory flows in my veins!"
Katagiri:"All right boys! Be reminded that you have a full two months to imporve your inert strategies and sharpen your dull skills. Use this time wisely."


They all spreaded around the camp like locausts, passing balls and bombarding poor Morisaki with Tiger and Drive Shots!


 Part Eleven