Saiyuu no Ryouko: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko, Issue 56
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Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko, Midori, Mariko and Hachigoro are off to
watch some professional wrestling. Yuriko may have lost the bet with
her lover, but she's still got a surprise or two of her own planned.
Volume 4, Issue 4
"On The Mat"
The building looked, from the outside, much like any other building.
Featureless walls broken by the occasional opaque window, gave the
casual viewer no hint of the activity within. Not that there would
be too many casual viewers in this isolated field near Yokohama.
Yuriko held the door for the others, and they entered a freshly
painted lobby. The requisite professional receptionist greeted them
and asked, with exquisite politeness, what their business was.
Stepping forward, Yuri handed over a card, and introduced herself.
She muttered a few low words to the receptionist, who nodded.
"You are expected," the woman said in dulcet tones. "Please have a
seat. It won't be a moment."
The four had hardly settled themselves into their seats when a woman
approached them, her face wreathed in a smile. She was short, but
her shoulders were visibly wide and strong. From where they sat, she
looked very much like the proverbial immovable object.
Yuri bounced out of her seat, grinning. She reached out to shake the
woman's hand, made a comic grimace as the woman's hand engulfed her
own and staggered as the woman slapped her lightly on the shoulder.
"Long time no see, eh?" When the woman spoke, her voice was
surprisingly pleasant - not at all gruff or mannish.
Yuriko laughed. "It's been a pretty long, strange trip for both of
us, I guess." She turned to her friends, "Everyone, I want to
introduce you to an old classmate of mine. Asahara Keiko, these are
"Asahara...san?" Mariko was clearly in shock. "Little Asahara-san?
The one who started the judo club in junior high school?"
"This is amazing!" Midori said, clapping her hands. "I was at your
debut match! Let's see - it was in Tokyo...against...Satou Honoko,
Asahara smiled and nodded. "Exactly right." She turned to Mariko
with a small bow. "On both counts."
Taking control of the situation, Yuriko formally introduced Midori
and Hachi and waited as introductions were completed. "Okay," she
said, clapping her hands briskly, "Asahara-san has offered to give
us a tour of the training facility and be our own personal color
commentator for the match."
Midori slipped her arm through Yuri's with a delighted smile. "How
utterly wonderful - who knew you went to school with a professional
"I'm mostly doing tag team now," Asahara offered, as she held a door
opened for the four of them. Hachigoro nodded his thanks as he
passed, then turned to Mariko with a puzzled look. "What kind of
high school did you guys attend anyway? A pop idol, a pro-
"...a brilliant game show producer..." Mariko supplied helpfully.
"And a genius game show producer," Hachi added dutifully. "I think
the most interesting thing anyone from my high school did was go
"Don't feel bad," Midori leaned forward, "No one at my high school
was very interesting either." She shrank from the withering glare
she received from all three of her friends, but didn't look
chastised too long.
"Asahara-san," Mariko interjected, "I remember you were into judo,
but you moved away in the first year of high school."
"Mmm, right. I actually auditioned for GAEA that year." Asahara
"Asahara-san is the youngest woman ever to become a professional
wrestler!" Midori added.
"Wow." Yuriko was looking around her as they walked. "It kind of
looks like a regular gym here."
"It is. There's weight rooms, therapy rooms, showers, saunas, all
the usual. Here's the main room, though." Once again, Asahara held
open a door and immediately they were assailed by the sound, sight
and smell of combat.
Only Midori moved in towards the ring that stood in the middle of
the room. Smaller matted areas were filled with pairs of women
practicing various techniques. The other three hung back, Mariko's
face pulling back in an expression of slight distaste.
"Is it as painful as it sounds?" she asked, as a woman fell to the
mat with a scream, directly in front of them.
Asahara laughed. "Only about a third."
Midori had already made it to the center ring, watching with enrapt
fascination as two of the league's most popular wrestlers practiced
a series of painful and difficult maneuvers. Midori turned to her
friends and waved them closer, then back to the ring, her eyes
"She wasn't kidding," Hachi commented, as they picked their way
across a floor crowded with screaming wrestlers. "She's really into
this stuff, huh?"
"As far as I can tell," Yuriko shifted to avoid a woman whose
momentum as she rolled carried her past the mat. "She's completely
insane," she said happily, as they joined the writer at ringside.
The next few minutes were filled with the screams of two
professional warriors using honed skills, and finely trained muscle
and sinews to take their opponent down. Every time a particularly
brutal technique was landed, Midori clapped and cheered, while
Mariko edged a little further away. At first Yuriko watched her
lover, enjoying the sight of the usually mature and collected Midori
jumping up and down like a child, but more and more, she found her
eyes straying to the ring, noting the footwork, the timing - the
sheer athleticism of the wrestlers.
At last, the two women parted, and returned to their corners to wipe
sweat and blood from their faces. Asahara stepped up to the ring and
grabbed a rope. Turning to Midori, she gestured with her chin. "So,
you wanna try?"
Midori stared for a moment, open-mouthed. "Me? Try?" She laughed. "I
don't think so, but thanks."
"Come on," Asahara reached out to grab the writer's wrist. "We'll
teach you something simple."
"Really?" Midori asked the wrestler. "Would it be okay? Will I be
"Promise," Asahara stuck out one pinky, crooked to make a
promise. "We won't hurt you."
"What do you think?" Midori glanced at the singer by her side.
"I think that you're barking mad for enjoying any of this," Yuriko
said cheerfully. "So, you'll probably do it, learn some horrible
killer technique and then write it up and win some sports journalism
"Why don't you join us?" Asahara grinned at the idol. "Unless you
think that Yukano-san can take you in a fair match."
Yuriko lifted her hands in a gesture of defeat. "I don't think - I
*know* she can."
"Oh, come on, Yuri! It'll be fun!" Midori reached out to pull the
singer closer. "I'll do it, if you do."
Yuriko looked at the leering face of her former classmate, the
pleading look on her lover's and the wry expressions worn by Mari
and Hachi that spoke volumes. The blonde ran a hand over her face
"Okay, okay," she capitulated reluctantly. As she gave Midori a lift
into the ring, she turned her head towards Mariko and said, "Don't
say it - don't even think it."
Mariko shut her mouth and crossed her arms. "I wasn't going
to....well, yes I was, actually." She watched Yuriko lift herself
into the ring fluidly. "I'll tell you what," Mari grinned. "If you
win - I'll take it all back."
Yuriko spun to face her lover, whipped her glasses off and set a
fierce snarl on her face. "Ya hear that?" she growled. "I got ta
defend my pride. I'm takin' you down."
"Not bad!" Asahara slapped Yuriko on the shoulder and placed some
pressure on her feet. "Stand up straighter, and look down at her
more, like you're six feet taller than she is. There, you got it -
now say that again."
Obediently, Yuriko scowled and repeated her speech. She narrowed her
eyes, as much to be able to make Midori out as for effect. When she
was done, she sneered. "The Blonde Bomber is takin' you down."
Midori clapped her hands once again. "No fair!" She cried. "I'm no
actor." She gestured at Asahara, "What do I do now?"
Asahara walked over, whispered a few words that Yuriko couldn't hear
and stepped away with a grin.
Midori lifted one hand to her head and pushed her hair back from her
face. The other hand came up in a gun shape pointed directly between
Yuriko's eyes. "Bang" she said in a breathy whisper. "You're dead."
The hand that held a strand of hair, pushed back an imaginary hat,
and the gun came up to pursed lips that blew imaginary smoke off the
top of the "barrel." "I'm Minami Midori - baddest gun in the West.
And you're mine."
Spontaneous applause from around them broke both Midori and Yuriko's
concentration and they grinned like complete idiots at each other.
Asahara joined in the applause, congratulating them both.
"If either of the two of you can wrestle as good as you act, you
might want to consider a change of career," she offered.
"Oh, hey thanks," Yuriko said cheerfully. "Because I was thinking
about leaving my nice cushy job as singing idol to millions of cute
girls to work covered in sweat and blood as a professional wrestler."
"Just for that," Asahara nodded, "I'm going to make sure that I
teach Yukano-san my finishing technique." She smiled at Midori who
mimed an elbow to the gut.
"Death Valley Bomb!" the writer yelled, while Yuriko grimaced.
"How on earth do I get into these situations?" she asked.
"That was a rhetorical question I assume?" Hachi responded. "Because
the answer is usually something to do with a pretty girl."
"Oh, right," Yuriko agreed. "Yeah, that's usually it."
To Be Continued
Saiyuu no Ryouko, all characters and situations, copyright E.
Friedman. All rights reserved.