Cailana is sitting on the beach alone when a merry Ghandagoza appears and asks her why she's feeling down. After hearing that she fell off of her surfboard, the martial arts master is determined to teach her how to swim—with an albacore.
A lone girl, her head cast down, sits on a deserted beach.
This girl has been traveling the skies with her one true love, her surfboard, to pursue her one true passion, surfing. Her name is Cailana.
Cailana: Man, what should I do... How'd it come to this...
???: You there, lass. What are you crying for?
Cailana: I'm not in the mood right now. Just leave me alone...
???: Oh, you're lost out here, huh? That's most certainly a calamity. Come—let's get you back to the beach house and get you something sweet.
Cailana: A-are you trying to hit on me!
???: What? My intentions aren't that crass!
???: It's not the art of love that I'm committed to...
Ghandagoza: It's the art of the fist—haaah!
Ghanda? Dude, you scared me! What are you doing here?
Ghandagoza: Cailana! I should ask you the same thing!
Cailana: Sigh... Well, I...
I'm so sorry! Please don't eat me, Mr. Sea Monster!
Ghandagoza: What? Who's the sea monster?
Ghandagoza: I'm the fighter without rival, Ghandagoza! Haaah!
Cailana: Really? You're not one of those mean sea critters that sinks ships and stuff?
Ghandagoza: S-sink a ship? Absurd!
Cailana: You've got a point. Sorry... You're just so shady, and that head is so shiny, I straight up thought...
Ghandagoza: You too? Everyone I've met on this island has said that very thing to me!
Ghandagoza: Honestly, I find the whole matter to be quite a nuisance. One mustn't judge the strength of a fist by the gauntlet that covers it...
Cailana: Haha. You're a pretty funny dude.
Ghandagoza: So why were you crying? It'll help you feel better if you let it out—if you're comfortable telling me, of course.
Cailana: Okay, thanks.
Cailana gives the old man a shy smile and begins to explain.
She tells him about a big surfing tournament, one where she was wiped out while attempting to catch a tidal wave produced by Leviathan. She's been afraid to hang ten ever since.
Ghandagoza: A tie-dye way?
Cailana: No, it's pronounced tidal wave.
Ghandagoza: Ugh. The language of young lasses is mystifying.
Cailana: You've heard of surfing before, right? You hop on a board and just, like, catch the wind and let the huge waves take you.
Ghandagoza: Oh, so that's how it works!
Cailana: Yep! Finally get it?
Ghandagoza: I was expecting something a bit more complex. That doesn't sound very difficult.
Cailana: Whoa, Ghanda, really? You know a way to conquer such big waves?
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Where there's a will, there's a way!
Cailana: (Whoa. He's definitely got a fighter's confidence. Spend every day focusing your willpower, and I guess nothing seems impossible.)
Ghandagoza: You just leave it to me. I'll be back soon with a first-class floatie...
Cailana: A floatie?
Cailana: Haha, no! Ghanda, swimming's not the—
Ghandagoza: Don't fret, lass! You'll be back to sailing like an iron frigate in no time flat! Gahaha!
Cailana: What! Wouldn't that sink?
H-hey... Where did he go?
Cailana peers in the direction Ghandagoza disappeared. A small giggle escapes from behind her shy smile.
Cailana: Haha. Even though that dude is basically a walking hurricane, he made me feel a little better.
Cailana: And, yeah, he's scary and loud like a storm. But you don't get nice waves without a little rough wind.
Cailana: Oh, he's back!
Cradling something large under one arm, Ghandagoza appears on the other end of the beach.
Ghandagoza: Kept you waiting, huh, Cailana!
Cailana: Haha. Look at how huge that floatie is.
Cailana: It reminds me of the one my friend used to swim with. It was dolphin-shaped and as big as her.
Cailana: I was so jealous. But now I'll get my chance to swim with one just like it—thanks a million, Ghanda!
Cailana rushes toward her friend, but her smile begins to fade as she draws closer.
Cailana: Uh... I don't think that's a floatie...
Cailana: The heck! This is a real-life albacore!
Albacore: Glub, glub!
Ghandagoza: Hey, quit resisting! I told you already, sushi's not on the menu tonight!
Ghandagoza: I just want you to teach this girl a thing or two about swimming!
Cailana: Ghanda, are you serious right now! There's no way this'll work!
Ghandagoza: What do you mean, won't work?
Ghandagoza: I remember when I was but a young fighter who hadn't found his fins yet. All the older kids would make fun of me.
Ghandagoza: It was so painful that one time I sat watching on the shore as the others swam.
Ghandagoza: But then some budding young women walked by!
Ghandagoza: They held these large fish as they walked to the water, then jumped into the ocean fish-first and rode toward the sun. They looked so elated as they swam!
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! It was immediate enlightenment!
Ghandagoza: If you want to swim like a fish, then you've got to be one with the fish!
Ghandagoza: Behold! The secret in-fish-iation technique of the path of Eternal Finship. Are you ready to swim with the force of a whale? Gaaah!
Albacore: Glub, glub!
Cailana: The force of a what...
Cailana: Hold up, Ghanda! Why exactly are you making me, uh, hug an albacore?
Ghandagoza: Fear not! This is how I myself came to understand the ancient art of swimmery.
Cailana: Right, you yourself! Why do I—
Ever the stern instructor, Ghandagoza shoves the albacore into Cailana's arms and then mercilessly tosses the pair into the waves.
After Cailana stops seeing her life flash before her eyes, she realizes the albacore is resting tamely in her grasp.
Cailana: (Huh? Don't these li'l guys usually thrash around a bunch? What's going on?)
In actuality Ghandagoza had previously wrestled the albacore into submission, forcing it to obey the fighter as its natural superior.
Now that another person has their arms wrapped around its body, the albacore dares not resist—lest it risk being knocked another rung down the animal hierarchy.
The pair begins to glide underneath the water, and Cailana slowly begins to feel something change inside of herself.
Cailana: (This is so weird. It's like it's trying to teach me that the sea isn't that scary. And I don't feel that afraid anymore...)
Cailana: (Which reminds me... I've heard of people swimming with dolphins before to heal their traumas and cure their fears, as if it's some kind of therapy.)
Cailana: (Hah, good grief. Ghanda must've known that all along...)
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Good hustle, lass! Look at you swimming!
From that day forth, stories spread about the beach and a certain huggable albacore.
People sought this fish to help their children learn to brave the seas. And, guiding the tadpoles in an eternal finship, it did just that for many years after.
Duel of the Masters
Ghandagoza and Soriz run into each other on a beach. Eager to test the other's capability, the martial arts legends begin an explosive battle. But mid-fight Soriz decides a different type of competition would be suitable for men of their maturity.
Summer winds blow capriciously from time to time. But this time they carry the inviting scent of sand to the noses of two particular men, luring them to the same beach.
As if to exchange a greeting, both men bellow a hearty laugh and raise their well-chiseled arms into boxing positions.
In one corner stands Soriz, the famed pugilist known throughout the skies. And in the other corner stands Ghandagoza, the founder of the Eternal Rage Style. The men charge at each other, their fists roaring.
Any version of Soriz
is a crew member
Haha! So you're the legendary fighter, Ghandagoza?
No version of Soriz
H'urgh... The force behind this punch. Yep. You're the real deal.
Ghandagoza: Let that teach you to never doubt the fists of the founder of the Eternal Rage Style, Ghandagoza! Gaaah!
Soriz: As a man of the fist—no, as a great and respected pioneer of battle, I've always wanted to take you on.
Ghandagoza: And it is my greatest pleasure to grant that wish. I can see you've been waiting a long time, Rock-Fisted Soriz.
Soriz: Oh, so you've heard of me!
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! I've heard many a tale of your physical strength—the man whose punch can break through a boulder.
Ghandagoza: I shall test that strength.
Ghandagoza: Come. Show me what you've got.
Suddenly Soriz drops his posture and scratches the back of his head.
Soriz: You make a mighty fine offer, but before we have this contest of fists, there's a different gauntlet we should throw down, eh, Master?
Soriz pretends to hold a cup of sake and brings the imaginary vessel to his lips.
Ghandagoza: Well met. The path of libation is a noble one indeed.
Ghandagoza: Speaking of brew, I've heard tale of a fascinating martial art that incorporates irregular, almost drunken movements from a large country far to the east.
Soriz: So it's a type of Xing Yi Quan then? I've heard of styles that resemble the movements of a snake or monkey, but this?
Soriz: Tch, acting drunk won't make you strong. Sounds like horse crap to me.
Ghandagoza: And yet it befalls us masters to test the validity of these rumors.
Soriz: Heh-heh. So you're game for a bit of competition then?
Ghandagoza: Does the fearsome mongoose hunt the cowardly snake?
Soriz: Ha-hah! My first bout with the master himself! We're gonna have to break out the good stuff for this!
Soriz: I've heard a story of jugs of ancient brew that have been fermenting for a thousand years in a sea cave not too far from here. How about we split it all between us?
Ghandagoza: Your words spark my excitement! Let's head out—
Soriz: No. There's something else I'd like you to take care of, Master.
Ghandagoza: Something else?
Soriz: Heh-heh. Sake of exceptional quality demands appetizers of equal caliber.
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Just wait—I'll be back with superb snacks!
Duel of the Masters: Scene 2
Ghandagoza heads off to find snacks, but the fruits of his labor prove unsatisfactory—he must have the best snacks for the best sake. A local fisherman overhears his complaints, and the two begin communicating in the only way hearty sea folk know how: with their fists.
Ghandagoza has been diving into the sea and catching fish with his bare hands for a while.
He examines his haul with his head cocked to the side, unsure if any of it would live up to the luxury of Soriz's mythical sake.
Ghandagoza: Of course everything from this sea is delicious, but that's only when compared with the mediocrity of everyday sustenance.
Ghandagoza: With an unmatched classic libation as a rival, there's just no way any of this can compete.
Ghandagoza: Hmm... I've met my match. Is there anything that can hold its own against a thousand-year-old sake?
Ghandagoza crosses his arms and reflects on all of the famous food he's had since beginning his journey.
Ghandagoza: Sea dragon filet was a delicacy. Simple but delicious when grilled...
Ghandagoza: Or perhaps it should be sundried and drenched in warm sake... Gulp—an ascension of exquisite flavors...
Ghandagoza: That reminds me... Sundried albacore was hearty and savory.
Ghandagoza: Rigorous chewing and a cup of the good stuff really made the taste linger on the tongue—I could eat it forever.
Ghandagoza sighs and shakes his head.
Ghandagoza: But a flavor worthy of thousand-year-old sake—I cannot deny it might fail in that regard.
Ghandagoza: Trollkrabbe is sweet and nourishing, but it's out of season.
Ghandagoza: Prismaprawn has an exquisite flavor, but finding one is next to impossible.
Ghandagoza: Graviar, foie gran, and truffle are the usual delicacies, but even they wouldn't pair well with such an aged sake.
Ghandagoza: I'll give up on the bounty of the sea—but perhaps buying wild game or sweetcap mushrooms would be wiser.
As Ghandagoza continues talking to himself, he begins to take on the air of a tried-and-true epicure. Some rough passersby hear the old martial artist and approach him.
Rough Fisherman: Hey! You come to our island and talk about how you wanna eat that fancy, land-lubbin' crap? You're fishin' for a fist now, pops!
Ghandagoza: Hasn't this year's catch been poor at best? No matter which breed you go after, the fish haven't been biting. Am I wrong?
Rough Fisherman: Shut it, pops! Who knows what the fish are like in your stupid seas, but don't you dare compare them to ours!
Ghandagoza: Hmm, excellent point. Secrets of local flavor are known only to local people.
Ghandagoza: A fisherman may know a rare fish or two that I myself am not aware of.
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Come—prove your knowledge of the sea. With your fists! Hraaagh!
Rough Fisherman: Tch! You're about to learn a lesson about the wrath of a fisherman, pops! Raaah!
Duel of the Masters: Scene 3
After bonding over the manly tussle, the fisherman tells Ghandagoza where to find a local treat, purported to be more delicious than all the world's delicacies combined. He travels to that location, where he finds Soriz still searching for the legendary sake.
For men of the sea, there is no brawl that doesn't end in some sort of kinship.
The fisherman, beaten black and blue, lets out a hearty chuckle as he converses with Ghandagoza.
Rough Fisherman: Wahaha! You're just lookin' for snacks to go with sake? Haha—Pops, you shoulda said so sooner!
Ghandagoza: Do you know of something good? Top grade albacore? Or bonito?
Rough Fisherman: Hah—we won't be catching any of that fancy crap. No, what we're after is even better.
Ghandagoza: What! There's something better than the highest grade of seafood?
Rough Fisherman: There's more flavor out in the ocean than that prissy chum.
Rough Fisherman: Like fish that don't sell, so they get thrown back to get fatter, or shellfish that look kinda weird—it's all good stuff.
Ghandagoza: Oh? You've piqued my interest. You're all experts who truly understand the secrets of your craft.
Rough Fisherman: Pfft. Expert-schmexpert. Anybody with a tongue can taste what's good.
Rough Fisherman: Heh, well, I guess we got at least one secret. Pops, ya ever heard of fishermen's delight?
Ghandagoza: Fishermen's delight? Can't say that I have.
Rough Fisherman: It's a legendary food we fishermen've passed on for a long time now. It's basically the best the seas have to offer.
Ghandagoza: What! Such a thing exists?
Rough Fisherman: You give me a good feeling, so I tell ya
what—I'll go ahead and tell ya where to find it!
Ghandagoza stands before the home of the fishermen's delight, the mouth of a large cave sitting on the edge of the sea.
Ghandagoza: He said fishermen's delight refers to the crabs that nest in this cave. Wonder if their flavor lives up to the rumors?
Recounting all of the facts the fishermen taught him about the crabs, the martial artist steps into the cave.
Brewcrabs, their innards renowned for possessing abundant flavor, are regarded as an exceptional delicacy. So much so that the local fishermen strictly guard their secret location.
Ghandagoza presses forward and sees something ahead, but it's not a crab he encounters.
???: Master? You came here too?
Ghandagoza: Soriz? What are you doing here?
Soriz: I believe I asked first. This here's a cellar of sorts housing the jugs of thousand-year-old sake. Didn't I tell you that earlier?
Ghandagoza: So you did, but what are the odds...
Soriz: Heh-heh, stop playing dumb. You just got antsy and decided to come.
Soriz: But I've got bad news. Looks like somebody's already helped themselves to a drink or two. All of the jugs here are dry as a bone.
Soriz: Why are you here anyway?
Ghandagoza: A local fisherman told me about some unique crabs that inhabit this cave.
Soriz: Crabs—perfect! Where are they supposed to be?
Ghandagoza: I'm afraid that's my bit of bad news. Haven't seen any yet.
Soriz: Hah—guess that makes for two crab-starved brawlers! Hahaha.
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Seems you're right.
Their heartfelt, carefree laughter reverberates through the cave.
But then a strange scent wafts through the air, accompanied by a looming shadow.
Ghandagoza: Seems our laughter reeled in a blessing hook, line, and sinker.
Soriz: Cough—this thing stinks! I bet it's the twit who drank all the sake!
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Saves us the trouble of tracking the culprit down. Two birds, one stone. Soriz, fists up—time to dance the dance of Eternal Rage!
Soriz: Rgh, it's stumbling all over the place! How the heck are we supposed to hit its weak spot like this?
Ghandagoza: There is no doubt this is a display of the fabled drunken martial art!
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! Come, dignified crustacean! Let me see the depth of your technique!
Duel of the Masters: Scene 4
Even though Ghandagoza and Soriz are unable to obtain the thousand-year-old sake, they do come back with brewcrabs. They head back to the beach, and their merrymaking quickly attracts a few other like-minded chaps.
The two fighters carry a large haul of crabs back to the beach.
They line up their snacks and sake on the ground, plop down beside them, and dive into the first jug of sake. Their voices echo across the shoreline as they make a toast.
Lured by their merrymaking, two other men approach Soriz and Ghandagoza like fish to an appetizing worm.
Eugen: Thought I saw two geezers up to somethin' over here, and lo and behold, here you gentlemen are havin' a party in the middle of the afternoon.
Jin: Haha. Well there is a certain nobility in enjoying a fine beverage on the beach.
Soriz: Heh. Looks can be desheeving—hiccup—me and this ledge-in-dairy mashter are researching the fine art of the fist.
Ghandagoza: Gahaha! The way of discipline is a path both long and delicious!
Eugen: Haha! Now that's what I call training! We wouldn't mind joining this little display of discipline.
Ghandagoza: Then make yourselves comfortable. Your seat's here, Eugen. And Jin, you're there. Now present your cup...
Jin: You have my thanks, gentlemen.
Th-this sake is quite exquisite—and the accompanying food... Just marvelous!
Soriz: Of course it is, Jin. Master Ghandagoza selected it all.
Jin: Hmm... This particular sashimi is made from a fish that inhabits only deep waters. It has a bit of a grotesque appearance, so you don't see it in the markets. But once you add a little sauce, it's superb.
Eugen: Yeah, that's what they say. Let the fish's innards soak in a bit of sake—that fermented flavor is the mark of a delicacy. You don't taste flavor like this every day.
Ghandagoza: Exactly. I can see you are all fine gentlemen of cuisine. But while we're on the topic of sake...
Ghandagoza: I present to you: the brewcrab.
Ghandagoza: This critter drank all of the thousand-year-old sake, but that means it's basically been marinating in the stuff, inside and out.
Ghandagoza: Don't be shy! Everybody, dig in!
The circle of men continue their merrymaking on their little corner of the beach.
Surrounded by comrades, they all forget about daily stresses and enjoy their fleeting time together.
A life of training and diligence is an arduous path; however, it can also be a route to recognizing and appreciating truly happy moments.
And that is precisely the message the legendary fighter Ghandagoza communicates to his friends as he raises his cup of sake, lets out a boisterous howl of a laugh, and cheers to the health of his crewmates.