No One Likes Rejection

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Since Kai insisted it was either sneak onto a cargo ship that night of pull together something fast, Max's irritated mother suggested that if he was set on being an idiot, he might as well call some friends of hers hitching a ride on a freighter for some affordable research. She even bumped Max off to give Kai an earful about waiting just one damn week instead of being an impatient, head strong teenager who believed his fellow head-strong teenager's conspiracy theory, but once Kai had the number he simply walked away from the computer.

Tyson slid in on his socks just as Kai found a quiet corner of the kitchen to make his call.

"I'm going with you, the end."

He just looked at him, mostly out of amusement. The short stack didn't have to give him his battle glare. Kai figured Tyson would be riding his tail out for adventure.

"Fine, but for God's sake, try to keep the recklessness to a minimum."

Max's mother's friend turned out to be a Physics and Marine Movement professor at the local community college. He had plans to leave in the wee hours of the morning on a freighter shipping across the pacific to take samples of ocean water and read the currents. Since freighters were no passenger carrier, the professor did quite a bit of sputtering about lack of bunks and rooms, but when Kai insisted he was fine sleeping on whatever space of floor he could throw a sleeping bag, that he'd stay out of the way, and that he had a passport, the professor uneasily agreed to talking to the captain about bringing on some helpers for his research. He did insist on calling Max's mother first for verification of Kai's identity.

Kai only grew uneasy when Kenny insisted on coming along with them. Ayah Kai expected, even planned, on taking along, but Kenny...

But it was Tyson who gave the refusal.

"Look, man, space is tight, you get awful seasickness anyways, and if they start drafting like crazy over here in Japan your asthma will keep you out of that. Besides, we need someone to keep a look out for Hillary and Gramps for us."

Kenny was more surprised than angry. "That actually sounded mature. Are you okay, Tyson?"

"I think you're confusing my playful, fun loving personality with immaturity, Chief. I'm plenty mature. I'm a full grown man!"

Kai laughed. That irked the Dragon, as he knew it would, and he walked away to the sound of Tyson's roars for battle.

"I have to go home and pack, moron. Make sure you grab some sleeping bags."

He gave Aya a nod on his way out. She had a hand twisted up in her own feathers.

Back home, he found a small box waiting for him on his kitchen counter and he opened it like one would a bomb. Inside, however, he found a silver beyblade with a thin attack ring like a long-toothed saw blade. He cursed as he stuffed it into his cargo jean's pocket. It wasn't made of the same dark, glassy substance of the assassin's blades, but that's why Kai liked Tala's blades more and had always settled with an attack ring of his making; they were a happy medium between the durability of a tournament blade and the deathly speed and edge of an assassin's blade. This way it could slice flesh while being able to shatter any assassin's blade he met, while holding its own against the everyday beyblade for as long as it took Kai to call it back and switch out rings.

This, however, was the first time he had a blade entirely of Tala's making. The wolf had gone above and beyond, and Kai knew for a fact that the payment he had sent Tala didn't cover even half of it. It even came with an extra defense ring made of a heavier, high-durability alloy rather than the light reinforced aluminum alloy favored for speed.

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