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Lee Chaolan's (more or less) excellent life in the Mishima family

Chapter Text

Lee was at his office in the U.S. Mishima Zaibatsu branch in the financial district of San Francisco. He had left Japan since two months and he was speaking on the phone with his father. Heihachi was not happy.

"Nonsense! He’s there since eighteen years! He won’t make me believe that he hasn’t found at least one clue about that treasure!"

"Well, he resigned after three years, as you know."

"Why did he resign? Did he tell you?"

"He said his search was going nowhere."

"But he was paid to give me results, not to quit at the first problem. We gave him a chance and asked him to come back, why has he refused?"

"By then he was married, had a baby and had no time to go on with that search. He said that his agenda wasn’t permitting him those long hours far from his wife and their newborn. He found a new job near them."

"Near them... He was searching in the reservation and they lived in the reservation. How much closer did he need to be?"

"Well, the Navajo reservation is big, sometimes he was away for days... Sometimes he went to other reservations... and his baby was often sick, so he had to drive her to the doctor. He had to be there. At the time, he had no cell, if his daughter was sick and he was far, he couldn’t know. So he preferred to refuse when asked to come back working for the corporation."

"I don’t care about his personal life but he was supposed to have worked at least those three years before he quit. He never showed any notes from his researches. I suppose you just politely asked him about the papers? Go back there and ask him again. More firmly this time. Tell him I’m very annoyed to never have had any results. I want all the papers on his research now. They are mine."

"In eighteen years, I don’t think he kept some useless notes..."

"They are not useless, they are the clues to that treasure I’m looking for. I’m sure he has the notes on his research and wants to keep them for himself. I even wonder if he has already found the treasure... I find his family excuse to stop working, kind of rubbish. But he should learn that no one can cross Heihachi Mishima... If he doesn’t want to share his discovery, there are other ways to get what we want."

"... What do you mean?"

"Lee, must I explain everything to you? Are you really that naïve or you’re only pretending? Use any means necessary to get those papers!"

"Yes, Otousama."

Lee hanged up the phone and sighed: He had to go back to that Indian reservation in Arizona again... Another four hours of flight... Any means must mean any means... Lee was not naïve, he knew what his father meant, Heihachi always repeated to both him and Kazuya how ruthless a businessman had to be, so... he was probably being tested now... Yet if mister Chang had no notes, they wouldn’t appear despite being ruthless... He first had to inform himself again to see if mister Chang got anything... Heihachi was certain that the real reason why that man had stopped working for him was that he had found the treasure or was about to find it and wanted to keep it for himself. The Japanese businessman had not acted much on it for years, it had been put on ice since he was busy with many other things but now he wanted Lee to prove that he was able to do what was asked of him.

Lee took the Mishima private plane, then went the rest of the way by car to the reservation to meet mister Chang once more by himself. The councilors Heihachi had appointed to help Lee, had told him to bring some enforcers with him to ‘impress’ mister Chang. Yet Lee didn’t want to ‘impress’ mister Chang, he wanted to convince him in a more civilized way. They also said it would be better for his own safety since in America, contrarily to Japan, everyone could have a gun. Many people over here did not like the Mishima Zaibatsu and he could be the target of their anger. But Lee had learned at least one thing from his father and that was to never act like a coward, so he told them he didn’t fear anyone and went alone. He drove for a while in the desert until he arrived to the small house with the water reservoir beside. He parked in front of the small house and knocked at the door. Madam Chang opened the door and Lee politely bowed. She asked him with some surprise:

"Mister Lee? What brings you back?"

"I am pleased to see you again, madam Chang. I’m sorry to bother you once more but may I speak with your husband?"

"Yes, he is in the kitchen with Michelle. Come in."

Madam Chang led him to the kitchen, where her husband was sitting with their fourteen year old daughter, Michelle. It seemed the family was playing a game of Risk. They both greeted him and mister Chang asked as well why he had come back. But he asked on a friendly tone and didn’t seem bothered by Lee. Even if they considered him with some distrust since he was working for the Mishima Zaibatsu, the Changs had appreciated his politeness and the respect he showed toward them last time. They had even invited him for supper while mister Chang had explained his entire story. Lee had appreciated very much the cornmeal dish and the roasted deer, some Native American meal, but mostly, he had appreciated the relation the father, mother and daughter seemed to share together, like a real loving family. Lee enjoyed seeing it, it was so different from his own family. But they didn’t know he was Heihachi Mishima’s son... Lee didn’t know if he would have been that welcomed if it was the case...

Knowing the people on the reservation didn’t appreciate very much the Mishima Zaibatsu, since they somehow invaded their lands some eighteen years ago with those searches for that treasure even if they had a controversial temporary permit for doing some searches, Lee had thought that he should not say his real tie to the Mishima Zaibatsu CEO. Luckily, he could present himself as Lee Chaolan since he never got the Mishima surname, Heihachi having always refused to give it to him, a thing Lee found both appreciable and annoying, making him less than a Mishima and making him feel that his father never fully accepted him but it also distanced him from that crazy family when needed... An advantage of not having the name, he didn’t get all the hate the Mishimas apparently were getting...

So they didn’t know he was Heihachi’s son and this time, he didn’t feel the need to tell it... Maybe mister Chang knew his tie, Lee never made it secret either but maybe he didn’t, so Lee did not specify it. Beside mister Chang had resigned from the Mishima Zaibatsu before Lee was even adopted, he probably didn’t know him... After politely saluting them and making some small talk to be friendly, Lee went to the point:

"I do apologize to ask you the same question again but Mister Mishima really insisted on the fact that he needed the notes about your searches for the treasure..."

Madam Chang then interrupted:

"I’m sorry but mister Mishima is a very impatient and demanding man. It’s been hundreds of years that people are looking for the Graal, for the yeti, for Shangri-La... The tomb of Tutankhamen have only been very recently discovered, after hundreds of years of searches... Not everybody can find a map to a treasure in three years..."

Mister Chang nodded at his wife’s affirmation.

"Indeed. I’m no better than all those who searched these things... In all those years, apart from the legends that mister Mishima already knows, I haven’t found anything. I told you last time. In three years, I didn’t have time to find much... and didn’t go on with the searches. I’m sorry, I don’t owe him anything. I worked, I did my best and I resigned."

Michelle added:

"Beside it’s Native American grounds. The treasure is probably a sacred Native American relic."

Lee noticed that Michelle and her mother always seemed slightly hostile toward the Mishima Zaibatsu when he talked about it. Mister Chang must not really appreciate the corporation either even if he hid it better than them since he had resigned and refused to come back.

Lee wondered: Why did mister Chang quit his job? Was it really for what he told him last time or more? His wife was Native American, despite the controversial temporary permit, many Navajos were against those searches, she could have convinced him to stop searching on their lands and to please her, he left the corporation and really stopped looking for the treasure... Or maybe he really found something as his father suspected? But they didn’t seem to live like people who had found a treasure... Their house was small, the furniture was worn-out and they had an old car... But the treasure would not be sold for money if it was an ancient treasure... If the treasure was sacred to the Native Americans, he may not have wanted to take it... Whether he found it or not... He may have resigned because of moral objections...

Since he had been given more power in the company, Lee had also learned about many inacceptable things. Not forcibly all illegal but many were immoral and that, as he learned, was the normal way of the Mishima Zaibatsu... But wasn’t the normal way of every businesses? Every corporation bypassed some laws or ethical rules to get what they wanted... They had lawyers for a reason, to get by with anything... Money could do everything. Good or bad. Lee replied to the young girl:

"Yes, I know but as I told your father last time, mister Mishima is willing to pay a really good sum of money for that treasure or useful notes leading to it. Your family, your whole reservation would be quite comfortable for years... It could be very profitable for everyone... Beside mister Mishima knows its value, he would not disrespect the relic... It would be kept and taken care of..."

Madam Chang said:

"I’m sorry but mister Mishima will have to learn that there are some things that cannot be bought in life. Money isn’t everything."

Her husband then added:

"Beside we have nothing to sell. I told you I found nothing."

"But didn’t you get at least some hint? On its location, on what it was exactly..."

"No. It is presented in many forms in the legends and after all those searches, I’m still not certain that the treasure even exist..."

"If it’s the price that you do not find satisfying enough, you can tell me, I shall adapt the check to your convenience. Depending on the info of course, but you could gain much..."

"I told you, I have nothing", said mister Chang.

"Fine. I won’t harass you anymore. But should you remember some hints or find some notes, or even learn where the treasure is, you can always call to notify me about it, mister Chang, and I will still pay you what I offered you last time. Here is my phone number."

Lee gave his business card to mister Chang, politely bowed to him and his family and left their house.

Maybe mister Chang would change his mind soon... He probably needed some time to think it over... Assuming he had notes on the treasure... But if he did, he definitively wasn’t purchasable... Yet maybe since it was Native American, the treasure was now between the reservation band council’s hands... Lee went to see them as well and got the same response: Apart from the old legends, no one knew anything about it. And Lee had the feeling they were telling the truth since he asked the few councilors who were friendly with the Mishima Zaibatsu and had delivered the permit (for a good payment) to search on their lands. They probably would have told the truth...

Lee went away and wondered how his father would take that failure. He’ll look like a fool in front of his father and brother for not being able to do as his father asked of him... Any means... His father had told him to use any means to get those notes if they existed... But Lee was quite reticent to using such resort...

The councilors at the office were all going in the same direction as Heihachi; bully the family to get info or the treasure. But Lee wasn’t okay with this, it was disgusting. Yet despite his scruples, Lee didn’t want to disappoint his father either... The fact that Heihachi had sent him away while he kept Kazuya near him was really worrying Lee, who felt he really wasn’t a Mishima. Kazuya suffered more than him at the hands of Heihachi but, like he said, he was a real Mishima... It did show even with Heihachi’s behavior toward both of them. While Heihachi seemed slightly involved emotionally in both bad or good way (mostly bad though) toward Kazuya, he was always ignoring Lee, or even scorning him... There was something that Lee could feel, some kind of indifference toward him... He received some more responsibilities like working at the Mishima Zaibatsu like his brother, in fact he always received the same things as his brother but there was always that lack of pride Heihachi had for his accomplishments... Like Kazuya told him: Your failure or success won’t shine back on the distinguished Mishima family...

But if he could handle things like his father wanted over here, he may get his esteem, his full acceptance and maybe get more than Kazuya... Maybe being sent to America was not some exile as he sometimes felt, maybe it was a chance to prove his worth... A chance that Kazuya had not been given... Despite now training together, father and son were still at each other’s throat, he always was the obedient one... Maybe his father thought he would be more efficient than Kazuya... But his father really sent him to face difficult moral problems... Knowing Heihachi, he probably wanted that, that his adoptive son loses all moral sense... Yet, Lee felt some guilt over forcing those people... Maybe his father sent him here to harden him by having to take care of those bullying... But he couldn’t bully that father and his family... Not only it wasn’t morale but he didn’t even know if they had the treasure or hints on it... Money didn’t seem to buy that family at all...

But why was Heihachi wanting so much to have that treasure? Lee knew his father collected geta sandals but not archeological treasures... And as mister Chang said, maybe it didn’t even exist...

Meanwhile, Kazuya went to see his father who was meditating. Heihachi felt his presence and slightly turning his head, asked:

"Kazuya. What do you want?"

"You remember that note I sent you when I was a child?"

Heihachi made an arrogant face and replied:

"Yes, that lovely note. What about it?"

He knew which note it was since Kazuya never sent him anything else from that one that said: Father, one day, I will tear you to pieces. Kazuya continued:

"You were so scared that you had to pick a distraction for me not to do it. But that distraction, your bodyguard, is gone now."

"Bodyguard? Who? Lee?"

In fact, Kazuya didn’t really think of Lee as a bodyguard but as a distraction mostly, which was meant to distract him from trying to kill his father once more. And it did, so in a way, it protected Heihachi...

"He won’t be able to protect you from me now."

Heihachi started to laugh.

"Hahaha! You think I relied on Lee to protect me? That I was scared of you? Wahaha! Oh son, I thought you were boring but I was wrong, you’re too funny! A pity I’ll have to kill you! In fact, it’s quite the contrary, I thought that since I wasn’t able to kill you as a helpless child, I may have to do it the warrior way, in a fair fight once you were an adult. Then you had to get some training to be able to confront me one day. So I picked Lee as a training partner. He was brought here for you. Not for me."

Heihachi got up, smiled and asked:

"Did you train enough? Are you ready to die? I taught you all my moves, now we can be equals."

"I am ready to die but after I kill you. I’ll destroy you for killing my mother and making my life a living hell since then."

Heihachi remembered that it was here in this exact place that he had killed Kazumi sixteen years ago... She was corrupted by a devilish spirit and she tried to kill him... It had pained Heihachi to kill his wife but he had no choice. As he knew he had no choice to kill his own son one day... So he tried every ways to keep his son far from his heart so that he would be able to kill him as well, he let no one near his heart so that he would always be able to do what had to be done. Well, apart from Kuma... There could be no mercy in the financial world and no mercy in the real world as well.

"I had to go through many obstacles, to kill that Devil. Kazumi being the first and the hardest... But today, it will be over. Now that you have grown up, since I must kill you, I hope you will be a worthy challenge..."

Sometimes later in the United States, Lee received a call. It was his father, Heihachi.

"You won’t see Kazuya when you come back. He’s dead."

"What?! How did he...?"

"An accident. He fell down a cliff."

"... Must I come back today, Otousama? Are you alright?"

"Of course I am."

"So you don’t need me?"

"No. So you got nothing on the treasure?"

Lee stayed mute for a while before he answered:

"... No."

That treasure again... Lee first didn’t know if he had to console his father or if his father was the one who killed Kazuya... They had such an hostile relation toward each other sometimes... But now... his father seemed to not care about Kazuya at all but only the treasure... Maybe he really killed Kazuya... Lee suddenly remembered what Kazuya had told him many years ago: They would get killed... Was Kazuya right all this time? But his father was still talking over the phone:

"You disappoint me, Lee. I thought you could succeed in what my previous public relation director couldn’t but it seems you can’t even do that."

"I’m sorry, Otousama…"

Lee was actually more sorry for Kazuya than for not finding that annoying treasure... Yet he was confused: He didn’t even know why he was feeling sad now... He and Kazuya had not the best of relation... He did remember some times when Kazuya and he were happy together but those were so few... In all those almost ten years, he could probably count on his ten fingers the times they smiled at each other and in the last year, he couldn’t remember a time where they had fun together... They were always at each other’s throat... or scorning each other... They were happier while away from one another, so Kazuya’s death should not change anything...

"...I don’t need sorry, I need results..." continued his father over the phone.

Was he sad over the failed relationship? Sad for never having the brother relationship he would have wanted? Out of pity for Kazuya? He had such a sad life... His father always mistreated him... and didn’t even seem sad on the phone... Yet was it surprising? Has Heihachi ever demonstrated some kind of love toward any of his sons? Kazuya was a Mishima, Heihachi and him somehow had some kind of strong tie but it was not love...

Despite having access to a lot of money, Lee knew his father didn’t really care much about him either. But Lee always told himself that being ignored or even scorned was better than being hated even though he did suffer from it... He really would love if his father showed him some appreciation or affection sometimes... Yet he still didn’t know why he was sad for Kazuya... It probably was the shock of the news... After all, he mostly never cared for Kazuya when he was alive... and sometimes even wished him dead... Heihachi was a bad father but Kazuya was a bad brother as well... But just knowing that he would never see him again... was kind of sad...

"... Any means necessary..." was now telling Heihachi as Lee was only half listening.

But was it fear? Since his father could kill his own son, he could very well kill him as well... Lee always feared Heihachi once he discovered his true harsh and brutal nature but he never thought his father’s tyrannical attitude could go to that point... Even when Kazuya told him that troubling ′they would get killed’ since he didn’t believe him, but now... He had learned a lot about the way of the Mishima Zaibatsu, about his father... So was he scared of him now? More than before?

Yet there was another side... an excellent side... With Kazuya out of the way, the whole Mishima Zaibatsu would be his to inherit... There was no need to feel threatened now... He was the sole heir of the whole thing... Heihachi would notice his accomplishments, would consider him his son to the fullest... That was great news... Why was he sad? Or scared? Or feeling regrets? He was so confused...

"...and get the job done."

"... Yes, Otousama…"

And Heihachi hung up the phone while Lee had not understood most of the conversation since he was lost in his thoughts. It probably was the same thing as always anyway...

Still overwhelmed by both Kazuya’s death and that task of getting mister Chang’s notes, by the troubling ‘any means necessary’, Lee had put aside everything for now. He had not been to work for three days, he shouldn’t, he was now the only heir, he had to give a perfect example but he didn’t want anybody to see him like this. He didn’t want to look sad or troubled in front of anyone. After all, he had an image to maintain... Beside he still didn’t know what to do with those notes... Having hardly slept at night, he was still in his bed when the phone rang.

"Hummm? Hello?"

It was his father, Heihachi.

"What? I woke you up? What are you doing in bed at this hour?"

"I just don’t feel very good... I need some vacations..."

"Did I permit you to take a vacation and be lazy in bed? Why does my only remaining son have to be an incapable? Now I have only one son and he can’t even make me proud!"

Lee held the phone as far from him as he could while Heihachi scolded him. Even thousands of kilometers away, his father was poisoning his life... Yet he had to listen to what his father was telling him, so he brought the phone back to his ear...

"Go back to work! I told you I don’t like weaklings! At least, before your ‘vacations’, have you succeeded in retrieving those notes?"

"Huh... No. I was thinking about a way to do so..."

"Force him."

"Hum... Yes, I will."

And Heihachi hang up the phone, leaving Lee discouraged. Finally being the only heir was kind of stressful... Despite not having to share once he inherited, he now had to be up to the actual task...

The next day, Lee went to the Changs’ house and invited the father to the restaurant. After they ordered, he quickly went to the point.

"I am sorry to ask you so brutally, I do apologize, but I really need your notes on the treasure. Have you made up your mind about the money I offered you?"

"I can’t make up my mind, I told you I didn’t get any valuable hints to write down, I have nothing."

"I find it hard to believe so I must insist, I really need those notes. It would be better for your family."

Mister Chang got surprised. He knew the way of the Mishima Zaibatsu.

"Are you threatening me?"

"Heavens, no. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding... I’m just... asking. I meant better for them to have money... So you really don’t have anything?"

I’ll look like a loser in front of Otousama... thought the silver-haired man with some anxiety before he asked:

"You don’t have any people you know I could try to ask for some hints on the treasure? You didn’t do your researches with anyone? The Band Council really doesn’t know anything about it?"

"... Not really... I worked alone. So you were not threatening me?" asked the now distrustful man.

"No. I’m sorry for my confusing manners if it gave you that impression."

Lee then thought of something:

"But if you don’t have any notes, at least, give me some false notes. I am willing to pay you well for those."

Mister Chang asked on a surprised tone:

"Why do you need false notes?"

Lee looked embarrassed and said:

"I need to show my superior that I am worthy of his trust... I just... I’ll lose my position if I can’t bring him the notes..."

Mister Chang’s expression suddenly changed: He looked sad and replied on a fatherly tone:

"Hum. But I don’t have any... and making false notes will not show that you are trustworthy... I’m sorry for your job but sometimes it’s better to leave a place where they put too much pressure on you... I know something about it... I know how the Mishima Zaibatsu works... You’re young, you’ll be able to find someplace else... Maybe you should leave..."

That wasn’t the answer Lee wanted. He would certainly not leave his future corporation... But he still couldn’t use violence on mister Chang or his family... Disappointed, he brought mister Chang back to his house and went away in his sport car.

"I shall do my research alone. Or my false notes alone. Then I won’t disappoint Otousama."

He then thought with some anxiety:

"I’ll never have time to do worthy false notes! I don’t even know anything about it!"

The next day after having tried to find a solution to tell his father all night, he told him:

"He really doesn’t have any notes. I think we should start the search all over."

"So, in short, you have nothing?"

"Not yet."

"Lee, you’re so weak... You can’t do anything right but to disappoint me! If you can’t handle the task, I’m taking you out from that position! Go back to your studies! I’ll take care of it!"

"But Otousama...! I can do it..."

And Heihachi hung up the phone.

Many months later...

"I hope you won’t disappoint me like last time..."

"No. I won’t disappoint you this time, Otousama."

Lee hung up the phone. His father asked him another job which Lee knew would imply some dirty business. He had completely failed the task with mister Chang, refusing to act in a corrupt way... His father punished him by taking him away from the prestigious position he had and some months later, Lee learned that mister Chang had died... In a car accident... But Lee knew how that car accident happened... or mostly why and who was responsible...

Now his father offered to take him back in his good grace and give him a good position if he successfully did a task for him, which would most probably involve foul play... Not wanting to disappoint his father once more, still hoping to get his approval and redeem himself in his eyes to one day get the Mishima Zaibatsu, Lee had decided to act more ruthlessly.

Though he didn’t do the job himself since it was too hard to know the people he would have to threaten later, like for the Changs, so he sent hired thugs who would give a lesson to some guy who refused to bow to the Mishima Zaibatsu’s will, to the terrible Heihachi’s will. Having got somehow a twisted lesson that if he had been a little more ruthless with Mr. Chang maybe things wouldn’t have gone to the point of murder, Lee decided to use threats, violence, extortion and corruption to get his father’s way.

But he was feeling really bad inside... Lee hated what he had to do and what he had become and mostly began to resent his father for pushing him to do it... while still wishing for his approval... Heihachi did give him some compliments when he succeeded in getting things done...