“I must admit to you, I am not well.”
The familiar Flemish brogue gives us all the introduction we need.
Leon Van Zandt sits on the floor of his personal gym, hunched over with his hands on his knees. His face twisted in agony, surely from the torturous training of Eddie Dante.
“Meneer Dante has been nothing short of sadistic in his attempts to forge a more powerful Foreign Legion, especially since we were defeated for the Classic Wrestling Tag Team Championships. In his attempts to push us to be our best… I fear that he is in fact hindering our performance in the ring, making us more susceptible to preventable losses as was shown previously, with Mushigihara against Harry Chest.
“But on the next episode of Classic Wrestling, I am presented with an opportunity to redeem myself and my partner, in the form of Derek Miracle, the explosive upstart that made his impressive debut a short while ago. I have watched your match, Derek, and you clearly have all the strength of a bull.”
A shake of his head.
“But as my mentors in Belgium were fond of saying, bulls are killed on the floor.”
Leon slowly rises to his feet, pulling himself up one leg at a time, wincing in pain. His torso is covered in bruises, especially across his upper back and shoulders.
“On the mat, things like brute strength are easily neutralized. Meaning, that rather powerful chokeslam that led you to victory previously becomes irrelevant, and we will test your strength in the closest of quarters. And even if I am not at my strongest, Miracle… I will still be game to tear you limb from limb.
“And with that, I will redeem myself; both in the eyes of the Classic Wrestling audience, and ESPECIALLY in the eyes of Meneer Dante. Perhaps then, the hazing will stop. The torture will end. And the ascent of the Foreign Legion BACK to the top of Classic Wrestling can begin.”
The Professional takes a deep breath, followed by a nervous swallow.
“It can happen. It MUST happen.”
“What was that DISGRACEFUL performance, Mushi?”
Eddie Dante screamed at a God-Beast who had long since checked out mentally, as Leon Van Zandt could only look on in horror. Mushigihara had just fallen to Harry Chest in singles competition, and Dante was LIVID.
“I spent EVERY WAKING MOMENT pushing you to your best, and THIS is how you repay me? You go in that ring and LAY AN EGG? And you expect to be re-entered in the tag team division, much less compete for the straps again, after wrestling like this?!”
Mushi rolls his eyes and just braces for the worst. Which surprised him AND Leon, as Dante turns to the technician and continues his spiel.
“And YOU! It’s about time YOU started holding up your end! I’m going to have you booked for the next show, and you better prove your value, OR ELSE.”
Dante turned on his heels, leaving the Legion alone, in awkward silence.