Description: On the field of Justice High, the cheerleader of Pacific High meets the student council president of Justice--and though she strikes the young genius down, she learns a very powerful lesson about the differences in power between two people. Can anything fill such a chasm?
Everything is all bustle on the field today.
Eager to present a strong image in the face of the underlying adversity that the schools are currently facing, Justice High (or more appropriately its student council) is holding a demonstration today. The camera crews, judges and medical teams for the event schedule have been carefully sequestered off to the side in a small cordoned off and staged portion of the courtyard specifically set up for the group, with high technology monitoring equipment on loan from the school. Some would call it less 'sequestering' and more 'imprisonment' -- the school has been remarkably brusque with officials from Atelier of late -- but their elevated vantage point has been carefully selected to give the second best view of the display in the courtyard.
Rows of red, orange and yellow uniforms break and make rank and file sharply as each student marches to a specific plan laid out by the student commission delegates. Crisp, clean and exacting, it is meant to represent the slashes and thrusts of Bishamon's spear, the god of law, order and justice. Students at the head of the spear are, in fact, armed with spears, and their whirling and spinning displays glitter in the light, while the rest march and drum. The air is filled with music, and all throats in attendance are singing the tail end of the Justice High anthem.
o/` .. to create the nation of tomorrow o/`
o/` For the sake of cultivating a new power o/`
o/` An academy of ideals, Justice High o/`
Before, it was said that the camera crews and judges had the second best view of the assembly. This is because Hyo Imawano has the best. The student is currently far and removed away from the display, swathed in a great white cloak that obscures his body. He oversees the student's march from the balcony of Justice High School herself, critical eyes watchful for any mistakes in the student assembly.
He ordered the display himself, to assure that all eyes watching did not doubt the authority and discipline of its students.
It was a neccessary display, to offset the tawdry nature of the tournament itself.
Tiffany is on time to her tournament match; this is just about all that can really be said of her current situation relative to the tournament, in comparison to the grand display of Justice High's student body. She waits on the opposite side of the field from the camera crews; the American blonde has perhaps the third best vantage point on the display.
Hers, at least, is not quite so crowded; at the very least, this lets her enjoy it more than the medical professionals no doubt get to manage.
The display is meant for the tournament organizers, not her, and on some level, Tiffany Lords knows that; much of the subtext flies cleanly over her distinctly American head. It's impressive how disciplined Justice High has been... and this Hyo guy's apparently on a whole other level! It /should/ get in her head a little --
-- screw that, she's American, she's here to talk as much trash as possible and show Hyo up. She appreciates the quality of Justice's facilities and programs... but honestly, that's all the more reason to defy them, isn't it? To show she and Pacific aren't just also-rans by comparison.
The instant the assembly seems to be winding down, she neatly hops the barricade, gloves already on, gaze tracking up to the student council president. The smirk on her face is probably visible from space.
In the end, it takes no word from Hyo to gather all of the assembly to their positions. One grand sweeping gesture of his hand is enough--the motion seems to send a whipcrack through the crowd, the gesture signalling the students to form up. With the display complete, they assume orderly snap-straight ranks, each standing with arms folded behind back as if in full recital. Nigh paramilitary precision and discipline marks their manner, and no matter the number of different sizes, shapes and sexes, all of the convention operate as unified whole.
Hyo leaps; his cloak thrown off into the wind, landing in a powerful crouch not far afields from Lords. He wears the same uniform of veryone else, but his has more commendations and decoration pinned to it, showing his status amongst the student body, if their deferrence and he carriage of demeanor wasn't enough. He stands straight, posture impeccably exact just as the rest of his convened. He is the only student to wear thick white leather gloves, which creak audibly as he lowers a hand to the most elaborate decoration of all--the Japanese longsword at his hip. He gives Tiffany a onceover, expression flat and imperious. If Tiffany's grin could be seen from space, his smile would not even be measurable in a microscope.
"The foreigner's school," Hyo examines plainly.
"I would have thought the lazy Americans would have found a reason to save face and not to compete," he notes after a moment of thought, distinctly cold. "Who would have imagined," he continues, in the same meter as his first thought, "that it would be your intention to show up willingly to a battle you're woefully underequipped to win.."
COMBATSYS: Hyo has started a fight here.
Such precision and grace is unheard of at Pacific; like many of the schools outside of Justice, it is about heart first and technique second. Oh, to be sure, they're not totally lacking in discipline -- Pacific's academics are among the top quality within the schools of Southtown -- but the atmosphere is a relaxed one, where discovery learning is high and students are encouraged to take or leave their lessons as they will.
Cracking her knuckles, Tiffany takes a look at that long blade, considering it carefully for a moment. ... this fight is serious, she thinks; reaching up to each hand, she pulls off her gloves, tossing them back along the field, letting them fall as they will. Anything to ruin the pristine, crisp atmosphere at Justice...
... even if Kyoko has made such a good pitch... she has to keep that out of her head for now! Pacific has to be number one!
"HEY!" she says, in insistent English. "Don't you talk CRAP about Pacific!" Rushing straight in, Tiffany starts by whirling her arm around in a tremendously uncalculated, whirling arc. "I'll show you how UNDER... UNDEREQUI... GOOD we are!"
As her arm whirls and her chi builds up in her sprint toward Hyo, Tiffany murmurs, "Guru, guru, guru..." before finally closing the distance and swinging a bright golden fist straight at Hyo's face with a "GURU-VY PUNCH!" At least she has taken to the myriad opportunities to make puns in the Japanese language, even if her command of it otherwise seems... lacking.
COMBATSYS: Tiffany has joined the fight here.
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Hyo 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Tiffany
COMBATSYS: Hyo full-parries Tiffany's Very Groovy Punch!!
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Hyo 0/-------/-----<<|-------\-------\0 Tiffany
Justice High's curriculum was not as highly regimented as its student body, contrary to popular belief. Many students learn at their own pace and schedule. There was a strong focus in specialism for the school, where learning proceeded at individual paces per ranked class and subject--a rank J class in mathematics will be more remedial and focused on generalities than a rank A or special S class, which will deal in state of the art theory and advanced capacities vastly outstripping many conventional learning systems. However, students are not expected to excel in all classes, as it is believed that influence and societal change is best gained by teaching a student to be excellent in their strength as opposed to shoring their weaknesses. This is why Justice High was regarded as a super-elite school.
But, for all of it's highly customized nature, personal discipline is emphasized above all, and though students are allowed to get their work done and attend class whenever they are most alert, they are expected to give their absolute best in learning, and those who do not are not dealt with lightly, if not by the faculty, then by their fellow students. This is the cut throat difference between the two opposing schools today, and it shows.
While Tiffany responds with fury, Hyo responds to her charge with icy indifference. She'd taken her gloves off, ostensibly through some desire to see his blood, but Hyo does not unsheathe his sword in response. Not yet. She charges, and he stands, unwavering in his resolve as she winds up for a punch addressed for hiw jaw. In stark contrast, the pun between Japanese/English potentially does more damage to Hyo than the punch ever could have, drawing a slow, bladed frown.
It is only when Tiffany snaps out her fist that Hyo responds. He steps into her, one hand lifting to grip her wrist, and the other to keep hold of her. He steps not only into, but through her. He's trying to break her charge in one motion by moving low and directly opposing her line of approach, placing all of the weight of her momentum on her shoulder if he can capture her arm in just the right fashion. If so, his shoulder will meet underneath hers, then he'll pull her backwards right over his hip and head-first onto the ground in front of him. The motion is effortless, and happens in the space of a half-breath. There is command in every motion.
"Nonsense! There will be no mercy for you if your defense is lax!"
COMBATSYS: Tiffany blocks Hyo's Ura Seoi Nage EX.
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Hyo 0/-------/----<<<|>>-----\-------\0 Tiffany
Sure enough, Hyo catches Tiffany's overextension neatly, capturing that arm with a crisp, smooth motion. She's not totally unprepared for it, though; her body snaps up to meet the momentum and break it, tossed but landing in a soft roll rather than the hard, forceful blow Hyo was expecting. Even if she's well-outstripped by the Justice High student, Tiffany Lords came to play.
"NOT BAD," she offers, as she gets herself back to her feet, her whole body snapping up and forward to face Hyo again. For an instant, it looks like she's going to keep on talking -- get chatty with the Student Council President, or otherwise waste time...
... but despite her easygoing nature, Tiffany Lords is a student of the game, and she acts like it. Continuing forward with the momentum her body has given her, Tiffany hurls herself into a forward cartwheel, extending her legs as far out as they'll go. Each foot swings forward toward Hyo, threatening to give him a one-two dose of guard-breaking, foot-based violence from a woman who many people think of, at first glance, as a boxer.
COMBATSYS: Hyo dodges Tiffany's Groovy Wheel.
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Hyo 0/-------/----<<<|>>>----\-------\0 Tiffany
Perhaps he misread her. Imawano Hyo would not have attributed such an 'unbalanced' student like Lords with the proper reflexes necessary to make such a graceful recovery, but there is a distinct lack of bone breaking when Hyo moves to put Tiffany to the ground. Frowning, Imawano's fist tightens as he rises, treating the lack of decisive damage as a personal affront. One hand lowers to his hip, white leather fingers uncurling slowly.
He remains lethally calm.
Perhaps he did misread her.
But these are only the opening moves.
The Imawano ninja clan is on a different level of battle than most, and gaining the concession of one of their most elite is a meritorious goal in and of itself. However, don't mistake concession for impression. As she breaks into her unorthodox repertoire of technique and skill, Hyo inclines his head just so--derision written plainly across a joyless face. He approaches the fight in a completely different, serious manner. While she was looking to prove the power and skill of her school, he treated his own strength as if it had been written in stone centuries ago. Such egotism is direct and honest, but it does not require competition for veracity.
He was in this tournament for different reasons entirely.
Hitting him is proving to be difficult. He reads through her technique instantly--it is based off of the length of her legs, which are likely by his measure at least one to three inches longer than that of a typical, albeit rare, Japanese female of her displacement and age. She is not overly large compared to some others, but stressing the advantages of superior size strikes Hyo as distinctly American. However, his advantage remains.
She wheels through him, cutting him in half, and reducing his afterimage to sakura petals. He rounds her quickly in what seems to be the longest single step, his body cutting through the intermediary space until he is behind her. However, he does not take the opportunity to attack--he is not so foolish so as to attempt to hammer a nail into a knot. Instead, he drops low into a focused stance.
"You Americans disappoint me..." Hyo mentions in cold-blooded Japanese.
The slow, unrivalled his of his sword as it leaves the sheathe punctuates his words. The nameless blade is so sharp that you can almost hear it as it glints in the light, slowly raising so that its curve points up in kogasumi no kamae, the point aligning with Tiffany. Hyo's boots align slowly in an aggression stance. It's his concession that he won't be able to trivially beat the Pacific High cheerleader.
...And then, he martially advances.
COMBATSYS: Hyo focuses on his next action.
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Hyo 0/-------/----<<<|>>>----\-------\0 Tiffany
That is, by no means, the only reason Tiffany is in this tournament; there's a second for her, but one she doesn't advertise. Between the matches, it's a whole different process; /in/ the matches... well. There's only one thing Tiffany can do -- and that's prove herself and fight hard.
Kipping back up to her feet after the cartwheel, Tiffany whirls to face Hyo again; he's got her totally outpaced in a big way. His advance is crisp and firm and neat; hers, by comparison, is irregular and sloppy.
But it's hers.
When she moves in, it's with aggressive authority; she springs forward like a cat, planting her hands on the ground with force. Her whole body coils like a spring for a moment; her legs spin up into the air, whirling up toward Hyo's jaw. It's risky -- like the other moves, this is likely to overextend her. The whirling pink-purple chi around her, however, indicates that she's not going to just lie down, no matter how poorly her offense has gone thus far.
COMBATSYS: Hyo blocks Tiffany's Beautiful Spin.
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Hyo 0/-------/---<<<<|>>-----\-------\0 Tiffany
Hyo's charge is met head-on by Tiffany's axle spin, a flashy move that never would have dreamt up inside the grey halls of Justice High. He lowers his blade, catching her weight against the flat of his blade, at the fittings where his leverage is strongest, preventing damage to the blade by resting her strike against--and absorbing the force into--his shoulder, the metal epaulets ringing with force as her sparkling hues of chi fly past his body and threaten to shred ragged his uniform jacket. His advance is checked for a twisting instant.
"The product of an undisciplined lifestyle," Hyo hisses.
"Show me more, or merely be an example to Atelier of the results of what they will never have!"
His stride was checked--for an instant. Boots leaving short furrows in the dirt, he struggles against her not-insignificant force. It truthfully takes a moment for the strength of his charge and the inevitability of his horse's stride to overcome that of Tiffany's. At the point where she would normally drop away from him, Hyo begins to slowly tack into her. If she doesn't leap away, she'll find herself carried by his charge.... and victim to his cut. "ZAN!"
Accompanying his charge motion is the curving blade of his orphan weapon, breaking free of Tiffany's pinning attack as if he were casting aside leaves. A curving slash right into Tiffany's middle will open her guard mid-air if it lands--and the second slash, instantly following the first, will cut her straight up into the air, with force sufficient to send her flying bodily. And like all accounts regarding him, he is merciless and heartless. The unbelievable force of the attack is sufficent to cut some men in twain. Can Tiffany's body be tough enough to handle it..?!
"Give up, Pacific High is destined to be nothing in the face of history and this country!"
COMBATSYS: Tiffany interrupts Juumonji-giri from Hyo with Groovy Knuckle EX.
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Hyo 1/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>>>--\-------\0 Tiffany
On the one hand, Tiffany knows that she's going to get as bad as she gives -- if not worse -- if she just rushes in on the incoming blade, rather than leaping away. The other hand, though, is a big spinning fist, so screw that.
The cheerleader ducks low, her body whirling around and around; though the first slash of the blade bites into her flesh, she swings a bright, glowing fist around before Hyo can start the second, introducing her face to his fist with as much force as she can muster.
Taking a few long, slow breaths, Tiffany backs off, her blood staining the fields of Justice High -- but she seems proud of herself just the same, a big grin practically splitting her face. "Don't talk shit," she says, in California-accented English; she then adds, in Japanese, "Did you SEE enough?"
Rearing back a little, she shakes out her hand; throwing bare-knuckle attacks is a lot harder than throwing gloved strikes! Not that she regrets her decision to go all-out, but... it definitely stings.
It's a pretty undignified noise that the Justice High phenom makes as he's punched square in the face mid-slash, obviating the need for Lords to withstand his blade at all. She doesn't need to, as she interrupts at least one of his demilethal strokes with surprising force, surprising especially where it regards women and having the tenacity to punch him in the face.
Imawano Hyo stops, his advance checked by the unexpected honesty of the blow, and for the most part, what Tiffany says comes as a haze as he holds his face, fingering the orbit of his eyesocket bitterly. It will become a black eye later, and not a single student will ask about it if they know what's good for them. "Ugh, you backwater--" Hyo starts, briefly incensed before regaining his composure.
"..It seems as if you wish to die," Hyo notes, critically.
"I will have the students here inscribe your epitaph!!"
It might take a few of the other students to restrain Hyo. Just a few hairs short of completely insane, Hyo surges forward after Tiffany, amongst the rows of standing-straight students. He loses little speed in the wake of or in concern over her genius counterattack, his blade dropping low to his side as he moves to cut through her hip-to-shoulder, his stroke followed by the light pink of sakura--and if Tiffany isn't fast enough to read his movements, the dark red of her blood. He doesn't hold back.
COMBATSYS: Hyo successfully hits Tiffany with Ouryuuzan.
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Hyo 1/-----<</<<<<<<<|=======\====---\1 Tiffany
Sure enough, Hyo is on a level such that Tiffany can't break his stride with her motions, nor get out of the way; scrappy as she is, she can't really compete with the crisp perfection he brings to the table. The blade bites through her skin again, and she cries out in anguish; she can feel the fight slipping out from underneath her, and knows that she's outpaced. All she can really do, at this point, is swing harder and harder and hope in desperation that she can pull something out.
"How many Justice students does it TAKE to write an epitaph?" Tiffany replies, through gritted teeth, as she attempts to stabilize her footing. Her stance, for a moment, is bowed out, body ducked low and legs spread in an attempt to keep herself from falling; she snaps back into her tall, forceful stance within a few valuable moments, though.
There's only going to be one chance for this, she realizes -- one moment in which she can capture her victory. It's narrow, which means she'll have to take it right this instant. "... None -- 'cuz they're NOT gonna have to," she hisses, under her breath.
Leaping into the air, Tiffany almost seems to move in slow motion, then impossibly fast a split-second later, legs aiming for Hyo's neck --
COMBATSYS: Tiffany successfully hits Hyo with Groovy Screw.
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Hyo 1/-======/=======|-------\-------\0 Tiffany
-- and finding purchase, snapping shut around it. Tiffany sends herself into a whirling, helicopter-like spin, carrying Hyo slightly up into the air with the sheer speed of her body; in the middle of her whirl, she flashes a peace sign for just a moment, clearly invigorated by her moment of triumph.
As quickly as her assault started, though, it ends -- with her slamming Hyo face-first toward the ground, and springing herself back up off him to land in a slightly-uneasy stance in front of him.
"What a ridiculous question..."
Hyo is not familiar with American humor.
Shaking the blood from his blade, he sheathes it quickly. Anyone passingly familiar with Hyo's technique would know that this is not a surrender--his iaijutsu is as strong as his kenjutsu, and sheathing his blade may mean that he intends to finish Tiffany off--truthfully, though their fight is flanked by rows of orderly Justice High students, several are looking distinctly uncomfortable when Hyo's blade cuts into the Pacific High student, and a little more when he sheathes it. Not all Justice High students have a taste for blood, even if they have the discipline not to break rank when ordered otherwise.
That in itself is a risk--a loss before the entire Justice High student body to Tiffany would be devastating for Hyo's control over the student council, but Imawano is nothing if confident in his own ability. Well. Save for what transpires in the next few moments.
Gripped by the neck between Tiffany's legs, Hyo is carried right up into the air. The technique, if performed by a true assassin, might have been lethal then and there. As it is, however, Hyo is merely placed into a position of extreme discomfort in several axes, and is internally memorizing the position, number and ownership of every camera flash in the general area as Tiffany breaks into her victory sign, fully intending to make sure they never see the light of any social media.
An instant later, she slams him face first into the ground.
With his advance checked, it takes Hyo a moment to spit the grit from his teeth and come to a stand. A white handkerchief is out in an instant, used to wipe the dirt from his face. It seems a somewhat presumptuous thing to do in the midst of a battle, but one would be a fool to think Hyo's guard isn't up. "Insects of the lower class," Hyo spits. "Perhaps you have some worth to me after all... to successfully strike me down, of all things..! I will remember that." His imperious glare says all that he needs to after that, reflecting in them a certain calculation way beyond the timespan of most students.
"Fortunately," Hyo says, flicking the white cloth into the air, "your fight ends here."
It only takes one moment. One moment in which the focus is on the cloth and not Hyo. In that instant, Hyo will lunge deep into Lords, thrusting into her range with a knee to her middle. He says nothing, but his move is intended to shock, stun, and impose his superior will over her. It's a distraction, merely, another further attempt to open her guard. Her being preoccupied with defense will allow him to use his technique. He will split his chi off into a seperate iteration of himself-- a fully seperate Hyo Imawano, with a portion of the strength and all of the speed of the original. Truthfully, it's hard to tell if it's a chi duplicate or simply Imawano moving so fast so as to be indistinguishable between two seperate locations.
Both of the shinobi draw their blades, wicked katana shining in the light.
And then they flank, by her guard or her blood going about the process of teaching the buxom boxing yankee on how to compete in a high level tournament.
COMBATSYS: Hyo successfully hits Tiffany with Ankoku Gen'ei-jin EX.
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Hyo 0/-------/-------|=======\=======\1 Tiffany
Tiffany watches Hyo the entire time; she's not one to be fooled by cheap tricks. What she is, however... is green. Unlike him, she lacks from-birth training as a totally radical ninja; she's just an ordinary girl, at the end of the day, albeit one with a natural knack for battle.
Accordingly, she just can't outpace Hyo. The blade bites into her time after time after time; both Hyos have her number in a substantial way, clawing through her guard with their blades over and over again. When it ends, Tiffany is spent; there's no desperate last maneuver, no critical moment at which she grasps the blade and turns things around.
Just a boxer -- kickboxer -- savateuse? -- definitely cheerleader, let's go with that one -- lying on the ground, bleeding. The wounds aren't fatal... but she's not getting home under her own power, either. There's nothing left in her.
COMBATSYS: Tiffany takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: Tiffany can no longer fight.
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Such is the crippling difference between them.
The ensuing brutality is not something that Hyo relishes--in fact, there is no joy for Hyo Imawano in proving the superiority of gravitas over irreverent pursuits. There is no joy worth relishing in in this life, only the facts and his ambition itself. So as he flanks and surrounds the cheerleader, cutting into and through her in a series of cruel strikes systematically designed to remove any and all chance of defense she could ever conceive of, Hyo can only think of what form the next step in his calculations should take.
As he moves through the devastating attack, it is worth noting that his attacks are like shadows, passing and winding through the young woman and the gathered students so that their exact form is not always clear. It may have been something of a mistake to use the Ankoku on this level of Pacific High, but it was necessary to assure that Atelier doesn't gather any more data than the absolute minimum needed. By employing sheer speed, he is able to obfuscate his Imawano ninjutsu to some extent, and keep them from being able to reverse engineer his other techniques through repetition. That was in fact the purpose of keeping the crews isolated from the main fight while on Justice High grounds.
He puts her down almost instantaneously, and when she lays bleeding on the ground, Hyo breaks his technique, standing overhead with a gleaming and bloodied sword. Reaching out a hand, he catches the discarded handkerchief, which had floated in the air on the winds preceding his attack. This he uses to clean the blood from his blade, as he thoughtfully considers the American's broken body. Instead of leaving her to the Atelier medics, Hyo has a different thought in mind.
"Students," Imawano commands icily.
"Break rank and take her to the sickbay. She is of use to us."
No one present and conscious will disobey him.
Log created on 05:41:21 01/14/2015 by Hyo, and last modified on 04:19:03 03/05/2015.