Description: The King of Fighters Bronze match pits the Heirs to Legend against the Hungry Wolves! Winning team gets a cool million, a themed Saturday Night Fight, and a Combot. Souls and fists collide in a match to remember!'
The war had ended. While it would be a stretch to say that peace had settled, considering the political tensions brushing right up against the snapping point around the world, at least there are no longer invading armies rampaging through Japan and those responsible for such international aggression have been deposed, incarcerated, or killed. The world is in a state of transition as populations return to work, restoration efforts begin in earnest, and for many, life returns to the closest thing to normal they can get.
It was easy to forget about the King of Fighters team tournament, and it's safe to say many had assumed it would never complete. Many of the fighters who were prominent leading into the final rounds returned to the homes that needed them, several reported to have actually fought in the front lines to hold off monsters and armies alike. But as the dust settled, the team tournament administration lurched back to life, swearing that the phenomenally popular event would finish and the lucrative prizes promised would be distributed.
The match for the third place run-off is not for any small sum of money, either. One million US dollars on the line. Though maybe not entirely life-changing once divided out across a team, it's still a solid prize. And of course, there's the renown and recognition. And, maybe for some of the participants, just helping give the world something to take its mind off tragedy is reason enough to help bring the athletic fighting competition to a resolution.
The G-King Arena may not be the massive spectacle that the Howard Arena just across town is, but it's still an impressive place to have the run-off finals of King of Fighters. The arena floor is setup entirely unlike the simple stone plateau featured at the heart of Howard Arena.
Instead, a shallow current of water flows through the arena floor in the form of a brisk stream no more than a foot or two deep. It rushes along over a bed of rounded stones with thin, swaying reeds sticking up out of the stream near the sides. Over the man made creek is a wooden foot bridge, slightly arched, with supports in the middle. It has been painted red and sports a four foot high railing along each side. On both ends of the foot bridge are landings with weeping willow trees, their long fronds dipping down into the flowing water.
Well lit by lights designed to look almost natural, the entire scene is a picturesque place to have the run off finals of the largest team tournament in the world's history. The faint buzz of camera drones hovering around overhead to collect footage of the match is barely audible over the sound of flowing water, or the rush of artificial wind brushing through the trees. It seems almost a shame to disrupt such a tranquil scene with the combat to come, but that is the entire purpose behind this production!
Nakoruru, the first participant from the Heirs to Legend team, stands on the foot bridge, roughly a third of the way across. The bridge is roughly eight feet wide, leaving room to maneuver on it without feeling too cramped. Otherwise, the flowing brook beneath the bridge, or the small landings on either sides of the bridge are suitable places for one to position themself throughout the match.
The ebony haired young woman stands up straight, her right arm in front of her, bent at the elbow, her forearm currently occupied by a brown great hawk. The bird's talons grip onto the white forearm guard worn by the young looking fighter, sharp, sentinel-like eyes peering around the arena floor and occasionally up at the hovering drones as if evaluating whether they are some curious sort of prey bird.
Nakoruru herself is dressed from head to toe in white clothing - an ankle-length white robe with crimson and azure geometric patterns along the border, white trousers, and red moccasins. The belt at her waist holds a black sheath worn horizontally behind her back, providing ample clues as to her preferred method of fighting.
Quietly, she glances around, a faint smile at her lips as she takes in the sight of the trees, or pauses to watch the camera drones along with her feathered companion. "Fighting competitions have certainly come a long way, haven't they Mamahaha," she muses to her friend. "It's unlike anything I had ever imagined."
Fighting for the safety of the world is something that has been happening so much lately that even those that were vying for the title of King of Fighters had been shuffled around to try and deal with the craziness of war. However, as with all great tournaments, the King of Fighters survived and thrived to be available to come to a fitting end for those that had spent so much time working their way up the ranks.
For one particular individual, this tournament meant more than just victory or bragging rights. For one particular entrant, this meant bringing a sense of peace and justice to things that have happened to his team during this tournament. For one particular fighter, this meant everything.
The muscular physique of the man in the red trucker cap makes his way into the G-King arena and onto the scene. He doesn't look to be impressed or otherwise by the set up of what he'll be performing on. His thoughts are elsewhere, on the rest of the Hungry Wolves, that are in line to take up arms after him. He's here to set the pace and put that Third Place Victory within arm's reach. He's here to make it clear that Rock is following the right man into battle. He's here to make sure that Brandon's Comatose state is worth every single moment of unconsciousness. Terry Bogard has a lot to fight for this day and from the focused expression on his face, there's a very good chance that he's here to do exactly what he needs to do in order to make all of those moments mean something...
Trailing behind Terry is the excitable and tail curling Ukee. The monkey hops and skips behind Terry, occasionally running past him and even taking a moment to scurry up the broad shouldered brawler when he stops and the edge of that same foot bridge that his opponent is on. He grins at the chatter from the monkey and reaches up to scritch the little guy behind his ear. "This one's gonna' be more fun than I thought, Ukee." Terry's grin widens as he regards his opponent across the bridge. It's almost as if he's sizing her up for the battle that will be beginning in short order. Nothing wrong with taking a little early stock of the situation, right? "Either way, we're leavin' with that trophy." The third place fighters get a trophy too, right? He can't remember. It's been a long time since he's fought for something other than the survival of Southtown.
Skilled practical effects artists and lighting experts have gone to great lengths to create the picturesque arena staging featured in the heart of the G-King arena. But in the end, that is all it is - staging, a background to the real point of the athletic spectacle that has placed Terry Bogard across the way from Nakoruru. Both of their teams fought hard battles to find their way to this bout in the largest Team Fighting Tournament in the world's history.
An artificial breeze blows perpendicular across the bridge, causing the long tails of Nakoruru's bold red hair ribbon to sway out from behind the back of her head while the young woman converses with the bird on her arm. The exchange ends when the world famous Southtown brawler comes into view across from her, his footsteps audible against the wooden bridge.
Just as he takes a moment to study his opponent, he will find the young falconer gazing back at him. There is a solemnity about her uncommon to most fighters that would appear to compete on the world class level, a certain peace blended with a subtle fighting spirit that cannot go ignored by someone of Terry's caliber. Her frame is slight, revealed mostly from the slender width of her shoulders as most of her body is covered in the full length robe. At just shy of a foot shorter than Terry, the young woman's reach is still not to be underestimated should she put that blade at her back to use.
The bird on her arm cries out, perhaps paying a little too uncomfortably close attention to Ukee, stretching her wings for a moment as she turns on Nakoruru's arm to perch the other way now.
"Mamahaha," Nakoruru murmurs softly, a light smile at her lips, "Please be polite. There will be plenty of time later to get something to eat.. preferably not someone else's animal companion, yes?" The great hawk screes again, but folds her wings behind her back in a somewhat conciliatory way.
The swordswoman studies Terry for a long moment, herself. Unlike her own team, his team has been denied one of its own, a victim of a violent assault at a hospital. Rock himself was fortunate to get by slightly less harmed. She knows Terry is here to fight for them and in that, he demonstrates the honor that burns within.
"Hello!" she calls across to him, her voice raised now, clearly addressing the Hungry Wolves representative. "Before we begin, I must warn you - my method of fighting may seem unorthodox... it may come across overwhelming. But the committee that enforces the rules for this tournament have approved it for use in tournament combat."
Nakoruru dips her head slightly, lowering her right arm a bit before raising it slightly, signaling to the bird perched there that it is time to begin. Mamahaha flaps her wings a few times, taking to flight above and slightly behind Nakoruru, remaining wary of the hovering drones zipping around recording the match from numerous angles.
"I assure you that I will fight no longer than necessary. Should you chose to submit at any point, I will cease attacking immediately." The young woman in white reaches behind her back, resting her hand the grip of her sheathed weapon, leaning forward slightly while sliding one forward to maintain a balanced center of gravity.
"Otherwise, until our round is determined, win or lose, I will fight with all I have. I trust you came to do the same. It is how we will honor the price our teams have paid to reach this point."
Nakoruru closes her eyes then, breathing in then releasing an audible exhale, clearly taking a moment to center her thoughts. When her steel-blue eyes open again, they lock on Terry across the bridge.
The announcers and commentators are not broadcast over loud, blaring speakers in this arena, but rather into the personal headsets the audience is all equipped with. But in spite the lack of eardrum bursting noise, there is a powerful swell of anticipation felt throughout the arena as these two great combatants prepare to face off.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Terry has wandered into the fight here.
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Terry 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Nakoruru
When the screeching of hawks and such happen, Ukee's movements are more fitting for someone trying to hide themselves inside of Terry's clothes than any animal companion that's fighting for the honor of their master and friend. Nope. That's a really big hawk and he is definitely not trying to get eaten. It's a moment of pure tomfoolery, though, as Terry struggles playfully with Ukee to get him out of his shirt and down to the ground.
"Hey, hey come on!" Terry rubs Ukee's head. "You'll be fine. Keep an eye on that bird for me, will ya'?" Terry sends Ukee off to somewhere not in the way of their fight with a push.
Ukee offers a hesitant salute before hop-scurrying off to the side. To watch. And to not get eaten. That's the plan anyway.
Terry takes to shrugging himself into his classic fighting attire even more. He folds his fingers in with each other, cracking knuckles and pulling his hat into a more straightened state on his head. He flexes those fingers while wearing the gloves that both give him strength and honor his father. He takes a few steps towards Nakoruru while listening to her words.
"Hey, whatever you got, I'm ready for it." Terry quips with a grin. He holds out a hand a presents her with a thumbs up. "We're both in this for all the right reasons. So let's give everybody something to talk about, huh?"
With that said, it acts as a cue for Terry Bogard, as he takes off into a quick run along that bridge and goes airborne, pushing off the bridge with those converse sneakers of his and bringing back his right hand into a closed fist, aiming to slam it down at his opponent with some heavy handed opening volley.
Off to the side, Ukee is mimicking the movements of his master, as if he were trying to give a certain flying bird of prey a warning of sorts. Being a monkey, his moves are nowhere near as calculated and refined as Terry's, but he's leaping and punching at the air as well.
COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Nakoruru with Medium Punch.
- POWAH HIT! -
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Terry 0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0 Nakoruru
The tournament has exposed Nakoruru to all kinds throughout the world spanning adventure. From the bizarre, to the otherwise good men consumed with rage, to the truly monstrous... She was on the sidelines as she watched her teammate put an end to the Rising Dragons' journey through the brackets - a team of noble opponents, the sorts she hoped to encounter, to better appreciate those who have obtained martial prowess without being consumed by the darkness that so often accompanies such acquisition of power.
Standing across from her now, however, is one such man. There is a carefree nature about him, but it does not detract in the slightest the strength of his aura. For a moment, she finds her thoughts slipping to another era, to other comrades in arms... would this Southtown Brawler be a ronin in that time? A wandering warrior, ever seeking the next challenge yet never being too busy to help those in need?
One can hope that many such individuals still exist today.
She braces as he rushes into action. Unbeknown to either, rapid fire commentary is being delivered to the worldwide audience tuned into this climatic fight, but for the two fighters in the arena, it might feel as if they are entirely alone.
Her sword is drawn, slipping free of its sheath with ease as she whips it up in front of her, moving the flat of the blade to intersect the incoming strike from the older Bogard, her left hand snapping up to prop it from the other side.
At first, it seems she has successfully defended herself, Terry's fist impacting the sturdy weapon, the kinetic force of his blow transferring down into her arms and from there, the rest of her lithe body. But the board beneath her rear foot shatters beneath the stress and the swordswoman's balance is stolen in an instant, her leg falling into the gap with a startled cry forced from her lips.
Terry's fist finds the rest of the way past her now broken guard at that point, impacting the top of her head and forcing her down further, bracing hard against her forward foot while hoping that another board doesn't betray her while the fragments of the first fall into the stream below.
She doesn't hesitate in an instant, turning her effort to extricate herself from being half stuck in the bridge into a counter attack all in the same motion. Terry would have precious little time to avoid the girl as she launches herself off her forward foot, sword sweeping from a guarding angle into a striking slash, a burst of polychromatic chi following in the wake of a slash so swift as to be invisible to all but the most perceptive eye.
The strike with the blade would be toward Terry's torso before Nakoruru would flip up to try and kick off his chest into a backflip, bringing herself into a landing just across from the now missing slat in the bridge. Whatever startling beginning she's had to the match, the smaller fighter seems to not be deterred or frazzled fight it, her focus burning just as bright as before she got struck, the sparks of vibrant chi following in the wake of her attack before shimmering away, each accompanied by a soft, barely perceptible chime.
Overhead, Mamahaha's attention remains focused on Terry... for the most part. Now and then she can't help but slip in a glance toward that adorably perched monkey mimicking the fight taking place. As long as he never gets involved, he SHOULD be safe... right?
COMBATSYS: Terry blocks Nakoruru's Annu Mutsube.
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Terry 0/-------/------=|=====--\-------\0 Nakoruru
Terry's follow-through on his punch is something that he's perhaps known for. The Southtown Brawler is always putting a little extra on his punches. Especially when in tournament situations. There's something about using his hands when they are wearing the gloves of his father that give him strength that he never knew he had. Every fight is a fight to honor him, no matter how trivial or important.
Every fight is for the honor of Jeff Bogard. Until the day that he can exact his true revenge on Geese Howard and show him some... Fatal Fury.
Terry hits the bridge Chuck Taylor's first and plants a fist on the ground beneath his feet to make his dismount from epic punching look as cool as it should. While this is a fight for the third place of the King of Fighters tournament, it's also a chance to earn some extra points for style. He tosses his head up and offers a grin in the direction of the lithe one with the blade. "Nice blade." It's an actual compliment, because Terry Bogard doesn't feel the need to put others down verbally. His fists can do that all their own.
The no hesitation of Nakoruru is what sends him into a defensive position almost as quickly as he'd struck at her. The damn-near-invisible slash catches his clothes and drags a clever slice up his chest, slicing clean through his jacket and shirt. While this probably pleases some of the viewership as it reveals even more of Bogard's muscles, there's a chance and an opening for Terry to defend himself. As that kick comes towards his chest, he brings both of his arms together in an x-shape to catch the brunt of that kick-off and steps back to put himself out of the way of the rest of her attempt at laying into him with that chi that trails after her.
Terry doesn't wait for her to land. He's already on the move. Rushing for her and turning inward to aim his shoulder at her with a fierce and rising slam that's aimed to send her into the air. Where, perhaps, she may be vulnerable to more attacks!
Ukee is off to the side doing his own pantomime version of this fight but also taking the time to cheer monkey-ly at the same time. He's excitable. What? He's a freakin' monkey, okay?!
COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Nakoruru with Power Charge.
- POWAH HIT! -
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Terry 0/-------/-----==|=======\=------\1 Nakoruru
The compliment paid her heirloom blade did not go unnoticed, a flicker of a smile at her lips the fleeting acknowledgment before she tries to get herself unstuck and counter attack all in the same motion. The aggression pays off with with a glancing shallow slash as the short sword grazes across Terry's torso, but the rest of her attack sequence is successfully warded off by lightning fast reflexes honed by street smart instincts.
Already, Nakoruru is starting to learn that speed alone will not be enough to overcome the skilled brawler. Whereas most of her opponents quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the young woman's maneuverability and speed, Terry fights as if he's quite familiar with guarding against nearly instantaneous attacks... Might have something to do with sparring with that brother of his.
Backflipping through the air would normally be a safe way to disengage if Jeff Bogard's heir was an iota slower. Instead, the Ainu warrior is in poor position to guard herself from the instant counter slam as Terry launches forward with more of that unexpectedly powerful force. He may not be as giant as some of the world class fighters out there, but he has learned to put his all into his strikes and with each impact; the difference that spirit of resolve makes is decidedly felt.
Drawing her legs up and curling tightly is the best she can hope to do in a bid to protect herself from the incoming shoulder charge, and and in the end it makes little difference in her favor. In spite her efforts, Terry's shoulder finds her side, rather than her shins or knees, folding the smaller fighter over side-long before violently launching the featherweight fighter back into the air.
Driven into an ascent that is no longer hers to control, there is a desperate twist of her body as she tries to flip around again, the dull ache of the blow to her ribs already throbbing as she grits her teeth. The apex of her airborne journey has her flying up past her feathered companion and for an instant, the bird and girl exchange glances.
That's all the great hawk needs, the winged sentinel eager to join the fray. Just before free falling, the falconer summons an aura of vibrant, multi-hued energy around herself that vanishes an instant later, now mirrored around the dive bombing raptor descending back toward Terry, passing by Nakoruru on the way down on an interception course with the Southtown brawler.
The intent is easy enough to read if he's quick about it, the bird aiming to slam squarely into his chest, talons first, bringing with it a comet's tail of rainbow colored chi that would smash into him and detonate into a large explosion in nearly the same instant.
It might be enough to buy Nakoruru the time she needs to recover her landing after being jarred so bad by the Hungry Wolf's drive for victory!
COMBATSYS: Terry barely endures Nakoruru's Amube Yatoro.
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Terry 0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1 Nakoruru
Terry Bogard is moving as fast as he can. It's actually faster than he normally would be moving but he's attempting to put this fight away early. He doesn't want to get caught on the wrong side of that blade too many times. He knows how painful swords can be. Ninjas in Southtown don't exactly pull their stabbings.
He backpedals from his shoulder charge, looking as though he's ready to launch into the air with some sort of move to follow up the launching of her into the air. However, when he catches sight of that bird headed in his direction and the gathering of chi... he does the only thing he can think of to do. He plants his back foot and stands his ground. He's not fast enough to dodge a chi-burning falcon of talon-esque pain.
Terry Bogard is all chest when that chi protected dive-bomb of falcon slams right into his chest. Terry's body shifts just slightly but his feet don't move. He grits his teeth as the pain continues to pour through his body and even finds himself clenching his eyes shut. It's a moment that he wishes he should've ducked for but to BARLEY contain and tank the falcon's explosion through sheer force of will is probably going to get him a couple more fangirls in the long run.
For just the briefest of moments, Terry's lips curl into a grin. Perhaps at the thought of Blue Mary watching.
Terry steps to the side to disengage himself from the bird's explosive nature and sets his sights on the newly landed Nakoruru. "I didn't know this was gonna' be a two on one!" Terry hasn't even noticed that most of his shirt and vest-jacket (it's weird) has been singed off. "That's oukei! Those are some of my favorite odds!"
Terry takes a quick hop-step and flips forward with one leg extended to drop his heel onto the skull of Nakoruru and introduce her to the bridge, face first.
Meanwhile, on the Sideline of the Stream, Ukee is freaking out. He's got a couple of rocks and he's squealing and hurling those rocks in the bird's general direction. Mostly because teaming up on Terry is no fair! Or maybe he's trying to distract the damn winged thing to start a fight of his own.
King of Animal Fighters Tournament? Round One?
COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Nakoruru with Crack Shoot.
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Terry 0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Nakoruru
Landing back on the bridge while Mamahaha provides a critically needed, if albeit brief distraction on Terry, Nakoruru rises up to her feet, her left hand resting against her right side where Terry's shoulder charge had certainly left a lasting impression. Everything about the man seems direct - from his up front, outgoing personality, to his rather direct manner of attacking, but for all the straightforwardness of the Bogard scion, she can't seem to find her own momentum for dealing with him.
Thank goodness for the great hawk's explosive intercession, the bird flapping her wings to retreat back from the point of impact to reclaim her place in the sky while Terry expresses an understanding of just how unorthodox his opponent's fighting style is. The judges seem to be okay with the two on one the Hungry Wolf finds himself facing off against, so it's left to him to roll with the punches (or slashes, or talons, or explosions, or, you know, whatever else the two he's up against have in store for him).
That he only seems invigorated by the challenge earns him a faint smile from his smaller opponent as she shakes her head, trying to clear her mind of the dull throbbing pain left by Terry Bogard's first two decisive strikes. "Your skill seems up to the task," she replies back, moving forward a step as to put distance between her and the gap in the bridge left by the earlier shattered board.
The adjustment in position perhaps leaves her unable to escape the swift trajectory of the brawler's forward flip through the air, the heel of his foot slamming down to catch the crown of her head with stunning force even as she tries to correct for the forward momentum a split second too late.
Driven down out of her forward lean into a strong face plant against the bridge is more than the likely intentionally fragile structure is capable of handling and Nakoruru smashes clean through with another plume of red painted splinters filling the air, finally landing face first with a splash in the shallow stream below!
Quickly soaked by the one foot deep water, she's still clearly got fight in her with the way she pushes to her hands and knees, right hand still gripping her short blade as she flips it to a reverse grip and slides it back into its sheath at her waist.
Shaking her head, she finishes rising, backing up several steps to come out from under the bridge, looking up as if to evaluate leaping back up to it or remaining down below for a moment. That doesn't mean Terry is entitled to any kind of reprieve, however. As he's noted, this is something of a two verses one, there are more than one direction attacks can come at him from.
Her hands free of her weapon, she folds them over each other and rests them against her chest near the base of her neck as if in prayer. Taking in a deep breath, a much larger aura of that multi-hued chi from before surging up around her. "Mamahaha, again!"
Overhead, the large hawk is being targeted by small rocks. Most of the airborne tiny thrown objects are ignored as they sail harmlessly past. Now and then, however, one will bounce off a wing or her feathered belly, earning the monkey a fierce eying.
But when Nakoruru calls, none of that matters. As before, the aura around the bird surges, reflecting the same magnitude the young woman drew to the surface. And with a loud screech, she dives again, a nuclear missile of feathers and life's energy. A clean impact against Terry will do more than challenge his defenses - the bridge itself is undoubtedly in peril for its own survival!
COMBATSYS: Terry blocks Nakoruru's Irusuka Yatoro Rimse EX.
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Terry 1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0 Nakoruru
Oh, it's true. It's damn true. That Terry Bogard only seems to be pushed further into the realm of wanting to fight by the realization that he's fighting a girl and her bird. He hasn't actually fought a bird before so this is something that gets instantly added to his bucket list and scratched off at the same time.
He's having too much fun and it seems that kicking Nako through the bridge has sparked a chi-fueled vengeance attack from the bird in question.
Terry's somewhat observant nature has gifted him with just enough time to prepare for the sudden arrival of chi-bird. He has just enough time to spot the screeching dive of Yomamahaha or whatever its name is. He folds his arms together and hunkers down as the bird crashes into his arms and drives him both backwards and down into his section of the bridge. There's cracking and splintering but Terry manages to keep his footing. For the most part. The pain, though, is readily apparent on his gritted teeth expression as he tries to handle the chi-rage of one seriously angry bird.
"... Ukee. Maybe. Don't. Throw. Rocks. AT THE BIRD THAT'S TRYING TO KILL ME!"
Ukee stops in mid-rock lift, goes wide-eyed and scurry-hops away so fast that the rock spins in the air before dropping down to the stream below.
Terry stumbles for just a moment, the shoelace of one of his Chucks caught up on the wood of the splintered bridge. He damn near trips but manages to shake loose and stumble into a half-hearted skip-stepped lunge down off the bridge to end up on the same level of Nako... and all up in her personal space. "Tell ya' bird no hard feelings, huh? Ukee's just playing around." He immediately spins, twisting on his untied shoelace foot to bring his other foot towards Nakoruru's chest with a little smidge of stank on it. If he can just keep the pressure on, he might be able to get this girl into foul trouble and pull off a steal.
... Oh god. The Basketball References have begun.
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru dodges Terry's Medium Kick.
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Terry 1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0 Nakoruru
Proving once again that he can manage the challenge of being ganged up on by two attackers just fine, Terry's defenses prove sufficient enough to ward off the worst of the dive bomb assault. Mamahaha doesn't linger after the explosion of chi that rocks the damaged bridge but otherwise does doesn't end up smashing the blond battler clean through. Continuing on her glide, she circles back around, wisking around one of the camera drones with enough air pressure to send the quadcopter spiraling for a moment before finally righting itself. Hopefully no one viewing through that camera gets motion sick easily!
Ukee is off the hook for now, it seems, especially as the rock is released without being thrown to risk greater bird aggro. After Terry successfully makes his way down to the artificial brook, albeit maybe not as smoothly as he would have wanted, Nakoruru is already on the defensive. The brawler has proven to be remarkably adept at pinning down her escapes and while she is no longer fighting within the tighter confines of the bridge, she's also now fighting in shin deep water while being weighed down by being absolutely drenched.
"She knows," the young woman answers Terry's petition on behalf of his playful companion. There's a certainty to her voice. Either she's reading the hawk's mind, or maybe she knows that if Mamahaha had considered the thrown stones actual attacks, her response would have been a lot more decisive...
Either way, the younger looking warrior finds herself immediately beset by a potentially crushing kick from Terry. Rather than lunge away, however, she's already ducking under the swing of his leg, allowing it to whoosh past, brushing the tops of her crimson hair ribbon but otherwise failing to impact her with the force that was intended.
But the crouch was not simply to duck out of the way, but also to brace herself before launching into another attack. The moment Terry's leg has gone past, Nakoruru is surging up over him in high arcing forward flip, water spraying out around her in a buzz saw pattern. The purpose of her leap behind him may seem confusing at first - she's clearly jumping too far to be able to counter attack...
But when Mamahaha swoops down to meet her halfway, the threat becomes more apparent, the Ainu warrior gripping the bird's legs and using them to spring off back down toward Terry. Though the attack is from behind, he may have a chance to turn just in time to see Nakoruru diving into him, wreathed once more in chi, her sword drawn and held pointing out toward him, her left hand bracing the end of the pommel to try and deliver a far more dangerous strike than any she had landed thus far in the fight.
Should she land, it is from her left that her next attacks come, her left arm sweeping out, a pristine white blanket-sized cloth with a crimson geometric border whipping for Terry to further batter him before he can recover from her plunging dive.
The cloth itself may seem innocuous enough, but the speed with which she whips it lends whip-crack snapping speed to the striking end and the surface itself is covered in vibrant, rose pink energy so each blow proves to be far more dangerous than one might expect as a remote viewer.
And of course, as if Terry hasn't had enough of the hawk yet, Nakoruru finishes by pointing her sword arm toward the brawler, and, on cue, Mamahaha dives violently from the sky for one more of her chi infused, explosive impacts, truly driving home the concept of the tag team effort against the living Southtown legend!
COMBATSYS: Terry endures Nakoruru's Elerush Kamui Rimse.
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Terry 1/-======/=======|=------\-------\0 Nakoruru
For all intents and purposes, Ukee is hiding. He's not proving to be enough of a distraction to the falcon of doom to keep it from jumping into the fight. So, aside from the occasional peeking out from behind random artificial staging to shake a fist and screech at the falcon, Ukee has taken to staying out of the way and only providing a hilariously comical side story for those viewers that are focused on his part of this fight.
Terry Bogard, however, has so much more to deal with.
The whiffing of his foot is the beginning of his testament to losing his footing. He was already off-balance from that kick attempt and the sudden lack of impact caused him to overstep once his foot came back down. The slight tumble slowed down his ability to keep up with Nakoruru's crouched lead and he only had the briefest of moments to prepare for the tag team effort. In fact, the only thing he can do is widen those eyes as he prepares to take one for the team.
Nakoruru's chi-wreathed dive at him is met with chest to sword. He grits his teeth as the blade leaves its brutal mark, buckling his knees and sending him into a wobbly stance that he may not be able to recover from. He manages to remain upright, though, even as Nakoruru lands.
Terry's not even ready to be smacked by an enormous cloth but when it comes he takes it on the chest and the chin like, well, a champ. The energy coursing through the blanket-cloth as it smacks into Terry sparking and leaving yet another mark that he'll be healing from. His knees buckle the other way but he doesn't go down. Not all the way. He stumbles and splashes but somehow doesn't fall. He can't fall. Not when there's so much on the line.
Willpower is the only thing keeping him on his feet. The will to endure the pain of this attack is what allows him to look the bird in the eye (as much as possible) as it comes sailing in for another explosion of chi-divebombing hawk that simply burns through the rest of his shirt and vacket. What, it's like a vest and a jacket combo, okay? Somehow, his hat and gloves survive such things. However, the blood leaking from his chest and his face are showing the brutal signs that he's worse for the wear.
"... ugh." Terry stumbles backwards, splashing through the water at his feet as he attempts to stay on them. He gives his head a shake to try and see only one Nakoruru but things are kind of fuzzy. But a slide of his back foot through the water finds solid ground and Terry Bogard lifts his head to lock on to his opponent through the pain, blood, sweat and tears.
For some reason, Terry smiles.
Terry pulls back, digging down deep for his own chi-energy, forming it around his right fist and asking a simple question, "Are you okay?!" It's a question that he may not even need the answer to as he leaps forward with a dash-in punch aiming to connect with the soaked opponent with chi-empowered might!
There's a quick follow up as he plants both of his feet down and extends both of his hands at her, generating a sudden tidal wave of red-orange chi energy that pours from behind him and is sent explosively at Nakoruru with clear intent on putting some serious Southtown supremacy all up in Nakoruru's personal space.
Over on the side, Ukee and his tail peek out from behind a small rock to watch what may be his favorite move. It's hard to tell. It's a monkey.
COMBATSYS: Terry successfully hits Nakoruru with #Buster Wolf EX#.
- POWAH HIT! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ < > // ]
Terry 0/-------/-------|=======\======-\1 Nakoruru
As Mamahaha divebombs Terry for the third time, Nakoruru takes a step back to try and recover her own balance. She snaps the chi infused cloth out to her left, causing it to vanish into an array of falling, rose pink motes of sparkling energy lingering as they fall toward the water and then vanish as well. Now that she's been on her feet for a long enough following her face first splashdown earlier, a narrow trickle of blood seeps down the middle of her forehead, diluted by the water dripping down from her hair. The fight has gone so fast, she can't really process the individual aches in her side or head, eyes blinking as the swordswoman takes the opportunity to recenter her focus on the Bogard Brawler.
The pounding in her head is distracting, but it also reminds her that she's still conscious, and that she's in control. This is a competition, not a battle in a war, not an execution. This warm spirited Southtown Hero should never have to face that other side - that ruthless, killing machine that feels no pain, no remorse. Even now, she can feel its presence; that condescending psyche, doubting, questioning why she won't simply relinquish responsibility for this fight over to another who could assuredly handle it better.
Nakoruru grits her teeth as Terry lifts his head, his hat still miraculously intact after all he's been through. He smiles her way and the tension in her mind melts, her resolve steeling, her right hand sliding her sword back into the sheath at her waist. No, this is /her/ fight, to win or lose, on her terms.
This is a good pain.
Once more, he's weathered the storm of attacks plus the dive bombing bird of prey and managed to remain standing as a result. He may not be the largest opponent, or the most muscularly statuesque she's ever faced. But out of everyone she's fought since finding her place in this tumultuous era, he's definitely the most tenaciously rugged. Bleeding, burnt, his vestments having suffered for his reckless but quite successful gambits, he still finds time to smile, and the power to keep fighting.
Planting her feet, she turns her left shoulder forward, right hand hovering near the grip of her sheathed kodachi. 'Are you okay?!' Terry asks, and the worldwide audience goes wild. The G-King Arena audience, hitherto a fairly quiet crowd, with their headphones and personal monitors, explodes into wild cheers. Everyone knows the kind of power train of explosive energy Terry Bogard is known to unleash after firing off his most famous remark. Especially with his fist on fire.
Everyone but Nakoruru, that is. She can feel the shifting tide of excitement in the air, can hear the thunderous roar, even if the significance of it all is woefully lost on her. Her left foot slips forward as she leans more toward Terry, answering his question with a slight nod, taking the inquiry entirely on face value. Yes, she will be okay, no matter what happens here.
Terry puts that fighting spirit on full display as he launches across the distance toward her and Nakoruru brings her arms up, again trying to withstand the magnitude of striking force Jeff Bogard's eldest can bring to bear. And again, she just can't muster the stability or blocking power to pull it off.
And considering the furious level of force blasting into her guard, one would hardly be surprised.
Her arms knocked aside, Terry's chi infused fist crashes directly into the center of Nakoruru's chest, the swordswoman gasping as she's slammed back hard by the blow, eyes widening as the impact force drills through her and out her back. Still swaying, she tries to right herself, tries to bring her arms back up, feeling that tidal swell of even greater chi surging up from behind, but there's simply no hope of recovering from the violent staggering blow in time to mount any defense at all.
The wave of chi blasts over the smaller fighter, sending her flying until she collides with the steel wall of the arena floor with a loud, reverberating bang, sprawled as she slides down the wall, dropping to her knees on the damp soil shore bordering the combat chamber, a pained gasp escaping her lips. The once pristine white of her attire is covered in scorch marks from being caught dead center in the explosion, and even her forearm guards have been reduced to tatters in the failed attempt to absorb the initial impact.
The young looking fighter's left hand goes to rest against the center of her chest as she pants for breath while Mamahaha wings down from her higher altitude to hover more directly over the stunned girl.
Sucking in her breath, Nakoruru lifts her head to find Terry. A black shroud begins to press heavily on her mind, unconsciousness aiming to claim its own after she just got put through the ringer with that stunning two phase legendary technique. Even getting back to her feet is going to be almost impossible, awareness rapidly fading. But fortunately, she doesn't have to, in order to try and land one final attack.
Her eyes shift to meet Mamahaha's, the great hawk continue to hover, each beat of her wing forcing a small gale of wind past Nakoruru. A tipsy smile works its way into the corners of her mouth as she gives her feathered cohort a slight nod. No words need to be spoken - the airborne sentinel knows full well what the resolute swordswoman wants to do before she falls.
Digging deep, Nakoruru grunts, trying to push herself to standing, but she only gets halfway before the hawk has circled around, talons clawing into the back of her robe without tearing into skin.
And then, with another mighty beat of her wings, Mamahaha takes the two to the air, blitzing straight back toward Terry as Nakoruru draws her blade for one final strike. The weapon ripples with chi once more, the bird of prey releasing her cargo to dive down toward the Southtown Brawler, Nakoruru crying out as she aims to slam right into the tenacious fighter, blade first, and try to take him out of this fight with her!
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Nakoruru successfully hits Terry with Kanto Kamui Mutsube EX.
[ \\\\\\ <
Terry Bogard knows nothing of the roar of whatever crowd may be watching this fight. He's focused on everything that he needs to be focused on to prepare to try and keep himself from going down a path of defeat. He's completely focused on Nakoruru and the Hawk of Doom to be perfectly honest. Having to focus on two opponents is very likely taking the majority of his brain power.
With the Legendary Buster Wolf having been applied, Terry immediately fell back into his normal fighting stance. Although, it looks different than it did at the beginning of this fight. He's a little more weighed down by the pain and by the fact that this other fighter has taken him to task. She pushed him to the limits of having to use Buster Wolf and that's definitely worth noting.
Terry pulls his fingers into fists as he prepares to either follow up or defend, when he realizes that bird of prey is back on the move. He watches as Nakoruru is scooped up and digs his heel into the ground as much as he can. His arms cross as Nakoruru is flown at her with such incredible speed and style. He narrows his eyes, bracing for impact, as he spots the glint of that blade being revealed.
The entire fight slows down for just a moment as Nakoruru drops, blade first, towards the guarding Terry Bogard. As that blade strikes his arms, they are forced apart, as well as providing the viewing audience with a general view of blood spray, punctuating the sharpness of the blade itself. Terry stumbles backwards but only due to the velocity and impact of Nakoruru's powerful descent. The blade continues to push forward, pushing through his pitiful guard and into his chest. All vital organs are missed by Terry Bogard goes down.
His body connects with the ground, crumbling everything beneath him and making a serious Southtown Legend indentation in the ground beneath him.
There's a few moments where he does seem to be moving but within the span of another moment or two, Terry Bogard has managed to crawl (because he's in too much pain to climb) out of the Bogard shaped hole and onto his knees in whatever's left of the brook that was there when this whole thing started. Between Nakoruru's robes and all of the chi that's been thrown around recently, even artificial water may be suffering the effects of energy based evaporation.
"Guh... ugh." Terry can't formulate words right now. He spits some of the blood out of his mouth in an attempt to make it easier to speak but he can't. It's taking all of his energy to try and blink away the darkness that keeps trying to take over his vision. His eyes flutter heavily every few seconds and he sways closer and closer to falling flat on his face.
But, the question is, how Hungry is this Wolf?
COMBATSYS: Terry gives a thumbs up.
COMBATSYS: Terry can no longer fight.
Zach Glenn had watched the match backstage with concerned interest. Terry Bogard was a legend in his own right, and proved it just now in the ring. Now it was his turn. He gave Honoka a chaste kiss on the cheek for luck before saying, "Time to finish what I started."
Then he headed out. Tonight Zach was wearing black jeans, sneakers, and a black vest over an yellow tee shirt. The back of the vest bears a circular Celtic knot in gold applique. He wears no headwear, allowing the white, slightly longer than military-cut hair to move with the breeze. He is also carrying what appears to be a wooden claymore.
He strides confidently to the bridge Terry and Nakoruru started the fight on, placing the tip of the sword against it with his hand on the pommel of the weapon. "My name is Zach Glenn," he calls towards the Hungry Wolves' locker room. "Who will be my opponent?"
As a little bit of dramatic flair, Zach runs a faint current Soul Power through the weapon, causing more Celtic knotwork to appear along the wooden blade. "Who will give me the fight I seek?"
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has started a fight here.
Zach Glenn 0/-------/-------|
While the state-of-the-art G-King Arena's multiple configurations are a boon for fight planners, the relatively small spaces can be a smidge limiting for the combatants and their teams. The positioning of the audience seating can be advantageous in some instances, an obstruction in others -- all supposedly addressed by the advent of quadrotor drones and flat-panel screens.
But let's face it, the folks stuck without clear line-of-sight to the competitors deserve a show too. And Honoka Kawamoto, the former star of the Twilight Star Circus has been more than willing to provide entertainment for those who -didn't- want to watch the action on an LCD screen.
Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. As in prior fights, the juggler is playing with fire: flaming diabolos following serpentine circuits through the air. The professional is hardly concerned by thoughts of her blue jacket or her pink-highlighted hair catching on fire though -- she swings the juggling props through motions sure to amaze anyone who isn't watching the fight itself. But she's also proficient enough at her craft to know exactly where the fiery props are at any given moment -- enough so that she spends a good deal of time watching the viewscreens nearest to her.
In body, they may have been separate, but in spirit, Honoka was right there with Nakoruru all throughout the fight. Every mighty beat of Mamahaha's wings reminded the juggler of her time clutching the hawk's feet as she flew through Hokkaido's winter skies. Every chi-wreathed impact against the nimble swordswoman was heard, and felt, and to some degree, reflected in Honoka's face.
But never did her performance falter.
In a way, the diabolos act as metronomes.
Each swing provides a measure of steady calm for the juggler.
Honoka smiles just a bit more brightly when her Ainu sister and the compassionate hawk crash into Terry Bogard. The battle was hard fought. But the Pyrrhic victory evened the score between the two competitors -- allowing her partner to take the stage at equal footing with his yet-unannounced opponent.
The announcers make the call -- "DOUBLE K O!"
But Honoka already knew the outcome.
The flaming diabolos sail into the air -- only to be entangled in the diabolo cord a moment later. Honoka swings in a circle, bringing the diabolos to a near idle state, hanging just below her knees.
Honoka bows to the crowd with an ebullient smile on her face.
She rises, turning to find Zach walking up to her. (Of course she knows he's there, she's psychic.) And she turns to accept the kiss, as well as clap him on the shoulder. "Go get 'em," she offers in just above a whisper -- still unwilling to share her voice with the crowd despite her personal triumph in the recording studio.
She turns to watch Zach as he strides through a floral pergola to the main stage of battle.
She will wait for the announcers to speak once again.
And as the second round of this momentous battle begins, so too will the second phase of Honoka's performance.
Are there spectators in the stands entirely unconcerned with, well, spectating? Terry Bogard is a name of some renown, and that's just being humble. How could any Average Tom, Dick, or Harry pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch him fight LIVE?
Why, Rock would wonder, if the hands of time moved backwards. Four months ago and the American teen himself would've been glued to the screen in rapt attention. He'd feel every punch as if he had delivered it, every kick, every Buster Wolf -- he's that familiar with the techniques of the Legendary Wild Wolf. It's always an honour to see his mentor in action, so it may come as a surprise that Terry's biggest fan sits on a bench, facing a wall of metal lockers, and broods his goddamn heart out.
The change room generously provided for the Hungry Wolves by the G-King Arena is neither spacious nor cluttered, and Rock's lack of presence makes it seem even emptier. Folding his arms across the light cotton of his t-shirt, he sighs as he searches for the excitement and anticipation from before, only to find them lacking. This... isn't where he wants to be, at all...
When Southtown was locked down, and the threat of Justice and her nukes loomed overhead, he made a promise to his guardian to protect the people of the city. Terry went on to fight Heihachi Mishima. Rock? Was pulled into another dimension by an ancient evil, forced to fend for his life. JUST his. Afterward, he assisted in small evacuation efforts, and spent a lot of time at Brandon's bedside, like some hyper-vigilant bodyguard... But it wasn't enough. The disowned heir blames himself for what he could not prevent, and for what little he feels he did.
Rock holds himself accountable for their teammate's condition...
How is he supposed to grow stronger, when he was effectively useless?!
For now, his home is safe, its citizens safe, and the only son of Geese Howard settles with the burden of guilt. The conclusion of the King of Fighters tournament was entirely forgotten, but then Terry decided it wasn't and Brandon remains in a coma to this day. Rock had to step up to the plate; he does so without the resolution that seems very important to him. He does so because there's no one else. Because he needs to move forward, and there's no time like the present.
Scrubbing a hand through his sun-kissed locks, they're left disheveled. The call for the next round comes and goes without a peep from the Hungry Wolves in answer. Rock mulls over his thoughts in silence, Zach looks for his opponent, a circus girl with her fiery toys entertains, and minutes tick on.
Does this mean a forfeit?
An attendant disappears down the corridor that takes him to the change room of the missing team. He raises his arm to knock...
And nearly has Rock Howard plow into him as the door bangs open at breakneck speed, the high-schooler rushing out.
Crimson eyes widen in alarm, saucer-like in their proportions. "Sorry, sorry!" He apologizes, not stopping but slipping past the attendant, sprinting up the steps that take him directly to a... It looks like someone mangled the bridge that was cast over a foot-deep stream. Creek? Semantics.
Removing a pair of fingerless gloves from the pockets of his leather trousers, Rock tugs them on in grim determination. He adjusts the collar of his black t-shirt, and approaches where wood meets mud, surveying the damage more closely. The heartthrob of Taiyo High's pale face lifts, his fringe in his eyes, "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention--" Surely whatever else he had to say was as earnest and heartfelt as the beginning, but a cheer rises from the crowd at large. Unbeknownst to him, contestants are introduced and the match is to begin. Makes it difficult for the Howard scion to continue.
So he does something he's good at, instead. Leaping up onto the railing of the bridge like a spritely cat, Rock charges across the gentle arc of the wooden construct. His balance is impeccable. Towards the end, sliding off with the edge of his boot, the kid attempts to plant a sole directly in the middle of the Soul Powered Zach's centre of mass. "I didn't catch your name! Mine's Rock!" Yes, kick first, then expect the person who might be winded if they get hit to reply. Brilliant.
COMBATSYS: Rock has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Rock 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Zach Glenn
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Rock's Medium Kick.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////// ]
Rock 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Zach Glenn
Zach grins with a touch of amusement as Rock makes his harried entrance. The grin is still there as he brings the wooden blade to a horizontal position, the flat parallel with his chest as he grips both ends to catch the kick. There is a nice jolt up his arms from the impact as he twists to let the rest of the attack slide away. The claymore is brought to a vertical position, Zach taking hilt in both hands as the weapon is raised over his head. Amber not-fire sweeps along the weapon.
"Zach Glenn," the psion answers.
Then he brings the weapon down hard towards Rock's shoulder. He knows Rock is decent at countering people's offensives, but there is really no great way around that. Hit them, and hit them hard!
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Rock with Heavy Swing.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////// ]
Rock 0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0 Zach Glenn
Rock Howard is no connoisseur of fighting, but he's been observing events and tournaments on every scale since back when That Man toed the line of abuse beating Hakkyokuseiken into him. He's well-versed in the storied history of many of the world's best, and for those who have yet to ascend to legendary status, they are typically read up on before the match begins... If there's any information to find, that is.
To hear that he has something of a dossier of his own, he'd be surprised if he knew. Rookie, green, wolf pup. Rock hates being underestimated by an opponent, but he hadn't thought his contributions to fisticuffs were noteworthy this early on. Zach is aware that his specialty is redirecting momentum to gain advantage, huh? The psion would be wise not to present the kid with an opportunity...
But he does.
Glenn really, really does.
The first thought, an instinct, is to turn the attack over. Rock refuses to trust his gut. As the lit blade hones in, instead the handsome teenager tries to catch the wooden end. Like water, it slips past his fingers, eluding them, and they are left tingling in its wake. Spreading along his arms, the sensation is an instant reminder of Athena, and then impact follows.
His shoulder collapses when struck, the dislocation instantaneous and numbing effect spreading to the very tips of slender digits just as suited to playing bass as they are throwing people around. Jaw snapping shut with an audible click, the American boy's teeth lock together. Rock allows a hiss of pain to escape past the perfect rows of pearly white.
A first for this fight, but not an experience he's unaccustomed to, the Howard scion grips his elbow firmly. He uses a jerking motion to jar his shoulder back into place, and it pops and emits an unsettling crunch as it does so. Rolling to test, forming loose fists, a frown creases Rock's youthful features. Disappointment, for his own personal flaws as a fighter. Because he's felt so useless in past, he's letting it affect him now. "Dammit."
Don't spiral, Rock. Put the pressure on, once again. It's a game he's always excelled at, and a good way to determine whether resetting his dislocated shoulder was a success. At first, the swing looks like a haymaker as the quick high-schooler closes distance in an instant, but then he turns it in. Now his elbow, aimed directly for the sternum, his lithe frame dedicated wholeheartedly, and all of his weight just behind for a spike that seems deceptively strong.
COMBATSYS: Rock successfully hits Zach Glenn with Elbow Spike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Rock 0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0 Zach Glenn
Zach's eyebrow climb towards his hairline as Rock relocates his shoulder, letting out a low whistle to show that he impressed by that kind of resolve. The psion would offer a compliment; resetting your own shoulder is fairly hardcore.
However, Rock is charging in. Zach misreads the punch; he knows a bit about Rock's fighting style but clearly not enough. There is not a ton of footage for Zach to pore over, and he takes the elbow cleanly. Glenn staggers back a couple of paces before leaping toward Rock with a back kick that is aimed at the young man's jaw. More of that golden not-fire gilds the kicking leg!
COMBATSYS: Rock counters Medium Strike from Zach Glenn with Gedan Crack Counter EX.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Rock 0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1 Zach Glenn
Hardcore? Maybe, but this isn't his first rodeo. Zach probably doesn't know that Rock's had to reset his shoulder multiple times, and by now, he's practically an expert. Just gritting his teeth and getting it over with, keep moving. If ever the kid had a motto, that would be it.
Still, he's slightly embarrassed, because he happens to be pretty humble and someone else is impressed. His cheeks remain a red to rival the scarlet of his irises temporarily, but gone by the time his elbow cracks against sternum. Rock does NOT back off from there. Glenn staggers, so he gives chase. When the psion leaps back kicking for the fences (or faces), the movements are broadcast with the sort of transparency that the Howard scion would be a fool to ignore. He accepts the mental nudging of his instincts, and commits.
Akin to an agitated bird taking flight at its aggressor, Rock has achieved lift-off. The thin fingers of his hands seize the imbued ankle with a grip like iron, instantly numb. Briefly, Zach's foot brushes a knee before his legs rise up as if the offered limb were a beam to balance upon precariously. It won't support him forever, the Southtown-born teen is aware. He's got one second to complete the simplest of front walkovers with a twist....
Graceless acrobatics herald the coming of brutal efficiency. He plummets to bury his heel in a drop directly between the protrusion of shoulderblades, likely missing the face turned in his direction. Rock is not particularly large in frame, or heavy, but the sheer blunt force could even be enough to knock Zach down.
Using the monster hunter as a springboard to bounce off and to the side, the attractive boy spins over into a three-point stance. His trailing foot leaves a deep groove in the earth that burbles once the mud is disturbed. At least they're not fighting in the creek, which Rock is silently thankful for, but being caked in dirt wouldn't happen to be much of an improvement...
He remains coiled like a spring. A feral little wolf pup, unwilling to show its teeth. Brushing away flaxen strands with his free hand, the feeling is returning to his arm and fingertips. Nasty thing, that Soul Power...
Although his cursed birthright is no better.
Zach faceplants in response to Rock's display of timing and athleticism, skidding and bouncing across the ground before landing on his back. His grip on his weapon, perhaps unsurprising, remains as he rolls to one side. The psion nods in appreciation of the maneuver as he eyes the young man warily as some of the small scrapes stop oozing blood.
His wrist swivels, bringing the weapon in a circle before coming to a stop in a ready position while he holds his left hand out in a horizontal line extending from his shoulder. Another sword, composed entirely of Soul Power, forms in the waiting left. Zach grips the weapon for a second before hurling the thing at Rock. It's a dull weapon; it won't cut, but there is a fair amount of force behind the weapon!
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn successfully hits Rock with Caladbolg.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Rock 1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1 Zach Glenn
Eugh, that's got to suck. Rock didn't really think twice about the consequences of his actions until they were already... under... foot. Too late to warn him now! Zach plants face-first, and his fair-haired opponent winces in sympathy, but the results aren't as terrible as the young man feared. Must've been a drier patch of earth, because the psion doesn't roll over spitting up mud.
No, he's got this sword of Soul Power coalescing in front of him, the amber motes and particles drifting together to form the whole. Shining bright, it streaks across the stage like a ray of sunlight. Rock has seen enough in his short life to be far from awed, but all his experience makes him no less blind. Shielding his crimson eyes, the Howard scion should've been protecting his chest, instead.
An explosion without noise, bursting against him, rippling across his collarbone and shoulders like an electric current that causes all of the hair on his body to stand on end. He's never going to get used to the feeling, as if someone was throwing their very soul at him. The impact passes through Rock, jarring every sense he possesses, and the back of his cotton t-shirt flutters limply. Then, he falls. The pressure pushes him onto his ass, and unlike Glenn, he's not lucky enough to avoid the murk. Hands used to break his impromptu trip sink in, disappearing.
"Nicely done..." It's difficult to get his feet under him, as the ground is slippery and Rock feels no strong inclination to topple right back where he started. Unfortunately, the task cannot be accomplished without getting more mud on his clothes. By the time the American boy finally manages to find a more solid patch, he's gonna have a real blast later cleaning those leather trousers...
This really isn't a problem to be concerned with right now, however.
His attractive face creases in a grimace, the thin lines of his eyebrows drawn together as he concentrates. Rock launches forward, somehow with purchase to do so, and leads with that offensively bony elbow a second time. The distance between them isn't great, and Geese Howard's only son seems to travel on the winds, grazing the tips of blades of grass. Closer and closer, if Glenn is unable to get out of the way, not only will he be struck once, the high-schooler's palm thrusts out, arm wreathed in amethyst chi.
In joy, in demand of release, his boiling blood howls for more. For a technique used by the single person in this world that Rock could confidently say he hates.
From his back, angellic wings erupt into being, unfurling with splendor and all primary and secondary flights. "HAAAAAAAA!" Rock Howard shouts to the G-King Arena, but the cry is to embolden him and steel his resolve. There's no more threat of Violet Systems copying his skills, no reason for him to hold back... No reason to believe that he's not good enough...!!
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn blocks Rock's Hard Edge.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////// ]
Rock 1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Zach Glenn
Zach snaps his free hand out to catch the incoming elbow with a sound of meaty impact as he digs in his heels. The psion shoves the elbow aside long enough to free up the hand to bat the chi strike aside. He doesn't catch that cleanly, and some of that purple ki washes over Zach. He winces from the burning pain it causes even as he hops back.
"Not bad," Zach says as he shakes feeling back into the abused limb. He watches Rock carefully, stepping away from the water. "Your style is interesting," he says as he watches Rock's movements and responses. "Not quite like Terry Bogard's," he says, "But there's something else to it. Your own take on things or something else," the hunter wonders.
Rock has shown himself as driven, willing to push and keep pushing. Maybe the fires of his youth permit nothing else.
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn focuses on his next action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Rock 1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Zach Glenn
Try as he might, Rock meets a wall. A block. A deflection. No doubt the chi that reaches Zach burns, but it's only a taste...
A tiny, miniscule taste.
The American teen can't let himself get discouraged by smaller failures, not with this much of the fight still left. Walls are made to be broken down, and any obstacle in his path. True to the psion's observation, Rock is tenacious even when conflicted. It's all because he wants, NEEDS to grow stronger. Without power, there's no hope to topple That Man from his criminally high horse.
He won't be able to move on from recent events.
Rock couldn't proudly call himself the student of the Legendary Wild Wolf if all he did was cling to past mistakes and mourn them...
So he doesn't, to the best of his ability.
Speaking of Terry Bogard, as his ward lightly steps back into a relaxed stance with his fists raised, Zach calls attention to him. He disturbs something that really ought to be left alone, albeit unintentionally... Rock's blood is a rage, forced through his veins by a heart beating fiercely in his chest. The struggle to remain calm is almost futile, but like hell will he scream condemnation at someone undeserving.
Polite, but utterly uninviting, the young scion's tone warns of a hidden landmine, "I'd rather not talk about it, sorry." He wonders if Glenn has fought his mentor before, or just seen enough of Terry's matches over the years to catch the subtle nuances of style.
Doubtful he's met Geese. Like that prick would give anyone the time of fucking day.
Just in act of considering his father does the hatred boil over inside, consuming the high-schooler like a malignant cancer killing him quickly. The air trembles at his back, as if afraid of him. Rock uses a breathing exercise to ground himself, but there's no denying the palpable swell of energy, almost thick enough to see. He wrings the mud from his hands and fingerless gloves. Crimson eyes keep a vigilant watch, but eventually turn look elsewhere. A change in topic might help his current preoccupation... "Is that some kind of soul... thing you use? It hurts like hell." Perhaps the Taiyo High heartthrob just noticed, but the area around his clavicle remains numb. When that wears off, it's going to sting.
Um, Rock? Get back to punching.
COMBATSYS: Rock gathers his will.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Rock 1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Zach Glenn
"Sorry," Zach apologizes as he does that one handed sword spin. He circles Rock, looking for his opening. "But to answer your question," he says amicably, "it's a little more complicated than that, but a good starting point." The sword spins once more, then stops.
"There are a lot of theories," he says, "As to what this power is or is not." The sword erupts with golden soulfire. Zach snaps the weapon into both hands, taking a high guard position as the energy flares brighter.
Then Zach charges, that sword comes down hard. Zach's own technique lends weight to the strike but with Zach Glenn there is always a bit more, as the weapon takes on an intense measure of Soul Power aimed at powering through the curtain of chi swirling around the young Rock Howard!
COMBATSYS: Rock fails to interrupt Dyrnwyn EX from Zach Glenn with Raging Storm EX+.
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Zach Glenn 0/-------/---<<<<|
COMBATSYS: Rock can no longer fight.
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Zach Glenn 0/-------/---<<<<|
As the maelstrom builds in ferocity, fair flaxen strands are roughly tousled by the wind. The chi flows through and around Rock, threads of violet and pale cerulean spinning together a transparent curtain like a protective shroud. Zach's answer reaches the kid's ears over the rushing roar. While vague, it's not as though the American could describe his own power any better.
Or why it hurts him so...
Why he must fight against demons that are not his own, but passed down from the father. An inherited nature that leaves no room for love, kindness, or compassion...
Sword and soulfire lit, the psion charges. Rock's crimson eyes almost seem to glow like rubies in their sockets, reflecting back the resplendent gold that dims the daylight. He throws off his birthright, lithe frame committed to one smooth movement, slamming his fists into the dirt. Streaking schisms form a web of cracks; the disobedient heir is at the epicentre.
Not this time.
There's no storm to answer his call. He falters, because Rock knows it's all over. The young wolf withholds a sigh of resignation, and the bright blade cleaves through the energy barrier. Soul Power engulfs the entire upper half of his body, and just as he said, HURTS LIKE HELL.
In an instant, his chi dissipates. Swept up by the blast, the attractive teen doesn't soar in an arc, but more a straight line... Right into the hallway that he had emerged from. The door isn't thick enough to stop him, but the lockers are a different story. Rock collides heavily with a mighty BANG of impact, the back of his head connecting hard. Sliding away from the dent to slump on the ground, the pup sits dazed and numb.
Geese casts a shadow over his son, an illusion created by the boy's mind when his consciousness slips away... The intimidating man doesn't look at Rock, but through him. He expresses contemptuous disappointment as he says, "Pathetic."
Rock grits his teeth together, lips bloody, desperately trying to force his unresponsive limbs to respond, "Shut u--" But he can't even finish, chin soon resting against his collarbone as the last of his adrenaline and energy leave him.
"Had you won King of Fighters, or even made it to the finals, you might have become worth my time..." says the image, and then it is gone...
Zach lets out a satisfied breath with the completion of the strike. It was excellently executed, and seems to have gotten the job done. He straightens up, and sweeps the wooden claymore down and away from him, the gesture reminiscent of a samurai performing chiburi after a finishing off an opponent. Light, not blood, slews from the blade causing the golden glow in the weapon to die out. Another relexed breath from Zach, then a frown as he senses... /something/ from Rock. Something troubling to the hunter.
Zach jams the blade into the softer mud point-first (he did not bring a baldrich or a sheath) before trotting over to where Rock went down. A quick check for breathing and pulse allay some of Zach's concern, but doesn't stop him from flagging down medical staff. Two men with a stretcher come running over, and Zach gives them some quick instructions to help facilitate Rock's recovery. Oddly, they are not terribly different from treating someone who has been hit with a high-powered taser. The medics nod, and load the young Howard onto the stretcher. Zach puts one hand on Rock's shoulder.
"That was well-fought," he says quietly to the younger man. "We should do that again sometime." Even if Rock cannot hear it, the sentiment needed to be expressed.
With that done, Zach turns to the crowd and throws a triumphant fist into the air. He opens the raised hand, and throws a brilliant display of soul-powered fireworks into the sky above him to herald the victory of the Heirs to Legend.
COMBATSYS: Zach Glenn has ended the fight here.
Log created on 22:33:58 02/01/2018 by Nakoruru, and last modified on 13:16:48 02/11/2018.