Description: The fighting prowess of these two legendary masters of martial combat may not have been public record before. Now, thanks to the magic of Krauser broadcasting the World Warrior matches to every home in the world... everyone gets to see Geese Howard fight a cat.
With the ending of the qualifying round, World Warrior has begun in earnest. The One-Eyed Twin Lotus finds himself in Strolheim Castle once again, pleased to be free of the threat of burdensome interruptions to his itinerant lifestyle.
In the spare moments he was alloted, he had done some research on his challenger, the enigmatic Geese Howard -- and he was not entirely pleased with the fruits of his research. But Mr Howard is far from the only one in the tournament proper lacking the sort of honor code the samurai holds himself to.
It wasn't enough to keep the samurai cat up at night.
It wasn't even enough to keep him from taking a catnap on the roof of the fighter barracks.
But, alas -- the appointed time had arrived. And after a moment of rubbing his eyes with his paws, the bicolor cat wanders onto the battlefield. The hood of his orange jacket flaps lightly in the breeze. The twin Dream Blades are affixed securely within their scabbard, hanging from a shoulder strap. And the one-eyed cat turns his gaze towards his opponent.
COMBATSYS: Jubei has wandered into a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Jubei focuses on his next action.
To an outsider, or even to upper echelon of the Syndicate itself, Geese Howard has been eagerly waiting for World Warrior to begin in earnest. Where some journeyed out into the world in search of the strongest opponents possible, Geese waited. He bided his time in Geese Tower, allowing those brave enough to challenge him to enter uncontested.
Many have come. They have each tested Geese's skill, even humbling the Syndicate boss on several occasions--at least in a sense. Geese has never been a man to bow his head, save for a short stint of seeking religion to ease his quest for vengeance.
He knows no such humility now. Only victory is absolute. Geese has made it the tournament proper, and now he aims for the top.
Geese enters the arena at Strolheim. He is once more dressed in his white gi and red and gold ornate martial arts pants, his sandals clicking across the stone as he comes to face Jubei.
"A beastman?" Geese says, "Hmph. Are you one of these monsters smashing around like an angry child, or have you honed yourself a fighter's edge?" Geese's mouth curls to an arrogant smirk. "Show me!!"
Howard's hand snaps forward, blue-white chi ripping out in a ground-splitting wave of wind. "Reppuken!"
COMBATSYS: Geese has joined the fight here. You cannot escape wrong death.
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Geese 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Jubei
COMBATSYS: Jubei slows Reppuken from Geese with Rising Justice.
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Geese 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Jubei
As Geese Howard enters the arena, Jubei already has his gaze tracked upon him. It's rather difficult to sneak up on a cat that's expecting you. He wrinkles at the man's glamorous attire -- a true martial artist has no need for such an ostentatious display.
Despite his misgivings against Geese Howard, the cat bows gingerly at Geese's arrival. But when he's insulted...
"Oh, it's much worse than that. You see... I'm really -just- a cat." The cat spreads his mechanized paws out to the side, showing that, yes, he is just a cat, topping out at 4'3" on his hind legs.
When presented with a Reppuken though, the cat nods his head. His paws lower nonchalantly -- the barest suggestion that he's even in combat. And when Geese's chi-borne wind drives towards him, the cat lifts his right paw, whirling a ball of blue-white chi forward like a bowling ball, splitting the Reppuken in two in a fiery clash.
The remains of the wave merge back together on the opposite side -- slamming the cat backwards a couple meters, and leaving behind a charred ring on the orange frock.
Jubei wriggles his whiskers from side to side.
"Ain't no need to get so cocky, kid."
"Hm," Geese smiles. "Don't think you can fool me! If you're here, Krauser respects your skill." Geese stretches his arm, fingers extended and taut. He adjusts his bracer, tightening it.
"Cat or not, Krauser believes you to be a match for what he sees as the world's best." Howard paces around, keeping an eye on Jubei and not venturing too close quite yet. "The world is a strange place, fighting a cat, here."
But suddenly, Geese closes the gap. He dashes in low, his hand moving in a flash to try and snatch Jubei and hoist him into the air. If he does, he raises him a brief chokehold before dropping him into a sudden, thrusting knockback punch.
"Jubei, isn't it?" Geese says, finally acknowledging his opponent has a name.
COMBATSYS: Geese successfully hits Jubei with Ko Satsu Shou.
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Geese 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Jubei
Jubei finds himself nodding with Geese Howard's assessment -- every fighter he's seen in the tournament has certainly been worth the effort to fight.
In all honesty, the fact that the Southtown business magnate has bothered to compliment him shows that the cat may have misjudged him. "A strange place, indeed, Geese Howard." he agrees with a nod, stepping close with a light stance.
The agile cat is not so nimble that he can skate out of Geese's grip, though -- for as the cat whips himself sideways to avoid what's coming, he finds his throat ensnared.
And then the punch slams home, hitting him squarely in the chest and knocking him backwards.
The cat grimaces. And he whips around into a circle, unsheathing both of the Dream Blades. Jubei whirls around into a blur, swords and claws whipping out in wild, unpredictable fashion to make good on the up-close proximity of his opponent -- putting that fancy hakama and gi at risk of finding themselves shredded into ribbons. "Hrrraaaaa!"
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Jubei's Form Three - Ranjishi EX.
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Geese 0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0 Jubei
For his faults, including towering arrogance, Geese knows where he is. He understands that World Warrior has drawn only the best. Heidern, Baiken, even Duke are testaments to that. Geese himself is getting along in years, but he has not lost his edge. Not yet. There are opponents in Southtown who would take his age as weakness, an opportunity to seize power.
World Warrior is a means to assert that Geese Howard is as dangerous as he ever was.
The flurry of sword and claw slashes through the air with flashes of light. Geese brings his guard in tight, meeting the impossible speed with improbable reaction. His taut, hardened muscles give up blood as they are cut into; his hakama and gi likewise developing deep slashes before the flurry of strikes are finished.
But then Geese's arm snaps out, hand raises high up above his head. In an instant he swips down and forward, delivering a swift overhead chop. A flash of blue-white chi cuts through the air in its wake, threatening to give Jubei a cut of his own!
COMBATSYS: Jubei blocks Geese's Hishou Nichirin Zan.
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Geese 0/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Jubei
Jubei can tell his slashes landed, giving the itinerant samurai cold comfort for the unchallenged series of blows landed upon him previously. He aimed not to debilitate with his sword strikes, only to slow his opponent's impressive momentum thus far in the fight -- so in that, perhaps he was successful.
But as he springs out of his spin, he finds a scythe of blue-white chi slashing towards him. The Dream Blades flash, as they are transferred to the nekomata's two prehensile tails. Those will not block the chop, but Jubei's sharpened metal claws will.
The sheath of blue-white chi continues onward, impacting the furred flesh beneath his billowing sleeves. And the stoic cat answers, with praise -- "Such formidable techniques."
The muscles tense, as the twin tails sort one of the Dream Blades into a scabbard.
"Here is one of mine."
The cat whips around in a half circle -- allowing his tails to swing the -second- Dream Blade around in a deadly diagonal arc, aimed at taking a bite out of the Hakkyokuseiken master's side!
COMBATSYS: Geese counters Crushing Strike from Jubei with Chuudan Atemi Nage.
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Geese 1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0 Jubei
"Hmph," Geese says with a smirk, his chi slash crashing against the blades. "Not bad." He seems to have observed the grip shift, but he does not comment further.
And then Jubei compliments him. Geese exhales through his nose, raising his head. The master swordscat offers--or perhaps threatens--Geese with a technique of his own. Geese quirks a brow.
"Then let's see it."
The overhead flip turns into a diagonal cut, almost lost in the flurry as Jubei wields a Dream Blade with his tail. For a brief moment, it seems as though Geese will be caught off guard. He does not move to block as he did before.
But then he snaps into action, hand blurring up to catch the blade at the edge of the hilt. Geese twists his wrist, moving with the blow while redirecting Jubei's swing away from his body. As Geese moves, his other hand grips the swordsman's coat, and in one smooth motion, Geese whirls his opponent away in a powerful sweeping throw.
"Not bad," Geese says coolly. "But not enough! Show me what else you have!"
The cat is used to surprising people. His twin tails are something most fighters have issues dealing with. And he is not used to the tails missing their mark.
Geese Howard proves, in no uncertain terms, that he is better than most fighters in the way he not only evades the slice, but channels his weight into an effective reveral -- whipping the cat into the air.
Cats tend to land on their feet.
But, with the pace of this fight, the One-Eyed Twin Lotus cannot afford to be so predictable.
"Very well," answers the cat at the apex of his leap.
A spurt of inky black chi appears in the air -- and Jubei's paw presses into it.
He leaps off of the blight.
His right paw reaches to his left hip, unsheathing the other Dream Blade.
He unleashes a feral howl.
And Jubei thunder downward, carving a jagged, zig-zagging wound through the very air itself. The ruptured air weeps with black ink as the cat carves his way downwards.
And the Dream Blades' fury will not stop until the blades carve savagely through Geese Howard's defenses.
COMBATSYS: Jubei successfully hits Geese with Twin Guardians - Mourning Shore.
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Geese 1/-======/=======|=------\-------\0 Jubei
Geese's expression remains stern, stiff, arrogant. When Jubei lands from the throw, Howard steps almost easily to face him once more. He expects the cat to land on his feet, or at worst, to tumble across the stony floors of Strolheim.
Instead, he finds that Jubei has other tricks in mind. His narrows narrow at the black smear in the air--and then the second sword.
Geese shifts his stance. The blow is too swift to dodge or intercept--even too quick to block. Instead, Geese readies himself to take the attack head on, to meet it and overcome to set up his next manuever.
Instead, the jagged inky slash carves deeply into Geese's chest. Blood sprays forth and soaks his gi, which is practically split along the middle. Geese himself staggers back a step--but only a step. Terribly as the wound is, he refuses to yield an inch and instead drives himself onward. He reaches down, takes hold of his gi, and rips it away with a smooth motion that tosses the blood-soaked garment to the side.
"Better," Geese says between gritted teeth.
And then he steps forward, sweeping his hand. He aims to grab Jubei's claw, twist it, and then fling the Hero across the arena in textbook joint throw.
COMBATSYS: Jubei dodges Geese's Medium Throw.
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Geese 1/-======/=======|>------\-------\0 Jubei
The cat leaps backward from his strike, the tails re-seating a gleaming Dream Blade in the upper portion of the scabbard, while he slicks the blood off the other blade and stows it within the lower half.
And in the midst of the motion, Jubei nods with approval -- for Geese's adamant refusal to bow to such a blow.
With his deadly blades stowed, the cat lifts his paws slightly, hunching over a bit more than he'd like due to the excesses of battle. But he remains resolute. As Geese sweeps in, the cat leaps to the side, twisting in midair; the Hakkyokuseiken master's grab will miss narrowly, catching nothing but air.
And then Jubei lands in a low crouch, then uncoils himself to spring a good six meters apart.
His hands part in opposite directions.
Inky black chi spills out of his right paw.
Ivory white chi weeps from the left.
The paws cross over one another.
The divergent colors of chi melt together into a circular whorl of milky yin-yang.
He will have more to share in a moment. For now -- the cat focuses his energies.
COMBATSYS: Jubei gathers his will.
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Geese 1/-======/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0 Jubei
Blood drips onto the stage flood as Geese's throw finds no purchase. Instead he watches Jubei on the move, the cat assuming a new stance as he gathers power. Howard furrows his brow.
But then he rests a hand on his hip, raising his other hand toward Jubei. He curls his fingers, beckoning him onward and then speaking lowly, calmly.
COMBATSYS: Geese issues a challenge!!
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Geese 1/-======/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0 Jubei
COMBATSYS: Geese focuses on his next action.
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Geese 1/-======/=======|>>>>>--\-------\0 Jubei
Jubei draws in his breath, letting the waves of ebony and ivory chi coalesce around him. His body is injured -- and if he succumbs to his wounds, he will have to watch as another drinks the ambrosia of the Gods. No -- in the sanctum of the Empty Mind, there can be only Harmony.
The cat's narrowed eye focuses upon Geese. Ahead of him lies a sure trap.
And yet, Jubei finds himself wondering if the Hakkyokuseiken master can truly be prepared for a rapid iaijutsu strike. He settles down, listing forward. His right paw curls around to rest on the hilt of his lower blade.
"When the time is right."
Jubei's nostrils flare with a breath.
His heart beats three times.
And on the fourth, Jubei has already closed the gap.
Blades of seithr-forged steel flash outward in a dizzying array. Two diagonal strikes to the chest -- followed by Jubei dragging a hard horizontal slash across it.
And then -- a wild slash from seemingly out of nowhere -- a followup carve from his tail-swung blade, rising diagonally from below.
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to counter Form One - Shadow Wolf EX from Jubei with Gedan Atemi Nage.
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Geese 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Jubei
With a deep breath, Geese focuses. Chi gathers around him as he draws in power, readying for the coming strike. Jubei moves, and Geese moves to intercept.
It is not enough. The swordsmaster is too swift; his iaijutsu too precise. A movement intended as a blade catch is almost that, but not good enough. Geese's hand are raised to grip the sword as it slips between them effortlessly and cleaves deep into the Syndicate leader's side. Blood gushes forth with a gasp, Geese dropping to one knee to and planting a palm to steady himself.
"Hah!" Geese says. "So the cat does have claws..."
With two metallic clinks in rapid succession, the Dream Blades are re-seated back into their respective sheathes. And a moment after that are a pair of footfalls, as Jubei lands from his whirling attack, about two meters away. His ribcage heaves with exertion -- and yet, as he turns back towards Geese, he nods with respect.
Patience in the face of adversity is something he's good at.
He is also nigh unaffected by the flow of blood. None of his strikes were so deep as to kill -- the samurai has practiced long enough to know the difference.
He gives a non-committal nod. At the time, his Empty Mind state will permit no more.
It -will- permit him to launch forward again, as he unsheathes his metal claws in ferocious fashion. The claws will rake downward in successive diagonal strikes, as the cat uses his speed to greatest advantage in wearing down Geese's guard even further!
COMBATSYS: Geese blocks Jubei's Fissuring Slash.
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Geese 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0 Jubei
For his towering arrogance, Geese knows the long game. World Warrior is, in a way, the long game. Geese has waited for this moment, prepared for it. Krauser's invitation acted as a catalyst to start a plan in motion...
But in the immediate, Jubei proves his worth. Ferocious claws rip and tear, forcing Geese to tighten his defenses. He opts for a cross-block to intercept the ripping claws with his forearms.
And then Geese snaps forward again, going for the throat. He pushes in with the crossblock, his wrists aimed to slip under Jubei's chin and lift him up into the air, all the while pressuring the windpipe of the veteran swordsman.
COMBATSYS: Jubei attempts to counter Choke Hold from Geese with Immovable Object.
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Geese 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>------\-------\0 Jubei
COMBATSYS: Geese fails to reverse Immovable Object from Jubei with #Kokuu Reppuu Zan#.
- Power fail! -
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Geese 0/-------/-------|>>-----\-------\0 Jubei
As Jubei's claws embed themselves in Geese's forearms, he realizes one crucial flaw with his goal of not killing (or badly maiming) his opponent -- the inability to -break- such a hold by simply pressing his blades forward to slice through the offending bones.
The One-Eyed Twin Lotus presses his teeth together at his predicament -- unable to press forward, unable to withdraw -- even as Geese manages to pull one wrist free and thrust it up towards Jubei's windpipe.
But Jubei has an advantage that neither a human martial artist or a typical housecat can utilize: he can let go of his claws.
His sleeves fall slack, as he lets go of the mechanized weapons. Fabric parts, comes undone -- and Geese will feel two resolute paws instead of a narrow feline windpipe.
Jubei stops the press with both paws - and redirects those choking hands upwards.
And then he twists about, reclaiming the empty space with a shoulder ram straight into Geese's chest, unloading the full strength of his feline agility into the blow!
Geese's muscles tighten. He pushes upward, maintaining his grip on Jubei. As the cat moves to execute to counter attack, Geese seems ready. Expectant. He smirks, mouth curving wickedly as he readies to strike his opponent down in the moment of opportunity.
What Geese is not prepared for is Jubei's craftiness here. The cat slips out of his sleeves, and Geese pulls the empty sleeves forward, transitioning into an overhead throw--!
But Jubei is no longer in them. The cat slams into his solar plexus, knocking the wind out of Howard and aggravating the wound on his side from before. He staggers back once, twice, but remains standing.
The look on his face is pure hatred.
Heaving an exhausted breath, Jubei twists himself into a rapid spin, pulling his limp sleeves free of the attempted counterattack. To an outsider without knowledge of Jubei's style, it might seem like both of his arms broke in that motion. And as the crafty cat grabs hold of his paws again in the end of that spin, it would appear as if they subsequently unbroke -- for both paws are held aloft in the style of a Shaolin master -- one paw extended low, one paw curled high over his hooded head.
Geese's smoldering hatred is matched with a neutral expression from the feline of the Empty Mind.
But then the feline's crimson eye will wander. To Geese's left, to his right, and then back again for another cycle.
At each of the points Jubei looks upon, will pour jet-black chi -- taking on the form of a hexagon with a pawprint inside.
The effort drains the last of the black-white chi surging around Jubei.
In the next moment, Jubei's Dream Blades will slice four vicious lines to those ebony sigils in rapid succession. First to Geese's left, then to his right, then back again for another cycle.
COMBATSYS: Jubei successfully hits Geese with Shiranui.
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Geese 0/-------/----<<<|===----\-------\0 Jubei
His ire raised, Geese practically sizzles with anger. This is a man whose strength is his greatest point of pride. Everything else--his wealth, his business, his criminal empire--pales in comparison to his pride in his own strength and drive to succeed.
And then the spots of jet-black chi appear. Geese's eyes narrow as he snaps glances to each point. He draws back, adjusting his stance defensively.
But the attack comes in a flash. Jubei strikes between the instants, slipping past Geese's guard like a thief in the night. For a moment--at least for some viewers--it's likely unclear what happened.
And then new wounds burst open, slashes appearing across Geese's body. He staggers forward, catching himself and putting a hand to his side.
"Bastard..." Geese mutters under his breath. "I will not be denied--"
Power surges, wind whipping around Geese with a sudden, renewed intensity. Chi surges and gathers. Geese raises his arms over his head, the chi coalescing there in a great sphere.
"RAGING..." Geese slams the chi down, exploding the wind-chi into a great, jagged wave of spear-like protrusions that tear through the arena floor.
And with that, Geese maintains his bent-over posture from the slam. He lingers several moments, motionless...
...and then topples over onto his side, depleted by his wounds.
COMBATSYS: Geese can no longer fight.
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COMBATSYS: Jubei blocks Geese's Raging Storm.
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The Dream Blades are returned to their scabbard with a pair of audible clinks, as Jubei flips about in midair. As he turns his eye to face Geese once again, his ears burn with the threat of vengeance. The feline samurai tightens his jaw, and swings his Kaka-clan paws downward defensively.
Two projections of the Raging Storm threaten to impale Jubei. The metal blades of Jubei's left claw bear the brunt of one such projection -- the facsimile paw rendered nigh useless in the exchange.
The second lance thrusts past his right haunches, searing upward into his right shoulder. Scorch marks are left behind on his tawny fur, and a nasty gash leaves his orange jacket torn asunder.
What's more, the rising gusts of chi are strong enough to batter the curled-up cat upwards, carrying him away from the Hakkyokuseiken master. Jubei grinds his teeth together, unable to stop a groan from tumbling from his mouth.
But as the storm fades, Jubei's paws tap down on the arena floor. He focuses his eye on the competitor once again.
Observing the collapse, he finally releases the breath he was holding.
He also spends... a bit too much time in clearing his throat.
Old age catching up with him.
The cat releases all pretense of battle -- and bows in respect.
"Maybe you're right about that."
Jubei lifts his torn sleeve, his battered weapon-paw -- and bows his head again.
"You fought well, Geese Howard. I'll be lookin' forward t'seein' you in the finale, if it comes t'pass."
COMBATSYS: Jubei takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: Jubei wanders on to find the next challenge.
Log created on 19:43:23 03/03/2018 by Jubei, and last modified on 16:33:21 03/04/2018.