Description: Sometimes Neo League picks a beautiful island paradise for a battle. Sometimes a frigid wasteland on the top of Mount Inhospitable. Guess which one Tairyu and Mint got dealt?
There are, to put it bluntly, more hospitable places for a Neo League Battle than the heart of this frozen valley. The battlefield is little more than a waypoint along the path to a snowbound refuge high up along the mountain pass, its presence noted by large crimson banners and a suspension bridge marked by torchlight. That bridge -- coated with a thin layer of ice -- brushes alongside the east boundary of the battlefield before heading on to the nearest town. Another bridge system branches off of the bridge, describing the north and west boundaries of the roughly square field of battle.
And on the south end of the snow-covered field would, from a long distance, appear to be a pair of twin torches. But as one gets closer, they would likely be able to see the "torchlight" hop and move -- as the torches are actually exhaust trails from the jet engines bolted onto a young soldier's oversized gauntlets. It would appear that running the miniature engines at idle provides enough heat to keep the Special Forces technologist from becoming a human popsicle -- but only just so. And to keep her circulation flowing, the soldier hops back and forth from one foot to the other. She may be in uniform, but there's no one senior around to boss her into staying in stock-still parade rest during such frigid conditions.
A small pop-up tent with the Neo League logo is positioned to the south of the battlefield. No one needs to leave the relative comfort of the tent, though, as a small army of quadrotor camera drones has been deployed, their blinking red lights standing in mute contrast to the black and white of a snowing, starry night.
There would be much more hospitable places anywhere else for anything, surely. A soldier could easily be ordered to wade through unforgiving elements, certainly -- but what is a Perfectly Legitimate Businessman trudging through the snow, then?
Especially when the businessman in question has kept himself away from the Neo League for a few months, now? By all reason, it would be easy to assume, after such a time, and with plenty enough excuses in the form of other duties that need attending to, to *not* make the trip to this frozen hellscape.
But it isn't so much for Tairyu, in the end.
The Neo League matches he got himself caught into were not something he had arranged for himself. Another chain to keep him busy, to keep him in line, under a previous employer, while making some quick buck for related contacts. A chain that's been broken since then, so he should have no obligation. But the particular Yakuza is the kind of man who believes in finishing things that get started -- and more importantly, can't just ignore a given challenge. Especially not when it has been given with such fervor that drives it even through this freezing valley.
Not answering such a thing would be an insult.
The sound of snow crunching under heavy boots may be unheard among the ambient noise of the cold wind sweeping through and the jet engines of high-tech gauntlets blasting out. But there is a single word called out, meant to be heard over it all;
No stealth attacks here, no. The owner of the baritone reaching the soldier's ears has no intend to go unnoticed. Though it might not be entirely certain how long the japanese man in a heavy, grey winter jacket has been standing there, watching the display of the woman going through the technology-assisted shadowboxing.
As Tairyu gets closer, he might be able to see more of the diminutive soldier. She wears a white camouflage parka to protect her from the snow, along with a matching pair of snow pants and padded boots.. A matching toboggan hat keeps the dark-skinned corporal from freezing her ears off. But even these don't do much against the frigid temperatures -- hence basking in the wake of her jet engines.
The figure looks up through the falling snow. She smiles and waves a jet-powered arm, dispensing with any sort of seriousness that her heat-conserving exercises might have connoted. "Hiiiiii!" She seems more than happy to make Tairyu's acquaintance, particularly when he compliments her. Presumably the comment is directed at her gauntlets. She always assumes that, anyway. "Oh, thanks! Made 'em myself!" she chirps back, as if folks might assume she bought them online.
She tips her chin upward, indicating the sky. "Great weather we're having, right? " She laughs, scraping the edge of her mechanical index finger across her itchy nose. "When we're done here we oughta go pummel the fight organizers for not picking, like, Maui or Key West!"
But then a thought occurs to her: the fight. The reason they're both here. Metal hands clench into fists, as she brings them to about shoulder-height. She hops backwards, nimbly. EIther the gauntlets weigh nothing at all, or the 145-cm fighter has no problems dealing with their considerable mass. "So, yeah -- I take it you're Katashi? I'm Minal -- but please, call me Mint!" She winks back -- something that might be lost in the swirl of snowflakes. "I'll be your dance partner for this evening!"
COMBATSYS: Mint has started a fight here.
"Did you, now?" That was, perhaps, not something that Tairyu expected. And this particular information does seem to impress the man in itself, too, even if it mainly shows itself in the faint flicker within his eye while it gazes over her jet-powered gauntlets.
But the indian woman's mannerisms bring a measure of curiousity through him, mixed with a hint of amusement.
"...Well. Not a lot of people have the kind of fire in them that would bring them here just to test themselves."
A single step forward, with a now-audible crunch of snow underfoot..
"I had to see it. So just for that, I don't think I can fault the organizers too much, can I?"
Another advancing step, timed with the soldier's backward bounce. It's not anything speedy enough to regrow the distance for certain, but there's something else behind it. Behind that singular motion, a singular sound. A great weight. Tairyu might be tall by japanese standards, but he's hardly the kind of hulking mass of muscle seen among the circuits sometimes. Not a bodybuilder, not a giant. And yet, there's still a sense of some immense weight there regardless, metaphysical if not physical.
Intent. Though every motion so far has been simple, and in comparison to his opponent, he seems outright stoic, that pressure seems to flow out with every single shift within him, in the sharp gaze that focuses on her.
"Show me that fire that brought you here then, Mint-san," his voice rumbles over the flurry of wind and snow, while hands draw out from the pockets of the jacket shielding him from the cold, feet scuffing along the ground and knees bending, eyes briefly turning down with the lowering of his head.
"Make it blaze as bright as you can..."
In a snap of a motion, the twin emerald orbs of his eyes set right back onto her -- with a fire of his own reflected off them.
"Like you'll die if it wont."
As if all those calm, subtle movements were made for the sheer purpose of conserving energy that gets expended now, in an instant, Tairyu snaps into motion with such a burst that a powdery cloud of snow is sent flying into the air from the ground where his feet kicked in.
In a near-instant, the distance her earlier backward motion created has been closed through, and the Yakuza himself is closing in with lethal velocity, body lowered down and arm reared back -- before it all snaps up and out, straightening from the lower posture to drive a furious, rising blow into the soldier.
COMBATSYS: Tairyu has joined the fight here.
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Mint 0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0 Tairyu
COMBATSYS: Mint blocks Tairyu's Rising Claw.
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Mint 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Tairyu
Mint may have been warming herself by the twin fires of her gauntlets, but she plays it off like the cold never bothered her anyway. "Well, really, I'm stuck in a stuffy office building all day. -Anything- is an improvement, you know what I'm sayin'?" As she hops back and forth in the snow, the 'craters' around her feet get wider and wider. It becomes clear that, no, those gauntlets are every bit as heavy as they look.
She laughs when Tairyu brushes off her suggestion to visit vengeance upon the sadistic fight bookers. She wasn't serious anyway! ... Probably.
But when Tairyu advances on her, urging her to make it blaze as bright as she can? Mint raises an eyebrow, with a skeptical smirk: "Oh, so like, the -usual- then." Mint's dial is -normally- pegged on eleven, so this isn't much of a shift to her routine. As a cloud of snow is left in Tairyu's wake, so too is one left in Mint's as she leaps backward in anticipation, raising her heavy metal gauntlets to defend her upper body from the onslaught. Exhaust flames waft past Tairyu as his outstretched fist clangs against the broadside of one of her gauntlets. Mint's expression shows a mild degree of exertion as she struggles to remain upright -- with both her feet off the ground, no less.
But then she sails backward, and she drives her boots into the snow-packed ground. Forging a smile once more, she chirps back, "Let me show you how bright I can shine!"
Jet engines roar as Mint leaps off the ground, twin blast craters instantly cleared of snow in the process. She sails upwards a good four feet off the ground, with both fists held out to either side. When she crashes down upon Tairyu, it's intended to be a demonstration of just how hard the corporal can hit -- as -both- fists are brought to bear in a descending strike. Twin pneumatic hisses and twin relays popping are the sounds of a counterweight system moving into position -- providing just a bit extra oomph to the metal fists as they slam downward at Tairyu! "OORAAAAH!"
COMBATSYS: Tairyu counters BFH from Mint with Dragon's Clutch.
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Mint 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Tairyu
The collision of fist to metal draws a low grunt from Tairyu, himself -- but the obvious discomfort that would result from such a thing doesn't seem to slow him down in the least.
With his arm drawn back off the upward-bounding attack, the rest of his body continues moving, advancing on Mint
Though that particular advance slows when her jet engines... well, do the thing they were likely originally meant for, and send her up into the air.
Skidding to a stop, the japanese man follows the soldier's upward arc, likely ending up muttering something along the lines of "Probably should have seen that coming..." before he braces his feet to the ground. Readying himself for the incoming Mint-shaped meteor.
Most people would almost certainly try to jump the hell out of the way, no matter how futile it may already be at that point. Not Tairyu. Tairyu holds his ground, and even calls up to the approaching human projectile, "Kakatte koi!!" in challenge.
But still. With how much power is packed into those rocket-powered prosthetics, an attack like this would be absolutely lethal to try to simply take head-on or even block. And with the kind of speed that Mint's descending upon him with he might well not even have the time to put up any kind of futile guard.
An instantenous blur of motion ducks Tairyu's body slightly and sweeps him forward -- and when he springs upright again, it comes with his right arm sweeping up. In a split-second opening, his forearm sweeps into the undersides of those gauntlets, with just enough force to redirect momentum and send her limbs sailing upwards, instead.
But that still leaves the woman herself still on a collision course with him.
That comes with another forward shift of the man's feet, and the arm he'd just used to redirect the destructive fists sweeping further out, to his side. WIth her still in motion, he doesn't even need to put much force into his own forward movement when that arm collides with her midsection, effectively clotheslining her.
In the instant his arm connects, something unexpected even to him happens. Namely, that arm *bursts into flames*.
It's just a brief flash of sudden, red energy, but it's enough for the indian to feel the heat of it -- and for the drones up above to catch the sight of Tairyu's sleeve getting incinirated wholesale from aroudn that arm, exposing bare skin bearing fresh (though thankfully light) burns... and perhaps ironically, elaborate, intricate tattooings along his bicep of raging flames licking out from whatever inkwork begins from further underneath the concealment of his clothes.
Stopping a freight train isn't easy, but if that exchange were any indication, derailing it from below might be quite effective! Mint is not -exactly- prepared for Tairyu to lift her arms out from under her, but she has very little time to process that before the would-be victim's arm catches her right in the stomach, jacknifing her backwards. "Nnguhh!" she exclaims, starting to fly backward.
But then fire devours Tairyu's sleeve, spreading onto her as well. So the littlest soldier's got -that- to process too in the split seconds of flying backwards, before she lands tush-first in the snow. "Aaagh, what the heck..." she mutters, quickly patting out the flames as best she can with those lumbering gauntlets. It's been a while since she's been in a fight where her elbows hurt -this- early into the match!
She slams the butt end of her left gauntlet into the ground, and squeezes the throttle of her engines, a blast of jet air sending her back to her feet. She strafes sideways, one eye shut from the pain as she brings her guard back up. "Hey, I get it, okay, you're one of those pyro types, yeah?"
Suddenly her strafing ends with her dropping low. She surges in with a low hook from her right hand -- "But you don't--"
And then her engines roar, blasting up a plume of snow in her wake -- powering a whirling backhand to Tairyu's hip! "-- you don't have--"
And before all that settles in -- Mint will lock both arms backwards as she roars the engines again, this time bringing her bionic knee into the fray with a stunning blow to the solar plexus! "--to rub it in!"
If she manages to connect with that last one, she'd deliver a rain of three rapid-fire, short-throw punches into the upper chest before breaking free. "OOORAH!"
COMBATSYS: Mint blitzes into action and acts again!
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Mint 1/-------/=======|====---\-------\0 Tairyu
COMBATSYS: Tairyu blocks Mint's Hook Punch.
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Mint 1/-------/=======|=====--\-------\0 Tairyu
COMBATSYS: Tairyu counters Lock and Load from Mint with Dragon's Tail.
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Mint 1/-======/=======|=======\-------\0 Tairyu
There's that brief moment between Mint falling over and getting up again where Tairyu gets to catch his own bearings again. Rather than chasing after her this time around, his immediate concern is, for that brief moment, elsewhere.
Namely, in the pain surging through his right arm, while he's clutching at it with his left hand. "...Is it getting worse...?" He mutters, mostly to himself, though perhaps still easily overheard.
Not that he's going to get much time to lament his circumstance. Mint's complaints briefly bring a sheepish tinge to his eyes (he could swear it was him complaining about people using fireballs all the time not that long ago!).
And then-- a hint of something akin to being impressed. The indian woman's tenacious, full of energy. He can feel it in the hook she sends in when he brings his now-bared arm into it's way to soak up the majority of the impact. He can respect that.
Much like he can respect the speed at which she immediately spins into a follow-up attack. But not so much that he would let her take it freely, unfortunately.
He rebounds himself into motion immediately after soaking up the following backhand with another quick sweep of his arm, turning himself into a spin in time with Mint herself -- and near the apex of that turn, his left hand catches into the side of Mint's upraised leg, tugging at the cloth of her pants enough to jostle her balance and send her knee careening past his body. The spin continues into another immediate revolution, and--
Turns into a wild, spinning kick that slams into his opponent's back while she's still caught in the motion of the missed knee-strike.
No flames this time, thankfully. For both of them.
Mint knows she's moving fast, not only because of her small size and nimbleness, but also due to her precision-timed jet engine boosts. And the speed is usually enough to provide her a powerful advantage over her opponents.
It's just -not- though, not this time. The corporal is not accustomed to her attacks just being redirected past their marks to such a skillful degree -- and it shows in how she flinches when she's caught overcommitted, how she poses almost zero resistance to a lateral redirection. Sure, she gets a sign that he's about to pull something when her backhand is brushed aside. But no -- she's read like a book for yet another time, roundhoused in the back by a whirling kick powerful enough to send her flying into the ropes of the east bridge. One hand actually gets tangled up in the bridge, causing that hand to stay behind as the rest of her hurtles over top.
Mint groans as she's left on top of the suspension bridge, half-on, half-dangling. A squeeze of the throttle is enough to twist her clear -- giving her a moment to massage the soreness out of one elbow.
"Man. You're one hell of a fighter," she comments sourly. She rubs her other elbow, then hops sideways over the edge.
"But I promised to show you my flame, so here it goes..." She pounds her fists together, then slams her elbows back to either side. She digs the balls of her feet in, snow piling up in front of her as she resists the engine's pressure to rocket her forward. And then she guns the engines to a mighty crescendo as she finally eases off the brakes!
"HRRAAAAAAAH!" Mint thunders forward, swinging first with two straight punches, and then an uppercut! Should she land with those she'd continue swinging as frequently as she can -- going more for control than all-out damage. Her ultimate intent is to back Tairyu up against the -west- bridge -- and pummel him in the chest to make up for lost time!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu blocks Mint's SNAFU.
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Mint 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1 Tairyu
The compliment from Mint might be acknowledged, but Tairyu doesn't make a point of directly responding to it. Instead, he waits to see what she has to show for him.
And what comes brings a brief flash of a smile up from him. "Hooo..." One foot slides back slightly to prepare himself for quick motion, while his eyes watch the exhaust pressure from her gauntlets distorting the air. "Yeah. Come on!"
Tairyu's body makes the leap forward -- but now, Mint's body is objectively faster than his, carried by jet engines as they are. It forces him to resort to planting his feet back to the ground and bring his arms up to protect his face.
The first punch from her collides straight with both his arms, and no matter what, a blow like that is going to be *felt*. It's certainly enough to send his feet skidding backwards along the snow.
And they keep skidding with the continuing chain of punches that Mint lays onto him. After the initial hit, at least, he manages to guide his arms sweeping into her steel-clad fists in an effort to redirect more of the force behind them. So his arms don't shatter from taking rocket-powered punches to them repeatedly.
Wether he realizes where his body is inadvertantly being pushed towards, he does know he can't take much more of this. And finally, after a more full lean forward after a parrying sweep of his arm, he sends a quick, but fierce hook for the side of the woman's face. He can't quite manage to gather the leverage for a particularly powerful blow in between her chain of punches, but he can at least try to get her to cut it out, and push some distance between the two of them. Create a moment of reprieve.
COMBATSYS: Tairyu successfully hits Mint with Improvised Punch.
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Mint 1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1 Tairyu
Mint's aerial tactics may have been wildly telegraphed, but when she brings things back to the tried-and-true boxing techniques of bygone years, things start working out for the better. With each blow she takes special care to plant her feet properly -- a loss of grip here in this wintry wonderland would spell disaster. And what's more -- she's aiming to get Tairyu's back against the bridge, to further constrain his motion...
But while she's focused on the basics, she wasn't expecting something so quick, powerful, and... basic in exchange. She recognizes the attack, and even tilts her head into the blow in an attempt to rob it of some of its power -- but the timing is off, and Mint reels backward, eyes screwing shut from the pain. "Nnnghhhh...!" When her eyes open again, she staggers sideways -- and makes a snap decision on which of the four Tairyus she sees before her to take a swing at. She knows she's lost ground, but she decides to keep the deliberate pressure on...
She takes two steps forward, then fires off a quick left jab, followed by a second jab -- exhaling quick, short breaths of frost with each strike She'd swing in with a wide left hook -- and then she'd hammer forward with a fierce body blow from her right hand. If she manages to get Tairyu boxed in, she has a few more options to follow up on!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu dodges Mint's Knuckle Dragger.
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Mint 1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1 Tairyu
"You have a lot of spunk, Mint-san," Tairyu rumbles in that brief instant he gets to actually get some roof to breathe thanks to the quick blow he leveled at her (apparently still electing to use the japanese honorifics even with what must be a nickname). "A bright fire in you. I'm glad I got to see it afterall."
It's not imminently clear if he is just as pleased to find her continuing to express that fire in her, though. He sees what she's going for, at least -- but the ache in his arms is still fresh from that barrage of blows from a moment earlier. He... probably can't manage to take that again. Not without hurting himself in the process.
So instead, his defense strategy goes the other route. In a snap of a motion, his body leans to the right, past the jab she sent, and ducking low to avoid the next, in bobbing, weaving motions Mint might very well find familiar from boxing rings before.
BUt she keeps closing in, and Tairyu's forced to retreat back to keep himself from getting hit from a blind spot.
And it's then, when he finally realizes what she's actually doing.
And he acts on it. The next backward hop is accompanied by his left arm rising up. It might be an illusion brought on by the rattling of her head from earlier, but she could swear she sees something that should not be there, along that arm. An... azure-scaled eastern dragon, coiled along the length of that limb? It can't be too solid, though, if it's head is overlayed with the man's hand, opening it's jaws along with the spreading fingers to present the open palm--
And then there's flames. This time, it does seem very much intentional. The sudden gout of flames that bursts forth while Tairyu makes his retreat certainly is targeted for her.
Even if that particular retreat also ends when his heel scuffs just against the edge of the cliff.
COMBATSYS: Mint dodges Tairyu's Dragon's Breath.
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Mint 1/------=/=======|=======\=------\1 Tairyu
Corporal Panesh has a knack for overextending herself. In many cases, her full-throated commitment to attacks can overwhelm an opponent. But with Tairyu able to keep up with her speed, she falls back onto tried-and-true combat techniques she'd learned from the military -- tactics that work the best over a longer timeframe.
She doesn't directly acknowledge the compliment, preferring to keep her jaw clenched and the intensity at full strength. She swings and swings and swings, and remembers her training.
And then, there it is. Tairyu retreats -- and Mint eases up on the pressure, bringing both her fists close to her face. She catches sight of a blue dragon, and before the flames can even be a threat, she's dropping her head and shoulders down.
She ducks under it -- an advantage of her short stature. Tongues of flame roil over her shoulderblades, teasing across the fabric of her jacket.
And when she weaves back up, on the other side of the gout of flames -- that's when she makes her move. She surges forward -- keeping her weight balanced properly over her feet, cautious not to overcommit so close to a cliff. She rises into a quick right uppercut to the jaw, then strides into a balanced strike with the left -- and then gunning the engines for a jet-boosted straight to the shoulder! "Hah... hah... hah!" Solid, unyielding strikes to back Tairyu up against the 'ropes' where he would have more issues reversing her attacks!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu blocks Mint's Medium Punch.
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Mint 1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1 Tairyu
Now there's the downside to fighting someone smaller than yourself. Or at least smaller than what you're used to. Tairyu genuinely did not expect her to avoid getting burnt by sliding *under* the flames.
And through the embers and smoke, she gets to bring herself right up to her quarry.
THere's the briefest instant of panic when Tairyu realizes just the predicament he's been put into. One arm sweeps quickly to swat the uppercut aside, and the other rises up to intercept the jab -- but the straight punch assisted by the engine in her fist forces him to cross both in front of him to brace against the powerful impact. An impact that sends him skidding backwards again, dangerously close to the edge of the cliff.
"Hhh-- Smart..." he manages to rumble past grit-together teeth before he leverages his weight forward, to just... shove at the woman. To get her backed up away from him. He can't quite bring himself committing into the movements required for a proper counter, not this close to the fall behind him.
"Haah... You're not really leaving me with a lot of options here, are you?" He mutters, even while he feels his heel out against the cliff's edge, eyes staying narrowed on his opponent now. He can't escape. He just gets to prepare for what's coming next.
COMBATSYS: Tairyu focuses on his next action.
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Mint 1/-----==/=======|=======\==-----\1 Tairyu
Corporal Panesh was here early. That gave her time to scout the battlefield, to take note of its features and idiosyncracies. One such feature being that, due to the limited range of torchlight in the nighttime, the cliffs look a lot more treacherous than they really are.
In reality, so long as you don't knock your opponent into low earth orbit, it's a drop of anywhere from six to ten feet. Easily survivable -- but the precipices look -monstrous- on camera. Which, no doubt, is why the Neo League cameras have been hovering over the battlefield instead of beaming back a sky-high angle. More drama!
Mint knows the facts though. And she's capitalizing on them with her silent soldier act. Something she picked up on, recently: the lack of response can be a -lot- more intimidating than actually firing back something coherent.
So she just pauses, with a serious look on her face, as she brings both fists back. As if calmly considering the weight of Tairyu's words.
She's made her decision. Her response is a non-committal grunt -- the verbal equivalent of a shrug. Both turbines glow a fiery blue from the sudden application of throttle. And Mint -surges- forward, tilting slightly so she can slam both fists into Tairyu -- left fist driving at his right shoulder, right fist slamming towards his left hip. It's a powerful, full-throttle burst from both turbine-powered knuckles that would surely send Tairyu soaring right off the cliff -- to land a short distance below.
"RRRRAAAAAAAAH!" This is no time for giving up or playing it safe!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu counters MOAB EX from Mint with Tiger Drop ES.
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Mint 1/---====/=======|-------\-------\0 Tairyu
Perhaps the lack of a verbal response is the right one, too, as far as Tairyu is concerned. It may well be judging from the small smile he affords to the woman. A smile that persists even when the turbines in her gauntlets wind up.
"Good. All you've got then..." His own feet scuff along the snowy ground again, while he straightens himself up, with his left hand held down and pointing to his opposing foot, the right held up with knuckles skywards, at chin-level. Nowhere to back up to, nowhere to run without falling down. The only path left is one that the woman with rocket-powered fists is charging towards him from.
"I receive you."
That declaration made, he takes a single step forward in the instant Mint begins her forward rush.
It's not exactly clear, the path that the Yakuza's body takes then. Even with the high framerate in the cameras above, the motion's hard to pin down. In an instant, where the soldier's fists should have collided with him, sent him flying off the cliffside, he's instead dropped his right knee down-- and his right fist has been launched straight forward with such speed that it's accompanied with a sonic boom that echoes through the valley like the crack of a gunshot. Combined with the violent sound of impact from the fist itself finding purchase in the indian's body, with enormous, explosive force fit to send another man flying.
There are often consequences to overcommitting to her attacks. But in this case, Mint had already calculated many of them ahead of time. If he blocks, the thrust should shove him backwards. If he'd sidestepped, she could fly to safety with the jet engines strapped to her arms. And she'd already dealt with the chances of him dropping low or high, with her dual-pronged attack.
It's just that he has this thing called 'reach.' There was a statistical probability he'd use it -- and unfortunately for her, that was one of the marginal chances she'd decided to overlook in that split-second decision. The littlest soldier folds once again from the attack, doubling over in pain as she flies backward. Safety algorithms cut the throttle to the engines to keep her elbows from being ripped off in the exchange -- a powerful strike that really -does- cause her to black out. Mint's body flails around limply as it's thrown back toward the center of the arena, hitting the snow in a plume of white. Powder fills the air, obscuring all sight of the little corporal...
COMBATSYS: Mint takes no action.
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COMBATSYS: Mint can no longer fight.
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And when it settles, a Mint-shaped mound lies motionless in the snow.
It's a good ten seconds before her body trembles, her ribcage -- likely cracked in some places -- heaves suddenly with an intake of breath.
After a moment to collect her breath, she turns her head towards Tairyu. She grins, faintly.
And then plops face-forward into the disturbed snow. Naptime!
In those ten seconds, Tairyu has had the time to bring himself back up to his feet, and set to stomping after where the littlest soldier has been sent flying.
The echo of snow crunching underneath boots comes to a stop when she turns a look at her opponent. She'll find Tairyu just standing there, looking at her. Waiting.
And when that grin comes? He smiles right back at her. It's not a particularly triumphant smile, nor is it one meant to mock her. Instead, in that brief instant before she collapses, and their eyes meet, there's something else distinctive in there. Approval. Respect. In a way, she reminded him of himself.
"Alright..." He breathes out, and takes the final few steps to bring himself to the collapsed corporal. And ducking down, he carefully, smoothly slides his arms along her, so that he may hoist her up off the ground. ... Though likely with a brief, surprised pause when the realization kicks in that, yes, those gauntlets are in fact *really heavy*, and some adjustments in the way his arms wrap around her have to be made to ensure that her limbs don't dangle down and end up breaking something just out of virtue of those two weights straining them.
"...Let's get you someplace warm. You've earned a rest."
COMBATSYS: Tairyu has ended the fight here.
Log created on 08:19:10 02/24/2021 by Mint, and last modified on 20:46:35 02/24/2021.