Description: Kasumi Todoh has come to Taiyo to hold a demonstration of Todoh-Ryuu Kobojutsu, in hopes of recruiting more students for her school of martial arts. The turnout might not be great, but a certain red-haired, uncertain student happens to be among them.
It is a tradition that once every year, the Todoh dojo's master goes to the various schools of Southtown and presents the benefits of studying Todoh-ryuu Kobojutsu. It is equally true that, unfortunately, this is a tradition that often goes overlooked or forgotten, not least because the prestige of the school has suffered so greatly since the round thrashing that Ryuhaku Todoh took in the none-too-distant past. There's a lot of less-than-kind students who are wondering why the hell anyone would even bother turning up to the demonstration. Isn't the Todoh family style kind of a joke, now?
But it isn't the Master of the school himself who has turned up today, anyway. Ryuhaku is off somewhere, doing something bizarre no doubt, and whilst Kasumi has that vague sense of anxiety she always has when she doesn't know what trouble he's getting himself into... SOMEONE has to represent the interests of the school. Pitching it as the satisfaction of the school's annual duties, even her mother had approved.
And whilst there's only a handful of students who have come to the gymnasium to see her, there's no denying that the girl has an air of quiet dignity about her which is totally at odds with the school's laughable reputation. She is wearing her full uniform, headband included, and kneeling as she waits to see just who she is going to be talking with. She's not much older than many of these students. But she obviously takes her position very seriously - what more serious thing could there be than the chance to win more students to the family dojo?!
Some students of Taiyo have gathered in the gym out of genuine interest certainly, but granted, just as many - if not even more - have come here just out of idle curiousity. This all results in even the relatively small showing of Taiyo kids filling the gym nearly right from the get-go with noise. None of them are really approaching the scion of Todoh directly, either. It's almost like they're just here to wait and see if anything interesting happens.
Save for one.
From amidst the small crowd, a head full of shockingly red hair comes peeking out, and bright-green eyes blink slowly at the martial artist kneeled on the floor ahead. The teenaged boy wearing the light, white-and-black jacket might seem a bit... lost, somehow, but the bandaid slapped on his left temple at least suggests that he's not entirely out of place in this particular school of budding fighters and high-spirited troublemakers.
"So you're, like... a recruiter, or something?"
Just that question alone brings the other students gathered immediately nearby to just... turn to give the red-haired boy a *look*.
"...W-what? Did I say something weird?"
Kasumi is a full six inches shorter than Daisuke, but where the young man is clearly suffering from some uncertainty, the young woman doesn't have that particular weakness. She doesn't laugh at the question. Instead, she meets Daisuke's gaze, and gives a nod of her head. "You could look at it that way." She says, standing up from her kneeled position. "It wouldn't be entirely inaccurate. But I'm not just here to recruit, either. I am the current highest ranking pupil of Todoh-ryuu Kobojutsu. If you are interested in the art of fighting, I am here to answer any questions you might have about my style, martial arts in general, or even to demonstrate my techniques, if you wish."
She speaks very formally, and the sharpness in the older teenager's gaze works wonders to silence the snickering of the other pupils. She doesn't look away from Daisuke for long, though. He, after all, had the spirit to actually speak.
"So." She says, "Do you have any desire to learn how to fight? I was under the impression that Taiyo High was home to some spirited fighters, but all I've found so far are snickering jesters!"
The red-haired boy's eyes blink slowly again. The name of the style is clearly not in any way or form familiar to him. For that matter, Daisuke does not really carry with him the sense of a martial arts enthusiast to begin with.
He may very well even be weak.
Maybe that's why the following question from her takes him a bit off-guard. There's plenty enough reasons for it beneath the surface for it to linger in his mind like sharp needles, however.
"I mean, I..." The boy mumbles, uncertainly, while some discontent grumbles echo idly from the surrounding students over the 'snickering jesters' comment. Even more so because she's addressing *Daisuke* of all people in such a manner now. Kasumi wouldn't know it, but the redhead has an unfortunate reputation of getting beaten up at school on a semi-regular basis.
And perhaps that, then, is what drives someone standing behind Daisuke to suddenly give a forceful shove at his back, and send him stumbling out from the crowd and towards the eldest pupil of Todoh-Ryuu with a surprised "Uwah?!"
Thankfully, he does have the quick sense to stomp his foot down against the floor to stop him from outright bowling into the older teenager, even if he does end up a bit uncomfortably close to her.
"U-uhm," he stammers out first, with that continued, visible uncertainty, only amplified by the suddenly-increased proximity. "..If I say yes?"
Unfortunately for the bully, Kasumi saw that!
The girl steps into the stumbling Daisuke, and as he brings himself to a stop, Kasumi twirls around him. One step, two steps, and she is in the face of the young man who thought it was appropriate to try and humiliate his classmate. Daisuke might not look like much, but then, in the world of fighting, that doesn't necessarily mean a thing. Kasumi knows men who tower head and shoulders above their contemporaries who couldn't fight to save their lives, and scrawny-looking people who could mop the floor with most muscle-bound freaks.
There are even people who choose to follow Kyokugen-ryu!
"I suppose you think you are funny?" She demands of the young man. Completely ignoring poor Daisuke and his stammered question, she instead waves her finger directly beneath the nose of the miscreant who had manhandled him. "I am a guest of your school, conducting a conversation with one of the few of you who has the good manners to say hello, and you think you can make a fool of him without being challenged? You strike him in the back?!"
She raises one hand in front of her, the other set neatly back behind it. Her feet are planted, her weight centered and steady as she stares the student down. "Try and push me. Do it. Coward."
Funny how quickly silence ends up reigning through the gym just from such a display.
Kasumi might be easily shorter than the jock in a stadium jacket, but her presence alone is more than enough to make up for, apparently. At least as far as everyone else in the gym goes. Students visibly shuffle just a liiiitttle bit away from the target of her ire, while the miscreant himself just stares down at her with a frown of barely-constrained irritation.
"U-...um..." Daisuke, meanwhile, mumbles from behind Kasumi, having turned around belatedly to watch this little exchange. "This... doesn't seem necessary... I mean, it was just..."
Apparently the bully doesn't seem to particularly agree with Daisuke's assessment. For with a loud huff of air sent out through his wide nostrils, he suddenly stomps forward to close the already-near proximity between himself and Kasumi!
"FIne, you arrogant--!"
And up comes a large, beefy hand, to shove an open palm directly for Kasumi. Not for her chest, not her shoulder or arm, no. For her *face*.
This is going to go very poorly for someone, surely.
There are many people who have badmouthed Todoh-ryuu Kobojutsu. No doubt many people here think that the young woman is utterly ridiculous for even bothering to turn up and try to defend such a joke of a school. More than a few are probably expecting the self-important Kasumi to wind up eating dirt under the boot of one of Taiyo's bullies. Especially as he lunges at her with such underhanded intent!
But Kasumi does not seem surprised. Instead, she pivots as he strikes at her, and the slender girl grabs him by the overextended arm. In one smooth motion, she brings him swinging around over her shoulder, using his own momentum to heft up the far larger figure. "The first step to defending yourself from assault is to put the attacker in a poor position." She declares, as the large boy crashes into the ground with a painful THUMP.
But she doesn't stop there. Apparently, Kasumi feels that he has dishonoured her - not to mention Daisuke - quite badly. "And then to render them incapable of further aggression!"
Even as she gives the impromptu lesson, the girl is sliding around so that she is seated atop the larger boy, and then, CRACK!
She drives her fist into the back of the poor guy's head, rendering him neatly unconscious in a move that would NOT pass muster in any standard dojo training. This also means, of course, that she is back to facing Daisuke as she rises.
"A student of the School of Todoh never lets a slight go unanswered!"
Whatever the reigning thoughts on Kasumi through the gym might have been, the sudden display of one of the largest teenagers in school getting sent flying through the air with such phenomenal ease still draws surprised gasps among the small audience.
This does include Daisuke, too, who instinctively goes jumping off to the side, even if the martial artist would certainly have enough control to make sure that the lug would *not* end up plummeting straight at the redhead.
Not to mention the reaction of the rude lug himself, who doesn't even have the sense to yell while he flies through. His brain doesn't even quite catch on to what the hell just happened until his heavy form is already going THUMP down on the wooden floor of the gym with a loud wince.
And then promptly getting knocked cold by a vicious hit to the back of the head. All that muscle and weight, and it just slumps down completley uselessly onto the floor.
And Daisuke, with color subtly faded away from his face, finds the Todoh-Ryuu demonstrator facing him again. Apparently he doesn't have an entirely good idea of what to think of this either. But, after roughly 5.421 seconds of entirely conflicting thoughts, he ends up coming up with, "... So cool..."
Kasumi gives a solemn nod of her head, "Yes." She agrees, "Todoh-ryuu Kobojutsu is indeed a very 'cool' style of martial arts!" Even though she's only eighteen years old, she says the word 'cool' as though she were about forty and trying to connect with 'the youth'. This sort of thing isn't something that comes naturally to her, but she's more than happy to accept the praise for the demonstration of her skills - that's what she was here to do, after all! Now that she has dispatched the bully, she can turn her attention back to Daisuke.
"Todoh-ryuu Kobojutsu blends many of Japan's traditional martial arts into a singular style. By bringing together these 'old school' arts with modern innovations, we have one of the most versatile fighting styles in the world, focused always first on self-defence!"
It... sounds like she rehearsed that line. A lot, probably. And she seems to expect that there will be more impressed noises for her words as well as for her prowess!
"...Aheh." Cool as Daisuke might have thought that display to have been, he can't still help but feel a measure of bemusement over the particular way in which this girl spoke out the word 'cool', giving a brief scratch to the back of his own head instead of... well, saying anything on that.
The rest of the students gathered certainly wouldn't dare say anything about it at this point either. She made her ability to back her words up more than clear by now.
But more importantly, Daisuke is giving the student of Todoh-ryuu a long, considering look, with a brief, thoughtful nip sent down at his lower lip. A few seconds of silence pass, before the redhead straightens up his stance, and offers the older teenager a simple question:
"And if I want to learn how to fight, then?"
Kasumi can't quite hide her surprise. This may be the first time that someone has actually asked her what the next steps are! It probably shouldn't be surprising, as she had kind of stepped in and defended the redheaded young man's honour, but it still takes her unawares. Sudden strikes at her face she knows how to deal with, but earnest enquiries about learning more about her style? That's, new.
"Ah, well." She says, patting down her pockets until, at last, she finds them! She pulls out a stack of old cards stamped with the Todoh School emblem on one side, and on the other, the address of the dojo and its phone number. She offers one of these to Daisuke.
"We offer group lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or you can book in for an intensive one on one session and we will try and make it fit with your schedule. How much experience would you say you have with fighting already? A beginner's course is probably the best place to start, but we offer a full range of coaching up to the highest levels!"
"...?" The surprise on Kasumi's features apparently flows through at least enough for Daisuke himself to notice it, and he frowns for a few seconds with his own confusion. Was this not what she came here for...?
And then come out the cards, and the red-haired teenager steps up close enough to take the offered one to his hands, green eyes sweeping over it curiously while she continues speaking. "I see..."
In the crowd, one of the students bumps an elbow against the side of another and half-whispers, "Bet he's just looking for that 'private session', huh?" Well. A loud of enough whisper, at least, to act as the trigger for a low chorus of snickers that spreads through the crowd. Daisuke himself either doesn't notice it at all, or does a *phenomenally* good job of ignoring it.
"...I mean... officially, none at all?" He offers in answer to the actual question with a self-aware, akward cough. The card's slipped into his own pocket, and his gaze lifts up to Kasumi herself, with a faint little smile. "Maybe I'll just come see what one of those monday sessions are like, next week? ...Think about it from there."
Kasumi hears the snickering, and there's a vein that pops on her forehead, literally throbbing with frustration. Even after giving a really impressive demonstration, she can't avoid the mockery that follows her family the whole world over! She has a powerful desire to round on the crowd and demand they put forward the joker for her justice - but that's a far different situation to dealing with a bully. That'd be her laying out kids for her own wounded pride, and that's very different.
So instead, she tries to focus on the earnest young man who - clearly - is having some self esteem issues and some troubles at school. She can relate to those.
"Of course. Please. Come by Monday and ask for Kasumi. I will be happy to introduce you to the school. I think you'll find it does wonders teaching self-control and discipline."
And. Well. Her anger is palpable, but she IS at least holding it back! That's kind of impressive?
To start with, even Daisuke's bare eyes end up noticing that throbbing vein of anger. But even beyond that...
The boy actually winces, as if the sheer force of her held-back rage has a physical effect on him in spite of it not being actually channeled into anything she is doing. Which... well. That would be because it *is*. Stupid psychic empathy.
"U-uhm, I mean... y-yeah, I'll do that..." He mumbles thus, just barely managing to hold back the signs of the effects her state of mind is having on him, and... really, probably not quite fully succeeding in it regardless. He still hasn't gotten used to the feedback from his senses, unfortunately.
And in a further show of unfortunate turns, it almost certainly comes across as something *completely* different to the rest of the students still lingering nearby. Cue conspirational whispering behind Kasumi.
Thankfully, before Kasumi's anger can grow any more overwhelming for the poor boy, there's a shout from a far more adult-sounding voice. "HEY! What do you kids think you're doing over there?!" And striding through the crowd comes a P.E teacher who has quite clearly noticed that there's an unconscious student who... nobody is really trying to help.
"What happened here?!" He demands, and of course, Kasumi's anger disappears to be replaced with contrition. Despite her obvious martial talent and the fact that she has no real tie to Taiyo, the teacher is the authority here and she has to respect that!
"This young man attacked me." She says, "So I demonstrated--"
She is cut off with an angry wave, "Yes, sure, whatever, I know that punk." The teacher says, but, to the crowd, he shouts, "Why have none of you gotten him to the nurse's office yet?! Take him there immediately or I'll have you run a hundred laps!"
Though, as Daisuke is rather cut off from the rest of the crowd, it seems like he's not included in that demand. Even as the teacher glares back at Kasumi, "... I would have thought you could make your point without excessive force though, Todoh-san."
And just like that, *everyone* in the gym straightens up instinctively over the booming, familiar voice of a very undeniable source of authority. This is surely someone who no one in this school wants to mess with!
And to further evidence that, it takes exactly... no time at all for the students to gather into motion around the unconscious hooligan, a choice number of them hoisting him and his considerable weight up and carried off out of the gym. And, one would assume, to the general direction of the nurse's office.
"Uhm, sensei, he really did..." Daisuke speaks up in the meantime, idly scuffing his foot against the floor while attempting to provide some vague measure of a verbal defense to Kasumi. "...He really did just attack her. It... couldn't be helped, but I guess we all got kind of... carried afterwards..."
The teacher rounds on Daisuke, but after a moment of glaring down at the stammering and uncomfortable boy, he shrugs his shoulders. "Even if he did do that, she shouldn't have hit him so hard. She's supposed to be here to set an example!"
Kasumi's eyes close, and she makes a visible effort to calm herself down. Embarrassment and anger mix as one inside her, but, if Daisuke is attuned closely to emotions... well, it seems that the martial artist has a great deal of experience holding herself in check. She breathes in, and she breathes out. When she exhales, her passions are... dimmed. Not gone entirely. She's still annoyed by this experience, and by the presumption of the teacher, but she can at least stop herself from laying him out too.
"It is the way of Todoh-ryuu to make sure that any aggressor no longer poses a threat." She reiterates, but bows. "Regardless. I apologise. I think my demonstration here is done, so I will not trouble you any further."
As she straightens, she glances back to Daisuke, "I will look forward to seeing you on Monday...?"
Daisuke can't really offer much in the way of argument to the teacher's point there. He does, however, also refrain from actually *agreeing* with him (perhaps for Kasumi's benefit), and instead just lowers his head slightly in deference.
But then, when he is addressed by Kasumi again, his stance practically *shoots* upright again, eyes blinking several times over before he offers a firm nod to the girl. "Y-...yes! On monday, then!" The response is followed by a subtle forward dip of his body towards her, in a half-measure of a bow. "Thank you for your tutelage, Todoh-san."
"Sensei." Kasumi corrects lightly, "If you are going to be studying at my dojo, I will be your teacher! It is likely that Master Ryuhaku will be... away, for some time. On important dojo business. In his absence, I take care of most of the day to day duties." Like the cleaning, lessons, going out and doing demonstrations, exhibition matches... she doesn't let it get to her, but Kasumi really does wonder what it is her father thinks he is doing most of the time. Ah well. If he came back and obliterated the hated Kyokugen family, perhaps all that training would finally have paid off!
She bows, then, to the teacher (low) and to Daisuke, "Thank you for your hospitality." And then she's walking away - she has to get the dojo ready for monday, after all!
"Ah... Sensei then, I apologize," mumbles Daisuke with another quick bow. Nevermind that he hasn't actually made any decision one way or the other regarding the Todoh-ryu dojo yet!
Still, when he straightens up again, there's a vaguely concerned look leveled on Kasumi. He can't quite get a proper read on her this time, but something about her feels a bit off to him in that instant.
Doesn't give him enough reason to stop her from turning around and walking away, though, only offering a faint, "...See you on monday," to her way before she's gone.
...And before he has to either explain himself for his own part in this whole mess to the P.E teacher or, heaven forbid, deal with the re-directed wrath of the student Kasumi knocked out cold earlier.
Just another day in Taiyo...
Log created on 16:57:50 05/22/2021 by Daisuke, and last modified on 22:27:29 05/26/2021.