Description: ...And talk about criminals wanted by NOL before deciding to test each other on the roof. With unfortunate results.
It's mid-afternoon here in Southtown, about an hour before the streets are flooded with workers free of their daily servitude. There's always some enterprising individuals who knocked off hours ago, but suffice to say, it's still fully in the 'calm before the storm' period for Southtown's entertainment industries.
As times for customer arrivals at the Mars and Venus clubs go, it's a pretty odd time. And perhaps it's an even odder time to be seeing an officer of the Librarium, clearly identified by her royal blue and white uniform. Perhaps odder still to see a fluffy tiger tail swishing back and forth behind her.
She approaches the entrance to the Venus club with polite curiosity in the surroundings, though she's quick to make a beeline for the first person who looks like an employee.
She holds up a NOL ID card as her credentials. That might explain the saber at her left hip.
"I'm sorry to trouble you -- I am here to see a Mr... Tairyu Katashi. Is he here today?"
As might be expected, the prime time for the two host and hostess clubs is much later in the day. It's so early by their standards, even, that the only reason they are even open is because of a handful of customers with special appointments. This results in a complete lack of a line when the NOL officer gets to the building in the heart of Southtown's entertainment district. The only reason the notion of her coming inside is even entertained is because... well, frankly, she pulls rank.
Not that the security guards at the door let her in *immediately*, mind you. A single phone call is made, a message of which is likely delivered further out from one person to another. It might take a minute or two of waiting, before the guard's phone rings again. The burly guard in the black suit merely nods at whatever is said before hanging up and gesturing for the woman to follow.
The guards left behind at the door do give the woman very... pointed looks. It might well be she's used to those kinds of things, considering how she looks. The fact that she is a NOL officer probably doesn't improve the opinions behind those looks, either.
Much like outside, the club doesn't hold much of the citizenry inside it now. If she listens close enough, she *can* still hear some chatter between a couple choice businessmen and hostesses through the low dim of the background music left on. If she's done her homework properly on Tairyu, she might end up assuming they reason they have the privilege to get service here outside of normal hours has to do with something more than just them simply paying for it. Special services for business partners to tide some deals over, maybe? Or an arranged opportunity for gathering leverage to future endeavours.
She is lead through the club, not to an office-- but rather to one of the lavishly-cushioned booths. Far enough from the ones occupied by the two customers present to take away the chance of eavesdropping. The security guard even hangs back some when a waiter takes over with guiding her to the seating.
"Tairyu-san will be here in a few minutes," the waiter tells her after, with a slight bow in his posture. If he has similiar thoughts on her occupation and looks similiar to that of the security guards, he does a significantly better job of hiding it. "If you would like something to drink or eat while you wait? We can arrange for some company as well if you wish."
Meifeng is fully prepared for a stuffy response. It's almost as if folks in Southtown don't -like- the NOL for some reason. Or perhaps it's that they have more disdain for her tigrine features, and what she represents as a darkstalker. She takes it all in stride though, smiling pleasantly as the burly guards' phone rings, and her escorted tour of the Venus floor begins. She makes eye contact with the guards who give her pointed looks -- and tips her head in a polite, if assertive, greeting. The implication here is clear: if there's nothing illegal, you have nothing to fear.
Her ears may twitch as she walks past the conversing patrons; the mark of a predator assessing her surroundings. Her slight smile doesn't change in the slightest as she walks past; if she's heard anything, she's not making a big deal about it. But still -- discount a feline's hearing at one's peril.
Her ears swivel forward again as the waiter stops. Her smile falters at the notion that she'd be treated as a customer. She lowers her head and shoulders in an appreciative bow, and stresses: "I shouldn't, I'm on duty. I'll be happy to wait here. Though I would ask..."
She reaches into her jacket, and is quick to retreive a small photograph of a somewhat portly darkstalker with bat-like features. "I'm curious though -- have you seen this man?"
"We have non-alcoholic beverages on offer as well, if you would like," the waiter offers, still keeping that slightly-bowed posture.
But the photo comes out, and the waiter leans a bit closer to take a look, curiously. Some distaste does manage to creep in this time around in his gaze. "I am afraid not," he tells her after a moment of studying, with a vaguely apologetic tone in his voice and the shake of his head both before he leans back away again.
Regardless of wether or not she does ask for something to drink - even just water - she is left alone for a few minutes. A few minutes that pass in relative quiet, though the whole time, she's clearly being watched, too; guards eyeing her from afar.
After the few minutes pass, the man she originally came looking for arrives. The feline might hear signs of it first, of the waiter from before giving directions to someone else to the booth she's been settled down at. In short order, she would see a tall (for a japanese) man in a black suit and a partially-unbuttoned maroon dress shirt approaching. Already from afar, the man's bright green eyes pierce through the dim lighting of the club to size up the feline NOL officer. While the man holds the presence of a businessman merely coming to attend to a guest, there is... something else there. Weight behind his movements, the sharpness of his eye.
Like every step carrying him towards her is a warning.
"My apologies for making you wait," he offers once he's come standing besides her booth. Hands clasping together just at his front while he leans his form into a respectful-enough bow.
"Tairyu Katashi. How may I help you, officer?"
"No, thank you." Meifeng declines with a pleasant smile. In a different locale, perhaps she might be more willing to accept, but not inside a building with no readily available escape routes.
When the photo comes out though, the lieutenant has more information she didn't before -- that brief look of distaste. Nothing that particularly discounts the waiter's story, but... -something- all the same. "It's quite all right," she comments, stowing the photo again. "Thank you, sir. I appreciate all your help." Another smile; one that makes her whiskers bow upward slightly.
She does sit at the table, reluctantly. It'd be her preference to remain standing, but as she's not following a -direct- lead, the sight of an officer standing vigilant over a table might cause some disruptions to a club like this. And that wouldn't exactly help her cause. As it is, she simply sits at the table, her hands folded quietly upon it. Her tail swishes back and forth in anticipation.
She remains seated that way, nearly motionless, for the entire duration. Either she's really patient -- or she's taken the opportunity to meditate. It's not until her ears perk up at the sound of the waiter's speech that she stirs from her position.
And when Tairyu appears, she looks attentive and alert, rising quickly to her feet. "It is no trouble at all," she responds. When he bows, she too bows as well, hands clapped to her sides for a humble bow from the waist. "Lieutenant Yao Meifeng," she answers. "I hope not to take too much of your time."
She takes a deep breath before continuing. "Congratulations on your win in the Neo League, Tairyu-san. It is no small feat to emerge the victor from last season's fierce array of fighters." She bows her head again. "And that is in part why I am here. You see, this man is Gao Tengfei." She pulls out the photo from before, passing it over for Tairyu to inspect if he desires. "We're trying to track him down, and we have a feeling he may be attempting to bet on the outcome of the next season. The Librarium would be most appreciative of any information that might lead to his arrest."
Meifeng's tail flicks back and forth, a wary dance that shows her concern for... secondary matters which might be related to her request. "As I am here on detachment from Shanghai, I will assure you that any information I find will be only in service of this arrest, and extraneous information will be discarded." See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
"With that said, have you or any of your associates seen this man?""
The congratulations on the Neo League victory seem to flow over Tairyu like water. Perhaps he's heard words of such nature too often by now. His attention on the woman is one that screams of professionalism, and--
Wariness, perhaps. The focus he places on her is one that, while doesn't actually expect her to make some kind of move in a venue like this, is still prepared for that kind of possiblity. At least an idle, constant suspicion is needed in his profession, afterall.
The photo she holds out is taken, and drawn over for closer inspection, with one dark brow arching upwards, slowly. He doesn't give any comment on it right away, no, instead waiting for her to say everything she has to say, and even then he deliberately lets the silence linger for a few seconds.
"So your thought was that the host of the new season might have some kind of touch on the pulse of the gambling circles focused on the League fights, mm?"
The tone isn't really entirely accusatory, even if the particular choice of words might imply otherwise.
"But I am afraid do not recognize the face or the name of this man, Meifeng-san," he tells her finally, with the photo held back out for her to take again. "Do tell me, though... as far as your own position allows you to, in any case. How dangerous is this man?"
Silence can indicate a number of things: indecisiveness, consideration, even intimidation, in some circumstances. As Meifeng wields it, silence is a signifier of patience -- as she is fully prepared to wait all day if it provides the answers she needs.
Silence is also her initial response to the not-quite-accusation levied her way. Her mouth parts, but she does not hazard a rebuttal, instead allowing Tairyu to complete his thought, handing back the photo. She takes it from him, stashing it back into her jacket.
And she, too, remains silent for a moment, piecing her thoughts together into the proper order. "Firstly, I am pursuing this suspect from multiple angles. Not only are you the current host of Neo League, but also, first and foremost, you are a person of considerable public interest. But what's more, there is reason to believe that Gao Tengfei may have come to -this- club as well."
She gestures to her side, sweeping her palm to suggest the entirety of the club. "Gao's profile suggests he prefers a discreet audience, which this club certainly provides."
Meifeng's tail continues to sweep lazily back and forth. "Further, you know your staff better than I possibly could. And if someone resembling Gao were to have shown up, I am now certain you would have heard of it." Her whiskers twitch, as she recalls the revulsion on the waiter's face upon showing the photo earlier.
Now, though, she frowns slightly. "I can say that he could be dangerous if provoked. So I can recommend not doing that."
Meifeng holds both her hands up for a moment, and states, "Now, so you know, I am going to retrieve a weapon, but it is just so that I can show you." Once she is pleased that Tairyu -won't- flip out, she reaches to her hip and partially unsheathes her military saber. Along it are a number of runic carvings, glowing in faint blue. Many of the lines upon the saber's blade cross at ninety-degree angles, but others twist into circles, diagonals, and other arcane shapes. "It is also likely Gao may be attempting to sell a weapon with magic formulae inscribed upon it. Possession of an unregistered Ars Magus is a serious infraction and we urge you to report it as soon as tactfully viable, to avoid unwanted scrutiny from the NOL Intelligence division."
She pushes the sword back into its sheath with an audible 'click.'
Tairyu is the one to take the silent role now, but it's purely a respectful one. To give the room for the NOL officer to speak out her reasoning -- and to give her answers to his own question.
When she makes the preliminary declaration of intent regarding her weapon, the club owner's brow arches curiously, but after roughly two seconds of consideration it, he simply urges her on with, "Go ahead."
And the blades is bared. Not to the threaten, but to display. To instill a concept into him. A concept he's willign enough to receive and study for himself, shifting forward in his posture just enough to indicate an intent to study the runes closer for just that brief moment she allows it.
"I think perhaps you misunderstood the intent behind my question," he notes after the saber has been hidden away again. "I am not concerned of how much of a 'personal' danger he might hold if he were to come here. What I wish to know... is how dangerous you judge him to be to the people of this city, Meifeng-san."
Straightening up fully from the previous forward lean made for the purpose of studying the weapon, he levels his eyes directly onto Meifeng's own, bright emeralds focusing all-too-intently on her.
"If only so I may instill the importance of the matter on my employees properly."
The tigress remains calm as Tairyu straightens up, looking back at him through amber-tinted lenses. She's familiar with his strength, and his prowess in combat, though his behaviors outside of the ring are less familiar to him. She only knows that he is a man who prefers to think before he opens his mouth.
And that is why she returns the favor, tail making two shuttling passes back and forth as she phrases her response, pinned in place as she is by Tairyu's gaze.
"An Ars Magus is a conduit to power from an alternate realm." She rests one palm on the hilt of her saber -- no need to draw it again, just calling attention to it. "With no training, the raw and unstable power contained within an Ars Magus like this is sufficient to level a building." She withdraws her hands from the weapon, presenting them palm up to Tairyu. "But I have the training and certification to ensure that power is bound and registered."
Palms are placed flat upon the table. "Gao Tengfei has come into possession of a far more powerful weapon. What's dangerous to one, Tairyu-san, is a danger to all. Especially when the person wielding this weapon has already demonstrated a callous lack of compassion for others."
The lieutenant's chin lowers, but she keeps her gaze fixed upon Tairyu's. "One of my colleagues is still in critical condition. Several others -- civilians, I might add -- wounded."
Meifeng lifts her chin again, reaching again into her jacket. "I do not recommend engaging this target alone -- even for someone of your caliber -- due to his weapon and the possibility of catastrophic damage. He is rated as a 'B Class' bounty, with a considerable reward for his capture."
Here, she breaks eye contact, mindful of her surroundings as she leans forward to offer her business card with two hands to Tairyu.
"Can I count on you to call me if you have any information on his whereabouts?"
The weight of the weapon's power, the way Meifeng explains it... is significant enough for Tairyu's expression to turn deeper towards a frown. Enough to level a building, and the stolen weapon has even *more* power?
"I am not sure I entirely agree with you there as it pertains to individuals," the man can't help but note, in spite of his unspoken concerns over the information she has given him. "I'm sure you might consider me dangerous to any one person in here too if I was to put my mind to it. Tell me, do you you consider me to be a danger to all, too?"
Besides that brief instance of philosophical needling, he isn't really inclined to disagree with her too much on the more specific matter of Gao Tengfei, however, as he goes to show when he moves to take the offered business card from her.
"I do have a vested interest in the well-being of the people here," his voice urmbles low while he gives the contents of the card a cursory look-over before securing it into a breast pocket of his jacket for temporary safekeeping. "And some districts of this city are still plagued by unrestrained gang activity. I'm sure you know if you've done your homework when you came here from Shanghai. A weapon like that dumped to the highest bidder here would be... problematic under the best of times, and these certainly are *not*. So... yes. You can."
Delegation is still something he doesn't have a taste for, but in this case? No matter how tempted he might be to try and deal with the problem himself, unless circumstances demand immediate action, it truly may be in his best interests, too, to not interfere directly.
"And is there anything else I can do for you, Lieutenant? I would offer something to drink, but I'm sure my employees already extended that same hospitality, and judging from the fact that your table is empty..."
Meifeng remains quiet for a few moments, considering her words. He brings up the philosophical point of contention, and she responds with cold logic. "The calculation of a subject's risk, or 'danger,' is based upon two variables: Potential for harm, and likelihood of causing that potential. Your potential is, of course, high. The likelihood, based on -this- conversation alone, Tairyu-san, is not one I would consider high. You care for the community. It shows in your words, and your actions."
She reaches up to remove her glasses, setting them on the table. "So no, Tairyu-san -- I would, and do, consider your strength to be an asset. Not a danger, or hazard."
The tigress nods slowly, as a followup. "I do not wish there to be any more fallout than possible. Which is why I have chosen -- perhaps against the better wishes of NOL Southtown -- to communicate directly with you about the dire nature of this threat. Above all, Tairyu-san, I am concerned about the community, much like yourself."
She leans back, rubbing the bridge of her nose. "And it has been a very long day, with few leads to speak of. I must again decline the gracious invitation to a drink for now."
She smiles. Her tiger-striped hair bobs as she shakes her head side-to-side. "I will be signing out after some paperwork however. I do have a personal request, though."
She pauses. "Would you be... willing for a small fight, later? I would be curious to know how my skills stack up against a champion's."
"Hmm. My concern was mostly wether or not you considered that statement to be all-encompassing, you understand," Tairyu points out with a slow, non-committant roll of his broad shoulders. He seems to be willing to let that particular point with that.
The declining of the offer for... refreshments and such does not seem to be taken with any kind of offense, either. His head even dips down to show a measure of understanding, if nothing else. "Very well. If you decide otherwise later... Well, I suppose our humble establishments can provide a more full service during opening hours."
But then comes the request, and the Yaku- er, club owner cocks his head slightly off to one side with a low sound of surprise in the back of his throat. "...I have to say that is unexpected, Meifeng-san." Well, perhaps the sole notion of someone wanting to challenge him purely out of wanting to see how they hold up to the winner of the League's previous season isn't the surprising part. An officer of the Librarium doing such a thing, however, is a whole other thing entirely.
"... I may be able to accomodate you, if you are determined for that. Hm." His eyes visibly flicker down over towards the sheathed saber at the tigress' side. "...It might be interesting, at that."
Meifeng blinks a few times, as Tairyu clarifies his statement to have been a general, rather than a specific. And afterwards, a hand snakes up, rubbing at the back of her head. Her cheeks darken slightly -- though it might be harder to see through the light coating of facial fur. "Please forgive me, then, it appears I have lost something in translation." She pauses, reconsidering from that angle -- and then nods. "Yes, then. If I were to consider you hazardous to one, then you could very well be hazardous to many."
She nods quietly to the offer of a drink later. Presumably, though, that might come with an entrance fee. And a great many -other- paid offerings which would likely draw out her per-diem budget. So it is more of a polite nod, than one that carries any expectation of follow-through.
Her next offer, though, is one which Tairyu seems interested in. And that garners a more genuine smile from the Chinese tigress. "That is wonderful, Tairyu-san. I am, and I thank you. If I have any hope to improve my art, I should be continuing to hone my skills against those stronger than myself." She balls her right hand into a fist, placing her left palm against it diagonally. Then she extends her arms towards Tairyu in a gesture akin to her art, Bajiquan.
She rises to her feet, using the gesture as the grounds for a formal bow. "I know that you are a busy man. I will not be offended if a cancellation is required. If you do have the time, though? Please call me with a location for us to meet, and I shall be sure to meet you there."
She bows once more. "Thank you for your hospitality. I humbly appreciate your spending time with me this afternoon."
Tairyu falls into deeper silence, now. She might have known even before she came to meet him that he would be a man of few and choice words in most circumstances, but that he allows her to be the sole person to fill the silence might still be a bit unsettling to some.
At least he does half-mirror her bow when she rises up. Stepping aside to clear the way for her to step past him, he stays silent for a breath longer. But just after she has stepped to where her back is to him--
"Tomorrow, at noon," he declares to her, with just a small turn of his head to allow the slightest peek back to her over his shoulder.
"I'll have someone lead you up to the roof. If that is acceptable... Then we can test each other."
=======THE NEXT DAY======
There seems to even less activity around the club now, than the day prior when Lieutenant Meifeng came by for his first interview of the legitimate(?) businessman. When the tigress comes along, and she is, indeed, lead along by a security guard again, she might notice that there aren't even any 'special' customers this time around either, or any staff beyond the few guards. She's lead past the club floor this time, and to an elevator to carry her up to the top floor, and then a small set of stairs.
What greets her is a wide, open cement plane. The interiors and the outside walls might all be lavish and purposefully decorative to draw attention, to create a promise of decadence, there's no need for such up here. It's not exactly very glamorous as far as potential fight venues would go for, but... it provides plenty enough room, at least, with the space only occupied by the few air conditioning units towards the far corner.
There is also the fact that despite being technically a 'private' area, the taller buildings in the surrounding blocks do mean that they could still be watched. Public enough that there is still a very real risk of untoward behaviour being noticed. This may be a deliberate choice on the part of her host -- for both their benefit.
And on the far end of the roof from where she ascends up to it, stands the club owner. Dressed in the same black suit, with his back turned towards the entrance - and Meifeng - with his hands clasped together by the small of his back. Watching over the street below past the roof's edge.
The sound of the door being worked open does not escape his notice, however. It warrants a brief look over his shoulder to confirm who has arrived, before letting his gaze drift down over the edge again.
"I have to admit I still wasn't sure if you would come," he confesses there, once the sound of her footsteps has come close enough he can be sure he won't need to yell to be heard. "I can't imagine it's very... usual, for an officer of the Librarium to seek someone like me out for a friendly bout."
It's true -- from all of Meifeng's observations of the club levels, she really -did- expect the rooftop to be fancier somehow. Like a lounge, perhaps? Or at least some boundary walls for a little privacy, or maybe little smokers' nook for workers to hide away after a stressful day of "customer appreciation."
She has, for this outing, changed into something a little more comfortable -- a baggy pair of taupe-colored silk kung-fu pants, and a sleeveless black silk shirt with ties up the center. It might be a fancy look to some, but to her, it reminds her of home. And it's also one of the few 'relaxation' outfits she happened to pack.
The attire does, also, make -very- obvious her tigrine nature. It was easy to see her 178cm in the restaurant, but the uniform concealed a lot of her form. Here, though? It's pretty plain to see that the tiger-striped lass has some considerable muscle mass to her.
Once she's here, though, the tigress has a look of surprise -- that only lasts a moment, before the young woman is squinting. She is, for once, glad she's wearing sunglasses, because all the sunlight reflecting off the cement is -bright- to her darkness-sensitized eyes.
She lets one eye open, with a wince, walking around to get a better sense of the environs. And then, after the first eye adjusts, the second snaps open. She mills about for a moment -- probably annoying her escort for a moment -- before making a beeline for Tairyu.
Meifeng, raising her hand to her eyes to get a look at Tairyu without the glare, asks, "... Why would I not be coming? I asked -you- for this. It is not like Librarium officers are lacking in hopes and dreams of their own." She smiles, almost on the verge of laughing. "If anything I might have expected you to pass."
She raises her right fist, planting it against her diagonally-raised palm as she had in the club the day prior. Her saber swings slightly at her hip, held in place with a snug black nylon belt. And for the moment, it remains sheathed.
"Do not fret about the weapon. I do not need to draw it, but it is a key component of my style nonetheless."
"I suppose that's part of what I was curious about."
Slowly, Tairyu takes a step back away from the edge, still keeping his hands wrapped together behind his back while he turns to facing her. The combined glare of the sunlight reflected off the cement and the wide windows of the tall building drawing over the skyline behind him might be overbearing -- and something Tairyu himself may be realizing when he sees the way she's shading her squinting eyes with her hand. He can't claim he had taken the more feline qualities of the woman into account.
"Hmm. Maybe I was inconsiderate when I chose this place. Will you be alright?"
Whatever her response to that is, he takes a few steps closer to her way, putting some distance to the precarious edge. "I wasn't entirely sure if I would agree, either. But like you might have gathered, I don't exactly get many opportunities to engage with someone from your organization in a manner that isn't strictly professional. Meanwhile, behind every desire to fight, there's... a story. Maybe I'm just curious about this particular kind of story.
With attention brought to her saber, Tairyu's eyes draw down towards it -- and just the faintest twitch of a muscle tugs the right corner of his mouth upwards, barely perceptible.
"I hope you are not trying to tell me," he murmurs, while his hands finally unwrap from each other, and draw instead to his sides. "That you would hold back on me, Meifeng-san?"
When Meifeng adopts the honorific stance, she is no longer squinting. It seems her sunglasses and the momentary shade may have helped acclimate her sensitive eyes.
"Mm, no, high noon is quite appropriate for a duel." A brief smile follows, after which she adds, "It is fine. It is just that your club is so dark."
Meifeng does fight back a yawn afterwards though. Bright sunlight makes for optimal naptimes.
As Tairyu advances upon her, Meifeng backs away, keeping the gap between them roughly the same. Her hands slip into more of a 'proper' posture -- her body sideways to Tairyu's, her right forearm perpendicular to the ground, her left elbow trailing at an angle, left fist curled near her core. She seems... amused by the way in which Tairyu philosophizes about the rationale for her desire to challenge him.
The lieutenant holds her thoughts for a good moment or two, before finally responding, "There is little reason to interact with an organization that presumably provides nothing of value to you. Perhaps I can change this impression."
Meifeng backpedals to a spot she feels to be appropriate -- far from any edge, plenty of room to maneuver safely. And she grounds her foot with a light stamp.
"Holding back would defeat the purpose," she notes.
Her leading hand sweeps backwards. And then she takes a motion as if to draw the sword, but instead, a plume of blue flame erupts from the hilt, drawn along like a series of hankerchiefs from a stage magician's hat.
Meifeng twirls about in a half-circle, inverting her stance from the moment before, her left elbow now taking the lead. As she turns, the flame splits into three smaller plumes, each circling around her. The fiery orbs ebb and pulse, orbiting about her like miniature planets.
"Needless to say, I will not be. I should not expect you to either."
COMBATSYS: Meifeng has started a fight here.
"You've plenty room here to instill a great many things onto me."
Seemingly satisfied by the placing the tigress has found for herself, Tairyu, too, stamps his foot down to declare his starting position to be. Roughly eight meters between the two of them.
"I'll be waiting to see what you choose to make them."
The black jacket is drawn off of himself in one smooth motion, now, and folded up over one arm, before getting carefully set down onto the ground. There might be enough dust gathered there atop the roof to make this seem like a less-than-kind fate to consign the pricy garment to, but the japanese man himself doesn't seem too concerned by it.
Lifting up again, the lack of the weight of the jacket results in the lapels at the top of his shirt, already left spread some by the undone state of the top two buttons, widen open a bit further, providing subtle peeks at intricate inkwork over bare skin normally hidden beneath.
"Oho?" The orbs brought to manifestation by the simple gesture of her expected sword hand makes intrigue grow within him, green eyes tracking the pulsing masses of power circling about her for a few seconds. "I see. The sword is more of a conduit, is it?"
A slight bend with his knees, barely perceptible. Left fist drawing towards his own core, knuckles pointed towards the opposing hip. Right fist up, poised to the right side of his chin and slightly forward, knuckles up. It might seem like an impractical stance, with how upright his stance is still-- and yet, it exudes nothing but confidence.
"Come on then. Show me."
COMBATSYS: Tairyu has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Tairyu 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Meifeng
Ms Yao grimaces slightly as Tairyu peels the black jacket off of his shoulders. She'd seen him fight this way, of course, but it still -- as someone of a humble upbringing -- hurts a little to see someone throwing such finery onto the rocks of something so utilitarian as a rooftop. The dust can be cleaned off; scratches and tears cannot.
But, in a different sense, she is pleased that the Neo League champion is giving her his full attention, as requested. And that does bring a smile to her face, and a positive upswing to the swishing of her tail.
Meifeng offers a brief nod as Tairyu ascertains the true nature of her Ars Magus. She doesn't belabor the point with further explanation -- he got it, after all.
And as he adopts a proper fight stance, Meifeng now has her signal to begin. Her attack is heralded only by her tail swinging back and forth with a more anxious frequency. The orbs whirl rapidly around her waist, stirring up the air into a mild vortex. The tigress herself leaps into the air, twisting around in a quick arc to approximate the spin of the orbs, raising her arms high. As she falls, she slams her wrists down upon Tairyu in sequence -- left, then right -- with the 'heavy hands' style of Pi Gua Zhang. Landing in a low stance, she would then seek to follow up by thrusting her left palm forward, sending all three orbs slamming into Tairyu's core!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu blocks Meifeng's Form One - Keening Draft.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Tairyu 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Meifeng
There's very little to offer in way of words after the signal. Tairyu's attention is undividedly on the Lieutenant, flickering up to track her as she leaps up high. Brows tightly knit together with his own focus -- and as if in challenge, he continues to stand his ground even when she descends upon him with his strike.
No stepping aside, no retreat. His left hand sweeps sidelong, first, to sweep the bottom of his palm at the wrist of one of her arms, first, then the other with his right. Only shuffling back enough to ensure his stance is still braced underneath her weight.
The sharp motion of the orbs coming in is somewhat surprising, however. He did expect them to be used offensively in some way, sure, but the smoothness in which she sends them out in the wake of her striking arms, with the clear power behind them, was perhaps slightly unaccounted for.
And yet, he still doesn't try to get out of the way. His sweep inwards to close his forearms in on each other to create a makeshift shield for himself. The very second the orbs slam into his arms, flame-like, azure energy wreathes the limbs for an instant before he sweeps them outwards again with a grunt -- a burst of energy both physical and metaphysical to force the orbs to at least scattering away if not dissipating.
"Good," he growls out -- now taking a single loudly-stamping step back to clear some space between himself and the tigress, finally, with a more pronounced bend of his knee to lower his posture slightly.
The space isn't maintained for very long, though. The wound-up leg springs out straight again in nearly the instant after, launching him - still in his lowered posture - at her. Though he has maintained a largely calm presence through the interactions with Meifeng so far -- there is an undeniable fierceness in his green eyes while they track up towards her from down below now. One beyond that of a mere businessman.
And with that quick sweep of his form across the space, The Sun Dragon launches himself upright again, with his right arm thrusting up to lead the motion. Palm-first, fingers subtly curled in a claw-like gesture as it swipes in a sharp motion towards her chin.
COMBATSYS: Meifeng just-defends Tairyu's Rising Claw!
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Tairyu 0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0 Meifeng
The Librarium office, similarly, remains tacit throughout the exchange, letting forth only mild grunts of exertion. Meifeng had dropped low in her last attack, her left palm remaining outstretched until Tairyu's stomp. Afterwards though, she rises to just under her full height, drawing back and keeping her right elbow and forearm raised as a defensive gesture, while her left arm withdraws, open-palmed, to a spot near her waist.
Her orbs start to swing back into their predetermined orbit. But when Tairyu surges forward, her right hand clenches, her leading forearm twisting to meet the strike. Her left hand flattens, moving as if to clamp down upon the offending limb. The three orbs collapse into one larger orb, though, heeding Ms Yao's unspoken commands. And in the same motion, that merged orb sweeps in to fill the void between her two hands. Tairyu's fingers will curl around a mass of dense air pressure, crackling with static electricity-- and causing Meifeng's fur to stand up on end. The orb itself changes hue slightly -- tracking more towards a shade of amethyst.
The tigress smiles. For as she had moved to catch Tairyu's strike with her orb, she had also moved her feet back and to her right. Now with Tairyu's momentum stalled, she lowers her shoulder, ramming it towards his solar plexus. Should she land that, she would follow up by twisting a high snap kick into his ribcage with the aim of blasting him upward. Her left hand flicks forward again, causing the orb to split into three once more. The three orbs would then move to swirl around Tairyu; Meifeng hopes their swirling vortex can slow down his motions.
COMBATSYS: Tairyu counters Form Three - Rising Gale from Meifeng with Dragon's Tail.
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Tairyu 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Meifeng
Okay. That was... unexpected. Tairyu's eyes narrow in a glare at his own hand, first, halted as it is by what appears as some kind of invisible force. Strong enough to keep his palm strike from reaching her, enough to jostle his body slightly from the unexpected halting.
Eyes flicker over to her face, then -- and for the briefest instant, he actually mirrors her smile. It's the expression of someone very much satisfied by the showing his opponent is putting out.
But he can't let himself stop just because of that, no. The rebound of his body completes, and he pulls his body forcefully away from her with a backward swing of the halted arm when she lowers down and moves to slam at him shoulder-first.
The forceful yank of his arm creates the needed initial momentum, carried further with his right foot sliding back, forcing him into a turn in time with his left hand reaching for her. The grab onto her intruding shoulder might seem outright defiant at first-- but it actually serves to give a quick pull and tug that sends her overcommitting to her own charge.
With her momentum manipulated in such way, Tairyu's own motion continues to spin besides and then fully around the tigress -- the continued rotation guiding his right arm, momentarily hrought to folding towards his left shoulder, to sweeping through and cruelly spiking the back of his fist into the back of her skull.
The punishing strike works to send her stumbling further past him, and by the time the three orbs have reformed, he's already repositioned himself to growing some spacing in between the two of them.
"I did want to see that, too," he confesses then, once he's fully turned to facing her again, steadily shuffling his feet to move along the lieutenant's perimeter, his own posture straightened up all over again to reassume his original stance. "The Ars Magica. It's something else."
Meifeng stumbles forward with Tairyu's assistance -- a considerably less-than-ideal circumstance. A low growl erupts from her throat for a moment, but that sound becomes a yelp as Tairyu's fist hammers into her atlas. "Rr-yeow!"
She snaps her left hand sideways as she twists apart from Tairyu, yoking the orbs back into a stable orbit around her hips. Grimacing, she plants her left foot behind her, muscles tensing as she raises her right hand once again in a guarding position.
The flame orbs begin to revert to their earlier blue hue, swirling around her defensively. "There are many like it, but this one is mine," she notes with a faint smile. "Each Ars Magus has a number of spells woven into its structure that their user can call upon. And with that, the user is able to access arts much more quickly than composing magic formulae on the fly."
Meifeng slides her right fist and leg back, tracing her limbs deliberately through the air, drawing energy from it in the process. The real aim, here, though, is for Meifeng to focus her feline eyes upon Tairyu -- taking stock of each of his small motions, to formulate a better plan of attack.
"If the person wielding the weapon does not know how to use these spells, however -- it could be dangerous for anyone nearby. Far moreso than for a simple weapon."
COMBATSYS: Meifeng focuses on her next action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Tairyu 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Meifeng
"So in other words, it's akin to someone handling explosives without training," Tairyu offers as an allegory while he continues steadily circling her. "But perhaps even more dangerous then."
His eyes narrow at her while she traces those motions through the air. Momentarily, his eyes meet hers directly through the faint shade of her glasses, and he clicks his tongue to the roof of his mouth.
"You're planning something there, aren't you," he murmurs, with the faintest hint of an almost-eager smile. With that realization, one might think he'd try to bide his time, too, calculate for a more effective path, but instead--
"Let me see what you got then, Tiger!"
Instead, he leaps right in for her. The air around him. Azure flames of chi coat both his arms during his advance, and the air around him almost seems to waver from their heat. The Yakuza advances on her with that growing heat and intensity--
So strong that for just a split second, there's a mirage of an azure dragon, overlayed over his fist as it rears back.
The man's feet almost seem to slide across the cement, despite the physical impossibility, when he gets close enough to her. With it, his arm sweeps through the air too. And with that motion, the chi-flames grow stronger, more furious along his arm, expanding outwards from him. The aim of the motion becomes clear, then; while his fist is still aimed for her, it's not poised to hit any central points of her. It's merely the method to bring that wave of heat and fire sweeping into the tigress, even if the fist itself may only end up colliding with shoulder or arm.
But in the middle of it all, the azure color shifts. Rippling right at the base, along his arm. Pain strikes through the man's own body, with his teeth gritting shut in the backlash of it.
As a deep crimson mixes, for just a few seconds, with the blue.
COMBATSYS: Meifeng blocks Tairyu's Heated Wind.
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Tairyu 0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0 Meifeng
"Exactly," agrees Meifeng. The tigress frowns afterward, as the analogy he makes proves to be especially apt in ways that she does not wish to elaborate upon.
She stands ready to counterattack, but in this particular case, the sudden appearance of an azure dragon gives her pause. She'd seen something similar in Tairyu's previous fights, but it's quite a different perspective up close. Accordingly, she flicks her right hand about, stirring the orbs into a new flight path. All three orbs slam into her leading arm, their flames spilling out along its length. Her arm now sheathed in violet-blue qi, she steps forward, plunging shoulder-first into the encroaching gout of flame -- and accelerating the path of attack! Tairyu's fist strikes her shoulder, though it appears to be a bit deadened from the qi shroud -- which, itself, begins to shift towards the red end of the spectrum. "Nngh..."
Meifeng's eyes widen behind their amber lenses at the sight of Tairyu's chi changing colors -- and intensity. But she does not dwell on that for the moment, as she swings her right hand into a lateral chopping motion. The amethyst qi rips itself from her arm, swirling back into three separate orbs, which attack Tairyu independently from a high angle.
But while that is taking place, Meifeng herself is also driving forward, striking first with a left forearm strike, then plunging in with a right-armed elbow strike. She'd snap forward into another forearm blow, whirling around to follow up with a high left knee blow. Her left foot would then land in a clearing stomp, with both palms pressing down at the ground -- causing her three qi orbs to detonate for a powerful explosion!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu blocks Meifeng's Form Four - Roaring Tempest EX.
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Tairyu 0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0 Meifeng
"Ghh-- that's focused--" Tairyu growls past his tightened-together teeth while his fiery fist collides into the the solid qi covering his opponent. The shroud of energy tearing itself off knocks him back, too, his assaulting arm briefly left swinging wide to the side.
The orbs come, and in lieu of trying to resettle his guard back into place, he quickly ducks down low, out of the way. It gives him just enough time to brace his limbs back into place to brace into Meifeng's striking forearm, first, and flowing easily from that into a dance of meeting each of her blows with choice sweeps of his arms; a backhanded swipe redirects an elbow, a forearm corsses against forearm, palm thrusting to press into a knee to slow it's momentum.
The purpose behind the stomp and the sweep of her hands down to the ground is not immediately understood, however. He has just enough time to quirk his brow in confusion before his intuition catches up. Both of the Yakuza's arms lift up at the sides of his head with a wreath of azure focused aroudn them to help shield himself from the detonation of pure energy. The pure burst coneals his form for a second or so.
The leftover smoke is swept aside by a sudden burst of motion. A fist revealing itself from within first, launched from within at the NOL Officer's face in a punch that is, really, entirely unrefined -- but brought forth purely for the purpose of keeping up the pressure. Once the smoke clears entirely and she gets a proper view of her, she would at least get to see that the explosion *did* shred the sleeves off of his arms at the very least, baring out thick muscles lining the limbs and the eloquent inkwork of flames coating the skin.
COMBATSYS: Meifeng blocks Tairyu's Improvised Punch.
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Tairyu 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Meifeng
Sometimes, a little focus and determination can go a long way - especially in an uphill battle such as this one. Meifeng can tell that her blows are not landing exactly as intended, though that's more of a testament to Tairyu's skill than any deficiency of her own. The sobering reality, though, is that she can tell that she's making a dent in his defenses -- a necessary realization to keep her soldiering onward.
She nods with approval at each of the Neo League champion's countermeasures, even grinning somewhat as the detonation masks him from view. Though, she is also canny enough to realize that her opponent is made of sterner stuff -- and proactively withdraws from ground zero of her explosion. The detonation looses the three orbs again, which circle around back towards her raised forearm. And when he bursts forth from the clearing smoke, the orbs flatten against her upper arm -- which she rams back against the riotous punch from Tairyu!
In such an exchange, -something- has to give though -- and it's Meifeng's footing, as she finds herself bludgeoned backwards a good meter or so, before she hops away, shifting back and forth from one foot to the other. "Ooh... apologies for your shirt." But Meifeng still feels bad about it.
But, while the glowing qi on her arm was amethyst before, it's now changed into a blood red. Meifeng flexes and then clenches the fingers of her right hand. "I hope you have more?" The tiger growls with anticipation.
But then Meifeng swipes her right hand towards Tairyu -- or more accurately, -beside- Tairyu, as the powered-up red orb arcs around him, starting up a two-meter tall tornado of qi-powered force -- laced with fiery red explosions all around!!
If that were all -- it might be impressive! But her right-handed fling was followed up by a rapid hip rush, aimed at closing the gap to Tairyu in dramatic fashion. If she manages to collide with him, she'd sharply reverse her spin, leaping upwards slightly in the process. Her "heavy hands" strikes would slam into his upper torso as she spins, trapping Tairyu between the explosions of her qi whirlwind and the battering of her own helicoptering palm strikes!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu endures Meifeng's Form Five - Howling Whirlwind EX.
>>> Punitive Hit!!! <<<
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Tairyu 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\0 Meifeng
"I can worry about my clothes later," Tairyu assures after the orbs of energy, once more, serve to send his attack rebounding off of her. His eyes are fully narrowed on her. He at least feels like he's starting to get a sense for how her technique works.
"I might just have to go without for a while at this rate though."
The red coloring over her qi is... a faint point of concern, however. It's a clear signal, to Tairyu's mind. One that he frowns over. Immediately, he's on the defensive again -- as much as he can gather after his balance was disturbed again by the choice movements of the energy orbs.
But the assault comes from an unexpected angle. The whirling force of energy gathering aroudn him forces him to trying to advance away from it--
But unfortunately, his only choice of avenue for that is one that takes him directly to Meifeng.
She forces a split second decision from him, one that leads him to leaning the rest of the way in on his original path. Even if it takes him right in the way of her swinging heavy handed strikes. Both arms come crossing in front of him to at least make an effort to soak it up, at least by a small degree. It's not enough to stop him from grunting with pain as his muscles and bones take the brunt of the force...
And indeed, that doees leave him trapped in the path of the tornado of qi.
FIery red explosions envelop the man, and a loud growl echoes out from amidst the noise. This one, certainly, *hurts*.
But those crossed arms sweep open again suddenly, to force Meifeng back. And in the wake of the explosions, she finds Tairyu - with smoke and steam alike wafting along his body - sweeping in and past her in the small opening he created in spite of the pain and burning assaulting him. The smallest opening he works to exploit by sweeping his leg along as he slides past her, aiming to spike his heel into the back of her right knee, to disrupt the joint there.
Wether or not that strike fully makes it's way there, the steam enveloping his burnt body clears away quick enough -- and treats her to the sight of the Yakuza with his shirt now burnt to a complete crisp, the last small pieces of the maroon fabric sent flying away from his muscular, heavily-inked body by the quick motion.
"Hhh--! Teaches me to not be careful with that!"
COMBATSYS: Tairyu successfully hits Meifeng with Sweeping Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Tairyu 1/--=====/=======|=======\===----\1 Meifeng
Meifeng is swept back by Tairyu's unfurled arms, a glancing blow that sends the spinning top a fair distance away. Her tail snaps outward, slowing her spin and allowing her to drop to a three point crouch. Her hand snaps outward, recalling the orbs to her side. The will-o-wisps of flame are now back to their former blue, discharged of their destructive payload.
She rises back to her feet, teeth clenched in anticipation of the rebuttal. Her respite lasts only an instant before Tairyu bursts out of the remains of the firestorm. She raises her forearms in defense, only to find the yakuza blasting -past- her. The predator's eyes open as she twists to accomodate him, only to find one of her two legs buckling from the pressure point strike. Meifeng winces at the blow, but rolls with the momentum, throwing her shoulder down and tumbling out of what could be a worse fall. The refreshed orbs follow along with the motion -- though not quite as nimbly as before.
"That was unexpected," she comments, her fur acquiring some of the rooftop's rubble as she tumbles back to her feet. Pivoting sharply, she snaps back into a Bajiquan ready stance -- though it's clear now that the tigrine hybrid's breathing is starting to flag from the exchange. "Likewise -- you are keeping me on my toes, Tairyu-san."
As she says this, she clenches her fists and sets her jaw. Her eyes narrow as she renews her focus, shaking off the pain wracking her limbs. She's not out yet -- and if she has anything to say about it, she hopes to be fighting for quite a bit longer!
But then she sees that Tairyu's shirt is practically destroyed. And it gives her a moment of pause. "... Are your pants more resistant to flame?"
She's run her mouth long enough. The tigress takes a long stride to close the gap. The orbs sweep close, all three moving to shadow her left hand. And she lunges in with a hooking elbow strike, aiming to carve in a diagonal across Tairyu's collarbone. But if she contacts with that, she'd follow through with a quick reversal of that strike, digging her elbow into the exposed space with another quick jab -- and then unfurling her forearm for a followup smash to the jaw.
But should those land -- she'd also unleash the orbs into his abdomen with a rapid-fire, one-two-three impact!
COMBATSYS: Tairyu fails to counter Aggressive Strike from Meifeng with Tiger Drop ES.
-* CRITICAL FAIL! *-
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Tairyu 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Meifeng
"Who knows? Maybe some divine force wants me to stay at least halfway-decent."
Tairyu might find this notion somewhat amusing, but this is hardly the time and place to muse on such a thing. His eyes remain narrowed on the tigress, at her advance. He takes in a deep breath, just before she poises herself to come in with the elbow.
An instant of motion. If she's watched over the tapes from the League, and she is able to think quick enough, she might immediately recognize it. A dropping knee guiding his body into motion with supersonic speed, set to launch an immensely powerful punch wreathed in the azure flames of the Sun Dragon to halt the attack. A destructive technique the tattooed man has won many a fight with.
An explosion of red
Marks everything going wrong
"Hrrgh--?!" The motion ends just as suddenly as it started, as if some invisible force had suddenly locked chains along Tairyu's entire body. Left there now with his knee dropped down, leaned over halfway with the intent to throw a punch that... never came. Instead, his right arm is still levelled back there--
The azure flames have turned a violent crimson as they blaze across his arm, jolting visibly from unexpected pain. It takes him off-guard, halts every single nerve and muscle in his body to refusing to follow through with what his mind is saying.
ANd it leaves his face completely exposed for the elbow she already sent striking out at him. It collides directly with his jaw and knocks him back into some measure of focus. At least enough to push himself into leaning back and up to standing fully-- just to be pummeled in repeat by her followup strikes, including the orbs colliding into the exposed, rippling muscles of his abdomen with enough force to send him skidding back along the rooftop.
His face twists with pain. Both from the tigress' assault, and the explosion of foreign energy at his arm. It has subsided now at least, with no sign of flames neither azure nor crimson.
"...I'm calling a time out, Yao-san," he growls, while his left hand reaches to clutch at his right arm. "Something is... wrong."
Meifeng had time to study Tairyu's tactics. She'd been aware of his preference for cautious, wary attacks, hoping to lull more aggressive opponents into a sense of false security. And that is part of the reason why she wanted to fight him -- to see if she, too, would fall prey to such a powerful technique.
That was part of the reason for her aggressiveness -- to harness what she could of Bajiquan's brutality, to capitalize on the downward kneel. And she follows through with the precise pattern she'd been envisioning all throughout -- carrying it out in full. It's only when Tairyu stops skidding that the NOL lieutenant realizes what she'd just -felt- happening -- and holds up her left hand, summoning the orbs back into a parking orbit around her left arm.
"It happened again," she responds -- a peculiar intonation, neither a statement nor a question, but somewhere in between. For while Meifeng does rely on the Ars Magus for her strikes, she's more focused on using qi for attack, rather than recognizing her opponent's abilities.
Her tail droops, as the tigress frowns. "The red flames are not natural for you, are they?" Her ears flatten somewhat, as she steps closer. "Let us pause, yes. I am concerned about your health, Tairyu-san."
She starts to step closer -- though realizes that with the situation seemingly out of control, she might need to ask first.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" She glances back towards the roof access, curious as to whether anyone -there- knows what is going on.
COMBATSYS: Meifeng takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Tairyu 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Meifeng
With the indication in Meifeng's mannerisms that she is, likewise, not interested in continuing the bout in the wake of the burst of haywire chi, Tairyu allows his posture to relax some -- or at least as much as he can with the uncertainty over the state of his own body still present.
"Not exactly, no," he admits, of the red flames, giving a purposeful squeeze and rub to his inked bicep before letting his hand let go of the arm. The burnt arm is, with that, stretched downwards, the muscles flexed. Testing the mobility, feeling out how the joints and nerves react.
"I do not know if I can even answer that question," he points out with a shake of his head, eyes leaving his own arm to look to the approaching tigress without any of the precautions held during the bout. He doesn't seem to expect her to be the type to go for a cheap strike here-- or have reason for such a thing, for that matter. "YOu and yours might be much better qualified for even judging what that *was*."
COMBATSYS: Tairyu takes no action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Tairyu 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Meifeng
Lt Yao looks... puzzled, to say the least. Generally, burning one's own clothes off during combat training is not something she'd encountered in the Academy. And she -presumes- it is also not terribly frequent for Tairyu, under normal circumstances.
She twirls the orbs into the air, then allows the constructs to return to the blade of her saber. Once the 'danger' is passed, she walks closer, kneeling down to assess the burn. As Tairyu had assumed with her, she can safely assume he's not going to go for a cheap shot; if he'd wanted her taken out, the rational place for that would have inside the club. Still... it takes some effort to calm her heart and cut off the flow of adrenaline, as she's still breathing rather heavily when she gets close.
Now is the time for professionalism, however. And she raises her hands towards Tairyu, asking, "May I?" Once she gets close, the tigress' tail turns up into a question mark shape, as she begins to focus on the flow of Tairyu's chi.
She frowns again, ears flattening. "... I am no medical specialist, but just the same, I can sense that there is something very wrong here."
Her face looks grim, for the moment. And then her feline eyes look up to Tairyu's.
"How long back has this been happening? And have you fought any higher powers, demigods, and/or demons in that time?"
All the same, Tairyu does keep a close eye on her regardless when she approaches, even in spite of the unspoken understanding of where the two of them stand now. Otherwise, he does remain still there before her inspection, like a good patient.
"You may," he offers his consent for her then -- though only after watching over the shape her tail has taken on with amusement he can't quite manage to hide entirely.
"Your diagnosis does not exactly fill me with a lot of confidence." Not that he's really upset about that either. Such a thing can't be helped, afterall, and even if it could, she hardly would be the one at fault, would she?
"...A couple months, I suppose," he mutters with a wrinkle of his nose. "I did not think too much of it at first, but... It also has never been so... *intense* before."
Meifeng's mouth contorts into a lopsided smile. Her shepherd's-crooked tail wobbles back and forth slowly. "It was an attempt at levity, but perhaps there is a glimmer of truth within it."
Though, now that she -is- close, she notes a number of other clues she hadn't picked up on previously. The trick is getting past the smell of burnt fibers, still lingering strongly upon her opponent. She thinks back to how the azure aura had 'smelled', and considers now how this very different crimson aura 'smells.' And now that she is up close, sensing the pathways of chi flowing through the yakuza scion's veins, she nods slowly.
Her gaze looks back and forth between Tairyu's arm, and his face. Her own expression remains riddled with uncertainty. "I cannot speak with any certainty. But it feels very much like another... flow of chi, existing concurrently with your own lifeforce." She shakes her head slowly. "I hesitate to make a more profound diagnosis, however. If I might extend your previous suggestion, it is likely that the Librarium's medical staff would be able to provide a better read than mine." She focuses more intently upon Tairyu's face, remaining in a frown. "Does this sort of incident only occur when you are fighting?"
"No, I understood that," Tairyu allows with a shake of his head -- and for that matter, lets much more of a smile show itself on his features now than it has so far through her interactions with the Yakuza. He also seems rather at ease with having been reduced to shirtlessness in her company-- but then, the recorded instances of his fights wouldn't have exactly suggested he holds any particular shame in being seen like that, either.
"I might just be yanking your tail."
Not... literally, though. That would almost certainly not end well.
The more serious part of her diagnosis causes some concern, and it shows in the way his brows tighten towards each other, more so than just his natural resting frown. "...I have to admit I am not necessarily... entirely *trusting* of the Librarium as a whole... no offense to present company, I hope you know. Of course, I can't exactly just... let this be either, can I?"
Meifeng appears to be ambivalent towards Tairyu's shirtless state. Perhaps it might have something to do with the idea that his being shirtless is somehow related to fighting her. Or perhaps it has more to do with him calling time out in the middle of a match. At any rate, her concern for his well-being is, at the moment, paramount.
At least, it is, until he makes a pun about her tail. At which point, she contorts her mouth into a smirk. "Rude..." Though, from her relaxed demeanor, and the way in which her tail slinks sideways with relief, she didn't dislike that.
When Tairyu casts aspersions on the NOL's motivations, the lieutenant is quick to respond with a gentle shrug. "None taken." Her fur bristles in the light breeze -- a small comfort in the heat of the noontime sun. "Well... I -would- recommend a more professional assessment from a chi practitioner of some kind, soon." Her whiskers twitch, as she reaches up to adjust her sunglasses on the bridge of her nose. "For now, though, perhaps I should let you should get some rest, then. A relaxing TV show with air conditioning may be a better salve than roasting out here in the hot sun, mm?"
Her reaction to his little tail-related comment just ends up making Tairyu's own smile spread a bit wider. "Please. Like I could just let that kind of opportunity slide."
And as comfortable as he might be topless otherwise, she does make a decent enough point about just... standing underneath the heat of hte summer noon's sun, so he moves to step aside from her, to go retrieve the earlier-discarded jacket. At least he can throw that onto himself for the time being, and it will certainly prevent getting sunburn on his already-burnt limb.
"...I should try to endeavour to find one, I will agree that much," he rumbles out, with a low sigh. He doesn't allow her offer to pass by entirely, however. It lingers in his mind-- especially with how serious this particular condition could potentially end up being. The tigress is given a long, considering look, and--
"...If I was to ask NOL for an examination on this... issue," he starts, with a slight dip of his head. "Could you provide some guarantee that anything your medical team does will not be... intrusive beyond the boundaries of whatever ails me?" Apparently she's earned at least a *measure* of trust from him now. They do say that a fight can allow two warriors a peek into each others souls.
As Tairyu stands, so too does Meifeng rise once again to her full height. Now that her blood pressure is returning to normal levels, she's able to take stock of how she'd been injured in the fight thus far. A hard bonk to the back of the head -- which she rubs with a hand, absently. She takes a step forward, and the chunks of rooftop rubble ground into the fur of her tail make complaints. She takes a few moments to brush those out of her fur as she listens.
Though, when Tairyu asks about a guarantee, she shakes her head. "Ahh... I can say that I believe the information will be used for good purposes, but I do not know if that satisfies your concern."
The tigress raises a hand, brushing it through her mop of hair. "For one, I am here on detachment from Shanghai, and my authority here is limited. For another, er... even back home, the two departments I fear most are Intelligence and Medical." She laughs, mirthlessly, to take the edge off the statement.
Her tail swishes back and forth, as she considers Tairyu, and all he's done to help -her-. "... I think you will be safe. But I cannot give you an ironclad guarantee." Sheepishly, she folds her arms behind her back. "I may be misinterpreting things, though. Japanese is not... my first language."
Meifeng smiles hopefully. "Though, if you were to help me in apprehending Gao Tengfei, then... perhaps a stronger case could be made?" She laughs, once again rubbing the sore spot on the back of her head. "Please forgive me, it is an opportunity I could not let slide." Her tail swings back and forth with a more cheerful lilt.
She then takes a moment to bow at the waist. "I do also wish to thank you for the battle. I regret the damage to your clothing."
Clearly the implied opinion the Tigress has on the two mentioned departments of her organization just... serves to fill the Yakuza with further doubts, regarding the Librarium as a whole. He wrinkles his nose, but elects not to verbally make his thoughts known.
But then she makes that particular, opportunistic suggestion, and his dark brows lift upwards. A moment spent in just staring at her with vague surprise, before-- he lets out a low, deeply-rumbling chuckle.
"I really should have seen that coming, shouldn't I?" He murmurs with a shake of his head. "Quid pro quo, is it? Well, I will see what I can do about that man regardless. If I haven't found some adequate venue for dealing with my issue by the time such a thing comes to pass... I will consider your offer again."
A shrug at her apology, and he makes a point of swiping his palm over the side of his jacket. "WOrry not. I am used to it. Just the way things go when your body is sturdier than your clothes, I suppose. Still..."
Dipping a bit belatedly into a bow of his own, complete with a brief closing of his eyes while his head lowers down, he offers, "My thanks in kind. It was... enlightening. And quite exciting, truth be told. I would offer you some food and drink in return for it, but I suspect your susperiors might not consider it... appropriate."
Log created on 10:09:09 06/03/2021 by Tairyu, and last modified on 10:22:29 06/05/2021.