Description: After their tense initial meeting, Daisuke plucks up the courage to find Juri and receive her training. Juri discovers that she's really not a very good teacher. But she does her best to use her words rather than just unrelenting violence. Whether or not her high expectations will be born out in reality, well, who knows. At least the hotel room is spared... for now.
Daisuke had to have a good, long hard think about things.
On one hand, he really could use some kind of guidance as far as his powers go. He's been afraid to really show that he even has them to anyone he knows -- and those few that *do* know don't really seem to know enough to really give him any help. Everything he has been able to do on his own has been mostly trial and error. Even more so on the error part, considering he seems to actively damage his body whenever he channels those energies.
But on the other hand... Juri didn't exactly present a very welcoming teacher of herself, even in spite of her apparent promises about not doing wrong by him. Finding some publicly-available information on this mysterious woman didn't really help disassuade his fears either. Woman? Come to think of it, she might not actually have been that much older than him, right? Either way, even without her naturally intimidating presence, there was just something primally threatening that leaked through from her that practically felt like it was *bombarding* his empathic sense. Definitely one of those moments he wishes he could just learn how to shut that sense off already!
But... he could swear he felt something else there, too, underneath everything else. Maybe he just imagined it out of some naive desire to think there's some good in everyone. Or maybe...
Oh, hell. It's not like it isn't Daisuke's style to make wild gambles like this, right?
Not that finding Juri again was... easy. He only really recently managed to work out how to use psychic senses to map out his surroundings and accurately detect people, and... well, even on smaller scales, that seems to have a risk of actually frying his brain. Had to learn *that* the hard way when he scanned an entire skyscraper. All he had to go on was a general 'area', but even just small chunks of that getting scanned, with how many people there are, are dangerous to scan like that.
But Juri was the first one he really got a proper *feel* for someone *else* having even vaguely similiar energy about them. It took plenty of time, but he eventually managed to refine that into the 'scans'. TO focus on detecting just *that* and nothing else. That definitely helps, but even then checking wide areas at once hurts a lot-- so he had to systematically go through the area of the city indicated by Juri one 'sector' at a time, until...
He noticed it. Just enough to ping out. One that he sensed from...
...One of the biggest, upscale hotels in the city.
Well. That's a problem. He can't really go in there in his 'hero' outfit... not that he really needs to hide his identity from Juri, since she *somehow* already figured it out. But it probably wouldn't be good to publicly get shown hanging out with this girl, right? But then again, considering everything, she *probably* would be trying to go here at least partially incognito, right? Maybe?
A plan was thus but together. After more time spent in carefully mapping out where exactly the Psycho Energy feedback is coming from, and from there figuring out just what *room* exactly that particular energy signature goes to when not in the gym or the bar or wherever else (with several occurences of nearly burning himself out, for the record), he finally entered the hotel.
But... well. Not *exactly* dressed as himself. For one, he's wearing a runner's jacket very similiar to what a lot of couriers in the city wear, and as much of his perpetually-messy, very easily-noticable hair as possible has been stuffed up into a black-and-red cap atop his head. And he's wearing vanity glasses. It's a pretty simply disguise, all told, and probably not terribly effective towards anyone who knows him from up close, but good enough for a quick venture like this. Most importantly, though, it's to help him slip in with the big ol' cardboard box in his arms, and make excuses with reception to get upstairs. Because he has to bring the delivery to a certain room personally, and get a signature from the person staying there! Even though he doesn't give any name of the recipient, it... somehow works.
All of this to say that Delivery Boy Daisuke eventually walks up to the door of the room that he at least *thinks* Juri is in, and after a lingering moment of final pangs of hesitation, he... well. Knocks. Just loud enough to get the attention of a person on the other side, but maybe-hopefully not loud enough to suffer the consequences of waking up someone who happens to be sleeping.
This New Fighting Generation thing is pretty interesting.
Juri hasn't been allowed to make her debut as one of the sponsors - not yet - so she's been lurking in the shadows. Her disguise has even less effort put into it than Daisuke's. She's just wearing a dobok; the traditional Tae Kwon Do uniform. Aside from having to threaten a few people who thought she might be one of Kim Kaphwan's students, it's actually been fine. With her hair down and the uniform on, people aren't looking for Juri Han. It's impressive how blind the average person is. Sure, her preferred hairstyle is distinctive, but she's still the same person beneath it all.
After her meeting with Daisuke she's taken to scoping out the hotel and letting her power out, just a little bit. This had a few useful purposes. First, to see if any of the other people milling around the hectic place responded to her presence - not really, it turned out. Psycho power is still vanishingly rare. In fact, there was only one competitor in the competition so far who had come to Juri's attention.
The second reason was to try and coax out any Shadaloo agents who might be lingering in the area. She is sure, as sure as she is of anything, that they will be watching the project. If there's one thing Big Chin couldn't get enough of it was new candidates for his precious programs, and those people would likely be looking for her. She could use the warmup. And the stress relief. Having to mingle with members of the public for days at a time was distressingly stressful when she couldn't even beat the hell out of ONE of them without jeopardising her entire plan. The untamed beast is simply not used to restraining herself, and it chafes.
The third, and most important, reason was that she wanted Daisuke to find her. She'd laid out her little trail. She didn't doubt that the kid would follow it. Like magnets, users of Psycho Power were inevitably drawn to each other, whether for good reasons or bad. So when he comes knocking on her door, she's not surprised.
It opens to reveal the young woman, grinning like a cheshire cat. "Well, look who it is. And you brought me a present~. I guess you really like me, huh?"
It's... scary. The way she licks her lips and peers at him, it'd be downright salacious under other circumstances. But with the aura that she gives off? This... isn't like some cheesy romance, it's like he's getting a first-hand experience of being the mouse staring into the eyes of a snake.
Then she breaks the spell, stepping back and to the side to gesture with one arm into her room. "Come in already. I don't want someone seeing you and starting any rumours."
The room itself is... good. Very good, in fact. A bottle of half-drunk champagne sits on the dresser, an enormous TV dominates one of the walls, and a huge bed - currently very unkempt - seems to show that Juri is taking full advantage of whoever's dime she has threatened or cajoled her way onto.
"Make sure you close the door behind you. And keep your voice down. I've swept the room for bugs, but the walls are only so thick."
Truth be told, the potentially scandalous look of this whole arrangement, did not escape Daisuke either. He is a boy, afterall, and only a year younger than Juri-- not that he knows just how old exactly she is yet, but still! And his heart *does* breifly skip when she opens the door with that grin and suggestion she greets him with--
Well, initially, anyway. It's quickly replaced by a chill running along his spine instead, that familiar lizard brain reaction of being put face to face with someone very, VERY dangerous. Of being approached by a predatory beast. It makes him feel very, very small, and very briefly consider running the hell away one last time.
Lamely, that's about all he manages to let out before he does slip in with her urging. Doing so in a bit of a hurry, too, in spite of how much it might feel like he is walking into the lair of a monster.
He wisely decides not to comment on the mess that greets him in the upper-end room waiting for him on the other side, either. At least the mess *kind of* makes her seem a bit more human, right? Kind of? Either way, at her further urging, he wiggles one arm out from underneath the cardboard create and closes the door behind him while his eyes peer through the room from behind the non-prescription, very much fake glasses.
"R-right..." He mumbles, while moving along to set the box onto a table near the door. The way he handles it does suggest that there is at least a little weight to it, instead of being just a completely empty prop. "You're... really expecting bugs...?" Sure, he did kind of do this in a very non-clandestine sort of manner, but he wasn't expecting to *actually* end up in a situation out of a spy movie.
"Well I found a couple. Difficult to say whose they were though. Could be Interpol, Public Security Intelligence Agency, NESTS, who knows. Who cares?" She shrugs, waving her hand vaguely as though being under scrutiny by a couple of world powers and a clandestine military organisation was just another day for her, "It's not really the style of the ones I really worry about, though. They're more interested in people than toys."
She really is just a little older than him. But Juri doesn't SEEM that young. The things she's seen, the things she's done, and the things she's had done to her... they've aged her. She has the confidence of someone with years of tried and tested battle experience. Someone who has clashed with the greatest warriors in the world and, often, found them wanting. Sure, she might not have the exact same tricks she used to compete on that level any more... but she's been there. Inches from the summit. That changes a person. It's impossible to imagine Juri at school or college. What the hell kind of person could teach someone like her?
She kicks the door shut behind him as he enters, and folds her arms across her chest, scrutinising him more closely. "Well. You had the balls to turn up, and you had the brains to find me. That's two good signs right away." She says, bluntly. "I suppose we should see what you can actually do in person. What's in the box, anyway? Did you ACTUALLY bring me a present?" A wide grin spreads its way onto her lips, "Just so you know, that IS a great way to get on my good side. I'll always accept bribery. Or tribute~."
"Interpol..." Daisuke repeats the first one off the list, but the others make color drain from his face a little bit, too. Well, maybe not NESTS, he doesn't really recognize that one. He assumes it's something really big and scary, though! "...Coooooool...." He is suddenly very much regretting coming here.
He does step away from the box, and while she talks, he takes the cap off of his head, allowing his hair to fall down more loosely. He doesn't even try to brush it in place otherwise with his hand, he's just come to accept it's going to be perpetually messy no matter what he does with it.
"Uhh... I mean..." He already felt kind of small under her scrutinizing eye to begin with, but being called out like that on the apparent gift delivery almost makes him squirm. "I j-just figured it'd be more believable if I didn't have an empty box..." He mutters, pulling the fake glasses off the top of his nose now, folding them up and slipping them into a pocket of his jacket. "...But it's katsudon and chocolate."
He brought food.
The boy actually brought food as a present for his teacher-to-be.
Juri blinks a couple of times, and then bursts out laughing. "Really? REALLY? Wow. Okay. In future, remember your teacher likes cash most of all. Dollars are best but yen is fine if you can't get 'em."
It's a cruel response to what was honestly a pretty sweet gesture. She doesn't even bother opening the box. Instead, she lets her eye sweep around the room, judging the dimensions - not that she doesn't know them intimately at this point. They're probably going to make a mess. No matter how careful they are, and how careful Daisuke is even capable of being, it's a hotel room. There's not a vast amount of open space. But this place is also hosting a fighting competition with a bunch of hot-blooded competitors and their equally exuberant prospective tutors. The sooner they get used to dealing with fighting fallout the better.
"First things first, let's have a look at your form. You're obviously not COMPLETELY useless, but I need to see you throw a punch myself." She smirks, adding, "And don't hold back. I'm not going to hurt you ... much."
Daisuke probably wasn't really expecting a particularly joyful reaction to the delivery in the first place, but seeing Juri laugh so derisively at him over it now, well... It makes him deflate a little. His shoulders visibly slump, and his gaze falls some. "....Right...."
Not that now is the time or the place to end up completely crestfallen, no. He watches her curiously while she seems to gauge the room itself-- and then he finds himself blinking a few times over with the order she gives him.
"Huh?" He lets out first, looking to the left, then to the right, and then back to Juri herself with another few blinks. "What, right here...? Um.. Won't that be a problem...?" He goes on to ask, trying to reason his way through this whole thing... even while he's already going to shedding the jacket. No point having that on if he's going to be exercising here, afterall! And at her last addition, he gives her an outright worried look.
"...You want me to punch *you*?"
Juri takes three steps forwards, and in that one move she's right inside Daisuke's personal space. He might have a couple of inches on her but it probably doesn't *feel* that way, the way she's holding herself tall and he's practically shrinking. Nevertheless. That one good eye of hers stares right into his. The eyepatch, blank and unfeeling, does not make it any easier to hold her gaze when she settles it on him.
And without any warning, she reaches up to flick him right on the tip of his nose.
"Listen up." She says, sharply. "This is going to take FOREVER if I have to keep repeating myself. Yeah. I want you to hit me."
She darts back, as quick as she had come in, and stretches her arms out to either side. "I've pissed you off, right?" She asks, purely rhetorically. "I hurt your feelings about your food. You can FEEL what kind of monster I am. There's a part of you right now that is DESPERATE to get a piece of me, and not in the same way most boys are. I've just given you the invitation. So come on. Hit me. Show me what you've got."
"Eh?" Daisuke's form perks a bit when she gets *right up* there. It's part the typical teenaged akwardness of getting someone like that right up in your personal bubble, sure, but it is even more so the uncertainty he feels whenever she does anything even vaguely threatening. He practically freezes when she stares into him from so close, damn near already feeling nervous sweat forming at his forehead. "U-um, Juri-sa--?"
The intended question is cut short with a surprised little yelp brought by the sudden flick to his nose. It's not like it's a particularly painful thing, but there is a *weight* behind it still, on a psychological level, that makes him stumble back a step even while she's darting back so gracefully.
"Um, that is..." He mumbles while rubbing at his nose with two fingers, giving the young woman a sheepish look. "...It's not like I'm angry at you or anything, you know...?" The redhaired boy may as well look like but an innocent puppy to Juri, in that instant. Uncertain little thing with absolutely no hostility whatsoever. A complete mirror image of the woman who practically oozes killing intent. Even in spite of everything he knows about her, he truly appears as though he doesn't want to hurt her *at all*.
But he's not so stupid either as to think she wont simply chew him out if he keeps refusing. So there's a defeated sigh, and a bit of an uncertain pout on his lips as he takes a couple steps forward. "But okay, I guess..."
A few paces ahead of her, he shifts his posture some. Shoulders hunching a bit, feet spreading apart subtly and fists lifting up. It's... well, it's vaguely reminiscient of a boxing stance. But less so of someone who has actually practiced boxing, and more of someone who is just copying something he saw on a televised match. It's not like Daisuke isn't inexperienced in fighting, but... with just one look, Juri can surely tell that this is someone who has had absolutely zero real training.
And even then he looks hesitant. "I'm t-trusting you, okay?" Not just trusting him to not hurt him. Trusting her to be able to *take it* without any issue. He might be agreeing to this, but it's clearly a struggle to get himself to do it.
But finally, he does manage it. A single step forward, and a sudden punch thrown towards the woman's chin. It's... not terrible. It's probably enough to jostle a random thug on the street, owing to the experience from the scraps he *has* ended up in before. But frankly? His form is *awful* for the most part. It'd probably be of little consequence for her to block or dodge the incoming blow, but... It might very well also simply feel like a small tap to her even if she doesn't.
Honestly? Chewing him out would be the least of his problems. If Daisuke didn't do as she asked pretty quickly, he'd find himself being attacked by her to force the issue. She's not famous for her patience, after all. Luckily, he doesn't let it come to that, and he does actually come at her. With a punch, just like she asked. And the hole in his form is immediately obvious. She doesn't need to use her magic eye to see that he has no idea about the technical aspect of what he's doing. He's just swinging on her like a kid brawling in the playground. Adorable.
She makes no visible move to defend herself, arms still outstretched, as though she hasn't even noticed that he's coming at her. Until, suddenly, her hand closes around his. The punch smacks into her palm and she roots herself to the floor in the same instant, letting the force of the blow flow through her. That's marginally more impressive. Not enough to actually... hurt her, but enough to get her attention. She purses her lips thoughtfully as she pushes his hand away, working the tingle out of her fingers.
"Okay." She says, "You're stronger than you look. If I had to guess, that's probably your latent power. But you don't know what you're doing, so you can't access it. Tch. This teaching stuff is hard. For me, it worked the other way around. Fighting first, power after. For you, it's all power up front, fighting second, what to do..."
She muses all this out loud, and then she deigns to actually take a fighting stance. Her left leg raised in front of her, dangling loose, both hands raised; one forward and level with her extended knee, the other up by her head ready to strike.
"Okay, kid. Let's start with stances. This is how I usually start a fight. How do you think this works?"
Daisuke was honestly pretty sure his punch wouldn't mean much to Juri yet. But he didn't see her responding to it like this. He isn't really able to gauge how the impact settles into her after she's caught his fist against her palm, but he can at least make out the skill that's there. Once she shoves that fist away, he's quick to take a step back too, just in case.
There's no counterattack, though, so he calms immediately there, in favor of just... listening. You know, like a good student. Even if part of her following speech ends up being about how hard teaching is in this instance.
And come the display of her standard stance, Daisuke... very much looks like he isn't sure what to make of it. "Er..." He lets out, letting his gaze sweep over her slowly, to take in the fine little details of how she is holding herself there. "Um... I'm not really sure?" He admits outright. "I mean, the way you're holding your leg makes me think the way you fight probably involves kicks and footwork somehow, but... I don't think I could guess how you would move from there."
Juri cackles. "Oh, you think I fight with kicks? I didn't realise I'm dealing with a genius here!"
She has to rein herself in from going for more jabs. She might not be looking to injure Daisuke physically - yet - but she can't help but go for some emotional damage. But that's not what she's here to do, she keeps having to remind herself. This kid, well, he's a perfect candidate for the kind of thing Shadaloo wants to get up to. Inexperienced but with massive potential. It's a pattern she's seen repeated across so many Psycho Power wielders. She needs him to know how to defend himself.
"Listen up. Your body and your mind are two parts of the same thing. People talk about there being a distinction, but there's not really. Not for people like us. You need to get used to thinking of your body as an extension of your mind. So. This stance of mine..."
She demonstrates. With her leg extended like this it's an easy thing for her to put it down, pull herself forwards, close the gap. That part happens fast, and then she deliberately slows it down. So he can see as she brings her elbow around, completing a mock strike to tap against his sternum. No force. Just a light tap.
"I'm ready to move. I can strike with all four limbs. I can defend with three of them. To break my guard or defend yourself from me, you have to be able to see what I'm doing and respond quicker than I can think and react. Get it?"
She's really trying her best to get it across. A lot of people see Juri's style and only ever see the violence, savagery and terrible sadism in it. They don't see the ferocious amount of calculation that goes into every decision; how deeply she fuses her mind and her body. It was so much easier when the Feng Shui Engine was taking most of that mental load from her, but... the fundamentals haven't changed, they've just got harder to pull off.
"... Just gonna rub it in, are you..." Complains Daisuke. At least he doesn't pout this time around, even if he might seem a little bothered by the laugh he's ended up drawing from his supposed teacher all over again.
But at least he seems to be listening attentively. Even if while he's listening, he seems a bit too relaxed...
Relaxed enough that when she moves to demonstrate how she moves from the starting stance, it's only when she starts slowing down that he realizes just what is happening. There's damn nearly a panicked reaction on his part as a result, but even that doesn't come fast enough for that light little tap to come to his midsection -- and only *then* does he stumble back in an evasive effort. A little too late, obviously, not that it makes much difference right now, thankfully.
"I t-think I get it," he stutters out right then, face a little flushed from the sheer embarrassment of getting caught so off-guard. "That probably took you...a pretty long time to train into, right...? I don't think I could pull that off overnight or something."
"This stuff? No. I had this down by the time I was eight."
It's a frank statement, and maybe not good for his self-esteem. It's not like motivating people has ever been Juri's strength. Quite the opposite, in many ways. But at least she doesn't just leave it there. Instead she falls out of the stance, and reaches up - for a third time - to tap Daisuke casually on the forehead.
"You're not thinking enough." She says, "When you came at me you were just swinging. And I bet that's how it normally goes in fights, right? Flail around on instinct until your power wakes up and bails you out. You need to be more deliberate. You don't have to use my style. I don't know if Tae Kwon Do is the best way to go with you. But you need to start thinking more about where your body is and what your opponent is trying to do. Getting good at it? Yeah. That takes practice. The fundamentals? Understanding how you exist in space and how to react with thought rather than just flailing? Naw. You're MY pupil. I expect you to figure out that much in a week, tops."
That might sound daunting. But there's more there than just threat. The way she says he's HER pupil. That's ... possessive. She wouldn't waste her time with an idiot, so he better be good. But also, it's a vote of confidence in his potential. For all her cruel jabs and harshness, she doesn't seem to think that her expectations are unreasonable. She fully expects him to figure out his footing in that short a space of time.
The poor redhead squints his eyes shut reflexively when he gets tapped on the forehead. AT least he doesn't whine audibly, but it may as well be there briefly in his expression before he rubs at that tapped spot after the fact.
But wait a moment. She wants him to do all that in HOW MUCH time?
"W-week?" He repeats after her, in the most incredulous tone he can muster amidst all this. "W-wait, hold on, there's just no way!" He insists, waving his hand side-to-side in front of his face for further emphasis. "There's no way that's enough time!"
Come to think of it, there's something else kind of worrying that his mind ends up latching on to. The way she says that he is *her* pupil, indeed. He can feel himself almost shrinking in size again, with the hesitation that builds for a good several seconds before he manages to bring himself to ask, "...What exactly do you expect in return from me, anyhow?" A brief, worried gulp somewhere deep within his throat. "For... you know. Training me."
"Oh, we'll GET there." Juri's voice brooks no challenge to that. She IS going to make sure that Daisuke makes progress. There's a none-too-subtle threat, there, too. So far she's been gentle. Careful. She hasn't actually hit him at all. And restraining herself like that is... maddening. It's only going to last so long before she loses her temper and gives him deeper motivation to figure out how to hold himself in a way that isn't embarrassing to her.
Then the question of what she wants in return comes up, and she gives a low chuckle. Backing up to give him some space, she bows her head, waving one hand loosely in a circle as the other rests on her forehead. "Isn't it obvious, Kubo-kun?" She asks, though she doesn't expect him to actually answer. Very obviously this guy hasn't been able to get a decent read on her or her expectations so far. Maybe that'll come when his greater awareness of his body lets him stay in synch with his powers more easily.
"When we've got a nice little army together, we're going to kill the devil. Now. Stop asking pointless questions, and ask yourself how you should be standing if you want to even dream of landing a hit."
Log created on 14:32:05 04/28/2023 by Juri, and last modified on 18:43:54 04/28/2023.