Neo League 951 - #969: Ryu vs Ken

Description: Ken takes on Ryu for the sheer thrill of it; and also the potential DVD sales. (Winner: Ryu)

The Masters Arena has seen many different bouts since its construction. Zangief versus Ken Masters for a very special christmas bout, Geese Howard versus Terry Bogard (With Geese throwing in a surprise substitution of Dan Hibiki), and many others. Yet, some of the more infamous fights are those that don't get much media fanfare. These are the matches that the Masters Arena truly exists for.

The Neo League has honestly been in a slump thanks to the King of Fighters Tournament, and already it has been gearing up to close out the current season in an effort to focus on revitilizing and introducing new dynamics that currently are possible within the current setup. Of course, this doesn't mean that the viewers at home are without the famous fighters that have for so long given them the carnage and beatdowns they so do enjoy.

Billed as a fight to end all fights, the White Arena has once again been sold out to full capacity as people from all around the world have arrived to witness a battle that rarely gets caught on film.

Standing in the center of the arena, a lone microphone has been dropped down from the ceiling, giving a rather omnious feel as one of the worlds most famed ring announcers makes his way in from the main entrance. The crowd grows silent as the man reaches up and grabs ahold of the microphone, his voice ringing out with a rich barritone.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a true honor to be here today to introduce the fighters today. Both men that will be fighting it out today are not only trained in the same style of martial arts, but both are considered first class and masters in their own respective ways.. Our first challanger hails from the land of the rising sun, standing at an impressive one hundred seventy-five centimeters, and weighing an astonishing sixty-eight kilograms. Champion of the first World Warrior tournament, one of the winning champions of the King of Fighters Tournament, and Champion of the Southtown Medals Tournament... This man is truly a spectacle to behold, and his name is Ryuuuuuuuuuuu!"

The crowd screams wildly as Ryu's name is called, however the announcer isn't quite ready to allow them to lose their senses just yet.

"Our second challanger, is also a household name. Born right here in the United States, and standing at one hundred seventy-six centimeters, and weighing in at seventy-two kilograms, he is the current reigning champion of the US Martial Arts Tournament, and also a champion of the King of Fighters Tournament.. His name stands upon this very building we sit in... That man is Ken Masters!"

The lights of the arena suddenly kick into full gear, illuminating the entire thing for everyone, even those in the cheap-seats, allowing them to truly view brawl that is about to be held with out any pesky shadows getting into the way.


Ryu isn't here to hear about what he's done. After all, he was there. Now, he's here - for much the same reason that before, he was there. It gets confusing. What it comes down to is not the fanfare, but the fight - the challenge, the chance to better himself, to push that much farther. It's a trajectory he's plotted carefully since returning to civilization, reinforced by the rigors of his training abroad; .. and the battle that found him there.

Now: the battle is with Ken Masters. Ryu steps into the ring, bare feet slipping smoothly over the dojo floor. To him, it might as well be a quiet dojo, aside from the thrum of energy that fills the stadium, the crowd might as well not exist. There's little in the way of showmanship to the stoic in the white gi. "Ore no kobushi wo tamesu ka?" The World Warrior offers simply to Ken, along with a fist held out in salute to his battle brother. It's all there in his eyes. This isn't psychology, not an intervention. It's a familiar look, at once friendlier and less compared to their last encounter. Ryu's just here to kick Ken's ass, this time.

COMBATSYS: Ryu has wandered into a fight here on the left meter side.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|

This is something that Ken has truly needed. There is no Orochi, or random people hunting him down. Right now all that stands before him is Ryu. The crowd isn't a distraction or hinderance. It's merely just a wild forest that all those years ago they spent training in once again. The floor of arena is cool to the feel, however that will soon change as the two of them begin to exchange those heated blows that are about to come.

Ken's fist reaches out, gently tapping against Ryu's in acknowledgement as he returns the gesture. "Enryosunda yo!" The US Champion's eyes will reveal it all to his friend. This is the next stage of their eternal conflict, and only through blood, sweat and tears will they discover where they still must improve. The crimson clad man then quickly leaps back, slowly falling into his familar stance, body swaying slightly.

COMBATSYS: Ken has joined the fight here.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0              Ken

Ken doesn't waste any time in starting off the brawl, quickly rushing back towards the white gi'd man, his right leg quickly snaking out as he aims to land a kick upon Ryu's chest, trying to show that he truly does not want his battle brother to hold back whatsoever on him.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Ken's Medium Kick.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0              Ken

Ryu's crimson gloved fist slams into Ken's, and there's a nod, a quiet, gruff affirmative vocalized. Then Ryu's dropped back into his own ready stance, brows knitting as he surveys Ken's immediate motion. There's no hesitation to engage, no concern for the inevitable blows coming his way - none beyond how he can surmount them, and defeat his battle brother's efforts with his own skill and strength. There's a slight smile as that thrusting kick snaps in, and Ryu's palm slaps against it hard, intercepting the force on a flexing arm, with a thoughtful grunt.

There's no words exchanged in that moment, just a glint to his eyes and a surge of power as Ryu suddenly twists to face Ken sidelong, snapping one arm, and then the other in for the blonde battler's red gi. Should he find his purchase, Ryu would suddenly drop backwards, the Dragon drawing Ken along for the ride before kicking him clear with a substantial heave, the sacrifice throw meant to carry Masters hard enough to reach the opposite wall of his dojo arena.


COMBATSYS: Ken parries Ryu's Tomoe Nage!

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0              Ken

A slow smile starts to spread across Ken's face as he watches Ryu's hands reach out for him. There is a brief moment where it may seem as if the Dragon has caught his target, only for his hands to have been caught by Ken, quickly shoving them aside as they had never latched on like they had intended.

The glint of Ryu's eyes is met by Ken's stedfast determination, only for the US Champion to quickly spin on the ball of his left foot, allowing the close quarters combat to continue with his right leg striking upwards and aiming for the Ansatsuken master's head with a stunning roundhouse kick.

COMBATSYS: Ken successfully hits Ryu with Inazuma Kakato Wari EX.

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Ryu              0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0              Ken

His offensive stymied, Ryu wastes no time in reacclimating to a defensive stance, feet shifting wider, his right arm coming around vertically to intercept Ken's roundhouse strike. The foot comes in harder, earlier, shoves back the defense painfully and clips Ryu's skull, momentarily staggering the Ansatsuken wanderer. The thickness of Ryu's skull sees him through, for the moment, and even as he's knocked back he rejoins the fray.

Arms flexing and pushing forward, the heels of Ryu's hands come together, fingers clenched as he projects a sudden, brilliant burst of blue-white chi. The well of the Hadou, that depth of energy that serves as Ryu's greatest blessing and darkest curse, it hearkens to his call with swift, natural motion. The flaring fireball erupts across the scant space between the Ansatsuken disciples, illuminating the arena as it's echoed by a fierce, "HADOOOOUKEN!!"

COMBATSYS: Ken fails to slow Hadouken from Ryu with Hadouken.

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Ryu              0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0              Ken

When Ryu decides that it is time to throw chi into the fray finally, all Ken can do is try to respond in earnest. Quickly summoning the chi, the crimson clad man's hands thrust forward to release it against the power that Ryu has already sent forward.


The balls of energy strike against eachother violently, only for Ryu's energy to overcome Ken's in the end, blasting the US Champion backwards and away from Ryu, leaving him stunned and wincing. "Okay. That hurt."

Silly Ken, doesn't he know Ryu's fireballs come out faster? Still, the Ansatsuken master has to appreciate the attempt - climbing to meet an opponent at their /own/ game is one extra hurdle that often has to be surmounted to succeed. The answer to his compliment - and note of pain - is a somewhat wolfish smile, a ghost of a grin, on Ryu's face. It lingers in his eyes, all that sympathy.

No, it's not really sympathy. Nor is it blood lust. Lust for battle, however? Adrenaline? A spike of inner energy of a more spiritual kind? All that is fairly likely, and evident, as Ryu enthusiastically hurls himself in at Ken once more. He leaps into the air, crosses the distance to Ken's new hood and proceeds to try to wreck with with a hurricane. Kick, that is.

A rotorblade of a right leg cleaves time and time again for his battle brother's skull as Ryu defies gravity and hurtles through the air like a helicopter, his left leg perpendicular to the floor. "TATSUMAKISENPUUUUKYAKU!!!"

COMBATSYS: Ken parries Ryu's Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku!

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Ryu              0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0              Ken

If Ryu truly expects to take Ken down, then he must be more then willing to throw something new at his opponent. The US Champion's hands gracefully move forward as the kicks get ever closer, only for the Dragon to be knocked off course once again as his attack is parried away.

Timing is becoming ever more crucial for Ken, making him realize that blindly leaping in and trying to counter attacks really isn't always the wisest of choices, especially against people like Ryu. There is a brief moment of respite, and Ken rushes forward at the precise moment Ryu's feet would touch back down upon the hard wood floor, only for the hands of the crimson clad man to snap forward, seeking to grab ahold of the white gi of Ryu.

If his timing is right, then Ken will execute a beautiful display of Judo, as Ryu will find himself being hoisted over Ken as he falls upon the ground, performing a beautiful backwards toss that may send Ryu flying a bit further then the Dragon expects.

COMBATSYS: Ryu just-defends Ken's Jigoku-guruma EX!

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Ryu              0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0              Ken

That they know one another's style so well is certainly a factor in battles between Ryu and Ken. A wildcard, despite the seeming predictability, given the adaptive nature of both warriors. As Ken deflects the Hurricane Kick with alarming grace and speed, Ryu knows what's coming next. He knows it reflexively, without really thinking Ryu is already ready already. The skilled throw is perfect - but so is the Dragon's response to it. As Ken drops back, Ryu kicks out of the throw into an ascent of his own control.

It's abrupt - the momentum and weight of the Ansatsuken master thrown up, into a backflip that's deceptively graceful from a man of Ryu's broad frame. From there, he's back on the ground in a flash. There's a tremor that rattles the floor with the sheer velocity of it, anchoring himself on one foot and transferring all that momentum into a swiftly rotating right-footed roundhouse with its own, distinctive tachi kaze through the air. "HYAAAAAAH!!!"

COMBATSYS: Ken interrupts Strong Kick from Ryu with Shoryuken.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0              Ken

The speed of the kick truly is something that may scare anyone other then Ken, yet there is an understanding. No fear, only moving forward. That is the unspoken rule that exists between the two men whenever they finally get to test themselves against the other. Of course, it's that very logic that drives Ken forward, purposely stepping further into the range of the kick.

Chi suddenly errupts to life upon Ken's fist as he ducks down low, already revealing to Ryu his intent as the kick glances against the top of Ken's head. The attack is unleashed as Ken rockets upward, slamming the chi laden fist square into the Dragon's jaw, neatly lifting him off the ground as the chi errupts forward, engulfing the white gi'd man in flames.


If Ryu's landing was a door slamming, the two warriors colliding in all-out offensive is the demolition of an entire building. Viewing glass rattles and shakes, and being at the fore of it, for Ryu and Ken? Well. The Dragon may be able to take solace in the force of the blow he delivered to Ken, but the exchange is rough for him.. to say the least. Blasted away from the trainwreck, Ryu crashes into a roll, coming up in a three point crouch and shaking his head, briskly, to clear it.

With their all-out, unrelenting offensive so ably battered aside, some warriors would be unnerved. Others, ranting and raving. Still others, insisting that because Masters owns the stadium - he bought the match. Ryu? "Hah. Still fast enough to avoid going down like a chump, at least." Ken's lucky. One of the few who'll find himself actively - if /very/ drily - trash talked by Ryu.

Despite the banter... the fight is /far/ from over. From Ryu's perspective, Ken being on his feet and ready to redouble his efforts at this point was the only uncertainty - one that Ryu seems pleased to find was a pointless concern. Instead, he prepares himself; shuts out all else; draws in breath and senses the ebb and flow of chi between himself, and his best friend and rival.

COMBATSYS: Ryu calculates his next move.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0              Ken

There's a slight bit of cockiness to Ken's voice as he starts rolling his right shoulder, trying to work out the slight kink that seemingly didn't make Ryu really see some stars. "Please, as if you could ever make me go down like that." While Ryu may talk the trash, Ken's more then willing to banter back at him.

There's a moment where Ken quickly ponders rushing in to continue on his offense, yet, that nagging feeling in the back of his head he generally attributes to Eliza complaining about him not going shopping with her or something is screaming at the top of its lungs. Sliding into a slight defensive stance, the US Champion's eyes close slightly as he starts to clear his mind, allowing himself to feel whatever it is that Ryu may truly be up to.

COMBATSYS: Ken enters a meditative state.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1              Ken

Ryu just smiles, too calmly, too knowingly, in response to Ken's rebuttal. It rolls right off his shoulders, like so many raindrops. Were this not Ken, that in and of itself might be somewhat disconcerting. The nomad can sense the gathering of energy within his battle brother - the careful instinct Ken still brings to the fore when they square off. A subtle but tangible difference in their attitudes towards fighting, if one were to analyze too deeply.

Ryu draws even, smooth breaths, feet shifting with whispered slides along the dojo floor as he flanks the blonde battler, narrowed eyes even on Ken's stance, as if Ryu could read his battle brother's intent in that coming clarity. As if it were not Ken's alone, but shared.

<< Fuu Rin Ka Zan >>. Gouken interjects his own perspicacity over his prodigious pupil's. Or at least, passes it along. It's etched on Ryu's black belt, and in his mind, audible as clearly now as then - mirrored more than ever in the late master's masterful student. Swift, like the wind; who says muscle slows you down? Not Gouken, and not Ryu. Not here, not today. Quiet, like a forest; ever attentive to detail, guarded and prepared. Gouken was Ryu's model to become the stoic he is today, and now only the stern clench to his jaw, the fluid motion of his arms betrays his intent. Strike everywhere, in ever-changing variety, like the fire itself. "HADOOOUKEN!!!" A stellar body of superheated chi floods into being in a coalescent vortex of sheer, melting heat, channeled with alarming precision and intensity. It's far from the nomad's only technique - but the Hadouken is an emblem of his style. Surging, unrelenting, ever-shifting. Adaptive and versatile.

Of course, there was still the last. To stand like a mountain, firm but subtle, always changing... but never defeated. Ryu's feet are anchored in a wide stance as the meteoric blast rockets through, summoned with an ease and grace that comes from decades of uncompromising training, in a man who sees nothing but this as his life's work.

COMBATSYS: Ken dodges Ryu's Shakunetsu Hadouken.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1              Ken

The build of of chi is something that Ken feels within every cell of his body. Unlike Ryu, Ken was never the true dedicated student. He barely scraped by, but it still was enough in Gouken's eyes. If he had dedicated himself more, maybe Ken would have already surpassed Ryu, maybe not, yet his brother in arms has never once truly questioned his true capability. When it comes down to it, he's still as capable as ever, which is something to truly be feared.

The flaming ball of chi hurtles ever closer, yet there isn't a look of shock or surprise upon Ken's face. The look that he gives Ryu is one that very seldom is ever brought forward. Absolute calm. His body sways to the right, narrowly sidestepping the superheated energy that was heading towards him, allowing it to slam into the wall behind, only for the glass that protects the audience behind to explode into thousands of tiny little pieces. (Thankfully the insurance companies demanded it be safety glass, so no one really got hurt.)

Quickly rushing forward once more towards Ryu, Ken's right fist snaps forward, aiming a quick blow towards the white gi'd man's face. Once more it is time for things to get physical.

COMBATSYS: Ryu fails to interrupt Jab Punch from Ken with Shin Shoryuken+.

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Ryu              0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1              Ken

At the moment, getting around that ball of chi, and in that fast? It's not more than Ryu expected from Ken, but he doesn't manage to deal with it quite according to plan. The surge of chi rushes up within Ryu - and winks out as he's pre-emptively beaned in the face, dissipating before he can bring it to the fore and turn Ken's offensive momentum against him. While Ken may be the slacker of the pair, he never fails to put up one hell of a fight.

See case in point: now. For the instant, it's all Ryu can do to recover his bearings and raise his guard anew, stepping back once from Ken and reassessing the situation once again, with a nod of respect offered to the blonde battler.

While that jab may have beaned Ryu in the face, and prevented him from doing whatever it was he was about to do, Ken isn't about to stop and ask questions. Right now its really put the pressure on, and try to scrape a victory out with this. In the past year, he hasn't heard hide nor hair from Ryu, which isn't all that uncommon, yet once Ryu has shown back up, something once again has awakened within Ken. Its almost as if Gouken were posessing Ryu, trying to slap Ken into gear and reach his fullest potential.

The crimson clad man spins on his left foot, allowing the full weight of his body to add extra momentum to his next attack, a vicious reverse roundhouse, that is aimed once more for Ryu's head, once more seeking to make the man see some very pretty stars.

COMBATSYS: Ryu auto-guards Ken's Ushiro Mawashi-geri!

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Ryu              0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1              Ken

There's something about Ryu and Ken that most martial artists never realize, or so much as notice. It's right there on the tin: Ansatsuken. Sure, their techniques are evolved from various forms of Shotokan Karate, Jujitsu, and Tae Kwon Do - but it's something else, entirely, as well. An ascended thing, tangible in their ki - even if Ryu and Ken's technique has been conditioned not to kill, those distortions, tremors, that /strength/... it echoes softly around every blow they land, every attack executed carrying the possibility of maiming or killing even an accomplished practitioner. In any other hands. They're just that good.

The roundhouse comes around into a palm that answers its uncanny force with equally impressive negation, as if Ryu could sense the exact amount of pressure it'll take to stop Ken's strike - just as the back of his sparring glove smacks lightly against the side of his own head. "Heh."

The Ansatsuken wanderer is enjoying himself. Even kicking Ken out of his stupor was fun, after a fashion. Now? Now it's a party. "HADOOOOUKEN!!!" A surge of energy crosses point-blank from Ryu's palms, ideally releasing with concussive, explosive force right into and through the blonde battler's torso and face, ghosting edges of chi coursing from every harsh edge.

COMBATSYS: Ken just-defends Ryu's Hadouken!

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Ryu              0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1              Ken

If there is a true way to gauge how estatic this fight is making Ken feel, the only comparible feeling would be him getting married to Eliza. While some may feel that comparison is horrible, to Ken, Ryu is the only one that he has ever wanted to truly go all out against. There is no killing intent behind any of their attacks, yet if any other person were put in the line of fire, they'd already be waving that white flag, begging for mercy.

Sometimes, the best defense is no defense at all. Especially when it's at point blank range.

A visible explosion of Ryu's chi envelops the crimson clad man, only for him to truly be unharmed by the attack. The calm demeanor is paying off, and rushing things right now would truly prove problematic for Ken after all is said and done.

Leaping into the air towards Ryu, Ken's right leg suddenly sweeps out as he takes his turn at delivering one of the sacred skills of the Ansatsuken style. The speed and power that gushes forth as Ken spins is staggering, creating small visible spirals of air beneath him as each rotation is another blow being sent towards Ryu. "TATSUMAKISENPUUKYAKU!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu parries Ken's Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku!

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Ryu              0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0              Ken

The masterful defeat of his blast of chi might leave Ryu unprepared... but this /is/ Ryu we're talking about, here. The warrior prodigy tracks Ken's ascent through the dissipating energy, and leaps himself. A hand snaps down, the sound of a kick striking against his padded sparring glove ringing out as Ryu vaults around the hurricane kick as if he were jumping a subway turnstyle, landing clear behind Ken in a crouch low enough - and /fast/ enough - to be clear of the next rotation.

The Ansatsuken wanderer doesn't rest on his laurels, no - he's in motion even as he lands. His headband flutters with the force of the turn as Ryu comes about, and pushes into a sprint, chasing after Ken for several powerful strides, and then launching in at him as he lands out of the Hurricane Kick. Straight for the jaw. Fist first. It's more of a warhead than a punch, as Ryu crouches low and /blasts/ upwards, launched by the force of that singular, right fist as it carries all his strength towards the sky.


COMBATSYS: Ken blocks Ryu's Shoryuken EX.

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Ryu              0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1              Ken

Mid-Air is not the place to be when an Ansatsuken user decides its time to start putting you down for a nap. Especially those who favor Shoryuken. Already Ken's body is twisting in the air as the white gi'd man launches up towards him with the very attack that Ken has truly mastered beyond a shadow of a doubt. Arms cross in a hurried attack to catch the impact, leaving a sharp stinging sensation that lasts as he is blasted further away from Ryu then he'd like, landing on the ground.

Ken doesn't remain on the ground for long, as he rolls back onto his feet, allowing himself to ponder the distance and allow tatics to once more prevail instead of brute force. Already Ryu has started to teach their secrets to the next generation, yet these two men have proven themselves to already be masters, which would truly make Gouken proud.

Ken's body shifts into a new stance, this time allowing holes in his usually keen defense to appear, knowing that Ryu may infact try to take advantage of it, yet this still is apart of Ken's overall plan.

COMBATSYS: Ken enters a trance-like state.

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Ryu              0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1              Ken

The Shoryuken's ascent is fierce, abrupt. Ryu throws everything behind the stroke, if only to batter Ken's resilient guard. The World Warrior breathes a deep, satisfied breath - perhaps a hint of a chuckle within, no less - as he lands. It's not an easy landing, his failure to connect left him open - but that is a hole visible only after it's been patched, unlike the baited hooks the blonde battler dangles in front of the nomad now.

Rather than go for any of the potential style flaws, Ryu drops back and draws on his own alarming speed, skill, and strength. He's airborne before the capacity crowd realizes he's moved, and they're staring at empty space. The afterimage may linger, but the Ansatsuken master is twisting through the air, snapping off a reverse flying heel for Ken's face as he invades Masters' personal space in perhaps the most direct, crazy way possible.

Ryu not only throws himself full-bore into quickly overcoming Ken's preparations, he seeks to anchor back on one bent leg as he lands, and kick the forward shin out from under his battle brother to boot. "Hyaaaah!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Ken with Light Kick.

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Ryu              0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1              Ken

The kick hurts, yet Ken tries to endure through the pain, knowing that if he can't handle a lone kick from Ryu, then he doesn't have any business whatsoever fighting again. Of course, the kick seems to have finally set his brain into the proper working order, making Ken realize there is more he can do, especially without having to constantly attack.

Clairty and understanding are something that eventually come to all fighters. Sometimes, attaining the clairity one needs to ensure that they are truly at peak performance is difficult to attain, yet Ken has a nasty habit of finding it when he really needs to. A slight nod is given towards Ryu, especially as his right hand starts to beckon Ryu forward. It seems that Ken's already starting to play the mindgames once again.

COMBATSYS: Ken focuses on his next action.

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Ryu              0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2              Ken

You find it when you need to. Or, you die. If Ryu can, he helps people find their strength, before the unsought truths have a chance to kill them. Or bury them in a myriad of other ways. He's seen a lot, enough to know he hasn't seen anything yet. While Ken's stance and structural integrity may be compromised, the nomad can sense the buildup of raw power within his battle brother. Talent, and remarkable reserves - something both of them have in spades, and after his breakneck assault at the start of the round? It's clearly Ken's turn.

Not that that means Ryu will just sit there and accept it any more than Ken did moments earlier. "You think you can finish it, come and get /me/." The warrior in the white gi shoots back. Scared? No, Ryu just crosses the field in a projection of fiery will. Crimson swirls about itself, a meteoric burst of superheated energy, elemental fire that threatens to augment Ken's erupting soul with visible-spectrum energy in the form of /burning flame/. "HADOOOOUKEN!!!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Ken with Shakunetsu Hadouken.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2              Ken

Clairty and understanding are one thing. Actually being able to tap into it is a whole entire different ballpark, and right now Ken is about five states away from being in the right ballpark. The burning sensation that washes over his body as the flames of Ryu's Shakunetsu Hadouken roar violently are enough to cause his body some serious damage, leaving him feeling a bit worse off. He's had to deal with a lot, and now his body is starting to bite him in the ass for contiuning to fight fill tilt.

Once the flames subside, Ken is quickly rushing back towards Ryu, chi exploding off of his feet as he slams them towards his battle brother, knowing that if he can catch him in this, then kick after kick with his own flaming chi will be sent forward, only for it to end in a violent flame ridden Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Ken's Shippuujinrai Kyaku.

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Ryu              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0              Ken

Ryu senses the instinct, the connection that burns to life within Ken. He's been there, himself. It's like a point he's been trying to drive home for years has finally hit its mark, and the impact is shown in the sheer calibre of the blonde battler's stepped-up game. The reunion, and this trial, pushes both of them towards something better, nobler. More difficult. There's a lot the pair of battle brothers still have to be ready to face, after all.

Ryu, well. He doesn't show any signs of slowing down, but there's no surprise there. He /has/ worked up a hell of a sweat, however, breath coming heavily as he moves, and moves well. The Ansatsuken wanderer meets Ken's kicks blow for blow, taking the strikes on tightened forearm, sparring glove, intercepting with a bracing elbow. He's driven back, and driven back painfully, but at no point does a stroke land clean, and Ken is left with no Ryu to kick ever skyward and receive an announcer-bellowed 'MAGNIFICENT!' ..... this time.

"Don't think we're done at that. This race isn't a sprint." Says fucking Seabiscuit, who just wants to run the damn thing full out. Genetic monstrosity.

COMBATSYS: Ryu calculates his next move.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Ryu              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0              Ken

For a fleeting moment, the clairty was there, yet after his last attack, Ken finds that once more his mind is starting to become clouded. Ryu isn't slouching, yet as the fight drags on one thing is clear: Ryu seemingly is becoming stronger and more driven for battle, almost as if he were truly starting to relish in it.

There is a thin line for the dedicated practitioners of the Ansatsuken style that is always walked, and of them all, Ryu is the one that teeters the most upon it as he tapdances his way through each battle. Ken understands this better then anyone, and while he had suffered from falling over the wrong side of the line himself twice before, he has always been there to help Ryu from making that one mistake that might cost him his humanity.

As if Ken were trying to sense out just what the innerworkings of Ryu's mind were performing, the crimson clad man slowly starts to force his mind clear once again, lightly meditating to not only enhance his focus, but to ensure that he isn't going to go down like a chump.

COMBATSYS: Ken enters a meditative state.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Ryu              0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1              Ken

In this moment, the battle is all that exists for Ryu. Ken's attempts, potential ability to recover the rhythm of the fight and find the clarity he needs to overcome his rival. The preparations of his battle brother, his own readiness and senses - it's his only focus. Some fight to lose themselves, or lose themselves in the blood lust. For Ryu, it's more about /finding/ himself. If one doesn't push that edge, how can one ever know their full potential?

Eyeing Ken steadily behind readied fists, it doesn't take Ryu too long to make his move once his battle brother recenters himself. After all, the flurry of kicks unleashed a moment ago prove Ken is nothing if not still fighting and dangerous. The distance is closed in a brief, blurring sprint, Ryu braking abruptly a scant breadth from Ken to anchor himself in a wide stance as his left fist is driven out straight, with a pistonlike speed and fervor. A strike meant to hammer a single, punishing blow direct to Ken's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Ken with Medium Punch.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Ryu              0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1              Ken

The punch's power is incredible, and Ken is left reeling in pain from it, lungs working over time to try and restore the flow of oxygen to the rest of his body. A few short gasps are all it takes for Ken to regain himself, knowing that things are truly starting to get really dangerous for himself. It's time to dish out some more power onto Ryu.

Taking a true gamble once again, Ken's left leg swings out towards his Ansatsuken brother, looking to catch him off guard with a volley of brutal blows that will only end with the crimson clad one's right arm exploding violently with the blazing chi, seeking to envelop Ryu in the most devistating version of Ken's own Shoryuken.


COMBATSYS: Ken successfully hits Ryu with Shinryuu Ken+.
+ Epic Hit! +

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////                    ]
Ryu              1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0              Ken

The punch is incredible. The pillar of flames? As remarkable as it is painful. Ryu seeks to weather this storm, but Ken's all-out offensive slips past the World Warrior's renowned defenses this time. The uppercut reaves Ryu with burning, bruising intensity, sending the nomad launching back from his own preparations, to crash hard into the dojo wall before sliding almost comically down. It's not a comfortable landing, drawing a groan from Ryu - at about the same time he kicks back out of his jumble of limbs and comes up in a crouch, hands already braced at his side as his eyes lock onto Ken.

"SHIIIIIIIIIINKUUUUUUUU...." the incantation is familiar, sure. The surge of chi, unmissable. The arena itself seems to go dark for a split second as all of the light centers on that point between Ryu's flexed fingertips. Then, the cosmos opens up. It's a black hole of roiling, dark blues and blacks - a surging vortex that seems inclined to expand infinitely and exponentially for the first instants of its existance.

It's a sign of /another/ raised plateau in the challenge of taking Ryu down, even before the blast is projected forward in a dense, coruscating sphereoid, Ryu's gi and headband fluttering madly /after/ it as it consumes all along its directed path. "HADOOOOOOOOUKEN!!!!!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Ken with Shinkuu Hadouken.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Ryu              0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0              Ken

Exhaustion has finally snaked its way into Ken's body, and though he's fast, he isn't fast enough to evade the incoming sphere of pure destruction. The blast once more envelops his body, battering and bruising his already damaged body, leaving him barely standing, being driven solely by the willpower to move forward with one last attack.

Ken starts off slowly lumbering towards Ryu, only to slowly and surely pick up speed as he starts to close the distance that was just created by the Shinkuu Hadouken. Chi builds up on his right fist as he starts to take a page from Sakura's book. Sometimes, running up to deliver this attack onto a foe is worth it, and right now, Ken's already ducking into a low crouch, feet sliding across the floor as he rockets the chi enveloped fist upwards.


Regardless of wether or not he hits, this fight has left him satisfied, and shown him that while Ryu may have won this time, next time may not be entirely in his favor.

COMBATSYS: Ken can no longer fight.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryu              0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Ryu dodges Ken's Shoryuken.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ryu              0/-------/-----==|

It's another thing Ryu has picked up from Gouken. That tendency to look for more, even when all is spent. From himself, from those close to him - though at least he doesn't push Ken with the fervor he expects from himself. Just close to it. The air around Ryu's hands wavers and glows in the wake of his ultimate blast of chi, a breath exhaled, and another drawn in the scarce time it takes Ken to charge back past the point of impact.

Despite the length of the fight - Ryu is not slowed. Despite his obvious exertion, the lengths he had to go to to triumph here, it seems the fight could go twice again as long and the World Warrior would still fight it with enthusiasm and alacrity. As Ken launches in, Ryu tumbles out, a single roll taking him down to a crouch and backwards, leaving the Shoryuken's initial impact to burn through the empty air.

When Ken crashes out of the last-ditch dragon punch, the announcer starts to count down the end of the fight, while Ryu rises and moves towards Ken to help him stand back up. If the blonde battler /can/ at the moment!

COMBATSYS: Ryu wanders on to find the next challenge.

Log created on 15:12:44 11/20/2011 by Ryu, and last modified on 21:05:29 11/21/2011.