NDP Championships - NDP Season 2 Quarterfinals: Ayame vs Munin

Description: The world famous Red Arena plays host to a match between two fighters that have a lot more common in how they fight that one might expect. Weapons, chi, projectiles, are utilized by each fighter. But in the end, the crafty illusions produced by Munin aren't quite a match for Ayame's formidable aura. ( Winner: Ayame )

It would be a lie to say that this even is the largest thing to happen sports-fighting-wise in recent history. The stadium is probably not even full to capacity. But that there is even a pretty sizeable crowd at all is testament to the marketing blitz Ken Master's corporation has drummed up for the Neo Development Project. To take relatively unknown fighters and build them up enough to get people to tune in and show up for seats is certainly not the work of an amateur media mogul, to be certain.

The time of day is late afternoon. The sky is blue, the weather is great, and while the sun is off to the side, it's still fully lighting the center of the world famous Red Arena. The arena floor itself is somewhat of a curious show piece, with its three different landscapes. Trees cover one end, though not spaced so tightly as to block out the view. Shallow water with stepping stones sticking up out of it decorates the other end. And connecting the two is a wide strip of loose, fine grained sand.

Ayame, for her part, has already stepped up from stairs just left of center, placing her in the sandy section of the arena. Stepping across it, she glances toward the trees on one side and the shallow water on the other, and grunts softly. "This... was definitely made for barefoot hippy fighters," she observers with a roll of her eyes. To her, it's just annoying. Either she'll be dumping sand out of her shoes afterward, or worse, she'll get water AND sand in them, and then cleaning them will be even twice as annoying!

The girl that is to be Munin's opponent fought her way into this match by defeating two of the highest ranked NDP participants during the season, even though her participation otherwise was fairly scarce. She isn't here for fame or for getting into the spotlights. She's heard curious things about the girl she's to face for the first round of the finales. The crowd seems excited, though Ayame is pretty sure it has less to do with her and more to do with the prospect of some violent fight ahead. They'd probably be cheering just as much if two trained apes came out and slugged each other, she's pretty sure. "This sure is quite the spectacle..." she exhales.

(Spectacle seems an understatement to an arena with this much setup) Munin thinks to herself as she steps into the arena from the other side, still wearing the brown duster from some time ago. "This arena gives me some ideas......." she muses, pondering other interesting combinations of looks for other potential areans of similar size.

Of course, this also includes ideas for this fight.... hold someone face down in that water, their sure to lose consciousness fast. Knock a tree over on them, could hurt. Sand in the eyes? Definately has potential for a good setup....

Tactical analysis concluded, Munin eyes her opponent. She did only minor research on this opponent, due to being busy healing from the injuries Freeman cause her. Of those, the scar on her neck is easily visible, though healed as much as possible. (Here's to hoping nothing reopens.....).

She slowly brings up her hand, her shortsword popping out from under the sleeve and into her palm, the point held steadily towards Ayame, almost in challenge. Her eyes flash with violet light for a moment as she smirks casually. This promises to be interesting, at the very least! "Good luck to you!".

The exuberant atmosphere seems to have her in good spirits tonight, for a change. Interesting indeed!

Looking at Ayame, it would be hard to pick her out as a fighter. Her clothing is certainly no fighting gi or uniform appropriate for any combat academy. Her stance is neutral, one hand at her hip, elbow out at her side. Her hair is long and the cooling breeze that circulates down in the floor of the arena tousles it about her shoulders easily. Whatever thoughts she has about the arena beyond how it seems to be designed for maximum annoyance would be hard to read from her rather neutral seeming demeanor.

Munin is taken in at a glance, eyes shifting to the blade that slips so easily into her hand when she raises her arm. "Interesting." she replies, though says nothing beyond that until the other girl offers a pretty friendly seeming greeting. "I'll take it." comes her response. "You seem to know what you're doing, after all." It's been a long time since she's fought someone who used edged weapons... as long as she puts a certain bladed-chi using psychopath out of her mind, at least...

"I'm curious." She turns to stand a bit sideways, looking almost along her right shoulder toward Munin. "Your blade harness. Is it spring triggered or do you use something else?" Her left hand hovers near a half-foot long leather pouch dangling from one of her belts, but she otherwise doesn't make any moves that would betray what her approach to fighting is like.

Ayame's breathing is slow and the girl seems utterly calm on the surface. Is it confidence? The byproduct of training? Or merely a well practiced show of self-control? "I can tell you're a fighter that likes surprises." The sleeve-covered blade was probably a clue. "Hopefully I'll keep you guessing enough to keep it interesting then." Over the speakers, mention of the fight starting are hard to miss, what with the incredible reveberation for being dead center of the audio-assault. "Guess we're about to find out, hm?"

COMBATSYS: Ayame has started a fight here.

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Ayame            0/-------/-------|

The pouch has gotten some looks. As for the rest, it is of little importance. Munin doesn't SEE any hidden weapons on Ayame, and has long-since learned that how plain or gaudy someone looks has no bearing on their combat capability. However, her laid back and even somewhat friendly disposition is a welcome thing, though that in and of itself may be a weapon....

All these thoughts go through Munins mind as the pair exchange words waiting for the bell. In response to the question, her only reply is "Neither. Simpler than that, though show and tell can come later if you want to know.... as for Interesting, if your here, i have no doubt both of us have some fancy tricks to spring....".

Her eyes glow again briefly, eyes narrowing in readiness, when the bell rings! Like a shot, Munin wastes no time, rushing forwards with the weapon as if in a stab, but at the last minute pulling back as she comes in low with a sudden punch aimed at Ayames stomach!

COMBATSYS: Munin has joined the fight here.

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Ayame            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Munin

COMBATSYS: Munin successfully hits Ayame with Power Strike.

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Ayame            0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0            Munin

Though Ayame seems relaxed, her sharp, brown eyes have never left Munin since the girl stepped into the Red Arena. The hidden weapon that the girl so readily slipped into her hand, that glint of energy that she sees in her eyes from time to time - a curious violet hue, often associated with psionics. So she has some natural talents... but what is her style? Self-taught? Possibly.

Ayame maintains her stance even as a reply to her statements is offered. "We'll see." she replies, a faint grin at her lips. Against a weapon user, there is precious little time to figure out what makes them tick. If they secure even a few good strikes, the injuries can sap the strength out of an opponent before they can figure out how to combat it. But it isn't with the shortsword that Ayame first finds herself being struck. Her eyes were on Munin's armed hand. She should have known better, she chides herself a split second later, sucking in air from the solid strike to her stomach.

Her feet slip a little in the sand, kicking up stray dust. Was that energy covering that fist at the last second? Sharp edges, chi infused punches... Ayame decides she'd rather play a bit of a distance game with this one. Kicking back another half-yard, she slides to a stop. Her left hand has drawn a six-inch shiny metal tube from the pouch on her belt. "Not bad." she apprises. So she's not dependent upon her weapons, Ayame decides. Good to figure that out early.

The tube in her left hand is twirled once and by the time it completes a single rotation, it has expanded out into a full, six foot long metal staff. From the points where her hands grip the weapon, crimson colored energy flows over its finely polished surface; small, precisely arted runes glow with deep blue as the energy washes over the weapon, each of them being activated in turn.

Standing with her weapon in hand, Ayame looks back at Munin, holding the staff at an angle that makes it harder to get close to her to attack. "I can see I'll have to take you seriously!" She's already springing forward then, closing that distance she surrendered a few seconds before. The weapon is slammed out from the left, aiming for Munin's upper arm with a solid, chi-infused thwack. Ayame would follow any successful strike up with a second attack, bringing the right end of the staff up from a low angle, potentially clobbering Munin in the chin with it!

COMBATSYS: Munin blocks Ayame's Medium Strike.

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Ayame            0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0            Munin

Distraction with her sword was the entire point of the display, and that it works only makes Munin feel a bit surer of herself in this match. For one, because knows that any smart opponent will figure out the ploy usually from the get-go, meaning using it again is a baaaad idea so soon. The second is that any landed blow is one closer to success!

She doesn't persue or interrupt Ayame as the lass draws her own weapon, remaining where she is as she watches. A retractable staff? Interesting.....

Then she sees the runes and etchings glow, and her eyes widen in suprise. Slowly, a smile creeps onto her face "Well.... that IS an impressive weapon.....". For a moment, as Ayame acknowledges having to take Munin seriously, they stand, staring off. One with glowing violet eyes, and whos sword and hand are adrift with hazy black mist, the other with an intricately runed staff glowing with it's own red and blue glow.

In that second both seem to size each other up in their dramatic contrasts, before time once again catches up, the moment gone as Ayame comes in with her strikes! Reddish black bursts of Chi spark as the staff contacts Munins blade, both strikes held at bay by a fraction. Munin, for her own part, loves it.

Drawing on a line from somewhere she cannot recall precisely, she quips "Ok, princess, lets see whatcha got!" in English, before retaliating with her own attack: a rushing palm-strike followed immediately after by a stab with the sword!

COMBATSYS: Ayame blocks Munin's Twin Impale.

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Ayame            0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0            Munin

For a moment, Ayame actually looks surprised at what Munin says. Eyes glance down at the weapon in her grip then back up at the girl. It IS a remarkable piece of craftmanship, the sum total of her creativity and ingenuity rolled into one. But no one has ever commented on its nature before in hundreds of fights. Even after she learned how to etch the chi channeling runes into its finely polished surface thanks to a certain master engineer's guidance, no one had ever so much as seemed to notice. She blinks back up at Munin, head canting ot the side slightly. "Why thank you. I'm quite proud of it!"

Of course, she's no less aggressive with her strikes, so her gratitude must only go so far. But Munin manages to fend them off, the metal weapon clanging against her blade, the two girls locked in a clash as weapons and chi collide for a brief contest of strength. But it doesn't last long. With her mixture of one handed strikes and a one handed blade, she isn't as locked into the exchange as Ayame, allowing her to slip a hand around her staff and try to strike her with a combination attack.

The staff user's defenses are solid enough to manage, however, as she twists the weapon down, deflecting the palm strike into more of a grazing hit against her ribs, then lifting the weapon and knocking the energy-infused blade high to keep it from cutting into her, the arena annoucing another clash of the two girl's choice in weapons. "No one's ever called me /that/ before," Ayame grins from behind her staff.

The energy rippling over her staff shifts hue, going from crimson to a deep, navy blue, some of it rising off the weapon as if cool mist though it seems to be purely optical in nature. "I do hope I get to find out what I'm princess /of/ soon... or else some kingdom is going without my elegant charm." She whips the staff out then, releasing it with her left hand to allow her to twist it into a wide angle right in front of her. The movement of the weapon leaves a swath of that deep, blue chi in its wake, but it would be shy of hitting Munin directly... But Ayame follows it up by twisting into a kick, driving her foot through the lingering chi and attempting to drive it into Munin's sternum with her heel!

COMBATSYS: Munin endures Ayame's Light Kick!

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Ayame            0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0            Munin

Munins head tilts inquisitively as the staff shifts hue. Her first thought is to deciphering whatever meaning it may have regarding it's wielder and her combat techniques, though that in itself may be a ruse. For the moment, it is merely filed away in the back of her mind for later consideration.

She eyes it carefully as she keeps a loose stance "I wouldn't say that. Your kingdom, after all, is that which all fighters possess". She motions with her arms the crowd around them, the arena, and the cameras ".... all that you survey". She smirks, eyes narrowing slightly.

When the staff fakeout comes, she moves back to dodge. When it stops just short, she knows another strike is coming and that it was a ruse. So she decides to take a hit to try to land a hit, and moves in, in the hopes that she can catch Ayame off guard with a strong stab with her sword!

COMBATSYS: Ayame counters Fierce Strike from Munin with The Sunrise Of Broken Dreams.

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Ayame            0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0            Munin

"Careful now," Ayame warns, jamming her foot through the wave of chi, imbuing her kick with a fair amount of energy that she delivers with plenty of kinnetic force. The other girl responds fast - she was willing to trade hits to deliver a punishing one with her own blade. An important character trait to take note of, and a red alert that what is coming in next is likely to /hurt/!

The black and red clad girl is a blur of motion as Munin moves in fast /inspite/ the force of Ayame's kick. Ayame spins on one heel, kicking into it with her left foot and staying perched on her right one. Mid-spin, a flick of her wrists has her staff coming apart into two three-foot long segments that she can manipulate independently from each other. Coming out of the spin, her right hand moves to intersect the incoming blade, knocking it aside, sparing herself a painful stabbing.

It's her left staff-fragment that is of the primary concern for Munin, however, its surface rippling with energy that has shifted to the rich, crimson hue of blood. Munin would only have a split second to notice that the 'inside' end of the left staff fragment was housing a short blade. It seems Ayame doesn't exactly follow the normal staff-fighter's creed of trying not to draw blood from opponents.

The slash would be swift and shallow, across Munin's torso, the girl not cutting with the intent to permanently maim like... certain others might. But she will draw blood all the same, and that rippling chi won't help matters in the slightest either. Ayame ends posed with the right staff fragment out at her side, the left one extended in front of her, blade forward, as if a rather unorthodox sword of her own. "If this is our kingdom," she continues from her previous thought. Her stance looks dangerous. "Then that means we're at war."

A smile flickers at one edge of her lips. "And I was just getting to like you."

Well, THAT comes as a real shock! Munin, however, manages to be astute enough, despite getting dodged, redirected, and counter-struck, to note a few things....

While the first is that the staff is a more diverse weapon than it seems, the second is more important: She seemed to shift her form to adapt her combat style for reaction on the fly.

A dangerous talent.

She winces a bit as the cut along her torso cuts through recently-healed stitches from the injuries Freeman gave her, though the wince is the only clue that it hurts more than it normally would. Lesson learned, and adapted for, however. She too smiles in response, however "I'd call it more of a border skirmish than a war, personally.... which i guess would be better started with a catapault volley!".

While she was speaking, the dark misty chi drifting off her empty hand thickens a bit, and as she finishes speaking, she brings it up, throwing a burst of the stuff at Ayame!

COMBATSYS: Ayame fails to reflect Shadow Wave from Munin with Midsummer Fantasy.

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Ayame            0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Munin

Once again, Munin's shifting tactics serve her well. Having pegged her as more reliant on her shortsword than she turned out to be, Ayame mistakenly thought she would strike with it rather than a chi-infused fist. And after trading attacks for a short bit, the girl became certain that Munin was more of a close in, melee fighter. As it turns out, there's more to her than that, as the raven-haired girl unleashes a burst of that continuously evanescent shadow chi she seems to wield.

The switch in tactics puts Ayame on the defensive, her eyes widening as she draws back a step. With her hands occupied, she can't create the reflective discus of energy that she needs to redirect the incoming 'volley' as it were. She tries anyway, and it costs her. Jamming her left staff fragment under her right shoulder, she snaps her left hand out, palm forward.

There is a faint flash of rose-hued chi being made manifest before the dark energy washes over it, striking Ayame directly and causing the girl to slip back a couple of feet in the sand before catching herself. Exhaling from the impact, she pulls her staff fragment out from under her arm, places the two ends together, and twists, turning it back into the full, six foot long weapon. "A border skirmish it is then. I suppose that leaves a greater chance for peace talks in the aftermath, hm?"

She turns her staff to an angle in front of her, once again adopting a highly defensable stance that might be difficult to negociate through.

Munin chuckles, eyes glowing slightly for a moment once more "There's almost always room for that. This is more the 'Olympic games' kind of thing than 'pillage the village'. You know..... see which side has the better-trained athletes and warriors for the time being, but no real harm done".

She steps forwards casually, swapping her weapon from hand to hand casually, occasionally doing a small flourish with it "Course, such cannot begin until the skirmish is done, now can they?". She locks her gaze firmly on Ayame, glowing steadily.... Suddenly, as she gets closer, her eyes EXPLODE in a burst of violet chi!

COMBATSYS: Ayame dodges Munin's Flashbang.

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Ayame            0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0            Munin

Again her opponent's eyes glow. She seems to possess a remarkable amount of energy manipulation and the ability to use it freely. For Ayame to manage the same takes some effort and she can't sustain it forever. She listens to the girl's words as she has from the start of the match, putting every detail together to form a mental profile of her opponent. Her dialogue thusfar strikes her as whimsical and she enjoys talking about something indirectly and the word play that creates.

But it's key to not be too distracted by it. The other girl is tricky and most of what she says out loud should be ignored in favor of focusing more on what angle the next attack is likely to come from. Ayame knows this routine well, as it is one she regularly employs herself! Thus it is that while Munin speaks, she's paying more attention to the tells of her movements. Will she swing out with that sword again? Will she misdirect into an energy-infused palm strike? Maybe she'll attempt another long ranged chi attack and try to play it safe?

But no, she seems to be closing distance. Ayame searches the girl for any clue of where her next attack will come from. She's noticed the shimmering energy reflected in her eyes before some of her attacks, but... it's only at the last second that she realizes that Munin could possibly even /attack/ from her eyes! Ayame twists to the side, dropping out of her tightly defensive stance in favor of more fluid movements.

Sand is kicked up around her feet as she slides to a stop to the left of Munin, having narrowly avoided the eye-originating chi assault. "You are quite the natural at chi manipulation," she observes, offering a rare compliment. Weapon, hands, and even her /eyes/, all possible sources of attack. She's lucky to have figured out that last one just barely in time. Her staff is in her left hand now and the energy that had been coursing over it it has melted away, leaving only its highly refective metallic surface. Sticking up between the fingers of her right hand, however, are three small throwing knives, their blades glinting in the afternoon sun. "Self taught?" So far she has yet to detect any discernable style...

And with those, Ayame attacks. Three rapid flicks of her hand and Munin will find those three sharp blades flying directly for her!

COMBATSYS: Munin blocks Ayame's Medium Fling.

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Ayame            0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1            Munin

Ayame is likewise getting the observation treatment from Munin. She noticed the throwing knives a moment before due to the glinting. This, she guesses, will be the next venue for attack, though eyes are kept on the staff as the secondary, and feet as the tirtiary sources. Yes, in that order. Luckily, she guessed correctly!*TING! TING! TING!*

Just like in Star Wars, Munin sweeps her blade up and in an arc in front of herself, deflecting the three sharpened objects in sequence without hesitation. She mentally ponders her next move as she responds.....

"Call it a knack i guess.... ". She doesn't respond to the question of being self-taught, though does venture a guess of her own..... "Those runes are either an effect to make the staff pretty, or making the staff more of a focusing lens, judging by how you've pulled power out of it.....". She begins to circle slowly.....

Without warning, she suddenly dashes in, straight shot!

Or does she....?

As the Chi-based illusion rushes in, the REAL Munin doubles back with a hop, before coming in from the side with a swing of her blade!

The illusion does no harm if it strikes Ayame, and will vanish instantly if struck, or after a second or two on it's own.

COMBATSYS: Ayame interrupts Random Strike from Munin with Harvest's Reaper.

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Ayame            1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2            Munin

With expert percision, Munin knocks aside the three small throwing knives. Each of them in turn spins through the air in semi-lazy arcs, landing back in the groudn, blade first, their small, rounded polished metal handles sticking up out of the sand, scattered around the girls. There was the slightest disturbance in the sand when the daggers landed - no doubt a shift in breeze. Ayame's eyes never leave Munin though, studying her expert deflection, using it to calculate just how capable her opponent is at reading her attacks. She was definitely no slouch to deal with those so fast!

"A knack it is then," she replies to the young woman's elusive answer, only to blink as her staff is mentioned. "Perceptive." she observes, as the rich, blue, intricate runes are mentioned. Even though the surface of the weapon has ceased to ripple with an ever-present layer of chi, the runes themselves continue to glow. "And also correct." she adds. The chi engineering that has gone into the weapon is most definitely not just fancy trimings to impress the easily distracted. Every detail of the finely crafted weapon has a purpose.

Ayame turns to keep following Munin, turning, keeping her staff in front of her at a defensive angle. Her legs are bent, her stance grounded, as if she's willing to forgo speed for staying rooted to the spot and relying on the metal pole to serve as her means of defending herself. Slowly, however, as if wary, she lifts her right hand from the weapon, holding it out in front of her, vaguely in the direction of where her kunai fell, fingers stretched forward.

It's when the chi illusion darts forward that Ayame acts, snapping her right hand backward, and like magic, the three draggers fly backward through the air as if returning to their owner. Munin would be able to perceive the truth of it, however - wires; razor thin, connect the daggers back to a braclet on Ayame's wrist. The trajectory of the wires is what gives away the illusion, however, as they pass cleanly through due to the way Ayame sweeps her hand.

"Gotcha." In that moment, she moves faster than she has the entire fight. A surge of crimson chi floods along her staff as she whips out and upward with her left hand, right into the path of the incoming fighter. If she was a split second faster, she may have been able to avoid the strike all together, but instead the shadow-chi user manages to cut Ayame in the side with that sharp shortsword of hers. The only issue is the brutal counter attack Ayame dishes out in return!

The upward sweep of her staff is matched by a second one, this time both of her hands on the pole, delivering a crushing blow into Munin's sternum, Ayame's momentum bearing enough upward force to take her into the air where she flips forward, spinning forward to bring her staff crashing down for the crown of Munin's head. "HA!" The technique she executes has topped many an opponent, leaving them seeing stars. With each impact, splashes of chi fly free, taking on almost liquid properties as they from crimson drops that fall into the sand and vanish.

Ayame lands in the sand a few meters beyond Munin, her back to the girl, her staff held out at her right side as she crouches low, head bowed. "You did well." The chi coursing over her weapon sinks toward the low end of it, seeming to drip off into the sand as it slowly 'bleeds' out of the weapon. "But you /did/ make the mistake of wishing me luck at the start of the fight." She seems to think she has this in the bag. "Unfortunately for you, it seems that it worked."

*BAM!* And like that, Munin is down to one knee. The term 'seeing stars' is quite an applicable one in this case, as the impact squarely on the top of her head sends her down to one knee. Her entire body shakes due to the strain, though for the moment she IS still up. Blood begins to drip from one nostral, and from her ears as well.....

That HURT!

Taking a few seconds, she slowly tries to stand, eyes only partially focused, sword held limply in her hand. She has only one vocal response. It is simple and to the point....


Her eyes finally narrow, vision directed at Ayame once more as her wits return at least somewhat, and her sword is brought up as she calculates her next attack as best her addled mind can.

COMBATSYS: Munin gains composure.

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Ayame            1/-------/=======|=======\======-\1            Munin

Ayame glances over her shoulder, watching Munin look like she's nearly about to drop. Her eyes narrow a touch when she notices that the young woman seems determined not to fall just yet, taking a moment to catch her breath rather than staggering after the staff fighter in a vain attempt to strike her. That she /doesn't/ topple over is impressive and a testament to her determination to stay in this in spite the savage combination unleashed by the strawberry-blonde.

Standing up straight, she turns to face Munin, head canting to the side slightly. "Still hanging in there then. Impressive." She leans forward a little, clearly bracing to attack again. "Very well." Her muscles tense, her left hand gripping her staff, her left hand reaching over her shoulder. Then she bolts toward Munin, sprinting full speed, kicking up sand in her wake as she closes the distance as rapidly as possible. Her right hand comes forward bearing a black, metallic object, though it's exact nature only becomes clear a split second later.

She lunges forward, sweeping her staff with her left arm in a somewhat reckless, but no less dangerous arc, spinning her whole body into the motion, making it hard to get a clean hit on her without risking getting clobbered by the weapon. The real attack becomes evident an instant later, however, as the metal object in her right hand is unfolded with a flick, opening into a heavy iron fan.

It is with /that/ weapon that Ayame delivers her actual strike, lunging forward into a sweeping blow, aiming to clobber Munin hard against the side of the head with the metal weapon. She's aiming with the flat of it rather than the bladed edge, so there's no risk of any /grevious/ injury from it, but it will still pack quite a whallop if she connects with it cleanly!

COMBATSYS: Munin counters Random Strike from Ayame with Double Vision.

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Ayame            1/-----==/=======|===----\-------\0            Munin

Munin has been in this situation MANY times before, it seems. Badly injuried in a reletive instant, close to the end of her endurance, losing blood.... especially losing blood! It's a wonder she has any left anymore.....

However, all this has gotten her used to that last moment between loss and success! Her form begins to shimmer as the giant metal weapon decends towards her, when suddenly, nothing!

It passes RIGHT through her, dead center! The chi-illusion fades instantly on strike, smirking slightly as it does so....

As if this wasn't confusing enough, Ayame would suddenly feel a spike of intense pain as Munins sword is driven into her side from above and behind in a downward thrust! She has a weary smirk on her face, the same the chi-illusion had before it vanished, and after this strike, she is forced to leap back to free her weapon from her opponent. "Not.... done... yet!" she stutters, a slight line of blood decending from the corner of her lips on one side.

Win or lose, at least she got in that last good strike before the end!

The nature of the illusion becomes clear as the fan blade swishes heavily through the space that seemed to be Munin's head. Leaning forward as she is, her staff committed to the powerful momentum of the powerful swing, she isn't able to correct for the mistake in time even when she becomes aware of it. Her back is exposed, the angle of Munin's strike coming in from a vector she can't account for even with her versatile approach to fighting, and the stab connects cleanly.

The pain is sharp and Ayame gasps, staggering off to the side a little, dropping her fan in the sand and pressing her hand over the wound as she evaluates the severity of it. She chides herself for leaving an opening of any kind in her attacks. "So I see..." she mutters, her mood becoming grim now that she's been cleanly stabbed in the fight.

Sucking in her breath, she forces her to ignore the biting pain in her side for now, turning around to face Munin more directly, planting her feet against the ground. Blood trickles down her side, some of it dripping over her skirt and dripping to the arena floor to be soaked up by the thirsty sand. Now she realizes the point of an arena covered with terrain instead of stone. It must be worlds easier to cleanup after a bloodbath, she muses to herself.

Gripping her staff tightly, she channels energy into it once more. This time the chi takes on a red-orange fiery hue. As if the metal itself were on fire, the 'flames' flicker up, concentrating most heavily near the ends of it. And then she spins it, the heavy weapon starting off slow but picking up speed as she twirls it. The chi trails out behind it, forming a complete circle of fiery looking energy. "You're fast," Ayame seems to compliment the young woman. "But not fast enough to avoid this!"

Shes forward, sweeping her staff out hard, unleashing all of the pent up chi she was building up, sending it hurtling toward Munin like a giant horizontal wave, rushing just a couple feet over the ground. The speed behind it is of course formidable. But so is the power, making it perhaps the strongest attack Ayame has sent Munin's way thus far!

COMBATSYS: Ayame successfully hits Munin with Final Sunset.
- Power hit! -

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >                                ]
Ayame            0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1            Munin

This, sadly, is what Munin expected to happen if her last attack didn't polish Ayame off. She's sustained too much damage. She makes what effort she can do dodge to the side, trying to will her unresponsive limbs to action, but it is not enough by a long-shot.

When the dust settles, however, there is a suprising sight to behind!

Munin actually manages to, slowly, pull herself to her feet! Her chi is drifting off her form MUCH thicker than before, and then all hell seems to break loose!

Several versions of her break off from herself, each doing a variety of different attacks! One leaps in, attacking from above with a fierce overhead attack! One comes in from the right, with a brutal stab! One comes in from the left with a vicious uppercut aimed at Ayames chin! Yet another seems to throw a wave of chi like before. Still one more goes pitch black, as lances of chi fly towards Munins opponent. A finaly one rolls forwards, throwing her sword at Ayame as she closes!

Which is the REAL one is hard to say!

COMBATSYS: Munin can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Ayame fails to reflect Iron Maiden from Munin with Midsummer Fantasy.

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

The other images all vanish as the close in, leaving the one covered in blackness. As the images fade, and the attack completes, she wavers back and forth, conscious lost due to this last effort, and she falls forwards in the sand, utterly spent.

It is remarkable, Ayame muses, how difficult Munin has proven to be to finish off. She was certain that with the execute of well practiced, signature technique, that she would rob the young woman of any capacity to keep fighting. But it seems as if Munin is drawing from a deeper reservoir of determination to stay in this fight no matter how dazed she might find herself for the moment. The stab she received in her side was enough to spike Ayame's adrenaline to the point of unleashing an attack she expected would thoroughly blast her opponent away so that she could secure the fight for certain!

And as she holds her pose, her staff out at her side, her feet far apart in the sand, she looks up to watch the path of that hurtling energy, observing it collide with her assigned opponent with extreme concussive force. Sand is blown up around Munin from the shockwave generated by the impact, obscurring her from sight for a fleeting moment. That seems to be all the chance the tricky weapons fighter needs to get the jump on Ayame.

Gritting her teeth, Ayame recoils, drawing her staff up defensively. She's well aware now of Munin's capacity for illusions, but that doesn't make it any easier to fight against them. She raises her staff to defend against a jumping kick, weaves to the right to avoid a stab that might make her wound even worse, and then from distance comes a wave of chi. Her left palm spams out, a shimmering discus of dull pink-hued energy blasts into existance between her and the wave, but in the end, there is no impact.

The true strike comes from the imagine that she was the least prepared for. The girl draws her left hand back, but the chi is already spent. She raises her right hand, sweeping her staff in a desperate bid to counter it, but it passes harmlessly through the energy projection. The impact is significant, blasting Ayame clean off her feet and sending her tumbling through the sand before coming to a rest on her back. She blinks, wondering if she feels like getting up again after all that. After all, she already got paid for winning a couple NDP bouts... if she bows out now, she can avoid any more unnecessary fights...

But of course, there IS that carrot - the big purse waiting at the end of the finals. That would be enough money for her to never really think about money again, she's quite certain. Grunting, Ayame slowly sits up, shaking her head. A quick survey of her surroundings shows her that if she can at least stand up, she will be the likely victor. Gritting her teeth, she gets a tight hold of her staff and wedges it against the ground, using it to push herself up to standing. The weapon serves as a convenient makeshift support as she leans against it, but she's most definitely standing.

She's rather certain any cheers on the part of the audience are more for the closeness of the match rather than any particular following she could possibly have out there. "Huh." she breaths in then whips her staff up over her shoulders, draping her arms lazily over it. "Tough one!"

COMBATSYS: Ayame has ended the fight here.

Log created on 23:18:14 06/05/2012 by Ayame, and last modified on 09:16:32 06/07/2012.