Description: Only in the dirt do the most fetching flowers bloom, or so the theory goes. A signature exhibition match at Gedo High was billed as 'Queen vs. Queen,' for the upcoming election of Prom King and Queen. It's a shame that Hotaru might not feel very much like blooming, when she's caught fighting the ever-dignified and quite cruel Sada Asai in the middle of a crowd of rowdy Gedo students! Despite her family secret, Sada actually does have a good chance to win it for Prom Queen, and she probably doesn't like the idea of some young upstart being put on the same tier as her for anything--let alone a lofty title like 'queen.' The students are getting riled up, so make sure to give them a good show! [Winner and Candidate for Prom Queen: Sada]
It is only a few days before the grand Unified Southtown Winter Prom and all the younger generation of the city is abuzz with the event coming up. With school tensions at an all time record high due to vandals, invadors, panty raiders, and mascot thieving shenanigans, the moods between the different metropolis academies were going rather poorly and showing no signs of turning around! As is typical of bureaucrats who have no clue what is really going on with their students, someone thought a great way to sooth things over would be to have a grand prom attended by all the warring schools and, on top of that, to schedule exhibition matches at each of the campuses to show off the fighting pworess of the different schools.
This can't possibly go wrong.
While prom itself was not a high priority in the Futaba heir intent on improving her ability as a fighter and proving to her brother that it is possible to succeed in this world without abandoning everyone who cares for you, she received a request from the masters of Seijyun to demonstrate Seijyun's civility to the barbarians at Gedo in a scheduled fight against another one of the school's very special flowers.
A dutiful student and dedicated young martial artist, Hotaru Futaba was not about to turn down the request. She couldn't help but feel a little proud to be selected for this honor, in fact.
Now that she's here? She kinda wishes she had.
The time is evening, the place is the Gedo Highschool courtyard. There is no seating, no stands, no cordoned off area, no arena, no stands. Now that she's standing here, encircled by the loud, rowdy students crowding in from all sides, she realizes that the entire setup is very much more like a good ol fashioned schoolyard brawl than honorable sanctioned combat! What has she gotten herself into??
Her fighting attire makes her stand out even more than she would otherwise - standing in the rough, constantly shifting circle of boys that all look like terrifying gang members to her in a pristine, expensive looking Chinese styled rich blue cheongsam top with pristine white pants down to her anckles. Her black hair is tied off into pigtails with wide red ribbons done up in large bows. Her deep blue vest is embroidered with golden cords and ties along the front and her pants have a floral imprint that is barely visible in the dimmer lighting of the venue.
Sucking in her breath, she tries to tune out the shouts and jeers even if she is more afraid of this fight than she had been of appearing in the world famous Howard Arena for her debut match. It takes effort to remind herself that her brother would never back out from a fight, no matter how scary the stage, so either can she! Doing so would be admitting failure before she even really got started!
Sada Asai is not happy about this.
She hates proms, philosophically (but loves them too, like a hobbit and its ring). This is partly due to deep seated appearance issues, but also because she expects to get an arranged marriage by someone who her family can stop from complaining. The first time she kisses a man... he would know her curse.
It's all very dramatic.
Anyway: Sada Asai is, to all accounts, merely an extremely elegant young woman who did well in judo, so she was chosen to wear the proper uniform of the school and go forth to demonstrate their resolve out in front of the Gedo schoolyard.
So: she got dressed, got ready. Her hair was combed a hundred times. She put on her newly pressed uniform, notable only for its longer skirt in deference to the weather. A blazer rests over her blouse, the blazer buttoned up and with the badge of Seijyun prominently placed on the left breast. Comparatively speaking it is nondescript, compared to the pristine blue Chinese dress that Hotaru wears.
Inside of her gut, of course, a pit of horror seethes.
Sada slides in among the shifting crowd of boys, and gives Hotaru a slow, polite, proper, and entirely fake smile. She raises one hand, running it through her hair and letting it drape loose through her fingers. "So," she says, "Futaba, isn't it...?"
I'm going to make you beg for your life, she thinks, and her smile warms up, becomes all the more authentic and genuine!
At least... her opponent is a fellow Seijyun student, right? Hotaru doesn't know the girl. Truth be told, she isn't exactly much of a socialite. While most of the student body has their minds on boys, hair, clothes, homework, and other challenges of growing up, the Futaba girl is only focused on her hopeful fighting career, paying little mind to many of the potential distractions and only dedicating herself to schoolwork well enough to get an acceptable B- average. Every other free minute was spent training, practicing, and preparing for the fights ahead. Like this one!
But even in not knowing her opponent, there is at least a sense, albeit perhaps a false one, that they are here together to put on a good fight as fellow students and maybe after this they could become friends at Seijyun as well! One could hope.
As one boy starts shouting just behind her, the girl breaths in and steps forward a little, only to find the circle closing in behind her as she does so. This is not really a comfortable place to fight at all.
"Yes," she replies, smile flashing eagerly. "Well, just Hotaru is fine, really!" Another boy pulls on her right pigtail and she whirls around to glare, lifting her hands to a defensive, ready position, giving him a warning look that should he try that again, she might be forced to apply force to deter him from any further contact! "Thank you for this opportunity," she continues, whirling back around to face Sada, hands pressed together, hand over fist, as she bows her head and closes her eyes for an instant before looking up, "Asai, then?" she asks, wondering how the other girl prefers to be addressed for a moment.
'Too much talking!'
'Fight! Fight! Fight!'
The crowd will not be cooperative much longer if the girls don't start delivering the combat they came here to see. Breathing in then exhaling, the young Kung Fu artist slides into her ready stance, hands raised, palms facing each other, one foot slipping forward slightly as she begins to bounce lightly on her feet. She has a reputation for being a rather acrobatic, swift fighter. But she doesn't know what she's up against in the girl facing off against her. Learning on the fly will definitely be the motto for this match, she thinks to herself.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Sada has joined the fight here.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Sada
Sada smiles at Hotaru as she breathes, steps, and holds her head high and her pride in her heart. When a boy yanks at Hotaru's pigtail, she raises one hand, as if to wave him back. Those hands clasp; Hotaru bows.
"I think," she says, "Asai is correct, yes. But if you want to be a stickler for correctness... Futaba..."
Sada steps forwards. It's a leisurely step forwards. It doesn't even do more than make her skirt swish. Sada does not act aggressively or raise her guard even as Hotaru claps her hands together with the skill of kung fu.
She stops at arm's length away. Close enough that she can lower her voice and be heard. Her tone becomes, suddenly, much less polite and sweet and gentle, though still relatively /quiet/. More of a guttural laughing, most unladylike.
"The correct form of address is,"
Sada's right arm is still raised up near her hair. It snake-strikes down, her thumb and fingers spread as she aims to pinion Hotaru's own arm. As she does this she takes the final step, her left arm coming up to try and hook over Hotaru's armpit as she shoves forwards, to put pressure on the joint!
On the one hand, it's hardly an expert fighting move. Her guard is pretty bad unless she plans to block with her knees.
On the other hand, counter-flexing pressure on the wrist may not feel super fun.
"Queen," Sada whispers.
COMBATSYS: Sada successfully hits Hotaru with Figure Four Armlock.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Sada
As Sada moves in on her, Hotaru's azure eyes stay focused on the girl. It's hard to tune out a crowd that is literally yelling in your ears from just a few feet away, but she does the best she can under the circumstances. She blinks a little as the girl insists on using her last name in spite the friendly invitation to do otherwise. Maybe she's just really formal? Coming from Seijyun, that wouldn't be unusual. The girl does carry herself with that certain flair for arrogance many of the school's connected students are capable of... But maybe they can bond over being fellow martial artists?
But then comes the mention of the impending correction. Okay, maybe now she's going to soften up-
The transition from posturing to attacking happens in a blink, Hotaru's outstretched left arm caught before she can try to pull it back and defend herself! The other girl steps in around her with that grip on her hand, twisting up and yanking her wrist back, eliciting a cry of surprise from the Kung Fu artist and a sudden cheer from the audience glad to finally see the action they were promised!
The Futaba girl's knees bend a little as she tries to twist into the lock and alleviate the pressure a little, but it doesn't help a whole lot, her face contorted into a wince, eyes already starting to water at the joint pain being inflicted.
Then comes the whisper and Hotaru gasps, partially form surprise and moreso from the building pain. What kind of girl IS this? She'll just have to show her she won't be cowed so easily! "You have-" she grunts, "The wrong idea about me-" another desperate twist. "If you think it will be that easy!"
Twisting free feels less like an option, but maybe she can break her way free with physical force? It is with her opposite leg that she kicks, swinging it out a little then bringing it in hard toward Sada's shin, hoping to destabilize her stance hard enough that she will be forced to release her arm from the painful lock!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Sada with Light Kick.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0 Sada
Those azure eyes! So pure! So bright!
Sada's eyes are dark. Like pits into which no light can go. Her grip on that extended arm continues tightly, even as she hisses through her teeth, "I didn't expect it to be that easy, though I suppose -"
She yelps, undignified, when she's kicked in the shin. She had twisted her leg around, but this mostly means her leg jerks like part of an action figure and that she nearly stumbles over. That would have, potentially, been quite effective, of course...
But it is not to be.
Sada exhales with great force rather than screaming. Her breath smells weird. It is notable enough to stand out, though it's more of a scent like sushi rice than anything conventionally nasty or unsavory. "I suppose I did hope it."
Her voice raises as she hops on her one foot that hasn't been kicked - and then presses down to straddle Hotaru's thigh.
Sada speaks lower again now as she says, "You've screwed up, Futaba... it's nothing personal, of course, there's no way you could know, but I can feel it happening already!!" How can she speak so quickly while holding Hotaru's wrist? Because she speaks with her heart of darkness.
"I can feel that your kick's scraped my shin... that's no big deal, though. I'm not mad about that, because you've lost already by doing it. Nothing to do with your style or your effort... don't feel bad about it."
She laughs and leans in closer. "Well, OK, that's a lie. Feel bad about it. THIS bad!"
Sada lets go of Hotaru's wrist (yay!) and snaps her arms out to try to embrace her in a highly specific way (yay...?) which is to say, reaching around her to try and grab at her thus-far-unlocked arm and pull it back behind her (definitely looking like this is a no-yay situation).
From here Sada wrenches herself. It's a big movement. Lots of room to wiggle loose or knock her down, especially since she's trying to scrape her shin on the inside of Hotaru's shin (this is definitely not looking like a yay situation). If Hotaru isn't careful, this strange imitation of a grasshopper being friendly will leave a lingering, painful feeling - as if she'd just burned her leg!
But there was no fire. Or was there? The one big upside is that after that movement, Sada lets go - though this attack of amateur chiropractic may leave its mark.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru interrupts Sparkling Abdominal Stretch from Sada with Hakki Shou EX.
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Hotaru 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Sada
Truth be told, Hotaru isn't really sure what style her opponent is using. That she is as fluent in joint locks as she is with being rude is immediately clear, but if there is a common theme to them, she isn't sure what it is yet. That her hand is still held fast in spite the success of her kick, however, is more than just a little disconcerting. If she doesn't get free soon, that pressure will definitely turn into a more serious wound!
Already, her breaths are coming faster, a byproduct of adrenaline sparked by pain in her strained arm. She's going to have to figure out another angle to strike, another angle to get free, or this is going to be a very short bout. She has no choice but to listen to the words in her ear, whispered by her opponent. Why is she saying this? What did she ever do to her to provoke such treatment? Gritting her teeth, she stays sharply alert for any opening, any chance to act.
How can she already know she's won? Has she detected a power gulf between them that cannot be possibly overcome? Hotaru's inexperience in competition is definitely causing her to read even more into things than possibly make sense! "Nngh." she grunts, perspiration roling down her cheeks. "Why- why are you saying- all of this?" she stammers.
But then she has her window, brief as it may be. Her wrist is freed, giving her an instant to think, the other girl moving around behind her, invading her personal space and not giving her even the slightest inch to breath. But maybe she can make that inch. Her other arm is grasped now, her leg locked by the other girl's leg, a burning contact made that she doesn't even realize at first.
But the dim night is illuminated by a flash of sapphire as Hotaru resolves to break free at last, her free hand twisting up, encased in a sheath of brilliant blue. It takes everything she can do to twist just enough, arm bent at the elbow, reaching up and behind herself right before Sada would get her chance to wrench the Futaba girl's back hard. "YAA!"
The blast would be right into the side of Sada's head - a surge of pure concussive force that doesn't burn, doesn't freeze, doesn't do anything beyond feeling like a powerful fist just reached out and punched her skull. It might leave ringing in her ears.
Either way, it's enough to finally get herself free, stumbling forward and away from Sada before whirling about, hands raised, gasping for breath. It's then that she feels something else is wrong. A burning sensation long her leg. She glances down as if confused, but only for an instant, before looking back up. Against this girl, she can't let her guard down for even an instant!
"Because someone like you doesn't deserve to be queen," Sada answers Hotaru as she struggles. She strains a bit more, her own skin sheening faintly in sweat. "And even if you're just here for the fight... I want you to suffer for your presumption --"
A bright blue flash! Now that gets the crowd working.
Sada, obviously, doesn't really reply much when that burst of concusive force smashes into the side of her head. Her eyes go wide. She might say something like "ghrghk!" - and she stumbles back, falling backwards onto her backside with her arms upraised.
Sada's ears stop ringing - and she pulls herself upright, trying her best to smooth her hair back out. She's grinning, but not pleasantly. Her teeth look strange, almost too neat and clean. She speaks in that sweeter, more proper voice.
"Don't you think it's a little crude to throw your opponent to the ground...? I can't argue with the presentation of your skill, Futaba, but surely you must have greater respect for your opponent, and this competition, than that..."
Her eyes make it clear this is totally a lie.
She flips her hair even so: "Still... it's certainly an impressive technique... I'm sure that our... hosts will be glad to see that even those who may not become the queen of the prom are, in the end, skilled and trained."
Sada beams again. "Would you like to serve as my attendant at the prom itself, Futaba? I'm sure you'd find it to be quite diverting - certainly more interesting than waiting for a prince to come."
Sada may, or may not, be metabolizing her own intense sassiness for restored power.
COMBATSYS: Sada gains composure.
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Hotaru 0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0 Sada
Free at last from the uncomfortable closeness the girl who demands to be called Queen, Hotaru can catch her breath, azure eyes focused on Sada without flinching, her mouth a thin line, her concentration fully dedicated to the fight. The shouts, the yells, the taunts of the Gedo roughs around them go unheard now. Her attention is, to the last iota, squarely on Sada Asai.
The other makes clear her stance on the Kenpo artist and Hotaru's neutral expression shifts to a flicker of a frown. This is a different spirit than she has found in the others she has faced in her brief fighting career. What kind of attitude is this? It does't seem to just be an act, as far as she can tell. The other girl just flat out doens't like her!
But slowly she pulls back her own emotions, not wanting to be riled up. That's no way to fight. She can remain composed, she tells herself. "I have always felt it is the responsability of my opponents to stay on their feet... if it's that important to them," she replies. There is no hint of humor in her voice in spite the mild sarcasm present in the words.
The Futaba heiress closes her eyes for a moment, still trying to stay calm. She has never fought angry in her life. She has no idea how poorly that might go for her. She just needs to focus on her skill! "If that title is what this is all about..." She clenches her hands then unclenches them, "Then I will show you that I have every right to it as you do. Being stuck up does not a queen make."
She leans into a step... then blitzes toward Sada with apparent reckless abandon. Her hands would lead the way, attempting to get a firm grip on the other girl's arms, pulling apart any attempt to defend the attack that follows - If she succeeds, the girl will stomp her way up one kick at a time, delivering swift, brutal, stepping kicks to a knee, thigh, stomach, chest, before finally springing off from the self-proclaimed Queen's face with both feet and backflipping away. "YA, YA, YA!"
It is, all things considered, not a particularly respectful attack. Downright thuggish, really. Will Sada stand for that treatment!
COMBATSYS: Sada fails to interrupt Shinjou Tai from Hotaru with Beat the Cheek.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Sada
Sada's lips quirk upwards as she sweeps her hand back - Sweat glistens on her palm.
The heiress of the Futaba style charges forwards, and Sada says with tht same sweetness, "What a cruel and uncouth statement to make, Futaba. Do you really think so poorly of me...?" Her eyes are like a viper's as she says these things. Really, she's having fun with this.
And then Hotaru approaches. Fast as a bullet train and approximately twice as appealing, Sada has her hand coming up, reading to deliver a stinging rebuke. Hotaru might see that the sweat droplets on her palm are glowing faintly --
But then instead she's pulled down, bicycle-kicked up in the knee, on a thigh, in the gut, in the rib cage (with an impressive CRACK of rib cartilage) and then a foot landing on her face, pushing back; sending Hotaru flipping backwards!
And leaving Sada with a foot print on her face.
A nosebleed. (From soft tissue injury, viewers at home, get it straight.)
"Uu... uugh..." Sada raises a hand to her nose, and the pain currently coursing through her body means that the tears that come to her eyes are easily pressed out, even if the implication is different.
"H... Hotaru... How could you be so cruel... To step on my face, in front of another school... i... is victory so important to you...!?"
Landing from her backflip, Hotaru stands up straight, arms raised once again to the ready. That her charging, stomping assault had been successful was beyond any doubt to her. It's not exactly the most graceful move in the books, but sometimes a face is just really begging to be stomped and right that moment, Miss Asai's was asking for it like none other the girl had ever fought!
To say she felt smug about the attack might be overstating things a little, but she was, at the very least, quite satisfied with herself, allowing a faint smile as Sada responds with inspecting her nose for foot-to-face damages. But the expression falters when the tears come out, the girl's eyes widening a little. The thought that her opponent was not being completely forthcoming with their emotions doesn't seem to cross her mind as she hangs back, looking indecisive all of the sudden.
Then the accusations come and Hotaru pales slightly. Was her opponent really far more delicate than she presented herself? Was everything prior to that moment just a tough girl front that finally got broken to expose the gentle, fragile soul in need of a friend beneath? "I- I-" Her attack was as legitimate as anything else used this match, but when pointed out in this new light, she really does seem a bit less sure about things.
She lets her guard down now, no longer thinking about pressing any kind of advantage, left hand going up to rest behind the back of her neck, "Well, I wasn't sure- I mean... I thought... It really was like a kick, j-just that-..." Laughter from the crowd around them causes her to blink, glancing at the boys in surprise, a hint of pink at her cheeks. Wait, no, she reminds herself, this is a match. She neesd to stay focused! Lifting her hands, she lightly slaps her own cheeks and then shakes her head, releasing an exhale and slipping back into her ready stance.
"I'm ready if you feel like you can continue, Miss Asai," the girl finally states, her tone stable now that she had collected herself. She still wasn't completely sure what was going on, and wasn't about to attack first, giving her fellow student plenty of time to prepare herself, but that also means she was taking this opportunity to center her own resolve. Focus on the fundamentals, focus on your training, she reminds herself silently, trying not to lose her concentration in the face of such a unusual opponent.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru focuses on her next action.
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Hotaru 0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0 Sada
Sada's lip quivers.
Hotaru's hesitation is seen... though, perhaps, while there is the sprouting of malicious intent and close observation, all Sada really gets out of this is that she's struck a nerve. That's what matters. Yes, she thinks: Turn pink. Then red. Then white as a corpse... or as white as cooked pork!!
Sada sniffles. The bruising on her nose isn't fake. She takes a breath, and then hears Hotaru's words. Her lip curls before she controls it, makes herself smile instead.
'Damn you, Futaba,' she does think: 'you've got a lot of guts behaving like that... maybe you're tougher than those hair bows suggest. But that will just make it all the sweeter when you're crying in fear and pain!'
Fortunately, Sada thinks quicker than she would if she was, say, reading it aloud.
With a final sniffle, she bows slightly, spreading out her skirts in a curtsey. "Thank you, Futaba... that's very considerate of you. But, you shouldn't worry too much about... about..." She seems to grow paler then, swaying to one side. Is she having a cerebral hemorrhage from Hotaru's cruel treatment of her precious face?!
Maybe. But she's also executing a maneuver she had seen several times in tapes... the wisdom of the drunken master in swaying to hide your real goal. For as Sada stumbles forwards, two paces that would put her almost past Hotaru and into the boys, she doesn't actually finish stumbling.
Instead, Sada whirls around, aiming to lock an arm underneath Hotaru's--
COMBATSYS: Sada successfully hits Hotaru with Sugar Hold.
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Hotaru 1/-------/=======|===----\-------\0 Sada
And then throw her entire weight behind Hotaru, her knees coming up to drive into the girl's lower back! The pressure is enough that, even if Sada is not exactly Hugo-with-a-weight belt, Hotaru is forced to her knees in turn - and then prone - with Sada curling like a gargoyle over her, looping her other arm around for the rest of the full nelson.
That would be bad enough if something wasn't dripping onto Hotaru.
Sweat from Sada's forehead. Blood from her nose. Tears from her cheeks. And /all/ of them burn.
Sada pushes down with her knees, the drape of all that long combed hair hiding her face. She speaks in that low, half-whispering, totally-not-ladylike voice: "So just how long can you take this? Don't feel you have to give up quickly -- I want to see how long you can take it!!"
In response to Sada's words, Hotaru makes the grevious mistake of dipping her head in acknowledgement. She isn't being sincere, certainly, but it seems proper to at least acknowledge the words. There is a hint of temper behind those blue eyes of hers. Sada has struck a cord, it seems, with her antics, her harsh words, her bold bragging.... It isn't appropriate for a flower of Seijyun, and it it DEFINITELY isn't appropriate behavior for a fellow fighter.
But that slight inclination of her head and accompanying blink of the eyes is just the window the other girl needs. She's fast when she wants to be, that much becomes abundantly clear. By the time Hotaru has opened her eyes and looked forward again, the other girl is no where to be seen. Where she ended up becomes abundantly clear the instant she finds her arm being locked from behind. Eyes widen, her free arm raising, her feet shuffling against the concrete as she immediately tries to pry herself free before something worse can get locked in...
Something worse definitely gets locked in. The knees against her back incite a cry of pain, her knees buckling then hitting the ground as her free arm flails uselessly, unable to get a grip on Sada to get herself free. Sucking in her breath, she tries to kick up with her legs one last time only to be dropped hard against the ground face down. The boys are loving it as Sada twists the other girl's arm even further behind her back, locking her in place.
Shaking her head, Hotaru tries to kick herself free to no avail, the other girl is too well perched on her back. The position is somewhat humiliating, but hardly the worst thing that could happen in a fight. Once one has been bear-farted unconscious, it's REALLY hard to set a new bar. The arm pain is hurting, her elbow and shoulder screaming in agony for her to find a way to put an end to the intense pain.
But then it's something else that starts to hurt that she can't even explain. A burning sensation along her upper back, shoulders, and the back of her neck. "What are you doing?!" she exclaims. Is this pepper spray? Is that what it feels like? She doesn't have any idea what that would be doing in a martial arts expedition!!
Gritting her teeth, she fights to put a stop to this pain in her arm, this fire along her back, soaking into her top and feeling like ants biting into her flesh. It requires ignoring the pressure on her shoulder for one risky twist of her body against the hold to roll onto her side beneath the other girl, forcing Sada to re-evaluate her own perch as the girl beneath her starts to get a lot more squirrelly.
It seems the young Kung Fu artist is willing to keep this fight on the ground, even if this style of fighting is hardly core to her training regimen by any means. Both hands will reach out for Sada's right as Hotaru tries to roll again and pull the wouldbe Queen off of her completely... then keep rolling, slamming her against the ground on her back, hands still around Sada's wrist, her own legs possibly slipping over her opponent's stomach and neck, converting the hold into a painful armbar, yanking back hard if Sada doesn't manage to avoid getting caught!
COMBATSYS: Sada blocks Hotaru's Strong Throw.
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Hotaru 1/-----==/=======|====---\-------\0 Sada
Sada doesn't let herself laugh. She wants to, but she doesn't.
How stuck up of her, Sada thinks: and, also, I hope her hair stains. I hope she has to cut OFF her hair. Shave it all off... yesssss...
These are the thoughts that cross her mind, before Hotaru starts begging for answers, for information. Sada giggles again, faintly, her face still veiled by her hair. "Do you not know? Haven't you figured it out yet? Heh heh... you probably won't be able to. But if you give up now, surrender... yield the title... then, you probably won't end up TOO badly hurt..."
Of course, then Hotaru wriggles like a landed trout, escaping Sada's enthusiastic but amateurish full nelson. This means she ends up on one side of Hotaru in short order, if not really thrown to the ground - but then she IS grasped!
An armbar! Sada thinks - Hotaru can see how wide her eyes are. Hotaru can also feel that there's a faint unpleasantness to touching Sada's arm, though with her long sleeves thanks to the weather, it's not that dangerous. The armbar comes, and Sada doesn't resist it... perhaps saving her even more pain from the FUTABA MACHINE.
Instead, Hotaru sees the shin where Sada's tights got tore up by that kick - as well as the abrasion there, which still is a little wet with blood! It's not a BAD abrasion - it's the kind that heals up without leaving a scar if you take even the simplest care of it. But it's still fresh, and there's a streak of bloody wetness there.
Sada rolls forwards, letting her sleeve tear as she pulls laterally out of the arm bar, her legs raising up as she stays near Hotaru - aiming to shove her head forwards with one hand at the same time as she grabs her own leg at the ankle and pulls it forwards. It's a chokehold... a kind of gritty, nasty one, but nothing to fear in the end.
Except that the moment Hotaru's precious, personal skin comes in contact with that bloody abrasion, the pain and the stinging resume, whether it be the briefest brush in the course of flinging Sada into the Gedo High cafeteria or the last thing she feels before the void of unconsciousness!!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Sada's Sadaplata.
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Hotaru 1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0 Sada
The idea that anything about the girl is dangerous to touch is so preposterous it never even crossed Hotaru's mind through each of Sada's attacks on her. Even now, as pain courses down her back, a burning that she can't place or explain, she has no idea what to attribute it to. That changes when she gets her hands on Sada's arm. Even through the sleeve her fingers clasp over, she can feel something is off and the confusion is visible in her azure eyes that flick up to glance at the other girl's face even as she attempts to lock her into an armbar, as if trying to find explanation there.
There's no time for further consideration though, as her hold doesn't quite get locked in as tightly as she had hoped for. Teeth grit as Sada escapes her hold and Hotaru quickly rolls to knees, in a hurry to get to her feet before or no later than her opponent. Unfortuantely, this has her rising right up into young Asai's next hold! Trying to pull away, her arm lifts for Sada's, trying to get her throat free from the grip on her. But it's the other attempted attack that catches her eye.
The murmur that escapes her lips hints that she is just now starting to understand. Sada is TRYING to rub that scraped leg against her. It's something about the wound? The... the blood? That makes no sense!!
A fit of desperation has her wresting her way free, slamming her feet against the concrete to pull back a step. The agony in her back is excerbated by the movement, but she has to carry on. And right now, she's just a little angry. Is it poison? Acid? How is she delivering it? Is it /really/ her blood? The demand she yield still echos in her ears, now red with frustration at how she has been taunted and treated throughout this bout.
"To simply surrender would be a mark on my resolve as a martial artist!" she snaps back, getting beyond irritated now. Sucking in her breath, Hotaru slides one foot back, one foot forward, arms weaving in a circular pattern before coming to rest in front of her as she assumes a more solid stance. "I feel like I must settle this right now!"
Her counter attack comes incredibly fast, the girl bursting forward with speed beyond her young years of experience would suggest. She's sliding into a low stance just in front of Sada a blink of the eye later, a blue and white blur of action. This was it - her most powerful technique, something to end this fight decisively, to stop the toying, the taunting, the cloy deception. She'd show this stuckup girl!
With an explosion of azure chi, Hotaru launches into a powerful, two-footed flip kick, intent on driving her fellow student into the air with the power of her kick!
COMBATSYS: Sada parries Hotaru's Tenshou Ranki!!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0 Sada
"Temper, temper, Futaba," Sada says in her 'outside' voice, rolling loose as Hotaru slams her way back upright. Sada rises now, more fluidly, sweeping her hair back with one hand and looking entirely sweet if you don't look at just how much she's smiling and at the look in her eyes. "Surely there's no shame in giving up when you're beaten and sparing yourself harm...?"
Nope, she's not going for it.
Sada's eyes narrow as Hotaru comes towards her, her entire body tensing -- and then Hotaru pauses just a moment in front of her, to prepare for what she's doing, and Sada --
It's said that the most dangerous person in any swordfight is not the expert or the master, but the complete novice. A journeyman can be counted on to fight competently, even if his defeat is certain. But the damn newbie... his chances may not be good. In fact, they're abysmal... but because he's unpredictable, blind foolish luck and idiotic (but effective) maneuvers are possible.
-- leans back and lands on her right hand, like a breakdancer. Her hair hangs down, perpendicular with the ground as Sada grins, her bangs draping over her eyes. Hotaru would get a glimpse of that sharklike grin as she regained her upwards posture, her head up in right orientation with the horizon.
"Maybe now you can figure it out," Sada says, as she pushes herself up off the ground, wincing at the scrape on her hand. She bobs back up to her feet, almost overcorrecting and bringing her hand up to wipe it over her forehead. Something there seems to sizzle - or fizz? - for an instant, but she'd just... wiped off her forehead?
When Hotaru descends, as all things must, Sada swings her hand around. Something glows on the pad of her hand -- and then it flies out. Clear droplets of sweat, with a couple of tiny traces of blood from abrasion on the concrete.
With a rippling, crackling sound like firecrackers -
(Much like firecrackers, the burst is painful and lingering. Unlike firecrackers, they are unlikely to put an eye out.)
COMBATSYS: Sada successfully hits Hotaru with Glow Bomber EX.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-----<<|=======\-------\1 Sada
Airborn, there's nothing the Kenpo artist can do as she descends, arms out at her sides, feet leading the way. Azure eyes are already on Sada, widened with visible concern, but she can't stop herself from falling. A more veteran fighter might have found a way out of this seemingly inescapable situation, but Seijyun girl drops right into the midst of the scattered spray of sweat. One might, had they not realized the menace Sada represents, assume the gesture was a taunt rather than attack.
But she knows better now. All she can do is bring her arms up over her face as the droplets explode around her, spraying more of the poison over her but staying off her face. Staggering back, she tries wiping at the substance on her arms, but that just seems to spread the burning to her hands. Shaking her hands, she avoids moving them near her face lest the agonizing sensasion spread.
Eyes flick to Sada. She has to put a stop to this girl's attacks and fast! She has no words for her fellow student. It takes enough effort to keep fighting in spite the spread of sharp burn coursing through her body. Still, she manages to take to the air in a forward leap then flip forward into a sharp dive.
Her left knee leads the way, and if it manages to connect with Sada's shoulder, she'll finish by swinging her right leg forward for a followup kick before backflipping away once more! "KYA!"
COMBATSYS: Sada blocks Hotaru's Rengeki Shuu.
[ \\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\=------\1 Sada
Sada is kept from getting on a good full-throat gloat by the fact that Hotaru, while injured and hurting, is nowhere near out. Say what you will, but Hotaru has a strong resistance to poisonous efflusions of all sorts!
At least it's not bear farts.
Sada steps back as Hotaru starts leaping around. She feels a terrible realization that she made an extremely wise call in closing to grapple, because Hotaru leaps around a lot - and well! The incoming knee smashes into Sada's shoulder, making her spin -
The followup kick goes wide as Sada sucks in a huge breath through her teeth, trying not to scream. She reaches out blindly.
To try to grasp at Hotaru's hair.
What happens if she gets her wriggly little satan-fingers on one of those elegant twin-tails is simple: she pivots around to bring her knee up at the same time that Hotaru, possibly betrayed by her own effort at leaping back, is moving towards it.
The up side is that if she hits the spine just right, there will be a very relieving subluxation.
That's the up side.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru instinctively blocks Sada's Hair Pull Backbreaker.
[ \\\\\\\\ < > /////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-<<<<<<|=------\-------\0 Sada
Having trained and practiced honorable martial arts against honorable martial artists, Hotaru is woefully unprepared for the underhanded tactics Sada has wielded in the fight. From poisonous blood? To faux tears. To HAIR PULLING?! Still airborn, in the process of backflipping away, her nearest pigtail is easy pickings for the girl who seems to have no limits to what she'll go to win this fight and get the Futaba heiress to admit defeat!
The pull is painful and, with her airborn body in a precarious position, Hotaru would have been unable to muster any defense at all if she had to actually think about it. Fortunately, in this case at least, she can fall back on instincts, honed by countless days of training over the last four years of her life. Her whole body twists as Sada yanks her down, and instead of her lower back being driven against the raised knee, it is her own shin that smacks against it in an experience that is beyond painful but not enough to break her resolve to fight.
A small cry escapes her lips as she pulls herself free. A red ribbon is left behind as her hair falls loosely on her right shoulder, the pig-tail undone by the hard pull she just endured in breaking away. Landing on her feet, she gasps for breath. She's about to collapse. Her entire body aches and burns, her face red with pain and fluster.
She has to fall back on her earlier technique. She isn't even sure if she can make the distance between her and Sada now, her right hand drawing back, sapphire blue power pouring along her arm into her hand. Her left foot stomps forward, lacking the light stepping grace she had earlier in the fight, her right arm following the motion to swing out and forward...
And flinging the azure blue concussive force Sada's way with all she has left to give. "HAA!" She'd stagger forward after the effort, sweating profusely, nearly ready to fall forward on her own. But for right now, she won't be stopped. She will keep fighting.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Sada with Hakki Shou.
[ \\\\\\ < > ///// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0 Sada
Sada's trained too, you know!!
She was in Judo class!! And she has been on TV! Where Rainbow Mika's big sweaty butt hit her in the face!!
However, Sada is clearly still in that trap of watching Hotaru's evident pain and discomfort. "Futaba, are you really alright... You seem a little, aheh, tired out there," she says in that poison-sweet tone, even if she herself isn't doing much better.
Scraped up. Bleeding in several places. Sore. It is sort of nice, Sada thinks, before - her eyes widen, that blue light coming back. "Gh --"
The blast hits her straight forwards, head on.
The pain of it is... exquisite, in its way. Sada's ribcage compresses, with another large staff, the blow rippling through her chest. Her eyes bug out as she wonders for a moment if her heart stopped. Her blood pressure surges - then falls to nearly nothing.
She gasps, reaching up...
As things normalize, her vision comes back, and...
Sada's head tilts down. And she sees the school badge fall off her jacket... the stitching completely destroyed by the Hakki Shou.
Sada trembles for a moment, her calves contracting. She wants to fall over, but she's able to resist it, like you resist the urge to throw up, the urge to scream... eventually, any urge subsides, just like Buddha taught.
"Futaba," she says, finally.
The crowd is silent.
"Look what you've done." Sada crouches, picks up the badge - scorched now, partially torn.
"Look what you've done to our school's representation... to the symbol of our pride, as students at Seijyun High..." The badge rests in Sada's palm. She makes herself walk forwards. The first step's the hardest. The second's easier. The third easier yet. The fourth and she's nearby. That grin's coming back. The badge is still in her palm.
"In front of Gedo! How --"
Sada's hand whips around with a force that comes from a twist of the torso. It's fast, sharp, short, stinging. Hopefully, the lingering wetness on Hotaru's cheek will make the patch stick.
"DARE you," Sada concludes, before staggering to the left a full pace.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru fails to reflect Beat the Cheek from Sada with Kobi Kyaku.
[ \\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Hotaru can no longer fight.
[ \\\\ <
As Sada picks up the patch that has been dropped, Hotaru is struggling just to keep her focus on the other girl. Eyes are watering now, much to her frustration, hands clenching and unclenching as she tries to fight back the pain by sheer will power.
Still panting for breath and now sweating even worse as the fever threatens to overtake her, Hotaru Futaba is determined to see this through. From the beginning, the question of Queen was never important to her. Proving her ability, on the other hand, was everything. She had to do her best. She couldn't leave having done any less. That, and there was no denying that she wanted nothing more than to see Sada hurt for what she'd done, even if she was really trying to keep that strong emotion at bay. She didn't have the energy to be wasting on such considerations!
Unfortunately, that resolve isn't enough to secure a victory against the vicious Seijyun princess. When Sada steps in closer, Hotaru attempts to retaliate in force. She doesn't have the strength to chase the girl down, or to jump around anymore. All she can do is try to contest her in melee range when she choses to move in as well. Her torso twists, her leg swinging out then around, as she seeks to counter the incoming swing of the arm with a crushingly strong strike of her leg.
The smack against her cheek echoes throughout the silent courtyard, everyone holding their breath to see how the match would end. The one-pig-tailed girl goes flying to the side in the direction of the slap, dropped to the ground hard, the Seijyun Academy patch fixed securely to her cheek. The crash is painful looking but she lands on her side, catching herself with her hands, rather than crumpling outright.
Pressing down, the girl grits her teeth, hissing in pain as she shakes her head. Though her arms tremble, there several seconds where it seems like she's about to get up again... But with a soft cry, she finally falls still against the concrete, passed out to the feverish pain, with a nice fancy if scorched patch on her cheek!
What happens next is not totally clear even on replays. Sada staggers over to Hotaru and attempts to see if she's OK, more or less, before she ends up leaning against a Gedo student and needing some bandaging and ointment herself.
If Sada were to bump against her collapsed foe that would be entirely understandable. She is punch drunk and on the verge of collapse. No malice is meant there.
Except that Sada's left foot did come onto Hotaru's neck for half a second. She didn't press much. But she did STEP there, and STAND there.
And after asking 'Futaba, are you alright?' she'd added something hissing, gloating, and proud.
"I... am the queen."
Log created on 22:58:17 12/04/2014 by Hotaru, and last modified on 04:29:24 12/06/2014.