Description: A man of such power cannot travel without creating ripples of change. His very presence announces itself to those who know the signs. His travel patterns are as predictable as his reasons are esoteric. The power he wields is almost unimaginable. The ground trembles when he approaches. You cannot attack him head on, but with his finely honed senses he is impossible to surprise. Everything you know and everything you are will be tested.... "Ah, Kaede-chan, can I get your autograph?!"

It is the night of the Southtown Winter Prom Exhibition matches. All across the city, students and fight fantatics alike are away from their desks, their computers, and their dorms, having spilled into the different campuses to watch the fights arranged for this year's attempt at a Unified School Event. Administrators no doubt were hoping to quell some of the tensions between the intense academies across the city and understandably so.

It's gotten pretty bad out there.

Campus invasions, mascot theft, marauding vandals, assaults on administrators, and even more violent attacks on students... Well, one student at Taiyo is fed up with the attacks on her own campus and has begun a one kunoichi crusade to put a stop to it. The schools can war amongst themselves all they want but the Taiyo Student Body is closest thing she has to family now. And you don't mess with a shinobi's family.

Case of interest #1 on her list - a violent assault on Taiyo student Yuri Sakazaki by a girl believed to be from the private academy, Seijyun High. Unlike the other point of interest, Daigo Kazama, this one has proven tricky to follow up on. The girl responsible left no name. And while security footage at the gates likely existed, Kasumi was unable to get her hands on it. All she managed to find was a discarded paper containing the eye witness reports after the fact. It would have to do. With the information she had, the next stop would be the Seijyun student files. With the details she had and some intuition, she'd be able to narrow down the likely culprit... then she could pay them a visit and make them aware of the grevious error of picking on a Taiyo student.

Given the Exhibition matches tonight and who is fighting where, it goes without saying that most students and any faculty with any interest in the proceedings are going to be off campus. With Justice High's increasingly famous Athena Asamiya likely to draw a crowd, as well as the other schools offering matches that weren't billed as 'Some ridiculously old guy faces off against...', it's understandable that the Seijyun event isn't going to draw a lot of attention by comparison.

Slipping over the walls, avoiding the security camera angles where possible and just slapping something over the lenses of the ones she can't is routine enough. She's found school security at night to be about as lax as anything she's ever had to infiltrate. It's almost like the campuses are NOT secret clandestine compounds. She had already checked the layout of the school before planning her night-time invasion so veering in the direction of the administration building is her first priority.

She wishes she had her entire suite of infiltration garb but leaving home meant giving up a lot. And even what few possessions she had managed to acquire over her time on the run were largely lost when some winged nightmare decided to blow up the ruin she was staking out in. Thus she's left to keep it simple - the dark blue Taiyo skirt suffices, combined with a fitted black, long sleeved button up shirt, and thigh-high black stocking helps keep to the shadows a little and is nondescript enough to not tie her to any one school. Her strawberry-blonde hair is tied off into a ponytail worn high like usual.

Encountering no one along the way toward the two story administration office just beyond the large campus garden, she becomes aware of unexpected commotion ahead. That isn't where the match was supposed to be held, was it? She slips from tree to tree, shadow to shadow, corner to corner moving ever close to the administration building, but now a faint frown crosses her features.

Maybe this isn't going to be as easy as she had hoped.

An exhibition match was scheduled to happen here tonight. The staff of Seijyun High were leery about participating in one of these events to begin with, but no one could have anticipated just how badly things would go wrong.

First, both of the fighters showed up early. Then words were exchanged, and one proceeded to deal the other a sound thrashing before the camera crews were halfway ready to begin filming. Amidst the chaos and indignation on the set, the winner of the duel invited himself to wander the campus, pausing to question any girls he came across. This was alarming enough, but it was around this time that a third fighter arrived on the scene. To everyone's horror, it was discovered that the intruder wandering the halls of the all-girls school was never even invited here to begin with!

A PA announcement comes across the campus speakers for all present to evacuate due to the presence of an intruder. Around this time, several variants of the same text message begin to circulate around the student body:

"kaede creepy old man was asking about you in the hallway what's the deal??"

And so it is through the magic of social networking that the block surrounding the school shortly found itself devoid of girls named "Kaede", or at least what few were in the vicinity to begin with.

As if on cue, right after the PA announcement a half-naked old man turns the corner and spies Kasumi. As he announces himself, his eyes close and the corners of his mouth peel upward into a pleasant smiling configuration. "Ah, Kaede-chan! I thought that was you I saw climbing on the outside of the building. Could I trouble you for an autograph?"

COMBATSYS: Oro has started a fight here.

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Oro              0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Kasumi has joined the fight here.

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Oro              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Kasumi

Leaving the garden, Kasumi sprints across the open grass-covered walkway to slide into the shadows on the side of the student housing. The ground floor of the administration building is likely to be locked down by this time of night, and with likelyhood of security cameras at the entrances being high, her intended avenue of entrance will be to get to the roof from the neighboring dorm building. A half-crouch then a leap allows her to grip the window sill of a second floor hallway window. Feet bracing against the wall while her fingers cling gives her enough traction to leap up further, finding purchase on the roof of the building from which she is able to pull herself the rest of the way up.

From here, it will be a simple run, leap, roll, and she'll be on the roof of the administration building - one step closer to those hopefully helpful student files. She has to find an identity on her target before she'll ever be able to track the girl down.

It's then that the PA goes off and the infiltrator freezes. A schoolwide alert regarding an intruder? A faint frown crosses her lips. She'll have to review where the mistake was later. Did she miss a camera? Maybe there existed better detection on the walls than she realized? Did a silent alarm trip somewhere?

Exhaling softly, she retreats back to the building's edge. A leap down has her land in the grass with a soft, nearly silent step in spite the distance. Rising back up to standing, she turns, intent on retreating out of the campus a different way than she came in, still chiding herself for slipping up somewhere.

Movement out of the corner of her eye has her whirling to evaluate the threat. Late night security? A student who stumbled across her by happenchance? Maybe a member of staff intent on catching the intruder before she gets away? She'll have to silence whoever it is long enough for her to complete her egress before further alams can be sounded. She'll make ti quick.

"I'm sorry, but-" she starts. Copper brown eyes come to rest on the actual intruder. This isn't a student. Nor a staff member. Or security. Everything seems off. He's calling out the moniker she used for SLAMFEST. Sure, she was dressed in her azure training garb for that appearance, but her face is uncovered, her hair done in the same style.

Wait- he had seen her sneaking around already? She recoils a step, arms raised to the defensive before he can even finish his sentence.
Objectives are immediately reprioritized - she'll have to be gentle. He looks ancient.
"Forgive me, but-"
She's already warmed up from her incursion into Seijyun. She goes from standing to attacking in an instant, closing the distance between her and the old man who unfortunately just turned the wrong corner a the wrong time.

She tries to slide in alongside him, thinking to slip to his back before the decrepit stranger can even know what is happening. An arm around his neck, another attempting to lock over it and get a hand over his mouth in order to muffle any cry. If successful, the beautiful kunoichi would be pressed in against the Ancient's back, her voice kept to a soft whisper as to not alert any others.

"- I can't help you with that right now."

COMBATSYS: Kasumi successfully hits Oro with Quick Throw.

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Oro              0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0           Kasumi

Such cruelty to the elderly! Oro's smile never even falters for a moment as the ninja carefully darts past and gently - for her profession - attempts to smother any further conversation. The fact that he doesn't try to avoid the move is of no particular surprise. He's an old man, after all. Why, then, are practically all of Kasumi's alarm bells ringing despite the position she's secured?

Facts that are observed subconsciously would slowly begin to register. For one, at this proximity it's clear that this is completely the wrong physiology. The amount of resistance that the old man's neck gives is completely off. The chords of his neck are like pillars unto themselves. His back for that matter seems to be made of pure muscle. That simply doesn't make any sense!

An arm raises to pluck her hand from his mouth with a gentleness that mirrors her own. With surprising ease, he applies not only enough leverage to free his mouth, but crane his neck sideways to look at her out of the corner of his eye. Or what passes for an eye. There /is/ no ocular sphere to be found, simply a pool of alarmingly red radiance where there should be one.

"Hm, a suffocation hold! Not bad, but far too gentle. I'd really recommend something more like this..."

Slipping out from under Kasumi's hold, the spry old man worms his way around her in a more gymnastic mirror of her earlier feet. She briefly feels the sensation of him against her back, and then it's...gone? In its place, should she be so unfortunate, she would find surprisingly powerful legs wrapping around her neck while his elbow pinches her nose shut against the knee. "It's harder for them to struggle if you do it this way. Though it /can/ be worse on the neck if they don't go down gently..."

COMBATSYS: Kasumi blocks Oro's Kubi-jime Kataguruma.

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Oro              0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0           Kasumi

If things felt way off before she lunged at him, they're only several orders of magnitude MORE wrong when she gets that grip. She expected to have no trouble in the execution of it, so it takes a bit to register how much isn't adding up as she initially expected.

Her hand is moved away from his mouth with ease, revealing in that instant the strength that ripples beneath his arm in spite his stature. "Ah-!" a start of surprise as she finds even with flexing her arm she cannot pull her hand free to reassert control. She tries applying more pressure with the arm against his neck, but given the rock solid muscle tone she's finding in his neck, it doesn't really seem to make the slightest difference.

And then there's the eye, or lack thereof. Has she encountered a demon? After discovering the seals keeping the tengu trapped atop the Miyama for decades have been broken, she can't help but wonder if more creatures from beyond the leylines are seeping into the world. Yet... in spite the terrifying inhuman eye that peers back at her over his shoulder, there is none of the malevolence she sensed in the winged fiend. If anything, she doesn't get a read on the man at all, as if whatever nature he possesses is simply far beyond one as young and inexperienced as she to understand!

He comments on her hold like an Elder advising a student in the fundamentals of martial arts. "How did-" she starts to inquire, not caring about the instructions he aims to provide. In the next instant, she finds herself entangled in old man. She slams her left foot backward, aiming for shins, the instant she realizes that he's gotten behind her, only to realize that he isn't even on the ground as surprisingly solid, powerful legs close in around her throat.

But she's fast. The same moment her foot stomps down against the grass, her left arm snaps up, slipping under his leg before the hold is secured. It doesn't block him from locking her neck, but it does mean he can't apply the full pressure the technique could have afforded. Of course, it also means her arm is completely stuck at an awkward, unproductive angle. He does get his elbow over her nose, however, forcing the girl to make incomprehensible noises as she starts to stagger about with Oro riding on her shoulders. "Mmmrphmr- fr mmph!" in her least articulate expression of the night.

At least her legs are free. Brown ballet flats slip against the grass as Kasumi turns to the side, half-toppling in the process, and then rushes sidelong against the wall of the now evacuated dorm, attempting to crush the Ancient One against it!

COMBATSYS: Oro fails to interrupt Aggressive Strike from Kasumi with Thrown Object.

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Oro              0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0           Kasumi

For all of the girl's hobbling to keep her balance, Oro appears to have no trouble maintaining his whatsoever. He remains eerily upright no matter which direction she tilts, almost as if immune to the laws of gravity itself. "Not bad at all! Especially since I'm cheating a bit. It's a little trick I picked up when riding a wild leopard..." He probably would have continued babbling nonsense if his poor victim didn't have the good sense to fling herself at the nearest object and end her misery.

This is concernign for Oro however. Not out of concern for himself, but for her. "Be careful! You could hurt yourself doing that!" It's hard to tell with an old man's elbow blocking half of one's vision, but Kasumi may have the strangest suspicion that a bench just moved a feet to the side in an attempt to trip her. Whether it be luck or quick thinking, this threat is navigated and her payload of old man is successfully delivered into the wall.

It doesn't seem to phase him very much. If anything, his legs releasing her neck almost seems like a concession for the good ol' ninja college try.

Springing off of the wall and landing a good distance away, the old man takes up a one-legged stance with a bent knee, extending a single arm in her direction to complete the stance. The other arm remains...lazily tucked away within the folds of his garment. "Well, that was certainly fun. I really just wanted an autograph though. I haven't spent much time practicing the arts of ninjitsu or wrestling, let alone your innovative blend of the two, so I can't say that things will be very sporting if we continue like this. But it will be an honor all the same." He smiles brightly again, which is all the more unnerving now that his luminescent red eye has an identical twin. "Oh, is this about your strange fan club of black-clad ruffians? We have no affiliation, I assure you."

Her situational awareness of her surroundings in combat or infiltration is almost beyond human. Even with her eyes shut, she would have known the precise location of every possible tripping hazard around her, every possible vantage point to gain ground, and a number of possible escape vectors. Which is why, when the young kunochi is finally released from the leg-based grip on her neck and can finally see clearly again, she eyes the bench warily before shifting her focus back toward the suspicious one, head canting to the side slightly with a questioning look in her eyes.

"Who are you?" she asks back, putting the helpful friendly advice he's offered thus far immediately out of mind.

Now that she's no longer racing too fast to fully evaluate the situation and he's no longer, well, riding on her shoulders, the shinobi in black finally has a chance to study him more carefully. The girl is no idiot. By now the old man has demonstrated ability far beyond the helpless elder she had taken him for at first glance. His one-legged stance is even a further clue that she is looking at someone far more dangerous than she first percieved. Perhaps it is the utter lack of aura that she can feel coming off from him that keeps throwing her off. It's as if he has no presence compared to other high tier martial artists she has tested herself against. His one shoulder is shrouded - concealing an injury? Or a weapon?

Slipping back into her own ready stance, hands raised, palms facing each other, one foot slid forward, the girl breaths softly now that she has a chance to decide for a moment rather than acting on instinct alone. When he talks, however, she's listening. He already seems to know the styles she has at her disposal, but he did clearly see her SLAMFEST fight stream, so that isn't entirely surprising. But he is stalking her... dispatched by the Mugen Tenshin? She knows full well they have always been on her trail, forcing her to stay mobile and never able to settle down - not that she could afford to do so anyway.

But then the Mysterious One dismisses that fear casually.
"How did you find me?"
That question is always near and dear to her heart. Knowing how anyone can pick up her trails, especially when she was on a personal operation... well, she can't help but feel threatened about that!

But as she speaks, she's already winding up, turning her left shoulder forward, body tensing as she leans forward further. She fully intends to 'continue like this.' Until she can better understand the abilities of one so capable of easily tracking her, she will not be able to sleep easy! The attack comes without verbal warning as Kasumi blitzes forward incredible speed, becoming a blue of dark blue and black in her blindingly fast dash toward and potentially past the aged master.

No normal eyes could hope to see her attack - and in fact, people often confuse her signature technique as being an actual teleport, such is its velocity. But those crimson orbs where human eyes should be would have no problem perceiving the way her elbow would be driven into what seems to be his unarmed side, left hand smashing against her right fist in perfect precision to deliver a hit that would stagger most, before gliding on to slide several meters beyond Oro, coming to a stop in the grass in a half crouch, arms out at her sides for balance. At least - such has always been the track record of this technique before!

COMBATSYS: Oro just-defends Kasumi's Oboro Gake!

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Oro              0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0           Kasumi

Were the old man to have discernable pupils, it would be easier to note his gaze following hers as she notes the displaced bench. How rare to find youth that is so attentive to their surroundings! It makes his heart swell with pride. It's only logical that this generation would /have/ to have a few up and coming martial artists with true potential, but when you travel the world as much as he does it's easy to get just a little pessamistic.

Of course, there's a difference between acknowledging that someone has potential, and that person arriving at their destination. This young girl's journey is far from finished.

Words wake him from his inner ponderings. "Who I am?" The conversational cues don't suggest that this is a philosophical question, which is mildly disappointing. "If it's a name you seek, Oro will suffice. Just an old man on a journey far less interesting than your own." His mouth twists with a small amount of mirth, but surprisingly without suggesting sarcasm. "I'll admit some disappointment that the electronic box didn't explode as the commercials promised it would, but a few of those matches did provide some entertainment. Yours was one of them." He actually watched the full duration of that SLAMfest bout, which was no small amount of annoyance to the department store workers trying to shoo him off.

She seems very contemplative for a moment before asking her second question, but she can perceive the building conviction within her even before she betrays that she won't wait for an answer. "Simple luck, actually. It was quite the coincidence!"...

As "Kaede-chan" begins sprinting toward him, something strange happens. As she begins to tap into her potential, his not-eyes do something that eyes don't: they respond by changing color. One moment the luminescence is red; the next they're a piercing sky blue. The effort she's putting into the technique demands such. His head doesn't so much follow the attack itself so much as where it /will be/, following the intent projected ahead of the attack moreso than those painfully slow rays of light traveling to him from where she was the second before. Oro's torso twists mid-attack to follow the projected angle of approach, and the blindingly fast fist finds itself caught in the cup of his palm. Too much force would risk breaking the girl's arm, which requires that he take a step back in order to more gradually negate the inertia. When all is said and done, the two simply share a moment of silence in that position.

And since all of that transpired within the space of one second, maybe two, he is literally able to pick up the conversation like nothing just happened at all. "I happened to be a few blocks away and was wondering who would be climbing the walls of a girl's school. Of all the possibilities, I wasn't expecting it to be Kaede-chan! And then I simply had to come and get an autograph."

Still, this leaves them at an impasse. She failed in her attempt to land a blow, so it only stands that it's his turn now. What would keep things interesting after this latest exchange? ...Ah, he knows. He takes a step back. "That's a very impressive technique you have there. Not true teleportation, but close enough for all intents and purposes. I fear you won't pursue the final product however unless circumstances force it. Show me, then."

The flat of his lone hand is raised perpendicular to his temple, reminescent of a hand seal, and a projection of chi is felt. Strangely, it travels /through/ Kasumi, nor was it sent directly at her. The closest thing it can be compared to is a sonar ping. Some form of communication perhaps?

That line of thinking is dashed when every object that the young ninja had so painstakingly noted of the position of are all launched at her at once. Several rocks, an branch snapping off of an aging tree, an uprooted water fountain, even the treacherous bench from moments before. With very little warning, /all/ of these objects converge on the girl at once.

"Show me how you'll deal with all of this at once!", the old bastard proclaims gleefully.

COMBATSYS: Kasumi full-parries Oro's Tengu-Ishi!!

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Oro              0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0           Kasumi

When she's stopped, it's as if a hurricane just got put on hold, the rush of wind blasting in behind the swift young fighter flowing over the two with enough strength to tousle hair, hair strands, and clothing lightly. Copper-brown eyes are widened in surprise at the position she finds herself. Not since having mastered the Oboro Gake has the move ever been stopped by another even after hundreds of attempts. Her hand is held in his, the girl frozen in a forward lean that leaves her too off balance to really transition into a backup attack -

In fact, it's clear she's never considered the possability of needing to. Too many uncontested successes seem to have dulled her wariness about such potentiality and for the seconds they stay put, the old man speaking calmly wild his bewildered inadvertent student just stares forward, not even focusing on him in that moment, looking at the place where she fully /expected/ to end up when she launched the attack in the first place!

Finally, she looks at her caught hand, then up at Oro himself as he politely elucidates her on the series of events that have brought her to this very moment against any and all expectations. That she didn't sense him outside the walls is not surprising, she realizes. Even now, in contact with him, she cannot detect an iota of his presence. Normally fighters at or beyond her caliber exude an aura that cannot be missed by those trained to feel it. But him? Not a bit.

Still, when he releases her hand and steps back, she responds in turn, backing up two steps and bracing, arms raised, eyes on the timeworn master. He would perceptively note the faint flicker of amusement at the corner of her mouth as he comments on how close her last attack came to a true teleportation. He hasn't seen what she's fully capable of - but why does she suddenly /want/ him to?
An amusement that fades the instant he starts changing the whole battlefield with an uplifted hand.

At first nothing is seen, only sensed. It's the first profound taste she's had of what the man can do beyond just his incredible muscle strength. The first rock that comes flying her way is a clue as to what she's about to experience - a taste of what is to come. A snap of her hand deflects it harmlessly aside. But the cleanup crew that finds this mess in the morning is DEFINITELY going to be baffled at what follows!

Whirling around on one foot, the girl finally demonstrates her true capacity for speed. A branch is spun around, another rock kicked away without missing a step. She's retreating at points, evading some of the projectiles, advancing at others, wherever the narrow openings can be found. A swarm of fountain rocks force her to take to the air in a twirling launch that allows her to spin her trajectory to the side to avoid another hefty tree branch.

She darts out of the sky impossibly into a low crouch as a trash can flies just over the top of her head... and then a perfect storm of debris fly at her and the girl becomes a whirlwind of strikes, kicks, and weaves, avoiding each and every last of them. Gritting her teeth, she leaps again to the air at the first opportunity, hoping to find reprieve from the onslaught there...

That's when the bench makes its move, torn free from its supsicious sliding to fly after the airborn shinobi... Eyes widen, body twisting, the girl seemingly suspended in air with no hope of escaping the treacherous outdoor furniture....

Amid the swarm of debris, it would be easy to miss the swirl of sakura petals left in her wake as the girl vanishes from sight.

This is her true speed. Instantaneous movement over short distances. In effect, teleportation but for the inability to penetrate solid barriers. She appears behind Oro, diving out of the sky, right foot leading as she aims to kick him in the back of the head. If she connects, her left foot would follow in turn for a second, solid kick before she'd use the perch to backflip away and land well outside the storm of debris that just tried to smack her around!

With the entire incident transpiring over the matter of seconds, she hasn't gotten a word out edgewise, able to speak only at the speed of combat.

COMBATSYS: Oro endures Kasumi's Run Shunpu EX.

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Oro              0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0           Kasumi

The elderly sage, a conductor in his own unique and special way, waits with restrained excitement as the objects assailing Kasumi dance on his puppet strings. Countless objects are deflected and evaded until he finally maneuvers her into a position that the laws of physics simply won't allow her to dodge in an ordinary way. The sakura petals are met with the delighted hoots of the old man as he slaps his knee. "I knew it! Not a special effect, that's the real deal. I won the bet!!" The bet with who is a lingering question, but current situation doesn't particularly allow for much exploration of this.

Indeed, Kasumi does something that Oro wasn't /quite/ expecting from the girl. Tenacity to not rest on her laurels and come straight at him. Why, there's barely any time to react at all, and that's probably what she was counting on! Turning his head, the second talltale flicker of blue in his eyes is an indication that he hasn't been caught unaware. But instead of teleporting away (which for all she knows is an ace the geezer has up his hidden sleeve), she simply succeeds in cracking him in the back of the skull with her foot. Which is probably smarting. Stubborn old sennin skulls are about as hard as they build them on this planet.

Oro's torso is already pitching forward when the second blow lands, spurring it onward. Success!

But instead of doubling over forward, his torso suddenly /snaps/ backward at the waist. Alarm bells probably start ringing again as a sudden swell of chi can be felt within the arm that reaches towards her, a toothy upside-down grin spreading wide across the man's face. Unless she succeeds in her attempt to regain distance, she'll find her leg snatched up in his grasp.

Oro would then further expound upon his this demonstrated ability to wobble back and forth like a bowling pin by swinging her over his head with every tilt, slamming her body into the ground before being hefted up into the air once more.

COMBATSYS: Kasumi fails to counter Niou Riki from Oro with Kasumi Kyoka EX.

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Oro              0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1           Kasumi

His words are heard - he was trying to provoke it from her? She had demonstrated this technique in the SLAMFEST battle but one never knows if what is being conveyed by those electronic boxes is entirely how it seems, with all the fast cuts, commercial breaks, and chance of post production editing...

But no matter how you cut it, the young ninja's technique is fast. The only problem is - the old man is even faster. He might not be bouncing around and flipping here and there (though she would not be remotely shocked if he was capable of it), but whenever he moves to respond to her, it's with speed that rivals her own intense aggression. That no attempt was made to stop her kicks is all the warning she needs to know that something is about to go wrong-

A gnarled hand seizes hold of her extended leg. But her traits remain true - even in impossible situations, the kunoichi continues to try and find a way. An attempt is made to kick down with her other foot to beat his fingers to the punch and try to flip away by use of his hand instead of his head. The aged sennin is too fast, however.

Caught, she's pulled summarily out of the air, whole body crashing sideways against the ground with a body-slam from hell. Twisting as best she can, fingers try to claw into the grass to stop further damage but she's torn right back up and over Oro's head with what strikes her as distressingly little effort! By the third impact with the ground, she's not really got the wherewithall to make any more desperate attempts to grasp the ground, though she is still kicking at his steely grip with her free foot.

When finally left alone, she's a lot slower to her feet now than when she first started, hands pressing into the dirt, head shaking, legs shifting to force herself up to standing and returning to a ready stance... only to end up facing the wrong way all together, disoriented as she is by the ordeal.

"Tch," she grimaces, as dirt and grass fall from her sides and fingers. Grunting, she looks up, realizes she's not facing the right way, and quickly whirls around to face Oro directly. "You are telling me that... you just saw me on the broadcast... and then just happened across me here, of all nights, when I was deliberately making an effort to not be seen or followed?" The skepticism is easily heard in her voice. It feels too suspicious to be happenchance!

Her hand lifts to flick her ponytail back over her shoulder before slipping back down to her defensive posture, though her balance seems just a little bit off with the way she leans a little to the side. After getting swung around like a ragdoll, it's only a reflection of her training that she can really stand at all!

The meat tenderizing treatment seems to have the desired effect for the time being. Kids like her don't have the benefits of old age to remind them to slow down. "Sorry, Kaeru-chan! The ol' reflexes kicked in and that was all there was to it." The geezer doesn't take further action against Kasumi while she gathers her senses, simply regarding her from where he stands while pawing his beardless chin.

"That's what I said, wasn't it? Don't make your elders repeat themselves." For the first time tonight he seems genuinely cross. Apparently this is a shared trait amongst wisened old men regardless of whether their heads can be mistaken for aircraft warning lights at a distance. "It was bound to happen eventually with as much as I travel. If you weren't climbing that wall, it would have been some other wall, and I'll have you know I take a keen interest in the actions of wall climbers of all sorts. There's always something interesting going on when they're trying to get into places they're not supposed to be. They wouldn't be climbing those walls otherwise!" He pauses, eye narrowing in contemplation. "Well, unless they can jump it, fly, or teleport..." On and on he babbles. Maybe the price of an autograph is /worth/ the price of getting him to go away. Eventually he shifts back to more interesting topics. "Besides, it's not like the only one who wants an autograph. You're the only person I know who has a fan club of trained ninjas following her around the globe. Very uncouth youngsters. I ask a few questions about the up and coming Kaoru-chan and the next thing you know they're trying to threaten an old man. Tried to chase after me for a bit, but they don't hang on to the wings of passenger planes very well..."

COMBATSYS: Oro is paying attention. WHAT DID YOU DO?!

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Oro              0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1           Kasumi

She realizes she's touched a nerve just by the doubting reaction she gave and that's enough to keep the girl quiet for a moment as Oro begins to continue elucidating her on the nature of chance and how such things happen one way or another as she looks rather reticent about the idea of provoking him any further. "I suppose that makes sense..." she allows as he rambles about how interesting it is to see what wall climbers are up to.

She's clearly still tense. A mere glance around the area is enough to see why - debris from his last attack are strewn about, the bench, trash, rocks, branches. It looks like a localized tornado came through here with the way he's left the place. There are going to be some incredibly mystified people here come morning! Cautiously, she lifts a hand to brush some twigs out of her hair, no doubt picked up in the unpleasant experience of being rag-dolled about. Another soft exhale escapes her lips, a chance to catch her breath after the stressful exchanges.

But then Oro enroaches on a topic she had already suspected him of knowing a bit too much about from his earlier declaration and Kasumi freezes. Even the shadow of night might not hide the slight lost of color in the young shinobi's cheeks as he treads on a topic unfortunately real to her. "Y-you-" she stammers, "-know all about that? The Mugen Tenshin? How many did you fight?"

No outsiders were ever supposed to be drawn into the surreptitious clan business concerning her exile! Kasumi seems to wobble a little. "Where did you encounter them?" she asks next. All the sudden she's sure super interested in what stories the old man has to tell! How close were the trackers? Which squad was it that he fought? Was it the Hajinmon? No... no, not even he... could he?

Frowning a little, Kasumi snaps back to her ready stance, head cleared now, aches ignored for the moment. "You shouldn't interfer in these kinds of things." she murmurs. Would they hold her responsible for this? It doesn't matter, she supposes, marked as death as she already is. But every additional person pulled into the turmoil she has caused brings further shame to her actions!

Which might explain the charge made directly for him, a bit more temper behind her strikes but no lack of precision either. No teleport, no blindingly fast dash, just a frontal assault, attempting to break through his guard as she stabs her hand out high first, then low, knife-handed strikes aimed to draw the elder master's attention in two directions at once. She leaps into a spin kick then, the real force of the attack, aiming for the side of his head after hopefully distracting his defense-

Only if successful will she land in a half crouch, body turned to the right, arms wound up before springing into him, twisting into a rising backhanded two handed uppercut intended to finish off what the kick had started. Whether she actually thinks it will incapicate the ancient or merely make him at least feel her attacks for a change is hard to say. Maybe she isn't thinking things through to that degree!

COMBATSYS: Oro dodges Kasumi's Tenjin, Shinden.

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Oro              0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1           Kasumi

It's clear to Oro that he has struck a nerve of his own, unwitting as it might have been. While he can invent any number of narratives for the lives of those who he has chosen to meddle in or be entertained by, extreme reactions like this can occasionally force him to consider alternative versions of reality. "Mugen...Tenshin, you say. Hm." The reminescence in his voice probably does little to sway the girl from her fears, but he seems oblivious to this as he scratches an itch that has developed on the side of his stomach. "Sounds familiar. I might have heard about them many years ago, but it's hard to say. Same as these people, you say?" Troublesome. Even if he can't quite place it, anything lodged that far back in his memory can't be as trivial as a group of stalkers who are also ninjas. Too much of a coincidence. (when you're Oro, it's hard to recognize the difference between fanboys who are pretending to be ninjas and actual ninjas)

The girl presses him for the particulars. Can't hurt to elaborate, right? "Oh, well, this was back when I was in Europe last week. Or was it North America? There was a stopover, so..." He looks back up at Kasumi while waving his free hand dismissively. "I sat in on a meeting of the Kaede-chan Fan Club and one of these youngsters you speak of told me afterwards that I should mind my own business. A few of his friends were angry that left him in an icecream truck to cool off." All of this is stated perfectly matter-of-factly, as if playing pranks on elite ninja assassins is just an every day experience for him. "It doesn't really matter though. No one can follow me if I don't want them to!"

He laughs in what is supposed to be a reassuring way, but clearly this is not working! The young girl seems quite agitated in fact as she lunges at him, the strong emotions in her heart making it all too easy to read the individual attacks. His eyes flicker between red and blue as he slowly gives ground, hand flicking from side to side to gently nudge each strike off the mark while expending a minimum of effort. "Child, your concern is admirable, but your heart is divided. Your strikes cannot hope to reach me when you cannot focus..." Almost on cue, she bridges into a flying leg swipe that forces a sigh from him.

The sennin's response is to simply leap straight up over the attack. Should the girl be less than fortunate, she'll find the old man's feet repeatedly stomping on her face as if jogging on her in midair. In either case, whether he ends up standing on the ground or Kasumi's head, he springs away to gracefully land on the precariously toppled bench.

COMBATSYS: Kasumi blocks Oro's Hitobashira Nobori.

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Oro              0/-------/=======|=======\===----\1           Kasumi

At least, unlike some of the stranger individuals she's encountered, Oro doesn't speak in riddles, rhymes, or half-truths. He does speak like someone who is woefully deficient on some of the details... but he's old, so it's understandable. Her two hand strikes are avoided with unexpected deftness, but thinking perhaps that his clever evasion will prove to leave him less ready for her stronger strikes, she spins into the kick all the same -

The assumption nearly gets her face thoroughly stepped on by very wrinkled old man feet. She has to defend herself before her foot has even touched down, arms coming back to swing for his feet - the first kick is swept aside with her right, the second with her left, but when it becomes clear that he's got a lot more than just two quick stomps in mind, the hassled shinobi has to settle for bringing her arms up and letting him stamp his footprints into her forearms and the back of her fists instead of potentially marring her features for her trouble.

Her whole body shakes at the stomps, knees bracing, feet slipping across the grass before she finds her balance just as Oro returns to that bench of uncertain intent. His words are still ringing in her ears, however, teeth grit at his admonishments of her technique. He speaks of focus, but she thinks about retaliation, eyes narrowing as he alights.

Pushing off with her back foot, it's with another sprint that she charges, then kicks up, one foot landing on the bench before pushing off, her target... to return the favor, actually, attempting to grab hold of his arm first and pull herself the rest of the way up, rapidly stepping up his short body to secure a perch on his face just as he sought to do to her. "What in the world do you want!" she exclaims, attempting to deliver a series of rapid stomps with each foot. Maybe she really just can't believe the autograph thing? She should learn to be more trusting! Against most opponents, she could be confident in several face-kicks grinding them down to their back against the ground, but in this cas,e she really has no idea what to expect.
She hasn't forgotten that skull is like titanium.

COMBATSYS: Oro endures Kasumi's Tenro Kyaku.

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Oro              1/------=/=======|=======\=====--\1           Kasumi

His feet find purchase amidst the air, which is good enough for him. Jogging through the air would be quite the feat, even for Oro! Seemingly oblivious to the struggles beneath him, he shortly finds himself perched atop the once proud sitting apparatus. How the mighty have fallen. Atop this, the Sennin watches the girl, waits, and judges. Two fingers rest against his temple, thumb at his cheek, either for the purpose of contemplation or some end that has not yet revealed itself.

Probably the latter.

He can tell from watching her that his words haven't quite had the intended effect, but for better or worse she seems to have solidified fer focus on a more singular objective. This will help her blows land true...but at a cost, he fears. "I'm getting a little sleepy.", is his simple reply to her. In truth, he doesn't feel like having another lecture about repeating himself. Repeating himself /about/ repeating himself is about as droll as it gets. If she wishes to end this fight as a simpleton, then far be it from him to deny it to her.

As Kasumi lunges for him again, he raises that hand to the night sky while keeping his attention fixed upon the girl. His eyes briefly turned blue, and there's a sensation that.../something/...just happened in the distance, but there is no sensation of an impending attack. Nothing that approaches. And Oro doesn't seem to be going anywhere. This leaves the girl with a choice: does she pursue her vengeance to its conclusion, or does she pull back from it enough to take a broader view of the situation she finds herself in?

There's that nagging sensation that once more, the geezer is allowing her to strike him. She's able to secure the lowered arm and mount her climbing which he yields. Many a blow is rain down upon his head, and he allows his body to obey the mandates of gravity for once.

"A lesson.", he says on his way to the ground, flicking his palm upward.

Abruptly the traitorous bench rockets upward from beneath her. This is not a problem in and of itself. More alarming is the looming sensation of danger. Hopefully Kasumi had second thoughts about pursuing vengeance to its inevitable conclusion of ruin, for if she had looked up, she would have seen a large green sphere of chi illuminating the night sky. The bench, should she not escape its final act of spite, will rocket her straight upward towards it. Choosing how to evade in this situation proves to be a bit problematic. That sphere moves. Erraticly so, almost as if taunting. It's hard to say exactly where it's going to *be* when the bench finds itself in that proximity...

COMBATSYS: Kasumi full-parries Oro's Yagyou-Dama!!

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Oro              0/-------/------=|=======\=======\1           Kasumi

As her kicks are delivered, she can't help but consider the resilience felt beneath her heels. Solid stone yiels more than the flesh of the old man. It serves as a reminder of the magnitude of his mastery. A body like this takes far more than just the passage of time to acquire. When he's acted, his movements have been blindingly fast, hard even for her trained eye to track. When he's chosen not to act, her strikes barely seem to have any effect. And when he exherts his will, objects from over a hundred feet in every direction answered his command.

That he's letting her kick him again is an inescapable reality. That he could defend himself if he cared to, undeniable. That he is /still/ up to something entirely independent of caring about her rapid stomps a certain fact. He's not just exceptionally good, always staying just ahead of her, just beyond her ability. This Venerable One comes from another world all together.

The last two stomps lack the force of her earlier ones, the shift intent is clear, a comprehension of the futility of this course of action.

A kick back has her landing on the bench that she had used for a leg up a moment ago, feet sliding to a stop, arms raised as he, himself, falls, his arm raised to the stars above. That something incredibly menacing just happened cannot escape her mind, but its nature is the question she cannot answer in that instant. Her mouth a thin drawn line of contemplation, she risks following his gesture, eyes peering upward only to widen in shock.

A step is taken as she turns, ready to step off the bench into a sprint only for it to lurch upward, torn free from the ground like another weightless novelty in the presence of the sennin. Arms flail, feet slipping as her footing is lost and the girl falls on her back along the bench's length, finding herself propelled up with it toward the Green Sun lighting up the entire area with its incomprehensible magnitude. "W-what-!" A desperate roll to the side has her tumble off the bench, hand snapping out to grip it and swing beneath it, feet planting against it before she rockets herself toward the ground, hands catching herself to land in a roll through the grass.

Eyes glance back and forth as the intensity of the chi glowers brighter and its fall demonstrates properties that render predicting it impossible. The alarm is visible in her expression. Attacks of this magnitude, among the shinobi of the shadows, are quite often killing techniques. Is that what she faces now? Where to go? How to escape it!?

In her encroaching panic, she sets eyes on Oro himself and, in an act that could be summed up as either cunning or vainly desperate depending on the outcome, she lunges forward again, leaving a swirl of cherry blossoms where she vanishes, creating a second bloom of them where she reappears.

This time the technique is not used as an avenue for ambush at all, for as she lands, her arms are at her sides, one knee bent to the grass, the girl in a low crouch, head deeply bowed, ponytail draped over her shoulder.

She retreated to the only place she could imagine being safe - right behind Oro himself. All she can hope is that he has no intention of being the epicenter of his own collosal emerald comet.

she murmurs, her voice soft but with no loss of urgency as the jade sun plummets.
"Forgive my impudence!"

COMBATSYS: Kasumi takes no action.

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Oro              0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1           Kasumi


Oro lands on the turf, bouncing twice, very mildly worse for the wear but never in a capacity he would ever admit. Rather than standing though, he takes everything in his usual stride: his loose arm slides neatly behind his head, and he looks up at the sky to watch his own fireworks. This is probably the most interesting bottle rocket ever conceived and he's interested to see how the fireworks will play out. Up, up the bench-rocket Watching Kasumi's desperate and successful attempt to launch herself from the underside of her skyward chariot, he's forced to admit that maybe there's soem wile left to her after all. His eyes shift to their blue hue once more as he senses her steeling herself for another relocation effort, but stays his effort to right himself when he senses no hostile intent.

This leads to the somewhat surreal scene of Kasumi placing herself in prostrate apology before an old man who is lounging on his back as if enjoying a pleasant night out. Abashed, his hairless brow crinkles. "Oh, come now. None of that. That's was an attack from someone on a level that you'll one day be. Anything more than that would have been cruelty." He raises his hand to the sky once more with a dismissive wave, and the green sphere comprising the Yagyou-Dama dissipates.%5r
Retaining the reclining position would be rude, and standing would drive home a feeling of inferiority that he feels she's too readily attached herself to. Instead, he shifts humbly to his knees and motions for her to rise. "Up now. I apologize if I've caused you undue distress. I truly wanted nothing more than the pleasure of meeting once of this generation's rising stars. You have done me no insult."

COMBATSYS: Oro waves his hand; continue.

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Oro              0/-------/------=|=======\=------\1           Kasumi

She doesn't look up until he speaks and the green glow that was bathing the area in impending doom fades with the same apparent ease with which it was created. Her head snaps up, arms draped over her forward knee, eyes on the elder master with a quiet blink followed by another scrutinizing look. Her mouth is a faint frown of solemnity, her held breath finally released as a soft exhale. His tone is patient and she can already surmise he bears her no direct hostility at this point.

As he shifts to kneeling, she does likewise, hands ontop her knees, staring at him quietly now, staring at his crimson eyes for a moment before lowering her gaze to his covered shoulder, then finally focusing on the ground in front of her own knees. He says she has done him no insult and the girl glances up slightly again, just enough to see his knees.

"I might have been," she muses quietly, "Overly suspicious. You have been more patient with me than the situation perhaps merited." There is a tug of a smile at the corner of her mouth, "If it is an autograph you wanted, then it would of course be my honor. Though..." she looks up just a little bit further, "Kaede was just one of my aliases, already abandoned. My name is Kasumi... once of the Mugen Tenshin." The catch in her voice before finishing the statement speaks volumes.

That faint smile returns, "And I must thank you for leaving the trail for my, ah, fans cold. And, if I'm not mistaken, you have given enough distraction here that my original intent in climbing that wall is... still within reach."

While Oro's breathing is dead even, there appear to be smudges of dirt on his head from when Kasumi walked on his face. He appears good-naturedly oblivious to it, to the point where drawing attention to it might be more trouble than it's worth. "All in good fun.", he reassures with a grin. "It distracted me from my boredom for a bit."

He watches the journey of her eyes, though it's difficult to physically discern. It troubles him that the girl seems dead set on this level of humility, but that's the price he supposes. It's very hard to find a middle ground between the respect and arrogance of youth, but he'll settle for this. The mirth slowly drains from his face as her explanation carries on. "Mugen...Tenshin..." His expression turns somewhat blank. "Oh." .... "Ohhhhhhh! So they're not your fan club." He frowns then in contemplation, seemingly oblivious to her final statement.

"At last, he speaks again. "You should have a fan club.", he advises simply. "If you don't have one, you will. Keep fighting, Kasumi. Not as one of the Mugen Tenshin, but as yourself. Grow strong, live up to your potential, and have many, /many/ fans." He nods decisively, as if this is all settled and of the most paramount importance. So sure is he, in fact, that he stands.

"Well, I wish you the best of luck. I'm going to keep this cell phone that I got off of that 'Mugen Tenshin' ruffian because I keep losing these, but I promise to keep it turned off whenever you're around. Farewell, Kasumi!" He turns then, and makes to walk off. He never so much as acknowledged her intent here, but perhaps this is his way of saying she's free to go about her business.

Oro needs to make at least one more appearance on the campus in order to ensure that they don't find Kasumi in the pursuit of him, you see. He starts with the first teacher he runs across. "Ah, hello there. Would you be interested in a date tonight?"

Her mind races as she listens to Oro speak. This encounter, just like the one with the telekinetic creature in the forest of snow, and the Nyotengu of Miyama, ranks among the strangest things she's encountered in her life. And she thought living back in the clan village was interesting. Now days she seems to encounter individuals so extreme and rare that few might even believe her stories!

"Y-yes," she stammes at his sage advice about garnering a fan following. That isn't really something she'd thought about or is likely to consider after this, but to hear it coming from the wizened if extremely powerful sennin is an incongruity that can be hard to process when heard in person.

Only when he turns does she push herself to her feet, arm immediately lifting to rub her sore shoulder from where she had hit the ground repeatedly earlier. If she had known he was about to go off and proposition one of the poor faculty members, she might have mentioned the smudge on his face. Buuut, it's probably not going to have a bearing either way.

Already the sounds of renewed commotion have started up. The perfect cover for her operation. Back to the side of the dorms, she springs, grips the window sill halfway up, then springs again, disappearing over the roof.

She still has a quarry to hunt.

COMBATSYS: Kasumi has left the fight here.

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Oro              0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Oro has ended the fight here.

Log created on 13:17:21 12/06/2014 by Kasumi, and last modified on 02:51:39 12/07/2014.