SNF 2014.12 - SNF: A Woman's Perogative

Description: Somewhat underrepresented in the School events of the weeks prior, Seijyun High has elected to pursue ever more lucrative contracts, particularly with Howard Industries in the promotion of their ideology in the grand scheme of Japan. Normally, Seijyun turns its nose up at most fighting promotions as filthy endeavors, but when the opportunity strikes to truly show off what a woman is and should be in contemporary Japan, they will always leap at the chance. Underneath the cherry blossoms at Seijyun High, they graciously invite cameras and a choice selection of visitors to the highly private all-girls high school for an exhibition of true values and ideals from one of their best students: HOTARU FUTABA. Taiyo High's own SAKURA KASUGANO has much to represent here, to prove that Taiyo High's women are just as good!! (They may have liked to pick someone more graceful for this match, seriously...)

Unlike that roughouse that is Taiyo High, most of the student body of Seijyun High are not fighters. Certainly, there exists a number among them. A couple of known fighters, and the ever intimidating, legendary Zaki... Some of the girls are closet fighters - capable of holding their own against other untrained combatants, but no where near interested nor ready for the limelight of public events. Most of them are recruited into Zaki's secret army of schoolgirls about which there are no end to rumors.
And there's the small handful of girls that are openly persuing fighting as a hobby, investing any free time they have to training, trying to get their name out there in hopes of moving up in the world of professional fighting for whatever reason fuels their drive.
As one of the extremely few that fall into this category, Hotaru Futaba often finds herself being chosen for the select view events the prestigious school deigns to participate in. That she receives some credit toward her schoolwork for doing so makes it appealing when the chances do come, let alone the opportunities to meet other fighters and see other styles in action.
This afternoon is one such occasion. It's her first time being a part of the world renown Howard Industries Saturday Night Fight - an event she has always been an avid viewer of when it has aired. Hopefully she doesn't disappoint, she thinks to herself, as she stands on one side of a raised wooden platform created for the event.
And of course it isn't any old garish platform. The supports have been decorated with wreaths of vibrant, vines, and bouquets of roses. A banner unfurled over the top of the stage appears to have been decorated by the elite art class, with its own intricately painted letters, fancy, pink borders, and the message reading 'Seijyun High Welcomes SNF'.
All the pomp and circumstance can be intimidating for the rookie fighter trying to mentally prepare herself for the match to come. She is dressed in blue and white - a Chinese fashioned top with rich, blue cloth and golden embroderies. White, comfortable trousers are worn, along with blue soft Kung Fu shoes. But it is her right red hair ribbon with which she is occupied presently, tugging and pulling at it to make sure it is taut after noticing it felt a bit loose a moment ago.
She must look presentable. And she has to do well enough to not embarrass her school. Given the rapidly rising reputation of her opponent as a professional fighting schoolgirl, the pressure is certainly on!

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

Taiyo is -not- a roughhouse. That honor belongs to Gedo. Okay yes, maybe there are a few more fights on campus than would be considered 'seemly' by normal standards, but that doesn't mean Taiyo is rough. Just... lively. Amongst its students, several stand out as the 'liveliest' of the bunch--and none is more lively than Sakura Kasugano. If ever there were to be a future ambassador of the fighting arts, it's likely her. The girl is not just a fighter, but is open, personable, and friendly, traits that, oddly, tend to earn her more fights than she would expect--everyone wants to challenge the young phenom.

And those that don't might find themselves challenged anyways. It's all part of the learning process. Sakura's heard plenty of stories about Seijyun. How the proper formal school hides a hotbed of rising stars. She's heared about the fearsome masked Zaki, of course she's heard that Akira is Daigo Kazama's younger sister--but they're so -different-... and while Hotaru is not yet a household name, being a rising star herself, Sakura's assuredly heard of her. This...

This is going to be fun. As a representative of Taiyo, Sakura's showing the school colors--of course, she could be wearing any old school uniform, but this one does have the Taiyo crest emblazoned on the lapel. So there's that. As she mounts the stage, she waves, flashing a trademark quicksilver grin and a pair of fingers--v for victory? Or something like that. And of course she's got her red Chucks on.

Raising her gloved hands, she offers Hotaru a fighter's salute--a fist cocked forward, inviting--and she settles into that stance that she created from watching Ryu fight, live and in person and on the net and on TV. She hasn't had many fights under her belt, not live performances, so she's feeling the pressure just as much as Hotaru is!

COMBATSYS: Sakura has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

The audience here is small compared to most of the extravagant venues. A select number of students, an alloted portion of faculty, a crew of event staff, and a section of seating reserved for VIPs from the city. The average fight fanatic is just going to have to enjoy this exclusive match remotely with cameras mounted along the flower-covered posts at each of the stage's four corners.
As her opponent springs onto the stage, Hotaru's expression brightens. It's sad, she thinks to herself, that the girl she fought with the worst attitude was her own fellow student, Sada Asai. Sakura radiates friendly vibes just by the way she carries herself and that unstoppable smile that the Futaba girl finds contagious, returning a more demure but no less heartfelt grin in return.
"Thank you for this opportunity. I promise I will be doing my best!" She stands up straight and cups her hand over her fist, bowing her head toward the Taiyo fighter before looking up to study her a little. She has seen Sakura's public fight videos. The girl is no joke. A legitimate up and coming prodigy, to be certain.
The gesture offered, Hotaru slides her left forward slightly, lifting her left hand and extending it, palm open, her right arm cocked back a little to better position it for striking harder. The officials off to the side, outside the scope of the cameras, are comparing notes, checking stopwatches, and then finally giving the nod.
As the girls wait, one of the senior mistresses of Seijyun gets up on center stage and starts giving a welcome speach to those attending, reminding everyone about the virtues that Seijyun stands for, and how they encourage Hotaru and Sakura to pursue their goals as fighters as long as they do not interfer with their responsabilities as a young lady of Japan.
All the talking is only adding to the stress, Hotaru thinks to herself, ready to get down to action. Finally, a long, agonizing minute later, the woman shuffles off stage down the stairs to the right with a parting wish of good luck to the two girls. The official calls for the fight to start.
Hotaru checks her hair ribbon one last time before returning to her ready stance from before. She can't have any unseemly hair ribbon mishaps in the midst of combat, afterall!
Finally she can act. And act she does. Bolting forward toward Sakura, she closes the distance quickly, demonstrating right off the bat that she is a fighter that utilizes speed if nothing else. Hands will reach out, attempting to get a hold of Sakura's gloved hands. Forward momentum would be converted into attempting to pry part any guard before the Futaba orphan would attempt to stomp her way right up Sakura in a rather /un/ladylike fashion, rapid, small kicks to her opponent's body before backflipping away to land near the center of the stage again! "Ya, ya, ya!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Hotaru's Shinjou Tai.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Hotaru           0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Sakura

As Hotaru checks her hair ribbon, Sakura tightens the straps of her fighting gloves. She's thinking some very similar thoughts to Hotaru, though she hasn't had the (mis)fortune of meeting and fighting this Sada personage. Hotaru takes the initiative, which is just fine with Sakura--she wants to see how this person fights! Fighting styles are so varied, so strange, so unique--it's one of the things that keeps her interested in fighting. There were things she did--things she obsessed over--but they could be mastered. She could learn everything there was to know about them. Fighting?

She may never know 'all' there is to know about fighting, but knowing that there is so much to learn is not daunting--it's exhilirating! Hotaru gets her run up to Sakura uninterrupted, and the three stomping kicks are the immediate problem--she has to defend against someone who seems to be just as fast as she is. Perhaps a little faster, even. The Ansatsuken Prodigy brings her forearms together, blocking each stomp, pushing away with the last one to clear some distance as Hotaru backflips away.

Hotaru thought Sakura looked friendly--and that's certainly true. The brown-haired girl flashes a quick thumbs up at Hotaru as she lands. "That was pretty cool!"

Darting forward, Sakura closes that distance again before dropping low during the last lunging step she takes, converting momentum from straight-ahead into a low arc as she pushes off--and spins herself like a top, her right leg out to act as a blunt weapon, scything out--just about at Hotaru's head level.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Hotaru with Shunpuu Kyaku.
Glancing Blow

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura's defense proves solid. It was worth the risky gambit to try and find out, Hotaru thinks - testing her opponent's reflexes might give her a good sense of what she's up against. Feet touch down on the stage lightly and she's already skipping back a step further just in anticipation of a likely counter attack.
"Thanks!" comes the reply, though she doesn't stop for an instant to say it because the Ansatsuken inspired fighter is back on her in an instant, forcing the young Kung Fu artist on the defensive. Hands come up, but only as a precaution, as she seems intent on using footwork to escape the spinning kick rather than just try to brace for impact.
Even familiar airborn spinning kicks as she is from having watched the world famous Ryu fight, it's one thing to get the gist of it, another thing to have a custom home-brewed varient of it sent flying right for your head! Ducking around the first swing is enough to spare her immediate head trauma, but the second spin comes at a slightly lower angle, causing Sakura's heel to bounce off the top of her head, eliciting a small gasp of surprise as she recoils.
But in the end, she slips free of the rest of the spins. She had gone through the mental exercise about such a technique before - Ryu and Ken's incredible records probably caused any hopeful fighter to contemplate how best to battle against the Ansatsuken signature techniques.
Hotaru's charge forward as Sakura comes to land, her spinning of her whole body into a swift, straight kick, trying to catch the other girl in the side as she recovers from the technique, might just be a byproduct of such thought exercises... but how will theory hold up in practice?

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Sakura with Light Kick.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Hotaru           0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura can sort of feel Hotaru coming--she certainly can't see her, at least, not for more than moments at a time, with the way she's spinning. So she pushes off when she lands, attempting to avoid the situation entirely. But here is where her lack of training and experience tells--because she doesn't go the right way and instead takes Hotaru's foot right in the side. That draws a quick, pained gasp from the Ansatsuken prodigy. It isn't perhaps the most painful kick she's taken, but Hotaru's aim is good. That causes Sakura to stumble briefly before she regains her feet.

Reset! Sakura takes a moment, raising her fists up, and, perhaps for a moment of drama, she thumbs her nose in the manner of a certain famous martial artist movie star. She's picked up all sorts of manmnerisms from the things she's watched, and she's incorporated a ton of them into her life.

"Right," she says, and she shuttles forward, flinging a short, flicking kick at Hotaru's ankles. That, however, is just to try and make her move back, take her off-balance. The real intent is to attack with -power-. In this case, her inner power. Sakura calls her chi to her hands--is calling it before she kicks, really.

She compresses it into a visible ball of blue-tinged white, which swells twice, to just about the size of her chest, before she hurls it forward, lighting up the local area--and maybe Hotaru--with a fierce, proud shout of "HADOU---KEN!"

COMBATSYS: Hotaru reflects Medium Hadouken from Sakura with Kobi Kyaku EX.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0           Sakura

Her kick delivered, Hotaru doesn't pursue. Maybe she's just excited enough that she managed to slip the strike in at what seemed to be just the right moment! Either way, her expression is aglow with enthusiasm for the match with the other student. To be on the stage with someone who shares her passion for the sport and dedication to advancing their arts... it's every bit as invigorating as she had hoped.
"What you have learned is incredible!" she exclaims, head still smarting a bit from the glancing blow she took. "Is it true - that this has all been on your own?" she asks, giving voice to the rumors about Sakura's self-taught skills. Hotaru has her own mother's style to fight back on even if it has been years since the last lesson was taught. But they say Sakura is doing it all on her own?
The girl skips back at the pressuring kick, feet sliding along the stage as she lands in her ready stance once more. From here she can punch, kick, or defend, in equal measure, but with the way she bounces on her feet, it's clear that mobility is still foremost on her mind.
And then it comes - the projectile known around the world. Some might find Sakura arrogant to call her own chi manifestation the same name as the globally famous Hadouken - what right does she have to claim she has Ryu or Ken's level of skill with the art? But Hotaru is nothing shy of giddy about it, inspired at the confidence the other girl exudes as she practices her fighting idol's signature technique.
And also inspired aat the chance to try and defend it. Her own technique is still a work in progress, the high risk gambit of trying to test her own chi manifestation against that of her opponents... but she goes for it all the same.
A spin of her body, a reverse roundhouse, from low to high as she kicks upward, a surge of azure chi coursing down her leg, leaving a visible wake in its path. The timing must be precise, as the Hadouken collides with her own rich blue energy... "KYA!"
It only lasts an instant, that collision of powers, as the Futaba girl's chi solidifies for an instant, becoming an impassible barrier to the chiball sent her way, causing it to crash and then be deflected back the way it came as the Kobi Kyaku's lingering energy bursts then fades.
Snapping her foot down, Hotaru brings her hands back up, regaining her balance after the precision timed move. It... it worked? Right?!

COMBATSYS: Sakura fails to slow Reflected Medium Hadouken from Hotaru with Large Hadouken EX.
- Power fail! -

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Hotaru           0/-------/---====|>>>>>--\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura's reaction is about ninety percent instinctive. Only ten percent of her brain goes 'hey that's going -really- fast you should just cover up.' The rest of her is instinctively leaping for the chance to do something -cool-. So instead of doing the prudent thing--getting the heck out--she stands her ground. Building her power. Her gloved hands flare with it, blazing as bright as the energy flying towards her--

--but the process just takes a fraction of a second too long. She flings her hands forward just as the returned Hadouken reaches her--actually a fraction of a second too late. The energy surges--and when it goes, it short-circuits and redirects the energy she was building up as well.

The sound is akin to a cannon shot, a big *boom*, and the explosion of bright energy obscures Sakura being flung back to the edge of the arena, catching herself barely upright and having to haul herself back up.

What ends up happening following the exchange is nothing like what Hotaru had expected. At first she expected Sakura to bunker down and weather the return of her own attack. But then, an instant later, she realized the sheer gumption her opponent had for trying the coolest possible thing - a fireball war with /her own projectile/. Azure eyes widen as the girl sucks in her breath, getting ready to have to respond to another one of those famous Hadoukens any moment now.
The resultant detonation of colliding power that sends Sakura flying backward is not at all what she had expected. The girl can't help but cringe at first, taking a fall off the stage would just be adding insult to injury. It would hopefully not be a fight ending injury, as there were certainly no conditions about the two needing to keep their feet on the stage the whole match... even if her teachers would undoubtedly frown if Hotaru took the battle to the ground... what if the immaculate grass got scuffed in the process?!
But young Kasugano catches herself just in time, keeping her both on the stage and in the fight. Hotaru would pause to express appreciation for how incredibly gutsy that attempt was, but she has also made a committment to herself to fight without holding anything back, to throw herself at her opponents and use every honorable means at her disposal to come out ahead... if she were to hesitate, and Gato saw... his words would be harsh if they ever met again.
And so the Kenpo artist bursts forward, hands seeking the flailing arm of her opponent in a bid to pull Sakura forward, hoping that she might be a bit off balance still, before lifting her arm up, twisting her own body around beneath it, then yanking down hard to flip the karate user over her back to slam against the stage. "HA!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura dodges Hotaru's Medium Throw.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Hotaru           0/-------/---====|>>>>>--\-------\0           Sakura

If it was a calculated avoidance on the part of Sakura, it certainly doesn't seem like it. But even if it looks like happenstance, and whether it is or not, Hotaru doesn't find her grasp on the Taiyo student--that arm flails just out of her grasp. It's a matter of mere inches, really. And it's proven a moment later that there was some planning in that--as Sakura turns her flail into a spin and jump, clearing the edge of the arena and twist around to face her opponent.

Teasingly, Sakura lifts a hand and wags a finger, her grin belying the somewhat arrogant imagery. "Not yet, Hotaru-san!" Sakura rocks back on her heels, then shifts her weight forward. She may have just gotten out of there, but then she's going -right- back in, showing that directness and forthrightness that have served her so well in life. It's too bad Hinata or Natsu aren't here to cheer her on, to witness this. But she'll just have to make do.

She's just getting into her groove, so she's flowing a little better, as she takes her headlong charge and converts it into a leaping kick, one Chuck Taylor'ed foot seeking Hotaru's shoulder.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Sakura's Medium Kick.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Hotaru           0/-------/-======|>>>>>--\-------\0           Sakura

Sakura's evasion is quick but her lithe opponent managed to avoid overextending herself in the process as well. Now Hotaru finds herself on the edge of the stage, the tables reversed from where they were a split second ago. Such is the rapid ebb and flow of combat, she'd reflect later. Right now, she's thinking more about trying not to get /kicked/ as the karate user comes right back at her from a more controlling position of the platform.
Those in attendance are, perhaps to Sakura, surprisingly quiet. Cheering, outbursts, shouts of encouragement... far too uncouth for such a prestigious, lady-like environment. Instead they sit, hands in their laps, the perfect picture of collected composure. Even if many of them would really like to see Seijyun come out on top, others have always found the Futaba girl a bit too uncivilized for their elite tastes, what with all her training, practice, and not being interested in the same things they were. Whatever their views, however, the crowd is quiet.
It saves on distractions, at least, as Hotaru brings her arms up, bracing against the kick aimed for her shoulder. It's enough to send her feet sliding back half a meter but other than the red mark left by the Chuck on her forearm, she seems to have faired well enough.
"Whew," She whispers, "Nice move. I've got one of my own-"
And with that, she too goes airborn, flipping forward for where Sakura landed, left knee leading the way for the other girl's shoulder. Should she connect, it would be a split second later that her right leg would swing out and forward, catching the friendly Taiyo girl on the side of the head, before backflipping away, this time trying to land back in the center rather than risking any precarious edges! "YA!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura interrupts Rengeki Shuu from Hotaru with Shou'ou Ken.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0           Sakura

Flashes of insight. Moments of clarity. These are the things that, perhaps, Ryu might see in this young protege, were he to train her. Things to bring out of her, to shape and forge and make strong.

Even as she's landing, she can feel Hotaru coming for her--Sakura turns and brings an arm up. The impact of the knee is softened, which is nice, but more importantly Sakura's defensive posture keeps her body in line with Hotaru's.

That lets her respond faster than she might be able to normally--and what a response. A wordless, certainly unladylike yell, and suddenly Sakura is twisting, bringing her other fist up in an uppercut, her feet leaving the ground just as she makes solid contact with Hotaru's chin. Sakura can't do anything else other than follow through, throwing her whole body into the uppercut; when she lands, she lands with a squeak of rubber against floor, taking a hop back that lets her reassert her stance. Some of short, messy hair falls over her forehead; she blows a puff of air up, then brushes her bangs aside and offers Hotaru a grin.

Now they're starting to get into it--these girls ought to appreciate a fight like this.

Airborn, she feels her knee get guarded against by the timely movements of her opponent. But that doesn't mean she can't follow up all the same and perhaps find a hole in her opponent's defense-
The rising punch to her chin is more than enough to send Hotaru skyward in an uncontrolled arc. The pain in her jaw is severe enough to cause flashes of light before her eyes, eyelids squinting shut in a grimace as the featherweight twirls back down and crashes ungracefully against the stage with a loud thunk against wood. Her upperback lands first before she unfurls into a sprawl.
Sitting up comes quickly - maybe too quickly as a dizzy spell hits her suddenly - but she's not about to stay put and exploit her opponent's anticipated level of honor by begging for a moment's reprieve.
Rolling forward to one knee and hand against the ground to avoid falling on her face, Hotaru rises up a moment later, other hand at her chin as she rubs the sore spot delicately. That's- that's some punch. It brings to mind memories of some recent socks she's taken to her glass jaw.
"Your fighting reminds me of Gertrude... a young woman I faced in the Neo League. Her karate had similiar elements but with her own take on them, just like yours." she considers with a soft smile. She can't help but wonder what a match between the two would be like. Uppercuts everywhere?!
Exhaling softly, the girl keeps her guard up, showing that she's perfectly eager to keep this match going in spite the blow to her jaw. She'll make a note about trying to finds ways to NOT get punched in the chin later. For now? She bolts forward, flipping at Sakura from a meter out in a low arc with the intent of landing in a handstand on the other girl's shoulders.
It is a position that would last only an instant before she'd flip down behind Sakura and attempt to drive her feet between her shoulderblades and flip the girl airborn using her momentum!

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Hotaru's Ten Rankutou.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0           Sakura

"Gertrude, huh? I'll have to seek her out, then," muses Sakura. She flashes a quick thumbs up for the tip, then grins. Hotaru knows enough to get up fast, but Sakura isn't the type to attack a downed opponent. At least, not in a match like this. She can't say she'd -never- do it... but there would have to be more at stake than some standings or the like. When Hotaru comes to her again, Sakura doesn't make any attempt to evade--maybe not trusting her feet because even with the interposed hand, that knee was pretty hefty and maybe her balance is a little off.

So Hotaru sends her airborne--but Sakura was ready for that, and her fall is controlled, letting the Ansatsuken Flower roll on a shoulder, lessening and dissipating the impact and letting her pop back up to her feet. She shakes herself out, then phews. "Man, you've got some awesome techniques, Hotaru-chan," says Sakura, grinning. And... for once, she doesn't lunge forward.

Instead, she settles her stance, seeming to sink down into the stage a little, taking up a horse-like stance. Blue energy licks up around her feet in a swirl of slashes, an external representation of the building of power that's going on inside her.

"C'mon, Hotaru-chan! Let's give your fuddy-duddy classmates a real show!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura taps into her inner strength!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>----\1           Sakura

Rolling up to her feet after flipping her opponent airborn, Hotaru whirls around to face the other girl, careful not to leave herself open to attacks from angles she isn't watching. It isn't all by instinct at the point. She has to constantly think through each step she takes, each attack she executes, each defensive option. But with more experience, she fully expects that it will come more naturally than it does now...
The other girl's compliment gives her pause all the same, however, Hotaru's look of intense concentration replaced with a much less, cheerful smile, cheeks hinting at red but not quite blushing, "Thank you... I am still trying to refine them." She clenches her fist and holds her right hand up for a moment, azure eyes reflecting a deep, unspoken resolve. "There is someone I too must show... the sincerity of my effort."
Sakura calls for a good show and Hotaru laughs lightly, relaxing from her moment of serious reflection. Right. There is more time to dwell on her estranged brother later. For right now, putting her best skills on display is all that matters!
Sucking in her breath, the girl bolts forward again. Another spring, another airborn flip and dive, this time her heel jamming out as she attempts to use Sakura's head as spring board and land behind the other girl, ideally with enough distance to be ready for whatever comes next!

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Hotaru's Koushuu Da.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1           Sakura

Hotaru is quite the aerial fighter. Ansatsuken tends to be more grounded, though Sakura is no stranger to midair combat. Well, unless you take Ken, who likes to leap around like a crack monkey. Grounded as she is, Sakura doesn't even think of moving out of the way; she can feel the earth through her soles (or she fancies she can), giving her additional strength. Strength enough to fend off Hotaru's kick, braced against with doubled up forearms.

Her knees bend slightly, her forearms are scuffed, but she isn't significantly hurt. And she grins a little more. That was an impressive attack, appropriately flashy. Sakura can only respond in kind, can't she? Sakura wheels around to face Hotaru--but doesn't move yet. At least, not until she crouches down then pushes off, arching her body backwards like a tensed bow, clasping her fists together.

If Hotaru is where she is when Sakura lands? Sakura will kick her feet out and slam those doubled-up fists down for the top of Hotaru's head. If she isn't? Well...

If she isn't, then Sakura comes to a skidding halt, flailing her arms a little, almost comically so.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Sakura's Sakura Otoshi.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1           Sakura

Feeling her downward kick warded off, Hotaru flips forward all the same, landing with a step already in her foot, slipping over the stage and spinning around on one foot just outside of her remarkable opponent's reach. Whether she gauaged her reaction to avoid the sweeping kick that would have set herself up for a painful follow up or is just lucky that her dart forward got her out of reach is hard to say...
One thing is clear. Once she starts moving, the Futaba girl never stops moving. Speed, aggression, evasive, quick tactics... all of them combine to make her a viable contender against other up and coming fighters. Her fellow students, now that they're treated to an actual demonstration of the girl's talents, are certainly starting to give their young, acrobatic classmate some new respect... maybe there really is something to all that training she is supposedly too busy doing to spend time hanging out having fun!
Whirling around after narrowly avoiding getting clocked hard, she's already slamming her hands forward, palms pressed together, attempting to shove a double palm press into Sakura's stomach while the other girl is flailing a bit too much to defend herself! Her legs bend into the attack to give the single strike a bit more umph. Of course, a technique like this requires getting in really close, potentially leaving her vulnerable to counter attack!

COMBATSYS: Sakura has left the fight here.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           1/-----==/=======|

COMBATSYS: Sakura interrupts Medium Punch from Hotaru with Shinkuu Hadouken.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Hotaru           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0           Sakura

"Follow your instincts. They are a powerful tool. When your training merges with your instincts--when you know what to do before you think about it--then you are beginning to approach competency." Okay. So maybe Ryu didn't say it in quite so many words--in fact he probably used about half the words, because he's Ryu and he's efficient in everything. But the -concept- is there and, like just about everything Ryu says, is implanted in her brain. Training to make the movements, the actions, part of muscle memory. So that -executing- the attack isn't the part she has to think about, but executing the -plan- of attack is what she's thinking about. For these things to flow naturally.

Sakura isn't there yet. But she's close, in parts. In sections. At moments. Moments like these. She regains her footing a fraction of a second before Hotaru comes in--and she's building her chi up without even realizing it. Some of it is there already, heightened tension a natural draw of power, but the rest of it just comes--without her thinking about it--and as Hotaru's double-palm strike scores a just off-center strike, Sakura finds her hands flung outwards, a concentrated ball of her chi launched with a sharp, sizzling sound--right into Hotaru's chest.

As before it lights up the local area, throwing their faces into sharp relief, and for a moment the tableau seems frozen--and then Sakura is stumbling back, coughing at the way Hotaru's strike has impeded, at least for the moment, her ability to breathe.

In close, Hotaru can feel that something is coming even if she does't have the combat expertise to predict what. Her hands slam out. She had suspected that she would need to trade a hit to get in this close and the choice to risk that was made willingly, mentally bracing herself for the anticipated pain.
What the Futaba heiress didn't expect, however, was a faceful of chi for her trouble. Her palm strike is grazing at best, but she's committed and there is no pulling back now. Azure eyes widen as she tries to push back with her leading foot, but it's too late, and any expression she might have made is lost behind the point blank detonation of chi that sends the girl tumbling backward head over heels along the length of the stage, her right hair ribbon twirling down in the space between the two girls. She knew it felt loose!
It looks like it might be a decided match at that point as the prone girl makes no move for a few seconds. But finally her arm moves, Hotaru pushing herself up with her hands, shaking her head as the right side of her long hair drapes over her shoulder. Another grunt and she is back on her feet, whirling around, looking a touch disoriented as she raises her hands defensively but doesn't seem to be warding off anything in specific.
The moment passes with another shake of her head, squint of her eyes, and then she's locked back onto Sakura. "Whew," she whispers. That was definitely some hit! Her opponent has definitely been giving it her all. The least she can do is perform likewise. One can see the gears turning in her head as she looks at the karate prodigy with a mixture of contemplation and respect for her skills. How to catch her - she can't afford to trade another hit like that again. it's all or nothing. Do not hold back anything. Have no regrets, that is her resolve.
Hands clench then unclench, her choice made before she finally relaxes a touch. "That was some technique. I'll have to give you the best I've got- nothing less will do!"
She leans forward then, foot bracing against the stage. Time to make this count! The girl bursts forward in speed then, narrowing the gap between them frightfully fast given her relative inexperience in the public eye. From a meter out, she drops into a low crouch, sliding the last half a meter on the flats of her feet. "Tenshou-"
The detonation of azure chi accompanying her crouch is unlike any energy she has demonstrated throughout the fight. In an instant, she is airborn, with a devastatingly strong crushing backflip kick, a fount of sapphire chi accompnaying the motion as she attempts to drive the Taiyo representative skyward!

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Sakura with Tenshou Ranki.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Hotaru           0/-------/---<<<<|=======\===----\1           Sakura

The two are airborn, one by choice, the other not so much. The trail of rich, blue chi behind Hotaru's ascent reflects a power and potential beyond what anyone who had seen her fight had come to expect from the Futaba girl. They haven't seen anything yet.
At the apex of her ascent, the girl flips forward, her trajectory launching her into Sakura to pull her down to the stage with a hard, sliding landing several meters away from where they started. Hands pressed against the sternum of her competator, Hotaru grits her teeth, sucking in her breath as she finally channels the full extent of her control over chi, a large swell of energy building up around her before it comes crashing down, the small fighter's arms used as conduits to direct it straight into Kasugano!

COMBATSYS: Sakura takes no action.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           0/-------/---<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Sakura can no longer fight.

[                      \\\\\\\\  <
Hotaru           0/-------/---<<<<|

Sakura opens her mouth to say thank you. Maybe she even has a little bit of a smug look on her face. That is one of her best attacks after all. And one she is justifiably proud of. It isn't easy, controlling that amount of chi in that brief amount of time. As Hotaru well knows...

Sakura might be a prodigy when it comes to chi, but she's not the only one. Hotaru proves that in a second. That flipkick and the gout of blue energy launch Sakura like a bottle rocket--or so it seems to the recipient--and she's still in midair when Hotaru takes her back to the ground. And if it were just that, well, Sakura might still be fighting. But that incredible explosion of chi, that searing pillar that pays Sakura back in spades for what she did to Hotaru?

When that clears, well, Sakura is just... down. Down and out. She almost looks like she's resting peacefully, if one just looks at her face. The way she's sprawled doesn't look too comfortable, though. It takes a moment or two for Sakura to stir, and by the time she sits up, victory has already been declared--for Hotaru.

Sakura puts a hand to her head and groans. "Wow..." she says, looking up at Hotaru, and then she busts a grin--a pained grin but a grin nonetheless.

"We gotta fight again! ... just uh, not right now..."

Her attack delivered, Hotaru springs back off Sakura, landing in a clumsy stagger, only then realizing that she had put every last iota of her energy into that attack. If Sakura DID get back to her feet in time to throw another attack, she would have found her previously fleet footed opponent far slower to move than she had been before!
Leaning forward, the Kenpo artist props herself up with her hands against her thighs, gasping for every breath, perspiration rolling down her cheeks. It was the first time she had managed to pull off such an incredible burst of chi and now that she's done it, she realizes she still has an incredibly long ways to go to get to where such techniques could be done without devastating her ability to continue fighting!
The match is called, an applause picking up from the audience. Maybe she'll have earned a bit of respect from her classmates for this? Though her fight probably caused some of the more difficult sorts to squarely consider her too much of a brute to be associated with as well. Win some, lose some...
The self-taught Ansatsuken prodigy is sitting back up after a moment, looking like Hotaru feels. Worn out but thrilled to have had the experience, Hotaru's eyes are aglow at the exhiliration of it all. Even the sense of winning is almost overwhelming. She had forgotten what it felt like after her grueling series of losses while trying to learn how to compete.
"I agree. I-" Hands are pressed together, the girl bowing forawrd, "I will always remember our fight. It has been amazing to meet you, Sakura Kasugano." She isn't so forward to say out loud that she hopes they can be friends. It might sound a touch desperate... even if she does find herself feeling so alone in her own school.
Maybe Gato won't take notice of a small time fight like this, she thinks to herself. But it is a step along the road. Someday... she will catch up and /make/ him take notice!

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has ended the fight here.

Log created on 15:30:10 12/21/2014 by Hotaru, and last modified on 00:51:13 12/23/2014.