Description: Someone's got to get the arena warmed up for the main event. In the preliminary to the headliner show, competitor hopeful HOTARU FUTABA takes the field in legendary Howard Arena against a whole new fighter; the evil delinquent ARACELY MARIA DE LA AZULES dominates the arena in another persona entirely as the devillish MOONCHILD. Hotaru's proven to be somewhat of a media darling for her innocence and purity, can she withstand not only the high flying wrestling of Lucha Libre, but the power of SATAN himself? (Look on the bright side. They could have made it oil wrestling. You think that the only reason they didn't is because they didn't want to clean the arena before the main event..)
Aracely Maria de la Azules is a pretty cheerful person, at least backstage. In between sessions of... something...? she had gone to seek out the younger fighter. She had been in a black cloak even then, but she didn't seem scary at all.
A quick, firm handshake had ensued, with a wide smile. "Hey, you do Kenpo, right? I saw a couple of videos. I think this is gonna go well, but I just want you to know that it's kind of a production where I'm coming from. I'm gonna give it my best, but don't worry if I seem... you know, weird? That's all."
Mano 666, still in his red devil mask, walks down the track from backstage into the center of Howard Arena. Trailing behind him is a figure with a face sheathed entirely in black, complete with face mask - who is nonetheless walking with ease and grace, although without letting a single limb slip out from beneath that all engulfing stretch of fabric. Mano 666 holds open the ropes that have set around the arena stage on portable turnbuckles (hope they don't collapse!!) so that this strange shadowy figure can slide through. In deference, perhaps, to the probability of high flying antics, there is a thin - very thin - mat laid out on all of that slatting, too.
(Within the mask, Aracely squints through a layer of gauze. But she doesn't need to see everything to make her way up.)
There is some hubbub from the announcers, before a microphone is handed to the Satanic man in a business suit. He raises a hand for silence, and speaks in fluent if slightly accented English.
"I want to tell all of you that it is an honor to be here with you. This is a day which will live on in memory throughout the history of the Saturday Night Fight, and the history of sport. Thirty-two years ago I began my career in the fighting circuits of the great nation of Mexico," some cheers from the fan contingent from there, or merely Lucha-crazed, "and since then, I have seen careers rise and careers fall. But one thing has always been certain."
Mano 666 raises a hand and gestures around the arena. "And that is that while God may rule the churches... another power rules here, within the ring of glory and strength." His hand curls up - is he throwing the horns? Yes, he is.
"And so I want to introduce -- ahh, but we are getting ahead of ourselves!" (Aracely's masked and hidden head droops in momentary embarrassment, but you'd have to be looking closely.) "Before I reveal the new aeon, let's bring out the challenger." Mano 666 gestures encouragingly towards the pathway to backstage.
It would probably help if there wasn't some low, thumping organ music sneaking into the house speakers. But hey! All the lights are on. This must just be some wrestler nonsense.
Since her venture into the fighting world, Hotaru has faced all sorts. Fellow rookie hopefuls like herself. Jerks. Sadistic classmates. Ancient masters. And even bears.
But to date, none had ever approached her prior to the match itself, a gesture of good will and sporting intentions that goes over well with the young Kenpo artist. She had been happy to shake the offered hand though her grip is no where near as firm per Japanese conventions regarding the gesture. "I do, yes," she had answered with a chirp regarding her martial art. She had not quite followed the warning, however, head canting ot the side slightly. "Oh. Sure." came the uncertain response. "I'll be doing my best as well. Thank you for meeting me ahead of time!"
Now out in front of the stadium of Howard Arena, flashbacks of her bout against the meek young man, Haru Sakuraba come to mind. This stadium featured her first public match and what a battle it was! The premise was not unlike this one - a warm up match for the audience before the main event. Only, this time, the main event features the very man who had been investing so much time into guiding the mostly self-taught Kung Fu fighter, only adding to the pressure to do well.
But last time she had stepped in front of the audience of Howard Arena, she had been a nervous wreck, trembling and stuttering, feeling sick to her stomach until she was finally able to lose herself in the match. This time when she exited the tunnel to approach the raised platform, she had a new confidence to her step and it takes a while before she realizes the stange music piping through the speakers. It seems oddly out of place, to say the least, was there more to this venue than she knew about? The last time she was surprised she ended up fighting a /bear/, so one can't blame her for being a bit jumpy about details potentially withheld.
Her known track record would not account for the change in the orphaned girl's demeanor - she was usually expected to lose everything event organizers threw her at... but there was no denying that even as a small time rookie, she was starting to draw some interest. Maybe some saw some potential in the gutsy kid. Whatever it was, she managed to keep getting booked in spite her inability to provide the kind of battles crowds go crazy for. But she brought with her the confidence born of weeks of training under a gifted master... this would be her first chance to demonstrate to herself and others how far she might have come.
She slips between the ropes, resting her hand on them for a moment as she considers the curious shift in circumstances. She's never fought for real in anything like a ring - nothing beyond the occasional low key practice spar at some of the city's gyms. Pulling her hands away from the rope, she can't help but wonder what difference it will be to fight in such a setup against someone who's style is likely to strongly involve such... hazards.
And now she finds herself facing across to the two. Why is there a man in a Satan mask and a suit? The cloaked figure with him is clearly her opponent, albeit with her face hidden unlike before... That this is taking place is clearly a surprise to the young fighter and it is hard to keep the confusion from her face as she manages a feeble if uncertain smile. She had missed largely all of what he said in her trip from the tunnel to the ring, her mind too fixated on being as focused as possible for this fight. She must not let Chao Liu down after all he had done for her!
As caught off guard and out of place as she might feel in what seems to be more of an elaborate production than what she's used to, the young fighter hangs back, pressing her hand over her fist and bowing her head toward the two foreigners. She doesn't bother trying to speak. Between the music and the sounds of the crowd, nothing she could say would be heard anyway, but with each passing second even her initial surprise is fading into an expression of intensity, eyes shifting to stay focused on the cloaked figure in the mask. That IS the girl she met backstage, right?
The man in the Satanic mask smiles at Hotaru while sort of shielding his mouth with the microphone. He seems, improbably, friendly... but isn't that just what Satan would do?
Aracely is probably under that outfit. It's the same cloak (nothing very fancy - black nylon) that Hotaru saw her in before. If it's not her, it's someone who stands just like her and is also her same height. Yet, she stands still.
Mano 666 waits for Hotaru to come in, worrying to himself. This is a new direction, and while Hotaru is a rising figure, the efforts of the best fighter he himself has trained haven't been cracking the surface. He's a little nervous. So is Aracely, for that matter. But this, at least, will be winning in a way that can't be contested, even if Hotaru prevails... Excitement.
"Hotaru Futaba. Welcome to the ring of battle. I'd like to introduce you to my daughter. But she's a little bit sensitive, so," Mano 666 says, looking towards the black-cloaked figure, "I'll get out of your way."
And then the house lights dim, as the organ music rises upwards, pulsating and black in B-minor. Aracely remains still, the lower fringes of her cloak fluttering just the tiniest bit as she breathes. The lights reach the lowest bounds allowed, casting the entire arena in an echoing gloom.
"The time is nigh. The hour has come to pass," Mano 666 says from outside of the ring (he kept his mic). "Now!"
A light comes on - doesn't it? A huge violet one up in the rafters - casting a sudden illumination onto the black-clad figure. But her cloak and mask have strange things on them which stand out in the black light. Aracely's arm raises up from beneath the cloak, slowly, shaking.
"Come forth!" Aracely grasps the front of the mask, her hand shaking violently. Hotaru can see -- dark markings on it, black, ominous, feverishly ornate!
"Rend the caul - and be born into the world of battle, my Moonchild!!"
And with a huge sweeping downwards of her arm, Aracely rips the mask /off/, which helpfully breaks along several pre-engineered seam lines while also rupturing several squibs that were placed along shoulders and her hair. Horridly luminous violet goo splatters all over her as she lets out a huge scream, back arching in a contorted pose as the cloak falls to her ankles and the mask slides off the back of her head. The scream carries on for a full three seconds as the noise reaches the far echoing reaches of Howard Arena!
"It is done," Mano 666 intones, before he hands off the mic.
The houselights return then, revealing Aracely with a healthy splatter of less-garish but still messy-looking gunk in her hair and going down her sides. Did she get a full body tattoo?? Her legs curl down into a crouch as she undulates forwards, landing on all fours like a cat, raising up her head with her eyes rolled back to bone-whites! She bares her teeth and -
Did she just wink? OK, yes, that was a wink.
-rises upwards amidst a range of screams and cheers, arms spread wise. "Hoowah!" she declares, before starting to circle 'round Hotaru. And oh, there's the starting bell!
COMBATSYS: Aracely has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Hotaru 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Aracely
COMBATSYS: Aracely focuses on her next action.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Hotaru 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Aracely
Well, at least the devil masked figure is welcoming enough. Nothing about this arrangement is anything like she had expected when she got booked for the Pre-Main Event match at Howard Arena. Her expressions fluctuate between trying to be friendly, looking extremely uncertain in spite her efforts to the contrary, and wide eyed wonder at the setup of it all. As Mano 666 continues to introduce his cloaked and masked fighter, Hotaru glances toward the other figure one more time, her attitude shifting when he presents her opponent as his very own daughter. A flicker of a smile traces its way across her mouth at that thought - of a father being here at the debut match of his daughter on the world stage of professional fighting. Whatever antics seem to be afoot, there is no denying the sincerity of the occassion.
A nod of her head is offered in acknowledgement as the suit-clad man backs away, slipping out of the ring to leave the two young fighters to face each other alone. No matter what happens in the fight itself, what happens next is without a doubt going to stick out in the viewing audience's minds as a memorable event from this weeken's event.
The lighting changes, the music rumbles, and the crowd can't help but pay rapt attention. And beyond it all, everything is drown out by the scream that echoes out from the stadium ring, the Futaba girl lifting her hands over her ears as she cringes at the painful sound. As the mask and cloak are shed, she keeps her eyes on her opponent, a look of alarm in her eyes. "A-are-" she starts to stammer only to be drown out as Mano 666 continues.
Illumination floods the arena to share with the audience the aftermath of the unexpected but most definitely unforgettable introduction. Moonchild falls to her feline-like stance and Hotaru draws back. The alarm on her face certainly looks legitimate, hands raised defensively, staring at the crawling girl with complete uncertainty as to how to respond. And then when she looks up with those eyes without pupils, for a fleeting moment she's absolutely convinced that she must be facing off with one of those drakstalkers people are always murmuring about lately!
That is, until the wink. In that moment it clicks - the slightly nervous feel to her father's presentation, the warning before hand... Hotaru's eyes light up for a moment, her other emotions replaced with a surge of excitement as she finally understands better what is going on. Of course she had seen themed fights - but those were fighters clearly put out of their element for the sake of mixing up matches in strange and unusual ways. But this is... this is one of those fighters who has grabbed hold of an identity and intends to run with it and she's being given the chance to fight against her in her first appearance?
The girl's expression shifts, her stance tightening as the howl echoes out from her opponent. This is an amazing opportunity and not one she is going to miss out on! "Moonchild, was it?" Her left hand sweeps forward into a defensive angle, right hand drawn back for harder strikes. "The sacred ring of battle is no place for such darkness... you can find your way without needing questionable shortcuts. I will show you-"
She's on the offense then, feet gripping against the stiff mat easily - within closer range, she sweeps her right foot out in a side kick, but it seems to fly a little shy, buying herself space to drop down into a lower stance, balanced on her left foot, right leg extended out in front of the flexible girl.
"The power of a pure heart!"
Her left leg straightens, pushing her up out of her low posture into a forward lunging attack, her left arm snapping out into a forward palm press right toward Moonchild's lowered forehead. The rookie fighter is absolutely eating this opportunity up - but that doesn't mean there isn't power behind her strikes!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Aracely with Medium Punch.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0 Aracely
Aracely, for her part, is already enjoying this position. It has two great options.
One, it is not something with a reserved aspect. She can just cut loose and do whatever. That's kind of the point, really. Two, those motorcycle boots were pretty freaking heavy, and now she can just cut loose. Any loss of kickforce will be balanced out by added agility! Hopefully.
Of course, this doesn't mean she's infallible. Aracely's big plan to avoid that thump in the head was to straighten up, which means that she... well, you can't actually say it does anything to reduce the force of the blow, but it does give her a better angle to do something with the force it gives her. As it knocks her in the forehead, she staggers back against the ropes, as Mano 666's blood pressure spikes in horror --
"My heart is a pure heart too," 'the Moonchild' says, throwing her arms over the top rope - and twisting around, doing a full three-sixty around that rope, wriggling through and bringing herself up to the top rope. From there, it's a twist around to clamber up high on the turnbuckle.
Where Aracely spreads her arms again, tossing her glowing-goo-soaked hair back with one hand. "Pure... DARKNESS!!!!" And with this she lets out a rippling, ragged laugh that hse HAS to have practiced - it's like a donkey being hit with a chainsaw - and it foreshadows her vault off that turnbuckle!
Hotaru's fighting spirit has a problem now - which is the abrupt descent of a larger, older woman in a manner calculated to slam Hotaru with the backs of her legs. Or, if she were a bit more Mikaesque, the backside. Will she be forced to the cold, cold ground!?
COMBATSYS: Hotaru instinctively blocks Aracely's Fall From Heaven.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0 Aracely
Her palm strike delivered, Hotaru snaps back quickly - not to run, but to prepare herself. Her mentor as of late never left her any window after his attacks to be off guard and she now expects nothing less from her opponents either. Which why she ends up in a more defensive stance by the time her nimble opponent has gripped a hold on the ropes to prepare her next plan of attack. Arms raised, legs bent a little, the Futaba girl blinks as she finds herself not counter attacked immediately...
Instead, Moonchild takes to the ropes like a natural, purple goo flung about the whole while. Hotaru can't help but wonder what in the world the stuff is made of... chances seem high that she's going to end up wearing some of it at this rate. But as she lowers her guard and watches, trying her best to not look openly amazed at the acrobatic ascent to the turnbuckle, she can't quite manage to hide her eager grin at the thrilling match she's been given the chance to participate in. Perhaps this is a bit gaudy and showy and a departure from the purity of battle she imagines her brother would favor, but what's wrong with having some fun along the way?
Her opponent stretches her arms out, declaring the dark nature of her heart before unleashing a very distressing laugh even if one knows it's part of the act. The realization hits her that she's about to be attacked however and, without thinking, she allows her instincts, honed by her recent accelerated training to take over. Turning her body to the side, her foot braces, left arm bent up tightly as the dropping Moonchild collides with her solidly. She nearly crushes through the girl's guard but for the surge of effort Hotaru puts into also trying to deflect her off in another direction.
From there, the transition from defending to attacking happens practically without thought. The old master had drilled it into her - that ebb and flow of the fight, the adjusting with flowing movements to the ever changing circumstances of the battlefield. She lunges, hands snapping out for Aracely's arm. Catching the other girl the instant she tries to touch down from that high risk, high reward maneuver is her goal, and if she gets a firm enough grip, she'll slip to her side, pulling her opponent's arm up, turning around, then pulling down hard to smoothly flip Moonchild to her back hard against the barely yielding mat.
"What have you given up for this dark power, Moonchild?!"
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Aracely with Ten Rankutou.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/------=|====---\-------\0 Aracely
Her descending buttslam is not an instant win!? She should get a refund. Aracely twists around as she lands, but she's grasped firmly and lets out a devastating scream, one arm coming up to half veil her face before she's snapped forwards, twisting and slamming into the mat with a bone-jarring thump!
Her jaw works as the lays there. She snaps one leg out in the air, twitching it in a wholly unnatural manner closer to a cockroach's than a human's! (This is of course a work, but it does at least keep Hotaru from coming in to finish her off - in theory.)
She can hear the crowd. It's a real arena, and this look's getting over, Aracely thinks. The thought fills her with glee, even if this match is not really going her way. As such, she throws a hand in the air, her kicking stopping for the moment.
"What have I given up...!? There is nothing I have given up... the power of DARK HELL runs through me!" Dark hell, yet. "I can hear the singing of the sirens, I can hear the howls of the winds whipping over the plateau of - of -"
She can see the logo on the HowardTron: 'LANG ELECTRONICS'
"The plateau of LANG! What I am - what I have become...!!" Aracely rolls over on her belly, pushing herself up with a sinuous motion of the back, her eyes rolling back in her head as she pulls herself up by the rope, slapping it as she rises fullbore erect.
"What does the caterpillar give up to become the butterfly!? What does the cicada give up to become an adult cicada!? What does a worm give up to become a dragon!?" There's a sudden flash from that black light in the ceiling, which makes Aracely's bodypainting of darkness seem to glow for a moment.
"THAT is what I've given up... Hotaru Futaba!!"
COMBATSYS: Aracely gains composure.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/------=|===----\-------\0 Aracely
The arm throw executed by the young martial artist almost looks simple for the smooth way she steps into it, hands sweeping up with Aracley's, body hinging forward to flip her to the ground all at once as she practices the less acrobatic but quite effective techniques imparted to her from one who had likely mastered hundreds in his lifetime.
She can't help but be satisfied with the success of her attempt even as she straightens up and raises her arms back into her ready position. It becomes abundantly clear that she has no intention of attacking her opponent while she's down even if such techniques might be known to her. It is on her to be a shining example of virtue now, and also provide her poor fallen foe the opportunity to redeem herself!
Her question does not fall on deaf ears, Hotaru's eyes widening a little as Mano 666's daughter answers her. Did she... did she prepare that speech or is she just that good? The Futaba girl, with zero hours of actual acting experience, realizes she's really going to have a hard time keeping up with Aracely's gift for the dramatic... let alone her bizarre gesticulations that really help sell the entire concept.
One foot slipping forward, Hotaru stands still, arms down at her sides for the moment. Now that she's felt just how hard the young woman is capable of attacking, she knows full well she's going to have to be careful about getting caught by her at all. She's quiet for a moment, head bowed slightly in thought. It might seem like it's out of sorrowful reflection at Moonchild's sad state of affairs, but she's really wracking her brains trying to figure out how to respond to something like that. All this fighting and acting at the same time thing is really pushing her ability to focus - even setting aside the flashing lights and the screams that are unsettling even if one is willing to accept them as partt of a performance.
As Aracely stands upright in front of her, the girl's eyes snap back up, arms raising to readiness. "Do you not even remember, then, the person you were before..." She shakes her head slowly, bouncing lightly on her feet as she gets ready to move swiftly again. "When I look at how you are now, it is not a dragon I see but a snake; not a butterfly but a husk. Come, surrender-"
She is on the offense now, launching out of her stance to hurl herself forward with incredible speed.
"It's not too late for you, Moonchild, stop fighting, let me help you find your way back from the abyss!"
Her charge would be brazen and direct, weaving only if she finds it necessary to avoid being struck in her attempt to secure a tight hold on the girl's goop-decorated forearms and use the hold as leverage to pull herself up into a series of rapid, ascending kicks, striking shin, knee, stomach, and springing off with one final strike against her opponent's face as she launches into a backflip to potentially carry herself across the ring!
COMBATSYS: Aracely blocks Hotaru's Shinjou Tai.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0 Aracely
Hotaru's getting into it! This girl's a natural... ish, Aracely thinks as the young Futaba lunges forwards and starts to bicycle kick her way up the body of the Moonchild! Aracely's arms come up like a boxer's, shading and guarding her face from several of those blows - even if this doesn't actually do more than tense her up, make it so that Hotaru's blows recoil off stiffened, firmer flesh!
As Hotaru springs off into the air, the Moonchild speaks --
"This abyss is what I want... it holds infinite power and promise... I'll bring you down to join me!!"
-- and then throws herself forwards, twisting around like she's trying to catch the big ball that's going to win the game for City Name Sports Team! Only in this case the ball is, of course, Hotaru, and if she should get her arms around the fighter, she brings a leg back to bounce Hotaru back up into the air -
And get a shoulder under her back!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Aracely's Backbreaker.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0 Aracely
As exciting as this opportunity to engage the thrilling, talented luchadora might be, at the end of the day, those attacks are still going to hurt, those bruises will be real, and the match itself is going to run its course until either fighter is incapable of continuing. And as much as she will do her best to sell the efforts of the Moonchild's dark ways, she's also doing her best to put all the lessons Chao Liu has imparted on her in the weeks leading up to this weekend venue to use.
But his lessons were on the fundamnetals and right now, the airborn girl finds herself dealing with nothing remotely resembling the fundamentals as Aracely darts forward, matching her speed with her own to put herself in an ideal position to catch the Kenpoista and set her up for a new world of hurt! "Ah!"
She has to respond before she can even land, twisting herself in mid air to kick out - rather than landing in the devilish Moonchild's arms, her foot touches down on her shoulder before the girl springs off, twisting herself around the other way as she positions herself in the air just behind her opponent in a feat of incredible acrobatic skill.
The timing is dangerously tight. One false move and she might fall to the mat on her side instead of achieving her objective of sweeping her foot through the air to clock the OBVIOUSLY possessed girl in the side of the head before she would attempt to now flip back the /other/ way in what might quickly evolve into a game of keep away if Aracely doesn't put a stop to her antics before too long!
COMBATSYS: Aracely blocks Hotaru's Rengeki Shuu.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 Aracely
The Moonchild's face turns up as Hotaru vaults up, and she looks pretty freaking stoked at this moment. But then Hotaru slams down like a petite yet potent meteorite behind her, and she whirls partway around to throw up a leg before that blow hit up to smash her in the head!
This means she catches it on the knee. How is this possible? Well, mostly because Hotaru is pretty small, and because Aracely has long legs. Also, anything can happen in Howard Arena, where fighting dreams come true.
Aracely is nonetheless pushed back by the blow - which she turns into a cartwheeling motion towards the ropes, which she hits, bounces off of, and jogs past Hotaru after. "Come on!!"
On the rebound she grabs at Hotaru's arm - to spin her towards the far turnbuckle! And... and hopefully not collapse it, because it's being weighed down by a couple of hundred pounds of iron shot, not, like, actually being fastened to the ring. But Hotaru's not that big and inert. Should be fine.
"I'll show you the power of Darkness!" Another flash of the black light to make those elaborate bodypaintings gleam.
COMBATSYS: Hotaru instinctively blocks Aracely's Irish Whip.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0 Aracely
Her attack brushed aside, Hotaru still manages to correct, a flipping blur of blue and white as she touches down a couple meters away from Satan's own. The skill with which her speedy kick was swept away is not lost on the girl. This may be the Moonchild's debut match, but as far as skills go, she can easily recognize that she's up against someone every bit capable of defeating her if she slips up for even an instant.
She has her training to thank for her ability to keep up, however, the transitions between offense and defense coming as naturally as thought, a refined instinct for the ebb and flow of a fight that cannot be read out of any manual or explained in diagram form on a whiteboard. Hotaru's ability to respond is only a reflection of hundreds of hours of practice.
Touching down, she stays standing, extending her arms out a little, her right arm raised above her head in a half-arc, her left arm extended forward as she faces her left side toward the swift Moonchild.
"I will never come with you, to follow down that path, to cheat responsible training and the way of honor for strength that will only betray me in the end..."
She pivots on her feet as her opponent speeds past her too swiftly to strike out at, keeping her stance the exact same now facing the opposite direction. But when he comes back with all the momentum built from those taut ropes, the Hotaru braces for it, legs tensing, body leaning in to try and counter act the incoming force.
Her defense comes in the form of an outward press of both hands and an expulsion of breath as if she was attempting to thwart the attack with a Tai Chi stance. And it seems to work well enough, her feet sliding against the mat in the direction she is suddenly pulled as Moonchild gets a grip on her extended arm, the limb painfully wrenched but the girl's position otherwise barely moved in spite her smaller stature.
"I can see the power of darkness with every step you take..."
She twists her arm, attempting to wrap her fingers around Aracely's own limb. "And I don't want any of it!"
She would spring up off the mat into what would become, if not prevented, a handstand on Moonchild's shoulders - it would only last an instant before Hotaru would spring into an upside down pirouette, dropping down behind Aracely, hands going back to her shoulders, feet planting into her back, as she attempts to drop backward and flip her opponent up and over her, sending her flying into the mat or maybe even to the ropes!
COMBATSYS: Aracely interrupts Hantentou from Hotaru with Medium Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1 Aracely
Aracely's own training is finally coming to the fore, too. She may not have trained the same way as Hotaru, and Mano 666 is a ridiculous man, but she has trained hard, and for once, she thinks, it's really working. She turns herself around, eyes rolling back in her head as she faces Hotaru.
"Do you think that darkness... is a shortcut? It is a long and winding road... to truly be an Empress of Hell!!"
Of course then Hotaru's moving forwards, grasping onto her arm and springing up and over her in a moonsault that would look good in any court in Mexico or Southwest America. The Moonchild is hurled upwards, but Hotaru may have a sense that she's rolling with the twisting, and that feeling is vindicated when she rebounds up -
Staggers back into the ropes, propping herself up like an arrow in a quiver -
And hurls herself forwards in a short-range suicide dive (is it really a suicide dive then? maybe a self-harming dive...) at Hotaru, putting on a bit of the characteristic side-twist that Mano 666 used in his days, which means her side is what smashes against Hotaru, not her head!
On the rebound, Aracely DOES hit the mat, rolling to the side -- is she open? Things are getting more intenser, that's for sure!
No amount of fancy footwork, acrobatic flying stunts, or bracing ends saving Hotaru from one Mano 666's signature techniques as Aracely crashes into the featherweight and drops her hard back against the mat even in passing. Laid out flat after being bowled over, the girl sits up quickly, shaking her head. She can't hesitate for even an instant, scrambling to get her feet beneath her, hands sweeping out before she has even identified Moonchild's new location as if to ward off an attack from any angle for at least a brief moment.
"And then what will you have obtained?" she asks back, finally twisting and finding her opponent. "At the end of that dark road you have chosen... will you be satisfied then?" She drops low once more, similar to how she started the fight, supported by her left foot tucked in close, her right foot far out in front of her, arms extended as she adopts the Stance of the Swallow in a smooth transition from recovering to being ready once more in almost an instant.
Her left leg kicks off, allowing her to lunge forward the instant her opponent shows that she's still able to continue. "Will you be happy then?!"
Her left hand leads the way - a single palm press similiar to the one she had used at the start of the match... "Ha-!"
Only to be followed by the girl twisting her whole body to the left, her right hand slamming forward from behind, packing an incredible amount of punch as she puts every muscle in her body into the secondary hit! "HAAAH!"
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Aracely with Fierce Punch.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-======|=======\=====--\1 Aracely
Hotaru's words seem to reach something in the Moonchild's heart. Her eyes snap back from their whited out perspective and she seems suddenly deep in thought, deep enough in thought to look out towards the crowd, who are hushed -
Towards Mano 666, who makes no reply - and then back to Hotaru.
As she rises to her feet, she says, "I have your answer, Hotaru Futaba. The answer is -"
She throws up her left hand, horns upraised. "YES" --
But you have to suffer for your art, and in this case that suffering means getting smashed in a floating rib by Hotaru's adorably powerful fist. There's a loud POP (probably rib cartilage - PROBABLY) and Aracely staggers back now, not entirely feighning it. But she doesn't let herself be daunted. Through this pain, she takes a step back -
Then two steps forwards, very quickly -
And leaps upwards. Where Hotaru stood on her shoulders, now she's putting all of her weight up and aiming to slam it on Hotaru's shoulders. That'd be bad enough... but if she gets her seating, she immediately reaches out to grasp the rope and snap-twists at the waist, aiming to send Hotaru flying across (perhaps OUT) of the ring in a classic hurricanarana!
Or perhaps more of a...
COMBATSYS: Hotaru fails to interrupt Huracanarana from Aracely with En Bi Kyaku EX.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/=======|>>>>---\-------\0 Aracely
The exchange happens in an instant - Hotaru's two step strike snapping out, the girl's exclaims accompanying each blow. She does hit incredibly hard for her stature, capable of flowing every bit of momentum she can muster into each strike, the first palm being ideal for battering through one's guard, opening the way for the second strike that packs the kind of punch needed to knock Moonchild back a little ways.
The Kenpo artist doesn't even hesitate, drawing herself back up out of her extended reach into a tighter stance, flowing through her motions with practiced finesse even as she finds herself getting increasingly wearied by the endurance match against the luchadora. It seems she's even ready for the rebound attack -
When she takes to the air, Hotaru braces, raising her arms to withstand the magnitude of the weight that comes crashing down on her in an attempt to suppress her ability to continue fighting. The crunching impact just about takes her down though, legs bowing, a grunt escaping her lips, but she's still standing...
And when Moonchild positions herself, reaching out for the rope for leverage, Hotaru twists beneath her, sweeping her leg back and up, attempting to drive her foot up into the side for the reaching wrestler, but Araceley is too fast and her foot never reaches the target. In an instant, the girl is hurled clean off her feet and sent flying head over heels, her whole body impacting the ropes on the opposite side, stretching them taut before she's flung back into the ring in a very awkward looking tumble that brings her to a rest near the center.
Gritting her teeth, the girl presses her hands down, struggling to get up to her feet, wobbling a little and then stumbling to the right before catching herself, hands snapping up, feet pivoting to bring herself around to face the girl again. "If that is the calling of your heart," she murmurs, voice still amplified by the sound systems in abundance on such an elaborate stage. "Then it is my calling to stop you. Prepare yourself!"
Having sent Hotaru flying, Moonchild lingers near the rope for a moment, breathing heavily. She sweeps her hair back then, walking forwards as there's another of those blacklight flashes on her body - indeed, the light STAYS on now. (It's actually illuminating the entire arena, but it just shows where that hair goo has fallen.)
(Oops, some just fell on Hotaru! Fortunately, it's harmless and cornstarch based. Kinda yucky though.)
"I would expect no less from you... Hotaru Futaba!!" Aracely declares, leading afterwards with a snapped out side kick, approximately TKD-derived, nothing terribly fancy but it fills the air as she talks more. "Because DARKNESS is made all the deeper, sharper, STRONGER..."
Another toss of the hair. "When the light tries to burn it away."
COMBATSYS: Hotaru blocks Aracely's Light Kick.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Hotaru 1/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>----\-------\0 Aracely
As Moonchild brazenly approaches the small Kung Fu artist, Hotaru holds her ground, her hands raised, her foot slipping out a little in front of her. A resolved look is in her eyes - a burning intention to see this through. It helps that it fits the scenario that has been crafed, albeit ad hoc for her, throughout this battle. But the intensity in her face is not born of any gifted acting chops but a sincere hope that she can succeed after all the inspirational mentor taught her; that he will hear of her success before he steps out into this arena for his own battle ahead.
Even still, she realizes her opponent has her dreams to fight for as well, and it is her father standing outside the ring, his thematic mask in place, possibly throwing the horns repeatedly throughout the match for all she knows. Even with the strength of purpose she feels, she cannot discount their own circumstances. To come this far... must not be a task they pursued lightly.
"So be it, Moonchild... but I will show you..." She sweeps her hands into position to ready herself. "Just how wrong you are." Rather than avoid the kick, Hotaru moves into it, right hand sweeping from left to right with a backhanded chop, deflecting most of its potential with the counter force. "On matters of light and dark!"
In the same continuing motion, she twists into a short hop, body twisting the other way, both arms descending in rapid, windmilling strikes, right hand first, then left hand, as she attempts to batter aside Aracely's defenses. She would spring into a second set of such strikes, this time left leading right-
If she finds Aracely's guard weathered down, the Kung Fu fighter will spring into an airborn spin kick aimed at the level of her opponents goo-laden head before following up with a dropping axe kick with her other foot on her way back down!
COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Aracely with Tenrenge.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > //// ]
Hotaru 0/-------/-------|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Aracely
That incoming barrage is met with a simple cross block but it just is not enough! The Moonchild yields ground, staggering back underneath that flurring barrage and spreading her arms across, to try and counterstrike --
But then a spinkick comes in and rings her bell!
She has enough in her to stagger to the side, hit the ropes, and rebound forwards. Her eyes are rolling back a little and it doesn't seem like there's much left in her. Bounced off the ropes, she has enough momentum to try to flop into Hotaru, but...
That may just be it for her!
COMBATSYS: Aracely can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Aracely successfully hits Hotaru with Medium Throw.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\ <
The Tenrenge encompasses nearly all of the techniques at Hotaru's disposal, swift, whirlwinding strikes that from the basis of so many of her attacks, speedy manuevering, fancy foot work with small decisive hops for positioning, and airborn, acrobatic kicks intended to finish the combination off with stronger blows than her arms are capable of on their own.
And in this case, the technique is a success. Whirling down out of the sequence, she lands with a soft grunt against the mat, azure eyes glancing up toward her determined opponent. Will that be it? The sequence was fierce, Hotaru holding nothing back... but it also means she's running on fumes after the fact, perspiration rolling down her cheeks as the toll of battle begins to catch up with her.
Leave it to a Luchadora to use the ropes for one last counter attack. Hotaru sees the attack coming and she's definitely not interesteding toppled into for one final slam if that's what this is about to become. Pressing down with her feet, she attempts to escape with a unprepped backflip that would, if successful, take her safely out of reach. If only her foot didn't come down on a swath of that purple goo and slip clean out from under her. "Huh-?!"
Already falling backward, she's easy pickings for the decisive flop, both girls crashing down against the mat with the Futaba heiress trapped beneath. Grunting, she pries herself free quickly, given the size disparity between the two of them is not out of her capacity to move. Scrambling to her feet, she skips backward a few steps, breathing hard as she comes to a stop.
The crowd is cheering their heads off, many wanting the Moonchild to get back on her feet and take this match for another round or two, so impressed have they been with what was intended to be a warm up match but all expectations have been vastly exceeded, especially by the showmanship of Mano 666 and his daughter.
But the match has reached its conclusion and Hotaru can finally catch her breath, exhaling softly. She wants to collapse after all that, but not yet. "I hope, in time, you will come to understand," she rests her hands over her chest, "I know you will find your way."
Leaning her headback up to the sky, she exhales again, "Thank you, Moonchild."
Sliding her feet apart, pressing her hand over her fist, the girl offers a bow first toward Aracely, a second toward Mano 666 himself, and then finally toward the crowd in each of the cardinal directions, before finally, at last, she slips through the ropes, eager to rest and recover.
Aracely starts getting up, but it's slow after Hotaru gets loose. It seems that the fight's out of her... is she going to rally...?
Mano 666 can tell she isn't, really. He raises his mic to his lips. "Well, well - it would seem that light has prevailed for the day. But keep in mind, Hotaru Futaba, that in time all lights must dim. And that the darkness..."
The crowd quiets for a moment. The retired wrestler says, low and close, "/Waits./"
At this point Moonchild has gotten up to her feet, though she's leaning on a turnbuckle. She looks up towards Hotaru as she bows, with a wordless glare (accented by another wink); Mano 666 returns a sober satanic salute in response to the bow. Then he looks upwards...
And tells Hotaru as she passes nearby, "Wait a moment."
The lights all drop suddenly. There is a gasp. The black light is still on, focusing on Aracely, who is unfortunately put on the spot. (Damn those lighting technicians.)
Glowing in the dark ring, Moonchild looks out at the crowd... rises up to her feet -
The black light drops for a full second.
When all the lights come back up, she's gone.
Log created on 18:07:44 01/24/2015 by Hotaru, and last modified on 01:20:45 01/25/2015.