SNF 2016.05 - KOF Tryout: Cry of the Ninja!

Description: Two ninjas duke it out in the cold. Which will come out on top? (WINNER: Maki)

The valley is nearly coated in a field of white snow, the tiny flakes tossed around by unrelenting winds through the isolated valley. Rope bridges swing to and fro, buffeted about by the winds. And yet, the winds are not so strong that they would snuff out the flames of the braziers lighting the path to one rock outcropping in particular. In the midst of the snowdrifts, a path of footprints, suggesting a set of heavy hiking boots, marks the path of one solitary adventurer. There is only one set of tracks, and they seem to have made a one-way trip to the outcropping.

The footprints do not belong to the figure standing alone beneath the roof of the outcropping, for the figure standing there is a log. There are no heavy hiking boots nearby -- just a warm, cozy fire. And a scroll, in parchment, pinned to the parka, penned in swooshy black letters. The scroll reads: "BEWARE OF NINJA" - though it's hard to take seriously because there's also a drawing of a panda wearing a ninja gi and hood, with two decidedly -cute- swords drawn and at the ready.

Staying out of sight and not being seen, those are the main rules of being a ninja. Unlike the other ninja who's here, there's no sign of any other footprints at all, nor is there any hint that someone else might be here at all. No signs of disturbed snow or any unusual movements can be seen. Of course, for the well trained professional, they might be able to tell that there's someone else here.

Unlike the first ninja, the other ninja (if they're actually here) is not using any of the main paths, but instead sticking to off the path routes and things like that. Not wanting to be seen or heard, the other ninja is keeping out of sight for now. Meaning that if someone were actually here, they might be surprised to learn they're being watched, perhaps?

Modern-day motion sensors are accurate at detecting object movements as small a fraction of a centimeter. Advanced optics are honed to such a degree that the most minute of details can be captured, broadcast to remote locations, analyzed and enhanced to glean the truths stored within each frame of video. Automated software could be used to programmatically scan for evidence and correlate it with an extensive database of known subjects.
But none of those systems will be of any use in the middle of a snowstorm -- and it's that very matter that the tech-ninja Nagase curses as she hides behind a false wall in the cave. "Stupid storms. That stupid weather site lied to me -again-..." she laments to herself, slapping the tablet computer she'd been using as a display. Puffs of air appear around her mouth as she exhales irritably, pulling the soft, screen-printed blanket away from the wall, her toasty haven now exposed to the chill air of the outcropping.

And yet, now that the bumblebee ninja is exposed to the light, her enhanced sensor array delivers a belated alert to her eyeglass display.
"Really? Now you freaking tell me..." she mumbles, hands reflexively snapping to the pommels of the two ninjato stashed upon her back. With the treble clatter of her scabbards (in stereo where available) and the glint of steel hitting the light just so, the ninja proves to any onlooker that she is undeniably ready -- despite being caught more or less in the open.

"I know you're out there!" she calls into the sound and fury of the snowstorm, from the relative warmth of her crackling fire. Her voice is high pitched, even a bit shrill, suggesting her relatively young age. "I know you're ready to meet my challenge, so just come out and get it over with!"
The invitations only went out to a very select group of ninjas, so naturally she has an idea of the kind of opposition she expects to greet. Hence -- staying armed.

COMBATSYS: Nagase has started a fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|

Some time before this whole thing went down, the other ninja told a bunch of students in their dojo that, "Not all ninja carry katanas and shurikens. And not all of them cover every part of their body except their eyes. There's more to being a ninja than just that. It's about knowing how to conceal yourself properly and using stealth to your advantage. THAT is what makes a true ninja!" And apparently, that advice was being put into action here and now. Or it was, rather, until the other ninja's cover was blown somehow. Or it could just be that there's no denying the inevitable.

Whatever the reason, though, there's no need to remain hidden. The other ninja makes themself known... or rather, herself known. It's none other than Maki Genryuusai, one of the finalists of the Rumble in the Streets tournament, and a modern day kunoichi as she calls herself. And living up to the point about how not all ninja are the stereotypical type, the blonde-haired ninja drops into the area dressed in red, her sneakers leaving tracks in the snow as she skids a little ways, before landing in what looks like a slight sidways lunge. And indeed, this kunoichi doesn't carry any katana or shuriken on her. Instead, it's just her trusty tonfa.

Maki quickly stands up and dusts herself off, not letting the cold weather bother her despite the fact her arms and legs are pretty much exposed to the elements. Instead, she simply twirls her tonfa around as if demonstrating her capability with it, before assuming a fighting stance with her tonfa held in front of her. "I accept your challenge! I am ready to fight you!" Maki narrows her eyes a little at Nagase. "I'm ready when you are! Come on!"

COMBATSYS: Maki has joined the fight here.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Maki

Nagase did her homework on the ninjas she'd invited. While at first, Nagase was a bit upset that she'd sacrificed her spot in the Rumble tournament only for a Bushin-ryuu ninja to advance to the finals, she was pleased to know that she'd had the honor of facing off against the eventual winner.

"Heh heh, I should have figured it'd be you..." The bumblebee ninja silently rises to her full height: the confident stance of a heroine makes an odd fit with the height of a short Japanese woman. The two panda-hilted ninjato are stowed back in their scabbards at the revelation that Maki is armed simply with a tonfa -- this isn't intended to be a -lethal- match, after all.

"Don't worry, though -- I won't be swinging a bo staff or demonic tentacles atcha!" Calmly striding around the fire in the midst of the sheltered cave, Nagase brings a hand up to her head, brushing her fingers through her hair.

"... just good old-fashioned ninjutsu!"
The kunoichi suddenly backflips away. And three four-pointed shuriken are flung in Maki's direction -- a wakeup call, to see if she really -is- ready like she says she is! "Hyaaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Maki with Shooting Star.

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Nagase           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Maki

"You did, did you?" Maki asks with a quirked eyebrow. "That's very interesting to know. Not that it really matters to me at all." She twirls her tonfa again and steps back slightly, sizing up Nagase carefully. She doesn't care that her opponent has holstered her weapons, nor does she care if she uses them. All that matters is the fight at hand, and some fight with weapons, while some don't.

"I'm not worried about anything!" Maki replies, narrowing her eyes as if interpreting the next comment as an insult of some kind. "Old-fashioned? I prefer the term 'traditional' personally." Maki sneers a little, and then turns to dodge out of the way of the shuriken coming at her, but she makes a major mistake.

As she twists to the side, her foot hits a slick patch and she falls to the ground... in the path of the shuriken no less.

One of them grazes Maki's arm, while the other two slash into her side. She winces a little, before rolling backwards onto her feet again, unsurprised at the sight of a little blood in the snow. "Call that luck if you want, I just call it worthy of an outtake. But the show's just getting started!" Maki runs in quickly, and attempts to strike Nagase in the torso area as she goes by.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Maki's Medium Strike.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0             Maki

Nagase doesn't just fling out insults to be annoying. ... Though she -does- enjoy being an impetuous brat. No, it's to test the mettle of her opponents, and to properly gauge how well they react to stress. Most of the tired old ninja in her clan -- the ones who 'politely' and 'diplomatically' urged her to depart (so that she could stop being such a negative influence on the genin class) -- would not have been shaken in the slightest by the remark, but Maki's response speaks volumes. Well, make that -responses-, considering her costly misstep. As blood spatters the snow, Nagase completes her backflip, her bulky hiking boots sinking into the snow of the ledge. "I'll file that under 'Maki Genryuusai letting her guard down.' Happens to the best of us!"

When Maki races in, Nagase begins to pirouette out of the way. She is eager to test the Bushin-ryu ninja, however, which is why she opts to take the tonfa strike on her reinforced shin armor rather than avoiding the strike completely. Plumes of snow are kicked up as she's shoved sideways through it, before the bumblebee kunoichi reasserts control over her momentum and springs backwards to relative safety.

"Jeez, what do you do for a living, crush rocks with your forearms?" hisses Nagase, her shin throbbing with pain -- she'd felt that even -through- the thin armor plating concealed beneath her black-and-grey striped leggings. "Maa, it's no worry. How has -your- clan been faring against the White Ghost?"
If there are any recording devices here, they belong to Nagase alone - her preparation made sure of that.

The bumblebee ninja doesn't stop the fight for her chit-chat, though -- her hands flick into motion, and with a sudden burst of speed, and a loud hiss of steam, she's delivering a quick spin-kick into Maki's abdomen.
Her shin is warm -- but it's not the one that was just absorbing the tonfa strike. The limb is warm because it's on -fire-, courtesy of the Iga-ryu ninjutsu - the Art of Flames. "Kurae!"

COMBATSYS: Maki avoids Nagase's Medium Kick.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0             Maki

"You have some very clever analogies," Maki replies as she skids to a stop, watching Nagase carefully. "That is just a case of how a true ninja can focus their power into their strikes. If you are surprised by that, then perhaps you are not fit to be called a true ninja yourself? And what do you mean, 'The White Ghost?'" Maki seems genuinely confused by this, before changing to a look of focus and readiness, almost as if she can shift her 'modes' at the drop of a hat.

It's getting a bit hot in here, definitely, and while it's cold in the environment, there's no need to be heating things up at all. Maki is there one moment, but just before the leg makes contact, she's gone! Or is she? Because if Nagase were to look behind her, Maki would be standing behind her, tonfa pressed against her back. "That was a clever trick, I'll give you that," Maki comments. "But as long as I can dodge your attacks, they mean nothing to me." The pressure gets stronger as Maki walks closer. "You must account for your opponent's defensive capabilities if you wish to win a battle. If you can't account for my speed, then you have no chance of winning!"

As soon as Maki finishes speaking, she quickly lifts the tonfa from Nagase's back, and in one fluid motion, attempts to grab her neck, and administer a tripping style attack by sweeping her ankle with one foot while using her free hand (the tonfa hand is blocking Nagase from the front) to push her forwards in a semi-jiujitsu type of technique. "En garde!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Maki's Quick Throw.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0             Maki

" Hai, hai, senseeeeei." Nagase rolls her eyes at the lecture she's getting in ninjutsu -- the same sort of speech she's received countless times before. It's a marked sign of disrespect, but mostly because -yes-, Nagase knows all about focusing her chi into her attacks.
She just prefers to make it a bit more flashy, a bit more fiery at times.

"Dodging..." she mumbles, momentarily remaining still as the Bushin-ryu ninja presses a tonfa firmly against her back. She could have dodged it -- totally! But she preferred to stay still and allow Maki to lecture her further. "Yes, sensei..."
All the while, Nagase's hands are quietly stirring into motion, fingers snapping into precise gestures with muscle memory from nearly two decades of rigorous training. Someone of Maki's talents and intuition would be able to sense the eddies of chi swirling up, invisible to the naked eye but known to a practitioner of the ninja arts. And when Maki is expecting to get a handhold on a stationary target, she instead finds herself grasping at little more than snowflakes and air currents, rapidly expanding outward in a shockwave of air.

"The White Ghost. He's been... killing ninjas all over the place. Tons of clans in the north. I'm surprised yours hasn't been targeted." The voice comes from everywhere and nowhere at once, difficult to make heads or tails of due to the rushing winds.

And suddenly, without warning, the flow of chi is abruptly interrupted directly above Maki. And out of the snowflake-dense winds emerges Nagase's elbow, dropping down sharply onto Maki's shoulder. And should she connect, the nimble kunoichi would instantly jacknife herself, snapping a quick knee strike into Maki's temple before twisting away to a safer distance.

COMBATSYS: Maki dodges Nagase's Aggressive Strike.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0             Maki

Indeed, Maki is grasping at nothing but air and snow. It's a bit humiliating, but it doesn't get the best of Maki. She simply returns to her fighting stance and waits to sense where Nagase might be. When Nagase speaks, albeit from seemingly nowhere, Maki is quick to respond. "Is that so?" Maki asks as she listens to the unseen voice. She's not freaked out in the least bit, as she's used to ninja tricks like this. "I'll definitely make sure to alert my father and the others in the dojo," She says with a hint of concern in her voice. "If anything happens to my father or to my sister... or any of the students..." She scowls a little, remembering what happened to her sister that time when the Mad Gears sought revenge. "I'll definitely do that."

Then Nagase seemingly comes out of nowhere, and just as quickly as she came out of nowhere, Maki disappears into nowhere as well, only to reappear a few steps away from where she previously was. "That was a clever technique, I'll give you that." She smirks a little. "It seems we're both fairly well matched here. I'm going to enjoy this fight." Her smile disappears after a moment. "But don't think that means I'm going to hold anything back against you! Trust me, I may not hate you, but that doesn't mean I care about you either!"

Maki steps carefully in the snow to avoid slipping again, approaching Nagase. "Even in these elements, a ninja can still utilize them to their advantage!" Checking the ground beneath her feet, Maki lets the traction guide her as she literally slides towards Nagase with an outstretched foot.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Maki's Light Kick.

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Nagase           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0             Maki

Nagase is getting the impression that the White Ghost has cherry-picked only the ninja clans -without- an obvious presence on the fighting stage. Why that is... she hasn't figured out yet. It bears more research -- at some time that she's not fighting someone at least as nimble as she is.
Okay, she's a -lot- faster, but you won't hear it from Nagase's lips.

Nagase makes an obvious landing -- a clear target to the Bushin-ryu kunoichi. But just because she's making her path apparent doesn't mean she wants to get hit: the tech-ninja leaps backwards, the outstretched foot coming within scant centimeters of knocking her off-balance in the process. Snowflakes twirl about into semispherical clouds in the smaller ninja's wake as she lands, twisting into a low roll. It's not all fun and games, though, as Nagase springs back to her feet with her armored gauntlets raised, fingers outstretched in the sign of a handseal.

In response to the assertion that the two are well matched, the bumblebee ninja naturally has a quip armed: "... Yeah, I kinda aced Ninjutsu 101 through 808 already... but you were on a roll with the lecturin'..."
Nagase slams her hands down, a twin helix of flames rolling off her hands and inchworming across the snowbank towards Maki. Snow melts instantly, hissing in steam as the Iga-ryu worms of flame walk their way towards Maki. "Unrelenting fire!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Maki with Unrelenting Fire.

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Nagase           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0             Maki

Even though she missed with her 'sliding tackle,' Maki uses the momentum of her slide to roll forwards and get into her ready stance again. She dusts off her tonfa a little, though it seems to be more like a 'whatever' gesture rather than genuinely cleaning off her tonfa. Once it's nice and clean, or something like that, Maki turns to face Nagase once again.

"I had no idea the classes went that high," Maki comments, despite the fact she obviously gets the joke. "And I'm glad you liked my lectures, but if you want more, you'll have to come to the Genryuusai dojo sometime for one of those. Because right now, I'm--" Maki is cut off as she tries to jump away, but the flames catch onto her and cause her some serious burns. In despeeration, she drops to the ground and rolls around, resulting in more snow being melted, but her body getting only minor first degree burns and a few blisters.

"Quite a good one," Maki comments as she applies some nearby snow to a burn on her arm. The cold sensation causes it to sting even more, causing her to wince a little bit, but it eases the pain a little. "Like they say, when you're hot, you're hot, and when you're not you're not. And I can assure you I may be hot right now after what you did to me, but the same might not be said for you!" She drops down onto the ground, then pushes herself up into the air and spins around like a whirlwind, her sneaker-clad foot extended while she balances on the tip of her tonfa.

COMBATSYS: Nagase fails to counter Bushin Senpuu Kyaku from Maki with Nagase Spiral.

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Nagase           0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0             Maki

Nagase's already on the move, making full use of the steam clouds rising in the wake of her clan's enigmatic flames. She smirks to herself at the quiet acknowledgment of her joke -- but says nothing particular in response to the Genryuusai dojo. It's obvious why she can't continue lecturing now: she's -burning-.
Which is remedied by some quick actions from the expert ninja. As Nagase expects. She'd acknowledge it, but ... not while fighting. This -is- an assessment, after all.

Nagase stays hidden for a few moments longer, her chi masked slightly as she maneuvers into position. Sounds can be heard on all sides of Maki -- she's moving -very- rapidly as a distractionary measure. In all actuality, she really -wants- to hear everything that Miss Genryuusai has to say, but she isn't about to let the tension completely bleed away in the process.
Nagase wants Maki's blood to be pulsing just as fast as hers is, after all. Snow explodes in plumes from multiple vectors in close succession, as Nagase is wantonly abusing her translocation ability to stir up a ruckus. To make her next attack highly unpredictable.

But it's from the clouds of steam directly in front of Maki's face that Nagase emerges with a whirling kick. She'd tried to crack the back of her hiking boot's heel across Maki -- but that's when she finds out how -Maki's- been spending her time.

Nagase's eyes go wide as her kick is met by another kick, and her heel is instantly hooked by Maki's toes. The Iga-ryu disciple finds herself whipped around by the whirlwind kick, thoroughly disoriented by the dizzying kick -- only to find herself flying backwards, slammed against a rock wall in the process. Upside down, with her back flattened against the wall, Nagase yelps with pain, temporarily halting her smartaleck bit.

"Okay, so. You... know about the King of Fighters tournament, right?" Wincing, she twists back to her feet, not wanting to be caught off-guard. She raises her hands, flattened like knives, as she stares back at Maki. She sounds out of breath, as to be expected from such a hard hit -- but the fight's still on, and she's still prepared.

"I got a team. You want in on it?"

As soon as Maki gets back onto her feet, she rolls her neck around a little while dusting off her top. She runs a hand through her hair while she watches Nagase recover from the attack, anticipating a fierce response after that last attack. But instead, Nagase continues to chat with Maki. Namely about the King of Fighters tournament. Normally, Maki hadn't considered it too much, but now here's Nagase talking to Maki about it, and then offers to let her join the team.

"Well, nobody's ever asked me to join their team before," Maki comments, starting to think about it. "So maybe I suppose if--" Just then her stance turns fierce again. "Wait a minute, this can't be that easy, can it?" She narrows her eyes. "Just what kind of bargain are you driving with me? Are you going to make me jump through hoops just to get in? Or do I have to defeat you in a certain time limit to join?" She sneers a little as she continues. "I just can't believe that you'd be inviting me to join your team just like that, you know!"

Maki steps towards Nagase, but this time she doesn't attack. Instead, she watches Nagase for a reply to her question. Is this for real or is this just another trick? Maki stares down Nagase, awaiting whatever may come in response.

COMBATSYS: Maki focuses on her next action.

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Nagase           0/-------/-======|=====--\-------\0             Maki

Nagase's eyes widen at Maki, from behind her lenses. Anger? -Really?!- She... actually seems kind of amused by the fierce reception of her friendly, conversational tone -- a marked change from her deliberately disrespectful tone from earlier in the fight. "Well, no, it's -not- that simple!" insists Nagase, as Maki keeps stoking the flames of her frustration. "You just told me I have to come to Genryuusai Dojo if I want more lecturing." Her hands are employed in wide, sweeping gestures, giving emphasis to her passionate words. "And hey, they -were- good lectures, don't get me wrong!"

But then her wrists snap together, as if pulled by a magnet. And suddenly Nagase leaps forward, her knee raised right into Maki's clavicle.

"Guess I'm more of a hands-on learner, though!"

If Nagase's knee connects with Maki's collarbone, she'd kick off her sternum into a backflip. Her landing from said backflip would involve one boot on each of the Bushin-ryu kunoichi's shoulders, stomping the pressure-sensitive areas on the top of each and sending Miss Genryuusai down into the snow, while the nimble bumblebee flips away again.

COMBATSYS: Maki dodges Nagase's Nagase Stomp.

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Nagase           0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0             Maki

"If you want lectures, I'll gladly start posting them online or something like that! All you have to do is look on our website or search for our dojo online, it's easy to find!" Maki seems a bit frustrated now as if she feels like she dug herself deeper into a hole instead of getting more information like she wanted. "If you want lectures, just say so!" Maki twirls her tonfa a little as if trying to work off some of that frustration while showing she's still on full alert. Which is proven when Nagase comes at her.

While some might be keen on getting stomped, Maki is not a bug or anything like that. Meaning that Nagase had best adjust herself for an abrupt landing, because there's nothing where Maki was just a moment ago but air and snow. Maki somehow rolled in a swift motion that brought her forwards, but instead of grabbing at Nagase from behind or something like that, Maki has the common courtesy (and honor) to let Nagase turn to face her first. "I could lecture you on a lot of ninja related things. But if you want more detailed bits, you'll have to come to do the dojo for that." Maki's a bit firmer now, but not as angry sounding as before. "If that's what I need to do to join your team, then I will gladly invite you." She rolls her shoulders back before shaking her head. "But let's not dwell on that for now, shall we? Let's finish our fight!" Maki grips her tonfa tightly and then steps towards Nagase while swinging her tonfa, almost like the step forward is enhancing her strike with the tonfa.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Maki's Genkou.

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Nagase           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Maki

Nagase's forehead creases with irritation as even her -fast- attacks are avoided. Here she was hoping to beat the speedy blonde at her own game, but no -- her aerial knee strike plows onward right through the air, as Maki rolls right beneath her.
And yet... this isn't distasteful to Nagase. Not -entirely-. She's enjoying the fight, but again -- not going to show it.

Boots plow into the snow, and Nagase whips back around with a knife-hand strike just in case Maki was tailing her to the ground. Seeing that she wasn't, Nagase rises again, keeping both hands where the Bushin-ryu fighter can see them.

"Look, that's... y'know what, yeah -- let's finish!"

And then Maki rushes forward, aiming to barrel through her with the tonfa! Nagase drops to one knee, bracing herself against the snowbank as she raises both her arms. The tonfa resounds against her metal-encased wrists with a loud, metallic *clank!* -- showing that the tech-ninja is carrying a lot more gear than her small size might otherwise suggest. Her arm shudders with the blow, but she's already moving forward, making use of her close proximity.

Her goal is to grab hold of Maki's arm with one of hers, while slamming her shoulderblades into Maki's chest. If she manages this, she'd aim to wheel the both of them ninety degrees to the side -- Nagase landing back-first on Maki, who in turn would make a hard landing, back-first in the ice-cold snow.


COMBATSYS: Maki interrupts Power Throw from Nagase with Tengu Daoshi.
- Power hit! -

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Nagase           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1             Maki

"All right, I'm for it!" Maki says, wincing a little as her tonfa is grabbed onto by Nagase. "Aw, dammit," She growls through gritted teeth, but then she feels the pain of shoulders crashing into her, and she winces even more. "Unngh... dammit!" Maki hisses, but then she spots her opportunity. She waits until the time is just right and then she propels herself into the air, grabbing Nagase by the neck...

And then doing a one-eighty in the air! Meaning that Maki is now right-side up while Nagase is upside-down! "That was a nice trick, but I've got a few up my sleeve too!" She takes this opportunity to toss Nagase to the ground below, before Maki herself lands on the ground in a crouch, albeit with a bit of a grimace on her face as she lands.

"Owww..." Maki mutters as she rubs at her leg, apparently forgetting there was a burn there which hurt a bit when she landed. "That was careless of me." She takes a piece of snow and rubs it there, wincing as it stings again. "I can't believe what I get myself into sometimes!"

"Hrrrrrk!?" is Nagase's unsuccessful attempt at conveying her complete alarm at being throttled by the neck -- and hurled around in mid-air. The tech-ninjette is totally cool with spinning around when it's under her own prerogative, but when she's being choked and flung by someone -else- it can be a bit nauseating. The Iga-ryu ninja attempts to twist about to regain control over her flight --
That's when it hits her.
The rocky valley wall, precisely.

Nagase blacks out for a moment at the sudden impact, reeling forward. She comes to an instant later, finding herself doubled over with both hands and knees dug into the snow. She slaps herself in the face with both hands, trying to keep her vision from remaining doubled up.

"Look, I'll... lemme make..." She shakes her head again, wobbling a bit as she tries to stand. "I just -- I just need two... two things. Practice, which we're gettin' now, and, and... a commitment to the team!"

Her eyes cross, as the dazed kunoichi focuses on her augmented eyewear for a moment.

And then, without any apparent forewarning, she charges forward. She aims what seems to be her elbow at Maki -- and if it's treated as such, so be it.

But the goal is for her to get -behind- Maki, as the only -intended- point of contact is her hip to land across Maki's: Nagase intends to roll right around past her, like a rolling brush in an automatic car wash. If she gets around behind Maki, she'd shove the blonde's shoulders forward, practically -sitting- atop Maki.
And then she'd deliver a painful percussive symphony of armored chops to her derriere, before cutting her loose with a -huge- two-handed smash, sending her flying face-first into the snowbank.
It's not exactly a kind gesture. But she -did- just have her bell rung a bit, and she could use some vengeance...

COMBATSYS: Maki interrupts Hunting Peach from Nagase with Tesshin Hou.

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Nagase           1/---====/=======|=------\-------\0             Maki

It's not a kind gesture, definitely. But Nagase's got a surprise in store as well! Because while she's unleashing her attack, Maki's charging her chi up internally. And just when the final blow is about to land, things go crazy! Maki explodes with chi, literally launching herself, foot first, into Nagase! Her foot is driven into her stomach as Maki goes flying across the cave, until Nagase drops to the ground off of Maki's foot. Maki then lands and skids to a stop. She rubs at her shoulder a little and then says, "Wow, that smarts!"

After that, Maki watches Nagase for a moment. "That was pretty good, but another trick of a ninja is being able to let your enemy get into the right position to launch a proper counterattack! Sometimes that means you have to take a hit or two yourself! But in the end, I think it's worth it." She takes a breath and blows it out, before rubbing her other shoulder. "I'll need a good massage after this," She mutters to herself.

Once Maki's done talking to herself, though, she turns to face Nagase again. "So, got anything else planned for me? I'm sure I can still fight you a little longer. The question is, are you able to?"

Despite starting the match nice and strong, Nagase almost sees her life flash before her very eyes. What should have been one of her most... memorable and possibly humiliating attacks was not only anticipated, but ended up being used as a launchpad for an even -more- impressive attack -- and she's barely able to even appreciate the attack at all, as it all happened so -quickly-.

There is a continuum of powers, and while Nagase has been quick to educate those downhill from her about the awesomeness of ninjutsu, it's clear she still has quite a bit further to go, herself. ... Once she flops off of Maki's foot, of course.

Nagase pushes herself up to her feet, smacking herself in the cheeks. "H...hey, don't... don't go talkin' like we're -done- here or nothin'..." Nagase rises back to her feet, clearly winded, but still rising her hands up a defensive stance. "Look, you're a'ight, okay?"

The kunoichi winks back, from behind her amber eyeglasses.
And then she winks out of -reality-.

Maki will then realize that Nagase has split herself into -two- Nagases.

Nagase has quite a bit of talent in making herself appear to be in multiple places at once -- but it's not just some cheap trick, it will actually -hurt-, as the two 'mirages' take turns pummeling fists, heels, and elbows into the Bushin-ryu ninja from either side.

"This --"
"-- is --"
"-- just --"
"-- a test!"

A test of the emergency shadow clone technique, clearly...

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Maki with Punishment Mode - Mirage Assault.
Grazing Hit

[                         \\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Nagase           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0             Maki

"Tests? I don't need tests!" Maki replies sarcastically as she prepares to dodge Nagase... that is, where ever she may be. Unfortunately, by the time Maki figures it out, it's too late for her to dodge it. She gets hit hard and goes staggering into a nearby wall. Granted, the hit only caught her slightly, but it was the impact of hitting the wall that adds injury to insult... or vice versa if you will. Nevertheless, the injury causes her to wince more than usual, and she scowls as she rubs at her torso. "Dammit, I think I got too cocky for my own good there!" She breathes a sigh of exhaustion and frustration. "But I won't let her win that easily! No way!"

Rubbing at the wound on her side, Maki stares at Nagase once she's visible fully again and shakes her head. "You've fought well so far, but now it's down to the final moment. This is the time frame where the winner is decided. It's where we take what we've learned and put it into action!"

Maki hunches over a little, still catching her breath. "But I am more than willing to see what you have available if you think you can handle it. Because even an injured oppponent is still a worthy one if they can learn how to overcome their injuries to launch a strong attack!" Maki takes a couple steps, then tries to deliver a swift thrusting kick to Nagase's stomach. See if she can stomach this, perhaps?

COMBATSYS: Nagase fails to interrupt Light Kick from Maki with Fierce Combo.

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

COMBATSYS: Nagase can no longer fight.

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

No, it's not -Maki- who needed the test -- but rather, it was Nagase who needed to prove to herself that she could land another decisive set of strikes upon the Bushin-ryu practitioner. Sarcasm was well-warranted, but as much as Nagase -wants- to be the one in decisive control here...

Well. She still didn't hit as -solidly- as she wanted, her muscles fatigued after one too many rendezvous with the valley walls -- to say nothing of the frigid extremes.

Suffice to say, after -landing- said blow, Nagase is leaning hard upon her own knees, taking deep gulps of air as snowflakes flutter to the ground around her. She's up to her ankles in this particular snowdrift -- not a huge impediment when she wasn't so winded, but quite problematic -now-.

"A bit, maybe. But... I just had to try." Nagase smirks somewhat, showing her good humor at finding herself outmatched in -almost- every way by her blonde opponent.

When Maki calls her shot, Nagase raises her hands in defense. "Well, let's see how this goes, then!" she chirps out. Whatever Maki can dish out, she'll try to deal with...
... at least, that was the plan. The kick just comes out -blisteringly- fast. And Nagase attempts to ward it off with her gauntlets, only to have the kick land about 0.8 seconds before she could even get her hands into position. She bends at the waist, doubling over from the kick -- and with a *paff*, she teeters over into the snow.

Once she's done coughing up the remains of her protein-bar dinner into the snow crater made by her fall, the ninjette actually musters a laugh. "Okay, okay, that's... that's it for me, hahaha... Welcome to Team Ninja, Miss Genryuusai. I'm..."
She considers for a moment, as she pushes herself up to one elbow. Her head barely pokes out above the level of the snow around her. "... Just call me Nagase! Th-thanks for demonstrating your skill to me!" If Maki can hit this hard in a practice bout, Nagase can sleep comfortably knowing Team Ninja will make -quite- the showing...

Log created on 19:14:09 05/19/2016 by Maki, and last modified on 21:00:06 05/22/2016.