Description: The Seekers of Mysteries led by Brandon Malone takes on the Broken Hearts led by Miguel Caballero Rojo. Who will qualify for the 8th seed bracket and who will be forced to watch the tournament on TV? (Winner: Broken Hearts)
It's not even his first tournament and yet the nerves still kick in. As the spectators file in and go to the concession stands and seats the ring gets prepared for the King of Fighters qualifiers. Camera crews are given their instructions, staff are given their marching orders and Brandon sits in the locker room with his team mates, as he shuffles his tarot cards. It's part nervous tick, part necessary preparation. It was necessary for him to shuffle and charge his cards in a more relaxed atmosphere since doing it in combat would actually be more painful for him since he had to force his energy into the cards at a much faster rate if he didn't want to eat a punch to the face while he was shuffling.
The arena crew finally come get his team, Seekers of Mysteries and usher them towards the floor. The PA system blares as the announcer introduces each member in turn and then with a nod to his team mates he enters the fighting area slipping his tarot cards into the leather pouch attached to his belt.
He takes a deep breath and looks out to the crowd. It's showtime!
Miguel was calm and prepared. He was looking forward to this fight. Miguel was confident he would beat his opponent with little difficulty. He walked into the arena with his head held high, with the cheering of the crowds. Manliness emanated from his form.
In the sandy terrain of the battlefield, Miguel stood. He shouted at Brandon" Hey you side show magician, ready to to be beaten by the Broken Hearts?". He juts his foot to the side into the sand. "Or do you just want to show us all a magic trick?"
COMBATSYS: Brandon has started a fight here on the left meter side.
COMBATSYS: Miguel has joined the fight here on the right meter side.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Brandon 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Miguel
He was being goaded. It was things like that made it so tempting to reach directly for his power and rush headlong into self-destruction in an attempt to take this man down with him. Another breath is taken to calm himself down, focus on the man before him and only reach for that energy if the need was dire.
"I don't think you know enough about any of us to make that kind of statement."
He slips into his stance. He looks like he's in a hurry to get this fight started. His stance is what looks to be a modified Hitman boxing stance hands open, and a finger tip close to the leather pouch on his belt.
The official gives the signal to start and the bell rings. Brandon begins bouncing on his feet.
Miguel heard Brandon speak. The Spaniard just laughed. He laughed and he laughed as he walked up to Brandon. He leaned over at him and said "payaso del carnaval".
With that, he rocketed his backhand up right at Brandon’s face.
COMBATSYS: Brandon blocks Miguel's Manly Slap.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Brandon 0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0 Miguel
As that slap comes in, the Thaumaturgic brawler rocks away from the attack bringing up his forearm to intercept the backhand and upon impact letting out a loud meaty sound and slamming his own hand into his jaw. He hisses in pain, surprised at the physical power. Most of the people he has fought haven't hurt him that much after he guarded their attack. It made him wonder how much that would've hurt if it had fully connected.
As he glanced at his forearm he was wondering if he might actually have to put the deck away sooner than he expected in this tournament.
He bends his knees just slightly with the Empress card appearing in hand. He grits his teeth as he pushes off in an explosive motion the energy practically leaping off of the card to surround his body as he launches himself elbow first into Miguel.
Just as quickly as that card appeared in hand, it disappears.
COMBATSYS: Brandon successfully hits Miguel with III - The Empress.
- Power hit! -
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////// ]
Brandon 0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0 Miguel
The carnival clown’s elbow shot out at Miguel. The reckless Spaniard took the blow right to the gut. Miguel grabs his stomach. That little card reader was sure gonna pay for that.
Miguel was still hunched over holding his gut. He then swung his right leg to hit Brandon’s gut right back. Brandon would get to enjoy the receiving end of a little vengeance. While the momentum would bring Miguel back to his impressive and towering stance.
COMBATSYS: Brandon counters Medium Kick from Miguel with IV - The Emperor.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Brandon 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 Miguel
The slender detective's hands move in a blur as his finger tips appear to just barely brush the pouch as he just shifts around taking full advantage of Miguel being doubled over to slip towards his opponent's flank. It also gave him time to watch and wait.
Opportunity finally comes when while the Spaniard is still doubled over he lashes out with a kick to his midsection. With a bit of sleight of hand, the Emperor card appears between his index and middle finger with his guard hand. A circular shield of golden light appears right in the path of Miguel's foot and stops the kick dead before it releases the right back at it.
"Don't take me for a joke. I'm no comedian."
Who would've thought Brandon was an Eminem fan?
Miguel’s kick swung out at Brandon, and bounced off a golden shield. When it bounced, it repealed him with an indescribable force. With the recoil, Miguel had to plant his foot deep into the sand, leaving behind drag lines in the sand.
Miguel was getting really irritated at this trickster. "Nice trick you fortune teller!" shouts the Spaniard readjusting himself. He set out his fist to punch Brandon right in the face.
"Wanna give me a palm reading!"
COMBATSYS: Miguel successfully hits Brandon with Aggressive Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Brandon 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Miguel
Brandon's hands go up to guard in a peek-a-boo stance however Miguel's fist manages to slip through the small space in the guard before he finally connects with his face. Blood and spittle flies from the arcane PI's lips as he's sent flying through the air in a wild spin before hitting the ground and skidding for a couple feet.
Brandon slowly rises to his feet while clutching his jaw, and the look of agony in his eyes. He looks down at the pouch on his belt and unclips it. He could imagine that Daniel is somewhere watching this, knowing what he's about to do and screaming at him to not do this. He tosses the pouch containing his tarot cards aside and reaches directly for his power. He knows this is going to hurt.
Brandon's entire body flares up as he illuminates the arena with his chi. He grits his teeth in pain but this time it isn't pain that originates from that punch to the face. The chi sensitives in the area can sense that the restraints on himself were released.
COMBATSYS: Brandon switches his Mindset.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Brandon 1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0 Miguel
Oh, he dropped his deck of cards? Okay then.
Miguel did not really care about all the flashy lights making pretty shadows on the sand. He did care about getting another hit in. "Hey! People came here for a fight, not a magic show, you cannot even keep hold of your cards.", says the most manly of men mockingly. With his other fist, Miguel swings on in for a combo on Brandon’s jaw.
COMBATSYS: Miguel dazes Brandon with Strong Punch!
[ \\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////// ]
Brandon 2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1 Miguel
When the first hit connects the mystical investigator's vision just swims. When the other fist comes in, any attempt at staying on his feet is made impossible as his knees practically buckle and his body collapses into a heap.
He slowly climbs to his feet, wobbling unsteadily as he struggles to stop seeing double. He reaches for his power though in the back of his mind there's a nagging feeling that he only has one shot and the most he can hope for is that he'll be able to at least soften him up for his next team mate. While he is an experienced fighter, it's the first time he's come up against someone of this caliber. He needs to hit him hard. To justify being here. To justify bringing this team together, to justify any trust that his team mates could possibly have for him.
"DO YOU EVER SHUT UP!?!?!?"
Maybe Brandon might be a little pissed off. Either way, Brandon's hand is raised into the air as thirteen swords of light form above him and shoot downward at Miguel in rapid succession as he attempts to turn him into a walking field of chi swords.
COMBATSYS: Brandon can no longer fight.
> ////////////////////// ]
COMBATSYS: Brandon successfully hits Miguel with Astral Blades of Death.
> //////////// ]
And the combination of damage received and the pain of using his power directly, Brandon's body decides it just can't take the stress and he collapses to the ground. His hands ravaged by his own power.
Miguel gave that little magician a real nice blow to the skull, left him not knowing up from down. When Brandon staggered up and sent out a storm of swords, Miguel just put his fore arm up.
Miguel did not expect the shower of pain and agony the swords unleashed upon his hardened flesh.
With the dust settling, Miguel looked at the collapsed Brandon. The magician was surrounded by uneven glass that used to be sand. Miguel felt triumph, and pain, in his victory. He then remembered he still had to fight another opponent now.
"Now I stop talking when I want to stop talking you clown."
COMBATSYS: Miguel awaits the next challenger.
> ////////////////// ]
Exaggeratedly waving while swinging her arms overhead at ringside; all to get the attention of the briskly entering staff adorned in medical jumpsuits. Trish gives up on beckoning right there and then, quickly resorting to cupping hands to her mouth to yell directions at the professional staff such as to 'hurry up' and 'bring him over' to the ringside where his team was waiting for him.
Tapping her foot impatiently as the staff dubiously seat Brandon where directed and begin attempts to make him comfortable they're quickly harassed and turned away by his obnoxious teammate who shoo's them away with insults such as 'any idiot can tie some bandages' while reacting to their scepticism and professionalism by assuring he would be fine. He will want to see the fight still to come so they're no longer responsible for this charge and can go soak their heels.
"So worked up with their responsibilities. Indifferent to what the patient wants. I Despair!"
A gentle and irritated sigh as she kneels beside Brandon and palm to chest and thumb against his forehead; Just a soft enough dose of healing to prompt natural awakening and recovery. The faintest of glowing threads as a complex glyph appears on back of her hand. Then she scowls as she lowers her eyes form his face to hands. They were a real mess, probably the worst of all his injuries.
Tearing open a sterile packed of bandages she pulls the swatch tight, tying the bandages but most importantly hiding the severity of the damage from view. It wouldn't do to have them disqualified on some kind of medical technicality.
"He'll be fine. The wounds aren't as bad as they look."
A cheerful and optimistic bedside manner as Trish turns her head to inform, and lie to Ayame. It was horrid! and yet morbidly fascinating that someone could do this kind of damage to their own body just by channelling their own power.
As Trish administers slightly chi enhanced first aid, Brandon grits his teeth in anger. He wants to slam his fist down in frustration but given the condition he put his hands in when he casted his Astral Swords of Death spell and the fact that Trish is currently bandaging them.
"I should've stopped using the cards sooner..."
That single remark starts a deluge of regrets and things he could've changed and things that bothered him about that entire fight. It wasn't the first fight he lost, but it was the first that losing pissed him off to this extent and the reason it did could be summed up in the next words to come out of his mouth.
"I was a joke to him from the very beginning."
Watching from the sidelines, Ayame Ichijo was quiet throughout the match, brown eyes focused on the two combatants as they exchange techniques and strikes. Overall, the first bout of the venue is short, violent, and to the point. And, on top of that, heated. While the two fighters facing off against each other seemed not to have any previous history, from what she could tell, there was almost an immediate animosity between them. As moments went by, it became clear that this was exactly what the powerful brawler wanted - to provoke, goad, and antagonize her teammate.
Unfortunately, he isn't all talk either. Powerful, crushing blows accompany his aggressive language, making him quite the threat to deal with. Battered by relentless strikes, the fight takes a turn for the dramatic the moment Brandon tosses aside the pouch and an ambient surge in potential became abundantly clear. He only got one attack in, lasting only a brief moment after discarding the pouch of cards, but that single blow was catastrophic in comparison to his previous strikes. The only issue... Miguel wasn't the only one harmed by the all out strike.
The young staff wielder watches Brandon being moved to the side and Trish's immediate concern for their teammate's well-being. Impassively, she studies the visible self-inflicted damage on the young man's hands. "Mn." is the only acknowledgement she offers at first. It appears it is her turn to test her ability against the powerful, mocking brawler.
She's quiet as Trish fusses over getting Brandon assistance from the medical crew, making no move to help herself. Every iota of her ability will be required in what is to come based on the display of power she had seen thus far.
"Really." Ayame replies to Trish's assertion that the damage isn't as bad as it looks. She doesn't sound particularly convinced. The blows from Miguel were punishing, but the injuries he did to himself ran deeper.
Sucking in her breath, her left hand tightens over her rune-carved staff as she starts to step forward, only to pause as Brandon bemoans the outcome of his match. Glancing at the mystical investigator, she frowns slightly, "Perhaps." She doesn't look certain - would throwing away the cards faster have changed the outcome or only caused him to suffer more harm from his destructive potential? At his second comment however, her frown fades, the slightest hint of a smile at the edge of her lips, "That is exactly what he wants you to believe. But..." she glances back up, eyes on Miguel. The brawler is injured. Brandon's efforts were not for nothing.
Inhaling then exhaling, Ayame steps out onto the stage. Everything about her seems to speak of tradition - her attire that of the traditional Shinto Priestess, a white kimono-styled top with long, oversized sleeves, and a crimson dress-like hakama down to her ankles. In her long, strawberry-blonde hair is a crimson ribbon tied into a large bow. And in her left hand is a six foot long wooden staff.
She walks with confidence and composure, neither in a hurry nor exhibiting the nervousness some might feel being on the world's stage like this.
"After all that talk, I expect a good fight from you," the miko declares to Miguel. "Do not disappoint."
In the same gesture, she sweeps her right hand into the lengths of her left sleeve. Upon pulling her hand free, a small off-white paper talisman is between her fingers with glyphs drawn in black ink. Is Miguel destined to just keep fighting people using paper today?!
With no further word, Ayame whips her right arm out, flinging the talisman into the air directly for Miguel's chest. The attack moves with far greater speed than the soft paper should be able to, as if propelled by force beyond just being thrown. And should the brawler be struck by the paper attack, the talisman would immediately explode into a set of ghostly-white ethereal chains which would attempt to entangle him, seeing to constrict his limbs and slow his movements with spectral bindings.
Can't anyone just throw a normal punch anymore?
COMBATSYS: Ayame has joined the fight here.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Ayame 0/-------/-------|=======\===----\1 Miguel
COMBATSYS: Miguel blocks Ayame's Binding of the Condemned Soul.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////// ]
Ayame 0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1 Miguel
Miguel wiped away his sweat. By the time Brandon was dragged away and the new fighter came in, he had breather.
He sized her up, with his mighty stance. She tossed a card at him. If he had known this fight was going to be like this, he would have grabbed an Uno deck. The paper hit his cheats, and bust into chains. While a discomfort at first, there was one fatal design flaw of the chains that was not planed for.
The chains shattered as Miguel brought up his arms with his muscles tearing them asunder. Free of the bonds, he picked of a broken link. With a taunting and arrogant sneer, he taunted Ayame. "Pah, your chain was only as strong as the weakest link. Much like you." with that he threw the link at her and charged forward.
He would bring to flashy staff wield, card throwing, magic spewing fighter with a most devious of tactics. He was going to punch her in the gut.
COMBATSYS: Ayame dodges Miguel's Medium Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////// ]
Ayame 0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1 Miguel
Her talisman hurled, Ayame pivots her stance, her staff held vertically to her left, her right shoulder forward, right arm raised, bent at the elbow as she makes herself a more narrow target to strike back. There is nothing flashy about her opponent's style that she's seen thus far, no need to expect some unexpected trick, tactic, or ability beyond being able to throw out some crushingly strong punches and kicks. Such a direct style of fighting has its strengths, but its predictability can be overcome if the raw force behind the blows can be avoided.
Her expression suggests she is not upset to see him break through the spectral chains, the energy dissipating rapidly as soon as he shatters their form. Even the hurled link fades to so much mist long before reaching the one who made it. "A statement of obvious fact," Ayame observes verbally, awaiting the incoming counter strike.
She has to be fast to avoid the blow, his fist swinging in with piston-like force. Rather than deflecting with her staff, or trying to contend with his martial arts, she promptly escapes, leaning out of the path of his swing and pivoting around him on one foot. Already, her right hand is returning to her left sleeve - an indicator that another one of those paper talismans is about to be produced. This one is charcoal grey with black ink. "Does not make you witty."
Palming the talisman in her right hand, Ayame slams her hand forward, aiming to smack the charm directly against Miguel's muscle-bound ribcage from his left side. Should this one connect, it would spark into several ebony tendrils of shaped chi that seem to skewer through Miguel's aura and body before spearing themselves into the ground as if to root him in place for a few seconds. It definitely seems his smaller opponent is intent on locking him down - some threats are too dangerous to leave moving freely. Curiously, even if the tendrils pierce through his body, there is no physical evidence, no gaping wounds - the miko's target appears to be his aura itself.
For her own part, Ayame doesn't stop moving, completing the evasion and attack combination with hop backwards to try and put distance between her and the powerful striker, her wooden staff sweeping from her left side to be positioned between her and Miguel in anticipation of whatever he might do next.
COMBATSYS: Ayame successfully hits Miguel with Anchor Through the Endless Dark.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Ayame 0/-------/-----==|=======\======-\1 Miguel
Miguel charged forward like a bull. The bull miss, and before he could tell where Ayame had went, he felt something. Miguel was feeling like he was being stabbed again. There were bizarre eldritch tentacle like things all around him, piercing him. Miguel was getting kinda freaked out. He knew he had stop this thing, whatever it was. But he knew he would have to out smart her, do something unpredictable.
Miguel started to laugh.
He just laughed as he walked across the sand. He walked right up to Ayame, still laughing non-threateningly. He then let loose a punch that could knock out a bear in one hit right at her. If she got hit, she would wish she got knocked out cold.
COMBATSYS: Miguel successfully hits Ayame with Burly Sneer.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Ayame 1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0 Miguel
Laughing is not the response one usually anticipates coming from an opponent who has just been struck by a tenaciously binding tendril-spawning talisman, but there is a list of reasons Ayame considers logical explanations for it - he's shrugging off her attack because it didn't really affect him. He's gone crazy. Or it's just another one of his attempts to throw his opponents off - when verbal taunts fail, try another approach. It's not a foreign concept to the staff wielder and her reaction to the sudden outburst of laughter is to watch him with the same neutral focus she had demonstrated since stepping into the arena with him.
Shifting her posture, her right hand joins her left hand in gripping her staff tightly, twisting the weapon into a defensive position in front of her, perhaps intending to zone out the strong striker.
Backing up, her feet sliding through the sand, leaving small grooves in her path, she continues to wait for the attack that doesn't seem to come. Should she strike first? Should she kite him around further? A snap decision is made - she needs to confront what he's about to do, only then will her next course become obvious. Slipping forward into melee range, the priestess spins her staff into a more defensive angle, anticipating a strike that will need to be warded off before she can finally counter attack again.
She is correct in anticipating the strike - it's the power behind it that she wasn't ready for. Having managed to avoid Miguel thus far, all she has to judge by is how punishing his attacks appeared to be against Brandon. Now she gets to find out first hand just how threatening they can be.
The punch is read handily enough, Ayame twisting to her right, twisting her staff up to brace it with both of her arms into the path of the blow. Her left foot slips back, intending to bastion her stance even further - if she can weather this one strike, perhaps he will be vulnerable to a decisive strike.
She might as well been trying to intercept a charging bull with a twig for all the good it does her. His rocketing fist crashes right into her staff and the smaller fighter's defense shatters in an instant. The blow to the side of her head is a decisive introduction to what a Knock Out punch can feel like. The featherweight fighter is sent flying to the side, landing in an ugly, tumbling roll through the sand before coming to rest on her side. That her fingers of her left hand are still curled around her weapon is the only indicator that she might still be conscious at first.
Ears ringing, the shrine maiden forces herself to roll to kneeling, squinting her eyes at the blurriness of her vision. If he can manage another strike like that, she'll be finished, of that she has no doubt. Shaking her head, she pushes up the rest of the way to her feet, spinning to face him, sand scattered around her as she takes hold of her staff in both hands again. Blood seeps down the side of her head, down past her temple and over her cheek, and while her expression remains mostly the same, there is a certain fiery intensity to her eyes.
"Barely felt a thing," she remarks after another few seconds of silently convincing her legs that standing is in fact what they are supposed to be good at.
Leaning forward, her staff back to her left side, a moment's focus is all it takes to pour her own chi into her trusty weapon - a crimson, flame-like energy that sheaths the entire length of her staff. Another moment of focus and the girl pulls her right hand away from her wooden staff and the sheath of energy comes with it, giving her two weapons - one of solid wood, one of pure energy given form by force of will.
"Someone like you could go far in an event like this... someone that needs to rely on his teammates to see him through, that is, because this is where you fall!"
When she charges, it is with an incredible burst of speed, sand exploding out behind her as she launches into Miguel, spinning into strike him with both of her staffs, twisting, turning, and leaping into blow after blow - she would continue her relentless assault through any battered defenses, only sliding to a stop past him when her strength could push no further!
COMBATSYS: Ayame successfully hits Miguel with Final Solstice.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Ayame 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Miguel
After unleashing a single punch. Miguel felt the cheers of the crowd in awe of his pure power. He hears what sounds like softened tomato, coming up behind him. When he turned to look, he an interesting sight. What looked like Ayame was charging right at him holding a second stick.
The following gymnastics show/beating she gave Miguel pounded him. The wood and willpower flowed in a bloody ballet. Her landing left a large lump of Latin manly man.
Miguel no longer cared about himself. All he focused on was making sure his team mates would not be let down. Following the trail in the sand, he charged down his target. He went to grab Ayame by the arm. With the grip, he would give it a twist to bring her down lower. Then he would give her a nice knee to the throat, sending her to the hardened glass. As a last gift, he would send her a kick to the face to shatter her spirit and the glass.
Hopefully he would fall down in the sand.
COMBATSYS: Miguel can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Ayame fails to counter Bounty Beat from Miguel with Midsummer Fantasy.
- Power fail! -
-@- Dazing Hit! -@-
COMBATSYS: Ayame can no longer fight.
She knew full well her combination assault struck true after the first couple of hits. Having first seen then felt what Miguel was capable of, she knew she couldn't let up, couldn't give him any room to recover, forcing herself to stick to the plan even while still reeling from the previous mighty blow. All the spinning might have been a bad idea, however, as when she slides to a stop in a low crouch, the younger fighter actually topples to the side, catching herself with her left hand atop her staff against the ground.
"Tch." she grunts, pushing herself back up, opening her right hand to allow the chi-shaped energy staff to collapse into a thousand motes of unguided crimson. Wobbling still, hopes that her last attack was enough to drop her opponent decisively enough to avoid reprisal are dashed when she hears him surging up after her.
Sucking in her breath and fighting through the dizziness threatening to keep her off balance, Ayame whirls up to standing, pivoting to face him directly only to find her right arm already seized in a vice-like grip from which she couldn't possibly break free.
"It is hard to believe-" she begins to grouse, her staff igniting once again in crimson flame. Pulled down by the hold on her limb, the crushing blow to her throat cuts short whatever thought she was about to express, replacing spoken word with a pained gurgling noise as she lands hard against the glassed sand. Coughing, she attempts to roll out the path of the incoming finishing strike, trying to twist her staff up to protect her body from some measure of the dreaded impact.
She doesn't quite make it - the stunning kick to the miko's face is as decisive as it is sudden - out like a light, the back of her head smacks against the glass, shattering a spider-webbed pattern into the surface. Movement stops immediately, left arm dropping back against the surface, fingers finally releasing their hold on her staff, the energy on its surface flickering out moments later.
Sprawled out, the combat priestess shows no signs of continuing to fight, making the outcome of the match crushingly certain\.
Log created on 19:18:29 06/05/2016 by Brandon, and last modified on 23:21:39 06/10/2016.