Henchman - Shinguuji-ryuu Before Swine

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Description: Sumire "Mimi" Wakatsuki is a devout student of her family's kenjutsu stype. Shinguuji-ryuu is a time-honored martial art, and she trains studiously for the day that she can prove its merit into the modern day. When some low-life who fancies himself a, shall we say, under-the-table landlord decides to take a visit, Mimi steps up to the challenge to show why she may yet become the bright blade of the future for her family's kenjutsu art!

The Wakatsuki dojo--one of a handful of schools, perhaps the only school left, that teaches the Shinguuji-ryuu kenjutsu, is set back a ways from the road, as is only proper. A decently large complex, it is one of those old-style Japanese complexes--several large buildings joined together by raised walkways, with a sweeping front courtyard, the very picture of old Japan style and elegance.

The front yard is well-maintained, given over to a beautiful lawn--as well as a practice area, and it is this late afternoon, the sun starting to burn orange in the sky, that finds the young Wakatsuki scion, Sumire, practicing with her bokken, amidst a forest of stripped-down tree trunks, each with padding tied around them, to represent targets.

Her voice echoes through the area as she strikes again and again, practicing her fundamentals, each cry accompanied by the solid-sounding *thwap* of bokken against leather covering.

She wears the traditional outfit of the practicing samurai, the dogi and hakama, in white top and black pants; her only concessions to modernity are a neatly folded terrycloth towel and a large bottle of sports drink, both resting on a low bench nearby.

A branch breaks underneath the foot of someone just a ways away from where Sumire would otherwise be left to practice in peace. Nature has its way around here, but she might be familiar with the weight of human footsteps that trample the grass and whatever else happens to be in their way. Carelessness, arrogance, and haste.
It shouldn't be a surprise that there's an intruder in the form of a late 20-something overweight Japanese man. Dressed in loud and gaudy dress, it's unfitting of what local criminal elements would consider respectful and tasteful. Sure, he's wearing a suit. That's the only dignified thing about it. Loud colors, outlandish jewelry, looking like he has more money than he really does.
He's flanked by two men, both relatively nondescript in height and build aside from one of them being a foreigner (the blonde hair). Both are in far less gaudy suits. Dark gray, shades, flu masks. Reasonably anonymous.
Hot shots. Southtown attracts a whole lot of them. There's a whole wealth of power brokers in the underworld that manage to hold things together through strength and fear... and yet, the further down the chain one goes, the further away they seem to be from immediate reach. The criminal element is almost uncontrollable at the lowest level. Muggers, thieves...
"So, toots, you all on your own out here?" The sleazy heavy-set man addresses her far too casually, a smirk on his face. "Don't see no one else about... say. Set that toy stick down for a tick. We gots to talk 'bout some new, ahhh," he waves a hand around in a circle, "tax. Let's call it that."
The other two men with him stand silently, arms behind their backs. The blonde one casts a look over yonder, as if to double check if the four of them together really are all alone.





"Y--" Pause. Mimi pulls her bokken back to a neutral position, and slowly turns, her face still, closed off. Certainly she's pretty, but she doesn't look very... welcoming at this point, so that probably mars the image some. Whipping the bokken up, she rests it against her right shoulder, as this... man... comes invading her privacy. These men... she corrects herself, seeing the two others a moment later. Of course she's out here alone--the rest of her family is in the compound, which is, at closest, roughly 75 yards away. But she isn't afraid.

"Yes," she says, briefly, answering the question posed to her. However, when he suggests she disarm, her eyes grow cold, flinty.

Her grip on the bokken changes, subtly, though the weapon doesn't leave its ostensible resting position; casually, she begins walking to her left, intending to clear the circle of wooden enemies, moving slowly so as to not cause any alarm.

Her eyes betray a touch of honest confusion. "Taxes...? We pay our taxes to the government on time," she says, then the truth of it hits her a moment later.

"... ah," she says, a moment later.

"I see. You seek to extort payment from my family... We've owned this land for centuries. You will find nothing for you here."

Whipping the bokken around, she points it at the flashy-suited man. "Leave."

The confidence in which she holds her ground, states the facts, and otherwise resists seems to have an effect on the man in charge. He takes a step back as the bokken is whipped dead center towards him.
"H-Hah! Just a li'l twig!" Bravado begets lies. He's clearly hiding. "Youse gonna go on and on about yer Shinguuji gibberish!" Oh, hey, he knows the style's name. Maybe he paid attention to who he's trying to extort.
Then again, if he knows the name, and is emboldening himself to invade and discuss this sort of thing anyway... what does it say about the name of Shinguuji-ryuu...?
"Lemme introduce ya to the real world, girly!" He gives a hearty slap in the back to the foreign man, pushing him forward. A curious detail, he doesn't complain, flinch, or do much of anything in reasonable protest one might have to being shoved around like that. Does this man command some level of influence after all, that allows him to act this way to subordinates? That much is not of immediate importance.
Heedless of her battle readiness, the foreigner with the blonde hair steps forth, fists raised and in constant motion (a boxing stance? Is he a boxer? It doesn't seem that solid), starting to slowly circle. He is not that far out of the swordswoman's reach, should she see fit to reinforce the thick man's knowledge of what her family style is.

COMBATSYS: Henchman has started a fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0         Henchman

COMBATSYS: Mimi has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Mimi             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Henchman

Mimi's expression changes, sharpens. Almost ceremonially, she whips the blade through a brief flourish, closing both hands on the grip and bringing the polished black splinter of wood to a middle guard stance. Her movements echo the man's, her feet spread shoulder-width apart, then shifted so that her left leg leads.

For a moment, she's absolutely still, not even shifting to move with the foreign man...

And then she bursts off the line, as it were, almost like a sprinter, with a single-push lunge that sees her bring her hands in close to her stomach then, as she closes the distance, she slams her feet into the ground, kicking up clouds of dust, transferring momentum from her legs up through her body into her bokken--using it to strike with a thrusting strike aimed squarely for the man's sternum.

As opening gambits go, it's a simple one, but Mimi doesn't see any need, yet, to bring her full strength to bear...

COMBATSYS: Mimi successfully hits Henchman with Power Strike.

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Mimi             0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0         Henchman

There's a solid cracking noise to confirm a powerful impact, assuming eyes fail. Wheezing noises are caught and muffled by the flu mask. The foreigner's expression is completely unreadable thanks to the obscuring details, but the rest of the body language doesn't lie as he's sent staggering backwards.
"She looks tough," says the other goon to the gaudy boss, as an aside.
"D-Don't let 'er hear that!" The boss insists, though now he's firmly hiding behind that other thug. It doesn't seem like any of them are about to step in and help - this ensures she can largely keep her focus on just this one, singular opponent.
Stumbling sideways across the grass as the foreigner catches themselves, they take a step forward to begin swinging unremarkable - but serviceable - punches somewhere around head level. A left hook, a right straight, before drawing their hands back into that energetic but not entirely sound fighting stance.

COMBATSYS: Henchman successfully hits Mimi with Probing Strikes.

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Mimi             0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0         Henchman

Mimi was taught from the moment she first picked up a weapon--a shinai, maybe or a length of wood leftover from a broken broomstick--to never underestimate or prejudge an opponent. It's the surest way to defeat. But even an exceptional student slips up sometimes; Mimi falls for what she thinks is a feint, which leaves her open to that punch combination. It doesn't hurt too much--she has learned how to take a hit in her time, or she would never have earned the right to carry the bokken she does now.

Instinctively she staggers back from the man, using the moment to recover her footing and regain her composure, stopping her skid with a firmly-placed back foot.

Her mouth sets into a thin line, a compressed expression of disapproval (in herself) and concentration.

Drawing her weapon back, she steps forward once, twice, and then as she closes, she begins her own attack, slashing the weapon from left to right, then right to left, then powering the bokken around in an overhead cut, and repeating that for the last attack, ending with the weapon pointed down towards the ground.

COMBATSYS: Henchman fails to interrupt Kouryuu Kenbu from Mimi with Tackle.

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Mimi             0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0         Henchman

The Kouryuu Kenbu - the technique honed to a fine point by the student of Shinguuji-ryuu - proves a difficult beast to tackle when she unleashes the combination attack with a precision and confidence worthy of far more respect.
It's worthy of an audience, no, an opponent of far higher caliber than what stands before her. Her first two strikes are almost poetic in her skillful movement, striking against his unguarded torso and gently guiding his hands down lower which allows the third of the combination to hit his scalp unchecked.
The first overhead slash - the third hit overall - is no weaker nor less effective than the first two before it. With a loud exhaling noise made difficult to comprehend because of the flu mask (was he about to say something?), he appears to misread an opening within that split second between strikes, fighting through pain and dizziness to lunge forth with arms outstretched in what would be a basic tackle...
...Were he not going compeltely defenseless to the fourth and final blow, which nails him square in the upper back and floors him against the grassy dirt. The way the weapon is pointed, it could be interepreted as a gesture as if to say, 'see how your arrogance will be paid in full.'
"Pretty good, boss," says the unengaged thug, "don't think he's gonna get up..."
"No no no. See, he's still pullin' himself up," the boss insists, pointing a finger from behind the other thug, "those shots ain't nothin'. Any minute now, you just watch--"
Even if Mimi does back away and allow the foreigner time to stand up, he's clutching his head in pain. (This can still be considered reasonably defiant, and worthy of further smackdowns.)

Mimi was not taught to leave a fight unfinished. Drawing her blade up again, she waits until he's risen, and then unleashes a fierce, sharp kiai, her voice echoing as if in a concert hall.

The kiai is the prelude to a lunge and a sweeping overhead strike, one which she will power through, cutting from above her right shoulder down past her left leg, a power strike that almost leaves a visible trail. It's not quite on the level of a 'special technique' but... she's still holding back.

The intent is clear--she's going to *finish* this. And then, the message is... after the boxer fighter, she'll take care of the other two. This is her duty.. like taking the trash is for other, more normal kids. Actually, in its own way, this is like taking out the trash, isn't it? She doesn't really think of it like that though.

COMBATSYS: Mimi successfully hits Henchman with Fierce Strike.

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Mimi             0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1         Henchman

Beating trash bags with a stick might be a fun pastime for kids nowadays. There sure are a lot of bags of trash out there, ripe for the strikin'... but, one digresses.
Mimi sees it fit to go through and top off her trademark combination with one truly fierce, diagonal overhead strike, bringing the bokken down upon the foreign thug's left shoulder with a now far more pronounced yelp of pain, and two other thugs exchanging glances with one another.
"I don't think she's playing around at all," helpfully notes the unutilized thug who may be too smart for his line of work now.
"And ya think we can just waltz outta here empty-handed, wiseguy?!" Well, that starts to form a clearer picture as to why they're so brazen. Desperation. Maybe this fancy-lookin' boss guy owes someone money and was just hoping that he'd find a derelict dojo to extort...
But, this battle doesn't seem to be over yet, as this seeming boxer-like brawler - you know what, 'boxer' suggests he is skilled in some manner of fighting discipline, let's go with 'brawler' - staggers in towards Mimi like he exists for a very singular purpose for those far more ambitious and stand-out than he, pushed forward by sheer tenaciousness more than any other merit in terms of strength, agility, endurance, skill, or intellect.
Moving around Mimi's side, the ailing, bloodied, bruised thug sweeps both of his arms up underneath Mimi's own, threatening to lock them from underneath and lift her up off her feet...
All this time, Mimi has been near-faultless in demonstration of her technique on the offensive. Would she truly be brought low by what - by all rights - is merely an inconvenience?

COMBATSYS: Mimi blocks Henchman's Grab From Behind.

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Mimi             0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0         Henchman

Awww, a hug! Mimi shifts her arms down, just in time; the thug gets his grip, but isn't able to completely unbalance the kenjutsuka. She rolls with the sweep, landing a bit lighter than he had wanted, and rolls away, popping back up to her feet. Now her dogi is dirtied, the pure white cloth stained with the dirt underfoot. That doesn't really bother her, per se, it's just one more thing to note as she draws her weapon back.

She cocks it into a low stance, held by her hip, point almost low enough to touch the ground--and then she takes a half-step forward and sweeps it up. It looks odd, for a moment--after all, she's still quite some distance from her target, with no way she'd actually hit him--but the meaning becomes clear soon enough.

Pure white ki gathers along the edge of the blade the instant it moves, intensifying and flaring brightly as she completes the slash, drawing an image almost her height, a crescent slash of energy that resembles a crescent moon, almost, that lashes out at the man.

COMBATSYS: Mimi successfully hits Henchman with Hangetsuzan.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Mimi             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1         Henchman

The heavy-set would-be extorter, at first, seems smug that Mimi might get caught by that classic from-behind grab. After something like that, they're completely helpless... right?
Mimi's response is so decisively skilled and certain that it seems humorous to suggest that the above sentiment could be kept for as long as it takes to read it! Proving herself not a would-be victim, but a proud warrior, as she readies another strike from a distance way too far from typical physical reach...
Subconciously, the foreigner moves himself towards the other two. Blood runs down the side of his head, his gaze seems shaky... unfocused. Is he thinking of running? Maybe he's thinking of tagging in the other crony to take them on...? Strength in numbers, after all.
The white light gathers and is flung right on out in that slicing wave.
The less occupied thug and the gaudy boss both gasp - it's not their first time seeing this, but it is their first time being in the line of fire for something of such intimidating brightness!
The thug she has been fighting seems less enthused. His shoulders slump as he looks just a bit off to his left. He might have been starting to shru--
On impact, there's a familiar scream that stands out more than the two other yells, as all three of them are launched off their feet. A halo of leaves, grass, and other loose objects about the forest floor gives a natural, short-lived frame to a memorable moment.
The moment in which the Hangetsuzan ends up the one-time only payment to the attempts of would-be extortionists whom all disappear from sight as the very light fades. There might be some words said, some footsteps heard, but it would seem that this shall be a strong reminder of the art's might to those bottom-feeders that would think to prey upon depleted schools under illusion of weakness.
That was but a taste of Shinguuji Ittou-ryuu Kenjutsu, and it would appear the three of them together didn't have the stomach for it. (Nor the feet, as it seems they've all been run off...)

COMBATSYS: Henchman takes no action.

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

COMBATSYS: Henchman can no longer fight.

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

Mimi waits a moment, then sweeps her weapon through another flourish, ending with her 'cleaning' the blade between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand, then 'sheathing' it at her belt. She looks in the direction of the gate--the only direction they could have gone--and frowns to herself. She beat their 'champion', but... will they be back? Or will other such hyenas come sniffing around?

A question for the elders to contemplate, surely. For now... the sun's setting is nearly complete, the electric lights that are the other sign of modernity in this compound snapping on with that sharp electric buzz-crack. They light the path home and the exterior of the compound itself, a sign that Mimi is surely late for dinner.

With a small sigh, she turns on the ball of her right foot and sets off for home, barely thinking about her movements--instead, composing in her mind the report she'll make to the elders about what just happened here.

COMBATSYS: Mimi has ended the fight here.

Log created on 21:40:39 09/18/2016 by Henchman, and last modified on 01:22:22 09/19/2016.