Circuit of Champions - GAUNTLET: Blue Pro Belt #3

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Description: Facing off for control over the right to claim one of the world reknowned pro belts, two challengers step forward to do honorable combat. The young but skilled fighter and owner of the Rindokan dojo, Makoto Kato goes head to head with a new face in the professional fighting circuit, the mercenary known as Argent. Which will triumph? Stay tuned to find out! (Winner: Makoto)

Argent Merce had only recently come out of the job he was working in the veldt of Africa, working as a financial planner to a recently liberated government's irrigation program for integration with local farmers seeking profits in exchange for producing higher yields. It was a tricky bit of planning, transitioning from the capitalist theory that created the sociopolitical systems he had worked for in the name of large multinationals, but he found Marx to be an able fit to the second side of life he had discovered in his teenage years. He had sold the farmers not with numbers and books, but with simple reasoning about their own happiness, and the incentive of the kindness they could offer their neighbors. Africa wasn't based on material possessions, at least those not touched by the corruption of the European banking guilds. It was about the value of your own life, something which their own dictators had stolen in the name of the theory that was taught by foreign powers.

The Ikari Warriors had given him leave for a time, their operations quieting after he did the centralized planning gridwork for the new farmlands they had helped liberate from the hands of the ironman that NESTS had placed there to harvest test genetics from local tribes living in the area. The uprising was indigenous in nature, but the Ikaris had provided a vital service in countering the weapons of death in biped form that NESTS had provided the big man with the little soul. Argent hadn't seen the combat he would've preferred, kept back for his more valuable role, so now, he sought blood, and an honor rite for a belt was just the sort of engagement he was in the mood for.

Argent Merce, his long dirk drawn in his false-ambidextrous left hand, trained this way since childhood for the purposes of mastering German fencing without the long blade component meant for his right hand, stood in Gorin Arena, dressed in his Ikari fatigues and silently watching those gathered to spectate. The murmurs gave him a hushed sense of integration, feeling as if he was at a sporting event as one of the fans, not one of the competitors. But, as time drew near for the match, he felt a tightness in his chest, the heat of their eyes on his body. As the time clicked down and the referee signalled him forward, he strode into the fighting arena, pausing at the assigned spot and moving into a loose fighting position, blade drawn backwards and his right hand forward, in a limp grappling position. He forced himself to breath, feeling the crushing pressure of war.

COMBATSYS: Argent has started a fight here.

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Argent           0/-------/-------|

Though a stadium built large enough in scale to host games of a far more robust nature, the majority of the Dome Arena's lush and pristinely kept green is empty, such space rather excessive for the event that has been planned for today's spectators. Instead, a small section near the center of the field has been cordoned off with white chalk laid out in bold lines atop the verdant carpet marking out an area roughly the same size as a traditional fighting ring. A dozen or so cameras along with their crews dot the outer edge of the battlefield, some mounted on fancy rigs with seats and automated controls while others are simply carried about on shoulders, allowing their operators freedom of mobility to get the best angles.

Another figure strides into the open as the referee gives the signal for the match to get underway approaching the center of the makeshift ring from the opposite side. Makoto turns her face up to the crowds as a cheer engulfs the faint din of conversation that had filled the air only moments before offering a fierce smile and a few waves as she soaks up the excitement like a sponge. This is hardly her first time in the arena and whatever nervousness she might have once experienced in such situations had long since been harnessed and turned into anticipation. The cameras, the crowds, the thrill of facing a new opponent - it's all just fuel to stoke the bonfire of her passion for the art.

Unlike her opponent, the young girl is not dressed like she just came out of a warzone, wearing only her traditional karate gear as per usual. Her initial impression of the man that steps forward to challenge her is one of slight confusion. A soldier? A laywer? A fencer? It's almost like he fell into a pile of stage clothes on laundry day and just walked out with whatever happened to stick. She eyes the weapon in particular as she draws near, pursing her lips for a moment in contemplation, but the smirk of confidence she offers him once they stand face to face shows no signs of worry or fear at the presence of blade. She's dealt with worse.

"Kato," she offers, after giving the agent a quick once over. "Makoto Kato. I'll be your opponent today."

COMBATSYS: Makoto has joined the fight here.

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Makoto           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Argent

"Argent Merce," the Ikari responds narrowly, his nerves evident in the tension in his jaw. "It'll be a pleasure to face you." He knows this is Makoto's home territory from the cheers as she enters, which causes his heart to pound in his chest, but even as he realizes he's not the fan favorite, he feels a comfortable certainty in his position here. He is an underdog, against the will of the tournament organizers and the fighting circuit, and that means, he has to prove himself. Victory will be his, even if he loses, if he merely applies his soul to this fight. His outstretched hand's fingers stiffen and stretch, as he bends his knees forward and back to shift in his position, preparing as Makoto drops into position. He does not look at the referee as he announces the fight, merely watching Makoto's eyes. And as the match is signalled to begin, he suddenly smiles.

The knife thrusts forward in a feint as Argent steps forward and into battle, the blade too far away to hit just yet as he shifts his left forward to be even, and he takes a pair of other steps to bring them into close contact. He pulls the knife in his left hand back and attempts to jump around Makoto with his back to her, leading with his right and landing at an angle to force her to reorient, his dagger thrusting forward with a prick aimed at her back as his feet hit the ground again. The entire manuever is graceful and ballet, but it has the trappings of military precision and a lack of social gallantry in its execution, merely his personal focus and determination.

COMBATSYS: Argent successfully hits Makoto with Falling Sparrow.
- Power hit! -

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Makoto           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Argent

Home territory means little in regards to the sort of battle that is about to be engaged in here. While she might have a few dedicated fans in the crowd, there's nothing to be gained from that when a few hundred or more people are shouting and hollering from the stadium bleachers. The arena itself is little more than a flat patch of grass, lacking any features that might act as distractions or dangerous pitfalls and the various wires leading to the array of cameras surrounding them have been carefully corraled to ensure none slip into the battlezone. This is about as level as the playing field can get.

Makoto's grin fades into a determined line as her greeting is met with a terse response. She's not exactly a social butterfly herself but she's practiced reading people for long enough to know that the person facing her is tense about something. Certainly this can't be his first fight, the tournament coordinators wouldn't allow a fresh rookie to step into a belt match. Maybe he's not good with crowds. That too seems odd for someone seeking out a position that would require frequent forrays into the public eye. Whatever it is, she doesn't like it. Nervous people tend to be unpredictable.

Shrugging to herself, the karateka takes a few steps back and falls into her combat stance, one arm extended with a loose open palm while the other is clenched at her side, ready to strike. It's a fairly orthodox karate stance but then Makoto's entire nature could well be described as such. Tradition and discipline are the two tennets of her creed bolstered by a blazing spirit that knows no surrender. The only question now is whether or not she'll be able to deal with whatever tricks this person has up those camoflague sleeves.

Perhaps it is a side-effect of thinking too hard, something that Makoto has never been particularly talented at and which often distracts her from the simple gut instincts that serve her far better, but when Argent launches his swift and immediate strike as the fight begins, she responds to what she expects rather than what she sees. The lunge causes her to go into a defensive stance, her arms drawing in to protect her vital areas against the thrust of the blade. Rooted in such a hard stance, she is much too slow to make the necessary adjustments when it proves to be a feint. Instead, she is forced to abandon her position entirely and throws herself forward into a desperate roll just as the dagger thrusts into her back. A searing burst of heat explodes in her shoulder as she moves but she's just quick enough that the wound is superficial, if painfull.

Makoto spins around as she pops back to her feet, grimacing openly at the injury. Pain she can deal with. That was a sting to her pride and that hurts a lot more. Frowning, she wastes no more time on consideration about how to deal with this man's emotional state. He can sort that shit out himself after she pummels him flat. Leaning forward, the young girl lunges with incredible speed to close the gap between them keeping the fight up close where she's got the most experience. She leads in with a quick straight punch, a sort of feint of her own except that it's still going to hurt a lot, it's just that the punch that follows after is a whole lot worse.

COMBATSYS: Argent dodges Makoto's Medium Punch.

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Makoto           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0           Argent

Argent slips his blade backwards nearly as soon as it finds flesh, having marked his foe for the beginning of this battle. He senses from her responses that she has misread him, and he is well aware that this mistake may not happen again. Opportunity is only his for the moment, just like it is in any aspect of life. He will have to continue to take these opportunities to win. He lowers himself to the ground, spreading his stance with his feet and hands as she comes out of the roll, watching her carefully. And then, as she rushes in, he jukes with his upper body to the left, his blade side, avoiding the first, weaker punch, and then sliding onto the support of his left leg as the second grazes past him ever so narrowly, turning his upper body.

His dirk swiveled around to face down in his fist, between them, his empty right hand snaps up to grasp Makoto's wrist from the base, attempting to turn her outer edge upwards and force her thumb-side down, before he shoves the blunt hilt of the dirk, known in knife fighting as the pressure point, into Makoto's tricep. It's not a stab or a slice or a gimp, merely a gesticulation meant to use his matching mirror hand style, their dominant sides matching, to his advantage.

COMBATSYS: Makoto interrupts Clutching Hawk from Argent with Hayate.
- Power hit! -

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Makoto           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0           Argent

Slippery little weasel. She guessed as much based on that overly fanciful attack that started them off. But, people who spend so much effort on trying not to be hit tend not to understand how to deal with it when you do hit them. All she'll need to do is land a few solid strikes and this guy will probably be eating dirt.

Makoto recovers from her missed punches with expert grace though hers is a more mechanical and practical sort than the flipping and spinning manuevers being used by her opponent. She isn't quite quick enough to avoid the swift counter, Argent's hand snapping down around her wrist in a classic grapple. Unfortunately for him, he makes the same mistake that quite a few of her opponents have made in the past which is to assume that having her in close combat for more than absolutely necessary is a good idea.

Knowing exactly what her opponent intends as soon as he starts to lift up on her arm, Makoto reverses the motion with a hard snap of her wrist, crouching down for extra power and leverage. The raw strength and weight of her entire body easily overpowers that of the tenuous grip on her arm and she uses that crouching motion to flow seemlessly into her next attack.

Muscles drawn tense explode with power as she lunges forward at near pointblank, driving her fist like a piston square into the agent's chest with such force that the both of them travel a couple of feet in the direction of the blow. Makoto skids to a halt as the momentum of her attack bleeds off entirely, leaving Argent with her fist still rammed into the center of his chest and likely about to wind up for another strike if he doesn't do something about it.

Argent briefly tries to keep his grip on Makoto's arm, a costly error as he's pulled downwards out of his ideal defensive position. His fingers slip free of her wrist, and he manages a step backwards as she winds up, before the fist slams into his chest and knocks him backwards, skidding across the green field in his combat boots as he struggles to remain standing as his ribs cave inwards and his lungs pop air out of his mouth. His heart skips a beat, as his eyes flash red for a moment, head giving him a throb as he's shocked backwards off the fist that remains knuckled between his pectorals.

Coughing as he struggles to inhale and get his rhythm and reason back, he backpedals away from Makoto, forcing her to follow if she wishes to reengage, his knife slipping into a blade up position once more. His right hand comes forward again, his outstretched fingers offering Makoto some grip as he extends them towards her center, taking a step forward with his hand leading, before he yanks his arm away and swings the knife inwards, the tip aimed to cut across Makoto's face in a shallow wound, a schmisse, the laceration not particularly severe, but painful and demoralizing enough to bring him closer to a non-lethal victory.

COMBATSYS: Makoto blocks Argent's Medium Strike.

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Makoto           0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0           Argent

The swift backpedal is enough to save Argent from another punch that comes his way as Makoto shifts her stance to step forward and lead with her free fist, only barely missing the agile mercenary with another powerful blow. She recovers almost instantly and presses forward, intent on driving Argent towards the edge of the arena should he attempt to slip away or putting herself back into a commanding position if he chooses to engage.

Unsurprisingly, her opponent is smart enough to realize that the immediate threat of her approach is less dangerous than that of being cornered and his swift retreat suddenly shifts directions into a swiping slash meant to make her flinch. She doesn't. Makoto's leading arm snaps up to catch the deadly attack, her forearm slipping inside of Argent's reach just moments before the blade comes down. She catches the swing at the wrist on her outstretched arm and takes a deep step in, hoping to catch hold of him before he can slither away again.

Rather than deliver another of her bone-crushing punches, the girl brings her outstretched hand up and slams it towards the merc's throat, her vice-like fingers seeking to dig into the soft flesh of his neck and choke the air out of him. Such a hold would grant her a commanding advantage in directing the next step of this fight and there's something simply satisfying about getting a firm grip on an evasive opponent.

COMBATSYS: Argent dodges Makoto's Karakusa.

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Makoto           0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0           Argent

Argent's dapper blade slices through the air and fails to find blood, Makoto catching his arm and holding him in place. He clenches his jaw shut, muscles on his face flexing, as he presses inwards in response to her hold, forcing himself forward instead of escaping to equalize the lever between the fulcrum that is his blade hand. And then, as she brings her hand upwards, he counters with his own right hand, his palm against her grasping hand, pushing backwards against her gripping hand with his flattened fingers in a stop gesture and leaping backwards, wrenching free of the grip on his left arm and spinning into a position with his left arm forward.

Argent takes two steps forward, crouch walking as he watches Makoto, his dagger pointed at the karateka as a threat as he shows his teeth, breathing slowly. And then, pulling it back in an invitation for her to come forward, he swings around and extends to a standing position, his leg swinging back to the side opposite her and swinging around, unleashing a roundhouse at her head, with his body torquing in a swift blur of movement. Should he be allowed, it terminates with him in a standing position, his front guard face open.

COMBATSYS: Makoto interrupts Raging Crane from Argent with Fukiage EX.

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Makoto           0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0           Argent

Makoto's lunge for the throat rebuked, she growls a little but doesn't make the mistake of overreaching by attempting to chase immediately. Taking a moment to recenter herself gives Argent a few moments to escape her clutches and decide on his next move. Rather than attempt to make room between them again, a tactic that seems somewhat futile seeing as he has yet to display any talent for energy manipulation or a desire to hurl that knife at her, the soldier-for-hire comes at her more aggressively this time.

"Now we're talking," she says, her grin returning as the fight changes pace into something she's much more inclined to take part in; chasing the warriors around an arena who base their arts on constantly moving around is just annoying. Ofcourse, as the girl has already demonstrated, when she's in a comfortable place on the battlefield she has a great deal of expertise to wield and she is quite happy to prove that yet again.

Makoto accepts the taunting invitation to engage in another clash with gusto, her enthusiasm clearly evident on her tomboyish features. She lunges forward just as Argent draws back his blade, shifting into a rising roundhouse kick that certainly would have done a number on the young warrior if she'd been foolish enough to walk into it. In this case, her raw skill and speed prove to be the greater.

Seeing the leg as it whips up to deliver its punishing strike, Makoto turns her lunge into a crouch and brings her arm up to catch the speeding kick against the tough shield of her forearm. The impact is still solid and the familiar sensation of a dull pain spreads through the meaty bulk of her flesh but it's little more than a momentary sensation that immediately vanishes as she focuses on her own strike. With his leg extended and his body exposed, Argent is little more than prey to the seasoned karateka as she leans into him and delivers one of her more signature moves by way of driving a fist squarely up into his jaw with roughly the power of a stick of dynamite going off inside his skull.


Argent's swinging kick is stomped mid-air by the forearm, leaving him open for the upwards hammer into his jaw. His head snaps backwards and he's sent flying off his remaining foot, landing on his back. The world spins around him as he stares at the sky, stars appearing in his vision as his jaw hangs open and his legs reorient properly. Aware that he is now open for a killing strike in karate terms, the language of fighting signalling a potential threat unless he makes a perhaps unbalanced by necessary recover, he turns onto his left side and pushes himself up with his right hand, scrambling away from Makoto and edging in a circle around her, avoiding the scantness of the grass field that was against her back, giving himself more room to decide on battle choices as he scurries about, dancing with her in terms of placement.

Argent, as his senses recover, clenches his jaw shut again, this time out of necessity as he feels it close improperly. He moves back into fighting distance again, rushing forward. He leads with the edge of his knife held forward, before his right arm lashes out as he ducks forward and attempts to tackle past Makoto, aimed to grab around beneath her arms with his right arm and then swinging around with his right foot, kicking it forward to toss her to the ground with the followthrough of his charge in his leg. He aims low, hoping to avoid her powerful fists and force her to fight downwards, if she wishes a counter-blow.

COMBATSYS: Makoto endures Argent's Rushing Eagle.

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Makoto           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Argent

Her opponent reeling, Makoto feels the flow of battle begin to shift into her favor. She's unleashed a lot of power very quickly to get into this position but it's starting to pay off. Now she just needs to keep her guard up and not get overconfident, a threat to even the most seasoned of warriors.

Seeing how quickly Argent has been able to recover thus far, Makoto remains at a distance and allows him to get back to his feet rather than leaping to deliver the killing blow that was expected. With her opponent on his heels, it's likely that he will either start to panic or act recklessly, judging by the way that his nerves seemed to be getting the better of him earlier. As Sun Tsu was famously quoted, 'if you find your opponent in the middle of committing a mistake, don't interrupt'. Or something like that, she's not exactly a philosophy major. The point is, she's going to wait and see what happens now.

As expected, having been burned twice now, the mercenary has apparently given up the pretense of subtley and shifted his efforts on more direct tactics. That's all fine for Makoto. This guy might wear military clothes but she's pretty sure she's tougher than him and she knows just how to use that to her advantage.

When the Ikari Warrior comes rushing headlong at her, knife held before him in a dangerous and threatening manner, Makoto does not attempt to dodge, nor does she take one of her rock-hard defensive stances either. Instead, she turns to face him in a loose crouch and when both blade and body come crashing into her the stout girl simply catches them head on. The knife slashes across her chest, tearing a thin line through the thick fabric and drawing a small trace of red as it grazes the surface of her skin, but the hasty slash is so shallow as to hardly even register.

Her arms clamp down on around the aggressive mercenary, clinging tightly to him so that when he goes to pitch her to the ground her hands slide down to grip at his loose jacket and pull him down with her. Assuming she gets that necessary purchase, the karateka turns her fall into a reverse roll and drives her feet up into Argent's stomach as she tilts backwards, pitching him up and over her with a sharp thrust of her powerful legs.

COMBATSYS: Makoto successfully hits Argent with Medium Throw.
- Power hit! -

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Makoto           1/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Argent

Argent grunts as he's pulled down from his tackle and then pitches backwards off Makoto, his legs flipping upwards before he pitches down to the ground, landing on his upper back before his lower body follows to the ground, the recovery far from perfect. Groaning as he rolls onto his face and pushes himself to his feet, he holds his body with his right side, wheezing, feeling the pain of the fight. He grits his teeth, his bloody knife in his left hand shifting as he loosens his grip, before he tightens his fingers and reaffirms his commitment to this fight.

"You're a better fighter than I am, Makoto Kino," Argent shares. "I'm not a fighter by nature, but I am a soldier. I would be proud to serve with you on any battlefield."

He raises his knife, politely signalling that he's moving back into a combat role, instead of pulling a dirty move, before he reaches into his jacket and withdraws a small black sack from his pocket with his right hand. He pulls the string sealing it shut loose with his teeth, then he charges forward, swinging his arm in a sweep. Powder splashes forth, bursting into the air in a sudden rush of bright hot fire in front of him as he charges in for his last stand.

COMBATSYS: Makoto blocks Argent's Firestorm.

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Makoto           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0           Argent

"That's KATO," Makoto says with a frown as she pushes back to her feet as well, rounding on her opponent to ensure that he doesn't get a free shot in on her while she's prone. Her annoyed glower softens after a moment, however, and she lets out a sharp exhale before giving him a smile full of fierce pride. "And thanks. It's nice to go up against someone who isn't some self-important jerk every once in a while. You should come to my dojo, I could show you a thing or two."

The karateka falls back into her combat stance as the combat-banker salutes, understanding full well the signifigance of the gesture. This fight is almost over but there's still a potential chance for him to turn things around if she gets arrogant. So far, he's only been able to get her a couple of times with those fancy moves of his but she doubts he's got enough steam left to try much more of that. Which means he's going to do something unexpected. Maybe throw the knife? He's certainly got enough room in those clothes for backups. Could be he's got some chi up his sleeve that he's been holding back until now.

Or it could be... a little bag? Makoto's eyebrow furrow as she sees the pouch come out and her body tenses up, sensing something amiss. What could he be planning to do with th-oh god fire!! Her eyes widen to the size of saucers for an instant or two as the chemical fire-powder explodes to life in the air. Avoiding it is a pipe-dream; she's fast but not /that/ fast. Flinging her arms up defensively infront of her face, the young girl takes the blast head-on. Which... turns out to be a lot less disastrous than she'd expected. The phosphorus washes over her in a wave of searing heat that blackens her uniform in several places, leaving her covered in a layer of soot like some kind of 17th century chimney sweep. Her hair as well suffers a few bad singes, fusing several of the tips of her wild spiky do together in a manner that's unlikely to be pleasant to sort out. It hurts for a moment but then the fire and the pain it brought is gone leaving only a bit of sizzling smoke in its wake.

Makoto lowers her arms and glances around then at herself, making a face as she sees the state of her clothes. "Aww, comon, man! That's not cool! These things are expensive!"

A growl rumbles up from deep within her chest like an animal that's just has its tail stepped on. Instead of rushing forward to strike down the fool that dared insult her in such a fashion, she does something that she's been working on for quite some time and focuses her anger inwards. Shifting back into her combat stance, the young warrior takes a deep breath and concentrates on the target ahead of her, blocking out all other distractions - the clothes, the bruises, the cuts, the crowd - none of it as important as visualizing the next step of her fight and the precise method by which she's going to end it.

"You'll have to do better than that... and you better hurry because I'm going to end this right now!"

COMBATSYS: Makoto focuses on her next action.

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Makoto           1/------=/=======|=------\-------\0           Argent

Argent has scarce time to re-evaluate his charge as the fire comes to little effect, merely forcing his opponent off the offensive. He had hoped she would err and attempt to attack through the flames, giving him a gambit to induce a painful wound on his terms, but she has mastered herself more than he at first believed. His face steel and stern, like a captain manning a ship through a stormy harbor to land ashore when all seems lost, he ducks down and exposes himself for an attack, counting on speed to see the day through and his blade to save him from a counterstrike. He thrusts his blade in his left hand forward with a deep thrust, his whole body pushing the dirk inward at Makoto's lower rib, his body then following along with the force of the blow's countenance.

COMBATSYS: Makoto blocks Argent's Bleeding Falcon.

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Makoto           1/-----==/=======|-------\-------\0           Argent

The thought had certainly crossed her mind. Her usual method of dealing with projectiles, seeing as her own chi is unable to manifest in such an obvious manner, is to turn herself into the projectile and simply plow through them with sheer stubborness. However, that tactic had mixed results in the past which had lead her to take a somewhat less foolhardy approach, atleast in most cases. There is always a time for a wild hail-mary. This isn't it.

Instead, Makoto gathers her training and discipline and honed them into an eagle-eyed focus on a single goal. All distractions put aside, she reaches into a well-spring of concentration that, while unable to be maintained indefinately, will give her the edge she needs to end this decisively.

The blade is thrust at her like a spear and Makoto reacts with precise movements, bringing her left arm up to swat the stabbing weapon aside once more. The raw momentum of the strike is such that even with her swift parry the dagger catches her along the side but the cut it leaves is hardly worth notice, yet another shallow gash that likely won't require much more than a few bandaids. That leaves only Argent himself to deal with, his body coming swift on the heels of the weapon in an attempt to smash her aside.

Makoto stops him cold, turning sideways even as she deflects the blade and driving the hard edge of her shoulder into his chest. This twisting motion not only serves as a bulwark against his furious charge but it provides a window for her other arm to draw back so as to deliver the first and perhaps most telling blow of an onslaught for which she has become known round the world.

The karateka's fist turns into a sledge hammer, her slender yet hard fingers balling up into a single unit of devastation. She draws the weapon back, like a bullet being loaded into the chamber of a gun and, with a simple but fierce kiai to signal its deadly nature, drives it down into Argent's exposed groin.

COMBATSYS: Makoto successfully hits Argent with Seichuusen Godanzuki.

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Makoto           0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0           Argent

The survivors of the technique now being employed have often reflected upon the experience with a sort of harrowing melancholy, a waking nightmare from which there is little escape. The first strike is enough to simply paralyze the target, the sheer pain of such a sensitive area being attacked with such raw power radiating a long forgotten primal instinct laying dormant within the human mind that simply overrides all conscious control when certain unexpected situations are encounter. Like a rabbit staring down a snake, the only possible response is to freeze and simply hope that the predator will move on. Sadly, this is not the case.

Even without the crippling nature of the target of her attack, Makoto's raw power is enough to double her victim over as her fist drives home. She takes a short step back to give herself room for the follow up and wastes not a single instant on the idea that mercy is even an option. A series of thunderous punches rocks Argent, each smashing into his ribs and sending a rebounding echo throughout his torso like the drumbeat of some savage warrior. The initial shock wears off just in time for that pleasant sensation to grip him anew, though there is little that can be done save to ride out the final moments of this particular calamity.

Makoto pauses just long enough to give him a knowing grin as she crouches slightly, her powerful muscles going taut in preparation for the last strike of the signature move of the art to which she now owns in full. She offers her foe no insult, however, neither in verbal abuse nor hesitation for to hold back now would be to claim him too weak to withstand her full might. He would suffer for her honor but if he is wise, he will learn from the experience as well.

The final blow comes in the form of another of the girl's standing uppercuts though with the sheer force she puts behind the strike it would be more appropriate to describe it as a volcanic eruption made of knuckles. The impact is enough to drive even the most well-built of enemies into the air, overpowering the natural force of gravity itself for a few brief instants before the universe reasserts its dominance once more and drags them inevitably down to the cold hard ground.

Makoto remains standing in that final pose for several seconds, her fist thrust into the air both as a symbol of power and victory. She takes a deep breath and lets out a fierce cry, calling forth the name of her sacred technique so that all those gathered might hear it and remember.

"Seichuusen Godanzuki!"

Argent is forced into a stumble as his blade is turned aside, and he's halted by the karateka's shoulder, before the shot to the groin keels him forward, his eyes bugging out as he wheezes out a breath, his knife wobbling in his hand as it threatens to drop from his shaking hand. He's knocked backwards by the shots to the ribs, feeling his muscles bruise as his flesh is pounded like a Kobe cow, his lungs emptied and his heart causing his whole body to quake as he fights to resist, pulling his left side backwards as he struggles to position for a counterattack amidst the shock and awe.

As the crouch comes in, he swings his left arm inwards at Makoto, aiming to pull his knife across her in one last final arcing slash, before the uppercut slams into his jaw and he's sent off his feet and into the air, the dirk flying from his fingers and spinning to the ground as he's laid out on his back, landing without any particular grace or form, merely unconscious. At rest now, his head slowly lolls to the side, the Ikari accountant suffering a knockout.

COMBATSYS: Argent can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Makoto blocks Argent's Slicing Albatross.

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

Fortunately for Makoto, her uppercut was timed so that the last ditch slash was mostly curtailed by the force of her strike. With her side turned toward the mercenary as he lashed out, what little was left of his power was caught on her bicep leaving her with one last final cut to deal with later. For the moment, she's far too caught up in the thrill of winning such an important fight for her career that she doesn't even notice the cut until several minutes later when the medics come to deal with the injuries.

The crowd goes wild with frantic shouts both from those who had been rooting for the young girl and those who sided with her opponent, cheers of excitement and anger mixing together into an indistinguishable blanket of chaotic noise. Makoto slowly spins in place to face each section of the arena, grinning fiercely with her fist upraised as the referee quickly checks the fallen form of the mercenary and declares the victory by knockout in her favor.

Today she took one more step on her road to proving the results of her techniques and dedication and that makes it a good day in her book.

Log created on 13:07:22 04/07/2017 by Makoto, and last modified on 20:54:45 04/26/2017.