Ryu - The Inspiration Behind the First Step

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Description: Sakura meets her hero and inspiration on her journey to become a fighter.

Another day, another step of the journey.
The latest sees Ryu walk the streets of Kyoto, Japan underneath an overcast sky. It's humid out, making the otherwise tolerably warm air unpleasant to mill about for long - not that such a thing has ever stopped a certain someone from walking for miles and miles and miles in these conditions, or worse.
That certain someone being Ryu, white travel bag in tow over his shoulder as he journeys along the busy streets. Where is he going, exactly? He passes by places that would be of interest to any tourist or traveler who would relish the opportunity to experience. Some pictures are taken by interested fighting fans. Some wave hello.
Ryu, for the most part, continues towards whatever destination that someone like him must have in mind - at least, by outside reckoning of whatever purpose there is to continue to walk a journey. For him, his being here is just another incidental step in that journey towards his next challenge.
Wherever it comes from, in whatever form it might be...

Why's Sakura in Kyoto? Because... it's cool! And Kei wanted to go. But she wanted to look at shrines and nature parks and Sakura can only take *so* much of that before she's itching to play Pokemon Go or one of her other multitude of mobile games, or run around, or... or fight, or whatever. She's just not built to stay still for long. Never has been.

And she's been thinking, thinking -hard-. King of Fighters is coming up, announced a month or so ago... and she wants to go. She wants to go so badly... but... but the only one of her friends who might show some interest is Natsu, and... and well, Sakura just... she should ask Natsu. She reaches into her backpack and pulls out a flier, folded into quarters, opening it up. It's that familiar, glossy print ad for the King of Fighters, well-worn, and though she's looking at it, it's clear she already knows every line of text by heart, her lips moving as she reads it again, silently. But... Natsu must be busy, right? Surely Gorin's going to enter a team...? A sigh as she walks, head down. To her eternal loss... she doesn't realize just who she's walking straight towards.

When walking through the crowded urban landscapes, Ryu is usually noticed. Spoken to, gestured at, and the like. Even so, it's strange that he so rarely encounters a situation where he finds himself at risk of walking directly /into/ someone outright. Possessed of some sort of latent presence that communicates an intensity unable to be articulated or understood by those who do not fight, most people instinctually just make way for him without being consciously aware of it.
He is just about to round the corner as a young girl carrying a print ad with palpable melancholy and anxiety almost unwittingly steps into his very path.
Ryu stops short of colliding into her, halting his steps to allow her the right of way towards the rest of her day.
"Ah, pardon me." Ryu excuses himself, his apology for having nearly bumped into her. The humble politness of the World Warrior does seem at an odd contrast to his very appearance - and the air around him.

Ah, fighter's instincts. Sakura doesn't run into Ryu either; she senses it at the last possible moment and puts on the breaks. "Ah, sorry!" she exclaims, automatically, before she looks up... and up a little more. One can almost hear the *th-thump* of her heart as it skips a beat, as she processes what is in front of her eyes.

Cover your ears folks.

"R-R-R-RYUUUUUUU?!?!?!?!?" is the piercing cry, immediately after which Sakura realizes just how loud she was and claps her hands over her mouth, the flyer still trapped in her fingers, the front glossy aimed at her would-be mentor (in her own head).

"Oh--oh my gosh! I--" Good lord, Sakura, get a hold of yourself! Sakura shakes her head back and forth rapidly and slaps her palms to her cheeks, then blows out a breath. Goodness gracious.

"Ryu-san!" she begins again, sounding more calm, though certainly still excited. "I--I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting to run into you here." Or ever. For years she's had to hunt him down, ferreting out details of his next fights so she can attend them when she isn't fighting herself. To just run into him...

"Are--are you entering King of Fighters this year?" Might as well get to the point. Sakura isn't good at dissembling.

"I was thinking about it but they said it's a team tournament and I'm not sure any of my friends want to compete this year but I think it's an opporunity I can't afford to miss if I want to get better as a fighter and--"

Okay, not so calm, really.

There are the rainstorms in which Ryu would meditate to shut out all excess stimulus in which to better grab a hold of nothing, to better fill the void with stronger and stronger Hadoukens. There are the roaring waterfalls that Ryu would throw a Shoryuken against, as immense pressure bore down on his person. There are the windy storms that Ryu would hone the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku as he fought against the wind itself.
Sakura's euphoric cry eclipses all of these, and Ryu's eyebrow quirks like a fist just slipped past his defenses to smack him in the breadbasket.
"Yes. I am Ryu," he replies, grabbing hold of his composure, nodding his head once. His eyes can't help but catch notice of the King of Fighters flyer. That's right, Ken's been going on about that one lately, wanting to know if Ryu had a team in mind. (Ryu, as is normal by his standards, appears to have missed the underlying subtextual hint from that query.)
He patiently stays put as Sakura takes her time getting a grip. He may never have seen anyone /be/ this excited in his presence before. This is a new experience! Ryu likes him some new experiences, even if the nature of this catches him notably off-guard.
"I would enjoy being able to compete," he says, "but I don't have any teammates." Somewhere, far away, Ken is probably smacking his forehead. One day...
Sakura elucidates the mirrored situation on her own part - she was thinking about it, but it requires a team and she's not sure that-- no, let's skip to the interesting part.
She's a fighter! He doesn't even have to ask for clarificatio--
"You walk the path of a fighter?" Ryu asks of her anyway. It is not asked in disbelief, nor derision. Ryu meets fighters of all walks of life on his quest for self improvement. "I would be honored to see what you've honed in yourself."

Ahem. Sakura's day just got like, ten *million* times better. "I--I've taught myself to fight, mostly. I took some..." Pause. "... some correspondence courses but they were, uh..." Pretty basic. Like, white girl basic.

"But they gave me what I needed to know and you've been my inspiration forever. I started fighting because I saw you and..." And it had to be you, although who knows, in another time, another place, it could've been Chun-Li, or Guile, or anyone else. But she is Japanese and Ryu is one of *the* best Japanese fighters, and there's something about the rock solid nature that appeals to her, the strong foundation, even though her personality would seem to fit with Ken's variant all the more.

"So I guess you could say I'm, uh... self-taught in Ansatsuken." Which just sounds kind of weird doesn't it? After all, Ryu had to go train in the mountains cut off from nearly all contact for *years* to get on the road to mastery. Which is not to say that Sakura's on the road to mastery yet--she's still climbing the steps to competence, though one might charitably say she's near the top of the stairs now.

"I--if you don't have a team and I don't have a team..." Th-thump.

"Maybe we could... team up. I promise I won't slow you down, as much as I can!" And then it hits her.

"You want to see me fight?" Of course he does, Sakura's inner dialogue says, he's not going to team up with some weird/crazy fangirl just because. She makes the decision in all of like, two seconds, folding the flier and stuffing it into her backpack which she tosses, rather haphazardly, to land at the base of a tree. It's cool, it's just got her wallet in it, and her wallet only has her ID. She doesn't carry much money on her.

... probably trying to emulate Ryu a little, although she does keep some on hand, because you never know when you'll get that taco urging, or an urging for fresh donuts, or a parfait or...

Ansatsuken. She... tried to master Ansatsuken by her lonesome? An art that the late Gouken only ever was willing to teach to very few students. Even Ken, flamboyant and boastful as he might be, subscribes strictly to his master's teachings about its uses. He doesn't let it show on the surface, but the idea that he might have influenced her so much by proxy - for all the struggles he continues to go through - is troublesome. It is also another thing!
"Interesting." That word is spoken as a truth, as Ryu is unfailingly honest. Taken stand-alone, that word is high praise. The confidence in which she expresses her ability, the cheerfulness that she exudes... there is no better word out there to sum up the evaluation of it all.
He loosens his hold of his travel bag to let it droop on the sidewalk behind him. This is it - the way he brings his hands to adjust the fit of his handguards, the way his eyes evaluate her every movement as she discards her excessive baggage. In another rare moment, she seems to be raring to go seconds before he's prepared himself to assume a proper fighting stance. Some of it can be attributed to the energy of her youth.
The rest, to her dedication, as Ryu tightens his fists and starts to bob up and down on his feet.
"From here, it is our fists that will find enlightenment from what lies beyond their reach," he says. Every day, every waking moment he's able, Ryu journeys towards wherever his next challenge is - and he looks more than satisfied with the present opportunity to see to his growth as a warrior... and observe the lengths of her dedication thereof.
Would that lead to them walking into the King of Fighters side-by-side on the global stage?

COMBATSYS: Ryu has wandered into a fight here on the right meter side.

                                  >  //////////////////////////////]
                                  |-------\-------\0              Ryu

COMBATSYS: Sakura has joined the fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Most girls just want an autograph from their idols and heroes. Sakura isn't planning on asking for that. She wants to ask for something far more long-term. But first she has to prove herself. Deep breaths. You're about to get punched out by your hero. Make him work for it. Show him what you've taught yourself. Show him the kind of dedication you have, the kind that saw you through everyone saying that it was just a phase, that she was just treating it the way she treated everything else.

*Show* him. The thoughtstorm passes and she pulls out and tugs on her fighting gloves--red versions of what Ryu wears--and tightens the wrist straps before taking several steps back. Where she was kind of googly-eyed and all that about having practically bumped into Ryu in the middle of the street, like a girl seeing her favorite j-drama lead shopping in the aisles of Daiso, now she looks... serious. Well, not stern or unhappy. But there's something in the cast of her features that takes on a bit of Ryu, as though she were adopting a similar mindset. She doesn't fight like him, but she strives to be like him, and it shows.

Raising her hands, she begins bobbing back and forth, nervous energy translating into motion, potential kinetic energy that she's done her best to learn how to utilize with a frame that's not exactly perfectly designed for it. One more deep breath, and she says, "Okay--here I come--!"

And with that she's off to the races, dashing in, leading with a left jab, leading it into a right elbow, almost exactly like a technique Ryu himself uses, trying to keep her defense up and tight.

COMBATSYS: Ryu just-defends Sakura's Medium Punch!

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Far removed from a society of frivolous desires and changing tastes, Ryu can only acknowledge sincerity within Sakura's desires. The way she puts on the gloves, the stance she puts up... that's not the stance of a mere child mimicking what they saw on TV five minutes ago for fun. Most of all... he can see it in her eyes. The way they don't waver and flit, how she gets a hold on her excitement and elation to distill it into focus.
Sakura comes in with that first left jab. Ryu holds up a forearm to halt it, where he can feel the weight of her fist. It is a punch she is no stranger to. The form is solid.
She follows it up with the opposite elbow, and he shifts his weight with a short hop off to the side as he moves with the angle of the elbow to gently redirect its force. As a one-two combination, her comfort in performing this is commendable.
He moves to throw his back leg in a low kick that hits about knee level, then moves to crouch low to strike with his closer leg, sliding it out against Sakura's heel.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Ryu's Light Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Of course she'd expect such an opening gambit to be expertly defended by Ryu. This isn't an all-out fight, anyways--at least, not yet. This is perhaps the most serious fight she's been in yet, however... sure, there's Neo League and Saturday Night Fights, but this fight means something more to her.

And that line of thinking almost gets her got; she was preoccupied for just a moment and suddenly Ryu's legs are on the attack. She does manage to absorb the blows with a hasty set of defensive manuevers--probably not too good a look for her against Ryu--but after taking two steps back, she shakes her head, looking momentarily angry--at herself.

Think about it -later-, Sakura tells herself as she brings her hands up again. And, speaking of kicks... It's time for her own kick combination--she feels like she's auditioning, sort of, in a way, and so she should be expected to show off everything she's got. So she darts in again, utilizing her speed to her advantage, and plants herself just over two feet from Ryu, on her left leg, as she twists her hips and upper body, drawing her right leg up and then hooking it out and around for Ryu's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Ryu instinctively blocks Sakura's Medium Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0              Ryu

For her smaller frame compared to his bulky, muscular build, Sakura holds up well even in her haste against two kicks in sequence even for the visibly sloppy, last-minute guarding attempts. Whether Ryu has anything to say about it or not, this is not a time for words of praise, or words of criticism. Their fists (and feet) will do the evaluation.
Sakura's right leg takes her turn at their mutual examination of their techniques, their dedication, and their strength as Ryu throws out the opposite forearm to deflect the hooking foot from planting itself against his ribcage. He exhales loudly for the effort. A tell that it was a defense met with nothing less than his best - that he has to go the extra mile to ward it off.
A small crowd begins to form, watching the battle happen. Some of them take up the crosswalks, which in turn slow down traffic considerably. (A surprising portion of motorists and passengers don't seem to mind, because wow, is that Ryu? Fighting Sakura? Oh my goodness I hope they keep the bus here as long as they can I gotta watch~!)
The gathering spectacle does not deter Ryu's focus, as he moves in to grab at Sakura with both arms, and move to hurl her over his shoulder further down the sidewalk in which their battle presently resides.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sakura with Seoi Nage.

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Sakura           0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0              Ryu

Sakura tries to get out of the way--it seems like she's been leaning on the natural speed in her body type. But it avails her not against several things--Ryu's skill, his strength--and his greater reach. Before she can spring backwards, he's got her, and then she's going up and over, too flustered to come up with the proper landing protocol, and so she lands flat on her back, driving the air out of her lungs with a big 'WHOULF' of involtunary sound.

For once, the gathering crowd... doesn't draw Sakura's attention at all. One breath, two breaths, and then she kicks back up to her feet, a grimace belaying lingering pain in her back--she did land flat upon it--but the look in her eyes still game for this. Even if they *don't* team up... this'll be a treasured memory. Even if she is about ten years too early to really be thinking about this.

Ryu'll feel it, probably before anyone else in the crowd, as Sakura draws upon her ki, pulling at it, gathering it between her palms as she lowers her center of gravity, crouching slightly, hands pulled in to her chest as that crackling ball grows. Not too much--really, about to the size of a basketball--before she draws back, then leans forward, her voice, when she shouts, tinged with a strange echo.


The energy lashes out down the street towards Ryu, and despite that it's self-taught, it's probably the one thing that she has that is the closest to being just like the Ansatsuken that Ryu has been trained in.

COMBATSYS: Ryu parries Sakura's Medium Hadouken!

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Sakura           0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0              Ryu

It's one thing to imitate the name. It's another to embrace just about everything the technique represents, make it one's own, and give such power form as the basketball-sized energy blast spins down the street at a respectable clip.
Ryu slams an open palm into the approaching Hadouken. His body flashes a blue hue of light as the released ki disperses upon impact, washing him over with the flecks of ruptured energy. The way it fizzles on the very impact. Its formation has a number of key differences, but the very basic idea - she appears to have taken it to heart.
He blinks once. It is impressive. Surprising. This young girl has grasped at least some of the basic tenets of the technique that goes to forming a Hadouken. It takes him out of the fight for that split second in acknowledgement. He could ask questions. He should!
The answers are ultimately better instead expressed through continued battle, as Ryu hops forward into the air in the wake of the disintegrated Hadouken, throwing a leg up into the air horizontally in a wide, whirling spinkick that gives him enough lift to stay airborne for several rotations.
"TATSUMAKIII~!" Ryu calls, closing in upon the young prodigial girl.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sakura with Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku EX.

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Sakura           1/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0              Ryu

Now this attack--this has been a source of frustration for Sakura. She learned how to do the Hadouken all by herself, but... in truth, it's a rather simple technique, comparatively. It's almost the most basic form of ki expression there is to be found in Ansatsuken, and it's so iconic that it was easy to study it, from all angles, to figure out how it worked. But Sakura's ki manipulation skills are just natural talent, and she hasn't had the *training*...

It's not like Sakura doesn't see or hear this one coming. But he's moving -so fast-, and Sakura's caught out in a bit of a bad position, having not unlocked her stance--so she throws her arms up and tightens her defense as much as possible. For a moment, just before the first impact, she thinks it might be enough.

It isn't. The first whirling strike blows her guard wide open, the second catches her and hurls her away down the street; she actually bounces once, causing a bit of a gasp out of the crowd, but it actually helps her recover, as she instinctively draws her arms and legs in and lands semi-crouched. Unfolding herself, she merely nods.

This is Ryu. He is a champion. There is a reason she chose to dedicate herself to this after seeing him. And now it's time to show him what she's done that isn't just imitating him. From as far as she is, it'd take even her some time to close the distance on foot, unless she were running headlong. But.. from the *air*...

There's just a touch of ki manipulation as she crouches and jumps, flying up and forward, arching her body and clasping her hands together--and as she descends, she attempts to *hammer* Ryu in the top of the head, not just once but three times, with enough momentum to carry her back upwards.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Sakura's Sakura Otoshi.

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Sakura           1/-------/<<<<<<<|======-\-------\0              Ryu

Ryu touches down on the ground, effortlessly regaining balance and his heading in a flash. The Tatsunaki Senpuu Kyaku is an excellent tool for approaching and striking at once. It demands its user maintain their focus as the body sharply transitions from movement to stillness. Do so, and one may use this approach without opening themselves to vulnerability.
Like the champion he is, Ryu lands on his feet to return to fighting stance in the blink of an eye. Not once does he consider Sakura out of the running just because she takes a solid series of blows from one of his most well-known techniques. She nods to him. He awaits her next strike eagerly.
She comes at him with something of her own invention. The wind-up seems telegraphed enough. It is trivial to take the edge of the first hit off with a raised fist. Just as he lowers it, a second comes, forcing him to rise it again with a bit more impact.
His knees begin to bend, lowering one arm down... as a third comes.
The opposite hand meets it with an open palm up against his forehead, a less certain defense.
More importantly, that third one forces him to abort the beginnings of the Shoryuken. He finds himself pushed back a ways as the bottom of his feet scrape against the concrete. This puts her out of Shoryuken range. Instead, he draws his arms back as his stance lowers. He empties his mind - to embrace nothing. The space between the hands that cup into thin air is where he moves to channel power, to fill the very vacuum with the familiar bright whitish-blue sphere that Sakura has endlessly studied and imitated to a remarkable degree.
"HADOUKEN!" He calls, thrusting his arms forward, in an attempt to try and catch her before she can land and return to a defensible position.

COMBATSYS: Sakura overcomes Hadouken from Ryu with Shinkuu Hadouken EX.

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Sakura           0/-------/---<<<<|======-\-------\0              Ryu




Sakura could tell that those were not solid hits. Rather, they -were- solid hits, but solid like her slamming her fists against a brick wall. Still, she should be thankful that he decided not to show her the famous Shoryuken up close and personal. The last hit she uses as a springboard to flip herself into the air, tumbling forward, turning herself in midair to face him--and even though she's still a novice, she can feel him building up power as she lands. And... well. She's -seen- what the Hadouken can do. She doesn't want to try and avoid it and she doesn't think she can just block it. So... so there's only one thing to do.

The buildup of power this time is quick, speed brought by urgency and need, and the influx is far greater than what should be possible. As if she didn't just turn on the taps, but forced them past their limiters. "HaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" she shouts, as the power grows and grows, and when Ryu flings his chi, Sakura -meets- with her own, a wall of it almost as tall as she is, although it shrinks from the absorbing of the hadouken from Ryu. Hit or miss, as the remaining of Sakura's energy flies towards Ryu, it'll quickly become clear that it was something of an 'all-in', an example of what she'll do in more desperate times.

COMBATSYS: Ryu overcomes Shinkuu Hadouken EX from Sakura with Shakunetsu Hadouken EX.

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Sakura           0/-------/---<<<<|=====--\-------\0              Ryu

The power is immense in its size and scope. The time-honored standby Hadouken looks positively dwarfed, flying into it, as Ryu's head tilts up to better have a look at what it is that Sakura brings to bear next. A large wall of channeled energy, foregoing the traditional sphere.
His Hadouken dissipates into its composition, the center of the mass frayed, but not delayed as it closes in like an inevitability. This much power, from someone Sakura's age... even among fighters, she is clearly no ordinary young woman!
Ryu's eyes widen as he takes a step back... no, he won't move around it. He won't wait for it to come to him.
Sakura has risen to the challenge.
Ryu will honor this and rise to /her/ challenge, as he rears his hands back once more. He channels... more. He grits his teeth as he empties his mind again of the impurities and distractions that would disrupt the formation of the void between the palms. He does not fear how close her Shinkuu Hadouken will be when it's ready. He walks a path of continued self-improvement, as it is clear she does, too.
To greater heights... his intentions reflect within the sphere that takes on the character of flame, burning orange....!
"SHAKUNETSU!" He shouts, throwing his hands forward as the tall wall of energy threatens to eclipse him, throwing the flame-wreathed sphere born of the vacuum between his hands dead center towards its already weaker constitution in the process of having overcome his first Hadouken.
Sakura's channeled power warps and bends in half before fragmenting into the aether it originates from, as the swirling sphere of scalding flame makes up Ryu's return volley.
How will she rise against this next challenge?

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sakura with Shakunetsu Hadouken EX.

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Sakura           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0              Ryu

It was her best gambit. Probably the only one that would have had a chance at working. And...

And it was defeated by Ryu. By showing her the Shakunetsu Hadouken. The Shinkuu Hadouken is the ultimate expression of her chi, not only pure but almost literally her highest output. But still, she isn't surprised.

But she does have to deal with it. She shakes off her surprise and tries to avoid, but she spent just a touch too long gawping; she shrieks, involuntarily, at the burning sensation that overwhelms her even as it knocks her back, and she's even a moment longer because she just has to check to make sure she's not *actually* burning. And then she thinks for a moment...

...and abandons her fighting pose, standing straight and bowing deeply from the waist. "Thank you very much, Ryu-sensei," she says, because that is how she thinks of him, though she wouldn't've let the '-sensei' bit slip if she weren't a bit overwhelmed by fighting him.

"I--" Sakura considers her words. "I think I just learned how far I have yet to go. Maybe I should focus on training myself before I consider something like the King of Fighters." She doesn't sound depressed, just introspective, reconsidering certain things. "I know King of Fighters would be valuable experience, though..."

COMBATSYS: Sakura takes no action.

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Sakura           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0              Ryu

Ryu returns to his fighting stance after the Shakunetsu Hadouken punches through. He wants to see more of what Sakura has to offer. When she rises back up, and abandons her fighting pose, and concedes, he crosses his arms as a gentle wind blows through the streets. The ends of his red headband trail through the wind, eyes closed.
'Ryu-sensei,' he hears.
He bows his head a little, a frown creeping upon his face. This doesn't overwhelm the rest of what she has to say about their battle, as it wraps all the way back down to the original concern - the idea that someone would practice Ansatsuken without the strict guidance both Ken and himself went through.
Sakura admits, with full humility, how far she has yet to go. No sadness, but the strength of character and honesty in which to want to reach out further and improve herself. Of all the things he could impart from being watched on TV, if he could pick one...
"I'm not yet worthy of being anyone's sensei," he at last says, "for I, too, still have far to go." This is a man who could be rightfully hailed as one of the greatest martial artists to ever live. Even as young as he is, he stands head and shoulders over many aged veterans, standing at a peak so many dream to reach, but even fewer could ever hope to come near.
Inwardly, he considers the difficult decision he took as he escaped death on Shang Tsung's Island. No matter the alternatives, what he chose... that he made the choice he did is one he will have to live with, as a reminder of the consequences of having the power that he does.
"And yet... I am of the same mind about the King of Fighters." He speaks again, opening his eyes to face Sakura. His expression softens considerably. "I would be honored to enter it alongside you."
Sakura was not hearing things! Did the man she idolizes, in flesh and blood before her now, just say he would be willing to compete in King of Fighters /with/ her?
"Though... you do have me at a disadvantage," what? There's no way he's any lesser than Sakura at the art of fighting, he must be just saying this to be nice-- "I don't believe I caught your name...?"

COMBATSYS: Ryu takes no action.

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Sakura           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0              Ryu

Sakura looks up. "Even if you say you're not worthy of being a teacher, I will always learn from you, Ryu-san. And... I... I would be honored as well." And of course, then he reminds her that she never actually -introduced- herself and her cheeks go pink.

"Oh, uh--of course. I'm sorry, how rude of me. I'm Sakura. Kasugano Sakura." She bows again, a proper Japanese bow, hands at her sides, then straightens up. Lucky for her Ryu didn't really go all out, that would've been disastrous. "Well, then, Ryu-san, I--I guess I'll take care of our entry, I've got the form in my backpack..." Speaking of which, she goes to retrieve that, and pulls out the form and a pen to fill in the necessary things. Presumably she has to sign, and Ryu has to sign, and so she'll get that taken care of and the registration form tucked away.

Just as she's about to open her mouth to ask Ryu some burningly pertinent questions about Ansatsuken, her phone rings, and quizzically, she pulls it out and flips it to speaker just in time for...


Kei. Sakura blinks, then gasps, flipping the phone off of speaker and lifting it to her head. "Ohmygod! Kei! I'm sorry! I uh--I just wandered off and--" Despite being on the phone she's bowing rapidly while speaking, assuring Kei she'll be right back, etc. etc., then she hangs up.

"I, uh,, I kind of forgot about my friend I came here with, I... I should get back to her, she worries sometimes." All the time. "But.. I'll be sure to drop this off!" With the typical sort of teenage brusqueness, Sakura jogs off the direction she came, turning around halfway to wave to Ryu with the biggest grin ever. And then she takes off, running full speed ahead... as she does.

COMBATSYS: Ryu resumes wandering.

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

Log created on 13:55:04 07/29/2017 by Ryu, and last modified on 01:28:15 07/30/2017.