Ryu - The Warrior's Path 1: The Beginning

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Description: Ryu, free of the influence of Vega and fresh off of his defeat during King of Fighters, has traveled to Southtown to challenge a former King of Fighter's champion to a friendly spar. Old fights are brought up, and a fighting spirit is found. but most importantly, the once World Warrior takes his first step down the Warrior's Path, to once more find the champion he knows he can be.

It's getting into the evening, and the students are filing out of the Kyokugen dojo, limping and slumping, and generally looking exhausted. Kyokugen is infamous for pushing its disciples to their absolute limits and beyond, with the legendary Grand Master Takuma considering 500 pushups to be a light warm up. Some say that eating Takuma's cooking is an endurance test, in and of itself. Sadly, the old man loves to cook. Thus, many students wash out within a few months, and very few make it past the first year. Judging from how wiped these students look as they dump themselves out onto the paved parking lot, it definitely looks like very few will be returning.

Inside the dojo itself, Ryo Sakazaki, Kyokugen's Invincible Dragon, is still training. The large, imposing figure of Mr. Karate II is covered in sweat, and his dual-toned gray compression shirt clings to him like a second skin, drenched. But still, he is there, practicing his punches by pounding at a wooden training dummy. Each collision of fist on wood resounds like a crack of thunder, and the wood creaks and groans in protest under the fury of his blows. His technique is flawless, using his entire body through kinetic linking to work in harmony, bringing forth more power to his punch as he delivers it. Still, the fierce, determined look on his rugged face says that he still believes he has a long, long way to go.

As the exhausted students file out, they pass a figure that had been standing quietly outside the door, listening intently to the rigorous training demanded by any who would seek to learn KyOKUGEN karate. Perhaps some recognize the figure for who he is: Ryu, the World Warrior, a recent participant of the King of Fighter's tournament. But then, there has been a lot happening in the world of late. They could just as easily be distracted by other, more pressing concerns.
Bare feet scuff lightly over the sturdy wooden floor as the wandering dragon slips in behind the last of the students, passing through the door with a brief, small smile and a one-handed wave toward their backs. He does not hold himself with the air of a champion. He seems, too grounded for that. His eyes too introspective. Besides, he is nothing spectacular to look at.
Both shorter and lighter of build than the man he finds training within, Ryu is none-the-less a solidly muscular figure with generically handsome features that blend the line between Japanese and European. His dark, nearly black hair curls slightly over the top of a simple red headband, the trailing ends of which hang almost half way down his back. His outfit is less modern as well, comprised of a simple gai top and pants, belted at the waist with a black belt inscribed with golden characters. The sleeves of his top have been ripped away, giving a slightly ragged look to the otherwise traditional outfit, and his lightly padded hand guards are crimson to match his headband. it is a simple look, but distinctive.
"I have heard a lot about the Invincible dragon of Kyokugen." Ryu offers, speaking with quiet confidence toward the larger man's back. Holding his position just inside the doorway, the World Warrior sweeps his solemn brown gaze contemplatively around the room, taking just a moment to absorb it all.
"Maybe," he adds, attention returning to the other dragon with a little bow from the waist, "You would be willing to demonstrate your reputation?"
Direct and to the point, it seems. But such is the way of some fighters. Why dance around he issue when they could both be doing what they prefer?

The deafening thunder of Ryo's fists pounding their wooden victim into splinters comes to a halt when he hears the voice from behind him. His face turns, letting his cobalt eyes swivel in their sockets to appraise the speaker. Of course, even if the students of Kyokugen didn't recognize the legend standing in their midst, Ryo himself does.

"Huh," he muses, as he turns around to face his visitor directly. His lips curl upward into a smile that is actually truly warm and inviting. "Hey. You're Ryu, yeah? The World Warrior who defeated Sagat."

A pause, and Ryo nods his head a little, gesturing, "Good match. I thought you were going to bite it. But then... It looked like maybe you went to a pretty dark place there to pull through."

Ryo crosses about halfway across the distance between them before he comes to a halt. He clasps his hands against his orange-gi-clad thighs, and stands abruptly at attention, before bowing at the waist. "Welcome to Kyokugenryuu. I've been hoping we might run into one another in the circuit. I'd like to get a taste of your style, too. What do you call it? Ansatsuken?"

Ryo's lips curl into a lopsided grin. He lifts a hand and gestures for Ryu to advance. "Let's do this, then!"

A brief flash of pain and shame crosses Ryu's normally calm features at Ryo's casual remark. Though he attempts to hide it with the slightest of smiles, it is clear enough that his own thoughts on what happened during that tournament can not all be good.
Padding forward until there is no more than 5 feet separating himself from the other warrior, Ryu sweeps into a much deeper bow that sees his long read headband fluttering forward to drape over his right shoulder.
"Once, Ansatsuken was a style of assassins. It was my master who changed this." Ryu's already quiet tone lowers slightly as he rises, lifting his chin and attempting to meet Ryo's blue eyes squarely with his brown, "On that day, I failed him. This day, I will not."
This slightly cryptic response given, Ryu lifts his fists and flexes his knees, tossing his weight lightly from the ball of one foot to the other. The motion sends the loose ends of his clothes to gently swaying, his muscles loose but ready, expression growing intensely focused. He does not appear all that legendary. he could almost be mistaken for any other random karate practitioner who walked in to challenge the dojo. But, there is something to him. Some indefinable trait that whispers to any who sees him that he is genuine. The World Warrior himself.

COMBATSYS: Ryu has wandered into a fight here.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ryo has joined the fight here.

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Ryo              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Ryo notes the twinge with his steely gaze. His own brow crinkles in turn, brooding over his eyes as he mulls over the implications, and decides that he maybe should have kept his mouth shut about that. He didn't mean to strike a nerve.

"Failure is a part of growing. We all fail. We can just hope to do better in the future," Ryo says, trying to, perhaps, alleviate some of the ill feelings Ryu might have for that incident, and himself by extension. "It certainly seems to me like you've learned that lesson and have grown for it. So don't beat yourself up too badly, eh?"

As Ryu takes on his stance, Ryo follows suit. His fists rise up in front of his face and chest, in a stance not unlike a boxer's. His feet are spaced wide, knees slightly bent into a more lax version of the traditional karate kokutsu dachi stance. Ryo might be big, he might be powerful, but he's not flashy. It'd be easy to mistake the first champion of the King of Fighters for any other strip mall karateka just based on how he takes up his stance. The only indication that he's anything more is reflected in the fire in his eyes. Those are the eyes of someone who truly lives in the heat of the fight. Who's true voice is the voice spoken and heard throught he exchange of fists.

Ryo moves in first, testing the water. He closes the distance between them, and pivots on his heels, as one leg rises, tucking his knee to his chest and chambering it. With a swiftness and power that causes the air to roar, he launches a thrusting, perfectly executed sidekick at Ryu's center of mass. It's just a test, but with men like them, testing doesn't mean holding back, either.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Ryo's Medium Kick.

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Ryo              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Head inclining toward Ryo in respectful acknowledgement of his words, Ryu bounces once, twice before the larger Karateka's foot comes roaring in toward his chest. Bringing his hands together, the World Warrior catches Ryo's heel on the back of his left forearm and rolls with the blow, twisting his upper body to shunt the majority of the force to one side. Diverting the oncoming momentum allows him to hold his ground rather than be sent skidding backward across the wooden floor, the simple act of defense executed with deft skill.
With no time for words, Ryu bounds forward passed Ryo's lifted leg, headband flipping over his shoulder to snap out horizontally behind him. As he comes in, he uncoils from his blocking twist and brings his left fist hooking around in a tight, heavy blow aimed for the exposed ribs just beneath the taller man's lifted guard. The initial blow is followed by a quick, snapping right straight, red guard blurring as it accelerates toward Ryo's chiseled jaw.
"Hah!" Ryu shouts with the second blow, releasing his breath in an explosive shout directly into the face of the other man. In any other circumstances, such behavior might be rude. But now? Ryu's eyes have lit with the thrill of the fight.

COMBATSYS: Ryo blocks Ryu's Joudan Nirengeki.

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Ryo              0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0              Ryu

Ryo is a well trained fighter, by anyone's definition. The moment he feels the meat of Ryu's forearm, he knows that his attack is going to be deflected, and he'll be open for a counter. He responds by twisting, following through in his pivot and bringing his arms in tighter against his sides. The World Warrior's punch, aimed for his ribs, meets with the meaty side of Ryo's trunklike arm, letting the force of it be dispersed and cushioned. It still stings. Ryo doesn't have the time to worry about that, though, as he instinctively brings his other fist upwards, as if he is about to uppercut himseld in the chin. His arm twists at the last moment, snapping into a deflecting block to drive away that straight punch and send it off to the side, where it buzzes past his ear.

"Yeah!" Ryo shouts back. No. He doesn't take Ryu's enthusiasm for rudeness. It's infectious. His own hype responding to it. The dull throb in his bicep only helping kick him into gear, getting the adrenaline pumping like nitrous through his veins. His burning eyes focus on Ryu's own, as he shouts, "ORA! ORA!! ORA!!!"

That same hand that he had deflected the follow through with raises overhead, as Ryo's front leg lifts up. His entire body seems to rear back, before snapping forward with the speed of a striking cobra and the ferocity of a pouncing tiger. The ridge of his palm comes crashing down with explosive fury, aimed to bury itself deep into the shoulder of his fellow warrior, and drive him straight down onto the dojo floor. "HA!"

COMBATSYS: Ryo successfully hits Ryu with Hyouchuu Wari.

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Ryo              0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0              Ryu

Blow, counterblow. The blood sings in Ryu's veins as he begins to awaken to the fight. Ryo can likely feel it, his smaller opponent's moves growing looser and more confident despite the skillful deflections. He is not smiling as he stares into the eyes of his enemy, but is instead quite calm, fully absorbed in the moment.
As Ryo draws back, body flexing, Ryu flings both hands up, crossing his arms in a solid X block directly over head. Body braced, he is just in time to meet the descending hand chop, but not quite prepared for the strength of its arrival. Arms forced down beneath the heavy impact, Ryu is struck squarely on top of the head rather than in the shoulder, sent stumbling forward a step as his right knee buckles. His X block collapses, right fist thudding the ground between Ryo's feet as he throws it forward to catch himself, chin tilting up to cast an intense look up at the man that now looms above him.
While it may not be standard practice to yell the name of one's attack before striking, this particular shout has chilled the heart of many a fighter over the years. And while Ryu may not cover himself in flames like his blond-haired battle brother, the World Warrior explodes from his kneel with the force of a canon, wooden beams groaning as he rockets straight up with half a twist, the red of his right fist guard leading the ascent on a direct course for Ryo's chin.

COMBATSYS: Ryo just-defends Ryu's Shoryuken EX!

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Ryo              0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0              Ryu

The Kyokugen Dragon is not quite as insanely strong as his father... but he's closing that gap. His strength is enough to come crashing through Ryu's guard and still force the white gi'd fighter to his knees before him. Ryo might have made a friendly quip about calling him Zod or something, but he sees that look in his opponent's eyes. That fierce determination. It sends a chill down his spine, and he barely has the time to make out what is coming.

It was Ryu's match with Sagat. Having it in the forefront of his mind, Ryo saw that finishing blow in flash across his eyes just as the shout starts to form on Ryu's lips. As Ryu rockets upward with that legendary Shoryuken, Ryo's eyes widen, but he snaps out, catching the red gauntleted fist in one of his own. He feels his palm sting, the bones feeling like they might even shatter, but they hold true. Ryo chambers his own fist at his hip, his bicep surging and bulging as his knuckles make his leather gauntlet creak in protest as it stretches over them.


He shouts as he, himself, ducks down only to bring all of his densely muscled body in, coiled in on itself to explode forth, springing upward with his own furious rising uppercut!

COMBATSYS: Ryo dazes Ryu with Koho EX!

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Ryo              0/-------/-----==|>>>>>>-\-------\0              Ryu

If Ryu were any less focused, any less disciplined, the feeling of his hand being caught, upward momentum halted, might throw him into a panic. Instead, a fierce, tight smile tugs at his lips. He can feel the momentum shifting, his unbreakable wall of an opponent surging forward and down to reverse the maneuver.
Bare toes striking wood,Ryu dodges backward with a violent twist, attempting to pry his hand free and open space between himself and Ryo.
he is just a hair too slow.
The invincible dragons' knuckles catch him on the very tip of his chin as he begins to sway back, clocking him squarely on that sweet spot that every boxer wishes he could hit. The force of it lifts Ryu from the floor, throwing him up and back in a steep arc with his read headband flapping out in front of him. Brown eyes glaze over, scrambled thoughts flickering dangerously on the very edge of unconsciousness.
Ryu's back strikes the far wall with bone-rattling force, snapping him back into a dazed sort of awareness. Tumbling gracelessly to the ground, he lands hard on hands and knees before springing a bit unsteadily to his feet, left foot stomping forward as his body automatically compensates for his loss of equilibrium.
Gloved hands pass before his body, circling each other in a quick, inward motion. The move is done without thought, without need of direction, Ryu's muscles knowing the motions, understanding the fight on an instinctual level.
All at once, the true depth of Ryu's fighting spirit becomes clear. Even a blind man could see it, the absolute oneness with which his spirit is connected to the world around him. The perfect, undeniable clarity of purpose that allows him to fight on when any other man would barely be able to stand. Light flickers throughout the room as the World Warrior's soul surges, connecting with a place beyond himself.
Between Ryu's circling palms, a void is formed. it is into that void that ambient chi rushes, flowing in from the world around them in a gust of displaced air. His long red headband lifts, flapping in the sudden localized wind as a ball of glowing blue energy sparks to life, its inner depths swirling with the chaotic forces that bring life to all things.
Ryu's shout rings out through the dojo, clear and distinct. The last of the haze rushes out of his body as his palms are projected forwards, the ball of energy hurtling across the distance toward Ryo's chest.

COMBATSYS: Ryo endures Ryu's Hadouken+.

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Ryo              0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\-------\0              Ryu

Ryo descends from the air with a singular flip after his mighty uppercut and lands nimbly on his feet, letting his knees bend to absorb the impact of his weight. As Ryu finds himself planted against the wall for a moment, the Kyokugen fighter brushes off his knees, and pulls the tails of the black obi wound around his waist, tightening the knot.

As Ryu steps forward, taking on that iconic front stance and then bringing his hands in towards his hip with that sweeping, circular gesture, Ryo's steely gaze ticks on to him. He feels the accumulation of energy before he sees it. It tingles on the back of his neck, making the fine hairs stand on end. It feels like an electric charge lingering in the air, and he could swear he smells the ionization of it, tasting slightly metallic on the back of his tongue.

"Heh. Well, alright..."

Ryo braces himself for the Hadouken as it comes soaring at him. His arms fold in an X across his chest, but only so that he can snap his arms down at his sides, in a fierce posture. The blast of Ki infused force collides with his chest, washing over him and tearing at his clothes. His blonde hair whips around his skull like a wild mane caught in a tornado. But he remains rooted in place, scowling and gritting his teeth as he feels that force drive into the meat and bone of his solid body.


His fists clench, and he stands still. His intensity seems to manifest around him as an aura of fighting spirit. It is not malicious. It is fiery and passionate. It is fierce and determined. It is the spirit of Kyokugen itself.

"So that is the legendary hadou of the Ansatsuken style! Nice! Show me more!"

COMBATSYS: Ryo gathers his will.

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Ryo              1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0              Ryu

'Show me more!'
Stepping forward into the wake of the Hadouken, Ryu is advancing upon Ryo with measured steps even before this challenge is given. Wherever the World Warrior steps the air seems to still, colors growing sharper and sounds more vibrant. It is as if the universe itself were walking in step with the fighter, his every breath drawing the air closer, wind dancing gleefully around him.
Eyes locked upon Ryo with the impassive stare of one caught deep within the meditative embrace of a battle trance, Ryu closes the last two steps, his own odd aura clashing invisibly with the larger warrior's battle spirit. At the termination of the last step the dark-haired man pivots in a sudden flash of movement, right hand sweeping up and over, then falling in a smooth downward punch. It is an oddly fluid motion, shoulders rolling, weight shifting, and unless Ryo can avoid it he will suffer the weirdly unique experience of being punched twice in one blow, Ryu's knuckles descending to impact first the taller man's face, then his chest directly beneath in rapid fire succession.

COMBATSYS: Ryo blocks Ryu's Sakotsu Wari EX.

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Ryo              1/----===/=======|>>>>>>-\-------\0              Ryu

Ryo remains locked in his imposing posture, gathering and focusing his will as his opponent advances forward. The World Warrior brings that stillness with him where he goes, but stepping into the prixomity of the Invicible Dragon is like stepping into a steam room. Heat has built around him, and the world seems to shimmer and wave about him like he stands in the center of a world made of a mirage. When those two vastly different spirits collide? Who can say which is more powerful?

Ryu's attack is swift, but Ryo is focused and ready. As the fighting icon pivots, Ryo's large fists rise up, his forearms closing together, creating a protective barrier between fist and face, and allowing the follow through to slide down the length of his forearms and elbows to avoid his chest. It's not a fun feeling, regardless. Ryo is certain that his arms are going to go numb from blocking such ferocious attacks, and he won't have it in him to do that much more, if at all. His bones might snap.

No sooner than the attack has nearly crushed his arms, Ryo takes one large step back, dropping into a deep seated horse stance, his center of gravity low to the ground.


His fists open, extending out before him. That fiery aura that surrounds him seems to condense tighter, sucking in around him like some sort of vacuum sealed shroud. His hands sweep around in a large, flowing gesture to draw a circle before him, with shimmering motes of crackling blue light sparking in the wake. They draw in, much as Ryu's own had moments before, at his side, where his power seems to rush in, filling his hands and spilling out between his fingers as rays of brilliant light.


He thrusts his hands out, palms first, and the eruption of powerful Ki that comes surging forth from his accumulated power is large. Too large. It is nearly as tall as him and twice as broad, and it moves fast, especially in this close proximity to Ryu.

COMBATSYS: Ryo successfully hits Ryu with Haohshokoken EX.

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Ryo              0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1              Ryu

For an instant, the world revolves entirely around a single point, filling the space between the two fighters as will clashes with will. Momentum gathers much like the power condensing between Ryo's palms, rolling ever forward toward the oncoming conclusion of their fight.
A split decision must be made.
Ryo's hands are thrust forward, an enormous cascade of energy rushing out toward the warrior who stands so calmly before him.
Ryu leaps.
Throwing himself straight up, he begins to tuck forward, to execute a flip that should take him cleanly over the oncoming energy. Unfortunately, he is once more just a hair too slow. Thinking rather than feeling.
The wave of energy catches the dark-haired man's foot and sends him tumbling out of his flip, plunging down into the burning force as it threatens to carry him away, to smash him bodily through the far wall. However, As he tumbles and rolls through the attack, his left foot lashes out, impacting the ground and sending him spinning out of the tail end of the energy, gi smoking and breaths coming in exhausted gasps. His aura has faded, concentration shattered.
"Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku!"
Shouting the words with a sharp, ragged edge, Ryu kicks out viciously, the rotational force of his foot tearing him out of his tumble and transferring his momentum forward. Soaring through the air toward Ryo, the legendary warrior lashes out toward his larger opponent's chest once, twice, thrice, four times, each motion precise and measured, heel smashing out with piston-like force. His long red headband twirls in his wake, body flowing through the air like a living tornado.
This is surely what it means to be a warrior. To fight on despite the odds. To live within the fight, uncaring of wins or losses, but wishing only to prove oneself.

COMBATSYS: Ryo interrupts Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku from Ryu with Koho Shippuken.

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Ryo              0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1              Ryu

Ryo has found his groove in the fight. The two warriors come from the same place. This is where they live. This is where they breathe. The fight is their church, and they are nothing if not zealots. So, then, imagine Ryo's absolute elation upon seeing Ryu stand up after taking the massive force of the Kyokugen secret Ki technique? He's so very impressed. The World Warrior truly has earned his reputation. Ryo cannot deny that.

Ryu seemingly summons the very power of the wind to carry him like a tornado at the second Mr. Karate. The blonde fighter's brows furrow, but he raises up a defense against the first, and the second kick that collides against him. Again, the stinging threat of numbness settles in to the bones of his forearms, and he knows that the bruises bite deep, into the bones themselves. Rather than feeling his arms shatter under the gale force pressure of that hurricane kick, the Sakazaki warrior makes a quick dash backwards, away from it. His body twists, pivoting on the balls of his feet to help build up a bit more momentum, before he launches himself forward with a crushing straight from his right fist, aimed directly at center mass of the twirling Ryu.


Ryo's fist impacts Ryu just under the ribs on his right side, the meaty impact tearing him out of the air with a rough grunt of pain. Flung sideways out of his spin, he impacts the ground hard, tumbling end over end a full two times before he manages to get his knee under him and drag a hand along the ground.
Power sliding to a halt, the World Warrior glances up, fixing a hard stare on Ryo that intensifies as his right fist clinches, the material of his glove creaking in the sudden, heavy silence.
It is there. That same burning desire to win. The drive to hurt.
The drive to kill.
Ryu draws in a slow breath, eyes squeezing shut as he forces his fist to relax. Rather than attempting some last ditch technique to bring Ryo down with him, the smaller man shifts his weight backwards, , transitioning tiredly from a kneel to a cross-legged sit. As his butt thumps down he lets out a breath, eyes remaining closed.
"You fought with skill and honor. There can be no shame in losing if the battle is pure."
Whether his quietly spoken words are meant for himself, or Ryo is not entirely clear. It could easily be a reminder. A mantra not to give into the power that nearly consumed him.
Resting his right hand on his side he winces, pulling a briefly pained expression. he's going to be feeling this for a while.

COMBATSYS: Ryu takes no action.

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Ryo              0/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Ryu can no longer fight.

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Ryo              0/-------/=======|

Ryo intended to follow through. He was moving to give chase after knocking Ryu out of the air, walking forward in a defensive, but confident way that makes him seem more like a stalking tiger than anything. As the dark haired fighter rises up and clenches his fist, Ryo's ruggedly handsome Eurasian features light up with a smile, and he raises his fists again, ready to meet and clash with the World Warrior once more.

But those eyes.

Ryo stops dead in his tracks, his smile instantly fading. Such dreadful eyes. That killing intent rolls of of Ryu in waves that pierce the Sakazaki's core and chill him in his soul. He freezes in place, his defenses still raised, but his excitement having turned instantly to tension.

Thankfully, Ryu pushes his pride down, and that miasma seems to diminish. Ryo's fists fall, and he releases a breath that he hadn't realized he had been holding. Shaking out his sore, stiff arms, the orange clad karateka says, "You had me scared there for a minute..."

The larger fighter comes to a kneeling rest, sitting on his heels in front of the seated Ryu. He places his hands on his thighs, his elbows pointed out, away from his body, and he bows his head, leaning forward every so slightly.

"You are strong. I feel like you were off your game during this match," his rumbling voice spills from his lips as he remains in that bowed position. "Something is holding you back. I'd love to have a rematch when you find your warrior spirit again, Ryu."

Suddenly, he lets one of his large, meaty paws reach out and fall on the smaller man's shoulder. "But, for now? Why don't you come in the back. We'll get some ice packs for our bruises, food for our bellies and beer for our spirits! I won't take no for an answer! After all, you did come in here and challenge my school! As the victor, I must dictate the terms to repay the dishonor you laid upon me!"

Of course, this is all said tongue in cheek, and Ryo's grin is nothing, if not genuine. He does, without seeming to know it or understand it, carry himself with a sort of gravitational pull of charisma, though.

COMBATSYS: Ryo has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:10:15 11/24/2017 by Ryu, and last modified on 15:58:23 11/27/2017.