Description: A young Japanese waitress; upset with his treatment and injuring of a fighter in a dismissive manner Challenges Gato Futaba, hurls herself at the Chinese Kenpo practitioner. Her imposition and rudeness accepted he makes it a clear display for all to see, just how far removed 'World Warrior' level is from the common fighter. A territory populated by beasts and monsters, who are the only applicants need apply. WINNER (Gato)
The floor covered with red carpeting that doesn't quite extend to the walls, dojo style placement of lush carpeted mats overtop of a polished hardwood floor. Largely open and airy glass windows many times the height of a man let a wealth of light into the room and illuminates the finery many of the 'casual elite' are dressed in. Thin stonework pillars climb and join close to the ceiling with to create a double archway filled with two diamonds and a shield above and between then at the peak of the arch.
Dozens of circular tables in varying states of occupied and only those with customer have been set. Plain polished wooden tables with simple engraving and plain wooden dining chairs without ponce or extravagance. The walls and line of the room are harsh and sharp edges, clean white marble and stone wherever appropriate. Gradual slopes and curves to the bannisters ot the wise and sweeping stairs that curve down into the room. Amoung this display of white marble and red carpeting in the uniforms of the waitresses blend right in. Broad red skirts and figure hugging blouse with white lace trim and puffy short sleeves, white tights and trim of skirt as well all wearing aprons. Definitely a Germanic or Austrian/European atmosphere to the place with the waitresses dressed so. The tables unoccupied until a guest is seated and the girls set a table for, bring their mean and clean up while diners continue to stay and enjoy the atmosphere, and sight of the girls at work.
The food was authentic and good, the costs prohibitive enough that the entire place was rarely full and thus best suited to select clientele in no hurry to be escorted out or leave.
DoaTech was famed for having the odd exhibition matches and such to satiate more than the desire for a good meal. The sponsors of the Dead or Alive tournament prided themselves on an eye for talent and greed for possessing it whenever possible.
Hitomi spending several minutes on one of her laters tables has been called back and brought more water, wash towels and additional courses and coffee to the same table over 30 times in the last hour and a half. She was still able to keep up with her duties but there were only three girls left on. She had to work on some of the other tables as well. The mix of her talking to customers in English, Japanese and German as they spoke to her was something of a hit and as such she was enjoying serving and understanding happy patrons.
This is not the sort of place that Gato has any interest in going to normally. A man with sufficient wealth to throw around his influence lured him here, but at a glance it was clear to the warrior that such bravado had no substance. His honor forced him to sit for some period, only asking for a modest bowl of white rice and water, but the attractive playboy's nonsense continued for too long. In the end, Gato cut things short and demanded a match curtly. There was some comments about how a no-name fighter could have even attracted the attention of Wolfgang Krauser, and that he was picked for being the weakest on purpose.
A loose crowd gathered before the exhibition ring. The very moment the fight begins, it is over. A fierce blow slammed into the other man's chest, who immediately coughed up blood and crashed to the ground, writhing and shrieking in pain. Faces go pale at the extent of the damage, emergency medical services summoned.
The solemn, attractive Chinese warrior is at no fault. The duel was agreed, and was clearly established that as long as the fight ended after a serious injury, it was fine. Flecks of crimson are brushed from his orange changsang, uppermost ribbons undone to expose his powerful chest, blooming baggy dark pants settled lower. "Hrmph. You are stronger than I thought. You did not die immediately."
He seems disinterested in staying any longer, already shifting to start walking towards the rapidly parting gaggle of observers. This will certainly change public perception of him on the fighter web...
One of the servers was kneeling beside the fallen fighter, his champagne undelivered and placed on a table as he tended to the injured. A pretty blonde with a thick corded braid was approaching at a run in the same waitress uniform and with a suitcase sized Medical pack bouncing against her side and hip, a trained paramedic and EMT respectively they were on at a fortunate time.
The restaurant has gone quiet but for the agonies of one fighter, only some light sipping and tapping of cigars going on from some of the tables while most were too cowed and averted for their eyes to follow the victor. The majority of interest seem more attached to the struggle for life and the medical technicians at work. The curtain of observers drawn aside to let him pass -- but for one short brown haired waitress. Still partially blocking his way and obviously fixated on the scene playing out behind him. Arms crossed on the underside of a serving platter she has clasped to her chest.
Unlike the others she switches tack to glare at gato as he approaches. A drawing down of the eyebrows and tightening of her grip on the platter until her hands ache. This was her place of work, she hadn't even had the job for more than a few days and was still the 'new girl' getting the worst of the jobs available and a big workload to test her mettle.
Those things she could take with a smile, not this.
Instead of stepping aside she steps right in his path, the muted clomp of her stomp on carpet as she does so and her hair brushing the shoulder and the collar of her blouse as she draws a deep breath.
Perhaps she was about to escort him form the premises but the look in her eyes suggested otherwise. Heads start turning in her direction now that she has gone and started a scene.
"What you did there... that was no martial arts match! If you want to call what you did worthy of being a World Warrior!! ... I won't go easy on you."
They weren't bullies, World Warriors. The contenders were meant to be the best of the best from nations, styles and schools. Maybe someday a student from her own dojo might claim that title. For them to do so, it still needed to be worthy of the challenge.
The man in front of her was strong, taller and broader than she was. The girl swallows hard.
"... I Challenge you!"
She wasn't about to let the principle and heart of being a World Warrior be dragged through the mud in front of all these people without a fight.
The man's sternum and many ribs were broken, some driven into a lung. Emergency care is critical to stabilize him, but he needs taken to a hospital immediately. There's no sadism to the man, truly. However, that was certainly killing intent. He did not hold back his blow against an inferior opponent; and he struck to win decisively. These tenants are not appropriate to a sporting match by any stretch. However, he did nothing illegal in this particular case, despite the ethical dillema.
He stops when the woman before him calls out, opening his eyes fully to glare upon her. There's a strength and confidence that would set lesser wills trembling. Anger is within this man, deep and vengeful, lacing his aura openly like coiling serpents. "What...?" he asks, sounding almost offended. Heavy footsteps take him to then stand before Hitomi. The weight of his presence bared, the power in those clenched fists, the restraint that seems barely contained by his solemn expression.
"Martial arts are tools of war. They are not a sport. World Warrior has always been a vehicle to showcase the strong. Sagat was nearly killed by an attack from Ryu; a dishonorable attack from ambush. And none raised up arms. Because it was a fight. Strolheim has no place for the weak, playing sport with something noble and pure."
A palm opens and Gato's fists thumps within it. "Gender. Age. I care not. A fight is to determine who is strongest. He was irresponsible to challenge me, when he was so far below. I did not ask him. I did not summon him. And you blame me? Tell me this..."
"Are you making the same mistake as him, girl?"
Hitomi remains in his face and refuses to back down. She is afraid! Especially when Gato seemed so certain of purpose and of clear conscience after his actions, he accepts no blame. The agonized cries and gasping form behind Gato firm and shore up her resolve. No, he believes as he wanted as did she. Neither perspective was incorrect. Martial arts were a tool that resolved conflict; it needn't be deadly or harmful to be strong. The strong could afford to be gentle and contentious of others, it helped cultivate strength as much as anything else did.
She didn't have much in the way of opinion about Sagat and Ryu. It had seemed a complex decision to referee and a lot of strange factors resulting in the victor moving to help the fallen resulting in a turnabout win. She wasn't in the habit of picking fights with anyone.
The recitation softly spoken beneath her breath. "Aus Schaden wird man klug" (Failure makes smart.)
Without making mistakes, you will never understand how to do anything right. To quote Samuel Beckett: 'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.' It takes continuous honing of your skills to get really good at something. If you want to reach a high level of proficiency in anything, you will have to put in the time and practice. Whether that's cooking, sewing, language proficiency, or martial arts, there are no shortcuts.
"Even if it were a mistake, nobody can know that until after they've tried!"
She felt a lot of empathy for the man on the mat far behind Gato. You couldn't know until you tried and had done your best, and he hadn't managed to try so much as take a powerful and dangerous blow. If you didn't challenge yourself you can't grow taller and branch out enough to shelter others. Some challenges were more dangerous than others.
Hitomi actually turns on her heel to run over toward one of the other girls and hand the serving platter off to one of the other girls, looks left and right for a good spot and points further down the hall away from a place the paramedics and Emt were still hard at work and the entrance closest the street where an ambulance would need to arrive from.
A karateka obviously form the stance she takes up when she arrives there. She wasn't going to leave anything to chance and be crushed by a single blow if she could help it. Freaking out just a little, given the presence of blood from a barehanded blow to the sternum. How forceful would that have to be?
COMBATSYS: Hitomi has started a fight here.
COMBATSYS: Gato has joined the fight here.
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Gato 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Hitomi
"Do not be so naive, girl. He insulted my honor. He called me weak. He agreed to a battle with no rules against what I did. I am not here to teach people anything, beyond the meaning of strength. If you cannot overcome me, then you have no place in Strolheim, where men far above my abilities stand ready." Gato slowly flexes his muscles, menacing aura flowing out more powerfully. "I did him a favor. Had he somehow bought an invitation, anyone there would have killed him outright. Now he knows that fighting is no game. If he survives."
A slow march follows from Gato as she leads the way to a new location. Despite showing her back to him, she'd not feel any true threat or aggression. Any peeks or glances merely reveal his lazy march, and when they arrive in the ring he settles himself opposite. "I will not hold back. If you challenge me, you accept that risk. My honor is at stake. If you accept this..."
Gato slowly flows into a stance once more, weight settled powerfully, as if his feet were anchored to the ground. Both open hands settled forward, one held closer inwards. "Then come at me. Surrender when you are satisfied. Make this quick; I do not enjoy my time wasted in pointless fights. ...If I did not think this would be educational, then I would have rejected you outright."
Hitomi didn't want a place in Stollheim!! The fabled Wolfgang Krauser was a man with more infamous stories and rumours being told about him than he was 'famed.' Not that she could know for sure... he was reclusive and wealthy, like a king or emperor but she didn't even know what he looked like. He was kind of scary a name of legend didn't really affect someone like her. Moh! What was this... An audition?! She wasn't about to insult a man for his honour however, they got prickly on the topic and it was definitely where it was harder to reason with anyone who really bought into such an inflexible concept of merit.
The waitress never dropped her guard for a moment, not after a display where a previous opponent was easily dispatched and seriously injured.
She accepted his terms but the entire fight was about how she refused to accept his methods. Hopping forward and breaking her root she starts coming in at a dash just as he challenged her to. The hem of the skirt kicked up as a stockinged leg knee rises and she snaps a mid/core level kick and then a high one up at Gato's head. She drops the leg fast and spins in the opposing direction, creating enough momentum to unleash a snappy back heel roundhouse.
The crowds attention divided between the ongoing match and background dramas aren't really enthused or cheering so much as picking a tragedy in the making or the one that was happening.
COMBATSYS: Gato fully avoids Hitomi's Nami Gashira.
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Gato 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Hitomi
A battle to determine one's strength. That is all this is. The invitation in his changsang might be irrelevant to Hitomi, but to many of this world, it is an impossible goal. There is fighting for personal strength; to do the best one can do. And there is fighting to reach the summit of the world. These two warriors are on opposite sides of the coin, one stained still with blood. Neither will change their mind with words. Will combat speak a different language instead?
The woman approaches, and Gato's movements are absolutely minimal. He slithers to the side, her leg felt brushing his clothing and chest. The second snap to his head brushes through black hair, knocking aside his trailing braid. One arm thrusts upwards afterwards, stepping close as she recovers her balance. To a laymen, the motions seem simple. But there is a compactness to the technique, a full-body control of power and motion, that betray his thousands of hours of training.
"HNN!" His forearm descends, a brutal chop towards Hitomi's shoulder aimed to slam into her at full force, aiming to spike the younger woman into the ground before him. Merely feeling the aura rolling in his muscles, the way the wind flits away, makes it clear how he could have shattered an opponent who was slow to raise their guard... But he cannot be completely dishonorable, as he ceded the initiative to Hitomi instead.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi fails to counter Sai-Gaku EX from Gato with Komon.
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Gato 0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0 Hitomi
Hitomi continues her ballet of kicks and swings hoping to catch the swaying and moving man. He was right in her face and so close she felt she could reach out and touch him, but no! ...Her blows weren't connecting.
It was way too soon to give up on anything!
When he raises his arm she moves in instead of in retreat. She saw and followed the move perfectly with her eyes, the wheel and turn of her back as her arms raise and fingers seek the sleeve on either side of his forearm. A classic over the shoulder throw and she was moving at a speed it chains effortlessly off her ballet performance of kicks.
The started look in her eyes as her spine is tweaked to the side, the grinding and flexing of bones in her shoulder as she can't break his root to the ground and the full weight falls on her shoulder as though it were a cinderblock. Her buttock applied to his upper thigh and drawing him diagonally across, he should have been moved. Rolled across her back and ploughed into the ground in front of her and left on his back.
Instead Hitomi hits the ground first on one knee and then folds forward, reflexively bringing an arm up to cradle the impact sight it takes her a second to force her body to move and get back up. Even kneeling as she is it's with her arm hanging numb and limp at her side.
It wasn't broken!! ... it wasn't broken!! She was still all right!
There was nothing wrong with Hitomi's maneuver. It is one she practiced likely hundreds of times or more, with her Karate master father, with dummies, with countless sparring partners. The execution was flawless; if there is a mistake, it is that Gato noticed her motion. He steeled himself, tensing muscles, condensing force. It was not parting a river, but parrying a knife, and his forearm blew through to slam into her with ruthless force.
There is no more mercy. He stamps a leading foot, flitting up his palm to face it towards Hitomi, who has placed herself entirely within his optimal range. One arm slides backwards, muscles bulging out as he seems to surpass his limit. Unlocking inner chakras, flows of chi, hyperextension of ligaments, muscles, and blood. He's willing to destroy his own body in the pursuit of victory...?!
No sooner is Hitomi beginning to rise and regain her position than his palm is swinging out once more, blurring through the air to slam into her solar plexus. This is the move that nearly killed the other man, and his technique is even stronger. A great eruption of air and sheer kinetic force blows out from his feet, enough to knock even an able fighter tumbling over, just in the wake of his blow...!
COMBATSYS: Gato knocks away Hitomi with Shin-Ga.
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Gato 0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Hitomi
A picture perfect replay of the events that left one opponent still in the background struggling to breath and in danger of possibly losing his life. Mouth hanging open and a rain of spittle was flying out of her mouth, wide unseeing eyes as the girl rockets horizontally across the room narrowly missing a table set and impacts against the gigantic plate widow hard enough to send it reverberating and rattling in its frame. She falls face forward and soundlessly to the carpeted floor while her name is screamed out by fellow employees.
'Hitomi!' "-Tomi!" 'Stop this!!' "She'll DIE!" 'She's gonna die!!'
One arm reeled back and drawn toward her Hitomi props herself up on an elbow and cranes herself back up into a crouch with the that arm and by pressing her forehead to the floor.
Back on her feet and gasping she wipes her chin. She was incredibly relieved to see saliva rather than blood smeared across the back of her hand but she was in terrible shape, no denial in that regard.
She lifts her other hand and makes a show of working it into opening and then a closed fist, not only was she not down and out just yet but that was enough time for her arm to start listening to her and moving again if still super numb and clumsy.
She felt righteous angry still. Every fibre of her being was screaming at her to crush a bully because he deserved it. She wanted to wipe that look off his face the same way she wanted to bust Creg Marduk right in his schnoz--!!
The cries of her colleagues finally reaching her she cants her head around a few degrees to see how distraught and panicky most of them were. She was throwing herself at a man who had just hospitalized someone. Hitomi trembling stands upright rather than in a form, opens her fists and lets them both hang at her side completely without a guard. She didn't have her breath back yet and her chest was agony. One eye squinting closed against the pain.
Her other eye falls closed while she seeks some kind of inner consensus of all the thoughts whizzing about in her head. She disagreed with Gato. Yet, that was fundamentally because she thought strength should grow and nurture, he seemed to favoured conflict and sharpening his skills.
They were leagues apart though.
Hands still at her sides and in a lot of pain Hitomi bows foward deeply from the waist, the effort to do it was physically and spiritually taxing. Hurting herself to prove a point didn't make her stronger, causing undue stress to her co-workers and family didn't either.
COMBATSYS: Hitomi has left the fight here.
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Hitomi is launched away with brutal force. But she may now know, feeling these strikes, the purity of Gato's martial arts. She would feel his dedication, the power, the sacrifice. He is a beast; a monster, crafted by this trade. Someone who learned it as a weapon, and nothing else. The idea of him holding this back, tainting his life's work, because an opponent is weak... perhaps Hitomi may never condone it, but she may understand why Gato struck that man so hard now. It was not ego and arrogance on his part -- he is proud of what he has achieved, and does not wish to sully it by holding back. Even if it means the death of his opponent.
As people are shouting out for Hitomi and she is within a disoriented haze, she would notice the blur of orange rushing towards her. The dull thumps of his footsteps ringing down on the ground. One of his massive arms rears backwards, sensing the opening within the girl. She is vulnerable. One of his strongest assaults is prepared, building up inner ki, muscles bulging along his arm with a grunt, as people shout out in vain against him.
His fist begins to tear through the air, just as Hitomi's fists finally open.
She would then feel an abrupt blast of air, fierce enough she might think it an attack itself. He stopped himself, almost close enough to brush his knuckle upon her face. "..." And then a slow exhale leaves the man before he stands, brushing his changshan down idly. "This is the world of true monsters. World Warrior is no noble sport. The media presented it as such... but it was nothing but the ego of a strong man. Just as it is this time. Your technique is strong. Your soul is strong. Your body is strong."
Gato whirls around once more. "But you are not a beast. Within your heart beats compassion and mercy. With that, your hands will always be too soft to reach the world. Make peace with your current strength... or decide how much of yourself you are willing to sacrifice for true power." He then begins to stride once more towards the exit, as the broken man further within is set upon a stretcher and carefully settled in.
Hitomi is much stronger then the one Gato just defeated. She would know; she took two blows from Gato and is only injured, while he may be in the hospital for weeks. Yet how much does that matter, when the gulf between her and people like the elder Futaba remains so broad...?
COMBATSYS: Gato has ended the fight here.
Her mouth works soundlessly when told her fist was too weak to reach the world, like only the monsters could? Strength goes out of her legs though she doesn't fall, she leans back against the window in response to the slap of wind that stings her cheek. And continues into her bow regardless.
You had to be willing to hurt and nearly kill people to prove you had strength? She hated that tone in his voice as he said it.
A childish refusal She screams defiantly at his back as he turns to walk away.
"The world doesn't need any more monsters, or people willing to give up on things that are important to them, or living life! To be strong!"
Hitomi was hurting so badly, more than she was injured. But the eyes were lighting up and burning with a drive to keep going. Limbs moving as she wanted to stand up to Gato. She wanted to fight until the conclusion because if there was even a sliver of hope she would cling to it and feed off it.
What she really wanted restrained her fist.
Her every movement was tournament legal, from the way she struck and angled her fist it was all done to cause less damage and pain, avoid striking at vital areas. She lived, worked as a waitress, studied as a student and trained at a still dilapidated dojo they were slowly and gradually repairing at a rate similar to the decay and spreading damage. Every day was eventful, filled with joy and laughter. She wouldn't sacrifice building, creating or beautifying... restoring a daughters dojo in memory of her father. Buying cheaper clothes and working them herself into something more fashionable, she could take some pride in. taking time to put smiles on people's faces when and where you could because the gift of doing so came back.
It felt genuine and good. In the middle of so much horror and war in the world; they needed more of that, not more people as weapons.
" Was siehst du vor deiner Faust?!" (What do you see in front of your fist!)
Was it a world he wanted to interact and exist in!! Why raise your fist at all if there was not some conflict to resolve and settle. Why outrageously tell someone as gentle as Hitomi that their fists can't reach this world, if yours can! -- for what reason are they that strong?
Gato slows down when Hitomi yells that refusal, coming to a stop. The spark of her drive to fight seems renewed. Although he has already taken the measure. The fight is over; she would have possibly died, had he not held back his fist. There's no reaction to turn back and possibly continue the brief duel the pair had.
"I did not expect such judgement from you. I speak the truth. You wish to remain human... and to do so, you are weak. That is the way of the world. Since I was a boy, I devoted my life to my fists. Striving only to better myself!! The ultimate destructive power to take down any opponent, no matter who they might be!! I was not blessed to stand amongst the strong naturally. The difference between us... is sacrifice. Equivalent exchange. While you laugh, my fist grows stronger. While you work this pathetic shop, my fist grows stronger!! Staring into the sky with your inane dreams, MY FIST GROWS STRONGER!! Over months, days, years, you will fall behind. You can never train enough, never fight enough!! That is why I said, you are not a beast. Because in a day, you can feel you have done enough. That is how the weak feel!!"
Gato cracks his neck slowly to the side, unscathed from both fights. "What made you stop growing, woman? Did you surpass your peers? Did you feel you were strong enough? Did you lose a master who could keep teaching you more? Or have you measured your discipline in hours spent per day? There is no one reason you stand so far beneath me. It is a hundred differences, over a lifetime. Drive..."
Gato lifts up a fist, and slowly clenches it. "You lack drive...! That is what it is. You are satisfied. I am not. I have someone I must defeat. And I will walk this hell until I manage." The vengeance and rage within his soul surges upwards at that, finally beginning to walk away once more. "Some day, a man like me will come. And he will not be held back by your weakness as I was. Resolve yourself that when it comes, you do not see a life of regrets, as you lay broken on the floor."
There was nothing weak about remaining human. Monsters killed humans but Heroes killed Monsters! And Heroes were interchangeable with Humans. Her grandfather had explained it once to a teensy wide-eyed and curious Hitomi who had trouble comprehending so many big and unfamiliar words about why some old pictures made him sad. The heroes there were just the people who were more afraid to lose something else than they were otherwise to attempt the impossible or insurmountable. The shiny badges were much to make up for what was lost. They did what they had to because the alternatives or inaction weren't acceptable.
Hitomi continues to stare definance, she had seen one of the naturally gifted and strong people Gato had mentioned, she wasn't like them, she was like him. Hitomi only progressed and bettered herself with hard work. Someone who could start to soar and show genius and talent with just a few lessons and surpass her ability inside of a year, with no knowledge of memory who he was!
He surpassed every expectation you could ever conceive of. She didn't envy Ein... she trailing along and behind trying to help him and wanting to see what he would eventually become. She really liked him and wanted to spend more time with him.
"No, I met someone special, with training he turned out to be a LOT stronger than me."
Her rival was missing, His limits were a total unknown. To climb to those heights such as Gato implied were required through sheer hard work and repetition would have consumed her entire life. She would never get closer to what she truly wanted, her life would be an exercise is missing all like had to offer and accruing the largest of regrets.
Already surrounded by workmates who were telling her she needed to sit and rest, no- get checked out immediately, go in the ambulance! She'd seen someone standing on a plateau well above her, who got there through sheer hard work and sacrifice. Surely there were other ways to reach that point that weren't so... sad.
After he walked away, seated in the back of the ambulance with her duffelbag between her ankles she can see the Eagle with its wings spread across the back contained therein, if squished by her heels. Staring into the sky was a waste of time? Sky blue was her favourite colour and she dreamed of flight and soaring above it all occasionally. It wasn't wasted time if it was appreciated at all. if it was adored and loved. Her wings never got tired and with just a little wind she could fly further and faster than ever.
The smell of cleaner and disinfectant triggered memories of her time spent in the hospital. People in real life didn't just accrue supervillain style enemies that were intent on taking or ruining your life!! But Hitomi did. A very angry and bullish mixed martial arts guy who sicced his fans upon her. A psycho falling out of the sky and stabbing and slashing at her that tore her up so badly she still had all kinds of scars and had spent months in hospital with physiotherapy. She had her share of scars and night terrors. Now this.
She was surrounded by children at play when Freeman attacked a jogger and then her. She would choose to make the same choice and stand there, time after time. It was her or them.
What did she see beyond her fist looking at him? A boy who had been convinced he had to begin down this road too long ago, beyond the point of dedication! Closer to being a martyr, accepting of a nearly limitless sacrifice for some dark goal. In his own words she accepts what he tells her about him, and then subjects them to her interpretation. Her fist lowered after staring past it for a brief moment at his back as he walked away.
She'd never seen a fighter like him before. He was an obscene and painful monument to what was possibly if you were consumed by something. She didn't even understand how that kind of strength was possible.
Log created on 01:46:47 01/08/2018 by Hitomi, and last modified on 02:33:26 01/14/2018.