Neo League 0120 - NL#0126: Mei Lin vs Fumiko

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Description: In a Bathhouse brawl, Earthen Underdog Mei Lin takes on last season's semi-finalist, Fumiko Abe. Can the practiced artist prove her position no mere fluke, or will Mei Lin show that you should never overlook the ground under your feet? (Winner: Fumiko)

Third place. Not an inauspicious position to claim in the last Neo League running. And particularly not for a first time competitor. A life of artistic practice has lent itself well to Fumiko Abe, she has proven that her art has a place in a competitive scene the world over. But each win, and even each substantial loss, turns the screws in her mind.

The new climb begins appropriately enough with Fumiko looking at a picture of Mt. Fuji on the wall of a serene bathhouse chosen by the promoters as the venue for this fight. She considers the illustration, finds it a little old fashioned for her tastes, but still good. It has its charms. She smiles, her hand resting on the hilt of the longer of her two swords. She is at ease, but ready. Waiting for the crews to begin, for the call to fight to get her attention.

Final preparations, she tugs her gloves on tightly, rubs her palms together, feeling the grip stick as she likes. She turns and steps past some crew of the fight and stands, waiting for her opponent.

The crowds, half bather and half fight spectator, are already beginning to circle and murmur. And in the moment, Fumiko can put aside the gnawing grief and anger that she feels always harrying her heart and stomach, because she is an artist and it is her time to perform.

While this might have been a grandiose place with its magnificent paintings, Mei Lin was not able to appreciate it. He was able to feel the crowd present, knowing the shapes of everything and everyong through the vibration he felt, and he knew he ended up in some sort of japense bathhouse...

Was this some sort of joke? Or a way for the crew to send him a subtle message? Hard to tell but it surely felt that way. The young man makes his way toward the large wrestling ring in the middle of the male section, where the crowd gathered. He was flustered, obviously, lifting one of his arm up and leaning his head in, "Wha... Come on, it's not that bad, really..."

To Fumiko it might seem obvious what the young man was talking about. His tattered and dusty clothes that had obviously seen better days, his dirty bare feet that shows he obvious doesn't wear or own any shoes. His skin slightly dirtier, as if he was a farmer and worked with soil most of the day.

Bathes were a rare delicacy for him... If he'll get one for free here afterward, who is he to pass? Yet it felt awkward to fight here.

The young man gets ready, assuming his horse stance, knees bent and legs spread wide, both hands at his waist, "May the best fighter win!" Calls out to his opponent.

Fumiko, in many obvious ways, is in stark contrast to her opponent. White hair tied back, it still hangs to near her waist. Her clothing is pressed and clean, if simple in its kendo evoking style. Though she does wear more modern athletic shoes and grip gloves. She is a product of wealth and poise.

But she still laughs when the boy that is her opponent says his piece. "I'm certain that, come what may, we shall both learn from the art of fighting," she tells him, slipping into her stance, sneakers squeaking on the tile floor.

She wonders just what this rustic young man has in store for her. But the smile on her face is pure competitor. She has much to show him, as well.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has joined the fight here.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
FANG             0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0           Fumiko

COMBATSYS: Mei Lin has joined the fight here.

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/////////////////////////     ]
Fumiko           0/-------/------<|-------\-------\0             FANG
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mei Lin          0/-------/-------|

A squeak of shoe on the floor. Fumiko launches herself forward. Cutting in close, she twists, her sword is brought. A flash as the steel catches the light. A wide, sweeping cut that scythes outward in a wide arc slashing violently. A harvest to open the gates of battle.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mei Lin with Bamboo Splitter.

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/////////////////////////     ]
Fumiko           0/-------/-----<<|-------\-------\0             FANG
[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mei Lin          0/-------/---====|

The flash of light from the steel might warn fighters of Fumiko's possibly deadly attacks, but Mei Lin seems to remain unphased by the woman's stance, staring blankly in her direction yet his gaze felt empty as if he was lost in his own thoughts.

Was he distracted? Hard to tell, but Mei Lin fails to react fast enough to Fumiko's sudden dash. His movements were slow as he attempts to leap back to avoid the sweeping slash of Fumiko's blade. Her blade cut through his clothes and flesh like butter, drawing out the first blood of this fight -- a clean and efficient blow that causes him to shriek in pain as he staggers back.

One of his hand reaches out to his midsection, flinching and falling to a knee from the jolt of pain in his abdomen. He grits his teeth and raises his good up. This fight will be quite a good test to his reflexes if he doesn't want to end up torn to shreds.

The man attempts to counter with a side-chop in front of him. He was clearly out of reach for Fumiko, but just as violently as he chops the air, a slab of hard earth bursts from the ground to smash Fumiko's side.

COMBATSYS: Mei Lin successfully hits Fumiko with Stone Spike.

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/////////////////////////     ]
Fumiko           0/-------/--<<<<<|-------\-------\0             FANG
[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mei Lin          0/-------/---====|

A simple cut. Expectations met. Fumiko considers that perhaps her opponent isn't the same caliber as the ones she was facing in the last few bouts of her career. She considers things light, unconcerning, overestimating her young opponent.

Her underestimation of her opponent is how she meets a sharp reminder of the reality of her situation. The strike is hard, it knocks her to the side. She exhales, sharp, pained, rolling and staggering with the force of the blow.

She inhales quickly, twists on her heel. Her eyes sharp, wide with a spout of violent fury. She dashes forward, hand on the hilt of the blade. She cuts wide, dashing with a killing intent. To cut and move and to place herself where she has the best possible approach to her situation.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mei Lin with Positioned Strike.

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/////////////////////////     ]
Fumiko           0/-------/<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0             FANG
[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Mei Lin          0/-------/=======|

After his assault, Mei Lin rises back to his feet and back into his stance. His eyes still had that blank look to them, yet the determination and focus was obvious on his face even if he wasn't quite staring properly at Fumiko.

When Fumiko lunges at him, his movements feel clumsy, lacking the speed and reflexes his opponent seems to possess. The blade cuts through him once more, making him wince at the violent assault, yet he hardly has the time to recover with how close Fumiko was to him. The blood of the new cut loses itself in the red color of his outfit.

Mei Lin attempts to retaliate, his fingers joined together as he tries he goes for swift rapid strike with the tip of those fingers aimed at Fumiko's head, his fingers and strike as hard as rock itself even though it came from the tip of his fingers.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Stone Crane Fury from Mei Lin with Flashing Blade EX.

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Mei Lin          1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\0           Fumiko

"I apologize for considering you a lesser opponent," Fumiko says as the pressure of her assault increases. "I will treat you with the respect you deserve." The hit angered her, but her anger points inward as well as outward. She has done this before. It pained her greatly. She must remind herself to face all challenges with the intensity they deserve.

When her opponent moves closer, striking for her head. Fumiko leans into motion. His arms are shorter, his reach isn't quite as long as hers. Moreover, she has a sword. The blade flashes out, an upward, gutting cut, slicing for ribs, cutting and stepping past her opponent's attack. A fluid violence, and one that ends with Fumiko standing, untouched, clicking her blade back into its floral sheathe.

Being underestimated was the story of Mei Lin's life ~ Fumiko wasn't the first one, nor would be the last to consider her a less competent or capable fighter for various reasons.

The rising sword slash pierces through Mei Lin's attack, uprooting him from his horse stance and knocking him away a couple of feet before he falls down on his back. Whenever his feet left the ground, he always had a hard time to land and it shows just by how he crashes near the edge of the fitting circle.

Mei Lin groans in pain and slowly turns on the ground to get back on his knees. He pants softly and his body trembles a bit from the pain of the various cuts he got, his skin warm with his own blood. "Tsss..." He says through gritted teeth, "Everyone does, just because I'm not like the other fighters," The man says with bitterness.

"But I'll show them... You, and everyone!" Mei Lin shouts he rises up and stomps the ground, causing large boulgers to erupt from the ground in front of him, each the size of melons as he spins around and kicks and punches them, sending one after the other half and dozen small boulders in Fumiko's direction, each time shouting a 'kya'.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Mei Lin's Rock Barrage.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mei Lin          1/---====/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1           Fumiko

A pained young man. Her opponent is angry, Fumiko knows the emotion well. She watches him seethe and speak with sharp tongue and acid.

His stone assault comes with a promise. One that he will show. That he will prove himself to her. And that promise makes Fumiko smile. Even as she darts left and right, the scabbard of her blade being used to bat and brace the stone rain coming at her. Cut, knicked and dinged by the assault, Fumiko nevertheless stands resolute. She assumes her stance, and smiles. "Come then, show me what you are. Be your art, and let me enjoy it." Her breathing slows, her eyes close peacefully, things are at rest. Her moment will come, but, as she says, "It will take your all to pass me. Prove yourself."

COMBATSYS: Fumiko enters a meditative state.

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Mei Lin          1/---====/=======|>>>>>>>\>>-----\1           Fumiko

With every thrown boulder at Fumiko, the young man was drawing closer to her. Spinning around and kicking them, punching the boulders to hurl them in Fumiko's direction shortly after they burst forth from the ground.

"So be it, you're asking for it!" Mei Lin says when he's finally he has finally closed the distance between the swordwoman to go on for a direct assault. Mei Lin leaps forward to cover what little distance there was, his right foot going straight for Fumiko's shin as he lands. His leg moves swoftly, going into a flurry of low kicks and middle kicks, a rapid succession of powerful kicks.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Mei Lin's Avalanche Kick.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Mei Lin          0/-------/---====|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1           Fumiko

"I am."

Fumiko's eyes snap open. The young man in the air. Closing distance. The world goes slow. A low kick, and Mei Lin's foot cracks off the side of the ivory white and cherry blossom painted scabbard. The sound clatters off the walls of the bath house. The people watching, quiet.

The dance begins. Each kick in the flurry moves Fumiko back, but each one doesn't meet flesh, it clacks and sounds against the scabbard. Each hit punctuated with a huff of exertion from Fumiko. Quiet sounds that, as the flurry goes on, are more and more an encouraging series of short exclamations.

The last of the blows sends Fumiko, guarded, sliding back a short distance. She swiftly resumes her stance. "Now, allow me to show you what I may do."

She lashes toward her younger opponent. The blade is near silent as it draws. She steps through the strike. Passing by Mei Lin like water flows past stones. But the cut happens, the red letting strike intends to put the boy down. And the first blow attempted is not the last. Fumiko quickly turns on Mei Lin and, drawing her second blade, enters in a series of cuts and cross slashes. To fill the air as red as a sunset. Forgoing the elegant draws for a violence that showcases the true brutality of combat.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mei Lin with Under A Setting Sun.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Mei Lin          0/-------/---====|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

With every kick came Mei Lin's ki shout to empower the strike, every time it hit the scabbard a loud crack came from the raw strength she put in everyone of them. Yet as he fails to break through his opponent's guard, Mei Lin seems to pushes himself relentlessly until he grew too fatigued to carry on with the succession of blows.

The young teenager pants softly, his flurry coming to an end with that last kick that sends Yumiko sliding back. He tries to regain his breath, regain his composure, but he had given it all and Fumiko was ready to show him what she was made of.

Mei Lin staggers back and tries to move away from the incoming blade, but he knew his speed was greatly outmatch by Fumiko's one as the first strike causes him to growl in pain. He cowers back, stomping the ground to cause a wall of earth to rise in front of him to block some of the slashes, but Fumiko was already on the other side, the blade sliding through his flesh and cut him. Dozens of cuts across his body, his arms, shins, legs and midsection, drawing even more blood.

TThe fact he was still standing was a mystery, Mei Lin pushing its body to its limit, able to forgo the pain he felt temporarily. His stance was faltering, his body resisting it all out of sheer will but he would not last much longer.

"I... I'm not done... Yet..." He says through gritted teeth and he lunges forward to try and delivers a brutal palm strike for Fumiko's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Mei Lin's Strong Punch.

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Mei Lin          0/-------/-======|>------\-------\0           Fumiko

Perseverance. An appreciable trait in a fighter. Even after the assault that he's taken, Mei Lin pushes onward. Moving forward, trying to lead himself to victory on will alone. For a moment, Fumiko wonders if that is what Kenji did that day. If he pushed himself to the very limits of his endurance.

She is also reminded of her bout with Bison. Each hammering blow threatening to kill her. Each strike she made as though attacking an oncoming train. But she reached him, she knows she made him take his fighting seriously. And part of her felt pride in that.

This next strike of Mei Lin's is slower than the earlier ones. Fumiko slips aside it, barely sliding past the young man. "You fight with determination," she tells him. "It's a fire in you. But you aren't a brute. Your motions aren't meant for brutality."

She slicks forward, drawing her secondary short blade. Close, cutting, a quick snap of steel to place a mark on the boy, and so that Fumiko can maintain focus on controlling her defensive footing. Practiced positions keep you safe.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mei Lin with Evasive Strike.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Mei Lin          0/-------/-======|>>-----\-------\0           Fumiko

"What would you know of my fighting style? Hun Gar Kung Fu is all about powerful strikes," Mei Lin says through gritted teeth. Mei Lin groans in pain, his focus shaken slightly, enough to cause him surge of pain in his shins. The young man's body tenses up and he falls to one knee even before Fumiko attacks him, as if he was suddenly hit by some phantom strike.

Truth be told, it was the blacklash of his technique : the echoes of some of the cuts finally hitting him, the pain he was able to delay haunting him at the worst possible time. In this disadvantageous position, Mei Lin hardly has the time to recover before another cut slices through him, one he manages to ignore momentarily but that still causes him to stagger back.

"I'll show you brutality," He snorts as he leans forward, hands spread backward. The earth underneath is feet begins to move on its own, ondulating like a wave and carrying him back toward Fumiko, charging her head on and lauching him at her for a shoulder tackle.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Mei Lin's Landslide.

[                           \\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Mei Lin          1/-----==/=======|>>>----\-------\0           Fumiko

"Power and brutality are not the same thing," Fumiko chides the faltering young man. She knows he's beat, but she cannot refuse herself the moment of mercy to allow any room for error on her part. The young man could learn, but it will take time. Hopefully his persistence will not come to a head against some of the harsher opponents Fumiko knows exist within the League.

She holds firm, resolute in her own pride and self confidence. Her ability to push on and succeed something she has total faith in. When the ground shakes, she stands her own. The young man hurtles at her, slams against her. She meets him with all of her own force. Sneakers squeak against the torn and ruptured tiles. She plants her weight and forces the young man aside. As the quake dies down, the crews and witnesses regain their footing, Fumiko stands, undeterred.

She reaches back to adjust her hair tie, to make sure of its holding. "Do not mistake me for something soft and fragile. I am an artist, I am a performer, but I am also a competitor." She settles into position, sees her moment, and lunges forward. A heavy, sweeping blow. A near mirror of her first. A simple, effective, core technique of her art, practiced and violently swift.

COMBATSYS: Mei Lin blocks Fumiko's Power Strike.

[                           \\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Mei Lin          1/-----==/=======|>>>----\-------\0           Fumiko

A flash of insight and a cunning idea from the young man as he opens his arms wide and uses his chi to cause the earth beside him to stir. Patch of earth flies to his forearms, attaching themselves to his arms and hardening, giving him a temporary shield to use against the sweeping strike.

It was similar than the previous one Fumiko had used, predictable enough even if it was different to allow him to block the incoming blow, his arms moving to block the blade without too much fear from the deadly steel to cut his flesh this time. While he seemed unmoved by her attack, his body trembles and the man lets a groan of pain as more cuts on his body pains him like a scorching pain, draining what little bit of endurance he has left.

"Just wait when break your guard and you'll see..." Mei Lin mutters under his breath as he lunges forward to give in a final, desperate assault to hit Fumiko. The man goes into a succession of palm strike aimed at Fumiko's midsection, one after the other, finishing the flurry with a loud footstomp against the ground that causes the earth to tremble, a pillar of hard rock bursting forth to knock Fumiko away.

COMBATSYS: Mei Lin can no longer fight.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Fumiko           0/-------/----<<<|

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Mei Lin's Gaea's Wrath.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Fumiko           0/-------/----<<<|

With every strike he delivers, his last remaining strength fades from him, the pain overwhelming him and after that last footstomp, Mei Lin lets a soft groan and finally crumbles to the ground, succumbing to his injuries finally.

Cleverness bears fruit. The sword meets stone. The reverb fills Fumiko's arm, causing her to grimace and grit. A hiss escapes her throat, a flare of fury at the dulling of her blade. Still, she would care for them when she could return to her studio. Once the young man was put down.

She spins away, resheathing her blade and kick-stepping back to keep one moment, one foot ahead of her stone slinging opponent. And it is that one step that gives her the moment of space and that ability to step back and weave about the strike that comes her way.

She darts back, the ground quakes. The pillar of earth roars upward through the splitting floor of the bath house. And Fumiko dances away from it, hair fanning out behind her, she spins to a stop, hand on hilt ready for more. Eyes wide and wild with the rush of good competition.

And then, reality. The young man falls. Fumiko relaxes her stance. She looks down, takes a few soft steps toward her opponent's fallen form. "You are determined, and I am happy to have seen your determination. However, your form needs work. Crudeness does not serve you well," she states, and bows, and turns away to leave the fighting circle.

Fumiko Abe's ascent begins again.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has ended the fight here.

Log created on 10:49:21 11/07/2018 by Fumiko, and last modified on 14:27:15 11/07/2018.