SNF 2018.10 - SNF: Break The Facade

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Description: Deep in the heart of Kobe, sitting in an weathered old Noh Theater, is the legendary TERROR MASK. Named for its gaudy reputation to draw in tourists, as well as it's presence in a local wrestling circuit, it arrives to the Saturday Night Fights for what else: advertising. Fumiko is required to investigate. Little did she know there is someone else with designs on the mask, that being Mitsuru, the Platinum Brawler! Mitsuru is required to put on the mask, and be 'possessed'. Can Fumiko rescue poor Mitsuru before somebody gets hurt? Also can she do so without breaking the priceless mask (in the sense that there is no price on it?)

The TERROR MASK was one of the prized treasures of Kobe.

WEll, not old Kobe. New Kobe; in recent memory it was everywhere. Showing up in local shows, news articles, wrestling leagues, even Kobe tourist materials. Coming onto the face of Kobe about 3 years ago, it was quickly brought around as the icon of everything Kobe. You couldn't go anywhere in Kobe without seeing the advertisements: Come see the LEGENDARY TERROR MASK at local Noh Theater. The theater didn't even have real shows anymore, just Kobe related theatrical productions. It was described, without any hint of irony, that the TERROR MASK was the Kobe version of Lightning Spangles.
Mitsuru thought it was stupid.

The audience filled the theater back to front, as the lanky teenage girl scowls at the team of TERROR MASK professionals. The mask itself was a white mask, only showing the eyes, with a vague bloodstain in the shape of teeth on the lower portion. It was almost a hockey mask... except it lacked any of the features useful for hockey. Mitsuru couldn't even hold the mask, not until it was time to put it on. The robed individuals saunter around, as the emcee builds up the hype for the legendary TERROR MASK. The dark-haired teenager was at least allowed to dress outside her Seijyun uniform; garbed in a black longcoat and commissar hat, she bore bindings under her coat, as she crosses her arms impatiently. "LO! AND SEE! THE POOR SACRIFICE CHOSEN! A VIRGIN BEAUTY-" Mitsuru stomps her foot, blushing furiously. "-HAS BEEN OFFERED TO THE TERROR MASK! BUT WHAT THEN, WHEN SHE IS POSSESSED? WHAT THEN, WILL THE LEGENDARY TERROR MASK OF KOBE DO, AS DARK SPIRITS FILL HER PRECIOUS INNOCENCE-" Mitsuru prepares another stamp, as the handlers finally place the mask on her. Mitsuru gives a sullen sigh.

"Whatever, lets just get this over with."

And she saunters out to the stage.

The emcee, a needly man in white robes, gasps in terror as Mitsuru comes out. "LO! AND IT HAS COME OUT!" Mitsuru walks towards the emcee, as he hams it up, recoiling in terror at the girl in the mask. "THE SACRIFICE HAS GONE WILD BY THE EVIL SPIRITS! OH HELP US ALL, FOR THE POOR GIRL HAS BECOME A DEMON! FLEE! FLEE WHILE YOU CAN!" He declares to the audience, who eats up the ham and cheese. "FLEE BEFORE-"

The man is cut short, to a round of applause, as Mitsuru kicks him in the groin.

"Raaagh I'm possessed and stuff who will stop me." Mitsuru deadpans miserably.

The things that are done for the sake of the show. Fumiko respected classical theater, though she was loathe to admit she never truly understood it. She had wanted to review footage of her last league matchup. She had wanted to work on the painting she had half completed in her studio. She had a laundry list of things she wanted to do besides portray a hero. The notion of it rankled at her. It reminded her so much of why she does what she does, and why it eats at her.

But there she was, waiting, watching from the wings as the TERROR MASK is brought out to the shock of the crowd. It really was a terribly silly thing, and it undercut the tradition of theater, and made a mockery of the current Darkstalker situation in Japan.

She would rather be doing a lot of things, and here she was meant to play act with a girl in a mask.

Fumiko's blood bubbled, tension just under the surface as she hears the deadpan cue. With a step, she glides onto the stage, her hair flows behind her, her simple swordswoman's outfit moving with her step. She has on stage shoes, her usual sporting gloves aren't on. Fumiko cannot help but want to complain that those in the past would have killed for basic modern materials in combat.

She sighs. "I will stand against you," she speaks up, she can talk before a crowd fairly easily, she's done demonstrations before. And with her half-hearted posturing, she draws her blade to dramatically and practically uselessly point it toward Mitsuru.

The blade catches the light, it's no prop. The edge is terribly real. Fumiko knows, after all, that the girl she's 'acting' opposite is also a competitor in the League.

Mitsuru had no such appreciation for theater.

For her, she was just annoyed at how stupid the whole thing was. Even as the emcee rolls on the ground, wincing and writhing, Mitsuru hovered over him, circling him. She didn't like audience, or demonstrations. And while she was first place... she didn't know the rankings of her opponent. Hell, she didn't even realize Fumiko was in the Neo-League. She just was going to fight someone out of Neo-League, and Seijyun High would get paid for it. ANd she would come down to Kobe. So when Fumiko stands out to play her part?

Mitsuru doesn't waste time.

"Oh aaaah." She whines, rolling her shoulders. "So a brave and- and noble warrior comes forward and- So the brave and noble warrior comes forward to fight me." She stumbles over her lines, as the audience and the camera's weight rolls over her. As if to make up for the embarrassment, she gives a stomp to the emcee. The handlers behind the scenes actually -wince- as they watch. This was off-script. But after the stomp, Mitsuru turns backt Fumiko. As the sword points at her, she instinctively strides forward. The handlers quickly get the emcee off stage, as the audience applauds.

The emcee cannot help but give a dramatic bow as he limps off stage.

Mitsuru, in comparison... doesn't seem to react to the audience, and tries to speak over them, unsuccessfully. "So you are seriously into this? I bet you really think I am a monster" She begins. As the audience patter dies down, she repeats herself. "What, are you seriously into this?" She scoffs, as she spreads her arms apart. She... did not have a fighting stance. Her guard was wide open, and she was trying to act the brute. But she was approaching Fumiko. "Calm down, it's just a mask!" Was the words from the girl. "What the hell are you, anyways, is that supposed to be a real sword?"

Mitsuru stops her advance midstep, as she realizes the implication of the question.

Fumiko has lived around audiences for a time. Showcases, displays, people observing and considering her performance has always been something she has lived with. Even if most of them are unconcerned with the notion of performance when things matter the most, the audience is still there. Still watching and judging even when most of them didn't know what they were looking at.

An emcee limps off stage. Handlers wince. The girl gives a weak and lacking performance. And then the girl shows her fear through rage. Fumiko's head inclines. Her features soften, if just for a moment. But she sheathes her sword with a practiced professionalism. The young girl is troubled, and maybe in a moment of displacing her own insecurities to help another, Fumiko can find some peace.

"The sword is real," she confirms, "Anything less would be an insult to your art." The audience is a distant matter, one that's little concern as Fumiko takes slow, measured steps around Mitsuru, careful not to upstage her, walking so that she isn't blocking out the girl in the mask.

"Just a mask. It's always 'just a mask', isn't it? Yours, mine, those that watch. Yours is more visible, and it controls you more obviously, but perhaps that is just the folly of youth." Her posture slides to a slight crouch, her hand hovers over the hilt of her swords. She smiles. "Let us perform, show me everything that burns within you."

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has started a fight here.

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Fumiko           0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru has joined the fight here.

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Fumiko           0/-------/------<|-------\-------\0          Mitsuru

Fumiko lunges forward, eager to see what the girl opposite her has to show for her skill. She doesn't hold back, she knows of Mitsuru's rankings and there is hope that this angry child might be as interesting an opponent as Bob Richards had been. The cut is wide, sweeping, a dramatic slash, but one that isn't without practice or consideration with its killing intent. An opponent move to wow an audience and to remind an opponent that this is to be a true bout.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru just-defends Fumiko's Bamboo Splitter!

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Fumiko           0/-------/------<|-------\-------\0          Mitsuru


Mitsuru sputters it back stupidly. As Fumiko draws upon her, cutting at her before even the blade comes, Mitsuru actually takes a step back. "Are you- are you making fun of me?" She spits back. She gives a disgusted gag as she snorts. "Oh, I just spit in the mask, hold on-" But there would be no hold on. As the sword comes, she staggers back. "Wait! WAIT!" She rambles, as she brings her arms forward, a guard actually coming together thoughtlessly.

The technique comes almost instinctively

Mitsuru seizes the blade between both of her hands, snatching them against the flat of the palm. It doesn't stop the momentum cold; but the edge is gently nuzzled between her hands. Falling to one knee, she lets the momentum flow to the earth, as she emulates the samurais of old. She doesn't say anything for a moment, though he gaze from the mask locks on. Her muscles tight, her grip solid.

Fortunately, the mask conceals her confusion.

"Uh... uh rawr! Rawr and- rawr and-" The muttering and stammering might not conceal it so well. Panicking, she pushes away the blade, releasing it. Twisting with the push, she hurls out a staggering mule kick towards Fumiko's midsection, unstable, uncertain. But powerful; she wanted distance. The audience, the people, the cameras, and Fumiko's own intensity...

She was getting overwhelmed already, at this opening play.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko Toughs Out Mitsuru's Medium Kick!

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Fumiko           0/-------/---<<<<|=------\-------\0          Mitsuru

A catch? Brilliant. Simply brilliant. The form was near instinctive. The surprise in her voice, the uncertainty, it was all pushed aside for a catch that preserves blade and body in one. The young woman under the mask was something, Fumiko felt, something to be proud of for Japan's sake.

"I am doing just the opposite," she tells Mitsuru softly in the moment in time stalled by the staying of her blade. "The pantomime doesn't suit you. But clearly the art of fighting does."

Fumiko Abe appears still, calm and steady, but under her is a torrent of excitement and anticipation. A chance to experience a young fighter taking their own steps thrills her. A master like Bob Richards, or even Mike Bison are respected showcases if painful ones. But there was something in bringing out the best of the youth that Fumiko Abe felt pride in. And Fumiko loved that swell of pride.

The kick lashes out and Fumiko leans into it. Her blade clicking a moment before the kick strikes. She curls at the thrust of the foot, exhaling, but she doesn't yield a bit of ground. She uses the moment, the burst of pain and the clarity it brings to step herself forward, unyielding and unrelenting. She gives all for position and for potency in her art. And it's at this close range she unleashes a wave of steel. Two swords, drawn as one in a single sweeping strike toward Mitsuru's torso.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mitsuru with Goryo's Wrath ES.

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Fumiko           0/-------/-<<<<<<|====---\-------\0          Mitsuru

Fumiko pride would be toxic to Mitsuru.

Fumiko might not recognize it, as she declares she isn't. But Mitsuru reaction isn't simply schoolgirlish shyness. As she talks about the 'art of fighting' it seems to hit something inside Mitsuru. As Fumiko leans in the kick, Misuru panicks again. Unlike before, her instincts betray her, as she is give a twice cut. Blood, real blood comes, and her voice changes. It isn't gruff, or tough.

But much more high-pitched.

"You want -art-?" She seethes, almost squeaks as she touches on her blood. Her muscles tense, as the fatigue that touches upon her fades almost instantly. "You think I'm some kind of loser artist because I'm from Seijyun High?" There is a brief glimmer before she loses her temper. It's well telegraphed. And when she explodes? It's a frantic flailing, as she starts flailing with her feet. She opens with a wild roundhouse kick. "You -are- making fun of me! You- you are supposed to be scared! I'm a monster, right?" Her voice deepens at the end as she chains two more kicks, finishing with a stomping assault to try and bring Fumiko does. She was bleeding, panicked. But she wasn't scared. No.

She was angry.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Dragon Killing Spiral from Mitsuru with Flashing Blade EX.

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Fumiko           0/-------/-<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\1          Mitsuru

The blades, flicked clean, return to their sheathes by Fumiko's careful and quick hand. Her pride and anger is toxic to herself, even as it pushes her to strive forward. To bleed over to others and to drive them in dark ways is merely expected if not intended.

"I'm an artist. I live for it." The Art is, in reality, just about all Fumiko Abe lives for these days. What she had considered a life is gone, she only has her means of expression to live through. And thus she does, her words come hollow and distant, bitter and sweet in even measure. But they come easily. She feels no threat from the girl, and in so, she feels little anger that normally rises up in the heat of combat.

The kicks are flailing, strong, but unpracticed. Perhaps less so than the filthy young man she faced in the bath house. The movement from Fumiko is swift and cutting. A flash of the blade, directed along Mitsuru's leg and toward the center of her mass. The light, the sound of the draw, and just as fast as it's drawn, the blade is sheathed again. Draw, strike, sheathe.

"I'm not, but I would appreciate if you would take this seriously. You're ranked higher than your performance suggests," she tuts the girl, shaking her head, long hair white as snow flowing behind her. "You are from Seijyun? Try not to disappoint your school."

Mitsuru wanted to cry.

The cut that intercepts her is another attack, another cut, another blow. And it hurt, more than any punch. Mitsuru has never been cut with a blade like this before, and it scared it. It was new hurt that scared her, and Fumiko was fighting back, and stopping her attacks, and as she screams, as she grunts and screams as she staggers back, Fumiko kept talking to her and she felt it in her head and she- and she-


That was the screaming now, as Mitsuru's body, what little exposed, turns red. She grabs her leg and torso, bleeding, as she stomps around the stage. She rips off the mask. "STOP IT! STOP! IT! I AM NOT A CHILD!" Her face was slimy wet, with tears on her face. Rage, slicing rage boils out of her as she lashes out at her, shaking the mask at her direction. "You stupid.... stupid! Stupid artist! You think you are anybody special because you can paint a stupid paper!" She throws the legendary TERROR MASK on the ground.

And gives it an executing stomp.

The mask shatters as both audience and stagehand gasp. As the Emcee faints in shock, Mitsuru rushes forward at Fumiko. No finesse, no style. Just punches, a blazing machine-gun rat-tat-tat of punches straight at Fumiko from the angry teenger. As the flurry of punches intensifies, faster and faster as silvery energy floods over her punches. "I bet that's why you're here! I bet that's why you fight! Because you can't sell your stupid paintings! You can't sell anything or do anything right and you are stupid, stupid, stupid-" And the assault stops, as she gasps for air.

"... Stupid!"

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Mitsuru's Blazing Hell Fist EX.

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Fumiko           1/-------/<<<<<<<|=======\-------\1          Mitsuru

"If you are not a child, why do you act like one?" Fumiko asks, watching the girl scream and stomp on the stage. She simply holds her position, hand ready, checked, eager to be used and put on a violet display.

"While I do paint, my real art is my swordsmanship. There is more to beauty than oil and watercolor," she tells Mitsuru, unsmiling and stoic. She has to play the part of the elder here. The anger she normally feels lesser in the face of an opponent like Mitsuru. To Fumiko, the girl is a mouthy young thing, but another with potential.

The attack comes, little finesse or art, but Fumiko Abe can appreciate the vulgar display of raw power. Even as she uses the scabbard of her blade to deflect and absorb blow by blow with a rattling clacking report, she thinks to combatants like Mike Bison. She also thinks to the poor reaction she had in her bout with the American Darkstalker. Sour taste rises to her throat.

Anger in that moment. The one moment challenging why she is there. Her eyes close briefly and she takes a shortened breath. "Do not question what you don't want to know," she says, voice like steel under her silk demeanor.

She steps forward, blade flashing, a cascade of petals fall to the ground in Fumiko's wake. Chi manifestations, the vanish in a moment, but for that moment they are there, the real meat of Fumiko's assault, the pure steel of her blade, intends to slice through a young girl for a lesson in respect and in the art of speed and precision.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mitsuru with Scattered Petals.

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Fumiko           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>-\1          Mitsuru

Mitsuru's temper escalates.

Being called out that she is acting like a child is fuel to the wildfire that's spreading across the stage. The mask is shattered, there is no illusions of what is clearly not only a ruined show, but also a Kobe icon being smashed before an adoring audience. And the flowery language is met with a deep breath, as she grits her teeth. She steps forward, mindlessly moving the bat away the sudden flash step-

There is a silence.

It wasn't a disemboweling strike. It could have been. A little adjustment, a little deeper. A little help from Mitsuru, who was doing just enough to keep her vitals together. And the perfect execution of form would have been that: execution. A slice across the ribs, front to back. Bone sheltered against the blade. But as Mitsuru holds her arms in the air, eyes wide, she pauses there. "I'm... I'm..." Dull stammers, as she touches on her bandaged chest. Blood. There wasn't supposed to be blood.

"I'm dying...?"

There is a smooth motion, like ripples of water across a pond. That was how you would describe Mitsuru throwing out the move of all deep punches; driving in a heaving punch. There is no screaming, no more sounds other than heaving breathing through the nose. More punches, punch punch punches, faster and faster. The platinum light of chi cascades over her wildly, as the punches become outright slashes. The assault quietly ends with an uppercut, breaking it apart as the silver energy still glows over her bloodied torso. Her expression is blank, as she blinks. She trembles.

"... Why... what?"

COMBATSYS: Fumiko blocks Mitsuru's The Path Of The Raging Demon.

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Fumiko           0/-------/----<<<|>>>----\-------\0          Mitsuru

A portrait of a fighter as a young woman. Fury and inferiority fuels a white flame.

Fumiko, clad in white as she normally, has cast aside the playacting, cast aside a concern for the audience she performs for. She is performing for self, and more than that, for her opponent. Bring your greatest, display every once of your passion and your practice. A thousand strokes of a brush, and a thousand strokes of a blade. Both will decorate history.

And here, the swordswoman shows no quarter in her strikes. And with that quarter, perhaps Fumiko will finally get through to a glimmer of the potential underneath the self doubt.

Platinum strikes. Faster and faster still, it's everything for Fumiko to keep ahead of the blows. To deflect and take each one that roars down at her, bracing the pain, embracing the flow of battle. The final blow one that cannot land precisely, and Fumiko spins away, her hair fanning out behind her, settling in a waist long cascade when she resumes her stance.

"So that is your art, impressive for someone so young," Fumiko judges. "But you may find me not so delicate as my profession suggests," she adds, smiling like a shark.

Fumiko lunges forward. She twists, feints and lunges through with a daring slash to place herself in a prime spot for her next deadly stroke.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko successfully hits Mitsuru with Positioned Strike.

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Fumiko           0/-------/---<<<<|====---\-------\0          Mitsuru

Whatever fun Mitsuru imagined she could have had, the dream was now dead.

She was in shock at the drastic blow from Fumiko, the wrenching slice. The art was lost on her, only fear, confusion. And as Fumiko draws on the raw potential, the raw force that was flinging around her, the girl still has that shell around her as the strike pierces her guard.

And with it, any last vestiges of composure.

"Stop it- STOP PRETENDING TO BE NICE! I am NOT ARTFUL! I have NO POTENTIAL!" Chaos, pure chaos was overflowing as she takes more blood. Her eyes were bloodshot, her face puffy. "You try killing me, you say nice words- get out of my head! LEAVE MY HEAD!" She begins to throw her hands around, bedlam. Shimmering dollops of platnium fire scatter around her, as she flailing around wildly. Struggling to make sense, struggle to strike back. No discipline, no restraint. Well, for all the lack of restraint, no killing instinct in it. As the audience gasps at the stray fire, it's clear that this is a full tantrum. Fumiko might have fought many opponents so far.

But how many have truly been children?

COMBATSYS: Fumiko interrupts Flash War Dance from Mitsuru with Left-Handed Draw EX.

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Fumiko           0/-------/---<<<<|=======\-------\0          Mitsuru

Fumiko has fought few children. She has seen more than she had before. Knights, boxers, wrestlers. The American Marine may have been young, or she may simply have just been short, Fumiko didn't really know. But only recently has she really seen the young throw themselves into a fight. The one she had faced had been raw and rough, but at least he was serious in his intent.

This one? How could she be placed so prominently in the standings? This was pitiable. Or perhaps worse, this was a girl that wasn't taking herself or her art seriously at all.

Anger and wounded pride take a cold, hard edge in Fumiko's eyes. She watches the start of the fire. Platinum energy bursting and boiling to the breaking point. Sloppy and pitiful. An insult to combat arts. Fumiko feels a lance of bitter ice through her heart and stomach.

A simple stride. She doesn't use her dominant hand. The cut there is false, a feinting flick of the wrist. Her left hand draws a blade from her left side, the short blade cuts outward, it scythes through the starting of the flame, slashing for Mitsuru's belly. A flicking cut from an angry woman. A woman insulted by someone like Mitsuru holding the rank she does.

"Enough!" she speaks with steel in her tone as sharp as her blades. "This is a farce."

What was Mitsuru fighting for.

She wanted to bully people around, and for people to admire her fighting skill. And yet, every fight up to this point has been a struggle. She hates it. She shouldn't have to struggle. Layer by layer, Fumiko's disgust cuts through her with the blade, as the flailing assault cuts short with a slice to her belly. The bandages are getting wet now under her longcoat, as she winces hards, letting out a squeak. "You -treat- me like this?" She states, tossing her hair.

"It's... It's almost my birthday"

Mitsuru sputters, face bright red. "I don't deserve this! I won't- I won't let you give me this indiginity!" Peel away the layers of a bancho, and what do you have left? The haughty air, the contempt. What was Mitsuru? What was a Tokugawa? And why was Mitsuru was stubborn about it? The answers remain silent, as Mitsuru, refusing to be taken down, hurls across the stage into Fumiko with a staggering right cross. Should it connect cleaning, she would hurl her other arm around her midsection, attempting to lift her up and slam her hard on the ground. "You want a farce? You want a farce?" Is all she babbles. Should she even get her on the ground?

She would just keep stomping on her.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Mitsuru's Thunder God Fist.

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Fumiko           0/-------/------<|=======\-------\0          Mitsuru

Watching, waiting, cold and distant. There was joy in a fight. There was joy in seeing the dance of combat. A dance of two styles meeting in a joyful moment as movement matches the intent of the spirit. But this was not one of those moments. And Fumiko felt increasingly raw and bitter over being put through it.

But she fights a young Japanese woman. She fights someone that has a glimmer of potential. Fumiko swallows the fury that makes her want to cut the girl down. That makes her want to remove this flailing child from ever having to embarrass the world of fighting ever again. She must do so. Fumiko knows her pride is a bitter venom that may kill her. But most days, it is all that keeps her alive.

"It is your birthday? Then consider the lessons you learn here to be my gift." Her worlds are cold and direct. This is not a case where Fumiko feels she can learn from another artist. She feels like she is giving a demonstration to a spoiled brat.

The heavy cross comes. Telegraphed, slow compared to Mike Bison. Fumiko twists to the side. Intensity burning in her face. The fist cuts through the air as Fumiko lands with a soft click of her sandals on the stage. Her hand grips her sword. She was in position.

The cut comes, it is simple, it is direct, it is practiced. A strong swing, an early form cut, a pure example of Fumiko's craft on display for all to see its power and elegance.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru interrupts Power Strike from Fumiko with Rumbling Death Spiral EX.

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Fumiko           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0          Mitsuru

It was something everyone was regretful of.

Even the handlers, the emcee was still out cold from the scale of revenue loss. Certainly, it was insured, but the fact of the matter was that the legendary TERROR MASK was destroyed at a public venue. All because of Mitsuru, who along with Fumiko utterly hated this encounter. The confused Mitsuru lets out an indignant shriek as Fumiko slips from her limbs, her grips. "You want a... farce?" She states, as the slow blade comes.

And for a moment, Mitsuru demonstrates herself.

She demonstrates why she managed to claw her way to the leaderboard of the Neo-League. She demonstrates why she isn't just a spoiled brat. Or at least, why she tries so hard to hide that facet of herself. Because when Fumiko offers her lessons, Mitsuru gives such a dirty look at Fumiko. It's enough for her to drag back together her composure. Her scowl comes as she focuses. And when it comes down at her?

She launches straight with a kick.

The rising roundhouse is a hurricane kick, intercepting the full weight of the blade. As she leans a shoulder into the weapon, a second kick whirls upwards. the third kick comes as a diving heel-drop of a spike, and in a flash, she and Fumiko are back to the stage, the boards cracked as she lifts a heel off her neck. "Good... good grief, you are an idiot!" She mutters, breathing hard. She wasn't going to let this go down.

Sword, or hissy fit, or whatever.

Finally, the breakthrough is at hand. The real fighter underneath the angry, troubled girl was brought to the fore by simply disregarding her as a fighter. Some take social pressure. Some take the need to do better. Some take guilt and anger and pride. But everyone has something. Some little thing that can push them to a limit.

And it brings out a fight that Fumiko has been craving. Slammed hard, kicked and thrown back. The long blade clatters to the ground. Back to the stage, spiked and closed in on by the strength and fury within Mitsuru.

But Fumiko looks up with clarity on her face. She was close. And close was comfort. She finally could see this fight was going to happen for real. "So you are something after all, you were merely hiding." she says. "A flower still within its bulb."

She speaks, and then she kicks up. And with her kicking up, she does so with sword drawn. A sharp slash of her second, short blade, close in and cutting. Designed for dances with near partners.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru breaks through Second Blade Strike EX from Fumiko with Violent Echo Fist!

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Fumiko           1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0          Mitsuru

Mitsuru made herself fight.

It was that steadfast resolve that lets her ready a second stomp. As Fumiko rises up, Mitsuru regrets giving any leverage. The slash comes, rending, ripping. Driving in hard towards the second blade, she intercepts it with her hip. Not the best interception tool, but as she glares in, enraged, there is no quiet respect for her opponent.

Only punches.

Mitsuru explodes with an uppercut, connecting powerfully at Fumiko's chin. She ignores the feeling against her bone, the feelings everywhere. "Shut -up-!" She seethes, as she refuses to drop down, refuses to fall apart. She was burning, she had nothing left. But she was slamming forward, an unyielding rampage of frightening temperment. Even as she stumbles, she shakes her fist at the swordswoman. "You can't define what I am! You won't! I won't let you!" She rants on, as keeps moving forward. She was falling apart. She refuses to fall apart, but the pieces were coming off. She couldn't stand much longer with the bloodloss.

But she wouldn't fall until Fumiko made her.

This was a fighter. This was what was coming toward her. This is what was inside of the girl. Fumiko felt a rush of pride. She did not wish to lose. She loathed each loss. Almost as much as each victory made her loathe herself. But there was a pleasure, a joy in seeing someone come into their own.

Struck back, struck down, finally seen as a challenge, and finally seeing a challenge. Fumiko looks to the fight with Bison. Unlocking the pure rage and power within him. Seeing the Bull's true strength and skill. This was different and yet the same. This was a young one coming into her own. Perhaps it was too much to ask, but in some way, Fumiko hopes that this can be the moment Mitsuru begins to take fighting seriously.

The strike rolls Fumiko back, back to her knees, her hair loose, her gi loose. Her chest rising and falling with quick, excited breaths. Now or never. To strike to to fall.

Fumiko smiles. "I am not. You defined yourself with how you act. The world only reflects on that," she says quietly.

The strike is swift, simple, direct. Two steps forward, drag the blade from the ground, and cut for the end of things.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru dodges Fumiko's Fierce Strike.

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

What was Mitsuru's potential?

Mitsuru didn't understand serious, and non-serious fighting. Not yet. But right now, she just had her instincts, and the leverage of strength. The fine line of respect and contempt, the drive for aesthetics eludes her. As the tenacious spirit of Mitsuru clings desperately, she could have had equal respect.

Instead, it's the same arrogant contempt.

As Fumiko continues to speak elegantly, Mitsuru struggles with all her strength to keep standing. As the rising swipe comes, Mitsuru finally turns away. Was it an accident? Was it practice? Or was the reality of the strength of the blade dawning on her? As she turns away, She leaps up into the air. "STOP!" She shrieks, as the last of her silver energy condenses to her fists


And she chains a focused barrage straight at Fumiko, rapid-firing them straight down to the ground as she descends. Each blast was crude and half-formed, brought purely from the force of her spirit. Her landing zone was right next to Fumiko. When she lands? It comes with a stage splintering crater, the second one for her striding heavy leap attacks. Briefly, the emcee wakes up.

He faints again, as he sees the remains of his stage.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru successfully hits Fumiko with Violent Heated Dance.
Glancing Blow

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

No words. The power, crude as it may be, is a force of spirit that Fumiko doesn't showcase. It's a wonderous light, a bright one and a beacon to show what paths may come for the angry young woman that forms them.

They strike, but their ill planned firing keeps the damage to wings and ducking blows. But it's enough to harass Fumiko away from Mitsuru. Driving her back and away from the raging stomps of the violent girl.

In her retreat, Fumiko retrieves her blades. She sheathes them. She questions. Press, or to bide. And no, this girl is better than she appeared, this girl is more than the fury that Fumiko recognizes. So she holds her hand. She doesn't move yet. She simply speaks.

"Why?" she asks, "When you've shown me so much to be joyful over? Show me everything you have. And after this, I would like to talk with you." Her hand hovers over the hilt of her blade. "I see your rage. I would like to tell you of my own. But perhaps I must show you."

She moves. Blades draw, long in her right and short in her left. Her eyes a cold flame of hatred and pain, grief and loss and guilt. She channels it not into fire or fury, but to a fluid speed and grace. Her blades a whirling extension of herself. Slice, turn, slice, turn. She whirlwinds, snapping one side and then the other. A dance of blades patterned on the sickles of a demon and on the study of artistic expression. Each cut a personal hatred given form.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru blocks Fumiko's Kamae Tachi.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //                            ]
Fumiko           0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0          Mitsuru

Unfocused strength.

Mitsuru was a loose cannon, physically and emotionally. But as she focuses on hard on Fumiko, the shockwave on the descent dissipates around her. "I will show you NOTHING!" She lies. "I will give you NOTHING! I am going to just PULL YOU APART like a BONE CHICKEN!" She seethes as the turning slice comes. The whirling blades comes, as she slams her limbs into it. Deflecting, driving back, pressuring back. Falling a step back, she grunts. Hurts. Everything hurts. And then it dawns on her, as the dance of blades comes to a close.

Blocking was a mistake.

Mitsuru stumbles, struggling to keep on her feet, as the thousand cuts finally draw her down. "No... No...." She mutters. That was the line. Her mind was deadlocked at punishing this woman who dared to piss her off. "No... No... CHEATER!" She screams. "YOU CHEATING STUPID BI-BIRD!" She shrieks again as the outrage is just enough to motivate her to drive forward. Swinging her kick, she drives in hard with a heaving, charging leg slam, bringing the full force. The last force, even, as the audience cries out. Because unless someone stopped her? SHe was going to fling herself off the stage, hopefully taking Fumiko with her. If not?

THen she's unceremoniously will bring her offense to a close by crashing into the front rows of the audience.

COMBATSYS: Mitsuru can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Fumiko dodges Mitsuru's Heaven And Earth.

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

Fumiko Abe ends her dance with a low bow. One blade held up, the other turned downward. She watches Mitsuru. She studies her. And as Fumiko sheathes her blades, as Mitsuru cries out with her anger, Fumiko can only have a cold and distant pity.

Also, that girl is still going even beyond her clear limit. A heavy bull's charge. A large girl by young women standards, Mitsuru still isn't the freight train that other large and bulky opponents Fumiko has faced were. With that, Fumiko spins out of the way, hopping and turning, landing with a pair of soft clacks as her sandals slap the remains of the stage. Unharmed, untouched, and imperiously watching while Mitsuru crashes into the front row.

Clothes loosened, bruising already swelling up on her skin, hair a white cascade, Fumiko maintains her composure. After all, she is in front of an audience. She must for the sake of her pride. She stands to the crowd and directs a hand to the fallen Mitsuru as if to present her. And then she bows.

In her mind, the words of a foreign art come to her; La commedia e finita.

COMBATSYS: Fumiko has ended the fight here.

Down in the front seats, Mitsuru writhes on some poor patrons lap.

The man, grimacing, shoves her aside on the ground. Mitsuru, growling, tries to kick feebly. She wasn't unconscious. Or was she? She wasn't coherent right now, grunting and growling, but was she coherent before? In any case, the fight is called in Fumiko's favor; Mitsuru was in no condition to keep fighting. As the medical staff tries to circle her, treating her more like a wild pig than a fighter, the emcee revives for a third time. ANd his words that come out are clear.


He doesn't point at Fumiko, but at the teenage girl. "SUE! I will sue the little brat, we must sue the little brat! This is- this is inexcusable!" One of his stagehands, a stern faced, muscled man, shakes his head. "It's all insured, sir, and besides, the SNF takes responsibility-" "That's not enough! The brat is miserable! I will sue her! I cannot tolerate any young lady who behaves like that. Is she supposed to be Seijyun High? I will sue them too! And her parents, what is her family again." The muscled man shakes his head slowly. "Tokugawa." "Then I will sue the hell out of the Tokugawa fa-" .

And the emcee does a double take.

"Tokugawa... you don't mean..." He states, jaw slacked. The man nods. The emcee looks back at Mitsuru, who was now being dogpiled upon as she shrieks hoarsely. He blinks, looking back to his assistant. "They wouldn't have any money, would they? Not still." The muscled man shakes his head. "Well, she is in Seijyun High, and I don't think on scholarship." Mitsuru flails her legs angrily, still unable to get up, and finally, with a great huff, she surrenders to the medical staff trying to help her. The emcee steeples his hands. "Well, then. We -will- make her pay then."

"Pay for every cent we can get!"

Log created on 10:47:50 11/15/2018 by Mitsuru, and last modified on 12:18:30 11/20/2018.