Description: Soon after their elimination from KOF 2019, the two headliners of the "Twilight Stars" team meet again. This time, at a seafood restaurant on the Southtown boardwalk.
The name "Fukuyama Seafood" might not sound grandiose or awe-inspiring, but the fact remains that it's one of the best seafood restaurants in Southtown. Located in prime real estate on the Boardwalk, it's easy to spot: just look for the crowd of people waiting to get a table.
Not that 'waiting' is something that the schedule-obsessed Honoka Kawamoto is a fan of. And she's not about to subject her partner and guest, Koto Mukai, to such an indignity. No -- all Koto will have to do is speak to the maitre'd-type-person up front, and he'll be ushered away to a quiet table by the window.
The window looks out onto the west -- a glorious view upon which to watch the sun as it descends into the depths of the Southtown skyline. The table itself is large enough for four, with padded seat cushions and an overhead light fixture -- perfect for those who want to get a good look at the food they're about to consume.
From the look of things, Honoka's been here for a few minutes already. There are two glasses of water -- one of them is hers, mostly full. And while Honoka's phone is face-up on the table, she seems to have neglected it for the moment, preferring instead to watch the clouds out the window, propping her chin upon her right palm. Her long pink hair extensions are pulled into twin ponytails, one draped upon each shoulder. She wears a faint smile, and is apparently lost in thought.
Koto would probably not need any help finding her. Know how some people just seem to light up the room? After fighting alongside Honoka in the King of Fighters tournament, it'd be easy for him to pick up on her formidable psychic presence. And that -might- also explain why the martial arts star isn't getting deluged with autograph requests.
Koto had finally found some time it seemed to get to see his partner. Being a semi-rising star was definitely something for the young man. And all he wanted to be was a hero. Not one that had to deal with all the fame and the glory of being a martial artist able to compete in the KoF or able to withstand things that others paled at.
The flashy suit and his usual mode of dress was something else as well. Even if Honoka did most of the work, his care for the team mate and that he had shown abilities which were bordering on the unbelievable like his suit just seemed to call for the media attention here and there.
It was bad enough that Pacific High may have even had to increase security juuuust a bit. The teen had finally managed to get away, under a hoodie, sunglasses, and ball cap disguise to see her. His cap and hood are pulled back as he is lead to the table, along with pulling his sunglasses off of his eyes as he looked around, admiring the view for a moment before smiling, "Hello, Honoka. Sorry it took so long."
Honoka's smile brightens as Koto approaches, even before she turns away from the window to make eye contact. For she certainly recognizes the aura of the Pacific High student she'd singled out for a shot at greatness -- and she certainly is happy to see him.
Perhaps surprisingly, she rises to her feet as soon as he stops by the table, offering him a polite bow in greeting. "Koto, it's so good to see you! And it's no worry, I love the view... Please, sit down and make yourself at home..."
The host is discreet about placing a menu before both Koto and Honoka, before politely excusing himself to leave the two alone for a few moments. The rest of the restaurant, similarly, seems perfectly happy to provide the two some privacy.
Seating herself, she offers in a teasing tone, "At least, I -hope- that's you under there..." Grinning, she adds, "I can see the fame's had its own fair share of... challenges, hmm? I hope it's not -too- burdensome for you..."
Koto shakes his head as he removes the disguise, rolling his eyes. "Sure... only problem is any fans just want autographs like crazy. At least the school students aren't being so harsh, at least at my normal school." He moves to sit down, sighing as he looks out at the view.
"So... we almost made it, huh?" He looks to her, smiling. The statement is a bit obvious. Koto's not one to usually mess around if he can help it. At least aside from making sure someone sticks to the hospital more than anything. "... and you seriously need to teach me the trick or whatever that's making people not horde you for autographs."
Honoka lifts a hand, tucking long pink locks behind her ear. "It's just something y'get used to. Good practice for the future, really -- 'cause the way I see it, your star ain't gettin' any lower in the sky."
Idly, she picks up her menu -- though she already knows exactly what she wants. It's certainly not her first time to such a fancy restaurant -- she knows she's getting a salmon steak. But it doesn't hurt to see if the menu's received new additions.
"Almost, yeah. I'd thought we'd get further than we had, but... ah, it was a good time! You did really well out there, against such strong opponents."
She smiles warmly, tapping the menu thoughtfully for a moment. "Hmm. Well, -that- part isn't something I have a whole lot of control over. It's... partly subconscious, really. If I feel showy, people respond to that. If I just want to keep things on the down low..." She tilts her head to the side, a lock of hair falling loose in the process -- necessitating a second lift of her hand to bring the tendril back above her ear. "Well, that's what happens. The fact that it happens to work out for the best is a nice coincidence."
She wriggles her nose, and adds in a more cheerful voice, "I don't -always- shy away from it though. Fans are a fantastic source of positive emotions. And a cheering section can be your best ally in a fight, believe it or not!"
Koto hums at that, then shrugs and looks at his own menu. "Hm... fried shrimp. That's some good ones, I think?" He shakes his head as he looks considerate, "I did, but it still means I have a lot of room to grow. And apparently it's a lot more than I expected. I thought I might be strong enough, but well..."
He shrugs, "I will have to take your word for that? Fans are not something I am used to having. I tend to make my way around and see what I can do... like I recently ran into some criminal robbing a museum of all things." His nose wrinkles a bit. "I swear it was like a bad comic or comedy martial arts flick with that one. Even dodged the Aurora Burst... that's probably something I need to work on, too... it's too... destructive, I guess? I keep worrying I'm going to hurt someone with it seriously."
For a brief moment, Honoka raises her eyebrow in incredulity. Fried shrimp is a good 'safe' meal for someone who's never been to the restaurant. But she soon offers up another one of her trademark smiles. "If that's what you want, sure! If you're feelin' a bit hungrier though, the steak and salmon here is great. Don't be shy about it, pick out anything you like -- it's my way of sayin' thanks for comin' along to the tournament."
She folds the menu up, making eye contact with one of the wait staff before turning back to Koto. Her gold-flecked eyes light up with interest. "Everyone's got room for improvement. Anyone who claims otherwise is sellin' somethin'."
Leaning back, she drapes an arm over her seatback. "Mm... well, you did the right thing, regardless! Criminals shouldn't be allowed to rampage around whenever they like. We have rules for a reason, right?"
She tilts her head to the wait staff, presenting her order of a salmon dinner. And when there's another free moment, she shrugs mildly. "What would you do differently, knowing what you know now? Was there... a way you could use the Aurora Burst in a way that -wouldn't- be as dangerous to the museum? A way to move the fight to a more neutral space?"
Koto considers, almost missing telling the wait staff his own order of fried shrimp and fries. The younger psychic looks definitely contemplating of it as he seems to be considering a lot on her questions.
Then shakes his head. "I don't think I have a way to use it without it being the beam it is. I might have to train and see if I can develop something else. Maybe turn it into a blade or something?" He looks more considerate.
"You know, I should be thanking you for having me along somehow. You didn't have to, and I know I'm not up there with some of the more impressive fighters out there, but you did. It was definitely an... experience there." He replies, then smiles.
Honoka seems agreeable to the change, nodding in commisseration. "Blades are good. Easier to conceptualize, and materialize. The psychological impact is pretty powerful, as well. And of course, they're easier to swing without collateral damage." Though it's pretty clear she's more intent on bolstering Koto's ideas than interjecting her own. She seems perfectly cognizant of the concept that not -everyone- is the juggler or acrobat that she is.
"The main thing, Koto, is finding something that works for you. If you want to try a psychic sword... practicing -kendo- might actually give you some good ideas. Or if there's another sport you're good at, that could help too. The main trick to projecting your will is... finding a focus that -resonates- with you. Something you know better than anyone else."
She sips at her water, grinning faintly. Koto's -already- demonstrated his facility at summoning the power of tokusatsu, after all.
"As for the tournament... well, I've always felt that we as fighters learn the most when we're -challenging- ourselves. If you always fight people at your own skill level, how much can you really grow?"
Honoka smiles, considering the sunset for a moment. "We -did- fight some amazing teams, didn't we? And we pushed way harder than we really had any right to. Especially Kung Lao and Nakoruru -- there's -no- chance we would've had another opportunity to fight those two. What an unforgettable experience..."
She leans forward, sipping again at her water. "And it seems you've even got something of a rival, now... in Abigail, hmm?"
That has Koto looking thoughtful. "Abigail... is a tough one? I would not call it a rivalry, more... someone to surpass eventually?" He does look out towards the sunset. Just looking out there for a moment or two. "The teams were amazing. I do admit to being jealous I didn't get to join in on that one with Nakoruru and Kung Lao."
He shakes his head, "I like to be there to protect others, to keep the focus on myself at times. Between the SNF and the KoF, I can see I have a good deal of growing to do before I'm able to take what I need to be able to and to help others."
Someone to surpass? Honoka smiles encouragingly. "Yeah. Someone you can use as your marker for improvement. And maybe you can even help -him- improve." Honoka still considers that to be a 'rival' in her book, much as Jezebel was for her... but there's no sense in dithering over definitions of terms.
Though, she does flash a look of apology as Koto mentions Nakoruru and Kung Lao. "Aww, I didn't mean to hog the glory there. But... I dunno. Something about the blade on his hat... it kinda made me feel like -I- had to be a protector, as well."
Honoka looks past Koto for a moment, smiling as she sees the dinners approaching. She leans back, allowing the plates to be placed upon the table. And then she brings out her chopsticks, and a hungry smile.
Still. As friendly and reassuring as she may be, Kawamoto can still muster up a motherly tone from time to time. With just a lemony hint of sternness, she notes, "Mm... you can help others just as you are. Just by being yourself. Don't let the pursuit of improvement stop you from living life as it happens."
Koto nods, "I can understand on that one... I think my suit might have protected me from it a little?" His look is considerate, "I meant it protected me some from... uhh..." He looks considerate as he seems to be trying to figure it out. "Well, shoot... I faced a swordsman before in the Neo-League or SNF at one point. I still got a bit cut, but not as deep as it could have been possibly?"
With the dinners arriving, Koto considers, then mock-glares at her, "Yes, mom." He says after a moment, a small smile on his face. "Besides, that's mostly what school is for? I mean, usually the only thing I do is investigate things like DarkStalkers or whatever sets off that sense of mine? Not like it'll interfere with school. At least normally."
"Well. Yeah, it probably would've. And I'm sorry about that. Emotions run hot in the arena." A pause. "I mean, I can try to slice you in half if it'd make you feel better." She flashes a pithy smile, but then her expression sours slightly. "Dude cut off like half my hair. It's not even something I wanna -joke- about." Self-consciously, she runs her fingers through the artificially-colored strands. "It'll grow back, sure, but..."
She separates a morsel from the salmon steak. Smirking, she wags a finger, "Don't backtalk me, just eat your supper..." All in good humor. Still, she considers while downing the bite of salmon, and adds, "Yeah, I forgot you hunt darkstalkers on the side. You definitely learn something in -real- combat that you can't get on a stage."
She works on severing a second piece of salmon. "Sorry if I'm laying on the mom angle a bit hard, haha. I'm just looking out for you, y'know? There's worse things than Darkstalkers out there. Worse... -people-, looking to exploit you and your talents. But you got me on your side. Don't be afraid to call for help if you need it, okay?"
Koto nods, "I can understand on that... emotions running hot, I mean? It seems almost as if a lot of what we do comes from those emotions. You did say fans are power, so... I don't know?"
He looks considerate, munching on a piece of shrimp. A questioning look comes on his face as he finishes the piece of food. "... I guess now the only question. What's next?"
He looks at the sunset. "After all that, it's hard to go back to school when I could be out there doing things like fighting on the stage, finding other stronger fighters to put myself against."
"Fans are power, yep." If Honoka shows any sense that Koto is delivering a biting criticism of her words, she doesn't appear to letting on. It's easy to read the casual indifference as nothing more than the laid-back nature of a Hokkaido native, after all.
"See... most people don't realize the power they contain within themselves. Because they don't know how to -use- it." She shreds apart her salmon as if it was her first meal all day -- which it very well might be. And as she savors the delicacy with a thoughtful expression, she nods enthusiastically: "But the energy doesn't just -disappear-. It's there, and if you're receptive to it, you can use it. That's why folks like us are way better at defending a group of people, as opposed to fighting on your own."
She sets the chopsticks down for a moment, leaning forward across the table. "We're actually benefitting from their energy just by being -here-, surrounded by people. These people are having a good time, right? Enjoying meals with friends and family? Shedding their cares, with delicious food and probably way too much alcohol?"
Honoka downs another taste of her salmon, cheeks reddening at the rush of flavor. "I've been bored off my butt lately, Koto. But coming out to eat like this? Basking in the auras of all the people around? Instant contact high. I'm gonna be in a great mood all night."
Offering a soft chuckle, she leans back, taking chopsticks in hand again. "What's next? Well, what do you -want- to do?" She smiles broadly. "It's not like if you cut class, SNF is gonna come along with a promotion for you. And darkstalkers only show up at night, right? For me, school was always a great time to catch up on sleep."
She sips at her water. "Ha, listen to me, I'm a great role model, right?"
Koto looks thoughtful, almost reaching out in thought before he huhs. "So... that's why we also get a high from fighting?" The teenage hero looks considerate. "Is that where a lot of our power comes from? I guess that explains a lot..."
His thoughtful look seems to considerate, then he blinks a few times as he seems to consider. "Hm... I'll have to consider that one a lot. Being bored like you were is probably not a good idea. I remember having to get that yo-yo for you or something just to keep yourself occupied. I think sometimes I have the same problem."
Eating a few fries, he seems to consider, "I guess my next thing is to see what life brings my way. I have a few things I need to look into, finish up, and do some interesting activities with. Yayoi for one... I think Malin is another? And then hopefully that Neo-League starts up again."
Honoka nods knowingly. "That's one reason, yeah. There's, uh, I think they call it a 'feedback loop', where you want to win, and your opponent wants to win, and you -sense- that your opponent wants to win and it makes you want to try harder, et cetera et cetera. And that's not even figuring out how the audience is participating just by calling out your name, or the other guy's name..." Her hands orbit around her head in the universal sign of 'too much stuff to consider at once,' along with a giddy, mock-confused look.
"So yeah. It snowballs. It's a rush like nothing else, and I'm glad you're gettin' to feel it now."
Scooping some rice into her chopsticks, she considers Koto's words -- and even double-takes as he mentions her yo-yo affectation. The thought brings a warm smile back to her face. "Yeah. That's a big part of it. I... I need my 'alone time', sure, but I have to be around people to really -stop- from falling into a dark mood. It's so easy to just..." She flattens her hand, circling it as a doomed boat might descend into a whirlpool. "... spiral."
She breaks into a grin. "Nah. Not for me. Despair is for the dead and the dying."
Kawamoto takes a few moments to enjoy her food, letting those thoughts percolate for a bit. "I think you told me about Yayoi before, yeah...? Who's this Malin person though?"
Koto nods, "Yayoi is the one that is like us. Nice girl, but... well, not a fighter? I can tell she definitely had the same sort of abilities. It's kinda like how I can tell you are. Malin... eh... weird girl. Has some sort of mission she wants help with. Kinda beat me in a street fighter."
He looks thoughtful, "Stun batons hurt like hell, by the way."
A shrug comes as he looks considerate of it. "Ah... I think I need to do a lot more in regards to that. I swear she seemed to have something against me doing what I do, I guess?" He sighs before he munches on more shrimp and fries.
On one level, Honoka knows all about this Yayoi person -- but the teammate and mentor to Koto, of course, only knows what he's shared. "Oh, right, her!" she chimes in, with a glow of recognition. "Not a fighter... but it's curious that she's found another way to use the energies. That's interesting!"
Malin, though. Honoka makes mental notes for later. Good fighter -- she'd have to be, to have defeated Koto. Fights with stun batons. And she's ticked off about Koto's... doing what he does...?
"Oh, because she can't use psychic powers? I wouldn't spend too many sleepless nights over it, especially if she's packing stun batons to compensate. Still, uh." She squints, leaning forward at Koto.
Did she really eat most of her salmon already?
"-Mission?- What kind of girl are we talking about here, how old is she? Does -she- go to Pacific?"
Koto shrugs, "I think she goes to one of the others. Her manner of clothing suggested Taiyo at the least?" He considers, then shakes his head. "As for Yayoi... I do not think she uses the energies much at all. She had a good punch, but it looked... unrefined at the time? At least from what I could tell? Some sort of bee women darkstalker was after her.... plural, yes. That was not an easy fight for me."
He looks considerate. "Malin, however, seemed more... underhanded at times? Like she was used to it. Not the formal training or anything like that, but like she had more hidden and was more interested in recruiting me for whatever her mission is. The fact that she was so evasive on it has me worried more than anything."
Sighing, Koto munches on some fries in a bit of thought on that one. It's definitely not a pleasant topic for him, and one that he looks to be puzzling over just a bit along with the improvement of himself more than anything.
Honoka grins faintly at the assessment of Yayoi's martial ability. "Huh, so she's just someone who's receptive? I guess that's cool. Kinda crazy to know there's still an army of bee darkstalkers swarming around, it's a good thing you were there to help take care of them."
Honoka sips her water for a moment, but then she looks over Koto's shoulder -- and nods silently to a server just past his shoulder. Secret code, perhaps, or... maybe just some prearranged deal?
"Hmm," notes the Twilight Star when Malin's involvement is discussed. An... underhanded, undisciplined fighter, with a mission of some sorts. Perhaps someone she'd like to find out more about.
Concerned, she folds her hands in front of her, quietly deliberating on whether she has enough room in her stomach to finish the salmon before her. "... Well, if you don't trust her and her mission, I don't see why you should go along with it before finding out more. It sounds to me like she's up to no good. Not -every- Taiyo student's a saint, y'know?"
She falls silent again, studying Koto for a moment. "... Or is there some -other- reason to follow her around like a puppy, hmm?" She's... definitely hinting at -something- with the way her lips curl into a teasing smirk.
Koto rolls his eyes, "As if. Definitely not my type. Probably use those batons elsewhere. I swear I still feel a slight twitch sometimes from those things." He looks a bit annoyed at those. "In any case... yes, receptive type. And I don't know about an army of those bees. There was just four of them."
He looks thoughtful. "I'm not sure what her 'mission' is at the moment. It's the only reason I've not tried to do something about it before now. She's at least a skilled fighter in a rough way, but not at the level we were just facing."
Shaking his head, Koto looks at her. "There's good Taiyo students?" He deadpans.
Honoka's expression softens as Koto denies having a crush. Perhaps it's tact that redirects her attention towards nudging the remaining salmon pieces to the center of the plate, so that she can pick off the choicest morsels.
"Okay, so it's a small 'swarm' of bees instead of an army, I guess? Whatever you call four..." The juggler isn't terribly precise about her language -- something else that comes from dropping out of school at a young age.
"Well, as long as no one's getting hurt, it shouldn't be too bad. Maybe she's one of those noble types who just wants to 'clean up' the streets. Or..." Her expression grows dark for a moment, but she masks it by popping the last bite of salmon into her mouth.
"... Well, good point, but I feel like -every- cloud's got a silver lining, yeah? Anyway... has she ever challenged -you- to a fight?"
Koto shrugs, "She did. It's how I knew about the batons. Seemed she was looking for a fight, though, and I've not seen her since, so..."
The younger teen gives a bit of a shrug there. Then he seems to consider, "What do you call a smaller swarm of bees? I know you call the larger ones hives."
He makes a bit of a face. "Yeah, cleaning up the streets isn't my thing. I just try to protect people from stuff that well... would hurt them if they knew about it half the time. The stuff like the DarkStalkers, eh... probably that crazy one from way back before I hit the Neo-League that wanted 'samples' for some reason... um..."
Well, Koto's definitely out of his depth there!
"Mmm. Well, maybe it's for the better. Ain't no sense in lettin' yourself get riled up about a mission when you don't even know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, yeah?"
Satisfied with her meal -- that is to say, she's eaten the salmon and veggies, and only some soy-sauce-stained rice is left -- she leans back in her seat, shrugging slightly at the idea of a swarm. "I dunno, they were bee-people, so maybe 'squad' could work. It's not like we're writing copy for the nightly news, no one should be upset if we just go with 'group' anyway, haha."
Honoka listens to the distinction between 'cleaning up the streets' and 'protecting people from getting hurt', and holds up empty hands in a 'six of one, half dozen of the other' gesture. "Haha, you can probably tell words ain't my strong suit, I have people who do that for me, yeah? What matters to me is what's in -here-." She balls her hand in a fist, thumping it against her breastbone. "And I can tell you're a really good person inside."
But then, Honoka looks up again -- just as a waiter brings another small tray over. A small bento box is brought out -- though it's open, and a piping-hot entree is inside.
The Twilight Star juggler nudges the box across to Koto. "Your tempura looked lonely over there. Have you ever tried this before?" The 'this' of which she speaks is grilled eel -- though if he's never had it, Koto might not know what to make of the tender, succulent meat. Or the soft little fishbones sticking out of it -- even if they -would- melt instantly upon contact. "It's one of this restaurant's specialties. You should try some!"
She beams encouragingly, at that. It seems pretty clear that she'd gotten it for Koto -- but that she would be equally fine consuming it if he declined.
Koto raises an eyebrow, "I have not tried some before... I guess I should have some water on hand?" He uses some chop sticks to carefully pick up a piece.
"Ah... thank you. Many at school tend to think I'm a bit silly, for my powers being well... tokusatsu inspired and all? I mean, I don't exactly fit your model student sort of thing half the time." He notes.
"Probably what I wanted to do is just be a student, protecting people if I saw trouble. Not go off into the KoF, but at the same time? Worth it. I can agree that there is definitely something about the stage. It gives you that feel of... passion? Like you belong up there, win or lose, and you want to put on that good show for yourself and the person you're going against." Koto says.
Looking at the eel, he seems to consider it, before finally putting it in his mouth and giving it a try. He seems to be considering the flavor on it before he swallows. "Mm. Not bad."
"It's not spicy at all," Honoka answers with a beguiling grin, curious to watch Koto's expression. But... she's equally eager to see where he'll decide to go in the future. Tokusatsu may be 'silly' to some, but the fact remains that the young man's based the foundation of his fighting style upon it -- and he -should- build upon it in whatever way he sees fit.
Which is why the Twilight Star juggler folds her slender fingers together, encouraging him with her broad grin.
"That's what I like about you, Koto. Not only do you follow your heart, but you're always willing to try something new." She nods appraisingly, adding, "It's eel. I've found that if I start off with the name, people are more likely to turn their nose up at it. I enjoy it sometimes, but with the eel sauce -- that's what makes it so sweet -- it tends to be a bit heavy on the calories for me."
Her eyes twinkle with amusement. "I come from a line of fishers, seafood is pretty much my lifeblood. But I know some people aren't crazy about the 'fishy' taste -- as I guessed based on your choice of shrimp. Eel is a bit softer -- really melts in your mouth, right? It has a nice, light flavor, I thought you might enjoy it."
"So yeah. Student life sounds good. Just remember to keep your eye out for opportunities to exercise your talents. They're like muscles, kinda... the more you flex 'em, the stronger they get."
The acrobat tilts her head, afterwards. "Did you have enough to eat? I'm sure they've got more in the back if you're still hungry..."
That has Koto blinking. "Huh... that's eel?" He questions, looking at the piece of food he had gotten another piece of. "I would not mind more of it. I'll have to keep coming back here since it's so close to the school."
Koto smiles at the compliments, "I think I have always been that way. I try it, I try to adapt it to what I can do, and see how it works out. Even if I have my favorites that I fall back on, I'm not scared to take things as they come and attempt to do something against them. Like before our trial, I figured out my Dragon Emperor is good for attempting to reflect attacks like it. It wasn't intentional when I figured it out, but the thing just rolls and drags things along with it usually."
He shrugs, "As for the sea food... eh, I've had weirder. Born Japanese, so sushi's a thing. It's the exercising my talents part that tends to get me more or less, though. I tend to keep an eye to what is going on, but I'm on the out skirts of things rather than the inside."
"Wonderful." Eel is not all that hard to find in Japan, but it's not the first choice for a lot of diners. Particularly younger ones like Koto. Grinning, she amuses herself with the thought that she might have inspired a new favorite with her simple offer.
But really -- this conversation has been far more about how -Koto- seems to have gotten something out of this King of Fighters business. Never mind the fact that Honoka had wanted a legitimate challenge to improve her own skills, and just happened to have been unable to contact her former teammates -- save for ever-reliable Chae Lim.
"It's a nice use of the talent, yes -- being able to channel an opponent's attacks back at them. Pretty efficient, to boot! And plus -- no matter how much I might practice somethin', it just never seems -real- enough until I can pull it off on a real opponent, in front of an audience. Then I know the practice counted for somethin'."
Amber-flecked eyes sparkle as she basks in the glow of mutual praise. Koto's feeling good, she's feeling good -- it's just a good sensation all around. Though, after a moment, her irises momentarily flick to the side.
Koto may or may not have sensed it, but for that brief moment, there was a man in a black suit, across the restaurant. And as soon as he'd made eye contact with Honoka, he shuffled back around the corner, out of sight.
The disturbance is brief, and masked with an even warmer smile from Honoka. "There's nothin' wrong with waitin' to see what's in store before you jump in. Pickin' your battles, so to speak. You know your own strength, and you're getting better at gauging opponent's. And as your strength grows, you'll be able to do more and more to help you and your friends. And this city."
With this said, Honoka begins to draw back, clasping her hands together before her and bowing her head. "Well, feel free to finish off the rest of the eel if you like. Dinner's my treat, of course. Though... it seems something important's just come up that I can't put off. If you need a sparring partner, Koto, or want to talk more about your skills, don't be afraid to call me, okay?"
Honoka bows again, her pink highlighted hair spilling loose about her shoulders. She sweeps it back with a hand, grinning broadly. "It's been an honor to fight alongside one of Southtown's newest heroes. I know it wasn't just chance that brought us together."
Koto smiles, "I will! Thank you for the meal, Honoka. I'll see you around. And if nothing else, perhaps I'll take you up on that spar sometime. It would give a good idea of how far I have to go among other things. And if you ever need help, feel free to call?"
The teenage hero's smile is genuine at least, even as he moves and gives a bow back whenever she does. One of respect for someone who is definitely more experienced than he is before he moves to finish the eel with a grin.
"Besides, you've given me new drive to see if I can live up to that mantle. That of being a hero." He says. "Before, I was just saying it, but now? Perhaps I can live it."
Log created on 17:32:58 10/02/2019 by Honoka, and last modified on 18:53:20 10/08/2019.