Rising Star 2021 - Rising Star Interviews - "Blazing Panther"

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Description: The mysterious hero (?) "Blazing Panther" seeks entry into the Rising Star tournament! With his blank application, he has no choice but to interview and hope for the best. What will happen when his interview is Lady Kanzuki, the host of the tournament herself?

The Rising Star tournament has made no effort to conceal itself. No, invitations have been distributed, of course, by Kanzuki's dedicated agents. Particularly promising fighters have been contacted directly through various channels, always with elegance and a drive for excellence. Even so, those are not the only participants.

No, those seeking an invitation could seek one out by following ads. Contacting the Kanzuki Estate consistently leads to prompt responses, even from the most ridiculous applications. In this case, despite the general mystery of the ... applicant, apparently the agents of Kanzuki have decided he is at least worth an interview.

And so, "Blazing Panther" was given an interview time and told to come to the Kanzuki Excellence Center. The woman at the front desk has a professional bob cut and square classes. She is dressed elegantly in a grey skirtsuit, and is presently typing at a computer tucked beneath the desk, her eyes focused on the monitor beneath the glass-topped counter.

It might be a bit of an unusual thing to get a signup who has refused to provide any kind of proper identification whatsoever. But then again, that's why this particular fighter has been invited to an interview in the first place.

And through the front door comes a a figure clad in black cargo pants, army surplus boots and a black hoodie that has it's hood flipped up and tightened over the figure's head. Further, a dark-red scarf has been pulled up from beneath the depths of the hood to wrap along their lower face, leaving most of their face concealed, save for the almost-unnaturally-bright green eyes and the crimson eyebrows over them.

The figure comes stepping towards the front desk, thus, and a gloved hand taps at the surface of it lightly. "Uh... I have an appointment," comes a voice from underneath that scarf then -- recognizable masculine, though perhaps on the younger side. "Under... Blazing Panther...?"

"Ah, yes, Mr. Panther," the assistant doesn't bat an eye or even skip a beat. Perhaps for her this is a relatively normal day. Her voice is crisp and professional, but almost musical in its quality. It's pleasant. Someone is very well practiced at her job.

"I've checked you in and let her know that you're here. Please follow this hallway down to the end of the hall, then take a right. Follow the signs for the 'Training Area.' Just come back if you have any trouble, but I'm sure can't miss it." She looks up, smiles warmly for exactly five seconds, then returns to her work.

"...Alright. Thank you, uh, ma'am..." The young man murmurs, giving a bit of a dubious look from underneath the hood before he goes rounding past the lobby desk. "Follopw the signs, follow the signs..." The boy mutters underneath his own breath while he makes his way through the hallway. All the way until he finally finds the door marked "Training Area". Alright.

"Hello?" Comes a call from him then when he pushes through the door, and peeks inside.

The Training Area is a vast gymnasium structure with all the bells and whistles of a top-of-the-line modern athletics complex. Weights, punching bags, exercise machines of every type and construction, and floor space makes up the vast complex. In the center, however, is a large, flat grid-like area that rings slightly of a featureless anime plane. High tech equipment sits around the edge of the perimeter, including some sort of high-tech control panel.

"Welcome," the female voice calling to him is powerful and demanding. Lofty, almost, as its accompanied by the steady clap-clap-clap of shoes across the gymnasium floor. Somehow, their owner walks just so as to avoid the characteristic squeak of shoes against a gym floor.

Mister...'Blazing Panther,' I presume? Of course you are. Who else would you be?"

Karin Kanzuki is a young woman with blonde, noble ringlet curls and a bright blue bow holding her hair back. Her hazel eyes are confident, her gaze always tilted slightly upward. She holds a water bottle, which she drinks from after speaking. When she lowers it she puts a hand on her hip. An stocky, dark-haired man in a red apron sweeps in, takes the bottle from her, and disappears back behind her again. With her other hand free, she raises it up to her chin, stroking it thoughtfully.


He wasn't sure of what to expect when coming in here. CErtainly not the strange high-tech grid-arena set in the middle of the room. He comes wandering in closer, headed for the high-tech equipment there at the edge, hoping to get a better loo--


The lofty voice calling out halts his steps and he's quick to spin aroudn to facing the blonde woman. ... Girl? Oh. The bright green eyes shaded by the hood blink several times over at the sight of her and the attendant.

"...No one else, I suppose," he admits with a roll of his shoulders. His posture straightens up promptly under the study of Karin's eyes then! He tries not to let it show, but he does suddenly feel pretty damn self-conscious while he's getting looked over.

"...Uhm. Yes?"

Karin looks over "Blazing Panther" for several moments, appraising him without comment. "I must say," she notes. "I expected a luchador, and you lack the definition." She turns suddenly, walking with confident steps away from the newcomer and back toward the center of the gym. Her red and white skirt sways slightly with each step. It's a very practiced walk. Elegant, in a sense.

"Are you coming? I'm not waiting for you all day, especially since you wouldn't even offer your name on the application."

She steps into the center of the arena, sweeping her hand to gesture to the side opposite her.

"Since you wouldn't offer anything there," Karin crinkles her nose. "Then I don't expect much out of a verbal interview, either. We'll skip to the physical exam."

"... Why would I be a luchador?" The boy asks with a low, confused grunt. "Does 'Blazing Panther' really sound like a wrestler name or something?" When she turns, he finds himself just kind of... standing there, watching her elegant walk. Still kind of taken off-guard by Karin's presence, overall.

"Oh, uh--" It's to such a point that he doesn't even set himself to stepping after her until she urges him to do such. "Alright, alright..." He mumbles, on the way to the opposing end of the ring. "Was there *supposed* to be a verbal interview?" He... feels vaguely insulted by the fact that he's considered not worth going through that, but bringing that up probably wouldn't be a good idea.

"Who's going to be--"

he cuts the question short with the realization that comes when he spins over and finds... her standing there. "...Oh."

"Tch. Does it not to you?" Karin seems incredulous. "And there would have been," she adds, "if you'd given more information. I can't waste my time on just anyone, however." She flips her hair, turning to look at Blazing Panther. "But I don't waste my time on nobodies. If you impress me," a smug smile creeps across Karin's face. "Then maybe we'll interview afterward."

Karin slides her feet wide apart, bending her knees. She extends her right arm, palm open and fingers together and extended. The other is kept closer to her waist but similarly open.

"I don't expect you to win against the might and elegance of Kanzuki-ryu," Karin digs in her heels. "But a suitable performance will merit my consideration."

"Now let us begin."

COMBATSYS: Karin has started a fight here.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|

'Blazing Panther' cocks his head sidelong slightly. It's the sort of mannerism one might expect from a canine creature instead of his apparent namesake. Her claiming not to waste her time on nobodies seems to strike a faint chord in him, for some reason. At least enough to visibly consider something.

"You're here now though."

He states that observation with absolutely zero hestiation in his voice, and his eyes even blink slowly to accompany the deadpan tone of it.

Still, he's obedient enough in getting himself to a state at least resembling readiness. He bounces his weight lightly on the balls of his feet twice over, before his hands come up, curling into fists in a posture that resembles that of a boxer's.... vaguely. The form is very crude, the kind that suggests very little practice, if any at all.

"I guess we'll see. Here I come, Kanzuki-dono."

And with that, he's off! Running across the high-tech ring, chargin Karin's way to drive a wild haymaker at her!

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has joined the fight here.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Karin blocks Daisuke's Spirited Punch.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

Karin's movements are ever graceful and elegant. The punch comes for her, wildly, but she doesn't flinch despite her regal appearance. Instead, her arm snaps up, forearm crashing against the side of the Panther's arm, not in a perfect deflection, but in enough of one to keep her from eating the worst of that punch.

"That's the spirit," Karin says, as if complimenting the staff instead of encouraging a friend.

She then pushes his arm out of her way with a circular motion, aiming to create an opening. From there, she steps forward, her stance wide like a karateka--or even a sumo wrestler--and she delivers a swift, powerful palm strike toward his middle.

"But your form---!"

COMBATSYS: Karin successfully hits Daisuke with Meio Ken.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0          Daisuke

Even with the scarf concealing his lower face, it's obvious the Panther's gritting his teeth with some exertion when his fist collides with Karin's deflecting arm. The parrying motion is enough to send him stumbling back, with the arm previously trying to slam into her left swinging wide off to the side and--


Leaves him right open for that palm to strike him square in the center and send him stumbling further back by a few steps. "Gh, fine--" the Panther grunts before bounding himself right back to her way, snapping a foot up for a probing hit for her thigh. Maybe he's hoping he can manage her movements a bit better after?

COMBATSYS: Karin fails to counter Light Kick from Daisuke with Gedan Yasha Gaeshi.

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Karin            0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0          Daisuke

"This isn't a game," Karin announces firmly. "If you're serious, fight seriously. If you've got some hidden talent in there, I want to see it! This is a *Rising* Star, not--"

The kick comes in, and Karin adjusts, shifting her footing to intercept. She looks ready to catch it, but it's too fast. She moves her hand away at the last moment, correcting and taking it head-on to the thigh instead. It does quite bowl her over, but it knocks her off balance and forces her to take a knee and a palm to keep from going down.

"Better!" Karin appraises. "A little better! More like that, if you want to compete!" She definitely is rubbing her thigh as she says this, but she would never admit he got her good. That is unbecoming of a Kanzuki!

The Blazing Panther seems to at least know better than to let himself stay still and wait to fully listen to the... complimenting, such as it is. The masked man circles around the Kanzuki lady, frowning over the scarf studying her. The motion with her leg she was forced to halt hasn't gone unnoticed, perhaps!

Ultimately, he does make the decision on what move to make next, and he lunges for her -- hand reaching to grasp at her shoulder, while-- Oh.

Arcs of cyan energy crackle around his hand, and a sudden flash comes with it if he manages to take hold of the girl's shoulder -- effectively an explosion of force meant to send her barreling over mroe than his own physical strength alone!

COMBATSYS: Karin auto-guards Daisuke's Fast Throw.

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Karin            0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0          Daisuke

Karin resumes her fighting stance, this noble curls bouncing as she stomps back into position. This time, she finds "Blazing Panther" grabbing at her shoulder, and Karin's response is swift. As his hand goes in, she elbows up toward it to keep him from finding purchase. "Not so fast!"

The tension in the air--the feeling of the expressed energy-raises an eyebrow from Karin, but it is briefly. As the brief opening is created, she lifts up her leg, tries to plant the flat of her foot against his waist, and kicks off to try and step onto him and push him back while putting herself dangerously close.

"Oh, perhaps there is some promise after all!"

COMBATSYS: Karin successfully hits Daisuke with Medium Kick.

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Karin            0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1          Daisuke

She manages to shove the grabbing hand up away just quick enough that the outburst of energy ends up merely flashing and sparking in the air above her, the kinetic energy redirected past her shoulder rather than into it.

ANd again, with that sweeping of his hand, 'Blazing Panther' finds himself paying dearly for the opening she's created for the woman. By the time he realizes he has her foot pressed into his waist, he's already getting her other foot planted onto him. "Hurgh--!"

It sends him jostling back hard, well enough that he has to skid along the floor before he comes to a proper stop. Just to find Karin still right up in his grill!

"Ah--!" Instinctively, he leaps himself back, trying to get himself away from her before a follow-up strike comes. Brighter bursts of energy burst out from his shoulder, arcing through the air to collect at his hand -- and with an outward thrust of his open palm, a thick pillar of searing energy forms and launches from within at her while he retreats his way further back.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Karin with Soul Arrow EX.

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Karin            0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\1          Daisuke

With an opening created, Lady Kanzuki shores herself up, ready to pounce like a noble tiger. She digs in her heels, drawing back her arm as if ready to strike. She steps--

And her eyes widen as the masked fighter instead prepares an arrow of energy and launches it at her. Karin reacts in an instance, moving to dodge while trying to tighten her guard. Instead of avoiding it completely, the arrow pierces into her from the side in a shower of energy, knocking Karin flat with a heavy gasp, not really a scream, because that would be unelegant. It's close, however.

It takes her a moment to climb back to her feet, breathing heavily as she does so. Even so, she flips back her hair, resumes her stance with a stomp, and readies herself to go again.

And so she does, surging forward with one, then two sweeping, snapping kicks, the second extending her leg behind her as she moves, almost like a dancer, developing practiced sweeps.

"Don't think that one trick like that will give you the advantage!" Karin barks. "A Kanzuki adapts to overcome! Victory in any situation!"

COMBATSYS: Karin successfully hits Daisuke with Mujin Kyaku.

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Karin            0/-------/--=====|=======\=====--\1          Daisuke

A few heavy breaths take hold of 'Panther' after the the arrow has collided into the Kanzuki lady. It doesn't take too long for him to steady himself, at least. For a second, he might think he managed to turn the tide...

...Only to find Karin stomping right back up. Oh no.

"I-- Gah!" Whatever verbal protest he might have intended to provide, it's cut off by the collision of a foot to the side of his face, and he recoils over just to be hit immediately again from the opposing side. His whole body seems to be left wobbling as a result, eyes unfocused and rolling.

His own foot stamps onto the floor, however -- not just to steady himself, put to forcefully redirect the motion his body was set into back at Karin! "I'm not-- done yet!!"

Another stomp of his foot brings him dangerously close to her, sending a wild punch hurling at her. Followed immediately after by a second punch, an uppercut for her center, and a left hook right after that. More and more come unless she stops his momentum entirely, sparks of energy sent off seemingly with every motion in that barrage of punches.


COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Karin with Spirited Combo.

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Karin            1/-----==/=======|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke

Karin almost pirouettes, spinning on her heel to turn, deftly, and land back in her fighting stance. She sweeps her hand up, flipping her curls defiantly. "Oh, you're not bad. I think you might just deserve entry into the tournament if you can follow thr--"

The ojou's eyes widen as "Blazing Panther" charges her again, unleashing a flurry of energy-charged blows at the blonde she sways left, narrowly avoiding the first. Then right, catching it immediately on her chin. She staggers, and in that moment, finds herself on the receiving end of a brutal flurry of punches. On the last hit she goes sliding across the grid-like arena, ending up spread out for a moment before, after several deep breaths, she plants her hands and vaults back onto her feet. This is probably not ideal in a skirt, but at least she seems to have shorts on when she does it.

"Oh, so you have some tricks, do you? That energy--hmm. You'd better not be holding back on me!"

Suddenly, Karin powers forward, quickly stepping into close range, drawing back, and thrusting forward powerfully with both palms aimed at smashing into Blazing Panther's chest. "Haaaaah!"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Karin's Strong Punch.

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Karin            1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke

With Karin sent sliding across the arena, the Blazing Panther is left standing there with heaving shoulders. He doesn't actually seem tired at all by the flurry of punches, but-- something might be off. Under the hood, lines of energy like veins glowing through the skin are briefly visible along the exposed portion of his face before the fade away again.

And she's accusing him of holding back? Even after just this much, he feels like his nerves are frying out--


The single word comes just as she brings her palms in to strike at her -- only to make a sudden leap off to the side, right past her intruding limbs. The momentum carries him a bit further out to the side of her perimeter, but he follows through with it by a step closer to her again while his posture ducks slightly lower and his hand stretches out over to his opposing wrist.

His eyes seem to glow brighter in that instant, and a mass of energy forms out at his hand again -- but rather than forming an arrow to launch out, it amasses upwards from his clutched fist, the energy blazing like the flame from a jet engine even after it's taken on a blade-like shape, and a swing back out from from his hip brings that energy-blade slashing at his opponent. "D'RYAH!"

COMBATSYS: Karin blocks Daisuke's Soul Blade EX.

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Karin            1/---====/=======|====---\-------\0          Daisuke

Perhaps, Karin Kanzuki spoke too soon. Maybe the noblewoman was a bit too bragadocious in her attempts to draw out the most in "Blazing Panther." Maybe the sword should be sign.

In any case, her eyes widen as he sweeps the blade around. She raises her guard, bringing up both forearms to catch the blade as it rakes across the forearms, sending searing pain as the unusual energy not only cuts but surges through her. She's driven back, her shoes sliding across the grid as her knees bend, trying to find purchase despite everything.

And yet, she manages to keep her footing. Despite her bossy attitude, Karin does, on some level, seem to be able to back it up. Her arms smoke as she shakes them, bearing the pain in quiet...dignity? It's something like dignity.

"That's more like it! This is the type of talent I expect from a Rising Star! Now!" Thoom. She assumes her fighting stance once more.

"Allow me to show you the might of Kanzuki-ryuu! The final attack!"

She surges forward, striking once with her palm, then twice. She slams her knee forward, aiming to create an opening.

COMBATSYS: Karin successfully hits Daisuke with Hadorokushiki Hasha No Kata.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|=======\====---\1          Daisuke

Creating the opening, Karin reaches up with both hands, grabs her opponent by the arm, and flips him with such force that he begins to spin, head over heels, in mid-air. As he does, Karin draws back with a stomp that's almost like a cannon being loaded. She strikes forward, once, with a massive palm strike that carries enough power to send him shooting, still spinning, across the arena.

And as she does, Karin draws back into a more neutral pose, raises the back of her hand to her mouth, and chortles.

"Ohhhh ho ho ho ho! This is splendid!"

The final attack?! Somewhere deep inside, 'Blazing Panther' gets the feeling that he should, on some level, feel a bit honored to be shown such a display. But that kind of feeling slips away immediately when he puts up his guard against her approach and--


THe first palmstrike hits him square on the chin and jolts his head back, enough that the already-damaged tightener of his hood gives away completely and sends the hood flipping back, to expose a mess of strikingly-red, lightly-spiked hair.

The much more important effect of the inital strike, however, is the young man being made completely unable to soak up the following palm and knee -- and even less so the sudden grab and spin.

"Wha- hey! Wai-wai-wai-wai--!!"

Up in the air he goes, all four limbs flailing helplessly on the way up and down again, all the way into Karin's final cannon of a palm-strike that sends him flying across the ring, bouncing off the floor once and spinning in the air a few times over before landing ungracefully onto his face there.

He's perfectly still for a moment -- until, there's a sudden twitch in one arm.

"Hhh...." Unsteadily, Blazing Panther braces his upper body upwards with one arm, his whole figure shaking while he forces himself up onto one knee while sparks and arcs of energy flash along him. "I'm... I'm not..." He mumbles weakly, as the electricity-like crackles of energy flash more and more fequently along his upward-rising left arm, palm pointed up towards the ceiling. "Done..."

Overhead, above the kneeling fighter, several 'discs' of energy form -- circular plates numbering close to double-digits, hovering in the air. And turning to face towards Karin. When his arm sweeps down - and potentially the rest of his body with it - the discs light up brightly, firing off bolts of energy from each of them in rapid succession like a line of machineguns!

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has reached second wind!

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Karin            0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Karin dodges Daisuke's Soul Arrow Storm.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke

"...hmm?" Karin seems genuinely confused for a moment, raising an eyebrow as Blazing Panther rises back up to his feet. She blinks several times, then he eyes widen as discs appear in the air, gathering energy. The Kanzuki blinks, drops low, and reacts.

Countless bolts fire out and Karin bobs left, then right, ducking low to avoid the worst of it. She rises again, advancing, once more. Another burst of bolts cames for her, and she drops into a slide.

And continues at an angle, going for Daisuke's legs with a kick.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Karin's Diving Kick.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|=====--\-------\0          Daisuke

"Hhaahhh--" While the bolts of energy are raining down upon Karin, the red-head slams his down-swung hand down onto the floor -- and in a sudden burst of strength, manages to use that leverage poitn to push himself back upright again. Just in time to pounce off to the side out of the way of her sliding kick.

"Not--" He growls out as his feet skid on the floor, forcing his upper weight forward. And as he does, a burst of energy blazes out from the elbow of his wound up right arm, like a rocket that ends up propelling his body into a turn after the blonde, and drive his fist at speed at her. "--So fast!!"

COMBATSYS: Karin fails to counter Soul Cutter from Daisuke with Joudan Yasha Gaeshi.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///////                       ]
Karin            0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Karin keeps on fighting!

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Karin            0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0          Daisuke

Karin's eyes widen. She raises her arms, ready to intercept the incoming rocket punch. She realizes, a bit too late, that she can't stop it, drawing back as she gets clocked in the chin, taking her off her feet and landing her across the ring.

She lays there for a moment before planting her palms and slowly climbing up to her feet, breathing heavily.

"You...you..." She resumes her stance, shakily, ready to move forward.

"Miss Kanzuki!" the man in the red apron calls, making his way toward the ring. "You have a phone call!"

"Wh-Ishizaki, can't you see I'm busy?!"

"It's your father, ma'am."

Karin grumbles. "Ugggh. Fine. You pass, I suppose."

But will Daisuke stop so easily?

The energy-propelled punch comes with the expected side-effect with the yougn man's overall state of getting sent stumbling forward several steps after Karin has already been launched off her feet, to the point he comes awfully close to falling over entirely. Even after he's managed to brace one foot agains the floor to steady his stance, his form is slumped over, shoulders heaving with the heavy, exhausted breaths...

And he sees her getting up slowly.

The glowing lines fade away from his upper face with the settling of all that energy, and with an audible groan of pain and fatigue both, he stomps forward in the instant she's up on her feet, fist drawn back.


Only to halt and practically freeze into place when the attendant comes barging in. Eyes blink several times over while he watches the exchange, and... she seems to relent?

"... Uh..."

With a heavy breath, he eventually allows tension to leave his body, and that fist to fall down to his side. "... That's the best I'm going to get from you, isn't it?"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke drops his guard to recover.

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Karin            0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0          Daisuke

"What?" Karin says, "were you expecting a 'good job?' You should recognize your own talents and be confident! That's what being a Rising Star is all about." Karin smiles, haughtily, taking a towel as Ishizaki hands her one.

"But I suppose it's only natural to want praise from a Kanzuki, isn't it? It was a good match." Karin smiles, dabbing the sweat from her brow. "I expect nothing less in your first match."

"I... Guess...?" Slowly, the masked boy straightens himself out, shaky as his body might be still as a result of... essentially everything. He's trying to not let it show, but he can't quite manage to ward off the shaking of his knees.

"...Thank you. I'll... do my best."

"Good!" Karin says. "Don't worry. I have business to attend to, but Ishizaki will show you to the locker room. You are welcome to a meal as well. It's only proper that a Kanzuki show proper hospitality to her guest."

"If you'll excuse me." Karin steps away, taking the phone from Ishizaki as he extends it on a ... a pillow? "Yes, hello, Papa."

Ishizaki tucks the pillow under his arm. He is a big armed, wide Japanese man in a red apron and dress clothes.

"I thought you did quite well," Ishizaki says. "It was an excellent fight. I can get you a first-aid kit if you'd like."

Of course Karin's phone is held up on a pillow. Why wouldn't it be? At least by now that kind of fact somehow seems to not at all phase 'Panther' any more.

"...Uhm, no, I... I think I will be okay..." He claims then, to Ishizaki, offering a quick, subtle bow to his way before making a turn for the door he originally came in from. Nevermind that every single muscle and nerve in his body is in the process of screaming bloody murder. But heaven forbid he end up he risk the Kanzuki lady suddenly changing her mind by letting her see just how much pain he's in thanks to both the beating he received from her directly and the strain he put himself into with all that unstable energy.

Though admittedly, after putting himself up to this for the sake of testing himself, and finding himself in such a state already, the matches to come don't seem that tempting anymore...

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has left the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Karin has ended the fight here.

Log created on 12:47:47 03/21/2021 by Karin, and last modified on 20:20:59 03/24/2021.