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Description: For his failure to overcome the Worldwide Young Ladies' Club, Kung Lao has found himself rebuffed from gaining an audience with the Demon Queen. Instead, he's been given a cryptic new quest: he'll be taken, blindfolded, to a remote location in the Middle East. When he arrives at the tomb, he's told that in order to secure an audience with the Demon Queen, he must delve into the tomb's burial chamber and retrieve an object from the sarcophagus: a khopesh, once wielded by a great conqueror. With this tribute, he will be granted an audience with Lyraelle - but beyond the multitude of deadly traps filling the tomb, he'll also have to defeat a revenant of the past - as the deadly warrior known as Scorpion awaits within, having been promised aid in a quest for an 'audience' of his own...

An old crypt like this, it might be hard for most people to breathe. But the ghost is in here perfectly still, most of him hidden in the true darkness that comes from the absence of light. Save for the orange embers of flame in his hands, bringing just enough light to create looming shadows all around.

He is sat on the ground, cross legged, back rigid. It appears he is waiting on someone.

Minutes, hours, days; time is a tricky thing to track in the dark. Without the need to eat or drink, and with the promise of vengeance looming ever closer, it is difficult to tell how long the specter is forced to weight. But as has been said before, good things come to those who wait, and this is no exception.
Roughly twenty feet in front of the seated ninja, a large section of smooth grey stone begins to vibrate in the darkness. Grinding and scraping along hidden tracks older than the English language, the concealed door slides slowly up into the ceiling, centuries of accumulated dust cascading down to puff against the floor, concealing several rows of carefully worked stone tiles.
A soft blue light radiates through the now open portal, its gentle glow catching upon moats of dust and causing them to shine with fuzzy halos. As it moves forward into the square hole of the entrance, the light reveals itself to be an orb of softly pulsing energy hovering an inch or two above the upturned palm of a young monk dressed in blue vest and white Kung Fu pants, his forearms guarded by simple leather bracers and his face hidden beneath the brim of a broad leather hat. A hat who's edge gleams with reflected light, razor edge slicing through the darkness as easily as it might slice through flesh.
Pausing just inside the room, sandaled feet buried up to the toes in ancient filth, Kung Lao gazes across the distance toward the seated ninja. Head cocking to one side, he considers the situation, allowing the moment to stretch.
"I am beginning to hate this demoness." he confesses through a sigh, though the faintest shift of shadows beneath his hat hints at the tired smirk audible in his tone. "She could not have made this easy."

"Is that what you're after, monk? An easy path through this life?"

Scorpion muses out loud, his own outfit a far cry from the usual black and yellow. Instead, he is wearing an old shabby grey 'suit', old worn pants and kimono top, his lower face hidden behind an equally threadbare mask. His hair is in a loose topknot, and as he rises to his feet, the sword at his waist jostles every so slightly. He looks over at Kung Lao with those white eyes, his head tilting ever so slightly.

"Show me what the famed Shaolin are capable of."

COMBATSYS: Scorpion has started a fight here.

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Scorpion         0/-------/------=|

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao has joined the fight here.

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Scorpion         0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0         Kung Lao

In truth, the young monk hadn't expected to be exchanging verbal jabs as well as physical ones, and the quick response causes him to pause a moment longer as he reassesses the situation. The white eyes that gleam in his reflected light hint at a supernatural nature, as does the burning aura he can sense within the specter. But he is not mindless.
"I am not here for a lesson, assassin. If you wish to find wisdom, seek me out once I have returned to the monastery, and I will teach you then."
By the time he has finished speaking the faint tone of amusement has changed, faint smirk growing into a grin that reflects a brief flash of white teeth from the light floating above his palm.
"But, until that time," he begins, tossing the light forward to drift apart into a shower of harmless sparks...
"I will be glad to trade blows over words."
The last bit arrives in a gust of wind directly behind where Scorpion now stands, the hatted monk rising out of nowhere in an attempt to wrap his arms tightly around the ninja's middle and drag him off of his feet, right leg thrusting up and forward in counter balance as he arches backward in a neatly executed throw, aiming to hurl the grey-clad ninja up and over head-first into one of the six stone pillars ringing the sarcophagus.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Kung Lao's Graceful Cat.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-----==|-------\-------\0         Kung Lao

Scorpion doesn't break his stride, and doesn't panic when the man in the hat suddenly appears. It's easy enough for Kung Lao to grab his waist and throw him, but the ninja twists and pivots in air, and hits the pillar with his tabi-covered feet, before effortlessly springing off and rolling to his feet. For such a big man he closes distance very easily with Kung Lao, sliding in to wrap his legs around the monk's. From here the attempt to sweep is easy enough, trying to get Kung Lao to land hard on his back.

"Then in that case, shut up and fight!"

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao blocks Scorpion's Affliction.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0         Kung Lao

Tracking Scorpion's progress from his upside down arch, Lao observes just long enough to see the ninja continue the rotation and hit the pillar feet first. It's the sort of thing he himself would do, and well done at that.
Leg cutting the air with an audible WOOSH, he swings himself back upright and whirls about just in time to meet the sliding grapple head on, clamping his calves tightly around the ninja's own and riding the momentum backward toward the ground. However, rather than smashing helplessly into the stones he manages to lash out with one palm and brace against the tiles, core flexing as he works to reverse the grapple and swing his lower body around, dragging the assassin skidding across the stones before snapping his coiled legs out straight and hopefully sending the specter sliding away across the dusty floor to crash into the far wall while the monk himself kips neatly up to his feet.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao successfully hits Scorpion with Back Throw.

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Scorpion         0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0         Kung Lao

The ninja went flying, and this time his attempt to flip didn't go so well. Slamming into the far wall, he slides down until he's face down on his hands. But he doesn't dwell on things long, because he pushes up to his feet, and takes two steps before throwing out his right hand, the kunai traveling through the air even as rope coils behind it. Scorpion yells out with a deep powerful voice that echoes off of the walls,


COMBATSYS: Kung Lao just-defends Scorpion's Spear EX!

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Scorpion         0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0         Kung Lao

Though things seem to be going well, if Kung Lao has learned anything from his travels thus far it's how quickly the tables can turn when you least expect it. If he were all attitude and no skill, this is the point where he'd let his guard down to gloat. And if he had, he'd probably have a spear lodged in his chest.
The words are still ringing through the passages beyond as Lao brings his left hand up with the preternatural speed of someone running completely on auto pilot. Allowing his muscles to act without conscious input from his brain, his fingers clamp down on the flat of the kunai a mere foot from his sternum, powerful grip squeezing the metal until the weapon slides to a burning stop against his fingertips, poised above the center of his chest. The brim of his hat dips as he glances down at the rope now stretched between them, free hand coming up to grip the projectile just behind the head.
"As you wish."
Giving a sharp tug on the rope, Kung Lao launches himself forward into a flying kick, one foot braced behind the other as he hurtles through the air toward the ninja's chest. Half way there he discards the kunai, tossing it aside and continuing on in his attempt to leap half the length of the room and plow heavily into the assassin, doing his best to drive him backward to the ground and land in a kneel atop his chest.
If he can gain that position, the monk will unleash an astoundingly quick series of punches, calloused knuckles falling like heavy rain as he pounds OneTwoThreeFourFiveSevenNineThirteenSeventeen punches down into the specter's masked face, breath expelled in a short, sharp 'HUUUAH!' of a kiai. Rearing back from the final punch, the monk will end the combo by throwing himself forward into a dropping elbow directly between the bigger man's eyes, threatening to pound the back of his skull down into the ornate stone tiles beneath.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion blocks Kung Lao's Heavy Mountain ES.

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Scorpion         0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

He's on the defense, the rope dropped even as he steps backward to let his back hit the stone wall and allowing Kung Lao to step in and throw strike after strike after strike after strike. Scorpion's wooden gauntlets and forearms are taking most of the impact but Scorpion is taking enough damage that he feels like he needs to do something about this soon.

At the very end when Kung Lao throws that big heavy punch, the ninja twists and pivots out of the way as he leaps into the air, spins around and throws a massive kick at the side of the monk. Maybe it will be enough to get some distance between the two of them.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao dodges Scorpion's Back Kick.

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Scorpion         0/-------/--=====|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

The ferocious flurry of punches hammers into Scorpion's guard with numbing regularity, only breaking when he lunges in to deliver the elbow that ultimately misses, hardened bone impacting the stone wall hard enough to send a hairline crack spidering out across the surface.
Right knee buckling, he drops just in time to send the ninja's leg swooshing over his head, long ponytail flowing behind him as he twists, gaze lifting to focus upon the rotating form above him. A short breath is sucked in through his nose, his right fist is raised, and he springs back up toward the assassin with incredible speed--
Only to pause, torso bent forward over his left knee, right foot anchored behind him as potential energy is focused all throughout his body.
Breath exploding from his chest in a ringing shout, he releases himself from the odd stuttering delay and finishes the attack, unleashing a one-inch punch point blank into Scorpion's air-born torso in a bid to send him flying back through the air. If successful he will bound into immediate action, leaping after him and bringing his left hand sweeping down from his head to deliver a brutal vertical slice of his razor-edged hat across the specter's upper chest, followed by a quick whirling flourish to spatter blood across the wall beside them before the hat descends in a vertical slash down the center of the ninja's torso, completing the second line of the cross.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao successfully hits Scorpion with Deadly Path.

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Scorpion         1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0         Kung Lao

The attack goes through, that magnicent steel hat slicing through his chest to allow ribbons of blood to spray along while he hurdles head over heels and hits the ground with a 'thud'. But he doesn't even wait to flinch, instead roaring out in anger and frustration even as his body seems to light up with fire even as he uses the momentum to roll to a standing position. And along the way, he leg shoots out in a sudden legsweep aimed at the monk.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao parries Scorpion's Sweep!

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Scorpion         0/-------/<<<<<<<|=------\-------\0         Kung Lao

Sandaled feet throwing up plumes of dust in his wake, Kung Lao pursues the enraged specter through the near total darkness. In truth, he doesn't need light to fight. The monks have long sense taught him to rely on instinct and the gentle brushes of his other senses to combat that which he can not see, but the sudden eruption of flames that cloaks the hell spawn's body make that wholly unnecessary.
Without a single stutter in his step, Lao transitions from running on the ground to running along Scorpion's sweeping leg, stepping up onto the limb and taking two dashing steps along it before leaping up to deliver two quick snap kicks, the first cracking up toward the assassin's chin while the other hammers forward toward his blazing chest. If he can manage to send the angry ghost into another backward stagger, Lao will drop out of the air and hook a leg through his, dragging it out so that he can swoop down, grab it by thigh and shin, then twist beneath it, using the limb as a lever to swing Scorpion up and over his shoulders and back down into the stone ground.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao successfully hits Scorpion with Uprooting Step EX.

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Scorpion         1/-----<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

Scorpion is parried, flipped and thrown, and lands upon the ground and just lays there a moment. When he raises, it is to a kneeling position as he takes in a deep breath, and tries to center himself. In this fight his strategy has not been working, which means it is time to focus, time to gather his wits and try to figure something else.

The ninja looks up at the rambunctious monk and speaks.

"Your form is impeccable. Who is your teacher, boy?"

COMBATSYS: Scorpion komposes his thoughts.

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Scorpion         1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

A single backward step helps gain distance from the specter, everything about the monk having remained razor focused throughout their clash. Though much younger than the assassin before him, he does hold himself with the easy confidence of a master, lending some credence to his cocky attitude up to now.
"I am Kung Lao, direct descendent of the Great Kung Lao. From birth I have been raised by the Shaolin to be a champion of Earth. I think, perhaps, boy falls short of the respect I am due."
Feet spread and knees slightly bent, the young monk twists his hands together in a gesture that seems almost prayer like, patiently watching the ninja from beneath the shadow of his hat. As ever his tone is calm and light, playful rather than sarcastic. But all of that fades away as he continues, all levity dropping from him with the gravity of the situation.
"You should stand aside. I must retrieve the relic held here to gain an audience with the demon running these events. These death matches, their ties to Outworld. It is not right. As a member of the White Lotus I must discover what her true involvement is."

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao focuses on his next action.

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Scorpion         1/---<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

Scorpion from his kneeling position, merely continues to watch the aggressive, powerful monk and seems to regard the young man carefully.

"Kung Lao, great descendant of the Great Kung Lao. I say this with all the respect you deserve, I step aside for no one."

He bends at the waist to give a slight bow, before he vanishes into a swirling cloud of ash. Moments later he appears from behind Lao, throwing a heavy roundhouse kick at the man's ear just below his hat. Not satisfied with merely one attack, Scorpion throws a heavy punch surrounded in flame at the man's kidney area, followed quickly by grabbing at the man's waist and hoisting him up into the air. This was a simple wrestling takedown, nothing fancy, but being slammed on his neck and shoulders would be a rude awakening for any fighter. And Scorpion had to step up his attack if he wanted any chance of taking this one down.

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao dodges Scorpion's Krushing Blow.

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Scorpion         1/-----<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

"Then by your own choice," Kung Lao replies softly to the bowing monk, watching as he vanishes in a cloud of ash, "You make of yourself an obstacle to the safety of the realm."
The last is said no less calmly as the young monk bends his knees to once more slip beneath the roundhouse kick, popping up and weaving neatly around the punch while whirling to face the teleporting specter. Hands reach for his waist, but with a huff of exhaled air he brings his palms out of prayer position and sweeps them out wide, dropping to one knee as the grapple is deflected out to either side. From there it is a simple thing for the monk to swing one arm in and the other back, coiling, then exploding up into a lunging stand that sends his right fist rocketing up toward the ghost's chin with all the speed and power he can get behind it.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion just-defends Kung Lao's Uppercut!

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Scorpion         1/-----<</<<<<<<<|==-----\-------\0         Kung Lao

"Your safety is most definitely in question, monk!"

He throws out barbs and insults even as his punches and kicks whiff and miss, but he doesn't seem particularly bothered. He's still moving and still utilizing his own momentum when he sees the attempt at an uppercut and leaps up at the same time, both of his feet balanced on that rising fist even as he stares down with his arms crossed.

A backflip later and Scorpion was airborn even as he grabs the edge of that mask covering his face. There is a shimmer in the air a moment before he removes it, where it is hard to see anything but yellow flame...but is there something behind that flame? Is that a skull, where a face should be? Is that what was shooting out this geyser directly at Kung Lao's center mass?

This entire room was going up like kindling very shortly it seemed, something in the stale air igniting even without the pillars and the walls catching flame and practically boiling. This was bad news for the human fighter in the middle of things...

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao blocks Scorpion's Toasty!.

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Scorpion         0/-------/-------|===----\-------\0         Kung Lao

Kung Lao remains silent in the face of Scorpion's flippant remark, instinctively leaping backward a moment after the specter uses his fist as a springboard. Landing atop the sarcophagi in the center of the room, he has an excellent vantage from which to watch the hell spawn peel off skin and cloth alike to reveal the flaming inferno beneath.
In the blazing light of the approaching flames, the lower half of the monk's face is fully illuminated for the first time, lips pressed in a stern line.
Bringing his hands together with thumb and first finger forming a circle, the rest spread in branching horns, he closes his eyes, breathes in the stale air, and focuses. A faint blue glow rises from the surface of his skin but is quickly drown beneath the orange radiance of the fire that is nearly upon him, consuming dust and grime as it spreads to fill the entire room.
The wind stirs around Lao's still form, wafting ineffectually into the face of the flames, then gathering in tight around his body as it works to pick up speed. It has just began to whip itself into a mini tornado when the fire finally washes over him, burying him beneath a sea of roiling flames. Flames that rage, grow, and then part as a howling hurricane of wind tears through them, blasting hellfire out to wash across the walls and clearing the center of the room. Only then does the wind die down to nothing, Lao's ponytail falling to flap against his back as he stares toward Scorpion from the center of the stiflingly hot room, walls ringed in fire.
"Your hatred consumes you. Whatever petty goal has driven you from the grave, it is not worth the pain and suffering that would come if Outworld were to be released upon the realm."
Breaking the circle of his hands, he disperses the last of the chi in a softly glowing wave, leaping forward through it with a spinning whirlwind kick not unlike a faster version of the roundhouses the ninja has been attempting throughout the fight.
If that opening kick lands, Lao will drop out of the sky and sweep his fist down in a spiking overhead punch to the top of Scorpion's head, before snapping his free hand out, grabbing him by the cloth of his tunic, and dragging him forward in a quick turning toss over his outstretched leg...

COMBATSYS: Kung Lao successfully hits Scorpion with Aggressive Tiger ES.

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Scorpion         0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0         Kung Lao

Sending the specter flipping back toward the sarcophagus, Lao sweeps his hat off of his head and hurls it humming through the air in hot pursuit. However, rather than cleaving directly into the ninja, the razor-rimmed projectile zips past and impacts the stone coffin, rebounding with a metal clank before slamming into the assassin's back. There it hovers, whirling like a buzz saw and sending blood spraying across the pillars to either side as Lao steps after his opponent.
Dashing in, the young monk hammers four hard punches into Scorpion's face and chest, driving him backward into the hat. These are followed by a short stomp forward, posture centering itself, and a flurry of blurring fists that hammer over and over into the bigger man's gut, pounding him faster than the average man can count. Two full seconds of impacts that vibrate through the ninja's bones before Lao steps back and lifts his left hand, summoning his bloody hat into his hand and ending the combination with a stepping side kick that plants his bamboo sandal squarely into the hell spawn's throat. Not a killing combination, but one that even a being as powerful as Scorpion might not be able to walk off.

Scorpion is hit with an onslaught of fury, punched and kicked and sliced until the side kick drives Scorpion through the air, into the flames that the ninja started. By the time they dissipate, there is nothing. Not even a corpse. Not even ashes.

COMBATSYS: Scorpion karefully takes in the situation.

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Kung Lao         0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Scorpion can no longer fight.

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Kung Lao         0/-------/-------|

Blood drips from the edge of Lao's hat with a steady tap, tap, tap, joining the soft crackle of flames as the only sounds in the flickering chamber. Standing perfectly still, the monk waits, muscles loose, eyes unfocused.
Slowly, very slowly, Kung Lao lowers his guard and takes the time to sweep his hat through the air, clearing it of blood in a single neat flourish before returning it to his head. All that's left to do is bust open this sarcophagus and get what he came for, then he can finally get an audience with the Queen.
After he has determined this weapon is not a danger to the realm, anyway.

Log created on 20:06:31 04/12/2021 by Kung Lao, and last modified on 12:40:29 04/18/2021.