Rising Star 2021 - Ristar R4: Hayley vs Blazing Panther

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Description: In the exciting third round of Ristar, Hayley Bretherton squares off against the mysterious Blazing Panther! Can this surprising newcomer take home victory with his dogged determination and mysterious power, or will Hayley's power of the Outback grasp victory? Fists will fly at this location!

Hayley has made it far in Ristar, further than she ever expected when she entered. The matches so far have been intense, grueling even. At the same time, they've been a wild time---and one that she has loved almost every minute of. The chance to meet other upstart fighters and test her mettle has been good for Hayley, and the success of her style so far---sometimes against considerable odds---has been a much needed boost of confidence after a long, dark road.

Some of the names are familiar, and some are not, but none has been quite as unsuaul as "Blazing Panther." Hayley has heard a few stories, but this is definitely a new face, to say the least.

Hayley is presently pacing around the Kanzuki Excellence Center's central arena. She seems to be sizing up the size of it as she stretches, working out the stiffness. She drops into a standing squat, arms extended, repeating this several times as she waits for the masked newcomer who has been clamoring up through the rounds.

Meanwhile, one Daisuke Kubo struggles with doubts. Doubts about his own abilities, and--

For that matter, doubts about wether he has any right to be doing what he is doing in the first place. The teenager's shuffling his fingers through the crimson scarf coiled around his neck nervously, while staring down at the ground by his feet. He thought to just test himself first, sure, but... time and time again, that simple desire's leading to him burning his own body up, at the cost of perfectly legitimate victories taken away from people in the Rising Star tournament.

That's how a significant portion of his mind sees it, anyway. But at the same time, Tsugumi's words echo through his head.

''It is insulting to your opponents not to fight seriously''

Maybe she's right about that much, at least. And the fact that a man should finish what he started, for that matter.

With a deep sigh, the red-haired boy steadies himself and peers up to the distant sight of the large sign at the side of the Kanzuki Center of Excellence, and tugs the cloth bundled at his throat up over the lower half of his face....

And Blazing Panther walks inside.

It takes not much longer for the masked young man in a tight leather jacket to come stepping inside the central arena. Striding with much more purpose in his steps than usual, perhaps -- even if it is very much forced in his mind. He still has some hangups about this, afterall.

It's at the edge of the high-tech grid at the center where he comes to a stop, while unusually bright green eyes turn over the australian going through squats.


"Huh? Oh, hoi, that's me!" Hayley is mid-squat, looking over her shoulder when the other fighter arrives. She springs up, bouncing on her feet as Blazing Panther enters. She swings her arm around in a stretch, pulling against the upper arm.

"You're," she pauses, "Blazing Panther? I've heard you've really been putting on a good showing..." She continues her routine. "So I hope we can have a good match. I don't really know what to expect!"

Well, it's a good thing that the dark-red cloth mask covers Blazing Panther's face so well, because otherwise Hayley would witness the young man blushing over the compliment. "U-uhm... I don't know about that..." He mumbles either way, with one military surplus boot scuffing lightly agains the floor.

"...But otherwise yeah, that's me." Uncertainly, he lefts his emerald eyes up from the floor after another akward few seconds to look to the australian woman still going through her little exercise routine. "...I hope I can be good enough for you, at least."

"I don't think you have to worry about that if you've made this far!" Hayley says with a crooked smile. "I haven't had a bad match yet, and I'm excited to see what you're bringing to the table."

The Aussie takes big steps, one foot, then the other, positioning her stance widely before taking a bow. After rising, she extends one arm out front and raises the other behind her.

"I'm ready when you are!"

"Probably I'm just lucky, honestly..."

Does this one not have much confidence behind him, is that what this is? Well. Truth be told, Blazing Panther - Daisuke - is nervous. Not just because of the realization brought on by Hayley's stance that she is clearly another skilled martial artist with leagues above more practice htan what he's had... but also because of his own style of fighting.

The one that's made him contemplate on if he should even continue in the tournament, to use that power for such a selfish reason.

But his friend's words are still stuck in the back of his mind. That alone might be the only thing that's actually keeping him here now.

The masked redhead takes in a deep breath and bounces lightly on his feet once, twice, three times before settling into a posture of feet slightly spread, and arms lifted up with fists curled shut. A posture clearly copied just from looking at boxers, rather than adopted through actual practice.

This may well be one of his most important tests. To see if he can put up a decent enough fight while still maintaining control of himself. Be bold.

"I... I'm ready."

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Daisuke          0/-------/-------|

"Well you know," Hayley says, "making good use of your luck is a skill in itself, huh?" She watches his stance, his footing, and how he positions himself. Boxing? Her eyes narrow a bit, as if something catches her by surprise. She takes a half-step, then catches herself, stepping back again.

"Let's do our best!" Hayley surges forward, taking a long step that gives way to a bounding leap toward Daisuke, swinging her arm downward in a arcing, whip-like strike with the back of her fist.

COMBATSYS: Hayley has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Hayley           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Daisuke with Descending Magpie.

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


Under the display of speed from the Aussie, that boxing stance that Blazing Panther had at least *attempted* to put up falls apart completely, betraying his own lack of training and experience in that particular art. In a panic, he leans back and brings his arms up, but the result is more of a flailing motion that Hayley's fist slips down in between easily--

And smacks the red-haired boy right across the top of his head, hard enough to bring out a choked noise of pain and bowl him down to hands and knees on the floor.

"URgh... fast..." He winces out while he pushes himself upwards, shakily... only to suddenly burst up the rest of the way in a sudden spurt of momentum, and leap through the air half-blindly towards Hayley--


And swing his fist equally wildly for her while he's still in the air.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke successfully hits Hayley with Spirited Charge.
- Power hit! -

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

Hayley draws back from the downward strike, stepping away from the redhead as her fist impacts. In fact, she seems a little concerned at his reaction.

"U-uh, s-sorry?" she says, but in the next moment, "Blazing Panther" is barreling down on her with a wild swing. She seems caught off guard as she tries to duck and weave, failing to avoid the punch as it catches her on the cheek for a real slobberknocker that sends her staggering backward.

She brushes a bit of blood from her lip and resumes her fighting stance, circling around and moving in once again. She hunkers down, drawing her arms up before launching two snapping, chi-infused snake-style jabs -- and as she does she grimaces, her chi seeming to surge and her hands taking on a silvery, metallic sheen.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke interrupts Twin Adder Striking Fangs from Hayley with Soul Cutter EX.
- Power hit! -

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Hayley           1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0          Daisuke

The wild manner of the leap and the jump it was used to deliver are... a bit too much for Blazing Panther's skill, perhaps, judging from the fact that he damn near falls over with his rebounding bounces after the hit landed. "Awawawa..."

The kind of stumbling movement that actually forces his posture down low after the fact, crouched down to ensure his balance remains-- and leave a glaring opening for Hayley to move in on with her chi-infused strikes.

Or that's what it looks like, anyway. While he's still crouched down, and his widened eyes peer up at the approaching Aussie and her assault, his fist rises up--


And a blast of bright, blue-green energy bursts from his elbow, suddenly driving the arm forcefully further upwards, and himself with it. While it may not be an actual rocket, it does seem akin to a rocket punch as the fist sweeps right up in a fierce, driving uppecut that slams right at the underside of Hayley's chin in the same instant the first of her two jabs smacks against him -- and the both of them are left to rebounding off of each other before the second one can reach him. "GUh--! You're strong--!"

Hayley's snake strikes go in as Daisuke's uppercut explodes like a rocket, slipping through her guard and catching her on the chin even as she slams into Daisuke's sides. She goes off her feet and briefly goes airborne, tumbling backward away from him before landing in a roll.

"You too!" Hayley says, "I wasn't expecting that at all!" She shifts her stance, repositioning her footing and drawing up into more of a boxer's stance. She springs forward, readying a hook---

And then feinting into a swift side kick instead.

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Daisuke with Medium Kick.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Hayley           1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1          Daisuke


Whatever excuse Dai- er, Blazing Panther was about to give is lost to the ether, swept aside by Hayley's returning charge back towards him even while he's still steadying himself.

Of all things, he doesn't actually lift his arms up to try and protect against the hook, no -- even before she sends that kick out, he's already moving to leap to the side instead, with his eyes on her leg. Did he...?

However he might have read the actual intent behind her movements, he is, unfortunately, just not actually fast enough to make proper use of it. The aussie's foot slams with cruel force against his midsection before he can slip out of the way properly, resulting in the intended motion leading to an uncontrolled tumble to the side.


All the way to falling down onto the floor ungracefully. It takes the boy all he has to just not curl up helplessly from the pain or not completely lose his ability to breathe. He doesn't *quite* manage to bring himself fully up from the floor like that either -- but he doesn't let himself just stay a free target either. Stubbornly, he rolls over and sends one foot thrusting out towards the australian, momentary wreathed in the same blue-green energy that had blasted earlier to send his fist flying up like a rocket into her.

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Daisuke's Light Kick.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Hayley           1/--=====/=======|=======\=------\1          Daisuke

Hayley's kick finds purchase against Daisuke's ribs, and the Aussie draws back, bouncing on her heels before stomping into a wider Bajiquan stance again. This is well timed, it seems, as the Blazing Panther kicks toward Hayley impacts her shin as she turns to the side, plants her foot, and absorbs the impact---with some difficulty, hobbling backward.

"Crikey," Hayley says, "that's a strong hit. What do you call your style?" The bluenette bends her knees and shifts her footing, repositioning. She surges forward again, striking downward with another overhead chop with a wide circular motion---but this time, she transitions into a grab, aiming to pull Daisuke up and into a hip check back away.

COMBATSYS: Hayley successfully hits Daisuke with Magpie and Wombat EX.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////                   ]
Hayley           1/=======/=======|=======\======-\1          Daisuke

"S-...style...?" The redhead manages to cough out from behind his mask, sounding genuinely confused. The kick might not have been, at least in Daisuke's own mind, as effective as intended, but it does at least clear him with enough time and room to get himself a bit further up from where he has been brought down...

...Only to be caught almost immediately by the overhead chop. He might have seen - or sensed - it coming, but his body just doesn't quite respond to his intents properly now, not at all. The blue-haired aussie's hand spikes roughly at the top of his head, hard enough to send him doubling over, and further clearing the space for her to grab onto him--


And smack the poor boy across the floor all over again. For a short moment, he's actually left writhing there in visible pain. Everything hurts--

And something deep inside burns.



"Hhhh--- no, no--"

No. He can't. He promised he would do everything he could to keep it under control. Even if Tsugumi thinks he should give it everything he has-- he just can't. Not like this. Not for something like this.

In the weakened state as he is, the redhead actually visibly shakes while he's pushing himself up to his feet again. "Hhh... I'm... sorry... I don't think... I'm the kind of opponent you were looking for... afterall..."

Still, he's conscious. No matter how much his limbs might complain, they do still move. And without even thinking much more of it, 'Blazing Panther' surges up from the floor again, wobbling in the quick steps that carry him towards Hayley -- and half-blindly swings his arm towards her, in an entirely ungraceful punch.

Does he... not have any technique at all?

COMBATSYS: Hayley interrupts Medium Punch from Daisuke with Wombat's Crushing Blow ES.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Hayley           1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2          Daisuke

Hayley short hops out of the hip check, that surge of metallic chi happening again with the two blows, hardening her hits. Her aura surging in those flashes of heavy, iron power. She chews her lip, her eyes following Daisuke as she seems to be thinking about what he said. Or, perhaps, what he didn't say. The confusion there sticks with Hayley as Blazing Panther struggles to get back on his feet.

"--are you okay?" Hayley says, "Are you--" She starts to say something else, but then there's the surge. He's back on his feet and barreling down on her, and Hayley reacts instinctively. Her aura gathers, she slams her foot down, and she swings her hips forward as she ducks low to avoid the punch and bodycheck Blazing Panther once again.

The boy doesn't even get a chance to give an answer to the concerned question. "Gh-?!"

He doesn't even fully realize what happened. Just one moment, his fist was swinging through the air, and the next, sharp pain is jolting through him, with his fist sent sweeping through the air. Were it that he had some kind of focus on his exact situation, he *might* have been blushing over the realization of just what exactly he got hit with, but as it stands-- the pain overtaking his body is too much to even consider such things.

Sent flying through the air by Hayley's surprisingly-powerful hip, Blazing Panther is but a streak of black and red, with his scarf fluttering as a trail to mark his path before he slams down onto the floor again.

"Gah... haaahn... you're... g-...go-..."

The teenager tries to get the words out, while he's writhing on the floor, with his back arching out-- and then slumping down again.

Everything fades.

Static. Static.

Flames. Burning. Every nerve ending lights up.

Powerful energy arcs around Blazing Panther's unmoving body. It licks along the ground, along the walls and the ceiling even, as it gathers around him.

Fire. A blazing maelstrom of--


A sudden slam of a palm against the floor, and seemingly in an instant, Blazing Panther is up on one knee instead of lying down. The storm of energy gathering around him has, surprisingly, disappeared as well.

He promised he would control it better. That he wouldn't hurt himself again. But at the same time--

There was something else Tsugumi told him to do. Something else that cheerful girl wanted him to do.

Because she believed in him.

And so even though everything hurts-- a crackle of energy returns around him. It's more controlled now, more focused around his own body, spiraling along his limbs. Causing his scarf and hair to hover upwards through some bizarre distortion of gravity.

"I shouldn't... hhhh... Insult you... should I..."

Head still hanging low, and body shaking. Even Blazing Panther's gloved hand pressed down to the floor as the only support to keep him up seems unstable, with fingers scratching into the tile.

"T-the truth is... I-i'm weak... Really, really weak, Bretherton-san..."

THe words are difficult to form. His eyes don't even seem to work properly while glowing lines of blue-green form along the exposed portion of his head, like little sigils of power.

"B-but... just like... everyone else in this tournament... like everyone e-else I had t-to fight... you came looking for... a g-good fight, r-right? T-to come this far and... not have a challenge... would b-be an insult..."

He might not believe that himself, but that's what his friend told him. What that person who embodied everything professional fighters seemed to be about told him.

He might not be like that, himself. But he could still see the beauty in it.

And to think he would come here to soil that?

"I don't... don't know how long... guh... I'll last... but..."

Suddenly, his head lifts up, snapping now-glowing eyes to staring at the australian with an equally sudden burst of resolute focus.

"At least for a few seconds-- this weak man will do everything he can to make it worth it!!"

The energy along him bursts up into the air, splitting into multiple different points before stretching into several, disc-like translucent shapes in the air. No, maybe not discs. Portals?


And every single one flashes in quick, repeated succession -- firing veritable spray of energy projectiles down from above towards Hayley, like a line of machineguns.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has reached second wind!

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Hayley           1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\-------\1          Daisuke

COMBATSYS: Hayley blocks Daisuke's Soul Arrow Storm.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Hayley           2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\1          Daisuke

Hayley steps back out of her strike with the steady double tap of her boots, one, then the other. She rises back up out of the stiff, solid stance of her Bajiquan-based style, and when she does, she sees her opponent floored across the high-tech arena. She goes pale, for a moment, remembering the times when she herself received a heavy beating. He made it this far, right? He certainly has powerful strikes, so surely he's okay...? Is this some kind of trick...?

"Are you okay?" she asks, taking a step toward him when the writhing begins. "-medic? Where's the m--" The surge of power follows, and Hayley swallows, stepping back into her fighting stance on reflex. Her time with Ikaris taught her well, in that regard.

"Wot," Hayley's accent comes out more heavily under pressure. "I mean, sure, but there's no need to push yourself on my acc--" The energy flares, and Hayley watches carefully. "Those hits were anything but weak. Is this about what I said about style earlier? I mean--"

The flurry of projectiles begins, and Hayley sets herself. Her knees drop as she braces herself, bringing her arms up in a cross-block. That lingering chi from before surges in a flash, first as an aura of blue-white energy sheathing her body--and then in that metallic sheen from before. The arrows wither away at her, working her down before one almost knocks her down by striking her knee. Even so, she keeps standing, breathing heavily.

"Look," she says, focusing, breathing deeply. "I don't want you to do anything on my account--I just want your best, and I definitely don't want someone hurt for no reason--" Hayley grinds her heel against the high-tech flooring. "But if you want to bring your best, let's make this a proper match!"

She surges forward, extending her hands at her sides. Her fingers splay, then tense, chi surging through her arms and solidfying as it flow to the tips of her fingers. For a moment, she draws claw-like lines of energy from each finger, but it sputters and surges, giving way to iron-like hands as Hayley grimaces with the discomfort. She slashes forward, swiping through the air, once, twice, and then bringing her palms together in a two-handed punch, fists interlocked as energy spikes forward.

COMBATSYS: Daisuke dodges Hayley's Hunting Dingo ES.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Hayley           1/-----<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>>\-------\1          Daisuke


While the bolts of energy are raining down on Hayley, Blazing Panther stumbles. For a split second it seems as if the assault of energy has taken too much out of him finally, and he's going down for the count with that final attack...

But just like that, both his fists slam down agains the floor, followed by his leg sliding up along the floor to stomp one boot-clad foot onto it.

There is a non-zero chance that he didn't even really hear any of Hayley's words. By the time he's up on his feet, he already finds her charging in with steel-coated hands.


In a sudden, swaying motion, the redhead weaves right to the side away from the first swipe, and then the next-- without those still-glowing eyes really even fully tracking her limbs. Another sideward weave, and then, as her interlocked hands come down in a furious hammer strike, he bounces back -- her metal-coated knuckles sweeping just an inch or so ahead of his nose.

"Got you--!"

And while her fists are still down low in their rebound, the masked fighter stomps forward to swing a wild haymaker right for the side of the bluenette's face.


And then quickly, another. His eyes glow brighter still, as he steps in after the aussie, with punch after punch after punch -- the bit of skin revealed between his gloves and sleeves showing more glowing lines shining from underneath. Bursts of energy coursing through his veins and nerves to drive his body beyond it's normal limits, to strike faster than before.


COMBATSYS: Hayley fails to interrupt Spirited Combo from Daisuke with Triumphant Wombat EX.

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

Hayley shifts, slamming down a foot to try and intercept the incoming hammer blow. Chi surges, but then fizzles, Hayley thrown off balance as the hammer strike comes in faster than she can respond and clonks her head downward.

The haymaker catches her on the cheek, launching her backward into a staggering stumble. Punch after punch follows before she gets clear, each crackling with energy. When the furious barrage ends Hayley falls flat on her back and groans.

"Urrrgh," she writhes, then, bringing her legs up, launches from her back onto her feet into a shaky stagger before getting back into her stance.


If anything, Blazing Panther makes up for the lack of refined technique with pure resolve, and putting every last iota of himself into every blow he sends out.

The downside of this is that once Hayley has been sent falling down, and he finds no physical target to send him into a rebound anymore, he's left stumbling from the uncontrolled momentum again, all the way to ending up down onto his knees on the floor a few paces ahead of the aussie, breathing heavily.

"Not... either..." Rumbles the masked fighter, somehow managing to push himself back onto his feet just before Hayley herself does. And his eyes glow still while they stare at her, current-like crackles of energy focusing around his right arm now as he lifts his hand up to point his open palm at her.

"...I am sorry."

And the gathering energy focuses into an orb of energy upon the palm, slowly taking shape into an arrow...

But it doesn't fire at her immediately.


Is this still right? As much as his friend might want him to put all of his everything into this, and certainly take the opportunity for a strike that could potentially end the fight...

Does it feel right?


His fingers twitch above the orb of energy and crimson brows knit together.

''Should you really do this? *Can* you?''
An image of flames in the distance. Closing in, blazing through the earth.
''What do you fight for? Glory? A victory for the sake of nothing but victory? Fame from hurting the person in front of you?''
Flames consuming everything surrounding, a young child.

''Do you really deserve that?''


The orb briefly flashes brighter before disintegrating, and all the currents along his arm disappear as it's allowed to fall down limply to his side, with even the glow in his eyes fading away entirely as his eyes turn down to the floor ahead of him.

"...I can't."

COMBATSYS: Daisuke takes no action.

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

"Huh?" Hayley doesn't completely step out of her fighting stance as Daisuke draws back and pauses his advance. "Did you--" She inhales, exhales, trying to get a moment to regain her composure.

"You can't what? You have me on the ropes here," Hayley freely admits. "What even was that...?"

The Aussie strafes, sidestepping and not taking her attention off of Blazing Panther the entire time.

COMBATSYS: Hayley takes no action.

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

With Hayley not taking advantage of Blazing Panther's sudden pause... well, he doesn't do much of anything else for a few seconds, either.

But then, his weight tips back some, and just like that, he's slumping down onto his ass down on the floor with a groan.

"It's... it's your victory, Bretherton-san," he mutters, with his head hung low while drawing one knee up to drape an arm over it,

"I... I hope you will do well in the finals."

COMBATSYS: Daisuke takes no action.

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

Hayley mouth opens, agape as she watches Daisuke for several moments. She blinks several times, opens her mouth, closes it.

"Are you sure?" Hayley says, finally. "I'm--" She swallows. In that moment, a flood of memories come back. Her one-sided battles against countless opponents. Her difficult bouts so far. She starts to speak up again, but then moves over toward Daisuke. Hunkering down.

"Only if you're sure," she says, "but I want a rematch, sometime." Beat. "If you're up for it."

"Y-...yeah..." The red-haired boy sighs out. He lifts his head up slightly, just enough to peek up at the aussie, before turning his gaze off to the side.

Still very much glad his mask is also able to cover up any hints of blushing.

"Maybe one day. Give 'em hell for now though, alright?"

COMBATSYS: Daisuke has left the fight here.

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

"Of course," Hayley says, extending her hand to help to his feet. "I'll hold you to it, if I ever figure out who exactly 'Blazing Panther' is. Or if I can at least get a contact, eh?" Hayley smiles.

But deep down, it eats at her a little. What was that power? How much further does she have to go? And what, exactly, is happening with her aura...?


Blazing Panther hesitates visibly, but he does end up reaching up with one hand, to take that of Hayley's, and use it as support to bring him up onto his feet. Even if it does come with a very visible and audible wince.

"I, uh... Can't promise anything... But I'm around... In southtown."

"Eh, we'll work it out," Hayley says, "if nothing else, I'd like to talk a bit sometime, if you're okay with that." She pauses. "No pressure. I've been trying to make some good connections here, you know? Something about the friends you make along the way."

COMBATSYS: Hayley has ended the fight here.


Okay, apparently the mask can help with the blushing only *so* much. THe red flush of color does actually spread far enough through his face that it starts peeking ķut at the skin just between his eyes and the upper edge of the crimson cloth. But still, he instinctively tries to hide it by snapping his head to the side and glancing off to the side. "I... yeah, sure..."

Hayley tries not to draw too much attention to it and put him on the spot further. Instead, she simply rolls with it. ... mostly. Rolling isn't so easy, it seems, as moving too much causes her to wince.

"Then it's settled," Hayley says. "Good match, even if it ended a bit early." She straigthens her bandana. "And good to meet you, Blazing Panther. Hope I can do well in the next round for your sake, eh?"

"My sake...?" 'Blazing Panther' repeats curiously, with his eyes turning back to the australian with a slow blink, staring at her for a few seconds.

"...Ah. Um, uh--" The red color manages to spread beyond the confines of the mask agian, and-- suddenly he's spinning aroudn so quickly that Hayley might end up under threat of being thwapped by the young man's long scarf. "I, uh, I g-g-gotta go, I'll--- I'll see you around!"

And just like that, he's quickly making way to the exit door. ...Escaping?

Hayley watches him go, ducking under the scarf narrowly as it whips around. She does not pursue, instead reaching up and adjusthing her headband before running her hand through her hair.

"I wonder what got into him? Anyway..."

Log created on 21:04:06 05/18/2021 by Hayley, and last modified on 01:31:59 05/22/2021.