The Descent - Round 2 - In The Pale Moonlight

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Description: Beneath the light of a full moon, a Gothic Castle in Transylvania hosts a star-crossed seeress, a Dancing Spider, and a fleet of ghostly servitors drawn by the inexorable gravity of Geese Howard's tenacious butler. On the cusp of defeat, Zafina and Aranha clash before the watchful eyes of the dead to determine who has the will to continue their journey.

At first the Transylvania Castle is silent. For all intents and purposes, the castle is empty at least until the (retired?) cat burglar makes his way into what looks to be a deserted castle. Though his presence changes the fact that the castle is empty, the silence remains constant even with every footstep that he takes as he goes farther in, with stealth honed through years of larceny.

Then spectres of butlers appear. Translucent humanoids appearing out of nowhere to mutely offer to take his denim jacket or offer a drink from a tray shake the American darkstalker of African descent. A concerted effort is made to push down the instinct to run born out of watching movies where unfortunate things happen to those with a similar background in this type of scenario.

A heavy sigh is the first actual sound made in the castle since he took his first steps into the castle.

"I'd like to get this over with."

Soon after, Zafina makes her way inside the castle. She makes a few tiny noises. She isn't trying to sneak around after all. This is to be a one-on-one fight, not an assassination attempt.Besides, she didn't feel big evil in that man.

She isn't sure why the visions sent her here. Her first fight didn't go too well. Fate decided Liu Kang was the one having to go forth. Is she supposed to win here? Or is her purpose already done, and fate is going to send her home. She would find out soon enough. " She gets near her opponent and says in a middle eastern accent

"I am here we can get this over with right now. Good luck to you."

COMBATSYS: Zafina has started a fight here.

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Zafina           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Aranha has joined the fight here.

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Aranha           0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0           Zafina


Due to the nature of the Descent tourney, there's no officials, no audience, no cameras. Just like Mortal Kombat except that one fight in Shang Tsung throne room. Familiar but not comfortable. With no one to start it, it fall upon the fighters to do so themselves.

Aranha sways to and fro in ginga, dancing in place to indicate his readiness to fight and when Zafina gives her own indication of readiness, he tilts himself into a cartwheel that stops midway into a handstand before he extends his feet outward while he goes into a spin in an attempt to slap her with his feet.

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Zafina with Inverted Tornado.
Glancing Blow

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Aranha           0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0           Zafina

Zafina observes Aranha. She is fine with letting him do the first blow. Observe your opponent. See their capabilities. When he gives her a nod, she returns it to him. It was fine to start. He seems to be a dancing fighter. This would prove to be interesting.

Then the first move of the match. She watches the flow of his move. It's a beauty to see, but she can't just stay there. She moves to the side, but not enough as a foot clips her arm. She will have to be more careful of his reach or be a little faster against this interesting fighter.

Now it was time for her to show what she can do. She drops in a very low crouch, then plants her hands. She then delivers a powerful spin kicks toward his stomach. While she does the kick, white motes of psionic energy flows around her. Once the kick is done, those motes are gone.

COMBATSYS: Zafina successfully hits Aranha with Mantis Slash.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Aranha           0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0           Zafina

The capoeirista does manage to clip the assassin and then utilizes the spin to give himself more room. Unfortunately, he's still upside down and he has to deal with an opponent who decides to go for the body instead of trying to go for the legs. It's one of those things that's bittersweet because while she is leaving his legs alone unlike most recipients of the move, the body is a harder location to deal with attacks to while upside down. He tries to deal with it creatively by dropping out of the handstand onto one side with his elbow pressed into his ribs in what would be called queda de rins which would be translated to fall on the kidneys. His knees would have been pulled in as extra insurance. Instead, the spin kick blasts the capoeirista off his hands onto the ground and he can't even be mad because she even had her hands planted.

He rolls back onto his feet as he can see the air rippling around him not unlike a mirage. He can feel the temperature rising and he knows exactly what this means.

Instead of his normal blue energy he can see his hand covered in magma and dripping from his finger tips a moment before he spins around and whips his arm out towards Zafina and sending a spider web made of lava her way. Some of his fans have taken to calling it his Shakunetsu Web Shot.

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Zafina with Web Shot.
- Power hit! -

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Aranha           1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0           Zafina

Apparently he didn't quite expect her to go for his body. Do the unexpected. Give an harder time to your opponent to deal with you.

She's not against an amateur, however, and he does the same thing to hear. She doesn't expect him to go spider-man on her by sending a web to her. The lava is simply one more surprise. She tries to lower herself back down, but it's not enough as the web manages to catch her, burning her clothes and some of her skin. Her eyes show the pain, but she makes no sound out of it. She might be trapped at the moment, but not at his mercy. So it's time to show him if he has her where he wants her, she can also use that.

She leans back a bit to look like she's trying to get herself away from this web, but right after she slips forward and weaves her hands around. Almost like she's about to do some magic/chi trick. Instead she ends up executing a crushing knife-handed strike toward his stomach. The white motes of psionic energy flowing around her. once again while she does it.

COMBATSYS: Aranha fails to interrupt Kur from Zafina with Bad Beat ES.

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Aranha           1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Zafina

While the web itself might have been a surprise to Zafina, there was something subtle about the way the capoeirista delivered it that might have provide a bit of a surprise as well. The way he slowed his spin hiding the gathered energy with his body, the subtle shift of his body forward making the release point of the web closer than the start up point. These two factors combined to hide the fact that the web would get there sooner than it originally would have appeared.

Aranha, ever the opportunist, seeks to take advantage of Zafina's predicament by moving in quickly to follow up. The Dancing Spider steps forward in an attempt to stuff the energized knife hand while trying to deliver a sweeping palm strike to her face. While he feels he had the right strategy for that moment he didn't move with the speed required to execute on it.

As a result, Aranha finds himself stumbling away with a cringe from the pain but no utterance of pain will come from his lips.

There is no doubt Aranha is a great fighter. Zafana is not a web expert. She was surprised with the web to begin with. He certainly did it in a way that worked and messed up with her. Zafana has respect for him. She already had started her move when Aranha went for his. She could have shy away, but she just pressed on, and it paid of as she comes out a winner in this last blow. She decides to continue pressing the momentum at the moment. Before he can surprise her with more weird and distracting but working antics.

She ponders only a fraction of second before she slides forward and kicks toward his chest while tensing her upperbody to break free fully out of the web this time. Not a fancy move, but perhaps she can add to the damage. Time will tell. The burns are still very present on her body, but she uses the reminder of the pain to help her push on further.

COMBATSYS: Aranha blocks Zafina's Medium Kick.

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Aranha           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Zafina

Imaginary Mango Aranha says, "The kick is simple and the capoeirista's response to it is as just as simplistic. His feet shift to the parallel while he leans to the side with the impact spread across his forearm and shoulder. He lets the kick slides up and over him. When he goes back to an upright position, he steps back blending his defense seamlessly into his dance.

After that, he hops forward as he extends his foot forward in a front kick to the stomach. He's not attempting to push with this kick, but rather to deliver penetrative damage utilizing the ball of his foot."

The kick is simple and the capoeirista's response to it is as just as simplistic. His feet shift to the parallel while he leans to the side with the impact spread across his forearm and shoulder. He lets the kick slides up and over him. When he goes back to an upright position, he steps back blending his defense seamlessly into his dance.

After that, he hops forward as he extends his foot forward in a front kick to the stomach. He's not attempting to push with this kick, but rather to deliver penetrative damage utilizing the ball of his foot.

COMBATSYS: Zafina parries Aranha's Thrust Kick!

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Aranha           1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1           Zafina

She finds Aranha's style of fighting particularly interesting. Of course, she saw this style of fighting before. But he has a personal touch to it and is very fluid. It's beautiful, and she also has to concentrate more, to analyze the attacks coming at her.

He blocks her kick with ease, and she can't say she is particularly surprised. It would have been weird if it had easily connected.

Then he pays her back in kind with a kick of his own. As his foot moves forward, she moves forward and to the side. Furthermore, she brings her evil hand around the ankle, not just dodging, but parrying said attack. She then transitions it into her own

She draws herself into a one-legged stance, her other knee held high. Then suddenly she drops into a low spinning fierce sweep at his free leg. The white motes of psionic energy back and move around her body once again as she does so. Whether she succeeds or not with this move, the leg she held is released.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Zafina's Abzu Abyss EX.

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Aranha           1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1           Zafina

What happens here is a combination of part pre-existing good reflexes and awareness, part desperation, and part darkstalker physiology. From the moment he feels the seer's hand on his ankle, the capoeirista knows he's in for a bad time. At least if he doesn't do something about it. He watches her go into the one-legged stance for a moment before she drops low. Just before that foot can connect with his standing leg, he pushes off the ground flipping up into the air before snapping the same leg down to the ground for the landing.

Now his dance takes on a bit of a different look, more of a bounce than a sway, more of an appearance of explosiveness than grace. Bouncing to and fro but ginga's foot placement is still similar to before.

He hops forward and to the side before delivering a powerful, blue chi energy enhanced, sweeping palm strike to the jaw before dropping low to plant both of his hands on the ground while delivering a wheel kick to the same location as that lateral palm strike he perform right before.

COMBATSYS: Zafina dodges Aranha's Dead Man's Hand.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Aranha           1/---====/=======|=======\-------\1           Zafina

In getting away from her sweep without getting hurt shows how good of a fighter he is. She has to give a nods to him. The evil hand, however is not as respectful. It's getting angry, but for now Zafina still seems to have it under control.

As she watches him she is aware of the change in his dance. Something most be coming. She has to be ready for anything. As much as possible anyway.

It's when he hops forward,its all starts, and she has to rely on three components. Luck, Instinct and Combat prowess. For lacking any of those, that move would have definitely done nasty damage to her the way it was perform. But it wasn't not that time. In a fluidity that doesn't give justice to how hard it was to dodge such a precise move, she first leans at the waist, enough for the blue chi palm strike to pass merely inches from her jaw, almost tickling her nose in the process. She almost comes back up to receive a mouthful of foot instead. But instead, her evil hand goes to the ground, and she spins out of the way to be at his side.

Right away, she tries to grab his legs. Not to attack, but to have a hold of him. If she manages it, she aims at knee at his stomach while he's upside down, then she lets herself down, releasing his legs. She tries to wrap one leg over his neck, and to grab his arms. Succeeding in doing so, she wrenches them before letting go.

COMBATSYS: Aranha fails to interrupt Akhazu from Zafina with Joker's Wild ES.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Aranha           0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1           Zafina

Even in that powerful swing of his hand, there were things about his approach that he had hoped to use to encourage her to move in ways that he wanted. Using the dance to disguise the loading of his sweeping palm strike, targeting her jaw by sweeping the hand strike from just outside her periphery, each facet serving to make the strike look like it was faster than it actually was. He wanted her to attempt to move out of the way. He wanted her to feel pressured enough to expend additional effort into moving out of the way. The only thing that could make the situation more ideal was if he managed to land the attack. Other than that, he got everything he wanted.

Hoping to take advantage of her less than ideal position from getting out of the way, his body flared up, completely engulfed in blue energy. Just as he was about to launch himself at her feet first, he finds himself snatched out of the air by his feet and hitting his back on the ground right after the knee to the stomach. After that, he finds himself in a world of pain as his arms get wrenched and released.

It seems like things are working for her right now against Aranha for some reason. She can't find faults in what he is doing and knows full well he's not a little newcomer. He's a powerful warrior. It just seems fate has turned things around. Last time she had to lose, and this time she has to win. Of course she can't count on this. Things could change in a heartbeat, and she could be laying on her back again, losing.

But right now she manages to go through his attack and works her as she desires. It's almost too good to be truth. But life works in mysterious ways. After this match, she might have more visions to understand further what her role is suppose to be here.

Pressing again on the advantage she at least believe she's having, she concentrates a second, powering up her muscles and psionic giving him time for him to get up. Or she pulls him up before she lunges at his stomach with left arm for a powerful hook, then with her claws, she slams it toward his torso. The clawed hand wanting his life force. Pushing on Zafina. "Let me feed!" Something only she would feel and hear. But she was keeping it at bay at best she could.

COMBATSYS: Aranha dodges Zafina's Cerberus Strike.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Aranha           0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0           Zafina

The Dancing Spider takes a moment to direct a much more analytical gaze towards his adversary. While not capable of detecting the movement of psionic energy, he can detect the physiological reactions to it. There's something about the way her tense up like a coiled spring that tells him that he does not want to linger beyond the seer yanking him back to his feet. By the time that hook arrives, Zafina will find her hook connecting with nothing but air while the other hand is left holding his denim jacket. With Aranha dropping down and rolling backwards to give himself some room.

He steps forward and sliightly as he attempts to deliver a heavy kick to the body on the right side in the hopes that with her hand still holding on to his jacket, it'll be too occupied to guard against it.

COMBATSYS: Zafina parries Aranha's Fierce Kick!

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Aranha           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0           Zafina

One moment Zafina is about to hurt Aranha the 1next, she's hitting the air and holding his jacket in her hand. That was quick. Aranha again shows his abilities in this match. She almost wants to laugh. But instead, only her eyes show she is amused. She doesn't linger on it long as a kick comes her way. It is true that one of her hands is stuck with said jacket, but instead of dropping it, she grabs the other end and uses it to catch his kick with it. A quick moment of restraint so she can go to her next move easier.

Then she drops the jacket altogether and does a spinning knife-handed strike toward his head, while the white psionic motes come back around her.

COMBATSYS: Aranha blocks Zafina's Gilgamesh Blast EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Aranha           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0           Zafina

It's moments like this that it's almost tragic that there are no cameras recording this fight since it would be the point where future Aranha would've noted a tactical error on the assassin's part. As it stands, it will go unnoticed as observant as Aranha may be, he's just too close to the action to note how close he came to this fight ending a few moments earlier.

Zafina catches Aranha's foot in his own jacket, restraining him but she still has to release in order to deliver the spinning knife-hand to his dome. He manages to pull his leg down and bring his arms up to intercept. There's no element of grace with this particular defense. Moving at that particular speed was just not sustainable and he's nearing the end of his rope.

He flicks out a side kick. At this point, he's just putting kicks out to give himself a moment to get himself together physically and mentally.

COMBATSYS: Zafina dodges Aranha's Medium Kick.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Aranha           0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0           Zafina

She feels in the zone. Does she fight perfectly? Certainly not, but she always has to keep a part of her mind on the hand who wishes to take over. At least things are working so far. She just needs to pace herself now a bit, as her attack if blocked well. It's definitely better to take it in the arms then in the head.
hen he kicks again toward her. She feels something off a bit with the kid. Something unstable. She definitely doesn't wish to be hit by that one, even if this one kick isn't as precise as the other. It feels more like he's trying to get her away a bit so he can take a breather. She rolls to the side to dodge the kick. She doesn't take any chance with it.

Then, she simply stands up and strikes with the back of her hand toward Aranha's jaws. She does so a bit aggressively, and she might be over extending herself with it. Time will tell.

COMBATSYS: Aranha parries Zafina's Aggressive Strike!

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Aranha           0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0           Zafina

The magma splashed the ground right where Zafina's feet used to be. Yup. The capoeirista's footwear was ruined and the ghostly butlers are likely to have a fit the moment they see it cool off into volcanic rock on the floor.

Aranha visually tracks the rolling assassin readying himself for the moment she recovers not wanting to be caught flat footed when she strikes again. It is often said that fatigue reveals more about a fighter than when they have all their energy and with him pushing himself beyond sustainability in order to protect himself, he has to lean on reflexes and instinct rather than the analytical breakdown of his opponents to carry him. Granted, those instincts do incorporate the analysis but it's on a more subconscious level than Aranha would prefer.

When Zafina comes in with that aggressive backhand, Aranha almost instinctual rocks away from it with an esquiva or what a boxer might call a pull but he then spins with the attack, using his hand to guide the backhand away while spinning the assassin with the movement. He then steps over, to use the momentum of the spin to deliver a roundhouse kick, followed by a tornado kick and then using the momentum of the kick to generate enough spin to turn his back to her for a fraction of a second. Just enough time to guide the tornado kick into a gainer, flipping backwards as he drives his foot downward where Zafina's head would be. Each and every kick glowing with blue chi this time.

COMBATSYS: Aranha successfully hits Zafina with Aggressive Dance EX.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Aranha           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Zafina

Yep, she over-extended on this one, and now only does Aranha gets a good defensive move on it but...

She moves too slow on that one, trying to get out of the way of the first kick, and once the first one hits, right in the side of the head then the tornado kick that doesn't help anything for Zafina. Then she falls to the ground with the final kick to the head. The blue chi upgrading the attacking makes them all more deadly.

She looks the worse for wear at the moment but manages to roll back away and back on her feet. Then she takes one moment to simply observe Aranha, not going in for an attack this time.

COMBATSYS: Zafina focuses on her next action.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Aranha           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Zafina

With Zafina not attacking, the capoeirista is forced to continue to push the pace even though it has to be in a more controlled fashion. The biological upgrades he received are slowly patching him up but it is putting a strain on his body being forced to keep up with demand of regeneration and fighting simultaneously.

He pivots letting himself spin into an outside crescent kick as attempts to slap his adversary with the outside of his foot.

COMBATSYS: Zafina counters Spin Kick from Aranha with Revenge Hand.

[                            \\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Aranha           1/-----==/=======|-------\-------\0           Zafina

She simply observes him, and really it was what she was hoping. An opening like this.

As Aranha pivots and does a spinning outside crescent kick to hit her, she uses her evil hand with psionic energy to slam it into his foot and stop the attack straight in its track. She then does a strong overhead smashing blow with the same hand against Aranha.

She was able to counter, and she's can't help but make the hint of a smirk. She feels tired, but she keeps observing her opponent. Seeing if he will again push onto her. She doesn't count him out yet. He has been a formidable opponent.

His foot never quite makes it to the face. The combination of the energy going into his foot and the subsequent clubbing blow from the evil hand smashes him into ground hard. He has almost nothing left in the tank.

For a moment there, he considers getting back up but then he looks at her. In his mind, he's playing out several different scenarios in his head. Each and every one of those scenarios end with the attack not connecting. Aranha isn't a seer like his opponent but he is observant enough to see the writing on the wall and so he stays down so that his body doesn't have to divert anymore energy from recovery to fighting.

COMBATSYS: Aranha decides that discretion is the better part of valor.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zafina           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Aranha can no longer fight.

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Zafina           0/-------/-------|

She expects him to get back up. She almost sees on his face debating. In the end, he does not get up. So she stands down as well.

The and tries to get Zafina to kill him right now. But Zafina shakes her head. It was a good fight in her book. He is not really evil, and she's not angry at him. There is no way she will kill him. Instead, she says

"Good fight. it was quite the experience facing you. Thank you."

Then she turns around and prepares to leave.

COMBATSYS: Zafina has ended the fight here.

Log created on 08:06:41 07/19/2022 by Zafina, and last modified on 10:43:25 07/21/2022.