The Descent - Round 2 - When the Boughs Break

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Description: Are they exceedingly intrepid Cage fans, stalking predators, or something worse? Duo Lon and Fei Long must consider this question as they meet in a deep, Dark Forest alive with rustling branches, peering eyes, and dark shapes on the edges of perception.

The impending dusk veils the forest in mysterious fog, yet despite that eerie sensation pressing in, the sunset begins to bathe the sky in those light oranges and purples, threatening darkness. Unsuspecting is any oncomers, or strangers, to the area, who may find themselves led astray by false paths, mysterious noises, or other vaguely intriguing things...

This time of the day is probably a favourite of the slithering assassin who trespasses on the fields edging out before the deeply rooted trees begin. His long black cloak fits the environment, blending him in among the shadows, much like his job title entails him to do.

Lightly padding over soft earth, Duo Lon takes in the sights with a mild sort of curiosity. Not for the reasons one might think; sight-seeing isn't exactly his thing, after all.

No, he's thinking of much more interesting yet obscure topics, most of which he hasn't spoken aloud to anyone.

Maybe something mythical houses itself here. He'd love to check into that some other time, provided he's not visiting here for tournament reasons or otherwise. A mental note is stashed away for later.

The flowing robe swishes with each step, the long-legged man meandering to where a few collapsed tree trunks lay abandoned in the dirt. Flexibly, he strides over to perch on the end, much like a bird atop a tall branch, gaze peering out over the land. Not far from the truth, honestly, as he rakes his burgundy orbs across the great expanse.

Waiting. Much like a bird of prey.

Fei Long's approach seems like it would be harder for him to contrast Duo Lon MORE effectively. A loose navy suit jacket with a haphazard lapel hangs open save for a single button over a billowing yellow shirt, navy slacks, and soft leather loafers. One thumb hooked in the jacket pocket, the Hong Kong star whistles softly to himself as he wanders through the woods, with no particular agenda in mind.

The spooky surrounds would instill ample anxiety in most, perhaps even bar entry to the will save involved; and it's not that the Flying Dragon is immune. On the contrary, a wise fellow was once asked what he does when he feels fear: 'Mmn. I agree, I agree.'

It is spooky indeed, ominous, dangerous-- but that is why Fei Long came here in the first place. Whatever turmoil the spirits around them may cry of, whatever tragedies and lost lore may hide within the wilderness, it's unlikely to pose as much imminent threat to his well-being as the assassin he's actually here to engage.

Thusly, Fei Long goes with the flow, follows the paths where whim and instinct take him, whistles a jaunty dockyard shanty as he goes, drawn onward by unseen, but entirely tangible currents. As he paces within the radius of that lurking predator, the Flying Dragon's stride slows, and then pauses, sable eyes sweeping the perimeter carefully.

"Hey!" He calls out into the forest, projecting that same cool confidence in the face of danger; truth be told the adrenaline already surges, a rush to the risk-taking. "We're here to fight, aren't we?" It's unclear what might have given Duo Lon away-- Fei Long doesn't seem to immediately pick him out of the forest. Perhaps it's that twinge, that subtle note of the assassin's chi signature interacting with the currents the fighter/actor drifts along-- maybe Fei Long has just been doing this every five minutes or so.

A voice, not at all like an echo, announces itself. Alerts Duo from his somewhat stiff reverie.

The assassin turns his torso slightly so that dark orbs may peer in the direction of whence the call came. An expression unmoveable, he is the epitome of calm in darkness, as he merely acknowledges the stranger simply through meeting him with a soft yet intense gaze. It's sharp amongst the bright spread of colours patterning the sky.

"That is correct."

Rising to his full height, the Hizoku dusts himself off rather simply, ridding himself of any dirt or scuffing. He holds himself with a tone of regality fit for a prince, much like he is - or was. Such a stark contrast to the seemingly lackadaisical this man is approaching the grassy perimeter with, although that manner doesn't quite match with what he is seeing, either. There is definitely something contributing to that overall sense of self-assuredness.

Quite the curious fellow, bringing attention to himself like this.

Dark robes billowing as he meanders around the length of the fallen tree trunk, he closes some of the gap between the two of them, providing a space where they may begin to spar at any point.

"Let us begin." His long limbs stretch outwards, particularly the front leg as it bends at the ankle, almost as if it were broken. Hands out in front, palms flat, the once-prince stands at the ready, prepared to engage in the match at his own pace. Although, this does grant his opponent a moment to collect himself, should he need to...

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon has started a fight here.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Fei Long has joined the fight here.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Fei Long

Before he launches his attack.

Almost literally, actually.

Something like a Go-Go Gadget extendo arm expands outwards, far beyond what could be remotely humanly possible. The fist comes straight into the fighter's personal bubble, threatening to bap him right square in the sternum should he not expect it.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long blocks Duo Lon's Genmu Ken.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Fei Long

Duo Lon is like the forest. Immediately imposing, intimidating, //clearly// dangerous. Fei Long smiles, an understated but unbidden gesture, wolfish and intrigued. That's what he's here for-- even after interacting with an Int 2 Fallout PC the previous round, and nearly being Bloody Messed.

Duo Lon has his finger on the pulse seeing something beyond frivolous and oblivious to the Flying Dragon's calm, too casual approach-- and as that lashing limb extends, flashes in, Fei Long gets his own flexed arm in its path, pre-empting the impact with a sidelong deflection that leaves a stinging welt beneath his jacket.

"Impressive!" Fei Long admits, "That's pretty flexible!" To say the least. Duo Lon may not -look- like a fellow fitness fanatic, but the assassin certanly moves like one. It's close enough.

"When I want to reach out and touch someone..." he's telegraphing it, plucking up a hefty club of fallen wood from the forest floor, and testing its weight and balance with a quick left to right, then right to left whooshing swing. "I have to go for the old fashioned way!" It's MOSTLY true; after all, the Flying Dragon can cross distances personally rather abruptly. In this case, it's that tree limb that crosses the distance, displacing air in an end over end whirl between the Hong Kong star and the Hizoku.


COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Fei Long's Large Thrown Object.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0         Fei Long

Just what is this guy playing at? Is playing coy part of his whole deal?

Immediately suspicious of that intrigued little grin, the assassin takes a stand and provides the first move, merely as a warm-up test more than anything else. He doesn't have the need for any fancy displays at the given moment...

And apparently neither does Fei Long.

A piece of wood is plucked freshly from the ground, and instead of being returned to where it came from, the opportunity is taken to outright throw it in his direction. Stone faced, the Hizoku simply side-steps out of its trajectory, the wooden chunk soars past him to collide with the ground some feet behind him.

He doesn't pay attention to it, but the ends splinter as it lands, spraying little shards into the dirt, but none of them reach where Duo stands, unharmed.

"Are you in the habit of throwing things at people, then?" he quizzes.

No matter.

His stance shifts just slightly, flattened palms shifting into a downward motion as his front leg motions as if it were going to take a step. Instead, however, it stomps towards the ground... and disappears. In a split second, the bottom of his shoe apparates from the earth right at his opponent's feet, sharply aiming to kick up in a blur at him and hit whatever happens to get in the way.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long blocks Duo Lon's Habarushimu Kyaku.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         Fei Long

It's somewhat amusing that the Hizoku is immediately wary of //Fei Long's// motivations and nature-- isn't that supposed to work the other way? Still, the Hong Kong star isn't precisely what one would expect from his profession, either-- the thrill of a REAL fight, the intensity of REAL stunts, these things drive the Flying Dragon higher than the most successful movie. This causes no shortage of consternation from the man's management team.

"When I have to!" Fei Long confirms, without shame or regret. Though there is a degree of surprise when Duo Lon waves and vanishes, and his -foot- translocates in at the fighter/actor's shins. In that same instant, the Flying Dragon dips low, a resilient bent leg and descending elbow deflecting the blow even as he sliiiiides a short span back along the forest floor, crunching through layers of leaves and fallen twigs.

"I don't have a detachable foot; and I'm here to FIGHT!" It really is just that simple; and just that complicated. Such struggles are never the most predictable and simplest affairs, even when approached with a sporting grace.

Fei Long snaps back to a ready posture, flexing back to his feet as much as rising, and drops into a wide stance facing Duo Lon sidelong. Getting a feel for his opponent's wily motions and tricksy nature, every muscle in his body tenses, vibrates with inner chi, as a fierce warrior's kiai centers his energy-- and prepares to adapt to the next step in this strange dance amidst whirling currents.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long focuses on his next action.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0         Fei Long

Duo Lon doesn't have a detachable foot, per se.

Rather, it's sort of... spirited about, much like the powers he has to summon the souls of the wandering dead. Not all that far off from what he does normally, which bodes the question of whether Fei Long would truly appreciate his approach or not.

If his thrills come from the realness of martial arts, then he might not.

Guess they'll both just have to find out.

It is clear to the Hizoku that time is biding carefully. The Flying Dragon is poised in a position of pure focus and intent, ready to leap like a panther into action. Spells disaster, should Duo make the wrong move here, and so he, too, remains crouched in his awkwardly bent position, holding the silence between them for a beat...

The former prince doesn't move in a way that would make that much sense to anyone who doesn't practice his particular artform. His lanky body twists sideways and then down, displaying broad shoulders in his crouching form. Behind him, a long tail of black-brown hair whips to life, emerging from where it'd been loosely hanging in a braid at his backside, draped between two embroidered gold dragons.

Seemingly, the hair is autonomous in this moment, somehow controlled down to the deepest fibres as it whips out like a striking viper in order to attempt to whap the silky strands across his opponent's face.

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon successfully hits Fei Long with Benpatsuken.
- Power hit! -

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0         Fei Long

Conjuring spirits and shadow stepping into the Realms Between is not really a fighting form Fei Long has spent much time pondering-- before now. It's hard to argue with the results, even from this particular strange and creepy man; a challenge is a challenge. There is no arguing that this bout, like Marduk before it, is indeed a chance to push the envelope; to test his own arts. To sink or swim and become stronger for it. Is it 'real' martial arts?

Well, as the Flying Dragon shifts to weave around and surge forward, the Hizoku's -hair- of all things hammers into Fei Long, lancing like the point of a spear, like a whip he could /swear/ has nasty barbs, and sends the Hong Kong star reeling sidelong instead.

"Nice one--" Fei Long doesn't stagger long, all but dancing from foot to foot as he adapts to the sudden rush of current that threatens to carry him away, anchors himself on one foot, and coils inward to stall his momentum.

"-- but you'll need a lot more like that!!!" Or at least, several; gusto is prone to hyperbole. In the instant Fei Long is stable once more, he's suddenly crossed the distance between himself and Duo Lon, leading the charge with a high, axing kick that descends with his full weight and velocity behind it, seeking to bisect the assassin starting at his FACE. "KYAAAAAAAAAAA--- HAAAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon blocks Fei Long's Shokkarakusho.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/---====|=======\-------\0         Fei Long

So much screaming. Is that even remotely necessary?

Well, naturally, it is. A number of martial arts do impose importance on announcing one's intentions or presence. It is just... so darn noisy. It hurts the ears of the assassin, whose keen hearing senses are more adapted to quieter, sharper sounds, as he skulks about looking for his prey.

As such, Duo Lon does his best to tune that noise out as it comes barrelling into him - or attempts to.

There will be no splicing of his face, thank you very much.

Instead, a high rise block meets with the heel of that descending axe kick, stopping it short of where it aims to land. The Hizoku then uses what little space has whittled between them, taking advantage of that proximity. His lithe form shifts so that his free hand can tuck in and attempt to find purchase on the front of Fei Long's jacket.

Should this be a successful endeavour, the Chinese former prince would then whip his blocking arm around to take hold of the Hong Kong fighter by whatever happens to be right in that space.

With all momentum coming from his lengthy legs, he would then catapult the man clear over his shoulder, tossing him out and away.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long counters Quick Throw from Duo Lon with Shoenryu EX.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/=======|=======\==-----\1         Fei Long

In the case of Duo Lon's realness in fighting, things suddenly get real-er. The Hizoku mounts a capable defense, and Fei Long lands lithely on his anchoring leg, the kicking limb launching him subtly away as he whirls back into stance, the striking limb now shifting behind him in a pivot to his sidelong orientation. There's no time to reposition, it's do or die as Duo Lon reaches out-- but the Flying Dragon does not seek to evade.

Instead, Fei Long steps -in- as the assassin reaches, sweeping that arm aside with a forceful rotation of his own. In the same moment, Duo Lon's forward momentum becomes his downfall as a singular, resounding shockwave comes courtesy of a one-inch punch from that free, not-deflecting fist reverberates into his solar plexus. "HAAAAAH--!"

It's the kind of force that would shatter multiple ribs in a lesser foe, and it's swiftly followed by a high-velocity twist that brings that blocking arm back to drive a flame-wreathed fist into Duo Lon's face after all, an eruption of physical force and incindiery impact, alongside a fervent "KYAAAAAAAA!!"

Duo Lon is indeed an apex predator of a sort, and an accomplished and deadly warrior alongside it-- but the movie star he faces is not some up-jumped pretty face, Fei Long came up in the street fighting circuits of Hong Kong, and his productions are as real as it gets... outside this. It is a competitive fervour that brings the Flying Dragon to the Dark Forest, to face the Hizoku-- a test not only of skill, but a clear statement of ambition. He is a Challenger, on his own dangerous upswing of artistry and attainment.

Prowl versus passion.

The energy that sparks between the two fighters as they struggle to obtain the upper hand on one another. Duo Lon does have a moment where he thinks he may find his grip on the skilled Flying Dragon - who he now recognises, because media is a thing in China. A movie star shrouded in fame, Fei Long is a man to be reckoned with certainly, for he has never held back on showing his stunts.

This is something he'll have to remember, as he goes in to try and find purchase, which doesn't go so well in his favour, I might add.

In the space between them, a fist manages to knock into his sternum, briefly but intensely winding the former prince. And, unfortunately, so focused is he on the fact that he pretty much has no oxygen in his lungs, he is left vulnerable to the flaming fist that invades his face.

Duo contorts his expression in pain as he stumbles back, hand touching along the injury to feel for any incineration to the skin itself. Sensitive to the touch, small blisters form around the knuckle mark that has embedded into his pretty and pale effeminate features, causing him to wince just slightly.

"Hm." That's all that comes, at first. Straightening to his full height to recollect some of the air to his chest, the Hizoku holds a stern gaze on his adversary for a beat of a moment. "Not bad."

Returning to his familiar posture of one broken foot out, one hand up like a dagger and the other tucked against his hip, the assassin gathers himself. Breathes deeply, as he attempts to compose his recklessness and refocus on his efforts here.

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon gains composure.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-======|=======\==-----\1         Fei Long

"Hiten-ryu is a formidable and evolving art form!" Fei Long agrees. Not bad at all. "A fundamental core of martial prowess, nutrition, and discipline!" Oh yes-- Fei Long is very big in the East. It's only recently that his fame has become more viral in the western world.

Rumors abound of a project in production with Johnny Cage... alongside a myriad of stories where the pair apparently ditched camera crews to turn to vigilantism, vandalism, or-- some say-- unholy sodomy. The internet is an interesting place. Duo Lon takes a moment to recover, to center his unearthly chi and adapt in turn to the challenge on offer-- but Fei Long does not.

In the flash of an eye, he's on the Hizoku again, leading with a left-fisted straight jab that seems to carry his weight forward as much as the springing lunge of powerful legs. Flaming energy surges from his knuckles, turns his punching hand into a flaring torch; into a warhead; an inferno.

"YAAAAAAAH!" The left straight leads into a right uppercut aligned with the assassin's ribcage once more, seeking to blast a second fiery strike home with bone-rattling force, "HAAAAAH!!"

In one fluid motion, the combination would conclude in a reaving left cross, a volcanic blow meant to daze Duo Lon-- to strike the Flying Dragon's dark foe abruptly, violently off his feet. "KYYHHH-YAAAAH!!!"

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon dodges Fei Long's Rekkaken.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-======|=======\===----\1         Fei Long

Well, that is some serious dedication to an art. Not all that surprising, considering who it's coming from though, now that Duo Lon is able to place a proper face to the man he's fighting.

And how unfortunate it is that this flashy display of power is completely avoided. Probably would have been cool to write about.

Instead, the assassin watches the incoming assault, preparing himself to shift away like a slippery snake. As the left-fisted jab comes straight for him, he simply steps aside, avoiding it outright. The fiery chi also misses him, burning in the air with a crackle that reminds him of someone he'd just recently fought.

Next comes an uppercut, which is swiftly avoided as well. And everything else that follows it remains lost to the winds, touching none of the Hizoku on its way out.

"I can appreciate the dedication," he compliments quietly, body swivelling into a new motion. With all the momentum his lanky form can muster, his back leg swings out into a brutal front kick that aims for Fei Long's lower midsection and spinal area.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long blocks Duo Lon's Ikazuchika Matome Ito.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1         Fei Long

Once more, Duo Lon is quick on his feet-- though by a hair's breadth. Rather than an untouchable opponent, the Hizoku strikes Fei Long as lucky his skill keeps him that scant span ahead of the signature technique of his personalized Hiten-ryu! Of course-- in the final analysis, in the moment -now-, it makes little difference whether the assassin easily or scarcely spares himself the punishment of fiery fists.

All the Flying Dragon can do is soar onward, try and try again, fight to his absolute limits-- it's a thing he signed up here to do, after all. In the momentum bleed of that final cross-punch, the star spins sidelong and slams a bracing elbow into the ascending Duo Lon kick, shoving off the bruising guard and completing his rotation to snap a fierce, one-inch straight into the same spot center mass on the assassin as the prior strike had landed.

This then flows smoothly into a reversed rotation and a rising, point blank clothesline from the opposite forearm-- seeking to hurl, as much as trip, Duo Lon over the kicking foot suddenly seeking to brace against his ankles. Naturally, a fearsome, focusing kiai is included, free of charge.

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon blocks Fei Long's Combo Grapple.

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Duo Lon          0/-------/=======|=======\=====--\1         Fei Long

There is no doubt, especially now, that Fei Long is an admirable fighter.

His popularity can easily be understood, as Duo engages in combat with him, for his movements are calculated, skilled, and incredibly passionate. Every second is heated by ferocity and overshadowed by an intense inkling of knowledge that this man knows precisely who h e is and what he stands for.

If the Hizoku was the type to sit and talk about brawling, he'd probably find this incredibly fascinating.

However, he is much more about logistics and strategy, which... yes, there is certainly a component of that in this matchup today, to be sure.

As such, he's a little wiser to the incoming one-inch as it approaches just short of his own kick being deflected. Long limbs stretch to press a palm into that strike, batting it away from him. His desire to relive the breathlessness that came with that first one is quite low.

Everything that follows is swiftly met with a blocking force, in which the assassin remains rooted to his position long enough for him to try and reach for a hold on the front of his opponent's jacket. Should his fist secure itself, he'll yank Mister Movie Star down, forcing him to bend and become rather vulnerable to the shoulder that slams right into his collarbone. The hand lets go, letting the seasoned fighter tumble away from him.

COMBATSYS: Fei Long fails to counter Shuishu Shoukou from Duo Lon with Gekirinken EX.

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Duo Lon          1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1         Fei Long

In his search for worthy, dangerous foes, Fei Long has definitely found luck in the Descent-- even if his spine may not thank him in the moment. Rather than an agile, impressive aerial twist at the precise moment to respond to Duo Lon's aggression with aplomb and aptitude, Fei Long is yanked forward, off balance-- and then sent staggering back the other way by the forceful shoulder check.

Bruises rise along his body, concealed in this instance largely by his more complete than typical wardrobe, and here and there blood seeps from where it, ideally, should not be seeping. It takes a moment's fancy footwork to keep upright at all-- skidding and stunned away from the assassin, and carried along, dashed on rocks cutting those rapids he's found himself caught in.

His smile that comes is a half-measure, pained-- though not from lack of warmth. "I think you might have this one-- I've never faced a style quite like yours." It might parse as an excuse, but it rings more as respectful, if still a bit less than familiar with exactly -what- he faces in the Hizoku. Such is the nature of this punishing path.

"But I'm not-- out-- yet." Just winded, battered, and perhaps one or two sound slugs from being very, very wrong there. Nonetheless, the Flying Dragon squares up, focuses his remaining inner chi, and struggles onward to the challenge at hand.

Fei Long says this, with a hint of undeniable warmth, but there may still be a chance yet. It seems they both agree on that point, even if Duo Lon isn't outright stating such. If anything, he acknowledges the dedicated fighter with a silent nod, not out of rudeness.He just doesn't talk very much.

But it is true. His style is something rather unique, to be sure. There is something to be said about a lack of interest in the afterlife, with regards to maintaining a connection to it simply to use it for power. This probably sounds back, but there is no malice or misuse in that intention - at least, not on the behalf of Duo.

Rather, he respects the dead for their tremendous and mysterious strength, enough to request their help on the mortal plane. That is how it can be looked at, anyway.

Respectably, the Hizoku straightens to lightly wipe at his ropes where the collision had happened, taking note of the bloody mess his assault had caused on the Flying Dragon. Who, beginning to focus, catches his attention even if he isn't immediately letting onto this fact.

In his periphery, those burgundy irises peer for a heartbeat, then seemingly home in almost oppressively on Fei Long. Privy and keen to his every movement, he awaits the moment when the opposing man budges even slightly. Preparing.

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon focuses on his next action.

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Duo Lon          1/-------/=======|=======\-------\1         Fei Long

/ His body is bruised
/ His head ringing with thunder
/ But his soul still burns!

Fei Long knows the moment's respite is no opportunity for leisure, no offer of peace or ease-- the predator he faces seeks the perfect instant, ideal precision with which to end this fight-- but the Flying Dragon already made clear his lack of intention to simply, perhaps rationally stand down.

Fei concedes the Hizoku's skill-- concedes that the fates have fallen in Duo Lon's favor at most of the turns of their bouts-- but does not allow himself the arguable wisdom of surrender. There is fight left in him, and if he is to truly become world class, to fully evolve beyond humble beginnings and the hollow trappings of fame, it must be along this ragged edge-- where a lesser will might be hopeless.

The assassin stares intently, the Flying Dragon matches his gaze-- and then, in a flash, Fei Long is simply gone! Well, not gone-- he's high towards the treetops in a single bound, twisting a singular, sharp rotation before launching in a high-velocity, meteoric descent lead by one leather-clad foot in an angular, impactful flying kick.

The moviestar, true to his word, redoubles his rebuffed efforts, fiercely fighting onward, striving forward just one; more; stride! "HHH-YAAAAH!!!!"

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon interrupts Diving Kick from Fei Long with Shiryou Kunhotsu Seikin.

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Duo Lon          1/-----==/=======|=======\=====--\1         Fei Long

There is no doubt here that the Flying Dragon has dedication beyond most.

The admirable trait of engaging in a true, honourable fight, with the intent of bettering oneself and showcasing every last inch of skill, passion, and drive is rare. In this match today, there has been no shortage of that, as Duo Lon has seen it. Even in the face of adversity, Fei Long continues to strive towards greatness, with no hesitations in his mind about the direction he chooses for himself.

That kind of humble approach is something to be acknowledged, which the Hizoku meets in kind with equal fairness and ferocity, although some of this fight has been met with a tinge bit of luck, it seems.

In a flash, his opponent is trailing the tree tops, making great use of their environment. A carefully trained eye is kept on his every movement, watching and waiting in the moments where he launches at Duo with an intention for high impact from above.

Waiting, the assassin bides his time... and then when the leather-cladded foot makes its entrance into his personal space, both his palms come up to about chin height. Putting a full force of energy into the center, the delicate fingers straighten as he pushes right into the bottom of Fei's foot, retracting only for a brief second so that another brutal assault of his palms smack for the lower hip, possibly even right along the upper thigh.

Almost like smacking a fly with his hands, although Fei Long certainly is not a fly. Anything but. I just like analogies sometimes.

One more shot. One narrow window. Fei Long sees it-- seizes the opportunity... and the window //slams// shut in his face. It may be admirable, it may be ambitious-- but in this instance, the efforts also prove fruitless, save for their nurturing of self-improvement, of courage in the face of adversity.

In this, the Flying Dragon takes some solace even as he's swatted out of the air, erupted backwards by the discharge of focused power and precise timing. The Hong Kong star skids end over end in a wild tumble back across the forest floor, tearing his jacket, augmenting bruising both extant and brand new as he is toppled.

For a moment, Fei Long seeks to recover his footing, forcing his gaze upwards to lock on Duo Long anew-- but instead of unleashing the might still within him, exhaustion and pain are allowed to rule the day, alongside a respectful humility in the truth of the moment as he slumps back onto bent knees. Perhaps, with one more good strike, he could bring Duo Lon down-- but that is a fading hail mary in a decisive confrontation. So instead, the Flying Dragon bows his head, and nods once.

"Well fought, strange stranger of the forest." There's a degree of regret-- but no resentment for the Hizoku. He will simply have to try again, train harder, fight stronger; such is the endless journey of all warriors seeking attainment, enlightenment, or glory. Fei Long likes all three. "You have earned this."

COMBATSYS: Fei Long takes no action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Duo Lon          1/-----==/=======|

COMBATSYS: Fei Long can no longer fight.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Duo Lon          1/-----==/=======|

The saturated colours of sunset paint the backdrop for Fei Long's descent to the forest floor, turning and whirling about in the leaves until he reaches a full stop somewhere nearby. A brilliant display of power had been stopped short through another bout of luck, and although Duo is appreciative of his own skill, he would certainly acknowledge now how impactful his opponent's blow would've been should it have landed.

Considering himself for a moment, the lanky fighter retracts his Go-Go Gadget arms until they have fastened properly at his side. His stance shifts into a casual position, with his feet square to his shoulders, as he peers down at Fei inquisitively. Is there still more fight in him?

That absolutely would be admirable, if that were the case.

However, it seems the Hong Kong fighter has subsided, thoroughly spent, and rightfully so. The energy he'd expended to keep himself standing in this fight had been tremendous, there's no denying that fact.

With no reason to push further, seeing that his adversary has called it quits, all the defenses are down. The rubber of his shoe pushes into the grass as he slowly approaches the Flying Dragon - rightfully named - until he arrives right in front of him. The Hizoku offers a quiet nod, and his words dance on the wind in a soft tenor that reflects the calm stoicism that thrives within him.

"You have also earned your position here. It was an honour to fight such a spirited martial artist." A hand reaches to Fei Long, a peace offering that, should it be taken, Duo would use to bring his opponent to their feet. "Perhaps one day, we will meet again."

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon takes no action.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Duo Lon          1/-----==/=======|

COMBATSYS: Duo Lon has ended the fight here.

The sun descends, the shadows of the murky forest cast in extended, gnarled distortions across the shroud-touched landscape. It illuminates at once how far Fei Long has come from his humble beginnings, and then farther-- from the frivolous trappings of ease fame offers him-- and how far he has yet to go.

Many more steps rise up the mountain ahead of him in the expertise and power of the world's competitive fighters-- in the masters and styles as yet untested. Duo Lon and Marduk represent ~wildly~ divergent flavors evoked from that pool of exotic spices; but dishes on the same buffet nonetheless.

Stirred from reverie, a firm hand extends to grasp the Hizoku's non-detached offering, and Fei Long pulls himself smoothly, strongly, right back to his feet. He may not have chosen to unleash a last-ditch final onslaught-- but in the metaphorical sense, alongside the very literal, it is clear that the fight remains quite solidly 'in' the Flying Dragon.

A broad smile answers Duo Lon's words initially, followed by a respectful nod. "It is an honor for me, as well-- and a new challenge to overcome. We absolutely must meet again-- and perhaps on /that/ day, I will be prepared to keep step with your uncanny, teleporting footwork!"

Beat. "Can I autograph something for you? Perhaps you need a DVD set-- oh and..." Fei Long peers all around them in the dying light. "Do you remember the way //out// of here?"

~~ F R I E N D S H I P ~~

Log created on 21:46:01 07/22/2022 by Fei Long, and last modified on 07:28:11 08/05/2022.