Description: A long awaited battle between ninja and samurai takes place in the Venice Canals of Sunshine City. There's brutal violence, and even some poetic sniping.
While Kenzo is polite and respectful to the spectators, he's more subdued. There are no smiles. No waving. No high-fives. This is the fight where he is all business. He would like to think that his fans would understand why this was the case. Buford has trash talked him in an interview, been rude to him in person. Kenzo had wanted this fight for awhile.
Spectators can be seen watching from the windows of nearby homes, on the ground behind the metal barriers and there are even some watching from the gondolas. Some of them waving signs in support of their favorite fighter.
When he gets to the designated fighting area, he stands like a statue waiting. Waiting for his opponent. Waiting for the fight to start. Waiting for the opportunity to utilize this fight as an outlet for the rage he was feeling right now.
COMBATSYS: Kenzo has started a fight here.
Buford seemed a bit different.
Maybe it was that confident swagger as that towering Canadian strutted along the the side of the canals. Maybe it was the long, strange bamboo sheath he kept over his shoulder, concealing a blade within. Maybe it was the fact he was wearing a bright pink bathrobe, tied around the waist by a thick rope. But as the self-proclaimed Samurai stride (strode?) ((Stridden)) forward, he approaches his rival, unaware of the rage, unaware of what had happened.
And unaware of his own danger.
"So, the so-called gadget ninja has finally faced off against me." Buford states contemptuously. "It is fortuitous, then, that you face a sort of reborn Buford! You may not be aware, but like the caterpillar that has found itself in the chrysalis, or the cicada of summer having come from the shell, I am in the midst of a transformation of sorts. And, hmm hmm, like the cicada, you certainly shall hear my cry." Buford levels the bamboo sheath before him, licking his lips nervously as he shakes off his anxiety. "And while I, too, have to rely on a certain modification of sorts, know this: I come practically naked against you! No tricks!" Buford extends a hairy leg forward from within the bathrobe, leaning as he shoulders his bamboo sheath. "The only tool I need is the blade, my code of samurai honor..." And he rattles his bamboo sheath.
"And a personal mister my sensai has installed in the hilt of my reforged blade!"
COMBATSYS: Buford has wandered into the fight here.
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Kenzo 0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0 Buford
The ninja looks at Buford, saying nothing. He just stares at the Canadian behind his combat specs. No visible reaction to Buford's provocations beyond taking a deep breath. He doesn't bow to Buford like he did to Hawksley. No handshakes. No wish of good luck. No shows of respect. He just looks Buford up and down before look over to the official to bow to him.
He then waits for the official to start the fight. With focus through his rage he looks towards Buford and despite the eyewear on his face, there is no way to interpret the look on his face as anything but a focused stare. After a moment, Kenzo speaks the first words he has spoken since he arrived to this fight location.
Divorced from reality
A false samurai."
With that Kenzo is a sudden blur immediately eating up the space between the two fighters. As sudden as his movement from where he was to right in front of Buford was, the slash from the sickle is even more sudden.
COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Buford with Flicker Edge.
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Kenzo 0/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Buford
Buford actually yelps as Kenzo gives his bow.
"Ah, forgive me," He apologizes quickly, as he comes to attention. He gives his own hefty bow, as the official calls the fight to begin. Buford stays in the bow for a moment, before pulling up. "Did I do that correctly-" He begins, as the blur of speed surges at him. He tries to move, gasping aloud as he stumbles. The slash of the sickle tears into his bathrobe, raking the thick flabs of fat over his chest underneath with bloody effect. The pink robe turns crimson, as a burst of cherry blossoms spill out from inside. "Curses! A foul ninja trick!" He scolds himself. He was supposed to be saving those for later. Buford scoffs at the ninja, sticking his fat tongue out over his dry blubbery lips. Pivoting, he throws his full weight as he lurches and surges (lurges as it were) right back at Kenzo. With it, he swings his lacquer bamboo sheath with a savage overhead strike aiming squarely upon Kenzo's brainpan, the bloodied-breasted ronin mewls out his own haiku in retort. Edgeless, yes, but still a brutal headache (and the actual attack is pretty bad too).
"All Knowing Ninja,
Depends On His Toys?! He Is
Blind To His Folly"
COMBATSYS: Kenzo interrupts Medium Strike from Buford with Whirling Chain Blitz.
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Kenzo 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1 Buford
The slash from the sickle of his kusari-gama connects but not even that is enough to bring joy to the ninja's face. The accusations of a foul ninja trick go unanswered. No. He is too focused on the job he came here to do.
The ninja maintains the good positioning that he gained from that initial attack, adjusting his positioning in response to Buford's attempts to get his feet back under him. When Buford 'lurges' towards him, the ninja is ready to respond to the Canadian's attempt to inflict blunt force trauma upon him by inflicting some electricity enhanced blunt force trauma of his own. In a combination of a side step and pivot, he takes the impact of the bamboo sheathe on his shoulder while simultaneously swinging the now electrified weight upon Buford's own head. That was only the beginning. He rapidly swings the chain in a figure 8 pattern, slamming the weight into his head, shoulder, arms, torso, and wherever he can hit him with the weight.
To further add insult to injury, he speaks once more.
"All of the love claimed,
For the nation of Japan.
Yet none had picked you."
He just had to note that none of the teams that had Japanese sponsors on them picked him, didn't he...
The counter-attack comes before Buford can even recognize it.
As the sharp jolt electricity comes to his head, the samurai blanks out. When he rouses out, finds himself fallen over, right at the edge of the canal. Laying there, he smells smoke and ozone. Rolling over, he luckily chooses the side that was NOT into the water, and rises up to a sit. His body was.... bloodied and bruised, the barrage from Kenzo coming with almost no defense outside of his healthy girth and form. His hat just barely shared its fate with its master, and sat beside him. Moaning loudly, he grips his sheath, as he looks across at Kenzo, legs spread apart as he stares back. He grabs his Fedora, and pushes it squarely on his head. He muses softly to himself, an old haiku he had once heard many days ago, as he brings himself up to a full stand.
"No Summer Colors
Tint That Side Of My Ocean:
A One-Sided Love"
Reaching a full stand, Buford draws his blade free from it's bamboo sheath.
And there is a hearty VROOOOOOM.
As the motor is primed and turned over, a growl of an small engine rattles the fat and long hilt of his blade. Purring and sputtering, the blade begins to spill out a thick cloud of smoke and mist. Buford levels the vibrating blade, clenching the rather dangerous looking hilt with both hands as it continues to combust and power. Buford bellows over his sword, as he holds it steady before him.
"But Through Force And Shame,
I Will Make Nippon Humble
Like A Strong Father"
Buford swings his sword from side to side, as his body begins enveloped in the thick cloud of mist. Giving a spin, he motions for Kenzo with one finger, a smirk spreading over his face, dimples popping across his cherub-like features.
Before his shape completely falls away into the thick fog.
COMBATSYS: Buford furiously puffs up a sweet cotton cloud!
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Kenzo 1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1 Buford
When the engine revs, Kenzo raises an eyebrow. For all the grief he received for using gadgets and Buford has a sword with an engine. The hypocrisy has not escaped the ninja.
As Buford beckons, Kenzo pulls out a metal orb out about the size of a baseball and electrifies it and charges it.
He can only watch as Buford becomes covered in mist however Kenzo's plan hasn't changed. He rolls the orb into the mist and after a few moments, the orb releases a powerful burst of electricity.
"Thick mist obscuring
The truth you wish not to see.
None truly want you."
COMBATSYS: Buford dodges Kenzo's Pulse Device.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////////// ]
Kenzo 1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1 Buford
There is almost a gleam in the fog, as the gadget is rolled into it.
The shadow disappears as it lands. The burst of electricity arcs through the mist, the tendrils of plasma spider-webbing through it. The mist scatters as it detonates. A splashing sound is heard deep within the cloud, and yet, as the fog fades, there is no Buford there. Just a soft puttering sound, and a rather wet slapping noise.
The doppler effect from the purring of the hilt's motor telegraphs the attack as it comes.
Buford erupts from the side of the canal, which between the splash and the combustion of the motor is hardly a surprise. What might be a surprise is the raw -speed- of the Canadian, who seems to be demonstrating an agility that belays his rather husky form. As surges from the waters, both hands gripping his sword, the mist almost seems to cling on to him. The cloud is carried with it as Buford unleashes a single, smooth slice of his blade, aiming for Kenzo's midsection as he passes by, his hat lowered over his eyes. And a smirk over his lips. It does not matter if he fails to connect or not: With his pink bathrobe sopping wet from the dank runoff of the canals, he would openly declare over the purring of the hilt's motor an air of confidence.
"A Hardy Spirit
Must Drink The Wine Of Contempt
A Love Of Hatred"
COMBATSYS: Kenzo blocks Buford's Bushido Of The Blade EX.
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Kenzo 1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1 Buford
While he seemed to have no problem landing his attacks, he was troubled by the fact that he had yet to grasp Buford's defensive tendencies. His gadget discharges and then the cloud fades. Disappointed but not surprised.
Kenzo then hears the sound of the hilt motor. The ninja quickly wrapped the chain around his forearm of the hand not holding the sickle part of the weapon. When the slash comes in, he intercepts the blade with the sickle while taking some of the jarring impact on the chain.
Kenzo lets the chain go slack enough to slide off of his forearm before spinning the chain as he turns to face the Canadian. He then swings the weight at the arms.
"No lies required
For Ichika to hate you.
Just hearing you speak."
COMBATSYS: Buford interrupts Medium Strike from Kenzo with Revengeance EX.
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Kenzo 1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1 Buford
COMBATSYS: Buford blitzes into action and acts again!
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > /////////////////// ]
Kenzo 1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1 Buford
Buford isn't slowing down.
Keeping his back towards Kenzo, the cloud pours out around him, the rattle of the chain seems to either snap him out of something... or into it. As the weight is sent towards him, Buford is already turning. Taking the weight squarely into his shoulder, the smirking cherub of a face seem to have a strange fire in his eyes. It does nothing to slow down him down, though the audible grunt and visible purple bruise spreading on impact. And with that, Buford takes the opening with a singular, smooth slash, exploiting the opportunity of pain to tear his purring blade through the mist, a strange rectangular shape falling away in the mist.
Almost as if he was cleaving through a giant trading card that sat between them.
The rhythm doesn't break as he sinks into the building mist. Another Haiku is shared between them, as he flashes in and out of the clouds three times, attempting a high, low, and middle swipe from the three angles, each bringing a line of the haiku. Only for the fog to collapse around them both upon the final slash at the middle, the samurai peeling away in a stampeding run:
"A Youth's Ignorance
Like Cherry Blossoms In Spring
Fall In Next Season"
COMBATSYS: Kenzo dodges Buford's Cloudchaser.
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Kenzo 1/--=====/=======|=======\==-----\1 Buford
Kenzo had expected this response of rushing through the weight. He attempted to mitigate the risk enough that he could make it difficult enough for the blade wielding neckbeard to get his own attack through. He can't do anything about the sword slicing through him and that giant Pikachu card before the card disappears. He still got some damage in so his objective was achieved if not to a level he would consider ideal.
Then the mist builds up once more and Kenzo sinks into it, letting his form get lost in the cloud. Each line and each slash connect with nothing. When the cloud fades away, Kenzo is no longer there.
He descends from a near by rooftop landing silently. Electricity covers the entire chain as he sends the weight to wrap it around Buford's neck, yanks him down to the ground drags him on the ground, and then gives a series of savage slashes to the midsection.
"You've refused to take
Your mom kicked you out."
It's been a tight production schedule for Lucky Chloe's 'Kiss of Life' music video, especially for Liza Eddow, since she's been cast in a small acting part in addition to her usual duties as one of the singer's backing dancers. This match, though, was one timeslot that she fought tooth and nail with Chloe to let her have off ('fighting tooth and nail' being used interchangeably with 'begged and pleaded and made puppy-dog eyes'). And since the start of the match, her eyes have been glued to the scene, stood behind the barrier with a now half-eaten box of Pocky in one hand and a bottle of Dr Pepper in the other. The intensity of the rivalry between the two fighters, one upholding the traditions of the ninja, the other upholding (?) the traditions of the samurai, has been so palpable that she's had to nibble her chocolate sticks compulsively to keep from squealing. And when the haiku started to fly, for her, it was like a rap fan suddenly being confronted with Dre and Eminem throwing off disguises to initiate an impromptu rap battle before her eyes.
With the gear shifting up yet another notch, the speed of both fighters on full display, Raiza finds herself bouncing on her feet, plastic bottle and cardboard box crinkling as her grip unconsciously tightens. She wants to cheer, but she can't decide who for. For Kenzo, the sleek ninja with a shared affinity for lightning, an aspirational figure for what she wants to be? Or for the rugged and relatable Buford, whose heart, like hers, lies across the sea from the land of his birth, and whose voracity for Japanese culture is, like hers, beyond his capacity to fully digest?
A scantly-visible heat fills her face, causing her whole body to tingle. She can't choose. She wants them both to stay locked like this, in the sultry embrace of battle, for all time. She has to express that desire somehow.
Finally, she throws both hands up in the air, spraying the area around her with soda and Pocky crumbs.
"BUFORD AND KENZO OH-TEE-PEE!"
COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Buford with Deadly Electrocutioner.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Kenzo 0/-------/------=|>>>>>>>\>>>>---\1 Buford
Buford was already on run, when Kenzo begins his counter attack.
Buford himself was not quite as productive in his cloud chasing assault as he had hoped. No matter. He would reposition, rebuild his cottony cover, and strike again. His eyes dance from left to right, with no sign of Kenzo. They do not, however, dance -up- until the rattle comes. Looking upwards, it's already lashing out to him. As the chain wraps around his neck, he is exposed as his mind races. Kenzo brings his mother into the conversation. He had a rebuttal, an outrage, but as the pull comes, the electricity runs through him, paralyzing him. Jerked on his feet to Kenzo, his body is ripped apart, his exposed hairy chest raking thick cuts that ooze life into his bathrobe. The Canadian collapses with his fedora fixed squarely on his head, his katana blade stalling, and then, sputtering out as well. Hairy legs spread out, he lays in pain, the only respite being his neck freed from his metal garrote. Was this the end of Buford?
It is the cry of Buford and Kenzo being the One True Pair, that rouses Buford from his daze.
Instinctively turning towards Raiza, his cold blue eyes gleaming, a surge of passion coming through him. After all, he had gone over his ships online, jealous of how everyone had been shipped but him. And yet, if someone desired a KenzoxBuford, well, he rises up swiftly, tipping his fedora to the single young woman in the audience, who has clearly become pro-Samurai in this exchange. And boldly, as he grips the starter cord for his hilt, he declares his haiku as he pulls.
"Fights Between Rivals
One Attacks, And One Defends,
Seme And Uke"
With that declaration, the sword roars to life, sputtering and vibrating as a fresh surge of vapor fills the air. Buford surges after Kenzo, swinging his sword in a flurrying chopping assault, moving faster and faster, a blur of slices building as the mist rises. The assault only ends as he turns with a finishing overhead backswing, bringing the mist around into a harmless whirlwind. Buford was barely holding himself together, his body battered, bruised, and bleeding. Exhaustion was overwhelming him. And yet, he had hope. He had dreams. Before somewhere, right there in the audience.
There was someone who gave him attention without him initiating it directly.
COMBATSYS: Kenzo dodges Buford's Tenderless Reaper.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Kenzo 0/-------/------=|>>>>>--\-------\0 Buford
"Oh. Hell. No."
That's the first non-haiku related thing to leave his lips all fight. The idea of him being shipped with Buford filled the ninja with horror and anger. Buford's poem does not help matters in terms of Kenzo's emotional state.
That combination of emotions, as bad as it might be for his health, does encourage him to move faster. Electric energy surrounds his body as he darts to and fro around and under as the samurai's sword strikes find nothing but air.
His movements are quick as he replaces his kusari-gama with his tessen. He swings the fan across Buford's face and then skips backward before holding it up between himself and the Canadian.
"All would prefer death,
Than to be paired with this fool.
He's earned only shame."
COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Buford with Reaction Strike.
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Kenzo 0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\-------\1 Buford
Really, Kenzo breaking the haiku pattern was essentially a moral victory.
The slashing frenzy is met in time by the agile ninja, Buford trying to focus hard as he cut, cut, cuts, each swipe catching just flicker of electricity, not flesh. When he makes the sweeping finisher, he only has enjoy a single opening, as the kusarigama is put away. Instead, a tessen is whipped out and launched straight for his face. The iron fan is swung, as Kenzo steps back.
The iron fan slaps across his face.
Buford stops, shocked, his face cut, his nose bloodied. That should have been enough to provoke ever more aggression from Buford. And yet, he seemed almost... bemused. Like his warrior spirit was stifled. Buford lowers his blade, his burning spirit fizzling out along with the motor of his sword. He collapses to one knee, releasing one hand from his sword in order to hold his fedora in place. As if, he finally understood the charming joke his rival had made. Buford felt the spirit of his animosity towards this ninja fade. Perhaps, in a way, they weren't all that different. Perhaps, in a way, they were just two sides of the same coin. A nerd to a nerd. And the fan bonking him on the head to correct him... it was genius! He glances back to the audience, giving a wink, before back at his ninja rival. Puffing his bloodied chest out, he announces loudly.
"I Am Mistaken"
"Not Your Seme, But A Boke"
"To Your Tsukkomi"
Buford tips his fedora at Kenzo, giving a nod, before collapsing face first, his hindquarters held high in the air.
COMBATSYS: Buford can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ <
As Kenzo looks at the shocked expression on Buford's face, he expects some kind of retaliation. There's been too much disrespect between the two of them in just this fight alone, let alone in interviews. The last thing he is expecting is for his adversary to laugh and tip his fedora to him before falling.
If that sign of respect came with an apology for previous treatment, he might have responded in kind. Seeing as there was none given, he has no interest in burying the hatchet unless it's figuratively in the back of his fallen body.
Or employed but trained to fail.
Go to mom... Oh, wait."
As he walks out of the fighting area, he directs a frown in Liza's direction conveying sadness and disappointment. After that, he takes out his cellphone, goes through his contacts, then brings the phone to his ear.
"Hello? Kenzo, here. I'm going to stay here for a bit to sign autographs and then after that, I'm headed to the dealership. I'll need a vehicle pick up from there. Okay, thanks. Good bye."
COMBATSYS: Kenzo has ended the fight here.
Djamila saw part of the match. She had been distracted by a meeting, but she can back in time to see Kenzo get his victory. That was something. After that, she moves around, trying to find him.
She walks slowly, she's also thinking about everything that happened. Something bad happened for something good. It's weird. Anyway, no more time to think she finds Kenzo signing autographs. She waits her turn, why not, she can have an autograph too. When it's her turn she presents a drawing she has of him. "Can you sign that please?" She asks. Then when she can be close enough, she whispers to him, "Thank you again for that last time. I wanted to tell you that while I am in a better state of mind. Congrats on your victory. I am very proud of you. We will talk more at home though."
She leaves after that, walking in the distance.
Mint's been watching. It's easy to miss her in the crowd when she's not combat-ready and simply observing. So while she happened to get a good vantage point for much of the fight, the cheering crowds make it a -bit- harder to see what' going on.
But... as one of the official Team Metal sponsors, she feels it's kind of her duty to make an appearance. Putting her short stature to good use, she manages to wind her way over to Kenzo -- and coming up right behind Djamila, she rests a trio of *clearly bionic* fingers on her hip, just to register that it isn't some random crazy who wants to lose a finger. "Hey, Djamila, thanks for comin' out..." she states in a low voice, just to confirm.
But as Djamila walks away, she's quick to raise her plastic knuckles up to Kenzo for a greeting. "Good job, my man! I knew you had it in you!"
She brings her hand back to her face, dragging a finger across her cheek.
"The... haikus you wrote
brought tears to my grateful eyes.
They were beautiful."
She sniffs lightly, and steps back with a proud grin.
The words had left Raiza's mouth as her fangirl passion had boiled over, but it turns out that boiling over and cooling off aren't the same thing. In fact, the heat had only gotten worse as the zeal had suddenly found itself clashing with intense shame at her own outburst. It hadn't been exactly what she'd meant to express - the words had come out wrong - and while there may have been some logical circuit that could be retraced to explain Liza's mind in normal people terms, the teenager is as equipped to take another passenger on that journey as a unicycle rider. She'd frozen for several seconds, feeling as though everyone around her was staring at her (and many were), before quietly going back to meekly nibbling on Pocky and Dr Pepper.
With the conclusion of the battle, though, Raiza runs around toward where the fighters are left - approaching Kenzo, first, while Buford is likely being treated by the medical staff. She overhears one of Kenzo's team captains make an impromptu haiku on the spot - it seems - and suddenly the pressure hits her. She pulls a print of a picture of herself with Kenzo and Buck smiling at the camera out of the Bulbasaur backpack slung over her shoulder and holds it reverently in her hands as she waits in line for her turn, trying to think of the right words to say, especially after her outburst - which she knows both fighters noticed.
When her turn finally arrives...
"A tectonic shift
Drives the mouth to overflow
With molten regret."
She presents the photo print with her head hung low, cheeks blazing red and eyes askance.
Kenzo goes to the designated location to sign autographs and take pictures and so on and eventually Djamila shows up. As he signs her drawing, he lets out an amused laugh.
"I'm sure I should be getting your signature. You're quite welcome and thank you."
The ninja was considering having Djamila join him but reconsidered when she had leaned in to speak of a more private matter. His sponsor Mint shows up allowing Djamila to escape autograph duty. He gets congratulated and complimented on the poetry. In haiku form even.
"Thank you. I figured that the best burns are custom fitted to the person receiving them."
Eventually Liza comes along with a picture to sign and a haiku of her own. His features soften.
"While I'm not attracted to the same gender, I'd want you to pick someone for me who if not likes what things I do and the things that I find important, at least has respect for them. He insulted my fighting style, me for being a ninja, he insulted my tech. All things that I consider important to me. I want better than that for me. I'd want better than that for you. I can't see a relationship where there's disrespect for either party as anything but miserable and possibly abusive."
He then considers the words he wants to say. Most of the haikus used in this match were probably prepared in advance.
"A one true pairing,
Built on hate and disrespect,
Is a disaster."
Though looking slightly less downcast when Kenzo softens in his reaction to her, Liza still looks guilty as Kenzo explains all the reasons why he and Buford don't work as a pairing. She offers an apologetic expression, scratching at the back of her neck beneath her ponytail.
"That... umm... it came out wrong. I more meant to say that I... I really thought you two make such great rivals. Like Gray and Natsu, or Goku and Vegeta. I wasn't trying to ship you as something more, um, romantic than that..."
Certainly not in real life, at least, and certainly not out loud.
"...it was more that I thought you could use your differences to grow in understanding and respect, even if you always have a burning desire to defeat each other! I mean, if Goku can befriend Vegeta even after Vegeta tried to kill all of his friends, then anything can happen, right?"
The problem with Liza's logic is that Goku and Vegeta are characters in a manga, obviously.
"But you're right... learning to respect and understand each other is probably the main part, so if you can't do that, then you definitely shouldn't date!"
She offers her photo up to Kenzo with more hope, now.
"I printed off the picture so I'd have something for you to sign the next time I saw you! I hope you don't mind!"
Kenzo smiles as he signs the pic of Liza, Buck, and himself right under where he is posing for the camera. Once Liza's autograph is taken care of, the line continues until everyone who wants an autograph gets one. After that, he's escorted to the Mustang Mach-E.
Log created on 10:07:02 07/14/2023 by Kenzo, and last modified on 10:19:44 07/18/2023.