Katsuro - Friendship is... a New Command!

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Description: It's the first day on the job for Second Lieutenant Danny 'Dashing' Dash! And her first assignment is to conduct patrol around the Southtown Fish Market while taking command of... the infamous PFC Katsuro Kirikawa. It'll... probably be fine?

It's the first day and first patrol of Second Lieutenant Danny 'Dashing' Dash, newly graduated officer of the Novus Orbis Librarium!

And she's just a little bit nervous.

Not because she doesn't think she's up to the job, or because she worries about the locale - Southtown is a great place, she's spent plenty of time here over the years and she loves it! But because she's been assigned to go on patrol with one Private Kirikawa, whose employee record is...




When she'd asked around about him at HQ, most had just laughed at her or looked pitying. The word 'handler' was used. Surely, half the things in that file had to be an exaggeration, right? Nobody could actually be... like... that!

She's sent Katsuro his orders, get to the Great Southtown Fish Market an hour before opening time, and she'd included a pair of rainbow emoji and a smiling personal emoji of herself giving a big thumbs up with 'EXCITED TO MEET YOU!!'. She thought that would probably help get them off on the right foot.

But the rainbow-haired officer still doesn't look entirely sure of herself as she waits by the main entrance. This was going to be a normal, boring day of wandering around showing people that they are safe, right? She's been through all the training! She knows her job!

Even if there's already a faint sense of dread.

It might very well feel like there's some horrible joke that the Second Lieutenant has not been let in on, with all this. But at least the response to the orders and the companiable message that came with them seems normal!

'See you there~'

...Nevermind. Why did he use a tilde? Why did he feel it necessary to use a tilde?

Be as it may. With actual opening an hour away, there's not much foot traffic through the market, outside of the merchants and other workers moving about getting things ready for the day. At least it makes it easy enough to keep track of the people around, and take notice of anyone that stands out. Which... well. Someone does pretty quickly, at that.

A someone who's closing in is heralded by a whistled tune that somehow manages to sound ominous.

When the officer turns to look, however, she will find the whistling has suddenly ceased, and... there's no obvious sign of the source of the tune.

"Lieutenant Dash, then?" Comes a sudden question, however, right from where she would have been originally facing. And right there is standing a man in the most bizarre combination of a three-piece suit and black leather pants, with a gloriously wild mane of hair and an equally wild look in his amber eyes... and most tellingly, with a katana in a crimson scabbard slung by his hip from a similiarly-colored belt, and a standard NOL badge pinned to the lapel of his jacket.

The man's nostrils flare out, briefly, in an obvious intake of air, and before she has even had a chance to answer, he's already audibly deciding, "I'm thinking... yes? Well, here!" Instead of bowing or offering a handshake, he offers one of two takeaway cups of what at least smells like coffee towards her, as he flashes a wolfish, tooth-baring grin at her.

"PFC Kirikawa, pleasure to meet you. Oh, and I just *love* your hair~."

Well, he seems... cheerful, at least?

As a certified user of the Double Exclamation Point Technique, Dash can hardly blame anyone else for using tildes in their texts. That's just, friendly, probably, right?

When the whistling starts, she frowns faintly and tries to locate the source of the noise. Nothing immediately jumps out at her. Which is both good, because things jumping out at her are traditionally not very friendly, and bad, because she does like to see threats before they come at her. The twenty-something rainbow-haired girl looks more and more unnerved, eyes darting around, until she begins to raise two fingers to the firebird broach pinned on her uniform...

And then jumps clean out of her skin.


Rounding on Katsuro she huffs, but takes the offered coffee anyway. He's a little taller than her. A little older. And whilst he has a smile on his face just like she tends to-- his, doesn't have that cheeky, oh-gosh-you quality she strives for. He looks like he's going to unhinge his jaw and swallow her whole.

"Uh, thanks." She says, clearing her throat. "Sorry. Just a little ... jumpy, I guess. First day on the job nerves, you know?" She flashes one of her trademark Winning Smiles, and sniffs the coffee. It does, at least, smell like coffee. Whether or not it is, remains to be seen.

"And thanks! For the coffee and the compliment! I like your katana, red sheathe, very, uh, practical!" She beams. Yeah that's right Dash, nailed it!

Anyway, uh, I know Southtown pretty well, I don't think we'll have any trouble here today, it seems pretty quiet, so, hopefully we can just have a bit of a walk, get to know one another, take it easy, right? No first day fatalities, that's the goal!"

The wolfish grin doesn't waver even from witnessing the loud jump and yelp of the second lieutenant. He just keeps holding that cup out for her. Once she's taken it, he's quick to take a sip from the one left into his other hand, a quiet breath of satisfaction leaving his nostrils after with the wakeup juice flowing down his throat.

"Straight here from the academy, huh?" He murmurs thoughtfully while regarding her curiously. "Well, I guess there's worse ways to spend your first day. If ya don't mind the smell. And also the place mostly being boring as all shit most of the time."

The apparent returned compliment makes Katsuro look with some bemusement at the sword in question, brows lifting and head tilting. "Practical...? Well, I guess it does make it easier to keep lookin' clean, ya know?"

"Oh, I don't mind the smell at all!" Dash declares with a bright smile, "You know what it smells like to me? It smells like the hard-working men and women of Southtown hauling nature's bounty up from the bottom of the ocean onto our very own shores!" She beams from ear to ear, and then takes a sip from her coffee. And hey! It's coffee! That is a definite huge plus!

"Okay! Let's get going!" She declares cheerfully, walking right up to the entrance and, though business isn't due to start for a while yet, beginning the first slow, circuitous route around the periphery. "So, Private, what made you want to join up with the Librarium? I mean. Assuming you want to tell me. I'm not like. Ordering you to or anything. In fact, if I don't say it's an order, you can probably assume it isn't, I'm not super... order-y, really."

"That's... a way to look at it. Just makes it hard to smell other stuff for me." This apparent difference in view doesn't seem to damper Katsuro's own cheer at all. Certainly doesn't stop him from stepping into stride right besides the Second Lieutenant... even if with perhaps just a slightly more informal manner than necessary, complete with his arms stretching behind and over his head for a good while.

"Oh, s'fine, ya can order me as much as ya like, Dash-han~," he offers then with another toothy smile, his Kansai accent briefly getting even more pronounced than usual. "And I'm happy to tell ya. Not that it's a whole big of a story or anythin'. See, a buncha Librarium guys beat the hell out of me, and then I got offered a job in place of jail."

Wait. What? He said that so casually, too, like it's just the most perfectly normal explanation one could possibly give. He even smiles wider when he goes on to add: "And now I'm here livin' my best life!"

That probably makes it sound *even worse*.

Dash doesn't seem to mind the informality. She does give a faint 'huh' at the explanation, though. "Well..." She says, slowly, "I'm glad that we're doing such good work, then." There's a flashed smile as she turns to face her companion, still walking backwards, though now pointing two fingers towards him in a classic 'fingerguns' pose. "Like I said, first day, but I didn't know we did prisoner rehabilitation deals. That's great! Now you get to work for the betterment of society, and we don't have to lock you up, win-win for everyone!"

The stallholders are starting their preparations at this point; hefting up the day's catches and making their displays on large beds of ice. The smell really is quite something. As are some of the catches. Dash pauses to admire a whole octopus, strung up on the edge of one of the stalls, dangling like a deflated balloon.

"The ocean is full of so much cool stuff, don't you think?" She asks, "I mean, I'd much rather see it when it is... a bit more lively, but, you ever just stop and think 'wow nature is awesome?'"

"Betterment of society, huh?" For some reason, the private seems incredibly amused by *that* particular notion, though he is very much doing his best to not let any laughter out, and instead just offers a cheerful "Sure!"

The man's looking along the stalls, occasionally taking a pronounced sniff of air through his nose -- and possibly fighting what to him might very well be a nearly overwhelming scent of raw fish and other sea creatures. Like that octopus over there! ...An octopus that kind of makes him look sort of hungry. "...You wanna get takoyaki after this?" He asks, probably completely unrelatedly.

"Oh, hell yeah, there's a ton of cool shit," Katsuro is quick to agree as well, with a rapid nod of his head. "I mean, there's tigers, lions, bears, wolves..." He seems to think for just a few seconds before going on. "Oh, and the ocean has sharks..."

That... list kind of seems to have kind of a running themse of some kind.

"Of course! That's what we're here for. To keep people safe from threats nobody else can deal with. And sure! Takoyaki would make a great lunch. It's been years since I had real Southtown street food."

Hey, this isn't actually going too badly at all. She keeps on walking, seemingly oblivious to the increasing number of stares they are getting from bemused stallholers. It's one of those strange things, right? The sudden, unexpected presence of the police rarely makes anyone feel safer. Throw in the Librarium uniform and that vague sense of unease goes up tenfold.

Chuck Katsuro into the mix and...

"Don't forget horses!" Dash says brightly, only for one of the stallholders to suddenly reach out and grab her by the shoulder with a:

"Danny? Is that you?"

He's a big man, likely in his early forties. Muscular physique honed from decades of hefting huge crates around the market. And he does not look happy...

"Yeah, sure, horses are good," the private agrees easily enough, though not necessarily as *eagerly* as with his list of potentially very dangerous animals.

But before he can offer any other suggestions... there's the Large Man.

The lieutenant's attention for her part might be too focused on the man suddenly invading on her personal space to see what Katsuro is doing at first, but at first it might very well seem as though he's not reacting to this turn of events. Only...

"Goooooood mooooooorniiiiing, big boy!"

Katsuro is suddenly *right there* at the man's other side, leaned up uncomfortably close into *his* personal space while he flashes the most heartful smile he can manage. Even that somehow makes it seem like there's a beast there just *barely* hiding it's fangs.

"I'm afraid the lieutenant's meeting hours are from ten to one, good sir, but I can take a message if ya liiiiike?" His voice almost goes sing-song towards the end, and he's just leaning *closer* to the older man still.

Dash looks confused at first. And, perhaps understandably, a little worried. "Hey..." She starts-

And then Katsuro is RIGHT THERE. How on earth does he do that? It's impressive, even if it is also downright spooky. She can't fault his enthusiasm though; in fact, she's a little bit embarrassed that she let the 'big boy' in question lay hands on her to begin with. She ought to have stopped that, at least. She does now, shrugging off his hand and stepping back.

"Hey, hey, Katsuro, it's fine, this is just Jan, we know each other!"

The big man in question, perhaps demonstrating less survival instinct than even the octopus they had been admiring before still retained, blows hard through his nostrils and folds his arms across his chest as he glares down at Katsuro.

"That is what I *thought*." He says, "But the Dash that I know wouldn't be working with murderous dogs like the En Oh El."

Dash looks genuinely momentarily surprised, "Oh, c'mon Jan, that's not fair..."

"Oooooh?" Katsuro's leaning back *at least a little* with the information given that the two apparently know each other. This apparently makes this situation much more acceptable in his book, even if he still makes a point of staying close. Not *as* close, but still close.

...But with Jan's expression of displeasure of his commanding officer's choice of employment, the private makes a point, then, of stepping right between the two, staring up at the large man with his own hands clasped together at the small of his back.

"Ya have something against dogs, Jan-han?" He asks in a perfectly casual tone. Having read Katsuro's service history, Dash might have had enough reason to worry that he would have reacted in some much more aggressive way to this kind of provocation, but...

"Dogs are loyal and smart, ya know? Don't make just for good pets but for good workers too. Keep yer herd of sheep and cows in check, guard yer house, hunt food fer ya tooo and all they ask for is a little bit of food in return, yeah? I think dogs are great like that." He even flashes a big, wide grin after saying all that -- but then he leans just a biiit closer, and in a lower tone adds in, "Even keep watch against the big bad beasties in the woods wantin' ta eat ya."

He takes a step back right after that, though, to bring himself in line besides Dash. "'Sides! 'Least yer friend here--" and just like that, he's suddenly got an arm around his superior officer's shoulders, giving her an overly companiable jostle. "Is the one keepin' hold of the leash and keepin' 'em in check. Riiiight?" That toothy grin is promptly turned towards Dash herself, then. "Dash-dono~?"

Dash has this terrible tendency to see the best in people. Sure, she read Katsuro's file, but she doesn't really believe that he is prone to fits of random violence. There had to be a reasonable explanation for each and every one of the many, many incidents - and it's pretty obvious to her that he's just, not great at filing reports and paperwork. Which she can relate to on a deep, almost spiritual level.

Even so, this is a tense situation. Technically, Jan just assaulted an officer, and whilst Dash doesn't exactly see it that way, she wouldn't have been surprised if Katsuro did. So, she's glad there's not an immediate disaster. Even if Katsuro's eager identification with the dog moniker is... unnerving.

She gives the world's most uncomfortable smile as he wraps an arm around her, and reaches up to pat Katsuro's shoulder uncertainly, "That's... right? Kind of?"

Because what he's saying isn't a million miles away from how she had justified it to herself. She could work and do good from the inside! Curb any excesses where she could and help the organisation stay true to its real mission. It's not the same way she'd phrase it, but...

... it's also not enough to placate Jan.

The big man glowers at Dash, "You remember Olive." He rumbles, "You people took her two years ago. We haven't seen her since. No explanation. Nothing." His baleful gaze turns on Katsuro. "When a dog turns rabid, you put it down." He spits on the ground by the pair's feet. "You aren't welcome here. Don't even think about coming by my stall. Either of you."

"Well, s'fine," is Katsuro's apparent decision on being denied permission to approach Jan's stall. He even shrugs his shoulders at this. He doesn't even seem to be bothered by the glob of spit landing just inches from his nice shoes or anything. "Don't need ta come by yer stall for our jobs. Welp! Good talk!"

And without any further thought on the matter, he's spinning along on the heel of his foot, and with his arm still around Dash, he might very well end up directing his superior officer to turning around right along with him, before finally seperating from her. Though not without giving a tap to her back to seemingly signal for her to get along walking with him. "We oughta get goin'. Lotta work to do! Ya have a good day now, Jan-han~!"

But then. Not even two steps forward, and his momentum halts.

"One more thing though..."

Something's changed. his tone doesn't sound so cheerful anymore. The very air around the dubiously-distinguished private of the Librarium seems to change while he slowly turns to peer back over his shoulder towards Jan, with an intense glint in the single amber eye peering towards him.

"Don't be laying hands on her again. Ya only get the one pass."

The dog comparison he was making might seem all too apt now. There's something outright beastial in that particular glare he shoots back at Dash's acquintance. A warning expression meant to strike a reaction from some base, animalistic instincts. A guard dog baring it's fangs at someone unwanted edging towards the pack.

"... what?"

Dash looks genuinely torn, but she doesn't put up much of a struggle when Katsuro insistently starts to guide her away from the angry civilian. This is probably for the best, right? No good is going to come from arguing with him. She does remember Olive though. Sweet old lady. Sure, her skin was green, but that had never bothered her. It wasn't like she caused any trouble... only... she must have, or else why would the Librarium have taken her away, right?

Lost in her own thoughts for a moment, Dash misses the menacing change that comes over Katsuro. Jan, though, does not, and the big guy seems to think better of carrying on his tirade. He just huffs and stomps back to his stall, leaving the pair to continue their 'patrol'.

"Hey..." Dash says after a moment, "I'm sorry about that. You shouldn't have had to step in, there. I should be able to handle... some, loudmouth, who doesn't even know what he's talking about."

She laughs, then, and claps Katsuro on the shoulder, "But thanks! Seriously. You really had my back. That's the power of friendship for you I guess!"

The menace of the momentary appearance of predatory mien in Katsuro's expression slips away just as quickly as it first had appeared, just in time to hide it away from Dash.

"Hey, it's always harder when it's someone you know, right?" He offers with a much more casual tone on his part again. "Though I guess our job is still the kind where oughta be trying to get used to it, ya know?" He shrugs his shoulders with that, flicking a hand in a casual kind of wave right after.

Though the PFC immediately lets out a little laugh when that clap comes on his shoulder, his own fist extending over to tap his knuckles against the lieutenant's shoulder. "S'what ya got underlings for, huh? Told ya dogs are useful workers."

Dash laughs awkwardly as Katsuro really doubles down on that dog element again. "I don't know. I mean, I guess, technically... you are my subordinate, but also, you're a lot more experienced at this than I am, so you should know that I'll take whatever you have to say seriously! The whole, military, thing... my Dad was always better at that. Aheh, that's probably why I took so long in the academy I guess."

She's rambling, she knows she's rambling, she's also scratching behind the back of her head, but, she's definitely been thrown off by the sudden appearance of an angry person from her past not an hour into her first day. It isn't all going to be like that, surely? Most people understood that they were here to help, right?

"Anyway. We should get back to, you know, making sure fishmen aren't taking offense to all this or something." She says, walking pointedly in the opposite direction away from Jan and his stall.

"Mmmm, I guess that's fair..." Katsuro muses, stretching his arms casually over and behind his head again while the two of them walk along. "Sooo... Technically that makes me... yer senpai, huh~?" That jovial tone of his takes on a vaguely teasing edge to it with that, the eye peeking at Dash past the hair hanging over one side of his face at that moment twinkling with a little mischief.

"Not that I don't get to say 'no' to any of yer orders, mind ya. Yer still my commander right now, ya know?" He doesn't seem the least bit bothered by that, either. He really is taking quite comfortably to the role of a subordinate.

Which is probably a good thing considering he's definitely been a private much longer than most people should be, even if he does have 'First Class' added to the rank.

While they walk along, she might notice his nostrils flaring deliberately every now and then. Even audibly taking in pronounced sniffs of air. Is he actually trying to study the scents around them...?

"Wouldn't be the first time I had to fight some fishmen... or somethin' with a lot of tentacles."

"I... guess, in a sense?"

Whilst Dash has been in Southtown plenty, Japanese culture still passes her by in many ways. She's pretty sure the whole 'senpai' thing implies a lot more than she's necessarily comfortable with, but she's equally not sure how to call him out on it without either revealing herself to be profoundly ignorant or being insulting. And she doesn't want to insult the guy. Despite what his file says, he's doing a good job!

"Do you think that's actually likely? I was just making a joke..."

Her eyes drift over the vendors, but she doesn't see anyone who looks suspiciously Atlantian, so she tries to put that out of her mind, shaking her head quickly.

"Oh! Hey, that's a fun one!" She declares, "How about you tell me about the most difficult fight you've had? I saw from your file you've seen a ton of action!"

"Of course I think that's likely," Katsuro insists with a firm nod of his head, but that cheerful expression on his features doesn't waver even an iota's worth. "Like I said, wouldn't be the first time!" ... But then his expression *does* sour a little. "...Fishmen ain't fun to fight, though. Would be kinda hard for me to smell 'em in a place like this, too, if they were sneakin' about..."

The prompting for storytime makes him tap a single finger against his lower lip, however, with a thoughtful "Hmmm", potentially considering some of his memories on the matter. "That's kinda a hard one, ya know... But, mmm..."

It takes a few seconds, but eventually he snaps his fingers and apparently decides, "I guess that fight I had with the Librarians who fought me before I got recruited! Well. One of 'em, anyway. Most of the footsoldiers were pretty easy to fight with even if there were a lotta 'em, but then there was... Ya know, I still don't know the guy's name. Had a spear of some kind, and he just blasted me with a hundred or so energy beams..."


Dash definitely looks a little closer at the people around them, now. There's no immediate signs of gills, so they're probably fine, but Katsuro's casual certainty sets her a little more on edge. She really had better pay more attention. What if the next hand to grasp her shoulder was a cold and clammy one?

"I guess that makes sense, I can't imagine there's many threats out there that can stand up to a proper Librarian. I prefer one big energy beam to a bunch of little ones, though. It's easier to steer, you know? Like, if I'm going off like a disco ball all over the place, it looks cool but I'm probably also wasting a bunch of energy."

Fighting is stronger ground for her to speak on, at least. "I was kind of hoping I'd get to learn how to use a weapon at the Academy but they figured it was a waste of time since I already knew Horse Style. I guess I can't argue with that, really. It was enough of a pain learning to incorporate Parma Ignis here." She touches the broach on her jacket.

"... also, like, are you picking anything up, or is it all just regular fishies?"

As though literally sniffing for threats is, in fact, entirely normal behaviour. For him it seems to be! And he's had good instincts so far, why not keep using them?

"Well, look, in the guy's defense..." Katsuro gives a scratch at the side of his nose with one finger with a look on his face that does nto speak of even the slightest hint of shame or anything. "I didn't let 'im hit me with just the one."

He does give a much more thoughtful look over Dash while she speaks about her own views on fighting technique. And even more so when she mentions this for-him-unknown Horse Style. It might be a little distressing, even, just how intensely he is staring at her for that moment.

"...Still sounds like ya'd be fun to fight."

He says *that*, too, like it'd be a perfectly normal thing to say in this context. At least his gaze shifts to the path running through the stalls ahead of the two with that, instead of continuing to drill holes into the lieutenant with his eyes.

"Hmmm..." Another deep sniff comes when she asks about him picking anything up. "Dun' think so... I mean, like I said, there's so much fresh fish it's kinda overwhelmin'..." But then? With another sniff, his face scrunches up for a half a second, before frowning deeply. A sideward step brings him closer to Dash again.

"Don't look straight there, but the fourth stall to the right from the blue pole on the left?" The murmurs come in a conspirational whisper. In a much more severe, serious tone than he has used so far in the short time she has known him. "The one with all the tuna run by the brunette."

The PFC's brows knit together tightly. Did he just pick something dangerous up afterall? Maybe a hidden darkstalker? Soem kind of illicit substance? Or--

"At least three of the fishies have eaten small batteries."

Or... or that...?

"Do *not* buy anything there."

Dash meets the gaze... and scratches behind the back of her head again.

"I mean, maybe in a training context." She says, uncomfortably. "You can check out some of my old matches on FightTube I think, they should still be up there, if you just want to see what it was like when I did do all this stuff for fun, but, fun isn't really the name of the game any more, right? We've got an important job to do."

That would be an easier sentiment to maintain if it weren't for what the private follows up with. She cranes in as he speaks, half-expecting him to say that there is, in fact, all manner of danger to be had right here... only to rub her face when he announces his discovery.

"R-right." She says, "Well, good work, Private. I'll uh. File a report with the food safety inspector, when we get back to base."

After her run-in with one stallholder already, she doesn't exactly feel comfortable marching up and throwing accusations around right now. That feels like it could escalate real quickly.

"But hey. If that's all we've got to worry about, maybe we'll get away with a nice quiet start after all!"

"Ehhh..." While Katsuro does probably agree on some base level, he still doesn't seem *entirely* happy with the idea of fun being completely off the menu. "The job don't have to be unfun."

And even if Dash herself might sound even a little dubious, he still seems somewhat proud of his discovery. And of being able to help, supposedly!

But her hopeful words right after make him give her a kind of a pouting look. "Well, now ya've gone and jinxed it," he points out... but he smiles right after again, with a look in his eye that might be *too* eager. "Not that I'm gonna complain. Could use a lil' bit of action."

Dash doesn't miss the disappointment, and she does feel a little bad for her Private. He has been making an effort to make her feel comfortable, after all. Even if his slightly-unhinged style sort of undermined him. But, that wasn't his fault! It wasn't something he was doing deliberately. Probably. It's actually kind of hard to say.

Then an idea hits her.

"Okay, let's cut a deal." She says, with a grin. "If we can get all the way through to Takoyaki Time without any major incidents, I'll give you a sparring match in the fighting space here before we go and get them. Winner pays. How does that sound?"

That's the kind of motivational thinking you need as a leader!

Had Katsuro ears like a dog he kept comparing himself to with the encounter with Jan, they would definitely be perking up just then. But lacking such an expressive bodypart, the PFC merely turns his head to look at the Lieutenant directly, with the one exposed brow hoisting up with clear interest.

"Yeah, aight," he decides after all of five seconds of deliberation. "Deal."

That immediately gets an obvious pep back into his step. His arms unfold from behind his head, too, to stretch high up towards the sky in a 'v' shape. "Ya best be givin' me a good one," he urges of Dash thusly, with all the over-eager cheer back into hia voice. "Cuz I plan to win~."

"Heh, that's the spirit."

Dash doesn't seem too surprised by Katsuro's reaction, or his determination to win. This might, in fact, be a horrible idea. She has no idea what the guy is like in a fight other than, reputedly, excited to have them. There's every possibility that he's going to lose all respect for her if he manages to win, or worse, that he might get carried away and actually hurt her.

But c'mon. She's still a fighter at heart. What sort of fighter would she be if she shied away from a match just because logic and reason dictate it is a bad idea?

And so the rest of the patrol does indeed pass in relative peace. After the first full circuit of the market was completed and Dash had come down from the unpleasant blast from her past, the Officer makes an effort to interact with some of the other stallholders. And here, she showcases some of the strengths that Katsuro lacks; back on her game she's cheerful, pleasant and she takes a genuine interest in the troubles of the people she's talking to. None of them have any leads or situations that actually require Librarium involvement, but building a rapport seems to come easily to her. A whole lot of people are given her number and made to promise to "Call your new friend, Lieutenant Dash!" If they ever get into any trouble of a supernatural nature.

But soon enough the sun is at its apex, and Dash stretches. Midday. "Well!" She says, "That wasn't so bad after all! I think we're just about at Takoyaki Time!"

In comparison, Private First Class Kirikawa appears perfectly content to allow the lieutenant to take lead on the socializing duties for yhe pattol, staying a silent supporting fixture for most of it. Most. There may or may not be an occasion where Katsuro's caught flirting with some cute girl attending to one of the stands (and possibly requiring getting dragged away by the ear to continue on patrol). He at least mostly puts on a jovial front with people on the few other occasions he might be pulled into joining in on talking. Affable-- even if vaguely unhinged and feral in some of his mannerisms.

Come tge midday mark, though, and the Lieutenant's declaration, Katsuro's practically throwing his arms in the air. "Yeaaahhh! Ta-ko-ya-ki~!" Well, he's excited.

"Or, weeeeell~." He's suddenly slipping with a pivoting step to in front of Dash, walking backwards while facing her. "Had somethin' elsee planned too, right?"

Dash nods her head, "I hadn't forgotten, don't worry." She says, walking into the fighting arena. The market is in full swing now; plenty of people out for the day's bargains and a pretty sizeable audience, who look curious as the Librarium personnel lay claim to the space that is usually host to exhibition matches. Nobody is using it, though, and it isn't as though pick-up streetfights are unusual in Southtown.

"I'm not going to go easy on you here, either." She says, flashing a grin. "It's unthinkable that a proper Officer would let her subordinate pick up the tab! As your friend, I just can't let you shoulder that kind of unnecessary burden! So I hope you're ready, because I'm going to make sure that the honour of paying for today's treat after a job well done... is ON ME!"

She assumes her stance, then. Legs plant firmly into the ground, she raises her arms before her, knees flexed in the half-squat position that is the core of Horse Style Kung Fu.

"Mmm, they had that World Warrior fight here the other day, didn't day?" Katsuro muses upon stepping up to the 'arena' reserved amidst the stalls upon stalls of merchants for fish and fish-related things. "Shame I missed it..."

He's quicto saunter his way to the opposing side of the makeshift ring in the meantime. And on the way there, his left hand does curl itself along the scabbard of his sword, just below the handguard.

And when he turns to face Dash? There's a positively *dangerous* look in his eye. One that only gets more intensely so when his thumb nudges up and pushes at the handguard of the sword from below, easing the weapon outwards from it's sheath. Exposing sharp steel with a bright glint of reflected lightl--

"...Nah, guess I shouldn't, huh?"

With a *click* the sword suddenly snaps right back into the scabbard. "Ah, well...!"

Suddenly, that mostly-relaxed posture of the wild-haired private shifts forward, bending forward to coil his body like a spring with the support of one hand pressed down against the curb. It's only a brief second for witnessing that sight, however, before he's suddenly launched forward from there, with the intense velocity of a beast pouncing for it's prey.

"Let's try 'ta have fun anyway!!"

Moving with such great speed, he's right up to Lieutenant Dash in a matter of seconds. But instead of speeding straight at her, he's bringing himself to the space besides the rainbow-haired woman, in a pivoting step that might almost seem like it's taken out of some dance -- but also happens to help leverage his foot to snapping towards her side, before the continuing revolution of the dancing motion goes on to carry him further past her. If she doesn't stop him completely, anyway.

COMBATSYS: Katsuro has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Katsuro          0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: D. Dash has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Katsuro          0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0          D. Dash

COMBATSYS: Katsuro successfully hits D. Dash with Evasive Strike.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////    ]
Katsuro          0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0          D. Dash

"Hey, I said you don't have to hold back, if you want to use that sword, it won't be the first time I've dealt with something like that!"

She may live to regret that statement. Especially as the Private proves that he is, indeed, quite a potent opponent. The movements aren't a total surprise; he's quick! Startlingly quick! But then, he'd randomly appeared out of nowhere twice that she'd seen already. The man has speed on his side. Luckily, Horse Style is a good counter to that.

The foot smashes into her side as she fails to bring her arm around to block, and it's like kicking a brick wall. Her stomach is tensed and ready to take the impact. There's a faint huff from her, but despite the clean nature of the hit she still stays standing, even as there's some 'oooos' of sympathy from the crowd.

"Besides! Fighting is always fun, when you're doing it with friends!" She declares, "You might even say ... Friendship, is Magic!"

And with that she lifts her foot and swings a kick out in Katsuro's direction. But Dash! He's way over there, you've barely moved at all!

Well that's fine, gentle reader, because what comes shooting out of the sole of her boot is a bright, shining rainbow beam of energy which seeks to drive Katsuro even further back!

COMBATSYS: Katsuro dodges D. Dash's Magic Missile.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Katsuro          0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0          D. Dash


The reaction is not to Dash's effective consent to Katsuro actually using his sword, but instead on the feel of the woman's body against his slamming foot. When his foot sweeps back to land to a proper upright stance again, he grins with clear satisfaction. "Got some nice abs there, do ya?"

He's left backed away enough from the rebound of his retreating kick, too, that he can easily tell she couldn't actually reach him with a kick from all the way over there, either. It leaves him confused for a second, but--

Perhaps he then remembered her mentioning the magical artifact earlier. The brooch.

"Whoa!!" The private yelps out while stepping to the side so quickly it might as well have seemed like he merely twitched from one spot to another -- but still dropping down into a forward roll right after to fully avoid the beam. Which works to close the distance towards the Lieutenant, too.

"Aight, since ya asked!!" He calls out when he springs up from the roll -- and that sword is suddenly in his hand, too, before Dash might have even realized he drew it. Sprung up from the roll, the blade comes swung up while held in a reverse grip, the sharp tip aimed to slash across one shoulder, before he suddenly flips off the ground at the end of the swing that guides his body to spinning around along the vertical axis of his length -- and once more thrusting his foot in a wild, aerial kick for Dash's chest that would serve to launch him away from her at the same time.

COMBATSYS: Katsuro successfully hits D. Dash with Howling Hound.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Katsuro          0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0          D. Dash

Dash raises an eyebrow sharply as Katsuro neatly evades her Magic Missile. It's the darndest thing - that move always hits!

The way he moves really does seem to be throwing her off. Once again, she tries to bat away the attack - but the sword finds her shoulder easily enough, and she huffs with mild irritation at the thin cut that results. Then the kick hits her clean in the chest, and it's only the rooted position of the Horse Style that stops her from stumbling backwards.

She smirks as he lands, and rolls her sliced shoulder back. "Horse Style is strong." She says, "You'll have to do better than that if you want to knock me down! Especially when I'm fighting..."

As she says this, the Lieutenant clenches both her fists at her sides and calls up her power. The rainbow she'd shot towards Katsuro was one thing; now she's surrounded by a swirling pair of them, one starting from her feet and winding towards her head, the other from her head winding down towards her feet, surrounding the woman in all the brilliant colours of the rainbow.

"... for FRIENDSHIP!"

COMBATSYS: D. Dash is summoning rainbows.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Katsuro          0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1          D. Dash

The kick to the Lieutenant's chest drove Katsuro to effectively flipping away from her, and landing into a crouching posture a good distance away from her. Watching her carefully from there -- but with a positively *excited* look on his expression still.

"Would be disappointed if ya went down easy!" He declares with a little laugh, teeth bared in a positively wolfish grin.

His brow arches at the sight of Double Rainbows(!!!) swirling around her, though. He's not entirely sure what to make of it, but.

"Shouldn't keep me waitin'!" He yells out to her, still with some hints of excited laughter behind his voice when he springs up from that crouch and with two quick steps comes straight for her. The sword has been flipped around from the reverse grip to a standard, one-handed hold -- and brought up now above his head during his advance.

And slashed down in a diagonal swing for Dash's front.

Wait, isn't this kind of dangerous?!

COMBATSYS: D. Dash blocks Katsuro's Medium Strike.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Katsuro          0/-------/---====|=======\====---\1          D. Dash

Dangerous, eh?

Well, maybe. Though as Katsuro comes in for a straight forward slash, this time, Dash's hands are much faster. Her palms smack to either side of the sword, halting it's progress in mid-flight before she wrenches the Private's sword away and to the side. She is getting pretty excited too; not that she's got anything like the same kind of ferocious instinct as her subordinate, but it has been a long while since she got to fight in public in front of a crowd, and she's definitely impressed by the swordman's speed.

But, well. She told him not to hold back. She isn't going to hold back either.

The rainbows around the woman slowly fade away, and then the air around her changes. She sucks in a sharp breath, and two fingers raise to touch that broach she had mentioned earlier, the golden bird rising from flames. There's a shimmer of heat, and that's all the warning that Katsuro is going to get that things have just shifted into a totally different gear.

Flame surrounds the woman's hand as she draws it away from the broach, brilliant orange and held with an unnatural steadiness. The look of intense concentration on Dash's face betrays how much this takes out of her - Horse Style had been in her life for as long as she could remember, it's natural and comes so easily. This, though?

The Ars Magica, Parma Ignis. That, is a different story.

Her eyes fix to Katsuro and she stretches out her hand. Her voice low and strained as she calls upon the words:

"Ignex... CARCER!"

And the flames explode from her outstretched palm, a mass of whipping chains made of fire which seek to swirl around him before binding him tight, dragging him close to her with licking tongues of unnatural heat scorching around the Private's arms and legs. Sweat glistens on Dash's brow as she grins.

"So, I know a little real magic too."

Now who is being dangerous?

COMBATSYS: D. Dash knocks away Katsuro with Ignex Carcer.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Katsuro          1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0          D. Dash

"Oh--" There's surprise in Katsuro's features, first. It's not often you get to see someone catch a blade with their bare hands, afterall.

But when that initial surprise passes, he's outright overjoyed by the sight, and the realization of what this Lieutenant can do, even cooing out "That's it~" in a... well, unusually pleased tone, let's put it that way.

His blade and intended strike knocked away, Katsuro does seem to have the sense to sweep himself back in anticipation of an immediate counterattack. What comes is something he perhaps did not see coming, though.

It's not like he's unfamiliar with magic, but he didn't expect the burst of flames heralded by what mightvery well seem like a phoenix rising from her magical brooch. The sight catches him off-guard for a moment, left to peering up at the fireworks...

And then come the blazing chains.


He tries to quickly swing his sword to knock at least some of them away, but before he even realizes fully waht's happening, the scorching bindings are bound around his limbs, and burning at him past his clothes.


The pain comes at an outright surprising degree to him. SOmething he writhes and struggles with visibly while he's getting pulled closer to her. Closer and closer still, while his posture is left slumping, head hanging...

"Ghaah... ghahah... ghahahahahaha..."

Is... is he laughing?

"I knew you'd be fun~"

The sword still hanging loosely off his hand is suddenly brought spinning around -- and the little droplet of blood that was left clinging onto the tip of the blade inexplicably glows while the weapon spins around like a fan. An explosion of crimson comes with it as steel comes in contact with chains of fire, shattering the bindings along his right side's limbs. Not enough to completely free him, but enough to give him some maneuverability back!

His slumped posture springs right back up with that, flashing a maniacally excited grin at his superior officer before he's swinging that sword at her again, from down low. It's a simple enough of a slashing motion, but...

The blade abruptly stops before it would even have a chance to find purchase. What turns out to be a feint suddenly turns to the Private suddenly bouncing up off the ground, hampered still by the chains on his other side -- but still managing to swing his leg in a high arc while still up in the air, apparently intending to smash his foot into the side of Dash's head after baiting out a low guard!

COMBATSYS: D. Dash fails to interrupt Tricky Hound from Katsuro with Calvari Ignis.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Katsuro          1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0          D. Dash

Dash raises an eyebrow at the coo. She'd anticipated a lot of reactions, but not exactly that. And of course she fully expects Katsuro to at least know about magic - he's part of the Librarium after all, it'd be weird if he was taken COMPLETELY by surprise...

But laughing about it is just a little odd, too. Still. It's, kind of a compliment? "You're pretty darn good at this yourself, Private." She says, "You sure know how to use that fancy sword of yours."

Cutting through the bonds of the Parma Ignis is no small feat. Interestingly, the flames don't just disperse though; they tenaciously cling to reality even as they smoulder on the ground rather than around Katsuro's limbs. That is, until he's coming at her in that feinting motion. At the last moment, Dash sucks in another deep breath, and this time all of the flames that had lingered in the area are sucked back in between her lips.

"Calvari..." She begins to intone, fire roiling behind her teeth.

And then she's kicked right in the head, and she swallows. Which makes her face turn extremely red as she stumbles backwards, coughing and hacking with ugly black smoke belching up out of her throat.

"GACK! Okay, okay, I'm okay, it's fine, I can still keep going, don't, don't worry."

Katsuro's aerial kick carries on to a spin in the air, finally bringing him to land smoothly down on the ground again while Dash is left coughing smoke.

And just like she urges of him, he doesn't so much look worried -- and instead he's pushing himself right after her all over again. "Good!" He declares joyosly. "Wouldn't want ya to stop playin'!"

He's certainly not intending to stop either. He brings himself to bear down on her with that sword in it's singlehanded grip getting swung at her twice in a quick criss-crossing motion, the momentum of the second leading him into another sideways flip that carries two quick prodding kicks at her.

But in the middle of *that* motion? The sword actually leaves his hand, and goes flying high up into the air.

When his feet find the ground again, he's continuign his rapid combo of quick but light strikes in an unrelenting pressure, actually throwing several rapid boxer-like jabs at her before, finally, throwing himself into a wide, wildly-spinning kick.

But it's not his foot that aims for her, in the end. The sword finds it's way to falling down, and the hilt is actually caught at the very bottom between the heel and toes of his shoe in an absurd display of coordination, sending the weapon stabbing towards her like that from the side.

COMBATSYS: Katsuro successfully hits D. Dash with Dancing Hound.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Katsuro          0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1          D. Dash

Dash might have said she was okay but that doesn't mean she was expecting him to come at her like that right away! The woman is still coughing and hacking when he makes his first slash, and she realises pretty quick that any kind of strong defense just isn't an option here. Instead, she tries to just roll with it, following the attack and waiting for her opportunity to strike.

But now that she's not in her Horse Style stance her defenses are much weaker. She winds up stumbling from blow to blow, still leaking smoke from between her lips and completely unable to follow the guy's movements. He's just so erratic with everything, and in more ways than one! But though the assault sends her reeling, she's not out of the fight just yet. She needs to dig deeper, or she's going to leave entirely the wrong kind of impression on both him and the crowd.

"Phew. You really know how to use that sword of yours, huh? Maybe I should've thought twice before giving you permission." She flashes a grin, and then one booted foot slams back into the ground, her forearms raise and she cracks her neck.

"But don't count me out yet! Paying for lunch is a sacred bond between Officer and Enlisted, I'm not going to let you shoulder the burden!"

And suddenly she's leaping through the air, rainbows trailing in her wake as she descends in a long arc, aiming to plant her foot right into Katsuro's chest before using him as a springboard, toe connecting with his chin as she goes.

COMBATSYS: D. Dash successfully hits Katsuro with Generous Glide.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Katsuro          0/-------/-======|=======\======-\1          D. Dash

The finale of Katsuro's frenzied assault was a bit of an akward one. It does leave his sword away from his hands for a good moment, but somehow his foot has been able to maneuver it to sliding back across the ground to where he can take a moment to pick it up again. "Oh yeah?" The Private lets out in an obviously challenging tone while he's reaching down for his weapon. "I plan ta make ya work for it!"

His fingers are barely even touching at the hilt when Dash is in the air, though. Realizing the severity of this situation, Katsuro damn near panics there in his crouch, fumbling for a second with the sword as a result before he has a proper grip on it again. By the time he straightens up, the Lieutenan is already damn near right there upon him, and his feet don't quite have the time to fully push him into a dodging leap.

Something he pays with dearly with the feel of the pressure and weight of the heavy boot at the end of a powerful leg slamming down upon his ribcage.

"Ghhh, you--!"

And the the rebound brings that hard boot-tip to smacking into the underside of his chin, knocking his head back and sending the man reeling back with several staggering steps, only barely managing to keep his balance off the end of his failed dodge.

"Ow, ow, ow...!"

He actually drops down onto one knee for a few seconds there, hand clutching at his chest while he coughs from the abuse his lungs got from the whiplash. It might look a little worrying, but...

Still, he smiles. And once that cough passes...

"Yeah, yeah, yeah...!" He sounds *way* too excited. "Let me see it..." Rising up, he quickly rubs one hand across the chin she just kicked into, while his utterly maddened eyes, both managing to peek past the mane of his hair now, stare at her with growing excitement. "Show me how strong ya are, just like that..."

Rather than waiting, though, he lunges forward, dashing in a wild fit of frenzy at her, with another quick downward-slash from above -- and again, using the momentum of his own swing to kick himself up into the air, in a large somersaulting flip.

"And give me a good time!!!"

The full-body flip through the air brings him high off the ground, and above Dash, aiming to bring the heel of one foot down to one of the shoulders -- and almost as if taking the superior officer's example, using *that* as a springboard of sorts, to leverage his body past her from above, and flipping over one more time while he's falling behind her. And give him a chance to bring his sword across her back while he's still in mid-air and upside-down.

COMBATSYS: Katsuro successfully hits D. Dash with Vaulting Hound.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////                        ]
Katsuro          1/-------/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2          D. Dash

Dash once again finds herself unable to keep up with her fellow soldier's erratic movements. She finds herself being knocked back by the force of the downwards strike, only to then have that sword send her tumbling forward, completely off-balance. The Lieutenant grunts, turning back to face the Private with a strange look in her eye. She's weighing it up, doing a lot more thinking than she's normally inclined to in any fight, let alone a friendly match with someone she doesn't even really know.

She hadn't intended to use this attack. It was kind of a lot. But, she does remember her training.

In the Distant Past: A stern instructor barks out orders in front of a class of soon-to-be Officers. "When dealing with your subordinates you have to make sure they understand why you are in charge! Showing any sign of weakness is devastating for morale and discipline! You have to -- Dash! Are you paying even the slightest bit of attention? Dash, answer me damnit!"

Dash pulls the pencil she had been using to clean her ear out, and looks back at the puce-faced instructor from the window she had been looking out of. "Oh, yeah, uh, discipline or whatever."

In the Present: Dash smiles. "You want to see something strong, huh." She says, "Well. Okay. We can do that."

She reaches up and grasps the broach. Holding it tight in her hand, she holds Katsuro's eye. "Release Seal. Command authority: Lieutenant Danny Dash."

Bright flame suddenly bursts into existence across the floor of the arena. It isn't any hotter than a candleflame, but that's not what it is for. The crowd suddenly seem... nervous, as a wide, perfect circle of burning sigils and runes answers the Lieutenant's call. Is she going a bit far here? Probably. But Danny had never been one to back down, even before she took up such an important mission.

"Parma Ignis Ultimate Art: Totalis Ardeat."

She begins to step forwards. Her pace is slow and measured; a second circle, smaller than the first and suspended at waist height burns in the air, surrounding both fighters in a smaller space. Her eyes remain locked on his as she smiles, and rips the broach off her uniform. Her entire fist ignites, lit with white-hot fire.


A third circle, the final one, and Dash's entire body trembles with the effort, having to maintain all these bindings just long enough to focus and control the power.


The flames spread down her arms, her chest, flowing and swirling until they begin to form wings which spread up to just brush the sides of the sealing circle.


Her hair bursts into flames and a moment later, the woman simply explodes. The first seal shatters, then the second, and from her body emerges an enormous firebird - the Phoenix that Katsuro had recognised earlier, made of blinding white fire and arching up into the sky with its mouth open in a scream of power and rebirth.

The intent is simply to catch Katsuro within that explosion and expose him to the full force of the inferno; the bound primordial fire of creation leashed to her by chains of magic and will.

And when the explosion clears, she'll be standing there. Notably, the rents in her uniform completely sealed, the dirt grime and blood of battle easily cleaned by the magical force. Her injuries... less so, she's still hurting, but the rejuvenating power will have done what it can.

And it's only as she reattaches the broach to her uniform that the third and final seal, the last barrier of defense to the audience, is allowed to flicker back out of existence.

COMBATSYS: D. Dash knocks away Katsuro with #Gehenna Magica Tempestas#.
- Power hit! -

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////                     ]
Katsuro          2/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|-------\-------\0          D. Dash

Something's changed here. Katsuro can sense that much, even before the telltale scent of growing fire fills his nose.

It's the seal release of a seal she calls out that makes him even more excited for what's coming.

He watches her channel the flames across the arena first. Then long herself, turning herself into the phoenix he had seen earlier.

"Yeah... yeah...!!" He is absolutely ecstatic for this side. She can practically see him shaking there with the glee of this magnificient sight before him, and his grip on his sword's hilt tightens with it, too.

"That's it!!" Outright cackling now, he rushes forward, clearly wishing to take this phoenix head on--

But the explosion comes before he can react. Blinding light overtakes the PFC.

When the blaze and smoke fades away, there's a telltale *thud*. The reason for the sound becomes clear enough with the sight of Katsuro Kirikawa landed down on the ground there, on his back, with most of his clothes burned away. The tight leather pants have survived mostly, but his jacket and vest are but ashes now, and most of the shirt that was underneath them has been scorched to leave his abdomen and most of his chest exposed.


It takes a few seconds, but he does manage to push himself to his side, and stab his katana into the ground to help use as a supporting post to lift himself up with.

"Ah... gghhhnn..." He grumbles, both hands grabbing at the hilt of his sword to help keep himself steady on legs that are practically begging him to just sit the hell down.

"Ah ain't..." He finally manages to utter out and straighten up, lifting the sword up and grasping it, perhaps unexpectedly, in a two-handed grip with a stance that seems much more like a traditional Kendo stance than anyhing he has displayed so far. "...done playin' yet."

And still, even amidst all that pain, there is that little bit of excitement playing in his eye. The joy of the fight.

One step forward, then, two steps. Sword at the ready. He seems much more methodical in that instant now, compared to before. A third step, then, is a much faster one, to carry him in a burst of speed much closer to Dash, and swipe his sword at her.

It's... a surprisingly light thing, though. It seems to, at best, just lightly cut across one of the Lieutenant's arms if he manages to slip in close enough for it. Just enough to draw the smallest bit of blood.

But... there would be a strange, blood-red trail left between the tip of the sword and the cut. One that remains even when Katsuro takes a step back to regrow the distance some. One of his hands lets go of the katana's hilt, then, to press his palm against the blunt of the blade-- which then grows a bright red.

And that thin trail of blood between his weapon and Dash suddenly explodes with bright light, starting from the blade itself and travelling quickly up the trail, a mass of energy closing dangerously rapidly to surging straight into her through an open wound!

He knows some magic too, it turns out.

COMBATSYS: Katsuro successfully hits D. Dash with Unstable Blood.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Katsuro          1/-------/<<<<<<<|>>>>---\-------\0          D. Dash

Dash is a little surprised that Katsuro gets up from that. The Private's wild reaction to the assault does not go unnoticed. Heck, she'd be tempted to talk about recklessness later... if it wasn't for the fact that, well, she's equally culpable. There are some habits that die hard, and she understands the need to keep fighting with everything you have, right down to the wire. Though... in her case, it's stubborn determination and the power of Friendship that spurs her on through the point where sanity and reason would dictate otherwise.

She can't help but think Katsuro is coming at it from a very different position.

The shallow cut draws a faint 'huh' from the Lieutenant, and she resumes her Horse Style stance, feet planting into the ground as she intends to close the fight out in a more comfortable, relaxed way.

Then her arm explodes.

For once, even her firm footing isn't enough to keep her standing. She is spun around neatly in a circle, landing on her backside with a heavy 'oof'. This looks like it might be it for Lovable Dash!

"Haa... you really don't know when to give up, do you?!"

There's definitely some irony in her of all people saying that, because the Lieutenant doesn't stay down for long. She tears back to her feet, and what follows is a series of snapping kicks, switching from leg to leg as she propels herself forwards to try and force one final effort from her protesting body. Victory is just in reach, she can see it, through the encroaching darkness... she just needs to keep that back, a little while longer...!

COMBATSYS: D. Dash has reached second wind!

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Katsuro          1/-------/<<<<<<<|====---\-------\0          D. Dash

COMBATSYS: Katsuro dodges D. Dash's Rowdy Rodeo.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  /////                         ]
Katsuro          1/-------/<<<<<<<|=====--\-------\0          D. Dash

With the explosion of energy gone through, Katsuro gives a dramatic flourish with his sword, returning it to his usual one-handed grip. "Haa... T'was fun, Lieutenant..." He murmurs with a wide smile, as he saunters his way forward with wobbling steps, lifting the sword up to ready it for sheathing back to it's scabbard. Convinced playtime is over.

But Dash proves him wrong.

It's just when the tip of the sword reaches the sheath, that Katsuro finds Dash suddenly up on her feet, and bearing down on him. Even with all his earlier excitement, it prompts a momentary, wide-eyed look of shock in him before he's shuffling back on his feet, giving a bit of a yelp as the first of the rapid kicks sails just an inch past his head. It's a bit of an effort, with all the damage he's accumulated, too, but he manages to snap his body in time with each of those quick attacks in a dance with the lieutenant.

And through it, his smile steadily returns.

"Aaaah..! Perfect, perfect...!" He practically sings out, and one finaly backstepping dodge sees his sword hand pulling far back, behind him.

"Yer the best~!"

And a rebounding forward step helps carry that pulled-back sword into a wide, high-arcing swing, brought to bearing down upon her from high above.

COMBATSYS: D. Dash fails to interrupt Fierce Strike from Katsuro with Honest Hammer.
- Power fail! -

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Katsuro          1/------=/=======|

COMBATSYS: D. Dash can no longer fight.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  <
Katsuro          1/------=/=======|

Dash isn't too surprised that Katsuro again proves too slippery for her to make easy contact with; she's mostly running on grit at this point. She's still not sure how to read the guy. He's complimenting her, but somehow it doesn't feel like much of a compliment. Nevertheless, she has a plan, and when he brings his sword in that high overhead arc, she pivots neatly on the spot.

Facing away from him, she lashes out in a powerful backwards kick which whisks... right past Katsuro's head, to explode a bright burst of rainbow energy behind him. Maybe if her vision hadn't been so clouded and blurry she might have gotten that spatial awareness down...

As it is, the sword blow hammers into her back, rather than her foot hammering into his face, and she grunts as she hits the ground hard, sprawling. For a moment she looks like she's still going to get up - palms splayed into the earth as she tries to push back up...

And then she collapses with a sigh. "Nope." She says, "Guess that's, the end of that. Lunch is on you, Private. Just as soon as I'm done with my nap."


The implication of what could have very easily happened were Dash not off the mark is not lost on Katsuro. While she is going down, he turns just enough to peek back past his shoulder at the remnants of the rainbow-colored energy flickering in the air like leftover dust from an explosion. He actually swallows nervously with that understanding behind him.

Still, the sense he is getting off of the Lieutenant is that he should be expecting her try to push up still, so he's stepping back from her and holding his sword at the ready...

Only for her to collapse once more over, all the way. He lets out a breath to steady himself, and after sheathing his sword...

He's perfectly happy to plop himself down to sitting down next to her, shredded clothes and all.

"Yer fun, Lieutenant. Lookin' forward to workin' with ya."

COMBATSYS: Katsuro has ended the fight here.

Log created on 07:39:26 09/21/2023 by Katsuro, and last modified on 07:52:19 09/25/2023.