NFG Season One - Ninja Training Day

[Toggle Names]

Description: After receiving an invite to the Ultratech American HQ, Nagase gives Kenzo some training in all things ninja-like and offers some critiques on some of the moves he had been working on. Alright! It's a showdown.

"No, I mean, I'm -here- for Kenzo Kuroiwa, but that's not who I'm asking about."

The young woman had hoped that frosted highlights would give her the look of someone who deserved a bit more respect. And in a way, it does. It just doesn't balance out the rest of her eccentric style, with the formless shape and bold ruffled piping of her dress giving the vibes of someone who'd rather be in a Harajuku nightclub than trying to work her way into the office building of the American headquarters of Ultratech.

"Gregory. Ilvich."
She enunciates this -very- clearly.
"I don't want to see him."
She stares over the circular amber lenses her Lennon glasses
"I just want to know if he's taken."

Some five minutes later, the tiny bumblebee-like ninjette is on her way up to the 78th floor. Incredibly, she's allowed into the building fully armed -- though as she's coming up the elevator, she seems a bit flustered by the fact that the bright green Ultratech visitor's badge that she'd asked to clip on matches absolutely -none- of her attire. She's still fiddling with it as the elevator comes to a graceful stop.

"Nnnnnrgh..." she grumbles as forcefields lower, allowing her to step free. Grumbling, she unclips the badge from her lapel, and fastens it instead to the lower hem of her dress. It looks better dangling from there, she decides.

And then, she apparently decides this place is too quiet. It -is- compared to the rest of the building. She barks out -- voice echoing into the expanse of the 78th floor -- "Kuroiwa Kenzo! I challenge you to a fight!"

Glancing aside, she snorts with derision. "Tch. Or something like that, whatever...!"

[OOC] Kenzo says, "Hahaha. I should've known she'd want to holla at Greg."

[OOC] Nagase XD

[OOC] Nagase says, "He's on the up and up."

[OOC] Nagase says, "And down and down."

[OOC] Nagase says, "And the up and up again."

[OOC] Kenzo says, "o/ And he's freeeeeeeee... Free falling. o/"

  When Nagase first showed up, Kenzo was immediately notified. In the minutes between the first arrival and sign in process, Kenzo grabbed his war fan and kusari-gama and made his way to the 79th floor via the fire stairs from the living quarters floor on the 80th.

As the elevator made its way up, Kenzo had time to take a leisurely stroll down to the 78th. Then he uses his watch which for all intents and purposes acts as a key fob for entering that floor.

By the time the forcefield lowers for Nagase, Kenzo had already been here for a bit. Where was he?

That question is answered a moment after the kunoichi issues her challenge as he steps out from behind a banana heavy bag.

"Nice to finally meet you."

That particular statement is immediately followed with a bow with his combat specs clad eyes directed towards her. He was polite, not stupid.

So Nagase can be a little loud at times. But she can also respect traditional Japanese values. So when Kenzo appears, in true ninja form, without making her wait, she responds with surprise -- and returns the bow. Low, but not lower than him, because that's a politeness arms race she doesn't have to win.

"Nagase. Pleasure's all mine, kid."

And then, as if surprised by the words spilling out of her own mouth, she raises a hand to cover her face. She -was- asked to be polite.

"Sorry, Kuroiwa-kun... if I say 'kid', it's... " She holds up her hands, as if she's grasping at straws for a moment. "It ain't meant as an insult or anything, it's just how I talk."

That's not entirely true. And the redness swelling across her cheeks shows it. But it's the story she's sticking with.

She coughs into a hand, her sleeve pulling back to reveal a glimpse of her optical-disc-based tech. "'Finally?' What, are you like a fan of mine or something? Your teacher didn't brief me on any of -that- now."

Nagase starts to walk a wide path around Kenzo -- taking a bit of a gander at his own bespoke tech. It doesn't escape her that her pacing might bear -some- resemblance to a lioness stalking her prey. The combat specs garner a critical survey -- even from his distance he might be able to notice small indicator lights popping up on her display.

"I understand you made this all yourself, is that right? Helps you find weak points, right?"

While Kenzo can see the elevated heart rate and increase in body temperature specifically located in the facial area, he's not going to call her on it.

"What can I say? I have a lot of respect for what you have achieved in both fighting and tech, separately and joined together."

He's not saying that he's a fan, but he's not not saying he's fan either. The respect is genuine if not the level of it. He totally is a fan by the way.

"Weak points, general health, weight distribution models to help determine if someone is trying to put more effort than normal into offense or defense. While it's a source of pride for me, I do think that I could tweak it bit more."

His eyes glance towards Nagase's sleeve where the optical disc tech had been peeking out.

Nagase seems... pleased at the diplomatic response. It's been a while since she'd tested the full breadth of her ninjutsu skills in the ultimate match of that one King of Fighters tournament. Kasumi of Team Balance may have edged her out in the end -- but it seems that Kenzo knew who to *really* cheer for.

She winks back at him, pausing to strike a fashion-plate pose for a moment. "Alright, flattery gets you bonus points, Kuroiwa-kun."

It's quite possible he's not -really- a fan, and that he's just presenting his teacher with a proverbial apple. But it hardly matters in the here and now -- she's not going to go any more easy on him for it.

"Okay, you got my interest..." She grins, noticing the young Justice High grad's focus on her Battle Disc System -- and pulls the sleeve down so he can get a better look.

"Hmm, this is a bit ancient tech by modern standards, but the circuitry's a hell of a lot more resilient than the HAT interfaces I've bolted on since. I know you might not wanna hear this but sometimes analog's the way to go."

She shrugs her shoulders lightly, indicating the room around her, as she shares a smug grin back at Kenzo. "Especially if some brainiacs wanna drop a dampening field to prevent recording. It's a -mild- inconvenience for me at worst."

Resting her palms on her hips, she scrubs the side of her first knuckle against the bridge of her nose. "So, you got my attention, ki-- Kuroiwa-san. I'm thinkin' some light Q & A... we ask each other questions, and then... well, then we get choices. So, first, lay it on me: where does Kuroiwa Kenzo-kun wanna take his combat style? What's -missing-, and what needs work?"

Let it not be said that Kenzo doesn't take advantage of opportunities when presented. So when Nagase rolls the sleeve to show it off he takes the time to study it. Even just seeing it in person is giving him ideas as how to combine data gathering and protection.

"Oof. I recently learned that the hard way."

Kenzo chooses not to elaborate out of respect for his corporate overlords. Especially since things have been a bit tense lately in the Ultratech building.

"A majority of my fights have me starting from a position of strength. Then near the end, the fight spirals out of my control. I usually tend to not get as winded as my opponents, not from having a lot of stamina but just due to being a technically sound fighter. I have trouble finishing the fight. I figure that if I could drag them into deep waters, they'll have trouble getting themselves back into the fight."

Nagase's gauntlet is pretty heavily armored. But... just to be complete, she also pops the disc tray out so that Kenzo can see that, yes, it's some -ancient- tech by modern standards. The disc is still spinning as it pops out, fixed to the spindle so that it doesn't just fall out. It's worth mentioning though -- it's a custom format. With handwritten marker that reads 'Client: Kuroiwa.'

"Hmm. Yeah, I pulled a few of your fights to look at." She rocks her head from side to side, closing her eyes a moment as she thinks.

And then suddenly, she blurts out, to the room at large.
"Hey, ARIA, I know you're listening --

ARIA is advertised everywhere, after all.
And here in the heart of Ultratech, she can't -not- be listening.

" -- why don't you bring up the last few fights meeting Mr. Kuroiwa's last stated criteria for me. Show 'em on a holo or somethin' for us both to look at. Double speed."

She winks back at Kenzo as a circular array of video feeds pops up. Kenzo vs Buck. Kenzo vs Chevy. And, in a smaller display, Kenzo vs Genie.

"I dunno, man, it looks like you're sealing the deal pretty well to only have two real losses here -- and both of 'em pretty close." Nagase reaches up and raps herself in the temple with her knuckles. "It sounds to me like you might be your own worst critic. Which can be pretty brutal in the middle of fights -- trust me, I know -all- about that."

Nagase steps back, closing her Battle Disc System back up, and crossing her arms. "Here's somethin' I -am- seeing though. If you're starting off strong -- would you feel like you're in a rush to finish it off before the luck goes sour? Or is it somethin' else?"

Kenzo's not surprised to see the disc. After all, she probably had to get information on him to get an idea of where she could help him. But then the call for ARIA is made and the holo feeds pop up. The Kenzo vs. Genie makes the nin-geneer frown the hardest since after all that one was a curbstomp. But he then looks at the other two losses. He points to the Buck fight.

"That one was me attempting to soften his guard up so he have trouble defending against the kusari-gama wrapping around his neck. I didn't think he'd roast me as I was attempting the move."

He then points to the Chevy fight.

"In her case, I was seeing her looking like she was starting to get tired as well as looking like she had taken a few lumps and some slashes. I figured some more fatigue would probably get her down. She diverted my chain away and force fed me some water."

"So -- good strategies. Even if they didn't work out, you read your opponents pretty well -- that's pretty much the same take -I- had in watching the footage."

Nagase smiles.

"Dear ARIA, now please show me, side-by-side with the last display endgame strategies for Mr Kuroiwa that -did- work."

The circular array grows larger, now wrapping fully around the two. Kenzo's fights versus Hawksley, Buford, Braun are now shown.

Knowing that Kenzo is probably -proudest- of his fight against Buford, she instead walks over to the screen with Braun displayed, holding out her palm to it. "Here, this was your most recent one. A lot of give and take between you and your opponent. You had the advantage in field experience. But mostly, you kept your cool despite some setbacks. ... But you also took an incredibly daring -risk- in getting up close to him... here. ARIA, pause, please?"

The footage stops right as Braun's hand is about to connect with Kenzo's torso, held back by the chain. Sparks run down the length of the chain, seeming to crackle even now in the midst of a hauntingly realistic still-frame.

"There's... two schools of thought in ninjutsu. Follow with me for a moment." She points to Braun. "There's the school of hitting them without being hit back at all. Safer. More -needling-. And there's the school of hitting them -more- than they hit you. Clashing head-on -- facing problems. Would you say you favor one over the other?"

As the losses are put aside for the ones where Kenzo was successful the one oddly enough that Kenzo instantly gravitates to is the one with Braun rather than the one with Buford. As he stares at that image of Braun right as he was about to get struck in the torso.

"I figured I had to get in close or else his longer limbs was going to be problematic even with the extra range given to me by weapon. Also, he seemed to not want me in his face so that probably was the best place for me to be."

His gaze returns to that image as she asks him what school of thought he leans towards. He takes a moment to think about it.

"Hitting without being hit back is a highly unlikely scenario unless there's a huge discrepancy in skill. I wouldn't call what I do clashing head-on, exactly. Facing problems and taking what I'm given would probably best describe my particular take on ninjutsu."

Nagase nods, cupping her chin with her hand. "Hmm, yeah -- I can see the logic in that. The trouble is, of course, you're saving him the trouble of havin' to chase you down with that -- but obviously, you were able to work around that limitation." She grins cheerfully from behind her amber lenses.

But now... there's the matter of her little question about the two schools of thought. She frowns, shaking her head. "Nah, not what I mean. I mean from a purely philosophical view... ninjas that pick the full-on assassin route, their attack profile is nonexistent. Ain't givin' the enemy nothin' to punch, kick, grab -- nothin'." She holds her hands up, as if wringing the neck of an imaginary enemy: "And even when the enemy -thinks- they got hold of something..." Her hands explode outward suddenly: "Boom! Surprise, it's just a log with a scarf."

Nagase folds her hands behind her head, walking around with her elbows pointed up in the air with an unconcerned gait.

"And then of course there's... the method you and I tend to fall back on, getting right up in their face and hassling. Obviously, -more- people who engage in pro fighting are gonna wanna scrap, and that's completely cool! But... again, in the *purely* philosophical realm... you *choose* to take a hit to land damage."

Nagase draws in her breath. It's -ridiculously- simplified. And she knows she's not in a point where she -chose- to get her face wrecked in her Syndicate engagements.

"But you got somethin' most people don't, Kuroiwa-kun. You got control over lightnin', electricity."

She stops in her walking, pivoting her shoulders just enough to face him again.

"Most people try to avoid gettin' hit entirely. It don't always work. And it ain't always helpful." She laughs. "But pain's just a neural impulse. A -spark-, at its core. Ain't it?"

With the philosophies further explained, he understands what Nagase is getting at. He had been looking at it too literally. But yes, harrying opponents is what he does but was it his style or was it an adaptation to his style as a result of being part of NFG? It was hard to say.

"While it's not I would call my primary style, I don't think it would hurt to eventually put the 'Surprise, it's just a drone or it's just a electro-shock bomb' in my tool kit. But that's something for future me to eventually do. But one of the things I had already been working on was giving myself more and better ways to drag opponents into deep waters."

He looks at the array of videos and rubs his chin.

"ARIA. Could bring up all videos where I send the chain in an attempt to wrap the chain around the opponent's neck right at the moment right before the weight is sent off?"

The triple threat match with Coco and Ichika, the fight against Buck, the fight with Buford, the fight with Chevy. There's one fight missing. Djamila and that was because that took place at Fort Metal.

"Points of failure. When the chain goes around her arms prevent a secure wrap around Coco's neck, head lowers wrapping around Buck's horn instead of the neck, no actual point of failure because I managed to take advantage of Buford overextending himself, chain wrapped around Chevy's pole instead of the neck."

He lets Nagase watch those videos.

"While ARIA has already noted in the particular instance of the fight with Chevy that had I taken a moment to calculate an attack vector that there would be a 20% increase of probability to land it. I still felt as though I could improve the delivery method itself. ARIA, now could you bring up training video of experimental chain toss move in side by side comparison to the chain toss specifically in the Buford video stopping after the wrap?"

The experimental move not only goes slightly farther, it also is a bit faster than the chain wrap from the Buford match.

"I specifically chose the Buford one due to it being the only one allowed to get to completion."

The King of Fighters veteran listens closely to her Team Metal student. Spending most of her time in a server room has meant she's been spending more time dealing with computer systems like ARIA than people like Kenzo. So she finds herself... not struggling for -words- per se, but struggling for the right ways to express concepts.

She examines the videos along with Kenzo, examining each of the points he brings up. These are videos she's seen -- but having him explain things in his own words shows the points he feels most frustrated about.

"... Personally, I think the haiku was the best improvement to the attack." Nagase grins. "Burnination, right to the core."

Still -- she's got more to offer than a simple refusal to take the matter seriously. Nagase splays out a palm, grinning. "Okay, technically, your attack -landed- in those cases, but they just did somethin' about it. They grabbed your chain and punished."

She taps the lenses of her glasses. It doesn't enable a secret feature in this case: she's just making a point.

"It ain't because of the haiku, it's because they got eyes, and you're standin' a fair bit a way. So... you're onto something with the delivery method, and of course our lovable AI assistant suggests calculating an attack vector."

She raises her right wrist, looking up for a moment, and weighs the 'feel' of her antiquated system. "BDS-chan agrees with ARIA, by the way."

"Well, here's a thought. Can you make the delivery method -faster-, at the cost of not bein' able to do as much with it? I really feel like it's working, but if you need it to land as a surprise -without- calculating a jump to warp speed..."

"While that particular haiku was one of my most devastating, he was too much of an imbecile to be affected. It also was a shame that the OTP stuff took attention away from the NEET haiku that was my coup de grace."

Kenzo shakes his head due to being off topic. After all, that was what they were here for. Improvement of Kenzo as a fighter.

"While I believe that there's enough there to not throw the technique away completely I think that building a new technique from the pieces that work. ARIA, restart the recording of the experimental chain throwing technique from the beginning and play on a loop."

The image of Kenzo tosses the chain out as before wrapping around the neck. On the second play through the most of the speed increase of chain toss is from the chain taking a more direct route to the opponent. After that, the technique differs from the original, instead of going for the chain stomp right away, Kenzo pulls them into an electrified side-kick to both wind and stun, then he chambers the kick before taking advantage of the fact that his leg is still in the air to stomp the chain with less of a delay than he had in the original. With the opponent face down on the ground, he uses the chain to whip the opponent up and over onto their back where he immediately drops their side with his knee on belly to make it even harder to breathe as he bashes their head with his closed and electrified war fan, using it like a shock baton.

"I focused on a faster execution, driving the wind out of them and keeping them too off balanced to get their wind back."

Nagase laughs. Too much of an imbecile.

"Hah! Well... that's probably true, yeah. Fights never work out -exactly- like you want 'em to, especially against a big rival."

Nagase listens quietly as Kenzo explains, pacing back and forth slowly as the video sequence replays. It's true that she's seen it all before, but... she presses her lips together tightly in consideration.

"Okay, but... one thing." She hums for a moment, looking up to the ceiling as she thinks. Or maybe she's accessing something with a twiddle of the fingers on her left hand.

"ARIA, love of my life, please show me the last fight between Nixie Greene and Junko Daidouji, the -big- explosion part. Zero point five speed."

The fight that appears now -- in case Kenzo -hadn't- kept tabs on his former teammate -- pits Team Thunder's new miko hellion against the goblinesque Greene. Junko roars with raw fury, unleashing a ball of deadly flame at the floor with the might of a crashing comet. And Nixie deftly... steps out of the way, as the blast incinerates the edge of the ring in a blaze that would surely be a Big Problem for anyone caught in its wake.

"How would you modify -that- attack, to hit someone who just... ain't there? Who has a history of just, *voop*, ain't there?" She presses her palms together, and slides them in different directions. "It ain't about speed. You can't possibly account for how fast someone else is. But you got control over how they -perceive- you, right?"

Nagase takes a few steps away, folding her arms behind her back like a wizened kung-fu master. She puts a little bit of distance -- three meters or so -- between herself and Kenzo, before turning back around to face him.

"Here's this. Take your chain out. And tell me, or show me, what you'd need to do, knowing that I'm a ninja, knowing -my- set of skills... to loop it around my neck right now."

As the Junko vs. Nixie fight plays out, Kenzo is quiet studying the footage. Kenzo could find himself facing either of them in the future so it behooves him to pay attention.

When asked how he would modify the attack to deal with someone who is suddenly not there.

It's at that moment that the nin-gineer is grateful that he didn't actually have to physically demonstrate the chain toss move.

"Interestingly enough, that was the other thing that I was working on."

With a flash of lightning, Kenzo disappears. An instant after, Nagase would feel a knee lightly touching her back as the sounds of crackling electricity just below her chin.

"Sometimes, the way to win the game is to refuse to play it. That being said, usually, the best time to get someone who has a habit of not being there is to get them when they attack since most people have to be there to do so. This move is a bit better at doing that."

Nagase had been dancing around the issue of what constitutes speed, in the scale often used by practitioners of ninjutsu. She doesn't want to offend the student by ascribing values to him that he... may not especially hold. There's all -sorts- of ninja after all -- and one of the most uniquely frustrating ninja that she has fought has been the 'Iron Mystic', Noboru Miyama, who quite famously eschews the ideals she's been pushing for: accuracy, speed and nigh untouchability.

She had hoped that stepping back and opening the floor to Kenzo would allow him to demonstrate, rather than explain.

So she can only find herself smiling when he responds.

And still smiling a moment later when he simply disappears in a burst of lightning.

And still smiling, the fraction of a second later when she feels the nudge on her back. And her chin tingles, the scent of fried ozone wafting to her nostrils.

... Of course, a moment later, her face contorts in confusion.

"Is that your -knee?-" she asks rhetorically.

Nagase gives an exaggerated sigh, raising the armored knuckles of her left hand to brush away the offending source of lightning from her chin. "So, you pass the pop quiz, good job." She makes it -sound- like she's deflated from this -- but if Kenzo were to look at her face when she turns aside to face him, she'd see she's clearly impressed.

Once it's safe to do so, she'll pull free and square shoulders with Kenzo.

"Okay, enough talk. Next we're gonna do stuff at full speed. Because -that's- the level Fadel-san and Greene-san are moving at. Do you want a break, or... need time to prepare for it?"

Kenzo raises the chain that he would've theoretically utilized as a high voltage garrote above Nagase's head assisted by the brush off courtesy of the other ninja's armored knuckles. He then strolls back to his original position pre-demonstration. His slow walk giving himself the time he needs to recover enough to actually spar.

"No need. I'm good to go now if you'd like."

He takes a centering breath before taking his stance. Sickle in one hand, the length of chain in the other hand. The weighted end spinning at his side.

"Let's see how much I've grown."

COMBATSYS: Kenzo has started a fight here.

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

Nagase rubs her neck. It isn't Kenzo hurt her -- if he had, her retribution would be quite a scene. But it's just to show that she acknowledges how fearsome Kenzo -could- have been.

"Excellent. Ain't gonna lie, you got my heart pumpin'!" Which is, of course, something his combat specs would have shown him.

She reaches for her right sleeve, pulling it back again. And with a series of punches into the buttons on the side of the Battle Disc System, Nagase's tactical eyewear springs to life.

"Alright. Simple ground rules -- either of us pauses when it's time, no questions asked. This is just practice, since... some things just won't make sense out of context, got it?"

Nagase nudges her specs up with the side of her hand. And then she lowers her hand, keeping it vertical and cupping the palm with her left hand in a gesture of respect. As a further gesture, she bows stiffly from the waist. "Alright, it's a showdown! Catch me if you can, Kuroiwa-san!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0            Kenzo

BOOM. In the very next instant, a black, inky cloud appears in the spot where she'd been standing. And in the next, three shuriken flick out from the air overhead. All three will embed into the floor at Kenzo's feet -- it's just a way to get Kenzo's blood pumping harder.

She falls back to the floor not far from where she'd thrown the stars, smirking as she waves her hand in a beckoning gesture!

Kenzo returns the gesture, right hand vertical as the left cups the palm as well as bowing at the waist as a show of respect. His combat specs remain directed to the kunoichi. He was polite, not stupid and to turn his eyes away would be both stupid and show disrespect for the capabilities that Nagase has.

The three shuriken strike the ground right in front of Kenzo. If not for the combat specs a raised eyebrow would be visible. As it is, one side of his brow gets a bit more creased than the other for an instant before the face returns to normal. Nagase has thrown down the figurative gauntlet along with the literal shuriken. It's time to answer in kind.

Kenzo quickly moves in close to the other ninja to grab her by the waist. Should he manage that, he'll take to the air to perform the ninja classic move (though there are many variants of it). If he has a hold of Nagase, once he hits the apex of his leap, he'll tilt backwards until they are both upside down at which point, he will dive bomb the ground, Nagase's head first. After all, it's not a ninja fight until someone attempts an Izuna Drop.

COMBATSYS: Nagase dodges Kenzo's Izuna Drop.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Nagase           0/-------/-------|=======\-------\1            Kenzo

Nagase grins as Kenzo proves himself to be unflappable in the face of ninja skills! It's an important coming-of-age test, you know...

Still. As intros go, she has to admit, it's a little tame. She slips into a stance that allows her to keep a hand on one of her ninjato, the first two fingers of her other hand raised in a warding gesture. And when Kenzo approaches... well, she hops backwards, sticking her tongue out.

"The trick here is to remember -- I'm not slow!"

She says this while sidestepping around Kenzo in a wide circle. She manages to keep her distance -- close enough for conversation, far enough that he'll have to do something decisive to catch up.

"You've watched my fights before... can you guess where I might be approaching from?"

She starts to consider something -- but then her eyes widen as she remembers something important.

"Oh, oh, right! I wrote this down on the way over and forgot the other important rule. We stop once one of us deals -three- successful exchanges. Otherwise we'll be here all day!"

And then, after a brief wink in Kenzo's direction, the ninjette blurs away at a high rate of speed, leaving multiple after-images of her self behind as she breaks into a quick run. She bounds off a support column, parkour style -- and then when she lands, it's in a three-point stance, palm down.

If that were it, it'd be cool enough... but the point of contact also causes two orbs of flame to ripple out, crawling across the form in a walking double-helix! The fire burst races towards Kenzo, threatening to burn him if he doesn't move...

But the -real- problem is that she starts to run again, almost as quickly after!

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kenzo with Unrelenting Fire.

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Nagase           0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1            Kenzo

Kenzo's eyes and combat specs are just barely fast enough to track Nagase. The problem comes in when Kenzo has to get out of the way of the orbs of fire. It's one thing to see it on video or on streams. It's a totally different thing to see it coming after him in person. When he attempts to jump over the fiery projectiles, the first one catches his shin right before he's about to take off and the second clips his foot right before he can clear it sending him into an uncontrolled front flip.

To his credit, Kenzo does convert it into a roll so while a theoretical spectator might not have realized he was hurt due to how graceful the roll was, his combat suit and the specs connected to it, Nagase's BDS, and ARIA all know that it hurt.

As soon as Kenzo brings himself upright, he vanishes. Seeing as Nagase had seen Kenzo's fight against Braun, she should be familiar enough with this attack. He reappears right in front of the ninjette before slashing with the sickle.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Kenzo's Flicker Edge.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Nagase           0/-------/-----==|=======\==-----\1            Kenzo

The fight begins in earnest, as the rules are laid down, and Nagase's attacks are starting to roll in. Her expression is... mostly neutral as her fireballs clip past Kenzo -- it's not a 'true' battle, just a way to give him some threats to respond to in real-time. And he seems to be handling just fine as he turns it into positive momentum -- something which -does- earn a nod from the ninja as her blurred form can be spotted running around the arena.

Another credit for the Justice ninja -- he's not only able to keep up with her, he's able to -intercept- her. Her eyes widen slightly as she leans hard to her left, her boots squealing across the mats as she throws her armored vambraces up to the strike. "Ooh! Nice!" The stretchy striped fabric of her sleeve gets a run in it -- but the sparks that fly let Kenzo know that contact was made. Even if it was mitigated.

But... even then, Nagase is running a -bit- too slow to fully -stop-. She seeks to grab hold of Kenzo's sickle-wielding arm -- and if she manages to do so, she'd quickly kick her legs and hips upward, using her weight and leverage as a way to twist Kenzo down into the ground by his arm!

COMBATSYS: Kenzo interrupts Medium Throw from Nagase with Lightning Ward.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1            Kenzo

Kenzo can't quite avoid Nagase capturing his sickle wielding arm. As a result, all Kenzo can do is mitigate it by moving with it enough to maintain his posture and minimize the pain. It isn't a pleasant sensation in the least.

While Kenzo is struggling to maintain his posture while Nagase's weight and leverage is being used to attempt to bring him down, Kenzo releases the chain of the kusari-gama to reach for the war fan and charges it with his electric chi and jabs the closed fan into her stomach to shock her and push her away with a grunt.

As Kenzo steps back, he realizes that had this been normal fight, he might have been more likely to use the Whirling Chain Blitz for more damage but the Lightning Ward was much more accurate.

Nagase had been in the midst of her attack; her stomach wasn't -quite- ready to welcome a tessen. Really, when -is- a good time for one of those to barge in unannounced? It's enough to knock her off her game, forcing her to land in a three-point crouch rather than on the ground like she'd hoped.

"Oof... nice improv!"

She rises enough to press her palm to the wounded area, with an impressed look on her face.

"That's the mindset, yeah!"

The ninjette starts to jog toward Kenzo's right, raising her guard and keeping her shoulders mostly squared to him as she does so. She -is- making a gradual approach, but it's subtle...

Keep in mind, though, that once your opponents catch onto you stopping them cold... they'll be using fast moves against -you- as well..."

From within a three-meter range, she suddenly ducks low, striding in to close the gap. Armored fists fly towards Kenzo's abdomen: one, two, three! And then, if she lands the attack, she would twist into a backflipping kick -- only to abruptly teleport to the -other- side of Kenzo to deliver a -second- backflipping kick! Both flip kicks would be a little on the shallow side -- she wants to give Kenzo the experience of fighting a KOF runner-up, just without the hospital bill associated with such.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo blocks Nagase's Assault Mode - Sky Stage.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|=======\=====--\1            Kenzo

Kenzo notes the level change. With most people, that would be a precursor to a takedown. In this case, Kenzo assumes correctly that it's to both deliver body blows as well as prepare for the leap required to take to the air for the flip kick.

Those initial punches get deflected by the tessen, then the follow up flip kick glances off of the nin-gineer's forearm. When Nagase teleports to the other side, Kenzo looks at the fan using the reflection to get a lock on to Nagase's new location. Kenzo then spins using the back end of the kusari-gama's sickle to deflect the second flip kick in an impromtu yet still intricate dance.

"It's crazy seeing that in person."

Kenzo quickly closes the fan with a snap of his wrist and once again grabs the chain of the kusari-gama before whipping it upwards as a diversion before delivering a quick snap kick to her thigh.

COMBATSYS: Nagase blocks Kenzo's Light Kick.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Nagase           0/-------/--=====|=======\=======\1            Kenzo

In truth, Nagase had considered easing up on her combination after her gauntlets slammed into the war fan. But as this 'lesson' is as much about follow-through as anything else, she carried out the rest of the sequence. And she's pleased to see that Kenzo's defense is rock-solid.

Besides. It's a good workout. Something she's been needing for a while.

Flipping back to her feet, she rocks backwards -- swinging her shoulders out of the path of that chain. She can tell that it's not the true attack though. When Kenzo attacks her, his foot would find an armored boot in his path instead. Tensing with the exertion, she leaps backwards from the blow, absorbing the impact with a faint grin on her face.

"Solid contact... there you go! It's all about controlling the pace of battle!"

With that grin still cemented in place, Nagase makes another quick approach. She throws one fist high, but it would fall short, as she continues rushing forward. Her second attack is a bit more committed, as she seeks to weave her way into Kenzo's personal space -- and latch hold of a shoulder and a hip. Should she manage that, she'd be introducing him to her own Izuna Drop -- a maneuver in which she'd suddenly launch the two of them skyward into a corkscrewing flight. She'd seek to spin him around as she inverts, driving his head and shoulders down at the floor!

COMBATSYS: Kenzo interrupts Nagase Spiral from Nagase with Shocking Ambush.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Nagase           0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0            Kenzo

It's odd. For some reason, Kenzo doesn't seem to offer much resistance to Nagase's attempt to hook his shoulder or his hip. Nagase probably won't even feel him resist the sudden flight nor resistance to the inversion into the cork screw slam.

What Nagase does feel is a burst of electricity upon Kenzo's impact on the ground then a sudden lack of the ninja actually being there. That is only the beginning as there's a feeling of electrified chain around her neck as he joins the ninjette in a roll that leads to him being on his back while she is suspended in the air by his knee digging hard into her back while pulling the electrified chain tight across her neck.

"To answer that earlier question. Yes, it was my knee. Had to modify it to make it work with this attack though."

He releases the kunoichi and then rolls back to his feet.

Now, that... was interesting. Her fame as a fighter gives everyone a chance to dissect her moves and study them in greater detail -- an opportunity which Kenzo most assuredly -has-, considering the manner in which he systematically deconstructs the -core- damaging aspect of one of her signature attacks.

The fact that he's able to do so in real-time is a good sign. And it's one she has to remind herself of while she's struggling against the chain wrapped around her neck. "Nrrrgh..."

Thankfully, it was just a -moment-, and as she tumbles free from the attack -- now that she knows what the -rest- of it was... she flashes a surprisingly weary grin. One hand lifts up to reset her glasses upon her nose.

"Okay, fair's fair, did -not- see that one coming. That's two for you! Very impressive adaptation!"

But, then she hops in place, showing that she's willing to continue powering through the sudden wave of fatigue she's experiencing. And after the second bounce, she suddenly winks out of existence--

-- only to abruptly appear -next- to Kenzo, with a wink in her eye. "The race is on, now!" She hopes to snare his arm and wrap it around her shoulders. If she manages to complete the hold she'd rapidly twist into a side suplex, slamming him down into the ring -- -igniting- her chi with a blaze of flame at the point of impact! "Ya ya!"

COMBATSYS: Nagase successfully hits Kenzo with Quick Throw.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Nagase           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0            Kenzo

While Kenzo can tell that he's wearing down the kunoichi, Nagase's speed is still too terrifying to ignore. Once again, Nagase feels no resistance to attempts to grab him. This is different in that it happens too fast for him to resist. Kenzo gets hoisted up and over and driven into the ground. The additional burst of flames send the Justice old boy sliding away in a smoldering heap.

Kenzo rises to his feet once more, spinning his chain. He gets ready for his final attack as he knows that if he doesn't manage to land this, Nagase is likely to win this one.

Nagase watched the recording of it before but now she's about to see it in real time. Kenzo whips the weight in her direction, ideally sending it around her neck before sending a burst of electric energy through it and then pulling her towards him and into a shocking side kick. He chambers it, lifts the leg up to stomp down on the chain to bring her face down to the ground before chain whipping her up and over onto her back. Should he manage all of that, the follow up fan strikes will not be coming since there's no need in a practice bout.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Nagase with Violent Electrocutioner's Snare.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Nagase           1/------=/=======|-------\-------\0            Kenzo

It's one thing to watch -- but it's -definitely- something else to see unfold up close and personal. With all the discussion about 'closing out a battle,' she was surprised to realize that Kenzo had taken the battle that -far- in such a practice bout.

When the tech ninja feels that pressure around her neck, though, it's all but certain the next few moments are going to hurt. She's tough! She can take it! But receiving shocks through the thin skin of her neck is never -not- gonna hurt. And neither is going to get pulled down onto her knees by the force of the chain.

The flip onto her back, though -- that's enough to make her stomach lurch. She tenses up, bringing her arms up to defend...

Only to realize that Kenzo has, for the moment, declined to press the assault.

"... Oh," she replies with some surprise -- and she sounds -more- than a little winded, considering the red welts still visible on her neck. "That's three!"

She reaches up, plucking at the chain with her thumbs. She could make moves to escape... but for the moment, the kunoichi seems content to lie on her back and give Kenzo his moment of triumph.

"So... how did it feel? It seems to -me- like you were able to sort things into perspective...?"

Kenzo is more than willing to help his fellow ninja with the chain wrapped around her neck. It's the polite thing to do after the bout was finished.

After drawing in the weighted chain he extends a hand to help her up. If Nagase seems like she doesn't want the assistance, he isn't going to make it awkward and keep his hand there. He'll pull his hand back and not make a big deal of it.

"I do feel like this was probably one of my stronger finishes. That being said, if the fight were to continue, there was a non-zero chance that you still would have won."

While Nagase still seemed winded and he had very little difficulty breathing, Kenzo still had trouble getting through her defenses unless he was hitting her in the midst of her attacks. He did not like his chances. Not that he was going to say that out loud.

"Are there any suggestions you could make after having seen me fight in person?"

COMBATSYS: Kenzo has left the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Nagase takes no action.

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

Nagase isn't so stubborn that she wouldn't accept the help. Taking Kenzo's hand, she springs back to her feet.

At the polite suggestion that she -would- have won against Kenzo, the shorter ninja's long-sleeved hands drop to her sides. "Well, don't let it get to your head! I was running around a whole lot more than I usually do, so of -course- the tank was startin' to run dry..."

She looks away as she trails off, lips curling for a moment...

And then her expression softens, as she side-eyes Kenzo with a smirk. Rapping herself on the temple with her knuckles, she adds an amendment to her grievance.

"-- is what I'd say if I was a sore loser, and not -super- glad to help you work out some ideas. Keepin' hold of a speedy fighter is one of the toughest challenges in fighting, and you were doin' fantastic."

She rests both hands upon her hips as she squares up with Kenzo. Nagase may be tired, with a faint sheen of sweat on her brow, but she's still in a fairly good mood all the same.

"My one suggestion is -- you do sacrifice a lot to get those close shots in. The electricity trick you used to get out of my patent-pending Nagase Spiral was great! But watch the injuries you sustain in trying to land that sorta trick, okay?"

Lower lip curling again, she muses to herself for a moment.

"There's a few tricks I could teach you about bolstering your defenses, for those times when you don't have any choice but to take a hit...?"

COMBATSYS: Nagase has ended the fight here.

The old boy of Justice quickly coils the chain. As he's doing so, he's listening to her go on with the whole 'Don't let it go to your head' talk, Kenzo is smirking mostly because both his combat specs readouts and ARIA would be able to call her out on the tank running dry part. It's for the best that Nagase amended that statement.

Her advice about being careful about sustaining damage to give those shots is legitimate though. In this particular case, the risk paid off. Those risks aren't always going to pay off even when he successfully catches with shots of his own.

Kenzo is immediately interested when the topic shifts to tricks to bolster defenses. As she's discussing those things, Kenzo is leading the way to the open plan stairway to the 79th floor.

"How about we discuss this upstairs in the media center over food and videogames? The kitchen here makes an amazing..."

Log created on 13:37:24 09/30/2023 by Kenzo, and last modified on 11:38:08 10/04/2023.