NFG Season One Finals - Round Two: Buford vs Iris

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Description: No amphibians were harmed, or created, in the filming of this episode.

This was his moment.

The Slam Masters Arena was in full spirits. Not necessary good spirits, except for the notable representation of Mad Gear, but in spirits that are nevertheless full. The ring itself is a square of twenty four feet on each side, with red, yellow, and light blue ropes. The CWA logo - a gold eagle spreading its wings with a blue wire gold behind it, and 'Capcom Wrestling Association' written in a circle has been replaced temporarily by that of the 'NFG'. The center of the ring's canvas, each of the top turnbuckles and every side of the ring's skirt also display the logo. The reason for the change, naturally, was because this was the site of the final tournament for the New Fighting Generation. The competition? Iris Osterlund, facing off against "Big" Buford Maclanky.

The very same, that was striding down the walkway to the center ring.

Boos and hisses rise up, as the Ronin of Rationality himself saunters his way. Tall, broad, and imposing, the round-faced man sways with heavy step, his thick and powerful body shaking side to side. He is clad in a thick lamb skin coat stretching last over his flame-decorated black cargo shorts, down all the way to his curly haired calves and a pair of black cowboy boots. Pins bearing the images of young-looking cartoon girls carefully stud the fashionable yet functional garment. The collar of the coat is popped, obviously used to protect his soft and hairy neck. Underneath the jacket, in the occasional moments it is open, reveals a form-fitting white t-shirt stretched over his healthy frame. A set of suspenders are stretched over it, ensuring his shorts are kept on through the fight. His long brown hair is tied up in a samurai-style topknot, fitted neatly underneath his felt-brimmed fedora. Any other stray locks are kept under tight control by a dark green bandana bearing a kanji symbol. His icy blue eyes are locked ahead to the ring, ignore the catcalls and occasional garbage thrown his way. His Vapor Blade, Suchimusodo, was kept secured in a lacquered bamboo sheath at his hip. A soggy chicken tender basket flies to his face, and with a flash of white and pink, the swordsman devours it. His eyes narrows, as he stops his approach. Spitting it out, he nearly retches, before he glares back at the young child who threw it. "Impossible." He states, shaking his head.

He knew the taste of the meat imitation all too well. %
The foul flavor still lingering in his mouth, he rolls under the ropes. Standing up swiftly, he adjust his suspenders, staring out across the audience. The jeers continue, the samurai having earned his heel credibility. But he wore it like a kimono of the Japanese warriors of old. Let their hatred wash over him. He would bath in it, shower in it right here, right now. All that mattered was the small crowd near the front. It was only a few. But well sponsored by his mentor, the wise and stoic Abigail. Mad Gear was the only friends he needed.

Mad Gear was the only -fans- he needed.


The entire NFG feels like it flew past in a heartbeat, from Iris Osterlund's perspective. She joined, was swept to California, then to New York, with at least one detour back home to obtain an ancient book from her very own library. Her sister Celica's death was barely six months ago, her decision to create the 'Anything Agency' even shorter after that. And yet, at the top of the stairs leading from the competitor prep area, here she stands.

The crowd is a sea of unfamiliar faces, really nothing more than an undulating blur of color and sound. It's... a much bigger audience than she was anticipating, and considerably bigger than any audience she's had for a fight before, ever, at all. The Brit is in the process of cursing that knowledge when she notices...

Was it a maid's lace brim, standing out at the ridiculous height of its wearer compared to the people around them? A seat next to that figure feeling empty, but in fact containing some shadow-swaddled object?

And then, just like that, it's gone. She must have been seeing things.

The backstage buzzer sounds.


Iris herself, dressed in her typical jacket and cutoffs, enters the arena just after Buford does. She'd been thinking about this moment, carefully, since the brackets were announced. Iris has never met Buford, not even in passing, and at best has a combination of his public performances and the war stories of competitors she HAS met to go off of, and some charitable part of her keeps saying: okay, give him a chance. Maybe it's a persona. Maybe it's all out of context. This is all--

One chicken tender basket later, the rainbow-haired Brit tilts her head ever so slightly to the side in the universal sign for 'what just happened'.

Clearing her throat, the magus speaks up in her posh as heck RP British accent. "Good luck," she ventures carefully, opting for limited pre-fight banter. This is likely to take... some concentration.

"So we finally meet again, M'lady."

The words come with the air of a deep grudge. Buford keeps his back to Iris, as he speaks amongst the cheering and calling. Yes certainly she never met him in the sense of introductions. But Buford -had- seen her, and had thought about her, and had done actions on behalf of the idea of her being gracious to his kindness. So for the Buford, they had not only met, but done so under the most important moments of each others lives. "I remember when we last met. The Rumble. I had intervened to save you, as a knight in shining armor, against that darkly handsome John Doe. And it was you, who so generously rewarded me, by bringing forth the chalice that would save my life." Saving his life, in this case, is when they dragged him out of the ring and had to pump cottonmouth venom out of from his stomach. From the bucket. He is talking about the bucket with Buck, Iris. Buford chuckles mirthlessly. "How foolish I was back then, to so freely give my virtue and kindness to those who did not deserve it. Especially compared to the infinite wisdom as I, the Faithless Samurai, the Ronin of Rationality, have brought upon my very spirit in this final tournament. M'yes, good luck indeed. I wish you the best of luck..." The Faithless Samurai turns around, locking his piercing blue eyes at Iris's own irises.

"Against the furious fury of my Suchimusodo!"

Buford draws his blade from its sheath. Pressing a button, it begins a buzz, the blade vibrating at the hilt as it lights up in LED red, blues, and greens. Buford turns up his nose at his opponent, as he brings the nozzle of the hilt to his lips. Drawing a deep breath, the mist from within spreads around him. A thick, tangible aroma of patchouli and potpourri fill around him. Letting the rich scent roll on his tongue, he expels the lavender coloured fog as jets from his flared nostrils. And with that, he coughs a moment, before bellowing aloud as he brings his katana before him

"Prepare yourself, M'lady, for the battle of a lifetime!"

A furrowed brow and Iris mouthing the words 'meet again?' in obvious confusion is definitely not an auspicious start to this bout, that's for sure. For a moment Iris isn't even looking at Buford, instead wracking her brain trying to remember if she's ever met him before, which she is CERTAIN she hasn't ye--


The camera is from over Iris's right shoulder, looking across the arena. In the distance between her and the far plane of the focal point, attacks and fighters slow-mo move across the frame.

Little red arrows blink in and out, pointing at Buford being escorted out of the arena, where 'escorted' means 'being dragged out on a stretcher'. A nearby bucket blinks out of existence in the process.


Halfway through Buford's explanation, which she only vaguely was paying attention to, truthfully, Iris's eyes go wide and she slaps a fist into her open palm. "Oh, yes! That was you. Does that really count as me... you know, forget it. Glad to hear your memory of the Rumble is, ah, good." Is it, though?! Can you intuit ANY kind of affect out of the rolling polysyllabic -- and now literal -- fog drifting from Buford? NOBODY KNOWS. It's a mystery.

On the other hand, the Brit observes internally, I've been 'mlady'-ed twice and we're less than four minutes into this, and I have very definite feelings about THAT.

Shaking out her hands somewhat, Iris gets into what is pointedly her lack of stance; unlike Buford, with his considerable pre-fight ritual, for her it's simply about trying to get into the right mindset to start things off. She's been reflecting on the question she didn't get time to put to the sponsors: what is my strength? Covering her weaknesses is one thing, but you have to... well.

There's a couple things she can do that other people can't.

Extending one hand, Iris takes off toward Buford in a run, clearly intending to start the fight herself. Tracing a shape in the air, the magus's right hand closes over the shape in question, causing green light to peek out from between her curled fingers until she gets close to Buford and his, uh... vape cloud? Samurai fog? Smoke bomb? SOMETHING.

"Kind of a shame," she admits, bringing her hand up and opening her palm, causing the gathered swirl of wind energy there to discharge, ideally blasting Buford away and gently pushing Iris backwards as well. "I kinda like the smell of patchouli."

COMBATSYS: Iris has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Iris             0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Buford has wandered into the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Buford           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Iris

COMBATSYS: Iris successfully hits Buford with Eihwaz - Storm and Stress.
? Strange Hit! ?

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Buford           0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0             Iris

Buford's intense mask of righteousness slips, right before the blast.

"Y-y-you like the smell?" Buford stammers a bit, blushing immediately as she brings her hand around. She was, after all, running into the rich smells and aromas of his vapors. And Buford had laboured hard in testing and sampling all the different flavours and scents, letting them roll around his mouth, nose, and body before choosing just the right ones. In this case, she picked the one that smelled like where his Aunt Maclanky worked, and she, too, partook in some of the magical arts much like what Iris did. Perhaps he would need to close closer to see if his opponent, too, had some special protective crystals with which to draw her power from. Buford cannot suppress a giggle, as he leaps up in the air, preparing his dodge. "Well m'lady certainly if you-"

And then she blows him off.

Buford lets out a high-pitched squeal as he is sent back into the ropes- no over the ropes. He has gone over the ropes. Fortunately, the Spanish announcer table breaks his fall, taking the brunt of the impact rather than the concrete floor. Collapsing down, he moans, as he staggers off the ground. Muttering furiously, he brings the hilt to his back. Letting the vibrations massage him, he returns back to the ring, floundering up. "You tantalizing tart! You wanton wench! How dare you toy with my heart by pretending to enjoy the savoury yet gentle flavours of my flavoured mists!" Buford explains, drawing his blade back as he rises up into a stamping run.

"You must be brought to justice!"

Buford bellows as he charges at Iris. There is no scented clouds now, but Buford had no interest in bringing them back at the moment. Clutching the blade high over his head, he begins some iaido inspired techniques by chop, chop, chopping the sword as he tramples in. "I have given a vow, not only to my girlfriend who is very faithful to me, but to my dedication to the art of my blade, not to allow myself to fall into temptation from even the most beautiful of females!" Swiping wildly in a flurry of slashes, he attempts to chase after the witch, all while roaring out loud.

"So you will see that I will not so easily be seduced by your feminine willies, enchantress!

COMBATSYS: Buford successfully hits Iris with Soul of the Edge.

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Buford           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0             Iris

Well, THIS escalated quickly.

Careful observers may note that the wind Iris used to attack with also, ever so gently, sets her back down on the ground safely, giving her a second to prepare for... well, whatever's happening next, apparently. But perhaps Buford's most useful weapon in the ring, comparative to his blade or the vape fog, is the berserk speed with which he slipped from 'vaguely solicitous dork' to 'rampaging misogynist' because a woman hit him with... alright let's be fair, it was weapons-grade magical wind, BUT STILL.

How could one not be thrown off their game when someone is calling you a wanton wench OR a tantalizing tart? Iris KINDA knew this was coming, but also, there's only so much preparation you can do, here. Knitting her brow, as Buford charges her, the magus swummons a main gauche in her... well, left hand, hence the name. "Okay, now hold the bloody hell on--"

Attempting to weave through the wild series of slashes is successful only to a point; the parrying dagger pushes one or two aside, but the rest -- either because of their speed or because of the brainworm that is Buford's instantaneous personality switch -- get through cleanly, sending the Brit skipping back across the mat hissing in pain, the parrying dagger having vanished.

Right, well. If that's how this is going to go.

"First of all, it's *wiles*, you Canadian chav. And two, I am a LITERAL enchatress. It's my actual JOB."

Extending her right hand, there's her typical flash of rainbow sparks as Iris's newly-fashioned truesilver replica of Joyeuse flickers into being. Setting herself at garde, she stares down Buford. "And if I'm tempting you to do ANYTHING, it's to lie face-down on the mat and *stay there*!" she snaps. Tracing her left finger along the blade, the rapier suddenly crackles with violet lightning, before Iris leaps toward Buford in a... pretty good fencing fleche, actually, before spinning into a lateral slash, and then a final upwards cutting disengage.

Is it good that he annoyed her so early? Well... we'll see, won't we?

COMBATSYS: Buford blocks Iris' Teiwaz - Prism Blade.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Buford           0/-------/---====|===----\-------\0             Iris

It would prove itself as only the beginning of Buford's babbling.

As the ronin's barrage of cuts slows down, he looks over the aftermath, having sent her down. He grins with mossy teeth, blubbery lips curled in cruel merriment, before shrinking into a dismissive scowl. "Hmph. It seems that your focus on enchantments have left your simple female mind scrambled on the basic foundations of language. While wiles means one thing, Willies means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less. And you clearly understood what I meant, so it must have been clear!" Buford chuckles at his own genius, taking a long draw off his hilt. Exhaling, a fresh cloud of cottony goodness fills around him, as Iris readies her weapon.

"Your sophistry will have no power over me, witch!"

Buford meets the rapier with both hands on his blade. The fleche is deflected, the brute parrying with strength if not grace. When she brings the lateral slash, however, the electricity quickly demonstrates itself as the real problem. "The only one who will be lying face down on the mat, will be-" Buford turns a brighter red, as he is shocked, redirecting the slash into a shallow cut on his cheek. "Will be, erm, hrm." He seems to be unable, for all his powers of misogyny, to even declare that Iris make herself fall facedown was too much for his noble samurai heart. Could he do the same thing she asked of him? It would be like saying it to his mother, or his aunt. After all, even with all his hate against his own clan...

He couldn't tell his mother to do the same thing, could he?

As the parting shot is delivered, Buford clatters his rattling blade, another jolt of electricity shocking him out of his Freudian reflections. Catching his breath, he doesn't give his opponent much time to recover. "Naturally, you see yourself as an enchantress, instead of a more broadly sensed magician! Why bother with your hot air and fancy, feminine swordplay then? Just waggle your fingers and make me into a toad or a newt!" Buford chortles to himself at his wit, being equally rapier to the weapon that was just used against him. Gripping his blade, he pursues after Iris, bringing a driving downward slash, before stepping in with his hip first, attempting to body check Iris, before giving a ripping sideways slash with his katana.

Allowing the scented mists of his hilt fill the ring once more.

COMBATSYS: Iris blocks Buford's Power Strike.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Buford           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Iris

Downside: Iris is definitely distracted thinking about all the frankly nutso-sounding stuff that comes out of Buford's mouth. Upside: it means her mind is working overtime, and if she remembers to devote just a LITTLE BIT of focus to paying attention, she'll be well-served on the defensive. Case in point; as she comes out of her triple strike combination, the Brit is prepared for Buford's immediate counterstrike. The initial slash she parries aside with her own blade, but can't avoid the hip check at the same time; thankfully, she regains her footing so that the final slash is merely a nick along her side.

As she ducks back, however, letting the rapier disappear back to wherever weapons go when she dismisses them, Buford says something that truly inspires her to try and use one of his own weapons against him:

Psychological warfare.

Buford is, by any measure, bigger than Iris: taller, broader. Yet somehow, the prism-haired Brit manages to tilt her head upward in a way that suggests she is looking down at the Sa-mall-urai, eyes open a little too wide. "Turn you into a frog?" Iris intones, attempting to really nail that husky fantasy dark sorceress vibe (not hard, considering her face voice).

A slow smile crosses her face. "Alright. I thought a fight would be more sporting. But frog sounds fine too."

To punctuate this: she vanishes in a burst of rainbow light. Then she REAPPEARS behind Buford, looking to trip him from behind before slamming him down to the mat with her elbow, other hand trailing behind her, fingers flexing.

Apparently the weapon summoner's been reduced to brawling now. Maybe she was serious about the frog thing.

COMBATSYS: Buford dodges Iris' Armed Combo.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Iris

"Turning m-m-me into a frog.

The ronin didn't actually imagine what would happen if the beautiful lady had actually been eager to transform him. It might be a surprise to the audience, but Buford didn't actually think through most of the things he said. In fact, Buford was finding it very hard to be rational at the moment. Especially with those contralto tones that reminded him of some of those FightTuber streamers who would say his name if he gave a big enough donations. That is, until his mother stopped letting him using the credit card. Initially, he was planning on keeping the momentum going and -slashing- through whatever attack she was going to use. But once she starts acting just like some of his favorite fantasy FightTuber themed streamers, well.

It was hard to keep his sword up.

As she vanishes, the Faithless Samurai continues his momentum, continuing to move. As she reappears, he looks at her in the eyes. Iris's expression seemed to authentic to Buford, that she truly was going to toy with him as a silly little frog, who might be kept in her bedroom in a terrarium. Or may even be fed to a large mystical white snake... Was such a fate terrible? But no, this was exactly what his beloved warned him about. Buford pulls away, leaping back in a long vault as he flips away. Landing with a heavy thump on the other corner of the ring, such an act of acrobatic escape betrayed the samurai's expression. Gone was his wrathful visage. Buford seemed almost ready to run away.

In fact, he seemed almost ready to cry.

Gripping his hilt tightly with both hands, he begins to focus directly inward, trying to control his tears. Meditating, he shifts into a trance in an effort to compose himself. It wasn't a rest, he just needed his anxiety to pass. He thinks back to his girlfriend, those important pictures. She was a modest lady, after all, despite being a cool and tough monster hunter working to secure the world against corrupted artifacts. But for each of them, they had to provide certain incentives. He remembered the picture of her bare foot, exposed from its heavy stiletto heeled boot, after a long day of marching and being on her feet. How each contour of her toe, the deliberate bone structure. The smooth, pale skin, barely containing the precise strength with every curl and flex.

Naturally, it was only fair, after he had showed her his own pair, as couples do.

The memory of the mutual affection refills Buford with determination. Bringing the nozzle of his hilt to his lips, he continues to grip it with both hands, as he continues to huff and puff in a steady rhythm. Until he is completely concealed in the violet cloud, the rich scents of vampire-themed potpourri and patchouli enveloping around him. With a flash of his wrist, he puts away his blade, letting it slide smoothly into his sheath, clattering as it vibrates within. And there, deep within. And there, with a deep booming voice, he retorts. "M'lady, I already have a girlfriend. While it is true, being taken by another makes a man even more attractive to single females, I must ask that you restrain yourself around me. While there is a certain charm being turned into a frog, making me so tiny, and toyed with and helpless to a tall, strong magic lady like yourself, I must be honest and true to my vows. If you continue to insist on manipulating my good intentions, then..."

"Then I cannot be held responsible for what I will be about to do to protect my innocence!"

COMBATSYS: Buford sheathes his blade before him, and begins to puff upon the hilt!

[     \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0             Iris

This sure is happening.

It IS unexpected that a bigger fighter like Buford could move so quickly, but lord knows, it's not outside the realm of expectation. He seems determined to create some space as he leaps backwards, and so Iris simply watches. Charging in after him, given how thoroughly the mall-borne ronin seems to want to stay on the offensive, might not be smart.

And she DID just toy with his emotions, though perhaps not to the effect that she had imagined.

However, as with every brief moment of peace in this fight where it seems like normality might come surging back, Buford ruins it by speaking aloud. Restrain herself? Good intentions? TEMPTATION?

"Admit it, mate," Iris says, her accent getting more working class by the second. "You've got some sort of chatbot feeding you these lines on those goggles. Right?"

But now this mist thing is back, and the magus frowns. This is not just him being a weirdo about vaping; there is something to this, she can feel it in her marrow. Tactically, it could do all sorts of things: obscure his starting point for a charging or even teleporting attack. Maybe it's infused with... something that powers him up? After all, he seemed upset when she blew it away before, even if that was largely incidental.

And then a voice in her head says: isn't vapor basically just water? He just surrounded himself with water, right?

"...alright. Well," Iris says, before bringing up a hand and tracing a shape in the air, which glows violet before disappearing. The shape is a rune, and specifically the rune devoted to the god Thor. Y'know, the thunder god.

This probably explains the lightning bolt that drops out of the sky dead-center in the middle of Buford's vape cloud. Iris ASSUMES he's there. But honestly, because of science... it might not even be necessary for that to be the case.

COMBATSYS: Buford blocks Iris' Thurisaz - Mjolnir's Echo ES.

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Buford           1/--=====/=======|=====--\-------\0             Iris

"Alright? Is that all- Oh"

Oh, is what Buford can muster when she finishes her rune. Fortunately, with his long experience reading and watching criticisms of certain movie franchises, we was well familiar with the symbol of Thor. And if he knew Thor, and he did, then she was about to throw a hammer at him. Buford brings his shoulder around, bracing himself in place as he readies himself for the attack. When the bolt comes, he turns, anticipating what was a completely different attack and was about as fast. Buford, for his intentions, seems to clear away from the lightning hitting him squarely in the chest. The problem with shoulder check, of course, is the helpful cloud of water that was conducting the electricity right straight into Buford. The samurai lets out a squeal from the cloud, followed by whining. There was movement in the cloud, a shadowy shape.

One that was unfortunately still standing.

"These goggles are prescription, you intolerant bitch!" Buford bursts from the thunderhead, surging out of the cloud from the wrong direction towards Iris. Body bearing the tell-tale burn marks on his cheeks of a shocking intercept, he was dazed, but not defeated. Making a wide, charging turn, he has his hand on his hilt now, ready to draw his blade. Behind him, the cloud clings to him, the fog tendrils almost holding on. Whipping his blade free, he begins to unleash a blur of semi-circular slashes straight at the witch. Spinning, he finishes with a staggering overhead full moon slash, bringing the whole of his cloud with him in a towering whirlwind of scented mist to wash over them both.

The whirlwind itself is harmless, of course.

COMBATSYS: Iris just-defends Buford's Tenderless Reaper!

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Buford           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0             Iris

Okay, that's IT.

No, in fact, that is exactly what Iris says aloud. "Okay, that's IT."

Buford, as (somewhat) predicted, comes leaping out of the mist to attack his opponent, but truly, even if Iris hadn't been somewhat prepared for this, being called an 'intolerant bitch' after every other incomprehensible, men's rights subreddit-ish thing Buford has said, flips some internal switch from 'hey, let's have a good fight' to 'kill mode: activated'.

Buford leaps forward into his combination attack and Iris narrows her eyes, holding out both hands. One conjures up a spear. The other?

A gigantic tower shield straight out of a niche Dark Souls streamer's VODs literally pops into existence right in front of Buford's slashes, the scented mist flowing around it as the huge shield hides Iris from view entirely.

This might explain why, despite Buford's puissant swordsmanship eventually knocking the shield out of the way, that when it falls over, Iris is no longer there.

She is, in fact, ABOVE him, spear in hand, about to drop on his pointy be-goggled head.

"I am going to PUT YOU IN THE GROUND," the Brit rages, as she drops out of the sky like some sort of angry, bisexual comet.

COMBATSYS: Iris successfully hits Buford with Raido - Solstice Journey.
Grazing Hit

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Buford           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0             Iris

Unfortunately for Buford, he had the wrong lesson when it came to Dark Souls shields.

As the shield manifest, Buford responds by whacking it with his sword, again and again. "Your protection will do nothing to stop my pure samurai- muhwhua?" Buford knocks aside the shield, seeing no mistress of magic behind it to scold him in that husky dominating voice. Instead, it was high above him, coming down like a bat out of hades. Certainly bisexual energy could only be met with bisexual energy in equal or greater measure. A sort of situation where an unstoppable bisexual force meets an unmovable bisexual object, but a lot less wet and messy. The Ronin of Rationality can only barely slip past it, narrowly failing to get clear of the magical drop, or the MagiDro as it was known in Japanese. He clears the spear, but not the full body action. Buford takes a knee when she slams in his shoulder, knocking him down.

But not out.

Rising up from his knee, he scoffs as he rubs his tender arm, tears building up in his goggles. "Wretched witch! It's time to truly put you in your place! I will show you how in the ground you will be to be putted!" The ronin sputters out. He actually goes to try and grab her by the upper arm (which he had learned is the most vulnerable place to grab a woman), and then promptly -slam- her back down on the mat. If he succeeded, he would plant a boot on her che- on her abdomen, to pin her in place.

While readying his blade.

COMBATSYS: Iris dodges Buford's Hellish Quarter.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Buford           0/-------/-======|======-\-------\0             Iris

It's true that if you grab a woman's upper arm, she literally turns off like Data from Star Trek. There was a peer reviewed paper on it and everything.

However, Iris appears to be operating on some sort of feminist overdrive state right now, and isn't about to be deactivated anytime soon. When Buford grabs for her, the wizard, with snakebite speed, pivots and shoves the haft of the spear she was using into his hands. Different texture, but roughly similar circumference, give or take a few inches. However, when you grab a spear, it doesn't turn off... or does it?! Who knows how quickly Buford will pick up on this or not. He certainly has a moment or two to attempt to slam what he grabbed into the ground, which would look very funny with a spear, but because it's a summoned weapon, it will also vanish soon in a blink of rainbow light, and slamming literally nothing onto the ground is definitely going to look funnier. Well, to other people, anyway.

When Buford does finally notice, and turns his attention back to Iris, he will find her staring right back at him. She will also be snapping a newly summoned whip between her hands, with a furious expression in her eyes.

"Bloody hell, do you EVER shut your mouth for even FIVE SECONDS?" she (like the whip) snaps, before flicking out one arm and attempting to snag said whip around Buford's ankles, before grabbing it with her other hand and *hauling*, sending the (ir)rational ronin to the mat.

BUT WAIT. Was her other hand glowing purple? Yes it was, and you know what THAT means: more lightning.

Magic means never needing to own a taser. You can just electrify the whip you summoned instead.

COMBATSYS: Iris successfully hits Buford with Uruz - Gandrekr.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           1/------=/=======|======-\-------\0             Iris


Buford understood females perfectly, at least by his own standards. However Iris's feminine empowerment was making all the established rules subvert his expectations. As he grabs a spear, he uses his hyper-rational adult brain to analyze the situation as he slams it down. That was not a woman, though rail thin as some women could be. No, it was a spear, that was now disappearing. However, because he is not a baby, he keeps his object permanence. The spear, therefore, had to be real. It had to have been slammed on the ground. But it was not his female. He lifts his foot off the nothing, which couldn't be nothing, it had to be a spear, and turn to where Iris should be, would be. But to his horror, Iris does his greatest weakness.

She tazes him.

Once the whip gets around his legs, he seems to instinctively groan. That was the wrong move, to defend one self. The surge of electricity rips through him. Buford jolts hard, as his next move is falling on the ground, flopping away. Whimpering loudly, as he jiggles on the floor like a fish, he moans as he rises back up to a stand. He was starting to smell like steamed hams now, the electricity roasting him little by little. But nothing compared how angry he was. That was supposed to be the wind, wasn't it? This was against the rules of honorable combat. Gritting his mossy teeth, he levels his blade to his head. "M'lady, my mouth will not be controlled by any female outside of my beloved!" Buford declares, as he surges with his own misogynistic power. Bringing the nozzle of his sparking hilt to his lips, he activates the next canister. Drawing in a deep breath, he drains it as he charges up his most powerful cloud yet. He holds it, turning green as he faces Iris.

And he belches out a wave of crimson mist.

Horfing it out with the strength of a hundred gamers, the powerful scent of tomatoes, Tabasco, horseradish and Worcestershire wash over in a thick red cloud. Consumed in the fog, Buford wastes little time. Moving like a shadow through the mists, he lashes out with his blade from three angles, two aimed at each side of her hips, with a third dropping overhead. The assault ends as he grips his blade with both hands, and unleashes a cloud carving power slash right across the fog, ripping it in two parts, letting it dissolve around. All with a smirk on his lips.

And a tip of his fedora to the audience.

COMBATSYS: Buford blitzes into action and acts again!

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           1/-------/=======|======-\-------\0             Iris

COMBATSYS: Iris just-defends Buford's Cloudchaser!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0             Iris

COMBATSYS: Iris parries Buford's Bushido Of The Blade EX!

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\0             Iris


The camera angles on Buford's power up and steely resolve would be fierce indeed. Lots of low angle shots. Probably some thunder and lightning backgrounds. Definitely speed lines. After all, this is perhaps the apex of the Shopping Mall Shogun's unexpected speed: attacks of such terrible velocity they appear to be happening all at once. There were probably a couple eps of backstory interspersed with power up sequences first.



What Buford would see, as the (literal) red mist flows, is not just Iris standing before him. Behind her, like a phalanx of guardian angels, would be all the women of the NFG that he's fought so far... as if the magus had conjured their spirits forth to meet this challenge.

Is this an anime? Probably not. The video edits of what comes next will certainly make for good AMVs either way, though.

In a (literal) flash, Iris's rapier is in her hands again; a wise choice, since unlike most of the weapons she summons, she's TRAINED to use a rapier before, even if it was just posh private school fencing lessons. As Buford's first hip-height slash comes at her, she inverts the blade so it's held downward in the path of the strike... and while Buford is striking so fast that it feels near-simultaneous, Iris knows that trick too, in her own way: as soon as the katana clangs against the rapier, it vanishes, then reappears in her OTHER hand to do the same on the other side, both strikes redirected harmlessly away.

The overhead strike, though, that's a different story. The world holds its breath as Buford's blade comes up, the most powerful of the katana's typical cutting stances, the red mist swirling... swirling...

Wait. Isn't it swirling in a weirdly predictable direction?

Yes it is. Why? Because Iris's parries with the inverted blade gave her JUST enough reach to carve a rune INTO THE FLOOR. Specifically, the rune she uses to summon the wind. Slowly but surely, the red mist begins to dissipate as the harmless but insistent magical wind blows it hither and yon. Buford is left without the mist to finish his cut, which slams into, and then slides off of, a buckler that Iris has summoned on her arm as she ducks forward INTO the path of the strike, sending her low enough so that when she stands, it is to basically Shoryuken her way upward with the buckler, looking to slam it right into the underside of Buford's chin.

"Bar's closed, *jerk*!" she shouts, in the process.

COMBATSYS: Buford fails to interrupt Algiz - Shieldmaiden's Burden EX from Iris with Dewy On The Mist.
? Strange Hit! ?

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Buford           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0             Iris

Buford didn't understand why there wasn't a round of uproarious applause for him. 5R
Nothing. Sure, his mist was thinning early, but much like his hair on top of his head, it was barely noticeable. And he didn't get blood this time, of course. But he didn't need blood. Well. Not a lot of blood. But certainly, in his anime cool attack, he -must- have hit her. His eyes cast down, and he spies it. The edge of the rune. He scowls, then smirks. He turns, bringing his sword into a underhanded sweep. Predictable, he thinks smugly to himself. Of course, she would try the exact same trick she did before. Women were always predictable. Sweeping his arm in the air, he unleashes the interrupting swipe... too early. Way too early. Iris missed the chin completely, which was bad. What was good?

Instead, she smashed directly into the hilt.

There is a flash of sparks and hissing steam. The blade ceases it's vibration, as Buford hisses in pain. Buford falls backwards on his bottom, looking in -horror- at his sword hilt. While the blade was fine... the mechanical vaporizing support on the hilt was smashed. "NO!" Buford screams, as the ronin of rationality stands up. He tries to suck on it, getting his mouth cut from a piece of jagged metal. He stamps his feet furiously. "NO NO NO! YOU BROKE IT! ABIGAIL MADE THIS FOR ME YOU DUMB COW! It was his FATHER SON GIFT out of LOVE! AND ADMIRATION! You BROKE IT! YOU BROKE IT!"

Buford audibly begins to sob.

A cloud of rainbow fog was pouring out of the bottom of the hilt, smelling a lot like, well, a dumpster out behind a smoke shop. Buford was crying, as he takes his goggles off, bringing them to his forehead to let the tears flow hot from his sad wet eyes. "This is all WRONG! You are cheating! Magic isn't fair! It's unlawful fight enhancements! If this was a fair fight you would be on your knees weeping and begging for me to spare you! And I would, perhaps, if you groveled enough! This is wrong!" Buford was turning bright red, as he quickly brings his nozzle to his lips, sucking on it like a baby on the nook, running his tongue over it tenderly to avoid the sharp metal twisted up. But it was no use. Suchimusodo was broken.

The Faithless Samurai was now a Vapeless Samurai.

As she steps back to survey what she has wrought, Iris blinks at Buford. Actually she blinks at him a few times. She broke his what now? His father's name is Abigail? That would explain a lot of things, in her mind. And honestly, while the magus is indeed upset, she's not a completely unfeeling jackass. "Hey, uh..."

And then, in typical Buford fashion, he has to keep talking, and midway through the SECOND part of his rant, the Brit's face instantly re-hardens into an expression that definitively shouts: Murder Mode Engaged.

"You know," Iris says, slowly, bringing a hand up which is briefly encircled with a nimbus of light, as she traces not just one, but a number of runes in the air in front of her, "If you could have just expressed your understandable emotions in a reasonable way and NOT accelerated instantly to the rest of it, we could really have had a moment here. Genuinely."

Above the sobbing samurai's head, Iris has summoned... well, weapons. A number of them, actually: spears, swords, hammers, maces. Not enough of them to make Type-Moon sue her, but certainly enough that if Buford doesn't get out of the way, there's a real good chance this might be the piece de resistance on this fight... especially since a few of the weapons are also charged with lightning, wind, or frost.

Iris's gaze, as blue-eyed as Buford's own, stares at him coldly. "Masculinity is a *blight*."

The weapons fall.

COMBATSYS: Iris successfully hits Buford with Laguz - Rain of Blades ES.
-**- LUNATIC HIT!! -**-

[                                < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Buford           1/----===/=======|-------\-------\0             Iris

Buford was trying to make sense of this.

It was impossible. It was all impossible. But magic had to follow rules. Magic was rational, like science. Certainly, Abigail wasn't -really- his daddy. He was more like a father figure, that he projected as a father figure on. Once Buford won the tournament, Abigail would be so proud of him, and he would go to his mother, and be his daddy. He would be so proud. They all would be so proud.

But Iris was getting in the way of that.

As he stands there trying to suck on his broken blade, he grits his teeth, staring with bloodshot eyes at the weapons being set up. Shaking his head, he trembles. He would just have to dodge them. He would just dodge them all. He would dodge them all and leap off each one, and build up by leaping from weapon to weapon by charging at Iris. And he would -cut her in half-. Completely bisect her. And everyone would cheer, because they hate her. They hate her as much as Buford hates that dirty, Witch. And then he would go to Djamila, and cut her in half. And then everyone. Everyone in his way, every one of those dirty girls that Iris called in. Chevy, and Sarah, and Nixie, and Tamaki, and Djamila, and Ichika. All of them, every single one. They would pollute themselves in terror, and he would cut every one down. He would just have to time it just right. Buford makes his leap, as she declares about men.

"What does a woman know about a real man's emotions-"

Buford is cut off as he jumps chest first into a sword. His timing was off, as it was. And that leaves him open for the the barrage of weapons come down upon him. It is fortunate that Buford is not cut in half, but the storm of weapons tear into him, swirling him around like ice in a highball glass. Until mercifully, he is dumped out on the ring. Unmoving. Bloodied. Laying flat on the ground. His blade and his hilt seperated into two pieces.

He wasn't getting up yet.

COMBATSYS: Buford can no longer fight. Is this the end of lovable Buford?

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Iris             0/-------/-------|


Breathing heavily, Iris watches Buford get pinballed out of the arena, a result she was truly not anticipating in any meaningful way, and there's just... maybe the tiniest touch of... hmm. Regret isn't the right word, but perhaps 'modulated concern' works. Whatever righteous indigntion was powering her to this point, without either 1.) a literal target or 2.) Buford's distinct talent for dredging fury out of the mines of sympathy, is starting to fade.

Plus let's be real, dropping enchanted weapons out of the sky on someone is like, kind of a lot, if you think about it, no matter how angry you are.

Blinking, as if she were waking up from being asleep, the Brit furrows her brow. "Was that, uh..." A beat. "Maybe I overdid it, there?"

But no, here comes the announcers to declare her the winner. She's a little confused and off-guard! It would be terrible if, like, a meteor hit the arena now or something.

Buford was standing up again.

It was a slow, quiet rise. First, he sits up. He was staring, blank. He wasn't quite sure what happened. Clearly, he had jumped. There was a shape on the ring. A woman. No. A female. He remembers. His eyes open wide, bloodshot. He rolls over. He can't use the hilt anymore. But with two hands, he grabs his broken katana blade. Cutting into his flesh. He stands up.

Now, the audience begins to shout and scream.

There was time, as Buford rolls under the ropes. Gripping it, he staggers up, raising the blade high over his head to -stab- Iris in the back. And finally, he can't take it anymore. He has to let it out. He screams, charging at the magician.


...well, fuck.

It's the crowd's reaction that is the saving grace, here; it's hard to hear people gasping like a Wii Sports Bowling crowd and, occasionally, pointing in a vague direction and not go: what's all this then. With perfect, horror movie slowness, the astonished Iris -- who frankly, had no clue this fight would go the way it did -- turns and sees Manly Vengeance coming for her.

Broken sword. Broken dreams. Possibly a broken finger in there, who can really be sure. She has mere moments to decide what to do with this shrieking banshee of an individual. But what's the right call? What would...

Oh. OH. Mint's words float back to her on some spiritual wind: 'The trick is, if that's what you get, then just... run with it.'

Iris extends a hand, complete with trademark rainbow sparks. She readies her weapon as Buford bullrushes forth. And when he is close enough, JUST ENOUGH, to blunt his momentum, a singular sound echoes through the suddenly silent arena:


Iris slings the gigantic squeaky mallet over her shoulder like a prospecter on their way to the mines, as Buford's body slides to the floor and the ref announces, for all to hear: "Your winner: Iris! Oooooosterluuuuuuuund!"

Log created on 13:56:58 11/02/2023 by Iris, and last modified on 18:14:08 11/04/2023.