Neo League 126 - #126: Alma vs Frei

Description: You knew it was going to happen eventually. You just probably didn't think it was going to happen in a Metro City dance club! Alright, maybe you did. Fighting with every last ounce of tenacity in his body, Frei gives a strong effort, but he didn't really have a chance against... (Winner: Alma)

USA! veeeeeerrrrnnn (plane flying)
More specifically, Metro City! This American metropolis, home to the beefiest mayor alive and plenty of other fine upstanding citizens who just happen to be prone to suffering gang eruptions and military invasions, has welcomed a new organization into its borders: the Neo League. And thus businesses and public houses all over the city have been jockeying to have fights take place on their stages in the hopes of making a name for themselves on national television, as they are all over the world. Most of these places are already well-known, even if only on a local scale, and most of them acquire the rights to host fights through advanced connections and careful distribution of money and advertising rights; but some just seem to get lucky, and this may be one of those lucky locales.
Warehouse 49. Once genuinely a warehouse used for storing industrial materials in busier decades, this club holds a dance hall that is popular among young adults of Metro City, but the bar clientele have a reputation of being somewhat... suspicious. Not criminal, you understand. Criminal is far from understated in a city like Metro City. Just... they're not the sort of guys who you party with, you know? Like, they dress so nice. And they have this thing about putting their hands on your shoulders when they have too much to drink. More touchy, you know? Still, good dancers. Good dancers.
But the place has been greatly retrofitted since its early days, made plush and tasteful even as it remains entertainingly and awe-inspiringly expansive -- an impressive feat of interior decorating for those predisposed to notice, and, as the dance floor begins to clear in preparation for tonight's main event, one young man *does* seem predisposed to notice.
~ Nice contrast of color. Hmm. The lighting is nice over there -- oh, how clever! It's always nice to wonder what sort of people designed the places one visits. To see the human touch evident in-- why is that guy looking at me like that? ~
It's lucky for Alma Towazu that he doesn't get uncomfortable easily, because the mild-eyed young warrior-model is beginning, as he steps up into the clearing dance floor, to feel a little... hunted.

So once upon a time there was this monk. And he was a non-traditional monk because he kept his hair and ate meat (particularly hot dogs, but to be fair, they were EXCELLENT hot dogs) and drank, partied, caroused, yadda yadda. And that monk just happened to be a fighter, too, so he signed up for that nifty Neo League thing thinking he would get to meet a lot of cool fighters and travel the globe and all the stuff they SAY you can do in the Army, but never get to on account of peeling potatoes for thinking you shouldn't suck it up and take it when a balding cranky white guy with anger management issues spends all day making bizarre, homoerotic commands for you to do like 'drop and give me 20'.
The league has had its ups and downs for Frei Tsukitomi-Renard, but on the whole he's found it quite interesting. So when the fight committee tracked him down leaving the Kim estate, freshly bandaged and having had some home-prepared kimchee, the monk was only too happy to say yes. Flash forward to his arrival at the airport in Metro City, all happy with excitement. Whether he knew it or not, Kim beat the perplexing moral issues right out of Frei with their little smackdown. Err, conversation.
Flash forward a little more to Frei entering the Warehouse, pushing a pair of John Lennon-type glasses into his messy auburn locks and then... marking out. "THIS is so sweet!" he squees, hopping up on the bar backwards ala Coyote Ugly and downing a shot (of Bailey's, for those watching at home) before scampering up to the dance floor and getting ready. "A shame that Vyle guy's not who I'm fighting. If a little Kylie Minogue did him in, this would make his head explode."

Well, while there may not be a lot of killing intent in the air, Alma can still sense a fighting spirit no matter how jovial it may be, and so he turns to face Frei even as he's making his way onto the dance floor. The taller but younger fighter smiles immediately, apparently not disoriented despite his somewhat bemused reaction to the looks he's been consistently getting. Maybe it's that ear piercing? "You must be my opponent," Alma says, voice low and gentle yet somehow carrying over the beat of the still-playing music. It's all about the projection. "Mr. Frei Tsukitomi-Renard?" He gets the last name right. The first name comes out kinda like 'Furei', though. "I'm Alma Towazu. Pleased to meet you." His smile widens slightly, winningly and looking refreshingly genuine, as though 'pleased to meet you' were a completely original line that was invented to express true sentiment. Well, it's always a pleasure to meet new people when you're Alma Towazu.
"Heeelloooo everyone!" the announcer calls out cheerfully as the music begins to dim. "Welcome to Warehouse 49's main event tonight, and boy, do we have an original show for you! Two young men have come to perform for us tonight, isn't that sweet? In the right corner we have--"
Alma extends his hand as the introductions come to a close. "Good luck," he murmurs. "Please, do your best."
And even as he speaks, his limbs are relaxing and posture straightening, right foot slipping forward in a hint at the Hiten-Ryu fighting style of his origin as he prepares for battle.

COMBATSYS: Alma has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Alma             0/-------/-------|

Actually, when Alma and the announcer start their spiel, Frei is chatting with the band amicably, laughing and pointing. Until one of *them* points out that things are underway, and oh yeah, someone just said his NAME. Turning with eyes bright with laughter and a big dorky smile on his face, the monk hops onto the dance floor and...
...totally stops short for the first time ever. Come on, he's been fighting nothing but schoolgirls and middle aged men for the past few weeks. Uh, and Nassir and Vyle but they don't count. "...hello," he says weakly, before coughing and pulling himself out of whatever brief stupor he was just in. Then there's a nice awkward moment, and THEN Frei realizes he's been offered a hand to shake and he does so. "Yes, nice to meet you! I didn't know you'd be so..." And here is a nice, weighty pause. At the end, the monk lamely finishes with: "...tall."
However, no amount of WHOA that guy's hot is able to completely overcome Frei's spastic energy, and when the announcer gets all serious he hops back a few steps, bouncing on the balls of his feet for a moment and then slipping into a relaxed tai chi stance, grinning at Alma like a fool. "Kung fu, huh... well, I'm 1 and 0 on fighting kung fu guys, so let's see if I can keep my winning streak up. Good luck!" He gives Alma a big thumbs up. Dork.

COMBATSYS: Frei has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Alma

Alma blinks once. Then his eyes close, and his shoulders start to shake: and then his smile spreads into a grin, and his eyes open again, revealing that they are sparkling warmly with inner mirth. "That's quite a record," the young man says, so serious he's deadpan. "Well, stay strong, but don't get too confident, because--"
"Annnnd, FIGHT!"
Alma lunges.
"--I won't hold back!"
Immediately he's opened into a series of quick jabs to test Frei's defenses, before, with a bit of a feinting stagger, he thrusts out a fierce step kick -- but this is only to distract his opponent and halt any momentum, because the real attack is a fierce right hook to the side of Frei's head.

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Alma's Strong Punch.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Frei             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Alma

Feinting won't get you anywhere. Should have shown some leg! Alright, that only works for Kyoko. Still, Alma's attempt at deceiving poor Frei doesn't work out as planned. The step kick is totally deflected with a little gentle redirection, just in time for Frei to snap an arm behind his head, taking the punch on his forearm instead. Does it sting? A bit. Alma hits hard. But not as bad as getting whomped would have.
"Oh, good," the monk teases, twisting out of his brief deadlock with the fighting model and getting some space. Alma's eyes have warmth; Frei's simply have an electric vivacity. "'Cause I don't plan on pulling any punches either!" Planting his feet, the shorter young man suddenly flips at Alma in a reverse moonsault, aiming a downward-scything kick at the model's shoulders, a cresent of scarlet fire erupting in the arc. "You're FIRED!"

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Frei's Kouen no Tsurugi.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Frei             0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0             Alma

Alma's block is unconventional in two key ways. First, it's aggressive. The fighting model shifts as his right punch is parried and launches out with a second punch, this time an uppercut, that impacts with Frei's kick in a flash of light. Now, normally, this would be a silly thing to do. But it fails to be silly due to the second key point: the damage is absorbed not by Alma's fist but by a translucent rosy-gold halo of light, an aura shield manifested by the momentum from the uppercut. It's definitely flashy -- and it gives Alma a boost to his own readiness to attack.
So he follows through immediately, grinning lightly himself but eyes calm and serious as he attempts to shove Frei away and launch into a leaping double-kick, a classic Fei Long maneuver made original by the way the air rushes around the strike.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Frei with Light Kick.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Frei             0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Alma

Ow! Kicked. You know why? Because shiny is Frei's albatross. As he comes off his previous attack, the monk briefly notices the flicker of energy that Alma used to block, and it has absolutely fascinated him. Mainly because... well. His chi sense is finely attuned, and that... might have been chi. Who can tell? "Hey, neat. I thought I was the only one who used that triOW!" And in the middle of his compliment, he's smacked right in the face with a couple of boots to the head. "...someday, someday. I will overcome that someday," the monks singsongs cheerily, getting back into stance.
But using a classic Hiten-ryuu maneuver might have been a mistake. Why? Because Frei fought Fei Long himself not two days previous and thus is able to say with some confidence: "You're using Hiten-ryuu!" Said like he's Nancy Drew or something. "Now howzat for ironic?" Ducking back in like a boxer, the monk makes a sudden grab for Alma's arm, hoping to send him to the ground behind him with a nice aikido-type flip. "Allez oop, gorgeous!"

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Medium Throw.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Frei             0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Alma

"Yes, that's right," Alma agrees agreeably as he lands neatly in a crouch and rises to recover from his aerial assault. "Why is it ironic--?" He says that as he's flipping back and performing a one-handed backwards cartwheel to evade Frei's sudden grab, again landing neatly and gracefully. "Oh," is apparently all he has to say in response to Frei's *last* comment, Alma's lips pursing slightly in a perfect expression of startled innocence. "My goodness," he murmurs to himself, but his facial expression is still the essence of serene calm, and his gaze doesn't change as he quickly steps forward.
The basic principles of his fighting style remain the same: constant flow, constant momentum, keep up the drama, and make every attack part of one combination. The individual techniques are a bit different, though, and this becomes more apparently as Alma, gathering that aura into his right hand as a focal point, suddenly lashes out at Frei's chest and unleashes a point-blank blast of white-pink soulfire, striking directly at the psyche. "Huh!" he exhales, as the Psycho Power is released, and his hazel eyes flash with gathering fighting spirit.

COMBATSYS: Frei dodges Alma's Self Expression.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Frei             0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0             Alma

Alma's not the only person whose fighting style involves flowing, though in Frei's case the flow is a little more defensively oriented. There's also the added aspect that after *extended* conversation with Fei Long the monk knows Hiten-ryuu is for drama llamas. Thus when the hand comes in for the glowy burstness, the monk simply grins, rolling out of the way by sort of pirouette-like motion around Alma's body, ending up behind the model by a couple steps. "Because the fighter I mentioned before is Fei Long," he adds cheerfully. Question asked, question answered!
Sadly, the Flirt maneuver was a total failure. Perhaps Frei should have taken 10 on that check. Nevertheless, he's got to keep the momentum up if he wants to take this home. "Nice lightshow, though... haven't seen the like before." Flexing his fingers, the monk grins at Alma. "Well, you showed me yours... time to return the favor!" Taking a step forward, it looks like Frei's intending to push a palm strike into Alma's midsection; in fact, it's just a precursor to the orange-red sphere of chi that forms at his palms, then bursts into a shower of golden sparks. "Good morning, sunshine!" the monk sing-songs.

COMBATSYS: Alma interrupts Hizashi from Frei with Divine Intervention EX.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Frei             1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

"You've fought Fei Long?" The youth's eyebrows raise; he looks impressed, and smiles. "He's pretty good, isn't he? He defeated me when we last fought, but I'm hoping to train with him... oh," he murmurs, again with the 'oh' exclamation as he feels his opponent's power gather and surge. Plus, it's nice to be called 'sunshine'.
Hmm, now that's a unique chi flow. Definitely got a nice and attractive rhythm to it. Alma can appreciate fighters like these. Still, the secret of rhythm in battle is to maintain a rhythm that will confound and defeat your opponent's, and there must be a gap in Frei's cascade somewhere--
The young warrior-model seems to almost be awaiting the impact, looking not so much unconcerned as inscrutible -- and then suddenly he's lashing out with his right hand again, and with a "Ha!" emits a sharp beam of white light that sends ripples through the air as it directly pierces Frei's attack. The chi surge immediately implodes on itself, causing a reverse explosion even as the psychic attack blasts through and jolts Frei himself.
Alma exhales calmly and shifts as he straightens his posture again, unconsciously adopting a poised pose as his blonde bangs ripple once in an unseen breeze.

Dude, WTF. Or at least, if Alma has his brain tuned to Radio Free Frei that's probably what he heard shortly before the cascade of OWs. However, to his credit Frei is getting pretty good at this landing-after-big-explosion thing, catching himself on one hand before he hits the ground and flipping back to a standing position. "Alright..." he murmurs, thoughtful. "More than just a pretty face."
So what does he do? Nothing. Well, that's not totally true. He pulls a Karate Kid, closing his eyes and starting to do some tai chi hand pushes, exercises used to direct chi into and out of the body. Plus there's that nasty psychic aftereffect from Alma's attack that he has to deal with... but perhaps his lack of appreciable ego is helping there. "He's very strong. I think he went easy on me, or I might not have won." He doesn't SOUND like he's bragging, though he might be deep down.

COMBATSYS: Frei takes a breather.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Frei             1/------=/=======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

"Oh!" Alma's smile returns and brightens at this, eyebrows raising once again. "You *beat* Fei Long?" Slowly, that smile blossoms into another full-fledged grin. "Tell you what. If I win, you tell me your strategy, for my next duel against him. I plan on winning our next match, founder of Hiten Ryu or no--"
And then the youth is lunging forward again, rearing back as he aims one wind-rushing thrust kick directly at his recovering opponent, throwing enough momentum into it to maybe knock Frei right off his feet with a direct connect. "SHA!" is Alma's resonant battle cry, the energy rushing from his abdomen to the rest of his body a more subtle application of his Psycho Power.

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Alma's Heavy Kick.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////////     ]
Frei             1/-----==/=======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

"Um..." comes the monk's reply, his eyes snapping fully back open as Alma charges. Don't need to be psychic to sense a fighting spirit, after all. The incoming kick is actually met with Frei's palm, straight-on, and then turned away; looks like he was ready for it. What they don't tell you on TV is how much that stuff hurts. Still, it looks cool and it's better than taking one on the chin. "I'd say arm yourself with some amazing dumb luck and pray he takes it easy. That was my strategy." Big goofy grin.
Of course, you can't just sit there forever and expect to win a fight. Taking a huge risk, the monk dares to get back inside Alma's guard, flexing his fingers as he runs and hoping to catch him unaware by suddenly slipping down to a handstand, sweeping his legs up to snag Alma by the shoulders and drag him into the ground, *hard*. "So, what's a nice guy like you doing in a league like this, anyway?"

COMBATSYS: Frei successfully hits Alma with Strong Throw.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Frei             1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0             Alma

The risk pays off. Alma's preparing to follow up, and he's not preparing to have feet wrap around his neck and shoulders and slam him facefirst into the ground. Still, even faceplanting into the dance floor can't deter the fighting spirit of Alma Towazu, and he quickly rolls to his feet, shaking his head once to clear it before fading back and reaching out with his right hand. "Some things can only be conveyed through battle," he says mildly, smiling slightly. "I'm just here to experience the fighting spirits of others, and apply what I learn to the rest of my life."
His right hand glows as a blast of white-pink flame emerges, spiralling toward Frei.
"And yourself?"

COMBATSYS: Frei negates Sacred Wave from Alma with Hyoushou Rengeki.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Frei             1/----===/=======|====---\-------\0             Alma

Springing back to his feet, Frei is too smart to think Alma won't counterattack after that, especially since focusing on the defensive means he can't really attack as well on the offensive just after. It's in the Rules. "Well, I don't know that I have such a grand reason," the monk says quietly. Is he blushing? Maybe it's the disco ball. "Though it's pretty similar, if a little more basic. The only way I'll understand myself better is when I'm put to the test."
Oh, hello, pink ball of energy. Grinning, Frei is not going to be outdone; placing his hands angled just toward the floor, he starts to gather a blue-white sphere of chi. "Fighting does that pretty well. There are other things, but..." And then, in a flash, he hurls the sphere at the oncoming psychic flame, the two projectiles colliding in midair and then vaproizing each other in a burst of both purple flame and crystals of ice.
"I don't think they're even half as fun, save a couple." He grins.

Now it's Alma's turn to blush slightly. "I just have a tendency to make things sound grand," he says with uneffected modesty. And then he grins again, and those hazel eyes sparkle anew. "What you just said describes my own motivations well enough, too." He seems unpreturbed that his own projectile attack was canceled -- how can he be disappointed by such a flashy display? The crowd, of course, is oohing appreciatively.
Though the last comment kinda seems to go over Alma's head. He doesn't seem to worried too much about *that* easier, though, instead following up immediately with a new combination attack, this time lashing out with two lunging fast kicks as decoys before opening with three fierce successive punches, finishing in a powerful uppercut. "It can be a rush!" the young fighter agrees, still grinning winningly.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Frei with Strong Punch.
- Power hit! -

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Frei             1/=======/=======|=====--\-------\0             Alma

Usually Frei doesn't fall for feints. This time, apparently, it works wonders beyond comprehension. The decoys would normally be blocked or evaded, but in this case they actually connect, which only makes the uppercut that much more painful. Sailing backwards, it's all Frei can do to land in a crouch at the edge of the dance floor, clutching his jaw. "Well... alright, freakin' ow. You still have a ways to go before you punch like your master, though!" Which is the truth. The monk gives Alma a silly smile to make sure, however, he knows it's just banter.
Standing up straight, the monk takes a deep breath, centering himself. "Okay... gotta pull it together, Frei..." he mumbles to himself, then nods to some unseen question. Taking his right hand, he starts to trace a circle in the air; once he's made a complete loop, the circle flashes visible briefly before disappearing, leaving the monk's hand sheathed in a haze of shifting color. "Alright... didn't even need the long speech this time." And then, with surprising speed, the monk dashes in, attempting to get his hand on Alma's sternum. "Comin' at ya, pretty boy!"

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Frei's Fukami Reikai.

[               \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Frei             0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0             Alma

Lucky for Frei, he doesn't need to connect; he just needs to get in range. And once he's in close? His green eyes flicker with the strain of control, and the glow on his palm disappears. All that's left is a pulse of sheer, unwavering power -- the elements of the world compressed to a single point and let loose. The air between Frei and Alma ripples from the aftershock, in fact.

Pretty boy, eh?
Against with the preemptive lunge, Alma rushes out with fist extended, preparing to meet the attack as he's met Frei's previous maneuvers, canceling the power with his own aura -- but this one appears to be a little different. Frei's fist, rather than meeting Alma's sternum, collides against another fist, and a flash of color is evoked as the young fighting model's aura surges to attempt to confront this explosion of energy. The pulse, however, is something else entirely, and with a grunt Alma's guard is apparently overcome, and he goes skidding back.
But on second thought, maybe his guard held fast. He maintains his footing, and the shield-like halo fades rather than shatters as the air ripples. "Interesting," Alma says like only a bishounen can say the word 'interesting', and even before the air has finishing feeling the effects, he's rushing forward. Only this time, his image is blurring with the attack, and as he strikes, a dual Alma of fading light follows up after him. A low kick is followed by a second fading low kick even as the physical Alma has already shifted into a punch, and so the streaming combination continues until the images finally intersect and aim out a fierce roundhouse kick.
With him comes the sweet scent of rain.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Frei with Autumn Rain.
- Power hit! -

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1             Alma

In actuality, Alma's one of the few people who has not just been blasted back a good long way by that attack. So when the kicks all start, he's still left holding the bag, as it were; what should be an easy defense has in fact turned out to be... pretty bad for Frei, who maybe should have waited a little longer after getting pummelled senseless by Kim Kaphwan to head back into the arena. The final kick sends him sprawling back across the dance floor, and this time there is no last-minute acrobatic save; the monk lands in a heap and doesn't get up for a good few moments.
When he finally does... he doesn't look so hot, his previously split lip having reopened, among other similar minor injuries from fighting Kim. "I thought... the waiting an hour was just for swimming and eating..." he murmurs, a little dazed, before fixating on Alma and giving him a sheepish grin, rubbing the back of his neck. "Well... I was hoping for one of these league fights where I was not totally outclassed for once, but them's the breaks. Still..." And then he's moving in -- carefully this time -- in order to try and get a hold on Alma's forearm. Another risky maneuver, but it could pay off big...

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Ame no Murakumo.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1             Alma

"Don't give up," Alma encourages gently while Frei rises to his feet. "There is no defeat for the warrior who fights only to express himself and understand others. The only event regrettable is to fail to reveal as much of one's spirit as possible!" His expression is mild and his voice is calm as always, but his eyes are bright and those words just seem to project again, as though buoyed by the strength of his convictions. He smiles, and it's a real smile, cutting through any possible faked pleasure. "Show me all your power--"
And he fades back as Frei reaches for him, just barely evading.
"--and I'll be able to show you mine! Kaaaahh--!"
With a sudden burst of energy, a coil of white-pink flame explodes around the youth's right arm, and he rears back, roars a battle cry to the heavens, and punches the dance floor fiercely. There is a moment's pause; and then a scintilliating geyser of white sparkling soulfire emerges from the ground beneath Frei's feet, an overwhelming torrent of psychic energy aiming to completely shatter his opponent's grip on reality and send him spiralling into sweet unconsciousness.

COMBATSYS: Frei dodges Alma's Full Confession.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0             Alma

"My reasons aren't as fancy..." the monk says quietly, rather uncharacteristically for him, glancing up into Alma's eyes for just a moment. "But 'give up' isn't in my vocabulary!" His own movement is just as sudden as Alma's; once the model's fist comes down toward the floor, the monk suddenly forces his hand backward, leaning in a reverse arc and then simply propelling himself through the air in a backflip straight *over* the resulting geyser of energy, a sphere of blue-white energy already at his fingertips and spiralling down toward Alma in the wake of the psychic's own attack. And once it gets close? "BURST!" The sphere explodes, showering Alma with a massive hail of ice shards.

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Hyoushou Rengeki.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////           ]
Frei             0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Alma

Not bad, Frei! But Alma, sensing his attack missing even as he unleashes it and simultaneously feeling his opponent summon up his chi, immediately leaps forward, twisting acrobatically in midair and spiralling low to just avoid the exploding fragments of ice. Still, those are flying all over the place, so the kid is bound to get hit with some -- unless he pulls off something crazy.
Like, for example, turning his spiralling leap into a flip that lands him in a neat handstand and, flexing his strong arms and summoning up physical momentum and Psycho Power, pushing off the ground powerfully and shooting straight into the air in an attempt to intercept the midair Frei, suddenly cycling around in a furious series of upside down thrust kicks and possibly knocking the monk to the ground again.

COMBATSYS: Frei dodges Alma's Light Kick.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Frei             0/-------/=======|-------\-------\0             Alma

Amazingly, now that both of these fighters are looking a little tired, it's now that their speed -- something both appear to have in no small dosage -- comes to bear. Grinning madly, the monk suddenly inverts himself on the way down, even giving Alma a little jaunty wave in midair as the Hiten-ryuu fighter passes above him. Throwing out a hand, Frei pushes off the ground and flips to his feet, having switched positions with Alma out of nowhere. However, he doesn't press the attack, instead choosing to center himself again as he had before. Deep, cleansing breaths. But he can't help but throw Alma a tiny smile. "I'm not going to make it easy for you."

COMBATSYS: Frei takes a breather.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Alma

Alma lets out a quiet little 'whoops' as he streaks on by his opponent, and flips once in midair before landing gently on his feet, sinking onto his haunches and taking a few deep cleansing breaths of his own. He smiles lightly in return, and his eyes narrow slightly as he takes new stock of his opponent, recovering from his own exhaustion in the quick respite even as the audience cheers them both on to great heights. "You'd better not."

COMBATSYS: Alma takes a breather.

[                 \\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Alma

Maybe he knows Alma's probably the better fighter here. Or maybe he just doesn't care about winning or losing. Or perhaps he's just out of his mind. But in fact, Frei just throws caution to the wind and basically hurls himself at Alma the second the psychic stops to take a break, spiralling through the air and intending to land on the model's shoulders with both knees. "There are so many jokes I could be making right now," he says gleefully. Apparently he's having fun. And if he can get that shoulder-riding position? A snag of the shirt and it's down to the ground Alma goes, VERY hard, and with Frei looking to drive his knees into the model's back for good measure on the way down. Acrobatic, flashy... and so slow and complex there's only a million ways out of it. "You're lucky I'm such a classy guy!"

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Rebound Throw.

[                \\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Frei             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Alma

"Oh my," murmurs Alma with an air of deadpan calm as the knee throw comes, er, drifting toward him. Now, this might be an interesting technique to try to take advantage of, and make Alma should take his time and let himself gather more strength from his soul centering, but frankly? He's just had too much trouble with people wrapping their legs around his head. See: Gabriel. And if he won't let a cutie like Kai Gabriel do something like that, well, it's nothing personal, Frei.
So Alma fades back and away from the falling knee strike, and doesn't mind losing a chance to take advantage of the strike just to make sure he's not hit -- but soon he's rushing back in again, already feeling a bit refreshed as he opens by lashing out with a new series of powerful brickbusting punches. Can't let Frei get *too* comfortable.
He doesn't respond to Frei's banter, but he does grin.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Frei with Strong Punch.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Frei             0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Alma

"Aw, man. I really, really hoped that would have OW!" And then because he's not paying attention, Frei gets smacked in the noggin a few dozen punches. However, he's not staggering back; in a display of interesting fortitude, the monk just sits there and takes it. How is anyone's guess. And it still looks like they hurt a whole bunch. But the very last punch has a chance of not coming back from whence it came. Why? Because at the last second Frei lashes out with a hand to snag it, hoping to then simply chuck Alma over his shoulder. Brutal and efficient, but takes coordination... which Alma might have the edge on. "I hope you're enjoying this."

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Strong Throw.

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Frei             0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0             Alma

Alma reacts instinctively and with startlingly visible and dramatic grace, his arm going limp as it pulls back and Frei reaches for it, and whipping around lightly in a circle, flowing like water and dancing out of the monk's reach -- before lashing right back like a snapping viper. A snapping viper on fire. White-pink fire. That explodes. In Frei's face.
"Of course!"

COMBATSYS: Frei blocks Alma's Self Expression.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

Not quite. Finally getting the hang of this fighting-energy-with-energy thing, Frei's hands push outward at the incoming rush of psychic energy. As a failsafe? One hand has the silvery glow of Yin chi, and the other the golden aura of Yang. Of course, neither is particularly suited to blunting that particular salvo, but not that Frei really knows that. Still, it bothers him a bit that Alma's 'energy' is beyond him, and it shows in his face, suddenly puzzled. "I dunno what that is. I guess I'll have to drag the secret out of you someday."
Of course, now he's still in close with Alma and has absolutely nowhere to go or anything to do. Never mind that he's bloodied and bruised, while Alma is fresh as a daisy. Funny how that works. With a shrug, the monk suddenly grins. "Well, what the heck. It worked for her, it can work for me." Balling a fist, the monk suddenly LEAPS forward the short remaining distance, intending to sock Alma right in the gut. Shouting what? "SUPER MIMIRU PUNCH!"

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Fierce Punch.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

Fjdkfjksljkd! The what what what!? Alma hurls himself to the side, spinning around and just barely avoiding the attack. "To succeed at the Super Mimiru Punch," the youth quickly responds, sounding rather authoritative, "one must have the spirit of Chou Mimiru Do." Still spinning, he reaches out quickly with his hand. "However," he continues, "since we're paying homage to Kasagi techniques..."
And he attempts a quick spinning clothesline on Frei, aiming to hit the monk in the throat and send him to the ground.

COMBATSYS: Frei dodges Alma's Quick Punch.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Frei             0/-------/-======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

One good turn deserves another. "Oh..." Frei observes, casually sidestepping the popular wrestling move and watching Alma move on past. Weird. That's definitely not in the Hiten-ryuu playbook so far as he saw. " you know those two? I thought the brother was okay if a little on the taciturn side. The girl, though, she's crazy." Big grin. Of course, Mimiru IS a psychopath. But she's our psychopath, or something. The monk takes a few deep breaths. "I dunno how I've kept this up this long..." he murmurs. "Gotta do something, though..." With a shrug, the auburn-haired young man rushes back in for Alma, attempting another arm grab. Not that any of the previous ones have worked, but this time for SURE.

COMBATSYS: Alma fails to interrupt Daichi Kudaki from Frei with Quick Punch.

[                       \\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////            ]
Frei             0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0             Alma

Fifteenth time's the charm or something. Grinning, Frei looks *especially* triumphant as he snags Alma and just... leaps straight up, carrying the model with him and literally swinging him in a vertical circle and then hurling him straight at the dance floor. Luckily (somewhat) for the model, he's greeted instead by a burst of brown/green energy in the shape of a swirl of leaves that feels more like hitting packed ground than a glass floor, and smells of newly turned earth. Frei, for his part, lands a short distance away. "Not done with you yet!"

"Umph!" is Alma's first response as his attempted sudden counterattack doesn't go off quickly enough and he hits the burst of earth with a wince, shaking his head as he gets to his feet. "Yes," he murmurs in response, "I've known both Kasagis for a while..."

Hey, Frei's feeling exhausted. Perfect time to chat Alma up a little, pressing his palms in front of him and then toward the ground, taking a deep breath. Say what you want about the monk, but he's got tenacity if nothing else. ", sorry. Should I not have brought them up?" Of course, he did just smash the guy into the floor so it's not like this is a big shock, but Alma seems a little taciturn. Of course, it may just be Frei's imagination.
Dashing forward, the monk doesn't waste any more time, however, hoping to duck low, sweep Alma up in an arm bar, and then push him away in the opposite direction. It's actually a chance for the Hiten-ryuu fighter to get back on his feet, but if Frei can actually connect, the subtle twisting and joint locking can do a bit of damage on their own. "Eheh. I'm just a talkative person, I suppose. Sorry."

COMBATSYS: Alma interrupts Medium Throw from Frei with Spring Shower.

[                          \\\\  < >  ///////////////               ]
Frei             1/-----==/=======|======-\-------\0             Alma

Alma blinks once, before just grinning slightly in return. "No, no," he responds gently, fading back and away from Frei's preliminary lunge, "it's just that I have quite a history with both Jiro and Mimiru. Though," he adds quietly, "thinking of them does make me miss Jiro a bit. He's left town to train to defeat me..."
And then Frei is going for the armbar -- and suddenly Alma explodes forth. A single punch blurs into a dozen as the youth fires off a blazingly fast series of quick jabs that pepper Frei's face, and finally finishes with a second stunning jab to the side of his opponent's head.

Apparently the model has never seen Frei fight. Beer bottles, stools, piledrivers, a couple steel chairs... when the chips are down and it looks like he's about to collapse, instead of being bowled over by the finishing strike -- particularly attacks to the head like the aforementioned -- the monk has this bizarre tendency to actually just stand there instead of falling over. Usually it's kinda bad. But in this case, it's a rare opportunity. "Ee waf a naif guy," Frei says around Alma's fist, before pulling his face back a little. "I'm looking forward to my rematch with him."
Summoning the very last of his reserves, Frei suddenly drives forward the extra few inches, looking to push Alma's arms out of the way, Judo-style, and put him off balance long enough to aim a nasty looking rising kick right in his jaw. Normally, Frei doesn't go for the face, but his just got punched. A LOT. Of course, there's very little energy left in him. And once the attack is done...

...he does not fall. "Oh my god, I hurt EVERYWHERE."

COMBATSYS: Alma interrupts Combo Throw from Frei with Rising Fury EX.

[                                < >  /////////////                 ]
Frei             1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0             Alma

Perhaps Frei does hurt everywhere... but he clearly does not hurt everywhere *enough*, and so Alma moves to amend that situation. More specifically, when Alma's arms are shoved to the side, he leans back to evade the kick, and just keeps on leaning back until he's planted his hands onto the ground -- and launched into another rising upside down kick!
Only this time, he's on fire.
"Uuurryahhh!" Alma shouts, ash he blasts up into the air and fires a fierce series of flaming roundhouse kicks right up under Frei and knocking him into the air. "RISING FURY!"

Yeah. Tenacity is one thing, but the monk has been running on empty for a very, very long time. The kicks don't necessarily catch him by surprise; he simply doesn't have time nor energy to formulate a defense. Landing on the floor in a heap after Alma's Liu Kang impression, it takes him a second to get back to his feet, and even when he does it's... he probably shouldn't be standing up. He is *definitely* bleeding, even if it's just that split lip getting aggravated again.
Giving the model a sheepish smile, the monk's eyes are heavy-lidded from fatigue and pain. Still, he has the presence to look a little embarrassed. "Ha... ha... well... I guess... I really did... get 'tested'..." he breathes out. Smiling at Alma again, he has an almost faraway expression. "I hope I didn't make... to bad an impression. Maybe we can, uh... meet, uh..." His voice falters. Either too delirious or too shy. Such is the way of things.
There's also the fact that he was concentrating the last of his energy into his hands, which he thrusts forward with the very last dredges of power left in his body. "Fun fight. And happy Indepdendence Day." And then, as if from nothing, the air between Frei and Alma is alive with uncounted multitutdes of golden sunbursts, like a summer fireworks display of chi. Mind, Frei's barely standing so it's not quite as vigorous as normal, but it still packs an impressive wallop.
Either way, the monk lands on his side on the dance floor once he's made his final strike, thoroughly unconscious.

COMBATSYS: Frei can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Frei's Hizashi Ronde.

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

Alma blinks once, suddenly faltering a bit himself. Somehow, he gets the feeling that Frei doesn't mean 'hang out', exactly, that the thought just seems to give him pause rather than anything else, his lips parting slightly but his expression otherwise unchanging as he lands in yet another graceful crouch on the ground, rising slowly. "Well--"
And then suns are exploding all around him.
With light everywhere, there's only one reasonable thing to do, and Alma does it: he closes his eyes. And then he just leaps.
It's a fantastic display. Operating purely on the dregs of his aura sense, Alma twists and spirals in midair as sunbursts of chi explode all around him, evading the many blasts with maddening intuition until he's finally cleared the area of effect, lunging into a forward roll and smoothing rising all in one motion, just as Frei hits the ground. Perhaps it's all just coincidental -- it's certainly not conscious -- but it's perfect dramatic timing.
"The winner: Alma Towazu."
The crowd applauds, and the young warrior-model raises his fist calmly in recognition, unthinkingly looping his other hand around a belt loop to strike a poised and attractive pose, but he keeps his gaze on his fallen opponent, looking... thoughtful.
This will certainly not be the last time they meet.

COMBATSYS: Alma has ended the fight here.

Log created by Frei, and last modified on 17:10:20 01/06/2006.