Neo League 251 - #259: Saishu vs Shingo

Description: It had to happen someday. It's the ultimate battle-slash-training-match, and a true test between which is superior: the original Kusanagi-ryuu martial arts and... the derivative of second-generation Kusanagi-ryu martial arts. Saishu Tactics versus Shingo Tactics! There can be only one! And that one is... (Winner: Saishu)

"Are you sure about this, Kusanagi-san?"
A kneeling man in a thick vest, enduring the heat of summer for the sake of the many pockets it affords him, lowers his video camera for a moment just to look up at the bearded, kimono-clad man standing tall at his side.
"Yes," says Saishu quietly, gazing off into the horizon. "Yes... I can feel it in my bones."
And he grins.
It's a beautiful day in Southdown today, nature's gift to the Summer Solstice, and the young folks of the city are taking full advantage of this, the day of longest light. The beaches are packed, naturally, but so too are the nearby stores and booths. The sand-strewn boardwalk is thronged with people, and it is this boardwalk that Saishu and his camera-wielding friends are gazing down upon, the fierce sunlight revealing all who pass. They stand poised atop an arched roof of a nearby building like guardians defending the pass -- or at least Saishu is, for while the camermen are kneeling or sitting or taking other comfortable positions, the elder Kusanagi stands tall with his arms crossed, green kimono fluttering in the breeze.
You really can't miss him.
"He'll be here," Saishu says, with supreme calm and confidence. "We only have... to wait."

Or will he? Actually yes, he will. This is Shingo Yabuki after all. If anyone with the last name of 'Kusanagi' were to tell him to show up at school in nothing but his underwear and tell him it was for training then you can bet that he would do it. So when Shingo got word from Saishu Kusanagi himself to meet him at the boardwalk for something important? The boy wasted no time in hurrying over here. He literally runs up, panting hard.

"Otou-san! Otou-san! I'm here! What did you want to tell me? You said it was something important! Does Kusanagi-san wish for me to go on a summer long training sabbatical with him? Delusional to the very last, isn't he?

"Goodness, Kusanagi-san. You were right. Honestly, how on earth did you know he would be here? It seems like quite a coincedence..."
Saishu's glance shifts sidelong to the cameraman by his side.
"Never underestimate," he intones, "the subtle art of Kusanagi-ryu."
Grinning, he leaps right off the roof, eliciting gasps from the passerby who then stop to watch as he lands easily and approaches Shingo. Looks like he's gotten them an audience already. "Thanks for responding to my note, Shingo-kun," the Kusanagi patriach says, still grinning hugely as he slaps the young man heavily on the back. "And no, not quite. I'm not sure you're ready for that yet--"
"--so I need you to prove yourself to me once again!"
Stepping back, Saishu sweeps his kimono around him dramatically, and space appears around them almost magically as people just step back without thinking. "Shingo!" he booms, the sparkly-eyed pointy-bearded coot now seeming much taller than his actual 5'4". "Remember what I have taught you about everything you do being training? I have shown you many of the secrets of Kusanagi-ryu, Shingo Yabuki, and thus of the martial arts themselves! Now... show me that you have developed that adaptability so important to a warrior! Show me... that you are prepared to fight right here, right now!"
The cameramen, hidden from Shingo's view, film furiously from various angles.
"Ha ha!" Saishu laughs uproariously, grinning huger than ever as he spreads his stance. "Come at me, Shingo! Show me how far you've realized your potential!"
Ripples of heat traces their way through the air around him as he revels in the awed gaze of the crowd, and awaits the young man's response.

COMBATSYS: Saishu has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Saishu           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Shingo has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Saishu           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Shingo

COMBATSYS: Saishu focuses on his next action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Saishu           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Shingo

"Oh." Shingo looks depressed for a whole microsecond when it turns out that he won't be doing that training retreat with Kyo after all. It's a good thing Saishu continued with saying that it had to do with something else or the boy might've just walked off to do something else. Or not. Shingo blinks once and then grins widely. "Yes, of course Otou-san! I am ready!" Guess this is the next best thing.

The boy drops into his fighting stance and watches Saishu carefully. The one who trained Kyo. There is no doubt that this will be a tough fight, but whatever! He doesn't pass up a challange. "Ikuzo!" The boy charges head first into battle against the older man. Getting closer to Saishu, Shingo spins around on one foot and kicks out with the other as he hops forward. "Ya!"

COMBATSYS: Shingo successfully hits Saishu with Oboroguruma Mikansei.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Saishu           0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0           Shingo

"Ha ha!"
Saishu immediately lunges into the attack, and snaps out his arms to parry as he spies the adapted move -- but the result is interesting. Seeing the young man use an attack adapted from his own style calling upon reactions memorized long ago, and Saishu reacts to what he /expects/ to happen as opposed to what actually does. His parry is off, thusly, and the kick lands and sends the older man sliding back a couple steps; but the kick seems to land against solid rock, for not only does Saishu appear undismayed and not even unbalanced, he seems quite pleased. Quite pleased.
"Ha ha ha, you've learned well, Shingo!" he cries, immediately lunging into a similiar hop kick of his own, suddenly twisting into a double roundhouse kick as he blurs into an attack of his own. "Your personal touches impress me!"

COMBATSYS: Shingo fails to counter Nata Guruma from Saishu with Tsuki Hiji.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Saishu           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0           Shingo

This should be easy! If he were just a little more skilled. But nope. Shingo still needs a bit more experience before he can even come close to easily countering Saishu's attack. This does not stop him from trying though! If only because it would've been cool had he succeeded. Alas it was not meant to be as his elbow strike is entirely ineffective against the double kick form the older fighter. Shingo is knocked to the floor but instantly springs back up to his feet still grinning. "Thanks, Otou-san!"

Saishu is impressed by Shingo's recovery, and he'd make a note of that if he'd stopped. But one lunge leads to another -- for that is Kusanagi-ryu, and this is Saishu Kusanagi. As soon as the kicks succeed, the older man is continuing his momentum with yet another leap, hurling himself forward even as Shingo rises with a fierce crushing overhead hammerblow with one bunched fist.
"Haaaaaa!" A battlecry or a laugh? Oh, what's the difference anyway. Here comes Saishu!

COMBATSYS: Shingo blocks Saishu's Gou Tsui.

[    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Saishu           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0           Shingo

Shingo is more than ready for the downward punch from Saishu. Way more prepared than he was when he first attempted to counter the old man. The grin plastered on his face maintains its hold even as an upward blocking motion of one arm absorbs the impact from the hammerfist as the other swings only to then reverse direction with an elbow strike moving outward against Saishu's upper chest in an attempt to lift the man off the ground. A second inward elbow strike follows and is then completed with a rising shoulder slam. All of this in mid-air and with Shingo shouting out, "Bishi! Bashi! Boom!" He would then land on his feet rather well with only the minorest of stumbles.

COMBATSYS: Saishu fails to interrupt Nie Togi from Shingo with Issetsu Seoi Nage.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Saishu           0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0           Shingo

Having hurled himself into midair -- presumably in the hope of catching Shingo off guard -- there aren't a lot of defensive maneuvers Saishu can apply to this situation. He takes the first elbow strike, reflexively swiping out his hand to try and catch Shingo in the process but missing by a hairsbreadth, not quite fast enough and not quite close enough after that first strike, and Shingo's next attacks all connect in succession.
Flipping in midair as an aerial recovery, the Kusanagi-ryu master lands on his feet, rises easily, and grins hugely as Shingo steadies himself, simply getting back into his own fighting stance.
Still, he hasn't shown his flames...
"Again, Shingo! Never halt your attack! Everything you do is part of one grand combination -- never forget that!"

Don't have to tell Shingo twice! The boy's main strategy of fighting is keeping the pressure on his opponents so that they remain off-centred and unbalanced in their own techniques. This is what the boy hopes will help him the best in this fight against a master of his own self-adopted and self-adapted style of fighting from the Kusanagi arts. "I won't, Otou-san!"

Shingo darts side to side as he runs up to Saishu to get himself into range. Coming in with a low kick to the man's shins into a one-two punch combination only to suddenly mix it up with an overhead twist kick in the air, "SHINGO KIIIIIIIICKU!" Hopefully it is so out there that Saishu doesn't even see it coming.

COMBATSYS: Saishu Toughs Out Shingo's Shingo Kick!

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Saishu           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Shingo

*whump *whumpwhump* *whu--*
If that's not descriptive enough, let me explain:
The low kick connects. The punch series thuds powerfully into Saishu's body. And the final kick-- the final kick is caught as though it had been choreographed beforehand. Because you see, Saishu hasn't actually moved this entire time. He hasn't even flinched. Did he defend against this attack? It's hard to say. It doesn't really /look/ like it. But somehow...
...he just isn't that hurt.
"Shingo!" Grappling the caught leg, Saishu immediately lunges in an attempt to pitch the young man off balance. "You need--" He twists, trying to lift the boy off the ground and swing him around. "--to feel--" With a final odd momentum-gathering stagger, the older man then finishes by trying to slam Shingo right on the poor boy's own head, theoretically sending him sprawling away.
"Determination is good -- but you need to lose yourself in the fight! Fury, son! Feel the battle fury -- for your true opponent is yourself!"
He scratches his beard knowingly, eyes twinkling.

COMBATSYS: Shingo dodges Saishu's Strong Throw.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////          ]
Saishu           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Shingo

Fury? No, no, no. Shingo doesn't fight for the battle fury. He fights with battle enjoyment! They are sometimes linked but for the youth more emphasis is placed on enjoying the fight and losing oneself in it than using the fury of combat to lose oneself. It's a very thin line. Much similar to the line of hitting the ground after being lifted in the air and twisting one's body just enough to roll with it so as not to take any damage whatsoever. The boy accomplishing the latter very well and springing to his feet.

"Your words are wise, Otou-san! I will remember this!" As he he runs in again for another blitz like attack towards Saishu. And yet again coming in low with his attack. Only this time there's a variation of it as he swings out his leg for the kick a bit prematurely. So that it is no longer a mere kick but a sliding tackle of some sort. "SHINGO SLIDAAAAAAAAA!" When it hits, should give Saishu a nice little bump on his shins.

COMBATSYS: Saishu dodges Shingo's Medium Kick.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Saishu           0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0           Shingo

Saishu watches as Shingo rolls and completely absorbs the force of his attack, and doesn't just grin -- he smiles. For a moment, he looks not pleased, but genuinely proud.
"Well played, Shingo-kun."
With a spry little leap, Saishu easily avoids the sliding kick, but apparently breaking his own rule, he doesn't pursue the attack. Crossing his arms for a moment, the old man again reaches up to scratch his beard. "Heh heh. Well, I've enjoyed seeing your own interpretation once again -- not just of the Kusanagi techniques but of the attitude. You've indeed grown, Shingo. But now--"
He sets himself in a firm stance, and those heat waves again begin to rise up around him, the power of the Kusanagi bloodline surging around him as the Kusanagi elder, now grinning once again, gazes at his opponent with glittering eyes.
"--it's time for me to show you the true power of the Kusanagi style. You've passed the first stage of this test -- but now, it's time for your real trial..."
A dramatic pause, in which Saishu idly scratches his armpit, mid-powerup.
"...Are you ready, Shingo!?"

COMBATSYS: Saishu gathers his will.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Saishu           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Shingo

Shingo pushes up from his slide after Saishu sidesteps it and puts some distance between the both of them. He grins curiously at his idol's father but doesn't let down his guard at all. They're still in the middle of a fight. Saishu makes his bold statement and this causes Shingo's grin only to widen. A chuckle is emitted from him as he steadies himself and prepares for whatever Saishu may have in store for him. "Let's go, Otou-san! I have never backed down from a challenge and I won't start now!"

COMBATSYS: Shingo focuses on his next action.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////////         ]
Saishu           1/-------/=======|=======\-------\0           Shingo

"Then prepare yourself--"
Another dramatic pause, as if half of the power Saishu's drawing from comes from the crowd around him and the cameras trained upon him, and not the blood in his veins.
"--for the true might of Kusanagi-ryuu! URRYAAAAA!"
With a mighty battle cry, the middle-aged fighter hurls himself into a lunge, body blurring forward as he sweeps his arm out and, glowing with gathered power, emits a wave of pure Kusanagi flame at close-range; and as Shingo grapples with that, he turns on his heel, arms wheeling, and emits a second wave of equal intensity, plowing forward right into the boy.
It's already summer, but Saishu just turned up the heat.
"Ha ha!"

COMBATSYS: Saishu successfully hits Shingo with Homura Gasane.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Saishu           1/-----==/=======|=======\====---\1           Shingo

It's summer and the heat is on! It's why Shingo tries to play it cool by charging head first into the blazing flames of Kusanagi-ryuu. Unfortunately it seems that he cannot be as cool as the Grand-father of the art this battle and comes out charred and crispy as opposed to accomplishing what he wanted to do. Oh well. Might as well look on the bright side! He continues with his forward momentum at Saishu, shouting out at the top of his lungs, "Driving Phoenix Burner!" And then slams into his opponent shoulder first to send the man flying in a reply to being burnt.

COMBATSYS: Shingo successfully hits Saishu with Ge Shiki - Kake Hourin.
- Power hit! -

[                  \\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////                 ]
Saishu           1/--=====/=======|====---\-------\0           Shingo

Saishu grins as the young man collides with his flames--
--and raises his bushy eyebrows slightly as Shingo plows through.
"Well, well."
Grinning anew, the Kusanagi elder sets his stance in preparation to once again endure the fierce blow -- and endure it he does. Shingo throws all his might into the attack and it hits Saishu full on, and sends him sliding back... and back... and back.. and...
...and he slides to a stop.
And stands there, in his set stance, grin frozen on his face...
...until he collapses to one knee with a grunt.
"Ha ha... ha ha ha!" Rising slowly, Saishu Kusanagi looks up at Shingo with an expression free of pain, grinning as wide as he ever had. "I should have known I didn't need to lecture you about spirit! Well done, Shingo! You have proved yourself once again. However..."
The flames of his spirit begin to flicker around his arms as he speaks. " is now that you must face the final part of your test. You have endured the power of the Kusanagi well, but now... now is the time you face its full might! Shingo!" he exclaims, eyes widening with his rising spirit, glowing like a manifested spirit. "It's time! Prepare yourself for a technique I alone have perfect--"
He lunges.

[OOC] Shingo does the stupidest thing he can think of.

COMBATSYS: Shingo counters Koto Moon Infinity from Saishu with Tsuki Hiji.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Saishu           0/-------/--=====|=====--\-------\0           Shingo

[OOC] Saishu says, "Truly, you have a full understanding of Saishu Tactics."

The Taiyo student proves the worth of his solo training and reacts quicker than Saishu could have probably guessed he could! Even if he is feeling a little worn out from the fight so far. It's not over till it's over! Saishu's hand reaches out for him and Shingo isn't having none of that today! He knocks away the outstretched arm with a swift block of his elbow only to even more swiftly raise his leg in strikes it out in lightning-like speed right to the gut of the elder Kusanagi. "GECCHU!" It was a risky manoeuver to perform but it paid out. You know, except for Shingo falling over from losing his balance. Still needs to get the hang of that. He rolls up into a crouch.

Oh /snap/. Shingo just totally countered Saishu's 'perfect' technique. It's over! It's over! It's all over! It's--
--it's only beginning. Saishu, as he's knocked back, immediately falls to one knee in anticipation of Shingo's stumble and, as the boy tries to roll forward, immediately bursts out with a fierce flaming uppercut to try and interrupt the young man before he can get anywhere and slam him powerfully into the air, propelled by the Kusanagi flame. And Saishu, for his part, seems entirely undismayed.
Wow. Was this part of his plan?
...does... does he have a plan?

COMBATSYS: Saishu successfully hits Shingo with Oniyaki.

[                      \\\\\\\\  < >  ///                           ]
Saishu           0/-------/-======|=======\====---\1           Shingo

You can't give it up! Triumph or die! No matter how Shingo looks at it he has two options here. Dodge or counter. Triumph or die. He decides to risk it big over taking the safe route and tries to alter his movement before Saishu's rising uppercut-like technique can strike him. But to no avail. It catches Shingo square in the jaw and lifts him back off the ground to send him sprawling. He's about spent. But not completely done. He huffs and puffs. "Now, Otou-san! It is time for -my- best technique! Burning..." Shingo pushes off the ground and sprints hard and fast at Saishu with a raised fist. "SHINGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" In he lunges with a powerful right hook followed by a left strike into four downward punches into one final shoulder slam.

COMBATSYS: Shingo can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Saishu Toughs Out Shingo's Burning Shingo!

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

Triumph or die indeed. Shingo clearly goes for broke and attacks all-out, and Saishu... clearly hasn't gotten tired of just taking hits. Crossing his arms, those blows crush against the older man's body, and the concrete itself cracks around Saishu's sandaled feet as he takes it like a man. Last time, Shingo was actually able to overwhelm Saishu Tactics, a feat achieved by few. This time--
--this time, it's Shingo who ends up on his knees. And Saishu, still standing with crossed arms, surrounded by an audience dazzled by the performance of the two warriors and pavement half-turned to gravel, grins.
"Ha ha!"
After a moment, Saishu leans over, patting Shingo firmly on the back. "Yabuki, you've proved yourself," he proclaims, booming his satisfaction to everyone within hearing distance. "That was quite a workout! Ha ha! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!" Shoulders still shaking, the Kusanagi elder offers his erstwhile student a hand up.
"Now... how about dinner with the family? I hear Shizuka's making sukiyaki."

COMBATSYS: Saishu has ended the fight here.

Log created by Saishu, and last modified on 09:29:04 07/02/2006.