Neo League 276 - #281: Karin vs Sakura

Description: Looking for an exam-time study break, Karin challenges her old rival to their first Neo League fight. (Winner: Sakura)

Despite the great deal of latitude Karin's fantastic wealth allows her in terms of dealing with the rather restrictive culture of Seijyun Girl's School, there are times when even she has to bend to the pressures of the school. Midterm exams are one of those times; the normally well-travelled Karin is holed up in her room instead, taking her measure in terms of academia and waiting patiently for the entire affair to be over so she can get back to the business of running a multinational industrial conglomerate.
In this case, however, the blonde is almost glad for the reprieve. She's been out of the public eye for some time thanks to her jaunt to Brazil and since her return has had to be especially visible in the right circles. Usually, in fact, alone... something which has begun to put her under some amount of stress. Compared to that exams are practically restful. But there has also been very little chance to exercise her martial arts skills in the interim, and thus she saw the Neo League as a good chance to get back into the groove.
Now, she sits on the edge of a cleared space of grass in Seijyun's absurdly expansive flower garden, reading a book on calculus. The school, unhappy with Karin's request for a fight but unable to really deny it, insisted the fight take place on school grounds, which is fine by the blonde fighter.

The school board of Seijyun Girls' School does not let folks trample on their rules either. It's one thing for them to disallow from even stepping foot in the place without a darn good excuse, wrapped up within thick legalese and submitted in triplicate. It's quite another to allow a young woman considered to be one of the most egregious offenders to the Seijyun-promoted way of life to set foot on campus... let alone in a martial arts gi.
Between Ken Masters and Karin Kanzuki, though, darn near anything's possible. The net result, though, stands firm: Sakura's gonna be wearing a school uniform whether she likes it or not.
Why, there's that infamous uniform now! Accompanied by two Seijyun seniors, Sakura Kasugano makes her grand appearance with a somewhat uncomfortable look upon her face. The =last= time she was in Seijyun, she got her butt kicked, after all.
Her expression lightens considerably once she sees Karin's face behind that calculus book.
For the record, integrating differentials are the furthest thought from her mind.
"Fiiiinally!" exclaims Kasugano. Of course the Seijyun represenatives at her side shush her -- in stereo! -- for making too much noise on such a quiet campus, but Sakura is too busy quickening her pace to meet up with Karin. Her headband's fluttering in the wind! Her gloves are snugly in place! She's throwing up her fist at her studious rival! "Hey, I heard there was some prissy girl callin' me out, you seen anyone like that around?!"
Whipping her head back to stare at the once-more-shushing escorts, Sakura raises her finger to her lips. "You shush!" Whirling back to Karin, she extends her finger out to Kanzuki, triumphantly defying the status quo! "I'm here to fight!"

Some small part of Karin is actually pleased to know Sakura is here, shaking things up. It's one of the traits the young Kanzuki daughter has always admired in her friend, though she is careful to show mild disapproval of it when all eyes are on the pair of rivals. After all, it's expected. Still, she had to do some arm-twisting at Seijyun to make this work, so Karin is careful to make her face a mask of wry amusement as she sets the book down and walks across the lawn toward Sakura. She's got a surprise of her own: the white blouse and grey skirt and leggings of a 'standard' Seijyun uniform.
"I am sorry, but if you want to narrow down the 'prissy girls' who'd like to see you take a beating at Seijyun, you've a long mile to walk," Karin says to Sakura evenly, tugging on a pair of her own handguards (and making some serious enemies among the Seijyun student body). "You seem in particularly high spirits today... so much the better." She grins, stretching. "It's been a while since just you and I have had a chance to... work things out."

COMBATSYS: Karin has started a fight here.

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Karin            0/-------/-------|

When Kasugano was first escorted in, none of the cameras were visible. But now, surrounded by a respectful audience in a respectful location, she can see that she has an audience. Her own intution tells her that the Seijyun folks =need= to be shaken up, whether they want to admit it or not. Technically, she's only concerned about her opponent; the rest of the audience can think whatever they like.
"Well, sure, but there's only one here worth my time!" It's clear and shallow boastfulness, but that's one of the things Sakura's good at, after all!
The mention of working things out, though, reminds Sakura that there =was= something to be upset about, when last they spoke. "Y... yeah, well. Still haven't =totally= forgiven you for that... " she adds, features falling into a mild, narrow-eyed frown. "but I bet you don't wanna talk about that just yet, huh?" A smirk follows, her left side shifting forward in a defensive stance. Sakura doesn't waste any time, that's for sure! "Don't think I'm gonna go easy on you or nothin', though!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura has joined the fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Karin

On the other hand, Karin was just being flip. She's usually too busy remembering the various items on her daily schedule and a score of useless, trivial, but nonetheless 'necessary' facts and figures to keep too much track of her emotional well-being. She views it as a necessary evil; those around her probably recognize the serious lasting harm this might be causing her.
But to Karin it's immaterial; the producers hold up the signal to start and she launches into action, skimming across the ground at a quick run toward her rival, trying to focus on the fight but, unfortuantely, not able to get Sakura's comment out of her mind. "Forgiven me..." she asks, driving forward with one elbow, then the other in quick succession, "...for what?"

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Karin's Ressen Chou.

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Sakura           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0            Karin

So Karin's sequestered away the ire of her greatest, most powerful rival into one tiny cubbyhole in the backlot shed of her mind? Sakura's lip turns up into a brief pout as her forearms move to defend against the first elbow strike. "You--" she starts, only to find the second elbow coming on strong! It's a good thing her feet shift to accomodate Karin's advancing stride, allowing her alternate hand to block the second strike.
"Y-You know!" she stammers, shaken and somewhat stirred by the powerful pair of blows. "For talking to Sean like he's... like..." Sakura =was= pretty amped up to fight, but now she's shifted to conversation mode.
Hopping back with a furrowed brow, she shakes her head as if that'd help her spit out the words any faster. "Like... some trained lap dog!" In nearly the same breath, Kasugano rushes forward with a vicious knee strike, clearly not =quite= in a happy place for the moment. "Hrrrngh!"

COMBATSYS: Karin dodges Sakura's Strong Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0            Karin

Perhaps Sakura's sudden anger is to Karin's temporary benefit; strikes made in fury almost always have some sort of fatal flaw that can be exploited by someone of calmer temperament, and the vicious knee strike is no exception. As Sakura's knee comes up the blonde fighter swings backwards, a pirouette-like half spin that takes her safely out of range.
Twisting herself back into stance, her back to one of the tall, manicured hedges that make up the impromptu walls of the garden, Karin glances at Sakura carefully, trying to remember what she could have done to make Sakura angry... and thankfully, her rival gives her the answer, snapping recall to the forefront. "Well," Karin says jokingly, deciding to test the waters by ducking in and snapping a kick up at Sakura's shoulder, her hands in a guarding posture as typical of Kanzuki-ryuu Kakutojutsu. Nothing fantastically elaborate, but it gives her a chance to keep up the conversation. "He IS a Kanzuki employee." She's smiling, but is it reliable to assume she's kidding?

COMBATSYS: Sakura fails to interrupt Light Kick from Karin with Medium Throw.

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Sakura           0/-------/----===|=------\-------\0            Karin

Even though her anger was initially more of a mild frustration now... things do tend to pile up every now and then. Karin's nonchalant response to the attack only adds another log onto the fire, really, as it shows that Sakura's being a bit =too= aggressive here.
"Yeah, but--" she starts, whirling about to face the kicking shoulder. She gets a bit ahead of herself, though, twisting as if to snag Karin's leg right out of the sky -- but her elbow thumps harmlessly off of Karin's shin instants before the Kanzuki-ryuu empress slams her foot into its intended target. A dull thud follows, as does a hurried sidestep from Kasugano as she struggles to maintain her balance.
On the plus side, the blow =did= knock some of the burning logs off the pile, helping to quell the flames in young Kasugano's eyes as she stares back at Karin.
A dull glance, like that of a cornered dog...
And then the trademark Sakura smirk, as the words actually sink in.
"Yeah, well... guess we'd better take that up with HR or somethin', huh?"

Karin may not be high on the emotional IQ scale but she's very, very observant. What the blonde had thought was simple witty verbal fencing has turned out to be much more important to her rival than Karin had suspected, and a brief look of actual concern washes across her face as she retracts her kicking leg. "Sakura..." A pause. Logic might not have a place here.
"I don't ask a lot of Sean, you know," the blonde says, circling Sakura in stance for a moment. "Most of it he does himself because he's so obsessed with making himself useful." And an inner voice, quietly at the back of Karin's mind, says: But you don't exactly discourage it, do you?
Still, this is a fight and Karin's not about to let that go to the wayside. She closes in again and thrusts out a quick kick towards Sakura's stomach, followed by a full horizontal chop at chest-height, using the spin from the kick for momentum. "I don't see how that's exactly my fault!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura fails to interrupt Strong Punch from Karin with Shou'ou Ken.
- Power fail! -

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Sakura           0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0            Karin

What secret discussions go on between Sean and Karin are their own business. =Really.= Sakura makes a point of tuning out the specifics whenever he brings it up -- which isn't that often. What makes this a talking point isn't what goes on behind closed doors, but what happened at dinner amongst the three of them, when, from Sakura's viewpoint, Karin effectively called both her and Sean uncultured louts not fit for exhibition anywhere.
Statistically speaking, this would not an unusual statement for Kanzuki, but Sakura was just particularly reactive at the time.
Much like, say, *now*. "Look, let's just..." she starts, narrowing her eyes at Karin's sudden advance. That's awfully fast, she realizes, but it's too late to stop her misfiring reflexes from launching into a counterattack! Kasugano launches into an uppercut right around the same time Kanzuki's kick is about to land -- and instead of hitting Karin first, Sakura gets nailed in the stomach! The chop literally knocks the Taiyo student to the ground, the firm blow taking the wind out of her sails.
"Gnngh..." mumbles Sakura, pushing weakly back to her feet after a moment. "You're just bein' yourself, is all!"

"Oh, no." Karin's voice is almost chiding as she observes Sakura taking the fall. Something is not right in this scenario, and now it's bugging the blonde fighter to no end. Karin's ability to compartmentalize her feelings is apparently highly dependent on them not being thrown in her face, either intentionally or no. Plus there is an unpleasant ring to Sakura's final statement that is, ever so slightly, raising Karin's hackles. "As opposed to being *who*?" she asks, slightly more snappy than she intended.
However, Sakura might have a point. Dealing with the emotional stuff really saps one's will to get out there and fight, as evinced by Karin's keeping to herself for the moment, evaluating the situation... both mentally and physically. "I don't know what I did, but all I want for Sean is to get some backbone!" she says, unconcerned with the fact that Seijyun's rumor mill is watching this fight and ALREADY taking stock of names. "I didn't bring him all the way to Japan to have him fold like a house of cards whenever he's challenged."

COMBATSYS: Karin focuses on her next action.

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Sakura           0/-------/--=====|==-----\-------\0            Karin

Scratching at her cheek, Sakura just glances off to either side for a moment. Cameras, audience members staring in confusion, aforementioned prissy Seijyun students watching in detached glee. It'd be a safe bet they're wondering what the heck the two girls are talking about.
The ones who don't work for the newspaper club are wondering, anyway.
Sakura looses a light "... Eh-heh," at her rival, before curling her hands in a quite familiar position. "I think we should probably continue this later, y'know..." While she speaks, her hands are backlit even more familiar glow: the one that comes from a rather large blossom of energy sprouting from her palms. "... after you're on the ground an' stuff?" In case Karin needed a reminder of just what that fireball in her hands is called, Kasugano tosses it over for a closer look, offering with a helpful shout as the blossom grows to nearly five feet in diameter, "HADOOOOOUKEN!"
( And from another corner comes an expected, "SHHHH!" )

COMBATSYS: Karin slows Large Hadouken from Sakura with Large Thrown Object.

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Sakura           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0            Karin

Karin does not have a good track record of dealing with Sakura's trademark projectile, but in this case she is well-armed with environmental hazards to help deal with the situation. At least, that was how it sounded in her head as she watched the Hadouken come her way. With a twist of the hips the blonde kicks a nearby box of posies at the projectile... which proceeds to burn through it like kindling, a fact Karin notices too late to do anything about, the remainder of the blast sending her stumbling back more than a few steps in pain.
But she's not even paying attention to that anymore. "I have nothing to hide," she says simply... and perhaps a little nastily. "Do you?" Flexing her fingers out a bit, Karin gets back into stance. While that blow hurt, she's nowhere near beaten... not yet, anyway, and she's doing a little better than Sakura, at least. "Besides, if you have to wait until you can put me down, we'll be here all weekend."

It's Sakura's turn to express concern for her opponent's welfare as her Hadouken blasts through the planter, the remains slamming into Karin. "H-hey, Karin, y'know, you're gonna get wrinkles if you keep worryin' y'self like that..." Kasugano shrugs a bit, grinning in an attempt to steer the conversation back towards the usual banter -- something which she's glad to see Karin's all in favor of.
"Hey, there's no time limit on these fights, y'know! I mean, heck, I always get lectures about how I shouldn't rush in an' stuff." Kasugano smirks rather heavily at that, lightly rocking her weight back from one foot to the other, taking a moment to catch her breath. "Whaddaya think, hm?"

COMBATSYS: Sakura gains composure.

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Sakura           0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0            Karin

Miss Kanzuki isn't a total fool; she knows what Sakura is doing, somewhat, but she can't really do anything about it, and resolves to just make this as good a fight as she can. Besides, it does show -- deep in the hazel eyes hiding behind the mass of gold ringlets -- that this is fun for Karin; it's been far too long since she had a good, honest fight. "Have it your way," she concedes.

However, that doesn't mean she's not going to keep this battle going. Crouching slightly, she suddenly springs into action, leaping upward and raising her arm before bringing it down in a tight overhead arc, looking to drive Sakura back into the ground with a vicious downward strike. "I think you're stalling! It's unlike you!

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Karin's Ressen Ha.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Sakura           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0            Karin

Likewise... Sakura isn't a total fool, and she really did need a moment to catch her breath. She's been going full-speed through this fight, and... well, against Karin, who can deconstruct her strategy at every turn, there's a distinct and marked need to be =untrue= to form.
"Is it?" grins the schoolgirl, dropping to one knee as she braces her padded handguard over her head. One eye squints shut as her forearm absorbs the impact, but she nonetheless keeps grinning broadly. "Your body's wide open!"
No, it's not a statement of =fact=, but rather a lead-in for a particular move from another fighter's repertoire which has Sakura rising, thrusting a heavy punch into Karin's stomach, and then hooking a punch overhead with her opposite hand. "Haaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Karin fails to counter Medium Punch from Sakura with Gedan Yasha Gaeshi.

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Sakura           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0            Karin

The entire affair goes down in the briefest of moments, Karin's attempt to reach out and catch Sakura's punch and deliver one of her own in return. It doesn't work; the initial punch is evaded but the secondary one hits with all the more crushing force for Karin being put in a bad position. Wincing, the blonde swings out of the way, clutching her stomach. "Yes," she says carefully, taking a deep breath. Apparently it's her turn to stop for a second and take stock. "I think so. Running headfirst in without regard for consequences or logic... is more like you!"

COMBATSYS: Karin gains composure.

[           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Sakura           0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0            Karin

COMBATSYS: Sakura gains composure.

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Sakura           0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0            Karin

Sakura =could= be mean and follow it up with the finish where she sets her fist on fire... if she practiced such things. Since that'd mean watching Kyo fight, that's probably not gonna happen.
Instead, she pushes away from Karin, giving her the moments she needs to catch her breath, and -- luckily for Sakura -- gives her another moment to herself. "Well, sure, but =every= fight?"
That first set of blows was pretty punishing, after all -- and it still shows in Sakura's relatively sluggish movements. Perhaps that could be =why= she's stalling? "Heh... I told you before, we gotta keep fightin' like this, gettin' better and better!" And smarter and smarter, Sakura would seem to be implying...
But even still, Sakura's nature rings true. She =can't= play the waiting game forever. "Well... if you're not gonna run in -- " Sakura dashes in with the true form of her rushing uppercut, hoping to bowl Karin over with raw force if not subterfuge and tactics. Gotta keep the Seijyun audience in shock, after all. "SHOOOU'OOU KEN!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Karin with Shou'ou Ken.

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Sakura           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1            Karin

This time Sakura's success is considerably more... well, successful. The blonde attempts to sidestep the dashing uppercut at the last second but this doesn't work out all that well. She's not bowled over, but she might as well have been; Sakura's uppercut sends her stumbling backwards to smack into a large planter, *hard*. There is an unpleasant ceramic cracking sound that doesn't bode well for Miss Kanzuki.

However, she's not going to give up yet. Taking stock of the situation, she pushes off the planter she hit unceremoniously and again adopts a combination of offensive and defensive postures, bracing one arm out toward the arc of her leg and one closer to her torso as the blonde scythes a vicious roundhouse through the air at her rival. "You could apply that maxim to... you-know-who too, you know!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura dodges Karin's Heavy Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1            Karin

Sakura winces slightly as her rival's knocked into another planter -- not just because Karin might be hurt, but because the gasps from the audience are rather numerous. Somehow, the wince as she looks around indicates her concern that the payment might be coming out of =her= pocket. "Oops!"
But there's not =much= time for her to worry about the audience, with Karin whirling about at her. Hopping sideways, Sakura clears out of the path of the scything roundhouse, landing on an adjacent planter. They're all over the darn place!
You know who? "N... no, who?" Sakura fights =everyone= after all -- it's hardly specific -- and even if she's talking about Sean, Kasugano's made a point of forgetting the discussion that unsettled her so.
That, and further questions get in the way of showing off. "SHUNPUUU KYAKU!" she shouts (drawing another shush from the crowd), whirling into a spinning kick which threatens to nail Karin up to three times from a fairly high angle.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Karin with Shunpuu Kyaku.

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Sakura           1/-------/=======|=======\====---\1            Karin

The original plan had been to take the kicks on the chin, sacrifice what was sure to be a rather painful attack in the hopes of giving it to Sakura better than she got. It doesn't exactly work out that way; Karin's attempt to dig in and minimize the knockback of Sakura's triple spinning kicks is a dismal failure, instead sending the blonde stumbling back and slowly rising to her feet, putting a hand to her slightly bleeding lip with a frown. Things had been going well... until she let herself get sucked into the maelstrom of emotional involvement.

But she can't let it keep her down; the blonde rallies, lashing out with a pair of quick palm strikes and a final, heavier straight-armed palm strike to the gut, hoping to get Sakura to back off just a little bit. "If you don't know who I'm not going to tell you!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Karin's Guren Ken.

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Sakura           1/-------/=======|=======\===----\1            Karin

Karin's plan is sound, considering Sakura's spinning kicks don't often hurt quite so much... so perhaps it can be chalked up to her unconventional use of the planter for a height advantage. Or it could just be blind luck, who knows?
The Ansatsuken Angel appreciates Karin's persistence -- she'd hate to keep her down this early. This =is= a pretty see-saw battle, all told: the Taiyo student's favorite kind! Karin's rejoinder confuses her more than the series of strikes though; it seems as though she'd anticipated something similar, and had responded in kind with a powerful leap backwards. The first two palm strikes 'paf' into her raised, padded handguards with much less impact than intended, thanks to her backwards withdrawal, with the finishing blow caught in Sakura's braced palm. Flying backwards just a few more feet, Sakura lands in a low crouch with a ridiculously huge grin.
"Yeah! What'd you think of that one, huh?" She's not =trying= to be smug -- she really does want to know! But she's also not going to just wait for a reply -- instead, she'll be leaping forward, pivoting about to snap a low kick at Karin's shins, hoping to crack against the bone, not just once, but twice, before pulling away. "Hyaa!"

COMBATSYS: Karin fails to interrupt Light Kick from Sakura with Kanzuki-ryu Shinpikaibyaku.
- Power fail! -

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Sakura           1/------=/=======|===----\-------\0            Karin

What the blonde fighter was not taking into account in this instance, apparently, is the matter of reach advantage. She had hoped to simply snap out with her fist and stun Sakura long enough to follow up with a blistering series of palm strikes, the best effort she can manage in this instance. The problem is that she has to bridge the entire distance to Sakura's jaw, while Sakura simply needs to... step forward, and her momentum is totally broken by the actually quite painful crack onto her shins of Sakura's leg.
Stepping back, Karin leans forward, gripping both of her calves and glancing at Sakura. The turnaround in this bout came very, very quickly... and now the blonde fighter is left with very few options, and thus chooses not to say anything for the moment. Trash talk has its place, and now's not the time.

If Sakura only knew what she spared herself from, she'd be freaking out! As it is, she continues her withdrawal from that kick, keeping to a low kickboxer's stance. Changing has its benefits, or so she seems to think.
But when she sees the Kanzuki heiress keeping quiet... well, Sakura knows that a fighter can be =most= dangerous when they're on the ropes like this.
In fact... the smartest thing for Sakura to do would be to keep her distance, and perhaps lob a fireball.
Karin would probably expect that, though, and Sakura's trying her darndest to keep pushing Karin's expectations higher and higher.
At least, that's what she'd say in the interviews. "Here I come!" she shouts!
But instead of dropping low for the start of another shin-buster combination, the Haru Ichiban -- she again bucks the predictable response by launching forward with a rushing elbow to batter Karin's guard, fluidly wheeling around in the process to deliver a high kick from above. "Haa! Hriii! HAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Karin counters Flower Kick from Sakura with Yasha Gaeshi.

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Sakura           0/-------/---====|====---\-------\0            Karin

Sakura's prediction might be right; either Karin guesses well or knew all along the elbow is merely a feint, because she reaches out with almost lazy amusement and snaps her hand around said elbow in an instant. The kick never happens, because Karin -- inspired by some crazy Three Stooges film in darkest memory -- takes Sakura's hand and shoves it back in her own face, effectively punching her with her own fist.

Taking a step back and getting into stance, the blonde tries to focus. She's not out of this yet, though she's going to have to be very very nimble if she wants to make this less than an ignoble defeat. "I've mentioned before... not warning me before... you attack, you know!"

Well... it's =usually= a feint. Kasugano actually =did= plan on hitting this time... which makes this particular reaction more frustrating for the girl. Charging in despite all logic? ... perhaps she's =not= in control yet after all.
It's pretty sad when the knuckles bashing oneself's face in are one's own, of course.
Karin's warning, of course, is duly noted with a wrinkled nose and a nervous, half-smile. "'kay thanks lol! I'll remember that next time!" Yes, the teen is perfectly fluent in not only English and Japanese, but AIM-speak as well!
She lunges forward sharply, choosing not to announce anything...
... But stops suddenly.
"Does it count if I mouth the words?" she asks with a querying look, blinking for a few moments but otherwise motionless.
With a light shrug, she decides to throw caution to the wind anyway, throwing her leading fist high in the air. Unlike her last, though, this one is purely for momentum: a setup for the long reach of her thrust kick.
"Hy--" she starts, before silencing herself. Old habits are hard to break.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Karin with Medium Kick.

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Sakura           0/-------/--=====|======-\-------\0            Karin

If she were a more unforgiving person, or if she were aiming to win at all cost, Karin probably could have taken that opportunity to once again stop Sakura's attack dead in its tracks and send her sailing on by, like a kendo master and an overeager student. As it is, she attempts to pivot out of the way of the kick and takes it flat on the side with a grunt of pain. She was already fairly close to her limit... and that kick put her over, for sure.

It's not enough to take her totally out, though... not yet. In fact, she's got Sakura's leg fairly close at hand, so she does the only thing she can think of: she lunges to grab it and, if that works, yanks Sakura in close, driving an elbow into her stomach HARD before slamming her to the ground in a one-armed judo toss. Of course, that's kind of complex... and Karin's not in top form.

COMBATSYS: Karin can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Karin's Arakuma Inashi.

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

Sakura had expected to hit, but she'd forgotten to account for the grapple that followed it. Accordingly, her foot gets tugged, and Sakura finds herself in the vaguely uncomfortable range that fanfic authors have a blast with. Luckily for Sakura, this results in an elbow to the stomach, and by that time she's braced for the impact of being slammed into the ground. Still smarts like heck having the wind knocked out of her like that... but Sakura's still rarin' to go! With any luck, she'd be able to grab onto Karin's throwing arm, while kicking out to the side to bring her down. Failing that, well, she'd just get the heck out of the way!
By this point, the natives are getting restless! At least the shushers are calm, because neither girl's been shouting a whole bunch.

COMBATSYS: Sakura takes no action.

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

Karin's in no condition to continue; she leans back against the cracked-but-not-broken pillar/vase she'd landed on so heavily before, taking a few slow breaths to get some air back in her lungs. "Well, then..." she says carefully, glancing at Sakura. "I suppose that's that." It wasn't the decisive finish the crowd was hoping for, but the fight was certainly very kinetic, and so they give some polite applause. Quiet, polite applause, but it's there.

Karin glances at Sakura, rubbing her shin again -- that kick stings, considering the blonde fighter's lithe frame -- and clears her throat. "Do you feel better?" she asks, curious. While the conversation played out in the fight in a somewhat meta way, now Karin has nothing to think about but that comment.

Quiet, polite applause. She keeps expecting hooting and hollering or something -- it's unnerving to have such a quiet reception! "I... uh... y-yeah?" No falling down? Well, Kasugano =did= try...
Glancing over to the officials for their judgment, Sakura raises her fist in the air, posing for some silly mugging for the cameras for a moment to earn her pay.
Kasugano then feels it necessary to clear her throat as well, before breaking into somewhat nervous laughter. "Y... yeah!" Pausing for a moment, she scratches her forehead before adding, hesitantly, "I mean... I... I dunno. I don't wanna talk here." A guarded smile and a defensive posture might seem totally out of place for someone who's still able to run and jump around for a bit, but that's just the weird sort of mood Sakura's in right now. "I... er. I mean, what about you?" Her eyes shift sideways for a moment as she straightens her stance, curling one arm about the other anxiously.

COMBATSYS: Sakura has ended the fight here.

Gathering herself, the Kanzuki heiress draws herself up so she can stand eye to eye with her rival, giving her a cool glance. It doesn't pay to say she has no idea why Sakura was angry, though she's starting to get an idea. "I was never upset in the first place," she says somewhat imperiously, and perhaps not without some justification too. "But if you've managed to get it out of your system then that's fine with me."

Log created by Karin, and last modified on 17:42:18 09/30/2006.