Neo League 276 - #288: Nanako vs Alma

Description: Nanako unwittingly stumbles onto Alma's one true weakness in this league battle. Is it enough? (Winner: Alma)

It's a cloudy day in Southtown, scattered showers dampening spirits and sidewalk alike on this drizzly workday. Still, the city manages to be lively enough as afternoon passes into early evening, the sky still relatively light through the thick cloud cover and the rain having abated for now; at least, nothing seems to have dissauded passerby from forming a small ring in the center of this downtown street, even the windowshoppers at the nearby boutiques turning their heads toward the spectacle. A spectacle that, this being Southtown, is immediately recognizable to most of the people passing by, as they see the Neo League cameras being set up on their tripods...
Street fight!
An official street fight, yes, but still a genuine fight on a street. In the middle of the small crowd, at the center of the ring of cameras, stands a tall young man who looks quite unconcerned at being at the focus of all this attention. Blonde hair slightly dampened by the recent shoulders, he gazes out from under low-hanging bangs with a mild, contemplative expression, his thoughts apparently elsewhere. Alma Towazu, psychic fighting model extraordinaire, for once is not being genuinely serene -- he's just distracted.
He may have a right to be. He has a lot of commitments right now, and they're unusual commitments; commitments regarding to people, that he himself initiated. There are some people he needs to seek out, some tasks he need to complete that do not fall into his usual sphere and are not normal aspects of his daily pursuit of passion. Ironically, though, it's not thinking about /these/ tasks that's distracting him; it's thinking about his reasons for what he's doing right now. He's not just here because he wants to engage in his favorite activity of, er, 'self-expression through conflict'. He's... well... multitasking, in a way. He promised he'd see Miss Yanagimura again, and genuinely wants to see her fighting style in action again -- and he wants to see if he can find that ninja again by making his way to the top of the Neo League again.
Rarely does he have more than one reason for fighting.
~ I... hope I'm not doing her a disservice... ~
Still, at least he's on time.

There's a murmur and clamor here that's earned the attention of many passerby's, what with the cameras and League crew gathered around in the middle of the street. Who's fighting who? Is that famous Ryu guy going to show up? Will that hot chick Shiranui Mai make an appearance? Is there going to be catering??

Sadly, it's none of the above. The famous face here is that of Alma's, which earns him the attentions of a few gaggles of schoolgirls, who try to push past the camera crews with their magazines and sharpie markers in hand. "Alma! Alma! Please sign my magaziiine!" they shout, waving frantically to the popular fighter-model. Truly he stands out here. But what of his opponent?

Rather, where is his opponent? It's a few minutes past the designated time, and still no hide nor hair of Nanako. Has she forgotten? Or has she simply decided to reject his offer in the rudest possible way? Did she get kidnaped?!

No way!

"Excuse me, erg...comin'...through...agh, MOVE IT ALREADY!!" the girl tries to grunt, pushing her way past a few girls, who squeal loudly and quite shrilly when an opportunity to breech the Springer-esque League security guards. Muscles block their way, and with that they whine like sad puppies, making sour faces at the guards. "Why does SHE get to go see him?" Nanako's ear catches wind of this.

"Because I'm going to FIGHT him!" she cries, pumping a fist into the air, the other hand resting akimbo on her hip. There's a heavy silence that follows, and were this drier land, there'd likely be a tumbleweed blowing by. It's the silence before the storm.

"HOW DARE YOU!" the girls scream, causing Nanako's face to blanche in disbelief, her feet staggering. "Don't hurt him!" "Don't wound his pretty face!" "You suck!" "I hope you lose!" It's like a barrage of artillery on the shores of Normandy. She'll just be ignoring that.

"Alma!" she exclaims, pointing a finger his way. "You won last time, but this time I swear I'm gonna win! I worked hard to get where I'm at in the League, and you're not gonna take that away from me, y'hear!?" Her spirit afire, the girl beams brightly, eyes alight with glee. Her words may sound a little harsh, but one look on her lightly bandaged face shows it's anything but.

That said, the girl slides into stance. "HA! It's showtime!!"

Oh, Alma. That elegantly distant expression isn't going to keep them at bay. Good thing Neo League security is there to keep the underage girls from ruffling your perfect hair. Seriously though, he genuinely doesn't notice them, so deep in thought is he -- it is only at Nanako's approach, even before she begins her violent jostling forward, that he blinks and glances up. Once again he is struck by both the vibrancy and the familiarity of her aura. The familiarity is, of course, all her own, given the nature of the power they share, but the vibrancy, the constant burning energy... they remind him of other fighters he's admired. Like Sakura. Like Xiangfei...
...well, maybe more like Mimiru than either of those, but 'admire' would be a stretch there.
But the question of Nanako's true disposition aside, Alma can't help but smile winningly at the girl's approach, the gentle youth slipping his hands out of his pockets to give her a slight but friendly wave. "It's good to see you again as well, Miss Nyanko," he says judiciously, in a bit of Alma-style subtle teasing at her version of a greeting. His posture straightens and limbs relax as he tilts his head to the side, eyes sparkling with mild-mannered good cheer. "I must apologize for not seeking you out again sooner -- but once I heard of your exploits in the League, I had no choice but to challenge you again."
The League announcer addresses the crowd, but tuning out the introductions, Alma continues, still smiling slightly. "Now that you're defending something you've worked hard to earn, I wonder--" Feet shift, hands loosen and lift slightly, but otherwise, his stance doesn't seem to change much. "--will you be able to beat me this time."
Eyes intent on his diminutive opponent, Alma awaits.
"Please... do your best."

COMBATSYS: Alma has started a fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Alma focuses on his next action.

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

It would be hard to overlook Nanako's arrival here; she's a boisterous and lively as they come, making herself known with considerable volume. Clearly his invitation to fight him officially sparked more than enough enthusiasm in the youthful girl. She's going to give her best. The stakes have been set a little higher.

She's still here to have fun, however. That's the key, most integral point in her mind. Has she improved, what with the numerous fighters she's faced up against? She hopes so!

Acknowledged, the girl leans a touch to one side, a hand sweeping up to rest idly against her forehead in a sloppy salute. "Nyanko here, ready to fight! ...And it's good to see you again, Alma! It's been some time, huh? But be warned - I've been training hard!" Shifting her weight, the girl continues to beam brightly, meeting his smile with one of her own. As for the apologies? "Oh pfft!" Her hand waves about idly, dismissing his words easily. "S'all water on a duck's back! No worries, right? I'm sure you've been busy! Nyaha!"

As for the remark about her hard work, the girl's feature stir a bit, a vaguely serious expression crossing her features. A beat, and the she smiles lopsidedly, eyes hooding a touch. "I'm determined to win," she assures him, hands balling into tiny fists. "Believe it! Yaaaah!" With a cry she charges forward, rushing in at the young man and lashing a hand out, to grab him by the collar and send him rolling with a jerk of her hands to the side.

COMBATSYS: Nanako has joined the fight here.

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

COMBATSYS: Nanako successfully hits Alma with Quick Throw.
- Power hit! -

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

Heh heh. This girl puts Alma in a good mood even when she's begging for a dollar. Easily affected by her constant positive energy, the young fighter-model can't help but grin again, his eyes losing their intensity for a moment. It's not that he's not taking her seriously--
--but it amounts to the same thing.
The hand that he sent to idly slap away her grapple attempt is too slow for her sudden lunge, and the surprised young man is reminded once again that, though the girl might lack his experience in official fights, she's been training in martial arts for as long -- if not longer -- than he has. The throw is simple but accurate, and it's a decisive beginning to the fight for Nanako-- but Alma still manages to get out of it without looking too foolish. He hits the ground hard, harder than he would have if he'd been more prepared, but he rolls immediately and slashes out with his hand even as he rises. By the time he's in a crouch, he's already unleashes a burst of soulfire from his backhanded slice, eyes flashing with the same purple and pink light that seems to fuel the spiralling gout of Psycho Power.
Better get serious quick, prettyboy!

COMBATSYS: Nanako blocks Alma's Sacred Wave.

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

Her cheer knows no bounds, and for good reason! Alma was a difficult opponent to face down last time, and likely he's still just as good. But that's not a bad thing in Nanako's mind. Hardly! It gives her even more reason to push herself and do her best. She's got to show him she's gotten better since their last encounter!

Lunging in at the model, the girl's hand reaches forward deftly, breaking past his attempt to deflect her grasp. Snagging his shirt she sends him tumbling past, rolling with the momentum of the potent throw. In the midst of it all a hand lashes out, sending a brilliant wave of Psycho Power flying her way. Noting this, the girl squares her shoulders, accepting the attack with her forearms. The fires strike, dispersing upon impact, which, in turn, draws a wide, cheerful grin over her face.

Drawing her eyes to a close, the girl focuses briefly, murmuring words of encouragement to herself before those greenish-yellow eyes snap open, a finger pointing toward the young man. "Ready!?" There's no time to reply; instead she pursues, pushing forward off her back foot as she zeroes in, looking to execute a swift sidekick at his gut. "HYAA!"

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Nanako's Light Kick.

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

Aislinn ventures southwest to Gedo Street.

Niesje ventures southwest to Gedo Street.

Alma watches carefully as Nanako reacts to his attack-- and inclines his head forward slightly as she takes the hit well. It's not a recognition to her, although it's certainly a respectable defense, but a sign of his own acceptance; he can't underestimate this girl's mastery of their shared power, either. Well, he should really just stay away from underestimating altogether, but... the point is, he's reminded that seeing her in action again is definitely worthwhile.
Time to get physical.
Now that he's in the flow of battle, Alma's expression retains its usual unruffled calm, and would even look as mellow as usual were it not for the unusual focused intent in his eyes. He doesn't visibly react to the girl's shout before she attacks, but his defense is much smoother this time. Reflexively remaining spare in his movements to maintain tight control over his momentum, Alma neatly shifts out of the way of the girl's side kick and lunges in with the same movement. Seeking to take advantage of her forward motion, the tall fighter-model lashes out with a powerful knee strike to her abdomen in the hopes of knocking her off balance completely--
--and, if he succeeds in knocking her into the air slightly with that, continuing with a graceful serpentine dance of interwoven punches and kicks, trailing purple-tinted afterimages and peppering her with a consistent rhythm of blows before aiming to slam her into the ground on her back with a final circling axe kick.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Nanako with Autumn Rain.

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

Making her move, the girl lashes out against the other fighter, leg extended swiftly and sharply, her heel intent on burying itself into his side. Yet, upon striking, the girl realizes in an instant there's noone there, no Alma to meet the foot that awaits him. Instead he's stepped aside, having avoided her entirely. Blinking, there's very little time for her to react when he makes his move - the result? A painful jostle as that knee comes up and swiftly jerks right into her gut, followed by a series of attacks that knock her about before she's sent slamming into the street, landing with a solid, meaty thud.

"O-ow," she comments simply, blinking slowly before she rolls back, centering her weight on her upper back before she springs up, hopping to her feet. Lifting a hand, the girl idly rubs her stomach, looking a touch pained before she grins. "That kinda hurt!" Yet, she makes no immediate move; instead she stands, collecting her wits - and a breath or two. "C'mon, Nyanko, get your act together!"

COMBATSYS: Nanako gains composure.

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

Alma steps back as his impressive combination attack finishes, sweeping his feet around as he withdraws a pace to give the both of them some room.
"Careful," he murmurs mildly.
To the average viewer, the young model will just appear to be fighting cautiously, which as long as he keeps up the spectacle should be fair enough. In reality, however, Alma is feeling his usual priorities naturally reassert themselves. Sure he has all those plans -- but they are nothing in the midst of the all-consuming competition. It's in moments of struggle like these that he loses himself... and finds himself again. And he's found, of course, that what he really wants to see is just Nanako's fighting spirit at its best and most overwhelming -- and he's willing to wait for that.
Revelling in the joy of battle, Alma takes a deep breath and lets his eyes close for a moment, feeling as though he's inhaling energy rather than air, and exhaling everything that is of no use to him here.
It's quite refreshing.
"Don't be too hasty," the low-voiced young man murmurs as his eyes open again, offering the girl some almost brotherly advice as she gets to her feet.

COMBATSYS: Alma gathers his will.

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

Having encouraged herself enough, the girl's eyes open, to look across what distance now lay between the two and access her situation. He caught her off her guard, a mistake she should have let happen. But that's all behind her now; now she has to focus harder and get her mind back in the game. Who cares about League fights? This is about proving herself!

Her spirit afire, the girl sides into her stance once more, arms raised as she squares her footing. A determined look is set upon her face, lips pulled into a broad grin as she stands her ground. Is he going to stand there? Well, that's no fun! Eyes flicker aside, catching sight of something - a garbage can? "HA!" the girl exclaims, toddling over to it before she hefts it up...well, not before she dumps the contents out. That'd be TOO mean.

Regardless, the girl spins in a circle before she releases it, sending it soaring at Alma as he gathers his will. "Sorry, sorry, sorry!" she apologizes, for resorting to such lowly methods. A few standersby boo.

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Nanako's Large Thrown Object.

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Alma             1/------=/=======|====---\-------\0           Nanako

A trashcan? This is Street Fighter, not River City Ransom.
Still, Alma himself doesn't seem preturbed at all. He doesn't visibly surge with energy, it's true, but when the object comes flying towards him it becomes clear that the moments he's spend gathering himself have been well-spent: his moves are decisive and his timing is perfect. With a single snapping motion, Alma smoothly spins around and lashes out with an impressive high kick, heavily denting the trashcan and sending it spiralling high into the air. Because why just block when you can be dramatic?
No, it's more than that. Expression still revealing nothing of his intent, Alma then leaps high, soaring up impressively and tilting forward into an almost lazy flip as he awaits the trashcan's descent to his own aerial plane. The twin parabolas of the trashcan's fall and his own are expertly calculated, for both seem to be heading toward Nanako, albeit not a particularly fast pace-- but then the fighter-model flips again, this time with leg outstretched, and it appears he's gearing up for a kick as he falls.
Oh snap. Is this his retort? To kick the trashcan into her face?
No, why the middleman? He'll just kick her in the face. For unexpectly, Alma's leg suddenly ignites with soulfire just as it seems he's going to kick the can at her, and with unprecedented speed -- where did all this momentum come from? -- the young man literally explodes forward and cleaves right through the trashcan, a bright pink glow around the sheared edges making the metal look molten as the two halves clatter away. And Alma? He's taking that explosive hook kick right down and aiming to plaster the girl to the ground once again.

COMBATSYS: Nanako fails to counter Shooting Star EX from Alma with Auspicious Hand.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Alma             1/-----==/=======|=======\-------\1           Nanako

Her trashcan otherwise discarded, the girl offers a broad grin as she stands her ground, letting her hands come together before her as she idly dusts them off. The maneuver is impressive, to say the least, earning him a few ooo's and aaah's from the bystanders as it's sent soaring before it crashes noisily back onto the ground.

Following his maneuver the young man and Nanako's opponent leaps up and uses the trashcan. Blinking in disbelief, the girl panics briefly, glancing side to side before she looks back up - just in time to see that foot coming for her face. Seconds later her hands spring into action, snapping up with the intent of snagging his foot and dragging him down, palms igniting with pink Psycho Power. Yet he's faster and stronger than that - sliding past her grip, that hook kick striking her harshly, sending her into the ground. Again. Yes, again.

Slowly but surely Nanako peels herself up off the ground, rubbing her face - now a touch red from impact with the concrete. She's really slipping up, and it shows. Has she really gotten any better, or has she gotten worse? It's hard to say, but the look on Nanako's face doesn't change. She's still smiling, despite how seemingly poorly she's performing.

Have you no pity, Alma? There's no sympathy on his face as the girl struggles to her feet. He just looks calm and focused as always, maybe even a bit curious in the way he keeps his eyes trained on her firm expression. But it's not the unfeeling curiosity of a lab scientist looking down on an experiment -- it's a more human, more genuine consideration. If she wants to give up, he wants to know right away. But if she doesn't... can he not respect her attitude.
"Miss Nyanko," he murmurs, spreading his stance and lifting his hands in a more overtly aggressive posture. The air around him grows heavy, the halo of his gathered energy beginning to manifest faintly, and his eyes glint with the color of his flames. "Prepare yourself--"
He lunges.
Again a sudden explosion of energy, this time fuelling a horizontal rather than vertical assault as Alma explodes into a mighty series of physical attacks, far more aggressive than his first combination attack but with a ferocious rhythm of its own. Though he opens with another Hiten-Ryu knee strike, he pumps out soulfire-wreathed punches and low kicks with abandon, gaze burning but face overwhelmingly calm, like the eye of the storm.
The final strike: an explosion-bringing backfist that, if it hits full on, could send Nanako several paces back. And hopefully for Alma's sake it will, because it appears he'll stay in that position for a little while; feet spread, fist clenched and quivering slightly, revelling in his own expression of fighting spirit.

COMBATSYS: Nanako counters Destined Duel from Alma with Nyanko Super Destroyer.

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

When green-yellow eyes look up after idly rubbing her face, they seem to regard Alma with a touch of curiosity. His features are so stern and serious, firm and unyielding as he stands there, patiently waiting. Is he angry? "Nah," she mumbles aloud to herself. Upset? "Haha," she laughs aloud. No way - he's doing his best, giving his all. Just like she is!

Giving up is not in her vocabulary. That's why when he calls out to her - to ready herself and prepare - her features stern up a bit, her eyes narrowing with amusement as she slides back into stance. "I'm not going to be any more prepared, Alma!" she exclaims, just as he lunges forward, blazing with a sudden speed toward the short girl.

He comes at her, and for a split-second it seems like time stands still. The girl doesn't move from her place; instead her eyes focus on his oncoming leg. Three, two, one...


The girl makes a sudden movement. That knee is struck down from the air with a sharp palm strike aimed toward the ground, to knock the young man off balance. As merciless as he is she when her fist reels back, knuckles tight. The latter of his brilliant display of Hiten-Ryu will not come to pass. Instead the girl's fist blazes forward, a harsh blow executed against his stomach. Then another, and another, and another; a furious series of punches executed for his gut. This should be relatively familiar to the young man. He's seen it before. "SUPER!"

The blows cease suddenly. Reprieve from this girl's onslaught? No way! Instead she dips low, her hand curling tight again before she springs up, to deliver a sudden and swift uppercut for Alma's jaw, to send him flying up...and ultimately down.

The pose held, the girl's skirt flaps in the wind. "DESTROYER!!!"

A little too much flapping. "AHHH!" she cries, hands fumbling as a particularly nasty gust comes blazing through, knocking her skirt up a bit too high. "How embarrassing! Wagh!" Bystanders laugh, causing the girl to blush furiously as she scrambles.

~ Honestly... ~
Stunned by the barrage of blows, flat on his back, and at just the right angle to get a snapshot-worthy glimpse of pantsu, Alma Towazu's bewildered consciousness takes refuge in idle contemplation.
~ this rate, you'd think they'd just carry a pair of pants with them. ~
Yeah, yeah. Pull yourself together, wonder boy, you haven't got time for this. Shaking his head to clear it, Alma folds his legs crosslegged while prone and then leans forward as he unfolds his legs, smoothly rising to his feet in a single motion. His eyes carefully averted while Nanako composes herself, the slightly older fighter at least manages to keep his own expression serene enough, quietly running a hand through his hair to readjust his disheveled bangs. He was shaken up enough by her attack as it was; no need to get bashful now. Anyway, what is she, like thirteen?
"Well done, Miss Nyanko," he murmurs, again calling her by the 'halfway-name' he invented, his gaze resettling on his opponent. Sheesh, and he still sounds so calm. It might have stunned him for a moment, but he looks like he's far from finished...
...and he shows it too, by taking the initiative and lunging forward, lifting his knee in the usual aggressive Hiten-Ryu motion but only feinting in with it, instead lashing out with a left jab followed by a powerful downward right-handed chop, aiming to catch the girl on the shoulder and crumple her where she stands.

COMBATSYS: Nanako dodges Alma's Strong Punch.

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

Still scrambling to set her skirt back in order, Nanako continues to blush furiously as palms desperately pin her pleated skirt in place, eyes wide and comically horrified by this sudden turn of events. You'd think she'd be more careful, especially on a day like this! That, or carry a pair of pants, yeah. Honestly, indeed.

Ultimately, however, Alma rises to his feet once more, mindful enough to avert his gaze as she gains composure once more. The winds die a bit and the girl exhales, shoulders sagging deeply in defeat, her head tilting idly to one side her eyes draw shut. "Jeez, just when things are goin' my way, too. ...Ah?"

Acknowledged, Nanako looks to the side, mouth slightly agape as she regards Alma with her gaze once more. A slow, bovine blink follows, her features blank...before she beams brightly and offers a thumbs up. "YEAH! --whoa!"

Just as soon as she's collected and calm he strikes out again, jerking a knee to feint her. Rather than be suckered Nanako hops upwards and backwards, body rotating midair as she backflips out of harm's way and its painful fists. Upon landing, Nanako shakes her head briefly before she grins wide, a Cheshire's grin as she moves forward, lunging at him. Should she get in close the girl reaches for his shoulders, planting her hands there before she delivers a one-two kick before releasing him, to send him stumbling back - or rolling. Whichever! "HYAA!"

COMBATSYS: Alma fails to interrupt Strong Throw from Nanako with Rising Fury.

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Alma             0/-------/-======|=------\-------\0           Nanako

Eeegh. Alma, beware of girls who grin like that!
Her evasions may have unbalanced him more than he anticipated. Acting on instinct and driving warrior passion, Alma lunges as soon as he sees her beginning to attack, preparing to overwhelm her-- but she gets the jump on him, as it were. Her hands grip his shoulders and push him back, and as he was preparing to kick her, his feet have to scramble to retain purchase on the ground just to keep himself from sprawling. As such, he's not prepared to resist her resulting double-kick, and the faint flames that were about to blaze around his feet fading, he does indeed lose his balance and go rolling backward.
Only once, though-- he at least rises quickly into a crouch, but a defensive one. Blinking once, Alma tries to compose himself while he can, realizing that he's put himself in a pretty bad position.

"HUP!" Hands strike down, getting a firm grip on Alma's shoulders as he leaps at him, attempting to intercept her attack with one of his own. For a moment the girl lingers, eyes flickering down as his feet scramble. If she's not fast, he'll fall and likely take her with him. That's not good.

Thus are two kicks delivered, either heel planting firmly against his gut, a kick like a mule as she strikes before pushing off, rotating midair before she lands in a slight crouch. A tight spot? Perhaps! Because Nanako doesn't relent; instead she rushes in, leaping up midway and using that forward momentum to executing a flying kick right for Alma's chest, to knock the poor guy down. "HIYAA!"

COMBATSYS: Alma endures Nanako's Light Kick.

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Alma             0/-------/=======|=------\-------\0           Nanako

Alma may be pretty and he may be a bit bashful, but don't let that make you forget that, when it comes down to it all, he's a big guy. And Nanako is, well, a little girl. Certainly she hits quite hard for her size, but when it comes down to a context of sheer mass, the winner isn't really questionable -- and Alma isn't afraid to make use of that fact. He lunges right out of his crouch as she attempts to flatten /him/ for once, but instead of trying to interrupt her again, he just charges right through.
Catching the kick on his abdomen like it ain't no thang, the fighting model aims to overwhelm Nanako with his forward assault, knocking her back with the bodycheck and giving him time and room to lash out with the result of his burst of momentum: a powerful forward thrust kick, with all of his weight behind him.
A man's kiai for a man's kick.

COMBATSYS: Nanako parries Alma's Heavy Kick!

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

Little Nanako may be, but she's clearly more than capable of holding her own here against the much larger Alma! With a soft ‘click' of Mary Janes the girl's eyes sweep up, regarding Alma with wide eyes. Seconds thereafter she's coming right at him, looking to plant that foot right into his chest and knock him down - only, upon striking he stands his ground. Eyes go wide again, her expression startled as he then makes his second move. It strikes, the girl pushed back briefly. The latter, however?

With a swipe of her hand the girl dismisses the leg. Manuevering herself around and about him, Nanako attempts to snag the model by his waist. And, should those tiny arms - aglow with pink Psycho Power - get a frighteningly secure grip? She hefts the young man up high, crying "NYANKO!" yet again, earning her a few odd looks from the bystanders.

Then? He'll come crashing down, head first to the pavement in a hefty German suplex. "CRUSHER!!"

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Nanako's Nyanko Crusher EX.

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

Oh, that's it.
Girl, you done. You finished.
Alma remains calm and collected, even as his powerful kick is neatly brushed aside. He allows his momentum to carry him forward, his expression unchanging even as the slender girl slips around him and enwraps him in a mighty Nyanko embrace. He even, some acute audience members might notice, remains unruffled as she lifts him up and falls back to suplex him over her head--
--or she tries to.
His feet, it turns out, get in the way. Flipping over her even as she attempts to grapple him, Alma shoves his hands through her grip and manages to break her hold halfway through the suplex, hopefully unbalancing her even as he lands neatly on his feet. But even as he's escaping, his eyes are shimmering with rising power, a righteous indignation that he has yet to reveal the true extent of his power. It's time. Time to give everything he has to give. Time..., as he lands in his crouch, punch the ground, really hard.
And send a geyser of roiling soulflame up from the ground beneath his dastardly skirt-clad opponent, with enough force to blow her right into the air with it. Eyes closed after his roar of pure battle fury, Alma Towazu turns on his heel and rises slowly, facing away from his opponent -- for better or worse -- with a quietly contemplative look in his face.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Nanako with Full Confession.

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

Hefted up, Nanako seems determined and willing to introduce poor Alma to the pavement, head-first. Straining but aided by her Psycho Power, Nanako gets a grip and follows through the motion. Up and down! Easy! Only, there's a problem.

The down doesn't go as far as she'd like it to.

Alma's feet get in the way, preventing her from smashing him against the ground. Blinking at this poor turn of events, the girl seems baffled by this unforeseen stop. Did she accidentally slam his head on the remains of the garbage can? "Wah!" Hands break through her grip, making it obvious - yeah, he's still conscious and willing to kick and put up a fight.

Rolling aside and hopping to her feet, Nanako stands upright once more and faces Alma squarely. Just in time, too - there's a huge geyser of flame coming toward her, just in time for her to see it barreling right at her and ultimately crashing into her, sending her flying back against the ground. Quite painfully, too.

"N...not out yet!!" What the?

Hopping to her feet - though winded - Nanako curls her hands into fists, her expression tired but determined to push on. Furrowing her brows, the girl's eyes are on fire as she stands there, looking to catch her breath for the moment. She can't lose so easily! Not without giving a good fight!

"HAAAAH!" Charging forward, Nanako lashes out at Alma, looking to grab the young man by his shoulders again and - instead of kicking him in the gut - sweeps his feet out from beneath him as she drives his shoulders harshly toward the street below.

COMBATSYS: Alma dodges Nanako's Strong Throw.

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

Daigo heads north into Chinatown.

Alma remains motionless.
While his geyser counterattack was impressive enough to elicit some admiration from the audience, it's Nanako's forward charge that really gets them shouting. Not necessarily in support of either Alma or Nanako -- just in general, as they realize that this match is entering its final and most crucial moments. Even if the shouting isn't meant to alert Alma, though, you'd think it would at least make him turn around to see whether or not his opponent is coming for him. Not so. Posture straight, body relaxed, the handsome youth just gazes out at nothing, thoughtfully appreciating the moments after his powerful expression of psychic energy.
He doesn't turn around. Not even as she leaps--
--yet her hands touch nothing.
In the split second between her lunge and when she would have made contact, Alma appears to send an image of himself forward, and image that turns and draws its hand back even as Nanako reaches for the original's shoulders. It's only then that, somehow, that image solidifies, and the Alma she is reaching for dissolves in her hands like a ghost... and she finds herself hurtling toward a serious-faced young man with gathered soulfire throbbing in his right hand, face only inches from her own, calm gaze meeting hers.
He strikes.

COMBATSYS: Alma successfully hits Nanako with Self Expression.
- Power hit! -

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

Her attack comes swiftly, but when those hands seek to grab...they grab nothing but emptiness. But isn't he there?

For a brief moment the girl gropes empty air, eyes blinking slowly as she tries to figure out what just happened and why he's not laying flat on his back. A beat and then it dawns upon her. He dodged it!

Pivoting on her heel, the girl turns to face him, her expression utterly surprised. He wasn't supposed to avoid that! He was supposed to fall! Surprise turns to amusement, the girl's eyes alive with delight. This is fun, just like last time! He comes at her with his hand afire, his soulfire burning bright as he makes his move. Grinning the girl plants a foot and goes to push off - only, her footing isn't as sturdy as she'd predicted it to be. The result? She's struck very harshly, sent staggering back. It's over - she can feel it. She can't push on any farther. Brows furrow a touch, features clearly disappointed. She tries to maintain a smile, nonetheless.

"Gotta give it my all," she says aloud, to no one in particular. And just as soon as those words escape her lips her form shimmers, an aura of pink psionic energy springing to life across her. It shimmers, motes of light rising off her like little dancing fireflies. "Gonna do my best! HIYAA!"

Her form flares then as she bursts forward, sprinting as hard as her body will push her. Charging for Alma, the girl's aura grows brighter with every passing second until she nears. Then, and only then when close does a column of Psycho Power flare up around her, stretching high into the sky above - and brutally knocking Alma about if he's not careful and caught in it!

COMBATSYS: Nanako can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Alma blocks Nanako's Purifying Light of Dawn.

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

~ So much for careful. ~
Despite his fatigue, Alma can't help but grin.
But while the expression is genuine, it doesn't last. His young opponent charges forward with abandon, her aura blazing powerfully, and the smile fades as Alma sets his stance and crosses his arms to prepare for a full-on aura-on-aura defense. The column of energy that she blasts out with is quite the final show, but with a multihued flare of energy, the shield that forms around the fighting model's body seems more than up to the task of absorbing the blast. The crackling powers cause quite the lightshow, but when all is said and done... the young man, though battered and tired, stands tall.
He even has the energy left to take the initiative and step forward, reaching out gently to catch and support the weakened girl in case she's about to collapse. Surely the spunky girl doesn't need much help -- he lets go as soon as she seems steady -- but he can't have her falling into a compromising position or something. For.. her sake, of course.
"You really never let up," Alma says softly. "A true warrior."
He's smiling... but he doesn't seem to be teasing her.

COMBATSYS: Alma has ended the fight here.

Roaring energy rises high, spiraling like a cyclone and stirring up the loose clothing of bystanders and debris scattered. While impressive, so too is Alma's aura defense; flaring up, it staves off most of the otherwise vicious onlsaught of psionic energy, keeping Alma safe and, more importantly, on his feet.

While he may remain standing tall, Nanako's not. Eventually the expel of energy tapers off, the roaring inferno gone just as soon as it seemingly came. At its center Nanako stands, looking utterly winded and beat - and a little disappointed. Still, she manages a tiny, sheepish grin before she staggers to the side, arms flailing. Fortunately, Alma's not so cruel as to simply let the girl fall on her face.

Caught, the girl offers another tiny smile. "Yeah," she says between breaths, eyes narrowing as she peers down at her feet. "I really wanted to win, but I guess I didn't have my head in the game, nyahaha!" Once she's sure, Nanako gets back on her own two feet, taking a few steps away and pacing toward the sidelines.

But her feet cut her trek short, the girl's head lifting a bit before she turns it, glancing at Alma from the corner of her eye. Still smiling, she says, "And thanks. Really! Even if I'm losin', it's good to know that my efforts alone make me a reasonable fighter. Or...somethin' like that!" Lifting a hand to her head, she rubs the back of her neck uneasily. Sheepish, she turns her gaze elsewhere.

"Anyway, don't think this is the last time we're gonna fight officially," she warns, lips still pulled into a wide grin. "You better believe I'm gonna come back and take my points!" And its with those words the girl stumbles toward the sidelines in hopes of getting some medical attention - and maybe some free food.

Alma grins a bit sheepishly himself as the girl turns to speak to him again, reaching up to run his hand along the back of his head. "Well," he murmurs, "you may not see me for a little while... I need to take a trip soon, to find out a few things. But once I return--"
Slipping his hand into his pocket, he tilts his head to the side, and smiles.
"--challenge me any time."
She turns to leave, and he does as well, slipping as neatly as he can through the crowd to evade any potential accosters... and go take care of business.
Their conversation, it seems, will have to wait for next time.

Log created by Nanako, and last modified on 02:45:57 10/12/2006.