World Warrior 2007 - [Pre] Hyo vs Ash

Description: Hyo Imawano takes on "Ashley Crimson" in this preliminary World Warrior bout. (Winner: Hyo)

Though he's traditionally been something of a traveller of the world, this is actually the first time Ash has ever set foot on the shores of North America. He's always wanted to see this continent, though not California specifically, but hey... Can't complain, really. Not with that lukewarm breeze drifting in, carrying with it the sweet scent of the ocean, anyway. So much nicer than the winter chill back in Southtown this time of year! Standing around on the sandy beach, right smack in the center of the cordoned-off area, his hands are just casually resting upon his hips as he looks out to the Pacific Ocean that extends as far as the eye can see, to what seems like forever... Though he knows that somewhere across the water is Japan, from where he most recently hails. The waves slap against the shore lazy not far from his feet, some of the seawater spray splashing onto his carefully tended to white shoes, but right now, the young man doesn't really notice.

The lean fighter turns away though, kicking over what looks like the remains of a nearby sand castle, just because he can. Then, the Frenchman soon saunters on over to the edge of the ring and seats himself in a chair amidst some last second confusion, as it seems the attendants are now scurrying to find the second fighter of this scheduled World Warrior tournament match. Perhaps his opponent was just as surprised as Ash himself upon finding out about it, because he certainly had nothing to do with his signing up. It was all that stupid meathead bastard's fault... Goddamn you, Shenwoo! And under the name 'Ashley' too, ugh. The busybody peons here didn't believe that he was 'Ashley' at first either, so the brawler is probably going to get punched, maybe even with fire, as soon as the flamewielder returns home. And he will also never make waffles for breakfast again. But until then, he waits for things to get underway, lounging on that chair and absentmindedly checking his nails.

"It would seem you've a prankster in your midst," Imawano mentions briskly.

The ninja's voice forms an impassive, cold observation, heralding his military step. As he moves, he tugs on the wrists of his gloves--each one tightened in turn before hs checks the hang of the catch through his uniform coat that holds his weapon's sheathe.

His arrival is a sudden one, defying the logic of the officials that were currently looking for him. If no one knew any better, Hyo simply jumped out of a cloud and landed on the bluff. Despite all appearances, for the interest of Justice High, he is exactly on time, neither too early or too late. His time, at the very least. That's something verified through the consultation of a delicate pocketwatch pulled from a front coat pocket, numerals frowned at faintly. Suddenly the case is snapped shut and the watch tucked away.

Exactly on time, save two minutes to the latter. Troublesome.

The ninja strides past the assorted conceits and officials of this, his first match of the World Warrior tournament. So readied, as he strides onto the beach proper, he glances over his opponent just a moment more. He (she?) is an unknown to him. Perplexing, but hardly surprising.

"...Unless, of course, it was your preference, 'Ashley?'"

A simple question, but one he must ask regardless.

"If you're ready, we will begin."

Sudden appearances like that certainly are dramatic, but there's just too much effort involved for someone like Ash to bother. Especially for this tournament in particular, where it wasn't even his idea to sign up, but let's not go on waxing poetic about it. The look from Hyo is met with a lazy gaze on the Frenchman's part, and he makes a big show about taking his time to get out of his chair... One might even think he was a little grumpy today, but judging from the smile slowly creeping its way across his broad slash of a mouth, perhaps not. "Ahaha." He laughs, a bit effeminately, at the question posed, but it seems awful fake, to anyone perceptive enough to notice. At this point, he's decided; Shen is totally going to get punched with fire. "No, actually." The strange man says to correct the 'misunderstanding' over his name. "Je m'appelle ASH Crimson. C'est un plaisir, I'm sure." He'd be polite and shake the ninja's hand, but the flamewielder is currently a bit too irritated that he's being referred to as 'Ashley' to care for more than cursory pleasantries.

Brushing long fingers back through the locks of white hair, sweeping them momentarily aside from his sharp, freckled features, he watches Hyo a bit more cautiously than he outwardly appears. As it seems the other participant in this match is ready to start, ready to cut right to the chase, the Frenchman nods slightly to himself and walks further out into the 'ring'. Ash can respect the desire to get started, because there are times when he'd rather have things over and done with too. This happens to be one of those times. "But don't expect me to just let you get things started, oui?" He adds, in a false jovial tone, before... WHOOSH! Hands igniting with those distinctive emerald flames, the gathered crowd shrieks louder for the sudden start to the fight than any announcement. They don't really care WHO'S duking it out, just as long as there's some punchin's going on! Sneering disdainfully through the bubbly plumes of green, Ash then spins in the sand, and away the two crescents go on a fun foray to wreak PAIN and HAVOC, combining together in a single, powerful arc of hurtin' fire.

COMBATSYS: Ash has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Ash              0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Hyo has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ash              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Hyo

COMBATSYS: Hyo just-defends Ash's Ventose!

[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ash              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0              Hyo

"Ah, sou."

Ash needs to say little more to confirm Hyo's suspicions.

"Ash Crimson," he repeats once, remembering the name. "The pleasure is mine."

He responds not in French, neither in the fringe tongue of his own beloved country. No, common English is best in this situation. He can detect the vague hints of irritation running as an undercurrent beyond Ash's actions. It's something he'll meet directly at the head. In the ancient fashions, however distasteful Hyo might find base violence sometimes, it does serve a higher purpose. Especially now.

Besides. To shake hands, Hyo would need to turn out of his fighting stance, ready thing, one hand forward, high, and open, the other back, low and clenched.

He nods once to Ash. "I'll enjoy seeing how you perform."

The attack is fast and sudden, heralded by the shriek of the crowd as the brutal waltz commences. There is a moment in which two fighters merely understand--without words--the time for a battle to begin. It's not something that can be regulated by an outside source, no referee can call it. In that instant, the moment began.

Hyo has a brief moment to be impressed by the streaking crescents of emerald fire--a curious color--before he must act. His response is fast. It is methodic, and it is thurough. He does not respond exactly with his bares hands or simply soaking the blow as some might. That would suggest that he cede the tactical advantage to Ash. And Hyo.. is not one to settle for that. Instead he briskly steps forward into the attack, his hand going to his katana at his side, and his forwanrd hand going back to brace the saya's mouth.

When he strikes the arc, he does so at a very precise point--exactly where the crescents crossed, and where they are strongest. He does so only partially drawing his sword--slamming his kashira right into the center of the blast with full force and authority. "Hn!" He doesn't exactly dampen the projectile's force.. moreover he shatters it completely in a wind of.. glowing pink flower petals? Either way, he does so quickly enough for it not to interrupt his stride. He'll come in fast towards the man, in that same crisp military movement. His sword drawn, he will make one fast horizontal stroke aimed across Ash's midsection, *perfectly* level with the sands underneath his boots.

COMBATSYS: Hyo successfully hits Ash with Fierce Strike.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ash              0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0              Hyo

You know, no one has EVER done something like that before. To say that it shocks him is an understatement, and Ash can only watch in complete bafflement as his flames are neatly SLICED RIGHT IN HALF by Hyo, shattering into a flurry of... Ha ha, flower petals. But as funny as THAT is, laughing isn't something he has the time for, because this... Crazy ninja with a goddamn sword is advancing through the Frenchman's disposed of fire and heading straight for him. He really doesn't want anything to do with that at all, and so there's an immediate backpedalling from Ash, to just get out of the way right now so he isn't skewered, but something goes wrong... It's once he's taken two steps back, lifting his foot from the sandy beach to hopefully deflect the hit that Ash realises he's misjudged the length of the blade entirely, and it catches him across the midsection, slashing straight through his crimson fighting attire and across the pale expanse of skin. The fabric around the wound soon grows dark, and the white-haired young man just stumbles back, instinctively curling around his injury as the blood even soaks onto his sleeve, staining his fingers. Oh, Hyo. Now you've done it.

His head spins a little as he breathes heavily, and wonders absently if he's losing anything important, like perhaps his intestines or something, through that slash, though it's certainly not deep enough for that. But then, something beautiful happens: It's called adrenaline, and as it imbues him, Ash's head lifts, face partially obscured by a messy fringe of white, coldly staring across what could be called 'distance' between him and this person who saw fit to injure him in such a manner. Young Crimson... is mad. Far angrier than most people have ever seen him, certainly. And he digs his feet into the beach before sprinting forwards, eyeing the sword warily before springing up into the air, particles of sand following his feet in the wake of that leg which stretches out, aiming to cut Hyo down by slamming straight into the junction of the other fighter's neck and shoulder with a primal scream of rage that would probably make Shenwoo quite proud! "GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!"

COMBATSYS: Hyo dodges Ash's Heavy Kick.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ash              0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0              Hyo

A flick of his wrist and Ash's blood--what little of it mars his blade--colors the sands. His katana, of course, slams back into saya with the same military precision that the ninja struck with. Though some relied purely on the blade, Hyo did not. With a soft creak of his gloves tightening, Hyo resumes his fighting posture, coldly watching Crimson.

The other youth is good, despite all appearances. He is fast enough to avoid being broken completely in half by his attack, and strong enough not to be paralyzed with pain--more than most can say--but Hyo knows he inflicted a significant tactical wound. It would bleed, of course. Eventually it would weaken him, and that's when Imawano would take the advantage. The key is, surviving that long.

In the face of the adrenaline fueled rage is nothing but an icy indifference and a methodical analysis of the way Ash moves. Graceful, even in rage. The attack likely would have hurt quite a deal if he'd absorbed it fully, so when Ash's kick comes, the ninja straightens, rotating his body just slightly out of the way of Ash's axe kick. It's a narrow margin, but it's all the young man needs to put some space between the two. For an instant he is behind the Frenchman.

He says nothing. There is no mocking or patronizing from him.

He does nothing. There is no crippling stab, or elbow to the back.

He respects his opponent enough to be aware that talking--taunting--is futile. And he is not yet prepared to hit him again, not when Ash is an unpredictable quantity like this. When he is ready to act, when he is ready to speak, he will do so without hesitation.

For now, he merely studies the vengeful flame wielder.

For he means, no ill intent meant, to simply take him apart.

COMBATSYS: Hyo focuses on his next action.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Ash              0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0              Hyo

An admirable intention, one might say, and far less malicious than Ash's own. Fuelled by the desire to just plain /hurt/ Hyo, as the ninja steps to the side, the Frenchman simply draws in his leg and lands with nothing more than a slight flinch, his hand reflexively moving for the unfortunate slash he's been forced to bear. It continues to bleed, much to his chagrin, though the pain has since been pushed to the back of his mind, so at least he's thankfully without that. Softly muttering something unpleasant in his native tongue, thin eyebrows knit together in a bit of a scowl as the lean young man straightens, turning his head to cast a wary eye back at Hyo. The two fighters stand within a close vicinity of one another, and the flamewielder's heartbeat pounds in his head.

Of course, honour means little to someone such as Ash, who doesn't quite care for common courtesy in a fight, and views those who value its importance as being weak... So he's definitely going to take advantage of an opportunity presented by another's 'weakness'. If Hyo respects him enough to not attack from behind, that's great. It grants the effeminate fighter the chance to do what he has to, collect himself, without any sort of retaliation against him. What it also does is allows Crimson an opening that he just can't resist passing up, a bit of sly laugh escaping him as he suddenly turns about, his foot digging into the sand... Before he kicks it right in Hyo's face, hoping to distract his opponent long enough for Ash to put some /serious/ hurt on him.

COMBATSYS: Hyo fails to interrupt Thrown Object from Ash with Strong Kick.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Ash              0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0              Hyo


If Hyo could actually hear thoughts, he'd suggest to Ash that he not develop too many misconceptions. Hyo needs to understand Ash, needs to comprehend how he moves. Only fools rush in when they see only a rudimentary opening. Exploiting any opening is a function of desperation. That expresses weakness. Weakness means defeat.

Or so Hyo believes.

When the Frenchman spins, Hyo's eyes trail downward--for a fraction of a second.

He understands Ash's intent. Comprehends it.

It would be a difficult move, given the Frenchman's speed, but the Justice High youth is not about to let such a thing go unanswered.

His glove blurs--for Ash's shoulder. His eyes turn away--at the wrong time. Blasted in the face with the beach sand, the ninja growls something less than completely proper as he just steps back distastefully, to clear his eyes with his further hand while keeping his other hand free. Concentration knits the man's brow idly as he moves. There is still a military snap to his movements.

Oooh, how do you like sand in your eyes? Ash is MIGHTY! But seriously, he's well aware that the effects aren't long-lasting. The Frenchman is hardly an idiot, or the type to bother with pointless celebration so soon, even though he allows himself a faint smirk of pleasure at the results. Anyway, as the ninja is blasted in the face with sand, the effeminate fighter is already moving in without the slightest show of hesitation. If Hyo thinks that exploiting any opening is a function of desperation, then the flamewielder has news for him: Buddy, you're using a sword, and those brutal slices with that damn blade are meant to seriously injure another person, with the added intent that enough bloodloss will eventually wear your opponent down... If they're not entirely STRUCK DEAD. A cheap shot is fair, to Crimson, when that sort of thing involved. He feels no remorse or shame in such tactics. Of course, he might not even if Hyo fought with his bare hands.

So yeah, Ash is moving in. Advancing quickly over the short distance, though he really has no motivation to win the match, since this wasn't even his choice... But, finally the flamewielder has found something to fight for, aside from VENGEANCE: He's stubbornly decided he's going to just take Hyo down with him, come hell or high water, because he can. ... Or be taken out in the attempt. Suddenly appearing right up in the other fighter's face, the smaller man looks up at the ninja and graces him with a serene smile, before his knees bend and thin finger curl in towards his palm. The fist is sent straight up in the nastiest uppercut he can possibly manage, cutting a beautiful arc through the air, with his whole body moving behind the attack, aiming to knock Hyo clean off his feet and probably into the water, as well. The 'wet dog' look might suit the ninja, but only time will tell.

COMBATSYS: Hyo interrupts Strong Punch from Ash with Iai-Giri.

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Ash              1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0              Hyo

If Hyo failed against Ash's inevitable followup, it would not be because Ash skillfully blinded him. It would be because Hyo was simply too slow to stop the Frenchman. The fundamental problem with attempting to capitalize on the short-lived opening gained by kicking sand in Hyo's eyes was the assumption that it would even have an effect at all.

Though it's hardly something that would be known by or interest Crimson, Hyo Imawano is a master mentalist in addition to his academic achievements, renown amongst Southtown's various high schools for this very reason. Albeit in a far coarser fashion than Hyo would prefer. Still, while knowing martial arts is the deciding factor as to whether he can be beaten at all... as long as there are eyes around him to see for him, blinding him is a trivial distraction at best. At worst, you've simply given him advance warning of your next blow.

Ash comes in quickly--despite the obvious and logical conclusion, however fallacious, he is correct in determining that against any martial artist, he has but precious seconds to capitalize on this maneuver and gain an advantage while Hyo is blind.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Hyo prefers he think.

When Ash slides in to rock him off his feet with that savage uppercut rendered, the Imawano ninja simply is not. there. He rolls to one side, his footwork precise and methodical, his sword hissing from its sheathe. Usually he catches the offending attack on his epaulet, but reading the exact nature of the attack approaching him allows him to clear the painful-looking uppercut completely.

At once, he attacks Ash from the mouth of his sheath--an attack, directed squarely at the open spot in Ash's guard alongside his raised arm. This will open Ash's body and stun him long enough for him to direct a final stab directly at the Frenchman's critical point in the small of his back. Ash will survive Hyo's blade--the Justice High student has faith in anyone strong enough to engage him on this level that avoiding the kill. But maintaining the misconception that Hyo is A. uselessly courteous or B. exposing weakness...

"A low level tactic," Imawano measures, clearing his eyes. "Occaisionally effective... but it won't work here," he explains. There is no ego in his voice, no boast. He doesn't even reprimand Ash on what some may consider an uncouth strategy. That's simply not something he concerns himself with.

Maintaining such misconceptions.. could be costly for Ash.

It happens long before he's even struck... Just the thought, entering his mind, burning through the adrenaline rush to the very forefront of his senses, that something awful is about to happen, and Ash can't do much else but continue with the uppercutting motion. He watches with a cold glare as Hyo just slips entirely out of his fist's intended trajectory and off to the side, safe from harm. Stupid, the Frenchman curses himself silently, and all that's left for him is to brace himself for anything. Even that sword, as it leaves its sheath, blade catching the light and reflecting off Ash's widening eyes.

The strike to his side catches him in a rather terrible place, pain lancing harshly through his body as he feels fabric, skin and muscle giving way under the edge before he's outright stabbed, and Ash crumples from the wound. Well... Not EXACTLY crumples, but as soon as the sword is pulled from his body, his legs seem to want him to move AWAY, but they do nothing more than jerk to the side, causing the Frenchman to collapse on his good side in a painful heap. "Clearly not." He agrees in a murmur, and creepiness aside, his attractive face contorts into a truly ugly expression, and it's not that he specifically hates Hyo or anything, it's just that his plan really isn't working out too well. He's also been TOTALLY STABBED! "Mm," The effeminate fighter continues, "I always liked this outfit, and now it's ruined." Just an off-hand, careless remark, with no pain in his voice at all... And though most normal people would probably remove at least the blood-soaked shirt, he'd rather not. Sand in wounds sounds terribly unpleasant, much worse than the bloody clothes clinging to him.

It's at the very least a good thirty seconds, maybe even a full minute before Ash seems able to rise to his feet, albeit shakily, barely managing to avoid being ruled unable to continue fighting. He's not even all that steady once he's gotten his footing, each breath bringing lovely, fresh aches and pains that he'd just rather be without. His hand feels across his midsection, and it comes away soaked crimson before he checks the cut down his side... And then the Frenchman lifts that hand to his mouth and licks the blood from his fingers, pondering all the while. He's got nothing to lose at this point, and walking away isn't an option in a tournament, so... Gouts of flame soon leap forth from his slender fingers, evaporating the red blood staining them, and it's fed into a rapidly growing sphere before him. Of course, Crimson cultivates it expertly, watching it grow, until his face is soon alight with a green glow cast by the ball of flames. Where's that adrenaline now that he could really use it? Oh well! Almost lazily, he pushes the sphere forwards, setting it to a spin, and it just goes, tearing across the distance for its target. "Turn to ashes!" He instructs the sword-wielder, because blood loss or not... He's in a /bad mood/.

COMBATSYS: Hyo just-defends Ash's Thermidor!

[              \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////// ]
Ash              0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0              Hyo

It would be unbecoming of Ash to do anything less, of course.

Not that Ash would care. Not that Hyo would look down on it. The truth is, swiping the Frenchman's blood off the blade again, he can tell. Though the difference in ability and effort is clear, Hyo can read something in Crimson's movements. Something that renders his expression a thin, pressed one. There's nothing else to consider. Imawano will inevitably command the lead as a result. There can be little other alternative in the matter.

"Such are the risks we take," Hyo acknowledges, quietly.

He steps forward, with that same strange military snap to his step.

The plan will continue as it was conceived.

As Ash grows the green sapling of what he intends to be Hyo's demise, the tall youth surges forward to the massive ball, setting his shoulder low in his advance. It's hardly a charge--it's less reckless and more methodical. When the spinning emerald flames reach him, Hyo meets it at its point. The structural composition of the spirit energies matters just as much as that of solid tangibles. But he allows the blast not to shake him to his core, but to impart /some/ of its kinetic force through him, so protected by those strange, almost gaudy steel trappings he wears. He allows it to do that much, forcing that side of him back, allowing him to spin his body forward and towards Ash, his blade raising in a sudden whirlwind. It is not his chi one has to worry about--an effect of his resolve manifest in a whirlwind of those glowing cherry blossoms. No.

It's his sword, its edge threatening a neat slash line right up the center of Ash's body in Hyo's rising upper.

COMBATSYS: Hyo successfully hits Ash with Ouryuuzan.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Ash              0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0              Hyo

Sore and bleeding, Ash just protectively brings his arms in over his injuries afterwards, and waits while expelling laboured breaths for whatever results may come, if any at all. Are the fates aligned against him? Can't he do anything to this 'Hyo'? It's rather unpleasant how his shirt's sticking to him too, with sweat and blood, but the Frenchman really isn't doing well, and that's the last of his concerns at the moment. He's yet to see double at least, but light-headedness is setting in, and Hyo's plan from the very start is taking its toll... But Ash isn't out yet, and hasn't forfeited either. For all that he can't seem to do, Crimson isn't giving up so easily on the hopes that now... Maybe NOW he might be able to do at least SOMETHING, to hold onto a scrap of dignity.

As Hyo quite handily deals with the sphere of what should've been FIERY PAIN, all the flamewielder can do is heave a tired sigh, and then... Uh. Oh shit? How's he supposed to block that, the sword swinging upwards to slash him? It's doubtful he could simply stop it with a hand, and considering how his flames have been utterly USELESS throughout the duration of this entire bout... no. The most Ash can do is rear back, and the blade cuts clean from his midsection to shoulder, head jerking to the side so that he at LEAST saves his face from harm. Sure, it's not the center of his body as intended, but he's still been hit, and that shirt? OFFICIALLY ruined, as it's cut wide open, revealing his pale chest already smeared with blood.

Continuing to fall back, could that be the very last of the fight left in Ash Crimson? Or is it a clever ploy as his hand hits the sand and his body twists. Though the wounds certainly protest to the movement, it's not like he's had any internal damage dealt, having avoided any truly vital spots being damaged by that sword, and he's strong-willed enough to fight despite the pain; otherwise, he'd just be some regular person, wouldn't he? With Hyo's rising upper, as soon as the other fighter starts falling back towards the earth, that's when the French flamewielder kicks up into a back walkover, feet igniting, clearly intending on totally booting the ninja with foot and flame, and using the motion to carry himself over. He'd make with an impressive acrobatic display, but this is good enough, and whatever gets the job done gets it done, damnit. He's in no mood to show off anymore.

COMBATSYS: Hyo endures Ash's Nivose.

[                     \\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Ash              0/-------/----===|=======\-------\0              Hyo

Hyo has determined something deep of Ash's character, something he finds somewhat distasteful. This Ash Crimson is intriguing to him, but to express a full martial understanding of his opponent, negation and evasion will hardly be of great use. As he rotates slowly in the air, the whirl of glowing petals also fade. However, the opening of that move is capitalized upon swiftly--while he is in the air, in that exact instant he is in a less than optimal position for defense.

So, he simply doesn't try.

Hyo takes the rising flip kick to his midsection, past his blade and through his open guard. For what it is worth, it is a fierce blow even by Hyo's standards, the kick almost knocking the wind out of him, the emerald fires scorching the fore of his uniform. But he is prepared, and so he endures. From the only mild grunt he gives, unbuckling, he takes blows as well as he evades them. It all boils down to Hyo's next move. From this position, with Ash's body in this kind of close proximity, Hyo is afforded an opening for another attack.

If he can merely take hold of one of Ash's outstretched legs, the youth will be able to retain and direct the Frenchman's momentum--of both strike and flip--to turn himself in the air in a flip of his own. That in turn will allow him to interpose his sword between the two. If he can *touch* Ash's back while he's upside down with the curved edge of his sword, Hyo can hook him in the back of his shoulderblade with the point of his sword. He can use it as an anchoring point for his shifting weight and his grip--the fulcrum point--allowing him to fling Ash back at the ground.

If his aim is correct, he'll break Ash right off the rocks of the beach bluffs and into the tide.

Only a few moments before he lands in the water himself.

COMBATSYS: Hyo successfully hits Ash with Imawano Blade Nage.

[                          \\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Ash              0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1              Hyo

As his foot slams directly into his opponent, Ash doesn't allow himself to get caught up with his satisfaction at the solid hit. There's just something in his mind that's telling him it /ain't worth it/, perhaps an instinct developed from all his past fights with the likes of Shenwoo. That intuition is proven right when it becomes clear that rather than continuing along on the path he intended, his foot is snagged quite soundly, and he's... acutely aware of the fact that someone's unwanted weight is being carried along in his movement. The most the flamewielder can do to prevent this is forcing his arms to buckle, and as he attempts to twist to the side and kick the grabbing hand away, the sword as an unexpected, and very much unwanted addition. Feeling the cold blade, the Frenchman stiffens when the curved edge hooks around his shoulder. Good grief, what's next?

Except... Whatever's next, Ash isn't really, fully aware of it, as he crashes into the water on his front, completely bypassing the beach. It's a really spectacular splash, too. And the impact knocks the wind out of his lungs instantly. Unconsciousness threatens to envelop him as he coughs into the salt water, but it's just something everyone knows that it'd really be a BAD idea passing out in the ocean.

Beyond that thought, who knows what in hell causes the man to rise now, what hidden store of willpower or energy, but he does, knees together, freezing cold and SCREW YOU, HYO. HIS UNDERWEAR'S WET! But Ash is beyond caring about that, as well as many other things, and he just starts trudging forwards through the water that's up to his knees before he's ankle-deep, forcing himself onwards like a man on a mission, stopping just a short distance away from the other fighter. Straightening as much as he can, through wet bangs matted to his forehead, he just... looks at Hyo, pale blue eyes staring impassively. It's not even a glare, anymore. Then, without a word, the Frenchman continues on with all the dignity he can muster and all the energy he has left. Unless he's stopped, of course. Refusing to fall in the fight itself, walking away is as close to an admission of that defeat as anyone's going to get out of Ash Crimson.

COMBATSYS: Ash takes no action.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hyo              1/-----==/=======|

COMBATSYS: Ash can no longer fight.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Hyo              1/-----==/=======|

As far as anyone can tell, other than a slightly blackened uniform and now, with this unceremonial landing in the ocean, Hyo is more or less untouched during the course of this battle. The students in the nearby crowds gathering to watch this first round of the tournament progression are obviously satisfied with his performance--if the occaisional whoop and cheer is any indication. By now, the crowd knows as well as he does, this fight is basically over.

But Hyo, standing waist-high in the tide, is hardly satisfied.

Blood on the blade from his earlier Ouryuuzan clouds the harsh salt waters as they lathe the sword clean. Hyo holds it directly out and just under the surface of the water. He is wary of Ash Crimson still--he is a standing opponent. When Ash meets him for that twisting moment, Hyo is ready.

But no words are needed between the two to communicate what happens next.

Dispassionate but dissatisfied, Hyo comes to a conclusion.

His blade swipes out of the water through the wind. It flicks into his saya.

Just like that, the fight is over.

His own uniform streaming water like a fall, his hair sticking to the back of his coat, Hyo treads out of the water in a stately fashion, even looking something not unlike a drowned rat. Still, his face is grim. Much like Ash, he is hardly interested in the state of his clothes, but for different reasons.

"Hardly a fraction of your true ability," Hyo states as he reaches the beach once again, his back to Ash.

He had noticed it some time ago, and the latest exchange simply confirmed it. When he allowed Ash to strike him, the damage dealt told him much more. But he could read in Crimson's fighting style distraction. Preoccupation. He could determine that Ash was not here on his own will, based on what he could infer from the name discrepancy. Between that and the disagreement between what he could sense of Ash's power and his performance... Hyo could understand and read the truth easily. Ash was taken apart like an amateur because the fight meant nothing to him save a few chases of fancy. There was no ambition. No goal. No meaning. No drive.

Ash was, prior to the fight, hardly interested.

A fighter without purpose will inevitably lose to Justice High's super-elite. It is a natural and inevitable conclusion. But only under false pretenses..

"The difference in our ability is still clear. That much will not change regardless of circumstance." The youth raises two fingers of his leather glove, still dripping. "But. The next time we fight, you'll attack me with your full ability. Or you'll be broken."

Hyo strides away in the opposite direction as the officials call it and make the needed arrangements and announcements. He hardly concerns himself enough with the official protocol at this point--he is developing the onset of a headache.

Further, he needs to dry his uniform.

COMBATSYS: Hyo has ended the fight here.

It would seem that there's an interruption indeed, and the flamewielder pauses a second as the voice breaks through his muddled thoughts. Stopping on the sandy beach, almost at his goal, he offers Hyo a glance back over his shoulder, hands lifting to the wet, damaged shirt to hold it closed over his chilled body. At this point, it doesn't do much for warmth, but it prevents what feels like an even colder breeze from touching his skin. And to think, not long ago he was appreciating the warm weather! Smiling with weary pleasantry, Ash provides no support or denial to the other fighter's impression of his abilities, but if the ninja did point it out, he might've perhaps agreed that this was not a fight he chose. Shen will, of course, pay for this. Pay dearly.

However, that appears to be not the end of the younger fighter's 'speech', but only the beginning, and with the freckle-faced man's patience quickly ebbing, it's thankfully not long before Hyo is done. Taking a brief moment, allowing the words the opportunity to sink in, his blue eyes are half-lidded as he says, "We'll see." And though he sounds still like the same ole Ash, his words are empty despite their cheerful tone and accompanying expression. The Frenchman, at the very least, doesn't think it terribly likely that they'll ever encounter one another again, even though Hyo is also an interesting individual, both in appearance and strength. ... But it could just be that his mind's clouded at the moment from cold and loss of blood! Justice High is, after all, in Southtown. Perhaps they might.

Turning back to his original direction, his path is set, and walking with as much of an arrogant saunter as he can muster, Crimson waves back over his shoulder at the swordsman before reaching his chair at the edge of the cordoned-off area. Seating himself immediately, Ash drapes an arm over the back of the chair. The one belonging to his good side. "Mon dieu..." He sighs, and his blue eyes close as the paramedics rush through the crowd to him, drifting off despite the announcements and commotion happening all around. Sleep time!

Log created by Hyo, and last modified on 06:03:04 03/15/2007.