Neo League 351 - #351: Rose vs Takuma

Description: Takuma faces Rose in Masters Stadium! The fight happened a few hours ago so I don't remember specifics, but it involves trees, Chinese boys, and ultimately an utterly soaked Rose. (Winner: Takuma)

Rose HAD been planning to go shopping this early evening, but instead, she had a polite message from Mr. Sakazaki challenging her, formally, to Neo League Combat! And perhaps a latte afterwards. She left a message in his voice mail to accept and went back to sleep.

Several hours later -- here she is. She sits beneath one of the slim, artfully-landscaped trees with her legs tucked to the side. Her eyes are closed and, were this not such an artificial stadium - for all its beautiful landscaping - she might, perhaps, seem to be drawing strength from nature.

In actual fact, she is clearing her mind for the sake of this conflict; however, that is difficult to demonstrate, at least when you are not surrounded by glowing lights.

Rose is sort of an enigma to many of the people assembled here today. Her quiet nature has several of the audience members wondering exactly what kind of combatant she is, as they are far and large used to seeing more boisterous warm-up routines. Take, for example, M. Bison, who would be abusing some poor girl in the front row at about this time. Or perhaps Kyo Kusanagi, whose warm-up routine consists of, more than likely, talking to somebody on his phone for the few minutes he's alloted before the fight.

Takuma likes to follow this sort of tried-and-true warm-up routine, and it's for this reason that he is sitting in front of one of the larger trees in the FOREST SECTION of the arena, a look of intense concentration on his face. His arms are at his sides, hands balled into fists. When the half-minute bell rings, and both fighters are called to the center of the arena, the old man's eyes snap open, he shrieks one loud "HARRRRUMPH!", and a fist -shoots- forward, crashing into the trunk of the tree Takuma's sitting in front of.

After splintering it a fair bit(and wincing, but don't tell anybody that), the Kyokugen master gets to his feet and heads over to the center of the arena.

Rose's head turns up at the noise of Takuma punching wood hard and fast. She rises, then, from her seated position, brushing a few small blades of grass from the edge of her skirt.

She wags a finger, without much energy, towards Takuma. "You should be more respectful of nature," she says, with a faint smile. "Even if it is inside of an arena." She then slides her scarf off of her shoulders and down to rest against her upper arms, taking a few careful steps back towards the beach.

"Do we signal to begin? I'm afraid I've yet to fight here," she asks, lifting her voice a bit as she walks backwards.

Takuma stands on one end of the beach while Rose approaches, and gives a short, dismissive laugh at her casual scolding about nature. "Hah! The tree'll be fine, it was built to take this sort of thing! Trees," and here, he rolls his neck powerfully, wincing a bit at one particularly LOUD cascade of crackling bone, "are like nature's punching bags! It's fine, trust me." He moves from his stretching into a combat-ready stance, legs spread, arms held out before him.

And even as Takuma gives Rose a respectful nod, one of the taller trees in the forested area behind him teeters to the side. As the buzzer announcing the fight blares out its signal that things are to HAPPEN, that same tree teeters even further to the side. And finally, at Takuma's very GENEROUS declaration of, "Well, since you haven't warmed up like I have, I'll sit here and let you get ready if you like. But don't think I'm unprepared!", that tree simply falls with a hideous, loud groan. It doesn't -CRASH- or anything yet... no, right now it's nestled in the branches of nearby trees. But: It's certainly broken.

Takuma ignores this, though he may be a little chagrined. Right now, he's got his eyes on his opponent.

COMBATSYS: Takuma has started a fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  <
Takuma           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rose has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takuma           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rose

COMBATSYS: Takuma focuses on his next action.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takuma           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Rose

Rose thinks inwardly how clever she is; her spine and bones have taken far less directly brutal pummeling pressure, and as such, she will not be cracking and snapping and rattling the way the older man does. She does smile at him, extending her arms.

Her eyes flick past him, towards the tree. They follow the tree as it wobbles, teeters, and finally gives in to the crushing embrace of the Earth's gravitational field, falling over gracefully into the grasp of its brethren. How heartwarming, she thinks, before her attention goes back to where Takuma is watching her.

"You are very generous," she says, as she turns one clean, well groomed hand over and closes her eyes. Light flickers near her, a breeze rising and ruffling her scarf as the light coalesces into two orbs which seem to rise and fall in even counterpoint, like a repetitive motion in a clock... or a repeating mantra in visual form. She speaks as the light show continues: "After this, do you know which coffee shop is best? Half of them closed while I was out of town..."

COMBATSYS: Rose gathers her will.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////////////]
Takuma           0/-------/-------|====---\-------\0             Rose

While Rose is considering her cleverness, Takuma is staring at her through narrowed eyes. His breath comes slowly, and he's really barely moving, like some kind of living rock or something. Regardless, Takuma simply nods again at Rose, as though asking her to please start doing something violent. Perhaps he's afraid of punching women!

The light show seems to be provocation enough for Takuma - at least Rose is -doing- something now. Her question causes his rather prominent eyebrows to knit; he responds with, "Coffee shops? There's this one down the street from Taiyo High School, if I remember right. They've got some great chai! Quiet, but I figure you'd like those things." Another, quick smile, but Takuma's expression changes into a far more intense one in only moments.

Like he'd forgotten he was supposed to be fighting or something! It's not the first time this has happened. The man becomes alarmed - he drops his guard and simply starts -sprinting- at Rose now, shrieking all the while. "TIME'S UP! HYOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" He's extending his arms halfway through that sprint, seeking to plant them on Rose's elbows! If the grab lands, Takuma will, well, start to brutally knee her in the stomach some dozen or so times before kicking off of her and landing a few feet away. If not... hilarity ensues, one supposes.

COMBATSYS: Rose blocks Takuma's Shouran Kyaku.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////////  ]
Takuma           0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Rose

The solution to being shy about punching women is clearly to grasp their arms firmly and slam your knee up into their stomach -- over and over and over!!

"Oh, that does sound lovely," Rose says, continuing and watching Takuma as he approaches. She doesn't leap out of the way and those balls of light continue to float near her as she narrows her eyes, before saying, "I feel so old sometimes, to visit there and --"

Her arms are gripped. Her /arms/ are, anyway. The scarf doesn't seem to mind, and falls casually down between them, in front of her stomach. She has noticed many strikes aim for that region, and she's been practicing.

Even so, the first knee hits hard enough to make her blanche, lips drawing back from her teeth in dismay. She brings her own leg up afterwards, not enough to simply absorb Takuma's strikes but at least enough to block them away, so she is left only slightly sagging and a little breathless when the man kicks off and leaps back.

She's moving before he lands, arms spreading as she turns her natural slouching momentum into a forward motion, those fashionable Italian pumps sliding easily along the sand - when his legs touch down, her feet are already flying towards them with surprising force. The orbs of light have dissipated now, although the trailing edge of her scarf does seem to sparkle now.

COMBATSYS: Takuma blocks Rose's Sliding.

[   \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////////   ]
Takuma           0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Rose

Takuma would say that punches and knee-strikes are entirely different things! Regardless, he's found Rose's quick recovery, the lifting of her own leg, the -entire premise- of her defense to be a refreshing one: At least Rose isn't as helpless as she'd like to allow people to assume! This idea is only reinforced by the way the medium attempts to confound Takuma's landing.

She'll find, however, that Sakazaki's a little more resolute than most fighters, and he's been around long enough to see multiple warriors defeated by the enigmatic Slide Kick! For example, Ken still has no idea how to properly land a Shoryuken without having his ankles kicked out from under him. The answer, he'd find, is to simply slam your feet onto the ground VERY firmly. This is something Takuma knows - and he stands his ground as Rose comes clambering into him. His ankles take a solid hit, but he seems to take it well enough.

Just a wince, really.

"Hmph! You're that woman from the Pao Pao Cafe the other day, aren't you?" Takuma speaks even as he steps back, then forward again, with one arm coming out and around in a full-body right hook intended to collide with Rose's midsection!

"What were you doing there, anyway? That Todoh girl is dangerous. Insane, you know!"

COMBATSYS: Takuma successfully hits Rose with Medium Punch.

[  \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takuma           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\1             Rose

Takuma may find Rose's effort to twist away from his punch to be less encouraging, because it does not work. His meaty fist makes contact with significantly less meaty midsection, and Rose's eyes water for a moment with the raw force of impact. She takes a step back afterwards, breathing stuttering for a moment before she regains her composure and straightens up.

"I certainly hope so," she says, a hand going back to flip the arcing, kinked out shock of hair behind her. "It would be quite embarrassing to me if I had another self wandering around, wouldn't it?"

Ken may know this woe.

She snaps a swift, short kick up towards Takuma's shin while continuing, "Anyway, the problem is that the lines are large and, as you saw, the crowds can be rowdy. Can you believe that they were shooting spitwads? Honestly; where I went to school, we would have been switched for such a thing."

This may or may not mean they stopped.

COMBATSYS: Takuma fails to counter Light Kick from Rose with Mouko Burai Gan.

[      \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takuma           0/-------/----===|=======\=------\1             Rose

"The crowds weren't that rowdy!" Takuma sounds pretty OK even while he collapses to the knee at the sheer force(?!) of Rose's kick to his shin. He has recently figured out(recently as in right now) that his forearm cannot reach that low, and while his shin shares a place, so far as second-joint-of-a-limb goes, with his forearm... it's really not the same thing.

"It's more an issue of that Todoh brat being there. The Pao Pao Cafe is normally an alright place! Taki, as a matter of fact, makes the best wonton you'll ever eat." Takuma takes a minute to get up to his feet, and then takes another minute to resume a normal position. He regards Rose like she's some kind of witch, however.

"Anyway, this kind of silliness isn't getting either of us anywhere! Come on, now! Stop flailing at me and HIT me!" He mumbles something afterwards, but it's not enough to distract him into doing more stupid things! Hopefully.


A young Rose, her hair crinkling over her eyes, turns her head in class as her fingers wrap around a sheet of notebook paper. Her eyes narrow at little Maria two seats behind her, feeling the petty hate, the mindless glee... Her fingers start to gather up that sheet of paper.


Rose raises an eyebrow at Takuma's command. "Well," she says, as she unfolds the scarf from around her shoulders. "I have eaten there before and enjoyed it; quality of cuisine is always a question, and they do pass the test. However..."


Young Rose stands up, snapping that sheet of notebook paper hard enough to produce an audible crack. Before the silence can even descend completely on the classroom, or the Sister can shout at her to sit down, she cries, "SOUL SPARK!" and hurls the wadded-up sheet of paper towards little Maria like a javelin. The strike sends the girl flying back with a squeal of surprise, if not of pain...


Rose draws one hand back, the scarf twining around her forearm, and hauls back to aim a sharp smack up towards the side of Takuma's face. Her hand trails sparks of white-blue energy as it goes. "I'll try to pick up the pace!"

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Takuma with Medium Punch.

[          \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takuma           0/-------/--=====|=======\==-----\1             Rose

Takuma, blissfully unaware of dramatic flashbacks, is more or less battling his own inner demons. For you see... right now he is given a DECISION. Namely, he's either going to deal with this odd scarf-punch one way or the other... and as his arms come up to block the weapon(?) twined around Rose's arm, the sparks flying out of the thing have him confused. Like one might confuse a bear, perhaps!

Anyway to cut to the chase, Takuma is punched in the side of the head and thusly goes reeling off to the side. He doesn't fall, but as he comes back to a standing position, he seems... well, -confused-. Sakazaki stares at Rose with a sort of confused horror, as though wondering aloud: "How is she hitting so hard?!".

For now, he doesn't do anything offensive... instead, Takuma takes up a defensive position, while golden-yellow chi erupts from the ground beneath his feet and suffuses him in its warm glow. "Alright, I'm dropping the easy stuff! From this moment on, lady..." Takuma stomps on the ground, the chi around him seems to double in size, and he bellows: "YOU'RE FACING THE SPIRIT OF KYOKUGEN! RAAAAAAR!"

COMBATSYS: Takuma gathers his will.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ///////////////////////       ]
Takuma           1/------=/=======|=======\==-----\1             Rose

Rose seems, for a moment, intimidated at that sudden display of powerful energy and animalistic strength. Her own abilities, of course, come from within rather than channeling from without; even so, when it has become palpably visible, it's hard to ignore! She worries, briefly: can she prevail over this sort of power?

She breathes in sharply: She must! This is a serious undertaking, even if it is not a matter of life or death; besides which, does she want to have to pay for coffee and biscotti?

She takes another step back, closing her eyes for a moment. Light blooms around her then, and she takes one more step back -- and her foot rests on one of those rocks in the water.

As the coruscating pastel light glimmers around her, she continues to step backwards, her pumps resting easily on the smooth, slightly wet rocks. "Show me the power of your spirit!" she calls, head lifting up strong and proud.

COMBATSYS: Rose gathers her will.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////////////      ]
Takuma           1/------=/=======|=======\======-\1             Rose

"HEY!" Takuma seems frustrated by Rose's defensive actions, and shows this by abruptly breaking off the rather impressive show of chi rioting in the air around him. "YOU'RE FACING THE SPIRIT OF KYOKUGEN! DON'T RUN AWAY LIKE THAT!" Miffed, Sakazaki lurches forward, pausing momentarily to pluck a stray rock from the ground and heft it up against one shoulder. Desperate? Perhaps, but Takuma Sakazaki clearly knows what he's doing here.

"HaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" The old man rushes the watery pool Rose has decided to take refuge in, and comes to a screeching halt right at the lip of the dry ground bordering it. "Ngh!" It's a curt announcement that Takuma makes before -hurling- that rock towards Rose, releasing it in a mighty flash of meaty arm. The thing's roughly the size of a man's fist, and should do -some- damage if it hits... but perhaps not as much as a Buick might.

COMBATSYS: Rose blocks Takuma's Thrown Object.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Takuma           1/-======/=======|=======\=======\1             Rose

That rock was probably imported from somewhere, exposed to washing in a tumbler, and carefully placed to maximize its aesthetic value. Now it sails through the air, thrown towards Rose. She whips her scarf around with an artful flourish of her upper body, blocking the stone --

And stumbling forwards, her ankle wrenching slightly in the water. "Grgh," she subvocalizes, before stepping back and crouching down as well. She does not pick up a rock; instead, she dips her scarf in the water, as if to saturate a good foot of it. She rises, then, and twists it around, before snapping it towards Takuma!

Water is not normally a terribly weighty thing. A gentle rainfall is refreshing, and a water hose is not painful. However, as anyone who has had a bucket of water poured onto their head from a great height can tell you, water has a distinct weight -- and it seems that this particular pint or so of water is being propelled /very/ quickly indeed.

Right at Takuma's FACE, where it will likely bruise.

COMBATSYS: Takuma dodges Rose's Thrown Object.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Takuma           1/-======/=======|=======\=======\1             Rose

Takuma regards Rose curiously, like a five-year old might regard a totally novel sort of insect. Her scarf-toting, artful style of fighting has the man confused, and quite frankly horrified with respect to the amount of damage it, a -small blanket- is capable of doing. And since Takuma's so intent on her, he's able to see what she's doing with that water-saturated scarf!

Which is why he quickly ducks the damn thing, allowing it to sail past his head and probably deposit itself on the floor.

Not one to miss an opportunity, Takuma takes this moment to yell out something incomprehensible, rush into the water and towards the rock Rose has situated herself upon. "Hmfn!", is the noise he makes as he grabs at the fortune-teller's arm, seeks to loop his other arm over her head, and pull her backwards into a quick, efficient hip-toss that will have her sailing head-first into the water!

COMBATSYS: Rose dodges Takuma's Medium Throw.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////////////        ]
Takuma           1/--=====/=======|=======\=======\1             Rose

The water goes 'spwat' against the distant trees.

Rose watches as Takuma bull-rushes her. His motion towards her midsection is clear, and it is not her eyes that see it; it is a faint sense of just what he is about to do that makes her counter his technique with one of her own. As he grabs at her arm, she's already leaning forwards to rest her own hands over his temples.

THEN she inverts herself, hanging above him for a fleeting moment in which he may be able to perform some sort of humiliating reversal; her skirt does not descend even as she looks down. She laughs briefly, almost cryptically, and then her hands erupt in a short burst of Soul Power, sending psychic static in a burst through Takuma's head!

Hopefully, this will make HIM slip and fall and soak himself. It should not last enough for him to drown, however.

COMBATSYS: Takuma counters Soul Drain from Rose with Mouko Burai Gan.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Takuma           1/=======/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2             Rose

Humiliating reversals, Rose will soon learn, are what Takuma Sakazaki is famous for. While Rose's sudden leap upwards has the older fighter momentarily surprised, it's the way so much pressure is being put on his -head- that has Takuma realizing what the wily oracle is up to. He stumbles under her weight, but it's not enough to have him stunned enough to be subjected to Rose's psi-barrage -- in fact, Takuma uses her lack of escape to his advantage by rearing his head back in an exaggerated backwards lean.

His eyes widen savagely once he spots Rose hovering above him - his left forearm sweeps between the two she's using to support herself, and brutally sweeps one to the side which should set the woman off-balance. "I SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING!", he roars, before simply /thrusting/ his right hand forward and catching his opponent in the face! The blow's not a particularly rough one, but it should be more than enough to send Rose far and away - certainly out of a dangerous range. Or so Sakazaki hopes!

Rose is slammed in the face. "Gk!" she exclaims, before she is sent flying backwards; she seems to lose all muscular tension as she flies and lands in the water on her back with a great splash, that lone shock of hair pointing up above the waterline.

She lays there for several moments, bathed in the cool water. Then she rises upwards. Her hair hangs behind her, half-soaked and heavy; she leans forwards, gathering her scarf around her shoulders as it drips, and stands. She looks, for a moment, like a fashionable woman who's been dropped in a puddle. No threat at all.

"Your will and power," she says, her voice clear and lifted - perhaps for the benefit of the camera - "are laudable. But you've walked your path for a long time." She lifts her head, water dripping off from behind her. "There is little, I know, that I could teach you... and so..."

Light flickers around her, and then shimmers - before sparking into glowing power as she thinks to herself, just a moment. She twists the scarf around, the water pouring out of it in a brief torrent down into the pond as her Soul Power pours in to replace the spaces between the fibers. "If your power is strong enough --"

She whips the scarf around, limning a circular shape before her. "Resist this!!" The light around her flares bright enough to sting the eyes for a moment, before compressing into a spherical shape at her shoulder; it rides along her arm and the outstretched scarf as if building up speed, and streaks forwards towards Takuma's center of gravity up on his dry and rocky perch!

Suddenly, a chinese boy in the stands cries, "YOU CAN DO IT, ROOOOSE!!"

COMBATSYS: Takuma overcomes Aura Soul Spark from Rose with Triple Haohshokoken.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Takuma           0/-------/-----==|====---\-------\0             Rose

Takuma leaps off of his perch in the water, electing to get his feet and ankles a little wet in exchange for a less precarious position. He feels a sort of trepidation at the moment -- the man's forehead wrinkles in concentration, and he watches Rose's movements for the moment. This is of course only a SHORT moment, as the fortune teller gets to her feet in only a little while, and is quick to launch an attack of her own. Takuma simply watches while she works, and smiles - curtly - at her while her skarf begins to flip about and do all of those crazy PSI things.

Rose might notice a certain yellow flickering along Takuma's arms while she works. The old man seems to relax, to prepare... and the effect is clear. As that scarf shines as brightly as it does, Takuma brings his arms forward and a similar, searingly bright light emanates from the space between his outstretched hands. The light coalesces into a solid circle of chi, from which is borne one enormous ball of yellow-white chi that rips across the pond at a rate rivalling Rose's scarf.

This is followed by a second giant Haoh Sho Ko Ken, and a third, and then Takuma's triumphant "CHESTO!" as the projectiles seemingly tear through Rose's own attack! People in the audience, Chinese Boy included(hopefully), are forced to close their eyes to avoid optical damage from the X-TREEM POWER they're witnessing.

COMBATSYS: Rose fails to reflect Triple Haohshokoken from Takuma with Soul Reflect.

[        \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Takuma           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0             Rose

Rose can see that extreme power coming. She can feel it in her /very soul/; she twists her scarf around as if to get into position for the inevitable technique that she has, perhaps, been known for. Iori may have thought that she left herself open by using it too much, but how can you abandon what works?

Of course, perhaps she is thrown off by Takuma's cry of 'CHESTO!!' - she ends up getting blasted in the forearm and shoulder and goes flying blackwards with another wet splash, this time landing on her side and getting that forelock wet. It clings to her face, and she struggles a bit more to try and rise to her feet, this time. Will Takuma press his advantage?!

Takuma, it'd seem, does not press the advantage. Instead, he remains where he stands, once more bathed in a veritable torrent of chi, a golden light that refreshes him, empowers him. There's a sort of fire in his eyes - a lust for life that rivals that of a young man in his prime. This is Takuma Sakazaki! He's probably... never going to die. It's not the sort of thing that happens to him.

"THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF KYOKUGEN!" He continues to accumulate chi, but visibly relaxes as Rose seems to be down and out, at least a bit. Perhaps he feels like he is being a bit brutal, here - after all, the lady started the fight asking about coffee! Takuma's gaze doesn't soften at all... it's very clear the old master is going to pound the tar out of Rose regardless of who she is. But for now... he's allowing her to take the offensive, if she so desires.

COMBATSYS: Takuma gathers his will.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Takuma           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0             Rose

Rose staggers herself upwards, looking towards Takuma. Her eyes flick to the side, perhaps in admission of defeat. She twists her scarf around - almost half-heartedly calling out 'Soul Spark!' as she sends another, tiny globule of energy flying forwards. A surrender? The last gasp of someone who is nearly defeated? She didn't even aim it at Takuma. It went flying...

...back towards the trees.

The blast of psychic energy hits a tree and doesn't do more than rustle it. But that rustling removes the natural arch that had been supporting the tree that Takuma had made lean over to the side, and another branch snaps before the tree topples over completely, descending over that thin strip of decorative beach and heading down towards Takuma.

Rose folds her arms beneath her breasts as the tree descends, clucking her tongue once and not looking up as she waggles a finger. "But such a spirit, must have respect for nature, as well."

COMBATSYS: Takuma counters Random Weapon from Rose with Random Weapon.

[       \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////                          ]
Takuma           0/-------/------=|=======\===----\1             Rose

Takuma stares up at Rose while she speaks, patently confused. "Respect nature? I respect nature!" He does seem to be rather passionate about this particular cause right now - why would Takuma ever want to let somebody think he hated nature? "But -this-," he says, gesturing towards the forest(without looking), "This isn't even real! Why would they put trees in an arena just so they could be smashed into by the fights happening here every day?" It's HERE that Takuma hears that terrible, yawning sound of a tree falling directly towards him. He turns his head, wide-eyed, and quickly brings a second arm around to perhaps try and -catch- the tree while it falls.

He succeeds, and even though he's got a mouth-and-faceful of deciduous leaves, branches, and a caterpillar here and there, the old man is focused enough to pull the tree around in one phenomenal force of will. The thing's trunk swings around, counter-clockwise, and as Takuma's unable to see anything but some insect crawling towards his nose(he is horrified), he hardly notices Rose, standing in front of him. In fact, he's so worried about that BUG that he heaves the thing with a shriek, tossing it all the way across the arena and slapping at his face self-consciously. Checking for bugs, it'd seem. It's only a few seconds before he's levelled his gaze upon Rose, and regardless of her condition, he announces: "Alright, so I guess it -is- real. I had no idea!"

Rose is struck by a tree, sending her spiralling to the side again and landing in the water, face-down. She doesn't burble audibly, dazed for the moment; one hand lifts up out of the shallow water as if to indicate that, yes, she IS alive. But it does not last, and flops back down a moment after.

Something rises out of her back. The true form of Rose's inner spirit manifests itself, rising as a blurry image --

It looks exactly like Rose.

It doesn't speak, instead lunging forwards towards Takuma as he tends himself to make sure that the caterpillars don't eat him. It moves closer - closer - closer yet, and when it's within range, it lets out an inhuman noise of pure psychic chords, before its left hand strikes up with blurring, incredible speed; the lights of pure psychic force flicker out as it attempts to slap Takuma silly. A few seconds, in the midst of winding up for another strike, it flickers and vanishes.

Rose rolls onto her side and coughs a few times. "Ugh."

COMBATSYS: Rose can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Takuma dodges Rose's Soul Illusion.

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

Takuma has, unfortunately for Rose, taken care of his caterpillar problem by the time that odd spectre of Rose is surging at him. And, in true, honest-to-god Confused Old Man action, Sakazaki catches the thing and literally dives to the side, muttering some profane string of curses the entire time. He barely misses it - in fact, the image clips his foot and leaves him feeling the slightest(a lot of slightest but nothing too crippling) pain there... enough so that he's got to attempt to walk it off as he gets back to his feet, and approaches Rose.

Well, see, Takuma feels bad that she's in the water. She could turn over and drown or something. That'd be awful, wouldn't it?

Regardless, the old man's in a great deal better shape than she is, and as such, he's able to rather easily drop to a knee and push at her shoulder a few times in an attempt to wake her back up.

"Hey, lady," he says. If Rose indicates that she is alive, he offers, "That little boy in the audience is a damn curse, don't worry too much about how you did. We've all got our days! And that coffee shop shouldn't be too bad if you don't go around the times school starts or gets out."

COMBATSYS: Takuma has ended the fight here.

Log created by Takuma, and last modified on 05:38:24 04/06/2007.