Neo League 351 - #362: Hotaru vs Azrael

Description: Hotaru and Azrael heat things up in the cold Russian north. Azrael's powerful weapon attacks force Hotaru to bring a quick end to the fight to avoid getting cut to pieces. (Winner: Hotaru)

Russia is generally known for it's cold climate and stern government, but it's also home of some famous institutions, and landmarks. Just about anyone would recognize St. Basils Cathedral, or Red Square itself, but the current local would be hard to figure out. That's because it's known more for what's on the inside rather than the out, because this is the home of the infamous KGB, the powerful intelligence agency of the now defunct USSR and now Russia as well. For obvious reasons people aren't allowed to just saunter in on a whim, but the location is still an excellent one for a televised fight.
Television cameras are set up outside, and there will obviously be some sort of introduction given saying exactly where they actually are so the viewers will know. And who are 'they', exactly? That would be Hotaru Futaba and Azrael Hibernal, the former quite a bit more famous than the latter. The odds are on the black haired Kenpo fighter, but it's not a good idea to count the redheaded Azrael out too early; he's not known for going down easily.
The boy is currently sitting on a bench outside the cordoned off fighting area, a patch of sidewalk about thirty feet long. Nothing would prevent the fighters from taking it to the street as well, but they'd probably have to dodge a few cars if they did. On the bench next to him is a dismal looking grandma with a bag half full of meager groceries. Somehow, the young man seems somewhat fitting next to her, his expression not quite the sunniest.

A year off from actively participating in events left Hotaru struggling to get back into the swing of things for a little while. Starting with a lot of small time, almost unheard of fights and events, she has been slowly working her way back into more well known leagues and circuits.
This specific event marks her return to the Neo League, and for that, she feels a lot of pressure to do well this afternoon. If she's under any strong pressure, she doesn't seem to show it though. Passing the time to the starting minute by feeding bread crumbs to a number of haggard looking birds, Hotaru seems calm for now. She is wearing her usual fighting attire, but has opted to keep a loose, white overcoat on that hangs open, dangling down to about her knees. A little something to temper the chill. A glance is made toward Azrael now and then, as if content to study him from a distance. She didn't manage to find out a lot about her opponent today ahead of time, so she isn't entirely sure what to expect out of this match.
When officials declare that it's 'Time', she moves more toward the middle of the marked off area, clasping her hands behind her back as she waits patiently.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has started a fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|

It's time.
Azrael stands up, walking in a somewhat casual manner towards the 'ring', passing under the cords. It'll be the first time he's been in a battle, official or otherwise, since Saishu had neatly put his weapon all the way through him, and he's finally back up to strength. It's time to show that despite the damage done to him by a clearly superior fighter, he's not going to let it get to him, that he'll still be able to fight at his full capacity.
After he's in the ring he reaches behind himself and removes his weapon from it's harness, spinning it around a few times and making a quiet whirling noise while he does. His blue eyes turn to Hotaru and he watches her carefully. "Hotaru Futaba. I've studied some of your techniques over the years. Your energy related abilities are very impressive." His voice sounds... dispassionate, even moreso than usual. He opts not to fight hotheaded, instead pulling himself up tall and standing immobile, weapon held in both of his hand and poised to react, watching the young woman carefully for weaknesses.

COMBATSYS: Azrael has joined the fight here.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Azrael

COMBATSYS: Azrael focuses on his next action.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Azrael

To his words a polite smile is offered in return. She's long since learned to put compliments out from her mind as quickly as possible. While they may seem genuine, they can also be distracting or lead one into being over confident if pondered for too long. Still, manners. "Thank you," she speaks up, her hands coming from behind her back to slip into their ready positions as she adopts her stance, both hands open, one arm further back than the other.
The weapon is eyed carefully. It means absolute precision with her own actions will be required. It usually means her opponent is slower, but it's not safe to assume that from the beginning. As he braces himself, she leads with the first offensive, darting forward from her ready stance, ready to try and weave her way past any defensive action he might take in hopes of reaching his arm. If successful, she will continue with her forward momentum in kicking him squarely in the knee, then his stomach, while using him as steps - finally leaping to safety from his shoulder.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Azrael with Shin-Jou Tai.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0           Azrael

It's safe to say that Azrael gets clobbered; he tries to get away from her simple grab, and finds that it was clearly the wrong decision to have made. He figured it was a risk, but not as much of one as it actually turned out to be, the kicks to his leg and stomach hit -far- more powerfully than he had anticipated, proving that not only did he make the wrong choice, but he underestimated his opponents power as well. He's flung to the ground as she springs off of him, and then slowly picks himself up to his feet, already aggravated with himself. But as quickly as it comes, he's already realizing the danger in it.
If he lets her get to him so early, it's already over. He calms himself, and takes a deep breath. It seems her energy wasn't all that he should have been looking out for. His weapon is held in front of himself, and his eyes narrow just slightly, concentration flowing through him. Ok, he's used to fighting superior fighters; he'll have to draw from that experience.

COMBATSYS: Azrael gathers his will.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|=======\-------\0           Azrael

Landing several feet away, Hotaru recovers her footing from the moderately complicated attack fairly quickly. The girl turns around, satisfied that her kicks left the intended mark, and returns to her ready stance. It's good, she thinks, that he underestimated her speed and physical ability at first. But he might not make the same mistake again, which could be a problem. She isn't one for banter, her lips tight, her expression focused.
Hotaru decides to test his reactions more carefully this time - Less barreling in without a care in the world, and more playing it safe to gauge his responses. Her first reply is to dash forward along the walkway, sliding into a low kick at the end, aimed at his shin. It's not terribly damaging - she's testing him now.

COMBATSYS: Azrael interrupts Light Kick from Hotaru with Morbid Massacre.

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Hotaru           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Azrael

If it's a test, it's very likely that Azrael is going to pass. When she begins dashing in towards him he lets up in the haft of his weapon, holding it very near one of the blades and pulling his whole body backwards slightly. Hotaru moves to kick him in the shin, and he strikes at the same moment, the limb getting kicked firmly, but the leg not giving an inch. At the same moment Azrael buries a blade into Hotaru's gut, and a large torrent of negative energy flows through it directly into her, enough to momentarily stun her while he swings his weapon hard, spinning once to the left and slashing across her stomach, pivoting back to the right and slashing towards her chest, and then swinging hard overhand with both hands held onto the weapon for an axe chop, three powerful slashes before he hops backwards and begins spinning his weapon around quickly.

Erk. He holds his ground better than she expected, her foot tapping his shin but his leg not losing its footing as hoped. And then it's all out chop-chop time. As the blade comes toward her stomach, the nimble girl weaves to the side slightly, getting cut but managing to avoid getting skewered. The energy shocks her, hurting her more than the first slash, slowing her ability to react even more or else she would have probably rolled away completely before the next two swings. She manages to suck her stomach in and avoid the worst of the slash for her stomach, and lean back - the slash for her chest catching nothing but cloth. But her evading leaves her off balance as the final axe chop comes, and all she can do is push herself forward into it such that the pole comes crashing down onto her shoulder, eliciting a squeak of pain, but avoiding what could have otherwise been a crippling attack. The crushing blow on her shoulder slams the girl into the ground and it's good for her that Azrael backs off because Hotaru is slow to get back to her feet now.
Her eyes show that she realizes that could have gone even worse than it did as she looks at Azrael now. The blue vest she wears has seen better days, cut open in three places - the white shirt she has on underneath already being stained red. Ow. Ow.
Adopting a more direct tactic, Hotaru leaps into the air, still having enough strength to carry on at full speed. A quick flip and then she is diving for Azrael's shoulder with her foot. If she connects, she'll kick him a second time with her trailing leg, then leap off him again, trying to play leapfrog since that seemed to work on her first attack at least.

COMBATSYS: Azrael blocks Hotaru's Rengeki Shuu.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Azrael

Managing to lay those powerful strikes on Hotaru, even if they're not direct hits, is a powerful moral boost to Azrael. Sure, she's powerful, but she's still vulnerable, and his tactics are still valid and sound if he uses them appropriately. His weapon keeps spinning around when she leaps up into the air, and when she comes down towards him he halts the motion with practiced skill, catching the long pole on either end with his hands and then holding it out towards the foot, sliding backwards as the limb and weapon connect, the second kick being half deflected off his shoulder by a quick rotation of the weapon. He still got hit, but most of the damage was prevented.
With that done Azrael chokes back on his weapon again, using it more like a polearm as he sends one quick thrust out towards her, retreating slowly and trying to use his weapon to it's greatest advantage.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Azrael's Medium Strike.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Azrael

Though he blocked it, Hotaru is able to recover and leap back a bit all the same. Landing lightly, she is quick to dodge the incoming attack, leaning to the side to allow the lunge to fly harmlessly by. The blade does catch on the open coat she has on though, stabbing through the light fabric on its way back, but the event has no effect on the speed at which the girl is able to try attacking him back for his trouble. As he retreats back a little, she runs forward to keep the pressure on him, trying to weave her way in past his large weapon in an attempt to grab his arm and twist him into a simple but effective shoulder slam.

COMBATSYS: Azrael fails to interrupt Quick Throw from Hotaru with Morbid Massacre.

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Hotaru           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1           Azrael

Azrael's maneuver was, essentially, a trap. Utilizing the length of his weapon he was attempting to keep Hotaru far enough away while he held his weapon at the ready to intercept anything she tried. When she tries to rush past the weapon he pulls it back slightly and then simply tries to impale her with it again as he did before. Unfortunately for him the trap fails, her speed allowing her to move in just quickly enough to avoid the point, the harmless pole brushing against her clothing as she comes in and grabs his arm, throwing him down to the ground. This time he's not too perturbed; his strategy was sound, his opponent was simply too skilled. There's no shame in that. He picks himself up quickly, and begins spinning his weapon once more.

Glad to have been spared a repeat incident from her last attempt to wear him down, Hotaru waits for the young man to get back to his feet before she presses in on him again. Once more she weaves in, trying to be hard to predict as she moves with the speed that she is known for having. There is a quick feint to one side, then a lean and a skip, and then she spins into an upward kick, almost like a reverse roundhouse. Behind her foot there is a trail of visible blue energy, evidence of the energy attacks Azrael might have been expecting earlier.

COMBATSYS: Azrael endures Hotaru's Kobi Kyaku!

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Hotaru           1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1           Azrael

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Hotaru           1/------=/=======|=======\===----\1           Azrael

Rather than make what most would probably call an 'orthodox' attack, Azrael stands his ground, the energy washing over him as the 'kick' moves up beside him. Rather then being knocked away as he should be he remains immobile, using the closeness to Hotaru to strike, his weapon suddenly spinning around frantically as he aims to slice her several times on the retreating leg that she kicked with, aiming for the hamstrings to inhibit her mobility.

COMBATSYS: Azrael successfully hits Hotaru with Fierce Strike.

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Hotaru           1/---====/=======|=======\====---\1           Azrael

As she feels her move strike home as she had hoped, Hotaru is surprised to find that the young man hasn't been shoved away by the impact as she would have expected, but rather is far too close for comfort. She tries to recover her footing and hop away, but the first swing of the deadly weapon lands true and the pain registers on her face immediately, "Ah!" The second swing hits her on her thigh and the third strikes her shin, cutting deep. Not so nimble now, the girl stumbles back a couple of steps, hobbling more than walking, gingerly putting weight back on her hurt leg as red stains mark her otherwise white pants wherever she was cut.
Okay, she can't draw this fight out. Trying to play quid pro quo when someone is attacking back with a large deadly weapon is just /not/ a safe thing to do. Breathing in deeply, Hotaru attacks once more, moving with even more speed than she had demonstrated thus far. She rolls forward, avoiding having to jump or sprint with her hurt leg. But as she comes out of the roll, she braces herself for a fraction of a second in a low, crouching position before leaping into the air with a powerful backflipping kick, a swath of chi trailing behind her legs with enough power to knock the young man into the air should the move hit.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru successfully hits Azrael with Ten-shou Ranki EX.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Azrael

But knocking him into the air was only the beginning of what Hotaru has chosen to unleash upon him at this point. Reaching the apex of her own motion, she flips again, adjusting her trajectory to intersect Azrael mid-air, driving him into the ground with her own momentum. By the time the dust settles from the landing, the young fighter is straddling the boy at the waist, her two palms pressing right into his chest like she's about to administer CPR.
The energy crackling in the air around the two is probably the first clue that she is about unleash all of the chi she has been saving throughout the fight for this moment. It manifests itself as a swirl of blue energy at first, building up around the two, the girl breathing in as she focuses on controling the power within and outside of her. Once satisfied that she's built up the power of the incoming chi-bomb enough, she cries out, pulling all of the energy in the air around them back into her and driving it right from her hands into the chest of Azrael. The power creates a second aura of force around the two that looks almost like an explosion, though none of the usual damage that would be caused by such an explosion manifests. As the energy dissipates rapidly, Hotaru exhales the rest of her breath slowly, shoulders slouching a little at the expenditure of energy. Normally she would try to hop away at this point, but the leg injury causes her to push to her feet and stumble off to the side, lifting a hand to wipe her brow.
The attack, while visually impressive, is not the sort that inflicts a devestating injury in her opponent beyond the physical kick and subsequent crash to the ground. Instead the energy she bombarded Azrael with serves more to try and exhaust his will to continue, and the girl certainly hopes that's the case, because taking another strike from that blade of his is not high on her list of things to enjoy.

COMBATSYS: Azrael has reached second wind!

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Azrael

Azrael doesn't see many options as Hotaru rolls up to him and then leaps into the air while kicking at him, everything happening so quickly that attempting to get out of the way or stabbing her before she can manage it would be reliant on pure luck. On top of that, bracing for the hit wouldn't stop enough of the damage to make a difference; he's watched this attack in videos before. The only real option he sees is to try and take the pain that's about to come, perhaps to keep enough presence of mind in order to try to stab her once she's exhausted herself and before she's hopped off. The attempt fails, however, as the strength of the kick and then bombarding energy shocks him too much to keep that much control of himself in order to try it, and so she's able to get off of him and then stumble away. He's beat pretty badly, and he knows it. He forces himself to sit up, and from there jerks forward and lands on his hands, pulling his legs up under himself and standing slowly. He then turns his back to Hotaru, stumbling away from her towards the edge of the ring.
It could very easily look like he's going to give up, but when he makes it to the edge he reaches out with one hand and grips onto the pole holding up the cords that block off the area, twisting his body around and throwing it with all the force he can muster, the ribbons trailing behind it and dragging two more of those posts after it, though they're rather unlikely to hit. "HEEEEEERGH!"

COMBATSYS: Hotaru dodges Azrael's Large Thrown Object.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2           Azrael

She spent a lot of energy on that attack and to have him get back up afterward comes as quite the surprise. Winded herself, she watches him walk away, marvelling that he still has the strength to go on. When he throws the large pole at her though, the girl dodges by leaning to the side, the ribbons flying harmlessly past her face. She's spent a lot of energy, but she hasn't slowed down a lot except when it comes to walking.
With such distance, it's hard to figure out how to handle him now. Gritting her teeth, she forces her leg to move faster than she'd like, and begins to run directly for Azrael a second time, intent on finishing him off the same what that she started the fight - a complicated sequence of kicks meant to drive him into the ground while she leaps from his shoulder to safety.

COMBATSYS: Azrael fails to counter Shin-Jou Tai from Hotaru with Jubilant Inhumation.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|

COMBATSYS: Azrael can no longer fight.

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Hotaru           0/-------/-----==|

It's time for Azrael to go all out, to put absolutely everything into one final attempt to inflict harm upon Hotaru and turn this fight around in a definitive manner. When she comes running at him he takes a step forward and plants his weapon into the ground, attempting to use it like you would when vaulting to throw himself up into the air. But despite her leg injury Hotaru is too fast on her feet, and before he can get into the air she's already on top of him and kicking him in the shoulder, sending him to the ground. He winces painfully, and struggles to get back up... and then just falls to the ground, completely exhausted. Still... He did very well, considering the strength of his opponent

Coming down to land from altitude, Hotaru winces, the pain in her knee from his weapon attack sinking in strong now. Still, she forces herself to turn, getting ready for maybe another assault as her opponent has shown it's not safe to assume when he might be down. But he stays down this time, and the girl relaxes visibly, glad to have ended without getting skewered by his attacks or something. She bows quickly, a smile returning to her face. The bleeding needs attention though, and the moment she is declared the winner, the girl hurries off to go get medical attention.

COMBATSYS: Hotaru has ended the fight here.

Log created by Hotaru, and last modified on 15:20:14 04/22/2007.