Neo League 351 - #368: Sakura vs Acacia

Description: You know how those really high-class restaurants always have live entertainment? A band, maybe a floor show? Well, the Foo Ling Wee Dim Sum Restaurant isn't exactly a classy establishment. But tonight, it does have a show. Two girls hitting each other. Which might be kind of risque, but it's not THAT kind of establishment either. No, our fighters are Acacia Gillespie and Sakura Kasugano. It's chaos on the restaurant floor, with lots of spilt drinks and broken dishes. But the diners knew what they were getting into, right? Not that anyone expected a conclusion like this... (Draw Match)

Fighting isn't good for your blood pressure.

Not when you're the manager of the fight venue, anyway. The Foo Ling Wee Dim Sum Restaurant is supposed to be a nice middle-class family establishment, not...not a place for such uncouth violence!

At least, that's what the poor woman tells herself. But the owner's a big big fan, and he insisted, and it's not like she and her staff have any choice. So she watches, worridly, all but gnawing at the top of her clipboard.

It's a packed house tonight, the Southtown eatery filled with customers. Most of them fight fans, of course. The kitchen's running at maximum capacity, the bamboo containers of steamed and fried foods flying out to tables fast as the waiters and waitresses can manage. There's the clink of glasses, the click of chopsticks, the scent of sauces, the hubbub of conversation...

But all attention's directed at the centre of the restaurant, in the open space cleared away in front of the stage.

And there is a stage. No self-respecting Chinese restaurant would be without at least some rudimentary stage-like wall. How else can you hold weddings? Wedding dinners are important!

No wedding dinner tonight, though. Just a big banner with the Neo League logo on it. And beneath, sitting on the steps leading up to the small raised Acacia.

As dignified as anyone can be in such a situation, anyway. She rests on the steps, dressed much as she usually is. Combat boots, black jeans, black t-shirt, motorcycle gloves. Shaggy silver hair. In respect for the occasion, though, she's swapped her usual jacket for a long-sleeved mandarin coat. Faux-silk and black, hanging open over her t-shirt, with large white cuffs.

Munching on a plate of ha gao and siew mai.

Hey, free food.

Sakura... forgets the names of the foods she likes to eat her. She knows it when she sees it, and it's quite possible she could even make the dishes herself with a few experimental tries. But really, she'd need someone to roll it by on a cart for her to be able to authoritatively identify a given food.

It'd just figure she'd get here late, too. Her Neo League opponent's already digging in as the schoolgirl walks in, dressed in a blue Chinese blouse and matching pants, held over from her Medal Tournament finale with Li Xiangfei. She figured it was appropriate, anyway... though, as in her finale appearance, she has kept the long white headband that's become her trademark. Grinning warmly, she tilts her head to Acacia in greeting. "Been a while!"

Even though she's late, she still walks over to the table and snags herself a brand-new-plate of cha siu baau and rice. "... Can't fight on an empty stomach, though!" She flashes a wink to the somewhat-frazzled Neo League referee -- who had been fully intending to start the fight with Sakura on an empty stomach. The NERVE.

After downing one piece with her chopsticks, though, she shrugs her shoulders, still holding the plate. "You can start, though! I'm ready whenever you are." ... Yes, she's being =intentionally= arrogant here, if the light-hearted smirk is any indication.

COMBATSYS: Sakura has started a fight here.

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Sakura           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Acacia has joined the fight here.

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Acacia           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

Acacia gives a small snort of laughter. She picks up one last prawn-and-pork roll with her own chopsticks, pops it into her mouth...and then sets the plate aside, leaving it on the dias. She gets to her feet. As she does so, a waitress rushes in behind her, retrieving the abandoned plate of Dim Sum. Acacia pays the woman no mind. She's already walking forward, one step, two. Coming to a halt across from Sakura.

She cocks her head to one side, looking at her friend, askew. Then Acacia returns the smirk with a smile of her own, the corner of her mouth twisting up in a sardonic grin.

"Empty stomach," Acacia says, "means you won't puke your guts later."


Then she moves. No shifting into any sort of fighting stance. Just...her rearmost boot pounds into the restaurant carpet, an impact that terminally scars the lucky-medallion pattern. Hard enough that the teacups of a few nearby tables splash hither and yon. Acacia -charges-, exploding forward. Driving one fist ahead of her, knuckles racing towards Sakura's midsection.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Acacia's Quick Punch.

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Acacia           0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0           Sakura

Ohh man. And this is the Neo League, so the damages aren't quite as well-covered as in SNF... crap! At least that one was Acacia's, not hers!

Acacia's comment certainly raises an eyebrow from Sakura. ... She... hadn't considered that, really. She chews on that barbecued pork a bit more slowly, now ... and she's just about finished with it when Acacia slams her fist into Sakura's midsection.

*CLINK!* The ceramic plate explodes with the impact of Acacia's fist, as Sakura interposes it in the way. Better the plate than her stomach! At least the American gave warning, right?

"H-hey, you know we gotta pay for damages, right?" she quips, padding backwards a couple steps. But what happened to the other pieces of char siu baau? ... Why, she still has them in her left hand. Well, one of the pieces, anyway, as she stuffs the other into her mouth. Luckily, Acacia won't have to worry about getting food all over her outfit, as Sakura's using her =feet= now. Cue one thrust kick to the midsection while Sakura feeds her face with a muffled, "Mgghaa!"

COMBATSYS: Acacia counters Medium Kick from Sakura with Icon of Stone.

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Acacia           0/-------/------=|==-----\-------\0           Sakura

Witty banter isn't Acacia's forte. Oh, she's got a sense of humour, but she's not exactly the sort to talk a mile a minute. Or play to the crowd. But for a friend, she'll make an exception. Professional courtesy, you know.

Besides, she's never /really/ forgiven Sakura for the whole hot springs episode.

Wouldn't do to let Sakura get the better of her. Again.

"I know..."

Acacia interposes an arm. Whipping her sleeve up, fabric billowing as she moves. Throwing it into the path of the incoming kick from an opposing angle. But she doesn't just deflect it, no. With the speed and force of that interception, it probably hurts Sakura. With a jarring shock of rigid bone and muscle.

Acacia disengages, shifting back a step. Her voice is soft, quiet, deceptively calm.

"...China," she says, indicating the restaurant with a nod of the head. Then she points a thumb at herself.


So not only does Sakura have to kick a rock-solid body, but she has a rock-solid body rebuffing her kick in particularly violent fashion? Oof! Kasugano finds herself deposited onto her rear with that, the silk aiding her fall and making her slip a bit further back. Oh, how humiliating!

She's back on her feet a moment later, though, stuffing that last piece of barbecued pork into her mouth. "Yeah, yeah, I get it! So's this make me the rodeo clown?"

Sakura doesn't seem to be making much sense, though, as rodeo clowns don't normally launch takedown attempts at bulls, trying to trip them and slam an elbow into their stomach to hasten their falls. But, nonetheless, that's what Sakura does. "Hhhhhyaaaa!"

COMBATSYS: Acacia Toughs Out Sakura's Medium Throw!

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Acacia           0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0           Sakura

"Clown maybe," Acacia replies, deadpan. Only the gleam in her eye betrays her sense of humour.

She stands her ground, unflinching. Doing absolutely nothing to resist as Sakura bears down on her. She doesn't resist as the other girl sweeps her legs out. Just lets herself fall, taking the blow to her stomach. But Acacia tenses an instant before the impact hits. Her reflexes and well-honed abdominal muscles taking the blow. Like rock, it is. Just like Sakura's already observed.

Acacia hits the ground. But she breaks her fall with one forearm and elbow. And her other hand...

...that, she pounds into the side of Sakura's head, hopefully before she can disengage.

This kind of close-in catfight might be entertaining, even titilating, to the spectators in the restaurant...and the cameras catching this for the home audience. Or at least it would be. Except Acacia's not a cat. She's already claimed another animal metaphor.

And the first person who points out that a female bull is a 'cow'...

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Acacia's Strong Punch.

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Acacia           0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0           Sakura

"Clown, huh..." mumbles Sakura, just as her elbow slams into Acacia's iron defenses. Kasugano seems to have forgotten =most= of Acacia's tactics, apparently, as this still comes as something of a surprise. But she is able to bob backwards, able to disengage at least partially before her opponent collides with the floor. Accordingly, she's able to snap her forearm up to dull Acacia's counterattack.

Staggering back from the blow, Sakura decides to attempt a different tack. That is, she curls her hands to her side, grinning faintly. She may have momentarily forgot Acacia's tactics, but it seems she remembered something else about her.

Grinning as blue-white light reflects in her eyes, she responds, quite simply, "Hadooouken!"

Though Acacia's more likely to react to the whirling blast of concussive force erupting from Kasugano's extended hands, than to the name of the attack.

COMBATSYS: Acacia slows Large Hadouken from Sakura with Mass Breaker.

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

Acacia's eyes widen, just a bit, as the flaming blast of energy streams towards her. Oh, yeah. She's familiar with this. But it's been a while since she fought Sakura, and she's wondering if...

...a foot lifts. Then -stomps- down, heavy booted sole slamming into the restaurant floor. A hammer blow that -shakes- the entire eatery, rattling glasses and plates, causing the decorative lanterns on the ceiling to sway. The audience, already gaping from Sakura's release of the famous Ansatsuken technique, just gasp -again-. Splinters of wood and flecks of carpet fly up as a burst of concussive chi distorts the air, rippling from Acacia's foot. Travelling upward in a wave, into the path of the oncoming Hadouken.

And it isn't enough.

Oh, the fireball -parts-, but it doesn't stop. The vestiges of chi washing over Acacia, rocking her back a step. She hisses, faint trails of smoke rising from her body.

"Hn," she snorts, "looks like you're still better at -that-."

Not surprising. Sakura's always been far and ahead of her with chi attacks. But Acacia'd hoped she'd closed the gap.

Sakura's still not quite figured out a strategy for dealing with someone who can quash her attacks as effectively as Acacia. She's certainly =passionate= about her fighting, but seeing her best stopped as if it were nothing is a bit of a killjoy. Er, more accurately: a =challenge=. It's taken years for her to see it that way.

Accordingly, she feels it's best to bide her time at the moment, falling back upon her mentor's recommended course of action. Charging in blindly has its merits, to be sure, but against someone like Acacia... it could prove fatal. Or at least hurtful.

Kasugano raises her hands defensively, nodding in assent to Acacia's statement. "I've been practicing a lot, yeah!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura focuses on her next action.

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Acacia           0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0           Sakura

"Good," Acacia replies. She angles her head ever-so-slightly, a ghost of a nod.

The deflection of that hadouken didn't work as well as she'd hoped. Frankly, she's thankful Sakura didn't try to press the advantage. Acacia's tough, but she doesn't really have any illusions about her toughness. She's long since realised that people see her as stronger than she actually is. And the successes she's won just renforce that.

Well. That's fine.

If there's one thing -her- mentor taught her, it's that psychological advantages can be just as good as the real thing.

She regards Sakura across the restaurant, across the open space at the heart of the eatery. It's a noisy place. Chinese restaurants always are. Even more noisy now, given the dinner crowd aren't just eating, they're watching a fight. They don't matter to Acacia, though. She just tunes them out. Her attention is entirely on her opponent.

"Would be bad if you got worse."

Acacia lunges forward. No subtle moves here, just a straight-line punch, fist tightly clenched. Propelling it with not just her upper body, but her whole frame, momentum from her back and legs.

COMBATSYS: Sakura interrupts Quick Punch from Acacia with Medium Hadouken EX.

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

Sakura would've probably been surprised had she tried to press an advantage. Her master's flavor of Ansatsuken is crafted to reduce the chance of surprises, by hanging back and assessing the situation properly. When one attacks, it should be on one's own terms, with no surprises.

And Acacia's charge seems to prove that point, for as she comes hurtling forward, Sakura remains more or less motionless, assessing the situation like she ought to. She stays put, left arm raised defensively, right arm by her side until the very last moment, so as to eliminate the possibility of a feint, or any other sort of trickery. Kasugano wants no surprises.

None except her own, of course. At that critical moment, Sakura pivots back and to the side. She takes the blow in her shoulder, yes -- but the true terror is in the furious fireball she'd been gathering power for all along. As Acacia's momentum is dulled by Sakura's shoulder, her right palm swings forward, matching the left hand that swings up from below. Kasugano shouts, "HA--" and a blossom of blue flame springs into existence. She continues, "--AAADOOOOUKEN!", and the blossom grows larger, large enough to envelop Acacia whole, and knock her back.

The thunderous roar is enough to rattle the glasses and mirrors, really. But Sakura's focused a bit too intently on this battle of wills to notice!

There's no true surprise in battle. Real surprise is when you've seen something all along... but thought it was something else.

That's another of the maxims Acacia learnt from her teacher, the man who adopted her. Or at least, something she's tried to learn. Her success in putting that into practice is questionable, perhaps. She assumed Sakura was just being wary. Maybe she was. But she was also preparing that fireball. And /that/ Acacia did not expect. Mind, if she'd realised what the other girl was up to, she'd have probably charged /anyway/.

But she'd have braced herself better, at least.

Thrown off her feet, Acacia crashes into the ground. She actually flies far enough that she slams into a table at the edge of the fighting area. Sending food and drink into the air, and diners scrambling for safety.
Acacia hisses as she claws back to her feet. One sleeve soaked in hot tea. Vegetable dumplings and broken porcelene crunching beneath her boots as she rises.

"Do you," Acacia asks, dryly, "have any battlecries besides 'hadouken'?"

Between words, she breathes, drawing air into her lungs. Letting chi flow through her body in familiar patterns.

COMBATSYS: Acacia gains composure.

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Acacia           0/-------/-======|=======\-------\0           Sakura

Battle cries? "... Well... normally I just shout 'haa' or 'hyaa'... maybe 'hrii-haa,' if I'm feeling saucy." Yes, she's butchering quotes from some movie, and no, she doesn't remember which one, tapping her chin with a finger. "Oh, right, I've got 'Shou'ou Ken!', too. That one just gets me into trouble!" she admits with a laugh.

But she's not just standing there idly. She's got some ground to cover, with how far back she'd knocked Acacia, and she starts covering it, stepping cautiously closer. Eyes slightly narrowed, she's not =entirely= sure which tack to take now... but she figures she can stick with the basics, if nothing else.

It's with that in mind that the girl lashes out with a snap kick to the chin, silken fabric billowing from the rapid movements. "Hyaaa!" she shouts, implicitly referring to her earlier statement.

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Acacia with Light Kick.

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Acacia           0/-------/=======|======-\-------\0           Sakura

"Thought you'd yell Ryu, not Ken---"

She doesn't complete the wisecrack, though. She gets cut off with an explosive gasp. From her own lungs, entirely involuntary. Sakura's foot lands soundly on her chin, driving her head back. Whipping it painfully. Acacia reels, momentarily stunned. Just for a second. But she recovers quickly, reacting on pure instinct. She doesn't look at Sakura, just strikes at where she /is/. Returning the favour with a kick of her own. Not as high as Sakura's, not with as much movement or momentum. Just one raised knee, blazing for the side of Sakura's torso.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Sakura with Light Kick.

[         \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////////              ]
Acacia           0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1           Sakura

Shou'ou Ryu? "Cherry Blossom Dragon just doesn't sound right somehow... " Sakura notes in the brief interval between kicks.

It's probably a =bad= thing that Sakura tried to eat so quickly at the start of the match, for the reason Acacia's already supplied. The Japanese tomboy started to move, but staggers a bit more as Acacia's knee rams into her side. She doesn't roam far, though, intending to press an opening!

In fact, she =tries= to grab Acacia's knee with her arms, and shove sharply to the side for a takedown! Maybe, just maybe, Sakura can use Acacia's momentum against her... "HYAAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Acacia with Quick Throw.

[            \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /////////////////             ]
Acacia           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Sakura

Maybe she can. Maybe she does. Unbalanced, Acacia hits the ground. Shaking the floor of the restaurant a little more, rattling the diners yet again. She rolls away, putting some distance between herself and the other girl before coming back up in a crouch. One foot flat on the ground, her other leg resting knee-first on the carpet. She regards Sakura.

"No," Acacia replies, after a moment, "maybe...Cherry Blossom Dan?"

COMBATSYS: Acacia focuses on her next action.

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Acacia           1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Sakura

Those diners are probably getting really ticked off at these constant interruptions! But then again, they would have known from the banners, right? Right.

But yeah. If there's a way to snap Sakura out of her calm and focused manner, it's by relating her skills to Dapper Dan and his long, stylish ponytail. Sakura plucks herself back up to hear that particular comment, her faint, confident smirk turning into serious disdain. The 'Oh no you di'n't' look, if you will.

It's at this point that Sakura calmly brushes off her shoulder, walking over to the dais, and extracts a meatbun from the platter.

Holding it up to Acacia, she offers, "Want one?" And then starts chowing down upon it.

Works for Kensou, anyway.

But her apparent nonchalance is accompanied by a faint blue wind, sending ripples into her billowy garment. Kasugano's being very deliberate in her nonchalance, if that makes any sense.

COMBATSYS: Sakura gathers her will.

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Acacia           1/------=/=======|=======\====---\1           Sakura

"Told you," Acacia replies, "what goes down...must come up."

Nevermind the fact that -Acacia- was eating, earlier. She was munching on her own plate of dim sum when Sakura turned up, after all.

But she's not being...entirely hypocritical here. Acacia's fairly sure she's got a stronger constitution than Sakura. Stronger stomach, anyway. Though she's not gonna take that as an article of faith. She's gonna test the theory.

By punching Sakura in the gut.

Acacia blasts from her crouch. Like a sprinter at the starter's gun. The faux silk of her Chinese shirt whips round her, streaming in the wind as she throws herself headalong at Sakura. From her antics, it's clear that Sakura's better at the whole misdirection and tactics thing. Certainly in sheer posturing. Whereas Acacia, she favours the direct approach. One fist forward. Once again. But this time, her arm /vibrates/, space twisting around her limb. Warping from the shockwaves of chi-force eminating from her fist. Pure kinetic energy, raw concussive force, a near-subsonic rumble that resonates through the air.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Sakura with Bonecrusher.

[             \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  //////////////                ]
Acacia           1/----===/=======|=======\-------\1           Sakura

Aww man. Ruining a good meal, too! ... Maybe it didn't work quite the same for Kensou.

But first: Acacia's making a cryptic comment. Hardly the first she's made, but it's making Sakura scratch her head in confusion. ... And then she realizes the slight verbal switcheroo Acacia made, and catching the reference to her eating.

But that'd be when Sakura's plan comes into play, for as Acacia rockets towards her... well, that's when Sakura's gathered chi takes effect. Indeed, it becomes a near-tangible barrier to Acacia's thundering shockwave, dispelling what it can of the force.

All Sakura has to worry about is blocking the fist with her arm.

This is where she falters, getting =blasted= backwards, flopping head over heels. She could stop the shockwave, but not what caused it!

... But she didn't throw up, at least, and didn't drop the meatbun. Extricating herself from the table of one unlucky group of diners, she springs back to the designated fight area with a single bound. "Nice..." she says, before gulping down the remainder. "But that's not always true!"

And then, she decides to forego her battle cry. It seems she can always sense that coming, after all. Kasugano simply whips her hands forward, and unleashes a ginormous blast of energy into her opponent. Wham!

COMBATSYS: Sakura successfully hits Acacia with Large Hadouken.
- Power hit! -

[                   \\\\\\\\\\\  < >  ////////////                  ]
Acacia           1/=======/=======|=======\==-----\1           Sakura

Acacia stays on her feet.

That's an achievement.

The explosive force of Sakura's hadouken washes over her like a wave. It all but destroys her outer shirt, tearing it away, burning it away, in a stench of evaporated silk. Her other clothes are thankfully tougher. But they too smoke. She sways, as the blast passes. Staggering.

Then she raises her head, meeting Sakura's eyes. She smiles.

"Then I'll make it true."

That one blast hurt her worst than anything that's been thrown, so far, in this match. Hurt her bad. And even Acacia can't hide that fact. But it doesn't slow her down. She doesn't let it slow her down. If anything, she moves faster than before. Charging Sakura.

Sweeping one arm up in a powerful, powerful, uppercut.

COMBATSYS: Sakura blocks Acacia's Supercollider.

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

Uppercut. Yeah, that'd be like Sakura's Shou'ou Ken, mentioned in an earlier comment. But Sakura also knows that Acacia can make it hurt just a bit more than she can make her own Shou'ou Ken hurt.

It's with that in mind that Sakura plans to be somewhere else. Not lower, not to the side... but overhead.

Leaping up, Kasugano splays her legs to either side, slapping down at Acacia's uppercut with open palms. It's not a light impact, no -- but Sakura's palms are still shimmering from that Hadouken she'd just tossed. The chi prodigy has a lot of experience with this sort of thing, after all -- the slight numb sensation she gets from throwing a Hadouken, combined with the fresh energy she's just amassed, is enough to dull =quite= a bit of the impact from that uppercut. And her forward momentum is enough to carry her forward, up and over Acacia's charge, and out of the range of that pesky momentum she's accumulated. It still stings like hell, though, and Sakura won't be punching or flinging Hadoukens for a moment.

No, as soon as she lands, she'll be whipping around for a high, scything kick to the back of Acacia's head. "Hriiii-HAAA!"

COMBATSYS: Acacia blocks Sakura's Flower Kick.

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

Acacia doesn't turn. She knows she can't spin round fast enough. She's tougher than Sakura, physically. But she's also a lot slower, nowhere as agile as the other girl. She's fought Sakura enough to know that. So she doesn't try.

She does, though, haul one arm back. Interposing a forearm as the kick descends. Catching Sakura's heel on her own rigid forearm.

Blunting it much the same way Sakura stopped /her/ attack, a moment ago.

Then she spins. Twisting. Not in a complete circle - her motion is mainly at the waist. Just enough to drive a backhand towards Sakura, hopefully before she can get away.

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Sakura with Quick Punch.

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

And Acacia would be successful in that, for while Sakura had fully intended to spring backwards... well, it was kinda contingent on smacking Acacia around =properly=. Which she didn't. And she gets tagged in the face with the back of Acacia's hand for her failure.

In the end, she does spring backwards, just not under her own power. Her feet slide on the carpet, scuffing it just so, as she struggles to regain control.

Rubbing her face, she finds the energy to laugh. She could collapse at any moment, after all! "Right on the edge, here... my favorite kind... of battle..." she comments, pacing backwards a few steps. But with Acacia clearly overpowering her in the physical realm, well...

She's really got to fall back on her master for this one. Winking back at Acacia, she thrusts her hands forward once more, a furious =orange= flame flickering up around her hands. Her meatbun tactic bought her way more than just time -- it had allowed her to bolster the energy reserves she needs to keep this up just a =bit= longer. "Once more! HADOUKEN!" The rushing flames rocket towards Acacia, the backwash from the flames more than enough to knock plates off their tables! Whoosh!

COMBATSYS: Acacia negates Medium Hadouken EX from Sakura with Mass Breaker.

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

"Once more," Acacia repeats, eyes narrowing. Hard as flint.

She's got to time this...



Her heel slams into the ground. The heavy sole of her combat boot crashing into floorboards. Another crater splintering beneath her foot. The impact /rocks/ the restaurant. Sends more plates from tables. Forces nearby diners to react quickly - or fall, themselves.

Acacia's chi erupts upward in a geyser. Colourless, visible only from the splinters of broken flooring and shreds of carpet. Smashing into the incoming fireball.

In an explosion of colliding energies.

Sakura just stares at the remnants of Hadouken getting churned into shreds. That was, by all accounts, the =last= of the little nest egg of chi she'd gathered up from her little meatbun-devouring interlude. And it disappears, in cloud of steam, flickering lights, and subsiding energies.

Sakura frowns, almost as if she'd lost a beloved pet or family member.

A good slap is enough to snap her out of it though. This is a battle, not a war movie! And so, after one quick slap to her cheek, her eyes are wide open again, her engines running on pure adrenaline as she rockets toward Acacia! She might otherwise have hung back, and waited, as her master would do ... but no. The time to strike is =now!= "BURRRN! KNUCKLE!"

Thus, her fist, sheathed in blue energies, is dubbed as she races at her opponent.

COMBATSYS: Acacia endures Sakura's Medium Punch.

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Acacia           0/-------/---====|-------\-------\0           Sakura

The blow crashes into Acacia's cheek, Sakura's knuckles digging into her face. But it doesn't seem to faze Acacia. Doesn't faze her at all. She shifts her head, shifts her body. Not much. Just enough. Enough so she can whip her own arm up in a distinctive uppercut. In retaliation.

Sakura might have an amazing talent for imitating moves. And the kinesthetic sense to pull it off. Acacia doesn't. That's not her talent.

This time, though, this time...she tries.

It's not like the uppercut she threw earlier. That one was a powerful blow with all of Acacia's muscles behind it. A movement she'd practiced for raw /power/. This one is different.

She spins a little while she does it.

Sakura probably recognises it, point of fact.


Laughter, from the crowd.

COMBATSYS: Sakura interrupts Quick Punch from Acacia with Flower Kick.
- Power hit! -

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

Copyright infringement, eh? The little spinning... well. Sakura may recognize its source in a moment. She's in the heat of the battle now, driven totally by adrenaline. The analytical mood encouraged by her teacher... has passed. Right now... she's acting on pure reflex.

And in Sakura's mind, she sees a corkscrewing uppercut about to unwind. Acacia's normal moves are actually =closer= to her master's style than her own, in some regards -- pure, linear acceleration, a blindingly direct path, from zero to pain in 0.26 seconds. Her master teaches that nothing should obstruct the circuit from thought to action, for a trained fighter. Acacia normally has that.

But not when Acacia is attempting to emulate an Ansatsuken technique. That split second of windup is all it takes for fight-or-flight Sakura to capitalize on an opening, darting sharply to the side, and short-circuiting the would-be uppercut with a quick, surgically-accurate kick to the base of Acacia's neck, while the uppercut itself heads on without incident.

To put it more simply, Sakura couldn't do that again if she tried.

Gasping for breath after she realizes what she'd done, she steps backwards, hand over her mouth. "D-did you just see that?! Wh--"


"Was that a =Shou'ou Ken= you just tried?" she sputters, to the amusement of the diners.

At least they're getting entertainment in exchange for ruined dinners.

Entertainment, alright. Acacia'd laugh, if her head wasn't too busy aching, her vision coming dangerously close to blackout. The kick slams into her neck, her spine, and it's like a giant fist the size of the world just gripped her consciousness and /SQUEEZED/.

She spins. Lashing out instinctively, with one rigid forearm. Nothing but a desperation blow, though, delivered with pure reflex.
Then she's falling, collapsing on her knees.
A gasp escapes her lungs.

"Y...yeah," Acacia manages.

Then she does laugh, a near-hysterical snort.

"...stupid, huh..."

She's not getting up, no.

COMBATSYS: Acacia can no longer fight.

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

COMBATSYS: Acacia successfully hits Sakura with Icon of Stone.

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

COMBATSYS: Sakura takes no action.

COMBATSYS: Sakura can no longer fight.

Desperate times, desperate measures -- you know the drill! Sakura's own Flower Kick was desperate enough -- and in all actuality, Sakura was too stunned that it worked. That just goes to show that the moves you =practice= are waaay faster than the ones you don't!

And Acacia's practiced this one quite a bit, as well. Kasugano is still too busy spazzing out to really have the focus she needs to recognize the melody of Acacia's swan song -- let alone the final serenade that whips out and catches her on the temple, sending =her= spinning into a downward spiral.

The Ansatsuken prodigy finds herself all but unconscious, staring up at the garishly bright incandescent light fixtures on the ceiling, mouth agape in bewilderment.

After a moment, she just starts laughing. "Ha ha... yeah... that... that was awesome... hahaha..."

It's fights like this that Sakura lives for. It's not a clear failure... not a clear success... just a pure, hot-blooded exploration of potential. The potential of =both= fighters.

So, while Sakura doesn't feel like moving, either, she does nonetheless bear a smile on her face, to a round of applause from the entertained diners.

Log created by Acacia, and last modified on 10:25:21 04/28/2007.