Devil's Tournament - DT R1: Sagat vs Zaki

Description: The first round of the Devil's Tournament has kicked off and quite an odd matchup in Zaki and Sagat has been slated to happen. The God of Muay Thai clashes with the gang boss as each look to move on and prove their might. (Winner: Sagat)

'The Devil's Tournament'? The name is ridiculous. The setup even moreso. In a world beset bi-annually by all manner of monster, demon, and colossally-powerful ubermensch, the intimidation factor seems sorely lacking - if that were the intention behind such a name. Invitations sent out across the globe, to fighters great and small, if all accomplished in their own way; almost a standard now, that one. Besides, it's not difficult to locate someone like Aoi Himezaki. She doesn't hide. Consequently, she's not impressed.

But it's not always about being /impressed/. The initial quirk of a brow turned to disdain, then rode quickly to a mounting curiousity and an excitement she'd never state loud and proud. There were one or two names upon the rumoured entrants' list that the warrior within would find some enjoyment meeting, and defeating...

Or otherwise. Not that she'd admit that, either.

Her reply was issued, acceptance painstakingly penned by a doe-eyed underclassman who didn't seem entirely able to meet Zaki's gaze as she dictated, striding back and forth in her meticulously, dangerously neat dormitory cell, a chain swinging at her hip and another jangling about the sweeping crimson ponytail trailing behind. As she paced, vulpine eyes kept roaming to the small window, looking out across the clean, well-kempt grounds of Seijyun and off into the far distance. She pretends not to care about anything, but the truth was-- is...

Aoi loves a challenge. Loves overcoming them even more. Her recent foray into Sunshine has given her a foothold in a new locale, placed her in the firing line for a number of gang bosses great and small. Her promised meeting with that mysterious, cloaked figure in the city's industrial area was intriguing, in its way; but she returned home out of her lingering sense of duty, leaving a Ladies' Team lieutenant in charge of the Sunshine operation as she tended to other business. Another diversion won't hurt. Business can wait. Pleasure can be hard to come by in this day and age - life is gruelling, by design. Perhaps by necessity.

But they also say it's short, don't they? Which is why the lithe girl-gangster can be found in Sri Lanka at this precise instant, standing in the vibrant umber of the setting sun before the revered Temple of the Tooth. Arrayed about the forest-ringed grass before the monument, throngs of local and well-travelled alike, the crowd working up quite the cumbersome hubbub as it waits for the arrival of the fighters. Or one of them, at least; Zaki has no illusion about who the favourite here is, or who these people come to see. Somewhere amidst the general noise, people chant his name, others raise goddamn /prayers/ as their children try to catch a glimpse. So large is the audience that the nearby river is thick with skiffs and floating lanterns, more of the crowd packing onto the waterway - either bypassing ticket costs or just taking what space they can find.

"Tch," Zaki scoffs behind her mask, eyes blazing with an inner fire that's not due to anger - there's something good-natured in her rumbling as she shifts her footing, tipping her head back with a fierce pride as she looks out for her approaching foe. The man she's supposed to beat, if she wants to meet this 'devil'. "Perhaps they should have called it the Temple of the Eye. Fucker's gonna need an extra one of those."

She's alone, of course, but her comment is caught on the rolling cameras. She grins beneath the leather.

It's not a bad day for an asskicking.

COMBATSYS: Zaki has started a fight here.

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Zaki             0/-------/-------|

There are various reasons for a fighter to enter a tournament such as this. Just who thinks they are so good to challenge whoever afterall? There alot of dangerous fighters in this world and just to say anyone can enter for a chance to face the organizer can quirk many a eyebrow. More importantly in a tournament like this it seems too tempting for some. Sagat knew Ryu would not resist a challenge like this and maybe, just maybe, the Muay Thai warrior can finally have a fair match with no distractions against his enternal rival.

He has not been heard from in the headlines for awhile now. He has spent his time after the war helping rebuild his country and somehow keep a low profile. It is rather amazing how a man so large and popular in his home nation can make himself disappear. Those that respect him know he doesn't want attention so in smaller towns and such he can keep himself shielded from the media spotlight.

A day like today that won't matter. Given all the people and the various cameras there is no way to keep a low profile nor did Sagat plan to do so. He has not had a fight since that fated battle with Vega, but now he feels he is healed enough to handle himself in a proper fight. His training combined with all the heavy lifting he has been doing has kept the elder fighter in shape and even for his age he will always be an imposing sight. The height alone makes him stand out as he walks through the gathered mass to move towards where the area of the fight is to be had.

Zaki is only a name he somewhat knows of. A young woman that has impressed many, but still has much to learn. Even so she is dangerous and most of all she is confident. She wouldn't have signed up to be in such a tournament if she wasn't. On top of that he doesn't even know what she did to Sagat's ex student Adon. If he did he would be showing a smile as he steps to meet his opponent. He wears his traditional fighting gear as his body still looks heavily scarred, bearing the wounds from the war that include a large one on the lower left side of his torso where a tank blasted him and point blank range.

He gives a nod to the smaller and younger fighter as he rolls his shoulders and pounds a fist into and open hand as he takes a deep breath. "It has been awhile since I have done this. I shall try not to disappoint." he says while smirking somewhat at the masked fighter.

COMBATSYS: Sagat has joined the fight here.

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Sagat            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zaki

There is something awfully egotistical about it all. 'Are you a bad enough dude to face me?' Not that it's a device Aoi doesn't employ for herself when facing down potential threats to her livelihood; why step up to someone outright when you can make them run the gauntlet of a gang member or two, first? But hypocrisy be damned, if she meets the organizer of this tournament she'll be giving him an ear, eye and faceful. The opportunity to tear someone down a peg or two is a tempting one. Or just to see it done.

Perhaps Sagat can oblige, when and if he makes it past her. As she watches him approach, that unseen grin spreads a little wider - that stare growing ever more predatory in spite of the vast height and weight difference between them, in terms of the gulf in reputation and power. She's a speck to him. She knows it. He knows it. So why does she meet his cyclopean gaze without even the slightest hint of trepidation? Clad in her bizarre, modified school uniform, not a hint of flesh visible below the neck, with that leather mask...

He'd be forgiven for thinking she's just insane. But for all her eyeballing, she lacks that air. She carries herself with a nonchalant and deadly grace that's bigger than anything else about her suggests. There's a reason she commands the admiration of five thousand lesser girls, even in a world packed with role models scarier and genuinely stronger than she is. What she did to Adon, well, maybe that's part of it.

Of course...

"See that you don't," she booms in cold response to his greeting remark.

...Perhaps she's just a belligerent bully who's stepped out of her depth.

"I hope you've been brushing up since your waste-of-breath apprentice took you down," continues the sukeban, drawing herself a little taller still on those savagely high heels, unhinging the concealed chain from her forearm with a flick of the wrist. It slaps at her ankle with a dissonantly merry jingle. "These people came to see a /fight/, not a massacre. They're calling you a hero, you know? Hmph." Her eyes narrow, vulpine slits regarding him with a mirth unmissable even through her antagonistic and aggressive air.

"I wonder how many 'heroes' like to beat on little girls. /Ikuze/!"

And that seems to be that. The camera are already rolling, the people are already cheering, and Aoi sees no reason to wait for any further formalities. Uttering that harsh, guttural kiai, she throws herself into a forward lunge that betrays no hesitance, no doubt in the extent of her abilities. Whether it's bold or stupid is a question the Emperor of Muay Thai gets to answer, as she crosses the warm lawn in a blur of black and crimson, chain streaming at her side as she drops into a low, sliding kick. Looking to topple that mountain.

COMBATSYS: Sagat blocks Zaki's Kokou no Pride.

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Sagat            0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0             Zaki

Never underestimate an opponent. That is something Sagat has become comfortable with. He has fought so many people even since his fall from grace he knows even the fighters that look weak can sometimes pull of a surprise. Encounters with those such as Dan and Johnny Jones have proven that. To take a person entered in this tournament for granted would be a foolish thing to do. If he wishes to have the fight he wants he will have to take every single encounter seriously.

He stays silent even as Zaki speaks and he gives a faint shake of his head. "Not a hero. Just a man redeeming himself." Something he feels he has done well enough so far. Even defeating Vega cannot right every wrong he has done. He might never be able to be satisfied as well no matter how many deeds he can accomplish. He is more than fine letting someone like Rust get the glory of managing to finally destroy Vega even if it is just for a little while. Sagat was in Shadaloo long enough to know even if he seems dead Vega will reappear someday. He just hopes he is still around to help next time too.

He says little else since it seems Zaki is more than ready to strike first. That single eye narrows some as he readies himself and raises a leg up to absorb the delivered blow. It is almost like hitting a wall in a way. It is a solid hit that doesn't even budge the large fighter as he lowers his leg back down and then brings it back up quickly in an attempt to slam his knee into the gut of the other fighter. If she wants a challenge she will get it.

COMBATSYS: Sagat successfully hits Zaki with Medium Kick.
- Power hit! -

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Sagat            0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0             Zaki

Underestimation is a killer. Neither is it typically something Zaki does; she doesn't even do it here. The simple truth in her headlong charge, in her show of spite and exuberance both, is that she knows her clearest chance in this match - and a match it is, not a mere /fight/ - is to hit the big man hard and fast, to keep him on the back foot long enough to score and get back out. Risk and reward. Go hard or go home.

He's the one that earns points in the exchange, however, and not just in his devastating counterstrike. There's no holding back, as little hesitance as she shows, neatly and expertly turtling away behind her swift leg strike - negating, she can tell, all but the smallest strain upon his huge form - and then coming back fast. Hard. A warrior's retort to another warrior. She attempted to pick a little hole in his psyche, digging verbal nails into his brain, seeing what she could pull out or dislodge; playing on doubts and misgivings...

He hasn't got any. Hit a girl? He would. He knows well enough.

"Ksssh!" Hissing between her teeth as her gut ruptures, the warm flow of internal blooding instantly obvious to one so finely-tuned to the art of violence, Zaki meets that cyclopean stare with something that might be called admiration-- were it not still burning with the hubris of her kind. Because she'd never admit that she respects this man's skill, or that the battle he seems to fight... is one worth fighting. His reward is her pain. She almost doubles over, at that, crimson stain bubbling from between her lips and causing her head to swim as it brews on her tongue. Not just blood; stomach acid, bile. It's nasty. Part of her likes it.

"Good /answer/," she grits out, voice rising to a snarling sort of yell as she forces herself to remain standing on wobbling legs. Fighting against the urge, she forces herself forward all the harder, pressing into the mountainous Muay Thai God's personal space even as he seeks to repel her with such a display of violence. Her chain-bearing arm snaps up, striking out for his chest-- but the palm stops short, chain curling out about her outflung fingers until it snaps taut, the snakelike steel tip striking first before the mass bunches against his bulk. It's a weird, unnatural thing, the way it seems to bundle against him before EXPLODING forth.

She's not without her own tricks. She's rarely called 'subtle', but here... well.

Compared to the sheer, direct display of his Muay Thai, she's as elegant as a ballerina.


COMBATSYS: Sagat blocks Zaki's Hakai no Tessa.

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Sagat            0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0             Zaki

To get a rise out of Sagat is still possible, but not nearly as easy as it once was. He has started to learn to keep his head more level in battle these days and even more so out of it. His encounter after the war with Adon was something that proved that. If he was still his old, volatile self he would have probably put Adon into another coma. Instead that annoyance is still about causing trouble around the globe and Sagat does his best to ignore it. It helps he often is in places that have no access to television or the like. The internet? No, he avoids that contraption as well. He will leave that to the kids.

"I thought you would appreciate it." he retorts and his expression doesn't change. It is a determined one with only a slight smirk showing. Even if she is out of her league Sagat approves of the way Zaki carries herself. She is not afraid of him and even if she knows she might be outmatched she doesn't hold back. He feels rather lucky to actually draw an opponent such as this for his first fight. Someone like Zaki will keep him on his toes and remind him he cannot relax and keep training. It is only going to get harder from here on out afterall.

He lurches forward even as the chain unfurls and then slams against him. That powerful strike does little to slow the larger fighter as he barrels forward. His sheer size and momentum seem to be enough to keep the chain from causing too much damage as he seeks to grab Zaki by the head and then bring it downwards to meet his knee. Not once or twice, but three times he looks to drive it right into that masked face before he would shove her away. He shows no hesitance to hit her. To do so would be an insult to a woman like this.

COMBATSYS: Sagat successfully hits Zaki with Tiger Rage.

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Sagat            0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1             Zaki

He's certainly the polar opposite of his cackling tiger cub, all snaggletoothed arrogance and slimy aggravation. That he possesses any form of respect, even in the face of her attempts to derive a rise, to instigate unbalancing emotion, is a surprise that Aoi wasn't precisely expecting. It's almost ironic-- she comes so close to breeding an irritation within and at herself, like the angel on her shoulder were disapproving. Fortunately, said heavenly advisor also likes to wear leather. Even the good girl's a little bad.

No amount of teenage rebellion and ruthless conviction can keep the Muay Thai Emperor at bay, though. Her chain's collision is met with an easy defence unlike any she's honestly faced at such proximity, or alone. A shark in her own murky waters, Zaki isn't used to punching so above her weight; nor being so seemingly unable to barrel through the defenses of another. At worst, her battles are blow for savage blow. It's exhilarating in a sense... troubling in another. She's just glad she's not at home.

That draws a perverse flicker of humour as she's sucked into his clinch, his size and weight controlling her in spite of any agility she may command. So drunk with her boldness is the sukeban that she doesn't /try/ to dodge, however; she doesn't try to move greatly at all, committing to the first strike with a snort of restrained laughter, turning her cheek into it to at least avoid a knockout. But she'll take it, regardless, soaking it with a snarl and a burning spirit to match anything her rival schools have to offer.


She can feel the fine bones in her cheek snap, pulping immediately on impact with that knee. By the time he's done she's drunk on something else entirely; pain, and the desperate adrenaline used to keep it at bay. "Kuso," she mutters somewhat incoherently, sweeping herself away with a quick, circling set of sidesteps, hauling the chain back with a dextrous and instinctive twist of her wrist. She finds that single eye before her, brow furrowed and eyes narrowed. If he could see her face fully, she'd look almost comical. As it is, she does a good job at displaying coherent querying, still keeping some form of composure as she asks.

"How'd he beat you?"

It hangs in the air, thick with her blood and agony, as she becomes a blur once more.


That's punchier, louder, more vibrant with a warrior's rage as she LEAPS into a searing pirouette, a high-heeled foot lashing around in a delirious arc, spraying bluish-purple chi every which way as she pours everything into the opening blow, seeking to somehow get past that impenetrable guard. To penetrate the heart of this unclimbable cliff, this unscalable peak. If she can't climb, she needs to keep trying to bring it down; one solid hit, that's enough. Enough to prove she's serious. Enough to show the world. Enough for the /Devil/. She doesn't care for idle boasting, nor for being branded a hypocrite... just a small victory can turn this.

"/Better/ than he is."

There's a ring of bitterness as her shining eyes meet his over the striking of her heel, over the dark shadow of her mask, over the twisting athleticism of her long, slender body as she twists around. The leg is rechambered as swiftly as she struck for his chest, but with less brutality, curving away from that ugly scar with more of that odd, savage grace. It curls around once more as she hits the ground and spins into another, longer leap-- seeking to pursue his hopefully-driven form. If she can't, she may leap into his clutches; but she's fast enough, she has to be. She must be. The second kick slams in for the same spot, followed soon enough by a third, her leap completely horizontal at the last, leg striking higher as she sinks to a crouch.

By the time she comes to land, and rest, she's breathing hard. Her lungs are flooded. Her face /hurts/.

But that's because she's still grinning.

"Beat him," she urges, come what may, her voice ringing with command. She doesn't need to win.

Not like she did against Adon. He deserved it. "Worse than I did. Make him pay, hear?"

But nobody deserves to lose to him. Least of all twice.

COMBATSYS: Zaki successfully hits Sagat with Hissatsu Inazuma Gankou Geri EX.

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Sagat            0/-------/--=====|=------\-------\0             Zaki

He is better than Adon. He knows this. At least now he could not see himself losing to that arrogant brat. "We all falter during our life." he admits even as she sails in to strike. He shows no fear as he comes forward to meet her. Perhaps even to stop her strike from hitting home like she had hoped so he could just grab her once more. It is one of those moments where perhaps he underestimated the woman given how bad he has already beaten her so quickly. He was going for the kill and Zaki has made him pay.

That heeled boot slams hard and for the first time the large warrior is pushed back by the force of the blow. He is thrown off balance as Zaki slams into him again and his already scarred torso is ravaged by the powerful strikes that further throw him off balance and send Sagat reeling enough that he is almost fully taken off his feet. Driven to one knee he manages to keep from ending up grounded completely by slamming a meaty hand onto the ground to steady himself. There is a deep chortle that comes from Sagat as he shakes his head and he looks back up towards his opponent.

"If I run into him then he shall remember who he really is messing with." he assures the young woman as he starts to get to his feet. Even after such an attack he seems to be in better shape overall. It is not a surprise he still looks better off, but perhaps the bigger surprise is the way Zaki managed to actually take him to a knee and almost fell the elder fighter even if it would have been for a few moments. "Then again with people like you here I don't think he will get far." Really he wasn't even sure Adon was involved, but it seems like he is. He should not be surprised. He always was a fool.

It seems maybe he can find some closure on that end as well if that is the case. Of course that is something to ponder later. Zaki still stands. He takes a deep breath before he lunges forward once more, he leans in low before darting upwards and bringing a large fist upwards in an attempt to slam it into the jaw of Zaki. A fluid, powerful uppercut he is all too well known for as he starts to launch himself upwards before landing back on both feet. "TIIIIIGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

COMBATSYS: Sagat knocks away Zaki with Tiger Uppercut EX.

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Sagat            0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1             Zaki

That ripple of laughter, that moment of doubt, it's enough. Aoi isn't an idiot - she's not delusional, beneath all the posturing and the air of jaded defiance - but she's a prideful beast indeed. That flurry of strikes landed, that hesitation in the dominant showing of her renowned, talented, and /worshipped/ foe, it pays the due that her ego demands. She'll sleep tonight unbothered by regret. She'll be able to walk away in spite of her injuries, with a swish of her skirts and a rattle of sweat-soaked chain. That'll do, pig.

Perhaps that thought is what leaves her still crouched when he surges back into the fray. Her eyes remain narrowed though, intent gleams of hard blue fire that smoulder more than dance. "Maybe," she utters in distant response to his curious sort of compliment. Just what kind of person is she, she mirthfully wonders. She knows how she presents herself, and strongly suspects the conclusions the world draws. She'll never be popular like others are, never hear her name chanted or command the love of a nation. She's not a good person, or even a particularly noble one by any standard; neither will she ever seek redemption. Because she may not be good...

But she has a sense of justice. She has morals. They don't help her avoid the incoming fist, her triggered reflex an instant too late as coiled muscles brace in a skilled flexion to send her airborne and around the expected uppercut. She's savvy enough to have seen what it would be; but it's Sagat's most famed manouevre for very good reason. He knows how to use it better than she knows how to avoid it or pre-empt it. Her jaw is knocked from alignment with another cracking of bone lost in the soaring of that massive, muscular frame. But the cameras will pick it up, they always do. They'll focus in, play it back a half dozen times.

Because that's it. In that moment, the fight is won. She knows before she's released from the instant of impact, blown upward and away, lithe body surrounded by suddenly-limp limbs. They'll start shaking when she tries to use them, moments later, on the ground, pushing herself up to quivering knees. Her body is on fire, all over, because the pain in her jaw is too much on which to focus. But she has the power to get up once more; she knows it, he can see it, as she waits to meet his gaze one more time. She could do something...

She could fight, albeit barely. One last spiteful retort.

But he's not earned her spite.

She opens her mouth, behind the mask, and struggles to form words. All that comes is a swift retching, a tooth clattering against her lip before it tumbles out to stick against the damp edge of her cheek, a trickle of accompanying blood - cleaner than the stuff coughed up from her lungs - runs down her chin. "I was wrong," she manages then, voice carrying a surprising weight for one who can barely speak. Her pride never dies.

"'Temple of the Tooth' sounds about right, after all."

It might be a mystery to him, until he watches the tape back, but the cameras heard it.

Zaki stands then, swaying to her feet with a coughed laugh, reaching up with the hand not still trailing greased links to dig uncomfortably inside her mask. It's awkward, but she pulls free the blooded bit of human ivory, holding it up between gloved thumb and forefinger, before flicking it onto the ground between the Muay Thai God and she. A sacrifice. A tribute. He's spared a deep nod then, coming dangerously close to a bow from the lithe young woman. It's as close as she'll ever come to bowing to another person.

"You're good," she pronounces, a soft 'hmph' settling as she breathes out and leans back into her heels. It's a moment she needs to gather herself to walk away, her brain swimming and body almost failing, but that's /not/ picked up by the camera - that's for she alone to know, before she turns and takes slow strides away, a wave of the hand sending away the medics who meet her at the outskirts. There are things people can never see. Never learn. But for an instant before departing, she let Sagat see - in her gaze, in that simple, respectful nod.

It's all people like them need. Let the Devils keep the spotlight.

COMBATSYS: Zaki takes no action.

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Sagat            0/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Zaki can no longer fight.

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

Often between certain fighters words don't need to be exchanged to show respect. Even when they do choose to use them they often don't need many and this is one of those cases. Sagat may be brutal, but he knows when to stop. Zaki has pride, but that isn't enough to keep her in this fight. Experience and power wins out over youth and speed this day and all Sagat does is nod to her when she makes the comment. Then there is a bit of a smirk, a playful one at that. It seems wrong to be shown on the large fighter's features. "So I have been told. I hope to see you improve." he says in response and nods back. Yes, words don't need to be said, but in this case the woman deserves it.

The crowd cheers loudly as Sagat raises an arm in the air when he is announced as the winner. For many it as never in question. Many had made some cash off bets here. He could care less about the cheers and even if he gets any sort of prize. He has something else to look forward to. He will see who his next opponent is. If he is lucky it will be someone with the spirit with Zaki at least if anything. Adon might be in this tournament, but the God of Muay Thai could care less. There are real fighters to deal with.

Nothing more is said to Zaki as he lowers his arm and nods to her one last time. Maybe one day he will cross paths with her again. Perhaps in a few years where her skills have further improved. Will he be in decline by then? He will do his best not to be, but time eventually wins that battle and he isn't sure how much longer he can keep himself in such shape. All that matters right now he is almost back to his old self and if there really is a devil behind this tournament he will show him a devil is no match for a god.

COMBATSYS: Sagat has ended the fight here.

Log created on 19:52:42 04/27/2012 by Sagat, and last modified on 10:00:53 04/30/2012.