Devil's Tournament - DT Final: Ryu vs Sagat

Description: It looks like the organizers are getting bang for their buck now. The finals have arrived and it pits two of the biggest names that had entered against one another. A rematch that lead to Sagat's fall from grace and gave him the large scar on his chest. A battle he has long desired more than anything else. A battle to have on his own terms. Ryu himself is on a mission to see things though to the end and perhaps finally meet with Akuma to do battle. Who has the greater desire to win in this clash? (Winner: Ryu)

How fitting that the penultimate battle of the Devil's Tournament would occur here, in a place referred to as "The End of the World."

This is Ushuaia, in southern Argentina, a port city overlooking the Beagle Sound and probably one of the largest cities this close to the edge of civilization. Not far from here, geographically speaking, northern Antarctica rears its frozen head, and here in the southern hemisphere winter is soon approaching. That means that here, on the small island housing the Les Eclarieus Lighthouse in the middle of Beagle Sound, the sea wind is decidedly brisk. Of course, anyone WATCHING this fight isn't on the island, which has just enough room for Sagat and Ryu to battle on considering the rocky terrain; instead, the tournament organizers have made a trio of large passenger ferries available for spectators, the trio of boats forming a rough triangle around the island for maximum camera coverage. Only a very small team of organizers remains, and they have huddled next to the (unmanned) lighthouse for at least a little shelter against the elements... and to stay out of the Wandering Dragon and the Tiger Emperor's way.

Yet despite the crashing waves and punishing winds, Ryu seems unperturbed. In fact, the longer he has progressed in this tournament, the stronger his resolve has become. At first, the mystery, the strangeness, and his bursts of half-forgotten memory wore at him, made him uncertain, but his battle with Athena Asamiya proved sobering. Heedless of her own concerns, the pop star-turned-fighter threw her all into attacking the darkness. How could Ryu do any less than that, especially when he promised her that he would keep up the fight?

But still, as he stands on the rocky ground of the island, waiting for the fight to start, there is still a tingling in his fingers, a heating of his blood that wipes away the biting chill of the locale. Sagat. Not only is this fight important to Ryu personally to satisfy his need for information, but a battle against the Muay Thai master is a rare opportunity indeed. Though he considers battles with all fighters a challenge, there are those whose power pushes Ryu to his very limits as a fighter, and Sagat is one of those rare individuals. For someone who lives in the moment of the fight... today is a great day indeed.

It seems like it has been forever since thier last meeting. So much has gone on in both the world and Sagat's personal life since he has seen Ryu. A god was almost resurrected, the world was torn apart by war and in the end it was once Vega's most trusted follower that helped bring him down. Once and for all? No, surely not. At least it seems that the last defeat has resulted in Vega staying hidden away for the time being. Hopefully for a good long time. Now months after that incident alot of rebuilding is still being done, but things have been at least somewhat peaceful.

It was a weird journey through the tournament that has led him here. In a weird way he almost has to thank Adon for what he did. He does not condone that interference, but in the end it worked out to give Sagat what he wanted. The fight he has been wanting for so long. A fight he hoped would happen as soon as he found out Ryu was entered into this tournament. It looks like for once this really is destiny. All the training and battles he has fought. It is time to find out if it truely has paid off. He was told Ryu has gotten better. He can hope he has improved as well and he can finally get the win he has desired even if over the years it has turned more into a desire to test his strength rather than to win. Damn Akuma. This is his battle. This is what is important.

He was quick to arrive at the location. Long before a crowd had started to gather he had a ferry take him to the island so he could wait in anticipation for the battle to come. He has had to keep his mind focused on this alone. He wants to keep the distractions that are running through his mind. Just what will Kain want him to do? How is Rust doing after finding out about Quon? What the hell is he going to do with Adon? At least the former two will be something he can address fairly quick after this fight if need be. Rust at least needs to be contacted. The poor guy has gone through so much and really he might be the actual person Sagat can consider a friend.

He stands tall on the island as the crowd from afar cheers. He seems unbothered by the chilly weather despite being clad in his usual attire when in a fight. That single eye just stares straight ahead as he gives a faint nod to Ryu once the wanderer makes his presence known. "I would have preferred a bit more of a private place for this, but I have waited for this day."

Ryu's awareness of Sagat's relationship with Shadaloo has always been somewhat haphazard, the Wanderer's grasp on current events being -- thanks to his lifestyle -- not 'uninformed' but certainly not on the level of in-depth analysis. The idea that Sagat's strength would serve Vega preyed on Ryu's mind, for certain, especially since he recognizes that while Sagat may be blunt and even a little violent, there is a contrast between that and, say... Adon, who the Ansatsuken Wanderer had fought earlier in this tournament. There is something there, something noble in its fierce pride. That the relationship seems to have fallen away only makes Ryu's anticipation greater.

"Maybe I would have, too," the white-clad fighter admits, flexing his fingers into and out of fists briefly before adopting his fighting stance, loose and adaptable, legs apart at an angle, his eyes on the heavily-muscled man across the distance from him. "To be honest, there are many things about all this... pageantry... I would rather dispense with. But for those of us who live for the fight, this kind of thing is a necessary evil, isn't it?"

For a moment, he stops talking and all is silent other than the distant shouts of the crowd and the crashing of waves, but it is only a moment. "However... if I'm to face what comes next, I could ask for no better test than to fight you again. I am ready."

The giant fighter just slowly nods his head. It is all too true that sometimes this sort of thing is necessary. To fight in front of crowds is not a true problem, but for a fight against someone like Ryu he had always hoped for a more personal and quiet location. He would be a liar if he never cared for the cheers of the crowd. The fight in Thailand against Adon was one that made him feel proud. To hear those chants and cheers made him realize that at least some have forgiven him for what he has done in the past. He may not be the Emporer of Muay Thai anymore, but he is their champion and that is all he cares for.

"What comes next? Do you really think that beast that attacked Masters in his own arena is really behind this?" he asks with a bit of a raised brow. Akuma didn't care about business and formalities then. Why would he really care to hold a tournament when he seems more inclined to find those he considers strong and then attack them. Even if it isn't Akuma who would go through with this idea? Just another person looking to get alot of money from the fights?

No more thinking on that. The large fighter clenches his hands into fists as he raises them up and his stance shifts. He is primed and ready to fight. The adrenaline is starting to pump in and any bit of cold he was feeling is fading away. The tiger is ready to attack and the cheers from the fans only seem to grow louder now that the pair look ready to fight. "Let us begin."

COMBATSYS: Sagat has started a fight here.

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Sagat            0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Ryu has wandered into the fight here.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Sagat

There is a few moments of silence as the pair square off. No movements just yet from them. For Sagat it is to take a few moments and realize that it is finally happening. What he has wanted for so long. He cannot waste this chance. He must prove to himself now that all these years of waiting were worth it. Finally the large fighter moves, breaking into a quick dash forward to close the distance between himself and Ryu and taking to the air. He slings one leg forward, a quick snap kick aimed to plant right into the chest of Ryu if he isn't quick enough to stop the strike.

COMBATSYS: Ryu just-defends Sagat's Light Kick!

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Sagat

The mention of the attack on Ken makes a dark cloud pass over Ryu's face for just a moment, but a moment is enough to break the normally uncrackably calm face that the Wanderer usually wears. "I don't know the facts," he says to Sagat, after a pause. It's the truth, after all. "But... I have been plagued by thoughts I had believed quieted for many years. I don't think that's coincidence." It's somewhat surprising to Ryu to hear Sagat discuss this, and for a moment, he realizes that the former Emperor's desires in the tournament could extend to fighting this 'devil' at the apex of the tournament.

But then all thoughts of the circumstances start to fall away. Ryu can feel the shift in the air, the 'sense' of Sagat's stance and body, and the world drops off until even the gritty hardness of the stones under his bare feet is like the sound of some distant white noise he barely hears. There is just him, Sagat, and the clash of their skill.

It is this focus that gives Ryu the ability to suddenly snap into motion, arm coming up and hooking inside Sagat's ankle, gently pushing the swift kick aside so that it whistles harmlessly past his ear rather than smacking painfully into his chest. Ryu SHOULD wish him luck, or make some sort of acknowledgment, but he chooses not to, throwing himself into the battle. While Sagat is still at close range, Ryu snaps a punch forward for Sagat's stomach, intending to put some distance between the two fighters.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sagat with Medium Punch.
- Power hit! -

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|==-----\-------\0            Sagat

It is rare to find people able to be able to handle the powerful kicks of Sagat in such a manner. He has been stopped, but to be able to use their own strength to redirect the blow to keep it from landing home isn't exactly the easiest of tasks. It is something Sagat himself might not have even been ready for when he should have been. This isn't like fighting someone like Zaki or Adon. This isn't even like fighting Kain. This is fighting a man that does nothing but perfect his art day in and day out. A man that has devoted his life to his style. Even Sagat himself does not train as diligently as a man like Ryu. Very few can.

He lands and is quick to try and stop that punch, but he is a bit too slow and it cleanly slams into his waist and knocks Sagat back a few steps as he regains his balance. There is a soft 'hnn' and a nod of approval. This is the challenge he wants and it looks like he is going to get it. This is the sort of fight that the finals may truely deserve too to see these two go at it.

He speaks no more. He is more concentrating solely on the man in front of him. He looks to close the distance once more and reach out to grasp for Ryu. Large hands look to get a grip as he looks to pick Ryu up over his head and toss the man away.

COMBATSYS: Ryu interrupts Tiger Carry from Sagat with Seoi Nage.

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Ryu              0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0            Sagat

Perhaps it would hearten Sagat to know that the reason Ryu trains, day in and day out, is to face opponents just like the Emperor himself. There is no 'medium' setting if you want to face Sagat; you either give everything you have, or you discover first hand why, until Ryu dared to face him, that the Tiger Emperor was the World Warrior for many, many years... and his loss to Ryu only drove Sagat to improve even further.

Case in point: Sagat lunges forward, arms looking to send Ryu flying, and in one swift motion, fighter's instinct powering his movements, Ryu suddenly surges forward himself, flinging his arms forward so that for a moment, he and Sagat are grappling with each other, hands locked in a struggle for control and momentum. Against an ordinary fighter this would be difficult; against a man of Sagat's power, this is nearly impossible. Tendons and muscles burn in pain as Ryu tries his best to stand his ground on the uneven rocks...

But eventually, either through force of will or sheer stupid stubbornness, Ryu wins out; with a twist of the hip, he turns his struggle with Sagat into a throw of his own, sending the Thai fighter's large, muscular body over Ryu's shoulder and on his back onto the ground.

It is the older fighter once again that is taken by surprise. When he left trying to overpower Ryu he finds himself instead the one that is taken to the ground with a throw. He hits the ground hard and he elicits a grunt followed by a low growl. No, he won't let the old Sagat take over in this fight. He won't let himself lose control and go into a rage. At times it can be helpful, but he wants to do this his way. He just needs to keep his head level and take a moment to rethink his strategy. To keep this plan of attack up could prove to be quite disasterous.

He starts to get back up to his feet and that single eye narrows as he turns about to face Ryu. "It feels like roles are almost reversed from our first fight. That is of course until you did very well at turning things around." he murmurs and a hand runs along the scar that Ryu left him. Something he considered a mark of shame as he plotted for revenge. Now it is just another mark of many across his body that has been battered through the years. Too many it is even a trademark of the large fighter over all these years. A man that somehow still can keep fighting despite all the scars and even the missing eye he will not stay down.

He smirks some as he perhaps lets his mind wander to the past a bit too much. He really is feeling nostalgic. In a way this tournament has been that way. Fighting Adon and now Ryu has brought back many memories he hasn't dwelled on for quite some time. "Let me show you this tiger still has fangs." With that said he rears back a mighty fist as he looks to come in and deliver a powerful punch. He will just have to be more careful and look for openings as well. Like one he tries to create at the punch that ends up being a feint for instead a knee he looks to drive into Ryu's gut.

COMBATSYS: Ryu dodges Sagat's Medium Kick.

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Ryu              0/-------/-----==|===----\-------\0            Sagat

For a moment, Ryu is indeed transported back to his first fight with Sagat. In some ways, the situations were alike. Then, a thunderstorm raged and the long grass rippled with the whistling wind; here, the waves are more literal and the wind howls just as much. Then and now, Sagat as a figure towers over Ryu, though perhaps not quite as much as he used to, the Wanderer having grown into his own in the many years since. And then as now, there are many things on the line for both fighters... perhaps more than either is willing to let on.

But now, both have matured. Both are immersed in the moment of battle, and it shows.

There is no elegant way to avoid Sagat's blows; the muscular man's power lets him drive home punches and kicks with deceptive speed. However, the Dragon intuits that the punch is indeed a feint, and so he finds himself hopping backwards, bare feet seeking out purchase on the uneven ground as Sagat's knee shears through the air mere inches from Ryu's former position.

"Your power's never been in doubt," Ryu says carefully, cupping his hands at his side, torso bent forward slightly. "In fact, I'm thankful for it." The Wanderer's body is lit with a blue-white glow, a familiar swirling of chi gathering between his palms as he gathers, compresses, and directs his trademark sphere of force. Above the din of the wind, however, Ryu's voice rings clear. "But I've got my own reasons to need to progress, even if it means facing you. HADOOOOOOUKEEEEEEEN!"

On cue, his palms thrust forward, and the spiralling mass of blue-white chi arcs out at Sagat like a screaming bullet.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sagat with Hadouken.

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Ryu              0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0            Sagat

So determined he is. He almost hopes it is Akuma involved for the sake of Ryu. Otherwise it seems like it will be a great disappointment to the fighter. Sagat himself is still a bit too cynical to actually believe that an is behind the tournament. He almost wants to find out himself, but right now he has a long way to go. Ryu is still here in front of him and right now the former emporer finds himself unsure to properly handle this fight now. So quick and also being able to just stay one step ahead. It truely has turned into the challenge that he has wanted.

"For your sake I hope you run into the man if you desire it so much." He certainly can understand that sort of want. The need to face someone. That is what makes him even stronger at this point and Sagat knows it. He brings his arms up to try and protect himself from the blast only for it to hit him harder than he expected. It staggers the mighty Muay Thai warrior once more as he almost goes down to a knee before catching himself and straightening back up.

That single eye closes for a moment and he takes a deep breath. Focus, he needs to focus. Take his time and don't rush things. That eye reopens and for the time being he stalks and moves, but does not engage. He seems to be looking for the right time to strike now instead of once again rushing in.

COMBATSYS: Sagat gains composure.

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Ryu              0/-------/---====|=====--\-------\0            Sagat

That statement then and there almost causes Ryu to step out of his fight mindset. Does Sagat know something about this man? For that matter, does he know anything about the man with the 'Heaven' mark? It had never occurred to the Wanderer to ask, until now; thoughts of Master Gouken's death were a closed book in a locked cabinet for almost everyone except Ken, even lately; now, however, he wonders if there's more here going on than he first thought.

However, he's able to calm his heart, look Sagat in the eye as the Emperor circles him, and nod faintly in agreement. "If..." he almost begins, thinking to extract a promise from the giant bald Thai fighter, but then Ryu relents. Win or lose, he will see this through to the end. Even if he loses, then... well. That's something else.

Verbally, he has no followup; instead, he chooses to charge the 'waiting' Sagat, twisting and delivering a spinning side kick to the Tiger Emperor's neckline.

COMBATSYS: Sagat fails to interrupt Strong Kick from Ryu with Tiger Uppercut.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0            Sagat

He watches intently and this time lets Ryu make the move. He seems more then ready for it as he starts to go into a motion of his own. A fist starts to kick back and he begins to crouch. That is until he realizes that kick is coming in faster than he anticipated. He doesn't have time to really do anything about it and he just tries to swing upwards and hope he catches Ryu as well while taking the kick to the neck. That mighty fist swings wildly and the force of the blow grounds Sagat once more.

He lays there for a few moments too. So many thoughts running through his head right now as he tries to figure out how to turn this around. Is he putting too much thought into this? Maybe.......maybe he should just let instinct take over. Slowly he gets back to his feet as teeth grit. No more waiting. No more real thinking. Let his anger get the better of him. His frustration. All the training and waiting only for this to happen? No, he won't let it.

He breathes deeply as his demeanor becomes more serious. Debris kicks up around him as his energy flares up around him briefly before dying back down. No more of this. He didn't come this far just to let himself be defeated so easily. It is time to unleash hell.

Despite the attempt not working out, Sagat might be gratified to see, even as Ryu's kick is about to connect, that the Wanderer's eyes widen when he realizes what Sagat is about to do... and how utterly unable he would be to do anything, having fully committed to his own strike at that point. And indeed, while the World Warrior would never let himself succumb to doubt, he would be a fool not to recognize what just transpired, and how close he came to feeling the might of Sagat's retribution.

Is it any wonder that when he lands, the Ansatsuken fighter keeps his distance, taking three hopping steps backwards until the two fighters are back at a reasonable distance from one another? Ryu can sense the Tiger's fighting spirit flaring, see the effect it has on the world around him, and he steels himself. The blows he's landed so far have been strong, but Sagat's ability to withstanding punishment is legendary; it would be foolish to relax now, thinking things are settled.

Tigers are at their most dangerous when cornered.

He doesn't approach, not yet; Ryu simply watches his opponent and waits, mustering his strength. The real fight begins now.

COMBATSYS: Ryu focuses on his next action.

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Ryu              0/-------/--=====|=======\-------\0            Sagat

Another few deep breaths and he just gives a nod. It isn't entirely one directed to Ryu or personally nodding along to one of the thoughts going through his head. The ones he is pushing back right now. NO more worrying. No more cares about the results. Just go all out. Overwhelm Ryu if he can. That is what he must do. That is all he can do at the moment. No more waiting. With a loud shout the former emporer straightens up and slams a fist into an open palm. It felt good to vent that out. The frustration and anger. To let it overtake him.

Will it hurt or help? It certainly can't be much the former. Very little has worked so far so perhaps letting things go makes him a bit more unpredictable. Forward he goes and he comes in close looking to give Ryu little room to do much of anything when he comes in with a powerful knee followed up by an elbow strike aimed to drag right across the face of his opponent. The strikes look vicious and getting caught by them will probably ruin anyone's day no matter how good of a fighter. There is a reason why even though he is growing old he still invokes fear in the hearts of those that fight him more often than not. Sometimes it just takes one strike from a man like him and things are over.

COMBATSYS: Ryu fails to interrupt Tiger Blow from Sagat with Shin Shoryuken+.

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

As if proving his own point, Ryu lets his instincts carry him forward, pushing himself to keep up his momentum, and in the process Sagat proves that sheer ferocity and determination can carry the day in many situations. Ryu's fist is held low as he steps forward, TOWARD Sagat's attack, the wind suddenly going bizarrely still... but before Ryu can twist and begin to rise, Sagat's strike hits him clear across the face and, after a moment of bizarrely slow motion-feeling silence, sends him flying across the island to land on his face, groaning in pain. A cornered tiger indeed.

Still, Ryu grins faintly as he hauls himself to his feet. The fact that Sagat was able to even up the fight in a single strike is proof to Ryu that he was right in thinking the fight is only now just beginning. The real fight -- the true fight -- extends beyond the opening salvos and ends only when one fighter is defeated!

It is a bit of a more controlled rage. One that at least Sagat would not end up removing a limb or such or even causing a death like he did so many years ago when Go enraged him. It is a rage that still can happen, but a rare occasion compared to how it was back then. Vega tasted what a truely uncontrolable tiger can be like. Hopefully he will be the last one to see that side of Sagat for a long time. It truely can be awe inspiring and frightening at the same time. He respects Ryu too much to ever let him get that way now. He just wants the younger fighter to be challenged. How else will either fighter improve?

He isn't looking to relent in his assault either. Even now tha Ryu is grounded he is closing distance on the fighter. No time to let him rest. No time to let him think. Just keep striking is all Sagat can himself think about right now. Keep going until Ryu stops getting up or if he is taken down himself. Several punches are thrown to keep Ryu guessing. None really getting too close to connecting, but to keep the younger fighter focused on the hands and not the feet of Sagat. That is when he delivers a swift kick to try to keep Ryu on his toes while aiming for the man's left hip.

COMBATSYS: Ryu dodges Sagat's Strong Kick.

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

Senses heightened by the blow he just took, Ryu has no desire to take another, and so when Sagat comes at him, Ryu is fully in defensive mode. The repeated punches to test his defenses are pushed aside, an almost Wing Chun style where the Wanderer's hands are held fingers straight and each blow is pushed just a bit away. Were he paying less attention, Ryu would have been taken in by the feints; as it is, he's focusing intently on not taking another epic hit, and Sagat's tried this trick once this fight. Not taking any chances, Ryu hurls himself backwards in a somersault just as Sagat's kick slices through the air. The distance between the two fighters gets wider, but at least the Wanderer has a moment or two of breathing room.

Deciding that borrowing a page from Sagat's book might be the best way to close this fight out, Ryu holds his stance for a moment, brown eyes searching the Tiger's face and body language for an ideal opening moment, trying his damndest to read his opponent. When he finds the right moment, a leg comes up, knee almost to Ryu's chest, before the Ansatsuken fighter presses forward and then extends that leg powerfully, a stomach-height pistoning blow intending to hit Sagat with a considerable degree of the physical might Ryu can bring to bear.

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sagat with Joudan Sokutou Geri.

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

The strikes find nothing, but the former emporer continues forward. Ryu may even be surprised at this point he isn't really looking at trying to cover himself up too much. He leaves himself rather open because he is trying to keep up the attack instead. That is when the straight kick slams into Sagat and stops his forward momentum. There is a growl through gritted teeth as he feels a rib snap from the force and he staggers back while cradling it for a moment. No, no time to worry about pain. He has suffered much worse injuries than this by far. A cracked rib is nothing. Just more fuel for the fire that has built up in Sagat right now.

The plus side is it does give Ryu a few moments to try and collect his thoughts. It isn't something that lasts long, but for a good fighter sometimes a few moments is all they need to get back on their game. Sagat surges forward once more and leaps off his feet, his eye going wide and another loud shout erupting from him as he looks to slam his knee right into Ryu's chest and throw him off balance. It is only the start of what is to come if the young fighter can't handle it.

COMBATSYS: Sagat successfully hits Ryu with Tiger Destruction EX+.

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

The knee itself is bad enough, but it is more that it allows Sagat to go into a flurry of kicks and punches that look to punish Ryu. The move he had spent his years perfecting to finally use in a situation like this. To finally show Ryu that old dogs can learn new tricks. The powerful flurry only stops briefly so Sagat can pull back then launch himself forward and upward with a powerful uppercut, the trademark move that so many have come to fear. He lands one last time and his hand ignites with energy as he goes for another uppercut to drive it into Ryu's chin once more with the energy charged fist as he roars loudly. "TIIIIIGAAAAAAH!" Twisting int he air he finally seems to stop at least momentarily just to catch his breath if anything as he stares at his opponent with that intense gaze.

As he is falling back towards the ground, eyes open wide with surprise (and, let's be honest, pain), Ryu has much to think about. About how Sagat just blew past his guard with sheer crazy force. How the Muay Thai fighter has grown since the last time they fought. How, interestingly enough, the brutal kicking techniques that Sagat has always employed are now bolstered by his own interpretation of Ansatsuken strikes... not imitations, but -- much like Sakura, in her own way -- reimaginings that take all of Sagat's strengths into account.

It's not even that long a fall, yet it feels like -- as Ryu's mind races to keep up -- that it takes forever. But eventually fall he must, the white gi-wearing fighter literally bouncing off the rocks before coming to a painful-looking stop flat on his back. For a moment, many onlookers aren't sure that he's going to get back up again, all things considered.

But get back up he does, slowly but surely, looking evenly at Sagat as he does so. Yes... this is the fight he had hoped for. If he cannot surpass his old self -- the boy who beat Sagat on a fluke -- then his hopes against whatever dark force are behind this tournament are nil. "Thank you, Sagat," is all he says. The rest he will say with his fists... proverbially speaking, anyway.

Until now, the wind has been raging, crashing against the island as surely as the waves of the sound. Now, however, the wind seems to still as Ryu brings his hands together at his side, palms further apart than before. And then it becomes apparent why: as the spark of chi between his palms flares, and then roars into being, it is as if Ryu is compressing all of the wind's force between his hands. If the Hadouken that burned bright before was impressive, this is like a small, blue-white star... not that much larger, but the swirling mass of chi which has passed from blue, to white, to now a purplish-white-red, looks as if an entire tornado's worth of force has been compressed down into a small space.

Ryu's eyes lock with Sagat's. Now it's time to find out. "METSU!" Ryu shouts, and the ball of chi seems to pulse, before he hurls his hands forward, palms extended, and fires off the shrieking sphere of chi at the Tiger Emperor, a purple-white comet that may well feel like a meteor impact if it connects. "HADOOOUKENNNNNNNNNNNN!"

COMBATSYS: Ryu successfully hits Sagat with Metsu Hadouken.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0            Sagat

"I think I should be thanking you." he responds finally as he seems to be getting a bit more in control of himself. To continue fighting at that rate even takes its toll on a man with his conditioning. He is thankful for at least a small breather. He is tired and wore out, but he is also satisfied. He has had his fight on his own terms and even if he must deal with a crowd watching he can easily tune it out right now. Despite the pain and weariness he smiles. Ryu is getting up so this is far from over.

He prepares himself as he sees the energy being gathered by Ryu. He can feel the air almost change around them from the sheer amount of it being produced. It is time to find if he can survive the true power of this man. He stood against one of Sagat's strongest attacks. Now he can only hope to do the same in return. Feet plant firmly into the ground and he waits for that blast to be unleashed.

Unleashed it is and if he thought the first blast that hit him was powerful, this one is overwhelming. The Muay Thai warrior attempts to weather it, but it is just too much. It drives him back and finally he can't stand any longer as the overwhelming force brings him off his feet and he is carried away several feet before crashing on the rocky ground and rolling back several feet as well.

There is steam coming off his body as he lays there and stares at the sky. There is a bit of a weak chuckle as he tries to get to his feet. He looks like he is on his last legs as he steps forward that turns into a jog and then with the last bits of energy in him allow him to break into a dash as he surges forward and looks to give Ryu a punch right to the face once more and further hurt that already sore jaw of the smaller fighter.

COMBATSYS: Ryu blocks Sagat's Jab Punch.

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Ryu              0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0            Sagat

How is he still on his feet after that? Truly, a fighter of extraordinary stamina. However, the pain undoubtedly makes his movements sluggish, so that Ryu's quickly erected guard weathers the swift punch with little trouble. However, Ryu can feel his strength ebbing, and knows that if he wants to be the victor of this fight, he has to take decisive action to put Sagat down NOW. The question, of course, is if that's even POSSIBLE at this point. The Tiger has proven resilient against even Ryu's strongest attacks. Of course, that is the whole point of their rivalary in the first place, much as Ryu and Ken circle around each other with their different approaches to speed and technique.

Deciding to go for broke, Ryu reaches out and attempts to grab Sagat by the upper forearm. The move is somewhat Judo or Aikido like in execution; in fact, if he gets the grip, it's clear from Ryu's movements that this is a tradition oosotogari, where Sagat is flipped over Ryu's shoulder before the Ansatsuken wanderer drives a fist into Sagat's exposed stomach after the throw. Of course, this is all contingent on Ryu getting the grip he needs, and Sagat may have other plans in store...

COMBATSYS: Sagat fails to interrupt Combo Grapple from Ryu with Tiger Rage.
> Determined Hit! <

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

COMBATSYS: Sagat can no longer fight.

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Ryu              0/-------/------=|

He still stands, but only a fool would think he had much left in him. The only way he could be standing still is the sheer will of wanting to give all that he has into this one fight. His desire to give it his all drives him and it is amazing just how much that desire seems to be doing right now. Even so that can only carry him for so long. With Ryu reaching for him the former emporer looks to push himself further. When being grasped for he attempts to get a knee up and just drive it hard into the stomach of Ryu.

It never quite unfolds that way as he is soon lifted off his feet and he is met with the ground combined with the elbow of Ryu driving into his stomach. There is a sharp exhale of air and the large fighter's body remains laid out on the ground. He isn't getting up again it would seem. All he can even get the energy to do is let out a bit of a laugh as that single eye stares at the sky.

He smiles faintly and that eye closes. "It has been too long. Let us not take such a break in between meetings next time." He goes silent and the only movements is the rising and falling of his chest as he breathes. Seems like Sagat is getting himself a bit of a well deserved rest now.

The Wanderer literally rolls away. With a keen sense of drama, the weather relents at approximately the same time. Grey clouds roll away enough so that shafts of cold winter sun break down, illuminating both the toppled Titan Tiger and the Ansatsuken Wanderer, who lies on his back, conscious but exhausted, breathing heavily enough that the rise and fall of his stomach is visible even from a great distance. There is a moment where it seems like these two battlers have felled each other, but at last Ryu finds enough strength to stand. He is beaten but unbowed, having just edged by enough to find victory over Sagat in the tournament.

The press, as usual, are ignored; after such a fight Ryu's thoughts are on his opponent, as always. Standing nearby, he looks down at the former Emperor's heavily muscled form with grim stoicism, thinking about the leaps and bounds of strength both men have acquired since their last fight. And despite the fact that Sagat may not hear him, Ryu nonetheless addresses his rival in a respectful tone: "Thank you for that battle, because now I know if I can face your strength, I am prepared for anything that may follow."

Log created on 19:08:05 05/22/2012 by Sagat, and last modified on 10:47:22 05/23/2012.