Date: August 12, 2011
Nagayama Amaya versus Seishino Kanami during the Bloody Mist Cup tournament in Kirigakure.
"Bloody Mist Cup - Nightmare Land: Amaya vs. Kanami"
Dammed Arena Floor - Kirigakure
Dusk comes as the sun begins on its journey down toward the horizon, the colors of the sunset creating a fiery sky over Kirigakure. In the center of the arena floor, the tournament organizer himself appears, adorned in his signature attire. A cheer of expectation comes from the crowd. "Now, this, ladies and gentleman, is going to be a show. I've decided to oversee this one myself," he says loudly for the crowd to hear.
"Please welcome these lovely ladies, our next Bracket 3 contestants," he calls out as he takes a few steps back, gesturing his hand toward the preparation area for the fighters. As he does so, a few necessary arena lights flicker on to allow the crowd to see. "The next match is Nagayama Amaya versus Seishino Kanami!"
It's been a long month or so for Shinji, but he's decided that his travels would take him to the lands of the Hidden Mist. He hasn't been here for but a week but so far he's been having a good time. Though with these tournaments going on, it has been given him some insight on a few things for himself. But today, here he is makign his way into the tournament area, following the crowds up the stairs towards the stands. It's not hard to find a good seat that will allow him to see quite a bit of the action that will be happening here soon.
It's the eye o' th'tigah, it's th'cream o' th'fight
Risin' up to th'challenge of our rival
An' th'last known survivah stalks 'er prey in th'night
An' she's watchin' us all in the eye…of th'tigah!
Scruvo swoops slowly along above the stands, cawing out a popular melody. Despite his rather harsh performance, he actually has a fair few other spectators singing along, most of them little realizing that they now form the cheer section for Fierce Beast Tiger-Fist user Nagayama Amaya. Not that they're likely to object. Neither of the contestants for this round are part of the home team, and if you didn't know anything about them, who would you rather cheer — a lithe, beautiful, perky woman with cat ears, or a slight waif with her face hidden behind a mask and her form draped in nearly her own weight in silk? Well, there could be quite a bit of variation in taste there, actually, but in general, it seems likely that the crowd will favor Amaya, particularly the male population.
Jon sits quietly in the bleachers, waiting for Scruvo to finish his shenanigans. Jon's a bit sore still from his own match, but recovering well. Now that he knows what a heart attack feels like, he's planning to be a little more proactive in convincing some of the other detectives in his department to cut down on their drinking and smoking. e.e But for now, it should be fun to see his Whiskers show her stuff. o/~ Hmmm-hm hmm-hm hm-hmm-hm-hmm-hmmmmm…of the tiger… o/~
Nagayama Amaya is >not happy<. She came here because she suspected there might be trouble, and she wanted to keep her husband out of it. That is the >only reason< she joined the tournament. Instead, what happened? Jon was made to suffer an artificially-induced >heart attack< by his opponent, and then beaten pretty badly on top of that with some kind of 'skin-scraping-off' punches. Amaya had never doubted her husband could or would win. Not once did she think he would do anything other than kick that 'more fat in her chest than her skull' Medic-Nin's bleepity-bleeping rear.
But winning was of lesser concern next to the fact that a heart attack is >not< something to laugh off. As soon as the match was declared over, she was vaulting into the arena, leaving Amani and Scruvo to their own devices, and at her husband's side in an eye-blink. Body Flicker Technique is normally needed to move that quickly. Amaya doesn't even know that Ninjutsu. She just was on the railing one second, and then next to Jon a second later.
However, despite her fussing over the Saito Jounin, after finding out what exactly had happened to him, she became enraged at the realization that her husband could have died because of a careless use of an explicitly lethal technique — as in, one with no purpose other than killing in a slow, painful manner, as opposed to techniques that can be used in other ways. He could have died, and she wouldn't have even know what caused it until after the fact. She wouldn't have been able to do anything. She couldn't do anything >now<. Her fury at Kishi Mune and her frustration and self-loathing at her own helplessness combined to make a red haze of Fierce Ki (Geki) begin to leak from her body and burn her skin.
Jon, however, had snapped her out of it before she could really make any use of >that< technique. That was good. The fact this had happened at all was still bad. So, it is with not a lot of enthusiasm that Amaya enters the arena, doing her best not to look >too< disgruntled/homicidal, and approaching the center of the battle area — and the tournament's organizer.
"Hi," Amaya offers casually and semi-distractedly to Maikeru as she stands nearby, braced-gloves on her hands and those hands in turn placed upon her hips. No thought is given, for once, to appealing to other males just to drive home the point that they >can not have her<, because she is >already taken<. She likes to tease. She likes to be appreciated. But at the end of the day, her interest in >that< regard for anyone other than Jon is less than none.
Still, she holds up an arm and waves to the crowd as she watches carefully with almond-shaped, green-colored eyes for her opponent.
Kushrenada Raili, crimson faced, boistorous, and not the most stable of standers… drunk? No, that can't be it, she can't legally drink yet, maybe she's just a bit… off. "Kickeminthefayz! Kickeminnit Maikeru!" Raili stops for a moment, looking thoroughly confused, she knew she did something wrong there and to the joy of her fellow tournament attendees, she was quite for a good minute.
Silently, she would make motions in the air as if trying to grab something from it, "Neh…. meeeh…" It would be at that point in which Maikeru announces the names of the contestants "Ahah!" Raili slides her goggles down over her eyes as best she can, only one eye fully covered as she starts fiddling with the settings on the goggles, lens zooming in and out as she scopes out Amaya. "Yep yep yep…." Now to the dismay of her fellow tournament attendees, Raili appears to be back on track.
"KICKEMINTHEFAYZ AMAYA! WOOOOO!"
Both fists fly into the air as she loses balance and unintentionally falls back into her seat, her head tilting all the way back to tell the person behind her, "Psssst. Hey… heeeey." Raili would stare, waiting for him to look back at her, "I'm from'na same village. Awzzzim right?" Do they even know each other? Who knows! After explaining her excitement she doesn't miss a beat to drop into the song… not entirely singing but, more or less shouting the lyrics. "ALL WITH THE EEEEEEEYE! OF THE TIGER!" Aimlessly conducting with an off beat sway of her arms, she fights to make her head go up to watch the fight below but, is currently failing to do so.
The man looks down to her with a judging eye, "I'm sure they're proud." Sighing he looks back down to the field not as interested as Raili due to him not knowing either of the contestants or… well being drunk. Irritating him even more, not only was an obnoxious bird singing or, even the combination of the obnoxious bird and Kumogakure girl singing but, just about everyone around him began to sing along. "Mrrrgrmmrmurblemurble." He gets up to find another seat.
During the First World Ninja Competition, the formerly almost-unknown Noh-play actress of the Nogakujin, Seishino Kanami, became known for her dramatic entrances, disturbing techniques, and theatrical fighting style. No one had known the Nogakujin even HAD any ninja amongst them, let alone a kunoichi of such superb skill and power. But there had been no doubt after Bracket 3 of the tournament ended. There were ninja out there, wandering and unaffiliated with any Village, who could make mince-meat of some of the greatest shinobi that the Hidden Villages had to offer. This resulted in an increased level of paranoia amongst many in those communities, and a massive surge in effort to train more and BETTER ninja. Likewise, research began on a variety of techniques, weapons, armor, tools, and more that could make up for the obvious gap in ability between 'official' ninja and certain 'wanderers'.
Of course, that was the entire point of Kanami participating. Now here she is in another tournament, ready to demonstrate whether she has become stronger, and no one even knows she had any alternate agenda the FIRST time, let alone suspects she is here for something other than winning THIS time. Once Amaya is in the arena, a streak of smoke begins to blow out of one of the entrances, moving in a straight line as it approaches Amaya and Maikeru. The smoke shifts coloration oddly and dazzlingly, one moment sky-blue, the next silver and sparkling, and then a deep indigo, and then black as the deepest ocean trench, and then red like the sunset that casts semi-luminance over this stadium…
The smoke stops well short of both tournament organizer and contender, leaving only occasional partially-hidden flashes of light from within the smoke, like a thunderhead that threatens to unleash blazing lightning but has not quite decided to do so yet. This smoke clings to the ground and spreads slightly throughout the area for several long seconds, giving people time to notice and observe the spectacle.
Then the smoke all blows outwards and away, vanishing into wisps, and revealing a figure in a red kimono with golden maple leaf designs upon it. The woman has long, smooth, luxurious black hair down to mid-back, and a Noh-theater mask of a woman's face covering her own. At her waist are two other masks of a similar type. One is of a monstrous semi-humanoid serpent, and the other mask is of a haggard, pale-skinned individual with stringy black hair hanging over its eyes, nose, and mouth.
Seishino Kanami has arrived. The last of the smoke disipates, and the actress bows formally and respectfully to both Amaya and Maikeru. "Good evening to the both of you."
"Hi," Maikeru says with a nod to Amaya. He'd actually not expected to be spoken to by the contestants, but that's not something he worries about. The singing of the crowd brings a faint smirk to his face as he looks up to them. "Sounds like you're very popular. Good luck." Watching the approaching smoke and lights, the Jounin quirks an eyebrow. Well, that's an interesting entrance. When the woman appears from the smoke, he returns her bow with a light bow of his head. "Good evening, and good luck." With that, he turns and faces back toward the crowd as he takes a few steps back out of the way. "BEGIN!"
Kishi Mune is healed from her own fight mostly. She was pretty tired after that match, and thus she had to be sparing with using Medical Ninjutsu to heal herself. However, she has many other tools available to her, not the least of which are hyper-stimulants she has concoted that can keep her fighting non-stop for a week without taking a moment to even breathe. Of course, that would also kill her when it wore off. But she has less potent alternatives, and these have allowed her to be present for Kanami's match as she makes her way into the arena mere moments after the yell of, 'BEGIN!' rings out.
Winding her way through the aisles and rows and so on, the dark-skinned Medic-Nin is wearing an actual proper shirt for once — sort of. It is more like a white, sleevelees top that is not 'super modest', but at least she is more covered than that narrow two-strip body suit she normally wears under her coat. Normal, semi-loose dark-cyan pants adorn her legs, with sandals on her feet. She is not equipped for combat or anything else right now. Even her face, normally covered by the high collar of her long coat, is exposed. The tangled tattoo of snakeing black lines on her left cheek is visible as well. She has a bottle of mineral water in her right hand as the Medic-Nin seats herself right next to Shinji, without so much as asking if that chair is taken.
"Hey," she says briefly to the other dark-skinned ninja — though one with a distinctly different appearance, let alone different shape. "Anything interesting happen before I got here?"
Among the many people in the crowd is also a person in similar attire to that of Maikeru's. Behind the mystery of the white spirit mask he wears are by now only two commonly known facts. His name is Rin, and he is Maikeru's second in command. But people have seen his fight with Yuuka; and there are rumors. Mostly strange, many and varied, but most sources agree that he claimed during the fight that Kaede was his mentor. From there on, people speculated many things, some of them were outright crazy.
There's not even a age on him, and some even doubt he is a guy, due to the hollow mask's deepening his voice to a low bass. Though, it'd be sad if he were a girl, cause he'd be flat as a board. But he's there, and those close enough to tell, could notice that his gaze is fixed on Kanami, as if studying her.
"I think I've seen her once before." Rin says, "It would be troublesome…" Whatever was said next was mumbled out and incoherent.
Amaya takes a moment to plant a fist in the palm of her opposite hand and bow briefly towards her opponent. She has information about this woman she faces, of course, but just like so many others, much of the details remain unknown and the very existence of Kanami as anything other than an actress prior to that tournament was absent from any records she could access.
Amaya had not specifically gone record-diving for info on Kanami, but she >did< get to monitor reports and the >new< records that were filed both back home in Kumogakure and in some other Villages whose records she should 100% not have ever seen. She saw them anyway. That confirmed that some of these 'unknowns', Mune and Kanami specifically, had been very worrying to more than just the Cloud Village. Mune was quite possibly the greatest Medic-Nin alive, and she seemed to be able to use >other< skills as well — such as chemistry and alchemy. Where did she learn all of that?
No one knew. Amaya fully intends to 'extract' all the information she can out of the half-Yotsuki the next time she sees her, even if she has to abduct the * and 'interrogate' the other woman into a catatonic state. Kanami, however, was even less known. She has no famous lineage like Mune does. No grandfather to vouch for her, no intact birth records she could find, no indication she had ever done anything important beyond perform on stage… It didn't fit.
So, though she recalls what she heard about the First World Ninja Competition, Nagayama Amaya feels as though she is going into this fight blind. She finishes her bow, somehow managing to >not< spill out of her vest, and maintains eye-contact with her opponent — or as much of such as she can, given her opponent's eyes are not visible. The eyeholes are dark and empty…
Maikeru backs away, announces the match is begun, and is gone. In the same moment, Amaya has taken two steps and crossed ten feet of distance, allowing her to lash out at the actress with a fist in a bit more time than it takes to blink. Seems she does not intend to play around.
Jon leans forward slightly. Ah, this one. She certainly made herself memorable during that other tournament. Looks like she's doing the same here. Most of Scruvo's chorus section leave off their singing to ooh and ahh at the spectacle of Kanami's arrival. Scruvo, a bit miffed at being out-displayed, returns to his usual perch on Jon's shoulder. "Huh, a liddle smoke an' everybody thinks she's a blinkin' miracle. Still, ain't gonna 'elp 'er much when th'fightin' stahts, looks like Amaya could break 'er in two wi' one fingah, eh?" Jon purses his lips. "Yes, it does…but think about the times when I've done well sparring against Amaya-chan, what did I do?" Scruvo tilts his head. "…Used yer 'ead-muckin' wotsits a lot usually, right?" Jon nods. "That's this person's specialty. Essentially, they're both very dangerous to one another. This could be a very interesting match."
Kanami rises from her own bow once it has been returned by both Maikeru and Amaya. The sudden announcement that the fight has begun, combined with the even MORE sudden attack from Amaya would probably be off-putting to most opponent. "Not much for foreplay are you, Nagayama-san~?" the actress lilts teasingly as the fist of the Kemonoken kunoichi passes through thin air. Kanami has already flickered to a new location, parallel to Amaya's right side. Of course, a single punch is unlikely to have been a serious attack. It was a test, and she know it was a test. However, getting an opponent to become emotional is an EXCELLENT way to gain an advantage in the psychological side of a battle.
Also, at least one part of her mind is still admiring the form of her opponent. Kanami is a connosieur of visceral pleasures. Aesthetics are important to her, and she wants to collect and treasure as many experiences as she can. Beauty of a landscape or beauty of a human body are both equally valued by her. Amaya is pretty darn hot, so looking her over for more than just 'tells' of an impending attack is not considered 'wrong' by the Nogakujin.
However, neither is landing the first blow. Focusing her Chakra into her Mystic Noh-men, the mask on Kanami's face seems to change from a pristine but otherwise ordinary Noh-theater mask to a vividly-colored display of seemingly living plants, vines, roses, and more growing and spreading across the masks's cheeks, almost three-dimensional despite being on a two-dimensional surface. On the mask's forehead, the blazing yellow-red of a rising sun scrolls upwards from just above the eye holes of the mask. The eyes that were previously empty and blank now appear to be nearly GLOWING.
She then attempts to send out a thread of her own Chakra to connect to Amaya's Chakra Network at the same time as she raises her right arm, her left moving to rest on the snake-like mask at her waist. The draping sleeves conceal her right hand… And then a snake as thick as a ridiculously engorged anaconda streaks from the darkened opening, trying to strike and bite Amaya!
Does she seriously keep snakes in her sleeves? Really? Who DOES that!?
"Ugh…." In an attempt to rub her eyes, Raili would only manage to rub the lens of her goggles. "Why's… everything… so… close!" During Kanami's dramatic entrance, Raili couldn't manage to understand much of it, if she turned her head slightly there was the image of smoke filling her scoped lens, if she moved a little to the right there was Maikeru's freaky arm and if she moved… whatever way she just moved there was some guy's ear. "Nyyyyyeeeeh…" Slow calculations would manage to figure out that it wasn't her eyes out of whack, it was what's over them.
Oh… right…" Clawing at the goggles, it'd take multiple attempts before she gets a grip and pulls them back up to her forehead. "Turrble idea. So bored…" It was rather difficult to focus on the fight below, though the sudden movement of Amaya would catch her attention and she was instantly very much interested in what was going on below. Then the other thing move, what the heck was the other thing? Kanami was very much a blob of red to poor Raili's constantly refocusing vision.
"Maaaaan, I'd get my behind kicked way too quick." They were indeed fast but, in her state of mind they were mind-bogglingly so. She drank way too much, life lesson learned, at least she can nap easily despite all this noise… and she does just that.
The Genjutsu Chakra infiltrates Amaya's body and her own Chakra without her noticing. Furthermore, the snake that suddenly reaches across the distance between the two of them, hissing and snapping at her shoulder is just >barely< evaded. Ugh. She was hoping to be able to see her opponent's weaknesses for a bit before the serious stuff started, but at least Amaya can surmise that her opponent is a distance-fighter. However, distance means little next to the Cat-Fist practitioner's speed. She can cross the space between herself and an opponent in a matter of seconds, even if Kanami is standing on the other side of the arean.
She decides to demonstrate this fact quite simply by leaving behind basic Taijutsu like punches and kicks and revere spin-kicks and whatever else. Intead she darts into close range dropping from a standing position to supporting herself above the ground on one hand, while the rest of her body remains upright. One leg lashes out at the actress's own legs, and then Amaya pushes off the floor with her hand, hurling herself into the air a dozen feet before coming back down towards her opponents with an attempted slashing attack with her fingernails!
If anyone can even track that movement, they'd see that the fingernails seem to be a bit longer and sharper than they were before… Almost like >claws<.
Also, Amaya totally pretends to ignore Kanami's teasing. It's not that she cares, really, but if she makes her opponent work harder to get a reaction out of her, that may lead to frustration on the part of the actress. Psych-warfare goes both ways, snake-lady.
The swift attack at Kanami's legs meets nothing in particular. It seems to pass through the Nogakujin's legs, scattering them like a spray of sand when a runner's feet strike the beach. The rest of Kanami continues to flow and spiral away from the point where her legs were destroyed, swirling into a brightly-colored vortex as her melodic voice laughs in amusement. The swirling continues until she seems to just collapses into herself and fly apart.
The Kemonoken warrior descends from above rather quickly, however, and the claw strike manages to strike at where Kanami had been standing just a couple feet away following her disappearing act. However, though it may seem as though Amaya successfully detected Kanami's true position and landed a potentially devastating hit with sharp-looking claws—Err… Fingernails!
A cloud of smoke erupts from Kanami. It seems what was shredded was a bamboo pole with a paper sign on it. The sign reads, 'One night only: The vaunted Noh-play — Doujouji! Starring: Seishino Kanami as the Snake Demoness! Admission: Your blood.' The sign and pole both fall to the ground in neatly-sliced pieces.
A couple dozen feet away from Amaya whenever she winds up touching the ground again, Kanami stands. However, her kimono has changed to a white fabric with the pattern of snake scales all over it. Her mask has changed as well. Or… Is that a mask? Her face… It has been replaced with a monstrous, reptillian, demi-human countenance! The features of a White Serpent! Furthermore, it appears to be real, living tissue instead of just a mask! Kanami's hair has grown greatly, extending into a huge mass of spikey, white-and-black strands, and her eyes… Her eyes are the baleful yellow with vertical irises that snakes possess.
"Sssshall we begin?" the monster that has replaced Kanami calls out.
To say Hoiishime didn't feel awkward, was an understatement. He never forgot about the conflict in the Land of Waves. He had forgiven surely, and his morales and station guaranteed no trouble. But still… he had now faced one fact. Kirigakure had once been the enemy. Fate had now brought him into that same enemy's proverbeal living room, for sport, and not war. It was fairly distracting. Several times on the way into the stand's, poor Hoii nearly bumped into nearby walls, and benches, staring at the headbands around him. Mist ninja, and many of them now surrounded him on many sides. Concentration now was needed for no jutsu but rather, just to get to where Jon and Scruvo sat.
The monk made eventually to one of the only men he recognized, not from previous meeting but from reputation. 'The People's Champion' Saito Jon, or a moniker similar, was someone Hoii only recognized from the World Tournament. The monk was cordial. "Ummm… Pardon me..", was said a bit lazily, but the bow was done on time. Eye's alone would shyly motion over to the closes unoccupied seat to the Jounin and his talking avian.
The seat next to Shinji wasn't taken at all, and well who was he to ever turn away a beautiful woman? Not Shinji! Looking to Mune, he smirks a little then looks back to the two women in the ring, one another of his associates. "So far it's alright." he says to Mune. Reaching up and rubbing the front of his head, "I remember the feline like woman from the previous tournament, but I've only gotten here a few days ago." he says to the dark skinned woman next to him. Having gotten a good look at her, "Haven't seen you and the others in a while, after this, we should get a place and talk?" he asks simply.
Jon watches the fight with interest. "She certainly is theatrical," he muses. "What advantages does that grant? It seems like the sort of thing that would take more effort than its worth in a typical battle…but then, it could be that winning isn't her primary objective. She might've entered just to increase her reputation as an actress." Scruvo shakes his head. "You're th'type t'look at a plate o' shrimp an' be more curious about 'ow they got arranged that way than 'ow they'll taste, aren't ya Jonny-boy?" Jon chuckles. "Well, yes, I am."
Jon looks up as Hoiishime speaks to him. "Hm? Oh, sure, have a seat. Ordinarily I might be saving it for my wife, but, well, she's down in the ring right now. I'm Saito Jon, by the way, and this is Scruvo."
A large toothy smile came across the chocolatey monk's face. He had been acknowledged by a celebrity. "Me thanks!!", was followed by a happy chuckle, as the monk proceeded to have a seat. "Aaahh!! I be knowin' well who ya be, Jon-sama!! A Champ a di' People!! Great meetin' ya personally!! I be Hanma Hoiishime, Monk a di Jinrai Shrine, and Genin Mednin!!" A look went to Scruvo, who was bowed to just a deeply. "How much I be missin'? And did ya say ya wifed one a dem, Jon-sama?" It seemed a total change, but yes, this was the same Hoii who was wandering about, antagonistically staring at all the Mist-nin.
Amaya turns quickly, her senses tuned to locating where her opponent has vanished to. The battleground is not exactly cluttered with cover to use for hiding, but she knows well enough by now that almost >anything< can serve as a place to hide. Even the earth itself. However, the pole and sign, having been destroyed (As they deserved! >:O) did not distract her very long. As soon as she began to search, she had found her opponent.
Kanami has undergone a dramatic change in appearance. Henge no Jutsu might be responsible. Amaya herself has come up with many innovative uses for it. And then there is the fact that she is pretty sure her opponent has already ensnared her with Genjutsu at some point, due to that swirling and vanishing thing from Amaya's failed leg-attack.
However, appearances aside, her opponent seems to have had to focus a lot more Chakra into this new mask of hers… Or whatever it is. To run out so quickly already means she can probably outlast her opponent. She could have outlasted Uchiha Fuyu back then too, but she gave up out of disgust for her opponent's tactics. This actress lacks the endurance to match her. So, Amaya decides to not let the other woman wittle her own endurance down to zilch, and act now.
Ki suddenly surges and rises around Amaya, forming into an extremely dense aura of energy. The aura does not blaze wildly but instead stays relatively close to her body — about the length of one of her arms. The light that shines upon Amaya as the last of the sun's rays die away seems to be dulled when it touches the Ki… Or distorted somehow? Eventually, as the Geki continues to grow denser and denser, more and more compressed, only blue-green spectrum light is able to fall upon the Cat-Fist Kemonoken. Now glowing blue-green, Amaya proceeds to engage in a number of flips, dashes, and rolls at high speed… But it is more than just one Amaya doing them. At least half a dozen are darting all over the place, leaping through the air, going in all manner of different directions, and running rings around the actress.
Keep track of >that<!
It would seem that with Takeda, wanting to walk around, that wasn't permitted too far from where the tournament was being held, so the masked genin, returns back to where the rest of those from the land of lighting are seated at. Seems the young man wanted to look around, this land since the last time he was here.
Kanami does her best to keep track of her opponent, but the insane speed the Kemonoken is moving at is beyond her ability to follow, let alone respond to. Even with Chakra enhancing her snake-like eyes, she can do nothing. So instead… She prepares for the inevitable attack. The Nogakujin's lower body transforms into that of a giant White Serpent, to match her face and other features. Her legs are legs no longer, a lengthy and clearly reptillian tail extending out of her kimono and lying across the ground. Slithering slowly in circles, Kanami waits… Watches… And prepares.
Mune 'mmnnss' non-commitally to Shinji's reply. "That's Nagayama Amaya. She's the wife of Saito Jon, the man I defeated in my own match. She's pretty strong, from what I know of her. Not that I know MUCH, of course, but I heard about her match. She could have defeated the Uchiha Clan Head if she had kept on going. Her sense of morality was promised or something, so she gave up instead."
Mune drinks from her water bottle and considers whether Amaya will give up this time as well. At Shinji's question as the end, she lowers the bottle enough for water to stop flowing between her pursed lips and turns her vivid-cyan eyes on the man next to her without actually moving the drinking vessel away. Eventually, she does lower it and says, "What do we have to talk about? Do you need another treatment?" She intentionally remains vague due to how public this place is. Inwardly, she is remembering what Datura told her that time… How accurate was it?
Kanami's use of the Doujouji Mask is no big surprise. The fact that she is merely remaining where she is and waiting instead of trying to turn her opponent's tactics against her is notable, however. "Hmm…" she muses. "Either she is going to get hurt badly or she is going to defeat Nagayama rather dramatically. I can't tell yet."
Jon nods. "Good to meet you, Hoiishime-san. The 'Champ of the People' thing is a bit exaggerated, I'm just a detective who tries to do his job well." Scruvo sidles along Jon's shoulder, somehow managing to make it look like a sort of saunter. "An' well we do it, I can tell ya! Why, I remembah th'time Jonny-boy an' I wos facin' down a blinkin' army of thugs, wi' a bomb set t'blow th'place sky-high in less than a minute an' a whole cartful o' orphans plus th'daimyou's pretty cousin countin' on us fer a rescue, an' — " Jon pinches Scruvo's beak shut. "Save the tall tales for later, Scruvo, we're trying to watch the match." e.e
Jon looks down into the arena. "Yes, the woman speeding all over the place right now is Nagayama Amaya, my wife." "Blinkin' good thing it ain't the othah one." "Oh, hush. The other is Kanami, who seems to specialize in genjutsu and some rather strange transformations. The masks appear to have something to do with it, although who knows, that could be just a prop."
Amaya doesn't know what kind of capabilities her opponent has or has potentially >gained< with this transformation. The sudden shift from human with a snake-face to >humanoid< with mostly serpentine traits is interesting, however… Probably venom will be employed at some point.
Amaya suddenly stops moving and is standing less than a foot away from Kanami — and right behind her. "I'm going to end this with my next blow!" she calls out as she tenses the muscles of her right arm, gathering her strength, and then lashing out with a straight palm-thrust strike while yelling, "White Tiger-Fist Technique: >Tiger Palm<!" The sheer force of this simple attack is unlikely to be stopped or deflected by any normal means. And for a flimsy chick like Kanami, taking the hit is prrrrrobably going to hurt.
Hm. Maybe venom is not going to be employed after all if this hits! :D
Feeling Mune's eyes on him, Shinji looks to her and studies her features for a moment, "That too." he says. The information was about the same, but still there was more info he has now. "Also to catch up, none of us has seen one another in some time. Might as well get together for a few days." he says. Turning away, his brown eyes turn and gazes back at the fight. The wanderer seemed to be enjoying himself so far, but his voice when he speaks is a bit distant. The way he moves about in his chair denotes weariness and stiffness.%R
Looking from the fight now to the rest of the attendenants near them, Shinji yawns a little bit, "Well lets see how well the entertainer does in this match, it would be a big upset if she defeats Amaya." he says, his voice low so that Mune is the only can hear him.
Kanami has barely any time to react. She becomes aware that Amaya stands behind her, but as the shout goes out that she intends to 'finish this' with a single blow, the actress realizes that whatever is coming, it is intended to put her out of commission in, as the Kemonoken said, a single blow. To the surprise and perhaps HORROR of the spectators, let alone the comrades of Kanami in the stands, Amaya's attack strikes directly, right into Kanami's back, and no dodging takes place.
Further, Amaya's hand and arm punch right through the Nogakujin's back, into her torso, and out the middle of her chest. Blood sprays, cloth tears, bone shards and innards fly through the air… That attack was so strong it went THROUGH Kanami.
She arches and convulses spastically, seeming to be twitching in agony, but in all likelihood this is merely reflexive muscle response and she is already dead. The corpse slumps, goes limp, and does not move further. Amaya is left with her arm impaling the dead woman. Well, it seems SOMEONE is disqualified. GOOD JOB, MURDERER.
Then the lower half of Kanami's corpse begins to twitch, shift, and bulge as though something inside of the tail is moving, just below the surface of the scales… Then the tail TEARS off and falls to the ground wetly, leaving Amaya with the upper half of Kanami's body still on her arm as… A… A…
A second Kanami emerges from the sack of scales and blood and so forth.
This Kanami is also transformed into the same snake-like form, as she streaks out of her own corpse and darts across the arena, turning to face Amaya only after she has plenty of distance between herself and her opponent. Still dripping blood and viscera, Kanami stares unblinkingly at the white-haired woman with cold, reptillian eyes. Then she calls out, "That wassss not very niccce." One hand touches the remaining mask at her waist, and then a jutsu is cast.
A moment later, Amaya may experience the sensation of having a number of barbed metal hooks attached to wires descend on her from above and behind, plant themselves on any and all exposed flesh — shoulders, arms, back, neck, throat, cheeks, the sides and belly of the fit and curvaceous warrior woman… And then start to rise upwards, attempting to pull Amaya up into the air and suspend her there.
If this works, the lighting of the already-dark arena will shift towards red, like the blood of the corpse that now disintegrates and flakes away from Amaya's right arm. The wires and hooks turn Amaya around to face… A giant. A giant with no head. Just a towering, 40-foot tall humanoid with muscular grey flesh, scars and stitches, and NO HEAD on its rot-and-ash severed neck. The wires are extending from own flesh, and the stands appear to be empty. Is Amaya really alone now? Probably not, but it does not appear that anyone else is here. It's just Amaya, Kanami below, and the giant.
The giant waits for a moment, and raises its enormous, over-sized arms, and points both hands at the white-haired woman. Its fingers swell, engorge, and then EXPLODE, sending out literal rivers of blood at the suspended Kemonoken, spraying and washing over her, blasting her with the life-fluid of a monster!
Then it leaves her to dangle for a moment, drenched in crimson. Then the wires perform a whip-like *SNAP* and try to simply drop Amaya to the ground far below… While tearing away the flesh they were embedded in. Whenever Amaya reaches the ground, she will find that the arena is once again full of people. She is there. Kanami is there. The audience is there.
And so is the blood that coats her.
A small hand carefully trails over the railing as Yuuka takes each step with slow purpose, fully healed from her bout with Rin, she couldn't help but feel sore and stiff all over. She tries to mentally shrug it off as she makes her way down the stairs of the arena stands, passing by others cheering, booing, or laughing between Amaya and Kanami when they react and counter-react to one another. The kunoichi shifts her bright gaze quickly before she's able to find a free seat in one of the rows, lowering herself to sit on what appears to be an oversized tusk.
A nod from the masked ninja from kumo, Takeda even chuckles a bit, though does tilt his head a bit, studing the woman who was killed a moment, but survived..from his periphial vison, spots the movements of someone and glances in their direction(Yuuka), then goes back to watching the bout, though he says nothing is cheering silently for the other Kumo-nin
Jon starts forward in his seat. o.O Did that just happen? Jon feels sick, and it's not just because he saw somebody killed; he knows that this is exactly Amaya's nightmare. To become so accustomed to killing that she could do it to somebody who doesn't necessarily deserve it, without witnessing a crime or orders from the top or any other justification. But could that really be what's happened here? Jon has seen Amaya use that technique before, and while it's certainly powerful and has the potential to kill, her mastery of it should've allowed her to use it without…
Wait…what's going on down there? Something is…WHOA! @.@; Okay, that was seriously creepy! But at least it shows Amaya didn't really kill her opponent. -.-; …Right? c.c "Crikey. Now that's puttin' on a show. A freak show, though. Not one I'd like t'see twice." :P
To put it bluntly, Amaya is horrified by the seeming death of her opponent. She knows there's illusions and everything, and even that her opponent uses Genjutsu. But this >feels real<. It's… Her arm… Her hand… Her bare skin in contact with the shredded internal organs of another human being, as the blood gushes out in almost movie-like amounts that have nothing to do with special effects, the heart and lungs going erratic, malfunctioning… And then ceasing.
Kanami's body is even still warm.
Not many would know why this is so bad for Amaya. Amaya herself, Jon, and >maybe< Scruvo. Everyone else would only be able to assume the obvious causes are to blame when the fierce, tough, experienced Kemonoken warrior's lips pull back in a rictus of terror, exposing her teeth, and then she >SCREAMS AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS!<
'It happened again!' the thought flashes through her head, unrestrained. She breathes in deeply and screams once more. 'It happened again! I didn't mean to!' the screaming continues without end. The memories of her very first kill, an accidental slaying of a mere Kyakume Crime Syndicate thug, surge up over well-travelled neural pathways, bubbling to the surface like pure-black, glistening oil… But instead of oil, this is a different kind of fuel. These are the memories that have haunted her both asleep and awake, for over >half her life<. Nightmare fuel.
And here it is, happening again. 'It happened again! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to! No, please!' the thoughts go on and on, without even being aware of it, her conscious mind utterly overwhelmed by fear and disgust and the reliving of the single most guilt-laden experience of her entire life. Alongside these thoughts, the screams also continue unceasingly.
This kind of breakdown is unlikely to inspire confidence in victory for onlookers… But she doesn't care. She doesn't >know< anymore. There is no thought, no awareness, just that phrase repeating without her consent.
The frightened, pleading, high-pitched, tremulous voice of a much younger Nagayama Amaya.
'It happened again!'
When she finally realizes that the corpse has been bisected and her opponent stands alive and well, on the far side of the arena… Though still covered in blood… It is with >relief< that her screams peter out, and fade away, leaving her gasping for air that was recklessly spent in her hysteria. She can not even hear Kanami's words. Her heart is beating too fast, her pulse rushing too quickly, the lack of oxygen making her dizzy. She is hyperventilating as she gradually descends from the precipice of madness. The wave of ice-terror that had buried her mind and attempted to drown her — and succeeded for a time — is chipped away gradually.
But things do not end there. The suffering does not end there. Amaya feels the hooks sink into her skin, causing her to tense and arch her back in pain. She has suffered worse, but when they yank her up into the air, suspending her by metal barbs plant deep into flesh and sinew, she kind of wishes she could go without adding this experience to her list of things to compare against.
The corpse falls away from Amaya's arm like flakes of flesh in rapid decay, and she is turned around to face a headless giant. For some reason, a single name echoes in her head. 'Durahan.' She doesn't know where it came from, but she knows this is bad, so very bad, and she's alone in this strange place, and the darkness is red instead of black, and no one is here but that woman, and this giant, and Amaya herself. This has to be an illusion! It has to be!
She fights against the grip of fear and slams her left fist into her own left cheek so hard that it dislocates her jaw. Maybe she didn't focus her mind enough on the pain. She doesn't know. But she fails to break the Genjutsu, if Genjutsu this is. She fails and is nearly drowned in more blood than she had ever suspected existed in the entire world.
When she hangs there at the end, exhausted, hurting, coughing and choking on the blood she accidentally inhaled, she wonders if maybe she died at some point and fell into Hell. Then the wires snap her up into the air and then >down< at the ground, and her flesh comes away in huge strips of bloody tissue, and she >slams< into the earth, amazingly landing on her feet.
She doesn't stay there long. Stamina is something she has in abundance still. She hasn't even >BEGUN< to fight using her full arsenal. If she really had to, she could use a certain Kinjutsu, a Forbidden Technique, 'Pain to Power'… She is suffering enough to make it worthwhile. But as much stamina as she has physically, as resilient as she normally is mentally, this is just too much at once. She didn't want to win in the first place. She came here to protect her husband. She failed and also almost killed a stranger by using too much strength… Too much power… Too much >rage<, and >ferocity<, and >animal instinct<. She had become less than human for a moment.
Why risk descending even further into sub-humanity? Why ensure her place among monsters like what she fights now?
She fell to her knees at some point, not remembering when or how. The snow-white hair of Amaya is currently bright red instead. Her entire body is covered in blood. If this was a Genjutsu, then…? She shakes her head. It doesn't matter. She holds up both hands, a complete surrender gesture, and wearily, shakily calls outs, ">I give up!< Stop the fight!"
Mune stares. She stares at the fight, remembering when also thought she had killed Kanami, in their first match. She CUT OFF KANAMI'S HEAD. Somehow, the Nogakujin had survived… Climbed out of her own skin like some kind of… Flesh-suit. It had been disturbing then, and it was disturbing now as she watches Kanami repeat the maneuver to avoid dying.
The hysterical screams are unexpected, but when they start, and then the Kemonoken falls to her knees awhile later, looking utterly beaten, shaken like she was a small child and had just been told the Boogie-Man was coming for her, exhausted more than the Genjutsu she suspects was used should account for…
A different memory appears in Mune's head. How she and the others looked when they emerged from Ankoku Cave. How they looked on Level 5 of their secret base when they went in search of a cure for Kanami's bizarre, physically-mutating illness.
For a moment, Mune wonders if perhaps it would have been wiser to let the actress die. Then she caps her bottle of mineral water, rises to her feet without preamble and says, "I'm going now. If you want to talk, meet me at the Carved Boar Inn." Turbulent emotions, some of guilt, some of compassion, some of anger, all swirl around in the dark-skinned woman's head as she makes her way up the stairs and away before the match is even officially over.
Settling onto the large ivory tusk that is her seat, Yuuka glances around at the people around her, seeing no familiar faces at the moment. Seeing Takeda a ways away, she watches him for a short moment or so before she turns her attention back to the match. A smile soon grows on her lips as Yuuka leans forward subtly, people all around her rising to their feet with a cheering roar. She chuckles to herself and begins clapping as well, pushing herself up to her feet with minor struggling to cheer with the crowd of Kirigakure shinobi and welcomed citizens from other lands.
"We have a winner," Maikeru calls out as he appears between the two women. "Your winner by submission is Kanami! This concludes Round 1." He reaches into his coat and pulls out a scroll, writing on it. "I bet you wish you knew what the matches for Round 2 are," he says with a smirk. "But you'll have to come back tomorrow when I announce them. See you, folks." With that, he vanishes into thin air.
Now it's Jon's turn to blink from the stands down into the arena. (In his case the technique involved actually is a body flicker, but that's just a detail.) He wraps his arms around Amaya, blood and all, and holds her tightly. "It's okay," he whispers. "You're okay. You didn't kill anyone. It's okay."
As the match is concluded, Kanami remains where she is, one pale, claw-nailed finger resting upon the mask with the stringy hair hanging in its emaciated features… Even after Maikeru has gone, and Jon is at Amaya's side, those snake eyes continue to watch. No movement is made. The insane urge to strike Amaya with a subtle illusion right now to make her feel even worse — something that can not be proven as having happened or not — is gradually beaten down into the depths of the Lady Aoi Mask. Kanami removes her hand from that weapon of madness and horror, and sweeps the snake-lke mask from her face as well. In an instant, with no delay at all, she is back to her normal self with the same woman's face mask as she entered the stadium with in place.
The mask smiles as the actress bows to wife and her husband, and she allows that final illusion to dissipate. The full-body coating of fresh blood dissolves into the air. But the blood from Kanami's old body remains. She can't do anything about THAT.
THAT blood hadn't been an illusion~.
"Sleep well, Nagayama-san," Kanami bids her defeated opponent, before walking gracefully away.
Riosing slowly Takeda goes to make his way down towards where Jon, and Amaya are, the young man walks directly past Yuuka, and does glance in her direction, offering a silent nod of greeting. Still the masked nin of Kumo, watches as people depart, and goes to at least give some amount of comfort to his countryman
The scream is what catches Shinji's attention, as he turns and looks to Amaya who is clearly beaten, and what she thought she may have did sends a shiver down his back. He remembers a few things of his own not connected to Kanami in the sense, but connected due to other things he's witnessed sense being with his entourage. A frown crosses his face and he shakes his head again and stands when Mune does. "Alright, I will see you there." he says to her and follows her out.