Date: February 6, 2012
The Kazekage accepts a challenge from the head of the Neutral Medical Center.
"First Promotion Exams - High-Profile Match: Mushi vs. Sousa"
Sunadome Arena - Fighting Ring [Sunagakure]
From the ground floor of the arena, one can truly get a sense of the sheer size and spectacle of the place. At its widest point, the colosseum is nearly a mile in circumference, and the domed ceiling is roughly fifty stories overhead. Needless to say, trying to take it all in can be dizzying. The floor of the arena is made up of a number of massive rolling sand dunes, about a hundred fifty feet tall at their tallest point. In the very center of the arena, a simple, well manicured lawn of green, rather like an oasis, marks the primary battle spot. The lawn is a little larger than a standard boxing arena, and is even equipped with a small pond, no more than five feet across.
Like many of the exhibition matches this one isn't posted or scheduled besides a modest notice here and there. Nevertheless, the fact that the Kazekage was going to participate had gathered a sizable crowd. Mushi is largely unknown, so that Sousa would probably notice the cheers for him were completely thunderous. Mushi got polite applause at best, and many looked at her with mockery or curiosity. Mushi didn't care. It was she who had requested to be the Kazekage's opponent. She couldn't pass up a chance seeing a Kazekage fight, and these barriers would turn what might be a deadly match into a fierce spar. One might note that the seal makers maintaining the barrier were especially advanced Jounin. This is a Kage's match they'll be overseeing after all, not two Genin hopefuls.
Mushi doesn't seem arrogant as she steps onto the field, but neither does she seem like she's a shrinking violet. Her smile is half a fierce grin and half mischief. Once Sousa comes out one of the top brass in the village would be there as the referee. "It is my distinct pleasure to announce the match of Kokoroe Sousa, the Kazekage, and Nikumari Mushi, traveling medic." Fancy titles. "This is an exhibition match, but the rules of the tournament still apply. Any shinobi techniques are allowed. The match will end when one opponent is unable to fight, concedes defeat, and always when I call an end to it." He'd wait till both of them were there for a minute and then says, "Begin!" before moving off. Mushi nods to Sousa and says, "Let's make this a good fight. I'm not going to hold back!" She starts to focus and gather her energy for the battle ahead.
Sousa walks out onto the field with his customary business-like monk-cum-scientist stride. He isn't the sort to be particularly interested in combat for its own sake, but it would be a poor PR move for him to not show off a bit on an occasion like this tournament. People like to see their leaders participate. The protective fields go up behind him, and Sousa gives Mushi a courteous bow. "Indeed, I shall hope not, Nikumari-san. These fields were developed for precisely that purpose." Sousa stands by quietly after the referee announces the start of the match, though obviously he is preparing his chakra as well. And of course, being a Kage, a daunting amount of chakra it is.
Mushi breathes in deeply, and focuses. Instead of enhancing her power, the aura around her seems controlled and balanced. She's achieved more of a state of mind than an actual transformation as she takes a ready stance. She doesn't hesitate to move as soon as the referee tells them to begin. Her hands move expertly through one seal after another, chakra swirling around her arm and forming a giant replica of that limb. Perhaps she can move the visible chakra by itself, but nevertheless she brings her arm around so that the chakra mimics her motion to swat Sousa halfway across the arena. In the end however it's merely a distraction as a small tag would land next to him. A piece of paper attached to it would crumple, in an attempt to suck up some of his energy.
Sousa watches with interest while Mushi forms her chakra arm. "Ah, very impressive. You appear to have very strong chakra reserves to rely upon." Sousa makes a light, twirling sidestep, somehow managing to miss being hit by mere centimeters. Then he feels something crinkle beneath his foot. SHHHHLOOP. There goes a little chunk of chakra. c.c "Hmmm, yes, impressive indeed. Brawn and brains." Suddenly Sousa is beside Mushi with a quick chop to her neck, followed by a chakra-empowered palm strike to her ribs. "This match may be quite a treat for our more intellectual observers." Meanwhile, Sousa also sends out a thread of chakra for use in genjutsu later. It's his favorite area, after all. ;)
Mushi blinks when Sousa appears and manages to lean away just in time so Sousa's hand doesn't score a painful blow against her neck. But still oww. However, she's in time for a wave of chakra to nudge away his next blow. Unfortunately, it's enough for Mushi to fail to notice the link that has been made against her. Now that he's in close range though Mushi reveals that she's not all ninjutsu as she presses her fingers together as if they're a punch knife and does just that. Chakra forms around her hand like a dagger and she'd aim to stab him in the chest with pure upper body force. It'd be a lethal shot if she thought he wouldn't be able to dodge it at all. And if there weren't barriers around.
Sousa does not dodge away from the impending blade of chakra. On the contrary, he leans in toward Mushi…and twists aside just a bit, guiding the strike past himself with a nudge of his elbow. "A medic's precision…but you'll find I'm a slippery tendon to cut." Sousa's other arm drives hard at Mushi's chest, and there is a bright flash and a loud SNAP of lightning as it reaches full extent.
Mushi frowns as her blow goes wide of his defenses. Clearly, as much as she's trained, her taijutsu is nowhere near a kage's level. And in fact she doesn't even have time to pull away and gather her defenses before she's being hit by the exact same move. With shocking effects. (brick) Mushi leaps away, putting some distance between them and patting her chest to make sure her shirt isn't singed or on fire for that matter. "Ouch," she says, more as a comment than an expression of pain. "You really are tough. Perhaps if I can't cut you…" She takes in a deep breath, sloshing water or spit or something in her mouth before expelling…chakra? Glowing, streaming liquid that would splash against Sousa. As it dries it would not only harden to hold him in place but drain him of his vitality.
Sousa smiles softly. "To be the leader of a Great Shinobi Village is, alas, not solely a matter of intellect and organizational ability." ;) Seeing that Mushi seems to be preparing a ranged attack of some magnitude, Sousa prepares with a few handseals. When Mushi fires, Sousa crouches and puts his palm against the ground. With a *POOF*, a section of stone wall appears in front of him. Unfortunately, the wall doesn't seem strong enough to entirely stop the chakra stream, which punches through and strikes Sousa in the chest. "Nnnngh…quite a remarkable substance," Sousa grunts, feeling it start to pull at his chakra. Sousa crosses his arms in front of himself, then snaps them apart, breaking the hardened goo. "I wonder if it will remain viable for analysis later," he muses, picking up a shard.
Mushi winces as Sousa brushes off her latest technique. But now she sees a chance at victory. Instead of trying any big attacks she throws two shuriken at him. They'd both good wide by a foot…if there weren't seals wrapped around them. Once close to Sousa they'd activate in an attempt to suck up his energy once more. Even a Kage can wear out eventually, right? But Mushi has to grin. Despite everything, she likes Sousa, he's an interesting fellow. She hasn't heard someone use 'alas' in a sentence since…never, actually. Alas was just one of those words you knew, but never said. "You're a strange Kage," Mushi says, but she phrases it almost to be a compliment. "Not at all like the other ones, not by a longshot."
Sousa tucks the shard away somewhere in his clothes. When he pulls his hand out, he's holding a tag-tied kunai of his own, which he flicks out between the ones Mushi threw. It emits a chakra pulse which knocks the others wide, though one of them still passes just close enough to suck some chakra from Sousa. >.<; "I believe it is time to work toward a conclusion," Sousa remarks, raising up his hands. They crackle with electricity, creating a menacing heaviness in the air…then he drops them. Was something supposed to happen? c.c
Suddenly Sousa starts throwing tag after tag with familiar explosive seals written onto them. They blast around Mushi, herding her toward some destination of unknown importance whether by force or by encouragement. Then Sousa locks his hands into a seal. A strange reality attempts to enfold Mushi, as though the explosions around her are remaining locked in place as barriers of fiery energy, forming an increasingly enclosing maze.
Mushi crosses her arms when the tags come and they all hit. Instead of sinking it they bounce off a hardened surface of chakra. The explosions raise dust but when it settles down Mushi is unfazed. And looking smug. Until her environment starts changing. What…wait…she's defending…oh no. Suddenly Mushi finds herself wandering through a maze. She knows she's wandering in the arena (which actually isn't the truth, she's not even budging an inch) but in the illusion she does try to throw out a bunch of kunai to break the illusion. Which of course doesn't work. "Genjutsu…yeah yeah, I didn't see that one coming, shaddup," Mushi mutters, as if talking to herself.
Sousa observes the results of his handiwork with a nod of satisfaction. The target is…on target, now it's only a matter of waiting. Sousa glances aside at the referee. "Please don't allow the overwhelming nature of this attack sway your judgment too greatly. People have been known to survive even outside of the protective fields."
That heaviness in the air suddenly finds release in a lightning bolt which blasts down on Mushi. "…Of course, it would be unlikely that an opponent in ordinary combat would be able to continue after…"
The illusion is blown apart as Mushi is struck by lightning. Perhaps it's good she didn't see it coming very well, as she lets out a shout of pain and surpise. By the time it's done Mushi is still standing there, shaking a little. She almost wishes that had knocked her out, but she remains standing. And since she is, she straightens her back with great will and brushes off her singed shirt. Then she forces a grin as she looks to Sousa, "Oh I wasn't worried. It was just a bit of static, nothing I can't shrug off," she says, but she's hurting, her body position says it, and the slight wince at the end of her word. But she beckons him. "Bring it. I'll still standing, Sousa-sama."
Sousa regards Mushi for a moment. Would she still be a combat hazard at this point if the protective fields were not in place? Sousa thinks she just might be. Quite an impressive fighter, particularly for someone whose aspirations have more to do with healing than with hurting. "Congratulations, Nikumari-san," Sousa remarks, drawing a kunai. "You have compelled me to call in reinforcements." Sousa makes a small incision on his thumb, then does a few handseals and reaches out sideways. There is an enormous *POOF*, and a comically-bulging bear appears. It pays no heed to the change in its location, in fact, it is asleep and looks likely to remain so. "Allow me to introduce test subject Beta," Sousa says, placing his hand against the bear's rubbery flank. "I cannot promise he will display any of his combat capabilities as he is extremely narcoleptic, but his presence is helpful to me in other ways." Sousa feels Beta's chakra reserves replenishing his own. "Much better. Shall we continue?"
"I'm honored," the wanderer says, as Sousa clearly begins summoning something. She looks apprehensive, but that soon turns into confusion as his summon seems to be sleeping. Mushi looks incredulously at the bulging bear as Sousa explains (or doesn't explain) its purpose. She waits to see if it will wake up and charge at her. She's in danger of tapping her chin and scratching her head. Perhaps it's in hibernation? But she takes this lull to launch her own attack. Chakra swirls around her arm, and then she disappears. She'd reappear behind Sousa, the chakra now gathered around her fingertips and aim to stamp a seal right on his back. If it worked he'd feel the destructive chakra within his body both harming and paralyzing him. "Used another way, this can be a powerful healing technique," she tells him.
Sousa turns around and swings his arm up, knocking Mushi's attack aside. "Not altogether surprising. Most of advanced medicine is about applying things which are in most cases harmful to the specific situations in which they are helpful, correct?" Sousa sends a focused palm strike to Mushi's sternum and follows up with a kick to the jaw. "This has become a very close match, has it not? I ought to have fought more seriously from the beginning."
Mushi gets kicked in the jaw and staggers back. She rubs her jaw, ooh that's gonna leave a bruise. Or is it? "Yes, you should have," Mushi smirks, "but somehow you won't go down either. Let me show you that technique again." This time he'd be able to see the move in full, as she draws on her chakra that condenses into her fingertips. And this time she presses it lightly against her cheek. The spiral pattern unravels as it sinks into her skin. At the same time, any bruises, cuts, scrapes, and injuries are mending themselves. And all Mushi needed to do was place the initial stamp. She's already taking a preparatory stance for the next bout.
Sousa laughs softly. "Ah yes, I most definitely should have taken a more aggressive strategy. You'll outlast me with very little doubt at this rate. Perhaps we can have a rematch sometime. For the time being, however, I will concede this match to you." Sousa signals to the referee, and the protective fields are released. "We have a victor! Kokoroe Sousa has yielded the bout to Nikumari Mushi!" the referee announces. Sousa bows to Mushi. "A very engaging trial, Nikumari-san."
Mushi is hurriedly putting her fingers together to gather chakra when Sousa concedes defeat. She blinks and looks him up and down. He's perfectly fine, not hurting at all. And he doesn't look particularly drained. What is this? She'd expected something at least a little more unrestrained, it's as if he were giving up the match. Then, it hits her. It's very…gentlemanly. She'd sprint over to the referee and murmur something to him. And he'd turn to the crowd and announce, "Due to a severe shortage of chakra, and imminent defeat, Nikumari Mushi also concedes. The match between the Kazekage and Nikumari Mushi is concluded in a draw." Then Mushi does give Sousa a boyish smile. "Yes it was very good Sousa-sama, thank you," she says with a deep bow. Then she'd be off.