1878/Threads of Fate: The Rematch

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Threads of Fate: The Rematch
Date of Scene: 25 March 2015
Location: KLK Earth <KLK>
Synopsis: Though Uzu lost his last duel against Ryuko, he has challenged her again, and with Satsuki's permission. But, will it go Ryuko's way again? Or has Uzu got something up his sleeve?
Cast of Characters: Tomoe, 95, 140, 401, 430, Tomoyo Daidouji, 662, 725
Tinyplot: Threads of Fate (Part 1)

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    The rains in Tokyo have passed, but clouds still largely mask the sky above, only a few rays of sunshine poking through here and there to give the dreary day just a hint more light - as if the day itself were struggling to be sunny, but didn't have the strength. Life in Honnou Town and the academy at its heart, however, continue as always. Which is to say, 'completely at the whims of Satsuki and her Elite Four'.

    Just yesterday, the fortunes of Uzu Sanageyama looked grim. What has transpired in the past 24 hours is anyone's guess; but there he stands in the courtyard of Honnouji, wearing a three-star coat over his bare, still-bandaged torso as if nothing had changed. Hands in his pockets, he stands at the middle of a raised, circular arena lined with Honnouji's infamous, large concrete spikes, waiting calmly and in silence. He's issued his challenge; whatever Matoi might believe, she'll be here, and that's all he has to worry about.

    The biggest change today, however, is one that hearkens all the way back to the match on Saturday. Unlike the clash in the gym, the Queen of Honnouji herself has opted to oversee this battle. High above on her tower, Satsuki Kiryuin stands, looking down at the proceedings below with her hands on the pommel of Bakuzan as always. Her Elite Four are not with her, Sanageyama's presence notwithstanding, nor are they in the VIP stands that have been hastily erected near the platform. The only person present is the seldom-seen Sewing Club President Shiro Iori, wearing his orange dust filter as always.

Ryuko Matoi (140) has posed:
    Needless to say, Ryuko's a bit surprised to see what Sanageyama's wearing, once she shows up. She had Mako stay behind, this time, not sure what the intentions of her opponent and his master were, so unless anyone else shows in her favor, she's going solo. She's also gone ahead and transformed right away, and with her Scissor Blade in hand, walks into the middle of the 'arena' that makes up the school's massive interior courtyard. Satsuki's presence doesn't go unnoticed, either.

    "Man.. pretty generous of you, givin' someone I've beat already another shot. Feelin' a bit forgiving, today? Special occasion?" Ryuko addresses Satsuki first, before looking at Uzu. "Or are you just a glutton for punishment, who likes struttin' around in his birthday suit?" She hefts her weapon and sighs, "Let's get this over with."

Sagat (95) has posed:
Truth be told, Sagat is surprised that Sanageyama had the guts to challenge Ryuko to a rematch this soon after she beat him. Or maybe 'guts' is the wrong term - you usually take longer than a few days to hone your skills before seeking a second match with somebody who beat you once. It smacks of being a poor loser ... or of having something up your sleeve.

Of course, around Honnouji, just HAVING sleeves can count as having something up those sleeves. Especially when the sleeves are attached to one or more stars.

So, Sagat's found an excuse to watch. He's not sitting in any of the stands, just standing in a relaxed-but-not-casual manner near one of the entrances, somewhere that he has a decent view from what should by all rights be a safe distance. Sanageyama's new Three-Star uniform isn't lost on him, either - nor is the fact that they can replace a Three-Star Goku Uniform in relatively short order, especially with the potential they hold.

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     There's a moment of absolute silence in between the words of Ryuko Matoi and the beginning of Round 2. At the beginning of that moment of absolute silence, the space at the ledge near Kiryuin is empty.

     At the end of that silence, it is not.

     A purple-haired man sits on the edge of the ledge in front of Kiryuin. He's carefully arranged himself not to block her view in a show of demure politeness, his leg hanging off the side as he watches the proceedings begin. Black, unnatural scars - or are they tattoos? - arc and writhe across his skin as if alive, though that's surely just a trick of the light, for when one takes a second glance they have settled into a configuration, though surely not the configuration they were in when he appeared. Despite the unnerving nature of those tattoos, there's a peaceful, almost detached smile on his face, as though the whole world could end around him and it would barely make a dent in his attitude.

     That may be enough to ascertain his identity. If not, the sword upon his back most surely is. It is massive, improperly and improbably so, reaching nearly five feet in length despite lacking in girth. The katana seems like it would be impossible for an ordinary person to use, and yet the grip is well-loved, well-cared-for, with signs of heavy use over an indeterminable amount of time.

     And if even that sword and that smile do not prove his identity, his gentle, cheerful, distant voice most surely does. She's probably heard it over the radio enough times.

     "You have an impressive academy," Kojirou Sasaki observes over his shoulder at Satsuki, "It has a good atmosphere. I can tell...there are plenty of strong opponents here."

     "And plenty of fighting spirit," Kojirou adds, his eyes flicking at Sanageyama, "I like it, Kiryuin-kun."

     The thousand-year samurai reaches into his elegant purple kimono and draws out a bottle of sake. He pops the cork and takes a sip. "I hope that the fruit of failure will feed him as well as he seems to believe."

Testarossa Fate (401) has posed:
    Something must have changed. Something must be different. That is Fate Testarossa's reason for coming to see this again. Otherwise she wouldn't have bothered watching a shamed and defeated man calling out so fiercely for a second bout. Timid and gentle she may be, she understands the meaning of failure and its consequences, and would not have deemed the rematch worth her time... If not for Satsuki deciding to watch it herself.

    Fate knows Satsuki as a stern young woman, with immense discipline and standards, and she would assume that said standards must be held by the Student Council President's subordinates as well, after Gamagoori lashed it home, the last time. If Sanageyama is being given a second chance, then he must have displayed a fierce level of determination and resolve.

    This is why Fate is in the VIP stands, the tiny blonde child seemingly out of place in what just might be the most brutal high school in all japan. For one, she doesn't look Japanese in the least, and she's not even close to high school age, despite the white school uniform trimmed in black, that might make her feasibly blend in a bit better.

    "He's hiding something..." She murmurs to herself, quietly under her breath.

    [SIR?] The triangular medallion on her glove buzzes in a mechanical, masculine voice.

    "This won't be like last time. That's not the demeanor of a man wh has been beaten. That's the stance of a man sure of vi<span style="color:tory."

    c#ffec8b">[AGREED, SIR.]</span>

Ysuran (725) has posed:
    Somewhere in Sagat's general vicinity, there's a hooded figure. Tattered clothes. Dressed all in black. Appears to be hunched over slightly, leaning on a black staff with bat-wings at the end. The hands that hold onto the staff are slender and pale, but not aged, if one chooses to look.

    IT's Ysuran, is who it is. But he's covered up his head because of his obviously non-human ears. He didn't see any non-humans here in this world (none that were visibly so, anyway), so he thought it best to hide.

    Catching wind of this late, Ysuran nonetheless wishes to see what this is all about, having heard the crowing on the radio earlier. Apparently there had been a duel and the one who had lost was issuing a second challenge? Unbeknownst to him, he and Sagat had similar thoughts on the matter. This soon after a lost duel, it would be strange for the loser to request another ... unless the one who lost previously had something planned ...

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Tomoyo is here! She dug out that fake uniform she made and snuck back into the school when she heard Sanageyama challenge Ryuko over the radio once again. She didn't even know why, to be honest. She thought she had written off Life Fibres last time due to the general... insanity of Honnouji. And yet...

     Here she is, on the outskirts of the courtyard, mingling in with the other students, Camera at the ready of course, she points it at the two fighters, looking a little concerned. Sanageyama looked so much more confident than last time. And it's not a cocky confidence either.

     She pats at her satchel, feeling the reassuring curve of a certain jade mirror she brought along to soothe her nerves.

Tomoe has posed:
Sheena aka Tomoe, aka Eisen, sh'es notable for her height and her red hair but that's about it she's pretty much mundanly dressed and is trying to keep a lower profile as shes' in the stands she's in a basic female uniform. She's keeping to the edge though she's got a strange looking ornate pendant on.

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    Sitting in the stands, Shiro turns to Fate with a raised eyebrow. "You're not wrong about that. Sanageyama had me make some peculiar modifications to the Blade Regalia." He mutters something under his breath that sounds like, 'And himself,' but doesn't seem like he meant for that part to be audible. "Today's fight will be very different."

    The students milling about, meanwhile, are relatively sparse today; this isn't a public show the way the match Saturday was, and it's also during school hours. Nevertheless, Tomoyo, Sagat, Ysuran and Tomoe are not the only ones watching, so they're secure for now. Curiously, the largest portion of the relatively small audience seems to be members of various athletic clubs. Boxing, soccer, tennis, baseball, that sort of thing. There's mutters here and there of, "-has a totally different air today-" and "-something about him scares me-" and the like.

    As always, Satsuki remains unmoved by the verbal jabs Ryuko sends her way; today in particular, the corners of her lips curl up in a very faint smile, as if she knows something that Ryuko hasn't realized yet. "If you're thinking I've gone soft, Matoi, you're free to tell me so after your fight," she responds, lifting her voice to carry down to the arena below effortlessly. Avenger's sudden appearance doesn't seem to perturb her; if anything, it passes unremarked until after she's addressed Matoi. "Honnouji is a place of strength and strife, designed to bring out the true might of all who pass through her doors. I would not accept a student body without fighting spirit." Nevertheless, the compliment from Sasaki seems to have pleased her.

    Directly in front of Ryuko, however, Sanageyama stands in a surprising veil of silence; even when he does finally speak, his voice is softer and calmer than is usual for him by far. "Let me show you what happens when a man is forced to change." Something in his voice bespeaks an entirely different sort of confidence than before; but with the light at his back and his hair hanging down, the shadows cast over his eyes make it impossible to truly read his expression.

    But there is little that needs to be read; the three stars on his collar glimmer, and then for the second time in a week, Uzu Sanageyama transforms his Three-Star Goku Uniform. Gone are the cylinders on the suit's back, the whole profile changed in subtle but noticeable ways, but for the most part it is of similar design. "Three-Star Goku Uniform: Blade Regalia... MARK II!"

Testarossa Fate (401) has posed:
    Thusly Fate finds herself in a conversation she hadn't expected to be in. She had been muttering to herself- her Device at best. It's when Shiro replies to her, the girl nearly flinches, before scarlet eyes peek at the sewing club president. Before her eyes narrow slightly.

    "Forced to change..." She murmurs in a quiet echo. But she does not ask what KIND of modifications.

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Tomoyo quickly pans her camera up to the tower on which Satsuki stands, zooming her camera to the furthest it can go. So, she actually showed up today? She also looks around, looking for any sign of the other Elite Four, but it seems that they are the no-shows today. Although there is that boy with the mask.

     Next, she makes sure to record Sanageyama's transformation. The Blade Regalia looks a little different... is this the source of his confidence, a more powerful version? Hopefully Ryuko will be okay!

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe listens to the young man's words to Ryuko. She wondersd about this what has he done, she does move to pull out her smart phone to record this whole affair now.

Ryuko Matoi (140) has posed:
    Either way, Ryuko's not terribly phased by the whole show, or the words of others. Just as determined and cocky as ever. So, the moment he's done transforming, she gives the same strategy she used the last time a try. "Let's see if you learned, then!" She cuts off part of the shoulder of her outfit, again scattering those scraps of it all over Sanageyama's armor, in the places where his eyes are located. It doesn't take very long, either, before she's done.

    And once she is, she charges straight at him, once more looking to end the fight with a single strike. Aiming to cut from his shoulder to opposite hip, she lets out a loud battle cry as she unloads that swing. "HAAAAH!!"

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     "Well, it's worth applauding nonetheless," Avenger replies, "There are so many who are willing to speak of battle like they understand it. The world...no, I suppose the worlds as a whole...is a place where such things happen all the time. So it's worth applauding a school that understands."

     "At least, in my mind."

     "Although..." Kojirou sighs and looks up at the sky. His distant smile seems to flicker for just a moment. "That's a poor choice of words on your student's part, don't you think? Being 'forced to change'...people cannot be 'forced' to change. They 'choose' to change because of the circumstances, or they 'choose' to remain the same. And true 'change'...hm."

     "Well, then again, I suppose I'm not really qualified to speak on such things." Kojirou offers Satsuki another broad, detached smile, brushing his bangs out of his eyes. "I am the unchanging swordsman, after all."

     "That 'Goku Uniform' of his. Would you mind telling me, what does it do, and why is it 'Mark Two?'"

Sagat (95) has posed:
Sagat inclines his head slightly to Ysuran, as if acknowledging his presence - or possibly in greeting him, although that hood does a lot to prevent recognition of the hooded man with the staff, if Sagat would recognize him otherwise. Either way, it's at least a polite nod.

The vast majority of his attention, of course, is on Sanageyama and Matoi, as they transform and begin their match. He's particularly attentive to the Blade Regalia Mark II, trying to identify what differentiates it from the Mark I. Obviously, Senketsu hasn't changed noticeably since last time. But when Ryuko goes straight in for the 'kill' -

Sagat actually frowns at that.

Ysuran (725) has posed:
    Regarding the battle in-progress from under his hood, Ysuran remains silent. Transforming clothes, what magic is this? Seems like it'd be handy, at least. Though he narrows his eyes slightly at Sanageyama's 'forced to change'. That's an odd thing to say. Forced? Because he was defeated? There's probably some context that he's missing, he figures. He's not about to ask, though. For the time being he's trying to stay as much 'under the radar', so to speak, as possible.

    Sagat's nod gets one in return from Ysuran. There are ways to recognize him, thankfully. Two in fact. One, the staff he carries is quite literally jet-black ... mainly because jet was used to make it. And secondly? That giant black tome he carries. It's as large as his torso is, and he never leaves it anywhere.

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    "Perhaps," Satsuki replies to Avenger, her eyes still on the two below. "But sometimes a choice, isn't really a choice at all. When choosing anything else would mean the death not of one's body, but of one's soul, the 'choice' in such a situation is little more than a formality. But... I suppose that's meaningless, at this point. I approve of Sanageyama's choice. As for the Blade Regalia; it enhances his physical attributes and kendo prowess to the point of being able to fight legions and win. It's 'Mark II' because the original was destroyed on Saturday in his initial duel with Matoi. Ordinarily, I do not countenance such failure. But last night... well, watch and see."

    If there is anyone that's relatively nonthreatening, it's Shiro Iori. Scrawny and bookish, with unkept hair pulled back into a ponytail and an orange dust mask over his mouth, the young man seems to have little else to offer the younger Fate for the moment.

    In the meantime, Sanageyama... stands. Unmoving. Not assuming any stance, not drawing a weapon, the large form of Blade Regalia simply stands where he transformed. He doesn't make a single move to avoid or remove any of the dozens of scraps of fabric, despite that they cover every possible opening and aperture in his Goku Uniform. He doesn't react to the headlong charge of Matoi... at least, not until the last possible instant.

    At that point, as if he could see her plain as day, his arm lifts up, hand curled into a fist, and a huge shinai practically erupts from the gauntlet above his wrist, aimed with almost-literally gut-wrenching force and impossible precision at Ryuko's abdomen.

    Only now do the sheets of Senketsu begin to fall away on their own, uncovering first and foremost the kendo-esque faceplate of the Blade Regalia, making it just barely possible to see inside... to a pair of eyes that have been sewn shut in a four-pointed star pattern.

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     "Oh, I approve of his resolve," Kojirou notes, "But the 'choice' is always present. Ignoring that the 'choice' is present is dangerous. Even death is itself always an option, after all. To ignore that because you believe you have 'no choice' is to lock yourself into only one option, only one path - and that is more dangerous than freedom. Even if the freedom is that of the grave, it's a freedom."

     Kojirou's eyes follow the motion of Sanageyama perfectly. He lets out a quiet whistle at the young man's strike. "Hohh. That kind of stance...that's a man who's looked at death itself and decided to gamble." The swordsman flicks his fingers at Sanageyama. "He's decided to put it all on the line this match, hasn't he? No matter what happens, he intends to win - even if it costs him his own life. No hesitation, no regret...the blade less than a centimeter from his face, because anything less would give her too much time to react to him."

     "I suppose there's freedom of a kind in denying yourself choice, as well. There is 'freedom' in the 'chains' of this world, too...hah."

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Tomoyo shakes her head as Sanageyama seems to fall for the same trick again. She had been expecting some kind of measure to counter this tactic. But, it seems to all be for naught, as he retaliates perfectly!

     From her position and at this distance, she can't quite see his eyes, so she is left puzzled over how he was able to counter her technique!

Ryuko Matoi (140) has posed:
    Ryuko's eyes just go wide with shock. There's not much that comes out of her mouth either, aside from some spit and whatever air she had in her lungs. Her hands are still above her head, holding onto her sword for dear life. Honestly, it's a miracle she didn't drop the damn thing. The force from the blow throws her back, and she lands pretty hard. "Uuhh.. W-What the.. You.. went and sewed your eyes shut..?"

<<Ryuko.. There's something different about that uniform. Be careful. Try a different angle!>> Senketsu's voice warns her, to which she's all but willing to agree, given the pain in her stomach after that strike. So, head-on is out.. At least, trying to blind him. So, she hurls her sword at him, but charges from the side. Dashing off one of those concrete pillars, her weapon and herself attacking from two different angles. Someone who's /blind/ will have trouble with this, right? So.. why is she feeling so damn uneasy, now!?

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    Avenger's words on choice draw Satsuki's attention to him, briefly; but her expression is unreadable, and her attention returns to Matoi's battle. Her next words are for Sanageyama's opponent, laced with her own forcefulness of spirit and beginning to draw forth that signature radiance of hers, but there is no doubt that they're for Kojirou's benefit as well. "This is the resolve of a man who has realized the error of his ways and sacrificed everything! Know that as you face him, Matoi!"

    From Sanageyama himself, however, the words are much softer, and in their own way, more ominous. "Let's begin."

    Finally he advances, just as Ryuko begins her own attack. Each step somehow manages to become a promise. A threat. The hulking form of Blade Regalia somehow manages to loom, to bring menace with it, even though its user ostensibly cannot see. For a second time he almost doesn't seem to react to Ryuko's assault - and in a repeat of the previous fight's beginning, both Scissor Blade and Kamui-user pass right throug the fading afterimage of a warrior who's already disappeared... and reappeared behind Ryuko.

    "MEN!" A kendo call, for a strike at the head, accompanied by a swing with brute force. "DO!" A second, the call for the body, the shinai hitting with the force of a jackhammer. "KOTE!" And the call for the wrist, this time pressed in hard, meant to hold Matoi in place entirely. "You're getting scared, aren't you, Matoi? Your breathing, the smell of your sweat. I can see the inner workings of your mind as clear as day... much more clearly than I could with my eyes!"

    "Shingantsu. The eyes of the mind." Only now does Satsuki finally name the phenomenon that restored her faith in Sanageyama's resolve. Her own eyes closed, she delivers an explanation that even Shiro Iori seems surprised by. "Sealing his eyes shut has boosted his affinity with the Blade Regalia. It has become his eyes, his nose, his ears. He has far surpassed his Tengantsu with the advent of Shingantsu. There is no longer anyone who can evade his attacks!"

Testarossa Fate (401) has posed:
    He did what? Meanwhile, Fate's own eyes widen significantly on hearing Ryuko's exclamation. Before the girl looks to Shiro, the depths of Sanageyama's conviction are brought to light. Her question to the sewing club president is very simple, with the cutting cold edge of a knife to her quiet voice.

    "Is that what he asked for?"

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe is just wtching the fight now and then as Ryuko says it, sewed his eyes shut?! That's disturbing as hell and she's now on edge wondeirng how this fight is going to play itself out. She's now just staring however. Did he go that far for a shot to win? Eyes of the mind?!

Sagat (95) has posed:
And this would be why Sagat didn't approve of Ryuko's charging straight in like this was going to be an *easy* fight. First rule of rematches: never expect things to go the same way. In point of fact, Sagat himself has been reminded of that not terribly long ago, when Lute tracked him down for a second confrontation well after their initial fight - so long that Sagat had nearly forgotten him.

He looks briefly at Ysuran's staff and tome, but the vast majority of Sagat's attention remains on the ring as Sanageyama begins fighting back against Ryuko. SERIOUSLY fighting back, at that ... what's the phrase the kids use, when they realize just how much worse the odds are than they looked to start with ... ?

Oh, right. 'This is gonna suck.'

Sagat's jaw clenches slightly, his single visible eye giving a steely gaze as he continues to watch. It's a one-on-one duel - he can't interfere, and he wouldn't even if he thought he could get away with it.

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    Fate receives a quiet nod from the Sewing Club president. That would appear to be exactly what Sanageyama asked for.

Ryuko Matoi (140) has posed:
    It's pretty obvious how the fight's going to play out, at this point. Ryuko had tied a thread to her sword, to at least get it back into her hands, for all the good that did. Neither blow managed to hit him, with how he was able to sense her. Struck hard, three times, she's already bleeding by the time he's done. A dribble of it from her nose, a scrape on her back. She's breathing pretty hard, too, as she tries shakily to stand up on her feet, fully. "Shingantsu.. Whatever.. no one 'can't be hit'.. That's a load of crap..!" She meets Sanageyama's sword with her own, but even just doing so, all she's able to do is defend. Try to stop him from getting another hit in.

Try, being the key word there. Eventually, he does. Repeated strikes.. head, body, hands.. Honestly, at this point, it's impressive she's still on her feet. And then, perhaps not for much longer. She spits out some blood, and while she looks like she's still going to fight, it's clear her limit is approaching.

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Tomoyo winces as every blow lands. The fact that Sanageyama is actually calling his hits makes it more brutal, showing how confident he is. She quietly roots for Ryuko, hoping that she'll be able to pull it around, but she's on the defensive!

     Digging into her pocket, she extracts her cellphone! Flipping it open, she pounds out a quick text to her bodyguards. 'STAND BY FOR QUICK EXTRACTION +1.' She stands ready, still recording, but if it seems that Ryuko might not make it...

     She's scared, truth be told. Biting her lower lip, legs shaking. But... if she doesn't have the bravery to charge in now, will she ever?

Ysuran (725) has posed:
    Ysuran frowns at this. It looks like Ryuko may need help very soon. And she is an ally, even if he doesn't know her personally. But not yet. He understands the need to not interrupt a duel, even if it's going badly for an ally. He does open the tome, letting the large book sit open on his arm, but not acting yet. He's just getting ready to help if he's needed, that's all.

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    Still going to fight? Sanageyama doesn't have any intention of allowing that. His attack is relentless. Unending. It starts steady, and only picks up steam, blow after blow raining down in a seamless onslaught that grows faster and fiercer with every swing. And only now has the fervor finally returned to his voice; far from the youthful cockiness of just days prior, it has transfored to the blazing fervor of a warrior determined to fell his opponent. "MEN! DO! KOTE! MEN! DO! KOTE! MEN! DO! KOTE! MEN DO KOTE MEN DO KOTE MEN DO KOTE MEN DO KOTE MENDOKOTEMENDOKOTEMEEEEEEEEN!!"

    And at last that huge shinai rises, lifted over Sanageyama's head in preparation for a finishing blow. "It ends now." And he is right.

    But not for the reason he believes.

    A wave of rainbow sparkles passes over the Blade Regalia. Jets of steam erupt from every vent. Satsuki and Shiro both look on in surprise, the latter even beginning a muttered exclamation of, "It's...!" Sanageyama can only utter a clipped, confused "What-?!" before, in a last flare of stars, the Goku Uniform deactivates, leaving him simply standing there with his shinai raised in his base uniform. "What happened?!"

Sagat (95) has posed:
As Sanageyama's barrage picks up speed and ferocity, Sagat finally unfolds his arms and begins making his way down towards the ring - not at a run, but a purposeful walk. If this continues, it WILL end in Ryuko's death ...

Thankfully, it does not continue to the fatal point - or at least, Sagat hopes it didn't. He's just as curious as to what happened as everyone else probably is, though - and while he comes to a halt, he's mostly trying to tell by looking what kind of shape Ryuko has been left in, even if she's still on her feet.

As to why he stopped ... well, a Goku Uniform presumably does NOT just revert for no reason. Even Sanageyama's surprise doesn't get Sagat to lower his guard ... in fact, it's possible that the towering martial artist is preparing a technique of his own, just in case skulduggery is afoot.

Testarossa Fate (401) has posed:
    It was going so well for Sanageyama. Until his Goku Uniform seems to give out on him.

    "... What happened?" Fate asks of Shiro. "... Did he push it too far?"

    [OVERCONFIDENCE.] Bardiche buzzes.

    Either way this fight is over now, without the Blade Regalia.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe watches how the battle has taken such a shift in favour of one of the eliute four as compared to yesterday. She can only watch bracing her self for what's happning to Ryuko. Howecver then something happens, did his uniform give out? Did something break? Did something else interfear? She's not sure but she's now more worried for Ryuko than just what happened with her foe.

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     Kojirou had been watching silently until that moment. As Sanageyama's blade freezes, he stands and looks off at the sky.

     "Unfortunately," Kojirou observes, "The desire to achieve...the desire to surpass...these are not freedoms one can achieve if one closes oneself off to all possibilities except victory."

     "A victory fuelled by defeat...can only be possible if one acknowledges that defeat is a possibility." His distant, peaceful smile turns wry, "For when one closes off one's ability to be defeated, they close off the ability to imagine their defeat...yet, that is the sole thought of the opponent. And if the opponent can imagine a means to win, and you cannot imagine a way to lose..."

     "Then you cannot imagine how they will succeed."

     Kojirou takes a swig of the sake and turns to look at Satsuki. His smile is so strange, so distant; the handsome face, unmarred even by the strange black scars, seems as if it's gazing far beyond her. It's as if he's looking at something only he can see. "But perhaps he can still win...perhaps his drive will allow him to surpass even that."

     "After all, the word impossible is a word only fools use on the battlefield."

     "Do you have faith in him?" Kojirou adds before his gaze flicks back to the battle, and he turns away from Satsuki, "Do you believe that his 'desire' will surpass even his limitations and carry him to victory?"

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Tomoyo has seen all she can take, and she can't take no more! She mashes out another text to her body guards. She then lowers her camera and starts dashing towards the fight! Partway there, Sanageyama's Goku Uniform shuts down, giving her a burst of courage!

     Over at the entrance to the school, a white van with tinted windows suddenly appears, speeding towards Ryuko and Sanageyama. It turns sharply as whoever is behind the wheel taps the breaks, bringing the side with the sliding door around to face Sanageyama. As Tomoyo reaches Ryuko, it is yanked open.

     Three woman clad in fine suits are behind it, two of which have tasers levelled at the head of the Athletics Club. The third helps Tomoyo lift Ryuko's battered body into the vehicle, with Tomoyo quickly climbing in behind her!

     At that point, the van door is slammed shut and it speeds off once more, heading back to the entrance.

Ryuko Matoi (140) has posed:
    Ryuko couldn't fight any longer, even if she wanted to. Had Sanageyama been able to land that last hit, without his uniform shutting down, well.. She'd be a lot worse off, that's for sure. Once she's out of danger, her exhaustion kicks right in, and she just goes limp. Her transformation, likewise, is shut down. Senketsu is still there, at least. <<He was a completely different opponent, the second time. Even I couldn't..>> He trails off a bit, just glad that it's over. Still, despite the fact she's lost, can't help but feel that.. she's definitely learned something.

"No, it's.. my fault.. I underestimated 'em.. Not called the 'Elite' Four, for nothin', that's for sure." She groans, her voice clearly pained. "Won't make the same mistake twice.." She huffs, "Ugh, but right now.. I hurt all fuckin' over. Shit.." She can't move much, mostly because doing so /hurts/. No doubt a broken bone or two, along with some cuts and bruises. She hasn't felt this bad since the WMAT, that's for certain.

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     "Ah, well," Kojirou observes as Ryuko is taken away, his voice still distant, "I wonder if he'll consider something like that a victory...or if he'll have the wisdom to see it as a defeat. Those limitations still chain him, after all..."



Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    When Satsuki regards Kojirou, she's developed a smile of her own, rare indeed. "You've misunderstood the situation, Sasaki. It isn't Sanageyama's limitations that have ended this prematurely."

    Down below, Shiro's shocked words bear out the Queen of Honnouji's conclusion. "The Goku Uniform overheated?!" Sanageyama looks somewhere between shocked and disappointed - quickly slipping into fury when he realizes that a rescue van is stealing away his opponent. He looks as if he'd brave the three taser-armed women without hesitation, but before it's even feasible, they're already gone.

    Gritting his teeth with frustration, Uzu Sanageyama lowers his head - a second failure like this leaves an incredibly sour taste in his mouth. Satsuki calls down from high above, "Don't feel disgrace, Sanageyama. This time, it was your Goku Uniform which couldn't keep up with your own power."

    He gives a quiet, almost whispered response of, "Yes, ma'am." But he doesn't seem very satisfied with the conclusion regardless.

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     "That is his own limitation," Kojirou rebukes her gently, "A swordsman must know his tool as well as he knows himself. If he pushed his weapon to the limit, then it is his limitation as a warrior."

     "He did well. I won't strip that from him. But this is his defeat. And I can tell that he knows it."

     Kojirou stands for a moment on the ledge, looking down at the young man.


     "Yes," Kojirou murmurs to himself.


     Kojirou rolls his shoulders for a moment, then steps calmly off the tower. He drops like a rock, apathetic to the force of gravity. When he lands, a ring of dust erupts around him, though he seems unperturbed. The swordsman walks over to the young man.

     "What is it," Kojirou asks Sagenayama slowly, "That you most desire? What is it that the voice of your heart demands you forge into truth, no matter how it may affect those around you, no matter how it may harm you, no matter how much of your life it may spend?"

     "Is it victory? Is it the defeat of that girl?"

     "Or are your ambitions as limitless as the shining blue sky?"

Tomoyo Daidouji has posed:
     Meanwhile, in the van that is rapidly leaving the slums below Honnouji...

     "If you hurt so much, stop talking," Tomoyo orders sternly as the three bodyguards get to work.

     Their resources are limited to the contents of the van, which is loaded with a variety of clothes. Thankfully, there is a first aid kit in there. Taking some spare wooden coat hangers, they snap off the bottom to serve as makeshift splints on Ryuko's limbs. One of them offers the girl a couple of over-the-counter painkillers followed by water gently tipped into her mouth.

     "We'll get you to Union medical as soon as we can," Tomoyo says kindly.

Satsuki Kiryuin (430) has posed:
    "Perhaps," Satsuki replies. "But then it falls to me, to see that one of my Elite Four is armed with a sword through which he can apply his full strength. And that I will do." By the time the swordsman hits the ground, she's already turned to head back into her tower.

    Sanageyama remains motionless for the moment, not seeming to respond to Kojirou's approach - not until words are actually spoken. When asked of his ambitions, he's quiet for a moment, but lifts his head, and turns it just far enough to indicate that he's heard and plans to respond. Body language is more difficult without eyes visible, but he's getting the hang of it. "...three years ago, I'd have told you 'to face strong opponents'. And even now, I still relish a good challenge! But if you were to ask what it is I most desire..."

    He turns to face Avenger directly, standing firm. "I want nothing more than to see Satsuki Kiryuin's ambition fulfilled by my own strength and that of our comrades!"

Sagat (95) has posed:
Not really knowing Tomoyo, Sagat just has to trust that she - and her wing of private security ladies - are indeed Ryuko's allies.

But with Ryuko gone and the fight over even if she wasn't, Sagat just begins making his way out of the arena, nodding again to Ysuran if they happen to make anything resembling eye contact.

This does necessitate turning his back to Sanageyama, but the kendoist presumably isn't going to attack Sagat at this point.

Ysuran (725) has posed:
    Ysuran will probably be withdrawing from the arena following Sagat, actually. His cloak hangs around him in a way that hides the movement of his legs, and that might be a little weird. Then again, with all the things that happen at Honnouji ... 'weird' is probably relative...

Fake Avenger (662) has posed:
     Kojirou is quiet for a moment. The boy's blindness is not a surprise to him, nor is his difficulty with body language. Indeed, very little of the young man is surprising, but that's not really fair to Sagenayama - it's hard to surprise a man whose age is greater than most civilizations. His eyes remain locked on the young man's sewn-shut gaze, his thoughts distant. This young man, like so many others, would dedicate his life to a woman. But unlike so many others...was it love? Or was it ideals? Or was it something else? Kojirou neither knew, nor, in truth, did he care. He had seen what devotion could do many times before. It may have never been something for him, but he respected its power all the same. Sometimes, after all, chains could do one well. After all...forgetting his limitations, and the limitations of his weapon, had been what damned him, hadn't they?

     The ghost of a smile crosses the dead man's face.

     "Very well," Kojirou replies.


     A moment later, Baron Samedi steps out of the shadows behind him. The tall man's face is shrouded by his mask, and the top hat is settled on his head jauntily. "How can I help you, Master?"

     "This boy impressed me. I want you to help them transform his next Goku Cloth into a Holy Shroud."

     Caster's eyes widen behind his skull mask. "Wha-"

     "His empty heart. His yearning to become a weapon that can fulfill another's ambition. His earnest gaze. His ambitious battle. This young man impressed me. See to it that his next weapon will not break as easily as this one. Work with their workshop in order to forge for him a most impressive blade."

     "And," Kojirou's gaze turns back to Sagenayama, "Once he has earned his victory...I will fight him. And if he finds defeat, then I will fight him. One way or another, I will see this young man's ambitions become part of the blade he wields."

     Caster Of Brown is silent for a moment. Then he sighs and puts his hand to his head. "Yer a fuckin' troublesome Master, Master Kojirou. Are you sure you wanna do this? Your own Holy Shroud won't stay enchanted."

     "That's alright," Kojirou replies, "I want to see where this young man's strength takes him."