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Old 04-19-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default [River] King of the Ring


Theme: Murder by Death - Rumbrave

”Trust me, I’ll be back. Either way, you hold the leash. If I don’t come back or I ever make you doubt me, do what you must. But 'here' does me no good, boss.”

Metsubishi, River Country, Four Weeks Ago

Sweet, seductive smoke wove its way through the doorway and into the crowded streets, encircling the citizenry, accompanied as it was by the siren song of music and gambling. More than a few men and women were drawn into the dim depths, pressing through the throng to find a place. As they passed through the entrance, a dozen posters convinced them to come and see, beckoning like the beasts of prophecy.

One man sat at the bar, set apart from the growing crowd by his presence. Dressed and groomed in the manner of riches, but not wealth, a gaudy cigarette holder hung from his lips beneath a neatly trimmed moustache, the gems and metal glinting in what light was present. This man surveyed the establishment perhaps not as a king over his domain, but as a vizier, the right hand of power. He was not focused on savoring the accomplishments, but on calculating the coffers, the odds, the purses. He was a simple man of simple hungers, but his zealous pursuits of those hungers made him a success.

The bartender came over and placed a stout glass of a brownish-amber liquid at his place on the bar, a sprig of something suspended through a slice of lime on the edge delicately altering the taste. “Good crowd tonight, Morimoto-san,” the man spoke curtly, taking a moment to wipe up any mess on the bar, leaving the intricately inlayed wood pristine and polished.

Morimoto turned to regard his employee, carefully grasping the glass and making eye contact from behind gold-rimmed glasses. “Of course it is. We have the best drinks, the most beautiful women, and the best action in town.” As he spoke, one of the waitresses came behind the bar, exchanging an empty tray of drinks for a fresh one and depositing a sack of coins in a box filled with others. She cut her eyes to glance at the older man, smiled at his praise, and departed back into the sea of customers.

The bartender’s gaze lingered on the departing beauty, as dangerous a weapon as any sword and wielded with more skill any samurai against the wallets of the paying customer. “I suppose you are correct, boss, but, I mean...I am still surprised so many people would come and bet against him. You’d think they’d catch on eventually. This guy is unreal,” Sojiro stated with the casual exasperation that few professions know better than bartenders, filling the empty tray back up with various cocktails and some sake as he freed himself from the silent siren song.

Morimoto took a deep drag of his cigarette before raising the glass to his lips. Savoring the sip, silence hung imposingly about the promoter even amongst the din of the betting parlor. His eyes drifted from the bar to the betting parlor, the line a frenzied rush of men trying to get their bets in before it was too late. From the betting parlor, his heavily lidded eyes swung next to the seats, filled beyond capacity by men and women with his waitresses weaving through, selling drinks and more to prince and pauper alike with little more than a smile and a suggestion. And, finally, resting his eyes on the ring, interwoven steel serving as a barrier between 'polite society' and the savagery to come. The thin rule of law...

“Because, Sojiro, there is nothing people wish to see more than the mighty laid low. Never something people hope for more than to see the mighty humbled.” The sip gone, Morimoto followed it up by a much deeper drink.

Morimoto let out a sigh in the wake of the harsh liquor, savoring the burn as an predatory smile crept across his face.“So long as we can make them believe that the odds are against him, they will keep hoping. And we will grow fat off their hope.”
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 04-19-2017, 01:03 PM   #2
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“OOOH! These are good seats, Kojima-san! I bet we can see everything from here!”

The sing-songy voice of the girl drew his eyes off the waitress, the fresh bottle of sake and the closer look well worth the coin. Gathering up both of their cups, the middle-aged man poured healthy portions for both himself and his younger companion. His wife never enjoyed going to these sorts of things. The enthusiasm of this girl was refreshing. Hopefully her enthusiasm spreads much further…

“Yeah, this should be good, Nanako-chan! I’m interested to see how he pulls this one out," he said, pushing the girl’s cup towards her.

Taking hold of the cup and enjoying the warmth through the ceramic as she held it in her hands, the girl turned back from the ring. “How can he beat two twins? The Twin Lions of Iron are undefeated! And there are TWO of them! There is no way one man can beat two men! That’s just math.” Her matter-of-fact statement was distorted by a bubbly slur. The drinks from their dinner before were obviously heavily affecting the young woman.

Kojima smiled and scooted closer, wrapping his arm around the young beauty. He noted how different it felt than his wife, how much more pleasant and empowering it felt compared to when he would wrap his arm around his wife. His wife wasn't this slender, this soft. She didn't smell of lilacs and her hair wasn't silky and black. The older man's wife certainly didn't look this good in a yukata. Best of all, perhaps, was that there were no arguments, no chiding not to drink or to fix this or that or to clean up the yard. “I take it you don’t know much about him, eh? The Iron Devil of Bird Country?” His hand creeped from her shoulder down to her chest, slowly and surely.

Apparently too drunk or too distracted to care about the growing boldness of her date, Nanako turned her face from the steel structure in the center of the parlor to Kojima, a perplexed look on her face. "The Iron devil of what?"
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 04-19-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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The music swelled over the noises of the crowd gathered into the smoke-filled parlor, silencing all other conversations as the house lights lowered, leaving spotlights to focus the vision towards the band on a small stage along one wall and the cage itself and a small table next to it outfitted with microphones. Everyone new, even the new people, that it was time to start.

A small, portly man dressed in a suit with a broad-brimmed hat took a seat at one end of this announcing table, tapping the microphone twice quickly to make sure it was on and at the right level. As the music hit its crescendo and began to quell, his drawling voice rang through the room, the crowd's cheers rising in response. "Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to King's Road Championship Fighting! Tonight, we have what promises to be a true slobberknocker as the Odo championship is on the line in a two-on-one handicap match! I will be bringing you all the action, joined as always by none other than the first Odo champion, the legend of this fearsome structure before you, the one and only Tiger King, Sanda Raiga himself!"

As the words left his mouth, the band began to play again, guitars and drums coming to life to herald the entrance of a masked man, likewise in a suit, though much flashier. Looking heroic and powerful in the fitted pinstripe suit and elaborate black and gold leather mask covering his entire head, he made his entrance from the back area, waving to the cheering crowds as he made his way to the announcer's table at cageside. Clapping the smaller man on the shoulder, he took a seat. "Great to be here, Kazuo-san! As always, it will be a privilege to join you in bringing these fans the action they crave, and we certainly have that tonight!"

As Sanda took his seat, Kazuo picked up where he left off. "That we do, King! Tonight, the undefeated Odo champion, Shibata Ishii--the so-called Iron Devil of Bird Country--will face his greatest challenge so far when he takes on the dynamic duo, Iron Country's Twin Lions, Ichirou and Jirou, in a last man standing match for the title belt! We have seen Shibata face many opponents--even several at once in the Battle of Kings last month--but never has he faced two who are united in their effort to defeat him and him alone!"

The raspy depths of Sanda Raiga's voice took over. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves, bud--after all, this is not some mere man we are speaking of, but the Iron Devil himself! Anyways, I can't wait to see this fight tonight! Let's bring out the challengers first--what do you people say, are you ready for a fight for the ages?!?!?!"

The parlor erupted into raucous cheers that shook the walls. They were ready, all right. Like wolves baying for blood.
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 04-19-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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The cheers and music swelled in the room beyond the door, but the man inside paid no mind. He had seen his opponents before the match, the so-called "Lions". Might as well be the peacocks for all the pomp. Shibata Ishii smiled beneath the simple black and white of his own mask, not considering that he wasn't exactly the picture of modesty either, with the extravagant cape that Morimoto had insisted 'his champion' wear.

As the challenger's music wound down and the crowd drew silent in anticipation as the slow, loud drumbeats began, signaling his own entrance, The "Iron Devil" stood and walked towards the door seperating him from the crowd. Taking a moment to adjust the gaudy belt of leather and gold and raising his cowl, he waited for his cue. 1-2-to the-3, 1-2-to the-

"--your champion, the undefeated, unbroken, unyielding Iron Demon of Bird Countryyyyyyyyyyy--SHIBATA ISHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"

As he threw the door open to the roar of the crowd, boos and cheers alike rushed upon his broad, scarred chest, his scowl conveyed even through the obfuscation of his mask. Surveying the gathered crowd with superiority and scorn, the loud drums playing an oppressive march as the champion waded through the crowd, pressing in tight but not daring to come within reach of the weapons at the ends of his arms. They knew all too well what those hands were capable of and wanted no part of that for themselves. They had six months worth of evidence to draw from, after all.

Reaching the cage, Ishii turned to regard the announcers, giving a respectful nod to Sanda Raiga and Kazuo before throwing back the cowl and undoing the clasp holding the elaborate mantle on, letting it fall to the ground and turning to raise the championship high above his head, the crowd roaring louder, half waiting for his next victory, the other half hoping the twin lions devour him. He laughed, a terrible, deep, gravelly thing, lowering the belt and presenting it to one of Morimoto's cageside girls, trying to remember the name and failing, but certainly remembering her face and the look she gave him as she took the belt from him. He gave her a smile in return and headed inside the structure, his opponents eagerly awaiting the starting bell, bouncing from foot to foot and stretching.

It made the older fighter smile. They were not being cocky. They were not taking him or their advantage lightly. It appeared they had done their homework and knew that, one man or two, they would have to do this right if they wanted to walk away at all--let alone, walk away the co-champions. The three men walked towards the center to shake hands, Ishii offering his in good faith. His opponents could sometimes be wary of the handshake because of the strength and savagery he had displayed in the past, but, so long as his opponents had treated it with respect, then he had returned the same.

With the handshakes out of the way, the three warriors put distance between each other, though there wasn't much to be had. The tension in the air was electric. Shibata rolled his shoulders and dropped into a ready stance as the bell rang.
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 04-24-2017, 06:29 PM   #5
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Like auctioneers or particularly rousing proselytes, Sanda Raiga and Kozue played the crowd, whipping them into an absolute frenzy at the action within the steel structure. These matches didn’t normally last very long—no round breaks, after all—but the three men were putting on a great show and, thanks to the commentary, you would be inclined to believe that this was a clash of mythical titans rather than men of flesh and blood. And frankly, the pair’s salesmanship was only bridging the gap between reality and legend, for the action in the cage really was quite compelling.

”By god, King, did you just see what I saw? That was the famed twin lion kick, wasn’t it?!” Kozue had nearly leapt from his chair at the maneuver, the challengers landing a pincer-like attack of missile dropkicks, squarely booting the champ in the center of the chest and the back. That move had been the end of many a foe of the dynamic duo from Iron, almost always producing a KO and at least a few cracked ribs. ”Fight fans, I don’t know how the champ is going to come back from that! Nobody has yet!

An audible thud got the attention of Kozue—and, honestly, those fans nearest the announcers table, Sanda Raiga’s clenched fist toppling the drinks in the wake of its loud slamming. ”Don’t be so quick to discount the champion, Kozue-san! I think it will take more than that to bring Shibata Ishii to the edge!

That much was true, but how much more? As the brothers’ surveyed their prey, Ishii wavered for a moment, showing the weakness they had been waiting for this whole time. They just needed to know that he was, in fact, mortal. Nobody had managed to do much to him in all these months. But the small waver and grimace as he drew a deep breath—they had hurt him. That’s what they needed—a glimmer of hope.

And they were off to the races, wordlessly confirming their plans to each other before setting off like bats out of hell, approaching him from either side and feinting for their signature twin pride dropkick before suddenly dropping low. Instead of his face, the brothers targeted the weakness of any big man—the knees. Hard kicks to the outside of the knees battered the vital tissue beneath the skin, and, as they hooked their boots behind his knees, the sweep was complete. The champion found himself thudding onto his knees on the hard floor. A grunt of pain came as he began to move his hands to the ground to move. Move, old man, move!!!

But it was too late for that. Ishii’s gnarled, tree like arms were suddenly being twisted and locked straight at the elbow. The tension in the crowd rose to a peak, butts leaving seats as the audience as a whole began to press towards the cage to get a better look at what was about to happen. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, but fast at the same time. ”What sort of move is this, Sanda? What are the twin lions planning?!?!”

Sanda Raiga, the first Odo champion and a veteran of hundreds of fights knew this maneuver. He felt the pains in his arms—he’d suffered this before, but not like this. Not from two foes. As the lions played to the crowd with a small flourish, he began to speak. The words didn’t beat the fighters into the air, spinning forward, twisting Ishii’s arms even further and driving powerful overhead kicks onto the trapped arms.

”What are they doing, Kozue? They are breaking his damn arms!!!”
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:05 AM   #6
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The audience caught a collective breath in their throat as the Twin Lions struck true, a wet snapping sound ringing through the air for a moment before being lost in collected shout and gasps. Shibata Ishii, the unbroken champion, slumped forward soundless on his knees, his arms lying awkwardly at his sides. Whether they were broken or dislocated was indiscernible at this point, but it was clear to all that, one, that had to have hurt and, two, that had to be it.

The disbelief and excitement in the crowd mingled as the challengers took a moment to bask in the reaction of their apparent victory. They turned away from the champ, raising their arms triumphantly as the thrill of the moment began to spread across the audience as the realization that all those bets against the Iron Devil were about to pay off. The cashiers began to figure out how they were going to pay everything out in an orderly manner when all those who bet against Shibata-san come to collect.

One not so excited, however, was Kojima. He stared at his ticket, the name of the prostrate champion across it in black ink. The man hadn’t had much to bet, but he had bet more than he should in order to impress Nanako. Speaking of Nanako, Kojima was too focused on the prospect of actually losing what he was sure was a sure thing that he was missing her reaction to all of it.

”No way! Kojima-san, they didn’t really break his arm, did they? I mean, you told me about all his past fights and…this has to be fake, right? A trick? Is….is that it?”

The tone of the woman’s voice was heavy with intoxication, shock, confusion, and concern and shook Kojima out of his misery. ”Uh, ermm, yeah, Nanako-chan! Shibata-san is just luring them into a false sense of security…I mean, uh, look at ‘em—they are already grandstanding and celebrating, but did you hear a bell ending the match?” The middle-aged man patted himself on the back for a job well done, pulling the girl’s mood back up.

”Like, really, Koji? This is just a trick he is playing on them? But…but his arm…” The poor girl sounded like she was about to cry.

Slinging his arm around her and holding her close. ”That ain’t nothing! He’s come back for worse! I mean, look close—he’s….wait, he’s actually…he’s starting to…” Kojima’s encouraging bullshit was comig true before his very eyes. ”He’s moving! Listen, we have to shout his name as loud as we can, okay? On three, shout ‘Ishii!’ to encourage him, okay Nanako-chan?”

She looked at him, clearly excited as he counted up on his fingers. One. Two. Three.

"IIIISH—
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 05-22-2017, 02:30 AM   #7
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After the sick pop and snap, Shibata had crumpled to the ground. That much was true. But while his opponents assumed this was a sign of defeat, that was presumptuous to say the least. The champion lay there, masked face against the floor, evaluating the injury from the mental catalog of injuries he had experienced in his life. Right arm. Not dislocated. Definitely broken, just below the joint. Not wet and warm enough to be compound. He tentatively flexed his muscles, wincing. I give it a 6.5. Gonna be a bitch. Left arm. Dislocated. Fractured, but not a real break. Gonna be tender. Fuck, didn’t think these kids had it in ‘em.

The din of the crowd, the cacophony celebrating the dragon being slayed by the lionhearted twins, none of those sounds mattered or even really registered. All Shibata heard was his own breath and his blood pumping, particularly as it pumped through his arms, pulsing painfully around his injuries.

Ooh, they really got you good, didn’t they? ‘Iron Devil’, indeed…

What are you doing here? I am a little busy, you smug son of a—

Yes, yes, busy getting jobbed out by a couple of green kids who have fake manes sewn into their masks. Plus, you are only focusing on your arms, Ishii-kun. What about your knees, hmm?

As much as Ishii hated to admit it, the smug asshole was right. He was usually right. His opponents had done a hell of a job on his knees. The adrenaline was keeping him from feeling it right now, but he needed to focus, needed to assess the situation. He had let things go a little far. Knees are fine as long as I don’t give them another shot.

Of course, but if they get another shot? Well then, Ishii-kun, I don’t see a way forward from that. Good thing they didn’t keep working the legs, though. Be much harder to do what comes next without standing up.

Right. I just need to figure out what I want to do. Idiots aren’t paying attention. That gives me a lot of opti—

Oh, come on, champ! You are thinking too much! Here, just let me help you out…

No, no, no! Fuck you, you bastard! Don’t you da—

Oh, shut up and listen to your betters for a change. All I’m gonna do is whistle that little tune and everything will be better. Just you wait and see!

No! No, don’t do this! N---

A simple tune filled the champion’s mind, whistled by some unseen figure in a high register, only to be joined finally by a crystal clear sound from the crowd.

“—IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

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Old 05-22-2017, 02:57 AM   #8
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As the cry of support rang through the arena, the crowd began the gasp once again, similarly to how they had responded to the apparent felling of the undefeated monster on the King’s Road. The Twin Lions didn’t catch on very quick, too caught up in their celebration to really understand what was going on. The crowd saw it, though, and so did Sanga Raiga, slamming his large boulder of a fist against the announce table. ”Shibata Ishii is standing up! The Iron Devil rises again!!!”

Over the noises of the crowd, one of the lion-twins caught enough of that commentary line to get concerned, turning around to check. That couldn’t be true. Nobody would be getting up from that, or so he thought. They’d have no choice but to do the reasonable thing and concede. Right?

If that was the reasonable thing, then the sight this young lion saw before him defied all reason. The Iron Devil of Bird Country stood before him, his craggy back facing the challenger, shoulders heaving. Suddenly, the young challenger was not in a presence of any mere fighter, but that of the undefeated titan of this cage. The monster in his lair. He could feet his feet fill with concrete as the steel left his gut as, in an instant, Shibata Ishii turned, first his head turning to present the hungry burning furnaces of his eyes and the gritted teeth with hanging spittle, all from behind the leather mask. The young lion was face to face with a god of destruction, losing all ability to move under the righteous, hateful gaze of a wounded animal, quickly closing distance and swinging his right arm—his broken right arm—like a club, muscles tensed around broken bone.

The strike made contact with a thunderous crack across his collarbone, sending the first lion spinning around the powerful limb and actually doing one full backwards flip in the air as Ishii followed through with the motion. This first felled lion crumpled to the ground, curling up on himself as he gasped for breath behind broken ribs.

By this time, the other lion had turned, surveying the dispatching of his brother and the resurgence of the champion. The shock of it all barely had time to register before the Iron Devil was upon him, a running knee to the abdomen sending him crumpling breathlessly to the ground, only the champion standing in the center of the ring as the first lion struggled to give a frantic handsign to the officials.

The match bell rang out. “And there you have it, fight fans! The Twin Lions concede the match to your defending and still undeafeated champion: Shibata Ishiiiiiiiiii!
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:41 AM   #9
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”Well, that one was the closest yet. Clean break on your right humerus and a pretty nasty dislocation with tearing on the left arm and some fractures right around the ball joint to cap it all off. And let’s not talk about your knees, Ishii-san.” The words were in a cool, confident tone as a willowy white-haired man worked his hands over the gnarled knots of the champion’s body in the treatment room. For Koorichi Hattori, this wasn’t even the first time this month he’d been examining or treating the battered form of Shibata Ishii, but this was certainly the worst shape he had seen the man in the months since he had appeared and begun his rise to the top of the King’s Road.

Not that it was anything beyond the doctor. He had been quite the instrumental piece of Morimoto’s operation here ever since the fall of Snow. His medical training and special familial talents had managed to get even the most brutalized competitors back on their feet, just as he would get the Twin Lions, currently sedated and stable, back on their feet in time.

Setting to work wrapping the damaged limbs and joints in his chakra enhanced tape, Hattori knew better than to expect a return conversation from the man, glowering from behind the hand-stitched mask with eyes that burned like furnaces, but he talked anyways as he worked. ”Now, you’ll be fine to walk and do most normal physical activity from the get-go, though it might be pretty tender. No training, though, for at least two weeks. Stick to that and you’ll be good as new.”

Again, nothing. Just the same scowling disdain for everything the man saw. Hattori tried not to let it get to him. To be honest, patching up Shibata’s injuries after each of these fights was worth the inescapable aura of the man. After all, he wasn’t quite the last Koorichi. He had managed to get out with his wife and two of their four children. Mouths to feed, information brokers to keep quiet. If Hidden Leaf found out one of Snow’s bloodlines had survived the massacre, who knows what lengths they would go to in order to extinguish it.

As the doctor placed the talismans across the wrapped appendages, he spoke directly. He didn’t usually try to get so honest with this particular patient. But, after tonight, he felt it prudent. ”What are you doing out there, huh? I don’t know what your deal is, but I know you are capable of so much more than this. We both know that you are letting these guys hurt you just to make it look good. Just to increase the gate, shift the odds, increase the bets. You could be out there really doing something instead of---“

Dr. Koorichi stopped mid sentence as he felt the hungry, hateful gaze of “The Iron Devil” turn firmly upon him, the exposed mouth of the man set in a scowl that could curdle milk, a jagged scar running from the corners of his mouth. The refugee had never experienced this before, but he hated it. It felt like the man’s glare was wrapping itself around his heart and lungs, constricting until there was no air left to make words.

”Unless you are myself or Morimoto, how I conduct myself in front of the crowd?” He paused, his voice coming like gravel being shaked through a sheet metal vent. ”It’s my business. I make Morimoto a lot of money so that he pays me well. Your business is patching me up. I suppose you stick to what you do best.”

The doctor felt enough in the moment to try to speak up. ”I…I’m just concerned…you may—“

And, with that, the champion stood from the exam table. The two men were the same height, but that was the only similarity. The brawny frame was overpowering before the wiry medic. Those hungry furnaces of eyes stared into the icy blue of the doctor. Your concern is duly noted, doc. Am I good to go?”

Gathering the will to break the gaze, the doctor applied the last tags and then, a few handseals down, activated the technique, implanting some of the ice of his family’s fame along the injured tissues within Shibata Ishii’s body. ”Uh…yeah, yeah. You’ve uh…got ice in your veins…” The attempt at a joke died as it breathed air before the everlasting scowl of the figure before him.

”Good to hear, doc. Morimoto will be pleased. Now, if you don’t mind,” he said, grabbing up the robe to cover himself up and his ring gear loosely in one hand, the heavy leather and precious metal championship belt in the other before continuing. ”I have an adoring public to see. See ya next time, Koorichi Hattori. Give my regards to your family. Long live Yukigakure.”

The smile on the man’s face as he finished that sentence, pushing past the doctor and out of the room, struck the doctor to his core. He took a seat, trying to make sure his heart was still beating, as the Iron Devil left his presence.
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//

Last edited by kyzuko; 07-03-2017 at 06:40 AM..
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:16 AM   #10
kyzuko
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In the back hallway, a small but respectable throng had formed just beyond the door to the production area, choking the hallway leading to the talent quarters. There was some security present—Morimoto had more than one instance of someone who had bet big and lost trying to take it out on his fighters—but it was mostly fans. Autograph seekers and the like, a few groupies, entrepreneurs who thought this would be the right opportunity to seek an endorsement or investment, and people who just generally wanted to behold a winner with their own eyes without the separation of the cage. And, in the history of King’s Road, you’d be hard pressed to find a larger crowd then this, perhaps with the exception of the crowds in Sanda Raiga’s prime. Not bad company to be in.

”Kojiiii~~, we are so far back! I want to get closer! I’m not going to be able to see Shibata-san from back here!” Nanako jumped in place with childlike excitement, trying to gauge if she would be able to see over the people in front of her or not. After that fight, she didn’t want to miss a chance to see THE Shibata Ishii in the flesh, though a part of the young woman was concerned whether he would even be walking, given the severe beating he had taken.

Kojima, feeling that this was his opportunity to seal the deal and maybe find his way to a hotel room with the young woman later before returning to the hum-drum of everyday life, began to feel the urgency and tension. Grabbing Nanako by the wrist, he wordlessly began working further into the crowd, bringing her along just as the crowd closest to the backstage area began to come alive, the door opening and the security telling them to clear a path. Have to get towards the center! She will be so impressed…this has gotta work!

So focused was the middle-aged Kojima that he didn’t realize who he was bumping into and pushing past until, finally, he ran into a feminine figure that rebuffed him. ”Hey, watch where you’re going!” Kojima pulled himself to a stop, feeling bad for running into the woman. She was probably right about in the middle of ages between Nanako and himself, a worldly woman dressed and made up with one thing in mind: attracting the eye of the champion.

”Uh, um, apologies, we are jus—“

He was cut off by his eager ingénue. ”We are trying to get to see Shibata-san! I really want to meet him. Any advice?”

As the wave of excitement drew closer, this new woman regarded Kojima for a second longer before turning to the bubbly young woman with him. ”You want to meet Shibata, huh? Hrmmm, yeah, this could work out. What’s your name?” The woman was studying Nanako almost critically, as if she were sizing her up or measuring her worth.

”Me? Oh, I’m Nanako! Nice to meet you, who are you?” Nanako bounced in place, her wrist slipping out of Kojima’s grasp and going forward into a handshake.

The offered hand was grasped firmly. ”Oh, he’s going to love you. Tonight, I’m your older sister, Mayu, and we are going to make your dream come true. Come on!” The woman smiled fiendishly and began to pull Nanako through the crowd.

Kojima tried to follow, but his huskier figure didn’t allow the same ease of movement. The last he saw of Nanako, she turned back to him and smiled giddily. ”I’ll be back soon, Koji-san! I just have to meet him!”

The wave of excitement approached, crested, and passed by Kojima. He did get to see Shibata Ishii as he passed, tights slung over the shoulder of the extravagant robe, each arm slung over the shoulder of a beautiful woman. Kojima could have sworn that they were Nanako and this ‘Mayu’, but that couldn’t be. Where would she be going with the champion, after all?

The wave passed, the door to the fighters’ quarters shut, and the crowd began to disperse. Kojima waited and waited and waited some more, sure that Nanako was going to come from behind him at any moment, autograph in hand, and, in the excitement and in gratitude for bringing her here and getting to meet the ‘Iron Devil’, he might hook himself a young mistress.

But as the second became minutes and started to grow in number, Kojima sat down in the now deserted hallway, barely registering when the vanquished Twin Lions went by, heavily bandaged and stepping tenderly, sunk down onto the floor as he was, knees bent, back against the wall, and head hanging dejectedly.
__________________

"The more I see of what you call civilization,
the more highly I think of what you call savagery!"

Robert E. Howard, King Kull
||GM, Arechihana Bloodline Clan of Sand||
||Co-GM, Shoda Bloodline Clan of Cloud||
\\Shoda Hoshihana, Cloud Jounin//
//Arechihana Sasori, Spartoi\\
||Yotarou Ouji, SUNA chuunin||Koike Kano, ANBU||
||Hasami Kuma, the Iron Devil of Sound||Tsubasa Kinoshita, Rain Jounin||
Jutsu||Items
\\Taka//
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