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Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu]

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#1Akira Shimada 

Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:10 pm

Akira Shimada
'So apparently there is some bad news that the Rune Knight's headquarters has received.' she muttered planting her eyes to the ground and shuffling her feet. 'There are forces seeking to breach the Capital... Crocus, want to dethrone the family and take control.' she added, still unwilling to meet Tsuru's eyes. The reason for her avoiding him was that her bravado was failing her. They were new recruits, barely climbed up a single rung of the ladder and she didn't want to be the coward who was considering joining the forces. But she was, she was debating whether the crown was truly worth defending, maybe some new blood wouldn't be bad... She had no idea what the attackers stood for, except that their methods had been violent. For most that was reason enough, but when did people truly negotiate calmly for power.

Akira knew her partner wouldn't agree, which meant either she'd have to stick along or this would be where they parted ways. Before Tsuru had a chance to respond though, a kid sprinted towards them from the shadows. 'Miss! Wait! I saw you... I saw you at the park and I have a favor if you'd please.' he said meekly, his hands pawing at his knees as he struggled to catch his breath. 'I signed up for Rune Knights and all, but you must help me... There is this man... He cheats... Or well uses dirty moves ma'am.' he said, haphazardly. Akira held up a hand. She was eager for the distraction, unwilling to talk about the danger advancing towards Crocus. He must have tripped while following them earlier because he seemed to have a little bruise on his leg, he was also limping just a tad. It was not a surprise, he was a bit of a wobbly-kneed kid.

'Wait, slow down and explain.' she said, in her usual bored tone. The young boy went on to explain that the usual boxing match was being held and that the previous titleholder lost to this new guy because that man employed cheap tricks and rumor had it that he'd loaded up on certain strength increasing potions which the association had banned. 'I request you, or your friend to fight for the right... You said you are trained...' he finishing imploring the pair to join him at the rink. 'Leave all the paperwork to me, please just fight for the people, if he wins it'll be a stain on the competition...' he finished. For once without waiting for her partner, she was the one who agreed to the request, buying herself time to make a decision. 'Sure...' she said in a monotone. 'Why not...? Lead the way.' Guiltily she nudged the healer, still not making eye contact. 'We should encourage them, the rink is a way to train and keep fit too, the fighting experience will help in Crocus as well.' she muttered, without explicitly mentioning if she'd join him or not.


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Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:33 pm

The rumour Haru had brushed off as paranoia may have more to it than it seemed. If his partner seemed worried, then that was enough reason to take it seriously. Haru did not peg Akira to be the worrying kind, unless there was solid information to back it up. Before he had the time to ask for her sources and the nature of the attack however, they were interrupted by a man who seemed familiar. Haru racked his brain, trying to remember where he had seen the man before. He didn’t have to think long because the man reminded him quickly. He was one among the crowd who signed up for the recruitment camp the previous day. The man spoke of a tournament and some cheater… it was all a haze for Haru; partly because he did not explain it well, and partly because his head was still with the disturbing rumour. When Akira asked the man to slow down and explain in detail, Haru focused and began listening, not wanting to miss it the second time and look like an idiot.

Piecing what he heard before and what he said after, Haru finally understood the situation. For once, it was Akira who readily agreed to help while Haru was the one hesitating. “Do we really have the time for this? Shouldn’t we be hurrying to Crocus if what you say is really true?” he asked. But it seemed the dark-haired girl had made up her mind. Besides, he did not wish to deny a request from someone who believed in them and signed up for the training camp. That would be a bad example to set. So, Haru nodded and followed the man to the stadium.

The walk to the stadium was initially slow. It wasn’t because it was far, but because the man they were following was injured and limping. For almost a minute the duo followed him, when Haru finally realized he was a healer. The boy was out of it that day. “Hey! Hold on a second,” he said to the injured man, knelt in front of him and used Mend to heal his injury. “There! That should do it,” he said. The man flexed his leg and smiled. “Yes! Thank you,” he said. The rest of the journey to the stadium was much faster.

When they finally reached the ring, it was time to register who would be fighting the nasty cheater. It was a no brainer. After all, Haru was a pacifist. So, he made way for Akira to sign up. Right before Akira could give her name, Rodric would appear and mock the Rune Knights. “Ahaha! You are letting a girl fight while you stand on the side and watch? Be a man and come at me yourself,” he said, pointing his finger at Haru. The healer could never be riled up, and this was a lame attempt. He simply sighed and responded calmly. “One, I don’t like to dirty my hands. Two, you don’t stand a chance against her,” he said. The fighter didn’t seem to care. “I’m not fighting some chick. It will make me look bad, beating up a helpless girl. Better if I beat up a cocky guy like you,” he barked, walking up to Haru, his face a mere inch away from the healer’s. Haru didn’t flinch or step back; he simply stood and stared the man down with a simple smile.


#3Akira Shimada 

Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:43 pm

Akira Shimada
Tsuru, with his everpresent need to aid others, decided to mend the bruise on the man's leg, at least that made their walk a little faster, although she uncharacteristically hadn't been complaining about the pace even before. The one time the girl could actually use the delay, her partner decided to fix it. She couldn't find any reason to contradict his decision, so she just held her tongue and continued strolling idly, while her mind stayed rattled and possibilities continued swarming in it, some scary, some glorious... most of them violent.

They had to weave through a crowd before finally reaching the registration table. There were a few murmurs as she slunk behind the two men, she was too lost to pay any mind to it. Maybe someone at that street party recognized her, as the whispers increased in intensity. Tsuru gave her way, she raised her eyebrow and sighed, of course, she had to do the dirty work, she was ok with it, maybe she could blow off some steam this way.

All the mumbling must have drawn the challenger to the table. This guy probably couldn't take anyone else getting even a second of attention or glory, with Akira it wasn't even the good kind. Just as she picked up the pen, a set of splayed fingers covered the paper she was going to write on. Her instinct was to stab the fingers with the implement she held, but with everyone watching that was a definite bad move. Wordlessly, she looked up at the man, silver-haired... arrogant... annoying, were the first three things she picked up. 'What do you think you're doing missy?' he asked with a stupid drawl. The kid who had brought them here tugged at her tee, and she cocked her head to the side to allow him to stretch a little and whisper into her ears. 'That's the one. He's Rodric, he's the one you have to fight.'

She would have maintained eye contact, but he looked past her to taunt Tsuru. She turned to Tsuru, shrugging. The fight would be a drag... Maybe she could pawn it off to Tsuru. 'It'd help in Crocus...' she muttered and was struck with a brilliant idea. 'I bet he won't even need to hit you to win.' she teased calmly, it was a taunt to Rodric and advice for her partner. 'But what would I know, I'm just a useless little girl.' she added, mockingly, a smile played upon her lips at the prospect of seeing Tsuru in the ring. 'Go on Tsuru...' she nudged playfully. 'Ha! The fight isn't going to last over a minute, whether he hits me or not... Might as well as hand me the title now. But its ok, I'm patient enough to wait another minute to get what is already mine.' he said chuckling and moving into the rink. 'See you there buddy.' he spat. Once he was out of earshot, Akira turned to her partner. 'Not all fights require beating the other to a pulp.' she said simply, another small piece of her wisdom as the usual offensive one between the two. She sighed, before putting his name down instead of hers but following into the rink and standing on the sidelines, towards Rodric.


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Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:47 pm

Haru wasn’t sure why Akira was encouraging him to fight. She was usually on top of people who called her incompetent simply based on her gender. He thought this guy getting beat by her would be the most ideal humiliation that he deserved. But when she suggested he beat him without even laying a hand on him, his grin widened and he accepted the challenge. “Alright! Let’s do this,” he said. Rodric reflected his grin, assuming he can easily beat this puny man and win the title. Haru registered for the fight and walked into the ring. “No weapons! No eye-gouging! No crotch shots! Other than that, there are no rules. Fight until knock-out or surrender,” said the referee, standing quite far from the two contestants.

Haru shrugged and nodded at the referee, giving his consent to begin. “BEGIN!” bellowed the man, before running out of the ring. Rodric didn’t waste any time; he charged straight at Haru with a big round punch. This was old-school for the healer. While he may not fight, he was a master at dodging. After all, that was the only means of self-defence he could learn. Haru simply stood, and didn’t even take a fighting stance. When his attacker got into range, he simply side-stepped the punch, making Rodric miss the target and stumble out of balance. “Too slow. Try again,” Haru said in a very condescending tone. The boy was rather mean when it came to provoking his opponents into charging at him without a plan.

Thanks to all his training, Haru had genuinely become much faster than he was about a month ago. He remembered the orientation and how slow he was back then. There was no way he could have dodged that punch so easily had he still been that slow. Rodric’s attacks kept coming. In a hurry to land a hit and finish the match before the minute mark, he tried very obvious and foolish moves. But Haru was too fast for him. Finally, the timer read ‘one minute’ and Haru chuckled. “It’s been a minute, my friend. I thought you were going to finish the fight, but you are yet to land a single attack,” Haru said, smirking at the angry contender.

"Quite a runner, aren’t you? If you think you can win by dodging, you are a big fool. I can go at it all day long and eventually, one of my attacks will land. And that will be the end of you,” he said, wiping the sweat off his forehead. Haru did not care to respond to him with words; instead, he simply rolled his eyes and laughed. Enraged, Rodric came at him with a flurry of punches. The anger made him a little faster, but not fast enough. All the punching and kicking for over a minute had taken a toll on his stamina, while all Haru had to do was make minimal movements to just avoid the attack.


#5Akira Shimada 

Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:02 pm

Akira Shimada
Lucky for her, Tsuru didn't take too much time to convince. It was a shock at first, but it seemed like he'd taken quite a liking to the challenge. Maybe he'd set up a strategy one that was similar to what was running through her brain. The healer had really picked up a tonne of speed, way more than her, if the two were to ever compete in something that was speed related, he'd probably wipe the floor with her, especially minus any cheap tricks. Akira just shook her head and wondering did they make a mistake in assuming the talent of the opposition, there was a chance he was faster than Tsuru... Despite all the ire between them, the girl didn't want to see him bloodied up or something, definitely not by some classing arrogant fool like Rodric. She bit her lip momentarily nervous as the gong signaled the commencement of the fight.

The crowd cheered, mostly for Tsuru, who stood still... with a confident smile painting his face. Akira's fists balled up. What... Move damn it she thought as the opposition charged his big round punch, flexing his arm so far back, she thought he was going to wrap it around himself like a coil before lashing out... None the less when the punch finally attempted making contact, Aki winced but kept one eye peeled, in a grotesque wink... Whooping inside with joy, as he dodged it with ease, but only sighing outwardly. This was just the first hit, there was still a possibility he just got lucky?

But as the match proceeded it was apparent that Aki should have maintained the faith she had in her partner and never have let it waver the way it did. Her eyebrows arched in surprise at Tsuru's sharp tongue, this was probably the stingiest she'd ever seen from him. To not stand around idly, she decided to play her part in the sledging. Whenever he paused anywhere within her vicinity, she'd have her own biting remarks to add, punishing him with the cruelty of the humiliation he so loathed, for berating her abilities because of her gender.

'Bet you wish you'd be fighting me now? Or maybe it would have been too difficult for you to take on a little girl too... Considering you can't even land a hit on someone who isn't fighting back.' she cooed, loud enough for some of the first-row audience to get the gist. She complimented Tsuru's remarks with ease, to use words as a weapon was nothing strange for the young girl. 'I don't know what would be worse, losing to me, or losing to him...' she added on another break. He grit his teeth. 'I'll break that boyfriend of yours!' he said, spitting on the side as he gasped. Akira rolled her eyes, did the Rune Knight pair really come off as partners in that way? Surely not... But there was no point wasting her precious breath to correct this Rodric loser.

She observed carefully, not only was Tsuru so much faster, he was also very precise with executing his movements just enough to not get hit, conserving his energy, while his opponent was beating himself up. Rodric was getting tired, his movements were getting sloppier... The crowd was getting riled at the lack of actual action. If only she could convince Tsuru to lay it in a little... Or get this guy to slip up big time somehow...

'All brawn and no brain, that's what you are... and you can call him what you want, looks like you're going to tear all your muscles out and still not be able to touch him.' she snickered. Somehow that as a tipping point. He roared out loud and paused for a bit, his muscles straining and bulging. The jeering crowd went silent in anticipation. 'NO ONE WILL EVER BEAT ME! I'M THE CHAMPION!' he barked, his fists were glowing and it literally looked like his muscles were going to tear through his skin as he charged up at Tsuru, a little faster than before... Aiming straight for her partner's chest... or gut... No, it was the solar plexus. Akira bit her lip again... Out of habit, she assumed the worse. 'TSURU WATCH OUT!' she warned needlessly...


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Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:06 pm

Haru enjoyed putting arrogant brats in their place. And what better way to defeat one than to do it without even touching him? The crowd enjoyed Haru’s dodges initially, but quickly grew bored of it. But that was not going to make the man change his pacifist way. He was not here to entertain the crowd, but to put a stop to the cheating contender. The healer kept dodging the attacks, finishing every round with a snide remark. To top it off, Akira was doing her share from the spectator seat. He liked how Rodric took everything so seriously and let it get to his head. To him, it was a mystery how he managed to come so far into the tournament with such an attitude, even after cheating. Someone must have been fast enough to put this guy down.

The Rune Knight was all cool and confident until Rodric made the boyfriend comment. Hearing the man call him Akira’s boyfriend sent blood gushing to his face, making him go really red. He looked up at Akira to see her reaction and was even more embarrassed when she wasn’t blushing but rolling her eyes. After that, Haru stopped making his condescending remarks and simply focused on dodging. But the crowd, and Akira especially, continued the sledging and that was more than enough to piss him off. Haru wasn’t really sure what ticked him off, but all of a sudden, Rodric went berserk. He yelled at the top of his voice and charged at him. This time, he was a lot faster than before and his punching arm glowed. Haru wondered if it was some kind of magic, but was not going to stick around and find out. He heard Akira’s voice and was, for some reason, glad that she was concerned.

Putting his arms together, Haru activated his Feather-Light spell and jumped high up in the air right before the punch was about to connect. Rodric’s eyes widened when he realized his punch did not connect, and he skid to a stop. He looked around the ring and was unable to find Haru anywhere, who was gliding down slowly from above him. “Come on! Did you know that a great man once defined insanity as ‘trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results’?” Haru asked, landing at the edge of the ring. He was actually impressed with that last move of the fighter; he actually forced Haru to use his magic. But there was no way he was going to say that to him. After all, the objective was to humiliate him. Standing right in front of the ring’s wall, Haru beckoned his opponent to come at him. “Wanna try again?” he asked.

Rodric smirked and then began laughing. “You fool! Look where you are. You have nowhere to run this time. There is a wall behind you,” he said, charging at Haru again with his glowing fist. Haru looked behind him and then at Rodric with wide eyes. He made a terrified expression and acted as though he was done for. “Oh no!” he yelled, in a mocking scream of despair. Haru never deactivated his Feather-Light and had planned this all along. He waited until the last minute again and jumped right before Rodric’s punch made contact. This time however, there was not enough space for Rodric to skid to a stop and instead, he punched the rock wall and knocked himself out. Haru cringed, looking at the man crush himself against the rock and landed gracefully next to him. “You okay there, bud?” he asked, craning his neck to see the damage.


#7Akira Shimada 

Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:44 pm

Akira Shimada
It was a little worrisome that the healer had to use his feather-light spell, to avoid the punch that was thrown at him. The crowd of course was appeased with the graceful display of magic as the healer glided back to the floor. But she knew, that if these blows became a consistent affair, it may spell trouble for her teammate. The gentle feelings of worry for the well-being of Tsuru, took Akira by surprise, the particular taunt from Rodric about the healer being her boyfriend, echoed in her mind for some reason, she shook her head to get rid of it and worked on focusing on the action again, or lack of it.

Tsuru was really nailing his end of the verbal blows though, that itself would have been entertaining enough, but his voice, much like her's and Rodric's was probably drowned out by the din. The fascination with his magic, faded as quickly as their fascination with his speed. 'One of you do something!' she heard someone yell from the back. Akira's heart raced, this would really have to come to a close soon, the people looked like they could get rowdy, not everyone here was as high-spirited as the kid, who'd brought the Knight duo here. There were definitely sadists lurking in the crowd, hoping to have witnessed a glorified final battle, with blood, sweat and tears of the participants.

Her tongue clicked instinctively, luckily Rodric was quite predictable with his amped up punches, while fast at attempting the strike, he had to charge in between. Anyone else would have knocked him out cold in between, so perhaps fighting Tsuru meant he'd at least had a chance to show it off... Before the final chip fell, Akira saw the events unfold, with a large twisted smile. She could tell the difference between Tsuru's mock and genuine fear... Rodric fell for it so hard, either that or he had no choice. She laughed shamelessly as he tried to retrieve his hand from the wall, his power had been so great, his hand was now stuck there... The crowd laughed with her, only she noticed Tsuru's genuine concern.

When the guy finally plucked his arm out, it seemed shattered beyond repair. She turned away, knowing her partner would probably fix it... and the fight would draw to its appropriate close. Upon turning she found Tyler peeking up at her with two sacks of coins. 'For your aid and his, I collected some money from all those who had bet against your partner...' she accepted the money and smiled before ruffling the kid's hair, before he bounded away. She'd let Tsuru find her later, she didn't need to stay for whatever small ceremony that ensued.


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Underwhelming Champion [Quest | Hatsuharu] Empty Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:54 am

Haru was extremely guilty after looking at what had happened to Rodric’s arm. He surely did not wish for this, but there was no other way to end this fight. Rodric looked up at Haru, his eyes bloodshot and struggled to form a word. “You… You-” he began, but couldn’t hold the breath and blacked out. Seeing this, the referee walked into the ring, confirmed that the man was out of it and declared Haru the winner. “The champion is… HATSUHARU AKIMOTO,” the referee screamed, holding Haru’s hands up in the air. The crowd cheered loudly and Haru bowed slightly. He turned to see where Akira was, but she was no longer where she was. For a second, he hoped she decided to jump into the ring to celebrate with him, but that wasn’t the case. He felt silly hoping for such things.

Haru was then awarded the champion’s belt and prize money; the former he returned to the previous champion and the latter was donated to the local orphanage. “I was here merely to stop a cheating man from winning. This belongs to the reigning champion,” he said, giving the belt back to the referee. “And as for the money, I hope this helps bring in a little food and education to the orphaned kids,” and the sack of money was handed back too. The crowd cheered even louder at his actions and began chanting his name.

Haru smiled, bowed to the crowd again, and turned towards the defeated Rodric. “I hope you find your way, my friend,” he said, kneeling next to him and touching his hand. Using his Mend, he attempted to heal as much of the critical damage as he could, but he knew that wouldn’t be enough. Once he was done, he requested the organizers to quickly take him to the hospital for better treatment. “If you don’t make it soon, he might never fight again. So, please… Make it quick,” he said to the referee before leaving. Once outside, he would look around to see where Akira was. Not finding her in the vicinity, he would head back to the hotel, hoping that’s where she was. The two had a lot to talk about, especially regarding the rumours Akira mentioned before this ring fight.


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