Competition, training, friends and family, championship gold
Awards & Championships: The first to get to the third round against Orville Wolfe in the Wolfe's Den Match (AES PrimeTime #15)
Themes: (pre AES)
"Voices" by Yoko Kanno
"Strobe's Nanafushi (Satori Mix)" by Kodo
"Advice" by the Pillows
"It's Love" by Rabbit
"Learn To Crawl" by Black Lab
"Shelter" by Greenwheel
"Haruka Kanata" by Asian Kung Fu Generation
"Ichirin No Hana" by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
"BLADE CHORD" by abingdon boys school
"RED" by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
"living (Kumo No Edit)" by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
"Secret Heart (Kumo No Edit)" by HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR
"Rebirth" by Esprit D'Air
ALEVATION: NEW FUTURE
Joined: 6-March 15
Last Seen: Jun 24 2017, 09:43 PM
Local Time: Jun 26 2017, 03:46 PM
73 posts (0.1 per day) ( 0.43% of total forum posts )
"... I came off as a little too strong, didn't I?"
"... kinda, yeah..."
The scene opens up to the Widow's Parlor Gym; in the wrestling ring is "The Black Widow" Oseiko, alongside her husband "Code Red" Michael A. Connelly and their daughter, Yuki Marie Connelly; the family are all in training attire. Oseiko is resting in a ring corner, a bottle of Gatorade in hand with Yuki Marie sitting cross-legged next to her, Michael leaning against the ropes.
"Oseiko, I know you. I know you're trying to be all confident and all but... yeah, that last promo you cut was just a bit... well, arrogant." Michael looks to his wife with a raised eyebrow.
"That wasn't my intention..." Oseiko sighs softly, lowering her head. "... my mother was the same way... but she had an excuse, she was a horrible person..."
"But you're not a bad person, Mommy..." Yuki Marie assures.
"I'm not... I refuse to be..."
"Well... okay, how about this?" Michael says. "You're a ninja, so... should you be really announcing your intentions anyway?"
"I'm also a professional wrestler," replies Oseiko. "The art of the promo is fundamental. That's what I was taught early on."
"Yeah, most of the time... but hey... think about this. Back in the day, in the 80's, you know, remember. Keiji, right?"
Oseiko nods. "I remember him, yes."
"That dude didn't need to speak to get his point across. When he was wrestling in the States he just slapped on his face paint, said nothing, and just let his actions do the talking. A kick here, poison mist there, and then he hit that Moonsault and got the three count."
"He also had a manager to be his mouthpiece, too."
"Yeah. But you don't need one. Ninja don't need to talk unless they had something important to say. Which brings me to the next guy who didn't need to talk to get the point across... like Steve."
Oseiko cocks her head. "Steve."
"Steve?" Yuki Marie also cocks her head cutely.
"Steve." Michael smiles. "Dude reinvented himself. He didn't even need to say anything to get his point across. He just cast that stare on his rival, pointed his bat at 'em. And when he did talk? It was short and sweet..." Michael's face goes all stoic as he recalls the moment he remembers. "'... you're a dead man.'"
"Ah, right. I remember that." Oseiko nods.
"Right! So that's what I'm suggesting, Oseiko. Think back to when you started out. You didn't talk much either back then."
"Because I was mainly shy around other people. I wasn't entirely sure of my place in this business."
"Yeah, but you do now?"
Oseiko sighs. Then lowers her head, thinking.
"I get what you're saying though, Michael. I think... I hope I understand."
"I think I should limit my on-camera promos. If I have anything poignant to say I'll say it. But I'll keep it brief. As a ninja, I should be silent. Swift. Deadly. Mysterious. Like I should be. I haven't been tweeting much and that's a good start. So... I should expand that silence beyond social media."
Michael smiles. "Sounds good to me."
Yuki Marie grins. "Yeah! Go Mommy!"
"Then it's settled..." Oseiko looks to her daughter, playfully ruffling her red hair, before standing up to her feet. "I'll be sure to call the higher-ups and let them know... no more backstage interviews. I'll conduct them myself if I should feel the need. And I'll keep them short. I won't show my hand until the time is right."
"Y'know, Mo-chan might be sad you won't conduct interviews anymore..." Yuki Marie remarks.
"... hmn..." Oseiko rubs her chin, thinking. "... I might make an exception with her."
"Okay okay, enough of the moping and brooding." Michael says, clapping his hands in attention. "You're a ninja but you're not Batman."
"She could be Batman." Yuki Marie smiles.
"My parents ARE dead," adds Oseiko.
"Yeah, but your parents were jerks." retorts Michael.
"True." Oseiko smirks. "But you're right. I need to be ready. I need to refocus."
"You need to perfect my signature moves so you can use 'em!" Michael says. "The Connelly Comet, the Mackknife Powerbomb, and the Condition Red. ESPECIALLY the Condition Red. That was my old finisher back in the day... a double-arm impact DDT. That won me quite a few titles."
"I should know, you beat ME with it to win a World Title."
"And I humbly apologize for that. Even though it was years ago..." Michael scratches the back of his head in embarrassment. "But hey, if it makes you feel any better you get to hit me with it."
"It's a start."
"All right..." Michael looks to his daughter. "You watch us now, sweetie. Okay? You're gonna have to learn this moves when you get older so I want you to study what you see."
"Okie!" Yuki Marie noddles.
"Okay..." Michael looks to Oseiko. "Chip off the ol' blocks, huh? She's gonna make a great wrestler."
"First I need to make sure the legacy I leave behind is one worth following..." Oseiko reminds, a hint of unsureness in the tone of her voice, just enough so that only Michael can hear.
"You'll get there. I got faith in you."
Oseiko smiles softly. "Thank you, Michael."
"All right, lock up. Mackknife Powerbomb. Powerbomb into a jackknife pin, got it?"
And husband and wife advance on each other with the collar and elbow tie-up...
"I do. In fact I am a staunch believer in it. And I believe that lately, I've been severely afflicted by it. And I'm here... where my life as an Akuhi Ryu ninja began..."
"... and where it ended... to tell you why."
The scene remains on the image of a human skeleton, a katana buried in-between its ribs, for a moment, before it pans up to reveal "The Black Widow" Oseiko, dressed in blue jeans, her canvas TreadZ, her black leather jacket, and holding her iPhone, where the photos are being stored.
She looks reflective, as she turns her head, looking around at the very village where she was born. Then looks back down at the skeleton, her emotion turning rather coldly calm, staring down at it.
Then turns around, ignoring the remains.
"For over four years, since I returned from retirement and into Armbar Error Society, I have not been at my best..." she begins in admittance. "And the fault for that lies squarely on my shoulders. No one else's."
Oseiko walks across one of the old bridges leading towards the cherry blossom tree, the only thing that remains alive in the village. She looks up at it, a small smile on her face. And she glances off to her side, remembering a distant memory.
"... she used to play here... I watched her play..."
She smiles sadly. Then shakes her head, realizing she's digressing from the point.
"People have tried to help me and in some small way, they HAVE succeeded. Only for me to not follow through with what is demanded upon me. Again, the fault is mine."
Oseiko turns around, and she leans against the tree, looking directly at the camera following her. It's apparent at this point that the camera is attached to a drone; aside from the tree she's leaning on, Oseiko seems to be the only living thing in the ghost village at the moment.
"I know I can do better. In the past, in the Independents, I HAVE done better. But the past is the past. It has no bearing on the here and now and beyond. So... what must I do?" Oseiko gestures, raising her arms outward, expressing her emotion physically. "What can I do to pry the existential dread of failure and disappointment from me?"
Oseiko takes a deep breath, and looks up at the sky. Then she lowers her head back down, her dark grey eyes closing.
"The answer is deceptively simple... do better."
She pushes herself off of the tree, and walks across the other bridge, towards the cracked metal symbol. Oseiko slows her motion, staring at it quietly, as if remembering something. She grimaces a little, the memory apparently none too pleasant. Then she sighs, turning away from it, towards the camera.
"You deserve better from me. Everyone does..." she continues on. "My fans, both from the Independents and in Armbar Error Society. My friends who watch and wait for me to do something worth noting. My enemies, who would jeer and laugh at my failures and shortcomings, believing I am nothing more than a running gag that should have died out a long time ago..."
She hesitates. Then unlocks her iPhone, pulling up a photo and showing it to the camera; it's of her, after her match with Darby Brizen, forehead still bloodied, as she hugs her daughter, Yuki Marie.
"My daughter..." Oseiko looks very serious, still holding the photo up at the camera. "... who deserves to realize that her devotion towards me has not been unfounded. That I am worthy of that devotion. Because as of this moment... I'm not."
Oseiko locks her iPhone, putting it away into her jacket, as she looks up at the sky again, profound sadness on her face.
"I'm not worthy of anything. That needs to change. I want it to change so so much. Everyone watching this deserves that from me."
Oseiko turns, then nimbly hops over the man-made lake, then begins to trudge up the stairs towards the tall pagoda up top.
"It changes. Right here. In the ruins of the village that I was born in, hidden away in the Daisetsuzan..." she states. "And it's fitting. Really it is. Because from the moment I was born my life has been a kind of tragedy..."
Oseiko stops mid-way, turning towards the camera, sadness still in her eyes. And she stares down at her hands.
"I can't change what I am as much as I want to... but I am what they made me to be. I will always be a ninja first and a professional wrestler second and that is my sad, tragic reality. That's fine. I accept that."
She lowers her hands as the clench into fists, looking towards the pagoda up ahead.
"But what I can no longer accept are the constant failures. And then I react. Needlessly." She shakes her head. "'Holding back.' 'Losing one's touch,' no. No, that's not me. Those spur-of-the-moment tweets cannot be taken back. Yes, they can be deleted but why would I do that? Those are my mistakes, I own up to them. And I humbly apologize for those mistakes. Will I make more? Of course. I'm only human after all."
Oseiko pulls her iPhone back out, unlocking it and pulling up the Twitter app. She stares at the screen quietly, going through all of her past tweets. Then lets out a disappointed sigh.
"But Twitter is the one place where I will no longer make those mistakes."
Oseiko double clicks the Home button, then swipes up, closing the application.
"Twitter should be just another tool at my disposal, really. Like a sword used to defend and attack. Like a vehicle moving from point A to point B. Like currency, used to purchase necessities, store away for a rainy day, or to help someone down on their luck. And lately I've been misusing Twitter. Like a child wielding a dangerous weapon. Yes, that's a harsh image. But it's true. Very true. So that's one thing I'm going to change. Aside from a retweet here and there, praising friends, or responding to them... I will be relatively silent on Twitter."
Oseiko pockets her iPhone once again, looking up at the camera.
"My usual detractors and critics... the cyberbullies who have gotten under my skin... they will find my silence deafening. I won't respond to them. If they want to truly get my attention they should come find me, if they can. Seek me out, if they are willing. I may be hiding in the shadows. Hiding in plain sight. I may be in the ring doing what I love the most. That's the only way they will ever seek my attention. Attack me. Fight me. I'll welcome it, relish it. And I will fight back with such sudden and deliberate fervor you will wonder just where that ferocity was this whole time I've been in Armbar Error Society and to be honest..."
Oseiko pauses, almost dramatic, looking back up at the pagoda. Then she begins her climb anew, walking up the stairs.
"... I have been wondering that too... but then, it all goes back to karma..."
Oseiko reaches the top of the stairs, walking into the pagoda. She stares outward, at the mountain range surrounding the village, looking outward at the Hagoromo Falls in the distance.
She smiles a little at the sight. Then looks back at the camera.
"Karma... for the past four years a lot of bad karma has plagued me. I've said and done things that I didn't mean. Made mistakes. And as a result, that karma has come down on me, like the heaviest of weights. Hindering my performance. Crushing my dreams. And I blame absolutely no one but myself. It's all on me. And..."
She raises her hands, fists clenched so tightly they visibly tremble.
"... when I held my daughter in my arms that night. My blood still on my face... deep down, I realized, I knew... that for her sake I needed nothing more than to just... STOP."
Oseiko's hands open suddenly. Fingernail marks in her palms stopping just short of breaking skin.
"Karma. Karma is what eventually brought down the Akuhi Ryu. All this you see before you, all the evil that my clan had done, came back and annihilated them. Utterly. Black flame, spattered blood, agonized death screams... they all deserved it. Every single one of them."
Oseiko turns around, and looks to the camera.
"I am not Akuhi Ryu. I disowned them years ago. Watashi wa Kurotsuki Oseiko-des, I am 'The Black Widow' Oseiko. I am a professional wrestler for Armbar Error Society. And on this day, standing in the ashes and the ruins of my former clan I vow, from this moment... you won't see a new Oseiko. No, you'll see the ORIGINAL Oseiko. The way I was in the Independents. The success. The worthy champion in the eyes of my peers. For the sake of my daughter who's waiting everso patiently for her mother to finally break this slump I will become the Black Widow of old, and I will fight my enemies. I will excite the crowd, and I will MAKE THEM PROUD OF ME LIKE I USED TO."
Oseiko is trembling visibly with emotion, audible in her voice as she breathes.
"And I understand, oh I do... if people remain skeptical of that. 'Oh, she's speaking words again. She'll fall back to her vices. She's never going to win the big one, she's a has been, a never was.' And that's fine. This isn't going to happen overnight. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING. Worth anything ever happens overnight. You don't just don't decide to improve yourself physically, work out once, wake up and find you've shed thirty pounds and developed an impressive physique, no. That's clearly not realistic. What IS realistic is this..."
Oseiko lower her head, and smiles in a reassured confidence.
"... BAW Fear Factor. I have one more title opportunity at the moment. Win or loss, I vow I will show the signs of my renewed vigor. Golden Triad Tournament. I will lead the Principle to certain victory against the very detractors who believe I don't belong in the AES. And... the AES Grand Prix. I will work hard. I will fight tirelessly to reach the top and I will prove to everyone... EVERYONE. That I am not a lost cause. I am worth the wait."
Oseiko closes her eyes, raising her head. She takes a deep breath, and she sighs deeper, a single tear falling down her cheek.
She opens her eyes, looking upward.
"... Mikoto told me to be strong. And it's been a struggle. Oh, how it's been such a struggle to be strong, Mikoto. Gomen nasai, Mikoto-neechan. But I get it now. Oh, it's taken me too long but I get it. It's all about karma... so much bad karma... but I get it."
Oseiko wipes away her tears, and looks to the camera, as she pulls out her phone, opening the app that controls the drone holding it.
"... ironic. All this time..." She concludes. "... I've been telling everyone to... listen... when all along, it was I who should've listened."
Oseiko controls the drone to come closer to her, and she holds out her hand, letting it land gently in her palm.
"And now... after too long. I hear. Loud and clear."
Today is the 33rd birthday of "The Black Widow" Oseiko. And she and her family, her husband "Code Red" Michael A. Connelly and her daughter, Yuki Marie Connelly, are enjoying a birthday dinner together.
Michael looks up from his miso soup, glancing over at his wife, who idly rubs the butterfly stitches in her forehead, afflicted by Darby Brizen during what was the final match of CFPW. She hasn't touched her own miso yet, as she looks a little pensive.
"Oseiko... you okay?"
"... no..." Oseiko answers truthfully. "I am one with my thoughts."
"Now see I know when you say that something's wrong, but then you said 'no' before that so I know something's REALLY wrong." Michael places a hand on Oseiko's shoulder. "This is about that match, wasn't it?"
"Didn't it seem to you that Darby was... holding back somehow?" Oseiko asks, looking to Michael.
"Well I wouldn't call multiple shots to the head with a kendo stick and a couple of... what she call them? Daydream DDTs? Yeah, those. I wouldn't call any of that holding back..."
"Or she lost her touch... and either idea does not hold any comfort for me." Oseiko replies, taking a hold of the bowl of miso and downing it in one gulp, almost like downing a shot of sake. " I expected more, Michael... I expected a war. Like her encounter with Richard Fountain. I came into that match fully expecting to spend a night in the hospital, not... here, in this restaurant."
"Normally that'd be a good thing, Oseiko."
"I'm not normal... I wasn't raised to be normal."
"Well you got me there..." Michael sighs. "What did you expect? To be put through a table? Or a ladder?"
"YES." Oseiko sharply replies. "You know me, Michael. Better than anyone else does. You know how... you know how I'm wired, I desire competition. To fight the best, to learn from my battles, and... to have that match end on a roll up of all things, it's just..."
"UnDarby." Yuki Marie pipes in, looking up from her edamame.
"Precisely! UnDarby... that's... not really a proper word but I'll take it. UnDarby..." Oseiko shakes her head. "Considering all the other Darby Zone matches she was in, and considering how... unpredictable, how imaginatively extreme she can be I fully expected... EVERYTHING from her. Win or lose I believed I was in for the most extreme Extreme Rules match I've ever been in in the AES and..."
"... I didn't get what I wanted. In either count. I didn't win the CFPW Colt Championship... I didn't experience the full intensity of a Darby Zone Match. I left that match disappointed."
"... yeah, well..." Michael scratches the back of his head, unsure of what to say. "I get it. I guess... you wanted the best and it didn't turn out the way you wanted."
"2017 was supposed to be different, Michael. A new look, new ring attire, adopting your signatures and finishers, new entrance music from Esprit D'Air, all the training and meditating I've gone through... I've come so close this year already. TWICE. UWOT and CFPW. Inches away from FINALLY claiming a championship, just inches from my grasp..."
Oseiko pauses, looking to Yuki Marie as she has gone back to eating her edamame.
"... look at our daughter, Michael... she's nine years old now. My dream of seeing her old my newly won championship in her small hands is getting further and further away from me. She's growing up and..."
Oseiko closes her eyes, tears beginning to well up.
"I want her to be proud of the legacy I intend on leaving behind for her and instead all I'm doing is letting her down. Over and over again."
Michael lowers his head. Then turns to give Oseiko a consoling hug.
"... I hate this feeling so much... it infuriates me... I should have been over this slump by now..."
"I know... I know..." Michael whispers. "It'll get better, Oseiko. C'mon, 2017 just started, okay? And you got one more title match to go, right? In BAW?"
"Against Aria Rothenburg, yes... for the BAW Femme Fatale Championship." Oseiko wipes away her tears, her dark grey eyes showing a renewed focus. "I'm going to do everything I can to win that one, Michael. Every move I know, every submission, ever innovative tactic I can think of. I'm going into that match with the mentality that it's my last match ever. I need to make this match memorable, in a good way. I have so very few memorable moments, Michael. I know I can do so much more than just... THIS..."
Michael raises an eyebrow, noticing Oseiko's fists clenched so tight they visibly tremble.
"Rose Parker wants extreme, I'll give her extreme. I'll throw everything I can think of. And if Aria Rothenburg, so help me, if she uses that rulebook of hers to shift the decision of that match in her favor like she did in our first encounter in BAW, I'm going to--"
"Uhm... excuse me?"
Oseiko pauses, looking up to see the timid-looking waitress staring down at her. "... oh. Uhm, yes, hello."
"Are you ready to order the main course, ma'am?"
"Oh. Right, yes. Of course..." Oseiko composes herself, picking up the menu to look it over. "Sweet Yellowtail, please."
"... the Naruto? Really?" Michael looks at the menu with a raised eyebrow, then shrugs. "I guess I'll take the Naruto."
"NARUTO FOR ME TOO!" Yuki Marie chirps, not even looking at her menu.
"All right. One Sweet Yellowtail. Two Narutos. Coming up. Thank you." She bows politely, then proceeds to head to the kitchen.
"Hope I'm not late to the party."
Oseiko blinks. Then she, Michael, and Yuki Marie all look up to see a familiar face. Clad in a light blue Chinese dress with gold trims, black tights, and that familiar uniquely designed black leather duster and smart glasses adorning her face.
"Surprise..." says "The Blue Wasp" Naomi Mizuhana.
"NAOMI!!" Yuki Marie is the first to leap up and glomp Naomi tightly; she just giggles as she hugs her back.
"Hey, squirt... givin' 'em hell up in Overwatch still?"
"Yep!" Yuki Marie grins. "Ryūjin no ken o kurae!"
"Hah. Boop." Naomi playfully taps Yuki Marie on the nose.
"Naomi..." Oseiko stands up as Yuki Marie returns to her seat, giving Naomi a moment to hug her old friend. "I didn't expect you to be here."
"Yeah well..." Naomi shrugs. "Our kage has a private jet. She let me fly up to root for Dominic. Y'know, rep the Shirotengu Ryu and all. Figured at least I'd pop by to wish you a happy thirty-third before I head back home."
"You should see Mars before you leave. She'd be happy to see you again."
"Yeah, with her big ol' bear hugs..." Naomi chuckles, sitting down next to Yuki Marie and flagging down a waitress. "Green tea, please! Oh, with peppermint. Thanks."
The waitress nods, and heads to fetch Naomi's drink.
Oseiko smiles at Naomi, then glances to the entrance to see more familiar faces walk in... Ariel Bridges, dressed in white jeans, a tank top, and a kitty-themed hoodie... her adopted mother Kaye, dressed in a dark grey business suit and sunglasses hiding her usually mismatched eyes... and of all people, JC Stone, dressed in a Metallica T-shirt, blue jeans, and a black leather jacket.
"OSEIKOOOOHH!!!" Ariel rushes over and hugs her oldest friend tightly, as Kaye smiles calmly, sitting down at the table with Stone following; the self-styled mercenary for hire not looking at all happy to be where he is. "Happy birthday!!" =^^=
"Thank you Ariel... it's good to see you..." Oseiko looks to Kaye, nodding to the Hot Pink Machine. "You too, Kaye. Always happy to see old friends..." She looks over to Stone, cocking her head curiously. "... I'm rather surprised to see you here, Jeremy."
"They dragged me here," Stone replies truthfully, gesturing to Ariel and Kaye. "Please tell me this dump sells decent beer."
"Not really, no..." Oseiko replies, as Ariel takes her seat next to Stone. "They have Ramune."
"I have no fuckin' idea what that is."
"Japanese soda?" Naomi chimes in. "They have chili oil flavor."
"Well not at this restaurant... but they HAVE made that flavor."
Stone sighs. Then looks over to Kaye. "You owe me a six pack."
"Well since this is a Japanese restaurant, do you prefer Sapporo or Kirin?"
"Eh... Sapporo's better."
"I'm inclined to agree." Oseiko smiles at Stone.
"Heh... right..." Stone smirks at her. "Y'know I may not like you, but I at least respect you... now I guess I gotta respect your taste in beers."
"Appreciated." Oseiko nods to Stone.
"Yeah... we're both losers in NEWD 5, you know..." Stone mutters. "Fuck, you only had one match... I had two and I lost 'em both. So hell, I've had it worse than you, you know."
"Touché." Oseiko raises her glass of water in toast to Stone.
"Tell ya what though... you don't have to worry about me holding back on you if we ever tangle in the ring. I'll throw ALL my shit at you. I'll bust you open so bad what you suffered last night'll look like a goddamned paper cut."
Location: The Widow's Parlor Gym, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
"AAAAHHHHH!!" screams "The Technique" Dominic Flood, as he struggles to escape from a punishing hold applied by "The Black Widow" Oseiko. "GEEZ, LET GO--!!"
"Tap out, Dominic!" Oseiko shouts. "Tap out or find a way out!! Only two options!! Which do you choose?!"
Dominic struggles some more... but manages to grab Oseiko's clasped hands, trying to pry them apart. But her hands are too tightly together for Dominic.
"DECIDE, DOMINIC!! OR I BREAK YOU!!"
And Dominic promptly punches Oseiko square in the face.
"AH--!!" Oseiko breaks the hold, twisting about and holding her nose. "Ow!"
"Well, that's one way to break a hold, right?" Dominic rubs his back in pain as he sits in the ring. "The hell you call that move, anyway?"
'Inverted STF..." Oseiko explains, before checking her nose to see if it's broken. Breathing a soft sigh of relief when she finds it intact, she continues. "STF stands for 'stepover toehold facelock.' The variation I used is also called the inverted Indian deathlock facelock, or Muta Lock, named so for its innovator, Keiji Muto."
"Damn, you got a helluva lotta knowledge... see, this is why I joined this wrestling gig. It's because of you."
Oseiko merely smiles softly.
"Nah, I mean it. I was curious. I wanted to know personally... why you do what you do. Why you love this business and chose it over the life of a ninja. And first match in... it clicked. I knew straight away why. It's because of you, Oseiko. I owe ya."
"No. No you don't." She shakes her head. "I'm glad I was the inspiration, Dominic. From after your first match, it was all you. Period. And look at how far you've come... making it into NEWD '17."
"The hell is it with that acronym, anyway?"
"It's... a thing. Just roll with it, it's all in fun." Oseiko shrugs. "Still... if you can get past Kou Innervale, Christopher Blackwood, and Jeremy McCruise... you win the Muscle Spirit Medal... awarded personally by Viktor Zangief himself..." Oseiko smiles. "I'm so envious of you right now, Dominic. You know what I would give to face Zangief in the ring, let alone be awarded anything by him?"
"He's that big a deal?" Dominic asks.
"Dominic, he's in the AES Hall of Fame for a reason. The Red Cyclone! I've heard stories about him... from Shaed, and... and I just wanted one day to compete against him... just to say that I did..."
"So he's a big deal."
"Okay okay, I get it... really..." Dominic chuckles. "Just pullin' your leg there, Sei."
"Heh..." Oseiko smirks. "If you say so... just remember when you step into that ring... while it's good to represent the Shirotengu Ryu, remember that it's more important to represent yourself. You're the one put it all on the line, not your fellow shinobi and kunoichi. Show all of NOW, and all of AES that you belong in the ring, win or lose. Make it memorable, in a good way."
"You got it, Sei..." Dominic nods in understanding. "You got a major match at NEWD '17 too, don'cha?"
"Yes..." Oseiko nods softly, standing up to her feet. "Against Darby Brizen for the CFPW Colt Championship. In a Darby Zone Match."
"Darby Zone Match?"
"In layman's terms, a deathmatch."
Dominic raises an eyebrow. "What?"
"Oh don't worry. It's a figure of speech, no one technically dies in these matches. Though at the end the competitors will feel like they might die. It's Extreme Rules. No disqualifications, no countouts. It's Darby's specialty match. And it's something I've been wanting. To pour everything I have. To do everything I can, to show everyone in the AES what I can really do..."
Oseiko looks down at her hands.
"... I've been on the cusp, Dominic. I've held championships before... but never in the AES. And every year I come into titleless... I feel my chances slipping away, inch by inch..."
"... Oseiko..." Dominic approaches her, but then she casts a glare at him, her dark grey eyes holding him still.
"Yuki Marie turned nine recently..." Oseiko says. "I've had this dream. To see my daughter hold my first championship in AES in her hands, to see with my own eyes the legacy that she'll one day inherit. But every year it gets further and further away..."
Oseiko turns away, her eyes closing.
"... January 13th, 2020... Yuki Marie turns thirteen. And... if I still don't have a title by then... then I'll have failed. My career in the AES will be deemed a failure. And..."
Oseiko looks back to Dominic.
"I won't let that happen, Dominic. Which is why I want a Darby Zone match with Darby Brizen. Her specialty match, for the Colt Championship, with the odds against me and the stakes so high. So I can prove to everyone... my critics, my fans, myself... how far I am willing to go to win that elusive championship, that I am willing to walk barefoot through the Ninth Circle of Hell, brave demonic frostbite, to claim what I seek... and all this without sacrificing everything that I am. Unlike some people... people who end promising careers and friendships, change who they are as people, all to take the road less traveled and win THEIR titles."
"That's a little specific there, Sei."
"It is. VERY specific." Oseiko
"Rrrrrright." Dominic crosses his arms, his head cocked.
"Just because I've forgiven, doesn't mean I forget..." Oseiko explains. "I've seen it happen all the time, in the Indies, in AES... I don't believe in burning bridges. Betraying friends, compromising everything I believe in. In my experience... life is too short to willingly just throw all that away."
"Yeah. I know... Mikoto, your parents... everything..." Dominic nods somberly. "You've had a real fucked up upbringing, Sei."
"Your words, not mine... but yes. It was that."
Oseiko walks to the ring ropes, turning around and backward rolling out of the ring, with Dominic sliding out after her.
"Enough of the past. I've put it where it belongs, behind me..." Oseiko concludes. "If I can beat Darby Brizen at her best, in her specialty match, for the Colt Championship... then that will solidify my legacy, for myself as well for my daughter."
"Well... good luck, Sei..." Dominic smiles.
"An old saying someone told me once..." Oseiko looks to Dominic, a visage of confidence on her face. "'Luck is for losers.'"
"Huh..." Dominic raises an eyebrow. "Who said that?"
"I think his name was Phil..." Oseiko replies, as she heads into the women's locker room.
"Heh... right..." Dominic smirks, as he heads to the men's side of the locker room.