Private Strike while the iron is... eh, you get it

Kada

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Masami had been a little suspicious when he'd gotten an offer to train someone for well beyond what his normal fee typically was. How could he not be? Ulterior motives were kind of the name of the game back home, and this kind of obtuse- generosity definitely wasn't the right word but he couldn't think of a better one. But even if he was suspicious, he wasn't about to turn down that money. He could commission the shamisen that he wanted with it, and he wouldn't have to worry about saving up for another full year. If this lady wanted to throw her money away on private fitness training, so be it.

He was already in the warehouse that he generously called a gym. It was decidedly low tech and old school. A boxing ring dominated one side of the room while the other half had a bunch of recycled things re-purposed into training equipment: tires, chains, etc. He liked the aesthetic of using recycled trash to work out with. It allowed for more natural, less formulaic body movements. And best of all, it had all been fairly cheap to get. Masami was in a track suit, the jacket zipped up to his neck and just bulky enough that it hid his physique underneath. He really couldn't put into words why he did this. But it felt right, and it was satisfying to see people look so confused when it turned out that he was, in fact, really fit.

Sitting on a stool in his office, he pulled out one of his flasks while he waited. The cool burn of the alcohol and the chilled tea relaxed him as he waited. He really hoped that this wasn't some prank and that he'd shown up on his rare day off for nothing.

 

ArcanaFate

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Asteria hummed as the last of the seals slowly began to activate. She had made sure to scout out the area well in advance. Frankly, it was the perfect place for her to catch the sentient sword known as Masami Itou. It always paid to have an ear to the ground everywhere you went and one of her most obscure sources had paid off quite handsomely. A bounty out from a powerful god with a frankly insane reward for the capture of a magical sword hiding out on Manta Carlos? That was so simple but obvious had a caveat or two. She still didn't have a complete understanding on his abilities nor of any allies who would assist him if the call came out. So planning had been rough initially.

But sometimes the cards fall into place far too perfectly.

He was a personal trainer. One phone call to the man and an offer of a very nice chunk of change and Asteria now had a private one-on-one battlefield in case things went badly. Which they probably would. So, with the seals in place to hopefully keep Masami contained if he tried to flee, she adjusted her ponytail and strolled inside. Her plan wasn't perfect, however. She was wearing her regular work out clothing versus a proper, magically protected outfit so she would take more damage. In the way of weaponry, she was limited as well to a few basic weapons that were easily hidden in her workout bag. Finally, she was still lacking in understanding of how destructive this blade was. She wasn't worried about dying; that sort of thing came with the territory and Asteria had been blessed with the ultimate immortal cheat code. But how many deaths would it take to get her reward was the question.

"...Hello? Anyone in here?" She called into the makeshift gym, slowly cracking her knuckles with anticipation. Her gym bag sat lazily on her shoulder but she was ready for whatever would come next.
 

Kada

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Masami leaned out of his office when he heard Asteria call out, throwing up a hand in a casual wave as he slipped off of his stool to come outside to greet her. She didn't look too terribly younger than him- sort of had that recently divorced lawyer kind of look about her. That wasn't appropriate right now. He sighed as he approached, scratching idly at the back of his head.

"Hey you must be, ah... Asteria? You look like you're ready at least. What level of workout are you used to, already? So I know how to pace us."
 

ArcanaFate

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"Yes, Asteria Vrall, a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Asteria held her hand out and waited for Masami to shake it, kiss it, or even ignore it before she began to examine the gym closely. There were a few windows here and there, a basic sparring ring, odd bits of repurposed refuse that was meant to be workout equipment. Although she felt it was beneath her to work out in this sort of setup, she did have to commend the sword on his adaptability. It was a challenge but being thrifty had its advantages, she supposed.

"Ah. As far as my background in working out, I have a punching bag at home that I utilize. I am a trained in the art of kickboxing and have done so for quite a few years. I would say I'm average in cardio and lifting weights but I am eager to try out that ring of yours. Would you be alright with some stretches and a simple spar to warm up with?"

She gave a pleasant smile, already calculating the next move in her head. Her bag remained on her shoulder as her eyes gave Masami a full look over, not even attempting to hide the gaze as she waited on his next move. She had no doubts that he would be unfazed by the glance but she if she put him off-guard for even a second, it would be to her advantage.
 

Kada

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"Sparring, eh? I mean, that could be a good warm up." Masami said, shaking Asteria's offered hand before returning his own to his face to scratch at his stubble. He needed to shave, but that was a hell of a prospect and he didn't feel like going through the effort anytime soon.

"You can set your bag down anywhere. Just against a wall, please. Don't want anyone to trip over it." He was relaxed, completely unsuspecting of anything. She probably already knew how to do basic stretches, so Masami got to work on his own. As limber as he was, his joints popped with almost every bend and he sighed as he brought himself up to stand again when he was done.

But he still watched her while they stretched, watching how she moved and where her focus stayed. He couldn't help it- he was just made to look at everyone as a potential opponent. And he supposed she sort of was going to be. He'd need to hold back to not hurt her during their sparring match. Probably only use defensive maneuvers.

"Alright, whenever you're ready," he said, pulling himself up through the ropes of the ring to get himself ready. She was paying him a lot of money, so he was going to let her set the pace for what happened here.
 

ArcanaFate

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"Well, I do certainly hope you don't go easy on me."

She laughed. Although she'd imagine that he didn't understand why she was laughing. To him, it was hopefully just playful banter of a bored rich socialite who was throwing money around to entertain herself. Asteria, however, was genuinely hoping for a challenge from this fight with Masami. It wasn't often that she'd participate in bounty hunting and most of the time found it to be rather simplistic. Most of her previous quarries had been a simple snatch and grab, barely any fight to be found. But a sword wanted by a deity? Well, there had to be a bit of fun there.

With an intentionally awkward roll into the ring, Asteria got ready to engage in a friendly spar. "I will tell you now, Masami, that I have no intention of holding back in the slightest." She grinned, putting her hands up and moving in toward the living sword ready to take a quick jab at his torso.
 

Kada

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Masami let the first jab connect with his chest, rolling slightly away from the punch but not enough to dodge it completely. This served two purposes. First, he wanted to see how strong she was. If he had anything to worry about from her hitting him. He didn't.

The second reason though, and the reason he rolled with it rather than just locking down like a stone was, if Asteria wasn't highly durable, he didn't want her to break her hand against him.

Because punching Masami was like punching a man-sized block of solid steel. So not terribly pleasant. His little experiment done, Masami kept his hands up in a defensive posture with his palms open. He definitely was not about to deal with potentially hospitalizing - or worse, killing his new client.

"I'd say don't hold back on my account, but you should hold back on yours. I'm made of solid steel so forceful impacts will react and feel accordingly.
 

ArcanaFate

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...Damn.

Asteria should have expected that. Of course he's made of steel so his 'human' body would likely be as hard. It had been a gamble and it hadn't paid off. That was fine, though. She was at least prepared for that scenario just in case but she definitely felt like she was at a disadvantage now. In most cases like these, she always seemed to find herself at a disadvantage, frankly, and for once, she'd like an easy win.

Rolling her neck to relax a bit more, Asteria stepped in quickly and began to bring in a barrage of punches and kicks. She needed a warm up, might as well put him on his toes. However, she did pull some of her hits knowing this new information. When things eventually kicked off for real, she'd rather not have an aching hand or leg from hitting solid steel.
 

Kada

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Masami sped up when Asteria started her barrage, dodging out of the way and gently nudging her hands and legs away from him. Her initial reaction to hitting him had confirmed that she was neither incredibly strong nor durable, and he didn't want to break his new client's arm on the first day.

"You've got good technique, at the very least. I might need to get an assistant in here so you can spar with so you can spar properly rather than me sandbagging."

He was only a little out of breath by the time they finished, watching Asteria to see how winded she was. She could use some endurance training, but then everyone could benefit from that. Cardio, obviously. Something high impact. And then some weight training as well.

He conveyed all of this to Asteria as he went around the makeshift gym, setting up a few of the pieces of equipment he had cobbled together that they could use.

"Does that sound good? Do you have any particular areas you'd rather focus on? Most people come to a personal trainer with a specific goal in mind. It would help me narrow down what we need to do to know what you actually want."
 

ArcanaFate

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She frowned as the sparring began to wind down. Asteria felt somewhat winded after that little barrage which meant she was a bit rusty in pure hand to hand. Which wasn't that surprising for her, really. She was a tactician and far-range specialist, not an up-close melee brawler meathead like most of the soldiers she had known once upon a time. Masami's words also presented another unfortunate truth: he outclassed her in every way physically. He was faster, stronger, more durable. Everything a sentient god-level magical item should be, in all honesty. But it did present an issue of how she was going to bring him down. Sealing him would be a decent start but then what? How long did she have to keep him sealed for until the trade off for her reward?

Screw it, she could change the plan on the fly.

As Masami began his walk around of his gym, prepping some sort of workout routine for Asteria, she rolled out of the ring and went to her bag. First things first, hydration. She was going to need it if she was going to do this. She placed the water bottle back into the bag and glanced up. The sword wanted to know what she wanted? Well, she'd oblige. She took a deep breath, imagining the seals outside of the warehouse in her mind. Each one began to glow, activating a barrier meant to lock anything and everything magical within. This meant both Masami and Asteria were now unable to leave until this was settled.

Her other hand began to glow and she quickly drew a high level anti-magic pattern into the air and focused down the sentient sword. She had to seal him quickly before he realized exactly what was happening.

"Apologies, Masami Itou, but I want to talk without the concern of you cutting me down."
 

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