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A Friendly Spar Between a Guardian and a Swordsman (Private w/ Noire)

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Today has been quite a quiet morning at the Training Arena of Syne Academy. It was barely 9 AM and the Training Arena was mostly empty except for some people who were using the shooting ranges and some people who were training at the bench presses. Among these people was Sakura. She had decided to wake up early today so she could go through her daily training regimen. Sakura had just completed her cardio and strength training, so she was pretty much done with her daily regimen. Instead of taking a break like she usually did, Sakura decided to change it up a bit by taking hers shields and walking over to the animated combat dummies which had been set up in the center of the Training Arena. As she approached the animated combat dummies, Sakura began thinking about how to refine her defensive fighting style.

"I wonder if there was a way to be more aggressive with my defensive fighting style." Sakura thought quietly to herself as she reflected on her fighting style. Ever since she was young, Sakura had been taught in the art of defense fighting which focused on protecting people and tanking through all hits that comes her way. Sakura was naturally gifted in the art of defense. However, Sakura felt that she could do more in a fight besides just tanking hits. Due to this, Sakura had been thinking about ways that she could be more aggressive with her defensive fighting style. However, the main issue that Sakura was facing was that she didn't know where to start.

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Noire never quite liked the being indoors. She much preferred to do her training or go about her general business outside. Maybe it had something to do with how she grew up. Rarely did she have a roof over her head. Still, she didn't give the why much thought at all. The young faunus had to admit, though, that there were some advantages to being indoors. For instance, the training facilities at Syne provided a large variety of equipment that she could use or practice with. The training dummies and simulations provided a nice challenge when she couldn't find anyone to spar with.

Having just finished her morning barefoot jog around the school, Noire now headed there. She stopped by her locker to collect her giant broadsword and to switch into her standard armor. It was better to be dressed for combat if she was training for combat, after all. She stretched her legs, arms and back for a brief moment.

Feeling ready, she stepped into the arena. It was nearly empty, save for a few people training. She frowned. Never mind that it was the how early it was, there should have been more people there. The way she was it was simple: the more people, the higher the chance to get someone interesting to spar with.

Still, Noire cupped her hands around her mouth to project her voice better. "Who wants to fight?!" She yelled, hoping to catch someone's attention. Being straightforward was the best way to do things, in her experience.

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As Sakura was about to start training with the dummies, she soon heard someone yelling "Who wants to fight?!" loudly. The voice was loud enough for everyone who was training in the Training Arena to hear. Unlike the rest of the people in the Training Arena, Sakura started looking around for the source of the voice. It didn't take long before Sakura located the source of that voice.

Standing in the Sparring Arena located very close to Sakura was a young woman who was armed with a extremely large sword. The most distinctive thing that she saw was that the young woman had ram horns on the sides of her head. This told Sakura that the young woman was a Faunus. The other thing that Sakura noticed was that the young woman was not wearing any shoes. Sakura didn't think much of this as she was used to this. Her close friend, Rika, has her own unusual quirks, so she was used to things like this.

"Good Morning to you, Miss. My name is Sakura A. Brynhildr. I have come to accept your invitation for a friend spar." Sakura greeted politely as she entered the Sparring Arena where the young woman was standing. As she did so, Sakura placed her shield case on the ground before opening it and taking her Aegis MK 10s out of the case. Soon after this, Sakura then equipped her Aegis MK 10s in preparation for the impending spar.

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For a few seconds, Noire stood alone and scanned the crowd. No one seemed to take any particular interest in her proposal. She saw a few familiar faces from her classes and whatnot, but they mostly rolled their eyes and kept doing what they were already focused on. The faunus girl was just some weirdo to them. However, from among the crowd, a girl with pink hair approached her and introduced her self as Sakura A. Brynhildr. The name was long and the way she spoke was... fancy? Noire didn't really have another word to describe it.

That was beside the point, though. It worked this time. It actually worked! Sure, she got the usual stares and questioning glances from people, but someone had actually taken her up on the challenge. It had happened a few times before, but it was always a pleasant surprise when it did. Noire beamed brightly. "I'm Noire Alford," she introduced herself simply. "I'm a freshman in the Combat department!" She touted proudly. "So, do you wanna use one of the arenas or stay here? You can set the rules too, I'm no good at that," she explained.

Regardless of what Sakura chose, Noire would follow. She was eager to get started. As soon as they were ready to start, she would draw her sword and get into a stance, ready to charge forward. "Ready when you are!" She would say.

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"It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Noire. I have only one request. I would like to keep this sparring session a Semblance free affair." Sakura replied. She had decided to make this sparring session a Semblance free affair for a particular reason. She has yet to find out what semblance was. Sakura knew what her Aura was and what color it was. However, it has been more than ten years since unlocked her Aura. Currently, there was no sign of any Semblance coming for her yet.

"If you don't mind, Miss Noire. I humbly suggest that we use the arena we are in now." Sakura added as she entered a defensive stance. She was not sure what fighting style that Noire used, so Sakura decided to take defensive stance for now. Once Sakura got a read on Noire's fighting style, Sakura would try some shield techniques she pick up from one of the fighting manuals she read in the library.

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For a moment, Noire frowned at the suggestion of not using semblances. In combat, she was overly dependent on hers. Rarely did she ever fight without it. She had no reason to hold back, after all. "No semblances, huh?" She tapped her index finger on her chin a few times. She clenched her eyes tightly closed as if in deep concentration. "Hmm... Ok!"

Her attitude changed quickly enough. All she needed was to reason it out in her head. This was a challenge, something she wasn't used to doing. It would potentially make things harder for her, but it might also make her stronger afterwards. It was kind of like wearing weights on her ankles when she ran. She was slow for a time, but faster when her training was through. Yes, this definitely made sense.

Noire nodded at the suggestion that they stay where they were. Sakura hadn't set the parameters for winning, but she assumed the fight would end as soon as one of them was unable to continue. She stepped back, creating some distance between the two of them. Her sword was now drawn in front of her. She didn't know what kind of weapon her opponent had or how she fought, but there was only one way to find out.

Noire charged forward. She would quickly close the distance that she herself had created between them, but only to a point where her giant weapon was within her range. In rapid succession, she aimed a slashing strike towards the girl's shoulder, across her torso. She would follow it with an upward strike at Sakura's knee. Lastly, she would try to ram the pommel of her weapon against the girl's stomach before leaping backwards and remaining at a distance once more.

If Sakura tried to counterattack at any point, Noire would change her strategy and respond accordingly. For now, if all went as planned, she would resume a defensive stance. This was only a start - a way to gauge how her new opponent fought and reacted.

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Soon after she had answered Noire's questions, Sakura watched as Noire stepped back a bit so that she could create any distance between herself and Sakura. As she was doing this, Sakura noticed that Noire had her sword drawn in front of her. From her experience training with her eldest sister, Violet, Sakura recognized that stance as the basis sword stance that all swordsman has been trained in. Soon after, Noire charged in and attempted to slash Sakura's left shoulder before aiming for her left knee.

Sakura quickly responded to Noire's first attack by deflecting it away using her the Aegis MK 10 shield which she had "strapped" to her left arm. After deflecting the first strike, Sakura sidestepped out of the way of the knee strike. However, Sakura didn't expect the the pommel strike to her gut. The pommel of Noire's sword hit its mark. A look of grimace appeared on Sakura's face as a surge of pain coursed through her body. Luckily for her, this type of his was something she was used to. It didn't take long before she recovered and smiled at her opponent. By this time, Noire had leapt back and entered a defensive stance.

Instead of counterattacking, Sakura had decided to maintain her defensive stance. However, instead of fully protecting herself, Sakura decided to leave her right side partially exposed so that she could lure Noire in.

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So Sakura relied on a shield. Although Noire would probably take a while to put what that meant into words, she instinctively knew already. That was the wonder of combat. She could gather information and interpret it in a split second. Her body acted almost automatically. Her mind could take the back seat and relax while she moved. All in all, a shield indicated a defensive fighter. She would be hard to break past without using her semblance. Instead, she would have to count on her ability to be unpredictable. It had worked already. The girl hadn't expected a blow to the gut using the pommel of such a large weapon. She couldn't use that maneuver again, though. The young faunus needed to shake things up and keep gauging what Sakura's strengths and weaknesses were.

Once again, she charged forward. The opening in Sakura's stance wasn't lost on her. Something about it was off, but she decided to go for it anyways, trusting that her speed and reaction time would be enough to avoid falling into a trap. Moreover, she could use this in her favor. Yes, that's what she would do.

Sword in hand, Noire feinted an attack to Sakura's right side. At the last second, however, she would duck and sidestep so that she would be facing Sakura's back. If this worked, she would aim a slashing strike across her shoulder blades. Quickly, she would duck and sweep her leg at the other girl's right knee, in an attempt to trip her or at the very least, throw her off balance.

If her previous maneuvers didn't work, Noire would brace herself to block or parry whatever Sakura had up her sleeve.

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After waiting for a bit, Sakura watched as Noire charged forward once more. After seeing this, Sakura let out s mile as she quickly rotated the shield on her right arm so that it was oriented horizontally with the pointed end of her shield facing forward. Noire had fallen for her trap. As soon as Noire went in to attack her right side, Sakura then moved with blinding speed to take advantage of this. The lower half of the Aegis MK 10 on Sakura's right arm opened up and split into two halves. Once this was done, Sakura quickly caught Noire's sword. Soon after, the lower half of Sakura's Aegis MK 10 closed tightly in a vice-like fashion in an attempt to trap Noire's sword. In addition to this, Sakura quickly angled her shield downward which caused forced Noire's sword down where she had no leverage.

"I have an opportunity to counterattack now." Sakura thought quietly to herself as she quickly rotated her body slightly before slamming the Aegis MK 10 on her left arm into the back of Noire's neck with a lot of force. Sakura hoped that this would knock Noire off balance.

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Noire's initial plan was foiled. Although she was fast, the other girl only had to switch her stance and raise her second shield. At that point, Noire was already feinting her strike. Her sword was pinned to the ground, but before Sakura could begin her counterattack, the white haired girl would try to headbutt her to throw her off. She let go of her sword. There was no point in trying to struggle against someone who's strength she didn't know. Besides, her hand-to-hand combat wasn't too shabby.

She was about to find out, though. The way she saw it, her opponent could do one of two things. Sakura could either retract her shield and let go of the sword to move with greater ease, or she could shrug off the extra weight like it was nothing.

Taking advantage of what she assumed would be a momentary delay, Noire would sidestep and move so that she was standing behind the pink haired girl. If she managed to get there, the young ram girl would aim three successive jabs at her exposed back and then leap backwards. If Sakura managed to move alongside her, she would retreat once more and stand several feet away.

Either way, the white haired girl was having the time of her life and her expression showed as much. She smiled widely at her opponent. If she managed to once again stand at a distance, she would remain in a defensive stance. She had already attacked and retreated twice in a row. Doing so once again was too predictable. She had to change things up if she wanted to land another hit. Her feet would be set widely apart on the ground, her hands now bare. She would figure out a way to get her sword back.

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After catching Noire's blade and trapping it, Sakura went in for a counterattack. However, this counterattack was interrupted by Noire's headbutt. Soon after, Sakura watched as Noire sidestepped before moving. This told Sakura that Noire was planning to move in behind her so that she could attack her from behind. Sakura was planning to move to intercept Noire before she got to her destination. However, the weight of the sword was bogging down her right shield arm. Instead of moving with her shield, Sakura moved her right arm back slightly. This caused Sakura's Aegis MK 10 to detach from the EM straps which Sakura wore underneath her jacket.

Soon after, Sakura's shield dropped to the ground carrying Noire's Sword with it. Due to their combined weight, Sakura's shield landed hard. This caused a some dust to be thrown up into the air. Sakura then quickly took advantage of this to move close to Noire. Once she got close, Sakura quickly pivoted her body so that she could bash Noire from behind with the Aegis MK 10 on her left arm. After this, Sakura then moved in front of Noire before bashing her once more with the Aegis MK 10 on her left arm.

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