Land of Lightning Near Target OutpostAfter Midnight
"Our success remains guaranteed."
A flippant reply came through the mental network, snarky to the point that a brief mental image of the speaker's face would form in Yurai's mind though it remained physically as stoic and unamused as it had been prior. Kyoko stretched her arms out, brought her hands together, and cracked them in front of her as she surveyed her opponent, standing across a woman clad in bandages so tightly knit that Kyoko could only really observe her general silhouette rather than any defining features. Of course, beneath her veil, there were few of her own features that could be observed--it seemed to be a mirror match of sorts, or perhaps a chessboard. Her opponent clad in white, Kyoko clad in black. Queen versus Pawn.
The match was, of course, going to be much like a chess battle. Kyoko knew that certain steps were required to assure victory, and that following them correctly would lead to a certain victory. A wise man had once written a work that contained many quotes pertinent to warfare and its nuances, and these quotes were not dissimilar to Kyoko's general strategies and style of combat.
"All warfare is based on deception."
A lesson her opponent seemed to have taken to heart as well. The wrappings were an unknown variable--a barrier preventing her from applying her genjutsu in the way that came most naturally to her. Perhaps they were ordinary, but that was an unwise thing to assume. It was unwise to assume anything about an opponent without proper logical cause, and at this point in the conflict it was too early to tell what that would be. Kyoko acted as if she were preparing for a physical conflict--allowing her body to move, to warm up, to get used to the rhythm and flow of combat. Of course, unless the opponents had intel that Kyoko was not aware of, she would not be aware that the true battleground of this skirmish was in the mind.
"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
Of course, Kyoko was prepared for practically any eventuality. A prodigious intellect and aptitude for tactics enabled Kyoko to win before she ever stepped foot on a battlefield, but this time she had been caught somewhat unawares. She had not noted the presence of foreign agents in this mission, and this had been a shock to her--but, realistically, it was to be expected. Whenever Yurai was involved, an omen of ill luck was not far behind.
Still, as her opponent suddenly lunged forward, Kyoko's time to think was cut short. At least, it was for the first step.
Suddenly, everything around Kyoko froze. The world was completely still, down to every atom, and Kyoko walked forward as if striding down a red carpet. She walked directly up to the woman and observed her features carefully: examining her body shape, her musculature, the nature of her bandages. There was only so much that sight alone could tell her, and the illusion that she had crafted within her mind could only allow her to iterate upon the information that she had observed before she had begun--and she had had limited information. Still, this was valuable time to consider an approach, and Kyoko spent a solid minute thinking to herself within the confines of her illusory reality. No time had yet passed outside of her mind, but that would change after another moment or so of thought--so Kyoko decided to first observe her opponent's abilities before re-examining the situation. This was not ideal, by any means, but in the absence of advance information she would have to do some battlefield reconnaissance.
Then, suddenly, reality resumed almost exactly where it had left off, and Kyoko allowed her newfound opponent to rush her. She would react in kind if and when the opportunity presented itself.