Chapter 12: It All Comes To This
The battle between Lea and Luisa continued in the second round. Just like in the first round, Lea and Luisa fought evenly in the corner. Lea attempted to prevent Luisa from attacking by throwing a barrage of punches. Unfortunately, Luisa didn't let it stop her and continued to fight back, even when she took a direct hit on the face. That lasted for the duration of the entire second round, and at the sound of the bell, both boxers were sent to their respective corners. Once Lea reached her corner, her seconds could see that swelling was starting to show on her face. After seeing Lea's condition, Alonso was about to try to cheer her up, but he could see that Lea was still determined to continue the match. Alonso was glad for it and gave whatever advice he could give. Unfortunately, Alonso didn't know what else to say, except to continue on their previous plan. Luisa was a completely different case. Her corner was surprised that Lea continued to fight face to face against Luisa, but the surprise didn't last for long. Luisa might have taken a lot of punches, but she was still capable enough to continue the match. The third round went completely different. After a minute into the round, Lea started to show signs of exhaustion. Thirty seconds later, Luisa started to dominate the match, and it took her another thirty seconds to land a right straight on Lea's face.
Two minutes have passed, but time had slowed down for Lea. Her consciousness was very close to leave her. After so many hits, Lea dropped her guard momentarily and was punched with a left straight square to her face. The punch sent her head back, her eyes looking at the ceiling. At that moment, Lea's consciousness was off. She could only hear voices and see old memories in her head.
"The most powerful punches, start from the legs, or tail in your case." Alonso's words were in Lea's head. Luisa threw a right straight, but Lea dodged it by moving her head to the side. Lea dodged out of instinct, even if her mind wasn't entirely in the match. An image appeared in Lea's head, which was about a thing been thrown to Hilda. It wasn't the item that got Lea's attention, it was the action. Luisa threw a left straight and hit Lea in the face, which caused Lea to be pushed to the ropes. That caused another image to appear in Lea's head. It was something small and it was in the air, but Lea couldn't see it clearly.
"What is that? It looks like…" Thought Lea, who tried to focus on the item and it took her a moment to see it. It was a frisbee flying in mid-air. "A frisbee? Why am I…?" Suddenly, she heard a voice.
"Catch it." Lea heard a child's voice. "Catch the frisbee," said the voice again, which made Lea remember the time when she played with the kids and with Julie. Lea saw the Frisbee right in front of her and she also saw Julie trying to catch it. In an attempt to beat Julie, Lea reached for the frisbee. In reality, she was doing something different. Luisa was throwing a right straight at Lea, but Lea suddenly countered by throwing a right straight at Luisa's face. Lea was still unconscious, so she didn't know what she was doing. The punch made Luisa back away because the counter caused her a lot of damage.
"W-where did that come from? I thought she was nearly beaten. Where did that punch come from?" Thought Luisa, who was still at a loss because she wasn't expecting a punch from an unconscious boxer. Luisa hadn't recover from that counter, so she kept her distance from Lea.
Back in the audience, Lea's friends were caught by surprise. They thought that Lea was going down, but she managed to land a counter on Luisa.
"Way to go, keep at it!" Cheered Salena.
"Amazing, I didn't expect Lea to have enough stamina to throw a counter, especially at a moment like that," said Alinda.
"She must have thrown it out of instinct. Lea probably doesn't realize it herself. Not after taking that kind of punishment." Informed Hilda with a serious face, but she was glad to see that Lea still had some fight in her.
"Then, it must have been a miracle that she landed that punch." Alinda didn't knew how else to explain it.
"Yeah, and I hope that there are more miracles, or Lea might lose the match." Hilda didn't see a way out of that predicament, but refused to give up hope on Lea.
Lea was still half-conscious when she threw that punch, but she started to recover.
"They stopped, why did they stop? What happened?" Thought Lea, whose consciousness was returning. Then, she noticed Luisa keeping distance and looking more guarded than before. "Why is she so far? Did I do something?" Lea wasn't trying to hide her confusion, and Luisa noticed that.
"What's going on? She looks confused. Wait, does that mean that she threw that punch without thinking? Then, what am I doing so far away from her? I have to attack before she gets her bearings!" Thought Luisa and rushed in, which caused Lea to prepare herself for the attack. Luisa attacked with a right straight, which Lea ducked. Luisa didn't stop there and continued to throw a barrage of punches, but none of them was landing. Lea made it hard to hit her because she started to weave around while keeping her peek-a-boo guard.
"What was with those memories? What do they have in common? Am I getting to something?" It was hard for Lea to think about it, especially when she had to focus on dodging all of Luisa's punches. Lea didn't even attempted to land a single punch on Luisa, knowing that it wouldn't stop her. Luisa attempted to blow the guard with a big punch, but Lea used it to escape from the ropes. Unfortunately, Lea doesn't go far because she was still recovering from losing consciousness. Lea used the small moment of peace to think about the memories in her head. It didn't take long for Luisa to catch up to Lea and interrupt her thoughts with a barrage of punches. "Dammit, I almost got it. I just need time to think clearly." Lea's wish was granted because the bell ringed and the referee stopped the boxers.
The third round was over and both boxers headed to their corners.
"I almost had her, if she hadn't run away I would've had her. No matter, there's no way I'm going to lose, the next round is where I'll finish it," thought Luisa out of frustration as she arrived to her corner. Lea arrived to her corner, but she dropped to the stool, and the seconds didn't like that. Lea was severely damaged and tired. To make it worse, her face was bloodied from the nose, mouth, and the left eye was swollen shut.
"This is bad, Lea might not survive the next round, and considering how it looked in the previous one, she might lose by points. Chica, what do you think? Do you want to call it quits?" asked Alonso, who was worried for Lea's safety, but he noticed something on Lea's face. He could see that Lea was thinking on something. "What is it? You got something on your mind?"
"I'm not sure. All that I remember are little things," answered Lea, who was deep in thought.
"Well, one is what you said, about punches coming from the tail. Then, I remember a bottle been thrown to Hilda. Then…" That was the part where Lea started to think harder.
"Then what?" Alonso wasn't completely sure where Lea was getting to.
"Trying to catch a frisbee. I remembered that when I lost some of my consciousness."
"A Frisbee? More like hitting with a right straight. I don't know if you were punched too many times or just going crazy." That information got Lea's attention.
"Wait, I punched with a right straight?"
"Yeah, you don't remember, huh? Luisa was throwing a right straight, but you countered with a right straight of your own." After hearing that from Alonso, something dawned on Lea's head. Her mind started to put everything together, which took only moments to do. Lea put a new attack on her mind, which was a simple thing, but it might be enough to defeat Luisa. Alonso could see that on Lea's face. "You got something, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I just thought of it. I don't know if it will work, but at this point, I'm willing to try anything."
"Well, now is the time to put it to the test."
"Yeah. The next round is where everything is going to end." Lea had to finish it in the next round and quickly because she was close to reaching her limit. Luisa's corner was in a better mood than in Lea's corner.
"That was a good round, you we're definitely in control of it. The next one is going to be the decisive round, I'm sure of it," said George, who was confident of a victory.
"Yeah, but that counter actually hurt. I didn't expect an attack like that from her," said Luisa, whose damage wasn't visible, but she was also bleeding in certain areas and swelling was visible on her face. Other than that, Luisa could keep fighting.
"I agree, but it must have been out of desperation, it won't come again. How are you feeling? Do you still feel the effects of the counter?"
"No, I'm alright now. I should be ready by the time the next round starts."
"Glad to hear that. For the next round, do not let Specter rest. Just focus on the attack and you should be the victor." George preferred winning by KO because he knew that decisions couldn't be trusted.
"All right, I understand how unreliable the judges can be sometimes. I'll make sure to end it in the next round. It's for the best, any longer and it would turn ugly. I give my respects to you, Specter, you're the first of my opponents to have made me come this far. For that, I'll make sure to give you a quick end." Both boxers spent the rest of the minute to rest and plan their attacks. The seconds were doing their best to close any wounds and help their boxers recover. The minute ended and the announcer ordered the seconds to leave the ring. Lea got up from the stool and put her mouthpiece on.
"Did you finish it?" asked Alonso.
"Yeah," answered Lea.
"All right, good luck, chica."
"Thanks, coach." All the seconds left the ring, leaving only the referee and the boxers. The air had become heavy in the arena. No one in the audience knew who was going to make the first move, but they knew that the match was going to end with a KO. Both boxers prepared themselves for anything in the next round and waited for the bell. They didn't have to wait long because the bell ringed.
Luisa came out of her corner and started to slowly head towards Lea. Luisa wanted to see where Lea was going to move, so that Luisa could trap Lea and finish her off. Lea also came out of her corner and put her usual Peek-a-boo guard. After leaving enough space between her and the corner, she stopped and kept her position. What got Alonso's attention, was Lea pulling her tail forward and putting it in a tight zigzag pattern. Lea was prepared to unleash her new attack. She was just waiting for Luisa to be at punching distance. Luisa was moving slowly, but she noticed something different in Lea, but Luisa wasn't quite sure what it was. Either way, she kept moving forward, reached the center of the ring, and stopped. Lea couldn't move too fast with her tail in that pattern, but she could still move and she did. Lea came closer and closer to Luisa, and stopped.
"This is it. This is the distance, this is the moment of truth, and it all comes to this last punch. I hope that's enough," thought Lea.
"What's going on with Specter? She's being too slow, is she planning something? I better be ready for anything," thought Luisa. She started to concentrate and waited to see what Lea was going to do. Luisa didn't have to wait long because Lea unleashed her move. Without warning, Lea launched herself towards Luisa, which caught Luisa by surprise. Luisa tried to move, but Lea was going too fast. Lea landed a right straight on Luisa's face. The punch was strong enough to force Luisa to move back. Lea felt the feedback and believed that it was enough to hurt Luisa, no matter how tough she was. To Lea's surprise, Luisa didn't fall. She recovered her balance and kept standing.
"I-I don't believe it. That was my best punch, I felt it." Lea started to lose confidence. She put her hopes in that one punch, but it seem to have failed. After taking the punch, Luisa look straight at Lea. She was expecting Luisa to try to end what was left of Lea, but it didn't happen. Luisa just stood there looking at Lea, which got the referee's attention. The referee told Lea to stop and inspected Luisa, which didn't take long. The referee put his arms in the air and crossed them. The bell ringed, which declared the end of the match. Lea let her mouth hang open because she couldn't believe what just happened.
Alonso and Fergus got into the ring and headed towards Lea, who was breathing heavily.
"So that was your new attack, pull the tail as close as possible. Then, use the entire strength of the tail to launch yourself forward, creating higher acceleration, force, and adding your entire weight in your punch. A simple, yet effective attack. Not even Luisa could have endured such a heavy punch," said Alonso, who was surprised by the new attack. After Alonso said that, Lea started to collapse, but Alonso caught her and put her right arm around his shoulders. "Whoa, careful there."
"Did I win?" asked Lea. "Did I actually win the match? Really?"
"Yeah, you did it, chica. You won the match, look." Alonso pointed at Luisa. Lea took a look and saw Luisa been carried away by her seconds.
"So, I really won."
"Yup, can you slide?" Lea checked her tail by moving it a little bit.
"Yeah, I should be able to move around on my own."
"All right, let's go." At Alonso's order, everyone left the ring under the applause of the audience, congratulating such a tremendous fight between those two boxers.
Hilda, Alinda, and Salena were amazed by what just happened. They didn't expect Lea to use a new attack to win the match.
"That was an interesting Sunday Punch," said Hilda with a smile on her face.
"I don't know about that being a Sunday Punch, but I'm glad that she won," said Alinda, who felt her anxiety leave her body.
"But that was so awesome! She just launched herself, punched her, and won with a KO! A KO against Luisa!" Said Salena with wonder in her eyes.
"We should put a name to it," said Hilda as if it was a duty.
"Like what?" asked Alinda.
"How about, Super Punch?" Suggested Salena.
"Doesn't sound right, how about the Tornado Punch?" Suggested Alinda.
"Doesn't look like one," said Hilda and returned to her deep thoughts. They all start to think about the form, the effect, anything that could give them a good name. "Wait, I got it! How about 'Spear Strike'?" Salena and Alinda start thinking about that name. After thinking for a few moments, they accepted the name.
"Spear Strike it is," said Alinda.
"And…It sounds cool," said Salena.
"Well, let's go and see Lea." After Hilda said that, they all got up from their seats and start heading straight to Lea.
Lea was resting in the medical room. She was waiting for a medical staff to check her up for any dangerous injuries and heal any minor injury. The doctor arrived and started to examine Lea. While the doctor was giving Lea an examination, Hilda and the rest entered the room. They entered right on time to see the doctor patching Lea and announce that she was ready to leave at any moment. After that, Lea and her friends went to the locker room, so that she could change back into her street clothes. Lea entered the locker room, while her friends waited outside. Once Lea was done changing, she got out of the locker room and found that Alonso and Fergus were waiting with Lea's friends. With no other business in the building, Lea's group started to head for the exit. On the way, Hilda, Alinda, and Salena announced the new name for Lea's attack.
"So, we named Lea's attack, Spear Strike," said Hilda.
"Hmm, it has a good ring to it," said Alonso.
"I agree. It really suits the way the attack looks," said Lea, who was thankful that she didn't need to think of a name for it.
"Doesn't it?" asked Salena, who was glad that everyone liked it. After Salena said that, Lea stopped suddenly and said.
"Oh, uh, can you guys wait for me outside? I got to use the restroom."
"All right, don't take too long," said Alonso and the group continued on their to leave the building, while Lea went straight to the restroom. Along the way, Lea bumped with an unexpected person.
"Oh, Specter, hey there." Greeted Luisa with a smile.
"Um, hey, h-how are you feeling?" Lea started to feel awkward by meeting the person that she just fought.
"Me? I'm fine, nothing serious with me, but you can never be too sure." Luisa didn't sound worried.
"Y-yeah." Luisa could see that Lea was been too timid with her.
What's with that answer? Feeling bad that you defeated me?"
"Don't worry about it. I can't say that I feel happy about the result, but I don't have anything against you. It was a fair match, plain and simple."
"O-okay. So, you're heading home?"
"Yup, someone is waiting for me back home, so I can't take too long." Luisa smiled after thinking about the person who was waiting for her.
"Oh, then, have a good night."
"You too." Luisa started to leave, but stopped and turned towards Lea. "I just…I want you to do me a favor." Lea could hear some seriousness in Luisa's tone.
"Uh, yeah, of course."
"Huh?" Lea didn't expected that.
"Hey, if you lose in the next match, is going to really hurt. If you keep winning, I can feel better about losing against you. So, keep winning, okay?" asked Luisa with a friendly smile.
"Y-yeah, I won't lose." Luisa could see that Lea never thought of that.
"Well, take care." Luisa turned around and continued to leave the building. Lea kept looking at Luisa's back, but she remembered that she needed to use the restroom and headed straight to it.
Luisa was on her way back home. While on the way, she started to think about what to do. Luisa knew that she couldn't use the excuse that she was naturally made for light heavyweight, not middleweight. She thought of starting from a lower weight division and she didn't regret her choice. With that loss, Luisa decided to move to the light heavyweight division. With that issue over, all Luisa had to think about was an excuse as to why she had a broken nose. The swelling was going to take a while to go down, so she couldn't hide it. Either way, she was sure to come up with something, probably work related or something else.
The next day, Lea was ordered to take a few days off, so that she could recover from the injuries sustained in the previous match. Also, to go and get a doctor to check her for any brain damage, since she took many blows to the head. Lea did that in the morning because she didn't have anything special to do and wanted get it out of the way. Lea went to the doctor, got checked up, and informed that she showed no signs of brain damage. After Lea was done with that, she headed back to the gym. Lea entered the gym and heard some heavy punches, which got her attention.
"What's with those sounds? They're really loud to be normal." Lea looked around and found Hilda punching the bag. Lea wondered if there was something wrong with Hilda. Lea looked around, found Salena doing some weights, and headed straight to her. "Hey, Salena."
"Oh, hey, Lea. What's up?" Greeted Salena with her usual cheerfulness.
"Is something wrong with Hilda?" asked Lea with worry in her voice.
"Not really, why do you ask?"
"Can't you hear her punches? I think I could hear them all the way to my apartment."
"Oh, that, she's more than okay, she only gets like that when she has a match."
"A match? She has a match?" Lea didn't remember the last time that Hilda had a match.
"Yeah, I think she received the news a few hours ago."
"No wonder she's going at it with that much enthusiasm."
"Well, I've seen her train before, but I don't remember Hilda go at it like that."
"Do you think that there might be something important about this match?"
"That could be a good reason, but I know that Hilda is going to win in any case."
"Me too. Well, if nothing's wrong, I'll head back to my apartment." Lea was relieved after hearing that explanation.
"Oh, hey, how did it go with the doctor? Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, nothing serious. The doctor said that I should just rest for a few days and I'll be as good as new."
"Cool, then I won't keep you. I hope you feel better tomorrow."
"Thanks, good luck in your training." With that said, Lea went to her apartment and Salena continued with her training. The day went by and Lea spent it resting.
After a few days, Lea was fully recovered and ready to go back to work. The next day, Lea was working in the gym, until she was greeted by Hilda.
"Hey, lass." Greeted Hilda with a wave of her hand.
"Oh, good morning, Hilda." Greeted Lea with a smile.
"How are you doing today?"
"I feel better after a few days of rest."
"Good to hear that, sorry I haven't talk much. I've been…kind of out of it." Hilda felt a little guilty.
"Oh no, don't worry about it, everything is okay."
"Great, and guess what, I have some news of my own." Lea could see that it was something wonderful for Hilda.
"About your match, right? Salena told me you got a match coming up. I wish you the best of luck."
"Well, that wasn't exactly it, but since you bring it up, I'm going to explain something about this match."
"Well, if I win this match, I'll be the next MSNABF (Multi-Species North American Boxing Federation) champion."
"Really? That's amazing!"
"Says the one who was a world champion," said Hilda with playful sarcasm, but Lea took it seriously and started to feel bad about it.
"Uh, no…That's not-"
"I'm just messing with you, don't worry about it. Just you wait, lass, I'll be the next world champion." Lea was glad to know that Hilda wasn't offended.
"I'm sure you'll succeed."
"Count on it. Well, I better go and do my workouts. I have to be ready for my next match." Lea could see that Hilda was motivated.
"Okay." With that, they both return to what they were doing. Lea continued with her work in the gym, and then, she was called by Alonso.
"Chica, come to my office." Ordered Alonso from the door of his office.
"Okay," said Lea. Then, she stopped what she was doing and headed to the office. Once she got inside, she could see Alonso seated behind his desk. Alfred wasn't around that time, so she slid in front of Alonso and waited for him to talk.
"We have found information on your next opponent," said Alonso with complete seriousness.
"Really? Who is it?" asked Lea.
"Her name is Karen Carter, with 4 victories, all KO, and no defeats. She's an in-fighter, if we can actually call it that."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I think it would be best to show you, instead of just telling you." Alonso picked up the remote and started the DVD in the TV.
The DVD started by showing the entire ring. Then, the camera focused on a Lamia, who surprised Lea. The Lamia had such a beautiful face. Her skin was a pale white, but not the type that Lea had seen before. The Lamia's skin was maintained carefully, like a model, and her hair was a beautiful golden blond, picked up in a bun. Considering the bun, her hair might be back-length, and some strands of hair appear to have a wavy look on them. Her eyes were amber, a little close to the color of her hair. Lea had never seen a Lamia like her and cannot believe that someone like her would pick boxing of all the sports out there.
"Coach, is she really a boxer? It's just…hard to believe," said Lea, who was having a hard time believing that a boxer like that existed.
"You're going to be reminded that looks aren't everything in boxing." After Alonso said that, Lea simply continued to watching the match. Karen's opponent had olive skin tone, dark brown eyes, and brown hair. It was obvious that she had built a strong body. Karen was completely different, her body wasn't showing that much muscle. The bell ringed and both boxers came out of their corners. Something caught Lea's attention, which was Karen's stance. Karen's opponent was throwing jabs, showing her out-boxing style, but they were easily avoided. Karen's movement were fluid and graceful, something that could catch the eyes of anyone watching. Karen quickly followed the return of the jab and entered in an in-fight distance, which was a troublesome distance for an out-boxer. Karen's opponent tried to create distance, but she wasn't allowed by something completely unexpected. Karen started to move differently, moves that weren't usual in a boxing match, and started attacking with strange punches. She used uppercuts and hooks, but the movements seemed different. Her opponent kept her eyes on Karen and didn't see the right hand coming to the side of the opponent's head. The punch landed and the opponent tried to attack with a left jab. Karen dodged by turning left and bending back to an unbelievable angle. Then, Karen attacked with a right uppercut to the opponent's chin. Another clean hit, but that was a good opportunity for the opponent to attack, especially since Karen bent to an angle that was difficult to recover from. The opponent attacked with a downward right, aiming at Karen's face, but Karen did another unexpected move. Karen spun in that position, stood upright, and punched the opponent with a left hook to her head. The attack made the opponent go down, the referee stopped Karen, and sent her to a neutral corner. The referee checked the downed boxer, taking only a few moments to declare the match over and Karen the victor.
The office was quiet, except for the TV still playing the DVD of the match. Lea's expression wasn't one of shock or surprise, but confusion.
"Without a doubt, that was a very strange way to in-fight, but here are the results of the match," said Alonso, who wasn't showing any surprise because he already saw the video.
"She won the match with only three hits, and those moves. Where did she learn that?" asked Lea.
"Well, there's a little story behind that. As far as Alfred managed to find out about her, she was a previous dancer. Of what type, we don't know, but she left dancing for some reason and picked up boxing. Ever since then, Karen had been winning."
"Wait, so she's basically…" Lea couldn't believe what she was about to say.
"That's right. She's using dancing moves to fight. This is the first time I hear, and actually see, such a thing. I don't want to make you nervous, but I'm not so sure how to handle this one."
"No matter, I'm not giving up after getting this far." Lea was determined to win.
"My thoughts are exactly the same, we'll think of something later. For now, focus on the basics, your match will be in two months."
"All right, I'm ready for this." Lea's confidence didn't wavered. With hard work and good thinking, she was sure to find some way to defeat that deadly dancer of the ring.