Always with the neck, the back, and the usual blind spots, Kyoshi thought as she absentmindedly let her sword float from her hand.
Rather than fall the jade sword hung solidly in midair, spellbound to her earthen grip, and with an explosive crash intercepted the claw in mid-strike. The sword blew to pieces from the force, but it had intercepted the strike nonetheless.
As the jagged stone teeth flew to an arm's length, they slowed from their flight as if gravity for them had ceased to exist, tumbling freely like a ring of asteroids about her, each shard moving in much the same way earthen slabs moved to her will.
Kyoshi had a moment to glimpse the sudden realization descend upon her opponent's face before he took an alarmed leap away, and once a wise distance away considered another angle of attack, one that most likely hinged on his physical speed...just like so many Air Benders she had trained against.
"What is wrong with you people?" Kyoshi called out, head shaking and all. "Air Bender, Air Mystic--no matter what you call yourselves, all you prancing warrior-monks are always the same: quick to act, quick to retreat, quick to re-engage. Never once considering the consequences of your actions because you can just run away."
Her opponent remained hovering in mid air, an unusually cautious move certain to keep his bloodied feet from trespassing upon her domain. But for how long, she wondered, could he afford to stay aloft?
With a sudden fall, the Mystic assumed a stance certain to cannon forth.
"Oh...so you think speed and flight are your allies?" Kyoshi said as she discarded the broken sword and set both feet together in a deep lunge, hands interlocked in a firm hold; the rattling jade woven into her armor clung to her body tightly, cast into the same planetary grip that held the orbiting fragments aloft.
"I see you understand that while my ordinary Earth Bending has more impact," Kyoshi continued, "I will never catch you with a discipline so cumbersome and unfocused. Please allow me to demonstrate the First Burial of a Jade Witch."
The young Avatar levitated ominously as if possessed, head drooped forward.
The helmet slipped off to slowly fall at her feet as if under water; a wild shock of straggly black hair erupted forth, spilled into a dirty mop that covered and darkened her darkened face. Only a grinning mouth remained while a single jade fragment ceased its orbit.
A toothpick sliver splintered from the larger fragment and shot out--propelled with the same force used to cleave boulders in half, straight for the Mystic's eyeball; her opponent flexed backwards to dodge, an impossibly lightning-quick reaction.
The miniature knife struck the wall behind him, detonated an audible crack as it disintegrated into a cloud of green dust behind him. The small cloud immediately ceased moving. The fine particles, too, fell to her thrall.
"A word to the wise," Kyoshi said, her sinister voice cracking with the strain; she weaved the tiny green cloud toward her opponent. "If I were you, I wouldn't let a single needle into my body or breathe in that dust."
Another orbiting fragment from her broken sword splintered; a dozen more needles shot out, each almost certain to either pierce the target or disintegrate against the arena wall and join the building green cloud.