Date: February 7, 2015
A pair of genin duel within the dammed arena during the Kiri Exams.
"Challenge issued, Challenge accepted"
Land of Water, Kirigakure
The challenge was set for noon, though the Moto had arrived early to get a feel for the landscape and select his weapon. And while he may have saw or sensed no hint of Naoya or his brood attending to similiar needs, Kiyoshi did not doubt for a second that the Okumo wasn't observing in some manner. Of course, the knowledge — belief doesn't dissuade him from going about his business, or attempt subterfuge. It did not matter to him so long things proceeded.
By the time the moss-haired giant is satisfied, only a few minutes remain. The mist was thinner than most days in the arena, though visibility and warmth remained diminished thanks to heavy cloud cover. He stood tall, bare of a jacket to keep out the cold, or the giant scroll he seemed taken to carrying about. Both layed discarded off to the side. A myraid array of weapons layed scattered about the weapon. The vast majority were far to heavy for a normal man to lift, let alone wield with any proficiency. The closest, an kanobi (oni club), stood dangerous end first in the dirt before Kiyoshi, and was kept from falling due the man's hands resting atop the pummel and each other.
He had been direct and to the point earlier. "At noon today I would like to spar with you." Nothing more, and nothing less unless prompted otherwise.
The rules were made very clear, no genin or candidate was permitted after the stroke of ten at night, no words objected from parts of the candidate being outside. Kiyoshi didn't sense movements of the young Okumo's brood as they had been there since the previous day, watching over others training, relaying observations to their host. Techniques, tactics, patterns were watched from more than sixteen different angles and each one with over a half a dozen points of view.
A few more moments would pass by before Naoya would walk into the fields. His clothes were the same as the night before, thin as if it was nearing summer not within the returning thick of winter. Letting his thumbs hook into his belt hoops, the young teens hands hung from that point when he pauses. "You won't finish your training with Yu-chan yet you want to spar with me? You're odd" was said mostly calmly. Similar to the day before, Naoya's eyes were dim tone of amber, giving him the appearance of recently becoming blind.
Kiyoshi sweatdropped and rubbed at the back of his head awkwardly. "I knew I was forgetting something.. though…" He murmurs, inclining his head slightly. "Recovery from the Blood Marshes took time, and.. I had other duties to attend to." The man spoke the truth for the most part. Hardly a day for the past two weeks have gone by in which he wasn't running around for one reason or the next, cursing his elder brother Surumu during much of that time, only to apologize moments later. It wasn't his fault that Meruin continued to ask much on the sly.
"Anyways, I take it sense you're here, that you accept then?" Kiyoshi asks calmly, straightening out as he reaffirmed his original stance from earlier.
Tsubaki was released from class early for no particular reason. Well, the reason was actually that the teacher she had was angry enough at a student that a room was destroyed… But nothing too bad. She makes her way to the arena, climbing into the stands to watch those who are present. Her gaze flicks between Naoya and Kiyoshi, the girl wondering what exactly they were planning to do. Fight, obviously… But it was the how she was interested in.
"You made a challenge I came. Simple. Kaguya-Hozuki-san issued a challenge to Kirigakure in this arena fall before last.. I attended. Doihara-can sought to test his new tools.. I accepted. Why should I not accept this as with anything else?" Tilting his head to the side, Naoya spoke calmly, not seeming to boast but state facts before ask something honestly. "You asked us here, so we are here. Nothing more, nothing else."
Tensing his shoulders, Naoya rotates them inward slowly before drawing them back sharply then letting them lax. Turning his head slowly, the young Okumo began to look around slowly, looking towards the others already in the arena before turning back to Kiyoshi, watching him expectantly. "What are the rules that you're laying out? You are the one who called the meeting, so you're the one who sets them."
Kiji was in the stands as well, watching the two below her closely. Her eyes were dark but not red.. not yet. And she was perched on the edge of the arena's walls much like a crow, though now with white hair it might present as a bit more 'delicate' in appearance. Kiji's skirt settled over her hips and it's easily seen that she wears a pair of shorts under it for just this reason. She's not far from Tsubaki really.. So she noted the younger girl with a sidelong glance, sizing upthe child with her senses as well as her eyes.
A curt, if albeit awkward nod is followed by the Moto reaching behind himself and freeing up his gas mask; the only other abnormal implement hanging from his belt besides slightly oversized cleaver that dangled by its hilt. "None, I guess." He presses the club down with his free hand, ensuring that the spikes along its ridge would keep it propped up for awhile.
With that out of the way, both hands work in tandem to secure the mask in place, blocking out virtually all means succumbing to a gaseous attack. Most, at least, but it was better than nothing. "First to surrender, or to lose consciousness and remain so for longer than ten seconds are the only rules. Beyond that.." Kiyoshi shrugs half-heartedly and flashes a small smile. His check of the mask complete, the man dons it without further preamble before taking hold of the weapon before him. "Works for you?"
A light hum vibrates in his throat before shrugging his shoulders lightly. "Well enough then." Closing his eyes, Naoya slips his hand from his belt hoops and let the left one fall limp to his side, while the right gently strokes between the hilts of two different swords. Not seeming to think on the matter much, the silk wrapping around him pulses lightly, constricting.
Relaxing his left arm would cause a soft metallic click to be heard, three kunai were let loose from within his sleeve and caught between his fingers. "Lets go then, ya?" In a whip like motion, Naoya flings the trio of blades in front of him, their target the chest of the Moto that challenged him.
The giant answers not in words, but in action. With a one-handed grip, the club sweeps up, down, then across the horizon as if it weighed no more than a toothpick, deflecting every blade. One, however, was poorly warded off, resulting in his chest still being hit. He smirks after having glanced towards it briefly. Muscles and bone keep it from sinking too deeply.
Still, rather than leave it lodged there until something external moves it, the blade is pulled and flung back towards Naoya's leg. Kiyoshi charges in its wake by a foot or so, waiting until the last moment to try and bring the club around to catch Naoya in the midriff, then sweep low again for his legs.
Tsubaki wonders a bit at the mask Kiyoshi dons, but just continues to watch. Her eyes analyze both movements with a curious, yet not practiced, gaze. The girl glances over to Kiji when she arrives. but that's all
Hopping to one spot to the next, Naoya manages to side step the returning kunai being tossed at him, letting it sink into the ground beside him. The second blow was much as the first, stepping around it without much issue, though the third blow was underestimated, managing to graze again his lower left leg before moving away in time. Stepping forward, Naoya draws a curved short blade, slashing faintly at Kiyoshi's chest before stepping even closer. Reaching out with his left hand, the silk of his arm lurches forward, attempting to ensnare the man to allow him to follow through with another forward thrust.
If not for the mask, Naoya may have seen Kiyoshi's eyes widen with excitement. Even without, there are subtle clues. Some of which may explain his overconfidence in not firming his stance properly, costing him a slash that opened his chest up further… or so it seemed. His form explodes into smoke, revealing one of the Moto's scattered blades having taken punishment.
The charade doesn't dissuade the Okumo in the least. Safety outside the peripheral only lasts for a moment before Kiyoshi is forced to hop back, retreating from the immediate reach of silk, as well as granting just barely enough room to bring the club to bare, warding off the thrust attack. Kiyoshi's retaliation is almost instantaneous once the ground is beneath his feet. A o-katana is snatched up, and with a thrust of his own he moves forward, interchanging light low sweeps with the club with a more heavy handed slash with the blade.
Hearing the familiar sound of fighting drew vague interest, Yuriko appearing in the stands to idly cross her arms and leans against the railing above. Perhaps it shouldn't be all that surprising the combatants, Kiyoshi and Naoya, though considering it's the chuunin exams… she wonders just how long they will keep up their pace before someone gets seriously injured. "Hm."
While Kiyoshi's excitement grew, there was something misplaced within the young Okumo, even after taking the first blood and yielding it in turn, his expression was mostly muted though he seemed more pleased than not. The first thrust was widely avoided as was the second before his footing slipped, not allowing him to move out of the way quickly enough, costing him when the blade slashed deeply across his thighs.
A hiss left his lips as he kicks off and away from the man. Using his left hand, Naoya moves it over to his other sleeve briefly before pulling it out, coated in a slick paste which he strokes over the wounds, prompting them to quickly clot the bleeding and seal over the wounds. 'Yes yes.. I'm staying focused.. No I didn't.. We won't..' was muttered softly, though the first emotion he had, annoyance was now clear.
Kiji glanced over at Yuriko as the girl joined them from her perch on the arena's wall. She tilted her head then turned back to the fight… Sighing she moved then to her feet, moving closer to Yuriko and speaking softly to the young Kaguya. "They're being stupid. Kiyoshi said the fight ends when one loses consciousness for 10 seconds. We might have to get between them. Can you stop Naoya if it comes to it? I'll handle Kiyoshi."
True blood is drawn; and yet, rather than press his advantage as Naoya treated himself, Kiyoshi pauses. His grip tightens on the handle of both weapons in hand as battle instincts press him to make a move. Casting aside the club reaffirm his resolve to wait, but only just. It mattered little in the grand scheme of things. His body was practically a weapon itself, awaiting only a will to guide it. Still, it is enough. In the meantime, the 'minor' wound suffered so far is given time to knit itself together, leaving no physical memory. "Ready to continue, Naoya-san?" Kiyoshi asks gruffly, tightening his grip further upon the blade now at his side.
Tsubaki has partially disconnected.
Yuriko faintly lifts a pale brow and turns her head to glance at Kiji, meeting her eyes as she listens. A small smirk eventually tugs at the corner of her lips, "They're male, when aren't they being stupid?" she murmurs, humor in her voice before she turns her attention back to the fight. It still was just a spar, wasn't it? "Mm, yeah… I could." Yuriko says softer. "But I'm not sure if I should. Interrupting their combat and getting involved… is a pretty big deal. It's demeaning. I think… I will only if one of their lives is at stake…"
Kiji smirked at Yuriko's comment about males then crossed her eyes at her response. That figures. She was too good to stop her (possible) mate from breaking an exam rule because of testosterone in his blood? Figures. "I don't find caring that Kiyoshi is not disqualified as demeaning." Even without Yuriko she would step in if needs be.
+pose "Aye.. We didn't ask for pause, we didn't take neither.." The skin exposed from his slashed pants didn't stay exposed for long, the thin layer of silk that covered much of his body rewove itself without the aid of any spiders. Raising his blade long ways in front of himself, Naoya strokes his fingers along the blade, mixing his blood and the solution together against the edge. "If you wish you stop, we won't say otherwise." Moving the blade away from himself, the young Okumo points it towards to Moto, before lightly twirling the blade inwards. "Lets.."
"Aye.. We didn't ask for pause, we didn't take neither.." The skin exposed from his slashed pants didn't stay exposed for long, the thin layer of silk that covered much of his body rewove itself without the aid of any spiders. Raising his blade long ways in front of himself, Naoya strokes his fingers along the blade, mixing his blood and the solution together against the edge. "If you wish you stop, we won't say otherwise." Moving the blade away from himself, the young Okumo points it towards to Moto, before lightly twirling the blade inwards. "Lets.."
He listens, but most of his attention was diverted to the works of the spiders. Silent amazement gripped him, yet he shook himself, both figuratively and literally, allowing free thought to roam again within. His eyes narrow after catching the last few moments of the stroke. Despite whatever concerns that spawned as a result of the sight, he grinned as he lowered his stance and slid a foot slightly back in preparation to lunge forward and meet the Okumo head on. Granted, the chances of that were slim to none, considering how the clan wasn't known for being that direct.
Exhaling a light breath, Yuriko shifts her weight and leans up some, without breaking her gaze from the arena below them. "If it was over something small, being disqualified would be silly, but that isn't it." She lifts a hand and lightly rubs at the back of her snowy head, trying to find the words. "There's always been friction between Kiyoshi and Naoya, and sometimes combat is the only way to 'talk', get a good measure of one another and earn respect. Maybe that's what they're doing, who can say." Yuriko lightly rolls her shoulders with a small shrug. "Besides, I trust both of them enough to let them decide when to pull out. Because they both know that I will kick their butts otherwise."
When Kiyoshi moves quickly back into close quarters, a faint smirk appears on the young Okumo's lips, rotating his wrist before moving forward. With slightly lidded eyes, Naoya's slash didn't aim at vital points, seeming content aiming at the larger man's abdomen and draw cutting away if they managed to find their mark. One after the other the cuts were made before moving off, letting the momentum carry him past the point which he cut. Even though Naoya's expression was faint, the silk he was wrapped in pressed firmly into his skin, causing his reaction to accelerate for fleeting moments before slowing down more than they once where before the match started
There is no hesitation on the Kirryu's part for even a moment. The smirk was telling, and though he risked much to gain an advantage, Kiyoshi still stepped in to meet the blade. Flesh transformed into fur and bone meet metal, slowing it down without allowing the taint coating the blade to flow into an open wound. Without the momentum, the second strike is easier to overcome in terms of speed. If not avoided, a crippling throat strike using his hand would give the Okumo pause long enough for the Moto to get a good hold and drive the boy into the ground. Hard.
"Yield?" He stated firmly more than asked, but paused long enough for an answer. His blade during that moment was held at the ready to stab him through the skull… not that he intended, but still.
Something about Kiyoshi's attack causes the young Okumo to act different than he had been. The strike at first appears to me a clean blow only to have the punch move through an after image of the teen. The second grip to slam him wasn't avoided but advanced upon with unnatural bursts of speed, moving forward, attempting to drive an elbow into the Moto's throat in passing.
The blurring strike was the beginning of a flurry, continuing with using his foot to try to kick into the man's shoulder to knock him off balance. Following the first blow were two additional slashes from the curved blade, luckily there weren't any traces of the solution he had coated it with prior, all the while, a grin was widening on Naoya's lips.
Kiyoshi's eyes widen for an instant, then narrows as twists about to correct the mistake. For the second time within a few heartbeats, he underestimated Naoya's speed. The best the Moto can manage in a short time to reinforce his neck with bone, and adding a soft cover of fur, only to still be overcome. He staggers back but regains his footing, only to kicked further off balance.
By some miracle he manages to keep his sword arm moving, deflecting the first slash, then capitalize on the blades length to try and get a free swipe in before the boy can escape its range. Regardless of success, the movement buys him the time to reaffirm his stance and step in, slashing almost widely for the chest, and arms, then switch for a more stable sweeping strike at the legs.
Not once did Naoya raise his blade to block or push off and deflect the slashing strikes made against him, he kept moving. The teen often found himself dancing just out of reach of being cut, while at times he was a little too slow and was cut into again, but not as badly as at first. During the exchange Naoya dances around the strikes, he stepped closer, slashing his own blade dangerously close to Kiyoshi's own, attempting to cut into the man's arm while risking his own.
'Forget to raise a blade to Yu-chan.. not raised one to Kiji-san.. but raised one to me..' was softly said with a fleeting pause. Stepping forward again, the young Okumo ignores the fresh wounds, and slashes once more. 'Tell me..' His voice was becoming more clear and his tone was rising as he presses his question with another slash. "Why?"
Though blood was drawn, Kiyoshi felt no satisfaction like before. Without even realizing it, the man was begining to sink again, back to the time of the Blood Marsh. A place where one can derive satisfaction only came from either finding lengthy respite and a successful kill, not merely wounds. A whisper — he knew not where it came from or even understood what it spoke of, but the feelings conveyed provided focus.
Focus that allowed him to adjust his swords in time to deflect the double-edged cross counter. It scatters briefly as Naoya's blade finds its mark a second time. But not a third time. The shock of Naoya's words almost guaranteed it however, and prompted his own questions to form.
They are to go without a voice in the heat of the moment. He steps forward, forcing the Naoya's blade wide (or so he hoped), ending the clash as well as creating an opening to try and sock the boy full on in the face. Without thinking, Kiyoshi discards his weapon as he moves onwards, testing Naoya's defenses with punches that held little finese save the last jab.
With his blade forced to the side by the suddenly powerful block, Naoya looses his grip for a moment before grasping it in reverse, keeping it snug along his arm. Shifting his feet rapidly, the young Okumo eludes Kiyoshi's first strike, and after the second, he side steps it completely and hooks, trying to jab at the bend of his elbow before stepping out of striking range again.
The grin that had been growing on his lips, once again begins to fade, the young Okumo's breath becoming still, calm once again. 'Yes yes.. I get it..' was mumbled as he continues to move away but more slowly. Under Naoya's skin, the brood began to move subtly, focusing where he was bleeding, soon slowing the blood flow if not stopping it with webbing outright. "Moto-san.. Why did you really call me out here? This is hardly playing around, closer to a warm up for something /else/. I prefer knowing the trap I'm in than not."
The counter was percieved too late. Trapped between desire to punish and need to protect, Kiyoshi fails at both in the end. However, just as quickly as the pain is register, it is forgotten in the next moment. The Kirryu clenches his fists and shifts his stance, readying himself to pursue. Once more he found himself given pause by the Okumo's emotions. At least long enough this time for words to be spoken.
"Trap?… Hmm… If there is a trap, it is not of my making. You and I…" He trails off there for a moment and inclines his head. During the pregnant pause that follow wounds that had gone untreated before finally begin mend. "It is as you say, a warm-up for the rest of the exams. Though in hindsight, I'll admit to making a pretty big assumption about how they'll end and.. if I'll even make it as far." Kiyoshi sighs heavily, relaxing his stance finally to scratch at the back of his head.
Shifting his grip on his blade, Naoya extends his arm, aiming the blade at man's throat for several lingering second before shifting it away and higher. The young Okumo didn't look away from Kiyoshi in front of him but his eyes lid slightly, the tip of the blade was focused onto the trio in the stand that were relatively close to one another. "They are already watching.. waiting for one of us to drop into a blood lust over 'warming up'. The other have yet to draw close to us, several of the other candidates are simply watching us even now."
After he speaks, Naoya brings the blade he hand been using to his left palm, wiping it slowly, cleaning the blade before sheathing it. "Also as for passing.. Why are you here unless you were willing to anything to pass? Everything that you won't give your life for is expendable. Cast it away, along with your doubts. We'll be waiting to see if we'll press you into a corner to make sure we succeed." Raising his left palm upwards, it redoubles itself in silk, packaging the blood and tonic from the blade so that he could rip the patch free, soon slipping it into a hip pouch for safe keeping.
Kiji watched the exchanges below closely, her senses open and calculating, watching the two combatant's chakras and health levels. Both were getting a bit beat up but nothing too worrying. She shifted her stance, still watching the two below her. She narrowed her eyes on Naoya as he pointed his blade at those in the stands, watching for any sign of attack.. But he was merely guesturing. Kiji watched the two speaking, still and silent… for the moment.
Tsubaki has been silent as she watched from above, only listening to conversation. Both Yuriko and Kiji, and Naoya and Kiyoshi's words were noted. She was piecing together the … dynamics of the group slowly. She looked over, a short glance, at the Shimizu. A similar look was aimed at the young Kaguya. Then finally she looked down towards the arena to focus on what is being said. Some of the more interesting words and motions.
He doesn't flinch away from the blade, nor react to it in expression. Even if Naoya had succeeded in piercing or slashing his throat, the blade would not reach far enough to tap his spine. Kiyoshi trusted his reflexive shapeshifting much, and his Bijuu… more so. Attempting a beheading from meant a delay the man could take advantage of; thus, the Moto's confidence strengthens.
Only once does Kiyoshi allow his gaze to shift from the Okumo, to see what he meant. He had heard the arrival of others, but the mask obscured much of his sharper senses. It is for that reason he is visibly taken aback by Kiji and Yuriko's presence. He turns back to Naoya, feigning confidence long enough to complete the turn calmly. Still, his face burns behind it…
"The means do not always justify the ends, Naoya-san. But you are welcome to your path and whatever hollow victories lay upon it." Kiyoshi pauses and takes calming breath, then folds his arms across his chest. "But if you hold true to it, let it not cross my own, or that of my mate."
"The means.. to me.. matter very little. Do I work towards what I desire? If yes.. then no price is too high. A comrade, a camp, a city, a village? All are prices." Closing his eyes, Naoya dips his head lightly towards Kiyoshi. Almost as quickly as it went tense, the silk that tightly bound him, loosens as his tension fades. Turning to the side, he shifts to angle himself between himself and the seats where the girls sat. "Everything has a price, but not all prices are the same. I won't bother you or your mate lightly. Your price is rather high.. your head also holds deep costs which would need to be offset. Her cost is.. and isn't comparable to your own, but still significant on her own."