Date: June 7, 2014
Takahiro's graduation is scheduled out of season in accordance with the testing of other shinobi newly inducted into Kirigakure.
Kirigakure's Dammed Arena
The stands of Kirigakure's Dammed Arena are once more filled with village inhabitants. With their bodies and their noise and their tension and their heat, with the life of them. The multitude meant warmth, despite the chilly breeze blowing as a herald of winter's approach and the increasingly overcast skies.
The people had all gathered for the sake of examining those who'd recently joined the village — to watch a little blood sport. There's been a recent influx of people joining the ranks of Kirigakure as genin, the each of them having spoken and been judged acceptable by the Mizukage. Due to the numbers, it was decided that a formal event would be put together to see their levels of ability and to blood them into the ranks of the village hidden within the mist.
"There is one who was not taken in as a genin but as a student," spoke Meruin from the floor of the arena, his voice an abrupt bellow that cut through the general noise of the populace, prompting them to begin quieting. "One who'd been brought into the ranks of Kirigakure's shinobi academy. After a short time of observation, it has been decided that this was a mistake, the student judged of already possessing the capabilities of a true member of Kirigakure's sword and shield. We shall not wait and waste time and potential. So today, you have the treat of witnessing what serves as the boy's graduation test. Not a spar, not a battle of two men but of man and foul beast. He shall stand alone and show us whether or not he was worthy of our approval. Kirigakure, greet he who seeks his honor beside yours, Miyamoto Takahiro!"
To the sound of raised calls, Meruin looked to the participant staging rooms.
Takahiro would have been standing in his staging room, while preparing himself. The boy had spent a week or three in the academy, and learned his fair share. He stared into the depth of his mind, while waiting for his signal. In one flash of thoughts, there were many scenes to appear. His mother saying her goodbyes, not more then seven months ago. His short travel with his former comrade and teacher, Katsurou-sensei, and more recent, him being taken in by Kaguya Yuuka and her daughter, Yuriko. It all raged throughout his head while adding his last peace of clothing to his appearance. The red charm that Amata and Kiji had produced for him in his first day in Kirigakure.
The crowd's volume rose, and Takahiro knew it was his turn to make a move this time. He looked one last time to his charm, before tucking it away into his shirt. He kicked his legs into a steady motion, before appearing onto the floor of the Arena. His face, turned on his average expressionless emotion, would raise up. He would take a good look at the crowd, before switching his gaze to the Mizukage. His breath was heavily, which was mostly due to nerves, and the boy would greet the crowd. Not by a hand gesture, but by his nervous tic. He would reach with his hand for his hair, moving it to the left before sighing. Shortly after, his head would flip back the hair, regaining his original position, while waiting for what was going to happen next.
This was an exciting day for Yuriko to witness, though it felt a bit odd being on the other side of the arena, in the stands rather than in the grounds arena itself. And the atmosphere… it felt different too. Perhaps though… it's her that's different, rather than the crowd. Her bright eyes glance over her shoulder at the people, peeking at them through snowy bangs for a long pause before turning her attention back towards the railing, leaning further against it as Takahiro appears from the doors of the staging room. The young girl's expression brightens then, the crowd cheering harder in anticipation before the Mizukage spoke up, the sheer volume lowering significantly as their Kage speaks.
Meruin watches Takahiro in silence as the boy entered the arena and gave greeting to the crowd and performed his little known sign of nervousness. Soon enough, the Mizukage dips his head in a nod to the boy and says only, "It is time. Stand in strength, Miyamoto Takahiro," with enough volume to be heard by the boy but not by those within the stands.
This, though, could be.
"BRING IN HIS TRIAL!"
And so marked the beginning of the event, the crowd spiking to welcome it. Meruin raised two fingers to his temple, sliding them along his forehead until they reached the other temple. The gesture for Greatness, traced across the span of where Kirigakure's Hitai-ite would sit. His blessing of sorts given, the man vanished to the Kage's Dais to spectate.
No sooner had that happened then a tidal wave lifted from the base of the dam, a steel crate held upon its crest. The wave traveled the length of the Dammed Arena until it neared Takahiro, dying out as it approached. In the end of its life, it deposited the steel crate some 20 feet away from the boy, the water simply traveling forward like surf on a beach.
It hadn't yet opened. And whatever was within it was clearly unhappy about that fact. And likely many limbed, judging from the staccato sound of its attack on its metal enclosure.
Time was growing short. Kiyoshi knew this, and yet, still found himself hitting the arena as soon as he heard that Takahiro would be undergoing his promotion exam. It was as much as the least he could do for skipping out on meeting the boy as promised as it was meant to get a measure of the boy's skill. Seeing Yuriko up ahead gives him pause for a brief moment, followed by a heavy sigh as he kept going to join her at the railing. A greeting is on the tip of his tongue by the time he reaches her. However, it never leaves his mouth on account Meruin's latest announcement. The moss-haired giant fights down the urge to glare down at his sensei, and instead focuses his attention on the crate. He doesn't bother trying to guess at what's inside unlike others in the stands. Kiyoshi merely attuned his senses so that he wouldn't miss it when it does reveal itself, eventually.
Takahiro would have listened carefully to the Mizukage, making sure he noted everything he said. Across his face, which remained expressionless, a drop of sweat would slide down his temple. He would mutter softly enough so only the Mizukage could hear. "Thank you Mizukage."
The tidal wave appears, and while it dies down, Takahiro doesn't take the risk. He jumps at least a few feet back to create more distance, before watching the box closely. He would look up once more, while tapping his charm. He then would open up his ears, starting to pay attention to the sound inside the box.
~I hope that creature has muscles, otherwise I'm toast.~ He would note down in his head before taking in another way of going. ~If the creature is a large insect, I will have to resort to my chokuto or hope he could put the thing on fire.~ It was his fear it was an insect, but nevertheless his emotion stayed the same. "Time to see what this beast has to offer."
He said expressionless.
Yuriko leans against the railing with the length her arms, bent at the elbow as she peers into the arena intently. As the wave rises, she blinks her bright aquamarine eyes at the surf before the water comes crashing down, stretching out into the arena like waves at a beach. Effectively delivering the metal container to it's opponent. Yuriko blinks again, oblivious to the crowd and her surroundings as she frowns, staring at the crate. Definitely not a giant mutant beetle. So… it could be anything. She leans back to scratch at the side of her snowy head, frown only deepening.
A dangerous whirring fills the air, the sound of whipping chords heard as they lash about the steel container they were just released from, its walls beginning to collapse — the motion helped as they're smashed by the creature held within it.
Or rather, the creatures.
A seething cloud of red figures — Rain Ospreys, the many birds coming back together in the sky above the remains of their cage, the sound of their flapping and screeching caws growing louder as they find freedom and a potential meal. They're an animal found within the depths of the Blood Marshes, named Rain Ospreys for the shower of blood that they leave behind as they tear their prey apart. They could be found in hordes numbering thousands, but this one seems to be made of far, far fewer.
Still. There were plenty enough that the birds felt safe enough — or hungry enough — to go on the hunt, the cloud flocking not towards Takahiro but towards the stands themselves. Many at the front can't help but to recoil at the swift assault, drawn up by fear of sudden death and dismemberment. They're saved from such a fate by the barrier that presents itself, a ripple of blue energy raising skywards and to the sides from the point of impact above the wall of the stands. The Blood Ospreys respond by rising skywards, soon turning to funnel towards Takahiro himself.
Closer, closer, too closer, upon him — they would swarm the boy in their swift aerial assault, numbers seeking to surround and tear into him with beak and claw.
The boy would see the birds cloud around in the area, before quickly starting to focus his chakra while breathing in and out deeply twice. The boy would over think his strategies, before nodding slowly. A cloud of birds, in a large area, lot's of muscle, however many targets to shoot at. He guessed he should go for a more arial route perhaps.
The boy would have noticed the flock of bird coming towards him, and would quickly make two handseals. Takahiro himself would have jumped back, however a lightning clone would have replaced Takahiro's original position. The birds claws went deeply throughout the clothes of Takahiro for a short moment, before the clone would disappear in a soft zap and a flash of lightning.
The boy would make another handseal, after that moving his arms up into the air before releasing his lightning chakra into the air towards the flock of bird, trying to electrocute them. Another thought spooked through his head, but he first wanted to see what this might have been. "I am not sure if these birds got the average tiny hearts."
Kiyoshi takes hold of the railing. It wasn't fear that prompted him to do so, but anticipation of what was to come. Dark eyes narrow as the sound becomes clearer, more familiar to the man. Skin along his finger blackens and hardens and eyes widen moments before the creature come to light. Rain Ospreys.
He acts without forethought. A hand goes for the hilt of double-axe at his back and a guttural growl emanates from behind bared teeth. Before he has a chance at parting the red tide of doom, some sort of barrier does his job for him, surprising the giant almost as it probably did the birds themselves. Still, rather than take solace in the fact that the crowd (and more specifically, he and Yuriko) were spared, Kiyoshi turns his attention to scanning for any weak points in the barrier before it fades completely from sight.
The cloud of carnivorous birds tore into the flesh off — it dispersed as what turned out to be a clone burst into a sparking flash of light, though it immediately recoalesced and traveled a curving path around the arena.
The Rain Ospreys simply moved too swiftly at this point in time, leaving the charged area behind before it grew riddled with jolts of electrical discharges, though the sudden energy seemed to shake them up some, their constant screeches rising higher in pitch.
But it seemed they were not yet dissuaded from trying to find food in the boy who wished to be genin. Perhaps they were starved prior to this. Perhaps they were cognizant of being trapped in the area. Or perhaps they simply hadn't been harmed and still didn't see Takahiro as any sort of threat.
Regardless, they approached him once more with their zipping speed, though not getting so close as before. Instead, they gave him space, forming a crimson tornado of red feathers and avian caws. But their travel was swift… and the wind seemed to move at their behest, shifting oddly within their tornado. The air spun with abrupt celerity within their ring, moving swiftly enough that it was an easily visible blur.
And then the tornado burst apart, the animals flying away from it and the ring of wind speeding inwards towards the boy who was at their center. As they flocked back together high above Takahiro, that circle of air would collapse and crash inwards at the boy, a razor edge capable of cutting even as it battered.
This was something… Blood Ospreys should not be able to do.
The boy grunted softly, seeing none of the birds get hit by his cloud of electrified air. He would start to rethink his strategy. If he couldn't hit them through the air, he had to go for a faster approach he figured. But before he could think of what approach that was, the flock of birds went out of their books, creating a razor sharp tornado that would crash into…
… a lovely piece of wood. The boy would have switched places as fast as he could, while taking a run towards the side of the arena. In the meanwhile, he was fully thinking of what his intent was going to be. The flock was apparently fast enough to fly around his air of electricity, so it was time to make things faster.
THe thought for a moment before having it. It's a flock, in between a barrier of the area and the ground. He figured that if he could trap them next to one part of the barrier, and a static cloud on the other side, the should not be able to escape. He bit his lip for a moment before rethinking it. He had no clue how to do so, thus there should be another option. "What about muscle impairment." The boy muttered before making a few handseals before opening his hands, shooting a barrage of tiny little lightning balls towards the flock of birds.
"Let's see if they can take this."
Reorganized, the vicious birds begin their descent on the boy once more, funneling towards him. The lightning balls fired towards them meet with mixed results, many of the masses simply flying around them, though every second or third seemed to hit a mark, jolting one of the flock and sending its soon to be corpse to the ground far below.
But they were undeterred by the assault, only pressing onward. Towards the ground and Takahiro. Whether or not the boy moved, they would crash into the earth in a kamikaze dive, a bone-felt thump released as well as a strong gust of wind that would be forceful enough to lift Takahiro from the ground.
And it was this moment that the birds would seek to capitalize on, the flock leaving a maroon stain of blood and feathers on the ground as they rushed the Kirigakure genin-hopeful, strong claws gripping him and taking him upwards, tossing him from group of birds to group of birds, clawing and pecking until they dropped him.
The boy hoped his attack had done more, and before he could even think an reaction, the flock of birds would hit the ground next to him, sweeping him up above the ground. The boy got confused, and before he knew it, he got attacked by the flock of birds.
The pecks and the feet of the bird engraved themselves deeply into Takahiro, it would last for a short while, but the birds did what they do best, let the blood rain. At the time Takahiro would have hit the ground again, close to nothing was left from his face. Three big marks, that probably would have been claws would be over his face in a diagonal way, and the blood was gushing out. His robe long jacket was shredded to pieces, and the only reason it remained on Takahiro's body was due to the belts that had clipped the chokuto onto his body. It would show a parts of his shoulders and arms that weren't unharmed either, and next to the pool of blood the birds created by their kamikaze flight, a coverage of blood would be on the ground.
Takahiro landed right on his face, clipping dirt onto his gashed open wounds on his head. The boy would move himself up slowly, before reaching for his jacket, tearing off three peaces of cloth. He would try and jump away from the flock while reaching for his head. The cuts may have been diagonal, but he figured he should better cover a part up in order to prevent blood from pouring in his eyes further. The boy strapped one peace of cloth on his forehead, while then moving the second piece towards his mouth, strapping it so it covered his nose and mouth, and of course, the biggest amount of the cuts.
The boy however was rather in a mental break down inside. The boy had tried to electrify them while they were in the air when they were searching for a place to go. He had tried to shoot bolts of lightning to make their hearts pop. It may have thinned out the flock a little, but then really… only a little.
The boy only saw one thing left to do. If they could go Kamikaze and deal their damage, so could he. His former plan… trapping them. It was a no go, but he figured he should invert that situation.
The boy would jump towards a wall, while building up the chakra inside of him. He would continue making handseals, while he waited for the flock to arrive to attack him. He had to anticipate. If they would do their lovely hurricane trick again, the only thing he could do and try to set the hurricane on electricity and that way try to hurt the flock of birds. If they however would hang in close, and tried to attack him with their claws again, he would release his lightning chakra into the air.
He only hoped for the best, but if it didn't work, he was surrounded, and that might be the end of him.
True to form, the relentless creatures simply curved their path into the air as Takahiro was released from their cooperative grip. The crimson beasts took their flight path in a simple loop, beating wings soon taking them on yet another crash course towards Takahiro, beaks gnashing with their bloodlust, some desiring for more of the flesh they'd only gotten a hint of.
Speeding, racing, needing their way forward and closing in on the boy who'd run himself into a wall, hungrily flying straight forward right up until the point clouds of electricity bloomed right in front of the flock. Their caws turned into shrill shrieks as the lightning struck Rain Ospreys by the dozens, convulsing forms falling one after another, a fleshier rain falling from the gruesome cloud.
When it emerged from the other side, the flock looked decidedly harried, noticeably smaller than it had been before, empty patches clearly torn from it bulk as though something had bitten a chunk from it. Moreover, they were frenzied. The Blood Ospreys simply rushed Takahiro, seeking to launch into him, birds grabbing hold of him to scrape him against the wall as they ascended. They'd throw him to the ground, shrieking murder, a few moments after the boy's face was grinding against the chakra barrier rather than stone, chasing after him without preamble.
The boy, who had emerged the electricity from his arms, would make another seal quickly after seeing his halfly worked strategy. The boy would have ran, while the clone would still stand there with his arms up, ready to be grasped by the birds. The birds tossed him against the ground, and the clone poofed away.
Meanwhile the clone got blatantly tortured, Takahiro would have ran for the wall closest near the behind of the thinned out flock, Jumping up against it, put is feet at the top of his arial raise on the wall to give him the extra lift off while he kicked himself towards the flock of Birds, so busy with the clone. He would make a few quick seals before opening his palms again, and a barrage of tiny little shock balls would try and hit the flock of birds. The balls were meant to let the birds muscle twitch in order to either wear them down, or just kill them completely.
Once the clone vanished in that signature puff of infuriating smoke, the harried avians simply flew in a compact ball, a roiling, seething mass of frenzied activity. Takahiro choosing this time to leap at them, many were unaware of the assault he pushed onto them until the spheres of spasm inducing lightning until it slammed into them, causing their muscles to lock up and their bodies to fall to the ground. With the swarm aware of him, though, they quickly regained their purpose.
They flew in his direction. But not at him. Despite his launching himself towards them, they seemed to.. turn on eachother. Growing nearer to him, above him, the flock of Blood Ospreys simply began to tear itself to pieces, birds tearing off wings and disemboweling one another. Once more, these savage creatures lived up to their namesake, their cloud loosing a deluge of red rain to the ground all about. And once it touched earth, the loud hiss of their contact spoke of the danger to it. The corrosion in it. Its touch now like acid, the self destructing horde's blood flew at Takahiro from a multitude of haphazard directions, risking the boy's very life.
After shooting his balls of lightning, he got rather surprised. The birds panicking was worse apparently then their covered attacks, and that was why it was not so weird why Takahiro got hit by parts of acid blood. Out of reaction he made a few seals, and a second Takahiro appeared while he tried to dodge the rain. The clone however didn't get in time, and even though it shielded him from the half of the cloud of blood, mainly protecting his head, the rest felt past the clone, onto Takahiro's shoulders.
Takahiro landed down onto the ground while grunting so loud, that even the people out of the arena might have heard his attempt to tear his vocal cords. The acid fluid ate themselves into his flesh. Luckily for him most of it landed on the parts of his shoulders where his collarbone hit the skin. But it took it's effect, eating bits of his bone from both sides, and some muscle tissue with it.
He was close to defeat, either him or them was going to end, and if he didn't do something right now, it was him ending. The boy was out of idea's. He thinned out the flock, check, he tried to surprise them, check, he tried straight on force, check. None of which helped enough…. check.
He had no clue anymore what he could do, neither what the flock would do. If they were going to continue their chaos, it might be the best to try and get away from the flock. IF they attacked him head on, he could use the same tactic once more. None of which would have a huge chance, but he would have to try something.
The boy would make a handseal while a second Takahiro would appear. It would jump up, while it would take out the clone chokuto while looking like he was going to slice to the birds. However that move never came. Whatever the birds might have done with the clone, the moment the clone was halfway his flight up, the real Takahiro would jump, making another seal before opening his arms, trying to surround the flock that might have or might not have been distracted by the clone, with electrified air.
The frantic Ospreys' attack on one another began tapering off, partly, no doubt, due to the fact that the majority of them had been destroyed. And then the lightning clone rushed them, blade drawn. The near rabid creatures immediately launched towards it, the suddenness of their movement enough to be forceful. The animals screamed bloody murder upon the thing.
And then they flew into convulsions, electricity pumping through their bodies. Until now, they had always survived based on sheer numbers and the fact that they had kept moving. Now, after having been still and simply being herded towards the clones, the vastly diminished flock of Rain Ospreys found itself consumed by the electrical cloud.
Down nearly to the last of them, two swerving away in survival, they fell to the ground and twitched in the seizures of their death throes.
Takahiro would come down on his feet. The blood, still gushing out of his face, would have soaked the pieces of cloth around his face with red blood. The upper part of his body was either open by gashes or acid burns, and the jacket he once wore was nothing more then a piece of skirt. The fight had taken his toll, and the boy had a struggle to stay up.
Takahiro would see the world move in front of his eyes, and he almost lost consciousness. However he regained himself, landing on one knee however and he would look at the remaining birds, swerving for survival. The boy would pick himself together before moving closer the the box the birds had been trapped in, before leaning on it's edge. He didn't even bother to wave, and this time around, he showed expression. Lovely thing about that was however that it was covered in blood, had two pieces of clothing, one hiding his forehead and one hiding nose and mouth.
He reached for his gashes on his face, only to quickly retract his hand again. It stung like he had been fighting a group of wasps without poison. He then would look at the battlefield, not knowing if it was surely over, or if he missed something.
Meruin's voice rings out just before he appears beside the boy. "I present to you your new comrade in arms, Miyamoto Takahiro, genin of Kirigakure by blood and victory!" As the cheers rise up for a graduation passed and a good showing, the Mizukage turns to Takahiro, inclining his head.
He extends his hand, the Hitai-Ite of Kirigakure finding its way into his palm from his sleeve. "And I present to you," he spoke, not loud enough for the masses but enough for Takahiro, "Your forehead protector, marking you as a member of Kirigakure's shinobi force. To the path towards the strength you need to survive in this world. To a purpose worth surviving for. It is pride and power and promise, one and all.
"Wear it well, Miyamoto Takahiro."