Date: March 3, 2014
What is to be the first of perhaps many an explosive sit downs between Kiyoshi and his mentor Isra.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Dynamite Mentor Isra!"
Forest Glade - Unknown Path
Forest Glade [Land of Water]
The Land of Water is not dense with trees and plants like the Land of Fire, but it does have a significant degree of forested areas for a landmass of its proportions. The trees are those appropriate to a humid and chilly climate, with vegetation that either has a high tolerance for salinity in the water or adaptations to filter salt from the local water supply. Further inland, the trees are almost completely well-suited to fresh water.
There are few established paths through this part of the forest, with only a single route and a few signs to indicate the way to Koumorite Village. Few people come this way for fear of being accosted by marauders, bandits, or wild animals.
The sound of running water comes from the south.
There are always problems out here, but not always and today happens to be one of those peaceful days. Bandits, wherever they are, appear to be elsewhere along the paths in this forest which means Isra and Kiyoshi don't have to worry about being bothered. Today was just a day to talk and figure things out. It was nice and clear, clouds filled the sky with intermittent sunlight breaking through every so often. A mild breeze caused the trees to whisper every time it passed through and the scent of spring filled the air.
In some civilian clothes, with the exception of carrying a scroll containing her weapon, she walks slowly along the path while speaking to Kiyoshi saying, "Okay, so we've been paired together and now we need to know each other. All about each other, almost everything. So we can be the best pair ever. Right?" She grinned.
No hesitation. No care. Just the simple truth from the youngest Moto's perspective being delivered promptly without so much as a glance towards his mentor. The only thing of any concern to the boy seemed the clouds since his head was tilted skyward, but there was no real telling with the youth at the time. His visor reflected the world at large, and only that, nothing more. "Not really anyways anyways, but what do I know." He shrugs carelessly before folding his hands behind his head, or trying to at first. Belatedly does he recall the axe handle strapped that sorta ruined the attempt before. "Ugh… Where we going anyways?" He asks, regarding his sensei finally.
"Nope? Why not?" Isra questioned with mild confusion. "What do you know? There's lots of things you know. Things that you know that I don't," she states. "Also, we're not going anywhere in particular. We're just taking a walk. Did you want to go somewhere? We can do that," she offers. "All that included, tell me some things about yourself. What are your likes and things you wish to do, want to do or like to do?" She started. "For me, I like studying extensively regarding seals and their properties. I wish to become a master at them and perhaps use them for various purposes as well as design different kinds for different means. I want people to enjoy seals, both shinobi and ordinary people alike. For example, seals can store up items for long periods of time without them suffering from damages that would come from the elements. Swords stay sharp, food stays fresh, drinks water and rations can be made available to people. That sort of thing," she explains.
Kiyoshi cannot keep from smiling behind the mask upon catching the confusion from Isra. The smile falters, then fades all together as she spoke on, prompting Kiyoshi to turn away at some point and focus on the road ahead. No answer would be forthcoming from the boy or even a response beyond his folding his arms across his chest. "… People watching and… painting." He pauses and takes in a breath, eyes closed to further steady himself. "And studying too… not art, erm, not always. Just… Well, that's it I guess." He half-turns his head away. "A-anyways, th-that *clears throat* that reminds me… What happens to things stored away like that if the scroll is destroyed?"
"People watching and painting, got it," Isra nodded to herself as she took this information in. "Studying is nice, though. Doesn't matter what you study to me, as long as it's somethin' you enjoy," she smirks. "That's it for now? Not a problem. I have a bit to chew on for a little bit. As for the scrolls or seals, it's likely that those things will be lost, that is, unless fail safes are included. That's the fun of seals. They can be very complex and have many different levels to 'em," she smirks. "It'll be real fun figuring out different kinds of seals that can prevent that sort of thing," she states.
"If I might ask, what kind of things do you paint?"
Kiyoshi simply shrugs awkwardly in response to it being something he enjoy. In truth, it was all he really had to do besides training. Just thinking along the lines got his shoulders to sagging a little and a sigh to escape his lips. "Mmm… I… Mmm…" He simply trails off into silence with his head bowed in thought for a moment or two. "Meruin-sensei… *headshakes*… Face painting.. Well, I used to anyways. Now that everyone.. *frowns* most knows the Mizukage is my sensei people either shirk away or try to suck up to me. So, I rather not deal with that… Not that the former bit didn't happen enough as is," He murmurs the last bit dryly.
"Hmmm. Want to try face painting on me, then?" Isra wondered. "I'm up for it whenever you're ready or have the materials and stuff. We can set up a time for it," she states. "Meruin is my leader now. Used to be just like me, but rose up to take the reigns of Kiri. Now I answer to him. Feels weird sometimes, but I can adjust to it," she chuckles. "But I'm okay with face painting if it's alright with you. I won't run away or try and make excuses about it."
"Eh?" Kiyoshi takes a step back. "N-mmm… ah…" He trails off into silence and just bows his head. "You trust Meruin… sensei?" He deflects somewhat awkwardly as he drew to a stop. No matter what, Kiyoshi was not going to move from that spot until he got an answer. Poor form and rude n'all, but… it had to come out eventually. "'nd don't try to suger coat it either, Isra-sensei. I… Just don't, alright?" he asks.
"Well, I don't know how he feels about this sort of thing, but he appears to be someone that saves business for business and play for play, y'know?" Isra remarked. "I find it hard to figure him out sometimes and in some ways, I still gotta study him and figure him out, but I don't think he's against your skills of face painting. I just imagine it'd need to be something saved for times when business comes around. If you've got some off time or free time and wanna face paint, that's for you to do," she states. "If it helps, we don't gotta be in Kiri when ya do it. We can be out here or someplace else," she admits. "It's all about what you're comfortable with doing. One thing I do want you to do is feel alright with this. If this ain't the time, just let me know and we can save it for at time where you feel more comfortable. But…take me for example," she grins.
"Everybody knows me to be kinda wild, like to work with explosives, I got the Sword to prove it. So what'd they do for me? They desginated the duty to me to light all the fireworks for the new year festival. In that same night, I was also attacked by a shark and blew it up, so…yeah," she cleared her throat.
Kiyoshi lets out an inaudible sigh. She misinterpreted his concerns regarding Meruin. The rest however does keep his attention, eliciting a studious look about the young Moto as she spoke on. But afterwards, the boy is simply at a loss for words. He starts walking again instead of commenting on anything, prefering to hold his piece until his thoughts were more sorted. After a few meters of reaching nothing but dead end thoughts — that is, presuming he's allowed to even make it as far — Kiyoshi slows down a little and peels back the mask before giving Isra a sidelong glance.
"Are all girls so weird?"
"Only to guys," Isra winked. "Girls can always come across as odd when they're not all that understood. Girls will experience the same thing with guys. It's universal," she chuckles. "But over time, once you get to know a girl and she gets to know you, things don't seem all that weird. Of course, there's an extra class of weird. I mean, if she's wearing a diaper on her face, well, that's not someone you want to be around, y'know?" She snickered. "That's just pure crazy."
Kiyoshi was with her up to the last part, but after that well… all he could do was shake his head in exasperation. "Right… well, that would be… that." He murmurs with a roll of his eyes. "How long does it usually take… to… to get used to the weirdness?" He asks with genuine curiosity. Granted, he kept his gaze away and tried not to make it seem like he was -too- interested now. Isra personality was far too unnerving at times; an excited Isra even more so.
"It depends. For some, it takes a short time and for others it takes a while, but weirdness is a part of that sort of thing. Weirdness is usually the first stages, then you start to see that what was weird wasn't so weird after all," Isra grins. "Once you're past that part, things start to get a little easier. Just a little, at least, but it's all a work in progress," she explains not trying to draw too much attention to what he was mentioning. She didn't want to embarrass him too much.
After all is said and done on Isra's part, Kiyoshi tilts forward a little from the new found weight on his shoulders and murmurs something along the lines of "Oh.." before slipping into silent mode again. Unless given a reason to otherwise, Kiyoshi wouldn't say anything else for at least a few minutes… or perhaps even longer. "So… what else is there?" He asks cautiously.
"That is what you're gonna have to figure out on your own, mate," Isra grins. "If I told ya, it'd take away all the experience," she grins. "But know that all that weird stuff is normal. Nothing goes on in that area without it," she shrugs. "All that aside, what kind of missions would you say you're interested in?" She wondered. "What areas do you think you need some work in so that we can try and gear some stuff towards what you need." She came to a stop near a small pond and decided to drop to the ground and relax a bit. A stone was picked up and tossed across to skip and eventually sink into the water.
Kiyoshi sighs. "Aren't things like that up to you higher up folks, 'nd ain't that for you to figure out?" He shakes his head. "I'm just a kid. I know a bit, but it don't mean it's right, so…" He trails off from there with a shrug and moved on to stand beside Isra. Seeing her so comfortable already, Kiyoshi unsheathes the over-sized axe strapped to his back and buries it blade first into the ground at the side before plopping down in front it, back at rest against the flat side of the blade.
"Sort of. I'm giving you a bit of leeway here. Missions are up to us, but I want to try and cater to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Knowing those things will help me to tailor things so you can work in decent conditions. We'll work towards building up to a regiment where you'll eventually learn to take what's available. It's all about building you up so that you'll be effective when there are times where you're needed and don't have much of a choice," Isra explains. "If you want me to, I can set everything up for you and just do it as I normally would, but that wouldn't be fair to you."
Kiyoshi lofts a brow in confusion, but merely turns away and settles for just taking things as they were. Still, he can't help but glance over to her a couple of times after she finished. Something just kept nagging him about it all. "… Hmm… Then in that case, I need to know something first… How much do you really know about me?" He asks at first, then after a light face palm he amends with, "I mean, besides all that stuff from just a little while ago. And, what made you decide to mentor me?"
"I don't know much about you," Isra states. "The only way to learn about something is to study it, right? I don't know exactly what drew me to you, but I know that we're partnered together now and that's what matters. Do you know anything about me? What made you want to work with me when I decided to choose you? What made you not say no?" She asked. "You did have that right, after all."
Kiyoshi grumbles at her initial response, and wanted nothing more than to get up walk right then and there. But… that would've been rude. And also probably resulted in Meruin's intervention if he got word regarding it. It was already bad enough he had to be on guard regarding his not making up to Sei yet.
Utlimately, instead of an immediate answer, Kiyoshi just pulls his legs up towards his chest and rests his arms and chin atop them. "I did, didn't I…" He murmurs. "…. I didn't say no because it didn't fill right to, and cuz we've trained with each other before so… I just figured it'd be easier too… and less awkward." He says, muttering the last part as he looked away out of embarrassment.
"Alright, sounds decent enough…" Isra went silent for a few moments. "Do you still want to train with me?" She questioned. "If so, then let me know…." She silenced herself once more as she'd been analyzing this whole conversation up to this point. As she thinks over the subjects covered, she asks, "You appear to be apprehensive towards the Mizukage. What's the issue that you have with him? Be honest, I'm not here to judge you." It was the smaller things, really. The body language, the uncertainty. She wanted to know about these things.
Kiyoshi lets out a mental sigh of relief before turning back to regard Isra. "I'm still here, aren't I?" He says good naturedly. The next words to leave her mouth however quickly wipe the small smile from the green-haired youth's face. "That's already been settled." He stated with finality, but truthfully. Mostly. What lingers was something he wished to settle in his own way and his own time. The look in his eyes bespoke of as much. "Now, are we gonna get training today Isra-san?" He would ask frostily.
"Hmm…" Isra hummed softly. "We can get in some training, certainly. Would you like to test your skills against me or do you want a simulation of a particular mission parameter?" She asks. "If you don't have a choice, I'll choose something at random and will have you engage in it."
Kiyoshi hummed right on back in answer. Ultimately, he chose what he thought was the lesser of two evils. That choice being announced just as soon as he rose onto his feet and cleared his bottom of dirt and the like. "Against you first." He outstretched his left hand and clasped the hilt of his weapon loosely and would wait for a response. He would have if not for a tinge of guilt deciding to echoe from his heart. "There's been something I've wanted to find out this way, so even please don't hold back too much on my account."
"Fine by me," Isra started. She summoned her blade from the scroll she carried with her and laid the scroll aside. She then began to focus some chakra to use for this battle. "I won't hold back on you. You have that promise," she said as she continued to concentrate her energy. "If you want, you can have the first go at attacking me," she grinned.
A faint smirk is offered, and then the mask is drawn back down in place. "Fine by me." Despite his own claim and offer given by Isra, Kiyoshi doesn't attack right off the back. Instead, he focused his chakra, concentrating that energy in his gut before having it circulate throughout the rest of his body. For a moment he entertains the idea of taking things a step further as well, but refrains, if only for now. Pebbles that happened to be beneath his feet at the time crumble beneath the force of his lift off leap, axe held high with the intent of bisecting Isra down the middle using the share weight of the weapon and gravity. A powerful blow, but only one meant to test her reflexes in spite of the what seemed the intent behind the stroke. He quickly follows up by drawing the blade around, propelling himself using its momentum into a round house kick and a spinning low slash combination.
Isra raised her weapon to block the attacks made by Kiyoshi and she smiled when the last one partially penetrated her defenses. She saw the blood drawn from it and shook it off, though it did sting a bit. All part of the experience. "It's nice you're close. This leaves me room to make the explosions much more stronger." She shoved him off and darted forward with her blade in tow, raising it with her arm to send the platform of explosive tags down on him in a three strike combination of explosive hits.
"Fuse." He mutters just as she shoved him away. The confusion from being moved away instead of her gambling on the moment only lasts for as long as a half a second after he recovers from the shove. Sharpened reflexes save him from the first rain of explosive seals, but it is the beasts interference that helps him bear the worst before being forced to rely on his own power again. By the end, Kiyoshi is left panting about eight meters away from Isra with skin slowly shifting back from bleached white to a light tan again, awaiting for the smoke to clear to focus on Isra again.
"Don't… do that…. again…" he mutters darkly under breath. The words were meant for another, but Isra might still pick up on it yet and misinterpret the command. Even if she does and tries to request for an elaboration Kiyoshi doesn't hesitate to rush her again. This time he played it a little smarter by taking the axe in one hand and digging rocks from his pocket. Each one he flicked at Isra with suprising accuracy for a guy in a full face mask. Then came the blade itself, a passing blow across the midsection.
Isra blocked the attacks with her weapon again, finding herself subjected to that axe once more. Bleeding ensues once again. "Took a liking to those rocks, hm?" She grinned. Granted, she liked that he used them. They're not a common means for attacking which could throw others off. Speaking of throwing off. She jumped back this time instead of shoving him away and as she separated herself, she flung her blade around her head and sent a ream of paper towards him. It'd ring around his body and upon snapping the blade, it'd catch around him to hold him still so that there was no hope of him escaping from her attack. She followed it up with some explosive tags she summoned up and tossing them forward to surround him. Admittedly, she didn't have much to say about the remark he made. Maybe she'd figure out more about that later.
He grins, but that was something that would be lost to her thanks to the mask. A pity perhaps. Regardless, that moment of arrogance is a costly one. He couldn't track it all, for her counter attack was just that fast! He would leap regardless, intending on putting some distance between them if nothing else, only to caught mid-air and forced back to the ground through gravity. "Omph!" Bound and bleeding, Kiyoshi tried to force himself to stand again. The ream bound his arms to well, making his efforts comedic at best before the follow-up turned the place he stood into a small crater…
Standing amidst the dust within the tathered remains of his jacket and undershirt is Kiyoshi, axe still miraculously in hand, mask barely intake, and the sole eye revealed through a crack to be narrowed and focused intently on Isra. Even after the smoke clear his body still seems to be smoking. But wait… Did he just get a little bigger this time? He certainly bore the physique of a more in shape kid than before! As odd as that is, it's his wounds rapidly closing and flesh returning to a pale hue that might draw attention more.
Isra had been mostly content with not knowing what Kiyoshi looked like, but she'd be lying if she thought that part of her didn't want to see what was beneath that mask. With him in her trap, she smirked as he struggled to escape and disappeared in a mass of fire, smoke, and earth. What she didn't expect was to see him come out larger than before. How the heck did that happen? At the least, she was able to capture a glimpse of his eye from a hole left behind in his mask. That's a solid mask, there and… "I see you're healing," she states. "That's an intriguing ability," she complimented. Looks like she may have to try a bit harder to fight him. Knowing that there's still distance between the two of them, she decided to counter it by utilizing a tag that she hoped would cancel it all out. "Eastern heavens," she spoke aloud before casting it forward towards him.
His eyes narrow further into a glare. Was she mocking him now? The boy had to have been delirious from the pain for his mind to jump to a conclusion like that. Isra grants him mercy, however, the form of that mercy is a snap back to reality and the danger he soon found himself in as the seal array rapidly began to manifest itself from where Isra's tag landed. Crippled by fear, Kiyoshi cannot even think to shield himself or run away. Instead, he closes his eyes all together and trembles then and there…
His right arm is cocked back.
Skin bleaches bone white..
Fingers warp and fuse two by two…
The modified hand is dropped down onto terraform….
Muscles tear, ligaments stretch, bones grow — all and more in rapid succession, resulting in Kiyoshi rising rapidly into the air on his arm, then given that extra bit of momentum in mid-air from the rapid transformation snapping back to normal. It isn't much, but it is just enough to result in his landing roughly just outside the seal array. There's a half-asleep look to him during those first few moments afterwards, though the most disconcerting thing besides the feat from just moments ago is the change to his eyes and skin. Both were brighter. Albeit the former was more eerie to behold.
"…" She didn't say anything. Not now, at least. What she witnessed just happened to be something that she didn't /think/ she'd be experiencing. She knew his skills were odd, but she didn't know much about the boy beyond him being from a particular clan. As far as that was concerned, his skills appeared to be normal, but the way he looked now suggested something different. She stood in place and processed this all while trying to determine what her next move would be. Her reserves were decent, but she could use more and she gets the feeling this fight was going to get a bit more difficult…Just a bit. She set the head of her blade to the ground and leaned against it momentarily. Her skill before wasn't effective only because he managed to dodge. She didn't want to keep attacking him at this rate, not because she didn't think he'd survive, but she wasn't sure if it'd just leave to continued upset.
She lifted her blade once more and sighed. "This just got interesting," she remarked with a smile. Looks like she'll have to be careful. She'll go forward, but isn't sure if she's dealing with the same kid from before. She rushes forward, possibly the boldest and dumbest move she could imagine doing right now, and intends to strike at him once more with more power behind her explosive strikes.
The beast may have temporarily usurped his body to protect the boy, but that didn't mean it intended to linger. Kiyoshi, however, upon regaining some semblance of focus refused to allow it to retreat now. There was no way of conveying what he knew would need to be spoken in this moment. Isra was already priming herself to attack again. Not now with words, but by action he delivered it all the same. He charged forward, boldly, seeking forgiveness and to help Kokuo understand why he wanted to fight on his own in this moment.
Ultimately, while the empowerment from the Gobi doesn't fade, it did not mean he accepted the boy's reasons or recklessness. That would come later. In the meantime, the distance between Isra and Kiyoshi rapidly closes into non-existence. He leaps, closing the distance further in that last instance and preventing her from getting the proper strike angle on him. His intent: strike a floating rib in passing. The pain would be debilitating, but not enough to keep her from at least attempting one last potshot before being overcome should he succeeded. That being the case, the boy's back is exposed for a moment upon landing. The explosive seals crash into his backside, destroying his jacket and the straps to his mask while also shielding him from view for a few moments. Those few moments aren't wasted. The smoke and debris are slashed through in one motion with a two handed strike, blunt edge first for a blow powerful enough to double Isra over if she wasn't careful.
'He's fast,' Isra thought to herself as the distance between him and her was closed within a heartbeat. She quickly wrapped the scroll paper from her blade around her body and concentrated chakra into it to harden it like iron. She then proceeded to jump out of the way in the opposing direction to distance themselves. Her close attack didn't work, so she guesses she'll have to maintain some distance. Still, the hard part about this was settling him down so that she could end this battle. There was a lot to discuss and she needed Kiyoshi in a condition that was supportive of talking.
She decided to draw out another eastern heavens tag to use against him in the hopes she could accomplish this goal. "Kiyoshi," she started to speak his name hoping that he may respond to it. She cast the tag forward at this moment, taking a gamble against him.
A gutteral growl emanates from Kiyoshi in response. It was a reflex in the state he was in, and an ill-timed one perhaps because why else would she attack? Regardless, host and jinchuuriki were for the moment one in their desire for the most part. However, that is not enough. The last swipe left him dizzy and overall unbalanced; thus, the seal array captures him. He grits his teeth tightly to keep from screaming out from the pain, but only the result of Meruin's training and Kokuo taking the brunt of the mental trauma keeps him from crying out. Nevertheless, the boy was done. More so in fact as a result of Kokuo's continued support siphoning a portion of his stamina just to replenish the stolen life force energy.
He locks himself in, trying in futility to stay standing. His legs still give out though, leaving him with but the axe to keep him from collapsing outright then and there instead of kneeling with the weapon as support now.
Even though the majority of the damage was healed, Kiyoshi was still tired. Isra had to use that in order to keep him down, otherwise, if he was in better condition, she probably wouldn't be in the state she's in now. "Kiyoshi, you have to let me know," she started. "Is this what you were talking about?" She questioned. "Is this what you were struggling with?" She wondered as she began to approach him, having watched him collapse with exception of support from his blade.
"You can talk to me about this." At least, some semblance of speech would be welcome. She still isn't sure where his mental capacities are at right now.
While not quite on the verge of passing out Kiyoshi was close enough to that point to find it difficult to make sense of what Isra was saying up to a point. As the last vestige of life is traded from a virtual endless pool of the substance, Kiyoshi lifts his head up and forces himself to rise again. Caked in sweat, debris, and remnants of blood here and there, Kiyoshi was the shining definition of bad condition. A small smile still graced his visage before he straightened out some more and swept his bangs back against his scalp.
"Your… aren't as bad.. as I thought." He says, evading the questions all together.
"Yeah, well, I try," Isra replied back to Kiyoshi. She supposes she could get an answer later. She wouldn't admit she was scared out of her mind right now. Who knows what could've ensued if she kept going with this fight? She managed to wear him down and thank goodness she did. She didn't want to have to let loose a bijuu. That'd have been nuts! She kept all of this contained behind a thick layer of Uzumaki happiness and collectedness. "Let's stop here so you can rest," she stated. "You're all healed up, but you probably need some sleep to regain that energy back. I won't take you back to Kiri just yet, so…we can stay around out here. I'll watch you just in case some lug nuts come in and try to take advantage of us, but…seeing what damage was here, that probably won't be a problem," she chuckled.
Kiyoshi rubbed at his nose using his free hand. There was an acrid — no, not quite acrid but odd scent in the air. He would've cursed the Gobi for heightening his senses so if not for his tracking where the scent was coming from. He gave Isra an inquisitive look at first, tuning out her words for a second or two in the process. "… Right.. alright." He murmured before taking a moment to bury his weapon, and then plop down and lay his back against the flat side. As soon as he was in a comfortable enough position he could feel his body start to shut down. Fighting it only hastens the process, but he does to try, if only say something to Isra before his body betrays him. Alas, he can hardly get out some kind of apology…