Date: December 1, 2010
Crystal Man, Crystal Man. Made-out-of-all-kinds-of-crystals-man. Will somebody buy him? Too expensive. Crystal Man. Crystal Man is a jeweler's man. Lives his life on rings and bands. Does he have a thing for ladies' hands? Shiny man, Crystal Man.
Sand Woman. Sand Woman. Crystal Man hates Sand Woman. Sand Woman fights. Sand Woman wins. Sand Woman.
"First World Ninja Competition - She Might Be A Giant: Kureno vs. Ruri"
Peach Pit Stadium Arena 1 Ring - Kusagakure
It was noon. The slow decline of the sun from it's highest point had bothered none but Kureno. He should be back at Suna, this was the fourth day he was here. And yet, he couldn't go back to Suna for the same reasons he wanted to be there. Why was life so complicated?!
Yet, there was always a sure way to get the mind off of trivial things such like.. that. And that was to fight. An act Kureno was familiar with, where he had to use all his brain power and focus it on the present instead of the past. So, what the hell.
Quickly, he finds his way to the arena, apparently there hasn't been a fight in some time, and Kureno was told there could be an opponent. So, he walks into the arena, sandals imprinting footsteps on the sand, reminiscent of the Land of Wind, slowly walking towards the center and looking around, trying to memorize the battleground.
This was gonna be fun.
Ruri is not looking for a fight. She actually sees absolutely no reason to fight in an exhibition match whatsoever. But after hearing of her team mate's victory over a Clan Leader… Well, she is beginning to have 'concerns', let's call them, about whether she has improved at all in terms of skills. She has to help her sister with a 'lesson' sometime soon. Her special instructors have insisted upon it. So Ruri has decided she had best be ready for it, because it sounds serious.
That's why she's sitting in the middle of the Ring in Arena 1, with tattoo needles and inks set out alongside her. She also has an assortment of seemingly random objects scattered around as well. An anvil, a Ming vase, a crate of lobsters, an Afican tribal spear, an industrial-size roll of asbestos, a statue of a butternut squash, a painting of a windmill, and exactly five-hundred and ninety-six shuriken of various shapes and numbers of blades.
One by one, she inks tattoos on her arms, legs, and so forth, and then focuses Chakra to make each object shrink and streak towards a given Flesh Scroll tattoo. Once all the objects are stored, she starts to get up, but notices some guy has just arrived. "…Hi." she calls out.
His confident gait takes him closer, as Kureno looks over the shuriken paintains and.. oh god, is that a anvil? This would be… interesting.
"Hello." He says, calmly and almost dispassionately. "I see you are from Sunagakure." This was good, this was good. Why? Because he didn't like Sunagakure. And yes, he is from Sunagakure too. Which means that he doesn't have to feel bad about not holding back against a opponent from the village he.. didn't like. Which is almost a understatement. And it was bad because he is trying to not think of the village at all.
He narrows his eyes for a moment, "I hope you're ready. I just want to get this over with now." He says, as he finds he is unable to escape the thoughts about Suna, and quickly claps his hands together, index fingers extended as he focuses chakra. "And try not to die!" Is that the way to speak to an opponent? Luckily, with the barrier in place, it's nigh impossible to die here. But hey, Kureno was always a standard breaker!
Ruri straightens up and watches as Kureno approaches. The hitai-ite hanging at an angle over her right eye does have Sunagakure's symbol on it. So there's not much point in denying it. But there's also not much point in confirming Mister Obvious's observation. So she just puts her hands on her hips and waits for him to come closer.
"…Well, I guess I'm ready but I--" then he mentions not dying. She squints at this guy. "…Are you for real?" Shaking her head, Ruri cups her hands around her mouth and calls out, "Hey, dudes, can you raise the barriers around here? This guy is going to fight me, apparently." Once the barriers have shimmered into existence, she focuses back on her self-proclaimed opponent. "Okay, well…" She lowers herself into a half-crouch and holds two fingers over her right arm, the others folded back against her palm. Her right arm is extended in front of her. "I'll TRY not to die, but I can't promise anything," the young woman answers sarcastically without actually using any sarcasm in her voice tone. She decides to play it safe for now, and doesn't bother to whip out anything advanced.
She has no idea whether this guy is strong or just a goon. She is willing to bet the latter based on his appearance, but appearances aren't everything.
Kureno was taken aback by her answer. He blinked, and smiled somewhat mysteriously. He slowly nodded his head and said, "You are surprising. I thought like most Sunagakure nin you'd say something along the lines of 'I will kill you' or something." He chuckled than, and scratched the back of his head. "I kinda already like you. Though I doubt you have magnetic charisma." Was that a insult or a compliment. His bright smile would make it appear that it was the former.
Performing a few quick handseals he slowly placed his hands on the ground, and it was really slow. "Well, than, I guess I'll start slow. Like a dance, huh?"
While his motions were slow, the speed of the two earth spires erupting from the ground were anything but slow. Emphasis on the sharp point of the spires.
Ruri doesn't bother to answer Kureno on the subject of killing him, or charisma. Not because she feels he is not important enough to respond to, but mostly because she just has no clue what the hell he is talking about. She manages to Flicker away from the first spire that emerges from the ground, but is stabbed by the second on her way out. She winces, but surprisingly having sharp stone ramming into her armpit is not quite as painful as she thought it would be. The barriers maybe? Hmm…
Landing and skidding to a stop, Ruri decides not to remain stationary. Attacks from below means she needs to stay mobile. So she starts dashing off to the side, and taps two tattoos on her right arm. A pair of pruning shears appears as the first tattoo glows red and then vanishes. The second tattoo does the same after producing a bowling ball. The shears have already been launched at Kureno when the black sphere with a skull emblazoned on it in red paint comes flying along after it.
Staying stationary for a moment, Kureno performs a few really quick handseals and a barrier of earths erupts from the ground, taking the blow of the shears which tear through it, but are stopped. The bowling ball however, blasts straight through the first barrier and is stopped by another one, raised just inches from the second one.
Kureno claps his hands together, laughing. "Oh, quite an interesting attack! I must admit." And though, he noticed that Ruri didn't say anything, Kureno figures that talking is perhaps not in her interests. "Well, I guess we'll save the 'cuddling' for later." Did he just compare cuddling with talking?
Taking a step back and to the right, while feigning clumsiness, he suddenly kicks the ground and sends a inverted tidal wave towards Ruri, and there's a smirk on his face. A rather curious one.
As the wave advances forward, shooting up sand and dirt, the sand and dirt suddenly crystallize, exploding into crystalized shrapnel from near point blank. Though, the move is predictable, so it's also easily dodgeable. But, you know, it does look like it /could/ hurt if it lands.
The wave of earth that comes at her is too slow and obvious to be anything but a smoke screen. No one would be stupid enough to toss out something like that for no reason. Either it's a test of her capabilities, or he's planning something. Since she has been moving around ever since she landed, she decides to stop for a moment, switching which arm is held out, she taps a tattoo on her left arm and it glows blue for a moment. A statue of a stone lion, like one might find outside a library, streaks from her arm and shields her from the tidal wave of dirt. And then the crystal shards that chip and crack the statue are blocked by twenty copies of the box-set of 'A.L.F.: The Complete Collection' on DVD. The boxes and their contents die deaths nobler than the lives they lead.
…Oh, come on. That A.L.F. merchandise was just lying around in a warehouse! No one is going to miss it!
Anyway, Ruri retaliates immediately by leaping into the air, standing atop the very top of the mostly-buried lion statue's head, and switching arms again. This time when she activates a Flesh Scroll tattoo, it produces one of the old-fashioned Teenage Female Ninja Heroes lunchboxes from about three centuries ago. The solid steel ones. It is in mint condition, and is probably worth more ryo than Kureno and Ruri COMBINED. Any fanboy in the audience would surely scream in anguish at seeing such a treasure abused in such a way! If it strikes Kureno at THOSE speeds it might even get DENTED! THE HORROR!
Oh, and right behind the the lunchbox -- which is, incidentally, stuffed full of hardened cement, and thus not worth quite as much as it would appear without opening it -- there are a pair of chainsaws with their grips interlocked somehow. Both chainsaws come hurtling in, buzzing and roaring loudly with mechanical fury!
BUT THE LUNCBOX, MAN. THE LUNCHBOX!!!
The launch box slams into another earth barrier and releases it's dreadful payload.
After a deeply disturbed 'wtf' moment, Kureno acts on instinct, and the dirt rises underneath him, and one could swear that it -crystallizes- as it attaches itself to Kureno's feet and tries to move him out of the way. The chainsaws however, are no laughable weapons, and they swiftly tear through the week crystal and slam into Kureno, who manages to roll out of the way to avoid getting ripped apart, as he falls from the crystal slide.
He rolls on the ground and seems very very unhappy, "Holy crap. Chainsaws? Are you being serious?" He pauses and than smiles and nods. "I see. I guess we are done with the slow part."
The ground erupts just as Kureno finishes a few handseals and crystallizes in mid-air, launching itself towards Ruri dangerously, and best of all, right after seeing Ruri's defense; Kureno utters, "Crystal Style: Impenetrable Cloud Formation" Subsequently, several spikes shoot out from the ground around Ruri in a 30 degree angel, making it look like a storm-cloud formation from a bird's eye point of view, trying to trap Ruri inside.
Ruri uses Body Flicker to move straight up, out of the path of the crystal wave, and then switches arms again to activate another defensive Flesh Scroll. Yes, if Kureno has any sort of observation powers whatsoever, he will have realized by now that Ruri keeps her attack tattoos on her right arm and her defensive ones on her left. Or such could be gathered from what she has done so far.
Either way, an eight-foot tall and eight-foot wide brick wall that is also a foot thick suddenly streaks from her left arm and falls on top of the crystallizing spikes, in addition to blocking the spikes from coming after her. At least for a moment. She doesn't trust for a second that the wall will last forever, so while the wall is still in the air, she uses it as a platform to leap off of. A second later it slams down into the ground heavily, sending out a wave of dirt and grass from its impact point.
In that same second, she lands nowhere near Kureno and completely fails to take advantage of the situation! Instead she stands quite a distance away, and says, "I thought you wanted this to be over quickly. Why are you still holding back? I'm here because I want to see how strong I am. I have an important fight coming up against someone very strong. Stronger than you can imagine, infact. As long as she doesn't use any more than a third of her power I might be able to take her on a temporary basis. But I can't be sure. So if you're not going to fight seriously, then let me know now so I can give up and leave."
She then puts her hands together and focuses more Chakra than she has did before. And then she places her left hand on her forehead proctor that currently hangs over her right eye. In a total 'Copy Ninja' moment, she takes off the hitai-ite over her right eye! The eye is closed… But then she opens it… Revealing…! A Sharingan!?
No! It's… empty. Just an empty socket.
Actually, it's more than empty, because one can't see the back of the socket at all. It's like there ISN'T a back to it. Like… There's more space inside that hole than could possibly exist within a human skull. Then, out of the darkness, an EYE suddenly appears. It's not a human eye. It has a dark red sclera around a ring of black, and then an enlarged bright-red pupil at the center. That's not a Sharingan. That's something… Unnatural.
And then two more eyes just like it push their ways out of the darkness and into the socket. So now there's three eyes stuffed into a single eyesocket. All of them the same menacing red. All unblinkingly staring at Kureno.
Ruri smirks a bit. "Like, I said. Let me know if you're not going to get serious. Because I just did."
Kureno glances at Ruri and tilts his head slightly, smirking. He listens to the explanation and the wishes of Ruri and his only reaction is a, one could call it, condescending smirk. He finally rears back his head and starts laughing. "Oh boy. Oh boy." He says as he continues laughing, almost rolling on the ground. He finally becomes serious and straightens up.
"I find it hard to believe that there is someone who can come close to what I can do. But I'll indulge you. I'll show you some of my strength, and I'll silently wish that you can stand it. But, objectively looking…" Crystal petals begin to rise from the ground, rotating counter clockwise and forming into some kind of endlessly flowing ring, "… I don't think you can."
The crystals stop and begin to deviate from their course, a tendril of them swarming around the crystal formation around the impaled brick wall. When suddenly, they seem to absorb the crystal, with it reappearing at the outer ring of the entire thing as Kureno utters, "Crystal Style. Breaking The Clouds." The formation than suddenly begins to glow, and soon after, -explodes- sending shrapnel and huge crystal debris in all directions. Even Kureno himself had to duck out of the way of a few oversized and dangerous looking shards.
"I must say, I never used that technique in such a way. You should be honored for forcing me into improvising."
Kureno's mirth makes the smirk on Ruri's lips melt away. She endures his show-boating. She almost rolls her eyes--or eye, since her left one is the only one that seems to be making use of its eyelids. But she just crosses her arms over her chest and looks at Kureno calmly. The ignorance he displays is astounding. Is this guy for serious? He's using Crystal Release, just like the Seishukuni she has encountered back home. But he is acting really weird. Not like the Seishukuni at all.
She almost is willing to inform him of who he is dismissing so casually… But that would be dumb. So she keeps quiet. When the Crystal shards come shooting in at her, they all seem to strike home! Except for the metallic *clang* as each of them hit something that is definitely not Ruri. What is it? It's a tank. It is very old, but it is also big and heavily armored--YES, A TANK. YOU KNOW!? A 'Tiger Tank' to be specific!
Anyway, due to how old it is, it doesn't look like it will stand up to a second attack of that strength. But it did its job. Ruri climbs out of the hatch on top of the tank, and now she's smirking again. "I'll feel honored later. Right now it's MY turn."
Then she leaps out of the tank, and one of her eyes displays a Seal that vaguely resembles a stylized fireball in its pupil. That's all the warning Kureno gets before a stream of intense flames comes POURING OUT OF RURI'S EYE! Right behind it are a pair of helicopter propellers. The big, extra-sharp kind, rotating at high speed.
Kureno's form shimmers from the speed he is taken out of the way of the firestorm, crystals taking the brunt of the impact and well, the air where Kureno used to be too; and than the propeller blades slice straight into Kureno, nearly cutting in half just as when he suddenly poofs into smoke, and below, in partial cover of the crystals, Kureno emerges. The real one. Hopefully.
He glances up towards Ruri and crosses his arms, "Your turn was wasted." Kureno says, and for some reason he assumes that Ruri must feel very safe behind her pretty tattoos. Kureno just smirks, "There is no perfect defense." Kureno says, extending his arms sideways, "You have a tattoo; I have an army of attacks." And his arm than gestures at the crystals surrounding the two fighters, slowly fusing together and reflecting the light and thus images in a twisted way.
Kureno crosses his arms, "I think it's still your turn. Now, I want to see your very best."
Ruri nods a bit. Her smirk is gone, but she doesn't look too disappointed. "Okay, then. Guess you're right. Sorry." She doesn't sound sarcastic. Oddly, the eyes seem to squint and turn almost reptillian-looking for a moment… In perfect synch with Kureno's Genjutsu Link. Then the eyes in Ruri's right socket begin to extend OUT of the socket. Tentacles of purple-red flesh protrude from her face, growing longer, thicker, and darker. Dozens of tentacles with eyes on the ends of some but not others, stream forth from Ruri's eye. And she just stands there and looks serious. But calm. Then the tentacles turn BLACK. They alter their shape and fuse together until they turn into a sort of ragged tapestry of ebony. It looks as though someone travelled to the deepest, darkest cave in the world, tore a strip of darkness from the rest, and then stuffed it in Ruri's eye. And now it's coming back out.
Many eyes float in the black flesh, all of them inhuman. The sclera are no longer blood-red, but instead white… And yet the pupils and irises at the centers of each eye are glowing a brighter red than ever, and now seem to have RINGS in them. The ragged flesh seems to waver and hover in the air, in some unseen and unfelt breeze. The eyes stare at Kureno. Then one of them widens. A flaming elevator comes flying out of the eye's surface somehow, even though it is far larger than the eye itself. The elevator, on fire, comes hurtling right at Kureno at great speed. If it lands on him, he may be pinned for a bit.
And probably burned, but, you know.
Kureno watches the transformation calmly for a long moment, and than his expression turns to that of a revolting nature. The left corner of his lips tug back and he narrows his eyes, "Oh dear, I didn't know you can be so ug-- Holy crap, eleva--" Kureno's response is to try to quickly raise a barrier of crystal, and in his obsession or attempt about Ruri's 'new look', he totally forgot the purpose of the rings around him.
And as he is pinned down by the elevator that knocks the wind out of him, and maybe cracks a bone or something he yells, "Oh hot hot hot!" He yells as he tries to push the elevator away.
Damn, Ruri has nasty tricks.
Ruri frowns. She considers taunting her opponent, but she ultimately decides to just stay quiet. Not because taunting him is a bad idea, so much as she knows it isn't HER idea. It's an idea spawned from the shattered remnants of a dead monster. The same monster that is giving her this power. Maybe he's dead… But pieces of him slip through occasionally. 'Dammit, Sheex. Just give up already! I am not going to let you regenerate and take me over! We have enough partially-possessed women in my family already!' She knows she's talking to a brain-dead column of artificial flesh stored in another dimension, but sometimes… Sometimes she gets the idea that it can hear her anyway.
Focusing her mind on the present with the precision of a laser, she decides to try to end this fight in one more blow. It probably won't work, but… Oh well. Maybe he'll show some common sense and give up?
This time, three eyes widen at once. One of the eyes fires a tiny blade that expands into a giant guillotine somehow. A GIANT guillotine. Not just a large one. GIANT. Then two other Tomogan eyes send out streams of white-hot fire that engulf the decapitation tool and turn the blade white hot as well. Then Ruri launches the massive blade at the trapped Kureno. It would cleave right through the elevator like it was made of warm butter. And even with the barriers in place, this is going to hurt Kureno too.
The guillotine carves through the elevator, as intended, and makes it all the way to Kureno with a blast that craters the sand underneath him. Yet, he was somehow alive. No doubt thanks to the barrier. There is a cut over Kureno's upper chest, and he somehow manages to crawl under the deadly implement of decapitation and roll on his stomach, slowly pushing himself up.
He wasn't out of chakra, nowhere near, yet, he didn't have enough ready to launch any kind of attack. Besides, what was the point? This Ruri won't fall easily. He hesitated too long, he didn't take her seriously enough. And yet.. no.
There was something he saw in the guillotine, metaphorically speaking. Something.. strange. As if he desired. No, not the lustful kind of desire, a different.. peaceful feel.
He glared at Ruri with all the dignity he could muster. He wasn't gonna reveal himself like a defeated bragster to her. And yet, there was no shame in making up a reason and forfeiting the match. Besides, in his condition it would be wise to just stop.
As he set his mind on forfeiting, thinking up a reason, he suddenly found himself staring down darkness. And a voice. Or a feeling. There was something, something he could only see, and yet, he saw nothing. Kureno was sure that this was the flaw of his technique to gain more strength, to fortify his ability. A flaw…
"Damnit.." He muttered out, removing his hand from his stomach and making a seal focusing more chakra. "As if I'd…" Speaking was difficult, ".. if I'd let you… win that easily." He smirked, his eyes unfocused. As if he wasn't even there in mind. Just in body.
Focusing more chakra, he ran the back of his hand across his mouth and looked curiously. No blood. Good, no internal damage. Or at least, not related to the lungs or insides.
There was still one thing he could do, and even that wasn't much.
"Is that.. all?"
Ruri watches as Kureno starts focusing Chakra. She sighs. So much for common sense. She doesn't hear voices. Not like her sister hears that stupid monster's voice. But she gets notions… Ideas… Suggestions and impulses to act. She only notices them because they're so far removed from her normal thought patterns. They're the thoughts of a psychopath. Still, she decides to indulge one of those impulses for just a brief moment. It seems appropriate.
"Just so you know, the power I'm displaying right now is a little over half of what I'm fully capable of. And the one I need to fight after this, if I fought at full strength, could probably crush me with half of HER power. You dismissed me and her both, and indicated it was unlikely anyone out there could be stronger than you. Please remember later on, that it was YOU who said those things and made those assumptions. That makes you responsible."
Then the mass of ragged black flesh coming out of Ruri's right socket, with all those glowing red eyes in it, comes SLAMMING down and tries to simply smash Kureno into the ground, and then wrap around him like living shadows, before squeezing with supernatural strength, and then finally trying to hurl him all the way across the ring and into the retainer wall on the other side.
Kureno smirks, "I said Chuunin didn't I? I thought I did.." He replies, forcing himself to speak without pausing. He was getting used to the pain that wouldn't let him inhale completely. "You don't seem like a chuunin at all. I underestimated you from the start of this match… and now it's pointless to go all out." And than the smirk disappeared. He was always smirking. Condescendingly, sometimes honestly. Sometimes for no reason. And now, he wasn't. Was he scared? Probably not. Maybe he figured that showing any kind of expresion would have Ruri drop her guard. And it wasn't like it was a tactic either.
And there was Kureno with a calculating look, revealing intelligence, perceptive. No deception. An honest to God passive-aggressive face that was looking for ways to annihilate Ruri in one blow.
But first, the tentacles come, and Kureno clearly sees an opening, and yet, as he makes the required handseals he stops for just a heartbeat, "Hotaru.. no.." He whispered over the roar of the crystal petals who were no doubt about to do something, and than all of a sudden rushed in front of Kureno, trying to fuse together and take as much of the impact as possible, but eventually even they are forced through and the tentacle-eyes slam into Kureno, sending him into the far wall of the arena, under the stands where he makes a pretty crater before falling to the ground. Barely moving.
Maybe the crowd expects to see a crystallized spike or something shoot out at Ruri in retaliation. But instead, a team of medics quickly rushes into the arena, below the stands, attending to Kureno's wounds.
Without even needing to announce it, it is clear that Ruri won. But a surrounding Jounin says it anyway. "Seishukuni Kureno is unconsciouss. And as such, he lost. Rurohashi Ruri is the victor."
Ruri shakes her head and allows the Tomogan to retreat back into her eye socket. It vanishes into the darkness within, even though there is no possible way all of that could fit inside. She puts her hitai-ite back over the empty hole, and then sighs. "Maybe I'm stronger than I thought…" she mutters to herself. And then she thinks silently as she wanders out of the Ring, 'But hopefully I'm not TOO strong. Otherwise… Those stupid teachers of Nee-chan's… They might…' She pushes that out of her thoughts, and she walks away.