Date: Unknown (log received October 7, 2010)
Two of Kumogakure's chuunin meet at the top of a cliff for a training session. Both experience the intensity of possible death before the end.
Cliffside in Kumogakure
Setsiro stands on the edge of the cliff, the toes of her slim boots carelessly view the sheer drop. She stands tall, the hilt of her sword in hand, it's rough grip pressing into the palm of her hand. She brushes her hair behind her shoulder and the win promptly took it up and threw it over the other, tantalizing the edges as though teasing her with it's play. Her eyes, blue and dark, scanned the treeline far below, looking for a particular spot where the trees gave way to grass and deep pool of water could be found in the center of the small clearing. It escaped her…
She'd asked Mitsuomi here, for sparring purposes. With her father being where she got most of her training, these days, she was afraid that she would become accustomed to one manner of fighting style. She decided that rather than being frivolously outsped by her father, it would be prudent to fight someone who was simply powerful. And Mitsuomi was the epitome of such, to her, and skillful with it besides. So…
Heavy steps fell as Mitsuomi entered the area. No attempt at grace or stealth made by him. He had a purpose to serve today, even if it was just a trivial match. Setsiro had become his regular sparing partner and their styles clashed quite well. Her clan's speed and grace against his sensei's taught power and endurance. Neither seemed definitive in ability to surpass the other since both called a match before a decisive blow could ever be struck.
His bones told him that one day that would change, but it was not today. As the wind began to howl and tear at the rubble around them he stopped and looked to his opponent. The comrade that spoke not long ago of trying to be more than rivals or opponents…was now the one calling for arms and battle. This would be interesting.
The small woman turned as those heavy steps drew nearer, the limpid pools of her eyes, travelling up the length of Mitsuomi's body to meet his eyes. She'd always managed to underestimate the man's height when he was out of sight, so much taller than she was he. After fixing the position of her gaze, she inclined her head in greeting.
Mitsuomi looked down to the woman from the distance between them. His own eyes calm and steeled for what was to come of this. He also became cold before a match. Cleared his mind and prepared for what was to come. It came from the training he endured on a daily basis and what was required of him in it. Most never knew of it or saw the horrors he went through, but the look in his eyes could convey the numbed soul that accompanied his scarred body.
In a flat voice that cut through the blowing wind like a knife he spoke. "Ready when you are Setsiro. Lets get started."
The corner's of Setsiro's lips twitched upwards in the smallest of smiles. Something of which Mitsuomi experienced flickered, briefly, in the further darkened depths of her eyes. "Yes… Let us."
And then all was wiped from her face but a faint smile, and her sword was in hand, held out to the side. She went on the offensive immediately, judging it best, the small woman rushing headlong towards the mountain of a man.
Her first attack was a simple passing at the side, arm loose as wind as it came in horizontally at Mitsuomi's side before coming upwards in a vertical slash.
Mitsuomi stood relatively still as she came at him. His massive frame moving only slightly to attempt to avoid her slashes. Both attempts failed but the wounds she inflicted weren't even enough to make him flinch. His body didn't even move as he began to harness his chakra. The amount started out small but grew wildly as he remained nearly motionless. The flaring chakra moved about to deaden the moving winds around him and kick away the debris from his presence. This was going to be serious very soon.
Setsiro's breath quickened, just the slightest bit, at the sheer presence of Mitsuomi's chakra, that it was strong enough, copious enough to affect the world around it. The intensity of him and his power had always managed to excite her, to some degree.
But, as she had done every other time they had met in combat, she pushed it aside without a bit of regret or hesitation. Instead, hair settling after the onrush of air from Mitsuomi's chakra gain, she moved back towards him and pivoted. She slashed upwards at his front as she turned her back to him and made a horizontal slash at his hip when she spun back around to face him.
Mitsuomi still stood stark still as his chakra settled and began to wrap around his body. Setsiro's first blow grated across his body without leaving so much as a scratch on his form. The second was met with armor, but managed to make it buckle after a momentary halt and cut him. With a small exhale he began to shift. His body tensed and relaxed in rhythm as if snakes were crawling under his flesh. Soon they reared their venomous heads as his nerves bundled up under his flesh.
Now, the fight would begin. He raised a leg slightly as he let it fall his chakra erupted around him creating a shockwave and small crater around him.
Setsiro sensed the change in him immediately, and began another strike, blade down behind her and around. But the lifting of the foot was noticed, and she knew what trouble could be caused. So she jumped.
Too slowly. The ground heaved beneath her under Mitsuomi's influence and her jump turned to an uncoordinated stumble. She knew the man would capitalize with a swiftness. She would be quick to recover.
Mitsuomi let out a low breath as he watched her fall. His own body moving to react to her fall. In a move that looked almost as if he intended to catch her the monster grabbed her spine and proceeded in an attempt to crush it in his hands and he would move to bring her over head. If he managed this gruesome task his next motion would be to let the arm fall and hurl her into the distance to land amongst the rubble of the area and pick herself up. Still not a word passed his lips as darkened eyes watched her.
Setsiro twists, attempting to get away from Mitsuomi's grasping hands, but her balance had been destroyed, and she was helpless to avoid his grip. She clenched her teeth as she was drawn over his head, knowing what was to come. Despite this, she couldn't hold back the scream that passed her lips as her spine was pressed, the sound annoyingly high and girlish. Dazed as she was, her attempts to grab the man's arm as he tossed her we unsuccessful and she bounced off of the tree with a thud, falling to the mountain stone beneath her, hair shrouding her features.
Immediately, she lurched to her feet, leaning against a rocky wall. Though the world still seemed unsteady, her eyes blazed at Mitsuomi through the thin veil of her raven hair, darkening with something near to anger, chakra stirring within her body. Only he could make her scream, so.
It vexed her to no end.
Mitsuomi didn't even turn to face her as his arm began to glow with bandings of chakra. His arm raised to level with the dazed woman. The muscles clenched as the arm shot out at her like the cross hairs of a cannon. The banded chakra flowed down his arm with a crackle before its glow became bright. The intensity of the chakra alone could only be one technique and now it tore up the ground and scenery as it made its path for the kunoichi unhindered and without mercy.
This was the true strength of Mitsuomi. One he would not reveal in a clear mind, and one his master sought to never see released. No other would see this level of animosity, no other would know his vicious nature, until they faced him alone. There was no one to save this person, to hear the scream, to interfere with his madness.
Setsiro's eyes grew darker as more steel entered them, watching the influx of chakra, watching it gather, entirely too visible, about Mitsuomi's arm. Such a powerful technique so soon in the match. The man must be deep into the insanity of his transformation. It meant… she would have to play harder. She would match his strength.
The Reizei did not falter as the blast suddenly leapt from the giant's hand, eager to taste her blood and tearing at it's surroundings to do so. It reached her…
And she was a sudden blur and there was an explosion. The rock wall behind her showered bits of stone and threw a plume of dust. It was all brushed aside with a swift sweeping of her blade, the reizei crouch down, the wall behind her now adorned with a huge gap. She shook out her arm, tingling slightly from the deflection of that attack.
And then she was off. A blur, she passed by Mitsuomi, and as she did so, a rent would open along his shoulder, should she succeed. And she didn't slow, but instead, spun around to face him, moving further away. "Follow," she said, and promptly fell backwards off of the cliff.
Below the edge, chakra plunged to her feet and she found herself skidding down the sheer cliff wall.
The giant of a man stood as the blade flashed by him. His own deflected attack doing nothing more than making him smile. The glint of metal met an outstretched hand that threatened to grab it as it collided, instead it merely passed over his palm without a drop of blood in its wake. Watching her go over the cliff he smirked. Bad move…
Mitsuomi let his chakra flow again through his right hand as he vanished from his perch watching her decent he didn't make a pass to grab the rocks with his chakra. Instead he let his body fall as the chakra reached a peak in his fist. He let the heavy punch fall towards her midsection in an attempt to break her hold on the rocks and send her to the ground and into her own resting place.
Setsiro frowned as Mitsuomi spurned treewalking and control in favor of a chance to bury her. The whole purpose had been to get him reliant on chakra control, in which she analyzed herself to be superior at. But she adapted.
The reizei whirled, spinning, her blade held out before her and throwing Mitsuomi's powerful arm away from her body, the sound of steel clinking as it met with his skin.
Danger averted, for the moment, she let her feet firm on the rock wall and pushed to the side, still falling, but skating out from under Mitsuomi, sliding to his side. She sent two strikes at him, aiming for his hip and thigh, and then she was still, stopping her progress and letting him pass, hoping to force him to use treewalking. The ground was still so very far away…
Mitsuomi smirked as he felt his fist deflected and his body spun slightly. As Setsiro moved to cut him, the man merely let his foot rest on the outcropping of the sheer cliff face to push off. He was slightly too late to avoid the first cut, but the second fell short as he pushed away from the rocks out to the open air where mele range was beyond the question unless he managed to cut back in towards the rocks.
As he sailed away his hand dropped to his usually neglected shuriken holster and let out several barrages as he continued to plummet.
Setsiro's blade flashed and knocked one of the shuriken from the air — the other two got by, slicing into the meat of her arm and her side. She scowled, sorely vexed by Mitsuomi's tactics when guided by his insanity. Of course, he'd die falling from this height, so she'd be force to come to him, to save him. "Bastard," was her murmur.
She tensed the muscles in her thighs, gritting her teeth as a number wounds made themselves apparent and she launched herself towards him, rubble falling from the depression of her feet. She turned in mid-air, and flashed through a number of handseals. She extended both hands in front of her and lightning arced from each. They slammed into the cliff high above, violently tearing great chunks of stone from the cliff face and throwing them into the air.
She turned around, already nearing Mitsuomi. Out of vexation, mostly, a rest would open up on the giant of a man's shoulder, should she pierce through his armor, and he dagger whipped out of it's sheathe and into her hand. She lunged, hoping to stab her dagger into the hollow of the insane man's shoulder, striking an apparent nerve and rendering him immobile while she grabbed an arm, and threw her body weight. She hoped to make a few rotations and throw him towards the cliff wall, where he could use tree walking to save himself.
If all went well, she would look upwards and wait for the rocks to fall.
The madness in his eyes began to settle as he watched her act. The blast and falling rubble, she was still using strategy and honed practices. She hadn't learned what battle truly was. Instinct! It was what drove people and made them act, what decided who lived and who died. Training was meant to harden the body and soul. To make it into something that can take those raw instincts and use them.
Her slash came into his shoulder and he felt the heat of blood as it sprayed lightly from the wound to the earth below. Pain. It was familiar. The dagger caught his eye and as he focused on it and his chakra began to surge the blade plunged into the steeled flesh. His nerves pinned and numbness spreading down his arm down to the fingers. By the time her throw registered he couldn't feel his fingers.
Hard stone gave way to his flesh as it cradled his form. Debris falling. Serpentine nerves withdrew into his flesh and fell away as the dagger dropped from his form. To most this match would be over, and even to Setsiro it should appear the end as the giant man lie motionless and her salvation fell from the heavens. A monster slain.
Setsiro sent a glance towards Mitsuomi, seeing that he landed safely. It was… not quite what she was hoping to see, but it was enough. Her attention turned back, then, to the veritable mountain tearing through the distance between it and she. She pursed her lips and shook her head, slightly. "Bastard…"
The small woman waited some few moments as the stones approached… A boulder loomed… and she threw her upper body backwards, dragging her legs along so that her head looked at the earth she was approaching. Sending chakra to the appropriate place, she anchored her feet to the boulder, grunting slightly as the pressure on her suddenly increased and she felt her fall much more acutely.
Immediately, she grabbed a hand hold in the jagged rock and swung herself onto the top. Swift leaps, a blur that quickly rose through the tiers of the aerial landslide, the stones she sped passed suddenly falling more swiftly as she pushed off of them, her acrobatics hidden by speed.
She was nearing the top, where it would be least dangerous to attempt to leap back cliff-side.
Mitsuomi lie there his body spent and blood oozing from his mouth. The strain of the nerves on his body was incredible. They tore him apart as he used them, but there was little choice in the matter. They were his strength and his weakness. He was content to lie now in slumber that approached from his battle. It was earned.
His nerves began to reappear first around the eyes and then they darted down his body. He was done, but they were not. His body their weapon and his mind their prisoner. Now he was little more than a shell to the madness and power he bore.
Eyes opened and chakra roared through his still seemingly unconscious body. A dreaded attack was launched out for Setsiro and the rubble that held her hope for salvation. Mitsuomi let loose Tashinkou without regard as he still lay in the rocks bleeding with a sinister grin on his face. Something was wrong.
The blurred form of the reizei suddenly stopped as Mitsuomi's chakra blast scourged the air, the small woman standing attached to a falling stone. The world seemed to darken with the incoming of the attack, dawn defying, and her eyes widened, blue pools obtaining a ghostly glow as it approached. "Madness…"
And then Setsiro was on the move. She vanished, the rock exploding under the force of Mitsuomi's attack immediately afterwords, even as she reappeared on a lower stone. She wraithed her way downwards, fading in and out of existence between the heaving earth, watching as it was swallowed whole by the brawler's follow up. She seemed calm, this phantom on the breeze, and the bottom of the pile drew nearer…
Soon it was that she was standing on the last stone, the first stone, and she watched the attack come on. And then, even that final, solid bastion was consumed by Mitsuomi's chakra, and the beast of an attack sped onward, traveling what must have been a mile, at least, to the forest below. The small quake caused from the collision could be felt by Mitsuomi, and a smoking scar rent the plain below before a cloud of dust and grit rose, capturing all, bits of earth and sand occasionally pelting the giant of a man from his perch.
Setsiro appeared a short distance below him, blade drawn.
Mitsuomi's body slowly rose as he watched his attack miss its intended target. No sign of disappointment or approval on his face at the outcome of the attack. When Setsiro made it back to the mountain his clouded mind left no registration of thought whatsoever on his cold face.
Without hesitation his hand moved and a large kunai flew from his hand aimed dead between the girls eyes. Murderous intent seemed his cause on this day. With his distraction in place the man vanished again in this fight aiming to reappear behind the girl and bring his massive hand to her spine to yet again attempt in breaking it and ending this fight. It would not end until one could no longer move. Whether it be from injury or exhaustion. Only time would tell which.
A glint from the sun off of Setsiro's blade winked as she batted the swift kunai from it's path with an flowing ease and she turned in the selfsame motion. The blade only glanced Mitsuomi's arm,slowing it just a bit before it crashed into her spine, digging in.
Her back straightened in reflexive shock and pain and she hissed in a breath before lurching forwards, away from the giant's grip. She seemed to stumble, her long hair throwing itself over her face before moving to the side under gravity's influence. And then she faded.
She reappeared at his side in a sliding lunge, blade flashing.
She reappeared at his back in a sliding lunge, blade flashing.
She reappeared in front of him in a sliding lunge, blade flashing.
She reappeared at his other side in a sliding lunge, blade flashing, and ended up facing the earth far below. She turned back to face him, and a rent would open up on his chest should she pierce his armor.
Mitsuomi moved only slightly as he tried to avoid the blades. His body feeling the strain of his efforts so far. The glints of steel and feelings of sliced and rended flesh changed him as he watched his blood stain the ground in crimson waves and blades. This pain was beyond his master's methods and brought out more of his primal instincts. Now he was awakened to the urge of survival and nothing more. Conservation of energy and body meant little now.
The final slash caught what appeared to be a solid hit and passed like a knife through butter . His body faded after a moment though to reveal only an after image. His body behind her own as his chakra flared and a fist shot out. This was to end here and now. A final punch with all his fury behind it. His sanity gone if this did not end it only worse could come.
Setsiro's breath hissed between her teeth as Mitsuomi vanished from before her and she whirled, blood flinging from her sword as she put it between her body and the giant's punishing fist. She managed to slow the attack and relieve some of the damage but it plowed through her defense, his fist slamming into her body and sending her skidding skywards, dust throwing itself from her feet as it skimmed the cliff wall.
She gagged slightly, unable to draw a breath, her body stunned by the impact of Mitsuomi's blow. Quickly, she sought to force her body under the submission of her will as it screamed at her with pain and weariness.
Watching her cling to consciousness and life itself seemed to only spur on his attacking rampage further. Mitsuomi's arm dropped back and he charged more chakra than before. This one seemed to be aiming to burn a whole in the night sky. Even as he charged it his body seemed to suffer. Skin began to split and blood began to pour. The ground around him seemed to quake in anticipation of this release.
After a brief moment, he lurched forward and sent the fist shooting out towards her.The chakra exploded out and cratered the ground around him, even pushing the braced behemoth deeper into the mountain face. This was it. This was what a true battle was. This was why men fought. To see life at its thinnest and in that moment come back or die. It was thrilling and most importantly liberating. This exhilaration was worth any risk to him.
Setsiro's eyes lay wide and dazed as the world around her glowed blue and the world beyond darkened to nothing. She drew in a shuddering breath, then, and the haze cleared from her eyes, the small woman forcing her body to focus. But it was too late, and Mitsuomi's power too great, still playing through her body.
The blade of her sword was brought before her and it took the full brunt of the giant's attack. The woman's muscles locked, holding the blast at bay, her eyes held open in desperate defiance, teeth gritting. "No," was her fierce whisper as she was carried skywards. "I will not be subdued…"
But she was. Her arm buckled beneath her and the caustic chakra struck her full on, lifting her faster, now unimpeded. The reizei managed to lurch off of it as the cliff's top passed below and she bounced in landed, her back pressed against the cold stone, her front alight with burning pain. Her breathing was staggered but present. She stared at the sky and Mitsuomi's attack dissipating far in the distance.
Mitsuomi lurched forward seeing her lie unconscious. His body heaved and blood flew from his mouth as his body collapsed to a knee. No veiled attempt made to hide his wound. The nerves influence tore at his body and he exceeded his limit. His body now paid the price and he was a breath closer to death than he had ever been before. With a show of control beyond him, the nerves subsided within his body.
Reason reclaimed his mind, but his body was shot. With a wavering step he rose back to his feet and made his way to Setsiro. This would be difficult, but his body would be forced to endure it. She fought well, and deserved as much. With doubled vision, he dropped low to scoop up her body. If she allowed it, the man would lift her and begin to head towards the village. The strain and shaking muscles apparent to her. The once seemingly invincible man, now seemed as feeble and weak as a child. Blood continued to ooze from his lips with each passing breath for what seemed an eternity.
She alone knew the price of his power, and in that knew what his weakness was. The fact he didn't press further to take her life, the only sign of respect he had to offer the warrior.