Date: February 19, 2011
Tessen and Kuoroke fight it out over a double cross and owed karma.
"Karma - Part 1"
Desert outside Sunagakure
The air is filled with sand, carried by the stiff desert winds, and the heat of the sun, pressing heavily from above. The former pulls at and waves Kuoroke's cloak, while the latter sharply reflects off his glasses, making him quite easy to spot, when he steps out of the village gates. Tessen being unpredictable and a bit too stubborn in keeping his blades, the Kuroki has deemed it safer to do this meeting outside of the gates. These people aren't afraid of collateral damage. With his arms behind his back, he continues walking away from Sunagakure, looking about in attempt to spot the other man.
Tessen was the punctual type despite his own hot-headedness. At the time of the meeting he could be seen approaching Kuoroke with a calm look on his face. Either he had come to terms with what happened, or had forgiven Kuoroke. Neither option seemed plausible, especially once the details of th eman came into view. His approach was level, but both of his hands rested on the hilts of his katana's. Instead of a simple rest, they were gripped showing he intended to use the blades on this day.
"Good, you showed up… Where's the money?" Kuoroke cuts past greetings and other time-wasting politeness to the core of the reason for this meeting. He begins speaking from the time Tessen comes into hearing range, and continues walking between the massive stone walls while he speaks, so at the time he's done he is standing just in front of Tessen. The Councilman notices the way those blades' hilts are being held, and from that deducts he should be on his guard. Behind his back, his fingers are intertwined so his gloves can be removed easily.
Tessen's charcoal eyes lock onto Kuoroke's own. "Why pay to have a man freed that is already wandering the streets? His life now belongs to another, as does yours Council Member. You can either submit peacefully, or suffer worse than Kuodo has at my hands. Which will it be?" With that Tessen's voice halted, and all that eminated from him was a fierce aura as he waited for the word to signal his assualt. This would be swift and bloody.
"Because that was the agreement. I free him, and you pay me." is the reply. "If you're going to go back on the deal and not pay, you shouldn't have come in the first place." The animosity in Kuoroke's voice climbs. Behind his back, the gloves quite literally come off. "And if you're planning to pay in threats instead of the agreed two million, you should get away, too. Pay up or beat it."
Tessen smirked as he looked to Kuoroke. "You do have a short temper…for one who betrays. Had Kaede been released to me you would have your money. I have spoken to him, and know someone else bought his freedom. Since he has been sold to another, I will not pay. Though perhaps a lesson is business etiquet is in order." With that Tessen's chakra levels began to rise and his feet shifted into a ready stance. He was not backing down.
"They wanted him free, you wanted him free, he's free." Kuoroke answers. He steps around Tessen, as subtly as he can, and away from the village, hoping to take a possible fight away from it. "Just because you're not the only one in the arena, doesn't mean your ticket is free." The gloves drop onto the sand with two pats, and the Kuroki grabs hold of the rear of his robe, ready to remove it if that's required. Beneath his clothing, chakra is pumped through the lines on his skin, and more of Kuoroke's physical reserves are being transformed into chakra, so that in turn can be transformed into physical damage.
Tessen let go of a small breath as he kept his eyes on Kuoroke. "This wasn't to watch a fight, but to own a man's life. Only one man can do that at a time…as you will soon find out." With that a series of seals were made. With a small inhale Tessen let out a stream of small fire bullets to impact Kuoroke. These were but a distraction to cover his movements as he aimed to appear on Kuoroke's blind side and with another striing of seals cause an uprising of wind to knock the man off balance as one of his swords was drawn to slice into Kuoroke's right arm.
Kuoroke slams his arm into the wall beside him, small tattoo lines coming off his skin and digging into the wall, and then pulls a piece of the wall off, trying to deflect the fire, lines lighting up on his skin and making his movements more difficult to follow, and his location more difficult to determine. Splitting his focus like that prevents Kuoroke from creating a thick enough layer of rock to protect him, and the fire Tessen exhaled shatters the rocks, burning him. A small vortex of wind appears, too far from him to do any harm, and the Kuroki has stable enough footing to swat away the incoming blade with a small shield unwrapping from his other arm.
"Nobody 'owns' his life, but the one he has loyalty to, and the idiot has never even heard of loyalty." The Kuroki's first concern is to take the battle away from here: tattoo surfaces come off the top of his feet, warp over the soles of his sandals, and allows him to shoot off into the distance, away from Sunagakure, skating smoothly over the ground. In his skating, his arm passes his kunai holster, small tendrils reach out and load a shimmering crossbow appearing on his forearm. Suddenly, Kuoroke turns around and from a large distance fires the kunai at Tessen.
Tessen vanished as the bolt flew at him striking an after image. The nin was already on Kuoroke as his sword came to light. The bright light flickering off of it as he circled the man with a miriad of after images until the strike came from the left. As he slid to a hault past Kuoroke he launched a seal at the man. It would land on the ground and release a red beam of light to try and hold the man down as golden rings drained precious energy from him.
Kuoroke's shield unfurls further, rapidly followed by a twin brother on his other forearm, and the blade crashes into it without touching the Councilman himself. He kneels down, hides behind the other one, and the red light rams into it. The chakra-based psuedomatter bends under the assault of the red beam of chakra. There is a brief moment of equilibrium in which the two forces are equal, and pushing Kuoroke back just slightly, and then the seal's power subsides. Kuoroke finally rips what's left of his cloak after the shields have turned his sleeves into torn rags off.
It's so to speak, clobberin' time, and Kuoroke's typical acidic clobberin' tattoos fire up almost eagerly when he takes two punches at Tessen before taking a few more steps back, further away from the village.
As Tessen stops moving and sees his attacks fail a sigh passes his lips. The councilmember was a bit harder to hit than Kuodo. As the member came at him, Tessen's hands flew through a series of seals and the wind around him came to his aid. The first punch, breached the defense before the winds were at full speed, the second was pushed away by the gale forces that kicked up sad and debris alike. Jumping back Tessen again approached his seals. This time when he was finished, small arcs of lightning shot between his hands. His sword stabbed into the soft sand as more began to flow between his hands. Crackling and leaping as if it desired to attack all around it. Still Tessen focused the electric arcs downward into a small ball that raged and crackled violently. With a sudden movement the ball was released at Kuoroke. Even if he dodged the initial pass Tessen would make a final seal to cause the ball to errupt outwards sending arcs of lightning in all directions.
While electricity jumps around in preparation to attack, the defense is being prepared, as well. Those disorienting patterns on Kuoroke light up again, and again make it so difficult to determine where he is. Wherever Tessen looks, it seems Kuoroke is just a few feet away from that point. As a result, the ball of lighting is aimed in an entirely wrong direction and does nothing but turn a small patch of ground into ugly, black glass.
The Kuroki retreats further, his hands meet and form seals, directing the winds that just recently helped Tessen to sweep the sand from under his feet, push into the back of his knees, and generally put him on uncomfortable footing while Kuoroke reloads his two crossbows and fires two Kunai in the direction of Tessen's stomach. Or to be more precise, to the point where he hopes Tessen's chest will be soon.
Seeing his attack fail Tessen groaned. The wind would push him back as the two kunai impact his flesh. Then a cloud of smoke would appear and Tessen's sword would appear and a metalic ting would sound out. The only immediate sign he had been struck was part of his shirt hanging from a kunai. Tessen appeared a few feet away bleeding slightly.
This was becoming rather irritating for him, and he let loose a low groan as his eyes appeared vermillion instead of charcoal. With a low breath to steady himself Tessen reached down and produced two of his own kunai. They were hurled out at Kuoroke to hopefully distract him from Tessen's last shot. If this worked he would be good to win.
Kuoroke ducks and swings his arm, swatting the incoming dagger aside, and then relatiates by once again closing the distance with Tessen, swinging an arm past him, in what seemed to be a punch towards the right shoulder. New tattoos come off his skin, forming small straps he attempts to swing around Tessen's arm and pull to get him off balance, in order to help the next attack touch. And that next attacks comes in the form of a punch towards his opponent's ribs. In all of this motion, the chakra influence creeping into his mind goes entirely unnoticed, grabbing hold of his psyche quite solidly.
As the tentacles came in he Tessen began to glow red and with an earth shattering crash he vanished back from them. As the punch came in he left an after image and vanished. Landing on the ground he made signs and released a massive volley of lightning balls at Kuoroke. As they tore towards him a few more seals and then a blinding light eminated from Tessen to remove Kuoroke's ability to see for a few moments.
Kuoroke crouches behind his two incredibly light shields again. The lightning balls explode in a flash and are reflected into the rock walls around them, causing small rocks to come down, but the Councilman remains unscathed. And then the second explosion comes, this time from Tessen himself, and Kuoroke shields himself with both semi-transparent surfaces as more lightning comes his way. To no avail, as the light goes through the two shields like they were never there, and hits him.
For a few moment, Kuoroke roars, helplessly grasping his face, and then decides that while he can't see his enemy, he can damn well prepare to inflict harm on the other guy once he does see him.
Tessen groans as he takes a step forward and reaches into his pocket. Out come a bundle of seal papers. With a fast hand he hurls them towards the raging council member. This technique was the one Kaede never got to see. Tessen's ace in the hole when all else failed. These seals would cause Kuoroke's muscles to violently shake and rip chakra from him to fuel a large explosion at point blank range. Very few had seen it and fewer still stayed standing after one or two doses of it.
Things apparently tend to explode just in front of Kuoroke's body, as the lacing of fine scars Kaede's crystal explosions testify. Kuoroke's muscles tense, an erratic pattern of lighting jumping over the lines on his body, and the explosion takes a good bit of his recently replaced skin. Kuoroke, blinded and in the same kind of pain he intended to inflict on Tessen, actually manages to roar through teeth clenched in a spasm. It's all anatomically pretty complicated.
Tessen walks over to his sword and picks it up as he looks to Kuoroke. He is tired, but he needs to win to make his point. With closed eyes he breathes slowly as he tasks a risk by focusing more chakra to continue on. Kuoroke will be feeling this one for a moment longer and need to recoup most likely. With slow breaths and a little effort Tessen focuses himself for this battle.
Kuoroke regains his vision, blinks, and through his still blurred vision -this time due to pain, rage and exhaustion, not the blinding jutsu- takes a swing at Tessen. This is a last swing into which he pumps all, or at least a good half, of what energy he has left, and hopefully the one which will determine the outcome of the fight. You can't say Kuoroke hopes this at this point, he just hopes Tessen's face will no longer be intact or recognizeable to even those very close to him.
Tessen is tired, this man was far more a pain than Kuodo. Red lightning harnessed through his body and he shot back away from the punch, but was still struck in the shoulder as it ground up towards his face. His body hit the sand and was sent skidding several feet as his skin blistered. A low groan came from Tessen as he made hand seals through slightly blurred eyes and released several volleys of lightning orbs at Kuoroke.
The Councilman raises his shields, and lightning crashes into them. He breathes heavily, grinds his teeth, and grape-sized pearls of sweat glinsten on him while he can barely stand still. The Kuroki wobbles on his legs a bit, trying to keep Tessen in the middle of his field of vision. Somewhere, part of him notes that this must be what being subject to his razzle dazzle dance must feel like. The rest of his being is trying to pump enough adrenaline through his body to keep it functional for just a bit more. Staggering forward, he swings his fist again.
Tessen is still lying on the ground. He doesn't have the energy to move at high speed anymore. His body won't take it right now. When he sees Kuoroke come at him again, all he can do is pump some chakra into seals and cause a weak wall of wind to rise. It almost manages to push Kuoroke's fist away, but it powers through and slams Tessen in the gut causing him to buckle up and spit out blood as his stomach burns. Gritted teeth almost statter under the pressure he puts them under.
Snarling his hand flies up with two seals. Weaker versions of his ace, but he can't risk the explosions this close. These simply seal the resources they steal through pain. It would be a miracle to dodge at this range, and even more of one for anyone to have fought this long and still stay standing.
Kuoroke staggers away, rams his arm into the wall, tries to rip part of it off. The attempt is feebly, and the first of the seals just passes straight through his defenses as if he had been lying on his back and doing nothing. So does the second, but that's because he has collapsed, fallen, and is actually lying on his back doing nothing when it happens. In that movement, his glasses leave his nose, draw a shining arch through the shadows of the rock canyon, and shatter on a rock.