Date: December 13, 2016
What started as a friendly discussion about family and future paths suddenly becomes much less than so over a piece of hinted at but witheld advice. Unwilling to meekly accept a 'no' for an answer, Eiji issues a challenge. One that is met with a promise of no 'restraint' on the challengees part. The fight ensues…
"Lesson of the Fist"
Raiun Lake [Land of Lightning]
This area is reached by following the flowing river from the north, and carefully walking along the side of the lake. The lake itself is very calm, although it is really just a very slow moving river, which is why it never freezes, even with the water being freezing cold. There is always mist present, from the warmer air heating the cold water.
The lake is filling a small valley, and it is surprisingly deep, farther than most people could swim. There is very little life in the lake, as nothing can grow or thrive off the rocks of the cliffs, and no fish have been transplanted to these heights.
The area is surprisingly calming, and it is not unusual to see signs of people that have camped out, or are still camping. There are no beaches, just rocks, but the sounds of the water, and appearance of the lake can be soothing.
It took HOURS to ditch her pursuers, but eventually Rise felt confidant in managing to shake them. By then, it is very late in the afternoon, and the still very much green horn of a head instructor had made her way all the way to Raiun Lake. Dark grey clouds fill the sky, blocking out the light of the sun. Although no rain has yet fallen, with little wind to move the clouds it seems a distinct possibility.
Rise did not care, however. The Land of Lightning was called such for a good reason. And frankly speaking, she was just happy to be out of the village, and away from her pursuers. "Bunch a no good frack'n kids, and there darn pranks!" She spoke sharply under breath. "What was I thinking give'n 'em that challenge? I mean, c'mon! So what if their green? It don't change the fact that their kumo borne 'n bred! Darn, stubborn, clever-…" And on her triade went as she strolled out of the surrounding forest surrounding the lake, eyes cast down, hands flexing at her side, and brows furrowed so deeply enough to mar an otherwise almost angelic face.
Eiji was out on the surface of the water, focusing himself. That gathering of chakra was subtle, nothing over the top like plenty of actions could be. Once he felt like he had enough, that blade would lance outward, a snap at the water to cause a few drops to flash upward, Kitaru was practicing accuracy by stabbing the water droplets before sheathing his blade, trying to do it all before they'd fall back down. He's been at it for a while, but hey, he's not wet.. which is a change from the last training he was doing.
Rise paid no mind to the familiar swordsman on the Lake. Not at first, at least, for she was far too wrapped up in thoughts over the day's earlier trouble. She strode as far as to the edge before rusty instincts got through the woman, warning her to take note of the sharp note of metal cutting through the air, and that of splashing water. Confused though more than anything, Rise looks up without resting a hand over her a weapon's pouch.
It is a mistake she would later chide herself for, but at the moment, she stares in mute surprise. "….. Hah! Nice to see your still keeping up the good work, Eiji-san!" Rise calls out, smirking after intentionally trying to throw him off mid draw if at all possible.
Eiji's pull is smooth. Always smooth. Even as she'd speak in the middle of his draw, Eiji doesn't hesitate, the draw, flick, strike and sheath are done all at once before he'd look over at Rise. Smiling, he straightens up to give a small bow to Rise. "Rise-sensei. I took your words to heart. If I don't do it all the way, it's not worth doing. I can stop the waterfall now with my blade. But precision is important too. So I will not give that up either."
Rise smirk quickly turns into a pout. So much for that little outlet for her frustration. However, She couldn't hold on to her mild sense of annoyance; especially not after hearing the bit about a waterfall. With a quirked brow, Rise quietly studies Eiji. "Yeah… that's… good to hear." She said off-handidly, her eyes having falling upon his feet. "I'm sorry, but… what's this about a waterfall now?" She looks up to ask.
Eiji raises a brow, watching Rise. He'd point up the river with a small smile. "The waterfall. I'm not sure what it's called, but it has the massive metal wall near it? I can stop that from falling. I can enter the waterfall and keep dry, Rise-sensei. As I said, I took your words to heart and made a way to defend myself that stops anything.. even a waterfall."
Both of Rise's brows rise at the mention of a metal wall. But beyond this, she remained respectfully attentive after quietly noting to investigate the wall later. "That's… you've been able to stop Raiun Falls?" Rise lets out a drawn out whistle. "Okay, I just gotta know. Are you /really/ a genin? I mean, I know yer pretty old 'n all but… just… Honestly, are ya? Or were ya like some jounin that got demoted hard?" She asked, only half-joking by her tone in regards the last question.
Eiji chuckles slightly with a shake of his head. "I've never been above the rank of genin, Rise-sensei. I.. just pushed myself. I was on a long term mission.. we were gone a few years from Kumogakure.. When we returned, Reizei Oda wasn't even the kage anymore. They aren't really sure about me. I'm suppose to have been tested.. but." Eiji shrugs. The evidence is obvious, afterall. "Raiun Falls? Yes. That would be the one in question. I figured it would be a good test to help me grow, Rise-sensei."
Rise folds her arms beneath her breast, and starts tapping at her elbow. "It'da certianly be a step in the right direction for ya." She admits, nodding absently. "Shoot! Honestly, I can't even rightly recommend anything less. 'less o'course ya can convince the Raikage to teach ya a thing or two more." Rise snickers and turns away. "That is of course if yer Reizei pride would allow for that, neh?" She looks back out of the corner of hereyes, grinning slightly.
Eiji blinks, looking at Rise confused. "The Riakage teach me more? Why would I not be willing to accept that? My clan.. has.. all but ousted me, Rise-sensei. So I am willing to do what I must.. and if I must be defiant of them, to get stronger, so be it." Eiji pauses, musing then. "Actually.. the Raikage has been impressed with most of what I've done.. he hates the genjutsu.. but he's agreed to craft a blade with chakra metal lining the edge for me."
"That he does…" Rise murmured during the brief pause between Eiji's words, and glanced away once more. She perks up a moment after. "Did he now?" She asked. "For free? That's… awfully nice of 'im, actually. A little too nice…" She narrows her eyes at Eiji, all but glaring at the giant outright. After a moment or two she giggles and shakes her head. "Just mess'n. Still, I am a bit surprised to hear you've been ousted. 'side from yer illusion make'n, ya don't 'xactly strike me as… I dunno… the type to ruffle feathers."
Eiji shrugs slightly, walking over to the shore. He's felt that if Rise isn't glaring, there's something wrong with her, so the look is simply taken as normal by now. "I didn't. My house failed a mission.. a shame that has followed us for four generations. Either to the end of my house.. or another four generations." Eiji sighs softly, shaking his head. "Reizei politics can be complicated. I'm not sure exactly what happen.. I just know that I'm barely allowed to be called Reizei." He taps his sword then. "And this? This is the greatest insult to them I could do.. a lesser house doesn't normally do a sword. The style that I use is similar to the Reizei's style, but not.. Like I said.. it's a bit complicated."
"That's a rather specific amount." Rise deadpans softly. The rest she listens to without comment. However, the more Eiji explained the situation, the more apparent Rise became aggravated over the circumstances. "Hmph… I can see that now. Serves'em right, too, as far as I'm concerned." She admits with a curt nod. "…. Don't… s'pose ya got any intentions of clear'n things up between you and the other houses eventually tho'… do ya?" She asked, eyes squinting up until the end as if the words pained her to say them. "I ask only 'cause there still blood to ya. 'nd while I know… mmm-more like heard that family… they might not always see eye to eye, but they still 'spose to look out for each other. Certianly s'pose to be quicker to try then friends are anyways."
Eiji sighs softly, before giving a small shrug. "I don't know, Rise-sensei. I don't know. How do you make up for something that everyone you grew up with from before you can remember hating you? How do you be nice to those who when you show an interest in a weapon.. beat you? Certainly would be nice.. and my house.. is my house. We don't hate one another. But politics are politics, Rise-sensei.. and the shame was determined to follow the house to it's end or that long."
Rise closes her eyes with a heavy sigh. "The way I see it, ya got at least three options. Ya can eitha' try dig up what ya can about this so called mission, swallow'n ya pride if ya ned to in the process to get the answers ya need. 'nd if there turns out to be somethin' funny bout that situation, then ya bring it to light." She bows her head. "Or… keep goin' as yer goin', yer head held high as ya rise above'm, 'nd let your achievements as a shinobi of Kumogakure be what brings honor back to yer house." She pauses to let her words sink for a moment before opening her eyes. "Both of'em are long shots, I ain't gonna lie. 'nd considering this is all bout politics to a few degrees, yer… gonna have a lopsided fight on yer hands eitha way. Still, its… their better than option three." On that note, Rise looks away again, looking contemplative.
Eiji would watch Rise quietly, listening to her closely as his hand absently rested on the hilt of that blade. Frowning slightly at her contemplation, Eiji would finally nod her way slightly. "Rise-Sensei? what is option three? I have been on plenty of long shots and come out ahead.. determination and focus helps plenty with such things.. but having information about all options is important. Is there a way I have missed?"
She doesn't speak up immediatly, but the idle tapping on her part comes to an end. When at least she does decide to speak, a quiet huff signals the end of any quiet contemplation. "Forget about it. Forget I even brought it up. Option three isn't really an option. It certianly ain't a solution consider'n what it'll cost in the end. 'nd trust me—" She regards Eiji pointedly. "The cost ain't worth it." Rise holds the stare for a long moment, almost daring Eiji to challenge her word. "Just thank yer lucky stars ya did miss it, and move on… Can't believe I even-…" She trails off there grumbling nonsense.
Eiji stares at Rise, watching her as she'd go on about forgetting it. "I'll fight you for it, Rise-sensei." His voice is quiet, his hand subconciously tightens on the grip of his blade as he'd continue to watch her. "I hate what I have to deal with and if there is another way.. then I want to know. I want to know what it is, before I decide to move on.. and I refuse to let others decide such things for me.. That's why I still have a blade after the beatings.. after the glares. What. Is. It?"
Rise silently absorbs it all, but again refrained from speaking up immediatly. "So this is what it feels like to be on the other end." She said softly, a smirk teasing the corner of her lips. Afterwards, she regards Eiji with a mix of both pride and disappointment battling for control in her eyes. "I should probably order ya to let this go… Ya might not listen tho'… might be will'n to throw a lot away for awhile for an answer that just ain't worth it." She sighs. "But I'm not gonna do that. Instead, I'mma warn ya now this one last time to drop it now. If ya don't, then… know that I won't hold back. 'nd if ya lose, ya betta not try bring it up again. Cause if ya do, a beat'n from me will be the last of ya worries." She states flatly.
Eiji would shake his head slightly. "No.. if.. if it came to a direct order. That is that. I am where I am due to those orders, Rise-sensei. I am a genin that can stop a waterfall. I am sent on missions chuunin are ordered on but I'm no higher. My whole team has been promoted before me, despite me putting in years of work on a mission that wasn't expected to ever return from.. If you give me a chance, Rise-sensei. I'll take it." Eiji would step back a few steps, gathering himself and his chakra as he'd focus, watching her.
"The only chance I'm give'n ya is a chance to say ya tried." Rise states, a bit of mirth returning to her tone. She steps back like Eiji, but did not bother building up her chakra. What was available was more than enough. She simply had to redirect as she took up an aggressive kata, forcing one restriction point after another to burst open until porcelain skin turns completely red, and ebony locks burst stood on end after bursting free from the day's design.
Beneath the surface, more was going on, but Eiji would not be given much of a moment to consider before the Shirokiri is on him.With little mercy or restraint, Rise would string together a barrage of fist, feet, and even knees. All in an effort to hammer home earlier she meant to stay true to her declaration from before.
Rise didn't have to use chakra.. Eiji's eyes narrowed as he'd watch signs of the gates opening. Settling back in that draw stance, it was only just before she was suddenly apon him that he had set. Blade met fist, blade met kicks and knees. There'd always be those few shots that manage past the defense, manage to slip by because fist can be faster than blade, even one wielded by a Reizei. Eiji followed up on her, a strike after the last punch, leading into that smashed pommel into the temple, before he'd spin in place, lashing out with a heavy slash at her. The drawing of his blade after the pommel hit giving rise to twin strikes, one right after the other. He'd skid back then. A small space, his blade set at his waist within it's sheath again as he'd watch Rise intently.
A flicker of admiration and approval. Even if Rise didn't approve Eiji's pursuit this day, she couldn't help but recognize his talent. Beyond this, however, the Shirokiri kept her visage and form from giving away any further feeling. The proof of this is all but shown in her smooth transition from subtle lean back out of range of the pommel strike into a crouch, evading the second strike. Within the brief opening between second and third, she leaps up for an uppercut to the chin. Eiji is not allowed to get far should the strike connect. But instead, by grabbing on to a passing foot, Rise would bring him down hard into the ground. Landing a second later, she tries tossing him into the nearest tree.
Eiji might be fast.. but Rise had speed, power and probably the critical aspect at this point.. experience. Disrupting his strike, Eiji is indeed thrown off balance, the opening critical to getting smashed, then thrown into a tree. He grunts in pain at the impact, dropping to the ground as his blade would clatter next to him. Blinking, he'd see stars, his vision wavery for a moment before finally clearing. Shaking his head, he'd pick up his blade and slowly sheath it. Gathering himself up, he'd finally look at Rise again. "Ow." With that, Eiji would shift his stance, a bit lower, a bit wider, as he'd pour chakra inward, fueling that speed as he stared at Rise. "I don't give up.. that easily.. Rise-sensei.. So.. let's see.. how this works.."
Familiar pain and the rush of energy… She enjoyed it in the past — reveled in it, in fact. But after hearing the heavy impact, and seeing Eiji waver and struggle for a moment to get up, Rise grimaced and clenched her hands tighter as if struck herself. With a sharp exhale, she snapped back into a more fit fighting stance, dismissing the feeling. "Ow?" She parrots, a hint of amusement lighting up her eyes. It fades soon after as an almost primal awareness of building energy and fleeting remembrance of the stance Eiji took up forewarned of the man's intention.
"Neither did I back in the day… Which is why I know I can't let you keep going like this." She practically disappears scarcely a second after the last word slips out, tearing up the earth from her initial bound forward. When next she "reappears" her foot is already extended for a strike to the gut. A blow meant to send him flying and reeling long enough to get in the man's shadow, grapple him from behind, and make sure his landing is far from a soft one. Even if she cannot manage the initial set-up, Rise doesn't hesitate to follow-up with a spinning elbow aimed dangerously close to the pelvis area.
Within the modified drawn stance, with the chakra he could pool poured into that speed, Rise wasn't getting ahead of him this time. The strike was met with the edge of the blade, the shield that Eiji has developed to stop a waterfall put to good use to stop Rise from getting at him. When Rise attempted that spin, Eiji snapped out, the extra speed making it a blurred motion, even at the faster speeds they were moving, to lash out and disrupt her. It wasn't enough to pull him out of the gathering, and while she was that close.. it was the perfect moment to strike. His blade clicks home and with that infused speed, Eiji vanished in that dash forward. It's a single line of light. The only truth to the actual strike that drew up from waist upward across Rise and the real effect of the strike not truly felt until the blade that was drawn out, would click home in it's sheath.
Torn between completing the movement and retreat, Rise hesitates for one brief moment too long. Pain that went briefly above maintaining the gates wracked her mind, opening a hole in her defense; a instinctive lift of the arms to protect her face. By the time her eyes are fully open and disorientation has passed, it is already too late. The wide a fraction more, registering the disappearance of Eiji, and then… slam shut as new found pain blossom following a click.
Rise falters and even starts to fall at first; only to catch herself and press a hand over part of the wound closest to her chest. "… Ehmmgh… It seems… I've gotten a little too rusty." She said grimly as she turns about to face Eiji. "Or maybe….. Eiji…. One last time… Let this go." Rise states firmly before straightening out more, recovering if only in stamina and will quickly thanks to the gates.
Panting softly, Eiji would slide back into that draw stance, watching Rise as she'd recover some from the strike. "Rise-sensei.. if.. when.. you were here.. at this point.. what did you do? If this is a mirror of your past.. do you really.. think.. I'd stand down either?" Eiji went on the offensive then, that blur, his bloodline, put to good use as he'd flash foward, the blade a twisting blur of multiple strikes that only after Eiji skids off to the left, the final click of the blade setting within that sheath, does the hits register. Eiji has pushed that weapon training hard.. and while Rise was pressing him.. he wasn't giving up yet it seems!
Instead of an immediate reply, Rise bowed her head slightly and closed her eyes. She refused to open them even as the "blades" of a living blur drew in close, ensuring a swift defeat if not worse. Which is why it might come as a surprise when she does subtle shift just enough to avoid the first… second… and then even a third strike. Her eyes snap open at that point. The last evasive step had carried her close enough to deliver a hard blow to the gut, winding him if it connected, as well as fold him up enough to grasp at his neck next. Even if she didn't have the height to hold him aloft, she had more than enough strength to nearly crush the wind pipe altogether. Rise is careful, however. And soon enough, Eiji would be flipped over head and slammed hard enough into the ground to fracture bone and shatter earth.
Or at least, she tries, and if successful made certain to put a foot down on Eiji's throat. A warning as much as the glare that accompanied for him to 'Stay Down'.
Eiji, having picked up on how Rise can react, was ready for it. An edge, if ever slight, was in that speed as he'd manage to turn the strike into a deflect, stopping short was was most likely going to be an incredably painful slam down. Skidding backwards away from the point of impact of his own defense, Eiji continues to pant softly. "You're.. not going to surrender.. and.. I'm not.. going to give in.. so.. we go until one of us collapses? Or.. will you tell me?" He'd catch his breath, refocusing himself as he sets in that draw stance, ready for what potential Rise might do.
Rise hand shook. But whether or not this is out of anger or lingering results of striking metal is hard to see. Either way, it is withdrawn and held back in place in preparation to continue the fight. "Even though…" She paused, gathering back and strengthening her resolve with a deep breathe.
"Even though I'm bein a bit irresponsible in letting things get this far, I absolutely /refuse/ to play a part in plant'n an idea that… that would get a fellow Kumo shinobi needlessly hurt. That could even-…" Rise grimaces, but held her tongue in time. At a glance she knew Eiji was close to his last leg. If things continued on as they did — if /she/ took things a step further and failed to handle things right…
"Its time to end this… The fourth gate… Gate of Limit…. Open!" Rise shouts, arms snapping outwards displacing the air so forcefully dust and debris scattered nearby for meters. Again, Rise explodes forth, closing the distance between them in seconds, and unleashing a spinning back kick to the chest.
Not enough. Not quite enough. Rise's increase has Eiji narrow his eyes. he'd try to interrupt that strike, only to mistime it, getting a kick in the chest instead. He arches away, flying backwards as he'd slam into a boulder then drop to the ground in a heap. His sword clatters to a stop near him. Panting, he'd groan in pain. Slowly stirring to get up on hands and knees. He stared at the ground in front of him, shaking his head slightly with a silent sigh. "Is this it? Is this all I'm.. I'm good for? Capable of..? I.. why can't I push.. more? Why…" Eiji passes out, falling with a thud to the ground.
Although her landing form is far from taught perfection, Rise recovers well enough to remain standing, if albeit in pain from strained muscles. Panting lightly, she watches Eiji slowly stirring form carefully. Twice now she underestimated the young man. There would be no third time. While his every movement left her tense, it is his words that give her pause long enough to begin relax.
"Eiji-san-…" She starts to say. But, before another word can slip out he collapses, eliciting a wince out of the instructor before she moves to check him over. On the way over signs of the gate's release die down. Fatigued, Rise sways at one point or another, and yet managed to make it the rest of the way without difficult.
"Ya idjit…" She shook her head, then began digging out basic medical supplies. "Don't let that kinda darkness in…" A quiet moment passes before she stops for a moment, sighs heavily, then set her eyes on the nearby treeline. "If yer done gawk'n kid, why don't ya get off yer ass and go get a medic!" She yells out. Bushes rattle seconds later followed by the sound of small feet hitting the ground. With another shake of her head, Rise returns to work with a weak smile.
For once, she was grateful for having challenged the students to try and prank her outside of school…