Date: May 21, 2015
The youth of Sunagakure is pitted against the elderly of the Land of Earth in a fight on an ever shifting battlefield.
"Steel Soul Tourney - Midget Against Midget: Arika vs. Amago"
Dammed Arena - Floor [Kirigakure]
At the foot of the great march of bones that dams this tall canyon of blue-gray granite, under the shadows of the stands: the Kirigakure arena. Rivulets of water still escape the base of the dam and dampen the gravely bed of the dry river. The length of the canyon is limited by a raised platform at the south end featuring the referee's post and a large display board announcing the details of the match.
The time had finally come for Kaguya Mai to be given a break as referee; leaving the untested to take over. Despite nervousness gnawing at the back of the fresh chuunin's mind, Kiyoshi strode into the arena with his head held high. The only time it dips is to bow to Mai in passing before his attention turns to the crowd itself. Many up to that point either murmured amongst themselves, or openly booed the man for having given up his own first match after nearly severing both of his opponents arms.
Undeterred, Kiyoshi simply breaks the seal of a scroll in hand and unfurls. "The next match shall be…. Ikitara Arika, Genin of Sunagakure versues… Sasaki Amago, Clan Head of the Sasaki following the Path of Earth, and shinobi of Iwagakure!" He bellows, and with a bit of a flourish, turns about to face the arena proper. "Enter, and make ready!" He calls out, knowing the two, or at least hoping the two had been properly notified of the match up.
Arika wonders just who the heck decided to put her in the same bracket as a CLAN HEAD. Like, seriously… The girl is only 10, how the heck is she going to make that much of a dent with the dude? She sighs as she enters the arena, much to some of the people's dismay. They were a bit hostile after the small incident, though she didn't really reveal much. There's always a danger… 'So stay out of this…' she mutters inwardly as she makes her way forward. The girl puts on her best smile to Amago, though. "Hii! I don't think this's very fair, but good luck!" she says cheerfully, hoping that her youth might throw the clan head off.
Heavy, heavy footfalls sound out as the man walks in from the waiting area. He has to bend low to even get through the door…
Sasaki Amago makes a low grunt as he sees his opponent, and immediately looks at Kiyoshi as if he is being insulted. He does feel that it is improper to do this, but that's his pride kicking in. The old man would politely lean down, bowing to the young girl with the clear visible restraint of an elder. The aura he gives off shows he does not view her as a threat. That's when that low, growling voice seeps from his lips.
"You should still be with your peers, not fighting in this stage, child…But let's see what lessons you know."
He would drop his hands from his sleeves, standing back upright as his chakra immediately surges. Even if she's a child, he doesn't keep a low guard, he views her as a trap…
The fighters were gathered, leaving only one thing left to be said… And yet, he hesitated for a moment after noting the two entrants entrance. The look from the old man in particular earned increased scrutiny for a moment, but ultimately nothing more comes of it. 'A child versues a goliath…' He merely shook his head in exasperation before raising a hand above his head.
"You are both aware of the rules, but I will remind you one last time. You are both welcome to do battle until you are no longer able to continue, or wish to concede. However, unless one of your are about to die, I will not interfere. Understood?" After exchanging one final glance at each fighters as the tension built up, Kiyoshi dropped the hand, signalling the beginning of the match. In a blur of motion, the Kirryu is on the wall, crouching and waiting for what could only be a quick end.
Arika nods and waits for the signal that allows them to start fighting, the girl rocking back and forth as she waits. "Well, Jiro-kun is in the tournament, too, but I'm a bit stronger than him, so I ended up in this bracket," she says, giving a nod and then making a handseal. What happens next probably goes unnoticed by the older nin, a gust of wind slamming into his legs to try and knock him over while she throws a kunai imbued with wind chakra to add to its cutting edge.
Amago's reaction is slow, but fierce as his veins in his forehead buldge while he forms two fast handseals…and moves suddenly away quickly from the oncoming gust that focused on his tree trunk legs. The man then just turns his body now, and slides along the ground without lifting his feet. The visible effect is surreal, as he doesn't seem to even need to move at all. It's when the kunai flies past him that his eyes open up a bit wider.
"Dear child, you have quite the talent, but you never should have used Wind Ninjutsu against a Sasaki of the Earth!"
With that, the man lifts his heavy foot up…slamming it down once hard into the ground. That's when the shards erupt around him and splinter before three fast handseals cause them to levitate.
The points of the shards immediately aim at the young genin without mercy, but then he forms two more handseals…
As the shards begin to fly right for Arika, the ground beneath her feet suddenly begins to betray her. It loosens, and suddenly sucks straight downward like a gaping maw!
"Checkmate, dear child."
Arika feels the ground shift beneath her, squeaking as she's sucked down into the ground. For a moment, in seems like she's trapped there, when suddenly… *POOF* The smoke of a clone appears, indicating that the girl had replaced herself with a clone. "Tsucchan was a Sasaki, too! Did you know her?" the girl wonders. Of course, Tsuchi was also a Path of Wind Sasaki, so he probably didn't know her outside of 'I hate you', if at all.
Arika hmms. "And I don't think you got me. I'm still standing and stuff." She shrugs and makes another seal, focusing chakra so that a burst of air would once again head for Amago before the girl follows up with a kunai. She enjoys using the same tricks, it seems. Though in addition to the kunai is a blast of poisonous green smoke that is exhaled from her mouth. The girl is seeking to drain the Sasaki's energy.
Amago's brow rises a little…was that pleasant surprise that she escaped his sinkhole? Was the old man softening a little? Well, he was, until this time he's knocked off of his legs because he got caught wondering! He flails about, and heavily hits the ground with enough force to crack it…why is he so heavy?
The sinking in of the kunai startles him back into a realistic train of thought, and as he feels his body begin to succumb to the poison in the air, he covers his mouth and begins to sit up…with the very aide of the ground below him uprighting him. He didn't even physically move his body, the ground itself simply rose beneath him until he was once again standing there.
He looks at Arika with the passive calmness that he wasn't showing before, and actually gives her the very slightest of nods.
"Good job, child. I take back what I said earlier. You have strength ahead of you in your future…I'm sorry."
Amago would bring his hands up in a seal that seems almost to be abstract, touching his own forehead a second with two templed fingers before forming seven hand seals with a blinding speed.
That's when his hand touches the ground, and that's when the entire arena begins to shake and quiver. Amago has felt Arika worthy enough to begin using the talent that only his clan holds. From where his palm rests, suddenly the ground seems to knit in upon itself, buckling upward in dangerous directions! Random shards and crags jut out not in a growing wave…but from where he stands almost to the damn, all at the same time.
"The ground itself will reject you today!"
That's when the final surge hits…a second and even more powerful volley hits, leaving the very arena with a surreal fold of churned earth and rock striking down the middle of it.
Arika narrows her eyes a bit, frowning when she feels the earth begin to shake beneath her. She moves quickly, seeking safer ground, but she doesn't make it in time. While some of the rocks avoid her, other shards hit, and it really hurts. "Owwie.." she pouts, chakra gathering as she focuses it. The wind picks up around her, as she focuses her chakra, mostly to her legs so that she can jump up. With the jump, there's a burst of wind that would seek to knock the larger nin over. As she lands, she does a front flip so that wind comes crashing down, keeping him in place.
Amago, this time, is centered. His eyes though now show a softness in them, he doesn't hold back from giving the child a lesson. He just forms one handseal, and the Earth comes up to claim him. He is sucked down beneath the ground by a warping mass of land and vanishes from sight as her attacks strike nothing but dry riverbed. Where was he?
Before he even makes it known, Arika would recognize the consistency of the ground beneath her feet suddenly go soft again! He was attempting to suck her down with him!? Well…if he succeeds, or doesn't, he slowly emerges on the opposite side of the craggy fold now parting the battlefield. A loud clap of his hands into a single seal, and the ground beneath her feet (or around her) suddenly churns and crunches together to send debris flying upward violently!
Bone and flesh blackens and hardens as the earth and stone began to shake. Kiyoshi just barely manages to get his morphed digits buried into the wall before the shaking reaches its climax. Even then, he's nearly pried loose. Not everyone is so lucky, though fortunately there are no serious injuries. Yet. Only once the earth truly began to settle for awhile did his gaze return to the arena. "So, this is the power of a Sasaki…" He states solemnly, almost relaxing his grip as the words slipped out. A moment later the Kirryu is reconsidering the action, as well as staying neutral after spotting Arika's injuries.
Arika finds herself sinking into the ground, and it's a very unpleasant feeling. Then she's stuck with no way out despite her best efforts to escape, making her grumble. The ground feels as if it's crushing her, but it's not terrible. Not so bad that she would need to stop. In fact, some of the injuries she has sustained are gone, though it would be difficult to tell with her clothes being a mess. The girl hops out of the ground. "I don't like that move," she states.
"Dear child, you have no hint at the power of the Sasaki…"
Amago would finally take a step, moving to stand up on one of the nearby crags that had jutted forth from his earlier attack. He did this only to properly see over at her, and notes the pain she is in. He raises his eyebrow though, surprised as she seems no more worse for the wear. He would look backwards slowly over his shoulder at the arena…then forward at the dam, and then back to the young 10 year old who was brave enough to fight him.
"Dear child, surrender now. Please."
He suddenly surges a large amount of chakra, as if it was a prelude.
Arika shakes her head. "Nope! I gotta prove to Jiro-kun that I can actually win a match." She offers a grin, making that same hand seal combination to gather wind and focus it to her legs. This allows her to sweep outwards with her leg, sending that burst of wind at the Sasaki once more before she leaps up to slam wind down onto the man, forcing him to the ground.
Amago would slowly shake his head, but his hesitation would prove his downfall. There came her opener, and this time the earth pulled him backwards again. It's the second gust though that catches the old man off guard, and he looks up with surprise. His body is suddenly pummeled downward into the ground, pinning him still with clenched teeth.
A low growl starts to seep out of his nose, even though he was holding back against this child he can't resist his annoyance with Wind Ninjutsu.
Arika doesn't hold back, either. The girl lands softly back onto the ground, staring intently at the stuck Sasaki for a bit before the wind picks up. Slowly, it gains a biting edge, slicing Amago with a number of deep cuts that were sure to sting later on. Not just his body, but perhaps also his pride. It could not be denied that Arika was strong, though.
Amago makes a sound that no one expected, one of sudden pain after the first blade tears into him. He tries to sit up in time before the barrage continues to strike him. He seethes now, his eyes going wide with an unexpected fury as his concentration is broken. Suddenly, a leg goes flying…and shatters? A leg of rock? And now an arm?
The man was coming apart!? No blood visible from these appendages, they shatter but the blood from his torso continues as he has a new look on his face…one of anger.
"You should surrender if you really want this to end," Arika huffs, the girl wanting this match to be over. She shakes her head a bit, a hand seal forming. In front of her, she gathers wind. Then she breathes in, exhaling several small blasts of wind that would pierce Amago quite badly if he were to be hit. Hopefully whatever he has planned won't hurt…
Amago's sudden shout causes the ground around him to ripple outward like water. The fluid like nature suddenly wraps up around him and again pulls him underground in an invisible shell. The ground is left oddly folded, almost seeming to resemble a mouth on the ground. When the man emerges…his arms and legs have been reformed, and his face is completely void of a visible emotion. His eyes though are still reflecting the earlier fury as he stands tall over the small girl.
"I'll give you one more chance…Surrender, dear child…"
Arika shakes her head again. She needed practice with that skill, it seemed. Her aim was terrible. The girl tries again, though this time it's less about getting Amago and more about hitting a target that was several feet away from the Sasaki. "Can't surrender. But… I guess you won't budge either. So we're gonna have to keep fighting."
Kiyoshi gritted his teeth behind closed lips, and inched the one free hand left towards his flak jacket. Seeing Amago get literally torn apart touched a nerve, though out of respect he held his tongue. For now. Even the recovery of the old man barely swayed the Kirryu at first, seeing as how he knew all too well how great a weakness pride can be. Then, the look of Amago's face, or perhaps better yet, the lack of emotion gave the giant pause long enough to reconsider.
»Wait for now, Geki…«
Kiyoshi sighed heavily at the warning, but followed it nevertheless. He only hoped it wasn't a mistake…
As again Amago is defensively sinking into the ground, this time he re-emerges on the opposite site of the arena from Arika. In the back of his mind, he actually is excited to see if she can launch herself out of this one. He did agree to himself to remind Kirigakure of Iwagakure's power, and this does have a chance. The only unfortunate thing about being the elder who left his village for another is you do develop a love for tough lessons. Amago would repeat the handseal from earlier, which is clearly one used for the Path of Earth's channeling. He would suddenly shell out almost eleven hand seals before clamping his palms down on the ground in front of him.
"Kirigakure. I will redo your maps for free. Canyon of the Failed Journey!"
The sudden eruption of sound is the only immediate clue something was definitely going wrong. The man has just triggered the tectonic plates and pressure he built up from the earlier usage of those powerful techniques. Amago's feet remain in place thanks to a bending outcrop of rock…but everything in front of him, from his hands to clear into almost the water opposite side of the dam, splits wide open enough to jolt the entire island. Amago has just separated the very land apart with a single technique, and all he utters is a growl as his eyes lock on Arika…
~You and the big guy are real close, huh? Heheheh… I'm actually a bit jealous. Your host seems pretty impressive,~ rumbles a voice that only Kiyoshi would likely hear. Arika is distracted enough that she can't move quickly and she squeaks as she ends up stuck where she is, in this odd canyon…
Amago's warning could not have been voiced any clearer. And yet, Kiyoshi is a second slowly in registering it for what it was. The second is a costly one, though only in terms of his career. Higher ranking shinobi — either drawn by the earth shaking battle or having chosen to spectate from the start — spring into action in anticipation of trying to seal a breached dam, or potentially escort spectators to safer ground.
A scant few seconds later, the eruption of sound all but debilitates the most sensitive; including Kiyoshi. He remains glued to the wall largely in thanks to his Bijuu taking over. But who knew how long he'd last.
That's the only sound Amago makes, and from the far edge comes the reason why. The damage is done, his warning is done, and now he gives a child a lesson. His loud yell of focus betrays his calm face, and the reason why is as clear as the sound of an incoming avalanche…
Amago has begun to press the ground together, creasing it back at full force as he did earlier in the match. It first starts from the far end, and then from his end. In the back of his mind, he's doing this to see if the child survives. In the visible sense, he's gaining revenge for being mangled by a Wind Ninjutsuist.
His real reason? Teaching what he teaches all of his young Sasaki. Know when to bow.
"Close! Tectonic Compression!"
At the word close, Kiyoshi is off without a moment's hesitation. Never once did he question whatever intinct prompted him to move. All that mattered was that he got down into the canyon before it sealed, permnantly entombing Arika. Stone shatters as he bounced from one side of the canyon to the next, picking up speed with every bound. It still isn't completely enough. Arika suffers as a result, but only for a few moments. In the next, the girl is in his arms, the wind robbed from her potentially from the high speed movements.
By the time the duo stops moving, the earth has sealed itself once more. Kiyoshi stood a few meters from its former edge, panting and sweating from exertion. "I… That is… Enough… Before things can escalate further… I must declare Amago-san… the victor." He intoned without so much as a glance down at Arika.
Amago is slowly standing up now, dusting off his arms. He would stagger only a moment before the odd calmness on his face seems to settle. He begins to wearily walk towards the shinobi at first, then takes in a small breath and stands upright. He maintains his poise, but has his eyes closed now. He's not wanting to show his concern.
He would turn, starting to walk now back to the stands without a word.
He did just make one stark statement, after all.
Arika ends up getting a bit squished before she makes it out of the earthen canyon alive. She peers a bit as she realizes that she didn't get squashed like a bug, then she glares at her rescuer. "I was fine…" she mutters, even if she probably would have ended up very squished. The girl grumbled a bit more, and if she had know Kiyo, he likely would have gotten a nice Macroburst or two. But since she doesn't… ~Another failure. Are you sure you don't want me to help?~ 'HUSH UP' she grumbles inwardly. The girl shakes her head a bit. "Better moves…" she mutters, giving a small bow to Amago before she completely disappears in a gale of wind.