Date: January 3, 2012
Two Shippodoku brothers look towards the future and bring in the new year with a spar.
"New Year - Shippodoku New Year"
Small Oasis [Land of Wind]
A small oasis is all that is left of a large spring fed lake that stretched out to the east from here. The spring still bubbles water into a small yet refreshing pool of water. Tall palm trees and a myriad of flowering plants with bright flowers and deep green leaves surround the pool, however the eastern shore is open for travelers to make an easy way into the water as they seek to cool their sun drenched bodies. Near the pool, a deep well has been dug from the earth and mud bricks keep the sand from filling in the well. Extending east from the pool, dried cracked mud patches indicate the oasis at the far eastern area you can see the baked cracked mud turning back into a thin desert with many broken pieces of sharp shale rock sticking up in the sand.
The moon is high above the desert. On this night, the old year passed and ushered in a new year. While there were some celebrations in the village, not everyone seemed to be there. Out near the oasis, stood Keiji. The boy's dark eyes focused on the night sky. There were some random colors flashing about off in the distance. It was obvious there were fireworks going in the village. At this distance though, they did not hurt the eyes of the young Shippodoku.
After a few moments the boy crouches down and takes a drink of water from the oasis. His movements are by no means fast. It seems Keiji is relaxing on this night. After a moment or two has passed, he turns and scans the rest of the desert. He is waiting on someone.
Knowing where to go and when to be there, Konsatsu took his time to the spot where he was to meet his brother. He wasn't going to be late, but didn't plan on arriving early either. As he moved across the desert, his feet shuffled through the sand while his hands rested lazily within pockets. He wasn't overly excited about seeing Keiji this night, after what had happened a few days ago he was sure he was going to be scolded or reprimanded once again.
So with the Oasis coming into view and the display of bright lights far off in the distance, it was easy for him to spot the silhouette of another. Konsatsu's approach remained the same and with only the moon in the sky, his hood was down to show off his own features. A smile would be given, "Hello brother."
Keiji spots Konsatsu as he makes his way towards him. "Cheer up brother. This is a new year. It marks the first year that we are out from under another's hole. I believe we should mark the occassion in some way. Maybe a spar. As we get older the spar will become greater and greater. What do you think?" The elder brother asks the younger. It was a slight shocker, but he was not asking anyone else to share a real tradition with him.
Konsatsu stopped short of his brother, just a few feet away and stared at the other with his jet black eyes. "Yes, it's quite refreshing to think of it that way. A start for something new, to mark our paths from this point on." He glanced beyond Keiji now, watching the show in the background. "I'm fine with starting the year off with a spar. It will give me another 365 days until the next year to hopefully catch up to you by then." His eyes fell back to his brother and his hands came out of his pockets only to hang at his sides.
A smile formed on Keiji's face. "You have been catching up. Especially in your natural ability. For me it will be 365 days to widen the gap." The boy then takes his own stance. "You go first." He pondered just how his brother would attack. Would he shift first or start off with a warm up?
"Perhaps you should spend this year resting? Maybe go on vacation." The boy would would chuckle as he took a step back and reached for his pincers tucked behind his cloak. He slipped his hands into the grooves then pulled them out in front of him. The metal of each shined and glistened in the moon light. "Ok, I'll start out slow and build up each round." He waited for a moment, before running forth, feet kicking up sand behind him until reaching his brother. Quickly he took a couple strikes with each hand to test the reaction from each.
Keiji laughed at his brother's joke. He then put on his game face. He moved to the side of the first attack before planting his feet and using a pincer to knock off the next strike. He then moves forward and makes two strikes of his own with his pincer. "Lets see what you have learned brother."
Konsatsu knew even though this was a spar, he needed to observe his brother carefully. Watch the moves that are made and try to emulate them later and some how make them his own. "I may disappoint you in that department. My aptitude for learning is quite slow." Which was some what apparent as he attempts to dodge the first strike only to be far too slow to do so and when the second attack comes, he brings up his own weapon to block it. However, the force from his brother pushed his own weapon into his shoulder dropping him to his knees.
Quickly he thrusted the claw aside and rolled backwards on the sand then sprung to his feet. Konsatsu glanced at the wound, then toward his brother. "Alright, time to see if I can make you transform this time." He focused within himself and his muscles instantly reacted, becoming tighter and more responsive. Konsatsu sprung forward with his weapon slicing from one side, then the other.
Keiji tried to move out of the way of the first attack, but ended up being sliced by it. "Not bad, that is an improvement." he states before dashing back away from the other. "You will need to do better than that if you want to see my tail, Kon." The boy then moved forward making two more slashing attacks with his pincer. He intentionally trying to see how far he could last against his brother's transformation.
The slightest smirk appeared on Konsatsu's face as he realized he had managed to cut his brother, even if it was a small cut. It was still something to start the new year off on. Quickly he brought up his pincers in response to the attacks once again, managing to deflect one and get grazed by the other. Panting some, "Perhaps I should show you mine first then." The boy jumped back and hunched over as he bent at the knees. His body began to shake as he went into the next transformation of the shippodoku clan. The muscles on his body tightened more and a tail suddenly sprouted out his backside. Glancing up at his brother, he smiled some, "If this doesn't get me to see your transformation, I truly need more work." He ran forward, claws swinging about at his brother.
Keiji watches as his brother grows a tail. The light from the fireworks in the distance seem to dance off of his brother's form. It was a unique vision. Different colors adding into their vision. As the first attack came in, Keiji moved his hand outwards to knock it off course. He was successful. He attempted it once more only to be clawed in the arm. "I wonder if we are equals at this point, or if one of us still has the upper hand." Keiji states before doing some hand signs and watching spikes reach up under Konsatsu. Then the boy rushed forward and attempts a strike with his pincer.
Konsatsu shook his head, "You flatter me brother, but it is as clear as we can see in the darkest of nights." His eyes went wide, watching the hand signs being made. He wasn't sure what to expect, so it was no surprise that when the earth jutted up beneath his feet he wasn't able to defend. The stone daggers forcing him to jump up and away from the attack, barely being able to deflect the pincer strike from his brother. "You still know far more then I do and have ninjutsu under your belt as well. I watched you during San-Sara, I was literally sinking while you walked on water." Konsatsu reached into a pocket retreiving a vial and poured the contents onto a claw. After which he rushed forward with the poison tipped blade, striking with that one first before using the other.
Keiji grinned. As he brother came in for the attack, he managed a deep slash into him. He then ended up hitting him again. "Hrmm, it does seem you might have the upper hand so far. So, how far would you like to see me transform?" the boy asked. His brother had earned it. Keiji would at least be decent enough to let Kon decide. Of course while doing so, the boy would attack. First he would lunge forth aiming to hit a pressure point before a normal pincer slash.
Konsatsu blocked both the attacks and jumped back afterwards to think on what his brother had said. He had earned it, the right to fight Keiji transformed as well. Of course he wouldn't think this through and suggesting just the first stage, Konsatsu was too foolish. If he was going to be truly challenged, he wanted his brother at his full strength. "I want to see your tail as well." He raised his pincers, preparing for the attacks that were sure to come
Keiji had expected the answer. Soon he revealed his own tail and nodded his head. He decided to take it easy on Konsatsu. He did not want to hospitalize him just yet, nor did he want him to feel that he was being treated as a child. Keiji moves forward aiming two slashing attacks, one of which was with his tail.
Konsatsu smiled as his brother did in fact transform as well, "I feel in no time at all we will both be able to achieve what ever is set in front of us." The first attack came his way and he blocked it with his claw, but the second one was a bit faster and cut him across the arm. It was clear as the spar progressed, Keiji would be the winner. Konsatsu simply didn't have enough abilities under his belt to compete, but would have no choice but to continue with what he did have. So he shifter around, trying to find an opening in the others stance for his claws to make their mark.
Keiji planted his feet and began to divert the attacks with his own pincer. Konsatsu was not planning on backing down. Keiji moved forward aiming two more slashes at his brother. "You have come a long way." It was a truthful admission. Despite being the clear winner, he was trying to be supportive.
Konsatsu deflected the attacks as well, making it appear as if the two were evenly matched. "Thank you brother. Unlocking the next stage in sasoriendai helped greatly. Without it, I'd still be struggling." He brought his pincers together, raising them up high above his head only to bring them down in two cross slashes.
Keiji's strike were seeming to not hit. His defense was solid though, at least he thought as he knocked the first attack off its intended course. The second hit his arm. In a sense his brother was actually winning the fight. Once more Keiji moved forward, this time attempting to hit the pressure point on his brother's leg before aiming a pincer strike at his brother.
Konsatsu didn't for a second believe he was winning, even as it appeared each hit given was a hit received for the other, he was still slowly fading. He couldn't keep up with the battle for long, he simply didn't have the endurance for it. So as Keiji came at him, to pinch his pressure points, he couldn't defend properly and instantly tensed, setting him up for the next attack that followed and easily punctured into the boy.
Konsatsu dropped to his knees now, his tail reverting back into his body. The spar was over and continuing on further would only cause him further harm, "Alright, that was a great match this time. Much better then the last." He leaned forward bringing himself to the ground before rolling over to face where the fireworks were going off. "The new year promises great things for us both it would seem."
Keiji allowed his body to revert as well. "That it does brother." The boy was glad to see his brother's progression. For him, the new year not only has potential, but allowed him someone he could trust beyond that of the other Sunagakure shinobi. Soon the boy would join his brother in the sand and look towards the fireworks. "You dont need medical attention do ya?" It was as much ribbing as it was a serious question.