Pride, Priority, & Punishment


Sei, Kiyoshi, Meruin

Date: February 2, 2014


The enmity that resulted from Sei and Kiyoshi's first meeting seem to finally come to a head in an intense spar when the unexpected happens. Meruin, the newly anointed Mizukage, appears before the duo before the match can escalate, reprimanding and reminding both boys of what it means to be a member of a team under the direct handling of a Kage.

"Pride, Priority, & Punishment"

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.


They had… issues. For some reason that other child had problems with the fact that he couldn't speak. So what if he couldn't speak because he was genetically unable to. The child had to be shown that it didn't matter. That he would have to deal with it. So, that time between training, Kiyoshi was sent an invitation. A 'spar' at the arena. It'd have the medics nearby, they wouldn't be going to the death. Sei, however, was bored with Kiyoshi's resentment and was prepared to end it.

Too bad he was still under an order he couldn't kill anyone, from Meruin.

While the nightmares still continued to torment Kiyoshi, the boy was gradually gaining a grasp on how to fight back, even if it meant leaning on another. He did so grudgingly, but spared no remarks regarding a lack of 'need' on his part. There was simply an… understanding between them. Sadly, the understanding did not extend into the affairs associated with certain Okumo, in particular, Sei. The boy who 'wouldn't' just speak up for some reason. Kiyoshi held on to no illusions regarding the just how their spar would turn out upon obtaining the invitation. Much to his own personal chagrin, Sei's lesson from their first scrape still held sway on the boy's mind. Nevertheless, Kiyoshi would not accept any predictions based on his own defeat…

The silence that probably surrounded Sei in the arena would be broken by the sound of Kiyoshi's personal entrance — a leap into the arena from the stands. Kiyoshi straightens out, folds his arms across his chest, and peer at the Okumo expectantly.

Sei stared at Kiyoshi as he showed up. Hm. Well, at least he did show up, he was half expecting the child to back out. That white board taken from the small of his back, he'd unfold it, opening it so that the spiders could trickle out of his sleeve and across the board, settling into that flowing spider script. ~Good. You showed. Since you won't acknowledge that I am unable to speak, I am going to dominate you physically so you understand the proper place for you. Prepare yourself.~ He'd start gathering his chakra himself, his brood, already spread out, would hum with that power that flowed into them. Once Sei gave enough time for Kiyoshi to read the board, the spiders would drop away, settling into the terrain as the board was folded up and put away quite calmly.

Reluctantly, Kiyoshi eyed the board as the script unfolded, suppressing a shudder all the while. He would probably never truly get used to seeing the mass of small bodies moving in such a way. In response, Kiyoshi snorted and grab the hilt of the weapon at his backside.

-Don't interfere-

He took the rumbling from his mind-space as a sign of the beast's approval of terms, though, he doubted the creature would fail to act on his own accord if it suited him. Kiyoshi wasn't the only one with a bit of a vendetta against the Okumo after all. An extended breath is released. Muscles are tensed and firmed up, giving the boy a bulkier appearance. His grip tightens further, and then… he power surges forth from within of his own making.

Watching impassively, Sei studied Kiyoshi as he got prepared. Waiting for that proper moment, just before Kiyoshi would settle into a guard, would that initial attack of spiders come from his left. A group of spiders launched at him from the ground, they would bite and scatter over Kiyoshi's body, spreading webbing as they did. Quickly, he'd find himself bound up within that thread, forced to fight to even get free of it, even as a chunk of rock from the arena floor was launched right at Kiyoshi's head from behind. The sticky mass of webbing surrounding it doing nothing to reduce the impact, but add weight, making it even more annoying to try and take off.

Sei didn't move. He simply watched.

As sharp as his senses have become thanks to all those cat & mouse games with Yuriko and Hissori, Kiyoshi still failed to fully read the attack. Spiders clamor up his form, biting and tearing at anything they can find purchase on as they spread their webbing. Too late would they realize the futility of the latter. Concentrating, Kiyoshi transforms the affected parts of his body into larger, more powerful variations more akin to his bestial form, expanding rapidly only to condense himself back to normal, throwing most off and scattering the others from the movement. Those that remain and aren't fast enough to abandon ship will be squashed beneath the boy from the initial attempt to throw himself clear of the bugs.
At some point during the roll the O-katana strapped to his back is freed up and leveled to meet the next attack… only, the webs still muck up his reflexive guard, ruining both grip and hand to a degree. The pain mattered little, for her charged forward an instance later, intent on cleaving Sei in half with a wild swing, though failing that more likely than not, the momentum from his swing helps power the roundhouse kick and sweeping strike of blade that followed. Terror tactics.

Still Sei didn't move. The first strike, webbing already attached to it, would have a sudden tug occur, the blade pulled high to sweep over Sei's head. Indeed, even Kiyoshi's round house foot would get some webbing that would latch onto it, moving it just that much, just enough to avoid hitting Sei. his eyes narrowed, Sei would finally move, some webbing attached to him pulling him off to the left, a short hop, but enough to simply avoid the third strike, leaving Kiyoshi to swing at air.


There, behind where Sei was standing was.. Sei? He immediately launched himself at Kiyoshi, a heavy impact revealing it to be a mass of webbing and spiders, a clone that would seek to cling and bite, much as before. While Kiyoshi dealt with that, the same rock he had blocked before got pulled into place, another sling of webbing structured between some rubble of the ground had it launched at his head. Sei watched Kiyoshi, calculating. After all.. couldn't kill him and he had some.. odd.. effects.

Kiyoshi's eyes never wondered from the goal of seeing Sei defeated, and for that, he lost the perspective he needed to anticipate the Okumo's defense. A fool might not have noticed the manipulation, but Kiyoshi picked up on them well enough to foresee the events from last time playing again. He refused to let that be, which is why when the Sei was replaced by another, he dug in and seemed to lash out with a palm strike to soon. In truth, the boy once more drew shifted again, 'stretching and expanding his arm out beyond its normal size. A wall for the clone to slam into, skin altered as well into the same substance as Kokuo's horn, negating the arachnids attempt to find purchase or pierce him for that matter.
Thoughtlessly, the blade is brought to bare again and swept out, knocking aside the rubble despite its weight and side as easily as if it were a pebble. He did this without even a glance…

With both threats out of the way, Kiyoshi set his sights back on Sei. He knew what he asked of the demon, and yet, twice he narrowly infringed upon the agreement. There was to be a third time, regrettably. Whatever webbing Sei still had attached to Kiyoshi's body and sword would burn away under the caustic influence of another chakra source regardless of prior resistance built in. The initial pulse settles down soon after, reinforcing the boy internally now. The earth breaks away under foot as the boy charged forward, only to dip abruptly to the side at the last second and spin back around for a sword strike and a backhand blow.

Sei raised a brow. Interesting.

While Sei himself didn't move, he still moved. The initial webbing that had been connected to kiyoshi burnt off, Sei frowned but kept ready. As Kiyoshi tried to attack, Sei got pulled away, avoiding those swings of the blade and backhand. Chakra surging outward into Sei's brood, the whole swarm moved faster. leading Kiyoshi on, Sei kept close, just far enough so that at the last moment, Sei himself twisted back, revealing a human sized web. It'd surge forward, seeking to latch onto Kiyoshi, bind him up as the spiders on it quickly added to the mass of webbing. Even while that part of the brood worked to cocoon Kiyoshi, another part was biting him, venom from the brood seeking to invade the boy, cause that burning pain that would linger and slow him down. Sei wasn't using the really bad spiders.. He couldn't kill.. but he was definitely having to step it up with Kiyoshi.

'Just how much of a light weight is he?!'

There was no time to commit towards finding that answer, only the understanding that Sei would press on, unrelenting like the brood he bore within and without. Led on like a fool but unwilling to play the part a second further, Kiyoshi dug his feet in the moment he noted the mass of webbing sent his way. His intention were to do what was done before against the clone… but transformed too slowly to keep from capture. He knew what would follow next and gritted his teeth in preparation for pain. A sharp gasp later and the boy is yanked back instead?
'What in the—?!'

Abruptly, Meruin appeared at Kiyoshi's back, black arm streaking forward and piercing the webbing that had captured the boy and grabbing hold of an arm. His own protected by the chitinous sheathe that covered the limb, he whirled and took the genin with him, spinning him about so swiftly that most of the spiders within the webbing were flung from it, sent a small distance away. And then he looked to Sei, holding the webbed Kiyoshi up by the arm.
"I… am displeased," spoke the Mizukage."

His brood froze. Suddenly there was Okumo Meruin.

Worse. He was displeased.

Sei stared at them for a moment, his brood reflexively withdrawing into a defensive area about him as Sei withdrew his pad from the small of his back. Unfolding it, he'd hold it forward, those spiders of his swarming out of his sleeve to settle across the surface quickly. ~There is dissidence between us due to his holding my lack of voice against me. As he is a physical type, I suspected he would respect a physical domination. I proffered the challenge and made sure to not use excessive force as I am not allowed to kill anyone per your orders. As far as I know, nothing occurred outside of standing rules. Please inform me so I may make corrections to my understanding.~

And.. he'd wait. It seemed a reasonable request to him, after all, if nothing was done wrong but it is displeasing, then the rule needs to be made so he doesn't break it in the future, right? Or.. Meruin just kills him..

'Disappointed?….Ah… that…'

A growl comes out unbidden, deep and gutteral but not quite the same as if Kiyoshi lost control. Yet. Being held up like some prized turkey however did not see weel with either host or prisoner… but alas, they knew what acting now would mean. "Teme!… You don't get anything, do you?" Kiyoshi says heatedly. His position may be undignified but that didn't mean he was going to make it worse by playing the meek fool.

"I am displeased because your logic is faulty — There is nothing to gain but enmity in beating a man in these circumstances. Especially not when they are weakened with fatigue." Meruin's chin lifts slightly as he sets Kiyoshi down, a bladed hand parting the webbing covering the boy. "I am displeased because you two lack a certain conscientiousness. Now is /not/ the time for the newly appointed Mizukage's team to be fighting each other in the public eye. This moment only harms our image and trust me when I say we are being watched. But I am most displeased by you." He turns to look at Kiyoshi, gaze direct. "Your direct disobedience is many things, none of them good, and you can reflect on each of those things as you stay home while your teammates complete their next mission without you. I recommend focusing on the lack of thought, the harm this has and could have caused, and the fact that there are none to blame but yourself for the consequences that will result from this."

Sei glared at Kiyoshi. He was weaken and came anyways? … not that Sei even noticed the daily poisoning he was going through anymore it seems. A slow breath taken in, then released, he'd bow to Meruin. The brood would withdraw as Sei released his hold on the chakra adding to them. Image.. well, that was a first thought for him. Sei hadn't really ever thought about the rest of the world in a political sense, especially when in Kiri, most grievances were settled much how they were going to do it. Through blood. Shaking his head slightly, the spiders re-arranged on his pad as most of them withdrew to him. ~I did not know of his fatigue otherwise I would of waited for the challenge. Maybe he will listen to you about why I can not speak, so that particular grievance can be settled finally. Otherwise, I will have to find another means to settle accounts with him, Mizukage.~ Respectful.. but Sei was still done with dealing with Kiyoshi's issues, it seems.

Kiyoshi was not wholly ignorant of political issues, but he certainly did not care either. Still, even /he/ did not have the gull to look Meruin in the eyes when his attention shifted directly to him. He seethed and clenched his hands tightly, arms trembling just enough for the one bearing his katana to shake as well. "Whatever…" He muttered as he turned away, sliding his blade back into its shift as he does so. He very nearly takes a step to walk away, only to stop. A breathy sigh is released. Then, he half turns back to regard Meruin.
"I am dismissed now… sir?"

Meruin turned to look towards Sei as he began to 'speak,' the spiders shifting across the pad he held up to form his dialogue. He swiftly read the words and simply nodded, saying, "I will be discussing this with him at another time. As for your lack of knowledge of his fatigue, that I will only hold you accountable for. You must remain aware of the status of your teammates."
And then he looked to Kiyoshi, hearing the sigh that leaves him. All he conveys is a nod and the words, "You are dismissed," before he turned away. "If either of you need me, I am returning to my office." And then he vanished, moving swiftly to resume his work.

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