First Promotion Exams - Semi Finals: Hitoshi vs. Keiji


Hitoshi, Keiji, Itami, Atsuro, Berii, Kazuhito

Date: February 21, 2012


The second match of the semi finals. Hitoshi vs. Keiji with Itami as the Proctor. Atsuro, Berii and Kazuhito do commentary from the stands.

"First Promotion Exams - Semi Finals: Hitoshi vs. Keiji"

Sunadome Arena

From the ground floor of the arena, one can truly get a sense of the sheer size and spectacle of the place. At its widest point, the colosseum is nearly a mile in circumference, and the domed ceiling is roughly fifty stories overhead. Needless to say, trying to take it all in can be dizzying. The floor of the arena is made up of a number of massive rolling sand dunes, about a hundred fifty feet tall at their tallest point. In the very center of the arena, a simple, well manicured lawn of green, rather like an oasis, marks the primary battle spot. The lawn is a little larger than a standard boxing arena, and is even equipped with a small pond, no more than five feet across.
It's five minutes until starting time for this second round of the semi-finals and the stadium is nearly filled to the brim. The best of the best have shown their skill and ultimately landed themselves in the position to potentially take the title and offer their skills as chuunin of their respective villages!
The combatants this round enter from the same side of the field and the crowd cheers in a deafening fashion. They've come to watch a battle and now they're going to get one between Hitoshi and Keiji. It's hard for the people to calm down now that they're so riled up. This should definitely make for a good match. At least their attitudes about it are much better than the weather. A dust storm that blew through earlier has now dimmed the sky and provided some cool weather, but the downside is that there's still dust in the air that may hamper the experience to a degree.
Entering not too long after the fighters is Itami who is here to proctor the match. She looks around the stadium at the crowds and lifts her hands to either side to greet them all, but mostly maintains her focus on her job at the moment. This battle is about to begin. "Alright, so you guys know the rules, right? You're familiar with the field and how it works and all that other stuff. I /really/ don't think I have to go over all of this. Try to keep this match clean and show some good sportsmanship, BUT give it your all, alright?" She states to the two of them.
She backs away a bit and once she's at a comfortable distance, she states, "Round 2 of the Semi-Finals begins now! Hitoshi vs. Keiji!"

Prior to the start, Hitoshi had been in one of the prep rooms within the stadium, getting himself physically and mentally prepared to step out onto the field again. It had been a long stretch to expect him to have made it -this- far in the tournament… but despite this, he had actually made it to this point, and he had a lot of expectations hanging on him. As he begins to head out, he steps past the threshold and into the stadium proper to the deafening sound of the crowds that've gathered to watch yet another fight in the Exams… and he looks around, looking toward their proctor as he makes his way toward her, stopping, and listening to her explain everything. He nods once, taking in a deep breath…
"Yes, ma'am."
With that, he extends his right hand toward Keiji. Assuming the other boy takes the gesture or not, he steps back three paces after the fact, he breathes in again, shaking his arms out a bit and waiting… This is going to be a hard fight… and Hitoshi knows it. Just gotta make the most of it.
As Keiji stands on the arena floor for the second time in this competition, he looks upwards towards the fans. Most of them were here from HIS country. While he could not say he was the hometown hero to them, he was still one of them. Not that he would have felt better if Haruko and Sabaku had not both made the second round. Then again, Keiji also realized that for Hitoshi, he was the last of his nation in the exams and the only one to make the second round. In fact he was the only one from another nation to make it to this round. That did add some pressure for Keiji. If he lost, the other two very well may laugh. Beaten by an outsider at home. Not too mention that since the two had never fought each other, Keiji was going in blind. At least with Kaydin, Keiji had prior knowledge of how he fought.
Ignoring the crowd, Keiji turns to Itami who is the acting proctor of the exam. He offers her a slight bow and a nod of confirmation for the rules. He then turns to Hitoshi and extends his own hand for the gesture. After the shake he as well takes a few steps back. The boy looks towards Hitoshi as he builds his own chakra.
Itami grinned as she looked at the two of them. Looked like they both had some support, but the home seems to be showing a lot of love for Keiji. Still, it might be rivaled by visitors who have a lot to show for Keiji. Both of these two are part-time representatives, at least in the name of the exams.
"It seems you guys know what to do. So, that means my work is done here. Play nice," she winked. "You two may begin your fight! WAIT until I get out of here, at least," she joked and flickered away.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
Well, Atsuro didn't see this one coming, but somehow it happened: Hitoshi made it to the next round of the exam. While Atsuro's still pretty sure the smart money is against his student, the token bet he placed last time paid off, and he's used the winnings to make another bet in favour of Hitoshi. He's got himself a nice seat in the stands (plus another seat to accomodate his nin-dog partner, Taizen) and a nice view of the arena. The excitement is almost palpable as the two contestants step out onto the field. So palpable that Atsuro springs up from his seat to cheer. "C'mon, Hitoshi! Kick his a — butt!"
And then, the fight was on. After the Proctor flicked her way out of the way of the fight, Hitoshi likewise began to get to moving, instead, using his feet to carry him. Cutting an angular path away and to the far left of Keiji, Hitoshi's intention was to open the gap between himself and the boy - he had done his own homework prior to the fight, but only so much… Enough to know how Keiji likes to fight, or at least, how it appears to be. Opening up the distance, he finally brings himself to a stop, turning on his feet quickly to bring himself to face Keiji again… Breathing in and out, slowly, his eyes widening slightly as he watches the other boy.
It's just like a chess game, really. And right now, all Hitoshi is doing is moving a pawn or two around the board to see how Keiji reacts to it. Opening up the distance, and then letting himself fall into his meditative state, he breathes in again… and watches, waiting, his legs bent slightly as he holds a poised fighting stance.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
Kazuhito is staring down at the fight a couple rows below Atsuro, his brow furrowed and his left fist clenched (his right hand, as usual, merely hangs at his side). He seems rather intensely focused on what is going on until he hears Atsuro's cheer. He blinks, and then waves up at the chuunin and his dog in turn. "I di-did not see you there. Before. Inusuka-san. Taizen-san."
The young Shippodoku watches his opponent as he places space between the two of them. Then Keiji briefly closes his eyes and focuses for a moment. Soon a tail sprouts from his backside. At least that is the only visible change from the boy. He remains still for the moment. His dark eyes reopen and he watches his opponents every move. He was allowing Hitoshi to lead for the moment. In the last round, Keiji went on the offensive and ended the match quickly. It was obvious that this match had an entirely different gameplan.

In his slightly more aware state, Hitoshi's eyes squinted a little bit and he breathed in slowly when he sees the tail sprout. Part of the transformation… but he's not charging in. He's being cautious? This seems like a different strategy than he was expecting, yes — but, that can't deter him from continuing on. He squints, and then nods a little bit, smiling and nodding. Okay, then… that works. He begins to move again, another slanted approach, angled… except this time, there was more to it. It was a strafing run.
As he moves, he begins to form various handseals… before allowing plume after plume of fire begin to flying toward the Suna boy. A flurry of fire is released, his fingers and hands seemingly constantly moving as he keeps his feet in motion. The plumes of fire are in themselves a dangerous element to contend with… but if the boy is hit, or when the plumes hit the ground, there's another apparent element that has to be contended with, as well - and an explaination for why the boy's hands keep moving after the handseals is apparent: he's slipping shuriken up and throwing them at a high rate of speed, almost at the same time as he's letting the plumes loose… A tricky little gambit in itself.
The almost black pupils see the hand signs. He does not recognize them. They are obviously not earthstyle. The boy then looks for a sign of what they are. He does not wait long before his question is answered. The plume of fire is a dead give away. Instead of taking off to the side, Keiji plants his feet and bends his torso away from the fireballs and anything hidden in them. The boy then sinks into the ground. It was time for him to try a card of his own.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
Atsuro has begun to sit down once more, but stops when he spots someone waving at him. "Oh hey," he says, leaning forward and resting his hands on the railing in front of him. "Kazuhito, right?" He grins and waves back. "The floors looked great on the way in here," he adds, "Hopefully they won't be too bad on the way out. I'll be careful not to scuff the floor." He looks up at the action in the arena. Hitoshi unleashes some fire jutsu — nothing Atsuro hasn't seen before, but a decent move regardless. Of course, both attacks are immediately dodged. "Crap," Atsuro sighs, "Not a great start."
From Sunadome Arena - Stands, In the stands,
"Oh! Th-th-thank you! That's very thoughtful!" The genin smiles at being remembered, but his attention is soon captured by the fight again. "Oh. Oh, wow." He blinks, and shakes his head, then looks back to Atsuro. After a moment, he stands up, making his way up to where the older boy sits. "I- do you- mind if I-" He looks back to the fight. "Is- that the student of yours? You said one was in the exams, yes?"

And down underground the boy goes. Hitoshi frowns a little bit, and as the boy disappears underground, he pauses, becoming stock still as he closes his eyes. Reach out, and focus… he lets his eyes remain closed, his ears straining and his body remaining stock still… No. It's no good.
"Damn this," he remarks quietly, and his eyes watch the ground… but, as he begins to let himself sink down again, he starts to begin moving. And not just ordinarily moving… he keeps himself flickering around the field, consistently trying to keep himself moving so that it's harder for the boy to lock down on him when he finally does surface… he doesn't want to be completely caught with his pants down. Just keep moving, and keep the eyes peeled…
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
Atsuro knits his brow as Keiji seems to just slip into the ground. Suddenly wishing he'd taught Hitoshi more about detecting hidden opponents, he shakes his head a little before noticing that Kazuhito has actually come up beside him. "Sure," he says, taking his own seat again, "Go ahead. Looks like my other students didn't feel like watching." He glances around, "Or they just decided they're too cool to sit with their sensei." He grins. "They wish. Anyway, yeah, Hitoshi's my student." He frowns again, this time looking more resigned than anything else. "And he's probably about to get creamed. Not that I was expecting him to win this thing, but it's a little more disappointing than I thought it would be."

Now unground and unattacked, Keiji can assume one of two things. Either he got away cleanly or Hitoshi has no way to attack the ground. As Hitoshi moves the both can feel small vibrations. He waits for a few moments and then strikes upwards as he feels a strong bit of pressure. He was trying to act swiftly. The boy was aiming for a pressure point in the ankle. He was trying to stun him momentarily so that he could get a pincered strike off at the boy's upper body. Anyone who had seen Keiji fight before would see this as one of his signature combos.
If the boy managed to dodge his attack, he would try to follow him to complete the strike.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands, In the stands,
"I- you can tell that? So soon?" Kazuhito furrows his brow and then shakes his head. "They are both- I don't think I'd be a match for either." He sighs. "I don't even know where Shippodoku-san went. But I guess he doesn't seem to know either- Oh!" He rises out of his seat in surprise as Keiji strikes.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"It's not a given," Atsuro admits, "He might make some miraculous reversal. But I can tell which way the fight is going. I'm just glad for the safety field, or whatever it's called." The worst that can happen is Hitoshi loses. Much better than having him die. "And yeah. If Hitoshi can't tell what he's up to when he's underground, then he's already got a winning strategy, doesn't he?" As Keiji jumps up from the ground and strikes Hitoshi, Atsuro just sighs again. "Had a feeling that was how it'd go. But, I guess this'll be a good experience for Hitoshi. He'll know better for next time."

The timing was just a little off. As the pincer came up, Hitoshi had readied himself with a clone… and that claw, instead, cuts through the clone, causing it burst into a smoke-pop and instead clasp onto Hitoshi's ankle. A wince, and then…
BAM. Advantage: Enemy! An attack from below!
After the pincer strike catches him in the middle, his eyes widening a bit from the pain as he is pushed back a few feet… but he doesn't cry out. Instead, he lets his meditative state he's in sort of take over, and he tries his best to just roll with the painful attack… and as he follows through, Hitoshi comes to a skidding stop, forming the last handseal he needs to form for his own usual attack flurry…
And as he bows back, he lets them fly: several more plumes of fire, which, as they fly out, they blossom into large shuriken… though, these are literally just blazing shuriken. This is his own signature move he's kind of made his own… something that he's prone to doing. The shuriken are sent in several directions, blown out and scattered about.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"I- see." Kazuhito replies, managing to sit again. He takes a breath and then shakes his head. "Yes. I suppose that's true. Stealth is the most important skill for a ninja, after all." He sighs. "I'm not sure- Shippodoku-san is- well. I suppose I'm glad I'm not in that arena."
As the plumes turn into blazing shuriken, Keiji side stepped the first before backstepping the second. He attempts to place his hands up for some seals but is unable to get them off in time. A blade slices into his arm. The boy shrugs off the pain. If it caused blood the fire burned the wound shut. If it didnt, it sure left a sting.
Originally the young Shippodoku was going to use the earth clone as a distraction and slip back into the earth, but now that plan was shot down. There was very small pause from the boy before he lurched forward towards Hitoshi. He aimed a single strike outwards towards Hitoshi's collar bone before his other hand came across at his stomach. Finally the pincer on his tail lunged forward attempting to stab the boy in the shoulder. There was no poison currently being secreted from the tail.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"Not really," Atsuro shakes his head. "See? Hitoshi /did/ just hit him. Not being able to find the enemy puts you at a disadvantage, but if he were better in a straight up fight he might still have a chance." He shakes his head. "But he doesn't, so he's not. I guess it's harder to fight somebody when they can turn into a scorpion or whatever the hell just happened. Wish I'd bet less. At least I break even. I'll consider the symbolic gesture worth it."
And the fact Hitoshi is just not that fast once again proves to be the deciding factor: crack. Hitoshi's clavicle was snapped in-two by the first strike. Crackle-crack-crack… the strike into the boy's abdomen goes a bit high as he tries to duck down, and instead, it lands abreast of his chest… there's no doubt that at least two or three of his ribs are now cracked and there's a nice flail segment that's going to need to be handled at some point. The human body, even a ninja's body, can only take so much - even with the protective barriers, after all!
The meditative state that Hitoshi usually finds himself in fades almost immediately, at this point, and he falls onto his knee as he backs up, grabbing his shoulder where the collarbone is broke, and trying to hold it… but he says nothing, just shaking his head. "Not like this."
With a quick flash, Hitoshi lets his hands fall and he begins to form several handseals again… before bowing back and letting the fire fly again… but this time, the wave of fire he releases is a -huge- ball, aimed squarely, and at the virtually point blank range Hitoshi is at with Keiji… it would probably be considered reckless or suicidal if tried outside of the Arena. But nontheless, he lashed out with the Great Fireball Technique, with little flash or pizazz - following it up with an opposingly aimed Blazing Shuriken, the following plume blossoming out as they had done before.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands, In the stands,
"Yes- I don't much like- how Shippodoku-san- changes. But I suppose it works for him, so-" He blinks as the large fireball is released. "He- he really likes fire, doesn't he?" He scratches the back of his head, then looks back at Atsuro. "Yo-you were betting? On your student? I mean- I suppose that's alright." He looks back to the fight uncertainly.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
When'd Berii get there? Who knows but, she wouldn't miss both of Hitoshi's fights, that'd just be rude. Whether people were aware of her or not originally, she was now near Kazuhito. The Sharingan wielder was a bit caught up in staring down the match with her dojutsu and soon asks the Sand ninja. "How's the fight going?" Her tone flat, her eyes shift a bit and she notices Atsuro there, "Oh." Berii blinks, wondering how she managed to recognize Kazuhito before her own team leader "Hnn, hi sensei." An awkward bow comes from her despite her seated position.
Keiji glanced towards Itami as the boy falls to a knee. He had heard the cracking. Then he spots a giant fireball coming towards him. "That tech.." the boy half speaks as he attempts to make a clone. Unfortunately the clones just weren't up to it today. Keiji turns his head and raises an arm as he plants his feet. As soon as the boy sees the blazing shuriken, he bends back to miss it completely.
The match was still not called. There was no choice in the matter. Keiji placed his fingers together in an earth style jutsu. He then slammed his palm into the ground causing small dagger like spikes to rise beneath Hitoshi. He then lunges forward to take advantage of the off balance shinobi, utilizing his pincered finger.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
The cracking sounds do not escape Atsuro's notice. He closes his eyes and pinches at his brow with his hand. "It's a good thing they have those barriers," he says flatly. "I don't know if it's just that he likes fire," he adds, glancing over to Kazuhito again, "More that all the moves he knows use it. I shouldn't say much about it — especially not to a foreigner — but I'll just say he hasn't had the opportunity to learn much more than that yet and leave it at that. And yeah…" He nods slowly, "I bet on him. Worked out pretty well in his last match, but unless he manages something incredible, my net profit is zero."
He glances over to Berii as she shows up. "Hi," he says simply. Yeah, the way the fight's going has taken a surprising amount out of him. "Was expecting you to show up earlier."
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"Oh! Uchiha-san." Kazuhito smiles at Berii. "H-hello. Again. I didn't realize you were- he was your sensei. The fight is going- well, mostly Shippodoku-san's way. I'm- sorry. How have- you been?" Kazuhito nods at Atsuro's explaination. "Oh. I see. Well. I think- fire techniques are quite impressive. And- he's made it this far, so he- must be- um- pretty talented anyway."

Yes, Hitoshi likes fire. And to be perfectly honest, half of the arena floor was probably somewhat -glassy- by now, after all the fire he's been using.
Panting and taking a deep breath, Hitoshi watches as the boy gets ready to bow up to him again, and as he does, this time he's -ready.- As he begins to move, Hitoshi brings his fingers together, quickly forming himself two clones… one on either side of himself, and he allows himself to move amongst them, mingling with them… at least, until one of them actually comes into contact with those spikes - and it happens to be the real Hitoshi. One disappears, then, due to his concentration shattering a bit… and he winces with one of those sharp things through his feet. But he keeps moving, nontheless, and he smirks as he feints and lets his other clone take the pincer strike for him.
And once again, he's in a position to attack… and he takes it, letting another flurry of those blazing shuriken fly… Possibly his most effective attack in the entire match.

The clone technique was interesting. It was something Keiji had not really had to face during the tournament. Of course the shuriken was a different story. The young Shippodoku plants his feet and twists his torso to the side to miss it. He had shown off a lot of his skills. Now he had one more thing to do. The boy places his fingers together and a set of clones rise from the ground. One of them rushes directly forward while another Keiji dashes forward aiming the pincered strike at him.
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"I was at pwactice, fo' the pway, hnn." Berii moves on as if what was said was a sensible reason to miss the beginning of the match. "To make it to this…" Berii shakes her head at Kazuhito, "He — " Berii hesitates and frowns a deep frown, "Shouwdn't be hewe." Berii really didn't want to say something so negative about him but, it was the sad truth! Berii rubs the back of her neck, a look of defeat crossing her expression as she observes Keiji's movements. "I was hoping he had something hidden, heh. Ah wewl" The girl just gives a pleasant smile and seems to mumbles the words, "Good job anyway."
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"He's not bad," Atsuro agrees with Kazuhito, "but he wasn't ready for the exams. I guess I'm impressed that he made it this far. Of course, better than that would have been to make it this far with proper training." He glances over to Berii. "And yeah, that's one of my more sensible students." He just kinda frowns at Berii when she mentions the play. "I thought the play was happening after we left. I mean, if you've decided to quit the team and get into acting instead, that's — well, actually, it's probably a pretty good idea if the director isn't me. Break a leg." He looks back to the action in the arena and sighs a little. "Not you, Hitoshi."
From Sunadome Arena - Stands,
"I- I- suppose you know be-better than me-" Kazuhito concedes. He rubs the back of his neck. "You- are- in a play, Uchiha-san? What sort, may I ask?" He blinks as Atsuro suggests Berii quitting the team in favor of acting. "I- that-" He pauses, then finishes more softly, "That doesn't sound so bad…"

Panting, Hitoshi gets himself ready and he begins to form the handseals again to start forming the clones up. Of course, this whole thing is going to work for so long… and as Hitoshi's clones begin to get popped one after another, he's left wide open… and…
Another gutshot is apparently all it's going to take, and Hitoshi falls over, wincing and grabbing his stomach with one hand and his shoulder with the other, panting and wincing. Even with the protective barrier, his body has taken an absolute -beating- in the entire course of the match… and this time, it doesn't look like he's getting back up immediately.
Spectating from afar, Itami observed the match, watching blow for blow, though it seems the majority of the blows were coming from one candidate and just kept going. Seeing how much the battle had tilted and with the result of a fallen Hitoshi, she makes quick work of flickering to the field between both combatants, holding her hands out to both of them before she kneels down and checks on Hitoshi to see if he's alright. Looks like he's suffered a great deal despite the barriers.
She gestured for some aides to come along and gather up his body to take away for medical attention immediately as she rose back up from the ground. She waits him to be carried off before she announces the end of the match.
"This round is over!" She calls out and extends her hand toward Keiji, indicating that he is the victor. "Keiji is the winner of this match!" The home crowd roars in excitement over his victory.
As Hitoshi goes down and does not start back up right away, Keiji takes a step back. Soon Itami is inbetween them. He bows towards Hitoshi and then turns to face the crowd. He debated removing and holding up his headband as he had knocked out the last shinobi from Konoha. These people had shown up to see a show. A show Hitoshi and himself were to perform. Instead though, the boy turns around and looks towards the exit of the arena floor. He was no gladiator or performer. If it had not been part of the exam, he would not be here.
Soon the feeling of fatigue was going to set in. Against Kaydin, Keiji has shown his ferocity. During this match he had shown a variety of tactics and endurance. Now it was time for him to look towards the next match. Sabaku…
The young Shippodoku slowly makes his way towards the exit. The show was over.

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