Loki (emitter), Ayumu
Date: March 11, 2014
Ayumu's father helps Ayumu learn the Shadow Clone jutsu… in his own way
"Shadow Clone 4: Ayumu"
Desert Oasis, Easthern Sand Desert
After the ever-cautions Ayumu checks the note for traps, he finds a simple note, one offering clues to further information about the Shadow Clone Jutsu. The catch? The meeting location is located in an oasis in the middle of the Eastern Desert. Fortunately this is far from the odd occurences known to plague the area around Fort Zaru, so Ayumu can rest assured at least he won't have to deal with that mess. Still, the note is very vague, though the handwriting may seem somewhat familiar, even though it can't be placed.
Even after taking so many extensive precautions Ayumu remain ill at ease about following the directions written on the note. There wasn't even a hint of the usual butterflies that accompanied a potential adventure or an unexpected turn of events. If anything, the trip to the hidden Oasis filled the young man with such dread that he began to seriously consider turning back every step along the way. Could it be the handwriting that did it? The vaguely familiar scent upon the note? So many questions flit about the mind without end. Ultimately, the Iga's stubborness is all that drives him onwards after awhile.
But still… Just who was it that could put such a chill in his heart?
As Ryoji gets within range of the oasis, he will note that not much in the way of animals present. Perhaps its too early yet for the desert's nocturnal population to venture out of cooler shadows, but one thing is very clear, other than the occasional insect, who remains silent, not much in the way of animal life is out and about. The scents of the area indicate that this is a fairly well-used oasis for animal life, as it is likely the only free-standing water for miles around. Still, nothing seems out of the ordinary, at least to normal senses…
As cautious as the Iga had been not one ounce of effort is actually put in approaching stealthly. The desert rendered that near impossible without turning to special tricks or gears of the trade. The closest amount of deception he puts forth requires only the weaving of sensory organs into the crimson forest that consumed his head and back freely on this day. All of which he kept awake and alert for any signs of trouble. Thus far, everything seemed to check out…
"Hmm… *sighs*… Maybe I've finally crossed that bridge Ei," He murmurs sadly as before heading towards the water itself for a drink.
Suddenly something barely audible can be heard… from the other side of the pond from where Ryoji is. That's the only warning he gets before /a lot/ of very small, barely visible somethings swarm toward his exact location. As they do, the area shimmers and a man appears out of no-where, covered from head to toe in white cloth, completely obscuring is identity. Whoever is here, they aren't interested in talking much.
A pin could drop from well over a mile away and Ayumu would still catch it's echo on the winds. Probably… but that's besides the point! Even the tiniest of warnings is enough to give the already paranoid Iga reason to act. Trusting his instincts, Ayumu dive rolls to the side, evading the swarm by a scant few seconds. Once he's back on his feet, searching would become a top priority. Thankfully, his attacker spares him the trouble of wasting such an effort.
"Please tell me your contract is at least high." He says casually, even though eternally his mind and heart races. One for answers, the other as a result of loosening the dampners and building up his reserve of chakra for what promised to be a challenge.
The man facing Ryoji only smirks, which is barely detectable with his covered face. "I don't know… how much you going to pay me to help you with your… mathematical issues?" he adds. His voice sounds very familiar, but it's disguised /just/ enough to be unrecognizable. In the meantime, more needles come Ryoji's way, in larger numbers. "You'll want to sacrifice something for this…"
There's a brief glimmer in Ayumu's eyes from recongition teasing the tongue, but still evading capture. The allure of unmasking the man over staying focused on the fight at hand come swith a heavy price. The most he manages before becoming a human pincushion the second time around is to soften the needles using a thin, flexiable curtain of steel hard hairs, but even then, some either outright pierce the weaker points or find purchase in places the Iga simply did not have time to cover. "Will a hair cut suffice?" Ayumu spat out. As his hair shrunk back to normal, he flings his own small barrage of sharp pointy things back at the familiar stranger! Kunai to be expect, with one bearing an explosive note for that extra kick.
The man starts leaping about and rolling to get out of the way of the rain of kunai, though he manages to get cut by a couple of them but getting well clear of the explosion. He then forms what seems to be a familiar sign and says, "Kage bunshin no jutsu." A couple of clones appears and charges toward Ayumu. "Come on boy… stop over-thinking things!"
Eyes, though useless for all intents and purposes, stayed glued upon the man's every action. He wanted to — Needed to break down the variables that tormented him up to this point, and in spilling blood the answer becomes clearer. Without even a second thought, Ayumu sacrifices some of the sensory organs from embedded upon his person and sends them out to analyze the blood. Dividing his focus for just a glimmer of hope… was foolish, as the Iga soon learned after hearing the sound of clones popping into being: Shadow Clones.
Ayumu manages to stay just ahead of the clones during the first few exchanges, but ultimately their numbers and ability to work seemlessly together resulted in his being kicked in the abdomen while evading another. Air, spittle, and blood goes flying out as he folds over the limb, then flies away. He hits the ground like a rag doll first before managing to push past the pain and twist into a defensive roll. "…Don't.. lecture… me." Still kneeling, Ayumu whips up a hand, palm facing out towards the man. The sand nearby the man starts to shiver, then explodes as a tendril shaped like the boy's hand sought to grab the man, then unfurl and tangle him further.
Success would only mark rather or not Ayumu drags the man to him, or is forced to rush him to deliver the explosive chakra enfused haymaker.
The man shakes his head and all but growls. "Think boy… think. What did I say when you asked about my contract? Depends on how much you'd pay me to help you with your mathematic problem. Have you so far lost your ability to think to not realize what's going on here? Now stop dancing around and get to work! Or I'll keep spaming you with clones until you get the point!"
Ayumu may have managed to maintain his cool (relatively speaking) under the circumstances, but the attitude of the stranger sorely tested him. The only thing more infuriating than that was having been led around the oasis by the man without a single strike besides his kunai connecting. "What's the—" He starts to say before it all clicks into place. A wirey grin creeps into view. If the game is as he guessed Ayumu needed to buy time. Sand at his feet rises into a shroud about the Iga's form, masking a familiar hand seal. If all goes as he hoped — no, believed — the curtain of sand will fall away to reveal either two other versions of the Iga, or an out of breath young man…
And…. the sand falls way to show two perfectly formed shadow clones that lunge toward the masked man. He creates a couple of clones as well to take the hits, but the man appears to be untouched. "Good boy… for now." With that the man shunshins away in a swirling column of sand, obviously done with the test now.
"Wait!" He cries out, arm outstretched as if to grab the man afar… But, the man disappears before the word even fully left his mouth, leaving nothing to trace him by; including blood. He did leave his mark however, as always was his way. A lesson that Ayumu wouldn't forget, though for reasons that stretched beyond simply the new utility for the future. The hand falls to the wayside and clenched tightly enough for joints to start popping.
"… Just what do you want from me, old man."