Date: July 31, 2012
Ataru and Soujiro go on another D-rank mission to improve Soujiro's training while making some extra cash on the side.
Poster's note: Profanity filtered in obvious places.
Ataru had found the perfect mission for he and Soujiro to take while helping to develop Soujiro's abilities further. That D-rank mission was fairly simple, a farmer on the edge of Kadomai wanted assistance with a stone fence. Of course, Ataru has a good idea for it and as such was getting Soujiro up early (Ataru's normal time) so they could head out for the nearby village. With scroll in hand, he was ready as hopefully Soujiro was as well to get this mission resolved.
"Give me ten more minutes!" Soujiro shouted from the other side of the door. The boy closed his eyes and rolled over in his bed. Unfortunately for him, he had ran out of bed and he goes crashing down into the floor which knocks his crutches over which then hits his desk and knocks over a few ornaments he had brought from his own. Those said ornaments just happened to made of clay and once they hit the ground they made a loud crashing noise as they exploded into tiny pieces. "Ok. I'm up." He grumbles.
Ten to twenty minutes later Soujiro comes staggering out of his room with crutches under him and his leg heavily bandaged up. "Not a word. Let's just go."
Ataru raises a hand, about to say something. Thinking better of it, with the words from Soujiro, he'd just shake his head and chuckle. Turning away, Ataru would head for the entrance of that village. "Gotta good one fer ya. Practice yer earth discipline since ya ain't gonna be doin taijutsu fer a bit.. Real easy, we're gonna be makin a stone wall.. and yer gonna raise the stones fer it."
"Last time you said we had a real easy mission to complete i ended up looking like this." Soujiro says as he stops and holds out his crutches away from his body. "I'd hate to see the missions you consider difficult to complete." He says as he continues his pace behind Ataru. "I don't know if i can make that stone wall i started to make back in the cave again. I mean, it just came to me. Everything just felt so…" The boy's words trailed off along with this thoughts as he remembered back the amazing feeling he had felt during the tussle with the big fence puppy of doom.
"Bingo. That's exactly why yer gonna do it. Afterall.. ya gotta capture that moment, so you control it.. I saw ya do the seals, ya know what to do, now that yer not facin stark terror in the face, we'll break it all down fer ya and getcha able ta do it at will.. When ya can do it at will, then we can work it inta yer fightin. It works well!" He'd grin over at Soujiro with a chuckle. Ataru himself seemed pretty fit, considering the fight he went through vs the puppy o' doom, he was actually the least damaged of the whole thing it seems.
"Fine, but if im going to be doing most of the work on this mission i want most of the reward." Soujiro states. "I need that extra money to ask Rebeka out on a date. Girl's dig wounded guys." He says with a smirk and a wink. "How far is Kado?-Kodami?-Kadima—? Whatever its called? I can't be walking a marathon like this."
"Kadomai, it's my home town mate." He'd glance over at Soujiro with a shake of his head and he'd chuckle. "Yah yah, Ya can have the most of the reward." Ataru would wave a hand as he'd keep walking. "At my top pace, it's 13 minutes. Figurin with how yer goin, we'll be there 'bout noon. Give enough time ta do the work, then we can get back here by midnight." A nod was given with a grin, as Ataru looked over at Soujiro again. "Hope yer date wasn't fer tonight. Otherwise, walk faster."
"Nah. I haven't even asked the girl yet. In fact, i really havent seen her since i blacked out at the cave." Soujiro sighs. "Thirteen minutes? Are you serious? We might as well just stay the night there." The teenage boy grew silent for a few moments. "Ataru? Did you ever tell me why you came to Konoha and started training?"
Ataru paused in his steps for a second, musing, before he'd resume walking with a shake of his head. "Nah mate.. dun think I ever have really.. Not sure how much ya do know of my past.. I was kinda messed up fer a while, so gettin my act straight has helped.." He'd glance over at Soujiro with a chuckle and shrug. "Simple answer? My parents live in Kadomai. They're aligned with Konoha, so ifn I'm gonna protect em, then I work with Konoha." Looking back to the road, Ataru grew silent for a few moments. "Long answer.. my roots are here.. and I feel better connected ta my chakra here.. I'm gonna continue ta grow.. 'cause I got a group ta remove from Fuuma.. and this is the best place I know ta train fer it."
"Fuuma? But you said that place was way far in the future to bother with. What's in Fuuma that you're being all mysterious about?" Soujiro asks while doing his best to keep the pace of Ataru. "Did you used to roll with some pretty shady people or something? Wait…you're not a spy for Fuuma are you?" He teased Ataru.
The glare that Ataru snapped at Soujiro about that last comment definitely showed it hit a nerve. Shaking his head, hands balled into fists at his side as he'd increase that pace slightly, albeit unconciously. "No.. I was captured as a slave there. I was used as a punching bag there. I was their play thing to torture as they wanted there." A hand would snap out, smashing a rock by the side of the rock with a fairly large impact crater left behind. "They use people. They are horrible and they will pay for the crime against me and everyone else that has been used there." O.. k.. so Ataru is a little stoney about Fuuma it seems.
Soujiro just walked along silently as Ataru became all worked up. At first he tried to keep up his raging friend's pace but after a while he just gave up. After a couple of minutes of awkward silence Soujiro finally broke it. "Don't worry man. We'll be the ones to clean that place up. They'll never see it coming from a group of "punk kids", but please…no more fights with beasts twice our size." He says with a wince. "Were there others with you when they did this to you? You escaped right? Maybe you weren't the only one."
"Oh yeah.. sure.. there's like, 10 ta 15 of em at any given time.." Glancing over, then back as Soujiro wasn't able to keep up with Ataru, he'd grin sheepishly and wait for his friend to catch up. "Ahh.. yeah, they'd keep a buncha what they like ta call target dummies. We were the ones they let rogue nin use jutsu on.. ta try it out on real targets.. that couldn't fight back.. but ya could see how a person responded ta it.." Falling in step once Soujiro caught up, Ataru would shrug. "I was in the right place at the right time. I escaped 'cause I ran and fast.. Could others? Sure, probably do all the time.. it's an endless cycle there.." Ataru would chuckle and throw a playful punch at Soujiro's arm. "As fer the dog, I didn't wanna fight it.. but it was messed up in the head.. they're smarter than that.. parta why I tried ta keep between you and it, yanno.."
"Oh yea Ataru, you did a real good job at doing that." Soujiro retorts sarcastically as he looks down at himself to point out the condition he was in. He would accept the playful punch and continue walking on. "I wonder what came of that scroll and beast from hell anways. More importantly what kind of people had a set-up like that? A decayed body booby trapped with acid, was it?" Soujiro shook his head. "Some pretty strange people on the side of the mountains that's for sure."
Ataru would chuckle lightly at his response. A shrug of his shoulders given as he'd slide his hands into his pockets, Atar glanced around. "Well, we ain't exactly shinobi, so we ain't exactly in the loop fer such stuff.. I'm sure it's all need ta know and all that jazz.. pretty much normal, eh?" Glancing over at Soujiro, he'd chuckle. "Some people can be messed up fer sure though."
Ataru and Soujiro would travel in relative ease between Konoha and Kadomai. Being this close to a major hidden village had some advantages. As they reached Kadomai, it was getting close to that noon time meal. Ataru knew the farmer personally and so lead them directly to the farm. A wave was given to the older man who was tending the field, before Ataru would turn to look at Soujiro. "A'right. Ya need ta raise a series of stone walls along this line.. from here ta the tree over there, hai? We need ta get movin, so we can get this done."
"Oh yea sure. Just let me activate my super powers and it will be done in no time!" Soujiro mocked Ataru. The teenage boy rolled his eyes and with a huff he brought his hands together and focused on the area in front of him where he wanted to create the stone wall. "Alright. Let's do this!" In a blur the boy started weaving together a series of hand seals. "Earthen Style: Earth Barrier!" He would call out as he slammed his foot on the ground. Soujiro looked on with anticipation. However, after a few minutes of nothing but the grass growing he would cock his head to the side. "That's weird. Maybe i did the hand thingies wrong. Wait, is it like this then this or this then that?" He would ask himself while struggling with the combinations of his hand seals.
Ataru in the mean time, wandered over to a pile of rocks and started hauling them over, one handed, to drop in that line. "Nah man, ya had the right seals.. butcha gotta have the chakra drawn inta ya ta fuel it too, hai? No chakra, no wall.." Chuckling, Ataru walked over to get the next set of rocks as he started to manually build that wall.
"Oh yea? Ok, let me get right on that because im a pro when it comes to focusing chakra too!" Soujiro continues to be difficult. He bends his neck side to side to get himself limbered and focused. He brings his hand that is formed into a seal up closer to his body and closes his eyes to help him focus. After about three minutes have passed, Soujiro opens his eyes and lets out a huff. "Ugh. This was so much easier to do when I had a beast-dog-thing coming at me and i thought either me or Rebeka was going to get slashed up into pieces.
Ataru paused after his fourth load of rocks to glance over at Soujiro. Holding up a rock easily the size of a boulder he'd grin widely. "I could throw it atcha? Think that'd help?" Chuckling, the rock was set in place as he'd keep doing the manual labor version of building a wall. "This rate mate, ya ain't gonna get any of the reward, since I'm doin all the work.."
"What is your fascination with throwing rocks at me?" Soujiro looks over to Ataru. "I'm not kidding. If you throw a boulder at me, you're going to wake up on the ground. Crippled or not, mark my words." A smirk appears on the boy's lips after his words of warning. At that moment the boy felt something tug at him from the inside. "Huh?" His eyebrow shot up. Ataru faded into the background as his attention focuses on the feeling that has overwhelmed his body. It was the same feeling he felt in the cave when he felt so connected with everything around him. He could feel a new power course through him that he could only assume was his chakra awakening inside. He is suddenly startled as he couldve sworn he heard a woman's voice whisper, "Let me guide you." His crutches feel out to the side of him as he was surprised; however, he kept his balance and remained standing. As his senses about him heightened his eyes closed as he allowed this power to consume him. Taking in a deep breath, he threw hands together and weaved together a combination of handseals like before. "Earthen Style: Earth Barrier!" He shouts as he slams his palms to the ground. The ground begin to tremor and a hill would form about five feet out in front of him. The hill grew wider and stretched out to its sides of its center location. Suddenly the ground split open and a wall formation of earth slowly rose to Soujiro's height. The earth wall stretched for ten feet which completed the first section of the rock wall they were tasked to do.
Soujiro opened his eyes after the dramatic effects to see the creation he had just made. "Did you just hear tha? Did I just do? How'd that happen?" The teenage boy was at a lost for words as he tried to process everything that just took place in less than a minute's time.
Ataru would laugh. "Ya know how ta move rocks, so ya stop the rock from movin when I throw at ya.. seems ta work fer me.." He'd go quiet as Soujiro seemed to focus inward. A small nod was given as Ataru would step back a step. The farmer looked startled when the earth shook some, but Ataru was just grinning as he'd watch Soujiro snap out of whatever daze he had gotten lost in. A nod was given, he'd walk over to scoop up the crutches and offer them to him. "Great. That's the first one.. show off. Now do the other 2 sides."
"Are you kidding?" Soujiro accepted the crutches from Ataru. "I just did a third of the day's work by myself. Im going on break while you catch up with the second wall." A wry grin forms on his face as he turns and hobbles over to a nearby tree for shade. "Wake me up when you're done with the second wall." With a wave he lowers himself against the tree and settles into the most comfortable spot he can wiggle into. Its not long before a puzzled look appears on his face as he looks around his surroundings. "I was sure i heard a voice…" He thought out loud to himself.
"Hmph." Ataru shook his head with a chuckle and shrugged, he got to work. Now that he wasn't slowing down to try and give Soujiro a chance, those rocks would be stacked up in his arm 5 or so at a time. It only took Ataru about an hour to get the next wall done to the same height that Soujiro had created with that training. Stepping back, Ataru gave a nod at the results. Scooping up a pebble, he'd wing it Soujiro's way, although purposely missing to thunk off the tree over Soujiro's head and glance to the side. "Whatcha mumblin about there earlier, Soujiro, eh? Ya gotta make the third wall, come on, or I'm keepin the reward!"
"Sure, when I wake up." Soujiro waves the boy off. His eyes begin to get heavy and not even the sound of the pebble glancing off the tree could wake him up. Within a few minutes, snores could be heard from the teenage boy's direction. With the combination of him having to get up earlier than usual, still bruised and beaten from the last mission, and the energy he just exerted into his Earth Barrier technique it made sense how tired the boy must be.