Spring is Here - Test of Love



Date: April 19, 2014


Noab gets his kicks in the spring by meddling with puppy love.

"Spring is Here - Test of Love"

Fourteenth Training Ground - [Konohagakure]

Ah, the Fourteenth Training Ground. It's a gently rolling hollow between grassy, flower-covered hills, hardly looking much like a place for ninja to engage in harsh training and practice battles. In fact, it's not often used for such. There's an unspoken agreement amongst the young shinobi of Konohagakure that any training which takes place here will be light and unobtrusive. Why? Because it's such a lovely place for sweethearts to while away a few hours. ;) Young couples go to the field on the pretense of training, maybe do some jogging or kata on the rim of the bowl for show, then descend into the hollow, away from casual observation, to snuggle on the grass, make flower chains, breathe in the perfumes, and generally act lovey-dovey. And now, with spring bringing the little paradise into full bloom, the grassy bowl is practically brimming with curious teens, hormonal young adults, and suave chuunin.

It's enough to make a grumpy old coot wanna puke. >P

Noab discovered the Fourteenth Training Ground and its naughty little secret during one of his frequent walks to keep his injured leg in usable condition. Walking around the same places gets old after a while, so he often trekked through random locations. The majority of the ninja present at the time got up and resumed exercises on realizing an authority figure was present, but not quickly enough to prevent Noab from figuring out what was going on. The way Noab figures it, if they want to act all twitterpated that's their business…but doing it on training grounds, especially while trying to hide it from their superiors, makes them prime candidates for one of his special unannounced 'training exercises'. >)

Which is why he's back today, henge'd into a gangly and wistful-looking teen boy who presumably wouldn't attract too much attention as he paces around the top of the bowl, preparing his surprise. He almost needn't have bothered with the disguise; you'd think they'd have learned to post a lookout after last time, but apparently they're not smart enough for that. e.U Their loss. Noab finishes his circuit, then smirks as he drops his henge and slams his palms into the ground. "SWAMP OF THE UNDERWORLD!!!"

Noab can't see much of what's going on due to having to maintain his crouch and pour chakra into the ground, but the yells that come up as the sticky earth flows down into the hollow from all sides are a satisfying symphony for him. >} After he judges that everyone in the bowl must be caught in the morass, Noab trudges over the lip and descends, calling up stones to step on as he walks. "At ease, troops," Noab calls out derisively. "Enjoying your training today?"

"What's your problem!?" shouts one of the bog's prisoners, struggling vainly to pull his legs free of the muck. "You can't just attack people like this!"

Noab adopts a mock-stunned look. "Attack? No no, this is a training exercise. To, hrm…" An evil grin spreads across Noab's face. "Let's say it's to test how compatible all you happy couples really are." >)

Noab glances over to a pair of genin barely in their teens. Apparently they had clung to each other in a panic before being engulfed up to their chests in the mud, and now they're growing uncomfortable with being squashed together. ;>.><.<; Noab snorts in amusement. X) "Turns out you're still worried about cooties, eh? Go help your parents with chores, you're not nearly grown-up enough for courting."

Noab's eye turns to a Hyuuga chuunin who actually managed to keep the mud off himself. He stands, short of breath but untouched, in a small circle of clear ground produced by his clan's special Palms Revolving Heavens technique. The chuunin smirks. "So, I suppose I pass your little test, Akimichi-san?"

Noab strokes his beard bemusedly. "Hrm, I dunno." Noab leans sideways to look past the Hyuuga. "What do you think, miss?"

The Hyuuga turns his head and sees his scowling date, whom he not only didn't think to protect, but splattered with extra mud as a result of his whirling defense. >.<# "Epic fail!" she snaps, bringing her arms up in a big X formation. "You and I are THROUGH!" >P

Noab moves on past the crestfallen Hyuuga. Next he encounters a burly fellow who is holding his girlfriend up above his head with his hands. Despite his obvious strength and the fact that she's comparatively small, it's clear that holding her up in that position is starting to strain him. -.-;

Noab tugs his beard. "Hrm, you get points for trying I suppose. What's the next step in your brilliant escape plan?"

"What more do we need?" the girl says in a squeaky voice. "My shnoogums just proved he cares about me, and he's strong enough to protect me. We can just stay like this until help arrives or whatever." This prospect clearly doesn't thrill the guy. x.x;

Noab snorts. "Negative. If this were a real combat situation, you'd have enemies coming in immediately to take advantage of your predicament. 'Shnoogums' would be dead if you don't get him out, and you'd be stuck yourself!" Noab gives the girl a swift poke in the ribs with the butt of his axe-cum-cane, and she topples out of her boyfriend's grip and into the mud with a startled cry. The look on the guy's face is humiliated, but also carries a silent 'thank you' to Noab as he shakes out his arms. u.u;

Noab continues working his way through the valley, analyzing the reactions of the couples to the unexpected crisis. The amusement of showing them up gradually fades and is replaced by plain disgruntlement at their ineptitude. -.U He stops near the bottom and looks around. "All right, listen up you sloppy lot! This area is a TRAINING GROUND, and I expect you to respect it as such in the future! If you want to act sappy, find somewhere else to do it! And if you ask me, half of you should be doing it somewhen else, like five years down the road, and half of the rest should be doing it with someone else who isn't a complete — "


Shards of hardened earth fly up from something that looked like a smooth stone near where Noab is standing. A hand sticks out of it, turned upward in a palm strike and buzzing faintly with leftover lightning chakra. It reaches back in and strikes again, widening the hole. After punching a gap big enough, a lithe maid squirms out, then she reaches back in to help pull her boyfriend out of the protective earth dome.

Noab blinks at the pair, who lean on each other to maintain balance on what remains of the dome in the middle of the bog. Noab had said this was a test of couples mostly as a joke, but…Noab clears his throat. "You two just might have a shot together," he muses.

Noab turns away from the confused pair and makes a few handseals. The chakra in the marsh is released, turning it into ordinary slippery mud. "At ease, carry on," Noab grunts, heading up out of the bowl.

The next spring, the flowers in the Fourteenth Training Ground bloom even more richly than before thanks to the upturned mud, and young turtledoves are once again tempted into frolicking in the hollow…Noab supposes he'll just have to make a regular thing out of this. >)

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