Date: November 30, 2014
The 'spar' Isobu proposes as a test as to Takeo's readiness for mastery has begun. Through the course of a titanic battle, the trio of shinobi use clever tactics to do the worst thing one can do to a turtle: flip him onto his shell. At that point, with Kenta having protected him and Atsuro clamping down in his massive three-headed dog form, Takeo begins the battle of wills to take control of Isobu's chakra.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Takeo's Mastery - Part Two"
"Takeo-kun," rumbles Isobu from the now unlocked bars of his prison. "As a reward for your friendship, a test, rather than crushing you as I would another."
It's an uncharacteristic warning, perhaps an actual demonstration of friendship on the part of the Tailed Beast. Takeo takes its meaning and leaps backwards just as one of the great turtle's claws crashes through the center of the gate, driving it open. He stands now in full view, as large in the Jinchuuriki's mind as he would be in the world of flesh and blood. Everywhere, there is spikey gray shell, save for the creature's underbelly and its one red eye. Isobu has no hind legs, but his tails serve him well enough in slowly pushing him forward upon the thin layer of water covering the floor.
"Right. It's a spar, then," Takeo informs Atsuro and Kenta. In the heat of the moment, whether or not one notices that he doesn't use the words 'battle' or 'fight' might be missed. "Remember, we're still inside of my mind. You can go all out here, but the aim isn't to kill him. We just need to subdue him long enough for me to honor this opportunity."
Looking over his shoulder with a fanged, reassuring grin, Takeo acknowledges the two men he trusts most in his life. "Ready? Don't worry; I know we can do it."
Spar? Kenta eyes the enormous figure that just crashed through the mental barrier with misgiving. He's not nearly as sure that the Bijuu isn't going to work hard to really kill them. It's not something that he voices though, since Takeo'll probably just refute it with confidence. "Alright… a mind to mind battle… I can do this…" the young medic-nin mumbles softly to himself. He draws a few things from various vest pouches; a tiny black pill and three tag wrapped kunai. The former is popped into his mouth while the latter's held at ready. Technically, such props shouldn't be necessary in a mind battle, but the familiar motions will give context and greater stability to the thoughts that will be his real weaponry.
"Maybe I should use a shinai for this one," Atsuro comments drily. Like Kenta, he finds it hard to imagine just what a spar with this enormous creature actually involves. He looks to Taizen. "I thought maybe we'd just think at him really hard, but I guess we actually have to fight. You ready?" Taizen woofs in response, then Atsuro calls to Kenta and Takeo. "We'll try and keep him busy. You figure out how to beat him up!"
They both leap out of the water into the air. Then they quickly spin, rotating like drills and shooting through the air. Their movements are fast and unpredictable, but incredibly coordinated and they corkscrew down from right above the great turtle, aiming to smash it in the back, then fly away again, dancing in the air to avoid any counterattacks.
A small section of Isobu's shell cracks under the weight of Atsuro and Taizen's combined attack, but true to its fortified nature, it doesn't wholly break open. The great turtle is pressed down to the ground until they back off, at which point he rises once more upon those two great legs.
Isobu rumbles lowly, "I can see why you like this one so much, Takeo-kun. He's very powerful." There is, for a moment, almost a timid slant to the Tailed Beast's tone. As is often said, though he rages, he lacks the full ferocity of his kin. Not fully lacking, mind.
Water is drawn up from the floor and into the air to either side of Isobu, spiraling inward as they form two spheres. "Tail," says Takeo, hurrying to leap aside and tackle Kenta in the process. Just as he does this, the cannons of water at the Three-Tails' command fire, roaring overhead for a fleeting moment. "Sorry. This is kind of an intense spar." The Jinchuuriki grins down at Kenta, whether in true confidence or just to inspire his best friend, before quickly sweeping up and back to his feet.
"I've learned a lot from you, Isobu-boku. Not just how to turn into you, but more!" Takeo holds up his hand, and rather than drawing water from the floor, it simply appears hovering above his hand. The Jinchuuriki hurls a mighty lance of water back at the turtle, aimed squarely for his eye, only to have it blocked by an upheld claw. "We need to flip him over and around. Get him on his back. I need to reach the tails!"
"Fight out how to… I don't have that type of firepower, Atsuro-senpai!" Kenta calls out after he swallows the black pill. He'd been expecting to provide some distraction while Atsuro, Taizen and Takeo pitch in with their superior offensive abilities. A soft yelp escapes from him when Takeo tackles him. Intense "spar" indeed. They almost got nailed by enormous globes of water that holds who knows how many crushing pounds of force!
The young medic-nin scrambles to his feet and pockets the kunai again. They're probably going to be useless… He makes a quick hand seal to activate the invisible one inked on his chest. Underneath his clothing, the Kanji for "Life" appears on his left pectoral in black ink. Black characters travel down the underside of his arms to form a circle on each of his palms. Then, the Kanji for "Yang" appears on his storm within another circle, which connects back to the first one of his chest by another change of characters. Even though the seals are not visible through his clothing, Kenta suddenly looks more present, more alive… full of vital energy.
"Get ready!" Kenta leaps up into the air and makes a few quick seals. At the apex of his leap, he blows a stream of chakra from his mouth that carries the properties of the pill that he just digested. It quickly billows into a thick cloud of sleeping vapors.
The two blurs of Atsuro and Taizen arc up into the air for a moment, weaving and juking to avoid any swipes or projectiles sent their way by Isobu, then they make quick spirals back down to the ground, near where Takeo and Kenta are, the last bit of air pushed outwards by their maneuver kicking up some of the water. "Whoops," Atsuro says, "I kinda thought that would leave you guys with more of an opening."
He and Taizen dash forwards, getting closer to Isobu, but stop when they're beside Takeo and Kenta — just not directly beside them. With the two of them using ranged attacks on the great beast from that angle, Atsuro figures he can at least try and aid them by firing one off from this angle too, even if he's not sure how well this attack will work on Isobu. He draws in a deep breath, his cheeks puffing outwards as he makes a few seals, then forces the breath out. From his mouth, he shoots a mighty jet of flame. He pushes all the air out, then lets the flames die away. "We need some kind of strategy here," he calls over to Kenta and Takeo.
<GM>For a Tailed Beast, the word 'spar' takes on an entirely different level. Isobu still hasn't moved from his position just between the gates, and it soon becomes apparent why. The shell of his mouth parts as raw chakra is drawn toward it, gathering slowly into a Tailed Beast Ball. Destruction incarnate.
However, Kenta is more a clever creature than he believes, even if it was just by chance. The turtle has no nostrils, but inhaling to collect the chakra for the Ball also means inhaling the sleeping vapors. They have some effect upon him, if only for a moment, causing him to drowsily slip upon one leg. The Beast Ball taking form dissipates, its creation disrupted.
"Alright. A plan. You guys, get ready to push with whatever you have."
Takeo pulls his hand back at the elbow and then roars as he never has before, bringing his palm down upon the thin layer of water underfoot. Small though it may be, it somehow begins to rise and rise, collecting into a great tidal wave aimed squarely at Isobu. It surges against the beast's fore and right side, lifting him somewhat from the ground as Takeo watches with fangs bared. Everything was put into budging his Bijuu, into lifting its immense hulk and making tipping the Tailed Beast over possible.
Kenta lands in a crouch with rings of concentric ripples spreading out from where his feet contacts the water. "I'm going to try to take over his body. I won't be able to hold a Bijuu for longer than a second or two, but that might be enough," he tells his friends. The young medic-nin waves another series of hand seals, ending in the special Yamanaka that has him looking through a rectangle bracket made by his fingers. He waits for the wave that Takeo created to break against Isobu. As soon as even a small part of the Bijuu is available, Kenta lets the jutsu complete. "Shintenshin no Jutsu!" Kenta slumps to the ground as his mind is converted into chakra and speeds towards Isobu. If he manages to possess the Three Tails, he might be able to take control of its movements. If he doesn't, he'll be a sitting duck against an attack.
For a moment, Atsuro only stares at Kenta's unconscious form. He considers moving to protect the younger ninja in this vulnerable state, but Kenta and Takeo are both putting their all into this. The best way to keep them safe is to make sure their efforts aren't in vain. Atsuro makes a seal, then another Atsuro appears near him in a puff of smoke. Without hesitating, he and Taizen cluster together with the clone, then he makes a seal. More smoke suddenly appears — a huge cloud of it.
It clears in a few seconds, revealing a mighty black beast — a huge wolf with three heads, all with their giant teeth bared at the bijuu. It gives a low, loud growl from one head, then two, then all three as it stares down Isobu. Then, when it's judged the time is right, it charges for the great turtle, zig-zagging with more agility than its size should allow. With a powerful roar, it rams into the turtle, all three heads clamping down onto the shell with their teeth, then throws its strength into flipping the thing over.
Kenta's efforts to possess Isobu fail, for his labyrinthine mind is a barrier in itself. However, the presence of another in his head does seem to disorient the Tailed Beast. Perhaps this is why he doesn't provide superior resistance against the tidal wave, nor react in time to prevent Atsuro's great three-headed hound from smashing its head into his already lifted side. Slowly, Isobu is budging.
"Hey, pull back," Takeo says as he shakes Kenta's shoulder, trying to bring him out of the jutsu. "Trust me, there's nothing in there for you but anger you don't need to experience. You gave us what we needed. Now, I need you to protect me and to help Atsuro. Do whatever you can. I believe in you both!"
Those almost sound like parting words. Takeo isn't going anywhere, but while Isobu's claws flail about in an attempt to find the ground again, he begins to recite a jutsu. The more learned would recognize it to be the longest ninjutsu in all the styles. Takeo rapidly moves from one hand seal to the next. One, two, five, ten, fifteen … Seemingly on and on, as if time were slowed down in the midst of this desperate battle. Merely an effect of perception, though.
"Arrrgh!" Kenta rolls over and holds a hand to his forehead with a groan. "That was the least pleasant thing I've experienced in a while." The young medic-nin shakes himself all over to get rid of the disorientation caused by trying to overwhelm the Bijuu's mind. Kenta staggers to his feet and pops another of the black pills into his mouth. As Takeo starts weaving the long series of seals, the medic-nin prepares the same jutsu that had slowed down the Bijuu earlier. It's the best that he can do with his lesser offensive capabilities than the other two. Isobu might be prepared against it this time, but it's the best chance of contribution that Kenta can make. He lifts his head and blows out a long stream of sleeping vapor directly towards Isobu's face, angling it to go over the massive triple-headed dog that the Inuzuka duo transformed into. As soon as he finishes, he starts making another seals, prepared to throw up a chakra barrier in case of a retaliation.
All three heads clamp down harder and harder with their powerful jaw muscles, the growls heard low in each throat, even as they're muffled by the shell. The wolf spots the cloud of poison coming in overhead and attempts to bring Isobu's mouth closer to it, one head lowering as the other comes up, attempting to angle Isobu so that he's directly in the course of the cloud. Another head spots one of Isobu's limbs flailing nearby and lifts one of the wolf's own forepaws to swipe at it, lashing out with claws like jagged rocks. After a few attempts at this, it puts the paw down again, firmly on the ground, so that it can push off and lend strength to the rest of it as it continues the incredible task of flipping the turtle.
Isobu's claw cuts the dog's paw sent forth to engage it, but in turn, it's smashed and rendered momentarily useless. He seems to give up on physical resistance at this point, relying instead upon the abundance of water within Takeo's mind. Countless droplets of water suddenly leap up from the thin pool upon the cavernous floor, hanging still in the air.
Without so much as a gesture, the hail of aqua bullets fires off like a machine gun, scattering in a path aimed directly at Takeo. It will be up to Kenta to deflect them somehow, lest the Jinchuuriki be interrupted or worse. Just one of the watery projectiles could easily pierce a hole straight through a man's body.
After that attempt, whatever the outcome of it may be, the Three-Tails has other issues. One problem with having a mouth made of shell is lack of lips; he can only huff out Kenta's sleeping gas, but not without first taking yet more of it into his system. This, when combines with the poison exhuded by the three-headed Inuzuka beast, causes Isobu's still grounded foot to begin slipping. His body rises up more toward one side.
Meanwhile, Takeo continues his work. Twenty seals, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five …
Kenta's eyes widen as bullets of water start spraying towards Takeo. He has no idea if he's strong enough to block it, but Takeo's already engaged in a jutsu that'll make defending difficult. The young medic-nin's expression hardens and he jumps direction in front of his team leader. He finishes the series of seals that he was making and slaps his hands together with a loud clap. At the same time, he lifts his left foot and stomps down hard enough that the surface of the water ripples again on impact. Seals blaze out in all directions and walls of chakra explode upwards to surround both of them in a protective barrier. Kenta holds himself steady as the hail of water bullets smashes into his defenses, hoping that it'll hold long enough for Takeo to finish that long jutsu. He holds… and holds… and prepares to drop the barrier on Takeo's signal, if it doesn't get destroyed first.
Pushing against the turtle with one foot injured isn't easy, but with the creature giving up on resisting, it's just gotten easier to push against it. The dog's senses are just as keen as Atsuro's and Taizen's would be in real life, so it knows about the water being fired at Kenta and Takeo. But it also has no choice — if it lets Isobu get back onto the ground, it's just be inviting more trouble. Instead, it needs to make it go further off the ground.
All three heads let go of the turtle at once, releasing it from the three sets of jaws. But the wolf quickly moves under Isobu before he can reach the ground again and starts pushing hard against it with its shoulder, pushing all the strength of its body from beneath it. Aside from giving the jaws a rest, this is a better angle to push from — hopefully Isobu doesn't have any good ways of attacking something that's right under him.
Isobu's shifting toward jutsu makes him less focused upon Atsuro and Taizen's efforts. The turtle tilts even further to one side. As he rises, the Three-Tails can't help but look at Takeo with his exposed eye, and not with designs to strike. Instead, a measure of unexpected, proud admiration. The Jinchuuriki was his prison, but also his student. His friend. The Tailed Beast knows what Takeo's doing, and he is proud to see that that despite his own timidness, he raised the youth from boyhood to manhood in power.
Only the strength of Kenta's steadfast will saves Takeo and the med-nin from death in a hail of bullets. Each which strikes the barrier shatters that part, chipping away bit by bit. When the final bullets are spent, only one section of the barrier survives to fade away naturally - the portion directly in front of the pair. It's just in time, as Takeo executes the forty-fourth hand seal.
"Suiton: Suiryudan no Jutsu!" Takeo's studies present themselves in what is, at this point, their greatest form. Limitless water rises up behind him in a powerful spiral, its tip shaping into the head of a dragon with glowing yellow eyes. The liquid creation swoops downward as it shoots forward, crashing with immense force into the already tipped Isobu. At long last, the Three-Tails is not only flipped over, but around so that his tails lay prone toward the gate.
Takeo roars out with determination, "Hold him down! It's time!" He runs on all fours, charging like an Inuzuka for the first time in years, until he reaches Isobu's middle tail. As he grabs hold, a second image of himself rises from his back, a transparent double representative of his chakra. Its hands delve not onto the tail, but /into/ it, pulling forth blue chakra from within. It resists like a rubber band as Takeo takes one slow step back at a time, his chakra stretching more and more of Isobu's outward. Then, black lines begin to crawl outward and along the strand of energy.
In the real world, Takeo is surrounded now by deep blue chakra which bubbles like water, half of himself transformed into a chakra representation of the Three-Tails. The battle of the wills has begun. Will Isobu and Takeo at last become one with the help of his most trusted comrades, or will Takeo be destroyed?