Date: December 16, 2011
Eremi asks more questions about what happened, and Taiki's situation escalates. WARNING: Sensitive themes
"Team Ten Chronicles: Violent escalations"
Training Ground #26: Genin Training
Taiki stands in the middle of a cleared area, with several rods strewn about the area. He seems to be working on something, based upon his earlier studies, for he is gathering lightning chakra in his arms. Quickly he flies through a set of seals that look similar to the replacement technique, but aren't. Finally he calls out, "Raiton: Kawarmi no Jutsu!" With this he disappears in a brief puff of smoke only to reappear elsewhere. In his original place is a metal rod which falls to the ground and discharges a spark, causing a dim flash of light. Taiki looks at the rod and shakes his head. Not quite there yet.
Entering the area in a steadied pace as they push their way past some shrubs that blocked his prefered path was Eremi. His original intention for coming here was to train on his own, in hopes of being able to do so whether or not others were around. However, when he spots Taiki off in the distance by himself, Eremi instantly remembered the conversation they left off on the last time they were together. He felt there was still more to go over. If only for the reason that if it is what he thinks is happening to Taiki, the same has happened to him.
Changing his course, the boy headed over toward where Taiki reappeared, "Hello Taiki!." He said with a wave and a smile, "That time, it definitely looked like that was supposed to happen. Am I right?" He tilted his head as he continued closer.
Taiki grins and performs the jutsu again, but the rod unfortunately did not charge that time. Instead the electricity arched to ground without shocking Taiki, though it did cause him to frown slightly. "Yeah, somewhat. The flash is supposed to be brighter though, and supposed to hold until an attack comes in. But that last attemtp didn't work out so well." He then shrugs his shoulders and grins at Eremi. "So what's up Eremi'san. Come here to train?"
Eremi stopped short of Taiki, making sure to give the other some room if they decide to continue with their training. "Wow, it sounds really advanced. You're truly gifted with creating new and innovative ninjutsu." Nodding afterwards as if stating a fact while looking between each of the rods, before his eyes fall back on Taiki. "I had planned to train yes, but when I saw that you were here, I just had to come over and say hello." He stood silent for a while, clenching his hands at his sides, not sure how to go about it, but knowing he had to just say something, "The truth is, I wanted to talk to you about what you said last time, about your clan wanting to prevent you from your dreams." His eyes fell to the ground, "The part about 'using their weight' You meant…violently, didn't you?"
Taiki smirks slightly and shakes his head as he answers, "This one isn't my original creation. I found a scroll somewhere detailing how it's supposed to go. I just found a way to ensure I had rods to work with." The smirk turns into an ironic chuckle when Eremi broaches his question to Taiki. His eyes turn toward his friend for a moment as he answers the question with another question. "Do you really want to know how far this goes, Eremi'san? The matter is far from solved, and you might be treading on thin ice here. You're a good friend, and I want you to be sure that you know what you're asking before I give you an answer. Are you sure you want an answer to that question?"
Eremi laughs, somewhat embarrassed and rubs at the back of his head, "Well, it's still pretty amazing how you make it work. I have no clue how to go about working with lightning now that I know I can." Eremi would then look away, not wanting to face his friend, "No, I'm not sure." He'd sigh, "But I can't just act like it never happened. Simply ignoring the fact that you might be struggling, needing people there to support you and I'm not there." He'd turn, nodding at Taiki, "Yes, I want to know. I need to know everything."
Taiki sighs as he moves to sit down where he is. Shinobu comes up and lays down behind him, allowing the Inuzuka to lean up against the ninken's body, like the back of a chair. Taiki motions for Eremi to sit down with him, taking this time to think things through really closely. "I'm not exactly comfortable talking about this Eremi'san. Only recently have I been able to talk about this to /anyone/. Speaking of which…" he looks over to the shadows for a moment and a dark haired malamute ninken steps out from the shadows. "Anyone around Yukiho?"
The dog gives a few barks, which seams to allow Taiki to relax a little. "When I said this was far from resolved, I mean the situation is still ongoing… in a way. By going into details of my situation, I put you in danger, real danger. The people who know the truth of my situation are not very numerous, because of that. So I need you to promise me that you won't tell anyone what you know, unless I or Atsuro'sensei tells you its okay /first/. Don't even hint about it. I don't care so much about what they'll do to me, but if someone gets hurt because of me… That will hurt quite a bit. Do you understand?"
Eremi did as he was directed. Moving closer toward Taiki before sitting on the ground and crossing his legs underneath him. Once situated, he looked to Taiki, frowning some, "I understand if you don't want to talk about it. I know how hard it can be to find someone to tell and if you don't, it might just blurt out to the wrong person." He fell silent when he watched his friend look away. Instinctively, his eyes went to the same direction, catching the giant dog come forth. He swallowed hard, wanting to reach for his weapon, but stopped himself from doing so, "Who's that?"
He turned back to Taiki, "I'm not worried about myself." He'd place a hand next to him, rubbing over the grass before idly plucking some up, "Not like I haven't been sent to the hospital before." He squeezed the grass tightly in his hand just thinking about it. "So, Atsuro does know." Mumbling to himself before speaking up, "I promise that I won't tell anyone, but you of all people should know that I don't have anyone that I could tell." He smiled some as if trying to relieve the tension, but quickly stopped knowing it would be to no avail, "I understand."
"That's one of Mom's ninken," Taiki says in hopes to diffuse the situation. "She's on my side, so you don't have to worry about her. But if you think she's big, wait until you see Shinobu all grown up. He'll be /huge/." He chuckles nervously for a moment and then sighs as he looks around. "Atsuro'sensei and Hitoshi'san both know, as do my parents. Berii'san will find out sooner or later… as will Naru'san. I can't keep secrets from her very easily…" he says with a blush coming to his face.
But he takes a deep breath and then says, "A few elders within my clan have managed to manipulate things so that I'm pretty much the black sheep of the clan. Most of it is either mental or emotional… but there have been a few instances where it has been physical. You must understand, they threatened to harm my parents, so I… I didn't want them to find out." Yukiho turns and sniffs the air, then sneaks off into the woods, her tail down. This causes Shinobu's ears to perk up as he watches the older dog sneak off, with Taiki blissfully unaware.
Eremi nodded, taking in a deep breath to calm himself. If Taiki knows the dog, then he shouldn't worry himself. "Oh?" He leaned over some to try and spot shinobu from behind Taiki, "I can't wait to see that." He smiled at the pup, before straightening himself up and focusing back on Taiki. "So it's really just a handful of people." The blushing Eremi doesn't even notice or is just oblivious to the reason of why it is happening.
When Taiki finally opened up, Eremi could only shake his head in disgust, "But why would they do such a thing? It doesn't make any sense to me." The boy would begin to clench his hands at his sides again, tightening them in anger, instead of the normal nervous behavior for doing so. "There must be something we can do about it. How many are there that are doing this to you?" He had so many questions he wanted to ask, hoping the answers that Taiki gave, would be enough to solve the problem. "Can't you and your parents just leave? Maybe come to my village, Kadomai…I don't know."
Taiki sighs and shakes his head, having dreaded this part of the conversation. "Eremi… There are a few reasons that leaving won't work. The simplest of them is pride. My parents and I are proud to be Inuzuka members, even if things are… difficult and dangerous at the moment. The clan is mostly a good one, but these elders are very influential. It doesn't help that in a way, their claims have a loose basis of truth, in that Inuzuka are supposed to be Taijutsu specialists first, before anything else. I'm not. That plays on even the most compassionate of people within my clan, which is what they want."
Shinobu sniffs the air and curls his lips into a silent snarl, which still goes unnoticed by Taiki as he continues. "Secondly is that I am actually in a fairly prestigeous position in my clan. You see, my clan has many branches, and I was born into the Founders branch. Our duty is to be… well to put it simply, the power behind the Alphas as it were. Unlike the rest of the branches, if you're born into the Founders branch, you are a member for life, and are expected to act a certain way, and do certain things. The elders use this to great effect not only to isolate me from potential help, but to enforce my black sheep status. It's also why they're doing this. I'm a ninjutsu expert. I find ninjutsu easier than just about anything else. It's how I was born, and how I live. But that's not what we're supposed to do, so the elders in question hate me for that, and make my life miserable. But being a Founders branch member, I can't just leave either. It's like…" Taiki doesn't get the chance to say more as Shinobu starts to growl in echo to the sounds of a fight in the forest. This Taiki can't miss as he turns to look at Shinobu. "What's wrong boy?"
Eremi looked stumped at this point. He wanted to be able to help, but right now all he was good for was listening to what was happening Taiki and not having the power to do anything about it. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you I know anything about how the branches within the Inuzuka works. I don't. But from what it sounds like to me, I don't know why as being a member of the Founders, you can't plead your case that Taijutsu doesn't have to be the only way of the clan. Having powerful Ninjutsu's within the clan can be a benefit, not a…a detriment."
He sighed, realizing he's just speaking about things that probably aren't helping Taiki in anyways. Only confounding the problem if anything. Giving his friend more to worry about then anything. "I'm sorry." He'd smile some, "What have you and Atsuro been doing about it? Training I assume. Despite anything, there's still no reason for you to be getting stronger, am I right?" He'd wait for an answer, but with shinobu growling and Taiki looking away as if somethings out there, Eremi turns the same direction, reaching for a kunai, "Are…is this, is this them?"
A sharp "Yelp" can be heard, followed by silence. Shinobu barks a few times while Taiki scrambles up into a standing position. "Eremi," Taiki whispers low enough to allow Eremi to /just/ hear his words. "Get up. You came here to spar and I was talking to Shinobu about teamwork. Remember that!"
Shinobu starts to get up when an older teen, about 18, clears the trees. He is wearing a chuunin flack jacket, and does not look happy. "Genin Taiki, Elder Aiko demands your presence. You are to come with me, now."
From the looks on Taiki's face, he doesn't recognize the chuunin, but he does recognize the elder's name. Taiki tilts his head to the side and slides a mask of indifferent concern on his face. "Why does Aiko'sama want me?" the genin asks in disbelief. "I do not recall doing anything to displease the elders, or to dishonor our clan. As such, I fail to see why Aiko'sama would be interested in seeing someone of my stature…"
Hearing his name, Eremi quickly looked toward Taiki with confusion. Though when being told directly what to do, he does so and rises to his feet in an instant. "But what's…." He's unable to ask what's even going on when another voice is heard off in the distance, drawing his attention. The teen reminds him of Atsuro, but with a different look about the chuunin that causes Eremi to tense up. Which right about now could either be a good or a bad thing. Dealing with those that have an intimidating presence about them, always does this to the boy.
Behind his back, under his cloak, he still held onto the kunai tightly. What good with that do though? If it came to it, he would protect Taiki, his friend, as much as he could. Even if it meant being sent back to the hospital. But would Taiki even allow it? The pride of the Inuzuka, it wasn't something that simply waivered.
For now Eremi stayed quiet, occassionaly glancing over toward Taiki, but not even attempting to look the teen in the eyes. To do so, Eremi might just as well take off running the other way.
Naoki heads into Training Area #26 - Training Entrance.
The mystery chuunin snarls and starts forward. Apparently he does not like being an errand boy, or something similar to that. Or at least that's what he can see from first glance. "Never you mind asking for reasons, boy. I am a Chuunin, and you are a Genin. I say jump, you jump and ask me "How high?" while you're in the air." The elder teen looks about ready to strike Taiki, but is mindful of the witness. "So let's try this again… Elder Aiko demands your presence, NOW. No more excuses, no more doctor's notes or running to daddy. No more spitting in their faces with your disrespect. Move Genin'dobe, or I'll move you myself."
Taiki's face pales a bit as his eyes slip over toward Eremi. Oh this was NOT happening. Not here, not now. This was too pat, too perfect. The timing was too spot on to be anything good. Taiki could only cross his fingers and hope that Yukiho did the right thing and ran off for help. In the meantime he had to stall. If he went with the chuunin… but if he fought… his eyes worriedly glanced toward Eremi a second time. This was getting out of control. "Meaning no disrespect, chuunin'san, but I was told by my sensei that I was to wait here for him, regarding village matters. If I disobey him, I could be up for court martial. So please understand that due to these orders, I need to verify who you are, and the orders you were given for me, that would supersede my chuunin'sensei's orders. If you can show me your identification and orders, I will be more than happy to follow. If not… I'm afraid I can't go with you…."
This was starting to get intense and Eremi could only imagine this was barely scratching the surface of how Taiki was treated within the clan. Sure getting beaten up was bad and Eremi has had his fair share of that, but verbal abuse wasn't something he's ever had to experience. It could cut you deep on the inside and was not something that is easily treated. It was causing the legs beneath Eremi to shake, wanting to run away before the attention turned to him. But he couldn't. There was no way he could leave his friend behind to deal with this and the guy wasn't even Taiki's sensei and was now resorting to name calling.
Feeling Taiki's eyes on him, Eremi glanced back unsure of what to do. What he could do or what Taiki would even want him to do. From the look given to him, it seemed as if Taiki wanted Eremi to do nothing more then to just remain quiet. Which he was more then happy to oblige if only to not make matters worse. However, when Taiki spoke it seemed as if he had a plan. He made no mention earlier of Atsuro showing up, but Eremi sure wished he would.
"Since when do we get written orders from Clan Elders baka? You must have lost what little sense you have had in that head of yours when you had your last training accident." The chuunin shakes his head and growls. "Look, I don't know how you managed it, but your guard hurt my partner. I'm half tempted to take it out of your hide. But I'm going to be magnanimous here. You have one chance to avoid a beating from /me/. Come with me now, or I'll move you."
Taiki was about to answer when another voice was heard from the same general direction. "That ninken was mine, and I have half a mind to demand you pay her vet bills, since you sicked your partner on her to begin with." A woman steps out of the treeline, her face furious. There's a definite likeness between the woman and Taiki, so it's easy to figure out this is Taiki's mom. "And did I hear you threaten my son? Without due process? Just who the bells do you think you are?" She closes the distance rather quickly, with another dog, slightly different than the first, behind her. "On second thought, I don't care. You go back and tell Aiko'sama that if he has business with my son, he can come to me and tell me. IF I think there is a problem, I'll work with him to find a solution. Otherwise the only way either one of you will see my son is through me and my husband. Taiki, you are to go nowhere near Aiko'sama, or this chuunin, without the express permission of your dad or I. Do I make myself clear?"
"Hai, okaa'san," Taiki says immediately, his expression neutral at the moment.
Eremi continued his awkward silence while the two Inuzuka's 'conversed' This was a time where he wasn't used to being so close to others and practically considered invisible as far as things go. If the situation were different, it would be how he would always want to be noticed. Except things weren't different and they were only getting worse. Any moment now he could tell the chuunin was ready to grab Taiki by any means necessary and drag him away. If Eremi was going to do something, it would have to be now.
But as luck would have it, another entered. At first, for a brief moment, Eremi figured it was someone that was here to give back up to the chuunin. But as things unraveled, it was quite clear it was Taiki's mom and she wasn't happy about the treatment of her son. Which an upset mother is probably better then having anyone else step out of the bushes. Quickly Eremi looked between the three, wondering just what might happen next.
"You don't have that authority, b…" the chuunin started to say, but was rather rudely interrupted by a set of metal claws gripping pinching his throat around the windpipe, followed by a very dangerous sounding growl that promised pain, and lots of it. The young man's eyes widened as the growl seemed to be coming closer.
But Shinobu turned his head another direction and growled again, catching the shocked Taiki's attention. He motioned to Eremi, then pointed to his mother's blind spot. There was a wounded ninken slowly stalking the growling dog. Taiki pulls a kunai with something wrapped around its handle and holds onto the point, preparing to throw it. The message is clear, they would have to stop the dog.
Eremi's eyes went wide and he took a step back, shocked at the sudden throat grab of the chuunin by Taiki's mom. It was something the teen deserved, it was just startling for the boy to witness was all. He looked to Taiki to see how he felt about it, but his friend was signaling something else. Turning to see what it was, Eremi knew what was to be expected of him. A whip from his cloak and his hand came in front of him with two kunai. Not needing to wait, the boy went to an instant sprint blocking the path from which the injured ninken was heading.
People who met Taiki and didn't know him well often wondered why the Genin kept a pouch full of explosive tagged kunai. Most didn't know of his demolitions history, or the dangers he found himself in. This time he was facing a chuunin's partner, that, while injured, was not going to be a push over. He let fly with the kunai, and purposefully missed. The kunai exploded as Taiki pulled out two more kunai, one with explosives and one without. But the explosion was enough to attract everyone's attention toward Taiki. "One more step toward Yuhiko, and I will ensure there won't be enough pieces left of you to fill a matchbox," Taiki growled menacingly as he poured all his rage at this situation into the voice
Taiki's mom on the other hand simply tightened her grip, drawing little rivulets of blood. "You're already in a bad position from earlier. My son has every right to keep that promise, and I assure you it /is/ a promise. Care to call your partner off?" she asks, keeping a gentle matter of fact tone that is scary in and of itself. The chuunin doesn't answer yet, apparently too shocked that Taiki would do something, or that his mother would condone it.
Eremi blinked, surprised by how quickly Taiki acted. That, along with how his friend was able to pull off an intimidating presence was a few of the things that made him jealous of the other. Though if the tactics didn't work, a fight was going to break out. If it did, he was ready for it. With weapon in hand, he held his ground firmly. Finding a steadying calm when it came to fighting that kept his feet rooted and his legs from shaking. Now all that waited was whether or not the chuunin was willing to sacrifice the partner in a fight.
The ninken in question turned to face the two Genin and growled menacingly. One could almost feel the rage in that growl. But Taiki remained firm alongside Eremi. He'd have to remember to thank his friend later, for by himself or with Shinobu he didn't think the ninken would have paused for even a second before attacking. As it was, Eremi's presence would probably help tip the odds in their favor should it go to fighting. And it looked, at that moment, like it was going to.
"Cocoa, stand down!" the chuunin ordered once he got control of his voice back. The chuunin was arrogant and overbearing, but like all Inuzuka, he was loyal to his partner, and realized that the odds were against him keeping his friend. "You win. I'll deliver your message."
"Good. If I were you though, after your visit to the vet and to your superiors, I would go to your house and stay there. A couple of ANBU will be along soon enough. Them or some of the Betas will. If I were you, I'd hope for the ANBU." She let go of his throat and stepped back, thumbing her hand in the direction toward the Inuzuka compound. "Go. Now."
When the growling came, Eremi now held a kunai in each hand, ready to throw one before charging right behind it for close range combat if need be. He was going to wait though, until it absolutely seemed like there was no other option but fighting. A quick glance would be given to Taiki making sure the other was just as ready, before turning back to the ninken. Then came the order from the chuunin. It was now apparent that today, there wasn't going to be any more bloodshed.
This alone caused Eremi to let out a sigh of relief, lowering his guard some and allowing his hands to dangle at his sides, but leaving the kunai's out just in case.
Taiki doesn't drop his guard quite yet, but that's because he's largely distrustful of people trying to attack him. But the chuunin steps away once Taiki's mom lets him go, collects the injured ninken, and then starts off. "I want to thank you, on behalf of my son and myself," the mother says as she walks in front of them. "It's important right now for my son to have friends he can depend on. I also need to apologize though, as I need to take Taiki off to deal with the repercussions of this fiasco." Her glance turns toward Taiki and said, "Is this what you meant about getting bolder?" At Taiki's nod she says, "I see… we'll discuss this later. In the meantime, come on."
As Taiki's mom walks away, Taiki puts away his kunai and turns his face toward Eremi. "Thanks man. If you ever need my help, let me know. In the meantime… I need to go." With that he and Shinobu start off after his mom and Yuhiko.