Date: Unknown (log received February 15, 2011)
Kasuya’s search for a partner, pits Hoiishime against unparalleled ninjutsu skill. How does our favorite monk fair?
"Wanted: Training Partner"
Raiun Falls [Land of Lightning]
A dull roar is omnipresent in this area, the sound of many thousands of gallons of water a minute flowing down from the heights. The falls are almost 100 feet high, a sharp cliff face with the water pouring off into a natural basin. It flows southwards, the rush of water forming a small river that goes down a smaller set of falls, known as rips. The area is filled with a thin amount of mist.
It appears as if a titanic battle occurred here sometime in the past. A large swath of earth has been blackened and melted by some intense source of heat, charring the stone sides of the waterfall and condensing to a point roughly a quarter of a mile away. The ground is also shattered, as if by an incredibly violent, localized earthquake. In addition, there is a collection of deep gouges, seemingly from fantastically large blades thrust into a tight radius, and three moderately sized craters riddle the area. Off to the side of the waterfall is a large wall of solid iron several feet in thickness, almost reaching the full height of the falls themselves. The wall seems to have burst up from the ground very close to the cliff face. With so much mist in the air, the metal has begun to rust. Nevertheless, it remains standing, as if watching over this pocket of utter destruction in an otherwise scenic setting.
To the south, it flows into a rather calm lake, really nothing more then a very wide and shallow valley that has filled up with water from the falls. To the north southwest and southeast lay trails going out to either side of the large mountain, completely different paths that meet at the peak. They are joined by a small bridge which crosses the river coming down from the basin of the falls.
It was good to be back in Kumogakure. Difficult breathing at high altitudes was only a small sacrifice for being able to see a world that existed just above the clouds themselves. The sun shine seemed to brighten the otherwise dismal mountain ranges that seemed to go on forever. The expanse of it all, seemed infinite yet easy, the landscape varying little beyond the various water falls and large bodies of water that located just at the base of the large mountain where Kumogakure had made its home.
Needless to say, Hoiishime was brought to remembrance of all the things he missed, as he made a short journey across his homeland once more. The World Tournament back in the Land of Grass, was one which held back a variety of ninja from duty back in their own native lands, not to mention there own home lives. Hoii spent most of his time in Kusagakure as either a volunteer Mednin, treating those who had been injured in the Tournament, a tourist, seeing the town as any new visitor would and even as competitor, undergoing a variety of exhibition matches with no goal beyond the testing of his own fortitude as a taijutsuist, and a ninja in total.
He was glad to be back now in his own nation, available for service as both a medical ninja, and a monk of the Jinrai Shrine. Today was one of those days where he attempted to reflect on new goals for his time back home, training, meditating, and enjoying himself at the base of Raiun Falls. He remembered much of his early days as a Genin spent at this place, seeking mastery and lessons through the observation of the waters that rained down from split of a large portion of the cliff above. This split was not nature made, from what Hoiishime had heard. However, it often gave him something to think about, which became a reason for his appeal. Even now, the boy had been performing a fluid kata on a rock face in the middle of the waterfall's basin.
The only tournaments Kasuya watched with a modicum of real enthusiasm were those that involved any other Kumo nin. Mitsuomi seemed to be doing well for himself, but the other Kumogakure shinobi had been eliminated from other brackets. She herself never participated in the matches. It wasn't intimidation. She just found it all too childish. Besides, to what end would she want to advance through the tournament? She didn't have any real national pride, or any desire to win posterity.
Besides, she liked it in Kumogakure. It didn't smell like Kirigakure, scorch like Sunagakure, or preen like Konohagakure. In other words, it was the least objectionable place, not to mention the one with the lowest internal crime rate. As of now, she's enjoying the roar and power of the waterfall. The mist drifts down from the falls, cooling everything nearby. She's about to pass through, but it's then that she notices Hoiishime practicing at his kata. And she'd walk forward, her geta sandals tapping lightly against the hard ground. "Monk-san," she says politely, "Have we met? You seem familiar. Wacha doing, playing out here?"
The words 'Monk-san', were always responded by Hoiishime with bright smile, and a slight bow. It was the mark of service to his cause, his willingness to help with whatever he was called for. However, this time, it was more to ask what he had been doing, rather than what he could do. "Mmmm? Aaah.. I be merely practicin' me art." Hoiishime looked to Kasuya’s first question second, his own eyes still seeming to scan the woman trying to feel for an answer. Suddenly, a slight widening of the eye proceeded a rather goofy smile. "If ya be knowin' Yamayuki Maia-sensei, den I tink ya be knowin' me self. Actually, I tink I be recognizin' ya from da Gym. Ummm… doncha' be Kasuya-sama?"
Kasuya pushes her mess of bangs and bandages back to better see Hoiishime. "I hardly deserve such a title," she says quietly. "We barely even know each other anyway." She says this matter of factly, not rudely or shyly. She seems to be appraising Hoiishime with her dark rimmed eyes, an almost deadpan expression in a way. She chews her lip for a moment, and then gives a shrug as if giving into something. "You know, as we're both here, and I did plan to do a bit of practice later, why not show off your training? I've never faced a warrior monk before, and it would be an interesting match, I think. You may even be able to go all out on me, I know a trick or two. What do you say?" Her tone is little more than an invitation, but she's already stepping around to put Hoiishime between herself and the waterfall, as if she means to push him off if a match should begin.
A brief chuckle, and a nervous scratch to the back of his neck showed Hoiishime's reaction at the rather straight forward manner of Kasuya. "Well… Ya rank be dictatin' of a certain amount of respect, ya know.. If I be rememberin' well ya meetin' with Mai-sensei, den a Specialist Jounin ya be.." Kasuya's appearance was a rather odd one indeed. It wasn't as if she were scary to him or anything. It was just a bit off putting. The monk treated her no different than any other person he encountered. "Actually, I don' be a warrior monk per-say, Kasuya-sama… The Shime Style of Grapplin' be an art made for dem' who can't defend demselves… I be merely a practicioner.."
With the woman's actions seeming a bit persistent, Hoiishime found himself in the middle of her and the water rather instantly, before he could even agree. However, the boy seemed rather cool for such a move to be played out in front of him. "…However… I do tink I be needin' da trainin'. I don' seem quite able to say no a dis point." Hoiishime's movement seem to lower only with a slide of his feet. His chakra was fluxing through him with the subtlety of a faucet being switched on. His smile never faded from his face, as his movement never went beyond the mere taken stance, one foot outstretched forward, while the other supported much of his weight.
Usually Kasuya isn't so straightforward about asking for a match, but she has enacted a plan to find—well, not really a sensei. A training partner. She'd heard fairly good things about Hoiishime, and she more than anyone knew that rank isn't a reflection of power. When he agrees to the match, Kasuya gives a flicker of a smile. "You can always say no," she says mildly. But she, too, is gathering her chakra so slowly and subtly that most would sense it like a steady trickle. As for her, little is known about Kasuya's real fighting style. She'd only ever gone down to the training center to try out a few aijutsu techniques with the equipment arrayed there. She goes then into a light footed, bare handed stance, easily balancing on the raised platforms of her geta sandals as she circles slowly to Hoiishime's right, keeping an eye out for any opening.
"Not so much, dis time… I be likin' da feel of ya fightin' spirit." Then Hoiishime would feel it. A spike in the woman's chakra. She and Hoiishime seemed to have the same idea. But how much she had prepared, had been hard to tell at this point. Being sensitive to chakra flow, didn't mean one was all the time skilled in sensing the finer details.. At this range, Hoiishime could only sense changes, and large gatherings of it all. The spike was enough to determine she had summoned a bit. He expected ninjutsu… and prepared for worst. But before he'd be likely to press on the first attack, it was time to show off something to Kasuya.
What she thought was simply backing Hoii into the corner, was really on luring herself into an dangerous disadvantage. She was now surrounded by water, which just so happen to be Hoii's natural affinity. A single hand seal formed in Hoii's hands, and with such, water, from the falls themselves, would course around him from three different angles, blasting at Kasuya, in more than one attempt and more than one effort.
Kasuya barely notices the bursts of water before they're on top of her, due to the incessant roaring of the falls. She dodges away from it, but some water catches her on the shoulder and almost sends her reeling. "Whoa!" She keeps her feet however, and would grimace. That was clumsy. But she wastes no time in drawing a senbon in a blink and flicking a few at Hoiishime. The amount of damage it would do is less than that of a kunai, but it's harder to track and therefore harder to dodge. She aims them all at his right leg, in a quick succession.
Looking to the woman as the water bashes into her shoulder, Hoii winced slightly, though at this point, he really didn't feel where he had mortally wounded the woman. He was confident in her being much more tougher. At least he knew her footing speed wasn't that fast. The monk watched as the woman seemed to draw something from her out of seeming nowhere at all. From the distance Hoiishime was, he could not tell just what.. However, he was careful to keep his guard. Once the movement to throw happened, Hoiishime's eyes tracked the flow of the arm only, hoping that he could predict where he was being targeted.
Luckily he guessed his head. With a whirl of his palm in a circular motion, chakra emitted invisibly from his arm like steam, enveloping and coating it. Kasuya only simple flowing movements of the arm, move up and down. Once the movement stopped, the senbon would be visible in the monk mednin's right hand. "Yeeesh… Dat woulda stung a bit.", was all he could reply as he simply dropped the two weapons. More hand seals were to follow. Orbs of water then decided to form about the boy, swirling from behind him, and then flowing forward, in a straight trajectory that seemed more prone to pushing the woman back even further!! Just what was Hoii's strategy?
Three bullets of water drive into Kasuya's chest and knock her backwards. She topples back before the image wavers and disappears. Kasuya ends up standing right behind Hoiishime as she says, "Sorry…I really didn't want to be caught by those things; they bruise." She'd aim a kick at his legs to sweep his feet from under him, and then a rather dirty kick, high or low, right at his head to knock him back towards the edge of the waterfall. It seems a perilous place to hold a match: the damp ground, the steep drop, and the tons of pouring water.
Clones!!! Hoiishime's eyes widened in horror at the fact that he didn't even see handseals to use them. Seemless transition into a technique meant at least some proficiency in ninjutsu. His mind was made up to a different approach. Hoii knew he'd have to play to his strengths, if he planned to face this woman on a level even close to her own. He had no idea where she was.. Not until a kick caved into the back of his knee's, causing him to spin, and hop in a single limp. If it hadn't been for the sliding, Hoiishime perhaps would have been on his rear end. That use of clone technique had been so perfect, that it screwed up his sensitivity to chakra. Kasuya had hid her presence well enough to catch him off guard.
"It be fine!! I be actually enjoyin' dis though!", was said with a wince, as he would find himself backpedaling to keep his footing. However, Hoiishime had already faced facts.. As good as she was in Taijutsu, Hoii's specialty was what the field that Kasuya was the worst at. Hoii's movement was agile, as it seemed to not only side step the kick, but move right along with it. Kasuya would probably even think the kick hit. However, this was beyond wrong. Within almost seconds, arms locked around the leg, no matter where it went, and soon, Kasuya was dragged into a 360 spin. At the end, Hoiishime simply released the leg, sending Kasuya skidding into the nearest bank of land nearby.
Meanwhile, he himself took the time to recover. A few taps to his leg, and the pain, and injury seemed to dissolve away. No more limp. "Ya makin' dis fun for me. I appreciate it in full, Kasuya-san."
Kasuya is attacking one second, and finds herself flat on her back. She springs up. Kasuya blinks as Hoiishime goes about healing himself. "Hey…!" she says. Cheater! Kasuya can't do that, so why should he be allowed to press a reset button? Some part of her is tempted to just hit him while he's healing himself, but before she can even thinking to charge him, he's already done with that technique. But that was speedy. For the first time in the spar, though, she looks wary. Not only did he neutralize her rather lamentable taijutsu, but he could also heal himself unless she put an end to that. Kasuya makes a quick seal and would raise her fingers, sending a crackle of electricity towards Hoiishime. The somewhat concentrated arc of lightning would then burst apart, scattering static everywhere in the damp air.
"..Hmm??", was all Hoii could use to respond to the woman as she sprung up. It seemed she was accusing him of something but for some reason, he could not figure out what. He thought for a moment as she seemed to eye him some before then sighing, and saying, "Ohh… Ya must have noticed dat.. Not as subtle as I be tinkin' I am. " He'd chuckle only moments before he see's Kasuya hand seal. Or at least that was what he though she did.. Her hand seals were to fast from him to even see. However, he did see Kasuya's fingers aiming. This wasn't going to be good. Soon… lightning was striking. The monk's eyes widened in surprise. "Divine Providence:…", was shouted as Hoiishime's arms glowed gold, this time, visible with chakra.
"Grappling Monks Partition!!", was then said as those same gold arms brought hands to clap, causing a barrier of gold chakra to expand upon the impact of his hands into one another. Lightning would indeed impact and disperse into nothing but sparks, fading into nothingness. At that point, Hoiishime would then feel the weirdest thing. His hair seemed to stand on end. Just what was this? It was enough to cause him a bit of an itch for a moment. He then feel a slight shock at his finger tips.. His eyes widened as if Hoiishime knew what was going on. The shock seemed to make him panic, especially with the fact that his clothing had been slightly damp. Lightning and water didn't mix, and this made Hoiishime paranoid.
Therefore a high speed spin was to began, drying Hoiishime's clothing, and allowing him to move much closer to Kasuya. He didn't leave much to chance with this woman, and soon, Hoii's efforts were to show in his offensive. Palms began to simply smack into specific points of her body. The attacks were harmless, however, Kasuya would feel herself drained if any of them made contact.
Kasuya backpedals, but she can't help but be pummeled by the blows. There is a moment of silence, in which all seems to be as it is, but then in a poof of steam Kasuya is gone. Her geta sandal clatters to the ground, not quite as good as a log, but good enough to get away from the volley of attacks. And near Hoiishime, to his left, Kasuya is prying off the other one. Ehh, she has tough feet. She flings her geta sandal aside. But perhaps for their spar she should've chosen a place with a few more usable replacements. There was just water and earth nearby. "I thought you were a Genin," she says, "but you have quite the arsenal on you." She'd make seals again, and then cup one of her palms to seemingly hold a growing mass of electric chakra in her hand. Then she'd give it a fling much as a baseball player would, straight at Hoiishime. It goes with surprising speed to hit him and, though do little damage, stun and paralyze him for a moment if it should connect. It'd be shortly followed by two shuriken curving swiftly through the air towards him.
Again with the expert use of E Rank Technique, Kasuya fakes her demise yet again. Hoiishime would sigh knowing full well what was coming next. He tried to make sure his sense held up higher in comparison to the last time she evaded this way. However, the same efficiency was evident a second time, and soon, from behind, Hoiishime heard a voice. He would smirk and say, "I be a Genin, Kasuya-sama… I tink you be assumin' much more because ya be impressed. If so, I be grateful/
As soon as that statement ended, that is when Hoiishime suddenly would feel the shock of his life. The stun attack, did just that, shocking him a moment, just enough for the first shuriken to have a clear mark. The weapon would hit as well, but rather comically. Kasuya's throw was a bit haphazard, forcing the first shuriken to sort of twirl in the air, before hitting Hoiishime like a stamp, flat against his forehead. This was seemingly enough for him to snap out the stun, spinning, and using the extra cloth of his kimono to smack the second weapon out the air.
Hoiishime would rub his forehead, saying, "Oii…", before then looking to the woman that had been still yet his opponent. The spar wasn't over just because he had a lump on his forehead, and his attacks continued with that of another style. Perhaps Kasuya may remember seeing them. They were all Mitsuomi's. A downward strike, would send chakra through the earth, only for to rupture the very ground Kasuya stood upon. From there, Hoiishime, would have merely tagged a spot on the woman's back.. And while stun, the boy's speed would allow him to attack from behind, connecting the chakra in upon his shoulder with that of the spot. One touching the other would cause a violent explosion of force to send the older woman flying backward. But the attacks weren't over. Hoiishime's speed yet again sought to meet her in the air. Feet would wrap about Kasuya’s neck, and with a whip of the monk's body, fling her into ground with harsh finality.
Every single attack hits Kasuya so squarely that it could be suspicious even before she shimmers and wavers into nothingness as she hits the ground, just another clone. Kasuya is standing near the edge of the waterfall, picking up one shoe and then the other to slip them back on. "I think we've had enough for one day," she says. "Any more and we might call it less of a spar and more of a match, hmm? I think you've seen my abilities well enough." She'd give a slight smile to Hoiishime and thenPOOFshe's gone in a cloud of white smoke that's quickly washed away by the wind and water of the waterfall.