Quiet days often signal a coming storm.
The Encounter Edit
In the middle of a field, shaded by a single solitary tree, a silver-haired young man diligently practices his swordsmanship. While his dark raiment doesn't link him any particular village or nation, it's clear he's far from home. Seemingly murmuring to himself as he shifts between different stances the swordsman in a sight of curiosity amongst the golden tinted plains.
As the enigmatic man trains in his swordsmanship skills, a beyond-his-years-looking boy was strolling on a trail heading towards the man of mystery. Feeling a large source of chakra ahead of him, the boy began sprinting, hoping to identify where the chakra was coming from. Upon entering the field, the black-haired boy yelled, "Hello! Who are you?!" as he hoped to get the man before him's attention.
Dropping his stance as the newcomer approaches Nōsei raises his free hand to his ear. "Yeah...I know. I'll call you back," he says reluctantly before turning toward Shōjiru and addressing the shinobi's inquiry. "I may just be out of touch with today's youth, but is it common to request someone's name before offering your own?" the swordsman replies coldly, removing the his earpiece in the process.
Shocked by the coldness of the man before him, Shōjiru cleared his throat and spoke once more as he began making his way towards the enigma before him. "Sorry about that. I just got a little excited when I felt your chakra. Let's start over, okay? Hi, I'm Shōjiru Hazure; who are you?" the boy said, holding out his hand to the man once he had made it over to him.
"Maybe that was a bit too harsh," Nōsei thought to himself as he cocked his head to the side. "I'm Nōsei...nice to meet you," the swordsman explained extending his hand as well, "So, you're a sensor?"
"Ehh... not really. I can pick up on large amounts of chakra, but not much else." Shōjiru replied, a small frown present on his face. Eyeing Nōsei's blade, the black-haired boy's frown disappeared. "Oh, you're a swordsman too?"
"I suppose that's a correct assertion," Nōsei replies as he rotates the blade around before sheathing it. "So...you came toward me after sensing a large amount of chakra?" the swordsman inquires, "I'm guessing that you have something in mind."
Shōjiru simply smirked at the statement. "Hah; actually, I didn't. When I sensed you, I just wanted to see where it was coming from. However, since I know that you're a fellow swordsman, I'd love to spar with you. But, if my assumptions are correct, you're on the level of a jōnin, right?" he asked, trying to get a little information about his could-be opponent before they engaged in battle.
"I see..." Nōsei responds calmly, considering the thought for a moment. "While I'm not opposed to a spar, you probably shouldn't make a habit out of challenging random swordsman to fights," he explains, walking a few meters back before turning toward Shōjiru and holding his right hand out to his side. "Ready when you are," Nōsei calls out as a black katana materializes, seemingly out of thin air, into his grasp.
The Hazure clansman merely chuckled at Nōsei's warning. "Yeah, yeah. This is a one-time thing, ya know? Anyways," he continued as he took a few paces back. "I'm ready."
The Battle Begins Edit
Carefully observing his opponent Nōsei begins to walk in towards Shōjiru's left, hoping to prompt the Hazure into action. "It would be foolish to underestimate him due to his behavior," he though to himself, "Better take things slow."
"Just from his chakra, I can tell that this guy'll be tough to defeat. I'll let him make the first attack, just so I can see some of his capabilities." Shōjiru thought to himself as his opponent began to make his move. "Taking a defensive beginning too?" he asked, his smirk from before having reappeared.
As soon as Shōjiru's words escaped his mouth Nōsei began his attack; dashing in towards his opponent the swordsman stopped short and began to move around to Shōjiru's right side, leaving a shallow cut in the ground with his blade.
Caught off-guard by Nōsei's sudden change in plans, the Hazure clansman leaped to his left, hoping he could create some distance between him and his opponent.
Continuing the pressure, Nōsei revealed a kunai from the sleeve of his free arm; Throwing the projectile, as soon as it slipped into his hand, the swordsman considered how Shōjiru would respond mid-leap.
"Things are getting interesting..." the younger of the two thought as he quickly threw a couple shuriken towards the incoming kunai, sending it spiraling towards the ground. As he regained his footing, Shōjiru unsheathed his blade, Tensei, and prepared for his opponent's next move.
"He handled that with limited effort; he's obviously had sufficient training," Nōsei pondered as he began to circle Shōjiru again, quicker this time.
Feeling as if Nōsei was merely repeating his same move for the third time, Shōjiru jumped up, grabbing onto a low-hanging branch and doing a backflip - landing almost perfectly on his feet. "Whoa, I gotta start taking more gymnastics." he said casually, chuckling a bit at his own humor. After his mini-laughfest had ended, the Hazure clansman beckoned for his opponent to follow, hoping he'd fall for his ploy...
Following suit Nōsei dashed up the trunk of the tree and leaped onto branch adjacent to Shōjiru's. "Changing battlefields already?" the swordsman inquired sarcastically while considering the tactical repercussions of this change of location. "I wonder what he's up to?" he thought to himself as moved in to clash directly with his opponent.
"Good, he's doing what I anticipated." the boy thought as he weaved a few hand seals in quick succession, causing a clone to appear next to his summoner. Without any type of command, the clone - Tensei in hand - charged towards Nōsei at full speed. "Let's see how he reacts to this." Shōjiru continued as the clone and his opponent were about to clash.
"Multiple hand seals for a clone, that eliminates a few possibilities," Nōsei thinks to himself as he continues moving forward, "It could possess special properties or simply exist to delay me; perhaps it even fulfills both conditions." Increasing his speed just as the two were about to clash, Nōsei maneuvers to sheer the clone in half, "I suppose I'll just have to test it."
"Perfect." Shōjiru thought to himself as he jumped back to the ground. During his descent, the Hazure clansman made a hand seal, causing the clone that was mere inches from his opponent to detonate. "I hope this works. If it doesn't, I'll just have to think up another strategy."
Nōsei is hurled back and sent sprawling onto the ground by the force of the explosion. Meanwhile, the black katana was thrown in a separate direction, lodging itself in one of the trees many branches. Still motionless on the ground Nōsei oddly bursts into a mass of black chakra that expands outward before coalescing on branch near Shōjiru in the form of the silver haired swordsman. "I really wasn't expecting a exploding clone; that could have been dangerous," Nōsei begins, "Though...I do have a better grasp on your abilities now." Without another word the swordsman concentrates a significant amount of chakra around is hand, which he releases in form of a potent gust of wind directed towards the Hazure.
"Oh, boy." the youngster said as he was sent hurdling back, causing him to be thrown into some think bushes. Holding his head, hoping to quell the pain of hitting his head upon the hard ground, Shōjiru slowly rose to his feet. "Ouch. You sure do pack a punch... Nōsei, was it?" he yelled, considering there was a large gap between the two shinobi. Stumbling out of the brush, Shōjiru looked around for his sword, having dropped it before falling on his head. "Crap," he continued. "I guess I'll just have to rely on this." With that, the boy pulled out a kunai and held it in a reverse grip.
The Next Level? Edit
Primarily preferring not to yell back towards his opponent in response Nōsei relocates to the ground in the blink of an eye, closing the gap between himself and Shōjiru by several meters. "You remembered...admirable," Nōsei responds from a distance that allowed him to keep a calm tone, "It looks like that round went to me. Shōjiru, if I recall correctly, do you want to keep going?"
The Hazure boy's smirk instantly reappeared on his face at his opponent's question. "Hah, of course! This is kind of fun, actually." he said. Tightening his grip on the kunai in his hand, Shōjiru began to walk towards Nōsei - round two had begun.
"Agreed," Nōsei responds while holding his hand into the air. With that simple gesture the black katana, lodged into the tree earlier, is called back into swordsman's possession by an unseen force. Lowering the blade to his side Nōsei motions Shōjiru to make his move.
Wasting little time, Shōjiru's walking slowly evolved into a running pace. Mid-run, the boy made several hand seals, this time summoning two clones - both with a kunai in hand - on either side of his person. Sending one out in front, the boy began his test of his silver-haired opponent's reaction. "I'm sure he's under the impression that I'll use the same battle plan as before, but that will be his downfall." the young swordsman thought as all three of the Shōjiru advanced towards Nōsei.
"The same technique again?" Nōsei thought to himself, "Hmph...it would be a first for him to repeat a maneuver." Hurling his blade in a rotating manner Nōsei appeared as if he hoped to defeat the opponent closing in on him. Immediately after hurling the blade the swordsman begun to weave hand seals with impressive speed.
Smirking, Shōjiru allowed the clone to be bisected by his opponent's sword. "So, he did believe I was using the same maneuver." With this information in hand, the Hazure clansman sent the other clone forward, hoping to use it as a distraction so he may add the information he had just obtained to his original strategy. As the clone took the lead, Shōjiru noticed his black-haired adversary weaving hand seals at an accelerated pace. "Whoa, he's fast. However, I mustn't back down." he thought.
"I suppose it was different this time," Nōsei pondered as he cancelled his faux hand seals and before taking control of the rotating blade, guiding it toward the next clone. Raising his free hand, which wasn't occupied with manipulating the path of the black katana, the swordsman formed what appeared to be half a hand seal and his gaze focused onto Shōjiru's location.
"What's this? He's directing the blade? This technique is more complicated than I thought." the younger of the two swordsmen thought. As he and his remaining clone continued towards Nōsei, the original Shōjiru began hearing Nōsei's thoughts in his head. "Now the next one..." Having gained this little piece of knowledge, Shōjiru forced the clone to change his path, sending him towards the silver-haired shinobi's right. "Let's hope this was a good move."
Widening his eyes in response to the clones sudden change in behavior, which allowed it to evade the sword at the key moment, Nōsei was forced to split his attention between the Shōjiru and his doppelganger. "Heh...you don't usually see that out of clones," the swordsman thinks to himself while contemplating the strategy unfolding before him. "Just get in range," says to himself pointing his half seal towards the clone approaching him. Meanwhile, the black sword loses momentum and falls onto the ground, fading from existence.
Noticing the blade before him fade into nothing, Shōjiru smiled. "Good, he's changing his plan." he thought as the clone threw his kunai at Nōsei with great force.
Noticing the glint of the projectile out of the corner of his eye Nōsei evaded backwards, out of the path of kunai and away from the clone. Hearing the whistle of Shōjiru's weapon as it passed in front of his face Nōsei verified the solidity of its source, immediately sparking an idea. "This second round of clones haven't accomplished anything that can define the physical existence," Nōsei thinks to himself, directing his gaze upon the "original" Shōjiru before dashing towards him.
"Dang," Shōjiru thought as the clone's kunai zoomed by its intended target. Motioning towards the clone, the fake Hazure clansman began to chase after Nōsei, who was already halfway towards the real Shōjiru. Both taking out a few shuriken and kunai from their pouches, the black-haired Hazure's threw all the weapons towards the swordsman standing between them.
"It's simple logic not to stand in your ally's line of fire," Nōsei thinks to himself, halting his charge towards Shōjiru, "...unless, the clone isn't solid." Revealing a kunai from his sleeve, and extending its reach, he maneuvered in a such a way to allow only a single projectile from each Shōjiru graze him; Hopefully, allowing Nōsei to discern the nature of the clones.
Both projectiles cut into the silver-haired swordsman before the Shōjiru's. Smirking, the psuedo-Shōjiru vanished in a puff of white smoke. "Seems like you're holding back. Why, if I may ask?" the true Hazure clansman asked, perplexed by his opponent's decision to retain some of his strength instead of going all out.
"I suppose I made a mistake," Nōsei thought to himself before focusing his attention onto Shōjiru. "Your particularly skilled at guessing...my apologies if I've offended you," the swordsman begins, "Since I've been unsure about your abilities, I wouldn't want to escalate things farther than necessary." Glancing back toward the tree where the battle had started Nōsei addresses his opponent again, "A swordsman shouldn't be without his blade...we can continue once you find it."
Shocked by Nōsei's generosity, the younger of the two swordsmen smiled softly to his adversary. "Thank you, Nōsei. And no, you didn't offend me; I was merely curious." With that, Shōjiru set out to find his most prized possession...
Clash of the Swords Edit
Patiently waiting for Shōjiru's return, Nōsei stood in the field as a gentle breeze blew over him. For a mere moment a slight grin crossed his face, he was indeed having fun.
After searching for nearly a half-an-hour, Shōjiru found his blade in the bushes in which he had fallen in in what seemed like hours ago. Much like Nōsei, the black-haired boy was having fun with this spar. Now that he had found his Tensei, they could really get down to business. Grasping his sword firmly in his right hand, Shōjiru made his way towards his opponent, smirking as well.
Noticing Shōjiru returning Nōsei turned to face him directly. "I'm glad you were able to find it...your sword that is," Nōsei calmly exclaimed, "Does it have a name?" Drawing his blade with care the swordsman quietly waits for a reply from his opponent.
"Yes, it does. Its name is Tensei; it is my most prized possession." Shōjiru then lifted his katana, staring at it with loving eyes. "How 'bout yours, Nōsei?" he asked with a smile upon his face.
"Myaku-giri," Nōsei responds, keeping his attention focused on his opponent. Altering his stance the air around him appears to shift suddenly. "I hope you're ready," the swordsman says before appearing directly beside Shōjiru and attempting what a most would be a shallow cut across his left arm.
But Shōjiru was prepared; Tensei had easily blocked Myaku-giri. Pulling out a kunai from his left sleeve, the black-haired Hazure threw the knife at his opponent as he jumped to his right so he could create distance between the two swordsmen. Enveloping wind chakra on his prized blade, Shōjiru awaited his opponent's next move.
Deflecting the kunai away, while simultaneously turning towards his evading opponent, Nōsei noticed the formation of the technique in an instant. "So...you too," he thought to himself as he recognized the similarity between Shōjiru's chakra flow and his own, "Let's see what you can do." Channeling a surge of chakra through his blade the swordsman releases a burst of wind that kicks up dust as it travels towards the Hazure.
"Heh, it appears we have the same ability." the younger of the two swordsmen remarked as he sent a slash of wind chakra out from his blade, causing it to clash with his opponent's own and dispersing both. "Well, that's a nice piece of information, if I ever saw one." Shōjiru thought with a smile as he raced towards Nōsei, Tensei in hand.
"Here he comes," Nōsei thinks to himself as Shōjiru quickly closes in on him. "I could simply mimic him, but where's the fun the in that," he concludes, sheathing his blade before lowering his stance and placing his hand over the handle. Patiently waiting for Shōjiru, Nōsei prepared to draw his blade at the opportune moment.
Eying Nōsei and the movement of his hand to his blade, Shōjiru smirked as he jumped into the air and sent a surge of yellow-coloured chakra towards the silver-haired man below him. "Good luck avoiding that little attack, Nōsei," the Hazure clansman thought as he floated to the ground and began running towards his opponent once more.
Drawing his blade with a sizable amount of force Nōsei cut through the yellow, splitting to his sides. "Heh, Myaku-giri isn't a simple sword," the Mikoto thought to himself before addressing Shōjiru directly, "You and I are really alike, it's almost eerie." With that said he swings his blade in his opponent's direction releasing a thin wave of faded blue chakra.
"I know, right? It's uncanny." the boy said as the wave of blue chakra rushed towards him. Creating one clone in front of himself, Shōjiru used said clone to launch himself into the air again, easily escaping the chakra blast Nōsei had sent out for him. "Let's start trying, shall we, Nōsei?" Shōjiru asked as he gestured for the swordsman before him to attack.
Before Shōjiru had finished his gesture Nōsei had flickered past him, immediately rotating around to perform a horizontal slash across Shōjiru's back. "It's like your convinced that I'm concealing something," he comments during the course of his attack.
"It's more like a hunch," Shōjiru remarked, blocking the older of the two swordsmen's slash with his own blade. "It just feels like you're holding back. But, the again, I'm doing the same thing." the Hazure said, a smirk stretching across his child-like face. Jumping away from his opponent, Shōjiru threw a flurry of weapons towards Nōsei as the former reached the ground. Following up from the previous attack, the black-haired boy sent a blast of wind at his opponent, greatly increasing the speed of the weapons, as well as possibly sending Nōsei backwards from the force of the technique. Sheathing Tensei, Shōjiru began to sprint towards his silver-haired adversary, weaving hand seals as he did so.
As Nōsei slides back across the ground after attempting his strike on Shōjiru he immediately jumps back once again in order to buy time against the incoming barrage. Targeting the the projectiles that would surely strike him if he didn't move, the Mikoto launches a thin burst of wind deflecting the necessary weapons but failing to handle the blast of wind. Flipping back from the force of the wind Nōsei lands several paces back skidding across the ground. "Good thing I jumped with the force of that technique," he thought to himself before throwing a single shuriken toward Shōjiru. As the small metallic projectile closes in on the Hazure it radiates a brilliant white light, hopefully causing temporary blindness. Following the shuriken throw Nōsei sheaths his blade and begins to carefully perform his own set of hand seals.
Having to cut himself short with hand seals to cover his eyes from the intense light Nōsei had produced, the technique Shōjiru had been preparing was haulted. Looking up for a split second, the Hazure clansman noticed a metallic item fly towards him. Unable to move too much without possibly hurting himself, Shōjiru shifted his weight and allowed the shuriken to graze his shoulder. As the light dispersed, Shōjiru watched as his opponent was weaving hand seals. "Damn..." he thought. Thinking on a whim, the boy sent a claw of wind chakra at a very high speed towards the swordsman before him.