Mastering the Sword (Training)

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Closed Mastering the Sword (Training)

Post by gundamoutlaw on Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:03 pm

[Kaze no Kuni wildlands, 5 years ago]

'Keep your eye on the target, maintain a steady flow of chakra throughout, and most important... do not let your grip slip, ever!' It all sounded simple enough as far as mental checklists went, but when one was moving so fast that even they were going to have issues keeping track of their own hands, well simplicity obviously went out the window. He'd long since lost count of the number of times he'd accidentally let his sword slip from his fingers and fly out into the desert, or lost his focus on the log he'd jammed into the sand in front of him and ended up running into it face first. The chakra balance was probably the only part of this whole process he had any sort of mastery over, and that was only because he had been using the technique he was basing this maneuver on since he'd been old enough to hold a sword. It had become obvious to him early on that other shinobi underestimated the utility of the body flicker technique, and he had been able to exploit that weakness on several occasions. Only recently however had it occurred to him that it might be possible to utilize that same ability on other parts of his body, or in this particular case, multiple parts of his body at the same time. That was where the balance of chakra came into play, and so far that had proven to be the easiest part of the whole process. He'd have thought the grip would have been easier, but boy had he been wrong on that one.

Setting his inner monologue aside for the moment, Qin Li shifted his stance into a low-guarded reverse grip, and took a deep cleansing breath as he poured all of his focus into the piece of wooden debris in front of him. He could feel the chakra as it flowed throughout his body, the texture of the leather in his hand as his grip tightened on the hilt of his blade, the gentle caress as the wind moved over him in the silence of the desert. The man and the log seemed to stare each other down for a moment, the battle between them playing out in each other's mind before the moment of truth was reached, and the lone shinobi vanished in the blink of an eye.

From Qin's perspective, his hand carved adversary rushed towards him, daring him to strike at it as it filled his entire field of vision. Raising his blade, the young shinobi lunged towards his opponent, weaving the tip of his weapon back and forth at blinding speed in an effort to divert the attention of his enemy, and thus conceal the true target of his final blow. At the speed he was moving, he was only able to follow a handful of the movements. Yet from the outside perspective, his weapon had seemed to have split into nine separate blades. Each attack moving in from a different angle as the two duelists closed with each other for their final confrontation. A second later the two finally clashed, a sickening crack cutting through the silence as Qin Li's blade connected with its objective and cut it in twain. At the same time as this happened, the attacker re-materialized behind his victim and turned to regard his handiwork in wan satisfaction.

The reason for his disappointment was obvious at a glance, as the remnants of his sword could be seen protruding from the shattered remains of his counterpart, even as he continued to clutch the hilt of the weapon in his own hand. His execution of the maneuver may have been flawless, but he had just discovered an unexpected flaw of the technique. Until he could figure out a better balance of his chakra, continued use of the move would be hard on his sword. Or at least any of the standard ones that were currently available to him, as none of them were designed to take the strain he was going to be putting them through. It was an easy drawback to address, but it was going to be an expensive one as well. There weren't many swordsmiths that were up to the task of crafting the grade of katana he was going to need, and the few that were tended to charge far more then someone of his rank was going to be able to afford. But at least he seemed to have finally conquered his foe, both in the form of the log and the form of the Chaotic Sword technique. That meant that he was well on his way to achieving his goals of expanding his shunshin abilities, and today's practice would serve as the foundation for that. Maybe his next jutsu should revolve around finding a way to getting his enemies to hold still long enough for this last move to work, either that or just duping them into thinking he was attacking from a different vector so they'd not see him coming in the first place.





Words: 851/850

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Closed Re: Mastering the Sword (Training)

Post by gundamoutlaw on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:06 pm

[Yamada Family Training Grounds, 3 years ago]

The setting sun peeked over the horizon as the two bare chested combatants bowed and entered the ring, its light casting an eerie red glow over the spectators and the surrounding area as the building tension moved towards its peak. Everyone in attendance knew what the stakes of this duel were, which was why the whole clan was in attendance as they waited to see the fate of their generation decided by these two determined souls. To the south was the underdog and heir apparent: Daisuke, now known as Qin Li Sheng, and sole male child of the late headman. His opponent stood opposite him to the north: his eldest sister Yuuki. Murderer of their father and the primary opposition to his taking up leadership of their family. Unlike him, she had taken well to the old school and underhanded political tactics they had been forced to learn as children. This had made her a favorite among the elders who yearned for the dark days of old, and with their support she had assassinated the former head. All so that she could further her own standing in the royal court by provoking a challenge from the current heir: him.

Even now he couldn't believe that she'd been willing to go as far as she had, or that he'd been stupid enough to allow himself to be manipulated into this. He'd been so blinded by rage at his father's murder, that it hadn't even occurred to him what the political repercussions of his lashing out might be. All he'd wanted was for justice to be done. A task which he'd been forced to take up himself due to the corruption permeating the overseers of the clan's affairs. But in searching for that vengeance he'd allowed himself to become emotionally compromised, something Fei was always warning him about, and now he stood to lose so much more then he already had. In all honesty he hadn't even thought the formal challenge would be accepted, seeing as he hadn't even been a member of this family for years and all. He'd just wanted to get his accusations out into the light of day where they could be considered fully. But the duel had been deemed admissible despite the unusual circumstances, serving to prove that this whole thing had just been a setup to get him where he was now. If he lived through this he was definitely going to have to get a better reign on that temper of his so stuff like this stopped happening.

Taking their formal wraps from their Seconds, the two combatants took their seats at opposite sides of the arena and waited for the official referee to finish outlining the modified rules and traditions of this engagement seeing as he was incapable of using the Shakuton Release that was normally the exclusive style for these occasions. Neither one of them were really paying attention though. They both knew what the new rules were by now, and were more concerned with plotting out their opening moves then formalities. Qin knew that he was at a disadvantage due to his lack of Kekki Genkai, and the lack of formal training he had in manipulating it. Yuuki on the other hand was a master level Scorch user, having been trained by the best teachers in the clan since she was old enough to stand on her own two feet. His only hope of winning was to do something random enough to throw her off guard within the opening few seconds, then tag her with an air blade or something in order to draw first blood and end this distasteful fiasco. What could he hope to do though that would accomplish that?

At the conclusion of the referee's speech, the two siblings stood and turned to face each other as they shed their ceremonial shoulder garments. Taking their respective fighting stances, Qin tried to ignore the sneer of contempt that flashed across his sister's face as they waited for the gong to signal the beginning of hostilities. Time seemed to slow to a crawl at that point, or it could have just been the referee drawing out the pain of the moment by withholding the signal to spite him. But whatever the reason was, the moment of truth eventually came.

Not even waiting for the sound to finish dissipating, the two of them dashed towards each other with red in their eyes. Yuuki was the first to make a move, letting loose with a flaming jab-kick combo intended to sear the skin off of his face even as it bisected him at the waist. Qin would have nothing of it though, shifting his center of gravity so that his dash became a power slide as he skidded under the attack and came to his feet well within her inner defensive zone. Seizing the split second opening he'd created, he closed the final few steps between them with a spin of his heel in order to evade any other attacks she might potentially throw. Now well within her personal space, the avenging youth reached forward with both hands and grabbed the sides of his sister's face. Smirking at the way she narrowed her eyes as he leaned forward, planting a passionate kiss directly on her lips as her irises seemed to glow with rage. A moment later she stumbled back, wiping her lips with the back of her hand as she glared daggers at him from across the ring. This was all the time he needed though, as he snapped his hand down to his side and drew his sword in a wide arc in front of him in order to create a razor sharp current of air with her name on it.

His lack of training showed however, as he was unable to maintain the level of control necessary to focus the winds he'd created. Loosing consistency as the blade traveled through the air, the attack was little more then a hard gust by the time it impacted its target. The remnants of the strike did have enough force to cause a serious wardrobe malfunction with her sarashi wrappings though, but one could not win a duel via embarrassment so this didn't end the match. Although it did provoke a gasp of shock and envy from the gathered spectators, none of which had been expecting a free peep show with their bloodsport. Not that Yuuki seemed to care about her situation in the slightest, her sneer broadening as his attack failed to draw blood and provided her with an opening to finish this with a double fisted strike of her own.

Eyes widened in shock and disappointment at his failure, Qin executed a sharp torso twist in an attempt to minimize his profile as he reflexively returned his blade to its sheath. The speed and force of the weapon returning to its protective housing resulted in a deafening crack as the steel of the guard met hardwood, the sound disorienting all nearby who heard it and throwing off Yuuki's aim just enough that he was successfully able to evade the first of the two fire blasts. Elation filled him as he watched the bolt sail harmlessly past him, his brain processing what he'd just done by accident even as he tried to regroup, and as a result his concentration wavered, allowing the second blast through his defenses. It connected with him at a three-quarter angle, searing his right breast and ribs as he went sailing through the air with the smell of smoked flesh filling his nostrils. He hit the ground hard a moment later, his efforts to soften the impact wasted due to his lack of concentration, and a searing pain in his left arm which told him he'd probably fractured something important in the landing.

As he lay on his back staring up at the darkening skies, Qin let out a sigh of resignation and waited for the end to come. When nothing happened he propped himself up on his elbows in spite of the pain, so that he could look across the ring at his opponent as she closed the distance between them while fastening a robe she'd been provided around herself. Kneeling down next to him, she leaned in close enough that she could whisper quietly in his ear. Intimately running her fingers along the large burn on his chest as she spoke in order to cause him a bit of pain while she worked her own form of psychological warfare in response to his earlier antics. "Now you are nothing little one. Merely a lingering shadow of a time best forgotten who has failed to live up to your potential. I could kill you now and no one would bat an eye, but its so much sweeter to let you live on with your shame. Knowing full well that you failed to avenge our dear naive father, and that I have beaten you by stripping you of everything you hold dear. Enjoy this gift I have given you, and watch from afar as I once again return our family to the glory it once held... before our ancestors ruined the purity of our blood with the shame that begot you."

And with that she was gone, the crowd dispersing in her wake and leaving him to accept the shame of his defeat in solitude. In the span of just a few days he'd lost everything; his father, his family, even his own history had been taken away from him. For all intents and purposes he was now a nobody, just a nameless soul taking up space on this planet as he tried to carve some semblance of an honorable life out for himself. His temper had cost him who he was, and now he was going to have to start from scratch and find himself again...





Word Count: 1656/1100


Last edited by gundamoutlaw on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Closed Re: Mastering the Sword (Training)

Post by gundamoutlaw on Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:12 pm

[Unnamed Village - Sanjuro Compound Outskirts, 2.75 years ago]

The day had started like any other: get up, run a few errands for his land lord, and then resume the explorations of the outlying villages as he searched for possible trouble. With the upswing in both bandit, and gangster activities, it wasn't really surprising that he found himself exceptionally busy of late. Still, the pay (the few times he actually accepted any cash for his aid) was good, and it certainly kept him in top form. He did have to wonder how much longer he could keep this up before they started gunning for him though. He'd already pissed off one of the local mercenary groups pretty good with his constant interventions, and if that one guy he'd encountered in the sewer tunnels was any indication, then the yakuza had him committed to memory as well. It would only be a matter of time before he piled up enough ill will to provoke some sort of retribution, and when that happened he'd have to make sure no one else got caught in the crossfire.

Fate being the cruel being that she was, decided that it was at that point she'd add yet another victim to his list by carrying the distressed cries of someone through the wind. Given that he was in one of the... less then reputable districts of the city, he wasn't really surprised that no one else looked up to find the source of the sound. Taking off at a run, Qin Li launched himself into the air and bounced off of a couple of walls in order to reach a nearby rooftop. From there he dashed from roof to roof until he reached the source of the commotion, easily evading the traffic below thanks to his ingenuity and thus arriving in less then a minute. From his vantage point atop one of the shops, it was easy to deduce what was going on and to figure out most of the variables. First to catch his attention were the 30 odd thugs, likely a gang of nukenin of some sort judging from their colors and proclivity for creating flames out of thin air. They had surrounded a lone street walker who'd had the unfortunate luck of finding herself in the gangs territory.

Thirty to one odds were hardly what he'd consider ideal, but he wasn't classified as an elite for being squeamish of the odds. First he'd need to distract the enemy, a feat which he accomplished by drawing a small ocarina from a pouch on his belt and filling the air with its sweet melody. Smirking as all of the attackers turned to look up at him, he waited just long enough to see how the the woman would exploit this opening, and then flipped down to the ground with his usual grace. He then proceeded to charge towards his opponents, thinning their ranks with two poisoned senbon as he closed the gap.  Launching himself into the air, he planted both of his feet firmly in the center of the rearmost attacker's back in order to apply pressure to his spine and disorient him before using the man as a springboard into the gangsters' rear battle line. Landing at the center of their confused formation, he summoned his weapon from its seal case and proceeded to smash the hilt of his sword into the underside of one man's jaw, the sickening crack which accompanied the maneuver indicating that he'd taken one more enemy out of the fight. He then proceeded to spin in behind the disabled shinobi and unleash an iaijutsu strike on two more attackers. Rolling his eyes at the newly revealed Hello Kitsune panties they were both wearing, he executed a double flip kick to their chests and left them lying in the sand as they tried to regain their breath. "Interesting color ladies, didn't think the local cartels went for cutesy. Maybe next time something with lace?"

Noting a shadow approaching from behind, he flipped his blade around into the reverse guard position and stabbed backwards, impaling his assailant in the calf before laying into him with a gust of wind and laying the man out for the count. "Naughty naughty, no fair sneaking up from behind." Turning to the next cluster of opponents , he let loose with a rapid series of jabs and kicks, disabling a handful more of their number with pressure points and precision blade strikes as he bobbed and weaved in order to maximize the chances of friendly fire. The trick was keeping his movements to a minimum, maximizing his defense while at the same time conserving his energy for a prolonged engagement. He could only exploit this confusion for so long though, so he was going to have to thin the ranks quickly before the enemy regrouped and toasted his sorry butt.

Ducking under a spin kick, he brought his hand up in an open handed uppercut. Impacting his assailants crotch at full force in order to stun the man, while at the same time triggering a series of pressure points to incapacitate him from the waist down. From there he pushed the howling gangster into the two fighters behind him, interrupting their movements so that they couldn't unleash yet more fire blasts as they fell in a tangle of limbs. He then winced as he felt a flame bolt impacting his back, rolling with the force of the blow to reduce the damage, he allowed himself to go into a tumble in order to smother the flames before coming up in a double heel kick to yet another nukenin's jaw. By all rights that attack should have laid him out cold, but it seemed that fate had intervened by causing the man to launch early due to a timely impalement from his unwitting partner. His next target went down as a result of a blow to the head from his saya, but not before serving as a pummel horse for the Wind-nin to roll over in order to strike the solar plexus of his next victim. He then dispatched two more by dropping into a crouch and executing a double sweep kick. Causing the two goons to nail each other with friendly fire, but altering their attack trajectories with the fall in order to make the attacks nonlethal.

With ten down, and seven to go, he withdrew his blade from another victim's leg, and parried an oncoming katana with his saya. Catching the blade within his sheath, he twisted the weapon out of his attacker's hand before slipping past them in a movement similar to the one used in a jujutsu throw and sliced the man's Achilles tendons. "Nice sword, mind if I borrow it?"

Turning towards the next oncoming attacker, a spearman, he spun himself around in a full 360-degree turn in order to build up some momentum, and then shoved his thumb against the guard of his newly acquired weapon. The centrifugal force of his spin combined with the timing of his thrust sent the blade flying the half dozen feet between him and his attacker. The hilt of the sword striking the spear carrier right between the eyes and knocking him cold. Unfortunately this action held him in place long enough for another swordswoman to get into range, the cold steel of her blade biting into his cheek as he did his best to lean out of the way and roll with the impact. He followed this action up with lightning fast shuriken, the venom coated projectile doing its job beautifully as the woman's body betrayed her by seizing up into full blown paralysis.

From there he flipped out of the way of a spin kick, landing behind his opponent as the thug came back around with a quick jab. Catching the woman's arm between his elbow and torso, he rocked her head back with a blow from his saya before leaping up and pushing off from her chest in a stunning kick. Landing with his back to the wall, he shook his head at the three remaining combatants and shrugged in feigned helplessness. "I swear, you guys are all hands today. What gives? Not getting enough 'recreational time' down there at Fail-Corps. HQ?"

Not giving them time to reply, he dashed forward in a weaving pattern, leaping over his first opponent, and landing in a crouch behind him as he executed a jab to the spine. He then moved into a backhand spring, shoving his heels up squarely into the jaw of the woman behind him and knocked her cold as he sailed over her limp form and landed facing his third target. Pivoting his hips at 45-degree angles in order to torso twist out of the way of a couple of fire blasts, he lunged forward with a jab to the solar plexus and watched as yet another fighter dropped from his hand-to-hand skills. That left just one more by his count, a fact which he would soon rectify as he moved low and began running towards his target. This time though there were no fancy acrobatics or dance moves, just a pure display of raw speed as he seemed to blur across the pavement like a shadow before reforming in the man's face and swinging his saya up between the guy's legs.

Wincing at the soprano note which accompanied the gangster's fall, Qin cleared the blood from his blade with a wide sweep of his sword, and casually returned the weapon to its sheath as he turned to look over at the woman he'd just help save. All things considered, she didn't look all the worse for wear considering her ordeal. She'd certainly be able to make it out of here under her own power anyway. Assuming she was in any sort of psychological state to do so. "You alright? They didn't manage to do anything permanent, did they?" Her response was to cry out in shock, and upon hearing her cry, he caught sight of a fireblast coming towards him with his peripheral vision. Channeling all of his strength into his legs, the hero of the hour executed a side flip, allowing the bolt to pass him by and detonate harmlessly against a nearby stone wall just as another reject entered the fray. This one was larger then the others, carrying an axe that dwarfed Qin by several feet, and wearing heavier armor then one typically associated with a ninja. Taking him to be the leader, he subtly gestured for the woman to flee, tracking her with his peripherals as he approached the giant before him. "So I take it you're management then? I'd like to file a complaint about the conduct of your troops, they just don't seem to get that no means no." Snarling at his insolence, the giant brought his axe down in a strike meant to turn the subject of his ire into feline nuggets. Bringing his sheathed weapon up in an attempt to parry, the shinobi hero was knocked several yards down the street by the force of the impact, and landed ass first in an unoccupied food vendors stand.

Quickly rising to his feet again, Qin Li dusted himself off and reevaluated his situation. His opponent had both strength and speed apparently, and his armor would make it highly unlikely that Qin would be able to hurt him with the standard blade he was currently carrying. That meant a change of tactics, and in the process hopefully negating that mountain of a man's defense in the process. Shifting his stance into a mid-defensive one, he brought his right arm across his body in a claw-grip and began channeling his chakra through it. Focusing on activating his recently acquired Shakuton Release as he spoke to the brute before him in an attempt to intimidate his way out of this fight."This hand of mine is burning red, its loud roar tells me to grasp victory!" Almost in perfect sync with his words, his hand was enveloped in flames of pure chakra, the air around him crackling with the sudden increase of heat and power. He then proceeded to charge forward, shouting at his opponent as he did so, "Burning Palm!"

The giant seemed unfazed however, deflecting his attack with ease thanks to his superior reach, and a swift kick to deflect the attack. He then proceeded to bring his axe down in an attempt to bisect the prone shinobi, forcing Qin to react on reflex as he brought his blade out in order to execute his signature technique: yureha. The speed of his movements had an unexpected effect when mixed with the Scorch chakra that was currently flowing throughout his body, the combined abilities causing the very air itself to be set ablaze. The beast before him howled in agony as his body was consumed by the blast, the flesh being seared from his bones almost as fast as it was being mummified by the power of Shakuton. Qin could only sit there dumbfounded as he watched the ashes of his opponent blow away in the wind, staring at his smoking weapon in horror and confusion as he contemplated the new power he'd just discovered. This was truly a dangerous new technique, and one that would require years of training before he could use it safely around others...




Word Count: 2235/1600

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