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1Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) Empty Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) on Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:14 am



There were countless ways for a person to prepare themselves for combat, and even more when taking into account specific participants. Among such methods was education. When he was younger, Takao all too frequently overlooked such a simple yet paramount way of training in favour of his body. How fast he could move, how high he could jump, how hard he could punch, how many glowing balls of flame he could produce... They were all his priority.

But now, in his young adulthood, things had become clear to him. Everybody had weaknesses to be exploited. Combat between equal combatants was so rarely won with brute force alone - it took something more. It took a great deal of perception, and not simply the five senses one might associate with the word. It took forethought. Preparation. Planning. Cautiousness. It took an observant mind capable of understanding the whys and hows. Thankfully there were other ways of preparing as well, that didn't require such a... hands on approach.

Takao lowered a scroll to the table he stood in front of and unrolled it. Written in immaculate penmanship - or in the scroll's case, inkmanship - was a plethora of information regarding a certain infamous clan. "The Uchiha..." A low rumble of a voice escaped from his throat. Colourless eyes rested on the words written on the parchment as a gloved hand traced the symbols. His gaze stopped and rested on a certain portion.

"Amaterasu... the ultimate fire technque." He spit the words like venom. Ultimate fire technique, and all they had to do was look at something. No effort. No passion. No heart. Fire was destructive, dangerous, and unpredictable... but it was also beautiful. Fuel was consumed and energy was given in exchange. Nothing gave off the same warmth as fire did. "And they taint it by turning it black." A long breath escaped his nostrils. Fine. If they wanted to call their abomination of a fire technique the epitome of such, so be it. He wouldn't spend his time mulling over how wrong he would make them. Time would surely prove that much. For now, his focus was on the mind.

"What a tragic clan... Their abilities are only unlocked after suffering some kind of acute mental trauma." Takao had developed the habit of speaking to himself over the years. He both hated and loved the silence. He hated when it became so quiet that the silence was louder than any noise he'd heard before, and he absolutely despised loud noises. "So inefficient. Usage of their strongest techniques erodes their optic nerves... Unless another Mangekyou Sharingan is transplanted, which results in another change... Their most dangerous abilities require the sacrifice of their own blood."

This information wasn't anything new to him. The Uchiha were a prominent part in the founding of Konohagakure, and he had educated himself several times over the course of his shinobi career. He learned himself what their skills were, where they came from, their history, their members... He learned of their abilities and spent countless hours working out ways to counteract them in his head. They were no longer native to Konohagakure, their allegiance could lay with anybody. Hao was an excellent example.
He continued reading over the information that he had gone over a hundred times already, if only to brush up on what he already knew. Various historical stories and histories recounting varying members of the infamous clan and their deeds - or in some cases, misdeeds. "And they're usually all so eager to spill that blood, just for the pursuit of power..." Takao slowly slid into the chair in front of the table he had been standing in front of. His head tilted to the side and rested on his hand as his eyes shifted up and down, reading further down the scroll.

"How miserable. I can't imagine trying to bring a child up in that kind of environment." He muttered quietly. The gloves he wore muffled the light rapping of his knuckles on the wooden table. "...Probably why so many of them choose to remain hidden for as long as they can. Wouldn't surprise me if Hao Uchiha had a few hidden offspring running around somewhere." The thought both terrified and excited him. Nothing inspired the ire of a person like the death of their father. In the eyes of so many adolescent youths, their father was the pinnacle of power and authority. They were usually idolized in some way or another.

His gaze wandered away from the scroll for a moment and found itself looking through the clouded window not far away. The orange glow of late evening poured through, only to be met with a brighter artificial light. Takao didn't allow for his wandering gaze to linger for long before it set back to the scroll, gloved fingers tracing over a new line of text. "Tsukuyomi and Susano'o..." His voice drew out the words in his quiet monotone. He couldn't help but be a tad jealous. Some individuals just had all the luck from birth. Talent granted to them by their parent's hard work, making their own progression effortless. A plethora of powerful abilities - not without their drawbacks of course - yet still terrifyingly strong.

It made him a little envious, but more than that, it flooded his head with determination. Fine. They could have their ultimate fire technique and their fancy eyes and their murderous tendencies. If he were to reach his goals and become as powerful as he felt was needed to protect everything that he held dear to him, the road would undoubtedly be rough and paved with a plethora of hardships, with competition being the most notable after his injury.

- -

Perception - DD-1 [260/260]
Perception - D-1D-2[320/320]
Perception - D-2D-3[360/360]

Total Word Count:  [949]

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2Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) Empty Re: Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) on Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:55 am



The scroll was rolled back up and set aside. He made room for the next, and set it at the edge of the table before rolling the parchment open. Sprawled in thick, bold ink was the simple name; "Hyūga". Characterized by their pale, pupiless eyes and the pinnacle of sensory dōjutsu, they were a staple of Konohagakure. The written text depicted their history in extensive detail, as one of the four founding clans of Konohagakure alongside the Uchiha, Senju, and Kurama. If there were a clan he would find to be truly tragic, this would be it.

He continued to read the information he had mulled over countless times in the past. They were a clan split in two, Main and Branch, with the former acting as the clan's administrative house while the latter acted as glorified body guards. The Main family had even gone as far as to curse their own blood, which made Takao's blood boil. It wasn't a justified act in the slightest. It was a thirst for power, not entirely unlike the Uchiha and their typical kinslaying stereotypes. Two dōjutsu clans with pasts marked and caked in the blood of their own. If he were a more influenced individual, the near constant influx of depressing information that he surrounded himself with would likely take its toll on him. Thankfully he wasn't. If anything, he was grateful that he wasn't born into such miserable families. He had his own problems at home, and he was fully capable of understanding the necessity of shedding blood, but his family didn't have a history of it. Not to each other at least.

He didn't get far in the scroll before air flooded his lungs and escaped from his jaw, agape with tiredness. Gloved fingers continued to tap on the desk in a single, droning rhythm while his mind wandered. "Perfect vision that isn't perfect... They have a blind spot behind them somewhere, but locating and utilizing that without some kind of ocular augmentation is nearly impossible." He mulled over what he knew about the clan's ability and sighed. "None of my abilities are particularly fine tuned for that sort of strategy. I'll have to look into creating something geared more toward pinpoint accuracy..." The thought brought a small smile to his face. He was thinking so tactfully when, in reality, he could overwhelm them with his flames. Perfect as their eyesight might be, a wall of fire incinerating everything in its path would be no different to them. He'd like to see what good three hundred sixty degree vision would do for them at that point, save for give them a rather perceptive viewpoint of their own demise. He shook the thoughts from his head and exhaled.
Had the Main family not been so resolute in their desires to acquire power over their Branch family brethren, the tenth Hokage would never have needed to abolish such a heinous transgression. In doing so, many of the former fled from Konohagakure. The thought worried Takao. The weaker members among them were likely to have fallen to enemy shinobi, and their eyes were a nice prize for dōjutsu hunters.

His gaze rose from the wrapped scroll and settled on the window again. At some point in the past hour he had spent reading various information on various clans, heavy rainfall had overtaken the village hidden in the rocks. It seemed the cool mountain air just wasn't cold enough to turn it to snow. He yawned and stretched his arms skyward before rising to stand and lumbering toward the door. He left the room and sauntered to the outside, and soon found himself standing beneath the marquee that lead to the entrance of the building. He reached into his pocket and retrieved a rectangular pack, which he pounded against his palm a few times. The top was opened and a single cigarette was withdrawn before the pack found its way back into the safety of his pocket. Takao held the smoke between his index and middle finger, then raised it up to his mouth.

As he exhaled, a single glowing wisp of flames left his throat and singed the end. The tobacco caught fire and began to burn, which was his cue to place the stick in the corner of his mouth and take a long drag. Smoke filled his lungs and brought him a sense of ease and tranquility. Not many things could bring him such a sensation, even if it was artificial to the smoke the fire that burned inside him could produce. Takao's eyes closed as he exhaled, finally permitting the voluminous plume of thick white smoke to leave his nostrils.
The cigarette hung from the corner of his mouth as his eyes reopened. He lowered his gaze and watched the rain from beneath the safety of the canopy. A slight frown tugged the corners of his mouth downward, causing the smoke to droop. He hated that he liked the rain, he really did. He was terrified of oceans, lakes made him uneasy, and water in general was just... so passionately loathed. He was a hot-headed fire lover through and through, yet the rain calmed him just as much as the unhealthy smoke occupying his lungs did.

- -

Perception - D-3[420/420]
Perception - CC-1[460/460]

Total Word Count:  (+9) [877]

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3Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) Empty Re: Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) on Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:13 am



One last long drag of the cigarette left only the butt remaining, and a heavy pair of lungs filled to the brim with smoke. He held it for a while, less than a couple minutes, before exhaling and letting the white plume flow from his chest. His nose scrunched up and eyes narrowed at the scent, which was generally rather unpleasant despite his enjoyment of the activity. It happened to be for all the wrong reasons as well. He wasn't addicted to tobacco or nicotine, nor did he think that smoking made him look "cool" or "bad ass" as the stereotype would go. The feeling of smoke in his lungs was so reminiscent of fire that it was almost a nostalgic feeling, almost as if he was inhaling and exhaling massive balls of fire.

The temptation to retrieve another cigarette after the butt of the previous was discarded was... well, tempting, but ultimately disregarded. The urge to experience the sensation had been obliged, but not satisfied. There were only a handful of activities that could alleviate him from such a desire, yet all of them happened to take him out into the rain. He rubbed the side of his face with his gloved hand, contemplating how badly he wanted to sate the burning urge to set everything around him alight.

After a few long moments spent staring into the rainy darkness and mulling over how much worth it would be, Takao exhaled a slow breath. He watched a light cloud of smoke leave his mouth as his warm breath hit cool air and inhaled sharply. The fuel of the fire inside him had been set alight, and he would gladly oblige the continued feeding of it.

He bypassed the closed gates and the guarding shinobi with relative ease. A lifetime spent training in the shadows had granted him some semblances of stealthy behaviour. He put a considerable deal of distance between himself and the village, enough that even the more observant shinobi guarding the village wouldn't take notice to him. The rain felt like needles of ice as they crashed against his skin, but his determination was resolute. Takao had an urge to fulfill and not even his seething hatred for the liquid splashing against his face could deter him. He needed fire. Warmth. He needed energy, and power. Destruction. With grit teeth and stalwart resolution, he landed with a heavy thud amidst a large field of mountains and thin towers of eroded stone.

"Nothing to burn..." His throat rumbled with his growing ire for the desolate wasteland of a country side. It was even worse than Kaze no Kuni, and to top it all off, the rain was beginning to really annoy him. "Why is there never anything to burn in this hellhole?!" He slammed his gloved fist into the stone column beside him. Grey eyes watched the hairline cracks form where his hand connected and he growled under his breath again.
A slow and clear breath filled his lungs. It was far from optimal... The farthest from optimal that he could've possibly gotten, but at least it was something. He had a place to let it out, which was enough to satiate him for now.

With the air that filled his lungs, he could feel his chakra working itself from his core and traveling through the various tenketsu. The nodules were lit aflame with his chakra as it flooded his lungs along with the air and caught on to the atoms and molecules. They danced and mixed, swirling together in a violent foxtrot that lit the life giving oxygen aflame. With hands curled into tight fists and gripping down hard on the fabric of the gloves, he exhaled. Wisps of chakra charged fire and oxygen left his lungs and traveled through his throat, before finally meeting the cool and rainy mountain air.

The fire illuminated the night, singeing the falling liquid and cutting through the darkness like a hot knife through butter. It bellowed a deep roar that was nearly drowned out by a guttural roll of Takao's own as it shot from his mouth. The force of the technique was, ultimately, rather weak. Takao didn't even flinch as the wisps of fire tickled his skin as they passed through his mouth and into the open air. In its path lay a single column of stone, not particularly massive or impressive in size, but still rather tall none the less. As the fireball collided with it, the flames broke apart and turned into thin whips of burning energy. Before it dispersed entirely, the column was brought down by the concussive force of the flames, which almost brought some semblance of a smile to Takao's face. Almost.

"Not enough..." He exhaled as residual wisps of fire sprayed from his mouth. "Why is it never enough...?" His jaws clenched down hard and his molars began to grind against one another. The fire was beautiful even in such a primitive and weak form, but it wasn't enough for him. He needed more. More force, more power. More destruction. He wanted to see everything around him burning, set aflame for the rest of the night, burning so hotly that not even the wind or the cold air or the rain could extinguish it.
He dropped down to his knees and ran a hand through his wet hair, which flopped back down against his face and nearly covered his eyes in their entirety. His gaze shifted upward at the sky, flinching whenever cold needle like rain hit his eyes. Takao exhaled a long breath and watched the smoke, both from the warmth of his breath hitting cold air and the smoke that remained in his lungs from the flames. "...I need more." His weak voice nearly broke as he spoke, his words traveling to deaf ears. There was nothing around him, nobody to hear his plights and his frustration, but he preferred it that way. He didn't want anybody to see him yet... not while he was this weak. Because when his fire burned the brightest, he was sure everybody that he wanted to see would see it - and everybody he wanted to feel it would indeed feel it. There was a fire burning inside him; a fire hell bent on destruction.

- -

Perception - C-1C-2 [480/480]
Perception - C-2C-3[560/560]

Total Word Count:(+6) [1051]

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4Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) Empty Re: Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) on Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:39 am



"I need..." His weak voice trembled and his body shivered. The cold of the rain was beginning to get to him, traveling deep into his core and chilling him to the bone with the accompaniment of the frigid mountain air. "...more... I need... more...!"  Gloved hands traveled up to his head and firmly grasped his head. His voice was still trembling as a low and guttural growl escaped from deep within his throat.

He took it back. All of it. That fire wasn't beautiful. It wasn't warm, it wasn't impressive, it wasn't powerful. It wasn't fire. It was pathetic. Useless. It didn't deserve to be called fire. It wasn't even close to what Takao knew he could muster up, not even in the ball park two cities over. "Amaterasu..." A breath slipped through his nostrils as one of his hands released its grasp on his hair and slipped to the ground. It slammed into the stone and sent hairline cracks rippling through the sediment. T... that butchering of..." He didn't bother completing his sentence. The black fire wasn't comparable. He couldn't compare himself to it anymore. To compare it would be to put him on its level-- no, beneath its level. If he compared himself and his fire to it, then he would only focus on surpassing it enough to beat it. That's not what he wanted. He never wanted to stop growing. He wanted his fire to consume... everything. That puny and absolutely worthless ball of mediocrity wouldn't sate him any longer. Takao needed more. More fire, more destruction.

"More fire..." Takao began to inhale, taking in a large amount of cold, fresh mountain air. With the blood of his family coursing through his veins, he knew he could make more. Chakra from his core began to leak into his lungs, mixing with the oxygen. "...more..." He inhaled more, and flooded his lungs with more chakra. His jaw was tightly clenched, enough to tear the muscles in his face if such a thing were possible.

Finally, he exhaled. Flames erupted from his mouth, but they were wild and unconstrained. There were a lot of them as well, sprayed in every direction in front of him. They crashed into the stone on his either side and sent debris and rubble tumbling down, threatening to crush him had he not moved. Exhausted grey eyes watched in awe as the flames slowly disappeared into oblivion, and some semblance of a smile crept up onto his face. That... That was power. Pure, unadulterated, unconstrained power. But it wasn't good enough.

Pure power was impressive and awe inspiring, but it wasn't what he wanted. It meant he lacked control, lacked the discipline to control it. Fire was wild, but Takao was going to be its keeper.
"Hah-... ah..." He panted and dropped back down to his knees. "...still not good enough..." He cleared his throat and let his breath catch up with him. The raven haired teen rose to his feet, groaning through the exhaustion he felt in his entire body.

"Why does this place..." His words slithered out in between heavy pants, not specifically out of tiredness or chakra exhaustion. Mental fatigue was something that plagued him all too often as the two sides of his brain pulled in different directions. There was one side that wished to bring upon the wanton destruction of... well, everything. Every small, minute thing in sight. It was the side of him that wanted to melt the stone in front of him... or at least destroy it however he could. The immense heat could likely shatter the sediment in the stone and cause it to crumble long before it melted like metal would, but... The sentiment was still there. Destruction needed to happen, and it needed to be by his hand. He needed to feel power... his power.

On the other hand, or metaphorically on the other shoulder, sat the angel of reason. For every heinous notion that the devil put forward, the voice of rational thinking would resonate louder. Takao had a very tactful mind that was, unfortunately, poisoned by his naturally destructive personality; a trait not terribly uncommon for the men and women of his clan. There were times he wondered how things would have turned out for him had he been born to a different family. Perhaps one without a bloodline ability that influenced his personality; maybe he could have been a more successful politician.
But those times were few and far between. He didn't hate his blood in the slightest, he was proud to carry with him the traits of his family. Despite how often his voice of reason won... this was not looking to be one of those occasions. The beast of destruction was steadily and very quickly winning him over.

Now, if only the land of earth wasn't such an absolutely barren and desolate shit hole. There was nothing there for him to burn, not with his current arsenal anyway. Trees were so few and far between that it was akin to a child lighting a sparkler for a few short minutes of entertainment. That wouldn't sate him - not tonight.

His eyes pierced through the pitch black night as rain pattered on every side of him. The sound was calming... or rather, would have been had he not been amidst its unpleasant liquidiness in the flesh. Perhaps it was for that very reasoning that he found himself in such a rage, trying so desperately and failing so thoroughly to suppress the urge to just... burn.

" that's how it's gonna be, huh...?" He muttered aloud, the strength of his voice carrying the words barely a meter in front of him before the roar of heavy rain soaked them through and drowned them out.

- -

Word Count:[965]
Total Word Count:(+17) [982]

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5Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) Empty Re: Clouds of Witness (Solo; training) on Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:55 am



The battle of reason versus desire raged on in his head, and froze him in place. He knew if he gave in to desire, it would mark the beginning of a detrimental downward spiral that would run him into ruin. A part of him worried that if he were to enter this spiral, he would never be able to recover, but that wasn't entirely true - nor was it giving himself enough credit. Takao wasn't a stupid person, at least not in the general description. Some could argue that by even considering to give in to the temptation to simply burn away everything in his path was an immature, even neanderthalic and primitive mindset to carry, but there were other areas that clearly made up for such a mental set back. He could let it out just this once and recover, but it wouldn't be an easy road to traverse backward. Not unlike a smoker addicted to the cancerous sticks of hazy satisfaction, it would be monumentally easier to never start than it was to quit.

But it couldn't hurt just this once, right?

He inhaled. Chakra flooded his lungs alongside ample quantities of oxygen. His uniquely coloured mystic energies bonded with the molecular structure of the life giving air in its gaseous state. He could feel the intense heat building in his chest, so he let it grow slowly. His muscled torso began to expand outward as he filled his lungs to their capacity, and held his breath. He waited for chakra to mix in with the air while keeping a firm eye on his target; the silhouette of a column of stone was practically calling to him - mocking him. It wanted him to attack it, so that the inanimate pile of eroded rock could prove that it was stronger.

Air and chakra turned to fire before it even left the darkness of his body. Wisps of flame traveled from his lungs to his throat. He opened his mouth as the wispy fire reached the back of his mouth, and raised his right hand with glove-clad fingers curled inward to his mouth. A net of chakra was woven between his thumb, index, and middle fingers to provide shape to the wild flames as they shot from his throat like a jet. The immense power of the fire forced him to brace himself, and his face to wince, yet he didn't withdraw or give up. He persevered through the unexpected power and allowed for the jet of flame to consume everything in its path as it expanded to its full size. Rain sizzled and evaporated away before the wispy flames could even lick at them, the sheer heat was enough to boil the small droplets of water into their gaseous state.

The earth beneath the soles of his boots cracked and fractured as the force of the technique pushed him back, yet he stood firm and steadfast, his posture wavering slightly but never breaking. Fire poured from his gullet like a steady stream of water from a hose, illuminating even the dark, cloudy, and rain contaminated night that he found himself in. The bright flames reflected in his attentive yet dull grey eyes as they crawled across the cold stone, singeing the earth toned soil.

Slowly, the flames began to die out. Even though there was no fuel for the fire to burn, wispy arms of bright flame continued to whip in every direction for several moments, enrapturing Takao's attention. He watched as the rain slowly doused the intense fire until darkness overtook the landscape once more, and only the far off lightning that danced across the clouds in the distant sky. Before long, the cold droplets of water that the majestic fire had once spared him from were once more falling onto his face. The heat had almost dried him off entirely too, it was truly a shame.

He panted heavily- again, not from chakra exhaustion or even physical fatigue. This time, it was from excitement. Not the excitement he gained from having successfully executed the technique, not the excitement he gained from feeling such intense fire and heat expelled from his own body... but instead, it was the excitement of knowing that he hadn't even put his all into it. He hadn't even broken a sweat.

He could do bigger. He could do better. Hotter, stronger.... He could make more.

An almost wicked smile crossed his lips and he closed his eyes. Just this once, the devil that sat upon his shoulder and whispered sweet words of temptation had won.

It would be all down hill from there.

Thread Exit.

- -

Training for Fire Style: Majestic Destruction Flames is complete.

Gifted Trait
(Permanent 20% Wordc ount Reduction on Training Topics)

Quick Learner
(10% Word count reduction on Jutsu Training.)

Word Count:[769]
Total Word Count:(+982) [1751]

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