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1 Salt the Earth [Solo; Training] on Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:53 pm



Evening fell over the village hidden in the stones, casting a heavenly warm orange glow across the otherwise bitter cold countryside. Most honest folk had shuffled into their homes to absorb the warmth of their hearths, while some shinobi remained out in the cold, muttering disdainful words about their routines and positions. Night was creeping up quickly, and with it would come temperatures that would be positively frigid. It wouldn't be a pleasant night for the shinobi on guard.

Takao was out and about as well, though not so much to enjoy himself. Iwagakure had somehow become the center point of his own personal troubles. Not only was it the only place he had available to him at the moment that posed any semblance of a chance to fix his leg, but somehow his father had also apparently chosen the desolate countryside. It was a unique opportunity for him. Fix his leg and get revenge, all in one swift swoop.

The raven haired teen's back came to rest against the cold surface of a shop wall, which had long since closed. A man in a coat stood beside him, cigarette in hand and plume of tobacco smoke in the air in front of him.

Takao procured a cigarette of his own and held it out. "Got a light?" he asked. The end of his cigarette was lit aflame as the man exhaled. Takao placed the filter end of the cigarette into the corner of his mouth and took a long drag before casting a sidelong glance on the man, which lingered for a moment. Silence fell over the two and it lasted for a short moment before Takao spoke up.

"Sulta wer lineage." The man said. Takao's eyes narrowed, and a wry smile pulled at the corners of his mouth, stretching his cheeks upward.

"Salt wer edar." said Takao in response before taking a long drag from the cigarette.

"Zyak jaci ui persvek wer Edar Thaczil, hak?" he said, craning his neck to look at the man.

"Algbo... si mi ti yentair batobot jaci ui vur si mi ti yentair batobot jaci ui ti. Shio si shilta yenta ui batobot vucoti di vi sthyr svaust janik vucot." His accent matched Takao's, whom was now sporting a slight frown. "Nomagqe. Mobi ui vi krehl jaci janik ti."

The language they spoke was foreign. To any wandering ears or unseen listeners, it was utter nonsense-- unlike anything they had ever heard before. The Kimura spoke the tongue as if it were native to them, employing varying sounds of hissing and bestial noises to achieve the desired pronunciation

"Tir wux enel jacion? Svanoa shilta si qe jaunus jaci geou ti zhaan usv visp sia Opsola?" said Takao, his tone implying that he was asking a question.

"Truth qe told, jaci geou throdenilti likely xoa ekess lowd vur svent wux. Jacida ominak ui Strom, jaci leads vi pair di outlaws persvek wer ruhahe. Sjek wux shilta beat coi ekik di jacion, jaci janik qe yscik ekess visp wux svaklar dout opsola ui houpeir." The man said, and Takao nodded. It wasn't a foreign concept to him, beating the desired information out of somebody... But an entire camp? That would prove to be a challenge... if not, difficult.

"Svanoa throden?" asked Takao, and a moment of silence fell over them once more.

"Asildk usv zyak persvek wer lastu camp. Nomagqe throdenilt, nomagqe vi lauth nuri. Si shilta ti yenta ihk khru."

"Ten or so... That's nothing. If only he were Darastrixkin, I could make it all so simple." The man laughed at Takao's words, and they shared a glance and smile.

"It was good seeing you again, Uncle. Let's go pay our little friend a visit."

- -

Word Count:[621]
Total Word Count:[621]

2 Re: Salt the Earth [Solo; Training] on Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:55 pm



... "Let's go pay our little friend a visit." ...

- -

"Is anybody in this shit hole interested in talking instead of dying?" Takao announced when he'd arrived. He was met by the gaze of countless souls who were visibly unsettled by his appearance. They were armed with weapons that varied from rusted and chipped blades to farming tools, and wore little more than patches of boiled brown leather to protect them. A vast array of ethnicities and nationalities populated the camp, from Sunagakure defectors to Iwagakure natives. Such an odd sight to see for an outsider, though Takao was well versed in variety by now.
"I'm looking for-..." He continued, but was interrupted by heavy footsteps approaching from his left. He turned and saw one of the camp inhabitants rushing at him with a pitchfork raised high above his head. Takao thrust his right arm forward, and the blade hidden within his sleeve found its way to his stomach long before the farming tool ever moved down; the man was dispatched that quickly. The bloodshed that followed shortly after stained both the soil and his steel with the blood and bodies of countless bandits.

Takao entered the tents one by one, giving each the same spiel only to be interrupted. He cut the inhabitants down one by one, and filled the encampment with death.

The settlement remained. It was a larger and better constructed building on the west side, with palisade walls and the largest collection of outlaws. Takao stepped inside and began the unsavory process of dispatching them one by one. When the last bandit's stomach was introduced to his blade, the sound of clapping from the upper floor caught his attention.

He looked up and saw a figure, dark skin clinging to his bones and the skin of a bear resting atop his head. Grey eyes narrowed as the snarling of an unseen wolf emanated from beside him. His sword arm rose to point at the man, the metal of his blade dripping with the blood of countless assailants.

"I've been looking for you." Takao said, his eyes fixated on the figure.

"Oh?" The familiar voice responded. "What in the world would've possessed you to be doing that?"

"I know you've been following me around Iwagakure." He briefly recalled the interactions with Yachi, who had warned him of the possibilities that Strom had spies lurking in the shadows of the city.

"Ah... Well, I admit it then! I've been following you around!" Takao's eyebrows snapped into a scowl.

"I'm a bit much for you to handle on your own," he said, grey eyes still set on the man. "Why don't you come on down here, so that we can talk?"

By the time the words left his mouth, the sounds of footsteps filled the silence. He turned his attention to the doorway and suppressed a groan. He counted seven of them, armed not unlike their late friends.

"They don't seem too happy that you killed their friends."

"Can't imagine they would be." Quipped Takao as he raised his blade arm. He anticipated them to attack him, despite the large quantity of bodies that scattered the ground. "I've done this before. I know how it's going to go down. Your friends here will come and attack me, and in the confusion of battle you'll hop off the other side there and run to fight another day. But that's not going to happen." The bandits took a few shuffling steps forward as Takao spoke. "I'm going to find you, and I'm going to kill you."

"Well, have at 'em!" The dark skinned man said. They exchanged glances and raised their weapons to attack, but Takao's commanding voice brought them to pause.

"I've got a better idea." He said, his deep voice resonating from being the heavy shield. "Twenty thousand ryo to the man who brings me his head." A bloodied sword was raised and pointed toward the man. "Fifty thousand if you keep him alive and break his legs first."

Another exchange of glances rolled through the gathering, and one man stepped forward. "I'll do it." He said, a grin revealing his crooked teeth. He climbed the rope ladder and met with the bear headed man, rushing him carelessly. Their exchange was short, the bandit was outclassed and dispatched of with ease. The sound of bones crunching filled the air and brought the gathering to silence.

"You lot have a few choices now. You can either go up there and attack him and die... You can attack the guy who killed all of your friends and die... or you can f*ck off." He placed his sword off to the side, ready to strike. "Your call."

The words didn't seem to reach the bandits despite the slight pause it brought them. Two stepped forward, one wielding an axe and the other a long staff dyed black and capped with metal. "Wrong choice."

Shrill sounds of metal colliding with metal rung out across the forest as the bandit's axe was caught by Takao's blade. He pushed the weapon up and out of the way, revealing the man's stomach, which his blade thrust into and through. The man fell limp as Takao's right greave was struck by the black staff in a poor attempt to sweep the rooted shinobi off his feet. He pulled his blade free and turned, smashing his fist into her face and knocking the woman to the ground. Another bandit rushed him then, another axe in hand. Takao thrust his left arm forward and caught the strike before it could be completed, then swung his blade wide and cut open the man's stomach. His bloodied innards poured out like a waterfall, spraying his clothes and skin with warm sanguine liquids.

He was allowed no respite as a fourth struck at him with a spear. The pointed head met the sharp blade of his tonfa once, then twice, and then a third before Takao swung his sword up from the ground and caught the wooden stave. With the spearhead knocked upward, he stepped forward and slammed his fist into the man's torso. The force afforded him the opportunity to pull his blade free of the spear's wooden stave, which he then promptly used to dispatch with a swift slash across the chest.

Three remained. One on the ground, scuffling about and struggling back to her feet. Another woman wielding a similar stick, and a third wielding a chipped blade. Takao stepped up and swung his blade down with power, catching the third in the shoulder. It wasn't enough to kill him however, and in his panic, the bloodied man ran off. Takao slowly made his way to block the entrance and hoisted his blade arm up again.

"I gave you the opportunity to run," he said as the two shuddered. "Bet you wish you had more than a pair of glorified fuckin' sticks now." The two exchanged glances and threw down their weapons, and begged for mercy with their trembling voices. He stayed silent for a moment, and wondered if letting them go would come back to bite him. Perhaps in his show of mercy they might change their ways, or at the very least not come back to hunt him down. His right arm twitched... The blade was calling to them, it wanted to taste their flesh on its stained steel, to bite into them and tear them to shreds. He moved aside and kept his gaze on them. "Five seconds. Start running."

The two took off running into the forest, and Takao returned to his previous position, looking up at the man. "Are we done playing games now, Strom?"

A grin graced the man's dark face. "I tells you what..." His hands came to rest on the wooden railing. "I won't kill you either. I'll let you limp back to that healer of yours, and tells them how badly I beat you."

Takao's eyes narrowed and his shield raised. "You're welcome to come down and try." The wolf that he'd kept hidden on the second story leapt down at Takao. He thrust his blade up and caught the beast mid-leap, slaying it with one swift motion before discarding it on the ground. Strom leapt from the railing and landed with a heavy thud before Takao, a wry smile still stretching his face. The two stared each other down for a moment before Takao moved first. His sword slithered around as his arm shot forward, slicing down at Strom's shoulder. He gave a brief glance to the man's footwork as he danced around the slash. Takao brought his blade around, sweeping through the air at the man, and caught his arm. He hissed in pain as blood sprayed from the wound, yet it wasn't enough to drop him yet.

Strom stepped past Takao's guard, who rose his left arm up as a result. Hands grasped the limb and pulled it aside, causing Takao to grunt as he was forced off balance. The raven haired teen dropped to one knee as he balance was ripped from his grasp and discarded with ease. He swept across the ground with his blade, aimed for Strom's legs, but a quick leap and backpedal brought him out of range before the man began to flee outside of the fort.

"You're runnin' a lot, Strom!" Takao called out as he stood and gave chase. Strom stopped abruptly and turned on his heel, slamming an armoured fist into Takao's face. He grunted in response and repaid the damage with interest, smashing his own fist into Strom's face. The man spewed out a tooth as he staggered back. Their fight didn't lessen in intensity for the next short minute, with both exchanging blows on equal footing.

Their stalemate was broken by the approach of two lingering survivors. Strom turned and slammed his shoulder into Takao, knocking him to the ground. He quickly struggled back to his feet as the two outlaws approached and were dealt with swiftly. While he was preoccupied with the scuffle, Strom fled the camp and ran northward into the woods. Takao cast his glance to the surviving bandit, who crawled while clutching her bloody wounds.

He slowly walked after her, wiping his sword of the blood that stained it with his coat sleeve before jerking his arm back, withdrawing the blade into the sleeve. He grabbed her arm and threw her to the ground, cruelly twisting the limb.

"Strom. Where'd he go?" said Takao, voice laced with irritation.

"...I-I don't know!" The panicked woman said, grimacing under his grasp.

"Where else could he have gone? I know you know where he is!" Silver gaze stared daggers through the slots of his helm.

"He'll kill me if I tell you!"

"So will I, if you don't tell me. You tell me where he is, I find him and kill him, you go back to living whatever pathetic life it is that you lived beforehand. Simple as that."

"I-I... I really don't don't know! Maybe the other camp... Maybe the mountains!" Her yelling was beginning to agitate his nerves.

"What mountains?" Takao's grasp on her arm tightened and twisted. "Where?!" She writhed beneath his grasp and forced herself to point northward. "That way! There's caves there that he goes to sometimes!" His glance shifted toward the mountain she pointed to, a large one but not the largest in the area.

"Where's the other camp?" His next question took some time to answer, but she gave him a precise and specific location and distance. That would be his next stop.

Takao exhaled a long breath and scowled. He brought his free hand back and pulled the sidearm from his scabbard. A dagger. He quickly slid it across her neck and sliced her throat open, the severed vein spitting blood like a fountain. His gaze lingered on her as she gasped and gurgled, blood slowly filling her lungs. She fought so hard and so desperately for the air that surrounded her, but only began drowning in the very fluids that once done everything to keep her alive. It didn't feel... right. Killing. He didn't like it. Why did he do that? He'd just promised that she would live, and yet... He wiped the dagger clean and placed it back in the sheath on his leg.

It was him. Not Strom, not himself, not even this woman. Even now, hundreds of miles away, hidden away in some unknown caves within some god forsaken mountain, it was his father. Manipulating him behind the scenes, controlling him like a marionette. Their deaths hadn't been necessary - none of the people here. He could have knocked them out, subdued them and bound them, but instead he chose slaughter. The more he thought about it, the more sick to his stomach he became.

Blood had splattered his face where the slots didn't protect. He wiped at it with his glove, but only proved to smear it across his face. He turned and walked through the camp, which had fallen silent. Bodies littered every corner, filling the tents and the fort. He cast his gaze onto the burning fire and approached it, then kicked dirt to smother the embers.

"...Salt the earth."

- -

Word Count:[2206]
Total Word Count:[2827]

3 Re: Salt the Earth [Solo; Training] on Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:32 am



Night started to fall on Tsuchi no Kuni. The heavenly orange glow that once gave the illusion of warmth had given way to darkness. Frost began to creep along the stone, turning the bitter temperatures of the mountaneous countryside absolutely frigid. Takao hadn't left the first camp site yet, and had instead been surveying the area. He searched their tents and the corpses that littered his surroundings, but ultimately found nothing of interest or use to him. Supplies here and there, an odd amount of farming tools despite him having seen no farmland for miles... not since he left Konohagakure, at least.

The fort was the next to be searched. More bodies that held nothing of interest him, just armour and weapons of laughably inferior quality to any sort of equipment he'd seen before.

"Well... they weren't shinobi, that much is certain." said Takao as he rose to stand, patting his gloves against one another to remove some of the dirt and dried blood that stained them.

"Something tells me you knew that before you engaged them." A voice sounded from behind him. Takao turned and noted the familiar robe clad appearance of his Uncle, to whom he offered a nod of greeting and acknowledgement.

"Yeah... Doesn't matter now, though. I gave them the opportunity to surrender and flee, they didn't take it. My mercy only stretches so thinly before it snaps." Takao returned to searching the body he stood over, checking his pockets and clothing for... well, he wasn't sure. Anything at this point. Takao could find nothing on the corpse but rubbish, things entirely useless to him.

"Mm. Right. What are you even looking for anyways?" His Uncle tilted his head to one side as he watched from behind the darkness of his hood. The man folded his arms and shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he watched his young nephew rifle around the dead man's belongings.

"I'm looking for... a... shit. I don't know. Something. Anything. I feel like I'm walking into all of this completely blind, and I just need... information. Intelligence. I need something to go off, I can't take some outlaw's word as truth so blindly." said Takao, his words becoming more hastily spoken as he went on. He continued to look around the man's person, searching areas he had already searched twice in his paranoid excitement, but stopped when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Takao, I know where you're at mentally right now and that this all is incredibly stressful, but you need to start thinking about this with a clear mind." Their gazes met and Takao's lingered for a moment, only pulling away when he nodded and exhaled a sigh.

"...Yeah. Yeah. You're right." He  said. Clearing his mind wasn't going to be an easy task-- it never was. He had way too much going on up there in that activity ridden epicenter of thought and emotion for it to ever be "clear", but Takao was certain he could force himself to at least think things through more thoroughly. His gaze fell to the corpse he'd been searching and lingered on the massive gash that had done him in. The flesh had been torn and cut as if his blade was a razor. His stomach was sliced clean open, intestines and stomach and innards pouring out amidst the pool of blood that collected below the body. He exhaled a breath and stood up, casting his glance over the rest of the camp site.

"Strom fled, but one of the survivors mentioned that he might've gone to another campsite, or..." Takao shifted his gaze and looked toward the mountain that sat north of them, towering above the night fallen landscapes. "Apparently there are some caves in that mountain that he frequents. I'm thinking of checking the other camp and seeing if anybody there knows anything, then heading to the mountain."

Silence befell them, and Takao's attention returned to his Uncle. The man pulled his hood down and revealed short black hair, peppered with white from age. His skin sagged slightly off his worn, leathery face, causing creases and wrinkles that made him look a bit older than he really was. "My brother-- your father, he's not somebody that you can take lightly. Strom is the same, he has extensive training in the heavy fist style and knows our abilities well. Surveying the other camp is a fine course of action, but proceeding into the caves in your current condition..." The aged man said, lazily gesturing with his right hand toward Takao's injured leg. He hadn't noticed it in the darkness, but it was clear that Takao was putting all of his weight on the opposite leg. "He didn't have mercy on you the first time, and his head is as clouded as ever. He'll attack you again without remorse, and I fear the worst for you."

"...Yeah. Alright." The defeat in his voice was apparently, and almost entertaining to the old man who hoisted his hood up and smiled lightly from the shadows of the cloth. "The second camp is west of here apparently. Approximately half a mile."

"Let's go see if we can't cause some trouble then, eh?"

A grin graced Takao's face and the two began moving. "I like your style, Ojisan."

The pair began moving, but once they were about thirty meters out, Takao stopped and turned toward the camp site. A large breath expanded his lungs beyond what felt normal, and chakra filled the gaps before the oxygen rich breath could be converted. Fire erupted in his lungs, yet he only felt the warmth of the flames-- no burns dared to defile his body. He exhaled, and a massive cascade of roaring fire consumed the camp site. Bodies, tents, even the fort itself were all decimated by the sheer magnitude and intensity of the flames he exhaled.

"Salt wer edar."

- -

thread exited
Trained Speed, A-2 to S-1.

Word Count:[987]
Total Word Count:[3814]

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