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Nagare stepped out into the front of the keep, which stood tall over him, stories upon stories high. He had come for a sure purpose, and that was to see Araiguma Gifu, fabled puppetmaster and infamous criminal. Araiguma had escaped from Athos' Keep not too long ago, in fact, but had been captured and thrown back in prison by Nagare's squad, the surprisingly well matched team of himself, Jishin, and Kharis. Storm clouds had been brewing in the sky for quite some time now, but they had seemed to settle a bit within the last few minutes, seeing as the booming thunder softened significantly and sunlight broke through in various spots.

Nagare now realized why he had felt so oddly alone since his return to Kumogakure; it was Horui, who he had combined himself with upon arrival. He made a hand seal, and Horui stepped out of him, effectively terrifying the civilians who were walking nearby. The guards who were watching the gate into the Keep watched without flinching. Horui immediately punched Nagare in the face. Why did you do that? I haven't been stuck in the same body as you forever, and it's not comfortable. You could have given me some sort of warning. Nagare calibrated his posture, and cracked his neck, before rubbing the already swollen cheek that had just been struck. There's honestly no reason to hit me like that. We are essentially the same person, you're lucky that I let you walk freely so often. and with no further comment on the subject, Nagare stepped toward the gate of the Keep, greeting the guards. "Hello, we're here to visit one of the prisoners."

"Of course, sirs. We are required to first outline the rules of the prison; no jutsu or chakra use, no ninja tools or weapons, no summoning scrolls, and you are required to remove any excess clothing before entering, including sweatshirts and jackets, shoes, scarves, and gloves." Nagare nodded, and he and Horui both removed their gloves and shoes, their summoning scrolls, and Shougeki, before placing it all in the container that was presented to them. The guard continued, "Who are you here to visit?"

Nagare smiled and replied, "Araiguma Gifu." The guard didn't look impressed, and he opened the gate, gesturing for the two to enter. They did, and the massive gate slammed shut behind them, leaving them in a dimly lit hallway. They were surrounded by echoed screams and painful cries. "Welcome to Athos' Keep, Kaminari no Kuni's most secure prison. Don't try anything stupid."

Their footsteps were amplified by the thin halls, with the drip of water sounding in the background. The guard weaved them through an intricate labyrinth of rooms, cells, paths and doors. Finally, after passing a large cafeteria, they reached a heavily guarded cell covered in steel locks and bolts. The guard slowly unlocked them one by one, and Araiguma was revealed, wrapped in chains and shackles, with a demented smile on his face. "How did I know that I'd see you again someday....?" he muttered with his sick grin holding.

"Don't flatter yourself. I'm here for myself; I'd like to train with you." The guard looked at Nagare suspiciously. "No jutsu or chakra use." Nagare looked to the left, then back to the guard. "We're gonna do it outside. Is that alright?

The guard didn't look too amused. "I suppose that's fine, but we'll be watching you closely. Try anything funny, and we kill you three like bugs." Nagare supposed this was fair enough, and Araiguma laughed a bit before standing. The guard led them back out into the front, and they all stood while the guards returned Nagare and Horui's belongings, and unchained most of Arai's restrains. "So how exactly am I supposed to help you train?" Nagare held a serious expression and replied, "You're like me. You know Katon and Raiton ninjutsu...and I'll tell you what. You help me train, and I'll get you out of here, sooner than your full sentence at least." Araiguma's ears perked up the offer, and he was now in agreement with the deal. "As long as you hold up your end. However you do it...." the guards stood nearby, ready to pounce at any moment. With the current conversation, it seemed like another prison break was due soon enough, and they were ready to surpress it.

"I always keep a puppet on me, just in case." and with that statement, Arai threw his arms out, and a few puppet body parts fell out from his sleeves, and smashed into a torso. He took a hidden scroll from his back pocket and limbs emerged from at, as well as a head, and soon they were conjoined with the body, creating a demonic puppet, same as those that were used in his last match against Nagare. Chakra strings slung the puppet into the air, upright and ready to fight. As Nagare started, "Now, all of my training sessions are pretty simple. I observe, and replicate, while I destroy. Let's fight." his eyes shifted from Araiguma's hands, along the chakra strings, and at the dark skinned puppet in front of him, whose red eyes stared back blankly.

Araiguma's fingers twitched suddenly, and the puppet flew at Horui with great speed. Horui reacted as best he could, and flashed a hand sign to show off his and Nagare's newest technique. "Hidden Mist Jutsu!" A thick fog blanketed the area on command, and the puppet was lost in the mist. Horui ran to Araiguma from there, fist raised and charged with Raiton. Araiguma wasn't useless in battle, and Horui fell directly into a Fuuinjutsu seal that was left on the ground, and he burst into flames. Nagare took out Shinrin Hogo-Sha and summoned Ondan while he thickened the mist around Horui to extinguish the flames. Ondan called out, "Which one do I get?" in reference to the 3 silhouettes he saw. Nagare replied quickly, "The one closest to you is Horui. The puppet is back there; go take care of it." Ondan listened to his command and sprinted toward the puppet, his blades drawn.

Araiguma glared at Nagare through the fog, and created a lightning clone to chase attack while he manipulated the puppet. Horui intercepted the clone, and Nagare ran to them so that the two of them could dispatch the clone together.


Training Ninjutsu B > A

Word Count: 1,090/2,850
(5% off WC from Souseiji KKG)

Last edited by Nagare on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:28 am; edited 2 times in total


The lightning clone, now suffering under the barrage of attacks from both Nagare and Horui, exploded into a flash of sparks and electricity, which Nagare took the full brunt of in an effort to protect Horui. Ondan, in the meantime, activated his Sword of the Harvest Moon technique, turning his twin katana into two burning white beacons. He slashed at the demon puppet relentlessly, who countered with attacks from hidden blades. Finally, the puppet took a hit from one of the flaming swords, and was knocked off balance. Araiguma, in an effort to do some damage to Ondan, twisted his wrist, which opened a compartment in the puppet's stomach. A spear emerged with a chain attached and it stabbed into Ondan's arm, and pulled him close as all of the paper bombs that formed the puppet's wings were carefully lit, one by one. Ondan used a blade to cut at the chain, but it wasn't working, and the bombs slowly began to glow further.

Nagare fell to his knees, partly from pain, but mostly because the electric blast left him almost completely paralyzed. Horui's hand still sparked with a similar energy, and he continued his charge towards Arai. When he was only 2 meters away, he released the Raiton using his Ascending Charge technique, but Araiguma simply smiled and activated his barrier ninjutsu. "Lightning Release: Voltage Wall!" he called out, and a loud vibration sounded as Raiton chakra radiated from him, and the wave of Raiton released by Horui was stopped in its tracks. Horui didn't stop though, and pushed through the barrier (which electrocuted him a bit, but no matter) and tackled Araiguma.

With little time to spare before being knocked out, Arai crossed his arms around Horui in a false hug, to restrict him. With this movement, the puppet that was in battle with Ondan stopped its detonation, and flapped its wings, releasing a gust of paper bombs aimed to Horui. They all detonated, with loud explosions that shook the very foundation of the Keep. With those explosions, came the explosions of the remaining bombs that were still on the puppets wings, destroying the puppet and sending Ondan flying back. The mist dissipated, and Ondan's airborne figure crashed into the fallen Nagare, leaving them fallen in a heap. The smoke from all of the explosions cleared, and Horui coughed harshly before climbing to his feet. Araiguma stood, completely unharmed, in the middle of all of them. "Heh, if this was an actual battle, you'd all be dead right now." Nagare shrugged of Ondan's weight and stood, eyes set on Araiguma.

"Now, I'm going to teach you an actual lesson. The way you control your Raiton chakra is all wrong. You release it in waves, and it's meant to be used in a more concentrated, precise fashion. Waves are for Suiton. Now, your use of Suiton must be good enough if you can you Hidden Mist Jutsu, so I won't comment on that. I haven't seen any Katon techniques this session, however, so focus on using Katon to show me your skills and use Raiton to practice precision. Go." He took out another scroll, and puppet parts that were sealed within fell out onto the ground, which assembled themselves into an angel puppet.

Nagare decided to try out a new technique he was practicing, since Araiguma wanted to test in proficiency in that department. He charged up Katon chakra, and spit 3 fireballs that left a trail of golden red sparks behind them, like comets. They all honed in on Araiguma, so he began to run to the south at full speed, puppet moving in the other direction toward Ondan. Araiguma realized the fireballs weren't going to stop giving chase, so he activated his Raiton barrier again to stop the blow. They all collided with his wall, and burst into smokescreens. He was forced to his knees by the subsequent blows, and covered in third degree burns, but his hands still operated normally. He closed his hand, and the angel puppet's arm blasted a scattershot of white-hot needles. Ondan smiled a toothy grin and took out his katana again, which were as white hot as the needles were, and his fur seemed to oscillate from the warmth. He threw a blade of Fuuton chakra from his katana, and it burst into a moving pillar of flame. The pillar stopped the needles and continued moving until he hit the puppet, frying half of its synthesized body. Obviously immune to pain, the puppet didn't stop its rampage, and it came upon Ondan quickly. They clashed swords, and began an intricate dance of swords and fists and needles and feet.

Nagare ran to Araiguma again, and tackled him down, pinning his hands so that he couldn't move them, which earned Ondan enough time to slice the puppet to pieces with his swords. Now, he, Horui, and Nagare gathered around Araiguma. "Was that better?" Nagare joked. Araiguma was quite surprised by that, but his confidence was unbending. "Not really. You didn't even show me your 'improved' precision Raiton. C'mon, now."

Training Ninjutsu B > A

Word Count: 1,957/2,850
(5% off WC from Souseiji KKG)

Last edited by Nagare on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:29 am; edited 2 times in total


Araiguma looked to the guards in front of the gate, who were still watching too closely. It only made sense, of course; he was a heavily guarded and well known criminal, and rightfully so. He had strategies and techniques that could kill in seconds with little effort or chakra use. So, letting out a careful grin, he approached Nagare again. "Why are you coming back over here? I'm ready to strike, but I'm trying not to kill you..." he stopped when Araiguma began to whisper into his ear.

"Those guards are watching too close. They've already seen some of my hidden scrolls, and they'll most likely report them and get me killed. I need you to get them under some sort of genjutsu so that they can't remember this or see anything. At least distract them before we continue, alright? I need to train you in order to get out of here, but I also need to make sure I don't get killed before then." Nagare nodded in response, and turned to Horui, thinking Summon Mohan. Horui unraveled the pitch black scroll that was held on his back, and with a puff of smoke, Mohan launched sky-high, peering down with amber-golden eyes.

He lowered altitude until he was at level with Horui, who held out his arm as a perch to land on. Mohan planted his talons down and wrapped them around Horui's forearm, and Nagare whispered to him, "Take out those guards with a Genjutsu." Mohan let out an amused sigh. He flapped off to the guards. The first guard noticed him approaching and tried to swat him away, but once they made eye contact, he fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Mohan repeated the process on the second guard. They soon were silent, most likely unconscious, and pleased with the result, Horui sent Mohan back to his dimension.

Araiguma, now safe to give full force to the battle, ripped his prisoner clothing apart from the seams, revealing tattoos on his stomach and back, which appeared to be seals. "I'm never unarmed. I keep puppet parts within me..." He pressed the seal on his stomach with his palm, and it glowed before a dark arm followed by a torso emerged. His back yielded legs and a head, and they assembled to form a fallen angel puppet. He set up his chakra strings, and looked at Nagare. "Now, your goal for this round is to slice this puppet clean in half, using only Raiton techniques. You're going to do this by making a sort of 'blade' using Raiton chakra, just enough to slice, not enough to waste a ton of chakra. Ready?" The puppet sprang to life, charging at Nagare.

Nagare dodged a quick approaching fist, but a wing of needles from the puppet's back caught him by surprise, and smashed into him, throwing him back and leaving him covered in puncture wounds--or so Araiguma thought. Smoke enveloped his body, and it was revealed to be a log. Nagare gripped the puppet's leg from nearby, and pulled it back while Horui charged Raiton. He was having trouble stopping the erratic voltage from sparkage wildly, so he concentrated it into his middle finger and made a knife-hand stance. Nagare lost grip of the puppet, and it kicked him away, throwing a paper bomb right after. He dodged the paper bomb just barely, and it exploded a few meters behind him as he launched a Great Fireball technique. The fireball moved fast, but Araiguma created another barrier that blocked it entirely while the puppet enlarged its wings with a mass of additional needles.

"Hidden Art: Needle Massacre!" Arai called out, and the puppet's wings exploded into millions of senbon, all aimed at the twins. Nagare began running away from them, as they advanced to quickly to run any other way, and Horui finished charging the little prick of lightning chakra, but found himself too close to dodge the needles. He held his opposite arm over his face and took a good amount of senbon all over his body, and he bled heavily. It didn't stop him, and he approached the puppet with one horizontal slash, cutting it clean in half with Raiton. It fell in two pieces, and Araiguma applauded them both. The remainder of the needles that were chasing Nagare all fell to the ground.

"Well done. You're still lucky that I'm not putting my puppets back together; I'm going very easy on you." Nagare ignored that last comment. Horui started picking the senbon that were lodged into his skin, one by one. [color=crimson]"Now I see how Raiton is meant to be used, but your usefulness to me is growing real thin, real fast. Is there any other things you can teach me about ninjutsu?"

"Oh, you haven't even begun to--" The ground shook around them, interrupting the sentence. Nagare turned and saw that the guards had awoken, and one of them was causing some sort of earthquake with a ninjutsu. The other one pulled out a long katana, and ran toward Nagare with determination and intent to kill. "I guess it wasn't such a good idea to knock you guys problem." Ondan, who had fallen asleep minutes ago, awoke and drew his blades, ready for battle. He was a pretty laid back person, and quite tired most of the time, but Nagare respected his listening skills, even in his sleep. Charging forward with two katana in front of him, Ondan slashes wildly at the guard, blocking incoming hits and retaliating with twice as many.

The second guard increased the power of his ninjutsu, causing the tremors to crack the ground beneath everyone. Araiguma and Nagare fell to the ground, but Horui jumped into the air and launched 3 Cerberus Bombs, which honed in on the guard and exploded. He escaped the flames, still covered in burns, but surprisingly unhindered by his wounds, he threw giant shuriken at Horui. Unprepared for the projectiles, Horui was caught in the leg and in the torso by them, and he fell to the ground. These guards seemed to be of at least Jounin rank; it wasn't wise to take them on so nonchalantly.

Araiguma regained his balance, and using the seals all over his body, rapidly summoned 5 fallen angel puppets, and they confronted the guards with tough fists, needles, flames and swords. Ondan and 3 puppets fought the raging guard who wielded a blade, and their clashing swords overpowered his. He yielded and fell to the ground, but none of them stopped their onslaughts, and he was killed by many bloody puncture wounds and slices. After, the 3 puppets joined the other two along with Ondan in fighting the guard who still stood near the gate. This guard was more proficient than the last, and he made a hand sign while maintaining a defensive stance. He closed his eye, and its iris was soon revealed to be a clan symbol Nagare recognized from his thorough literary knowledge; this man was no ordinary man. He was a member of the Akumasureiyā clan.

Nagare, upon recognition of the clan symbol, sprinted toward the guard. "Destroy anything he's wearing or carrying! Something is housing all of his chakra!" The puppets and Ondan all were attacking with blades, barraging the guard with slashes, but the man was blocking them was a shield of Fuuton chakra. His other hand was bent into a hand sign, and suddenly a giant water dragon burst out from the ground and caught all of them in its midst, sending them dozens of meters away into the air, and they fell to the ground.

The man's Fuuton shield dissipated and he fell to his knees, breathing hard from chakra overuse. Nagare took this moment to examine him; he had his clothes burned through, revealing his lower legs and torso as well as arms, but there was a necklace around his neck that was not damaged at all. Nagare sprinted at the man, full speed. He threw his arm forward in a reach for the necklace, but the man stopped his hand and kicked the back of Naga's elbow, causing a sharp crack. Nagare screamed in pain, but twisted his arm and threw the man to his back before pulling him close and headbutting him. The guy's face hit the floor, and blood oozed from his lip and cheek, which were cut. Nagare swiftly pulled the necklace from the guard's neck and crushed it, and without further ado, crushed the man's neck. With it, his spinal cord gave way, and his breathing stopped promptly. Araiguma stared in amazement as Nagare looked back with his blood red eyes.

He was near speechless, but his arrogancy kept him from staying silent. "I could've killed him myself." Nagare's expression fell, and he stormed over to Araiguma.

"You know what? You annoy me. You're a fucking waste of space, worse than scum, and unlike some, your killings are meaningless. You have no purpose. You have no friends, no family, no life. You spend your days trapped in this prison after ending many lives and ruining those connected. I think it's time you lost yours."

"Oh, so now all of a sudden you're all high and mighty? I just helped you improve your ninjutsu. Don't be so ungrateful...I could kill you here and now, if I wanted to." The puppets jumped up from the damp ground and surrounded Nagare, pressing their blades to his throat, expressionless faces bent on death. Nagare didn't flinch.

"Your knowledge is general, your skills are in your weapons, not your technique, not your mind. I didn't become stronger here because of you...I realized the power within myself. And now, you've only made me angrier. Goodbye." Araiguma smirked, and the blades pressed closer to Nagare's neck, when suddenly, a katana stabbed through Arai's stomach. He looked down in horror as blood dripped from the wounds.

"You...bastard..." he fell, and the puppets followed. Horui stood behind him, holding the dead guard's sword. "Perfect timing, Horui. You're good." Horui smiled at Nagare, and dragged Araiguma's body to the guards' and put the sword back in the corpse's hands.

"We're stronger because of this. Everything we's a touchstone to what is to come. We will have power, Horui, enough power to save the world." he glanced down at the 3 bodies in front of him, and the 5 puppets with them. "Our story is that we were talking to Araiguma outside, he tried to escape, and he and the guards killed each other. Alright?" Horui nodded, and turned to the gate. They entered, Nagare screamed, and when a new guard approached, explained what happened--or rather, what they claimed to have happened. The guard listened, and told them not to worry, and that it wasn't their fault. They were told that they were free to go, and he, with a few fellow guards, picked up the puppets and the corpses, hauling them into the keep.

The sunlight refracted off of Nagare's burning red irises, and he couldn't help but laugh a little as he and Horui walked back into the city limits, free of guilt or punishment. The held new strength, and riddance of an old pest. Their goal was complete.

{Fin, Thread Closed}

Training Ninjutsu B > A
Word Count: 2,850/2,850
{Training Complete}

Leftover 893 words are put towards
Training Suiton D > C
Word Count: 893/2,850
{^To be continued in another thread^}

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