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The Mission:

Mission name: Ibaraki doji - General of the War Puppets
Mission rank: B-A
Objective: A huuuge 20 foot puppet, built like a small building, is wreaking havoc around the residential district. Take it out! Take. It. Down!!!
Location: The residential district of Kirigakure
Reward: 750 Ryo

Mission description:
You walk out of your house and the first thing you see is a giant puppet, baring down on your neighbors house with it's sword and heavy feet. It's smashing through roofs, crushing civilians and causing chaos and panic. You are to take this monstrosity down before it can tear apart the entire neighborhood.

Mission details:
This mission can be taken by a maximum of three people of chuunin or higher. Each person must reach 3000 words or the mission will be deemed a failure.
Failure will result in massive damage to the homes of many kiri residents with many dead and many more injured. If this mission is a success, the reward will be good and you will be deemed a hero in the eyes of the people on your street.

The Puppet :

Name: Ibaraki doji
General Appearance: A large wooden puppet standing 20 foot tall and weighing about as much as your average tree, has been equipped with a large blade attached to the end of it's right arm. With one swing it is capable of dealing A rank damage to whom it connects with. The left hand is highly maneuverable and can deal B rank damage as well as the feet.
Though it is large it is incredibly bulky, making it move with with C rank speed and the only way to stop it from operating further is to break through it's core hidden somewhere in it's large body.
To break the wood, it takes: a blade of B rank or higher to slice through it's exterior
OR: 2 A rank attacks (B Rank for Katon/Raiton) To crush and burn it.

Other: If he sees you. Watch out.


The late morning air had cooled down to a biting chill, tainting the rain outside with a touch of ice that hammered out a lullaby against the lightly cracked window pane. It was loud....deafening even. But this white noise was just enough to lull the ebony haired female in to a familiar dream. A place that she had visited a few times before.
Oh yes. That was right. She had seen this scene before.
It was a day like this actually. Cold. Pure. The wind tossing about miniscule shards of ice like a child playing with delicate sized snow flakes. Pieces which only graced each surface for long enough to leave it's print before disappearing like an ANBU at night times.
In the mind of a restless six year old, it was simply magical.

Sprinting through the house in a make shift night shirt, bare feet tapping a race across the wooden floors, the child made her way to the wide set window ledge, scrambling to get to the glass before the ice flowers could pattern themselves against the frost coated pane.
For the longest time, she sat there; tracing her fingers along the moisture, drawling lines through the condensation when the heat from her skin caught in the air.
She would have been there for hours if it were not for the voice by the fireplace, beckoning her from the scene outside.

"Come down from there Tenmei. It's getting late"

She would hesitate. But then her thin frame would drift away from the window and settle in front of the fireplace alongside him with the book resting on the floor just out of her reach. But before she could collapse down in to the lap of something warmer than the fireplace, the only light in the room; something stopped her. He stopped her.

"Wait. Stop. Can you hear that?"

"Here what?"

"The door. Answer it."

I'm not here.

He didn't hear it. Of course he didn't hear it.
The repetitive tapping, the high pitched complaining from the other side of the thin wooden barrier. The breathless groans which replied would not reach his ears this time. So, with the unheard cusses at the tip of her tongue, she stumbled her way through the house to the door, opening it just enough for the messenger to slip in and dust off the frozen rain off his shoulders. 
In all honestly, he looked as awful as the incoming weather. With skin as pale as the snow, hair tousled in to a mess of tangles and clothes soaked right though; the poor male must have been standing out there for a while, waiting...hoping that she was still home.

"So what brings you here on a day like today?" she had asked casually, absent mindedly pouring them both a cup of tea from the brew she had mixed earlier that afternoon.
  "Shouldn't you be out preparing for next attack? I thought I had made it clear to the Mizukage that I wasn't taking anymore missions until my shoulder had re....."
The cup only made it halfway to her lips, her hand frozen mid movement. She knew that expression. Hells, she had seen it enough.
Some thing was wrong....very wrong.
  "...What? What is it? I know you didn't come all the way out here for nothing. Don't tell me it's...."

"The lady Mizukage has been injured. The lieutenants of Seven bells staged an attack yesterday and managed to injure her. Her condition is...currently unknown. But she had requested that you be....."

"I would like you to leave now. Turn around and head out the door and don't come back here"



Tenmei had never seen a Genin move so fast.
Before she could raise her arm to throw the scalding liquid over the opposite wall, he was out the house and back in to the storm. The door closing behind in time with the shattering clay pottery.
The spilled liquid splattered against the door, trickled to the ground, then dissipitated from the sheer heat that poured from her skin.
The last time she had been this angry....this furious; was back when she had woken up after the accident. When she realised that everything she had deemed important enough to care about was gone. She was afraid and that made her angry.
Either way, the result would always be the same. Something was going to pay for the mistakes they had made.

"Wait a minute. Wait. Just. A minute"

Following the same pathway as the mug, Tenmei headed for the door swinging it open to yell back at the messenger. Something didn't add up. It didn't make sense. She had seen Strafe and Momaru head towards the admin building, and she got a glance at Yuudai too along with two others who she guessed was a stranger and the third Sanin. How could all three of them allow the Mizukage, her friend get hurt. They were supposed to be the strongest people here.
  "Hey. How did this ha......"
Nothing. The words faded to a gasp as she lifted her silver eyes to the monstrosity that was heading straight for her house. A twenty foot puppet towering above the streets, crushing the flower beds underneath, slicing through someone's roof with a blade as long as her. This giant puppet was going to destroy everything.

But where were the defences?

She had found her prey. 


Tenmei didn't hesitate.
Grabbing the knife from the shelf and slipping it securely in to her belt, the hot headed female sprinted out to the door, tying her hair up away from her face as she slowly drew closer to the puppet.
Puppet....was a far cry from what this creation was. As she got closer, the thing got bigger, growing in perspective size until it was towering in front of her as she stood at it's devastating roots....and only then did she realize the extent of what she was walking in to.
In her mind, Tenmei could do one of two things.
She could either: Skirt around the destruction it's appendages were causing and make it to the administration building or the Mizukage's office, anywhere where she could get help from someone more experienced. Or.....she could embrace the heat that continued to grow and flower inside her. Take the puppet down

The screaming answered her question.

It had stopped moving. Good.
No time wasted. No energy went astray. Tenmei just turned and ran straight for the nearest building....only to stop quite suddenly, falling swiftly in to a crouch, before pushing
This, propelled her lithe frame high enough in to the air, so she could grab on to the rim of the next floor up, allowing her to once more, twist, flip and jump to the story above as well. The chuunin would continue to climb further and further, until she was level with the spherical head. The head which slowly...slowly turned to look at her with it's wide....empty eyes shining blue with unbridled chakra.
It knew it was coming. And because it knew, it would be ready.
Though there was a difference between being ready and being able to stop her from what she was going to do.

She had to get the timing right.
Waiting at the edge of the building, Tenmei watched as it raised it's blade arm to level it at her to right, it's intent clear. A slight draw back, a shift of balance, and it dragged the body length blade towards her with such force that the wind howled as it sailed past.
It came closer....and closer...and then all of a sudden, she jumped up one more time but this wasn't to the remaining levels above her.
This time, she jumped forward, using the air cushion to push herself further when she came back down again. Tenmei would come down hard and fast.

And so she did.

Then... with her leg out, she came down at the body of the puppet, aiming to fell the giant with one, super heated blow to where she assumed it's abdomen would be. Her aim was flawless, her technique perfect. Her foot crashed in to the wood so hard she felt the impact flow deep in to her rib cage.....but it did nothing.
There was scoring on the wood, maybe a hair line fracture where she though she had hit....but there was nothing else. Nothing.
Tenmei had hit this puppet with her strongest attack and it did nothing but give it a slight bruise on it's surface. It occurred to her that this time....this time she might not be strong enough to win.
And the reason why she wasn't strong enough...was because she was holding herself back. That she stayed and watched from the safety of the side lines while Ukiyo and others like her, soared ahead.
She was useless back then. She was useless now.

And she couldn't save these people.

'What are you doing Tenmei? You just going to sit there and watch as this monster tears apart the first place you called home since...'

'Shut up!. Just. Shut. Up. Look at them. They have reached the strongest levels and I have stayed in the one place. Winning the chunin exams was nothing. NOTHING'

'Aww you poor thing. You think just because you took your time and paced yourself that you aren't as good as them. Why don't you run in to that blade then? Know one will know what you did. You will die a hero. Unlike your.....'

'I said. Shut up'

'You can whine and cry about it all you like. I wont tell anyone, but you will always know deep down inside that you are a filthy coward and the person in the mirror will never look at you the same way again. You could always do that, or....Or you can step up and do what you have always meant to do. Let go.
Let go of the anger...the heat inside you and show these people that you stopped being a chunin long ago.

You aren't going to take it down with one hit.

Take it down'

He was right. He was always right.
Just because she was holding back on the world, it didn't mean she was weak. That she was any less. Tenmei would be as strong as her mother and she would prove it to those that didn't believe her.

And so she started again. This time, she ran straight at it, going for the legs, using the fired up Magma Skin technique in strengthen her attacks. To scorch and chip away at the hardened shell of the puppet. After all, if she destroyed one leg, it would not be able to walk. It would lose balance, fall and the damage would lessen considerably. All she had to do was crack it enough for it to break.
So....that was what the chuunin went about doing.
Skirting around the tree-trunk sized legs, Tenmei ran towards it, dodging the tip of the blade as it sailed narrowly pass her shoulders and struck it again with her Fist of Fei. She hit it again....and again...and again...until a dark crack started to form up the object's leg, spanning the length of the ankle to the knee.

She saw the opportunity.

Tenmei ran forward to land a shattering blow to the shin plate of the puppet, aiming to take it down with one hit.
But seconds...footsteps away from completing this mission the mobile hand came down towards her, blindsiding her from the right and sending the young kunoichi, flying down the street and crashing her through a crumbling wall.....Then, through the rubble and the spinning vision she watched helplessly as the crack started to mend itself. Healing the only damage she could do.
  There must be a trick to this. There has to be. But what?
The answer had to be somewhere, where she couldn't see. And the only place that she couldn't see was inside.

Inside. Of course.

It hurt. Every muscle ached. She could feel the fractured bones and the bruised tissue, but the female still crawled to her feet and stumbled her way back to the puppet. This was not over yet.
She was not yet finished proving herself.
It took her a couple minutes to approach the puppet once more, but she managed to arrive before the next house had been destroyed. He had seen her and she attacked. The threat was the Ibaraki's priority and it would not stop until it could no longer see her moving.
The only way Tenmei was not going to move was if she was dead.

That. Was not going to happen.

This time she had a plan.


Step one: Seeing.

Just as she had done with her first attack, Tenmei ran towards one of the still standing buildings, planted one foot against the stone wall, pushed off and caught the gutter of the opposite building. From there, she would swing herself up on to her feet and repeat the process, jumping like a huntsman spider between the parallel buildings, climbing higher and higher with each effortless leap. She was nearly there....a few steps away, a single jump, when the puppet sent it's blade to impale her ant sized form to the wall she was clinging to. It came closer, closer....and she fell away just as the tip crumbled the bricks she had been covering only seconds ago.  Luckily Tenmei fell no more than a metre before her hands felt for the edge of the roof top, and she was back to scaling the buildings until she had found a decent vantage point above the monstrosity.

Eyes closed, her hands felt their way in to the tiger sign, helping to channel what chakra she had left. Then a moment...a breath...and Tenmei opened her eyes to a world full of colour.
Of course it was hard to concentrate for a moment...with the world changing to a myriad of blue's and auburns, it became hard to distinguish what was what in her line of sight. But after a few moments her eyes adjusted to the heat of the puppet and the cool of the air behind it. The disturbing contrast of blood red against deep, ocean blue...
But there was something else that she could see in between the heat touched spots where she had struck and in it's joints; a small golden spot where the heart of the creature should have been. A place where the chakra centre was located.

Step 2: Weaken

Even with this form, her sight was still as sharp as ever...and so were her reflexes. Running a few steps back, Tenmei performed the same trick as before, leaping in to the air before coming down hard on the giant's abdomen...but this time she didn't stop there. The moment she made impact, the lithe female trampolined off the hardened wood and headed straight for the bladed arm, slashing at it with the knife she drew from her hip. Metal met it's substance, she followed through to the ground, and the second....the fraction of an instant her feet had touched down on the gritty surface she spun and lashed out at it's ankle....and it's foot.
Barely giving herself that moment to breathe, Tenmei continued the same process over...and over again. Climbing, jumping to attack and landing at the right position to lay a final lashing against it's near impenetrable surface.

'I any more'

'Yes. You can. Push harder.
 Let your heat go. You will survive this. Just like your mother had when she faced up with something like this. You can be just as good as her. You can be....Better'


She wanted to be better.

Tenmei ran at Ibaraki Doji once more, her blade drawn and her fire lit silver eyes on the throbbing beating chakra heart within.
There was no scaling up the building this time, there was no jumping from wall to wall like a sugar glider at night. The female simply planted a foot against it's shin, propelling herself up to it's knee, it's hip. Until she reached it's shoulder.
This may not have been the smartest move. Being so close to it's head, it saw exactly where she was. It knew. And because of this, the puppet found it easy to reach over it's shoulder and grab her like a fly, crushing her much thinner frame in his hand. His fingers closed around her, pressing her in to the palm....but it got no further. His hand heated up, the colour flared yellow and the flickering pressure technique sheared apart the wood. Obliterating the hand in to cinders and splinters.

But ooooh no, she didn't stop there.
Tenmei exploded out of the hand and ran up it's arm, her footsteps leaving a black specked path up to it's shoulder. Across it's chest, it's head....and then Tenmei made her way to the opposite arm.
It didn't take much. She headed straight for elbow joint and gripped the edge of the blade hard. It cut in to her skin, tore at her clothes, but with her heat and one well placed kick, she pulled....and pulled and bent the wood until the blade snapped off.
The puppet roared with it's gaping mouth and swung wildly, knocking the female back, sending her crashing through another couple of building walls....but at least she had it's weapon. She had it's blade.

Step 3: Strike.

It was heavy. It slowed her down beyond what was comfortable.
But she continued on with the blade resting dead weight against her shoulder. It took an age getting up to that roof one more time. Heaving the massive item up as she clawed her way up the cracks in the bricks. By the time she reached the edge of the roof top, her hands were bleeding, her chest was bleeding. She was bruised and struggling to breathe....but this was it.
Using the weight of the weapon to throw her forward, she raised the blade up and slammed it down. Hard. In to the crown of the puppets head. It pierced the top, dug down deep....but it stopped. Wedged tight in the creatures head, it wasn't going anywhere. She needed a greater force.

One. Two. Three.


Five steps towards the giant puppet and Tenmei started to run up the blade, her feet gripping to flat sided edge like there were magnets in her sandals. She ran harder and faster and despite the oxygen burning her lungs she jumped up from the end of the handle and soared in to the air. Like she was brushing up against the sky.
But what comes up, must come down...and she came down hard. Spinning in the hair, flipping her feet over her head, Tenmei came down against the edge of the blade, forcing it through the puppet with a wave of heat that turned the metal, red from the heat.

The crack could be heard from all over Kiri.

Tenmei landed and when she did....everything felt different.
The heat that poured from her shoulders, flowing down her back, over head; it scorched her skin but the pain meant nothing.
Slowly, the female turned around and walked calmly away, her fists balled at her side. Seven Bells. The Sanin. The puppets that crawled over the city like ants over an anthill.

They were going to pay for the mistakes they had made.

And she would be the hand that dealt the final blow


Word count: 3362/3000

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