A Search for Guidance [Open]

Tamashi Soru

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It’s been months since Soru’s Genin exam, when she found out her beloved mentor and friend was brutally (she assumes) murdered. She had been replaced by a mad woman bent on kidnapping Soru and using her for some insane, evil plot that the young kunoichi didn’t understand let alone want any part in. This woman, the shaman known to Soru only as Kishin, killed several of Soru’s classmates in an attempt to expedite Soru’s hatred. She seemed to think that Soru’s need for revenge would bring out this hatred, and if it weren’t for the arrival of backup she would have slain Soru’s brother as well and perhaps her plan may have worked. She escaped of course, in a matter befitting a crazy lady. She made a spectacle of it; she made her presence known as she ran around the village only to bust out and find a nice hole in the desert to hide in. Since then only one group of Shinobi has gone in search of her, lead by Soru’s brother himself. They left shortly after Kishin’s attack and haven’t returned; there’s been no word on their whereabouts in some time.

Today Soru is plagued by the event in every waking moment of her life. She promised her brother that she wouldn’t give in to the hatred, and she would continue to fight in the manner that her mentor had tried to instill in her for all those years. She did everything she could to fight the darkness that was evidently stored somewhere deep inside her, waiting for her to mess up just once so it could sink it’s dark little hands into her brain. Living with a family made up almost exclusively of civilians has made it tough for her to get the proper guidance she needs to control this urge to seek revenge without giving up the power she seeks to protect those she loves. Which, coincidentally, brings us to Soru’s reason for showing up in the Toraono Dojo: Guidance. Her hopes are to find someone that can help her steer clear of the darkness and continue to embrace the light.

”Hello!” Soru shouts with wide open arms as she enters the main public area of the dojo. To her embarrassment the entrance she made gathers the attention of almost everyone currently inside. It’s nearly after noon now and there are still plenty of people training, meditating, and whatever else people do in this joint. She slowly lowers her arms but retains her smile in an attempt to retain her composure. It works well enough that she doesn’t flicker, but she almost loses her nerve and briefly forgets her intentions for coming here in the first place. She resets herself and allows the emotions to pass through her, acknowledging the feelings as they come but not allowing them to control her. She takes a deep breath and charges forward with a regained ambition.

”Excuse me,” Soru says as she approaches the person nearest to her. ”I’m looking for… Uhm, I’m not really sure. A person? A teacher!” Her words are shaky and her composition exposes a slight nervousness as she speaks. She’s unsure if her words offer any confidence in her ability to be taught, and with the last she flickers slightly as her excitement causes her to lose her control for a second. Hopefully whoever this person is can give her what she needs, or at least point her in the right direction.
 

Toraono Michino

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The Dojo seemed slightly more crowded than usual, which was saying a lot. To say that the building the Toraono Clan resided in was huge was a still an understatement. It housed not only the Toraono family, but also a few cousins of the clans that branched off from the main bloodline. Even then there was an abundance of space as Michino could clearly recall only running into relatives when he went to actually look for them; or when they sought him.
Now the clan halls were full of refugees, brought in from the unnatural disasters being inflicted upon their desert country. As if survival in the dunes weren’t harsh enough, now horribly hard to kill humanoids roamed the desert in packs. They had already begun decimating the population by the time Suna started opening their gates. Even his most recent mission into the Outskirts only saw the survival of a third of his group and about a single village full of people; out of the three that he was supposed to locate. The other two had fallen to the Horde.
Those people were personally housed with his clan while Sousuke and the rest of the Journeymen built new housing. Some families had already started to leave, having struck deals on housing in Lower Suna Residential, though he had already warned them all of avoiding Lower Suna as much as possible; despite it being where he lived. It was the closest to the old underground ruins that had become, and stayed, a hovel for the dastardly. It was easier to keep an eye on the families in the Dojo with the help of his cousins. Those who were willing to skimp on safety over privacy, well, he could only do so much for with his duties being far away from where he laid his head down.
The families that heeded Michino’s advice, and stuck to the Dojo until safer housing was finished, had now begun intermingling with the Academy Students. At first it was just a few youth who wanted to be stronger, and those were immediately enrolled into the Academy. Then, slowly, the age of the people attending his Free Martial Arts day started to climb. Today was one of those days were the dojo was filled with students, though, and wasn’t the usual hectic mess that Thursdays had become. Breaking up fights between teenagers and people in their late thirties had become such a tiring chore.
These students were currently practicing steady punches, slow and forceful, with two seconds between each strike. The children themselves did not make any vocal sounds to accommodate each blow, but instead, only the ruffling of fabric could be heard echoing the halls. It wasn’t until Soru called out did they do anything, and even then, only looked back for a moment before turning again towards the man teaching them. Far in front of the students, his back to them, was a seven-foot tall man with dark skin and body-length silver hair. He was clothed only in boxing shorts, his right leg flesh and the left a pillar of purple flame shaped like a leg. Copying the left leg was his right arm, ablaze in the same demonic fire but with more structure and tone as, unlike the leg, an actual arm still resided there.
Each of his blows, followed along with the students, caused a force of energy that would shake the ground lightly, getting stronger the closer one got to Michino. Unlike the children mimicking his moves, the teacher’s strikes made no sound, only shook the air around him. When the last strike was completed he stopped and stood himself back into a formal attentive stance; the students behind following in perfect harmony. The Toraono then raised his burning hand, snapped its fingers, and caught fire to the wicks of candles burning below the pictures of family members that had died in the recent attacks. All at once the students bowed as the master himself placed his hands into a prayer. Only a single silent sixty-seconds would pass, and then everyone broke formation and began to act like children once again.
A few stopped in front of Soru, some sizing her up, others just offering smiles, but before long the giant of a man had made it to her side. There was no sound of his coming or even a notification of when he had moved. One moment he was saying a prayer, the next he was beside the new student, crouched down to get his impossibly large self closer to her level.
What kind of training do you seek?” were deep, but kind, words he offered to the female. He could sense something off about her just based on her stance, presence, and bravery she was searching for before calling out again. He couldn’t tell exactly what, but from his own experience with the darkness’ attempts on his soul, he did know she wasn’t at peace. The demonic flames that had encased two limbs were now gone, revealing very ends of the stump that was left of his left leg. He held himself up now with a long black wooden staff that appeared to be an unaltered tree root.
There is much to learn here at the Academy, though, if you’re looking for Genjutsu I’ll have to point you down to the West Wing.
 

Haku Ren

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Ren was a bastard of Soon Haven as Ren never knew her father. It was a tough life but still a pleasant one, up until her mother got horribly sick. Mom was not able to make as much money as she use to and was having a hard time making ends meet. There were times that the Mother had to decide between getting medicine or providing food on the table. Despite her mother trying desperately to stay positive and act like everything was alright, Ren was not fooled. Ren tries to help out doing small jobs here and there but it just was not enough. Eventually Ren does something drastic. She sales herself into slavery, so that her mother could afford to live. One day Ren was purchased by a shinobi of Suna. He did not treat her like a slave but as a daughter that he just adopted. He takes her home and even enrolls her into the academy.

The Toraono Dojo was the academy now was somewhat participating in the lesson. Ren was easily picked out amongst the other students as she was the one sitting in the corner by herself. The shy little girl seems to be playing with a hand puppet rather than training with the other students. Many of the students make fun of her for playing with such toys while others consider her a delinquent for not standing with the rest of them. She was actually training in a sense but she did not correct them as she would rather avoid any unnecessary confrontation. The fear was not what they would do to her, but what she might do to them. In another wing yesterday, one teacher even forcibly removes the puppet and she pounces him. In a complete fury she stabs the teacher repeatedly with a kunai until one brave student took the puppet and hands it back to her. She never knew she possessed such rage.

The puppet belonged to her adopted father, the one who saved her from the horrible slavers. She owes him everything for that and because of this adoration she seeks to be more like him. He was a master puppeteer and she wished to be the same. Once she tried to move a puppet like he did but could not figure out how to produce chakra srtings like he did. Seeing her attempts, her father gives her this rabbit hand puppet. He told her she must first learn how to crawl before she could run. She did not need stings to control the puppet and she is getting down the basics quite well.

The rabbit was punching the air in rhythm with the other kids, until someone bursts into the dojo with a loud greetings. Ren almost welcomed the interruption as she could feel the burn in her fingers. She looks over to see the girl that had suddenly entered. Her Rabbit wears its normal smile and waves at the newcomer.
 

Tamashi Soru

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Soru was unsure of what to expect when she entered the dojo; everything she knew about the dojo and the Toraono family was what was told to her by her family who lived their whole lives in Suna. There was bits and pieces of information scattered among them and some of it sounded like some kind of lore, though Soru knew enough to admit most of it was probably true. When she entered she was greeted by a sea of people and it made her only slightly uneasy. There was a lot of young people there, a lot of students starting their lives as soldiers. She didn’t like to think about her academy days much, and being so close brought back memories of training with her sensei. She was immediately greeted by a young girl, about Soru’s age, who waved to her through a rabbit puppet.

Soru thought it was cute and with a big smile she waves back to her before moving further into the dojo itself. She looks back to notice what the girl is doing once more before she turns her attention to the class taking place in front of her. As she got closer she could feel the vibrations in the ground below her pick up and she could tell that it was obviously the very large man at the front causing it. She admired his purple flames for a moment, the hue matched her hair and eyes enough to give her a giddy feeling in her chest. She didn’t notice that he didn’t actually have a leg under those flames, but she was too distracted by his size, nearly twice hers, and the fact that he was only wearing shorts, because she thought it looked silly. Soru, on the other hand, always looked like she was only wearing a thin jacket and not much else so she had no room to judge.

Soru stands silently as the class finishes with a silent prayer and then breaks apart. Soru smiles and waves at all of the students as they pass, even though on the inside she is trying hard not to picture the blood stained children who died because of her. Her smile drops slightly and then she notices the large man suddenly beside her. She shrieks softly and takes a small leap backwards, except that the stress it caused her makes her image flicker as if she had continued to slide in the same direction. Her face turns cherry red for a brief moment as she looks around to see how many people saw that. She continues to be embarrassed every time she flickers so noticeably like that, but the teacher’s words are somewhat able to keep her calm. He takes no time in getting straight to the point, even dismissing whatever was causing the flames to reveal, now, that he is missing a leg. Soru glances at the stump but knows better than to stare and immediately ignores the revelation.

”Yes, hi.” Soru mutters nervously before chuckling slightly. ”Uhm, I’m not sure exactly on what I want specifically…” Soru rubs her elbow once and she realizes that she came here without a clear goal set in mind except that she needed guidance of some type. She knew she needed help taming her darkness but how did she say that without coming off as a deranged child? Soru takes a deep breath and brings back the strength of her smile.

”I need to become stronger, not only physically but mentally. There’s a darkness inside me, and a plot to use that darkness in some way, most likely an evil way I would imagine.” She whispers the last bit in a playful ‘wink-wink’ manner. ”Most importantly… I need to… Erm, oh! I need to remember to fight for those I love and under no circumstances should I fight for revenge. If I give in to the darkness she will return for me, and if I ever see her again I need to be strong enough to stop her from hurting anyone else.” Soru checks another invisible box and hopes that gives him a good idea of what she’s looking for. ”Also, more specifically, I like to punch things and I move real fast. I want to learn to use my Ninjutsu more effectively with my Taijutsu.
 

Toraono Michino

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Perhaps it was because of his rough childhood and how hard he had worked to get where he was today was the reason he seemed so kind. Michino’s early life revolved around a dark voice that was bent on controlling him as well, but his voice, however, had been an actual entity. While they had come to terms with each other now, he could still recall a time when the demonic blood in his body tried its hardest to kill him.
Hearing the girl explain her problems caused the large man to close his own eyes and inhale deeply. He knew full well of those destructive emotions. Only a couple of years ago Michino himself had fallen to the destructive desires of anger, crippling a rival boxer in an Underground arena after the man killed one of his friends in the ring. Not that, that was unusual. Underground Boxing was a violent and harsh world built on blood, death, sex, and alcohol. The time he had spent rising to the top as a contender to be the next champion taught the teenager how the world really worked, and how every act of kindness was a blessing in these dark times. He never did make it to the top either. Night before the big match he met his father for the first time in his life, and the man took his leg along with a piece of his soul. The injury made it impossible to attached a shinobi prosthesis and thus, ended his boxing career.

That kid was weak compared to the Michino of now. Now in his early twenties, the previous runt of the Toraono clan had found a way to overcome his disability, rejoin the military, and was already becoming something of a legend. In the single year since becoming a teacher his class is already considered one of the hardest and important for becoming a desert shinobi; survival training. Before the Unbent started terrorizing the sands, Michino was known for making his students run miles through the heat and dirt, spend hours meditating in 100+ degree rooms with limited oxygen, and even night training which involved sleeping in the open during the Suna midnight freeze.
However, with the rescue of the refugees, and the selection of a new clan head in the works, Michino has began to stay closer to home and his family’s house to keep a careful eye on the upcoming generations. His trained eyes had not missed Soru flickering before they had closed to consider how best to approach this situation. Before him was a girl who was besieged with shinobi life and wanted to be stronger. Nearby was another girl with a puppet whom was considered a ‘problem child’ already. If a child soldier manages to overwhelm an adult instructor and stab them multiple times, how are they a problem? As far as Michino was concerned, both the females left in the training hall had massive potential, but how they were going to move forward in life would be ultimately up to them; he could offer a guiding hand. It was in this aspect, and this alone, did he agree with his older brother, Tama.

Slowly the adult stood back on his foot and carefully hobbled across the tatami mats. He turned back towards them before flopping down on the ground; true to shinboi nature, without a sound. He crossed a leg over the stump and breathed in deep before making a motion with his hand for the two to join him.
Ninjutsu and Taijutsu,” he’d speak once they here near enough that he didn’t have to shout, but also before they could get comfortably close, “Are two forms of practice to a soldier that are easier to master apart from each other. A soldier who practices in nothing but Ninjutsu will only be able to manipulate that which surrounds them, while a practitioner of Taijutsu will only be able to manipulate their own bodies. A master of either is a dangerous foe, but a master of both is what it takes to step towards the titles of Jounin or Kazekage.
However, in order to do so, you must learn to control this,” he made a fist with his right hand and hit it against the center of his chest where his heart laid, “and conquer this,” the same hand moved up tapped his temple. “In the Toraono clan, we have spent generation after generation honing our bodies to their maximum potential, and then passing that knowledge on. The first private lesson I have to offer you is simple - be not afraid of yourself. Listen to it. Control it. Master it.”

His hands suddenly slid their palms against each other before rapidly motioning through the seals for summoning, and then gently slapped the ground in front of him as if he was trying to adhere a sticker to the floor. From beneath his palm shinobi runes and scrollwork slithered out like spider legs as smaller more intricate runes circled the lines to create a focal point. With a simple pulse of chakra he used both the connection he had in his soul and contract to pull forth a creature from the Youkai Realms. Moments after drawing his hand away from the seal, energy would rocket into the air, suddenly drawing in moisture and heating it up until a thick cloud of steam exploded, the charka inside taking shape in the form of a small, ruby-skinned, female imp. Standing at her entire height of four feet, she turned her head back to the man and asked,
The hell you want?” the creature asked with as much disrespect as she could muster for the master, knowing full well his students were right before her. Michino only made a face and the imp started cracking up with an annoyingly high-pitch laugh.
This little rascal and miscreant is my twin sister, Owari, and yes its a long story. Since I don’t personally know your ups and downs, I’ll have Owari find them for me. She’s a Ninjutsu specialist as her body isn’t exactly up for the task of mastering the other. Brain ain’t wrinkled enough to catch Genjutsu either. She’ll be sparring against you for now until I can ascertain any weakness in your form.”
Michino looked down at the imp that was scowling for his remark to the creatures intelligence, but he only made another face and shooed at her with his hand. Owari rolled her eyes, sighed, and began to take a few steps forward. She knew already that Soru had actually came here seeking help, the other girl had just seemed to be hanging around. The statuesque man behind her had given clear orders to leave Ren alone, but that didn’t mean she would. As she strode forward, chakra began to slowly leak from her feet in the ground to make it appear each step was done with a mysterious weighty force. Just something to try and shake Soru as Owari started closing the gap.
 
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Haku Ren

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When Sora looks around to see how many people saw her flicker like that, she might be a little relieved that the girl in the corner was not looking in her direction. The girl seems more interested in what was going on closer to her. Another student was talking to her, but Sora was too far away to hear what was being said. Though the words may not be heard it was clear that she was stumbling through her words just by looking at her face. The Rabbit on other hand was faced straight at Sora as if staring at her and then slowly tilts its head as if confused with what it just saw. The rabbit head then goes back in place and begins bouncing up and down. The rabbit then tugs on a lock of Ren’s hair to supposedly get her attention. Both Ren and the boy look at the puppet it starts making a bunch of excitable gestures. The rabbit points at Sora and quickly backs up as if to mimic the flicker. Soon both Ren and the boy will be looking at Sora with great interest.

Ren and the boy would watch as Sora talks to the teacher and then the unfortunate happens. The teacher beckons her over and she was quite apparently nervous about it. As Ren would slowly approach the teacher, the boy leaves. Her head looks down to the floor with a solemn expression like a kid sent to the principal’s office. The teacher would then speak about Ninjutsu and Taijutsu and Ren looks to her companion. It was then she realizes that this was some sort of lesson. Ren looks up at the teacher, “B-but I…” Ren tries to interject but words did not come easy to her or at least not from her own mouth. “Ren-chan has difficulties with handseals.” The rabbit would speak in Ren’s place. The girl was quite good at ventriloquism as her mouth did not move and her puppet’s movement coincided with the words wonderfully.

It probably would not take a person to long to realize why handseals give her trouble, but it was something many people who focused on weaponry had to deal with. To be stuck in a situation where one could not preform handseal was not uncommon, but that was not Ren’s only fault. “I-I…” This time it was not out of nervousness but pure embarrassment that she falls silent and relies on her puppet to speak. “She also hasn’t learned how to mold chakra yet. Her first class did not end well.” Ren’s head droops in utter defeat as she felt completely useless right now.

When the teacher summons some sort of demonic entity her first instinct was to run. As she turns around and takes a step, her puppet grabs the sleeve on her shoulder with both paws. “No, you must be brave.” It says in a commanding voice. She stops turns around with water filling her eyes. “But can one be brave when they are afraid?” It might look kind of weird seeing the puppet and the puppeteer take to each in such a manor, but this was normal. “That is the only time one can be brave.” Ren nods and stands her ground, but still bears a worried look. The rabbit then dives into Ren’s pouch and comes out with what looks like a piece of candy. “Here this will calm your nerves.” Ren unwraps the candy, plops it into her mouth and tosses the paper aside.

Ren had three skills that she was proud of: ventriloquism, making sweets and sewing. The thing she just put into her mouth was one of her own making. It was a sphere of sugar with a surprise in the center. It almost sounded like she had a marble in there when the candy bumps against her teeth, but it did resemble hard candy. The teacher was likely sharp enough to notice something about the wrapping as it was no ordinary wrapping paper but a heartseek seal trap. Behind this shy little girl was the mind of a mechanist. She might not be able to use jutsu yet, but she knew how to use tools and traps in creative ways.
 

Tamashi Soru

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Soru was in fact relived that no one had seen her image flicker, but somewhat concerned at the girl’s puppet staring at her while the puppeteer herself was otherwise preoccupied. The young Tamashi girl is no stranger to weird, and her own preoccupation with the teacher kept her from putting too much thought into what she had seen. Soru allows the teacher to move to a more comfortable position and then he motions for the strange girl to approach. Soru wasn’t looking to be joined by another but she always welcomed new friends, and training together would give them a strong bond. This thought makes Soru smile as the girl walks nervously towards them and they both take spots in front of the teacher. As the teacher speaks Soru begins to get hyped in a way she hasn’t felt in a while; then he moves on into another talk about training the heart and mind, which was something Soru had heard plenty of times before.

Soru nods to every word but the girl speaks up, speaking primarily through her rabbit. Soru is somewhat concerned at first but it occurs to her that this young girl must just be shy. In reality it was fascinating that she could speak without speaking. Soru wants to say something comforting but the words just don’t come to her in time. The girl spoke again but this time about her first class not ending well. Soru smiles and without thinking she says, ”Well, if it was really that bad then it couldn’t get worse, right?” She would shrug, not quite understanding how useless her words were. Still she smiles until the teacher slaps his hands on the ground, startling Soru who once again flickers slightly.

She watches runes give shape to some kind of seal that releases a ton of energy that then gives shape to a small woman? Which for Soru, small means really small. Meaning this imp must be smol. She stands a few inches shorter than Soru and the idea that she is the twin sister of the very tall man in front of her didn’t sit right. Once again she simply dismisses the thought as another part of the crazy life of shinobi. Soru is excited however, as she wasn’t expecting to spar with anyone that day. At the same time she was very nervous, being that this was her first chance to show a new mentor what she could do. It had been a long time since she last had someone she needed to prove herself to with her father dead and her brother… Missing.

”It’s nice to meet you, Owari.” Soru says softly, and then to Ren, ”And all you have to do is your best, duh.” Soru takes a deep breath, strengthens her positive composure and believes herself to be ready. Owari begins to close the distance between them and each step makes Soru’s heart thud against the inside of her chest.

The closer the imp gets the more nervous Soru comes. She begins to flicker constantly as if her body is vibrating with an intense shift from side to side, making it harder to tell where she is exactly. She notices that it’s happening but doesn’t try to stop it this time, as she’s learned that it can be quite useful in battle although embarrassing any other time. As the imp gives closer Soru believes there’s nothing she can do to compare to the power Soru imagined this imp lady had. Soru struck a pose and then slid her front foot slightly across the floor in front of her in order to perform a jutsu which didn’t require handseals. This jutsu would change the composition of the floor, the hope being that this would through her off her little impy game and give Ren the chance to make a move if she was going to make one, otherwise Soru would have something to give her.
 

Toraono Michino

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The large man listened to the young student, resisting the smile that wanted to show. It was rare to find a youth in their village that hid behind a guise of weakness via a puppet. With all the refugees coming in from the country though, he suppose it should be any surprise. The teacher didn’t keep up with the origins of his students, handing out strength to whomever would seek it. He believed that the path to true power was in through the control of emotion. When to be angry, when to repress sadness, and the final technique of his martial style he gave the population was still hidden to him alone. He had yet to find anyone with the heart big enough to use it and not drown in the darkness it drowned the soul in for its duration. This technique, was how to switch all human emotions on and off. Perhaps one day he would find a worthy enough disciple to pass on this technique to, but so far he had only given out enough strength for his students to start their own path to power.
Ren and Soru intrigued him. One wished to fight against a voice of darkness, another was unsure of their own strength. Both the girls had latent power hidden behind their masks of emotional weakness. The Toraono could already see the potential in both of them. Soru began to flicker as he had noted earlier, but now seemed to be welcoming the trait in the presence of an opponent. Ren simply seemed to be eating candy, but the Chuunin didn’t miss the marks on the paper itself as it landed on the floor. Reaching into the waist band of his boxing shorts, the teacher removed a hand-sized notebook and removed an even smaller pen from inside the book’s spine. The cover was made of a black granite with iron rings binding the yellow pages between. Licking a thumb, the man carefully flicked through the pages until he came across a blank one and began to jot down notes in code. Different colored tabs stuck out in all sorts of different angles, each marking a different student that had caught his attention. Once he had finished jotting notes he slid a silver colored tab from the back slab and stuck it down to page. Turning another four pages or so, he began to take down notes once more. As he did so his eyes would shift off the page to his sister.

Owari, snorted in reply to Soru, giving heed to neither opponent. Hands on her hips, head cocked to the left, the demoness sized up her opponents and reckoned she could decimate either of them in a single attack. However, aside from the limiter seal her brother was quick with, she also figured this would be good practice. Michino had been slowly teaching the imp the Tora-no-Ken martial style, but in the Youkai realm there tended to be a eat or be eaten mentality. Her strengths relied on the magic that was gifted when she had her physical form created, but as the twin of a Toraono, she vied for his martial prowess as well.
The shaking stopped as Owari came just within, what she assumed, was Soru striking range before also drawing her form into the combat pose she was taught. Shortly after, her opponent slid her foot in a line across the distance between them. For Soru, it was a strategic advantage, for Owari it was a challenge. Never being one to turn down a fight, she broke stance first and proceeded forward with a simple straight punch. As her fist struck out, so did her foot, but in the wrong direction. With little more than a shrill squeak the little imp lost her footing on the line Soru drew, and the blow swung into the ground. Her side hit the mats but reflexes caused her to roll and re-position. Thinking herself coy for at least rolling out of a counter from Soru, Owari began her assault again fully ignorant of the piece of paper attached to the demon’s back.
Leaping over the line this time, she rushed in with a drop-kick that blurred right through one of Soru’s flickers before twisting at the waist to strike behind her; only to hit yet another after-image. Figuring there was only three to begin with she kicks her heel backwards in an arc to try and catch the Genin’s chin.
Michino’s purple eyes stared at the battle progress as he tapped the pen against his cheek, waiting for either of them to make a move against his sister. Today, he wondered, would find that protege he could pass on his more powerful techniques to down the line?
 

Haku Ren

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Ren remembers the teachings of her father and instead of taking the given opportunity to attack, she prepares herself to enter a certain trance. She did not feel bad for not taking advantage of such a moment for it was supposed to be a spar. Her interference would not be legal and she would expect the teacher to chastise her for it. The Candy and trap were there if the imp-like creature decides to go against the rules. It was a protective measure and nothing more. Ren might not be much of a fighter but she does have a concept of sportsmanship.

Ren’s adoptive father was a grand puppeteer. He would tell her that it is not enough to simply channel ones thoughts through the puppet. To truly be a great puppeteer one must channel their very soul and he has taught her the way to do just that. First she sits down cross-legged, similar to how the teacher was not so long ago. Her hands were held to her sides palms up and open, though her one hand was covered with a hand puppet. With eyes closed she pictures her soul as a small flame within her body. It shines within her body and flickers with every heartbeat. She concentrates on her breathing taking slow deep breathes. The air mixes with the fire and fans the flame. Ever so gradually it gets bigger, hotter and brighter. The light, the light was almost tangible as it flowed through her body like little streams. As more light was put out the rivers begin to flood in excess. Haku Ren directs the flow of light down her arm and into her puppet.

Ren instantly opens her eyes, looks at her puppet and smiles from ear to ear. She had tried this many times and failed, but this time she actually succeeded in channeling a part of her spirit into the puppet. To say that she was happy would be an understatement as she literally squeals in delight. Ren could feel the difference as the puppet now seems to have a spiritual aura about it. Ren rolls something in her mouth to the side, which cause her cheek to bulge. “You did it!” The puppet exclaims joyously. Ren then wraps her one arm around the puppet and pulls it into a loving embrace. The cheer was short lived as she then realized she was not alone and embarrassment quickly overtook her. “Sensei, you mentioned Owari was a ninjutsu expert. Where’s the ninjutsu?” Obviously Ren was trying desperately to get attention away from herself though she was still hugging the rabbit.
 

Tamashi Soru

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The demon woman seems to be holding back, Soru thinks, but it seems that it doesn’t matter in any case. This was supposed to be some kind of test and this the young violet haired girl could be sure of. The woman started in a pose and seemed to be relying on more physical movement, which didn’t work out too well for her as she approached Soru and was dropped by her handseal-less technique. Though, Soru had let her nervousness get the better of her and as the demon rolls Soru leaps in the same direction without much thought. Owari jumps over the danger zone and attacks Soru, but misses twice due to Soru’s image vibrating around her. Seeing that her flickering was actually causing a distraction Soru thought it was time to make a real move.

Between the woman’s strikes, in the blink of an eye, Soru manages to form the handseals to cover her fists in electrical energy. Unfortunately Soru loses her, and in that blink of an eye Soru was distracted trying to concentrate on the right handseals and Owari somehow made it out of Soru’s eyesight. Soru catches Owari in the last moment before her heel catches her cute little chin. Soru is fast but this attack catching her off guard spells a sure hit for the demon lady. In a flash Soru’s eyes shine purple and as if by instinct Soru put her hands together to body switch, leaving a small target in her wake and, yes, it’s a purple target because that’s her favorite color. Soru herself is now on the opposite side of her opponent now taking her own stance. As soon as she appears she’s able to immediately flow into a new attack, sending her electrified fists barreling forward!

Suddenly there was a shout coming from the other girl, or rather ‘from her puppet’ and the not very experienced fighter becomes put off by it’s suddenness and she loses her focus. She fires three quick strikes while thinking not so flattering thoughts about the rabbit, but doesn’t feel this way about the girl herself which makes Soru feel more uneasy afterward. Regardless of the result of her barrage Soru will retreat back some distance, jumping first but then sliding backwards with eyes pointed at the girl sitting off to the side. She narrows her still glowing purple eyes for a moment trying to get some kind of read off her. First she thought the girl was just “going through some things”, but perhaps she needed help. Of course, for Soru this thought is always followed by the belief that it is up to her to be that help whether it was wanted or not.

[[After Soru jumps away and is focused on Ren she's pretty distracted so if you want a free hit go ahead and take it in your next post, Michino ^^]]
 

Toraono Michino

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Michino watched with an intense stare as the Genin battled Owari, now nearly ignorant of Ren who seemed to stay out of the spar. Honestly he had figured she might join in with the seal on the imp’s back still marked, but it seemed that the girl was focused on other things. The Toraono watched with more focus, then, on the two females sparring in his dojo.
Owari had made great strides. When he had first begin to teach the demonic soul a piece of his martial arts, he hadn’t thought much of it. Mostly he wanted to instill a little discipline into his imp twin sister, give her some foundation and reason to not be the child of anarchy and chaos that she was. As he watched her heel connect with Soru’s chin, the teacher couldn’t help but lean forward a little out of excitement and pride. His hand began to jot down more notes without looking down as the Genin transferred herself with a perfect Body Switch technique and slammed fists of lightning against her demonic opponent.
The imp screamed as she felt electricity coursing through her body, her back arching painfully without her will, as three more blows landed. The last of which pushed her forward and over, as her knees buckled. The red creature dropped down and tumbled away before landing on her side. Small wisps of smoke were rising off her flesh from the attack as her shaky body, still jolted from the electrical effects, pushed itself off the floor. With a few stumbling steps back, the creature was back on her feet, and looking rather pissed.
Youkai, much like those of the Solar Courts, did not take well to losing. Her limited demonic patience was starting to wear thin when both her and Michino felt ‘something’ wake up in Ren. Both of them looked over at the girl intensely - one out of anger, the next out of curiosity. Once the girl realized the attention she was garnishing, Ren attempted to switch the attention to something else. Unfortunately, it was a poor choice, as the imp having already been pushed back by a Genin, was now being questioned in her form of attack.
Owari’s cat-like pupils flicked over to the girl and her hand-puppet, the motion causing an unmistakable spring of tension in the air. Michino, in reflex, threw his stone tablet at the imp as his eyes switched from curious to concerned. The book flew threw the air with the perfect spin of a master shinobi. It was deadly, and would wound his sister the moment it hit her, and he had done so with full intent to attempt to shift her anger; but the book simply stopped spinning and dropped down to the mats about half-way to its target.

You want to see my ninjutsu?” Owari asked Ren as her pupils began to shake.
Oh hell,” Michino said as he dug his foot into the ground and pushed off with everything he had.

Owari’s stance changed. She stood straight and perfectly still before raising both hands into the air. As if in a trance she waved them around around her, pulling massive amounts of energy in seconds before curling her fingers and scratching down.
Esuriit Mundi!” the demon spoke in her own language. Giant cracks shattered all over the dojo. The concrete, wood, and torn mats broke away from building, all hovering for a second before the attack came crashing down towards the poor Student. However, the debris could come crashing down on the poor girl, a gigantic shadow rushed before her. The large hand of Toraono Michino grabbed Ren by her shirt and tossed the girl towards Soru before spinning to face Owari and crossed his arms in front of his face. The Chibaku Tensei ninjutsu was a powerful gravity based spell, though it went by a different name in the realm Owari live in. The teacher endured the the rocks slamming down on each other, feeling bones beginning to break and his muscles bleeding internally. Blood splattered from his mouth inside the orb of rocks as his sister’s attack didn’t let up. In fact, seeing that she suddenly now had an upper hand on Michino, the imp’s eyes lit up deviously as her hands curled harder. The orb of stone crushed in tighter and some of the man’s blood began to pour out from beneath the floating rock into a small pool of red. The imp’s hands released then began to swirl again as she prepared another attack, assuming he had been weakened enough for a finishing blow.
This was her downfall, the Youkai pride, and always assuming they had an opponent under their thumb; completely underestimating how furiously stubborn humans were.
An explosion of purple fire engulfed the rocks, heating them until the stone itself returned to liquid magma and peeled itself off Michino. The shinobi was injured and yet the natural heat from the melting rocks seemed to outright avoid touching his flesh. He lifted his flesh leg and broke the remainder of the stone in half as he stepped out out, towards Owari. The imp, now realizing her mistake, began to step back as sweat from a mix of terror and heat began to form on her brow. She managed to turn away from Michino, and take a single step, before she found her head clutched in his flaming right hand.
Poena,” he spoke in her language. However, because he wasn’t a demon, the Genjutsu he threw on the demon’s brain didn’t activate without half-seals from his spare hand. The creature’s eyes rolled into the back of her head, back arched, a primal scream of death ripped its way out of the red imp’s throat before she exploded into a cloud of steam to escape the grasp of her furious older brother. Once she returned to the Youkai realm, her brain and injuries would heal themselves; but she wouldn’t forget what they felt like.

Once Owari’s presence was gone, Michino stumbled a little and flopped back down on the floor, purple fire and form lifting away. He looked exhausted and a little injured, but true to his job as a teacher turned his head to look at Soru with some glowing pride,
I think you’ll do great things with more formal training. Your reflexes are top not-,” he grunted a little in pain and grabbed his right arm, “notch, but you need more strength in your follow-up. As for you,” he said turning his eyes to the shy girl and her puppet, “What was that you did a minute ago?”

[Sorry this took so long, I meant to have it out Monday]
 

Haku Ren

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The demon girl seems pissed at her comment and that was just what she had expected. ‘Sorry my friend but I’m afraid it is my time to shine.’ Taking in a breath she spits something straight down at her feet. Similar to how the heartseaker was disguised as a candy wrapper. This handy ninja tool was disguised as a piece of candy. It was a glass orb filled with a little that would instantly convert into a gas once expose to air: a smoke bomb. A thick veil of dark smoke masks Ren from view and despite Owari’s anger she cannot lock onto Ren with her jutsu. Unfortunately that also means Michino’s rescue was also a bust. Instead of grabbing Ren, he ends up throwing the rabbit puppet towards Sora. However thanks to him entering the smoke it seems he became the victim of Owari’s attack.

After being thrown the rabbit moves, floating in the air and cautiously approaches toward Owari. Meanwhile Ren jumps out of the cloud of smoke, sticks out her tongue at the little imp and throws a kunai at her. Ren then quickly jumps back into the smoke before Owari could retaliate. Ren wanted the demon to be absolutely furious with her. Ren knew that an angered opponent is an unaware opponent. As Ren was poking the bear she was luring its attention away from Usagi. The rabbit would sneak behind the Owari and manifests a paper talisman. Usagi would then attempt to slap the talisman on Owari’s head and falls lifeless to the ground. If Owari tries to remove the paper it would explode it oil and would douse her in the black liquid.

The teacher seems to have freed himself from Owari’s attack and took the offensive. By this time Ren figures that if the oil trap was set, it would have went off by now. Coming back out of the cloud of smoke once more, she points a flare gun at Owari and fires at the demons feet unsure if the oil was there or not. The teacher proceeds to handle Owari and de-summons her. Ren went over to where he she once stood and picks up her puppet. The teacher asks what she did a minute ago and she merely yields to him a single word. “Secret.”
 

Tamashi Soru

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As Soru bobs and weaves around Owari’s attacks it becomes clear to her that maybe she was restricted a bit more than previously thought. The young girl takes to the demon competently, getting in her strikes and avoiding being struck herself. It was a tactic befitting someone with Soru’s speed and she wasn’t shy about showing it. She knew she needed more aid in order to reach her full potential but she wasn’t completely lost. This battle was showing her that hard work was paying off, and maybe one day she could defeat that shaman and get revenge for her father’s death, and possibly bring back her brother assuming he’s not dead as well.


Owari struck Soru as a vengeful spirit type, and being knocked around by a child, essentially, was not being taken lightly. Soru swore childly as she brought her attention back from Ren, spitting out a soft “fiddlesticks…” as the demon begins to prepare to attack their spectator. Soru grew tense and her eyes cease to glow purple as she begins to suspect the demon was done playing around. Suddenly a stone tablet is flying at her, supposedly thrown by the Toraono man, but somehow it’s stopped in midair before it can even reach its destination. Then Owari speaks and her words push Soru into returning to the fight at hand. She begins to rush Owari but stops as her vision is blurred by smoke. Another curse comes from Soru as she spies the rabbit puppet coming at her in the smoke, only to have it fly around towards Owari.

”What the snake is happening right now?” Soru mumbles as she jumps straight up and out of the smoke. From the outside she sees Ren flying in and out of the smoke poking the demon even while she took the master up in a ball of rock. Soru felt a similar feeling to the one she felt at her exam, when Kishin kills everyone around her. There was nothing she could do then and now she’s in the same predicament. Then the man soeaks and with a single half-seal Owari is ripped from their world. The dojo is in shambles, and Soru stands alone to the side reliving the massacre. The teacher tells Soru what he thinks of her, and Soru nods but didn’t quite hear his words. She allows him to move on to Ren and she stares off into the distance reliving the final moments of her academy friends.

”Does it ever get easier to deal with?” She says after a moment, finally coming to her senses. ”I mean… What I meant was, I froze there at the end. Once I saw that a serious challenge was in front of me I froze.” She begins to tear up and quickly she wipes the tears away. ”All I could think of was not being able to stop the death of so many people in my life. How do I face something like that when I’m so clammy in the face of danger?”
 

Toraono Michino

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Okay then, keep your secrets,” Michino replied with a smirk and wayward glance at the Student.
The chaos of the day felt like it was finally dying out. His dojo was in shambles, but the candles were still lit in honor at the other end. The students who stayed behind for some simple after-school training that went left, were at the very least uninjured. The burns and scratches on his flesh were already starting to heal, the marks that would be scars turning to ash instead to which he wiped away as Soru made her comment.
…if it ever does, that is when you seek help. At least in my opinion, anyways, not every shinobi here follows the same personal code. That is one of the things that makes Sunagakure special is how we nurture the belief that you should focus on your strengths, because we’re already doing everything just to survive in our own country. Not everyone continues on to be a soldier, but, that is why the ones who do always join as a force to be reckoned with. You see, at some time or another…
The teacher twitched his hand, calling his staff slid over and slap into his left hand as he rose himself back up to hobble over to Soru. He gently placed a hand on top of the young Genin’s head, in an attempt to break her out of the no doubt horrible flashbacks she was having. The look wasn’t unusual at all to a man who saw it all the time in the mirror,
…we all gotta find our own way. For me, it was losing two people I was trying desperately to protect from a psychopath. When they died to the fires raging behind our fight, I realized I could no longer afford to be a pacifist if I wanted to protect the Village, and the pride of my clan. I wasn’t always the giant standing before you, you know. I used to be a very small guy actually,” he crouched down on his lone leg to make eye contact with the young soldier, “I know you’ll get there too, as soon as you figure out what it is you’re fighting for. When you do, come back, and I’ll teach you everything I know personally.

Michino slowly stretched himself back up to full height and began to lumber back towards the middle of the room to pick up his notebook. He took a look around at the crumbling room with a soft sigh. He probably should of kept Owari back and just used a clone or something. Pausing a moment he waved to both students before exiting towards the front part of the dojo to get the forms he needed to fill out. He would need the Journeymen to work on his dojo overnight so he didn’t have toc ancel tomorrow’s class. With any luck they’d have someone who could be spared from the new housing projects.

[Topic Left]
[Super sorry this is a week late, I was real sick last week! Let me know if you ever want another thread Soru!]