I, Am Tatsuya [Contract Search]

Jul 11, 2018
”Thank you for your help, Hikaru.” Shikyu stated to his companion. The woman, Zentaru Hikaru, had not only helped him escape the Zentaru clan’s settlement. She had even opted to accompany him this far. ”I really am okay though. I can manage on my own from here. You are unnecessarily risking yourself.”

It had been almost 24 hours since their escape, and through all the snow and storms, and given that they were taking a round trip, heading south-east first before crossing back south-west to Kumogakure, it was safe to assume that they would not be followed. More importantly, the longer Hikaru was gone, the more likely she would be discovered to be an accomplice. Yet, here she was, still.

”It truly is fine. Like I already said, I will accompany you all the way. But it is getting late. We have been traveling continuously for too long. We should set up camp soon.” Hikaru suggested.

It was true. They had escaped in the night, and traveled for an entire day, and night was falling again. On his away journey, he had been able to move continuously without stop. However, the aftermath of his torture was catching up to him, especially since he was also extremely hungry, and probably very tired. Hikaru had explained that he had passed out for almost a week, before he was rescued. That meant that the rations he was eating on the way was not enough to truly sate his hunger, only to temporarily sustain him. He needed proper rest, and food.

But rest first.

So Shikyu temporarily gave up on convincing Hikaru to return to her home, and helped her set up camp. They had to dig pretty deep into the snow before they could set up the ‘tent’ Hikaru brought along, which was more like a massive, inflatable, oval sleeping back with actual space inside for people to like, sit and things.

It took a while for them to set it up within the snow, away from the buffeting winds above, and once done, both had entered the oval. Inside was rather claustrophobic, but there was enough space for both to sit upright quite comfortably.

But neither of them sat. Instead, they both laid down, facing one another. Shikyu, absolutely tuckered out, closed his eyes, sure that he would immediately fall asleep. However… it did not happen. Instead, despite his eyes closed and ready to sleep, flashbacks played out across his eyes, reminding him of the torture that he endured. Senbons, again and again, piercing his body. Again, and again, and again.

And again and again! Shikyu could not deal with it. It was absolutely painful to remember. His eyes opened wide, and saw a knife right in front of his face. What the- The knife was held by Hikaru, and based on the surprised expression on her face, she was probably expecting him to be asleep. Based on the direction the knife was pointed… she was… trying to kill him?

Oh my lord.

Hikaru’s knife moved against his face, but Shikyu was able to barely draw up his right arm to block the attack. The knife lodged itself in his forearm, likely hitting his bone, definitely greatly injuring him.

A loud boom resulted from the destruction of the ‘tent’, as both Shikyu and Hikaru bursted out through it, and up above the snow.

”Hikaru, what are you doing?!” Shikyu exclaimed, reaching for his blade… which was non-existent. Damn it, the last time he had it, it was taken from him and lodged into the wall of that damn woman’s office.

Hikaru smiled at him, before withdrawing scrolls from her attire. She tossed the scrolls into the air, letting them unravel before doing quick handseals, allowing the scrolls to release all the weapons inside. The weapons were varied, ranging from senbons and shurikens, to sickles, axes, and… ”Looking for this?” She motioned to the side, at one of the blades in particular. It was Shikyu’s! ”It was tossed out by your mother. But I must say, it is such a beautiful blade. I should kill you with it.”

And with that, Hikaru launched her weapons at Shikyu.

Oh… damn it! Shikyu leapt aside, and then proceeded to begin rolling, dodging the weapons one by one as they flew themselves into the snow.

When all the weapons were exhausted, Hikaru did a quick motion, and they all flew out again, surrounding her.

Shikyu regained some composure, not yet able to stand up, but he was getting there. ”Why Hikaru, why?”

Hikaru shook her head. ”You are persistent, aren’t you? Fearless though, it seemed. Just like your mother. Well your mother is obsolete! She should not be our leader anymore, but she still is… and the only thing that had diminished her sovereignty was the lack of a proper heir. Your sister… your sister only has a fraction of the power of either you or your mother. She is intelligent though, I’ll give her that. She helped you escape, so that she would be the focus of your mother again. She knows that you do not believe yourself to be who you are, so if she helped you escape, you would not return… at least for long enough for her to seize control when she comes of age. I however…”

Hikaru let out an evil laugh. ”There are many factions that want your mother gone. Mine is one of them. If I can kill you, then we would put a definitive end to your mother’s reign!”

With that, another assault of weapons, trying to end Shikyu’s life. One after another, Shikyu had to roll out of the way to dodge them. Meanwhile, Hikaru was laughing and taunting him. ”Come on! You should be able to stop my weapons so easily! You’ve seen what your mother could do with her magnetic control! Your weakling! You’ve forgotten all about your heritage!”

One by one Shikyu had no choice but to just keep on dodging, with no other plan in mind. He was tired and hungry, and no amount of adrenaline right now could allow him to think better. Instead, he was just reacting, facing one weapon and dodging it at a time… until.

Until a lance was flying straight at his face.

There was no other choice. Shikyu did a quick series of handseals, and brought his hands up and to the side. The lance flew at him with neck-breaking speed, and then… just stopped.

”Oh?” Hikaru’s eyebrows raised. ”So you can control metal after all. You cheeky bastard. You lying bastard!” Hikaru motioned for the lance to withdraw, but to no avail. It was currently a tug of war, though for Shikyu, it was more just a stall tactic, while he tried to figure out what to do. ”Strange though… I don’t feel a magnetic pull from you. Yet… unless…” Hikaru squinted her eyes, walking closer towards Shikyu. ”Those are… chakra strings? You’ve controlled and reinforced chakra strings to block my attack? Impressive. But that means… you really do not know how to control magnetic forces do you?”

With that, Hikaru’s maniacal laughter returned, and she continued the onslaught, sending her mass of weapons his way. This made him had to disconnect his chakra strings, as he barrel rolled to dodge the weapons. The free lance too, made its way at him.

”Alright, enough playing around. Time to die.” Hikaru moved both her hands, and the weapons came out of the snow. Instead of returning to her, they instead began to spread around Shikyu. Tired, Shikyu could not at all move, letting the weapons imprison him in the center.

Is this… the end…?

Shikyu closed his eyes, collapsing onto the ground. He had no way to get out of this. Shikyu accepted his fate, hearing the weapons wheeze their way towards him. He opened his eyes, ready for death. In slow motion, Shikyu watched the weapons come towards him, ready to end his life. He was tired. He could not deal with this anymore. His first mission, and he was tortured, betrayed - twice, and now… in a life and death battle. It was too much.

But then, something sparked inside him. No. He had to live. He was not allowed to give up. He must push through this!

Closing his eyes, Shikyu let out a scream at the top of his lungs. Shikyu held out both his arms to the side as his scream continued, and… his death did not come. He could feel some sort of pressure against his hands. Nothing physical, but pressure nonetheless. He was definitely holding back something.

Opening his eyes, Shikyu realized that the weapons around him had been stopped mid air by some sort of invisible force. They were all vibrating like crazy, clearly trying to fly forwards at him, to no avail. Then it hit him.

He was holding them back. All the weapons.

Shikyu looked at Hikaru, affirming that she was indeed looking shocked. She was still clearly trying to force the weapons forth with all her might. So if Shikyu could hold it back with his current strength, then that means that he could potentially overwhelm her! She was at her limit, while Shikyu…

Slowly, Shikyu got up, exerting more pressure through his hands in the process. He had no idea how it worked, and was just doing it by feel. But it seemed to be working. With the pressure he was exerting, the weapons facing him was being forced away, further and further.

Okay, let’s try this. ”Eeererraha urghhhhhh arghhhhhhh!” Shikyu shouted, shifting his hands. He could feel the pressure against it, but that helped him imagine what he was doing. Slowly, his hands turned so that the palms faced Hikaru, and the weapons too turned to face her. With a massive roar, he thrusted his hands forwards, and all but one of the weapons flew towards Hikaru. Unfortunately, as the weapons approached Hikaru, it seemed like she then had a better control of them, preventing them from actually hitting her.

So that’s how it works!

Shikyu flung the last weapon at her. It was his blade, Mune no Ogotsuchi. A surprise attack.

Hikaru saw the blade coming, and dropped her control over her weapons, before thrusting her hands at the blade. Shikyu, meanwhile, reinforced the blade with his own control.

Apparently, focused control over a single weapon by two magnetic users was not a great idea. The war over which direction the blade should go caused it to stop midair, vibrate, and then shattered. The many shards of Shikyu’s blade fell to the ground, not having even gone that far from him.

”Nice try, buddy.”

Hikaru raised a number of weapons up into the air, and sent them at Shikyu. Shikyu stopped them in midair, causing them to shatter. While Hikaru raised more weapons into the air, Shikyu had another idea. Slowly, he was breaking the shards into even smaller pieces, almost melting them. He remembered the metal-bending that his apparent kin had performed before, and crazily, managed to emulate it on the spot.

Maybe he was Zentaru Tatsuya, after all.

One after another, Hikaru’s onslaught was prevented by him, while he continued to melt the shards. It was not just for fun though. The melted shards were snaking their ways towards the shards of his blade, taking it on, and slowly piecing it back together. Secretly, he had not only rebuilt his blade, but made it stronger… and larger.

Then, slowly, he sent it below the snow, snaking its way towards Hikaru. Meanwhile, Hikaru’s above ground onslaught continued, and continued to be stopped by Shikyu.

Just a bit more. A bit more.

Then, he attacked. While Hikaru was preparing the next attack, Shikyu’s blade emerged from the ground below Hikaru, flying straight up and bisected her.

The shock on Hikaru’s face was palpable, as she was grasping at the reality of what was happening, and likely, a chance at life. But then the two halves of her body slid apart, and fell into two separate heaps on the snow.

Mune no Ogotsuchi flew back towards Shikyu, which he caught in his hand...

[Thread entered with PC Zentaru Tatsuya.]
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