The Revenge of the Hawk: Chapter 2: FIght with the Mirror Ninja...
The Revenge of the Hawk
A quick notice; decided to make a second chapter. I know, my chapter's are really long, but I just really don't think I can do them justice if I make them any shorter. Anyway, I would appreciate it if as many people as possible would read it and tell me what they think. This is an enjoyment to write, but I do like to know how my quality is. Thanks and enjoy!
Chapter 2: Fight with the Mirror Ninja under the Clouds of Omen.
Kohonagakure, training grounds.
Asuma whirled his body about, barely evading a flash of steel which whizzed past his face, ducking into the underbrush to relieve the inhuman assault he faced. His breaths came in short, awkward heaves and he cursed himself under his breath; he had been too lax in his individual training, and this is where it had landed him. Of course he should have known he would need to be at top marks in order to even match this particular comrade.
The morning was still pushing through its infancy, the sun glistening just over the tree line and the sky only now fading into the light, traditional sky blue of the new day. Within that sky, booming gray clouds cloaked the horizon, as if trying to decide whether or not to pay a short visitation upon the village. The rest of the village would just be stirring, wiping the sleep from their eyes and beginning the slow, uneventful morning routines. Not Asuma though, or either of the other two ninja dueling it out on the grounds, for their routine encompassed an exceptionally different…and one sided ritual.
Asuma jumped as an ebony haired woman, skin filled with the complexion of the full moon and still thriving in the later stages of young adolescence, slammed into a tree beside him, holding her gut and moaning in jabs of pain. Sighing, he shook his head and handed her the medi-pack, which would be good for some quick first-aid, but not enough to get her ready to fight again any time soon.
“Here Kurenai,” Asuma started slowly, a deep, booming voice with just a tint of concern laying subtly in his words. “You patch yourself up and keep low; I’ll finish up today.”
Kurenai, a Jonin Kuonichi of the Leaf, looked up at the majestic figure of Asuma Sarutobi, standing with his back arched completely straight, his rusty black hair jutting just above his head with a scraggly beard running under his chin to adorn his face, his large, well built frame, and the deadly knuckle knives he kept wrapped around his hands. The entire set coupled with the ever determined appearance on his face, she thought, made him one of the most imposing figures she had ever seen.
And yet… “No way Asuma!” She raised her voice, her own concern etched deep into her shrill words, despite knowing how he would retaliate. “You act as if you’re about to put down some novice when…”
“Ahem. I know we’re training, but I can’t let you two chatter like lovebirds all day, now can I?”
The two quarreling partners whirled about, not from shock, but rather from regaining composure they should have kept up all along. Yes, Asuma was imposing…but he was nowhere near as deadly as the tall, lanky man with the dusty white hair and the black mask covering his face. His headband, which most people wore straight about their forehead to mark them as Ninja of the Leaf, was placed diagonally at an angle over his left eye. He stood carelessly, with his hands tucked shallowly into his pockets and his face appearing bored and nonchalant, back slouched as though tired from carrying a heavy load. His voice, however, echoed impatience and he quickly drew forth another kunai, tossing it up and down in the air. Asuma, his arms hanging down sorely, his legs feeling like lead from being pushed intensely for well over an hour, merely cracked his neck and nodded, preparing to take the challenge back up alone. He stood appearing eager and ready, a beast preparing to fight his way out of a corner.
“Right than…guess I’ll get serious my old friend.” His tone gave away no sign of fatigue or give in his will to fight, and he even grinned wolfishly at his comrade.
His opponent chuckled in turn, his eyes lighting up playfully, lines in the mask wrinkling enough to indicate a smile running down his face. “Good!” His dry voice rang out merrily, as if enjoying a fine meal, bringing his left hand up and moving the headband to the upright position. “Guess I’ll get serious too…friend.”
Despite being calm during a fight, a small shiver ran down Asuma’s spine as he beheld the blood red eye marked with three pronged, deep black dots. The Sharingan. Kakashi Hatake, the Mirror Ninja of the Leaf, had finally gotten serious.
Asuma lunged first, bringing his blades up, moving at a furious pace and snarling in the force of his strike…only to meet open air, as Kakashi blurred not even a foot to the side of his blows. The smaller man brought his kunai at a precise angle, giving Asuma a small, almost taunting cut at the wrist, and he leapt back, eyes still glinting merrily. Asuma growled louder in frustration, and forced himself to strike faster, and this time as he threw his fists forward in an elegant, furious flurry, he forced Kakashi to parry on almost every occasion.
The two danced, with Asuma pressing the assault, lunging and striking as vigourously as he could make his body move, and Kakashi working his maneuverability, feet floating nimbly over the ground, making Asuma work for every single clash of blades. As they continued, Asuma’s blows became slower, more sloppy, and his wrists and arms stung as small, darting cuts were made across his arm. Despite his own breathing growing ragged once more, he didn’t notice Kakashi growing any more weary then if he had just gotten out of bed, and he seemed almost as bored as if he had.
This, naturally, enraged the older Jonin. Bashing Kakashi back a handful of feet, he began rapidly signing with his hands the methods of channeling his body’s chakara, tapping into his best jutsu. “Fire Style!...”
He saw his technique was currently aimed at empty air, as the smoke where Kakashi’s doppelganger had been had vanished. Realizing his mistake with a sinking feeling in his stomach, he rounded about, to see a flurry of hand motions, faster than his own had been, but still the exact same motions.
“…Burning Ash!” Kakashi yelled at the top of his lungs, giving Asuma barely any time to fire off his own fire jutsu before the two clashed directly in front of Sarutobi’s face. The intense singe of the flames bit and clawed at his uniform, but he thanked his good reaction time for he had escaped serious injury. Damn…I can’t even launch a jutsu before he can finish it for me.
Not waiting long, however, the Mirror Ninja moved again, this time his hand crackling with the wild pitch of lightning, a faint chirping heard as though a flock of startled birds had just entered the fray; Kakashi’s Raikiri Lightning Blade, a destructive blow of pure energy.
Asuma resumed his stance, and a faint whir emitted from his knuckle blades as they extended in the form of pure energy themselves. It would end now. With a roar, his face distorting in a fierce battle ready mask, Asuma drove his legs forward as fast as they would take him, directly at his adversary. The two moved towards each other at unbelievably fast speeds, and each braced himself for the inevitable clash.
“Chakra Oscillation, Flying Swallow!”
As the two met, Asuma ground his teeth together as waves of energy washed over him, intense heat passing through his body, and he struggled to hold his lock. He saw Kakashi merely staring forward, no expression viably visible on his face. As the battle of wills prolong, Asuma slowly but surely felt his left arm buckle, and he closed his eyes in disgusted defeat, giving way to the strength of Kakashi’s technique. Feeling the thud of the blow hammer into his left shoulder, he cracked into a tree and fell to the ground, groaning in pain.
Kakashi, apparently deciding that the match was over, brushed himself off, walking over first to Kurenai, and collecting her, then moved over to Asuma. Lying on his back, the larger man grimaced up at the young legend.
“Geez Kakashi, you weren’t pulling many punches today; mad after all that I didn’t pay for lunch last week?”
“Yes, actually, I am Asuma ‘I forgot my wallet’ Sarutobi; but that’s why I used your own jutsu to beat you. The Raikiri was just icing on the cake.”
Asuma groaned once more, and tried lifting himself up slowly, face wincing in pain as he struggled to find proper balance. Kakashi, shaking his head in apology, extended a hand, which Sarutobi promptly took, and the two shared a brief nod of acknowledgement.
“Used to be I was clearly stronger than you, Kakashi, physically at least; now I’m too old to even beat you at that.” Asuma looked down in shame as he said this, discouraged once more he had let his training slack.
Hatake shook his head, scratching his masked chin pensively. “But…Asuma, you’re only twenty seven. How on earth could you be considered old?”
Asuma feigned a punch, making his voice sound indignant. “Give it a rest, you twenty-something whippersnapper!”
Kakashi grinned and wagged his finger knowingly. “Twenty-six, Asuma, I am twenty-six. Only one year younger than you.”
Pushing through the two bickering males, Kurenai immediately flared a warning look at both of them. “Enough you two, let’s cool down. I swear…you men and your fighting. Let’s just go get a meal like we usually do and then break till tomorrow.”
Kakashi smiled more broadly at that, and nudged playfully at Asuma. “Hear that? Kurenai is buying us lunch.”
Asuma remained steamy for a moment before cracking a smile himself and looking broadly at their female companion. “Well, isn’t that sooo nice of her?”
“What?! No, I’m didn’t say…I mean…what kind of gentleman are you two anyway!?” A crimson blush slowly crept across Kurenai’s face, which made Asuma chuckle even louder, and after a moment, all three laughed in turn. Asuma patted Kurneai’s arm knowingly.
“Relax, yeesh, usually you're just as cold as ice, you sure Kakashi didn’t knock a screw loose today?”
Before another rebuttle could be made, Kakashi’s face slowly lost its cheer, and his eyes grew grim as he gazed over the bumpy dirt path leading into the village. Following his eyes, Asuma and Kurenai lost their jovial mood as well, for walking down the path, a young man in a headband with a Leaf symbol, walking slowly down the path, carrying a slim, dark haried man with bags under his eyes. The man being carried also had a leaf headband, but unlike his friend, held stiff and limp on the shoulder, not moving an inch, with large gash marks running down his torso. Kurenai almost gasped, barely keeping her composure, as they all realized that the right half of his body had been completely blown off.
Kakashi cried out first; “Genma!”
The man carrying his friend looked up, appearing depressed and distant. “…Kakashi…it’s…it’s Hayate…I don’t know who…but the bastards murdered Hayate…he didn’t show up last night after training and…and when I went looking…I found him like…like…”
Asuma rushed up and lifted the cold, lifeless corpse of Gekko Hayate from Genma’s shoulders. Looking to Kakashi, he merely nodded towards the center of the village. “Take care of Kurenai and Gen. Go tell the Hokage we’ve lost one of our own.
Kakashi stared at Asuma a moment, and then slowly nodded his head in agreement. “And you, Asuma?” he inquired with a shrug of his head.
Asuma just shook his own head. “I’ll go make an incident report to the Anbu and tell them they need to begin an investigation immediately. Then I’ll make sure Hayate get’s a proper, soldiers burial.”
The two looked at each other a moment, nodded, and started off in opposite directions. Both held grim outlooks, with faces to support the fact. When a dead ninja turned up in your own village, you knew the storm clouds were brewing just over the horizon. Rain began to trickle, then shower, then pour from the heavens as the sky held in agreement with the omens of darkness to come.