Well, I finally got out another Iron Fist Chapter. Turned out long again. (I'll never escape that. I like writing long stories.) Anyway, a few quick things. First, you may be thinking towards the end 'is that within the timeline?' or 'that doesn't sound plausible within the Narutoverse.' Please deal with it. I'm taking creative liberties. Second, if I hear one word about Tekken, I'm going to kill somebody. This does not involve Tekken, so do not bring it up. I do not care if Iron Fist is Tekken in Japanese. The shits I can give are literally zero. Don't bring it up. Finally, ranting aside, thanks for any reads. Crits and comments are appreciated, as always. Thank you very much for your time, and enjoy.
The striking beams of light slashing through the quiet oaks of the forest like so many shining bars on a newly built cell pierced Hideyoshi’s eyes, forcing the young page to squint to see the broad dirt clearing which lay between the ring of trees that their group of samurai had found themselves in. The emerald curtain of foliage coated around the iron hard forms of bark were certainly a sight to behold, he had to admit; upon the parties' entrance to the forest three days ago, many of the group, Hideyoshi included, had gaped at the titanic size so comparable to the fortress they called home.
Now, however, the prevailing attitude of the combat unit was speed. The heat, when compared to the glacial land they had become so accustomed, was almost unbearable during the day, and the nights offered little relief to the exhausted troops, who had to remain in full armor at all times, even as they slept. Sentinel had been insistent that against an enemy such as this the practice was essential, and so the men suffered from these unfamiliar surroundings. Several men became dehydrated, leading to illness claiming two men, and one unfortunate soul found himself crushed underneath a loose branch limb. The environment itself seemed to lash out with all of the fury of nature at the unwelcome invaders, and the samurai quickly took notice.
The expeditionary force was focused on expediting. The sooner the task was completed, the sooner they could all leave this cursed place in the dust behind them. Hideyoshi thanked the Buddha once more for the day’s outcome; after crawling at a snail’s pace for the last half of the trek, contact had finally been made with the shinobi. A group of them seemed to be journeying further west, and so Sentinel had ordered a swift march to reach this clearing in advance of the enemy. The scouts had indicated, through furious and ragged breaths, that they seemed to have returned from a fierce clash, though whether this clan was the victor or defeated miserably they couldn’t have said.
The samurai had encircled the clearing, using the trees as cover. Sentinel didn’t speak, gesturing imperiously with his fist. A few men nodded, but most just glared intently at the clearing. Their white armor rattled as they shifted, several of the plates muddy and worn from the travel, before Sentinel made a bitter sound similar to a bark. The entire area became deadly silent at the anger of the middle aged samurai. His own obsidian armor still shone black, as even the onslaught of the wilderness couldn’t hope to penetrate his steady guard.
Bows were strung, the long ashen poles flexing and bending their polished frames as long waxed strings were looped about their edges. Several grumbled grudgingly at this; the bow, in the minds of numerous young samurai, was a coward’s weapon. The heroes in the stories didn’t hide like a craven behind the line and decimate their enemies from afar, but charged ahead and struck down their foes while leering into their eyes. Hideyoshi remained silent, recalling the commander’s stern lecture on the bow.
“No men, it is I who do not understand your way of thinking; why would the bow be a weapon for the fearful? You can do nothing with it but attack. If you try to shield yourself with a bow, you’ll be split like a freshly cut log.”
No, the bow was indeed every bit the weapon of the warrior, and it was about to see a good deal of use. Sentinel’s hand, tightly clenched into a mailed fist, hung still in the air as the sound of feet began to patter lightly through the trees. The ninja appeared to be moving with great haste, and though they were still taking a good deal of care, as ninja were prone to do, their movements were comparatively sloppy and predictable.
Hideyoshi fingered his arrow nervously, anticipation boiling over into a harsher anxiety; he had never been in battle before, and the glorious apparition of waging war suddenly seemed to shine a bit less ravishingly in the face of the enemy. He mouthed silent prayers to himself as the faint whisper of shinobi feet grew into an audible rustle, stealth apparently having been forsaken altogether. A troubling thought began to play at the back of Hideyoshi’s head.
There’s no way they can see us from that vantage point. So why are they…?
The first ninja flew through the tree line into the clearing. Panting, he continued to leap ahead of his comrades. His light armor made no noise, though it appeared to be in poor condition. A sword was brandished shakily in one hand, and he constantly glanced back with horror written palpably across his face as though the devil himself was in pursuit. Hideyoshi frowned, but had no time to think of it further as a loud snap saw an arrow gliding smoothly into the man’s throat.
Sentinel dropped his mailed fist, gracefully drawing, stringing, and shooting his bow in one deadly motion. The wind hissed as his arrow cut through the air to pierce a second shinobi exiting the tree line. The samurai didn’t pause to confirm the hit; he knew the arrow had flown true. All of his men, himself included, had been trained to wait until they had a clear shot at their opponents before firing.
A broad grin formed on his face as he felt the satisfying tension move from his arms into the bow, only to be released in hail of death as a maelstrom of arrows tore into dozens of ninja who realized far too late that they had ran into a trap. Thick crimson falls of blood and gore coated the clearing as the forest came alive with the hoarse screams of the dying. One samurai, cackling loudly as his flying harbingers of hell took three ninjas down in a row, shouted encouragement to his comrades.
“Ha! That’s right you slimy little tree maggots! Here’s a little present from the masters of the world! Know your place! C’mon boys, keep it up! Make it rain!”
Hideyoshi, firing arrow after arrow with a pale and trembling hand, glanced nervously over at the samurai; his face was lit in a vile ecstasy, his eyes flashing dangerously and his nostrils flaring uncontrollably. Forcing himself back to his work, Hideyoshi couldn’t help but feel like he was surrounded by demons as opposed to familiar comrades. Distracted by his apprehension, his arm missed his arrow, giving one shinobi the chance to lunge wildly towards the page, making a last ditch effort to escape the fatal trap. Hideyoshi yelped with terror, hurling himself to the ground and throwing up his arms in attempt to shield his vitals. Feeling the end coming, his eyes closed automatically, and he waited for the god of death to take him.
The perturbing sound of a blade sliding methodically into flesh caused the young soldier to stare through his arms at his would-be killer. Sentinel, standing firm and straight, had rammed his sword into the ninja with barely a moment’s notice, crossing half the tree line in an instant. His black eyes took in everything with a cold and calculated gaze that was not without remorse. His ebony armor looked even more impressive while coated in streaks of blood, the red lines clashing brilliantly with the standard black. His dark hair was mussed lightly, though it looked more like he had just been through a light workout as opposed to battle. Hideyoshi almost let his mouth drop open at the sight; this was the true epitome of a war god.
Those cold eyes moved appraisingly over Hideyoshi as Sentinel roughly drew his blade from the fallen shinobi, and a flash of disappointment intermingled with sympathy crossed his brow before becoming stolid once more.
“Keep your guard up boy. Otherwise you’ll end up like that fool over there.”
The imperious voice of the commander drew Hideyoshi’s gaze to his right; the samurai who had been so eager to let blood flow lay motionless with a kunai lodged in his throat. Hideyoshi gulped nervously, and his azure eyes seemed to tremble as though finally realizing he could have met that same fate. Sentinel gave a callous chuckle as he turned back to inspect the fallen ninja. Forty three of them lay dead, while only two of Sentinel’s sixty eight remaining men had been felled in the process. The wizened commander bent over an young ninja’s body, tenderly examining it for identification, continuing to speak as he did so. Besides the two of them, the rest of the samurai began to spread out, resting or looting the bodies of the fallen. (Very uncharacteristic of the samurai, Sentinel thought with a grimace.)
“That’s good, that fear in your eyes. Young men should be frightened by war. It goes against all youth stands for, and yet embodies all that youth means. I do believe we too greatly endorse the culture of violence in our culture. Look at this child! Younger than you…I think. How old are you…”
Hideyoshi, realizing dumbly he was being addressed, stammered out a startled response.
“S-s-sir! Kinoshinta Hideyoshi! I-I’m seventeen Sentinel…er, I mean, sir Sentinel. I mean, Sentinel Si-“
Sentinel, letting a coarse yet merry laugh escape his thin lips, waved the page off.
“Enough blabbering, boy. I understand, you’re young. First battle?”
Hideyoshi nodded, attempting to avoid another failure of character in front of his commander. Sentinel’s face grew troubled at that as he went back to the shinobi youth’s body.
“Seventeen…and younger…by god, why must boys such as you experience such atrocities…”
Sentinel paused as he reached a small black mark on the child soldier’s armor. Three curving semi circles under a pointed crest. Similar, but it differed from the crest he had been told to find.
“Shit! Hagoromo Clan! This party is only from the Hagoromo Clan!”
Flashing his vision over the bodies, Sentinel realized his mistake; the bodies, besides the arrow punctures, each held several vicious slash and pierce wounds. Some even still had kunai and shruiken protruding out of them. The reason for their reckless haste, then, had undoubtedly been…
“Everyone get back into positions n-!”
Sentinel barely drew his sword up as a young man slashed at him from the trees, the first of many to fall from above. The two blades clashed with a metallic ring, the two combatants shaking in an attempt to overpower the other. The young ninja, eyes blazing crimson in his skull, was covered in blue plated armor adorned with fur at the shoulders. Spiky white hair, matching that of the fur on his armor, jutted from his head, while his thin, scarred face held a look of intense determination. With a grunt, Sentinel sent the youth flying backward with a guttural roar.
The young ninja’s face registered a moment of shock, before he proceeded to glare at Sentinel. He fingered his headband as he did so; a simple piece with a black, dual bladed trident stamped at its front. Sentinel stared at it for a moment before nodding his understanding. The hunters had found their prey, or rather, their prey had found them.
The white haired boy quickly weaved his hands through a number of strange hand signs, and as the samurai struggled to group up, water flooded around them and began slashing at the men, who quickly began to panic at the sudden escalation of the assault. The crystalline water, moving in an unnatural and serpentine fashion, drew up in the form of three dragon heads towering menacingly over the group, looking ready to devour the unprepared soldiers.
Sentinel shot a glare at that, cursing once more and feeling his arm tense up. He gripped the handle of his blade so firmly he was afraid the hilt would shatter.
“Impressive…” he ventured, regarding the white haired boy casting water jutsu for the first time. “…just who are you, boy?”
The three water dragons, cerulean specters of the divine ocean, arced over their master, as if shielding him. The veritable Neptune’s face drew up in a confident, yet harsh grin. Cracking his knuckles and neck, he shot his hands forward as if to launch a blast from his palms.
“Rejoice. You’ll be falling at the hands of Tobirama Senju today. Count yourself blessed; few men get to give their last breaths to the Scion of the Water God.”
The man-made tides roared as the dragons, like inexorable tsunamis, crashed towards the samurai in a vengeful fury, as the people of the forest began to wage their own war on the samurai invaders.
Last edited by Germanicus; 03-21-2013 at 03:27 AM.