The Revenge of the Hawk Chapter 5: Battle of Family Honor: Asuma vs. Koga.
The Revenge of the Hawk
Links to old chapters:
Chpt. 1:The Foundation of Death
Chpt. 2:Fight With the Mirror Ninja Under the Clouds of Omen
Chpt. 4: The Wind Demon...
Author's note: Chapter 5, a conclusion to the battle between the Leaf Ninja and the rouge ninja, Koga, from last chapter. If you haven't, I'd advise reading older chapters first. Not much else to say, so I hope y'all enjoy!
Battle of Family Honor: Asuma Vs. Koga.
“Enough talk, Cousin; I hope you’ve said your prayers. You’ll be meeting whatever god you pray to shortly.
In an instant, Koga vanished from his burning perch amongst the pyre of trees. Asuma cursed, hearing the soft patter of feet moving nimbly behind him. He whirled about, brandishing his knuckle knifes to slam into Koga’s body, which, while strong, was still much smaller than Asuma’s…and he lurched back in pain as his right arm was shredded, as though he had just rammed his fist into a nest of steel saws. Panting slightly from the jolt, he looked up to see Koga chuckling slightly to himself, the same thin aura of wind that had beat down Kotetsu and Izumo still lingering in the air, encasing Koga’s body completely. Asuma cursed, louder and more heatedly this time. This defense not only stopped most attacks, but it caused pain to anyone who dared attempt to attack Koga directly.
“Veil of Heaven.” Koga repeated himself, more clearly and abruptly this time, though his voice contained no arrogance, but rather a stern, professional confidence which could only be built after countless amounts of battle experience. Though Koga seemed bored with his ‘fight’, he remained tall and straight in posture; he didn’t slouch like Kakashi did when he didn’t feel challenged. The fading recesses of ash black hair on his head, though graying and growing more dull, was neatly combed and placed out of the way of his face, which was bare shaven and well kept itself. His eyes, while disinterested, were constantly adjusting, taking in every movement and change of light within his range of vision. He flexed his hands on a long, deadly katana which he had yet to draw, but was anticipating the need to at a moment’s notice. He was, undoubtedly, the most natural born ninja soldier Asuma had seen since his father (the Hokage himself!) had been in his prime. Compared to this cold, unbelievably competent killer, the generation of ninja which had bred himself, Genma, and the duo of Izumo and Kotetsu, were nothing more than a jumped band of mercenaries.
“This…” Koga continued, all amusement at Asuma’s mistake already purged from his face, “…is my trump card. Many would argue it is best not to reveal one’s best technique at the beginning of a battle. I respectfully disagree. I know, from rumor and what I have seen already, that you are skilled cousin. So…”
He drew his sword, the blade fine, glowing as it basked in the reflection of the wildfire raging around the two combatants. Asuma noticed at this period, uneasily, that the fire was beginning to slowly grow closer to the two Sarutobi’s as the forest was consumed little by little. He gazed worriedly at Genma, who was now on his knees, and appeared on the verge of being able to stand, but had to think on his feet…almost literally, as his feet barely moved to side step the vicious arc Koga’s sword made as he slashed at his younger cousin.
“…so pay attention, cousin. You’re good, like I said; but I’m better. This isn’t a matter of vanity or pride. It is fact. You have already seen you cannot bypass my wind jutsu. I am also more skilled at you in Taijutsu. Face it, boy, you’re finished.”
Koga began his onslaught anew, flipping his blade around, leaving Asuma struggling to bring his knuckle knives up to block the assault.
Asuma began panting, as Koga began slashing faster, and he soon felt the same pain he felt with Kakashi. Koga was, as he discovered, almost exponentially faster than him. The older Sarutobi was dancing as the wind itself, and his blade flowed as though the glistening reflection was made of water as opposed to steel. Streaks of red began to flow along the arcs of the sword, stinging open areas of Asuma’s flesh, finding the miniscule holes in his best defenses, and even though he matched up well compared to Koga’s strength, he had to use each hand in its own separate blocks in order to match the inhuman pace of the Wind Demon. This wouldn’t keep up, he knew; eventually he would become too tired and Koga would find an opening too big…or his elder clansman would grow bored, and finally unleash his wind technique’s offense. At that thought, he grimaced as he realized that the cuts on his hands weren’t from the sword at all. The Veil of Heaven still bit and tore at anything which came close, and it extended from Koga’s sword now too.
Feeling pressured, Asuma decided defense was a lost cause.
Asuma’s sword extended their own aura, and he charged, slashing as though they were claws extending from his own flesh. The first blade met Koga’s sword, and Asuma roared in triumph as he brought his left blade up and felt the resounding slice of flesh, the energy stream managing to break through the defense of wind. Koga’s eye’s caught a new light in their gaze; shock? Dismay? Asuma wasn’t sure. But if Koga was caught off guard, that was the only indication of such. The Wind Demon twisted his sword at a diagonal angle, catching both of Asuma’s blades in mid air. The two held deadlocked for a moment, their arms trembling in opposition to each other. Koga even panted from the physical exertion, obviously unused to a long, drawn out battle, and it seemed for a moment that Asuma might be able to break him as the older shinobi was pushed and bent backwards until the two locked close to the edge of the fiery ring surrounding them. Koga, straining, veins rising and jutting out from his neck, lashed out and managed to throw Asuma back. A look of cold fury appeared on his face. All of that work, and Asuma had only one shallow cut and an enraged rouge ninja to show for it.
“Enough. We’ve played for long enough.” Koga spat on the ground, and placed his blade back in its sheathe. He let the ebony cloak he had been wearing drop to the ground, and he brought his hands up in a flurry of hand signs, and Asuma, not wanting to miss his chance charged in a lunge as fast as he could. Koga glared at his move in contempt, and shouted once more at his younger cousin, disdain evident in his voice. “You’re stronger than I thought you were, Asuma. Maybe you are Uncle Hiruzen’s son after all. However, despite all of your talent, you have refused to learn one critical skill your entire life!”
A massive bullet of air flew from Koga’s mouth, and the rouge continued his hand motions, extending his attack further. “Kagebunshin! Shadow Doppelganger!”
The one bullet became one thousand bullets, and the ground where Asuma had been erupted in an avalanche of wind, ripping the land to shreds and gutting the earth. Koga then sniffed in disappointment, as he turned about, staring down Asuma, entombed in a prison of wind, held dangling by the feet upside down. Though the large man struggled, his efforts made no effect upon cage of wind he found himself in.
Koga wagged his finger, as though lecturing a small child on a fact he should have easily remembered. “You attack before you understood the technique. You assumed the Veil of Heaven was merely a shield; that is false. It is just another Wind Release, which I manipulate like a free moving force field. I have heard that this technique is similar to the sand styles of defense perfected in the Land of Wind…but I digress.” He snapped his fingers, and immediately the cage grew deadly. Blades of air spiked out, slashing into Asuma, drawing long, deep cuts throughout, slowly, one at a time, painfully ripping Asuma apart. “You will be an example. I will not capitulate to the corrupt politics of the Leaf Village. No one will dare hunt me again after I have brutally murdered the skilled son of the Third Hokage.”
Asuma screamed, the pain growing unbearable, and as he gritted his teeth, he felt the warm flow of blood cross between his teeth. Thoughts of his defeat and his bitter disappointment echoed through his head, his worst nightmares confirmed in a heartbeat. I’m sorry father…I failed you and the village. I am so sorry. I couldn’t…I didn’t have the Will of Fire after all. I…wasn’t worthy of being the son of Sarutobi Hiruzen.
“The only ninja who is a failure is the one who accepts their defeat willingly, and gives up on their beliefs before it is their time.”
Asuma fell silent as the words his father had told him before leaving the village, when he had been younger, before he had set out to be a Guardian of the Fire Daimyo, echoed through his head. His father hadn’t been wearing his traditional Kage gear. He had chosen to be about his home in his combat uniform, which still fit him quite well. He had been smoking from a long, ashen pipe, and he had been settling a long and hostile argument with his son.
“To answer your question, Asuma, no. I don’t care. Leave the village. Follow your own path. But…just know, you are not my son. Rather, you are not my only son…for my children are all of those who inherited the Will of Fire. I will cry for you not after you leave my embrace. I will, however, never forget you, for you embody all that the clan stands for. Honor, compassion, love. People say you wish to abandon your duty by leaving the village, but nay! Heed them not. You are following the greatest duty of all; the duty you hold to your heart, Asuma. You will protect this house, and you will protect he who is the King in this village…may you someday understand who that may be…through your devotion and passion.
You made me proud to be head of the Sarutobi Clan, my son.”
Asuma snapped back to reality as Koga shrieked in pain, a senbon landing in the side of his neck. He whirled about, completely perturbed for the first time in this battle. Genman stood tall and defiant, hurling Senbon at Koga relentlessly, flanked by the now recovered Izumo and Kotetsu, who flung shruiken and kunai in turn. Bringing his full attention to the three other Leaf Ninja, Koga began madly weaving hand signs, in the opposite direction from Asuma.
Summoning up his will, inspired by the sight of his injured comrades, Asuma urged every fiber of his body forward, energy crackling once again from his knuckle blades. Slashing through his prison of gales, he lunged his body forward, roaring, his scalding lungs and beat down body being ignored in a fit of sheer madness. He slamed into Koga, feeling the bite of the Veil of Heaven, but paying it no heed, while the latter gasped as blood shot from his throat, and the two both groaned in pain as Asuma bashed Koga into a burning tree. Forcing his hands to sign, Asuma summoned all of his energy and shouted determinedly, his thoughts racing as he did, dead set on one task as he thought only of his three beloved comrades in danger behind him.
Protect the King.
“Fire Style! BURNING ASH!!”
The blaze erupted from Asuma and sent Koga flying in a pyre into the inferno which already existed behind him. Dead corpses of trees fell broken and destitute, piling on top of the shrieking mass that was the Wind Demon. Without hesitation, Izumo created clones, and all of them simultaneously weaved through hand signs.
“Water Style!” As water was flooded about, thick, dusty clouds of smoke and ash rose, causing all four of the Leaf Ninja to cough vigorously. Genma, leaning on his haunches, sweating profusely, found himself remembering Hayate in a fit of remorse, feeling satisfaction that his murderer might now have been brought to justice. As the smoke cleared, the immediate surroundings revealed the blackened, charred earth surrounding. Dead wildlife littered the fields, and countless trees laid ruined, the forest area devastated by the fight. An eerie silence lulled over the field of battle as Asuma limped over to the pile of smoldering wood in which Koga had been knocked. The trio of Special Jonin chased after him, and finding the body under the front of the wreckage, quickly cleared it from the pile. All four struggled, as they were mostly bleeding profusely, and their battered bodies felt leaden and sore.
Kotetsu, looking at the limp body of Koga, gazed over the imposing rouge, and immediately jumped back with a startled “yelp!”
The chest, while beaten and burned badly, moved slowly up and down. He was badly injured, but Koga Sarutobi, the Wind Demon, continued to cling to the world of the living. Genma gazed first in disgust at the charred, half dead shinobi, then at Asuma, who merely nodded, and walked over to Koga’s cloak, which had remained unperturbed in the center of the clearing. The red cloud bursts which covered the thing’s black field looked ominous, and stank of some unknown purpose. Asuma grabbed it up, and, gazing pensively, gestured to the east.
“Grab the rouge. There are caves in that direction. We’re about to get the answers we were sent to bring back."