Naruto: Tetsuden - 019
Alright, I was rather excited about getting to this chapter, just because I’m introducing two new genin teams to the mix-up, one from the Cloud and one from the Mist (hence the chapter’s title). In terms of things to notice, the one thing I’m really proud of in this chapter is the personalities of the Cloud genin, particularly their leader. Other than that, please enjoy
Here’s my previous chapters, for those who missed any:
Chapter 019: Cloud and Mist
Nearly five kilometers from the central tower, along the small river which slices through the middle of the training ground, a heated battle between two powerful teams of genin had reached a temporary ceasefire, the members of each side having already exhausted a significant portion of both their chakra and energy. Initially expecting a quick skirmish that would end with a second scroll in their possession, neither team expected that their opponent would be so exceptionally skilled in combat. At this rate of decline in their stamina, it wouldn’t be long before both teams were left incapable of reaching the tower, at least by the end of the day, something their leaders quickly realized.
The leader of the first team, which hailed from the Cloud village, was a dark-skinned man of roughly fifteen years, sporting unkempt, jet-black hair that fell past his chin, kept out of his eyes by his white forehead protector, his eyes themselves covered by a pair of tinted spectacles. Over his black, long-sleeved, collared shirt, he wore his village’s signature flak jacket, white with a single strap over his left shoulder. In addition, he also wore pants that were a slightly lighter color than his shirt, basic sandals, and kept a long katana strapped to his back at all times, the handle positioned behind his right shoulder. His battle with this opposing team having been going on for several minutes now, he was panting rather heavily, though not nearly as hard as his teammates, who possessed hardly half of his stamina.
????: …Huhh…damn…huhh…this cat’s got some mad skill. …Huhh…Tomoi, Sakebi, you both good?
Tomoi, as he had called her, also had dark skin, though not quite as dark as her teammate’s, and cream-colored hair tied back into a ponytail, which sprang out in various directions. Her attire consisted of mesh armour beneath a grey, low-cut dress with short sleeves, as well as a large, white bandage that wrapped around her waist. She also wore dark-grey pants, high-heel sandals, and her white forehead protector in its proper place. The one he called Sakebi, on the other hand, was light-skinned and sported long, light-blonde hair. Over his slender figure, he wore a long-sleeved shirt composed of mesh armour, dark-blue pants, and two pouches around his waist, while on his forehead, he wore his white forehead protector. In addition, he also wore a small assortment of jewelry, including a small, gold chain around his neck and three rings, one on his left middle finger, and another on both his right and left ring fingers.
Tomoi: Huhh…huhh…yeah…huhh…yeah, I’m fine. …Huhh, running on low, though.
Sakebi: Huhh…Z, I…huhh…I think we outta…huhh…we outta just give this one up.
Z: (Quickly catching his breath once again, he straightened his stance before tilting his head to the left, bringing Sakebi into his line of sight.) Hm? Why, so some other playa can take this fool? …Heh, not on my conscience.
On the other side of the river, the apparent leader of the second team was finally beginning to regain his own strength, as well. Hailing from the Village Hidden in the Mist, he was roughly fourteen years of age and sported smooth, white hair of medium length, beneath which sat his dark-blue forehead protector. Additionally, his teeth were sharpened to a point and he wore a sleeveless shirt that matched his forehead protector, grey pants, and carried two long katanas on his back. Noticing that one of their opponents was ready to begin fighting again, he turned to see how his teammates were holding up.
????: Huhh…hey, Izumi, Vito, …huhh…you two doing alright?
The girl he referred to as Izumi possessed long, thick, light-blue hair, which branched off to the right and the left, and her brow was covered by her forehead protector. Over her mesh armour and black, knee-length shorts, she wore a light-purple shirt and a short apron skirt of the same color. Exceptionally displeased with their current situation, she was quick to begin raising her voice.
Izumi: Grrrrgghhh, jeez! These guys are ridiculous! We should’ve slaughtered them by now!
The boy referred to as Vito sported spiky, green hair, over which he wore a gray bandanna with his forehead protector sewn into it, as well as a dark-blue shirt, matching pants, and a standard gray flak jacket. His eyes seemingly on the verge of popping out of their sockets, he spoke in between short and heavy breaths as he chuckled uncontrollably. …Needless to say, his mindset bordered on insanity.
Vito: Hehehh hehehh hehehh, please. Hnhnhnhn, there’s no one as strong as we are. Hnhn, right, Kagetsu?
Kagetsu: (Seizing the opportunity, he used this opening to make a smart remark, though not a very good one.) Hnhnhnhn, of course not, Vito. …People are either weaker than you or stronger than you. (Typically the latter in your case, you loon.)
Finding his feet again, he stood up just as Z began to draw his sword, prompting him to reach behind his head and grab the handles of his own katanas.
Kagetsu: Alright. Both of you, just sit this one out for now, alright? …I’ll deal with this guy.
Receiving a pair of reluctant nods from both of this teammates, he turned back to face his opponent, only to find that Z had already begun his attack, leaping into the air with the intention of finishing him off with one devastating blow. Reacting quickly, Kagetsu drew his swords and held them over his head in a crossed formation, catching Z’s katana between them as he came crashing down. However, his opponent was still intent on breaking through his defenses, forcing Kagetsu to send an additional burst of chakra surging through his muscles, giving himself the strength needed to force Z off of him before going on the offensive. Several seconds passed as the two clashed blades, none of their attacks connecting with the other’s body, until finally, Z retreated back to the other side of the river, allowing both himself and Kagetsu to catch their breath.
Z: Damn…huhh…this dog’s got some moves, for real. …Huhh…heh, guess I better get my groove on, then. Sakebi, …huhh…give me a beat, man.
Sakebi: (Still sitting on the ground, exhausted from the fight, he met Z’s demands with a great deal of reluctance.) What? …Huhh…man, come on. I’m still wiped out here-
Tomoi: (Her admiration for Z standing firm, she quickly snapped at Sakebi for refusing his request.) Z asked you for a beat, you dimwit! Now give him a beat!
Sakebi: (Throwing his head back in annoyance as a heavy sigh exited his throat, he eventually complied and began sitting up.) Rrrgh, fine. …Damn. (Jeez, she rides him like a freakin’ horse.)
Rising up to one knee, he reached into one of the pouches around his waist and pulled out a black microphone before flipping the switch located at its base, which turned it on. Holding it up to his mouth, he hesitated a brief moment out of reluctance before curling his lips and making a popping sound, which echoed across the immediate landscape. This was followed shortly afterwards by another noise of similar nature, then another, and yet another, his pace gradually increasing until he began shaping these sounds into intricate patterns. Concurrently, Z slowly began bobbing his head back and forth as Sakebi continued with this display of beatboxing talent, his indifferent expression eventually becoming a grin as the beat his teammate was producing finally reached a level that matched his standards.
Z: Yea-hehhh, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout, baby.
Holding his sword out in front of him as he continued bobbing his head to match the rhythm of the beat, he locked eyes with Kagetsu as he slowly began building up his chakra.
Z: Alright, …let’s get this show on the road!
Hardly a second after the last word left his mouth, he vanished from sight, much to Kagetsu’s shock, which was exemplified by the sudden enlargement of his eyes.
Kagetsu: (Damn, he’s fast. …I guess I’ve gotta turn things up a notch, too.)
Building up his own chakra in an effort to neutralize the difference between their current power levels, a sudden twitch out of the corner of his eye alerted Kagetsu to his opponent’s intentions, quickly moving one of his blades in between his head and Z’s sword before the two could connect. Having been expecting a swift conclusion to this duel, the latter was visibly astounded by the former’s ability to predict his movements and act accordingly.
Z: What the hell!? (He blocked it…no, the fact that he saw it COMING is what’s really impressive. …Heh, this is starting to get fun.)
Retracting his blade and quickly trying again, Z continued this endeavor to no avail, each swipe of his sword getting blocked by one or both of Kagetsu’s katanas. Before long, though, the latter decided that it was time for himself to take a more offensive approach, ducking to avoid Z’s next attack before sweeping his leg out in an effort to trip his opponent. To his dismay, though, Z predicted such a bold movement on his part and easily avoided it, leaving Kagetsu open to an attack.
Raising one of his katanas over his head, Kagetsu was barely able to impede his opponent’s attack. In the next moment, however, through a combination of his superior agility and his ownership of a second sword, he managed to successfully turn the tables on him, separating Z from his weapon before moving behind him and holding his own up to his neck. Once again panting heavily by this point, it was only through great effort that Kagetsu slowly formed a smile in light of this accomplishment.
Z: (Having lost just as much stamina as his opponent, he was also panting heavily, but that aside, seemed otherwise unfazed, despite his current situation.) Huhh…huhh…you first, fool.
Confused at first, it took just one downward glance for Kagetsu to realize that his “victory” was, in fact, a stalemate, indicated by the kunai Z was holding mere millimeters away from his chest. Mumbling under his breath in irritation, the moment of silence that followed was eventually ended by a reluctant smirk, proof that he had accepted this outcome. When he redirected his attention back to Z, however, he was surprised to find that he was already in the process of putting his kunai away, an act which Kagetsu didn’t hesitate to question.
Kagetsu: What the hell is this?
Z: (Tilting his head just enough so that Kagetsu’s eyes met his left, his face was brightened by a smirk of his own, though one could easily tell that he was slightly irritated by his opponent’s ignorance.) It’s a sign of respect, dog. …Ever heard of it?
Recognizing this as a golden opportunity to subdue Z and take his team’s scroll, Kagetsu nonetheless found himself moved by his sportsmanship, enough so that it didn’t take long for him to return both his swords to their sheaths, an act which astonished the fellow members of both their teams. These surprised expressions were quickly replaced by smiles of reverence on Tomoi and Sakebi’s part. Izumi and Vito, on the other hand, were not so understanding.
Izumi: Kagetsu! What the hell are you doing!?
Vito: Hehehh hehehh hehe, yeah Kagetsu. Hehehh hehe, he’s right there. Hehe, you could cut him up into little pieces if you want to-!
Kagetsu: VITO!! Just…chill, alright!? Seriously! (Jeez, he’s such a freak. How the hell did I get stuck with him?)
Waiting until the two of them had nodded in compliance, Kagetsu redirected back to Z who, to his slight surprise, remained exactly as he last seen him…without a weapon in hand. Although initially suspicious, his doubts eventually disappeared as he realized that Z was, indeed, as sincere as he had made himself out to be. Noticing the minor change in expression which confirmed this, Z’s smile grew slightly larger before he proceeded to hold his fist out in front of him.
Z: Man, you got the stuff for sho’. You feelin’ me?
Kagetsu: (Though slightly confused by his street lingo, he ultimately decided to play along with this and held his fist out in front of him, as well, unsure of what to do with it.) Uhhh, …yeeeaaahhh…sure.
Amused by Kagetsu’s naïveté, he stepped forward to give him a quick pointer on how he greeted others, proceeding to bump both the top and bottom of his fist with his own before connecting their knuckles. Although still confused, Z’s friendly smile eventually encouraged Kagetsu to put on one of his own, just as the sound of a battle nearby caught the attention of all six genin present. His smile slowly shaping into a grin as his fatigue began to disappear, Z turned to his new ally in question.
Z: Heh, so how about it? You cats up for bustin’ a few heads in?
Kagetsu: (Enjoying the idea a fair deal himself, he quickly complied as his strength also began returning to him.) Hehehehe, now that’s a language we can understand.
With no duties left to carry out in this section of the forest, the two teams of genin quickly vanished beneath the nearby tree line, the only question on their minds now being what type of scroll these new foes possessed.
Z and Kagetsu – what hidden strengths do these two young swordsmen have in store for their competition!!?