View Full Version : On Arms and Armaments

04-30-2015, 10:13 PM
It had been at least three days since Aramaki Tenzan had shown up in Iron Country. It wasn't entirely his own will that brought him there either; for days, he didn't leave the village. He'd been missing classes and opting out of missions for nearly a week, in a spiral of depression that no one could seem to shake. He'd even managed, by some miracle, to avoid Hitomi for most of it, right up until Anzu showed up at his door and ordered him directly to be a part of the off-site representation at the Kage Summit.

Even then, the burly chuunin didn't have much to say to anyone. A few tried to offer condolences, acknowledging and sympathizing the loss of a fellow shinobi and Tenzan's grandfather, but Tenzan didn't have much to say beyond 'thank you' in response. His expressions were hollow; his words, empty. If anything, he would've preferred being at home in bed. Anzu, however, wasn't going to let that happen. It was implied that he would be going no matter what--conscious or not. In hindsight, he didn't really know what he was going along for... other than the fact that Anzu knew enough about how he felt to drag him out of the confines of his home to try to get him to move past his grief.

It was a task that was easier said than done.

Somehow, in the midst of it all, Hitomi had been assigned to the same vague duty as Tenzan. He wasn't entirely sure what to say to her, really... not that he ever really needed to be the one to initiate conversation between them. Even in his current state, the favor she asked of him was pretty odd.

"You want me to teach you what?"

Will of Fire
04-30-2015, 10:49 PM
"Don't look at me like that," the kunoichi replied, vaguely amused with his incredulous expression. She'd known that he would be flabbergasted by her suggestion, particularly if and when she laid out the specifics. "Need I remind you that this was all your idea in the first place?"

A grin swept across Hitomi's face that rather obviously indicated that she'd already decided what would happen. Tenzan certainly knew her well enough to understand that resistance was futile. "Taijutsu. That's what you wanted me to learn, right? I'm going to do it and you're going to teach me. I just need the right weapon since you say that my 'baby fists' aren't going to cut it."

The young Nara began to walk, waving him along as she moved. "I might not find what I'm looking for here, but it's worth a shot, right? The sooner we start working on it, the better. I'll be wrecking people's faces soon enough."

The kunoichi, admittedly, had been concerned over her fellow chuunin's well-being. He'd been avoiding her, or at least, that's how it seemed. He wasn't himself since his grandfather died. While that wasn't terribly surprising since he needed to grieve, she'd begun to worry that he wasn't going to pull out of it. She didn't know how to help him overcome the loss. Feelings and sympathy weren't her area of expertise.

Punching things. That's what he needed. Fighting to, at the very least, get his mind off of the things that bothered him. Even a momentary reprieve would be something.

"Honestly, I thought you'd be happy. If you play your cards right, I might just teach you how to use your chakra to fuck shit up. Lucky you!"

04-30-2015, 11:13 PM
Baby fists.

Tenzan smirked at that. He'd actually forgotten that he'd said it. It was still amusing; he didn't mean it as an insult, but the fact of the matter was that Hitomi wasn't physically trained in the same manner as even an average shinobi. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing in ideal circumstances, but if she actually wanted to learn, he couldn't exactly deny her. Never mind that she wasn't going to let him say no.

"Yeah, yeah..." he waved a hand in as nonchalant a manner as he could. "I remember what I said. Mostly."

Tenzan's thoughts shifted more toward the topic at hand, which made him a little frustrated for different reasons. Being an instructor of taijutsu, he was familiar with weapon styles, but he wasn't particularly enamored with them. He didn't NEED a weapon. Hitomi wasn't the first person to ask him, however, so he was at least more competent on figuring things out than he'd been a few years ago.

"I guess we'd better find a weapon you can handle first. I'm sure there's somewhere around here that sells 'em." A quick look around confirmed Tenzan's suspicions. It seemed like everyone was armed. In fact, it looked like it was commonplace enough that no one even so much as noticed. Tenzan briefly recalled his grandfather's reinforced gloves still stashed away in the things he'd packed... he couldn't even bear to look at them. For several moments, he'd gone quiet again, nearly passing right by an armorer's storefront. The sound of metal banging against metal caught his ear and snapped him out of it.

"...well, this might be a good place to start, I guess?" The shop wasn't particularly crowded, but from what Tenzan could tell, it seemed pretty well-stocked with a variety of blades and spears adorning the walls. There were even a few man-sized dummies adorned with various sorts of armor.

Will of Fire
04-30-2015, 11:35 PM
"You okay?" Hitomi asked even before she realized what she was doing. Tenzan was already distracted on this simple outing, but there wasn't much she could do to prevent that from happening, apparently.

"It's uhh... good to get away from Konoha for a little bit, right?" Somehow striking up conversation had become rather difficult, despite her familiarity with him. It was baffling, really. Suddenly concerned that she might unintentionally strike a nerve, the teen awkwardly steered the topic aside. "I didn't think that there would ever be a summit like this, or that anyone would want me to be around for it. All the world's shinobi leaders within a mile of me. Weird, right? Dangerous as fuck, too."

The girl's dark eyes scanned the shop for the most intriguing and ill-fitting weapon available. It wasn't long before she'd meandered along the wall of pole arms, selecting a particularly terrifying scythe from the group. It didn't fit in her tiny hands very well, but it was good for a laugh regardless. "Sweeeeeeet." Hitomi spun it where it stood and the curved blade whirled a good foot and a half over her head without her having to duck.

"I can remove heads and reach stuff on tall shelves. Perfect!"

She looked up at the ridiculous weapon for a moment, pondering how she might make it her own. "I bet it would look pretty cool swinging all around if it had ribbons on it." She was only half-joking.

A rather serious expression crept across the kunoichi's face suddenly, as though she'd just remembered something important. "Also, don't go telling Shikaro about me learning more taijutsu. I don't need him giving me shit about it."

05-02-2015, 09:36 PM
"What? Oh no, I'm fine..." He wasn't even sure what he meant by 'fine'. He was distracted; there really was no getting around that. He felt as if his whole life was different now, and he wasn't sure where to begin picking up again. That didn't mean he wasn't willing to try though. Anzu dragging him miles from home and into different surroundings were contributing more and more to drawing Tenzan out of his self-imposed shell.

The shop had this odd, somewhat familiar cedar smell. It reminded Tenzan of a similar smithy he'd encountered in Earth Country. It wasn't as overpowering as it had been when he'd been in Earth Country, though; if anything, it was pretty well masked by the oiled leather smell from some of the other items in the shop. From the inside, it somehow looked a lot bigger. He cringed a little bit as Hitomi picked up a scythe. "I don't think your Shikaro or Shinzo would appreciate me letting you swing that thing around..."

Really, he had no idea what to suggest for Hitomi. He knew what he would pick; he remembered a pair of cesti he'd considered buying, and it would certainly solve Hitomi's 'baby fist' problem, but that wouldn't really be 'her'. He wasn't sure what she should really be using besides... well... knives and kunai. For all her ninjutsu talent, Hitomi's aim with a thrown weapon was better than his. A bow seemed too encumbering; he could see Hitomi struggling just to draw back a bowstring. A whip perhaps...

No. Absolutely not.

"Can I help you kids with something?"

The older man's voice broke the otherwise pristine silence in the shop; Tenzan almost didn't notice him before. The man was barely five and a half feet tall, but his wide-shouldered frame suggested that he was a lot more physically capable than he looked. He moved toward the two of them with a pronounced limp in his right leg, the entire limb covered by a strange looking brace that made subtle whirring noises every time he moved. For a second, Tenzan found himself staring at it...

"Oh, sorry. Um... maybe? She's looking for a weapon..." He looked over at Hitomi, hoping she'd finished playing with the dangerous bladed weapon by then.

Will of Fire
05-02-2015, 10:19 PM
"What? You don't think I make this look good?" The teen was well aware of how ridiculous she appeared, though it certainly didn't bother her. She gave the blade another spin, though it wobbled nearly out of her grasp and clanged against the display rack where it had previously rested.

The older man huffed with some strange mix of amusement and impatience. In one smooth motion, he took hold of the scythe and repositioned it on the display. "I think something a little more appropriate for your size would be a better choice."

He led them to a counter and leaned forward on it, taking a good long look at the kunoichi before making a move to find the right weapon for her. "Leaf Village, eh?" he commented as his gaze lingered on the symbol glimmering at her arm. He cocked his head to the side for a moment before adding, "You use throwing weapons, am I right?"

Hitomi arched an eyebrow before she gave herself a quick check. She didn't have any kunai or shuriken just hanging out of a pocket or anything, so he was either a mega-creeper or he knew exactly what he was talking about from experience alone.

The man chuckled. "You have the build for it." He tapped his fingers on the counter for a moment before he moved to retrieve something out of sight. "But now you want something different..."

He produced a bag, drawn closed with a string. Upon opening it, the odor of leather wafted forth and he revealed a beautifully crafted whip. "It's a similar sort of motion, using this. You'd probably pick it up quickly."

There was no hiding the maniacal grin that swept across the young Nara's lips. This answer was even funnier than the completely mismatched scythe. The implications of it in regards to her fellow chuunin amused her further.


05-14-2015, 08:30 PM
"No. NO. Absolutely not."

Sure, Hitomi had the manual dexterity to get the hang of something like a whip, but there were a myriad of reasons that Tenzan thought that she shouldn't. He could see all sorts of ways that might go badly... and not just for her.

As he considered a way to politely and discretely remove the whip from Hitomi's possession, he noticed the shop owner sizing him up.

"What about you, young man?"

"Huh? No no, I don't..." Tenzan paused, considering his phrasing. He didn't want to be rude. "I'm not much for weapons."

"Oh, that much I can tell..." The elderly man smiled and nodded, giving Tenzan a gentle poke in the arm with his cane. "Got the scars to prove it, too. You don't seem much for armor either. That either makes you very brave or very lucky."

Tenzan reddened slightly. It wasn't something he could dispute. His own preference for not using weapons didn't exactly extend to others, and he'd suffered his share of injuries because he was unarmed. "I wouldn't even know where to begin."

"...well, then. Right over there," the owner began, directing Tenzan's attention to a wooden dummy clad in armor. Fixed in what would have been its left and right hands were a sword and shield. "I'm not saying that you need to be fully armored, mind you. Mobility's probably a significant concern, yeah? Protecting yourself in key areas is the idea..."

Tenzan seemed to be considering the idea, even as he kept an eye on Hitomi, counting down the moments until she accidentally hit herself or knocked something expensive over. The shop owner looked over at Hitomi as well; he seemed to be far less concerned. "You alright there, miss?"

Will of Fire
05-15-2015, 05:42 PM
There was little doubt that the young Nara was intrigued with the possibility of using a whip as her weapon of choice. As her small hand wrapped around the leather and lifted the handle up and away from the counter, she had to admit to herself that she felt like something of a badass. The havoc caused by her and some finely worked hide would surely have been unprecedented, and the kunoichi's lips curled into a vaguely sadistic grin.

Still, as she moved the whip, analyzing its weight and likely trajectory, something about it didn't seem so... special. Though Hitomi would have liked to take it for a full spin and test it out, there wasn't enough room to do that at the moment, and Tenzan probably would have had a heart attack. The teen knew, however, that she wouldn't get anything in particular out of the instrument that she couldn't achieve with her kunai or shadow. There was little point in bogging oneself down with an additional weapon that could be mimicked with better control using chakra. It would be a waste of time. An entertaining waste, no doubt, but a waste nonetheless.

Hitomi noticed, as she coiled the whip quickly and efficiently into its previous neat little arrangement, that many of the people in the shop were watching her, even if they strove to make it subtle. Apparently they thought the teen was going to put out an eye. Or maybe she'd somehow wreck the entire place with nothing but a whip in her hand. Okay that one was possible, but it wouldn't involve the weapon. Even her fellow chuunin seemed wary. How rude.

"Mhmm," Hitomi absently answered as she uncomfortably stared down the other people in the shop when she passed them by. When she finally turned her attention to what the man was showing Tenzan, she cocked her head to the side. She couldn't visualize the burly teen using a sword and shield. He liked fists too damn much. Inexplicably, she was drawn to the shield, however.

"How much does that weigh?" she asked aloud of no one in particular as she'd already slipped between the men and the dummy. She removed the shield with deft hands and affixed it to her own arm.

"Does this make me look fat?"

05-15-2015, 07:44 PM
Tenzan wasn't so much looking at the sword and shield as he was at the gauntlets. His grandfather, after all, wore gloves. Thinking back on it, he wasn’t sure if Aramaki Shin wore any form of armor… It wasn’t something that ever came up. Shin never pressed the issue, and Tenzan had never paid much attention. He wished he had… just thinking about it was a little depressing.

Still, the thought of adding some impact to his punches didn’t seem like the worst idea in the world. That would have to come later; for now, he was here on Hitomi’s behalf, not his own. That said, when he finally looked back at Hitomi, something else had caught her eye.

A single eyebrow rose; she’d already grabbed the shield. “Uh… that’s not a weapon.”

“Traditionally, no, but...” the shop owner scratched at his bearded chin in thought. “It certainly could be. It’s not the most intuitive style, but I’ve seen shield combat before. It’s actually rather impressive.”

I can’t teach her that. Tenzan’s brow furrowed. This was definitely new territory for him; how was he supposed to teach something he didn’t know anything about? He hated being put on the spot, but it wasn’t something he thought would ever come up… Inside Fire Country, he probably never would have even learned that such a thing existed. He had to admit some creeping curiosity about what exactly that would look like…

Still, it was a safer option than the whip.

“That might be a little big… I mean, I don’t think you could even hit anyone with that.”

“Probably not, no… I think you’d need something a little smaller and lightweight. A targe, perhaps. Serves the same function and it can actually be thrown.” The shop owner motioned towards the counter; behind it was a wall of shields with shields of varying sizes--some smaller, some larger than the one Hitomi was holding.

Will of Fire
05-15-2015, 08:11 PM
"Hell yeah it is," the kunoichi replied, her smile widening as she slowly pivoted and moved with the shield covering her arm. This she could see being useful. She wasn't able to mimic this so easily with her available skills and knowledge. Not only that, but it was fairly likely that an opponent would misunderstand a fighting style that involved only a shield.

"A shield would be badass!" Hitomi was so excited at the prospect of using a ridiculous taijutsu style that she nearly missed the perplexed look that had washed over Tenzan's face. He wasn't nearly as thrilled as she thought he should be. He'd wanted her to learn to protect herself, after all. What better way was there to do that than with a shield?

The young Nara's train of thought was completely derailed when she heard the old man's thoughts on the subject. "Wait... I could throw it? That's a thing? Fuck. Yes."

The man responded with a bemused shake of his head and a deep chuckle. He thoughtfully perused the wall of shields and pulled one that was easily half the size and weight of the one the girl had strapped to her arm at that moment. Hitomi's eyes sparkled with excitement and she nearly flung the heavy one at the shopkeeper in her haste to don the more appropriately sized weapon.

"Aren't you excited to teach me how to fuck people up with this? Like, bash faces in and stuff? Oh man I'm going to wreck people..."

"Well she's an excitable one, hmm?" the old man said as he watched the kunoichi spinning and moving with the small shield on her arm. There was a considerable amount of amusement in his tone when he added, for Tenzan's benefit, after Hitomi slammed her money down onto the countertop and walked away, "good luck with that."

05-28-2015, 10:24 PM
More than luck was going to be required. Tenzan recognized this inevitability right from the beginning, but at this point there was very little he could do about it. He didn't leave without making a request of his own, though, remaining in the shop for a good fifteen minutes, outside of earshot of Hitomi. When he finally emerged, he looked towards the north. "Alright. I guess we should test this... A shield isn't a weapon, exactly, but I figure you should learn how it's actually used before trying anything crazy."

Tenzan had already decided on a spot; the store owner told him of a place outside of town that was regularly used for friendly sparring among shinobi--something that, apparently, happened often enough that the space was necessary. There weren't a whole lot of people around, which somehow made Tenzan feel less self-conscious about training Hitomi. It was weird and uncomfortable, and he couldn't quite put his finger on why.

"Ok. First and foremost, you're gonna have to defend yourself. That was the whole point of this, right? So... I'm gonna try to hit you." Tenzan walked about twenty paces away from Hitomi as he spoke. He turned and nodded. "We'll start from range and see what happens."

He knew for a fact that Hitomi had never seen him attack from a distance. It wasn't the most surprising thing in the world; the Aramaki style wasn't at all one that lent itself to mid or long ranges. Tenzan, however, knew better; the style was far more versatile than that. He sank into his stance, his left arm extended. Both his hands burst into flame as he exhaled; for the most part, he seemed perfectly calm. "Alright... ready?"

Tenzan waited for her to raise the shield before he shifted his weight forward. It was barely perceptible; he was trying to hold back. Mid-blow, it occurred to him that he really didn't know how to softball the Tiger's Roar... The roar of flame filled the air around him as his fist flew forward and the fireball shot forward beyond his knuckle with impressive speed.

Jutsu Used:

Tiger's Roar (Houkou no Tora)
While Tenka is active, Tenzan releases a fireball through a punch or kick, approximately twice the size of his fist. It doesn't cause a whole lot of damage on its own; it's equivalent to one of his physical blows, and can't do more than singe a target, but it moves at incredible speed and has a range of approximately 30 feet. Using this technique, however consumes two posts from the duration of Tenka. Up to three can be discharged in a single post.

Will of Fire
05-29-2015, 06:23 PM
It was with a muddled combination of excitement and apprehension that Hitomi followed after Tenzan to begin her training. Despite her mixed feelings on the topic, she couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable her fellow chuunin seemed about the entire situation. He was a seasoned instructor of taijutsu, so she found it difficult to imagine why he might be unnerved. Seeing as they'd spent enough time together to know, in general, how the other operates in the midst of a fight, she had to assume that it had something to do with her weapon of choice. Would he really have preferred that she walk out of that shop carrying a whip?

The teen chuckled to herself.

Hitomi cocked her head in curiosity as she watched the burly chuunin position himself fairly far away. She guessed that between the two of them, she was, in fact, the more dangerous one at this distance. Then again, if he planned to strike at her from there, it was going to be fascinating to see exactly how he planned to do it. Thankfully, Tenzan was no Sanada or Akimichi, so even if she anticipated his typical punch, his arms weren't going to go into weirdo-extension-mode to reach her.

What the kunoichi hadn't anticipated, however, was a ball of flames headed straight for her in the blink of an eye. While her instincts told her to move, she instead shifted her weight, bracing for the impact and knowing that she was going to have to take the hit in order to master the shield. Hitomi's resolve didn't help to steady her fears, though, and she only ducked her head at the last possible moment. The blow hit harder than she'd guessed, and the roar of fire made it all the more terrifying.

Before she realized what had happened, the young Nara was staring up at the sky, her limbs sprawled and askew. There was a knot forming on her forehead where the shield had hit her behind the impact of the fireball. She smelled smoke. Now she realized the most likely reason that Tenzan seemed uneasy. He was risking making her angry.

"What the fuck?! Really? A fucking fireball?! I thought you were trying to help me, not kill me!" The words came out in a rush as she gathered her wits and coiled herself tightly into a sitting position, resting her aching forehead on her knees as her arms crossed over them... all with a charred shield still strapped to her arm and a pigtail on fire.

05-29-2015, 07:14 PM
Tenzan winced, he felt his soul cringe as the fireball soared across the field. The Tiger's Roar was actually faster than a lot of jutsu--a fact that he'd completely forgotten. It was almost as neutral and unforgiving as Shin's own training, and Tenzan was certainly not that kind of teacher. The sparks that flew from the fireball's dispersal on impact was only a temporary relief; she'd blocked it, sure, but not enough to avoid being knocked for a loop.

"HITOMI! SHIT!" He sprinted over to her. "Are you okay?! I'm sorry, that wasn't supposed to happen..." He checked her over; she didn't seem to have lost anything permanently. Still, he couldn't really call himself relieved. That certainly wasn't enough to knock her out, but still... it was what Tenzan was most apprehensive about. Hitomi was no taijutsu student. He couldn't start here. No... he'd have to start from the fundamentals--the real fundamentals. No matter how much she hated him now, it was going to be worse.

"You're... ah... gonna have to wear your hair differently for a while." He clasped both his hands around the lit pigtail, putting it out... and then he laughed. It wasn't intentional. At first, it wasn't even noticeable. He sat back on his knees beside her. "I'm sorry, for real. I know it's not funny... but hey, you did block it, right? Good job...?" He covered his mouth. She was going to kill him.

Will of Fire
05-29-2015, 08:18 PM
That's what that smell is? MY HAIR!

Hitomi's jaw clenched with rage as her head popped up and she swept the singed locks out from between Tenzan's fingers. As she looked at the crumbling, smoking mess, she wanted to cry.

The teen desperately tried to keep it together, knowing that if it had been anyone else in the world, there would only have been a pile of bones and meat in the aftermath where Tenzan stood. With quick fingers, she swept the ties out of her hair, freeing the locks to fall naturally around her shoulders for a moment. Her head swiveled around to give her burly companion a stern, fiery glare, but she wordlessly braided all of it and twirled it back up to secure it in a surprisingly neat and orderly bun. She was obviously and vehemently trying to ignore the damage already done.

"I'd prefer if you'd just slip a blade between my ribs or something, if you're intent on killing me. You'd be..." The girl's words trailed off without further explanation.

...one of the few who could succeed.

Hitomi was angry at herself for being unable to fend off what was, in reality, a light blow. She'd spent so long dodging such dangers that she didn't know how to properly withstand physical assaults, as any other shinobi of her rank could. Deep down, she knew that Tenzan was trying to help her, but it was difficult to overcome the embarrassment of being so terribly ill-equipped to do so.

"Fuck it. Nevermind. You use ninjutsu on me, though, and I'm using it on you." The words were meant to be nonchalant, a signal that she was ready to go again. They came out, however, very much like the warning they were.

The kunoichi was ready to use the shield once more, but prepared also to actually defend herself this time around.

06-19-2015, 10:29 PM
"I'm not trying to kill you."

He did feel a little badly about his decision, but it was a little too late to walk it back now; the damage had been done and all he could do was apologize. Slowly but surely, Aramaki Tenzan was becoming less and less a friend and escort and more the taijutsu teacher. It was the easiest way to deal with his issues--to not deal. Rather, focusing on someone else's problems was the easier than most of his other options... and he could see plenty of issues.

"If I was trying to kill you," he said, moving forward at a rather casual pace, "you'd know." He raised a foot and threw a forward kick at Hitomi. This time, at least, Tenzan knew for certain that he could hold back, exerting just enough effort to attempt to move her even with the shield raised. That was largely the point he was trying to begin from--before using the shield as a weapon, using it as an actual shield would make for a decent foundation. He already knew that her core strength wasn't at all that of a taijutsu student at her age, but he wanted to see just how well--or poorly--she'd react to having an opponent in her face.

"No ninjutsu. I promise." To emphasize his point, Tenzan put both his hands behind his back. It wasn't the first time he'd done it; his grandfather had introduced him to footwork drills that involved not using the hands at all. He could, after all, still channel his Ryuujin-Fu abilities through his feet and legs, but there was no need for that.

Will of Fire
06-19-2015, 10:51 PM
Well, Hitomi thought she was ready to defend herself, anyway.

She was just about to give a stereotypically snarky response to Tenzan's justification of if he would or would not kill her in the midst of this training, but then a foot collided with the shield. To his credit, he was using an appropriate amount of force this time, though that didn't stop it from surprising her to some small degree and throwing off her tenuously-held balance.

The kunoichi half-stumbled back a step or two, but ultimately stayed on her feet. She hadn't sustained any damage that time, so it was, shockingly, a move in the right direction. Her brow furrowed as the Nara came to realize just how badly trained she was to handle close-range combat without falling back on ninjutsu or simply dodging out of the way. When she chose to stand her ground, she was nowhere near ready to deal with a full blow.

"This is gonna suck. I'm much better suited to sliding out of the way. I suppose that's not going to help me kick the crap out of anyone else like you want me to, though, huh?"

Ultimately, she needed to learn how to do this. Tenzan wasn't wrong. There could always be a time where the teen wouldn't have access to her chakra, and then she would be screwed once she ran out of things to throw. It was a possibility she'd chosen to conveniently ignore until now, but one she was finally willing to face.

Hitomi shifted her feet, sliding one back to act as something of an anchor to keep herself in place, and crouched a little lower. She squared her shoulders and adjusted her center of gravity. It felt strange, but she knew there would be a better chance of actually deflecting a blow this way. That's what this practice was for, she reminded herself. She had to get used to the feel of it to figure out how to make it work.

"You're awfully quiet. Any helpful hints there, sensei?" Hitomi grinned broadly. It had been quite a while since that term had been used.

07-02-2015, 09:49 PM
"Just shush and concentrate."

Tenzan did keep his hands behind his back. While Hitomi wasn't a taijutsu student, he knew she was smart enough to pick up on what he was doing. It wasn't as if it was complex or difficult mentally--he was gauging her footwork, where she was placing the shield, everything. He was pushing, but it wasn't at all at the level of when he launched a fireball at her. If anything, this was very tame. He paused in the middle of everything, on occasion, to correct her.

"Listen, you're not gonna stop a whole lot with that shield. I don't want you to block with it. I want you to try catching it and deflecting it instead. Takes some of the pressure off you and uses your opponent's momentum against him. Y'know, genin stuff." It was a simple enough principle, at least from where Tenzan was viewing things. It was a foundation; if Hitomi was less worried about being kicked or punched into oblivion, she'd be more than able to fight back. The last part of his statement didn't even register in his mind. It was the most casual, throwaway remark he could have made, and he didn't think on it beyond that.

"...what the hell made you want to use a shield as a weapon anyway," he asked, still moving forward and throwing fairly weighted but telegraphed kicks at the burnt-haired chuunin. "It's safer, sure, but do you really think you can attack me with that?"

It part curiosity, part challenge. He couldn't help but wonder out loud how she'd pull it off.

Will of Fire
07-03-2015, 09:40 AM
This was not at all fun. It wasn't so much that Hitomi had expected physical training to be enjoyable, but she had wrongly assumed that her sparring partner would avoid setting her on fire or insulting her as they worked. It seemed that she'd set the bar too high.

"So you hit me with a fireball and now you're telling me that I don't know as much as an average genin. Really? That's supposed to be motivation?" It was clear by her tone that the teen wasn't feeling particularly motivated at that moment. She was getting angry. "If you want to see why I'm a chuunin, just say so. I'd be fucking ecstatic to go back to what I do best."

Despite dwelling on the more insulting portion of what Tenzan had said, she did hear the first part of the commentary also. In the back of her mind somewhere, the kunoichi knew he was right and that deflecting was more important than a straight block. It was all a matter of convincing her body to go through the motions and make it happen efficiently. It was a slow process, but she reminded herself that she'd already improved somewhat since beginning this odd training a short time ago.

Hitomi was already adjusting and readjusting the grip and straps on the shield on occasion, trying to find that sweet spot where she could control it properly but slip her arm out in a hurry as the need arose. There was a reason she'd chosen to use a shield as her weapon of choice. This one was small and light enough to make the picture in her mind a possibility. When Tenzan asked if she really expected to use it for offense, she gave him a sharp glare.

There was always a plan.

The moment she was ready, the young Nara caught an incoming kick, and rather than stopping it completely, she allowed both of her hands to swing with it, then she used the shield to tilt shove it hard aside. Her fingers moved with lightning speed to lock her friend in place via the shadow for just the briefest of moments, long enough to stop his momentum and possibly throw off his balance. The kunoichi herself released him and slid back quickly, popping her arm out from the shield's grip, then flung it straight at him in one smooth motion.

It was far more awkward to throw a shield than a kunai, but the time she lacked in hand-to-hand combat training she more than made up for with distance target practice. She could throw. She could throw well.

OOC: Just a touch of dat Kage Mane.

07-04-2015, 11:00 PM
Tenzan didn't really mean it as an insult. In fact, it didn't even register to him that it might have been insulting until he saw the look Hitomi gave him.

"You never really struck me as the sort that needed motivation," he commented. It was true though; Hitomi had always seemed very self-assured and goal-oriented to him, in a weird, entropic way. She also didn't seem like the sort of person to quit on something she'd already decided on... It was one of the few reasons why he didn't feel like her asking for his help was a waste of his time. She'd make it work, one way or another. He was just curious as to how.

Questioning it earned him another withering look that made him hesitate for a second. It was brief and, from an outsider's perspective, barely worth noting, but it was a glare that Tenzan recognized. It was too late, by then, to back down, and when he threw out a kick, he could immediately tell she had already worked out how this would play out. She deflected the kick as he expected she eventually would, but the minute he tried to shift his weight backward, he couldn't move.

It didn't last long, but it threw off his internal timing. Instead of pulling his leg back, he nearly fell. He wasn't so inept that a brief interruption would make him lose his footing, but for a brief second, his concentration was on where he was standing. When he looked up a shield was flying at him, smacking him dead on in the forehead.

If the shield had a sharper edge, it could have gone much worse. As it stood, Tenzan was pushed completely off balance and landed on his behind, the shield flying back at her.

"...! WHAT THE HELL?!" Tenzan glared at Hitomi, his left hand moving up to check his injury. His hitai-ate actually did its job, but it wasn't as if he didn't feel the impact. "You said no ninjutsu!" He wasn't sure whether it was genuine anger or just plain embarrassment that had him yelling--but then, it wasn't as if he had put that much thought or foresight into it to begin with.

Will of Fire
07-12-2015, 06:59 AM
There was no telling what she truly had expected to happen, but her widened eyes and fallen jaw suggested that this had not been it. Hitomi managed to take hold of the shield once more as it clumsily wobbled its way back in her direction, but she wasn't paying it much attention. There was indeed a small fraction of satisfaction lingering in the back of her mind somewhere after having landed an unexpected hit, but she suddenly felt horrible for having done it.

For a split second, the kunoichi thought that she might have actually injured her partner. There were very few people who had the ability to stir that sort of dread in her, but apparently Tenzan was one of them. Somehow she'd expected that he'd duck below the shield (the attack he'd asked for, of course), but she'd thrown him off. Good for enemies, bad for Tenzan.

The teen's face turned thoroughly bright red when she realized she'd already thrown her arms around him in apology. It was only then that she'd noticed the shield discarded in the rocky dirt nearby. Without even thinking, she'd dropped down and hugged him, thankful that he was okay.

Hitomi shot up like a lightning bolt and stomped away, back to pick up the shield. She was irritated with herself for acting like a lunatic, or at least, that's how it felt, and she didn't quite understand it. After a moment spent fumbling with the straps on the shield and decidedly not looking at Tenzan, the kunoichi finally answered him.

"It was only a little. Most people wouldn't have realized it. You asked how I was going to attack with the shield, didn't you? It wouldn't have made sense if I just explained it."

She still wasn't looking him in the face. She cleared her throat uncomfortably and silently wished for a hole to appear where she could hide until the end of eternity.

"Oh, and thanks for telling me that I suck... just for funsies, apparently, if it wasn't motivation.Super awesome."

07-17-2015, 05:15 PM
"I didn't mean..." Tenzan sat up, removing his hitai-ate. It wasn't anything close to a life-threatening injury, but not expecting the blow had him a bit rattled--more in a mental capacity than a physical one, but still. "...alright. You've made your point."

"I don't know why you even asked me. You're smarter than just about any of my students back in Konoha, and I obviously can't teach you the same way. And then there's the fact that I don't really do weapons... I don't get what you want from me."

Tenzan was annoyed. Not necessarily at Hitomi, but at the situation forming between them. He felt like he had no idea what he was doing. Falling back on old habits wasn't helping, and the only person he could ask was gone. All he could do was swallow his hurt and confusion, and it was starting to make him nauseous. He couldn't even vent in his usual manner, leaving him at a complete and total loss. He didn't know how to deal.

He stood up, his hitai-ate clutched in his right hand. "Maybe we should call it a day for now... Sorry."

Tenzan wasn't exactly a heavy drinker--at least, he hadn't been in quite some time. Now, he just wanted to forget the past few months altogether, even if it was for a few moments. He needed to be not sober and alone to either figure things out or... well, not. At least until tomorrow. And since he couldn't just punch and burn his frustrations away, drinking was probably the next safest alternative. He turned to head back into the marketplace, opting not to say anything else. Instead, he just tied his hitai-ate back on his forehead, slightly wincing at the bruise it was covering.