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Old 04-15-2018, 02:04 PM   #1
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Perhaps the quietest time on Academy grounds was between class years.

Aramaki Tenzan had noticed the subtle shift in the mindsets of Academy students. It wasn't that they were bad, but fewer of them used the Academy grounds to train even after they had become genin. It wasn't that they weren't training, of course; on the contrary, they were simply doing it elsewhere. He couldn't REALLY blame them, however. Training at home was, after all, a viable option for him, but he liked hanging around the Academy just in case students, past pr present, needed him.

On the flip side of that, however... he couldn't stand to be at home. It had been months, but everything reminded him of Shin. He couldn't stand it. He couldn't concentrate when he was at home, at least not as far as his training went. He was prepared for it; he knew it would happen. Somehow, he still wasn't ready.

Sometime's it's okay to not be okay.

His mother, for all her own physical ailments, tried to make him feel better. Above all else, he knew he couldn't--and shouldn't--rush anything. He had a goal. He had his ambition. Now he had to make that a reality, no matter what emotional state he was in.

Tenzan sat atop one of the larger training pillars, cross-legged, quietly cycling through handsigns. For someone who specialized in physical combat, it was almost uncharacteristic for him to practice focusing and channeling his chakra, but that was where the burly chuunin found himself.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:37 PM   #2
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OOC: Blah blah blah for personal timeline purposes taking place before Celestial Fist II.

When nothing made sense there was always one thing that did...

Getting stronger.


The international shinobi man of mystery that was Sanada Sanshiro permanently aka'd as The Fist walked through the academy with a degree of measure and reticence that seemed atypical of his demeanor and persona. The weight of the task ahead of him seemed to cause his very movement to become sluggish and gravity itself responded to the conflict in his spirit. The task ahead of him was tremendous and although there was brief comfort in being home...

He knew that it was just that, brief. He always did shit the hard way--outta stubbornness or ego.

Masakage...that's where it all started for the clan.

Here is where it all started for me.


It seemed to be a different lifetime when he was a young scrappy academy student speaking in his own slang trying to be what he thought a shinobi should be. Life had humbled him. Battle had tempered his flame and formed him like steel--whatever misconceptions hidden away in lisps and slang had been stripped away. He was both The Fist and Sanshiro and all the complications that came with that.

In his early years his personal confidence and defiant self assured nature had made him a pariah among his clan mates and while still an island unto himself at the academy it was success that ultimately had lead to him finally being embraced by something bigger than himself. Konohagakure, even then, had been the ultimate meritocracy and Fist's skill had more than made up for any deficiency his mind may have produced.

So, yeah, the academy and it's training ground held a special place for his heart.

Not wearing his trademark hoodie but instead an open white jacket with a tower insignia on his back, a trademark to his samurai sensei Jun'ko known as The Tower or the Iron Maiden depending on her mood. The pure white gi pants made way to his trademark green sneakers--some things just didn't change...like the big ass aviator sunglasses on his face or the second and third pair hidden in his breast pocket.

He was taken out of his zone by a familiar face at the training ground, meditating on a pillar in all his gigantic and muscular glory. Rival, comrade, sometimes friend...but peer. It had been so long since Sanshiro had seen someone familiar with his own life that was not his family that he felt a pang of familiarity and friendliness overcome him that was usually absent in his interactions with this particular individual...

Gah! I know I haven't been home awhile when seeing Tenzan is getting me all emotional and shit! Pull it together Fist! Damn it!

Fist looked up towards Aramaki Tenzan and smiled nervously before speaking in his normal boisterous Labrador-in-a-Cupboard-Full-of-Ham style of speech.

"Tenzan!", he waved, "Or is it Aramaki-sensei 'round these parts? I dunno, y'know etiquette ain't ever been my strong suit--prolly why I feel so good about interrupting you and what not!"

He giggled to himself but then got deathly serious as if he just realized something as he spoke it.

"Condolences by the way, for your grandfather...shit sucks."
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Yeah, I stunt, but I’m a li’l more realer
When it come from the heart, don’t it feel mo’ iller?
Watch my flow go bananas, I’m a li’l gorilla
So pardon me, man, y’all gon’ have to pardon me



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Old 04-15-2018, 04:58 PM   #3
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Tenzan's eyes were closed as he cycled through his handsigns. It was an exercise he often took for granted, outlined in some of the materials left behind his late grandfather.

Chakra control is about balance. You're in good physical shape but spiritually... you lack focus. You can't just punch your way through everything.

How many times, Tenzan wondered, did he hear that and simply not listen? Too many to count. Since he had started doing it more often, it felt... different. It felt less like fighting a current and more like being carried by it.

He heard Sanshiro's approach and opened his eyes long before the other chuunin spoke. Really, he was the last person Tenzan expected to see there. In fact, he couldn't remember the last time he'd seen him. He had... issues with the Sanada clan, particularly with Seijuro. Still, "The Fist" was unlike virtually anyone in his family. It made it difficult to ACTUALLY hate the guy, despite their shared history.

"...'shit sucks'. Hm. Thanks." Tenzan knew from experience that Sanshiro wasn't the most socially nuanced person in the world. To be perfectly fair. neither was he. The Fist literally spoke in his own language, and Tenzan had known him long enough to be able to decipher his unique mannerisms. If anyone else had said what Sanshiro had said, he wasn't sure he would have taken it the same way. From him., it was condolences. Sanshiro was nothing if not sincere.

"But no, just Tenzan is fine. I'm not YOUR sensei after all. Unless you came to get some pointers or something?" Tenzan smiled, half joking. He leaned forward a bit, both his hands on his knees. "Where have you been anyway? Hadn't seen or heard from you in a while.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:49 PM   #4
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Be careful Sanshiro...you sound like an idiot.

That should be comforting then, shouldn't it? Same as you ever were.


Fist looked at Tenzan with a discerning glance before closing his own eyes and using his aviator sunglasses to retreat into his own mind.

Where had he been?

It had seemed like a lifetime ago since he had last interacted with Tenzan, soon Sanshiro found his hand on the hilt of his sword--a newly purchased plain jane steel katana. Pristine and sharp. Clean and precise. The exact opposite of it's owner...it was learning sword play under the foot of a samurai that had caused him to leap forward last and when Tenzan asked what he had been up too...it was hard to not begin a 1000 word rant on his last few months.

"Well, reason how I heard about your grandpops was actually because before the mission office shut down...I got promoted to Jounin," Sanshiro looked at his sword with a degree of wistfulness, "It's the nature of our ilk, ain't it? Success and death, celebration and grief tied to one another no matter what we do or how strong or powerful we become."

That was part of Leaf culture, wasn't it? Passing of the flame--one generation of Jounin places down their fire to make way for a new one. Tenzan's granddad hadn't been a part of Fist's but it was hard for Sanshiro to not see the path in front of him as one that could mirror the Aramaki Patriarch.

Tenzan, as said before, was a peer and a colleague, a very close "friend" to his surrogate little sister Nara Hitomi.

He hadn't sought Tenzan but he was very much obligated to pay respects when interacting with him.

He reached in his pocket and lit up a cigarette with a snap of his fingers.

"Worked with a Sand-Nin, traveled a bit to Iron and River, dabbled with foreign jutsu on foreign soil...been busy, but you know how it is, right? Glad I got a hold of you, been meaning to talk and pay my respects but also...move forward. The only way I've ever known how, ya dig?", Sanshiro said offering an olive branch, "We've always been like minded in that regard and shit, you and I..."

He took a deep drag of his cigarette.

"Don't much make sense to me outside of getting better at punching things, simple minded as that may be," the seventeen year old smiled cryptically, "You disagree?"
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Yeah, I stunt, but I’m a li’l more realer
When it come from the heart, don’t it feel mo’ iller?
Watch my flow go bananas, I’m a li’l gorilla
So pardon me, man, y’all gon’ have to pardon me



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Old 04-15-2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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"Ah right! You're a big shot jounin now. Congratulations on the promotion!" Tenzan actually meant it; a year or so ago, he would have questioned the very foundation of Hidden Leaf for even considering such a thing. At this point, he was working more closely with the brass and, though he hadn't been promoted himself, he knew he wasn't ready--not in the way he wanted to be. Before, he would have chalked it up to Fist being a 'spoiled clan kid'.

Tenzan had definitely matured some.

"Sounds like you've been getting around."
Tenzan didn't mention his trip to Earth or Snow; it felt unnecessary and he was sure if Sanshiro wanted to know, he'd ask. He hopped down from the wooden pillar he'd been sitting on and stretched his arms above his head. "I usually tell my students that taijutsu more than just punching people but... I'd say I've gotten better at it, sure. I did wonder about that with you though... what with the sword and all."

In truth, Tenzan wasn't against weapons, at least not as far as others using them. He knew enough to teach the basics of most common ones, and there was a point where he had even helped Hitomi out with the use of a shield--a weird choice but he wasn't about to tell her that. Tenzan himself didn't use weapons though because anything larger than a kunai seemed like a huge hassle. Of course... that wasn't going to stop him from the jesting implication that the blade meant that the Fist had gone soft.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
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It was Fist's turn to laugh as he sheathed blade with a flourish...

"I did some training with a samurai recently," he offered, "They tend to believe that the sword is an extension of the arm. I dunno if I believe it and shit, but it helps to be versatile, y'know? Took me seventeen years to pick up a weapon--still feels weird sometimes if I'm honest."

He stared at Tenzan with an added skepticism but he embraced that as a fact--the big burly Academy Instructor was moving differently. He was normally a hurricane of force and fountain of strength unbothered and unbound. His taijutsu style was relentless and his dedication was undeniable...but Tenzan was moving with a certain poise and calm. It resembled a monk's calm or at least the shadows of it.

Sanshiro couldn't place where it had come from and what if any effect it had on the Chuunin in front of him.

"Forgive me for saying it Aramaki," Fist began with too much familiarity, "But you're movin' a bit different and I can't put my fist as the reason...but I hypothesize, with my big shot Jounin brain of course, that I ain't the only one pickin' up foreign jutsu in foreign lands and shit. What trouble you been gettin' into?"

He grinned to himself--it was foolish to think that his promotion would simply cause all his competition to stop and make way for him. He hadn't for Kiyoko. Tenzan wouldn't for him. The will of fire...

It was enough to age the Sanada prodigy decades and made him feel more than a little homesick.

"Last time I saw you, like I said, forgive me because I know times are sensitive, but I'm tryin' to be honest with you and shit--last time I saw you, I thought your fists were dull...I don't think I can say that now."

He placed both his hands in his pockets and walked away from the Aramaki Chuunin with his back turned.

"What changed? How are you keepin' your poise and shit?"
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Yeah, I stunt, but I’m a li’l more realer
When it come from the heart, don’t it feel mo’ iller?
Watch my flow go bananas, I’m a li’l gorilla
So pardon me, man, y’all gon’ have to pardon me



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Old 04-15-2018, 08:08 PM   #7
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Tenzan couldn't lie; it actually felt nice that Sanshiro noticed a difference after theyhadn't seen each other in so long. That said, he could dell there was something different about the other chuunin as well; a lot had happened, and going into great length about it would probably have taken hours.

"Truth be told, most people have been preventing me from getting INTO trouble. Spent some time in Earth Country; kinda stumbled into a whole thing with that..." That was a long story. In exchange for keeping merchants in both Fire and Earth Country in business, the Tsuchikage had allowed him to train in one of their taijutsu styles. Incorporating it into his own had been difficult, but he was slowly starting to connect things.

He couldn't even feel completely insulted by the comment about his fists being 'dull'. His brow furrowed as a purely visceral reaction, but it wasn't as if he could deny it. Al he was doing was swinging. His only emotion behind it was a rage he didn't really make the effort to understand. "Dull. Huh. I guess that's one way to put it. But I guess you can tell I'm not the same guy I was back then. It's kinda hard to explain without going into boring detail. But hey, since we're here... I could always show you."

Tenzan had always considered what would happen if he fought Sanada Sanshiro again. The first and only time was easily the longest hour of his life. Frustrated, Tenzan opened the first Celestial Gate and still lost, due in part to wielding a jutsu he was unfamiliar with. It was more than stupid. It was childish. Right here and now, there were no real stakes, no real audience. However, there was absolutely a point. Tenzan needed to know how far he'd come. 'Winning' wasn't even the point, and it felt amazing to be free of that self-imposed burden.

"I mean, if you're not to busy to show off some of those fancy jounin moves," he added.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:34 PM   #8
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"Well, if we're both being honest and truthful," The Fist returned Tenzan's offer to a friendly bout with a raised eyebrow and a playful grin, "There's nothing I'd honestly like to do more than show off my fancy schmancy Jounin moves."

He stopped walking away, now about ten or so feet away from Tenzan. There was a history among the two teenage boys that went back nearly five years and in many ways they were both parallels to the other. Tenzan's family had never had Fist's family's powerful kekkei gekkai but what they lacked in bloodline weirdness they more for made up for in skill and respect. In many ways Fist and Tenzan were two sides of the same coin--bloodline clan versus respected shinobi family, prodigial talent versus undeniable determination.

With the providence and fortune to be born in the same shinobi village...

The two teenagers had been placed on each other's paths long before they dueled in the Chuunin Exam arena. Fate and time had a way of bringing back familiar roads and road signs when they needed to be revealed the most...

And so at the precipice of a journey to Spirit Island to fight Bijuu the skilled Jounin of Konoha did the only reasonable thing.

He agreed to spar his old friend and rival competitor.

What's my age again? Seventeen or seven?

Who am I kidding...

This is exactly what the doctor ordered.


Fist's posture and demeanor shifted very quickly, this was a Jounin of Konoha after all and Fist had been bred and molded by combat from a very young age. He bent his knees slightly and raised both his fists directly below his mouth in a traditional peek-a-boo stance that seemed as natural as walking. The Sanada was a monster, shinobi born and shinobi bred. It went without saying that fighting was second nature...

"This a rematch from then, right? Don't think we fought after the Chuunin Exams...", Fist drifted, "The fight got a little dangerous and shit from what I remember."

He launched towards Tenzan, exploding with speed with a burst of strength coming from his knees to launch him towards the Chuunin.

"Ain't a ref around this time, so maybe we should be adults and play it safe...."

Sanshiro lead with a left jab but that was as much punch as it was flash bang turned feint--the true attack was the vicious right hook he had coming towards Tenzan's ribs meant to both knock his opponent into the air.

And knock the air out of him.

"Naaaaaaaaah!"

He giggled and chuckled like a donkey that got into a batch of helium.

It made him look like a totally calm, cool and collected professional.
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Leaf & Grass Lieutenant



Yeah, I stunt, but I’m a li’l more realer
When it come from the heart, don’t it feel mo’ iller?
Watch my flow go bananas, I’m a li’l gorilla
So pardon me, man, y’all gon’ have to pardon me




Last edited by Bukowski; 04-15-2018 at 08:45 PM..
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:23 PM   #9
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Five years ago, Tenzan had no idea how dangerous the Celestial Gates really were, let alone the Aramaki style of their use. Even now, most people really had no idea what it was capable of doing because there were so few practitioners of it. At the time, Tenzan went absolutely berserk; in a real combat situation, seconds can stretch for what could feel like whole minutes, and all Tenzan really remembered of it was feeling as if he was burning from the inside.

"I dunno if I'd call it a rematch exactly... I mean, we could use ninjutsu for the exams. I don't think we need to go that far." Back then, he simply didn't have the chakra control for all that. Now things were different, but that still wasn't his primary focus.

Right away, it was obvious that everything about Tenzan was different. He extended his left halfway out in front of him as he settled into a combat stance; his hands weren't tightly clenched, but loose. As Fist came charging at him, Tenzan could definitely see that he was a lot faster than he remembered.

His eyes narrowed a bit as Fist moved into his range and his right hand tensed, preparing to parry the jab that never came. Instead, Tenzan stepped forward and dropped his right elbot toward his hip; Fist's hook caught him squarely in the forearm. It took some concentration for him not o give any immediate visual cue as to how much it hurt, but by stepping into the blow, he put himself in a much better position.

"...in that case.."

In a single fluid motion, Tenzan's right dropped from chin to his chest, gathering embers quickly igniting to a full flame covering his entire right hand. In the same movement he thrust that burning right at Fist's jaw.

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Old 04-15-2018, 09:49 PM   #10
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"You don't wanna go that far? I thought that this was about my fancy schamncy Joun--"

Tenzan, perhaps instinctively, shut up Sanshiro one of the best ways historically to do so--putting a flaming hand to his mouth. While Tenzan had managed to absorb and defer most of the power of Sanshiro's blow--that was as much a function of Sanshiro holding back and not utilizing the powers of Seido Kobushi as much as it was him underestimating Tenzan. Under normal circumstances one blow from his fist would've likely burst the very bone in Aramaki's forearm.

This was a friendly spar however and Tenzan more so than most knew that Fist could take care of himself.

The Jounin recoiled at the display of Ryuujin-Fu the open strike landing flush onto his face and singing his skin to the point that it clearly scarred and burned his lips. Quickly, inhumanely, the chakra of the Celestial Body focused itself and healed the wounds issued by the Chuunin.

Fist cracked his neck and smiled, separating from Tenzan with a backwards leap and bringing out the katana with a similar flourish. His stance was...awkward if Tenzan would take the time to look at it. A mock and bastardized version of the famous Samurai style Senryaku-Do, but it was clear to any trained taijutsu specialist that this was more akin to someone pretending to be a master of a style than having actual mastery. He made a large show of raising the blade up to his face and into Tenzan's line of sight. He knew what he was doing...bringing a weapon into a spar was a sure fire way to bring the attention of the opponent unto the weapon. That was the goal though, wasn't it? Fist's skill in the sword did not lie in the steel.

Fist's true sword training lied in illusion.

"No Ninjutsu, just taijutsu--home court sets the rules, of course and shit," he grinned as a raven landing on his shoulder and then another and then another before soon the Sanada was lost in a sea of birds, a cloud of crows, "Just remember Aramaki, I've never been one to color in the lines. My Ninjutsu is my Taijutsu...let's see how far you've come. That's why we doin' this, right?"

The birds launched themselves towards Tenzan and hidden among them and a cloud of illusion was The Fist, Sanada Sanshiro. Twenty-Four slices with his sword would be coming Tenzan's way with a quick flurry.

Let's see if your mind is as strong as your body Tenzan.

OOC: Court the Devil, max duration 3 posts. Trigger is seeing the sword. 1 superficial cut can be inflicted per willpower, Fist got 24.
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Leaf & Grass Lieutenant



Yeah, I stunt, but I’m a li’l more realer
When it come from the heart, don’t it feel mo’ iller?
Watch my flow go bananas, I’m a li’l gorilla
So pardon me, man, y’all gon’ have to pardon me



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