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Old 01-20-2013, 02:53 AM   #1
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Default A Waltz for Sadao

In habit and lifestyle, Renchishin Hitoko’s training methods could be a bit excessive.


In a valley caked by cracked mountain tops that spiked skyward, as well as a light screen of gray cloud coverage creating a horizontal layer of stratus beneath the sun, the Renchishin warrior could be found. Stationary in the nook of an opened passage way cavern’d at the outskirts of Sunagakure, Hitoko’s daily training regime was moreso odder than anything else. Standing at the pinnacle of a rock formation with legs rooted and knees significantly bent, the SHINRAI holstered a great weight on his shoulders. Palms outstretched and leveled near his head, this dreadlocked warrior balanced a rather large boulder that looked to be at least two to three times his own size. A serene swipe of wind breezed by this squatted Jounin, all whom remained as quiet and peaceful as a Buddhist statue amidst the strain of the hefty stone.

But as tranquil as he looked, the Renchishin’s mind was ablaze in thought.

Between the rebuilding of his Clan grounds after the jailbreak incident, the coming of age thought process resurrecting his jovial demeanor with the acceptance of his cousin’s death, mastery of the Ekitai-Kenfu, the various missions he and Hashimoto Daisuke acquired, alongside the new apprenticeship Hakkenshi Yoshi took on to Taijutsu, Hitoko could never find the time to fully relax. Though such was the life of a SHINRAI, this baby-faced martial artist found his thoughts wandering to the distant memories of his life. Such as his Jounin instructor as a mere Genin—

Chizuro-Masurao Izumiko.

—A woman of unfathomable prestige who guided him through most of his early taijutsu training. They habitually did training like this together. He hadn’t heard from her in years; maybe that’d have to change, soon. That’s what this training was for, a rather primitive method of strength and endurance exercise often utilized in the Rittaisen rhetoric. These static postures punctuated the notion of one aligning distinct isometric pressure in order to maintain a proper stance when embracing incoming attacks. Such as the furinkazan tattoo on his cheek dictated, have a defense as undefeatable as a mountain.

The boulder? The boulder was akin to monks meditating under a waterfall. The focus wasn’t the tool of the trade, but moreso the focus of one’s mind during such methods. Though scattered thoughts fazed into a single streamline of conscious, there was something that’d been nagging Hitoko since he woke up in the morning. There was something he’d been assigned to do, someone he was assigned to meet today, but he couldn’t remember who and where for the life of him – or even if said meeting was today. So like a Genin shrugging off some responsibilities, Hitoko chalked it up to not being an emergency due to his incapability to commit it to memory.

And that’s why he decided to relax, boulder perched on head beneath the Sunagakure sky.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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There was a potential for the Genin to end up on a team. This team was led by another clan member, the fabled Renchishin Hitoko. Sadao didn’t know anyone else that would be on the team, but a message was sent out to the boy to meet his future sensei for a bit of pre-team training so that the Jounin could feel out what exactly he would be dealing with.

The Tsuriau found himself making his way to the training arena with his hands in the pockets of his jacket. His wrist blades were attached but he wasn’t even sure if he were to be using them. This was supposed to be primarily taijutsu training but his style wasn’t exactly spar friendly. He supposed that his strikes could be substituted for the blades but somehow it didn’t seem like it was enough.

Once the Genin got to the arena, his eyes slowly, casually glanced around trying to find his sensei but there was no sign of him. Maybe Hitoko was simply busy…he was a Jounin…a SHINRAI at that. He might have had something come up at the last minute but surely he’d at least leave a message.

It was a bit later and still no sign of the Jounin or anything. The Genin left the arena in hopes to find the man. He’d seen Hitoko before….who in Sunagakure hasn’t? Sadao knew who he was looking for. Dark brown eyes were scouring the streets for the braided hair man.

The scouring of the village came to nothing but he did manage to ask around if anyone had seen the Renchishen. It was rumored that he walked into a valley early in the morning and no one had seen him leave so Sadao began to walk his way through the valley, his hand moving from his pocket to cover his eyes while he walked.

Finally at the end of valley, Hitoko came into view, a boulder on his shoulders. Sadao took a deep breath before walking just within the small clearing and bowing slightly.

”Renshinchin-sensei. I am Tsuraiu Sadao. I was assigned to your tutelage today.”
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Wha—!?

The boulder almost crushed him.

Chocolate ears lifted to the tune of sandal dressed soles that crunched against smoothed stretches of gray sand adorning the valley whose ground-level span took on the artistic nature of a Zen Garden. The unthreatening nature of the approaching aura kept the SHINRAI’s eyes closed and mind focused, but when the mass of human energy halted to speak, it truly threw him off his game. Tsuraiu Sadao, relative to the SUNA Soldier Tsuriau Sakuyuu, he presumed. It wasn’t often that a member of a bloodline clan paid him a visit, though he always welcomed them to sit and chat. Truth of the matter was, once Sadao began the second half of his sentence, all the gears occupying the Renchishin’s mind clicked.

And that’s why the boulder almost crushed him.

Straightening his back and lifting from the legs, Hitoko synchronized his whole body to throw the larger boulder out of his hands. It cut a sleek path in the air before embedding itself, sort of awkwardly, right next to the sandy blonde haired Genin. This was accompanied by an embarrassed grin that overtook the Renchishin’s face as he shadowed the boulder, bare-feet curling on the rock as he perched himself at its slant. Squatting low with an elbow upon one knee, his other hand scratched the back of his head as a nervous chuckle broke free from his belly:

Uh, ohhh, forgive me Sadao-san.

Smiling in full bloom, his chuckle became greater:

I’d honestly forgotten about our assigned meeting today!

Now he’d have to adapt on the fly.

There weren’t many times that Hitoko wore a thin-material gi too often, with his right arm wrapped completely in training bandages, his battle scars shined under the sun. Crossing his arms before his chest with an inquisitive look sprawling over his face – with the ringlet of eyebrows and crescent of mouth – one ruby hued iris peered at Sadao as the Renchishin mentally multi-tasked.

How about a short introduction, yeah? I’d ask about your age, rank and techniques but,” He stuck out his tongue in a teasing manner, tapping the side of his forehead with one hand before continuing, “I have a mild-case of Eidetic memory, plus I’ve read your files so some of it is coming back to me—

As cheerful as he was, sometimes his introductions could be weird.

—How about your hobbies? Or dreams for the future? And more importantly…

The smile became brighter

How efficient is your taijutsu, Onken-kun?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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The boulder lowered a little and the Genin found himself slightly concerned for the SHINRAI that had decided to meditate while holding a giant boulder. Of course Sadao didn’t make a move, even if the man were to get crushed what would the boy do? There was little thought in his mind that he’d be able to move the rock, save to maybe push it off of the Renchishin. But instead of crushing him, Hitoko managed to launch it towards the boy who didn’t move an inch. Sure he was a little worried but there was no way that Sand would put him in the care of a man that would carelessly squish his pupils.

Instead dark eyes followed the boulder and the man that followed, looking up towards Hitoko as he emerged over the top of it. Despite forgetting about the meeting, the grin that had graced the lips of the man almost made it insignificant. Surely if a man like this had forgotten about a meeting that meant he had more important things on his mind which wouldn’t be a surprise. There were so many different things going on in Sunagakure that remembering every little meeting would become even a burden.

Queue question time now as Sadao was asked to introduce himself. Of course Hitoko wasn’t looking for the basic answers as he already knew. But there were more thought provoking questions, ended by one about his taijutsu. It was closed with him being referred to by his choice of style.

”My taijutsu was among the top of my class, Renchishin-sempai. Though against one that ranks as high as you it would be near ineffective. I tend to rely on my bloodline powers to enhance my taijutsu and it is near impossible for me to synchronize with someone of your power.”

Was he still waiting for answers for the other questions? Really he didn’t know the answers that the Jounin was looking for so perhaps just letting it just flow by would be okay.

”As for your other questions, I do not yet know the answers. I still have a lot of self-finding to do. One thing I do know is that I want to be a great warrior and asset for Sunagakure.”

It would have been rude to just let the questions go, but these were the only answers that Sadao would be able to manage in a short time.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:47 AM   #5
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This was a good start.

The boy was humble, a rarity in this age when it came to the Genin he’s come across. Fixating crossed arms before his chest, Hitoko managed to slip a jittery right hand upon the bottom of his chin. Stroking the non-existence whiskers of his face as Sadao spoke, the Renchishin kept an attentive ear open while analyzing the method the boy took to answer. Of course, like most things he did, the SHINRAI hadn’t compromised his thoughts with body language. Instead, that big gleaming grin stayed consistent on his baby face, bare feet curving upon the gray sand warming the Jounin’s feet.

No need to be so humbling, Sadao-kun.

Like an elder martial arts master, the Renchishin’s eyes closed into two mischievous lines upon his face as his fingers continued to fondle his would be epic beard in elongated glides of his hand. Letting an arm slip behind his back, the crunch of sand lifted from below as he paced back and forth:

Even the greatest warriors in the history of Sunagakure began as mere Academy Students. It’s always about forward progression, you see, building a legacy of yourself through your weaknesses,” At this point one could tell that he was really getting into the role, voice mimicking the cadence of older folk, “Though at your age I was a Chuunin with no social life, hard work is all that’s needed to become an asset of this village.”

Pivoting on the balls of his feet, the dreadlocked shinobi halted and faced his blonde haired visitor.

You still have time on your hands to figure yourself out, Sadao-kun. No rush, ya’know?

Akin to a simple child with an endless supply of good energy that masks their thorough wealth of wisdom, Hitoko’s pearl hued teeth continued to glisten under the sunlight. The biggest asset of giving advice such as that was the fact that it always gave the warrior time to think in between the phrases. As stated before—

—I forgot about our assigned meeting today, but I think I’ve got a training exercise you can indulge in.

Relief washed over his voice as he knelt down, chocolate fingertips scanning beneath the grains of gray sand below. Like a fishermen, Hitoko plucked a couple of flat surfaced stones from its depth before smiling toward Sadao.

Find some rocks and follow me, all right? Oh! And also—

Also?

How is Sakuyuu-san?

His tone became softer, yet curious.

...It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from him.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Sadao nodded slowly towards Hitoko as he listened to what the elder man had to say. What started off as encouraging only ended in a slight shot, but with the way that the Jounin looked, nothing like that was the intent. He wasn’t abnormally old for his rank, and that’s not to say that he wasn’t on the cusp of Chuunin hood. But the Shinrai had made a point. The Genin still had a lot of time to figure out what exactly it was that he wanted to do.

Hitoko definitely had a lot of energy which was something to say for someone who had seen as much as the man did. It was by no means a bad quality…no it was quite the opposite. It was a tool that could be used to motivate his companions because that energy was radiating. Even though the Jounin had clearly stated that he had forgotten about their meeting, it almost seemed like everything was going as planned though nothing was.

The Renchishin soon began to sift through the sand and dirt beneath his feet, picking up a few rocks and Sadao was instructed to do the same. Carefully the Genin bent down and began to examine through the rocks. The issue with this task was he didn’t know exactly what the rocks were going to be for. So he gathered a few rocks, all with different qualities. One was flat and smooth, another one was jagged and sharp. All in all, the rocks that were picked up were able to perform different things, along a wide spectrum for whatever it was that Hitoko planned for the two of them.

Soon though there was a change in tone from the man. No longer jovial and energetic, there was an inquisitive yet concerned voice.

”Oh, Sakuyuu-san. He’s well. He’s been really busy though. I haven’t seen a lot of him myself, with my training and him doing whatever it is he was assigned. But his family says he’s well and I have no reason not to believe them.”
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Oh,” Relief was in his voice, “That’s good to know.

His hands continued to shuffle in the sand, removing stones he thought were the most adequate for the exercise. There was a moment of solidarity between the two, which was punctuated by the silence that ensued as the Renchishin gathered the stones and also his thoughts. Slipping a finger between the fabric of his gi’s belt, Hitoko brought out a small handkerchief he’d been carrying and handed it to Sadao. There was something that the SHINRAI planned to do today, so it looked like the Genin would be brought along during this short errand.

Here you are, Sadao-kun, this’ll make things much easier for the rest of our journey.

For something so unexpected, Hitoko looked to be readily prepared.

Another handkerchief was produced from the belt, where the chocolate-skinned warrior began to bag the stones up within the stomach of the cloth. Tying it into a quick knot – as well as hooking an index finger through the opened hole – he slung the small rag over his shoulder and motioned for the Genin to follow behind him. They’d begin to walk through the valley filled by different rock formations and jagged mountains, traveling further into the outskirts of Sunagakure.

Truth be told, the last time I saw Sakuyuu-san was during our mission to capture the mercenary Asuko,” he kept his eyes on the scenery as he walked, swiping smaller stones from the area when he found appropriate, “…and considering the current condition of Sunagakure as a whole, I never got the chance to speak to him about the jail break incident

Especially considering how much of a train wreck that mission was. At that time, Hitoko’s rage was at an all time high, which unbalanced his mind and moves as a martial artist. But since Sakuyuu wasn’t around, the next best thing would be to ask a member of their bloodline the same question he asked his medic Yoshi a few weeks ago.

I’m curious to know, Sadao-kun. How is your stability doing after that incident?

They’d continue to walk and chat.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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Sadao looked towards Hitoko and took the handkerchief that was handed to him and placed the rocks inside of it. It was then balled up carefully before he tucked one end underneath the rest to keep it from coming open. He then began to follow the Jounin through the rocky valley as his eyes took the time to take in his surroundings. This was definitely a strange place, a place he’d never been. The Genin now found his mind wandering about what the two of them were going to be doing out here.

As the two of them walked, Hitoko began to talk about Sakuyuu and the Genin simply nodded. His uncle was a good man…that was for sure. He didn’t realize the connection that the two Jounin had. It was kind of strange. But soon there was a question directed towards the Genin and slow, meek eyes looked towards the man before looking to the ground while walking.

”Me? I mean…Sakuyuu protected the clan, so I’m aright. It just…hurts to know that I wasn’t able to help more.”

His eyes soon went off into the distance, thinking about the entire situation. He wasn’t able to do anything during the jailbreak and could only stay back and watch as his Uncle protected everyone. This actually caused a soft sigh to escape his lips.

”But that’s why I need to get strong. That’s why I wanted to come find you and train under you. I’ve heard great things about you from Sakuyuu-san. He has nothing but good things to say about you. So I asked him to arrange it that I could train under you, at least once if not more than that.”

The Genin looked towards the Jounin once more before looking around to examine his new surroundings.

”Also, I’m sorry about your loss through the academy fiasco.”
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:48 PM   #9
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No matter how long it’s been; hearing it is always weird.

A wave of memories washed over the Renchishin’s mind once he heard Sadao’s last statement. This combined with everything else happening within the Renchishin household served as a constant reminded to why Hitoko had to keep up his good spirits. Bare feet crunched against the gray grains of sand below, which began a slow transition into color as the two continued along the cavern’s narrow pathway. With a humbled smile encompassing the span of his face, the ruby eyed SHINRAI turned his head so that he could look at Sadao as they progressed onward.

Thank you, your words are appreciated.

With a Buddhist intake of air, Hitoko sighed:

It’s a hard pill to swallow – the whole concept of people passing away, that is,” Letting his gaze fixate in front of himself, it seemed as if the walls of this path were getting smaller as they walked, “but it’s always a reminder for those who are alive, ya’know? It solidifies our resolve and responsibility to keep their memories alive—

His free hand swept over the second hitai-ate he wore, which hung from his belt at all times. It was actually the headband of his deceased cousin Renchishin Shigeru.

—as well as heightens our tenacity to protect those around us.

This catharsis was achieved by him just recently, when he had the chance to visit the grave of those who’d fallen. His smile turned into a brief grin as a chuckle erupted by his lips:

Ya’know, I felt the same way about the jail break incident. I wasn’t around when it started, and therefore lost many family members because of it,” hence the furinkazan tattoo that trailed down his face, “although I took care of it with the elders of our clan during my return, I’ve realized you can’t continue to beat yourself up over things you have no immediate control over.

They came to an abrupt halt, where the path reached a dead end. Enclosed around the two were large slabs of mountain wall that erected skyward. Though enclosed, the Kaze no Kuni sun still sprinkled enough light from them to see. Pointing upward, the SHINRAI’s influential smile returned alongside his serene aura.

This maybe a perfect lesson for you, Sadao-kun,” he laughed a little, “maybe sometime soon I’ll teach you the Wall Walking Technique, it would’ve made this much easier for you. I’ll see you at the top of this mountain, yeah? Good luck!

With chakra circling at the bottom of his toes, Hitoko simply climbed up the wall with ease. It was a bit funny though, the way he nonchalantly scaled the steep vertical surface of the mountain side. He did so as if he were in a shopping center, idly kneeling down to break off pieces of stone from the wall and settle them into the handkerchief. Soon his figure would be a silhouette at the wall’s tip, legs swinging against its edge as he’d sit down and await the Genin to get up to his level.

Take your time!” He called out, voice echoing from above, “You don’t want to rush and fall down!

Sometimes, being a Jounin was fun.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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Maybe what was said wasn’t the best thing. Sadao looked towards the Renchishin curiously. No matter how strong one’s resolve was, when a nerve was hit, they were prone to show it one way or another. Instead nothing…maybe a little bit of something, but nothing huge. Hitoko definitely had a strong mind and strong will. It was nothing less than admirable. The Genin could do nothing but nod slowly as he looked to the ground once more.

Even still, the SHINRAI found this as a moment to teach and encourage. Sadao had lost people before, but he was never really close to them. The words coming from Hitoko were nothing short of amazing and strengthening. Sakuyuu was right in recommending this man to lead his nephew. There was a lot to learn and this man did a really good job at teaching.

The Genin didn’t know what to say, instead he walked silently, taking in everything that was being taught to him by the Jounin. He did his best to keep his mind clear though as not to miss another important lesson that might be thrown at him on a whim. And then they hit a wall. No, literally…it was a wall and there didn’t seem to be a way around it, at least not yet.

The Tsuriau’s eyes scaled the expanse of it before looking at his sensei as he climbed up effortlessly. Slowly he nodded a bit and took a deep breath. The bag of rocks was shoved into the pocket of his jacket as he approached the wall, running his hand over it to see the texture and composition.

The wall was stiff, that was for sure… so as long as his holds were good, there were no worries of falling. The only issue was going to be climbing up. Once again his eyes looked over the wall, trying to see how many foot and hand holes he could find.

After another deep breath, the boy reached up to a hand hold and began to pull himself up slowly but deliberately, getting both hands and feet into holes before looking up for his next movement. His eyes continued to look up as he moved, never looking to the ground.

Finally the Genin made it to the top of the wall, pulling himself over and pushing himself to his feet, out of breath noticeably.
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