[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

ShinobiTruth x Zao

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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:11 pm

After another day of traveling, Hijikata at long last made to his destination. The village in question was one of the few that could make do on its own outside of the refuge of the borderlands where most of the civilization in this war-sundered country was located. He could tell from the multiple chimney stacks and the large piles of coal near some of the buildings that this place likely subsisted off of metallurgical goods and smithing. He couldn't help but smile. As someone who had some experience with forging himself, it was a welcome sight to see others that would patiently endure adverse conditions and put in grit, sweat, and blood for a product that would, with enough care, last for many lifetimes beyond their own. Hijikata suspected that he would feel right at home, even if he did look a little delicate from outward appearances.

As normal, a sea of eyes would be fixated on him even from far away as he slowly made his way toward the village, comprised mostly of tents. The forges themselves were structures of large planks and logs of wood. Though they seemed permanent at first glance, Hiji could imagine that, in short order, one of these buildings could be torn down, the wood conserved to rebuild over another foundation. It was clear that the citizens of this camp, as the teacher now realized it to be, was entirely temporary in its nature. It was not meant to be a permanent settlement. The rurouni imagined that this was likely connected to the land dispute he was being asked to help resolve. He had been assured that the dispute was not of a violent nature.

Arriving at the boundary of the camp, he was approached by two guards on horseback. "Halt, stranger! State your purpose."

Hijikata bowed to the two, producing a scroll with a seal from the sleeve of his haori, holding it aloft for them to take. "Good day to you both. I received a request to meet with your leader. Could you please take me to him?"

Trotting forward, one of the guards took the summons from his hands, examining the seal before opening it. After reading it, he nodded to the other guard, who beckoned that Hiji follow. The samurai did so without complaint. He was eventually led to a large tent, and the guards motioned him in. Stepping forward, he parted the curtain to the central portal of the tent, stepping inside.

Inside an old man, short in stature, bald and sporting a large grey beard, sat by a small hearth, currently burning with embers and flames as a teapot sat hanging atop it on a metal griddle. Upon seeing the wandering samurai enter, his face lit up and he motioned for him to approach, directing him to a large simple cushion across. "Ah, good, Sensei, you have come. Please, sit. I have refreshments being prepared for you as we speak. Your accommodations for the evening have already been prepared."

Hiji bowed and took the seat that was offered. "Thank you for your hospitality, Sozin-dono. Your request stated I had to arrive as soon as possible. Was there a reason for the urgency?"

Sozin nodded. "Indeed. You were the last one we were waiting for. Now, our warriors are set to move out."

First surprise, then disappointment crossed his face. "I was promised by your messenger that this was a non-violent dispute, Sozin-dono. If you have deceived me, we have no bargain," he warned. If he was to help mediate a conflict between two villages, he would not use violence to do so. He would not tolerate trickery, even if it meant he went hungry.

Raising a hand, he implored the samurai to remain calm. "You misunderstand, Sensei. While it is true that this dispute will involve warriors, they will not be fighting a battle... at least, not to the death. No lives will be lost."

Hijikata's eyes narrowed. "...Explain, Sozin-dono. I'm not fond of the secrets you carry," he ordered bluntly.

Exhaling, almost out of relief. "Our conflict is with a village several hours southwest of here. Between our two villages is a rare commodity in our land: a freshwater spring. We originally staked claim on the lands by right of our ancestors. We are of the original family that came from those parts. However, the other village that I mentioned to you also comes from the same bloodline but was estranged from us at some point in our history. The reason why is lost to time. The point is we both have claiming rights for that spring, and we nearly came to bloodshed. It was only through an agreement between the other village elder and myself that we came to a novel conclusion: a tournament. We shall each present warriors from our respective villages to combat each other until one surrenders or is unable to continue fighting. At the end of the tournament, the village who is represented by the champion will have the right to claim ownership over the spring. We were each allowed to barter for the skill of one foreign warrior as a wildcard. That is why I sent for you."

Hijikata ruminated over the circumstances. Though he found it foolish in his own mind that the two villages simply couldn't share, he reminded himself that he was not of this land, nor of its people. He had little understanding of the logistical complications and symbolic meaning of such a precious resource in a land so devoid of them. With a sigh, the samurai relented. "So long as your word is true, I suppose a tournament would not be an issue. Should I detect any further deception, Sozin-dono, our contract is null and void, your tournament be damned. Is that understood?" he asserted resolutely.

Nodding his head, he confirmed his agreement. "I accept those terms, Sensei."
After a night of food, rest, and preparation, the caravan of eight warriors (HIji included), the Elder Sozin, and other villagers, rode on horseback to the site of the tournament. As there was much flatland in this area of the Land of Pebbles, there was little concern about the specific location of the tournament. Thus, they decided to have it at the very location of the spring itself. Though they were close to each other, the two separate camps remained as such, not even a child daring to cross over the invisible boundary that stood between their two peoples.

For the combat area, a large, elevated rock, roughly two hundred meters in diameter, had been found and smoothed out by workers through the night. Each other village had taken turns with sending their villagers so neither would fear contact and violence with the other. For now, Hiji simply had to await the arrival of the other village's warriors.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:30 pm

The journey of the wild haired swordsman-in-training was honestly much of the same as his counterpart with the exception that his journey was a bit shorter and to the due west of their previous meeting and sharing of a small meal with one another. Sato walked at a steady pace with a travel back huge by a strap that went across his chest to the duffle style bag upon his back. A bit over an hour after taking the left fork on the y-shape intersection of the mountain trails the man was able to catch a glimpse of some smoke in the distance. Slowing his pace to a crawl in terms of speed, he lifting his nose a bit and was able to smell the roasting of game meat, it had a slightly different aroma then domesticated meet but was just as savory it not more depending on whom was cooking it. Closing his eyes for a moment the man reached back with his lanky arm, causing it to somehow shift in a manner that didn't seem to be something normally possible in terms of human anatomy as it curved and slipped into the bag upon his back before retrieving a small scroll.

Sato looked down at it with his set of dull grey eyes, it was the request of the man he'd encountered at the tournament and what he'd brought as proof. Though he'd prefer that the one who'd talked him into this actually be here like he was suppose to be. Exhaling slowly the man returned his gaze onto the distant smoke that filtered its way up through the trees and kept the scroll in one hand as he began to walk at a normal pace. About twenty minutes later the lanky figure with his pair of thick bladed machete was approaching the town before he was intercepted by a trio of guards coming from his left side on horseback. "Who are you? I've never see you around these part."

The larger of the three and the one with a magnificent bright red beard called out to him, bringing one foot out of the stirrup and a moment later landing on the ground with a thud. While the lanky teen was decently tall, the man before him was at least six to eight inches taller and at least double the width. "I'm apologize to intrude but I'm looking for Jozin-sama." Sato spoke back raising his hands in a respectful salute, letting the name of the man whom had contacted him be brought up at this time. Hopefully the man wasn't someone who was a troublemaker or anything. He really was just trying to make a bit of money and wasn't looking to get to involved an anything that crazy at the moment.

"Hm. Let me see his seal." Even with the words of the man who'd sent him, the attitude and overbearing of the larger figure didn't waiver in the slightest at the moment now. Extending his left hand towards the frail looking youth Sato just shrugged and pushed his out as well in order to place the sealed scroll directly into the orger's hand now. After a few moments had passed with him opening and inspecting everything written within it he seemed to shake his head and then look back at the traveling swordsman with a bit of a disappointed look. "I have to be honest kid, I was hoping for someone older and more experience, did he even tell you what you're getting into?"

Though the man's voice didn't change, he wasn't as fierce as before as he started to speak, swinging himself up into the saddle of the horse and motioning for the swordsman to follow with one hand as the three mounted men allowed the horses to slowly return towards the town's gate. It was a bit more established than the other town with more solid looking structures and less tents then what his friend Hiji had ran into an hour or so North of his current location. They had been the first to lay their claims on this part of land and the first to come across the fresh water spring that allowed them a much better quality of life in this area of the world.

A short while later the bearded man and Sato were standing side by side after he'd been escorted into a rugged looking building with a large nameplate above it with a family name carved into it: Ling. "My son has told me about your skill, young one and this is why he told you to come." A well built figure who's frame had been forged through years of hard work as one could most likely guess based on his scarred hands spoke out to him. "Though you may have come in vain as the samurai I requested has just arrived, as well." This man was Ling Juu, the current headmaster of his family and the one who had driven the disagreement with the other part of his formerly distant family to the old ways of settling things.

Just then the young man who appeared to be in his early twenties emerged from the back and smiled when he say the same lanky fighter he'd witness fighting int he tournament. "I wouldn't count this young man out to fast, father. I have seen him fight so don't let his lanky figure fool you. I do not believe that the other swordsman you contracted to come here can best my friend." As the two spoke back and forth the spiky haired teen just shifted his dull eyes back and forth before glancing off to the right were another swordsman who appeared to be in his thirties was seated staring at him.

As if trying to say that he wasn't sure what was going on Sato shrugged his shoulders and raise his hands slightly up from either side, though this motion seemed to have the effect of telling the man he didn't care whom he was which causes a flicker of flames to form in the sharp nosed swordsman who stood up. "Very well, very well. My son believe one thing and I believe another. Gentlemen please step outside with us so we can settle this and see which of you is going to be getting paid." This felt like some sort of family drama to the young man who just gave a polite nod but didn't say a word, beginning to truly wonder just what he'd allowed for himself to get talked into this time. But the man had a soft spot for family and when the leader's son had spoken to him about this being something very important that could influence the entire family and their homeland Sato couldn't help but agree at that point.

For his own family was still held as irreplaceable in his own heart. It was one of the handful of things that helped to steer the swordsman to staying on the right path in life, at least so far. A few moments later and the two swordsmen were standing a few meters apart from one another as the son and father stood between them but off to the side. "This is a spar, no one's life needs to be claimed here. Begin." A simple spar between the two men was the chosen method by the older man and his word was more or less the law when it came to decisions regarding the future of his family and the homeland they were claiming as their own. In the blink of an eye the experienced fight had drawn out his blade not planning to take it easy at all on the young kid, this was a job after all for him and part of him was looking forward to teaching the boy a lesson for his own personal reasons.

The attack with a powerful thrust aimed directly for the center of the solar plexus, an attack that could potentially be very lethal if not dodged or parried. Though he appeared weak and even feasible depending on who you spoke to those who were watching would find out that it was actually quite the opposite as Sato had drawn both of his blades from the sheaths on either hip as the man attacked him in a rather ruthless man. The right arm circled outward forcibly pushing the blade off to the side causing sparks to fly off the grinding metal of the blades sliding across one another. Yet, he wasn't finished as the heavy blade in his left hand had flipped upside down to the flat portion of the blade's spine which was coming down from above in a vertical smash.

This attack was not aimed at his opponent but inside the blade of the katana that had been aimed for his chest, an irritated look filled the swordsman-in-training's face as he brought the blade down. A crash of the two blades could be heard before the thin katana blade was shattered just above the hilt as the rest of the blade broke into three parts from the force imparted upon it. It was suppose to be a friendly spar but Sato was able to quickly realize that was not the intent of the other man and a bit of fury rose from where it was kept sealed up in his chest. "Oops..."

A innocent look seemed to comer over the man's face as he pushed away from the older samurai who just stood there looking at the blade less hilt still in his hands. "How..." He was in a state of disbelieve as he'd used that same sword in many battles and claimed a number of lives with it, only to have it broken in a single exchange with this frail looking kid. Shaking his head the man knelt and gathered the big pieces of the sword before leaving without a word, but the curses on his lips were easily seen and it seemed like today the boy had made an enemy instead of another friend.

"Well then. That's settled!" Jozin's smile was wide as he walked over and patted his young friend on the shoulder wholeheartedly impressed and glad that the result went in Sato's favor. Soon the boy was led back into the meeting hall where he was joined by the family's seven other warriors who would be participating in this tournament. It was here that the whole story was laid out for the traveling swordsman and that he was able to wrap his head around everything. How could he not help them? "I am honored to help your family." Bowing his head an forming a martial salute to the family head now he was escorted to a small banquet and then resting quarters. Before he knew it the sun was already beginning to glow behind the horizon and the caravan was being loaded and shortly there after they were off together to the site of the tournament.

The men who he walked into the area seemed so large that they actually hid his small frame in the back of the group as they arrived shortly after the other village's warriors and Sato began to feel the same nervous sensation he had at the Starfall tournament. But this time he could only smile, this was an honorable thing to do and perhaps they wouldn't even need for him to participate anyways. during this time he couldn't really see the other group to well and even missed that his newest comrade of the blade was amongst the other camp's challengers.
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Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:20 pm

Unbeknown to him, Hiji was mimicking his compatriot's actions as well, perusing the camp, though it was perhaps a more grim outlook. He still did not understand why such long-running feuds stood after generations, especially since many of them were based off of embellished and improperly passed oral histories. Even Sozin himself had admitted that he had not the faintest idea as to the cause of the split between their bloodline so many generations ago. Why? What was the point of maintaining this needless prejudice? How much more could they grow and thrive off of what they had both learned if they only learned how to let go of the past? Though Hiji himself had only recently learned this himself, he had been liberated from a weight he'd never realized was there until that young woman Tsubaki saved his life. He only wished the people here could come to understand that, too.

The warriors in Sozin's camp mostly kept to themselves, preparing themselves for what was to come. They didn't seem keen on small talk or association with an outsider, which was fine. This was an important matter for their village, and their absolute focus was going to be vital. Instead, he received word from one of the children that he was being summoned by Sozin. "You called for me, Sozin-dono?" he asked, curious as to the nature of this inquiry.

Sozin nodded with a grimace. "Indeed, Sensei. Forgive me, but I must have you attend to some misery business with me. As per the rules of our tournament, the opposing village elder is granted the right to lay eyes upon the foreign aid that we receive for the tournament. In this particular case, that is you. I must ask that you come with me to the spring so that we may fulfill our responsibility regarding your participation."

Hijikata didn't particularly enjoy being subject to this deceptive man's whims, but this seemed mundane enough to not be an issue. "That is admissable, Sozin-dono," he stated.

The two would depart from the camp, walking at a controlled pace. As they were making their way to the spring, Hiji could see two others from the opposing camp separating from the mass and walking toward them as well. As they got closer, the light of recognition arose in Hiji's eyes upon seeing a tall, lanky individual with spiky hair and twin machetes hanging from his side. No, it couldn't possibly.

"By the spirits... Sato-kun, is that you?" he asked as the two elders approached each other. The old men's eyes were glowering at each other, but Hiji's eyes bore no malice, only surprise. Who would have thought that they'd see each other again so soon?

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:56 pm

The men all chatted amongst themselves, at least the group of warriors that had been chosen to represent this side of the fractured family as they went about setting up the last few items of necessity on their side of the fresh water spring before they older man summoned the warriors and Sato together. Explaining a few things to them they all took a moment to finish their last minute preparations between themselves before it was time to meet with the other family elder and his chosen. The older man glanced over at his son and exhaled slowly before smoothing out his formal attire and motioning for the fighters who had grouped around him to hear his words to follow him.

This was a type of customary thing in which the fighters who were about to decide their side of the families fate would be able to view one another, sizing each other up in a sense, and it also allowed the two elders and respected leaders of their family to see what kind of outside muscle the other had brought in. Juu eyed Sozin as the two groups met in a sort of middle ground between the two camps as each line of warrior took up a position on either of the man's sides. The lanky man found himself comfortable in the back as he was pondering over this entire event and if there was even anything that he could do for these two families aside for just fighting for the single side. Shaking his head the man finally moved from around one of the fighters as he wished to also see just whom he might have to fight if it came down to that.

Yet, his eyes widen slightly for a familiar voice drifted into his ears as he came around one of the larger men who had hidden him mostly from the view of the opposing side, this voice belonged to the swordsman he had just met the day prior. Was he hearing things? Quickly glancing up the fragile looking man was face-to-face with Hiji once more. Though their was not any sort of discontent or hate in the swordsman's eyes only respect as his hands came together in the form of a martial salute to his friend despite the fact that they were on opposing sides.

Never would he have thought that the man he'd randomly had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a meal with would today be a force of opposition. "My friend, I had truly not expected to be meeting up with you again so soon." Despite the tense atmosphere it was as though the spiky haired young man was oblivious to that as he warmly greeted the fellow swordsman, honor was a powerful thing for a samurai.
CharactersShow
Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:30 am

Hijikata smiled at Sato, but his eyes were somewhat sad. He'd been hoping that the spirits would lead him in a different path. This would make the tournament that much more difficult. Hiji would not shame himself or Sato by holding back, but his desire to fulfill his agreement was tainted by this happenstance. He could not simply engage in a respectable sparring match with the young lad. They would have to be encumbered by the stories, hopes, and fears of opposing forces that were too stubborn and ignorant to try and find common ground instead of resorting to pointless contests. "Nor I, Sato-kun," he replied, offering a bow to his soon-to-be opponent. "If only circumstances were different, we might not be forced to duel each other for another's duty."

The old men continuing to bicker and argue over some pointless vanity, Hiji inquired further. "I take it that they've likely told you their story. I'm not fond of only half-truths, Sato-kun. Can you divulge their claim, or would it infringe upon your agreement to do so?" Hijikata asked. Perhaps if he knew the full story, it would be easier for him to fight. So long as Hiji could at least empathize with his opponents, he would not feel so uncertain in his actions in the tournament to come. With any good fortune, Sato had not been bound to any sort of secrecy, and he would be able to enlighten Hijikata on the other side of this increasingly complex and convoluted story.

Or so he hoped. Considering this was what the spirits had led him to, Hiji was largely vexed by the oddities of this entire scenario. Normally, he could see the reason in their will, but this was not one of those times.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:21 pm

"It is the duty of a samurai to help those who ask for it." Sato kindly replied to his friend, it would have could have been better to have a friendly spar with the man without the pressure which had been placed on the shoulders of each now due to the inability of the two halves of the same family linage to find middle ground. Exhaling slowly he glanced voer to Juu now for a moment who only glanced at him before returning his gaze across to the center of the other group and the family elder who had locked gazed with him. Each quietly assessing the potential strength of the fighters and wondering what their odds of actually coming out on top of this 'friendly' tournament.

"I'm sorry, I cannot." His tone was somewhat apologetic to his fellow swordsman, he was not to speak of what the old man and son had told him about which had brought about the current set of circumstances which landed him pitted against Hiji. "Only Juu-sama could enlighten you on those kinds of details." The thin fingers came together in a type of prayer like hand gesture to ask for some form of forgiveness for being unable to divulge such information. In truth he still had a bit of trouble completely understanding either of the two halves of this family.

But once he put his honor as a samurai on the line to perform his duty to the old man's son and in turn the old elder then he would do what was necessary of him in order to accomplish that task. His dull grey eyes glanced over to Juu, wondering if the old man had any words that he wished to speak in front of the group and where things were going to go from this point....
CharactersShow
Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:59 pm

Sozin and Juu had enough of their bickering, and it seemed that the two had reached an accord. Turning to the warriors that had assembled, Hijikata, and Sato included, Sozin made a declaration of the rules of the tournament.

"This tournament is to determine which of our families will gain ownership over this natural spring. The rules of this tournament are simple. This will be a single-elimination bracket. The participants shall fight in the prepared ring. The victor is determined by knockout, by surrender, or by ring-out. You may not permanently maim or injure your opponent, and you may not take their life. Doing these things will automatically disqualify your family's warriors from the tournament," he stated.

Hiji nodded. 'That was a wise decision,' he thought to himself. 'It motivates both one's self and the team to play fairly and according to the rules. One person breaking the rules ruins the entire family's chances at the prize.'

Sozin continued. "There can be no outside assistance of any kind. No coaching, no lobbing of any weapons, armor, or objects into the ring. The battle must be, in its entirety, between the two participants in the ring. This rule also applies to any observers, whether you are participating or not. Should you break this rule, you will forfeit your family's right to claim over the spring through your shameful conduct. If a warrior is not present at the time they are called to enter the ring, and upon being called, if they are not in the ring within thirty seconds, they are disqualified. Any attempt to harm those designated to help attend to the ring in any way, shape, or form will result in the offender's family being disqualified. Any questions?"

There was silence. Nodding, he and Juu parted ways, and a large board was rolled out, a rudimentary bracket drawn on it. It seemed that Hijikata and Sato were placed at exact opposite sides of the bracket. He knew that this was not a mistake nor mere happenstance. This was by design. It seemed Sato's match was up first.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:53 pm

A look of surprise wandered onto the young man's face as the groups split and the fights were decided, as the crowd split one would see his name at the top left and his friends on the top right, as if having them be the last line of defense if their own warriors were unable to beat the other families members in these bouts. He glanced over to Juu and the old man simply nodded before he would lead the spiky haired teen and the rest of his group over to one side of the prepared fighting stage now. The swordsman glanced across the massive arena that was several times of the one he'd fought upon in Starfall country when he'd only lasted a few exchanges with that Konoha-nin.

Luckily the medical personnel and shinobi had helped to heal the wounds that he'd received from that match or he definitely wouldn't have been in any form of fighting shape, it still irritated that young man as he thought back about that quick fight before being motioned up into the arena. The thin, frail looking wandering swordsman jumped up slightly in order to enter the large fighting stage as he strolled across the stone arena in order to meet up with a pair of judges or perhaps one would call them referees in this type of setting as the rules were clearly defined that those who stepped inside would fight until a winner was decided.

His opponent quickly entered the fighting platform as well, unlike many of the men he'd traveled here with who were of large stature this fighter looked rather normal in appearance and in his hand was a two meter long spear, something thath Sato hadn't fought against before. Both of them nodded to one another, the swordsman bringing his hands together in a typical martial salute to the fellow young man fighting for his families honor and potential fate as a direct result of this battle, each had quite a bit building upon their narrow shoulders. Both fights backed up leaving about ten meters of space between them as the spear wielder dropped back into a two handed stance with the weapon as the thin swordsman simply drew out each of the thick, heaving looking machete blades from their holsters now.

Each was reach as one of the judges announced for them to begin as the spear wield swiftly dashed forwards before leaping into the sky delivering a powerful downward thrust at a sharp angle towards Sato, 'The Swallow Takes Flight', forcing the swordsman backwards to dodge the attack. Yet, the fighting didn't stop using the force of the spear striking the hard stone leaving a gash in the hard stone to keep himself airborne following the attack up with a second spinning sweeping strike. The attack were strong and swift as it appeared the fighter didn't want to allow for the duel wielding man to get on the defensive as both blades where brought up in a strong block.

A method the man had used before to break the weapons of opponents but to his surprise the flexibility of the wooden staff portion of the spear allowed for it to absorb the impact of the blades without breaking it and only leaving a couple light cuts in the wood. 'What a special weapon!' The grey eyed fighter couldn't help but remark to himself at what an interested wood the spear must have been made out of to take this type of offensive block. This blow had some power behind it causing the impact to knock back both of the fighters a few meters from one another as if some type of reset as they both re-assumed their fighting stances.

Sato and the man clashed once more as the duel machete user attempted to breach inside the guard of the other young man, knowing that this was the key to success against someone with a large or longer weapon. If one could do so then it would eliminate or at least diminish the threat of the weapon allowing the attacker to create a gap to exploit. Yet, the fight was able to draw his weapon back and switch to a short stock grip that decreased the range of the weapon but allowed for him to combat the brute force style of attacks that came with the dual machete style of combat. Hack, slash, and smashing. Using each part of the blade as a weapon unlike most who only relied on the cutting edge of the weapon to attack with.

The flurry of attacks smashed against one another as more and more nicks appeared on the wood of the spear, until finally about three minutes after the fight had began the spear user thrust forward with a lightning thrust only to find it barely skimming across the man's chest as he pivoted his body just around the edge of the attack ending up along side it. Both weapons came down on after the other in a chopping manner, the first hitting the spear's staff while the second attack came down against the first blade which created a type of double attack. This attack caused the weapon to snap in half leaving only about a meters worth of wood left int he young man's one hand at this point and a look of shock and sadness as he stared down at the broken weapon.

It had apparently been some sort of heirloom passed down in their family but now it was simply a broken tool, as he looked up the edge of Sato's blade rested atop the left shoulder now, exhaling slowly as moisture could be seen in the form of sweat droplets on the swordsman's face. There were no words exchanged between them only the bowing of the opponent's head before he turned and signaled to the judge that he forfeited. After the old man in the ring announced the end of the fight Sato put away the heavy blades and brought his hands together respectfully before also moving off the stage. From just this first match he was able to understand that these men were true fighters, none inferior to himself most likely as the only true difference in him and his opponent had been the amount of real fighting experienced.

He was able to tell that the fighter had trained very hard and even had sparred with many of his peers or family, but none of those fights had been for real or had pushed him like their fight had done. Perhaps if he'd been on the same level of experience then the fight would have been a toss up to who would have won, dependent on the first to make a large mistake that the other fighter was able to capitalize on. A young woman came over and helped tend to the shallow cut across the upper chest of Sato from the spear thrust as it was slowly drippling blood from the superficial wound. "Thank you miss."
CharactersShow
Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:24 pm

Hijikata watched Sato closely, certain that he would be the one whom he would be fighting against. Considering that Sato was first to fight, there were some advantages for him. To start, being at the front of the bracket ensured more time to rest. Hijikata would be the last fight of the first round, and because the second round was shorter, there would be less time to rest between each. He was hoping that there might be an intermission, but Hiji wasn't going to count on anything. He had to assume that this would be resolved today. Thus, what he wouldn't have in stamina, he'd need to make up for in skill and knowledge. His battle began now as well. Though the men were skilled, they clearly lacked experience fighting against equally skilled opponents in other than sparring matches, if Sato's first opponent was any indication. The attitude, what one was willing to endure and suffer, when something important was on the line was leagues different than the experience one could receive from sparring.

Hijikata could see what Sato's plan was from the start. The spear was a weapon with long reach, and it was deadly in the opponent's hands to be certain, but most spears bore the inherent flaw of different materials being used. It's greatest strength, the flexibility and the reach of the wood, was also its weakness, a double-edged sword of sorts. Hiji would have likely tried to cut the wood at first as well, though he was impressed at the craftsmanship of the spear to only take a slight gouge. Still, this was not a battle that would be won through quick bursts on Sato's part. No, he would have to fight a battle of attrition. Nodding as he saw Sato's plan progress and unfold, the rurouni realized that the opponent did not fully understand his weapon as he should. A more astute warrior would have noticed this flaw and would have at least attempted to constantly shift the weapon around so as to minimize the possibility of presenting that fracture point to the enemy. Sato was patient and adaptable without he defended and attacked, focusing on his endgame with respectable grit and determination.

The fight reached its inevitable conclusion, the young warrior snapping the haft of the spearman's weapon in twain, leaving the opponent unable to fight. An applause rose from the other camp, but though no one else on his side thought to give congratulations, Hiji could not help a satisfied smile. 'You did well, Sato. Should the spirits allow it, we will face each other soon enough. May our match be an honorable one,' he prayed as the next set of fighters took to the stage.

Eventually, it would be Hijikata's turn to fight. Preferring to take the stairs, Hijikata ascended up to the ring the normal way, not keen on communicating any information to his opponent before the match had even started. Across the way, he could see his opponent ascending the stairs as well, and his eyes grew more serious as he observed the sheer size of his opponent. Hijikata was average for his height, but this man was a monster in comparison. Standing at least 6'2" and likely weighing several stone heavier than Hiji himself, he wielded a twin-headed kanabo, essentially two of the traditional maces formed into a staff-like weapon with the metal orbs tipped with bladed spikes. On the tips were two short, sturdy blades All in all, it was a vicious weapon, capable of crushing, piercing, slice, and gouge all at once. Wearing light olive-green robes, large prayer beads around his neck, and leather sandals wrapped around his feet and ankles for support, the man across from him certain appeared strong. His opponent's aura screamed confidence from behind green eyes, tan skin, and a shock of black hair atop his head accenting his features along with just a touch of pride and a hint of fermented arrogance to boot. It was always easy to think that the more diminutive opponent would likely not fare well against the storm of the mighty.

Hijikata noted that his weapon, unlike Sato's opponent, was made primarily out of metal. He knew not how he'd manage to swing such a weapon, but he clearly had no trouble hoisting it. His opponent was strong, possibly physically stronger than he was. He would have to outmaneuver his opponent. Bowing to his opponent, the referee looked towards his opponent. Giving a simple, cocky nod, the opponent acknowledged he was ready. The battle would begin thereafter.

Hijikata did not move, and he was surprised that his opponent didn't move, either. It seemed that the first portion of the fight would simply be a mind game. Neither opponent shifted even a millimeter from their starting position. The fact that there was no movement caused the crowd to fall deathly silent as well. Hiji and his opponent played their moves out in each other's eyes, a veritable cacophony of clashing metal, screams, blood, and violence raging between them as their warrior's spirits flowed and crashed against one another. For a solid minute, there was nothing, the tension mounting so quickly, it could almost be felt.

Finally, HIji's opponent moved, a violent spinning of his weapon leading to a deceptively fast attack. Hiji managed to dodge and draw his sword, just barely managing to avoid injury as he closed the gap, falling back to basic swordsmanship with a simple series of slashes and quick thrusts. The opponent parried his attacks with swift repositioning of his handle and his grip on the weapon, the loud ring of metal on metal echoing piercing the silence. His opponent took a few steps back to draw Hiji in before stepping into his range and attempting to ram Hiji with his weapon's handle. Hiji would block the attack with one hand on the hilt and the other on the blade, defending with the base of the blade, where it was thickest. He had every confidence in his weapon's strength, but in combat, even a sturdy sword could snap against the brute force of such a powerful bludgeoning weapon.

His opponent wouldn't let up. Closing the gap, he'd follow the samurai as he skidded back with a spinning downswing of his weapon, the centrifugal force of the movement adding even more power into the weapon. Hijikata once again marveled at Speed that matched his own and Strength that exceeded his, jumping back into the momentum he already had from the opponent's previous parry in a wide flip, landing once again on his feet to face the opponent. Once again, Hiji just barely avoided damage as his opponent's weapon caused a massive crack on the point of impact. The movement from the opponent had been one of heavy commitment. Now was the time to launch a counterattack. Dashing forward, Hiji launched a flurry of quick, snapping thrusts against his opponent.

Now that the fight had begun in earnest, neither participant stopped. Unlike Sato's match, which had benefited from small breaks to re-establish a neutral ground, both fighters were intent on maintaining solid defenses while punishing any over commitments that the other made. Hiji would score the first hit of the match, stepping in toward the opponent's side to land a clean slice on the opponent's forearm. He would respond in kind, quickly spinning the double kanabo around to catch Hiji across his upper right pectoral. The fight was in full swing, neither sparing anything. The one thing Hiji could say he was holding back was his sword techniques. He knew that, despite how strong this opponent was, he could not afford to reveal the depth of his techniques. His real opponent, however bittersweet the realization, was Sato. He had to reserve his full knowledge for that fight.

Thus, Hijikata would feign, just slightly, that he was being forced on the defensive, experimenting by giving the opponent a bit of ground. His opponent would greedily gobble it up, and he knew he could set his plan in motion. Timing his attacks and evasions just so, he allowed his opponent score a few more glancing blows. They were nothing serious, minor cuts at worst, but Hiji would not return them in kind to play into the facade. Slowly, but surely, over a five-minute period, Hiji would be forced toward the edge of the ring. His opponent, eyes filled with a thirst for victory, would spin his weapon wildly, trying to land a massive swipe to cover the majority of the space and knock Hiji off. This was Hiji's chance. Using the excessive commitment for that attack as his window, Hijikata dove under the attack, sheathing his katana before getting his opponent's back. Drawing the smaller, lighter wakizashi, he slashed his opponent behind his legs to cut his base of support, a splash of red coloring the dirt beneath his opponent and HIji's own steel before spinning along with the swing of his short sword and hopping, slamming both of his feet into his opponent's back. The larger contestant was flung mightily off of the stage, falling to the ground outside the ring below in a dusty, loud heap.

Sweat dripping off his brow and glistening on his skin, Hijikata bowed to his opponent before descending from the ring as he caught his breath. He didn't have much time before his next match. He would need to meditate and get as much of his energy back as possible to be prepared for the next fight.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:35 pm

"Well done, Hijikata." The fight had gone on for a bit and in the end it had been shown that his new swordsman friend had quite the level of experience in combat, as well. Able to slowly lure his opponent into a false sense of superiority and have him finally overextend himself in a powerful attack that left him wide open to counter-attack from someone with quick agility that the young man displayed. It seemed that the fighter was able to mix not only the powerful drawing style of Iaido but also aspects of other fighting styles into his own. This was something that Sato had been attempting to do but hadn't really found anything that was a good fit for his own style and the type of weapons that he preferred....his two large machetes. Smiling as the fellow swordsman defeated his opponent not he gave a gentle not of approval before he would slowly stand up himself as Hiji was the last fight of the first round.

This took the former sixteen fighters down to only eight now as by some manner the families had managed to split the fights right down the middle leaving each with three respected fighters from each and the two contracted ronin who each had managed to each win their own respective fights. Next was the first fight of the second round in which Sato was back up on the stage. The thin, frail-looking fight slowly drew out each of the thick bladed single-handed weapons as he respectfully bowed his head to the athletic-looking figure across from him with the chained weapon with what looked like a spear tip on the end. The swordsman had been able to see how well the fighter was able to manipulate the chain spear, causing it to almost appear that the chain had a mind of its own at a time during the previous fight.

And then it began. The hand signal and verbal cues were given from the two older men, one standing on either side of the arena, the fight had begun! A silvery snake swished forward as it seemed to turn up and then strick downwards causing the slender swordsman to dodge directly backward as the spear tipped chain stabbed into the hard stone of the tournament floor creating a small crater from the sheer strength behind the weapon from its user. Sato sucked in a cold breath of air, he’d been thinking of ways to deal with the fighter for a bit on the outside of the arena but now that he was experiencing the uniqueness of the weapon system he had to rethink his plan.

‘It strikes almost like a snake!’ Seeing the weapon in action against himself the young man could only relate it to the manner in which a snake was able to move, striking out at its prey with lightning-fast speed and it also posed the danger of being enveloped by the weapon as well if not careful. Before he could begin to reclose the gap the chain was ripped from the ground as the owner spun it overhead now in a large arching fashion while holding the loose length of chain in the other hand. His pale grey eyes looked over the fighter before him knowing that he would need to break through the unique defensive techniques that came along with the chain user in order to get close enough to actually score a victory. He had to test the man and thus the wandering swordsman pushed himself forward with both thick blades at the ready in order to assist in defending himself now.

The spinning chain came around and around like a saw blade as it blocked the boy’s path forward and then extended its reach forcing for him to smash out with his right blade as the weapons collided with a clang of metal now. The force behind the weapon’s user was enhanced by the circular spinning motion of the chain and heavy spear tip on the end actually knocking Sato flying to the side out of surprise. His body having been lifted into the air from the impact and not bracing his body with proper foot positioning leading to him flying five meters to his left and rolling across the ground. Just as he was able to reestablish contact with his opponent both eyes widened as the spear tip was snaking its way directly at his face. With not a moment to hesitate he shifting his head to the right, tilting it in what appeared to be an impossible ninety-degree angle that one’s neck shouldn’t be able to bend to.

The bladed tip whistled as it passed by as a small spurt of crimson life essence was ejected from a long cut across the man’s face from just behind the nose, across the cheek, lastly cutting the edge of the man’s ear. It was at that moment that Sato had to force himself to ignore the burning pain coming from his face now as it pushed forward off the balls of his feet remaining low to the ground as the blood from the laceration began to flow down the left side of the ronin’s face. His body angled forward as the blades in either hand could be found at his sides. Yet as the swordsman closed in there wasn’t a sense of fear on his opponent’s face, only a strange smirk and a sudden sense of danger from behind. The situation hadn’t felt right and Sato had been able to identify that through his combat experience and training as he rolled to the right as the whistling of the spear chain passed by leaving a small cut on his left side, thankfully just a shallow one.

The chain user had somehow managed to manipulate the chain to change directly through his hand and arm movements that caused the chain strike from earlier to return back towards him as a second hidden strike. Sweat could be seen forming on the young man’s face. This opponent was unlike any that he’d fought or sparred against before and the small mistakes that he was making had already caused him to be injured twice so far in the match which had just started. Exhaling slowly and recovering his train of thought, using the words of his sensei to help calm his mind now the swordsman-in-training, stood up fully and reassumed his fighting stance. It almost appeared like a game of cat and mouse between the two as Sato worked to find the pattern behind the intrinsical weapon as it moved about the arena snapping back and forth.

The match seemed to drag on for a few minutes as it was only the chain user on the attack as the frail-looking swordsman appeared constantly on the defense, but if one had a sharp eye they would see that the man had managed to fall into a rhythm of attacking and retreating, while the chain user was exerting more and more energy to attack constantly attempting to finish off the outsider. He drew on a tactic that he picked up from Hiji now as he moved in close and appeared to falter drawing his opponent in closer as he tossed the spear tipped chain once more forcing it to crash down up the grey-eyed man from above this time. Though this time he didn’t roll himself away and only barely side-stepped the attack which slammed into the floor with tremendous force. With his left hand the man swung out the heavy machete launching it like a simple throwing knife as the hand after releasing it latched onto the chain dangling in midair beside him.

The weapon launched with rather high accuracy towards’s teh target’s face caused him to have to dodge and couldn’t focus on the fact that Sato had grabbed the chain. That was until he felt the sudden forward force as he was yanked forward and his feet were lifted off the ground because of his right grip on his own weapon. Turning his body and twisting at the hips he brought the unsuspecting fighting arching through the air and then drove him into the hard stone fighting surface with enough force to crack the stone. His opponenet went limp, knocked unconcious from the impact as the bloodied, frail looking swordsman exhaled a breath of relief and released the chain. Collecting his thrown machete he was escorted to the side as the family doctors began to help with his two bad wounds, the one of his face sure to leave a large scar...
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Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:57 am

Hiji didn't have time to reciprocate Sato's congratulations. Though it may have seemed rude, he slipped off the top of his keikogi and allowed himself to be tended by the medics of Sozen's village as he intently watched the next match. Hiji had seen the opponent Sato was fighting before. That rope dart chain of his was certainly something fearsome, and an opponent with a lesser understanding of ranges and blindspots would find the weapon difficult, if not impossible to outmaneuver. He didn't suspect that Sato was such an individual, but Hiji wondered if his experience lent to fighting such an opponent. He could only hope it did as he watched the two ascend the staircases and take their ready positions on opposite sides of the ring, squaring off.

He watched both as they quickly settled into the match, and Hijikata was worried as he immediately noticed Sato on the backfoot, confirming his suspicions. Sato didn't seem to have much experience fighting against less orthodox weapons. If Sato had a plan, he'd better start executing it. Hiji remained quiet and continued to observe the two, his concern growing as Sato continued to struggle against the full maneuverability of the long rope dart chain that his opponent wielded. The rurouni winced as Sato took a large cut to the face, but that was not the only thing he noticed from his position, sitting as the medics tended to the litany of small cuts that he'd received. The angle at which Sato bent his neck to evade more serious damage from the following attack... that angle wasn't just unlikely, it was impossible. Hiji had a keen understanding of the human physiology, and while he was no doctor, he most certainly knew the general limitations of the human skeleton. Sato's evasion there laughed in the face of such limits. It was only a suspicion, but a strong one nonetheless: Sato likely had some sort of genetic trait that offered him inhuman flexibility.

The fight seemed to drag on, but as Sato settled into his defensive movements, Hiji narrowed his eyes before smirking just lightly. This young man... he was going to rely on the same tactic that Hiji himself had used. The teacher supposed he should be honored, but it also meant he'd need to be cautious of having the same strategy used against him in their fight. Once his opponent took the bait, Hiji suspected it would only be a matter of time until the match was decided. And his prediction came true, Sato managing to seal the movements of the opponent's weapon and turn its strengths on its head. His eyes casually followed the arc of the other combatant as Sato bodily swung him up and slammed him back down into the ground by his own weapon, the rough impact knocking the opponent unconscious.

Hiji hoped that the next two fights would last as long as possible, giving him time to heal and rest. Though they lasted a considerable amount of time, they were still not as long as the rurouni hoped. When the opponents became skilled, one or two single mistakes could often spell the end of the match. Hiji watched each opponent closely as they had their matches, cataloging the information for later use, particularly on the winners. After a shorter while than he had hoped, Hiji slipped the top of his keikogi on again and took to the fighting arena. His opponent was a person of fairly diminutive stature, much unlike his previous opponent, who had towered over him. Hiji had seen how easily he had dispatched his first opponent. Though the match had taken some time, the man before him had sadistically played with his opponent, allowing them to tire themselves out with false hope before dispatching them with a single strike. Hiji had paid particularly close attention to that match. The amount of violent intent flowing from this man suggested more than a mere desire to win. He sought to disassemble his enemies. What was worse than his violent intent, however, was the strange weapon he used: a gladius, reminiscent of a Urumi, or whip-sword, but with a strange interlocking mechanism that connected a segmented blade which could form a single smooth cutting edge or be separated to form a long chain of large bladed cutting edges. On his person he carried a medium-sized shield. It was round, metal, and covered enough space for him to fully cover himself if he were to kneel. This wasn't even including the bladed spikes on the edges of the shield, making for excellent blade-trapping and offensive tools. On his weapon hand, he also wore what appeared to be a reinforced gauntlet of some sort.

As soon as the battle began, much like Sato, Hiji was on the back foot as the opponent immediately released the locking mechanism on his weapon and swung it in a wide circle above his head, angling the tip of the swinging blade down near Hiji's feet, slowly advancing forward. This was very uncharacteristic of this man's previously displayed fighting style. He was trying to force a ring out as quickly as possible. It could mean the opponent was baiting Hiji. It could mean that he was actually afraid of Hiji and wanted to avoid a long fight. It could mean that his stamina was mostly used up in the last round. It could mean none of those things or all of them. What it didn't change was what Hiji had to do. The first order of business was stopping the movements of that weapon. Taking a few steps back as the weapon approached, Hiji timed his next move carefully. Knowing he'd need the extra power and leverage of his normal katana this time around, he employed an inverse tactic from his first match: taking his wakizashi, Hiji swung the blade at the metal cord that held two of the segments together, quickly wrapping the sections around the blade of his wakizashi before immediately kneeling and driving the weapon into the ground with all of his might, pinning the opponent's weapon into the ground. Stomping on the pommel of the wakizashi's hilt for good measure with the first forward stride of the match, Hiji rushed forward at the opponent. He'd been hoping to catch the opponent off guard with the move, trying to end the match swiftly by subverting his opponent's defense.

It was quite a nasty surprise he received when, instead of blocking with the shield, the opponent trapped his katana with the armored gauntlet on his right hand, wrenching the blade down and away as the bladed shield swung up. Leaning back, Hiji was able to avoid an outright match-ending blow, but the shield still struck true, leaving a large diagonal slice arcing from the bottom right of his ribcage to the upper left shoulder. It was thankfully not very deep, but with a splash of crimson, it would immediately begin bleeding. Pulling his sword away from the opponent, Hiji had to back off as with one more violent pull, the opponent dislodged his weapon from the ground. Hiji wasn't ignorant of what that meant and he used the opponent's good fortune to his opportunity. If he didn't take the opportunity to capitalize on it now, he'd have no chance in lasting in this fight. Sheathing the katana and catching his wakizashi as it arched up and slipped away from the metal cord it had previously been restraining, Hiji defied normal reason and launched himself at the opponent. The weapon needed time to return to one solid piece when the opponent recalled it, and he didn't typically move in that case, allowing his shield to keep him safe. Hijikata would use this against him, leaping forward and performing a double-front flip and landing on the shield, slamming his wakizashi through the shield, through the opponent's forearm, and into the opponent's shoulder, penetrating deeply into bone and muscle. In a cry of anger, the opponent swung up from below to try and cut Hijikata's feet, which failed, the rurouni jumping back. Despite the injury, however, Hiji's opponent continued to surprise him. Instead of trying to remove the weapon that pinned his shield to his body, he shifted his position to accommodate for the new development, angling his shield to the front and essentially using Hiji's own wakizashi as a stint, holding his shield on place. Rushing forward, the opponent launched a vicious series of counterstrikes, keeping his weapon retracted to allow the short blade to quickly maneuver, slash, and thrust.

Hiji found this pressure difficult to manage as the opponent's weapon, being shorter and more maneuverable, was difficult to defend against, his opponent scoring a number of small slashes on his legs and thighs. Hiji knew that the same trick he'd used before wouldn't work against his current opponent. That weapon of his was dangerous, but it had a fatal flaw when it was extended: its retraction speed. If Hiji could coerce the opponent into using that function one more time, he had a way he might be able to secure victory. Continuing to defend and parry, Hiji half-sworded his katana, allowing his hand to be cut while gripping the base of the blade. This allowed his defense with the blade to be the same as if it were only the size of a wakizashi but still kept the offensive length of the katana when he was done defending. Then, he'd feint his opponent, jumping back again. Reading his movement, the opponent released the weapon's cord, the large metal segments shooting outward along the cord, spinning and attempting to cut and drill through Hiji's flesh. The samurai would have none of that, however, as he'd duck the arcing weapon and, taking the scabbard for his wakizashi, would jam it between two of the segments of the weapon, prevent it from retracting fully and making it useless in melee range. Rushing forward, he'd swing down with the katana, knowing his opponent would catch it with his gauntlet, which he did. Instead of simply putting his weight in to the strike, however, Hiji vaulted himself off of his own katana, using his opponent's catching of his blade to roll over the surface of his shield behind the opponent, Hiji grabbing the handle of his wakizashi and ripping the blade out from the opponent's body and shield, causing additional pain and damage as his shield arm went limp. Upon landing, he'd immediately elbow the opponent on one side of the head before spinning his body and immediately striking the other side of his head with the flat of his weapon, the cold steel ramming straight into the opponent's flesh and knocking him unconscious.

His battle complete, Hiji recovered his weapons and bowed before walking off the stage, doing his best not to move his torso. He was controlling his breathing carefully. It was very important that he remain still while the medics tended to the large cut on his chest. If he didn't, he could suffer significant bloodloss and risk the cut becoming infected. He'd simply have to hope that the stitching would hold until through the rest of this tournament.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:42 pm

Off on the sidelines, the young man was having his face and side tended to as the major issues that were given to him from the previous fight with the chain dart user, the wound on his side requiring a handful of stitches as the man winced slightly as the hooked needle was tugged in and out of his pale skin. As a single nurse tended to that injury another pair were at work cleaning out the long wound that traveled across the left half of the young man’s face, his first true injury that he’d received on the path of a swordsman. Most saw that one must learn from their mistakes, but in Sato’s mind it was that one must learn from their scars that serve to remind them of the small mistakes that had been made along that way. After all, if he’d allowed himself to stumble into a major mistake then he wouldn’t have to worry about learning from it as it would result in him moving on to the afterlife.

As the appropriate care was given to the young man he watched the following two fights, each having their own unique skills and weapons and strategies that allowed for the young swordsman to slowly become a bit more enlightened in the ways of weapon combat. Neither of his wounds were life threatening but did require immediate treatment from the medics on hand. Soon enough those two fights could only last so long before both were finished and three of the top four had been decided and it had come to his comrades fight now. His opponent was almost like a juggernaut with the shield, gauntlets, and whip sword that had the ability to extend and retract with an activation mechanism inside the hilt and blade. Even Sato couldn’t help but worry about such an opponent for his friend, despite the man being part of his ‘family team’ in this contest. Without fighting him one-on-one the thin framed samurai couldn’t be sure but he had a seventy percent certainty that he would not be able to draw a win from a contest with that man against his own skill set.

The battle started off rapidly, the multi-weapon man having the clear advantage in both range of attack and defense when combing the extended weapon to attack and shield plus gauntlet combo for a mix of defense and offense. It made the fighter a truly well rounded opponent with very few gaps to exploit as he attempted to cover them with the range of weapons and armor. In the end it came down to the powerful fighting instincts of his friend combined with pure agility and acrobatic capability that caused for the dull grey eyes of the swordsman to light up for a moment, even his mouth gaped open just slightly as one of the nurses had returned to bandage up the now stitched laceration. That last action of flipping over the opponent and delivering the two blind side blows was truly a thing of beauty and signaled the end of the match now as the opponent was rendered unconscious.

After the end of the match a short intermission of an hour was given to allow for all the fighters to have their injuries properly treated and for them to rest where they could. Each side of the family remained on opposite sides of the arena, simply staring across the ring at their enemy. The wild haired swordsman took the time to close his eyes and meditate now, helping to relax his body and mind, something he’d learned to do from his master and his monk friend during their days of traveling together. Their temporary break seemed to short as Sato was awoken from his state by the young Juu who lightly gripped his shoulder, “You’re up my friend, be safe.” With a confident nod the young man stepped back from the swordsman who slowly moved his legs from the lotus position and stretched slightly before lifting his fragile looking from into the standing position. As he began to walk up the set of stairs leading into the fighting area he could see that his opponent was a few steps ahead of him.

Both young men made their way into the center ring now as Sato pulled his slightly beat up looking machete from their respective holsters now and gazed across at his new opponent. The man was muscular and didn’t wear a shirt, instead he wore a steel chest piece that covered his major organs with armor, in either hand were solid metal rods each about a meter in length with tape wrapped around one end of each serving as a sort of hilt or grip for the odd weapon. How ever simple these weapons appeared in the man’s hands he was able to break through any defense that had been put in front of him so far, his style was somewhat similar to the machete style of himself, chop, hack, and slash were the primary movements. With one rod on his shoulder and the other pointed towards the swordsman the man smirked, ready to conquer another opponent on his way to claiming this area for his side of the family and their honor.

Sato assumed his traditional fighting style with both thick bladed machete out in front of him in preparation for the start of the match, with a word and movement of a hand the pair instantly rushed one another and the sound of metal slamming against metal echoed out in every direction. Directly in the center of the area both men had attacked in a near identical manner leaving them at a temporary deadlock as both strove to over power the other. Both their styles based on using a heavy weapon and combining that with power to smash through what ever stood before them. Yet, in this clash the rod welder found himself at a slight disadvantage in a fight of pure strength.

Though it would appear that Sato, due to his nigh muscle-less fight, would be weak one would find that there was quite a bit of concealed strength with the flexible body of the swordsman. Something that had also caught his last opponent off guard when he used the chain to throw the man, having caught him off guard. Both blades pushed forward forcing the pole user to leap back in the end to escape the weight of the blades attempting to fix him in position, something that could be deadly in a fight. With the gap created the man instantly pushed back in in order to not be out down raining down a series of powerful blows which forced the thin framed swordsman on the defense as he flipped his blades over and used the thick spine of his blades and the side blunt edges to parry and block the blades.

Yet, the constant blows were causing his hands to slowly become numb forcing him to disengage from the attacks now as he exhaled a deep breath, glancing down at the marks created on the blade and then up at his opponent’s weapons which had similar marks. If these weapons would have been traditional katana then there was a high probability that either would have been broken and a broken weapon meant death on the battlefield. Each shifted back into their stance as Sato shook out his arms a bit, this wouldn’t be an easy battle and he’d need to find a way through the man’s flurry of attacks in order to counter. He didn’t have long to ponder the question as the man was quickly back on the attack as he used the length of the rods to leverage their strength down upon the somewhat stronger Sato, though this time as Sato tried to break contact the man kept pace.

He wouldn’t allow for the man to run away now and understood that a battle of attrition most likely wouldn’t work against the man of similar strength and stamina as himself, he needed to overwhelm and crush him which was a strategy all to familiar to the man as the blows quickly began to take their told on the thin framed man’s body.

The wripples of the vibrations slamming down into his body was causing for it to become sluggish as he finally made a mistake, unable to keep up with the blows as a slashing strike from the right side slipped under his guard and struck him on the left side just above the hip. Even with his ability to absorb some of the shock it had landed on the previous injury from the spear fight bursting all the stitches and sending him rolling to the side. Blade still in hand the right arm wrapped around to the left side holding it as blood had already seeped through the new top and onto the weapon clenched hand. A grunt from Sato was all that was heard as he had rolled to his feet and leaped backwards just in time to escape a double overhand smash from the pair of rods wielded by the opponent. His attack so powerful that it splinted the solid stone floor around the impact, what a tragedy that could have been for the young man if he had wound up getting hit by that type of attack.

He had to do something, as much as he didn’t want to expose any more of his body’s abilities it was the only thing that would allow for him to catch the man off guard enough to land and attack as he slid backwards after landing dropping to a knee from the pain but drawing back his right hand with its blade in a thrusting style stance. Focusing elasticity into his right arm as the man charged over to possibly finish off the wounded prey right in front of him now. ‘Speed Thrust!’ As the man entered just over two meters away and had already prepared to hammer down upon the injured fighter Sato would strike out with his right hand despite the obvious gap in distance. But it would not end how one might have thought it would now as the forearm extended over a meter in length at a speed that was much, much faster than he’d show in any of the other fights. It was a special technique he’d created with the elasticity of his body, pushing it to his currently limit as he sacrificed the flexibilty of the arm for pure speed in a lightning fast thrust.

It had been developed as one of his killing techniques but he had no choice but to use it in this set of circumstances as it flew past the single rod that he been in front of the man, planning to defend the thrust from his opponent with it. The heavy blade and angular tip smashed straight into the breast blade just below the peck outline on the right side of the man’s chest and pierced straight into the metal and out the back of the fighter’s arm bringing him to a sudden and violent half in movement against the force of the thrust. “Ahh!” Letting a low roar and ignoring the open wound on his left side and potentially broken rib or two the swordsman flexed his arm and lifted the now pierced figure up with the still extend arm and then twisted his body as the flexibility returned to the arm causing it to bend like normal and he drove the weapon and the fighter directly into the ground back first.

Spider web cracks formed in the stone floor spreading out from the back of the rod user’s hitting the arena floor as he was literally pinned to the stone they had been fighting up, both of his weapons clanged against the ground as they had been lost in the exchange. Sato himself doubled over in pain as blood leaked down his left side causing for him to retract his extended arm back to normal length as it covered the worsened around with an open palm now. The man’s frail looking body could be seen inhaling and exhaling deep breaths as the left eye was mostly closed from the pain radiating up the body, drops of blood even leaked from the bandaging on the large would that had been covered on the left side of the swordsman’s face. Dropping back to a knee and finally onto his but he looked at his opponent who passed out now and he was declared the winner, his body was sore from the fight and even exhausted, not to mention the broken ribs on the left side he had now. The young man who had recruited Sato came to help him up as others pried the weapon from the stone which had pinned the rod user to the ground and the weapon was returned to its owner as the bloody youth was helped off the arena.

How’d you do that?” His friend Juu couldn’t help but ask the fragile looking man after they set him down on the medic’s bench and they began to quickly go about tending to the wounds, one pushing lightly the broken ribs causing for Sato to nearly double over in the moment from the unexpected pain. “Heh….” Trying to laugh it off, he turned to the young man who had gotten him into all of this, “...it is a secret I’m afraid.” Not wanting to tell him they he just had a weird body he wrote it off to him as some secret technique of his. “I hope your last fighter manages to defeat Hiji, in this condition, I don’t think I’d be his match for sure.
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Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:36 pm

Hiji watched the next match as closely as possible, the medics of his family stitching the large cut that he'd received along with bandaging the litany of other small incisions and lacerations he'd received during the course of his fights through the tournament. He worked to keep his core and chest as still as possible. He watched Sato ascend to the stage as his opponent, who had been fortunate enough to not receive any extensive injuries. Hiji's brow furrowed in concern. Both he and Sato had received at least one or two significant injuries in the course of their fights. This man's bulk and physical strength had prevented such injuries for him. He wasn't certain how Sato would fair against such a foe.

His fears only heightened as the battle began and Hiji observed that their fighting styles were very similar. Despite what one could say, it was often much more difficult to fight against someone using the same fighting style as yourself, mostly because both fighters would generally know the opponent's capabilities. The battle would leave the physical realm and orient itself in the mental space between the two, meaning that the fight was much less about raw skill and more about exploiting the slight differences in capability and strategy that existed between one's self and their foe. It required having not only a greater knowledge of the foe's abilities but also of one's own abilities as well. Would Sato be able to adapt to these circumstances?

The clash was long, ferocious, and brutal. He could tell that Sato's wrists, in particular, were taking a beating as he had to regularly readjust his weapons in his hands. 'If this keeps up, his arms won't be able to keep up. His guard will eventually fail,' Hijikata thought grimly to himself as the fight progressed. Sure enough, only a few minutes after that realization crossed his mind, Hijikata's fear became reality. After one particularly vicious series of clashes, Sato's opponent scored a solid hit on his left side, sending the boy rolling as a spray of crimson left his side. Hiji's eyes sharpened at the sight. He couldn't move, the large size of the cut on his own chest requiring his absolute stillness. "Sato... You must fight on," he whispered to himself, getting at least one confused glance from one of the nurses tending to him. It seemed that his fellow's fate was sealed...

And then, from seemingly nowhere, Sato's arm stretched, clearly in an inhuman way. The sight was only less of a shock than it was to everyone else because of Hiji keenly observing every single one of Sato's matches. He knew there had been a reason behind that strange bending of his neck, but he'd never imagined that it would allow him to extend his limbs or contort them so violently. Hiji's eyes narrowed. Were these shinobi arts? He couldn't be certain, but he'd have to be careful either way. It was that very skill that had offered Sato a decisive victory from behind, though he was still very injured in the process. Despite his caution, he was saddened to see Sato in such a state. The nurses finished stitching up Hiji's wound and bandaged him before he rose and ascended to the stage.

His next opponent had proven to be a ferocious fighter, roughly the same size as Hiji, but with a much more unorthodox weapon: a pair of simple steel tonfa of some of the finest craftsmanship that Hiji had seen in some time. Despite taking blow after blow, they didn't seem to have the slightest scratch or blemish on them. Hiji saw those weapons and knew that if he tried relying on his katana he would be disassembled in short order. Drawing his wakizashi instead, Hiji was determined to rely purely on fundamentals. Considering that Sato had secured himself his spot in the Grand Finals, this was the only other opponent he had to hide this from. Sato already knew about his status as a student of Iaido. He would use it against this opponent if absolutely necessary. But he could, under no circumstances, use his own sword. In order to win against Sato's strange ability...

He would need to keep the Hiten a secret just a bit longer.

The fight began, and his opponent, ever the aggressor, charged Hiji, his steel tonfa spinning expertly in his hands. Hiji was astonished by the speed and fluidity of his movements. Of all of the contestants, this man's matches had been the shortest, and he'd always overwhelmed his opponents with constant aggression and pressure, keeping them on the defensive and breaking their guards to land crushing blows. Facing it himself, Hiji could see why the other participants had faltered before this whirlwind of steel. The tonfa were already quick, versatile weapons on their own. Making them of steel increased both their defensive and offensive capacities exponentially, and even with his wakizashi and nimble movements, it was all Hiji could do to stay out of the reach of those powerful spinning strikes. His opponent, in his own element, pressed onward, but he did not drive Hiji toward the edge of the ring. Instead, he moved to keep Hiji as close to the center of the ring as possible. This man... he was smart. He knew that considering how Hiji had won his first match, risking a ring-out scenario was not in his favor. He would make sure his opponent was in a reliably consistent position so he could wear Hiji down with blow after blow.

Hiji cursed mentally. There was no way he was making it out of this fight without at least one notable injury. If he wanted any chance at victory, he'd have to be creative.

For now, the rurouni kept on the defensive, trying to throw very quick thrusts to disrupt his opponent's flow, which the opponent rebuffed easily. Even being almost entirely on the defensive, the opponent managed to clip him with some glancing blows, which immediately dyed his skin on the areas of impact purple. The pain in those areas was ignored, as even the slightest drop in Hiji's speed would end this match in his opponent's favor. He could also, much like with Sato's opponent, feel the vibrations taking their toll on his wrist. Hiji's mastery of his weapon had negated the impact of those blows somewhat, but it was only a matter of time before his opponent knocked the weapon from his hand.

During their movements, Hiji noticed a slight pause in his opponent's attack string. It wasn't something he could exploit on its own, but he noticed the opponent exhale and inhale within that step. He... Was he becoming fatigued? Hiji had energy to spare, but his body wouldn't hold up much longer under the onslaught of attacks that these steel tonfa were buffeting him with. In that moment, Hiji made a decision, one that would instantly decide the outcome of this match. He could do it.

He simply had to brace himself for what was going to happen.

Waiting for his opponent's next swing, Hiji would do the unthinkable: he'd drop his wakizashi and step into the strike. Though it certainly cut his momentum, Hiji would grit his teeth as the steel tonfa slammed into his right arm, his bones cracking audibly as his arm exploded in pain. Even his ribs suffered some hairline fractures from the impact. In the same moment that the tonfa made contact, Hiji stepped in and, using his katana in its scabbard, roughly slammed the pommel of the hilt up and into the opponent's diaphragm, digging into the muscle as hard as possible. The opponent was left winded, nearly vomiting from the strike as he stumbled back. Hiji wouldn't let him get away. Grabbing the opponent by the cuff of his tunic, Hiji did probably the least graceful thing he'd done during the entire tournament and pulled him forward into a violent headbutt, his forehead shattering the opponent's nose and knocking him unconscious from the impact.

Hiji limped off of the stage, and the two village elders called for a recess for the rest of the day, giving the two finalists, Hiji and Sato, time to rest and mend from their wounds for as much as possible. As Hiji had hopped and feared, they would be the two finalists in this brutal tournament.

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Zao
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[Plotboard Part 2 - Closed] Conflict of Contradiction

Post by Zao » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:35 pm

From the sideline the man winced slightly as they began to wrap his now completely exposed torso in order to ensure that his broken rib and worsen laceration could be tended to. Attempting to control his breathing now as another medical nurse tended to the handful of broken stitches on his left cheek he shifted his sorrowful looking eyes up into the arena where his friend was about to take on perhaps the number one fighter of the family he was respresting with his honor as a swordsman. This man was one who had so far dominated each opponent with his double tonfa style and each match before this current one had been rather short with him demonstrating a wide advantage over each opponent.

With in a few short moments the fight began and like all the other opponents that Saigo had fought before, he took a very aggressive charge as the tonfa spun in his hands smashing down against Hiji attempting to forcibly hammer his way through the defensive bladework of the samurai and literally crush him. If he was able to win then the family would have secured this area as their own and their would be no need for Sato to continue fighting. Judging from how things had started many thought that to be the case, even the family which Hiji was representing as their last and final hope in this tourney. The steel of the tonfa and shorter sword Hiji had chosen crashed into one another as he continued to pressure his friend, but instead of driving him towards the edge of the ring he was instead constantly circling him in order to trap him in the middle of the ring and force him to constantly turn to defend.

Can Hiji continue to last like this?’ Sato understood the feeling as it was somewhat similar to how his previous match had gone with him being forced immediately onto the defense and forced to endure the bombardment of the tonfa that were weakening his fingers, wrist, and arms which each forced block. With a similar fighting style to himself the fragile looking young man knew that one would lose if they continued to take a beating like this, one’s body could not handle this type of constant trama. And in order to break through this defense one would have to take a great risk as it seemed his offense and defense flowed almost perfectly together with one another.

What will you do my friend?’ He couldn’t help but question how the man would be able to succeed at this point in the fight, though he also couldn’t count the resourceful man out as the samurai’s instincts and ability to fight with each part of his body was a talent few had these days. The sword wasn’t his only tool for success. Narrowing his dull grey eyes slightly, he could only closely observe as the situation continued to become slightly worse for Hiji as things continued to progress and the time started to click forward. Suddenly his friend made his decision and didn’t block with his weapon, actually dropping it, taking the blow from the metal tonfa right to his arm in exchange to break the flow of his opponent’s attack and shrink the distance between them to ning inches.

Even Sato stood up, immediately regretting it as his right hand folded around his left rib cage at the spike of pain but he tried to ignore it mentally though his face contorted in an expression of pain, from that distance and with only one arm, there was no way for the man to draw the sword on his hip. Even the impact from the weapon into the young man’s arm had clearly broken the bones in it but Hiji drew the pommel of the weapon straight into the weak spot of the chest, the diaphragm. This was followed up with a brutish but effective headbutt directly to the nose of the man breaking the cartilage of nose and knocking the man unconscious. He had won but at a steep cost of a badly broken arm. Sighing to himself, he carefully set back down with the help of one of the nurses who was still helping tend to his cuts and bruises from the fights he’d participated in today.

Shaking his head slightly, the man managed to force a smile as he contemplated the level that a samurai’s honor would push them to fulfill their obligation to one, promises are meant to be kept in order to maintain the honor of their masters. The match had ended and the arena was no quiet as each camp spoke amongst themselves and tended to the wounded fighters after the day’s events, the two older men came to the agreement to halt the fights for the day in order for each of their outside aid to rest and hopefully recover a bit. Afterwhich each family gathered their members and went to move back to their tents for the night, Sato told them that he’d be with them shortly as he stayed at the edge of the arena looking up at the sky which was beginning to darken and then back across towards the other family.

There can be only one winner my friend…’ Half open grey hue eyes glanced again at the tourney stage and then carefully walked back towards the family he represented and their dwelling space, assisted by the same nurse from before. A gentle laugh escaped the thin lips of the messy haired man now as he whispered aloud to himself, “Will either of us even be able to fight tomorrow…?
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Yami Kasai - Kiri's Black Reaper - Current Mizukage

Saisuko Zao - Suna's Spirit Tamer - Bannin

Hyōryū - Suna S-Rank Missing Nin

Arashiyama Toushi - Kumo's Storm Beast - Bannin


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