Blood Mist Chronicle
Chronicle Start! The Ice Queen and the Dog Lover.
Himuro Tachibana, female student of the first graduating class of the Reformed Shinobi Academy of Kirigakure, Hidden Mist Village, went over the 25th tenet of Shinobi in her mind.
"A Shinobi shall not be swayed by emotion, for emotion will hinder the success of a mission," easier said than done really. The wiry black haired, misty blue eyed girl of eleven years sighed inwardly and looked to her left at the two other students who shared the large desk on the far right side of the room with her, both seemed just as eager as she did for the end of this small, semi-formal ceremony.
It had been four years since Tachi had decided to enter into the Academy. Her family's reaction was not one of surprise, for the way of the Shinobi was ingrained in her blood. The look on her father's face was one of mixed pride and fear, her mother's, a more resigned acknowledgement. Tachi didn't understand what the big deal was either way, after all her older sister, father and mother were all Shinobi, Shinobi in the way that most Himuro family members had been and would be.
Her gaze met with Meimou Kouchi, who gave her a wry half smile and a quick flip of her light blond hair. Tachi could never tell if the girl meant her smiles. She was one of those super popular types that most girls wanted to be and most boys at least looked at, if they didn't hound her for attention outright.
Next to Kouchi was Okamichi Yuri, whom Tachi didn't know very well. She was a loud girl with a reputation of being ill-tempered. Her hair was worn high on the back of her head in a ponytail, it wasn't that way because of any cosmetic intent it was there simply to keep her long hair out of her face, which was probably only long because she was too lazy or apathetic to cut it. Yuri gave Tachi a look under half lidded eyes as if to say "whaddya want?"
Tachi diverted her gaze back to the front of the class room they'd all received lessons in the past 4 years. One Shobu Sumiya was at the front with their teacher Hayashida sensei. He looked a little nervous about the situation, maybe not as nervous as Tachibana, but enough to stutter in thanking Hayashida sensei for his brand new Mist headband. She smiled at him when he turned around to return to his seat and he smiled back with an expression on his face that said "I did it! Yeah!"
"Himuro Tachibana," her own name broke the moment and she hurried to her feet with a mumbled acknowledgement.
"It has been a pleasure being with all of you these past four years," Hayashida sensei paused, "but now that time is over. All of you have shaped up to be wonderful students, better than I had ever expected, and I can only hope that you'll all be responsible, resourceful Genin as well." Hayashida sensei paused again to survey the classroom, passing his eyes over a few problem students that generally worried him, but that would be out of his hands now.
"As of today I am no longer your sensei. You will all be divided and assigned to a willing Jounin, two students to each, and with him or her you will form a team to continue your training. Perhaps one day you yourself will be a Chuunin, or more, if you make it that long."
He let the silence hang heavy in the air. Everyone knew how important a milestone this graduating class was. It was the first since that tragedy, the tragedy known as Zabuza Momochi, Demon of the Hidden Mist. It was something talked about in low hurried voices as if invoking his name would bring him back. The adults of the village would change the subject if it was spoken of, or in some cases grow angry or overly somber, staring off as if seeing another time or place.
"I wish you all luck in your endeavors, along with your headband you were given a scroll. On this scroll is the name of your assigned Jounin and a meeting time and place. I expect all of you to make a good name for this Academy and to be a shining example of Genin for our village."
On her way home Tachi paused a moment by the wall of a residential home to open the scroll. It was a plain beige roll of paper wrapped tightly and tied with the official blue cord of Mist documentation. Unrolling it with no small amount of excitement, Tachi was met with quite the sight.
The interior of the message was covered in crude cartoon drawings, presumably of a woman. One by the corner had her making a scary face was sharp teeth and some text introducing herself as Hayaise Sujiya, a second herself with a big grin and a thumbs up, giving the appropriate gathering location and a warning not to be late. Tachi raised an eyebrow, mouth agape. What kind of Jounin had such bad hand writing? She even took the time to make these crude drawings. If she was going to be her new sensei and team leader…
Tachi didn't have the time to finish the thought. A body flew seemingly from nowhere and slammed into her, knocking her prostrate and sending the scroll flying several meters away. A few moments of chaos and angry shouts filled the air as her assailant scrambled to her feet, leaving the stunned Tachi on the ground and face to face with a tiny black pup.
The pup seemed overjoyed with the chaos of the situation and gave her a giant lick right across the face before bounding off to pursue his master. Tachi's eyes followed him away and up to see Okamichi Yuri, her face contorted with rage and shouting something about kicking Subaru's ass.
That's right, Zensoku Subaru, the taijutsu prodigy of their graduating class. Tachi had never liked Subaru all that much. He was overly boisterous and quick to a scuffle even when it wasn't appropriate, wasted energy really. Had Yuri and Subaru been fighting? She'd heard of them fighting it out before, the two of them had the most awkward friendship she'd ever seen. They'd be discussing things grudgingly one moment and then fighting it out the next.
"Just stop Subaru," heard Tachi as she picked herself up off the ground, "you did insult her." That was the voice of Jiisha, Subaru's best friend, and a fire jutsu enthusiast, if not a specialist. Fire jutsu was incredibly uncommon in Kirigakure.
Subaru shot him a glance, but it held no malice. "Hey, she smells bad, so I said she smells bad. Damn dog lover." The comment only further angered Yuri, who now stood in a fighting stance, her little black pup at her side growling.
"Hey now," Subaru added, turning back to Yuri before she could rush him. "Let's settle this correctly. A proper match down by the western training grounds at the edge of the village. What do you say? I promise I won't call you a dirty dog lover anymore." His grin was anything but amiable.
Yuri hesitated a few moments before relaxing and settling into a more relaxed stance, one leg forward and a hand on her hip. "Sounds good to me. Just make sure Jiisha comes along so he can carry you home." She stuck her tongue out at him.
Teeth set, Subaru turned and walked, leaving Jiisha a bit surprised and staring down Yuri on his own. He have a nervous wave and a chuckle before turning back to follow Jiisha.
The little black pup turned and leapt into Yuri's arms, who then tucked him away in the fold of her vest as she faced Tachibana. "Sorry about that. He said some pretty dumb stuff, then I got thrown over here. Didn't mean to slam into you…" she trailed off as something caught her eye on the ground.
"Hey is that your scroll?" she bent down to pick it up at the same moment that Tachibana lowered herself to do the same, mumbling a positive response. They both reached out to take it, but Yuri was faster.
"Whoa!? You have Sujiya sensei too? Aw, everyone says she's crazy."
Tachibana drew back a bit flustered that Yuri was being so forward with her possessions when it hit her. "Wait, too?" she asked.
"Yes, I also received a scroll from Sujiya sensei," she lifted a hand to take a scroll that her little pup had been holding in his mouth suddenly. Was that just a regular dog? That seemed a little too intelligent for a regular puppy.
"Says to meet by the lake at the north side right? Weeper's pond?" Yuri held her scroll up and opened it for Tachi's perusal. Like her own scroll, Yuri's was covered in little crude drawings, presumably also of Sujiya in various characterizations of moods.
Yuri suddenly lowered the scroll. "Tomorrow at noon. So I guess this means we are team mates huh?"
Tachibana let that sink in for a moment. When she'd collected her thoughts again she spoke "I guess it does…" she looked down at her clothing and set to tidying herself post impact. Her heart fell a bit, she'd been hoping to be teamed up with Sumiya. "Let's work together." She bowed.
Yuri eyed her bowing, and returned a quick bow of her own after a moment. "Right, well I'm off to go kick that thug's ass. You coming? Seeing as we're team mates and all."
Tachi was a bit taken aback by the sudden invite. She had wanted to rush home and see her parents, sister and the praise they'd undoubtedly rain down on her.
"Sure you're coming!" Yuri grinned as she grabbed Tachi's arm and hauled her off in the direction Subaru and Jiisha had gone.
Yuri shifted her left foot forward a bit more, setting her jaw firmly as she did so. About ten meters opposite her stood Zensoku Subaru looking bored, as if his presence was unnecessary to the sparring match he proposed. Smug bastard.
Tachi stood along the sidelines with an equally uncomfortable Jiisha. The arena in question was a large, flat sandy area covered with massive wooden stakes that had been stabbed into the earth, each was about a half meter wide and evenly spaced in rows throughout, with a clear area in the middle where the two combatants now stood.
The expression on her face told much about her desire to be there, but who was she to refuse her new team mate?
After a few more moments of tense silence, heightened by the thick mist that always hung low over their village, Subaru jumped into action. He rushed forward, arms tucked low and close, body bent down, Subaru closed the distance between himself and Yuri in seconds, delivering a roundhouse kick that she easily ducked under. She raised a fist to strike him but he swatted it away with equal skill. He followed up by jumping backward and clasping his hands together, hand seals flashing in rapid succession. When it was done his body seemed to blur with every motion, as if his natural speed had suddenly increased greatly.
Yuri was not idle however, she spun backward with a flourish while her little pup leapt from her vest and down by her side. She landed on all fours in a feral position, much like her little friend beside her. Tachi could swear that she had suddenly grown claws and sharpened fangs.
"C'mon Kurobozu." She stated flatly, "we have to take out the trash." And with that she rushed, the dog at her side.
Subaru was not frightened so easily however and he was ready for her. The moment Yuri closed the distance between them he launched into an eight hit flurry of blows, most of them raining on her torso. This must have been the reason for his bravado, he was known as a taijutsu prodigy for good reason.
Tachi gasped at the same moment that Jiisha grunted in approval while Yuri spun backward, landing hard and rolling a good meter. She was quick to her feet however, and the anger in her eyes told Subaru just how much she was going to hurt him. Charging forward furiously gave Kurobozu the distraction he needed to clamp down on Subaru's ankle from behind. He flinched and tried to move out of the way, but Yuri was already on him.
The two collided with a too-loud thud and fell in a heap. Yuri was in complete control of the situation however and quickly set to work raking her claws on Subaru's face and chest, even going so far to bite him on the shoulder. She ended her ferocious attack with an overhead slam to his face which made Tachibana and Jiisha flinch at the sight of it. Subaru lay still in the aftermath.
Yuri took a moment to gain her composure. For a moment she appeared to have wanted to continue the violence despite her obvious victory after rendering Subaru unconscious.
She stood up, keeping her eyes fixed on his body until her breathing slowed, she then slowly made her way over to Jiisha and Tachibana, both of which stood in shock at how quickly the altercation had come to a close. Yuri's expression suddenly brightened into a cheerful smile when she addressed Tachi, "Alright, I'll see you tomorrow Tachi."
Tachibana gave her a weak smile and a wave as Yuri ran off, little Kurobozu in tow. She turned back to see Jiisha kneeling over Subaru, who was starting to come around with a groan. Yeah, that'd be a good time to see her self out.
Hayaise Sujiya reviewed the information provided of her new charges, the first; Himuro Tachibana, currently the youngest in the Himuro clan, renowned and feared as far as the Fire country for its ability to control ice and the fearsome elementalist Shinobi that the clan produced.
The other Genin was Okamichi Yuri, the young hot head of the Okamichi family. Although the family's primary focus was taijutsu that was not what they were known for. The Okamichi family had spent generations raising and training specially selected wolves that their fighting style borrowed from. They were much like the Hidden Leaf village's Inuzuka clan, a similarity that bred a rivalry that was blazing fiercely now that the Mist was at war with the Leaf.
She was pleased with the Himuro assignment to her team, Tachibana. Sujiya herself was an expert at water jutsu, and she would have much to pass on to the young Himuro. Yuri was good as well, it was nice to have some raw muscle around, and the Okamichi could be quite intimidating when pressed.
Yes, it was a good match on all parts, one day they would be an effective team to be reckoned with. Things could have been much worse by far, yes, much worse. The Mizukage wanted results from this class, and fast. Zabuza had set them back quite a bit with his episode that left the last graduating class completely terminated at his hands and Lord Mizukage was aiming to fill the gap.
This class had brought the Shinobi of the village much joy, but accompanying that great joy was great expectation. The training would be harsh and quick, the stars shining above, and the weak likely culled before they were sent to fight the war against the Leaf. It may have seemed heartless from the outside, but that was the way of the Bloody Mist, only the strong, only the great. That was how they had built greatness from near nothing, as they were vastly outnumbered by the Leaf. They made up for this flaw with sheer skill and brutality.
Sujiya grinned to herself as she closed the dossier and tossed her thick unruly hair back out of her eyes. The twenty-four year old would have a lot of fun tomorrow, much of it to the dismay of her hapless little Genin.