by Random Writer 46
Prologue: -Times and Days-
He really didn't expect the blow coming at him from out of nowhere. The uppercut struck him straight on the jaw, and it had been a clean hit. Had he not been reinforcing his jaw with Chakra, the battle would've been over by now. Twisting his body around in mid-air, he landed softly on the grass, quickly picking up a couple kunai from his pouch.
"Still going, eh?" asked his opponent, a nin with long black hair and rather proficient in taijutsu and ninjutsu. "I'll give you points for persistence, but you're really starting to piss me off now. How about this?"
"Hmmm?" murmured Hagane Sen. "What is it?"
"If you entertain me for two minutes more, and manage to survive till the end of it, then I'll make your death quick and painless," grinned the other nin, who was at least chuunin-level and quickly approaching jounin. It was impossible for Sen to counter, not when his own level was merely about genin. This match had been one-sided from the start, but it wasn't like this was a controlled spar anyway.
"Hm. Well, here's what I think of your little suggestion," said Sen, throwing the bladed weapons from his hand. Half of them spiralled towards his opponent, and the other half of the kunai landing all over the forest. There were kunai in the trees, in the branches, and on the ground.
"My, what a disappointment," grinned the chuunin, swinging and catching a kunai mid-flight. "And here I thought that a missing-nin of the famed Hagane clan would be able to do more than simply keep me entertained. Being a genin is no excuse, Hagane-san! Not when your ancestor was the first Jikage!"
Sen smiled grimly.
"Hmm. Hunter-san, you speak like you know my clan pretty well."
"Well, of course I do," retorted the hunter-nin. "The Hagane-zoku is the main clan of the Morigakure, anybody who wants to be somebody over here knows. But then I guess you aristocratic bastards don't know much about the common man yourself, do you?"
How ironic, noted Sen. He had said almost the exact same thing to another person a while ago. With his free hand, the one that wasn't on the branch at the moment, he gripped another handful of kunai. There were no shuriken in his pouch, and there was a reason for that.
"That wasn't what I was talking about, hunter-san. I guess I should've phrased it better... My question is: do you know anything about my clan's bloodline?"
The hunter-nin visibly shook. His eyes widened slightly and his mouth would've dropped to the floor, had he not been a professionally-trained ninja.
The hunter-nin turned to look at the kunai that he had snatched out of the air. There, on the tip of the kunai, was a small, glowing light. His eyes widened as he tossed the kunai away, crouching to the ground and boosting his legs with chakra. He was going to need everything he had to escape from this.
"Hmm. I might have to rephrase that again," noted Sen. "Not my clan's Bloodline, but the way that my clan fights? You know about Fuusuijutsu, no doubt."
The hunter-nin did not reply, dashing to the side. The explosion was incredibly large, shaking the branches that they had been battling on and rustling the leaves. The tree that the hunter-nin had been standing on previously was now blackened by soot and ash.
"You idiot," said the nin, now visibly getting angry. "Fuusuijutsu, of your level? You call that a clan secret!? Fuusuijutsu isn't a clan secret, it's simply something that your ancestors brought to our village, another division of jutsu like ninjutsu, genjutsu, taijutsu, kenjutsu, and bukijutsu!"
"Hm, it seems like I have a problem with phrasing my words," said Sen. "I'll have to find a way to fix that later... Anyway, Fuusuijutsu is not my clan secret, it's only part of the way that my clan fights. Surely you know that the Uchiha boost their Sharingan with Katon jutsu, and that the Kaguya take advantage of their bones by accompanying them with kenjutsu. It's much the same thing with my clan."
"A bloodline? That's not possible! Everybody in the village would know about it! It's not something that would be kept a secret amongst our own forces!" yelled the hunter-nin, getting visibly agitated now. "The price for lying is harsh, kid! I'll make sure your death is slow and painful! Might even bring you back to the interrogation squads too!"
The hunter-nin charged forwards, blinded by his rage, and that was when Sen activated his trap. Raising his hand, he snapped his fingers.
And it was as if the whole forest blew up.
Fire spewed from every corner of the battlefield, and sounds and light dazzled the area. Explosions blew off branches, scorched trunks, and razed every last drifting leaf to absolute dust. Some of the thinner trees were even toppling, their supports blown apart by the explosions happening on the ground. The entire forest had become a mass of destruction, and as soon as it had came the maelstrom stopped.
The hunter-nin had been caught in the middle of the crossfire, and had been blown basically to tatters. Slumped down on a nearby branch, his breathing was coming in ragged and irregular. Sen simply stared at the opposing nin, not too worried. About three meters in each direction with him as the centerpoint, there wasn't a speck of damage. It would be far too stupid to make a trap and catch yourself in it, after all.
"How did you like that?" asked Sen. "Hmmm. That was my Mori Nenshou. I suppose you may call it a jutsu if you will, but it was really more along the lines of a trap."
The hunter-nin appeared defenseless, but Sen wasn't fooled. His taijuts was weak, and even if he did go close-range with an injured opponent, no doubt his foe was stronger every way in close-range combat. For now he would stall for time until he could set another trap.
"H-How..." gasped the hunter-nin, his silky black hair now ruined by debris, dust, and soot. "F-Fuusuijutsu is like Fuuinjutsu! You need time to set it up... You never..."
Sen shook his head.
"All along I had been setting up for Mori Nenshou. You simply thought I had been doing something else," said the missing-nin with a slight hint of satisfaction. "To be exact, this ties right into what I was talking about earlier. My clan doesn't have a bloodline, you're right. It must've been the way that I said it, but the people from my family had always had a talent for wires."
"Wires?" That actually made a lot of sense. Fuusuijutsu was the conducting of chakra located in every single object, living or dead, animate or inanimate, through chakra lines placed within the earth and using that energy to create an effect. Wires enhanced by chakra could concievably dig right into the proper chakra lines and draw power, allowing the chakra to enter the wires and be shut in there, ready to be detonated at will. But when did he have the time to put down the...
"You realize it too now, don't you? The kunai that I threw earlier... None of them missed."
The hunter-nin howled in rage, and charged forwards.
He didn't get another step before he was torn apart by the net of near invisible wires in front of him. Blood splurted everywhere as his body was diced into pieces, his eyes widening in his final hour, not even able to make a sound. Sen turned around, not wanting to look upon the scene.
That was an incredibly brutal way to die, after all.
"THERE YOU ARE! What have you been doing?!"
Sen turned around and looked up into the sky as two figures swung from branch to branch, flying through the forest like shadows amongst leaves. From his sitting position on the ground beside the mound of dirt that covered his deceased foe he waved to his teammates, a girl about the age of thirteen and another boy.
"Don't sorry me! We were supposed to be at our rendezvous point an hour ago! You worried the crap out of us when you didn't show up, asshole!" cried the boy as he thrust his arms out around another branch, launching himself towards his teammate. With a hard thump, he landed on the ground rather ungracefully. "You'd better have a good reason for this!"
"...Yes... Hagane-sama..." said the other teammate in a soft, slightly broken drawl. Her eyes gleamed with a strange light. "It seems... that Daichi-san has been searching almost half of the forest for you."
"So, what's going on here. You get attacked or something?"
"Hmm. Yes, well. It seems to be that way, doesn't it, Daichi-kun?" said Sen, as though comtemplating something to himself. "I guess I must've finished him off with my wires."
"What do you mean you guess?" cried Kazan Daichi, getting more and more annoyed with his teammate's attitude. "Either you got attacked or you didn't, end of story! And what the hell do you mean you must've finished him off with your wires? You can't even remember something that happened like a minute ago? IS YOUR MEMORY GETTING WORSE OR SOMETHING?!"
"Please don't yell... Daichi-san..."
"Hmmm. Chinami is right, I suppose," noted Sen. "Yelling will raise your blood pressure, and all of us know that being missing-nin is a rather stressful job. It wouldn't do to have a heart attack before your twenty-five, now would it, Daichi-kun?"
"UGH! You two... ARE UNBELIEVABLE!"
"...You're still yelling... Daichi-san..."
He ignored her, turning towards Sen.
"C'mon then. No time to waste. Tell us what we're going to be doing on from this point. We both managed to get what you wanted us to get from a nearby village, so tell us what you went out by yourself to do," demanded Daichi, looking at the leader of the team with blazing eyes. It wasn't like he was angry... It was just the way that his personality was.
Sen had been waiting for this question. Without another word, he opened up the lid of the satchel that he had hung from around his neck, showing his teammates their contents. Daichi let out a gasp of surprise as Chinami's eyes went wide underneath her heavy bangs.
"This... This is...!"
"...Hagane-sama...! How did you... manage to get..."
Sen smiled, his face looked eternally in that half-asleep expression.
"My heritage, of course. I'm the grand-nephew of the Jikage, and the guards knew that. I'm pretty sure that both of them had the ideas 'better to let the kid see the damn thing rather than have the village leader get angry at us' and 'nobody's going to know anyway' flowing through their minds at the moment," explained Sen, simply. "It was easy enough to make a fake of the thing before I went, since I've already seen it in a scroll painting inside the family estate. I hid this thing out in the woodland a few days before we made our escape, and retrieved it just about thirty minutes ago. The hunter-nin came about right after that."
"But what are you going to do with that?! That's an artifact locked by blood, it's not going to open up to just any person. It's not a Hagane-zoku treasure either, so there's no chance of you being able to--!"
Sen looked at his teammate.
"Hmmm... If the blood of the Hagane could be used to open up this thing, then my family definitely would've started using it a while ago. No, we're not going to be using this. We'll be doing something else instead."
"Well, what the hell is that good for then? It's just going to make us a bigger target. Why the hell would we have that thing if there's no point in bringing it along? I knew you were air-headed, but I didn't think you were stupid, asshole," muttered Daichi angrily. "This is going to get us killed!"
"You didn't let me finish," said Sen, closing the lid on his satchel. "We can't use this, so... of course."
With a strange glint in his eye, he looked upwards at his two teammates. Both Daichi and Chinami were used to the look by now, having learnt to trust it. That look was the reason that Sen was the leader of their team, and the reason that they were reknowned as the only genin team in their village to have never failed a mission before. It was the signal of a crazy plan.
A crazy plan that always worked.
"We'll be looking for the one person left alive on this earth who can, and I have a hunch where to find him."
The item in the satchel had been a light brown colour, being a simple box. Black engravings covered it, stylized in the most beautiful styles and caricatures. However, there was one engraving unlike any other that stood right on the lid of the box.
It was beautiful, and it was delicate. It was lined with a blood red colour, the sign of a blood seal.
It was in the shape of a spiral.
It was the Uzumaki-zoku's emblem.
Hagane Sen: For this story, I wanted a few original characters that don't seem too Mary Sue. One of the most important things that I've realized over the years of accidentally creating my own Mary Sues is that a character being perfect or imperfect has nothing to do with the way that a MS is determined, but it's their importance in the story as well as their personality. Personality quirks are important, and for Sen I decided to give him a reverse-Deidara speech pattern (putting his 'hmmms' in the beggining), as well as the tendency to phrase things wrong. This, combined with a slightly air-headed personality, leads to a character that I think could belo ng in the manga itself. Hagane means steel, and Sen means wire.
Hagane-zoku: The main clan of Morigakure the same way that the Uchiha and the Hyuuga are to Konoha. Their ancestor was the first Jikage, and they were the ones who brought Fuusuijutsu to Morigakure. The members of the Hagane are usually rather talented with wires and even the civilians tend to be very good at cat's cradle. The large majority of the clan become ninja, and, perhaps not surprisingly, eighty percent of the clan including the men knit in their spare time.
Jikage: Translates to Time Shadow. Three of the five Jikages had been from the Hagane clan, and the current one, Hagane Yaiba, is no exception.
Morigakure: 'The Village Hidden in the Forest'.
Fuusuijutsu: A branch of jutsu like ninjutsu and genjutsu that requires good chakra control. Instead of using chakra from your own body, chakra is conducted from other places like the ground and air to create powerful jutsu that can be used over and over again. However, the difficulty of Fuusuijutsu is high, and to become proficient in Fuusuijutsu is to become lacking in all other areas, therefore making most practitioners Fuusuijutsu specialists. Inspired by the concept of Fengshui, which translated into Japanese is Fuusui. Practitioners, however, are unable to pass on jutsu to the younger generations due to the unique ways that people manipulate chakra outside of their own bodies. It would be like teaching another person exactly how to water walk or tree-climb.
Mori Nenshou: Translates to Forest Burning. By sending kunai with wires attached into key points in the chakra lines running through the earth, the user draws chakra into the wires. By locking the chakra in, the user becomes ready to detonate the wires in a moment's notice with a snap of the fingers, releasing large amounts of explosions in a short time. Incredibly damaging to those who don't notice it, it's easily stopped by those who do. Side note: This would be completely useless against the Sharingan, as Sasuke had proved in his fight against Deidara that the Sharingan is the very definition of cheap (read: can see chakra in anything.)