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Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
© Masashi Kishimoto

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Komon Hyuuga
Komon Hyuuga
Vagabond (B-Rank)
Vagabond (B-Rank)
Ryo : 1500

Forged in Fire Empty Forged in Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:51 am

Aside from the cluttered desk full of sketches and designs for his future arsenal, Ikigai’s room was for the most part well kept. His katana was mounted on the wall, resting on small wooden pegs, and his outfits were either dirty and resting in a hamper or cleansely and hanging inside the closet in the corner opposite to the cluttered desk. His bed was well made, as of five minutes ago as he had just woken up, and the floor was spotless. It was only right he kept the place clean, as his sensei was letting him stay here at no cost.

Ready to begin his day the blue skinned boy would slip on one of the outfits in his closet, the blue and white jacket that had become his signature look to anybody that knew him, and would swipe the katana from it’s pegs. He was going to need it, this was a swordsman academy after all. Stepping into the academy's hallway he'd see a tired Kiyo in his bathrobes, no doubt returning from an early morning shower. "Christ Kiyo, cover up will you!" Ikigai would say to the kid who had clubbed him in the back of the head just days earlier.

"No thanks, I don’t take orders from people who lose to me" The kid would joke as he slammed the door to his own room, ending the conversation. It was obvious the kid was still enjoying his victory, even if it was delivered to him through a cheap shot. The Hoshigaki would make a mental note to never turn his back on an opponent again... Even in a spar, if this was the reaction he was going to get from it.

As he walked down the hallway he'd see two new plaques on some of the old empty doors, 'Kay' and 'Shien'. The two new students, he had toured around the academy just days ago. He couldn't help but wonder how the pair was adjusting. Shien reminded him of himself, at least with physical appearance, and kay was somehow connected to that gladiator guy. They were an interesting pair, that he definitely wanted to learn more about. He made another mental note to spar with them at some point in the week, to see how they fared in combat.

It was then that he reached the end of the hallway and the entrance to the dojo, pushing the door open would cause an audible creaking sound, or... at least it would have, if it hadn't been covered by the sound of clashing steel as Hakai sparred with one of the older students. The sensei's black cloak flapped with every skillful slash of the blade, in an effort to keep up with the arm that was moving at unbelievable speeds. The student was doing his best to keep up, but the Hozuki Swordsman was on another level. Besides, even if the student made it past the Sensei's defenses, the man could just turn into a puddle.

There was a reason Hakai was hailed as one of the best swordsman to ever grace kumogakure and he made it apparent with every lesson. He'd do it again as his student was forced to retreat and lost his footing, a mistake the elder swordsman would surely capitalize on. As the child stumbled to regain his balance, his forehead would come into contact with the hilt of storm bringer, Hakai Hozuki's infamous blade, and he'd be sent to the floor on his back. By the time he had recovered from the blow and opened his eye's he'd be met with the view of the massive blue broadswords edge, floating mere centimeters from his face.

"You were over concentrating on the sword Yokai." The sensei would begin to speak, before sheathing the blade back onto his back, and then extended his hand to help the boy up. "While the blade is deadly and demands attention, it is not the only variable in a spar, or real combat for that matter." He'd point to the mat that they had been sparring on, and the edge that Yokai had tripped over. "You were so caught up in the defensive that you let me push you to the corner of the mat. Next time, focus on your location as well, and figure out when to go on the offensive."

The two would speak some more with Yokai doing his best to reconcile for his error in front of the sensei, Students of Hakai knew that there was no use making excuses, and that the Sensei rarely criticized without reason, it was much wiser to listen to the man and learn from their mistakes, lest they risk making the same on an actual battlefield. Ikigai would smile at the thought of a less merciful opponent taking advantage of Yokai’s mistake.

He harbored no good feelings about the man, truth be told Yokai had been nothing but an ass to him since the day he had arrived here, and he couldn’t think of a student, or a person he disliked more than him. But he grew bored as time went on and Yokai reverted back to his near flawless fighting style, the man was a machine and when an error was revealed to him, he quickly corrected it. So Yokai and Hakai would continue their clash, with steel hitting steel, and sparks flying in the air with every collision.

Ikigai, had seen enough for one morning and decided it was about time he got some morning air. Swinging the massive doors to the dojo open he’d take a look at the well kept landscape in front of him, a trimmed green carpet of grass stretching from one of the academy's massive gated walls to the other, with a white stone sidewalk going through the middle of it. All of which looked absolutely beautiful underneath the blazing mountain sun of kumogakure.

He could tell it was still early morning by the smell of the grass, still damp from the morning dew. Taking it all in Ikigai would smile as he heard the familiar sounds of hammers in the school forge. Common sense told him that the originator of the sounds was Yomu, a redheaded chuunin, and a student of Hakai. He was the schools most prized blacksmith, and rightfully so. At the moment he was probably putting in the necessary work to forge the new student their katana’s.

Instinctively Ikigai’s hand would drop to the katana he’d been given only a year ago and he’d smile at the thought of it. Pulling the blade partially out of its sheath the small section of metal that was revealed to the world would reflect the sun powerfully, a true sign of Ikiga’s skillful maintenance. Yomu had been the man who had forged his blade and given it to him, as was customary for a student of Hakai. And it had been Ikigai’s prized possession ever since.

As a child in an orphanage Ikigai hadn’t the money for his own sword, but it had never stopped him from practicing. In his youth he’d broken off the shaft of a fairly expensive broom, much to the orphanage owner’s dismay for that matter, and had taken it to the training grounds to imitate the jounin who sparred their.

This routine he had dedicated himself to was the reason his talent had been discovered by Hakai, and why he had received an invitation to study here. A grin would manifest itself on his face as he remembered that he still had the broom shaft in his closet right here at the academy. I guess I’m a sentimental bastard

Still tired from the early morning wake up Ikigai’s arms would stretch to either side of him and his chest would puff outwards as a yawn managed to escape his body. Annoyed at himself for being so tired he’d shake his head viciously before rubbing his eyes and beginning to walk down the front steps of the academy towards the forge. He figured he had to do SOMETHING to keep himself awake. Anytime was better than time spent sleeping. Sleeping in Ikigai’s mind was a state of nothingness, you gained nothing from it but energy.

Oversleeping was the enemy, and he made a conscious effort to avoid it.

As he grew closer to the shack he could feel the heat from Yomu’s work radiating off of the site of the small brick building. And could hear the mans hammer growing louder, obviously at work on a new project. As he was about to open the iron door he’d hear an inhuman voice, that sounded like a mixture of a child boy, and a robotic voice full of static erupt behind him. “How’s the morning treating you Ikigai”.

A swivel of the head would reveal one of Yomu’s massive iron puppets carrying a bucket full of iron ingots. “Come on Yomu, I’ve told you a thousand times, I hate talking to you through those…. Things.” The lifeless yet moving hunk of metal would tilt what appeared to be its head in confusion. “Yah, you have. I just don’t really understand why” It would say in its static voice.

Having enough of conversing with the metal man, Ikigai would turn to enter the workshop, revealing a 12 year old boy with long red hair and a metal arm, hard at work over a smithing station, hammering away at a molten sword, still ripe with heat and glowing orange, ready to be forged into a formidable weapon. “It’s because its creepy as hell” He’d say to his friend as he walked next to him, peering at the boys creation.

I don’t see why you think that, It’s just a puppet” the redheaded boy would shrug before continuing. “No scarier than a sock puppet really” He’d say without looking at Ikigai. His eyes were fully focused on the task at hand. Ikigai would return the shrug as his gaze shifted at the puppet. “Agree to disagree then” the comment would leave his mouth as his eyes were still directed at the piece of metal that was what the puppet would call a face. Only it had no eyes, nor nose nor mouth. Just a flat sheet of metal with a lens in the center of it, one that matched the lens on the right side of Yomu's glasses.

Yomu told him that it was how he saw through his creations. And looking around he could see similar lenses in at least 4 other of the boy's creations. In the smithing station Yomu stored a small army of puppets, all of which looked without a doubt more intimidating than a sock puppet. Shaking his head he'd look back at the sword. "So is this one for Kay? or for Shien?" He'd ask, knowing that the blades were given in the order the students had arrived. So if it was Shiens blade, he knew that Kay's had already been completed and if it was Kay's he knew that Shiens would take a while to reach completion.

Yomu would simply shrug before stating nonchalantly "It's the girls, haven't gotten to the lizard kid's yet" His hammer would clash with steel as he spoke, and Ikigai would admire the childs ability to hold a conversation and forge at the same time. He'd tried to make swords in the past but it had always ended poorly for him. Smithing was a hard earned talent, and for a boy as young as Yomu to have perfected the art of it was something that the shark skinned boy found to be very impressive. Hakai, Boru, Yomu, Yokai.... The academy had a way of luring the extraordinary towards it.

One day I'll prove I belong here, I'll become the best swordsman this school has ever produced

He'd swear to himself as he cursed his lack of skill, it seemed the only person he outmatched here was Kiyo, and that was not a feat to be proud of. One day his fist would clench, as his mind returned to the task at hand. "Then I guess you're slowing down with age... Had this been last semester you could have forged 5 swords by now" He'd playfully punch his friend on the arm as he spoke.

Yomu, semi annoyed by the faked assault, and the attack on his productivity would ask rather bluntly. "So do you have a reason for being here or are you just trying to distract me" His words would fly at Ikigai like weapons. "Whoa pal, I just stopped by to see if you could use any help" He'd lie, attempting to defuse the situation. In all actuality he had only stepped in because he was curious, and had came with no intention of helping.

"You're a shit smith, Iki and a worse liar" The puppeteer would semi aggressively stab at his friend. "If you wanna make yourself useful you can go fetch some of those iron ingots set up in a pile behind the academy, it's getting pretty exhausting lugging my puppets back and forth" He'd say in an exasperated manner, gesturing with his non mechanical hand towards the door. "Ok, ok, jesus” Ikigai would mutter as he was ushered out the door.

I’ll get you those damn Ingots” He’d promise before shutting the door behind him. “Good! Now put some hustle in it!” He’d hear Yomu’s muffled shout from behind the closed door would barely permeate in ikigai’s ears, as he walked away from the shed. Dont push your luck kid Ikigai would think to himself, choosing not to say it aloud, lest he face the wrath of a 12 year olds robot army. Pick your battles Ikigai, Pick your battles

As he rounded the corner of the academy and the backyard came into view, he could see the training ground where he had taught kay how to wield the water element, as well as Hakai’s cabinet… Both of which several dozen meters away from the academy. The pile of iron however, was thankfully much closer. Giving a sigh of relief he’d look around for a way to carry the ingots realizing he had neglected to bring a bucket as he had hurriedly left his friends forge.

Well that’s no good, guess I gotta be a little inventive he’d think as he unsheathed his sword and unzipped his jacket. Using the two item’s he’d create an object similar to the stereotypical hobo bag on a stick image you’d see in a cartoon, taking care to tie the hoodies sleeves around the dull end of the blade so that the weight from the ingots wouldn’t pull against a sharp katana and cut itself free. It simply wouldn’t do to waste a jacket as nice as Ikigai’s after all.

It would only take a few seconds before he realized that Iron Ingots were much heavier than he had been expecting. In fact, they were heavy enough that he figured he’d ask his friend Yomu if he could keep a few to make a weight set, it would be a pretty good method of physical training down the road if you asked Ikigai, and by the looks of it, Yomu had more than enough iron to spare.

Alright, it’s about time I get this stuff back to Yomu He’d think as he mentally timed himself and threw the sack over his shoulder. Momentarily caught off guard by the weight of the ingots again he’d stumble backwards, nearly falling on his ass before he managed to regain his balance. Damn this is heavy

The walk back felt considerably longer than the walk there, but Ikigai was stronger than he looked, and he managed to make it to the door. Even if he arrived covered in sweat. “Open the door!” He’d say weakly from behind the iron door. But Yomu could clearly hear his muffled voice, as made apparent by the sound of metal grabbing metal.

The puppet doorman would let him in, and he’d scurry over to the redhead boys barren workdesk, dumping the ingots across it and listen to the satisfying thuds as they landed on their sides. “You know you could have reminded me to bring the damn bucket” He’d spout as he slid his blade back into the sheath where it belonged. “That was exhausting, and I think I stretched my jacket” He’d hold the jacket by one of its sleeves with one hand, letting it dangle and pointing to it with the other to emphasize.

Yomu would simply shrug, “Seems like a fair price to pay for negligence” He’d laugh as he picked the sword he had been working on up by the pommel. It was still orange from the molten heat, but it was now clearly shaped into what would be a fine katana. “Anyways, you can tell the new girl her swords ready to be picked up whenever she want’s it.” He’d say, rotating the sword in his hands, looking for any last minute imperfections. But as usual, he found none, his work was art.

Thanks for the help Ikigai” He’d say, dropping the snarky act and showing genuine appreciation as he dipped the sword into water, and smoldering steam would fill the air. Ikigai would nod returning the sentiment to his friend, “Any time, and I’ll be sure to let her know” He’d mockingly bow before turning to exit the smithing station. But before he left he’d grab a piece of coal from a pile resting in the corner, and move to one of the puppeteers faceless puppets.

One last thing tho” He’d say as he crouched and began to sketch a smiley face on the puppets blank slab. When he finished he’d step back and make a picture frame with his two hands “Much better” He’d joke as he admired his work, Yomu would respond by making the puppet suddenly jump out at Ikigai, sending the boy doubling backwards.


God I hate puppets He'd think to himself

WC: 3001
Claiming (1000+3001 = 4000/4000 Words towards Crushing Blow)
15 Stats
Missing-Nin (B-rank)
Missing-Nin (B-rank)
Survived 2021
You've completed the Christmas Event of 2021 and qualified for the last reward, by partisan you are awarded this fancy badge!
Ryo : 0

Forged in Fire Empty Re: Forged in Fire

Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:54 am
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