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Mara Asano
Mara Asano
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Some Finishing Touches Empty Some Finishing Touches

Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:26 pm
Mara cautiously made her way to Konoha's training grounds. It felt odd, venturing through the village on her own. But with the Chuunin Exams so close at hand, she couldn't waste time on simple things like apprehension. Actually arriving on the training field changed her mood a bit. The sun was streaming through and she couldn't help but feel comfortable. It was warmer hear, without the wind that rips through Kumo's mountainous environment. It looked like a very pleasant day for some training...even if it was in a completely foreign landscape. The familiar target dummies seemed to root her, making it feel just a little bit less foreign.

The real question is what to focus on. Many of her fellow Genin might already be farther along in their training. And the ones who had been sent on missions would be better equipped. Her brief spar with Zyxis had confirmed to her that she was outclassed by some of her classmates. During their very brief simulated combat, he'd dodged all of her moves and easily gotten behind her. And the one move she actually managed to hit him with, when he let her hit him, he'd shrugged off completely. The fact that he too was attending this exam confirmed to her that she would need more than just raw ability to prove herself here.

Thankfully, analysis was one of Mara's strong suits. She watched, measured, and learned. Before moving to her own section of the training grounds, she’d watched a young Leaf Academy Student practicing. He was larger in stature, which initially suggested taijutsu, but watching him for a bit she noted a lack of agility that betrayed a lack of taijutsu skill. Watching him though, he didn’t seem to possess tight chakra control, so ninjutsu wouldn’t be a great choice either. Sure enough,  a few moments later he demonstrated his focus, genjutsu.

It wasn’t an impressive read on her part. Diagnosing the abilities of an academy student was one thing. Being able to assess someone superior to her own abilities was a different question.

As she took her place in front of some training dummies, she decided to do a brief runthrough of her base skills. Things like her Chidori would need to stay a bit more guarded. She didn’t want to display that to her competition. Even her fellow Kumo Genin were potential opponents. Her conversation with the white haired Zyxis ran through her head again. [i]'Hopefully we go against each other so we know there's no chance for fatalities.'

The thought had stuck in her mind ever since. In all honesty, she found little joy in the idea of facing him. If giving a good showing at the exams was what earned you a spot as Chuunin, getting shown up like that wouldn't do well. She had no interest of having someone simply speed blitz her and end the competition before it began. The other side of the equation wasn’t much better. As much as she disliked the thought of being knocked around on the arena floor, she liked the idea of being killed even less. Her goal in life wasn’t to end up dead on the Chuunin Exam floor a long way from home. So it was her job to try and eliminate that possibility at least. And that meant speed.  A lot more speed.

The problem was, without trusting one of her classmates as a sparring partner, Mara had no one to train against. Luckily, she’d been prepping for this eventuality for some time. She retrieved her small book of notes from her pack, setting it down in front of her.

She flipped through to one of the recent pages she’d written on, for the technique she’d been looking to master. It was a simple technique, with on hand seal, but the result was far from ordinary. Mara held her hands up, forming a cross-shape with two fingers from each hand. A moment and a poof later, an exact image of Mara had appeared in front of her. But this wasn’t a simple illusory clone like the one she had learned during her Academy days. This one was solid and physical.

She reached out a hand and ruffled her shadow clone’s hair. Clone Mara gave her an odd look. “Um...what are you doing?”

Mara nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of her own voice. “Oh my god! You can speak?”

Clone Mara removed her original’s hand from her head. “Yeah. And I could punch you too. Don’t get weird on me.”

“This whole thing is never not going to be weird,” Mara replied. “ I was planning to-”

Her clone interrupted her. “To practice your speed and other techniques with me. Yeah, I know. I’m you, remember?”

“Right,” the real Mara replied, still trying to process everything. She knew this was the way the technique was supposed to work, but that didn’t make the experience anything less jarring. For some reason, she expected it to just be an extension of her mind, not a fully independent version of her mind. “Well, I suppose we can get started then. I think we should start with the shuriken dodging.”

“Sounds good,” Clone Mara said. “But you might want to throw the things, just in case. Don’t need to go wounding the original when we have me as an alternative. And don’t even start to argue with me,” she said stopping the real one before she could mouth a response. “You and I both know that you’ll pick up everything I do once you dismiss me. So don’t say you need to do it so that you learn.”

The real one conceded. “Fair point. I’ll throw then.”

Taking places on the far sides of the training grounds, Mara drew a few shurikan and threw.


Rat - Boar

As Flicker Movement activated, Clone Mara followed the projectiles path toward her. She sidestepped, avoiding the first set of projectiles but was somewhat surprised to see a second bunch of kunai hurtling towards her, in a wide formation. Her original was anticipating her moves clearly. At normal speed she wouldn’t be able to dodge this set. Even the boost from her Fkicker Movement wasn’t enough.

She gritted her teeth frustrated. Based on this move, original Mara likely knew what was coming next. Forming the Ram hand seal, her speed drastically accelerated and she disappeared in a blur of motion. In reality, she had leapt toward the tree with her Body Flicker enhanced speed. She’d need to be smarter than this if she was going to survive. They were evenly matched and knew each other’s capabilities. They were the same person after all. Not even waiting for a full landing she dove behind a small hay stack. Hopefully, the real Mara would assume she stayed in the tree.

Sure enough, her original was searching around the area looking for where she’d disappeared to. Now was the perfect time. When her original looked away, clone Mara rushed out and came in swinging. “Leaf Hurricane!” The spiraling taijutsu move knock Mara back on her heals and the two were locked  into an exchange of blows. One swung high, forcing the other to dodge low and go for a sweep kick. It was ferocious, since both were trying to gain the edge.


The real Mara Asano was thinking furiously. She needed an edge here. She needed something  she could use that her clone couldn’t anticipate. But they knew everything that the other knew! And locked in combat like this, there was nothing new Mara could manage. Unless…

Struck by a sudden idea, Mara wove together a string of hand signs and sent a shower of sparks at her clone. Clone Mara shouted out and leapt back, covering her eyes. It was a minor distraction, but it would do the trick. She crossed her fingers again. This was definitely cheating, but it was the kind of ingenuity she’d need in the exams.


Clone Mara took only a moment to recover. Her vision was covered in stars but she was ready when her originals next flurry of blows came. She blocked them, but she knew she was overwhelmed. A quick flurry of motion later and she retreated using body flicker, hiding among the trees. The real Mara also looked visibly drained. She wondered if she looked that tired all the time. It was a new experience getting to watch yourself from the outside. She rested behind the tree for a moment, allowing her other self to rest too. The action had been great so far, and she felt the were both getting a good work out from it.

What she wasn’t sure about was how she’d gain the upperhand. Clone or not, she wanted to win. She just needed to figure out how to do that.


Mara chuckled internally as she looked down on the scene. From her vantage point, she could see not one, but two Mara Asano’s, each hiding from the other. The one on the left was her first clone, who was fairly determined to win this engagement. The one on the right was her original self, looking a bit more drained. And with good reason. She’d gambled half her chakra on the creation of a second clone, the one who now watched the scene from a nearby rooftop, technique book in hand. Those two would probably be sat it for some time, which provided the perfect distraction.

While her original and clone were fighting, this second clone would do what neither of the others could do in the midst of a fight, learn something new. It was a fairly simple approach. Since clone Mara knew everything her original knew, they were exactly matched in terms if ability. And there was no way for the original to gain an edge without cheating. So she decided to cheat. This second clone would focus on learning an additional technique and once mastered, she’d dismiss herself and the original Mara would gain an edge and her remaining chakra.

The only trick was figuring out which technique. The choice didn’t take long. She’d been practicing this one for a while, but had never gotten the hang of it. Her primary techniques, the Chidori and Hell Stab were both very powerful, but they had their drawbacks. First, they were close range, which came with its own risks. Additionally, they were both fairly lethal.

This move wasn’t quite as dangerous, not by a long shot. But it did mean she would have a new ranged technique. Better yet, it was an area of effect jutsu, allowing her to hit a larger region all at once.

The Lightning Rat Violent Quake technique had a lengthy name, but the basic idea was simple. She could manifest up to four balls of lightning chakra and launch them at her opponent. Then, if they didn’t hit, she could detonate them, shocking anyone in range. If used correctly, she could electrocute the majority of the area around herself in an effective defense, or shock an area nearly eight square meters. While it might not be powerful, its versatility would be undeniable.

Third Mara wove the hand signs, focusing her chakra into the four orbs. She didn’t have many shots at this, because she was working with less than a quarter her original’s full chakra.

Monkey - Ox - Boar - Tiger

But her focus proved to be enough. 4 orbs of yellow electricity formed in front of her, casting light on the surrounding rooftops. She gestured away in a panic. If it had not been daytime, this would likely have given away her gambit. Instead, she found that she had moved the balls at her command, but only a short distance.

“Interesting,” she said, mentally commanding them to move about in front of her. “So I can control where you move too?”

That only made the technique more useful. They were still loud though, like most of her techniques. Lightning was like that. She certainly would need other moves for stealth. The bright light and furious crackling wouldn’t be incredibly effective on a secret assignment.

She snuffed out the lighting orbs and decided she’d done enough. She had little chakra left so she couldn’t exactly spare much more training. Additionally, the original Mara had to be just about out of chakra as well. Now was the time to act. Crossing her fingers into the clone hand seal, this clone dismissed herself and disappeared with a poof.


Mara swept the first kick aside, but given her exhausted state, she was wholly unprepared for the second foot. Her clone’s Leaf Whirlwind knocked her over the embankment and into the small pod next to the training grounds.

“Give it up,” her clone said with a confident smirk. “I’ve got you this time.”

The real Asano pulled herself back out of the water and made it to the edge of the pond. No point in keeping herself out on a giant amplifier like the water. One Jibashi and she’d be toast. She couldn’t argue with her clone though. She didn’t have the energy for any other moves really. She was beat.

Midway through that thought, she felt a slight surge of energy. It didn’t take her long to figure out what had caused it. It wasn’t the fact that she’d been expecting it that tipped her off though. It was the truly unnerving rush of new memories that flooded in. It was so bizarre that she almost fell over due to the disorientation.

Clone Mara clearly noticed this. “You really should just give up. You’re ready to fall over.”

“Not gonna give up,” Mara said, playing as if she was still as drained as she’d been a mere moment ago. “You’re gonna have to finish it.”

“You know this is my own face you’re making me punch,” clone Mara teased. But then her face got serious. “Alright, you asked for it!”

With that clone Mara launched off the higher level and began to rotate. “Leaf Whirl…”

The real Mara dropped the act, immediately launching a rapid stream of hand seals. Monkey - Ox - Boar - Tiger. “Lightning Rat Violent Quake!”

The three of the four orbs of lightning energy flew out toward her clone in midair before she triggered them with her mind, causing them to detonate bathing the whole area in lightning chakra. Her clone’s attack was cut off mid shout and she fell unceremoniously into the water below with a satisfying splash.

When her clone resurfaced, Mara stood there, a single orb remaining for a finisher. There was no doubt it would hit, especially with her clone treading water in the middle of the pond.

“Say it,” Mara said triumphantly.

Her clone grimaced. “Fine. You win.”

“Thank you,” the original replied as she extinguished her last orb harmlessly, before helping her clone out of the water.

“Where the hell did that move come from?” The clone scratched her head trying to figure out exactly how her original had learned a new move mid fight. Then, it dawned on her. Her eyebrows shot up and her eyes went wide. “Oh my god. The sparks! You distracted me then made a second clone! Then you must have had them sneak off while we continued to fight. Sneaky! I like it.”

“Thought you might,” Mara said. “Thanks for the help today. I’m sure we’ll be back at it in no time.”

“It was our pleasure,” clone Mara teased, before dismissing herself in another puff of smoke.

Finally, Mara was left alone again. She was pretty tired out and more than a little bruised. Her strange little self training session had taken a lot out of her. One at a time, she retrieved her shuriken and kunai, wishing she would have thought of this before she’d dismissed her clones. It would have been very nice to not have to grab each one on her own.

After finally gathering them all, she began the walk back toward where the Kumo Genin had been staying. Despite being fairly tired out, she still had the jitters about the exams. They’d be starting any day now. She hoped she’d do alright during the whole process.

Instead of entering the building in which her village was staying, she decided to climb to the top of it. It was a fairly low lying building, but it was  just tall enough to allow a peak over the village walls.

The view from up here was beautiful. The lush forests stretched out in every direction except for the massive Hokage monument on the mountainside. Konoha was nothing if not a proud village. The idea made her wonder. Surely, Kumo was a proud village as well. She felt proud of it. And she preferred the majestic mountain sides to even this beautiful vista.

But it could not be denied that Kumo was not the proud village it apparently once was. It was run down and sorely needing repair. Once illustrious village clearly wasn’t at its peak. She wondered why? In terms of power, they certainly weren’t lacking. They’d essentially removed the Village Hidden in the Sand from the map, reducing the Five Great Villages to four. Yet, something was still not right. And with their Raikage conspicuously absent from these exams, she wondered if their problems might only be starting.

The Kage’s absence really didn’t sit well with her. It wasn’t just that she felt their group was more exposed without the protection of their leader. It was the implication of what his absence meant. If he was called away, it was obviously for something incredibly important, possibly something threatening the village. The thought of that made Mara worried for her friend Idrina and the rest of her adoptive family. The idea that her mysterious stalker could still be lurking only heightened that fear. In the face of these larger threats, her concerns for her own safety in the Chuunin Exams seemed almost trivial by comparison.

She gritted her teeth in determination, feeling the first surge of confidence she’d felt in a long time. She would survive these exams, because she needed to survive these exams. She would become a ninja strong enough to protect her friends back home. Strong enough to protect the innocents who couldn’t protect themselves. She would become one of the greatest shinobi the Lightning Country had ever scene and would help her Raikage guide the village to a new found glory that would surpass even the Leaf Village!

The little pep talk sounded a bit silly as she played it out in her head, but she couldn’t deny that the moment had boosted her resolve. Here she was on a rooftop, with the breeze dramatically flaring her long hair and her cloak out behind her, proclaiming her plans to become the greatest shinobi of her time. Melodramatic it might be, but it was a mission statement and she intended to follow it to the best of her abilities.

Her father didn’t want to let her become a ninja because he was jealous? Just wait until she made Chuunin. No, Jounin! She didn’t need direct revenge. She’d beat him by being better. Stronger. Smarter. And most importantly, kinder.

The breeze passed and it took the moment’s melodrama with it. But it left behind a more determined Mara Asano than the one it had found. For the first time, she felt ready to face these exams head on.

“Alright, Konoha. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

[WC: 3251
+16 Stats (9 Speed, 7 Health)
1156 words toward Shadow Clone (3000/3000) Previous
2000 words toward learning Lightning Rat Violent Quake (2000/2000)
95 words towards Chakra Infusion (95/2000)
Mara Asano
Mara Asano
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Ryo : 500

Some Finishing Touches Empty Re: Some Finishing Touches

Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:34 pm
Also fyi, the whole "learning a technique mid fight" is not something I'd actually do against a real opponent. It just felt like a neat little option when facing my own clone. Mostly for entertainment purposes than anything.

I just found the idea of out thinking a clone by learning a new technique entertaining.

Some Finishing Touches Empty Re: Some Finishing Touches

Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:49 pm
Off to the far side of the training grounds, removed from the many groups of those here training last minute for the exam, there stood shiva... this time she wore a poncho with a hood over her head, she was making a point to glance around at the people training but her main goal was to watch mara...

When mara finished their training and leave then Shiva would meld into the ground before canceling herself.

Mara Asano
Mara Asano
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Ryo : 500

Some Finishing Touches Empty Re: Some Finishing Touches

Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:54 pm
(Well that’s...ominous.)
Hikari Namikaze
Hikari Namikaze
Stat Page : Hikari no Tenshi
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Default
Clan Specialty : Ninjutsu
Village : Hoshigakure
Ryo : 276150

Some Finishing Touches Empty Re: Some Finishing Touches

Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:23 pm
Spoke to Mara making it clear she can't use her claims in the tournament.

Approved unless interupted.
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