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 Bark and Steel [Private]

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Tsubine
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PostSubject: Bark and Steel [Private]   Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:26 am



Seijirou Asasakijima was not surprised when he got the news of his application of promotion's approval. Those that approved such a thing were quite quick in approving the young man into the position of Lieutenant. All that was left was his Captain's approval. However, after the... failure that was her last Lieutenant, Seijirou was not going to get off so easy. It had been two weeks since his application's approval was formalized. He had been doing his normal duties, which included supervising the Nest of Maggots. The Captain, to see if he could be trusted as her right hand, created a false riot. Because Seijirou did not speak to them, or try to negotiate, it was rather quickly done. However, his methods were unorthodox. In the formal report, he wrote "While the methods used were not by the book, the book means nothing to those that do not follow it. Thus, it is better to be prepared to not follow it than it is to follow it."

Such a thing was, honestly, what the Second Division needed. Of course, it makes him sound like he was breaking the code of honor, but to him there are more that don't follow it than those that do. Seijirou went through other minor tests, which he all passed rather well in. However, there was one final "test." He had to prove his competence in combat. If something were to happen to her, the Captain needed to know that the Division would be in capable hands. Not to mention she needed someone who could hold their own and didn't require her support all the time. That's exactly why he was here, in a forested area outside the Nest of Maggots. The Shinigami to be Lieutenant had already left his mantle in his quarters. Honestly, he was nervous. He was fighting her. The spar would probably end in a single move, since she was so much faster than he was. Not to mention this terrain wasn't too suited for his Zanjutsu. He also needed to make sure that he didn't release his Zanpakutou. If he didn't rely on it, then that'd mean more to the Captain's evaluation. However, if the situation provided, he wouldn't be afraid to.

The tall trees created shadows that made line of sight very short. This made it harder for Seijirou. His hand was on his Zanpakutou just in case she decided to attack beforehand. However, his draw style was awkward. Instead of carrying his Zanpakutou on his right side, he carried it on his left. This is odd, because he is left-handed. He would draw in a single, upwards motion that is meant to be able to block a head-on attack. The trees pretty much made a head-on attack pointless. This worried Seijirou. He knew he couldn't hold his on for long against her, but he would for as long as he could. It was so silent. It was so desolate. The sunlight barely pierced the top of the trees, making the entire forest dim, which worsened the line of sight... Seijirou had one chance to prove he was worthy. He would not screw it up.

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PostSubject: Re: Bark and Steel [Private]   Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:56 am





Soifon could not stand imbeciles nor could she bear to be within the company of a neophyte who could barely carry himself forward in pivotal battles.  Even to this day, she had not a single idea who chose her last excuse for a vice captain.  His skills were below sub-par. His entire repertoire was abysmal, he lacked finesse, and he looked as if he had walked out of the market with all the fatty foods he could get his hands on. Everything he did, even in battle, only served to validate every single insult she found necessary to throw his way.  

Though she was never particularly one to engage in banter with her fellow men, they at least possessed some semblance of commendable skills worthy of garnering a modicum of her praise. And yet, somehow, someway, rather than attaining one of those hardened soldiers to cultivate into an even better warrior, she was given Omaeda.  Of course, he was gone now. She was elated no doubt, though her satisfaction lay more in the fact that perhaps she would gain a more competent vice-captain, one who could perhaps act in her place in emergencies. In any case, she was glad to have that lard-ass gone.

Although one would find such an insult cruel to bestow upon a former ally, Soifon never desired a failure.  She wanted a second-in-command who could accomplish the task without having to rely on her, someone who could answer the call where she to ever meet her fate at the hands of death… Not that she’d ever let such a thing happen so easily. Man or woman, they had to be battle-hardened, strong of mind, possess all the needed essentials necessary for an assassin.  Little wonder, then, that when she caught word of the higher-ups preparing to enlist Seijuro into the ranks of her division, to replace Omaeda, the calculating bee decided to make a riot over it, demanding that she test his abilities before anything went through.  


Even so, it was a false riot, one she merely did in order to gain the right to give him one more test before he could become a member of the division she took utmost pride in.  Bearing that in mind, Soifon saw to it that she put him in unfavorable terrain, a location suited to her advantage.  If he could prove his capability of surviving in harsh conditions, then little would be Soifon’s objection.  Her exceptional speed had lessened considerably the time needed to reach the place she had chosen for their final test; a forested area outside the Nest of Maggots.  


There was rarely even a hint of sunlight that managed to shine through these parts; it was a desolate forest devoid of all noises.   No warrior would dare come here; it was too disadvantageous – and Soifon knew this wholeheartedly, which is exactly she had chosen it as testing grounds.   The best way this Seijuro – whoever he may be  – could prove himself was to show that above all, he could act on his own, rely on whatever strategy he could use to secure victory, and prove that he was worthy of working alongside her.

And so, it was time to put those skills to the test. Soifon could already sense his pressure as she moved soundlessly through the tall trees.  Her footsteps were silent, her body weaved and darted through any of the wooden plants she may bump into by mistake, though thanks to her smaller frame, she hardly needed to worry of such things.  She made use of her skills as a tactician, using her sense for spiritual pressure to pinpoint his exact location – the center of the forest if she had to give a proper guesstimate.  Now that she had located his position, Soifon prepared a course of action best suited to the task.  


These long trees abounding the area doubtless made it difficult to use vision to the uttermost of its capabilities, therefore she could imagine that his line of sight was heavily limited.  In addition, there was little space with which he could move in order to stop any onslaught of attacks she might plan to execute.   One of the stratagems she had planned for was an attack from the aerial standpoint, however an aerial strike from above with these tall trees would only give her position away, thus giving him time to prepare a countermeasure in order to evade danger. No, if she were to make her move, it had to be one where he could not expect it, nor see where the deadly bee would sting.   It was time to act.  


The moment of truth is at hand.  

Slowly, ever so slowly, Soifon took three steps forward on her right foot along one of the trees, carefully gauging Seijuro’s exact position.   Assessment complete, Soifon put her plan into motion. She stealthily pushed off of  the tree with her right foot, maneuvering through all the wooden constructs with brilliant finesse, the true precision of an assassin who had earned her name on the killing fields.  Choosing to strike from behind, Soifon used the momentum from her push-off so that in an instant she was already behind Seijuro, ready to strike.  

Soifon surmised that incapacitating him would do little to prove whether or not he was worthy, so she decided against attacking his pressure points.   She executed the first strike to signal the start to their test; Oni Dekopin.   Basic in nature, much of the technique’s power lies in gathering spiritual energy through a medium – this medium being one of her fingers,  making it so that a simple flick with one of her digits, however meager, would be able to send the opponent flying at a vast distance. Were one to suffer a direct hit, the full force of the finger-strike would splatter their body unless they possessed a body capable of enduring the impact.

Add to that, the minimal charge time needed to accumulate reaitsu, and it was no doubt clear to see why Soifon chose this as her first technique.  Her index finger was thrust forwards towards the base of Seijuro’s neck.  Even though one would question why she chose such a deadly technique to initiate his training, Soifon clearly felt no ounce of shame. After all, now was the time to prove his mettle. If he failed to do so, then he was better off crawling back home.

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PostSubject: Re: Bark and Steel [Private]   Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:04 pm



The silence... it was almost like a snake, wrapping itself around the Shinigami. His body slowly creeped forward, deepening himself into the forest. While the Captain had an advantage because of how stealthy she could be... there was a slight drawback. Because of the density of the trees, there wasn't room to do hit-and-run attacks effectively. Thinking, he realized that she'd know this too. She'd know that...

The best way to attack is a single blow! He turned around to see the Captain barreling towards him. He jumped back , his nose getting a cut from his Captain's attacks. While avoiding, Seijirou's sword shimmered as the hidden steel hit the little bit of light in the area. He tried to strike her as she zoomed past him. However, he knew that it'd be a faint chance. He readied himself for attacking the Captain, but he did not have a chance at getting close to her. No, his mission wasn't for him to get close to her...

He darted to the side, his body still facing his Captain. Trees obstructed their view of one another. He began to alter his course. Before long, he was circling his Captain. He would occasionally make a step forward to feint out his Captain to think that's where he'd attack from. There was a reason for this... but he'd wait to use this to his advantage.

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PostSubject: Re: Bark and Steel [Private]   Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:54 pm




"....!"

Such exceptional speed! The first strike with which she used to initiate the battle had been evaded by a hair's breadth. She had succeeded in cutting his nose, but to someone with a warrior's pride as mighty as hers, a nose cut was a failure bordering on embarrassment. An assassin should never be brought into an all out battle. It is most disadvantageous to them. One strike should suffice to eradicate their prey.  Whether or not Seijuro was knowledgeable of this, Soifon could not say. His reaction time was superb. No warrior of common mettle would've possessed the physical faculty needed to evade her technique.

However, this evasion alone was not enough to provide her with sufficient reasoning that he should be her second in command.  His little manoveure there might well have been pure luck.  Her advantage of gaining the first blow had been thwarted. From hereon in, victory would be granted to he who could read the movement and sound of their enemy, to the warrior who could perceive a momentary lapse in his enemy's defense.  

Her view of this Seijuro was still obstructed, thus making her unable to see who he was.  And therein laid the reason as to why she had yet to praise him, for he could very well be of similar weight to her former failure of a vice-captain. This prediction proved false, however, as she listened to his footsteps. Listening to them intently, they did not seem to indicate a man of large stature. And from the ever so nebular silhouette, his body resembled more the build of a true warrior. Of course, these could very well be illusions, so she pushed the meaningless thoughts away.  Focusing on the battle was her main objective.

Everything else would be sorted out later.  His strategy so far was circling around her,  using a step forward as a feint, in order to fool her into thinking that is where he would initiate his own strike.  She could tell that his Zanpakutō was drawn, as the glimmering blade nearly succeeded in countering her first aggression. From where would he strike first? Would he allow her the second blow? Would he engage her in a battle of attrition? Such were the thoughts alternating through her mind as she kept her distance.

To attack a second time without gaining a proper analysis of his skill would only result in her own undoing. She moved forward on her right foot, keeping her body rigidly in tow, preparing herself for the next strike. If he attacked her, she would spring into motion once more to counter his attack. On the other hand, if he continued to circle around her, she would be left with no choice to attack.  

What will be your course of action, Seijuro?

As she thought this to herself, an amusing smile dances upon her lips. Perhaps he would be suitable enough to be chosen as her second command. However, only time would tell.

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