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 Among the Trees

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PostSubject: Among the Trees   Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:35 am

Senju Hayashi walked slowly through the forest surrounding Konoha. His mask off, and clad in the usual Jonin uniform, an observer would not be able to tell that the boy that slowly, and apparently aimlessly wandered through the forest was actually a highly trained, tried and true ANBU operative. He was a new addition. He had been on a couple of missions so far, one of them extremely important and A ranked, but Hayashi was sure, in the eyes of his superiors, he still had more to prove. He had built for himself a reputation of being intuitive, and inventive during battle. Sure he had created a few strategies and techniques that were unique to him and him alone, but he desired something more. He wanted to be remembered in the annals of the Senju Clan history, as his forefathers had. Senju Touka. Senju Hashirama. Senju Tobirama. The Fifth Hokage...there were dozens of ninja from his clan who had done amazing things. Hayashi drew his inspiration from them. He had read their writings. Some had even thought to leave jutsu scrolls for their progeny. Hayashi had read some of them, awed and astounded by his ancestor's level of skill. Hayashi's forest green eyes narrowed in determination as he came to a sizable clearing. He would do his clan proud. He was about to begin a new training regime, in order to maximize his effectiveness as a shinobi. But first thing's first.

It was time for Hayashi to fully master his bloodline. He would take Wood Release techniques farther than anyone, even Senju Hashirama could have imagined. Already he had made great advances, already he had mastered every nuance of the style. But he could take it farther. By combining the principles of his Mokuton techniques with other ninjutsu skills he could create truely fearsome techniques. Of course, Hayashi knew that the technique he was thinking of now was S ranked, there was simply no possibility of it not being nigh impssobile. Hayashi had no idea if his even attempting this was crazy, but he would certainly put it to the test. First, however, he would have to do some reasearch, some preparation. Bringing his hands together sharply in the hand seal for Mokuton producing a sharp clapping sound, a tree began to grow out of the ground directly behind Hayashi. He imagined this would come in handy if an opponent tried to attack him from behind. But that was just an errant thought. He turned around and placed his hand against the newly formed oak tree. He could feel his chakra coursing through it, but it had no direction. The tree did not have sentience. That would be essential if he was to succeed in creating this technique. To this end, he performed the seal for the Shadow Clone Technique. An identical copy of Hayashi appeared next to him in a burst of white smoke. Hayashi thought about how exactly he had performed the shadow clone technique. It had chakra pathways, a sentience. It was this aspect of the Shadow Clone jutsu that he wanted to explore in creating this new technique. Combining the advantages of his wood release techniques with the versatility of the shadow clone jutsu would take time, and a whole lot of effort, but Hayashi was well up to the challenge...he would remain here for days if that's what it took. Performing the hand seal for Mokuton again, beams of wood emerged from his body, coiling around each other, merging, taking on the form of a man. Within three seconds, a perfect moku bunshin had been formed. He had the Mokuton bunshin stand to the left of the tree, while the shadow clone stood on the right. They said nothing, but appeared also to be thinking about how this could work. The theory itself was complicated, which could only mean that the jutsu itself would be exponentially harder. The Moku bunshin was as close to the technique as Hayashi could come to as of now. The theory: he would create a tree and root system, a fairly large one. This small collection of trees would be imbued with the power and versatility of the Clone Technique. It would have a working chakra circulatory system, but such an undertaking...it would take a huge amount of chakra, and it would take time to form, even when he perfected it. But that was problem to be addressed at the appropriate time. Hayashi supposed the technique would be a fusion of the shadow clone technique, the wood clone technique and his most powerful jutsu, Jukai Kouton.

It was time for a small experiment. Dispelling the Shadow clone, Hayashi walked a few feet away. He clasped his hands together in the sign of Mokuton, and concentrated, amassing a huge amount of water and earth element chakra. He felt them mingling in his body, mixing into something new, something powerful. He continued to funnel power into the technique. Then he opened his eyes. He was ready to perform the jutsu...or at least he was in theory.

He began as he did for Jukai Kouan. Funneling the gathered chakra into the ground, it expanded, spread, transformed. Hayashi felt the ground beneath him begin to tremble as the wood system began to take shape. Roots began to break the surface of the ground into open air, growing, twisting around. Now came the hard part. Searching his memory for the ability to form clones, he sent his chakra through the still growing technique, changing it's fundamental nature. Slowly, a chakra network began to take shape. Larger and larger it grew, threading its way throughout the entire technique as it took shape, solidifying. Hayashi felt the chakra begin to flow throughout the technique and smiled. But he was still not finished. With a last push of chakra, he attempted to make the necessary modifications for it to be aware of the world. He was almost there, he felt success on the horizen, pouring a huge burst of chakra into it in a last ditch effort...only to feel the chakra network that he had so carefully created completely collapse.

He opened his eyes in shock. What had he done wrong? What could he have possibly done different? Hayashi sat down on the ground as the trees that had been in the process of growing withered, shunk, retreating back into the ground to fade away completely.

"Too much chakra? Or maybe I flooded the network with chakra too quickly for it to handle...or maybe the network wasn't detailed enough, or strong enough...I'll have to do a few more tests to figure this out...there's no way to tell as is..."

Hayashi muttered to himself. He went over the jutsu again in his head. He motioned for the moku bunshin to come over, and it did. It told him what it had seen, felt, and otherwise sensed when Hayashi had been performing the technique. Piecing together what had probably happened, Hayashi began to devise a way to be sure he couldn't pour too much chakra into the technique too quickly. A fail safe of sorts. The chakra coursing through the technique had to be smooth and consistent throughout the entire preparation phase, continuing on even to when the technique had been all but completed. Otherwise a chakra overload would occur, resulting in the collapse of the chakra network. With this knowledge under his belt, Hayashi was confident that next time he could do it.

After a short rest and meditation Hayashi stood again, ready to perfect his technique. It would be fairly simple to Hayashi, now that he knew what he had done wrong. His Senju blood ran true, this was his specialty, his personal genius. With this technique's completion he would have surpassed in skill even Hiashirama, the Shodai Hokage in the use of Mokuton, so far as anyone knew that is. Skill was one thing, raw power was another. Hayashi knew he was still worlds behind the first Hokage in terms of raw power and amount of chakra. But still...

Hayashi clapped his hands together in the sign for mokuton, charging up a frightening amount of water and earth chakra, merging them together where his hands met, feeling the power of his Kekkei Genkai flow through his body, building...building, finally reaching an apex. Hayashi's closed eyes opened, and steely determination was apparent.

"Mokuton: Autonomous Grove Jutsu!"

The name had fallen from his lips naturally, and Hayashi couldn't think that he'd have done a better job had he spent an hour thinking of names for it. For if he was successful, the Grove would achieve autonomy.

His chakra poured into the earth, changing into something tangible, something that grew, twisted up and broke out of the ground, twining around each other...becoming beautiful, a work of art. But Hayashi was oblivious to this...his entire being was focused on one task: giving the Grove sentience, independence...a will and mind of its own. He kept vicious control over his chakra, as he carefully constructed a chakra circulatory system. Hayashi lost himself in the process, he wasn't aware of anything but the construction of the Grove....and then he was done. Gasping in a breath he had forgotten to take, Hayashi looked around in wonder at his creation.

Hayashi stood in the middle of a circle of noble sequioa trees, their branches twined around each other, and spread across to create a canopy through which rays of sun filtered through beautifully. Leaves fell around Hayashi like a soft rain, feather-like in their descent. Hayashi smiled a little, and held out his hand as tree leaves fell into it. He let them go and sat down again, cross legged, meditating, focusing his chakra.

There was a pulse, a pulse that only Hayashi would feel. He took in a breath sharply. What had he just felt? It had felt like it had a meaning...no words were spoken, but...Hayashi knew what had been said. It was a welcome, and a thanks, a thanks for bringing them into the world. Hayashi knew then that he had succeeded beyond his wildest imaginings. No tests were needed, he had an understanding with the Grove that went deeper than words. The chakra was strange...and familiar at the same time. It was his chakra of course, just...changed subtly in ways that only he would notice most likely. Hayashi wondered what his opponents would do when the forest itself began to fight them, unbidden? Hayashi smiled a dangerous smile, a rare indulgence for him. They would have no clue of the potential of this technique, this Autonomous Grove could possibly more deadly in a battle than Hayashi himself, and Hayashi knew this. Though imbued with his knowledge and experience, it had a different perspective than Hayashi himself, it was something completely other.

After resting a while, Hayashi stood up. Though he had mastered the Autonomous Grove, there was still much work to be done...and his next creation may prove to be even tougher.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:26 pm

His next jutsu was vital. Hayashi began walking around the Autonomous Grove, inspecting it, remembering how it was constructed-every single minute detail. He would have to create something similar, on a much larger scale. It was all very complicated, thinking of techniques that spawned other techniques, of sentient Mokuton. As he walked and studied, he wondered that he should be so lucky that all of this was possible in the first place. Hayashi knew with fairly unshakable certainty that something like he had created would be utterly impossible in any other situation. No other element could support new growth and sentience the way Mokuton could. And no other clan but the Senju had access to Mokuton at all. How fortuitous that Hayashi should not only have been struck with the epiphany that lead to this, but that he had also been born into the Senju clan, and that he could also use Mokuton with such skill. While Mokuton was rare in the Senju clan, similar to the Uchiha's Sharingan eye, even those who were blessed with the ability did not always have the talent and skill that Hayashi possessed. Considering this, it was nothing less than a miracle that Hayashi was able to bring such a creation into being. Perhaps it was fate. With that thought in mind, Hayashi stepped back to once again admire his Autonomous Grove. It seemed to work perfectly. He did not control its actions, but if he were ever to need to, giving orders was simple and easy. Faster and more efficient than speaking, with the added advantage of being silent and undetectable by 99 percent of the Shinobi world. The wordless, chakra wave frequency-based communication system the Grove used to communicate with Hayashi would be invaluable in battle. Warnings, defenses, even attacks could be timed to perfection. It was truly a great technique. However, the technique at hand was different. Different enough, in fact, that even with the resounding success of this first experiment, Hayashi was unsure if it was possible to go one step further. What if the Autonomous Grove was the absolute limit? Hayashi genuinely felt that he was pushing his luck were he to continue. However, Hayashi had never backed down from a challenge in his life, and he was not about to start now.

Resolving to see this project through to the end Hayashi once agan sat in a meditative position, eyes closed in the midst of his technique. This technique need to be patriarchal...matriarchal...a progenitor. It was the world tree. It was life, and death. Destruction and rebirth. It's roots would hold the earth in a death-grip, it could survive the fiercest wind, or a raging fire. It was to be massive. So massive that it would take hours to burn, so massive that it would blot out the sun like the trees that were hundreds of years old. It's canopy had to cast a shadow on everything around it...

As Hayashi envisioned his creation, meditating on it conceptually, the Autonomous Grove prompted him, giving him ideas on the technique's technical aspects, using its own birth as a basis. Hayashi took these ideas into consideration. His mental picture of the jutsu was nearly complete. But there were aspects of the technique that the Autonomous Grove could not help him with. There were parts that no living could help him with, because what he was about to create was unique in all of the shinobi world. This jutsu was eminence. Self sustaining, it's very leaves had the ability to convert light energy into chakra. Engineering the kind of processes it would take for such a massive and complex conversion would be a dire undertaking alone, but he also had to somehow form the jutsu into a form similar to the Autonomous Grove.

It was, he supposed, fairly natural. After all, in a tree, especially a large tree of the sort Hayashi planned to create, the leaf served a special and all important purpose. The absorption of light gave a tree life, it gave it energy, fueled it's growth. It was specifically designed for that purpose. It's broad, flat structure was designed to expose as much surface area as possible to light. Likewise, Hayashi would have to practice growing his jutsu with enlarged leaves. He had to find the perfect size. Once that was achieved, he'd have to separately inspect and review absorption techniques. After that is where he would venture into uncharted territory. After that he would have to figure out how exactly to change the leaf's natural purpose into one that had battle applications. A large component of the tree's essential structure would obviously have to be chakra. Hayashi didn't exactly even know how to go about perfecting this aspect of the technique, but how difficult could it be?

With that optimistic perspective in mind, Hayashi continued to theorize and plan. After a long while, he felt it was time for an experiment. He would create a small scale version of the technique, just so see how far along he had come. Standing, and smiling a little bit, he threw his hands together in the seal for mokuton and concentrated. Five feet in front of him, the ground began to crack. With the same methodical precision that had led to the creation of the Autonomous Grove technique, Hayashi formed the small tree's chakra circulatory system. The chakra pathways were wound in a loose grid like fashion all throughout. Hayashi was taking his sweet time, meticulous in the technique's creation. Gradually, a trunk twisted up out of the cracking ground and began to form branches. Even more slowly, green buds appeared on those branches, slowly expanding, until lustrous foliage began to appear. Leaves began to take shape, growing, broadening out. The tree's chakra circulatory system was complete. Hayashi tried to cause the leaves on the three to absorp sunlight, at an increased rate. And while they did, it was not enough they also needed to be able to convert the light energy into chakra. Eyes closed, Hayashi concentrated. Even now the leaves were absorbing light. Hayashi dove into the mechanics of the leaves' purpose. Millions of tiny chemical reactions went on every second in each leaf. They were using the energy gained from the light to fuel these reactions. Hayashi felt stored energy in the products of these reactions, but couldn't figure out how to cause these products to convert to chakra. Sighing, Hayashi stopped the jutsu, and the beautiful beech tree receded into the cracked ground.

After allowing himself a moment of depressed thought, he was struck with an epiphany. Perhaps Hayashi was looking at this the wrong way...the technique already had a chakra circulatory system. Who was to say he couldn't configure it in such a way to achieve his desired result before the light was converted to a material he couldn't make use of? By allowing the light to be converted before HIS conversion took place, he was endlessly, and needlessly complicating his task. He could take care of the conversion immediately upon contact with the leaf. It would take extensive research, and many small scale preliminary trials. Even then it wasn't guaranteed to work. Perhaps proportion mattered. That is, what might work in a small case, may not even be possible on the macroscopic scale. Smiling, Hayashi got to work.

After hours of research, experimentation, and analysis, Hayashi figured out the best chakra pathway configuration for his needs. It wasn't a perfect, one hundred percent conversion, but few things in nature were perfect. Currently, sixty five percent of total light energy intake was being converted to pure chakra, stored in the same way that the tree had previously stored chemical energy. The chakra was contained in tiny compounds designed specifically to power the tree.

All things considered, Hayashi was happy with his current rate of progress, but the jutsu had yet to undergo it's first serious test. It was time to see if his labor had borne fruit. Clapping his hands together again almost instinctively, he formed the seal for Mokuton. He slowly spread his feet. The area was still for a moment before the ground began to quake. Hayashi was creating a huge mass of Mokuton chakra underground. Its growing, twisting might was causing the ground to shake and crack for a large distance around. Suddenly, a giant root broke the surface, seemingly writhing under the ground, pushing up a large slab of earth as it curled and gnarled. The same thing was happening in several places around the clearing. Suddenly, with an almighty rending of the earth, an utterly gigantic truck blasted out of the ground, piercing up towards the sky, extending huge branches which then began to bud with leaves. They unfurled, and the tree was complete. This tree dwarfed all others near it, it stood like a skyscraper in the midst of houses. It's foliage was an intense green color, it's bark the pleasing color of teak. It was a tree commonly found in these parts, but for it's size.

Hayashi lounged in the gigantic branches, hundreds of feet below was the ground. He was essentially hidden within the foliage, but where he lay, sunlight filtered down into a hollow in the trees. It was a beautiful sight. Hayashi smiled. He was tired from the mental effort and chakra use, but as he laid his hand on the smooth wood of the tree branch, he could feel its success. The chakra pathway system in the leaves was completely different from what was found in the rest of the tree. They were constantly absorbing light, and converting it to chakra. As Hayashi lay there, he was slowly but surely returning to normal, his chakra being slowly replenished by...by this Tree of Life. No other name seemed appropriate.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:19 pm

As he lay there, eyes closed and resting with the sun filtering beautifully through the leaves, Hayashi became aware of a presence approaching. It seemed to be heading right towards this directly. Hayashi's eyes flashed open and he jumped off the branch he was in to a one far down below, so that he could see this newcomer in detail. He landed with a barely audible thud, and his eyes scanned the area below with raptor like precision. Finally he keyed in on some movement. Skillfully concealing himself in some foliage, he watched as an ominous figure stepped into view. It was a man wearing somewhat tattered clothes. He was outrageously tall and imposing, muscled in a way that seemed unnatural. Veiny and bald, this man looked up at the gigantic tree before him with black, cold and soulless looking eyes and a creepy grin. He wore predominately black clothes, had multiple piercings, strangely curved shoes and exuded a frightening level of chakra. But this wasn't what drew Hayashi's attention. Affixed to this ninja's back was a strange weapon. It was a gigantic, seven foot long axe like weapon. It bore two large, heavy looking crescent moon blades fused together at their backs in a similar fashion as the pisces birth sign. It had a large looped chain connected to a ring at the knob of the long shaft that was five feet long. The weapon was as black as jet except on the shining undersides of each crescent. It looked unwieldy and clumsy, but Hayashi knew that it's wielder Jiruga of the Darkness was anything but. An S ranked missing nin in Konoha's bingo book, Jiruga was wanted for the brutal assassinatoins of at least seventeen feudal lords and their families in addition to a whole slew of other seemingly random murders. He was known the be extremely dangerous, and a powerful combatant. He wielded the Mantis Religiosa with surreal ease, swinging it around like a wrecking ball, destroying everything, and everyone in its' path. Mantis Religiosa was not a weapon one could simply go head to head against with no strategy. The weapon took its name from the praying mantis, but not for it's speed. It took its name because once a praying mantis strikes its prey and captures it, few could escape death. And anyone unfortunate enough to be struck with that monster of a weapon would surely die. That weapon had been the harbinger of death for so many innocents...but Jiruga had come to the wrong place that day.

"He'll not escape here alive..."

Muttered Hayashi darkly. He stood up on the branch and watched as Jiruga's eyes darted to him in a surprised fashion. Hayashi jumped from the branch and landed smoothly on the ground, thirty feet in front of his quarry.

"Jiruga...of the Darkness I presume?"

Asked Hayashi, though he knew exactly who stood before him.

Jiruga was silent for a moment, taking in the huge tree in front of him, and the Shinobi who seemed to have been lying in wait for him. That would be odd, considering he had made quite sure to prevent anyone from following him, and had been headed to Konoha to assassinate a prominent citizen. His eighteenth feudal lord, Mikaze Minamoto. Since there should have been no way for anyone to follow him and no way to predict which way he would take through the forest, he was left to conclude that this was a chance meeting. He grinned broadly, showing jagged teeth and nodded once.

"And who would you be? And how did that tree come to be here? I don't believe I've ever seen one so large..."

Hayashi said nothing. He didn't have very much shinobi gear with him...a few kunais, explosive notes, a smoke bomb. Not ideal for going up against so powerful an opponent. Feeling the large scroll on his back, he came to a realization, and he narrowed his eyes.

"I'm a nameless Konoha Jonin. Know that you will meet your end here, Jiruga of the Darkness..."

At that pronouncement, Jiruga began laughing deeply, genuinely amused.

"Do you realize how many fools have said such things to me? All have fallen before me. What makes you believe you will be any different?"

Hayshi was not one for meaningless chatter. His target was in his sights. He simply drew two kunai and threw them at his foe, immediately dashing off to the right. First he had to feel this person out, he couldn't risk close quarter's combat.

His opponent had other ideas. With blinding speed, the weapon on his back was swung into his hands, twirled around to deflect the two kunai off the broad side, and Jiruga was leaping towards Hayashi, chain in hand. He threw Mantis Religiosa forward at blinding speed.

Hayashi's eyes widened in shock, and just barely had enough time to leap backwards.

Jiruga smirked as when Mantis Religiosa struck the ground, an explosive impact occured, like a meteor. The blast knocked Hayashi off of his feet and sent him careening backwards into the truck of a small tree. Jiruga waited for a moment, and when the dust cloud cleared a little, he saw Hayashi laying stunned on the ground. Jiruga leaped through the dust cloud, and with a psychotic grin, brought Mantis Religiosa down on Hayashi. Hayashi's eyes widened in shock....and then he was bifurcated. Hayashi seemed to have split right down the middle of this body into two pieces...Jiruga laughed in satisfaction...and then Hayashi's body poofed away. It was a shadow clone. Under the clone was a hole in the ground. As Jiruga landed he realized his mistake, and immediately sent mantis religiosa crashing into the ground, causing another concussive impact.

In fact, Hayashi was still trying to bring distance between himself and that weapon. Hayashi was fast growing tired of these games. He had underestimated the power of the weapon, to be true, but Jiruga was vastly underestimating Hayashi's abilities. Hayashi emerged from the ground some distance behind Jiruga, and thought for a moment. Jiruga slowly turned and readied Mantis Religiosa. As Hayashi looked at Jiruga's stance, he noted several ways it could be improved to fully take advantage of the weapon's size and shape.

Coming up with an idea, Hayashi began running towards the tree, and a small grove beside it. Laughing, Jiruga gave chase, throwing Mantis religiosa at Hayashi from a distance, causing Hayashi to continuously flip sideways to dodge the concussive impacts. Eventually he reached his destination and leaped into the grove. Jiruga followed.

So now the two combatants were surrounded by the Aspen tree grove, and Hayashi fixed Jiruga with a lethal stare.

"You're finished, Jiruga."

"Oh? And how is that? You're outclassed in every way, nameless konoha ninja..."

Hayashi was silent for a moment, then suddenly brought his hands together in the sign for Mokuton.

"Daijurin no Jutsu!"

He thrust his arm out, and spiking, branching barrage of wooden tendril spears flew through the air towards Jiruga.

"Oh? A Senju?"

Jiruga grinned savagely as he swung Mantis Religiosa to meet the attack head on. There was a huge, crunching impact, and the Daijurin technqiue was stopped in its tracks.

"No matter what technique you try, Senju, I will always overcome it. This Mantis Religiosa is the ultimate offensive weapon!"

"Incorrect, but it is true, your weapon would have given me problems, if you hadn't so blindly followed me into this trap. Take a closer look at your environment, Jiruga..."

In the midst of Hayashi's attack, which he knew in Jiruga's overconfidence he would block, instead of immediately trying to escape this close quarters, woody area, the Autonomous Grove that Hayashi had lead Jiruga into had enclosed the area in extremely thick roots. They were essentially in a dome now, and as they spoke the top of it closed up. Jiruga, alarmed cast his eyes around for a way out. It would take several moments to hack his way out with Mantis Religiosa. But then he smirked.

"Now you are trapped in here with me. Now you have nowhere to run."

"On the contrary. I have many options left to me, but rest assured, this battle is already over..."

With that he reached behind him and unfurled the scroll at his back. Placing his hand on it, in a poof of smoke, a five foot tall cylinder appeared that had hundreds of slots in it.

"I call this weapon Matsucasa...it will be the instrument of your destruction, Jiruga. There's no escape from it in here. You will die in this place..."

Jiruga roared in rage and threw himself in Hayashi's direction, but it was already too late. Using leech all creation Hayashi merged into the ground, out of sight, and out of danger. At the same time, an extremely loud, ominous clacking sound began to occur within Matsucasa. As Jiruga in a blind rage neared the spot where Hayashi disappared, Matsucasa shuddered.

Outside of the dome, Hayashi appeared out of the ground. He heard a final clack, and then heard the sound of hundreds of projectiles flying in every direction, as well as the final screams of Jiruga of the Darkness. After a moment, the entire dome exploded. Matsucasa had released a barrage of kunai and weighted explosive notes. The explosion was spectacular.

Some time later, Hayashi walked through the ashy remains of the Autonomous Grove. Saddened that this was how the Autonomous grove had been destroyed, but satisfied in its battle applications, Hayashi finally found the body of Jiruga of the Darkness...and next to him, sticking into the ground as if Jiruga had tried to shield himself with the broad body of it, stood Mantis Religiosa. On a whim, Hayashi reached out and took hold of the weapon. At first, it seemed immobile.

"Damn...you..."

Hayashi looked down at what he had thought was Jiruga's dead body. Apparently he still had a few moments left.

"This is your recompense for the pain you've caused..."

Jiruga slowly stood up, horrendously damaged.

"I'll...kill...you... "

He said in a raspy whisper as his body shuddered, racked with pain. He began trying to form hand signs, but Hayashi wasn't hardly going to let that happen. Almost contemptuously, Hayashi formed the Mokuton hand seal, and beams of wood burst out of the ground to pull Jiruga's hands apart and lift him off the ground, holding him immobile. Immediately afterwards, Hayashi formed two more seals, and a small Yomi Numa appeared under him. The Jubaku no Jutsu was slowly swallowed into the dark swamp, and soon the screams of his captive were drowned out...

Hayashi tried again to lift Mantis Religiosa. It came out of the ground fairly easily.

"Hm...lighter than I thought."

Said Hayashi. He threw the weapon over his shoulder walked away. He'd send a recovery team later to exhume the body, so that the medical team could examen it. He had more training to do...
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:19 pm

It was time for Hayashi to learn the last of the bloodline techniques he had created. Thanfully, this technique should prove to be far easier than the others. However, the technique would not even have been possible if it were not for Hayashi's training of the others. Hayashi stood below the Tree of Life technique, looking up at its canopy, high in the air. Slowly, he cast his eyes down the long trunk, and finally rest at where the trunk met the ground, seemingly looking under it.

"It'll have to be from the roots of the tree...that's where the chakra pathway construction was the most concise...the nearest to perfect. As I continued on, the chakra circulatory system became looser, though still efficient for the Tree's needs, not conducive to the technique I'm about to attempt...I need a chakra circulatory system that is close, and nearly as complex as a human one..."

Muttered Hayashi under his breath. He cast his eyes skywards again, looking at the branches.

"A possibility...no, I'm sure it's possible, it is just not advantageous. Too high in the air to be of use in battle in most situations...no it will have to be the roots."

He walked forwards and touched his hand to the wooden trunk of the giant. Using their connection and the special nonverbal communication system Hayashi shared with it, he sent it a silent interrogative...

"Will you?"

As if in answer a rumbling immediately took place, and the ground for a huge distance began to crack and shift. Huge roots began writhing out of the ground, growing over rocks and crushing them...

Hayashi smiled as the Tree answered his request. Walking back a little bit, he was in a field of exposed tree roots. They were huge, some of them twenty feet in diameter or more. Now Hayashi closed his eyes and concentrated, forming the seal for Mokuton Ninjutsu. He had all that he needed, and this time around he had no doubts of his eventual success.

The technique was similar to the Moku Bunshin no jutsu, except that he didn't have to pay as much attention to detail. They would be more similar to sculptures Hayashi guessed. Like moving sculptures. They wouldn't have enough chakra for any sort of actual ninjutsu technique, but they would have ninja weapons, and strength, speed, and numbers could make all the difference in a fight. The technique itself wasn't so difficult, a B rank in difficulty in Hayashi's estimation, but it would take a large amount of chakra to pull off. Far more than in a regular B ranked technique.

This technique could easily make Hayashi a one man army, if he learned to use it right, and with the inclusion of that same nonverbal communication, he could truly be a force to be reckoned with.

Setting his mind to the task at hand Hayashi pulled out and opened a few training scrolls and went back and reviewed his basics. He performed a few simple jutsu like the clone technique and various wood element ninjutsu. This finished he stood and performed the hand seal for Mokuton ninjutsu. There was a great rumbling sound around him as even more cracks spread across the training area. The sound was low, and gravely. After a moment, hands began to break the surface of the ground. They were wooden, however, and when Hayashi saw that the technique had not gone according to plan he frowned. Resolving to complete the technique and learn from his mistakes he continued on, and eventually, twenty five wooden men stood around Hayashi and the huge Tree from whence they came. Hayashi walked around, inspecting the "clones". After taking note of where he had gone wrong, he canceled the technique, and began again. The cracking and groaning sound of moving earth was once again heard, and again twenty five pairs of hands broke through. The ground by this point was very well mulched. The creations pulled themselves out of the earth, and Hayashi gazed proudly at what he had achieved. Before him stood twenty five exact duplicates of himself. They could not perform jutsu, but Hayashi was immediately assaulted with dozens of silent queries. Not all were addressed to him, the clones were actually taking to each other. Hayashi gave a rare, wide smile. The clones were fully functional.

After a few minutes of getting used to this, Hayashi began to devise a series of tests for the clones to undergo. He had the pair up and fight each other, he had them run races, in order to test their speed against his own- they were completely equal. Strength tests, endurance tests, durability tests, combat aptitude, the clones excelled in all categories. They were physically as capable, perhaps more so, than any Shadow clone, and in Hayashi's estimation, infinitely more useful than a water clone.

Curious, Hayashi then devised a test to figure out how well these Children of the Forest would do against a single opponent. Retrieving Mantis Religiosa from where he had embedded it in the ground, he walked out to another clearing, and silently commanded the twenty five clones to follow him. Once he was surrounded by his clones he silently commanded them to attack all at once. Truthfully, Hayashi hadn't often had to defend himself against more than ten armed combatants at one time. He was curious both as to how well the clones would work together as a single unit, and about his own performance.

The great weapon in his hands somewhat increased his close range combat abilities. They clones all drew kunai and came at him. Some leaped from each other's backs, others went in for a head on attack, seeking to drown him in bodies. Hayashi swung Mantis Religiosa around almost wildly, not used to the unique shape of the weapon. He destroyed several of the clones, but eventually too many of them got too close. Slamming the weapon into the ground he kicked up a huge dust cloud, then leaped directly out of the mass of clones. Landing heavily on his feet, Mantis Religiosa still in his right hand, he heard several clones break off and sprint after him. He turned quickly, and spun Mantis Religiosa, twirling it around his body and using the broad side of the blades to knock away three kunai that had been headed towards his back. That accomplished he set his stance and waited as three clones neared his position. Two split off to try to flank him, and the third kept heading straight towards Hayashi. Thinking quickly, Hayashi broke off into a dead charge at the third clone. Leaping into the air, he brought Mantis Religiosa smashing down on the clones head, destroying it. However, now the weapon was embedded in the ground. Hayashi flipped, performing a one handed stand atop the knob of the shaft of the weapon, it's chain in his left hand. Pushing off, he yanked the weapon upwards, out of the ground. The chain still in his left hand, he spun it once, and sent it flying back towards the earth alone with a pulse of his chakra, just as the clones converged on his position. The weapon changed the chakra, strengthened and intensified it before, upon contact with the ground, it was all unleashed, producing a huge, concussive impact that sent all the clones around Hayashi flying backwards. Hayashi landed, pulled Mantis Religiosa from the ground again, swung it up to where it would land on his right shoulder. He was finished for now. His techniques were a success, and he had gained a powerful new weapon indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:36 pm

The wind had blown in the area, and with it appeared Sessou Mikaboshi. Sessou's mind had been troubled as of late, with the death of their kage and other wrong deeds in the world and he thought now was a time to strike back. He knew Hayashi had been training for a long time now and he figured now was as good a time as any to meet up with his old friend and rival. Sessou looked around the area and he noticed training for jutsu had been done here...on several occasions. Sessou smirked slightly and shook his head and he looked around for Hayashi.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:00 am

Hayashi had been away for a few weeks. Performing missions, traveling to the hidden Senju clan compound in a mountainous forest to the west. He had just come back from a secret solo mission performed for konoha ANBU. He arrived just in time to hear the news. Their kage had been killed...killed by a certain Uchiha clansmen that Hayashi was determined to track down and kill. However any ninja that could kill Uchiha Egress was a man to be feared. If Hayashi had to estimate, Uchiha Raiden was much stronger than he was at present. Hayashi was not one to ignore his own strengths on the battlefield. But he was not kage level, and he knew this. If Hayashi thought further into it, there were many things about the shinobi world he did not like. He could feel pain and misery on the horizion, could sense the problems that were sure to come. Hayashi wondered if now was the time for action. He was a Senju after all, he truly felt that it was his responsibility to set the world to rights. He had with him a scroll...he had compiled a list of jutsu, some of them unique, some of them obscure, and all of them useful. He was going to learn these techniques, he was going to master them. In doing so, he would attempt to gain the sort of power that ninja like Minato Namikaze, Jiraya, and all of the previous Hokages. Power that would allow him to set the world to rights. Thinking, Hayashi had wandered back into a clearing he had used many times for training. He sensed a presence. A familiar one... Turning around, he saw Mikaboshi Sessou. Hayashi said nothing for a moment, standing still as a light wind blew. Why was he here? As far as he knew only Hayashi trained here. Why did Sessou seek him out now?

"Mikaboshi Sessou...to what do I owe the honor."

He said. Though he couldn't tell for sure, Sessou did seem to have a purpose about him...a sort of focus Hayashi couldn't define. Perhaps thinking the same thing he was thinking? He had a feeling Sessou had come to talk. It was expected really. Egress had only just been killed. How long would it take for Konoha ANBU and Jonin to respond accordingly. It was unthinkable to Hayashi that anyone in Konoha would let this stand. But, frustratingly, nothing had been DONE about it yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:08 am

Sessou finally noticed Hayashi and as soon as he did, the man has asked him basically what was the occasion. It had been awhile since the two had seen each other, and Sessou wished they could have been at a better time...but now was not a time to be just friends..they had to be shinobi and ontop of that, Konoha Shinobi.

"Well Hayashi, my old friend...I'm sure you can feel it to", Sessou started off before releasing a sigh. "Our Hokage has been killed...As I'm sure you know and anyone who could kill Egress Uchiha is definately not only a force to be reckoned with, but also one that must be dealt with. It seems that as time passes, the world is becoming more corrupted...", he then said.

"I can tell you've been training here...and only one other thought comes to my mind. Well two to be completely honest. The 1st is why are we training...normally it would be to better ourselves..and we would do that to defend our country..But why defend the country if its a time of peace? And of course sadly that means we are no longer in peace..which then brings up the second thought. If we are here training, then there is a very strong possibility that those who oppose us are training as well. The sum of the story is that we can no longer just stay back and wait for the next attacl, hoping we are strong enough to defend our country. We now have to be the aggressors and attack ourselves. However that also brings up one final thought...we can not complete this task as Konoha shinobi", Sessou said.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:18 am

Hayashi looked at Sessou. He had had the same thoughts at one point or another. He had not wanted to truly acknowledge them...because the moment he did, everything would change. For a Senju to go rouge? To even seem to go rouge? It was irregular, to say the least. But Hayashi felt that it had to be done. And, Hayasy realized that if there was one person, one ninja in Konoha Hayashi could trust, was Sessou.

"I suppose you're right. Your not alone in your thinking, and most likely, neither are we. As Konoha Shinobi, it is our duty to put an end to this threat...with whatever means we have at our disposal. This is not just a problem for Konoha. This entire world has lost its way. Those with power have a responsibility, no...a duty to use that power for the betterment of the world. This world will not change if those who can will not act. There's only one option left to us, as you have already guessed...we strike back."

At this, Hayashi began to walk forward to stand before his friend.

"Neither of us are strong enough on our own to make a difference. But as a team..."
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:22 am

Sessou nodded at the man's words and when Hayashi walked up Sessou placed his hand on the man's shoulder. "As a team we will right the wrongs with the world", he said seemingly finishing off Hayashi's sentence. Sessou then removed his hand from Hayashi's shoulder and looked towards the sky. "We will probably be hunted for this...and our methods will be far from the norm. We can no longer play by just the shinobi handbook. If we want to make a change, we'll have to make our own rules, as well as make sacrifices. But I guessed it can't be helped...someone has to do it right", Sessou said as he went back to looking at Hayashi. There was a determination in his eye that was stronger and adamant.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:39 am

Hayashi said nothing, merely turned and began walking due south. There was nothing left to say. Neither of them could go back now. All that was left was the path ahead. Their goals? Many. For what Hayashi had in mind, it would take nothing less than a miracle. Their first order of business however was getting out of the country quickly...and quietly.
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PostSubject: Re: Among the Trees   Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:42 am

Sessou shook his head and smiled as his friend simply just walked away. He walked behind him...Down a road that would require determination as well as guts. What they were planning could seem like treason to the Leaf Village...but it was nessacry and at this point they both knew that. The two shinobi would continue to walk towards the dawn, with nothing holding them back any longer.
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