The Iron Temple [Iron Country]
Age : 28
Posts : 1178
|Subject: The Iron Temple [Iron Country] Sat 07 Feb 2015, 12:49 am|| |
The first day at the temple was very similar to the weeks he had spent in the temple of Raijin back in the land of lightning. He had to wake up early at the sound of a bell, get dressed in a standard uniform and get breakfast in a large mess hall with Samurai of various ranks and check what his chores and assignments of the day were. The thing that was very different however was the way that these men spent their time when they were not working around the temple. In the temple of Raijin, the men were working on prayers mostly through meditations while spending their time studying in a large library. Spending time in the library was something that Hiruzen had done for the most part since he was not exactly a religious type and only followed the teachings of the temple because he felt like what they wanted to teach people was worth learning. They even pushed people to go out into the world and create their own story while helping people they met on the way, hoping they would get to create their own techniques to show the might of the temple to those who would seek to harm them or those under their protection. As a Ninja Monk, one did not even need to be religious as long as they followed the code and would not harm or kill innocent people. More so, when the monks sparred one another, they held back intentionally so they would not harm their partner. Here in the Iron Temple, Hiruzen found out that this was not the case at all. Training against other students at the training grounds was truly all about who was the stronger opponent. There was no taking pity on the opponent until they admitted defeat, something that almost made the first afternoon end rather badly.
During his time at the iron temple, it became quite clear that a lot of old grudges were still very much present, even in the current day and age. Most of the people that knew about him being an Uchiha did not go easy on him, either because they had lost some of their ancestors in the era of warring states or simply because they did not enjoy a shinobi being trained as a Samurai. When he was fighting one of the older samurai at the temple, his Sharingan aided him in piercing some of the attacks sent directly at him, it was hard to actually dish out any damage of his own. Even the training he had received from Meiko along with his physical ability did not help him go on the offensive all that much. More annoyed by the fact that the man was not capable of hitting Hiruzen thanks to his Sharingan, the man started fighting dirty and tossed a handful of dirt into his eyes before striking Hiruzen in the stomach with his Boken. Angered by the obvious lack of respect and the man breaking the rules, Hiruzen tossed his sword at the man and formed hand seals at a high pace. At the very last moment, he refrained from resulting to one of his more powerful Ninjutsu and blowing the man away. Had he not realized what he had done, he might have burned the man to a crisp. In a way, the man deserved getting a good beating for what he had done, but Hiruzen believed that it was a better idea to just let things go for now and not let his anger and his urge for retribution get the better of him. Bowing to show that he was done with the fight, he picked up his Boken and left the training grounds. From the corner of his eye, he could see the Shogun watching him leave the place behind.
Whether the man was happy to see that Hiruzen had chosen not to let his strong urge for revenge or disappointed because he stopped sparring was something he could not tell, though it did not really matter all that much. Leaving the training grounds behind him, Hiruzen went to the library wing of the temple building, spending the time he was not using to train to find out more about the lost temple that was supposedly located in the Sanrou Mountains. Having vented his anger and replacing it with determination, the Uchiha knew that he had managed to pick up the majority of his moves. Next time, he would be even more prepared to fight him and would do his best to use his own techniques against him. When he went through the books he found in the library, he could not find anything that could directly help him him a forgotten temple out in the wilderness. The only things he could find that were of indirect help to him were about the geography of the land of Iron, about the local wildlife and about the people that lived in the past and helped build up all one could see when passing through the country in the present. Now that he had at least three books to read through, he returned to his private quarters and started reading the content inside the covers. At his reading pace, he was certain that it would take him at least a couple of days before he could read through all of it properly, especially since he had a rather busy schedule that he had to live up to now. As such, it was best to spend as much of his free time reading now that he actually had the chance.
Last edited by Hiruzen on Mon 09 Feb 2015, 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Age : 28
Posts : 1178
|Subject: Re: The Iron Temple [Iron Country] Mon 09 Feb 2015, 12:13 am|| |
For the next bunch of days, things started similar to how things had gone on the first one. When he arrived on the training grounds after finishing his chores around the temple, he was picked as a sparring partner by the same man that had chosen to fight him and humiliate him on his first day. This time however, Hiruzen was prepared to face him. When they had fought for the first time, Hiruzen had made an effort at using his Sharingan to keep up with the man and maintain a defensive stance, though he had also been memorizing his moves. From what Hiruzen could tell, the way the man fought was following the teachings of a rather ferociously offensive style of Kenjutsu. At first, Hiruzen did not know what to make out of it, but since the man had made such an effort at humiliating him for his background, the Uchiha had spent the next couple of days sparring against other trainees such as himself while sharpening his skills and filtering the good and the bad moves in preparation for this day. Entering the ring while setting himself down in a solid and determined stance, the pair of crimson eyes kept the man locked in their gaze at all times. When the bell rang, Hiruzen was instantly forced on the defensive. As expected, the man had come at him with the same ferocious method of attack, though this time, he did not manage to keep it up beyond the first couple of minutes. Parrying the attacks that were sent at him, Hiruzen used a mixture of quick footwork and potent strikes with his Boken to knock the man back. From that point on, Hiruzen started ferociously attacking the man with his own style of Kenjutsu. Obviously, the man was not expecting this at all as he did not have something like the Sharingan to see through these attacks. After roughly thirty seconds of being on the defensive, Hiruzen found a weakness in his defenses and slapped the wooden sword against his fingers, causing him a great deal of pain and forcing him to drop his sword to the ground. Looking down on him with a smug expression, Hiruzen knew that he had gotten his revenge by embarrassing the man in front of everyone, just like he had done to him on his first day.
In a fit of rage, the Samurai reached for a steel sword that was hanging in a weapons rack on the side of the dojo before rushing at Hiruzen. From his mood and his body language, the Uchiha could tell that this was not going to end well if he did not do anything to defend himself against the man that had entered a berserk state of mind. Preparing to resort to a harmful counter, Hiruzen started molding chakra while forming hand seals, though he was not ready in time. Literally in the blink of an eye, he felt something tug at the back of his shirt with a great amount of force. Pulling him back to the point where he almost fell flat on his ass, the Shogun struck the blade right out of the other samurai's hands with a Boken, a testament to his level of skill. In that same moment, the old man struck the man against his stomach, causing him to cringe in pain. To finish it, the Shogun struck the man on his back with enough force to strike him to the ground and knock him out cold. Though he had been able to tell that the man was angry, he had not even begun to imagine that he would punish one of his own so hard for breaking the rules. For the first time in years, Hiruzen felt a mixture of respect and an urge to get better so he could properly challenge this man to a spar. Making a gesture at some of the veteran samurai that had just been looking at everything that happened, they nodded back at the Shogun before picking up the beaten man and putting him on house arrest. Having witnessed such skillful brutality, Hiruzen came to respect the old Shogun even more. It was not every day that one got to see someone disarm a skilled swordsman with a steel Katana get disarmed and punished with a wooden training sword. Taking Hiruzen apart after he had sufficiently punished the Samurai for losing control over his emotions and attempting to attack a fellow trainee with a sharp blade, the Shogun did not have a whole lot to say to him. Still, the things he did end up sharing with him were a very welcome surprise indeed.
"I am sorry that you had to witness that. There are only a couple of rules here, but to keep living on the way we do, we can't have people breaking them and getting away with it without a proper punishment. As I have told you when you first came here, not everyone is as open as they should be and do not look kindly to a shinobi of the Uchiha clan walking on our temple grounds. Since you have proven to me, as well as to them, that you are better and quicker when it comes to mastering new styles, it is time for you to learn from me directly. There is a specific style most trainees only get to study once they have been here for at least two years and passed all of their trials, though I am sure that you are as ready for it now as you'll ever be. Meet me in the inner ring of the temple in an hour and we will begin your Iaido training.".
It was from that day on that Hiruzen no longer trained with his fellow trainees but with the Shogun himself. To him, it felt like a great honor to be picked over the rest, though the Uchiha knew that there was a hidden motive to it as well. Since there were so many among the trainees and the veteran samurai that could not stand the fact that he was a shinobi and loathed the fact that he was an Uchiha, letting him train with them any longer might eventually have pushed things to the point where people intentionally injured Hiruzen and would in turn result in Hiruzen's anger and anxiety getting out of control. Hiruzen knew that if the Shogun had not attacked the man when he did that Hiruzen might have done a whole lot more damage to the man while also making a target out of himself for using Ninjutsu against a Samurai on sacred grounds. When he thought about the term Iaido, he knew for a fact that it was a form of Kenjutsu that was only for those who had a clean conscience, or had at least accepted their own fault and learned to live with themselves. It was by far the most controlled form of Kenjutsu that was not exactly fit for just about everyone, though the Shogun had picked Hiruzen to teach it to personally. For that, Hiruzen was rather grateful. Bowing at one another, the Shogun went ahead to make preparations for his new personal student while Hiruzen went back to his quarters to read up on the last bits of text that he had not read yet while continuing to write up the personalized map he had made using the geography book, the wildlife book, the history books, and even the local folklore. With all of it, he had been trying to triangulate the most likely location of the lost temple. So far, he had been doing a rather good job at it and he was rather certain that he had figured out the general area of the temple itself, or what was left of it at least. With the knowledge in mind that the Shogun was going to personally train him and the fact that Hiruzen had beaten his rival within a month after joining the Iron Temple, he felt extremely good about himself.
Age : 28
Posts : 1178
|Subject: Re: The Iron Temple [Iron Country] Tue 10 Feb 2015, 11:12 pm|| |
Clashing their blades against one another, Hiruzen and the Shogun moved through the training field, shifting their combat styles between defensive and offensive depending on the opponent. Two months had gone by since Hiruzen had started training in the Iron Temple, though the past one and a half month had been the ones that made for the biggest changes in Hiruzen's personality and enhanced combat style. In the forty-two days that had passed since the Shogun had decided to personally train him, Hiruzen had been working on his meditation as a means of not only venting his anger and his anxiety, but also to contemplate on the things he had done that made him this angry in the first place. Once he had gotten to the source of his anger issues, he had managed to work them out with the help of the Shogun and another friendly face that had made a momentary stop at the Iron Temple as a means to discuss a festival that was supposed to be hosted in the Iron Country. This person was Guroda, the new head of the Temple of Raijin and the man that had allowed Hiruzen to begin his training as a Ninja Monk while also sending him on his way to finish what Guroda's father and Hiruzen's grandfather had started several decades ago. Though Guroda has only been in the temple for three days, he had proven to be a very helpful party in cleansing Hiruzen of most of his personal issues that came from the distrust aimed towards him by the villagers, the hostility he felt towards the higher ups of the Hidden Cloud for getting his closest friends killed, the Prajñã organization for actually killing them. Topping it all off were the slightly smaller things like the fact that his own clan no longer trusted him after he massacred the Prajñã on his own and the fact that the Raikage would only train him if he would become a weapon that was to be used whenever the village felt like using him.
Thanks to Guroda and the Shogun, Hiruzen had managed to let go of his angers towards the Hidden Cloud village, even though would most likely not ever feel that way towards him. This was also both of the men wanted him to realize and come to terms with, otherwise none of the therapy he was receiving would do him any good as his anger would just return. Though it had taken him a week to finally come to terms with the fact that his home village disliked or even hated him and that even his own family had turned his back on him without him being able to do anything about it, he had eventually decided to let it go. In the end, if things were meant to be, those he let go would come back to him. If they did not, there was never truly a reason to hold on to it in the first place. As he was told by the two respective temple heads, he was to take solace in the fact that he had eliminated a threat to everyone he once cared about while having also avenged those that had died so he could live on and finish the mission. By the time Guroda left to return to his temple in the land of lightning, Hiruzen had been cured of his anger and anxiety and no longer felt the urge to walk around in a disguise to keep people from recognizing him. Now, he knew that the people that did recognize him would know not to get on his bad side and that they should just stay away. The last thing he wanted was to fight people from the Hidden Cloud because they were stupid enough to come at him to either kill him or forcefully retrieve him for punishment in the village. With the training he had put himself through in the past couple of years, he was confident enough to know that there were not a whole lot of people left that could stand up to him with hopes of actually beating him. Even though this much was clear, he did not want to become overconfident and set himself up to get taken down because of his own mistakes.
Putting his weight behind his sword, the Uchiha pushed the Shogun back a bit before starting to ferociously attack him from several angles in very little time. Due to the sheer ferocity behind his blows, figuring out an actual pattern was very hard, which was exactly why he used it against the man. Though Hiruzen could tell that the old man was holding back quite a bit, they both enjoyed clashing their weapons against one another. Several more minutes went by as the two swordsmen clashed repeatedly. All of a sudden, the fight stopped when the Shogun placed his sword back in it's scabbard, more or less forcing Hiruzen to do the same. Making a waving gesture at him, the old Shogun asked Hiruzen to come with him in a non-verbal manner. As it turned out, there was something he wanted Hiruzen to see. Doing as he had been instructed, he followed the man to the staircase that went back to the ground floor and the temple grounds. However, the man put his hand behind the staircase and pulled a hidden lever, opening a second staircase that went even further down. Wondering what might be so important that it had to be hidden away from everyone, he followed the old man as he descended into a room beneath the training ring in the basement that was lit by a large amount of torches. At the bottom of the stairs, the two faced a large door that seemed to have been made out of an incredibly thick and durable metal. When the Shogun unsheathed his sword, he shoved the entire blade into a slot in the door before turning it like a key, causing the massive mechanism inside of the steel to open the doors. Stepping inside, Hiruzen saw a wide variety of swords hanging in several weapon racks, though not a single one of them was similar to the one hanging next to it.
"When one of my students has earned the right to be counted among the veterans of the temple, they are taken to this vault. This place is full of swords that have been made by the finest blacksmiths that have ever walked the planet. Some of these weapons have recently been forged, though some of them have been here for a very long time and are several times older than I am, dating back to the era of warring states and even to the dark ages that came before them. There is a saying among the Samurai that you do not pick your weapon, but that the weapon picks it's wielder. Now, this door will open again early in the morning, so take all the time you need while picking your sword. After all, you won't be getting out until the door opens anyway".
Age : 28
Posts : 1178
|Subject: Re: The Iron Temple [Iron Country] Wed 11 Feb 2015, 5:56 pm|| |
When the door initially locked behind him, Hiruzen thought that the man was just joking and that he would open the door up once he had managed to trick the Uchiha, though this was not the case. When he heard the footsteps that went up the stairs disappear followed by a rumbling as the hidden door closed, it became clear that he was not being tricked. Letting a deep sigh escape his lip, a frown appeared on his face as he started wandering around. Looking at the large amount of weapon racks that all had several unique blades resting on them, it seemed like there was going to be more to all of this than the Shogun had told him. He had told him that there was something about the blades picking their wielders, though that could not be right. After all, a blade was not a sentient being that could think for itself, so it couldn't be true. Taking into consideration that it was not meant literally, there was no telling what he might encounter in the vault. Walking through the room, he saw a lot of swords that took his fancy, though he was only allowed to take one. This obviously made it a lot harder, and since there were so many well made swords around, it was a good thing that Hiruzen had the rest of the day and the night to pick which weapon would become his own. One rack had various Tanto while another had Katana, Dai-Katana or Wakizashi. Though every blade was beautiful in it's own way, he was not capable of finding one that he believed matched him. After wandering through the large vault for about an hour, he still did not have a sword yet.
Deciding to approach the situation from a different angle, he looked around to see which weapon racks seemed the oldest. Approaching the one that seemed really old, he looked around the wood and the standards to see if there was anything that remotely resembled a lever or a switch. Due to the amount of time he had been given, he believed that, while it was in fact meant to give him a weapon for life, it was also a test. That was when his fingers hit a seemingly dislodged piece of wood. When he applied a bit of force to it, the wood was pushed into the rack, causing the entire weapon rack to move to the side along with the weapons itself, revealing a room in the vault wall. At times like these, Hiruzen was glad that he was not the one that would act without thinking about every possible outcome first. Stepping inside, he saw that there were ten weapons inside of this part of the vault, each having something odd about them. Wondering if these blades had been hidden away because they were this strong or in some way haunted or cursed, there was one blade in particular that instantly pulled the full brunt of his attention towards it. The guard is was oval shaped while the tsuka-ito seemed to have been braided from white and black material. Taking the blade from it's resting place, he took it out of it's scabbard to look at the cutting edge. The blade featured several intricate ornaments, the relief of a dragon at the endpoint of the hilt being the most notable. The scabbard was black, made of traditional lacquered wood, and featured several metallic ornaments on its far end. It also featured a yellow sageo, the cord used to tie the katana to the waist.
Cutting at the air while performing some basic Kenjutsu techniques, he could feel that the blade, while sturdy, was very light in his hands. Though he might have been wrong in assuming as much, the blade looked like it had been forged no more than a few hours ago. Having not a single scratch on the blade and no chipped edges, even the scabbard and the handle felt like they were brand new. As a shinobi however, Hiruzen knew that looks could be deceiving and that not everything was always as it seemed. Regardless, Hiruzen made his choice right there. From now on, this was going to be his sword and a part of his arsenal. With that, he tried to make himself as comfortable as he could and go to bed early so he would be able to get out of the vault in the morning. As it was said, so it came to be and the Uchiha fell asleep after trying to find the right position to sleep in. After several hours passed, he awakened to the sound of the door mechanism that was way louder on the inside than it was on the outside. Rising to his feet, he held his blade in hand while he walked out of the vault to present his chosen weapon to the Shogun. Taking it from him to look it over, the man did not need a whole lot of time before he spoke up to Hiruzen about it.
"It would seem that you have made your choice. You know, that blade is called Saiketsu, it means "Drawing Blood". When this blade was forged, it was used shortly after it had been finished to protect the local temple against a horde of ravenous plunderers. Various warriors used the sword to kill the attackers. When the wielder was killed, the next defender would pick it up and would continue killing with it. At the end of the bloody battle, the monk that had originally forged it felt that the blade had become a lot heavier in his hands. He believed that the sword had gorged itself in the blood of those it had killed and had been corrupted. That is why this blade had been hidden away in the vault. I figured that one day, someone would come for it, though the fact that a Ninja Monk like yourself would come to be the one to take it out of it's resting place. Well, I hope that you are happy with the choice you made, because from this day on, this sword will be your partner. Now, it is time to leave this place and lock it back up until the next person is ready to pick his sword.".
It was quite impressive of the Shogun to know which blade he had picked while also knowing the background to it. Wondering whether or not the man knew all of that about every single weapon in the vault, it really would not have surprised him if he did. Taking his sword back from the Shogun, the door to the vault was locked behind him as he went back to the ground floor. Though it had taken some time, he now finally possessed a strong sword and a set of skills required for properly wielding it. Walking around the training grounds with his new sword, he could tell that there were a lot of jealous eyes aimed directly at him, though he did not care. Now that he had his sword, it was time to finish his map of the region and check in at the library to see if there was anything about his goal that he had not found just yet. From this point on, things would finally change for the better.
End of Thread.
|Subject: Re: The Iron Temple [Iron Country] || |
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