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 Bump in the Night

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thaliamint

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PostSubject: Bump in the Night   Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:40 am

A scream. A shriek. Bloodcurdling in its outcry. Rushing legs. Strides swiftly carried through a thick forest. Underbrush snagging at ankles. Thorny bushes nipping legs and arms. Then the shriek. It struck like lightning, even accompanied by the flash and boom of thunder. But it was the shriek of bloody murder that resounded the loudest. That awoke the young Uchiha in the dead of pitch... black... night.

...

Iku shot upwards on her small cot-like-bed, sweat upon her brow, her nightgown soaked with the stinky, sticky liquid from the girl's body. Her breaths came out in intense gasps, as if she had been running for a long time. No. As if she had been drowning. She was soaked like she was.

Blinking deep, dull eyes, lacking of any color, Iku gently looked around. Only a thin ray of bright white light crept in the small, humble home of the Uchiha; eking its way just through some of her rickety, dilapidated blinds, that hung over her only window, beside her bed.

Iku felt her forehead, expecting there to be heat. She had assumed from her odd mannerisms that she was coming down with something. Perhaps a fever. To her surprise, she found her pale skin cold to the touch. Her hands went around herself, clutching the opposite arms, and she let out a little shiver, "Brrr", she murmured, realizing she was actually quite cold.

Sliding off the cot, bare feet thudding against the wooden floorboards, Iku moved to light the candle on her night table. Across from her lay her white Uchiha cloak, red spots dotting it like freckles. She would have to wash that thoroughly later. She actually begun to wonder if the blood stains would come out. If they did not, she would find herself very upset. Iku enjoyed the whiteness of her cloak. She had first enjoyed the blood splatter on her cloak, from her first real scuffle, but even so, did not wish it to stain.

Iku let out a sigh, and fell back against the bed, sitting on its edge, staring down at the ground. Her fight with the kid from the Yuex clan had been hours ago, but she could still feel the weakness in her body from it. She ached, and her bruised side was thumping in and out, in quite the painful discomfort. Iku sat there, fiddling her hands, staring at the ground. She had won, that was true, but it had been far too close. It was also true that she was an Academy student, so she was not yet expected to be very strong. Though, Zinkurai probably was shattered by his loss. He seemed to be a bit tight when it came to his combat abilities.

No. Why shouldn't she be expected to be strong? No time like the present. That dream had given her a headache, and she doubted she could fall back asleep anyways. She guessed the time of night, was early morning. It was cold -real cold, and she couldn't help but shiver. The winds outside moaned mournfully, and Iku sympathized with their forlorn sound.

"Welp," her voice came out hoarsely. "Lets begin."

...

A sharp chill rushed through Iku's veins; while she stepped outside her home, in the dead of night. Night time training was on her radar. All shinobi acted under the cover of night and darkness. Iku needed to be familiar with such situations. Not sporting her usual white cloak, Iku shivered, and breathed out. A puff of white came forth from her. Was it really that cold out? Incredible. No really. It was. She needed motivation.

So only donning her tight leggings, and her mesh shirt, Iku made her way across the campus of the Uchiha territory. Slowly her bare feet plodded across freezing pavement, carrying her towards somewhere. Clutching herself, she walked along, the barren fields, looking about. The silence was deafening. The place was like a ghost town. Eerie and silent. Usually Uchiha would be spotted everywhere, but not in the middle of the night like it was. Iku pulled herself tightly to herself, while she walked along.

Feet carried her to where she was aiming for. The Uchiha training complex. Again, normally it would be filled with Uchiha brothers and sisters. All training and working on their techniques, and speed, and power. Tonight it was empty. Which was absolutely perfect, because Iku always trained alone, and she never came here.

Heavy, cold breaths filled the air, emanating from the young Uchiha girl, as she stood outside, in the brisk night air. Before her, was a wooden training dummy. It was more than a little chilly out, and Iku could not lie, it was hampering her abilities at that moment. She stood there, feet red and sore, nose and ears as red as the Sharingan. She had to power through it. She had to train, to become a great kunoichi. And Iku had no doubt she would become a great kunoichi.

There was no doubt in her mind.

Zinkurai's and her battle was just the first block: the first piece of a long string of victories, that would lead to the girl's greatness. That battle's lessons were not lost on her, but she had to move forward. Spreading out her stance, forcing her hands to un-clench from her frame, to stop holding her so protectively; she stared down the dummy.

Then attack. Her hand struck out, and hit it just below the neck. Not where she had intended. Shaking her head, she struck again. Once more she hit just below the neck. The cold was really dampening her skills. The little amount she had. But she would not activate the Sharingan... not yet. Again. Attack, again. She made a few strikes, back to back, and felt the thumps against the wooden dummy. It bounced back and forth in place.

Again.

She struck it once more.

Again.

Again!

Again! Again! Again!


Three hits to the sternum, and she bent low, and two swipes of her hands went to its shins. The shin was a weak point. She had nearly crippled Zinkurai in that battle. Oh yes, Iku would learn weak-points. Exploiting them could be key to victory. But that was for later. This was time to hone her strength, sharpen her claws, so to speak.

Iku struck out again, this time hitting the left side of the dummy, just under the arm. She followed through, with a few more quick jabs to the right side, just under the arm. She spun around and kicked the dummy with her heel. Again!

Another punch to the doll. And another strike from the center of her palm, Hyuga-clan style. Again. She stepped forward, and kicked it hard. The thunk rang out in the dead of silence, and the doll bounced back and forth, straining against the stringent wood. "Heuh, heuh, heuh," Iku breathed out, rapid breaths in quick succession. Despite the chill, the young Uchiha girl was sweating: panting like a dog.

Again!

Iku continued her assault on the wooden doll. A strike here, a punch there, a kick here, even a knee or elbow thrown in for good measure. She hit it over and over and over. Repeating strikes, trying new ones. Like spinning on her back, and kicking it, before leaping up, and striking at the head. Again and again she continued the beating. It got savage.

The girl was growling animalistically, as she assailed the vilified wooden dummy. Her hands and feet and legs were aching, and the chill had sunk deep into her bones, but she didn't care. She even went for a few back attacks, which Zinkurai had previously reprimanded. He could very well be correct in the instance that he had chided her on it. A quick cut to the neck would have been better in that scenario, but sometimes strikes to an opponent's back were not just useful, but mandatory. Ninjas had to know when to strike their opponent's backs. Most fights would not be honourable ones. Iku knew this.

She withdrew kunai, holding them like little teeth. A look of pure viciousness illuminated the girl's face. Bloodthirsty eyes almost glowed red without the Sharingan activated. Like a predator to prey, she attacked the doll. Slashing and swiping, cutting and gashing, everywhere she could. Nicks that while weren't particularly impressive on wood, would pose a significant threat to an opponent, who was made of flesh. Yyyrrah! Iku growled inwardly, fiercely attacking her current 'opponent'.

A man with the headband from where? Anywhere. Kumogakure. Sure, why not. Their shinobi were supposed to be quite skilled. So there, on his forehead was the band of a Kumogakure shinobi. In war, this would be someone she killed. Could be a husband. A father. A son. A cousin. An important official. A beloved friend. A respected colleague. She did not care. Iku did not care. She would not. He would die, as her enemy.

"Yyrrah!" She voiced her inward rage, thoughts made vocal like an animal growling at its prey; her attack was vicious. She leaped forward, and the small girl landed on his chest, she sliced the kunai back and forth. Slash after slash, blood dug out, and scooped aside, flung to the winds like she was shoveling snow. Only the pavement she was shoveling off, was his body, and the snow was his blood.

A hand clasped onto his forehead, parts of her fingers covering his proudly worn headband. She spun around on his head, and stabbed the kunai into his chest, landing behind him. "RRRAAH!" She screamed out into the night, cutting his back, and sliding between his legs, slashing at his shins -crippling her opponent. She spun, using the maneuver from before, using her own body as leverage. Except for this time, her kick was aimed as his head...

"YYYAAAAH!" Her foot connected with his head, and severed it right off. Iku had just decapitated her enemy. Everything went in war.

A thunk of wood landed beside her, and rolled along the ground. She followed through with her momentum, spinning close to the ground, landing on one foot, the other out to her side, one hand balancing her in place, the other held out opposite of the foot, keeping the balance in check. Her eyes went to the wooden ball on the ground. She looked up at the wooden dummy.

The Uchiha's blood was pumping, and the adrenaline was rushing through her like a waterfall. Her eyes focused on the dummy, its head was missing. She had kicked it straight off. She regained some of herself, and stood up straight. Staring at the thing before her. Scuffs, and indentions and cuts and nicks littered the doll. Her onslaught had not been merciful. The doll looking in shambles.

Iku took a deep breath in, then took a few steps to her right, to another training dummy. She picked up a single kunai then took up a stance. Again.

Once again, another vision of her enemy crossed into her mind; imagination running rampant. Dust swirled around. An arid fog. A shinobi danced with her, his headband of origin had two stones on it. An Iwa-nin. Rock solid in strength and just as fierce in loyalty to his country. Iku would have to be the same. Match him tit-for-tat. That was the least she could do.

The battle commenced once more. The young Uchiha girl went at it. Attacking the dummy before her, with blow after blow. One hundred attacks. Two hundred. Three hundred. Four. A thousand. Muscles shot, joints aflame, body pushed to its limits. And that was only the beginning. At some point, she activated her Sharingan. It took her awhile to, but she needed practice with it. She needed to use the Sharingan more, get used to the strain it put on her young body, on her small frame.

Again. Again. Again.

Again.

And again. And again.


Iku, breathing heavily, stumbled backward, nearly falling back, but catching herself on her hands, reaching out the ground behind her. She pushed herself back forward, into a standing position. Panting heavily, body wracked with the pain of her limits, shook her. She staggered, barely keeping her eyes open. It had been quite some time, that she had been out there in the black of the night. Working up more than a sweat. Blood. It dripped from her knuckles. She glanced down, and released a kunai, that she did not remember holding. She was on her fifth dummy. The previous four were wrecked. One missing a head, one missing both its arms. One completely flat on the ground. The other... It as in pieces about the place.

"Ahhhhghhh," she groaned, hands reaching up for her head. Her head sunk into her hands, pounding with the worst migraine she could imagine. The Sharingan had gone out at some point. Too little chakra to maintain it.

Iku swallowed, and stepped forward. She held up her fists. Still wheezing, she again threw out some punches. Not yet. She was not done yet. She could still go a little further.

Iku did not know how much time passed, that she was out there, beating on poor defenseless dummies. Hours passed by, and she remained at it. Her head had since lost track of time, place, and reason. All she knew was to keep hitting. There was nothing else.

Iku stumbled, and fell to one knee and one hand. Her head was spinning, and her muscles cried out in pain. Blood dripped from her mouth, and knees, and fists. Her feet were swollen and ached. "N.." She began, trying to form words.

"N... nu..."

"N... nah... Heuh.. Haeh heh... Nyu.."

Iku swallowed, one eye was shut. "Not.. yet."

She flung herself back into battle. Weapons drawn, any jutsus she could still cast coming to the top of her head. This was a pivotal battle in the war. She could not fall now. The kunoichi kept at it. Attacking one enemy after the other. Punching the side. Hitting the head. Gutting an eye with her kunai. Flinging a chakra-infused jutsu at one. Blocking another. Iku tossed herself to and fro, between enemy and enemy. Headbands no longer meant anything. She had seen every symbol. Rocks, to water, to that strange hourglass thing. It did not matter. All were her enemies. All would fall before she did...

...

Iku swung her fist, and spun in place, before falling onto her back, hitting the pavement hard. "Unghsssssshhh heh..." She bit her lip, and looked up, sprawled out like an angel. Her vision was spinning. She laid there, until her eyes closed, body feeling like an earthquake.

{words: 2450 for exp}
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PostSubject: Re: Bump in the Night   Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:20 pm

"Ugh," Iku groaned, squirming where she laid upon the cold, hard, dead ground. Another groan escaped from between her thing cold-blue lips. The girl rolled herself over, and caught herself with a loud clap, from both hands flat on the ground, this time, laying there on her stomach, like a snake. She opened her eyes and had found herself using the Sharingan. Eyes as blood-red and savage like a demon. Good a little bit of her chakra had returned, or she had just enough. Either or, she was still not incredibly at chakra control. Not even proficient at it yet, really. She had no idea how much chakra she had left, or how much her Sharingan ate up.

Coughing, Iku felt blood splatter out of her mouth and onto the pavement underneath. Blinking her eyes, she could just barely make out the dark patches of the thick, syrupy liquid, as it made patches of dark red on the ground below her. She had attempted a few headbutts, like Zinkurai had in their fight, and found it incredibly easy to bleed in such a fashion. Her head was ringing, and a drop of blood fell from her hair. Her hair. It was a mess, flayed out in all directions, and unkempt like she was some scarecrow. A strange doll meant to frighten. She had definitely injured herself trying out those headbutts. Not that that was her only problem currently. Her knuckles, and her knees were scraped, and also bleeding.

Admittedly, all this hardly bothered Iku. She knew some of this had sunk in. She could feel even a tiny bit better, and that made her happy. Genuinely, excited to progress forward with her ninja training.

So, she coughed once more, then placed her foot against the ground, knee bent. Using her hands to push herself up off the ground, Iku stood up. "AUHHGH!" She let out a grunt, stretching, and forcing herself to stand upright. She surveyed the area. The dim light of the moon, provided just enough to see in that cold of night. Dark red blotted the pavement. Her hands at her sides dripped blood. Knuckles raw and pulsating. Many of the dolls were tore up, and strewn about. The doll to her left, which she didn't even remember attacking, had three kunai sunk deep into it. All the way to the little ring at the bottom. That person, would be dead.

Her entire body thundered; roaring with pain. Iku had pushed herself quite far, and her body was protesting quite adamantly. "Not yet," she breathed out, swaying in place. Not even fate could cause her to quit that night. Training was in session for the Uchiha. She was not about to quit now.

Even though her knuckles ached, and hurt, and could barely move, she forced her hand to clench tight. Forming a fist. She struck the nearest doll, and bit back a scream of pain. Quickly drawing her hand back against her, she bit her lip. Okay... A break from that. But not a break from training. Nu-uh. Not gunna happen.

Her Sharingan was causing her some issues, she needed the strength and chakra. She shut it off, removing the red from her eyes. She felt the strain lighten just a bit in her head. Ever so slight was the relief. Her now-midnight colored eyes fell upon the portion of the facility dedicated to the betterment of the body. The betterment of one's physique.

Iku walked towards that part of the training facility, towards those weights in the corner. She had noticed the weights incorporated into the Yeux training regime, earlier in the day. Well, yesterday now. Whether she had just seen them, or saw some Yuex members using them, she had noticed them. Iku was quite keen like that.

Iku reached forward, and wrapped both hands a couple of the metal bars between the weights, and she lifted them; upwards, grunting with the effort. Her muscles screamed out at her. Swaying in place, her head buzzed, vision blurring slightly. Her foot fell to her left, taking a step, to widen her stance, and to catch herself from falling.

"One," she said aloud, lifting the weights to her chest.

"Two," she managed to speak, again lifting the weights up.

Again.

Iku began working hard at her muscles. Lifting the weights over and over again. A veritable litany of muscular gain. She continued on and on, not allowing herself to give in. Not allowing her very own body to dictate what she would do. She considered her mind her strongest muscle, and it would prevail, even in through all the harrowing pain.

The cold. The pain. Both were hurdles she would have to push through. There was nothing to stop her that night. Iku was dedicated to training hard. No sense being as weak as other Academy students. Her dreams insisted she trained harder than others. Possibly even harder than your average Uchiha member. Harder than her brother. She would surpass Hideaki. No doubt about that in her mind.

F-four... f-freaking... hundred. She counted, in her mind, which in of itself, was hard. The mental gymnastics this night was tougher than she could have imagined.

Five hundred twenty-five...

A loud sigh escaped her, the weights falling to the ground. She had hit one thousand. Her goal. Her arms, -if they weren't in pain- they were now. In furious pain. She fell backward onto the ground, hitting the mat hard. At that point, it didn't even matter. She didn't even care. Iku's body became slightly smaller, pulling in on itself, as she began curls. Lifting her head up, working her lower abdomen. One. Two. Three. Another string of counting in her head ensued, while she worked on that exercise.

Iku continued her hard-knock exercise regime. Each exercise to one thousand. No if ands or buts. Without question she had to hit the mark. Her body protested every step of the way. The girl was having none of it. The pain only meant it was working. She went through the motions. Went through the common exercises, pull ups, push ups, one-handed push ups, push ups using her knuckles. Oh those were hell for her.

"Unnnghhh," she groaned out in agony, placing her knuckles down upon the mat. Her hands and arms shaking with the effort. She pushed up off her knuckles. It was sadistic. No doubt about that. Iku did not care. She only cared about strength and power: progression. "One" she said, swallowing, pushing up using her knuckles. Oh the pain, sparking through her hands. Excruciating. Actually, she was a tad scared about these knuckle-push ups, scared they might hurt her hands in an inconvenient way. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Ignoring her concerns, she continued the push ups. Thirty... Thirty one...

Unfortunately, she couldn't make it passed two hundred, with her knuckles, but at least that was quite the accomplishment. Or at least Iku thought so. She collapsed on her tummy, gasping for air. But the training had to continue. So she went on to other exercises. She tossed her back up against the wall, and stood up on her hands. She pushed off the ground, lifting her body upwards. This proved both difficult, and easier than the others. It was difficult, because Iku wasn't the most physically strongest people around, but it proved a bit easier, because she was also kinda using the wall as a small crutch. It held her body for her so she didn't have to work on balance just yet. In the future, she knew this exercise would be preformed differently -without a wall to hold her.

Iku finished up a couple of other exercises and other weight lifting exercises. She could go no further on that front at the moment. Her body was nearly frozen with the pain. Its screams, anguished howls from hell. Each time her muscles throbbed, she felt the earth move beneath her feet. Not literally of course, but it was all the same.

The Uchiha was sitting on the ground, back to the wall, weights strewn about her. She rolled her head, and observed the area, and outside to the training dummies. It was a mess. Getting to her feet was a challenge, but she managed. Iku turned to go, finally satisfied with her physical training. She would leave it a bloody mess. Let someone else deal with it. As she walked away, heading to one more place, she glanced back to the darkened building. She wondered if she should have picked up her mess. She had left it untidy, in disarray. It was unbecoming, but more than that. Picking up after herself, would have been more training in of itself. Her body was already screaming to go to sleep. Lifting a few more weights off the floor and putting them back in their place was the equivalent to 'One', wasn't it?

Sighing, the Uchiha made the conscious decision to turn her butt around. She had pushed herself this far, no need to get lazy now. Iku walked back inside, pushing the door aside. Even that took her great effort at the moment. She went about fixing up the clutter she had left. Even going to scrub the blood spots she had left.

When she finally stepped back outside the Uchiha training facility, she stumbled on the stairs. Ugh, if she had realized just how hard it would be to fix that mess, she would've just left it for some other poor soul. But what's done was done. She had cleaned it up. Now to move on.

Iku made her way to the Uchiha library. She could not go to the Konoha library, or the library within the Ninja Training Academy. That would take the shambling girl too much time to get to. This time, the Uchiha library would suffice. Again, she had some trouble at the door, wanting to collapse against it, and pass out. She forced the door open, and stumbled inside.

Books lined the place. Scrolls were stuffed wherever they could fit. Iku had been in there before -many times. This place was impressive to say the least, but was primarily focused on the Uchiha, and what the Uchiha had written. There were other works there by others though. From Konoha, from other nations. Iku had read some of the books and scrolls around. One of her goals, was to finish every single one.

Enough about that, Iku pulled her gaze away from the vast amounts of knowledge. She grabbed a thick book -any one, it didn't matter- and threw it down on a table. She reached for a lamp, and set it alight. With the lamp burning on the table, Iku opened up the book. Rusty pages swung open, and the dust caused the girl to sneeze. Rather cutely actually. She shook her head, and rubbed her pert nose, before sticking it back into the book.

She hadn't even read the title, that was how excited she was to gather the knowledge locked inside. Marking her place with her arm, she flipped the book over, to observe the cover and its title.

Uchiha Lore, Belief, and Faith.

How very intriguing. Iku once again opened the book, and began reading. She had started on a page somewhere in the middle. It didn't matter, she'd revisit the book at a later date and finish it. It was too thick for a night's read. Not that that stopped the girl. With head bent, and eyes pinned to the parchment, Iku delved into the book. Her mind absorbing what was therein. Uchiha culture was fascinating. She had to admit. Even if her kinship to her fellow Uchiha was not where most would be.

Iku read, and read, her eyes going back and forth, her hands flipping page after page. Otherwise she barely moved. Her body couldn't handle movement at the moment. Her head could barely handle the information she was shoving into it. But study was another important part of shinobi training. It had to be done. Iku read until the sun peaked over the horizon, and until it arose, shining its brilliant light.

When it was higher in the sky, sitting atop the treeline, Iku shut her book. She set it back in its place on the shelf, and left the library. Uchiha were getting up about this time. Or most were up and about. Iku shuffled through them, heading homeward.

Iku pushed open her door, and staggered into her home. Eyes drained and downcast. She nudged the door shut behind her. Not another second was she remaining on her feet. The short, young Uchiha girl collapsed onto her bed, bouncing with the springs. Within moments she was out: crashing completely. Her nightly training had been quite adventurous and bold. Iku was rather satisfied from the whole daunting ordeal. Now she would rest, sleeping until school the next day; as she had just spent the entire night training, and honing her body and mind. Rest was in order. For now.

{words: 2140 for exp}
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