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This article, Dreamscape: Shoku Hyūga and Nōsei, is property of Kazeyo.

A barren wasteland sits under a dust clouded sky it what appears to be the late evening. A harsh wind blows across the desolate landscape as a young shinobi can be seen kneeling by the only point of interest in this arid realm. The boy, a Kirigakure genin by the name of Nōsei simply stares down at what appears to be a shallow pool alone in this world, much like himself. Clumps of dirt and dust are kicked up at random and only the sound of the wind can be heard for miles around.

In This Realm...

Nōsei kneels near the pool lost in thought about the possible events of his first day as a shinobi. Soon he would meet his team and sensei, "What would they be like...?" He just desired to blend in and to be given the chance to continue one of the very few things that ever interested him in his relatively short life. The young genin lets out a sigh and lays back on the rough cracked earth as he stares toward the sky. Time seemed to move at crawl as the clouds passed over him.

As Nōsei thought about his first day as a Genin, a young boy with turquoise eyes walked upon the trail, heading back to Konoha after completing his mission. As he walked, he noticed a rather small boy, he couldn't be not even a year younger than Shoku, kneeling. Why would this boy be out in a barren wasteland? I shall ask if he needs assistance.

"Sorry if I'm being rude, but are you lost?" he asked, hoping the answer was "no".

Startled by sudden visitor, Nōsei jumps to his feet before looking back towards the pool. "Uh...no I'm...not lost," he speaks in a low manner without making eye contact. It is then that the Kirigakure shinobi begins to question his surroundings. Before he was merely lost in thought and hadn't truly thought about where he was, but now everything seemed to be odd. "Perhaps this is an illusion..." he thinks to himself, "but if that's the case...then is this person the cause?" With these thoughts in mind Nōsei becomes noticeably tense and still avoids eye contact with Shoku.

Shoku could easily tell that the boy had been startled. He could also tell that he was suspicious. Without making any sudden moves, Shoku slowly walked up to the boy. "Okay. Well, may I ask why you're out in no-man's land?" the Hyūga asked. This boy seems troubled. I don't want to hurt him, but if he attacks, he will get hurt...

Nōsei instinctively moves back simultaneously as Shoku advances still unsure of the Hyūga's motives. "I...don't know why I'm here sir," Nōsei explains, while clearly behaving defensively at this point.

This boy is becoming irritable. But I must be polite. Shoku thought. He was becoming annoyed by this Genin. "You don't have to call me sir. I am no higher than you in anyways. But, if you don't know why you're here, then wouldn't that mean you're lost?" he asked as he memorized Nōsei's expression. Perhaps it would be useful later.

Troubled by this realization Nōsei split his attention between Shoku's location and his own thoughts, "Am I lost? I feel like I know this place...but I don't have any memory of such a location..." Concerned about the growing trouble of the situation he carefully feels his left forearm as the subtle sound of metal on metal can be heard. "That was too loud," Nōsei thinks to himself while forgetting to address the Hyūga's previous question as he takes another step away.

"Please, young shinobi, would you answer my question? I know I'm unfamiliar to you. But I would like to assist you if you're lost." Shoku said, the veins around his eyes becoming more and more distinct. If there was going to be a battle, he was going to be prepared...

For the first time Nōsei looks up Shoku and immediately notices the veins around his unique eyes, "His eyes...I've heard of this...but I just can't remember precisely...this doujutsu." Still tense he attempts to eplain the situation, "I just don't know why I'm here...but I...uh...feel like...for now it shouldn't be a problem."

Hmm... this boy is a strange case. "Well, I don't fully understand what you mean? Does this mean you do not need help?" Shoku then noticed that Nōsei had spotted his Byakugan. "I promise, I may have my Byakugan activated, but I mean no harm. I have only activated it to look at my surroundings." Shoku was terrible at lying, so he hoped he had made himself sound convincing.

With the Byakugan, Shuko should be able to notice Nōsei's chakra beginning to pulsate ever so slightly, "Did you say the Byakugan?" He then remembers what he had read briefly of Konohagakure's Gentle Fist style causing his chakra to resonate at an increased rate subconsciously.

As Nōsei's chakra wavered, Shoku tensed. He must think I'm going to attack. I will not attack someone that hasn't provoked me in anyway. he thought as he focused his Byakugan more.

It was then that Nōsei had reached his breaking point and truly desired to remove himself from the situation, "I have nowhere to run in this place. So if he's stronger than me, I'll be caught and defeated." The Mist shinobi then takes a more relaxed stance and looks directly at Shoku, "What do I know so far? He activated his Byakugan without the aid of a handseal, thus his chakra control is impressive. He's remained calm...possibly meaning that he believes he has the upper hand." Taking a deep breath he allows a kunai slide out of his sleeve into his hand before throwing it towards Leaf Ninja, "Plus it's not like I have to kill him...do I?"

The Battle Begins!

As Shoku was about to turn away, he saw the kunai and used Eight Trigrams Empty Palm, sending the kunai back at its owner. So, he is trying to kill me? He has no sense of honour, attacking as my back is turned? I should teach him some manners! he thought as he took a fighting stance.

As Nōsei's kunai drew closer he simply catches it out of the air and begins to rotate around in his hand, though under closer inspection one would notice that the kunai actually slowed down before it reached him. Preparing for the counter measure, he takes a focused stance much more disciplined than the one before while still rotating his kunai.

As Nōsei caught the kunai, Shoku noticed his chakra slow it down. Hmm... this ninja would make a fine Chūnin, if he had any sense of honour! Shoku quickly slid thre shuriken out of his sleeve, hoping for a distraction.

"If I remember correctly the Byakugan extends the user's field of vision and they are highly skilled at close range combat," Nōsei thinks watching the the shuriken pass into Shoku's hand from his sleeve.

Shoku studied Nōsei intentively. He needed a distraction. He wanted his opponent to notice any movement, so he slowly moved his leg in front of him, hoping to catch the eye of the young Genin.

Nōsei what his opponent was up to, "Is he trying to move close enought to execute a particular technique or perhaps enter a particular stance?" All the while he remembers to keep some of his attention toward on the shuriken in Shoku's hand. "He's splitting my attention too many ways."

Damn! He didn't fall for it. Well, I can still use the shuriken. Shoku thought as he threw the shuriken straight towards Nōsei, hoping to test his chakra a little.

As Nōsei manuevered in between the shuriken he formed a single handseal before once again throwing his kunai, this time attached with a exploding tag. Those with the ability to perceive chakra would see a layer of chakra surrounding the Kirigakure shinobi.

Shoku showed a face of disappointment. So he is just condensing his chakra? How pathetic. Any skillful ninja can do that. he thought as he dodged the kunai. With nothing around him, the explosion from the tag never reached him. After watching the kunai explode, Shoku was next to Nōsei within seconds. "If you want to stand a chance, I suggest you pick up the pace." He then reappeared 100 feet away.

Nōsei stares at Shoku with an odd confidence as he appears to motion Shoku towards himself as the broken fragments of kunai that exploded just moments ago lift off of the ground and fly towards the Konoha nin. Nearly simultaneously he performs the Wind Release: Wind Cutter towards Shuku. After firing his technique Nōsei begins to move at an angle past his opponent while revealing another kunai from his sleeve.

Shoku concentrated his chakra and let out another Empty Palm, effectively cancelling out Nōsei's Wind Cutter and blowing the kunai fragmets away. As the boy tried to attack from the side, Shoku dashed passed him, holding the young shinobi's kunai. "If you think you can beat me with these little tricks, you are sadly mistaken."

Beginning to become noticeably annoyed Nōsei pulls reaches for his back and unsheathes his sword. He then takes what would normally appear to be a simple stance, but with the aid of his Byakugan Shoku can easily see a difference in flow of his chakra. It begins to flow in a slow and controlled manner. "I have to keep myself from using that...I can't control it," the shinobi murmurs under his breath.

Getting Down to Business!

As Nōsei pulled out his sword, Shoku noticed the chakra around him becomeing more refined and controlled. Hmm... I need to stay back. Until I know what he's planning, I must keep myself from getting injured. Shoku once again took a fighting stance and began to concentrate his chakra. If this Genin was trying to pull a powerful jutsu off, he's be ready.

Nōsei begins to move to his left while maintaining nearly the same distance from his opponent, even stepping through the lone pool to maintain what would become a cirlcle if he was to continue. After moving roughly 30 degrees in this manner he stops and suddenly flickers from his position and reappears 20 degrees past Shoku's right side swinging his sword towards his opponents abdomen. Oddly though, he suddenly stops his swing mere moments before it would connect and returns to his initial location 30 degrees right of Shuko's forward gaze.

Shoku, having already noticed Nōsei change in chakra, prepared to block the swing. But before he could, Nōsei retreated back to his original position. Well, this is certainly strange! I'v never seen a ninja act so irregular. Maybe this was a trick. Perhaps just a diversion. He'd soon find out. Getting irritated, the Hyūga thrust an Empty Palm, then another, and another. Soon, there were dozens of chakra blasts going in every direction. There was no way he could dodge every Empty Palm. He'd get hit soon enough. And when he did, Shoku would end this fight!

Not moving from his spot Nōsei's hair passes over his eyes as the Empty Palms approach him. If Shoku happens to be looking in his the Kirigakure shinobi's direction he could perhaps swear that his eyes appeared to have a silver shine for a mere moment. Nōsei then performs a wind based Chakra Flow technique onto the blade of his sword and cuts through the normally invisible chakra bursts and waits for the next move in a balanced stance.

He wants me to come closer. Well that isn't going to happen. Shoku thought as he motioned Nōsei towards him.

Appearing to use the same tactic again Nōsei moves 30 degrees left of Shoku's forward direction and repeats the nearly hit and run technique resulting in him returning to his original location. "It appears that he hasn't caught on yet," he thinks to himself, "...But I need to stay on guard regardless."

Exactly as before, the Hyūga prepared to block the swing, but stopped after Nōsei reappeared in his original spot. "What is this technique?! If this is just a diversion, just give it up." Shoku said, becoming increasingly more irritated by this shinobi.

"I apologize...but it has already worked," the Kiri genin explains in a quiet voice, "At this range...even with speed beyond what you have demonstrated thus far...you will still--" Nōsei is cut off as a sound similar to multiple smoke bombs go off at Shoku's feet releasing a mass of blinding powder at close range. The mist shinobi follows up with variation of the Wind Release: Violent Wind Palm performed from the blade of his sword releasing a powerful gale in the Hyūga's direction before preparing himself for the next round.

As Nōsei attempted to deliver a blow to Shoku, who had noticed Nōsei's chakra shift, he began to spin and and released his chakra. This chakra quickly began to spin as well, forming a dome of chakra protecting Shoku. The wind jutsu clashed with the dome, causing it to dissipate.

The Hyūga smirked. "I have the Byakugan. I can see when your chakra changes. If you want to stand a chance, you'd better hone skills."

A Blinded Battle

With a calm expression Nōsei explained his understanding of the situation, "Both of our techniques have merely spread out the blinding powder that just went off under your feet. It will diffuse through the air and slowly begin to effect even the abilities of your eyes." With that said the Kiri shinobi pulls a pair of sunglasses out of his shuriken pouch and puts them on, "It's only a matter of time now...the more we move about the faster the diffusion will occur."

Shoku appeared behind Nōsei and jabbed his finger into one of his tenketsu. "Just because I can't move, don't mean I can't hit you." he said as he jabbed his finger into another tenketsu.

Nōsei is thrown forward by the force of Shoku's attack, "Even if my technique held him off from completely manipulating my chakra points...the pain is still incredible." The Kiri genin pulls himself to his feet and faces his opponent, "By now the powder should be noticeably interfering with your sight..."

Oh no. His powder has taken effect. Right now I can still see, but that won't last long. I guess I'll have to get use to battling blind. Shoku thought as he began to dash about, making Nōsei have to keep his senses up. I may be blinded, but if I hit him, it'll hurt...

"I have him on a makeshift defense...and if I keep quiet..." Nōsei thinks positioning himself in yet another sword stance.

"I cannot hear him moving, but I can find him using more conventional ways..." Shoku thought as he threw him nose in the air, taking in a wif. "Over there." Shoku appeared in front of Nōsei and attempted to shove his palm into his chest, a move that could potentially kill him.

Unable to dodge the speed of the blow Nōsei is forced to block the assault with the flat side of his sword. Despite blocking the blow, the momentum of the strike sends the young genin sliding back several feet. Rebounding from his block he performs the body flicker technique and attempts a shallow cut near Shoku's left arm.

Feeling Nōsei being pushed back, Shoku smiles, but is interrupted by a pain in his left arm. "So, he is going to cut me when I'm blinded..." he thought as he began to formulate a plan.

"Why...didn't I finish the fight there. He...he taught me not to show this kind of mercy to an enemy," Nōsei thinks beginning to question his behavior, "...I don't think I should kill this person...but can..." At this point the Kiri genin simply stands upon the field of battle distressed about what he should do.

As Nōsei stood there, conficted, Shoku began to see light. "Hmm... it appears that my sight is returning" he thought as he appeared in front of him and used Gentle Stepping Dragon Fists, swiftly attacking him.

Due to his inner turmoil, Nōsei is unable to fully adjust to the sudden attack and is sent hurtling several feet dropping his sword upon Shoku's initial contact. "I suppose I was right...Hyūga" the genin remarks quietly from the ground, which happens to be the first time he has addressed Shoku so casually. He notes that his opponents technique fully passed through his barrier and was beginning to feel the results of the damage as he slowly pulled himself up.

Before Nōsei could fully get back up on his feet, Shoku dashed in and used Eight Trigrams Sixty-Four Palms, effectively cutting off most of his chakra. "I must say, you were a very difficult opponent. Although you're a Genin, it has been an honour to do combat with you. But I must leave, as I have important matters to attend to." he said as he sprinted away, hoping to make it to Konoha before sunset.

Forcing himself to remain standing even as he coughs up a minor amount of blood Nōsei feels a mixture of anger and comfort at this sudden end to the battle, "...I still don't know what I should have done." With that said the genin stretches out his hand towards his sword. Miraculously it flips off of the ground towards him just before the Kiri shinobi catches it promptly. Swinging it towards the ground the cracked earth seems to buckle a bit despite the fact that the sword doesn't contact the ground. Wiping the blood off of his mouth Nōsei falls barely catching himself with his sword, "...just as I figured this place out."

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