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This article, Of the Way: Training of Kie, is property of Achrones150.

This article, Of the Way: Training of Kie, is property of Cold hard steel.

Previous: Of the Same: Ean vs. Kie

Fresh

the town was on the border of the land of ninja and another continent, and as such it had much business with travel.

But today, it was practically deserted outside, as it was raining heavily, thousands of comets of water, pounding roof, tree, and ground alike. Everybody was no longer buying things from vendors or talking about gossip, or eating at cafes. They were all staying home, doing whatever they could to stay out of the rain.

In one specific building, a quaint little clinic, a man and a boy rested, one with numerous bandages, in a bed, the other in a chair. The room was lit by a small fire, in order to keep the boy warm.

These two were strange, as no matter how many wounded travelers the doctor had treated, he had never seen a pair that had one member with pink bangs and the other unwilling to remove his mask.

But, he allowed them stay, and they rested.

The boy was currently and soundly asleep, his face unusually peaceful, even in his current condition. His chest was rising up and down slowly, signaling normal breathing. The heart monitor beeped steadily, indicating a normal pulse.

The man in the mask had not moved either, implying he was asleep.

The doctor came in quietly, and was startled slightly when the man moved his masked face to look at him. "Yes, doctor?" he asked in a deep, metallic tone hidden by the layer of wrought iron and steel he wore. He still disliked it, it was fairly eerie.

"I-I Came to give you an update on... um... Kie," he said, realizing he stuttered when he first spoke.

The man's expression changed, or at least he thought it did, that darn mask again. "And what would the results be?" he asked.

"He will be able to move within three days. I would suggest that he rest a bit less, as he will become sluggish, and that you wake him up eventually. He cannot walk yet, as his blood loss is too great, but one of my staff is trained in healing jutsu, so he will be alright within that time," he said, giving a small smile when he finished. The man in the mask turned back to Kie, and said "Thank you."

The doctor left, quietly again, and recorded the data on the boy in his books. He hadn't had one like this in over three years. He was currently wondering how on earth he got so banged up.

"Mmmm....."

Kie groaned, slowly putting his hands on his face. "Oh, God...."

Ean got up slowly, as he had been sitting there for two days, waiting for Kie to wake up. "How do you feel?" he asked, walking over to Kie's cot.

"Like shit..." Was his tired answer, as Kie put his arms back to his sides. "How long have I been out?"

Ean removed his mask, revealing lines under his eyes. "Two days," he said, wary that this may shock the boy. After all, he had been in this situation himself before...

Kie almost jerked up, his eyes widening for a second. "Two days?!" He blurted. Then, that surprise faded, and he sank back into the cot. "I must've been really banged up, then...."

Ean had to chuckle, "Well, I don't mean to brag, but you did fight me..." he said, sitting back down after checking the boy's bandages.

Kie immediately turned his head away from Ean, face set in indignancy. "Hmph." Was the only retort he could muster.

Ean leaned back, "That's what you get for fighting one of th best swordsmen on the southern continent..." he said, heaving a sigh. "i'm sorry I nearly killed you, but I guess I should've exerted more self control," he said, his face falling.

At that sudden change of words, Kie immediately turned back, eyes gazing at Ean curiously. He decided not to interrupt, as it seemed like he was about to say more.

"heh, I didn't even take into account that half of that wasn't even me..." he continued, a sad, angry smile forming on his face.

Now Kie was confused. "Ok...could you clarify? Obviously, it was you I was fighting, who else it would be?"

Ean chuckled again, "Okay, I guess I do need to explain," he said, changing his position in his chair. "I come from a place that you will most likely never visit, a continent separate from this on. It's to the southwest, and it is almost nothing like it is here."

Kie pushed himself into a sitting-up position, his ears listening intently.

"Long ago, when this land had no such thing as ninjutsu or ninja, my land had many different races, Salamanders, Sylph, Lamia, Nagas, Humans, and, my own race, the Frost. eventually, these races took on new forms, blending in with human population, as they were disliked greatly by them and their ignorance. I am the descendant of those frost, and they were ice elementals," he said, pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts. "Now, each race, along with their own unique powers, had their own quirks. The salamanders could not live near water, even bathe in it, or they would die. They could rink, nonetheless, but it still inhibited them. My own race had a mental issue, starting from birth."

"I assume that would have to do with....split personalities?" Kie guessed.

"Heh, smart boy. Yes, When a frost is born, they have two personalities within them. Eventually one becomes dormant, awakening only when something stressful happens, and it is always the exact opposite of the normal one. This can often manifest in different ways, and mine is a very thin layer of ice forming on the left side of my face, as you can see where my scar is," he said, turning his head slightly to display the long line across his face, extending from just across his nose to his ear. "When a fight gets intense, he normal rears his head, shaken by battle. I have to say, he has gotten me out of a few pinches before..."

Kie smiled weakly. "And unfortunately for me, I managed to wake him up...." He raised one hand to rub the left side of his head. "Not the first time I've done something stupid..."

"Yes, he is a good fighter. reckless, but good. Either way, I've decided something after this, and it may very well change your life," he said, continuing from where they had left off.

"I couldn't be any worse off...."

"I've decided to train you to the point of not being able to be beaten like I beat you. I'd hate to see a kid like you get killed," he said.

Kie's face brightened immediately. "Really? That's goo--"

But it faded just as quickly. He stared at Ean with suspicion. "Wait....what's it gonna cost me?"

"Nothing."

Kie's face fell blank into a comical stare. He heard correctly.... didn't he? "Are you serious? No sudden repayment I have to give in order for training me not how to suck?"

"Nope."

Kie immediately put on a bright grin, thrusting his fist in the air. "YES!" He cheered.

And then instantly regretted it, as a sharp pain shot through his stomach. He doubled over, his face turning into that of a pained one. "Ow, ow, ow, ow...."

Ean's eyes lowered comically, "Self control will be a part of this, mind you," he said, evilly grinning.

"I-I can live with that..." Kie mused sheepishly.

Ean laughed. "Heh, well you should rest anyway. Doctor said you can't move for another three days," he walked to the door. "Now, sleep. You need it," he said, opening the door and stepping out.

Kie sighed, flopping back onto his bed. "Got me all hyped up for nothing..." He muttered, folding his arms across his chest as Ean left the room, leaving him to his thooughts.

Oh... It's you...

Outside, Ean closed the door, but felt a presence. He knew it, but it was vague...

Blond... Shorter... Petit... Hmm... he thought, hiding against the wall.

"Pssst." A feminine voice whispered suddenly in his ear. "Watcha hidin' for?"

As soon as he felt her breath against his ear, he wheeled on her, pinning her by the arms to the wall,stepping in beside her to avoid any attempts at being wrested from her grip. He leaned in, whispering "Well, if it isn't you... I thought I smelled a blond rat."

The blonde moved her head to the side, her long hair moving to reveal the not-so-surprised face of Sachi Urami. She allowed herself a small smirk. "That's Miss Blonde rat to you, Ean."

"Hmph, I would've hoped you struggled a bit more, Sachi," said Ean, almost pouting, and his scar turning a bit cold.

This was unnoticed by Sachi, however.

Her knee slammed into Ean's groin a bit too violently, pushing him off of her. She pushed herself off of the wall and dusted herself off. "Do you get that excited every time you get close to a girl?" She said in a slightly mocking and teasing tone.

Ean was on the floor, wincing and trying not to yell in pain. He wiped off the excess water that the sudden shock had just unfrozen, and looked up saying "Sorry... Limiter's been busted for a while now... But... There is a ... person I'd... like you to meet," giving a pained breath every time he paused, using the wall to to steady himself as he rose. "But... we can't enter the room right now."

Sachi looked over at the direction Ean was hiding in. "Injured beyond belief, or a light sleeper?" She asked, folding her arms across her chest.

"The former. Now, I would suggest we get away from here before I wake him up," he said, staggering away down the hall.

Sachi's small smile was still apparent. "Now, why would someone as smart as you go and do that?" She asked innocently, following Ean's staggering form.

Briefing

Ean and Sachi were in the lounge of the clinic. One was sipping coffee while looking at the readings on his mask and the other was sitting across from him on a large sofa.

It was still raining, and they were alone in the room, left to say things that would worry normal ears. Not that they had to take precautions against listeners, but still.

he looked up from the small screen, "Do you know of a boy named Kie Joukai?"

"Hmmmm...." Sachi put a thoughtful hand to her mouth. "There was someone mentioned by the name of Kie, who slaughtered nearly all of the Kirikagure ANBU in a single night." She lowered her hand. "And I don't even think he was a ninja.... can't say I'm not impressed...."

"Well..." said Ean, looking down the hallway, "I almost killed that boy..." he said nonchalantly, turning in his chair so as to lay down with the arm under his head and legs.

Sachi raised an eyebrow, crossing her legs and resting her arms on top of them. "Congratulations. You managed not to get your ass kicked in one sitting." She said.

Ignoring the comment, Ean continued, "I was more worried about the fact I almost killed him. Never actually killed a human who I found was innocent, really... Unlike you." he said, adding a bit of coldness to the last few words.

Sachi sighed. "That was my past, Ean." She said calmly, not a single sign of upset emotion showing. "Right now is what should I be concerned with."

Ean sighed. "The past comes back to haunt you Miss Urami, and it does it to everyone," he said as he set down his mug. "But, it's also useful for gaining information," he continued. "From what you've told me and what he's told me, I can piece together why he slaughtered all of those ninja and why he's traveling as of now."

"And?"

Ean thought for a moment. "Knowing Kirigakure, the reason he killed all of those men was probably because someone he treasured died by their or his own hand, and he attacked them in revenge. Can't say I don't blame him," he said, looking out one of the rain streaked windows of the lounge.

He continued, "And he had to have contemplated the assault, otherwise he wouldn't have had the time to train for killing those ninja. And, obviously, this prompted him to leave, as he would've died if he had stayed."

"That, or there simply was nothing more for him there." Sachi supported, taking one hand and running her fingers through her hair. "Either way, what do you intend?"

"I intend to train him," replied the man. "I intend to train him until he can stand up to the weights of the world."

"So you're gonna toughen him up?" Sachi put a hand to her mouth in mock horror. "Oh, don't do anything too violent! You may get accused of child abuse!"

"Hey, I can drag you into this too," he retorted. "Sadly, the only drawback would be any body who saw us trainging him would assume we're married..." he said with a groan.

"So? It's just people's opinion." Sachi asked, raising an eyebrow. "Unless, we actually are going to get married...."

She then put up a finger to her chin in a thoughtful look. "Oh...and I didn't have time to get into my dress. What else should I wear...."

Ean's face contorted into laughter, "Ahahahahah!! Geez, you think I'd marry you? how wrong could you possibly be?!" he continued to laugh until it died down to a chuckle, and then he continue, "But seriously, I think I'm gonna stay single for a while. And what about you and Sei?"

"It was a joke, Ean." Sachi replied in a slightly laughing voice, as she shrugged slightly. "I wouldn't really marry you...."

"I understood. Apparently my sense of humor is less easy to get of late. Anyway, you didn't answer my question..." he said, raising an eyebrow at his own words.

Sachi's expression was slightly downcast after that. "What about me and Seireitou? He's already gone, into the next life.... all I can do is keep believing that he's somewhere waiting for me."

Ean got up and placed a hand on her shoulder, "I think you'll see him sometime. As we all know, he's defied death a lot more than any of us ever have," he said, walking to the doorway. He contemplated something, and his voice was heard a moment later, "...I would like you to assist me in training Kie."

At those words, Sachi turned her head, looking at him with surprise. She had never expected Ean, of all people, to ask her to help out... "Sure. I can do that." She replied, the surprise in her expression dissipating.

Ean blew on the window, drawing on the glass. "I know, you think that this is weird. It's true, I don't often ask for help. But, there is a very interesting and even frightening thing I have realized..." he said, turning to face the person sitting on the sofa.

Sachi felt a twinge of apprehension. "What exactly would that be, Ean?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

Ean's expression turned serious, "That Kie Joukai could very well be the next sekkenousama."

That almost made Sachi's blood ran cold, and her expression turned into that of a shocked one.

Next: Of the Skill: Training Kie

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