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Kenji meets Yoshiro! A Friendship Carved in Stone!Edit

Shinigami Academy

The Shinō Academy.

Kenji's academy appearance

Kenji Hiroshi.

The sun dominated the noon sky and a pleasantly warm wind was blowing refreshing comfort over Kenji's face. A bird landed lightly on his shoulder, tweeted and then flew away. The wind was blowing the leaves of a cherry blossom tree around gently in the breeze.

Kenji was a rookie by many accounts, a new guy, but little got him down. The Academy grounds were bustling with people just like him; those who’d passed the entrance exam and got through without any hiccups. Kenji was young with spiked black hair and aqua green eyes and wore the normal academy uniform of white and blue with his zanpakuto strapped to his back.

The main Academy building was off to his extreme left and the courtyard that acted as the buildings grounds were just in front of it. The crowd was a pain in the backside though. Almost every step you took, some older kid who thought he was something better than you were, purposefully pushed you and then walked away laughing as their friends cheered and jeered. Kenji saw that more than once, and helped several in his own class lift themselves up again before continuing his walk. He knew little of the layout of the Academy, either indoor or out and wanted to get that down before anything else.

The new members were all clustered together off to the side as though they were animals awaiting their turn to feed, chatting nervously about this and that. Some were talking about their Instructors and how strict they would probably be, while others were discussing things like swordplay and Kidō practice. Humph! The Instructor's aren't that bad, once you get to know them. I should know; I've been trained by one. 'Ah there we go. A perfect spot! Sitting down in the shade of a large cherry blossom tree, Kenji closed his eyelids and felt the wind on his face, chest and arms. Now I can kick back and relax a-

“Hey, kid! You’re in our spot,” Said a burly individual with a strangely crooked nose and big muscles. “Move it!” Kenji stirred slightly before scowling.

“You’re blocking the wind,” Kenji said coolly, with one eye opened. The fellow seemed to stir, because Kenji’s usual aqua green eye turned crimson as he exerted a small amount of spiritual pressure. God the guy was ugly though, and the woman clinging to his arm wasn’t much better. There were four in total, three guys and a single girl, and each one of ‘em as ugly as sin. They were probably sixth years because they each radiated a level of Reiatsu that was higher than those around them. But that still paled in comparison to Kenji's own, and he knew it. Why else would he be so cocky?

“What you say to me, boy?” Kenji was lifted into the air by his shirt, the ugly guys arm trembling slightly as the spit flew from his mouth like some great cow. “Are you deaf as well as ugly? You’re blocking the wind. You understand now, you dumb braggart?” Kenji repeated slower and with more sarcasm than he had previously. This guy has no clue. Does he even take the time to analyze the folks he picks a fight with?

The fellow’s eyes practically exploded with anger. “Are ya lookin’ a clobberin’, wise guy?” The other two guys moved forward slightly, fists clenched and the girl backed away. Good, Kenji though with a smirk that made him look mad. This way, I won’t hurt the girl. You guys asked for it...

...Kenji struck out like a viper, hitting the fellow straight between the eyes before dropping to the ground and slamming a thrust kick into the giant’s midsection! Everything happened so fast after that, but the giant’s friends interfered and Kenji ducked gracefully below the first fellow’s sluggish punch and chopped him in the neck, before turning and dodging the slightly faster third friend. Patting his arm aside after dodging two more punches that ate nothing but air, Kenji rained three quick blows on his chest and a final fourth to his mouth that nearly unhinged his jaw!

In seconds, all that was left standing was Kenji and the girl, who soon turned and bolted. With another sigh, Kenji returned to his seat in the shade and studied the clouds as they floated past. He was vaguely aware of the three boys bolting with their tails between their legs. His eyes resumed their previous aqua green coloration as he eased his spiritual energy. Why do my eyes do that? He pondered in the shade. No one else's does it, unless they tap their zanpakutō.

Without speaking, a figure sat on the opposite side of the tree and laughed heartily. “You sure showed them guys, eh?” Judging by his voice, the figure was male and judging by his happy tone Kenji could well imagine the goofy grin on his face.

“What, that little drama?” Kenji interjected quickly. “Trust me, the fish I caught for dinner two days ago fought harder than that. The names Kenji Hiroshi, what’s yours?”

“They call me Yoshiro Kazuki, nice to metcha, Kenji. Hey, I’ve got an idea. You look pretty strong, so why don't we be friends, eh?” The guy sounded genuinely excited. Excited to meet me? Huh. That’s a switch. Kenji though sadly.

Yoshiro's academy appearance

Yoshiro Kazuki.

“You said your name was Yoshiro, right? I’ve heard that name...I remember now.” Kenji said shaking his index finger a little. “You’re the guy who’s already learned his Shikai. You’re the talk of the Academy apparently,” Kenji said with genuine interest. When Yoshiro rounded the tree, Kenji was surprised. Truthfully, he was expecting a much older looking fellow than the one who stood above him. He was young, no older than Kenji was himself, and had spiked hair also. His hair was black like Kenji’s and his eyes were the same color with no separate tone for the irises. He wore a slightly modified uniform though that didn't have the Academies symbol, and he had one arm that exposed most of his chest. “I thought you’d be older,” Kenji said, scratching his head.

“Everyone says that!” He laughed, helping Kenji to his feet. “But we should get goin’. We’ve got a Zanjutsu class soon, and I don’t wanna be late.”

“C’mon, don’t be like that.” Kenji pleaded; arms crossed and face wearing a mischievous grin. “You got here without makin’ any noise, so I’m guessing that was Shunpo, right? I should tell you, you ain’t the only one who’s manifested their zanpakuto’s Shikai, nor the only user of Shunpo.”

A broad, cheesy grin spread across Yoshiro’s face as he spoke in joyful tones. “Oh? That’s good to hear! I’ll race you, Kenji! Don’t fall behind, okay!?” “You got it, Yoshiro! You’re goin’ down!” The landscape zoomed past to their eyes as they performed unnecessary movements like flipping, using their hands to bounce into the sky and so on; all the while laughing like the five-year old edjits.

As the two crashed in the door of the classroom, every eye fell upon them. The class simply laughed, even the Instructor spared a grin for them, but whether it was meant as a show of his finding it funny, or sympathy, Kenji didn't know. The Instructor was a large man with a scar down his face and another across his chest, and Kenji instantly recognized him. “Ryouta! It’s good to see you, Sensei!” Ryouta was one of Kenji’s mentors and taught him things about the Shinigami world and its darker side long before he even became a Shinigami...or showed the potential to become one. The man was skilled in all aspects of Shinigami combat and the current 4th Seat of the 5th Division. His spiritual energy was massive, but finely under control.

“Kenji? It’s good to see you. How’s your mother today, then? I haven’t been able to get ‘round to see any of you as often as I usually do lately.” Kenji smiled and began speaking, "They're both fine, Sensei, last time I seen 'em. Mom's the same as usual, all worried that's somethings gonna happen or someone's gonna come and make off with me. Dad gives me a little more freedom as you know. Oh yeah! I've mastered my Shikai since you were last training me."

Ryouta laughed like he normally did and shook his head, "You can perform Shikai? Good. That's good news." He looked towards Yoshiro finally. “And who’s your friend? Wait a second! I’d know that face anywhere. You’re Jiro’s kid, Yoshiro, right?” He said with a hearty grin.

Yoshiro shook his Instructor’s hand and nodded. “My Father mentioned you, Sensei. He said something about you being training partners a long time ago.”

“Yeah, we trained under Garian Shinjo, but that’s not important anymore. I’m afraid I haven’t spoken to him in ages. The job he does requires the strictest privacy after all.” Ryouta turned to the class and nodded before returning his gaze towards Kenji and Yoshiro. “You two here for the Zanjutsu class then? Good, maybe you’d like to show the others what you know. A little punishment for being late.” The class turned and looked as another figure burst through the door and fell straight on top of Kenji. As Kenji’s vision straightened, he looked upon a woman’s face, lips locked with his!

Laughter broke out and Kenji went the brightest shade of red you’d ever see in a lifetime. Helping them both up, Yoshiro made the introductions. The girls name was Momoko Misaki and just happened to be considered a childhood prodigy with anything related to Kido. Yoshiro was awestruck the moment his eyes met hers. She had the most beautiful purple eyes he’d ever seen and had long, pointy ears.

“I’m sorry about that, Momoko.” Kenji said slightly embarrassed. Jeez, you’d think these folks had never seen a guy and girl kiss before. He was scratching the back of his head nervously, though. I’m the guy who just knocked the stuffing outta three fools at once; but the minute Momoko accidentally kisses me, I turn into a nervous wreck! Great, just great, he though angrily.

“No, it’s alright. It was my fault.” She said in a musical voice. “Oh, Sensei Ryouta is looking for you.” She said, face as red as Kenji’s as she pointed to the center of the room. The room was spacious, but with a low ceiling, and was constructed of fine wood. Light spilled through the open doors and windows, and the wind that Kenji loved so much was blowing through the space.

Joining Yoshiro in the center of the room, they clashed with wooden swords, exchanging quick, precise blows! Shifting to a Kendō stance, Yoshiro mimicked the motion and both clashed again. The room quieted immediately, both combatants grinning. Kenji struck Yoshiro in the chest, only for Yoshiro to strike him twice, once in the back and the other in the shoulder. Retaliating quickly, Kenji slammed his open palm into Yoshiro’s mid-section and followed up with a sweeping strike that took his feet out from under him.

“Okay, defend yourselves!” Ryouta called loudly. Several of the watching audience grabbed wooden blades and joined the fray, striking out at both Kenji and Yoshiro with varying levels of speed and skill. Some were sluggish, and Kenji simply avoided those, while he had to parry some of the more precise ones. He couldn’t help but think Ryouta had planned this. You old goat! I'm gonna get you for this! Yoshiro had adapted quickly too and was moving in a similar manner to Kenji, eyes bright and face grinning.

“Yoshiro, back-to-back,” Kenji called, and the two youngsters’ did just that and spun as they blocked and countered, moving in a continual circle of quick strikes and parrying blows. They both smiled broadly, but those smiles turned to open mouthed surprise when Ryouta raised his hand and halted the other students. As they stopped Kenji tapped one of the others lightly on the head and whistled away as though nothing had happened when the guy stared daggers at him. Drawing his own wooden sword, Ryouta approached slowly, posture inviting.

Kenji Hiroshi's red eyes

Kenji's crimson eyes.

No, I won’t be baited, Kenji thought quickly, taking a cautious step back. If Ryouta wanted, he could destroy us both, so we need to avoid a direct attack out in the open at all costs. Kenji met Yoshiro’s eye and the two fell in beside one another. “Kenji, you take the right! I’ll hit him with some Kidō. Use the smoke,” Yoshiro whispered excitedly. “You got it, man. I’ll wait for it. Here he comes!” Both went in separate directions, Yoshiro whispering the incantation below his breathe while he made it look like he was for attacking physically. Kenji began channeling his spiritual energy and the entire room gasped as his eyes turned crimson! Ryouta moved too quickly, however, and was beside both before they were more than a foot apart. Catching them both by their kimonos, Ryouta threw them towards the back wall and grinned.

Ryouta looked at Yoshiro and grinned, and then at Kenji. The little blighters, he thought, keeping his current levels of strength in place. He’s trying his best to hide it, but Yoshiro is definitely whispering some kind of incantation. And Kenji...? What are you doing? Ryouta looked surprised for the briefest of seconds before he became cool and collected again. I'll need to have a word with Koichi, pronto!

Spinning in the air, Kenji threw out his hand and grasped Yoshiro’s. Yoshiro's expression was actually horrified as he gazed into Kenji's eyes, what is this Reiatsu I'm feeling? With a nod that told exactly what the other was thinking, Yoshiro snapped himself out of it and continued the incantation and Kenji slowed himself to a halt with Shunpo before sprinting forward; hurling Yoshiro forward who slammed the floor beneath Ryouta with Hado 31. Shakkahō! As the smoke from the impact began to clear, Kenji charged! Wooden sword touched wooden sword and both blades exploded into small fragments scattering across the floor.

The room was in stunned silence; even Ryouta was wearing a face of surprise and confusion. “Are you sure you two have only met?” He said quietly. “That teamwork was impressive! Such skill in Kidō and Zanjutsu, and at such a young age! Well, I guess I’m half to blame for Kenji, but Jiro’s been busy during his free time with you, hasn’t he Yoshiro?” Praise laced his voice thickly. Kenji... You shouldn't be able to use that much power yet, no matter how much training Koichi and I have given you. I even raised my own power to prevent this from happening at the last second, but... he broke it like a twig!

Kenji replied rather breathlessly, eyes still burning crimson. “...Yeah...” Falling to his knees, Kenji looked around and found someone lifting and supporting him. “Don’t worry; I’ve got you ya crazy fool. You attacked an Instructor head on and snapped each other’s swords! I don’t think that’s ever happened.” Yoshiro said with a grin of triumph, masking weariness. Their must’ve been some strength in that Kidō spell, because there was a pretty sizable hole in the wooden floor. Kenji, that was awesome! But I don't get it. When he grabbed my hand... I felt something hidden below the surface.

“...Yeah, but I didn’ it alone,” Kenji retorted. “I had help from a friend.” The two bumped fists and nodded in unison.

“You two are knackered!” The voice belonged to Momoko and in no time at all, a green light eased their bodies and fatigue. “Thanks, Momoko. Hey Sensei, how about some grub? I think we deserve something for snapping your sword.” Ryouta, although impressed, simply dropped his head and sighed. He had a distinct feeling these two were going to be a problem... and Kenji had him worried.

The three, Kenji, Yoshiro and Momoko laughed together before re-joining their classmates. Friendships had been made, bonds that wouldn't be broken for anything.

Next Story > What Lies Beneath The Surface

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