The two stood outside of Amekagure.

A place where rain didn’t reach the ground and the plains of grass stretched for a long distance with very few trees in between. It was just Senritsu and Keke. Both had made severe steps of progress. Senritsu learned to be stronger from the other members around her. Keke learned from Konan to restrain herself against other members like Hidan. It may not have seemed like much, but it was a great step for her. “So, ya really wanna do this, child?” Keke asked as she stretched for a moment in a very lax manner. The young pale haired girl giggled a bit as she heard such words. “The only way we can truly understand each other’s methods is by fighting each other j’yes? Besides… it’s been a long time since we fought. I think it is best we re-evaluate our strength as a team so we may be able to continue our missions, senpai.” Senritsu’s veiled eyes continued their focus on the ground, not that she felt the need to keep eye-contact with Keke. Keke was well aware of her lack of sight. In fact, it was the whole reason she was hesitant to fight. “I just don’t want to hurt ya, child…” Keke hesitantly admitted. It wasn’t like Keke to really admit such things. Especially for her partner after such a gruesome incident, but what she feared most was losing control and seriously hurting her. “Senpai.” Senritsu called to her attention and Keke’s dark colored eyes immediately glanced up to see Senritsu’s veiled eyes fixated on her. It was such a strange thing. Keke could never get used to that hazy stare. Especially since Senritsu’s eyes used to be black, just like hers. Senritsu however only smiled and continued, “J’you will be ok. J’you have more control than j’you realize.” Keke bit her lower lip in concern. But she knew, in the back of her mind, that if she lost control again, Senritsu would have to use that song. That one song that would impact Senritsu’s own sanity in exchange to make Keke sane once more, she had already seen how it affected her. The very thought of such risks forced her to reflect on the last time Senritsu used such a song. She couldn’t stop laughing. The poor girl laughed and couldn’t stop laughing at Keke’s pain. At her suffering. But Senritsu still had some conscious thought. She apologized so many times for being unable to control it. That affect only lasted for a few minutes. If she used such a technique, there was a good chance she would lose her sanity for a longer period of time. That she herself would lose control, and Keke didn’t want Senritsu to become what she had been fighting against for years. “Senpai.” Senritsu’s calling snapped Keke back to her senses. “What?” She snapped in a somewhat grudging manner for her thoughts being interrupted. “J’you ready?” Senritsu asked as she flicked her wrists. The two familiar blades ejecting from their hidden compartments, this only meant Senritsu was very serious about this. “I guess you’re not hold’n back then are ya, child?” Keke questioned as she took a subtle stance. “I’m afraid not and I advise j’you to not do the same or j’you may get fatally wounded…” Keke laughed at Senritsu’s statement in a light-hearted manner, but then she smirked in great confidence. “Don’t get too confident, child. I am immortal, I can’t die~” Senritsu smiled since she was clearly well aware of this fact. “Those who cannot die, can still be incapacitated to the point in which they can do no harm. Do not forget this, senpai. It will be the fine difference for j’you and when j’you cannot fight, j’you will have wished for death rather than an immortal life of nothing.” It was with those words Senritsu made the first move this time, coming straight for her this time. This first move surprised Keke. Not just because Senritsu was going on the offensive, but because of her speed. “The body flicker technique.” She muttered in shock before she quickly merged her body with the shadows beneath her feet and disappeared. Senritsu quickly pulled back her blade and her veiled eyes wandered for the moment. Unable to pinpoint where Keke had disappeared to. It didn’t take long before Keke reappeared behind Senritsu. Dammit, she’s gotten faster… I guess she really has been pushing her limits since she first got here. Keke thought before she formed several hand signs. Senritsu quickly turned in realization of Keke’s presence, but it was a little too late. As Keke placed her hand on her own shadow, Senritsu quickly realized what technique she was about to use and lifted her voice to an unheard pitch. The force of the unseen warrior technique struck Keke several times, before knocking her to the ground. And yet, Keke easily got back on her feet. Senritsu knew of Keke’s high tolerance for pain. “This again? You’re going to have to do better than-“ Before she could even finish her sentence, Senritsu flicked her wrists

withdrawing the blades, and pointed her left hand towards her. Her right hand on the top of the emblem, finger resting on a pressure sensitive switch. This sudden motion confused Keke and her gaze changed to a much serious one. What new trick does she have up her sleeve? Was Keke’s next thought. Senritsu’s behavior was so strange. The young girl didn’t say a word, but she was still keeping the smiling façade. Was she serious this time? Keke observed Senritsu press the switch which allowed two extra compartments to open on the emblem. Launching two kunai towards Keke which she easily dodged, however, it wasn’t until they passed her she noticed the wires attached to them. Quickly Senritsu pulled back on the wires and they wrapped firmly around Keke’s wrists. Digging into her skin. It didn’t take long before Senritsu pressed the switch again that began to reel in the wires. “W-when the hell did you get these damn things installed?” Keke questioned in slight irritation, feeling her arms being pulled by the wires, they were strong and durable. “Well, when I met with Sasori-senpai, he was interested in making improvements with my little weapon. So I let him work on it. Needless to say, it’s a wonderful improvement, don’t j’you think?” Senritsu explained. Sasori’s assistance did give her an edge she needed. “So, senpai, what will j’you do?” Senritsu laughed as she jerked the wires forward and flicked her wrists to bring out her blade once more. However, she suddenly felt something grab her blade. Keke’s hand tightly holding onto the blade before it could cut through her shoulder. It was a rough situation to be in, no matter how much Senritsu struggled, she couldn’t pull her blade out of Keke’s grasp. “Heh… I gotta give you credit, Senritsu… ya almost had me!” With that, Keke punched Senritsu in the stomach and kicked her a good distance away. This action pulled the wires out from the emblem, dragging miscellaneous parts with it and destroyed her little hand crafted weapon. She should’ve known better. To fight close range was indeed dangerous, especially against Keke since it was her forte. Senritsu coughed before she managed to get back on her feet. “Ohhh~ that hurt…” Senritsu muttered in a strange “sing-song” manner a bit as she rested her hand over her stomach which ached in pain. Keke did have brute strength. No amount of speed could help her if she got caught like that again. No, she would have to take new measures and change up her strategy if she wished to have the advantage again. “Heh, is that all, child?” Senritsu still managed to smile as she unstrapped the other emblem and tossed it aside. Again, not another word escaped her lips. She wanted to be taken seriously. A desire to be on the same level as her superiors, that is what Senritsu hoped to be at least. “If you won’t make the next move… I will.” Keke hinted as she began to form several familiar hand seals. Senritsu’s eyes didn’t waver, but she stood completely still. With her next technique, Keke placed her hand once more on the shadow beneath her, turning the shadows under her and Senritsu into black water. This ink-like liquid grabbed hold of her and dragged Senritsu beneath as Keke herself dove into the waters. Yet, once she got beneath the waters and grabbed a hold of Senritsu, the pale haired girl disappeared. But then Keke felt a sharp pain at her side that snapped her back into reality. She never got to perform her jutsu, she never did drag Senritsu under the waters as she wanted to. No, it was all a well planned genjutsu. Keke looked down to see two of Senritsu’s clones. One keeping a firm hold on her, the other had struck at her side using a wind based technique. Keke’s eyes readjusted to see the “real” Senritsu standing a good distance away. “Damn … how did you… I didn’t even hear you sing.” Keke muttered, tasting blood in her mouth. That strike did significant internal damage. Senritsu tilted her head with a slight giggle. “J’you did actually… Does ‘Ohhh~ that hurt’ sound familiar?” It was then Keke realized when Senritsu spoke in that manner, she was using sound genjutsu to manipulate her. Then she used her clones to hold her down and strike her in her dazed state. But that wind technique did real damage. “Heh… I gotta hand it to ya child… I’m real proud of your progress. But, it’s not over.” Senritsu’s eyes widen in surprise as she felt the shadows beneath her grab a hold of her hands to prevent her from using hand seals. Keke then easily grabbed both of her clones by the throat and slammed them to the ground. Immediately their forms dispersed from such a violent impact. It was no surprise that Keke could easily get rid of her clones. She somewhat expected that. Yet, when she

heard Keke swiftly approach her to strike, Senritsu quickly lifted her voice once more. A song that distorted Keke’s vision and balance. Keke was forced to cover her ears as best as she could. The black haired woman couldn’t focus on the jutsu and Senritsu was soon released. Yet, she still managed to form new hand seals and Senritsu did as well. Senritsu enveloped her hand in a combination or wind and sound while Keke used a familiar lightning technique. With the amount of sounds both jutsus created however, Senritsu’s “vision” was distorted. Something she somewhat expected. Both women dashed towards each other at full speed and the two jutsus collided. The intense forces drove them apart and the two collapsed back on the grass. Their hands and arms torn from using such jutsus. What seemed to be in Senritsu’s favor turned to a deuce. Both were strong in their own ways. Keke managed to slowly get back on her feet, approaching her partner that still laid back on the grass panting her in exhaustion. “Heh… Damn you had some fight in ya…” Senritsu giggled a bit to Keke’s exhausted words as she brushed her messy bangs out of her face. “Senpai… did j’you notice?” Keke paused for a moment as her dark eyes remained fixated on Senritsu’s smiling face. “J’you didn’t loose control… not once did j’you enter the psychotic state.” Immediately Keke’s eyes widened in that realization. Senritsu was right. Keke didn’t lose control. But, perhaps it was because she was fighting her partner and she didn’t feel any emotional turmoil she had associated with violent before. She may not have been as strong as she was in her psychotic state, but she had some control over it and Keke smiled a bit to this thought. Senritsu forced herself to sit up a bit and smiled to her partner, “I’m so proud of j’you Senpai. Maybe now j’you won’t have so many fights against others j’yeah? Hehehe~” It was a silly statement, but Keke did always seem to start fights. “Feh, if they didn’t give me reasons to, I wouldn’t have ta.” Senritsu sighed a bit, “Sure… sure. Don’t expect me to save j’you tho if j’you get more than j’you bargained for.”