Three different students, three different reactions. Shingen's brow furrowed in further displeasure. At a time like this, he could understand how his own sensei might have felt when he taught Shingen. He could empathize with his own parents now, too. He understood the meaning of "rebellious child." Kanbe went to carve up some of the cooked sandworm, while Arid stood, rebellious, peddling her excuses to Shingen like she was a traveling salesman. Meanwhile, developing a sudden meekness befitting only a prime tsundere, Ty Lee remained defiant, if not somewhat nervous, laying in the sand. Still, despite everything so far, the three of them refused to cooperate in any meaningful way. While Arid may have gone to help the wounded Ty Lee, she practically lost all concern among seeing that she wasn't dead. The female Jashinist's misplaced kiss might have had something to do with that, but it only furthered the dismay in Shingen's heart. The look on his face was conflicted, as the jounin ground his teeth, his jaw tense, his eyes mixed with sadness and anger. His blue eyes were like the sea, normally bright and teeming with life, but now they were a storm, dark, clouded, and fierce.
The jounin stood, lifting his hands off of his patient as her wound was finally healed. The green aura dimmed, before dissipating entirely, leaving his hands free. For a moment, he hesitated. He wondered what exactly his sensei might do in this situation. However, Shingen knew what his teacher would do. He would meet obstinacy with pain, and he would meet weakness with trials. Perhaps befitting the wielder of blue flame, Shingen was taught in a series of trials-by-fire. Perhaps, with such different personalities, the best thing to bring them together would be something similar. He turned those stormy blue eyes upon his genin, one at a time, gazing intently at them. In that moment, he appeared less like a teacher, and more like a tiger, assessing its prey. If he placed them under the same kind of trials that he was once placed, how would they succeed? Would they succeed at all? With his sensei, failure only meant one, simple thing. In a strange way, Shingen preferred it like that. He didn't like things being too complicated.
Failure meant death.
He ignored Ty Lee's queries, Arid's excuses, and Kanbe's praises. They were all equally meaningless; they were just words, not actions. They all represented problems in their characters. Ty Lee was brash; she would rather do something and apologize later, rather than not do something at all. Arid was rigid and presumptuous. Kanbe was mightier-than-thou. While he might look at how events unfolded and believe he had done nothing wrong, Shingen felt that, in a way, Kanbe had done the worst of them all. He had chosen to leave his friends by the wayside to do as he was told. He followed the pursuit of what was right over his teammates. More often than not, it was better that everyone do the wrong thing, rather than to have everyone do separate things.
"Why did the three of you become ninja?"
He asked aloud, his voice now soft and quiet. He didn't wait for them to answer; the question was more rhetorical than anything, as if he was asking himself why they
became ninja. "Because you three are CLEARLY NOT ANY GOOD AT IT!"
Shingen yelled, his voice suddenly full of all of the emotion and passion that he had built up, letting it all spill out like a dam full to bursting. "The three of you don't know the first thing about teamwork, that much is clear. Did you become a ninja to be a hero? To protect someone? For the power? Maybe it was just expected of you, like it was expected of me. Whatever the reason, it doesn't-fucking-matter. As long as you three are the way that you are, you'll never amount to anything. No matter how strong you are, no matter how powerful you become, there's always a bigger fish. There's always a higher power, someone stronger than you who can and will trample your dreams under their feet. They will quash everything you hold dear, spit on your ideals, and break your spirit. I know that because I've been there,"
he said, his angered voice twinging with sadness for a moment, before it regained its fierce tiger's roar.
"The only way you will ever protect the things that you hold dear, the things that you think are worth protecting, regardless of what those are, is by working together. To beat the bigger power, you need someone to rely on. You need teammates, friends, and colleagues. People who can be strong where you are weak. And even if you are stronger than your friends, even if you can't be killed or can't be beaten in battle, you need them there. Those people are the only records of your existence. Without them, what good were you? What was the point of your insignificant existence in an uncaring world? It's those people that give your life meaning. They are the proof that you existed, that you lived, and that you cared about something so much that you were willing to fight for it and die for it."
Shingen was clenching his fists now. His voice was hoarse from yelling, and blood dripped from his palms onto the sand below. "I don't want to die. Have any of you come close to it, before? Even you, Ty Lee, you've never experienced that moment of death. You live on. But have any of you ever felt that creeping chill running through your spine? The moment that you lose consciousness, thinking about how the last waking moment you experienced would be the last waking moment you ever experienced? I've been there. It scared me, more than I can put into words. I never want to die,"
he confessed, his voice trembling suddenly. He was pouring his heart out to these genin, trying to reach them, to instill to them the importance of his words as tears ran down his cheeks.
"But despite that fear, I still do my missions. I still face death every single day that it is required of me, because there are things that are worth dying for. There are people and places that I care about so much that I'm willing to face that fear. I'm willing to stare into that black abyss, and throw myself into it, if only to stop something I care about from toppling into it a moment sooner that it needs to. And in order to do that, to protect the things I love, I need to rely on others every day. I know that I'm not strong enough to face the challenges of the world alone. Death scares me so much that I want to die, because when you're dead, you no longer have to be afraid of dying. But I live on, for those people that would cry when I'm gone. I never want my last moments to be a reflection on the pain that I caused the people I want to protect. My teachers, my friends, and even my knuckle-headed students. They are the reason that I live on, but they're also the very thing that I would give my life for. And yet, in order to be strong enough to give my life to protect them, I have to work with them, to cooperate with them, and to expect them to risk their lives to save mine. That's the eternal dilemma. That's what being a ninja means..."
"...and that's what you three need to learn."
An aura of blue chakra suddenly covered Shingen's left hand. "If the three of you won't learn to work together, I'll force you to work together. I will make you rely on each other."
His movements were swift, untraceable to any of their eyes, save Kanbe's. Even still, seeing his movements, and being able to react to them, were entirely different. If they would not give to each other, then he would take from them. If they would not cooperate willingly, he would force cooperation through necessity. A footstep brought him behind Kanbe, where Shingen's left hand came down firmly on Kanbe's right shoulder. Though there was no visible damage, a sharp pain would run through the boy's left arm, as Shingen's chakra scalpel damaged the boy's shoulder. A sprain was enough to render the arm mostly unusable; something that wasn't permanently damaged, and could easily be mended after the exercise. Shingen didn't want to cause any permanent harm to his beloved students, after all. His right hand, now coated in chakra, moved across Kanbe's eyes, ripping the sight from the archer and leaving him in darkness. Amaurosis fugax, or temporary blindness. Again, nothing too serious that couldn't be fixed in a few moments afterwards.
A footfall brought him to Arid, as Shingen tore down her hood, placing his hands on her ears. Now, her protests would fall on her own deaf ears, as he temporarily damaged her eardrums. As with Kanbe's eyes, there would be no pain, just the sudden and abrupt loss of one of their senses. Similarly, his arm dropped down to Arid's right knee, damaging the muscle there, leaving her with a gimp leg as his own two legs brought the jounin over to Ty Lee.
By now, the three genin probably had had enough time for a single blink as Shingen leaned down, placing his hand softly on Ty Lee's throat, tearing her vocal chords and stripping her of her voice, with which she loved to preach. He followed this by then firmly grasping the girl's hands in her own, spraining the muscles in each of her fingers. Her communication would not be so simple as just pointing.
Then, with a third and final step, Shingen returned to his original position. "I'm leaving now, I'll check on you three in two hours' time. I want you to have captured at least one camel by then."
With his instructions given, Shingen vanished without a trace, the only person capable of tracing him having been rendered blind. His heart ached, as much from his confession as his recent series of actions. He always heard the phrase "love hurts", but now he felt like he could understand it. How had Kyousuke ever managed to deliver such harsh lessons without his heart breaking into thousands of pieces? Maybe the Kazekage's heart had been sundered long ago.
In reality, Shingen didn't really care what the genin did. Return to the ranch, several miles away, continue the mission as he had told them, or do something else entirely. All that mattered to him was that, whatever they did, they did it together.
Chakra Scalpel x2