Chapter Thirty Two ~ Words Unspoken

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Excruciating pain shot up my arms. I gritted my teeth and worked through the pain.

Be careful, Kakashi had said. Don't over do it.

But I'd felt pain so much worse than this.

I could push through this. It had been an entire day since the newly formed Team Kakashi had left to pursue the akatsuki, and I had made progress. I could visibly see the chakra shooting down my scrap metal, even if only for a second. It was painful progress.

But I would be able to progress in leaps and bounds, faster than anybody would expect me to, because I could push past this pain.

I sat back, mulling over the most recent attempt. Training like this was basically experimenting: you tweaked variables until it worked, and then practiced that way until perfected. I had gotten to the point where my chakra would run down metal for a split second, but no more.

Maybe the problem was the amount of chakra. Maybe I was using too little in an attempt to draw out my chakra reserves so I could train longer. I had fairly large chakra reserves; my extensive physical training saw to that. Nothing close to Naruto, of course, but respectable enough for a jonin of Konoha. My chakra control, however, was only mediocre. I needed to work on my ninjutsu.

I took a deep breath, held onto the warped kunai tightly, focused, and pushed.

The metal exploded.

I flinched, eyelids automatically closing in an attempt to protect my eyes, letting out a wordless exclamation of surprise. Most of the medal shards exploded outward--away from me--but a few scraped my skin, drawing blood. One particularly sharp piece pierced my shoulder, entering the flesh. I swore quietly, painfully raising a hand to my shoulder.

"What the fuck?" I wondered aloud, pulling my hand away and viewing the blood there. "That was incredibly violent."

Wincing, I pulled my clothing down off my shoulder in order to further inspect my wound. "Wow," I mumbled, poking at the bloody hole left behind by the piece of metal. I reached backwards, feeling along my shoulder to see if there was an exit wound. There was none. "Thank God that didn't hit my eyes."

The wound was still bleeding slugishly, along with a few scrapes along my face. Taking a deep breath, I probed at the wound, deeper and deeper until I felt the edge of the metal. Gritting my teeth against the pain, I slowly worked it out from my flesh, doing my best to not worsen the wound.

Letting out the breath I'd been holding, I inspected the bloody piece of metal in my hand before allowing it to drop it the ground. "Like a paper bomb," I mused. "But harder to dodge."

Blood dripped down my chin, and I wiped it away. "Also much more difficult to control," I conceded.

I tossed another scrap of metal up and down slowly. This certainly could be weaponized. But I couldn't imagine a way in which it could be controlled, or directed. It would simply take out anyone in the area of the blast.

Would it have to be a suicide weapon, then? Did someone have to be right there to set it off? If so, it was useless--unless one could force a disposable ninja to set it off and take out more enemy than the one ally lost.

It would actually be the perfect weapon for a claw-- a weapon with no regard for itself.

No. If this potential weapon was to be successful, it would need to be possible to set it off with the necessary surge of chakra from a distance. Perhaps through chakra strings, or maybe there was a way to store a large amount of chakra in the metal ahead of time, but use a seal to hold it off and stabilize it. Did the chakra have to be lightning nature? Or would any large amount of chakra make the metal explode?

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