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    Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Irui
    Irui

    Village : Kumogakure
    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2019-04-24

    Character File
    Skills & Elements: Lightning Release, Dark Release, Nin, Gen, Summ., Sensor
    Class: D
    Ryo: 0

    Resilience [Niko and Irui] Empty Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Post by Irui on Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:59 am

    Word had reached the Hidden Cloud long before the failed Genin class had returned. Messenger hawks, carrying scrolls delivered the news of who'd succeeded, who had failed, and more privately, whose families had to be notified of deaths. The Hidden Cloud was unusually quiet this afternoon, despite the brilliant sun, only civilians moved about the village today.

    Irui had waited patiently outside the Administrative building for his results, even though he knew them: He'd failed, terribly in the second round. Kumogakure, not to be bested by other Shinobi Nations, had already rolled out a training program to recover. Immediately he was to be assigned an instructor, someone in an official capacity unlike Mora Mikiri. His first sensei, Morikawa Mikiri had retired unexpectedly and the Yokai girl had been harshly reprimanded for her actions. It had left him wandering the HIdden Cloud directionless.

    Clutching the scroll, Irui meandered through the Hidden Cloud’s deserted streets, passing both somber and jubilant shinobi. His path finally brought him to the Training Grounds, with its barbed wire fencing and loud, garish signs. Irui worked his teeth silently, narrowing his dark eyes on the terrain-- all torn up, and pockmarked with craters. Irui brought his hands out of his pockets and breathed deeply--

    “Ehh….” The sound escaped his lips, his eyes widening as he realized with growing horror that he’d absent-mindedly forgotten his tools. “Fuck fuck fuck….!” He swore, each growing louder, “Not again! She yelled at me the last time about this!”

    _________

    Will be posting document shortly.


    _________________
    Info:

    Character Name: Irui Mikiri
    Spendable Experience: 1915
    Total Experience: 4035 / 6500 (A to S class)
    Ryo: 50,000
    Current Stats:
    Strength: D
    Constitution: B (+2 (w/ JI) | S
    Stamina: C (+2 (w/ JI) | A
    Speed: B (++ w/JI) | B++
    Coordination: B
    Intelligence: B
    Perception: B

    Jashinist Immortality

    Link to Character Updates & Techniques: Link
    Link to Character Application: Link
    Irui
    Irui

    Village : Kumogakure
    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2019-04-24

    Character File
    Skills & Elements: Lightning Release, Dark Release, Nin, Gen, Summ., Sensor
    Class: D
    Ryo: 0

    Resilience [Niko and Irui] Empty Re: Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Post by Irui on Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:25 pm



    __________________

    Carefully suppressing her chakra, Niko waited patiently in a nearby tree, using the leaves as cover as she focused on her surroundings, waiting for the one she had picked out the day prior. She had seen the young man, down on his luck after failing the Chuunin exams and with the overall optimism of a dying cat, and decided she would take a few hours out of her day to see if she couldn’t help him get his spirit back… that fire that pushed a person to keep going when things got messy. It would take some doing, but mental preparation had come a long way this morning while she had been doing her normal chores around her home. Leaving a note with Oriana so she wouldn’t wonder where the red-head had gone and dressed in her Niko’s Training Outfit , she watched him approach, noting his own frustration and smiled gently.

    He seemed to have particularly high standards for himself… that was good. Irui probably had absolutely no idea who it was that had summoned him to the training grounds; she hadn’t left her name when she had put in the order for him to come here, so likely whoever that person was that he was cursing about was a bit of a hard-ass. It sort of came with the territory, but that was fine too… everyone had their own teaching methods. But she needed to make a move before he decided that he might have enough time to double back and get his equipment. The lack of such things actually made for a great first lesson, and she planned on capitalizing on it.

    Waiting for another half a breath, she landed silently on the dirt directly behind him and crossed her arms underneath her ample chest, her bright green eyes locked onto the young man and waiting for him to turn around. Her mane of red hair was tied back in a high ponytail and danced lazily in the breeze, and yet it still nearly reached her knees, but by all accounts, it didn’t look like she had weapons on her either, unless you were truly observant and noticed the pair of steel Senbon that were tucked into her hair, not looking like weapons and instead of seeming like decoration or something that was helping keep her hair aloft.

    Once she had his attention, which she would be patient and wait to happen naturally, she introduced herself. “Good morning. I am Niko Kanuchi. I am the one who called you out here today.” And then, she would wait for the response. Not a ton of people knew of her, even though she was an A-Rank Jounin, but that was how she liked it. She preferred to be known for her blacksmithing.

    --

    “Fuckfuckfu--”

    Tap

    The sound of a sole pressing down on the earth, lightly grinding the dust beneath pricked his ears, and Irui’s whirled. He planted one foot forward, the other to his rear. With barely a sound the Jounin had made her entrance. He swallowed hard, half expecting to find a member of the Orthodox Church standing before him, yet his eyes settled on a woman with a warm presence.

    She stood with a relaxed posture, her red hair flowing down her back, meeting his own expression with brilliant green eyes. “Good morning,” She greeted kindly, “I am Niko Kanuchi, I am the one who called you out here today.”

    Irui’s cursing fizzled, and he straightened up as it dawned on him. “Uh-- err--Good morning Kanuchi Sensei!” He answered, “I’m Irui, from the Mikiri Clan and---” The boy twisted, and fished out the training scroll from his back pouch. He held it out for her to inspect if needed. “The Raikage’s office issued me this scroll, I was told to report here for training after….” He sighed, “Failing the Chuunin Exams.”

    He’d offer the document to her to inspect. He’d run over it a few times outside the Administrative buildings. It contained not only analysis of his performance, but areas the village determined he needed to improve on, and where he’d most likely excel in. Reading it only confirmed for him just how poorly he’d underperformed. In the opening moments of the second round all he recalled was sensing the opponents before being hurled into a pond by Wind Release. The wounds on his side and shoulder were still tender, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t shake off.

    “My last Sensei was Mikiri Morikawa, but I understand he retired. I--” He blinked, and tried to find the right words. “I haven’t exactly been able to find a permanent team the last few months.”

    Irui fell silent, waiting for the Jounin’s response. The wind lightly jangled the wire fencing and rattled the signs, moving on to whisper through trees. If there was any time to reconcile with the past few months, to course correct and find direction, a small voice told him that now was the time. Thoughts of the Orthodox Church and Mora’s contempt gnawed at the back of his mind, so too did the Mikiri Clan who forbid travel outside the Land of Lightning.

    ---------

    Niko waited, listening and watching. Words were often crafted, designed to show one thing while hiding another, and could tell you a lot about someone, but there was one thing that worked even better than words; body language. Something she had learned was that often enough, the body language of someone would tell you the truth of how they were really feeling, and could often tell you if they weren’t being honest or even add on to the words being spoken and reveal more than they themselves knew. It was a skill she practiced often and had perfected with her time living with Oriana, who in the beginning, barely spoke at all.

    This boy, his body was showing her his respect, but also just how defeated he felt. She would have to do something about that.

    Not wanting him to stand around holding the scroll, she took it from him, recognizing it instantly; after all, she was the one who had put it into the system to be delivered to Irui. She had done the bare minimum of research. Who he was, what clan he was in, and a snapshot of what he had done so far. No surprise that failing the Chuunin exams had made that snapshot, but what really stood out to her was the lack of leadership involvement. No one else had stepped up and tried to help him develop after that critical loss; in all respects, the kid had been abandoned. Maybe it was that maternal instinct in her, but she saw this as unacceptable, and was going to do something about it here and now.

    “I can’t say what the future will bring… and honestly, the past is nothing more than a lesson. So we are going to focus on now and do what we can. Will I be your official sensei in a week? No clue. That stuff is way above my pay grade, and there is literally nothing you or I can do about it right? So no use wasting energy on something we can’t fix. What we can do is make sure you make it past the second test next time.”

    It had come out fast and furious, but that was sort of the point. Holding his hand and telling him it was going to be alright wouldn’t do anything but baby him and make him soft. The world of Ninja was anything but soft. If he was going to survive, he would need smarts, strength and grit. She would focus on that. But she couldn’t be pure hardcore on him either. “And don’t be so hard on yourself… most of them didn’t make it past the first test.” Walking past him, she flipped the scroll back into his hands and approached the training grounds, walking inside and moving to the center. Once they were both there, she turned to face him, and a soft smile played on her face.

    “So… what skills do you have?” she asked, trying to get a feel of where she could train first.

    --

    Irui caught the scroll and held onto it firmly as she passed. He held back for a second, ruminating on her words. What would he do with the future? He paused, focusing on the binding of the scroll threading its way around. A lump formed in his throat the more he dwelt on the exams-- he didn’t just fail, no. The more of the Second Exam he recalled-- a furious chain reaction of Fire and Wind Style, the levelling of several hundred meters of forest-- he knew in his bones he shouldn’t be standing here.

    It was a pure freak accident that he had survived the onslaught. He’d been given the option to get up and try again. His grip on the scroll only tightened, teeth clenched grinding them. The briefest arc of Lightning Style jumped across the scroll-- tearing the smallest fibers away. Irui’s expression softened and he swallowed the bitter pill: He’d been given another chance, and he had to make the most of it.

    Irui returned the scroll and followed Niko’s path into the Training area. She turned, and rather plainly inquired warmly, “So… What skills do you have?”

    “Well….” Irui breathed, pausing as a strong wind blew in, scattering leaves and pine needles across the ground. “I’ve relied on Genjutsu until the Chuunin Exams, but I leaned too heavily on it,” He admitted. “I thought I was proficient, but I think I’m more suited to Ninjutsu and Sensing.” Irui immediately recalled the mission with Seid and Sasaki-- ambushing the smuggling compound in the southwest. He hadn’t been able to defend against Kodokai’s men until he’d delivered a Lightning Style technique, and when it connected with such raw force….

    The corner of his lips twitched at the memory, and the boy caught himself.

    “Sensei, may I ask, what are you known for?”


    ____________

    Niko had always been known a little bit for having ‘eyes in the back of her head’ because she started using Sensory from a very young age, and this was no exception. She didn’t miss the bit of electricity hitting the scroll, the slight twitch of his lips, everything was within her field of concentration, because she was solely focusing on him and their surroundings. Listening to his words, he seemed to be shifting focus after finding some glaring holes in his reliance on a certain skill, and she knew about that all too well. Whe Niko had been coming up through the ranks, she had relied almost solely on her ability to use her weapons with extreme proficiency and speed, and learned that some people were really strong against that type of tactic.

    She had been forced to diversify, and came out stronger for it.

    Niko nodded at the skills he revealed, but he needed to understand that hiding things from her was not going to be successful. “Not to mention the Lightning you seem to be able to muster.” She had sensed it, and he needed to know that he should be open and honest with her. “The more I know about you, the better I can help. Sure, I could dig through your files and find out what I need to, but I wanted to give you the respect befitting a Kumo Shinobi. You tell me what you can do. Where do you feel strongest? What needs worked on?”

    And then he asked her a question that made her smirk.

    Reaching up, she pulled the pair of Senbon out of her hair and with a single hand twirled them between her fingers with practiced precision and speed. “Ever heard of the Hellforge?” she asked, but considering his age, he might not have. Kagroth, her uncle and legendary blacksmith, had owned the shop, but they had their doors closed for a considerable amount of time at this point, and he might not know about the shop. “I am working to re-open the shop. Weapons, armor, mechanisms… I do it all.” Casually, she threw the Senbon in his direction, a slow twirl to it so it would be easy to catch. Even if he didn’t catch it, the needle would stab into the dirt at his feet for him to pick up and inspect. It was better than anything the Market had available, but nothing too stellar.

    Yet.

    --

    “Hellforge?” Irui echoed, the name not ringing any bells. So she wasn’t just a Jounin, she was also a-- “So you’re a world-class blacksmith as well as a Jounin?”

    Irui’s eyes caught the glint of the senbon, and while it was a slow toss, his hand snatched it from the air; a smooth and sharp movement. His reflexes were improving, slowly but steadily, and he could feel it too in his grip and precision. It felt different from the exams, when he’d attempted to pickpocket the proctor for the answers; there was confidence in his nerves. Irui eyed the flashing metal and dropped his hand to his side.

    “I fought a Tatsuda not too far from here-- a textbook example of what not to do straight out of the Academy,” He mused, “She overpowered me until I used Genjutsu on her, and the field evened itself. But I’m not as good I thought I was, and when the Exams turned into a NInjutsu slugfest….” He trailed off and breathed deeply. He hadn’t been able to do anything against the raw force of those techniques. “... I understand Lightning Style, at least I think do.”

    Lightning Style, the signature chakra nature of the Hidden Cloud, was an element steeped in polarity, yin-and-yang, positive and negative. Some called it fire from the heavens; a lethal element that allowed shinobi to create floods of electricity to overwhelm their opponents. It was scarcely seen outside the Land of Lightning for good reason: Too few shinobi had as thorough of an understanding of the elemental style as the Hidden Cloud. Irui didn’t just want to create flashes of light with Genjutsu, no he wanted more; he wanted the strength that the Hidden Cloud were infamous for-- the ability to strike targets from long distance, or in the blink of an eye. Perhaps this was all youthful fantasy playing in his mind.

    He switched hands--passing the senbon from right to his Marked left, twirled it into position. And tossed it back towards Niko; returning it on a similar, lazy arc-- a strange game of “Catch”.

    “The Mikiri aren’t always allowed to leave the Hidden Cloud, much less the Land of Lightning. I’m sure you’ve heard that as a Jounin. So when I was younger, in the summer I’d trade stories with travellers. A man once showed me ornate Fuinjutsu from a far off country….” The wind returned, stirring the trees again, and Irui closed his eyes letting it pass.

    “.... Anyway….” He said after a while, “I always thought the idea of turning text into Jutsu was really….Beautiful” Irui smiled lightly, “It's a skill I’ve always wanted to pick up.”

    ------

    Niko gave him a warm smile. “The world class Blacksmith was my Uncle, Kagroth. I just inherited the mantle is all. I’m still working on my skills, but I am definitely better than anything the Market sells.” She let him see for himself with the Senbon. The quality wasn’t all that different, but instead of Iron, it was made of Steel, which was far harder and more durable. The fact that he caught it meant he wasn’t completely inept with hand-eye coordination, as Senbon were inherently hard to spot when flying through the air. Granted, she had helped him with the slow arc, but still.

    Hearing him talk about the Chuunin exams, she nodded again. “You understand the concept of rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock, correct?” She knew most kids knew of the classic childhood game and decision making tool, but had to be sure before she continued. “Most ninja are exactly the same. Every skill has a way to counter it, and every ninja has a weakness. It’s how you manage that weakness that will have you standing on top of a certain situation. Take myself for example,” she paused, allowing him to process what was said and prepare for what was about to be told to him. “I am extremely good with weapons, but if you manage to disarm me, I would probably be on your level. My hand to hand skills are completely trash for a Jounin of my caliber… but you will almost never see me without a weapon. Even something as a pair of Senbon I keep in my hair.”

    She transitioned smoothly into the next topic. “Fuuinjutsu is something I am good with as well, and it’s diversity makes it one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. If you can think of a problem, chances are, Fuuinjutsu has a solution. I am in the midst of research right now on a type of Fuuinjutsu I will be able to apply directly to the skin and only reveal itself when you use it. Having that capability will allow me to carry around weapons and armor, multiple sets mind you, to help me compensate and have the advantage over any enemy I face.”

    She then gave him a smirk. “But Lightning is one of the more powerful of the elements, in my opinion, as well as the signature element of the village. I think you have the right tools, you just need to get stronger, so let's start with that, hmm?” She wanted to see what he thought of the idea before committing to it, as she was a rather open minded individual and cared about what someone thought.

    --

    Irui nodded as he followed along. It made sense; the more diverse a shinobi, the greater their arsenal, the more tools they had at their disposal, and the more easily they could overcome obstacles. But a shinobi had to master the basics, something he had struggled with, and routinely fought with.

    “Lets.” He said simply, agreeing with Niko. Irui bent down, and scooped up a handful of soil and rock-- and picked out the stray twigs. “I understand how the element fits into Nature transformations….”

    “Lightning….” He said, and squeezed the dirt clod. A flicker of electricity arced between his fingers, trailing over and around the dirt. He focused more, and the lump pulsed once more with electricity before disintegrating into a fine powder. “Beats earth.” Irui let the substance, dry and course, run through his fingers and blow away into the wind. Irui glanced as the gust seized the rest of it and carried into the unknown. “And is insulated by the wind, neutralizing it.” He added, recalling something from the Academy.

    Lightning Style he’d learned was a strange element in the world of Ninjutsu. Of all the elements, it was supposedly the most difficult for other nation’s to master. The Hidden Cloud long ago had simply occupied the niche, falling naturally into it. Folklore claimed it was a gift from the supernatural, others claimed the first Raikage tamed lightning earning the title. Even the Mikiri Clan had developed their own lore and studies on the subject-- the migration of energy from one state to the next. Within the Mikiri, it had always been naturally occurring, abnormally so. Something crawled through his nerves, unspooling in the back of his mind.

    Irui looked down at his left hand, at the diamond-patterned mark, and narrowed his eyes on it-- two birthmarks overlapping. Yin and Yang, two halves intertwined, always sharing part of one another-- a cycle of duality. Polarity. He closed his fingers, and looked to Niko.

    “Kanuchi Sensei,” He said suddenly, “I would greatly appreciate the chance to learn from you.”

    ---------

    Niko smiled at his earnest desire to become stronger, and nodded at the information he had presented, knowing the elemental rock-paper-scissors by heart. “Lightning has one other major advantage over every single other element out there that not many people think of… it’s extremely fast. It also is capable of being transmitted through metal such as armor or hand-held weapons, and can numb or paralyze people temporarily. Truly a diverse ability, and mastery of it will give you an edge over anyone who doesn’t have it.” Niko then reached behind her and grabbed a pair of thick rubber gloves out of her pouch and put them on, then held a pair of Senbon, one in each hand.

    “Your goal is going to be to overpower the natural insulating properties of rubber, which will stop an electrical current completely unless it is vastly overpowering. So I will break this down into three phases. First, is accuracy. One Senbon will be your target, the one in my right hand, and you will practice your manipulation of the element until you can accurately hit the target ten times consecutively. I’ll use the other one to protect myself from any errant bolts. Once we get past this phase, we will move on… but this training… it could take days. I hope you are prepared.”

    She gave him a warm, almost motherly smile of someone who had great expectations of the person before her.

    --

    Irui’s earnest expression must have quickly given way as he pursed his lips and furrowed his brow in confusion as she pulled out a pair of insulated rubber gloves. She slipped them on, pulling them taut over her skin, and brandished the twin senbon. She’d changed the game. They would no longer be exchanging senbon, but rather the senbon would be the lightning rod, and Irui would be the thundercloud.

    On the surface it seemed a simple enough task. He’d watched countless anvil-shaped clouds drift through the sky, forming against the Land of Lightning’s peaks as they gathered strength, then descended upon the lowlands, unleashing spear-like lightning. The highest points would be more likely struck by arcs of electricity connecting from cloud to ground. Irui folded his arms over his chest and tilted his head.

    “So I have to use my Lightning Style to hit that point, and produce enough of a charge to overwhelm the rubber.” He murmured, understanding the exercise. “That other senbon you’re holding, will act as a lightning rod, diffusing the charge if I miss….” Irui turned now, and moved several paces back, and lined himself up with Niko. “I’d say ‘sounds easy enough’, but those are every Genin’s famous last words.”

    Irui squared his stance, and took a moment to stretch his arms and fingers, before bringing them up and over, meeting together at chest level in the Tiger Seal. He breathed in and out several times, exhaling strongly before his hands snapped through the Snake and Tiger hand signs. Electricity sprang to life across his skin, arcing and snapping with a familiar warm pins-and-needles as it moved.

    “.... Famous last words indeed….” He grumbled, squinting his eyes at the needle point. Irui’s stance shifted, one foot forward the other back. He raised one crackling hand to bear, and thrust it forward, sending a surge of multi-pronged energy snapping through the air from his fingertips . He felt the energy burst forth from within, and he pressed his outstretched fingers together, making a point with his hand, aiming for the needle point.

    Irui’s teeth clenched. He knew the result before she’d say it, and felt it in his own movements/ HIs shoulder movement was too great, and uneven. The slightest wavering of the arm, even with the frenetic movement of lightning would be difficult to compensate for. He drew his arm back, and shifted the charge to the other arm; loosing another bolt of electricity; his eyes focusing as best they could on the needle point.

    It was one thing to hit wide circular targets with Ninjutsu. It was a completely different skill hitting significantly smaller objects.



    ------------------------------------------

    Niko watched as he prepared himself, looking and watching as he began to mold the chakra into electricity. This was extremely hard to aim, because of the chaotic nature of the energy, which is precisely why she made accuracy the first priority of her training of the element. He also caught himself getting too ahead of himself, and missed a pair of times, Niko’s other hand reaching out like a viper and snagging the errant bolts of electricity harmlessly. She knew this was asking a lot, but hitting a teammate with something as powerful as electrical jutsu could cost the entire team their lives, so if he could hit a Senbon, it would go a long way towards his development.

    He would be able to use it with surgical precision, and that was nothing to scoff at.

    “You are doing well… an added benefit to this style of training is that it will help raise your stamina and body’s affinity to the element as well. Once you have hit it ten times, I am going to double the distance and we are going to do it again. I want you to be able to hit this Senbon at a hundred meters without fail before we proceed to the next phase.” She gave him a warm smile, but now with the daunting task laid out before him, Irui would truly understand the toll that this was going to have. Niko was probably one of the kindest Jounin you would ever come across, but she was also probably one of the hardest working you would ever meet.

    That meant when you trained with her, you had better be prepared, because she was going to find whatever limits you had and push you to where even you didn’t recognize yourself by the end of it. If there was one thing for absolutely certain, when Irui slept next, it would be akin to the dead, if she had anything to say about it. She would help him go beyond even his loftiest dreams… if he was able to put in the hard work and effort to make it happen.

    --

    The lightning leapt the gap between them, scorching the air as it flew, but for as dramatic as it appeared, Irui knew the result: He’d missed. Niko’s arm shot out with the spare needle, catching the stray energy and diffusing it through her gloves. Hands and fingers still crackling with electricity, Irui made a sound of disapproval and resumed his stance.

    She was right, there was no getting around it. The more a Shinobi exercised their nature affinity, the more efficient they became at handling it. Stories had been told for generations of Shinobi that could summon Water Style in the middle of a raging inferno, devastate fields with raging flames, or upheave the earth and transform it into canyons. Chakra was like a muscle, the more it was used, the greater toil the body endured, the better it could be handled. Irui’s fingers curled into claws.

    Hit the needle ten times, then advance the distance, again and again until he reached what seemed to be an astronomical range. One hundred meters with Lightning? He breathed in, and settled himself. “Yes, Sensei.” Irui replied and set his sights on the needle. The faster an object traveled it would transverse its path more quickly, there would be less deviation from the path. If chakra followed the same principle, he had to guide his Lightning Release as firmly, and quickly as possible-- A straight shot from point A to B.

    With a grunt, he threw his hand forward, clasping his wrist to steady the movement, and sent a bolt flying towards the needle point. Again and again, signweave, generate and cast, flashes of electricity snapped and hissed violently between the two of them. It wasn't enough to point the arm and fingers, the energy had to be controlled from its source to its termination. It had to be harnessed, restrained, sharpened. Lightning couldn’t be wild and erratic. The more he watched the flashes of energy, felt it course through his body, and spring from his flesh, he could feel it. Lightning, in nature appeared chaotic, directionless, but it always hit its target. It chose its target, meditated on its path, plotted its course, and with a brilliant flash drove its spear-point home into its target. Like the thundercloud casting its spear, he had to reign in the flow of energy.

    Visualize the point, focus on the needle, let it unwind from the core, bring yin and yang together, and unleash the lightning. Flesh became cloud, and the needle turned to a lightning rod. Finally, with a savage hiss of energy, after numerous attempts, a writhing arc of energy snapped and coiled between irui and Niko.

    Breathing hard, with sweat dripping from his brow, Irui grinned.

    “Ten more to go….”

    And ten more lightning bolts connected.The slightest deviation corrected, the Lightning controlled, brought back into order. At long last, Irui bent over, bracing himself on his knees, working to catch his breath.


    ---

    Niko smiled. She could have helped him in a dozen ways, but there was absolutely no substitute for raw experience. To guide him along more than that would mean that he would become reliant on help instead of learning how to become sufficient and learn how to read his body, understand how the element interacted with it, and feel it and experience it over and over again. Now that he had hit the target ten times at a close distance, she would help him along with the next step.

    “If you can remember the feeling of what it was like to strike the Senbon, think about it while you rest for a moment. Get some water and recover while you listen. Resting will be important for growth as well.” She waited for him to get comfortable and begin recovery before she began to speak again. “Lightning, naturally, is guided by negative electricity, and then the bolt, what we actually see, technically launches from the target back to the source following that negative charge. So, what we do to replicate those results is we use chakra to generate the electricity and try to simply force it where we want it to go. Instead, try seeking out the passive electrical charge already present in the Senbon, lock onto it, and use that to guide your lightning. It will likely make it far easier until you get to the higher distances where detecting the charge in the small target will become a challenge. You don’t see many pin-point lightning techniques because most people cannot master this concept. Questions?”

    With her lecture complete about the workings of naturally generated lightning, Niko waited for his questions to come. She knew a considerable amount about lightning because she had researched it considerably, trying to find a way to harness that power in order to develop some more improvements for her Forge. She hadn’t been successful thus far, but the pursuit was coming in handy right about now.

    --

    Irui had taken his seat, sitting cross legged with a canteen in his lap. Now that he’d taken a step back from the training area, he paused to note the sheer number of scorch marks peppering the field. More than a few branches had been zapped from their trunks, and he traced the scars left by electricity dancing through the grass. Had his aim been that horrible?!

    Somewhere in the distance, the sharp crack of another shinobi’s Ninjutsu resounded. His ears pricked at the closer sound of a blade scraping against metal, and while the moment belonged to him, it reminded him that others needed training as well. The weight of his training slowly began to creep into his muscles, and the longer he sat the more content he became. Suddenly the crunchy, stony ground beneath him felt oddly comfortable, and he fought the urge to let it embrace him--

    “--guided by negative electricity” Niko’s words sliced through the distractions as keenly as a kunai knife, jolting him back to the present. “-- and then the bolt, what we actually see, technically launches from the target back to the source following that negative charge.” She elaborated plainly, “So, what we do to replicate those results is we use chakra to generate the electricity and try to simply force it where we want it to go. Instead, try seeking out the passive electrical charge already present in the Senbon, lock onto it, and use that to guide your lightning. It will likely make it far easier until you get to the higher distances where detecting the charge in the small target will become a challenge. You don’t see many pin-point lightning techniques because most people cannot master this concept. Questions?”

    Irui put the canteen down and wiped his mouth. What she’d described, as they rested underneath the swaying pines, made sense. From a young age, children in the Hidden Cloud were taught to be mindful, respectful even of the storm clouds that boiled into purple-blue anvils in the summer heat. They’d hear stories of shinobi whose kunai knives had begun to hum and crackle, or hair that stood on end. The paradox of Lightning Style was ultimately that Shinobi had learned, in a forgotten age, how to mimic lightning. It wasn’t true lightning, despite its name.

    “Kanuchi Sensei,” He started, “The techniques I know generate erratic Lightning Style…..” Irui thought back to the men he’d snared and electrocuted. Bolts had flown from his fingertips, surging wildly through their armor. The results had been nothing short of gruesome. “You said you don’t see many pinpoint techniques, could you elaborate on those?”

    He screwed the cap back onto his canteen and hopped to his feet. “I mean, how can I make my techniques as straight as possible?” It was a simple question, but he wanted to avoid setting the training fields aflame wherever possible.


    --------------

    Niko gave him a smile as his questions were posed; he was asking the right questions. Considering the information that had been provided so far, him discovering the answers required his mind be engaged, which was the entire point of dumping that information on him in the first place. “Well, most would tell you to use another item to channel it.” Niko then reached up and grabbed something from the back of her hair, and suddenly her red hair spread out instead of being in the high ponytail as she removed the wire that had been holding it up. Niko had a habit of keeping weaponry on her at all times, disguising it as common things that you wouldn’t think twice about, this time it was ninja-wire that had been used to keep her hair out of her face.

    She quickly wound the wire around her fingers a little bit, and with the flick of her wrist, the wire rose and danced around her as her arms began to move. Another quick flicker of movement, and the wire wrapped around the branches of a tree, as though it were an enemy. “And this point you would channel it through the wire and electrocute your foe. But relying on this has several weaknesses; it makes you predictable, and they can cut the wire or dodge it more easily than they could Lightning Release itself.” She released it, flicking her wrist again and drawing the wire back into her hand, and with practiced movement, put her hair back up into the ponytail quickly and easily.

    “There are two methods you can use to help your accuracy. First is visualization. When you picture lightning, you naturally think of its natural form, which is very erratic normally. Change the way this looks in your mind, and focus on that. Whatever it is that makes you think of accuracy; an arrow, kunai, senbon… whatever you’d like. Next, you need to use that in combination with your normal senses to lock onto your target, and guide it to reach. The most basic example of this is a Lightning Bolt, which is a focused ball of electricity that is projected from you and is able to travel a considerable distance before running out of energy, but is also easier to dodge because it isn’t[i] erratic. But getting to that point, or some variant of your own, is very difficult. Lightning is a living thing, and has its own will. It’s up to you to [i]convince it to hit your target, despite the distance. It is not your slave, but with practice, your friend and ally.”

    It was a lot to take in, but important nonetheless. Fire was much the same way, although much slower and easier to tame… but if he could master this, fire wouldn’t hold a candle to what Lightning was capable of.


    --



    _________________
    Info:

    Character Name: Irui Mikiri
    Spendable Experience: 1915
    Total Experience: 4035 / 6500 (A to S class)
    Ryo: 50,000
    Current Stats:
    Strength: D
    Constitution: B (+2 (w/ JI) | S
    Stamina: C (+2 (w/ JI) | A
    Speed: B (++ w/JI) | B++
    Coordination: B
    Intelligence: B
    Perception: B

    Jashinist Immortality

    Link to Character Updates & Techniques: Link
    Link to Character Application: Link
    Irui
    Irui

    Village : Kumogakure
    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2019-04-24

    Character File
    Skills & Elements: Lightning Release, Dark Release, Nin, Gen, Summ., Sensor
    Class: D
    Ryo: 0

    Resilience [Niko and Irui] Empty Re: Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Post by Irui on Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:25 pm

    He scowled at the weapon remark. It was obvious, too obvious, but there was an unavoidable reason why the people of the Hidden Cloud relied on finely crafted weapons. He’d seen it it put into practice countless times: Shinobi using the art of chakra flow to coat their weapons in Lightning Style.

    They were working smarter, not harder. If Lightning Style was so difficult to control, it made sense to conduct it through metal. Metal gave it structure, a backbone that a Shinobi could use to channel their jutsu. Irui folded his arms over his chest, and grumbled to himself: he should’ve spent more time chugging protein shakes and working with weapons!

    He watched as she unwound wire from her hair, threaded chakra along its length, and with deft movements manipulated it into a weapon all its own. Irui watched, mesmerized as it flexed and danced under the influence of her chakra. It bobbed and undulated, serpentine under her control before returning to her hair as wire. Despite the display, something clicked.

    “So…” He said after a while, focusing on the spatters of singed grass and dirt. “Its more than just aiming, that’s only part of the story. When I fire my Lightning Style, I need to visualize its path-- as direct as possible-- to the target and guide it there…”

    Irui paced back to his original spot, and stopped suddenly, his eyes darting to the numerous pock-marks and streaks of char. He draped an arm over his knee. “In a way, its almost like Genjutsu: using your chakra to influence another’s senses.” Irui continued to process, now seeing here and there the damage. “With Yin Release you need to visualize the illusion. I’ve heard there are Clan’s with magic eyeballs that get around that somehow, but I’m on a tangent.--” Irui stopped himself and stood, slowly resuming his old stance.

    “I was so focused on aiming my arm, trying to hit the senbon at first….” Irui murmured, with his arm outstretched, centered on where Niko had stood. “I was trying to force it for the longest time until I’d visualized the needle’s point.” He flexed his fingers, bringing blue-white lightning crackling to the surface of his skin. It snapped and popped.

    “Sensei!” He said suddenly, lowering his arm. “Earth, Wind, and Water, they all have natural sources to draw from. Has any Shinobi managed to use natural lightning?”

    --

    Niko listened to him process the knowledge and begin to apply it, the redhead nodding occasionally as it progressed. She stood ready, senbon in hand, for him to try it when suddenly he threw a curve out from left field. It was a valid question, but one she hadn’t been anticipating. “You could pretty easily… but you would need to be completely immune to electricity, and even then, that probably wouldn’t be enough. Lightning, naturally formed, is lethal.” She waited a moment, her eyes going distant, deep in thought. “But if you were able to somehow harness that massive amount of energy and surround yourself with it or keep it in an orb somehow, under control, it would be possible to use that for a jutsu. Perhaps even just attract natural lightning and then redirect it. I will think about it for a bit and let you know before we are done training.”

    She was, after all, very good at multitasking.

    Standing back in position and ready, she waited for his next round of trying to apply what he had learned. Sure, it would be difficult; she had effectively doubled the range, but she was sure that she had more than doubled the knowledge he had over the element as well, and that should provide him enough that he could start reliably hitting his target, even if it was a tiny Senbon. Niko’s mind, however, was attempting to figure out how she could teach him to properly channel lightning, and a way to do so without the risk of a smoldering crater being all that was left behind. She had a few ideas, but they needed refinement.

    --

    Irui watched Niko stride across the scrub and grass, small twigs snapping underfoot as the two of them resumed their positions. He settled on the pair of needles once again glinting from her rubber gloves; he’d hit them ten times before, but now the range had doubled and their points seemed world’s away from him.

    “One hundred meters eh?” He muttered dryly.

    Heartbeats later, a whip of white hot energy hissed across the field, twisting and writhing. It flash-burned the air, snapping as it recoiled back to his hand. Coiling and crackling, the lightning redoubled around his hand. Pure lightning release wouldn’t reach without refinement, the distance was simply too great. Irui let the energy fizzle on his hands as he regarded the two minute needles.

    Lightning wasn’t a tool, nor was it a slave. He had to let it flow, breathe, and be guided like a living thing towards its destination. He could spend all afternoon whipping the electricity, sending it surging through the air, but without honing its flow, it would never possibly reach. His lightning needed to be fiercer.

    Dragon.

    He exhaled, and brought his hands apart, eyes closing as he visualized the current moving through his body. Lightning was an element of polarity, of sky and earth, yin and yang. The twin needles were his target, and the lightning would follow a river of chakratic ions. From his flesh he formed electricity, white hot and thriving. It was decisive, viper-like in its movements. In the left hand he’d give it form, and in the right he’d give it purpose. Palms clapped together.

    Monkey.

    In his core the two halves collided, his left arm snaking out, the right folded with fingers woven into a seal. A conduit of flesh and tenketsu was completed. Yin and Yang slammed together, energy snarled to life. Irui’s eyes popped open and fixed themselves on the two distant points--

    “Raiton…. Hebi Ikazuchi!!”

    A serpent of raw electricity, hissed to life with a burst of energy and discharged itself across the gap. Thunder-maw gaping, it flickered and snapped towards the needle points, full of ferocity. He’d given it focus, form, and drive. Lightning was no longer arcs, but a living thing-- a wickedly fast viper.

    ------

    Niko watched with interest as he seemed to have a solid idea of what to do next. What actually happened was something that made her smile, even as the snake-lightning raced through the air towards her, and she used the needle to block it, her entire hand crackling with electricity for a moment. Thankfully she was wearing the rubber gloves, or she probably would have lost feeling in her entire arm, and she locked eyes with him. They were only 25 meters at the moment… but still, being able to hit the needle at this distance was absolutely amazing and her smile of appreciation for the young man was a solid indication that she was pleased. “Well done. That was one, let’s see if you can get nine more and we will increase the distance.”

    The fact that he had come up with a technique on his own in order to direct and channel the lightning was absolutely amazing. This would be better than throwing a Kunai in most situations, with far more powerful effects than the metal hitting its target. Because it didn’t rely on anything but his own chakra and a moment to form the seals, it’s abilities and applications were nearly limitless. She waited for him to get ready again, glad to see the accuracy was where it needed to be. Now it would be just him maintaining the accuracy over distance, and his own stamina; it took a bit more energy to give the chakra lightning form like that, so by the time they were done with this phase, she was certain he would need another break.



    --

    His eyes widened as an electric thrill raced back from the needle, through the jutsu and into his bones. His jutsu had connected! The serpent’s head growled and snarled around the needle, its fury divided between the twin pair before Niko diffused it. As the violent energy flickered as it died on the air, Irui brought himself back into position.

    A trickle of disbelief seeped its way into the forefront of his mind. As the charge came crackling back to life in his hands, the boy looked down at the firebolts arcing electric-blue between his fingers. Lightning was truly alive, an energy source that shouldn’t be chained and restrained, but given guidance and freedom to soar. When generated, it had all the fury of a shinobi, all the punctuality and an obsession with searing its mark on the world. It buzzed, chirped and rumbled too. Steadily he moved his hands apart now, tendrils clinging to one another even as they parted. Yin and yang, positive and negative, he moved slowly but with deliberate purpose: striving to recreate the feeling of the lightning strike.

    This serpent lightning, it was direct yet nimble but moved with alarming acceleration. His fingers threaded the signs again--dragon-- pressed themselves together--monkey--and as he exhaled he felt it come roaring back to life. The serpent spiraled out from within, threading its way over and around him, as he guided its chakra around his body. The serpent required form, a concept he was well-suited for when crafting Illusions.

    Through the din of the humming and snapping electricity, Irui squinted at the targets and shifted his pose--

    Strike!

    The thought had barely raced through his body when the serpent sprang forward, roaring with energy as it scorched the air and crossed the gap. Straight as a spear’s throw it flew, hissing as it moved and bore down on the needle points. As if his body had become a cannon, he felt its recoil through his tenketsu-- an unseen force that moved tide-like with his chakra. No sooner had the snake left his palm, did he receive the electrical feedback-- the return Niko had described. It raced up his arm, following the original path of the Jutsu, resonating with his chakra. This was the power, the raw force, older Kumogakure Shinobi described with Lightning Release; dramatic, decisive, and utterly devastating in the right hands .

    This-- Irui thought as new electricity brimmed around him. This is what those stories had described, why they called it ‘fire from heavens’-- I can see it now! He realized, focusing his gaze on Niko’s needles.

    Bird-- He’d allow the chakra to soar. Just as before, he visualized the technique; another Jutsu from Kumogakure’s library he’d struggled with. The lightning shifted around him, fanning out, and forming into scattered, crackling points. The Snake and Monkey seals gave it shape, refining it into spheres. No longer was he struggling with Lightning Style-- the Jutsu formulae he’d rehearsed time and time again suddenly were clear. With the Ram seal, it coalesced into a single point, expanding into a sphere of plasma. Refined, precise, and decisive.

    “Raiton….” Irui hissed, “Lightning Ball!”

    The bolt of electricity hurtled towards the needle. Unlike the serpent’s movements, it required focus-- quivering ever so slightly on its trajectory. It lacked the raw force of the serpent, but what it demanded in focus, it rewarded with precision.


    -----

    Niko watched with a trained eye as the lightning did it’s dance, glad she had thought about this form of training especially considering he was developing techniques on the fly. She thought she might have seen the snake before, but considering that she didn’t have an elemental affinity she hadn’t studied those as thoroughly. He was getting the hang of it now… and since he had to repetitively and accurately fire the techniques, he would be able to get it to the point where it was combat-effective in this first phase. She smiled at the progress he had made already.

    And then he surprised her again, displaying another technique that she hadn’t seen, a lightning ball. It looked like the focus was intense, if her Sensory was any indication on the look and feel that Irui was displaying in his body language. Soon enough, the ball of plasma launched in her direction, and struck the needle perfectly, and she looked to him and smiled wide. “You keep this up, and you’ll be able to learn at least the training level of Lightning Cloak before too long. You were obviously meant to handle this element.” She would leave out the bits about her religious beliefs and how Keranos had likely blessed him, the God of Storms. Not everyone was as receptive to such things, after all.

    Plus, she had just given him one of the most powerful forms of encouragement that anyone who had Lightning Release could ask for. Lightning Cloak was an amazingly powerful skill that very few even reached the ability to use the Training Variant of, and giving him such a high goal would work to encourage him to keep working hard at the training they were doing. She was also carefully watching his body posture and such. It might not be long before his chakra reserves were depleted and she may need to use a quick Body Flicker to catch him from collapsing. Well within range of the technique and with more than enough speed to ensure he didn’t hit the ground, she would just remain vigilant for now.

    --

    “You keep this up, and you’ll be able to learn at least the training level of Lightning Cloak before too long. You were obviously meant to handle this element.”

    Distant memories passed through his mind, of Kumogakure Shinobi proudly displaying their prowess with the Lightning element for the Academy. That same electricity snarled around and through him, rendering the air into acrid ozone as it crackled. Her words reached his ears, and suddenly his body felt the weight of the training-- a slow winding down of the frenetic energy he’d held. He pressed his fingers together, gritting his teeth as if the effort would hold onto the electricity longer. Irui knew his limit was rapidly approaching.

    Smoldering nerves traced the scabs and scars from the Chuunin Exams, winding back and forth across his ribs and shoulder. It was a pain he’d grown accustomed to since leaving the Land of Waves; a dull ache that only served to remind him. As fatigue crept in and pressed down was when he felt it strongest, like fingers worming their way under his skin.


    Why did Niko Kanuchi’s words nourish his soul more than Mora Mikiri’s prayers and promises of divine grandeur? The pristine marble Cathedral, its haunting, all consuming presence, his own brushes with the unexplainable. Mora’s charisma too, her successes beyond the confines of the Clan, the miracles of Jashin, had all been utterly infectious, feeding his own hunger. For so long the Mikiri Clan had kept its children starved of knowledge, always craving and clawing over one another. Mora, the outcast of the Clan, knew the madness well, she’d escaped it, and offered her hand to climb over the writhing masses. But none of her praise, her acknowledgement, or shared secrets had stirred him.

    The clan, the broken Church… What if I were to leave it all behind? Irui thought. He looked beyond Niko, over her shoulder and to the terraced buildings of the Hidden Cloud. I’ve spent so long taking their tests, and I’m no closer to earning their acknowledgement….

    The lightning growled to life, galvanized, snapping and hissing around him as dark eyes narrowed on distant needle points. “Thank you, Kanuchi Sensei,” Irui murmured, and surged electricity through his fingers, squinting as he willed the lightning into another crackling sphere. It vibrated and pulsed, flickering and lashing out with its tendrils as it coalesced under his command . Static charge danced and ruffled his hair as the Lightning Ball stabilized, hovering in place before him, quivering back and forth.

    He sent it flying.

    Breaking like fine glass, the plasma ball would be caught on the needle’s point. Metal pierced its hide, and the sphere shredded itself into countless energetic arcs. A second, third, and fourth followed, each in succession, as if the faster they formed and took flight, the easier it would be. By the sixth Lightning Ball, Irui found himself breathing hard, every tenketsu in his body ringing with exertion, and the lightning that he held in his hands sputtered, and extinguished with a thin trail of smoke. He staggered and dropped a knee to the ground.

    --

    Niko ensured she blocked all the strikes with the Senbon, giving him the peace and quiet so he could concentrate until the very end. When he fell to a knee, she had already Body Flickered back over to him, placing her leg to one side for him to lean on while slowly putting a canteen in his hands. This would allow him to rest, and she would step away once he got himself seated properly and wasn’t at risk of falling over entirely. Once he was finally settled and taking his break, something that didn’t even need to be said, she moved in front of him and took a seat as well, pulling the gloves off after putting the Senbon back into her hair.

    “Your getting better and better. We may be done with this first stage faster than I anticipated. Don’t rush, and make sure to rest as much as you can between iterations though; straining yourself too much will lead to injury and will actually make the process take longer.” She then slowly turned her face up to the sky, closing her eyes and feeling the sun on her skin. For a few moments, she simply sat there before the blacksmith finally spoke again. “Tell me a little about yourself, Irui-san. Some things I couldn’t just read in your file.” It was small talk, but kept the mind working while they rested, allowing him to recover.

    --

    His vision swam, and the ground had reached up for him, only for Niko’s arms to embrace him tightly. She had appeared at his side with a stirring of dust and gravel, and settled him before exhaustion could take over.

    A vaguely cool canteen found his hands, and after a few pulls, Irui felt his strength returning to him. The water was lukewarm, vaguely tasting of metal, but it was better than swallowing dust. He nodded along as Niko spoke, closing his eyes for a moment to stamp out the blurriness.

    “Tell me a little about yourself, Irui-san. Some things I couldn’t just read in your file.”

    He cracked an eye and drew breath, pausing to ruminate on the question. Where would he begin, and where should he draw the line? He set the canteen down, twisting it a little to secure it in the gravel, and sat back. Absently, traced the diamond outline of the mark on his palm, a pair of shapes interlocked at their points. He thought of Morikawa Mikiri, the Jounin Sensei he’d been assigned to at the beginning.

    “Ehhh…. I like gyoza, the color blue, and I want to be the Raikage.” He joked dryly, and smirked. “That’s what I’d always say at the Academy’s icebreakers…” Irui added, and fell quiet for a moment.

    “Well,” He began slowly, looking at Niko, “I belong to the Mikiri Clan, but only on my dad’s side. My mother is from the Takagari Family, so my relationship with them has been….Interesting.” He picked up a pine needle, spinning it between his fingers before putting the point into the fine grit, tracing a diamond as he spoke. “She had to raise me on her own, which only created problems between the two clans. Mom would never talk about it.” He drew a notch, and began the angular line of the second diamond.

    “The Mikiri’s are….” He spun the needle in place, choosing his words carefully. “Overprotective.”

    His thoughts wandered to the scores of children and parents, young and old, that would be strolling home through the district now. Many of them arm in arm, sharing laughs and gossip, carrying the day’s groceries. Rarely did he see a man or woman dressed as a Shinobi of the Hidden Cloud. Overprotective was an understatement: He’d seen the Clan’s wrath only once, his father’s right sleeve, splashed with fresh red.

    Irui dropped the needle and intertwined his fingers. There was so much he wanted to say and ask, about the Land of Lightning and the world beyond. Here in the training grounds he’d found someone who finally was taking him under their wing. She’d already honed his skills, offered him compliments for his hard work, so why did he feel this knot of emotions twisting in his gut?

    Was she someone he could trust?

    “I didn’t like-- I still don’t like it. So I’d cut class, sneak out, do all the things you’re not supposed to do…..”

    ---

    Niko listened carefully, nodding occasionally to indicate she was still hearing him and waited until he was completely finished before responding. She could feel some sort of apprehension from him… not really something that could be sensed, but after being a mother to two girls these past couple of years, one of which it was lucky if she could get a string of five words into a sentence and spoke more with body language than anything else, the Jounin had become an expert in reading people with words unspoken. The sad part was, they were both only one year her junior, but that was enough considering how Niko had been raised. Perhaps that would serve as a good example.

    “You are right to crave your freedom, but I warn you; do not cast away your family for caring for you. Having family to love and that love you back… it’s something you can’t ever replace. You have to find a balance there.” Niko drew in a breath and released it slowly, calming her nerves for what she was about to say. “My family died while I was still very young, and I was taken in by my uncle, Dakkon, here. I lived with him until I was eight years old, and he too passed away. I was alone, completely, for the next eight years… the solitude was deafening. But then, I had two people come into my life, people I had either not expected or I had thought perished, and I had a family again. As someone who knows the pain of being alone, I caution you to negotiate. Find that middle ground where you retain your freedom but you don’t lose the ones who love you.”

    These words were said slowly, quietly, and each was coated in a fresh coat of pain and regret. Niko didn’t have a choice but to grow up rapidly and take care of herself if she was to survive. It was why, even though she was only 18 herself, she acted more like someone in their 30’s. She had simply had enough life experience to mature her mind far more rapidly than her birthday would have normally. Slowly, the darkness faded and a smile returned to her face. “But thank you for sharing. Rebelliousness at your age is fairly common, and don’t stop seeking your own path out from under your family’s shadow, but never lose those roots.” That was enough life advice for the moment, but she knew it would take time for him to recover yet, so she would remain sitting and just wait for him to respond for now. A nice conversation like this didn’t happen all that often, and she wanted to help set this young Genin on the right path.

    --

    Irui listened quietly, there were familiar threads between the two of them. He drew his knees up closer to him, resting his forearms across them, and digested her commentary. Memories of the Clan’s tests and competitions swam through the forefront of his mind. Should he tell her more about them, about the cage that the Clan’s Elders kept locked tight?

    The difference between their lives was stark-- a child whose family had been ripped away from her, all connections severed-- compared with his own. HIs fingers gripped his elbows and he dipped his head. Niko was right: as tense and fractured as his relationship had become with his mother, it was something he had to hold onto as long as he could. All the times he’d been scolded for sneaking out, or skipping classes, it was all him, and yet in her own way, his mother had loved him-- protected him.

    He turned over his hand, glowering at the Mark.

    Irui’s eyes shifted to the glimmering terraces and platform-structures of the Hidden Cloud; buildings fixed to the sides of spike-like peaks. Standing tallest at the heart of the building was the spire of St. Memori’s Cathedral. Like a spearpoint, it ran itself through the clouds. There was one clansmen: Mora Mikiri, above all others that held astonishing power in the Hidden Cloud. She had taken him in with promises of power-- dangling a candy the same way the Mikiri had. She’d learned it from them afterall, why had he expected any different?

    It was Mora who had brought him to Jashin.

    The Mikiri had stoked curiosity. Mora had indulged his rage.

    The Mikiri pitted its children against each other. Mora had ushered him into violent rituals.

    Mora who had induced him to murder. Irui fixated on the double-diamond pattern, and closed his hand tightly. Mora and the Mikiri were one and the same. He grasped his hands together, rubbing and wringing his skin tightly.

    “Kanuchi-Sensei….” Irui murmured, picking his head up. He looked over to her, “What do you know about the Orthodox Church of Jashin? I have a relative involved with them.”

    ----

    Niko could see the conflict in her student, not because of what he said, but because of what his body language told her. So when he finally did speak, NIko took a moment to draw a breath, and organize her thoughts. One of the tenants of Nyx was to never speak ill of another religion, drawing upon the belief that there were many gods of this world, and to bad-mouth another was to personally attack that god and draw their ire. If one wished for peace, respect had to be given to all religions, despite their odd ways, and she kept that in mind as she spoke.

    “I think that they hold their own place in the world. I don’t agree with their teachings or methods, but it doesn’t mean I disrespect the religion as a whole. Everyone had their own path, and for many, the Church is the one that guides them. Your relative needs to decide what feels best for them, and if the Church isn’t the path that they feel is right in their heart and soul, then they need to find what is. Freedom of Choice is one of the luxuries all living creatures should possess.”

    Her mind flashed to Oriana and Shunko, how Niko had liberated the former from slavery and freed the latter from servitude. How many people had she killed that night? At least a dozen. All of them people who wanted to impose their will upon someone else, and erase the slave’s freedom to make their own decisions. How much damage that had done to the pink-haired Genin’s psyche and how much time and energy had gone into healing and mending her. Shunko, much the same, a young woman who had lost her eye simply for hesitating to strike down someone who didn’t deserve death. The thought of imposing your will on someone else was one thing, probably the only thing, all fifteen gods of Nyx agreed on.

    --

    Freedom of choice.

    He’d let Niko’s words percolate through his mind, slowly diffusing themselves across his memories of the Church. He returned to the morning he’d first met the woman: She'd been dressed in the deepest black, surrounded by the Mikiri at dawn in the heart of their district. Slowly, but surely, she’d brought him into her fold. He’d been hungry.

    He remembered how he’d looked upon the church from a high terrace on a sunny day; it’s towers and pinnacle piercing the clouds. Against the uniform buildings of the Hidden Cloud, it was defiant, and seemed to extend forever into the sky. It had been a fixture in his childhood, as he, Hatsuda, and others had played pranks upon its marbled steps. If only he’d known that the Church’s doors would one day swing open and draw him in.

    Despite its gilded interior, all polish and shine with layers of silver and gold over marble, the Church was a carnivore. A living, breathing thing, that opened its jaws and swallowed worshippers whole. Mora had beckoned him to join her in prayer at the rotted altar, deep in the Church’s stomach. It had been a decrepit, decayed thing of the old world, with hand-worn pews. He’d been terrified, unsure of the future, but he’d prayed.

    He’d spent so many evenings clutching his hair, pulling on the roots in his own loathing and frustration, digging nails into skin, drawing trails along his forearms, asking questions of himself. In the belly of the Church, he’d prayed for the Baku, the Dream Eating Yokai, to devour his nightmares and perhaps to swallow him too.

    Irui wrang his hands tightly, twisting skin over skin-- it remembered the ichor, the black fluid that had seeped from the shadows and coated him like pitch. Mora had called it a sign of Jashin’s greatness, a miracle. The oily mass, it’s lingering sensation still sickened him. Had he summoned the Baku by his own free will, or had it been coerced? Was he so consumed by his desire to be apart of something, to belong, and be welcomed into power that he’d gone along with it? No, there was no naive questioning, there could be nobody to blame but himself. He’d snuck out, walked up those steps, and thrust himself into the arms of the Church of his own volition.

    It disgusted him, made his skin crawl. His jaw tightened. Why after all this time, did the Church of all organizations still leave him craving more? It wasn’t enough, not even Jashin could sate this gnawing pain. He would need something sharp to cut himself free from the jaws of the Church.

    “Sensei,” Irui said, breathing in and sitting forward. “I don’t know what my future looks like, but I want you to know that I appreciate your perspective-- even if we just met. I’ve got a lot to think about, with my family and all….” He trailed off. “I-- I tried to follow along with their beliefs, I tried to accept them, and see the Church as a pathway, but---” He closed his eyes and shook his head. There wasn’t any sense in getting her involved in his affairs-- they’d only just met, it would be rude to heap loads and loads of baggage onto her.

    “I uhm,” He began again, swallowing. “I think I’ll need help hitting that one hundred meter target.” Irui cleared his throat and changed the subject. “I understand the return-pathway that you were describing earlier, how to reach those targets, but at my current level, I’m not sure how I am going to reach that-- the electrical charges start to feel fuzzy and faint.”

    He picked a twig and made a few dots, and ran a line through them. Further and further the charge had to move through the air, and the more dispersed the pathway became.

    --

    Niko couldn’t help but smile gently. “No one knows the future… not with any actual certainty. The Past is History, the Future a Mystery, but here and now is a Gift. That is why it is called the ‘Present’. The Church is simply a path, one that you can choose to continue to follow or deviate from as you see fit. You have to do the right thing for you and you alone, only when you are at peace with yourself can you begin to help others around you. And don’t worry… I will always have an open ear if you want to talk more.” It was a lot to process, but hearing him want to shift from all of the heaviness of his life choices back to training, she considered what was said.

    “I use Sensory to help me with that, but your element is just as diverse in its abilities. Perhaps focusing your chakra into your senses, developing a technique, could help you better sense the electrical impulses from far away, increasing your range. There is also the Focused Amplification technique that works with most all Ninjutsu you could try as well. That is something I could teach you.” Standing up completely, she gave him a small smile and opened her hand, and a small ball of light appeared, just a gentle glow made out of chakra and bright green in color.

    “This is called ‘Fusee’, a generic technique used to create some light. But Focused Amplification Technique is an elemental-less tech that allows you to amplify any Ninjutsu up to a certain level, and all you have to do is add a bit more chakra and the Snake seal to what you are already doing.” She let it disperse, focused a moment, and then formed the Snake seal, and then held her hand out again, and this time, instead of a gentle glow, it looked as though she was holding a miniaturized sun with how bright it was. After he had seen the example properly, she quickly closed her hand, and then waved towards Irui for him to give it a try in practice.

    Techniques Taught/Used:

    Name: Fusee
    Rank: E
    Power: E
    Activation Cost: E
    Upkeep Cost: N/A
    Range: N/A
    Speed: N/A
    Element: N/A
    Skill: Ninjutsu
    Classification: Open
    Requirements: N/A
    Parent Technique: N/A
    Hand Seals: N/A
    Description: Created as a chakra control exercise. The user projectcs chakra from their hand to generate a small orb typically between the size of a marble and a golfball. One formed the orb uses the energy stored inside of it to glow with a bright heatless light. This light is the users color of choice and will last for up to an hour before burning out. This function is independet of the orginal caster.

    As a source of illuimantion it's commonly used to indicate obstacles or advise caution on roadways at night as well as to perform hand signals.

    Weaknesses: Having a bright light on you is a great way to give away your position.

    Name: Focused Amplification
    Rank: C
    Activation Cost: 5
    Range: N/A
    Speed: N/A
    Element: N/A
    Skill: Ninjutsu
    Classification: Open
    Requirements: Ninjutsu Skill
    Parent Technique: N/A
    Hand Seals: Hand seals for original jutsu plus the Snake seal at the end
    Description: The user can utilize this technique to make a technique more powerful than it ordinarily would be. This is represented by the power of the technique increasing by one rank. All aspects of the technique are empowered equally, including speed and range. The range of the technique is increased by 50% and the Speed by +1 advantage.
    Weaknesses: Can only be used with Ninjutsu, and techniques that boost or debuff stats can't have this technique applied to them. The user may only have one element applicable for this technique, or all non-elemental ninjutsu if they lack an element (this element is claimed upon learning the technique and cannot be changed.) This technique only applies to technique up to B-rank.

    --

    Irui nodded along, and stood, wiping the dust off himself.

    He’d watched as Niko had, with practiced ease, formed a perfect sphere of light in her palm. To him, it had seemingly melted out of thin air, sculpting itself into a ball. He held out his hand the same way she had, making sure to try to mimic her stance and pose as best he could.

    “Fusee…” He repeated, holding out his hand. Irui focused on a point in his palm, cupping his hand as he gathered chakra into a mass. He closed his eyes, picturing the shape of the orb. It was a simple technique to sculpt, a ball made of chakra, floating like a pale flame. Niko’s Fusee was green, like summer grass, or fresh shoots. His own Fusee, took on a pale teal, faintly reminiscent of Lightning Style. He moved his hand through the air, watching the ball move with it, and gingerly tested its brightness.

    He listened as she explained the Focused Amplification technique, and his eyes widened as he immediately understood the implications. Yes, the technique would be costly, but through Amplification, it allowed him to squeeze out more energy in exchange for greater reach. He mimicked her as he dispersed the Fusee for a moment, and folded his arms over his chest.

    “So I could hit one hundred meters….” He murmured, “Adding the Snake Seal makes sense, If I remember correctly, it is why Earth Style techniques have the range they do.” Irui raised his hands, a few inches apart from one another, with his fingers half bent. “Yeah I’m remembering it now, they showed us this in the Academy with clay. The Snake Sign either compresses, or stretches your chakra!”

    Irui looked ahead, past their small break-camp to the field their training regimen had thoroughly scorched. Now, well aware of what each distance looked like, he could see where his shots had hit their mark-- demarcated by suspiciously green grass. While it looked to be miles away, he knew where the one hundred meter mark would be. If Amplification could provide the extra surge.

    “Niko Sensei,” Irui said after a moment. “I want to try to hit that one hundred meter target!”

    --

    Irui had nodded along, and while he didn’t comment on her advice regarding the future and what it would be capable of, she had detected that he wanted to focus on the training, and that was fine too. Niko presumed he needed time to process that information, and would do so while he worked on his techniques, and she watched with a smile as he generated his own Fusee, noting the coloration. She gave him an affirmative nod, indicating he had performed the technique properly, and then seemed to absorb and analyze the implications of the Amplification Technique. His enthusiasm was met with a warm smile as the redhead ensured that her gloves were on tight and stood, her Senbon at the ready.

    She would have to be particularly careful this time, because if it didn’t work and he amplified the power versus the range and it somehow still made it to her, she would likely need to dodge. Similarly, he could accidentally enhance the speed that the technique traveled, which would mean she would need to block the lightning more quickly despite the distance, which meant she needed to remain on high alert. The amplification technique, in the hands of a master, was an amazing tool that could serve a Ninja in ways they had previously never thought possible. In the hands of a novice, however, it could yield extremely unpredictable results, but there was simply no other way to master such a technique. You had to practice it, and using her Sensory, Niko could give him tips and pointers based on what she saw from it, while also keeping herself safe.

    Moving into position, she waited a few moments for Irui to get ready, and waited, watching the young man carefully. This was a very long range, but if done properly he would be able to hit an enemy before they even were aware of his presence, for most people, and that could allow him to not only take down opponents who might have been stronger than him otherwise, but also give him a means of increasing his odds of survival if things wound up going south. The Amplification Technique had that much versatility… and in her eyes, should be taught more properly at the Academy.

    --

    Irui took his place at the far end of the field, stepping through the dried grass that crunched underfoot. As the morning had worn on, he’d suddenly become aware of just how hot and dusty it had become. Now that the day was in full swing, the training grounds were growing lively with activity-- distant rapid pops and bangs trickled into the background noise. He reached the far end and turned around to face Niko.

    At one hundred meters, she appeared tiny, the pair of needles barely glinting in her hands. At this range most shinobi had trouble hitting target’s with shuriken and kunai. Irui held himself back, thinking, feeling the wind currents, and trying to visualize his target. It was the same as it was before, he hold himself, just farther, a whole lot farther. Carefully, he summoned a fusee orb to his hand, experimentally expanding it and intensifying its brightness.

    At this range it was difficult to visualize the lightning’s path, and he knew that after such a long time practicing his range, his reserves were dwindling, despite Niko’s best efforts. There was only so many times the body could be refreshed on the field before requiring actual food and sleep. He had to make every shot count.

    With a wave of his hand the fusee disintegrated on the wind, and he threaded his hands together, weaving them through handseals. Electricity uncoiled from his core, spidering through his body as it roared to life. He visualized the pinpoints of energy, the nuclei of the Lightning Ball. Ionized air flared to life as charged particles burst into crackling spheres around him. He held the handseal firmly, concentrating on their form, and finally intertwined his fingers into the Snake Seal.

    Amplification.

    His eyes popped open, and with a motion of his hand he sent the first projectile soaring towards Niko.
    --
    --


    _________________
    Info:

    Character Name: Irui Mikiri
    Spendable Experience: 1915
    Total Experience: 4035 / 6500 (A to S class)
    Ryo: 50,000
    Current Stats:
    Strength: D
    Constitution: B (+2 (w/ JI) | S
    Stamina: C (+2 (w/ JI) | A
    Speed: B (++ w/JI) | B++
    Coordination: B
    Intelligence: B
    Perception: B

    Jashinist Immortality

    Link to Character Updates & Techniques: Link
    Link to Character Application: Link
    Irui
    Irui

    Village : Kumogakure
    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2019-04-24

    Character File
    Skills & Elements: Lightning Release, Dark Release, Nin, Gen, Summ., Sensor
    Class: D
    Ryo: 0

    Resilience [Niko and Irui] Empty Re: Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Post by Irui on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:01 pm

    [I don't think Colt is returning....]


    The two of them had been at it for hours. Lightning, coalesced into crackling spheres zipped across the field, hurtling one by one towards their destination. He'd directed the lightning into its shape, given it a path, and let the energy flow as before, but even now with so much practice invested, the Lightning Balls fell short often by a mere foot. Sometimes they'd reach the distance, but due to the gap between himself and Niko, their flight would send them far off course.

    Irui panted in the summer heat.

    One hundred meters was far for most techniques. It took truly specialized ninjutsu to reach that distance. He held out his hand, splaying his fingers, and regrouped the lightning balls around him. At his current level, he knew he could handle a group of four comfortably. Comfortably being the operative word here. The greater the number of Lightning Balls, the harder it was to balance their electrical fields, and more difficult still, to have them each hit the needles.

    His eyes flicked to the nearest sphere, and with a gesture he brought it  directly in front of him. He watched it pulse and crackle, hovering a foot from him. The faster an object moved, the straighter its course, and with greater momentum it would decelerate at a slower rate. He motioned with his hand experimentally, coaxing the sphere to follow in a circle. Irui moved his wrist and fingers next, adding nuance to it. Reluctantly at first, the sphere followed and began to rotate on its axis, slowly at first but swiftly gained speed, flattening as it spun faster and faster until the sphere became a whirling saw blade of energy.

    One by one the remaining lightning spheres winked out as he disregarded them, and focused his efforts on this single discus. With his fingers spread, he cradled it at its poles, feeling its electrical field flex and strain against its rotation. With speed came distance. He braced himself into a throwing posture, with his legs square and knees bent, and set his sights on the distant needles. With a cry he sent the sawblade whirling through the air, shooting it across the fioeld with a rush of ionized wind.

    "Fuck!" He swore aloud as the sawblade disintegrated just short of Niko. He knew what happened as the electrical currents spoke to him, it was the same as the lightning spheres. There was no shortcutting this task, he had to amplify the range of his techniques, and maintain an unyielding hold on them for it to succeed.

    _____

    Learned: Lightning Release: Lightning Rat Violent Quake (B).


    _________________
    Info:

    Character Name: Irui Mikiri
    Spendable Experience: 1915
    Total Experience: 4035 / 6500 (A to S class)
    Ryo: 50,000
    Current Stats:
    Strength: D
    Constitution: B (+2 (w/ JI) | S
    Stamina: C (+2 (w/ JI) | A
    Speed: B (++ w/JI) | B++
    Coordination: B
    Intelligence: B
    Perception: B

    Jashinist Immortality

    Link to Character Updates & Techniques: Link
    Link to Character Application: Link
    Irui
    Irui

    Village : Kumogakure
    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2019-04-24

    Character File
    Skills & Elements: Lightning Release, Dark Release, Nin, Gen, Summ., Sensor
    Class: D
    Ryo: 0

    Resilience [Niko and Irui] Empty Re: Resilience [Niko and Irui]

    Post by Irui on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:34 pm

    Fzzt

    Fzzt

    Fzzt

    One by one, the Lightning Ball techniques snapped into existence as Irui strung his hands through a line of handseals. He wrapped them together in the final seal for the Amplification technique. There was no getting around Niko's challenge. He had to successfully amplify, and control his technique over one hundred meters and accurately hit her targets. He breathed in, relaxing himself, and studied the field before him. He pushed aside all the craters and scorch marks he'd wrought throughout the day. With every increase in range, he'd been able to meet and complete her challenge. This was no different, just further.

    He closed his eyes, holding the handsign as he visualized the path his lightning would take. One by one, the spheres would fly, guided by chakra and charged particles riding on the air. He'd follow the return path, completing the circuit from himself to the needles and back again. A continuous loop, feeding upon itself until the last of the lightning spheres was spent. He'd hit the needles before, he could do it again, he just had to focus and--

    Fire

    With a flash of light the first sphere sped across the field, then the second, and third. With each, a spark flared at the end of the field as Niko caught and corraled the energy. She passed it from one needle to the next, distributing the charge and nullifying it through the rubber gloves. Onece the first ball struck, a pathway was formed, a circuit of sorts, and his ball lightning completed it. One by one they flew, striking the needles in the distance. At long last, he;d finally reached his goal of one hundred meters.

    A messenger bird came to greet them as the lightning died down, distributing a scroll to Niko. Irui waded through the dry grass, stems crunching as he made his way towards him. He didn't hear her words, only saw the gesture: A friendly wave, as she read the scroll. He moved to pick up speed, but Niko's urgency was swifter, and with a flash of smoke, she vanished into the wind. He trotted to the end of the field, where her pair of needles lay, and bent down to pick them up, and looked off into the distance at the Hidden Cloud. They'd meet again one day, he was sure of it.

    _______

    Training complete.

    Irui can now hit targets accurately with Lightning Style at 100m. Possible tracking/perception UA from this? Irui learned the following techniques during this training:

    - Amplification
    - Fusee
    - Lightning Ball
    - Snake Thunder (?)
    - Lightning Ball
    - Lightning Rat Violent Quake

    Will review for any missed techniques.
    Total posts for Irui: 19
    Experience: 20 (2 participants) +5 (Training with Sensei), = 475
    Bonus Request: Character development between Niko and Irui, getting to the heart of his inferiority complex and the Church.


    _________________
    Info:

    Character Name: Irui Mikiri
    Spendable Experience: 1915
    Total Experience: 4035 / 6500 (A to S class)
    Ryo: 50,000
    Current Stats:
    Strength: D
    Constitution: B (+2 (w/ JI) | S
    Stamina: C (+2 (w/ JI) | A
    Speed: B (++ w/JI) | B++
    Coordination: B
    Intelligence: B
    Perception: B

    Jashinist Immortality

    Link to Character Updates & Techniques: Link
    Link to Character Application: Link

      Current date/time is Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:44 pm