A Teaching Moment


Michiko, Hanami, Yori

Date: April 11, 2015


A small team has been sent out to assist in a village’s defenses, training those who are interested, building walls, and some other things.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"A Teaching Moment"

Land of Lightning

Michiko had called both Hanami and Yori to the gates on a lovely warm summer morning. … Though it's difficult to call it such when the sun hasn't even risen over the horizon. The girl is leaning against the gates, only one of them open, and there are several horses there for the journey that the group would go on. Neither genin would know, however, what they were in for. The note that they got from the messenger hawk simply said "Meet at the gates at 3:30am tomorrow."

Hanami couldn't say she was particularly pleased with the meet up time. So early. But she got herself up and ready, having packed the night before so all she had to do was grab her pack and out the door with the taste of a quick breakfast still fresh in her mouth. So early. But she ran to get her blood flowing, warm up for whatever was ahead. And horses was definitely not on her mind as she came to a halt before Michiko, giving a distracted nod, "Horses? So…long distance mission? Morning by the way."

The note said and so Yori did. The boy had made sure to rest up for once since this was likely a mission and he was already in bad enough shape in that department. In the early hours he prepared and set off to meet the others at the gates, bowing deeply once he neared. "Good morning Michiko-san, Hanami-san." He offers as a way of greeting.

"Ohayou, Hanami-san. Yori-san." Michiko whistles softly, and her own horse steps forward, the smaller horse brown in color. She hops onto Roadblock, gesturing for the two genin to do the same. "Mmm… Not so long, but the need to travel quickly," is all she says before starting off at a light trot. It was slow enough that the other two, should they hurry initially, would be able to catch up before a minute passes. As soon as the group is well on their way, she would start to give out instructions.
"As you may have heard, some of the villages within the Land of Lightning are not always able to create suitable defenses, nor are they able to provide proper self defense training. We're splitting up into team for this. I'll be traveling to villages in need of village-wide defenses while you two will assist in teaching basic self defense. Taijutsu skills that you likely learned in the academy. It may be frustrating, since you'll be working with all ages, but you have to do your best. I told the village we would be there before dawn."

Hanami smiles and waves to Yori when he arrives, then nods to Michiko. A little startled at her quick departure, she scrambles into the saddle of a similar brown mare to follow. She listens carefully, "So…teaching. Not exactly something I've really done…"she turns back to Yori, "How about you? Any tips? Well anyways, I'm sure we'll manage it." She adjusts her seat, not use to horseback riding really, and trying not to think about the potential for being sore when this was done. Though Michiko did say it wasn't a far distance.

Yori mounts up quickly to follow after the other two, actually lagging a little behind. At the question he shakes his head slightly. "No, I haven't done training before. I'm not sure I'm the best person to do training either Michiko-san. Maybe you should have someone else go with you and Hanami-san." He says, his own worries about his inability to fight causing him to wonder if he would even be worthwhile in this training.

"Heh… I don't know if you've noticed, but my taijutsu skills are lacking significantly, Yori-san. It's better if I were to assist in creating walls or something," Michiko replies easily. The trip itself does not take long, as she had said. The trio would find themselves in a village that is about two hours away from Kumogakure when traveling on foot. And walking. Because the horses speeded travel, they were able to reach it within the hour. Michiko dismounted and waited at the gate, examing the wooden structure. Then she places her hand to the wood and checks the gate for any weaknesses that could possibly be exploited. Whatever she finds, she doesn't report it, insteady knocking three times on the closed gates.
They open slowly, creaking as they do. A single gatekeeper is near the crank that operates the gates, and Michiko gives him a small bow. "Iwata Michiko. Could you please direct these two to your local school, or at least a spot within the village where everyone can gather easily? I'm to meet with Makoto-san, but I know the way already." The 'guard' nods and glances to Yori and Hanami. "Follow me, please," he says, waiting for them all to come in before closing the gates and leading the pair off to what amounted to be the town's center. Michiko, as she said, made her way to one of the medium-sized houses that was to the northeast of the village.

Hanami looks back at Yori, "Hey, no worries okay? Lets just try and focus on getting them through basic stuff. Like standing. And lifting their hands up, okay?" She smiles, trying to jest with him since he seems worried over something. As the rest of the trip goes, she'll probably just ride quietly and try to think over what she'll do coming up, with the teaching. Once there she waits patiently as Michiko asks the guard to guide her and Yori to where they need to go, then lifts a hand to Michiko, "Thank you, and hope the defense building goes well." Then she heads off.
When she gets to the town center she gets off her horse, making sure it's tied up close by but not in the way and looks around. Also taking the time to stretch a little from the ride. Horses…

"Yes but there are others in the Village Michiko-san…" Yori protests softly, but lets it trail off since it doesn't seem to be doing any good. He chews on his cheek silently in worry as they travel along, Hanami only getting a little nod of agreement at her words although he doesn't say anything further about it. For a short time he withdraws into his thoughts but that's taken over by the need to be vigilant, and so his attention does shift to their surroundings as always. Just in case. Once they're in the village he follows Hanami into the town center, dismounting and looking around slowly, calculations already going through his head on what they'll need and how best to proceed. He can't turn it off.

Michiko goes to the house, knocking lightly on the door. An older man opens the door and offers a smile. "Ah, Iwata-san, yes? Here to help our village. As expected of Kumogakure shinobi, right on time. Please, come in. I alerted the village to expect your presence, so there should be a small gathering in the town center once people begin to wake up," he says conversationally as Michiko follows after him.
Indeed, the man spoke the truth. The sun was starting to peek over the horizon, and with it, the village was starting to stir. Smoke began to pour out of chimneys, lights began to turn on for the morning routine before they would shut off until evening. A few rowdy kids dashed out of the various houses that surrounded the center, many of them looking to be only slighter younger than the typical age shinobi entered the Ninja Academy. "D'you think they'll show us some awesome tricks?" "Naw, I bet they'll just do something boring or whatever." "I'm looking forward to seeing Old Man Rankoro do something! You know he was a ninja!" "No way, liar~" came the banter of the kids, surprisingly awake despite the early hour.
Older children began to come out as well. Those who were in their teens were less rambunctious, but no less chatty. They discussed things that most normal teens would, such as the next 'big thing', the latest fashion trend, and some of the rumors they've heard, especially the ones concerning the Kumo-nin that had decided to visit. "They're vicious warriors that don't even take a prisoner!" comments one. "That's BS! You know there's escaped convicts. How the heck would /those/ be around?" is the loudest conversation between twins, both red-heads with blue eyes. One is male, and the other female.

Hanami stands calmly and quietly as the variously aged kids gather around. Keeping an ear out she can't help a little quirk of a smile as they talk about learning cool tricks, vicious warriors and whatnot. Once everyone is gathered she claps her hands once, loudly, to get attention and speaks loudly, "Hello there! Nice to see you all turning out today. My name is Shinatobe Hanami, and we're here to help give you guys some training. I know it's been rough lately but don't worry. Anyways, I'll let my friend here introduce himself and we can get started." She smiles and nods, looking to Yori.

Yori watches as Michiko goes to check in, then turns his eyes to the others as they begin to gather in the town center. He steps a little bit away, hands clasped behind his back as he starts those calculations in his head. Once he's fairly certain that no more are going to gather he nods slightly. "Thank you Hanami-san." He tells her, whatever worries he had now gone as he focuses on the mission. That's all that matters now and despite however inadequete he believes he is he's going to give it his all. "I'm Saito Yorishiro but you may call me Yori." He bows to the crowd after introducing himself. "Today we're going show you some basic taijutsu techniques. But before we begin is there anyone who has had any training before?"

Michiko inclines her head slightly. "I was just happy to hear you agreed to the request. Sometimes villages like to work on their own." She looks around his house, which reveals pictures of his family and some of the traveling companions he had before settling in the town. Then her attention is on the elder. "So, is there anything in particular you believe your village needs? I can help strengthen anything, or perhaps even recommend various fixes. I noticed your gate was starting to weaken near the hinges, so it may need some oil."
The Elder hums softly as he makes tea and pours two cups. "Ah, yes. Yes… With the criminals loose, I don't let my people wander as they used to. The children were getting restless, so I thought it would be good to allow them this opportunity. Perhaps you'll even find some new recruits, if you do this well." He chortles softly. "In any case, I'll be sure the gates are fixed. I was hoping that we could create some temporary supports for a wall we're planning to build, and we'd also like a form of canal… The river itself isn't too far, but it takes a long time to dig. And we just don't have the workers, with many of us being merchants or farmers."
Yori and Hanami would have to wait a few more minutes, as the elderly and adults were interested in this session as well. Most of them to watch, but a few of them to learn. One was actually 'Old Man Rankoro', who raises his hand when Yori asks if any had training. "But not in taijutsu, Yori-kun. So I'm afraid I may not be of much help here," he says with a grin. The 'old man' looks no more than forty, admittedly, which is still old comparedd to the standard age. "But if you need help taking care of everyone here, I can act as a sparring partner."

Hanami watches, she nods to Rankoro in thanks though she lets Yori address him and the others mainly. She looks over the kids and couple of adults, just to get an idea of how they are. Assess them. Not with a particularly skilled eye, but still.

Yori nods, "Thank you, osan." He tells Rankoro. "I'll keep that in mind. Alright here's what we're going to do. Everyone who wants to train form up in rows, youngest at the front." He starts directing people around so that he can organize them into rows not going too deep so that everyone will be able to see okay. He looks to Hanami for help with that as he tries to shoo some older teens a little further back.

Michiko nods lightly. "I'll see what I can do, then. Thank you for letting me know." She sips at the tea that was offered, extending her senses through the earth to see how the two genin were doing. It seemed they had everything in order, judging by both sound and feet. "Hmm… Very good…" she murmurs softly. "Well, you're free to watch my teammates at work, if you so desire. Otherwise, I could always use the help constructing what it is you want."
Yori would have a relatively easy time of getting the kids in line, as they wouldn't really act up with their parents watching. Maybe every once in a while, but not so much. A few of them would ask curiously, voices eager. "Hey, hey! Yori-sensei! Do you get to do lots of dangerous missions and fight bad guys? Do you use any cool jutsu?" Hanami gets asked similar questions from eager students while the adults just look on. Curious, but not wanting to actively participate.

Hanami nods to Yori, moving among the kids while they form into lines. Since they're mostly behaving, it's a pretty easy task. Mainly just a matter of making sure people know where they need to go, moving a couple people around just so the lines are about even. As for the questions directed to her, she'd give a smile, "Well we work hard to protect the villages and the rest of our country sure. If that means we have to fight bad people, then we will. But we also do many things like this, that don't necessarily involve fighting bad guys but is also extremely important. And yes, many of the abilities we use are cool but also take hard work and learning such skills takes dedication and shouldn't be taken too lightly," not really a reprimand, just trying to make sure the kids understand that it's not fun and games and just using cool abilities but an important and serious job. But nicely of course.

"I'm only a Genin so my missions are limited. I have fought bad guys but most missions don't involve such things. Normally we don't have to use jutsu as there are other ways of taking care of problems." Yori answers the questions as best as he can. Once he's sure that the kids are pretty much lined up he nods, then moves back out front and nods again, this time to Hanami. "Alright, everyone pay attention. I'm going to show you a simple kata and you'll do what I do when I say, alright?" With that said he turns so they can see him, then does the first kata you learn. Two simple punches. "One, two. Alright, nice and easy. One, two." He looks over the group and motions for Hanami to start going through to check out how they're looking in form in the back while he works on the front rows. "One, two. One, two."

Michiko makes her way to the outskirts of the village, offering a nod as she passes her team if they look her way. The girl then sets about to working on the water systems that the village is currently wishing for. Earth begins to crumble as she forms a sort of riverbed that would run to the village. It is exclusively softening the earth she wishes, controlled so that it would move only where she wished. Mounds of dirt begin to pile up near the village as she works.
Some of the kids seem disappointed by Yori's answer. "You don't get to use cool jutsu all the time? That sounds boring… What's better than just going bam bam bam WHOOOSH!!!?" grumbles one, who looks to be about 7. The number of kids present is roughly thirty total, which is a rather large amount. Seventy adults and elderly surround to watch the display, and a few of the kids mimic Yori on the ones in front of them, giggling like the little tutors they seem to be.

Hanami shakes her head a little at the kid who expresses his disappointment. She can understand though somewhat. As she watches the kids, she goes about offering a couple suggestions here and there, adjusting positions and stances. Also demonstrating a couple times. Particularly to the ones who seem to be giggling like tutors. Though she doesn't treat them any different or acknowledge anything, just calmly shows them how to do the kata and moves on.

"Solving the problem without harming people." Yori tells the youngest one before he begins. As he starts moving through the littler kids he frowns at the ones that are acting up and shakes his head, giving them a /look/. "If you don't want to learn you are free to leave. However if you wish to learn then pay attention." Yori considers for a moment before he moves to the front of the group and waves for the group to stop. "I only want people here who truly wish to learn. If you don't you're free to go. But just so you know, this is the very basic and it must be learned. Only after that can you learn greater techniques." He calls up lightning to flicker visibly around his frame, making a show of it as it centers down his sleeve and into his vambrace. He makes a fist to punch the ground then, causing a large indented crack to appear around his fist. He stands again and looks around at the kids, ignoring the adults. "So now's your chance to leave if you wish." He waits a moment to let them decide before continuing. "Alright. Focus. You might need this one day. Ready? One, two. One, two." And it goes again as he starts making rounds once again.

As soon as Michiko feels she has enough earth from the ground, the mounds of earth being to shift to raise around the town. While the walls themselves aren't that high, it does create a fine sort of 'fence', which is hopefully what they want. It takes up a lot of her chakra that she has in reserve, so she takes a small break to focus up and see what the genin are doing.
The kids who were acting up quiet when scolded, paying attention seriously. If they anger the ninja, they won't be able to see cool things, and /everyone/ would laugh at them. Disowner on them! Dishonor on their family! Dishonor on their cow! Then Yori's display of abilities brings much of their attention on him. They ooh and ahhh at the sight, eyes widening. 'Whoa, that was so cool!' comes the murmur of amazement that's sure to follow any spectacle. No one leaves, all of them wishing to work on skills even as basic as a punch. "Hai!" a few of them say, moving a bit so that instead of hitting those in front, they are punching the space just before that person. A few of them, especially younger ones, have difficulties doing the one-two in the correct form. Maybe a fist or a finger is improperly aligned. Maybe the feet are crooked. It is those who are older that seem to have a bit of skill, and even then, it's not very close to a student that learned in the Academy for a half-year.

Hanami nods with what Yori is saying about behaving, keeping an eye on the kids. But it seems his words and display got through to them, to which she's pleased. It would be a shame for the kids to have to leave because of that. When things settle down she goes back to correcting and instructing the kids. She tries to make sure and offer words of encouragement to those that seem to be struggling. But otherwise she goes about correcting stances, moving fingers into proper order, "It's important to remember how to make a correct fist. Do it wrong, you risk breaking fingers and putting yourself in a worse position than your oponent."

Yori watches as the kids in the front punch, continuing to count in a slow rythym as he watches them move. He pauses only to speak quietly to one of the youngsters and correct them, a serious expression on his face for the moment.

Michiko continued to work on both 'river' and wall, the girl moving earth up until she reaches the actual river. Part of its course is deviated with the help of her earth manipulation, flowing into the path that she had made so that it forms a small pool near the actual village. Then she sets something up even further under the ground so that the water could always be fresh.
Those who are working with Yori and Hanami continue with their lesson. Eventually they all master the basic Kata and ask Yori to teach them something else. So long as it is approved, then it would be expected for them to learn more, which only brought eager faces to the front. The adults watched keenly, some of them having never seen this side to their kids before. Serious? Not arguing? Maybe it's because the person is a Kumogakure shinobi, but still..

Hanami looks pleased at the progress of the kids, "Very good you guys. You're getting the hang of it quite well. Before Yori gives you more instruction, just like to remind you that while you're learning to fight it doesn't mean you always should. As Yori explained earlier, there're other means to go about resolving issues at times. Also too, learning to fight comes with the responsibility of knowing that these skills are not a game. Not something you should be playing with each other. We don't want to hear about any of you kids cause trouble with what we taught you okay?" While she's serious, she addresses them with a kind smile, "Not that I think any of you would be so irresponsible. It's part of being a shinobi. Now, listen up to Yori's instructions, and remember to practice hard. The more you practice, the better you'll be."

Yori goes through the motions of making sure that all of them have at least the very basic down before he continues. He raises his hand as he stops counting. "Very good." He falls silent then as Hanami goes through her own very important spchiel. Once she finishes he nods, then continues. "All right, moving on we'll be building on what you just learned." He faces them before doing a punch-kick combo, then switches sides and does it again. He turns to the side and extends his leg for the kick so they can see how he holds his foot so the kick is correct. "Make sure your rows are staggered so you won't hit anyone in front of you." He says as he lowers his foot. "Alright, get ready. And, one two three four." Again he goes through the slow counting, watching as they practice and correcting them as they go.
This is pretty much how Yori runs the training for the day. He calls breaks, including a longer lunch one, before finally releasing them once Michiko is ready to go. By then he would've gotten through a number of kata and even some pairing up for kata.

"Annoying…" grumbles some of the kids in response to Hanami. And yet there was that ring of truth that they couldn't quite ignore in the girl's words. They make sure to get back in line, thinking over their lesson as they work on their punches and kicks. Many of the kids work hard to try and learn the kata, being sure to space out as Yori instructed. They all seem fairly determined to work hard, no longer to show off, but because of their own volition. When the training session is done, the sun is already starting to set, and many of the kids are exhausted but happy. Even the troublemakers don't look so troublesome.
Michiko comes around, the girl having finished the task of erecting a wall, helping strengthen some of the security measures, and even assisting the village elder in organizing regular guards that will perhaps be a bit more excited. Files were started of everything, organized into proper drawers/bins, and put away neatly for him to look at later. She had little doubt it would stay that neat, but the point is it's more organized and not just for his eyes when he decided on a successor. "I'm sorry we had to put a stop to almost all your village's activity," she says with a small bow.
"No, no. It's quite alright. You helped the village quite a lot, today. And I think a lot of the kids will be less troublesome than before," the elder replies with a soft chuckle. "Even the adults learned a few things. I might try and get Rankoro-san to assist in a few projects, even… He's had some shinobi training, so he could keep teaching the younger ones, yes?" Michiko nods lightly in agreement and goes to gather her team. "Good work, you two," she praises, whistling for her own horse while the other two are brought over. "We can make our way back to Kumogakure with a 'mission complete'. And we should make it back before dark if we ride fast."
Once her team is ready, they would head out and return to Kumogakure.

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