Date: October 13, 2010
While training again with the large cleaver, Daichi noticed a strange girl doing and even stranger exercise
Toshiba Forest: Rocky Area
The warm spring sun shone brightly down on the boulders of the 'Rocky Area' in the Toshiba Forest. Leaning against one of the largest boulders was a staff and standing on top of the boulder was Natsuki. She was balancing herself on one leg, the hanging leg was brought up high and slightly angled and rigid. Her eyes were closed and apart from her breathing, nothing moved, except perhaps her arms that moved periodically in a pushing motion as she exhaled slightly more deeply at that moment.
Daichi was in the rocky area of the Toshiba Forest for solitude as he would be practicing the kata Tosai taught him. The giant cleaver Tosai gave him was indeed heavy and Daichi was almost covered in sweat as he had been at this all day. His jacket off laying nearby on the ground Daichi was in his fish net shirt with his hair tied up in the standard stance with the cleaver resting on his shoulders and back. Daichi was breathing heavy as he trained, the footwork becoming second nature to him now he spins and swings the blade quickly, yet not as fast as Tosai could, and returned to the starting stance. His loud vocal releases could be heard with each strike.
Natsuki was aware of the presence of the other in the training area, however she never made any acknowledgement to him. She almost seemed blissfully unaware of the boy, despite his thrashing about with his large sword and his screaming. She held her position, her balance unwavering in her stance despite standing on only one foot. The expression on her face remained calm and passive as her internal mind remained focused on the moving of her chi throughout her body. It would look to the outside eye, that the two individuals were polar opposites in their training technique.
Daichi continues to repeat the process for about ten more times before he sets the cleaver into the ground and picks up his shirt as he took a seat. Daichi would take a cloth out of his back pocket and wipe his face and neck with it. He lets out a sigh as he leans back against the bolder. He is taking a momentary pause for now but he will be at it again. In the mean time Daichi could feel and incredibly focused and calm amount of chakra coming from somewhere nearby. Getting curious he scales a few bolder to see a staff leaning against a bolder. He didn't notice the very quite girl balancing on the rock next to it, he reached for the staff as he wondered whose it was. Looking now he could see a girl balancing on one foot. She looked incredibly calm, her chakra was barely detectible, it was so controlled. Daichi would just watch before he feltt like a creeper and spoke "Um hi."
'Um, hi.' The voice echoed inside her head. He was close by, very close. She does not open her eyes, her body doesn't move. Her eyes remain closed. As she exhales another breath, she speaks one word. The word as it was spoken was calm, at peace, yet confident. "Greetings." Apart from speaking the word, she makes no motions towards him, her mind and body remaining focused on her internal training.
Daichi smiles as she spoke but he was still curious as to what she was doing. He stares a bit more expecting her to open her eyes. He waves a hand before her closed eyes. 'Focused this one is…' Daichi thinks. He turns his attention to her staff. Seeing it reminded him of that stuff Taji was talking about. Daichi smirks and starts toying with the staff. Twirling it and tossing it up, he looked amused. While tossing it into the air he looks back to the girl. "So whatch doing out here all by yourself?" Daichi asked. The staff came down and he caught it and twirled it around his waist then sholder. This staff was much lighter than that cleaver…
It did bother Natsuki slightly, that the boy would just pick up someone else's equipment and start playing with it, however, for the time being, she didn't let it show. Part of Natsuki's training in the monastery revolved around tolerance and remaining passive. When he asked what she was doing, she said simply in one word. "Training." There was a slight pause, perhaps 30 seconds at most. "And I would appreciate it if you did not play with my equipment."
Daichi looked back at her as he tossed the staff in the air "Eh…oh oh I'm so sorry that was rude of me…I'll set it down right-" thunk! The staff hit Daichi's head kind of hard. Daichi held his head as he picked the staff up and set it on the bolder back where it was. "Sorry about that, I just got carried away." Daichi looks back at the girl "So what kind of training are you doing?" He asked as she looked like she was just sitting there.
Natsuki's expression remained passive as the boy spoke, she inhaled and pushed her hands out as she exhaled deeply, the action would release the endorphins that would ease the lactic acid building up in her legs. "Chakra control." Is said, in the same flat unemotional voice that she had been using all along. She didn't mind the questions, she wasn't really trying to block out things, she was just not focusing on anything. Her body was relaxed, despite standing on one foot. She was challenging her balance and will to push through her own mental barriers and strengthen her own control.
Daichi looks at her and this explained why her chakra looked so calm. Daichi nodded as she explained "So…um…well…" Daichi didn't know what to say next. What a stoic girl, he just kind of stood there awkwardly in silence with her. "So…how long you been at it?" he asked trying to not look weird. Daichi rubbed his head "Oh um I'm Daichi by the way." Daichi said. He had never seen her before…
Natsuki heard him, but to be honest, she wasn't sure how long she had been at it. She usually only did it for about 40 minutes at a time, but on a rare occasion, she'd lose track and go for about an hour and a half. Generally speaking, the pain associated with holding your body in the various Chi Gung postures. "What time is it?" she asked casually, not yet giving him her name as he hadn't really asked it.
Daichi double takes as she finally spoke like a living person. "Oh…um it's….it's…" daichi takes a look up at the sun, it was slightly more to the west yet still up overhead almost.”I'd say about an hour or two past noon." Daichi said realizing that he had been out for a while too. It must've been long, his aches were barely noticeable anymore. Daichi hops up on the rock next to her and tries to mimic her stance, just for fun. "So doesn't standing on one foot make it harder for you to focus?" Daichi says as he tries to find his center of balance. Distributing his weight like he had done with the cleaver Daichi was able to keep his balance, he smiled "Got it…"
"If it’s an hour past noon, I've been out here about an hour doing this. I started to do this after lunch to aid in digestion." Natsuki said casually, holding the stance but opening an eye to glance at Daichi as he attempts the method of training. "Yes, standing on foot makes it harder, as you are using your Chi to keep you balanced and standing. As a beginner, keep both feet on the ground, bend your knees slightly and tuck your hips and buttocks under you slightly, almost as if you are sitting, while standing up." She said, putting her hanging leg down and demonstrating for him. Hold your arms out in front of you as if they are a ring. Relax your hands, but keep just enough tension in them to keep them from flopping down. You want your fingertips pointing at each other."
Daichi looks at the girl as her eye peaks open. He smiles "Nice eyes…..well eye hehe." Daichi listens as the girls spoke. He motions through her directions and mimics her as best as he can….it feels weird. Daichi looks at her "Um Chi? Is that like chakra?" he asked while he repositions his hips to be slightly less under him. He had both feet on the ground and looks like he his sitting. Daichi then watches her as he placed his arms out in front of himself, making a ring and tried to relax. The way she described the position of the hands and fingers was a bit confusing but he grasped it, for the most part. Not letting his hands flop yet making sure he was relaxed he then correctly positioned his fingers like she had demonstrated. "Ok…I think I feel something….sorry if I am bothering you." Daichi says as he adjusts his stance to match her's better. "What style is this?" he asked as he stood there…not really under strain but he was not as relaxed as she looked.
"You'll figure it out, just don't lock anything. Locked joints inhibit the flow of chi or chakra through the body." Natsuki stated calmly. "Now that you are in position, focus on your stomach, about 2 inches below the belly button. That spot is the battery of chi Imagine that you are breathing in and out of that spot. It is easy to manipulate your chakra when you are in combat, however to move it while you are at peace requires more focus and will. This will help you to manipulate larger amounts outside of combat. You will feel the burn first in your legs and your arms will become heavy. When you feel that, breathe deeply, pulling the chi from your center and into the part that is painful. You will find the pain subsides almost instantly."
Daichi looks at the girl with a slightly skeptical look on his face. But it was worth a shot. Daichi tries to focus on his stomach…2 inches below the belly button. Daichi remembered that area had some sort of significance, it was in his medical book. Daichi tries to focus like she said…"Easier in combat?" Taji's rambles about inner peace would fill Daichi's head, not breaking his focus completely but at the same time allowed his mind to wander. Breathing out of an area as small as what Natsuki described would sound impossible and just crazy, but Daichi gave it a try anyway. He took a deep calming breath as he tries and focused his charka.
Unlike Daichi's normal training he is attempting to use chakra outside of battle and stabilize it and achieve inner peace and comfort. It was difficult indeed as the more Daichi tried to focus the more pain he could feel spreading to his arms and legs, just like she said. 'Breathe deeply and pull my chi, my chakra from the center.' Daichi remembered as. Now he has the feeling he gets when he broke the limit on his chakra, essentially the same thing was being done here. Daichi tries and draws out his chakra or chi into his arms and legs. It was soothing; Daichi couldn't believe that it was working. He exhales calmly as he was a lot more relaxed than he was before. His aches now completely gone, his mind ignorant to the outside disturbances…almost like he was one with his surroundings, on the outside looking uncomfortable but underneath completely relaxed…calm. He was afraid to talk as it might break the concentration.
Natsuki observed him for a moment, nodding slightly, "Yes, that is it." She said, her voice soft, respectful of his efforts and knowing too much may break it. "Try to hold this for five minutes." She said as she stepped away and began doing pushups, a very mundane exercise indeed.