Date: July 21, 2013
Yuriko teaches Kiyoshi how to Tree Walk, which eventually comes about to an introduction to her mother, the Seven Swordsman.
"Dam Surfing, Tree Walking, and New Revelations"
Dammed Arena - Floor [Kirigakure], Kaguya Village [Kirigakure]
Dammed Arena - Floor [Kirigakure]
At the foot of the great march of bones that dams this tall canyon of blue-gray granite, under the shadows of the stands: the Kirigakure arena. Rivulets of water still escape the base of the dam and dampen the gravely bed of the dry river. The length of the canyon is limited by a raised platform at the south end featuring the referee's post and a large display board announcing the details of the match.
The mist was thin, the cloud cover thick, and this afternoon was free of any torture sessions for a certain little genin! So in short, everything was perfect from Kiyoshi's perspective. Everything… except the fact that he was bored out of his skull. Sure he could train, attempt to try and weasel out a solo mission from upper management, or check out any new shipment of paint at the market place; but, as soon as those thoughts had crossed his mind Kiyoshi threw them out. It was the same old tired routine and for once he needed a change of pace.
So, he went to go check out a disconcerting rumor. His journey eventually leads him to walking along the stands with the majority of his attention focused on the arena.
"Tut. Knew they were lying bout her."
The arena is empty, as it usually is. And on a dreary day like this hardly anyone ever wants to play. So with only herself, Yuriko is left to her own devices. Which means exploring in different ways. She doesn't take notice of Kiyoshi when he enters the arena, but she isn't at the bottom like one would normally expect. Right now, the little girl is on the top of the dam, admiring the view of the dried canyon below that had once been a river bed at some distant point in time. Kneeling, she bites her bottom lip as she concentrates on the surge of chakra she feels, making it tingle on the underside of her feet and imagine she was wearing it like a slipper.
Yuriko smiles as she feels it, proud of herself, and pushing up to stand once more the girl is careful to place one foot on the vertical surface of the dam itself. And allowing herself to be pulled, she begins sliding, riding the smooth surface as if it were an ocean wave.
Kiyoshi promised to make one more pass just to be sure, and then wander off to do something else. A second is promised around the quarter mark, but only because he had doubts that the 'something else' would be all that fun or worthwhile in the grand scheme of things. As an added precaution Kiyoshi raised his gas mask, allowing it to rest while he took a better look with the glasses he pulled out to replace it. He pauses mid-way from placing the specs, brows furrowed in confusion before he turns to scan the dam's upper siding.
She is but a spec to him as she slid down. One vaguely recognizable enough to eventually warrant donning the glasses fully. The sight beheld shocks Kiyoshi and makes him hesitate for a second. In the next seconds to follow Kiyoshi is running as fast as his little legs could carry him, yelling something along the lines of "Yuriko!" and "—catch ya!!!" as he ran into position to carry out the last phrase.
Yuriko keeps herself balanced with her arms out at either side, knees bent as the chakra allows her to slide without friction along the smooth surface, her speed picking up quickly with each second. The angle at the bottom of the dam would have allowed her speed to taper off some, however she hadn't anticipated someone else in the arena as well. Kiyoshi, his arms stretched out to catch her. No doubt thinking that she was falling and was in trouble. But if she crashed into him at this speed it would likely do them both harm. Not fun at all. It took some quick thinking, but Yuriko at the last moment she pushes off in a hard jump, avoiding Kiyoshi altogether as she soars over his head and lands on her feet, focusing the energy of the built up momentum through her legs. "That would have been a bad crash!"
Kiyoshi tried to intercept her but by then it was already too late. He had not anticipated that she would actually leap or intentionally try to avoid him at all! That same lack of forethought caused him to hit the ground awkwardly, torquing an ankle and causing the boy to stumble. Surprisingly, He recovered pretty quickly and half-limped half-hopped his way back to where Yuriko landed. The pain was 'negligible' compared to finding that sole thing out and ensuring her safety (Though he would never admit the truth).
"Yoriko!" He yells out sharply. There's worry behind the tone, but it may be difficult to catch given how labored his breathing had been as well. Once within reach Kiyoshi is quick to try and grab her shoulders firmly before looking her over for any signs of injury. Only after being satisfied that she was alright did he take his eyes off of her long enough to try and search for the *censor* responsible for putting his friend at risk like that.
Yuriko was rather proud of herself for making that kind of landing on the fly, smiling even before Kiyoshi grabs at her shoulders. Her bright eyes blink up at him with some confusion, wondering why he wasn't impressed also. Maybe he's seen it done before. "Kiyoshi-tan? Are you okay? You're acting funny." He was limping. That was her fault, and as she glances down at his ankle she does appear apologetic. "Does your foot hurt now? I'm sorry…"
Kiyoshi winces. Then shuts his eyes tightly and takes a breath before turning back fully to face Yuriko. Calm. Aloof. Focused. Probably not so much as that last one but nevertheless he needed to return to being more level headed. An emotional Kiyoshi is disgusting from his perspective. "My foot is gonna be fine. I'm fine. Just need a bit of time. So, there is no need for any apologizing." He replied evenly for the most part. The boy was being truthful as well. Even as they spoke the injured ligament, muscle, and the rest was rapidly mending as they spoke. "Now mind tellin me what that was all about?" He adds, quirking a brow and the faintest hint of a frown tugging at the edge of his lips.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes at him, snowy head tilting with confusion as she watches him compose himself. Something flickers in her aquamarine orbs, but disappears as quickly as it's seen, if at all. A smile brightens her young features as she runs around him, heading to the base of the dam. "Its a slide! See?" Chakra at the bottom of her feet make her stick onto the hard surface as she takes a couple of steps up, "But if you make it just a little less sticky…" Her feet slide those couple of inches, as if something slippery was allowing her to glide without any difficulty. "And doing it from the very top is really fun. But I didn't want to crash into you."
Kiyoshi sweatdropped and starred. Soon after he shook his head in disbelief and lowered his head into a raised hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. This girl was going to be the death of him one day, plain and simple. He raises his head after a moment or two, takes another deep breath before stating blandly, "I… *sighs* I don't think that wall was meant to be a slide." Belatedly Kiyoshi's mind wonders back to the part about using the tree walking technique for sliding and out of curiosity he crouches down to regard Yuriko's feet. "Weird. You'd think their be somethin about sliding in the books…"
"Oh I know. Its just fun." Yuriko smiles, oblivious to his exasperation presently. Then he comes closer to regard the chakra at her feet. "It takes some practice, but now I can stick to all sorts of things. It makes hide and seek super fun." she giggles. "Do you know how to do it?" The little girl ask curiously, kneeling to be eye level with him and resting her small hands on her knees. "My mommy knows how to ride the ocean waves without a board. She says she'll teach me how to do that soon."
Kiyoshi is only half-listening when she speaks while standing. But when she lowers herself to put them back at eye level, he regards her warily before sharply casting his eyes back down at her feet. "Na-No. Surumu-sama and Souta-baka don't have the time for it… And Meruin-sensei-…" He trailed off and bowed his head. "Your mommy sounds kinda weird." Kiyoshi comments off-handily as he peered up to look into Yuriko's eyes. "Or crazy." He adds directly with a bit of a matter-of-fact kind of tone.
Kneeling still, she blinks at his eyes for a fraction of a moment before her smile warms and brightens again. "I can teach you if you want. It just takes a little bit of practice. Then we can slide together." she giggles. "I think you should meet her. Mommy likes everyone, and she'll feed you too." The little girl sticks out a hand to playfully poke at his belly, giggling.
Free food? Now that sounded like an awesome offer! But Kiyoshi was a stubborn one at heart, and so had opened his mouth to reject the offers. It is a giggle and not worries that escape his mouth however, courtesy of Yuriko slippery fingers making there way past his guard and striking a ticklish spot. Mullified, Kiyoshi growled at her. "Don't, do that, again," He manages to say while barely keeping his voice level and the anger out of his expression. Barely. He paused from there to let her response. And although it might not be exactly a favorable one, Kiyoshi would reluctantly accept it for what it was and say with a bit of mock cheeriness near the end, "I'm all ears for the lesson, Yuriko-sensei~"
Her smile grows with apparent amusement as a small giggle escapes Kiyoshi, and Yuriko makes no promise to ever keep from doing it again but for now she withdraws the hand. He seems to consider the offer for a long moment or so but when he accepts Yuriko smiles brighter. "Alright!" Leaning forward she rubs her nose against with a giggle. "Just Yuriko-tan." And just like that Yuriko is on her feet again, hands snapping to her hips. "Lets get started!"
Yuriko's smile is infectious to a disturbing degree, for despite his apprehension over the whole ordeal, Kiyoshi found himself smiling weakly along with her. The smile falters for a moment, then out right transforms into a scowl in the wake of the little Kaguya's nose being rubbed against his. He liked Yuriko, though would never admit it, but not enough to keep from planning that good 'ol revenge for later. "Hai." He stated blandly, absentmindedly folding his arms across his chest while he awaited for their, his lesson to begin.
"Mk!" Yuriko smiles brightly skipping a couple steps back to return back to the wall, just before it curves too much to stand vertically. The little girl twirls around to face him, the skirt flowing lightly around her legs as she looks back to Kiyoshi. The smile fades and she becomes more serious. "So. What you're gonna do first is close your eyes. Like this." Yuriko demonstrates by closing her bright eyes. "And next, you have to feel the energy inside of you, called your chakra."
Kiyoshi meandered along a good foot behind her to the training zone. Eyes sharp and focused on sighting any more surprises from the Kaguya. Even after taking the effort to do so Yuriko still manages to take him off guard by suddenly becoming serious. "That'll be easier said then done," He mutters irritably in response. Then followed through by closing his eyes and focusing. Muscle tension. Aching flesh. The bones in his jaw grinding against one another. Nothing is — A spark flickers in his mind eye, disorienting the boy. Stubbornly Kiyoshi keeps his 'gaze' upon the flickering flame and wills himself to move forward and grasp it.
Unbeknownst to the young Moto, Dust and pebble begin to shift slightly about his feet. "I think… I got it."
"So you feel that chakra now?" Yuriko asks, her voice slower and eyes still closed. "Now feel that energy and try to focus it evenly on the bottom of your feet." she murmurs, just as the bottom of her bare feet begin to glow faintly with blue light. "If you don't use enough, you'll fall off, but if you use too much chakra, you'll end up breaking the surface you're standing on and end up falling anyways. So the goal of the game is to use just the right amount of chakra, and when you do, you can walk and run on pretty much any surface."
"Hai," Kiyoshi replied softly, eyes still closed as well and ears open. However, after listening to the next part of the lesson, Kiyoshi began to have his doubts. If it weren't for the other presence — slapping and tugging subtly at his grip — the task would have been easy enough. Sadly, he had to accept things as they were and to try and maintain that grip on the 'balls' as he pushed down towards his leg. The process is slow and arduous and even with the care placed in the effort, pieces of the balls broke off along the way. The larger chunks caused the muscles in his legs to spasm abruptly, but by some miracle he kept it together.
"That.. should do it." He emitted warily and gradually opened his eyes to regard Yuriko. So far, the ground did not crack beneath his feet.
Yuriko dips her chin with a nod as she opens her aquamarine eyes up at him, her expression intent. "Try to keep the chakra steady on the bottom on your feet, and carefully take a step on the wall. Once you know the step will keep you on the surface, take another step, and keep going." The young girl demonstrates this as she calmly takes a step up to begin walking up the wall, pausing a foot or so up to glance back at where Kiyoshi is.
Kiyoshi simply nodded out of distrust of the spoken word ruining his concentration. One Step. Another Step. Then Another. He reaches the wall without incident and releases a sigh of relief. Then peered up to Yuriko with wonder clear in his eyes. As he looked, and idea began to form in his mind. It was a wierd and stomach churning idea. The kind of idea that if asked anything at the moment he might have gone ahead and blurted it out. Yuriko does not. And for that, Kiyoshi is grateful.
"Yosh." He murmured, then closed his eyes to take one final breath before taking that first step on the wall.
Then one more.
No Slip. No Crumbling. No rocketing off the wall. Today was Kiyoshi's lucky day apparently! And if that really was so, then with greater confidence in his steps, Kiyoshi opened his eyes kept them locked on Yuriko as he treads upwards until only a step or two separated the duo. "Ea-*slip*-whoa-z." He says, covering up the foot slip and error with a smirk.
His steps are slow as he ascends, but Yuriko easily beams with pride to see that he's making progress so quickly. Maybe he was a natural just like she was. She giggles and claps her hands together. "Great job Kiyoshi-tan!" she praises him. "It just takes a little bit of practice, but you know you can do it now." Not that she ever had any doubt in him. Smiling, Yuriko slips off of the wall and bounds back to the floor.
Kiyoshi smirk became a modest smile in response to Yuriko's praise. Maybe he should put off revenge for… A year? A reasonable amount of time to be sure. "Thank you, Yuriko-sen.. Yuriko… tan?" He says uncertainly. When she slips off the wall and bounds back to the floor, Kiyoshi nearly relinquishes his control to try and catch her before she could hurt herself. He would have done so too if not for that same feeling of panic actually causing him to draw more chakra to his feet rather than redirect it from his feet to his legs. Thus, the wall began to crack under the force of the energy but did not crumble, and he remain even more firmly in place.
A curse came unbidden to mind. He wondered too, but fervently pushed the subject of his curiosity out of mind to try and focus on the task at hand. Pick a safe landing zone outside. Walk Careful. Avoid Falling. Sounds simple enough. And it was for the first step or two, but after that, every bit of chakra he focused to his feet suddenly fled from it all together. There is no time to think or yell. There is only a few seconds worth of free falling, flipping over once, and flailing before his dome impacts the ground unless stopped somehow.
A few seconds later his back hits the ground thanks to the rest of his body tilts forward seemingly of its own accord.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes up at the the wall as she hears hard stone begin to crack, enough to give her pause just before Kiyoshi begins to abruptly fall. There's no time to think, only react. The young girl's little form pushes off with sudden speed as she dashes for his falling body, though Kiyoshi moves just as fast as she does, rendering her jump useless. So he hits the ground on his back just as she lands beside him, worry flickering through her young face. "Kiyoshi-tan? Are you okay?" Reaching out, Yuriko touches her small fingers to his arm, concerned. "Kiyoshi?"
Snippets is all Kiyoshi picks up from Yuriko's words. But those few words and the concern behind them is enough to keep the dazed youth from sleeping unconscious for the time being. Weakly, Kiyoshi shifts around to force himself back onto his butt, inadvertently brushing against Yuriko's fingers. He thoughtlessly ran a hand through his hair to idly check for damage. The remainder of his attention however was focused on Yuriko with an 'odd' expression on her face. "…Ye… Yeah. I'll be alright Yuriko-san. Just a-…" He is cut off by a wince and pulls the offending hand up for examination. There's blood on the finger tips. Enough for a small wound at least. "—Scratch." He murmured, rubbing his fingers idly together.
He wasn't looking good. His eyes seemed to be having trouble focusing on anything, much less her face in front of him. Yuriko hurries to lean away from him as Kiyoshi sits up, frowning with worry as he checks back the his head. The red liquid coming back on his fingers. "You're bleeding though…" she murmurs softly. "You must have hurt yourself hard if you're bleeding. Should we take you to someone that can make it better?" Yuriko bites at the inside of her lip with worry.
Kiyoshi shrugs apathetically. "Naw," He says, still rubbing the blood between his fingers. "It'll stop in a few." He added, hoping to placate Yuriko long enough for the damage to heal. The spot certainly itched heavily enough to denote that, though, it might be a good idea to at least get the wound cleaned out. "C'mon" He lifted up the hand not covered in blood and attempted to pat her cheek. "let's go get some water." He drawls out. Afterwards, Kiyoshi rises on shaky legs and nearly falls twice in the process before making it to his feet, ready to move without another word.
The little girl doesn't seem all that convinced, the small frown still lingering in her young face, even as his hand pats at her cheek. "Um, k…" Yuriko murmurs, quick to reach for his arm so that she can help him up to his feet. "Where do you want to get water at?" she asks. "I guess we could go to my house. We can get water there and my mommy can look at your head."
When Yuriko first latches onto his arm to help him get back up to his feet, Kiyoshi at first gives the offending limb an annoyed look. It last for scarcely a moment because of the youth's weakened state. He does add the 'offense' to the list for later, though a frown graces his features upon remember just how notoriously bad his memory tended to be. "Hnn…" He emitted once stable and on his feet. While there were plenty of places that came to mind that housed what he desired, they were also out in public. Public tended to equal more run-ins with his old academy "buddies".
"…Is it…" He gulped, and then cleared his throat. "Would it really be alright if we went to your house?"
When Kiyoshi becomes steady on his feet, Yuriko releases his arm slowly, pulling away with a careful gaze. Just in case. He seemed fine at least. Kinda. Her bright aquamarine eyes blink up at him curiously and tilts her snowy head at him as Kiyoshi clears his throat. After he asks, her expression brightens with a growing smile. "Of course it would be alright. I mean, if you want to that is."
Yuriko pats his arm with a little bit of reassurance before pulling away, leading him through the arena before they exit. Should he follow her, they eventually walk westward and cross through an archway at the entrance of the Kaguya district. Ivory consisted of most of the buildings and homes, and the air had a little bit of the metallic scent of blood constantly lingering. Eventually Yuriko reaches out to hold onto the sleeve of Kiyoshi's shirt while they walk westward still, turning off onto a solitary cobblestone road where the houses quickly fade beneath a growing forest.
Kaguya Village [Kirigakure]
This area smells very strongly of blood and views of ivory, each building in this district made by the Kaguya that owns it and out of their own bone. At the far west end of the village there is one house that is double the size of any other which could presumably belong to the head of the Kaguya Clan. Among the buildings are small restaurants and shops, all made of the same bone material as the other buildings, though the merchandise is not necessarily such.
Kiyoshi's answer is a simple, yet hesitant nod before following along. Excluding moments in which the path or traffic might have forced him otherwise, the young Moto always stays in Yuriko's shadow as the walk, a hand clasped onto the spot where she patted him last. Almost as if to protect that spot for some reason. Regardless of the reason, there is little change in the boy's focus on keeping up or attention drifting to explore their surroundings. Mainly because by now it was all depressingly familiar; especially the scent in the air. Subtle in most places but unsurprisingly at its most powerful near the Kaguya district.
Something akin to panic begins to creep into Kiyoshi's visage upon realizing that their journey would take them into the forest. "Wh—" Both thought and words are barely given a chance to form before he felt Yuriko grasp a sleeve as she led the way. Confused, wary, and yet still willing to keep his faith in Yuriko, Kiyoshi bites back his question and tries to focus on other things to keep his mind off of them.
Yuriko briefly blinks her bright eyes at Kiyoshi as she hears the first start of a word, though it catches in Kiyoshi's throat. Instead she merely gives him a curious glance for a quiet moment longer before turning her attention forward again, holding onto the sleeve still.
Eventually the thick forest trees part with the steady reveal of multiple buildings, constructed expertly of polished ivory, the main house standing taller above the others. The cobblestone path eventually wind their way into the large, flourishing garden. Soft pink cherry blossom trees and a variety of colorful flowers arranged in beautiful patterns bloom amidst the springtime season. The woman working in the garden visible from behind as she sits calmly on her knees, white hair bundled up into a bun and held into place with a pair of chopsticks.
Yuriko smiles brightly and releases Kiyoshi's sleeve, taking off ahead of him as she runs into the garden straight for the woman. "Mommy!" The Kaguya woman looks up has the same bright blue green eyes as Yuriko, however, there seems to be a quiet calm and gentle warmth to them rather than the bright and bubbly excitement usually seen in the little girl. Yuuka smiles warmly, growing as she chuckles and reaches out to catch the flying hug.
The whole arrangement of the buildings with their environment leaves Kiyoshi speechless within the first few seconds of seeing it all. The time, the effort, nothing of the sort was comprehensible for the youth. But even so, he could guess that a whole lot of both along with love had to have gone into its making. Paralyzed by the sight of it all, Kiyoshi does not notice the white haired young woman working in the garden until Yuriko yells. The boy is almost instantly on guard once more for any signs of danger.
"Wait, Mommy?" He murmurs, eyes now keenly focused on the Kaguya pair as the youngest rushes the eldest. Their eventual embrace causes his heart to ache the moment they connect. A memory, sullied by time and carelessness, overlaps reality during the whole event. The memory does not overlap perfectly given the differences between those involved in the present in the pass, but the feel remained the same nevertheless. In the blink of an eye the memory fades from view a second after eyes similar to Yuuka's own had looked over the shoulder of the youth in his memory.
Unless given reason to otherwise, Kiyoshi would turn away as if to start walking off again. His wound was fully healed by now, so there was really no need for him to stick around really. At least, that is what he tried to convince himself.
Yuriko giggles happily as she hugs her mother for a longer moment before letting go and stepping back. "Hey mommy? Can I get some water for Kiyoshi-tan? And I think he hit the back of his head…"
Yuuka gently lifts a pale brow as she glances up at the boy, watching him quietly for a curious moment before her expression softens, warming. "Ah, so you are Kiyoshi-san?" she asks gently, before he has a chance to leave completely. "Well it is nice to finally meet you, Kiyoshi-san. Yuriko-chan has spoken fondly of you. I am her mother, Kaguya Yuuka." She reaches up to softly rub at Yuriko's snowy head, making her giggle.
The young woman pushes herself up to her feet with smooth grace, brushing lightly at the front of her kimono. "Well then. We should head inside and get that water. You two can have a snack while I check to see how the back of Kiyoshi-san's head looks like. How does that sound, Kiyoshi-san?"
Yuriko giggles happily and turns to rush back to the boy, making sure to stop right in his his path and grin up at him. "Where you going? Huh?"
Kiyoshi starts then emits some childish rendition of a curse word under breath before looking back to the happy family. Stiffly, Kiyoshi forces his body to turn about and bow fully at the waist to the elder Kaguya. An answer was on the tip of the tongue, some type of proper introduction to be exact, but for some reason Kiyoshi just could not bring himself to speak up. Just stare blankly back at her as the mother and daughter interacted before working up the nerve to finally shake his head in response to the question. "That is alright Kaguya-san.. mm, -sama. A drink of water would be fine enough." He says calmly. The hand he had roaming through the back of his head hair however betrays just how unnerving the whole situation was. It also gave away the injury since he did wince upon scratching too deeply in the recently patched up area.
The hand is quickly snatched out of his hair a second later and dug into his pocket, much like its counter-part was a second before. "Eh! Uh, huh?" Is Kiyoshi response at first after starting from Yuriko's "sudden" appearance. "…Nnn… I was just going to find a place to sit out here is all Yuriko-san." He explains, then bowed his head in defeat. "But you and your… Mom are not gonna let me do that I bet."
Yuuka blinks her bright eyes with a little bit of surprise before her expression softens and warms, a single chuckle escaping. "Kaguya-san is fine, Kiyoshi-kun. I'm not working right now after all." she catches his hand as it absently brushes the back of his head, giving away that the injury might not be as bad as Yuriko thought it could be, however… he does visibly wince, so it must be bad enough. A small smile tugs at her lips as Yuuka watches him snatch the hand away to stuff it into a pocket. A little bit of pride showing it seems.
Yuriko just grins up at the boy, grabbing at his sleeve again. "Its okay, Kiyoshi-tan. Really." she says softer. "You're welcome here." He looked like he was fidgeting. She didn't want him to feel uncomfortable after all. The little girl tries to offer him a small, reassuring smile before releasing his sleeve. Her mother must have left when the kids hadn't noticed because Yuuka was already emerging from the open doorway, a tray of items in her arms.
All the attempts at reassuring the boy only makes him even more unnerved by the thought of going even another step forward. As far as he was concern it was all unnatural. "Yeah, yeah.." He relents, if only to avoid the risk of upsetting her further by being rude. His brow furrowed as he peered down at the little girl, wondering in earnest why did he even care. Fortunately, Kiyoshi is not given much more time to ponder this before Yuuka returns with a tray of items in hand. None of it looked like anything dangerous at a distant, but he still kept his eyes firmly on her until she reached them or Yuriko decided to coax him closer to the house.
"…Why do you two live so far out in the forest?" He asked, hoping to assuage any concerns about his running away.
Yuuka returns to where she was sitting only a moment before and kneels, setting the tray down on the soft, grassy ground. She had brought out a box of rice balls, a few cups of water, and a first aid kit that appeared very thorough in its contents. The young woman lifts her gaze up at Kiyoshi, meeting his eyes and offering a gentle smile. She almost looked meek even, a huge contrast from the bloodthirsty norm that is Kaguya. And she quietly beckons the boy closer so she could inspect his wound. Yuriko quickly hurries to the tray and reaches for a rice ball, smiling brightly as she takes a bite of it and giggles.
As he asks about the location of the manor and its land, Yuuka quietly lifts a pale brow, amused. She glances over her shoulder at the house for a longer moment, speculative, or reflective. "Well, there's allot of reasons for that I think." The young woman murmurs, her voice calm and gentle as she returns her vivid aquamarine eyes back to Kiyoshi, though she blinks suddenly and arches a brow with a small glance at Yuriko.
A silent exchange between them it seems as the girl merely shrugs her shoulders and continues chewing. "Hm." Yuuka returns her gaze to Kiyoshi. "This land is the first that is rightfully my own, for one. I like my privacy, but I didn't want to be too far away from the Kaguya village either. And given my position within the clan and the village, a level of security is needed. Not much mind you, just a little bit. Besides," Her expression warms once more, gentle and understanding. "I find it rather beautiful out here, don't you?"
The exchange is not missed by Kiyoshi, though a part of him wished he had been less attentive. Any exchange like that always meant deception, and while he did not know Yuriko or Yuuka very well just yet, it still hurt to be lied to by omission. Even if it was necessary. Gradually, the young boy grew more and more distracted by that line of thought among a few others that happened to connect. This effectively left him death to the words that flowed from Yuuka's mouth after a time and even the prospect of gaining food and water. As luck would have it his eyes at least remained somewhat acutely aware of his surroundings, and in particular any looks of expectation from the duo. Thus, in time the light returns to his eyes; but, he awakens from his own thoughts confused and irritated. Both of which were reflected in the look he gave Yuuka before he had the sense to reign in his emotions and return to being an 'aloof' child again. "It is what it is I suppose." He stated hoarsely. Afterwards he meandered over to Yuuka and gave her a look as if to ask "Should I sit?" before following through with whatever her desire is. Before moving into position he reached out at first for one of the rice balls, thought better of the idea, and then turned his hand upon grabbing one of the cups of water instead. Which in hindsight was a bad idea since he could not drink it until Yuuka finished fiddling around with his head.
Plenty of blood, a few minor bone fragments, and hair matted down by the leak is abound. However, not even a single scar denoting a wound is present no matter how thorough her search. Only vaguely fresher skin compared to the rest about his scalp.
Yuuka gives Kiyoshi a small nod, allowing him to take a seat in front of her. His answer earns a small chuckle, but the woman doesn't reply. He seemed like a stubborn boy that found it difficult to trust others, so she could see just why her daughter would find him amusing, and frustrating even. While he drinks his water, Yuuka opens the box and begins inspecting the back of his head, her fingertips tentative and careful as she brushes back the matted green locks of hair from the blood. She lifts a pale brow when she finds that there isn't a wound, not even a scar left behind where she knew a wound once was. "Hm. You must have some Kaguya blood in you." the woman chuckles, but she doesn't hesitate to begin cleaning it anyways.
While Yuriko chews the last of her rice ball, she watches her mother clean the back of Kiyoshi's head, quiet and curious. "So, Kiyoshi-kun, how much do you know about Yuriko-chan?" Yuuka asks, her voice still gentle and relaxed while she carefully cleans the blood from the back of his scalp. When the crimson is completely gone, she carefully inspects it to make sure she hadn't missed any spots.
Kiyoshi snorts and inclines his head forward a little. "If only I were that lucky," He murmurs. Even if the Kaguya were infamous for being violent, at the very least they had the excuse of it being in their blood verses an outside source. A source akin to a wild animal, recently imprisoned and more stubborn than a mountain standing against wind, water, and sometimes even both. Once again he started to drift back into another internal, pessimistic monologue. Yuuka thankfully spares him from such a fate by asking her question.
Uncertain of how to respond to it immediately, Kiyoshi turns his head to regard Yuriko as soon as Yuuka is done cleaning and examines her closely. "She's a kid." He admitted with a shrug then turned away. "… She's.. not very normal for a Kaguya… playful.. a worry-wort.. very friendly.." He turns to regard the house once more. "Has a wealthy family from the looks of things around her… but…" Lonely. As blunt and perhaps even as rude as he had been about what he said Kiyoshi could not bring himself to say the one thing that drew Yuriko to him. The most major thing they had in common. A weak point that he did not wish to draw anymore attention to than he already did by getting involved with anyone outside of his brothers.
Despite his intentions, Kiyoshi's eyes and softer expression may have very well given away the unspoken word.
Yuuka couldn't help a small chuckle at the boy's replay. "That's the first time I've ever heard that when it comes to Kaguya." she admits, a bit of mirth in her voice as she sets aside the bit of cloth she had been using to clean the blood from the back of his head. The young woman gives his shoulder a small pat, but makes sure not to linger there in case he doesn't want the attention. Yuuka lifts a pale brow as she listens, and Yuriko tilts her snowy head while she's described from his point of view. Evidently. It was odd to her.
The young girl's mother smiles gently, warm but a little sad as well. There's always that little bit of sadness that lingers, a quiet pain that would never heal. "I'm glad you think so." Yuuka murmurs, her eyes glancing at Yuriko as the little girl looks at her hands. "Yuriko-chan and myself… we have some special talent that no one else in the clan has. And being the daughter of two Seven Swordsmen… well…" Yuriko seems to tense just a little bit, though she struggles to keep it from being obvious. "Yuriko-chan is special in many ways, and I'm happy that she has a friend like you. It seems like you care about her."
Kiyoshi smirked in response to Yuuka's admission, though the expression falters the instant the elder Kaguya gave him a pat; startling him in fact. After showing such blatant weakness — despite having only barely shook — Kiyoshi pointedly tries to play it off further by keeping his face away from the duo and nonchalantly comb through the back of his hair. Gradually, Kiyoshi gives up on the ruse in order to focus more fully on the story. Thus allowing wet, curly locks to spring right back into place.
When Yuuka mentions Yuriko to be not just one but the daughter of TWO Seven Swordsman, Kiyoshi is unable to resist turning at least part way to look at her. While his expression remained neutral as he looked her over more closely now, there's a glint in his eyes that betray the depths of his new found interest in her. Just imagining her bearing legendary swords however elicits another smirk out of the boy. Albeit it is one he took better care to try and hide by draining the rest of his cup first. Unfortunately the water is wasted barely a second later after Yuuka's last statement elicits a spit take (to the ground) followed by Kiyoshi attempting to force out a "Wh-what?!" between coughs.
The young woman's warm expression becomes gentle, her vivid blue green eyes sparkling with quiet mirth as she watches the boy's reactions, even as he tries to play it off as if he hadn't flinched from the small pat on his shoulder. She doesn't say anything about it for the moment. As Kiyoshi glances to Yuriko and narrows his eyes at her with a different look, the little girl glances up above her knees to meet his eyes, a mixture of emotions seen in her bright aquamarine gaze. But most of all, steadfast stubbornness. That silent interaction between the children peeks Yuuka's curiosity and she silently lifts a pale brow. However, the sudden spit take makes both Kaguya girls blink at Kiyoshi with surprise, Yuriko quickly leaning forward to make sure that he's okay while Yuuka frowns with a bit of concern. "You okay?" Yuriko asks, hesitant to pat him on the back in some attempt to help clear his lungs. He probably wouldn't appreciate it anyways.
The water lodged in Kiyoshi's lungs takes a bit of work to remove, but a few careful placed pats against his chest seems to do the trick in time. There are still a few remnants that make it difficult to breathe, let alone reply to Yuriko, so Kiyoshi resorts to nodding and waving off her concerns until his recovery is complete. Even once air is allowed to pass through his being more freely, Kiyoshi does not utter a word or even look back at the Kaguya. The acute awareness that sharpened as the seconds ticked by eventually forced the embarrassed youth to at least regard them, inadvertently revealing a cheek tinged pink. "I… mmm… uh… Ari-gatou Gozaimasu," He whispered, and then whipped his head back to the forefront. Belatedly as if to clarify his meaning Kiyoshi rubbed the back of his head before folding his arms over one and another.
Yuriko blinks her bright eyes, her attention focused on the off chance that Kiyoshi might need help, however after a moment he's able to catch his breath again. Somewhat. But at least its better than choking after all. She exhales a small breath with a nod, leaning back again and pulling her tiny legs up against her chest once more. Seconds tick by and the girl's mother lifts a pale brow, wondering how long the awkward silence might last. When he whispers his thanks to Yuriko, a small smile tugs at her lips, hidden behind her knees. "Gomennasai, Kiyoshi-kun. I hadn't intended to… say something surprising." Yuuka murmurs, apologizing. And choosing her words carefully to keep from further embarrassing the boy.
"Hnn…" Kiyoshi emitted along with a few sagely nods. After the last nod he kept his head inclined downward as if mulling something over. Then sighed and shook his head in exasperation, focused his energy towards rising, and then dusted off the back of his pants before turning to face the two woman. When at first Kiyoshi opens his mouth to speak, he hesitates for a second too long and ends up averting his gaze and shutting it once more. "Neh, Yuriko… san." He starts again warily, clenching and unclenching his fist. "Maybe… *clears throat* We should probably get back to those les-erm-training." Dark eyes flicker up towards Yuriko.
The girl's mother curiously lifts a pale brow, watching the boy as he stands before giving Yuriko a sideways glance. Whatever it was that was bothering Kiyoshi can only be speculated upon as he suggest they get back to training. And Yuriko hadn't missed the clenching of his fist at his side either. Barely pausing, her legs touch the soft ground as she leans forward, quick to snap up another onigiri before hopping up onto her feet. She was about to return to Kiyoshi's side but she comes to a sudden stop, whipping around to give her mother a quick hug and pull out a couple of bandaids from the first aid kit. She stuffs them in a hidden pocket and hurries double time back to Kiyoshi yet again, using both hands to bite into one corner of the rice ball. "So where do you want to play at?" Yuriko asks, the pair fading through the trees and leaving the manor behind them. "We got lots of trees. And there's houses to practice on in the Kaguya district."
Kiyoshi averted his gaze the instant he caught sight of Yuriko and Yuuka hugging again. He really did not wish to relieve anymore painful memories again. Not while he still could hardly speak of the past, let alone write about in the journal collecting dust at home. His eyes only turn away from the earth once he was sure that Yuriko was genuinely returning to his side. A look of regret lights up his eyes at the sight of the rice ball before being replaced by the boy's usual more aloof facade. "Why not surprise me? You've been around this village a lot longer than I have.k" He admitted plainly with just the faintest hints of a smile at the edge of his lips. Unless stopped or alerted, his hands are stuffed into his pockets and a quick glance is given to Yuuka's mother before Kiyoshi focused purely on following the younger youth to wherever it is her heart desire.
Yuriko chews on her bite as she lifts her bright eyes up at Kiyoshi again, giving him a curious glance as she swallows. "Longer? How would you know that?" she asks. Maybe he was just assuming that. Or maybe he hadn't been born in the village like she had. Either way, the girl smiles a bit more at him. "I think we should have a race. First one to the dam arena wins?" A giggle escapes her as she darts out and heads straight at the closest tree, using Tree Walking to sprint up the side and land on a branch. Once there, Yuriko pauses just long enough to see if Kiyoshi catches up with her, and if he does, she smiles and jumps to the next branch, using the Tree Walking skill there too to keep her sticking to the second branch. They'll race each other through the trees, more or less, and when they run out of trees the pair jump on the bone rooftops to race eastwards.
Kiyoshi's only answer to Yuriko's first question is a non-committal shrug of his shoulders. As for the second one, the boy is not given much of a chance to think before Yuriko takes off first. "Oi! At least give a countdown!" He exclaims up at her, and then crouches down so that his first spring into the trees canopy would carry him pass Yuriko. Although chances are just seeing him preparing is enough to get her moving on ahead again. Not one to be outdone, especially by some playful, snow haired lass, Kiyoshi pours on the speed at every opportunity provided. Granted his still choppy understanding of Tree Walking nearly causes him to plummet to the ground from time to time.
The invigorating taste of a challenge, the intoxicating feel of the wind rushing by him, and most importantly, while a clear goal was in mind, Kiyoshi was blind to everything else that might have given him second thought. The only thing that mattered was to run, to loosen that false facade and actually smile out of joy, and to keep on running until he won; consequences for tracking foot prints on people's houses be damned!