Date: November 10, 2013
Nariko learns Treewalking from Hiei.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Falling Leaves and Falling Narikos"
Forest just outside Kumogakure
The sun was just beginning the rise, the birds starting to chirp with their soft morning songs. The soft colors of orange and yellow drape over the village of Kumogakure as the sun begins to rise in the sky. Some villagers are already up, prepping for the day, one of them being our Yotsuki heroine, Nariko. She sent letters to both Hiro and Hiei asking them to come teach her treewalking. She made her way down the many trails and found herself in a forest. She looked around for a place to sit while she waited for the two men, finding a fallen tree to sit down. "I hope they got their letters." She sighs and looks around, her legs extending away from her, her ankles crossing over one another.
Hiei had gotten Nariko's letter and he is approaching her location at a full gallop astride Snake Eyes. He leans forwards in the saddle and whispers to his horse. "Just like how we practiced." He stands up in the stirrups and then hops up so that he's standing on the horse's back while it's still running. As they maneuver between the trees, he leaps off the horse's back and then begins to leap through the trees at a rapid pace. Kicking off from the side of a tree's trunk, he flips through the air to land in front of Nariko in a crouch. He grins at her as he stands up slowly. "Hi, Nariko. I got your letter. When would you like to start?" Yes, he was showing off. It was something he didn't get to do much. "What I just did was a little showy, but it demonstrates some of the stuff you'll be able to do once you learn tree walking."
Nariko was sitting peacefully on her tree when she hears the terrifying sound of hooves on dirt. She brings her feet back, slips down to hide behind the tree and then peers over when she hears Hiei's voice. "First off, you know I don't like horses!" She yells at him. "Second, whenever you're done showing off." She looks at him through slitted eyes. "I like to imagine I'll do something much more useful with this skill." Like sleep, up in a tree.
Hiei frowns at Nariko. "You don't like horses, huh? I've seen you ride one several times, and what's with the hiding. You knew I was coming, you sent /me/ the letter, remember?" He crosses his arms and looks off to the side. "Before you criticize how I use this skill, you might want to learn it for yourself." He huffs slightly before glancing back over at her, though he's careful not to look her in the eye.
Nariko looks at Hiei and nods. "Have you not seen how freaked out I am when I ride Storm Shadow? It's terrifying! They could throw you off them." She raises her arms and then drops them. "And I sent you and Hiro a letter. Horses are scary." She crosses her arms on her chest and sighs. "Fine, sensei." She eyes him a moment. "Don't get too proud about that!" She points a finger at him for a second. It was formalities anyway.
Hiei runs a hand over his face. "This..is going to be fun." He looks at Nariko. "You told me that Hiro already taught you how to water walk, so you know about chakra control already, right?" He steps over to a large tree. "The deal is to use your chakra to form a kind of seal between your feet and the surface of whatever you're walking on. Too little chakra and you fall off. Too much chakra and you'll be ejected violently from the surface." He places his foot against the trunk of the tree and walks up it about halfway. "Any questions so far, Nariko-kun?"
Nariko looks at Hiei and smiles. "I do know a little bit about chakra control. Hiro taught me very well." She hmms as he describes how to use the chakra. "So it's just like waterwalking except against a tree rather than on the water?" She tilts her head and nods. "I think I understand." She then rubs her chin. "So, if I fall, I fall onto the ground? I prefer waterwalking."
Hiei grins and leaps back onto the ground. "Yeah. That's why most shinobi learn the water part first. If you fall there, you just get wet. If you fall here, you might break a bone. But I'll catch you if you fall, cousin." He smiles at her. It's a bit of an evil smile. Like maybe he'd pretend to try to catch her and let her fall anyways. "Let's see if what Hiro taught you can be applied here." He motions to the side of the tree. "Go for it."
Nariko looks at him for a second. "Sure you will." She didn't believe him one bit. She walked over to a tree, dropped her arms from her chest, and closed her eyes. "By the rakes." She says before letting her chakra reach the bottom of her feet. She raises a foot to go against the side of the tree, it latching on and holding on for dear life. Her second foot goes up and she's protruding out from the side of the tree, her braids cascading down from her head. She takes another two steps with her feet and smile. "Check it out! I'm doing it!" For now of course.
Hiei looks up as Nariko walks up the tree without any problems. He huhs. "Beginner's luck. Then again, your chakra control was always better than mine." He walks around the base of the tree, watching her. Even if she fell, he'd catch her, but he didn't want her to know that. It was much more fun for her to think that he'd let her fall. "Baby steps at first, though. When you feel a little more comfortable..walk faster."
Nariko smirks at Hiei. "Well, I have been practicing quite often. It's why I go to the lake so often now a days." She then begins to take a few more steps. Unfortunately the chakra in her left foot starts to soften and her foot doesn't stick as well. Her first reaction: grab the tree. Second reaction: arms out to the side. "Oh geez, oh geez. Don't fall. Please don't fall." She moves her right foot up and catches herself, regaining her footing.
Hiei ahs. "So when you have the towel with you and you say you're going to train…you actually meant it? Huh. I never would have guessed. I judged you wrong, Nariko. I apologize for that." He sees her falter and prepared himself to catch her in case she fell, but she actually managed to catch herself. Hiei looks a little surprised. "When I tried this the first time I fell twice before I got it right. You're doing great, though. Move up a little higher, and try to go a little faster. Eventually, you'll be able to do this like it's second nature."
Nariko smiles at Hiei and shrugs. "Well, thank you. I actually want to get this down and waterwalking. They're pretty cool abilities. Besides, could you imagine what I could do to scare my parents when they arrive?" She giggles, thinking of the many possibilities. Then he tells her to go up a little higher and to try to go a little faster. As she moves her left foot up the chakra in her foot gets even weaker and she moves her right up quick enough to catch herself. She grabs onto a branch, to help keep her steady. "Always my left foot!" She grumbles. She couldn't move faster even if she tried right now, it would make her fall.
Hiei continues to watch. "Try to balance your chakra output. It looks like you're putting the right amount in your right foot, but not your left foot. Slow it down again and try it. Really focus this time." He clasps his hands behind his back. "I think your parents will be proud of you when they get back and see your progress as a shinobi. Who knows? You may even greet them as a Chuunin."
Nariko moves to sit on the branch she caught taking a deep breath. "Something has got to be blocking my chakra from flowing naturally in my leg." She sighs and shakes her left leg before cracking her neck side to side. "Let's this one more time." She hops down from the tree, landing softly on her legs. She moves to the tree, closing her eyes and refocusing her chakra into her feet. She puts her left foot up, the chakra holding solidly once more. Her right foot goes up, a little bit weaker than the left, but not by much. When she opens her eyes she is staring up at the sky, moving her feet up a few more paces. "I'm really going to have to work on this."
Hiei nods. "As with everything you learn as a shinobi, from taijutsu to genjutsu, it's always a work in progress. I don't know many people that can master a new technique in a single day. But you're doing great. Try not to allow yourself to get frustrated. It took me months to be able to walk up a single tree without falling off. But as with everything, practice is the key. Keep going, Nariko. I have faith in you."
Nariko nods. "It's why I've been practicing waterwalking constantly and why I train at weird times." She moves her left foot up again, the barrier losing its grip and she quickly reaches her right foot up. "Seriously? Maybe I should go see Amani about this." She does get frustrated, very frustrated. She doesn't even try to move for fear she might fall. "Getting frustrated is my middle name. Yotsuki Frustrated Nariko." She grumbles and closes her eyes trying to bring the barrier back.
Hiei hmms. "Maybe you should talk to Amani about getting a physical. Not that I'm saying something is wrong, but it would at least cover our bases, yeah?" He pauses. "I know you can do this, Nariko. If your dumb cousin can learn this skill, I know you can. Try it again. Maybe you're thinking about it too much? Try to feel it out this time."
Nariko sighs. "I've been meaning to go get a physical. I think something is just blocking my flow. Maybe not stretching enough or something." She grumbles and then closes her eyes to recollect herself. This time she feels the barrier stronger in her left leg as she moves it up. Her right leg seems to weaken as she encourages the left foot. Thankfully she is able to stay on the tree without falling. "And which cousin would that be?" She smirks, knowing full well who the dumb cousin is.
Hiei chuckles. "That would be me. Now, come on. Your left foot looked a lot better that time. But your right foot looked a little shaky. Feel for the balance between the two. Try it one more time. Whether you get it or not, we'll stop for the day because we don't want to overdo it. You've got the technique down. You just need more practice."
Nariko sighs as she does it one more time. "I hate treewalking. I want to go back to waterwalking." Her left foot starts to get shaky as she moves it up. "I'm so over this!" She moves her right foot up so that she doesn't fall and grabs on to the branch close by. She hops back on it and shakes her head. "I'm kind of glad I learned waterwalking first though. I haven't fallen which seems to be a good thing." She smiles and pushes herself off the branch to give one more go at the treewalking. She focuses and then puts her feet up, the left still not sticking well and her right focuses better. Unfortunately for her, the lack of control on her left still causes her to fall, at least she wasn't five feet above the ground. "I really do dislike this thing."
Hiei moves under her so when she falls, she falls into his outstretched arms. He sets her down on the ground and nods. "Practice. Like I said before, you've got the technique down. You just have to work on your chakra flow. It's not like performing a jutsu. You have to let a steady stream of chakra leak out from your feet. It's hard. But I know you'll get it." He hugs her. "How about we get some lunch for now?"
Nariko sighs and brushes herself off even though she was caught. "How about breakfast instead? I woke up much too early. And we haven't talked in a while." She sighs and looks at the tree. "Stupid tree. I'll make you pay." She sticks her tongue out at it and then turns to face Hiei. She motions with her head to go back to the village. "Don't forget about Snake Eyes." And with that she makes her way back to the village.
Hiei snaps his fingers. "Snake Eyes. Right. I don't want to leave him out here." He blows a shrill whistle and the ebony horse comes plopping up next to the two shinobi. "Want a ride back to the village?" He asks as he swings up into the saddle. He holds out his hand to Nariko, though given her feelings on horses, she'll most likely decline. "I don't know why you don't like horses anyways. You were afraid of Sasuke at first too, but now I can't separate you two."