Date: August 28, 2016
An interlude of events that took place in the past. As part of improving team synergy, bonding, and arming themselves with new tools, three kunoichi of Team 13 make a visit to Hiro Weapons. There they meet someone who might be able to help out another member of the team, and give him some help in turn.
"Interlude: Weapons and Hearts"
Hiro Weapons - Entrance [Konohagakure]
Tsugumi promised herself that she would spend more time with some of her team members, and she meant it. She has spent lots of time with Suzu and Rinoko, but she can not help that some other shinobi have been neglected. It's not just a matter of socializing, but also have learning more about them, and improving team synergy. Of course, the location they are at now is a public locale, and isn't restricted to just the three of them. But the outing was arranged partially for that purpose of 'a team experience'.
The other part is because she, along with Nonon and Saori, have all expressed interest in expanding their arsenal of skills to include weapon usage. Tsugumi used to be quite the shurikenjutsu user in her younger years. However, that was before she… Filled out. Throwing shuriken, wielding swords, and other highly physical maneuvers became much more difficult at that point, and she abandoned her shuriken-throwing ways.
But now, with greater experience, greater mastery of her Sharingan than back then, and greater chest support, she is prepared to remaster her shuriken skills from the start. And for that, she wants some high-quality throwing stars. Further…
Tsugumi looks towards Saori and Nonon, the other two team members who had indicated interested in bukijutsu. "Look around," she says as she gestures at the store. "Let me know if there's anything that catches your eye."
Nonon is, indeed, interested in the furthering of her jutsu. Taijutsu is something she is fairly skilled in, but has neglected in favor of developing her mastery of her Kekkei Genkai. The blonde kunoichi hmmms as she looks around. The Village provides basic tools to its ninja, as-needed. But if one wants something extra, or a special weapon, one needs to pay the Village and its craftsmen back.
So far, Nonon has mostly used kunai. That's not a bad choice, but something with a bit more range (but not too much!) might suit her well. And she's also beginning to think that Lightning Chakra may be a good way to handle both her need for a sensor-nin capability and an enhancement of her existing skills, by flowing it along a blade.
But… What KIND of blade? "Oh, there's so many options, Tsugumi-sensei. And some of these price tags… I might have to come back another time to afford some of this higher-quality stuff!" She hems and haws over a tanto and the wakizashi next to it in its display case.
Daichi did have a small interest in weapons. He was a young kid who felt like using a sword would be interesting and fun. He also knew it could be a very useful skill were he ever to end up in a bind. Especially if the use of chakra was not allowed or was being restricted. That would likely even prevent his gates since he has to force them open with chakra. So in favor of not having all of his taijutsu dissapear in that sense he figured he could at least think about learning how to use weapons.
Daichi made his way towards the weapon shop and very nearly bumped right into the back of Tsugumi as he was busy daydreaming. "Uh oh.. Uh sorry." He looked at each of them there. "You all looking for weapons too?" He smiled a bit before grinning wide. "What kind of weapons huh? I was looking for some too! Maybe a tanto of sorts?" He asked with a small tilt of his head. He looked at Nonon as she spoke up some and looked to what she was looking at with a focused gaze.
A small girl barely taller than Daichi stands unobtrusively in the corner, looking calmly at some metal gloves. Not precisely what she came for, but Saori's mother uses gloves like those. She had indicated interest in a compact blade. A tanto maybe. Something like her dad uses. But her mother's style is also interesting. She has never seen her mother fight, but Sarutobi Mirai is as renowned for her fire taijutsu as Hatake Yasei is for his Chakra Sabre.
When Daichi proposes a tanto, that, rather than his addressing of the others and attempts to strike up a conversation, is what makes her look up and over to him.
.oO(How did he know?) she wonders. .oO(Maybe he knows who my father is and recognized me somehow.)
White hair isn't the most common of traits after all.
"A tanto… Or some gloves." she affirms. Though, looking at the situation, and the fact he's focused on what Nonon is inspecting, maybe he wasn't talking to her at all. Geez! People are so hard to deal with!
If Daichi had actually walked face-first into Tsugumi's rear he's probably one of the few people in the Village who'd get a pass, on account of him being a kid. As it is, he catches himself and announces his presence, so the Uchiha turns around to look and spots Daichi. Her somewhat perplexed/annoyed expression at not detecting someone behind her on her own melts away when she recognizes him. "Oh, Daichi-kun. I haven't seen you around much lately. How have you been?"
She moves aside so she isn't blocking the entrance and glances around as she answers, "Yes. We're looking to expand our arsenal a bit, and start training with some new tools. Or some old ones in my case." Nonon's complaint about prices has Tsugumi chuckle a bit.
"I'll try to cover any reasonable costs. I'm a Jounin now, so I'll be going on more high-paying missions… But if it's a basic, simple weapon, I should be able to afford it now. Remember, you don't need the best quality weapon right at the start. You should try things out and see if it's a good fit for you first."
She looks towards Saori. Tsugumi, at least, knows who Saori's parents are, and the idea of a tanto makes sense as a result. "That would probably be a good choice for you, Saori-chan. With your proportions, you don't need a blade much larger than that. Though if you intend to be a close-in fighter, having Chakra Metal gloves might allow you to switch quickly between Medical Ninjutsu and offense if you have to defend a patient or yourself."
Then she looks down at Daichi (or tries, it's hard to see him without stepping back), and thinks about what she knows of him. "Suzuha says you practice Strong Fist taijutsu. Is that correct?"
"Ehh? Nani, nani? You'll be my 'sugar momma' and pay for my weapons?" Nonon jokes. But then Tsugumi specifies something basic and simple as a practice weapon, and she sighs elaborately before turning to Daichi. "It was a sweet dream while it lasted! A tanto is a good, solid weapon, though one lacking in range. I don't need a lot of range myself, for certain reasons, but at least extending the length of my arm's reach seems like a good call. And there's other things I can do with a properly constructed weapon."
She hmmmmms and looks over the tanto and wakizashi. "But I'll probably get taller as I get older. I should plan around a weapon that will make the best use of both my future strength and my current abilities." A wakizashi seems like the better answer as a result of that. But…
"Aaaahhhn~! But the tanto is just so much cuter~!" she wiggles and blushes before turning to look towards tiny, tiny Saori, barely bigger than bite-sized Daichi. Then she skips over and pats the other kunoichi on the head. "Just like adorable little Saori-chan~!"
Then she turns around, looks at Daichi, and he may feel a way of dread at what is coming as Nonon skips over to him and attempts to pat him on the head as well. "Daichi-san, is it? I'm Namikaze Nonon. I don't recall if we've met, but you're also very cute!" Rubbarubbarubba attempt.
Daichi looked at Saori and blinks some. "Oh! You want a tanto as well?" He looked at her." I suppose we may have the same reason actually." He chuckled lightly. "A normal blade might be a bit too big." He then turned to face Tsugumi some. "Oh it has been awhile huh?" He frowned. "I have been good. Shinobu isn't a shinobi anymore. Or well only like a reserve shinobi so she helping deal with Storm Brigade stuff, but once that is over she gonna settle down some. So I have been talking to her about that and stuff." He blinked a bit and just nods like that explained it all.
"I just feel like having a skill in some sorta weapon would be useful. Like maybe even something super small or something with range. Though a Tanto is likely the best for me I assume." He said before looking at Tsugumi. Daichi also actually had a good bit of things to spend. Mostly because birthday recently. When Tsugumi directs more speech at him though it stopped him from speaking any more. Especially since she was talking to the others before hand. "Oh yes. That is what I practice normally. I have been learning a few other things, but when it comes to taijutsu that is basically all I study." He smiled.
Nonon also responded to him and he grinned a bit. "Range isn't a issue for me. I can get up to someone pretty quickly. Trust me!" He chuckled lightly. Though it was true that took chakra as well. He was naturally quick, but if he truly wanted to be even quicker he would have to work at it. His max speed is reached only using ninjutsu and chakra right now. "But yeah. A Tanto is good for me for sure." He looked over all of them as they looked around now. Until Nonon went all giddy and wiggled at the Tanto. He blinked a bit confused like(As he was unused to that sorta personality being around Shinobu most of the time), and even more so as she came over to him after Saori. He actually did not seem to mind at all though. "Yes Satonezu Daichi. Nice to meet ya!" He smiled and didn't seem to react much to being called cute.
Saori bows to Daichi. "Hatake Saori. Nice to meet you." Yes, there may indeed be similar reasons for a tanto suiting both Daichi and her… But also other reasons of family that are perhaps not an element of that at all. Tsugumi's knowledge of Saori's family however, allows for a different suggestion to be made. Though she doesn't show it very well, behind standing a bit straighter, and her sleepy-looking red eyes widening slightly, she is surprised.
She had been thinking that either she would be fighting or she would be healing. The prospect that she might have to abandon one in the middle in order to do the other had never occurred to her. The chaos of battle… She understands instantly, but it wasn't something she had even imagined before now. Her mouth opens a little bit and she lets a quiet noise somewhere between a breath inwards and a tiny grunt of amazement.
This is the difference made by real battlefield experience. A dedicated shinobi like Tsugumi can think up scenarios like that right away. Saori decides… As much as she'd like to have a cool sword like her father's… Right now, as Team 13's woefully under-trained healer, anything she can do to minimize the amount of time she spends on tasks other than healing people is to everyon's benefits. She looks back to the gloves on display. "…Chakra Metal?" she asks in confusion, unfamiliar with the term. It IS a rare metal after all. Though then she hears that Daichi practices 'Strong Fist'. That sounds as though it would go well with glove weapons.
"Daichi-san. What does Strong Fist entail? Who would I go to for training?"
Her inquiries may be slightly cut short by the hair-ruffling ambush by Nonon, but Saori just kind of stands there in shock, eyes wide, unsure what just happened or how she's supposed to respond.
Ah, Nonon. Even Suzuha has started to mature… Though not necessarily in a reasurring way with how cold she has been becoming. But at least the Namikaze Chuunin still has energy and cheer to spare. It's hard to tell how much of Nonon's conduct is an act and how much is the real girl, but the effort to keep things light is appreciated. Especially with four out of six kunoichi being very serious.
Tsugumi smiles a bit and looks to Saori as she inquires about Strong Fist, before focusing back on Daichi. "If you don't mind some advice… I'd actually recommend you try nunchaku. They can be extremely lethal in the hands of a non-shinobi master. With your Strong Fist, which focuses on dealing external damage through force, such as broken bones, you could get some really amazing results with such weapons." Tsugumi gestures. "Provided they are suitably reinforced for your strength, of course. But that shouldn't be a problem. Strong Fist is a good, reliable form of Taijutsu, with minimal exotic aspects that could interfere with the usage of weapons and techniques that a normal human being could wield. That means minimal adaptation required, allowing you to simply train in and build upon existing principles and techniques, and then develop new moves once you've accomplished that."
Tsugumi tilts her head and smiles apologetically. "I suppose I should have waited for you to answer whether you wanted advice or not first before continuing. Sorry, Daichi-kun." Then she heaves a sigh and looks to Nonon.
"A tanto might work for you for similar reasons as it could work for Daichi. You're both likely quite fast, removing the problem with range. But I think, for Chakra Flow, you could benefit from a wakizashi or a katana more. Remember, you won't be striking with just the blade." Tsugumi runs a hand through her hair, brushing it back over one ear and says, "I hate to sound like I'm just giving the same advice over and over, but actually, all three of you might want to consider fist-weapons as a possible tool in your arsenal. Your skills, or what I know of them, would benefit from it. Reinforcing the Strong Fist's blows with a weapon that also adds your Chakra will make your attacks even more devastating… Of course."
Tsugumi gestures towards Saori. "The only one I really feel it would be BEST for at this point, is Saori-chan. A wakizashi for Nonon-san and nunchaku for Daichi-kun would be ideal immediate armament."
She folds her arms under her chest and then sighs again. "I'm still talking and lecturing. This outing was supposed to be for team synergy, not me giving lessons. My apologies, all."
Nonon listens in on all of the myriad lines of conversation taking place as she looks back and forth between the two weapons after abandoning Daichi's head, and leaving Saori standing around looking like a deer in front of a lightning strike.
"Strong Fist sounds pretty useful then, if you can ignore range the way I do… And it's pure Taijutsu? Amazing~. But… Tsugumi-san's words make sense. The wakizashi it is for now. I can always try other things like brass knuckles or whatever later. And it's not like I'm locked into this one weapon even if I do pick it, right?" She looks towards Tsugumi. Then she thinks of something. "Oh, but I guess I should give it a solid effort at least, and not give up if it's difficult. I understand, I understand, Tsugumi-sensei~. You aren't made of money. Don't worry, don't worry~."
She waves off words that weren't spoken, and then adds on in regard to the words that WERE spoken, "It's fine. It's your job to teach us and lead us. Sharing your experience and insight is a great gift. I'll pick something and focus on it. I imagine Strong Fist probably doesn't grant its considerable abilities to those who slack off, does it, Daichi-san~?"
Then she looks at Saori, whose interest in Strong Fist makes Nonon think. Unlike Tsugumi, she can't analyze whether that's a good fit for the Genin or not. But she can't really say anything about Saori spreading herself then. Nonon did the exact same thing all the way through Genin and into her early stage of being a Chuunin.
Daichi looked at Saori and gave a quick nod. "Nice to meet you too!" He smiled lightly now before looking at her with a more focused expression. "Well.. Strong Fist is the style they teach in the academy. Just the most basic forms of it. There are plenty of people probably able to teach more advanced forms of it like Leaf Whirlwind. Though truthfully I could also teach it." He pondered the thought for a bit. "I don't think I would be a good teacher though. And my teacher isn't around often anymore. Or at least I don't see him much. His name is Eremi."
Daichi turned to face Tsugumi as she told him her suggestion and he seemed actually very interested. "Oh? I didn't think about that. It does sound like a good idea, and no one seems to use them so it would be different." He grinned some. "I just would hope to find someone who can help me." He pondered a bit before shaking his head. "No need to ask really. I don't mind the suggestion!" He gave her a reassuring smile. Then he turned to face the others as he listened. He then nods a bit. "I figure I could eventually learn to use both at least. And then something for the fist could be good too! You have too many ideas Tsugumi. You are confusing me." He looked at her with a straight face and seemed like he was a bit dizzy from bouncing from one to the next. He then shook his head and regained his composure.
"It is pure taijutsu." Daichi pondered a bit now it seemed. "I will likely come back another time to help give me more time to think on this. Get multiple opinions and all that." He grinned and then grinned more when Nonon asked her question to him. "Nope not at all. Strong Fist takes a lot of hard work. It very much takes a lot of physical ability to master it!" Which if wasn't noticed yet, this 11 year old boy actually did seem to be a bit fit. Not overly muscular, but just athletic. Even at his age his muscles were well toned and he seemed to carry an air of power about him. Though that was likely to only increase in time. "I also work on some ninjutsu stuff, but taijutsu is my primary focus."
Saori gradually gets over her surprise as the conversation moves on as though that hadn't just happen. But that just happened! She just calms herself and listens in. She eventually speaks up to say, "I see. Perhaps in the future, I might seek training from you or this other person. But you are probably a better teacher than you suspect. You have insight into your own techniques. That is more than I have of them."
She too is feeling somewhat dizzy, but she gets that way when she interact socially for too long. "For today, I believe I will pass on weapon acquisition. Thank you, Tsugumi-sensei, for your insight and teaching." Then she bows to Daichi and says, "Thank you for broadening my knowledge of the Hidden Leaf's taijutsu. I hope to one day be your student."
Then she turns to Nonon. Pauses. And without anything specific to say to her, just bows and says, "Thank you."
Tsugumi smiles graciously to the praise and acceptance offered by the three much younger shinobi, nodding her head and saying, "I'm fortunate to be blessed with such receptive students."
Sounds like a wakizashi for Nonom… Daichi is buying nunchaku… And Saori is skipping for now. Tsugumi is going to buy a bunch of shuriken and order some custom shuriken holsters, so the shop keeper doesn't get mad at her window shopping and loitering and then not buying anything. But as she prepares to go make her order, she thinks about how Daichi is her daughter's friend. And while Tsugumi, as Suzu's mother, is doing what she can, and the team as well… Suzu is having a difficult time. Maybe someone outside the team she sees all the time could help.
As she counts out the money, she says to Daichi, "Would it be too much to ask that, when you have the time, you visit us? I'm sure Suzuha would be glad to see you again. She's grown a lot, but you were one of her first friends, and I just think…" Well, she doesn't want to seem as though she's setting up Suzu on a playdate or something, nor does she want to worry Daichi, or say too much about Suzu in front of everyone else. So she just says, "…I think she'd really like to see you."
Tsugumi turns and smiles over her shoulder, trying not to send out any 'I'm worried about my daughter's well-being' vibes.
Nonon smiles brightly in response to Tsugumi. She picks up quickly on the reasons for Tsugumi's seemingly-out-of-nowhere-but-trying-to-seem-casual invitation for Daichi to come visit. Suzu and Daichi are friends, huh? She thinks that was mentioned earlier in the conversation… "Yeah, maybe you, Suzu-chan, and Saori-chan can all train together. Heck, maybe I'll join you. And, you know. Maybe we can all talk some more." And maybe Nonon can find a reason for her and Saori to go somewhere else to train so Suzu can open up to Daichi more easily while that happens.
As much as she wants to support her team leader's daughter, her team mate, and her friend… Sometimes, letting someone else take a swing at a problem is the better way to be a friend than forcing her face into one's friend's business.
She hopes Suzu can find whatever she's looking for. But somehow… She isn't sure that just seeing an old friend (or a young friend, as the case may be) is going to fix what's making Suzu's face seem so dark and serious.
She doesn't think anyone can really fix the root of the problem, unless they can resurrect the dead.
Daichi looked at Saori firstly and blinked a bit. "I don't know. I don't know how to teach. I just act on instinct. I couldn't even explain what I do most of the time." Which is the truth. Every little action he makes is quick and not hesistant even one bit. That is why it works so well for him. He trusts his own body to do what he wants it to. Otherwise he would not be a shinobi. "Also no problem Saori! I am glad to be of service! Maybe you can teach me something another day!" He smiled towards her.
Tsugumi though dragged his attention away quickly enough. He seemed to have a short attention span and bounced from one thing to the next very quickly. "Hmm? I mean no not really. I have not seen her TOO often recently. Only in passing and never really time to stop and chat so I would love to come see you two!" He smiled towards her. "Just tell me when you two are free and I will be there." He gave a small smile towards her. Nonon herself didn't get too much reaction besides another nod and smile plus a few words. "That sounds like fun. Maybe one day." He looked around a little bit longer before nodding slowly to himself. "Yeah I think I may come back another time. Make sure I know what I want." He smiled. "Thanks for the suggestions Tsugumi. And see all three of you around!"
Daichi has lost family before. It isn't unknown to him and probably not to anyone around him if they looked into his past. But one thing that is unknown is he had a bout of depression when his brother dissapeared so it isn't fully unknown to him. What saved him was someone who despite Daichi's pushing him away, got closer and befriended him. Maybe it would work here but who knows. Either way in the blink of an eye Daichi was gone. Any sensors would've noticed the slight ping of chakra from his location and the boy was no longer standing there. Though if one was to look outside the opening into the store they would see him flying across rooftops.
Saori, of course, is oblivious to the subtleties of social interaction, and misses all of this. She just nods, though, and says, "Group training with a mixed composition is likely to be useful in learning different strategies and not becoming overly reliant upon a fixed or expected battle condition." She's already internalized that lesson learned from Tsugumi. You can not take battle conditions, or even group composition, or individual shinobi role, for granted. Anything can change in battle.
Being prepared doesn't just mean being really good at one job. It means knowing how to do one or more jobs really good, even when circumstances are not as she expects them to be.
Now she just needs to learn social cues so she can help save a friend someday too.