Date: December 24, 2012
Usagi and Taiki discuss just about everything going on in their lives as Taiki studies.
"Medical Studies 2.5: Heart to Heart Studies"
Genin Training grounds
Usagi was up in a tree for the time being, leaning against the trunk while she sat on a thick enough branch that'd hold her. For the time being, it was afternoon, and she was up there watching the Genin area from here. A few of the genin had apparently come up to ask her if she could watch them while they trained, and help them out with their skills and style. So, here she is, with the three of them mostly roughousing a bit off in the distance. One leg hangs off the branch, and she occasionally kicks it, watching the group. She has a piece of straw in her mouth.
Taiki and his ninken approach the area, Taiki carrying a book in his hand. He stops by the tree Usagi is sitting in, pausing to watch the Genin in the area. After a few moments he shrugs and sits down on the ground, leaning against the very same tree, then opens the book to a bookmarked page and appears to start reading. After a moment of silence, possibly to stretch out any curiosity or wonder Usagi may have at these actions, he speaks up. "Hello Usagi-san, and congratulations." The dogs now freely wuff their greetings for Usagi as well, though Taiki continues to appear to be studying.
"Thank you" Usagi looks down and smiles at the ninken, pulling two dog treats from her vest. She tosses them down to the two, then glances back at the genin. "It's…a lot of what I expected, and a few things I didn't" She sighs and glances down at the book, trying to catch a few glimpses of what he's reading, before looking back up. "Balance! Always keep your balance!" Apparently one of the Genin was going a bit wild in the trees.
The book itself would be rather dry reading for anyone not seriously interested in med-nin training. In fact, some med-nins would find it boring, as the topic of the book was advanced chakra/body interactions. Right now Taiki is on the chapter dealing with chakra and the nervous system, which would normally be drier reading still. Yet Taiki seems inately interested in it, in fact pulling out a scroll and a graphite rod to make some notes.
In the meantime Usagi has the dogs' almost undivided attention, apparently they're in the mood for treats. Taiki chuckles at his partners reaction before answering Usagi's observation. "That's the way I felt as well. There are more freedoms, at the cost of more responsibility. And you feel… responsible for those of lower ranks, and what happens to them."
"Nailed it in one" Usagi smirks softly, letting the two of them have their treats and grins. "I'm still good for it…it'll take me a bit to make it to a few other people's levels that I won't mention, but I'd say I'm making good progress…genin to chuunin in under a year?" She raises a brow at him, then back to the genin. She furrows her brow for a few moments, but remains where she is. "Which chapter number is that?" She looks down at the book for a few moments, then back up. She lets off a soft breath and leans back again. "We're viewed as the competent, mature ones. It's…kind of surprising having Genin look up to me just because I'm a chuunin"
"Of your competence in inspiring people, and leading them, I have never doubted Usagi-san," Taiki says as he makes a couple of notes on his paper before returning to the book. "As I said, you feel responsible for what happens to those of lower ranks, and I'll admit I was worried about you. Especially since we get along so well," he adds. "But you've proven yourself, and I have to say, impressed quite a few people. For what it is worth, I am sorry I was against you entering the exams in the first place. I tried to be as supportive as I could, but as I said, I was worried. But you proved me wrong, a fact I am immensely happy for and proud of. If only…" Taiki sighs and closes his eyes for a moment, letting a shuddering breath out. "I just wish I could have helped more…" It is evident from his tone he is not talking about helping Usagi, though…
The dogs eat their treats enthusiastically as Taiki sighs again and then answers Usagi's first real question. "Chapter 10, by the way."
Usagi smiles down at him and nods. "Thank you, Taiki" She smiles again at him and then looks up for a few moments. She peers at the genin, then says. "….did I really used to fight like that?" Seems they were getting lively with it, though from a trained perspective, the effort was good, but the form was off. "I did, didn't I…" She sighs softly and shakes her head. "Few things but practice can do that…" she kicks her legs again, sighing softly. She nods at the secnd part, about having proved Taiki wrong. At his last statement, she closes her eyes. "…you and I both…" She still has the headband, as none from the Senju family had come for it as of yet…it's been cleaned since then, but still tied to her left bicep.
At first Taiki nods solemnly in agreement with Usagi's last comment, then he can't help but to smirk a little as he looks up at the genin. "Sobering isn't it? I remember becoming a genin, thinking I was the best. I graduated third in my class you know. But when I look at where I was then, and compare it to where my skills are now… I can see a world of difference." He then goes back to the book, tilting his head at a certain passage. "I imagine I'll be the same with this, really. I know that not being able to help Naru with her seal is a rather sobering thought…"
Usagi nods slowly and sighs softly. "Yea….I knew I wasn't the best, but I was sure I could make a difference" She shrugs slightly. "Now I know how…well…far behind I was. Too far. Something I still intend to improve" She shrugs slightly and takes a few moments before speaking again. "It's amazing what perspective can do…" She pauses, looking down. "Let me see for a moment"
Taiki makes another note on his scroll as he listens to Usagi. "We never stop learning, and many times the more I learn the more I feel I have left to learn. My first encounter with the Recluse taught me that. Shinobu's life was on the line, and I couldn't help him. In the end, Atsuro freed him while I dealt with another attacker…" Shinobu whines at this, as if telling Taiki not to worry. "I know Shinobu, still didn't help me feel any better about it. The only thing that made me feel better was getting better." He then holds up the book so Usagi can see it. The current topic is, interestingly enough, optic nerves and their susceptibility to chakra.
Usagi nods slowly at his first statement, taking a deep breath and releasing it. "I see…" She closes her eyes and sighs softly, looking out into the distance for a few moments. She watches them spar, then smiles and shakes her head. "They're getting spirited, that's for sure" She smirks softly, but then shrugs and looks down. She raises a brow at the subject, and smirks. "Practical and useful" she smirks at him and shrugs. "Looking to fix Naru's issue yourself, I take it?"
Taiki looks up at the genin, then nods in agreement to Usagi's comment about them. "Yeah, reminds me of Hitoshi-san," he says before growing somber again. "Uzumaki-sensei won't be around that much longer, even when he gets back from wherever he is now. There are not too many people in Konoha that are both med-nin and seal masters, and fewer still that utilize both together. You and I, if I remember what you told me correctly, will be two of those very select few. And… Naru trusts me. So yeah… I'll be deeply involved in solving her problem, once I started on actual medical ninjutsu."
Usagi nods to Taiki after a few moments. "Yes…I'll be one. I'm working still on the chakra usage. I've studied quite a bit already, so I've got that part good to go…just need to pass a few more tests to make sure I'm apt enough to take on the rigors of dual training" She shrugs. "We both already know the answer, though" She sighs softly and looks down at him. "So…what's the fate of Team six? Three chuunin, so far. Depending on if Naru recovers enough, and if she joins, it'll be three chuunin and a jounin"
Taiki looks down at his book and then up at Usagi. "This is the last of a rather intensive series of assignments Uzumaki-sensei had for me, at least what he listed so far. So I'm not sure what is left, other than actual practice. I assume there is going to be a test of some kind, not sure what though."
Taiki then shrugs and looks off at the Genin. "I'd rather we stay together as a team, truth be told. I gathered you did to, but we really need to get with Ryo and finalize that. I don't think he'll object at all though. From there we need to decide what we're going to do. The Hokage's office is leaving us with the choice, so its whatever we both decide."
Usagi nods to Taiki after a few moments, sighing softly. "There'll be something at the hospital, I think. They need to make sure you have the ability and knowledge to do it" She shrugs again. "You'll probably make it. You're rather…stubborn about doing things" She smirks at him and drops down to the ground, heading over to the genin. She takes a few moments to stop them and give them a few pointers before coming back over.
She sighs softly and nods at his response, looking over again. "I did as well. I'm not sure I'm ready to take on a team of Genin just yet, and I'd rather we stay together so we can more easily fight off the Recluse. No need to endanger others just yet…not till they're gone, anyways" She shrugs slightly. "Sides. You know how hard it'll be for me to teach Genin who are literally a year or two younger than me?" She grins at him from that, then shrugs. "Too much work"
Taiki arches a brow at Usagi's comment about stubborn, then gives a wry smile as he says "Hi pot, I'm kettle. Did you know you're black?" He then chuckles and shakes his head. "Oh, I know I'm stubborn. As Atsuro is very fond of pointing out, I can out-stubborn a god. Though how that is possible is anyone's guess."
Taiki then stops chuckling as he looks up and yells to them, "Put more weight on your back foot, or you'll…" Too late, the genin fell. Said genin sprung right back up though, and looked okay. After watching for another minute, Taiki turns his attention back to Usagi. "And here you reach the crux of my questioning why I was placed in charge of a team to begin with. Age issues aside, only one of you have ever dealt with anything remotely like the Recluse before, and I didn't know why they'd want to put people not-related to the situation in danger."
"Entirely beside the point" Usagi smirks at him and shakes her head as she hops back up into the tree. "No guessing, on my part" She shrugs again and looks down at him. "They'll learn, one way or another…" She leaves that thought unfinished, as the second half isn't too good. "Either way…yea, I do see that now. But at the very least, at this point, I'm more making a difference than just a distraction" She grins at him this time, then looks back up. "Which means I need to improve, so I don't get caught alone, and without anywhere to go" She shrugs again and looks down.
Taiki's face turns downward a little at Usagi's ramblings. "What do you mean about being caught alone, without anywhere to go?" he asks, sounding confused. "Usagi, you have nothing to prove to me, or those that know you. We know you're capable, and like me, you won't stop pushing forward, no matter what. You have friends, including me."
"If they're smart enough to go after you through sauce, then I need to be prepared for them to strike when I'm least ready for them" Usagi shrugs slightly. "That means when I'm at my weakest, I still need to be prepared to fight, run, or both" She shrugs at Taiki, relaxing for a few moments. "Not true" She smirks over at him. "I made a deal with my brother. I try to beat his time to make Jounin. I'm off to a good start, I think….but still. I have a lot of work to do" She takes a slow breath and releases it in a sigh. "That…and I don't stop. Not anymore. Not with people counting on me"
Taiki looks down and finishes his last notes for this section, then closes the book and rolls up the scroll. He appears to be done with what he's doing for the moment and then sighs. "I know, I was not expecting that at all. They've been changing their tactics recently, and that bodes ill for us all. I mean, I never knew they accepted missions from others, like what happened with Naru. Someone hired them to attack Naru, to seal her sight… and believe me, what I could decipher from that seal gave me the shivers. They're sadists in the truest sense of the word, and they don't seem to have any boundaries. A change in tactics worries me. At the details about her deal with her brother, he chuckles ironically. "You make me look like the stereotypical Nara male by that, you know? I've been a Shinobi for two years, and I'm still only a chuunin…"
Usagi smiles at him and picks a leaf to drop down at him. "Right….and it may have been the Recluse. They know their seals, and can put them on like that. Your dad's a primary example of that" She gives an apologetic look for bringing up that subject. "So? Kick it into gear. Get it going, my friend. Else I'll pass 'you' in the process" she grins and winks at him. "Can't have that happen, can we"
"Oh, I think the Recluse had quite a lot to gain from this, given their propensity to cause the maximum amount of pain for their victims before destroying them. Given the fact that they hardly would have put faith in any reports about Naru and I fighting, I can see clearly how they would hurt her to get to me. But remember what that guy said, they were hired to attack her. He was definitely a member, given the clues he left, which leads me to wonder who hired them, and why." Taiki sighs and looks up, being careful not to get any views of Usagi he might not want. "So yeah… it's my dad all over again, which really pisses me off. I mean, after him I swore I'd never be in a situation where I couldn't help someone I care for again. Things may be… fragile between Naru and I still, but I do care for her."
The leaf sticks to Taiki's forehead as he channels chakra to it to do so. "And if keeping that oath means I have to keep my image of being your sensei by beating you to the rank of Jounin, then so be it. Even if I didn't feel as if I was ready, if it weren't for the fact it would have been suicide to take the test in Kiri, I would have taken the Jounin test then. So believe me, I'm bringing everything I have to the table, for I won't back down, I won't give up… ever."
Usagi nods slowly at him. "Probably…just wish we could have gotten more answers before the guy melted. Would have been useful" She shrugs and looks down again. "They able to get anything from what was left of his corpse?" She tilts her head slightly, though she honestly likely already knew the answer. "Or what all happened with that?" She nods as he states his nindo, and she takes a deep breath. "Good. You'll need it. We all will" She closes her eyes and leans back against the tree, resting. "Something tells me we'll all need our best to the table…"
"You're not the only one. It's so frustrating to be unable to take one of these bastards alive. We know so little about them, and they know so much about us. Though hopefully we made their reconnaissance a bit harder now that we found their places in Konoha." Taiki then shrugs and adds, "But no, we couldn't get anything from the corpse, or what was left of it. It pretty much melted on itself before any tests could be run, thanks to a highly volatile acid."
You paged Narusegawa with 'The first and third ones, about Usagi and I discussing the recent attack on Naru, should go together. I had paged the part about just realizing I have been MAVing my responses to you to her just before I sent the first one to you.'
Usagi nods and breathes slowly again. "That's a good thing to know. And how the hell did they store that, anyways? Without it just going 'oops' in our favor?" She shakes her head again. "I'm really starting to wonder how well these guys are equipped, or funded. You think they run missions like we do, from other countries? Or are even shinobi within the great villages that pool their resources to come up with the funds neccesary to pull this off?
Tiaki seems to contemplate the questions for a moment, then says, "Uzumaki-sensei says they have pulled off what he thought was impossible: they are as good at sealing as the Uzumaki themselves. The seal on dad was an actual challenge. Given that, Uzumaki-sensei has been trying to find out how they've gotten so good. I know from the one autopsy I attended that the acid is stored in a booby-trapped seal on their bodies. How that works I don't know… yet. As far as resources, this last attack leads me to believe that they run missions like we do. Also, since we know they have collaborators inside clans, I can assume some resources are funneled to them via that means as well…"