Date: June 9, 2015
Michiko continues on the path to Sagehood, though the path is a very long and extensive one filled with the feeling of being smacked repeatedly.
"Michiko's Sage Training - Whack a Fox"
Land of Tea
Determination is a key factory in learning something as difficult as Sage Mode. Through a few days of attempts at focusing nature energy correctly using the snake oil, Michiko has impressed Shuuren with her determination. The fact that she's still going at it well past midnight is impressive in itself. Of course, one of the factors in choosing this place is that the light sources don't really let you have any idea of what time of day it is since they basically work by reflection. Over the course of the days, Shuuren's resourcefulness has shown in letting Shadow Clones be the one to prepare meals, tents, and such for them so Michiko doesn't have to be bothered with such things that would distract her from her training. Speaking of, there's currently one preparing a rather special tea, one created by a very specific plant that Shuuren grew to have an even greater effect of giving energy boosts than large amounts of coffee without the such as shakiness or heart palpatations. As this goes on, the original Daimyo stands by Michiko with the staff as he has been for a few days, striking her to drive the natural energy from her body each time the balance is tipped over what it should be. He's very precise, making sure not to strike the same area too many times in succession so as not to cause any real damage.
Michiko is definitely determined, that's for sure. The girl has been working hard to try and balance the natural energy with her own, often failing, There's so much proof of the failures, too, as her body is probably covered in bruises by now. The good news is that she's used to feeling natural energy enter her being. The okay news is that she's maybe possibly almost got this balancing down. The bad news is that she still has a long way to go before she can gather it herself, and even longer before she could probably use it for combat or something. The most recent attempt has her turning a bit fox-like in the ears, her own turning pointed and a bit furry as she concentrated on balancing the chakra.
WHACK! Just as the transformation starts to take over, the natural energy is pushed out once again. "Let's take a break," Shuuren says before the sound of a clone poofing is heard. Nearby there's now a fresh kettle of tea along with a large pot of soup cooked. "A little rest and some revitalization are just as important as keeping focus." With that he turns and walks over to the fire, fixing each of them a bowl and a glass since he figures she's plenty sore by now and could use the break from having to do any work. "I'll heal your bruises if you like if you think that'll help you keep concentration. The pain is a motivation, but it can also be a distraction… though I figure you're not too far off from being able to start trying to gather the energy without the oil." He looks back up then, waiting for her to make her way over before he hands her both her bowl and tea glass.
The whack is expected, of course. The problem is 'when'. Which is why Michiko flinches and can't help but eye Shuuren for the whack. It be painful, as he is well aware. "A break would be good," she admits, only now noticing the soreness that seems to be in every movement. The offer to treat her injuries isn't refused, either. "Just a few of them are distracting…" She points to the areas that have gotten the most beating considering that even while attempting to space the bruises, one cannot help but thwack the same spots often… The girl takes the offered tea and soup, eating at a moderate pace. "Well, that's good news, at least… And apparently Kimura-San is making progress on her side, so I suppose things are coming along nicely."
As Michiko points out her injuries, she might detect a pulse of chakra washing over her similar to a diagnostic jutsu. Apparently the Daimyo can diagnose without even touching a patient. "Glad to hear she's doing well," he says with a smile before stepping over behind her so as not to be in her way while she eats. He brings his hands into a seal, creating what looks like a cloud of nano chakra particles that flow into her as he places his hands on her shoulders. "This might feel a bit weird, but it's a really effective heal,"he says as the chakra particles permeate all her sores to start healing her body from the inside out. Seems he'd rather make her comfortable before he eats so she can actually relax for a few minutes before they get back to training. Once it's done he turns and walks back to where he set his own bowl and tea to start eating as well.
Michiko can feel the odd chakra in her body. Well, it's really only 'odd' because it isn't natural energy. She's so used to that coming into her body that normal chakra feels weird. Hahah. The girl nods lightly, peering at the nano-chakra particles a bit. "Interesting trick… I can manipulate my healing chakra to perform a lot at once, but that's probably as far as I've gotten in terms of something like that." The girl shrugs lightly. "But I can use it during combat, so I'm happy with the results." Then she continues to eat her food, waiting a bit for the Daimyo to actually relax before she finishes off her meal
"I can do that with this, but it takes practice to move it that quickly," Shuuren says with a smirk as he starts to relax and eat his own food. Though he doesn't actually seem to rush, it doesn't take him long to eat his food. Apparently he's used to eating in a hurry while still maintaining his stylish demeanor. "Perhaps I could teach you a bit more about being a Medical Ninja one day after we've completed this training. There's a lot about it that people have no idea you can do."
Michiko nods slowly, considering the idea. "That could be useful… Maybe another time, though. The tournament continues, and I'm still a part of it. After that… And before I return to Kumogakure… Kimura-san has been reporting to me about what's going on within the village, but I'd rather be there…" She frowns lightly, putting down an empty bowl and cup. "Unless it doesn't take as much as I think to achieve what you are offering."
"Of course," Shuuren says with a nod to Michiko before standing up and stretching his arms out a bit. "It's not like a never visit Kumogakure anyway. I've got mansions there that I have to pop in once in a while and be sure the staff are still taking care of and not using for party houses or stealing things. We can do some training at times like that or if you visit again." He then reaches down and picks up the staff again, asking, "Shall we get back to it then?"
Michiko can't help but glare at the staff a bit. The thing was what was causing her the most pain, aside from its wielder. But she nods regardless, standing up and giving a small stretch. "Hai…" she replies, going to take a seat near the snake oil so she can continue trying to get the Senjutsu chakra balanced within her properly. A hand is dipped into the oil so that it can be rubbed onto her skin. The transformation, at least, isn't as fast as before. It's taking longer for her to completely lose to the natural energy. But she still struggles with maintaining the balance.
Shuuren tilts his head side to side as he stands behind Michiko once more, waiting patiently for her to start the training once again. Once it begins, he stands ready for her to lose balance and him to have to strike the chakra out of her. The fact that the time between strikes is getting longer is a good sign. It means she's getting closer. Of course, this also means it's getting close to time to take off the training wheels, which will feel like starting over again, but she should at least have a decent foundation to start building on by then.
Michiko waits for a bit, trying to balance the flooding chakra that was entering her body. It took longer, sure, but eventually she loses what she had and she starts to turn into a fox again. The change is still obvious, which is probably good since Shuuren can give her another THWACK once he notices the changes with his eyes, though maybe he can sense the Natural chakra overwhelming her system without needing the visual cue.
Michiko's guess about Shuuren being able to sense when the chakra is about to overwhelm her would be correct. In fact some of the time he doesn't seem to even have to look before he knows when to strike, thus, when he senses it, she receives another whack to drive the chakra from her system. While he would make some kind of compliment to assure her that she's getting to concluding this bit of the training, he doesn't want to disturb her… or give her any hope that doing this without the oil is going to be any easier than starting it with the oil.
Michiko rubs the spot that was hit before taking a bit more of the oil onto her skin. That spot is probably going to be really soft after all this is said and done… The girl closes her eyes, focusing on balancing the chakra once more. Storing the energy as it enters and balancing with her own energies… Time passes, and it seems like a lifetime to Michiko, who is working hard to keep an eye on her chakra levels, but eventually the natural chakra overwhelms her body again.
With a final WHACK, Shuuren says, "That's good for now. You're getting pretty good at balancing it with the oil, so it's time to start practicing without it. Mastering it with the oil isn't going to do you any good because then you'll just be reliant on bathing in snake oil to keep your jutsu up." To emphasize the point, he pulls a scroll from his coat and with a puff of smoke seals the pot of snake oil back into it. Smirking slightly, he turns back to her and says, "Now the hard part begins… You might want to get some sleep first."
Michiko stops herself from attacking Shuuren, as that final whack was a bit unexpected. And surprising shinobi tends to be unwise for most… Except Shuuren was 1: a Daimyo and 2: probably way stronger than her, so it'd be a bad idea to attack. The girl instead just tensed at the hit and rubbed the sore spot, imagining it'll turn into a bruise by morning. "Heh… bathing in snake oil all the time isn't very pleasant…" she comments, getting up and stretching lightly before giving a small bow to Shuuren. "I'll go get some rest, then." She wanders over to where she's been sleeping for the past week or so worth of days and ends up completely going out once her head touches the pillow. Dang, sage mode training is tiring!