Never Take Only One Path


Ishino, Renai

Date: August 31, 2013


Ishino gauges Renai’s abilities and discusses her path

"Never Take Only One Path"

Cold Springs - The Pits [Kirigakure]

Cold Springs - The Pits [Kirigakure]


The name of this place is set due to its purpose. Further into the cold springs there is an extension of a few ponds set throughout with various depths and dangers. There are warning sharp rocks just touching the surface of the water, it is unknown how many sharp rocks are just underneath the waters of the ponds. A thick mist shrouds this area causing hazards for inexperienced ninja with its sharp rocks and slippery surface.

Where once there was an explosion, the damage noted in the pits is more significant with huge gaping holes on the walls and ground at sections. The center piece of this area is a large sphere shaped opening where water had been drained and forms a large pit for combatants. The stains of old blood are noted throughout as well as the stench.


It seems to have rained recently. The air is damp and cold with early morning dew. The mist is heavy, giving anything beyond ten yards and ominous presence. The sun has yet to rise, but the mist foreshadows a day that will be quite warm. Summer is coming.

Touketsu Renai appears at the edge of the mist, her pace brisk, but calm. This is her favorite time of day to train. There are usually only, maybe one or two people at the pits if any at all. That means she can practice anything she wants to keep secret without leaving the village. And, she, generally-speaking, keeps everything secret. Even her home is abnormally absent of detail for any that have visited.

The girl steps down into the pit, dropping a bag of supplies against the wall. She already seems a little wet with sweat; she must have been running prior to coming here. She pauses briefly to reach down, grabbing up a clump of dirt and massaging the granules into her palms before continuing on toward the center.

38 seconds after Renai would start. It was exactly that time period that the ticking started in the pits. The echoing of the caverns mirroring that murky swirling of the mist that was around the village. Ishino would show up then at the entrance, the larger puppet behind him, holding that umbrella over both of them. He watched Renai, studying her actions, gauging her ability. Everything was about information gathering. It was intense and important. The more that was known, the better the response could be. Finally, Ishino would head into the pit, approaching Renai with that sweeping western bow. "Good morning. I hope the day does find you well?"

Renai pauses briefly, her head lifting as she hears the ominous ticking. In any other circumstance, it might make her nervous, but no, it seems to be calming her. The genin kunoichi closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath. It evens out and becomes steadier even as the moist air burns her lungs.

"I'm doing alright, Sensei. You're up early. Is this typical for you or are you simply restless?" She glances up to him before turning to her studies again. The girl glances down to the earth, pondering what direction she will take today. She needs to work on her genjutsu more, but that is better done in private where she can access her fears and nightmares with no worry of being disabled in a vulnerable situation.

Her fingers lock and she stretches her arms out, cracking the joints. Her fingers slip into seals then, the earth cracking and rising about her. She pauses again to sort out her chakra. Normally, her training is faster paced, but she's creating and inventing this time. She has to be a bit more cautious of what she's doing. The speed will come later.

The hand seal changes and a few blocks of dirt burst like little bombs, creating clouds from the pressure of her chakra compressing inward. A moment later, the girl can be heard coughing and hacking the dirt out of her lungs. Definitely not perfection.

"I've been up for 4 hours 28 minutes and 34 seconds as of.. now." Ishino would shake his head slightly. "It's a regular day. A waste of time to sleep too long. I rarely sleep in past 3." Musing, he'd watch as Renai worked through her chakra manipulation, raising a brow as she'd mess up and cause herself to cough. Pulling out a smaller scroll from inside his tux pocket, he'd toss it over to her. "Basic medical supplies. There should be a face mask in there. I'd advise using it, until you get the hang of control of your chakra manipulation of the earth. No sense in wasting your time coughing that could be put into training." He'd fold his arms loosely across his chest, Time Keeper walking off to the side to sit on the edge of the pit. "So have you come to a decision on what sort of genjutsu you intend to use on others?"

She almost doesn't catch the scroll, her hands lifting in the air, but the dirt clouding her vision. Her fingers pull it open and she scans over the contents. Finding the mask, she retrieves it and tosses the scroll back to him. "Thank you, Sensei."

Renai holds the mask as she talks to him, not wanting to put it on right away. When he asks about genjutsu, she looks down in thought.

"I have lots of ideas. I could use it as an illusion to get away or things like that. But as far as meddling in a person's mind.." She looks up to him, "In the Touketsu, we are subjected to different chemical compounds to build are bodies and strengthen our chakra pathways. And some of it.. is painful. Like make-you-wanna-tear-your-own-skin-off-and-choke-on-your-vomit painful. I thought that I could manipulate a person's nerves to make them feel that."

She looks away for another second before tugging the mask on and continuing her practice with the dust clouds.

Ishino nods slightly in response, musing about that for a moment. "So seeking to go the route of pain. The problem with the route of pain is that pain is also how to get out of genjutsu. If you lead with that method, it's a possibility that you make it easier for them to get out of the illusion you are trying to convey." He'd give a slight shake of his head. "it's not a bad start. Try to think bigger. There are either subtle genjutsu, or you go for the aggressive, strong genjutsu. You felt my own genjutsu the other day.. the manipulation of a perception of time. During that whole time.. you were holding your breath. You just felt like you couldn't breathe." Ishino smiles slightly. "Sometimes.. going bold makes it harder for people to get out.. as it's a foreign sensation, rather than something they may be used to, in terms of pain."

Renai listens to him and continues with her exercise. She seems to be getting better with the practice and is quite covered in a thin layer of dirt. However, her brows are furrowed and she has that 'look' about her. She isn't thinking about what she's actually doing.

The girl stops after a bit and waves the dirt away from her face, her chest rising and falling heavily. Once the air is clear, she pulls the mask off and walks over to her bag to get a drink of water. One sip and she leans back down, dragging her fingers over the books inside until she finds her scratch journal. She's gotta write it out.

Plopping down, she starts jotting notes, her ideas formulating themselves on paper. The journal seems to have several pages ripped out, destroyed most likely. 'Subtle or aggressive. Pain illusion. Something like the time genjutsu..' She taps her pen a few times and stands back up, setting the book down. "I could make it seem like I've done something to poison them and wear them out with the illusion that they're fighting it off?" Her eyes lift up to Ishino and Time Keeper.

Ishino ponders, before giving a nod of that. "That would work. Warp their reality via the 'poison' make sure that you follow through with an attack of a kunai you tint green or purple or something. You could even learn from the medics how to use poison for real and actually poison your blade. Then hit them with the poisoned blade, following with the genjutsu. You make it similar but separate and it will resist their attempt to stop it better." Ishino smiles again with a shrug. "That is still staying fairly close to reality. Just as a mental exercise.. what would be something you would attempt outside of the norm? After all, time manipulation is not exactly normal.."

Renai nods as she listens, digging her toe into the loosened dirt beneath her feet. "Outside the norm.." She pauses and thinks, not sure. She doesn't want to completely copy his techniques. That just wouldn't be nice. What would she do on her own that's different?

"Well, I first thought dimensional or plane shift, but that might be too obvious unless I do it just right. Hmm.." Her eyes glance down to the books in her bag, scanning over the titles for some idea. A finger slips beneath the moon pendant as well, flipping it around and around. "What about gravity? Make them feel as though the air is pressing down on them? That might be too obvious as well.."

Ishino chuckles softly. "Dimensional shift could be done fairly well. You hide it within an illusion of summoning circle to draw stuff in.. then push them into the alternate plane that hosts those things you draw through to drag at them. As for gravity, that'd be perfect in my opinion. You would slow them down. A known thing.. everyone knows the feel of gravity. You're expanding it into a crushing effect… It can make them be unable to stop it, due to the sheer fact of them believing in it, even with it not being normal."

Renai nods quietly, listening, her lips curling into a smile as he says her ideas are good ones. She lifts her head, a bit more confident. "I'll definitely start working on those ideas, I think. I like them."

Silence falls over the girl and she takes a deep breath of the still, damp air, getting a chill as her thoughts turn to the dead. Then after a moment, she looks up again, dropping her hand from the pendant. "Sensei, have you ever heard of a ninja actually moving across dimensions? I mean, could we theoretically do so by manipulating space and time with our chakra? So far, I've only seen manipulation with the elements and with the nervous system. I feel like there's more. Like the place we go when we die is up for grabs as well."

Ishino was quiet for a few moments, contemplative. Finally, he'd give a slow shake of his head. "No. I have not heard of such. I cannot say it does not happen, simply that I have not heard of it. To bend reality in an illusion is one thing.. to actually manipulate those things through chakra.. That would be something more along the lines of the Sage of the Six Paths, I would think, instead of simple manipulation." Ishino pauses for a moment. "I have tried to look into Time Manipulation.. but the required calculations and force of chakra required makes it virtually impossible to do such."

She tips her head to the side in thought. "If I could actually manipulate dimensions, that would make the genjutsu even more believable than it already would be. " Renai suddenly bends down and pulls the mask over her face.

Her eyes set in determination. Touketsu determination. Her steps are light though as she walks back toward the center, declaring firmly through the faint haze of the mask, "There has to be a way to do it. I have to be better. The time, too. There has to be a way."

Upon reaching the center, her hands form into seals, the earth shifting and letting loose clumps up right before her rather quickly in response. Her hands move and they break and break, becoming smaller and smaller. It's almost as if she's aiming to get them down to single grains and break the atoms up from there. Maybe not quite, but that does seem to be her goal.

Ishino shakes his head a moment, studying Renai. "While you are correct in that if you actually could do dimensional manipulation, you do realize there is a basis for that currently? Any scroll mastery is summoning items from the pocket dimension that scroll represents." He'd motion towards Time Keeper. "he has enough materials in him for the equivalent of 34 shinobi, throwing non-stop, for three hours. It's a warping of reality to allow the storage of items within the lines of a scroll. You saw it in the medical scroll I tossed you." He'd hold it up in reference, before putting it away. "So.. what exactly are you seeking to reach across the dimensions?"

Renai allows the dirt to break down as far as it can before letting the jutsu fall. She pauses for a few second, inhaling deeply through the mask before starting again. She's trying to be careful to not completely exhaust her reserve of chakra so early in the day, but she pushes herself. She'll never get anywhere unless she pushes. "Oh! I didn't think of it like that. I suppose it is. And I just thought you were good at organization with the puppet. Hmm.. That makes more sense."

The dirt starts breaking down again, smaller and smaller, bit by bit. "I want to reach the realm of the dead." She says it rather plainly, entirely serious. Morbidly so and completely at odds with her green hair.

"Then you will need to become a medical ninja. Once you know the distinction between the living and the dead, may you attempt to breech that barrier." Ishino shrugs slightly. "You saw me use a scroll in a defensive maneuver when we sparred for your test. I obviously didn't attack physically as I didn't wish to kill you without knowing if you were worth training or not." He'd shake his head. "So who are you trying to recover from the land of the dead?" Ishino is studying her close for a response. Even with the mask, there are still things that can give hints for what's going on in her head.

Renai hmms softly, wondering if that is really the route she should take or if she's just being wishful. The dirt falls to the ground again and she reaches up to pull the mask off, her eyes looking downward as if gazing into a grave. Who could be buried there? Or anywhere. All her relatives have been cremated. No bodily trace left behind.

"Well, thanks for not killing me. I wouldn't call it recovery. And I'm not sure who. There are secrets that keep us from our true potential. And I want to find the mind that has them." Her voice trails off. She knows most shinobi wouldn't talk of things like this. And it may even make her sound a little soft in the head. "I don't want to bring whoever has them back. I just want to extract them." Her toe nudges the dirt again. "It just doesn't make sense that this is all there is. There are too many things unexplained. Too many things I can't find in books." She gestures to her bag. Thirst for knowledge. That must be her driving force. "Do you not feel that too, Sensei?"

"Absolutely. The reason I got a sword was for the forbidden section of books." Ishino nods slightly in answer. "There are multiple book cases in my home of books I have read. There is knowledge out there that is hidden. I seek to find it. I have learned and adapted my materials and my puppets by what I research. I learn. By learning I find I need to know more. So I continue to search." He'd chuckle softly then. "I recently had a rather peculiar conversation with one of the genin of the village. They rather fight to live. They rather beat those who think. It's a very narrow mind set." He'd hold a finger up at Renai then. "If I teach you, you are to avoid that. I will kill you if you get so narrow minded focused on one path. There is never one path. Riveting on one path denies you access to others. Remember that."

Renai turns her head to him as she listens, fingers moving up to push her damp hair back away from her face. She smiles at his words, seeming a bit relieved even. Who would have thought she would find a teacher who would understand the way her mind works?

"Have no fear, Sensei. I have no intention of following only one path. That would be a waste of talent." Arrogant much? "We're all going to die. Walking only one path ensures it happens more quickly." She walks over to him, wiping a dirt-smeared hand off on her hip. She then spits in her hand and extends it to him, "Promise." Is she seriously offering him a spit-shake? Seems so.

Ishino raises a brow, eyeing her hand for a moment. Thinking about it, he'd finally carefully remove one of his gloves to shake her hand. "Fine. A promise then. You do not focus on one path, otherwise I kill you. I believe this is an acceptable agreement." He'd shake her hand, then let go, absently pulling out a handkerchief to clean it off as much as possible before putting his glove back on. Hey.. he humored her, she couldn't hold it against him that he preferred to be clean! Besides.. he didn't like water. "You have a lot of truth to your words. Both that we are all going to die at some point and that focusing on one path gets you to the end faster. This is why I do it all.. and I am fairly good at all of it. Your talent is the reason why you lived. So make sure you keep it in mind."

She can't help but grin widely as he shakes her hand. As honorable as it is, she still just touched her sensei with her spit. And well, she's twelve. No matter how wise she seems, she's twelve.

With that, she grabs up her bag. "I have to go get showered for my duty assignments today. I'll meet up with you later, Sensei, for training if you would like." With that, unless of course he stops her, she would head out into the fading mist, back toward her home.

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