Date: Unknown (log received January 15, 2015)
Arika's Shadow Clone Training continues in the garden. Today's test; Stress!
"More Arika, More Fun - Of the Garden Variety"
Mystic Flower Gardens [Sunagakure]
The inside of this building is fragant with the smell of plant life, something incredible rare in the harsh desert. The stone walls of this building have vine tendrils growing up towards the roof, thin and small offsprings spreading away from the main vines, and latching into the walls. The roof is actually a large wooden hatch, to allow limited sunlight to enter on calm days.
The building can fit about 15 people comfortably with all the plants. There is a large pathway, not formed of stones. Instead, it is lined with stones, and people walking along it are actually walking on a soft carpet of grass. Shoes are required to be left at the door, so as to avoid damaging the tender grass shoots.
The center of the building is actually a small pond, about 10 feet across. Growing from the center of the pond is the largest flora in the place, a single lemon tree, growing proud and straight up towards the roof. It is kept well pruned to avoid damaging the walls, and to allow light to reach the other plants. The rest of the plants in the room are mostly smaller flowering bushes, and ferns. Simple, green plants, to give some much-needed natural life into the lives of visitors.
Ayumu remains true to his word. If not a clone, then Shun could always be found somewhere nearby so long as Arika didn't go out of her way to stay hidden. Whereas the clone is more amicable, it is Shun that ultimately gives straight answers, as well as try to keep her on task if aid is requested. Whether or not Arika needed their assistance or not remained up to her.
The sky is once again thick with clouds on meeting day. No rain has fallen yet, but it was only a matter of time before it began. Despite sensing the bad weather ahead of time, Ayumu doesn't try to play sleep over again, though he is there pretty early just in case. He isn't alone as well. The small bundle of joy that was Miyu slept peacefully in the man's lap instead of at home. A smile never leaves the man's face as he 'regarded' the girl, silently thankful that Ei hadn't disapproved of his running off with their daughter for no good reason.
The week that had passed was filled with Arika attempting to train using Shadow Clones. The girl was decent, but the 'charge up' in between was rather lengthy. Enough that she couldn't try the jutsu more than three times a day for a majority of the week. When she saw Ayumu or Shun, she would greet them with a wave, and maybe a hug if allowed, occasionally asking questions about how she could maybe improve her control. Make it not take so long to form a clone. Etc. Usually she asked both the same question so she could hear two different answers and see what worked best.
Eventually the long week of training ended, and she was to meet up with Ayumu at the gardens. She made Ping force her to go to bed early so she would be well-rested and able to wake up at an early time. The Jounin obliged, of course, glad that she had something to set her mind to. He wasn't entirely glad she was trying to learn shadow clones, but he couldn't stop her from pursuing any ninja skills. That was in his 'rules'. The girl dashed to the garden after gulping down a breakfast and skids to a halt right outside so she can walk in semi-calmly. No need to disrupt the peaceful garden.
Arika takes a moment to look around for Ayumu, spotting him with a sleeping Miyu across the way. She waves eagerly, but silently, and moves to stand in front of him, bouncing idly in her spot. "Morning, Ayumu-san!" she whispers (sort of). "Ne, what are we gonna do today?" she asks, tilting her head a bit.
Ayumu loathed dragging his attention away from Miyu for even a moment. Fortunately, having dispersed more than enough early warning systems allowed him to prepare to do just that. A soft smile graces his features at the greeting. One he returns with brief bow of his head before motioning to the pond nearby. "The second half of the second test… though perhaps it will be another lesson as well." He says, then smiles more toothily.
"Tell me… Have you already undergone instructions in water walking?" He asks curiously.
Arika whispers, "You should just have your clone teach me if you wanna spend time with Miyu-chan!" She grins a bit, then nods to his question. "Uh-huh! Hachi-jii taught me, sorta. And Tsucchan sorta told me how, too. Also Ping-san helped me." She tilts her head a bit. "Hmmm.. How come? Is it useful for stuff that doesn't involve walking on water?" she wonders.
Ayumu flinches at first, then regards Miyu. After a pregnant pause the man sighs lightly before forming a single seal. Poof! With little other warning, now a second Ayumu sat next to the first, already to get things rolling just as soon as he's on his feet. "It is, as a matter of fact. The water walking technique helps one get a better feel of their chakra to.. better manipulate its flow, be it within or without. It also represents an interesting challenge with the lowest risk when trying to learn a new technique." The clone explains. "So, it would be this technique along with what you already know that you'll be practicing with. As you grow accustom to it, I'll throw in an added challenge as well. But for now, please-…" The clone sweeps a hand towards the pond.
Arika huhs lightly and nods, moving to follow after the clone, and eventually going to step onto the water. She doesn't sink below the surface, so she must be used to water walking. "I'm using water walking to help me with shadow clones?" she echoes questioningly. "Ummm… Wait, what am I doing? Should I make a shadow clone now?" She looks positively confused!
Both Iga sweatdrop simultaneously. It took them — him — ages to make the transition smooth, and yet there she was, flaunting it at such a young age. "Uh… yes, that would be the correct way to go about it. As we — I said before, once I see that you can manifest a good shadow clone while under minor stress, we'll be adding further distractions to help better get you accoustom what is to be expected in the field." The clone says before folding his hands behind himself.
Arika nods a bit and closes her eyes to focus. She has to draw on her chakra while leaving what's flowing to her feet and keeping her afloat. It's difficult, but she can at least make the non-substantial clone. The girl tries to get her chakra into it, but then the Bijuu in her feels it's taking too long and quite suddenly adds his own chakra to the mix. The clone solidifies with the chakra, but Arika huffs. 'No fair! I wanna do this myself!' she pouts at him on the inside. Gyuki just snarls faintly as he's beaten back, and the clone starts to fade to its original 'non-existential' appearance.
While the original went back to truly admiring Miyu, and wondering this, that, and other about her future, the clone monitors Arika closely. While a cold bath would've been a good lesson in maintaining chakra control at all times, it might've been best to avoid having to go fetch an extra pair of clothes for her to continue. As it turns out, his concerns aren't exactly unfounded. Dividing her focus did indeed make things difficult. The clone is tempted for a moment to proceed closer and assist directly in control her chakra output to help her figure out just how much to build and divide between the two tasks. He makes only a step before an all too familiar taste hits him.
"Gyuki.." It mutters darkly underbreath. The word doesn't go unnoticed by the original despite Miyu's presence. Neither say more. Their gaze simply becomes affixed on Arika, radiating an intense curiosity and… something else.
Arika doesn't pay any attention to Ayumu or clone, instead refocusing on the task at hand. The girl takes a few breaths as she continues to try and force chakra into that shell of herself (or some portion of herself, as indicated by Ryoji). The girl's clone eventually solidifies and becomes animated, using chakra to stay on the surface of the water (easily, since it's made of chakra), and moves to poke at the clone-Iga a few times, though silently. It's not a perfect clone.
Not one of the Iga give any indication of being impressed by the feat, or anything else for that matter. They were far too deep in thought at the moment. Being prodded brings the Iga clone back to the present, and following a shake of his head, he smiles faintly as he went back over what his subconscious picked up. The clone was far from perfect, but.. workable. Without a moments hesitation or forewarning, the clone would find a kunai buried deep into its skull courtesy of the Iga clone, dispatching it instantly if it didn't defend itself.
The clone somehow was fast enough to react to the sudden draw of a Kunai, jumping back with a burst of wind and using its arm to divert the hand trying to kill it. It pouts silently, still not talking. Arika actually does verbalize her complaints. "Meanie, Ayumu-san! Don't destroy my clone!" She worked hard to get it to exist!
The clone merely flips his hair before settling a hand upon its wrist. "This is as much apart of your test as actually creating the clone. You need to get used to the sensation of a clone's abrupt disruption, as well as the phantom pain you might feel. Otherwise, you won't be able to use these clones without always running the risk of freezing up at the wrong time." It explains.
Arika puffs out her cheeks, but nods a bit. "Hmm… Hai…" she concedes, peering at the clone a bit. It looks back to her and gives a small smirk, which only makes Arika even more huffy. "Ne, Ayumu-san! If a clone poofs when it gets hurt, then how would you feel the pain? Or can they last longer after a single hit?" she asks, staying on the water for the time being while the clone is sorta near the Ayumu-clone.
Ayumu looks up a lofts a brow, but it is the clone that beats him to the punch. "Phantom pain, Arika-chan. It's like… when your hand fall asleeps? Without looking at it you know its there, but you just can't quite feel… it.. Hmm… Actually, that might not be so accurate. Its been awhile sense I've had my arm cut off, and the memory isn't something I like to dwell on."
"That aside, yes, as a matter of fact they can, though again, there are limits. Shadow clones reflect your own natural durability. If they get hit with a mortal strike, or something that'd cause genuine pain, then yes, they'll disperse at that moment. Its… the shock that does it if I recall correctly."
"Phantom pain? I dunno if I ever felt that before…" Arika replies, falling into her thoughts as she tries to imagine this. The girl then looks up. "So they disappear cuz they're so surprised about getting hurt?" she wonders. "If I surprised you enough, then would you disappear, Ayumu-san?" she then asks, thinking that'd be really funny…
The clone sweatdrops and shakes his head. "I'm not nearly unstable for that to work, and it is more than just surprise. But yes, it can be that, though mainly it is because we aren't designed to endure all that much. Chakra can be manipulated and contained, but it takes a very strong container to keep it from dispersing—" The clone launches a kunai with barely a hint of effort at the Arika clone's forehead. "Freely."
The clone disappears in a puff of smoke, resulting in the real Arika squeaking at the hit to 'her' forehead. She rubs the spot the Kunai hit absently, blinking. "That feels weird. And now there's all these different views of you!" She huffs and grumbles a bit as a headache starts to form from the flood of information. "Is there a way to avoid getting useless information?" she whines unhappily.
Both Iga smile crookedly at Arika's situation, but it is the original that is quickly drawn away when the bundle in his lap began to squirm. Fearing her awakening, Ayumu pulls her into his arms and carefully rocks Miyu back and forth until her movements seem to slow.
"Unfortunately, nay. But in time you'll get used to it enough to block out the useless bit. Though, I'd be wary when such a time arrives. You might actually miss something important in the process… Now, are you ready to try and make another clone?" He asks as he takes a seat on the ground.
Arika nods! "Yep! Definitely!" She doesn't have as much energy as she did, but she has a decent amount. Enough to try again. And she hasn't been training all this time just to give up after one clone! The girl closes her eyes and focuses, almost instantly getting the shadow clone to appear. Whether it's luck or skill, it doesn't matter to her. Probably a bit of both? The girl jumps a bit when the clone seems to be animated and its own being. It can even speak, though not well. More like an echo of what other things might say. "I did it!" she cheers. 'Did it~' the clone echoes.
'Is there an echo in here?' The clone thought as he smirked toothily. It is a question it is tempted to speak aloud, but after a moments pause, he shakes his head. "Heh, you're getting warmer, Arika-san.. And here's an interesting thought.. Arika #2, Come over here." The Iga-clone waves the girl on over. Should she obey, he wouldn't try to surprise like the last one. Well, at least not intentionally when he leaned in and whispered something in her ears. They are a number of small tasks to be performed around town. Mostly pick ups and delivers, as well as careful interaction with those Arika knew personally. "Understood?" He says allowed, and upon receiving a favorable answer, the Iga-clone shoos her off.
"Its range will be wonky until you perfect the technique, but it should be able to wander the village at large without dispersing… That's another weakness of the Shadow Clone technique by the way. Range. Atypically its a mile from its user, though I've heard some folk have managed to augment this somehow." He says nonchalantly and shrugs.
The clone blinks and wanders to the Iga-clone, listening intently to the instructions before nodding and taking off. "Only a mile? Huhhhhh…. Too short… How do people improve range, then? Do they just keep stretching the limits somehow? Does range have any affect on what information you get back? What'd you tell the clone to do, anyway?" comes the barrage of questions… Arika peers at Ayumu-clone suspiciously.
By the second question the Iga-clone has his hands held up and moving in the universal sign of 'Simmer Down'. It doesn't stop her of course, but it was worth a shot at least. "Gotta slow down a little bit now… First, there are supposed to be a few ways, though I haven't had a chance to explore any of them to be sure about them. Suffice it to say, we'll both be learning as we go. Second.. well, technically third seeing as how the first two were a onefer, no, or at least, not that I've noticed. And lastly, can't say, but you'll find out soon enough." He says, grinning toothily.
"Hmm… Any other questions?"
Arika takes a moment to think, even if it means killing he poor Iga's ears to ask a barrage of them… "Hmmm… Not right now! Maybe in a bit?" She shrugs lightly, waiting for her clone to poof back with all the information. Whatever it's doing, it makes it through Ayumu's tasks in one piece, apparently, because eventfully it could be seen wandering back to the small group.
The Iga-clone sweatdrops, and nods hesitantly in agreement to Arika's terms. It wasn't as if he minded the questions, but another barrage like before might set Miyu off finally. Or, just basically destroy the clone altogether. In any case, when Arika's first clone does finally arrive, she isn't — shouldn't be without gift given Ayumu's order. A back pack full of goodies, a bottle of water, and a ball were to be brought in. Aside from the last item, Arika was welcomed to the first two. "Time for a little break, Arika-chan #1 & #2… Unless you rather keep going?
Arika perks up a bit. "Ooh! Snacks! And drinks! And a ball? I think… Umm… A break sounds nice. I can keep going, though, if it's a good idea." She looks to Ayumu, looking about ready to pounce her clone for the treats it brought.
Wordlessly, the clone snatches up the ball and idly passes it between one hand and the other. "My kin are a sensitive lot, but ultimately you know your limits better. SO, its up to you… Though let's be clear on one thing actually first." The original Ayumu perks up at the clone's words and eyes it suspiciously. He could've sworn he made certain that no Ryoji qualities were present this time…
"A reminder, to be perhaps more exact. Er, I mean two… First, Overtax your system and you might pass out without having a chance to sample this bounty. And secondly" The juggling stops with his pressing the ball between both hands lightly and smiling wickedly. "I think" He starts, only to catch himself and chuckle weakly. "I mean to say, you'll be pressed this time around further, increasing the odds of not snacking afterwards further."
Arika tilts her head a bit as she watches the ball move back and forth. And then the snacks her clone has are calling to her, which sort of distracts her from Ayumu-clone's words. "Uh-Huh…." is all he gets from her before she attempts to get some of that food from her clone. "Umm… What D'you mean, even?" Arika then wonders.
Both Ayumu sweatdrop, though only one of them can free up a hand to scratch at his cheek awkwardly. "Just… heheh.. Eat first, then back to training, alright?" The clone requests awkwardly. "How else are gonna be able to focus while fearing your clone might eat up all the.. snacks…" The original trails off hmming thoughtfully for a brief moment before turning smile upon the resting form of his daughter. "That /is/ an ingenious idea, Yu-yu. Good going." He says excitedly. Seeing her shift around elicits a flinch, but when no crying begins after a pregnant pause, the Iga sighs lightly in relief.
Arika blinks, still a bit confused, but nods and starts munching on the snacks her clone brought. She offers down to Ayumu, though will totally eat them if he refuses. Once the snacks are gone, she perks up a bit. "Okay! Now what're we doing, Ayumu-San?" she says, bouncing again in her spot.
Ayumu cannot see, nor was he paying all that much attention to his surroundings at the moment. So, it would take a little more than just holding out snacks to grab his attention. However, after all is said and done, the Iga refuses the offer with a headshake and an apologetic smile. "Hm? Hmm…. Arika-kohai. I want you to go out again and just have fun, alrighty? Just for an hour. Then, head back here." The Iga clone asks of the clone before turning his attention to the original Arika. "As for you, same as before." He says, though in thought he adds 'Mostly'. Although its current state made its measurements somewhat imperfect, the clone would still rely on the data to judge when it would be time to toss the ball. Not at Arika or the forming clone, but hard and fast just past the original's ear as soon as he felt her truly get close to completing the jutsu, brushing her 'just' enough to be a distraction. Presumeably if all went well, the ball would be back in hand after bouncing off the tree at the center of the pool. That and of course Arika's success, though.. mainly just his getting the ball back was important!
Arika-clone heads off again with a nod to Ayumu, apparently heading towards the town center. She plans to get some mochi, perhaps? The real Arika blink and nods, making the handseal for a clone. It takes a second, but another Arika appears next to her, this one quite solid and very animated as she starts to get her bearings. "That was a bit easier… Cuz of the snacks?" maybe, she wonders.
'Well, that was unexpected..' The Ayumu clone thought with a bemused smirk, and for once, easily read eyes. "Mm, mayhaps. We'll have to keep food in mind as a focus for later." It says, and nods in a sagely manner immediately after. "… Arika-kohai number two, I want you to.. hmm.. Wait, Are there any other jutsu you've been meaning to practice as well, Arika-san?" He asks curiously.
Both Arika shake their heads. "No, not really! I was thinking of working a bit on something, but I'm not sure yet if I wanna try practicing it or doing something different." says the original. The clone starts wandering around the garden, enjoying the pretty flowers and smells.
The Iga-clone frowns and shakes it head after folding its arms across its chest. "That's no good, Arika-san. You're way to young to be worrying about a thing like that," says the man that has been constantly reminding her to worry about "this" and "that" since her shadow clone training began. A sigh slips out, followed by the clone bowing its head in defeat. "Just… send Arika-kohai number two out to play with those ideas that have been running around in your head for a time, if only a little. Afterwards, she can do whatever she wants 'till the hour is up."
"But you said…" Arika huffs, pouting a bit at being scolded for nothing that was really her fault. The clone blinks and nods, wandering off to do what she likes, which means heading to the training center. So many Arika today… "So are we just gonna wait for them to come back, then?" the girl wonders, watching her clone disappear.
"You say that almost as if its a bad thing to take it easy." The clone replies, though the last few words are distorted by a yawn. "HmmHmmm… If'n ya got that much energy to wonder, than roll out another one won'tcha?" Even as it spoke, Ayumu's clone gets even more relaxed by laying on its side. "Ain't as if your clones are absolutely perfect yet. Decent, but far from it. The still seem.. less." He shrugs carelessly as much as his position allows. Despite his demeanor, the clone was far from being as easy going as he seemed. He would wait again for Arika to construct a clone before making his move. Unlike before, this time he aimed directly for her forehead with the ball, hoping a more direct influence might pose an interesting challenge for her to focus past.
That, and it would just be plain entertaining to see her reaction to having a ball chucked at her head.
Arika huffs. "Another one?" she complains, though she makes the handseal again… Right as the ball gets chucked at her! She squeaks, ducking from the hit, and a clone poofs into existence, waving its arms at Ayumu-clone. "Hey, what was that for?!" it exclaims, cheeks puffing out unhappily. Arika stands up, and then the Iga are met with two indignant Arikas
It takes manipulating its ponytail into a hand shape and a bit of stretching, but the ball is caught and returned to its owner normal grasp before long. "Battle conditions will not always be so kind, Arika-san." The Ayumu clone cracks open an eye, and harden its gaze as it regarded the pair. "Not all of your foes will simply wait for you to perform your techniques; especially ones that they know will be advantageous for you… I would think my intent was clear enough knowing that." It says with a casual eye roll. "Besides… I did warn you before. Vaguely, but still warnings were passed along before. Blame me not for refusing to be prepared for it."
Arika grumbles and nods, even as the clone scoots over to the side as quietly as possible to try and send a gust of wind at the Ayumu-clone in an attempt to try and knock him off-balance. "Well, I can work on making them before. Or maybe find a spot that's not very out in the open to do this." Or just figure out a way to make them quickly.
Its clothing and hair is ruffled by the wind, but otherwise the clone remains in its same relaxed position. Though effortlessly in appearance, the man had adhered himself to the ground using chakra as soon as he had a good read on Arika's intentions. A task easier said than done. "Those ideas are well and good, but again, whether an opportunity to do so is available or not is never a guaranteed thing. Plus, every tactic has its innate flaw! So, why not be prepared for as many possibilities as, well, possible?" Ayumu — the real Ayumu — says personally.
"… Fair enough…" Arika huffs, sitting down in her spot. "I dunno if I can make any more clones, though. Three's pushing at my limits," she says. She could always try again, but it's likely nothing will happen. "Hmmm… I dunno what kinda battle I'd be using this for… At least, not yet. I don't have many things where I need to make a lot of myself." Wait, chasing lizards around? It might be useful for that.
They listen without interruption, and nod in unison when Arika acknowledged her limits. Pride made their chests swell as well. Arika was one of the few genin he knew that truly took limits into account, and didn't press until they drop. Both clone and original shake their head, dismissing similar lines of thoughts before fully focusing back on Arika. A derisive snort from the original is followed by a chuckle from the clone. The latter of which also says, "Don't become so narrow minded, Arika-san."
The clone straightens back up and dusts itself. "And don't limit yourself to just battles.. or have you already forgotten those other benefits I mentioned about shadow clones? Cus if so, I may have to remind you and yours a little early.." Though his tone and expression is light and good natured, there can be no mistaking threat behind the former.
Arika … She shakes her head a bit. "I haven't forgot… Shadow clones can give you information and stuff. And can help you do a bunch a things at once. So like for information gathering things. And the like." Arika gives a small nod. "Hmm… So like I could use them for my chores or if I wanted to train, then?"
The pause is noted, but given no outward response by either Iga. The Ayumu just sit there smiling amicably, and patiently wait. "Exactly! The possibilities are nigh endless… But do never become to complacent when it comes to this technique, and know…" It trails off from there, and starts stroking its chin thoughtfully for a brief few moments before nodding in a sagely manner. "Nevermind. It is obvious enough as is.. Hmm… I should probably get Miyu back to her mother before I truly do get in trouble. So, shall we call things here for today?" The clone asks with its head canted to the side.
Arika nods. "Okay! I'll see you again, right, Ayumu-San? Will it be soon?" She blinks a bit and peers at the sky, no watch or clock on her person. "Almost an hour up, too… I'll wait here for a bit…" Then back to the Iga.
While the clone strokes his chin, the other furrows his brow in thought. "Soon? Hmm… Perhaps, or perhaps not. Honestly, you'll know soon enough, so no worries. In the meantime, keep up you're training, and keeping on adapting it to fit your needs, yes?" Ayumu smiles broadily, and alongside the clone, he gave one final bow before taking his leave; leaving the clone to monitor Arika's training for awhile longer before it dispelled on its own.