Date: March 22, 2013
Ishino and Hibiki are on patrol when Hibiki discovers that Ishino is not walking in the sand, but - rather - on the sand. Hibiki implores Ishino to teach him, and thus he learns the beginnings of Tree Walking.
"On Top of the World"
Black-Sands Beach [Land of Water]
Here lies a long, thin breakwater isle of volcanic black sands, surprisingly soft to the feet despite their fiery birth and the pounding since that has formed the beach. While barely 30 feet wide, the strip is well over 200 long- And is studded with spires of wind-polished obsidian, including the chissel-chipped, flat 'stumps' of stone where obelisks have been drawn forth from this beautiful creation of nature.
While little plant-life lives upon the few inches of sand that cover the volcanic glass and rock that make up the stable substrate, the garbage and refuse of birds can be seen everywhere- And their nests can be found nestled in the shadows of rocks. A single, larger 'hill' of solid rock reaches perhaps two feet above the generally fairly level isle, and upon inspection, a hole is seen in the side of it, leading into a black-glass tunnel lit by phosphorescent moss.
North-East - (NE) [Chill River]
North-West - (NW) [Coastal Road]
Down - (D) [Obsidian Tunnel]
South - (S) [Rock-Strewn Beach]
It is - as perpetually as time, and perhaps just as constant - raining in Kirigakure. The evening is almost come, breaths away from being — but not born just yet. The rain is slow, steady, creeping into clothes and down the scalp. The day itself carries a nip, but - with the steep of the rain - it is easily cold. The nearness to the water, bare in landscape and tumbling with the sea, does no service to the cause of warmth either. Hibiki walks alongside Ishino, on the beach, keeping pace, for what pace there may be. Slow is the day, and long, made no easier by the cold and wet. It is for Hibiki, thus, to lose himself amongst the consistency of it (his hood up), and to discover, within that astray, a question:
"What, do you think, is the purpose of a warrior?"
Ishino would have his own protection from that rain, indeed, the older man in the suit matched Ishino in his own suit as they all three walked together on that beach. Time Keeper, as the older gentleman, held the umbrella that was big enough to cover them both. Ishino matched pace smoothly enough with Hibiki, keeping alert to their surroundings, although with the rain and nearness of Kirigakure, it was probably not going to come to any issues. A glance towards Hibiki had him musing on the question. "A warrior is one to protect those whom can not protect themselves. They learn the defenses, they learn the attacks, to ward off those whom obtain power and try to use it to gain more. It is a delicate balance for a warrior.. and the honor of such is almost always the reason why one fights.. or not."
"Do we not all aim to obtain power and try to use it to gain more?"
Hibiki's head is cast down, his eyes sometimes flicking upward and around, taking note in snapshot the landscape of his surroundings.
The sand is easy and pliable beneath his toes, as if he were pushing the entire earth away — have it moved by the sole of his foot. The rain slants and patters against the youth's large, cream-colored coat. It is not the finest of days to be on patrol, but there is a solidarity in those braving the worst together, even if that worst be something so benign amongst mortal life: the weather.
Ishino shakes his head slightly. "Assuming that is the failing of those who seek to gain power over others. There is a self-fulfilling commitment there. If it is assumed others are using their power to get more power, then you have to get more power to stop them from using that power on you. Instead, if the focus is on defending another and what power is obtained is for that purpose, then an end can be reached. It also does not feed to the desire to have more." Ishino would look towards Hibiki then with a small smile. "There is more strength in not wanting power and having it as necessary, then constantly seeking power and sacrificing everything for it. In the end? The one who sacrifices everything for it, sacrifices themself and in turn loses to the one who takes what power is necessary only for their required actions."
A fragmet of Hibiki's attention, measured in the shift of his eyes, swims to Ishino as the other finishes his declarations. There is silence awhile then: the booming quiet after a gunshot. The sounds of sandals and shoes slide into the breaking evening.
Well, a single pair of sandals, anyway, Hibiki finally noticing that Ishino was not, in fact, breaking bread with the sand: he was walking just above it.
The boy's attention shoots to Ishino's feet. His words are swift, blurted as soon as he realizes Ishino's talent:
"That. I've been trying to learn that. How do you do that?"
"Hmm?" Ishino would look down curiously at his own feet, then smile towards Hibiki. "Ahh.. it's a variation on water walking actually. Sand is a semi-solid, so it's not quite like tree walking which is a solid surface you have to cling to. However it still has more resistance so it is not quite like water walking. Either way, it's a controlled, constant, steady release of chakra through the chakra points in the feet. It's also highly recommended to try and learn the tree walking variant first, solid surface, before mastering a liquid surface."
Even in the rain, the gleam of the black rock is unmistakable, and shortly are the pair from the tremendous monument of stone. Hibiki's eyes blink in the downpour; he sees the stone.
"Do you think," he begins, his head canting slighty sideways, "that you could teach me?"
The boy's pace slightly quickens upon even the possibility, and in that pace, quickly too comes a further explanation:
"Elder Takeshi was trying to teach me before, but I simply couldn't seem to master it. I suppose I simply could not accliminate to his methods. Perhaps we can do better with you. Do you mind?"
Ishino would give a slow nod. "Indeed. I do not mind attempting to assist you, Onkyou-san. I make no promises, but I can show you the same pattern that I have done to be able to learn it myself." He would speed up his own pace, seeing that rock as well to go to it with Hibiki, pausing by it's surface. Ishino would take the umbrella from Time Keeper, as it would step out of the rain, going to walk up the wall and pause there. "Now.. tell me what you see of what Time Keeper is doing at the moment?"
Hibiki stares at the nearly horizontal puppet, the youth's head canted just to the left. He watches as the puppet finds its way up and onto the rock.
"I see nothing more than what he's presently doing."
The boy takes a step closer.
"What is it I should be looking for?"
"Hibiki believes we are to be paying attention to the chakra Time Keeper is traveling into his feet and onto the stone. Hmm…"
"I think I may have to agree."
Ishino studied Hibiki as he studied Time Keeper. A nod in confirmation given as the observation was done, although how it was done would indeed be interesting. "Correct. The specific requirements are to release a steady stream. This chakra should be focused through the foot and allows a full attachment to the stone. This has to be consistant through out your use of the ability. Can you try to do such?" Ishino would motion to the black rock then, smiling lightly with a nod in affirmation.
Hibiki faces Ishino as the other speaks, nodding towards the end.
"Indeed. Elder Takeshi told me as much. It's the concentration which is my problem, we believe."
The boy turns, and looks closer at the puppet's feet, oblivious to what the flowing chakra would actually visualize as; but, like our blood until we bleed: we believe it's there. Closer the youth looks, concentrating on the articulated toes, crafted of wood with such care, that he may hypnotize himself, in projecting his imagination of the chakra channels wired through the foot (be it puppet or person), to understand the process of achievement within himself.
"We don't have the concentration."
Ishino ponders Hibiki for a long moment, before finally giving a nod. "Alright. Then the main concern is not the walking, but the focus. You need to be able to control your chakra. If you can't control chakra, you can't walk on the wall." Time Keeper would step back down, retreiving the umbrella from Ishino as he'd do three hand seals slowly, then focus himself, gathering chakra. "Can you mirror this? Are you able to concentrate enough to focus your chakra?"
A smirk runs Hibiki's lips wide. His mouths open, some sarcastic thing curling on his tongue — but he pauses. His eyes widen, slightly, and glance beyond where they were cast. The smirk wiggles into a grin, and Hibiki takes a step closer to the wall. He stares a moment, gathering the courage to try.
He puts one foot forward, pressing it into the wall.
The muscles in the boy's leg clench - of anticipation - as he lifts his other foot of the ground — slowly first, but then rapidly, to connect, and for a moment - for a time, the endlessness of doing - he stays. A laugh barks from his throat, and he is to speak — but again, in the midst of his words, he realizes: he is slipping, sliding soon, and then, with a dense wave of sand, he is on his back, staring at the nothing of blind, blind raindrops..
Ishino raises a brow, allowing himself to release the chakra he was gathering as he'd watch Hibiki try. "You succeeded then. Very well. You have til the end of the week, Onkyou-san. I expect you to have it under control by then. A good place to practice is within the cold springs. The pit has plenty of walls that are perfect for trying." Ishino would pull out that pocket watch of his, opening it to study the time. "We, however, must continue our current patrol. We have 2 minutes 13 seconds left of flex time before we will fall behind at our previous speed."
From his back, Hibiki watches Ishino speak. A short sigh breaks from his throat, but he rolls over and pushes himself up.
"Of course, of course."
Duty's mask finds Hibiki's face anew, his hood again pulled up, his head cast down, his eyes flashing every now and again every which way: snapshots once more. The boy pushes his hands into his pockets, and continues his march alondside Ishino, the youth's feet grinding into the sand. A small smile skirts his cheeks when he again catches Ishino moving atop the sand.
"I think I may have to thank you soon, Sensei Ishino."
Nothing, however, further comes, for duty dons its cloak anew, and on the pair move, to keep their homeland safe.