Date: July 15, 2015
Mokoto meets with Kuroko in the training grounds for a little one on one session to test his skills.
"One on One: Training the New Genin"
Training Area #26 - Genin Training Grounds
Mokoto had always been an early riser. Even on days like today, when he had no missions to attend, he liked to get up with the sun. Today was a little different though - despite not having any missions, he still had a job to do. He'd been assigned to a team with one of the most senior Aburame in the village, and this morning he was to meet her for an introductory training session. His nerves are a little rattled, but the young genin walks into the Genin Training Grounds, securing a clearing for himself, and then sits atop a tree stump to await his new Jounin trainer.
Kuroko had recently been assigned a new team of Genin, and had yet to examine the academy graduates individually - so, she had scheduled private training sessions for each of them, to evaluate their skills and see what the team would need to work on as a whole. Arriving in the training area, Kuroko smiled, her eyes shaded by opaque black glasses. So the boy was already here… That was a promising sign. "Good morning~," she says cheerfully as she approaches her newest student, taking a seat beside him on his stump. "Mokoto-kun, is that right? I trust that I need no introduction." She states this last with an amused lilt to her voice. He was an Aburame. Of course he knew who she was. "You weren't waiting too long I hope?"
Mokoto spots Kuroko entering the clearing and stands suddenly, then bows low and respectfully. "Good morning, Kuroko-san. Yes, I'm Aburame Motoko," he introduces himself, noticing her bemused smile but refusing to comment on it. "No, I haven't been here long at all. I just wanted to arrive a little early. First impressions are important, after all," he adds, then realises that his tongue is getting away from him a bit so he stops speaking. Standing with his hands behind his back, Mokoto waits for instructions from the Jounin.
"Very well, let's get straight to it then, hm?" The Aburame smiles lightly, keeping her seat on the stump while the child stands. "First, a few questions.. How successful have you been at directing your kikaichu, so far? This is a paramount skill for any Aburame, so I'd like to be certain that you are making significant progress in that area… And secondly, where would you say that your strengths and weaknesses as a shinobi lie?" She wanted to get a base understanding before she would wish to see a demonstration. Shee needed to know what to look for.
Mokoto thinks for a moment before answering. He'd not yet had much combat, especially with other shinobi, so his precise control of kikaichu hadn't been put to much of a test. Still, he was certainly able to use them for both attack and defense. "I can use my beetles in a couple of ways offensively, and in a defensive jutsu as well," he explains, "And I'm currently working on a scouting technique with them as well. I suppose my control is about standard for a Genin. As for strengths and weaknesses…" At this he stops and ponders again. "I can calmly assess situations and respond appropriately, and I have a good working knowledge of shinobi tactics. However my taijutsu technique is flawed and I struggle to achieve the same levels of strength and coordination as many of my peers."
Kuroko nods slowly, looking at the boy thoughtfully. "I understand your struggle, Mokoto-kun. I had the same tendencies while I was learning… But I have learned to get by with what I can, and to play to my strengths." The matriarch smiles gently, standing to her feet. "I suggest studying the shinobi tools style to help supplement your taijutsu skills. It will also play to your strengths in tactics and strategy, so I believe it will be good for you… Are you particularly drawn towards any elemental jutsu?" Kuroko herself had an Earth affinity, and so she was curious how versatile this boy would become.
Mokoto nods in agreement as Kuroko talks about the shinobi tools style. "Most of my taijutsu training has revolved around using kunai and shuriken, sometimes in conjunction with explosive tags," he says, drawing a kunai with a tag on it from his coat, "I still have trouble hitting targets directly, but its better than nothing." A kikaichu crawls out of Mokoto's hair, down over his sunglasses and into the cloth mask covering his mouth. "No, I'm not aware of any elemental affinity, although honestly I've never been tested," he adds, scratching his head.
"Ah! Well, then. We shall have to test you, one of these days.. Elemental ninjutsu can be quite useful, and comes with its own array of skills that even the kikaichu can't manage.." Kuroko smiled again, placing her hands to her hips. "Alright, I believe I have a general understanding of you, now. So, for this training session, I would like you to demonstrate your control of your kikaichu. I want to see which techniques you have mastery of, and how far along you are in your scout training. I have a particular idea in mind for that… But first, show me your attack skills." The Clan Head nods and remains where she is, curious to see what the boy would perform. "Come at me."
Mokoto's expression is difficult to see, but behind the mask and glasses is an expression of surprise. 'I hadn't expected an invitation for full contact sparring,' he thinks to himself, 'But this is my opportunity to show Kuroko-san how my training is going!' With a nod, Mokoto forms the handseal of the ram and focuses his chakra. "Alright Kuroko-san, be careful that you don't get hurt," he says, "Here I come!" As Mokoto drops his hands down to his sides a flood of kikaichu pour out from his coat straight towards the Jounin. When the attack dissipates, Mokoto leaves a wide column of insects between himself and Kuroko, creating cover from which he creates a clone of himself. The clone runs in one direction, circling around behind Kuroko and then sinking into a defensive stance.
Kuroko chuckles at the boy's eagerness. It was pleasing to see. When he unleashed his kikaichu upon her, her own insects rose to the challenge, swirling up in a defensive column around her body that shielded her from the foreign beetles. "Good," she says, convinced of his ability to call the attack. "Now, show me your defense!" Kuroko was certainly a kind and nurturing woman, but she was a hard task-master when it came to training. She held high expectations for herself and her students to give it nothing less than their best. Kuroko's insects flooded around her, seeking out any available chakra signatures for the attack. These beetles would feed only off the boy's chakra, unless he could defend himself. Now, she was not completely oblivious to his clone technique - his cover of insects had acted much like a smoke bomb, and so she was wary of what he could be plotting. Therefore, she instructed her insects to spread out all around her, rather than directly forward. It was an extra measure of defense to places she vulnerable.
As the kikaichu flood the area, Mokoto suffers a multitude of tiny bites that reduce his chakra considerably. Leaping back out of the cloud of insects, the Genin lands atop a tree branch and says, "Wow, your kikaichu are devastating." He motions towards Kuroko with one hand, sending his left-behind-column of kikaichu toward the woman. Using the attack as a distraction, Mokoto jumps back out of the tree and descends toward the Jounin-sensei from above with a flying knee attack.
Upon seeing Mokoto's signal, Kuroko acted fast. With a single hand seal, the Aburame replaced her body with that of a nearby training dummy, appearing suddenly just behind the genin as he launches his knee. Gripping his ankle as he leaps, the Jounin yanks him from the air and aims a punch at his midsection. Would he be able to defend himself quickly enough? She wasn't using her full power, obviously. She didn't want to seriously injure the boy.
Mokoto is grabbed from mid-air. He tries to counter-grab the Jounin, but instead catches her fist with his stomach. The attack sends him reeling to the ground. The younger Aburame stands back up to his feet, dirt staining his coat as he takes another defensive stance. 'She's too fast for my taijutsu, as expected, and she's not falling for it when I use distractions or hide my actions behind a smokescreen,' he thinks as he watches the woman carefully, 'I'm running out of options. I need to build my chakra back up or I won't be able to keep up my attack." Nodding slowly, Mokoto quickly darts off to one side, closing the gap between himself and Kuroko with a zig-zag maneuver to avoid any easy counter attack, and launches a flying kick at the woman's body. Landing and pivoting, he throws a shuriken and runs in with a punch aimed toward her head.
So, the boy wasn't giving up. Another good sign. When Mokoto leapt at her with his kick, the matriarch easily stepped out of the way, picking a kunai out of her holster to swiftly deflect the incoming shuriken. But by the time her eyes traced the path of the projectile, he was already upon her with another solid punch, and though she threw her arms up to block it, her attempt was largely ineffective, and she felt the full contact of his fist against the side of her face. 'He's faster,' she thinks as she recovers from the hit, looking at him through her glasses with a proud smirk. "Well done," she says in praise, straightening and nodding to the boy. "Your tactics are solid, and though you certainly have room for improvement, there is much potential… Now. About your scouting technique… There are medical supplies hidden somewhere in there training grounds, the location of which is known only to us Jounin-sensei. I want you to use your kikaichu to try and track down one of the stashes. I will tell you how close you are when you report back to me…. So take your time. This is a test of your information gathering skills." Kuroko would return to the tree stump to sit and wait for the boy's report. She watched him with an amused smile on her lips. She loved her job.
Mokoto nods slowly and answers, "Yes ma'am, although I haven't actually mastered the technique yet, I'll do my best." Several kikaichu creep out of his coat and begin scurrying into the brush nearby. The Genin stands still for a few moments, his head intensely scanning the area for any sign of the medical supplies. He turns further, occasionally looking up into the branches of the trees and then back down to the ground again. After several long minutes the kikaichu return to Mokoto, apparently confused about what they were meant to be doing. Mokoto simply sighs and decides to rely only on his own wits.
Kuroko watches Mokoto search while she leans back and relaxes. It seemed as if his insects were being of little help.. So he would have to train them, after all. Still, his persistence to complete the task on his own was both amusing and refreshing. She admired his determination.
Mokoto tilts his head as he peers at an odd looking placement of leaves nearby, and the walks over to it. He kneels down carefully next to the leaves and inspects them, careful not to touch it for fear of setting off any traps that might be lurking and protecting supplies. "This looks odd here, unnatural somehow," he comments to Kuroko, "Is it one of the medical caches?"
Kuroko glances up when she hears the boy's voice, raising a brow and glancing at him with mild surprise. "Correct, there is a stash there.. And I'm very glad you decided not to touch it, or would have set off a net trap that would likely have left you hanging up in that tree for a while…" The woman chuckles quietly. ".. You have a pretty sharp eye… That's good, but keep working on training your beetles. Their senses are much more powerful than yours…" Standing up, the Jounin takes a step closer to the boy and smiles. "Well done, you have demonstrated quite well for me today. I think you are ready to go on our first team mission. Meet me here at dawn the day after tomorrow, and I'll have something for us to do. I'll instruct the rest of the team to meet us as well. For now.. You've earned yourself a good meal. It's almost lunch time… Why don't you join me for a bowl of ramen?" The woman smiles gently, her nurturing personality coming to the surface again. He had done well, and so she wanted to treat him.
Behind the cloth mask, Mokoto's face breaks into a smile. Impressing Aburame Kuroko was the first step towards truly advancing, both in his clan and the village as a whole. "Thank you Kuroko-san, I would be honoured," he answers the woman, bowing deeply again, "If I might be so bold, I think I'm doing quite well for only being a week out of the Academy, even if my taijutsu does leave a lot to be desired." And at that he chuckles loudly.