Date: February 22, 2015
Taiki trains Hige further in lightning manipulation and puts Toshio through some paces as well.
"Piercing the Stone"
Training grounds inside Konoha
It's early afternoon, and Taiki has made it a point to be available to Hige for further lessons in the lightning element. Since he actually got there a little early, and Hige was not there yet, Taiki decided that he and his ninken should get back to basics as a warm-up. Therefore, there's a couple of boulders set up, one largish, the other relatively small. Taiki, Shinobu, and Nozomi are all taking turns attacking the larger boulder with regular tsugas, but instead of attacking them head-on, they are attempting to get partly underneath of of it to get it off the ground. It only moves somewhat slowly, however, so the effect is that the trio seems to be rolling the boulder around the training ground.
Hige arrives pretty much right on time, having been off doing whatever else before hand. The young Inuzuka and his nin-pup appear at the entrance of the training ground from out of the treetops, having taken a shortcut there from somewhere that was no, apparently, the Inuzuka village. Upon seeing Taiki the duo makes their way towards him and his pair of ninken before stopping a short distance away and folding his arms over his chest. He doesn't want to interrupt so for the moment he just waits.
Taiki of course is well aware of Hige's and Konsho's presence the moment they near the training grounds. After Shinobu does his pass with the boulder, Taiki looks at both of his ninken and nods. Together they launch as one, turning into a gatsuga that catches the boulder at an up-angle at the base. Now the large boulder is thrown into the air, though not at a large arc, before it lands on a unrolled seal scroll with a loud crash and a slight shake of the earth. The three curve upward while still in the Gatsuga form, using the move to "fly" toward Hige. The vortex makes landfall relatviely close to Hige, only to spend its force on the ground before disapating to leave Taiki and his two partners standing there facing Hige. "Right on time," Taiki notes with approval, which is reflected in Shinobu's and Nozomi's headnods.
Hige watches as Taiki and the two ninken show off, the boy smirking slightly while letting his arms remained crossed even as his Clan leader lands a short distance away with the gatsuga. The younger Inuzuka doesn't move, knowing that Taiki isn't going to hurt him at this point, and he just nods a bit in greeting once the three are facing him. "Hey Taiki, Shinobu, Nozomi." He offers in greeting before continuing. "Yeah, I don't like being late." Konsho yips his own greetings to the trio. "Didn't expect you to be so early though since you're always so busy."
"I actually got my work done early at the Hospital today, and nothing happened that demanded my attention, so I was able to leave early for once," he says as he turns and motions Hige to follow him. "So, do you have the leaf cutting exercise complete yet?" he asks as he leads Hige to the smaller of the two boulders.
"Hey Taiki-Grand-Sensei!" Toshio calls as he comes over, wrapped with bandages. "Hey Runt-san." He says with a big grin as he watches Hige. He does lean down with a wince to pet Konsho once he is close enough to the nin-ken. "Shinobu-san, Nozomi-san." He says with a nod to the nin-ken with the head of the Inuzuka. "Chase anything interesting?"
Hige follows after Taiki, raising a hand to his head and scratching it a little nervously. "Uh, yeah. About that." Hige says, actually sounding a little sheepish. "Since you've been so busy I've kind of…been trying to figure some stuff out myself, just kind of off of what I saw you do before and…other things." He looks up at Taiki with one eye squinted after he speaks, like he's not sure if Taiki will be mad he's been practicing on his own. Atsuro certainly wasn't pleased since he'd managed to hurt himself every now and then. When Toshio walks in and calls him a runt the boy winces and for a brief moment there's a flicker of anger in his eyes. Toshio sure knew the absolute worst phrases to use. Konsho's happy to see the other Genin however and yips up at him, tail wagging happily as he accepts the pets.
Taiki turns his head as they near the boulder to notice Toshio heading thier way. He smiles briefly and bows his head to the Tokobetsu jounin and says, "Hello Toshio-san. How are you doing, other than obviously recovering from injuries." Shinobu and Nozomi both shake their heads in response to Toshio's question.
In the meantime, Taiki stops at the boulder and frowns slightly at Hige's announcment. "First of all, you must understand that messing around with elemental ninjutsu, or even elemental taijutsu, is very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. I know I have been very busy as of late, but I'm going to ask you not to experiment without supervision, preferably both medical and from someone familiar with the lightning element. You can cause yourself grave injuries, including nerve or chakra system damage, and I for one would be very upset if I found you on my operating table as a result. Understand?"
Toshio nods. "Should be more hard on him, He actually goes around beating up genin weaker then him." Toshio says as with a cough. "So…I was there, dealing with the lieutenant of the silence, with the Tsuchikage and folks. The Tsuchikage is….weird." He says with a shake of his head. "Hence the injuries."
Hige winces slightly as he's chastised by Taiki and he glances towards the boulder for the majority of what the other Inuzuka has to say. At the end he gives a little bit of a nod, "Yeah, I understand." He says with a bit of a sigh before he looks back over to Taiki. "I don't like waiting is all, and I'm not going to get stronger if I can't learn new things." It's a weak argument since lightning isn't /all/ he can be learning, but it's definitely going to be one of the stronger parts of his arsenal.
Hige's eye twitches as Toshio's big mouth goes to work again. He really needs to see about having a medic sew that damn thing shut. "If I beat you up you wouldn't be walking." He mutters before shaking his head and falling silent as he listens to Toshio's Silence escapades. Hige had been away on a seperate mission during the attacks so he hadn't been involved this time. Luckily.
Taiki's demeanor, though stern at the moment, was fairly congenial. But When Toshio makes his dig, the Elder Inuzuka's head snaps around to glare at Toshio. "Unless you know all of the facts involved in that altercation, you will keep comments about that incident to yourself," Taiki snaps as his lipst turn into a snarl. "The incident is being investigated by appropriate personnel, and let me remind you Toshio-san that not everything is as it first appears, /especially/ where shinobi are involved. Since the investigation is on-going, I will not educate you on the parts your missing at this time. However, these are training grounds, and we are starting a training session, so keep any digs to yourself. Are. We. Clear?"
Taiki then turns his attention to Hige and growls. "Responses like that lend credence to their allegations. You will ignore these digs and focus on what we're here for, or believe me when I say you will not like the results. This kind of technique is too dangerous to be playing with or training in without your full focus. Do you understand me?"
"Um…I was speaking of Hige whupping me…" Toshio says a bit nervously, not wanting to question or increase the man's disapproval. Still He looks to Hige and nods. "I just need more sword training, I finally managed to get the hang of using Fire clone offensively." He says with a sigh.
Hige is caught way off guard by Taiki's words towards Toshio. And not just his words but with the ferocity that he speaks them. The Inuzuka boy chews his lower lip with a hint of uncertainty. When Toshio moves to clarify the statement Hige decides to just remain silent for now, lest he make things worse somehow. When Taiki's gaze returns to him Hige stiffens before narrowing his eyes slightly. Taiki may be Clan Head and one of his teachers but Hige was a bit too stubborn himself and doesn't enjoy being ordered around so. Still, he says nothing about it and the only hints Taiki would catch are the body language and perhaps a bit of a change in his scent as some anger flashes through briefly. But then he just nods in silence, figuring that is the safest way to go all around.
Taiki nods once at Toshio's comment. "Then get better, since you both are genin," Taiki says as he relaxes a bit now that both of them are aware of the boundaries. He then turns his attention toward Hige while choosing to ignore the body language. "Good. Now, back to what we were doing. Before you continue, I want to see you perform your leaf exercise."
Toshio nods as he stands back and continues to pet Konsho while watching Hige. "I bet your the strongest pup here." He says to the dog and looks up to see if Hige will do anything to the leaves or not.
When Taiki tells Toshio to get better Hige has to force himself to keep from laughing. Okay, that was good. At least it's gotten him to relax back down a little bit after those few moments of tenseness. Taiki could sure turn into someone scary when he wanted to. Luckily it didn't seem to happen /too/ often, but then his interactions with the older Inuzuka are somewhat limited. He's certainly different than Atsuro. In fact Hige and Taiki appeared to be quite alike. Scary.
When Taiki mentions the leaf exercise Hige nods before looking over to the nearest tree, hopping up to grab a leaf before returning to the Elder. Hige holds up the leaf between them (albeit for Taiki it would be about stomach high, with Hige being so short) and channels his chakra element into it. The leaf contracts into itself as it starts to smoke from the lightning that's forced through it almost instantly. Hige's control has improved dramatically.
Konsho accepts the pets from Toshio, the pup getting along with everyone even if they have big mouths. Of course at the mention of being the strongest pup he offers a soft yip of agreement. Granted he's the /only/ 'pup' there, so it's not saying much. Good thing the other two are no longer pups.
Taiki pauses for a moment, then nods slowly as Toshio talks to Konsho. "Tell you what, since you're here and you are working on fire ninjutsu, why don't you practice using the fire clone offensively on that boulder over there," he says, pointing to the larger boulder that he had just "punted" back to its starting point. The 'suggestion' was actually phrased as just short of an order, one that Taiki hopes will stop Toshio from trying to get under Hige's skin.
Taiki turns his attention back toward Hige just in time to see Hige successfully wrinkle the leaf. "Okay, the next exercise is about control. The way I train Raiton will have you naturally transferring from the second step in your training to the third," Taiki says as Shinobu goes to get a leaf for Taiki. Taiki holds the leaf in the palm of his hand and focuses, causing a brief spike of lightning to shoot out of it through the leaf. He then holds the leaf for Hige to see and says, "Most people practice this on leaves, refining the control until they put a small hole through the leaf using Raiton. Me, I do things a bit different."
Taiki then walks over to the smaller boulder and points his palm at it, causing the same small hole to appear in the boulder. "In this exercise, you will attempt to focus your lightning chakra into as small and straight a stream as possible against the boulder. The scorch marks will tell you how you're doing." He then steps back and motions Hige forward to attempt this.
Toshio nods. "Yes Sir!" Toshio says as he forms the hand seals and two versions of himself appear. The three then run for the boulder. Two hit it and explode in a mass of flame but the genin simply begins to focus more chakra again.
Hige glances back at Toshio as Taiki sends him to work on stuff. The younger Inuzuka gives the Elder a look of thanks before allowing his eyes to follow after what Taiki shows him. His eyes widen slightly before he gives a little nod. Small and straight stream of lightning chakra. That sounds easy enough. The boy goes up to the boulder as he recalls everything he's learned from his own messing with the element, all the way down to how many times he'd shocked and burned himself. Don't want to do that again, especially not with Taiki watching. He puts his palm up against the boulder and focuses his chakra through, punching what is certainly not a 'small' hole into it. Sure it went straight, he'd adjusted for that, but focusing it so small was not so easy. "Er…" he glances back at Taiki uncertainly.
Taiki watches Toshio practice and says, "Try to make your attack patters into as tight a grouping as possible." With Toshio busy, he then turns to watch Hige practice, then walks over to the boulder again. He does the trick again, but this time at a very low power that doesn't cause a hole, but a scorch mark. "Not bad, but you inadvertently combined the second and final phases of this into one blast. For the second exercise, control is the key. You should be able to produce a pencil-thin scorch mark, and /only/ a scorch mark. You're trying to control form and power. The third and final exercise is to produce a thin hole about the same size as the scorch mark you make, all the way through the boulder. Now, try again, and this time /only/ the second exercise."
Toshio nods as he begins to make his attack patterns tighter in grouping and more fiery explosions ensue. He converts more stamina to chakra with the more clones he spends, each one aimed at punching a specific spot in the boulder.
Hige glances to Toshio for a brief moment before returning his attention to watch as Taiki shows him the scorch mark. And only a scorch mark. Hige nods slightly as he thinks on that a moment before pulling back on the power of the chakra. He puts his palm next to the rock again and forces the chakra through. He does manage to just leave a scorch mark but it's still larger than a pencil by a wide margin. Hige doesn't pause unless Taiki says something and tries again, and again, and again, creating marks on different parts of the rock. At first they all seem the same but something seems to click and they jump to a smaller size, though still not exactly what's desired. He continues on however without pause.
After a few moments of this, Taiki looks at Nozomi. "Since you're more attuned to ninjutsu than Shinobu, watch Toshio's work and let me know if something goes wrong. I'll still be watching," Taiki directs his voice toward Toshio, "But with two different techniques being done, the extra eyes would be safer." Nozomi nods and walks over to where Toshio is and takes a seat to watch what he's doing.
In the meantime, Taiki watches Hige go at it and finally says, "Slow down a bit, and use the extra time to focus. This isn't a race. You want to gain control, and then practice that control until its reflex. Shortcut yourself here, and the more advanced techniques will be impossible for you."
Hige pauses a moment to look back up at Taiki when the Elder talks. "Not really good on the whole 'slow' thing." He admits with a soft sigh. Patience is not one of Hige's strong suits. Or really in his vocabulary at all. The boy takes a deep breath and gives himself a moment, closing his eyes to focus his mind before opening them again and looking at the rock. He takes a moment before placing his palm against it once more, this time the scorch mark being smaller. It's still not the same size at what Taiki is producing but it's much closer.
Well, patience is one thing that Taiki will probably have to teach Hige. In the meantime he nods as the mark gets smaller. "See, in this case slow and steady works better. While you're doing this, attune youreself to what's happening in your body. Feel the chakra flow, the transformation, and the release. Remember, control your power…" Taiki's voice is pitched low but soothing as he warches Hige continue his practice.
Hige gives himself a little time between attempts, Taiki's voice making him feel a little more confident in himself. When the Elder doesn't make fun of him for his mistakes for anything that just helps more. The boy focuses on what he's doing and shuts out the surrounding world as he concentrates, focusing inward on his body and the chakra flow. He focuses on the element as it moves through his chakra and through his form. Low power but controlled and concise. This time as he focuses and channels the power through and out the scorch mark is much closer to Taiki's. It's still not quite as small but with Hige it might not ever be that good.
Taiki looks at Hige's latest mark and gives a brief nod. "Very good," he pronounces. "That's just about the thickness you want. Don't worry about getting it down to my level, I have several years of experience on you, and I am probably a bit more efficient at chakra manipulation than you. Then again, I beat most people in that." He shrugs once and looks at the mark again. "You want just about that width every time. Keep practicing, taking it slow and feeling your way through it until you're consistent without the hard concentration."
Hige can't help but feel a little bit proud at his success and the praise brings that out as well. He doesn't look at Taiki but the emotion would be fairly evident in his scent and stance. "Can't all expect to be as good as you Taiki." He says with a hint of a tease in his tone. Hige's chakra control isn't the best but it's a lot better than it has been. It's been one of his main focuses when he isn't working on his other training. The young Inuzuka pauses a moment, then raises his hand again and makes another similar mark, moving his palm again before making another, then another with a few seconds of thought in between. They vary in size by a very small margin, not perfect to each other but not horrible off either.
Taiki chuckles at Hige's teasing and shrugs, "What can I say, I'm good at what I do." He then resumes watching before saying, "I think you understand this exercise well enough to practice it on your own. When you do, remember what I said about feeling your way through the exercise, and try to get the marks a little smaller. Just bear in mind, you want to practice on stone for this, as trees would muddy the results." He motions for Hige to continue on a little longer, but eventually calls a halt to this session.
The younger Inuzuka chuckles softly at Taiki's first words before he listens to the rest and nods. He returns to the rock and works until Taiki calls a halt at which point he looks back to the Elder and nods once more. "Thanks Taiki. I appreciate it. I'll keep working on it." He promises. Of course knowing Hige he'll probably work on other things too but he likes to push the envelope, as it were.