Date: November 13, 2012
Goh begins training to gain mastery over natural chakra, as Mushi watches on to ensure he doesn't turn to stone!
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Quest for Salamander Senjutsu. Part 4"
Led to a small patch of short grass next to a flowing river, Goh is sitting down on the grass cross legged. With his vest discarded and only wearing his shorts, the bruises and scrapes that he has across his body are evident. For as he has tried to gather natural energy, he has of course got the balance wrong. At first, Mushi was likely able to use the technique to sap the chakra back out. And this certainly worked, but… well, sometimes it was just easier, not to mention quicker and less draining, to smash him in the face with the special glove. The glove that quite literally hits the nature chakra right out of the body.
So with his face sort of swollen from the continual hits, a bit of drool escapes from Goh's mouth as he sort of frowns. "WAUUGHH!" He cries out, ruffling his hair. "This is insanely hard! Wanino told me everything to do, but it's not even working! How am I meant to juggle this foreign stuff in my system? Impossible!"
Only hours earlier, the salamander had explained the concepts and theories of gaining nature chakra. The place they were sitting at in particular was a strong area filled with natural chakra. So it was easier, at least for beginners. Supposedly.
Mushi looks a little amused as Goh sits there beaten up. She'd suspected that she might have to clobber him, but it was for far different reasons than to help him train for Sage mode. She herself is wearing the exact same thing she always does and is, though her pants are rolled up and she's set her shoes aside. She plops down beside Goh and says, "Sorry. I know the pressure points doesn't hurt, but I can't be too sure that works 100-percent. I wouldn't want to kill you because I was unwilling to spare you a little discomfort." In some ways, that last sentence sums up a great deal between her and Goh. She says, "We've been at this for just a bit of time. Just keep at it. Tell yourself you can do it and you can." Then she adds, "Just don't take too long, 'kay?"
Goh seems a bit grumpy, just sitting there. "This is just like tree walking all over again. You have no idea how many bruises and scrapes I got learning that stupid technique. Then I nearly drowned learning to walk on water. Swept off a waterfall." A brief shake of his head. "I dunno how long this is meant to take, but it feels like we haven't made any progress at all. Every time I feel like something is about to happen, my whole face begins to morph and I start turning into a salamander." He lifts hands to rub his eyes.
"I dunno. This whole foreign chakra thing is hard to get used to. You don't have any tips, do you? I know the bijuu isn't exactly the same as nature chakra, but… I dunno. Maybe I could learn a thing from how you tap into that chakra and fuse it."
Mushi frowns at his question. Then she says, "Balance. Before I mastered my bijuu I still used my bijuu chakra in a few of my healing techniques, when I myself was running low. And every time I did, I felt the mind of the bijuu threatening to overwhelm me. But not enough and the chakra would be too little. From what I understand, this is about trying to find balance as well. Instead of thinking of each attempt as a failure, remember what went wrong that time. You'll do it wrong so many times, you'll run out of the wrong attempts and finally find the right one. This isn't a failure. This is just finding out what does and doesn't work."
"You know I'm terrible at balance!" Probably not entirely true, given that he's a ninja. But in terms of personality and inner peace, he's not exactly the most stable going around. He's always been the aggressor, willing to fling himself at danger rather than be sneaky sneaky.
"Yosh… here I go!" Forming a seal, his eyes flare as he begins to gather natural energy. He feeds it into his system, trying to mould it evenly with his existing stamina and chakra. However, he once again brings in too much, the pickler dropping his mouth a little. The right half of his face begins to grow scales and morph, becoming incredibly hard. His right eye also starts to shrink, his hand changing to become some sort of webbed appendage. "Au..Auugh!"
Fortunately, Mushi socks Goh in the face. She's gotten a bit of training from this too—learning how hard she has to punch, while not smashing his face in. It'd knock the sage chakra out of him. "Don't let fear hold you back," Mushi says. "I have way more stamina than you, and I won't let you turn into a weird salamander statue. Here, let me heal you." She'd place a hand on Goh and his bruises would vanish. Moreover, he'd feel a rush of soothing well being going through him. Then she says, "A healer I knew used a really useful trick. She had some of the most double edged, dangerous healing techniques. So she'd make two Shadow Clones and use one Shadow Clone test it on another Shadow Clone. That way, she'd be free of harm. You have Shadow Clones, right? Maybe instead of subjecting yourself to this dangerous thing you can use a clone."
"Oof!" Goh reels back when he's hit in the face, before shaking his head a little. Being healed just moments later is a sort of odd feeling. Not that Goh is complaining of course, as being in pain rolls. "Sorta weird to be punched in the face and then not feel the pain much later." Rubbing his nose, the pickler seems thoughtful at the idea of using shadow clones. "I guess that is a pretty high risk, high reward situation. Shadow clones transfer knowledge and stuff back to you when destroyed. You would think that the nature chakra would come with it. What would happen if the nature chakra from two popped clones hit me at once?" He winces, before heaving a sigh.
"Let's take a break." He mutters, before leaning back onto his palms. Then, out of no-where. "Do you ever think about the old days at all still? Just me and you versus the world."
"Yeah…if the memories come back, the chakra may come back too," Mushi says and rubs her chin. She doesn't think it sounds like a bad idea, but it would need some working on. She shrugs. "But if that happened, I'd punch you really, really hard." There, solution solved. But no, that might be counterproductive in the end. For now, she'll have to concede defeat. When Goh calls for a break Mushi almost breathes a sigh of relief. It's not much fun punching someone over and over again, even if it is fo a good cause.
She goes to the stream to cool her feet in it. Mushi is thinking of eating something when Goh asks about the old days. She turns to stare at him. Is this really the time or place to be asking about it? Then she calms down and says, "Yeah. Those were the days."
Exhaling slowly, the blonde pickler tilts his head from side to side. Just looking at the creek water as it trickles down the passage provided. "Really? That's all you have to say?" Goh jets a thumb to his chest. "As much as you apparently want to forget it, I'm a pretty big part of your history, y'know." He furrows his brow. "Not that I'm all cool on you beating me up and what you said to me, at the very least, I guess I can wrap my head around why you did what you did in Sunagakure. This whole… meeting you in the Caves and you saving my life, I guess, has got me moving past what you did and stuff."
He heaves a bit of a sigh, throwing a stone into the water. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry about the position I put you in. But hey, at least consider my position too! Sorta hard. And stuff." Apparently he had no hesitations about talking about this stuff during the break. They were the only two around, after all.
Mushi sighs at Goh's words, though she doesn't give a reason aloud. She would be just fine with him not moving on with what she'd done to him. Coming here had ruined everything, but what choice did she have? He was too much for her to worry about. The best thing to do right now is just reply with a few words and clam up. She frowns. Then she throws up her hands. "I have been considering what position you're in and what you're going through!" she says angrily. "More than you can imagine. Everyone understood my actions two seconds after they saw—including everyone you know."
"The only people who /don't/ understand are /you/ and /Shintaro/. And no, I don't blame you for anything. But I shouldn't have to spell out everything I do." She doesn't ask him to like or even accept what she's saying. She turns away from him, looking completely grumpy. And she mutters, "Let's just finish this."
"I just said I'm getting my head around it. I guess." He doesn't seem to be bothered that she's getting fired up. Though he does seem a bit confused that even Shintaro didn't get it. The idea causes him to smirk a little, perhaps amused. "What's done is done. Time to move on for everyone involved." He says simply, waving a hand. "There's bigger things to worry about in the world, I suppose. So long as you're happy, then I'm keen to keep going on in life."
Sniffing at the air, he shakes his head. "Oh, right. Yeah, let's just finish this. As if it's that easy for me to just get this. We need to think of a better plan. This isn't working." He frowns a little. "I've been thinking, actually. To use senjutsu you need to gather nature chakra. And to do that you have to stay completely still. So my question is, how would I use it on the battlefield? As if someone is just going to let me stand there for a minute."
Wait why is he smirking? Mushi's eyes narrow at that, but she doesn't comment. "Yeah, I'm happy," she says flatly. "Very happy," she adds with a bit more verve. Though she seems relieved when the conversation moves on to safer waters. And she actually has a very literal response to his question. "Actually, as a medic taking time with a technique during a battle can be a huge problem. There's a few ways I've overcome this. One is to just get faster at it. Another is to have a distraction while you do it, some way to remove yourself from battle or distract an opponent. And the third is to come up with a faster way. Here." She makes a few seals and then slaps Goh lightly on the arm. There'd be a spiral seal on his arm that would start to unwind and sink into his skin, spreading healing chakra through him even though Mushi isn't touching him. "That seal will heal you automatically, so I don't have my hands tied up after. But…just get faster is the simplest way."
Goh looks at the seal carefully, looking at the markings. "That's neat." He says, certainly seeming impressed. "How long is it good for? I mean, obviously this isn't going to heal me after every single time for the rest of my natural life. And I can try and get faster for sure, but… there will always be a time limit on it. I could use distractions, which might work the first time. But if I run out a second, third or even fourth time, any decent shinobi will start seeing through it."
Suddenly, he blinks a bit. "Hey, wait a sec. You said you know techniques that can absorb foreign chakra. Are you able to create a seal that can absorb nature chakra specifically?" He lifts a hand to rub his chin. "Yeah, that could so work! I dunno. Make it so that it can absorb nature chakra when I turn it on. Then when it's off, the seal sort of… re-charges. So you don't have to keep hitting me up with it. When it's in action though, it's able to just absorb nature chakra as I'm fighting, keeping my senjutsu levels going."
He pauses, looking to the healer. She was a gun at sealing techniques, but even that could be a little much. "Possible?"
Mushi laughs when Goh asks about how long it lasts. "Look, it'll run out in less than a minute," she says. "Unfortunately even if it frees up the healer, it still takes a little while to work on the patient." She rubs her chin when Goh asks about using a seal that can conveniently take his chakra away. Then, she shakes her head. "I can think of a few that might work," she says, "but it's not worth the risk. I can cure quite a few things, but stonification isn't one of them. We'd better not try. This glove works. One mistake would cost us too much." Seems Mushi's humility in her abilities can be damaging at times, like this time. Damaging to Goh's face, to be quite literal.
Then, she gives him a thumbs up. "Don't worry, I won't get tired," she says, "and I can just keep on healing you. You won't be in pain for long."
"Hum." Goh leans back onto his hands a little more. "It seems that no matter what we think of, the risks are too mega. Using shadow clones to store natural energy could be an idea, but still… it only gives you a finite amount of re-uses on the battlefield. And if that seal idea also won't work, then… who knows? Maybe I have to look into genjutsu. Make it look like I'm actually continuing on with the fight. But instead, I'm just standing there re-charging nautre chakra." There's a dramatic pause.
"Too bad that I tilt at genjutsu." He sticks his toungue out a little bit, as if bothered by it. "Maybe it's finally time to learn. Maybe this combined with being able to store it quickly will be the answer for me." He waves a hand.
"Anyways. We also need to figure out how I can get better balance. I was thinking, maybe I should be standing on something that's hard to stand on."
Mushi looks thoughtful at the suggestion. Then she makes a few seals and a pillar of earth shoots from the ground about the size of a log. She tips it over so that it does lay like a tree stump. "That balance idea isn't a bad one," she says. "Maybe if you can balance your body, you can balance your mind and chakra." She reaches down to the pillar and then pushes it so that it rolls easily. "Rock hard on the outside but completely hollow, it rolls as easily as a wheel. The only way to stay atop is to be right in the middle unmoving. Otherwise, it will roll over." Then she makes a few more seals and stamps her hands against the ground. A huge seal the size of a small room appears under the log. "This seal will drain the chakra you recently gathered, basically your sage chakra. So when you fall off it will also end your technique. Being able to step on this seal will be safer than me running after you trying to punch you as you flail around on a log." From her dry tone, she sees that happening very soon. "And uh, be careful. Touching that seal will steal your focused chakra, whether it's normal or sage chakra."
Goh watches as Mushi pulls off a series of techniques, looking at the rolly log and the giant seal underneath. "So let me get this straight." He begins, standing up and walking around in a circle. "I'm meant to be focussing on gathering nature chakra. However, if I gather too much, all I have to do is fall off and then poof! The magical thing on the ground here will sap it all from me? That is pretty magic." The pickler lifts a hand to rub his forehead, as if not really believing that such a thing could be as simple.
With a shrug, he will then step on the log and approach the middle, wandering over to it. Of course, moving along it he can keep his balance pretty easily. When he's not doing anything. But when he's standing still and trying to focus in new ways? That's a whole new thing.
So he wobbles a bit, trying to just gather his balance before even doing anything. "W…woah! You made this thing too smooth! It's wicked hard to stand on!"
Mushi moves around to face Goh but not be in the log's path if it should move too far away. She says, "I guess so. But I'll keep an eye on you just in case my seal doesn't work." Of course it would. But Mushi is never one to have unquestionable faith in her abilities. She looks more than willing to punch Goh, and still wears the chakra expulsion glove. At the same time, she doesn't seem tense. She does have a certain amount of confidence that this will work.
She nods. "And you have it right. Distribute your weight evenly and it won't move but you have to stay motionless. Otherwise, the slightest movement will cause it to roll. I made it extra smooth for that." She grins. "The seal will continue to drain you of chakra the longer you stay on it. So after it's done its job get off. No time to dawdle."
Goh looks a little ridiculous. As a shinobi, his balance is pretty decent. He's able to gather himself in the correct position, standing still. But when he begins to focus and gather external chakra, his muscles are tense. Too tense, since he's trying to hard to balance! Perhaps this is the reason he was failing before? Simply trying too hard and being too tense.
It's only a matter of time before he falls off, the blonde hitting the deck with a hard thump. Widening his eyes, the pickler scampers away and off the seal as quick as he can, panting in panic. "Waugh, I feel like that when I fall, I'm in ultimate danger. I don't want to be sucked dry." He frowns a bit, before standing up and dusting himself off.
"So, how did you manage to start doing your techniques far more quickly? Just practice?"
Mushi smirks a little when Goh falls off and then has to hop off the seal. She breathes a sigh of relief when she sees that at least he's not turning into a salamander. Maybe the seal worked. Mushi shrugs at the question. "I dunno, I just did it," she says. She sits back and seems to think about what she did to become faster. Then she says, "Single mindedness, I guess. In my early years when I was going through a critical medical process I always thought 'What if I don't gather my chakra fast enough? What if I make a mistake? What if they die?' Sometimes I didn't even have the right medical technique for the job."
"But now instead of wasting my time thinking of all the ways I'd fail, I clear my mind. And that's when I can work more quickly, with no hesitation, and more precision. Dunno if that helps."
"Uh huh." Goh replies, not seeming too enthused about the answer. "That sounds like something that only the super genius types can do. Don't even think about it, just do it." He does smile a bit, stretching out his hamstrings a little. "Unfortunately I can't even 'do' the first bit. I guess just with a heap of practice, I can get it." Standing back onto the log, the pickler once again tries to get his balance. "So… uh," He begins, insisting on talking even when he's trying to balance, "How are you with illusions? This genjutsu idea I had seems pretty cool. Unless of course I hit up an Uchiha. Then I'm dead." He gatheres his balance then, before beginning to focus. Though likely still listening for the answer that Mushi has.
Mushi shakes her head. "Hmm, maybe you have to be a natural at it," she says. "I wouldn't say 'genius.'" She sits back as she waits for his next attempt. Sitting around, just watching, this /is/ much easier than punching Goh every other minute. She shakes her head when he asks about genjutsu. "I'm pretty good at dispelling it," she says. "But uh…I've never really tried it out. Maybe I'll get into it eventually. A medic knows a pretty nifty illusion that helps with…uh, nevermind." She shrugs and then holds up her fingers to form a 0. "I know nada about illusions. But you came down here. Almost died, but you didn't. Stick with that for now rather than illusions."
Goh wobbles on the log a little bit more, closing his eyes and trying to gather the energy needed in order to further progress. While it actually seems that he's progressing a little further now, it's still not nearly far enough. Every few minutes he'll hit the grassy earth with a thud, and seconds later will scuttle off the seal. So the nature chakra is being drained, but his actual chakra isn't. At least enough to make him too fatigued after one instance.
And just like that, Goh will leap on the log once again, keen to get this nutted out as soon as possible.