Date: November 21, 2012
After gaining mastery over senjutsu, Goh and Mushi discuss possible ways to extend the effects.
"Quest for Salamander Senjutsu Part 5"
Deep within the Sanctury of the Salamander, Goh continues to work on the finesse and finer points of gathering nature chakra. Right by his side at most times is the legendary healer known as Mushi, who has kindly setup a little aparatus in order to help the pickler focus. This apartus, consisting of a very smooth log of earth placed on top of a seal, was designed to aid Goh in balancing.
It's been a few days since Mushi first set the seal up, and finally, FINALLY, results were starting to show. After focussing for a lengthy period of time, the male was starting to really make some strides. At first he was filled with a bunch of partial transformations, his arms or legs blowing out to salamander-like appendages. At one stage he grew a very obscure nose and his eyes began to shrink! But the the help of Mushi's seal, these changes were able to be reversed.%r%tOver the many hours, he has refined the changes to make them minimal. He is now able to stand upon the log with great balance, achieving perfect stillness. The result, as he gathered nature chakra and fused it with his own, was gaining access to senjutsu.
There were some little side effects to this of course. To begin with, Goh's pupuls turned to a dull grey. His skin had hardened, to the point where scales could even be seen across parts of his body. But perhaps the biggest change of all is that his hair changes colour, from a lovely blonde to a fierey red. It seems that Goh had become a Sage. Or at least partly.
The trouble was, he had problems achieving this 'form' from an area away from the river, where the natural chakra isn't as rich. But baby steps, really. It was progress.
The pair are currently taking a break from practice, near the little river. "Alright, so, I have this idea." Goh says. "In order to sustain sage mode. It involves pickling pots."
Free from punching Goh and being on constant salamander-change alert Mushi has gotten a bit of time to relax. She's even been reading a couple manuscripts, albeit always keeping an eye on the pickler, for his training of course. She's only ever had to replace the seal a few times. Whatever can be said of their relationship, Mushi is a patient and encouraging training partner. She's monitored his progress carefully, and given a few words of praise now and then.
When Goh mentions his idea for sage chakra, Mushi blinks. He wants to use pickling pots? She stares at him for a long moment, and then bursts out laughing. "Pickling vegetables…hahaha….eating pickled chakra hehehehe…pots of power." She smirks. "Good one, Goh-kun."
Goh frowns at the healer laughing. "Laugh it up." He muses, before lifting fingers to the bridge of his nose, as if he's about to say something very dramatic, wise and revealing. "The fact of the matter is, I can get to sage mode. But I can't gather natural chakra when I'm moving. I need to be still. So eventually, I will revert. However…" And he moves to swoosh an arm, "If I could store natural chakra from here in my pickling pots, I can then summon them to the battlefield and somehow use them to recharge me as I'm going. It won't give me unlimited uses, but ideally, after a few recharges, the battle should be over anyway."
And then he points at Mushi directly! "And it just so happens that I know of a special mineral here in the sanctuary that absorbs natural chakra! I just have to harvest it and shape them into my special pickling pots. Then… somehow use them." It seems his plan hasn't gotten too far yet. "Wanino told me about this mineral last night. It's something that the salamander occasionally use to help them out."
His pointed finger then drifts to the river that they're standing near. "…The mineral is in special river rocks." How exactly he planned to harvest this special mineral from rock, again, isn't explained. Maybe he's just making this up as he goes?
Oh he's actually being serious. Mushi looks a little rueful when she realizes this. Sometimes he can get carried away with his pickling hobby, to comic proportions. After that, she listens attentively to his idea. She strokes her chin. "So you have pots that will absorb natural chakra in its pure form," she says. "In other words, you'll have ready stores of natural chakra. That could actually work! So long as you make the transfer quickly during battle, or find some way to render the pots impervious." With his flashy moves, he'd be just as likely to destroy the pot as his enemy.
"You know that would actually work quite well," she says. "It sounds a bit like how I store chakra within seals, except these will be pots especially crafted to store natural energy. When did you get this idea?"
"You always sound so surprised when I have good ideas." Goh replies in a dull tone, sticking his toungue out. "Well, I had it last night. I was having a chat to Wanino about the special rocks. It's what makes this area much easier to gather natural chakra. Then after she left, I was having a feast on some pickled ginger to keep my energy levels up. After I summoned the pot, I just had the idea. Instead of eating the pickled ginger… I could be eating natural energy! Or something like that!" He clears his throat.
"I haven't built the special pots yet. And I have no idea how structually sound they will be. I also have no idea how I would get the natural energy to my body. Perhaps after opening the seal of the pot, the natural energy rushes out to the user. That being me. Then I just absorb all of it in one fell swoop." He rubs his chin a little.
"Yeah, same idea as with your seals. I can already summon pickled pots into battle. I've already got a few techniques that involve them."
Mushi says in surprise, "That wasn't a tone of surprise." Though she does have to endeavor not to roll her eyes as he gets into more talk about his pickled vegetables. Somehow it always comes to that. But somehow Mushi doesn't look particularly annoyed by it. She's set down her manuscript, and has plucked up a leaf which she's idly tearing apart piece by tiny piece.
"Sounds like there are some factors involved in this pickled pot idea," she says. "Just remember. The effort you put into making something, is the effort it will take to use it. In other words, if you want a complex way in which to introduce chakra into your body the storage process will have to be more than merely dumping it into the pots."
"Hmmm. Well, I was sort of hoping that the pot, if they're made of the same stuff as the special nature absorbing rocks, will just do all the work for me. Like some sort of magic." He furrows his brow, leaning back on the grass in a heap. "I dunno. It's too hard to work out." He rubs his face. "Using this sort of stuff isn't really my go. You know, planning about future things. I've always been the type of person to go hard at it. Not even worry about the next move. Thinking five moves ahead is pretty weird." Opening his mouth, the pickler yawns. "I guess the first step is collecting the rocks, then breaking them down. From there, we can start making the pots. Something like that, anyway."
Mushi shrugs and says, "There's no harm in trying, and alot to gain if this idea succeeds. Maybe I can help make the pots. I have Earth Manipulation, it comes in handy for building certain things." She smirks and jerks her head in the direction of the stone log Goh had to balance on for some time. Then, she frowns at Goh and says, "But why, Goh-kun? Why do you want to become a Sage? It's a dangerous ability, natural chakra, and you could find safer modes of power. This stuff is volatile." She looks at him, waiting expectantly and perhaps a little worriedly for his reply.
"Hmmm." Goh replies, standing up and wading into the water. "I dunno." He admits simply, and somewhat stupidly. "I failed the first time, so I figured I should try the second time. I'm pretty stubborn, you know." Reaching down into the water, the pickler begins to rummage around for the special rocks. He has a rough idea of what to feel for, now being familiar with natural chakra and how it feels to the body. "It's destiny, I suppose. I want to be the Sage for the salamander. I love representing them, and this is how I can do it more. Plus I get funky red hair. I look way hotter with red hair, don't I?" The pickler stands up, ruffling his hair a bit — as if he's a model striking a pose.
"I'm not putting too much thought into it. I just want to do it, so here I am. The additional strength I get doesn't really bother me, to be honest. It's just another nifty way to connect to my family."
Reaching down again, he rummages. "So." He begins. "You gonna go in this Legendary Cup tournament thing? I'd bet you smash it."
Mushi looks up at Goh thoughtfully as he speaks. After a pause, she says warmly, "A way to get closer to your salamanders, huh? That's not a bad reason." She glances at his hair. "As for the red hair, I think you look nice with or without it. As long as your face isn't oozing into some crazy salamander wreck." That makes her smile a little. His looks definitely wouldn't improve if he became a salamander statue.
"Hmm…the legendary competition?" she says, and shrugs. "I heard that they have dropped the seal barriers. There will be no field to muffle a mortal blow, or decrease physical damage. I really can't afford to enter it—I'm going to stay on hand as a healer to try and undo some of the damage taking away those precautions will cause. Besides, I don't want to leave the other nations solely in the hands of Kirigakure medics, barriers or no."
"Really?" Goh queries, sounding surprised by that. "To be honest, I don't know much about it. I guess the other strong guys around would like it that way though." Pausing in thought, he gathers a few of the specialized rocks and tosses them onto the grass. For all purposes, it's a normal rock. However, Mushi might be able to feel something a little different about it. For it's a rock that is continually gathering a small amount of natural chakra. Absorbing it. Not too much mind you, but enough for Goh to use.
The pickler will continue to throw similar rocks up onto the river bed, gathering them slowly. "Fair enough though. No barriers, huh?" He winces at that. "Ouch. I'm not going to be throwing down, myself. My levels of awesome are way too high for any regular person to match." He beams widely, before laughing a bit.
"Hey, jumping conversation topics again. You mentioned some sort of special Forest a little bit ago." Talking about the place where the Hummingbirds live. "What is it? Is that where you were when the medics at the center were looking for you?"
Mushi doesn't pay much attention to Goh's rock tossing at first. But she does notice something after awhile and nods towards the pile of rocks. "At least one of those gives off a strange vibe," she says. "This is a strange place. As for the tournament, you wouldn't stand a chance." She grins. "If you can't even stand up to one measly medic, there's no way you could be the winner there. You'd only get hurt, and then I'd have to heal your ass. But no, it's too dangerous no matter what. Don't enter."
She smiles at the mention of the forest. "The Forest of Museigan, where giant creatures dwell," she says. "It's there that I formed a summoning contract with the Hummingbirds of Museigan. But unlike this place, it's accessible and open to attack. In the past, the forest was always at war with the humans. So for their sake, I didn't tell anyone where I was going; best not to attract attention to it."
Goh sighs dramatically as Mushi so finely goes over his severe limitations and suckiness. "Mushiiiiii." He whines. "No need to be so direct about it. You'll hurt my feelings, y'know." He coughs a little, before listening intently. His eyebrows raise in surprise. "You have a summoning contract too? Nice one! Congrats." Goh beams, this obviously meaning a little more to him than maybe is expected.
"I think it's fantastic. A summoning contract is one of the best things you can do. Not just anyone can get them, y'know. And with giant birds! Can you… I dunno. Ride them around?" The pickler almost grins with glee at that last suggestion. "I'm happy that you've decided to help them out, anyway. If humans ever get in their grill again, let me know. I can bust out some giant salamander to help defend them." Throwing two more rocks to the pile, he thinks. "What sort of traits to the birds have? How big do they get?"
Mushi's eyebrows raise slightly when Goh seems rather enthusiastic about her summoning contract. But she does look pleased at his interest, and she smiles. "Yes, I can ride them around," she says. "Anyone can. They have this ability…well, suffice to say it will be that much easier to get from one place to another to help out." She stares upwards, as if imagining soaring around this very instant. Then she looks back down to Goh.
"The hummingbirds…are huge, naturally. Their wings flap so fast you can hardly see them, and they can surround their wings with chakra so they're like blades, slicing through anything, smashing down any obstacle. They can be the size of a normal bird when they're younger. But they get to the size of hills actually…amazing, the stronger they grow."
"Woaoaaaahh!" Goh cries out in admiration, almost sounding like a little kid. "Straight through anything! That's so wild. How awesome are animals? The size of hills?!" The pickler baulks at this, shaking his head. "Here I thought Igneel was a beast. But it seems like the boss of the salamander pales in comparison to a regular level hummingbird. I'm sure he'd be thrilled." Goh throws his head back to laugh loudly, before stepping out of the river and dropping the last of the rocks on the pile. By now, there's a decent collection of them. "How did you discover them?" Goh asks, sitting down and sorting through the stones individually. Into various little piles.
"The salamander contacted me directly after watching me a bit. Did the hummingbirds do a similar thing for you? Were they looking for a Champion too? Or just for some help? Who's the boss?! Is he a grumpy old man like Igneel?"
"Well…not a really big hill," Mushi admits. "Igneel is as big or bigger than any of the hummingbirds I've seen. And most hummingbirds are just the size of…bears, maybe? Really big bears. But you should see their forest. Everything there is so many times larger than a normal place. It's off the coast of an island, surrounded by a ring of mountains. I went to those distant islands once to help with a terrible outbreak. But the disease was in the water and some of the animals in the forest were affected as well. So they asked me to come over, and afterwards they offered to open a summoning contract with me."
She shrugged. "Well, I turned them down. But we kept in touch. And after awhile I realized that I needed their help…to get places faster and help more people. So Shintaro-kun and I returned and it seemed some humans were giving them trouble. So we stomped those jerks out, and I opened a summoning contract. The boss isn't too big actually. But he has these feathers that look like really long eyebrows drooping down the sides of his face, and some more feathers that look like a long, thin little beard. He knew so much, but he kept on repeating as if he'd forgotten he'd said it. Hehe."
"Wahahahahahaha!" Goh throws his head back to laugh loudly. "He sounds like a wise old man! But I betcha he's super strong or something. From my experience, the guys with the super long eyebrows, moustaches or beards are beasts. I'm really glad you did it though. It's such a good thing to do. And I bet riding around on them is wild." A whistful sigh escapes his lips. "The only two salamander that can fly are Wanino, the one that showed us here, and Igneel. Both are currently out of my reach. Hopefully I can form some sort of friendship up with Wanino though! She's the fastest salamander. Zips around in the air. Might even given the hummingbirds a run for their money." He winks a bit, before standing back from the individual stone piles.
"Yosh. Sorted! So Mushi, these stones are now divided into which gather the most nautral chakra to those which don't. Next step I guess is to grind them down into a powder. Then blend them into some pickling pots. Do you have any earth techniques that can crush stuff?"
Mushi shrugs at that. "I don't know if he's that strong," she says, "or that smart. But the other hummingbirds respect him, and that's not the sort of thing that comes lightly among those guys. So I respect him. But I don't plan on using my hummingbirds for anything more than travel. Though if I have to make a quick getaway, it would be useful to have them be strong enough to withstand some difficulty, heh." She pauses and shakes her head. "As for keeping up with the fastest of them…not a chance. They move faster than you'd believe, even a trained shinobi can't follow the fastest ones."
She takes one of the special rocks and turns it this way and that, examining it carefully. "I can shape it into pots, but really you'd do best getting some of this stuff to professional chakra craftsmen. There are some real geniuses out there that'd be able to make what you need. It's their job, after all."
Goh considers for a moment. "I guess when you have a gigantic tailed beast inside you, lacking combat strength or needing backup isn't really something you need to put a lot of time into." There's a smirk on his end, before taking a big breath.
Listening to the healers suggestion, he furrows his eyebrows, as if thinking. "Well, all I need to do is crush the rocks into a fine powder. Then mix it with the usual ingredients like clay to make the pot. However, I don't want the usual ingredients cutting off the natural absorbing powers that the crushed rocks have, if that makes sense. You're right. I should probably hit up a specialized chakra weapon or armor person. As it turns out, I actually know someone who might be able to help me." He grins, a little mischieviously.
"Anyway. The final step to this is learning the salamander kata." Standing up from the grass, he stretches out. "Hey, listen. I appreciate you… I dunno, sticking around, but since I have a handle on at least gathering senjutsu, you don't have to anymore. I mean, I certainly wouldn't be against it. But don't you have a whole bunch of people back in Konoha that you just… left behind? The danger part has passed, as far as I know."
"Hmm…" Mushi seems to think over that. "Well, instead of making the entire jar a blend of clay and chakra why not seal the exterior of the jar? Make it so that no chakra can leak out. Then fill the inside with clay, chakra, whatever you want. I'm sure you can think of something. But if you have someone help you be sure to warn them about how dangerous senjutsu chakra can be," she admonishes.
When Goh says that she can leave, Mushi bites her lip. Here she'd though that she could make Goh hate her, and maintain it. And if not for him being a reckless idiot who needed her help, she could've pulled it off. She sighs. Maybe the time for the pretense is over. She shrugs to herself, and then gives Goh a halfhearted smile. "I can stay until you come up with a bit of an idea how you're going to seal that chakra. If you're experimenting, you may need me to punch you or make another draining seal anyway."
"Yeah, that's the logic I was going to use." Goh replies, stretching out a bit. "Have the chakra attract and go into the pot, but unable to leave. Sort of how a greenhouse works. As opposed to just the regular rocks, which attract but also leak out natural chakra." He tilts his head a bit from side to side. He listens to her answer, which is pretty much how he was going to do it. "Well, what I just said Mushi. But to get the exact finesse of that down is something I'm not entirely comfortable with. One of the members of Jump, Ariya, specializes in armor and weapons that are very chakra based. Granted, pots aren't accessories, but she will probably have a better idea on how to polish the idea off and make it into something practical. Until then, I guess we just hope that all I can take out my enemies without having to recharge senjutsu." He grins.
"But I'm not really experimenting anymore. The kata I will learn directly from the salamander. Like I said, you're free to hang around. But if you want to get back home, I won't hate ya for it. I can understand."
Mushi listens carefully to what Goh has to say, and she nods. "That doesn't sound like a bad idea," she says. "You can never be too fine tuned when it comes to that type of technique." Then she makes a few hand seals and from the stream a block of mud would come up. Then it'd slough off to form two halves of a jar. She'd place a seal within the hollow the jar, and another on the outside so both sides are covered and complete sealed. "I don't use it much but I know Mud Manipulation," she admits. Then she'd push the mess over to Goh. "Put some in and see if that fits. But no, it's rudimentary at best. Better to find someone good at this stuff."
She wipes off her hands and then stands up. "So…uh…I guess I'll go. I hope the training goes well, Goh-kun. I…uh. Yeah. You be safe, okay? Try not to do anything too reckless anymore." Then she'd head off swiftly back up towards the surface.