Date: October 7, 2016
Suzu continues her training to learn Shadow Clone, under Hinotori's tutelage, and learns the cause of some of her blocks in progress. Hinotori learns what Suzu wants to use this jutsu for.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
"Shadows Of The Mind Pt. 2"
Hokage Monument, Konohagakure
Having sent a clone to tell Suzu to meet him up in the mountains near the Hokage mountains. This area is known for people to climb the mountains as well as training in various areas, still it's early evening and the cool winds blow through out. Hinotori was leaning against the mountain, he yawns a little, he wanted to get Suzu to complete the training of the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu. She's close he can tell, he wanted to push her on towards other things, but also this will help her boost her confidence in this technique.
Hinotori wasn't in full gear, but than again when is he ever in full ninja gear, though this time it's changed, more flowing and utilitarian. He looks able to fight in a heartbeat. His forehead protector still on at the side, still, he leans there with his arms crossed over his chest as he waits for Suzu to get here. A flicker of movement catches his attention, a woman stands before him, he walks over and hugs her, the two talk and if Suzu is close, she would hear a little of the conversation, "Don't forget, we have to go see mom and dad tomorrow." he nods his head. The woman reaches up to hold his cheek. "Stop that, you did what you had to do. You saved us, you have to come back to me big brother." he nods his head, "I'm trying Kasumi." he says to her. She smiles and flickers away. He sighs and pushes the thought away, he continues to wait.
Uchiha Suzuha makes her way up the side of the Hokage Monument, avoiding walking on the faces of the two Hokage carved into the side of the cliff. That would be disrespectful. Not that's super fond of the Senju, but the Hokage have not personally wronged her, the treatment of Madara by the First aside. She would rather focus on making the Village better than tearing it down. Though there was a time when her thoughts strayed down such dangerous paths, being attacked so much has polarized her. A protector AND an avenger, not just one or the other. She must seek out those who have done the Village wrong. But she can not abandon the Village in the process.
When she comes up over the edge of the cliff she scans around until she spots Hinotori and then walks over to him, taking a moment after her run across the Village and up a vertical surface to get here to just level out her breathing once more.
Upon seeing Suzu, he smiles at her. "Hey how are you?" her asks as he looks at her. He pushes away from the mountain and walks over to where Suzu is. "You ready to complete your Shadow Clone training?" he asks. He takes a moment and studies Suzu for a long moment as she walks over to where she is. "How are you doing Suzu?" Hinotori shakes his arms a bit. He scans the area and as he does it's just them and he closes his eyes as he waits for Suzu to say something. "We are about done with this, I know you can do this, you ready?" he asks as he looks to her trying to gauge her state of mind right now. She will need the focus.
Suzu squints at her instructor. "…'Finish my training'? Uh, no. No, Hinotori-sensei, I don't think I'm ready for that at all. I've been making little or no progress through this process so far. You know how to do this technique better than me, but I've been having a lot of trouble doing it your way. So I'd like to propose two changes, if you'll allow them." She holds up two fingers and ticks them off. "First, I'd like to try working from the base of my Fire Clones instead of the basic Clone Technique. I already know how to use the basic Clone Technique, and I already know how to make a Clone with physical substance via my Fire Clones. I believe what I need to focus on is doing that with Chakra alone, but no attached Chakra Nature. Second, I need to know what the actual hand seal for making Shadow Clones is, and practice using that, rather than the Clone Technique's hand seals. I understand what you were going for, with teaching me to build from the base of the Clone Technique. But I think the reason I've been making no progress is because I'm just practicing something I already learned how to do a long time ago, and that I surpassed when I went on to making Fire Clones."
She folds her arms and says, "'Relearning' the technique and making my brain undo all the progress I've made is harder than if I'd started with the Clone Technique in the first place." She sighs and says. "Again, I know you're the teacher… And you know the technique already… But if you're expecting me to already be close to done at this point, then something is wrong, because I don't think I've even reached the half-way point."
Hinotori listens as Suzu tells him about how her training has been going. As he listens, he sees where he may have gone wrong in her training. He sighs and closes his eyes, she is right. He nods his head, "Alright, those are two valid points. I thought by doing it the way I was showing you would be a bit easier in a way. We both know there are no shortcuts, but yeah." he says as he focuses on Suzu. He brings his hands up, index and pointer fingers cross in front of him, "This is the seal you need to create Shadow Clones." he tells her. She would see him refocuses as if in a instant. He wasn't going to jeopardize her training at all. "If your going to use your Fire Clone as your focus and go from there, that would be a better start." he states. "From there, focus from fire to just chakra, the Clone seal will help in that focus as now you have only one seal versus multiples." he states. "From here, you will push your chakra but keep it even at all times so that when you create your first clone it will mirror you and become another part of you." he pauses and looks her in the eyes, "Do you understand?" he asks.
Suzu listens to Hinotori, having been momentarily worried he'd be one of those teachers who is like, 'NO I AM THE TEACHER SHUT UP AND DO WHAT I SAY THE WAY I SAY IT'. But from what she knows of him by now, it's foolish to have even allowed the notion to cross her mind. And he proves it by being understanding and trying to work with her. She smiles and says, "It's not your fault. Your method probably works great for most people… Especially if they start before learning the Change in Chakra Nature technique. I just have a mental block about reversing my training to something I've already surpassed." Though she is aware, internally, it might be arrogance to think she has surpassed it.
Even so, she intends to make this work. She watches carefully, and listens to the explanation. Then, when asked if she understands, Suzu nods solemnly. "Yes. I think I actually do understand now. Thank you." She then forms the hand seals she is shown, and starts trying to make a clone with physical form. And immediately runs into a new barrier. She applies a shape to the flames she makes when she's making a Fire Clone. The Chakra that gives it physical substance is built around something that already exists. This is going to be more than just a matter of making a Chakra shell without a Chakra Nature… She's going to have to make it without a frame to base it around.
And NOW she sees how the Clone Technique plays into it. She's giving a Clone without substance a physical form. It all clicks now. And with that understanding she uses her expertise at making basic clones combined with her practice at making a Chakra shell to attempt to weave the two methods together. Her initial result is a puff of smoke next to her with a distorted Suzu. It looks like her, but the edges are wavy, like a mirage, as she tries to condense Chakra into a compact form. The difference is the Clone isn't actually there, she's just using it as a sort of reference for the outline she is making.
"This feels… Familiar somehow." she lets out as she tries to concentrate the Chakra, to not let it wave around so freely. But after a few moments, the clone vanishes in another puff of smoke and she has to take a breather.
Activating his Sharingan, he watches the flow of chakra as Suzu begins working through the process of creating a Shadow Clone. His eyes don't waver and she will see a look of encouragement showing on his face. He isn't nervous at all, and as Hinotori watches Suzu, he sees the clone she's trying to bring forth and the waves. Still though it doesn't work and she's now tired. Taking a moment to think and he remembers how he learned how to do his clone. "How about this, your doing everything right except for one small thing." he grins at her. "Don't think about the clone, think about you." he says to her. "Check this out." he says. "Yeah it's odd and weird, but when you make a clone your generally making one of yourself right?" he asks. "So as you focus, don't be afraid to push your chakra." he states.
"Watch." he says as he crosses his fingers and focus his chakra through all of his body from his toes to his head, than poof a Shadow Clone of him with one Sharingan in his right eye. "Hey Suzu." the clone waves and winks at her and poofs and goes away. "Make it flow all through your body, think of you and complete the jutsu." eh says. He really hopes that helps her, it looks like Suzu was getting it, she's close but there is still time for her to improve and he knows she isn't going to give up. "Alright let's go while it still fresh in your head."
Suzu frowns as she listens to Hinotori's explanation of what she's doing it wrong. No… That's not it. Well, actually, yes, he is probably right, but that's not what's bugging her. It's something… Something in the back of her mind… Something about this training being familiar… Familiar…
Suddenly, her eyes go wide and she points at Hinotori and yells out, "AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" in realization. "THIS IS THE SAME TRAINING I'VE BEEN DOING FOR CHAKRA CONTROL THIS WHOLE TIME!" She holds her hands up and stares at them angrily. "Well, not EXACTLY the same, but the 'compress the Chakra', 'maintain it', and 'balance it' aspects… Kusou! I thought I was finally going to be doing something new and different! No wonder this has been so frustrating!"
She sighs and lowers her hands to her sides, slumping forward dejectedly. "I guess I just have to do it then, huh?" After a few moments with her face buried in her own cleavage, she snaps her head up with a determined look in her side and says, "Fine! Fine, then! I'll complete this training without fail!" Then she forms the hand seals she was shown, molding Chakra and shaping it around herself instead of around the projected image of a clone. Once she condenses the Chakra across her whole body as close as she can, she casts the jutsu and causes another Suzu to appear next to her. This one looks very gaunt and skinny. Malnourished. She doesn't last very long before vanishing in a puff of smoke.
"Grr… Not enough Chakra that time. Again!" She tries again, with a 'haup!'
There's another *POOF* of smoke and an even skinnier Suzu. More like a skeleton than a person, and flopped on the ground limply instead of standing. The clone only lasts seconds before disappearing. Suzu looks pale and is sweating as she gasps for breath. "I'm… Losing a lot of Chakra… During the transition…" She flops down on the ground and tries to just avoid falling over. "This jutsu uses up a lot of it, I guess. Though I think… My efficiency is also a problem. I'll make it work!" she holds up a hand to wave off any objection or advice. "I just need to pace myself a little bit and feel out the process."
Hinotori sees the frown from Suzu and when she explains to him why she was having problems, he remembers that Aru was helping her with training to focus her chakra. He smirks a little bit at Suzu, but he doesn't really say anything. He stretches out a bit as she tries to get herself together. "Hey now I know you got this, now come on." he says as she finally gets back to her feet and is ready to go again. Amused, Hinotori shakes his head at her as he crosses his arms over his chest and he walks back a few steps as she gets herself prepared.
"You better, because I don't just train anyone." he winks at her. Still he knows she has to focus on what she is doing and so he just stands there watching her. After the first two failed clones, he doesn't show any disapprovals. Though as he was about to suggest something to her, that look she shoots him, stops him from saying anything at all. He gives her an encouraging smile, "You got this Suzu." he says to her, giving her that much. He gestures for her to get her **** up off the ground. He backs away from her, thoughts run through his mind of Suzu making a good clone this time. With her control of chakra still a question, he hopes she is able to pull….he shakes his head himself. 'She got this.' and he looks to her with his own determined look, 'You got this Suzu.'.
Suzu actually feels more pressured by the encouragement, even though positive reinforcement usually helps. Because now she feels like she's letting Hinotori down by not already having this. "Just… This is going to take me awhile. I don't have the stamina you do. My Chakra reserves are a LOT smaller. Maybe you don't realize that because it's been so long since you were as weak as me, Hinotori-kun, but I'm already tapped out after trying to do this jutsu twice." She huffs and puffs, still looking pale and woozy.
"I didn't realize it would take so much out of me…" She frowns a bit as she tries to struggle to her feet. "If I try to use it again… I might need to focus on building my stamina before I try to continue working on this jutsu." As Hinotori knows, Suzu's stamina is nothing to scoff at. At least for some things. But it seems repeatedly using a B-Rank Ninjutsu with sub-par Chakra Control is pushing her limits.
Hinotori looks to Suzu, she doesn't look good at all, he shakes his head. "Your not weak and I don't want to hear that again." he says to her. It really takes a lot to upset him, **** there really hasn't been a time when he's been upset at all, not until Suzu says that. "None of us are weak ever. Yeah it takes us time to build our strength, it takes time to get to where we need to go, but we're never weak." he says and catching his emotions. "I'm sorry." he apologizes to Suzu. Yes he apologizes for his outburst, but he doesn't go back on what he told her.
As she explains about needing to build her stamina, he nods. Granted he knows what her stamina is like, so there is no guessing on that. "Alright, get on your feet. But for now just focus, this is a pretty taxing technique, as well as some of the other things I want to teach you." he states, "There is more to the Shadow Clones, granted there are a few I'm working on myself that I copied from my old sensei, she would be pretty **** that I haven't learned them yet." he sighs a little. "Still I think we both could benefit from them. For now gather yourself, relax." he says in a comforting tone, but the command is there.
As Hinotori looks to Suzu, there is no disappointment in his features, just encouragement, and a bit of mischievousness, but still, all he wants is for Suzu to do her best. He looks around them, this is a good place for them to be training. "What is it you really want for yourself Suzu?" he asks while she focuses on her stamina.
Suzu takes in a deep breath as she stands up as straight as she can. She lets it out slowly, trying to combat the weakness and dizziness. "I may not be 'weak'. But I'm weaker than you. As for what I really want for myself?" She shakes her head. "I'm pretty sure I said this already, but I'll say it again." She looks Hinotori in the eye and says, "I want the strength to protect every single person I care about with my own hands. So that I'll never lose anyone precious to me ever again."
She then forms the Shadow Clone hand seal again, building up Chakra and letting out a yell of effort as the grass ripples outwards from her position. "And I'll do it… By being everywhere at once, with every ally! Every comrade! Ever family member! Every loved one! All at the same time! KAGE BUNSHIN NO JUTSU!" There is an explosion of smoke next to her, and a Suzu that looks as pale as the real one does stands there, lasting a few seconds, before Suzu herself passes out, falling forwards, unconscious, and causing the Shadow Clone to vanish as well.
There was a reason for him to ask her this, sometimes direct stimulus is what is needed to get some results. Sometimes it backfires, other times it does get the desired effect. He learned this way and this is how he taught his students. As Suzu meets his eyes, Hinotori looks right back into hers. His arms crossed against his chest as he listens to her speak. He doesn't say a word, he hears everything, and **** it, it was **** near the same thing he wanted back than and still now. Though he knows the truth, 'You can't be everywhere, all the time.' but that doesn't betray his look. He gives a slight nod of his head as chakra begins to build up all around her.
As Suzu calls out the jutsu, he sees the exact same clone, the exact everything almost like Suzu. though as he sees the light fade from her eyes as she begins to pass out. Hinotori flickers in front of her and catches her, he sits down on the ground holding Suzu close to him. He kisses her on the forehead, "You did it, and I will see to it that you continue to grow and blossom." he says to her. He moves her so that he is able to cradle her a bit, knowing she may not like it, but still she did it. He knew she could and he never doubted her at all. A cool breeze wafts through the mountains as the two sit there. He reaches up and brushes her hair from her eyes, and as she is out he watches over her.