Date: November 25, 2015
Shinta heads to the library to study up on defending against genjutsu. He's lucky enough to get some tutoring from the best…although perhaps that's not so lucky after all.
"Shinta's Genjutsu Perception Training"
Ninja Academy [Sunagakure]
As much as Shinta's parents might want him to stop going out at night, the boy would still try going at least to the academy in the dark of night to practice. The clear night making the chances of someone being able to sneak up on him sink, if only a margin. Cloaked in the woven poncho and wearing his hood over his head to remain less identifiable, the boy would quietly slip into the grounds of the academy and creep toward the training grounds. The library would be a good place to look up some form of notes on genjutsu and how to defend against them as long as it wasn't locked. Nearing the doors of the academy, the boy would tug gently and smile a bit as the door opened, not paying mind to the security seal placed above the door. With the theft problem currently plaguing the village it wasn't a real surprise that some form of security measure might be taken but really, who would care enough about books in an academy library to have a warning system prepared for when the building was accessed after hours?
Well, the cloaked figure already inside the building doesn't seem to care. He glances briefly toward the door as it opens, then goes right on doing what he was doing, which…appears to be taking random books from the shelves, slipping something into the pages, and putting them back into place. It's a little hard to tell with the limited light. "If you need to use a book, please let me know which one you want," the figure remarks as he works. "I'd rather avoid contamination of my experimental setup."
He was really going to have to get better at sensing when someone was in a location because otherwise, Shinta was bound to jump right out of his skin one of these days. Blinking a bit and then squinting against the darkness, Shinta would creep further into the library and close the door before starting to walk on toward the cloaked figure. They didn't seem to have much in the way of ill intent and a quick check of his pouches confirmed he'd not been robbed, yet, so this person couldn't be too bad. "Um, are you supposed to be here? This is a library, I do not believe we are supposed to be preforming experiments in the library of the academy." Shinta would say, his own face hidden in the darkness of his hood while he eyed the strange person and tried to grasp a better understanding of what it was they were doing.
"Of course I'm not supposed to be here. If my experimental subjects — which includes anyone involved with the library — knew I was here, my results would be biased." The figure turns his head toward Shinta, revealing a middle-aged face from the Southern Lands. "Fortunately a great deal of after-the-fact leeway is afforded to a Kazekage. Your status as an intruder during after-hours is far more questionable, but I expect won't bother reporting you." Sousa hands Shinta a seal tag. "Here, read this." The nature of the tag, as it happens, is to induce a sudden urge to sneeze in anyone who looks closely at it.
Shinta didn't know what to make of a person that was so honest and forthcoming in their misdeeds. It was a little insane in a way and yet he didn't feel as though this person was dangerous in the same manner as the thief or lizards had seemed to be. The comment of his being here as questionable - and that he was in the presence of the Kazekage - however, had Shinta drawing back his hood to reveal the short pale locks of hair that topped his head and his clearly tanned complexion which spoke of a boy born and raised to a desert dwelling family line. "I am Akakawa, Shinta; a student of this academy. I only came after hours because the instructor is going to be testing us in being able to perceive genjutsu for our first test and I have never attempted study of the subject." The boy explained to make clear he wasn't a thief or intruder. Reaching out with both hands, Shinta would take the seal tag and try to read it only to suddenly turn his head and sneeze strongly into the bend of his left arm. The young boy was careful to move the seal to safety before he sneezed and then, like a good student, tried to study the tag only to sneeze again and groan a bit. "Ugh…. I apologize, I am not sure what is wrong with me. Just a moment, I had thought the Kazekage was a woman.. My parents always say 'she' when talking of the Kazekage…"
"Seal test positive," Sousa murmurs to himself, continuing to put more of them in the books. "Not a statistically significant sample of course, but at least that would have alerted me had the formula been fundamentally flawed." Sousa selects a non-booby-trapped book about basic genjutsu practice from the shelf and hands it to Shinta. "The Second Kazekage is indeed a woman, namely Watanabe Itami-sama. I am the First Kazekage, Kokoroe Sousa. I no longer act in an official capacity as Kazekage, but as I noted the title does provide me with a great deal of immunity." It occurs to Sousa to tell Shinta about the seal, but hey, if he's supposed to be learning to perceive genjutsu himself… ;)
Shinta would give up on reading that seal and offer it back to the man in favor of the book while watching the man closely. While he was still not acting threatening, there was a little caution as Shinta read the title of the book and waited for a moment. At least he didn't sneeze. Smiling a little bit and nodding, the young boy would open the book and begin glancing over the contents. As much as he would rather have live training such as what he expected the clone technique to be like. "That does sound like a nice benefit to having been a Kazekage, but why are you placing seals as bookmarks at the academy?"
Sousa pauses for a moment. "In point of fact, this is a test of the effectiveness of the training and examination methods here at the academy," Sousa explains. "I intend to use these tags to gauge how well the student body does at warding off genjutsu when they are not expecting it, and compare that with the results of the upcoming examination you mentioned. I'd have preferred not to tell you about it, but I suppose you're less likely to alert the test subjects if you're contented in knowing what is strange about the library than if you merely knew something is strange. Naturally, I have to ask you to avoid speaking on the matter." There's actually more to the experiment than that, but hopefully it's enough to satisfy Shinta's curiosity.
Sousa taps his chin. "Actually, as long as you've already been contaminated from being a member of the test pool…perhaps you could assist me in testing the strength of these tags. I've designed them such that a typical student of your age should be able to resist their effects if they're perceptive enough and know the basic technique for cancelling genjutsu, but it's difficult to be sure they were calibrated well."
Shinta would blink a bit and then set the book down as he looked at the retired Kazekage. "So if we are perceptive enough we can know to defend against Genjutsu as it is trying to take effect rather than after when it has already taken effect.." Shinta explained before looking at those seals with a bit of a knit in his brow. It was an interesting thing, not something Shinta had even thought of attempting to be honest but if he could defend against things before they happened it would reduce any delay and any pains of trying to make himself resist those illusions after they had taken hold. "I will not tamper with the results of your test by talking with the other students about it. I can aid you with testing your seals but in exchange, could you help me to grow a little better at fending off Genjutsu? I am trying to become a medic and do not want to spend time healing my own wounds from escaping a genjutsu attack if I am capable of avoiding it entirely."
Sousa chuckles. "A sound understanding of basic principles of trade, I see. Very well, I need you to have essentially proficiency in order to test the tags anyway." And Sousa proceeds to give Shinta a crash-course in recognizing and thwarting genjutsu, which we'll skip over for narrative purposes. ;) Afterward, Sousa holds up one of the tags. "Well, give it a try."
Shinta would listen closely and from time to time take some notes or draw something in a small scroll without looking away from Sousa as he listened in on the lesson to its completion. When it came tim to test the theory, Shinta would begin reading the tag and then read it aloud after a few twitches of his nose that showed he could mostly fend it off, but it still held some threat to his ability to do so silently. Still, the boy had managed to at the very least grasped the most basic form of defending against a genjutsu. But he did also know it was coming so his chances were better than before anyway.
Sousa nods at Shinta's success. "Very good. I believe you've gotten the hang of it." Sousa pulls a sampling of the tags from his pouch. "Of course, to make sure the seals are good, we'll have to run several of them by you. Here, take a look at this one…" Sousa displays the tags to Shinta one after another in a monotonous but necessary testing process.
After a while, they're finally done. "Thank you. Make sure to put that book back," Sousa says, putting the tags away. "It wouldn't do to have anything noticeably out of place. Oh, and one more thing…" Just as he's putting the book back, Shinta feels an agonizing sharpness go through him from behind, and sees a spray of red on the books in front of him. "…I'm afraid I have to eliminate any random variables from my experiment." e.e
Shinta was walking along the books and reading the spines to see where the book in hand would go. Once he found it, he'd place the book in the vacant slot, only to cry out at the pain shooting through his back. Reaching behind himself, the boy would stagger away and glare at the man while holding up his right hand to try fending off the retired Kage.
Sousa sighs wearily and paces after Shinta. "You've got the technique down, but you still need to work on the perceptiveness of when to use it." -.- Sousa reaches out and gives Shinta a light tap on the shoulder, and suddenly the pain is gone, along with the blood splattered around. "If I was really trying to defend my experiment's secrecy, would I have turned the library into such a messy murder scene?" Sousa pulls out one of the tags and holds it out to Shinta. "Here. You may take this with you to practice, although please do so in secret until after the examination."
At that tap the boy would blink slowly and then reach around behind himself to feel for where the pain had been before listening to what the man said and began looking over the area for a moment. "So the key isn't just the fluctuation but also to see the flaws in reality that would say you're slipping into an illusion.." Shinta answered while looking at his hand as though he was still expecting blood to be on his hand. When the man offered him one of the seal tags, he'd look at it and read it over to help boost his morale a bit. It didn't even tingle anymore actually which was a better than before.
Sousa nods. "Quite. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have quite a few more of these tags to plant. I believe you'll find the coast is clear for leaving the building." With that, Sousa resumes plucking books from the shelves and hiding the tags within.
Shinta would give a nod of his head and make his way back toward the door of the library to slip out. It was a strange meeting but he'd learned quite a bit from the man.. in exchange he'd keep his word and not tell a soul while he drifted back into the streets and donned his hood to hide his features once again. It would be a long night of training for Shinta if he truly wanted to master the perception of Genjutsu but he'd taken up a lot of the retired Kazekage's time already, now he'd just need to make sure it wasn't wasted.