Soldier's Salute


Midoru, Suisen

Date: September 23, 2010


Suisen arrives, introducing herself as Midoru's new student, sent from the Shattered shores. Conversation ensues.

"Soldier's Salute"

Kuroyari Encampment

Though a small breeze flitters through the trees and grasses, the only sound here is the soft creaking of windmills. Full garbed in her armor, a small clanking can be heard as she follows the map to the Konohagakure Windmills, the supposed place she was to meet her next Instructor. Lifeless mask staring at the browned parchment, Suisen shoulders her obsidian blade before coming to a stop and surveying the overall scene here with a metallic sigh.

The world runs blue at this time, it's hazy hue wrapping about all that lay above the earth. The sun's edge has not yet risen above the horizon and the muted colors are by the whim of the predawn light. The sounds of steel clashing on steel resound about the place. The expansive windmills still churn and rotate, but beyond them the source of the sounds could be seen.
Soldiers; a squadron of them, some thirty from children to young adults, stand in full armor. In front of them stands Midoru, the giant of a man's voice slamming across the field as he drilled his students. "Forward slash! Backhand Slash! Upwards Crescent! Raze!"
The soldiers performed the drill seamlessly, a simple grace born of long practice.

A clawed hand comes to bear on Suisen's mask, removing the thing and attaching it at her waist next to her letter of recommendation. Her bootsteps may not be heard about the clamor of steel, but they resound none the less as she approaches the giant of a man, a foot taller than she. Waiting until the katas come to their conclusion is when she speaks, "Sensei Souzen?" she questions, a spiked gauntlet pulling an ornately wrapped parchment from her waist, "I am Takamura Suisen, sent from The Shattered Shore to train with you." she says, presuming his identity. There weren't that many, if any, soldiers who wore the armor of the Sanyari, let alone those who bore the crest of the Kuroyari.

Midoru inclined his head, seemingly to those he was drilling. "Kitai!" he called informally, "Attend and continue the drills!" He waited while a young man stepped out of the ranks, sixteen, perhaps seventeen years of age. His blond hair lay settled upon his head in a healthy sweat as he made a sharp right turn and marched to the center of the platoon before making a left turn. He then marched in front of Midoru. A mailed hand swept up to his forehead in a smart salute, the gray armor laying dully against his bronzed skin. "You may take command," said Midoru after a slight pause and a return salute.
He stepped back and let Kitai takes his place, long legs moving smoothly. His armored fist was brought to the metal over his heart in salute to Suisen and he inclined his head. "Blessings, Takamura Suisen." He took the offered parchment, crimson eyes flashing across the page as he read it. "We've been expecting you."

Suisen watches the display with gray eyes before turning her attention to Midoru. After he takes the parchment, she places both armored hands at her sides and bows, "It's good to meet you then." she offers before removing her helmet and tethering it too at her side. "My Father said that you would be able to help me in my training. How might we begin?" she inquires, eyes wandering to the soldiers behind Midoru before returning to his crimson eyes.

Midoru's eyes lifted from the parchment to Suisen, taking her in with a steady downwards examination, before flickering to her blade and then the to her own eyes. "We'll begin with conversation," said the man simply, voice rumbling from his deep chest as distant thunder smoothed out by distance. He tilted his head, searching the planes of the girl's — woman's, he decided — face. "You understand the expectations I have of you, yes?"

Suisen can be seen to wilt slightly under the heavy gaze of the Kuroyari as her own eyes turn aside for a moment or two, "My Father said we would be travelling though I do not know fully what it takes to be a Kuroyari." she admits, "Beyond physical condition, I don't know what you need of me Sensei Souzen." Suisen says finally, lowering her head slightly. It had been a long walk in the night to get here, she had had plenty of time to think of good answers to whatever questions he might ask but… perhaps not.

"Well and so," said the captain, nodding. "It is easier to fill an empty cup than a brimming one. Don't worry yourself over that. These things are simply a part of your training; That is my responsibility and I'll do my utmost to see it done proficiently. I speak of your own responsibilities. How you will conduct yourself around us, around the populace, and simply on your own. This is one of your few responsibilities."

The Sanyari nods as she listens to Midoru before she gives him a nod of assent, "Humility is my main focus. My…" she pauses looking straight down, unable to even face Midoru as she speaks, "..being brash has lost me much and is the reason I'm here. I don't plan on making mistakes." Suisen adds as her gaze again meets Midoru's with a hard stare. "What else will I need to know Sensei?" she asks after a calming breath passes her lips.

Midoru nodded, somewhat solemn, his long hair whispering as it slid across the contours of his breastplate. "What you should know, first, is that what has happened is in the past. It will be taken into account, yes, but I will not unduly hold it against you. You have a clean slate, but it'll be one quick to sully. Perhaps it is so, though, that you coming now is a good thing. We are here in Konohagakure to learn of teamwork, which seems to be the village's staple. It could prove a boon to you. You should know that though I have few expectations, I have many hopes. The chief among them that this should become a family to you. You should know that I'm open to questions, to requests, and to help if you see the need and come to me. And you should know that you will make mistakes, and you will be wrong. And that I am no different."
He shrugs, his armor clinking slightly with the motion. "There are many things you need to know, and many you will learn. What I'm interested in is what you would like to know."

Suisen listens and her lips purse a few times as Midoru speaks and her otherwise stoic face takes on what could be described as a grateful expression. She smiles slowly, swallowing hard, the kind one does when they're trying to hold back tears. A gauntlet reaches to brush her cheek as she takes a breath, regaining her composure perhaps. "I would like to be a Kuroyari, Sensei Souzen, I will do whatever it takes." Birds can be heard now, chirping in the trees as they awake from their night time slumber and a breeze catches and speeds up a few of the windmills. "Where can I start?"

Midoru inclines his head in acknowledgment, somehow managing to smile without doing so. "Conversation," he said once more. "The others each had time to speak with me on their own, and I believe that it aided both the platoon and I. You will receive the same. We should begin now. We've already been on our morning jog and the drills are well underway, so tonight you will be introduced to the others. You have the end of our conversation until we eat to relax, view the village — to use the time as your own. You'll be introduced to the others then."

She takes a long breath then, relieved perhaps after their conversation, before replacing her helmet back over her hair. "Thank you Sensei Souzen. I'm very glad I made this long trip." Suisen says taking her mask from her hip and regarding it for a few moments. "It doesn't seem like we fit in very well in Konohagakure Sensei." she remarks looking up from her mask then, "None of the other Shinobi seem to wear anything resembling our armor."

"This is true," said Midoru with a nod. "Though this land can be both wonderful and terrible and it is often an interesting place, it is not for us. We must remember that we are not shinobi; we're soldiers. We operate differently on the basest level, and we're here only to take what we can to improve ourselves. It'll be this way with every village we go to. Does this distress you?"

Suisen can be seen to think for a few moments before shaking her head, "It does." she admits before thinking on what she would add. "I've spent most of my life with those I call brothers and sisters and everything is much different here." Suisen pauses for a few moments, again regard her mask before she looks up, then up some more to Midoru, "It is just different, something I'll have to get used to I suppose." she smiles, lightly, then.

Midoru inclines his head, "There'll be brothers and sisters here, if you'll have them for it. But there'll always be that distinction… between you and those you meet. It can be forgotten at times, but you are a foreigner here. And like as not, we won't be here long enough for it to be thought otherwise. We move on to Sunagakure when I deem us ready."
He turned, long legs walking starting to carry him away as he beckoned for Suisen to accompany him. "There are things, though, that can make such things easier. If you chose to be alone, there must be a place where solace is complete. Where you can feel comfortable. Tell me, then. Is there a place that makes you feel so? And I don't mean a singular location. I speak of… an atmosphere, I suppose. An aura."

Her bootsteps are heavy behind the larger Kuroyari, "Constant improvement." she says first off as they take a few steps, "Training, always being in movement, like a current within a river." Suisen remarks as the sun rises higher within the opal sky, turning blue towards the west. "I don't like being still, stagnant. As long as we are always working towards a goal, I will be happy." Suisen says finally as they make their way.

Midoru nods, "You seek a place that, if you were to be alone, you could feel… fluid? Changing?" His own tread is light and soundless, his motions notably precise, as it sometimes is with people large enough to be learn carefulness with their bodies from an early age. "I am not asking for the time you spend with us. I am asking for the time you will spend alone. All of my students must find a place where they can go when they want to get away, a place they can call their own. A place where they who enters is their choice and by their will alone. A place of rest."

"Perhaps then…" she resounds, thinking for a moment, "Simply somewhere by the water, so that I might pretend I were nearer to home." Suisen adds then, placing her armored arms behind her, clinking against her sword. "Or if it were possible, on a ship so I might feel the dips and turns of the waves." Something that would make many sick, the constant moving and sighing of the waves leaving the vessel to heave and rock with it. "Is there anything similar to that in Konohagakure?" she asks finally.

"Yes," said Midoru. "There are a few places like that, here." He sent a look over to his newest student, "You'll have to find them yourself, however. It is not my place to know where you would go to be alone, for whatever the reason. It is a personal thing." He looked forward once more, strides lengthening as they began to climb uphill.

Suisen nods as she struggles to keep up with Midoru, taking a few quick steps every once and awhile to catch up before he escapes her again. "I'll begin looking for these then soon then." she remarks, taking a few steps to catch up to Midoru again, "What about my training Sensei? When can we begin learning to be a Kuroyari?" she inquires again, seemingly impatiently pressing the issue of her instruction.

"Immediately," replied Midoru, shifting the massive Mhaldor with a fluid movement of the shoulders so that it sat a little more naturally in its angle. "If that is what you wish." He looked towards the horizon, the new sun shining through platinum hair and against pale skin very odd to find within the ranks of the Sanyari, let alone to Kuroyari.

"I do." is all Suisen says for a moment as she seems lost in thought. She blinks then, returning to the dawn that rose in front of them, to Midoru's silver hair reflecting several colors that the sun shone across the windmill plains here. "I want to be able to have those around me able to depend on my protection." she adds, gray eyes following Midoru's weapon for a few moments before her own eyes return to Gitoujunsai, her own massive sword.

Midoru turns around to face Suisen, taking a few slowing backwards steps until he sopped. He inclined his head in acknowledgement of her wants and wishes. "No rest from your travels?"

Suisen shakes her arms out a bit, she had walked a long way in order just to get to this point. However, she also wasn't a villager or scribe. "I will be fine Sensei, at the very least I shall sleep fine tonight." Suisen quips with a small grin as she replaces the mask over her face - her expression becoming lifeless and stoic.

The planes of Midoru's face shifted, amusement showing through without the quirked lips or canted brow. "What do you know of chakra?" was the start of his lesson and his acceptance of her request both. His voice slipped into the one he used as he taught an individual, silken and smooth, unobtrusive.

With a clawed hand, Suisen tips her mask forward from the chin up, revealing her face but keeping the forehead of the mask attached. Lines form between her eyebrows, ones of confusion perhaps, "It can be used to do many things from what I have heard." she starts lifting Gitoujunsai from her back and letting it's sheer weight stab itself into the ground. "I can feel Chakra but I cannot use it well after the pirates…" she pauses as if not sure how to say it, "…nearly killed me. Why do you ask?"

"Because… that is was a Kuroyari is," said Midoru. "We are elite with physical combat, yes, but any Sanyari knows of the body," he continues, mailed hand touching his chest in demonstration. "What seperates us from them is that we go beyond that. The Kuroyari train in not only the body but the spirit, if you will. The use of Chakra is our advantage. The use of ninjutsu. We do not use it in as expansive of way as the shinobi do. Few times will you see us calling storms of fire or tidal waves, but we use it more to supplement us." This time, though, the corners of his lips did twitch upwards in something of a smile. "I can see that you will be something of a challenge."

Her own hand goes to her chest, pawing at the point of a tribal tattoo that extends just into view on her next. However, her hand rests below her neck, where the damage was done and where rivulets of scars run amok, disturbing her chakra flow greatly. Suisen sighs lightly, unsure of just what to say, "Perhaps I made a better Sanyari…" she begins snapping her mask down then with a flick of her wrist that just masks her own hint of a grin. Her voice metallic, she continues, "How would I train my spirit then?"

"Perhaps," admitted Midoru. "We shall see." He took a step back and gestured to the grassy ground, morning dew only partially dried and vanished.
"Take a seat, then." He cascaded into a sitting position, his long body smoothly lowering itself until its legs were crossed beneath him and his back was straight, the man seeming comfortable in this position in spite of the armor.

Suisen follows Midoru, leaving her obsidian blade in the ground, when he takes his seat. It's not long before Suisen takes her own seat, somewhat plopping down in front of him, mirroring his image in crossing her own legs. She does remove her mask, laying it down next to her since they wouldn't be sparring, or at least it appeared that way. "What is this?" Suisen inquires simply, bearing simple curiosity as she looks over Midoru's armor.

Midoru arches a brow as he reaches a hand back to touch the hilt of Mhaldor. The split blade rent the earth in a smooth motion as the giant pushed down on its hilt until it lay horizontal across the small of his back. "I'm not sure I understand your question."

It's a small, nervous bow of her head she gives as she tries to clarify, "What we're doing sitting down like this I mean." The sun ascends higher, a certain amount of heat coming to the day then when compared to the night that was just a few hours prior. The sounds of swords and armor shifting about can still be heard as the students run through their katas and drills.

Midoru nods at the explanation. "Your eyes wander," he explained. "Your attention finds too many places to rest and too quickly. It is understandable, given the circumstances, but a little distracting. So for now, we will focus. Look me in the eyes, and don't look away."

Lines again can be seen on her brow and again she seems to wilt slightly. Suisen nods and looks up into Midoru's crimson eyes, chin lowered slightly. "You don't look like a lot of the Sanyari, Sensei." is all she says as her gaze keeps tight on Midoru, mostly unwavering. There is, however, a yellow flower to Midoru's right that garners her attention for a moment as it wavers in the wind, a bright fascinating yellow. The distraction is only a brief glance before she retains her gaze once more.

"No, I do not," admitted Midoru, grinning slightly. Apparently, he thought better of letting Suisen keep her eyes open. "We can speak of it later. I want you to close your eyes, now. And begin deep breathing."

The Sanyari can be seen to frown slightly before she dips her head and takes several deep breaths. The Chakra is always there, like a high pitched noise in the background, it's just a matter of quieting to hear it. It flows through Suisen easily until it gets stopped, confused and generally marred as it hits the wounds on her chest, all but stopping the circuitous flow of energy. In fact, trickles of pain course through these wounds as she focuses, slowly increasing. Her face fails to lose those lines of frustration as she goes through this exercise.

Midoru's voice passes from his lips, smooth as watered silk and unobtrusive, seeking to guide without taking too much attention upon itself. "Tell me… what is it you feel? What does your body tell you? Do you feel the weight of the armor…? The touch of the sun? Can you smell the dawn in the air…?"

Air passes her lips as she attempt to concentrate. "I can feel the wind on the grass, the sun on the flowers…" she pauses, even reaching to her chest then, "My Chakra irritates the scars left from the arrows.." Suisen admits, her mouth upturned slightly into a grimace.

"Then follow me…" said Midoru's voice. "Feel the touch of the sun on your face and neck, its heat slowly winding through the tresses of your hair… Feel the earth beneath you, pressing… even as you press against it, returning what you give… feel the breath as it enters you… familiarize yourself with it… how it passes mouth and throat and lung and inhabits it all… and it leaves, stealing the tension of your body from you… and it returns to make the same journey yet again… Feel the weight of your skin, tingling slightly with sweat… it presses against you, holds itself close to you…"

It's a long breath that Suisen takes and she holds her exhaled breath for some time before she takes another. The wind bracing gently against her armor, cooling between the cracks and running down her back. Her stiff hands begin to relax and slowly sink towards being limp in front of her. The scars still burn, but they are a secondary concern now against the overflow of everything else. She can't see them, but clouds far overhead sluggishly move across the sky, blocking out the sun for a few moments as a cool breeze ignites a cooling effect across the cooling plains, "I can feel it there, Sensei." is all she says, as a whisper even, as she attempts to meditate.

"Deeper…" floated the giant's voice. "The muscles in your body lie warm under the blanket of your skin… they breathe as you do… expanding… deflating… tension fleeing." Midoru's eyes scan Suisen's face as he speaks. "Power… lies latent in their bodies… Change. Action… That power comes from deeper still.. feel the way the muscles stretch across your bones, pulling on them, forever attached… Feel how they draw something from them… they are the source of their power…"

Suisen takes another long breath, feeling the touch of Chakra from a distance she cannot determine. Feeling the pull of her muscles against her armor, her bones and even the energy that floats around them. Swirling in her mind, the Sanyari finally tips forward, catching herself with her armored hands. Wiping a bead of sweat from her forehead, she takes another breath, "I think my travels may have taken more from me than I thought." She dips her head slightly in a small bow, "Forgive me Sensei, I believe I need to rest before we can do anymore training."

Midoru inclines his head, taking in a slow breath through his nose as he drew himself from that deep place from which he spoke, that meditative mind-frame. He rose to his feet in a single supple motion and extended his hand in offering, to help Suisen stand. "Well enough. We'll try again at a later date."

The Sanyari nods then and with a clank, grips Midoru's wrist. As tired as she is, she relies much more on Midoru to actually pull her up than she might otherwise want. Stumbling to her feet, Suisen places a hand on his shoulder to steady herself. "Very tired." she mentions before stepping over and picking up her mask. "Thank you for the help so far, Sensei." She then snaps the mask in place and moves over to replace her obsidian blade to her back. As she bows, her metallic voice sounds from her mask, "I'll find those places we spoke of, Sensei, so until we meet again." She finishes her bow and begins her search for a place with quiet water that she might rest at.

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