Rockpath (emitter), Takeo
Date: June 10, 2015
Takeo makes his way to the second turtle sage, Natsuen, and learns about Natural Energy.
"Takeo’s Sage Journey - Tipping the Scales"
Land of Earth
And so… Takeo would be on the road again. Tamotsu would be at his side, along with any other companions. Occasionally they would come across the random bandit or wild bear, but shinobi training allowed them to defeat these opponents with ease. Eventually the group would come to another shore, this one in the far west of all the lands and between Wind and Earth. Much like before, there was a beach. Unlike before, it was blazing hot.
"I see this Great Sage's name isn't undeserved," Takeo notes to Tamotsu as their near the new shoreline, which would nearly scorch a man. He makes a hand sign to draw moisture from the air, trying to keep himself a bit misted. However, before heading down to the beach proper, he looks to his turtle companion. "Is there anything I should know about this one?"
"Just be yourself?" Tamotsu says, not quite sure what to expect himself. Turtles didn't usually travel from their home. Whenever Takeo fully steps onto the beach, the ground would start to rumble, and then a giant turtle with an island on its back would rise from the very sand! With it came a burst of heat, and it seemed to peer down at Takeo with a curious eye. "Hmm…" it rumbles, not saying anything else
"Just be myself? Who's that these days?" Takeo chuckles lightly at his turtle friend. Indeed, he's looking rather different after these many weeks of traveling from one point to the next. Still keeps his face neatly shaved, but his hair's grown longer yet, much of it remaining bound up in a topknot. There's a seedling of his prior peace planted, but yet to come to bloom.
Takeo's taken up by ambush before he can consider a proper approach. This one rises not from the water, but from the earth! Well, the old approach may be the best, and so the young man promptly bows low before the great turtle. "O great lord! I am Inuzuka Takeo, son of the Turtle Clan. Lord Harukaze has sent me to you for tutelage on my journey to become a Sage," he announces. "I am humbled your presence, my ancient kin, and would ask for your wisdom."
Natsuen hmms again as he considers the small 'turtle', using one of his feet to knock Takeo over to examine him further. "Interesting…" is rumbled out. Then Tamotsu disappears with a *POOF*, as does the great turtle before Takeo. Well, he doesn't disappear. He's smaller and slightly more humanoid. Picture a ninja-turtle, essentially, but without the silly weapons and mask. "So Harukaze-kun sent you? He must either be annoyed with you or want you to learn more… Though…" There's a pause. "He is also the youngest of us… And does not know all about the Sage Mode you seek."
Takeo finds himself promptly abandoned by Tamotsu - the ingrate - and left to the examinations of this new figure. It just takes one push from that big foot to knock him back for examination, and quite the figure he is, at least by human standards. Of course, there are also signs that he's been human and other things along the way.
"Yes, great lord," says Takeo as he collects his breath, slowly taking a knee and then pushing himself upright. His head remains inclined. "I cannot speak for his thoughts, great lord, but Lord Harukaze has helped me in many ways. Helped me to join your clan, and to find myself - and a dear friend - after my status as Jinchuuriki was ripped from my body by a great evil."
Takeo can't think of anything to say, but for his honest thoughts, and so he clears his throat. "I don't believe he sent me out of annoyance, not after having done so much for me and shown hope for my future. I believe he does wish me to train as a Sage."
Takeo doesn't really care that the elder of the turtle's henged into something more recognizable. He knows he's at this one's mercy.
Natsuen offers a small nod, then says, "Fair enough…" He considers a bit longer before turning on his heels. "Follow," he says, moving out towards the water. Then he steps onto its surface, walking across like it was nothing. Water walking. The man stops after traveling about fifty meters from the shore, looking back to make sure Takeo had joined him. "This is the first step of your training."
Takeo considers himself fortunate to be able to follow after being kicked down by one of the Four Great Sages. Once invited, however, the young man eagerly accepts and trails in his wake.
With as much ease, the young man does indeed pursue Natsuen out onto the water, walking upon it in the same fashion as his new sensei. Respect is shown toward the declaration of his first lesson with a bowed head.
Natsuen turns in his spot and says, "This spot here… It has a lot of natural energy." Then he sinks into the water, appearing right next to Kaido with a jar in his hand. "This oil is a special fish oil that allows your body to absorb the energies." Then he shows his hand. "And this is the hand that will knock that energy away." With a half-seal, a stick of coral appears in his hand.
"Strange coincidence. I was working on coral manipulation at one time," Takeo can't help but observe as he watches Natsuen produce the stick. Prompting himself to regain his focus with a blink, he looks then to the jar of fish oil. "This helps you take in natural energy? I hope you don't need it all the time to use senjutsu. My kin have … really sensitive noses." The young man says that as delicately as he can, perhaps so as to not offend his partly water-faring teacher.
In order to show his devotion to his studies, Takeo lifts his hand and makes a single sign of his own. The fish oil is drawn from the jar and allowed to fall upon his body, which it proceeds to drench, naturally. "Oneness with nature is living in the moment, I would suppose, sensei."
Natsuen chuckles throatily. "This is a staff of coral that I summoned. Not something I made." Then Takeo manipulates the oil to fall onto him, and Natsuen knocks the Inuzuka away from the oil, hitting the back of the former host's head like his life depended on it… which it did. "Baka! Don't do something so stupid like that!" he scolds, watching the fish oil spill into the ocean unless Takeo still had control over it. If the Inuzuka did, then he would be asked to get it back in the jar
"Sorry! I'm sorry, my lord!" Takeo still does have control, but then, his control over liquids was one of those few unusual traits he retained. He quickly moves his hands upward in a scooping motion, gathering the oil from both himself and the surface of the water. It finds its way back into the jar in a neat, orderly stream, not at all deserving of smiting.
Bowing low before Natsuen, "I apologise, sensei. That was presumptuous of me. I know that I must remember to respect balance … Including with regard to my own knowledge."
Natsuen rubs his temples with a clawed hand. "This oil, as I was saying, allows you to draw upon natural chakra easier. However, Natural chakra can, and will in large quantities while unbalanced, kill you." He dabs a single finger into the oil and gestures for Takeo's hand, smearing some of the oil on the back of it. "It doesn't take much for someone inexperienced to become overwhelmed." Takeo would notice his hand turning into one similar to a turtle's foreleg, though it shifts back to normal when Natsuen thumps him on the back of the head with the coral rod again. "Here, you will learn how to balance this energy. This oil will allow you to draw it into yourself, but you must get used to balancing it. Questions? And don't do anything stupid without asking, boy."
Takeo watches in mild amazement as his hand begins to transform, and then shifts back. Was this the answer to the question Harukaze had left unanswered, as to whether he'd take on traits of the Turtle Clan? Catching himself pondering when he should be learning, he quickly turns an ear to indicate focus upon Natsuen. Nice timing for almost getting clobbered in the face.
"Respectfully, my lord, I believe the stupid thing might be to try this without first asking you how to best accomplish it," says Takeo after a moment's thought, no doubt trying to make up for his image. "Up until recently, relatively speaking, I didn't balance the power I had - I imprisoned it. You say this place has a great deal of natural energy, so I'd assume it will rush me. What approach should I take?"
The turtle tilts his head. "I thought I explained that, boy. But here it is again." Natsuen takes a breath before saying, "What you do… Is you need to just have your body absorb the natural chakra through this oil. That'll be something passive. Something you don't have to do. I'll make sure to knock it out of you when it gets to be too much. What you need to focus on is balance. Make sure the natural energy doesn't overwhelm you. That's difficult."
The Turtle Sage blinks and peers a bit at Takeo. "You mentioned imprisoning the chakra of your Bijuu? That is … wrong. You did not imprison it. Isobu was keeping you in balance. When you raged, he was in control. His chakra overwhelmed yours. When you found your as you call it, peace, that was when you two worked together to balance your chakra. This time there is no one to help you. You must gather and balance this natural energy on your own. But for now, we shall work on balancing."
Natsuen holds out the fish oil. "Put /only a little/ on you. The influx of natural energy will turn you into a turtle if you're not careful, and eventually to stone." He waits, then, with his coral staff to hit Takeo on the back of the head in case the natural energy overwhelms him.
Takeo shakes his head once at the Sage's explanation of what happened with Isobu. "That's not how I saw it. He was filled with rage, and I couldn't blame him, seeing him within me and caged like some weapon to be held until needed. There did have to come a time that the possible berserk rage needed to be factored out. Master Jinchuuriki, they called us. All I did was let him loose just to defeat him, to pull out his chakra and seal it separately from him within my body. Until Lord Harukaze, I never really saw just how much Isobu had come to care for me and appreciate how he was treated. Makes me regret some things …"
Exhaling, Takeo dips two fingertips into the oil and rubs it upon his palm. Then, standing upright with the oiled palm facing the sky, he closes his eyes and begins to breathe. To reach out for the chakra in this place, but not in a rush. A bit a time, just like when he's sipping his sake.
The energy around Takeo doesn't stop itself, even if he is trying to draw upon it slowly. In fact, his attempt to draw it in only speeds the process… Within seconds, Takeo would feel changes to his body as it tries to be a turtle, which means Natsuen gets to smack him on the head again. "Too much oil. And /don't/ try to draw in the chakra. Just try and balance it within yourself. Now, again."
"Yes, sensei!" Takeo lifts his hand and draws forth only a droplet of the oil from the jar. He allows it to settle upon his palm and closes his eyes, focusing once more upon the two sides of the equation, his own chakra and that of nature's. This time, he takes a more enlightened approach possibly knocked loose in his brain by that damned staff.
In the moment, Takeo is already balancing. It's balance within himself which allows him to walk on water as he does. Ah, yes, water always finds a way. With his thoughts upon the oil but not fixated there, he tries to simply allow what power exists within the sea to drift up and through. He contributes only when it seems necessary to push back at the rising swell of power, and even then, with great care.
Takeo would find it is not so easy to actually balance. Perhaps in his mind he is doing wonderfully, but the reality is that changes are already happening to his body. This time, it's a few minutes before something happens, but it happens all the same. *THWACK* the coral staff goes to Takeo's head. It's a bit surprising that it didn't break… "Continue," is all that Natsuen would say. The pair would continue like this for as long as it took. Takeo would likely have to stop at some point, and the two would head to shore and rest for the night, but then they would be back at it once the sun rose.