Date: November 10, 2013
The second step towards unlocking the eight inner gates take place for Rise, forcing the girl in the process to begin coming to terms with who she is as well.
"The Second Step: Dig Deep & Press On"
Northern Hill then scene progressed to The Waterfall
The Waterfall [Land of Fire]
A large waterfall that streams into a massive pool. Surrounding this beautiful location are green trees and lush bushes. The element of nature seems plentiful here, as deer and even predators come here in a neutral alliance to drink from these waters. The waters of the waterfall crash onto large rocks, causing a faint mist to surround it. The pool is a dark blue color, signifying how deep it is. The true depth of the water is unknown.
Rise may have won the debate on rather or not they should still get started on gate training when the downpour hit, but not that it has waned to the point of a light trickle by evening, there is simply no putting it off any longer. With a weary sigh Rise rose and went over to check on Eremi, kick him away if need be, and gesture to the river bank before proceeding on ahead. The sun has long since set. Thankfully, the radiance of a full moon would be sufficient to help them navigate their way to the impromptu training zone. Wordlessly, Rise made her way over to the same rock Eremi pointed out earlier that day. Albeit, not without some difficulty along the way. Her water walking ability could still use some work. Once seated in an almost haphazard manner, she turns to peer at Eremi expectantly.
Sleeping wasn't something Eremi did much of lately, at least not with a little help from his waterskin, which was something Rise wasn't allowing him to partake in. Though he still would, when he thought she wasn't noticing and if she had, at least the girl was kind enough to bite her lip. Even with the difficulties, nothing stopped Eremi from trying to sleep, even tonight with the light drizzle that covered the land of fire. With eyes closed, he'd sense Rise's approach and roll over in response only to receive a kick, "Ugh." Eremi came to a sitting position before climbing to his feet, walking over toward his backpack, strapping it over a single shoulder and following behind the girl. They'd reach the waterfall and Eremi stopped short of the pool, letting Rise head over toward the walk and take her seated position. "Alright, as I've mentioned before…"Sliding the backpack off his shoulder, allowing it to fall to the ground before he sat upon it. "You've got more than enough physical training done. What comes next is either the easiest part or the hardest, depending on your abilities. In order to open the gates, you must be able to feel them within you. Focus on your chakra like most would for performing a ninjutsu, the difference is that you aren't creating a pool of chakra to use, but instead using the current chakra flowing through you to push open the gates that inhibit the flow of chakra. The first gate is located in the brain."
Rise leans in a little as she listens, ensuring that everything that Eremi spoke was heard. What he says is nothing new for her, per say. Even so, a recap did her nerves a whole lot of good than going without one. She never spoke of it aloud or showed any signs of being anything but her usual wild self; but, the girl was honestly scared. Terrified in fact, because the manipulation of chakra beyond minor enhancements here and there…
"Right." She pulled her legs up and readjusted herself into a lotus stance. "A-anything else I should be wary of?" She asks brightly. Once given an answer, Rise closed her eyes and proceed with the training from there. Nothing. Not for the first few minutes of silence on her part. Then she feels… something. Uncertain but undaunted, Rise dives a little deeper…
Eremi ran a hand through his wet hair that was starting to lose bounce and pushed it, allowing it to flow backwards before bringing his hand to rest upon his waterskin, "The only thing you should be wary of is what your own body can handle. With each gate that you unlock, comes a great surge of chakra that will flow through your body, unlocking the restraints that normally keep your muscles from expiring too quickly. Each gate you unlock is naturally more powerful than the last and with that comes a greater chance of destroying your body. Though with continued practice and training, it becomes less of an issue so long as you don't try to do too much at once." As Rise closed her eyes, Eremi grabbed his waterskin and brought it to his mouth to take a drink before continuing on, "One thing to note is you can't open any gates down the line unless you can open the gate before it. Which should prevent you from ever opening the last gate, the gate of death. It is called that for such a reason. Opening it means incredible strength, but possibly at the cost of your own life."
Half-aware and Half-elsewhere. Words gradually lost meaning as her senses are turned gradually inward. "Why?" She asks thoughtlessly and listlessly as she feel deeper. A stream? A river? She couldn't quite make out just what she was 'seeing' before her, though, this did not keep her from 'moving' closer to the light source amidst the darkness. The closer she got, the warmer she began to… feel? Warmth felt about right. She certianly did not feel the cold rain trickling down on her head or the spray of the waterfall on her backside any longer. Not fully, at least.
Eremi would take another drink from his water skin, slowly feeling the effects of its contents as he did. It never took long as he was a lightweight at holding his alcohol, it meant he'd probably fall asleep before this training was done, but he'd do his best to stay awake until it was finished. "As you focus on your chakra and locate the first gate located in the brain, you merely need to force it open. Doing such will change your ability from using 20% of your muscles, to 100%. It's not much of an outward change like the rest of the gates, but you'll definitely feel the effects. Another thing to note, is even after you unlock each gate, doing so in combat isn't something you can do instantaneously without practice. You'll have to focus, but it gets easier with time."
Her ears twitched. There it was again! Why did that sound make her feel so… agitated? And just a little sad too. Instinctively, Rise focused on the former feeling to try and drown out all else. Everything, except for the river of energy. She followed it upstream, or at least what she felt was upstream. Too difficult to tell at what amounted to as vague feeling more than anything else at this point. Her body began to ease as she grew closer to what felt like the starting point of the river. But she could go no further. Something… The current was forcing her back! Or maybe it was something holding her back?
If she was not so deeply focused on the task of staying 'in place' she probably would've shook her head as if to dispell the notion of losing. Bit by bit, Rise tried to focus — to force 'herself' up that stream. To try and find the chink in its design, and then force her way through from there.
Strangely, everything about this felt familiar. Painfully so.
Having said all that needed saying, the only thing Eremi could do now is sit and wait to see if, or more correctly, how long until Rise would get it. There was no doubt in his mind she would be able to, it just took each individual vary lengths on when they would be able to achieve this. The first gate was obviously the easiest of the gates to open, which is why most people unlocked it, but going to the next and each one after that would be where it really became a challenge.
Dark… A fight… blood… Pain. Lots and lots of pain. The type of pain that no one — no innocent person should ever have to face; especially a child. The memory itself remained out of her reach, but the feelings that were aroused by a fragment of it is enough to weaken her resolve. She kept pressing, pushing, grasping at straws to try and push past the barrier that separated her from… what? She forgot along the journey at some point, but knew that to give up now would be to face something she could not endure again.
The past repeated itself, because in finally latching on to that defiant spark buried in her soul, Rise found the strength to put a dent in the barrier again. A hole she was determined to widen until nothing stood in her path. One may normally be meant to stay calm while first accessing the eight inner gates for, well, a large variety of reasons! However, this would not work for Rise. Her nature was deeply tied to her chakra. It is in part why the results of her training in ninjutsu have been, needless to say, chaotic. It had to coaxed, whipped, and ultimately driven to where it needed to go.
A great deal of time would slip by before her efforts… finally begin to show signs of paying off.
Eremi would continue to sit and watch Rise, watching her as if he could tell how well her progress was going. He wanted to say something, but didn't want to ruin her concentration and have the whole training start from the beginning. Distractions would come for a later date, when the training would continue past the first gate. Assuming she makes it past learning the lotuses. Taking in a breath, Eremi would slowly lean back a bit and closes his eyes.
Digging deep one last time, Rise tossed all of her fears and doubts completely to the wayside. Her efforts to push through buckle at first as a result, but with renewed resolve she focuses all of her will towards the 'crack' in the gate's foundation. In her mind's eyes she sees something, a fleeting image of a figure.
As sharp as her mind had reflected her outer senses, the girl cannot make out who the figure is or why they looked so… familiar. 'Kaa-san?' The figure seems to relax from their fighting stance — a position taken up only when unleashing the Leaf Rock Destroying Rise Technique — and turns slowly towards Rise.
A second later and the gate breaks open, drawing her in at such blistering high speeds that all other thoughts beyond trying to keep from being overwhelmed are washed aside. Even when she regains her center, the girl cannot think. Only revel in the new found feeling of power coursing through her being. The pain that echoed from the past made sense to her now. The physical… but the mental and perhaps spiritual elements remained a mystery.
Outwardly nothing seems amiss at first with the girl. But, upon closer inspection one thing does become clear to the more attentive eyes, though, none besides a few birds would see it. Cracks. Hairline fractures had formed the instant the gate had been unlocked. She was lucky that none of the other gates were involved.
Now if only she could release this power during combat without leaving herself vulnerable…