Date: April 21, 2016
Rinoko calls her squad members to a training session at the waterfall, to start building team work and planning team formations. They learn about each other, and themselves.
"This Is How We Do It"
The Waterfall [Land of Fire]
Early in the morning, Nonon and Aru would have each received a message from Rinoko via a paper butterfly that came to them and landed right in their reach to meet Rinoko back at the Waterfall. They were informed, though, that they should wear the training gear rather than a swimsuit because what they'll be doing today will not be leisurely.
Sitting on the ground as she looks over a book in which she's written some notes, she scribes a few things here and there with a thoughtful look on her face. Seems she's doing some last minute work on whatever it is they might be practicing today while she waits for them to show up..
Aru arrives, on time, and ready for REAL training. Not that horndog fest from last night. She has her precious scarf ready and everything. She also sets out immediately upon getting the message, skipping breakfast, because she is NOT going to be the last person to get there this time!
She calls out to her team leader when she spots her, bowing her head in greeting. "Rinoko-sensei, good morning. I'm here and ready for action." She's still sure that big-sister Reime is far more advanced than she is, so she is determined to catch up no matter what. Team training exercises might be just what she needs.
When Aru straightens up from her bow, Nonon is standing right behind her and cheerfully says, "Aru-chan! How nice of you to make it eventually!" n___n Aru's plans seem to be foiled again! That or Nonon just follows Aru here and waited to show herself until Aru thought she'd gotten here before her, intentionally not arriving ahead of her.
The younger kunoichi is kind of trolly like that. But it's all in good fun! Then she leans around Aru and waves to Rinoko. "Ohayoo, Rinoko-saaan~! I'm ready for action! No swimsuits today!"
Then she hefts an umbrella. "But I did bring this umbrella, just incase!"
With a glow faint enough that only she would see it coming off one of the pages in the book she's looking at, Rinoko looks up in time to see Aru arriving and Nonon coming up behind her in an instant. "Hi to you both," she says with a smile then stands up and steps over to them. "I hope yesterday's rest and relaxation did you both some good because today is going to be all business… Since we are a sub-team of Team 13, I want us to specifically work on our battle formations, which will be different from almost every other team but very effective, I think."
Aru jolts as she suddenly has a Nonon right behind her like some kind of boogiewoman. She clenches her fists in frustration and embarrassment and says, "…Good morning to you too, Nonon-SAN." She then takes several steps away from the blonde Chuunin. She'll get here first SOMEDAY. "My training yesterday was inadequate. I'm looking forward to a more intensive regimine today." She bows to Rinoko. Then she listens.
"Formations… Those could, indeed, allow us to compete with other teams who have greater raw power. Our team work could be the difference-maker. Are you familiar with our capabilities already, Rinoko-sensei? We gave a rough description during that mission to retrieve the maps, but… Well, my abilities have not improved much since then, other than that now I can also run on walls and in the trees, like the rest of you." She is still assuming, of course, that Reime has already learned this. She has yet to receive an indication otherwise.
Nonon hm-hmmm~!s thoughtfully as she listens to Rinoko. "I'm glad to see you liked my idea! A wise leader knows when to listen to her followers! But I'm sure you've come up with formations on your own, and plans of action for us to follow. I'm sure I and Aru-san (eventually) will be able to follow through with them! Where should we begin?"
Aru has the right idea, regarding describing capabilities, but they might be beyond that. Formations are more than just combinations of abilities. They are plans of action, they are sets of goals and responses. For instance a 'Formation B' in which a Genjutsu-user attempts to immobilize targets, and then the leader engages in direct combat, while a third team member joins the Genjutsu user in supporting the leader with both Genjutsu and Water Release or something.
Or a Formation A where they prioritize targets. Because each team's 'formation' can be different from any other, using letter designations rather than code phrases leaves the nature of a formation a mystery to the enemy, without any clue as to what they might entail. It's one of many systems used by shinobi as part of squad combat. To that end, while knowing capabilities is useful, more important is what they are being used FOR and HOW.
Nonon keeps quiet for now, observing the eldest kunoichi present, and learning what kind of leader she is. This is one of those times when she needs to avoid standing out to not make the real leader feel like she's trying to jump ranks. They don't need that kind of divisiveness. Especially when it really isn't Nonon's intention to undermine the one they'll be relying on to guide and educate them.
"I'm familiar enough with your abilities to create plans that also allow you to do other things to adjust based on a situation," Rinoko answers simply enough. She eyes Nonon, who seems to be doing an awful lot of thinking for a silent party, but she decides to go on with her plan. "Aru, your specialty right now is Juuken. Nonon, yours is more physical combat-based. My own is more based on defense and ranged combat based. These are things we will use to our advantage for combat."
Flipping her book around, she shows them the illustration she was working on, which is kind of impressive for a quick sketch drawn in a book. Pointing out each part, she begins to explain, "In this formation, I've formed a wall of paper for a defense. Aru has activated her Byakugan so that she can see through the shield and pin-point to Nonon where enemies are located behind it. From there, I can create holes in the shield for Nonon to go through, or she can go around it, allowing her to make the initial attack as a surprise to her own liking, which would allow Aru to follow her to attack as well. This also allows me to cover you with fire from paper weapons and seals for extra attack and defense."
"What was that you said after my name?" Aru asks in annoyance of Nonon. Then she sighs and turns her attention back on Rinoko. Aru moves in closer so she can see the illustration. "I see… So you defend the group, I act as a 'spotter' for targets, and Nonon launches attacks from behind concealment, or ambushes people if they are focused solely on the wall." She thinks that coming out from behind cover might be dangerous for Nonon, but there are probably diversions possible like clones and replacements. And the more she thinks about it, the enemy would have to keep on eye on top, and either sides, and try to predict which direction the assault will come from. If they can't react faster than Nonon can move, or they pick the wrong side…
The more she thinks about it, the more she sees what a versatile formation this is. On top of that, Rinoko herself can possibly turn the very papers composing the wall into weapons as well if she can control them that thoroughly, adding another element of surprise. "That is impressive, both artistically and tactically." She pauses and then, somewhat awkwardly, says, "I think we are in good hands with you as our leader."
She just hopes she can find a way to contribute as well. She may have to expand her repetoire of jutsu beyond Juuken, or focus on making her Byakugan strong enough to compensate.
Nonon pretends not to know what Aru means by her question, and just focuses on the illustration and explanation. She comes to most of the same conclusions as Aru, but she has some questions as well. "It seems to me that this paper would be weak against some elements. While it is a very versatile jutsu, does the paper have special protection against flames, water, or oil? If not, I might want to develop jutsu that can help counteract an enemy's counter attacks. An amazing jutsu like yours is sure to get enemies to try to develop strategies to defeat it. If I can help remain one step ahead of them, then with your planning and leadership, we could stay one step ahead~!"
The Rankoro… They have elemental seals or something don't they? "Maybe concealing seals among the other papers with elements opposite to those that would be most effective could be handy…" Nonon hmmms thoughtfully, and also tries to think of what she herself can contribute beyond advice. "…I think I should work on improving my proficiency with shinobi tools. With Aru spotting for us, kunai bombs and shurikenjutsu that includes the usage of wires could allow me to strike without ever exposing myself, or even wrap up an enemy and draw them behind the barrier. Then, they'd be in range of Aru's Juuken as well."
Yes, yes… She's seeing all the possibilities. "Sugoi! You really are an amazing leader, Rinoko-san~!"
"It has defenses. With my elemental seals, I can make a layer of the paper wet and still control it so it's flame retardant. Oil can be an issue, but in that case I would just swap to a seal barrier," Rinoko replies to Nonon then takes a moment to consider both of their comments. All formations can be improved upon, after all. "Thank you both for your confidence."
She then flips to another page, saying, "This one's a bit different and involves jutsu I haven't quite mastered yet, but it's something we can all progress toward." Pointing out pieces again, she says, "This one involves me enclosing ourselves along with our enemies inside a paper dome so dense that it's completely dark inside. Inside it, I use Detection Seals and Aru uses her Byakugan to know where enemies are and point them out for Nonon. It's… a bit brutal, probably mostly used for training exercises or assassinations. I could also use it solo to enclose enemies and then make the dome fire off bursts of flame and lightning inward." There just MIGHT be a bit of a genius combatant with a true shinobi's dark side behind that shy smile.
Aru nods, impressed. "Many ideas. I think this second formation is definitely one I will have to improve my skills to be useful in. Though if we are in the dark too… Unless Nonon has a sensor-nin ability as well, informing her where enemies are might be a problem for her. She could be as blind as the enemies we're facing. Do you think you could develop a seal that we could use to communicate silently?"
She isn't as knowledgeable as Rinoko and Nonon, so she doesn't know if her ideas are even worth anything or not. They might be total trash. But she's trying anyway. "Also, area attacks could be useful in an enclosed area. But we should make sure we have a safeguard against friendly fire… Or against the enemy using area attacks of their own. If we are in there with then, and if your seals can control earth as well, it might be good to have an underground shelter created. If an enemy with a breath mask releases a poison smoke bomb inside, you might be forced to release your jutsu, and by then we might have already taken in several lungfulls and be suffering the effects of the toxins. But if they release the smoke and we are already safe in a sealed chamber, you and I could locate the enemies inside. That would still leave Nonon at a disadvantage…"
She looks at Nonon, trying to be team worky, but wondering just how useful Nonon would be in some of these situations with her current capabilities. Sigh. She might as well try to be helpful! "Though if I recall correctly, she can use Lightning Release… If she used her speed to plant kunai and shuriken and caltrops and wires and such around the inside of the dome before we retreat, electrifying the ground and other traps might be possible, without endangering the structure of our shelter or the dome."
"Ohhh! Good idea, Aru~! Going even further with that idea of yours, if Rinoko-san can make underground chambers and passages with Earth Release Seals, then Wind Release, by seal or otherwise, could pump the air right out of the dome. The enemy won't be able to fight if they can't breathe. We could simply wait for them to pass out and/or asphyxiate! As for silent communication, perhaps a combination of Wind Seals and Lightning Seals might be useful. The Lightning Chakra Nature functions through Chakra vibrations. It could be used to generate vibrations in the air, which is what sound is, and carry those directly to the ears of each of us. I can use Lightning Release, it's true, and I'm working on Wind Release too. Once we're all ready, Rinoko-san and I could silently communicate at any time via those Seals…"
She hmms. "Area attacks could be dangerous to us inside the dome, yes. But we could also erect barriers. If someone wants to fill the dome with poison, Kekkaijutsu could reduce their mobility more and more, forcing them inwards. Whether the barriers are of earth, wind, fire, lightning, water, or pure Chakra, the purpose of the dome seems to be to dictate the boundaries of the battlefield. But by taking away vision as well, we could lead them to only THINK they understand the new boundaries, which is what that underground chamber idea touches upon."
Nonon gestures at the drawing. "By drawing new boundaries, we can leave them guessing about not only the exact dimensions of the dome, but also where threats, enemies, and even their own allies might be, all while gradually cutting off routes of escape. Layering the floor with papers as well could prevent them from using the same tunneling tactic as us, and allow the direct transmission of electricity to those standing on them. They'd have fewer options for avoiding attack in such a situation where they can't touch ground, walls, or ceiling, all while where 'ground', 'walls', and 'ceiling' can be gradually closing in on them."
Listening to each of their takes on the formations, Rinoko absorbs every bit of information she can. While she is the leader, passing up useful information would be counter-productive, and a good leader should show respect to her team. "My, you're both talkers," she says, chuckling a bit. "I'm glad we're all intuitive on this team. I feel like, even if I'm the guiding hand, we can all help each other a lot to make our strengths better and improve on and cover each other's weaknesses. I'm proud to be part of what we're building here."
Moving on after a moment, she says, "I want you both to work on jutsu and practice tactics that you can use with these formations. Feel free to draw out some formation ideas you come up with on your own and bring them up."
Aru thinks over both what Nonon and Rinoko have said. They're both so smart, and know so much more than her. She thinks it's time to stop feeling resentment towards Nonon, and just accept that she likes prodding her, but is very competent. Maybe that's just how Nonon interacts with people. By being playful.
Aru bows to Rinoko and says, "Hai, Rinoko-sensei. I'll train hard and think deeply about what I can contribute. Thank you for your leadership and wisdom." Then she looks to Nonon and bows as well. "And thank you for showing me different perspectives on ideas well."
Nonon nods cheerfully to Rinoko. "That sounds like a good idea~! And I'm glad you're a leader who can handle such chatter-happy followers~!" When Aru bows to her so seriously, Nonon is somewhat surprised. But her surprise melts away to a kind smile, her eyes open instead of squinted closed like usual, as she bows back. "Thank you as well. You've given me many things to base my own ideas off of. I think we'll coordinate well together~!"
It looks like Team Rinoko is off to a good start!