Date: January 11, 2016
The students of Kirigakure get a rude awakening per usual for an early training session in the Cold Springs.
"Uphill Training: Turn of the Tides"
Kirigakure - Cold Springs
Note: The rolls are meant to represent how the students worked. Tai represents balancing along the poles that are in the cold springs. Nin represents using tree walking to make their way across. If they fail the initial roll, they may attempt to save themselves. This involves a roll of either Pow (representing a way to use taijutsu-oriented skill to keep them from touching the water) or Seal (representing having enough chakra control to prevent further skidding towards the water). If both of the previous rolls fail, that person or their teammates can attempt to roll Int for a save. The goal number: 8
A simple cobbled stone path leads it's way eastward towards a cliffside where stairs zig-zag and disappear up into the mist, settled or created here is a large spring, wooden poles slightly less than a foot in diameter stick up from the water at different heights and some at akward angles. This area has a little bit of cosmetic damage which signals that is constantly used for a training area. Bones and scraps of cloths can be seen at various parts of the shore as a warning to those who come, to the dangers of training. Further down the cold springs there is an opening where an extension of the springs is noted.
The students of Kirigakure were commanded to wake up quite some time before the sun would consider appearing. The striking cold of the still very much evening for any sane person should do well enough to wake them up. They were told to make their way to the Cold Springs, and two Chuunin saw that they were ready to go and moved out on time so that there would be no slackers. The entire class was not brought out here at once however, only a few individuals at a time. The rest were kept out of the cold spring while what ever fate that awaited them in the mist filled crater that was the cold springs would only be partially revealed by the sounds of effort, splashing, and pain. As the students were cycled out, many of them limped back up the stairs, and a few were carried out by their comrades.
"The next three may enter." was all the warning that the students received before being shuffled down towards the cold spring where they disappeared only to be seen again once they could barely make it back under their own power. Ren, Mizumi, and Eiko were the next three in line, but for now, they would have to wait their turn.
Wasn't a bad group of people to be paired with. Mizumi, her surrogate little sister until she can stand on her own two legs and prove herself. She was a member of her 'pack', an ideology that she has adopted recently. There was also Ren. Ren was… Ren was alright. Being woken up earlier than usual wasn't fun, but it was a necessary evil to prepare herself for the proving times. The exams. She can sleep when she becomes a genin. When she was called out to come in next, she was waiting outside the building. Spinning a Kunai with her finger, she idly attempted to make conversation. "So… Think they're finally going to teach us the value of having fun?" She would joke as she moved towards the door. "No, probably not. Heh…"
Mizumi would bolt awake when their teachers woke them up in a rather rude manner that likely involved opening the door and then yelling at everyone to be at the Cold Springs as quickly as they could. Mizumi technically got a 10 minute extension in terms of allowed time, but she hated using it and tried her best to keep travel time low so that she only required half that extension. The girl would be gripping her staff tightly, panting heavily due to the quickness of her 'journey'. And then she was getting ushered inside to the Cold Springs themselves. She would try to get her breathing under control, and it was actually a bit easier to do so in the frigidness of the area. She was used to coldness as a Shirayuki.
"What… is fun?" Mizumi would ask Eiko with a faint snicker. "We've been here a while, Eiko-chan… Do you really need to ask that, even as a joke?" The young Shirayuki would gently poke her friend with the hand not holding the staff, then she would look at the entryway with a frown. "But… What /are/ we doing?" she wonders. "We're obviously working in groups of three… But are we fighting each other..? Or doing some sort of team exercise? Or what?" she asks aloud.
Ren looked at Eiko and Mizumi before frowing. "What do you think awaits us down here? I hope it isn't anything we have to worry about too much." He sighs and follows along ready for whatever comes. "And no. Fun is not something I see happening. I am tired, and I am sure they like it that way. They probably want to test our stamina in some sort of harsh enviroment or set up. ANd they may very well set us against each other and what not." He looks at Mizumi. "EIther way be it against each other or a team I think you need to work hard Mizumi. Even through whatever stress or pain you may feel. Any exhaustion. Work through it alright." He offered a quick barely there smile before looking at the entryway.
Once again, a team of three students would come limping or crawling back from the cold springs. This time it seemed to be in nearly record time that this occured as well. Perhaps the instructor wanted to accelerate things along, or maybe they finished more quickly than the rest. It was hard to say if they faired better or worse given their over all condition. "Next." was announced by one of the chuunin who would record the students on a clip board before allowing them down to the cold springs.
Within the depths of the thick mists that permeated the area, one Kaguya Enbu would be standing as the children arrived. "Students." he would great them as and nothing more even though he pointedly asked them for their names. They should know by now that within the academy, their names, their titles, their families, meant nothing. "Welcome to the cold springs. This site is designed to test your balance, reflexes, coordination, speed, and improvisational skills. The rules are very simple, you must make your way to my location without touching the water. Should you make contact with the water, you will have to start again. This will continue until you make it to me. You have been put in to a team of three because you will normally work as a team of three as well as a leader within the field. Consider this training to be something akin to…. keeping up with your superiors within a perilous environment. Are there any questions before we begin?"
"Kaguya Eiko…" If the clan leader asked for her name, she would respond. She didn't respond begrudgingly, or with a witty comment. If the academy instructors could punish her to heavy extremes for doing so, then she could be certain that if she had insulted Enbu in any way it would result in punishments far worse than Taree had given her. That means, despite being asked if there were any questions, she would not open her mouth and say anything. Yet, if she can't touch the water, she finds it improbable that she will be succeeding in this task. "No questions, sensei…"
Mizumi would study the cold spring before her, noting some of the giant poles that stood in the water. Could she reach them? Would she be able to balance upon them? The girl wasn't sure… Maybe… A sigh would escape her as a simple exhale that was longer than usual. How the heck was she supposed to do this? "Umm… Enbu-sensei… We can use any means to avoid touching the water, right?" she would ask with a small frown in thought. She wondered if maybe she could part the water before her…
Ren just stood there silently listening and nodding as he and his friends were spoken to. He didn't have any questions really, so he just sighed a bit as he looked around. This place seemed to be a big training area and his words had confirmed it. He just took it all in and sighed. FInally he did have something to ask. "WHat happens to us if we fail or for whoever does the worst?"
"Yes, but in the end, you must reach my position, or forfeit and fail entirely. All of you will fail, should one of you fail." Enbu would clarify to Mizumi as well as Ren and Eiko on that particular matter. "Before we begin however, I will teach a single technique that can be used to make this both easier and harder. You are being taught at this very moment because mastery of this technique makes much of this exercise trivial, but attempting to master it right here, right now, may prove far harder than facing the obstacle head on. It is up to you to decide how you will proceed. Failure however, just as always, is a heavy set back Students. You are trainnig yourselves to be professional shinobi. When you graduate here, we are validating and promoting that fact from then on. If you are incapable of performing at the academy level, you will not be entrusted with the honor of being a Shinobi of Kirigakure. I would recommend that you do not take this failure lightly."
With that, Enbu would walk out in to the water, not atop it, as he headed towards one of the pillars. He then would simply walk up it as if some how the laws of gravity had been nullified just for him. "This technique is called Tree Walking. It is a chakra control technique of the most basic level. The challenge however, is maintaining it constantly. Chakra is diverted to your feet with a constant and consistent pressure. Too much, and you force yourself off of the object, or shatter it beneath you. Too little, and you will loose adhesion to the surface, and slide or fall off. This technique is normally trained after graduation. Use it with caution." And that seemed to be as much as he would say about the subject before standing atop a pole.
"It is time to follow my lead." he would say before hopping along the tops of a couple with extreme ease. He then however would change his movements, leaping forward and twirling around one pole only to launch himself at another, rolling off of the top and down on to a lower one, unraveling the rope belt around his torso and using it to latch on to the back of yet another pole, before leaping half way across the area and making everything he did seem to be trivial and a waste of time. He stood atop the last, highest pole with one foot, the other foot resting against his knee as he would say, "Begin!"
Eiko supposes she will go the most direct route. "So there are a bunch of pillars, and a fancy ninjutsu technique to walk on the pillars." Eiko would sigh as she watched Enbu do it with relative ease. Just look at him go. "Well, I'm going to try the most obvious route. I'm going to jump to the pillars." Eiko would close her eyes and sigh before building her confidence. She squeezes her fist into a ball and pumps an arm. "See you all at the end!" With that she dashes wildly to the edge of the floor they currently stood on. "I have trained in balance for such a long time, there is no way that I could possibly fail this." She leaps off the edge and attempts to reach the next pillar. Let's see how that works out!
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 10.
RP: Mizumi makes a Nin roll and got 5.
RP: Mizumi makes a Tai roll and got 10.
RP: Ren makes a Nin roll and got 10.
Mizumi hears Enbu's initial words and would frown. She didn't want her friends to fail… The girl couldn't let that happen! She knew she was terrible at this kind of exercise, but Ren and Eiko both were much better at this. She couldn't let them down just because of her weak body. She would turn her attention to Enbu when he continued speaking, this time about a new skill. The other information about failure was mostly just another lesson that has, by this point, been drilled into her head enough times that she almost expected it to be said at the beginning of every lesson (though it isn't said in the same way all the time). She would watch the Kaguya clan head, blue eyes staring when he started to walk up the post. Ninja could do that!? Well, of course they could… She remembers the stories people use to both brag and scare others. She wasn't deaf, no matter how weak she looked.
"Divert chakra… to my feet…" Her legs were growing a bit stronger, she knew, from all the walking and the Academy workouts. And they improved significantly since her spirits were bolstered when she purchased the staff. The newfound confidence/determination made her want to walk more instead of dragging her feet as much as possible without punishment. The Shirayuki would try to keep the lesson in mind, but she didn't want to try on the poles just yet. They were in the middle of the water… So she made her way to the side and attempted trying to climb up one of the nearby walls. Only to fail… Well, that didn't work. Angry, Mizumi would pick up her staff that had clattered to the ground when she slipped off the wall, then she would step over to the actual poles and stare at them. Maybe if she… tried to use those? Eiko had taught her to balance… Well, it was worth a shot… Mizumi sets her staff down, which may get a strange reaction from the onlookers, but she would gather herself up and take a breath. And then she would take a mighty leap, landing precariously on the first perch to join Eiko. Mizumi would land, hands immediately gripping the small surface that kept her from an even ruder awakening to make sure she wasn't about to topple. Once she was certain of her balance, she would try to start walking forward slowly.
Ren sighed a bit and walked over to them. "Okay so an interesting technique to help us walk up walls. That sounds easy enough I suppose." He walks over to the pole and focused his chakra into his feet. From there he was able to stick to it. Yep first try and he was already sticking to it a bit. "This isn't that hard." He says, but he is sure it won't last. But from there he walks up the first pole and steps onto it. It was a different one then the others tried on, and he already was ending up higher then them. The walking up the side was a huge advantage it seemed rather than needing to jump. Anyways he now stood on the top of a nearby pole as he stretched a bit.
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 9.
RP: Mizumi makes a Tai roll and got 10.
It didn't take long for Eiko to keep the momentum going. Indeed, her first jump was successful. Yet she did not stop to try and balance for very long before moving to the next one. "Just remember… This is just like the plank lesson…" Mizumi did practice her balance with Eiko on the plank, in which they kept their balance over cold water in her parent's back yard. This should be easy-peasy for her, and easier for Mizumi. Eiko still wants to learn Wall-walking. At the moment, she is just busy showing off her Taijutsu prowess…
RP: Ren makes a Nin roll and got 7.
RP: Ren makes a Seal roll and got 8.
Mizumi continued to hop across the poles, slowly but surely making her way so that she was roughly three hops behind Eiko. The girl paused to allow the gap to widen and couldn't help but glance back at Ren to see how he was doing. As she looked back, Ren was walking up one of the poles. Hey, how did he manage to do that already?! The girl couldn't help but feel a bit jealous of her friends. Eiko was so good at taijutsu, and Ren was amazing at ninjutsu. She would probably call Ren a genius if she had others to talk to! Only a small insincere smile is tossed in the Shimizu's direction before Mizumi would turn back to the task at hand. Eiko was able to speed on ahead, so Mizumi had plenty of poles to jump on before being forced to a different path. She was, while also trying to cross the water, trying to figure out which way along the poles was the best way across. Mizumi would start to jump again, balancing carefully upon landing each time so that she was definitely steady when she attempted the next…
Ren probably right after Mizumi looked away from him would stumble a bit. He had begun to climb another pole after hopping to it, and landing on it was tought to also keep his balance. He now was taking his time, but he was indeed keeping up with the others just by walking up the side of the poles. His eyes drifted to the other two and he frowned a bit. Mizumi was having trouble compared to Eiko like expected, but still he didn't want to see her fail. Luckily she seemed fine for now. He just sighed and kept on walking up the poles.
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 14.
RP: Ren makes a Nin roll and got 4.
RP: Ren makes a Seal roll and got 4.
RP: Ren makes a Int roll and got 9.
RP: Mizumi makes a Tai roll and got 4.
RP: Mizumi makes a Spd roll and got 10.
RP: Mizumi makes a Pow roll and got 8.
Eiko would dance around on said poles, making it quickly to the otherside. Unfortunately, succeeding so easily is neither that fun nor is she learning anything… Now that she is successful in doing it the easy way, she decides to go a less easy route. She crosses her arms and declares. "I am going to attempt to use ninjutsu to do the very same. There is no use in not learning the skills that are being taught." She would close her eyes and sigh, before running and taking another jump, but not before making a seal and attempting to attach herself to the rock using the basic principle of focus. Her mastery of chakra focus is very, very limited. Let's take a look at how she messes up…
RP: Eiko makes a Nin roll and got 2.
RP: Eiko makes a Seal roll and got 9.
RPCOMBAT: Mizumi took 100 damage.
Mizumi would continue to make her way across the poles. Sadly, all it takes is a single misstep, and she would fall. That misstep comes when she sees Eiko finish the exercise, and she wouldn't note the distance between her own and the next pole as well as she should have. She jumped, but her legs were tired. She didn't wait long enough to keep her energies at decent levels to make it confidently, so when she landed, she hit the side of the pole hard. She's pretty sure she bruised herself or something as she tried to scramble back up onto the pole, nails scraping into the wood to try and keep a grip. With the muscles she managed to build up by just carrying the rather lightweight pole, she was able to scramble to the top, chest heaving as she recovered from the near-fail (I mean fall…). The young Shirayuki would glance down at her hands, which were now shaking and bloody, but she'd wipe them on her dark pants to try and ignore the injury. She also had to ignore the pain that was traveling through what felt like her entire body. Arms, legs, chest… The only thing that /didn't/ hurt was her head.
Ren was simply climbing when he saw his friend fall. That broke his concentration causing him to do the same and he easily fell away from the pole. His mind switched into a slow motion like haze as he looked around and took in the area. He quickly bit into his thumb causing a wound to be opened before reaching out and barely touching the side of the pole. From there the blood in his system moved out and became a bit solid to hold him in place. Though it was hurting as he was being held by a thumb pretty much and making his blood become a little more thick in that area did cause some pain as well. It didn't even stop him completely. It did buy him enough time to connect his feet to a pole nearby that he could attach to. Once he was there he just sighed and looked back at Mizumi. Seems Eiko was the only one who knew what she was…..and she was acting foolish and hopping back down after already completing it.
RP: Eiko makes a Nin roll and got 5.
RP: Eiko makes a Seal roll and got 5.
Eiko excelled in taijutsu, but not ninjutsu. This was inherent in the fact that she failed to cling, but desperately held onto the pillar anyways… After a while she desperately tried to keep on the pillar, but ended up falling into the water… So comes the dishonor. First to succeed, but in the end she was falling in the water just like Mizumi. She was about to hit the water, when…
RP: Mizumi makes a Int roll and got 9.
RP: Mizumi makes a Tai roll and got 3.
Mizumi only just now sees that Eiko is attempting to use ninjutsu to cross again. The Shirayuki would notice Eiko falling, and she made a few handseals. She didn't even bother trying to advance to the next pole, instead focusing all her energies on trying to save her friend. The girl would use her knowledge of water manipulation to move enough water to the side of Eiko so that no drops would touch the Kaguya, though it was cause a lot of strain on … her mind! Okay, now her whole body hurts for real x_x
RP: Ren makes a Nin roll and got 9.
Ren ignored the falling Eiko because he saw Mizumi helping. He did wait to see what happened, but he didn't have enough skill with his blood to do anything. Not yet at least. So instead he kept on walking up the poles to the next step up. When there he looks down at the others. "Eiko. Next time why don't you stay at the top. This may be training, but it is training for a real mission in a way. You shouldn't overstep what you already know. You had it done, but just had to do more." He sighed.
RP: Eiko makes a Nin roll and got 6.
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 5.
RP: Eiko makes a Pow roll and got 4.
RP: Eiko makes a Int roll and got 8.
It seemed that without Mizumi's help, she'd have lost… Even after she had won previously. The Kaguya would try to use the fact that the water was pushed away to try and climb up, though the pillar she had access to was too wide. No matter how much she tried, she could not properly scale the pillar. Until she had an idea. She would do something rather unorthodox. She undoes her sash, which would cause her to be without a Kimono. Never fear, she wears another one underneath that is far lighter and a pleasant light blue. Leaving her outer Kimono behind, she would take the sash and and roll a portion of it into her fist. She then threw the sash around the pillar and grabbed the other end, quickly balling that into her fist. "I… I've got this! I'm not going to fail…" She might not be tree-walking, but she wouldn't be failing this mission this time. Using the sash she slowly shimmied herself up the pillar, just before Mizumi's jutsu probably ran out. "Arigatou Mizumi-chan…"
RP: Mizumi makes a Tai roll and got 7.
RP: Mizumi makes a Pow roll and got 3.
RP: Mizumi makes a Int roll and got 8.
Mizumi takes a shaky breath when she manages to keep Eiko from falling into the water. The girl would maintain her jutsu for as long as she could, only letting the water rush back towards its vacant spot once she was certain that Eiko was in the clear. Mizumi would then look at the next pole and stare at it. Everything hurt… The girl is pretty sure her head hurt after the strain of the jutsu. And her body was sore from the earlier fall. But she wouldn't give up. She jumped… And she technically made it to the next pole. But again, she slammed into its side. It was a sort of repeat to what she did earlier, but her muscles just lacked the power they had earlier as she tried to claw her way up. Her fingers were bleeding freely, and then the blood turned into spikes that kept a better grip than what she had with only her muscles. She would blink a bit, not sure if that was intentional or not. Certainly, she had that thought momentarily… But … She stared a bit at her fingers that were just touching the wood of the pole.
RP: Ren makes a Nin roll and got 8.
Ren was getting the hang of this tree walking thing, and was able to continue on despite everything that was going on. Though as he walked he looked back at Mizumi as she hit the side again and he winced for her. He saw the blood itself on the pole, but nothing else was really visible….until the blood moved of course and he just looked a moment. That confirmed it in his mind even if she still didn't believe it. He would talk with her later. Luckily it wouldn't be too long until he was at the top and he could rest. That was a big drain on his chakra, but he stood where he was now and looked down at them. "Come on you two. You can do it… and Eiko…can do it..again." He kind of sighed there.
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 7.
RP: Eiko makes a Pow roll and got 9.
Eiko would desperately hang on, not really in a position to launch of the column yet. "I'm -trying- Ren!" She would whine. She was able to at least get to the top of the pillar. From there, she would be able to make that final leap of faith to the end. "Feels like my first attempt was absolute luck…" She would say, as she started to pant rather heavily. "I'll be able to do it next time for sure…"
Mizumi struggled to get up from where she was on the pole, but her muscles just wouldn't support her. The girl would scowl just a bit, the girl unhappy with herself. She /had/ to complete this! For her teammates and to prove that she wasn't worthless! Mizumi would give up on trying to lift herself, and she would just focus on trying to get herself properly situated in terms of using tree walking. She'd close her eyes and try to envision her chakra flowing to her feet, thinking of it acting a bit like glue and keeping herself stuck to the surface of the pole. She would walk up the pole… One step… Two steps… And then she found herself at the top and her muscles were screaming from pain. She just completed the last leg with ninjutsu, trembling a bit by the time all was said and done. But her eyes were shining with pride at having managed to complete the task with less help than usual.
Ren sat there and pulled out a small kunai. He then placed it to his hand and cut a bit into it before holding it over the side. Blood then fell outwards and downwards as it collected into a sort of disc next to where Eiko was. It was enough for him to push upwards if she stepped on it and it would get her here, but he didn't have the abiltity to make it walkable on yet… Not completely. It would be more like quicksand and she would slowly sink through the blood. "Eiko. You can use that there and I can help you up." If she stepped on he would quickly move it upwards as the blood on the top kept moving below to make sure she didn't fall through until it was up here for her to join them.
RP: Eiko makes a Tai roll and got 7.
RP: Eiko makes a Pow roll and got 5.
RP: Eiko makes a Int roll and got 3.
Eiko hated accepting help, but it seems the pillar got slippery. She would accept Ren's help to get over to the end. So, technically, she succeeded twice. With help. Not exactly a bad exercise, but she certainly was exhausted, and her kimono was soaked and floating off in the water somewhere. "Thanks Ren… I guess this means we're finished…"
Enbu would nod to the students. "You are the first group to complete this exercise without falling in to the water… technically." He would eye Mizumi for a moment at that before looking back passively over all of them. "But remember the reason why that is. When this exercise becomes about you, and how well you are doing, you can still fail due to the others on your team, or your own hubris." He would nto shift his gaze this time, Eiko should know what he is speaking of intimately. "Such selfishness can cause your entire team to fail, and not having the back of your comrades can be just as detrimental. You were brought here as a team for a reason. This was not a personal evaluation, nor was it an insurmountable challenge. There was only one test here, and that was making it through as a unit. If you leave your unit behind, the success of your entire mission is lowered." With that, Enbu would lower his leg and cleanly flip off of the pole and back down to the smooth, compacted earth of the cold springs exterior. "You are dismissed, Students."