Date: February 12, 2013
Atsuro demonstrates The Aerial Slash, The Crab Claw and The Steel Cutting Sword Techniques for Ryo, who happens to have his Sharingan active.
Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.
Jounin Training Area
Training Area #26 - Jounin Training [Konohagakure]
The section of Toshiba Forest designated for jounin use is a vast and sprawling area, considerably larger than either the genin or chuunin training grounds. Virtually every type of terrain can be found here, from cliffs and falls to dense forests, hills to valleys, a broad river and a large lake. Although the area is kept in surprisingly good order, the fact that animals avoid it completely gives testament to how much destruction is continually wrought here. Caches of ninja weapons are stored cleverly in innumerable places around the zone.
The varied terrain of the jounin training ground, while a bit hazardous, has some nice things to offer. Sure, there's the possibility of training in a number of evironments, ensuring that you can perform in any situation no matter what it demands of you, but some of the areas look nice too. The top of this cliff, for instance. Atsuro sits on the ground near the edge of the cliff. Stretched out before him is the beautiful sight of Toshiba forest, and the cliff is even high enough that you can see a bit of the village proper in the distance.
So, what's Atsuro doing here? Well, there's a couple answers to that question. First, there's a stream that flows nearby. It gets pretty deep in a few places and Taizen is happy to have somewhere to swim while Atsuro takes care of his business. That business being sword-polishing. No no, not like that. He's got Taizen's vest lying on the ground beside him, and he's actually polishing the swords with a whetstone using water from the stream. It's nice and peaceful up here, the only sounds being that of running water, chirping birds, and the gentle scraping of metal against stone. Right now, Atsuro's working on one of his most-used swords, half of the ninjato duo he often favours. He's obviously quite experienced with this, working his way along the sword, careful not to cut himself or mar the blade.
Atsuro's peace would only last so long. While it was unlike Ryo to travel outside of his designated zones, he decided today that he would attempt to practice with the big boys. Just being one of the youngest Chuunin was not enough. He had to enter into the Jounin training grounds and sneak around. This was as much about curiosity as it was about skill. He was not sure what resided in the area, but as a wise Chuunin once told him, the animals were the world's first shinobi.
The Sharingan was activated in the boy's eyes as he moved. He travelled through some wooded sections before coming to the large cliff. It was there that he'd reach a vantage point to oversee the area. It was a rough climb, even for his chakra feet. He expected such in this area. Nothing here should naturally come easy. That is until he reached the top of the cliff.
"Hey Atsuro… what are you doing here?" the boy asks. It seems he was busted. Originally he had not wanted anyone to know he was here and now someone obviously had. Atsuro had probably already known though. It was a scent thing. The fact he was not in hiding said a lot to Ryo.
Scrape, scrape, scrape… Sniff sniff…
Atsuro pauses and frowns as he catches the scent of Ryo. No way that could have been just carried here by the wind. And sure enough, Ryo is soon climbing over the cliff. "Hi Ryo," he says, grinning widely. He knows he's caught you, Ryo. "I think I'm the one who should be asking that question. What, being a tiny baby chuunin wasn't enough, you have to be a tiny baby jounin now?" He tilts his head. "Or perhaps you have a confession to make?" he suggests.
"Anyway." He holds up the sword and whetstone for Ryo to see. "Just working on the least intense part of my kenjutsu." He returns to sharpening. "If someone other than me catches you here, feel free to say you're interested in learning a new technique and came to ask me…" He smirks, "To work on the most /boring/ part of my kenjutsu."
"I asked first… Besides, I am from the Uchiha clan. I have expectations to live up to. Nothing really new to confess." Ryo states as he glances backwards towards the training area. "I guess if I am going to up myself to a Jounin level, I should probably start training near a Jounin level. The eyes allow me to get to that level temporarily, but the boy is not quite ready to maintain the level. So if you want to teach me a new technique that might help me accomplish this, that would be awesome."
"I asked more authoritatively," says Atsuro, "Which is part of what I'm doing here. They promoted me, you see." He grins, "I know. They must have been really desperate, eh? Kinda worrying, actually." He continues to sharpen the ninjato. "For the record, I haven't heard of anyone actually being chewed out for being in a higher-ranking training area. So as long as you don't run around naked or something, you're probably okay. And I can always swoop in and say something like 'the boy is under my protection now. Stand back, knave, or I shall slay thee where thou art standing.'" He frowns and rubs his chin. "Think I got authoritative mixed up with archaic there somewhere."
He glances at Ryo and just thinks for a second. "Fair enough," he says, "This isn't /so/ exciting that I can't pull myself away from it. Tell me how you've been coming along and we'll see what we can do. You got your sword with you?"
"Promoted huh? Congrats. Naw, despite all the talk you do a lot for the village and are pretty skilled. It's kind of like when you bash Taiki for being himself. You sound upset and deep down you might be, but you still care a lot about him." It had come to be a general theme with Atsuro. He'd say one thing that he mostly wanted, but do the opposite cause it's what he seemed to know was right. At least thats how the young Ryo percieved it.
Ryo pulls the blade from his back. "I always have the blade with me, even in traditional garb. I refuse to be caught with a secondary weapon unless its absolutely necessary. You know?" he asks. Ryo was not really worried about being in trouble with others, but it was kind of neat to be able to train in an area with a Jounin.
Try as he might, Atsuro can't help but give Ryo a sincere smile. "Thanks," he says, "Not sure if I ever got a chance to congratulate you on your promotion, but you deserve it too, even if you're the tiniest chuunin to ever live." He shrugs. "As for Taiki, I dunno if I 'bash' him. But I get upset /because/ I care about him. The stakes are higher" He shrugs and sighs. "Let's not get into that. Some other time. Maybe when I'm drunk."
He grins. "Always prepared, eh?" he asks, "I guess with Tai usually being with me, and carrying the swords, I can claim that too. But which is secondary, my clan techniques or my kenjutsu?" He shrugs. "It is a mystery. Tell me what you've been doing with that thing. I know you like going fast and precise, but I've always thought you should branch out a little. You got anything more powerful? What's your blocking like? You been studying the old masters?"
Ryo shakes his head. "I have not been blocking a lot. I use a lot of ninjutsu to move around and dodge. Blocks are good though. I will need to learn to use them. In general my skills have been more of a ninjutsu focus as of late." Ryo then glances back over towards the water and Taizen. He laughs a slight bit before speaking to Atsuro once more. "I've been neglecting my kenjutsu. Thank you." The last part was in reference to the congrats.
Atsuro rubs his chin. "Been letting all my time and energy teaching you go to waste, eh?" he asks, "Well, fine. Let's see if we can't teach you something to restore some of your enthusiasm for the superior— I mean, the useful skill of kenjutsu." He grins and puts the whetstone down. "Like I said, your moves are quick. Which isn't a bad thing, just sometimes the situation calls for strong. I got a couple moves that might do that. And a certain practice technique if you really wanna master kenjutsu."
He waves a hand at Ryo, "I'm sure that has you very, very intrigued, but one thing at a time. Tell me, young Ryo, what's the advantage and disadvantage of attacking someone like this?" He leaps high into the air, brings the ninjato up and comes down swinging at an invisible opponent with an overhead slash, his blade flashing through the air. Someone standing there would be in pretty serious trouble right now.
"The blade strikes with an extra force. Its a lot stronger than a normal strike but also a forcasted strike. You cannot redirect it. The strike will take place." He states after watching the motion. Ryo then takes his own blade and makes a similar motion with it. "Nothing too difficult." he states.
"Wow," says Atsuro, watching Ryo copy the move just like that. "Way to make me feel like an inadequate teacher. But in a moment you'll be feeling like an inadequate student!" He grins. "Anyway, you're exactly right. Both your weight and your swing are behind the blade, but you can't maneuver as well in the air. So you need to be sure you'll hit before you even jump. Anyway, the basic move isn't so hard. It's about how you work it into your moves. For instance, could you do it once, then do it again right away?"
He tosses his sword spinning up into the air, then jumps up right after it. He grabs it, then swings down as he falls back to the earth. But hold on, he isn't finished yet. As he swings, he allows the momentum to turn him upside down, then lands on his free hand. He pushes off and springs back, bringing the blade back as he starts the jump, then landing nimbly on his feet. He shoots Ryo a grin.
"Interesting." Ryo states as he watches the display of using it twice. "I would not feel comfortable using it on someone higher classe than me. Maybe if I had found a way to stun them first. That or to start off as a sneak attack." Atsuro was not an inadequate teacher. It just was a move that Ryo easily understood. "Funny enough, that move that you used seems to be quite acrobatic…"
"There's nothing really special about what I just did," says Atsuro. He pauses for a second to look into Ryo's eyes. "I'd even encourage you using your magical Sharingan fairywi — er, copy powers. The question isn't so much about being able to use the move as being able to work it into your style. Now that I've given you some tips, I'd say the thing to do is just practice by yourself. See what you can manage." He pauses. "Use a bokken. If I get called into the Hokage's office to explain why you literally fell on your sword, I'm going to vandalize your grave." He glances off to the side. "Wait, that was a little far. But what's so weird about me using an acrobatic move?"
He bends down and grabs the other ninjato. "Anyway, here's another move you might be interested in. Stronger than the aerial slash, but it has more or less the same advantages and disadvantages." He crosses the swords over to form an X, then walks over to a tree and puts them up to a thick branch, like a pair of scissors. Even someone as strong as Atsuro might have trouble cutting through that branch without windup, but he simply pulls the swords apart, causing them to cut the branch from either side. Somehow, they manage to shear it fairly easily.
Ryo's Sharingan had never deactivated from earlier. He had seen the move with them. Technically he copied it. Now as Atsuro moves with the cross blades, Ryo once more watches. "You are mostly about power and brute force. While the move had been powerful, the spins and moves are usually speed based. That is kind of my area of expertise, isnt it? Or maybe something you've made fun of me for." he asks. "That is a neat move. The branch seems to come apart pretty weakly."
"You and Taiki love to claim that," Atsuro says, picking up the fallen branch and bringing it over for Ryo to practice on. "But it's a false choice. I'm very strong, yes. I'm also very fast. It's true that muscle is heavy. And I'm bulkier than I would be if I eased up on the strength exercises a little. But those are just obstacles, not limiting factors. So while I do use raw power, I also have a great deal of finesse. Remember when I taught you the very basics? Things like footwork, the stances, the forms?"
He shrugs. "Those things aren't /acrobatic/ but I'm hardly a musclebound brute clomping around and smashing things." He reaches over to rub Ryo's bald head. "And I wouldn't say I made fun of you for it. Just tried to dispell some myths."
He points to the branch. "I gotta get going pretty quick, but give it a try. Then I have one last thing I promised you. If you really wanna become a great swordsman, you don't wanna miss it."
Ryo took the branch from Atsuro. He listened to the words. "Sure.. dispelling some myths. I remember the basics. I am just more based on speed than power. Not that I cannot use both. I am just better at one than the other. Kind of like you." He then nods his head. "Alright, what technique is this one that a great swordsman uses?" he asks. His eyes focus on Atsuro as he is about to show him. Half of him expected this to be some kind of joke, despite Atsuro having been fairly serious for the entire conversation.
"We need to race each other sometime," says Atsuro drily. "Anyway, I only have so much time to joke around with you, delightful as it is, so I'll make this quick. Watch this." He walks over to the tree again and picks out a low hanging branch. He brings his sword up, brings it down in a hard slash and the branch isn't cut at all. "You've seen me doing this before," he says, walking back towards Ryo. He bend down and starts packing up the swords.
"It was for me to practice back then, but now it's for you to think about. There's nothing wrong with the sword, and I used all of my strength on that branch. There were no tricks or anything — the sharp edge hit the branch. How did I not cut it? And more importantly, why would you have cut it if you'd tried the same thing?" He grins. "That's right, I'm leaving you with a riddle. You're a smart kid, so you might be able to figure it out on your own, but it /is/ kinda tricky. Give it some time, then find me. You don't have to have the full answer; just think about it a little." He waves to Taizen, getting the dog to come over. "Anyway, we're going. Try not to get jounined by a jounin. Later, kid." With that, they walk off.