Waking Beetles


Kenta, Hikaru, Shinobu, Tatsuo

Date: July 6, 2015


It's time for another medical lesson! Kenta starts the next segment of Hikaru, Shinobu and Tatsuo's training. This time, they're getting some books on actual medical techniques. The first ones that they practice are weak techniques that can stimulate or slow down biological processes, just enough to bring a beetle out of hibernation or send it back into one.

Poster's note: foul language filtered in obvious places.

"Waking Beetles"

Konoha Hospital Rooftop

It's moderately cold out in Konoha, with temperatures a few degrees above freezing. Everyone walks bundled up on the streets that's covered mostly in slush and ice patches. The rooftop of the hospital is more pristine. A thick blanket of snow with some indentations here and there - mostly foot prints - makes everything look prettily white. It's a few degrees above freezing, but the snow itself retains enough cold to keep everything from melting. It's an odd place for a lesson in this weather, but that's where Kenta has asked his students to gather in the notes that he sent. They're supposed to bring warm jackets. He'll provide warm drinks and hot snacks.

Kenta finishes setting up the instruction area a few minutes before everyone's supposed to arrive. He has a -large- rubber mat spread on top of the snow at one corner of the roof. It's big enough to seat four people with a great deal of room to spare. Four clusters of items are set neatly around the center of the mat. Each stack has some scrolls, a few books, a thermos bottle, a little basket and a medium-sized cloth bag. Kenta makes little adjustments here and there while he waits for everyone.

Shinobu puffs out a breath to watch the air in front of her most up. She was on her way to the Hospital Roof, like Kenta had asked her, but she wasn't sure she wanted to go through the building. It made her a bit uncomfortable. So instead, the girl clims up a tree that happens to be near the hospital. Thankfully, the branches, though a bit thin, reach the rooftop. She would make a leap from them when they got too scrawny, landing on the roof in a spinning vortex. Kame is a bit dizzy since the pup was on her head, but the two skid across the ground and stand straight. Kame hops off Shinobu's head to tackle Kenta for the pets and treats that are associated with the medic, and Shinobu goes to sit on the mat.

Hikaru went through the trouble to come all the way up on the roof in the cold, a little bit tired of Kenta's creative ideas for meeting locations. Why couldn't they just meet inside, where it was warm? Still, he trudges up through the snow on top of the roof and plops down on the rubber mat with a shiver and a wave to Shinobu. "It's too cold for this," he mutters as he wraps his arms around himself. He liked /fire/. The cold just put him out.

Tatsuo isn't far behind Hikaru, the boy the last to arrive yet arriving right on the dot. Nothing like being perfectly on time, right? The boy rubs his arms beneath the heavy cloak he wears, trying to keep warm. IT's amazing how the wind can find the smallest cracks in clothing to freeze the person on the inside. He gives a small bow to the others there before moving over to the mat, not sitting on it yet but looking at the items from a distance. When he spots Kenta the boy gives a timid smile towards the man before looking away.

"Konichiwa," Kenta greets with a broad smile on his face. The cold must affect him, since he also has a thick cloak on, but he's so cheerful about it. He starts to bow, but is knocked down by Shinobu instead. His carapace lands barely an inch away from the edge of the rubber mat, which means he narrowly misses having a wet bottom for the next hour. "Very nice to see you too, Kame-chan!" Kenta exclaims while he gives Kame all the pets and also pulls some meat jerky from a pouch for her. Always need to be prepared.

Kenta looks over Kame at the three humans standing in attendance. "Ummm… please take a seat, each of you. There's hot chocolate in the thermos. I also prepared some bento boxes, in case you're hungry. They should still be hot too. I wrapped the boxes in warm towels and tucked them inside those baskets. Ummm… the rest of the things - scrolls, books and bag - contain the material that I want you to study for the next few weeks. We're going to start on medical ninjutsu today. Something more complicated than those first few parlor tricks I taught you previously."

Shinobu waves quietly to the other two when they come over before she looks to Kenta. Hmm… Food? Warm food? Yummy! The young girl has never had hot chocolate before, so she doesn't go for it right away. Instead, she looks at the scrolls and books, wondering what to make of them. Kenta called the earlier material 'parlor tricks', but she didn't know what those were. Super amazing ones, right? What they've learned so far has been amazing, in her mind! Kame yips and nuzzles into the pets, snapping up the beef jerky with a happy bark. Kenta's the best!

Hikaru immediately goes for the warm food before it goes cold, watching steam rise off the rice and meat and dumplings before he hungrily digs in, glancing at the materials second. He was a growing boy! He needed to tend to his stomach before his mind. "Thank you, Kenta," he says as he chows down, swallowing the bites gratefully. His interest was gained as soon as Kenta had said medical ninjutsu, however. Now /that/ sounded like something he could get into. Much more than all the stuff about plants.

Tatsuo ignored both the warm food and the warm drink for the moment as he instead focused on the items set on the mat. He knelt down and immediately reached for a book, one he hadn't actually seen before. That was much more interesting than anything else at the moment and he flips it open to start reading without preamble. If no one stops him he'll probably stay on the rooftop reading until he freezes over.

Kenta sits up straight and gently nudges Kame off his lap. He needs to be more mobile in order to teach. The young man also slips the puppy a bribe of a cat shaped piece of ninken biscuit to keep her from being upset at the lap-removal maneuver. He gets up on his knees to shuffle closer to his stack of materials, which Kame had knocked him away from. "If any of you don't have enough to eat or drink, you can share my bento box after the lesson," he promises while looking mostly at Hikaru.

Kenta rubs his hands together. There's only some thin gloves on them, which won't interfere with whatever he's about to teach. "Ummm… let me do a demonstration while you're all getting comfortable. If you asked around, you probably heard that one of the beginner lessons that I usually teach is how to heal earthworms. I'm going to start with something a little more seasonally appropriate this time." The young man unties the cloth bag at his side to pull out a big glass jar with a lid covered by tiny punctures. It's full of thumb-sized black, shiny things with lots of legs.

"Darkling beetles! They're all hibernating right now, because it's winter and I've set them out in the cold. In one of those books - the one that Tatsuo's actually looking at - is a jutsu for simulating the biological systems of simple organisms. It's a pretty easy one. We're going to practice it today with these beetles." Kenta jiggles the jar gently. There's some muffled shuffling sounds from the way that the bodies of the beetles rubbing together. "Used properly on a beetle, it'll wake it up. Taken on a grander scale, it can stimulate the body into speeding up repairs to injures."

Kame whines softly when Kenta moves her off his lap, but the cat-shaped biscuit is satisfying enough that she takes the bribe. Her ear is perked at the conversation while they 'discuss' medic techniques. Beetles? Are they tasty? Shinobu peers at the glass jar, eye growing a bit wide. Scary! Kinda creepy, too! She doesn't like bugs, to say the least.

Hikaru's brow lifts a little while he chews, processing the task. "What's the jutsu called?" he asks while he fishes in the box for another bite of savory odango. "The one we'll be practicing, I mean." Maybe he'd heard of it before?

Tatsuo blinks and looks up when he hears his name. Oh wait he's supposed to be paying attention isn't he. He slowly puts the book back down with an abashed look on his face as he focuses on Kenta to hear what he's saying instead of losing himself in another book. Silly Tatsuo.

"Umm… it's called 'Quickening the Vital Spark'," Kenta answers Hikaru. He points towards the book that Tatsuo had in hand. "Chapter two, but I forgot what page. All of you, flip through it now to find the description." After giving that order, Kenta takes one of the scrolls and spreads it out in front of him. It's pretty plain, with only a single ring of seal characters in the middle. Those that can analyze seals will see that it's nothing more than something to help focus chakra a little better and keep it contained within a certain spot. Kenta unscrews the cap of his jar and uses some tweezers to fish one a single sleeping beetle, which he places square in the center of the seal circle.

Kenta looks back up at his students. "Now watch closely. The book mentions a sequence of hand seals that's needed to mold the chakra properly into medical chakra. It's not needed after you have more experience, but the hand seals will help a lot not." He slowly makes a set of eight hand seals, all performed with pauses between to allow them to absorb what he's doing. They could also just read the sequence off the book… After making the final hand seal, a soft glow emanates from his palms. It's strong enough to go through his thin, woolen gloves. "It's easy for me, since I know how to do much more complicated medical jutsu by now. You might find that your gloves interfere with the jutsu, so you can take them off when you practice."

Kenta lays his hands over the beetle. After about ten seconds, the beetle begins to wiggle. Another two seconds later and it's walking a dazzled circle on the parchment. "This requires some finesse and practice. Too little control produces too scenarios. Either nothing happens or… umm… too much might kill your beetles, but that's why I have so many in the jar. Besides, you can roast the dead ones. They make a great snack full of protein. Just don't let them sit there for more than a day before you cook them or they could develop some germs."

Shinobu opens her book and flips it to some pages that look like what Kenta is talking about. No wait, wrong page. The handseals are different. The girl flips to the right page this time and reads the handseals, clumsily copying them with her own. Her hands are cold without gloves on. They were in her pocket earlier. Then she peeks at Kenta and wonders which scroll she's supposed to use. They all look the same… And she needs one of those beetles (YUCK!) to heal…. Hopefully she gets this right. Kame perks at the mention of roasted beetles and she yips a bit before pawing Kenta for hopefully more treats.

Hikaru unfurls one of his scrolls to see the same seal Kenta was using. It was a pretty basic one, one that he could use without any issue. Nodding, Hikaru reaches for one of the beetles and sets it on the paper before flipping open his book and glancing at it to remember the hand seal sequence. Once he had performed each of them, he places his palms over the beetle, concentrating on feeding his chakra into it…

And then it jerked! The little beetle seemed to be extremely high strung now, running around in rapid, confused circles as if its life depended on it. Hikaru just watched it with a skeptical expression. He was pretty sure he was supposed to wake it up, not make it a spaz… But did that mean it was really effective?

Tatsuo takes the book up once again and finds the page Kenta mentioned, then quickly skims it over to get the basics. It doesn't seem too hard. It was more about finding the correct amount of chakra to dispense and controlling it, both things that Tatsuo was very good at. At least so far as the control goes. He'd have to figure out the amount by trial and error. Without waiting Tatsuo unrolls his scrolls until he finds the right one, lays it out, then reaches for the jar of beetles to pick one and put it on the scroll. Pulling off his gloves, he quickly makes the seals before the soft green chakra emits, and this he puts over the beetle. Nothing happens. So he focuses more. A twitch. More. A small flutter…

"Ummm… Hikaru, you kind of put a little too much into that. It's probably going to die from exhaustion in a few minutes." Kenta's beetle is also wandering off now! It's almost reached the edge of the seal circle, but the medic-nin makes another series of seals, also eight in sequence, and lays glowing hands over it again. The beetle twitches a few times before it stops moving.

"Ok, that was 'Quell the Vital Spark', which comes in the pages after. It can be used to smother down the biological systems of simple creatures, which usually puts them to sleep or slow them down. It can also kill them if you're too forceful due to lack of control or on purpose." Kenta pauses to rub at the back of his neck. "There's lots of useful jutsu that uses something like this as a base. More complex jutsu allow you to do things like slow down the absorption of poison or induce sleep in surgery patients. It's pretty hard to use offensively though, unless you learn a highly specialized combat version. Try using that to calm your beetle down, Hikaru."

Kenta gives each of his students an encouraging smile. "Now I want all three of you to spend the forty five minutes practicing both of these. You should get started too, Shinobu-chan. Don't let Hikaru and Tatsuo have all the fun. Don't worry about how many beetles you kill. Just put those aside." Kenta brings out an empty jar for that exact purpose. "I'll use them to make snacks for you guys next lesson. Umm… I also have more beetles stashed in my office, so I can replace the dead ones, so that you can keep practicing at home."

Since Shinobu looks a little lost, he points to the purple ribbon that he took off his scroll. "The other scrolls do different things, which I've noted on a study sheet that I tucked in the bags. Ummm… use the one tied in purple for this lesson." He sits back after instigating the practice session. Now there's time to give Kame some more petting… and for her to successfully extort more biscuits form him.

Shinobu eventually sees a purple-tied scroll and takes it, unfurling it to reveal the seal written on it. The girl glances at the creepy-crawlies and shudders briefly before shaking one from the jar and making the series of handseals slowly. A faint glow of green chakra shows that she at least has the healing jutsu working. It seems that she's mostly successful, too! The bug starts wriggling a bit before crawling around on the paper as if curious what the heck it was dragged into. Kame enjoys pets galore and licks Kenta's hand happily.

Hikaru frowns a little. Reverse it? Maybe he could do that… Forming the second set of seals, Hikaru sighed and caught the running beetle, feeding the different kind of chakra into it so that maybe it would slow down. It seemed he wasn't /as/ effective at this part… But he was trying. At least he probably wouldn't kill the thing. "Kenta," he says as a side thought to the Chuunin. "I'll pass on the bug snacks. That sounds, honestly, disgusting." He hated to be blunt. But there was no way he was eating that.

Tatsuo looks up at Kenta as he instructs more, the green still flowing from his hands as he maintains that focus. The boy nods to Kenta and gives a soft, "Hai…Kenta-sama…" before turning his focus back to the beetle and continuing until he has the beetle moving. The boy smiles faintly before flipping the page and skimming over the next part. The seals are made again and the beetle slowly returns to a more dormant state as he works out just how much chakra to use. Now to practice until he can do it faster and get the right amont of chakra the first time. Not easy, but he's not going to give up!

"Beetles actually have a lot of protein. They're very good for growing shinobi like the four of you. Ummm… I'll make some for next lesson. You can at least try the snacks." Kenta scoops his sleeping beetle up in a hand, not bothering to use tweezers this time, and plops it back into his jar, which he screws shut. "Ummm… OK, so just keep practicing for now. I'll watch and correct you guys if I see anything done incorrectly."

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