Date: August 29, 2010
Midoru gives Tsukiko a waterwalking lesson that caters to her specific abilities.
"Walking Upon A Liquid Mirror"
Waterfall in the Land of Fire
It was nighttime, here at Konohagakure's waterfall. Darkness blankets earth and sky like a cloak, covering all it could, greedy with its light. But the clearing where the waterfall held dominion shined, the full moon hanging just overhead as the world's eye. Spray from the falls covered the air near the pool, sparkling in the star's vibrance, bringing moonlit rainbows to life.
Midoru stood here, his armor gleaming across the whole of his body. His long platinum hair glistened, sliding down the metal in its own waterfall like spun starlight. He shifted Mhaldor, a split blade nearly as long as he was tall, and stared out over the waters, crimson eyes ponderous.
Tsukiko arrives quickly. She uses the trees to leap her way here, never touching the ground before finally dropping to the ground near you, her final step as she lands, feather light. She looks up to you, "you wanted to meet me, Midoru-san?"
Midoru's lips curl up slightly in a spare smile, knowing Tsukiko's signature landing, slow and graceful. He inclines his head to her before putting his closed fist to the metal over his heart in salute. "Yes, Lieutenant Colonel. I have heard that your water walking training has been interrupted, and since you will be my aid in teaching my students this technique, I find it prudent that you should know the skill, don't you?"
Tsukiko nods, "Yes. it would be useful.. both fr this.. and for our upcoming.. trials, I suppose. I.. I've been trying to practice what Hiroshi-san taught me.. but our lessons were not complete."
Midoru nods, "Hiroshi is indisposed, a t the moment. I will be the one taking over your training, and I'll probably be doing it differently. I may have to ask you to forget all that he's showed you before now." He nodded his head, "So, what have you learned from him?"
Tsukiko nods. Teachers often had their own way of presenting the information. She steps forward and takes a deep breath. She actively flexes to feel her chakra move then begins to move as she talks. "I have to control my chakra flow through to my feet to flows into the water and spread my weight out so and lift myself up" You can tell she is working on doing so as she speaks.
Midoru nods, inclining his head at the information. "Go on," was said, his smooth voice rumbling, beckoning more of what she'd learned.
Tsukiko slowly walks forward while concentrating on this chakra flow. She opens her eyes and steps out onto the water. She is standing on the water, but she looks like someone trying to balance on a ball. she wobbles and tries to balance herself, her left foot dipping into the water before she corrects herself.
Midoru shakes his head, "Too eager, Lieutenant Colonel. You are a tadpole trying to follow its parents to the land. You have not yet reached that stage." He walked to the water's edge, beckoning Tsukiko off of it. "Come."
Tsukiko turns to try and step off before she sinks suddenly to hr mid shin. She sighs and trudges the rest of the way off.
Midoru nods, "You are already halflearned, that much is obvious. But I do not feel as though you were taught in a way that you would apply to you personally." He strides up the the girl, the 6'10 man leaning forward, hands finding her shoulders. He turns Tsukiko towards the waterfall, "I chose this place, this time for a reason. What does the pool look like, to you?" The moon's reflection shined from the water in front of them.
Tsukiko turns and looks. She smiles, realizing what her mentor means. "It looks like a mirror.. I used to like coming here just to watch the water.. before the village was taken over.. I don't really like going out at night alone now."
Midoru gives Tsukiko a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder, "Remember, soldier. Be bold. You can handle yourself…"
But it's quickly back to the lesson, and his voice turns low and smooth, unobtrusive, meant to provide guidance but take little of her attention. "Look at the pool of water… it's flat surface… The moon reflected inside of it… do you see?"
Tsukiko looks at the water, concentrating.. as if she sees the challenge in an entirely different way. She nods slowly, listening to her teacher. "Yes, Midoru-san"
"Now look lower," continued the Kuroyari. "You see yourself… standing below you… above you.. so hard to tell." His own eyes find Tsukiko's face in the surface of the water over her shoulder. "You are connected, you and she… you are the same. What moves one moves the other…. it has always been thus with mirrors… you are anchored to her…. supported by her…. her weight presses against yours and yours presses against hers…"
He pauses, allowing this concept to sink in. "Do you remember Mhaldor…? You gave Mhaldor one that supports it…. you gave Mhaldor a reflection… You created a link between the two… and with it you did the impossible… you moved what none of my students could… you threw it so far… you must do the impossible now…. create that same link between yourself and your image… and…" He gave her the gentlest of pushes, just nudging, encouraging her to move onto the water.
Tsukiko yips, not expecting the push. She wasn't prepared and stumbles in, wading into the water clumsily from the push. She takes a moment to gather herself and lifts one foot above the water. She lets the water settle a moment then stes her foot on teh water surface and steps up. She settles again on both feet, slightly unsteady, but growing better as the water settles and the reflection comes clear.
Midoru let out a small grin at the yip and the plunge, shaking his head a little. He sometimes forgot how big he was in comparison to her. The push was as if he was dealing with one of his own students, who have considerably more bulk. But he kept silent, letting Tsukiko get her sea legs without distraction from him.
Tsukiko stands carefully. The water around her settles into a clear mirror soon enough and she seems to be standing as if on on solid ground. She takes a step, and her footing remains solid. She takes another, then a third.. and is soon walking smoothly accross the water.
Midoru nods slowly, watching Tsukiko as she began to walk smoothly across the surface of the lake. "Good…" came his praise, voice still smooth and unintrusive. He allowed himself a small smile. She was a fast learner.
He then picked up a decent sized rock and tossed it so that it landed near Tsukiko's feet, causing ripples in the pool of water, distorting the image.
Tsukiko is unsteady for a moment but regains herself before she falters much. She looks up and grins a little before settling into a ready stance. She moves quickly across the surface, running on the water.
Midoru's eyebrows raise at the girl carrying on with very little difficulty. She learned /very/ quickly. She would do well for the troops.
The Kuroyari stands and steps forward onto the water's surface without a stumble or ripple, the chakra he had to emit large due to the heavy weight of his body and equipment both. "Tsukiko," he said, unobtrusive voice rolling across the water's surface to the girl. He walked further, towards the center of the pool. "Create four clones. Come to me."
Tsukiko smiles and skids to a stop on the water. "hai" She smiles. She stops to concentrate on the clone technique.. but her concentration on the waterl walking falters.. and she drops straight into the water like a rock with a glub.
Midoru is there in an instant, having half expected this. He had not expected her to be able to shrug off the ripple in the pool from earlier. Perhaps it was too much to ask her to divert her chakra to multiple things.
His hand flashed downwards into the water, the liquid parting smoothly around him as he grabbed an arm and quickly pulled her out. Both hands found their way under her shoulders, holding her up just high enough so that her toes just skimmed the water's surface. "At least I know you're human," was said, grin in his voice.
Tsukiko sputters, looking embarressed. She shakes her head, "I.. uhm.. I'm sorry, Midoru-san." She dangles like a fish on a line just above the water. "Thank you for getting me out."
"Of course," said Midoru, holding the girl up still. "It's actually remarkable you've done so well. Either you're an incredibly swift learner or Hiroshi taught you well. It's likely both."
Tsukiko nods, still dangling limply. She uhms, "can you lower me down to the water again, midoru-san." She rubs the back of her head, embarrassedly.
"Of course," rumbled Midoru, lowering Tsukiko, hands only slowly relieving their pull on her so she can have the time to restablish the link before she simply fell into the water again. Wouldn't do to save her just to drown her afterwards. "Shall we try again, Tsukiko? I think you may have rushed things, the first time."
Tsukiko nods as she gingerly gets to her feet on the water's surface again. She establishes her foothold and sighs when she is released. "thank you for fishing me out.. I think i was getting ahead of myself too."
"Likely," said Midoru, stepping back and away from the girl. "But you could do it if you concentrated. Don't rush so, like you had before. Create the clones one at a time. Four of them. See their reflections. Remember that the water is only a mirror and the mirror is your domain. Here, you are in control." He was some distance away, having been moving as he spoke. "So use it."
Tsukiko moves back away slowly to establish her own footing on the water's surface. She focuses more carefullyand makes her hand seals slowly. Her jutsu fails though. This seems to shake her confidence and therefor her stance for a moment before she re-settles herself.
"Be bold, Lieutenant," said Midoru, his voice having an ethereal quality, sliding into Tsukiko's ear almost as if the words had come from within her own mind. "You have the talent, you have the training, and you have the mindset. /Use/ them. You must be bold. You must be Kuroyari."
Tsukiko nods. "I.. thought it has a reflection I can't use the water's surface for my jutsu… yet…" She takes a deep breath and settles again. Yu can visibly see her going through the subtle exercise for drawing strength you taught her before she makes her hand seals and creates a clone easily enough
Midoru inclines his head as the first clone appears, inspecting it. He couldn't find any differences between it and the true Tsukiko. "Good… on to the next one… just one at a time."
This time, Tsukiko pushes herself a little further. She draws a mirror from her pack and makes a solid mirror clone. Both the clone and the real tsukiko have a second where they have to establish their footing on the water before they can stand ready again
"Good…" said Midoru, surprised at the change in tactics, though he was learning not to be quite so surprised at Tsukiko's success. "You are a talented young lady, Tsukiko." He pondered telling her to create another but soon decided not to, knowing that the mirror clone was as difficult to hold as at least 5 regular clones, and with another clone already out and Tsukiko herself on the water… Talented indeed. "Walk. Come to me… one slow step at a time."
Tsukiko (and clone) make their way slowly accross the water's surface. the wear is definitely showing as the young shinobi continues to use her chakra to upkeep the clone and keep them both on the surface.
"Nearly there, Tsukiko…" Midoru's eyes reamined locked on the three Tsukiko's as they approached, the moonlight the only aid he needed for his sight. "Just a little further…"
The three tsukiko's make their way to shore finally before Tsukiko dismisses the clones and puts the mirror she used back into her scroll pack. She huffs from the effort before she bows to you, "thank you Midoru-san for the lessons. You are a good captain."