Date: June 4, 2014
Shiro is having a bit of difficulty with the last steps of learning the Western God Matrix. He uses the pretense of wanting to meet the Hokage to secure some tutelage from the wisest shinobi of Konohagakure. Although Daisuke is his sensei for only one visit, his simple advice provides Shiro with the revelation he needs to complete the matrix, and no doubt opens the doors to many future successes.
"Wisdom of the Hokage"
In all of his travels and his many visits to this particular village, Shiro's never paid a visit to Hokage's Lookout. A place for leadership and political decisions, the young man's always assumed, which is not at all his business. Still, he's benefited greatly from Konohagakure's generosity in recent months. The time has come to properly acquaint himself with the Hokage, the Uzumaki boldly decides, and to use that as a nice pretense for his ulterior motives.
Someone helpfully shows Shiro the way to the Hokage's office, at which point he knocks three times before entering. The youth ensures that the portion of his robes which proudly displays the Uzumaki clan crest is visible, and before he even sights Daisuke, he's inquiring, "Hokage-sama? Am I disturbing you?" An honorific, even. He's pulling out all the stops.
Paperwork line the desk of the Hokage as, from within the piles, comes the sound of someone stirring. As Shiro so boldly enters the room without asking for permission, Daisuke is caught doing his daily paperwork and not expecting such a visit. He pushes a stack of scrolls and papers to the side to see who had entered his office. As he spots Shiro, he notices the crest on his robe, easily placing the cousin clan to his own.
"Uzumaki, huh. We don't get too many in town. What can I do for you?" he asks in a pleasant voice, moving some more paperwork to the side to clear the middle of his desk before gently folding his hands atop it as he waits for Shiro to introduce himself and his reason for seeking the Hokage.
Shiro's always had a problem with manners and rules, Uzumaki being an unconventional lot, so perhaps entering without permission was a mistake. On the other hand, he's putting more effort into it than he typically would! In fact, once the young man discovers Daisuke behind his pillars of paperwork, he immeediately executes a proper and formal bow to the man. Probably the first time he's done that since he left the Land of Whirlpools so many years ago.
"Hokage-sama. It is an honor to meet you," he says, exuberant as ever despite his restrained physical mannerisms. "I am Uzumaki Shiro, and I just thought it was about time that I should come and meet you." Shiro slowly rises, continuing, "I've visited most every village, but Konohagakure is sort of a second home by now. Your people have been very good to me, and I even have two sensei here as of recently. It occurred that I'd never met the leader and given proper thanks for sharing these resources, though."
"Uzumaki Shiro, well it is always good to know another Uzumaki." the Hokage muses, motioning for Shiro to take a seat in one of the two chairs in front of his desk. "I'm glad my village has been accommodating, the Uzumaki are like an extended clan of Konoha in our books." He gives Shiro a once over before he unfolds his hands and leans back in his chair.
"What can I do for you, today, Shiro? Did you have any questions I could answer? Or perhaps some advice…some concerns you were having? Or was your visit merely to see who runs the show?" he says, chuckling at the last bit to keep the mood in the room light.
It seems, at least to Shiro, like Daisuke already has him pinned. He still tries to cover. "Well, I did want to meet you, of course. You're the only leader of the villages I've /ever/ met, in fact. It's a great honor." There is, in the youth's tone, an indication of the 'but' that's soon to follow. "I've heard that you're a great shinobi, which is to be expected of the Hokage! With Taiki-sensei and Soren-sensei busy, though, I was wandering about and suddenly had my eyes on the Lookout. That's when I realized that you might help- er, collaborate with me on a project I'm working on."
"I'm interested in seals, of course. Not just learning the old ones, but creating new ones," Shiro explains. "You have to push the boundaries to learn, much less to create new seals, right? Well, there are seals all over me which you can't see until I feed them chakra. This new set is … quite a bit more complex than I'm used to, and I'm having trouble getting the chakra to flow properly." The shame, his pause no doubt suggests, of an Uzumaki confessing difficulty with seals. "It's the Western God Matrix. I decided to skip the Southern entirely, you see! Unfortunately, I'm having trouble managing my chakra flow so that the seals in the matrix will connect and function. I thought, if anyone knows about chakra, it's the Hokage."
Daisuke had Shiro pinned enough to expect and wait for the 'but' in the first explanation. After listening to Shiro's issues over chakra control, Daisuke nods his head. "I see." he says, a bit amused that Shiro just happened to walk by today and decide to come gain his advice. It wasn't the first time a genin had 'infiltrated' his office on a work day, so he had become quite used to it. "If it is stability in chakra flow you are seeking, I would fully support you learning the Tree Walking technique, and it's advanced version, the Water Walking technique. Most of our genin begin their Geninship with a Jounin sensei teaching them this technique. The reason for it is exactly what you are having issues with, managing your chakra flow."
"My home village doesn't have an Academy, so I didn't really receive that kind of training," says Shiro as he chuckles, scratching lightly at the back of his neck. "I've got the feeling that I'm /just/ about in control, but there's something in the process I'm not quite managing. Plus, the seals are already on me, so it's a little late to stop working." He remained standing for a reason, of course. The Uzumaki puts a fingertip to his right shoulderblade and runs it down his arm, to his hand. "They span from here to here. I can almost get the lines to connect between the seals - that's the chakra flow - but they sputter out and disappear just before they do. So, the matrix doesn't activate."
Shiro puts his hands together and bows once more, requesting, "Would you guide me as I try again, Hokage-sama? I would be very honored for you to be my sensei, if only for a single visit! Maybe you could help me take this last step, and open the door to all sorts of other achievements." A pause. "Did I mention that I'm always willing to help Konohagakure with its missions or troubles? I am, you know."
Daisuke frowns, only slightly, as Shiro seems unwilling to let it go at the moment to try something that might help him in the long run, but the genin needed to learn that for himself. He nods his head along with Shiro's explanation and, once complete, he merely says, "Show me your attempt and I can see if I can make a suggestion. You have to remember that most Uzumaki seals are foreign to other ninja, but I do have knowledge of various seals so I will do my best to help." With that he sits back and waits for Shiro to attempt what he was trying to master.
Shiro shakes his head once. "You're the Hokage, and people speak so highly of your ability. I'm sure it doesn't matter when it comes to helping me," he says, filing his vote of confidence in the man. In order to best display the transformation, he pulls down the right side of his already open tunic so as to fully expose his shoulder and right arm. Thereafter, Shiro takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. Seals do indeed form upon the back of his hand, his elbow, and his right shoulderblade. Slowly, intricate lines crawl from one seal to the other, as if they were reaching out to connect.
The lines get closer and closer, and when they almost connect, the matrix begins to glow purple and pulse with radiance of the same hue. Then, it's over. Something goes wrong in the process as the lines struggle just at the finish, and then abruptly disappear. "You see? I feel like I get bogged down just as the matrix is about to completely form. It's as if someone grabs hold of my chakra and drags it down."
Daisuke watches as the seals appear and begin to activate, having stared at his own Ten Point seal enough times that any complicated seal at least made sense. As the technique fizzles Daisuke nods his head and collects his thoughts before explaining.
"As with most ninjutsu at the beginning, one key thing to learn is to use your chakra in a more efficient manner rather than focus so hard your brain might pop." Daisuke says, making a little joke. "While you are using the correct amount of chakra to activate the technique, your flow is too erratic to sustain and, therefore, activate the entire sequence. What I would recommend is finding a seal technique similar, but of a lower level, and just practicing activation. You mentioned you skipped the first matrix of seals, which probably makes it much harder to get the hang of this one. You are close, though. You just need to stretch the flow out better so that the last lines connect."
Shiro drops his head, perhaps as a show of respect, but more likely in a defeated fashion. He really had been focusing more than he'd been attending to his efficiency. Still, Daisuke's wisdom and the idea to follow make sense. In fact, there's already something he can do about that. "I skipped the Southern matrix, but I have another set of symbols that I /can/ use easily. This one's called the Seal of Faith." Once again, after taking a moment to focus, black lines begin to form upon his body. Seals appear on his stomach and chest, with one more upon his brow. Small, artfully drawn lines quickly flow between each seal until they're all connected, and although this one isn't potent enough to glow, it's obviously finished. "It improves the power of my seals, among other things, Hokage-sensei."
Daisuke nods his head as Shiro shows him another set of seals. "That would work as well, even though it may not be a similar sequence. Practice activation of that as efficiently as possible and then try your luck again on the Western Matrix." he suggests to the young Uzumaki. "That's really all there is to it, practice of both chakra control of flow, and a similar technique to the one you are handling. It's cliche, but those two things, when practiced enough, will break that last little barrier you are having problems making it through."
Shiro allows the new seal to fade away, and he then pulls the right half of his tunic back on, at least to the extent that he ever wears it. "I understand, Hokage-sama," he says. Two transformations in short order, one much stronger than the other, have taxed him a bit. Even still, Shiro exhibits the determination of most fiery Uzumaki youths. "Keep practicing with the flow of what I can handle until I snag a revelation on how to push myself over that final hill. It's simple advice, but if that's how you think I'll manage it, then I will trust in your wisdom."
There's another pause. With the slightest of grins, Shiro asks, "I suppose it was too much to hope that you'd have some advice or idea to push me through here and now? I was sort of hoping to impress you before I left, I admit."
"You may have been overthinking the problem in your hurry. Sometimes the answer is but simply time and practice, Uzumaki Shiro. There is no sense rushing things through, for it will come to bite you later on in your progress." Daisuke says with a smirk, once an over eager boy like Shiro was. "I'm sure with but a little more practice you will be able to break that thresh hold and activate it with no problem."
Refolding his hands atop his desk, he asks Shiro, "Is there anything else I can do for you, Shiro? If not, I must be getting back to the mountains of paperwork you see before you on the desk. I'm afraid the Hokage is not all glamour and awesome battles, there is quite a bit of administrative work like this."
"Ah, no. There was nothing else. Thank you for seeing me, Hokage-sama," says Shiro. He bows low once more and then turns to leave, but slows more and more as he nears the door. The cogs within his mind are turning, working on Daisuke's advice to practice with the lesser seal. It's wisdom which brings about that desired revelation sooner than was expected. "You know, with the lesser seal, the lines running from my chest to my forehead are longer than any of the lines in the Western God Matrix. I'm still getting them to connect properly. Maybe the chakra control issue is really is management, in the sense of balancing it so that more flows where it needs to …"
Shiro pulls down the right half of his tunic again and sets to the task, breathing in and exhaling slowly. The seals take form, and then the elaborate lines begin to crawl across his flesh. Purple energy radiates softly from the patterns as the lines get closer and closer together, but now, he takes a bit from the lines already formed to invest in that last hump. The lines connect, and with a pulsation of brighter energy, the matrix forms. "Ha! That's it! You see?! I knew coming to you would help me get it right."
Daisuke nods his head as Shiro has a lightbulb go off in his head and watches as his transformation completes. "There you go." he says with a nod, moving a stack of his paperwork back onto his desk in front of him. "Now you will know what to do for the next step moreso than you did for this one. I'm sure the results will be much quicker for you." With a wave of his hand, the Hokage wishes Shiro well before returning to his work at hand, glad to be of service.
Shiro's suddenly much more fleet of foot with the matrix complete, almost equal to the fastest of Chuunin, though he's probably no more than a genin equivalent by nature. The young man's back at Daisuke's desk in a flash, bowing even more deeply than before. "You are most wise, Hokage-sama. Thank you for helping me to better understand my own art. One day, when I return home, I'll tell the elders of your wise guidance," he says. "Good luck battling the paperwork. Have you ever thought about maybe 'losing' some of it? You know, a strong gust blew some of it out the window." A little advice of his own.
Shiro's back to the door just as swiftly, but the matrix fades as he pulls his tunic back up. At least he won't be dashing through the rest of Hokage's Lookout and stirring up a panic. As the doors close, he can be heard to hum a pleasant little tune.