"Thank you for your kind words, but a teacher will always be responsible for the care of their students, but no, I'm not here to tell you to stop. Kind of the opposite really, I'm here to tell you you haven't been training anywhere near hard enough. You don't know it, but the Byakugan, although it is a source of unimaginable power, its the core weakness at the heart of the Hyuga clan. A Ninja has to accept that one skill-set is not enough in an ever-changing world, one day Juken isn't going to work, or one day you'll lose your sight, one day you'll meet someone that defies all your expectations and you have to be ready for it, or you'll lose. Other ninja are, but never the Hyuga, their born power is so tried and triumphant it is often enough to overcome any obstacle... But not this time. So, you'll need to learn to do what every other ninja in this world does, learn to cope and live with disadvantage, and maybe even find a way to use it. So you need to identify your weakness, say it out loud, and think of what you can do to circumvent it.
While you're fighting me."
Supaku was surprised at Hanbei’s words, here she was completely blind since her eyes
were taken out, and this woman had the audacity to tell her she wasn’t training hard enough? She felt her temperature rise as the white hot burning of anger spread across her cheeks. What on earth did she know about it? Supaku was equally surprised at how quickly her rage rose to the surface, she had been so busy trying to keep training that she hadn’t spent any time processing what had happened to her. But now that she was being forced to think about it she found that she was actually furious. The sudden quiet after Hanbei said she would be fighting her was unnerving, and she tried to place her body in the direction she had last known Hanbei to be standing. Supaku was acutely aware of the fact that she could not hear much above her own laboured breathing, she had been going hard at training all morning and now she was nearing her limit of endurance. But Hanbei’s goad “...you'll need to learn to do what every other ninja in this world does, learn to cope and live with disadvantage…”
had given her one more push of adrenaline and there was no way in hell that she was going to be satisfied with being just like every other ninja and simply living
with disadvantage. "Your weakness is easy, you can't see. But sight isn't the only way you can discern location. But not a Hyuga, you're used to seeing everything and now you cannot, you are not just blind, you are far more blind than most, your clans' fixation on your eyes is in your very blood."
Supaku was instantly riled by Hanbei’s seeming jab at her being newly blind, and just as she opened her mouth to retort she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. A weapon? Or jutsu? She honestly could not tell the difference, the only thing she knew for certain was that it had hurt. Her words were swept away as she inhaled sharply through her teeth and instinctively turned to face the direction of the pain, readying herself to attack. She listened for sounds of footsteps, or breathing, the creak of the floor or swish of clothing. But she heard none of that save for the pounding of her heartbeat in her ears as she would move quickly towards the last known location of Hanbei. Just as she moved to strike out at where she thought Hanbei was, another sharp pain exploded in the back of her leg. She would yelp out her surprise as she spun on her heel trying to discern where this new attack had come from. Around and around she spun, moving to a new location every time she felt that same sharp pain in some new and inexplicable spot on her body. “Fight me properly!”
She would roar as she moved blindly about the room, getting more and more frustrated as she was introduced to the stabbing pain again and again. “You think I wanted to be like this? You think I stood there in that damned mine, the mine that you sent me to, and just waited until that f*cking woman did this to me? She was a monster and now I’m being punished for her atrocities. How is this fair?!”
She screamed at the air as she whipped her head back and forth trying to locate her assailant by sound alone. "This is how an enemy will fight you when you're weak, trying to break you down peace by peace... so how will you deal with this enemy Supaku?"
Then she heard it, the sound of a piece of metal lightly tapping on the ground off to her left. Filled with fury she pounced and was met with more disappointment as she felt another pain, this time at her neck. A killing strike. "Far too easy... do you even want to be a ninja!?"
She would swing her arm backwards, attempting to connect with Hanbei’s core, far too angry to hold back her strikes and not nearly concerned enough with her own well being. She would scream out again in anger, hostile to the point of being unreasonable. In her mind’s eye all she saw was red; hating the woman who took her eyes, hating Hanbei for torturing her with this ‘training’, and hating herself for failing so miserably at it. “How dare you?! The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a ninja, and because of you that’s all gone now! I was supposed to be responsible for Yori and Ko, who was supposed to be responsible for me? I did my job, they’re fine, they both have their eyes. But you failed me, you might as well have left me there to die.”
With each new pain that she felt she would howl in rage, her temper causing her to reach a state of near mania. “I should have died there! I failed with the one important task I’ve ever had. Just like the fair. I should be dead, and I don’t deserve to be a ninja. I can’t even fight you and my life isn’t in danger.”
A shuddering sigh would pass through her body as her anger slowly transformed into something else; focus. She had failed before, so many times. She realized now though in this quiet moment of despair that it was her who had failed. She had always believed that the world was against her, trying to make her fail. But that couldn’t be true, she searched her heart and found what Hanbei said to hit the proverbial nail on the head as she accepted that she simply wasn’t trying hard enough. She had always attacked every problem head on, assuming that she could beat everything into submission. Never being comfortable with the idea that she would have to submit in order to succeed. This time though, she would submit.
Each time she was tricked by the small weapon she marked its direction and began to slowly recognize the sound for what it was. A distraction. She only heard the tink
of metal on the floor right before a strike came at her body. So she waited, she stopped spinning and lashing out indiscriminately, and just listened. She tried to still her heartbeat, her breathing, and just focused on listening for the soft sounds of Hanbei moving. She could feel the breeze coming in from the windows and let her attention fall to the sensation. The longer she spent allowing the feeling of the wind to encompass her the more she became aware of its pattern. Still moving her head towards any sounds she heard she allowed the distracting tink
on the floor to be her guide. She would begin circling again, this time with intent. She knew what the cool brush of air felt like on her skin, and she would use it as a measure for her next strike, for in its absence she felt certain that she would find Hanbei blocking it from reaching her. Supaku would turn and wait and feel and listen, lashing out in the empty spot where free flowing air should be but wasn’t.