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1Workin' the Basics [Private/Solo] Empty Workin' the Basics [Private/Solo] on Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:27 pm



An hour previous the night had still weighed heavy in the sky. The air had been still with cold and shadows around every corner. The stars carried a promise of a brighter tomorrow but the coming morning was much too slow. Darkness not only stretched across the village but within the mind of a young girl tormented by sadness. It’s clutches were as sharp as knives and it’s grip as strong as steel. Entangled, Meiyo struggled and fought as it dragged her down the rabbit hole. By sheer luck the sound of a bird stirring outside her window startled her enough to slip free from it’s grips. Panting and sweating, she threw herself from bed and ran out the door.

She had not stopped running either. For the past hour she sprinted from her home in the hill through the quiet streets of Konoha. She ran with her lungs pumping, her heart racing, and the chills of her nightmares still clinging to her sweaty skin. Her hair, currently a balayage from white to blue to purple, danced behind her on the breeze of her speed, whipping about like a flag caught in a current. Her feet, bare, hit the ground hard, tossing up small plumes of dust from the road. Calloused from long wear, she hardly felt the rocks and dirt beneath her or the strain of her muscles as they carried her forward. There were only two things that occupied her mind - to run and to train. So to the training grounds she fled, doing her absolute best to outrace the dreams that tormented her.

She arrived, sweaty and well stretched. She panted, pulled her arm up, wiped her brow, and opened the gate to the training grounds. Looking behind her she saw nothing but shadows scattered about buildings and trees, like demons of her dreams awaiting her to falter. With pursed lips and furrowed brows, she turned forward to step through the threshold. And just as she opened a new chapter to brighter days, the dark skies suddenly broke into oranges and pinks. The sun was arriving, dragging with it a warm morning and rays of sunshine to scatter the demons. She’d always felt safer in the sun, and safest in the training grounds. The moment the gate swung shut behind her with a loud clank, all worries dissipated from her mind. At least for the moment.

She breathed deep and stretched her arms out wide behind her. Feeling the expansion of her body as it welcomed the break of the night’s cold. The knit of her sweater dress squeezed her body tighter the more she stretched and moved. In many places it was damp but thanks to the black fabric it was hardly noticeable. She lifted the layered collar that was as heavy as a scarf and fanned herself. The morning was cold and covered in dew, but her body was hot from the race.

There was a ton of equipment available for the shinobi in training. With so much to choose from it was hard to decide where to begin. She tapped a long finger on her lips and looked about. Shrugging, she figured she would start with the basics. She pulled all her hair up except one strand from the nape of her neck. With ease she tied the loose end around her hair and knotted it. The long length of her hair still fell past her shoulders, even from a high ponytail, but at least it would stay out of her face. Her bangs hung long, needing a trim, but with a quick hop she was ready.

Meiyo let herself fall forward with confidence, letting her palms catch her body in a plank on the ground. The dirt was chilly against her palms and turned grainy from the sweat of her palms, but it was a good feeling she enjoyed. With the balls of her toes planted firmly, her shoulders and arms the right distance, and the length of her body flat, she bent her elbows and begun. “One hundred pushups, go!” she stated with a determined smile. Up, down, up, down her muscles contracted and moved her body. Her back stayed stiff and her core was pulled in, her form was perfect from years of Academy expectation. She counted her repetitions of by tens, exhaling against the ground just before she pushed off. The exertion got her blood moving. By the time seventy reps came and gone, her heart was beating rapidly with excitement. Workouts always boosted her mood. The more she trained, the better she felt.

At the moment she completed her last pushup rep, she bounced her toes off the ground and into the air. Steadily she bent her elbows outwards and balanced. Her dress fell a few blushing inches down her thighs, but white wrapping was bound around her legs to complete a modest appearance. Looking forward, her long hair dragging on the ground, she moved her hand forward towards the length of training ground. From gate to gate was a hundred yards. She intended to reach the other side without a break. “One hundred yards, and go!” Blood rushing through her veins, her muscles tender and quivering with thrill, she pushed forward balancing expertly on her hands. Her hands moved one after the other just as steadily as her feet on the ground; though not as fast. She was meeting at most two miles per hour. She wasn’t working for speed, more for strength and balance. The journey was tiresome, long and every quarter of the way the strain of her muscles nagged her to quit. There was inside her a fiercsome will that powerhoused all of her senses.

Through the first quarter she felt the edge of her muscles being worked and the slight rush of the blood to her head. But this was the way of the ninja, and strength was her goal. She met the first quarter line and breathed in deep. She flexed her elbows, bringing her body down and up, bending her knees and then stretching her toes to the sky. “I can do this!” She chanted to herself with determination.

The second quarter was just about the same as the first, she felt a little more strained and her breath came stronger, but she reveled in what her muscles could produce, endured and encompassed herself in the power and push they provided. She was focused on overcoming her most recent endeavors and that was all she allowed herself to dwell on. Last week she could only make it seventy-five yards. She was maddened with desire to break that record.

She met the third quarter with a rallying of adrenaline that vibrated through her core. Her hair, once blue was now brown with dirt, the edges of her sleeves were caked in dust and she was perspiring like no ones business. But this was the goal, to make it across these yards she’ll have met her record. Any more and she’ll have earned another peg in accomplishments. Her breath came steady but started to become strained, “One yard at a time,” she huffed. “Almost there!”

The last quarter came into sight. There were no signs marking the length, but in her mind she envisioned a red sash across the field. With a burst of energy she trekked forward and broke through the imagined sash. It burst into bright stars and twinkled away. Carrying with the burst of energy, she could feel the stress on her limbs but ignored it all. “Must get to the end, got to touch that fence!” She hustled, palms beaten from rocks, twigs and dirt. Arms shaking from her own weight. Her shoulders burned from the tension. Her core tightened against the pain it was working to keep her balanced. She was almost there, the gate was in sight. Granted it had always been, but the end was near and that was exciting.

Sunlight glistened against the silver of the fencing. It was only a few yards away, she was going to make it! Her balance was shaking but she couldn’t pay attention to that now. This was the final push. She could do it. She could make it!

Her eyes shut as she came within reach. With an outstretched hand she stopped just in time to feel the links beneath her tender palms. Pushing from the ground she coupled backwards to land on her feet with bended knees. Only to jump with joy, sore arms stretched high. Dust shook from her hair and arms in small clouds around her body creating almost a silhouette of bronze light from the refraction of the sun. “I did it! One hundred yards!” The sun peeked over the Hokage Rock and spilled orange light over her skin. Bathed in sweat, dirt and sun, she jumped one last hop before sucking in a tight breath. Reeling it all in, her tasks were not done.

Nearby were jump ropes of various lengths in a wooden box that had once been stained red, but now was a weathered red-brown. She picked one up about twice her length and put one end in each hand. The ends had been roughed from use and the rope had been blackened from mud. She squared her body and hopped into the rope as it came under her feet. “One thousand jumping rope, here I come!” She started slow and gradually working up to a pace that the rope swung around her body steadily and she was hopping from leg to leg quite quickly. Meiyo loved jumping rope because of its intensity and the way it orchestrates most of her body to working together for a common goal. She noticed that it also helped her concentration and interaction from brain to muscle, and with how easily one could change up the routine without losing the core value of the exercise, she appreciated the flair jumping rope provided. It enticed her creativity with every repetition. At first she jumped casually from foot to foot, but the moment boredom trickled in, she was alternating her feet. She jumped higher or crossed her feet or lunged deeply. The ‘skit’ of the rope hitting the ground kept a beat that was almost music to her ears. Every ‘swoosh’ of the rope over head to under her feet was another inkling of joy. It was all rhythmic ecstasy that rippled the innocent pleasures a young kunoichi could ask for.

Meeting another expectation she planted her feet and tossed one end of the rope to her other hand. She swung it around playfully and flung it towards the box she had pulled it from. It landed with a ‘smack’ and slithered to the bottom. She giggled from the tension that was pulsing out of her body. Jumping rope was always a refreshing piece of her routine. It always revamped her to keep going.

After the night before she needed to really burn off energy.

Adrenaline pumping through her veins like lightning on water, she was very aware of her surroundings. Her eyes were dilated with the excitement of a good work out. Her hearing was on point. She could even taste the fine grains of the dust in the air, though one wouldn’t have wanted to. In fact she grimaced at the grains and walked towards the water fountain on the far end of the gates. As she did so, however, a strange feeling or pressure tickled the hairs on her neck just as footsteps became apparent. She had heard them before they fell. Felt their presence before they entered the grounds. ‘Huh, that’s interesting’ she thought to herself. ’Now what is that feeling called again?’ She rattled her brain. Her body was amped, but her mind was still groggy and sensitive.

She bent her head and let the water rinse her tongue. The water was sweet and chilled, a refreshing bliss. As she went to sip it finally dawned on her, ‘Perception, being able to perceive your surroundings and those around you - an asset to a shinobi.’ Condensed version of what had been recently instructed in the Academy. But nonetheless a great skill she thought she’d train with. Her gold eyes closed as she drank, her body stilled. She wanted to become one with nature in a sense. With hearing she could count the steps that were just off of unison with each other. A couple pairs, two people. The gates screeched, they were entering the grounds. The scent in the air, musky. More than likely two males. Unless of course one was a fiesty and feral female. She was probably stereotyping, but in this world, you often had to make quick decisions. She assumed from the grounds and familiarity they wouldn’t be rogues. It’d be rare for dangerous rogues to get past the guard of the city. But no security was perfect.

Next to the water fountain were the sets of optional boxing bags. They were taller than her by a couple feet even slumped and much wider, especially thrown together as they were. She slipped next to them, practicing being sleuthy. She looked about the side of the bag, leaning casually with her arms crossed across her chest and one foot bent and propped up against the bag. They didn’t seem to be wary of their surroundings. She wouldn’t be surprised if they had noticed her or not. But from the tired bags under their eyes and occasional yawns, they looked too tired to really mind either way. They were also younger, probably around her age of twelve. Genin, with the head bands around their foreheads. Headed for the heavy weights, a fun idea popped into her head. Ever the social butterfly, “Hey! Hello there! Good morning!” she hollered, coming out from behind the boxing bags. She waved, smiled, and walked up to them with shoulders held back in friendly confidence. “Either of you up for a quick spar? I’ve been here all morning and just thought it might be more fun with someone else.” The two genin glanced between the other. One shrugged and waved his friend off, the one friend smiled back and jogged to the center of the space where there was plenty of room.

“Just hand to hand?” He asked, holding up his fists in a lowered stance. Meiyo walked to stand across from him just a few meters. She nodded and lowered her stance to mimic his. “Ready?”

“Go!” she said, but hesitated, letting him come to her. It was her intention to increase her  response ability. To do so would require anticipating an opponent. He came in hot with a right hook and several turns of kicks. She leaned left to avoid the punch as it flew by her ear and tucked low to avoid the first kick, pushing a palm upwards to knock his next off balance. Balancing on her right leg, one arm knocking his leg out of the way, she came strong with her left leg forward. It was an awkward angle, but she wouldn’t need too much force or even balance to push his leg out like the other. As expected he fell on his butt. Meiyo pushed off on her sturdy leg, somersaulted, and landed on her feet. She walked up to him giggling from the thrill. “That was fun, again?”

The kid, knocking off some dirt from his shirt nodded with high spirits. She held out a hand and helped him up. They walked backwards from each other, hands up and at the ready, they engaged in their spar. This time he seemed to anticipate her strategy from before and didn’t go for a kick, but swung with different angles. Meiyo spent time dodging rather than deflecting, relying on quick reflexes to save strength before bottling it all up into on fist. She waited until he was turning to strike and took the chance to catch his fist in one hand and punch him in the ribs with the next. He backed off, but with a smile and almost the same ferocious determination as she, took her on again and again. They spared for a good hour until both were sweaty and out of breath.

“You’re pretty good!” She panted gleefully. He held up a thumbs up from the ground. He was dirtier than her as well. His friend helped him up this time around.

“Time to go, bro.” his friend chuckled, patting dust off his friends back.

“Yah, see you next time!” Her sparring partner waved. They both left through the gate. Meiyo waved with a tipped head, long, dirty hair hanging around her shoulder. She looked about the ground, she was alone again, but there was peace here. Looking up she realized that the angle of the sun was far too familiar.

“Oh!” Quickly she ran towards the gate, throwing it open in her flee. “I got to get there before Mrs. Saito wakes up! It’s planting day!” And off the young kunoichi ran back into town, a garden to sew and a full day ahead of her.

[Exit Thread]
WC 2854

Stats Trained:

Strength E to D needed 750 WC
Perception E to D needed 750 WC
Reaction Time E to D Needed 750 WC

Total WC Needed: 2250
WC Written: 2854
Balance: 604


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