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1 Learn Control [Solo/Training] Empty Learn Control [Solo/Training] on Sat May 12, 2018 10:29 pm



Humidity was a near constant in Kirigakure no Sato. The air carried the mist - drained from swamp and sea alike - as if the two were inseparable. It was cooler than the days in Sunagakure by far, but there was still something oppressive in the environment that took its toll on those who weren't used to it. By now, after having spent a year in the village, Kuroka Junichi no longer felt the effects while she trained. Sword in hand, her eyes were locked on her current opponent. Beads of sweat rolled down her face. She panted, but she had no intention of giving up. Meanwhile, an older woman with silver hair not unlike Jun's own, seemed completely unbothered, if not bored.

The woman in question looked at her, a basic practice sword in had, and set into a lazy stance. Jun was sure that if given the choice, her grandmother would have preferred to use a sharpened blade, but after one too many arguments with the girl's mother, she had opted for a training weapon. "Again," her grandmother instructed.

Jun's grip tightened on her own sword's hilt. It was a rudimentary weapon made out of her own chakra. At this point, despite her concentrated efforts, it was all she could manage to summon from her additional tenketsu. It barely resembled a sword, really.

With a deep breath, the young kunoichi charged again, trying to close the distance between them as quickly as she could. She tried to slice diagonally from the woman's shoulder to her waist, only to be parried easily and kicked in the stomach. She skidded across the ground, only to be stopped by a tree. She felt her stomach wretch as she fought to catch her breath again. If she hadn't already emptied its contents a while ago, she would have been throwing up again.

"You're too slow," her current trainer began while Jun herself struggled to stand up again. "And predictable. It's a horrible combo." Jun managed to stand once again, her back and stomach both aching. "If this were a serious fight, you'd be dead, kiddo," she was reminded again. She didn't need to be told that. She knew she didn't stand a chance against her current opponent. The added condescension was unneeded. "If you plan on being slow, fine, develop a strategy for it. But don't charge like that if you run slower than an Academy Student."

Jun scoffed. She wiped the sweat from her brow and spat, seeing blood mixed with her saliva. No wonder her mouth tasted like copper. "Fine, then tell me what to do," the girl answered none too kindly, but it only elicited a chuckle in response.

"Now where's the fun in that, kiddo?" She asked.

Through gritted teeth, Jun practically growled. She charged again, but feinted this time. Her strike hit the ground, lifting up a cloud of dirt. She used the cover to shift her position and try to aim the pommel of her sword at her grandmother's ribs. Again, she was blocked with little effort. Their blades clashed once, then twice before Gin hit the pommel of her sword against Jun's dominant hand, forcing her to let go of the weapon. Once again, the girl received a kick to the stomach and was hurled backwards.

She coughed and stood up, now empty-handed. "Do you have any other moves, you old hag?" She managed to say.

"Language, you little brat," the older woman scolded. "I'll use something different when you finally figure out how to get it to stop working. Now make your sword again and try showing me you're worth more than this crap."

Anger seeped through Jun. Her teeth gritted hard against each other. It was a wonder that she hadn't fractured a molar at this point. The young Kuroka closed her eyes tightly and took a deep breath. She tried to go through the rudimentary steps in her head.

First, Clear your mind.

Seond, reach into the depths of your soul.

Third, visualize it coming to life.

Fourth, merge your chakra and your soul.


Jun flinched, broken out of her concentration by a burning sensation in her hand, as if she had suddenly touched something too hot and reflexively recoiled - feedback from being unable to properly control her chakra. She hissed and looked at the palm of her hand, where an angry red mark was now imprinted. The half formed hilt of the sword had no doubt gotten out of control and the raw energy burned her as a result.

The young swordsman didn't notice that her grandmother had closed the gap between them. She whistled, as if impressed. "That's a nasty little burn," the older woman said, examining it more closely now. Jun yanked her hand back and narrowed her eyes. She didn't need to be told how incompetent she was. It was only natural. She hadn't trained at all up until recently. How could she be expected to perform at a higher level? If anything, she was far exceeding expectations.

"But it's not enough. You need more, you need to get stronger."

The voice in her head repeated the phrase every day like a mantra.

She heard her grandmother sigh and sit down. She motioned for her granddaughter to sit next to her. Begrudgingly, the young Kuroka complied. "Don't get me wrong, kiddo. You've got potential, otherwise I wouldn't bother training you. But potential alone isn't enough. Without control, raw power won't do shit," she began to explain.

Jun looked down at her hands and flexed her fingers."I don't know how," she mumbled under her breath. She hated admitting that there was something she needed help with. Really, she only did so rarely, and it was only with her family. "I can keep it in control for a bit, but as soon as something goes wrong, I can't anymore," she explained.

Her grandmother nodded as if she understood, but how could she? The great Kuroka Gin - named Kazekage at 18 years old, current member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist and one of the strongest shinobi of her generation. The old hag was practically born wielding her own soul as a weapon.

"Don't give me that look, brat. I didn't get where I am without working my ass off," Gin said. "Now listen carefully. You need to learn to summon your weapon at a moment's notice. But before you can do that, you need to learn how to summon it in the first place. So we'll focus on that for the rest of the day, understood?"

Jun had no choice but to nod. Her grandmother was her teacher, after all. Whatever she said was in her training regiment, she would have to follow. But god, did she need a shower right now. She felt like she was covered in an inch thick layer of grime. She doubted her grandmother would accept that as an excuse, though.

"Now this is going to sound cheesy as all hell, but go to your happy place. Think of something that calms you down and brings you peace."

Yes, definitely a shower. She thought of warm water running down her skin, of scented oils, clean soap and soothing shampoo. Immediately, it felt like a weight was lifted from her shoulders.

"Good. Now draw your chakra towards your dominant hand. Not too much, just a bit," Gin instructed.

Jun felt the energy gather in her left hand. The small amount of energy tingled in her skin. She could feel every part of her hand, every bone, every muscle, highlighted by the chakra in her system.

"Great, now stay like that for the next two hours."


Jun's eyes snapped open and immediately, the chakra in her hand fizzled out.

Gin burst out laughing. "See what I mean? Your concentration gets broken too easily. You want to learn how to run before you can walk. Sit still, do it again and stay like that until I tell you to stop," the older woman instructed.

With a huff, Jun repeated the process. Was this supposed to be some form of meditation? Fine, if it would make her stronger, she would go through with it.

In the depths of her own mind, time went by slowly. She wasn't sure if she held that position for the two full hours before Gin spoke again, but she had done as told. By now, she could no longer feel the difference between the hand filled with chakra and the other one. It felt... natural. Was this the point? To get her acclimated to moving chakra throughout her body without a second thought?

"Now, that same amount of chakra in your hand, move it throughout your body. Slowly, have it travel through you without fluctuating."

She was right, this was training in chakra control. She did as she was told. Her concentration never wavered. Jun felt the chakra move through her and did her best to keep it even. Several times, it circled through her body until she no longer needed to actively think of that alone. Again, it started to come to her naturally.

"Alright, now draw on your soul and mix it with the chakra in your hand. Keep both measured evenly. If one side overpowers the other, balance breaks. That's why your chakra explodes in your hand," Gin said.

Feeling more confident than before, the young Kuroka drew into the very core of her being. Slowly, steadily, her soul began to flow into her hand and intertwine with the chakra there until they were both joined in equal measure. She felt something begin to solidify in her hand.

"Don't get too excited. Keep your focus steady," Gin added.

Right. She needed to add chakra to the piece of her soul in equal measure. There was nothing wrong about going slow at first, right? It was like her grandmother had said. She needed to learn how to walk before she could run. The weapon started to grow and take shape. Again, it loosely resembled a sword. She didn't have the ability to keep the form smooth, much less add her own personal touch to it. But someday she would.

The silver haired girl heard her grandmother begin to clap her hands. "Good! Good job, kiddo. Now let's see how long you can keep it out, yeah?"

Junichi nodded and stood once again. She now found that she didn't have to actively think about the weapon in her hand to keep it in existence. It was a tangible form of progress, something that she could actively compare to what she couldn't do before. A confident smile returned to her face. Who else but her could progress so much in the span of such a short time? She was right to think that she was talented - gifted, even. She got into a stance and readied herself to face her grandmother again. The sun was beginning to set, meaning that their training day was almost over. Surely, her mother waited at home along with her aunts and uncle. Dinner would be ready by the time they were back and Aunt Misao would offer to patch up her injuries. That family had been the only consistent thing throughout her life. She may not have shown it often, but she was grateful for them.

For now, though, she still had something left to do, one more test to put herself through. "Get ready, you old hag," she said, a feral grin spreading across her features. She was a Kuroka in blood and spirit. She lived for the thrill of battle and the taste of victory.

With a reinvigorated spirit, she faced down the older woman, her mind now free to strategize instead of relying on emotions and instinct alone.


[Training Kuroka Weapon to D Rank - 2008/2000]

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