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Just training stats here. First post is training Speed from E to D

The Chuunin exams were an important aspect of all shinobi's life, a literal exam that would determine your will of the shinobi but so too your path that would be followed. Would you become the eternal genin who is cursed to walk among children known as the man who failed or will you be the shinobi who excels and is proved to be the genius of his generation? It was an uncertainty for all genin but more so for the arrogant little crow who wished nothing more than to prove his worth and to carve a path for himself. He had found a place to train, though perhaps it was a place that was slightly unconventional. He didn't wish to find a place that was particularly open to the public nor one that would not test his willingness to learn and thus he found the ideal spot in the swamp of sorrow.

Known to swallow man and horse alike into the great nothing the swamp held various dangerous creatures the likes of which would send a chill down the spine of even some veteran shinobi. It was the perfect spot for Xiao Guan to test and hone his capabilities before the Chuunin exam in an attempt to find a perfect medium in his skill. His aim for the next month was to improve his speed, as a hopeful puppet master it was his keen ability to maneuver the strings of a puppet and avoid close combat that would be needed in future combat. His plan to improve his abilities were quite simple, utilising the natural landscape he would attempt to leap from tree to tree in hopes of improving his time reaching one side of the swamp to the other.

Finding a small cleared grove in which a pond was centered in the clearing as willow trees and vines alike curled about the opening fighting for what little sunlight they could find the little shinobi stood purched on a rotted branch of a rather thick willow tree with one hand grasping the dangling tendril like leaves that flowed gently in the breeze. The scent of...well swamp was prominent and so too did it encourage the little shinobi to hasten his training. Speed was vital, this was true and thus he would need to ensure he could meet the expectations he had placed on himself. He needed to become faster, better, more efficient than others if he was to stand out.

One...two...three...Let's jam. the little crow thought as he pressed the ball of his heel firmly against the grit of the willow tree sending him bursting through the air as he as fast as he could. Admittedly he was no where near as fast as other shinobi but that was in essence why he was here, to become a shinobi that was as if bottled lightning whether it be by his hands or his feet he needed to ensure his entire body was perfected for this exam lest he fall behind.

As he soared through the air the little crow spread his arms outward attempting to feel the flow of chakra building in his body as wind flowed about him, causing his feathered coat to flutter like wings in the breeze as it lifted swiftly upward as he landed firmly upon the opposing tree stump that creaked and warbled as he stood upon it.
Wavering up and down slightly the young shinobi waited for the timing as the branch lowered he waited for that equal force to send him upwards and away from the branch once more pressing firmly against the tree branch with his feet and utilising the momentum of the equal and opposite force to jettison himself skyward this time with his arms reached outward grasping a tree branch and using the momentum of his body to swing as if an ape utilising vines.

Swinging entirely about the branch he proceeded to squat his feet as if a toad and leap once more forward and outward this time higher still on a branch standing directly above him that enabled him to gain a greater height as he utilized said branch to catapult himself up above the tips of the trees themselves. His body arched and contorted in tortion as he began to twist into a flip allowing him to gain a greater momentum through the air as his feathed cloak flew in the breeze.

The young crow began to feel free in this landscape. He was a nobody, he didn't come from any grand clan nor was he the inheritor of anybodies will. He was simply a young son of a merchant who wished nothing more than to be free and to soar above the world just as he did now. This was his bliss. Freedom. His ambition of course was to guard Kirigakure No Sato with his life but within that he still felt a draw to freedom and a distain for the hindrances placed upon him. As he came crashing downward once more he twisted the ball of his foot to enable him to press and use the momentum once more to leap to the next branch instead though he found a firm tree and aimed for the center outstretching his palms and planting firmly against the trunk of said tree.

Pressing firmly against the tree he pressed the chakra into the balls of his feet as he span upward allowing his feet to attach to the tree as he made an arch with his body that flowed into the next aspect of using the momentum to then flip again upward repeating the pattern over and over still until reaching the very peak of the large tree.

He perched there. Standing a top it all looking over the swamp.
"Sufficient." he stated calmly as he gazed over the swamp with something of a smile hoping to hone his skills once more into something greater.

The next task would be his perception. A boring task to be sure but one that was necessary. Meditation would be needed but for now he took in a deep breathe holding it for a count of five before gently releasing his breathe.

WC: 1023
Speed E > D



Training Perception from E > D

As he clambered down the tree he began to muse over his next form of training. Perception would be the next goal for the little crow. As he leaped from the tip of the tree and gracefully began to flow down he could feel the acid building in his legs, this was a good indicator that his muscle was slowly entering a state of growth. Something that he could feel within himself that was slowly growing and he could sense it deeply, being in tuned with his body. The concept of mindfulness was something the little crow had issue with. He was a typical sort of boy, the sort who believed themselves to be a hero in the future who would stand atop Kirigakure’s wall with samehada in hand and wave the banner of the mist on high for all to see but so too his mind knew that if this could not be so that he would simply be another face in the crowd just like his father and mother.

He wouldn’t admit it, he’d rather attempt to focus on a future that he believed he rightfully deserved or rather hoped he would attain through hardwork. The truth was he ran from that cold reality. He ran because the truth that he would most likely end up exactly like his parents terrified him as both a child looking for his place in the world and of course as a historian it terrified him as he knew how easily names fall to the sands of time. He hadn’t any clear clue what he could truly do about this fact and instead of dealing with it he opted to simply ignore and run from this reality.
Walking towards a small pond as he had found before he sat next to the water and folded his legs, sitting still as he closed his eyes placing his hands into the tiger stance. He entered that black swirling abyss of his mind that always felt as if it was blinders to a darting figure just beyond his eyelids. It always felt, whenever he would shut his eyes, that the world was already spinning and so too did imagery follow. Images of loves lost, what could have beens, heroes and villains, things he could not fully comprehend as was the issue with his pinball like brain that continued to bound about bouncing back and forth with imaginative ideas and concepts that he had read or heard about.

Sitting still was torture. The little crow tried his best not to move but then found his mind wondering over how much he was moving and overanalysing his position or even worrying if he was breathing the ‘correct’ way. It caused him to truly struggle with the nature of perceiving the world more closely. Perhaps meditation just wasn’t what he was destined to do and so the little crow opted instead to lay on his stomach and open his eyes. He had a fascination with the world around him, yes, but he truly did struggle with self-reflection and this in turn gave him a concept. If he wished to perceive the world why not just do it in his own way instead of catering to the needs of the ‘traditional’ sense. That wasn’t who he was in the slightest. He wasn’t the shinobi who huffed and puffed and posed. He was a kid who was given a sword and told who the enemy is.

He was unique in his thinking and thus he opted to go down this path. Looking down at the bugs that moved on the ground he began to watch the ants slowly marching about the stream. The streams eddies that circled gently as the currents shifted and changed. The ever changing landscape of the soil beneath him. Looking into how the curves and changes in this small patch to the ant itself would be a vast field that was ripe for toiling. He tried to imagine what it would be to be that insignificant and small. Perhaps the concept of being ‘normal’ was something he had become too obsessed with. The concept of being the hero and significant wasn’t something that could so arbitrarily be defined. He wasn’t a hero as of yet but the days were still young but then what was a hero? These thoughts echoed through his head as he began to consider these possibilities.

Listening softly to the wind that pushed through the trees he began to try and interpret how the wind changed as it hit different obstacles. How the wind would wail loudly in flatter planes and whistle in smaller nooks and crannies. It was something that truly amused him as a musician he could view it all as new paths to take in the world of entertainment. Perhaps, when it comes down to it, this was all perception was. The ability to see that what is usually ignored. Perhaps what it could be was that as a shinobi these details truly were what should be viewed and appreciated. Perhaps these were exactly what needed to be viewed and cared for just like his father and mother. His father was simply a merchant and yet in Xiao Guan’s eyes he was the most important figure in his life. What of the ant he gazed upon, his queen was most likely the centre point of his own reality and yet to many others it would be the most insignificant being to another.

This was perception, but it was also a break, and it was time for the young crow to get back to physical training. Enough listening to streams and wind and instead go back to honing the tool that he was born to be after all he was a young weapon not a child and he would have to live up to exactly what that meant. A good weapon kills and his ultimate desire was exactly just that, to be the perfect in his function. It was time to punch some trees.

WC: 1000
E > D Perception



Strength E > D

It was Ragnar that once wrote that might made right and in the world of the shinobi it seemed to continue to ring true. These were human weapons, children with goofy costumes and amazing abilities to be sure but they were still weapons when it came down to it. They were made to kill, born to bleed and born to bring about the snuffing of life wherever the great shadows pointed them towards. Strength was not only a useful tool it was a necessary function for shinobi in the modern era.

Though he was a mere genin with stringed muscle and attempts to be a raging hulk were far outside his grasp as a shortstack shinobi with such a frail frame. He was naturally small but this didn't mean he couldn't train. This didn't mean he couldn't push beyond his limits and try and hone the weapon that was his body. Though still a human, frail and small he knew that if he couldn't be an intimidating presence in the coils of flesh that trapped him so then perhaps honing his body could allow him to bypass these limits and become something more than human though the idea was neither here nor there.

He wished, deep down, to become the grand shield of Kirigakure after all and to become this would mean a constant regime or training and honing of his body. A constant and consistent struggle of work that would push him further and further upwards as both a shinobi and a hero. He wished to be and so he made his way to a willow tree near by positioning his open palm against the tree and closing his eyes allowing a deep breathe flowing through his lungs. The air filled his lungs as he began to imagine a string connecting his hip and his fist, leaning and twisting backwards so to put his whole body into the blow. Breathing outward as his fist soared through the air and collided fully with the willow tree. A large thud could be heard as his fist cracked upon the impact. He wasn't strong, not in the slightest, but he knew how to throw a punch. He knew what to do to put his whole body into a blow despite how limiting his body was.

As he then twisted in a mirrored way his body once more twisted out as his fist curled back to the side of his hip whilst his opposing fist then shot foward like a piston as it hit the trunk once more as he felt the breathe in his lungs once more fill and then spill outward as he struck the tree with immense force. The tree began to crackle slightly or rather the bark that laid loosely in place began to drift slightly from where it once stood this mixed with the shinobi's own blood and skin particles began to leave shreds of remains upon the trunk of the tree but he opted not to give in. After all, might made right in this world and he would need to be the mightiest he possibly could be to serve the village of the mist well.

He wished to become the unbreakable warrior of the mist, the heroes just like his stories that waged war against the dark and as each fist hit directly against the wood firmly leaving both the tree wounded and splattered with his blood as well as his knuckles starting to splinter and open, the flesh tearing apart slowly the young shinobi began to move from his controlled breathing to panting. His breathe and exhales matching each punch as he hit harder and harder against the tree, striking with each exhale, striking harder and faster than his body could lead him. He didn't even notice the stinging sensation as he struck out time and again as his mind raced.

He wanted, no, he had to become that hero or else what would happen to his name? What would happen to the life of those about him but to fall to the sands of time just like so many had. He would not be forgotten. He had no clan, he had no legacy to uphold or great mystery hidden away in his blood instead he was a simple boy who was born to a simple man and merely wished to prove his existence. His fists grew more wild and rapid no longer matching his hip movement and instead becoming something more primal and undetermined becoming what some may believe to be the movements of a wild beast in place of the movements of a human. He wanted to prove something to them all, he wanted to prove his existence and prove that he was more than the fodder that followed so many wars. He wanted to prove himself and make a mark. That was why he wished to become a shield, not out of any patriotism or great love but rather to give his life meaning because if he was just a normal regular schmo what was the point of his birth? What was the point of his existence but to be born and then to die? No. The village would protect him and thus he would become its great protector. He would become the hero from his stories and lead the mist to a great future just as he wished to.

His breathe drew longer, thinner, and his body began to buckle as now the stinging sensation caught up to his distracted brain. "I...overdid it" he stated as he began to hold his knuckles, the stinging pain was almost enjoyable and he began to press. The limits of the human body were truly amazing. Some would die from a simple knife wound whilst others held entire blades through their chest and yet lived. What this meant to the young shinobi was simple: He was aware of his own limitation and his limits were unfortunately and somewhat unreasonably low. This was the limit to his lot in life. To the limit he was given through blood. He didn't hate that he was average but deep down it was something that did truly bother him and did truly cause him to feel grief for what he may have accomplished if he was born into a great clan or the like.

WC: 1056
Strength E > d



Training Reaction Time E > D

The inner workings of martial arts were often an overlooked aspect of the practice. Whilst some flowed one way optimising the body and forgetting the philosophy so too some forgot practicallity and embraced philosophy. Ninjutsu was one of the latter, not the mystical art but the actual form of combat, focusing more on surprise attacks and swift movements it was no better than an untrained man with a baseball bat in terms of it's combat ability but it's philosophy was another story. It's philosophy taught of patience, mindfulness and ensuring that the practitioner were poised and able to perfect their timing and precision with absolute focus. Though Xiao Guan was not fond of the physical side of the art, he did admire the mental and knew that if he was dealing with opponents in the future that dabbled purely in said art that this would mean that he would need to understand what he was up against and the best way to do so was to increase the time he would react to the ninjas obsession with surprise attacks.

Lowering his back and reaching for stones, grasping these small pebbles he began to eye the shape of them, roughly 20 in all and proceeded to try and figure out the range he might be able to throw them from. The concept was simple - strike the tree with the stone like one would do a ball and then grasp and return it to the tree and repeat though the little shinobi had an added concept in which he would add a stone to throw and bounce to the trunk of the tree every ten interval of change and begin to grasp and then throw once more, increasing both speed of the stones thrown to compensate for the added projectiles whilst still maintaining the pace. It was a game he would play with his father at times, his mother was a stay at home mother of course but in their old country before moving to this strange land she would tell him tales of a house of soaring daggers in which she would dance.

The dance would be called the flurry of the ten thousand drums in which a 'leader' would throw a stone to a large drum and the dancer would need to mimic this hit with a projectile of their own - his mother often opting to use her rather lengthy sleeves to meet each hard sound with a soft tap that would echo what was previously heard but at the same time giving her the ability to add her personality to the dance as the art would need.

The first stone was a sharpened stone that looked like a bird leaf as it flew from his hand and whistled in the air picking up the pace as it flew with a great ferocity and struck the trunk of the willow tree bounding from the tree upwards into the air as the little crow reached his arm upwards and grasped it so, spinning and throwing the stone once more towards the tree as it struck once more bounding backwards. An added game was Xiao Guan attempting to strike the same place that he had once struck before so as to ensure he can better his kunai work at the same time of increasing his reaction time.

As he found the rhythm of the stone striking the tree and bounding from it he began to add an additional stone this one a rounded sphere that made a much harder sound than the first and caused the tree to splutter out splitners somewhat as it struck, once more Xiao Guan would catch the two stones and hurl them back, at the beat of a ten round he would once more hurl the stone and see it hurdling forward towards the trunk grasping the stone and throwing it. He began to shuffle his feet and started to slowly start to walk backwards as now fifteen stones were in the mix of the action and thus needing to compensate for the distance by throwing harder and in more of an arc as he increased the difference between himself and the tree in question as his hands continued like lightning grasping and hurling, grasping and hurling as he could.

His mother was much faster than he when she had demonstrated the training technique before but he had the edge of being trained just as these shinobi had instead of merely being a dancer. He was a weapon that was honed by their host country and thus his reflexes were far above that of a normal citizen. The young shinobi found his hands moving beyond his mind but there was something zen about the experience, a mindless mindfulness about the act of simply watching instead of thinking, letting his body think for him as was the philosophy of ninjutsu itself. The act of moving without notice, thinking without thought, striking without sound, it was as if his body had transcended his own mind and in that moment he was in the zone of simple movement above himself watching as he grasped and hurled the stone. As he gained more and more speed the young warrior never ceased in his attempt to increase his time, his eyes darting to and fro moving faster and faster still.

The young shinobi began to slow his pace somewhat moving closer and closer still and began to hurl a stone harder than once before making it embed into the trunk of the tree, then hurling the other stones forward forced the stone to spark and spark once more as they struck the embedded stone which then caused a light fire to begin slowly moving up the willow tree. Although he felt some guilt, admittedly, for damaging the tree the little shinobi did infact need fire for the next aspect of his training one of ensuring a stone like body. The tree began to warm but it would be many hours before it was fully ablaze, all he needed was the interior to 'cook' just right that he might snap the ashen willow.

Reaction Time E > D
WC: 1020



Endurance E0 > D0

The young shinobi knew what was next. The last thing he would work on for the day before retiring and beginning his next steps towards becoming a splendid shinobi. That was to ensure there was durability in his actions. Though he hoped to be more of a support to others, utilising his medical jutsu and puppetry to aid people rather than diving head first into combat the young shinobi opted to instead become something of a jack of all trades despite this. Though a puppet body could sustain some hits and a puppet master must always keep his distance the little shinobi opted instead to try his hand at weaving his body intoa harder substance and he figured the best way to do so was the simple practice of experiencing pain. The tree he had prepared earlier was primed for what he needed: Ash and ember.

The cleansing force of fire was something that always interested the little storm crow and thus he had in him something of an aversion. Though he held the element of literal lightning, fire was a far more terrifying force to him and a far more substantive pain. The tree was primed now and with two swift kicks the little shinobi caused the large chunk of tree to begin to splinter slowly. He edged his knees into the blows pressing the tree as he could and pushing upon it with all his force as the tree began to bend slightly with the aid of it's already burning interior until the small tree began to tumble. As it fell the shinobi began to walk to the exact place in which he had placed the stone and in addition began the fire previously.

He reached into the tree trunk itself and began to gather the embered ash spreading it evenly and roughly an inch in thickness to the ground. As he laid it there in a small bed-like manner the little shinobi watched the glistening lights of the embers that still lived. They reminded him of the stars that had begun to appear above his head as the day drifted slowly into night. The familiar darkened clouded sky of Mizu no Kuni. He had never ventured outside of this world but he was often told that despite his living only in Mizu no Kuni that the stars he viewed here were the same stars that his father and mother once sailed under as they traveled from the isles of the grand knights and epic keeps.

The young boy kneeled down closing his eyes and taking one of the sharpened stones that had become something of makeshift kunai he began to slowly cut along his chest. Though it may have seemed odd to others his primary goal was to engrave himself with two small markings on his pectorals to indicate that he had 'evolved' as the knights of gelel before him had once done. Taking this blade he spiralled along his pale white flesh as it slit open with ease - a clear indication that his body was nowhere near close to the tough iron he wished for it to be.

He was still bound by the flesh of man and admittely, it irritated the little crow that he was hindered by these limitations imposed on him by genetics. He was small, frail and gauntly and yet he could never do anything about these factors instead he was cursed to forever be the small shinobi he always was. It didn't always bother him of course, but at times it did drive him to occasional shame and embarassment when taking his place around others. The cuts were deep enough now to last, deep enough to become a permanence on the body of the little shinobi and thus he began his training.

Taking his clothing off completely and standing naturally in the light of the moon the young shinobi proceeded to lay upon the burning embers. Though painful it allowed him to feel the excruciating pain he may feel when faced with an Uchiha's fireball or perhaps a cloud of ignited ash from a Sarutobi.
The burning sensation stung intensely with a flame that felt almost cold as it seeped in. His flesh burning as the heat seeped into the cuts branding him deeply and allowing them to become a permanent reminder that caused the little crow to have a reminder of his efforts. He would add in time, over and time again, to ensure that he would have a grand story over his body. Burned into his body, sizzled and blackened markings to show exact efforts he had gone to to ensure that he would become the shield of Kirigakure. To uphold the values of a fair and balanced society so too would his body need to be balanced perfectly. The ash burned, seering in the pain now and as the shinobi arose from the turned ash he stood to his full height, blackened and smoking as he looked down at his naked body in the moonlight feeling the embrace of the phoenix that he felt like. Embracing the change he had made and feeling as if born anew. He knew he had a long road ahead of him and his seered body was enough to allow him to feel that this was the start of a new journey, a long hardened journey to allow him to become that of the splendid shinobi he wished to be.

Tomorrow he would begin his trials once more, he would try to ensure that he pushed even harder still and ensure that every push he made against the storm of life was one with his utmost effort. He needed to grow, of course, but this day was merely his first steps. Lifting his cupped hands to his mouth he emitted a large cry from his lungs that resembled something of a rooster as he yelled out over the forest, his voice echoing forward and booming over the swamp as he called outward. Kneeling down he grasped the ash from the now dimming bed of fire and began to rub the whitened soot upon his body and freshly new spiralled pectoral cut as he smiled.

WC: 1031

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