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 A little ice in the field

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PostSubject: A little ice in the field   Mon May 11, 2015 3:45 pm

Seresana wandered into the clearing she frequented, her pack loaded up and weighing her down as usual, the most recent stick bow and arrows grasped in her hands. Overhead the sun shone as brightly as it had for many days recently, and in Seresana's opinion, making everything far too hot. If it wasn't for the abundant shade provided by the clearing, she would have likely chosen to instead study and practice inside despite her preference to being outside, or at least in the clearing. Unfortunately, there wasn't the usual breeze to offer respite from the heat of the day, but at last she had arrived at the clearing and with no small amount of relief, dropped the backpack to the ground before slumping down herself. "Ugh, it's too hot," she complained aloud from her sprawled position.

For a few moments, Seresana just sat there leaning against a cross between her pack and the closest tree while gazing up towards the sky through a break in the leaves. Eventually though, she tore her gaze from the hole in the canopy and looked back towards the large pack she'd drug with her. With no rush at all, she opened it up and dug out the first of many scrolls she'd brought with her today while the bow and arrows were laid on the ground for later. Seresana had full intention to work on her archery some today, and likely some Taijutsu practice as well, but that wasn't the main purpose. No, that was in the many scrolls she'd brought with her and the first of which she'd untied and opened.

Unrolling the first part of the scroll, Seresana gently laid the parchment upon the ground and began to read in the shade of the tree. Reading and occasionally rereading passages, Seresana gradually lost track of time as she scoured the text to ensure she knew what she was doing. This first scroll had a few of the basic jutsu that any student could learn, along with some illustrations to help serve as guide lines. Seresana tried to keep her focus on the ball, but she kept finding her eyes drifting shut in the hot sun and the scrolls text slowly began to blur.

With a sudden shake of her head, Seresana forced her eyes wide open and sat up the rest of the way abruptly. Then she stood up completely and stretched a little, leaving the scroll where it laid. Deciding to try one of the jutsu just so she wouldn't be falling asleep anymore, Seresana picked up the scroll and began scanning the written characters over the first one she wanted to practice.

After reviewing the needed sign several times, and double checking all the written bits to it. Seresana clasped her hands together and began to focus. Clearing her mind, she thought back to the lessons she'd been shown on how to focus one's chakra. After focusing on that for a while to make sure she had an ample amount ready, Seresana made sure her hands were in the proper positions before calling out, "Clone!"

A large puff of smoke appeared around Seresana and a chunk of the area around her and slowly began to clear away. When the smoke cleared, Seresana beheld something close to a mirror image looking right back at her. There were some obvious differences between them though and Seresana was confident anyone who'd seen her before would be able to tell the difference between her and this clone. For one, the hair was off, being a tad longer and holding a purplish tint to it. The clones eyes were solid green and didn't possess a pupil either. The clothes were a little off as well, as the straps and bandages on her were on the opposite and therefore wrong side. After going about to study the clone more, she didn't catch any other interesting differences between it and herself and dismissed the clone, noting the changes she'd need to make on her next attempt.

Seresana clasped her hands together to make the sign and performed the jutsu again, but the clone came out wrong once more. Three more of the same puff of smoke later, and there was an exact mirror image starring back at Seresana and mimicking her movements. With a wide grin and little bit of a snicker, Seresana dismissed the clone with a giggle. "Oh I'm so going to get Hitagi with that later on," she said aloud while her mind began to think up little pranks she could play on her little brother with her first jutsu. "Ooh, what else can I trick him with in here?" she asked the empty air rhetorically. She scrolled through section after section, somewhat skipping the notes and just focusing on the actual jutsu for the moment. "Hmm, rope tying? No, he might hurt himself if I did that. Lock picking could be helpful if he tried to lock me out again, but that's still not what I'm looking for," Seresana went on to herself as she continued to look through the jutsu.

"Hmm, these might come in handy," Seresana eventually said as she came to the body switch and transformation skills. "Alright, let's try transformation first," she commented before going back over that jutsu's section. Once she read over everything, Seresana once again sat down the scroll and began to focus her chakra. Once it was focused up, Seresana went through the proper series of signs and saying each as she performed them. "Tiger, Monkey, Serpent, transform!" she said while focusing on what she wanted to transform into. A puff of smoke later and where Seresana had been standing now stood an different but similar adult woman. She looked around a bit, but couldn't really get a good look at herself. Just after her shoulders slumped at her lack of forethought, the sounds of the rushing water reached her ears again. Her thoughts connected and she wandered over towards the stream while keeping up the illusion. At the stream, she looked over edge of the shore and into the clear water. While it didn't provide that great a reflection, it was enough for Seresana to know she'd gotten the transformation fairly close and was soon jumping happily in a little cheer at herself for getting two separate jutsu in one day, and completely ignoring the fact that they were fairly beginner level jutsu and the entire class had been shown the jutsu earlier.

Seresana dismissed the transformation, resuming her normal appearance while walking back to the clearing. She glanced at the still open scroll that she'd left on the ground when going to check her transformation, but decided to take a break from the jutsu for the moment before rolling the scroll back up and placing it in her bag with the others. Instead, Seresana seized her latest stick bow and the 7 arrows she'd managed to make for it. Then Seresana turned towards the stump that had stood at the opposite edge of the clearing for longer than Seresana could remember. With a grin, she rested all but one of the arrows against a nearby tree, while setting the only one remaining one to the bowstring. Going about the heavily practiced motions, Seresana lifted the bow, drew back the arrow, and loosed the arrow at the stump. A small, satisfied grin spread across her face when the arrow made a light 'thunk' against the stump, not sticking in but at least solidly hitting the old hard surface. Seresana grabbed up her next arrow and repeated the procedure with much the same effect except this time the arrow actually stuck in the old wood. Seresana continued shooting until all the arrows were spent, with all of them hitting the stump and just over half of them sticking in the aged wood. Then she'd go about collecting up the arrows and returning to her starting position to shoot them again to a similar effect, but losing one of her arrows as the projectile broke upon impact with the stump.

Four hours later and Seresana was out of arrows as the last one hit the stump a little high and the back half broke off. With a sigh, Seresana sat her bow against the stump and started digging into her pack once again. "Well, at least it's still close to lunch time," she said to the wind before finding and retrieving a small box lunch and another of the teaching scrolls she'd brought along. Sitting down in the comfortable shade of the clearing, Seresana opened up the meal and the scroll so she could read while eating. The scroll was mostly about chakra, chakra natures, and a few basics surrounding chakra control and Seresana tore into the writing almost as voraciously as she ate her lunch. She finished her meal far before she finished the scroll though and when that happened, Seresana found a decent place to stop her reading and rolled up the scroll to store it back in her backpack. While already at her pack, Seresana did a little digging until she drew out her kunai and shuriken, and then turned towards the stump to resume her training. Sure throwing weapons was fairly different that shooting them, but it didn't take Seresana long to begin scoring regular hits on the stump with both small weapons from her range. After another hour of this, Seresana's arms felt tired and so she packed back up her kunai and shuriken in exchange for taking back out another scroll that she began to read.

Seresana was pretty thoroughly wrapped up in her readings when someone called out her name, causing her to jump up with a bit of a start. She knew the voice well though and grinned evilly when she realized it was none other than her little brother, probably sent out to see how she was doing. He sounded mischievous though and like he was getting closer so Seresana sprung into action. She sat down the scroll and ran off in the direction of the voice, but tried to keep low and out of sight. It wasn't hard to find her brother, not with him calling out her name and everything, and of course she noticed that he was carrying some bundle while grinning wickedly. "I'll get him this time," Seresana thought to herself as she formed the horse hand sign and focused her chakra. "Hidden leaf Illusion," she thought while performing the jutsu before looking back towards her brother to see the effects.

She didn't have to wait long before her brother just stopped moving and blankly stared forward, trapped in the illusion of falling leaves and trees that she'd made for him. "Hah, this is so perfect," she said aloud while walking over towards him, fully confident that he wouldn't notice her while under the effects of the jutsu. When standing next to him, Seresana looked him up and down, noting nothing out of the ordinary except that his eyes were almost strangely blank in their stare, something she assumed was just part of the genjutsu. With her brother thoroughly distracted, Seresana turned her attention towards the small cloth bundle he carried and very carefully she retrieved it from his grip and set about opening it. Only, instead of the prank she was expecting, Seresana was left looking at some rice balls with a slightly let down and remorseful expression. "Great, the one time he actually tries to be nice and I use a jutsu on him," she said aloud before resting a hand on his shoulder. "Sorry about this Hitagi," Seresana said before slapping him across the face fairly hard.

The effect was rather instantaneous. "OW, what the- SERE! Why'd you- WHAT'S GOING ON!" Hitagi exclaimed clearly upset as he started rubbing his now sore cheek and sniffling slightly.

Seresna cringed under her younger brother's outcry and wincingly replied. "Sorry Hitagi, but I kinda put you under a genjutsu and well... hitting you was the fastest way, to, break it," she admitted with a mournful slump.

"That really hurt," Hitagi said a little calmer, but still fighting back tears as he continued rubbing his sore cheek. "I'm telling mom," he said while beginning to turn around.

"No wait please," Seresana quickly pleaded. "I- I'm sorry okay, look you can... you can have my deserts tonight," Seresana offered defeatedly and to which her brother paused in his steps.

"For the rest of the week," he demanded while looking back over his shoulder and with an attempt at a smug expression that was unfortunately mostly defeated by his slightly swollen cheek and tear filled eyes.

"The week! It's only Monday!" Seresana protested, but when her brother's gaze didn't waver, Seresana's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Fine, the rest of the week," she finally admitted and as soon as she did, her brother turned back around with a triumphant grin on his face. "So why'd you come out here anyways?" Seresana asked while blatantly not amused by Hitagi's little happy dance.

"Oh, mom asked me to bring you those," he said while pointing to the opened bundle of rice balls. "She said you'd probably get hungry and I could watch you practice and have one if I brought them," Hitagi continued while walking back over to the bundle to carry it again.

Seresana wasn't up for fighting her brother again, he'd clearly won today and she didn't want to risk the shaky trues they'd established at the cost of her deserts. "Fine, follow me to the clearing," she responded sounding despondent, a harsh contrast to the happy attitude her brother was expressing. It didn't take them long though to reach the clearing where Seresana just sat back down and began reading from the scrolls again while her brother sat down the bundle and began looking around at the signs of Seresana's training. First he wandered over to the worn and scared stump, running his hands across the many wounds that scored it's surface, looking at the arrow heads and bits of shaft that had broken off too close for her to extract, and then lastly at the several broken stick arrows that littered the ground around it's base.

"Wow, do you have any arrows left?" he asked somewhat joking and somewhat seriously.
"...no," Seresana responded bitterly while continuing to try and read.
Hitagi snickered a little before he looked back over to his sister and threw her a confused little expression. "Aren't you supposed to be training out here?"
"I am."
"It looks like you're just reading?"
"Reading and learning this stuff is part of training," Seresana retorted with some annoyance.

"But that's boring, I thought your ninja training would be all like," Hitagi paused for a moment as he acted out a couple mock punches and jumps, adding little sound effects to his actions to make the just that much more dramatic.

"I need to learn more about that stuff before I can do it," Seresana replied clearly not amused by his antics.

"Borrrrinnnnnng," Hitagi replied as he looked about the clearing some more, trying to find something top entertain him, but before he could, Seresana spoke up.

"Actually Hitagi, I think you might be able to help me practice something," she said with a little grin while rolling back up the scroll. "I want you to throw something at me," she said from where she sat.
"Anything?"
"Anything."

"Alright," Hitagi replied mischievously as he picked up a clump of dirt and hurled it at Seresana. The clump sailed towards her and landed solidly against Seresana's head, scattering and going everywhere and forcing her forward a little bit.

"HEY, I wasn't ready!" Seresana cried out even though she had actually been trying and just didn't know why it didn't work. Three more clumps later, and after some frantic attempts to get most of the dirt out of her hair, Seresana was sitting on the ground and waiting her brother who had yet another dirt clump in his hands, waiting to throw it. With a nod from Seresana, the dirt clump was thrown and sailing towards her. It smacked solidly against her head, or at least seemed to, but in the next moment a puff of smoke exploded out and it showed the dirt clump had actually just hit a fallen tree branch that fell over immediately. Hitagi was left dumbfounded and looking around frantically before Seresana stepped out from behind a nearby tree and grinning brightly at her successful jutsu.

"That was, kinda cool I guess," Hitagi replied, going from initially extremely enthusiastic to pouting at the fact her sister had done something he thought was cool in that one sentence. Seresana couldn't help but laugh at her brother's reluctance to admit she'd actually done something cool. As Seresana laughed, Hitagi went back over to the bundle he'd sat down near Seresana's back, opened it and began to take one of the rice balls for himself.

"H-hey, don't I get one of those?"
"Nope, you owe me a weeks deserts," Hitagi replied while bringing the rice ball closer to his mouth.
"But that's," Seresana started to reply, but unable to come up with anything to really say, slumped in defeat before walking towards her pack as well.

Hitagi glanced at Seresana's defeated posture, grinned, and held out the rice ball he'd been about to eat. Seresana's expression lightened immediately, looked toward Hitagi and at his nod, took the rice ball herself to happily munch on. After the first bite though, her expression turned pained and her eyes watered while Hitagi just burst out laughing.

"HOT, HOT, HOT," she cried while all but diving into her bag to get out one of the water bottles she had in there and began to chug the cool liquid while Hitagi continued to laugh. When she finally stopped drinking water, Seresana fixed an angry glare to her cackling brother before seizing him by the collar and holding him up. "What did you do!" she demanded angrily.

"Hehehe, I put hot sauce in it, hehehe, the really hot stuff mom hides from dad, hehehe," Hitagi replied between his snickering. Seresana grumbled before simply letting go, causing Hitagi to fall in a heap back to the ground where he continued to laugh. Between the laughs, Hitagi reached over and grabbed up the other remaining rice ball for when he stopped laughing, this however left a piece of paper on the bottom of the open cloth bundle that Seresana regarded curiously.

"Hey, what's this?" Seresana asked while picking up the paper and looking it over, only to find out that there were no marking on it. Her questioning look towards Hitagi would have to wait for an answer though as he was still laughing pretty hard. Fairly soon though, Hitagi reigned in enough of his laughs to where he could actually take a bit of his rice ball and explain.

"Dad said it's chakra paper. You focus chakra into it or something like that."
"Huh, focus chakra into it?" Seresana replied as she looked at the sheet intrigued. Her eyes narrowed just a little as she focused, only to yelp in surprise as a series of actions occurred at almost the same time. First, the paper started to cleanly split down the middle but before it fully split the paper, it turned damp and began to wilt and become soggy. As Seresana continued to watch the now two pieces of soggy paper, they both became rigid again as the water froze, tiny ice crystals forming all throughout the material much to her surprise. For a while, Seresana just continued to stare at the frozen pieces of paper in utter shock before slowly turning her gaze towards her brother. Hitagi was in about the same boat, having watched the display with near the same interest that Seresana had when she'd yelped. Together they looked back and forth between themselves and the frozen paper for a several moments, just flicking their gazes back and forth.

Hitagi was the first the break the silence. "Wa- was that supposed to happen?"
"I- I don't know," Seresana replied as she let go of the paper and took a few hesitant steps back from it. Then she turned towards her pack and began to dig into it.
"What are you doing?" Hitagi asked as he continued looking at the now slowly melting ice on the paper.

"One of the scrolls I was reading earlier mentioned something about Chakra paper, I think," Seresana replied just before she found the scroll she was looking for and hurried opened it to begin reading. "Ah, here it is, chakra paper," she paused for a moment to read over the start of the material to make sure she was at the right section and then began to read aloud. "Chakra paper is a specially made paper used in determining a ninja's chakra nature. When a ninja focus's chakra into the paper, one of five reactions are to occur that will reveal the ninja's chakra nature..." Seresana trailed off into mumbling as she read over the reactions and looked for one that matched her experience. "Ah, the paper split in half, which means my chakra nature's wind!" Seresana proclaimed happily, but then continued reading with a confused expression. "But it also got all wet which means my nature's water?" she added uncertainly.

"And it froze," Hitagi added while looking over at his sister.
"I, I don't see anything in here about the paper freezing," Seresana replied uncertainly as she looked back towards the paper that was now mostly wet again because of the melting ice.
"Maybe you're nature's ice?" Hitagi suggested.
"Don't be silly, there isn't anything in here about a ninja's chakra nature being ice, I don't think it can happen..." Seresana denied but she sounded very uncertain.
"...maybe you're just weird?" Hitagi suggested then.
"I'M NOT WEIRD!" Seresana protested angrily. "C'mon, let's go home and ask mom and dad about it," she suggested while beginning to pack things up.

"Whatever weirdo," Hitagi replied with a little feigned lack of care and to provoke a little more reaction out of his sister. It came quickly enough in the form of an angry glare and growl, to which Hitagi snickered and grabbed up the remnants of the bundle he'd brought. Still, the duo proceeded back to the house in relative silence, Hitagi occasionally snickering and Seresana wrapped up in quiet contemplation over the strange reaction to the chakra paper. When they finally reached home, the smells of dinner reached them before they reached the door and Hitagi raced ahead to get inside quickly, calling out to their mother all the while.

Seresana progressed much slower though as she was still bogged down with her inner thoughts. When she finally reached the open door, Seresana closed it behind her and took her time in taking off her shoes. The delicious smells of their supper didn't quite reach her still distracted mind, nor did her mother's calls of her name. On the third one however, which came from the doorway where her mother now stood, it was enough to finally snap Seresana out of the contemplative spell. "Huh? What is it mom?" Seresana asked confusedly while looking back to her mother.

"Hitagi said something weird happened, what's the matter sweetie?" Sophia asked from where she stood. Sophie was who Seresana got most of her looks from, though there were traces of another in Seresana's looks that didn't match at all with her father's looks, a fact that she'd remained oblivious to.

"I uh, I tried using some chakra paper today, and it did something weird," Seresana replied quietly and still rather unsure. The admission however drew a concerned and strained expression from her mother.
"Sweetie, tell me exactly what happened," Sophia asked and after the scene by scene recap of the paper's actions and Seresana's pleading question to whether she really was a weirdo, Sophia went on with a soft smile. "Oh my sweet little Seresana," she said while sitting down to embrace the distraught child. "You're not a weirdo, you're just special. But I need you to do something for me okay sweetie," Sophia paused until she received a nod from Seresana. "I'm going to need you to not tell anyone else about what happened with that paper. Don't lie, just don't say the entire truth. Just say it split in half as if your nature was wind."

"But why mom?"

"Because sweetie..." Sophia started but drew a blank on how to continue and eventually let out a sigh. "I have a scroll for you to read and it should explain much," Sophia said remorsefully before leading Seresana down a couple halls in the house and back to her room. After a little digging in the closet, Sophie pressed a spot on the wall and a priory hidden panel in the floor sprung up. Inside was a single scroll that Sophia retrieved and handed towards Seresana. "Here, read this in your room, don't take it out other than to give it back to me. It shouldn't take long, but you'll have questions and I'll answer, but after supper okay sweetie?" Sophia stated, and when she received a nod from Seresana, she embraced her daughter in a tight hug. "Oh you mean so much to me my little sweetie, don't let this change you." Then Sophia released Seresana and stood up. "Dinner will be ready shortly, so you'd better hurry," Sophia went on before turning and leading Seresana out of the room. Back in the hall, Seresana turned in one direction while Sophia turned down the other and they went their separate ways for now.

Once back in her room, Seresana cracked open the scroll and began to read, and read, and then re-read the scroll. She was so engrossed in it, she barely even registered her mother calling her for dinner. The meal passed by fairly quickly, and fairly normally with out any word on the stranger aspect of the day from her mother or brother. Vesken however had a story to tell about his day at work, and a funny occurrence that took place and the usual warmth that resided with the family returned. Laughs were had, conversations continued, and Seresana even talked a bit about the more normal parts of her training, going on a bit extra when it came to the parts about her successfully performing the jutsu.

After the meal was done, the dishes cleaned and put away, and the family members going beginning their normal after dinner routine, Sophia and Seresana met back up in Sophia's room. Seresana spoke first. "Mom, your real name is Sophia Yuki?"

"And yours is Seresana Yuki," Sophia replied plainly. "A member of the Yuki clan with the blood flowing strong in you," Sophia went on, she continued at Seresana's confused look. "Years ago, I lived in a small settlement in the village hidden in the mists. Some things happened and I had to leave, but I was a member of the yuki clan. Our line has always had an affinity for ice, it's manipulation, creation, and use in jutsu. I never had to knack for ninja work, but I carried the blood and it seems I passed it to you."

"What about Hitagi?" Seresana asked suddenly.

"I don't know, he might not have the same affinity you have for it Sere," Sophia went on plainly. "He's too young to know, and I don't want him to know yet. You're old enough to handle this now though, and I'll tell you all I can. It's the most I can do since I don't know how to teach you about this gift," Sophia went on and so they sat down and talked at length about the stories of the Yuki clan.

The sun had set by the time they'd finished and while Seresana still had a few questions, it was fewer than she'd had at the start of everything. A knock at the door interrupted any further conversation as Vesken poked his head in after opening the door a crack. "Everything alright in here?" he asked when noticing the expressions.

"Yes dear, we were just having a little heart to heart," Sophia replied calmly before dismissing Seresana who hugged her father on her way out of the room. Seresana wandered down the hallway and back to her room, where she read over the scroll a bit more before just sitting on her bed. She now at least had a notion towards what she could possibly do with enough training and so began to focus on that. Seresana took out a fresh scroll and began writing in it, trying to come up with something new, or how to accomplish the amazing feats her mother's stories had told her about. Yet, she simply lacked too much knowledge on jutsu to really make any progress and soon gave up in frustration. As Seresana leaned back in her seat, she finally had a moment to realize just how tired she was after a surprisingly long day. In the moments that followed, she got dressed for bed, brushed her teeth, and laid down, but sleep eluded her for some time. A constant stream of thoughts about what would change now that she knew this secret about her past kept her mind far from the calm needed for sleep. Seresana gave up after a little bit, climbed out of her bed, and wandered over to her window.

Seresana looked out the window and into the cool nighttime sky. Up overhead, a waning moon shone in the dark sky, surrounded by hundreds of glittering stars. Almost no clouds filled the expanse of sky Seresana could see, and in this peaceful moment, she climbed over and out of the window, her bare feet coming to rest on the soft grass in the next moment. The cool night air and already damp grass felt nice as she walked a little farther away from the house, almost to the edge of the forest. There was another stump here, one cut significantly shorter and with a well set groove into the top of it. It was the stump commonly used for wood cutting by her father and now Seresana sat on it. With the calming effects of the night all around her, Seresana began to meditate, focusing on her chakra and how to control it. An hour later, and Seresana found her meditation abruptly interrupted by a slug that had decided to slither onto one of her bare feet. Seresana started to let out a shriek about it, but managed to catch herself and throw her hands over her mouth before it fully got out.

With a grimace, Seresana removed the offending creature, and resolved to head back inside. Climbing back in through the window, Seresana laid down in her bed again. The only difference was that this time, the meditation had done much to calm her mind and sleep was coming to her quickly. In minutes, Seresana was asleep, and dreaming vividly.

(Initial Word Count to word pool: 5168)
(learned academy jutsu: Clone, Transformation, Body switch: -300)
(learned Kenjutsu: Ranged Weapons rank E: -100)
(learned Genjutsu: Hidden leaf illusion: -100)
(Discovered chakra nature: -1000)
(Clan guage Ice mastery increace +30%: -1500)
(Final word pool amount: 2168)
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