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 Sylvan's Copse

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Lolk

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PostSubject: Sylvan's Copse   Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:10 pm

Hop. Hop. Hop. Hop.
Sylvan ran from tree to tree, observing each as she flew by. Pine, lovely, needles brushing across her sleeves. ’We are crazy.’ Oak, common yet proud. And on and on and on, each tree associated with a brief description. That is, until she came upon her Clearing, and beheld the sight of her favorite type, the willow. The one in her grove was tall, with a thick curtain encircling it. After a few more steps, they arrived at the grove-clearing-copse-thingy that they called a second home. The semi-circle of water marking a rough border would do. The stream was running quickly today, possibly due to the rains the previous day. ’We are crazy.’ Excellent. A willow tree sat in one corner, as a nice place to rest. It was tall and proud, a circle of leafy curtains isolating it from the rest of the grove. And of course, the ever-present boulder dominated the center. Well, technically two slabs of stone and several smaller, head-sized rocks. But that was only visible from one side, thanks to the blanket of moss. On that one side was where Sylvan kept her medical kits, when she had them. ’We are crazy.’
She light stepped from branch to branch, descending lower and lower. Each branch shuddered as she walked past, shoes scuffing across the old bark as the moved from one to the other. Down , down, down she went. Eventually, she landed on the grass surface of the forest floor. She quickly slips out of her shoes and stores them by the rock. She scrunched her toes, all at once then one by one, feeling the lush grass and crisp leaves between and beneath her feet. She sighed happily, enjoying the feeling of the forest around her. ’We are crazy.’ It was a glorious sensation, whirling around as the leaves fell and the land danced and swam. She reveled in it, let it wash up around and envelope her. The forest did not care about her anymore than it cared about the fox in the grass, the weasel in the ground, or the mouse under a branch. It was larger than life, or at least her life certainly. ’We are crazy.’ It would live long after she was gone, and had lived long before she was ever a thought or a desire to anyone. Why this made her happy, she had no clue. But it did. It was a glorious sensation, to be deep in the woods, surrounded by ancient power and mystery. She considered the clearing her greatest triumph to date, to have carved out a small place of this old and powerful thing for herself. It was a sense of victory and power, something she could go up to someone and say “This is a thing I did! It is better than things you’ve done!” ’We are crazy.’ not that she would though. Such actions were pointless. She wasn’t sure why the thought had entered her head, honestly. She was crazy after all. Why did she continue to have thoughts like normal people? Her understanding had been that being crazy meant you thought in a fundamentally different way, but then again, normal people had told her that. So what would she be by their definition then? Some bizarre fusion of the two words no one could actually say? Some of her peers might try, but as soon as they tried to pronounce it they would give up and call her crazy. She had heard it before. She hated most of them. Those she didn’t hate she was in a rivalry with. Rosie, Iku, Sena, even Yusuri. ’We are crazy.’ They were in a competition of sorts, to become the strongest of the pack. She did not want to fall behind, not she wanted to succeed, to be able to hold her own and win against any one of them! It was a requirement of hers. It was her paranoia at work again, driving her to ever greater heights while preparing her for the ultimate falls. ’We are crazy.’ They knew her, of her existence, of whatever power she might’ve managed to obtain. She could not hide form them like one of the countless bugs, oh no. They would come for her, she was sure of it, should she ever step out of line. ’We are crazy.’ But one could not stay within those inky borders their whole life. There would always come a time when one had to fight for what they believed in, to step across the line and stand up. Sylvan would be ready when that time came, she was sure of it. ’We are crazy.’She just had to work harder than the rest of them. She was just as smart and cunning as any of them, after all. The only barrier was the time one put in. Some of them had a head start on her in their training, but she would catch up no matter what it took. That was her goal, to at the very least match them, kick for kick, jutsu for jutsu. That’s all very well said and done…” said The Dark Thing, rising awake from it’s corner. ”…. But will it work? I know we can catch up quickly enough to where they are now, but will they not simply leave us in the dust? They are likely working as hard as we can, what if they can work harder than us? What if one day, your dear Sena puts an arrow through our heart because we were just strong enough to be seen as a threat, but not strong enough to dodge?” The Girl rises form her happy angry ”She wouldn’t do that! I know she wouldn’t! Besides, we can work harder than any of them, I’m sure of it! Pull your weight, and I’ll pull mine! We’ll beat them into submission if we have to!” ”So you say….. That’s hard are you sure we’re up for it?” ”Absolutely!” ”Then I suppose we should get started.” And so they did. Or at least their body did. Kick the tree, jump over the rock walk atop the pond. They did these things. Their jutsu’s they practiced too. Calling upon the chakra within themselves, and molding it into the shape and place they desired. It was hard work, but they would do it. They had to do it. They would not be crushed like ants under the heel of the likes of Iku Uchiha. It was, ultimately, the reason for their existence. There was strange, paradoxical irony in this. ’We are crazy.’There sole purpose in existing was to prevent others form casually snuffing out their existence. It was a sad purpose in life, with no real meaning unless everyone was actively trying to kill them. And since no one was, they were maintaining wall upon wall, gate upon gate, castle upon castle of self-delusions and carefully not thinking about certain topics. It was necessary. They could not cease to exist, would not. ’We are crazy.’They would be able to defeat others, they would not be the last in every situation except for who dies first. This driving force would only lead to trouble later in life, of course. Such an existence as that was not healthy. In that, lies the oddity. Unlike a traditional revenge driven avenger, they had hobbies. ’We are crazy.’They had quirks, hopes dreams, whims. They both liked maps and haggling. The Dark Thing liked to write songs, The Girl danced in the forest and laughed. It was laughter of joy, of carefree enthusiasm. They are songs of emotion, and meaning. But they share these with no one, greedily guarding them like some decrepit miser guarding the very last of his coin. ’We are crazy.’One wonders why, but they would never tell. They are shy, and untrusting of others. Sena has begun to pierce their shell, but there are two sides to every coin and she wears down only one. The Dark Thing is unmoved. It has a fascination or two of its own, but cannot pursue, cannot relate. Hopeless. ’We are crazy.’
Kick. Kick. Kick. ’We are crazy.’ Slash. Slash. Slash. ’We are crazy.’ Throw. Throw. Throw. ’We are crazy.’
Repetitive, yes, but improving each time. The first kick, off and poor. Glancing off the tree (not their willow, oh no, it was pure and untouched) and doing more damage to their leg than the bark. The bandaged it. A medical kit had been recently acquired, along with a few surplus bandages. Favors and theft were wonderful things. Then they kick the tree again. Better, faster, stronger. Perhaps more equal. The tree is hurt as much as the leg, though neither are in truly significant pain. The third kick. Good, on target. The tree is hurt, but the leg feels nothing. Why is that? Oh, blood. The kit they go. The pain screamed, but they did not notice. They will have to be more careful in the future. They needed to watch themselves better. Poor condition of body would serve them ill. Taijutsu was every bit as important as Ninjutsu and Genjutsu, and never let you down. Becoming competent at it was a must, since keeping your enemies constantly at a distance was all but impossible. Besides, they currently lacked any method of long range attack that could be trusted to hit and/or deal damage. So Taijutsu was certainly something they needed to work on. Their stamina too. Sylvan intended to be fast, but speed would only work for so long if your stamina failed. Luckily, she had a great big forest to train in. She runs, leaping form branch to branch. There, a birch, fresh and new. It’s trunk still had traces of softness in it, even as the rough and tough bark began to come through. It’s leaves were a wonderful green, though they would soon change. The season of dying would come, knocking on the door of life. It would knock politely, but firmly, and come inside with its bag of tools. It would sit Mother Nature down, and explain, explain what it had to do, what she had to, and how things would go. It would open it’s kit, and operate then and there, like a house call surgery. Then one by one, it would strangle the life out of each and every tree, save those destined to live on through the dying months. Nature was a beautiful thing. She loved it so. Despite knowing the forest was full of things that would love to murder and/or eat her, she felt at peace here more than any other location. It was silly, perhaps, but that was life. ”I’ll never understand why you love this place. Everything wants to eat you or steal your food.” ”You just can’t see the beauty of nature. What about you? What kind of place do you desire? ”Hmmm… A lab.” ”A . . . Lab?” ”Yeah, a lab. Where I can mix and discover and learn. Perhaps in a dungeon somewhere, with cobbled walls and strange fungi…. Mmmmmm” ”You’re weird. Not as much as I am, but still. You can get moss up here.” ”It isn’t the same.” ”sure it isn’t.”
And once more, they descend into arguing, petty squabbles like most siblings. They aren’t though, however much they call each other sister. They were merely pretending, slipping on masks and hopping for the best. It was a sad state of affairs, but unavoidable, at least in their mind. Thus was the nature of their mind, regardless of what a scrap of parchment said about their chakra. Perhaps they both knew this, but had long ago slipped into the opium embrace of denial, a bittersweet veil with which to shield themselves form that horribly, clawing biting scrapping monster known as the truth. It was from that terrible beast they hid each and every day, just like any normal person. Paranoia the driving force within their mind. It constantly chipped away at their ability to walk about and face a new day. They remained strong, but the signs were everywhere, warning with impending doom. No question, they would crumble sooner or later. And if no one was there to catch them when they fell, then, well… Neither had any delusions about that. They would slip through the cracks, unnoticed, while everything they had worked so hard for grew stiff and rusty. It was they way of things, both of them knew this however much they didn’t want to admit it. That was the real reason they refused to believe they were one and not two. For as long as there was two of them, they could be there for each other. Always waiting, always watching, ready to catch the other if and when they fell. Unless they both fell at the same time. That was always a worry in their little fantasy realm. Seresana might be there for them, but how much could she do? No, they would have to do things on their own. They had to survive, to thrive, to grow stronger without outside assistance. Not to say that outside assistance wasn’t welcome, but relying entirely on it would never catch them up, not ever. And they did not intend to remain far behind the others, that would not be their end. Thus, they trained, honing strength and speed as much as they could. Their recent bought with the Uchiha, Nathan, had given them a lot of information to work with regarding points they needed to improve. Their Chakra lasted well, but it could be better. And had the Genjutsu not worked, they would’ve been doomed. Hand-to-Hand combat was not their strong suit, so weapon training would be a good idea. Perhaps a sword, though the Kunai would serve otherwise. Regardless, they needed to become much stronger.
That being, said, they were not completely oblivious to things like social interaction. The Dark Thing in particular was worried. ”I do not know how to talk to her at all! Sis, help me out! What am I doing wrong?!” ”You are being too straight forward and flamboyant. Get inside her head, state things bluntly and without any playing around. Even if you are the more serious of us, you still mess around too much. You enjoy being cryptic! Stop being cryptic!”[/b] [i]”But… but… but… but I enjoy being cryptic!”[/b] [i]”then maybe you should find a friend that enjoys you being cryptic… um…” ”What kind of friend would enjoy me being cryptic all the time?!” ”Shut up! I’m thinking! Um…. Um….. alright sister, you’re out of luck. You’re going to have to be less cryptic, or you’re never going to become friends with this Iku girl.” ”*sigh* thanks anyways sis. I guess.” ”No problem!” The Dark Thing was knowledgeable about how normal people worked, but had no desire to interact with them. The Girl had a better understanding of the unusual, but was only interested in more normal people. This added to their “sisterly” squabbles, especially when Iku or Sena came up. Still, they relied on each other, and thus avoided too many bad debates. But the arguments still happened with great frequency.
At some point during their internal debate, they had picked up a stick. Well, really more of a branch. It was a large tangled thing, and would thus suit their purposes perfectly. They began snapping off branches, one by one, until they got the desired shape. They were trying to craft a makeshift sword with which to do some basic practice, and see if it would work for them. The “blade” was merely the thickest, central part of the branch with several of the smaller, thinner ones wrapped around it. The “hilt” was much the same, forming a rough square with bound twigs. Around the handle and the bindings the wrapped the trails form the willow tree, taking a few and fashioning something they could use comfortably. “Let’s see… they started by simply swing it around, trying to get used to the weight. It wasn’t that they had issue carrying it, but they were more used to Kunai and shurikens. After getting it into the shape they desired, and having gotten used to its weight. They tried swinging it at a nearby birch tree. The birch was softer than many of the other trees, and hopefully less likely to shatter the bonds that held the sword in shape. The sword bangs loudly against the side of the tree, causing a tremendous racket. It would sound like the wind, if it were not for the clearly distinguishable clackings of the twigs. The willow bonds snap, causing the smaller twigs to explode outwards and snap back across Sylvan’s arms with great force. She winces as shallow; hairline cuts are drawn across her arms. ”That didn’t go so well…. Move over, we need to wash those cuts, at least.” ”Ugh. Fine.”
Kneeling by the stream, she begins splashing water on the wounds, sighing, as the stream turns pink. It was why she had picked this location, but she still hated seeing it tainted like this, especially by her hand. Still, she’d rather not have an infection. Once the wound is cleaned, she checks the medical kit. Good. Enough bandages to fix everything after training. Now it was time to rebind the branch into a “sword”. She uses willow strands again, but this time decides to add something extra. Grabbing some fresh resin from one of the trees, she mixes it in with the bindings, then sets the sword on the rock. While it dried, she could practice other methods. She leaves the Clearing, heading for a tree a bit removed from it. She didn’t want to hit the Willow, after all. This tree was not in good shape, and that was entirely because of Sylvan, Cuts and stabs marred one side of it, and a pile of wood chips lay beneath. This was where she practiced with her sharp pointy things. She so dearly loved sharp pointy things. She takes out the shruikens, sets them in her hands, and readies herself to throw. The goal was to hit the stump without opening her eyes. She always moved too a different spot whenever she threw, so that she would not get used to the circumstances, but rather the throwing. It was to be able to see an object for just a blink of an eye, then instantly throw without being able to track it. Granted, this was not something she as an academy student would be able to master just yet. But it was very good practice, and establishing the skills early on would help her immensely.
{3113 Words}
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:53 am

Sylvan sighs in annoyance. It had survived well, but all things broke, nothing was eternal. The perfect branch had met its grisly end, fragmenting into a many pieces against the soft birch. The bindings had snapped loose, and again it had slashed across her arms and face. She was going to have to attend to those nasty cuts at some point, but they could wait for the moment. she had other things she needed to do. First and foremost, find another branch to use. She liked the sword idea, but she needed to get at least somewhat decent with it first. thus, she was wandering through the woods, with a specific purpose in mind instead of aimlessly wandering like she normally did.
{123 words}
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:36 pm

The first branch she came to was all wrong. It was large, fork shaped thing with no smaller stems coming form it. It had likely fallen from one of the oaks, based on the bark. She tossed it aside. Some animal would find a use for t, or it would return to the earth. She need not worry herself about it's fate. She continue don, getting into the thicker part of the wood. Much denser underbrush, much less light. she didn't mind though, she had good eyesight and her eyes adjusted quickly. No real issue there. the first branch she came upon of the right size looked at first like it could work. It was a single large shaft slightly thicker than her thumb with 5o or so small stems shooting from it. However, upon closer examination it would not do. The stems were too short, and would not be bound. The main trunk was rotted as well. Useless. She tosses it aside, and continues on her way. She would find one eventually, she hoped. It was getting dark, so she began going back the way she came, heading into the more easily navigable part of the forest. She would need to get this done soon, she was not especially eager to be caught away form her house or her clearing when night fell. Her night eyes were good, but they weren't supernaturally good.
With the lower light levels, she nearly trips on the next branch. This one is closer to what she was looking for, but still not perfect. She wasn't quite sure how it came into being, to be honest. It branched at both the front and the back ends of the main branch. Several smaller stems extended from the sides. Odd, but useless to her. she tosses it aside. It hits a rock, bouncing off and knocking into her shoulder. "Ow." "Come on, it didn't hurt that badly."
Sighing explosively, Sylvan walks back to her clearing. she didn't feel like going back to the house yet, but she was hungry, and she enjoyed cooking with Yusuri.
After checking over her Clearing to make sure nothing had disturbed it, he heads back up to the house.
{365 Words}
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:16 pm

The walk to the house was a long one, for the clearing was quite far away from the village proper. The clearing itself bordered a large body of water, one that tended to freeze in the winter time. She liked walking around on it during these times, feeling the bracing chill through her shoes. She missed watchin gthe animals during these times though, so it wasn't perfect, Sylvan longed for the October Fall. Were it not for the back that it was her birthday, the season would've been perfect, and even her birthday only took up one day so it wasn't that bad. The forest turned into a beuatiful array of orange, yellow, and red. True, things were dying or preparing for the long sleep, but she didn't mind. She had the forest all to herself, jumping n leaves and hopping from tree to tree. She loved it most of all when they still hung from the tree, shivering in the wind. They would dance on the tree like an army of fey, merry making and partying after a succesful battle. They would ride all around the tree, carried by the wind, until it was time at least to return to the earth. There they would sleep beneath a blanket of snow, soft white covers to wrap 'round themselves until the green returned. When the snow melted and the flowers bloomed,, they would sneak back up through the trunk and reclaim what was theirs, until the parties started and the cold legions of winter once again drove them to their homes on the forest floor. That was their way, until the prize they sought to claim was felled by Nature's mighty hand or the blade of another. She loved that, in a way, just as much as the contained cycle of the fae themselves. Sylvan smiled again. Her mood was improved from when it had soured due to the failure of the practice pata. "So fanciful Girl. Why don't you write any of these down?" "Why would I do that? It's enough to share them with you.""You might forget them. We might forget them. They should not be forgotten." "It is their nature to be forgotten. I'll always be here for you to make new ones, after all. So don't worry sister." "I'm you're big sister. It's my job to worry about you Sis."
They would find better branches tomorrow, for the moment, they needed to head back. They had promised Yusuri they would help make dinner tonight, and that was not a promise worth breaking, at least not to them. Besides, it was always possible Yusuri wanted to telepathically converse with someone. It did wear down Sylvan's chakra, but the drain was minor in exchange for getting to do stuff with her roomie. Maintaining that relationship was extremely important to their continued (in)sanity. Yusuri was the only person they could talk to while they were recovering from talking with people. The classes alone were enough to set their teeth on edge. The other kids always seemed to think she was a new student, and sked her why he teacher hadn'tmade an annoucmenet. Then the others would remember her, and call her "the crazt forest girl". She hated them all, save a few people. Sena was nice, as was Yusuri. Iku Uchiha had annoyed and confused her quite badly, but hadn't judged her. It was refreshing and irritating at the same time, a combination of feelings Sylvan didn't quite know how to deal with. Perhaps she'd go and try to talk to Iku again sometime. She had to figure out that girl. She wasn;t sure yet why, but there was something about her that drew Sylvan' curiosity. Once she figured out what it is, it would be one less thing to worry about.
{635 Words}
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:24 am

Sylvan got up the next morning. Early, like always. Yawning and stretching, she rolled out of bed after hearing a few pops from her bones. Her feet landed without sound on the soft wood of the house. She liked it here. It wasn't a forest, but it served. Besides, Yusuri was here, and she was her friend. Sylvan was pretty sure, at least, it could be hard to tell with Yusuri sometimes. Mutual toleration at least, which Sylvan had found wasn't always a given with everyone. Some people yelled angrily, threw sticks, stones, or rice. Others laughed and jeered, whipping the occasional wooden shuriken at her, calling her lazy, or crazy. She didn’t understand why, but she didn’t really mind either. They didn’t really matter, in the grand scheme of things, and she was crazy. She wasn’t sure why, but she definitely was.
Having washed herself, and changed into new clothes, she set out into town. She was on… well, it wasn’t really a mission per say, but she had a task of her own design. She had heard of a new person coming to the village while she was out getting food with Yusuri, and more importantly, the item he carried. A scroll that would gran the power of the mantis to whomever signed it. After much eavesdropping, sneaking, and food-based bribery/blackmail, she had discerned that this was not in fact a hoax or a trap, but a legitimate opportunity to gain power. This was not something to turn down. She quickly slipped on a grey hoodie over her dark green Yamanaka shirt, grabbed her weapons, and ran out the door. According to the schedule she’d “borrowed”, the ninja would be arriving at the village soon, and staying at one of the nearby inns for a day before meeting with one of the higher ups. That was way she was making her way to said Inn, so that she could speak with him. ”I hope he doesn’t try to trick us, and lets us gain the power of the scroll.” ”We may have to trick him. People don’t just hand over scrolls of power willy-nilly. He might have some sort of bizarre test, or a riddle, or something.” ”Well, we’ll just have to complete it won’t we?”
The truth of the matter was, they were worried. Catching up with the likes of Iku Uchiha wasn’t easy, and an edge would help them significantly. Besides, The Girl wanted something to show to Sena, other than miles and miles of forest. Why The Dark Thing said that wasn’t enough, The Girl didn’t really get. But she trusted her sister in social matters.
They had to hope along the buildings, since the streets below were crowded. She was making good time, and would be there quite early, but she still was a bit worried. Mainly because of the roofs. It had rained early this morning, and the roofs were still quite slick. Sylvan was having to be extremely careful with her footing, lest she fall. There were people below that could catch her, but she was uncertain if they would bother. Few people knew her, for spent most of her freetime in the forest or in class. She strongly disliked coming into town like this, but it couldn’t be helped. She needed power, and power in this cast took the form of a scroll. She did wonder what was in the scroll though. A training regime, a powerful Jutsu, several different powerful Jutsu’s… Perhaps some fearsome beast that would take control of the wielder and send them on a destructive frenzy. If it was the last one, she would have to reconsider using the scroll. She did not want to hurt her forest by mistake. The forest was her … Joy, at least. Pride involved she had in someway contributed to it, which she really hadn’t. This made her said, but what did it matter? It was her joy, and that was enough. It made her happy, it was her place of refuge. No one ever bothered her in there, save when she was needed. It was okay then, since it also meant that people at least cared enough to come and get her.
Her foot places wrongly. She slips. A brief yelp as she slides off the edge. An arm flails, grabs, finds a hold. She sighs, and pulls herself back up. She probably could’ve landed safely, but it was still terrifying. ”That was a bit close for comfort Sis. We’ve got to be careful. Maybe it’s worth going slowly? We’ve got plenty of time…” ”No! We’re going to get there with lots of time to spare, and make absolutely sure this goes right!” ”but if we slip and fall to our deaths, we won’t make it on time either. And we’ll be dead. Come on Sis, we have plenty of time!” There arguments clashed as the walked at a compromise between them, as they normally defaulted to such when there was a disagreement. Both made good points. Given that they had never done something like this, they would need lots of time to account for mistakes or sudden occurrences, or even just thinking over the pros and cons of whatever the scroll offered. As above, it could be something that wasn’t worth the price. And if that was the case, much time would be needed to think things over. They would also need time to observe and analysis the bearer of the scroll, to make sure they could persuade him. On the other hand, The Dark Thing was right. If they died horribly via falling off a roof, then life was pointless because they were dead. The Girl’s pace had gotten them far enough though, that they could go the rest at an easier pace. There would be no need to risk them slipping off the roof and onto the unforgiving earth below. On a whim, sylvan looks over the edge, and shivers. Beneath her was a wagonload of rocks. That would not have been pleasant to land on. Fortunately, they did not. Their reflexes were good, though, if someone had been throwing things at them and hit their hand, they might’ve been on a one way trip to medical. That would’ve been unfortunate, and they would’ve missed their opportunity.
The next few roofs they adopt a more reasonable pace, and soon arrive at the Inn in which the bearer of the scroll was supposed be staying at. ”Speaking of which, there he is now.” ”What? Where? How is it that you see him but I do not?” ”We’re two different people sis, remember.” ”Oh yeah. Anyways, where is he?” ”Over there.” ”That is remarkably unhelpful.” ”Oh fine, I’ll point.” Sylvan lazily lifts up an arrogant arm, pointing at the scroll bearer. She can even see it, on his back. It is a massive thing. ”He is coming this way. It would be advisable for us to duck out of his field of vision.” following The Dark thing’s advice, the two are one that is sylvan roll to the center of the roof, waiting patiently.
And waiting. And waiting.  And waiting.
Eventually, it began to get dark, and they felt I safe to check. Crawling on their belly, they come to the edge of the roof, looking down. What they were expecting was the mane to be asleep, the scroll nowhere to be seen. They were expecting to have to hunt for it quietly, all the while without waking him. They had many hiding places in the forest, no one would find it for awhile. They would take it away until they could fully study it’s secrets.
That was what they were expecting. What they were not expecting was a strange ninja wearing a mantis mask and Konoha forehead protector looking straight at them sword drawn and ready. “Ah, you have finally worked up the courage I see! You will come with me to the edge of the forest! We will train!” “What?” He points the sword at her, gesturing proudly. “If you seem worthy, you may sign on with the Mantis clan!” He strikes a poise, while Sylvan looks baffled. ”This was not according to plan….” ”He was waiting for us?!” ”Wh-What do we do?” By this point, his sword has drifted off, its blade no longer pointed at Sylvan. She spots the scroll, at his feet. “Err….” The sword whips around to point back at her as she is about to step forward. “Hold!” he yells, hooking the scroll above his toes, and kicking in into the air. It bounces off the ceiling and unravels. He thrusts out his sword, a gust of wind forming a spiral along it, as he catches the unrolling scroll in the wind technique. The strange mantis man whirls his arm around, causing the scorl the unfurl across the walls, until every part of the room becomes covered with layer upon layer of paper. Sylvan can see that each one is a signature, though she does not recognize many of the names. As the storm of wind and paper winds down, the tube rolls in front of her, revealing a large blank area. “Sign here!” He shouts. Sylvan hesitates, looking uncertain. With a flick of his wrist, the sword crackles with lightning. “Sign!” he yells, flicking a shuriken into the floor just to the side of the scroll. “you must sign in blood!” galvanized into action by the lightning sword, Sylvan quickly pricks her finger on the point and signs her name. The ninja seems to smile behind the mantis mask. ”We need to figure out how to do that.” ”No kidding!”
The mantis person nods in what she thinks is approval. “Tomorrow! You will learn practice this! Do so or else!” Sylvan nods hurriedly as she backs out onto the balcony and quickly climbs up to the roof. She would practice, alright, that lightning sword was bloody terrifying. She wasn’t sure what exactly she was practicing though.
She begins running along the roofs, mercifully not slipping as she makes her way back to the forest. ”What just happened?” ”I think we got want we wanted! The mantis ninja seems to want to teach us.” ”That… that is a very good point. So I guess we accomplished our goal?” ”Apparently! Lot easier than we though it would be, wasn’t?” ”Yeah.”
As they arrived at their house, they noticed a scroll pinned to the door with a mantis emblem on it. After looking around, they cautiously opened the scroll. Inside was a list of instructions regarding the summoning jutsu and the mantis clan. They took it with them as they walked up the stairs to their room and fell across the bed. It was still early morning, but that had been a frightful ordeal. That sword radiated power. They did not want to fight that. ”I wonder how we’d make our own thing like that.” ”We would probably need access to more scrolls, and a sensei who was knowledgeable of such things.” ”Mmm. True.”
After that strange incident, they headed out into the forest.
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:22 pm

Once again, Sylvan was out hunting for branches. She could probably head to the clan compound and just ask her family if she could borrow a wooden practice sword, but she was opposed to that idea. They would ask her how she'd been, to which she never quite knew how to reply. It was their job to check in on her status she supposed, but they asked weird questions, like "had she made any friends yet?". Last time she had told them know. Between now and then she had met Sena, but... "Trust me, it would be awkward. Besides, this way we have an excuse to walk in the woods." "True. But we should visit them at some point." "Of course. We could, hehe, show them Seresana." "Why?" "Ah, don't worry about it. You'll see why eventually." "If you say so sister."
They walked past the border between the forest and the rest. As soon as she is the forest she loves, Sylvan sighs happily, then takes a deep breath of the forest air. She loved it here. Grinning widely, she clambers up the nearest tree. She preferred walking from tree to tree rather than taking the forest floor, though she didn't really mind either way. This way let her enjoy both.
The begins to run and leap, landing on the nearest branch and immediately pushing off it and moving her feet back under her to catch the one up ahead. It was good training for chasing after people, especially in this forest. She hadn't memorized every tree, but she was able to recognize parts of the forest easily.
Landing at her clearing, she quickly checks around for intruders. A squirrel had moved through, but other than that there was no issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:15 pm

Here she was again, moving from tree to tree, branch to branch, oak to birch to pine and back again. The brank shuddered beneath her feet, prompting a few leaves to fall. She didn’t worry though, few would be tracking her. Generally, people were content to let her do whatever, as long as she showed up on time. Sylvan liked that, being trusted. It was an enjoyable feeling, knowing that people were both counting on you to do something, and believed in you enough to not have you constantly monitored. Either that, or they considered her important enough to warrant monitors she couldn’t detect. ”I’m crazy.” But even that, in it’s own way, was comforting. It meant she was important to someone, at the very least. She still didn’t have attention from what she desired most though, even above Seresana. Sylvan wanted the forest to notice her. ”I’m crazy.”No, not as an inhabitant, she was already more or less that. Honorary inhabitant, she supposed. She wanted to be recognized in and by the forest as a power of her own, one that everything from the smallest bug to the largest predator would recognize and submit to. She wanted the fear, power, and respect of the forest. ”I’m crazy.” She wasn’t yet sure how she would accomplish that though. She had some thoughts, but one thing she knew for sure was that this place was of the First. In order to get anywhere near such a goal, she would need to at least become something he might’ve spotted from his seat of power, and approved of. ”I’m crazy.” She was a long way from that, that much she knew for sure. But at the same time, some small yet steadily growing part of her said it was not beyond her reach. ”Ahem. That would be me.” The Dark Thing said, making its presence known. The Girl rose to meet with it, the thing that drove It That Was Sylvan onwards, ever higher, ever lower. It was paranoid, but not fear. It was her common sense, her knowledge of how to speak to those beyond the leafy borders. On the other end, The Girl was her naivety, her self sheltered by leaves and grass. Yet it was also the part the part that yearned. It yearned for love, for life, for people. But the Dark Thing had little desire for such things, and only it held the knowledge of how to make them love her. It desired only power, for it needed to protect her, just like she needed to protect it. They were good friends, as only crazy can be, or those who have partaken of too much sake. ”Heading back to the grove for more training?” There was no need to answer, they both knew. Both suspected they were still one and the same, and feared it. Like two sides of the coin wanting to speak face to face instead of calling over their shoulder. But a blade sharp and fine enough to split the coin equally without pain or damage was not yet known to them. They searched though, all the while denying that such a blade was necessary.


Answering The Dark Thing, The Girl nods. ”Uh huh! We need to get tougher if I’m going to impress Sena! We gotta keep up with her and Yusuri.” The coin flips. Both sides are crazy. ”On that much we are united, though I still think impressing Seresana is unnecessary. I don’t know why you persist in doing it.” The coin flips. Both sides are mad. ”Hah! I don’t get why you dislike her, or never show up when she’s with us! What bugs you about her?” The coin flips. Both sides are desperate. ”She’s not my business, and I’m doing it because I like to think long term. Every moment you spend with Seresana is one I’ll get later. That’s fair, yeah?” The coin flips. Both sides are playing solitaire. ”I guess … sure. Just don’t spend it all at once. A week at the most.” The coin flips. Both sides are opening briefcases and making plans. ”That seems fair, but there needs to be exceptions. Some days, I’m going to have projects that I’ll need to do uninterrupted. You gotta let me have those, ‘kay?” The coin flips. It lands on Edge this time. Both sides are smiling. Whether good or bad, both love a good haggling. It is one of the ridges of the Edge. ”That sounds fine to me. Agreed. Renegotiation of the terms may be applied at a later date.” ”But of course. Let’s get back to training, shall we?” ”Uh huh!” The coin rolls forward, dropping neatly into the battered old jukebox. It begins to play, its beat the beat of the branches, as they come on and on under Sylvan’s feet. ”Let’s dance!”


Unlike what is implied in fiction about this sort of thing, Sylvan does not shake her head clear, or resurface from her internal dealings with know memory of the debate. After all, she was debating with herself. Instead, she is simply more focused, common sense and emotion blending and supporting each other seamlessly. Not once did she fall to the forest floor below, meaning this trip was already much better than the last. She still needed to get a medical kit when she got back to town. She was saving up her money for one. She had 300 or so stashed away, but that was set aside for ninja equipment only. Weaponry and such were the only things it would ever be traded for, and money from missions was the only thing to ever replenish it. She’d made that rule when she first got it, and would never betray it. And sense she was still an Academy student, it would be awhile before it ever saw signs of replenishment. She was still a long way from becoming a Genin, sadly. She had gotten a lot of the Academy’s training down, but she was still not yet in anything near the physical conditioning needed to even consider trying out for Genin. Even if by some miracle she made it, she would still be woefully unprepared for the missions. She was still just a beginner though, so it would be awhile before she had to truly worry about it though. Hopefully her mind(s) would last that long. ”We should also practice singing.” ”Why is it we always have time to practice singing, but never painting? I need practice too you know!” ”Because paints are expensive? Seresana probably has some though, you could ask her.”
”I’m not going to ask Sena! I thought you said that kind of thing was rude.” ”Indeed I did. Looks like you’re learning.” ”Yay! Oh by the way, it’s time to renegotiate the Iku Accords.” ”Wait, what? But I thought there was at least another week left on those!” ”I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it further.” ”Ugh. Fine. Why do you feel the need to renegotiate?” ”Well, if you want to exchange for all the time I’m getting to spend with Sena, then you have to accept that spending time with Iku counts as part fo that.” ”What?! No!” ”Why not?” ”…” ”That’s what I thought.”
They had a purpose in this particular trip. Previously, they had spent a night at Seresana’s ’Sena, it’s Sena.’. During this time they had encountered Chakra Paper, and been allowed by Seresana ’Sena, it’s Sena.’ to use some. From this, they had discovered that their Chakra Nature was Water. Thus, it was important that they master this nature. To that end, they were heading for their grove, where they would train in the use of water.
After a few more minutes, they arrived at the grove-clearing-copse-thingy that they called a second home. The semi-circle of water marking a rough border would do. The stream was running quickly today, possibly due to the rains the previous day. Excellent. A willow tree sat in one corner, as a nice place to rest. It was tall and proud, a circle of leafy curtains isolating it from the rest of the grove. And of course, the ever-present boulder dominated the center. Well, technically two slabs of stone and several smaller, head-sized rocks. But that was only visible from one side, thanks to the blanket of moss. On that one side was where Sylvan kept her medical kits, when she had them.
The first order of business would be figuring out how to interact with the part of her mind that controlled her Chakra Nature. Basically, figuring out how to make use of her talent when performing water jutsu’s. Since she didn’t actually know any water jutsu, she would have to cobble together something from scratch. And since she had no frame of reference for controlling water, she wouldn’t be able to do anything with it beyond figuring out how to tap into her Nature. She doubted she would be able to replicate whatever she made after she was done, but hopefully she’d have learned some water justu’s by then. Hopefully.
Sylvan began trying to focus her mind towards this thing, this crazy thing she was trying to do. Key word being try. ”Nothing’s happening. Isn’t something supposed to be happening?” ”Shut up and think harder!” ”I am thinking!” ”Think harder! Nothing’s happening!” ”I think this isn’t working. Maybe we should try something else?” ”Yeah…” Without any further conversation, they though. Jumping, bouncing, skipping, sliding, down a slippery slope they went. Deep into the darkest corridors of their mind, where nothing but cobwebs had existed since the very beginning. Old, young, and tall. Neither of them knew what they would find here, but they knew there had to be something after all, the paper was probably not lying. If their Chakra Nature truly was water, then surely their had to be something lying around here that would work, right? ”You’re thinking aloud. And don’t call me shirely.” ”Oops. But You can’t say I’m wrong. I mean, the fact that we’re knee deep in illusionary waters has to mean something.” ”It could be a representation of our projecting a certain skill or ability onto ourselves.” ”you always say that, but I’m the smart one. If it was a projection, then why would it hinder our imaginary movements to realistically? Why would it not be nothing more than an image floating on mist?” [i]”Alright, you have me there. But that was a fluke of deduction, nothing more!” ”All skill Girl. All skill.” The view pans, looks around, zooms in. There they are, trudging. It looks like a dungeon, all webbing and water, cobblestone walls and wooden beams. Such a strange place to view their mind, but that’s how it is. The hunt, spelunking through the sodden corridors, in search of that which was, if they were understanding Seresana/Sena right, their Nature. They weren’t quite clear on which one of them to which the nature belonged, for they were definitely separate, two different people sharing a body. No really, it was true. Or so they would tell themselves until it became true. The truth was while they were different, it was only in the way two sides of a rock were different, or perhaps a coin, one side worn down with worry and the other untouched. Thus was the nature of their mind, regardless of what a scrap of parchment said about their chakra. Perhaps they both knew this, but had long ago slipped into the opium embrace of denial, a bittersweet veil with which to shield themselves form that horribly, clawing biting scrapping monster known as the truth. It was from that terrible beast they hid each and every day, just like any normal person. Paranoia the driving force within their mind. It constantly chipped away at their ability to walk about and face a new day. They remained strong, but the signs were everywhere, warning with impending doom. No question, they would crumble sooner or later. And if no one was there to catch them when they fell, then, well… Neither had any delusions about that. They would slip through the cracks, unnoticed, while everything they had worked so hard for grew stiff and rusty. It was they way of things, both of them knew this however much they didn’t want to admit it. That was the real reason they refused to believe they were one and not two. For as long as there was two of them, they could be there for each other. Always waiting, always watching, ready to catch the other if and when they fell. Unless they both fell at the same time. That was always a worry in their little fantasy realm. Seresana might be there for them, but how much could she do? Her parents could jury-rig a functional sylvan out of the fragments of her shattered personality, but what was the point? It wouldn’t be her anymore, the two of them would be dead, the coin melted down into slag and reforged as a needle. They didn’t want to be a needle. The wanted to be a coin, split down the edge. They liked to tell themselves they were that already, but lying to yourself can only work for so long. Their paranoia stemmed from the knowledge of great power with few restraints. Of beings capable of crushing her like a bug. Even amongst her peers, these entities existed. That truly terrified her. She needed to train, for certain, but how could she catch up. They trained constantly, and were gifted with fantastical Bloodline Limits she could barely hope to counter. Her natural talent with the realm of the mind would help, but first she had to master this Chakra Nature thing. Priorities, after all. Once it was out of the way, she could focus on other things. It might not matter immediately, but it would help her greatly when she was using more advanced water jutsu, which she undoubtedly would. In addition, she had snuck peeks of scrolls telling of other abilities involving Ice and Wood, two things she was very interested in. They meant Power at their core, after all. And Power was something Sylvan desired greatly. The Girl and The Dark Thing were of one mind about this. Currently, not even Sena/Seresana was more important, though she was certainly high up there at The Girl’s insistence. The Dark Thing had conceded to her demands, in exchange for the promise of The Girl making a mental map. It wasn’t as good as real map, but it was a thing they could occupy themselves with, and besides, they both adored maps. Some might say they had an unhealthy obsession with maps, and they would be right. Unhealthy was very much the word for it, and perhaps ‘expensive’ would also be a good word for it. They had sunk most of their casual spending money that wasn’t reserved for weaponry on maps. They didn’t buy duplicates, but it was still expensive. Then they would spend afternoons tracing lines, plotting trips, guessing at all the little pitfalls and ditches one might find along the way. They really wanted to see the geography of other countries, to acquire maps of their Hidden Villages and chart courses…. Of course, important people might have things to say about such behavior. She wasn’t really sure who, or whether they would be happy or not. All she knew was Hidden Villages were supposed to have at least some element of secrecy to them, and detailed maps of them were probably not easily available. She would have to make the effort. There was a apparently a Jutsu to give one incredible vision. She wanted it quite badly. With it, she could perch up in a tree and survey the whole landscape. She heard it required a glass object though, she would have to find one touch enough to withstand the rigors of her missions, when she was assigned some. After all, glass was notorious for being fragile and having glass shards littered throughout one’s clothing while one was at risk of being punched hard in the gut would no doubt end poorly for all involved. Still, it would be amazing. She would see everything. The trees in Konoha were especially high after all, and would allow her to spy on friend and foe form afar. Such a level of power would be glorious, especially if she could develop some really long range attacks. Perhaps some related to water? Or ice. Ice would probably work better, since it could make spikes. She would need to figure out how one went about gaining the ability to manipulate ice. Maybe Sena would know? No, Sena wasn’t the answer to everything, No matter what The Girl thought. The Dark thing sighed. The water was messing up both their suits. That was a shame. They were purely mental constructs of course, but it was still annoying. Not that they could afford the suits in real life, fit them, or would ever wear them for any reason. The same went for the fedoras. Ridiculous outfits perhaps, but they had formed naturally as the two drew apart. They weren’t sure why, but they felt it suited them. It was their head after all, and they did look rather nice. Impractical as hell, but that was what imaginative license was for. The Dark thing wore a dark, misunderstood green that looked like black, and The Girl wore a white to blinding its was fatal. There was probably some hidden meaning in that somewhere, but The Dark Thing had no clue. She wrote music, but The girl was the one always coming up with hidden meanings in things. She could always ask her, but both of them preferred to be as separate as possible while at the same time ready to back each other up. The Girl liked the songs she wrote, and she liked the maps The Girl would create.
A cackling laughed down the corner, filled with glee. It startles them, brings them back. Back where? Back to the sad illusion that was their mind, a shoddy yet brilliant creation of self-delusion and fear and motivation. What as they walk through the knee-high waters trudging and splashing through the muck. The water is disturbing, in its color, in its texture, and most of all in its smell. It is a green, an unsettling green, the green of moldy moss and mashed broccoli. It is a green of many horrible things, and green from which no clothe can ever truly recover. Oh well. The could always make new ones after all. The containments in the water were far worse than any mundane muck or excrement. They were emotions, unpleasant memories and sensations, horrible little things that would attach onto someone like a leech and poison everything else they ever experienced. A floating fear there, a patch of moldy frustration there… Endless. The smell was even worse, in ways that defy any description. The gaze shifts. It moves, it wanders. It doesn’t want to look at the water, and who can blame it? The water’s nasty. The gaze sees the walls, The Girl slides the palm of her hand alongside the cobblestone. There is moss here too, but it is purer, somehow. More lush, less toxic. The kind you might use for wounds rather than the kind that might try to eat you. Pleasant, helpful. Spongy, certainly, with tiny little fronds. Click. Her nails make the noise as her hands slide to next brick. This one is smooth, no moss, save for a little round the edges inside the crevices. Clean, true, but on closer tactile examination it is not smooth. It is beautiful, to be sure, but not smooth. There are flaws, weak points, even in strong rocks such as these. Thousands of tiny cuts litter it’s surface, to small for most eyes to truly discern or even see. Some would not bother to look at all. The Girl looks. She denies what she sees. The Dark Thing looks. She denies what she sees. It is understandable, this denial. For in a world of pure imagination, ever block is a piece. The weak points in the stones, this stone in particular, is a representation of something. It is their denial of self, their inability or unwillingness to see themselves for what they truly are, one. They cannot cope as a singular being, so they delude themselves into believing they aren’t. but the knowledge of the truth of their lie is always present, always there, always waiting for them to slip up in their ironclad denial and acknowledge it. It is a devil, but does it mean well or not? Who can tell?
Perhaps it believes that they can handle the truth, and perhaps it is right. It almost got them then, just now. It made them touch it, look at it, see it. They cannot last forever, it knows this, they know this, but only one of the three in the mind with the secrets and the lies would ever admit to even a third of it. All of them are fools, all of them. They may not realize it, but all of them are fools. Blithering idiots, but if they can make the heart of at least one person soar then they need to exist. Perhaps for other reasons, but for that one especially. As long as they are needed by at least one other person in the world then they have purpose.
Perhaps they don’t have a purpose. If that is the case, then they must craft one for themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Sylvan's Copse   Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:11 pm

The entire network of twisting stone tunnels owes it's existence to the wooden support beams spaces evenly through it. Every set amount of distance one stretches from the ceiling to deep beneath the muck that the two entities of Sylvan are currently trudging through. while the distance between the wooden supports beams is equal, their individual appearances are not. Some are warped, while others are pristine. Shapes vary as well. Behind them, a spiral of wood woven in impossible styles. A spindle of oak clawing and grasping at the stone above them, pushing back against it with coiled fury and energy. It is elegant and powerful, unnatural in the way that a rock should not move or speak. It says nothing to the pair, though they feel it could if it so chose. It is that sort pillar. The next one, its neighbor, is vastly different. Made by the toils of a human, a testament to the strength of an axe. It is a rectangular, strong and tough.  It was hewn from an ancient log. That old tree spirit lives on inside it, reviling the human crafted existence it has been bound to. Rage and pain, loss and hateful dignity. These are not feelings Sylvan has yet experienced, yet they clearly exist somewhere. The pillar exists, after all. the third in their journey is similar to the last, but far lesser. It has not pride, no strength. It is warped and splintered, a broken thing. It will not last forever, but its absence is hard to imagine. It holds out for now, but all it would take is a little more weight, a slightly greater burden.... and snap. The pillar would fall. such is the nature of these things. They make a note to fix it later, but they will not. What is needed is a replacement built of stronger stuff, for the current support cannot be reinforced. It can only decline.
They might not find what they are looking for. This place is a maze with the entrance always at their backs. Both the entrance and the exit can go both ways, but they are not the same. Exiting through the entrance carries with it the reminder you have not accepted the truth within the maze. whether you turned back at the start or couldn't make it past the final hurdle, it matters not. you have not changed, only expanded. You have not grown, only changed. They were unsure.  While they pretended to be two, there was only one. As long as they continued to fool that which was the same, they could not pass. they had to choose one extreme or the other. Two or one, make the choice. But they could not. The final push to become two was not present, and the return to one would be difficult. They were afraid of becoming one. They could not watch each other, cover for mistakes, or give advice. They would have to hold their self accountable. This level of responsibility was uncomfortable, bordering of terrifying.
They turned back. Not forever, but for now. The maze was not yet willing to let them in. It hated them, shamed them, and they fled. They went for it too early, trying to discover secrets of water. There were other challenges to tackle, ones that would unlock the hidden ways in. Hidden ways they could use.
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