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 Walking through the woods

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PostSubject: Walking through the woods   Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:36 am

Seresana was strolling along happily on a day off after her first successful mission, and also in celebration of her completed new bow. Seresana's wooden sandals lightly thudded along the ground, kicking up little bits of dirt and dust with every step as she continued her stroll. Her black pants soundlessly glided past each other with every step, aside for the sections around the white cloth tie below the knee on her right leg and the white cloth tie above the knee on the left leg. An errant breeze tugged at the parts of her shirt that weren't bound by the dark green cloth tie around her waist, the second green one around her chest, or the new headband with the leaf insignia resting on the end of her sleeve on the right arm. Her left arm was still bound in the usual bandage wrap running from the palm of her hand all the way up to her shoulder that was actually covered by her shirts sleeve. There was also the newer piece of garb she sported, a dark purple leather vest with the leaf village insignia emblazoned on it's back, and it lightly flapped in the gentle breeze as well as her hair. Seresana's short black hair was still in the usual style of cut short and layered somewhat pointedly downward, almost to the point where it covered the small earrings she wore. Tiny little snowflake like pieces that hung from a few tiny chain links which didn't weigh all that much, but looked nice. Seresana also had her shuriken and kunai hostler strapped to the side of her leg, a black quiver with green trim with her ten arrows resting inside, and her specially crafted bow resting in her hand.

The day itself was shaping up to be a rather good one, with a comfortable sun that heated up the area without making it sweltering or horribly uncomfortable. The shade and gentle breezes however were enough to fight off even the worst of the heat. Seresana had been walking towards a regular trail she had used to walk before she'd graduated, and with how busy she'd been after, she hadn't had the time to walk it recently, so here she was to resume the regular ritual. The familiar sounds of the wind rustling the trees and shifting the grass became more prominent as she drew closer to the trail until she saw the path cutting it's way into the forest. A stretch of ground that had been walked on until only dirt remained as all the grass had been trampled until it no longer grew laid there before her, snaking it's way into the woods, and all too quickly disappearing behind trees and other foliage. Seresana paused for a moment at the start of the path, just taking the seconds to breath in deeply and relax herself before glancing around at the familiar sights and to see if there was anything new to add to the serene scene.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:53 am

One new thing that may catch Serasena's eye immediately is that one of the trees along the path is decorated with multiple kunai. Each are buried into the tree a fair distance, about 3/4 of the way to their handles, and the slight upward tilt would make it seem like they were thrown at the tree from above. Another odd thing about the kunai is that their pattern is very regular and the spacing as well,   staggered back and forth and each within easy reach of the other--if you had long arms. If Serasena traces the path of the kunai upwards enough, she'd be able to see the owner of those long arms sitting precariously cross-legged on an upper branch of the tree, her kunai sheathes empty and the regularly sour-faced girl herself looking oddly comfortable and secure on her branch. Her fingers are steepled and the palms resting against her belly in a pose of someone concentrating but her eyes are open and looking down at Serasena with a relaxed expression Rosemarius very, very rarely wears.
"Serasena," Rosie says with the very slight and almost shy smile that she gave on the rare occasions when she was willing to smile. "I'm compelled to admit that this is a position I never imagined myself being in, the position of being one to congratulate someone on a step towards greatness and self-improvement that they chose to walk long before I did. Our first classmate to achieve the rank of genin, and then succeed on relying only on herself, and her own cleverness and initiative to be successful."

At saying this, Rosie steps casually off the branch she's occupying and plunges a few feet before she catches the nearest buried kunai and uses the momentum of the fall and the pivot of the buried blade to swing herself around to catch at the second one in the "ladder" she's built up the tree, then uses the remaining momentum to wrench the first kunai out of the tree, twirl it around her middle finger, and slide it deftly into its sheath on her belt. She then kicks away from the tree a little, uses the thrust of her legs to get extra force to pull the second kunai out, and falls to catch both a third in her right hand and slip another kunai into her belt before catching a fourth with her left. She continues in this mode all the way down the tree, using kicks, swinging, and other acrobatic tricks to pull the well-secured kunai free and place them back in their sheathes as she descends the tree. Finally, she reaches the last two kunai and grasps them both tightly as a two-legged thrusting kick provides the force necessary to yank both free at once. She does a complete backwards somersault and sticks the landing with both feet and no particular effort, turning to Serasena as she slides the weapons home.
"It sort of proves that while training can be enjoyable and let you do some really impressive feats of acrobatics and strength, it's just a step on a road best tread by leaving the idleness of a student and proving yourself worthy of genin," she says as she looks down at the smaller girl. Now closer, Serasena would be able to see that Rosie is wearing plain but heavier clothing than she is in the building heat of the day, her elbows, shins, and knees protected by lamellar leather pads and wearing well-treaded boots instead of the sandals or plain shoes typical to most other students. "You were right, by the way: fun can be training and training fun, especially with the right sort of company. Speaking of, are you simply walking about or do you have a destination in mind?"

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:59 pm

Seresana did a full double take as her first gliding inspection of the forest had barely registered the kunai in the tree and so it had simply glanced over them with barely a second thought. But then her mind re-evaluated their presence and she whipped her head back to them out of curiosity before following the pattern up the tree until her eyes rose to Rosemarius sitting in her branch and softly smiling down at her. "Heya Rose," Seresana replied when she'd called out her name, but then she just quietly listened as Rose's admission and congratulatory compliment on Seresana's accomplishments, passing examination, and following graduation in the academy. When it came to the full compliments at the end, Seresana even adopted a slight blush and a more sheepish and slightly embarrassed smile as her eyes closed briefly and her free hand found the back of her head to scratch lightly. "Thank you," she quickly and quietly added before Rosei started her descent.

She watched the spiraling, spinning, flipping, kunai retrieval, and all around graceful descent of the other aspiring ninja with a keen eye and ready examination. It was an impressive display, and one Seresana was already contemplating on how she could attempt or manage something similar, only with her bow and the arrows it shot, but such thoughts were tuned back out when Rose started speaking again. "Well, I'm glad to hear I've helped you see training in a new light," she said at first with a more relaxed and simple smile than the previously embarrassed one, her blush also faded back as she listened to Rose's question. "And to answer your question, I was just walking about for the moment without any destination in mind. It's a day off as far as I'm concerned and I hadn't gotten a chance to walk this old path ever since the graduation, yet I used to walk it all the time. It passes by a creak that feeds into a small stream about halfway along it and there's a few other nice sights along the way, it's all very relaxing and so I thought I'd just go about and enjoy a stroll. Why do you ask? Would you want to tag along? I know I wouldn't mind the company on this little leisurely stroll," Seresana said with her simple smile and an inviting gesture of her open and upturned hand towards Rosie.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:35 pm

"So far as I'm aware, you're our first graduate, or at least one of our first," Rosie says. "I find that if you want to advance yourself, keeping company with those who've already achieved what you're striving for is helpful, even if your intent isn't to consult with them. Sometimes simply becoming accustomed to their mannerisms and outlook is enough to point you in the right direction."
That, and she's a sweet girl and pleasant to be around.
"That," Rosie smiles slightly again, "and you're pleasant to be around."
You shouldn't swipe my insights unless you say the entire thing.
Shush. "It's starting to become clear to me that being the sour, too-tall, overly serious, isolated student has its drawbacks and while I'm not really keen on becoming very friendly and social to everyone, I'd like to think you're a good place to start my effort to be less of a..."
Bitch.
"...sourpuss," Rosie concludes. "That and... well..."
Go on, say it. It'll only hurt for a moment. Tell her you're a total fangirl.
"...I'm kind of interested to hear more about the mission." She blushes a little. "It's not as if the details or even the general outlines are handed out for every student to read, nor should they be, probably. And I fully believe in the principle that a wise person learns from the experiences of other people so they don't have to re-learn the same lessons in a somewhat more painful fashion themselves."
And you want to hang around the pretty, very pleasant, smiling little girl. Oh, and oogle the bow she has.
Shush.
I know we came to a decision about this division, Rose, but stepping into my territory a little is going to do you good. And as long as you're in my territory, you should be listening to the hallucination that has the most experience with it.
I should be listening to the hallucination, huh?
Well, if you're going to talk to me, you should also listen to me.
Shush.
You are frightfully repressed.
"And I'll admit, I've always been especially interested in tools," Rosie continues. "Partly because I'm the daughter of potters and pottery requires a very large number of tools to do correctly. The pottery wheel, cutting wires, tools to dig the clay, others to separate out the mud and debris, and yet others to shape it, cut it, glaze it, and then even hold it in place so it can be made ready to sell. But also, the entire process of using simple things like a bent rod and some animal gut to overcome the problem of having to get close to fight." She nods towards the bow in Serasena's hand. "Evolving into something much more refined, well-made, and deadly. Something I hope to achieve someday, delving into crafting the tools I need as well as buying from those who're especially skilled in their making."
Translation: tell me all your secrets, Serasena-chan.
You, not helping, shush.
Oh, oh, yes mistress Rose!
The mockery and playfulness? Also not helping.
You're the one who decided that I'm a pretty trickster spirit... thing.
Shush.

{Word Count: 520 | 1152}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:09 pm

Seresana just grinned as Rosie gave her reply and accompanying explanation. Though the more she thought about it, the more she came to realize that she hadn't quite gotten a straight answer out of Rosie. Still, the intention that Rosie did actually plan to accompany her on this little walk wasn't lost on her and for that she grinned all the more even as Rosie began to propose a few topics to talk about. She also didn't miss the compliments about once more being the first to graduate from the academy, and also being told that she was pleasant to be around wasn't bad either. Though the belittlement of Rosie's self caused her grin to falter and without a second thought, she stepped forward and wrapped one arm around Rosie's middle and hugged her. "Oh you're not that much of a sourpuss Rosie, and I'd be more than happy to be your first friend on the road to becoming more friendly," she said before releasing Rosie and taking the half step back so Rose could continue talking, though she also motioned towards the path so they could begin walking while they talked.

"Oh, well the mission wasn't all that much," Seresana replied to the first line of inquiry. "I was just babysitting a noblewoman's child for the night. Showed up, made both of us some dinner, played a couple games, and then sent him to bed for the night. It wasn't that bad really, but the mother paid me rather well for the mission, I guess she was expecting things to get quite a bit more hectic than they really did hehehe," Seresana explained with the half truth. While she had left out the substantial part of the mission where the kid had actually run away, got mixed up with a bad gang, got beaten up, nearly gave away a very valuable piece of jewelry, and then she'd had to show up, fight off the head of the gang and all his subordinates. It'd been a lot more work than she'd even expected on her first mission, but it had paid rather well and she'd promised never to mention what had really happened that night so the bulk of it remained between herself and the child she'd been watching. She however gave no hint that what she'd said wasn't the entire story.

"But I'm glad you seem to like my bow," Seresana said as she brandished the Yumi bow before her. It's modified design was blatantly different from the more common ones that could be found on the market and Seresana found that it tended to bury her arrows a little more deeply into her targets. "It took me a while to make, and even longer to settle on an overall design I was so happy when I managed to finish it," Seresana went on as she held the weapon out for Rosie to hold and inspect. "Though I'm already considering a few ways to make it even more powerful. I think next I'm going to try adding in some armor plating and metal resistance bars along with a stronger string to increase the draw weight and make it more powerful. If that works well, I might even see about trying to replace the wooden parts with a bend resistant metal that should make it even more powerful, but then I might have to actually see about acquiring an even stronger string as I don't know if the regular kind are strong enough to not just snap under the tension," Seresana said as she walked slowly down the path, hoping Rosie would be following along.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:15 am

Rosie looks slightly surprised when Serasena steps forward and hugs her, and the smaller girl would f feel Rosie tentatively move her hands forward and lightly return the hug, clearly uncomfortable but not objecting either. She looks down curiously at Serasena as she casually relates that her mission was no more than babysitting a noblewoman's brat.
Her tasks was... babysitting.
For which she was rewarded well enough to get a fine weapon. Perhaps the child really was a brat and the parent was so desperately happy to foist him off on a sweet-natured little shinobi girl that she was incredibly generous in her gratitude.
Rosie held still a moment. I'm waiting to see if I believe it.
I think you'll be waiting a good long time, Rose, because she's very sweet but no one gets that kind of bow unless they've mastered the weapon well enough to benefit from a superior one. That takes discipline, and discipline would be wasted on something so mundane was watching a kid make mud pies.
Call her bluff?
No good can come of that. If she isn't speaking of it right off, she gave her word not to. A shinobi's word is their most valuable currency.
Honor is the gift a shinobi gives themselves. Rosie's face had been contemplative and veyr slightly skeptical as Serasena relates the details of her mission, but then it clears into a smile and she turns her attention to the bow.

What do I think?
I'm not sure what you think, but I think that it's already an excellent weapon. The linear pull is orientated perpendicular off the center and the long arms offer enough resistance to give it respectable pull and velocity. But if the bow design was fully optimized...
Rosie's eyes roam over the bow, their focus drifting very slightly off the line of the weapon itself, almost as if she's examining something that's only there in her own head. "I think that rather than armor plating and resistance bars, although those are certainly good ideas, I thnk the next step towards developing your bow would be laying horn along the belly," she gestures towards the part of the bow facing Serasena, "with strong sinew opposite it would give it a much heavier pull. I'd also suggest trying to add a string bridge at the tips of the bow's body, a bit of wood or perhaps metal that holds the string away from the body just a bit more than normal."
As Rosie talks, she walks alongside Serasena, matching her naturally longer stride to Sera's smaller step so they remain even. "As you might be able to tell from me reeling off all that, I find bows... interesting. Very unique tools, very deadly for their range and precision, and i somewhat regret that my chosen course of study will take me along a different road." She stops talking just then, hesitating a little. "Would you... mind to demonstrate your technique? I've only ever seen diagrams, never a real person using a bow."

{Word Count: 518 | 1670}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:01 pm

"Huh, I hadn't thought about adding to the inside of the bow, but that could work. It might even work better than the outer resistance plates I'd been expecting to add under the armor plates. Though I think I'm almost more tempted to add make Rose's proposed additions out of metal rather than bone, if I can find the right combination of metals to make an alloy that can stand up to those kinds of suppression forces, being able to withstand the force enough to offer the bow resistance, but all the while still being malleable enough that it can bend with the flex of the bow and then retain it's shape once the bow has been fired. It can't be too brittle either otherwise they'd just break under the stress, but I was already going to run into similar problems with the resistance bars running along the outside of the bow anyways, just to a lesser extent. Though it's an interesting thought and certainly worth exploring, especially with the notion of what could happen if I pursued both avenues of improvement. Adding in not only the resistance bars in the form of the armor plating, but these other reinforcements along the belly of the bow that'd increase the draw weight and make it just that much more powerful. Hehehe, I'd better be careful that I don't make it too powerful, otherwise I might not even be able to pull the string back here too soon," Seresana thought to herself with a cheerful inner chuckle at the end there. All the while she'd been thinking of all that, she'd been starring at her bow while her mind constantly readdressed it's design and tried to picture it with a number of different designs for the proposed upgrade. Dozens of different ways and styles to go about that could or couldn't work, and she was getting almost distracted by the possibilities enough to miss Rose's follow up question. Almost however isn't the same as saying she didn't.

"My technique?" Seresana repeated as her mind was pulled from the seemingly endless stream of new ideas on ways to improve her bow and back to the reality of her and Rose slowly walking along the forest trail. "Oh, well sure, I wouldn't mind at all Rose," Seresana said before pausing in her stride and looking about for a suitable target that'd work for her demonstration. There wasn't exactly a shortage of targets about, trees surrounded them on this little trail, and it didn't take her long to find one that was fairly far away with a large knot in the wood that was facing them. "There, that'll work," Seresana said with a point before adjusting her feet. Her left foot to a half step forward, with her toes pointing directly at the tree while her right foot remained behind it and shifted to where the toes were pointing perpendicularly away from the other. She held the bow out in front of her with her left arm, the one coated in bandages from the palm of the hand all the way up to where they disappeared into the sleeve of her shirt. Her elbow was bent just ever so slightly to where it was well enough away from the string's path and her grip firmly held the bow in place while her right hand went to the quiver behind her and seized an arrow from it. She set the piece to the string of her bow, knocking the small groove cut into the back of the arrow against the string before pulling the arrow and string back to the point where her thumb could touch her cheek. There was a very brief pause as she sighted in her target and took careful aim before releasing the arrow. The bow string rocketed forward in it's desire to return to a less stressful resting position, propelling the arrow from the bow and into the air. It traveled straight, steady on it's course and fast in it's all too brief travel before impacting the tree with a resounding 'thud' and sinking inches into the wood of the tree. Seresana grinned confidently as the arrow had landed right where she was aiming, and a second after the impact, her stance broken and she returned to a normal standing one and looking over at Rose.

She then once more held out the bow for Rose to take up in her arms. "Would you want to take a shot?" Seresana asked while already reaching back for an arrow to give up as well so Rosie could make her attempt. "You can try and hit the same tree or a closer one if you'd like," she added while thinking back to the notion that she'd been shooting a bow for years. Her dad had taught her the basics and taken her out bow hunting with him before she'd even started attending the academy, and then from all the time spent training with Ranzaki sensei and trying to hit the small moving targets he'd had her shooting at, her ability in archery had skyrocketed to the point where even hitting the tree that far away posed little challenge, let alone scoring a hit right where she wanted. If it'd been a moving target or several months ago in her training back when she'd first met Ranzaki, she might have had to aim for a bit longer, but this was not the case. Seresana also hoped she didn't over do the little demonstration, but she'd have to wait and see Rosie's reaction for that.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:13 pm

For several moments after Sera nocks, draws, and releases, Rosie stands quite still, watching where the arrow impacted but her expression is blank and her eyes out of focus as she visibly mulls over what she saw.
"That is very good technique," Kitty says. "The discipline and experience does tell and I think she'll be a very dangerous archer even before she reaches the full flowering of her shinobi talents. Her grip is confident, neither too loose nor too tight. She cradles the bow in the appropriate hand, letting it fit easily and comfortably. She hasn't reached the level of a professional, taking your time in a hurry, but everything about how she'd going it seems right. I think that with a better bow, she'd be able to drive a broad head through armor at relatively close range, although fighting with a bow at virtually hand-to-hand distances takes a whole new set of skills. At worst, she hits what she aims at in casual demonstration, and does it with a single attempt, and that's an awfully high level of 'at worst' to have achieved. I think the improvements to the bow would also let her derive a smaller one with the same pull so it's comfortable to her smaller stature. Also, there is this.
Kitty steps into Rosie's view dressed in her ordinary borderline-courtesan garb and turns to face her. She raises her hand where she's wearing a leather glove with four fingers that leaves the smallest finger uncovered. She turns the palm towards Rose to show her a wood notch sewn to the 'crotch' of a thumb using holes punched into it.
"A kyudo glove."
"Yes, for the proper practice of torikake." Kitty lowers her hand. "Come her becoming a chunin, I can almost guarantee that she'll be wearing one of these casually so she has her bow fully available at all times. Combined with our  own plans, I believe that what we have here is an opportunity for synergy among two young shinobi that will multiply their individual gifts beyond what they can achieve by themselves. Until she becomes a master of the bow, a full master, she needs someone to break legs. I'll bet you can do that."
"Not quite yet." Externally, Rosie smiles and turns to Sera just as the smaller girl extends the bow and an arrow to her along with a bright-eyed offer to let her make an attempt. Rosie blinks at this and looks momentarily panicked.
"What, seriously? You're having an internal freak-out over this?"
"It's something I haven't even studied!"
"I remember some basics and can help. Besides, showing your incompetence here, now, in front of a valuable future partner, will create potential for a bond between you. You won't like it now, but you'll certainly be happy with it later when you can rush in to break legs, and have a little girl with a good bow, a great arm, and impressive power controlling your opposition."
The look of panic fades a little as Rosie reaches out and takes the proffered bow and arrow from Serasena with a smile. "Yes, I'd like to try. Thank you for your offer, Serasena."
"Now, watch and imitate me. I can show you in theory how to do it right and you can try to do it right. At best, you'll look good. At worst, you'll look like you have potential." Kitty walks out in front of Rosie and off at an angle from her, carrying an exact duplicate of Sera's bow and without her special glove on her hand.
Rosie turns and faces her target, spreading her legs some and setting her feet in a strong bracing stance. She grasps the middle of the bow with her left hand, at first gripping it quite tightly before she takes in a breath and relaxes her grip slightly so the bow rests a little in her hand instead of being squeezed with all her strength. She holds the arrow between the lower joints of her middle and ring fingers on her right hand and brings the projectile down to nock it with the string settling into the little divot at the back of the shaft. She curls her three middle fingers around the bow with her thumb settling over them to strengthen the grip, before she stops and furrows her brow at something ahead of her that it seems like only she can see. She then unnocks the arrow and moves her fingers out of the way before curling her thumb around the string instead and then renocking the arrow with her three fingers and settling them over the thumb. She then brings the bow up into a ready position and sights along the arrow shaft, her aim wavering up and down and then back and forth very slightly. She straightens the arm holding the bow, locking the elbow, and the movement diminishes significantly. Then she draws the bow back, and back, and then almost to the middle of her ear, then uncurls her fingers from over her thumb, moving them clear of the last digit. She closes her eyes, takes a breath, lets it out, and then holds the breath before opening her eyes again and relaxing her thumb. The heavy pull of the bow leaps out of her grasp and the arrow flies surprisingly straight, striking the tree just enough that it cuts a swath of bark free and deflects off into the forest.
"...wow."
"If it works for barbarians, you can be sure it'll work for hidden villages of shinobi," Kitty says proudly. "It's an elegant way of doing things, I believe, and much better than trying to get four fingers out of the way to avoid fouling the shot."
"Huh," Rosie says, lowering the bow. "That was hardly pathetic at all." She turns to Sera and holds out the bow, laying atop her outstretched arms to be easily taken by her shorter companion. "Thank you for the opportunity, Sera. If I might suggest two things, I would suggest that you see if the library has any scrolls on archery equipment. There's a peculiar glove, one that covers three or four fingers and has a notch sewn onto the crotch of the thumb, that might help. It's a piece of equipment for using a drawing technique called 'torikake'. Another thing to look into, I would suggest is the technique of the thumb draw, using the thumb as the main gripping digit and getting a small stone thumb guard to make it easier. I like reading books, and I remember those two distinct styles from diagrams I saw."

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:35 pm

Seresana watch with wide, keen, and observing eyes as Rose accepted the bow and arrow, and then got ready for her shot. Given the way Rosie not only held it, but with the focus and unique grip on the string, Seresana would have sworn the girl had shot before this. Even going so far as to at least make contact with the same tree she'd managed to hit despite the distance from them to the target spoke in of itself. The shot reminded her of back when she'd first tried to hit a target at almost a quarter of the distance with her little practice bow and would still miss. Though after a second spent reasoning it, Seresana had to admit to herself that she had been younger then, barely able to draw the weapon fully, and her former bow was nothing compared to what Rosie and herself had just shot. It'd been a nice little stick bow toy for that time, but what she had now was a full fledged weapon, something that not only shot straight, but with power to spare.

As the bow was offered back to her however, Seresana's expression went from the curious and studious expression back to the more cheerful smile. "Wow, that was a good shot Rosie," she said while taking back the bow. "And a tor-eh-kah-key glove?" Seresana replied as she tried the word out to see how she could pronounce it. "Tor-ih-kah-kay? Tor-ih-Kah-key? Huh, I haven't heard that one before, but if you're recommending it, I'll be sure to check it out," she finally finished after only assuming she got the word close enough to how it was supposed to be said. "Both the books on archery equipment and the glove itself. It sounds really interesting, trying to use the thumb as the primary instead of the fingers. I might have to try that by itself sometime later," she added at the end partially to herself as she continued to contemplate and look at additional possibility, though the glove was more something that she'd likely see towards purchasing on the market while the bow upgrades that were still flying into and out of her mind were something she'd be doing by herself.

While these thoughts flooded her mind, Seresana shifted a bit so they could continue their walk, waiting until they had progressed down the path a bit more before trying to see if at least one of her arrows could be retrieved as the path took them closer to the target. Though as her mind went back to how Rosie had shot the bow, a new thought jumped into her mind. "So Rosie, is the bow a preferred weapon for you or is there something else you'd like to use instead?" Seresana asked then while glancing up to the taller girl. It was something that honestly intrigued the girl as while the bow might not have been the most common weapon to be seen among shinobi, she'd heard tale of even stranger weapons seeing use like a spiked ball on the end of a chain, or a sword with a blade on both ends of the handle instead of a pommel. Though that didn't mean Rosie had to want such an exotic weapon, something as common as a preference in using the kunai knife could be entertaining to watch like the trick where Seresana got to see Rosie extract a series of them from a tree that she could only assume the girl had used to get up in the tree in the first place. Though that line of thought actually raised a curiosity of it's own, that being why was Rosie in the tree in the first place? But that question remained unasked for the moment and only as a fleeting thought before her attention focused on Rosie to hear her answer.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:55 pm

Serasena would see that Rosie blushes lightly and briefly when she compliments her by calling her shot good, giving her that hint of a shy smile that's characteristic of her. "Don't worry about pronouncing it correctly, Sera; that takes a lot of boredom leading to a lot of practice that will only be of any real use to you a couple times in your entire life. I'll admit that one of my more stubborn flaws is being a little too fixated on scrolls and books and other studying that keeps me away from other people."
"Well, like water wears down a stone, I'm sure the power of her cute and my might of my irresistible charms will solve that problem for you in short enough order," Kitty tells her cheerfully, lightly patting Serasena on the head, although Sera certainly wouldn't feel it. "Beyond that, though, allies are requisite and she's a good one. She's sweet-natured, easy on the eyes..."
"Kitty!" Rosie's blush appears again, slightly deeper than before.
"I meant she's cute," Kitty says defensively before grinning slyly. "What did you think I meant?"
"None of your business."
"Oooh, does Rosie have a little crushy on the Sera?" Kitty's grin gets wider and more fierce.
"I am not answering that!" Rosie swallows slightly. "I don't have a crush, I just appreciate that she's a pretty girl. It's not like there's a shortage of girls in our class that have natural good looks and continue to get better-looking from attention to exercise and diet."
"But she's cute."
"Well, yes, that's certainly a point in her favor." Rosie smiles through the blush.
Kitty chuckles. "Don't fret about it, Rose... it won't be too long until you look good enough to flaunt it, like I do. I think that the entire kimono thing might not ever really be you but... maybe something else that shows off?"

After blushing, blushing deeper, swallowing, and then smiling shyly more through the blush, Rosie finally clears  her throat awkwardly and is secretly grateful that Sera happened to have turned away and started down the path glancing about for the expended arrows before her face had gone through the various movements in response to Kitty's teasing. "I don't think the bow is ever going to be quite my style," she says in response to the question. "I plan to make my focus center around taijutsu and closing in on enemies. Being fast enough to seem to appear out of nowhere, and then strike vigorously before they're aware of my having gotten close to them." She gives the smaller girl a smile. "Don't misunderstand, I think mastering the bow is a wonderful skill and something approaching an art form but my idea of precision is more along the lines of hitting where the blow will do the most good while being close enough to touch."
"I'm not really sure that's the question she asked..."
"Hush, I'm getting to it."
"I think that when I choose a weapon for myself, it'll be more along the lines of a shinobigatana although I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to find a straight blade to be unwieldy or difficult in some way." She frowns thoughtfully.
"Something more along the lines of this?" Kitty reaches off to one side where she now has a curious sword sheath buckled, one that is slightly curved with the curve turned upwards, and slips it out of its case smoothly, showing a somewhat delicate and elegant-looking blade with the faint appearance of a wavy design along the middle. She gracefully turns it about with her wrist before grasping the sheath and firmly sliding it back home.
"Yes," she says, responding to Kitty although trying to inflect it as if she's continuing her previous thought instead of answering a question.
"What is it?"
"Do you remember reading of the samurai?"
"I do."
"It's a short version of their signature katana, called the wakizashi."
"I've come across references to warriors called 'samurai' from the Land of Iron. They favor a blade design that has a mild curve to it and is used in a different way than other swords are. They call the blade a 'katana' but there's a shorter version of the blade, called the wakizashi, that is sometimes used alongside the katana if a samurai is trained in a special sword technique that uses two blades at once, or if they prefer to leave their longer blade aside in a private setting. As I understand it, the blade isn't meant to strike straight, but to use specific movements of the wrist to do a 'drawing cut' that depends more on speed and precision than raw strength." She smiles. "The idea appeals to me, really, because I've always preferred to be quick and light rather than ponderous. Like a wolf instead of a bear."
"Hey, no stealing my material."
"Since you're my hallucination, Kitty, I'm pretty sure we mutually own all material."
"Well, OK, yeah, I guess so. Still, I deserve credit for that."
"OK, you have the credit."
"Thank you, you're such a generous kid sister."
"Don't forget that you can be smacked."
"True. I've got an ass specifically for that purpose." Kitty winks. "Although it's also good for moving my tails."
"Oh, how I wish that burying my face in my hands was possible without Serasena thinking I've taken leave of my senses..."
"I know. Reality is such a pain in the tails."
"So do you contemplate ever branching away from just your bow as a weapon?" Rosie asks. "Not that it's lacking, but it seems like there are shinobi like me who prefer to strike from nearby and I can't imagine a bow being very convenient for that kind of fight."

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:47 pm

Seresana listened attentively as Rosie talked about several things. Her opinions on the bow, her preference of a different weapon that Seresana hadn't really heard about before, and of a warrior that favored such a blade of that design. She couldn't seem to recall ever hearing about such a warrior before but the idea sounded neat and it left her wondering where they came from. That however could be left to looked up later as the question Rosie posed worked it's way to the forefront of her mind.

"Another weapon besides the bow?" Seresana repeated curiously while lifting her weapon up and looking it over curiously. "Hmm... I guess it could be useful," she said aloud while trying to think of something she could wield along with her bow, but then a new idea crept into her mind. "You're right, the bow isn't a very convenient weapon when the enemy get's close, but what if it could be made to be so?" Seresana asked back with a thoughtful and almost sly grin. "A curved blade, something possibly thin enough to be flexible, but with a metal rigid enough to retain it's shape despite a bend?" Seresana continued rhetorically ask as she traced a finger along the curved limb of her bow while continuing to look at Rosie. "What if the bow's arms could be blades? Then it could be used both at close range and long range. And I bet a lot of people wouldn't be expecting it too," Seresana said as her mind continued to look at this new angle of weapon possibilities.

Though complications quickly filled her mind. "But the metal would be a unique one for sure, maybe even a special alloy. And there's the issue of the string possibly being cut or broken if it's used so, and even though it's got to be flexible to shoot an arrow, it's got to be strong enough to hold up under the strain of clashing with another sword," Seresana went on with a voracity that clearly showed her interest in the topic of weapons, but she was going on so that it seemed Seresana had momentarily forgotten that she was with company. A notion cemented in fact when Seresana looked up a moment later, her eyes wide with realization as she looked back over towards Rosie. "Oh sorry about that, I guess I got a little distracted there," she apologized. "Uhm... were we talking about something else?" Seresana asked trying to think back to what they'd been talking about. "Something about some warriors? Shamurabi?"

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:13 pm

"The metal may not need to be unique," Kitty says as she crosses her arms across her bust, looking down at Serasena as the short genin talks about making a dual-use weapon. "It could be really well-constructed instead of being made of special material."
"And how might that be?"
"Well, take a good composite bow," Kitty says, manifesting the idea as a hallucination as she describes it. "Take rings of metal just enough to fit along the shaft then slide them down the body until they touch. Pile one on after another and after another until you reach the end, where you find a way to secure the rings in place tightly against each other. Thus, protected body that remains flexible enough to bend."
"Wouldn't the protruding curve draw a blade into the crevices to damage the shaft under it?"
"Make the outer parts all concave so they draw weapons towards the main metal of the right."
"And wouldn't the rings mutually interfere with the flexibility needed?"
"Shape the rear of the rings so they have ample room to bend, then use small pins to keep them facing right."
Rosie gives a short nod, thoughtful, as Serasena suggests that the arms be blades. "It's an idea," she says with a nod. "But what if the ends weren't rigid blades? What if you had several thin but strong pieces of metal hanging from the end and looking like decorations, but extend out fully when uncoiled? It would take skill and practice, but having several razor-sharp strips of metal coming from the ends of the bow..."
"...she could utilize agility and speed to do much more harm than stabbing or the like," Kitty fills in, nodding as Rosie's idea appears in her mind's eye.
"...it wouldn't be much for blocking, using the ends, but it lends itself to a way of fighting where twirls and spins and constant movement make you hard to hit anyway, and the momentum would make the strips cut deeply and inflict lots of pain." Rosie half-smiles. "Pain is a very good way to motivate people to leave you alone."
"Speaking from experience."
"I know. It seems like a really good place to make the suggestion, where my experience can be taken as a suggestion to hurt an enemy trying to harm you instead of deterring or punishing bullies with pain."
"Still a little... dark."
"My life to this point has been dark," Rosie mentally says, trying to keep her outward expression from being as stony and cold as her mental words. "Just you as a friend, and only my family. Times are changing, but I learned many lessons in that time, lessons that only you know about."
"And I don't want them being passed on."
"Whereas I intend to pass them along, and you cannot stop me."
"Will not, not can not. Do you see the difference?"
"I do, and it's why I will teach from my experience here."
"Pain motivates," she continues. "The pain of fatigue motivates to get better so you aren't as tired. The pain of memory motivates you to climb ever upward, away from the past. The pain of injury motivates to avoid ever allowing yourself, or someone else, to do that kind of harm again. And pain motivates bad people from attacking you without forcing you to kill them.
"I think there's a way to build this bow of yours, this dual-purpose weapon. I think it could be made simple, especially for a well-motivated shinobi trying to have the very best so she can be better."

Rosie smiles warmly and gently as Sera apologizes for her head being in the clouds. "You don't need to say sorry, Sera," she says. "I've had my head in the clouds a lot during this walk too. I like to talk to myself, although not aloud."
"I'm flattered! You like to talk to me!"
"I really don't have a choice, now do ?"
"As to the pronunciation of the word, I it's 'sam-oo-rye, not 'sha-moora-bye'," Rosemarius says witrh a slightly amused look, saying the word more slowly so Sera can hear its various pieces. "Different than shinobi and I imagine that if they bother to learn how to be good at a more complex weapon, they must use chakra differently and emphasize different disciplines than shinobi do."
"A life bound to a single sword, I imagine."
"Probably, but it's not as if I can tell her my speculation."
"Maybe I'll find a way to pursue their craft someday. I'm not much with a blade yet, but I greatly want to learn the weapon and surprise someone with it." Rosie chuckles a little more openly this time. "I don't think you can never throw too many unpleasant surprises at an enemy."

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:54 am

Seresana blushed a bit as she was corrected, but she was still smiling and nodded to Rosie when she finished about the Samurai. "I'm sure you'll find the way to their ways," Seresana replied then before thinking back to the prior comments. "And sorry, but I'm not sure about string blades. I'd be worried about them getting tangled up with the bow string, or I might step on one and fall over. But it does give me an idea for a different possible upgrade," she added. The last subject to touch upon though was one that brought her pause as she considered how to approach it. The way Rosie had went on about it, analyzed it, and fully explained it made her wary of just how much Rosie might have personally experienced it. She was worried then for the taller girl, not for what Rosie might do but for what she'd already experienced and that worry about what words might dredge up brought Seresana's reluctance to continue.

As this internal debate as to whether or not to bring up old wounds went on, Seresana continued walking along the forest path. Her stride slowed slightly, and her expression went blank as she continued thinking. "Rosie," Seresana finally said to break the brief moment of quiet. "Have you experienced such pain?"

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:06 am

"Of course I have," Rosemarius says with a smile. "I would like to think that you have as well, because certain pain is very rewarding."
"For some reason, the phrase 'pain is weakness leaving the body' comes to mind," Kitty says. "Which is far too much like a slogan for my taste."
"But one any less true for sounding like a slogan?"
Kitty paused a mental second to think about this. "No, I suppose it wouldn't be," she says with a little smile. "Although it'd be far more accurate to say that pain is the price for weakness leaving the body."
"It's the price for becoming stronger as shinobi," Rosie continues after a momentary pause. "Productive pain is how you pay to become smarter, stronger, gain a greater depth of understanding, and most importantly learn what not to do."
"Almost as important as learning what to do, isn't it?"
"More, I think."
"Sometimes the pain isn't physical--it can hurt to think of all the enjoyment you could have if you weren't indoors sharpening your mind with your lessons--but ultimately, when you hurt, you know you're becoming better than you were." Rosie smiles even more broadly. "The body burns with weariness as you work hard through the day, pushing yourself to be faster on your feet and more precise with how you strike. I'm sure that pulling back your bowstring and firing the arrow time, after time, after time, until you can't pull it back any longer makes your arm ache terribly and maybe hurts your fingers as well. But if you do it every day, you find yourself being able to draw the string back more often, and pull it back further, and your arm becomes strong and your fingers callused and the draw that maybe once nicked the tree and fell back out now drives the arrow deeply and throws it further than it did."
"That reminds me of the kunai-throwing practice, when we decided to make it the cost of having a safe place to sleep that night." Kitty takes in a breath and closes her eyes fondly. "That was a great practice session, driving success and improvement by need instead of desire. I still feel like I need to applaud you for thinking that up."
"As I recall, I wasn't the one that actually said that making a kunai ladder was the price I had to pay to sleep in a tree," Rosie said in her mind, her happy smile taking on the brief touch of a smirk. "Nor was I the one demonstrating the theory."
"We work well together, seeing as how we're both the same person."
"Sometimes I wonder about that, but nevermind, having a babble right now."
"I'd have called it a blather, personally, but to each her own."
"I haven't been at this training for very long, but I've been at it long enough that fatigue pain is now beginning to bring back memories that are fond now, but were a little less so then," Rosie says, again after a moment to seemingly catch her breath before continuing. "For example, how I got to the set of skills that let me dismount a tree the way I did while you watched. I decided to go on a short trip into the woods, and decided that an element of setting up camp would be getting up a tall tree so I could be high above the ground and any potential dangers. But to climb that tree, I had to make a ladder and to make that ladder, I had to bury kunai deep enough to bear my weight and shallow enough that I could remove them from the tree when I went. It took much pain, some of it literal some exhaustion, but I now have the skill to do more with a kunai than cut flesh and it was a good bargain, a worthwhile thing to pay for in pain. Being able to fluidly move down a tree, removing kunai as I went was..."
"What we did the second day."
"...also something worth paying for in pain, and I now look back at it fondly." She takes in a breath and sighs it out. "But I've also come to fully appreciate the phrase 'the burned hand teaches best'. Sometimes, merely learning from a book or from advice isn't enough. Sometimes, you have to do it wrong, or do the wrong thing, before you do it right. Sometimes doing it wrong hurts; sometimes it scars. What you do next is... it tells you a lot of things about who you are."
"Sometimes, it's how you discover something about yourself you never really knew existed." Kitty bats one of Rosie's legs with her tails. "That little voice inside can become louder, and speak for the part of yourself you need to lock away, because that part hurts. And then you get older and she's a strong, confident shinobi with a wild beauty that embodies all that you secretly see yourself becoming."
"Self-flattery degrades you, Kit."
"Tell me I'm wrong."
Both in her mind and outside of it, Rosie sighs. "It makes you a better person, or a worse one. Sometimes it makes you a bad person and you get better; sometimes it makes you bad and you never quite return to being good. Sometimes you can fall so deeply into that hole that you need someone bright and good to give you a hug, and care about who you are and what you feel, before you can really come back and be who you are really supposed to be. Sometimes you need an odd person to sit in the dust with you and be jolted as you realize what you might become if you don't stop looking down into that abyss."
"Um, Rose, maybe you shouldn't be..."
Rosie's expression becomes a little dark and her voice loses a touch of life and becomes more hard. "Sometimes you pass the pain along, because it soothes the scars to share them. Because you realize that because burning your own hand taught you valuable lessons, lessons about what you shouldn't do, perhaps burning the hand of someone else will teach them the lessons that you want them to learn. To stop worrying the barely-healed flesh. To stop mocking, stop pulling your ponytail, stop coming after you with scissors when the teacher isn't looking. You realize that respect is a nice way to teach, but fear drives the lessons far more deeply, and fear is so much easier when you have no real power." She takes in another breath and finally looks directly at Serasena. "Dark roads make you appreciate the light far more than you would if you always walked under the sun. That pain and that lesson, however, is one that I really hope you never have to learn for yourself, Sera, because it's a horrible lesson to learn and is very much not worth the pain."

"And with that, we're back to our regular journey where you haven't just terrified a kind and at least partly innocent little shinobi by talking about pain, and bad memories, and all sorts of really terrible things that you should be deeply ashamed of yourself for." Kitty looks severel;y at Rosie. "Honestly, Rose, what the ever-loving hell are you thinking, laying that shit on Sera like that?"
"Answering the question."
"If I didn't know what you were up to, Rose, I'd find some way to take stick to you." Kitty turns her head and literally spits to a side with disgust. What the hell are you thinking?"
"That someone I want as a friend and ally deserves to know, when it's just us, exactly who I have been and what I once was." Rosie smiles a little within. "And maybe the girl you call the small cute one will more fully appreciate just how much a good shinobi means. To me, of course, but mostly to everyone else and the world around us."
"Yeah, about that." Kitty grins and points. "I think you've gotten so carried-away with your jabberwocky that you're missing something worth seeing."
Rosie turns her head and just now sees where they are, and where the path has taken them, and her eyes get wide. "I almost wish I could say I timed the end of that to coincide with us arriving here but... I'm not quite that familiar with these woods."
It's as if some kind of cosmic force had planned the moment. Just as Rosie ends her rather dark and worrisome soliloquy, the path opens up to reveal a bubbling, sparkling stream burbling alongside them. The water looks unusually crystal-clear and pure, the rippling motion of the liquid not even slightly concealing a bed of pebbles and small water-plants, and even a couple light insects skipping along the surface in a way that seems somehow carefree due to the bright and soothing surrounds. The clarify of the water appears to come from its source, a little subtle flow of water erupting from a rocky rise, the end of an underground aquifer discharging its startlingly clear contents through cracks in the surface of the rocks, giving the water a little velocity and pressure, and making it throw up enough droplets as it goes that little flashes of rainbow colors play over the stream every time a drop is thrown just far and just high enough to catch the streaming sunlight in just the right way.
"Heh, of course it'd be made of something pure and beautiful," Kitty comments in a slightly hushed way to Rosie's ear. "We just got done talking about something so dark and ugly that it couldn't be anything else. I do love it when coincidence goes out of its way to help you out, don't you?"
"No kidding, Kit," Rosie thinks at her hallucination. "No kidding."

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:38 pm

Seresana hadn't been expecting such a... colorful reply to her little curious question. The first bit had sounded inspiring, even slightly uplifting and it resonated with her as she knew of the pain Rosie was speaking of too. Seresana even chanced a glance to the bandages that coated her left arm from shoulder to wrist. She remembered the early times of practicing with her bow and how holding it slightly wrong had produced painfully stinging failures, how her finger ached and even started to bleed if she tried to shoot it too many times, how a rough or damaged arrow wore on her firing hand or left splinters in it when she had used her little stick bow, and how her old sensei Ranzaki had pushed her to the point of pain filled exhaustion learning to how to shoot at her level. All of those painful lessons had helped her improve not only her technique, but also learn how and where to improve her bow. Seresana could relate a that relation had the small smile creeping back onto her face to steadily replace the worry that had clouded it when asking that question.

Then the relation stopped.

Seresana's small smile became hollow as her eyes widened with disbelief and uncertainty at what she was hearing. The upturned corners of her mouth fell as Rosie listed a series of situations that sounded far more personal than general. And when Rosie looked at Seresana with that cold, hard expression, Seresana recoiled a half-step to the side. She didn't even notice the new scenery they'd wandered into, not at first for her eyes were still sitting squarely upon Rosie's form. When she finally did chance a glance over to the stream, it did a little to ease her tension, but not enough to shift her expression. Her mind raced through what Rosie had said, the words playing out in her mind before she found one statement that gave course to her next actions.

With Rosie at least slightly distracted by the stream, Seresana stepped towards her friend's side and tightly wrapped her arms around Rosie in a tight hug. There was no explanation, no warning, and given from the shorter girl as she squeezed Rosie tightly, not painfully so but still quite firmly for the little girl. "Please don't look into the dark too much Rosie," Seresana's shaky voice said as her form shuddered while embracing Rosie. "I don't want you to get lost, and not come back from it," she added sounding almost on the verge of tears. "I don't care if I'm not as strong for it, I don't want to learn any lesson that costs the pain of losing you or any of my friends," Seresana said as she squeezed Rosie a little tighter, and just as oblivious to possible future events as she was to the change in scenery they had wandered into.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:47 pm

Rosie jumps a little as Sera grabs her in a tight hug, clearly surprised at the reaction, before she smiles and leans down ever so slightly so she can return the hug firmly.
"Small, cute, and highly skilled comes through with flying colors," Kitty comments with a smile as she joins the hug from behind Sera, although her addition would only be discernible to Rosie. "For the bazillionth time, by the way. Even though this is turning out wonderfully, with the aforementioned sweet and innocent shinobi giving you a hug, I still wish I could take a stick to you for inflicting that kind of emotional distress on the poor thing."
"I'm sure we'll find a way for you to do it," Rosie replies, patting Sera's back. I'm sure that coming up with new ways for you to inflict glorious harm on my good person, for my ultimate benefit, won't take too long."
"Barking inspiration at you won't quite cut it." Kitty looks at the lovely stream and waterfall. "What do you suppose it'll be like, Rose?"
"What do I suppose... what will be like?"
"When she loses her first friend. When death happens."
"Now who's being all gloomy and dark and infliction of emotional distress?"
"I'm just thinking about the inevitable," Kitty shakes her head. "We're in the business of fighting for the protection of the village. People get hurt in fights; that's why they're called fights. People get hurt badly enough to die in fights too. So what do you suppose will happen when someone she cares about--that you care about--dies in a fight?"
Rosie pauses to consider this and gives Sera a quick, affectionate squeeze before letting her go. "We hug our friends, help them cry. We then find the people who did it, and help them die."
"Within the bounds of virtue, of course."
"That would depend on the situation. Some bad people just need to bleed."

Outside of the conversation in her head, Rosie smiles to Sera and pats her on the back. "It's a little too late to suggest that I not look too deeply into the dark, Sera, but that's all in the past. I'm learning the art of the shinobi now, and that's far more effective of a tool at deterring bad people than hurting them or terrorizing them. I've had some dark roads in my past but they're behind me too; all that I see ahead of me is well-lit paths. I think that I'll also have the benefit of friends, now, to anchor me firmly on the right side of things, and give me a reason to try harder to do it right for the right reasons." She pauses, thoughtful. "And I think that something has changed about me since I was in that dark place and thought that fear was a better tool for dealing with bullies than other tools. Growing older has given me something like a voice in my ear, offering good advice and urging me to be better."
"And yet you refuse to let me pick your clothes."
"I said you gave good advice. I didn't say that you didn't give bad advice too."
"You also said that I urge you to be better. Flaunting it if you've got it is definitely better than being a cold fish and covering up all the time."
"I don't have it."
"You don't have it yet. When you have it, I won't stop until you show it off."
"We all have our dreams, most of which will never happen."
"You're absolutely no fun at all. Except when you are. Then you're lots of fun."
"What is this 'fun' of which you speak?"
"It's what you're doing now. You're having fun being hugged by someone small and cute that cares about you and wants you to be safe and happy."
"Oh. Well, I need more fun then."
Kitty fist-pumps. "Yes!"
"I just wish I could also say that I've gotten to a place where I'm sure that I'll never have to worry about the pain of losing a friend, for any reason, but..." She sighs. "We will all lose someone, someday. That can also take you to very bad places." She smiles a little. "Or not. I just can never imagine you reaching the same places I have. I maintain, Serasena, that anyone whose first thought upon seeing snow is to build snowmen and invite everyone they lay eyes on to help, will never travel so far from the light that they have trouble getting back."
She crouches enough that she can gently lay a hand on Sera's head and turn it towards the lovely waterfall and stream. "Now, let's forget all the sad things and enjoy a pure, clean, gentle little stream throwing around pretty colors. I think that'll be much more fun than dwelling on darkness and death, don't you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:49 pm

Seresana took advantage of the moments of comfort that Rosie was providing while having her internal conversation, to get through a couple sniffles and stop herself from actually crying. The admission that she was too late though made the girl's eyes shoot wide open and she looked up to Rosie in disbelief that she'd been too late. Yet then Rosie said that she'd still been able to make it back from the darkness and that eased her tension once again. Seresana even grinned when Rosie complimented her for the snowman making they'd done a little while ago.

Seresana then adopted a look of slight defiance when Rosie added in the bit that everyone would lose someone eventually, but she had to sigh to herself almost immediately afterwards. That was an ultimatum that she would eventually have to face, but Rosie was right, for now there was a beautiful stream and waterfall before them that Seresana hadn't even realized they'd arrived at until Rosie turned her head so she could see it. "Alright Rosie, but remember that if you try and go back to those dark places, I'll make a dozen snowmen that'll hug you back to the light," Seresana said a bit teasingly as she knew exactly how silly that notion sounded. Seresana finally let go of Rosie then and practically skipped over to the water's edge where she watched the gently cascading liquid for a couple seconds before picking up a stone and trying to skip it across the water. The stone managed a single skip before plopping into the water with a little splash. Before seizing a second stone, Seresana looked back towards Rosie invitingly.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sat May 07, 2016 8:20 pm

At the ultimatum that if she strays, she'll be attacked by snowmen that will hug her back to being a good person, Rosie gives Sera a momentarily blank look before her face twitches a little. After a moment the twitches start to lift the corners of her lips.
"Five, four, three, two.... one." Kitty reaches around and pokes Rosie in the nose. "Begin."
And then Rosie laughs. She gives Sera hugged to her as she does, her body shaking and trembling slightly from the force of the sounds of merriment. "Snowmen... to hug me... back to the light..." she manages to say, letting Sera go and raising a hand to cover her mouth. "Oh dear... please don't... be offended by this Sera... but that is by far... the cutest... thing I've... ever heard."
"You missed an important opportunity to tell her she's adorable," Kitty comments, her tone of voice thoroughly pleased. "I think I need to find a way to make you do this laughing thing more. It's very pleasant."
It takes Rosie a minute to get the laughter under control and force the wide, happy, laughing grin off her face and back into the subdued and mildly shy smile she normally wears when she's being happy. She takes a breath in, and then allows it to seep back out of her, looking slightly down at Sera, looking the most relaxed and pleased that Sera would have ever seen her being. Her cheeks are also a little flushed, as if she's embaressed at having allowed herself to laugh.
"Cute," she says, continuous from her laughed words a minute ago, "and clearly funny, and yet I believe you could do it if you wanted to. I can't imagine what it'd be like to have snowmen pile on me and hug me, but I don't think I want it to happen, so I'd better be a good girl from now on."
"Oh, c'mon!" Kitty exclaims. "Be a good girl? That's absolutely no fun at all. Being a bad girl is at least twenty per one hundred better."
"I prefer to avoid redemption through the repeated application of freezing cold water."
"OK, fine, you've got a point, but still..."

Rosie's head and subtle smile follow Sera to the edge of the water, and her first attempt to skip a stone across it. She blinks and wanders over to stand beside Sera, watching her attempt a second stone.
"What is she doing?"
"I think she's skipping a stone."
"Skipping a stone."
"Yes. You select a flat rock and throw it such that it impacts the water at a very shallow angle and actually deflects off the surface, bouncing forward until its forward momentum becomes too low and it enters the water instead of skipping across it."
"Oh, is that all." After watching the second stone, Rosie stoops and picks up what seems like a flat stone from the ground. She flings it towards the water, causing it to hit and fall below the surface instead of skipping. She frowns and promptly seizes a second stone, flinging this one as well with the same result. Until Sera stops her, she would continue this mode of operation, appearing to be trying to hit the water into submission by throwing rocks at it.

{Word Count: 546 | 7527}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sun May 08, 2016 9:57 pm

Seresana grinned as Rosie joined her at the water's edge to skip rocks and while Rosie threw her first one, Seresana tossed out her second. She'd gotten lucky this time though and found a really good flat stone that she was able to get a good spin on. The rock skimmed the surface of the water before leaping up only to do it a couple more times. On the third skip, the rock finally didn't bounce back and simply sank into the water's clear depths. Seresana was about to reach for her third stone when she noticed Rosie's merit-less repeated attempts at stone skipping.

"Hey Rosie, try getting the stone to spin when you throw it, and try to throw it so that it'll be at a increasing incline when it hits the water," Seresana suggested before picking up another stone to demonstrate with. When she found a suitable stone, Seresana gripped it tight in the crook of her pointer finger, practically wrapping it along the edge of the rock. Then she wound back her arm and flung it forward while whipping her hand and uncurling her finger to that the stone came out spinning when it was launched. The stone skimmed across the surface once but then sunk when it hit next. It might not have been the best demonstration, but it was better than none. Seresana then paused for a moment to watch Rosie's next attempt.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Tue May 17, 2016 11:32 pm

"Make the stone spin as I throw it?" Rosie picks up a considerably more flat stone and examines it with a small and thoughtful frown. "Laterally, or end-over-end?"
"Oh, look at you with your fancy words," Kitty giggles. "Laterally... you don't even get the right one. What you mean is 'longitudinally', not 'laterally.'"
"Lateral, as pertaining to the sides or sideways motion," Rosie retorts. "You're talking about end-over-end, causing the stone to tumble as it goes."
Kitty contemplates this for a moment. "Huh, so I am. But this I'm right about: you throw it as the chakrham, not the kunai or the axe. A little bit of a wrist bent towards you and then flicked outwards and level. Cause it to spin on its center axis, not its side axes. Would you like me to show you?"
"I'd appreciate that. Thanks Kit."
Kitty smiles to her. "What're big sisters for?" She goes to the edge of the water and picks up one of the stones, a particularly flat one. "Now, watch me and try to imitate it. Don't worry about screwing up, I think Sera likes the idea of teaching you something basic, like how to do something silly, fun, and idle. There is no shame to be found here."
"One of the few times that's true," Rosie agrees, watching Kitty and imitating her as the kitsune throws the rock. Sera watches Rosie pinch the stone between thumb and forefinger, bend her wrist towards her and her elbow in, and fling the stone outwards. It skips, certainly, but instead of flying straight it flies off to the side, bouncing off the water once and then disappearing into the forest off one of the edges of the small pool. She sighs and chuckles a little ruefully. "I clearly need to practice having fun, because I'm shamefully bad at it. Completely unworthy of a studious shinobi."
"You're just out of practice at being human." Kitty pats her head pityingly.
"Being frivilous, you mean."
"Different word, more fancy, same meaning." Kitty winks and tosses her stone up and down idly. "I wish you had some shiriken so we could practice the proper..."
"Shiriken."
"Yes."
Rosie sighs internally. "You throw it like a shiriken?"
Kitty grins. "As it happens, yes you do."
"I swear, beat you with a stick one of these days..."
"Just remember: something black and nicely-shaped."
"...how do you make everything lewd?"
"Because I am lewd, sis. Consider it a natural talent."
Rosie gives a small snort as something appears to occur to her. "Do you throw a stone for skipping similar to the way you'd throw a shiriken?"

{Word Count: 438 | 7965}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Wed May 18, 2016 5:14 pm

"Uhhh, Laterally?" Seresana replied with a bit of confusion. It wasn't that she didn't know the word or what it meant, it was just that she'd never really used it or heard it used before and it's sudden appearance had thrown her for a loop of sorts. Still her smile was quick to come back and she watched happily as Rosie tried throwing another stone only for it to sail off to the side. Seresana grimaced a little as the stone hit the underbrush and the grin remained present. "That was better, so now we just have to work on your aim," she said encouragingly, or at she tried to sound encouraging.

When Rosie posed her own question though, that got Seresana thinking for a moment. Curiously, Seresana reached down to pick up another stone and inspect how she held it. Seresana even went so far as to seemingly test throw the stone and then tried to think back to how she'd typically throw a shuriken. "Huh, I guess it is kind of. Though when I throw stones, it's with my arm starting on the outside and rotates in," Seresana said while preparing to demonstrate. She held her upper arm down but the forearm was horizontally sticking out roughly to the right of her with the stone held between her fingers. She then began to swing her arm towards her in a rough arc that around the middle of which she let go of the stone only for it to sail out into the water and skip twice before plummeting into the depths of the stream. "When I throw a kunai though, it's usually with my arm starting closer to me and rotating outward," Seresana stated while pulling one of the mentioned weapons from her belt pouch and going through the motion of throwing it but never actually releasing the weapon as she didn't wish to lose it.

"Either way, it doesn't really matter how good you are at having fun, so long as you're enjoying yourself," Seresana went on with another smile towards Rosie. Seresana put the weapon back into her pouch then and went for another stone to throw.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:07 pm

"I am," Rosie says, the shy smile she preferred edging towards something more broad, more happy and less reserved than it normally is. "Enjoying myself, I mean. I think I'm becoming more skilled at fun, and as with gaining any skill it's very gratifying."
"You know Rose, it's comments like that that make me want to bap you into oblivion with my tails or something," Kitty tells her. "'More skilled at fun'? Who talks like that?"
"Someone who's out of practice at being human," Rosie tells her with as deadpan a tone as she can manage without using her actual physical voice. "Also, what do you mean by 'bap me into oblivion'? Is that even an actual word?"
"Of course it's an actual word."
"I don't believe that."
"I can prove it."
"How do you plan to do that?"
"The power of onomatopoeia, my dear Rose. Onomatopoeia for the win."
Rosie can't entirely arrest her incredulous expression as she prepares to throw another stone, keeping up appearances as she engages in a dialogue with the 'sister' that only exists in her head, even taking a moment to squint and lick her lips in concentration as she cocks her arm back to make another attempt. "Beg pardon?"
"Behold!" Just as Rosie is throwing the stone, and all indications are that she may potentially have it right this time, Kitty turns and gives Rosie a truly epic bap with all nine tails at the same time. In the real world, Sera would see Rosie's head jerk slightly downwards as if she's been smacked lightly on the head and the perfect setup dissolves into yet another rock splunking into the water instead of flying true.
"What the hell was that?"
"That was a bap."
"...oh." Outwardly, Rosie looks a little stunned; inwardly, she smirks a little. "Onomatopoeia, as you said. But never do that again when we're in the company of a real person. You know that the hallucinatory effects of your presence are so vividly real that they can be unexpectedly translated into reality for me."
Kitty's ears lay down in genuine contrition. "Oh, right. Sorry Rose."
"No worries Kit." Sera would watch Rosie blink away the stunning and then frown in annoyance at the course of events. "I think I nearly had it that time," she says as she stoops to pick up another stone, slightly less flat, and deliberately acting as if the jerk of her head and the slightly stunned look never really happened.

{Word Count: 415 | 8380}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:46 am

Sena was still looking about for another good stone when Rosie made her latest throw, and so she missed the sudden jerk of Rosie's head. Though the sound of the stone simply hitting and sinking in the water did draw her gaze back up towards the point of impact where she caught the sight of the aftermath ripples racing outwards along the water's surface before shifting her gaze back towards Rosie. "You'll have it down in no time at this rate," Sena replied back before resuming her search for a suitable stone.

When she finally found one, Sena lifted the stone but her throw was immediate and nowhere near the water. Instead the stone was sent sailing on a large arc towards somewhere off into the woods, accompanied by a started mix of shriek and gasp. Sena even jumped back a little just because she'd not been expecting the small toad that hopped onto her foot after the rock he'd been hiding under was suddenly lifted. That jump managed to put some distance between Sena and the toad since he fell off her suddenly moving foot, and it also flipped him over and now the small creature was struggling to flip himself back over. Sena meanwhile was trying to get her heart to stop racing and hide the fact that she was almost able to put a tomato to shame with how much she was blushing.

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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:53 pm

Rosie smiles, her cheeks becoming slightly pinker at Sera's invincibly cheerful demeanor and her confidence that Rosie will figure out how to skip rocks in no time at all. "Early indications don't appear to support that," she says wryly, although she's visibly cheered by the smaller shinobi's confidence in her. "But I have no intention of giving up. I will master the skill of skipping flat stones across water, because it is apparently one of the clues to the secret of this vital force called 'fun'."
"Rose, I swear, if you weren't my sister I would find a convenient object to beat you with, and beat you upside the head until you started to sound human," Kitty informs her from where she's presently hovering above Rosie's head in the lotus position.
"I'm trying to be funny by being overly serious and solemn about something that's not serious or solemn at all." Rosie rolls her eyes up to regard the part of Kitty she could see without moving her head. "I'm making a good-faith attempt here."
"It's sort of sad that you're such a stick in the mud that I can't tell the difference between you doing it to be silly, and doing it because it's just how you are." Kitty inverts herself so she hovering upside-down and looking Rosie in the eyes, her kimono remaining in place in cheerful defiance of logic and gravity. "We need to work on your technique, sis, because it hurts how bad you are at being lighthearted. I know it's my job to do the emotions but you're going to be stuck in this stasis forever unless you let me teach you how to do it too."
"I'm not stuck in any kind of stasis."
"Rose, you and I both know that growing isn't about getting stronger, taller, and curvier." Kitty said with a severity totally at odds with her absurd position. "It's about developing depth, character, and emotional maturity. You can do that with me locked away in a corner of your head with your emotions barred from..."
Sera's shriek stopped the mental conversation cold as Rosie pivoted towards her friend. It was in the sudden moments of needing to think a thousand things at once that made having two minds to divide the task between them advantageous. Even as she turned, middle fingers had slipped into the loops of kunai and she was drawing them held stiffly to act as a sort of rough punching dagger. Her stance dropped low, her legs spread, and the casual lightness of how she had been standing became a solid, bracing stance ready to put all her force into attack or defense as needed. Even as all this was going on, she was readying herself from within, chakra gushing into her limbs and extremities, preparing to be formed into the various techniques she'd already become able with, but this is not all that it does. When Sera looks towards Rosie, now braced in a fighting stance with her kunai in her hands and her fists cocked for violence, the inexpertly-channeled chakra had formed into the visible shadow of a kitsune about her features, with the ghostly images of nine tails swaying and flicking behind her. Although nothing about her features actually changed--no claws, no sharpness about her teeth, no whiskers on her face, and her eyes remaining human--there was a distinct aura of Kitty about Rosie. It took her a few moments to notice that Sera was blushing, and that a toad was on the ground struggling to right itself, and that there was actually no danger at all, before her stance relaxes and the shadow of her hallucination vanishes from around her with no apparent sign that she even noticed that it was there at all.
"Oh," she says after a moment, taking in a breath and letting it seep back out. "Just a toad then." She blushes a little as she sheepishly put her kunai back in their sheathes. "Oh, I must look so silly, overreacted like that to a harmless toad..."
"You have nothing to apologize for," Kitty tells her, now standing beside her. "You reacted instantly to a sound of distress from your friend and was instantly ready to defend her. Stop blushing, and be proud of reacting appropriately. It doesn't matter that the thing that caused the shriek was harmless."
"I'm trying to avoid frightening her with Rosie in attack mode," Rosie tells her 'sister'.
"Oh. Carry on then."

{Word Count: 747 | 9127}
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PostSubject: Re: Walking through the woods   Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:00 pm

"Ye-yeah, just a toad," Seresana replied shakily as she tried to relax but the toad's presence continued to demand her gaze. Said little toad continued to struggle for a moment to right itself, it's small warty limbs flailing into the air as it searched for purchase. Finally, one of it's forward legs managed to grasp the corner of a small rock and with a quick push, the toad propelled itself a few inches away and flipped itself over in the process. Then it quickly started to hop away from the girls and towards the underbrush. Seresana watched it go hop by hop until it finally disappeared and only once it was completely out of sight did she completely relax.

Thankfully for Rosie, the toad seemed to have completely distracted Seresana from her reaction to the little girl's scream, and now she was a bit busy blushing at how she herself had just acted. "So uhmm... should we keep walking now?" Seresana asked with a gesture back to the path all the while avoiding eye contact out of embarrassment.

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