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 New efforts

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Zen
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Join date : 2014-12-15

PostSubject: New efforts   Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:18 pm

"Maybe today wasn't the best choice for a training day," Seresana said aloud to herself as she continued to sit on the top of a stump in the pouring rain. She was in her good old training spot, the one showed to her by her father, and just sitting on the stump that she constantly used for target practice in the middle of a deluge. The sky had been cloudy for days, but it hadn't rained much until today and it was an utter downpour as the rain had came down heavy and constantly since early that morning. Large puddles could already be seen forming up on any slightly lower points along the ground, with tiny streams of water regularly feeding more water into them as they grew. "But I swore to myself that I would train and learn some new techniques before my next mission and that's just what I'm going to do," Seresana reassured herself before resuming her actually meditative position. The position was sitting with her legs crossed before her and her hands locked together in a sign as she focused on her chakra, trying to manipulate it through will.
It was far too easy for Seresana to recall why she was so determined to conduct this training and learn some new techniques. Some of the reasoning still hurt even now, if she touched the afflicted area too hard. Her last mission hadn't gone well even though she managed to complete the mission itself, she'd suffered a rather humiliating and painful defeat at the hands of what she was sure was going to be her first enemy, Vismar. The other leaf village genin had been a massive pain in her side for a little while, and now he'd actually caused a rather large pain in her side after their last fight where the older boy had actually won. It'd started about like any other fight, with Vismar launching a surprise attack from some hidden alcove while Seresana was busy working on the mission, but the moment she'd started to fight back was when everything went wrong. She'd tried using the Earth Golem Summoning jutsu that Ranzaki had taught her, which had worked a number of times before, but this time Vismar must have been expecting it. The boy attacked the golem as it was still forming and must have attached a baku tag to it's surface that activated right in the middle of his Dragon Fire jutsu, making the already dangerous firestorm into an explosive hazard. The effect left Seresana on the ground upon where Vismar proceeded to kick her until he was satisfied. As she replayed the scenario in her mind, one of Seresana's hands went to gently rub her still slightly sore side. "He really got me good that time, but next time I'll be ready for him," Seresana commented before resuming her position and returning her focus to her chakra.

This was something she wasn't really that good at, and hadn't been for quite some time, her chakra control was about as abysmal as some of the academy students. She could feel the power, and she could strive to direct it for her jutsu, but even Seresana knew she was spending way too much on far too few techniques. It was only thanks to her rather rigorous training that she wasn't spending more time collapsed over after a fight. So here she was, sitting out in the pouring rain, trying to focus her chakra in the calming scene. The pitter patter of the pounding rain around her offered a readily present source of white noise, something to partially distract her young mind while the majority of her focus remained on the chakra. That didn't stop her however from listening to the calming sounds of the water impacting the leaves of the trees, splashing in the puddles along the ground, feeling the water strike herself, and the gentle breezes that occasionally blew by that would momentarily chill the air to an almost cold point but never quite enough to draw out a true shiver from the girl. If she was being honest with herself, Seresana would have actually had to admit that this was about the perfect temperature for her, the normal days were far too hot for her tastes, but right now she was barely even aware of the temperature.

Seresana wasn't sure how long she sat there on the top of the old stump with it's ancient tie around the base, but the rumble from her stomach easily ripped her out of her meditation. The loud gurgling announcing a fact that she hadn't noticed was building up until this point. "Wow, I didn't think I'd been out here long enough to get that hungry," Seresana said aloud after her eyes had snapped open and she looked down towards the outspoken organ. "Hehe, guess it's lunch time then," Seresana went on as she uncrossed her legs and jumped off the stump. She didn't even hesitate in turning towards the village and running off in search of some food to alleviate her problem and then rush back to training. It didn't take her too long to find what she was looking for as Seresana was getting rather used to the layout of the town and was already getting close to learning where most of the major points of interest were at. Another lucky point for the today was that the streets were largely clear of any traffic with all the rain. Most were probable staying in doors to keep warm and dry, with only a handful venturing out into the storm with their umbrellas or ponchos to offer any protection from the persistent downpour. A number of the shops and such were still open though and their brightly lit windows cut easily through the almost grey mists that tried to cloud ones sight thanks to the heavy rains.

Regardless, it didn't take Seresana long to find the restaurant she wanted to find. It wasn't the ever popular Ichiraku ramen stand, but a local tea house that also served a number of simple dishes that Seresana couldn't help but have a craving for something different at the moment. She got into the shop and was greeted quickly by one of the waitresses since it was a slow day with all the rain. "Good day miss, is it just you?"
"Yeah, just me for today," Seresana replied with a little smile herself and a tiny hop while raking her hands through her hair to get rid of some of the water that clung to the relatively short strands of dark hair.
"Alright, please follow me," the waitress replied before leading Seresana away from the entrance and towards a booth seat where she was able to look out the window and watch the rain. "Would you like to order now?"
"Umm, I think I'll need a minute please."
"Alright, can I get you a drink while you decide?"

"Oh, yeah I'll have some hot tea," Seresana replied before the waitress nodded and walked towards the back of the shop. Once she'd turned around, Seresana's hands found the menu and held the paper before her to where she could look over the various options. Several of the options looked rather good but she still managed to make a decision before the waitress returned. To pass the time, Seresana looked out through the window to the grey world outside as the rain continued to fall and found her mind trying to stray off back to what she would be doing to train. She wasn't even sure she was doing things right, and yet she was the first one out of her friends to manage graduating from the academy. Seresana couldn't sake the feeling that maybe she'd rushed through the process, that perhaps all that training had actually worked against her as now she was suddenly in this higher ranked position with barely any clue at what to do at this point. Luckily Seresana didn't have long to dwell on these slightly unpleasance thoughts as the light clink of the tea cup plinking against the platter that it was resting on announced the return of the waitress. The suddeness of the noise ripped Seresana from her inner thoughts and she was suddenly stammering out a, "oh, thank you."
"Are you ready to order?"
"Yeah, I'll have the Tsukune."
"Ah, excellent choice," the waitress replied before once more wandering back off towards the back of the room and leaving Seresana to her inner thoughts again. Seresana's hands slowly wrapped around the cup, relishing in the warmth that flooded through it's thin walls and fought off the chill in her hands that she wasn't even aware was present. She lifted the cup and took a tentative sip, wary of the light steam and heat but not letting it ruin the enjoyment of the beverage. Seresana took a couple more sips of the drink before setting it back down on the table with a content sigh. Then her face drifted back to the window and the rain beyond, though her mind was far away from either as she awaited her food.

"Maybe I did rush through the graduation a little, but it's too late for regret now. I've gone on missions, and learned a few other advanced techniques, I passed the exam with flying colors so I must know what I'm doing to some extent, or I'm at least good enough at doing it without realizing it. Wait, wait, wait, I shouldn't be thinking like this. I managed to pass the graduation exam, I've done missions by myself, I've managed to learn the secret jutsu of my clan, and I can learn how to control my chakra. Now let's think back to what I know, and how I can implement it. I know what chakra is, where it comes from, and how to work towards getting more of it. I kind of know how to send it to a limb, but I'm not sure how much I'm sending or how to limit it and the same applies for the jutsu I try to use. So that's what I need to work on and train and in addition I can always do with some extra practice with my bow. I've got a few ideas for a new technique anyways. Hmm, maybe I can go talk to Ranzaki-" and there Seresana's thoughts were interrupted again by the waitress as she brought over Seresana's order and deposited it with a nod and smile.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"No thank you, I'm good."
"Very well, I'll bring your bill around shortly," the waitress said before wandering off. Seresana nodded before looking towards the food that rested before her. With a forced level of patients and restraint, Seresana picked up one of the skewers and all too eagerly bit off almost half of the first ball. The crisp and savory flavors quickly flooded her senses and she couldn't suppress the audible 'mmm' that escaped her closed lips as she continued to chew the first bite. Still, Seresana forced herself to go a bit slower to savor and actually taste the delicious meal. That didn't stop her thought from tearing off the other half of the remaining ball almost as soon as she swallowed what she already had in her mouth. Seresana all to quickly finished off that first ball of Tsukune even with her efforts to try and take it slow, and with barely a moment's pause to have another sip of her tea, the second ball wasn't long for this world, nor were the other remaining tsukune. When Seresana sat the now empty stick back down on the table, she noticed the check resting on the edge of the table and realized that she must have been so distracted that the waitress had managed to actually bring it over and depart again without her noticing.

"Dang, if a waitress at store can manage to sneak by me so easily, it's no wonder Vismar managed to get the drop on me all those times, and now he's powerful enough that I can't just beat him, those sneak attacks just give him too much of an advantage. That's another thing I'll have to work on, spatial awareness and detecting disturbances. I wonder if there's any other ways to detect an enemy's presence?" Seresana wondered to herself as she got up and slowly made her way over to the cashier. She was still thinking as she absently handed over the money and then departed, completely forgetting the change she was due, though the waitress didn't try too hard to get Seresana's attention as she walked out, merely pocketing the extra money under the assumption that it was a tip.

Still kind of lost to her own thoughts, Seresana slowly walked back through the cool rain, barely even paying it any mind as she worked her way through the mostly empty streets. And locked in her thoughts as she was, Seresana also barely even noticed it when she managed to make it back to her training spot. In fact, it was such a shock that Seresana actually looked about comically for a moment to just ensure that she had actually managed to walk all the way back to her training spot without realizing it. "Huh, yup, definitely need to work on my spacial awareness, or at least my conscious amount of it," Seresana said aloud to herself as she admitted defeat in having a lack in that skill. "Welp, first things first," she then went on before hopping back up to on top of the stump and sitting down cross-legged with her hands forming a sign as her form descended. With the handsign in place, Seresana began to focus her chakra, trying to send it to various parts of her body and trying to limit how much she was sending to those locations, but she couldn't really tell how effective she was at it since there wasn't really any indication as to what the presence of different levels of chakra would do. Still, the effort was a workout in an of it's own right as the very notion of channeling her chakra towards specific areas had always seemed so hard to do. It was as if her chakra was hard to grasp onto, and it kept wanting to slip from her grasp, though when she thought about it, that kind of made sense. According to the chakra paper at least, and from what she'd experienced with the jutsu she'd been able to learn, Seresana's chakra was part water and part wind to make the combined element of ice, but both water and wind were difficult things to hold and force in a particular direction. "Huh, I hadn't really thought about it like that. What if when trying to direct my chakra, I should try and think about it as if it were water, wind, and ice. Hmm, that would mean instead of trying to push or force it to a body part, I should try and direct it there and let it flow instead, but how do I do that?" Seresana thought to herself as she tried to come with an answer to her own questions. Eventually though she settled on a particular method and sought about trying to do just what she'd managed to think of. With her face relaxing as she retreated back into her mind and escaping the outside world, Seresana imagined an image of her body with an overlay of the chakra overlay she'd seen on a picture back in class. Then she tried to picture and feel the chakra inside her, not thinking of it like a fire, but rather of a constantly shifting ball of water, wind, and ice and then she tried to picture the flow off of that orb. Seresana tried to connect the two, the ball in her mind and the chakra in her body, thinking of them as one in hopes of trying to finally reign in a little control. Then Seresana imagined the chakra trying to flow outward just for a moment before she set up some mental blockades to direct the chakra down to her feet. Not impossible to breech barricades, but something to at least give the chakra a direction to flow as a whole.

The sudden drain startled Seresana as she felt a lot of her chakra go to the bottoms of her feet, too much chakra in fact. Far too much as she was already starting to feel a little woozy and once that started, Seresana quickly canceled the imaginary scenery and was left sitting on top of the stump and lightly panting. "Oh wow, pant I didn't realize, pant I was that bad at regulating my chakra pant. I gotta be more careful in the future," Seresana weezed out before she just took the time to get her breathing back under control. "Hmm, I should go see Ranzaki sensei tomorrow and see if he's got any ideas on how to better train my chakra control," Seresana said aloud before getting up again and hopping off the stump. "Well, I could head back for today, but I wouldn't feel that accomplished yet just with what little I've done. Maybe I should just do some regular old fashioned training to round out the day. Oh, I know, a jog through the woods would work perfectly," Seresana concluded as she turned towards the direction of the steam, settling on using that as the marker for how far she should run. It didn't take her too long to find the moving body of water, and then she was jogging along the shoreline alongside it. The river was a little high thanks to all the rain, but it hadn't been heavy enough or hard enough to cause any real flooding yet, just enough to really be noticeable as she continued her run in the rain. The mud squelched beneath each of her footfalls, and little droplets from the puddles she tread through splashed up to soak the bottoms of her pants, but onward she ran. After a while, Seresana's legs began to tire and she began panting as her lungs fought for more oxygen but onward she pressed as her drive to get stronger proved the stronger force for the moment. She ran out of river to run along too soon for her preference though and when she did there wasn't a moments hesitation in turning around to start running back towards the spot where she'd come to the river in the first place. As she ran, a new thought entered her mind when Seresana glanced over to the rushing current next to her. Seresana brought herself to a stop and then hopped over to the forest on the other side of her, rooting around the trees until she found a decent sized stick. With a grunt, Seresana pulled the piece of wood from the underbrush and wasted no time in tossing it into the stream where the current caught it and began to drag it down stream. With the stick now floating down, Seresana took off running again, racing to at first catch up to the stick, then keep pace with it, and then pass it on her way back to the ending point.

It wasn't much of a race since the stick couldn't really change it's pace, but it was better than nothing even if she had no trouble at all beating the piece of wood drifting down the stream. Seresana stood at her improvised finish line, turning around to watch the stick continue it's downstream trip until it caught back up to her, passed her, and then continued onward until it was out of sight. Then Seresana looked to the still cloudy sky and noted that it was getting darker quickly. "Hmm, guess I should head home for the day, I won't get much more training done today and with the rain it'll be getting really dark really fast out here," she said before turning back to the woods and beginning to jog back towards her house. Seresana barely managed a few yards before some strange new sound drew her attention, a soft and quiet yipping that only managed to cut through the sounds of the rain because of it's pitch was coming from a short ways off to the side of the path she was currently on brought Seresana to a stop. For a little bit, she just continued to look in the direction of the sound and mentally debate on whether or not she should go to investigate, but curiosity won out and Seresana was soon tromping through the taller grass towards the yipping sounds. Around a few trees and past a couple bushes later, Seresana pulled back a final bush and her eyes went wide at the sight before her.

Just ahead of her was a toppled tree, an old one that had probably fallen during the storm today, and trapped below it was a damp and dirtied grey coat of fur. A raccoon, there was no doubt about that with Seresana able to see the front half of the downed animal, but it wasn't moving. The rain soaked it's fur and pelted it's ears while mud slowly dirtied it as well, but the raccoon must have been crushed under the weight of the tree when it fell and was now dead. Two more little raccoons however were at the dead one's face, considerably smaller than the larger one partially under the tree and they were the source of the little yipping. They sat their, at their mother's corpse padding, pawing, and licking to try and get her attention, but no matter what the little ones tried, their mother couldn't respond to them. In her shock at the scene, Seresana took a shakey step forward, alerting the young ones to her presence. Both turned around and while one seemed to take a stance against her and growl challengingly, the other shrunk, curling up as much as it could and trying to squirm it's way beside the mother. In that moment, Seresana though wasn't thinking entirely of the raccoons, but of her own recent experience of loss. Her mind raced back to her friend's death, how no matter what they had tried, no matter what they did, Yusuri had died that day and there wasn't a thing they could do for her. The memories brought new tears that were soon racing down her face and mixing with the still falling rain. Seresana grit her teeth against the frown, she tried to hold back the tears. "No, there's... there's been enough cry-," Seresana didn't get to finish her thought as a fresh image of Sylvan's devastation fought it's way to the forefront of her thoughts and that broke her. She couldn't hold back the tears anymore and with a wail, Seresana slumped forward crying out to the raining sky and the soaked earth with her arms laying on the ground in front of her head. "I... I have to be strong for the others.... I can't let them see me cry like this... I... I need to be there for them... to smile and brighten their day... but here... here I can cry... I can-" Seresana's thoughts were interrupted as an unfamiliar sensation grazed her forearm. It stopped her cries of anguish and she looked up curiously with tear filled eyes to see a little tuft of grey and black fur just beyond her forearm. One of the little raccoons, the one that had originally growled at her, had crept forward while she'd been wrapped up in her sorrow and licked her forearm while the other kit was still nuzzling it's dead mother. Seresana's bleary eyes tried to focus on the little raccoon and she found herself almost smiling through the tears as she slowly reached out and gently started to pet the raccoon. "And you can cheer me up sniffle, can't you," Seresana said with a soft voice as she continued to pet and scratch the little raccoon in a pleasing manner.

The other raccoon must have gotten curious as well as it continued to slowly creep closer to it's sibling until it was close enough for Seresana to reach out towards as well. When her hand got too close to the little raccoon though, it bit down on her leading finger with a small number of sharp little teeth that had Seresana wincing, but she dared not move her hand away. "It's okay, you're scared and hurt, and sad too. I know what that's like, but I won't hurt you, I promise," Seresana said while keeping her hand there until the little raccoon calmed down. When it realized that Seresana wasn't going to do anything, it's jaws unclenched and it slowly released the finger before sniffing it a couple times and then proceeding to lick it. Seresana's smile returned even marred as it was by her tear stricken face as she slowly shifted the hand around to where it could pet the other raccoon as well. "Thanks you two, I... I needed this," Seresana started before glancing up towards the downed tree and the killed raccoon mother again before continuing, "I can't leave you two here like this. You're both too young to fend for yourselves, probably not even eating meat yet. Why don't you two come home with me where we can get warmed up and maybe something to eat. Would you like that?" Seresana asked the raccoons rhetorically before scooping both of the little animals up in her arms, continuing to do her best to pet them and keep them both calm the whole while. She was about to depart when a final glance back at the dead mother raccoon brought another wave of sadness but a new resolution in the young girl. "I won't fail this time, I won't fail with these two. I won't let them die while I stand by unable to do anything," Seresana thought to herself before beginning to walk the rest of the way back to her house. Since she was walking so as to not jostle the two raccoons around too much, it took Seresana a good bit longer to reach her house and it was already dark by the time she was climbing up onto the porch. Not truly caring about her damp clothes at the moment, Seresana quickly slid out of her sandals before somewhat awkwardly sliding open the door and then sliding it shut once she was inside.

"Wow sis, you're drenched," Hitagi teased almost as soon as Seresana entered the room. He started to open his mouth to say more, but then the movement of the raccoons drew his attention. "Woah sis, what you got there?" he asked curiously while trying to get around her to get a better look.
"Back up Hitagi, you'll scare them!" Seresana hissed back as she continued to twist about to keep herself between Hitagi and the little raccoons.
"Them?"
"Yes them."
"Who's them?"
Seresana hesitated with this answer, but said it none the less. "A couple of little raccoons I found out in the woods. Their mother... was crushed under a fallen tree, and I couldn't just leave them there out in the cold and rain. They wouldn't last the night. They're shivering even now so if you want to help, go get me a couple towels to help dry them off with," Seresana commanded while still keeping her back to Hitagi and herself ultimately between him and the little raccoon.

What Seresana hadn't noticed at the time was that just saying that little bit was enough to get a few fresh tears to spring to her eyes and Hitagi had seen them. His own eyes went wide as he realized how serious and upset Seresana was and that this wasn't a time to push her. "Uhm yeah, sorry sis. I'll be right back," Hitagi said before turning around and leaving the room in search of towels.

"Woah kiddo, where's the fire?" Vesken's voice suddenly called out from the hallway, and Seresana could only guess that Hitagi had almost ran into their father as he ran off to get the towels.
"Dad! Dad, come quick," Seresana called as she moved to the hallway herself, nearly running into him too before she took a half step back and made sure that he saw the two little raccoons shivering in her arms.
"Wah, Sere, where did you find these?" Vesken asked as he looked at the little raccoons and his daughter standing there clinging to them almost as desperately as they clung to her.
"I found them dad, out in the forest. There mother was crushed under a fallen tree, and I... I couldn't just leave them there. I couldn't just let them die, not when I could do something," Seresana explained as she started trembling while trying not to cry any more. "Can we keep them, at least until they're big enough to survive on their own?" Seresana pleaded through her newly wet eyes as she looked up towards her father.
Vesken however didn't stay above her, kneeling down to where he was only a little taller than her before embracing little Seresana in his own big arms. "Of course we can Seresana," Vesken said clamingly as he firmly but gently hugged Seresana who buried her face into his shoulder as she continued to try and fight off the tears.
"Oh thank you daddy, thank you. I promise I'll look after them. I'll keep them fed and make sure they have plenty of water. I'll even clean up after them," Seresana went on as she cried in her father's embrace, unaware of how proud he was in that moment to have such a sweet little daughter. He had caught on to how she felt in that moment. He knew that she was still blaming herself for the death of her friend, and he knew that this wouldn't change what had happened. But this was a first step, another chance for her to save some a life and he couldn't have ever brought himself to deprive her of that chance now.
"Hey, I got some towels," Hitagi said then as he re-entered the room with a small stack of them in his hands.
"Good work son," Vesken replied as one of his arms uncurled around Seresana and went to the boy. First to the top of his head where Vesken ruffled up Hitagi's hair a little and then to the boy's shoulder before pulling him into the embrace as well. The hug didn't last long though before Vesken released them both, took one of the towels from Hitagi and then took one of the little raccoons from Seresana to wrap it up in the process. Seresana took a second towel from Hitagi and wrapped up the other little raccoon in it, trying to gently dry off the tiny creature while her father dried off the other one. "Well they're a bit cold for now, but at least they're dry. Why don't we put these two over near one of the heaters and then you can see towards getting yourself a bit cleaned up little girl," Vesken said to Seresana with a gesture to her muddy and wet clothing.
"But dad, I want to make sure the foxes will be okay," Seresana protested as she hugged the little raccoon she still held slightly tighter and turned a little away.
"I know dear and I assure you they will be, but just because you're taking care of them doesn't mean you can entirely ignore yourself as well. What if you end up catching a cold and can't watch them for a few day?" Vesken replied. Seresana was about to protest again when Vesken's free hand found her shoulder and squeezed it confidently. "Don't worry Seresana, they'll still be here when you finish," he added in with a confident smile.
Oh, okay dad," Seresana finally relented and after a moment spent considering, passed the little raccoon that she had been holding over to Hitagi before starting to walk towards the stairs. Seresana glanced back one last time when she reached the stairs before smiling towards the little raccoons before rushing upstairs towards the bathroom. She all but ripped off her clothes the moment she got there, the cloth ties first, followed by her pants, shirt, and then underwear all in rapid succession, though in her rush, Seresana had neglected to start the bath water while she undressed so now she was forced to wait around the bathroom while the tub filled with water. While she waited, Seresana took a moment to examine herself in the mirror, turning this way and that before coming to the ultimate conclusion that she was infact still, rather tiny all around. With a defeated sigh, Seresana looked up to her hair and grabbed up a strand that she slowly started twisting between her fingers. "Hmm... maybe I'll get a new hair cut sometime soon," she said to herself and then spent the remaining time while the tub filled with water deciding on a look that she would want, even going so far as to use the transformation jutsu a couple times just to make sure she knew exactly how a few of the different styles would look on her as well as a few different colors of hair. That killed the time needed for the tub to fill with water quickly enough, and soon Seresana was submerging herself in the lightly steaming waters, letting out relaxed sighs all the while. But that relaxation wasn't to last as she quickly sat back up and began scrubbing herself to get clean since the sooner she finished with this bath, the sooner she could get back to her little raccoons.

A few minutes later and Seresana was standing outside the tub, drying herself off while the water drained away. Then she quickly worked her way over to her room, almost slamming the door in her rush to finish drying off and getting dressed. The towel was quickly tossed into the hamper and Seresana was throwing on a more comfortable and plain yukata meant to be worn around the house. She was still tying off the sash when she exited the room and began down the stairs, just barely managing to finish the tie when she hit the bottom of the stairs. Then Seresana was working her way back over to the living room where she found her dad and brother and the two little raccoons who were still tightly bound up in their towels and resting near the heater.
"Shhh, they're sleeping," Vesken warned warmly as Seresana entered the room and took her seat as close to the raccoons as she could without bothering them. "Those two are pretty lucky that you found them, racoons that young still need milk," Vesken went on with a warm smile. "You can feed them once they wake up," Vesken went on as he got up and exited the room. Seresana however wasn't even really paying attention to her father though, her eyes had been locked on the little raccoons from the moment that she entered the room and remained on them the whole time. Even when her father left, all Seresana did to acknowledge him was a slow and distracted nod. A little while after Vesken left, Hitagi started to creep forward on his hands and knees.
"What are you doing," Seresana hissed at him, still trying to keep her voice down and not wake the raccoons.
"I just want to pet one."
"Don't, not right now."
"But-"
"No, go play a game or something in another room," Seresana stated firmly in her angry hissing whisper.
"Fine," Hitagi said as he got up and left the room as well. Now that she was alone in the room with the two little sleeping kits, Seresana leaned back and let out a sigh. The weight of the day slowly started to drag down her eyelids, her posture slumping more and more as her seat slowly turned into more of an awkward laying down. Before long, Seresana was softly dozing away right along with the foxes. A few hours later, Seresana was awakened by a jostle of her shoulder, and the sounds of soft yipping. Her eyes shot open but the calm smiling face of her mother was right there for her.
"Huh, mom?"
"Hey sweetie, we thought you'd want to help with feeding the raccoons," Sophia said as she brandished a little bottle of milk that was warm to the touch as Seresana found out when she reached up to take the bottle. Seresana nodded too while looking back to the little raccoons, one of which was already being fed by Vesken while Hitagi crowded close by to watch. The other raccoon kit was still struggling it's own towel which left it still near the heater. Seresana went over to the little raccoon with the bottle in hand, and scooped it up so that the raccoon was resting on it's back in the crook of her arm. The tiny creature's eyes were still shut, too young to even open them so Seresana had to be sure to guide the nozzle of the bottle right to it's eager mouth. The raccoon quickly took hold and began to suck away, obviously rather hungry by the way it tried to down as much of the milk as it could fit in it's tiny mouth. As the tiny racoon continued to eat, Seresana's smile slowly came back and then continued to grow in sincerity as she watched it. Even a happy sigh escaped her mouth before she looked back up to see Hitagi now feeding the other racoon with the same wide eyed and shocked expression she'd had just a moment ago while their parents just watched the scene with smiles of their own.
Eventually, the raccoon finished off their bottles and when they had, Seresana had looked to her parents for more for them, but she was told that it would be best not to over feed them right now and just let them sleep. A notion that was carried through to the rest of the family members as well. "Umm mom, can I sleep down here with racoons," Seresana asked softly after Hitagi had already wandered up the stairs.
"I'm not-" Sophia started to say but then she made the ultimate mistake of looking back down and seeing the pleading expression Seresana was giving her. Sophia even had to recoil just a little before finishing her statement, "sigh alright, you can sleep down here with the little raccoons tonight." Seresana rather quickly at that point tightly hugged her mother before racing over to the closet on the first floor to retrieve the guest blanket and pillow. While Seresana set up her own temporary bed, Sophia and Vesken went on upstairs to go to their own room. With their own meal finished and after a few moments spent yipping, the racoons calmed back down as well and were shortly dozing away. Once Seresana was done setting up the spare mattress and sleeping arrangements for herself, she ever so carefully scooped up the two kits who started to yip again at being distrubed. But after she laid down and then rested the two little racoons on top of her, they were quick to quiet back down and fall asleep in her. Seresana was soon to follow their lead and then the three of them were all sleeping there on the floor together.
In the morning, Seresana was awoken by a combination of light streaming in through the window and the stirings of the two raccoons that were laying atop her. She slowly sat up, using only one arm to support herself while the other was being used to cradle the two little raccoons so they didn't fall off. Seresana yawned widely once she was sitting and then looked down lovingly at the two raccoons. "I bet you two are hungry," Seresana said before getting up with the two little raccoons and proceeding into the kitchen where she ran into her mother who was already up.
"I was wondering when you'd get up Sere, did you sleep well?"
"Mhmm," Seresana replied with a nod, but then gestured to the foxes. "I think they're hungry for breakfast."
"Well, some warmed milk should do the trick, go ahead and get it out and I'll heat it up for you," Sophia instructed as she continued to work on the family's breakfast. Seresana did as she was told, getting the milk albeit a little awkwardly with the two little raccoons in hand and then handed it over to her mother who poured out some into a separate container for the purposes of heating it up. "You're dad's started putting together a little something together for them to sleep in and stay safe in while they're that young. Though I doubt they'll have their eyes closed for much longer, they're already pretty big," Sophia went on as the milk heated up.
"That's great-"
"However Seresana, you will be responsible for these as they are your pets. That means you'll need to buy or catch their food, clean up after them, watch over them, and bathe them. It's a big responsibility, but I think it's high time you had one," Sophia went on without looking back.
"I know mom, I said I would do all that last night didn't I?"
"You did dear, I just wonder if you realize just how much of a task this is going to be."
"It'll be okay mom, I did a bunch of missions before hand and I've got a good bit of money saved up now. And I can always do more missions to get more if I need to," Seresana replied.
"But if you're out on missions, who will watch the raccoons?" Sophia inquired.
"I uh... hmmm... I guess I can't, can I? Not until they're a bit bigger and I don't have to watch them all the time," Seresana replied thoughtfully.
"And if you intend to keep them mostly in your room, you'd best take a measure or two to ensure that nothing you're worried about being chewed on or damaged is out in the open," Sophia went on further, finally chancing a glance back at her daughter to see how she was handling this realization. While Seresana had her head down a little bit in thought, and she was biting her lip lightly, but the determination in her eyes had yet to diminish even a little.
"Alright mom, is there anything else I need to worry about?" Seresana asked when she finally looked back up to meet her mother's gaze.
"I don't think so dear, and for the record, I think you'll do fine," Sophia replied then with a kind smile of her own as she handed over a couple bottles of prepared milk for the raccoons. "Don't be too long with them, breakfast will be ready soon."
"I won't," Seresana said as she left the room to return to the raccoons. They were close to where she'd left them, though now they were slowly working their way around the floor a little bit. Seresana smiled and chuckled a little bit while watching the still blind babies crawl around aimlessly, their little noses twitching as they sniffed at the unfamiliar smells of what was to be their new home. After a minute though, Seresana moved forward and scooped the two little raccoons up, their soft cries voicing their protest and fear to the sudden alien presence and movement as Seresana shifted them close together. When she brought the bottles forward though and they were able to start eating, their cries died down quick enough and soon they were greedily drinking. When they finished off the milk, the raccoons went back to blindly exploring and making little noises and Seresana made sure they were on the floor and no in danger of falling off anything while she took the empty containers back into the kitchen.
"Just in time, breakfast is ready Seresana," Sophia chimed in while she set the table.
"Alright mom, I'll just get washed up after making sure the raccoons are alright," Seresana said as she walked right back out of the kitchen. Her first stop was back in the living room where the little raccoons were still slowly and blindly wandering about the floor. After a moment of though, Seresana got the two of them together and placed them near the center of the floor. Then she used the towels that had previously bundled them up to dry and keep them warm, to make a little closed off circular area for them. Satisfied with her work, Seresana nodded to the little raccoons and then wandered back off to go to the downstairs bathroom and wash her face and hands. It was a really short trip over to the other bathroom that she only infrequently used and in no time she was standing before the sink and washing her hands in the on turned water. After using and washing off the soap, Seresana splashed some water in her face a couple times to rid herself of the remaining bits of tiredness. Then she threw her head back after the last splash and raked her hands through her hair before looking at herself in the mirror again. Absently, she took a strand between a couple of her fingers, twisting and untwisting it as she tried to imagine what she'd look like with a different style of hair, or even if it was a different color since dying one's hair wasn't an impossibility, and there was also always the transformation jutsu that she could use to really get a feel for what she'd want. "Hmm, I've got to remember to try a few different looks out sometime soon and see if anything seems like a better fit," Seresana thought to herself before a new call from Sophia echoed down the hall.

"Vesken, Hitagi, breakfast!" Sophia yelled out, and even though her name wasn't part of the call, Seresana still took it as a sign that it was time to stop looking at herself in the mirror and join the rest of her family at the table. The meal passed quickly, and then Seresana was right back by the raccoon's side as soon as her plate was cleared and her cup empty. Over the next couple of days, Seresana spent most of her time around the baby raccoons. Feeding them, cleaning up after them, petting them and generally doing about all she could while their eyes were still closed. She even gave them names after finding out which sex they were. There was Miku the boy, and Mina the girl.

Then about a week and a half later, Mina opened her eyes for the first time early in the morning. It awoke Seresana with quite the start since she was woken up by a pair of bright yellow eyes looking into her own. Later on that day, Miku opened his eyes for the first time as well, a pair of silvery blue orbs that looked about with wide eyed curiosity and regarded Seresana with blatant intrigue. That night Seresana had the little raccoons sleeping in her bed rather than the little pen that Vesken had made for them a few days ago. It wasn't that the little wooden and thoroughly padded spot was bad, in fact Seresana was ecstatic to see the completed project and learn that it was to go in her room, it was just that Seresana didn't want to leave the raccoons alone on their first day of being able to see. She slept soundly on one pillow while the other had been surrendered to Miku and Mina.

In the morning, Seresana was awoken by a couple tongues licking her face lightly and eliciting a giggle from the girl until her own eyes opened to regard the two. "Good morning," she said before springing from bed and getting dressed while the raccoons scurried about her disturbed bed, Miku even getting just a little too close to the edge while Mina continued bounding about. One miss-step and Miku was falling the short distance, only to be caught by Seresana as she prematurely ended her dressing ritual to save Miku who was gently placed on the floor moments before she placed Mina there as well. As the little raccoons wandered about, Seresana finished getting dressed, pulling up her pants and pulling down her shirt over her plain undergarments. Then the usual pieces of cloth were tied off on her and she pulled on her vest before taking a second to look at herself in the mirror before deciding that her look was complete. Now ready to face the day, Seresana picked back up the racoons and placed them on her shoulders before proceeding out of her room, down the stairs, and towards the kitchen. "Morning mom," Seresana said as she entered the room and took her seat at the table.
"Good morning sweetie," Sophia replied from the kitchen, "you want some breakfast?"
"Yes please," Seresana replied happily before her mood shifted a bit towards uncertainty. "Hey mom..."
"Yes Seresana?"
"Do you think we could do some training, together?"
"Seresana, I-"
"Please mom, I promise I'll do my be-," Seresana pleaded.
"Seresana," Sophia called a bit more forcefully and instantly quieting the young girl. "If you want me to train you, you'll need to prove that you're up to it. I was not treated softly as a ninja and I won't hold back when teaching you. I need to know that you're not just wanting to, but that you are able to withstand the methods I'm familiar with," Sophia explained. "Before bed tonight, we will go to your training spot and there you will show me what you're capable of. If I think you're up to the challenge, then I might train you," Sophia further elaborated when Seresana's expression had refused to brighten.
"But mom," Seresana tried one last time, but a stern look from Sophia was more than enough to quiet and dispel any further pleading.
"One more thing Seresana, if you do prove yourself capable and ready for my teaching, I won't be your mother during such sessions. When we start to when we finish each day, I will be your sensei, not your mother. Do not expect leniency or mercy for I will not give either even though you are my daughter. You can and likely will get hurt," Sophiea forewarned.
Seresana took a moment to continue watching her mother, the normally sweet and kind woman who'd she'd only rarely seen without a smile suddenly so serious, and then another to strongly consider what she'd just been told. By the end of those moments though, Seresana's determination was only redoubled up and she was more willing than before to when she nodded while saying, "I understand mom."
"Good, now eat your breakfast and prepare yourself, you've go the day to think up how your going to impress me." Seresana nodded and hesitantly shifted her attention back down to her breakfast before beginning to eat. The other family members were quick to join the two women in the dining room soon after and the topic Seresana and Sophia had been discussing was pushed back as far as it could be. After it was finished, Seresana excused herself only detouring long enough to drop her dishes off in the sink before proceeding back to the living room and her little raccoons.
While Miku and Mina played and explored around Seresana, she herself sat there on the floor trying to think of how she was going to impress her mother. "I know she used to be a shinobi, but I have no idea how powerful she was. Maybe she'll be impressed by the golem summoning technique? No, that's an earth style jutsu and a pretty basic one that I've already shown her. The same goes for the levitation jutsu as well. She also knows how good I've been getting with my bow so that wouldn't surprise her either. Hmm... Actually now that I think about it, I really don't know any water techniques and the only ice one's I know are from that old scroll that mom even gave me... wait a minute. THOSE! Mom doesn't know that I can do those jutsu yet, and some of them were really difficult techniques to learn, especially the mirrors. But then again, the mirrors by their lonesome aren't that spectacular, if I'm really going to impress her, I'll need to couple them with something and it'll need to be done fast. I can't keep those mirror's going for too long, they take too much chakra. I should also probably avoid trying to use any chakra techniques while trying to maintain them, it's just too draining to use another jutsu with them... or at least any of the more chakra intensive jutsu... Maybe I could use less mirrors and then create a greater effect with the other jutsu to impress mom, but what other jutsu should I use?" These thoughts and more would continue to distract Seresana, and it wasn't long before she found the greater portion of the day already gone by.

Lunch and dinner came and went, and Seresana simply continued to think about what it was she would attempt in an effort to impress her mother. While she was still in the living room watching the now sleeping racoons and continuing to be lost in thought, her mother had arrived in the doorway and cleared her throat to get Seresana's attention. "Come, it is time to see if you can prove yourself capable of my training," Sophia said simply before leading Seresana out of the house and into the woods with Seresana only taking a momentary detour to grab her ninja gear for use in this demonstration. It'd been a cloudy day, but most of the rain had happened the prior so while the ground was still soft the sky was bright and clear, branches weren't dripping and the grass wasn't wet to the touch. The trip back to Seresana's little training clearing wasn't a long one, but to her it seemed like it took forever to arrive at the little open grassy area with it's old scared stump. Sophia took up a spot around the edge of clearing and stood there expectantly with her arms crossed at her chest. "Begin when you think you are ready Seresana," Sophia said in about as cold a voice as Seresana had ever heard, it was even enough to get her to nervously gulp before nodding.

To begin, Seresana took a few cautious steps out into the middle of the clearing and then slid her bow off her shoulders. To start, Seresana made a series of handsigns before 9 of the demon ice mirrors formed, but instead of forming as as they usually did in the shape of a dome but it was upside down, above the ground, and only the top of it. With a jump, Seresana leapt up and grabbed onto the mirror facing directly downward before going into it. As her reflections appeared in the mirror, Seresana drew her first arrow and partially exited the mirror, just her upper half with the bow and now drawn arrow. Seresana released the first shot, and then jumped to the next mirror while drawing out her next arrow and repeating the procedure. Ultimately, this allowed Seresana to cover virtually all of the clearing with her arrows, showing that no space was safe from her mark, yet it was still exhausting even keeping these few mirrors up and moving at this speed, plus she was rapidly going through her quiver. Wanting to wrap things up with a bang, Seresana turned her attention solely onto the stump directly below her. Dismissing all the mirrors but the one facing directly downward at the stump, Seresana exited the mirror, and stood upon it's back where she could do a few more handsigns. First was the levitation jutsu, then the ice arrow jutsu, and then the thousand ice needles of death jutsu was performed as she merged back into the mirror. Having another mirror form just in front of the stump. Seresana started her jump to that mirror, while drawing back the ice arrow and releasing the barrage of ice needles. Seresana was moving faster than her needles, and so when she released her arrow, it sailed and sank into the stump well before any of the needles peppered it and the surrounding area. Before the needles hit or she merged into the other mirror, Seresana created another ice arrow to set to her bow's string while merging into the mirror. Then Seresana turned about while in the mirror as the needles rained down to hit the stump and surrounding area, but with Seresana in the mirror, she was safe from the barrage. Immediately after the barrage landed, Seresana exited and dismissed the mirror to unleash a powerful shot at point blank range at the stump, the effect produced a shredding series of cracks and snaps as the stump slowly split under the punishment of Seresana's demonstration. The old warp around the bottom of the stump was all that kept the two large pieces of wood from falling flat on the ground, but the crack reached the whole of the stump and split it clearly in two pieces. Seresana was standing in a low stance, her bow still held up in one hand while the other was still raised and near her cheek from where it'd held the string. She was looking at the stump with wide eyed wonder, panting tiredly at the sheer effort that'd just been expended to do all that. After a moment or two spent to catch her breath, Seresana stood up and turned about to look at her mother with a confident grin.
Sophia's expression hadn't changed at all during the demonstration, her now cold and piercing blue eyes almost seeming to glow in the little light there was. There were arrows and ice needles all over the area, and a few had even come close to her, but there was no evidence that she'd moved in the slightest during the entire thing. That cold and unchanging expression was enough to freeze the confidence Seresana had, replacing it with uncertainty, but with another gulp to steel her nerves, Seresana adopted a similar neutral expression. "I have finished my demonstration mo-, I mean Sophia. Was it satisfactory to your expectations?" Seresana asked with her voice only slightly wavering.
"It... was acceptable. I shall begin to teach you around the same time tomorrow. Also, these teachings are to be kept secret. Do not tell anyone who it is that's teaching you these techniques."
"Why?"
"No questions my student, just know that these teachings are to be kept secret and that should you tell another, these teachings will end immediately," Sophia replied without truly answering the question. "And it's sensei while we're here."
"Alright mo-, Sensei," Seresana replied with her expression drooping slightly as her eyes went down. A comforting hand on her shoulder though was more than enough to draw her eyes back up into the first smile she'd seen from her mother since dinner.
"You did very well sweetie," Sophia said sweetly as she pulled her daughter into a tight hug. "You didn't tell me you'd mastered the demon ice mirrors already. You've mastered our blood years before I managed the same level of ability, and you've even already started incorporating alternative ways of using the jutsu to your own style. You keep this up and you might even manage to surpass me some day," Sophia went on a good bit more lively and warmly than she'd been all afternoon. "Now why dont' we go home for the night before we're missed," Sophia said as she began to escort her daughter back to their house.
Seresana returned the smile when the compliments came, and she hugged back just as tightly when she'd been embraced. "Okay mom," she replied before falling into step next to her mother as they walked back to the house. "So what will we work on first?" Seresana asked in a bit of eagerness.
"Well, as I watched you perform those techniques, I noticed that you used lot of chakra, more than was truly needed. So our first objective will be working on your chakra control."
"My chakra control?"
"Yes, with good chakra control, you can better utilize what chakra you have and be more efficient with it. If I'm going to be teaching you the techniques I know, then you'll need to be much better at handling your chakra otherwise you'll run out far too quickly for the training to really take effect. We'll also need to work on your chakra nature," Sophia went on.
"You mean my ice natured chakra?" Seresana asked back.
"As well as your affinity with wind and water chakra natures as they're both parts of your ice nature. I'll show you the basics on how to practice and explain a few principles about your chakra natures, and then it'll be up to you to actually improve your control over your chakra natures. It won't be a fast process, but these core principles will vastly improve your capabilites as a shinobi later on and lay down the foundation for incredible jutsu."
"Wow, it sounds incredible mom."
"It will be sweetie, especially when you combine an enhanced chakra control with a high level of control over your chakra nature, the possibilities become immense," Sophia concluded as they reached the edge of the woods and began across the yard.
"I can't wait," Seresana replied enthusiastically as she smiled up at her mother. The two proceeded the rest of the way across the yard and then into the house.
"I'm going on to bed sweetie, don't stay up too late now," Sophia said before working her way up the stairs and towards her own room while Seresana went over to the living room. Her two little racoons were still there, though instead of on the floor, the two were curled up next to each other on the couch. Seresana was careful to scoop up the two little creatures and then smoothly walk up the stairs and to her room. Miku and Mina stirred a little bit, but for the most part remained asleep for the trip and when Seresana deposited them on her bed. Before joining them, she stripped down to her undergarments to go to sleep in. Then Seresana carefully slid into the bed, sliding under the cover and gently laying down her head on a seperate pillow next to the racoons. With thoughts towards the future, sleep was slow to come to Seresana, but it eventually took it's hold of her, leaving the dreams that night to be filled with strange and crazy thoughts towards new techniques.

Word Count: 10,485
-1,000 words finding NPC sensei
-1,500 words convincing NPC sensei
Total: 7,985
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PostSubject: Re: New efforts   Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:20 pm

The moon was out in full, but drifting clouds constantly changed what could be seen of it right along with the abundance of stars that were out. Though the small section of sky that could be seen through the hole in the tree canopy thanks to the clearing was not where Seresana's eyes were this night. Instead they were on her mother who sported one of her usual plain yukata dresses, this one primarily white, but with a basic light blue patten upon a chunk of it. She held a lantern holder with a lit lantern on the end of it, providing a bit of extra light to aid in the illumination provided by the moon, it also allowed them to cross the hazardous forest terrain between their house and the training clearing in one hand and the other hold a bottle of water. Sophia's hair was still down as usual, and she also wore wooden sandals similar to Seresana's. Her mother's expression however was patiently serious. Seresana herself was in her usual ninja garb as well. The plain black pants with two cloth ties on them, one above the knee and the other below it, her own wooden sandals, the white shirt with two more ties on her body at her chest and waist level while her headband was bound around her right arm in the middle of the short sleeve. Seresana was also sporting her newer hair cut, a soft sling where the forward bangs were lower than the hair around the back of her head, and her newer purple vest with the leaf village insignia emblazoned on the back.
"So mo-, I mean sensei, why didn't you have me bring my bow if we're going to be training tonight?" Seresana asked as she came to her position in the training clearing.
"Because we won't be working on your bow technique this night Seresana, you're already well above any technique with it that I could teach. Tonight we will start with training your chakra control as well as beginning your training with your chakra natures," Sophia explained from where she stood while uncorking the bottle. "Now as you know, every person's chakra has an element to it, and you've got three elements that your chakra is attuned to. Before we work on your ice nature though, we should work on your mastery over the two elements that make up your ice nature, water and wind. We'll start with water," Sophia explained as she stepped forward and pulled out a piece of paper from her yukata. "Now as you recall, when you channeled your chakra into a piece of chakra paper, it turned soggy and split in two before frosting over. So what we'll have you do is channel your chakra into another, less reactive object in order to accomplish a similar situation," Sophia elaborated while puttin the piece of paper back and then pulling out a small piece of cloth. "What I want you to do now is clasp this piece of cloth in your hands and channel your chakra into it in in an attempt to make the cloth damp, and only damp. Don't let it freeze or tear otherwise you'll need to start over, understood?"
"Yes sensei," Seresana replied as she took the piece of cloth in hand and looked down at it curiously, but then she noticed that the light from her mother's lantern was shifting. "Huh, where are you going mom?"
"I'm going home, you don't need me here for this part of the training. Come home when you're too tired to go on and then go back out the next night until you can reliably get the cloth damp with nothing but your chakra," Sophia explained while departing.
"Oh, okay sensei," Seresana said a bit uncertain when it came to the task. Not only had she been given very little in the way of how to do the task before her, but her mother had just left her out here in the middle of the woods. "Wait, but what about mastering my chakra control?"
"That will come with this practice as well as the future chakra nature practice you'll be doing. Being able to direct your chakra steadily first to your hands and then into the piece of cloth will increase your control over chakra in general by a decent step. When your able to channel your water nature into the cloth successfully, you'll have increased your mastery over your chakra control enough that we'll make the challenge associated with channeling your wind chakra nature even more difficult, and we'll repeat this when it comes to increasing your control over your ice nature, making the whole exercise even more difficult to further increase your mastery of chakra control, now if there are no more questions, goodnight Seresana."
"Goo-goodnight Sensei," Seresana replied a little bit weakly as her mother left her in the woods. She watched her mothers figure go further and further until she could only tell where she was thanks to the light from the lantern, and even that eventually disappeared among the trees of the forest. When the last traces of her mother disappeared into the woods, Seresana finally turned her attention back to the task at hand, literally in this case since the piece of cloth was still clasped between her fingers. "So all I need to do is channel my chakra into the cloth, but only so much and only so it'll make the cloth wet. Shouldn't be that hard, but I don't really know how much chakra I'll actually need for this so I guess I'll just have to try a little bit at first and slowly work my way up," she said to herself while shifting the scrap of cloth about so that it was resting in her palm rather than her finger tips, and she brought her other hand about so she was fully cupping the piece of cloth. Then Seresana began to concentrate, focusing on the chakra inside of her at first, but being careful not to do so in the method she had before where she'd pictured the frozen and constantly shifting crystal. It just served to think that she should instead try and imagine the chakra inside of her like a source of water instead of as frozen if she was going to just be working on the water nature. And that was exactly what Seresana did, she thought of a body of water within her, a central pool of chakra with a great many little creeks and streams branching out from it to every extremety of her body. She was so glad to have thought of this method for at least focusing her chakra before, but there wouldn't be a way to tell if this was working until she tried to focus the chakra into the cloth in her palms. Slowly at first, Seresana tried to change the imaginary depiction of waterways of chakra, adding in a new one to flow into the piece of cloth. Just a tiny little stream, something that would barely let any of her chakra through into the cloth scrap, and even then this was still just an experiment that she wasn't even sure was going to work. Granted if it didn't, she could always try a different technique, if she could think of one to try that was.
Seresana had no clue how long she spent standing there in the clearing, trying to focus her chakra not only into the palms of her hands, but also into the piece of fabric in order to make it damp. Seconds turned to minutes, and minutes turned into hours as Seresana continued to try and focus on making the cloth damp. Eventually Seresana opened the eyes she hadn't realized she'd closed and chanced a glance down at the piece of fabric. The cloth had yet to change in the slightest and wasn't the least bit damp. Seresana had to let out a sigh of defeat as she beheld the scrap of cloth. "Well that didn't work, maybe I'm not channeling enough of my chakra?" she mused before looking towards the split stump. Seresana decided to take a short break from that training to do a quick something about the stump. Seresana tucked the piece of cloth into one of her pockets before seizing the cloth wrap that was still around the bottom of the stump. Slowly, Seresana began to work the cloth wrap up the stump's side, forcing the two split halves back together. When the wrap was near the top and forcing the stump pretty much seamlessly back together, Seresana hopped up to the top of the stump and pulled back out the piece of cloth. She then cupped the piece of cloth back in her palms while sitting down cross-leggedly on the stump to give her tired legs an at least momentary break. Once again, Seresana visualized the central body of water with all the branching little tributaries and then thought towards the piece of cloth that would be resting in her palms. Instead of the tiny little trickle though, Seresana thought of a small creek where a small but more steady stream of water, and hopefully chakra, could flow through.
Time once again became lost to the little girl as her exercise continued, and she slowly drained herself of chakra to try and dampen the piece of cloth. Yet hours later when Seresana once again opened her eyes to regard the piece of cloth, it was once again still just as dry as when she'd first retrieved it. "Okay, this isn't working, maybe I need to really cut loose and just channel a lot of chakra into it," Seresana said to herself before doing just that. First she visualized the water system of chakra going through her, and then instead of a trickle or creek branching off from her chakra source, Seresana thought of a full on river, fastly flowing into the piece of cloth. Literally a stream of her chakra just constantly flowing into the piece of cloth. The act was surprisingly draining and was the one instance that time wasn't able to fully get away from her as the act was just too draining to keep up for very long. When Seresana opened her eyes this time, she glanced down only for her eyes to widen with wonder as she regarded the piece of cloth. A tiny spot, possibly not even a drop's worth had dampened the tip of a corner of the cloth. While it wasn't much, and might have even been just sweat from all the effort she was outputting, Seresana found her spirits rising. "Phew, okay so we're making some progress, but it's hardly what mom was searching for, so I've still got a long road ahead of me. Still this is a goopd first step!" Seresana exclaimed excitedly before returning her attention to the scrap of cloth and cupping it back in her hands. "Okay, so I have to think of a way to use less chakra to try and achieve the same thing. It takes far too much when I try and use it like it is to achieve such a small effect. Maybe if I try and condense the chakra that's going out..." Seresana mused as she took a few deep breaths to steady herself for the next session of the training.
And again, Seresana closed her eyes in concentration, imagining the pool and streams of chakra flowing all throughout her body and reaching every inch of it. She pictured the piece of cloth in her mind and thought about how it would get wet if she could just correctly perform this maneuver. The chakra however becoming a bit harder to coerce out into it though as her pools of it diminished. The chakra seemed to refuse to want to budge from her system, but she forced it out regardless and into the scrap. First just the trickle, then the flow, and finally in the form of a full on stream just ceaselessly flowing into the tiny article of cloth, but then came the job of refining it and quickly too for she could already feel the effects of the flow of chakra leaving her body. Seresana imagined a choke point in her thought up river of chakra. A spot where the stream would get considerably tighter while still trying to maintain the same amount of chakra, therefore condensing it into a more controlled stream and one that she could then hopefully reduce the total output and still wet the cloth. All of this however was far easier said than done as the moment Seresana tried to condense the flow of chakra, she found her hands almost pushed back away from the cloth and herself nearly pushed right off the stump. Flailing her arms a good bit, Seresana managed to stay upright, but almost as soon as she stopped being at risk of falling, the strain suddenly decided to rear it's head at her. Her arms felt like lead and she herself felt incredibly drained from the whole excursion. Even her sight blurred a little, but returned to normal after a few blinks.
"Well, that was something," Seresana said wearily to herself as she righted her form and let out a few pants. She then tried to bring her hands back out in front of her and was surprised to meet such resistance. Her muscles just didn't seem to want to move, all of them were stiff and starting to hurt just a bit. Seresana grit her teeth against it though and brought her hands forward regardless. She then forced open her right hand to reveal the piece of cloth that she'd curled her fingers around to prevent it from flying off after the last failed attempt at wetting it. She regarded the thing carefully, noting how a just barely noticeable corner was still damp, but it was impossible to tell if it was any bigger from her latest attempt in the non-existant light of the night. Seresana let out a sigh as she settled in to make at least one more attempt at this technique for the night. With hands positioned around and cupping the scrap of cloth, Seresana began to process of forcing her chakra into the piece of cloth. She rushed past the trickle and stream of chakras, and instead just went straight on for the raging torrent or water visualization. And then tried condensing it again, but much slower and less drastic this time. First she condensed the stream just a little bit, feeling the force of the chakra flow more focused but becoming more difficult to maintain. Worried about repeating the mistake she'd just recently made, Seresana then lowered the amount of chakra, pulling the torrent back a bit to where it wasn't so straining. Then she tried condensing it again very slowly, already beginning to feel the pressure begin to build up once again. Once it started to feel like the pressure would overwhelm her control, Seresana eased back the amount of chakra flowing through even more and then resumed condencing it. However this time Seresana got a bit ahead of herself with the condensing bit and before she knew it, she lost control of the exercise. Once again she was blown back, but it wasn't as powerful as the last time. However the scrap of cloth managed to slip through her shakey grasp and as she tried to pick herself back up, Seresana was almost afraid at how much resistance her hands and arms put up to even just simple movement. "Okay, I think it's time I head home for tonight," Seresana mused as she stiffly and awkwardly got to her feet and jumped off the stump. The walk home for her wasn't bad, if anything it was almost relaxing walking through the all too familiar forest in the calm of night, and before she knew it, her house appeared through the gaps in the foliage. Regardless of how nice the walk might have been, it had also been all that was needed for her to realize just how tired she actually was and by the time Seresana had reached the porch to her house, utter exhaustion was upon her. She barely made it up to her bed where Miku and Mina were already sound asleep and just flopped into it without even bothering to undress. Sleep came quickly, and the night went on peacefully for her.
The next night found Seresana once again in the woods by herself. This time her mother hadn't accompanied her since Seresana hadn't managed to master the technique her mother had instructed. She was still on the same somewhat repaired stump, legs crossed, and with a new piece of cloth cupped in her hands that she was trying to focus enough water nature chakra into to make it damp. She used the same process she had the prior night, starting off with a large torrent of chakra flowing into the article, and then condensing it down while occasionally lessening the amount of chakra to alleviate the pressure and strain some. Also just like the prior night, she would do this for a little while before losing control over the chakra flow and being pushed back with varrying amounts of force. By the end of the night though, Seresana managed to get to what she believed to be the lowest amount of chakra she could have flowing into the piece of cloth, that was still compressible into the more focused stream. She was able to maintain this for a few minutes before all the prior work caught up to her and nearly had the girl passing out on the spot. The moon was high in the night's sky when she managed that, and so with one tired glance up at it, Seresana decided that it was time for her to return home and go to bed, which she did promptly.
This process happened more or less on repeat for the next couple nights even, with Seresana managing to get to this miniscule amount of condensed chakra to flow out of her and into the cloth for slowly increasing amounts of time. Finally on a night five days after her mother had told her to perform the trick, Seresana was about to make another full attempt. Sitting crosslegged atop the stump, Seresana closed her eyes and imagined the streams of chakra again. She could not skip the torrent of water and go straight to condensing the tiny stream and begin working her way up from there. Imagining the small condensed stream of water, and then just slowly trying to force more through it without it rushing over the sides. The process was difficult and Seresana wasn't quite prepared for it the first time she tried her own technique. The moment she tried to add in additional chakra to the flow while it was still so condensed and restricted, she immediately lost control and the gathered chakra dispersed without a trace upon the piece of cloth still resting in her hands. Not deterred though, Seresana simply closed her eyes to recreate the visualization and try again, and again, and again. The process was agonizingly slow, and each time she tried it, more of her chakra was drained which meant she was more and more exhausted with each effort. By the end of the night however, Seresana was walking back to her house with a smile on her face, and a piece of cloth that was damp on the barest corner, a single drop of water dripped off it as she held the piece between a couple of her fingers.
The next night, Sophia was with Seresana and watching the technique her daughter was trying to perform. After a couple hours, Seresana tiredly presented the ever so slightly damp piece of cloth that her mother quickly took and held up for close inspection. While Seresana was in her usual ninja attire, Sophia was sporting an outfit that Seresana had never seen the older woman wear. It wasn't a yukata, though it did feature an haori that was a twisting pattern of black and light blues. The hakama beneath was just black and there was a wide sash with a smaller belt laying over it around her waist. Sophia's hair was done up as well, bound and folded back on itself in a tight, neat bun that held the usually flowing locks of hair up and tight. She studied the piece of cloth for a long while and with a critical expression before letting out a sigh. "The entire piece of cloth isn't damp Seresana."
"I... I know sensei," Seresana started with protest, but ended with her head slightly slumped.
"But this is good progress for the amount of time spent. I wouldn't expect you to have the entire piece of cloth damp before six months at the least, but at this rate, you might have even managed it by the third month."
"I might have? Why can't I still?"
"Because now we're going to work on your wind chakra nature as well as your chakra control as a whole," Sophia stated sharply. "Now with watching the technique you just demonstrated, you've shown some progress of your own accord towards increasing your chakra control. You're trying to regulate the amount of chakra you have flowing into cloth with some success, but you'll need to do more and do it better if you wish to master the technique. That's why I'm going to show you two different techniques to practice this time, and I expect you to just practice these techniques and not the prior one, understood?"
"Yes sensei," Seresana replied quickly as she gave her mother her undivided attention for what was to come.
"Alright then, the first one will be familiar. Once more you'll be using the piece of cloth, but instead of trying to make it damp with your chakra, I want you to cut it instead. You've already shown some capacity to bring out at least a nature of your chakra so I won't bother with explaining this too much. The other technique I want you to practice is soemthing that several shinobi can do and somthing that I expect you to manage just as well," Sophia said before walking over to a nearby tree. She made a handsign for a second while beginning to speak again. "You will need to focus your chakra at the bottoms of your feet and maintain a steady stream of chakra at just the right amount in order to do this." Sophia left the end of the sentence hanging as she placed one sandaled foot to the tree, and then just as simply as she would on the ground, began walking up the side of the tree. About halfway up, she turned around and walked back down as if there was nothing abnormal about it. "You will practice the wind nature technique first, and then the tree walking technique I just showed you. Then you will practice both together until you can manage both tasks simultaneously. Then I want you to take it a step further with trying to channel both your water and your wind nature chakra into two seperate pieces of cloth while maintaining the tree climbing technique. When you think you can show me such a demonstration, we'll move on to the final preperatory training session before I teach you any new jutsu. Is that understood?"
Seresana took a moment to actually address what she'd just been told. It was exhausting just trying to make the tiniest corner of the cloth damp, and now not only was she to start a new technique where she was to try and shred the cloth with nothing but her chakra, but also perform a whole new type of chakra control exercises that would have her sending chakra to a third and fourth place on her body, trying to maintain steady streams to all four locations and manage a change in the chakra nature. Then her next big test was to do all of that while also managing a second change in chakra nature. For a brief moment, it all seemed like too much. There was just so much before her, so much training to do, so many difficult tasks to accomplish. The daunting mountain of challenge before her seemed for a moment just too great to scale, and that was when the memories surfaced again. The sight of those crying faces, the panic, the feeling of helplessness that she couldn't do anything because she just wasn't strong enough and that was more than enough to steel herself to at least attempt the task her sensei was presenting.
"Is it-"
"Yes, I understand the tasks you want me to preform and I will do so before you come to watch me again," Seresana said with a solidity that almost surprised herself.
"Very good child, I'll look forward to it," Sophia replied with a smile. "Well, you have your objectives from me, I expect you're eager to begin so I will leave you to it. Good luck and good night Seresana," Sophia said before turning about and leaving the clearing.
Seresana watched her mother depart and when she was out of sight, she turned her attention back to the piece of cloth cradled in her right hand. "Just like last time then," Seresana said as she turned towards the stump once more. With a quick hope, the little girl was once again sitting crossleggedly upon the rough and now slightly uneven surface of the stump with the piece of cloth cradled between her hands and her eyes shut in concentration. "I'll have to think of a new image to imagine for this one since the wind doesn't flow down streams and rivers. It is wind though, what all does it do? It blows here and there, picking up and becoming much faster and stronger during storms. It can also be blown through things like pipes and straws. Maybe if I thought of the chakra as wind and it flowing about my body through pipes that made up my chakra system. That might work, but it'd be a little weird. Maybe I should just think of the wind in general like blowing out of my hand and into the cloth? That might be a bit weird too since wind doesn't normally blow into things, it blows things away. Guess I'll just have to try things until I come up with something that works," Seresana concluded to herself as she resolved to actually begin the training session. With eyes still shut, Seresana tried to picture her chakra as a powerful wind current running rampant through herself. Then with no shortage of effort, Seresana tried to picture the chakra condensing while traveling down to her palm, yet after a while of this, Seresana couldn't tell any different other than she was getting more worn out. Eventually she gave up on that manner and thought back to different options.
Suddenly new inspiration struck her and Seresana closed her eyes again as she tried to focus on her new avenue. Firstly Seresana just tried to send chakra into her hand, a considerable amount of it to just sit there and condense for the moment, but no going into the scrap of cloth. When Seresana was satsified with the amount of chakra in her palm, she then tried to picture the invisible chakra as wind, flowing and circling about her hand. At first nothing happened and Seresana was just starting to consider yet another approach when suddenly the cloth moved just a little bit. One of the corner had briefly twitched just barely making enough movement to even be seen. While it wasn't much, it still proved that Seresana was at least doing something right in the matter and she could now focus on improving the technique. Seresana still had to take a minute to notice that it at least seemed that different chakra natures seemed to almost take different methods when it came to trying to improve them. Though she assumed that she shouldn't have been that surprised after all since there were several different types of chakras, as well as different kekkei genkai and different people. What might work for one probably wouldn't for another and so while others could likely offer suggestions and notions on what to do, she assumed that it'd ultimately be up to the individual to determine what training methods work best for them. "That must be why mom didn't stick around to coach me. What she went through might not have worked for me and so I had to find my own," she mused while taking a moment for a break and looking towards the night's sky. The moon was overhead, and barely a sliver of pale white in the otherwise black overhead. "I think I'll give it a few more goes and then call it for the night," Seresana said aloud before closing her eyes and getting back to the training session.
A few hours and several attempts later, and Seresana was dragging herself back to the house once again just as exhausted. Her progress had been slow, but still faster than when she'd first attempted the same with her water nature. Still it wasn't going at the speed she would like and wanting to really impress her mother, Seresana had arrived at a conclusion. She was going to go conduct some research on chakra natures as well as controls and recorded basic exercises on chakra control. Sure it wouldn't be the most exciting thing to do all tomorrow, but if it proved fruitful, then it'd be a far better use of her time and it might accelerate her ability when it came to mastering these two chakra natures, and then when she got to the last one, she wouldn't have nearly as much trouble with the ice nature. Still, Seresana was for the moment just concerned with getting to her bed. Upon entering her room, Seresana saw that the racoons were already asleep on her bed where she'd left them before heading out to train, their small bodies rising and falling as they dozed. Not wanting to disturb them, Seresana quietly undressed and then climbed into the bed where sleep took her before her head even had a chance to hit the pillow.
The next morning after getting the racoons and eating her own breakfast, Seresana was off to the book store. She decided to take the racoons with her as they would have to get used to riding on her shoulders eventually and she wanted to get them used to lots of people and not just her family. Sure enough, plenty of people watched or did double takes as Seresana walked by. Clad in her usual black pants, white shirt, purple vest, and multiple cloth ties, slightly longer now hair, the pair of snowflake earrings, headband fastened to her right sleeve, and a young racoon clinging to each shoulder, Seresana was something of a sight. Even with the stares though, Seresana strode through the town with nothing but smiles and the occasional moments spent scratching behind either Miku or Mina's ears. It didn't take her too long to reach the bookstore and she pushed open the door with a quiet nod to the saleswoman behind the counter who gave Seresana a look before asking, "are those things trained?"
"Huh? You mean Miku and Mina?" Seresana asked back with a gesture towards the racoons.
"Ye-yeah, they aren't gonna relieve themselves in my shop, are they?"
"Oh no, no need to worry about that. I'll be keeping a very close eye on these two," Seresana said while affectionately squeezing her shoulders up so the racoons were pressed against her. She held that for a moment before letting her shoulders relax and she pressed on into the more library like store. She quickly worked her way past the best sellers, and other fiction novels that while she did like, weren't the target of her inquiry right now. Finally, Seresana found the non-fiction section and then pressed onward to the manuals and ninja guide scrolls and books. It also didn't take her long to find a book on chakra natures that looked considerably more comprehensive than the current little scroll she had, and an accompanying scroll on the combined chakra natures. It wasn't quite as many as she'd been expecting to find, but some was certainly better than nothing. After a quick double check to make sure she'd not missed any, Seresana brought the books up front and paid for them before leaving the store. As she walked back through the street, Seresana passed by a little food stand that drew both Miku and Mina's attentions enough that Seresana even noticed. "Hehe, I guess you two were good enough to deserve a snack," Seresana said before taking the detour over to the stand. Seresana bought a small order of Tsukune and picked off two of the cooked balls, giving one to each racoon before munching on the rest herself. Durring the rest of walk home, Miku started getting restless and climbed up ontop of Seresana's head while Mina seemed to just want to rest some more as she tried to climb inside Seresana's vest and use the cloth tie around her chest like a bed. Seresana was too busy chuckling and giggling as the two racoons maneuvered about her body, each seeking their definition of comfort.
Once Seresana got home, she quickly went to her room with both the foxes, sat them down so they could play about in her room while she got to work reading. She didn't have to wait for long as with that extra bit of rest, Mina was finally ready to play as well and soon both were bounding about the floor and playing with each other, climbing up and down various objects, and generally just trying to get into stuff while Seresana cracked open the book. The first bits were things that she already knew, the book going over how everyone has at least one chakra nature that identifies with their chakra, but then a detail that Seresana had previously dismissed suddenly caught her attention. "Elemented chakra has certain properties that are related to the respective element," she started reading aloud. "Fire nature chakra is fierce and ferocious, destructive and dangerous. It's a common chakra type in the village hidden in the leaves and in several ways acts like a flame, become more destructive the longer it burns until it finally burns out. Earth chakra is stalwart and strong, resiliant to movement and opposing force and holds a force of it's own that is difficult to stop. Lightning chakra is swift and savage, striking with a terrifying percision and surprisingly dangerous. Wind chakra is fast and sharp, cutting it's way not just through the air, but wood and stone. Water chakra is patient but relentless, and surprisingly powerful in it's own right," Seresana continued reading, although a little scatteredly as she jumped around to different parts of the page. "Hmm so the wind chakra is... sharp. Maybe I shouldn't have been trying to picture the wind like water at all, but instead maybe something like a blade or arrow so that it can focus on an edge or point. And if I'm guessing right, then ice chakra should be sharp, fast, relentless, and powerful... Hmm... maybe I shouldn't worry about ice just yet. Follow mom's advice and just stick with trying to take my first steps into manifesting my wind chakra nature, and then I've got to learn how to control my chakra enough that I can walk up a tree while channeling both chakra natures... Actually, how am I going to do that? I can't focus both chakras at the same time in the same place or it'll become ice, wouldn't it? Maybe if I just use one hand for wind and the other for water? That might work? I'll have to read more," Seresana concluded as she dove back into her new book, at least until a sudden series of claws gripped onto her leg. Seresana managed not to yelp in pain and shock as she continued to feel one of the racoons climb up her leg, and a couple pain filled moments later, Seresana scooted back the chair to see Miku's little face looking right up at her with an almost pleading expression. Unable to stay mad at little Miku, Seresana slowly lifted a hand and petted him while saying, "go-good job Miku." Then the sounds of claws against wood drew Seresana's attention down to the right side of her chair where Mina's claws were failing to find purchase as she tried desperately to climb into Seresana's lap as well. "Oh I hadn't forgotten about you Mina, here let me help you up here," she said before reaching down and scooping up the racoon so both were set in her lap where she could pet them both. "Guess now's as good a time as any for a break huh?" Seresana asked the racoon's rhetorically. "Let's go see about some lunch then," she added before picking the racoons back up to rest on her shoulders while proceeding out of her room and down back the stairs.
Seresana ran into her mother in the living room, the other woman sitting in the living room and reading over a book as well. She was back in her usual yukata, and showed no signs towards any of the attitude or expression she'd wore the prior night. "Afternoon sweetie, what are you up to?"
"Miku and Mina reminded me that I'm hungry," Seresana replied.
"Oh, I'm sorry sweetie, but I don't have anything made up."
"That's okay mom, I was just going to make up a quick snack and get back to my work. What are you reading by the way?"
"This old thing? It's just a little novel that's kind of popular around here," Sophia replied. "Well, be sure to clean up when you're finished," she added while returning her attention to her book.
"Sure thing mom," Seresana said as she left the living room and went towards the kitchen. In there, Seresana found a packet of quick make ramen and prepared it. It didn't take long, she just needed to bring water to a boil in a pot and then add in the packet of noodles and seasoning, though Seresana added in a couple extra ingrediants of her own personal preference just to make the flavor a bit better. While she cooked, Seresana cot a couple treats out for Miku and Mina to snack on and keep them entertained while she cooked. When she was done, Seresana poured out the prepared meal into an actual bowl where it sat lightly steaming while she moved the used dishes into the sink for cleaning. Luckily this didn't take long since it was just a couple dishes that needed to be cleaned. Seresana grabbed a couple extra treats for the racoons before scooping up her own bowl of food and proceeding back upstairs and into her room again.
After placing her bowl down on her reading desk, Seresana let the racoons climb down her arms and back onto her bed where Mina curled up to take a nap, while Miku continued to bound around for a little bit. Seresana smiled sweetly at them before turning about and going back to her desk where she resumed her reading while slurping up noodles. The book went on to some greater descriptions of the chakra natures, and then touched upon a few examples of people managing to infuse their chakra into weapons or objects upon reaching a certain level of mastery over their chakra nature. Ultimately though, there wasn't all that much else to the book that Seresana could seem to find, or found too terribly interesting. She thought about breaking out the scroll and looking towards it for some more information, but the scroll featured information about combined elements and she still wanted to hold off on that until she was actually trying to manifest her ice chakra nature, so the scroll remained shut. Instead, Seresana pushed herself back from the desk and cast her gaze back around to the racoons, both of whom had managed to fall asleep by this point. The sight of Miku and Mina laying down next to each other, curled up tightly into little grey and black balls of fur brought a fresh smile to her face and a desire to be quiet as to not disturb them. Seresana then picked up her bowl and quietly walked out of the room, taking extra care to shut the door quietly.
With the danger of waking Miku and Mina gone, Seresana went on down the stairs and dropped her bowl back in the sink for washing later on. After that though, Seresana wasn't really sure what to do. She didn't want to head back upstairs and risk waking the racoons, plus she didn't think there was much else to gleam from the book for today so there really wasn't much reason to head back upstairs. In her aimlessness, Seresana stepped back into the hallway and cast her gaze up and down it's length. She could always go into town for a little while, but all she'd really do then was spend money since she had no idea where anyone was and on the likelihood that she'd just end up spending money. Plus supposedly her mother was cooking tonight and she didn't want to risk being late to dinner. Then however Seresana's eyes fell on her bow and arrows resting right next to the door and a new idea came to her. "I can always practice archery some more, it's always relaxing and won't drain any of the chakra I plan to use tonight," Seresana thought to herself as she raced forward and grabbed up the two articles that made the weapon work before throwing on her sandals and proceeding outside.
There wasn't enough time to go all the way to her special training spot in these few hours, so instead Seresana just went towards the edge of the yard. She stopped several yards away from a decent sized tree, one she could reliably use for her little practice session for the next couple hours, and she drew her first arrow. The wooden projectile slid smoothly out of her quiver, and sat nicely in the rest for it on the bow. The drawback was smooth as well, the wood making scarse few protests to bending under the strain as she pulled the arrow against the string to the point where her thumb was almost at her cheek. She looked down the shaft to sight in her target and then without a blink, released the arrow. She watched it sail forward, rocketing towards the intended tree with little error from exactly where she'd aimed. The arrow landed with a light thunk against the tree, quivered for a moment and then went still. Seresana smirked before drawing her next arrow and choosing a farther away target. Just as smooth as the last time, Seresana drew the arrow back against the string, feeling the comfortable amount of draw weight reach it's high point before releasing the arrow and watching it sail through the air. The arrow found it's mark with only a miniscule amount of error that she was able to see. Seresana still thought she could do better though and so she went ahead and drew her next arrow and started selecting a new target. This time Seresana's eyes found another tree that was partially behind a few others so she only had a small opening to try and shoot through in order to actually hit the target. Now this was a challenge for her and one that she decided that she was going to overcome before going in for dinner. Her first shot was a little high and offset by an unexpected gust to where it deflected off a couple branches and planted itself into the ground. Her second smacked into one of the prior trees and stuck there partially obscuring the already small hole she was trying to shoot through with it's shaft to where her opening to shoot was now even smaller. Seresana's third arrow managed to make it through the hole, but didn't get a solid hit on the tree that was her target, deflecting off it and disappearing upwards into the canopy. When she drew and aimed her fourth shot, she held the arrow just a bit longer, waiting for another sudden gust to die down before releasing the shot and watching as it managed to sail through the small opening and thudded soundly into the tree. That got a fresh new smile from Seresana as she picked the next target, though this time it wasn't quite as hard as the oen she'd just managed.
A few shots later and Seresana heard her mother's call for supper that drew her from her current practice section. She slid the arrow she currently had against her bow string back into the quiver while turning around and heading back into the house. Seresana slid off her quiver and leaned the bow against the wall before slipping off her shoes and proceeding towards the dining room where Vesken and Sophia was already sitting. "Where Hitagi?"
"You brother's off playing with his friends," Sophia replied before taking a drink from her cup.
"Oh well then, more for me," Seresana said as she took her seat and filled her own plate with her mother's deleciously cooked food.
"I saw you practicing out there Sere, you're still getting better with your bow," Vesken spoke up as got a few extra bits for his own plate.
"Yup, did you see me shot the tree that was behind the others?"
"I sure did. Who knows, you might just be a better marksman than your old man here before too long."
"Careful making claims like that dear," Sophia said witha smile. "She might just surprise you and pull that off and put you out of the job."
"Hahaha, I don't think I've got to worry about that. After all, our little girl is going to be an all star ninja at this rate. She'll be far too busy with missions and such to work in this old man's workshop."
"Awww, but I like working in your workshop dad," Seresana suddenly spoke up being mock upset about supposedly being too busy to work in the crafts room.
"Hehehe, well you know your way around it and work with more dangerous things than what I've got in there. You know you're free to make whatever you want in there, just don't mess with any of my ongiong comissions, I still have to do some work to put food on this table," Vesken replied with a kind smile of his own.
"Great, I was thinking of making a few new modifications to my bow here sometime soon," Seresana said. "Some metal reinforcements and resistance bars, maybe a stronger string too."
"Well, it certainly sounds like you know what you're doing," Vesken replied as he continued to enjoy his meal.
That more or less marked the end of the dinner time conversation and after supper, the family members went their seperate ways. Sophia started on clearing off the table and washing the dishes, Vesken went back into his workshop to continue working on one of his current comissions, and Seresana decided that it was time to check on Miku and Mina as well as reading from her scrolls some more so she went upstairs. Seresana barely got the door open before the racoons scampered out to greet her, trying to scrabble at her legs in order to climb up them. "Well, hello you two," Seresana said happily as she scooped them up so they could ride on her shoulders. "I bet you two want your supper too," she said while walking back into the room only to discover that the racoons already managed to open, and eat more than their fair share of the treat box she kept on her desk. "Or maybe not..."
Even with the devastation of the treats, Seresana still just chuckled at their antics and supposed she shouldn't have left them in such an easy to get to spot, also that she shouldn't have let them see where she was getting their treats from. "Looks like I'll have to find a hiding place for those from now on," Seresana went on as she took her seat at the desk and cracked open the book once again. She found her place and began reading again while absently petting Mina while Miku set about playing with her hair. The hours ticked on by and before too long it was sunset. Seresana sat down her book at this point and turned her attention solely to Mina and Miku for the moment, actively playing with them in her room to wear them out a bit more before bed. Eventually the sun completely set and the night was upon her, Seresana sat the two racoons onto her bed where they curled up to go to sleep. When they were out, Seresana slipped from her room and crept downt he halls, stairs, and then out of the house entirely.
It didn't take her long to get back to the training clearing that she used all the time, and Seresana quickly worked her way up to the top of the stump to begin her work for the night. She sat down, her legs crossed and right palm held out to cup the piece of cloth. "Now, remember what I read in that book, about how the wind is sharp and savage. How it can form around anything it can't cut. Imagine the winds, two opposing currents coliding together. Where they meet is the focus point, place that where the cloth is and then hone it until it's a razor's edge," Seresana thought to herself as he eyes slid shut in concentration. All of that though was far easier said than done as she grit her teeth in a combination of concentration strain and effort to not only reach that level of chakra but maintain it long enough to be focused down and condensed. In almost no time at all Seresana's brow was wet with sweat, but she was still determined to accomplish her task tonight, especially after all that reading she'd done, and finally she was ready to try and cut the piece of cloth. She focused her chakra, gave it form, thought about how it could be like a blade and then imagined it cutting through the cloth. Almost a minute later Seresana let out her held breath and glanced down towards her hand. The sight of a small but undeniable cut in the piece of cloth was worth all the effort to her, and the only reason she wasn't jumping up and down to celebrate was the fact that all that effort had been extremely taxing on her. There was also the daunting task that was still before her to accomplish, managing to activate both changes in chakra while trying to do the tree climbing exercise.
"Well if I can manage each change in chakra nature, it shouldn't be too hard to manage them both at the same time, but it'll drain a lot of chakra so I guess next would be to work on my chakra control," Seresana said to herself as she took the cloth out of her hand and cleared her mind. "Well, I can already summon up chakra so I guess it'll just be a matter of trying to do what I already can, but use less chakra to do it," she went on while considering what technique to use for such a task. "Hmm, the thousand needles of death jutsu should work. It doesn't take a lot of chakra and I can use it a lot of times before needing a break," she went on before hopping up from the stump and taking a few steps away from the trunk. Seresana perfomed a few handsigns and summoned up six of the ice needles, three to each hand and resting between her fingers before she threw them at the stump. "Well, not bad for a warmup, and I can still do the jutsu, but now to try it without using so much chakra," Seresana said before making the handsigns again while trying to summon up a less amount of chakra, but when nothing happened she let out a sigh. "Guess that was too little chakra, have to use a bit more than that." She made the series of handsigns again, and this time a few of the needles managed to form, but not the full six that she wanted to have made, and the two that did form were kind of thin and already starting to melt. "Well, that's something, but I've got to get that little bit of chakra to do more," Seresana said before trying it again, and again, and again. Attempt after attempt was made to use the jutsu to create 6 needles that would subsequently be thrown at the stump. Her first half dozen attempts were just like her third attempt. Two needles would form and they were rather meager pieces compared to what the full jutsu was like, but Seresana wasn't going to be deterred that easily, and she kept at it every step of the way. By the time she was left panting from exhaustion, the stump was peppered with frozen needles and Seresana had only just managed to get one extra needle to form.
"Dang, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be and it's taking a really long time to do," Seresana said to herself with a tired sigh. Not ready to call it quits for the night, Seresana re-established her stance and started doing the jutsu again. As the minutes ticked by and Seresana's chakra continued to diminish, her attempts became more strained and eventually she was actually starting to do worse. The three needles she was managing to form began to become even thinner and more fragile before she started to only be able to make two of them. Shortly after she started only being able to manage two needles on that level of chakra, Seresana had to stop because she was getting so tired. With heavy steps, Seresana wandered back to her house and promptly collapsed into the bed before falling into a deep sleep.
The next couple of nights went in roughly the same manner, with Seresana repeatedly trying the thousand needles of death jutsu while trying to use less chakra to create the same amount of needles. Progress wasn't just slow, it was almost non-existant as night after night Seresana continued to only manage roughly three of the six needles she was trying for. By the fourth night, Seresana managed to create a fourth needle so she was finally up to two in each hand, but all that time for just one extra needle just wasn't worth it to Seresana, so she decided to try something different.
Six nights after she managed to make the smallest of cuts in the cloth, Seresana was once more standing in the clearing in the middle of the night, ready to begin her newest attempt at training. Instead of facing the stump, Seresana was looking at one of the trees that surrounded the clearing with a determined expression. She brought her hands together to focus her chakra, feeling the energy inside her as it was coursing about her form before concentrating on sending a portion of it to her feet. Even the grass around her feet seemed to sway in a new direction as the new force of chakra made it's mark on the immediate surroundings. With the chakra in place, Seresana looked at the tree before her and prepared herself mentally for what she was to try. "I've seen others practice this technique before mom showed it to me, and they all got a good run at the tree before going up it, so we'll try that," Seresana said before sprinting towards the tree with the chakra augmenting her feet. She hit the tree and started up it step after step, but after a full ten steps Seresana felt the grip slack and she started to fall. Caught off guard by the sudden lack of traction, she was powerless to stop her tumble back to the ground and landed with a hard thud. "Owwie," Seresana said from her sprawled position on the ground. "Okay, so too little chakra that time," Seresana said to herself as she slowly started to pick herself back up and regard the tree again. She made the handsign again though before taking another run at the tree. This time she only managed to get up 6 steps before her foot went through the outer layer of bark and splintered some of the wood beneath her. With a grimace, Seresana jumped back and managed to land on her feet before saying, "and too much chakra that time. Okay, gotta find the right amount and then maintain it," Seressana said to herself as she made the sign again and prepared to ascend the tree again. She took an extra moment this time to think and focus upon the amount of chakra and how it felt to hold that level of chakra at her feet. When she was comfortable with it, Seresana took off again at the tree, managing 12 steps before she was forced to jump back because she felt her grip slacking. "Better, but not good enough yet," Seresana said as she stood at the base of the tree and looked at how far she'd just managed to get. She took a few seconds to catch her breath and steady herself before making yet another attempt at the tree, and then many more as she continued to strive to perfect the technique or at least make a substantial amount of progress on it before retiring for the night. A couple hours and most of her chakra later, Seresana landed on the ground after her latest attempt at scaling the tree. She'd managed a total of twenty steps that time, but she still wasn't near the top of it yet.
"I'll get it soon, and then I'll figure how it works and then manage to channel both chakra natures at the same time while performing the tree climbing technique," Seresana said before wandering back home again. As her slow and tired steps took her away from the training spot, Seresana remained oblivious to the set of eyes that were watching her.
"She's progressing, and fast. She'll probably have the technique down by the end of the week, and then it'll be time to begin training her in the jutsu that I know. She'll probably surpass even me, possibly even when she's just a chunin," Sophia said as she stepped out from behind the tree she'd been hiding behind. "She's definately our daughter, isn't she Reylin. She's got my talent and your strength, oh how I wish you could be here to see her grow up. Don't get me wrong, Vesken is a loving husband and father, but every parent should get to see their daughter grow up... And I'll tell her about you someday soon, she deserves to know who her real father is. Goodnight Reylin," with that, Sophia walked out of the clearing as well and back to the house, far enough behind her daughter that Seresana didn't find out at all. Seresana herself was sleepily wandered into the bathroom first upon getting back to the house, running herself a bath to relax and soothe her tired muscles before heading back to her bedroom and curling up under the blankets with Miku and Mina stirring not quite enough to truly wake and just curl back to fall into deeper sleep.

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PostSubject: Re: New efforts   Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:22 pm

Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, THUD, "Dang it."
Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, THUD, "Dang it!"
Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, THUD, "DANG IT!"
Thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, THUD, "OW! DANG IT!"
Thunk, thunk thunk, crackle, THUD, "Gaaahhh! Why's this so hard!" Seresana complained while rubbing her sore bottom from her most recent ungraceful landing. She slowly picked herself back up off the ground again and looked up to the tree she'd been trying to climb for the past hour, and then to the blackened night sky beyond. The star were only partially out tonight, a great many of them obscured by clouds right along with the moon. Seresana was once again out performing her mother's proposed training under the cover of night so as was instructed. She'd been attempting the tree climbing exercise as her mother had shown her but was finding it difficult to maintain the level of chakra required. She could get to it easily enough, but she always ended up losing concentration after at the most, a baker's dozen steps, only to come tumbling back down to the hard ground. Her latest attempt had even been particularly abysmal with her frustration boiling pver and shattering her already shakey concentration on the task.
Seresana paused for a minute as she continued to glare at the tree and then tried yet again the scale it without the use of her hands. She made the handsign, focused her chakra and directed what she thought was the needed amount to her feet, watching the grass distort just a little at the presence of the invisible energy that was now present. Then Seresana glared at the tree again before getting her running start. Thunk, thunk, thunk, her wooden sandals went as they connected agains the tree and she ascended. First five steps, then ten, eleven, but as she went for the twelveth Seresana's traction against the verticle surface slacked and once more she was left to tumble back down to the earth again. Landing with a solid thud, she let out a pained cry, "Ow!, Grrrr, you stupid tree!" Seresana growled at it menacingly before making a series of the ice needles and throwing them at the tree in a straight line leading upwards. She was preparing for a second volley of them when she noticed how they stuck out of the tree and marked it clearly. She made an additional one form in her palm before letting out a sight and resigning to try the maneuver again.
Before Seresana started though, she waited for the ice needles in the tree to melt away and once they had, she refroze the needle in her palm and threw it at the tree. The ice needle stuck out obviously against the tree's dark coarse bark, giving the young girl a clear point to shoot for. She brought her hands together to focus her chakra again before taking her run at the tree and beginning up it's side with a more clear determination in sight. Step after step she ascended, eventually reaching the needle of ice and then passing it by a few extra steps. Seresana made it fourteen steps that time before her grip slipped and she started to fall back again. Before she could completely fall back to the ground though, Seresana made another ice needle and threw it into the tree where he progress stopped. She still tumbled back down to the ground and landed kind of hard on the thankfully soft grass and dirt, but whe she glanced back up, it was with a rejuvinated grin a the more clear sign of progress. "Now I've just got to keep going till I make it all the way to the top," she said still with the determined grin upon her face.
Two hours later and Seresana was panting with effort and sitting on the ground after her latest attempt. Her eyes were locked on the tree and noting how she'd managed to progress now that she had a more clear indicator of what actually was progress and delighted in seeing that she'd made it more than a few yards over her most abyslal attempt, and nearly a full two yards over the best. Seresana tried to focus her chakra again but she couldn't seem to draw up any of the energy and after a few more failed attempts, she let her tired arms fall back to her sides. "Well, I guess that's all for tonight for me," she said before wandering back to her house and promptly going to bed.
The next morning, Seresana was woken up by a pair of little tongues licking her face enthusiastically, and opened her eyes to behold two little masked faces. "Hehe, Good morning Miku and Mina, you two sure are up early," She said before sitting up and actually bothering to look at the window only to see that the sun was well past the horizon. "Or  maybe I'm just waking up late. Either way, I bet you two are hungry," she added before getting up the rest of the way, the racoons bounding off of her, then her bed, and finally around the floor as Seresana got ready. She quickly changed out of her night clothes and into a more common outfit consisting of a pair of shorts and a simple shirt, noting how it was starting to fir a little more irregularly. Still, Seresana shrugged it off for the moment and simply finished getting ready for the day before letting the racoons find their comfortable positions on her shoulders and wandering out of her room.
"Good morning sweetie," Sophia said as Seresana reached the bottom of the stairs. "Would you like some breakfast?"
"Mhmm, yes please," Seresana replied while wandering into the dining room before her mother. "I'm just going to get Miku and Mina's breakfasts first," she added while getting the little bowls out for them both. Two were filled with water while the other two got some of the breakfast scraps that were still cooked but not going to be eaten. Miku caught a wiff and while Mina stayed up on Seresana's shoulder, Miku ran down Seresana's arm and started trying to get at his bowl. "Hehe Miku, wait for me to put it down," Seresana eeked out with a chuckle as she bent down to place the bowls on the ground. Miku all too excitedly hopped off Seresana and proceeded over to his bowls but Mina didn't move until Seresana picked her up and placed her down next to the bowls, but then she started eating as well. "Geeze, you two were hungry," Seresana added next while standing back up and wandering over to the table where Sophia had just finished placing her breakfast.
"Got any plans for today Seresana?" Sophia asked sweetly while taking her own seat across from her daughter.
"No- not really. I've got a little reading to do, and then maybe some practice with my bow, but nothing really that exciting."
"Well, if you're not too busy, do you think you could run a little errand for me?"
"Oh umm, sure mom, what is it?"
"I could use some groceries and a couple letters delivered into town."
"Oh okay, yeah I can do that, I'll leave for them right away," Seresana said as she polished off her breakfast and downed the last of her milk. She got up to take her plates into the kitchen when she felt the presence of tiny paws upon her legs and looking down Seresana was greeted with the pleading faces of Miku and Mina. "Looks like we'll be going into town today you two," she said down to them before scooping them up onto her shoulders and proceeding onwards.
Outside the sun shone brightly overhead, hinting towards a bright and sunny day to come, pleasantly warm with only a gentle breeze from the prior storms to offer respite. Seresana walked along the path with almost a skip in her step if it wasn't for the racoons on her shoulders. The grocery list for her mother along with the letter she was supposed to deliver were tucked away safely into one of her inner vest pockets. It wasn't long into the stroll though that Miku started to get a little restless and wandered up to the top of Seresana's head where he began to look about excitedly. Mina squirmed about a little bit too, until she managed to come to something of a rest under Seresana's vest, and on the cloth tie around her chest. Seresana however just giggled at the racoons and continued walking along the path into town. Soon the buildings came into view and the village was upon her in moments. Seresana would occasionally get comments from having the racoons about her, but anything that wasn't a compliment was more or less ignored as she performed her mother's errands. The letters were dropped off easily enough, and the groceries were hardly any greater trouble, though there was a brief moment of panic when she'd thought she'd forgotten the money Sophia had given her to buy the groceries in the first place. Luckily the pouch had just been slightly displaced by Mina when she was repositioning herself, and was easily found a moment later.
With the errands done, Seresana wandered home to let her mom know and then went back outside to enjoy the day before the night's training taxed her so again. Seresana brought Miku and Mina with her, though this time they scampered along the ground next to her as she walked through the woods. They came to her training clearing, but Seresana didn't stop there and instead continued walking onward until she came to the small stream. Deciding that not only was it warm enough to warrant a dip, but also it'd been long enough since she'd last gone swimming that she sorely wanted one. Seresana quickly stripped down to her underware and then slowly waded out into the slowly flowing waters. Mina didn't even hesitate on following Seresana into the waters, swimming with ease out and around Seresana's form. Miku however remained on the shore and paced back and forth while watching the two expectantly. "Aww, you aren't afraid of the water now are you Miku?" Seresana asked from where she waded, taking the racoons continued reluctance to enter the waters as an answer. "Don't worry then, I won't be too long then," Seresana said again before diving beneath the water's surface and swimming against the current of the stream.
A few minutes later, Seresana swam back over to the shore with Mina following close behind. While Seresana hopped up onto a large rock to let herself dry off in the sunlight, Mina gave herself a hearty shake that sent droplets of water all over the place. "Ah, Mina!" Seresana called out as she tried to shield herself from the onslaught of water. Seresana however still remained sitting on the rock and when Miku and Mina joined her on it, she resigned to idly pet them both while she waited to dry off. A little while later and Seresana was slipping back on her clothes while Miku and Mina played with each other. When she finished getting dressed, Seresana began walking back towards her house with a new idea of something to do. "I bet you two would like some fresh fish," Seresana said as she continued to rush home only to grab a couple things and then immediately turn around. It didn't take long for Seresana to return to the stream and cast out the fishing line, going right back to sitting on the rock she'd dried herself out on to fish from. While waiting for a bite, Mina went to sleep, curled up next to Seresana so she played with Miku. Suddenly the fishing pole jerked downward and Seresana's hands went to it to try and hook the fish. A short battle ensued of the fish trying to swim away with the bait while Seresana tried to real it in, but just as Seresana managed to get the fish up to the water's surface, it spit out the hook and swam away. Seresana let out a little sigh before casting out the line again, hoping that she'd manage to keep the fish on the line this time.
She wasn't waiting long before the fishing pole shuddered and jerked downard again, signalling that there was a fish on the other end of it, and Seresana was sure to jerk solidly on the line to set the hook. The short battle that followed was intense, but this time Seresana manged to win and pulled the fish up onto the rock where Miku and Mina began to curiously paw at the flopping and flailing fish. Seresana forced the racoons back while she got the hook out of the fish, but then laid it back on the rock for Miku and Mina to continue to paw at it. Seresana cast back out the line again to try and catch another fish, but the minutes ticked by and nothing else seemed that interested in her bait. Miku and Mina finished playing with their fish, and then set to eating it, which didn't take too long between the two of them and soon enough Mina was back to sleeping next to Seresana while Miku played with one of her idle hands. A couple hours later and Seresana decided to call it quits and she reeled in her line so as to take the pole back home. The trip back wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and when she arrived, Seresana aptly put away the fishing pole so it'd be safe and easy to find next time. Seresana  then went back up to her room with Miku and Mina in tow. She sat down at her desk and cracked open one of the scrolls she'd recent purchased and got back to reading through it's entries for any additional tricks or suggestions on how to improve her technique. It didn't take long for Seresana however to start to lose interest as her mind got distracted, namely with possibly improvements to make to her bow. The thoughts of what she could do to improve it had been springing up ever since her walk with Rosemarius and when she was a little bored like she was now, the notions practically invaded her thoughts.
"Hmm, I could add in additional reinforcement and resistance bars, but it'd be a little hard to work out the exact amounts of resistance so the asymmetical bow won't be thrown off. That extra long upper arm will take either longer plates that still manage to match the resistance of the shorter ones added to the bottom, or more plates of a weaker resistance than the bottom one so the strength is kept in the correct ratio. And then I'll need to work out a more powerful string, something that will stand up to the greater tension. Maybe one with strands of that thin metal woven into the cord. Not enough to make the whole thing too stiff, but enought that it's considerably stronger. I should also see about making or getting a pair of those gloves as well, but those might take some time. Let's worry about those later and focus more on the bow for now. What else can we do to improve it, make it shoot with more power, be easier to shoot, stand up to some punishment... hmm, well the reinforcement bars and such will add some extra defence to it, but I wouldn't want to take it up against someone's sword. Maybe I should see about adding a blade or something to the weapon itself? Something retractable or at least foldable, so it wouldn't have to be out all the time and I wouldn't have to worry about it accidentally cutting into someone or something. I might also need to look at the arrows too, the shafts already bend and warp some in a shot, if the bow get's too much more powerful, it might distort or even break an arrow if it's not strong enough. I mean I can't just shoot my ice arrows, that's eliminate too much of my chakra all the time, best to save those for special situations."
"Though maybe I should look into modifying my ice arrows some to make them a little more viable. Right now they're just an arrow, an extra difficult to dislodge and extra cold arrow, but still pretty much just an arrow. They don't take a ton of chakra to make, but still they're not extremely effective right now. The thousand needles of death has a much higher hit rate and even though the needles don't do as much damage, there can be so many of them that they'll actually do more. I wonder if I could combine the two? I can't really shoot a bunch of needles, but what if I shot an ice arrow and then split it into a bunch of needles? I'd got an extra use out of the ice arrows if I did that, and it'd stand to make an arrow that missed have a second shot at hitting the opponent in a way, or the same arrow managing to hit twice is a nice thought as well. Plus it could catch an opponent off guard, they probably wouldn't be expecting an arrow that missed them to suddenly spew forth a shower of ice needles into their back while I continue to shoot at them from the front. That actually might be a really powerful way to trap someone. Shoot the first arrow, of course aim for them but don't let up at all if it misses. Then after, set the next arrow and shoot it. With an arrow on either side of the enemy, turn them both into needle storms and trap the opponent between a wall of ice needles to ensure they're hit, or at least make it a lot more likely. I'll have to give it a try one of these nights, maybe after I get this tree climbinb technique down. Which hopefully won't take much longer, I think I've about got the technique down, just have to work on it's application and maintaining the chakra control, and then comes the managing to channel both chakra natures while performing the tree. Mom might have something else for me to do though, so this new arrow shattering jutsu might have to wait for a lit-,"
Seresana's thoughts were suddenly interrupted as a couple pairs of paws started pawing at her pant's leg. "Oh hey you two, what's up?" Seresana asked before glancing up to the clock and window to see that while she'd been thinking, more than a couple hours had managed to creep by. "Dang, guess I lost track of time. I be you two are wanting your dinner," Seresana was momentarily interrupted by her stomach growling. "Heh, and I guess I should get mine as well," she added while getting up and beginning to walk down the stairs with Miku and Mina scampering around and about her feet.
Just as Seresana turned the corner, she almost ran into her dad who managed to grab onto her shoulders and steady her so that the little girl didn't accidentally fall. "There you are Sere, are you ready to go?" Vesken asked.
"Go? Where are we going?"
"Out to Antequ's for dinner. My last comission decided to cut me a bonus for the timely delivery so we're going out to celebrate a bit tonight," Vesken replied as he stood back up and began to motion for Seresana to lead the way to the door.
"Oh okay, hehehe, just let me get Miku and Mina something to eat first. Antequ's might not want any racoons in their restaurant," Seresana replied as she dodged around her father.
"Ah, we don't take too long, we'll be waiting out front," Vesken replied as he moved on. Seresana nodded and then turned back around to continue getting her pets their own dinner. She got their bowls out, filled two with water and then the other two with some of the dog food that she'd recently gotten for about this exact purpose. While the racoons started eating, Seresana took use of the distraction to slip out of the room and work her way to the entryroom where everyone else was already waiting with their shoes on.
"Ugh, why are you so slow," Hitagi complained while Seresana got her shoes on.
"Hey, I had to feed Miku and Mina, we can go now though," Seresana said as she just finished putting on her shoes. The whole family then left the house and went into town.
The sun was fully set by the time the family got back home. Goodnights were said and everyone went to their respective rooms, though Seresana made a slight detour just to get Miku and Mina before heading to her room. Seresana however didn't remain in her room, and a little while after going there and when she was at least a little sure that everyone would have gone to bed, Seresana quietly opened her window and slipped out into the cool night. A quick use of her levitation jutsu and she was off and into the woods, landing at the edge of the forest and then running off to her special training spot to resume her usual training. It didn't take long for her to get there and once she was standing before the tree, Seresana got serious. "Okay, no fooling around this time. I'm going to do this, tonight!" She proudly proclaimed before bringing her hands together and began to focus her chakra. A second later and she directed it downward to her feet so that she could make her most recent attempt. Seresana leveled her gaze at the tree and then let it travel upwards until almost the top of the tree. With her goal in sight, Seresana got a running start and charged the tree. When the tree came up, she placed her first step on it without missing a beat and then went on to take the next. Step after step, Seresana climbed upwards until her foot suddenly cracked the bark on her eleventh step and rather than further damage the tree, Seresana jumped off and landed on the ground on her feet. Still fully determined though, Seresana spent only a couple seconds trying to adjust the flow of chakraa little bit and then charged the tree again. Once more she went up the side of the tree, managing one more step than the prior attempt before her chakra slipped and her foot didn't find purchase on the tree. It was a little harder this time, but Seresana managed to keep herself from landing too awkwardly on the ground and again she spent another few seconds adjusting her chakra before making yet another attempt at the tree.
Seconds turned to minutes, and then minutes turned to hours as Seresana made attempt after attempt at the tree climbing technique, and every so often she'd managed yet another step up the tree, or just be able to hold her grip just a little longer. It didn't take her too long to lose count of how many attempts she'd made, there were just too many other things to focus on and demanding her attention. Eventually it came time for her to take a break and Seresana was left panting on the ground from the exhaustion. With tired eyes, she looked back to her farthest progress and then to the spot she'd originally marked as her goal. She was getting close, over the halfway point, but as tired as she was, it still seemed a mile away. "Ugh, why's it still got to still be so far away," Seresana audibly complained while she sat there. "Well, I'm not going to get to the top tonight just sitting here," she said a couple minutes later and while pushing herself back up to her feet. Getting right back to her training, Seresana forced her chakra to her feet again and took off at a run towards the tree, going up it's side a ways before the usual happened and she was forced to jump away from the tree so she could more greatly control her fall. More attempts were made, and each time was just a little better than the last until Seresana started to get a little too frustrated and then her progress actually started to regress. This only served to compound her frustration and it wasn't long before she had to stop herself again to keep from hitting something out of annoyance. "Ugh, I need to calm down if I'm going to get this. Be at peace, calm the storm, and let things flow naturally," Seresana started to repeat to herself as she shut her eyes to almost meditate. A short while after that little session and Seresana managed to calm herself down, she once more gathered her chakra at her feet and looked to the tree. Without taking her eyes from the spot she'd marked, Seresana took off at a run at the tree and started up it's side. Step after step with each one making the loud thunk of her wooden sandal hitting the rougher wood of the tree's bark. Her spot drew closer with each step, going from twenty feet, to fifteen, then ten, and finally five feet away, so close she could have possibly jumped to reach it now but still she continued taking her steps, trying to not let confidence or determination falter her concentration. And then suddenly she was there, just standing perpendicular to the tree at the spot she'd mentally marked. It was so sudden and uneventful that Seresana was stupified for a moment that she'd actually managed to stand where she'd aimed for. "Heh, I actually did it, I made it all the way to the top of the tree... I... I actually managed to do it tonight," Seresana said a little breathily before suddenly her grip on the tree slacked and her feet lost all purchase against the side of the vegetation. With nothing holding her there now, Seresana fell but didn't fall long before managing to catch a branch and swing herself back around it to where she was standing on the limb.
"I CLIMBED ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!" Seresana cheered from the branch before focusing her chakra again and experimentally placing her foot to the side of the tree. When it found it's grip and she lifted the other one to where she was once again standing perpendicular, Seresana happily began just walking up and down the tree, even hesitantly trying to end up standing upside down from the bottom of one of the branches. When she found her grip holding true it took about all she had to not jump for joy, but knowing that if she did, there'd be nothing stopping her from falling. Seresana spent a few more mintues then, just walking about the tree, going upside down and sideways just enjoying what she could do with her new technique. After she'd had her fun though, Seresana wandered back down to the base of the tree and found herself on the ground again thinking back to her mother's instructions. "So now that I can do the tree walking technique, I need to try manifesting both chakra natures at the same time while doing the tree climbing technique, shouldn't be too hard," Seresana said before sending that bit of chakra down to her feet and then starting up the tree. She got a couple feet off the ground before holding up both of her hands. "Well, if I focus the wind nature chakra change in one hand and then the water nature chakra change in the other hand, it should be simple. Let's see if it is," Seresana said while bringing her hands up a bit, but the moment she actually started to try and work on not only redirecting a second set of chakra to each hand but then try to switch the chakra over to it's elemental nature, she found the grip her feet hand with the tree walking technique just disappeared entirely and she immediately fell to the ground. "WAH, crash, OWIE!" Seresana exclaimed as she hit the ground.
"Okay, maybe this will be a little harder than I thought," she said while rubbing her sore butt that had taken the brunt of the fall. "Probably shouldn't have been too surprised, I've barely been able to manifest either chakra nature and now I'm trying to do both at the same time while also regulating a steady chakra flow to my feet that isn't being subject to the change either. Though maybe I should try this a little closer to the ground rather than far enough up that I can actually get hurt when I fall," Seresana said to herself while picking herself back up off the ground and focusing her chakra again for the tree climbing technique first. At least that part didn't take a whole lot out of her, and soon she was standing against the tree again but this time barely over a foot off the ground. Then she raised her hands and tried to think of the different flows of chakra that were present and how she was trying to affect them. Focusing first on just trying to redirect and maintain the three different flows of chakra to the three different parts of her body. The chakra at her feet had to be carefully maintained so she didn't fall, but it wasn't that much chakra. Meanwhile her hands required a great deal more chakra to make the changes as she was still fairly bad at managing the change. It took a little while, and more than a few falls, but eventually Seresana felt comfortable directing the three different flows of chakra an then keeping them at a maintained rate, but this was quickly proving rather taxing on the little girl and when she'd already spent so long training, it didn't take long for her to start wavering with the amount of effort. "Better try this fast then," she said before trying to remember how she'd managed those changes in chakra nature before. "Okay, think of the wind and the water. Think of them both, the water with it's patient flow and power, and the wind with it's voracity and speed. Then try to picture each of those forces going to a seperate hand and... oof," Seresana went as she suddenly fell the short distance to the ground below. "Dang, this is going to take some work," she started but then paused to look up towards the sky and note how the moon was already starting to work past it's midpoint in the night's sky. "But maybe that's enough for tonight. I'll try some more tomorrow," she said while picking herself back up and then proceeding back to her house, still unaware of the pair of eyes that had been spying on her the whole time. Another use of the levitation jutsu and Seresana was gliding through the air, then on the roof, anf finally back into her room where she barely wasted the time to undress before flopping into her bed and falling asleep.
The following night, and several nights after that found Seresana back at the training spot, spending hours on end performing the tree climbing technique and then trying to manifest her chakra changes at the same time. Though just about every time she made the attempt, it resulted in a varying degree of the same thing, her falling back to the ground with a hard thud. Those initial days crept by with only a minimal amount of progress towards the pursuit of what her mother had proposed for her to do, though it gradually got easier to get back to the spot she was at. Seresana was finding it increasingly easy to perform the tree climbing technique, and then send her chakra to her hands afterwards. She was even getting a little bit better at manifesting one of the two elemental changes at a time, but when it came to still trying to manifest both changes at the same time, it was just too much for her level of control still and she'd find herself falling back to the ground. Occasionally, Mina and Miku would accompany Seresana on these nightly training exercises. They would either spend the time playing with each other, climbing up the tree as Seresana walked up it, or going to sleep while Seresana practiced. The scrolls however stopped being of any serious help, and her mother still refused to offer any additional hints as to get passed her block. That left her to look towards new sources for research and she began looking up any scroll she could find. Some were just given a glance and then she moved on, but one that made a mention of Kushiyose caught her interest. It was nothing of concrete detail, but the mention of being able to summon up these new friends appealed to Seresana enough that she kind of wanted to pursue it. Though when she mentioned the notion to her mother, she was somewhat sternly recommended to stick with the current avenue of training that she was pursuing rather than load up her plate with even more tasks, especially if she was currently having trouble with such a essential technique as what her mother was trying to teach her.
So it was with a slightly more grim determination that Seresana found herself still back at her little training sight, in the middle of the night, by herself and getting ready to practice the technique again. She was dressed in her common outfit, vest, cloth ties, wooden sandals and all while looking at the tree before her. It's sides were scored with scuff marks and indentations from her prior failed attempts, but the bulk of the tree stood firm against the gentle breeze that blowed through the woods. Seresana nodded to the tree once in offering of a small apology for marking up it's sides so before bringing her hands together to send her chakra to the bottoms of her feet so she could use the tree climbing technique. Once it was ready, Seresana began taking her first couple steps up it's side, not even really being that careful what with how familiar she was getting with the technique and how easy it was getting to redirect her chakra. Seresana walked on up the tree until she came to one of the thicker branches and then proceeded to walk out on the underside of the branch so she was upside down and able to take a moment to look towards the sky. Up above, several clouds had gathered and filled the sky, obscuring the moon and stars, but they were thin and a good bit of light managed to leak through the distant covering.
After her little look, Seresana reached her hands into one of her pockets and withdrew a couple of the pieces of cloth to use for the manifesting part of the technique. Each piece of cloth found it's spot in each of her hands and she held them with her fingers closed around to prevent them from falling out and to the ground below. Seresana closed her eyes and focused on her chakra, picturing it within her and then trying to direct it once again to her extremeties, particularly her hands while still maintaining the amount needed to keep her rooted to the tree. Then with the easy parts of the technique completed, Seresana started once again with the part that seemed to cause her endless amounts of trouble, and earned her more than one painful thump on the head. She pictured her chakra, remembered what it was like to make the two separate chakra nature changes, and then tried to associate the two together, each one located specifically to the cloth located in her palms. Seresana instantly felt the all too familiar feeling of stress and drain from trying to do so much with her chakra at the same time. The taxation increasingly threatened her maintained tree climbing ability, but Seresana grit her teeth to maintain her hold on the underside of the branch for a little while longer. Seconds that seemed to last forever ticked by and gradually shifted into minutes that seemingly went on for eternities for the little girl who was still struggling to maintain all three of the chakra draining activities. Eventually the exhaustion caught up to her and Seresana was forced to dismiss the tree climbing technique, though she did so on her terms and so performed a flip to land on her feet on the ground beneath the tree branch. As almost an after thought, Seresana looked down to the pieces of cloth in her palms and beheld that not only was one piece slightly damp in a single corner, but the other was torn a little on one side.
Seresana's eyes went wide as a new presence made itself aware to her. "How are things progressing Seresana," Sophia said simply.
"I did it mo- I mean sensei, I managed to learn the tree climbing technique and then managed a change in chakra nature of each nature at the same time, see!" Seresana claimed excitedly as she tried to show her mother the two pieces of cloth that had such minimal traces of Seresana's claim.
"Barely, but so you have. Then I suppose you'll be wanting to press on to the next part of your training?"
"Mhmm, I think I'm ready to really start learning some jutsu from you."
"Not yet, you still have one thing left to do before we start with me teaching you anything," Sophia replied and then continued when Seresana gave her a confused expression. "You've managed to create a change in your chakra nature, albiet a minute one, but still one that is present. And not just for one element, but for both the wind and water natures. Now you will work on combining the two to manage a change in chakra nature to the ice nature. You will need to combine both your natures to manage this, creating both simultaneously and applying a few changes to freeze your chakra into its ice nature," Sophia explained.
"A few changes?"
"Yes, but you'll need to figure out those on your own," Sophia replied and then turned away to head back to the house again. "When you've managed to manifest an ice change in chakra nature, and developed a new jutsu to accompany that change in chakra nature, we'll finally begin with teaching you some of the techniques I know," Sophia added before continuing to depart and disappearing into the woods, leaving Seresana still standing in the clearing, panting lightly int he aftermath of the effort she'd had to expend to manage what she'd just accomplished.
"A change in chakra nature, and a new jutsu to accompany it?" Seresana repeated hesitantly before looking back up to the sky to see where the moon was. Finding it not too high in the sky, Seresana resigned to continue a little more training before turning in for the night. With a slight sigh at having to do more meditating, Seresana turned about and hopped back up onto the stump she'd used before, crossing her legs as she came to sit down there. She thought to what had managed to changes in chakra nature for the other changes and noted how she not only had to think about what the respective element was like, but also of what the element represented. "So what makes up ice out of the wind and water chakra natures? Well like the wind, it can be sharp and deadly with edges and points that can pierce and cut. Then like the water it can be patient and strong, withstanding great force before breaking, and even then it can still freeze back together. Alright, so that's how it's like both of those, and it's unique in that it's cold, able to be both brittle and malleable, and can be hard, sharp, or soft. Hmm... guess I'll just have to trying focusing on a few of the aspects at a time before figuring out what will actually work for the change in chakra nature," Seresana thought to herself as she changed her focus back to her chakra. The little ninja focused her chakra, directing it to her hands where she tried to begin working on the actual change in chakra nature. Much to her surprise, Seresana didn't feel the same taxing strain she had when first trying to manage the changes in chakra nature for water and wind. It was overall still tiring but not nearly as bad as it could be, however she was already fairly tired from the earlier training, so she didn't keep up the training for very long. Less than an hour later, Seresana released her concentration and glanced down to the piece of cloth in her palm, though it showed no sign of change. While it wasn't much of a surprise, it was still a little dissapointment that she jumped off the stump and then began walking back home. She made it back to her house and then her room without incident or contact with another.
Yet whenever she laid down to go to sleep, Seresana found she couldn't seem to quiet her restless mind regardless of how tired she felt. She spent quite a while tossing and turning in her bed, trying to find just the right amount of comfort that she could finally fall asleep. Eventually, she gave up the attempts and sat up in her bed which almost startled Miku and Mina. The two racoons however stayed asleep, leaving Seresana to address what was keeping her awake. "A new jutsu using the ice natured chakra," she repeated to herself once again while casting a glance towards the scrolls that still sat on her desk. "I could look through those to get an idea, but then it wouldn't be me creating a new jutsu would it, I'd just be learning an old one that was developed a while back," Seresana said partially to herself and then partially to Miku and Mina as one hand absently went to Miku and began lightly petting him while he slept, undisturbed by her actions. "No I want to come up with something new for this, but what?" She went on while trying to wrack her brain to think of something. When nothing immediately came to mind, she turned her thought process to her memories, trying to search through them for inspiration. Then two things jumped to the forefront of her mind, the snowball fight she'd had with Hitagi and the snowmen she'd built with her friends. Both were fun activities, and both served to give her a new little inspiration for a jutsu, something that wouldn't be overly tough, but useful for what it was worth. "It'd probably take too much chakra to make a full-sized snowman, but I might be able to manage a snowball sized one without too much trouble. That won't be the tricky part though, that'll be trying to make snow out of either available water, or nothing at all besides my chakra," Seresana went on as she laid back down and pulled the sheet up over her again. She let thought after thought enter and either leave or root itself in her mind until she finally became tired enough and drifted off to sleep.
After the morning activities the following day, Seresana found herself looking into the all too familiar characters on the scroll paper, still reading up on jutsu, chakra control, and chakra natures. Though now she was reading through the text with a new intention and that served to change things up a little bit from what she'd been looking up before hand. That was until a couple little racoons decided that it was time for lunch and saw fit to make sure Seresana was aware of that fact as well by pawing at her legs until she looked down at them. Even though she was interrupted in her work, Seresana still regarded the two with a happy smile and spoke to them in a comforting tone. "What is it you two? Lunch time already?" Seresana asked as she cast a glance towards the window to behold that the sun was already rapidly closing on it's high point for the day. Seresana pushed herself away from her desk and stood up with a stretch. Then she glanced at herself in the mirror and paused while continuing to examine her look. She was wearing her usual white short sleeved short with it's three dark green cloth ties on, two around her body and the last around her left arm. Then her black pants with their two white cloth ties around her legs, one above the knee on the left leg, and the other below the knee on the right leg. Her purple vest hung nicely on her with the bright red leaf village insignia emblazoned on the back. Lastly there was her little snowflake earrings almost completely hidden in her short messy hair. "I should really think about getting a hair cut soon, something that'll let my earrings be seen," Seresana said to herself as she continued to examine her image in the mirror but before she could get too lost in the reflection, Miku and Mina's pawing reminded her that she had another job to do. "Oh, oh alright, I'm going to get your lunch now," Seresana said with a smile down to the racoons before turning about and exiting the room with them both in tow.
Once they were fed, Seresana got herself a little snack and while she sat at the table eating it, she let her mind wander towards how she would spend the day. "What should I do today? I've already gone swimming recently. Don't need to head into town for anything. I should probably save my energy for tonight so it wouldn't do me a lot of good to do a bunch of training right now. Hmm... what do you to think?" Seresana asked Miku and Mina, though the racoons obviously didn't respond, in fact they didn't even look up from their food and drink. "Well, you two sure are a lot of help," Seresana added before leaning back in her seat and continuing to contemplate what she should do to occupy the day. "Maybe I'll just do a little practice shooting with my bow for now," she finally concluded while standing up and beginning to wander out of the room. Seeing her get up, Miku and Mina stopped eating and both followed after Seresana who stopped at the door for a moment to put on her sandles and grab up her bow before heading outside. With the racoons trailing her, Seresana wandered back into the woods and towards her little training spot, where she took her position and aim at the old tree stump. The first arrow hit the stump solidly, quivered for a second or two, and then remained rooted solidly in the scored wood.
As she drew back the second arrow, Seresana took a moment to reflect on how much she'd already improved her shooting ability. There was a time when she had a hard time hitting the target at half this distance and was using a much worse bow. Now she could accurately shoot while on the move and at a pretty impressive distance. Her bow was an impressive custom creation of her own design that was out shooting the common variety on the market, and she was getting actual arrows to shoot now rather than just the slightly shaven sticks she'd used to use. The second and third arrows found their marks just as the first had and Seresana smiled to herself at the improvements she'd managed since those early days. Proof that all her hard work and effort was doing something was right before her, literally so as she released her fourth arrow and it sunk into the wood of the tree stump as the first few had. She drew back the fifth arrow but had to wait for a moment as she saw Mina around the base of the stump and Miku starting to climb up it to paw at her arrows. "Hey you two, don't play around there," Seresana said while walking over to them, stowing the arrow back into the quiver with the others. She pulled out her arrows and put them away as well, then picked up the racoons and carried them both back to where she was shooting again. With her target once again clear of obstruction, Seresana drew back out one of her arrows and started shooting the tree stump some more, only to be forced to stop again as Miku and Mina eventually wandered back over to it to paw at her arrows again, this time though she'd managed to get out six shots before being forced to stop. "Hehe, maybe it wasn't the best idea to bring you two along with archery practice," Seresana said to herself as she walked over once again to pick up Miku and Mina before retrieving her arrows. "Here, why don't you two just hang on while I practice a bit of a harder shot," she said while drawing out three of the arrows at once this time. Seresana drew back the three arrows all at once and sighted in her targets before releasing the shot and watching as the seperate arrows each sailed at least somewhat towards their marks. It didn't come as much of a surprise though when two out of the three arrows missed, but that little fact didn't deter her. Seresana simple drew out the next batch of three arrows and prepared her next shot. Going with the same three targets, Seresana tried to repeat the shot with better results, and then tried it again and again. For the most part, Miku and Mina were fairly well behaved during the exercise, even though at one point Miku had decided to climb ontop of her head, only to loose his grip and fall over her face, making her miss entirely once.
A little while later and after more than one time spent having to retrieve shot arrows, Seresana was ready to pack things up and head back to her house.  The sun was getting low again and it wouldn't be too long before dinner was ready and then it'd be time for her to resume the night trainings. Seresana stowed away the arrows she currently had out and then started wandering back towards the house with Miku and Mina tagging along. It wasn't long after she got back that dinner was served, eaten, and then the family members went about the last few things each of them needed to do before bed. Seresana of course went up to her room with Miku and Mina trailing afterwards. While she sat down at her desk and began to do a bit more reading and thinking of what she'd do for a custom jutsu, the two racoons set about playing in the middle of the floor. A few hours later and the series of goodnights filled the house as the family started to retire, and a little while after that, Seresana assumed that it was safe for her to make her exit. Sliding open the window and creeping out onto the roof, Seresana quickly departed from the house and nimbly jumped off the roof before taking off into the woods.
It was a cool night, with a half-moon providing some light in the otherwise dark sky and only the slightest of occasional breezes drifting about the wind. It was also unusually quiet for that time of night, with only a couple insects sounding off every so often instead of the usual assembly of both bugs and animals but Seresana paid this little mind as the just reveled in the tranquility that encompassed the training spot this night. Once she was finished with that moment, she moved on to beginning to focus her chakra for the tree climbing technique. She brought her hands together activated the technique before confidently stepping onto the side of the tree and beginning to climb up it's side. Afer a few steps up, Seresana turned about so she was looking right at the ground, drew out the scraps of cloth and held one in each hand before beginning to focus anew. Seresana cleared her mind except for two seperate thoughts, a thin trickle of water and a small errant breeze. These two thoughts were kept seperate, one of the left side and the other on the right, and then came the transference of these thoughts to her hands, and then the small pieces of fabric that were clasped within. Seresana kept the thoughts small, right along with the chakra she was diverting to this exercise in order to make sure her tree climbing technique wasn't going to be distrupted like it had almost seemed like countless times before. "Maintain a thin stream of chakra, like the trickle of a small creek and the whistling of a gentle constant breeze. Keep it light but steady, small but persistant, weave the chakra to feel it travel through myself and into the cloth grasped in my hands," Seresana mentally said to herself while shutting her eyes in focus and thought.
Time ticked by for the little girl as she poured focus and chakra into the training technique, and her sense of it faded out right along side her sense of presence in the forest. Her surroundings became more like a forgotten memory, as her mind made it's journey to this mentally created landscape that was serving as her focus. An small stream cutting through a bluff of snow and ice, while a steady wind scattered the upper-most snowflakes. The water and wind was where Seresana's mind was, leaving her oblivious to the snow drifts that surrounded this mentally created landscape, and then suddenly Seresana found herself in this landscape. She strode across the snow, getting a face full of bitterly cold wind on her way to the stream, still oblivious to the snow she strode through. Seresana stopped at the edge of the water and watched it curiously flow on by while the wind continued to randomly blow. After a few moments of this, Seresana bent down and dipped her hand into the stream, feeling the cool waters flow around and between her fingers before she cupped her hand and scooped out a little bit of water. As something akin to an impulse, Seresana then cupped her hand to the wind, trying to catch a small bit of the erratic winds that flowed about. Once satisfied with her acquisition of these two things, Seresana finally noticed her surroundings, seeing all the crystaline white snow all around her. "What is this place? How'd I get here?" she said aloud while continuing to look around. Then her sense seemed to come back to her and Seresana noticed the things she was still holding. "Water? Wind? OH! That's right, I was training on how to manifest my chakra like my mom told me. Hmm, I think... I was in the forest, but then how'd I... is this a dream? But I was on the side of-" Seresana didn't get to finish her thought as a sensation of weightlessness seized her.
THUD "OW!," Seresana yelled out as her hands went to her head to rub the pain filled area. A few minutes of pain filled rocking back and forth later and Seresana uncurled herself and slowly stood up while trying to figure out what happened. "I guess I focus'd so much I dozed off and actually lost my focus," she said to herself while standing up and looking to the tree again. Then her eyes widened as she looked about for the scraps of cloth that were supposed to be used to measure her progress. It didn't take too long to find the first of the scraps of cloth and much to Seresana's glee, it was most certainly damp, but definately not soaked. Next came finding the other scrap, and it proved much more elusive and ended up taking a whole five minutes to find. Still she managed to find it and serving to continue Seresana's elation, it too showed signs of elemental chakra exposure as there was a noticeable tear spreading down from one side and almost reaching the entire length of the scrap. Seresana gripped the two seperate scraps of cloth tightly to her chest while barely containing a cheer until she couldn't contain it and started to jump and hop around in joy. A couple minutes after that and Seresana finished her little dance of joy, she then turned towards the path home and went that way. Seresana crept back into her house via the window to her room, and quietly slipped into her night clothes before sliding into bed as carefully as she could so as to not disturb Miku and Mina who were still dozing soundly on her second pillow.
The next morning Seresana woke up bright and early and ran down the stairs hoping to catch her mom so they could talk before the others woke up. Luckily she was in the kitchen getting some tea prepared, and turned to greet Seresana warmly with a, "good morning sweetie. Did you sleep well?"
"Yeah mom, but even better, I did it! I managed to manifest both chakra natures while maintaining the tree climbing technique you showed me."
"You did? Well... that is quite a feat my little Seresana. You aren't lying to me, are you?"
"No mo-, I mean no sensei. I promise you that I was able to make one piece of cloth damp, and another cut while maintaining the tree climbing technique you showed me. I am ready for this final prepatory training before we move on to the new techniques you said you were going to show me," Seresana said back to her mother and sensei in a much more formal and serious tone, even following the speech with a short bow.
"Very well my daughter and pupil, we'll move on to the final bit of this training before I show you some of the techniques I know. You'll be having to manifest your ice natured chakra for this and not only do I want you to perform the manifestation while under the same level of strain by performing the tree climbing exercise simultaneously, but I'll also need to see you create a new jutsu to go with this training."
"A new technique?"
"Yes, you will need to show me you're not only capable of manifesting your combined chakra nature, but being able to utilize a technique that is from that chakra nature as well, and not one that you might have picked up from the scroll but a new technique of your own creation, one that could be added to the scroll for future generations to learn and use. A technique that you created yourself."
"But what about my ice arrow techniqu?" Seresana asked curiously.
"That was made utilizing your mastery over your blood, not your ability to control your ice chakra nature. Try to understand the difference my pupil, for you won't be ready to learn my techniques until you do," Sophia went on. "Now how about some tea sweetie to start the day off right?"
"Sounds great mom, what's for breakfast though?"
"I don't know yet, but if you help me make it, I'll let you decide today. How's that sound?"
"Really? Great!" Seresana cheered as she hopped over to her mom and gave the woman a tight hug before following her into the kitchen where they'd begin working on breakfast.
While they worked, Sophia kept stealing glances at Seresana and thinking to herself. "She's definately my daughter, picking up the talents of her blood with almost a certain level of ease. I can't imagine that it'll be more than a month or two before she's back to show me a new jutsu."

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PostSubject: Re: New efforts   Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:25 pm

It was the middle of the day and Seresana was wandering through the woods with a smile on her face and humming a little tune. She was sporting her usual outfit and this time had her bow and arrows along with her, though she didn't plan on using them and really only carried them along to simply have on her person. Seresana wasn't following any true path, more just generally wandering into the wooded area to enjoy being there. "Ah, it's such a nice day, and it's been far too long since I just took a nice little stroll like this. Although, I think I know how I can spice it up a little when I get to a clearing or something," she said to herself while walking ever deeper into the forest. Miku and Mina weren't with her this time, they'd been playing with Hitagi and his friends when she'd left and Seresana didn't want to disturb them all while they were having fun.
She walked past trees and pushes aplenty, and even the occasional small animal that would scamper away when it noticed her presence as well. Eventually Seresana found the clearing she'd been unknowingly searching for, and she stood at it's edge for a little while just admiring the scene. It wasn't a large clearing by any stretch of the mind, nor was it even really that circular. Rather it was a weird oblong shape that'd managed to hook around even little, and then there was a thin little tree sprouting up right in the middle. The tree had managed to just about start reaching the heights of the other forest trees, but it'd yet to spread it's branches that far outward and so an ample amount of sunlight streamed down to the vibrantly green grass and hundred of wild flowers below. A plethora of colors almost seemed to shimmer in the light errant breezes as the flowers shifted. Purples, yellows, oranges, and reds dancing about amongst their green backdrop creating a scene that Seresana couldn't help but stand by for a moment to enjoy.
When that moment passed though, Seresana shifted her gaze skyward to behold the wide expanse of blue with a good few slowly drifting clouds to break the solitary color. She then tore her gaze away to check her affects and make sure everything was securely attached to her before making a few handsigns. A second later and a powerful gust suddenly ripped across the clearing, encircling and eneloping the little girl. After Seresana's hair was successfully ruffled up, she slowly began to ascend into the air. First it was just a little bit by little bit, and the ascent was spotted with bouts of unsteadiness and shifting, but when she was about a foot off the ground Seresana's ascent quickened. It didn't take long at all for Seresana to get above the trees and then higher still into the wide open expanse. She cast her view out to the newly available sights and did nothing to hide the elation on her face. Seresana could see the village wall at first completely surrounded by trees, and as she rose higher yet, the unfocused visage of buildings came into sight. Turning about, Seresana then looked to see mountains in the distance, the jagged teeth of the earth with their white caps of snow at heights far beyond where Seresana now floated. In another direction, Seresana could see a break in the trees that drew her curiosity and her form over towards it. It wasn't the small enclosed one that would have been a give away for a clearing, but rather it was thin and snaking it's way through the trees.
As Seresana drew close to it, the color blue entered the scene and her realization that it was another little stream that didn't come too close to the village soon followed. Still it was a new discovery for her, and Seresana spent a while just watching the water flow over the sand and stones. She even considered taking a momentary break from her little stroll in the sky to go for a swim, but ultimately decided against it. Still grinning, Seresana went begin ascending again but found the winds that supported her weakening in their intensity. She was confused for a moment but then realized that the jutsu must have just been wearing off, so Seresana canceled out the lingering traces of the jutsu. She fell then but only for the brief moments before she finished the handsigns to use the jutsu again. She was careful though in using the winds to slow her fall instead of just stopping her descent abruptly. As soon as she stopped falling, Seresana began her ascent anew to first reach the height she'd fallen from and then continue onward ever skyward and as quickly as she could.
While Seresana climbed to ever greater heights, she continued looking at everything she could strain her eyes to see. "It never ceases to amaze me how different everything looks from this height. I wonder how high I'll go this time?" she said aloud to herself while tearing her gaze away from the ground below and back to the steadily closing clouds in the sky. "Don't think I'll be able to touch one yet, but someday I still want to. Might have to come up with a new jutsu to do it though, they're really high up and this levitation jutsu just doesn't get me high enough fast enough or before I've spent too much chakra," she went on while continuing to ascend. It was true, she'd tried this kind of stunt before and found herself limited to certain heights if she still wished to reach the ground without a splat, but it'd been some time since her last attempt at it and she'd gotten more than a bit stronger since then. Still, she didn't want to push things too far given the unforgiving consequences if she messed up and didn't have enough chakra to descend safely.
With that in mind, Seresana continued to ascend until the jutsu quit on her and then performed it again to return to that height and from there just began floating abou the wide open sky. She alternated between looking at the ground far below and occasionally chuckling at how tiny everything seemed to be, and looking to the sky where the clouds seemed so much bigger and closer while laying back. She watched the clouds a good bit more than the land though, enjoying the act of finding shapes and images in their puff appearing masses. When that bored her though, Seresana began doing various little stunts in the open air, enjoying the weightless opportunity that her jutsu allowed her. She did cartwheels, spins, and flips while just waiting for her jutsu to wear off so she could use it again and continue her fun. She even took a decent amount of time to 'swim' though the air with a smile plastered on her face.
Seresana spent hours up there, occasionally ascending a little higher and sometimes going a little lower, but still maintaining that height well above anything around her. When her fun was finished though, Seresana closed her eyes in anticipation too what was to come next. She took a deep breath and canceled the jutsu. In no time at all, the forces of gravity seized hold of the girl who'd denied them for so long and proceeded to begin dragging her back down to the hard ground below. The wind picked up as did her speed, it went from a low whooshing to a higher whishing as it streamed past her. Seresana strained her eyes open against the current of air to see the fast approaching ground and smiled. She began to spin again, and flip, and twist about in her freefall until eventually she was just spinning at a high rate of speed head towards the ground. When she started to get close to the tree level, Seresana performed the levitation jutsu again, using the winds to slow herself down, both spin wise and descent wise, but instead of a full stop, she redirected herself so that instead of just trying to stop entirely, Seresana ended up flipping back over, her feet going back under her, and her whole form being shot off to the side parrellel to the ground. Then the jutsu ended and Seresana tucked in her head and limbs to begin rolling out to disperse the remaining force. All in all it would have worked great, had she been in an open field and not a fairly dense forest. So the inevitable happened a short while after she'd hit the ground, and after the loud thud, Seresana was left once again upside down, but this time it was with her legs and lowerback against the tree she'd inadvertently crashed into. Seresana stared outwards with a dazed expression for a few minutes as a few leaves that'd been knocked loose by the impact slowly fell around her before a hesitent and pained grin spread across her face. "Hehehe, ow, I guess I still need to work on my landings a bit more," she said while pushing off the tree so her legs would fall back to the ground, leaving her on her hands and knees for a moment before pushing herself back up to a standing position.
She wobbled for a second or two, still a bit shaken up from the impact with the tree, but when she checked the main points of impact, all she found were a few raised bumps that'd likely turn into bruises if they were already. She winced when she touched these, but the grin still managed to fight it's way through. "Ooh ah yeah, definately need to work on that landing," she remarked while continuing to test the painful bumps as well as her limbs to make sure nothing was seriously injured or broken. When everything checked out in her favor, Seresana turned back towards the village and began walking in that direction at a leisurely pace, partially because of how several spots were still kind of hurting and partially because she was still just enjoying the vibrant scenery surrounding her.
When the walls and gate for the leaf village came into her sight, Seresana let out a bit of a tired sigh, finally realizing just how worn down she'd gotten with her little walk through the sky. She waved to the shinobi standing guard at the gate and proceeded into the town, heading straight for the market district in search of some food. It didn't take her long to find one of her favorites and quickly she made her way inside to find a table. The small establishment wasn't glamorous, but it was still one of Seresana's favorites, and today seemed like they weren't that busy from what she could see with a quick glance around the rest of the space. She was a bit distracted though so when Misses Kiniko approached her, Seresana didn't see the woman.
"Back again today Seresana? That's got to be the 2nd time this week alone," Mrs. Kiniko said as she sat a cup of water down on the table.
"Oh! Mrs. Kiniko, I didn't see you there," Seresana said at first with a bit of a jump, which got a little laugh out of the older woman that Seresana quickly joined in. "Ye-yeah, it is the second time I suppose."
"Mhmm, so will you be wanting your usuual then?"
"Yes please!" Seresana replied enthusiastically, which drew another little chuckle out of the woman. "Though can I get some extra sauce this time?"
"Sure thing deary, it'll be done in a few minutes," Mrs. Kiniko replied as she nodded and walked away to deliver the order and then tend to the few other customers that were scattered about the restaurant. Seresana watched the woman depart for a couple moments, but then turned her attention away and towards the happenings outside that she could see through the window next to her table. On such a nice day, the market district was packed with people all going to and from the various shops that they either worked at or were browsing through. She watched young and old pass by, giving the unfamiliar a curious look that probably bordered on the levels of awkward starring, and waving at the familiar faces that she either knew from her time in the ninja academy or had met and become familiar with during her walks about the town. She found herself waving and offering smiles to the familiar faces a little bit more often than the curious looks. She even spotted one of Hitagi's little group of friends, the silver hair'd Xune. Despite her wave to him though, the boy didn't seem to notice her and simply kept walking past her, leaving Seresana to pout a little at the prospect of being ignored even if that wasn't what likely happened. It was right in the middle of this bit of moping that Mrs. Kiniko returned, placing the plate of food on the table for Seresana and startling her right out of her prior thoughts.
"Ah, it looks great, and smells even better Mrs. Kiniko," Seresana said trying to hide the fact she'd been caught off guard for a second time.
Mrs. Kiniko just smiled and went along with the act. "I'll be sure to tell my husband, and do you think you'll be wanting some desert today?"
"Hehehe, of course. My usual please."
"Of course, I'll bring it out in a few minutes along with your bill sweetie," Mrs. Kiniko said, and when Seresana nodded to her, she went off to once more tend to the other customers and orders.
Seresana though barely even waited for Mrs. Kiniko to take a step before taking a deep inhale of the savory smelling dish, and digging right in. The first bite right up to the last was delicious, with just the right blend of seasoning and spices to leave Seresana imensely happy and content feeling. She found herself not quite realizing just how hungry she must have been, for the plate of food disappeared faster than she thought, but much to her surprised pleasure, the desert platter was already there and waiting on Seresana. Sliding her main dish off to the side, Seresana began to devour the desert with a voracity driven by the bite enticing flavors. In almost no time what so ever, the desert was finished and Seresana was leaning back rather contently. "Phew, that was good," Seresana said aloud albiet quietly while reclining, only bothering to move when Mrs. Kiniko wandered over to her table to retrieve the dirty dishes.
"I take it everything was good," Mrs. Kiniko rhetorically inquired while reading Seresana's expression.
"The best."
"Well I'm glad you enjoyed it. Here's the bill Sere," Mrs. Kiniko replied while picking up the dishes and turning to head back to the kitchen. "You can just leave it on the table and I'll pick it up," she added before taking her first step.
"Alright, thanks Mrs. Kiniko," Seresana said while beginning to dig out her purse. When she found it, Seresana counted out the money she needed to pay for her meal, left it on the table, and then wandered out of the restaurant. The crowd outside was a bit thick, and for a moment Seresana considered going up to get out of it, but then thought back to how much chakra she'd already used today and how worn down she really was, and so she decided against it. Instead she just wandered with the crowd with a little skip in her step as she had to dodge around a couple people who didn't see the little girl and accidentally stepped into her path, or at least Seresana assumed it was an accident. After a bit of this wandering and seeing familiar faces, Seresana wandered away from the market and then away from the market when a realization that she'd not spent any time with Miku and Mina all day long.
The walk back didn't take too long, the sun was even still up by a little bit when she got back, and when she did actually open the door and wander in, both of the little racoons scampered over to greet her. Seresana giggled lightly as she scooped them up into her arms, which Miku only stayed in for about a second before squirming out of her grasp and climbing higher while Mina seemed more than content to be cradled and petted. Still chuckling at their antics, Seresana stepped up off the landing, slipped her shoes off and wandered into the house. "Mom, dad, I'm home," she called out while working her way over to the living room. She saw her father who looked up and threw her a grin.
"Hey there princess, looks like they missed you," Vesken said with a bit of a chuckle at the racoons that were still about her. "So what'd you do today?"
"Oh, I just went on a little walk around the woods and in town," Seresana replied slightly crypticly and with a slight smile. "What about you dad?"
"The Linoone's comission, wanna see?"
"Mhmm," Seresana replied with a nod as she waited for her father to stand back up and then followed him back to the familiar workshop. She still loved being in that back room to the house that was utterly littered with projects, tools, and other supplies. The numerous benches that lined the walls and stood in the center of the small room were all covered with bits and pieces of all three. The hanging wires that criss-crossed through the air above were for the moment mostly bare aside from a couple pieces of more freshly pained wood that had been hung up to dry. The furnace forge that also served as a heating element for the house was lit and burning dimly, though around this time of the year the piping would be closed off to keep the heat from spreading through the house and making everyone too hot. Vesken worked his way over to one of the desks near the furnace and lifted up a fairly long and ornately designed piece of wood. At first Seresana wasn't sure what she was looking at until Vesken grabbed onto the end of it and pulled, revealing the blade that had been hidden inside the sheath.
"It's been some time since I've actually forged a weapon, but I don't think I did a half bad job on this one," Vesken said as he turned the weapon around slightly to view it from other angles. Then he shifted his grip on it and handed the weapon over to Seresana to hold. "What do you think?"
Seresana took the weapon gently, and then quickly strengthened her grip on it when the weapon's real metal proved heavier than she'd originally thought. It was a somewhat classically designed katana with a long, lightly curved, single edged blade that seemed to have been well crafted and sharpened to a razor's edge. The cross guard featured an ornate flower petal like design that made it appear as if the blade was sprouting through as a part of the flower. The handle featured an alternating series of purple and green dyed thin leather and the hild featured a smalll emblem that was noticeably similar to the guard. Looking past the obvious features, Seresana gripped the weapon solidly first in one hand and then in both as she felt and tested the weight of the weapon. She then turned so that there was an ample amoung of open space before her and she gave it a practice swing feeling the weapon's weight not throw her off balance thanks to it's balance. "It's.. it's really good dad, I didn't know you could forge a sword," Seresana said as she continued looking the blade over a couple more times.
"I did say it'd been some time since I had last, a lot of the times the people wanting these are ninja and they tend to prefer the more official suppliers who know how to work the special chakra metals."
"Chakra metals?"
"Yeah, special metals that do something or another with the wielder's chakra. I don't quite know or understand it myself, but you need to be pretty dang good to work them from what I hear."
"Huh, there wouldn't happen to be chakra woods, would there be?" Seresana asked as she handed the weapon back over.
"Honestly don't know sweetie," Vesken replied as he sheathed the weapon and returned it to it's resting place. "I suppose it's possible though, but once more you'd probably have to be something of a master to properly work them."
"Oh," Seresana remarked a little glumly and letting her head hang.
In the next moment one of Vesken's large hands settled on her head and promptly started to ruffle up her hair, getting a giggle out of the little girl as she tried to fight off her father's taunt. "Hehehe, ease up there princess you're still young. You've got years to master any art you chose, there's no need to rush things," the old man said with the tone of experience. Seresana stopped her struggling and looked up at her father as he spoke, listening to him with rapt attention and a curious expression. She nodded when he finished and gradually a smile started to grow on her face. "Speaking of mastering things, how's your bow coming?"
"It's still holding up well, but I'm thinking of a lot of modifications to make to this one as is."
"Like what?"
"Well, I think I could add some resistance bars to the frame for starters. Increase the draw weight and make it shoot harder."
"Resistance bars? You going with metal or wooden?" Vesken inquired as he looked towards the stores of his own supplies. Different kinds of wood were easy enough to acquire from the forest, and could be easily traded for other more exotic kinds from more distant lands. Ores and metals however were another story and he had much more limited amounts of them.
"Metal if I could," Seresana replied without following his gaze as she was still visualizing the new bow. "That way if someone got close, I could use the bow to block with."
"You might honestly want to consider using just a more sturdy and less flexible wood instead. Metal can be difficult and you'll probably be needing a more difficult alloy to get the right flexability and rigidity."
Vesken's latest comment was enough to bring her back a bit to reality with the realization that she hadn't really done much smithing before and her knowledge of alloys was kind of limited. If she used the wrong kind of metal for those resistance bars, they could warp and actually serve to weaken her bow. "Maybe you're right dad, I probably should just stick to wooden resistence bars for now and only use metal when I'm a bit more comfortable with it... Do you think I could remake this entire bow out of metal?"
"I uh, umm... hmm....." Vesken paused for a moment as he tried to think about what such a thing would entitle. "I suppose it could be done, but you'd probably need to either make it out of multiple different alloys for the various parts of the bow, and I doubt any of them would be easy to come across or make. You'd need something that could give you the full range of flexability that a bow endures, but it'd have to always manage to retain it's original shape so as to not lose any power with it's use. And then there's a few other things to consider like weight and durability," Vesken started to trail off until he saw his daughter's expression slowly growing in defeat. With a cringe he suddenly forced a smile and changed his tone. "Er still, all of that doesn't mean it's impossible, and if anyone's going to do it, I be you'll manage somehow princess so long as you stick to it," Vesken added with a new ruffling of Seresana's hair as he tried to change the forced grin into a more reassuring one.
It took a second for Seresana to really seem to come to her answer, but when she did, there was a definite confident smile to match her fathers. "And I'm going to. It'll be the most powerful bow ever," Seresana added confidently.
"That's my princess, now, what about these improvements to your bow?"
"Wha- what about them?"
"When were you thinking about making them?"
"Oh uhm, I'm not sure," Seresana replied as one hand errantly found her chin as she pictured the new additions to the weapon again.
"Well I've got some left over supplies, why don't we give this double stringed upgrade of yours a shot?" Vesken said while already beginning to dig through some of his extra pieces.
"Could we really?" Seresana asked suddenly with unveiled hope. She couldn't remember the last project like this that she'd worked on with her dad, and while it'd been nice to truly try and do the work herself, there was just something a little special about the ordeal when her father helped.
"Yeah, why not," Vesken replied rhetorically while getting some spare pieces of wood down as well as a tool box with several chiseling tools. "So what's first?" he asked passing the lead of the project to his daughter.
If Seresana's smile could get any bigger, she would almost be certain it's corners would touch her ears. "Well given the adjustments and unique shape, they'll need to be carefully made and the right size and shape. Hold on I think I got some sketches up in my room of what I think might work," Seresana said as she turned and started out of the room.
"Alright, I'll get a few more things ready to get to work, hurry back."
Seresana threw a nod over her shoulder as she wandered out into the hallway and towards the stairs. Before she got to them though, Seresana was ambushed by Miku and Mina who came scampering across the wood floor first towards her and then after her as she passed them by. As Seresana rounded the banister of the stairs, the racoons managed to catch up and hopped onto her legs, causing Seresana to cringe as their little claws easily went through the light fabric of her pants. "Ouch you two, that hurt!" Seresana protested as she looked down at Miku and Mina who both continued to climb up her now stopped legs. She tried to maintain the glare at them, but the almost pleading faces of Miku and Mina as they struggled to reach spots where they wouldn't have to quickly cooled the flash of anger she'd had. "Sigh oh I couldn't stay mad at your two even if I tried," Seresana said as she bent down and picked them both up. With Mina in her arms and Miku on his usual perch, Seresana went on up the stairs and to her room. She immediately went over to the desk and pulled open one of the drawers to reveal a small book that she grabbed and then left her room.
"You pick up some company?" Vesken asked when Seresana got back to the workshop room.
"Couldn't be helped, they ambushed me," Seresana excused as she sat the book down on one of the desks and began leafing through it's pages in search of the appropriate sketches. "Here we are," she said when the right page came up. On it there were some rough and kind of childish like drawings of a bow, and while they lacked true precision, Vesken was able to make out the rough design his daughter was going for.
"Hmm, looks difficult but I think we can make this work," Vesken said as he began looking through the selection of wood he had for them to work with. "You ready to start princess?"
"Mhmm," Seresana replied as she joined her father in looking over the selections of wood. When one was chosen, Seresana began drawing out rough designs along the edges to act as a guide for when she began the carving process. Meanwhile Vesken began unstringing Seresana's old bow and the process of preparing it's arms in a fashion that would allow the new additions to be attached afterwards. The process was slow, and Seresana had to be extra careful at first when Miku and Mina were still on her, that is until Miku fell off her head one time and nearly onto one of the sharp carving utensils. After that scare, Miku and Mina were both relocated to more safe areas of the room. Mina found a comfortable spot on the desk next to the one Seresana was working at, curled up on some soft leather while Miku and had scampered and climbed up onto one of the high shelves and was watching the actions of the father and daughter from his aerial perch. Now that she didn't have to worry about their safety, Seresana's work began to pick up a little in speed and the shavings pile on the desk began to grow.
Minutes turned to hours and the sun continued to set as the father and daughter continued their work with their racoon spectators, though Miku seemed much more distracted with chewing on an errant piece of leather and Mina had drifted on and was sleeping soundly. Seresana wiped her brow as she leaned back to examine her work so far. Small mountains of wood shavings littered the work area around the arms and there was still plenty to shave off before they were finished, but the shape was at least starting to take form to where they looked a little like the pieces from her drawings.
"Thought I might find you two in here," Sophia said suddenly from the doorway, startling both Seresana and Vesken. "So what are my two crafters up to this evening."
"Dad's helping me with the latest version of my bow," Seresana responded first as she gestured to the pieces she was making and then the bow that her father was preparing for them.
"Looks more like you two are breaking it apart, but I guess that just shows how little I know. Still, how about you two get cleaned up, it's time for dinner," Sophia said before turning about and leaving the room.
Vesken looked over then towards Seresana's progress on the new pieces and said, "well you've made some good headway on those. Seems like a good spot to take a break though, c'mon princess, you can wash up in the downstairs washroom, I'll take the kitchen and see if your mother needs any more help."
"Okay dad," Seresana replied as she exited the workshop first quickly followed by her father. Seresana went further down the hallway than Vesken and ducked into the washroom, turning on the water, washing her hands, and splashing some on her face. Then she grabbed up some towels and dried herself off. Next she glanced up into the mirror and checked herself over real quick and pushed a few errant strands of hair about before grinning at the reflection and exiting the bathroom. Now that she wasn't experiencing the workshop smells, Seresana breathed deep and happily embraced the deliciously warm smells of supper. She quickly worked her way into the dining room and took her seat, just sitting down before Vesken.
Dinner came and went with the usual banter and conversations. Hitagi dominated a good bit of it with the retelling of his days events and how he was getting ever excited to get into the ninja academy himself. Hitagi even went so far as to say he was going to do even better than Seresana had, a remark that came with swift retaliation as Seresana defended her own time spent in the academy. As the two argued, Vesken and Sophia simply sat back, laughing and occasionally adding in little side commentary as the dinner progressed.

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