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 Training with Sophia

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PostSubject: Training with Sophia   Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:22 am

The pale moon shone with a dull light, making the otherwise dark night considerably brighter. Scant few clouds littered the sky so the stars that littered the sky struggled openly to match the brilliance of the practically glowing moon. Seresana stood in the middle of her little training clearing this night, facing her mother. It'd been a bit over a week since Seresana had returned from her last mission, bloodied, bandaged, but still successful. Most of her time initially had been spent in the hospital recovering, where she found out that while she was going to make a full recovery, there'd still be a small scar left on her shoulder from the swordsman's blade. When she was released five days later, Seresana's whole family had gone out for a nice dinner and spent the day together.

That night though, Sophia came up to Seresana's room unexpectedly and made it clear that they were to begin the next stage of Seresana's training soon. Sophia hadn't however explained how this training would be different from what they'd done so far, leaving Seresana hopelessly puzzled when she left without a word on the subject.

And now they were here, not as mother and daughter, but as sensei and student standing in a small clearing in the woods in the middle of the night. Both women were in their full combat gear, Seresana with her dark pants and white shirt both of which featuring cloth ties. The purple vest that had been since cleaned and repaired upon her return rested comfortably on her shoulders, and the bandages on her left arm were as they usually were rather than extra thick on her forearm. The nearly empty quiver still rested across her back, it's end near the half empty belt pouch that now only held her shuriken. Across the field, Sophia stood in a solid black outfit of silky looking fabric that not only blended near seamlessly with the surrounding shadows cast by the trees, but also muffled the noice of the armor underneath. There were no pouches on her outfit, but the sheath to a very long sword with a chain bound around the handle rested partially across her back and partially just stuck out into the open air.

"Well Seresana, are you ready for tonight's training?" Sophia asked breaking the otherwise silent night.

Seresana hesitated a little, but otherwise nodded with a determined expression on her face. "Yes sensei, I'm ready."

"Good to hear it, now what you'll be doing tonight is based off what you've said about your last mission. So we'll be working on your actual combat prowess with practice fighting," Sophia said before going through an unfamiliar series of handsigns. When she finished, a strong wind suddenly picked up and seemed to form into a bit of a whirlwind next to Sophia before a buff of smoke erupted outwards. When it cleared, there was another Sophia standing next to the first. Sophia then made another handsign that was mirrored by the duplicate before a new puff of smoke obscured it again. When this smoke cleared, a masked woman with blank eyes stood next to Sophia. "This Seresana is an air clone, and on a cool humid night like tonight, it'll be able to move as fast as I do. Your training will consist of fighting this clone with everything you've got. I won't let it kill you, but it will fight you as if that was the intention so I suggest you fight it like your life depended on it unless you wish to go back to the hospital again." As Sophia finished speaking, the clone drew the yari from it's back, keeping the chain raveled on the handle and stood at a ready position. "Are you ready Seresana?"

Once again, Seresana hesitated as she came to terms with everything she'd just been told. She looked at what was to be her opponent and the sword that it wielded that was just taller than her. Quite quickly, Seresana slid her bow off her back as she realized that weapons were to be used and if she wanted to keep from getting a new scar, she'd best have her bow out. Dropping into her own stance with one hand already drawing out her first arrow, Seresana finally nodded that she was ready to begin practicing.

Sophia smiled lightly at her daughter's enthusiasm before saying, "begin."

Trying to be the one who made the firt move this time, Seresana quickly nocked the arrow, drew it back and fired. While the shot flew true, the clone instantly proved that it wouldn't be an easy opponent when it lifted it's sword and deflected the arrow with a metallic clink. Then it was the clone's turn to act, and in what seemed like an instant, it closed the distance between the two and was bringing it's yari across in a horizontal, one-handed slash. Seresana didn't have time to dodge the blow, not completely, so she shifted her bow about to block the slash. The clash though did serve to let Seresana know one thing, that this clone wasn't quite as strong as the swordsman back on her mission as the slash didn't carry as much power as the man's had.

Going through with a follow through attack, the clone put both hands back onto the weapon's handle and then tried to bring the sword back about in another horizontal slash. This one, Seresana did manage to dodge by bending over backwards to avoid the slash and then just transitioning the movement into a quick few backflips to build momentum before launching herself back with a final jump to create some distance between herself and the clone. Rather than the ground though, Seresana landed against the side of a tree while focusing enough chakra to the soles of her feet so that she just stuck to the side of the tree. As Seresana looked back up towards her opponent though, she was surprised to not see the clone where it'd been just a second ago. A second later though and the clone revealed it's position a shadow was cast over Seresana's form.

She looked up just in time to see the clone stop it's sword swing a scant few inches from Seresana's face. In a panic, Seresana let out a gasp and froze with eyes as wide as saucers because of how close the weapon had come to her. "Come now Seresana, I thought you said you were ready?" Sophia asked with a joking tone as she strode over towards them. "And I expected you to know to never take your eyes off your opponent," she added towards Seresana's gawking expression. The clone launched itself from the tree, and took it's place standing next to Sophia.

Seresana however was still in a bit of open mouthed shock at just how fast she'd been bested. "Was I that close to being killed back on the mission?" she wondered to herself before Sophia's voice snapped her back to reality.

"So, ready to begin round two?" Sophia asked while arching an eyebrow. "I expect you to last longer this time."

Falling for the taunt, Seresana grit her teeth and launched herself from the tree with a powerful jump that had her landing on the far side of the clearing. "Yeah, let's do this," Seresana said while holding her bow out defensively yet aimed at the clone. No sooner than she finished speaking, the clone began to sprint towards Seresana with it's sword held up at the ready to swing of block with. As the distance between the two rapidly shrank, Seresana reached back and drew another arrow from her quiver. She then nocked the arrow, but didn't draw it back and fire, instead vying to buy her time and wait for her shot. When the clone was within melee range, it took it's next swing at Seresana, the blade being brought down in an almost blindingly fast overhead slash. Seresana barely had time to dodge down and to the side of the slash, but as she did so, Seresana spun about while drawing back the arrow the full length of it's shaft and fired it with the full intention of going into her triple shot barrage technique.

But Seresana didn't get the chance for the second and third shots as the clone mimicked her spin, twisting it's body about as the arrow was finished being drawn and released. As such, the center of the clone's torso that the arrow was shot at was pulled away as the clone turned until it's side was facing Seresana, letting the arrow pass just in front of it. Then the clone brought it's sword about in an upwards diagonal slash that Seresana hopped backwards to avoid while reaching back for another arrow, but as Seresana's hand grasped empty air, the clone pressed it's advance with another downward slash. Seresana once again hopped backwards to avoid it, but when she went to do the same for the following thrust, it proved to not be enough as the clone was forced to stop it's stab halfway through.

"Good, you kept your eyes on the target that time, but you need to get better at reading your enemy's movements and always strive to dodge out of the path of an attack rather than just beyond what you percieve as it's reach," Sophia stated from where she stood watching. "Now, begin round 3."

"Wait, wah?" Seresana said asked but she didn't get the chance to even listen to an answer as the clone rushed Seresana with another downward diagonal slash. Seresana managed to half blocked and half dodged the attack, and fully dodge the upward slash that followed. Then the clone went for another thrust and Seresana once again made the mistake of trying to dodge by jumping backwards only for the clone to take an extra step and be forced to pull it's blade back to keep from actually injuring Seresana.

"Again," Sophia said as soon as the clone removed it's blade and assumed a ready stance, well before Seresana was actually ready. This time, the clone went for a quick thrust right off the bat, and was rewarded when Seresana made the same mistake yet again and it was obvious that she knew the mistake just as she made it. Seresana was practically scowling at herself as the clone made it's attack and then her eyes widened as the stab didn't seem to be stopping short like it should have. Time seemed to slow for Seresana as she tried to figure out what was going on and it came to her when she realized that the clone was still in mid step and with too much forward momentum. The clone was unable to stop itself and Seresana began to panic at the thought of being skewered when there was what seemd to be a flash and a hand was gripping the back of the blade, stopping it instantly.

Seresana fought to get her pulse and breathing under control while her mother looked down on her. "Why did you do the exact same move when you know it will fail?" Sophia asked flatly.

"I... it's just reflex..." Seresana replied without meeting her mother's gaze.

"And why didn't you try to use any of your jutsu to defend yourself?"

That question got a surprised expression to come over Seresana's face and she finally looekd up kind of quizically. "Wait, I can use my jutsu for this training?"

"I don't believe I said there was any restriction on what you could do Seresana. I believe I said you are to continue practicing until you manage to beat my clone," Sophia went on with her flat toned voice. "As a ninja, you must be willing to any tool, any opportunity, and any option to best your opponent. Now are you ready to continue?"

There was a moment of hesitation from Seresana as she recalled her fight with the swordsman and his band again. She thought back to how she'd set her trap, how she'd gotten help from her summons. How she'd used her blood as a source of water for her Yuki clan jutsu. A subtle breeze served to bring Seresana back to the current, and she nodded to finally answer her mother's question. Sophia didn't so much as nod, but more just seemed to vanish from in between Seresana and the clone, who upon finding it's sword free from the gasp immediately went for yet another thrust. This time, Seresana had somewhat been expecting the strike but that still didn't mean the attack was any less of a threat just from it's speed alone. To avoid the slash, Seresana leapt into the air above the slash and while up there, she used the levitation jutsu to begin floating in the air.

While the chakra enhanced winds kept her aloft, Seresana performed her crystal ice arrow jutsu, aimed, and fired the arrow at the clone down below. Said clone dodged the shot with ease, and the next one when Seresana made and shot her next crystal ice arrow. Before Seresana could make and shoot her third arrow though, the clone unraveled and siezed the chain on the pommel of the yari and launched the bladed end at Seresana. Seresana practically threw herself to the side to avoid the weapon. As the clone pulled the weapon back for another throw, Seresana made another crystal arrow and shot it at the clone, but it dodged this arrow as well before throwing the bladed end of the chain at Seresana once more. Seresana managed to dodge the throw, and then tried a trick that won her the last fight she'd been in. The ice arrows that littered the ground reformed into ice needles that were then sent flying at the clone as Seresana performed the thousand flying water needles of death jutsu. Unlike her last fight though, the clone proved a more capable opponent as it ducked under the ice needles and launched the bladed chain at Seresana in a slashing motion in one fluid motion. Yet Sophia didn't so much as flinch when the chain slammed into Seresana, proceeded to wrap around her several times, before the clone slammed it's captured target into the ground. When the dust cleared though, it was revealed that Seresana had used a body switch jutsu as the chain was just wrapped around a log.

"Ah, so she switched places with the log that moment when my clone ducked under the barrage of ice needles. Well done Seresana, you've managed to give my clone the slip for the moment. Now how do you plan to take advantage of this situation?" Sophia thought to herself as she continued to watch the practice fight.

The clone continued to stand in the middle of the clearing, looking about as it tried to pin point where Seresana was. When it failed to locate the little ninja, the clone shifted on the chain part of the yari and began to spin it about, the bladed end disappearing into a whirling blir as it was spun about. Seresana saw all of this from her position in a tree a short ways from the clearing, where she'd decided to hide for the moment and contemplate what to do next. "Alright, the clone is faster, stronger, and is wielding a much more effective weapon at close range while also being capable of executing medium range attacks, meaning I'm only remotely safe when I'm at long range. The clone's speed though is more than enough to close the gap between us that I barely even have time for a second attack before it's on me. I'm also out of normal arrows, so I'm stuck to just using crystal ice arrows. I've got more than enough chakra for several of them though, so I'm not really limited there and in fact the notion that they are made of ice opens up a bit of extra opportunity. Now no straight forward attack will likely work unless I really catch this clone off guard. So launching an attack from an angle that it isn't expecting or can't see is probably my best bet. Well, no time like to present to give it a shot," Seresana concluded as she began making a series of crystal ice arrows. When Seresana had a quiver full of the frozen projectiles, she made her move.

The first shot was fired straight from her hiding place and the three ice arrows used in the multi-shot sailed fast and directly at the clone's back. The clone however had been waiting for and expecting an attack from behind and with seeming ease, dodged to the side to avoid the arrows that sunk into a tree on the other side of the clearing. In retalliation, the clone launched the bladed chain end towards Seresana's hiding spot, forcing Seresana to jump upwards and into the open night air to avoid it. While up there, Seresana drew, nocked, and fired another crystal ice arrow at the clone, forcing it to dodge back to where it's been standing just a second ago. The clone however wasn't quite finished and decided to give the chain whip part of the yari a powerful upwards whip. Seresana grit her teeth as she was forced to go forward with her plan before everything was completely setup, but with the chain rapidly approaching her while she was in the open air and unable to really dodge since the levitation jutsu wasn't ready yet. Seresana then pulled out another three arrows, but rather than fire them, Seresana made another series of handsigns and let the arrows go where they reformed together into a single rectangular sheet of ice. The bladed whip at the end of the chain clanged loudly but harmlessly off the hardened ice sheet of the demonic ice mirror. From her new floating platform, Seresana drew out another of her ice arrows and fired the projectile at the clone. Before the arrow could make it to the clone though, Seresana went into her mirror and then shot out faster than her arrow was going straight towards the clone. In middle of this extra fast flight, Seresana drew and fired yet another arrow off to the other side of the clone.

Towards the end of her flight, Seresana drew out four of her shuriken but she didn't throw them even when she was right next to the clone that was still in the process of dodging the first arrow. And then she was shooting past the clone and into a mirror that had formed from the ice arrows she'd shot at the clone at first. Turning about and leaping right back out this time to one side of the clone where yet another mirror had formed from another prior shot arrow, Seresana threw her fist full of shuriken before sinking into the third mirror. From this mirror, Seresana's actions hesitated just a moment for she wanted to see what the clone would do, though she still drew out her next arrow in preparation. By now, the clone was fully reacting to the first arrow shot at it after Seresana formed her mirror, by dodging to the side yet again, but then it realized the series of shuriken thrown at it as well and leapt up to avoid them. That was what Seresana had been waiting for and once the clone was high enough for Seresana to pass under, she leapt from her third mirror to the fourth one she'd made from the arrow shot during her first leap. In the middle of flight, Seresana spun herself until she was looking up with arrow drawn and bow taunt. She fired her shot and then sunk into the new mirror, only to step right back out while dispersing three of her mirrors and looking up to see how the clone was faring while already preparing her next jutsu. The clone, being caught in the same situation that Seresana had been in a few seconds ago also wasn't able to dodge the attack, but it was able to block the attack, shifting both hands to its sword and deflecting the ice arrow with the flat of the blade. With the attack seemingly stopped, the clone prepared to throw its bladed whip at Seresana yet again, when suddenly the sound of tearing cloth echoed out almost on par with the rattling chain, and then the clone was gone in a puff of smoke. What was left behind were a few of the ice needles from a Thousand flying water needles of death jutsu that had passed through the smoke and planted themselves into the ground below.

Her opponent defeated, Seresana promptly fell back onto her butt panting heavily from both the effort and the amount of chakra just spent. Nearby Sophia watched the exchange with a suppressed smirk as she reviewed what her daughter had done. "So the real intent was to convert some of your ice arrows into that first demonic ice mirror so you'd have ice to use for a Thousand Flying Water Needles of Death jutsu once your target wasn't paying attention to it anymore. A similar tactic to what you performed on your mission, but done so on a higher level of complexity," Sophia announced as she approached her daughter. "Not bad, but perhaps lacking slightly in creativity. The biggest problem though is that you're exhausted, just look at how you are now. You spent so much chakra and energy to defeat that single opponent. If there was a second one at even half the power, do you think you could win?" Between her tired pants, Seresana listened to her mother's words and begrudgingly shook her head from side to side. "It is good that you know that you're at your limit. Be sure to get some rest and recuperate for we shall do this again tomorrow night and each night after that until you can handle this level of combat. Though we will only do one round per night since you’ll only get one shot in real life as well.” With that said, Sophia turned away from her daughter and began to leave the clearing.

Seresana watched her leave from her prone position on the ground, and only once she was gone did Seresana even try to stand. She found a surprising amount of difficulty from her tired and sore muscles as the amount of chakra she’d spent in the fight continued to weigh on her heavily. Still, before she could get too soaked by the incoming night time dew, Seresana forced her feet beneath her and stood up with a groan. She tiredly wandered about the clearing trying in vain to gather up her used ninja supplies, which consisted of her shuriken and what few arrows she had left. However, Seresana was only able to find a few of her kunai in the dim light of night, and it wasn’t too long before she gave up and went home to promptly go to bed.

Practice fight number three

The sword swung cleanly through the air and close enough that time that Seresana was able to hear the whoosh of its passing and even feel the air displaced by the swing. Before the clone could get another swing in, Seresana kicked off the ground to launch herself backward while drawing back another of her ice arrows and firing the projectile before landing. The arrow however was deflected as the clone began to give chase. As the clone closed in, Seresana fired more arrows at the clone in an almost desperate attempt to hit it before the gap between them was closed for no matter how hard she tried, the clone was still faster than her and could catch up to her no matter how far she tried to run. The first arrow missed while the second one was deflected. The following two were dodged as well and then the clone was once more within sword range. Seresana had her arrow in hand when the clone went for the downward slash, but she dropped it in lieu of using both hands on her bow to block the slash.

The clash left Seresana’s hands ringing and gritting her teeth, but they soon parted in a pained gasp as the clone planted a powerful kick into her side that sent the little girl flying backwards. Just as Seresana was trying to pick herself back up, the clone was on top of her and poised to behead her when Sophia intervened and ended the training. “You know better than to ever let your opponent see your back, remember that enemies will not hesitate to kill you if given the opportunity,” Sophia said before departing.

Practice fight number seven

Seresana ducked back behind the tree as the bladed tip of the chain whip on the bottom of the yari scored it while shooting by. As it was being pulled back, Seresana leapt out from behind the tree on the other side and fired her next arrow, only for that one to be deflected by the clone as well. As the chain whip was thrown again, Seresana dove behind another tree and prepared her next shot. She let out a breath but when she turned about to leap out from behind the tree, the clone was right in front of her, sword already being swung towards her. A second later and Sophia was between them with her own yari just barely drawn out to block her clone’s sword while she looked down at the still slightly cowering Seresana. “You can’t freeze or hesitate like that, if you do, you will die.” That last word resonated and echoed on in Seresana’s head for several minutes as she sat in the dark forest.

Practice fight number fifteen

Seresana ducked under the sword swing letting the blade’s edge cut into the side of the tree, chipping away a bit of the bark. As the clone fought too free its blade Seresana tried to draw back her next arrow and fire it, but the clone dodged around behind the tree while yanking its blade free. Knowing what was about to come, Seresana dove forward to avoid the slash that came from behind. Going into a forward roll so she could end her dodge on her feet, Seresana turned about and immediately fired off another arrow that was dodged just as easily as the ones that came before it. Not letting herself be deterred Seresana fired off a couple more arrows in quick succession as the clone once more raced towards her. The arrows however were deflected with quick slashes that shattered the ice against the hard steel of the sword, and then suddenly the weapon was being swung at Seresana again. This time though the slash was horizontal and Seresana jumped high to dodge the slash. As the hand that was holding her bow made the signs to go into her levitation jutsu, Seresana drew back another arrow and fired. The clone dodged with a quick jump backwards and then turned about and ran away to avoid the following shots. Though it was only to the first tree in its path that it jumped onto the side of only to provide a spring board to then jump towards the floating Seresana who hadn’t been expecting the sudden change of direction and missed with her shot. To dodge the clone’s fast approaching slash, Seresana dismissed her jutsu to plummet to the ground. As soon she landed, Seresana drew out her next arrow to try and draw it back and fire, but in mid turn around the clone was already on her and kicking her bow back to the side before drawing back it’s sword and stabbing it forward.

The blade’s tip though stopped just an inch or so away from Seresana’s face and her wide eyes. “Better but if you’re not going to be able to match your opponent’s reaction speed for melee combat, then work on establishing a set distance between you and your opponent and then sustaining it,” Sophia said from somewhere in the woods, Seresana couldn’t see her. The clone disappeared a few moments later, leaving Seresana to wince at her latest failure. As she sat there, the prior said words echoed back and this time they started mixing with other errant thoughts.

”Look at that, failed again. Just like the prior fights, just like that time with Vismar, and just like when Yusuri died.” Seresana grit her teeth and shuddered against the harsh thoughts that were suddenly so booming in her mind. Without thinking about it, her hands shot up to the sides of her head and grasped at her hair and pushed against the sides of her head. ”What am I going to do? What even can I do? I’m just going to keep failing until they’re all gone…”

“NO!” Seresana yelled out into the black night with closed tear-filled eyes, but the force that first word quickly started to fade. “That’s why I’m training so hard, day and night,” she said but that follow-up sounded weak even to her own ears.

”Yeah right, guess I’ll just have to keep at it and see…”

Practice fight number twenty-four

The rustle of a bush was accompanied by the rattling of a chain as the clone ran past, and for a moment Seresana was locked in stunned silent disbelief. She waited for a moment or two just to make sure the clone had in fact moved on past her location and then a couple extra moment before drawing out her next arrow. She silently nocked the arrow to the string and then pulled it back while standing up in one fluid motion. The clone however happened to not be facing as away from Seresana as she had hoped and it managed to catch a glimmer of moonlight off the crystal ice. That was enough for the clone to twist about and bring the yari about to block the arrow, which shattered across it’s blade. Seresana gritted her teeth as the sneak attack failed and she turned about to run when the chain wrapped about one of her ankles and pulled her feet out from under her. Seresana landed hard and before she could right herself or detangle the chain, it was suddenly pulled taunt by the clone as it jumped over to close the distance. The blade set to impale Seresana was deflected at the last second by a kunai that smacked into the side of it from somewhere in the forest, just as the clone’s feet landed on either side of Seresana. “Always have your next attack at the ready if not already in action against an opponent, especially when the objective is to defeat and kill them. Had there been a second or even third arrow following that first one, you might have actually gotten my clone that time,” Sophia said before the clone disappeared which signaled her departure.

”Still failing…”

“But I’m doing better, even mo- sensei said that I might have gotten the clone that time,” Seresana said to herself aloud as her face started to adopt an expression of denial.

”But she is mom… she could have just been saying that to make me feel better…”

“No, that’s not how mom acts. I’m getting better, I know I am, and tomorrow I’m going to prove it by finally beating that… that damned clone!” Seresana promised herself with a yell.

The next night, practice fight number twenty-five

The pale moon tentatively peaked out from behind the patchy cloud cover, highlighting some areas while leaving others bathed in darkness. In the clearing, Seresana stood on one edge while the air clone stood on the other. Each had their weapons out and were currently watching each other to see who would make the first move. This time, it was the clone that made the first attack, as it launched itself forward while bringing its sword about in a powerful arc.

Seresana however had plenty of time to see the attack but didn’t jump to avoid the attack. Sophia was about to step in to stop the match until she noticed that Seresana was making handsigns while the clone closed the distance. Just as the clone swung, there was an explosion of smoke followed by a metallic clang that chased most of it away. What was revealed was the clay golem that Seresana had summoned underneath her. From atop the golem’s head, Seresana fired her first shot at the clone who raised its sword to block the arrow only to then suddenly have to dodge away from the clay golems simultaneous spiked punch. As the golem trudged forward to give chase, Seresana kept firing arrows at the clone, trying to keep it on the defensive and unable to counter. Before Seresana could nail that finishing shot though, the clone managed to make it to the tree line and after one of its retreating dodges backwards and a sidestep, it was behind a tree.

As the golem continued onward towards the tree, Seresana hopped off and drew her next arrow in preparation to fire. Just as the golem reached the tree the clone had hid behind, said clone came rushing out from behind the tree on the other side, managing to get around the lumbering golem and charge right at Seresana. Seresana however didn’t bat an eye this time, and instead fired off the first of two arrows that would be launched at the clone as it closed the distance between them. Both arrows were deflected with a shower of ice, and then the clone followed up with a fast horizontal slash that Seresana leapt over. Instead of leaping backwards though, Seresana chose to leap over the clone and fire an arrow down at it while in the air. The clone managed to dodge the shot by simply continuing forward but that still restored the distance Seresana had wanted as she landed and drew her next arrow. She waited until she heard the rattling of chain and felt the familiar pressure of the chain whip trying to wrap around her ankle. Once it started though, Seresana stabbed the arrow through one of the links and into the ground, effectively creating an anchor to the chain that stopped the clone’s following pull from doing anything.

Still though, the clone wasn’t done and even with its chain whip anchored, it still charged forward with the sword raised. Seresana fired a couple arrows at it while it closed the distance, slowing it down some as it was forced to deflect the projectiles, but when the clone got close enough Seresana neglected to draw another arrow in preference of holding her bow with both hands. The clone swung and Seresana swung to clash with it, the blade and bow clashing powerfully and for a moment the two held each other, but then the clone started to overpower Seresana once again. Just as it started looking like Seresana was going to get fully overpowered, the clone’s eyes widened as it realized there were heavy sounding footsteps coming up behind it. The clone glanced over its shoulder just in time to see a large, clay, spiked fist rapidly descending towards it. The clone raised its sword to block the strike, and a moment later the sound of tearing cloth echoed out as three ice arrows piercing the clone’s chest. Then there was the common enough explosion of smoke as the clone was destroyed.

“Very good, you used yourself as a diversion and then turned the sneak attack into its own diversion when it failed. You also didn’t hesitate and managed to do it all with just one jutsu aside from your ice arrows,” Sophia summarized from somewhere in the woods. “I think you’ve earned a break for the rest of the week. Enjoy your time off Seresana,” she concluded before departing.

Seresana was beaming as she dismissed her clay golem jutsu and then looked to the sky while thinking of how comfortable her bed sounded. Suddenly Seresana’s eyes shot open with shock. “Wait, it’s already Friday! I’m only getting one night off!” She yelled out in dismay before rushing towards home.

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