A/N: a quick update... i suppose... just felt like it, don't ask why, just kinda sat down and this said 'WRITE ME! please~' umm... kay? normally i have to wrestle with my chapters... huh?
certain events in here i will blame on my reading TheDarkId's Let's Play on Drakengard... boy i wish i'd played that game (not really, the actual gameplay SUX! story is deliciously... er... 'really'... 'deep'... Read: Messed-up!-sad-face) thankfully i'm not as evil as cavia towards small children... or just children period... or elves... yea...
w00t w00t reviews! thanks guys :D
"Girl," Tougemichi nodded his head in one direction, tapping his staff on the snow-covered stone to emphasize his point, "This way…"
Yorihi was panting several paces from the old man. The little 'blind' girl was trying to stay on her feet, at this point it was only her growing agitation with the old man that was keeping her on her feet. The two of them had been walking in the cold mountains for several days, at least, and the shades wearing blind man hadn't stopped a moment or slowed his pace once. She swore she would lose him at some point but miraculously that swift 'tap, tap, tapping' of his staff every-other step gave her an excellent idea of where he was at all times, inwardly she wondered if he was doing it on purpose so she didn't get lost. –If that was true he'd slow down or let us rest a moment…-
The young girl's chin lowered onto the head of one very sullen bakeneko. Bachiko had lost all will to move, let alone hold on to the girl the day before yesterday, these mountains made him feel extremely weak and apathetic, and he knew if it weren't for his master giving him a small stream of her own chakra that he'd have laid down and probably disappeared by now. The further they followed the blind old fool the more sick he felt, the ghostly feline had managed to remain lucid enough to at least 'help' direct his charge since she had kept her eyes inactive for the most part, trying to conserve what chakra she could. The blue-black cat honestly had to wonder what was driving her, she was feeding him chakra while her own must have been being drained by the mountains, all the while following the old fool who kept a brisk pace that had to be hard to keep up with, carrying him and all…
"Ugh!" Yorihi grunted, holding the tepid cat closer and picking up the pace to not lose her new 'master'.
… But she kept going. Humans kept impressing the young Bakeneko. His vibrant blue eyes raised to watch the sky a moment, watching the rolling clouds that threatened more snow…
"Bachi-chan?" the dark haired girl 'looked' down at the cat in her arms.
Bachiko raised his head to stare at her, she couldn't see it through the bandana but he made sure she understood what he was doing…
… before throwing his smaller head forward and sneezing for the billionth time.
The girl raised one hand, cold fingers running through his wispy fur, scratching in a spot she knew he liked, "It can't be much longer," she tried to reassure him, even if she didn't know why. Yorihi raised her head, listening for that tell-tale 'tap' of the old assassin's staff. She knew, by feel of the drag on her chakra and from the impression Bachiko was giving her, that Tougemichi was leading them further into the mountains… where there was more stone and a stronger drain. Her arms wrapped around the chakra creature, worried about him, she took off towards the sound of the old man. She didn't care about herself, if she had to feed him all her chakra so he'd survive she would… but-
-Then I won't see Kemui-sama again…- that thought caused her to slow down, just enough to gather her breath… or so she told herself. Small dark brows dropped over the dark blue bandana, Yorihi's mind had been stuck on that last meeting with her Teacher… how she felt, how she smelled, the look she didn't quite catch… on one hand that had been the kindest her Teacher had ever been, so sweet and sincere hugging both her and Bachiko… but at the same time, it had been the cruelest thing she'd ever done, just walking away without a word.
Bachiko poked her mentally, sensing her thoughts.
Yorihi just sniffed, refusing to get swallowed up in the thought, "Its n-nothing…"
A flicked ear was her response, he didn't believe her but didn't 'say' anything, since he too was easily trapped by thoughts of that dog.
"Hmp," the duo 'glanced' up at the sound, Bachiko really the only one spying the old man running his free hand along the side of one of the cliffs, frowning at it in that way he judged everything. Yorihi just picked up the sound of the old man's hand hitting the stone, the last sound she had to follow him with, "Girl!" he growled in the gruff voice, knocking the stone again, "Use your eyes, see if this thing is stable."
"Uh-uh," Yorihi blinked behind her eyes, catching the old assassin's voice then 'looking' ahead. She swallowed hard, her body was so tired, the drain on her chakra alone was tiring, but the straight walk to wherever they were-
"Hmm?" it was easy to hear as the short old man turned, his staff tapped as if just to accent the point his eyeless sight was 'glaring' at her, "You heard me girl!" he barked at the child eeking out a portion of his killing intent to scare her.
She swallowed again, nodding without thought. –Sorry- she thought to the bakeneko as she drew her chakra back into her and towards her eyes, activating them.
He didn't mind, shuttering only a moment before sneezing, trying to ignore the sudden heavier drain on his body.
With eyes active she caught what may have passed for a smirk on the old man's lips, but it was so small she figured she was just seeing things. Yorihi focused her eyes on the stone in front of the old man. On the surface it was just like every other rock face in the mountains surrounding them, it didn't appear to have any cracks or deficiencies she could see on the outside. Pumping just a little bit more chakra into her eyes her vision pushed further into the rock…
Only to see absolutely nothing.
"Huh?" the little girl's head tilted slightly as she tried seeing through the rock again, "That's… strange?"
"Hmp," the old man definitely had a smirk on his lips, if somewhat cruel, "Thought so," he turned back to the stone knocking it with his knuckle, "This stone is special, as that Whelp said, in that it absorbs chakra," he took a breath in through his large nose, and when he released it his hand struck out, breaking the stone wall in the blink of an eye.
Yorihi and Bachiko's eyes widened at the quick shattering of the hard stone surface. With her eyes active, Yorihi had seen the whole thing, the old man just breathed in, closed the hand he had been rapping on the stone into a fist, and as he breathed out just… punched it. No draw back to gain power, no extra flexing, no chakra pull, just… punched it… all of five inches from where his fist started. Looking around the large hole that was at least four times her height and wide she couldn't help but gulp again, impressed.
"Hmp," Tougemichi was shaking his hand, "But it seems those 'special' eyes of yours can't see through it either," a cruel smirk spread on his wrinkled features as he drew out a wooden pipe and placed it in his mouth, "But that will serve us just fine," a match was struck on nothing and a flame came about as the old man lit his pipe, flicking the spent match away and taking a step into the new 'cave' he had opened up, "Seeing as you need to learn how to be blind first…"
Yorihi took several tentative steps towards the cave, a sudden chill running up her spine that she could feel was mimicked in Bachiko. The inside of the cave was nothing but a vast blackness, absolutely no light ventured far past the opening. It felt like an old place, long undisturbed, and now angry to have someone enter within-
"Get in here girl," the old codger barked, releasing a deep breath of herbal smoke from his nose.
Behind the bandana white eyes actually moved from the vicious old man to the vast empty blackness, "B-but…" her voice started before she could even think, her grip on Bachiko tightening as the cat nuzzled deeper into her arms, "W-what about… about the st-stone… th-the drain on-on Bachi-chan?"
The old man frowned and it suddenly wasn't the ancient darkness that was so scary, "What did I say about questioning me?"
Her brows furrowed as the little girl turned her head towards the old man, "B-but Toughmichi-sama, he-he-"
Quicker than a flash Yorihi was sent flying, back struck hard into the wall on the opposite side of the path they had been taking. The first thing she tried to do was breath, coughing hard as her lungs couldn't expand wide enough to breathe. Her neck hurt, along with her jaw, and she rubbed that cheek along her shoulder and could already feel it starting to swell. Her arms were numb, stuck in their position of holding Bachiko out of shock as the Bakeneko flared his chakra coat, anger burning in his bright eyes at what the old man had done…
"Don't look at me like that beast," there was a harsh growl in the old man's voice as he lowered his hand, now standing where Yorihi had been, everything about his countenance eking a barely contained calm, "It is your fault she did not obey my instruction."
Bachiko's ears lowered but his growling didn't cease. No one had the right to backhand his master like that, not for what she did, for asking… for worrying about him!
A hand came down on the cat's head accompanied by a forced cough, "Ba-Bachi-chan, calm down…" she stroked his ears back when his growling persisted, "I-I'm fine… s-see?"
Against his wishes the bakeneko's blue eyes turned to his master. She was giving him this small smile but the bruise on her cheek made his fur stand on end. Instantly his eyes returned to the old man to glare at him, ears down and eyes sharp, but he stopped growling if only for her sake.
Yorihi coughed two more times before making her way back to her feet. She rubbed her cheek on her shoulder before 'looking' back at her new 'Master'. Nothing about the old man's continence was remorseful of his action, but neither did he seem to enjoy it, by his stance alone it seemed he thought he was justified, merely enacting a punishment on an unruly student. Her brows furrowed as she bit her lip, holding Bachiko tight. –I did swear… not to hesitate, not to question…- she raised her head, eyebrows furrowed over her bandana as if she were glaring, "My… apologies, Tougemichi-sama, for he-hesitating…"
"Hmp," the old man gave an imperceptible nod, "Don't call me that," his body seemed to 'relax', as much as he did, as he took the pipe out of his mouth, "If you are going to use that name, only say 'Tougemichi'," he hit the pipe to his hand, removing the ash and quickly replacing the crushed herbs into the pipe, "… the rest is unnecessary."
Yorihi bowed her head, knowing the old man couldn't see it, but felt he would know anyway, "Yes, Tougemichi…" she watched him as he turned around, not 'glancing' her way or motioning towards her at all, just turned back toward the darkness of the cave. Yorihi bit her lip, ignoring the stinging in her cheek and various other parts of her body. She turned the way he went, eyebrows even as she just watched him walk further into the cave, "Why does Kemui-sama not call you by your name?" she shouted without even realizing it.
The old man stopped, "Hmm?" a grisly brow rose over the black shades, "Have I ever said that was my 'name' child?" he turned back to her and heard as her surprise as both her and that beast she carried stiffened, "All I said was 'you may call me…' not that it was my true name…"
The young girl's brows furrowed, a memory coming to mind as she remember the distinct wording her Teacher used the first time they met, "Kemui… Kemui-sama s-said the same thing…"
"Mmh," the old man nodded unconsciously, holding the pipe as he breathed in its fumes, "That must be the name they finally gave her when she was thrown out, hmp," he gave a half-laugh, "Not surprising… it fits her better than her true name…"
Dark brows stayed furrowed over her bandana as Yorihi stared at the old man, "What does that mean?"
Tougemichi gave a long exhale, smoke coming from his nose, "I may tell you if I feel inclined," those grey brows furrowed behind the black shades as he 'stared' at the small girl, "First things first, girl, get in here so I can close this hole…"
Yorihi tensed only a moment, before gripping her hands into tiny fist, holding her chin up high, the only visible sign she was glaring were her furrowed brows as she took purposeful strides into the cave. She pushed her chakra out as the drain from the stone increased, hoping to keep Bachiko well 'fed' so he wouldn't feel worse.
"Hmp," the old man just shrugged his shoulder, walking to the open side of the stone, making three seals with one hand and placing it on the rock. Quickly the rock seemed to take on a life of its own, growing to fill in the hole.
Yorihi watched as the last of the light filled in, swallowing hard and trying to not be afraid of the absolute darkness that consumed them.
"You'll get used to it," the old assassin spoke gruffly once all light was gone, not that it made a difference to him, "There is about another day's walk to my home…"
"You live here?" Yorihi couldn't help the squeak in her voice, this was the first time she was in absolute darkness, not even a shred of light to be had, not a crack at the bottom of her vision, nothing.
"Hmp," the old man seemed to growl as he walked towards the girl, knowing exactly where she was in the darkness, staff tapping causing her to stiffen the closer he came, "light, dark, day, night, it makes no difference to me," he moved his shades knowing at least the cat would catch the sound, "few things live in these caverns due to the darkness and the stone, it ensures my own peace from the world I left long ago…"
Yorihi blinked, not that it helped her at all, as she felt the old man walk by with the light shift in the air, "B-but how?" the tapping stopped and she had to wonder if he turned towards her, "How do you live here, no light, no food, no water," she breathed out loudly as Bachiko sneezed, "no air?"
That becoming-familiar grunt from the old man, "Hmp, no wonder you ninja are so weak…"
Yorihi frowned, brows deep in a glare, not that anyone could see it.
Tougemichi rolled his shoulder, "None of my kin would look at this situation as such," a crack of the neck, "While you worry about what you 'don't' have, we would be finding what we 'do' have," he gave a swift 'tap' of his staff, "These caves were formed by snow melting on these mountains and the water finding cracks to slip through, so immediately we have both air and water," he started walking, staff 'taping' with each off-step, "and where there is water, plants grow, therefore we have food," he gave a grunt noticing small steps not following, "where there are plants, small creatures to eat them," it took a moment but soon the girl started trailing the 'taping', just as she had on the way up to this part of the mountain, "those creatures, and the larger ones that eat them, we can also eat… if in the mood to hunt."
"Th-there are creatures in these caves?" she couldn't help having one hand out, being utterly truly without light was similar to the sense of vertigo she used to get when she was first activating her eyes. –Are my eyes even 'on'?- she couldn't tell, a quick feel around the side of her head and there were the tell-tale bulging veins. –Yep… on… and I still can't see…- it was a very… strange feeling, knowing she very well 'could' see everything, but at the moment 'couldn't'. She shrugged, not that anyone would see, but felt no reason to keep them on if she couldn't use them, and they were such a drai-
"Leave them on," the gruff old man's voice spoke out in the darkness.
With no means to 'see' and vaguely judging distances by sound, it was no surprise when the small girl bumped right into the old man. She bounced off quickly, landing on the stone floor, rubbing her nose. She couldn't see it, but she got the feeling Tougemichi was shaking his head at her.
"Hmp," the old man frowned, breathing in smoke and just shaking his head, "Leave them on as long as you can girl, it will help in your training," he breathed out a long stream of smoke, "And yes, there are 'creatures' in these caves, some I doubt have ever seen the light of day…"
The young girl shuttered, picking herself. Her nose twitched at the sudden addition of herbal smoke to the stagnant air, finding it far easier to track her new Master by that smell then just his shuffling steps. She quickly followed him, Bachiko hung listlessly in her arms as she tried to juggle the strain on her reserves between him and the stone, through lengthy breaths she questioned the old man, "H-how is it s-supposed to help?"
"Hmp," surprisingly it sounded like he might be grinning as he effortlessly walked around a group of stalagmites, Yorihi of course effortlessly tripped over them, "Tell me girl, how do you feel at this moment?"
She panted heavily, pushing herself up as Bachiko nudged her with all the strength he had. His tail was down, his ears were limp and he did not like this place, sure he could 'see', sort of, but with the constant drain he was barely any help. He was as useful as a pet rock. Yorihi tried not to snort at the impression he was giving, as she picked him back up and sniffed her way back to her grouchy master, "V-very… v-very… drained… Tougemichi," she barely answered, taking a deep breath to try and gather back some energy.
There was no indication but the old man was smirking, "You should be girl," she heard him tapping the wooden pipe against one of the stone columns, the bright flecks of dwindling light as the sparks jumped out and quickly died, "Hmp, your chakra right now is being split four ways, to your eyes, to the mountain, that beast, and keeping you alive," she had to squint, even behind the bandana, as he relit the herbs in the pipe, "right now, you are surviving with less than a quarter of what you would normally be…"
"Th-than…" it was really hard to breathe, and she didn't know if it was the 'new' smoke or just the stale air, or the fact they weren't moving for once, "Wh-why… stay… h-here?"
Tougemichi nodded, though she wouldn't have noticed, "That whelp wanted you to learn two things while under my tutelage, being blind," he held up one finger, though in the lightless black neither could see it, "And chakra control, now" that hand went behind his back as he 'stared' down at his pupil, "What is the best way to learn chakra control?"
Yorihi's eyes were narrowed on the old man, and even if they were outside he wouldn't see it, "Exercises," was her one word answer.
"Hmp," the old man nodded in the dark, turning on his heel and snorting a small puff of smoke, "that is one way, chakra pathways are like muscles for the spirit, they must be worked constantly to grow…"
At the sound of his voice moving away, Yorihi took one last deep breath, sniffing the air for smoke and trotting after the 'taping' steps, "B-but… wouldn't… that just…" she took a deep breath catching up, "make the chakra reserves… 'larger' then?"
"That depends," he grunted, turning a corner, sensing as the girl trailed a few steps before turning around and finding him again, "like muscles certain exercises grow reserves, other grow control, similar to bulk and strength."
The young girl swallowed, her stomach suddenly reminding her it was starving from all this 'exercise', "Wh-what's t-the… difference?"
The old man's hand shuffled around in the deep sleeve pockets of his robe then threw something over his shoulder, Yorihi didn't even notice his action until something hard hit her in the face, Bachiko quickly caught the jerky, nibbling off a piece for himself, "Chakra reserves, like bulk in muscles, just build up size, while Chakra control and muscle strength build up the 'ability' of the chakra or muscle." The old man breathed out a bit of smoke, listening as the girl and the cat were growling at each other over the food, "Stronger muscles mean more power in blows; greater chakra control means more chakra based abilities can be used, ideally for less…"
"So…" Yorihi shoved the rest of the jerky in her mouth, quickly chewing and swallowing while she could feel Bachiko growling at her, "By my having 'less' chakra… I can learn better control?"
"Hmp, partly," the old man grunted, turning another corner and amused it took her less time to realize it, "Your concentration is split three way, to your eyes, to that beast, and whatever else you are doing, you have no control over the mountain absorbing your chakra, but that drag is obviously felt," Tougemichi perked an ear when he didn't hear footsteps following him, "Girl?"
"H-hai!" Yorihi quickly jumped out of a pile of stalagmites, Bachiko shaking off as he got slightly wet.
"Hrm…" was the old man's gruff growl, "As I was saying," he turned, convinced the child would find him, "With the constant drain your chakra will continue to grow to compensate for it, and with your concentration having to be split, your control will constantly be tested, for if it slips for even one moment-" there was another stumble and crash in what he assumed was a column this time, he merely snorted out smoke as a response, "you will surely pay dearly for it…"
"O-ow," Yorihi raised her arm, it felt slick and tender, she must have cut it on some of the rocks, she breathed in a hiss through her teeth, "T-that hurt…"
Bachiko lowered his ears as he sat in front of the girl. He felt terrible, unable to do anything to help…
"Hmp," a deep exhale of smoke told the two the 'Master' was upon them, "Break anything?"
Yorihi blinked behind her bandana, unconsciously feeling along her arm, "N-no."
"Hmp," Again that grunt, "Give me your arm," the young now-very-really-blind girl held her arm out, not knowing quite where her new master was. Tougemichi grunted, kneeling down and feeling the cut over, ignoring as she hissed. He shook his head, children, always getting hurt by such little things, "Just like that whelp," he grumbled to himself, not realizing the girl would hear him, as he pulled out an herb paste and ran it along the cut, "Leave that on for a few hours, it should ensure there's no infection," with that the old man grunted as he stood up, ready to continue.
Yorihi felt the goo on her arm; it was all tingly, and smelled like herbs…- like the medicine Kemui-sama uses- she raised her head to look at the old man, thank him, but again she couldn't 'see' anything, "T-thank you…" it was quit for a moment, then she heard his grunt. A smile pulled at the girl's mouth as she hopped up, feeling out for where Bachiko went, quickly grabbing him and going towards the sound of 'tapping', "Tougemichi," she called as she caught up to him, "What did you mean? A-about Kemui-sama?"
"Hm?" the old man grunted.
"You kept referring to her as 'whelp', like you call me 'girl'," the young girl explained, hoping he'd elaborate.
"Hmp," he grunt, "Suppose I do," he gave a deep exhale, "In time girl, now is about your training…" he ignored as he could sense her head go down, obviously depressed about being shut out. He frowned, "You're different girl, when we train here, it is to learn a chakra control so precise it makes it so we have no need for large reserves," he threw out, wanting to ignore the child's sullenness, "You will be learning in a similar way, but since you are not one of us, it is integral your chakra reserves grow exponentially to continue challenging your control," the hand holding his staff went behind his back, causing the 'tapping' to stop, but the staff to be sticking out significantly, "You already have larger reserves then I require, but I doubt they are much to a Ninja…"
Yorihi felt something shift in front of her, and the 'tapping' stop… then something hard hitting her side. Curious, she reached out with one hand, shifting Bachiko into the other, and grabbing whatever it was… through feel alone she could tell it wasn't stone, it wasn't sucking her chakra and wasn't as hard. Then she remembered the 'tapping' stop. –His staff?- she stayed with it as he continued walking, just curious…
Then she smiled, grabbing the staff, using it to follow her new master…
Bachiko rolled his eyes in her arm. Yorihi got the distinct impression he was mumbling something along the lines of 'softie'. The young girl had to bit her bottom lip to stop the giggling that wanted to let loose at the idea, but she did smile.
Tougemichi continued his lecture, never once mentioning the tug on his staff, or the fact the girl didn't trip on anything else on their way to his home.
Softie – (no direct translation) closest being: Shiorashii (gentle, meek, sweet, modest) Hito (human)
A/N: i'm actually surprised now that i think about it that this didn't turn out more... f-cked up... huh... normally i absorb what i read and generally have that vibe for quite awhile... then again, as f-cked up as Drakengard is/was i was more delighted by the (possible) depth of the characters... and the sheer amount of IRONY! going around in it... quite honestly, i could never do that to my character... maybe... i have to grow into it... i guess... maybe... -hugs Arioch- don't bite me!
-coughs- anyway... yea! so, that! thing... there! :D
its cute... when i'm happy i write ironically 'cute' things... this is so weird when thinking about how i was reading Drakengard yesterday x.x
yes, guest, i think up most (if not all) of these names in dreams... lucid thinking really, ya know that time you're trying to sleep but can't? yea, i think about my stories, and 'writing' them out in my lucid-dreamy-thing-state... the backbone of what i write is the characters, because i really just think of them and put them in a box together and see what they do... like the sims... but as a base, its the personality and/or role/archetype i want of the character, then how they look comes from that, and from that comes a word out of the collective unconscious that becomes their 'name'... yep... i like being not-normal...
oh dear... Liz... WHY DON'T YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNT! XD one thing i did like out of all of those, the concept of political marriages, since she'll be the Raikage's daughter, that'll be an issue... wonder how i should do that... or if at all, since i don't feel Kumo, or at least the top people, think so much in that feudal sense... and they wouldn't be in such a 'rush' to have her as a breeder, i kinda made it a small point back in 'Honest Johnny-O' but R&D's been supplied some of her blood, they have cloned byakuugan they're studying concurrently with Kemui's observations of Yorihi's development of the bloodline... yep, i can completely circumvent that if i want... still could be an issue though, i haven't exactly thought about the 'next' Raikage yet...
well, yea... that... THANKIES~ for the reviews, keep 'em up :3
Comments, Questions, Opposing views~ (review :3)
Till next -salute-waves- Sayounara, Mina!