Yamabushi II [Plot | Solo]

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Yamabushi II [Plot | Solo]

Post by Ceridwen on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:21 pm


It's been weeks...

Weeks since she returned home. Weeks since someone saw her in the Village.

"What if something happened to her?"
"Maira, you worry too much."
"A mother never worries enough."

All traces lead to the shipyard, but none left from there.

"She'll be fine. Ceridwen isn't a little girl anymore. She helped raise the Village with us. She graduated as genin with much better chakra control than most of her rank."
"What if someone kidnapped her?"
"She's a shinobi. The people that watch over her won't allow a hair to be touched."
"... They could be too late."

Some thought having seen her step into a boat with a shipper... but neither her nor the man had returned since.

"I'm telling you, they'll find her."
"I've been hearing this for weeks now."
"I'm just as worried, Maira, but there's little we can do aside from waiting."

Only the mist could tell... but it had no voice to speak with.





The days had passed faster than Ceridwen could count. She woke before the first sun rays even reached the land, urged on to climb the mountain up and down time and time again without the use of her chakra. By the time she went down and back up, she was mostly so exhausted she could barely hold a proper stance. All she had learned as genin was thrown aside, crushed under the yamabushi's feet with so much as a word. She had decided to learn from him, and he would teach her. His way. The wordless way. He was a man of few words, looking either stoic or disappointed at her, but not once did he showed the slightest sign of abandoning her.

After the mountains came the hunts. Not the calm ones where she attempted to catch a fish bare-handedly, but the wild ones. Running. Always running. Over the stones, of the teeth of the mountain. Running after the escaping mountain goats and ibexes, running in and out caverns, running through tunnels that lead to whole new areas. Always running. At first, she couldn't even keep up. Her body needed to use different muscles than when she climbed, and the mountains were rather unforgiving at that. She stumbled, she fell face first onto the cold, hard rocks. Yamabushi merely grunted, disappointed, as usual. Gradually, running went better. Her feet started to know the area, her body remembering the pitfalls and the better supporting points. She became faster, or rather, more agile, but still not able to catch up to the older man who seemingly flew over the mountains.

After having trained her body to be accustomed to the mountains, survival began. He began showing her where and how to get water and food. He showed her the few places where long trees stood, their dark bark looming over the mountains like bony fingers. There, he showed how his bare fist were able to fell a single tree and proceeded to chop it into firewood in similar fashion. And then he pointed at her and expected her to do the same. Ceridwen ended with thick and swollen fists, the blood on her knuckles visible from her hard work while he simply sat there smoking his pipe, muttering but one word. "Again". Eventually, her fists had grown strong enough not to bleed anymore, but the trees still didn't tremble by her touch.

The days had dragged on. Her mind too tired to remember when the day rose and when the night ended. One day, two days, all days. All of them formed one blur between her physical fatigue and the numbing pain she felt from muscles and skin. At least until that one day where she rose up before the yamabushi could wake her. She stepped out of the cavern, and for a first she felt... rested. The air she breathed felt fresh, the stone under her feet was familiar. The quietude that cloaked the area was calm and serene, undisturbed by wildlife or her raging heart. It surprised her that she finally felt... home.

Ceridwen enjoyed this new-found sensation for a few minutes before suddenly realising the yamabushi would already be awake. When she turned around, he sat there, indeed, on a flattened stone looking at her. And for a first since long, she could see the beginnings of a grin through his dirty beard. She couldn't say why exactly but seeing him not disapprove of her felt almost heart-warming, and eventually she returned a faint smile.

"Welcome home."
"Thank you."
"Now training begins."

She sighed in exasperation. Her brief moment of respite and joy blown away by the thought that she had to climb and crawl once more. She had enough of beating up trees and running around.

"Whereto now?"
"Here. We fight."

Fight. She remembered the last time she had attempted to 'fight' him. She hadn't even been able to get near him without hitting the ground hard, and he hadn't even been serious with her. However, without another word, the yamabushi stood up and took his position, unlit pipe in his mouth. He tilted his head somewhat in impatience. Ceridwen hesitated somewhat. This would be just the same thing, wouldn't it? Not seeing a point in waiting, Ceridwen inched closer. She didn't have the chakra to endure the long-term training the yamabushi had put her through in the last few weeks, opting instead to rely on punches and kicks in hopes she would be able to hold out whatever training he was about to throw at her.

He nodded at her, sign that she should start the fighting. The kunoichi dashed towards him, combining her running training with the basic punches she had been executing on the trees over and over again. He dodged. Not even one hit connected. Not even the pipe was hit. She didn't understand why, but she was not about to give up just yet. Again and again she tried, yet again and again he avoided every of her assaults. Her punches, her kicks, he merely stepped aside, hopped onto a rock or simply twisted his body. Eventually, she quit trying and looked at him with an annoyed expression. What was the purpose of this? He shook his head, not impressed at all.

"Watch."

He moved his body into an unknown position, hands raised in front of him. His thumb reinforced the position of his index and middle finger, both positioned in such way it seemed they were ready to jab. His legs were slightly bend, his feet resting solidly on the ground. All in all a simple stance, but its exotic nature told Ceridwen it wouldn't be as easy to learn as simply copying it. Once he was in position and ascertained himself she took note, his hands reached out to hit an invisible enemy. The movement was so fast she could barely follow with her eyes, the air sizzling by its very movement.

"How many strikes?"
"Two."
"Weak eyes. Your turn."

She attempted to copy the same stance as good as possible, but from his expression she could already see she had failed at doing so decently. He approached, immediately lifting her hand with one of his, and repositioning her feet with a determined shove of his feet. Oddly, she felt far more balanced and grounded than her initial position.

"Now stay till noon."

And with those words, he simply left her to stand there.


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Ceridwen

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