Mindwalking 1 - Kureno's mind [Sachiko, Kureno]
Sachiko: *after using the Sharingan to "pass through" Kureno's eyes into his mind, her avatar looks the same as her real-world self, except her avatar is now vaguely reminiscent of Tentsuke with all the projectile weaponry strapped to her arms/legs/torso*
Kureno: *looks at all her weapons* ...No exactly a welcoming image.
Sachiko: ...I'm nervous. Sue me.
Sachiko: *lifts hands and waggles fingers at Kureno* At least there aren't weapons in my hands, huh?
Kureno: *looking like...himself, in his uniform* Alright. We'll take it slow.
Sachiko: *lowers hands back to her sides* Slow is much preferred.
Kureno: Heavily armed, childish gestures... *dryly* I'm feeling better about this all the time.
Sachiko: *stifles the eyeroll in favor of closing her eyes and slowly willing the avatar-weapons to disappear*
Kureno: *watches, rather impressed but not saying so yet* ....Alright, first lesson basics. *acting like he's ignoring her question* For the time being you're not walking far into my mind at all until I see for myself that you're capable of moving around safely. Step One... *runs through some rules and has her test her mobility and judgement*
Sachiko: *takes in the rules, and demonstrates her ability to move around (and tries not to be sarcastic about it; she knows how to walk)*
Sachiko: *is taking this very seriously, after all*
Sachiko: *also has questions, but is waiting for opportune time to ask them*
Sachiko: ... *doesn't like the sudden space-shift to a place more cluttered with various objects, and looks around at everything and in all directions, but keeps her hands clasped behind her back* *she's obviously curious, but isn't about to start poking at things*
Kureno: *approves and makes points about how/why her behavior is appropriate--mostly something about watching out for traps*
Sachiko: *perks at the mentioning of traps*
Kureno: *will answer her question if she asks, telling her that traps can be laid in one's own mind as a defense from invaders*
Sachiko: So... about traps... >> Will you teach me? And, can you layer them?
Kureno: *long pause* .........We'll see. Right now my only obligation to you is to instruct you on mindwalking.
Sachiko: .....Your mind's different from Naruko's. Expected, yes, but at the same time, not.
Kureno: How so?
Sachiko: How so are they different?
Kureno: *shrugs* Different...not different. What do you notice?
Sachiko: Well, for one, your mind doesn't stink like carrion. Granted, at the time of mindwalking Naruko the Kyuubi presence was "slipping the leash" as it were.
Kureno: *is reminded again why it's so important to be teaching Sachiko mindwalking in the first place* Thank you. Anything else?
Sachiko: *unconsciously slips her hands into her pants pockets; glances down and wiggles her toes* It's dry, for one. *looks around again, taking in the giant rice-paper screens that are walls in some places and sliding doors in others. Lanterns dot the wall in places, providing soft luminescence, and small bonsai trees provide decoration.* And the...sliding doors are different. *a welcome difference, as Naruko's brain had a sewer in it* But it's lighter here. Light's more all-around, like when the sky's overcast during the day. *lifts head to look up* Huh. You've got an actual ceiling. The lanterns are a nice touch, too.
Sachiko: Also, the feel's a lot more...neutral. Orderly. Clean. *is quiet a bit* I think I was more lucky than I knew when I mindwalked Naruko. Not only did I come through intact-- *clenches into a fist the hand that had actually touched the Kyuubi's snout, and remembers the searing burning pain* --but I managed to find where Naruko's psyche was in fairly short order. Because I don't think the Kyuubi's presence is in the forefront of her mind. *longer pause, like she's going to say something, but then decides against it*
Sachiko: *also his brain has plants in it. ... But then, she's seen much worse than that. ......Still---plants?*
Kureno: *nods* Every mind you encounter will be different. That's why it's vital you build up your mental defenses. You'll never be able to predict every thing you'll run into in another person's mind. If you're not careful enough, they could even use that against you, and you'll end up as the one having your mind and secrets exposed.
Sachiko: *expression immediately darkens while she tries to hide a flash of terror* You'll help me with that?
Kureno: Yes. Though not kindly. By the end of this entire training, Sachiko, I will probably know you better than you wish me to. But if you succeed, you'll be able to say the same about me. It's one of the trade-offs that simply come by teaching and mastering this technique. *turns to her* Knowing that now, do you still think you can continue?
Sachiko: *takes her time in thinking, and thinking of a reply*
Sachiko: *has a stubborn look in her bi-colored eyes as she looks at him* Yes.
Sachiko: I'm doing this for Naruko, but I'm also doing this for the village. *adds quietly* And for me.
Kureno: .....How so for you? By learning a new, powerful technique?
Sachiko: No. By learning how to keep memories that aren't mine from plaguing me.
Sachiko: The Kyuubi-flashback about killed me. And...there's other stuff.
Kureno: ... *nods and doesn't ask any further* I won't always ask you to explain everything to me, Sachiko, but when I do, it's best to answer because it's likely I'll find out one way or another during this training. I'm saying this not because I think we'll have a problem with it, but so you know that I don't ask lightly.
Kureno: I that case, right now I'm going to let you go ahead and explore freely. You won't find your objective today, but I'll be along to tutor you in helping you figure out if you're on the right trail or not. Unless you have any questions before we start that?
Sachiko: Am I allowed to poke things?
Kureno: ...Use your judgment wisely. But I'll keep you from running into any traps.
Sachiko: ...That's actually a relief. If you'd said "Don't worry about traps", I don't think I could've believed that.
Sachiko: *another pause* ......Why do you trust me enough to do this?
Kureno: Because right now I can control where you go. Quite honestly you're only exploring into realms I want you to. The best learning is done by doing, but until I know a little more about what you DO, I'm limiting where you're allowed.
Kureno: Sorry. If you were hoping for something more sentimental, I don't like you enough yet for that.
Sachiko: *huffs a laugh, softly* I gathered that all, actually. I'm just... I don't like the idea of anyone going in my head. I can't imagine that even for teaching purposes, this is easy for you. Not that I'm a real threat to you, here. *not that she's trying to be, either*
Kureno: ...You're not yet. And granted, that's part of the reason I'm fine with this.
Sachiko: *faint smile fades* We're going to have to go into my mind at some point, aren't we. *so not a question*
Kureno: Yes. *didn't even hesitate on answering that one*
Sachiko: *exhales a soundless sigh* All right. *tosses her head to get some stray hairs from her face (either she was going to cut her hair, or not, but she needed to stop stalling on the issue!) before starts walking forward*
Kureno: *for the time being, any door she tries opens for her as Kureno travels silently behind her. The first door is just another hallway, lined with more doors*
Sachiko: *ponders which identical door lining the hall to chose* Who taught you mindwalking? *decides on a door but doesn't open it immediately*
Kureno: MY genjutsu master, who taught me how to build all of my genjutsu off of the basics. ...Want to meet him? Or shall I just continue to talk about it.
Sachiko: ...Let's meet him.
Kureno: *nods toward the door* Go ahead.
Sachiko: *uses both hands to push the door open*
[The room is is large and completely bare except for at its center. Oddly enough, there's one of the portable diners in the center of the tatami mat floor. Within, the owner is serving up sushi, hot sake, and various pickled things. At his counter a man already sits, his back to Sachiko and Kureno so its hard to tell anything else about him yet. Although there is one very striking feature about him--the Uchiha clan symbol on the back of his shirt.]
Sachiko: *stares for quite a bit, blinking* .....
Sachiko: I should've guessed. Seriously. Should have guessed it was an Uchiha who taught you. *sounds amazed, and slightly amused*
Kureno: Sandaime-sama thought it was the closest I could get to having someone who could help me understand my doujutsu a bit better, since I had very few informative family records.
Sachiko: *nods* Makes sense. And there's something I want to talk to you about, later. *hesitates, then figures touching the avatar's a good place to start so steps into the room*
Her sensei turned to her as she approached, and even in the dim light of the diner's one lantern, Sachiko could already tell he was plastered. Tch, honestly...
"Kureno-kun!" the man called, waving her over, a large grin beneath his flushed cheeks. "About time you showed up! I thought I could at least always count on you being punctual."
"I was on a mission, Genji-sensei," Sachiko deadpanned. "You can't expect me to drop it just because you poorly timed our training. And you're drunk again. What do you expect me to learn when you're like this?"
"Nonesense, I'm fine, it's only a light buzz! Besides, I seem to recall teaching you a very good lesson last time I had this much."
"Burying me up to my neck in dirt is not a good lesson."
"You let your guard down. Lesson learned. Sit down, have a drink with me!"
At this Sachiko didn't protest. It was pointless arguing about being underage or not falling under the habit of such vices as sensei always managed to get his way in the end anyhow. Usually by genjutsu, especially using that sharingan of his. Nevermind that he only had one tomoe in each eye and was seen as a weakling among his clan, it still gave him an advantage, especially in the art of genjutsu. And instead of worrying about the disadvantages that put him at, he'd decided to work hard at what he had been gifted with, and as a result, developed keen genjutsu techniques that didn't really need his sharingan at all. ...Not to say he didn't abuse that upperhand on Sachiko all the time however.
Still, in that regard she felt like he could relate to her. That determination to become something significant, despite having a family who took little to no pride in you. Sachiko would always respect him for his ability to become more than what was expected. No matter how many times Sachiko called her sensei a drunkard or a cheat.
"Excuse me? But your sensei has left. I assume you will be paying as he said, yes?"
Sachiko blinked and looked to her side where Genji-sensei had been sitting and was no longer occupying. The hot sake cup that was in front of her a second ago was cold and empty. After checking the time, she realized an hour had passed without her realizing.
[Meanwhile, to Kureno's point of view, once Sachiko has completely cleared the threshold, her avatar dissolved into colored, glowing particles that were drawn into the 'body' of the man sitting at the bar, who then begins to glow faintly with the same hue. When the memory ends, the trail of particles flowed out of Genji to re-form Sachiko's shape, the glow fading away entirely.]
Sachiko: *is totally unaware that she dissolved* *takes a step back even as she reaches for her wallet in her back (back?) pocket---and finds herself standing back in the hall, looking at the back of a clansman seated at a bar in the middle of the room* --the hell? *looks quite confused*
Sachiko: *takes her hand out of her (empty) back pocket, too, and looks at it like she's not seen it before*
Kureno: *has been observing, but doesn't seem to have any particular reaction to what he's seen except for an off-handed remark* Stuck you with the bill, didn't he. He did that a lot until I learned better.
Sachiko: *still a bit lost, but the confusion's slowly fading* He did. I don't... I don't think I ever met him--Genji--before.
Kureno: You probably didn't. While he did have the sharingan which gave him a few more privileges than others, he could never fully develop it, so he wasn't seen as being as significant as others. And because of his personality, he was something of a black sheep anyway. Besides, he died when I was nineteen, so you probably would have been too young to remember him if you had met.
Sachiko: *nods, still watching Genji's back*
Sachiko: That... was weird. Experiencing the memory like it was me it was happening to. But that's what happened with the flashback, too. *frowns, and recalls more why she was leery of this whole mindwalking thing - she doesn't like having copied memories*
Kureno: There's more than one way to mindwalk. Taking in experiences first-hand is one of them, and usually the first one learned due to the simplicity that it is to simply let someone's memory take over you. But that's also what makes it the most dangerous.
Sachiko: *quietly* Yeah. I can understand how.
Kureno: It's more difficult to control how much you experience when you let it take hold of you. And as you also know, more difficult to shake the personal effects it will leave behind on your mind.
Kureno: ...Perhaps that's the first step we'll take before proceeding too much farther. I'll teach you how to take control and keep it all objective.
Sachiko: ...That would be nice. I've got enough people in my head. No offense, but I don't need multiple yous added to the mix.
Kureno: Well, you may have quite a few more before you master it. This is where a lot of your control training will come in handy.
Sachiko: *thinks: golly, can't wait* *has no trace of sarcasm in her voice when she speaks* It'll help me stay objective?
Kureno: When you're taken over by a memory, your emotions become that of the person you are using, and therefore cloud your best judgment. The mind is a very complicated and powerful thing that no human being has ever completely mastered. An example of its power is that it can still record details that are overlooked or missed by your person in perhaps a moment of panic or fear. But if you are looking at their memories through their eyes and not their emotions, you might better observe these details.
Kureno: Most of the time, all you will need is a person's knowledge and physical senses, not their emotions. It'll save you time and stress afterward.
Sachiko: Which would be nice. Think this'll help me look at previously "recorded" memories with the same objectivity?
Kureno: That is another lesson entirely. Viewing your own memories objectively will take longer and a greater control than you have now. It's not even possible for a majority of people, even the ones gifted with genjutsu. For now, that's not something to consider. The best thing I can teach you with handling those new, unwanted memories of yours is how to keep them controlled and locked away until called upon. Otherwise, if you want to view them objectively again, your best chance will be to re-visit them in the person you got them from in the first place. After I've taught you how.
Sachiko: ...I'll be happy with controlled and locked away.
Sachiko: For now, however, on to another memory?
Kureno: ...Indeed. *the open doors close without any help* I'll give you tips along the way, to practice being objective. Although we probably shouldn't do any more than two more doors before stopping for the day. So chose carefully.
Sachiko: *doubts her mind is nice and orderly like this, but nods and starts down the hall again*
Sachiko: *stops by a door, and pulls it open*
[Inside doesn't look like a traditional room at all. It is, in fact, an old ninja academy room, full of kids at their desks and a teacher a few feet away standing at the front. There's something off about the teacher's vest however; it's missing the front pockets, like one of the old versions. All eyes are already turned to the door.]
Sachiko: *thinks, This ought to be interesting...* *steps into the (class)room*
Their attention was unexpectedly intimidating. Sachiko had had lots of attention before, but never had it been so...rapt. So quiet. So genuine.
"Come on in, now, don't be shy."
Taking in a deep breath, Sachiko reminded herself of all the small steps to carrying oneself properly. Head up, shoulders back, back straight, eyes forward, one foot in front of the other...now glide.
She almost stumbled when she heard a student snicker, but managed to make it all the way to her new sensei who placed a hand on her shoulder much too familiar and casual than she was used to. She didn't like it.
"Class, we have a new student joining us: Soushitsuno Kureno. Can everyone welcome Kureno?"
'Kureno? What makes this person think they have the right to call me by my first name? Or the authority to tell everyone else to call me by that? Father will be hearing about this, make no mistake.'
Sachiko missed the half-hearted greeting given by the rest of her new classmates. While a few still seemed quite interested in her (mostly the girls), she'd already lost most of their attention. Just as well. She wasn't sure what she'd do with it anyway. She only wanted their respect, not adoration.
"Great. Now then Kureno, why don't you take a seat by...oh. Koujuro, did you have a question?"
"Yeah," said a boy three rows in. "Is Kureno a boy or a girl?"
Laughter erupted throughout the room and Sachiko could feel her cheeks burn with embarrassment and indignity, and no sharp reprimand from the teacher could make her feel better. She glanced back at the door, wondering if it wasn't too late to pretend to be sick...
Sachiko: Sachiko: *shakes her head at the thought, then when she looks forward again, she's seeing the classroom as she had before stepping into the room* ... *getting used to the transitions was going to take time, especially because she had so little control over them. But she was quite thankful that all things considered, the memories were...weren't traumatic. Good things to learn from, even if she cringed internally at the thought of Kureno rummaging through her brain in the future.*
Sachiko: *looks at Kureno* ..."Soushitsuno Kureno"?
Kureno: *watches as the dissolve that happened in the first memory happens again, but doesn't comment on it yet* My father's family name. My mother was the Yuuhi. After his death, I took on the clan name of my bloodline.
Sachiko: *perks; is always interested in clan stuff, regardless of the actual clan* Clan name? There was a Yuuhi clan?
Kureno: ...Yes. *doesn't seem upset to be talking about it, more unexpected to be really* "Was" being the key word. It was a long time ago, still during the war era. They are where I get my doujutsu bloodline from.
Kureno: They were...wiped out during the war. I was still a baby when it happened, so you won't be able to access any of my memories on it because I don't really have any. My father managed to escape with me. As far as any record shows, I'm the only survivor of the clan.
Sachiko: ...Oh. *quietly* I'm sorry. *is silent for a bit, and then decides against asking about his father*
Kureno: *shrugs* Like I said, I don't really have any recollection of them, so it's hard to miss them. You don't need to feel sorry for me. I know in a way our situations may sound similar, but they're very different. I never knew my clan, or developed a place in it. So things like sorrow or anger don't consume me when I think about them. I'm actually quite impartial.
Sachiko: ...Which is probably better, honestly. You can't miss what you never knew.
Kureno: I figure so. *looks at Sachiko for a moment, as if judging something* ...You should pick another door now, then we'll end our session.
Sachiko: Hai. *this time, she decides to walk around at random, glancing at the lanterns and the bonsai trees. After seeing her fifth, she stops to look at it, puzzling at its presence (it couldn't be just simple decoration) before finally crouching to poke a branch with her finger*
[The branch twitches at the touch and curls away for a second. Its leaves rustle and from them a bud starts growing before blooming into a red flower that would be rather pretty if not for the weird red eye that makes up its center which blinks and peers straight at Sachiko.]
Sachiko: *eyebrow twitches rapidly* ...Your bonsai tree is staring at me.
Kureno: If it had been of the ones that tied you up and choked you, I would've stopped you.
Sachiko: ...so it's a trap?
Kureno: There are some that are, yes.
Sachiko: Any particular reason you chose that shape for it? *makes sure to keep her back to the plant*
Kureno: It fit the decor. Probably inspired by my chakra affinity as well in a way. Earth. *answers the question he knows she was probably going to ask*
Sachiko: Ahh. *makes note to ask him if he wouldn't mind teaching her any doton. After everything with the mindwalking was taken care of* One more door...
Sachiko: *walks around more, then finally chooses a door on the right. One that doesn't have a bonsai tree next to it.*
[The room is much smaller than the one holding Genji, but it is also bare and still with a tatami floor and normal walls. However, it's raining from the ceiling. In the center stands another figure with their back to the door. A woman with long, black hair wearing the old Konoha uniform. Her hands are the only skin visible, and they look pale.]
Sachiko: *frowns; the room gives off a bit of a different vibe from the other two, and steps tentatively inside*
The wet earth squished quietly beneath her feet, announcing her approach.
"You've done well, Kureno-kun, bringing your charge this far all on your own."
"We were separated from the rest of my team. Sensei put me in charge while he stayed behind and fought off the enemy. One caught up to us though. I stayed with our client and the other two stayed behind." Sachiko looked back down the hill, past where the messenger they were protecting hid and beyond to where she left her teammates.
"Worried about them?"
Her head snapped back around. "No. It's just... The less lives we lose the better. A truly efficient team has little to no casualties. Mission completion is priority above all else, but the best ninja come back alive from them."
"And the weak ones die," the woman replied. "The strong survive, and the strong are all the village needs. Wouldn't you agree?"
Unsure how to reply, Sachiko remained silent.
"Well, perhaps you're too young to understand it still."
"Forgive me for asking this suddenly, but...what are you doing here, Orochimayu-sama? It's hard to imagine that Hokage-sama would send one of the legendary sages here to help on a mission like this."
The dark-haired woman turned, gold eyes wrinkling with mysterious pleasure as she smiled at her. "Don't underestimate the power of intelligence, Kureno-kun. Your client has a very important message indeed. So important, that I am here to ensure it gets to the Hokage. From this point on, I will guard and assist your client home."
"It's an order from Sandaime herself. You're not going to disobey the Hokage, are you?"
"No, of course not. ...But--"
"Now Kureno." The sage bent down and caressed Sachiko's cheek with a cold hand, her face almost close enough for their noses to touch. "You believe me, don't you? Why would I, one of Sandaime's own pupil and one of Konoha's sages lie?"
Unable to think of a reason, the young chuunin simply nodded. "I understand. What are my new orders then?"
"Good boy." Patting her cheek twice, Orochimayu stepped past her and began walking down the hill where her former-charge waited. "You can go back and help your...friends. Or whatever's left of them. Remember, Kureno-kun, only the weak die."
Sachiko raced back to where she'd last seen her teammates, gone before ever seeing Orochimayu take care of the messenger.
Sachiko: *unlike the last two times, this time the exit from the memory was more of a 'snap out' than a 'step out'* *she stumbles, her eyes still fixed on Orochimayu's back and her expression pinched*
Kureno: *seeing Sachiko stumble out, he reaches out to help steady her, especially since she's maybe about to fall back on a less-friendly bonsai. The moment their avatars touch, Kureno gets hit with a flash of--snake, panic, fear, RUN--one of Sachiko's memories, but it's over almost as instantaneously as it began, leaving only an echo of adrenaline in its wake, taking him a moment to recollect and refocus on Sachiko herself* ....You cannot let your emotions get the better of you here. You must become impartial when you are in another's mind, almost heartlessly detached at times. Otherwise you not only risk losing your purpose, but yourself. And if you are truly not careful, you could even permanently damage the mind you walk.
Sachiko: *nostrils flare and jaw clenches for several moments before forcibly relaxing as she regains her balance* I understand. And I would like to go back into my own head, if I may.
Kureno: *nods* We'll head back to the first room. *waits to see if she can make her own way back, but if it's apparent she can't, he'll lead the way, perhaps with a small lecture on needing to keep track of yourself*
Sachiko: *nods* *thinks she knows the way back, but would rather be shown the way out, since her last exit from a mind involved passing out* *endures the lecture with a fair amount of patience*
Kureno: *upon entering the first room (which really looks almost like any other, except actually completely empty), Kureno instructs her once again on how to exit the mind properly, ready to reinforce her if needed*
Sachiko: *manages to exit without a problem! ---and is pretty damn tired, actually. But still conscious, so that is a plus.*
Kureno: *looks at her, not nearly as fatigued since he didn't have to do much of the chakra manipulation this round* Are you alright?
Sachiko: I'm awake. 's an improvement over last time. *yaaaaaawns* ...Sorry.
Kureno: It's alright. It's best if you rest, even if your body doesn't feel tired. Mindwalking is about spiritual and mental energy. It's very difficult to convert physical energy into mental.
Sachiko: *nods and blinks slowly* Question, sensei. Can you use genjutsu in your own mind, to confuse or even stop another mind that's mindwalking your own?
Kureno: It's....difficult. Because you're only working with their psyche and not their actual body. The senses aren't manipulated the same way. It's easier putting a genjutsu on the mind you're walking rather than in your own.
Sachiko: Difficult, but possible?
Kureno: If you train hard enough and have the mental discipline, yes.
Sachiko: *nods, and decides to acquire that mental discipline somehow*
Kureno: .... *well, isn't like he's teaching her that anyway. Anything she gathers or creates on her own is up to her*
Sachiko: ...would you teach me, if we get that far?
Kureno: ...Can't say. You'd have to get that far for me to even think about it. Master what I'm teaching you now.
Sachiko: *nods and is fine with that* Thank you, sensei.
Sachiko: *after a bit of silence* ...I ask about the traps, and the genjutsu to confuse an invading mind, because......while it doesn't exactly fit what I do for mindwalking, *gets very quiet here* I've had my mind invaded before.
Sachiko: So I want... I want to be able to defend myself.
Kureno: *ah, well, can understand that* If an enemy manages to force ably enter your mind, depending on the circumstances, sometimes there is little to nothing you can do about the fact. ...It's possible you may become an exception however. *thinking of the powers he's seen the sharingan eye do* But for the time being, you have to move forward with limited ability. You are aware of the reasons Hokage-sama is having me train you in this. For now, we can only assume that time is not our friend.
Sachiko: I'm quite aware. *looks more awake, and more than a little grim* I asked for you to be my sensei, specifically.
Kureno: *eyebrow raises a fraction, not having known that fact* ...
Sachiko: I don't trust Ibiki enough to have her in my head. Kakami-sensei, whom I do, I don't think would survive trying to push her Sharingan into attempting a mindwalking. Plus, having never done it herself, she wouldn't make a good teacher.
Sachiko: You're the only other person I know who'd be skilled enough in genjutsu to be knowledgeable of mindwalking.
Kureno: *supposes that he is--from Sachiko's point-of-view, but he's not the ONLY person in the village besides Ibiki who can. There are others, and considering his punishment before, wonders why Tsurude decided there must be no other choice but him. There's probably a logical explanation, but it escapes him right now* ...Don't think flattering me will make me want to teach you anything extra any faster.
Sachiko: Is it flattery if it's truth? Point is, I trust you enough to learn how to properly do this, so that I can help Naruko when the time comes.
Kureno: Hn. *not sure if she's being genuine or honest--or both.* Well, training is over for today. We'll pick it up again tomorrow.
Sachiko: Yes, sir. *bows politely* *is going to go home and SLEEP*