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weighted_wings in narukorp

[closed thread] This won't hurt. Really. [Nejiko, Sachiko, NPC!Leigh]

Leigh was not cryptic. Like her sensei and idol, Leigh was verbose and prone to metaphors along with some odd analogies. Nejiko had needed to teach her how to write a concise mission report many times, pointing out that the Hokage's office does not want paragraphs of prose describing the delicate dance of the implementation of perfect form against an opponent, or jewel-like luminescence of the fiery sun settled in a velvet cushion of purple clouds. It had been a long, painful process - paring down the report to its most basic and essential elements had been an exercise in patience and mental/intellectual endurance. It had only taken a few years. The progress had been hindered the most by Gaia-sensei herself, who saw nothing wrong at all with encouraging the unneeded and artificial inflation of unnecessary descriptions. Finally, it came down to Nejiko convincing her teammate that if she wanted to write an overly embellished report she could, and save it in case the Hokage requested it. But for the sake of brevity, the initial report should only contain the basic facts. And if it didn't look pretty enough, then if she had time she should use the reports to practice her calligraphy.

Later Nejiko decided that it was a bad reflection on her that Leigh's calligraphy was better than her own. And so calligraphy and penmanship became yet another challenge between them - as did who could write the most efficiently succinct report, and the most elaborately detailed. Tentsuke had wisely chosen to stay out of it.

The results were easy to deduce: both Nejiko and Leigh developed impressive skill in all aforementioned areas. Gaia-sensei even repeated the compliments she had received about the neatness in writing and the clarity of their reports, though the calligraphic reports really weren't necessary and regularly-drawn characters were, in truth, much easier to read when in a hurry.

Which just started still another challenge.

So for Nejiko to receive a note from Leigh stating quite simply that she needed some help and to meet her at the Team Gaia training grounds at a time that would be convenient to Nejiko's schedule, her curiosity couldn't help but be piqued. After all, she wasn't sure what Leigh would need help with. While Nejiko was still growing, still advancing, Leigh's skill levels all seemed to have reached their highest plateau. That she was unquestionably one of the best at Leaf-style taijutsu (probably the best in her own personal estimate, but out of respect to Gaia-sensei she said 'one of') earned her a place among the elite chuunin. Tentsuke's lessons of weapons-usage and trap-making combined with Leigh's insane training ethics ensured she wasn't a one-trick wonder.

Nejiko took a look at her training/mission schedule, saw a day she had nothing happening and informed Leigh, who then got back to her with a time. That Nejiko arrived fifteen minutes early was no surprise, nor was that Leigh was already there, in a horse stance with her eyes closed. The Hyuuga wasn't the only one who found sparring meditative, even if the two women had differing opinions on what constituted meditation.

Comments

Leigh heard the deliberate scuff of a sandaled foot against the cold-hardened ground that could only be Nejiko's signal of her approach. A grin split Leigh's face as she straightened up out of the stance. She had been deliberately clearing her mind in order to really, really think on how to pitch her idea to her teammate, and she believed she had it right this time!

But just to be safe, she did have a contingency plan.

She bounded over and glomped her best rival-friend, pleased at how much fuller Nejiko felt verses a few months back. Tentsuke being MIA had hit them both devastatingly hard, and Leigh had at least the distraction of worrying about Nejiko who was in the village and could be cared for versus worrying uselessly about Tentsuke, who wasn't. Unfortunately she hadn't been able to do all that much, which made her try even harder. Making sure to pester Nejiko in the hospital when she could, training hard and going on more missions in order to try and 'cover' Nejiko's portion of what she would otherwise be earning on jounin missions. Gaia-sensei actually had to pull Leigh back from overdoing it, which only meant energies were channeled in different ways.

Bloodfang and Mika became second priority that was bumped up to first once Nejiko was in the hospital getting cared for. Tentsuke's family was informed - that letter Leigh had managed to convince Tsurude-sama into letting her carry. It sucked that her first time in meeting Tentsuke's family was to let them know he was MIA. They were a nice bunch, really. It felt like the whole mountain was a giant forge, and she lingered a bit over some of the swords before meeting his grandmother. Now there was a scary woman who ruled the family with an iron will and unbelievably accurate aim for someone of her age. Still, they made a connection, and it broke Leigh's heart a little to see the grief but firm resolution that this was only temporary matter. In the meantime, the old lady assured Leigh, Konoha would still have one of the family working the forge. And thus Leigh met Tenten, a first cousin of Tentsuke's who could be mistaken for a sister for all the similarities in looks and personality. A few days of packing and preparing and then trekking down the mountainside and then onward to Konoha. Tenten had adjusted fairly well and fairly quickly to living in her cousin's house, and in a few days smoke was pouring from the chimney as of old. As a bonus, Bloodfang had haughtily taken to Tenten. Probably like the feline he was, he too believed the stay would be temporary. Meka, on the other hand, was overjoyed to have meet someone new and happily greeted Tenten with slobbery kisses.

Leigh was grateful for this other distraction, too. Helping Tenten get used to life in a shinobi village allowed them to form a friendship, though it was weird to see a woman working the forge with the same ease as Tentsuke. If only because when accustomed to a six-foot, muscular man babytalking the metal and the weapons, seeing a five-foot muscular woman doing the same thing hurt Leigh's brain a little. If Nejiko had ever stopped in to see Tenten, Leigh didn't know and neither of the other two were talking.

"You're here! How're you doing?" Leigh chirped as she stepped back, holding Nejiko's shoulders and beaming.
It wasn't as if they hadn't seen each other in that long a while. Still, Nejiko found the effusive greeting welcoming and comforting. Some things weren't going to change. "I'm well." Lightly she patted one of Leigh's wrapped hands. "You?"
"Doing good, doing good," Leigh replied, pleased Nejiko was making the effort for conversation instead of simply jumping into What do you want?, however kindly it was said. "Still training with Gaia-sensei and doing missions and helping Sachiko-san."
Nejiko frowned deeply at this segue, but held her tongue. She had already made her thoughts on teaching the Uchiha anything known. Leigh had chosen to do this on her own and with Tentsuke's support. Nejiko couldn't give it. However much Naruko believed the Uchiha had changed and for the better, despite that Leigh and Tentsuke agreed to help her (and before Tentsuke had been assigned as the Uchiha's sensei), she could not believe the Uchiha had changed. That whatever the girl learned from other shinobi in Konoha wouldn't one day be used against them.

"That's...nice," she managed to say.
Leigh beamed approvingly. "She's doing good. Still working with the weights, though neither of us are expecting her to get much farther in how much she carries. Once she's used to them enough, I'm going to really start working her on her speed." Without the weights, Sachiko could actually move as fast as Leigh, but according to the younger woman herself it was more at the cost of chakra than physically moving herself that quickly. Leigh's goal was to get her to be that fast without chakra.

Though she didn't make them obvious, she still had some of her own misgivings, but they were small. She was doing this because she believed it when Naruko-chan said Sachiko really was a good person, and because Tentsuke had been making the effort to help her have reasons to stay with and protect the village. Leigh respected Nejiko's opinions and usually took them to heart, but she also knew her teammate well enough to know when Nejiko was being overly blindsided by her own prejudice. "How are things at home?"
With effort, Nejiko kept again her thoughts regarding Uchiha to herself. Their relationship had evolved from her lecturing Leigh on everything under the sun she thought Leigh was doing wrong, to learning when to give lectures, to learning that outside life-or-death situations or obvious and immense screw-ups that she would hold her tongue unless her opinion was requested. For someone of her talent and intelligence and perceptiveness, it was an exceedingly difficult lesson to learn. But she thought she had it learned, finally.

"Things are...calmer, I suppose. Mother is adjusting, slowly, to being home. So is Obasama." She didn't say more. Leigh already knew, as Nejiko had told her pretty much everything already, and being out in public wasn't really the best place to be discussing this.
"And you're okay with giving her that label?" Leigh pressed.
Nejiko's smile was thin, but real. "I'm adjusting, too. But if it annoys the Council more, it's a bonus." The smile faded. "They are my family, Leigh."
Leigh patted Nejiko's shoulder. "It just took something like this for you to see it." The glare shot her way was easily shrugged off. So many years of working together, training together, and beating the stuffing out of each other had inured her to glares of anything less then pure, murderous rage. "We love you, Nejiko, but sometimes, you are a bit dense. Your cousins care for you a great deal. Both of them. I'm happy that at least you can realize it and try to reciprocate."
Tentsuke was included in that 'we'. Nejiko felt the pain, and yet looking at Leigh's resolute and clear eyes she felt a kind of humble awe. They had been--were brother and sister as if they had been born to the same family, which put their relationship on par as Nejiko and Tentsuke's but at a slightly different angle. And yet Leigh had managed to persevere much better than Nejiko had. There was no hurt or jealousy, just utter amazement -- and proof that in some ways and though she did not honestly mean to, Nejiko still considered Leigh 'inferior' in some ways. Leigh kept surprising her, in the best of ways.
"In any event, the reason I called you here was because I want you to spar with Sachiko." Leigh mentally counted down to the coming explosion. Four...

three...

two...
Nejiko didn't disappoint. Though neither she didn't really explode.

"You want me to what" she hissed through clenched, perfect teeth.
"Spar with Sachiko," Leigh repeated with infinite patience. "She's not ready to spar me; I'm too strong. You, however, have the same--have about the same build," she quickly amended, "and therefore could meet on a more level ground. There is going to be no chakra, and you're as well-versed in Leaf-style as I am.

"I'm not asking you to teach her the jyuuken kata, Nejiko," she continued quietly. "I'm asking you to be a sparring partner who can not only help her improve but so that you can see what she's capable of, yourself, without relying on what Tentsuke and I tell you. She has changed. I've seen it. I don't know who or what or how, but there is a definite difference in her attitude. I think you could see it if only you would let yourself look."

Dun dun duuuuuuuuun....

And then, as a certain Hyuuga might say, Fate intervened. On Leigh's side, of course.

Sachiko was blissfully unaware of the details of what Leigh was planning. Leigh had simply told her the time to meet at what pretty much the whole village called 'the Team Gaia training grounds', and as she approached she could see why. She didn't see glints of metal in the trees (Tentsuke was far too meticulous to ever lose a weapon, and he had the skills to fix or re-forge anything), but she saw the obvious scarring, new and old. The ground, too, felt a bit...wavy, irregular; she vaguely recalled the massive tree root in the Forest of Death and being told how Leigh had pulled it up to the surface like it was nothing.

The fresh and grown-over craters that dominated the clearing took a backseat to the confirmation that yes, it was Hyuuga whose chakra presence Sachiko had sensed. Automatically, Sachiko's eyes narrowed, but she gave Leigh a respectful salutation. Her curt greeting of "Hyuuga" as she approached the pair was just short of rude.

Speculations as to why Hyuuga could be there all eventually reached the same unpleasant conclusion: that Hyuuga was to be involved with whatever training happened today. Why? They'd been doing fine without her, so why bring her in?

Bite me.

"Uchiha," Nejiko returned. It wasn't quite a snarl, but it was enough that she saw Leigh give her a glance. Nejiko ignore it in favor of focusing her attention on the traitor.

Aw, geez.

This was going to turn into an alpha-female posturing contest in no time flat unless someone intervened. Leigh seriously considered pulling a Tentsuke by (gently) cracking their skulls together to get them to calm down. "Now, now, be nice," she admonished as she settled for merely slapping them both upside the head. Carefully. They still yelped. Or gave what approximated a yelp for them. Babies. "Knocking you both senseless in order to teach you how to behave would negate the whole purpose of my asking you here, so I will remind you that you are both professionals and should know better." She turned to Sachiko, who was still rubbing her head.

"Nejiko's here because she's at least as well-versed in the Leaf-style I've been teaching been teaching you. I don't think you're ready yet to face me one-on-one, not in the way we're known to train."

Hnf.

Nejiko snorted under her breath. Leigh did have a point - Team Gaia went all out, even in spars. Uchiha more than likely didn't, and while Nejiko could break bone if she tried, they all knew Leigh could do it with little effort.

Did something crawl up your ass and die, or are you just in serious need of getting laid?

Sachiko frowned, but nodded. Leigh had explained on several occasions about how Team Gaia trained. They went all out, holding back only from anything that could kill the other. Or permanently maim. Other than that, well, if the stories were anything to go by, all three of them had spent time considerable time in outpatient care at the hospital. Leigh the most, followed by Tentsuke in number of visits, with Hyuuga only having a handful in her tally. But then, if the Hyuuga clan was anything like the Uchiha, the Hyuuga had their own in-house medics so it was fair to guess that Hyuuga was seen more within her compound than without. Hyuuga was, too, supposed to be some sort of awesome fighter. Not just by the village, but by her own clan, too. Sachiko had missed the fight with Hinaji, as well as the one with Naruko, but she sure as hell had seen the results of the later. Craters caused by the Kaiten, weapons scattered and embedded into the closest arena wall.

Hm, that might explain the irregular features. With Hyuuga making craters and Leigh simply pounding the ground into submission, no wonder Sandaime and Tsurude wanted to keep their antics to a localized training area. Black eyes did a quick scan around; wait, wasn't this area forest-y once upon a time? On a map somewhere? No way to really tell. But Sachiko was sure at one point, this had to have been forest.

Tangential thinking aside, Leigh had decided Sachiko wasn't ready to spar with her, but was ready to face Hyuuga. That either meant Leigh felt Sachiko had reached a certain benchmark, or Hyuuga was here to help her reach a certain benchmark. Or both. For all her outward openness and seeming simplicity, Leigh could prove surprisingly complex.

Suddenly, she grinned.

...Excuse ME?

Nejiko narrowed her eyes. "What?" she inquired, tone sharp. A smiling/grinning Uchiha was never good in her book.

Tch, only twenty and her hearing's going.

"Ah, nothing," Sachiko returned, the grin fading to a smirk. She twined her fingers together, palms outward and knuckles popping softly. Stretching her arms out to the fullest, the linked hands rose up to above her head and she felt the pleasant pull on her muscles. "I was just remembering how before the chuunin exam, Leigh challenged me to a fight because I was one of her self-set 'benchmarks' on her quest to defeating you in a fight. Now I'm having to work with you before I can spar with her."

Are you two done yet? >_</)

Leigh grinned and blushed a little. That fight had gotten out of hand, and one of Sensei's Summons had had to stop her from using the Secondary Lotus, but it had still been enjoyable nevertheless.

"This session has a few rules attached to it One: no chakra, period. Two: no weapons. This is to be strictly hand-to-hand. Three: there will be a time limit of ten minutes. Questions?"

...

Nejiko missed the chance to make a quip about how Uchiha had stolen and modified the Secondary Lotus into the so-called 'shishi rendon' before Leigh stated the terms of the spar. Shame that chakra wasn't allowed. Ah well, she would derive more satisfaction beating the Uchiha down the old-fashioned way.

"We're to keep to the grounds?" she asked mildly, locking eyes with Uchiha.

Thank you, Nejiko. <3 *looks to Sachiko*

"Yes." Leigh glanced to Sachiko, to see if she had any questions of her own.

*shrugs*

Sachiko considered, then shook her head. Nothing she would have wondered about hadn't been addressed. The restriction against chakra sucked, but then Sachiko had the feeling that if she and Hyuuga were allowed to really go at it, things could end in a way that would not bode well for her. Or either of them, really, but Sachiko stood to lose the most. She couldn't afford any screw-ups, however accidental. She met Hyuuga's gaze equally and could already feel the adrenaline beginning to churn.

\o/!!

Leigh crossed her arms and nodded. "Good." She looked intently from one to the other, and sighed how the tension crackled between them and all they were doing was staring at each other. Maybe this wasn't such a bright idea after all...

Well, if things got out of hand, she intervene. And since they weren't using chakra and/or doujutsu, she knew she could take down Sachiko first before giving Nejiko a good clout as needed. Or, depending on how close together they were, she could take them down at the same time. After taking a deep breath Leigh stepped back a few long strides back and pulled out a stopwatch from her pouch. "Begin!" Click!

Let Mortal Kombat begin...

As a primarily defensive fighter, Nejiko knew the absolute best defense was a flawless offense that left no windows of opportunity to be coerced into a disadvantageous position. And taijutsu was her forté. Even if Leigh had been working with Uchiha, years ago when Nejiko had faced the possibility of combating Uchiha in the chuunin exam arena fights her clan had told her the same thing, over and over: an Uchiha's strength was in genjutsu and ninjutsu, and their weakness was speed and taijutsu. She had learned more about the Sharingan's capabilities than she had ever known so she could be adequately prepared. By taking chakra and doujutsu out of the equation, pure physical ability would be the deciding factor of this fight.

And Uchiha, Nejiko thought smugly, had not undergone the rigors of Hyuuga training or years and years of Gaia-sensei's teaching methods. And though Nejiko was physically weaker than her other teammates, she was more than capable in terms of strength and speed. Without chakra to boost her.

But there was another factor to remember: a month's willful starvation had left its mark. She was recovered, and cleared for missions, but she was still rebuilding muscle after her metabolism had noshed on it once all her fat was consumed. Her caloric intake was at Leigh's norm, rather than her own, so she had recovered that necessary fat but replacing muscle happened at a slower rate. On a mission, that wouldn't be as problematic - chakra could compensate. Here she didn't have that option.

But it balanced out. Like her, Uchiha was a chakra powerhouse. Also like her, Uchiha was lean of build so therefore more favoring of chakra and speed. And while she may be training with Leigh, there was a difference to running insane amounts of laps around the village for a year or so versus years of laps and years of strength-training and years of doing your best to turn your friends into recoverable lumps of pounded flesh. Nejiko was only a year above Uchiha, but she had significantly more experience with this kind of fight.

Learning the chakra coil system and how to best attack it and the body with Jyuuken gave her a greater knowledge of the human body and its vulnerabilities. Nothing on par with an actual medical, but more than the average shinobi. Nerve bundles were the best targets - the mind is forced to accommodate for the pain and with enough pain, can be blindsided to other threats. Blunt damage to soft spots was also good; direct attacks areas of thick bone (joints, skull) were secondary and should be attempted only with sufficient power to compensate for the fact such areas were designed to withstand force and keep functioning. Minor exceptions being hands and feet. Break the finger bones and create difficulty in simply curling a fist, nevermind actually landing a blow. Break the toes and make it hard to support and pivot, slowing the opponent down and lessening the ability to kick. Scalp wounds - make them bleed over the eyes. (And Uchiha didn't wear the forehead protector over her forehead, either. Foolish.)

The moment Leigh declared the spar begun Nejiko rushed in with controlled violence. Used to working at high speed and caring only of the limitations imposed on her and how exploit what was allowed to the fullest of her ability, she went for the largest target: Uchiha's torso. In her mind she planned out the most logical steps Uchiha would take to protect herself and retaliate, and how then Nejiko would compensate and counteract.

....I thought this was only a spar.

Getting over the initial shock of speed was easy--Sachiko had fought her sister on several occasions, and she had yet to find someone faster. Hyuuga, she grudgingly conceded, was probably at the same speed as Rin-san and Kaka-sensei. The itch to activate her doujutsu was a strong one, nigh instinctive, but she forced the urge away. Wasn't she working to not have the Sharingan be a crutch?

Still--ow. The few blows that Hyuuga got in hurt but weren't debilitating. Sachiko parried or blocked what she could but as was blatantly obvious, her taijutsu needed work. Hyuuga used the same Leaf-style as Leigh, but where Leigh was more 'hard-edged' Hyuuga was fluid, like water, and it was more difficult to predict the intent or plan the other woman held. (Except, of course, "beat the shit out of Sachiko". That was plain as bloody day.)

But Sachiko refused to give. She had withstood far, far worse than what Hyuuga was dishing out in terms of pain. She also had a hidden advantage, courtesy of that curse seal (and not one she shared outside of Ibiki and Tsurude). That time of near-death in order to achieve level two left her a surprising gift of increased physical strength. Not more muscle, but the ability to use a greater percentage of the muscle mass she already had. She had realized the more scientific aspects on one of the runs where Leigh had explained the Gates and how they worked, and how they bypassed the brain's safeguards to allow for the greater utilization of what the body already had. So it had explained to Sachiko why she was able to do things that probably she shouldn't be able to do. Examples being lift up a person of equal or moderately greater weight one-handed, and also single-handedly compound fracture ribs. She could lift heavy objects with greater ease and hold them there without a problem. Only later would the pain come. The result of using that muscle which she should not be able to use.

Provided, of course, she got the opportunity to use it! Hyuuga wasn't leaving any openings that Sachiko could identify, and all too often when Sachiko went to go on the offensive, that energy was deflected away from where it would do the most good. She knew she was hitting something, sometimes but it never felt like enough. And her speed was more chakra-dependent. The initial goal of running with Leigh had been to improve her overall stamina and endurance without relying on chakra. Speed was...secondary. Though she might do better if she was given the chance to get the weights off her legs. Key word being 'if'. She couldn't allow any laxity in her defense, and her spurts of offensive moves were so short because Hyuuga never failed to catch the rhythm and so infrequent because there were almost no flaws in the other's attacks to break through.

And Sachiko doubted that the way Hyuuga mixed it up with hands and feet instead of one primarily over the other was Leaf-style. But she'd no breath to talk and Leigh, who was watching everything very closely, hadn't called foul. Probably biased towards Hyuuga, being teammates--

That train of thought broke along with blood vessels in her nose as an elbow slammed into her face. She had avoided an actual broken nose by only a fraction of a second, but the point to not brood while engaged was made.

If it pleases you to think so, by all means /do/ continue.

First blood.

Dark satisfaction flashed in Nejiko's eyes, which Uchiha had seen and recognized to judge from the other girl's own increased wariness. Red blood streamed from Uchiha's nose but she still covered remarkably quick. Did the pain not bother her? Fleetingly irritating, but not problematic. If anything it meant the spar would be longer and more enjoyable.

A moment's detachment and mental preening was all she allowed as far as her ANBU persona peek through. This was no mission to drag Uchiha's ass back to Konoha; this was an assessment spar. Howevermuch pleasure she might get out of beating the snot (and blood) out of the arrogant little bitch she was a professional, and in truth doing this as a request from Leigh. Nejiko would never admit out loud how much she loved the green-clad girl as a friend. Rather she showed it in actions. Keeping to the spirit as well as the word of this exercise was one of the ways.

The two prodigies danced so well an observer who couldn't hear the grunts of effort might swear it was choreographed. Nejiko needn't the lauded Sharingan, or even her own Byakugan, to read Uchiha's movements. The girl was predictable and inexperienced in the Leaf taijutsu, something to increase the balance in Nejiko's favor. Uchiha also was imperfect at not broadcasting her intentions with eye movements and muscle tension. Lazy girl, so doujutsu dependent. Tsk.

When Uchiha did manage to get on the attack, Nejiko could deflect most of that energy. And yet, the girl's blows had much more power behind them than someone of her musculature should possess. The weights on Uchiha's legs would cause an increase in inertia for kicks, and Leigh had had her wearing the weights for some time, but something was off in the movements of her legs, as well as in her punches and jabs. While not Leigh's strength and thus Nejiko could more easily shrug off any blow to land, truthfully the level of Uchiha's strength wasn't far behind. And there was no chakra-use, either--Nejiko would know if there was, and would stop the spar. But how could a girl so slim be capable of such similar strength without chakra? Nejiko would ask. In the meantime, she endured her own pain with grace and without large reaction. (She'd be nursing the bruises tomorrow.)

The intensity of the spar forced them to move around the training grounds, using trees as springboards when necessary. Nejiko was pushing Uchiha to use more and more energy on defense and knocking her back or throwing her at any chance she could to force Uchiha to expend more calories in coming back to the clash. The entire confrontation, save the beginning, Nejiko had been pushing Uchiha to do the most running about while she herself remained a stable rock. Leigh remained always at the side, her round eyes focused and intent, ready to intervene if needed.

The hell did I ever----oh. Right.

[ooc: dammitt, I need fighting icons.]

No time, no time! Little time to think; Sachiko was being pushed to react more than to pro-act, excepting when Hyuuga threw her or knocked her back. Dammitt, it would be so much easier if she only had her Sharingan--!

The ribbons of blood coming out her nose Sachiko ignored. She could still breathe though mostly through her mouth. The itch of blood clotting and drying was bad enough, the added filth of all the dirt they had managed to kick up made it worse.

Once she had the chance, she would do some hard thinking about that flash of--something--in Hyuuga's eyes. Sachiko had never liked Hyuuga eyes in general and it had nothing to do with historic animosity and everything to do with how those eyes were just wrong and disturbing in that solid milky consistency. Eyes should only look vaguely like that when filmed over by cataracts and/or old age. What she had seen for a moment only increased her uneasiness.

Right now she had no time to worry about it. She wasn't actually connecting a blow all that often, and even when she did Hyuuga barely seemed to notice except to compensate for inertia. The blacks Hyuuga wore covered most of her body, save her forearms. (Really, they looked kind of like the chuunin/jounin uniform, if the uniform had mesh in a v-neck.) This and how they were loose over Hyuuga's body made it impossible to judge how much muscle the girl should have versus the power behind non-jabs. Jabs didn't count because any decent amount of force/weight focused into a small point (like fingertips) was always stronger when concentrated. But no, Hyuuga's punches and kicks also hurt more than Sachiko would anticipate.

Duh, idiot, she scolded herself as she ran at Hyuuga, again. Consider her teammates!

She redoubled her efforts in strength and speed and utilization of kata. And frustratingly Hyuuga continued to be what appeared to be only negligibly affected. If not for the fact Sachiko had realized that Hyuuga was purposely targeting hands and feet she might have attempted a grapple...actually that might not be a bad idea. She could break Hyuuga's hands before Hyuuga could break hers.