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Dogs and Deicide (Training Thread)

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Dogs and Deicide (Training Thread)

Post by Shiroki on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:13 am

Footpaws darted this way and that on an even bed of unmarked sand, never staying in one spot long enough to leave the slightest impression on that unstable ground.

Too bad that their opponent wasn't bothering to adopt a similar handicap: large, booted feet tromped about making deep indentations in the sandpit as their owner pressed advantage, katana slicing and chopping with powerful two-handed blows. Strikes that the smaller jackal found himself forced to deflect or dodge entirely, lest a direct block result in driving his footing deep into the sand.

No. Not sand. Concrete: Thick reinforced concrete. And not a sandpit in a meditation garden, but a tall building rooftop--where the slightest misstep would send either of them plummeting to their doom far below.

Which meant the large, adult-sized gigai currently occupied in its objective of murdering a Squad Captain to death wasn't Alfred either. No, it was the ryoka cosmic terror responsible for blowing up half of South Rukon the past year--back and ready for a rematch. They weren't practice-dueling in the training grounds but actually fighting to the death atop Seireitei's highest roof, with a heroic Squad Captain buying time for reinforcements to arrive.

Alfred...no; Ryoka-san--because a simulation didn't work unless you did it RIGHT--raised his/her katana high and brought it down with an overhead chop that sent sand (concrete) flying in all directions. An attack that might have bisected the building almost in two from the force behind it, and what he knew about her weight.

Damn. Focus: step lightly on ground. Avoid the line representing the 'hole' in the building roof. Don't block directly unless you want to be knocked straight down through a building...one experience was more than enough.

Having to keep all these conditions in mind--conditions that Alfred/Ryoka was completely ignoring, by the way--made it so much harder to avoid and counter with his own strikes. The construct's sandals stomped again and again, throwing up clouds of flying sand and reducing hypothetical imaginary rooftops to rubble and dust. If every such 'step' represented the destruction of a building, their short exchange here would have leveled half of Seireitei by now...an outcome that ex-Captain Sabiruchi would definitely not be happy with.

Nope, had to try harder. Find a way to end combat quickly before he tired out or they ran out of city to save.

"Bakudo #61: Rikujokoro," Six 'petals' of light struck Alfred and froze him in place. Damn. Hadn't intended to say the phrase out loud. Not good enough to pull that off at present, apparently. That was something that clearly had to change. Shiroki didn't expect to be able to sling around level 90s kido without incantation like old Ma'kine would've done, but at the very least he should've managed one or two. Actually, that was how ALL kido spells should work for that matter. Calling your attacks for the enemy to hear was just plain dumb.

Don't get distracted. Complain later. He cast wordless Hado #1 at motionless Alfred, satisfied at being able to pull that off. Sand flew about again as Ryoka-Alfred; now frozen in place and with the extra force from the Hado, fell multiple stories from the sandpit--*ahem...roof--to strike like a meteor on the ground...

Except instead of simulating 'striking', Alfred-Ryoka exuded foreign black reiatsu and grew a coat of black armor all around 'her' body, dispelling the Bakudo binding.

Well...not really. The Reigai that was Alfred didn't have spirit potential reserves. But it could signal fight-phases by glowing in color-coded patterns, and the one it was currently using for this simulation corresponded to mysterious ryoka's black armor One-Winged-Angel Form. At least, that was what Shiro was calling it now, thanks to something Oshi called TvTropes.

Sighing, Shiro dispelled his Bakudo mid-simulation (since it would likely have been broken by Ryoka's sudden release of power anyway; got to play by the Rules) and pressed his attack--dodging bolts of harmless blue light (chains) that Alfred/Ryoka shot haphazardly in the process. A couple landed in the corners of the sandpit--simulating solid chains growing out of the ryoka and anchoring with the ground; halting her uncontrolled fall. That short distraction, however, afforded a child-captain the opening he desperately needed to leap forward, catapult off her dormant katana for leverage and wind up behind her to force Inukaze's length against her throat. He tightened his grip in the same motion, choking and 'cutting' Alfred/Ryoka across the throat while bending back--remembering to tap himself once with Inukaze before they crashed together against the sandpit floor.

Shaking sand out of his ears, Shiro rolled to his feet and prepared to fire a volley of high class Hado to nuke the simulated Ryoka into submission...only to find--

--Alfred standing up again, hooded 'face' expressionless as usual, blue glowing chest fading out to reveal two of the most terrifying words known to Man:

YOU LOSE. Their simulation was over.

"Oh, come ON! That's bull and you know it! I won fair and square."

Alfred didn't seem the least bit impressed in this argument, merely continued to flash the word 'LOSE' as the pup tossed his sealed zanpakuto aside.

"No, he's right--" Inukaze volunteered, laughing like a maniac. This little exercise had one of them in a good mood at least. "You forgot to take your Ryoka's weight into consideration, fuzzy. She would've made a crater where she fell and collapsed the whole building around you both."

"So? It would fall right through me--I used Recall on myself, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did. But that still leaves you buried under tons of rubble once you become solid after...was it five seconds? Good luck being choked and squashed to death," His sword spirit was enjoying herself waaaay too much; in Shiro's opinion.

But she had a point. Darn. Back to the drawing board. Retrieving his tonfa, he faced the impassive reigai again. It wasn't fun losing to nameless horrors. Not to mention unfair, without knowing the full scope of their abilities. Maybe a switch to some old, familiar routine?

"Alfred, load Kibo Protocol simulation 361B: Subject--Tsuyosa Sabiruchi; Before-Hollow."

The captain found himself questioning the wisdom of this choice a moment later, as Sabre-Alfred promptly entered simulated Bankai to spit out more light bolts representing automatons.

Looks like he was booked for that day.

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Re: Dogs and Deicide (Training Thread)

Post by Shiroki on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:27 am

A stray lightburst detonated, blinding him completely


A flash of red, simulated flame


A bolt of yellow


Thankfully it all came to an end after the 65th time--yes, he was counting. Who knew there were so many ways to die from friggin' kido?

Not much headway had been made, true. But at least it seemed he might be getting a tiny bit better at dodging and outdistancing those flying lights of death. That would have to do...for now.

"Alfred, terminate simulation 001," Reaching out, the jackal boy allowed himself to be assisted to his feet.

"You win for now, Ma'kine. I'll getcha some other time. Just you wait an' see,"

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Re: Dogs and Deicide (Training Thread)

Post by Shiroki on Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:48 am

They had booked one of the smaller dojos ahead of time in preparation for what would come next: Shunko

As usual, he did what he must to cover his tracks: introduced a personal one-on-one contact hour on a rotating roster for all seated officers; as well as a separate free slot for any other unseated member to consult him should they wish. This took a great deal of hassle, obviously. But at least it would not raise the question of why the Captain seemed to favor one random 10th seat member more than any other.

Fortunately, there seemed to be few people wanting to take advantage of his new open-door policy. Maybe something about sitting directly across from a grim reaper raising concerns such as office politics and internal complaints proved off putting to people? Shiroki wondered if he should involve one of the other officers to play a role as mediator so others would be set at ease. Yet another situation where having a Lieutenant would be helpful.

Then again, having a lieutenant would also make his identity so much harder to hide.

Shaking his head, he tried to refocus on Shunko. It was disturbing how often his mind tended to wander of late. Just the other day Shiro had found himself doodling some random name over and over on a paper he was supposed to be writing reports on. To make matters WORSE; it was a name he was fairly certain he had never seen before in his life--and yet one that echoed with some unsettling familiarity nonetheless:

Obata Umezawa. Obata Umezawa. Obata Umezawa

Waking eventually to the reality of what he had been doing, Shiroki had stared at the paper scribbles for one long moment in equal parts horror and fascination. A casual glance showed that while it was indeed in his handwriting, the words appeared to become messier and more illegible as they progressed down the page--the final two being little more than a featureless scrawl that took up the whole bottom half of his requisition form. Ever since that encounter with that strange human in Karakura Park and the...vision(?) he had experienced during their duel, that name had been haunting him in the back of his mind.

The right thing to do in such a case was to tear up the nonsensical page of scribbles and start afresh on Hanzo's zanpakuto requisition of course. But while he did do the latter; something had stopped him from simply shredding the scribbles. Call it intuition or impulse or whatever, but it was a feeling that life in the Rukon had taught him to rely on, and he wasn't about to ignore something which might be potentially important now.

Even now, when he was supposed to be practicing; the rhythms of that name seemed to be harmonizing with the in-and-out movements of reiatsu as Shiroki gathered reiryoku for the purpose of Shunko, feeling the energies manifest as a presence on his shoulders and back. Had he been wearing the conventional uniform, it would have been torn in those areas as a result of the energies come into being--the very reason why he simply didn't bother with the upper uniform nowadays. For the simple enough reason that; ever since the Academy Incident, more often than not Shiroki kept himself in a permanent state of 'low' Shunko most of the time.

It was not 'true' Shunko; not by any means. That would prove too draining for many reapers to sustain. Instead, the state he tried to maintain indefinitely was the lowest possible form; using his own sense and control of energy to wrap himself in reiatsu pressures that lent him a much needed boost: nothing to write home about, merely something that put his childlike stature on equal footing with other adult Shinigami and helped bypass limits imposed by height and reach. Whether this was 'cheating' or not he really couldn't say, but if his opponents expected him to rely on physical measures alone they would be sorely disappointed. Arm-length alone would prevent a kid his size from landing any strike on an adult, regardless of weapon expertise. If he didn't had this to fall back on, there would be very little to stop an adult opponent from holding him back at arm's length without even drawing a sword.

And so every lunge, leap and slash attempted by Captain Sakanade involved a tiny burst of Shunko--nowhere near the 'usual' version used by other proponents, but enough to overcome the bodily limitations imposed by his form. In this incarnation it would hardly be recognizable AS Shunko even; only little more than an above-average control of reiatsu pressures around and within him. Thus far, he had experimented enough to reach a steady baseline of output he was satisfied with. Recent encounters at the Maggot's Nest, Rukon performance and his own Vault; however, suggested that Shunko at this novice level would not be enough.

He had to learn real Shunko; and learn it soon. Not only did it break centuries of tradition for Squad 2's Captain to be hopeless at Shunko; ignoring such an important tool available to Shinigami would not be wise. Back in his Academy days Shiro had ignored it on principle of course--as he would ANY skill that included an unarmed-combat component. It had seemed less important back then and not worth the trouble of getting beaten up day after day by adults taller and stronger just to obtain enough experience in unarmed combat to qualify for what it took to learn Shunko. Most people learnt it to improve their speed, didn't they? If he focused on Shunpo instead it should've been enough to make up the difference. Or so he had thought.

Because speed could only get a person so far. At the end of the day, a person was constrained by the limits of what their body could actually do. Somebody Shiroki's size would never be able to bench-press a car, or lift as heavy an object as Hanzo could. It had nothing to do with training or experience. He could train at weightlifting until he was blue in the face, but it wouldn't change the fact that his body was; and would always be, too small to sustain any major muscle growth needed to pull off such feats. While it was possible to improve, there would inevitably be an upper-limit to progress that he would reach eventually; which no amount of further training would help.

Reliance on reiryoku then, presented the only reasonable option. Unlike the physical body, reiatsu was not limited to one's actual size and did not answer to physical limits. By that reasoning it would be wiser to focus on controlling reiatsu instead and using it to supplement the shortcomings of muscle. It was the reason why he sparred with Alfred, both with Shunko and without; to observe the differences in the results. It was the reason why he had booked the dojo for private practice, so as to better know his limits before engaging in an actual fight.

That; as well as being reluctant to have anyone actually watch him try to punch Alfred and fail. If he wanted that he could've gone back to the Academy, thank you very much.

So he forced himself to concentrate on where the reiatsu was going, forced it down the required channels to emerge as swirling gusts of wind wrapping both arms up to the elbows; excess quantities manifesting as 'wings' on his shoulderblades and back. Experimented with the output; with the speed of airflow to see its effects on various materials--wood, paper, stone... Speeding up the energies so that they resembled a spinning 'drill' around his arms increased penetrative power, but didn't actually protect his paw when striking a sturdy object. Spreading energies out across a wider area offered greater protection, allowing Shiroki to chop away at a concrete block repeatedly without feeling pain to his paw...but at the cost of causing little damage to the stone, if at all. Reliance on either method drained his energy faster than normal, but that was also to be expected.

What he really needed was to find a balance between those two extremes. A way to channel the Shunko energies to make his strikes hit harder AND protect his paw at the same time. And also cost less energy, because why the heck not? It couldn't hurt to dream.

It would take time to arrive at that ideal balance however, so for the time being he simply practiced both versions separately--getting used to the 'feel' of the energies and how to shape them for each situation. While he could switch from 'attack' to 'defense' mode without too many problems, there would be an annoying time delay in between during the shift. Currently he had it down to 3 minutes. Not too shabby, but also not ideal in a combat situation. Either he would have to cut that time down, or find an in-between state to stay in.

From there he would move onto other applications of Shunpo; such as ways it could be used to increase strength temporarily. That would come in handy, especially after his encounter with the Kenpachi in the Vault. Maybe...

Obata Umezawa. Obata Umezawa

Dammit. Lost concentration again. Spacing out like that would definitely be a bad thing in combat. Something had to be done about this. He had to find a way to stop his mind from wandering; or better yet, find out WHY it was wandering; decide whether it was important and then put a stop to it. It could be this random name was somehow important, not least because it sounded familiar to him. If so, it was unwise to ignore what his subconscious was trying to put across.

"Time-out, Alfred. Need to think,"

If I wanted to find some random person whom I know nothing about with only a name...where would I go?

That depends. Is random person a human? Shinigami? Soul? Hollow? If it was a Shinigami or Soul, chances were he'd know by now. He did keep close ties with 3rd Squad for just this sort of information. And since he did not know; evidence weighted strongly to this random person NOT being a Soul or Shinigami in the normal records. Which meant...human? Quincy? Both?

If I wanted to find a random HUMAN with just a name, where would I go?

--Captain Baozhai. Of course. She was the sciency person with access to all the fancy tech to monitor and record things happening in the Living World. Worth a shot.

He would have to make another appointment...

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Re: Dogs and Deicide (Training Thread)

Post by Shiroki on Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:56 am

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