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Intense Training

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Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:25 pm

Hanzo groaned. Kenpachi Azalea wasn't around again. But she always left a note to him, sets of work outs and patterns he was to run through by himself. The Kenpachi had shown him the correct way to hold the wooden sword, but had made a lot of effort into convincing the Shapeshifter to use the Asauchi as well.

Today's note specifically called for usage of the Asauchi. He was told to use the Asauchi through a series of basic swordplay. First he had to stand with his sword sheathed. Next, hand on the handle. Draw. Side strike. Parry. Backhanded swing. Return to position. Sheathe sword. Return to first stance. Repeat. This was one of several step-by-step scenarios that Azalea had written out. She also provided Hanzo with several small devices to call cadence, each inscribed with the corresponding number to tell which order to use them in.

The purpose of these was, in Azalea's words, to get him to know the different types of strikes by memory. Azalea had fifteen of these routines, each based on different scenarios. One was specifically designed in case he ever fought an enemy who used two swords, another for an opponent shorter than Hanzo, another for a much larger enemy. These routines, however, were only practice for when Azalea was too occupied to assist personally.

Personally, he regretted every usage of his Asauchi, for the blade somehow always ended up dirty and in need of a polish. But, the Kenpachi was very specific about using the actual weapon, as it was weighted differently from the wooden sword. Azalea had explained that the slight difference in weight makes an incredible difference in how the body memorizes the movements.

So, Hanzo ended up yet again standing around outside the Second, his torso exposed due to the unusual warmth that day. His head was still covered, of course, but the top of his uniform was neatly folded in a pile several feet from his body. Atop the clothing was the metronome, calling out the cadence. While Hanzo himself didn't think such a slow cadence would be useful in real world combat, he figured the Kenpachi had her reasons.

But, nearly an hour of going through the steps one by one, his body was drenched in sweat. Holding the positions quickly became tiring, waiting for the next beep of the cadence. Hanzo's arm was starting to shake by now, and he eventually sheathed his Asauchi, going over to the metronome and shutting it off and resetting it. He picked up a large bottle of water, no longer cold, and drank his fill, splashing the water onto his shoulders and rubbed it around. Hanzo looked at the note, reading Azalea's exactly printed characters over and over. 'Keep practicing until it come faster to you. You'll know what I mean. Don't be afraid to rest if your body needs it.'

What did she mean by 'come faster'? As in, he becomes better at it? How would he know, if the cadence was so slow? Practice without it?

Shaking his head again, Hanzo restarted. Stance. Hand. Draw. Strike. Parry. Back swing. Return. Sheathe. Stance. Hand. Draw. Strike...

Over and over, the same few movements. Over and over, Hanzo heard the light chime. But, as he kept practicing, he noted something different. It was incredibly hard to tell, but it seemed he was going... Faster? It'd been another hour by now, but it felt like...? Yes, definitely! He counted the seconds in his head as he moved between positions. When he first started, he was holding the position for seven seconds. Now it was just under six seconds. Five and a half seconds, since he definitely could say five but not finish six.

When did the tempo change? Perplexed, he stopped and restarted the metronome, and counted the seconds again. But, lost in the counting to be sure it had always been seven seconds, his hand would keep moving faster than the bell. The metronome was too slow at the beginning, since his body had adapted to the slightly faster pace! Hanzo grinned as understanding dawned on him.

He wasn't supposed to match the metronome at all. He was supposed to be able to beat the metronome! It would steadily get faster over a long period until his body could do the movements from complete memory, without thinking at all. But, if he lagged behind the metronome, he'd have to start all over again to find his place.

It was going to be a very, very long day he thought.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:12 pm

However you wanted to look at it, that seemed boring. And more than a little exhausting.

Also creepy. Because you're pretty much spying on someone working in private who has no idea they're being spied on: a somebody who's got their shirt off, as a matter of fact. You can't say that's not at least ten different kinds of awkward

Shiroki privately broadcast the image of himself tossing an annoying zanpakuto into a lake. Unfortunately, it only made Inukaze laugh louder.

Ever since his...friend(?)--it sounded weird to think of people that way, but by now probably best to acknowledge that--had been headhunted for lessons from the 11th; he had felt a stirring curiosity: exactly what would a Kenpachi consider 'lessons', and would there be a purpose in conducting them? While the boy knew that the words 'purpose' and 'Kenpachi' didn't usually go together based on experience, but this one was different somehow. How different; and whether it would be for good or for worse, he still couldn't say--and so felt entirely justified spying on his fellow squadmate just in case she was using dangerously forbidden techniques or sacrificing defenseless peons to dark powers or something.

At least you finally admit to spying

The reality had been rather...mild by comparison, on the whole. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting, exactly--only that it had more to do with panicked screaming, running around and copious amounts of bloodshed. Certainly not something as mundane as...drill. It looked like Azalea wasn't even in attendance. Perhaps it had been wishful thinking to expect her to display some hidden techniques or secrets during a practice lesson. Unlikely as the possibility might be given what he knew of the woman, it was still an opportunity that Shiro couldn't afford to overlook. This was something he knew from personal experience as a mature-age student mentor: teachers could; from time to time, get carried away. The original plan had been to stop by, watch them both go at it, and come away with better understanding of Azalea's combat style if nothing else. But it seemed fate had other plans.

He felt strangely conflicted at this. While relieved that Officer Judai was not being put in harm's way, the cub couldn't help feeling disappointed by the notable lack of reckless carnage. So far Azalea's approach seemed worlds apart from her predecessor; who made no distinction between 'training' and 'bloody battle to the death'. It had made watching 11th division sparring matches immensely entertaining, from an audience's point of view. Not so much for the participants.

Have you considered the possibility that you just don't like change? This Azalea lady's so far shown herself to be the best thing to have happened since rawhide chews. She's reworking the system, making it so that people can walk past 11th without worrying about dying and doing pretty ok as Captain. So what if she disappears from time to time to who-knows-where? So what if something seems 'off' about her? Are those things we should worry about? Maybe we should just let her be

A short pause as Shiro considered this for a second. Then he and Inukaze broke out in simultaneous mental peals of laughter.

Shoulda seen the look on your face. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Settling back on his haunches, he returned to observing events. The day was still young and Azalea might still show up after all. And if she didn't he could waylay Hanzo after the session and try to get another informant who would be able to report on the 11th's doings. He had Grym, but wasn't keen on hinging everything on that alone.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:32 am

The Shapeshifter rolled his shoulders as he came to rest again. He shut off and reset the first metronome, then grabbed his bottle, drinking deeply. At this point, he was feeling rather confident about drill number one, but was getting to the point that he felt too sore to continue the same exact pattern again and again. Flipping through the notes Kenpachi Azalea had left, he found the second set of instructions. This time called for no sword at all, and he gladly tied his Asauchi to the pile of clothes the metronome rest upon.

This drill was simple. Hanzo was to mark one line as a starting point, and another line a hundred yards away as the end point. The purpose of the drill, the second note said, was to move three hundred feet before the chime of the metronome, which would steadily get faster over a period of time. It sounded simple enough on paper, but as he learned from the first drill, these tests were anything but.

Hanzo did as instructed however, marking the three hundred feet lane using some chalk. Returning to his clothes and gear, he set the second metronome up, finding that this one was electronic. At first there was some static as he turned the machine on, but then it cleared and Kenpachi Azalea's voice emitted from the small black device.

"This is a pacing test. Get to your starting line now. This test prohibits Shunpo, and all movement techniques. When you hear the following noise, begin your lap. When you hear it again, return to the start," The noise in question was a very loud, very crisp sound of metal of metal, not unlike two swords meeting during battle. Hanzo actually jumped at the unexpected sound at first, but otherwise followed the instructions. "The test shall now begin."
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:16 am

Had Hanzo been watching the stands, he'd have noticed some movement as something shifted almost at the same time he did.

Shiroki had not jumped as a result of the alarm. Jumping was something that grunts and non-Captains did. It caught him by...surprise; was all. And he had a perfect reason for being three feet off the ground, clinging to a support pillar for dear life. A perfectly reasonable explanation needing no justification whatsoever.

And because his new positioning was quite obviously deliberate and not the result of a panicked scramble, he was in no hurry to return anytime soon. Especially not if that same godawful noise was going to be blaring every few minutes or so. At least being higher up would remove him from the sound source and change it from deafening to simply tolerable.

Which was a shame, it would've been fun to join Hanzo in a footrace. He recognized in this particular drill the early rudimentary techniques for flash-step, whatever Azalea's recording claimed. It was how he himself had been taught, after all. One didn't learn Shunpo by doing it, but rather by running for cover and letting instinct or habit take over. It was only later that practice would enable a person to transition from instinctual to deliberate usage. At least, that was how it'd been from personal experience. Staying in the outer districts usually meant that people there were well accustomed to running for their lives. Even back before the Academy, dodging incensed shopkeepers and angry adults had been an everyday occurrence. None of them needed to resort to flash-step to do any of that too. When was the last time he'd really outrun something without drawing on reiatsu? It vaguely disturbed him that he couldn't quite remember. Was it something you retained? Could he still outpace an adult like Hanzo through normal means alone?

The repercussions of something like that were significantly alarming. Especially if it meant a crippling disadvantage in situations where reiryoku was not an option. Note to self: investigate when possible.

Ordinarily, he might have resorted to picking fights with minor Hollows or street thugs in the outer districts to test this theory. But why bother, given current opportunity?

"Hey Hanzo--that looks fun, mind if I join you?"

Worst case scenario, the only disadvantage here would be a potential for ear damage from the metronome alarm

You're gonna blame that metronome to save face if you end up losing aren't you?

... shut up. Depositing Inukaze beside Hanzo's zanpakuto, he waved at the bigger man.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:46 am

Again and again the sound of metal rang out before Hanzo heard another voice call to him. The Shapeshifter smiled inside his helm, jogging to the metronome and shutting it off just as it rang again. He reset the timer before turning to look at Shiroki, his first real friend in Second.

"Oh, hello there Shiro. I was just in the middle of the last of Kenpachi Azalea's drills. Well, there's more but if I keep going I'm going to collapse," Hanzo let out a small, shaky laugh as he stretched a bit, grabbing his warm water and drinking the remainder of the canteen.

Hanzo knew better than to lay down after getting so worked up, so he chosen to squat on his heels, bringing him closer to Shiro's height. The Shapeshifter's eyes looked at the Werewolf through holes in the deva-like helmet. "Ms. Kenpachi Azalea seems intent on working me into the ground on our training days, but I'm sure I can stop early today if you want to go get drinks or food after a few laps, if you're up for it."
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:56 am

"Might as well keep you company if it's the last one," he considered the inert metronome cautiously from a safe distance away, as though it were a bomb rather than an innocuous time-keeping device. And for all he knew; it was. However useful certain technological advancements proved to be--cartoons for one--a native of the 1500s would never be wholly comfortable around constructs of gears and gadgets that defied understanding. "You've been doin' all this for awhile..." by which he meant the overall lessons and not that one in particular. "whatcha think of 'em?"

The real question being: What's your impression of her. Shiro left that one unasked, wondering if the suspicion would be visible on his features. There was no reason to keep up a facade with Hanzo, but then again expressions did not translate well on a nonhuman snout OR on a mask. He supposed that gave them equal footing on each other. Nonetheless they had been together awhile, so maybe Hanzo would be able to read it anyway? Not that it mattered.

"Um, so how does this," one arm reached out to give the metronome an experimental poke with a paw; ready to bolt if that godawful noise sounded again. "--work?"

Yet another reason why he'd never liked big battles. The clatter of sword on sword was already unpleasant. Multiply that by however many people were fighting at once and it became almost impossible to concentrate on the current opponent. Having a baton as zanpakuto also made it less of a problem, since there wasn't as much grating when metal met wood.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:33 pm

Hanzo rolled his shoulders before removing his helmet entirely, setting it on the pile of clothes. His large fennec ears unfurled, and the right ear twitched as it attempted to correct itself. The young man stretched his arms over his head, his jaw-length hair as drenched as his body.

Hanzo leaned down so he was beside Shiroki, setting the metronome up for a few more laps. "It's not that complicated. This metronome is actually just a re-purposed audio recorder. There's three buttons on the top side, one to stop, one to play and the last resets the recording."

"As for all of this... It's not easy. I'm glad Ms. Kenpachi Azalea gave me an easier set of drills than usual today, but I can really feel myself getting stronger. It was a bit harder in the beginning, since she insisted I use my Asauchi, but she eventually figured it'd be easier if I was simply 'fluent' with my wooden sword and Asauchi. She showed me that they're weighted differently and I can't use them the same way."

Hanzo stood up and ran his fingers through his hair. "I was honestly a bit nervous about today. Ms. Kenpachi Azalea said she was going to teach me a sword style from her homeland that isn't taught here, but she couldn't make it today. Which means next week I'll have to train all day one on one with her..." Hanzo's voice trailed off in thought. Shaking his head, he smiled. "But, uh, anyways. Let's do about five laps and call it a day. I'm starving!"
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:02 pm

A one on one session? That could certainly prove to be interesting. Perhaps there would be a way to secure an invitation; or else just slip in to spy on exactly what went on. Low as the chances were of their fellow captain using the opportunity to brainwash a subordinate might be; it still wasn't a possibility Shiroki was willing to overlook. At least not yet.

After all, who knew what sort of power the lady's new zanpakuto bestowed her? Back in the Academy there were people who told urban legends of shinigami who lucked into mind-control or mental manipulation as their shikai. At some point all of them had wished they'd be as lucky, and fantasized exactly what they'd do if endowed with such a power: Things that ranged from the practical to the ridiculous; such as making lectures end early or cheating on a test. Personally, classes with Ma'kine would be a whole lot easier if one could bamboozle the old buzzard with shikai hocus-pocus until he saw what Shiroki wanted him to see. Inukaze turning out to NOT be illusion or hypnosis-based ended what would've been a promising career as top student. But if such things did exist, and one was on the receiving end...?

Note to self: find out what Hanzo's old sword can do. And take precautions for illusion-based or mind control situations, just in case. How was one to do that, though? Maybe they should start implementing squad passwords--though that wouldn't help if an enemy could read minds as well as control them. Or set up a buddy system, so stragglers couldn't be picked off and brainwashed when alone?

And; come to think of it, shouldn't he be saying something about the helmet? A person who went around masked most of the time yet opts to remove it in the company of somebody else suggested some deeper trust or underlying relationship between those involved. Should he be saying something here? The movies he had access to from Oshime suggested so, that such a situation called for nothing less but an insightful-yet-witty quip that would inform the other party (Hanzo) that this bond was appreciated and reciprocated; YET not in any kind of creepy way or anything. Somehow the people in movies knew exactly what sort of thing to say to convey this. One of life's mysteries.

Nor was he entirely sure how to feel about this. Hanzo's nice, and a fun workplace-buddy, but a honest-to-kami Friend? That opened the door to all sorts of problems. Friends were distracting. They interfered with the cost-benefit strategies people could use with allies by assigning arbitrarily assigned value to this person or that. What would happen in the event of a crisis? Would one think logically and act accordingly, or throw strategy entirely out the window and put others at risk because a friend was in danger? He'd read in records how shinigami in the past had done some majorly stupid things like disobey direct orders or defect to the enemy because of friendship, and didn't much want to follow in those footsteps.

In the end, he settled for keeping his mouth shut so it didn't draw flies and not saying anything. Which was probably the best option compared to the stuff his mind kept coming up with. Manly silence as a show of empathy was still a thing right? That happened in movies too. Yep, he could roll with that. It was totally a thing.

Hoping to derail this awkward and confusing train of thought before it went any further, he reached out to the button Hanzo indicated as the one which would play the sequence. Maybe deafening metal sounds would be a good enough distraction, or open new conversational topics: Topics like the shared dislike large-eared people had of shrill sounds.

"Ready when you are,"
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:46 pm

Hanzo took a deep breath, chest rising and falling as he breathed in the unfiltered air. With a reluctant sigh, he put his helmet back on, chuckling a little as its familiar weight settled. Oddly, he was more comfortable wearing it than not despite how awkward it felt on his ears. But masks like his did not breathe easily.

When he was ready to start he nodded, reaching to press the button along with Shiro. "Loser buys lunch?" Hanzo asked, half-joking as he swatted the back of Shiro's paw, pushing it into the button before rushing to the starting line as the recording started up.

The introduction began again, with static followed by the Kenpachi's voice. Hanzo was wincing in anticipation as the Kenpachi-recording spoke. Any moment now... ".... When you hear the following noise, begin your lap..." Then came that gods awful noise of metal on metal that made him clutch his helmet, thankful the thick material absorbed most of the noise. And then it came a second time and Hanzo was off, using just regular, unpowered running, head tilted slightly to see how his shorter and physically younger pal was doing.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:57 am

Apparently, the ability to flash-step was one that made people take things for granted. Things like grass-sprints for instance.

Ironic as the idea might seem, Shiro did not enjoy running. Heck, he doubted anybody really enjoyed it as anything other than a means to an end. Oh, you had people who were into fitness; people who made a habit of working out every day, but even those guys were more into it for the rewards associated with that activity than the long, hard slog itself. It would be the health benefits, or else the chiseled bodybuilder look they were actually after--not out of any real enjoyment for the activity itself. Which made perfect sense, because running was rarely associated with something good: either you were running FROM something--in which case you were screwed if you didn't succeed; or you were running TO something, and not walking because something terribly bad would happen by not showing up to the destination in time.

Like having to put up with older sisters hogging all the takoyaki kabobs, for instance.

To prevent unfortunate repeats of the above (as well as equally undesirable incidents), he'd put considerable time into improving. Nonetheless, there was only so much one could do against physical limitations like stride-length. For every step taken by your average Shinigami, he had to take two and make up for the difference. It was terribly annoying at best, and a liability at worst.

The whole world had opened up upon his discovery of Shunpo. Flash-step made it so much easier to get from place to place, keep up with and even outdistance others. Best of all, its applications wasn't limited to physical stature. Anything he could do could then be done at many times the usual speed and in less time.

That was one of the misunderstandings people often had on the issue. They thought he was 'Fast' when a better term might be 'experienced'. You didn't need to be 'fast' to outrun a gang boss, for example--provided you knew how to lose your pursuit in a maze of alleys or confuse them by taking alternate routes. Similarly, you didn't need to be 'fast' to catch a suspect, merely keep up the chase long enough for the victim to tire and grow demoralized before making the arrest.

All of his experiences to date had occurred in more complex surroundings, replete with walls to climb, rooftops as shortcuts and things to duck behind. In that kind of setting he would never have a problem at keeping up or even staying ahead of fellow Onmitsukido even without Shunpo. A straight, uncluttered track from point A to B was something else entirely. To tell the truth he couldn't remember the last time he'd ever done short sprints like this. Field trips to open spaces in the mortal world didn't count. He had used flash-step on those occasions too.

Looks like lunch would be on him after all. Which probably was all for the best, really--since it gave one control over the menu. Being a guest of the 12th's Captain made for...exotic...dishes. He remembered vividly an occasion where lunch had been literally just salad and candy. That had been pretty scary.

Nonetheless, no reason why he shouldn't give Hanzo a run for his money. Hunkering down for the illusion of added speed he moves to close the gap, dropping to all fours now and again for better balance stability.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:30 pm

Three hundred feet sounded like a lot of space, and it was. But, there was something about running, just simple straight-on running, that made it seem brief. Before he knew it, Hanzo was across the finish line with time to spare, having run the lap with arms pumping at his sides like the Kenpachi had shown him before. Now, he turned to look for Shiroki, to see who was buying their lunch this afternoon.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:12 am

Hmm. This was disappointing, though not entirely unexpected.

On a standardized track, without any manner of obstacles or alternate routes to exploit, pure speed and the length of one's stride remained the sole deciding factors. And because the terms of this activity explicitly restricted flash-step, that meant they were competing on the basis of stride almost entirely.

Which meant that Hanzo had eventually won.

There were things that one could've resorted to, of course. Such as the Hollow Cicada image he'd tried with the Kenpachi some months back. But stooping to such things in what was essentially a low-stakes event just seemed...petty. Wouldn't be smart to undo all that work at lying low to suddenly waste it on a feat that'd make your squad mate wonder why you aren't one of the higher seats, will it?

Likely story. If that had been Meili, you'd have totally cheated, wouldn't you?

Totally. Without a second thought. Because that was a different context entirely. Anything the Commander's daughter was involved in WAS a life-or-death situation, whether you realized it or not. In those kind of encounters the stakes would be much more high. He had no wish to attend a doll's tea party wearing a dress, for example. Once was quite enough.

Despite losing he hadn't done too badly anyway so there was nothing to feel awkward about. Being still stuck at the starting line when the opponent finished would be much more embarrassing (and possibly worth cheating for). Next to that, a few feet's advantage (okay, maybe more than a few, whatever) was still acceptable.

Disappointing by Onmitsukido standards, maybe. But still acceptable.

Doubled over somewhat to pant with paws upon knees, he freed up an arm in a sheepish wave when Hanzo turned his way.

"What place have you got in mind? Somewhere that doesn't only serve veggies, I hope,"
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:57 pm

Hanzo laughed, smiling to himself, before walking to get his things and shut off the metronome. "You're buying, so why don't you pick. I'll eat just about anything; I've been here all day.

As Hanzo shrugged on his uniform, he took his time setting the Asauchi on his belt, letting the highly polished scabbard rest against his outer thigh before tightening the strap to hold it at a higher angle. The Shinigami draped the towel around his neck, patting at the sweat on his skin as he finished gathering his belongings and rejoining Shiro. "Lead the way."
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Mon May 28, 2018 5:56 am

There were times when being a non-human in a human-dominant setting tended to be particularly annoying. This was, without a doubt; one of those times.

Jokes he could deal with. Public areas that were segregated for human and non-human usage? Not a problem. Curious stares and overenthusiastic (or drunk) individuals looking for an opportunity to pet the puppy? Well, that's what fangs were for.

Finding a decent eating establishment, however, was something else entirely. It was getting to the point where it was almost ridiculous. How hard could finding a place that actually served beverages in bowls be?

Very hard, apparently. Stupid humans and their insistence on unwieldy chopsticks, garnishes and tiny impractical porcelain teacups.

All that eventually resulted in the canine abandoning his original intent to have them visit an upscale establishment for once, instead settling for less lofty aspirations. Probably for the best anyway; considering the current state of their attire: there was no way in Hell either of them would be getting past the front door of any place catering to swanky Tsuyosa or Baozhai clientele. Not without drastic and costly alterations to wardrobe anyway.

And so it was that the pair found themselves in a certain soba shop--the very same one, in fact; that they had visited all those months ago at their first meeting. It was the more canine-friendly atmosphere that factored into this decision rather than any sense of nostalgia, however. That, as well as the fact that the place slashed menu prices in half for families with kids. One winning smile and paw-wave at the proprietress later resulted in drink orders being taken and freedom to raid the raw buffet selection. Once the waitress had stopped ruffling his headfur and complimenting Hanzo on how kawaiiii his adopted son was, of course.

No point in being cute unless you could exploit the heck out of it, right?

Ironically enough, the open air surroundings and cheery family atmosphere also made this location a popular hangout for the stealth corps. As long as you came in street clothes and didn't do anything to draw attention, nobody would even suspect you of plotting the finer details of espionage or cold-blooded murder over the loud mundane conversation from neighboring tables. This made it an ideal place to discuss any manner of topic without fear of being overheard, if need be.

Topics such as the current vacant Lieutenant position in Squad Two, for instance. It was an offer that had been made before on a couple other occasions, with Shiroki appearing to pass along the invitation on their Captain's behalf. Definite answers had not been forthcoming so far, but they did say third time was the charm.

Not to mention that there was some kind of gut feeling prompting him to settle for this location; specifically an out-of-the-way corner table where they wouldn't be interrupted. Past experience suggested that it wasn't a good idea to ignore such instincts when they made themselves known. For some reason the electrical charge so often associated with trouble was in the air--accompanied by some unfamiliar pressure whose source originated from Hanzo's own less-battered zanpakuto.

Huh. That was weird. Zanpakuto. He had suddenly thought of it under the term 'zanpakuto' rather than asauchi like he was used to. Could it be--

He shook off the notion as quickly as it arose. It either happened or it didn't, and nothing any of them could do could pre-empt or delay it from  happening. If Hanzo took it into his mind to manifest Shikai at lunchtime, all well and good. If not, hopefully it wouldn't happen in a less convenient location. The last thing they needed was having more of the squad budget being used to pay for unnecessary damages.

He armed himself with plate saucers and utensils. For now, the cold cut buffet selection was demanding their undivided attention.
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Mon May 28, 2018 10:13 pm

Hanzo himself only ordered a beef bowl and iced water. The water was to cool his head more than to sate his thirst; his head had been throbbing all week, thoughts turning over in his mind. He could almost feel the thoughts pounding in his head. "You're getting strong, Hanzo. Maybe you should take Captain up on his offer." He nodded to himself as he took the helmet off when the food arrived. He was definitely getting strong. And he was more confident these days. He had Shiro and Kenpachi Azalea to thank for that.

"So, Shiro... I've been doing some thinking recently. Kenpachi Azalea's really helped me these last few weeks and I've made a lot of progress. But um..." Hanzo ran a hand through his silvery hair, taking a long sip of his water. He fiddled with the handle of his Asauchi beside him. "Were you and the Captain serious?"
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Tue May 29, 2018 9:40 am

Fortunately, a mouthful of raw bacon negated having to respond right away. It afforded an ideal opportunity to mull this over sagely. Or as sagely as it was possible to appear while chewing anyway.

It was probably a fair assumption, given people and parties involved.

"Look, I know I'm not known for being serious--" Understatement of the century, probably. One that Hanzo was being a pretty good sport for not bringing up. "But this is almost entirely the Cap'n's own idea, an' we both know ol' cat-got-his-tongue hasn't got a single funny bone in his body," Fangs worried at a stubborn bone, angling to get at the elusive marrow inside. "Plenty of funny bones from other people in his closet maybe, an' skulls an' organs as well--but not one of 'em his own. But you knew all that dint'cha?"

"Sooo...yep. If he says spot's open, then it's open. Congrats, Officer--oh, wait. That should be Lieutenant Judai now, shoudn't it? That's got a nice ring to it,"
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Wed May 30, 2018 8:44 pm

Hanzo sighed, eating his food slowly as he mulled things over. "It's odd, you know? I'm still so new to the squad, but getting this far so quickly. It reminds me of a dream I had, few nights ago after Miss Kenpachi Azalea had me meditating and I must have fallen asleep.


"In the dream, I was standing in a castle, looking over a small village from a balcony. But, everything was actually made of garbage and broken pieces, just having the shape of what it was supposed to be, and while I watched, sand covered the whole village, settling, and then another village was built on top of it, like a loop. And there was a girl there, wearing a gown made from patchwork. Heh, she had a long name. Devu~aobuzanaitou~otchi, she said it was. She said I was strong, but not quite as strong as I could be. She said it was her destiny to be a beautiful and powerful princess, that it was her dream. She handed me this long, strange looking weapon with four prongs on each end. There was a keyring on my hip, too, filled with various other key-shaped weapons. But anyway, she said that I was her knight, and together we'd get stronger until she proved herself a princess. I don't remember much else, but when I woke up, Miss Kenpachi Azalea had left, and I felt so tired. Honestly, the dream was so weird, I ironically nicknamed my Asauchi after the girl. I didn't want to forget that weird dream, ya know?"

Hanzo shook his head, finishing off his beef bowl. He looked to his small friend and smiled, "Sorry if that was a weird thing to share. I haven't told anyone about it yet, not even the Kenpachi. Figured she wouldn't want to hear about the time I fell asleep while she was training me, haha."
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Shiroki on Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:15 am

This was indeed quite a feat. Especially considering that back in the day teachers all seemed eerily adept at identifying the daydreamers and pegging chalkboard erasers at their heads. How they did so remained a mystery. Was it something that they taught you at teacher-school? The fact that every single instructor encountered seemed proficient at this certainly suggested the possibility.

To fall asleep while being taught by the Kenpachi, however--that was at a whole new level entirely and an achievement deserving of respect. Assuming that it was indeed daydreaming and not some manifestation of Jinzen going on. The two were similar enough, but somebody at Azalea's level would have been able to distinguish between them.

Then again, this was the person responsible for smuggling in and setting loose a dangerous unregistered Arrancar on recruit-level grunts in the interests of training. Not to mention the same person who'd allegedly punted some random 1st squad intern through a number of bookshelves on discovering her inability to read. So maybe he was giving her too much credit?

Nonetheless, Hanzo being alive certainly was something in itself. Paying attention seemed to be a prerequisite required for survival where Azalea was concerned. Therefore; Hanzo being able to recount his experience suggested one of two possibilities: Either he was simply that skilled that he'd no problems napping in class, or--the daydream in question wasn't one at all.

That; or he just happened to be incredibly lucky. It didn't matter either way--he'd take a lucky lieutenant over an unlucky one any day.

"Been thinkin' a lot about this dream since then?" Silly question, in hindsight. That much was obvious from the way he seemed able to describe it in such detail. "It's not changing your mind about the you-know-what, is it? Cause I'm damn well not gonna be wearin' that badge again."

Come to think of it, wasn't the official promotion ceremony scheduled sometime soon? Wouldn't do for either of them to miss it
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Re: Intense Training

Post by Hanzō Judai on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:01 pm

Hanzo smiled sheepishly, shrugging his shoulders. "Of course it doesn't change my mind. I've just been thinking on it a lot, since it was so strange. It was like no dream I'd ever had before, you know?"

Hanzo shrugged again, adjusting his clothes and pulling his belongings closer to himself. He was thinking about the girl from the dream now. Devu~aobuzanaitou~otchi. Why could he remember her so vividly? He ran a hand over his lips, looking to the Werewolf Shinigami. "Anything else you want to go do, or calling it a night after this, Shiro?"
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