Hiten's First Disciple

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:25 pm

"Again!"

Hijikata stood surveying young students as they practiced their basic strikes. About twenty students in all, Hijikata was very happy for the dojo he'd come to assist. He was surprised to see that, despite having such a heritage with traditional styles of swordsmanship, even towns in the Tea Country were finding it difficult to recruit new students. If he had to use the allure of being a foreigner (many of these young pupils had never met anyone outside of Tea Country) to motivate others to learn the sword, so be it. A warrior had to learn to be adaptable, both inside and outside of combat. It wasn't simply combat skills he was teaching these young folks, either; he would often begin his lessons with a discussion session before, a short lecture if you will, on how swordsmanship was more than a way to kill. Swordsmanship didn't simply reflect itself in when one was taking a life; it shows itself in the mercies extended, not the amount of vengeance taken or blood spilled. A true master of the sword saw their craft reflected in the ways they lived their lives and the ways they treated those around them.

In unison, Hijikata would call out each of the nine vital points to strike. If they had to resort to violence, then they needed to know how to bring their enemies a swift, merciful death. He could have elaborated how doing so would help the soul of the enemy find peace in the afterlife, but he knew that not all students shared the same reverence for the spirits, and he would not impose his faith upon them.

"Karatake!"

In unison, they cried, "Hah!"

"Sakagesagiri!"

"Hah!"

"Miginagi!"

"Hah!"

"Migikiriage!"

"Hah!"

"Sakakaze!"

"Hah!"

"Hidarikiriage!"

"Hah!"

"Hidarinagi!"

"Hah!"

"Kesagiri!"

"Hah!"

"Tsuki!"

"Hah!"

Occasionally, he would walk over to a student and help them adjust their posture, but other than that, he simply taught by example, doing the exercises with them, using a wooden katana. While the students practiced with shinai, Hijikata's own was more similar to an actual katana, even accompanied by a scabbard. In his own way, he also improved his own swordsmanship alongside the students. He currently wore his white keiko-gi, and the sound of the younglings' kiai shouts rang out from the dojo. His arrival, mostly due to him being a foreigner, was the talk of the town. His location at any given time would be no secret.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:04 am

Hide sat aloft in a tree lazily swinging his legs as he savored his pilfered meal, it was some sort of sweet riceball that while not the most luxurious meal the young man had enjoyed the price could not be beaten. He found himself outside of the Iaido dojo a spot he found himself in fairly often these days having been trained in the basics of the style himself though he couldn't help pity the students below. Training stances and kata were useless or at least mostly so in Hide's opinion, Hide's training had failed him when he needed it most and as a result, he had gotten himself into some pretty dire straights.

The Foreigner was interesting enough though, as Hide moved closer into the interior of the Tea Country the number of foreigners seemed to dwindle so another strange face stuck out like a sore thumb and typically the locals ate that up, he seemed to know his stuff though, Hide could pick out the obvious errors in the new trainees but the guest teacher didn't seem to be that much older than Hide and even sported his own Katana. Hideaki couldn't help but size up the students "I could take him, him, her, maybe him if I fought dirty" he said to himself but as usual, the boy was nothing more than bluster and let these thoughts comfort him safe in the knowledge his preconceived notions would never be challenged.

Sizing up the teacher was another thing entirely and Hideaki knew he'd have to fight really dirty to ever stand a chance but he knew the Foreigner's type, he was all about honor, Bushido and the katana as an extension of the warrior rather than simply a weapon or at least that's what Hide caught of the man's speech lead him to believe. He'd wait until the end of the lesson before approaching the teacher, he had no doubt that he could learn a thing or two and the boy thought anything but a private lesson below him, after all, he was Hideaki master fugitive.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:25 pm

Hijikata has noticed the young man sitting in the tree branch from the first day he’d started observing the students. He’d done nothing to disrupt the class, so Hijikata had paid him no mind, only occasionally glancing over towards him to make sure he was minding his own business. Hijikata has no reservations with teaching the young man, but the seasoned teacher could see that his eyes were not one of curiosity, but those used to size up opponents. The fact he felt he could adequately do so implied some combat experience, but he doubted the boy had ever faced opponents as skilled as himself.

Hijikata continued with his lessons. He would do his best not to prejudge the boy. Everyone had the right to learn the sword. Still, the conditions under which one learned the sword had an impact as to how viewed swordsmanship... and how they used it. If this boy started to hassle the students, he would have to step in.

Sure enough, as the lesson ended and Hijikata began to scrub the floors along with his students, the sound of unfamiliar footsteps, and the sudden hushed whispers of his young disciples, signaled Hideaki’s arrival. Making sure to keep his behavior above reproach, Hijikata sat up on his knees and nodded. ”Good day, young man! How can I help you? If you are looking to partake in the class, I’ll have to ask that you please return tomorrow. As you have seen, we just finished our lessons for today, but we would love to have you as a part of the class.”

The teacher’s immediate reply to Hideaki’s yet unspoken request brought further murmurs from the students. Some were excited by the tension; others were afraid of what it might mean. Hijikata locked eyes with Hideaki. His resolute gaze clearly showed that funny business and shenanigans would not be tolerated.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:18 am

Hideaki shovelled the remainder of his rice ball into his mouth and made his way down towards the dojo as classes had started to wrap up, the trash which was formerly the packaging for his lunch he stuffed into a small hole in the tree "I'll come back for that later" he told himself despite that fact he was fairly sure he wouldn't.

"What's up Teach?" Hideaki began a lopsided smile curling his features, the man was polite as Hide assumed he would be, Hide often came across as abrasive and some of the time it was even on purpose today, however, wasn't one of those times, at least not yet. "Join this class? Thanks but I put down wooden swords a long time ago" at least 2 years felt like a long time ago when you were only sixteen, "I was wondering when the intermediate classes trained, now one of those I'd be interested in".

Hide continued to walk up to the dojo but stopped just outside the doors, he hung lazily on the door jambs not wanting to bring dirt inside since the floors were in the process of being cleaned, he was an asshole at times but usually, some form of provocation prompted that side of him to come out. Looking around at the student's faces he knew the looks and had seen them dozens of times before, half wanted to see a fight which in this case knew he'd lose, of the rest some wanted Hide gone through fear or disdain and a few outliers either didn't care that he was there or just wanted to get home. "Y'all can chill out, I'm not looking for a fight" he sighed tilting he neck from side to side eliciting a few cracks and pops.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:47 am

Hijikata’s eyes narrowed, scrutinizing the young man further. It was true that his skill ceiling, simply measuring by his posture, was likely well above any of his students thus far. The young man carried his katana in a familiar way, a clear indication he had used them numerous times before, and he could certainly use it again if he needed to. This young man had at least drawn blood, if not taken life, this early in his life.

With that said, his looseness seemed to lack a solid foundation. He clearly studied the fundamentals of swordsmanship at some point. So why the lack of poise and balance? Perhaps it was a ruse to lure the opponent into attacking a false opening? That was effective, sure, on petty bandits and thieves. But, aside from those bloated with self-importance and overconfidence...

Such a trick was useless against a more evenly matched opponent. He did not realize this, and yet he sought “intermediate lessons?” The boy did not realize his foolishness, nor his own potential. There was a chance that he could be built back up, to become a swordsman to rival Hijikata at his current level of skill. But to do that, Hijikata still had one quality he had to search for in the boy:

Humility. It was time to look for it.

”Gakusei, sentō no junbi o shimashou!” Hijikata called. The students reacted fanning out and forming two rows on either side of the dojo, blocking the entrances as the sat back down on their knees. Taking one of the bokken off of the wall, he tossed it to Hideaki. ”If you truly seek to learn swordsmanship from me, I will never turn a potential student away. But I do not offer shortcuts in my instructions. So, if you wish to advance to the next stage, you just prove you are worthy of it.”

Brandishing his own wooden katana, Hijikata held the handle with one hand, facing foward in an otherwise traditional kendo stance. ”Begin!”

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:24 pm

The scent of the wood after being freshly cleaned brought a wave of nostalgia over Hide he breathed deep filling his mind and soul of simpler times, times of wooden and not iron swords, of laughter and bloodless growth. With a deep breath, Hide caught the wooden sword and kicked off his sandals leaving them just outside the doors to the dojo, the floors had just been cleaned after all.

Taking a moment to grip the wooden floor with his toes Hide scanned the room, the floor was firm yet pliable, the water had for the most part already evaporated meaning that hopefully, he wouldn't slip on his arse during whatever exercise this man was trying to perform. Hide had the slight advantage in having watched his opponent training meaning at the very least he knew his dominant hand even if he didn't know the full extent of his strength.

It had been years since Hide had encountered Iaido and an amateur clashing with an expert in like styles was typically a very stupid idea and while Hide typically followed up with stupid ideas that didn't happen during combat and this, despite being with wooden swords was combat. Electing a style fresher in his mind Hide dropped into a low stance and reversed the grip on his sword holding it flat against his forearm, he had thought before he would have to fight dirty to beat some of these guys and while this wasn't anywhere near dirty for him he had no doubt some of these Bushido types would think so.

"Well hold on to your butts, here goes nothing" Hide began to run at the stranger who had only just realised was still a stranger, even Hide knew not having an introduction was rude but it was little too late now. Hide knew that more often than not Iaijutsu began with the draw and keeping that in mind used his reversed grip on his sword as more of a shield for the moment, charging into and with some luck ultimately past his opponent he'd hold his sword close to his side to deflect the draw and aim a heel kick at the back of his opponent's knee.
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Toryu • Lock Sweep
D-Rank Kenjutsu Maneuver
Prerequisite: 5 Speed
A basic technique of the style wherein the user moves in for a basic lunge-thrust with their weapon, only to turn in mid thrust and attempt to sweep their leg under the opponent's own. This tends to be useful as a basic feint and can usually knock down those with 3 less strength than the user.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:29 pm

Hiji's suspicions were confirmed as he watched the boy reminisce and feel out the stability of the floor with his feet. It was clear that the young man had been formally trained at some point in the past... but something had gone terribly wrong. He was curious to know about his story, but he was even more curious about the stance he took. He'd seen that style while traveling before... Yes, in the Land of Pebbles. It was a rough style, to be certain, but it was strong in its own right. Its use of feints and misdirection were impressive, and they were deadly in the hands of an experienced warrior.

Sadly, though he aspired to be, this young man was not such. Not yet, at least.

Hiji did not assume the traditional Iaido stance, instead opting for a standard ready position for basic kenjutsu, the sword held out in front of him in one hand. If he resorted to Iaido, it meant in HIjikata's eyes that he was taking a shortcut, not enforcing his instructions of mastering the fundamentals before learning to flex their limits and bend their rules. Every swordsman, himself included, still mastered the fundamentals before all else. The boy dashed towards him, keeping his profile low. That same low profile essentially telegraphed his movements; pivoting slightly, Hiji followed his movements and waited.

Certainly enough, the kick came, and Hijikata stepped back slightly and brought his wooden sword to strike Hideaki's Achilles' tendon of the offending foot with the flat of the blade. If it hit, it would cause considerable pain but no permanent damage. "Hidarikiriage!" he called out as he executed the strike.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:01 am

Hide's foot caught air and then something that wasn't and then pain, not the worst the boy had endured in his lifetime but pain by its very nature wasn't pleasant "Son of a" he muttered under his breath. This wasn't the first time that Hide had to prove his worth this was probably the least painful of the provings he had endured but he had never really seen the point of them, the one with the creepy guy with the masks being the exception.

Hide jumped a few paces back and brought his wooden training sword down into the most basic of kendo stances "So uh, what are you trying to gain from this exactly?" he paused for a moment spinning the sword around in a few simple flourishes that were useless they were worse than useless and left himself exposed in several key areas. "You know I'm not going to win and I know I'm not going to win so either this is to show your students you can beat up mouthy kids or you have a very specific fetish here and are getting your jollies for free rather than seeing a rent boy up the road" Hide smirked to himself, he knew full well he wasn't going to land a hit on the guy's body but that wouldn't stop him giving his ego a good seeing to.

"You wanna hit me again go ahead and hit me again, you'll learn the same amount you did from the first time" he slung his sword over his shoulders and braced himself, this entire spectacle was folly, you'd have to be some kind of moron to continue to fight someone who knew full well you had no chance of defeating and if this were the real world he'd be gone already.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:45 pm

Hijikata shook his head, ignoring Hideaki's sharp insult. "You misunderstand, young one. You discard the fundamentals as if they are useless, pointless. But the fundamentals are the fundamentals for a reason," the samurai corrected. "The truth is this: yes, you are more experienced than any of my students here. You know swordsmanship in the real world. You know blood. You know death because you've come face-to-face with it. But you incorrectly concluded you were forced to face your own mortality so frequently because the fundamentals of swordsmanship were somehow flawed, wrong. You concluded that you should focus only on your own style, trying to become unique instead of becoming better."

Hijikata nodded towards the boy. "I tell you, truly: in terms of ability, of raw talent, you are not much weaker than I am. If you give yourself the opportunity to really learn what you discarded, you will become a fine swordsman and a cunning warrior. But because you have neglected the basics, your raw talent means little. You are no more proficient than any one of my students because of that fault in your reasoning. If you are truly worthy of more complex lessons or private tutoring, you will force me to use my signature style. At your current level of ability, you are capable of defeating me using only basic swordsmanship. But only if you have mastered the basics as I have..."

The instructor momentarily pointed his sword towards the class. "...And as all of these students are striving to learn. You are wise enough to recognize a lost fight. But are you humble enough to do what is right, what is best for you, even if you hate it?" Hijikata asked pointedly, fierce eyes seeing through Hideaki's youthful folly.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:04 pm

"You sure do make a lot of assumptions about my fundamentals" Hide began slowly pacing around the room, wooden training sword over his shoulders still his slow lazy strides making it obvious for the moment he had no intent to charge his opponent. "I know fundamentals just fine, I learned them in a place just like this with kids just like these" he shifted the sword from his shoulder and began to use it almost like a makeshift cane though putting very little weight on the training blade, he moved with a soft tap following his footsteps.

"A wise man once told me you don't try to outswim a shark, I think you're smart enough to figure out what that means but I'll play your dumb fucking game until I get bored I guess" he'd made his way back to the entrance of the dojo and made a point to make sure his sandals were still where he had left them seeing as he heard there was a thief around and he was never quite sure if that meant just him.

With a deep breath, Hide steadied his mind and rolled his shoulders, fixing his reversed grip back into a more traditional one he bent his knees slightly and gently bounced on the balls of his feet. Sucking in air rapidly through clenched teeth he released a small kiai as he began what in his mind was a fruitless assault on his opponent bringing his training sword down in a downwards arc towards his opponent's collarbone and neck.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:51 am

Hijikata said nothing in response to the boy’s retort, instead waiting for the attack that he sensed would inevitably come. Hiji smiled as his errant student assumed a traditional kendo stance. The boy had not been lying; his posture and stance weren’t terrible. He was definitely quite further ahead than most of his students, at least in regards to speed and strength. However, the neglect the core principles had endured showed.

Hiji blocked the strike from Hide, nodding before pushing the blow back, returning to a regular guard. ”Good! An excellent strike. You put too much force into it, though. Do not commit until you are certain you will land the blow. Remember: fundamentals, however basic, are a tool. They can be used for a variety of things. From gathering information on an opponent to defeating weaker enemies without expending unnecessary energy, they can still be powerful in their own right.”

This time taking the offensive, Hijikata sought to test Hide’s defenses. Starting with a snapping overhead strike to bring his guard up, he would follow the first strike with a gliding swipe across the abdomen. Hijikata would not go
Full strength, as it would be unreasonable to expect the boy to seriously compete at his current level. Instead, Hiji would put himself just slightly faster than the boy. He would be curious to see if he managed to parry both attacks.

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:02 am

Hide was less than surprised when his initial strike was rebuffed, he knew full well that this was just a test even if he hated being tested in front of the other students. Only half of the reason he wanted private lessons was that he thought he was better than them the other half was down to him half expecting someone else to join, he knew that the possibility of one of the other students jumping in was slim to none but that small voice in the back of his lizard brain wouldn't allow him to focus one hundred percent on Hiji.

The overhead strike not too dissimilar from the one Hide had thrown moments ago was met with an angled defence designed to deflect momentum rather than match strength, the downside, of course, was that it left Hide's midsection open. Knowing what was coming next Hide braced himself for a dull thwap on his midriff that no amount of flexing could deflect. Instead of pulling back Hide moved into the man's strike moving to bring his sword down aiming to trap the wrists and move into a headbutt, he had no doubt that even attempting this would get him another speech about fundamentals and traditional kendo but this was him seizing the chance to get at least one surprise hit on his soon-to-be teacher.
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:19 am

Hide’s ruse was partially successful. Hiji did not immediately realize the true purpose of the sliding guard, and he only realized that something was amiss when Hide didn’t aim a counterattack toward the obvious opening in Hiji’s guard. Hide’s head quickly swelled in his vision. A headbutt, he complimented mentally. One last hurrah to try and wound me. Not bad, young man. You have spirit, that’s for certain.

Hide would be rewarded with a glancing blow to Hiji’s jaw as the teacher leaned in and to the side to lessen the impact of the blow. Using a traditional circular instep, Hiji brought his leg behind Hide’s to sweep them out from under the young man. At the same moment, Hiji thrust forward and down, overwhelming Hide with brute strength as Hiji drove the boy roughly down into the ground with considerable force. The loud boom his body would make would echo through the dojo.

He’d not held back as much with that maneuver. More than likely, the boy would be winded. Pressing the tip of his wooden sword to the boy’s neck, he uttered a single word: ”Yield.”

Assuming he did, Hijikata would offer the boy a hand to bring him up to his feet. ”You did well, young one. Improvisation in combat is important. With a deeper knowledge of the fundamentals, you would have actually made full contact.”

The class applauded at the duel. It was short, but it seemed that Hide’s performance had further sparked interest. They cared little for the fact he lost; rather they were impressed he’d managed to land even a blow on their teacher, a feat they had not yet managed. ”Remember: fundamentals are a starting point, much like you’ve discovered already. By mastering them, you learn how and when to break them... preferably, without getting yourself killed.”

As the students filed out, Hijikata moved over into a small room with a hearth. Glowing embers sat at its center, and a kettle of boiling water sat hovering over them. Motioning to Hide to follow him, he would find two cushions sitting next to each other. Hiji would begin preparing what appeared to be tea. The earthy scents of cinnamon and honey wafted through the small quarters. ”Please, sit,” he offered, motioning towards the cushions.

Preparing the tea in silence, Hijikata poured two hot cups of tea, black tea laced with cinnamon and honey, providing a lasting warmth to help stave off the encroaching chill of the night. ”Every student has had the opportunity to divulge to me their story if they wish,” the teacher stated as he sat down after taking a sip. ”If you are to be my student, you deserve the same. You are by no means forced to do so, but if you feel you can trust me with it... I would like to hear it.”

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:13 am

Hitting Hiji was a victory in Hide's mind, sure he didn't knock out a bunch of teeth but he never thought he would and at the very least it'd get the man to stop prattling on about fundamentals for a few seconds, the was the hope at least until Hiji said those exact words while helping him to his feet a few minutes later.

"You got me, satisfied?" if he was still with those last folks he had no doubt the scary guy would've actually cut him to teach him a lesson so Hide was quietly pleased with the more tame approach that Hiji employed "Yup fundamentals, so you keep telling me so are you gonna train me or not?" he couldn't help but feel a little smug that even he did get his ass beat the other students thought he did well, Hide even went as far to offer a small nod here and there to the other students if they made eye contact as they filed out of the room.

Following Hiji to the next room, he was greeted with the earthy aromas of tea and cinnamon which were less Hide's speed but noticing the honey Hide was sure he could drown anything in honey and make it taste at least half decent. "You want my story? Hide's face contorted in obvious surprise "Most people don't give a shit about a thief unless they took something belonging to them". Slowly stirring in a rather large helping of honey into is tea Hide stared for a few seconds at the ripples, lost in thought and not meeting the man's gaze Hide began to mutter "I've been on the street for as long as I can remember, you learn quickly not to trust anyone or you end up dead even quicker" Hide sniffed back an errant tear as his mind wandered to the girl who became like a sister to him. With a few mouthfuls of tea, he continued "You gotta learn to hit hard or run fast, well I did one then the other and haven't stopped running since"

Getting up for a moment Hide wandered back towards the door to retrieve his sandals and blade before resuming his story and hastily drinking his tea, a few soft sniffles accompanied his departing footsteps but there were no tears when he returned "Anyway I spent some time in prison before some scary ass rogue shinobi broke me out and I've been wandering ever since, what about you? What's your deal?"
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:08 pm

Sure enough, it was not difficult to tell that there was a deep sense of grief and loss that served as the foundation for his mistrusting, almost flippant attitude. Something, or someone, had broken his faith in people. In his eyes, the only thing that had kept him alive up until that point was his own wits, grit, sleight of hand, and gilded tongue. Honesty, trust, companionship... to him, they were little more than deathtraps loosely disguised with pretty flowers and enticing perfumes. There was no judgement in Hijikata's gaze as the boy told his story, only an earnest desire to learn the truth. Though he knew there was plenty of his story that he wasn't sharing, Hijikata was grateful that he was willing to share anything at all. What he did give him would have to be enough, until the young man trusted him more.

The teacher's gaze threatened to falter at the mention of shinobi, but he maintained control, his emotions not visibly wavering in the slightest. Despite what had happened in Fire Country, his distaste for Shinobi was a difficult vice to rid himself of. He'd carried it for so long, and with good reason. The boy would not understand, not yet. Perhaps, in due time, if he stood the test of time, he'd be ready to hear. For now, he would simply offer the same explanation he did to other students. "I am from the Grass Country, young one," Hiji replied. "Though I am of peasant heritage, the sword has always been a constant in my life. Through its teachings, I learned many things that benefited me as a person, things that helped me become who I am today. It did not feel right that I should keep such a precious knowledge to myself. Thus, I travel from country to country to teach swordsmanship to those who would seek to learn it, so that they may better themselves both as warriors and as people."

Finishing his tea, Hijikata set his cup down. "Young man, swordsmanship is ultimately a way to kill. There's no hiding from that reality... but it is still more than such, as well. To live by the sword is to be disciplined, to be an honest and industrious worker... to treat others and yourself with the respect everyone deserves. It is not just an art of combat. It is a way of life... one that I believe can help others live better lives, if only they apply what it tries to teach them. That is why I am here. That is why I do what I do."
Last edited by ShinobiTruth on Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Envy
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:48 am

Hide arched his brow as the older man spoke, he felt a sense of innocence or at least that was the closest word he could think of. When Hide was first trained his master spoke of the same ideals, of bushido, of living by the blade and all of these were liberties that Hide at the time couldn't afford. Learning how to wield a weapon was the same to him as having a fortress, it meant security, it meant another tool in his arsenal that kept him safe and fed another day. Recently however Hide found himself softening, perhaps due to the illusion of safety he had being so far away from what he had considered at one time or another to be his home.

"My way of life with the blade has been a lot different from yours with the exception of being disciplined and industrious, it meant you could fend off the strong by being one of the smart, living by the blade meant being willing to be that weapon to fight off those who would take from you" Hide sighed looking down at his reflection in the bottom of a near-empty cup "I'd be honoured if you'd teach me, I'll listen to everything you have to say but I have serious doubts whether your ideals will rub off"
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:52 am

Hijikata looked knowingly on Hide as he explained what purpose the blade served for him. Though Hiji was blessed as to have never truly struggled, he'd met many who had. Life for many was messy, complicated, fraught with many inanities and plenty of strife. Hiji would not force Hide to reveal his full story, but he hoped that, in time, the young man would learn to trust him enough to divulge it willingly. "It must have been difficult, all these years," Hiji acknowledged. "I understand that I'm privileged to not fully understand your struggles... but I do know your story. I've met many other for whom simply surviving was a struggle. Principles, morality... they seem like fanciful stories and fairy tales the ignorant tell themselves to say they're better than everyone else."

He would not elaborate further on that point, leaving the boy to come to his own conclusions on his observation as he stood up and walked towards his traveling pack. "I will train you, young one. But that training starts here, with the other students. Though your swordplay is exceptional for your age, there are other things you can still learn here. I will have a keiko gi prepared for your arrival tomorrow. The class will begin at noon. As you may have seen when you arrived here, this is a town of agriculture. The students have obligations to tend to on their family's farms before coming here."

Hiji's hand vanished into the pack momentarily, only to reappear, clearly clenching something. He held out his hand, motioning for Hide to extend his. Opening his hand, Hide would be surprised to see several hundred Ryo fall into his grasp with soft clinking. "I imagine that you've had your own ways of tending to your hygiene, but having a proper bath in an onsen won't hurt, either," he offered. "The class will last for one week more. What I have given you is just enough to tend to your room and board at this town's inn for that time. I will not dictate how you spend this money; I simply admonish that you be wise with it."

If Hide quickly counted, he'd realize that he'd actually been given a bit more money than Hiji had stated. The man clearly didn't seem like the kind of person who would make that mistake. The samurai wore simple clothing and lived simply, no home to his name. Was it an oversight... or a test? Hide had to decide.

Before Hide could protest about the money, Hiji would cut the conversation short. "Now, I must dismiss you, as I must rest. But before you go, I will have your name, young one," Hiji stated. "It would stain my honor to not know the names of those entrusting themselves to my tutelage."

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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by Envy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:24 am

Hide let out a quiet sigh releasing what remained of the tension he felt with Hiji, that small acknowledgement went a long way the with young man, his life had been rough and Hide never brought that up for sympathy, in fact he tried to not bring up his past at all if he could help it but in this instance he needed Hiji to know and understand that not everyone was like him and thankfully Hide's soon-to-be teacher got it and with that got a small modicum of Hide's trust.

"Thanks, I won't let you down" Hide said with a lopsided smile, perhaps a small glimmer of hope shining through. Hiji seemed like a genuinely good person, or at least that was what Hide had decided in his head and good people seemed to make good marks, Hide would have to babysit his good intentions so that he wouldn't get taken advantage of. As the man's hand thrust forth releasing a bundle of coins towards Hide the young man stammered "I uh... Okay...Thanks". One thing Hide was good at was money and this was too much for what Hiji was talking about, Hide said nothing however this was the first order from his new Sensei so take the money he would and whatever was left over he'd give back at the end of the week, he'd probably still keep stealing the food, it just tasted better that way.

Hide turned to take his leave as he was being dismissed, making his way to the door he began to put on his sandals and reaffix his sword to his belt "Oh me? I'm Seishirou Hideaki but ever calls me Hide"
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Hiten's First Disciple

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:02 pm

Hijikata nodded. "Understood. Good night to you, Hideaki," the samurai offered as the young man left his graces. He listened carefully as Hide left the dojo. The samurai smirked. There was potential with this one... but only if Hideaki was willing to reaffirm some of the things he'd already disowned. The teacher lay down for the night as the hearth's embers slowly died down. Tomorrow would be a long day. He could feel it in his bones.
Hijikata opened his eyes a few minutes after sunrise. The conversation he'd had with the young man was fresh in his mind. Thus, after his simple breakfast of rice and grilled fish with water, Hijikata set out to the town's tailor, returning to his lodging at the dojo. From sunrise on, for approximately three hours, Hiji sat with needle and thread in hand, crafting the promised keiko gi for Hideaki and hakama. He would not tolerate one student not having the same provisions the rest of his students had. In his dojo, all were equal because all were students of the sword. Even his own position as teacher was not permanent. Some of these young ones he taught could grow to become just as skilled swordsman as he was, if not even more skilled.

Setting the now completed outfit aside for his newest student, Hideaki spend the next hour practicing his own swordplay, the doors of the dojo closed as he did so. Early in his career, he'd had one particularly ferocious opponent who'd spent time studying his style for over a week, attempting to seek glory for himself by trying to cut him down in front of his students and seize the dojo for himself. That had been a tough battle, one he had a couple of scars to show for it. Hiten was advancing nicely, at a slow pace, but he knew that he needed more influences to build a superlative sword all his own. Once this week was over, he would teach at one more school before traveling to learn of a new style of swordsmanship. Hide could also not see this, not yet. This week was to be a series of tests to verify the boy's determination to learn from him. Would they part ways? Or would Hide travel with him? Hiji would let time reveal that answer.

Taking a small bath after his training (the dojo had its own private bath for the teacher's use), Hiji donned his own keiko gi and, setting the pillow down at the front of the class, opened the doors to the dojo before going to sit on the pillow. Taking a small table and a lacquered piece of wood, Hiji would take the brush and ink to the wood, painting Hide's name on the placard before hanging it up with the rest of the student's names on the walls. The last of his preparatory work completed, Hijikata meditated as he waited for his students to arrive.

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