Description: Kazuki puts the Gedo High Dojo through its paces, while Miko learns more about the quiet prodigy's chi capabilities.
The Gedo High Dojo. Until about two days ago, Kazuki Kirigana did not even know that this part of the school existed. After he had fought Hinata Wakaba, and lost a hard fight, someone had pointed him to this part of the school. When he hasn't been in class, or doing those things that a growing young man requires to live, Kazuki has been here. Doing the one thing that his parents had a hard time managing to get him to do for over a decade.
Kazuki Kirigana is training. Not only is he training, but he is training against as wide a variety of fighting styles as he can find in this school. He is training like a man possessed, even if he is (somewhat) taking care of himself while he is doing it.
His current training appears to be a long, complex series of katas. He does these with an intensity that would suggest that one would be wise to give him plenty of room while he works, lest they be thrown. Or punched. Or kicked. Or quite possibly all three.
Miko Kobayashi did not exactly -need- to be in Gedo, per se, but some things just need to be carried out in person. Like observation -- technically, any of her many hirelings could be assigned to report on the goings-on here. But none would give her the precise sort of information that she's after, the intangible /je ne sais quoi/ that can only be experienced in person by a skilled psychic.
Which is why she's here now. She'd been looking to talk specifically to Kazuki, concerned on his behalf after an exciting match with Hinata Wakaba. And after talking with others, she'd learned he was here. Excellent.
Miko leaves her overcoat at the door. No one dares mess with it. She stands with her arms behind her back, stepping forward to quietly observe Kazuki from a safe, non-confrontational distance. Merely watching, for now, a faint smile on her face as she recognizes hallmarks of the different styles he's attempting.
Kazuki continues his katas, concentration clear on his face. He is... intense would be an excellent word to describe. Moreso than any other time Miko has seen the young man, outside of the fight at Taiyo.
The other notable thing might be that Kazuki is once again not wearing the headphones. He snaps out a pair of sharp punches, and a pair of practice dummies on the other side of the room wobble from a sudden breeze that sweeps through the room.
Miko recognized the motions as having some grounding in aikido, with Kazuki's own unique spin on things. Unpredictability and adaptability are valuable tactics in fights, and while it may seem counterproductive to repeat a sequence of motions to increase one's unpredictability, it actually makes a lot of sense, given the proper kata to practice.
Miko had... started to feel she should say something to announce her presence. But she also recalls that Kazuki had noted her arrival during his fight with Hinata, even without having any reason to look her way. He can obviously sense... something.
And then practice dummies flutter from a sudden breeze. A breeze which Miko cannot feel at all -- a breeze unmarred by the rise and fall of his intense focus.
This gives her some pause. But she always had been able to tell his strength wasn't the same as her strength, all along.
Another of the students finishes up his routine, and waves to the young woman. "Oh, hey Miko," he calls out, as he walks past.
Miko returns the greeting with a smile and a small wave of her hand. They'd never met before, oddly.
Perhaps it is the /actual conversation/ that does it; people simply coming and going had not caught the aikidoka's attention. Or perhaps it's the conversation and the name. Hard to tell what triggers the reaction.
Kazuki blinks twice, and lets out a breath as he watches the training dummies settle after the twin burst of air. He grabs a towel, and starts wiping the sweat off of his brow to keep it out of his eyes when he finally /sees/ Miko. This draws a thoughtful frown from the young man. When did she... He thinks back quickly, going back over the sounds and songs he heard in the past couple of minutes.
He looks a bit chagrined as he makes his way over towards Miko. She happens to be standing by his lunch box; the young man is thirsty.
"Good afternoon, Kobayashi-sempai," he says, the almost trademark good manners back in place.
Sometimes, Miko likes disappearing into a crowd, becoming one with the scattered conversations and conflicting intentions going every which way. Others, she feels like compelling a complete stranger into saying something they couldn't have possibly said without her interference. Miko is kind of fickle, that way.
At any rate, she broke his focus, his concentration. Whether he knows that is a completely different story. She does notice him searching for the origin of the voice, sifting through the chaff just to find her. The chagrined look may be out of place for him, but the emotional response he's -not- showing is a welcome feeling for the psychic. "Good afternoon, Kazuki," she answers, carefully meting out the excitement. Which is to say, it's just enough pleasantness to be a welcome improvement over 'completely neutral.'
"How..." She glances back at him, realizes she's near his lunchbox, and steps aside. Resuming, she tilts her head with a smile. "How are you feeling? You seem like you've recovered from your fight, mm?"
Kazuki hunkers down in front of the box, pulling out one, then two bottles of water. He pops the top off of one, then offers the other to Miko. He winces a bit when he stands back up, something hitching in his flank in protest, through whether that is from the fight or the training may be hard to determine at this point.
"I've recovered enough," he says, polite, and without any kind of rancor in his voice or mindset. "Still a bit tired, a bit sore," he sighs, "But I haven't worked myself that hard in almost ever," he admits. "Other than that spar with Kazama-sempai. He took everything I had just to try and keep up." The implication there being that he didn't feel like he did. Then again, this /is/ Daigo he is talking about.
"How are you doing today?"
Miko takes careful note of the pain points that are becoming obvious, but doesn't really see any socially appropriate way to act on that information. Readily accepting the bottle and bowing her head in thanks, she adds "Fights do take a lot out of a person. Elevated heartbeat, physical exertions, the unpredictable natures of your opponents, the addled, intoxicated state that your brain gets into..." She offers a shrug, not really feeling the need to restate the obvious: both she and he clearly know a -little- about fighting, after all.
"I'm doing fine. A little curious, though." Popping the cap, she takes a sip of the water. "... I didn't... mess up your fight, did I?"
Kazuki takes a long pull from his bottle as he considers the question. "If you did," he finally says, "It's not something I am prepared to hold against you. If anything, it's my fault for letting myself get distracted." He grins a bit.
"Though, I'd have to admit," he says. "The fight might have been a bit more boring." He shrugs. "I... might have tried to show off a bit after I noticed you." He shakes his head, a playful grin on his face, "Not sure what I was thinking."
Miko raises an eyebrow back at Kazuki as he speaks. Shee notices the grin. She notices the disdain for the fight pacing. But most of all, she notices the sense of bravado present in many of the Gedo students, taking hold. The need to not only -win- the fight, but insist on looking cool doing it.
And, in her mind, that's a shortcoming: she frowns.
"You weren't thinking. If you did that in a real fight, to try and defend the helpless maiden, or to show off for a fan... you'd lose. And possibly die."
But, she considers, that was a harsh thing for her to say to Kazuki. And the corner of her lip perks up, just a hair. "... Even if it is sweet of you, somehow. I am sorry to have distracted you."
At this, Kazuki turns to face Miko squarely. "Like I said," he says firmly. It's not bluster, or bravado. "If there is fault to be assigned in this, it is mine." Kazuki blinks once, slowly. "I lost my focus. You didn't take it from me."
He tilts his head to one side, "But thank you for worrying about me."
Miko knows it wasn't full-on bicep-flexing and trash-talking. But when you're attuned to listen to people's emotional states, even the slightest whisper of an emotion boiling over can be a deafening roar to those with the proper senses. Perhaps, in trying to nip this particular habit in the bud, she overreacted. Perhaps Kirigana is getting to her after all.
She started to look down, but then Kazuki looked her square in the eyes. Tilting her chin up to address him, she chews her lower lip. In this case, she's okay with communicating her true feelings. More... honest that way.
"... Yeah. Was worried, that's all I guess."
It's a special form of conceit -- the need to feel like she's an active role in -everyone's- life. The need to feel that they'll notice if she weren't there.
Pause. "But your focus seems... stronger today," she acknowledges.
Kazuki grins a bit at this. "Well, that's why you train. To improve, right?" He shrugs. "It... might be the surroundings, too," he says quietly. "This... almost feels like home. It's... comfortable here, I guess."
Miko seems pleased that Kirigana is smiling more, in general. She takes another sip of her water. "Probably. I was actually a little upset that they allowed such a strong home-school advantage for a competition based around -competing schools-. Ridiculous." Beat. "Also, Taiyo students are terrible at throwing punches. Did you know one dumbass actually tried to punch me with his second knuckles instead of his third? Happy shiny tree huggers." She offers a faint laugh to punctuate her joking mood.
"You mentioned music, the first night we met. Do you keep a... soundtrack in mind when you fight, or anything like it?"
Kazuki swallows, thinking for a moment. "This..." he says cautiously, "Is going to be one of those things that is tricky to understand. I know it's hard for me to explain." He thinks for a moment.
"Do you know anything about chi," he finally asks.
Miko knows of it. She knows some things. She knows it -hurts-. So she doesn't lie when her head shakes in the negative.
"Not much, sorry."
Kazuki takes a deep breath, "Simply put, it is the energy common in everything that lives. Grass, fish, birds, people. Everything that lives and dies has, to some extent, this energy." He pauses for a moment to let that sink in before continuing.
"People who are trained to fight, to the degree that people refer to them as fighters, can tap into those energies to do certain things. They can use it to run faster, jumper higher and farther, for bursts of strength, or to shrug off injury. And those are just some of the internal uses for it."
"As they learn to manipulate that energy they can, sometimes, learn how to use it outside of themselves. Bursts of flame, gusts of wind, bolts of lightning, that kind of stuff. Some people, like Wakaba-san, can use it as pure energy. I... haven't figured that one out yet."
Everything that lives and dies has this energy. This much is... reflective of the power that she knows as well -- the one that Kazuki -didn't- notice her exercising a few moments ago.
Miko sips her water while listening to Kazuki's instruction. "... So that's how people make balls of flame shoot out. How you made the training dummies wobble around like drunks." She nods appraisingly. "I guess what I'm after is... how do you -sense- this? Do you have any way of knowing if someone's using making, say, a 'chi' fireball, or if they just have lighters in their sleeves? Does it -feel- any different to you?"
"That's where it gets hard to explain. Anyone who uses it knows what it feels like. They sense it because they /have/ to be able to sense it in some way in order to work with it at all," he says. "I... don't know how it is with other people, but I /hear/ it. I can hear the movements of chi and I understand, usually, how that translates into balls of fire or bolts of lightning. And it's different, on small but important levels, from life form to life form."
"People sound like songs," he murmurs. "And every one is different from any other." He blushes a little bit at this.
"Hmm, I see." Miko had known about there being at -least- two competing forms of energy. In fact... her stage persona =relies= on people thinking her attacks are based on chi. But she'd never gotten a full explanation as to what makes chi... chi. Until now.
And the 'hearing' thing is a good analogue to how she can sense what people are feeling, as they feel it.
The blush, for instance. She doesn't need to see it to know what caused it.
She smiles back, tilting her chin down just so.
"Well, then. I guess if I can't sense it, I'll just need someone to hit me with it till I do."
She does not forget to offer a short laugh afterward.
That gets a start out of Kazuki. He regards her carefully. "I..." He frowns a bit. "I'm not sure if you want me for that," he finally says. "I understand it, but I'm... not that good at actually /using/ it."
"Oh. Well, you said you hadn't figured it out yet. Maybe you should try it? Always useful to have an attack no one can see coming."
She realizes that this might pose... difficulty to her later, but that's the trick with responding to people's thoughts -- these sorts of things generally work better if they're ideas -they- came up with, after all.
"Mm. Songs, though, hm. If you had to pick a band that sounded like me, which band would it be?" A trick question, right up there with 'does this make me look fat?' Yeah... that might be a little rough, and she knows it. Waving off the statement dismissively, she explains, "... Eh, that's not meant to be a serious question, just get back to me later on that, I guess!"
[OOC] Honoka | Kazuki comes back to Miko. "Kobayashi-sempai! I... I found the song that sounds just like you.' Miko, cheeks turning a fair shade of pink, looks up at Kazuki, "Oh? What is it, Kazuki-kun?" Kazuki looks back, smiling broadly. "It is a song called 'What does the fox say.'" -- JAPAN EXPLODES
"I..." Kazuki is flummoxed for a moment. It may not /exactly/ be like 'does this make me look fat,' but it is dangerously close. "I'd have to think on it anyway," he admits, blushing a little more as he scratches the tip of his nose.
Blushing -- Miko never really gets tired of triggering that kind of response. Still... she's treading in dangerous territory, not wanting the boy to grow used to her charm, lest the time ever come when she might need to inluence him.
"Mmm, maybe? But... perhaps it will come to you."
She sips her water once more, then glances back over to the practice dummies. And realizes it's been a bit.
"... Oh, hey. I guess I'm dragging your break out overly long. Heh, I'm sorry, I keep distracting you, don't I?" She folds her hands behind her back, hiding the water bottle from view. "Don't mind me, okay? I learn just about as much watching you go through stuff as I do from words, really."
Kazuki grins. "It's fine," he says. "I haven't totally cooled down." Was that.. Kazuki poking some fun at Miko? He sets the towel and the depleted bottle of water by his lunch box, and makes his way back onto the floor. He takes about ten seconds to stretch out again, before starting out with a slow, graceful series of movements that Miko might recognize as various blocking techniques coupled with counter-strikes. He then flows into simple punches and kicks, slowly picking up speed as he does so. He doesn't so much as cast a glance at Miko, resolutely focused on the task in front of him: the next movement in the sequence.
Log created on 13:57:03 12/21/2014 by Honoka, and last modified on 08:26:19 12/27/2014.