Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 7/10/2017 A blood red summer has come. As the Edo Bugei students finish facing off with the ikko forces all across the nation a massive steel ship floats towards Edo Harbor. The final battle between the Ikko Ikki rebels and the Edo Bugei students is about to begin. The lingering question now, just how much of Edo will be left standing once the battle ends?

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 Special Class: Spear Combat 101
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Jan 3 2017, 03:57 PM
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Nabeshima Hideaki gave a low sigh as he walked into Edo Bugei's underground combat arena. It was still fairly early in the morning but he had turned the arena lights to full brightness. The dirt floor of the arena giving off dust as he moved across it from one end to the other. The artillery teacher currently had four spears in hand as he placed three of them evenly spaced apart on the ground in front of him, holding the fourth with one hand while he balanced on it. The words from last night still stuck in his head as his hand tightened on the weapon a bit.

"I have a meeting to attend to at Edo Castle. I would like for you to teach the spear training class tomorrow morning in my place. You could use some more practice as a teacher anyway." Yagyu-sensei had been such a cold bastard even though he had pretty much asked for a favor. Worse yet as Hideaki thought about Yagyu-sensei's words it wasn't like he could go back upstairs and have a smoke. It was generally frowned upon to smoke in front of the students.

Using his free hand he pulled a stick of gum out of his pocket, unwrapped it, and threw the gum into his mouth. It was a dark green menthol gum meant to hold him over for a bit. Now all he had to do was wait for the students to arrive and report in. It wouldn't be a long class, but it was definitely going to teach them a few things.

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Shoy
 Posted: Jan 4 2017, 09:17 PM
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Mirai pulled her hair into a bun, fastening it with pins and a hair elastic. She moved her head up and down and from side to side to check that it wouldn’t come loose with movement. It had to be able to stay in place even with vigorous movement; she might not have known yet exactly what it would be like to wield a spear, but if it was anything at all like kendo or using her katana it would still be quite physical and require a fair bit of moving around.

After changing into her gym uniform, Mirai chucked a small towel and a bottle of water into a bag and slung the carry strap over her shoulder. She slipped out of the dorm and headed for the training area. She was excited to be on her way; getting to try out a new weapon sounded like it would be fun. She wound her way through the school's corridors, which this time of the morning - while not empty - were quieter than in the afternoons.

Once she'd reached the training arena, Mirai spotted a man - the teacher - inside, holding a spear, with a few more spears laid out in front of him on the dirt floor. "Hello, Sensei," she said, approaching him and bowing. “Okada Mirai, reporting in.”

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Alida
 Posted: Jan 5 2017, 02:07 AM
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Suishoku downed a can of coffee milk with her school duffel bag in tow from the girl's changing room to the training area. It rested underground and oddly enough, had the least amount of damage and renovation needed last summer besides knocking loose dust from the ceiling. Funny enough that the school took extra measures in building this particular room with Scion abilities in mind.

Taking this class, although outside of her already odd weapon use, felt to be more beneficial when thinking of the likely hood of being without her whip. An odd sturdy stick would be easier to get a hold of than an odd rope conveniently laying around. This thought has followed her since first year in attempting other outlets but what happened between then and now wasn't a luxury due to the course of events that happened throughout the year.

She set her things down and quickly tied up her hair into a high ponytail, and hid the empty coffee can away upon strolling to the sparring area where Mirai of all people was there. She raised a brow at this turn of events but smiled and greeted them while joining in role call. "Yuubae Suishoku present sir, Nabeshima-sensei," she spoke to the new artillery teacher out of familiarity of the two rival clubs.

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Darkhawkin
 Posted: Jan 7 2017, 07:59 PM
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To some his decision to not devout himself to mastering his swords but rather ‘mutter’ his style by learning a form of another weapon. What these purists failed to understand was that by learning another weapon or style one can better learn to combat it, after all was there not saying about knowing the enemy to know oneself or something. It really didn’t matter in the end for it wasn’t like anyone could stop him and besides was it not the role of the student to learn.

Jun had to admit it felt weird not having his sword on him, just out of seer convince he normally carried some sort of weapon with him, thinking on it he figured if ever a hand to hand course was offered that he best take it. His training in that field was sorely lacking, yet that would be another day for today it was about spears.

As he arrived at the arena he noticed that besides the instructor which oddly enough was Nabeshima Hideaki, he assumed there was a reason for that, two other students had arrived before him. Joining the other he simple said, “Sensei,” to not only acknowledge Nabeshima but to also show his readiness.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Jan 7 2017, 11:58 PM
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Hideaki waited patiently as the students shuffled in one by one. First to come in was a small, cheerful girl. She had her hair up and her gym uniform on. She had a very enthusiastic introduction and greeting. In response the Sensei nodded politely and pointed to one of the spears on the ground. Next came Suishoku who politely introduced herself. Again the teacher politely nodded and pointed to one of the spears on the ground. Finally Tokugawa Jun came and was directed towards the last spear as Hideaki picked up his own. He carefully balanced the weapon in the middle of his hand for a moment. The wooden spears had long steel blades at the end. They had been made of a dark wood and seemed light but sturdy. With all three students assembled the teacher began.

"Welcome to spear training. Yagyu-sensei's at Edo Castle. The spear is the most basic weapon a person can make." he said as he twirled the weapon a bit.
"A long, sharp stick. a stick with a sharp rock at the end, even just a long sliced bamboo shoot. Spears are the most basic weapon humans made next to slings for throwing rocks." the teacher then planted his foot and quickly did a double thrust into the air. One aimed at the likely mid-section of an enemy and another at where an enemy's head would likely be.
"Pick up your spears and spread out from each other. Lightly hold it, move around with the spear extended in front of you. Get a feel for the weapon in your hand. A spear has a basic premise, defense. Stab, pull back. Stab, keep plenty of distance between the enemy and yourself. Some spears are meant to be thrown, these aren't those." he said with a bit of aggression in his eyes, making it clear that he wouldn't tolerate anyone throwing the weapons.
"Have any of you used a spear before?"

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Shoy
 Posted: Jan 12 2017, 12:00 AM
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Mirai went to stand beside the spear that the teacher pointed to after she’d greeted him. Her lips parted slightly in surprise as she saw Suishoku enter. She knew that she was a medical student so it seemed a bit odd for her be at a spear training class, but then again, it wasn’t really like Mirai herself was likely to be using a spear frequently either. But whatever the reason she was there, it was an amusing coincidence to see her here, and Mirai gave her a little wave as Suishoku greeted the teacher. A boy she didn’t recognise was the last to arrive, and she smiled at him in the hopes of appearing friendly.

The teacher began to talk. Mirai found it interesting that the teacher would point out how basic of a weapon the spear was; it wasn’t something she’d really thought about before.

She watched him as he thrust the spear, trying to take note of how he thrust the spear so she could mimic it later herself if she was asked to. On the teacher’s prompting, Mirai picked up the spear and shifted away from the others a little.

It felt strange to lift it. It was different from anything she was used to wielding; its shape and balance felt awkward simply because she was used to a katana or a kendo shinai. And even though she’d only just seen Nabeshima-sensei give a couple of example thrusts, exactly how he’d held it had escaped her mind; she'd been looking more at where he was aiming and how he'd held his body than his hands on the spear, and besides, he'd moved pretty quickly anyway and it was hard to take in all the details when he was moving fast. Were his hands close together on the shaft of the spear? Were they spread out more? Mirai tried both and it felt better balanced if there was a little bit of distance between her hands. She adjusted her footing, putting her a feet roughly a shoulder's width apart and with one further forward than the other, and tried to thrust the weapon a couple of times, moving it slowly. After trying this a few times, changing her grip or how far she thrust each time to try to get a better feel for the weapon, she noticed that it felt easier to control - and could have a longer thrust - if she kept her hands closer to the end of the shaft.

"Have any of you used a spear before?" Nabeshima-sensei asked.

Mirai shook her head at the question. “No, I haven’t.”

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Darkhawkin
 Posted: Jan 12 2017, 06:22 PM
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Jun was glad to hear that they’d jump into the right of things, after all to many of the instructors preferred to lecture about theories instead of actual instruction. Doing as instructed Jun grabbed his spear and moved away from his feel students, the spear itself was simple and light much lighter then his own weapon. Jun made a mental note of this in addition to reminding himself the limited spear training he had.

“I have limited training experience but not much more.”
Yet that training was years ago back when he was ‘discovering’ his weapon arts and style. The information slowly flowed back to Jun, using only his right hand he gripped the spear lightly. He was testing it to fell out its balance and find the equilibrium point, once he knew this the rest was simple. Left around the middle and right near the back, he then did some practice thrusts and made some final adjustments to his grip. Once he was satisfied he simple waited in stance for the next set of instructions.

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Alida
 Posted: Jan 15 2017, 03:18 PM
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Suishoku returned the wave to Mirai before starting to try focusing on what the day's lesson had in store. Their new teacher went over the basics of what would amount to a spear item and then made extra note that this wasn't some javelin. Throwing today's practice items would be ill advised to do so as the look the teacher gave everyone was threatening enough.

She nodded a greeting to the newest of faces to the class before taking up her spear and finding her own little space from the others to find a level of balance with it. The weight of it felt familiar to the early sparring training in her first year and picking up a random stick for self defense. This wasn't a whip, however, so using both arms took some measure of getting used to. The spear itself felt smooth as her hands slid along the shaft to find a better grip when the placement felt too far or too close. Suishoku tried to envision how Nobu would handle that even if his weapon is slightly different in blade placement.

"Just some minor introductions in first year but not much real practice outside of that," she too answered in roughly accounts with Jun's testament. She swung her training spear downward and tried a thrust while shifting her feet placement to be less stiff and keeping her center lowered. Just because this wasn't her main weapon of choice, Suishoku wanted to learn a bit more outside of that.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Jan 19 2017, 11:49 PM
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The sensei watched carefully as the students practiced a bit with the weapons. The beauty of the spear was that it wasn't particularly difficult to figure out how to use. It was a simple twirl or stabbing motion. No matter what the idea of a spear was simple.
"The basics of a spear are simple. Thrust, retreat. Thrust, move forward." and with that he demonstrated stabbing then moving into the space he he just thrusted into.
"Don't move then stab. Thrust forward, and move into the opening. Stab to force the enemy away, then move back." and with that he demonstrated stabbing twice then moving.
"Spears are low weight, so they don't take a lot of energy when you get the grips down. Keep one hand at the back, and one hand near the middle of the spear." With that the teacher went over and clicked a few switches on the wall. Three human shaped dolls rose from the ground.

"I want you three to practice on these dolls. Stab once, fall back. Stab forward twice, move forward." the idea was simple enough, at least in the teacher's mind. Then he suddenly grabbed the middle of the spear with one hand, rested the back of the spear against the small of his back, and did a quick twirl, slamming the side of the spear head into the temple of the doll in front of Suishoku before completing the spin and going back to his previous middle and back spear grip.
"Once you feel you have basic thrusts down, try that spin trick. bottom part of the spar against your back, use your legs and hips to spin." then he did the same attack counterclockwise as a follow up.
"Also, introduce yourselves to each other. Name, grade, track."

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Shoy
 Posted: Jan 22 2017, 09:34 PM
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Mirai paused her practice with the spear to listen to Nabeshima-sensei’s instructions. Thrust, then move, he said. That didn’t sound too hard, and seeing as he gave a demonstration as well it was easy for Mirai to wrap her head around it. Stab to force the enemy away, then move back. That made sense.

She adjusted her grip on the spear slightly as per the teacher’s directions. Before, her hand that was supposed to be near the middle had been a little too far to the back.

And then the teacher raised up the three training dummies. “I want you three to practice on these dolls,” he said. “Stab once, fall back. Stab forward twice, move forward.” Mirai frowned in concentration, trying to commit the attack pattern to memory.

Nabeshima-sensei demonstrated a different kind of attack, one that involved a spin.“Woah,” Mirai whispered. She itched to try it out herself. Though he’d asked the students to get the basic thrusts down first, so she’d have to practice those on the dummy before she attempted the spin.

He asked the students to introduce themselves; seeing as she and Suishoku had met before, she faced the boy student as she introduced herself. “I’m Okada Mirai. I’m a first year and I still haven't decided on a track. It’s nice to meet you.” She bowed at the end.

Once the introductions finished, Mirai would take up her position in front of one of the dolls. She would check her hold on the spear before stabbing it towards the dummy, hitting the side of the torso with a satisfying thunk. Keeping back from the doll, she stabbed a couple more times before trying to step forward after the final stab. She repeated this a few times, working up a bit of a sweat in the process. But she was starting to get a feel for the weapon, so she tried to remember how the teacher had done that spinning attack. Holding the spear one-handed, she raised it so the end of the weapon lightly touched her back. Breathing deeply, she spun; she didn’t feel any impact resonating through the shaft of the spear, though. She’d aimed too high and the spear tip had gone right over the head of the doll. Sighing, she readied herself to try again.

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Alida
 Posted: Jan 23 2017, 05:57 PM
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Her hands shifted to a more fitting grip while taking the advice to heart. Rather than thinking she was attacking some invisible enemy, the movements had her thinking about creating space for herself to move into. This opened up the a few ideas but without a good grip would these ideas be a waste and the spear would go flying out of her hands but not too tightly. Suishoku shifted her leading hand to the underside of the spear and tried a few trusts and stepping forward and back to try gathering what a movement would feel.

The next step came a bit more daring as she leaned her upper body back a bit as the teacher lobbed off the head of a training dummy impressively. "Wow." Her first thoughts were of amazing till quickly realizing and wondering if they should have some head gear protection by now. Hideaki seemed to have skills in other areas then than just being the rifle instructor. She thought to get a bit more practice in till he suggested the introduce themselves a bit more. Mirai went on ahead first while Suishoku held her spear upright to do a quick bow to the other male of their training group. "Yuubae Suishoku, medical track and erm, 3rd year." The girl hoped to avoid unwanted expectations to claim being an Elite year in front of Mirai and before the Jun. The teacher may know but she prayed to not get singled out for it. "Hope to train well with you all."

After saying this, Suishoku hoped to continue the basic thrusts against the dummy. She didn't want to try the spinning move just yet as she wanted to focus on the foot working and thrusts first. Forward, back, forward two thrusts and a step forward. Since the training dummy is a rooted figure that Suishoku practiced more on this closer distance proximity to avoid just running into her opponent by accident.

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Darkhawkin
 Posted: Jan 29 2017, 04:13 PM
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Jun watched the simple demonstration and promptly began to replicate it. The steps were simple enough and it didn’t take long for him to get the rhyme down. So the next step was attempting the spin attack, this however would prove to be a bit more difficult. But before Jun was even able to make an attempt he had to introduce himself to both Okada and Yuubae and since both girls had faced towards him during their introduction odds where they knew each other. He too turned to face the girls and introduced himself.
“Tokugawa Jun, Third year, Bushi track.” It came off slightly militaristic, like a solider giving off name and rank but then that’s just how he handled himself. Unlike the rest of this family he preferred to not stand on ceremony and simple get things done.

Now that that was out of the way Jun returned to the exercise, felling that he got the first but down he wanted to get the spin down. the principle was simple and by its self the twirl was easy. The trouble came when one incorporated it into one fluid motion, trick was shifting position without losing momentum. Now while it may have appeared to all be about the spears position and arm moment, it was truly all about footing and positioning. It was akin to dancing, just follow the steps and over time the pace will quicken. Following this principle Jun stared taking it slow and with every success he increased the tempo and with every failure he slow just a bit. It did take long before Jun felt that he was getting the hang of it. It wasn’t completely fluid motion but that would come in time.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Feb 4 2017, 04:25 PM
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The teacher twirled his spear around a bit using his hand as he watched the students introduce themselves to each other. This teaching thing wasn't as difficult as he expected it to be. Sure it was spears and not really his normal thing but it still wasn't that bad. After all the spear was a basic weapon so he just had to teach them a few basic moves, right? Watching the students try the twirling attack he nodded a bit as he gazed away from the training doll and at the students.

"I'm sure you've learned this from basic combat practice, but combat isn't done with the arms. Well, melee anyway." he thought of using a gun and realize that even that still had hip movements involved.
"If you want to master combat. Master swinging your hips. When you slash downwards using a sword, turn your hips to give more strength. When you twirl a spear, or even stab forward, move your hips forward as well. Legs are for stabilizing, so don't think you need to keep your hips straight and stiff. Devote your body to the attack." he explained before quickly thrusting his spear into the air. As he did he turned and extended his body a bit. His weight, and his body, both moved away from his center of gravity and forward into the spear thrust. Anyone would see that it left him a lot more vulnerable, but the additional speed and attack power behind the stab would have made it seem worth it to the more combat focused of the the students.
"Don't just casually leave yourself open like that, unless you are sure you can land the strike." the instructor said as a final word of warning to the students.

Stepping a bit closer to a doll he did the twirl attack then looked at the students as a way of telling them to watch carefully. He twisted his hips as he did the movement, making it a clear a lot of power and speed from it came not from his arms but the turning of his hips and the rest of the body with it.
"Now I want you all to try something. I want you to run through two attack combinations. Your hips will probably ache, but trust me, it is worth it." Holding up his finger to show a 1 the teach performed the first combo.

It was three stabs. The first stab was at the feet, the second at the head, and the third at the feet again.
"A spear is a pinpoint attack weapon, like an arrow. While aiming for center of mass is the best idea, if you really want to put an enemy on the defensive aim for things they can't do without. Such s the head or the feet. Keep them guessing and guarding." he explained as he did it again, leaning forward and putting his weight into the three quick stabs before pulling his spear back and holding up two fingers up this time.

The teacher got closer to the doll, and did a quick twirl before stepping back and stabbing twice at the doll's chest.
"This is a more defensive move. I'm showing you twirl attacks but don't get overly into using them. When using a twirl remember, just the tip of the spear is suppose to cut the enemy. If you hit them with the shaft they can grab the shaft, pull you forward, and murder you. Now you three try."

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Shoy
 Posted: Feb 8 2017, 05:25 PM
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Mirai didn’t let her smile falter as Suishoku and Tokugawa-san introduced themselves, but it was hard to stop herself from gawking. Tokugawa? This guy is a Tokugawa? A cold feeling crept up her spine; she simply hadn’t expected to meet a Tokugawa this morning. She felt uncertain if it meant she was supposed to treat him differently, but no-one had admonished her so far so she guessed she should just keep going along as she had been. Besides, something that Suishoku had told her that time they’d met when she was looking for the shrine came back to her: she couldn’t remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of not making a fuss about social standing unless the other person made a fuss fist. So make a fuss she wouldn't.

She nodded as the teacher talked about using the whole body when wielding a weapon. It was a principle she was familiar with from both kendo and training with her katana and wakizashi. It was simple fact of any physical activity she could think of that you would be more efficient and and more powerful if the entire body was being used, and Mirai knew that. Seeing him demonstrate exactly what that involved when a spear was being used was helpful for her to get the motion straight in her mind, though.

Next Nabeshima-sensei demonstrated a combo attack that involved three stabs, from the feet to the head and then to the feet again. Listening to him talk about the possible uses of such an attack, Mirai closed her eyes and imagined using that combination on a real person, and she could almost see them dancing away in attempt to escape with their extremities intact as the point of the spear was thrust at their toes. Especially if they weren’t expecting it it could work very well as a way to put them on the defensive, just like the teacher said.

The second one he showed them was a combination of the spin attack he’d shown them and a couple of quick stabs. Shouldn't be too difficult, as long as she could get that twirl downpat.

Breathing deeply, she gripped the spear properly - she’d slackened her grip and rested the spear as she watched Nabeshima-sensei’s demonstrations - and got ready in front of the doll. Mirai thrust the spear towards the doll’s feet, turning her hip inward as she did, trying to get the full force of her weight into the strike. She followed it up with the strike to the head and to the feet again. She repeated the combination several times, gradually increasing the speed of the stabs. It worked up quite a sweat, but it was immensely satisfying to her to have done.

Mirai wiped her forehead on her sleeve and prepared to try the second combo attack. This one would be more difficult to get right as she hadn't yet been able to figure out the spin attack; comparatively the stabs had been quite simple. She tried the twirl attack again, this time going through the movement slowly. Biting her lip in concentration, she carefully lined up her spear, testing what level would hit the dummy’s temple, then set the spear in position for the twirl. Still moving slowly, she twisted, keeping her eye on the doll the whole time, and the tip of her spear touched the dummy's cheek as gently as a bee softly landing on a flower. She turned back and repeated the whole process a few times, trying to get a feel for the aim.

Then, even though she was still going slowly with the twirl, she added in the two quick stabs afterwards. It was all a little clumsy, switching from the slow spin to the fast stabs, but that was something she’d have to correct with practice.

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Alida
 Posted: Feb 9 2017, 12:22 AM
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The male being a Tokugawa looked the exact opposite of Kenji be first impressions alone. Where Kenji was eager to involve himself and have at least a guard or two within eye sight, Jun here was more frank as she was at an earlier time to keep titles down to an out of sight and mind. From the way he greeted did Suishoku nearly glossed over the family name a bit too quickly for it to register. But she hasn't seen Kenji for awhile either which had her wondering if the two men meet or avoid each other since. With class carrying on either way, it brought relief that their teacher didn't point out Jun's family name nor her recent promotion to Elite.

Today's lesson plan took a step up as it seemed as though their teacher saw more potential and wanted to move past the covered basic movement of footwork to a more proactive approach. Suishoku tried to mimic how the man wielded the body of the spear during his speech and demonstration. Not just the arms were needed in all this but the body too. She wondered if further combat demanded more flexibility than usual training as she shifted her weight and moved her hips at a basic lunge thrust at the air while keeping the instructor in view.

Perhaps they should have done a few more stretching exercises before starting into it but what's past is past. The biggest reminder her head so often in first year was to never leave yourself exposed for long during a hit or miss. Retract or move forward. Even if there is a sure hit, there could be other opponents that would take advantage of any open window. A very good mindset to bear more so with a pole arm.

"Hmm, I see," she thought and while trying to wrap her head around the basic combo. The attack aimed for vital parts and for lesson purposes, simple enough to leave them to mix it up as they see fit to keep a human opponent guessing. She approached the training dummy to do a few practice stabs to gauge a more physical range limit than used to before entering the motions. Her hips and arms thrusting to the legs and upper right shoulder and down again as Suishoku's eyes searched for vulnerable points. If vitals were the obvious then she'd down her opponent would even remember what their lesser arm was even needed for. Searching for other vulnerable points than an outright kill worked alongside her personal combat interests.

Once she got a better feel and judge of distance with the weapon after a few thrusts did Suishoku freely tried a spin to test in consideration of where the blade part would connect or whiff. The part of where the blade attached to the spear connected with training dummy mad a halting thud down. She flinched and backed up a pace to spin one move to find the blade cutting into the side by nearly the whole body of it. This wasn't good either since it'll require more strength to complete the spin than having her weapon now stuck into side body. Distance was key to knowing what's within attack range from what she had learned from her whip to video games and frankly the girl saw how obviously too close she was to her stationary target. Suishoku huffed to steady her breathing and spun once more to keep focus on this one aspect and how to recover from it if done badly.

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