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Ryo : 9150

Be One with the Paper Empty Be One with the Paper

Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:59 pm
Natsume smoothed the paper out on to the surface of the table. Then, she painstakingly folded the paper back into an origami crane. She channelled her chakra into it. She smoothed it out. Folded it. Channelled chakra. The creases of the paper were wearing and starting to tear, but she folded and smoothed and folded and smoothed, until the fibres snapped and the paper had split in half. Instantly, she regretted it. She knew tearing the paper would only hinder her further, but she was just so... frustrated. She knew the latent power of paper manipulation—and thus paper creation—was somewhere in her. She'd done it once before, animating a paper crane to flap its wings. It had been a fluke, perhaps, and so long ago. If she'd kept up with the training, if she hadn't stopped in the grief of her mother's passing... perhaps she wouldn't struggle like she did now.

She sighed and put down one of the torn halves. She knew it was unfair on herself to start with trying to animate something, when she had no other basis with the paper manipulation. But she'd hoped. Hoped that her one-time fluke would be a precursor for natural talent and not just the fluke that it was. The last week of failure, however, had all but crushed that hope. It was time to try something new.

She reached for a fresh sheet of paper, admiring the clean, crisp edges of it. As she ran her finger along the edges, a paper-thin cut formed on the tip of her finger. She ignored the slight twinge of pain—and the blood starting to well—and reached out with her chakra. Instead of trying to push chakra into the joints of an origami piece or into a central point, she soaked the paper evenly. It was soothing, focusing only on the paper in her hands.

She didn't realize when she'd started sensing not just the surface of the paper, but every fibre and how they interweaved with one another, nor when she'd closed her eyes. When she flexed her chakra, the paper flexed too. Chakra curled, the paper did too. She didn't see these movements with her eyes but sensed them. Felt each movement as if it were her own fingers flexing and curling. Slowly, she cracked open her eyes and watched as the paper in her hands bent, literally, to her will.

A massive smile split across her face. "Father!" she called out. There was silence. "Dad?" she tried again. She knew he was home, probably filling out some paperwork, and that he could hear her. Her brow twitched and the paper twisted slightly, as agitated as her chakra. She rolled her eyes. "Papa."

"Yes, my sweet darling pumpkin-poo?" he asked, head poking through the open doorway.

Natsume's desire to show off won over her need to groan and reprimand him for the embarrassing nickname. "I can do it! I can move the paper!" She lifted her hands up and made a show of manipulating the paper, twisting it and folding it this way and that.

She delighted in his pleased gasp. "Great, pumpkin! Next step is creating paper from your chakra."

She groaned. "Can't you let me enjoy this victory, papa?" she asked, even as she put down her current piece of paper to begin on the new exercise. "I don't even know how to start!"

He pointed to the torn pieces of paper. "Start with those. You tore the paper, now make it whole again." He left to the sounds of her sputtering, with only the sounds of his laughter and a cheerful "Good luck, pumpkin!" to accompany her.

She glared at the doorway for a beat longer after he disappeared, then refocused her attention on the torn paper halves. It was better than nothing, she supposed. "Now, how do I make you whole again?" She picked them up and held a half in each palm, repeating the earlier process with each piece. She felt each fibre, understood the way they weaved among each other to form a whole. Once both pieces were thoroughly soaked in her chakra she began to experiment.

Her first test: clapping the two pieces together and hoping, through the inexplicable magic that was chakra, they would fuse into one. It, as she suspected it would, failed horribly. Her second test: holding them a slight distance apart and trying to join them with her chakra as a sort of bonding agent. It worked, for a moment, but it was clear they were two parts joined together rather than a single unit. Once she stopped channelling chakra, the two parts came apart again. Darn.

It took her another week of on-off practicing before the metaphorical light bulb lit up. When it did, she took those same two torn pieces—always tucked carefully somewhere on her body—out and immediately focused on channelling her chakra. To mend the pieces, make them one, she had to go beyond the edges. She had to look at the fibres! She stretched her chakra out into thin tendrils and focused on weaving them between the fibres of each piece, pulling and knitting them together. It was hard, thinking at such a small scale, and her focus wavered often as her control threatened to slip away.

Ten minutes later, she had done it. The paper was whole.

She grinned and laughed, putting down the newly fixed paper. With her newfound knowledge in mind, she already had an inkling to the next step. Creating paper from scratch—creating fibres entirely out of her chakra. She could do this! She'd spent the last week sensing those fibres, understanding them intimately and manipulating them like lots of microscopic limbs. She just had to recreate that feeling. Easy peasy.

It took her two wholes week of dedicated practice to conjure a paper up to her standards, of decent quality and size, but she got there. And once she did, it just came down to practicing the motions, drilling it into her muscle memory—or the chakra equivalent of muscle memory—so that she could create paper without more than a fleeting thought. Not that she was there... yet. But it would come. With patience. And time. And lots and lots of sleepless nights.

She passed out with a smile, the bags under her eyes deeper and darker than the edgiest Uchiha soul. Her exhaustion was so deep, she didn't wake even as he father hoisted her up and over his shoulder, carried her to bed, and tucked her in.

She did, however, shift slightly as he pressed a soft kiss to her forehead.

"Good job, pumpkin. I'm proud of you."


TWC: 1136.

+ Advanced/Clan Element: Paper (1000/1000)
+ 5 Stats ]

Last edited by Natsume on Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : formatting. messed up word count (1131 -> 1136))
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Be One with the Paper Empty Re: Be One with the Paper

Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:49 pm
Approved Natsume <3
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