Engagement

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He came after me again and I shunshined away, gasping for air already(def just the nerves). He appeared next to me, a punch flying towards my face as I brought my hands up to block, at the same time I prepped my stance for a counter, and as soon as he made contact I twisted my body, sending a kick his way. He grabbed my leg, throwing me into a tree off in the distance.

I reflectively gasp for air as it all gets sucked out of my lungs, pulling myself up- just barely- and moving as he throws a kick where I was. I shunshin behind him and he whips around, already ready to counter, and I shunshin around him again.

I do this two more times -finding a pattern to use to my advantage- he keeps spinning clockwise, so I shunshin to his side, out of sight, on the opposite side of where he turns from.

He spins and notices me to his side almost immediately, already a kick almost in contact with him, he grabs my leg before it makes contact and pulls, causing me to go into an almost split, and my other leg awkwardly dragging behind me. He aims a hit at my stomach but I shunshin away before he could make contact.

I climb the trees, looking down for him but listening closely for any signs of him. After about 2 seconds of waiting a cold feeling overcomes me -genjutsu- and I quickly form the hand signs and release myself.

Just as I come back to the real world I see a kunai flying towards me, sticking my feet to the tree with chakra I threw myself back. I hang for about a second before launching myself off onto the floor, doing a flip to land better.

Unfortunately, my landing was slightly rocky, but not terrible enough to throw me off. I turn around as I feel Kakashi behind me, all I see is a foot and then I'm on the ground.

Squirming around I escaped his grasp and went for an attack, which he blocked, and another, which he blocked, and another, which he blocked and countered.

Dodging I duck down and dive forward, crashing into him. He doesn't go very far, but he takes the opportunity to knee me-- causing me to loose my breath yet again. I fight back tears as he goes for another hit, I block and try and counter-- and he blocks again.

The fight goes on like this for a while, me struggling to even catch my breath, and him toying with me.

After an hour though, he calls for time-- and Naruto and Sasuke also come over to recuperate.

Naruto and Sasuke took one look at me -exhausted, dirty, bruised, and panting- and concern immediately flashed upon their faces.

"Sakura, what happened?!" Naruto nearly shouted with concern. Panting, I smiled.

"Fight," I took a few breaths, "very difficult," I gasped, "very. Difficult," putting an emphasis on the very.

They looked at Kakashi with a new-found fear, and I wanted to laugh-- but my lungs hurt too much.

I used the shunshin a lot, so I didn't have much chakra left, so I worked on healing my worst injuries.

As I did so I stole glances at the boys. Naruto and Sasuke looked tired, but not as much as me; they were also considerably cleaner, and had way fewer injuries. I wonder if Kakashi was really trying to torture me. I shrug, not really caring, because it was working either way... I think, at least.

My chakra extremely low, I paused on healing myself -the rest would be saved for later- and took to just staring at the sky.

Far too soon he calls us up practice again, I drag myself up, trying to gain some energy.

Naruto hands me a water bottle of which I chug completely, making sure to give him a thank you once I finish.

I bring myself about three feet away from Kakashi, stepping into a stance— arms and legs weak and sore.

He disappears from my sight, and I instantly turn around bringing the staff up— I feel the weight of his hit as my eyes try and track him.

He goes for a roundhouse kick and I crouch down, attacking forward with the staff, he grabs it and pulls; it would have thrown me off balance but I let go and relented to hand-to-hand combat. I jumped back a few steps, and Kakashi chases after me instantly, not relenting. I scowl and do my best to block as he throws punches and kicks like confetti.

After a minute or two of fighting I find an opportunity to grab my staff again; and the moment my fingertips touch the staff I see a foot coming my way, I drop down, almost laying on the ground. He follows through with his punch and then brings his leg above me, slamming it down, I push myself out of the way hopping onto my feet as I strike with my staff. He jumps over the swing, I put one end of the staff onto the floor, jumping up to him, feet first to try and kick him. He grabs my legs pushing me back down, I hit the floor with a thud, wincing and accidentally letting go of the staff.

I hop up again, grabbing the staff on my way up- Kakashi already there with another punch. Too slow to block I add a thick layer of chakra where his fist would hit— considerably lessening the pain.

He pauses for a moment, staring at me- I stare at him then I come to a realization, "Sakura I didn't know you could do that. Also no chakra is indeed the rule, but perhaps that's not a bad idea."

I inquisitively raised my eyebrow, "Hm?"

"You can use chakra when sparring, only to coat your body to lessen impacts— unless otherwise permitted"

I begin to nod but he's already at my side, kicking me. I move forward, twisting to throw a kick at him, he dodges and throws a punch at me, I can't move fast enough -I coat my abdomen in chakra- and it hits the side of my stomach; forever will I be thankful for him allowing me to coat my chakra over myself.

I swing my staff down on him, spinning as I change route mid swing— he gracefully changes stance to block either(yes ofc he blocks) and aims a kick at my solar plexus. I bring the staff up to his foot -arms bearing the brunt of the force- and it pushes me back a few feet, but I remain balanced. I jump to the side as he attacks yet again, trying my best to strike with the staff, he jumps out of the way— and then begins advancing a few seconds later. I run at him, sticking my staff on the floor, I jump up but instead of attacking I swing myself in another direction— making sure the staff doesn't slip and then jumping back as I land(seeing as Kakashi was already at my new spot).

I go for a swing with the staff when all of the sudden the bottom half pops off. I stop, staring at the staff then at Kakashi.

Huh, it's still attached, but by wires...

Oh! So it's similar to nunchucks it seems.

Agreeing with Inner I decide to try it so I did a figure eight movement. Kakashi walked over, holding his hand out-- the other one behind his head sheepishly, "Mah, I didn't think you would accidentally pull them apart. I'll put it back together and teach you how to use it the other way later."

I nodded, handing the staff to him, when a loud noise turned our attention towards the boys.

"Idiot! Get off me!"

"No-- You stop!"

They were both rolling around on the ground throwing punches-- not the 'training' kind. All sorts of insults were flying around and they both had an angry look on their faces. Kakashi appeared next to them, pulling them apart, glaring at them.

"Oy, what are you two doing."

They both stubbornly looked away, childish pouts on their faces.

Kakashi looked at me, then at them sighing.

"Alright, since you two clearly can't handle fighting each other-- we'll do training instead," he smiled as he spoke, "and it won't be fun."

They both looked slightly scared at that, he set them down and ushered me over. I groaned knowing I would have to do even more as a punishment for them.

Throughout the day, my fights with Kakashi had me on the floor a lot, throwing up my food, or gasping for air. I had yet to land a full contact hit on him, but he assured me I was improving anyway. I would not unbelievably, but Inner would assure me as well.

I tried my best to understand a few days can only get you so far, and that it's not my fault that this is the beginning of my Taijutsu combat training.

(Edited 07/22/23)—1525 Words

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