"What a weird freaking day." Ichigo muttered to himself as he walked down the street towards Uraharas shady shop. He blinked back the sun shining in his eyes and walked around to the side. "First that whole kiss thing and then Nanami disappears. She better not have forgotten our training session today." He grumbled stopping outside of two wooden cellar doors. Bending down, he tried to jam open one of them before heaving an annoyed sigh. "So she was serious
. I really have to say that." The doors showed no sign of budging and he sighed again setting his bag on the ground. "Open to me your doors of wisdom so I may learn for I am a talentless nobody. " He said holding his hands in front of him.
A loud laughter sounded behind the doors and Ririn poked her blond head out. "No way!" she said breathing heavily. "You actually said it! Urahara was right you are gullible and now Nanami owes him 3000 yen! Sucker!" Ichigo blinked surprised. "Ririn
what- what are you doing here?" "Urahara said to help Nanami with your training and well, we heard there was a bount problem so we're here to help! We can sense them so we're useful!" "Right." He said rubbing the back of his head. "Well are you going to let me in or not?" "Oh right!" She said grabbing his arm and pulling him towards the dark hole. "We don't have time for the ladder so
" She pulled harder forcing him to lose balance and fall straight into solid blackness. Screaming his head off, he fell for what felt like an eternity before a bright light showed before him and he found himself in the training grounds, a great view of the winding waters and sharp jagged rock that he was falling right towards. "OH MY GOOOOOOD!" He shouted as a large red and black whirlpool like vortex opened in front of him sucking him in.
He reappeared a few feet from the ground and landed on his face with a 'thud'. "Oh good so you made it in one piece." Ririn said standing a few feet in front of him next to Cloud. The tall hated and bespectacled man looked back at him and chuckled. "You look frazzled. Well, don't just sit there. Get out here and brace yourself." He said turning back. Ichigo stood and dusted himself off pulling his Substitute Shinigami badge out of his pocket. Slapping on his chest, he jumped out of his body and went to see just what had caught their attention. He looked down a ways away and saw Nanami and Noba deep set in a sparring match. And from the looks of it, Noba was taking quite a beating. Noba took one quick round house kick to the face before disappearing in one of his wormholes and reappearing beside them landing on his hands and knees breathing heavily. "Tap....out." He gasped. "Tag me." He said holding his hand out to Noba. "What?" Noba asked in fake shock. "So I can go down there and have my head kicked clean off? I don't think so." "She's been like that since she got here earlier." Ririn said. "I wonder what ticked her off so much. Ahh well, no time to dwell on it. NANAMI ICHIGO'S HERE!" She screamed before all three of the disappeared inside of a worm hole. Nanami looked up, eyes on fire and flash stepped next to him flipping him over her shoulder and stepping down hard on his chest hands on her hips. "Welcome to Hell."
"Im going to teach you a lesser known form of martial arts known as Kyusho-jitsu. Or, Dim Mak as some know it by. Instead of the usual form of hand to hand, it focuses less on straightforward hitting and kicking, and goes deeper; Finding the weakest point on a person and using it against them deeper." Ichigo nodded and watched as she paced in front of him hands behind her back. She stopped and looked at him. "So," She said crossing her arms. "Do you think you have what it takes to learn it?" She asked. "I know I do." He said setting his face in a scowl. "Yea, keep thinkin that." She said giving him an evil smirk.
"MOVE IT BERRY BOY!" Nanami shouted as he pulled her in a wheel barrel behind him. "What is this supposed to do?!" Ichigo shouted. "It builds up your upper arm strength so if you do hit a pressure point it actually DOES SOMETHING!" She shouted. "SO MOVE IT!" He kept running in the direction she pointed and came to a sudden stop at the base of a steep sloping hill. He put his hands on his knees and took deep breaths. "What the heck have you been eating?" He asked. She slapped him on the back of the head and nodded toward Noba who stood on the top of the cliff looking down at her. "OK Ichigo new exercise, the point is to get to the top of this hill with me on your back." "PSh give me a challenge." He scoffed. "While avoiding Nobas portals." She finished. Ichigo looked at her and smirked. "Bring it on." He said. She hopped on his back and he was shocked that she was lighter than the first exercise had let on. "Hey you know you weigh like, 3 pounds?" He asked scoping out the hill. "Gee thanks" she said. "I'm anorexic, girls just LOVE to hear that." "I didn't mean it like-" "GO!" She shouted pointing. He jumped and soared in the air landing halfway up the hill and sliding a bit back due to the loose dirt and rocks. A large portal suddenly opened up in front of his and he barely had time to dodge. Another portal opened beneath him and he jumped back at the last minute watching as dirt was sucked in.
He noticed another portal opening beneath him and aimed himself away from it landing finally on solid ground. 'They're opening up everywhere.' He thought. 'Maybe if I approached it at a different angle.' "Speed is Key here Ichigo." Nanami said glaring off to the side. "You have to stop thinking of a strategy. The truth is, there's no other angle, no trickity trick and no amount of thought that will help you get up there. It's just straight forward speed." He nodded and flash stepped from left to right avoiding portals as they opened and closed around him. He was almost to the top when a huge gaping hole opened before him and he fell in. He felt Nanami jump off his back and he looked in front of him into the solid black that encased him. The hole opened into a fiery pit and Ichigo looked around him shocked. "How did I?" He didn't have time to finish the question as flames licked against his skin and he shouted out in pain. The scenery flashed back to reality as Ririns laughter echoed in his mind. He sat up from the hard surface and rubbed the back of his head. "Was that too much?" She asked. Nanami shook her head and glared down at him. "Run it again." She said. "I won't be on your back this time." She said as she hopped easily up the hill and landed next to Noba. "Move it Ichigo we don't have all day!" She shouted. He blinked and stood. Determined to get to the top this time.
He fell again and again within the one portal that always caught him by surprise. The torture afterwards was different though. The second time he fell, he simply kept falling into an abyss of darkness. The next, a large snowy wasteland, and this time, he was in a cave of some sort falling towards sharp pointy rocks each torture scene vanished and he once again found himself at the base of the hill. "Are you going to try that again? Or are you going to actually succeed this time?" Nanami always asked him in a cold voice before turning away from him.
Ichigo glared at the hill. He was tired of falling every time. So if speed was the trick
. He flash stepped in the usual left and right pattern once again advancing at the top of the hill. Everything seemed to slow down at the last moment. As he jumped portal after portal began to slowly open before him. He dodged easily and waited for the hole he knew would open not surprised when it appeared on the other side of him, he dodged it easily and stopped dead as the portal opened in front of him almost inviting him into its dark depths. He jumped over it landing at the top. "Not today." He mumbled. Noba nodded and Nanami looked at him. "So I take it the environment slowed down a little bit?" She asked. He nodded. "Good. You have the speed down. It only took you a few dozen tries. But now that you can keep up, the next thing we work on is your stance.
"Are you sure it's ok to be up here?" Ichigo asked looking off the side of the precariously perched rock they were both standing on top of. "Of course." Nanami answered. "To successfully employ pressure points, you have to be light, yet unmoving if needed. So, Im going to test that." She said flash stepping to the ground. "Im going to aim at you. If you have the skills and reflexes of a Dim Mak fighter, you'll be able to keep your balance while dodging arrows. If you move the wrong way, the rock will fall and you'll fail. It's easy." She said drawing her bow. "Right." Ichigo said shifting his weight a little bit. The rock rumbled underneath him and he immediately stopped moving. "Oh crap." "On your mark get set GO!" She shouted fast as dozens of blue daggers took to the sky. Ichigo caught one and slightly dodged another before one hit him square in the gut causing him and the rock to fall. He crash landed on the ground and opened his eyes in time to see the rock coming right at him.
The rock smashed into the ground breaking into hundreds of pieces in a huge dusty and rocky explosion. Ichigo looked at it wide eyed on his hands and knees breathing heavily, his body tingling from adrenaline from what could've happened. "Well, it's too bad you dodged that." Nanami said in an icy tone. "It would've given the rock the sweet satisfaction of crushing you. But oh well. Let's try it again." She said walking away from him. 'What's her deal?' He thought.
The rock toppled to the ground yet again and Ichigo stood in frustration. Lodging the dagger out of his shoulder, he slightly winced as blood began to pour from the open wound. "DANG IT!" He shouted getting back onto the rock that was already in place. "Focus ICHIGO!" Nanami shouted pulling back another arrow. "We won't be able to move on until you've got this down!" "I KNOW!" He shouted back at her frustrated. This was impossible. And he's pretty sure she was getting a kick out of shooting him with arrows. "Remember what you learned from the last lesson!" She reminded him. He thought back. Speed had been the key there. And balance is the key here. "Ok I'm ready to try it!" He shouted taking a deep breath. Nanami looked up at him, took aim and shot. As with the lesson before, time seemed to slow and he dodged arrow after arrow while slowing and steadying his movements when the rock threatened to fall. He continued to breathe heavily and plucked a dagger aimed for his face out of the air inches from its intended target. The flood of arrows stopped and Ichigo looked down to see Nanami sheathing her bow while walking away. "So did I pass?!" he shouted hopping down from the rock. "She sighed. "Yes." "What is wrong with you?!" He shouted catching up to her. "What do you mean?" She asked not stopping. "I mean are you mad at me or something?" "No." she said bluntly. "Well what's got you so pissed off?" "You really need to ask?" She half growled. "Why don't you ask Orihime?" "Inoue? What the heck does she have to do with this?" "Oh don't play stupid Ichigo I saw you two lip locking in class." "THAT'S what's got you so pissed off?!" He shouted. "I have a hole in my shoulder because of THAT?! I didn't kiss her! She kissed me!" "Yea" She scoffed. "Says you." "Yea says me- wait
. Why do you care?" "I don't!" "Yea ya do! You're jealous?!" "What?" She forced fake laughter. "I am not jealous." "Then why are you so mad?" He asked tauntingly. Her face flushed and she turned away from him. "Just let it go Ichigo."
"It all makes sense." He said enjoying watching her squirm. "You where mad and that's why you've been such a pain in the butt." "I am not jealous of you and your little toy! I bet if I had boobs as big as blimps I could go around kissing any guy I wanted too. But I don't!" She shouted. "Just drop it." She said again walking away. "Ha ha I can't believe someone like you is jealous of Inoue. I mean, you live in a palace and you're filthy rich yet a human can get under your skin? Funny." She turned towards him with a glare, her fists clenched.
Ichigo hit the ground with a thud. He couldn't feel his arms or his legs or even move. "If this is Kido, I can break through it easily!" He shouted at her back. "It's not." She said with a smirk. "It's Dim Mak. And just for the last few comments," She pulled out a pack of multicolored markers. "Revenge is best served multicolored." She said uncapping a marker.
Nanami stood back and admired the work she had so happily written on Ichigos face. "Guys!" Ririn said running up to them. She stopped and looked at Ichigos face and laughed for a moment before returning to her serious manner. "There's a bount. And it's close."