"So, guess I should be going now. Don't want to be late." he said. His voice died away in his small room. There was no answer. Of course not. He was alone. At least there was no other soul present, only a oart of his own in form of Gekido, lying right next to his futon on her own piece of clean cloth. Kyojin knew that Gekido didn't care much about being cosy, didn't want a nicely carved wooden stand or something. It was reflected in Gekido being without any decoration in her sealed state. And also in her habit of -while being sealed and Kyojin not in his inner world- only communicating through hints of emotions rather than actual words.
He picked Gekido up, took her out of her sheath and took another piece if clean cloth, used a little oil and began to polish the blade. The grip and the handguard looked almost a little worn but the blade was bright shining metal like it was never used. Also the blade didn't really need care since a Zanpakuto wasn't a real world sword from real world metal and damage would heal itself over time. But Gekido liked it.
Finally he slid the sword back into it's sheath and slung it in his back, then he left. He didn't have to go far as his goal was also in the barracks of Division Five.
Today was the had his training date eith Machie. Wait, a date? Surely it couldn't be called that. When they were training together they just agreed to meet again after a few days. So just training...
He stroked his beard. Normally he wasn't that...uneasy around people. Hel, he didn't care enough about other people to become uneasy.
Whatever. He shrugged it off and brought the last few meters behind him and knocked on the door of Machies room...
Machie had arranged her normally odd schedule to make sure she would be awake and in her room when Kyojin was supposed to pick her up. She sat on a cushion at the low coffee table in the living room with a pot of tea and a mug. Both were mostly empty and the dark skinned woman appeared to stare into nothingness, eyes half lidded. The knock on the door animated her, prompting the woman to stand and pick up Nasima from the cushion beside her. Machie strapped the tanto to her side before approaching the door.
She had been looking forward to this outing, even if it was just for training. Machie hesitated briefly before opening the door.
"Hello, Kyojin." The shorter shinigami smiled up at her visitor. Briefly, she considered inviting him in to be polite. Then again, they had things to do. Machie resolved to ask him about coming over afterwards. She stepped outside and slid the door shut behind her.
"Should we get going?"
The two walked towards the training grounds at a relaxed pace with a comfortable silence resting between them. Machie glanced up at Kyojin before returning to her examination of their surroundings. This was surprisingly comfortable, unlike most of her other interactions. The thought brought a vague smile to her normally blank face.
The silence they were walking in wasn't uncomfortable or akward but still Kyojin felt like there was something that should be said. Well, he couldn't think of any words, but still, the feeling was there.
The chance to find what he thought he should say was gone for the time being when they arrived at the training grounds. There weren't many others present, so they hat a large sparring area to themselves.
"So...we said we would work on our sword skills today. You still want to do it?"
He looked at Machie. He tried not to but felt a certain concern that their sparring match could lead to injuries. They would be training with their real Zanpakutos. At least that's what he thought.
"We can practice techniques or do a sparring fight. But I actually don't really know if it is permitted to release our swords here."
Gemido remained in it's sheath on his back for now. He felt it would be rude to draw the sword if Machie wasn't ready. In some corner of his mind he found it difficult to concentrate on the planned training. He remembered the talk they had a few days ago and how he enjoyed it. He couldn't remember when he last just talked to someone and talked about himself. And enjoyed it. This part of his mind wished for that to continue. With someone he felt he understood. And he felt who understood him.
Machie let her eyes trail over and upwards towards Kyojin's face. "Yes, let's start with our sword work."
She tilted her head at Kyojin's suggestion. "We shouldn't need to unleash our blades' full power for this, it's a friendly spar. Why don't we have a short spar first and then we can discuss techniques afterwards. The spar will help us find areas in our technique that need work. We could focus on things we have trouble with afterwards and then test out what we've learned in a second, longer spar. Does that sound acceptable to you?"
Her hands drifted towards her sides, but didn't touch Nasima. The shorter shinigami felt anticipation, making her muscles feel twitchy and tense, about the coming spar. Normally, Machie would train alone or hone her skills when she got sent out on missions and there was no other option. The idea of seeking out her fellow combat specialists had always been daunting. The paranoia and anxiety that came with the plague had only served to further isolate Machie. Now, though, she felt something akin to excitement about working with Kyojin.
She kept her gaze on Kyojin, biting the inside of her lip while she waited for his response. Was she being overeager? 207|427
"Indeed, it does." answered Kyojin to Machie's suggestion. It was, in fact, very well-thought-out, provided that they could be honest enough towards themselves to recognise their mistakes.
Kyojin looked into Machie's eyes, as she gszed back into his, biting the inside if her lip. He liked it. Everything. Strange but nice feeling he hadn't had for centuries. With a crooked but friendly smile and a lively glint in his eyes the big man reached over his shoulder. Gekido loosenes herself in her sheath and Kyojin drew the blade without any effort.
"By the way, I didn't mean that we go at each other with full force, but a Zanpakutos abilities and our fighting styles can change quite drastically. I thought it could prove valuable to include it. But of course you are right, we have more than enough work ahead of us just concentrating on sword skills."
He looked at the shining blade of his sword, at the simple handguard and grip. He swung it once, twice and listened to the sound it made, cutting through the air.
"I am really...glad, that we can do this today. " He said, just loud enough that Machie could hear.
Then he assumed a ready stance, both hands on the sword grip, the blade in an upright position in front of him in avery traditional, japanese stance. Originally, when he was a mortal, he had learned to fight with axe, spear, shield and a sword, but a very different one. Gekido's Shikai resembled this form. But he had time to learn. And after more than a century he had adopted a style needed to use a Katana properly.
"Attack!" He said simply, his deep voice vibrating with energy.
Machie listened to Kyojin's response with interest. "We could work our way up to fighting with our releases. I'm sure if we ask our superiors we can get permission and the location of training grounds suitable for it."
Her eyes followed the tall man's blade has he moved it through the air, she drew her own blade, a tanto with white silk wrapped around the hilt and a matte grey blade. She held it with a firm grip.
Kyojin's next statement made the feline woman smile briefly before she held up her arms to guard herself. "This was a wonderful idea, Kyojin. I'm happy to be here."
Machie tensed as Kyojin assumed his defensive position. Once he yelled, she raced forward to close the space between them. Eyes intensely focused on Kyojin's tall frame, she stepped to Kyojin's left, pivoting so that she was perpendicular to him before aiming a quick stab towards Kyojin's side. She had to resist the urge to kick.
Due to her blade's length, Machie had to rely on the rest of her body as well as her knife. However, this was supposed to focus on their sword work. 193|620
With his typical crooked half-smile he realised as Machie switched to a 'battle mode'. Her body tensed and she lost no time. She attacked in an instant after Kyojin gave the signal. She had great speed, was almost as fast as himself. And she her Zanpakuto hat the form of a Tanto. Some might see that as an disadvantage due to the far shorter reach. But combined with speed...
She shifted to his left and stabbed at his side. In a fast motion Kyojin spun to his left, lowered his word a bit and angled it a few degrees. Machie's blade slid along his own and finally the two swords locked at their handguards. For a moment the two were really close, their faces almost touching. He could feel the warmth of her body, their swords between them. Machie'she hilt wrapped in clean white and the grey blade, and then Kyojin's, with the bright polished blade and the simple dark cloth around the hilt, made a pretty nice contrast. And there was abig advantage of her sword: whilde the short Tanto was extremely maneuverable, especially in a fight this up close, Kyojin's sword, which was a slightly longer-than-normal o Katana, was at a significant disadvantage.
With a push, using sheer force, he shoved the smaller Shinigami away from him to get some space. Then he tried an attack: rushing forward he deked a strike from Machie's right but pulled the sword through before he reached her and struck from her lower left, but only with the blunt backside of his blade.
Machie's expression remained impassive except for the furrowing of her brows, hinting at her concentration. She grunted when her blade clashed against Kyojin's hazel eyes briefly locking on the taller man's. Quickly she dropped her gaze to his shoulders to watch for any tells, trying to ignore how close they were. It wasn't uncommon to be physically close during a spar, but that closeness wasn't something Machie experienced often.
The dark haired woman stumbled backwards with a grunt, pushed back by Kyojin's superior strength. She steadied herself just before the taller shinigami ran towards her, katana swinging from right to left. The feline shinigami was on the balls of her feet, trying to dance around Kyojin's strikes but the butt of his sword collided with her side.
Lips pressing together at the feeling of being hit, Machie let her body turn with the force of the blow and used their proximity to grab Kyojin's wrist with her free hand and slash at the inside of his forearm. She released him and followed up by spinning behind the taller man and throwing out a back kick towards the back of his thigh. Her short blade forced the shorter shinigami to use her entire body as a weapon.
She jumped forward and turned to face Kyojin once more, breathing a little heavily. Her pulse raced and she could feel her body warming up from the rapid movement. 235|855
Smart move! Machie did use the differences in their fighting styles to her advantage. Instead of backing away from him when he hit her, she used the momentum, grabbed his arm and slashed at it. With a quick twist he managed to avoid almost all damage, except for a scratch on his forearm. But Machie wasn't done. With a very quick motion she managed to get behind him. And maybe he was fast enough to turn around, but again he feared he was too big to effectively defend against a blow from behind at this range.
With a sharp sound Kyojin disappeared in a flash step and reappeared a few meters away. On his face was a satisfied grin, his eyes clear and bright, focused on Machie.
"I like that. You have a shorter range, but you use it as an advantage. I may be bigger and stronger, but it seems to me, that this is of little use, as soon as you manage to close the gap between us."
A small drop of blood was falling from his forearm but he ignored it. It was less than a shallow cut, a scratch really, and made by a very sharp weapon, so there was no pain.
For the next attack he positioned his sword in front of him, held with both hands, in a typical kendo stance. A quick jump forward and he tried a quick blow against Machie's torso, from her left side. But again he had held the sword sideways, so he'd hit her only with the flat side and do no damage, even if she wouldn't be able to block or evade.
Welcome to Bleach Gotei, an alternate universe Bleach RP!