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She had spent all her time composing and refining a new song for her partner within those three days. It wasn’t that she didn’t desire to meet other members within the Akatsuki. It was a need for her to perfect the technique between her usual tasks of memorizing the information given to her and prioritizing what information is most needed for the Akatsuki. It was on the third day she was called in again, but this time when she went in to see the leader, she was surprised to see Itachi there and not her partner, Keke. Itachi’s sharingan gaze met her dark eyes only for a moment before the short girl averted her eyes. “Senritsu, you’ve been doing well at keeping up with the tasks you’ve been assigned here.” The leader complimented in a bland tone, but Senritsu smiled as she approached them both. “Hehe, I’m glad j’you think so, leader-sama… j’yet j’your tone tells me something else is on j’your mind?” Senritsu was pleased to see the slight surprise on both of their faces. It was always her forte to see the truth behind someone’s tone and words afterall. “You’re very perceptive… you would be very good at interrogation and extracting information from people. I was going to assign you to your first mission as well…” Senritsu’s eyes lit up for a moment, thrilled with the idea of leaving the base for the first time in a long while. But his words indicated something else. “What changed j’your mind, leader-sama?” She asked, clearly she was catching on to what he was hinting at. Pain glanced from the petite woman to Itachi then returned his rinnegan gaze to her curious eyes before he answered her, “It’s come to my understanding as adept as you are in some techniques, you are still lacking some basic knowledge of genjutsu and you’re not quite strong enough to fend for yourself.” Immediately Senritsu knew what he was referring to. Itachi had analyzed her abilities from the first fight and informed the leader of what he observed. And yet, it wasn’t as though the information Itachi gave to the leader was untrue. What she knew was very rough knowledge of genjutsu, ninjutsu, and taijutsu she had to teach herself from simply observing others and what little instruction she was given from Orochimaru and Kabuto when she was under their instruction. For someone who was not given traditional means of training, she had gotten very far. Enough to be the best thief, yet that was as far as she could get on her own. When she fought Itachi, in the middle of her 22nd heist, she came to realize her techniques paled in comparison to a true shinobi. That’s what she needed to become however. For the organization and her job. Not just a thief, but a skilled shinobi. It hurt her pride to some extent, but she tried to stay open minded to the matter. “I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do, leader-sama… I’ve been composing new vocal techniques, a couple of new ninjutsus here and there. They’re still in the rough though.” She admitted sheepishly as her smiled faded, expressing some concern since she wasn’t sure how else to improve her techniques. “Since you cannot continue to progress any further on your own, Itachi offered to teach you what he knows so you can make progress.” The statement surprised her. Itachi, teaching her? As she mentally processed the idea, it didn’t seem that farfetched as it sounded at first. From her understanding, he brought her in because he saw that her abilities would’ve been some use to the Akatsuki. He was the one who brought her in, yet she never expected him to take interest in her abilities and see how far she could progress. Was the way she used her voice to produce genjutsu that farfetched? The whole thing still didn’t quite add up to her. “So Itachi-senpai will be my mentor?” She questioned as she glanced to him for a brief moment. Pain gave a brief nod to her question. “For the time being. Until he sees you’re ready for the mission I have prepared for you.” She sighed with a severe sense of frustration. Not because she didn’t wish to get better, but she had a strong feeling Itachi’s expectations were high. If she was to go on her next mission, she needed to make progress quickly. Even if she had no knowledge of how to do that. After the discussion with Pain, Itachi led Senritsu out of the base and through the city. It was only lightly raining compared to the downpour she and her partner traveled through previously when they visited the city. Yet she was sick of the rain she constantly heard now. To her, it was the same sound over and over, like hearing the same song over and over. It grew tiresome. As she glanced to Itachi, who wore the straw hat that most members were given, she recalled how she lost hers a few days ago. I knew I should’ve gone looking for
mine… she mentally condemned as she looked around. But she stopped for a moment, looking to a young girl playing with a music box. It made such a charming sound. The girl wound the knob on the side for the music box and it would chime the melody it was designed to play. Senritsu couldn’t help but giggle slightly from the sight. “Senritsu.” The moment she heard Itachi call her, she glanced over curiously to see what he called her for. His sharingan eyes didn’t waver as he reproved morosely, “Stop getting distracted.” This statement only caused her to chuckle softly once more. “My apologies, I can’t help it. It’s such a sweet thing to see.” She adoringly stated as she put her hands to her cheeks, bouncing on her heels in a childish manner. Her behavior was so strange, he raised an eyebrow to her and she only found more amusement from his expression. “Oh come now, do j’you expect me to behave all dark and heartless like the others?” She added as she let her hands fall back down to her side. He didn’t answer however, only turning away and continued down street. “H-hey! J’you didn’t answer, Itachi-senpai!” She quickly followed after him at a quick short pace. Yet when she finally caught up she didn’t pester him anymore about the matter. It was enough that she got such an amusing expression out of him to her and she continued walking by his side. Itachi did glance to her every now and again. Noticing that as she walked beside him, she would linger behind for a few moments. But she always took quick steps to return to his side if she got too far behind. Her strides were quick and short. Something expected for someone of her height and in some way, it was cute. Somewhat. Even as she walked, she softly hummed the little melody she heard from the music box moments ago. “Senritsu.” He called to get her attention. Quickly she looked over to him, fretting and fussing she quickly responded, “A-ah um, S-sorry! I um, I just, I was caught up in my own little world I-I guess. Hehe… I’ll be quiet.” From his tone, she thought he was going to scold her for humming again. She already knew she didn’t behave as the others did. They were so serious. Yet she tended to be much more laid back and carefree. Seeing her react in such a childish way, she was very different than how he perceived her when they first met. He sighed, earning a curious stare from her deep dark eyes before he took her hand and led her through the streets. Not once did she linger behind this time as she was led through the city and she kept herself quiet for a change. Of course she wanted to inquire further. She wanted to know why he was being mindful, but she couldn’t exactly pin it as kindness. Perhaps he was just fed up with her unnecessary habits. As they reached the forest’s edge just outside of Amekagure, he let her go and took a few steps away before turning to see her curious gaze. Her head tilted slightly as she observed him silently. “Is something on your mind?” He finally asked her, but she finally smiled and giggled a bit to herself. “There’s a lot on my mind, but I can’t help but wonder what j’you brought me out here to learn…” He paused as he glanced to her sleeves. Her unconscious habit of fidgeting with her sleeves didn’t go unnoticed to his sharingan eyes. “You need to learn to calm your nerves, Senritsu.” Immediately she raised her hands, shaking off her uneasy feeling from her trembling fingers. “Hehe, sorry… It’s a little nerve wrecking…” She admitted. He could see her emotions, but it concerned him to some extent she wasn’t paying attention. Senritsu was becoming too careless. Too lax in her manners around him, around the other members. From his perception, he could see she could be easily caught off guard. “Senpai, senpai!” She called to him as he returned his gaze to her. Seeing her childish wave her hands and smile to him, it was almost comical. Yet he kept his serious demeanor as he asked, “What is it, Senritsu?” “J’you … use visual genjutsu, j’yeah? How will that help with my sound genjutsu? Aren’t they different in how they’re produced?” He paused to her questions. They were so basic, he didn’t think she was serious until he noticed she was waiting for an answer. She was unwavering in her questions, she truly did wish to have an answer. How could she perfectly execute sound genjutsu techniques without basic understanding of genjutsu? He thought for a moment before he finally gave her an answer. “Genjutsu is the casting of illusion. Weaker illusions can impede your enemy while stronger illusions can kill them. These factors apply to both sound and visual genjutsu regardless of how they are performed.”
“I-I get that.” She stuttered as she seemed to pout immaturely. She felt unfortunately foolish as he explained something so simple. But it was indeed something she needed to know. “Then what is it you need to know, Senritsu?” His question forced her to contemplate for a moment. Her understanding of genjutsu came from music. Every note, every chord, she knew how to perform to get the desired effects she sought for her genjutsus. But what nagged her most was how easily she fell into his visual genjutsu without even noticing. It didn’t help either that she didn’t know how to break the genjutsu. “Um … visual genjutsu… I know by now j’you can cast it with the sharingan… however, I don’t know how to break genjutsu.” He noticed her sheepish behavior which was very different from her cheerful, bright habits she always had. He felt some pity on her since she lacked the proper understanding and he could see it was difficult for her to swallow her pride and ask such things of him since she was so easily defeated before. Without hesitation, he approached her, noticing how she quickly glanced away and pulled the collar over her nose and mouth. “W-what? Is it such a bad thing?” She asked as she tried to laugh it off. Something was strange about the girl. She was very different from the proud, smug, taunting thief she portrayed herself to be, but he didn’t say a word about that. No, he focused more on her training rather than her strange behavior. “No… it isn’t. You should feel free to ask me anything you need to Senritsu. Even if it’s something basic.” She still didn’t look to him, yet she chuckled a bit, still hiding her face behind the collar of her cloak. “I’m such a fool. I taught myself everything I know, but I didn’t bother to teach myself such things ages ago.” To some extent, he felt slight pity towards her. He didn’t know much about her, why she didn’t have a mentor in the first place, where she came from, or why she even taught herself to use such techniques in the first place. But he had seen how talented she could be and her self-doubt would not help her make the progress she desired. Without hesitation, he reached over and put his hand on the petite girl’s head. Seeing her black eyes glance up to him as she finally released the collar of her cloak. Usually she wasn’t one to tolerate someone even touching her, but his behavior was so different than what she expected. Her dark eyes looked to him seeing his impassive face as he spoke, “Senritsu, you’ve managed to memorize all the information the Akatsuki has and you’ve said before you’ve created a few new jutsus of your own since you’ve arrived. I have no doubt you will be able to understand the basics and progress in your training.” It wasn’t the words alone that surprised her. No, she heard his tone was much gentler than he had ever spoken to her before. From his tone, she knew what he said was the truth, even if he kept his emotionless demeanor. These reassuring words caused her face to light up and she slightly blush in delight. To have someone who had faith in her and believed she could make progress was a warm feeling. Something she wished to hold onto. “T-thank j’you, Itachi-senpai.” She happily responded as she slightly bounced on her heels. Yet, as she did this, he noticed the curls from her bangs move slightly over her face. Covering her deep dark eyes as she tried to take a moment and push the bow that was tied around her head up a moment so she could brush her bangs out of her face. But she felt his hand glide down, slightly brushing her bangs out of her face for her before she quickly fussed and tried to swat his hand away. Yet he had already pulled his hand away from her and took a few steps away. “D-don’t do thaaaaat! … j-jeeze.” Senritsu fretted as she blushed furiously. She wasn’t too upset even though she almost had a mini heart attack. It wasn’t something she was used to. Never was she used to someone treating her like that. Itachi raised an eyebrow to her sudden outburst, even though it was slightly amusing. Apparently she was full of surprises and emotions, unlike most Akatsuki members. “So then, why don’t we begin?” Her expression changed from a fretting, worrying one to a much more interested gaze. “We’re fighting? Now?” He sighed to her dumbfounded expression. She clearly needed to pay much more attention. “Yes. But with taijutsu alone. No genjutsu, no ninjutsu. Is that clear?” It didn’t take long for the familiar smile to appear on her lips again before she unstrapped the golden emblems on the back of her hands and put them in her bag she had hidden under her cloak and she took a defensive stance. “J’yeah, ok then senpai! Teach me to be better, please!”
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