Three months passed as Tokori trained with Miwa. Each day more grueling than the last. Somehow Miwa had managed to pick up this training, let alone, survive. Miwa and Tokori met in the backyard again for the start of another day of training. Mila again, watches from the back porch, as she had in the last three months.
Miwa: Alright Tokori what are we doing today? Kendo? Stamina? Endurance?
Miwa: (Surprised) Huh?
Tokori: We’re going to start a new part of training now that you’ve gotten used to training.
Miwa: Okay then, what are we doing?
Tokori: You should be strong enough to handle a duel.
Miwa: But...I don’t want to fight anyone…
Tokori: Don’t think of it as fighting. Think of it as self-defense.
Tokori: There are times where you’re going to have to fight whether you want to or not.
Miwa: So this is like someone attacks me?
Tokori: Sure, let’s go with that.
Miwa: Um, okay…
Tokori hands Miwa her sword.
Miwa: We’re going to be using REAL swords?
Tokori: Are you not confident enough?
Miwa: But I…
Tokori suddenly attacks with her own sword. Miwa defends herself with her sword. Their swords press against each other.
Tokori: You have to pay attention at all times.
Miwa: But…this is…
Tokori: Pretend I’m someone who wants to rob you. Pretend that I’m someone who wants to hurt you.
Miwa: So I’ve no choice but to defend myself.
Tokori: You got it.
Their swords clash. Sparks fly as the swords collide again and again and Mila seems intrigued.
Mila: (Thinking) Interesting. Though the two are clearly fighting, she’s using the guise of self-defense as opposed to just plain fighting. Getting Miwa to play along, Tokori is certainly employing a crafty strategy to get her to learn.
As Mila watches, Miwa and Tokori continue their battle. Tokori presses hard against her. Miwa maintains her stance and tries to defend herself from Tokori’s pressuring tactics.
Tokori: If you’re going to defend yourself, you will have to go on the offensive eventually.
Miwa: No I don’t.
Tokori: (Sighs) Fine then.
Tokori charges in towards her again. Despite her offense, Miwa’s defense seemed to be much better.
Tokori: (Thinking) I can’t tell if I trained her that well or if she’s just that good.
Tokori suddenly takes notice of the winds kicking up.
Tokori: (Thinking) Wait...wind? That’s not right. Weather called for clear and calm…
Tokori attacks Miwa and as she presses against her she takes notice of something odd.
Tokori: (Thinking) I get it...its the sword! The sword is using the power of wind to make my attacks less useful. Its almost like a buffer for her. I wonder if she even notices…
Miwa: Hey, Tokori?
Miwa: Where is all this wind coming from?
Tokori: (Thinking) She’s just now noticing?! At least she’s taking notice. (To Miwa) Miwa, don’t you understand?
Miwa: (Shaking her head) Not really.
Tokori: Your sword apparently has the power to control the wind.
Miwa: (Confused) I do? But how?
Tokori: I don’t know! Its your sword!
Miwa: But I never use it!
Tokori: (Thinking) I don’t know how this sword works, but she’s tapping into it subconsciously. I’ve got to get her to notice.
Tokori lifts her leg and kicks her in the shoulder. Miwa backs up in pain.
Miwa: OW! That hurt!
Tokori: (Thinking) I’ve got to get her into that state Mila was describing and force her to see just how powerful she really is.
Tokori charges in. She swings her sword at her, and uses her palm to give her a modified uppercut. Miwa takes the hit and falls to the ground. Tokori waits for Miwa to get back up. As Miwa sits up, she feels something trickling down her lips.
Miwa: (Scared) B-blood?!
Her pupils suddenly shrink. Mila takes notice of what’s happening.
Mila: Tokori, are you mad?!
Tokori: No, this is exactly what I wanted!
Miwa gets back to her feet and charges in. Tokori defends herself. She takes notice of Miwa’s leg coming towards her head. Tokori blocks with her free hand.
Tokori: Miwa! Can you hear me?
Miwa just goes on attacking, forcing Tokori on to the defensive. Tokori tries again.
Tokori: Miwa! What happened to not wanting to fight?!
Miwa conscious had seemed to take a backseat to her some kind of defensive mechanism or hypnosis meant to keep her safe.
Tokori: (Thinking) The question is snapping her out of it or harnessing that power. How do I get her to notice.
Tokori backs off. Miwa uses a burst of wind to propel her forward like a speed boost.
Tokori: (Thinking, wide-eyed) Fast!
Tokori is just barely able to get her sword up in time in order to protect herself. Mila watches on, standing, ready to intervene should it become necessary that she would need to.
Mila: (Thinking) Just say the word and I’ll knock her out…
Tokori meanwhile, kept her wits about her. She kept her focus solely on Miwa. For her, she kept trying to have Miwa harness this. As Miwa charges in again, Tokori hits her in the stomach and then presses against her. She uses her sword to press Miwa back.
Tokori: (Thinking) How do I snap her out of it? How?
Tokori then has a thought.
Tokori: You want your mother to see you acting like this?!
Miwa blinks and her eyes suddenly return to normal.
Tokori: (Thinking) That was the trigger?
Mila: (Thinking) Why in the world…?
Miwa backs off.
Miwa: (Confused) How? What is happening?
Tokori: You don’t know?
Miwa: (Shakes her head) I don’t know how we got to this…
Tokori: Miwa, do you know that you have some sort of hypnosis or trigger?
Miwa: (Confused) I do?
Tokori: It seems like whenever you see blood that’s yours, its triggered.
Miwa: ...So I have some sort of trigger?
Tokori: You honestly don’t know?
Miwa: (Shakes her head) No…
Mila: (Thinking) So that confirms it. Whatever happens when it's triggered, her consciousness takes a backseat and her body tries to fight off whatever caused the blood. A self-defense mechanism that suddenly triggers.
Tokori: We need to harness that Miwa.
Miwa: How? I have no control over that.
Tokori: We’re going to have to figure out how you trigger that, and how you can harness that energy.
Miwa: But I’m not sure how! I don’t know what you’re even talking about.
Tokori: (Thinking) Her mind isn’t awake during this subconscious trigger. We have to figure out how to make her see what happens when she is. (To Miwa) Miwa, the next time you fall asleep, I want you to force yourself to stay awake.
Miwa: (Confused) Next time I fall asleep, I have to stay awake?
Tokori: Can you do that?
Miwa: I guess?
Tokori: (Thinking) But how do I make it a trigger?
Miwa: Next time I fall asleep, I have to stay awake?
Tokori: Keep repeating it, Miwa!
Miwa: (Like a mantra) Next time I fall asleep, I have to stay awake. Next time I fall asleep, I have to stay awake.
Tokori: (Thinking) Let’s see if I can force her to take my trigger. The two continue their battle. Mila sits back down.
Mila: (Thinking) Her reasoning isn’t wrong...having her recite a mantra should help her remember what to do.
As the two clash again, Tokori looks for ways to cause the trigger.
Tokori: (Thinking) I have to cause her to lose control again. Only then will I see if this can work.
Tokori gets her opening, and she takes swift advantage of it. She thrust the hilt of her sword into Miwa’s stomach, and thrusts both of her palms upwards. The attack is seemingly enough to knock her out. Since Miwa wasn’t used to fighting, her body wasn’t used to taking punches. Her body falls to the ground with a sickening thud. She was seemingly knocked out.
Tokori: (Thinking) Crap! Too hard!
Miwa’s body however gets right back up. Her eyes like before but something seemed different.
Miwa: (Thinking) Ow...how am I standing up?
Miwa was like a passenger in the train that was her body. The train kept going, but nobody was manning the controls. She could only watch as her body continued the battle.
Miwa: (Thinking) What is this? Why does it look like I’m fighting? She sees herself colliding with Tokori again, and using techniques she had never seen before.
Miwa: (Thinking) Tokori was right. So how do I get control back?
Outside of her body, Tokori just continues to clash with Miwa.
Tokori: (Thinking) Damn, was it not enough?
Miwa’s body continues to clash with her, but Tokori notices something odd about the next attack.
Tokori: (Thinking) That looked like it was holding back.
Tokori looks into Miwa’s eyes. They looked as if something was happening. Tokori mouths the words, ‘Stay Awake’ to Miwa. Miwa seemingly understood what she was trying to say to her. As Tokori presses the swords back to Miwa. Miwa suddenly backs away as the swords comes back to their sides. Miwa closes her eyes. When she opens them, her eyes are back to normal. Tokori smiles. Miwa falls and sits her butt on the ground.
Miwa: You hit too hard.
Tokori laughs. Mila sighs a breath of relief.
Tokori: Now its just about harnessing that kind of power.
Miwa: Do I have to? I don’t think I can keep taking your punches…