Artist: Nujabes/Idst - Song: BattleCry - Word Count: 913
Ryuzaki pushed himself up off of the ground into a seated position. His sword had been knocked out of his hand, and lay a few feet to the right of him. He stood up, brushed away the sand that had clung to his clothes and skin, and slowly made his way towards his sword. He could smell the salt in the air as the wind blew up from the sea, and it was just a bit colder than he would have liked, but this was no time to think about that. The moment he laid his hands on his blade Asanagi was bolting towards him once more, this time however he managed to execute a surprisingly effecting parry, more out of luck than anything else really, but it was still exhilarating. As he knocked Asanagi's blade out of the way he prepared a counterattack, but Asanagi was much quicker than him, and knew much more about sword fighting as well it seemed. His blade almost made contact with his opponents chest, he'd been swinging his blade vertically and would have given Asanagi a gruesome cut if he hadn't blocked it. No matter what he tried, he wasn't able to land any truly useful blows. Ryuzaki guessed that they'd been at this for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. He couldn't be sure, but he was starting to feel winded and he knew that twenty minutes was around the time that would probably start happening if he was fully exerting himself. Asanagi was a tougher opponent than he expected, and he didn't think there was much he could do to win the fight, but he could definitely hang on for a while longer yet. Their blades clashed a few more times before Asanagi overpowered him, and he was forced to the ground once more. He heard Asanagi speaking to him as he pushed himself off of the ground yet again."You still have no idea what you're doing, it's obvious. You should start paying more attention to what others are doing instead of focusing entirely on yourself, then maybe you'll pick things up more quickly. Do you notice how differently you and I wield this blade? Your strikes are slow and clumsy, and half of the time they aren't even properly aligned. That's no way to win a battle."
Ryuzaki listened to his zanpakuto spirit, but it wasn't like he didn't know that he should learn from others. It was simply hard to focus on what his opponent was doing while he was trying to stay alive. It took all of his concentration to parry and dodge the various attacks that were thrown at him, but he also knew that this was only because of how inexperienced he was. With time his reactions would come more naturally, and he'd be able to focus more on what was going on around him, not just on his own blade and how he was going to counter the next thing thrown at him. He managed to gain a bit of distance and explain this to Asanagi, who could also see that Ryuzaki was just about at his limit. With that, Asanagi called the duel to a momentary halt. "Sit down right over there and watch me while you catch your breath. Pay attention to how I swing the sword, which parts of my body stay perfectly still, which parts move as I swing. Think about what muscles I'm using to add strength to my swings and compare that with how you swing your blade. "
Ryuzaki collapsed on the sand, relieved that he could finally rest for a time. After a few moments he pulled himself up to get a better view of what Asanagi was doing, and began paying close attention. The way that Asanagi wielded his weapon made Ryuzaki think of a great master of the blade. He exerted no more strength than he needed to, and his swings traveled exactly the distance he meant them to. Perhaps the most impressive thing of all though was the swiftness with which he executed all of this. Ryuzaki wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to match this kind of awesome display. He sat quietly and watched Asanagi for a little over fifteen minutes before the zanpakuto spirit stopped, and looked over at him. "There, now do you have a better idea of what you should be doing?"
Ryuzaki had learned much from watching Asanagi, but he was still completely exhausted from their earlier bout, he just hadn't had enough time to recuperate yet. His eyelids were growing heavier every second."Asanagi let me show you just how much I learned from watching that. I'm going to have to take a nap first though, I've already been training since this morning, and I've got no energy left to fight with."
Asanagi sighed as Ryuzaki laid himself out on the sand. As he did so he began to think. He was in his zanpakuto's spirit world. His body shouldn't become exhausted so easily here, should it? Maybe he was suffering from some sort of mental fatigue. Or maybe his brain was just trying to process everything he'd learned in such a short time, and needed to take some time for its self so that he could show improvement sooner. Either way, he was out cold.