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The grass danced to the breeze's breath, its only visible audience being that of a single shinigami. His zanpakuto rested against his right shoulder as he watched the blades of grass move in the wind. It was a lull in the struggle between hollow and shinigami, though bound to come to an end, soon. But for now, it was a good moment to be taken away from the stress and struggles in order to relax.
The shinigami, Masaru, gave a deep breath. As a teacher of zanjutsu, he has seen both sides of the spectrum of talent and skill, and it all grew annoying when students come running to him with the expectation that there is some sort of defined way of wielding the sword. He turned them all away: they’ll learn with time.
Joining Masaru this day was the newly appointed vice-captain of the Tenth Division, Matthew Toshiro. He was enjoying his break from the fighting in Hueco Mundo and had decided to come to the grass fields for a rest. He noticed Masaru, but avoided eye contact. Matt then drew his blade and began his ritual training routine, his strokes and cuts had perfect precision as he cut through the tall blades of grass.
The vice-captain's practice caught Masaru's attention, and he watched the movements in which the officer utilized with his zanpakuto. They were too perfect. Perfection in combat form leads to predictability. Predictability leads to being outwitted and defeat. For a few minutes, Masaru watched the varies cuts and strikes by Matthew, then he rose to his feet. He walked closer until he was within normal speaking range, out of the reach of the other's zanpakuto. "You know, all those cutting movements are good, but perfection is not always a good thing."
As a reputed teacher of swordsmanship, it would be neigh-impossible for Matt to not have heard of him, at least.
Matthew turned to face Masaru, "Hmm, I'm aware, however, in combat things must go perfectly in order to succeed." he responded, sheathing his sword. It was then that he recognized Masaru from the shinigami academy. While Matt had not directly studied under him, he had heard from Ryan, his captain, that this man was an excellent zanjutsu user.
Masaru crossed his arms. "A plan never goes as planned. That's an old saying that fits perfectly here. There is no such thing as a perfect stroke, as there will always be a way to use that against you. Keep that in mind the next time you come across a smart hollow."
Matthew snickered slightly, "That'll never happen." he said to himself. Then a thought crossed his mind. "If you know so much, why don't you prove your method is superior." he challenged, drawing his blade once more. He held it out directly in front of himself.
"Fine then," Masaru said, ignoring Matthew's stiffled laugh.
The Battle Begins
With a single hand motion, running across his sheath, the shinigami drew his blade. The odachi-like blade was gripped in accordance to the great length of the blade: the two hands separate from each other. The difference between his and Matthew's sword lengths were obvious, since a single step forward by Masaru would put him just within range for a cut. But the zanjutsu teacher simple placed his feet into position and entered a defensive posture, his blade angled so that it was almost parallel to the ground, the tip pointed at Matt. "Bring it."
Matthew pointed his zanpakuto directly into the air and began releasing his reiatsu, not as a show of power but to manifest his power. A small Quincy cross manifested in his free hand and he quickly pocketed the trinket. He then used shunpo to close the gap between him and his opponent, clashing blades with him.
Masaru took note of the surge of reiatsu, but made no outward expression to it. Matt seems to be taking things a little too seriously. Kids these days...
The swordsmaster started with a simple maneuver. Sliding his blade across Matt's, he pivoted on his left foot, bringing his blade around the other's and keeping it between himself and his opponent's. The pressure on Masaru's zanpakuto quickly shifted as the blade came about, and the shinigami finished with a quick swipe towards the other's face with the blunt side of his blade.