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Join date : 2015-12-02

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PostSubject: Smith's early days   Smith's early days Icon_minitimeWed Dec 16, 2015 9:27 pm

With her hammer in hand, Saya can not help but look back on her past.  It was a difficult road, but one that had ended her in the position she was in now.  At only 12 years old she counted herself among the youngest to have mastered the smith's art, though it was a hobby she had begun many years prior.  At the age of 7 she was without friends or family.  She was an orphan in the care of the Land of Steam.  She was a ward of the state, but already being honed to be the weapon she would become.  She had expressed an interest, if not a fondness, for the tools of war she saw around her.  She was playing with kunai before she was an academy student, and seemed to have both the patient temperament and the disposition to learn blade-craft.  

Her apprentice ship began so long ago, two years before she'd been placed in the academy.  At 9 years old she wasn't strongest, and she wasn't the brightest, but she had an innate wonder and fascination with steel.  She began as all apprenticed do, working the bellows.  It was a box she quickly became deeply familiar with, a solid rectangle of wood which was sealed off on one side and bore a nozzle on the other.  The nozzle lead into and below the coals of the force, feeding them with strong bursts of oxygen.  The bellows made smithing possible, no wood or coal fire got hot enough on their own to burn metal to incandescence.  The function was simple, a handle in the front that connected to a pad located inside the bellow box.  Pull the handle out and air fills the chamber behind it.  Force the handle forward and the bellows would blast the coals with air stir the embers into a fury of dazzling orange flames.  The light show alone could have kept her attention, but watching as her master brought searing red steel from the forge only further enraptured her.

This was how her first year went.  She would work the bellows as her master tended the metal, and learn each tool in turn.  From 10 types hammer to  fifty parts of an anvil, from the wire brush to the vice securely fastened to the bench, every tool had a purpose which it fulfilled perfectly.    She did not get to use any tools, instead she was resigned to simply fetching them upon request, and watching while they were put to use.  More than once she suffered swats and scolds from her master upon bringing the wrong tool, and wasting hot time.

It wasn't until half way through the second year of her apprenticeship that she was given the hammer for the first time, and allowed to pound upon the hot steel with it.  She was not trusted with anything intricate, of course, and she was still lacking the required muscle to properly work them, but she was given to the job of assisting while steel ingots were simple being folded.  Folding the steel was painstaking and tedious, exhausting and time consuming, but one of the steps that helped forge the steel into something strong, something durable, and something that could be used on the battlefield without fear of failure.

The hammering was endless, and before too long she'd already begun regrettign her advancement, and craving the less painful tedium of the bellows.  At least they did not exhaust her, or cause her arms and back to ache for days after only using the hammer for an afternoon.  Her master was a wise woman, however, and she kept Saya's attitude and spirit both well in line with the work ahead of her.  While she made no effort to pull the isolated girl out of her shell, she did imbue within her a work ethic which serves as the very foundation of her life.  Never give up.

That simple ethic was pounded into her with the pain of searing muscles, calloused hands, and waking up the next day at the crack of dawn to do it all over again.  It wasn't easy, but that was the point.  Nothing worth doing was ever easy.  Another year passed, and she was still an apprentice.  She was 11, and only months from moving away from the forge and into the fires of the ninja academy.  By this time her muscles were already growing, and strong.  She could lift the hammer and wield it against metal for hours before exhaustion came, where as just minutes would tire her out before.  She was strong, and tough, but above all she was skilled.

True to the thoughts of those in charge, her fascination with weapons did give her more drive, gave her more inspiration, and allowed her to blossom into a fine artist.  While still an apprentice she'd forged several tools on her own, and her master had to admit that she had a good eye for scale and size, as well as a sense for balance that left even her most basic of creations a worthy tool in the hands of any village guard.
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