Rei's scientific knowledge was, of course, quite apt. There was a sharp, lingering pain in Shingen's chest that only grew worse with each consecutive breath. It wasn't the result of any wound sustained, but instead was the child of the cold, dry mountain air. Each gasp for breath was like a sword, a sharp, stabbing pain. It was all he could do to try and steady his breaths, trying to slow his heartbeat and steady his oxygen intake, as each rapid, gasping breath only furthered his pain. This quest was hampered, however, by the acute glimpses of Rei's feminine features that he was able to see from this angle. It only caused his heart to beat faster and faster, and for his breathing to grow slightly irregular, which only served to cause more stabbing pains. The distraction, coupled with the pain of breathing, was enough to throw off the chuunin's concentration, and Rei's kick was able to find its mark, knocking Shingen backwards with a hard thud against the ground. He felt like a fly that was smacked right out of the air.
His stamina giving way, Shingen felt his paper dissipate, as he returned to his normal form. Groaning, he took a few shaky, deep breaths, as he tried to calm himself. He swallowed slowly, but even that hurt his dry, cracked throat. Rei was right, the mountain air was absolutely punishing, and yet she looked no worse for wear as a result of it. A truly enviable trait. "I think I'm at my limit for today, Senpai,"
Shingen said sheepishly, shyly admitting that he had reached his limit. If nothing else, Shingen had learned from this spar just how amazing his senpai was. His adoration for her only grew as a result. Despite the pain he felt, he offered her the best grin he could muster, not wanting to make her worry about him after something as benign as a spar cut short because of the air quality. Pushing himself to his feet, Shingen gave her a full, respectful bow, bringing the first of many sparring sessions to a close. He certainly had a lot to learn.
~One Month Later~
Glancing around the deserted temple courtyard, Shingen tiptoed across the ground. While a light snow had begun to fall since the start of the evening, the Konoha shinobi did a relatively good job of sweeping away the snow during each change of the guard shift. As a result, there was only a light dusting of powdery snow on the ground, meaning Shingen's footfalls were spared from the subjugation of loud, crunching steps through inches of snow. Instead, they pattered lightly on the ground as he approached his destination.
The target was the Uchiha commander of the Konoha garrison. It was Shingen's internal mission to take her out. He approached the window to her room silently, bathed in faint starlight. Despite being only an hour passed dinnertime, it was already pitch-black outside, an effect of being in the depths of the winter months. Standing now just outside of the window to Rei's quarters, Shingen leaned forward, squinting his eyes to try and peer inside the room. Glancing around to either side to make sure he had not been followed, and was not being watched, Shingen tapped vigorously on the window. "Psssst, senpai,"
He whispered loudly, followed by additional window tapping. "Hey, senpai,"
He continued, turning to rest his back against the wall so he could look out for interlopers that would thwart his plans.
"Lets sneak out of here, there's a winter festival going on in a nearby village. I heard some of the guards talking about it. It'll be fun!"