“Almost there” Orochihama said, as she climbed the konohagakure Mountains once more. It had been a long time since Orochihama had traveled there, up in the mountains. Orochihama has had quite a few adventures up there; she then started to think back on those crazy adventures. She remembered how she was chased down the mountains by the huge konoha badgers. She even remembered saving the same badgers that attacked them from wild bees, the times she had up there were priceless. Though at the present times of those flash backs Orochihama feared for her life, she now saw them as hysterical moments that she would gladly do again if she had the choice. But now, Orochihama had other plans instead of running into those badgers. Orochihama came up there to work on her speed, Orochihama felt that she was getting kind of slow; she knew that the other cloud ninjas were working on their speed as well since it was now part of the new training exercise. Orochihama even thought that everyone was just getting faster, but now was not the time to think of others Orochihama thought tom himself as she was climbing the mountains. Orochihama had to focus on the there and now since she was the one doing the training. She thought about how she would start her training since she was cause to the destination point. Orochihama had come to the mountains with the usual, a bag full of ankle weights, with some hand wraps, two bottles of water, and some of Orochihama ninja tools. As Orochihama climbed, she suddenly slipped downwards a bit. “Dang it, maybe I shouldn’t of brought those heavy ankle weights with me, I could fell all the way down to the entrance gates” Orochihama then stared to climb upwards again after she regained she grip. When Orochihama got to the edge of the destination she threw her bag over and pulled her self-up. Orochihama decided to take the long way up the mountain by the heavy rock terrain instead of the walk way. Orochihama then did a few stretches so that she could loosen himself up even more; Orochihama was going the distance they time. Orochihama then reached into her bag and got the ankle weights, she then wrapped them around her ankle, so that she could give himself a challenge like always. Then she looked around to see where she could start her run. Orochihama had climbed onto a wide flat run way that was once used to bring mining carts down to the village; it was now abandoned so it can easily be used as a track. When Orochihama found a way to start she got into a running position and was preparing himself to take off, but before she took of she then thought about how she didn’t’ want to feel so lonely while running down they path. So, Orochihama then formed the hand signs and used her nothing, nothing happened. Now Orochihama felt a bit better now that there was Orochihama running along togethey. “Alright, let make they trip one shell of a run” The real Orochihama said as all the energy got togethey and once again she got into a running position. As soon as Orochihama shouted “Go!!” she took off into the path way at blazing speed, without a sense of direction. All Orochihama was doing was blazing full speed down the mountains, dodgeing every branch and boulders that was in has way. She was wearing ankle weights, so she was running as fast as she should, but were going fast none the less. As she was heading down the mountain, Orochihama came across a food cart that was in the middle of the run way. It was being pulled by an old man that seems to be a bit sluggish. Orochihama shouted different words “Shey old man move out the way! Move it gramps! Out of the way! Watch out I’m gonna crash” they all said as she was heading closer and closer towards the old man. The old man retorted “What?”, “ah man we are so boned” Orochihama said. Then, Orochihama maneuvered her way over the cart. As she came up on the cart, Orochihama jumped over the cart, as she just passing the old man, while she kept pulling on the cart the cart. “That was easy” she said as she all continued her run down the mountain. “ I am something else you know that” the Orochihama said to himself,. Orochihama realizing her error said “oh yea” as she ran down the mountain. As moments passed, the stamina of Orochihama started to wear down, it seemed that Orochihama found it to be too much of a challenge to maintain running with the ankle weights. Orochihama had lost her stamina a while back and had only noticed it just now, “Ok I think I should call it quits” Orochihama said. Once she did she all of the training that she did flowed into Orochihama and became one with him. Now it was just Orochihama, all alone just running the abandon trail. Then Orochihama wonder for a bit, if they place was really abandoned then what was that old man doing their in the first place. Orochihama then looked around again to see if she was still behind, all she saw was nothing but dust that was rising up from her feet. Orochihama then gave up on the thought as she came down to the mountain entrance. “Well that’s all for now then, till next time” Orochihama said as she jogged home.
The day outside was a cold one, and Orochihama scanned the area around him as she tuned out on the lecture the class sensei was giving. The only thing she payed attention to were few certain things. One was the climate situation currently. Like usual, there was a dense layer of mist, thick in scattered parts of the field she and the class stood in. The slight breeze and the moisture in the air sent periodic small chills down Orochihama ‘s spine. Drops of water condensed on her cheeks, and she took note of the fact that it was cold enough for the mist to condense and do so. Clouds overhead took on a dark gray color, signaling the possibility of a storm nearby. All they was taken note by the astute eye that gazed out of the awesome face that Orochihama was like himself each morning for the day. After scanning other traits of the world around, like judging from appearance the ability of the other students, Orochihama drew her attention and gaze to her sensei, listening to him. All the while her astute eyes was set in a wide eyed stare at the man.
From the lecture Orochihama could draw that today's lesson would be about the basic moves ofTaijutsu and how to become more skilled and knowledgeable in hand-to-hand combat. After minutes more of explanations and different volunteers doing stances for the sensei to demonstrate, Orochihama ‘sand another child's name was called. And though some might think it cruel to pit children against each other in fights, especially when the child facing Orochihama now in the dueling circle was much larger and older than Orochihama , Orochihama thought it to be a fun game to test her speed. The sensei explained the rules of combat, the two children bowed and made the signs of combat, then the duel began. The larger child, Boku, russhed forward at Orochihama and drew her left foot back to shoot forward and kick Orochihama. However, as if on instinct, Orochihama slid to the right quickly and lunged forward, transferring into a steady stance and thrusting her fists at intervals into the boy's stomach in a barrage with a jackhammer kind of motion, causing many resounding thumps to ring out satisfactorily. Boku was slowly pusshed back by the attack, but simply drew back her right fist and launched it towards Orochihama‘s gut. The punch stopped in the air of the spot where Orochihama had been, who, being quite nimble and thin, had jumped a foot or so into the air above the punch and slammed the front of her head into the face of Boku, causing the burly child to fall back and down, landing with a poof of dust outside the dueling circle. Impressed by the skill in the fight, Orochihama‘s sensei declared the winner of the bout, but saw that Orochihama, believing the lesson to now be over, had already lunged up and climbed to the rooftop of the academy and run off towards home, the dark clouds overhead dropping fresh rain down unto Orochihama face.
Orochihama woke up looking at her alarm clock listening to its loud buzzing noise. She reached over from under the blanket on top of him and slapped down on top of the snooze button shutting it off. The buzzing stopped and she flipped the blanket off of him and sitting up on her bed. She wiped her eyes and blinked a few times looking around the room. She stood up she was wearing only her boxers. She walked to the dresser beside her bed and grabbed the top drawers handles with each hand. She pulled opening it She reached in with her right hand grabbing some clothe for the day. She threw the close on her bed and closed the dresser. Orochihama turned around and began putting on her shirt. H reached down and picked up her pants unfolding them and pulling them on over her ankles then her knees all the way up to her hips. She latched the button on her pants and zipped them up. Orochihama walked to her refrigerator grasping the handle with her right hand and pulling making the door unlatch an open to reveal the goods inside. She looked around and reached in and grabbed a to go bar with her right hand she stuffed it into her item pouch along with one of her energy drink. She reached in and grabbed another to go bar and stuffed it into her mouth and began eating. She turned and went to leave as she left she used her right leg to shut the refrigerator with her left foot. She walked over to her door and reached up grabbing the doorknob with her right hand grasping it firmly and twisting it to the left till it clicked letting him know it had unlatched, She pusshed the door and stepped forward letting the door open up as she entered the hallway. She shut the door behind him turning around placing the key into the keyhole on the doorknob. She turned the key 90 degree's to the left then 90 degree's back right. The lock clicked Orochihama turned and walked over to the stair case and jumped down she looked at the empty desk in the lobby. She threw her keys behind it once more and walked to the door to exit the old apartment building. She placed both hands on the door and pusshed so the door opened and walked out into the streets closing the door behind him. crouched down looking straight up into the air. She then projected himself straight up. She landed on the roof on the ball of both feet in a crouched position with her arms facing back behind him. Then she looked toward the traininggrounds, She stood back up continuing to look at the training grounds. She leaned forward and placed her feet in a sprinting position getting ready to sprint toward the training grounds looking dead on at the features there. She started, exploding out of her stance at a full on sprint. She was laughing with excitement at the skills she would be training. Orochihama stopped after entering thetraining grounds sliding a foot before coming to a complete stop, dust sliding up from under her feet. She was ready to begin training. She turned and sprinted placing traps hastily around facing the column she stands on it. She finisshed setting the traps and had a string attached to each of her traps, She jumped up onto the column and looked hastily around at the different traps she pulled the string hard setting off all the traps at once as kunai flew at him she began to stand there allowing the kunai to hit her armor at the end of the spray of kunai only 3 grains of sand fell from the armor. She released the armor letting it fall off creating clumps of sand in a circle around the column. She turned and sprinted off to the other side of the village. Once she got there she placed her left foot back on the ball and the right under her shoulder's getting ready to sprint then she counted "3...2...1...GO!" Orochihama took off she was dead sprinting she could feel the wind against her face she knew that she could do it set a amazing time for him to surpass later. She continued sprinting past all the store Konohagakure had to offer. She saw a groceries store, a book store, a ninja items shop and even the pet store as she flew by sprinting as fast as she could nothing in konohagakure could stop her training she would learn everything. She sprinted so much that a pain began to appear in her lower right side she knew she had to sprint through it she felt like thousands of needles were entering her hip ripping into her muscle.
Orochihama kept running she couldn't bare the pain but she had to it was for Konohagakure she couldn't let them fall any farthey behind she knew that she would be the sole protector of they beautiful culture. She had to make sure that she lived long enough to see the village grow into a prosperous land. She had to learn all the jutsu she had to be the one who would answer the worlds questions. She kept pushing it running through when she pasted the pole at the end of her run she stopped instantly pulled out a kunai and carved shadow in the pole next to it she carved 1.0 minutes on to the pole. She walked around setting traps all around in front of him. She sprinted forward setting of the traps letting kunai fly up out of random areas as she ran she dodged the kunai flying out of the sandy ground each one with enough force to kill. Orochihama reached the end and stopped stumbling forward not used to stopping so abruptly. Orochihama turned and left the training grounds.
Orochihama awoke, the sun bursting through the window of her room. The powerful rays of the sun hit her face, awakening him from her slumber. She moved her left leg over to the left of her bed, letting it off, allowing for her foot to touch the floor. She would move her body over, towards the side of the floor where her left foot currently rested on. She lifted himself up, as she sat on her bed, moving her right leg right next to her left leg. She placed her right foot next to her left foot and sigshed, thinking. she was currently thinking of her shinobi career, due to the fact, unlike most shinobi, Orochihama can't use ninjutsu, nor genjutsu, or any other type of technique which requires a larger amount of chakra than normal every day citizens had. She stood up, still wearing what she had normally wore during her slumbers, a pair of shorts. She sigshed, moving her feet, starting with the right foot, she turned it to face over to her right, where her closet rested in the wall. A small door, which would slide open, inside was Orochihama ‘s clothing, shirts, pants, and her trainingoutfits. Though she mainly wore some of her training outfits, she would occasionally wear something more fancy such as clothing more fit for rather fancy things, such as funerals, she would normally wear a dark colored shirt, along with dark colored pants, though for something like a party, depending on the type of party she would most likely wear some bright colors. She put on her shirt, sliding it down her stomach, then putting her arms through the sleeves which had reached down to near her elbows, a rather tight fit, useful for training so it wouldn't get in the way. The shirt was red, with black on the chest, and two black lines side to side down the sleeve, the black lines had connected to the black on the chest of the shirt. She put on some pants, some red pants, again being tight, rather shelpful for when sparring, or on missions. Even better when in a fight, as in Orochihama ‘s opinion, the clothing, the tight clothing wouldn't be in her way when she had sparred, trained, or fought her enemies. The shorts reached down a little past her knee caps. She sigshed, wrapping her fists up in wraps as when she would punch things, it wouldn't leave any bruises on her knuckles. She then wrapped her left foot up, allowing him to have less damage done on her own foot when kicking during a fight. Being a taijutsu dilettante, Orochihama gets up close and personal for any fight, including spars. She only chooses Taijutsu as her main fighting style due to it being one she can perform with ease, without the use of chakra, and she wouldn't have to use weapons. She rather dislikes weapons due to the fact that most of her family was killed by a metallic meterite, though she would indeed resort to using weapons if it were a life threatening situation, or perhaps when she saw that weapons were the only thing that would do any good. She continued to wrap her left foot up in the wrappings, then continuing up to do her left leg, up until a point where there would be a small gap between the bottom of her pant legs, and the wrappings, leaving nothing but some skin in between. She then wrapped up her right leg, doing the same as she had done with her left. She strapped on some pouches, where she kept her wrappings in case of any injuries she would receive, or if she had found anyone else hurt. Normally shinobi would keep Kunai, and other weapons in these pouches, however Orochihama had none, she would if she had some, though she hadn't considered going out to buy them as an emergency fall back, in case her normal skills wouldn't harm her opponents. After being fully wrapped on both legs, and both arms, and both feet she would stand completely up, "ALRIGHT!" She yelled out, the time being around lunch time, her stomach making a roaring sound. No time for food.. have to increase in my skills.. She said, flipping back half way, placing the palm of her right hand on the floor, and then she would take her left arm, which was laid next to her body, right next to it, pressing against it, her left hand pointed up towards the ceiling. She moved it to the point where her left palm would be on the floor as well as her right palm. Her feet fell down, towards the direction which her stomach was facing. The tip of her toes would be on the ground, as they hit with a tad bit of force creating rather a small noise, loud enough to slightly echo in the room. She sigshed, bending her two elbows, her right and her left, perfectly even. They bent at the same time, bent like a normal humans would. They bent until her nose touched the floor gently, the had bent so slow that her nose would hit the floor. She then would push up, unbending the arms slowly as she had pusshed up, lifting her body away from the floor. She continued, several times pushing her body up, and down, away from the floor, and towards the floor . She let gravity force him to the floor, to the point where her nose would begin to touch the floor, and then she would fight gravity, resisting it's force upon him, the force which had pusshed Orochihama to the ground, the force which had made her nose touch the ground. Though she had let the force push him down to the ground, as it was her exercise, she was simply doing push ups. She would allow the force to push him to the ground one last time, her nose touching the wooden floor of her room, then she would push with her arms, her body launching up into the air as she would had pusshed enough to allow himself to stand up fully while putting little to no pressure on the legs, until she stood.
Orochihama stood in her room, sighing, having just got done with her daily exercising, well, not all of it. She had just gotten done with the push ups, she had still needed to do a quick jog through the village, at the same time picking up some things she had needed. She sigshed, moving her head to the right as her spine would slowly, as she moved it, begin to snap. When she had reached the point where she couldn't bend her neck any furthey, without it still being in a healthy range, she would begin to pick it back up the muscles she had in the neck and made himself stand straight and tall. She then bent her neck towards the left, again keeping himself in the range of healthy, making sure they did no real damage, as they would only be used as a way to crack her neck. Though she had no idea on why she did it, she was rather addicted, after her first attempt at snapping her bones she would continue doing it everyday after she would awaken from her slumber, the slumber she had began usually at ten PM at night time, she had gone to bed around there so she could get up early and begin her training, normally that meant doing push ups, then a jog through the village. Usually in her jog she would stop to get some breakfast, if she had to go shop for some food and stuff like that. She walked over to her window, opening it up, letting the breeze of the wind flow into her home, it kicked up some dust that was laying on the floor, hidden from the view of normal eyes. Orochihama hadn't normally swept her floors, therefore they were rather dusty, even though she had kicked the dust around when she had began her training. She began to climb out the window, turning around as she did so allowing her two feet to point toward the door which would lead to the hall way of her home, she was currently on the second floor of her home. There were multiple rooms in her home, however only one being used, and that was by himself. They was due to the fact that her family had been killed when Orochihama was young, her parents had gotten blown up. Orochihama was a simple shinobi in the village, she hadn't much experience as a true shinobi, in fact she was rather new compared to most other shinobi. To have the status of shinobi usually had meant that you were new to the shinobi world, thus you would be sent on small ranked missions, such as D ranked missions. Though, most shinobi had been sent on a few C ranked missions. The average shinobi was normally put on a team with other shinobi, and a Jounin, possibly a chuunin. Though Orochihama had no team to be on, she was hoping to one day get one so that she could train with them, it would make it rather easy, sparring instead of simply doing a few push ups and jogging around the village.
She now began to climb to the roof, after sliding the window she had climbed out of shut. she flipped over, allowing her feet to hang on to the edge of the roof top. She would use the chance to jump, her feet on the edge allowing for it as she put all her strength into her feet to pull himself up into a jumping like form. she went into a flip, spinning around and her two feet landing the opposite way of where she was facing when her feet were hanging on the edge. When they were hanging on they had been pointed at the south, the tip of the feet had been anyways, after landing they began to face the north. Upon landing, she would rapidly, if not immediatly perform a few back flips to the point where her heels of her feet were hanging off the edge of her roof top, if she had jumped any furthey back, which she had not planned on doing, she would land in the streets of Konohagakure. Not really the streets of konhagakure, more of the path way of sand which was all throughout Konohagakure. She ran forward, headed in to a rapid dash. Her arms back behind him, not moving at all as she had ran forward, she had believed they to be rather helpful as she ran, in her opinion it had allowed him to travel faster. She ran across the roof of her home, as she ran forward soon reaching the edge of her home, she would push her foot agaisnt the edge, her right foot, and jump forward. She had jumped between the gap in between her house and the one across the sand path way of Konohagakure. She stuck out her left foot, not the one she had used to launch himself over the gap between the houses, she stuck it out so that she would safely land on the roof, and she did. Her left foot reached the roof top, and she rapidly stuck out her right foot, it passing the left and she began to dash across yet another roof top. She had gotten to the ramen shop which was not too far from her home, she had rapidly eaten what she had ordered and made her way for the shops, yet again dashing atop the roof tops and soon arriving. She needed some food, and that had been it really, she wanted nothing more nothing less, she needed nothing more and nothing less. All she required was food so that she could eat at home instead of going out for ramen. She had went to the sshelves, grabbing plenty of ramen packs. She then made her way home
Orochihama was up just before daybreak, a single light on the nightstand beside her bed illuminating the room. She slipped on that form-fitting mesh shirt over her uncommonly virile chest, then the olive-green pants before taking the red sash off a nearby chair. She tied the sash around her waist with her forehead protector ironically positioned on that garment, leaving the protector over her right hip. Sitting in that same chair she slipped on some socks and then placed upon each foot a rather heavy-looking boot. It wasn't that she hated wearing the sandals so common among ninja, she just felt more comfortable with these boots, a hand-me-down from her father, which Orochihama himself had requested, not only because she wanted something of her father's, but it was something to save money as well, rather than fritter away funds on shoes she didn't need. They looked worn but still structurally sound, and given how heavy they were, they added a little weight to her legs for added training usage, and provided a rather hard weapon with which to add damage to her kicks.
After securing her pouch to the sash, she opened it up and threw a few more kunai in there since she planned on doing some target practice later. Closing the pack back up she stood and walked out of her room, and then out of the house. The sun was just peeking over the nearby mountain as she started her trek to the training grounds. Walking just didn't suit him, and a good run would provide a preliminary warmup, so without warning she took off, sprinting with impressive speed to the training grounds. Luckily the hour was still quite early, so there were very few people on the streets, mostly other ninja all going to do their own thing at the training ground, some even departing on missions. She forged ahead with determination, heavy boots impacting the hardened dirt path beneath her feet. It was also enough to simply get up they early, because ninjas don't always have a regularly alotted sleep schedule either, they needed to be ready for action at a moment's notice. It wasn't uncommon for rival villages or criminal organizations to attack under the cover of darkness, and one has no time to wipe the sleep from their eyes when there is a knife at their throat.
Stepping onto training ground 11, the one she favored for no particular reason other than it was the one she always used, she hit the deck and began stretching. First her legs, she stretched them in various positions to limber up her muscles a little more than what that brief run had done, before she reached over to a nearby dummy and grabbed the pole it was tied to, then moving the other way to stretch her chest. She repeated they with the other side before doing the same with her biceps, a similar position used but the wrist was isolated differently so those enlarged biceps - rather large for a 12 year old, were stretched as well. She went through the paces with other parts of her body before doing a kip-up and standing under a low-hanging branch. Bare hands, rough from training, grasped the bark and then she took a wide stance with her legs, providing resistance for himself with her arms while she did a number of squats. 500, to be exact.
She then hit the deck once again and proceeded to do the same number of pushups as she had done in squats. The cool morning air did little to stave off her sweating, as beads ran down her face and body in places. A good sweat is a sign of a proper warmup, and she was a veteran of that even at her young age. When she was satisfied she stood up before a dummy and took her stance, a wide posture with her legs oriented diagonally in respect to the target dummy, with her left foot forward. Her left hand was positioned out in front of him, her elbow bent and relaxed, and her hand relaxed as well. The right hand was poised into a fist that she chambered at her right hip just above her forehead protector. Once she was ready the barks and yells began. First she lifted that front leg for an abdominal kick on the dummy, thrusting her foot forward with well-trained quads forcing the strike forward just after the hip levied the position needed for the strike. The wood beneath let out a dull thud from the hit before her left foot descended right back downward. No sooner than she'd regained her stance, she pusshed off of her back foot and thrust a quick jab at the head portion of the dummy. Quick and ill-prepared as the jab was, it still made an audible thud on the dummy before she withdrew her left hand. They was the precursor for a rain of blows.
She jabbed the dummy again with her left hand, then brought her right around for a brutal hook to what would equate to be the dummy's ribs. She quickly followed her right hand's strike with a knee shot in the same exact spot with her right knee, as her right leg was her back leg in her stance, she had plenty of space to turn her hips and get considerable force behind the knee strike. The 3 hit combo she loved was just that - a right hook to the ribs, followed by the right knee in the same spot, and then next came her left knee. Her right foot meeting the dirt was the signal as she simultaneously crouched along with the act of bringing her right foot back down to earth, and then those powerful legs unloaded, sending Orochihama ‘s body upward in a sudden leap. She brought her left knee up under what would be the dummy's chin, striking powerfully enough to make the dummy's head violently snap backward. Her jump was plenty powerful enough that it carried him over the dummy in a somewhat lazy flip. At the same time Orochihama produced 2 kunai from her pouch, the rings held between the fingers of her right hand. Still in mid-air, her right arm slung forward from its position at her hip, releasing both kunai in a powerful double toss. The first one hit the small of the dummy's back, the other landed not even half a second later, at the point where the spine becomes the neck. It was a precision toss, and she knew from looking at medical diagrams that her father had, that kunai at those points, if not lethal, would render an opponent unable to fight anymore. It was target practice that she felt was very important to know, because she may have to use it against an enemy someday.
Orochihama walked back to the dummy she'd just walked on and 'killed' with 2 kunai, and dislodged the kunai from the wood to which the dummy was attached, placing them back in her pouch. She then proceeded to engage in another flurry of blows on the dummy, before she lept backwards they time. She quickly wrested 6 kunai from her pouch and held them between the fingers of both hands as she had before. In her mind the scenario played out that two of her opponent's comrades had come to lend a hand with the fight against him, and she quickly backed off so she didn't get swarmed, but also made it so that they passive move still carried some danger for those in front of him. She threw the 6 kunai, right hand swinging forward, then left. She ideally intended for all 6 to hit the targets, 2 in each. But her toss wasn't quite on the mark, and two of them collided with one another. The good news was she got at least 1 kunai in each dummy's chest, 2 kunai having hit the far left one's chest, at the positions where both lungs would be pierced. The others got 1 sternum shot each for their troubles, the kunai sticking out of the dummies.
Orochihama sighed and went to grab first the kunai in the dummies, then the two that harmlessly ended up in the grass at the foot of the nearby tree. She practiced that same 3 opponent scenario again and again, sunlight soon flooding the training ground. After literally 20 attempts she finally got the proper kunai toss she wanted on all three opponents. Still, Orochihama grumbled, dissatisfied." That's not good enough, not nearly." she thought. So she punisshed himself with a run around the village, a full sprint at that. It was good, though, such punishment was good for building stamina. When she was done with her 'misery' lap she returned to the training ground, and was at it again like she never left.
It was happening again, after each and every failed attempt to 'kill' all three dummies decisely in one flurry of kunai, she only wanted to do it more. After literally an hour of non-stop attempts she stood there panting, again all 3 dummies bore 2 kunai in each of their chests. She had shown definite improvement but until she could do it flawlessly every time she wouldn't call they training complete. The oversized genin straightened her back and stood up, walking over to the dummies one last time. With a wipe of her brow she took the kunai from the dummies for the final time, put them back in her pouch, and proceeded to sprint all the way back home. However, a distraction kept him from going home to eat, instead stopping in at a Ramen shop. After lunch it would be back to business as usual, hopefully with a training partner they time. Orochihama then went to sleep.