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Naruto: Shimofuri Main Thread l Part 3

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by SoulTaker, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. SoulTaker The Ever Living

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    "Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another. There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views."

    THE STORY
    After the Fourth Ninja War the world, it changed… The good feelings and newfound unity led the world to unite under one banner. The Kage's formed a high council to govern all the countries. They make decisions as a group instead of as individuals.

    For 130 years the peace of the Kage High Council prospers.

    However enlightenment is upon civilization. The world has been peaceful; poverty and starvation are at an all-time low as the world reaches heights of never before seen posterity. But there is one prevailing thought that has climbed into the social consciousness. Are the Kage’s representatives of the people if the people did not choose them?

    A social revolution consisting of those malcontent with their lack of say in the government begins in order to reorganize the politics of the High Kage Council. The first stone is cast when Iwakagure attempts to crush the new political movement by colonizing three neighboring villages that are in favor of change, Kusakagure, Ishikagure, and Amekagure. However there are some in Iwakagure who are in support of democracy, a separatist movement, and they conspire with the oppressed villages to annex a portion of Iwakagure. This alliance becomes one village, Fuzenkagure. This is the first domino in the schism.

    Elsewhere some of the Kage’s decide to step down out of respect for their people’s wishes. These smaller nations band together and essentially form a separate ninja nation. The Black. The Kage High Council responds by consolidating its power and forming the White.

    It has been 20 years since the formation of the Black and the White. Tension is at an all time high between them as the Tsuchikage's recent Invasion of Fuzengakure has put both sides closer to the brink of war than they have ever been before. It is not just the machinations of the Tsuchikage, the other three totems of the world have begun to make their moves as well.
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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  2. SoulTaker The Ever Living

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    The New Game

    Portraits of former leaders of the village hunt on the walls, a boxing bag that had hung there since the Fourth's term, and a fully famed and autographed painting that had the kanji for 'muscle' on it, and had been signed by famous individuals that had come to visit the office during the past. Bento walked past the seat within the middle of the chamber as he snatched up his Kage's hat and robe, putting on both as he inside from a nearby hall. Still on the front of the office, located in the tallest tower in all of Kumogakure, the kanji for Lightning rested, a testament more than anything else. Aya was close behind, and as he took a seat at the desk, she moved towards a shelf, apparently looking for something. The office was absent of any others, for the moment.

    A sterling brauvura of gases and suspended carbon began to from in the center of the office, the nebula materialized from nothingness. One moment the space was blank and the next an ethereal cloud of smoke began to smother the wooden floors. In the proverbial eye of the storm a shape of a man began to form and soon that shape gained even more consistency texturalizing into a bespoked Cho Cho's business suit. From there locks of raven black cascaded down atop a finely flourished dark leather coat. These were not this man's signatures though, no the orbs that acted as the gatekeepers to his souls burned like cauls of amber. These eyes were his calling card, he was The Master Of The Sharingan, The Hokage, Uchiha Rakiyo.



    "Long time no see Aya-chan, Bento-Kun. I have to say though, between the both of you I'm a little miffed. Neither of you couble be bothered to call or write for the past four months, but the old boy rattles the earth a little and manages to loosen the screws on everything a little." Rakiyo's tone was aloof with a slightly stilted lilt, making reference to the fact that there were technically two Kages in Kumokagure, the face and the brain. "It makes sense though that even the most conservative folk want to sit down and talk about it, heck I want to talk, even you want to sit down and talk Aya-chan." One would describe it as flippant as best and overly casual at worst...

    Bento stood at once, with a broad smile. "Rakiyo-san!" he nearly roared, arms open as he looked to the Hokage. "You're always...bah! I'm for us both, I never have the head to remember writing, and Aya is hardpressed to switch up her schedule." Aya obviously recognnized the person entering just by the tone of voice and diction alone, and pulled the book she was after from the shelve, flipping through for a moment or two. She cleared her throat quietly, a slight tell of irritation in the young woman. "I hadn't expected Iwa to take such a...grand stand, and so soon. Though the Black's reaction was expected, if anything." Then she turned to face him. "That's no excuse to have been out of touch, however. How are you?"



    "Better than Fuzengakure's civilians, that's for sure." The Hokage walked over with a slight strut to the chair that had previously been placed in the center oft he room, grabbing it he took a seat."I'd love to know how you are doing but I have to say Aya..." He took a slight pause leaning back and balancing the seat so it was now turned around to face Aya once again. "You know I was able to see you, not at first but maybe after the third time I met you and your brother. It must have been what?" He shrugged his shoulders to pantomime his ignorance."Three maybe even five years ago, you could have been mistaken for a teenager. Just a very young girl who was just in the background, but even then with my eyes I could see you. Still others couldn't and that was the beauty of it. It was a very silent and deadly charisma. I think of you as the world's therapist, listening out for the problems." The Hokage realized he had been mildly grandiose but this was his way of endearing himself to pride of the Hitomi clan. "So I'm wondering if you might have heard something while listening to the world. I think that it would be best if you told me what you've heard and I could tell you what I've seen."
     
  3. Hidden Nin Well-Known Member

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    -------------
    She slowed her flipping through the pages of the tome and then closed it shut, nodding, and then taking a seat herself. Bento fell into a new seat as well. "Plenty," she stated quietly, considering what out of that 'plenty' would be important for Rakiyo to hear. "I've heard a bit about the Church of Jashin...they. Are moving towards the beginning of an alliance...or at least an understanding." She kept her eyes on the book, and then looked up at the Hokage. "Something to look at. I saw a very strong piece mixed in the soup, between Iwa, Fuzen, Kiri, and Suna. They're..." She paused a moment, never having liked not having the ability to express herself on the spot. "Dangerous, in a word. I'm not sure who he or she was, but there was...something. I recognize the group from some other missions Konoha has done."

    "That doesn't sound like a soup it sounds like a mess." There was a hint of exasperation as the Hokage crossed one leg leisuresly atop the other. "You know it's funny how the two most powerful geriatrics in the world are the most troublesome this world has to offer.If we ironed out Osamu and The Pope's collective leather I think we could make enough coats to give out to all the poor needy children between Konoha and Kumo." The Hokage chuckled a bit as his own joke as his expression took a turn. "What exactly was The Pope doing?"

    Bento grinned faintly at the quick joke, but his expression quickly became more serious as he looked back to his sister. Aya nodded, and then stood, motioning for the two to follow her. "It'll be simpler to explain in the game room. Bento...could you do me a favor? I think I forgot my sandals again in the lobby downstairs..." She gave her twin brother a pleading sort of look, and he rolled his eyes with a good natured chuckle. "Always so forgetful! I don't know how you keep track of how much you do! Alright alright..."He then quickly backtracked her way back, and then Aya disappeared through the door in the wall back to her room designated for planning. "The best way I could describe it is...an agreement. Between Konoha, and by extension, the White, and the Church. I've never had a taste for their doctrine, but...I trust your decision, at least," she said, looking over her shoulder at him. "You might be able to help me in piecing together their current movements. I need context to tell what they're up to."

    It wasn't often that the Kages got together in a one on one setting, usually when they did meet it was most if not all of the White. This kind of thing leads to a snag in the dissemination of information because knowledge was power and even though they were allies, there were those in the White who had their own interests at heart. So when Aya asked Rakiyo to put his cards on the table he remained silent for a longer time than was appropriate. This is not at all to say the Hokage did not trust his Kumogakure counterpart but it was because he was naturally guarded about these things.

    "It's simple really... I knew what Osamu was planning and I told the Pope of Jashin to stay out of it or I would have the Konoha Military Police look into the Church's more macabre murderous practices. The Church has a very high approval rating not just in the White but in the Black as well, so I didn't want to rile him up too much." Rakiyo knew that he was admitting to being complicit in the murder of thousands of people and he didn't mean to be callous in the way he presented these events, but his guilty conscience wasn't necessarily a concern of Aya. "I know that sort of thing may come off as careless on my part, but I wanted to see how the Pope would react. I think that he and Osamu are both in business for themselves and that's dangerous for all of us. The thing is that I feel as though what Osamu has done will somehow help the Pope to achieve his own agenda and I don't think that agenda is good for any of us."

    "Are you not sure it'd be worth taking the look anyway?" she asks, turning on the lights and revealing the expanse of games therein. It wasn't a simple matter to pick them apart without context, but even Aya knew that the Hokage of all people would be someone capable of it, if anyone. "I'm a Hitomi, Rakiyo. If anyone specifically could appreciate the necessity, it's me. If any Clan could raise me to look past the tragedy therein, it's mine." She settles down in front of the largest board. "I've never liked Yori. I've never liked Osamu to a greater degree, but I can say confidently that he should have handed the mantle onto Yori a while back." She looks back over the board, spreading her hands over the side of the table that was clear of the edge of the board, and nodded. "The Church is going to be a problem, Rakiyo. I thought to discuss such at the next summit, but what Osamu's done may take attention away from it even then." Her ears flickered as she heard the sound of Bento approaching. "Field work may eliminate days of paperwork and bureaucratic high stepping. If you want to undo a brash and hasty decision, you have to also employ speed." She looked back to him to gauge his reaction. For all her smoke and mirrors with those outside her inner circle, the Raikage was almost painfully transparent when it came to those she trusted. Bento entered soon after.

    Listening closely to the reply of his peer something stuck out in accordance with his own line of thinking. What Osamu had done would provide cover for whatever it is that the Pope was up to. Would it be unreasonable to think the two had some sort of clandestine agreement? Raikiyo didn't think Osamu would be so brazen though. With a forlorn gaze his orbs focused on the games before him as he forced a smirk. Aya was a very very astute woman and it was their similar temperaments that led him to seek her out. She had his respect even if she was prone to more even-handed double speak than himself.

    "Would I be making an ass out of myself.." He paused chuckling at his corny joke, "To assume that you are suggesting a step by step plan to assuage our concerns?" They both had a fondness for games and such so he before he sought to humor her he wanted to make himself very clear.

    "Whatever game you and I play, Aya Hitomi, the White needs the result to be that Osamu nor Yori are in charge of Iwagakure any longer.Installing our own Tsuchikage is imperative to maintaining the tenuous peace between the White and the Black."

    Bento blinked as he came in on the tailend of this conversation, looking between the two as he scratched his head. "If something like that got found out...it'd collapse the White into more civil war..." he said slowly, though Aya had already streamlined that line of thought and pressed forward to the conclusion. "So we...can't be found out. I'll see what my little nothings have heard and seen. I guess we'll have to get started immediately." Bento frowned intensely at this revelation, folding his arms over his chest as he sighed. "This is all going over my head..."
     
  4. SoulTaker The Ever Living

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    The New Gamemaster



    Kyo knew, he always knew, that the world was a cruel and merciless place. The fact that his village was destroyed, his family growing weaker and weaker as time passed, and innocent people displaced and harmed because of a long fued. The world didn't care about how much money someone had, the title they carried, or if they were a good person or not. It didn't use factors such as age, social status, or race, to discriminate, the world was a cruel mistress. However, Kyo couldn't help but be surprised when he opened the door to the meeting room, and saw who was there waiting for him.

    Instantly his nose had threaten to fall off as soon as he entered the room. The sickly sweet scent of roses and sugar almost made Kyo want to turn over and vomit, but he swallowed the rising stomach acid down as he made his way to the center of the room. Even down to the way he dressed, was too much for the young clan leader. Though he didn't allow his eyes to stay upon the old man for too long. He made his way over to the family members that was already there.

    Zo smiled weakly at him, there was no rest for her even in the state she was in, and they both knew that. Though it didn't stop Kyo from worrying about his aunt, and it didn't stop Zo for being self conscious about the bandages that were wrapped around her throat, eye, and the rest of her body.

    Kyo sat down next to her, Zo was to his right, and behind her were Soma, and Kou to her left. Keisuke and Sosuke, were to Kyo's left, in any other setting, Zo would probably be further down, but this meeting was different. It wasn't a family meeting....It couldn't even be considered a business meeting.

    Kyo knew that this was a meeting of fate....

    He bowed simply at the old man, a welcoming gesture of the clan, and once he did it the others fell in line and did it too. As he leaned back up, Kyo nodded his head....

    "Welcome...." Kyo looked at the old man for a minute, his eyes scanned him up and down before closing his eyes and turning in shame, "Forgive me....I do not know your name."

    "Do not distress my son." The old man leaned back in his chair and adjusted his porcelain gloves, all the while smiling brightly at the boy. "Not many people do, most call me by my title. I am the Pope of Jashin."

    For someone of such stature his disposition was very casual and relaxed. However, it put Kyo even more on edge. Maybe it was the sickly sweet scent that filled the room, or his eyes which were like cauls of amber, maybe it was the simple fact that even though at a time where stress was at an all time high, he still came as if he was just passing the breeze, or it could have been that smile that sent shivers down his spine and threatened to rip it out if not careful. Something was wrong, but Kyo couldn't help but overlook the fact until the reason behind the meeting was revealed.

    "Well now that you are here I presume we can proceed with the business at hand."

    Kyo nodded, "I hope you'll excuse the waiting period, a lot of things have happened, and a lot of things call for my attention. Your..." Kyo looked at him once more, "Arrival was surprising to say the least."

    "Ah yes the life of a young leader, I may be an old codger now but I was only a little older than you when I was put in charge of my own parish..." He trailed off almost as if he was listlessly remembering the days of yore when he was starting out. "Of course deary I didn't quite have the set of challenges you are currently facing. There is a lot on your shoulders, your people have suffered great indignities at the hands of the White. That is why I am here, it is the doctrine of the Church to go where we are needed..."

    The old man looked directly at Kyo as he spoke, yes there were other people in the room but his laser focus would leave an onlooker to think otherwise.

    Kyo bit his inner cheek, he didn't appreciate this roundabout way of talking, and he didn't appreciate how the old man brought up White. If anything, he considered it rude, not only to him, but to his family, to the people that suffered because of White. Just bringing it up reminded him of the crushing blow that was dealt, and the uncertainty of it all. Were they going to attack again, or was it all over? What are they supposed to do now? They couldn't just lick their wounds, but they couldn't foolishly launch an attack. So many things boiled in Kyo's head but he held it in...

    He had to, because he was the leader of the clan, and Zo was the representative of the village. He looked over to his aunt, her face didn't change, a welcoming smile and knowing eyes were etched on her face as if it was carved into stone.

    "I appreciate the kind words and well wishes Pope, though I believe there is more to your visit than just a prayer or two?" Kyo asked, his patience was running thing as he didn't want this way of talk to continue any longer, but the responsibilities of a leader also didn't allow him to just talk out of line. So he tried his best to get at the root of the conversation without being a rude host.

    "Hohoho!" The Pope hollered with laughter as the young Fennikusu beckoned for him to get to the point, but as soon as his laughter died down his demeanor changed. Gone was the smile that had previously slackened his face, now the old leathery hide of his countenance contorted into a much more austere scowl.

    "Before Fuzengakure was attacked I was visited by the Hokage. In the dead of night he came to me with a warning, he told me to 'stay out of it', or else. Suffice to say deary I am not the kind of man who likes to be threatened, on the consecrated grounds of my church no less." At this juncture the Pope rose from his seat, his lithe hunched over form sauntered closer to the Fennikusu, however his focus only lie with Kyo. "I did not know what he was referring to by 'it' but in light of recent events he was obviously referring to the Invasion. The Church has taken a neutral stance in the conflict between the Black and White, however I will not stand by idly and watch your people suffer. That is not the Will of Lord Jashin."

    His words came as an impassioned lilt as he now stopped in front of Kyo Minami, the Pope's jaundiced iris looked into vermillion gateways to the boy's soul.

    "The reason I've come here deary is to help you rebuild The Land Hidden in Sin."
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  5. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    [What Remains: A New Game]

    "You are kidding us right!?"

    The voice caused Kyo and Zo to jump, but eyes fell on Keisuke. The youngest of the council members, gritted his teeth and balled his fist.

    "You think just because you walk in here, and flash us a handout we are supposed to take it?!" He continued, Sosuke grabbed his shirt and Keisuke yanked away, "No! We are all feeling it aren't we?! Who the hell are you? Why should we trust you!?"

    "KEISUKE!"

    Kyo's voice was sharp and harsh causing the boy to jump, "Leave...."

    "But...Kyo...."

    "I SAID LEAVE!!"


    Kyo watched as Keisuke took in breath to yell again, but decided against it. His eyes fell upon Kyo, in which Kyo only looked away. Keisuke wanted nothing more for Kyo to side with him, for his family to side with him, but no one looked at him. Not a single one of them, and that was when he realized that he had spoken out of place. Such outburst weren't tolerated, especially not now, but he was just voicing what was on everyones mind.

    "I'll escort him out..." Soma got up from her seat and put her arms around Keisuke shoulders, "Please forgive him for such rudeness, he is young and doesn't no any better....Isn't that right Keisuke?"

    Keisuke didn't say anything at first, but then he bowed, "Please forgive my rudeness...I'll take my leave."

    Soma smiled weakly as she escorted her younger cousin out, but the tension was still there. Thick and heavy, as if someone had put a blanket on all of them, but it didn't erase the offer. It didn't change anything, the pope didn't even laugh it as a joke, he eyes tore through Kyo as if he was made from paper. Kyo could feel his mouth becoming dry, and a lump forming up against his throat.

    This wasn't happening, this couldn't be happening, but it was, and he didn't know what to do. It wasn't as simple as a yes, but at the same time they couldn't just turn him away. The pride of Fuzengakure or it's future? It wasn't simple, it was never simple, but Kyo had to decide what was best for his people. Though, what would his people think of him?

    "Are you telling us, you are allying with Fuzengakure?" Zo asked, Kyo snapped up as he looked at his oldest cousin, "Do you know where that puts you? Do you know what that information tells us? Konaha and Iwa were possibly working together. Do you know where that put us? Our people?"

    "You can see how this is almost too big for us to swallow at this moment can't you?"

    The Pope had been somewhat silent but the last exchange had very obviously taken him aback as he cocked an eyebrow at the Fennikusu. He brought his fingers to his white goatee and stroked it as he thought of an appropriate response for them and once he had his eyes lit up.

    "The Black does not operate on the same structure as the White. You are allied by a common belief that the people have the right to elect their leader, but the ties that bind you are ideology not government. They are a Union and you are an Alliance, the ties are not as strong. At this point, in your current condition, an alliance would only put you in a more precarious situation. But at the same time dearies, and I say this with all due respect, you are not in a position to refuse me because of your ideology."The Pope stopped stroking his beard and began to walk around the room taking stalk of the remaining Fennikusu as he strolled about. The way he scanned over the clan was almost predatorial and in a way it mirrored the entire exchange.

    "What happens when the people of Fuzengakure find out that you have refused the relief aid of the Church of Jashin? Do you think that people who have lost so much will just sit back as their boy king and his aides refuse the only hand out they've been offered? What other investor is going to come along and help you rebuild when Osamu can just stroll right in and tear everything asunder?" His tone was condescending as he theatrically milled about shrugging his shoulders as if he didn't know the answer to his own question. Spoiler alert, the answer was no one, because no one in their right mind would put money into Fuzen.

    "Now I'm not asking for your trust dearies, me and my flock do not require that. All we require is that the world knows that Lord Jashin, in all of his unmitigated and merciful glory, saved this land from squalor and uplifted it to prosperous heights it had never known before him."

    He had them, though not only them, but the whole room. Zo closed her eyes and turned her head, there was truth in his words, and he knew it. There was nothing they can do, it was a game they had already lost. They lost everything, their pride, their standing, and even the trust in some of their people. The Fenikkusu name was being threaten and even though the words were never spoken out loud. It was a known truth throughout the family, that things were beginning to change, and they had to latch on to whatever they could.
     
  6. SoulTaker The Ever Living

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    "....We...We accept." Kyo bowed his head, his stomach turned, and it felt like someone punched him in the stomach. However, despite the pain of his words and the actions he needed to take. For the sake of the village, he had to swallow his pride. For the sake of their family name, he had to remove himself out of the situation. Kyo looked back up at the rose smelling priest, "You'll fund our village, and we of the Fennikkusu clan will join you in spreading the word of Jashin throughout."

    "Although it will be through our mouths." Kyo looked at him and nodded, "We don't want to see any preist chanting on our streets. You would be able to understand why our people would be a bit hesitant of accepting your....religion...."

    "The Fennikkusu clan has become a staple for the people, even you can't deny our influence on our people, so think of this as the best way to start your grassroots movement."

    The boy king, the young prince of Fuzenkagure, and the future leader of the clan, held the intelligence needed to claim the title. Boy king was a term used for an insult, but Kyo wouldn't hesitate to twist those words to push him further.

    Kyo set up and looked at him, "I might be young.....And these people are my advisors, but they are also my family, and this is also my village. The people of Fuzenkagure take kindly to me and my people."[color] Kyo dared to bare his fangs at the man setting before him, the perfume that was radiating off of him strong, and numbed Kyo's nose. Though it didn't numb Kyo, nor did it soften him up.

    "The winter solstice will be coming up soon, the people of Fuzenkagure will look forward to the celebration of the end of the year despite our rough times. It's a small celebration compared to the Phoenix festival, but a celebration that has been prelvant since our beginning. " Kyo explained before nodding, "I think that'll be a great oppurtunity to spread your faith...."

    The Pope did not hide his joy for the favorable outcome, grinning widely from ear to ear as Kyo essentially agreed to make the Fennikusu family the spokespeople for the Jashin Church's Fuzen branch. The boy's guile wasn't lost on The Pope though, if anything it made him that much more intriguing, Kyo was still young and coming into his own but it was quite clear what he was trying to do. It was of no consequence though because he could try to control the Church's influence, but the Pope knew once the Fennikusu showed their support his flock would grow and take hold of this land.

    "Oh goodie, well I'm glad we could see eye to eye. My flock will be arriving in the coming days and will start the relief process immediately. I think this is the start of quite...."

    The gilded glint in his eye shined malevolently as this was the hour of his content.

    "A beautiful friendship."

    The Pope put his hand out to the young heir of the Fennikusu who in turn took it. The implications and ramifications of this agreement clear to both, the Fennikusu and by extension Fuzengakure had effectively just been sold to the Church of Jashin.
     
  7. Olivia "Active" Member

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    Kirisaki Shinkō
    Consolation
    _____________________________

    I laid in bed, all by myself tonight, staring at the ceiling above my head. My orange locks of hair slowly transforming into my natural blonde color; I hadn't dyed my hair in months and my original hair color was finally showing through. I felt like I needed to abandon my past life as all of that was a lie, but that wasn't true. Who cares if I had a non existent past, I had to simply look forward to the future I wanted. Raiken, he's the one that made me realize this. I was so distressed about everything regarding the Kibō Church that I changed my entire look, but I'm not going to run away from my past anymore.

    To do that though I had to accept it. Everything with Kira, it was a lie that dragged me down to the core of the Earth, but I had to recover. He was a conniving man playing a good man to make a cover for himself, using me as a shield to guard himself from the world. With all of that said, I wouldn't have gotten this far in life if it weren't for him, and for that I had to accept.

    I slammed my fit against the soft mattress, this was something difficult for me to think about, not because he was so close to me, but because what he did in my life. I actually thought that someone cared for me, that someone was looking out for me, and when he was gone everything was torn away from me. Why did he have to be like that? Why couldn't he just be the normal priest he advertised himself to be? It made me so angry. Although I wondered if he didn't die, would I truly be happy? I'd still be a nun at the fake Church, I would have died on multiple occassions, and I would have never met Raiken. All these things either came or didn't come to pass because of the destruction of the Church and that man, so maybe I had to be truly grateful.

    That brought me to my next thought, Raiken. I was unsure where to go in terms of him. I really do like him but I'm scared to continue, not because of him but because of myself. I imagine a dark pit in the ground, and I already have one foot in it; there's no bottom to be seen and I'm scared of falling in. What makes the entire thing even scarier is that I feel there's a giant dark monster at the bottom which will swallow me whole if I get any closer. That's how I feel about this relationship. It's stupid, I need to get over myself; yes he is more experienced and older but who cares? Raiken has shown in the past to care about my feelings, so why is do I have so much hesitation?

    It's because I'm an idiot, plain and simple. Yes, it's normal for everyone to have fears, but my fears were unprecedented. He has shown restraint, and he has shown compassion for my intentions, there was no reason to act apprehensive towards him. I had to fix all of this, remove any remaining awkwardness between the two of us, and move on. We obviously still want to be together because of how hard we're trying, but it's hard for me on a mentality level. It was stupid, I was stupid, I just had to grow up and move on.

    Besides Raiken, there were so many allies I had to think about. Satoshi, I was shocked that he was still alive. Maybe I shouldn't be any longer, but I was devastated to hear that he died. Now that he's back alive, I can't hold that same sentiment. He was a monster before death, and his cruel and horrible behavior has probably continued since. It made me sick to think that someone could just kill so easily, but he wasn't the only one that had that mentality.

    Aurora, every moment I've spent with her has driven me crazy. I can't understand a bat-shit insane girl like that, who puts up such a calm exterior. She kills people because they've caused some bad in the world, but doesn't she understand that killing those people is just as bad? She's trying to play god, but what draws the line for her? By her logic if someone accidentally trips her she has the right to kill them. It's insane! I personally hate that type of mentality, we don't need to kill to strive in the world, there's no point to killing someone to prevent future crimes, we don't know if they're going to make them or not!

    It goes back to saying that she's playing god. Another man who I thought did this, Zell...From what I heard he could have saved Satoshi's life but willingly chose not to, its acts like that which leave a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure any longer if there's any validity to those claims since Satoshi is alive, but I still haven't taken it upon myself to talk to Zell again. I'm not sure if I'd be able to control my rage.

    Another man similar to this would have to be Akaya, but for different reasons. Akaya betrayed my trust and failed to listen to me after I begged him to stop. I thought we were friends, but instead he lashes out on Rosuto bringing him near death. He didn't even consider his life for that moment and it made my heart sink. Akaya, someone who I thought was such a kind and sweet soul, turned out to be a secret hiding anbu which would kill even when it wasn't necessary. After what he did to Rosuto, I couldn't forgive him.

    Rosuto put me in a similar place as well, after Eien Machi we didn't meet until Sunagakure, where we sort of butted heads because of Raiken. It was stupid because both of them were jealous for different reasons. In the end I could understand why he did that, he was a wanted criminal at that point and it probably was for the best that he freed himself from Raiken's grasp. Regardless I still haven't visited him at Eien Machi, too much has happened for me to really have a chance to do so.

    Another memory from that night...Edie. What was wrong with her? No, I don't consider that Edie, the only thing that women shared with Edie was her looks, nothing else was in common. After that night she seemed to be back as her unassuming self, and no one got out of that night without some sort of change. It'd be impossible, especially for a girl like Edie. She wasn't the only one that wasn't herself.

    Freyja is a tricky women; she disguises herself as other people to get close to her targets. I've only had one real encounter with her, but even I could tell that she was scary. She had this overbearing presence that told me she was not someone to mess with. If anything I had to stay clear of her, not that she'd be after me anyways because I was not the unmarked. Due to my relations with Raiken I knew it'd be just a matter of time before I encountered her again though.

    Speaking of dangerous women, finally came Thalia. She was so enigmatic, someone that wouldn't ever let her true intentions to truly show. Why was she so focused on me? Was it because of the impossibility of my conversion, or something else entirely? It seemed that she knew I'd survive the experiment for immortality, so why did she choose me, or how did she choose me? What was the point of it all? She behaves like my servant but shows that she has true control over what I do, our relationship is so tricky that I don't even know what to do.

    That wasn't the only thing strange about Thalia. I've learned to control my emotions around the women, because after all, she's the one who turned my who life upside down. She has been tormenting me since the day we met, and she is such a control freak that it would drive anyone crazy. I hate how Kira made up an entire lie like that, but I also hate how Thalia ripped that life away from me. She ripped a part of my will along with that, and I know she's planning on ripping me apart like that until I'm no longer recognizable. No matter what she's planning I won't let her tear me down any longer; I will get stronger and I'll be able to defy her. She is my true enemy, she is the one that needs to fall in the end.

    This is my will.
     
  8. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    [The Depths of the Sea]
    [Liquid Time Mission Event]
    [Kei Sili]
    [End]


    She heard everything, felt everything, and saw everything that was in her line of sight. Her skin tingled as if it was brand new, as Kei was just born. The sounds, the sights, and the feeling of being alive at this point, all seem brand new to Kei. As if she was living her life looking through a window, but now, this is the life she was given. This was the life that was meant for her, and this body, it was also meant for her to use and to do anything she wanted. Her body was her own, and no one?.

    No one could tell her what to do?..

    Is that so?

    A voice whispered, almost in response to her claim. It laughed from the darkness, almost as making fun of her. Kei eyes shot down to the ground as she watched her shadow look back up with a childish grin. A grin that seemed to know her, a grin that knew all, and even as it looked at Kei strong yellow gaze. It didn?t stop the shadow from chuckling, even though Kei gaze was like the sun itself glaring at a lesser being. Though the shadow only giggled, gripping her ankles pulling its body up, using her as a support.

    It?s easier you know~

    It hissed at her as it crawled, the long claws dug into her skin, but their eyes never broke contact. Her bright yellow eyes stared deeply threatening to rip apart the lesser being, but as it white gleaming eyes looked at her. It was like it knew. It knew what reservation were in her heart, the child that she still was had screamed at her not to do it, and the thing knew. Though as Kei looked down at the shadow being, she knew one thing that was true, and that one thing was?.

    ?Unhand me?.? Kei hissed back, the claws dug deeper, drawing blood this time as the shadow being looked deep into her eyes. It towered over her, as the shadow below her threaten to swallow her.

    ?Why don?t you just admit the fact of the matter is that you are scared? You are only playing a game! This isn?t who you are! Or who you want to be!? The shadow yelled at her, the white vacant eyes, and its sharp teeth made for biting into flesh were meant to strike fear into her. ?How about you become the good girl for everyone??

    The shadow wrapped itself around her and positioned behind her ear, ?A good girl, a well behaved girl, a wonderful girl, and everything will be like it never happened.? The shadow purred, releasing its grip, but Kei could feel it. She knew that this was a monster, a monster that if she gave in it would eat her whole, but that?s the thing about monsters.

    They never once consider themselves prey?.

    Kei lips curved into a devilish smile, ?Are you done yet??

    The shadow didn?t notice another bigger shadow breaking off from its back. The mouth was larger, the fangs longer, the eyes burning a bright blue as it hung and hung over them. Compared to the both of them, that shadow was small and weak, and so when the other shadow grabbed the smaller one by the head and opened its mouth so wide, it engulfed the head whole. The sound of snapping jaws, and tearing flesh, made Kei smile?.

    ?.It was so weak?.

    The shadow released a loud roar as Kei begun to giggle to herself, meeting the shock gazes of Durga and the child, she wondered what they saw? She wondered if she brought fear into their lives, even if it was a second. Kei wanted nothing more than to know. The shadow began to morph into a smaller shape, and behind her, she heard the sound of snapping bones and tearing flesh. It was a disgusting sound, but soon she heard the sound of footsteps walking next to her.

    Then the person appeared in front of her, the man was taller than her, he was older than her as well, but he had the face of someone wise and strong. He stood in front of her with his regal appearance, before getting on one knee and bowing down his head in front of her.

    ?I request of you, please give me a name.? The black hair man asked her as he looked up at her and took her name, ?I beg of you will me into reality by binding me to you??

    Kei looked at the man as he looked up at her with those icy blue eyes of his. She smiled as she got on her knees and brushed his hair from away from his face. The first thing that came to her mind as she looked at the older man, was that he was strangely beautiful. A name that should fit him, she didn?t ask why he wanted one he could easily just named himself, but as she looked at him.

    It just came to her?.

    ?Lucius?.?


    The older man smiled as a bright light radiated from her chest, a burning sensation as if something was being engraved into her chest, but something warmed her soul. Something inside her told her to accept this pain, because this was her first step. This was her first step to true power.

    ?The contract has been made?.? Durga smiled as she looked at Kei, ?I would hate to see you here again?.But now it?s time to wake up.?

    ?What are you going to do after this?? The child asked as the room began to melt, Lucius stood next to Kei, she looked around as she wondered what should she do? What did this gain? She wondered, but then the thought came to her mind as she smiled and flipped her hair again.

    ?I?ll do whatever I want?.~?

    She purred before turning around facing the darkness that was outstretch before her.
     
  9. Atlantic Storm Booze Intermission Administrator

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    Main Timeline

    Raigaa Houki
    Big Decisions, Part 1



    (From left to right: Kyoudou, Masujiro, Hoitsu and Takuji)

    The Houki clan's castle was a modest holding located at the top of a fairly large hill at the fringes of the village. Before their complex at the western end of Konoha was built, Emerald Edge had been the clan's home at their most troubled times and thus held a special place in their heart. Even now, though rarely used, it remained well-furbished and was easily one of their most guarded territories. Along with acting as a store of wealth for the clan's various fortunes and treasures, it was also the host of meetings between the Council of Elders and the head of the Houki himself when circumstances were troubling enough.

    Masujiro was the first to express his disappointment, doing so after taking a sip of his green tea. "Another dead end, huh," he lamented loudly. "It seems as though that's become a recurring theme in these little gatherings of ours." He placed the china on the table, letting the aroma drift further up his nose as he did so. It was one of the few things which could relax him in these turbulent times.

    Hoitsu leaned back in his chair, nonchalantly removing a finger from his nostril. Not caring to examine it, he gave a sigh and brought the chair back towards the mahogany. "I told you guys that Shougo would be useless. He's a shrewd one, is that kid. Probably already knew Lin was going to be far gone by the time you'd reach her last location," he commented.

    Takuji peered at Hoitsu through his rectangular spectacles, the reflection given off by the surface hiding his glare. "It is unfortunate, but we've spent enough time complaining as is. What we need now, more than anything, is a solid plan of action on how to deal with this situation. Like it or not, the girl has become a threat to us - even more so now that she's reclaimed her sacred vessel." Compared to the commanding tones of Kyoudou, Hoitsu and Raigaa, the somewhat spindly-looking Takuji had a relatively monotone voice. It didn't resonate the same power or energy as his fellow elders or the clan head, nor did it quite have the same soothing quality of Masujiro, but there was a certain coldly calculated quality about it which made people listen anyway.

    "Rather than focusing on her capture," he continued, "we need to fortify ourselves in case she decides to visit us again. She's proven herself to be far more coy and unpredictable than we expected, and it's likely that she has backers behind her other than the Black Forest. We can't continue to underestimate her."

    "I agree with Takuji," Masujiro pitched in as he put his china down again. "We've tried chasing after her, and look at where that has led us: one of our own killed, her finding out the location of her sacred vessel and strained relations with the Konoha Military Police Force. Even if we were to continue our pursuit, I'm doubtful that it would be without external interference." He gave a small nod of his head to Takuji, as if to affirm his support, then went to pour another cup of tea for himself.

    The entire table and the room itself shook as Hoitsu slammed his fist down. "That's ridiculous! Are we seriously letting a single girl push us into cowardice? We've never backed down against anyone before: not against Kumogakure, not Konoha's bureaucracy and definitely not against two bit mud guzzlers!" He shouted, almost erupting out of his seat in the heat of the moment. Though, in a surprising display of willpower, the man quickly cooled himself down and joined the rest of the council in bringing their collective attention to Kyoudou.

    "I agree with Hoitsu," he stated firmly. "If Lin is backed up by an organization, then we will simply crush them. This has been our philosophy since the days of old, and I see no reason to change it even when the opponent is one of our own." The elder fell silent, as did the three others, with their thoughts aligning together. It was a decision deadlock; two against two. Usually, the processes were a lot simpler. A solution would be offered and would generally be unanimously agreed upon by the council. With this, however, the decision ultimately lay with the fifth party. The clan head.

    They looked towards Raigaa.
     
  10. Atlantic Storm Booze Intermission Administrator

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    Raigaa Houki
    Big Decisions, Part 2



    (From left to right: Kyoudou, Masujiro, Hoitsu and Takuji)

    Raigaa Houki brought a hand to stroke at his goatee, leaned back against his throne at the end of the long mahogany table. The low-lit lighting of the room coupled with the closed curtains cast a shadow across his face, hiding any facial expression he might have had while turning the suggestions over inside his head. He was an intelligent man, one who valued knowledge above all else - even war - yet with a creeping sense of defeat, both Masujiro and Takuji recognised that it was more likely their combat-loving clan head would vote for the option of destruction. It was one of their clan's virtues and Raigaa, if nothing else, was the personification of those values. What he finally said, however, brought shock to all four on the council - even the stoic Kyoudou. "We will fortify ourselves," he declared. "If we were to dedicate more manpower into the search, it would undoubtedly come at the expense of more men and the forced cooperation with the Konoha Military Police Force. I would prefer to avoid a collaboration with them and the Intelligence Gathering & Espionage Division. I've enough headaches as it is."

    Kyoudou gave a detached nod of his head and a respectful bow. Hoitsu's reaction, though less measured than that of his partner's, was still one of an acceptance, albeit a begrudged one. "It will be done. List the orders and they will be carried out immediately," he stated.

    "Increase the frequency and density of the barrier around this place, and thicken the genjutsu the cloaking squad have set up too. I want some more complex formulae-based seals set up around the perimetre of the complex; spread around what the code is and keep careful track of who has been told. Have the sensor team be on 24/7 patrol duty as well. We can't leave any gaps."

    Takuji gave a nod. "I can take care of those things. I'll alert the defense division and the sensor teams immediately when we get back," he stated.

    The tubby elder set down his china with a satisfied sigh. He was glad that the meeting seemed to be ending at the same time his last batch of tea was poured - it really was excellent timing. "I'll make sure that the cloaking squad do their jobs too, and have some of our men hand out the code," Masujiro pitched in helpfully.

    "Finally," Raigaa stated, "we will postpone the Family Trials until all the preparations are done and we're sure that we've consolidated our positions. We can't spare the manpower and could do without the distraction. Hoitsu, can I trust you to spread the news to the varying branches? I imagine that a few of them would be quite upset by this."

    "Of course. I might not agree with it, but the clan head's decision is final so I'll roll with the punches," he gave a hearty laugh, scratching at his beard in amusement.

    "Excellent," Raigaa smirked, and then got up from his throne, cape flowing down his back as he rose to his full height. "Then I declare that this meeting is now over."
     
  11. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    [The Depths of the Sea]
    [Liquid Time Mission Event]
    [Kei Sili]
    [Epilogue]




    ?So are you going to explain yourself??

    The darkness surrounded the child and Durga, there was nothing left. The dream had ended but the child and Durga stayed, they were both strong enough to keep their physical form, unlike the things around them. Durga didn?t say anything as she looked off into the distances that Kei walked in, a small smile had dominated her face as she watched what had happened. Though as if something buzzed in her ear, she turned to the little girl and frowned.

    ?Explain myself? To the physical embodiment of that girl?s emotion, please?What do I need to explain to you?? Durga asked as if someone told the woman a bad joke, her face sneered as she turned back around. ?I swear, I never had this problem dashing around anywhere else.?

    ?You are in forbidden ground! You don?t belong here!? The child yelled causing the woman to growl a bit, but the child didn?t stop, ?You and her are two different beings, but you come in here and act like you are a part of her! I should have stopped you when I should have!?

    ?But you didn?t!?

    The child jumped before clutching her fist as the woman turned on her heel, ?That is actually a very interesting note, but you didn?t stop me, why?? Durga asked as she looked around before pointing to the darkness.

    ?Did your master tell you not to?? Durga asked her, the child didn?t say anything as the woman seemed to have gained her answer just by her silence. This woman was dangerous and the child knew it. Durga looked around for a minute, ?Fickle thing your ruler is, or was it not him??

    ?Was someone else watching this bit of play??

    ?You mistake yourself!?

    ?NO YOU MISTAKEN YOURSELF LITTLE ONE!? Durga laughed as the darkness began to crack, the child look around as the woman crossed her arms, but the child eyes widen in fear. This person wasn?t human? The world around them began to shake as the woman closed the distances between her and the child. ?Let?s get one thing straight, I?ll do what I want, and when I want. There is no one in this puny dimension that can ever face me.?

    The child skin began to crack as the woman look downed upon her as if she wasn?t even worthy of being prey. As if there she was a lion and the child was nothing but a puny fly, though they both knew that the child only taken this form to make Kei react, and if she wanted to fight there was nothing holding her back. However, it was just the standing of this woman, her aura as she looked down upon her.

    ?Who are you?? The child asked, ?Who?.No what are you??

    The crack began to rupture as blue flames began to seep in, destroying the final remnants of this dream world. The flames began to dance around the woman. As she brushed back her hair, and looked off into the distance.

    ?I didn?t like the fact that things are going faster than planned, but.? The woman smiled weakly, ?It will all work out soon, but first, I need to make sure no one else can communicate with that girl from this relam.?

    The blue flames shot from the ground powerful as it begun to tear up everything, the world was being destroyed, the child dropped to her knees as she realized what it meant for her. The woman was destroying the connection that Kei had to this world, and so destroying her. She knew that she wasn?t going to live for long, but this was a bit too soon. The child skin began to break off, showing how hollow she was inside.

    The woman smiled as she looked back down at the girl, ?You asked what I was?.Who I was, well?I guess it wouldn?t harm you to know.? Durga smiled as the blue flames engulfed her.

    ?I?m Durga?.
    I am a God!"


    ?And I feel as though I don?t have any more use for you, so goodbye, you pathetic puppet.? Durga lifted out her hands to the girl and with that the child cried before begin engulfed by blue flames.
     
  12. Yami Munesanzun I am now having ALL teh segzy.

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    Kisei
    Konohagakure

    I stare right back at the crow, proceeding to eat from another dango skewer. "I realize this will sound...horrendously far-fetched, but it may be possible that you are - for lack of a better term - 'occasionally' releasing sudden intense bursts of chakra, which may be causing things to break. It could have originally been a result of stress, which is further exacerbated the more you think about your 'bad luck'..." I hypothesize out loud, stopping myself before I go off on a somewhat-intellectual tangent.

    "However, as far as that goes..." I start up again, pointing to the crow still perched on the young Inuzuka's head, while absentmindedly gnawing on the now-clean dango skewer. "Assuming that you are only tormented by crows, it is likely that either you, or someone of your clan; you seem to be a sweet girl, so I am going with the latter; has tormented one in the past, and..." I clear my throat to stop myself from almost going on another tangent. "...My point being, crows are rather vindictive creatures. And they can recognize uniform. Maybe even similar clothing." I conclude, finally pulling the cleaned dango skewer from between my teeth. "And I do not know who this 'Taneda' person is; as you may recall, I come from Sunagakure. But...enough of this sort of talk. We should be enjoying how pleasant out it is today."

    The two...three of us continue to sit in a somewhat-pleasant silence, occasionally interrupted by the quiet grunts, sighs and whines by Ichi's sleeping puppies. "...How rude of me. I never offered you a dango, did I?" I ask, holding one out to her.

    "~...Hm. Where did that young Aburame disappear off to?~"

    . . .

    After another ten or so minutes of resting, and 'convincing' the crow to go away by offering it one of the many confections I had bought, the two of us continued the tour of the village - although at this point, it was really just idle wandering with her pointing out some of the shops and restaurants. ...Which is fine.

    It was barely past noon when the 'tour' ended. We went back to my apartment and she retrieved her shirts. The young Inuzuka girl stuttered out a "goodbye", and took off towards her home - tripping once after making her way to the first floor. ...I will admit, her behavior is a little endearing.


    "~I suppose now would be a good a time as any to finish the exercises I missed this morning.~" With that thought in mind, I remove my shirt and resume my work out from earlier. I believe I was doing pull-ups before I was interrupted.

    "1......2......3......4......"​

    ((Muh RP buddy left. :catcry))
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  13. luffy no haki 1st Seat

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    Akaya Uchiha[Liquid Time]

    Enshin Moeru no Ken

    -STAGE 1: Creation-

    I clap my hands together, and immediately I can feel the chakra running wildly. Then I start to move them performing handseals one after the other, trying to identify the best combination of seals that will lead me to create what I want to. Quickly I take the metal bar I took from a scrap metal dump and channel my energy through the object being held by my right hand. A small but abrupt explosion occurs forcing me to let go of the tool. Looking at the bar which now lies on the ground of the forest, I see how flames are coming from it but it?s not even near of what I am trying to do, a mere flow of flames is not enough. Once the fire fades away, I take it for a second time. This time around I change the sequence of hand signs as I feel my insides getting hotter and the chakra starts to heat up. Then half of the metallic object starts to shine with a red color before getting involved in flames just like a torch.

    "Tch, not yet..."

    With that said, I concentrate into making the flow of flames faster and stronger so it could take a straight direction with the aim to make it look like a blade. For an instant it seems like it will work but apparently my concentration wasn?t enough to keep it going as I was forced to let go of the bar by my own flames."Kid, why don?t you use the Kage Bunshin? it would make this faster."is what Matatabi says as I try to regain a bit of energy"True. Forgot about that for a moment, honestly."is everything I reply before joining my hands into the Ram hand sign. The chakra quckly reaches the point I am used to when performing the technique and then in the middle of one big poof! a group of five Shadow Clones appeared. "You already know what to do, right?" is all I let out as my clones just nod and leave towards the forest in which they wandered for about five minutes before coming back with a bunch of wooden sticks, or rather should I say they were just thin tree branches considering the kind of trees in this place. With the preparations done, I restart the training by taking my metallic bar once again. The high temperature transformed chakra runs through my sword substitute repeating the same as before by becoming a torch first. Letting out air from my mouth I start to shape said fire into a violent flow which instantly changes its shape. I keep the form for some instant as I swing the object in my hand to make sure that it works as I want it to but it doesn?t take long for the flame to become even bigger and going out of control causing that by accident I make one of my clones disappear by slashing it.

    "This is harder than I thought."

    "Well, you are trying to give my flames a definite shape and power level. Plus you are just a talentless prick, obviously it would be hard."

    "I know I was the one who asked you to help train me but, you?re just fuckin? merciless."

    As I look around, I see my clones struggling with the same thing as me and that is the control over the fire. Because just so you know, this doesn?t consist onjust igniting something and start to slash like an idiot. It requires of shaping, molding and regulation of the chakra. In their case, they keep struggling not to completely burn down the thick branches while trying to give it the shape and intensity needed. As they keep trying to control the chakra, one of them just drops the branch before the fire would reach him. Turning my head to the right I can see the second clone trying to do the same but in his case, half of the branch fell to the ground and got completely turned into ashes. "Woah,Woah,Woah!!" the commotion calls my attention and what I find is my third clone with a giant flare as he walks backwards, bumping into another clone"Oi, what the--crap!"suddenly the flames grow immensely devouring both of them."And there they go." the least i can do is but be disappointed, now I lost two clones.

    "Oh, I got it!"

    Is what he says before disappearing. Immediately what my clone realized is transmitted to me and the two clones that are left."So that?s how it is." without losing time I pick up my tool and together with my couple of copies I start to channel chakra through my weapon. The super concentrated amount of heated chakra quickly reaches the tip of the bar. But before letting it burst into one big flame, I keep it suppressed for an instant and slowly let it burn trying to let burn as little amount of it but with strong power. Eventually, as the moments pass, the flame increases it?s size until its length gives the bar about twenty centimeters more and the fire covers about half of the instrument. Like before I start to swing the object in my hand now that it looks the way I want it to. Taking a quick glance, I can see my clone sdoing the same with the branches and although they are still being burned down, the effect and speed have decreased as the chakra keeps the form.

    "First stage cleared."
     
  14. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    Personal Arc: Chapter I


    To Look and Not See XI

    ?Little missy.?

    It was annoying, really. Yuuko could count with her fingers the amount of nights she had slept this good in the last couple of weeks and someone was persistently trying to wake her from one of those precious sleeps. Giving it her best attempt at ignoring the kindly old voice, she rolled the other side and curled into a human ball. Getting cozy wasn?t the easiest achievement when her clothes were drenched and cold and she had only the ground beneath her. ?You?re going to catch a cold if you keep sleeping here little missy,? the voice broke through her drowsiness again, this time accompanied by a rather trembling hand on her shoulder.

    Seriously pissed off, the girl supported herself on her hands and rose herself from the ground to look at the source of her annoyance, a scowl forming as she prepared to tell whoever it was to go away.

    Being mean to kind looking, little old ladies such as the one crouching near her, wasn?t Yuuko?s forte though. The granny was smiling and her amber eyes shone with a somewhat childish delight at the sight of the girl sulking. She had an old, worn umbrella she was currently sharing with Yuuko and smelled like dust in a strange black traditional kimono. Looking behind her shoulder, the girl could see an equally old man and a little girl curiously staring at them from afar. The lady looked the same direction and smiled. ?Don?t worry, it?ll get better,? she said mysteriously, handing her the umbrella and moving back to her family. ?But this isn?t a good place to sleep.?

    Taken aback by her words, Yuuko just stared at the lady?s straight back, holding the umbrella with one hand and supporting her weight with the other.

    ?She?s right you know?? A new voice sounded behind her with irony, scaring the girl into jumping away as fast as she could, a small scream escaping her lips. Cowardly, she placed her hands and arms over her head and closed her eyes tightly, images of what had happened at the woods drowning her mind. ?Hey, hey?? whoever it was, called again in a much gentler voice. They crouched down and rubbed a hand down Yuuko?s back and, feeling comforted, the girl lowered her arms and took a look.
    Spoiler:

    The guy looked like he was around the same age as Tora-sensei, maybe a bit younger. He had a warm smile stretching his lips and just a look at his attire put Yuuko at ease, he was definitely someone from Kumogakure. ?Tora told me you were a coward but she says that about everyone so I didn?t think??

    He scratched his head with a troubled look in his face and Yuuko looked down, her cheeks painted red from embarrassment and shame. ?Well, don?t worry, nobody can really blame you,? he tried to reassure her with a pat on her head. ?Come on. Tora will kill me if you catch a cold under my watch??

    His watch? Yuuko didn?t really understand but she did as he asked and picked the umbrella from the ground while she was at it. He wasn?t very tall but he didn?t seem to have a need to share the umbrella as he led the way out of the village?s cemetery. The girl had a clear idea that she shouldn?t be following strangers so easily but being home helped put her mind at ease, Kumogakure did that to her. And any suspicion left soon died when he unlocked the door to Tora?s very familiar house. Strangely, just like in her own house, the entrance was filled with boxes. ?They were going to throw them out?I hope you don?t mind, I?ll help you unpack later,? the guy explained, letting her inside. ?Do you know where the bathroom is??

    He didn?t look very comfortable all of a sudden so she quickly nodded and made her way to the room. She had spent enough time in here to know it like she knew her own house. Cheering up at the idea of getting a warm bath, she ignored the part of her brain that was begging for answers and let the water run while she unlocked the door and undressed.

    Looking back, she probably should have come here first when she left her house. Even if she didn?t have the key at hand, finding a way in wouldn?t be hard.

    Taking a moment to look at herself in the mirror and let the tub fill to the brink, Yuuko stared back at her reflection with equally dead eyes. Her hair was oily and messy, she had lost more weight than what was probably healthy, her skin had taken a slight bluish tone to it probably from the cold and her lips were dry and purple but that wasn?t the worst. Looking down at her left leg she stared at the nasty scar that she would carry for life, a reminder of what had happened. The leg itself was fine, she wouldn?t limp or have trouble. Lots of people had said it was lucky since something like that would have hindered her shinobi life forever but the girl saw it differently. She looked at the scar and saw the grin. Saw the message hidden in the flesh. How she was simply spared on the whim of something inhuman.

    Slapping herself back into reality she entered the tub with a girly sigh and closed her heavy eyelids.​
     
  15. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    Personal Arc: Chapter I


    To Look and Not See XII

    ?Yuuko-chan.?

    Comfortably playing with her scalding water, Yuuko had forgotten there was someone else in Tora?s house with her! ?Are you alive in there??

    She quickly nodded in the direction of the door and slapped herself when she realized he couldn?t see it. ?Uh, yes!?

    ?I?m leaving some clothes for you here. I ordered some food for us to eat,? he called before she heard his footsteps receding back. Deciding now was as good as ever, she quickly got off the water and dried herself with one of the towels available. He had brought her an old shirt from Tora?s and a pair of sweatpants of unknown origin and, much to her embarrassment, a pair of panties too. Nonetheless, she got dressed and brushed her hair so it was easier to tie back in a loose braid. As for the panties, she threw them into the laundry bin, Tora-sensei?s butt was much bigger than Yuuko?s and it would be uncomfortable.

    She found the blond sitting in the living room reading a scroll with several others sprawled around him. She cleared her throat and moved some scrolls out of the way so she could sit as well. ?Sorry,? he threw her an apologetic look before getting right back to whatever he was reading. It must be incredibly important. Yuuko wondered for a moment if she should say something to interrupt the silence but there was nothing she particularly felt the need to say so she just got up again and made herself at home in the kitchen. Some hot chocolate would feel really good after her bath. ?Whatever you?re making, bring me some,? the guy called after her and she nodded. There was no please or anything but the request had been polite and it?s not as if there would be any extra hard work involved so she quickly set to work.

    The silence when she sat back down to drink after giving the guy his own cup was?oddly pleasant. Because of the restaurant, her home had always been bustling with activity and she had never realized how stressing it really was. She couldn?t go on calling him the guy though so she had to break the silence sooner or later. ?Are you Tora-sensei?s boyfriend??

    He gagged and coughed for a good minute, Yuuko even wondered to herself if he was alright for a second but just stared as he seemed to process an answer for her while threatening to cough out his lungs. ?No,? he finally said, rudely cleaning his mouth on the sleeve of his shirt, leaving a weird stain of chocolate on it. Now that she looked closer, his clothes were all covered in stains of different kinds and shapes. ?Have you seen the way she dates? She?s almost like a black widow, eating her mates even as they?? He paused to give Yuuko an odd look and cleared his throat. ?No, we?ve just been roommates for some time. None of us have any direct family to live with so this makes things easier.?

    The girl looked at her mug. ?I?ve never seen you around though.?

    ?Oh, that?s because Tora didn?t fancy having us meet before,? he answered, his eyes set on the scroll yet Yuuko didn?t feel ignored at all. Her eyebrows furrowed as she thought about what he had said.

    ?Why not??

    ?How the fuck should I know,? he was beginning to sound a bit exasperated now. ?I can?t figure out what she?s thinking any more than you do and I?ve lived in the same place as her for years now?she probably thought we could cause her downfall if we plotted against her together??

    Yuuko laughed, the sound rusty and strange in her ears. It?s not as if it?s been that long since she laughed but it somehow felt like years. It felt nice, normal and relieving. Looking up from her mug and noticing he was now looking at her, she scratched the back of her neck and sent him a sheepish grin. ?By the way, who are you??

    ?That?s Haru Itsuki, Yuuko,? Tora answered, beating a startled Haru to it. The girl heard the door shut and looked at Tora as she entered the living room with two pizza boxes in her hands.
    Spoiler:

    ?Why aren?t you home?? The woman asked bluntly, throwing the boxes onto the table and sitting down next to the girl on the couch, not really minding the scrolls. ?And I can?t believe you didn?t introduce yourself,? she scolded Haru even as he was shaking his head frantically at her and making weird signs. When I told you to watch over her, I didn't mean become a stalker.

    ?Papa kicked me out,? the genin of the trio answered quite simply, getting up to grab herself a slice of pizza.

    ?Eh?? Tora looked up at the roof. Yuuko couldn?t help but notice she looked incredibly exhausted from whatever mission she had been on. There was no blood or wounds but the clothes were ragged and even torn in some places. ?Well, it was going to happen sooner or later. So you?ve been crashing here since??

    This time, Haru?s weird attempt at sign language was directed at Yuuko and she lifted an eyebrow at him as she answered her former sensei. ?Nah, I slept in the streets yesterday??

    ?Comfy isn?t it? Who doesn?t love sleeping in the rain sometime or another,? was all the woman apparently had to say before she stole the girl?s pizza and shoved it all in her mouth, looking oddly at her chest. Once she finished swallowing, Tora rudely grabbed one of Yuuko?s rather small breasts and squeezed. ?You should wear a bra even if you're small you know?? She asked, not really paying attention to the fact that Yuuko had just turned a deep red.

    ?T-t-t-t-t-!?

    Curious, the woman reached her hand down, nonchalantly lifted the waistband and whistled. ?Damn, Yuuko, going full commando when you?re alone with a guy you don?t know?gotta tell you, kid, I wasn?t as bold when I was your age!?

    Teary eyed, Yuuko turned to look at Haru for some help but he just lifted both his hands and shook his head. His message crystal clear to her this time.

    You?re on your own.
     
  16. Laix

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    EDIE
    - THE EMANCIPATION OF EVERYTHING -

    Ever since that day, everything's changed. For better or worse - who knows? I certainly don't.

    My mind is still plagued with uncertainty surrounding exactly what occurred on that night. I don't even want to go into the details but if you've been reading this, you'll know what happened. There's still that blank space in my mind that only adds more questions to my ever-growing pile. It can't possibly be a coincidence that a feat considered inhuman even in this world of ninja happened to my enemies. It can't possibly be a coincidence that I was standing right there when it happened, spotted by countless people whom I don't even care for. It can't possibly be a coincidence that someone I thought was a figment of my imagination appeared in my room not an hour after it happened, praising my "power" but insisting I be more careful.

    That was a week ago. I've had a whole week to just think, to try and decipher this puzzling mystery. Alisa noted I haven't been the same since that party, saying I've been detached from reality and not as bubbly as I usually am. She didn't tell a lie but she won't know the truth. Nobody deserves to know the truth except for me and I'm going to make sure I'm the first one to find it. In fact, today on this Saturday morning I'd planned a trip to the Hokage mansion. It was going to be quite a risky trip, involving breaking into their most precious data centers to extract the official incident report regarding the collapse of the office block in downtown Konoha. Of course it was the first step to getting the answers I need but those plans were shredded by none other than my father, who had an announcement for me come breakfast.

    "Morning Edie," He greeted nonchalantly, nose buried in the Konoha Times as he stirred his morning cup of coffee. I gave no answer as I sat down at the opposite end of the table inappropriately large given only himself and me regularly used it. At least it created space between us so I didn't have to force myself into any awkward situations.

    Besides him was a plate with a half-eaten slice of toast left with what looked like the remains of a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages and waffles. Alisa soon brought out my own plate of breakfast, the steam rising from the freshly prepared food. I shook my head, gesturing it away. My appetite had been non-existent this week, yet every day Alisa had tried to get me to eat at breakfast only to frown as I said no. Inevitably she would try again at 1PM and once again at 7PM. Instead, like I have been doing this past week, opted for a glass of water. I was never the sort of person to drink water - I used to think it tasted so plain, bland and even disgusting at times. This week however, it had been my life. When it gushed down my throat and rested in my stomach, I felt like everything was being cleansed out of my body.

    I felt like all those painful memories were leaving me.

    "Water again for you?" Natsu remarked, not even giving me eye contact. Clearly the economics section of the newspaper was much more important. With a grunt, I took a sip of my drink before giving a cold but honest response.

    "Unless you're going to actually talk to me properly, don't bother."

    He lowered his paper, his head tilted and eyes narrowed. I felt like he was trying to read me but I wouldn't let him. God, just thinking of telling him how I felt repulsed me. Even if I liked him I still wouldn't.

    "Okay, I apologise." Folding the broadsheet, he placed it down on the table and took a final sip of his now lukewarm coffee. "I'm going to give you some money today. I want you to head into town with Alisa and find something glamorous to wear."

    Confused, I raised an eyebrow and smirked slightly. "Is that how you're going to win me over?"

    "Tonight, I'm hosting an important gala at my home. The extra staff will be here within the next ten minutes to begin setting up the venue."

    "A gala? To celebrate what? You turning out to be a bitch?"

    Alisa let out a shriek as she collected the plates. Natsu was taken aback by my choice of language but soon dismissed it, continuing on as if I never said anything.

    "No, to celebrate you being promoted to Chūnin. There are going to be dozens upon dozens of people here to celebrate your achievements Edie."

    Chūnin? You know, if he told me this a week ago I would've been over the moon. I probably would've done a cartwheel and thanked the Valkyrie herself for this blessing. But now, I'd wised up. I didn't need some stupid rank from some stupid establishment telling me what I am. I'm past Chūnin - I know I'm on par with a Jōnin, if not higher. I couldn't give less of a shit about this cute little 'gala'.

    Rolling my eyes, I finished my 'breakfast' before standing up. "Wow, I'm so flattered," Was deadpanned sarcastically as I tucked my chair in. "Your effort is... admirable but you may as well cancel. I'm not going."

    As I began to walk out of the dining room, my father raised his voice enough to get my attention.

    "Oh yes you are, Edie."

    I glanced over my shoulder.

    "I'm eighteen tomorrow, making me an adult. So unless you're going to physically drag me here, you'll find I won't be attending."


    And now here I am, sat in front of my vanity mirror as three stylists fuss around me. One is applying a layer of foundation while another uses hair straighteners to smooth my blonde locks. The other is preparing my outfit for the night which includes actually lightly glazing scented perfume over it. I'm being pampered like a princess, dolled up to look my absolute best for what is being reported by the media as "the biggest social event of the year".

    How did my father manage to convince me? He didn't. He just repeated that I will be going to the gala in that pathetic authoritative tone he does. No, I was the one who convinced me to attend. As I stared at my reflection in the mirror, I reminded myself why I chose to come. It wasn't for the attention or any of the typical things I would've gone for.

    No, I came to help myself. All week I've been told how ill and depressed I look. At first I put it down to collateral damage, an after effect of what happened. I was mourning the loss of my dignity and recovering what had been destroyed. But then, I realized that was contradicting my intentions. I wanted to find the truth so I could prove I had won in the end, yet by letting them ruin my persona I was showing I'd actually lost. I couldn't allow that, I couldn't allow that for one second. Even if they're rightfully dead and buried, I was still going to come out stronger.

    I'm Edie Nakano, the best damn thing your eyes will ever see.
     
  17. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    Training: Speed


    Baseball? This isn?t Baseball! This is just a game with bases, bats and balls! I

    Things got busy after moving in with Tora and Haru. Since Yuuko couldn?t take as many or as high ranked missions as her new fellow roommates, she didn?t have to pay rent but, since she stayed home the longest, she was in charge of the domestic duties in the household. It wasn?t troublesome or anything, it was no different than what had been forced to do back home, but Tora?s house had never been the cleanest in Kumogakure. Since noting some of Haru?s habits as well, the girl had to wonder if it wasn?t a shinobi thing to be dirty and piggish while home.

    None of them ever washed their clothes unless they found it absolutely necessary (and that, in Yuuko?s standards, meant the clothes were covered in a mix of blood, sweat and mud). Much to her horror, she had once entered Haru?s room, after knocking, and found him sniffing a ragged shirt before putting it on. And, this being the cherry on top of the cake when it came to doing laundry, if Tora didn?t have clean clothes, she simply didn?t wear anything at all. The man of the house seemed pretty comfortable and used to this fact, not really paying it any mind, but it was just too much for Yuuko and she had promptly started lending some of her shirts to the older woman so she didn?t go around without anything but a pair of panties.

    It wasn?t much but the girl was grateful for the work. She didn?t have permission to go on missions yet and she would just be moping around the house otherwise. This way she kept busy and somewhat content with the world. Strange how she had loathed these same chores before but now liked doing them. She wasn?t sure if it was because they kept her from thinking or because of the appreciative looks she got from her new family.

    However, even if it wasn?t hard, it was certainly tiring and that didn?t go well with her almost sleepless schedule. Nothing managed to keep the nightmares away while she slept. So, she often found herself like she currently was, lying on the couch halfway between the dreamland and reality.

    Though both her peers usually left her to her own business, today she was startled by a pat on her head. Looking up, she saw Haru, grinning down at her. ?Haru-ni, I was just closing my eyes for a second,? Yuuko excused herself sheepishly.

    ?You?ve been lying there for a couple of hours now?? He commented though the grin never left his face. He was the kind of guy that constantly carried an easy going smile on his face, much like Yuuko had before. ?Let?s go out and play!?

    ?And play what?? She asked in tempo with a jaw popping yawn.

    ?Baseball!?

    She had a feeling it was more for his personal childish delight than in consideration of her tired self, but Yuuko quickly got up and put on her sneakers so they could leave. After finding and dragging a happy Tora from a sake stand, they made their way to a clear training field where two bats, a few balls and a couple of gloves already awaited them. ?You know the rules, right??

    Yuuko nodded and proceeded to help him distribute the rocks that would serve as bases for the game. ?I?m not sure Tora-sensei can play though,? she commented, looking back at the curvy brunette.

    ?I can still kick your fu-ah! Beat you,? was shouted back at her. Yuuko grinned and Haru laughed.

    Even though she had told him she knew the rules, the blond still took a minute to explain everything to her before they began the game. Not surprisingly, she discovered they weren?t playing by the book and some adaptations were made so they could play by themselves.

    The game played as follows. They each took turns at throwing, hitting and catching the ball. Reaching each of the four bases before the catcher gets the ball would add one point, running full round adds 3 points to the total and achieving a homerun adds another five points. The loser takes care of dinner for the rest of the week. Yuuko would be the first batter, Tora the first pitcher and Haru the first catcher, after the first round they would switch places to let everyone have an equal chance at everything.
     
  18. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    Training: Speed


    Baseball? This isn?t Baseball! This is just a game with bases, bats and balls! II

    Round 1

    Yuuko gave her bat a test swing before the actual start. She pretty much knew the rules but this was her actual first time holding a bat and it was a lot heavier than she had expected it to be. They didn?t really have another player so she would be standing in front of a tree in case she didn?t hit the ball. Tora, being the first pitcher, was standing in the middle of their makeshift court and Haru stood a little farther, ready to catch any balls.

    Deeming herself ready, Yuuko nodded at her former sensei and got herself in position only to feel something swoosh near her face and hear a thud against the tree. The ball fell and rolled in front of her and the girl scowled. ?Tora-sensei! I didn?t even see the ball!?

    ?That?s not my problem, Yuuko-chan,? the woman answered innocently and lifted her arm with another ball in hand, signaling her being ready to throw. This time, Yuuko kept her eyes on her as she got in position, ready to hit the ball as soon as it left the glove. Somehow, she managed to do just that and the ball flew in Haru?s direction who caught it before she even left the first base.

    ?Aw, come on?? She pouted at him but he only shrugged and gave her a sympathetic smile.

    ?Sorry, Yuuko-chan, gotta be faster than that.?

    Round 2

    Haru served as batter this time, with Tora catching and Yuuko pitching. She gulped. The first round had gone horribly so she had to do everything to keep the other players from getting any points. That was easier said than done though. She prided herself in her speed but both Tora and Haru easily dominated her in that area as well as in any other. It was a bit frustrating but at the same time it made her want to push herself even harder. That was the usual effect Tora?s taunting had on her and now joined with Haru?s kind cheering it was an incredible combo.

    Taking a deep breath, she grabbed a ball, got in position and threw it as unexpectedly and as fast as she could. Haru, of course, hit it but he only reached one base before Tora was able to catch the ball by flickering. ?Tora! That?s cheating!? He accused as if the words could have any effect on the laughing woman.

    Round 3

    It was Yuuko?s turn to catch the ball this time and she was deeply afraid. This was scarier than anything else in the world. Especially because every time she made eye contact with sensei, the woman would laugh madly as if she had conceived some malefic evil plan. When Haru threw and the woman hit the ball with so much force it sounded like thunder, she raised her arms and clenched her teeth in preparation to get hit with it. Nothing happened though so she looked up and saw Tora happily jumping in the fourth base. The ball was quickly flying away, reaching for the stars. ?Is that even possible?? She wondered out loud.

    ?I guess it is?? Haru answered as baffled as she was at the sight of the amazing home run.

    -

    They ended up playing 3 rounds for each of them that turned out pretty much the same. Tora, of course, ended up winning the entire game with a whooping 36 points. Haru came second with a not so brilliant result of 3 points. And Yuuko lost with 0 points. However, even if she had to cook dinner for the rest of the week, she felt like she learned a lot and that her speed must?ve improved quite a bit. She almost reached first base during her last round as a batter, after all! That was improvement!

    Still, Yuuko felt so tired that when they finally sat under the tree (which took quite a beating thanks to Yuuko?s misses), she blinked her eyes and into a deep dreamless sleep with a small content smile on her face.

    Unknown to the sleeping girl, Tora crouched down and poked her in the face. ?Well, if this was your plan, it worked,? she commented with a soft voice so as to not disturb her.

    ?She managed to gain some weight but the eye bags were getting worse by the day,? the blond answered, lighting a cigarette before placing it in his lips. ?Staying home all day doing nothing but cleaning isn?t good anyway, we need to get her a training schedule or she?ll have trouble when she?s assigned a new mission.?

    ?I don?t know about you,? Tora retorted with a laugh. ?But I found her eye bags interesting; they were the exact same shade of purple as her eyes. She?s actually quite pretty looking like a corpse.?

    Haru could only shake his head at her idea of beauty. Calling Tora a sadist would have unpredictable results.
     
  19. Atlantic Storm Booze Intermission Administrator

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    Shougo Nakamura
    Big Decisions, Part 3

    A typical day for the head of the Intelligence Gathering & Espionage Department usually involved a late night until three in the morning sorting through troves of data. Masses of information - enough to fill out an entire library - would be fed through to the lanterns floating around inside his office and he would spend the morning categorising them. The afternoon would be spent cutting out the excess and the night would be spent storing away anything useful. Every so often he would be interrupted by the occasional mission request given to him by the Hokage and he would call one of his agents in.

    He'd do this all the while listening to some classical violin and piano from his record player. It was a bit of an ancient relic, looking more than a little out of place in his otherwise entirely modern office, but it was one that he'd developed an immense fondness of. Shougo would occasionally get up to remove the record, clean it with a cloth, then either flip it over or change it and get back to work.

    This particular day was not like that, however.

    "The Houki clan have begun putting precautions in place for when Lin-san returns. As expected," he muttered quietly, voice dipped in disappointment. This was the one time he was hoping that one of his predictions would be wrong. Going on the defensive and setting up barricades was only going to give her more time to hide her tracks even more and to prepare something of her own. Why couldn't they see that? It was frustrating that, despite their reputation for perspicacity and coyness, the Council of the Elders and the clan head himself were so incredibly short-sighted in their decisions.

    He set his wine glass down with a light clink and looked up at his ceiling darkly. "Ah, this is turning out to be troublesome..." Shougo's voice was scarce more than a ghostly whisper. There was a certain weariness to it; a poignant exhaustion and a dreadful melancholy. The intellectual looked down at his right hand, carefully removed the glove with his other hand and set the appendix down on the table.

    Red. His right hand was that of a scarlet red, with not a single piece of skin to be seen on it right up to the wrist as if it was a perfectly peeled orange. It was his strongest weapon yet also a constant reminder of his ultimate failures; an experiment back in the Research and Development Division which resulted in the loss of his hand. He had been trying to find a way to unseal Hana Houki from the fūinjutsu her cousin had cast on her, but he was younger back then. Naive, and with a far more tenuous grasp over the inner workings of chakra than he did now. The seal was one that could only be undone by a special key that her specific spiritual energy possessed.

    He tapped at the desk with his raw finger, his eyes narrowed. Whether he liked it or not, the cooperation of the Houki would be necessary in order to track her down. Whatever the woman's goals were, it was clearly linked with her family in some way. Sooner or later, she would return - they were right about that much at least. Then, the bespeckled man removed himself from his chair, leaving his glass of wine unfinished, and exited through the door of his office. He knew exactly who he needed to see.
     
  20. Atlantic Storm Booze Intermission Administrator

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    Ren Houki
    A Sordid Affair, Part 1

    Funerals were a sordid affair. To most people, they were a time to mourn and a time to remember. For others, they were a time to celebrate the good times they had with the recently deceased. For Ren Houki, it was just a poignant reminder of his failures. The only thing that could have made this day even more depressing was if it was raining, but thankfully nature seems to have relented on the clich?d pathetic fallacies. Although at this point, even the bright rays of the Sun felt like something of a cruel joke.

    A plain black funeral suit suit; nothing too fancy or fashionable. This wasn't a fashion show, after all. As he stood amongst the crowd, he contemplated his surroundings. There were a few people he didn't recognise, random villagers who he presumed Makoto knew when he was alive, and other familiar faces. Amongst them he recognised the faces of Taneda, Yukino, North, Jeeha, Makoto's parents and his sister. He rubbed at his face. The bruise Makoto's sister had left there still hurt.

    "How could you let him die! You're meant to be his friend!"

    Ren had silently taken the punch. What else was he supposed to do at the time? He couldn't even say that he'd avenged him - he didn't. He'd passed out like a little bitch. Nor could he say that he tried his hardest to protect him - he didn't. He got complacent in his plans and automatically assumed everybody would come out unscathed. Why did he make that same mistake every time? Had he still not learned after all these missions, all these near-death experiences?

    Now that he thought about it, he still had no idea what happened after he fell unconscious. When Shougo's guys came along to extract them, he'd just stormed off without a word and refused to talk to anybody. Had Taneda or North saved him? That would've surely been embarrassing, after all the trash he'd talked. Ren rubbed at his head as he watched onwards at the funeral man delivering his eulogy and speech.

    "Bah. Just thinking about it gives me a headache."

    He was snapped out of his daydream by the sharp voice of the speaker. Fuji was a classic funeral service guy: somewhat pudgy, with a dreary face, thinning grey hair and dressed in all black. A dull monochrome man with a matching monotone. "Before we begin with the rest of the service, would anybody like to give the late Makoto Ha a few words of respect?" He asked.

    Much to the surprise of many, and himself, Ren piped up. "I would," he stated cooly.
     
  21. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    What Remains
    When the World Spins Out of Control



    After everything was done, Kyo couldn?t help but feel sick, and his stomach churned. He wanted nothing more than to puke up his guts and just look at them as they sit outside. Although he couldn?t he had to be strong, he had to be the clan heir, and he had the responsibilities of leading his family into success. If that meant doing something that he didn?t want done, then so be it. He would do it. The future of the family outweighed the feelings of one.

    So no matter how he felt, no matter what he had to do, he would do it, and he would do it with the up most result. The village had to be rebuilt, and if he looked at it, then maybe he could incorporate the Janshin teachings into the lives of the Fenikkusus. That way the Fenikkusu still are in control and that old pope wouldn?t have anything to complain about.

    Kyo let out a groan as he put his head on his work desk, and closed his eyes. His eyes stung in pain as he looked down at the words in front of him, so much paper work had piled up, and the words began to blur into each other.

    He closed his eyes once again, he wanted nothing more to just have a moment of rest. No deadlines, no meetings, just him with himself doing something he loved to do. He wouldn?t have to worry about meetings with old people that looked down on him because he was a kid. He wouldn?t have to deal with paper work, or his family, and more importantly he wouldn?t have to think. About the future, about the past, nor the present, he would just rest.

    The world constantly moved and everything was spinning out of control. And he was just sitting there watch it spin, constantly spin until it threw something out at him. The world was on fire, and there was nothing he could do but accept it. Kyo was smart, he knew that if he just asked that someone would come to him. Save him from this feeling, he had his family to support him, but sometimes it was harder than pulling a tooth to talk to them.

    The world could still spin, but he wanted to know that someone out there would stop their world?.

    Stop anything they would doing and just?.

    ?Master Kyo?.? There was a slight tap at his door, and Kyo opened his eyes. He looked outside and saw the bright stars, before looking at the door. ?You have a visitor.?

    ?This late at night, who is it?? Kyo asked the hand maid that was outside

    ?It?s lady Kei, she wishes to come and visit you.?​

    Kei? What was she doing here so late at night?

    ?Tell her I?m coming?.? Kyo said as he got up from his desk, something ached in his heart as if it was about to be give something it wanted. Did the gods really want to give him what he wanted? Right now? Was someone listening to his prayers? Or was this a cruel joke?
     
  22. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    What Remains
    When the World Spins Out of Control


    Kei stood in front of the Fenikkusu compound, the cold night air brushed against her skin, as she tried to tame her hand to stay still. She looked up at the night sky, the bright stars and even the moon was full, a perfect time to just relax. She took a deep breath as she tried to gather her thoughts about why she came here tonight, and so late. Though would it be wrong for her to say she just wanted to see him? She wanted to talk to him? The red hair that became so ingrained into her life?.

    She wanted to see it, even if it was just once, up close and personal. Kei wanted to see him, even if it was just for a second, to see how he was doing. So when he came out of the compound, when their eyes met, she felt her breath hitch up in her throat.

    ?Kei?It?s late what are you doing out?? He asked in his usual tone of knowing best, Kei tried to smile as she looked at him. Although she couldn?t help but notice, the dark circles under his eyes, and even his hair wasn?t kept.

    ?I wanted to see if you are free?? Kei explained, she placed her hands behind her back and smiled up at him warmly. ?I wanted to hang out before I have to go and get some rest. ?

    ?Only if that?s okay with you!?

    Kei blushed, it was such a selfish request, but it was the truth in one way or another. Kyo wasn?t the type to tell people how he felt, and so she had to go around about way of saying what she wanted to say. Anything to make it easier for him to open up to her, she wanted to get closer to him, and plus she hasn?t seen him in such a long time. Kei felt her eyes grow weaker and she begun to look down at the ground?

    ?You don?t have too??

    He was busy, he was a clan leader now, and he had so much to do. Kei bit her lip, maybe she was being too selfish, or she was worrying too much. Though was it so wrong of her to want to spend time with him even if it was just a bit. Even if it was just to get him out of the house, and walk around, anything just so he could relax a bit.

    ?Yeah?Let?s go.? Kei head shot up as she saw him placed his hand in his pocket, ?Where you want to go??

    No matter how much she wanted to fight it, she couldn?t help but let the small smile overcome her.

    ?Just, do you mind if we walk around? I found this awesome place. I think you might like it!? She interlaced her fingers in her hand as she looked up at him. Her heart nearly exploded when she saw him smirk at her and nodded his head.

    ?Alright then, lead the way.? Kyo smiled at her before turning to the hand maid, ?I?ll be home later, organize my papers before I get home, and tell the others. ?

    The hand maid smiled as she bowed gently, ?Yes Master Kyo, please be safe on the road tonight. You too, Miss Kei.?

    They both smiled at her, before Kei nodded her head, ?We will! I promise I?ll have him back soonish!?

    The hand maid smiled as she closed the door to the compound. Kei looked up at Kyo as he neared her, he looked so tired, something in her heart wanted to ask is he sure, but there was a certain part of her that wanted him to herself.

    ?Ready?? Kyo asked causing Kei to jump a bit, he smiled before rustling her hair, ?Hey is anyone in there??

    ?Someone is in there but she is really tired!? Kei laughed

    Kyo chuckled and for a minute, it was like nothing happened. Like the world didn?t crash and burn around them, they were still kids, and not people working towards a goal. They still had their whole lives ahead of them, but both of them knew it wasn?t true. However, it didn?t stop them from taking comfort in each other?s presences.
     
  23. LunarCoast The Resident Owl

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    Eerin Akarusa
    To save an Owl



    She sighed heavily looking back to Sho and commented, "The owl you struck down is Ijona's son, while it isn't our choice where your spirit goes we can choose to simply have no part in guiding your spirit to wherever it is you are meant to go."

    Drawing an arrow she notched it and took aim, "We got simple questions and if what you said is true what purpose is there in hiding it any longer? Who, Why, and Where does the Goddess reside?"

    The Kunoichi chuckled lightly to herself, "You Akarusa still calling her that? Hah why not... the owl is prisoner in the vault of glass, as to why that depends on who your workin' for."

    Eerin became tense pulling the chakra string further back in a sudden motion demanding, "Explain!"

    "Riaku and Hezen believes that Ogama can be destroyed with the use of a ancient blade, they believe April knows the location of this so called weapon and holds the key to recovering it. Truth of the matter is the story is a fabrication to give them hope where there is none, our master needed a way to separate your brother from April without attracting too much attention;

    appears to have worked perfectly wouldn't you say?"
    A wide grin from cheek to cheek taking shape visible through the broken sections of the mask.

    "Who..."

    "Who do you think? Everything Hatori did in the exams was by design, it forced April to recover the Keystone bringing it out of hiding even going through the trouble of performing a slightly different clone jutsu. You and the ANBU have been played and lost. Master's probably already there now obtaining his deposit."

    Eerin released the arrow at this range is merely passed through the skull of their captive landing cleanly into the ground behind. "Bastards trying to make us look bad!"She spoke in that preculiar tongue once again turning to her instincts in a moment of hatred and anguish.

    Sho looked on uncomfortably stood above the earth looking at the scene from a distance and having listened in, "No he's just done as she said, we never considered how Hatori got into the exams in the first place... we just assumed he done something that caught the attention of someone important. Suzume, this maybe pre-mature but... if you wish to leave now would be the time. I'm not certain we can defeat the foe we might be facing when we arrive."


    Spoiler: 1 Hour Prior


    The Vault of Glass
    The Keystone



    A circular gateway marked the entrance to the vault, etched into the stone several markings reminiscent to that of a sealing technique. The temple in which he made his first appearance was now a empty void, the battle scars from his first encounter still remained and pulsed with the dark twisted energies of the veil.

    Unsurprisingly the gate remained open, and showed signs of both archeological and more thorough means of investigation. Descending down into the vault itself the sound of his footsteps slowly became more and more muffled by the glass crystals that loomed, like moon lit candles they illuminated the halls in silvery light. The light soon dimmed however, and the passage began to open up into a cavernous environment the sound of several feint footsteps could be heard through naturally formed maze that sat before him.

    Thankfully he knew the route well, within one wall was a concealed passage designed in such a way to conceal it against the natural stone formations, passing by the recently deceased shinobi he uttered, "They found their prey." Moving into the exit he glanced back seeing the feint outline of a ghostly entity passing by at a slow uneasy pace.

    Next stop the vault itself, he was honestly surprised they made it this far undoubtedly with the help of April. The owls knew this place well after all it was they with his help who created it, the vault was the one weakness between this world and the next, and would ultimately be the first wall to fracture in the coming years but he didn't have the patience to wait.

    He came to a sudden halt coming upon the vault, shards and glass panels marked the entryway to what was once his tomb. A barrier lay upon it, no doubt as a means to try and prevent individuals such as himself breaking in beyond he could sense the owl and the stone which she possessed. Pressing his hand forward upon the barrier he smirked feeling his hand beginning to burn against the crimson wall that took shape, "Truly how very unremarkable of you using the techniques of others. No matter what name you go under the ANBU never cease to disappoint me." Taking a step back he began to form hand seals in quick succession the glass began vibrate emitting a deafening screech through the halls.

    "... Fools..."April whimpers weakly looking out from the bloodied cage to Riaku.

    "Glass Release: Shatter."

    The barrier began to crack and crumble at an extremely rapid rate as the vibrations through the glass structure increased until the entirety of the super structure simply collapsed raining shards and fragments of glass around him stepping forth.

    A shinobi was already moving towards him throwing several shuriken in his direction, raising the palm of his hand the shurikens were promptly intercepted by the still falling shards of glass knocking them into the nearby walls each creating a considerable cut within the stonework.

    "Wind Release: Air Bullets."
    "Fire Release: Hellfire Barrage."

    The chakra arrows coming into contact with the bullets of wind setting them ablaze in blue flames. Several dozen exploding behind Ogama causing the long laid dust to surge up from the landscape and create a cloud, concealing him for a brief moment before two arrows broke through it killing one the other being dodged by Riaku. "Shit."

    Ogama come to the bottom step continuing towards his target looking to Riaku, "Thank you for your contribution and returning her to me."

    "Bullshit!"Riaku pulling back the bow string of his bow, a surge of chakra pulsing outwards generating a strong wind even before he released it the ground at his feet had shown signs of considerable strain. Once released the wind surged forth knocking Ogama off balance. Creating hand seals he formed a angled plane of glass directly between them, releasing the arrow it hit into the glass before simply being deflected back into him. Resuming his stance he walked up to the cage as the walls and structure of the vault crumbled causing a cave in the arrow detonating with such force to destroy much of what remained around them.

    "Hello April."Ogama grinned placing his hand upon the cage shattering it into pieces releasing the owl. April weakly took a bite onto his finger, as she felt him reach under her and pull out the stone, shaking his head at her effort to halt him.
     
  24. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    What Remains
    When the World Spins Out of Control

    When was the last time he was out of the house just because he wanted to be? Not for business or because he had to keep up appearance, but just set around and just looked around. Taking his own time, and not on anyone?s else? Kyo took a deep breath as he felt his shoulders relax, it?s been too long. The sound of crickets and slight laughter coming from the camping sites, made the cold night walk not seem as lonely as it looked.

    As he looked around he could feel his heart ache, as it remembered the stores that were around this area. The people that run them, the things that they sold, and how early in the morning there were always happy faces. Kyo couldn?t help but look on the pile of rubble and feel as though he lost apart of himself.

    Something ripped through his chest as he looked on, it was gone, everything was gone, and no matter if they rebuilt everything from scratch. The scars that they were left with were still real?

    Everything that happened was real?.

    And there no amount of praying or crying that could help them?

    ?Kyo?? The warm voice called out to him, it was so soft that he could barely hear it, but through all of it he did. When he turned around he saw Kei look up at him, her amber eyes were warm as well. As if she knew what he was thinking. ?It?s really cold out, are you sure you are fine??

    He looked at her, expecting everything but that. Kei was a worry wart, and even as she looked at him in concern, he was waiting. He knew that it wasn?t that simple, that she didn?t just want to hang out with him, but he didn?t expect how slow she was. He wanted to her just to ask straight up, what she wanted. Although as she looked up at him, he looked down at himself and realized that he was only wearing a regular t-shirt and just some jeans.

    And she was wearing a scarf and long sleeve shirt with pants. Was it that cold? Kyo laughed weakly as he rubbed his head.

    ?I?m a Fenikkusu, we naturally radiate heat.? He told her, ?The cold doesn?t really bother us that much.?

    Kei looked up at him, before removing her hand from her pocket, ?Really??

    She wiggled her fingers, ?Because I?m really cold right now?.?

    ?Kei?.??​


    ?So cold Kyo?.? She wiggled her fingers in a creepy manner, before stopping completely, Kyo watched her as she took a couple steps back before flinging herself onto his back and shoving her cold fingers on his back.

    ?HOLY FUCKIN SHIT KEI!? Kyo yelled as he jumped but she wrapped her arms around him, he could feel her ice cold finger tips on his back and it made him shiver.

    Kei placed her head on his back, ?So warm~? She purred, ?You are right you are really hot.?

    Kyo growled underneath his breath, ?And you are fucking cold as shit!?

    ?You should feel my feet.?

    ?Keep that shit away from me!?

    Kei let out a snort, before laughing, it was so bubbly as if there was nothing that could go wrong. Kyo looked behind him and saw her laugh, for some reason it brought a smile to his face. Seeing her happy, carefree, and just herself, the world was changing, and yet she was still Kei. She was still the girl he met at the beach?

    ?Kei?.? He said her name softly, but almost like a cat she perked up and looked up at him. ?You warm yet??

    Kei jumped before placing her hand on her face, ?I?m good! I?m great!? She removed her hand from his back and took a couple of steps back.

    ?Sorry~ Kind of got ahead of myself!? She laughed weakly, and yet he saw her blushing no matter how dark it was he saw it. The tinge of red in her cheeks as her blue hair cupped her face, when she looked up at him with that look of hers, he couldn?t help but smile.

    He grabbed both of her hands and gave them a tight squeeze in between his, ?You need gloves and a hat, where are they??

    Kei smiled as she looked at him, rolling her eyes and pulling her hands away, ?Don?t need them, not that cold!? She said puffing out her chest and looking up him. For some reason he loved it, the reaction he could get out of her, and only her. The way her dash side to side, because she couldn?t look at him with confidences, she wore her heart out on her sleeves like she always did. The fun thing about that is, her face or her actions would always reveal her true self.

    Even now, she was fidgeting under his gaze and he was trying so hard not to laugh. Though it was so easy to tease her, was this what it was like to bully someone? If that was the case, he didn?t mind being her personal bully. The way she moved and she struggled to find words to talk to him with, it was so rewarding.

    ?Well?Um?We?We should go!? Kei said dodging his gaze once again, and turning to walk again in the direction they were going in. She covered her face with the scarf with her face, ??I told them I would have you back!?

    Kyo chuckled to himself as he reached out for her hand once more causing her to jump, ?Alright lead the way~?


     
  25. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    What Remains
    When the World Spins Out of Control

    He was having too much fun at her expense! The boy knew what he was doing and she hated when he played innocent! He was being horrible to her, and she hated it! Though it wasn?t as if he was doing things like torturing her, even if it felt like it, or was he was being cruel, however every second felt cruel. Each moment was her personal torture, but somewhere in her heart she didn?t mind. She didn?t mind one second, actually she kind of enjoyed it, but she wasn?t going to let him think that as he tightly gripped her hand.

    ?You are having way too much fun.? She complained underneath her breath, she heard him chuckle and close the distances between them rubbing his arm against her shoulders. ?So mean!?

    ?Don?t like a bit of public display of?.affection~? He purred causing her face to turn bright red, and almost snapping to turn to him. They looked at each other before Kyo snorted letting go of her hand to start laughing, he wrapped his arms around his stomach. ?Oh my god your face Kei!!! It?s perfect!!!?

    What was that supposed to mean!? She took a deep breath, and Kyo laughed even harder.

    ?Oh my god you look like a puffer fish!!!? He cried out harder, tears running down his cheeks as he looked and pointed at her. She puffed her cheeks out to their fullest as she snorted and looked away. The sounds of his laughter, knowing that she was able to make him smile and laugh, even if it was just a little bit, warmed her heart. She was proud of herself?.In some way she was proud of making him smile?

    ?Kei, turn around.? Kyo told her, and when she looked at him, she was greeted with him mushing her cheeks together.

    ?Ow!? Kei let out a small yelp as her cheeks stung, ?Couldn?t you be a bit gentler??

    Kyo looked around before looking back down at her, ?Nope~?

    Kei let out a defeated sigh before looking at him. That cocky grin, even if his hair was a bit messy or their were bags under his eyes. That smile really brightens his face, and made him look like his age, rather than an old man. Though she knew, that as soon as she is done, that she was going to have to go back to work, and so did he.

    ?Kyo?? She called out to him, he gave her a questioning look, before she smiled weakly, ?Thank you?.For spending time with me.?

    She blushed as she slid her hair behind her ears, ?Thank you??

    ?Everything been a bit hectic around here lately and sometimes I know we get busy.? Kei looked down at the ground before looking back at him, ?Though it made me so happy that you said yes! It made me really happy! So thank you!?

    Kyo looked at her and she wondered what he was thinking at this point. Was she being weird? She wanted to know even if it was for a second. Kyo smiled back at her, that genuine smile that made her heart skip a beat. That smile that she didn?t get to see very much, but she knew that he heard her words. And that made her happy, as long as that smile was on his face, nothing could get her down.

    ?Thank you?.? He responded back, his voice was gentle and there wasn?t an ounce of that cocky voice that he was custom respond to her with. He ran his hands through his hair, ?For spending time with me too?.I appreciate it very much.?

    Kei couldn?t help but let her smile dominate her face?.

    ?What are friends for??
     
  26. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    A-Rank: The Dragon Prince

    Sexy Bodyguard Adventures I

    Tora-ne,

    You should be getting home soon but I need to leave for the Fire Country for a mission. I?ll be home in a couple of weeks, probably before Haru-ni returns. I?ve left some food on the fridge so please don?t resort to eating out all the time. Cook for yourself!

    Love,
    Yuuko


    ?Tch?!? Tora crumpled the little post it note and threw it at the trash. Rushing for the phone, she dialed a number she knew by heart and impatiently waited for them to pick up. Not given whoever was on the other line an opportunity to speak, she rushed out her order. ?Yeah, I want a double king size burger with king sized fries and whatever?s your biggest sized apple pie with some coke too.? Without anything else to add she turned off the call, shoved the phone away and went to seat in front of the door to wait for her food. She hadn?t said the address but she hadn?t needed to either; she was famous among the junk food restaurants around Kumogakure.

    -

    Meanwhile, Yuuko was getting off the train to Konoha with her trusty backpack and mission scroll in hand. This was going to be her first escort mission and while she was a little bit nervous, she was sure it would be alright. She had a team to back her up and under Tora?s and Haru?s 24h guidance, Yuuko had finally started to lose her aversion to fighting. She was proud of herself and how brave she was getting. But it?s not as if it was hard to stop fearing everything else when you went through what she experienced. Along with her new found courage also came maturity and confidence in her abilities which threw her na?ve persona to the deepest shadows of her mind.

    However, no matter how much of a grown she had become in the time she had lived with her new family, Yuuko still couldn?t help the butterflies that took flight inside her belly when she thought that this was her first escorting, and not an easy one at that. Nevertheless she stomped over her nervousness and took a look at the streets of Konoha as she walked by.

    Even though it was the most famous village in the shinobi world due to its might, success and powerful Kage, the girl had never actually set foot in it before. Much like fire itself, the village itself bustled with activity. The streets were full of people to the point where it was kind of hard to tell where she should go next and, surprisingly, there didn?t seem to exist a dominant physical characteristic. But the diversity didn?t stop there, as if having different traits wasn?t enough, Yuuko still had to see two people wearing similar clothing styles. Everyone seemed to have a completely different fashion sense and yet they were all incredibly well dressed.

    In the end, she could tell Konoha was probably one of the richest shinobi villages of their times and that was certainly something to take into account for the future.

    Out of everything she thought of as attractive in the hidden village, the memorial stone, the Academy, the carved Hokage faces?there were only two buildings Yuuko would gladly give her hands to visit: the Konohagakure public library and the Sakura Haruno Medical School. All the scrolls, books and knowledge beckoned her to say screw it to the mission and spend the rest of her week there. Unfortunately, duty called and it was with a heavy heart and equally heavy feet that the girl moved to the Hokage tower, where she would meet her team and client.

    Someone was already there, a shinobi old enough to be her father with a cranky expression on his face. Yuuko was ready to pass him by but stopped dead on her tracks when he looked at her and signaled for her to come closer. He was rather short, around her size, with a large nose through which he constantly sniffed as if he had some sort of allergy.

    ?Yuuko Shinohara, yes? I was expecting you.? His voice was nasal and posh in such a way even the pacifist girl couldn?t help get pissed at. ?Hm. Yes. Well, sit. We shall wait for the others to arrive. Surely you know about the mission already??

    He looked at her as if he thought himself superior. Was he racist towards her Kumogakure background? She?d break his nose and make a necklace out of his teeth if he had a problem with her beautiful home. ?Yes, sir,? she answered through greeted teeth.

    ?Hm. Yes. Well, sit girl, I said sit!? When raised, his voice turned high pitched and generally unpleasant and she swallowed down her strong desire to follow whatever evil plans she had for him and sat down against the wall. He hadn?t even introduced himself. Talk about rude. She could only hope the rest of the team would be a little bit easier to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  27. Kei Has a very specific fetish

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    What Remains
    When the World Spins Out of Control


    No matter how much she complained or threw a fit, she never once let go of his hand. She held it tighter and yet it almost like his hands was being squeezed by pillows. They were so soft, even though she stayed behind to help with rebuilding it was like she didn?t once touch those scarps that they use to call building. They filled the night air with just casual talk, about work, about people, and how it was getting cold. Even though he was waiting for her to bring up what she really wanted, it was nice not being forced to talk about the things going about their lives.

    Just for once, even as the world spun out of control, this moment he felt like everything was slowing down, even for a minute. He didn?t feel like he was being pulled along, but going at his own pace, with his own way of thinking.

    ?Ah we are almost there.? Kei snapped him from his thoughts, letting go of his hand he looked up at her, they were in the rural part of the village up in the mountains. Fuzenkagure was all about traditional values, and it up held most of them while still trying to keep up with the rest of black. So there was a slight disconnect between the bustling city and the mountain village.

    Though that didn?t mean it was safe from the wreckage of the attack. Many of the houses were caved in, wrecked with debris. The fields that were used to grow crops and flowers, were completely over turned, it was completely different from what he was saw growing up and now. Kei walked over debris before disappearing over a slight hill. What did she have to show him in this place? What could there possibly be here?

    ?Kyo, over here!? He saw her wave her arms, Kyo made his way up the hill and for a minute there was nothing that compared to the scene he saw.


    ?Beautiful isn?t it?? Kei asked her hands behind her back as the fireflies danced around the lake, ?I found it during break, and thought about, how nice it would be to take you here.?

    Kyo couldn?t say anything, he didn?t know whether to be thankful or what. Words caught in his throat as he looked at the shining lake. The beauty of the moon reflected on the lake, and for a minute he remembered seeing this scene before. With his mother?.

    ?A lot of things happened?.And a lot of things changed?.? Kei continued, before looking out at the lake, ?But I want you to know that we will always support you?.I?I will always support you.?

    ?Things will get tougher? A lot tougher, and it will seem like the world is caving in on you.? Kei took a deep breath as she got in front of him, her eyes burning with passion.

    ?But I?ll always be there! Always! To support you! To watch you grow! To slap you when you need a firm hand to the face!?

    Kyo heart thumped in his chest, this idiot?.

    This idiot didn?t know what she was saying?

    ?So do what you need to do, fight a good fight! No matter what everyone is here to support you!? Kei bit her lip, ?We are a village and we stand together!?

    Kei pumped her fist into the air

    ?We are strong! We will rise again!?

    Kyo smiled as she turned to the lake, ?You hear that world! We aren?t down for the count yet!? She yelled to the lake but then she covered her mouth

    ?Just?Just?give us a moment, and we will show you what we are made of??

    Yeah?She was the biggest idiot
     
  28. Hollow 113 Exp.

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    Yuuko Shinohara
    B-Rank: Stop the Poachers!

    Save The Raccoon People! I

    ?A B-rank?? Yuuko mumbled while rereading the scroll with the information about the mission. This was her first mission in a while and, somehow, she had been assigned a B-rank.

    She was currently sitting in the kitchen?s table, Tora and Haru each at her side providing her with different points of view. ?She shouldn?t go,? Haru argued against Tora decisively. ?You shouldn?t go, Yuuko-chan,? he turned to the girl and she lowered her eyes to the text again, pondering with a troubled face.

    ?Don?t be an idiot, Haru, this is a great opportunity for her,? Tora argued right, looking at her nails with an uninterested, bored expression. ?You must go Yuuko. It?s about time you get active again.?

    The girl was about to say she might just refuse it since she really didn?t feel ready but Haru suddenly got up and banged his hands on the small table. ?I won?t allow her to go alone on a B-rank mission all by herself! It?s too dangerous!? He shouted loud enough the neighbors could probably hear, not that they would actually care. They were probably already used to it. That didn?t stop Yuuko from trying to calm him down a bit though; it could get kind of embarrassing for her.

    ?Then just go with her,? the brunette answered as if it was the most natural thing to do. The girl raised her hands and shook her head frantically, ready to refuse such an idea. Having a jounin like Haru just drop whatever he?s working on to come on a mission with a genin wasn?t the best idea ever. But the jounin spoken of just put his hands on her shoulders and nodded decisively as Tora got up and left, probably to take a nap given her multiple yawns.

    -

    ?Haru-ni, you really don?t have to do this,? Yuuko told him not for the first time since they arrived. And much like the other times, she didn't get an answer.

    The pair stood in front of the mushroom forest which stretched far and wide. It was said to be one of the most beautiful forests in the world, straight out of a fairy tale and, when Yuuko passed its first few trees, she realized why. The trees all stood close together but not enough that some streams of light didn?t pass through, setting a somewhat mystique ambience to the area. Every beck and corner was filled with life and activity: little rabbits could be seen hopping from place to place along with other animals, the birds were harder to spot but their songs echoed everywhere she went. At one time, her teammate stopped her in her tracks and pointed beyond a couple of trees where a majestic deer stood tall, looking at them.

    ?It?s strange how they?re not afraid,? Yuuko commented, whispering so she wouldn?t give the animals a reason to actually be scared. Haru, however, didn?t seem worried about such a thing as he spoke loud and clear.

    "This forest is protected by the raccoon villagers, they ensure every animal is safe from harm,? he explained, not taking his eyes away from the deer who just calmly stared back at the pair. ?It?s considered a safe haven for all species for that reason.?

    ?Even humans?? She asked a little skeptical given the mission?s circumstances. Haru laughed and patted her head.

    ?Yeah, even humans.? He moved away, signaling the end of the conversation and Yuuko quickly followed behind, taking a look at the map she had researched before a peek every now and then to ensure they were headed the right direction.

    The Raccoon Village was situated deep in the forest, in an open clearing through which a nice little stream ran through. All the little storybook like huts were completely shut to the world and, much to the girl?s disappointment, no raccoons were in sight. There were a lot of tools and general items lying around that made it look like the little villagers had left in a hurry. ?They probably sensed us as soon as we entered the forest,? Haru explained while looking at one of the huts himself. ?Can?t blame them from hiding from any human after what they?ve been through.?

    Yuuko frowned but nodded. Poor little animals, needing to constantly hide all the time, she felt bad for them.

    ?Leave my children alone you wretched poachers!? A high pitched voice sounded from above. Looking behind, Yuuko saw a group of large raccoons standing on one of the roofs with straw hats and shabby looking wooden swords in their little paws.

    ?Yeah!? A much cuter voice emerged from behind them and soon a little raccoon came out into view with the same straw hat, an extra red cape over his shoulders and dragging a sword of his own behind. ?Leave us alone!?

    ?Pocchi!!? The large raccoon that had spoken earlier screamed. ?You?re supposed to be home with baba you prick!?

    ?Eh?but I wanna help you beat up the bad guys?? Pocchi answered, waving his arms all around and nearly hitting the other grown raccoons with his sword.

    Haru was scratching the back of his head, apparently not really knowing what he was supposed to do during such a situation so Yuuko took the lead. ?We?re shinobi from the Land of Lightning, mister! We?re here to stop the poachers,? she explained, digging the mission scroll from her back pouch to show it to the villagers.

    ?Oh, why didn?t you say so?? The raccoon jumped down from the roof and walked towards them, extending his paw for both shinobi to shake. It was a unique experience, shaking a raccoon?s paw? ?My name is To, I?m the elder raccoon of the village,? he introduced himself before calling out. ?It?s safe to come out, my children! These are our saviors!?

    More raccoons than Yuuko would think fit into the huts came out of their hiding spots, trapping the team in a circle of their kind. There were all kinds of raccoons, brown, grey, black?she couldn?t really tell gender apart but some of them were even wearing some simple accessories like flower crowns and little tongs around their raccoon waists. Haru moved a little closer as some of the raccoons, the little ones, approached them with curiosity shining in their eyes. ?Come inside, my dears,? To invited with grand gestures towards one of the largest huts. ?I will tell you our tales of woe while you eat and rest from your long journey.?
     
  29. Laix

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    EDIE
    THE PRINCE, THE PRINCESS AND A FEW FROGS




    As a kunoichi, there's a certain standard I must maintain.

    Not only am I one of the most powerful girls to have ever walked this earth but I'm also one of the most beautiful. That's why, even on missions and in the midst of combat, I must always be looking my best.

    I mean, just imagine Edie Nakano being photographed wearing some hideous standard Konoha attire, looking like every other shinobi out there and being prevented from glowing like the bright star I am! It's an unbearable thought, isn't it? Don't worry, I've done my best to ensure that nightmare won't become a reality.

    For this mission in particular, we're going to be escorting some faux-prince to some irrelevant place or something like that. I didn't pay much attention; I was more interested in the location which was the 'Land of Scales' (goodness knows what that is) in the Country. Discerning your destination and its climate is the most crucial part of dressing for missions as a kunoichi. You need to dress for the weather but also dress fashionably and comfortably. I can't be going on a mission to Sunagakure in platform heels and a fox fur coat. Not only would the sand absolutely ruin my shoes but I'd sweat like a hooker before a priest.

    In the end, I settled for something that ticks all the boxes - a black vest top underneath a white camo-print style hoodie with strawberry pink and grey patches alongside a black choker to accentuate the running theme of dark over white. Since my beautiful Fire Country can often flip between warm, mild and cold it's best to have something that allows me to bounce between those weather conditions. Along with a pair of super-tight black shorts, I felt like trying out these cute pair of combat boots I got from Chō Chō's winter collection. At first I thought they was too manly but in the end I think they-

    "You're finally here. What took you so long?"

    Okay, I apologise for that interruption but some old fart just stopped my fashion lesson. He looks, as I said, like an old fart with scruffy brown hair and teeth discolored from a smoking addiction. I could smell the fresh smoke blackening his lungs threatening to affect my own healthy pair, summoning a sneer across my face and step back from this social car crash.

    "Excuse me? Firstly, don't get too close when talking to me. I know you don't mind prematurely aging yourself with cigarettes but I want to retain my beauty without resorting to surgery or ninjutsu, okay?"

    The man raised his eyebrow as if I spoke another language.

    "I was talking about the mission you idiot. One of your companion's already here and she traveled all the way from Kumogakure."

    Kumogakure? I peeked behind him to get a glance of this earlybird only to see a somewhat familiar face. Remember a month or so ago when my father sent me to Kumogakure on a mission to make friends? And there was that girl there, she had the mother with the shoddy cafe who served warmed-up cheesecake and kept touching me? Yeah, her. I took her to Chō Chō's and spent some of my hard-inherited money on making her over yet here she is, sat in the corner like a quiet bunny looking just as messy as she did before my divine intervention. If it wasn't for this dog barking in my face I'd drag her back kicking and screaming to the mall.

    Flashing her a friendly-ish smile, I then turned my attention back to the rude mutt before me.

    "Well I'm so sorry I'm late to his mission! Maybe next time I'll leave the house without thinking about what I'm going to wear!"


    He blinked for a moment, yet again looking like I was talking some foreign language.

    "Hello? Did I fucking stutter?"

    "I'm going to hit the Hokage for setting me up with this bimbo..."

    Bimbo? I may have only been awake for the past two hours and I may have not had my morning fruit shake yet but I can still knock a bastard back into his mother's crotch.

    Chuckling almost sarcastically, I brushed my bangs away from my face.

    "Now I know you're not talking to me, because if you were, then-"

    "Then what? You're gonna throw a tantrum and run to daddy? Well I'm sorry but I'm the Jōnin in charge for this mission and daddy isn't going to help or change that."


    I for a moment. Now I was the one unsure of what to say after hearing that.Did he really just spout the same old shit I hear from every one of my haters? I mean, I expect to hear this crap from people my age or younger but this old dog who needs to collect his retirement check before he dies by a clich? is really pushing it.

    "Alright!" I beamed, clasping my hands together. Walking straight past him, I continued. "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that for your own good, okay? When you're ready to apologise, I'll be waiting over there." Taking a seat next to Yuuko, my legs crossed and my lip rolled with a frustrated glare into space.

    He then muttered something under his breath. I didn't quite catch it but it sounded like some kind of sarcastic half-hearted threat.

    "Sorry, I didn't catch that. Care to repeat?"

    Bravely, he responded with honesty.

    "Yeah - You're going to be left hanging if you think I'm apologizing."


    "And you're going to be left hanging from a tree."
     
  30. Atlantic Storm Booze Intermission Administrator

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    Ren Houki
    A Sordid Affair, Part 2


    I walked up to the podium steadily and cooly, and looked down at my audience. His friends and family, all gathered around. Attentively listening. I wasn't usually one to get nervous, but the more I thought about it, the more I started getting second thoughts about this whole thing. Would I be able to do him justice? Could I trust myself to say everything? Doubtful, but this was something I needed to do. I owed Makoto that much, at least. This was no time to get cold feet.

    Somewhat apprehensively, I cleared my throat with a light cough and allowed myself to finally face all those gathered at the funeral once more. There was a cold wind breeze blowing through the area. Strange, seen as though the Sun was still out. Though, I supposed this was as perfect a weather as any to begin a sappy eulogy.

    "Makoto Ha was my best friend," I stated, with a momentary pause to make sure my voice could hold. Thankfully, it did.

    "Always smiling, always beaming, he was a guy who was always eager to pull you into his little rhythmic life - whether you liked it or not." I gave a smirk in spite of myself, suddenly reminded of the earlier days of my friendship. How he would always drag me at inhuman hours in the morning to go train, and how I would be completely exhausted from all the sparring matches by the time I got home.

    "But I learned to be able depend on him as a friend. He once told me back in the Chūnin Exams, that I was a 'good guy', that he trusted me to lead our group to victory. I did. Yet, nothing we achieved back then would have been possible without him. He was a valuable fighter, and was willing to act as bait when nobody else was. He saved my life more times than I can even count. If I've got any regrets over the course of my career, it's the fact that I was never able to repay the favour." All those times he looked out for me. Against Ogama, against the dragon. And it was because of my own faulty strategy that he ended up dying.

    I fell silent, feeling my voice begin to grow quieter. I needed to finish this, though. And so, with a deep breath, I continued once more. "I might be a 'good guy', but Makoto Ha was more than just a good guy. He was... the best," I ended.
     
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