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Yuudai

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S-rank
The raging winds had died down; the once cooling air was now a simple, gentle breeze that would send a small chill up a person’s spine. For him, one whom was held in the highest esteem of Kirigakure no Sato, one whose blood ran with that of ice, of the Aisu clan, those with the ability to fuse Suiton and Fūton chakra into one single element, Hyōton – ice -, the cooling temperature that graced the Land of Water on this particular day had no effect on him. He was used to such temperatures over the years, used to the fact that if the temperature was below the freezing point of water, after all it felt more appropriate to him to deal with the coolness of today’s forecast. Letting his eyes wander the ancient ruins, Yuudai knew what was before him at this particular moment, he had seen them before from afar, he had read about the history, he had heard about it from others, yet this was the first time he stood in front of what was once the entrance to the temple of his ancestors, the temple of the Aisu clan. Or at least what remained of it. Why he had never been here once before? He couldn’t really place in to words; in fact he had no words for it, just mass amounts of thoughts that always led him away from the ruins. But, now, he needed – wanted – to see it for himself. He had all his equipment with him, it was instilled in his routines from day to day, but as of late, he couldn’t recall anything he did anymore, it just all seemed autonomous, as if doing his daily tasks without truly registering what he had truly done for the months that had passed by. It was almost as if he blinked, and suddenly time just jumped so far ahead that he couldn’t wrap his head around the differences between then and now, maybe he’d find out, but he couldn’t convince himself to truly care about it for now. He was at peace, for now. He couldn’t predict where tomorrow would lead him, or if he’d even remember today, but he doubted he would forget it. Maybe, coming here would convince him of something, something he truly needed, wanted, desired, whatever it may be. Or it may not.

He stood on the threshold, one more step and he would be in the temple, if you could call it that given the current state of the structure ahead of him. Yuudai let out a breath, there was only so much that he would discover in hear – realistically, nothing – that would help him figure out… whatever it was. He needed to do this for himself, even if it wouldn’t help him at all, at least it would clear his mind in what he would need to deal with. His standing in the village didn’t matter much to him at the particular moment, he could either be the weakest or the strongest in the village, but none of that mattered to him for what he was to deal with. No longer was it about being a shinobi, but rather a person, an individual to make his own decisions. The structures in his mind slowly began to grow cracks, yet he still resolved to do this slowly, figuring out everything one step at a time. Glancing down at what once would have been the bottom of a door; Yuudai put his right foot forward, held his head to stare dead ahead of himself and walked in to the ruin of the Aisu temple.


Running word count: 615



Last edited by Yuudai on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Suzume

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S-rank
I found myself wandering far away from the Village Hidden in the Mist.  Something seemed to be drawing me.  This place, this land.  It's mist that always prevailed and hindered her sight seemed to be making me stray from where I needed to go.  I needed to be back in Suna, in my own village.  The mission I had taken had took so much of my time.

I moved through a thick, swamp forest that I found myself in.  My boots sloshing in the muddy water.  I was keenly aware of the cicadas, frogs, and other creatures of the swamp as they incessantly provided me with their noises.  Marching through, my footsteps began to be more solid.  My feet hit hard, firm rock.  Slowly I climbed up out of the swamp waters but knew that this was not a natural rise or hill.

The mist parted, becoming less dense and allowing me to see my new environment.  Somehow, I had stumbled in to some old ruins.  Carefully I approached two stone pillars, feeling the craftsmanship through the vines that had wrapped themselves around the pillars.  I explored further and found a man standing within the ruins, his back towards me.  For a moment I stood, still taking in the wonder of the ruins.

Stone archways with cracked and worn out inscribing.  I wondered if these structures had once been some building, possibly religious.  My knowledge of architecture outside of Sunagakure no Sato was very little.  The architecture of my home didn't have to worry about being flooded or sinking into the liquified ground around it.  There was no need to make such sturdy buildings of hard earth.  Our sandstone structures didn't contrast with the environment.  Maybe that was why the stone building I stood in was dwindled down to just rubble and ruin.

The man stepped forward and entered further into the building, still unaware of my presence.  Curiosity got the better of me and slowly I approached the doorway that the man had stepped through.  Waiting a few minutes before stepping in myself, rolling my feet as I crept on, trying to stay as quiet as possible.  Where was the man going?  And why did he come here of all places?  Maybe he knows what this place is, I thought to myself as I continued on.

390 WC



Last edited by Suzume on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total


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Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
What was he truly searching for? The ancient stone walls that surrounded him offered nothing except for the fact that they were splattered across the ground, no real order given to the fallen walls. While many things changed over time, the temple still seemed to remain untouched from the time it officially became a ruin. He knew of the dangers within the temple, often hearing of the traps that were set the ancient temples, though with how far along he came as a shinobi, Yuudai doubted he would really need to fear a trap. The only thing that could possibly overcome his senses would be a genjutsu, though he doubted there would be anything to truly fear in a genjutsu in the Aisu temple, considering that to his knowledge, there was no one of adept skill within the arts.

Utter silence followed him, his every step echoed in his own ears; amplified by the stone walls that surrounded him the further in to the temple he went. There was no point in him hiding his footsteps, for he doubted anybody would come out this far, and if he did happen across someone, he knew he could hold his own against whomever would possibly want to threaten him. It would be detrimental to clearing his mind, but Yuudai knew it could always be a possibility. Kiri had enemies and he was an individual of some importance to the very village, reason enough to be attacked. But, here in the temple of the Aisu clan, he very much doubted anybody save for himself would be in this building. Based off his knowledge of the structure of the building, there were three floors that he knew of; the main floor where he currently stood, a second floor that would be above him, and a floor beneath him, likely being used for storage purposes from when the temple was being used and occupied daily. He knew he likely wouldn’t have to travel up or down, the main floor would serve the purpose he was seeking. His two katanas were held securely along his right side, brushing his hip every step along the way. His third weapon, the one graced to him as one of the swordsmen of the mist rested on his left side, solely there for him to keep it in his sight. He didn’t know what to exactly do with it. Even after using it in a life and death fight; he still wasn’t entirely comfortable wielding it, as it would act upon its own accord from his will, a weapon he didn’t actually wield. The fluidity the weapon did provide, however, was entirely welcome. For now, he would keep it in his possession, while deciding on its uses to him, given that the blade was currently his, though in reality it belonged to the Village Hidden in the Mist.

With his left hand, Yuudai moved the strands of purple hair, which obscured his vision minimally, away from his eyes. Instead of tying his hair back like he usually would, he instead left it freely flowing, letting it brush against his upper back. There was only one place in the entire temple where he knew he could have a clear mind, the main hall. Glancing at the surroundings, which only consisted of walls, broken lamps and stones littering the floors, he knew there would likely be zero chance of finding something that went untouched over the years by the wear of time. The entrance to the main hall stood high, at what once would have been doors nearing three meters tall, was just an open entryway, no longer consisting of a door. Directly above the entrance was a symbol, one common to Yuudai’s eye. The clan symbol of the Aisu clan, though only three-eighths of it were truly visible, the rest was obscured by the moss that was evident throughout the temple, and no stone went untouched by the green flowerless plant. At the other side of the hall, stood what once would have been an altar, though between Yuudai and the altar were several rows of benches and a dais in front of the altar. Slowly, he resumed his steps, going onward to approach the dais.


Running word count: 1326


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Suzume

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S-rank
I began tap dancing outside the temple, the whole routine completely improvised.  For some reason, it felt like someone was pulling the strings of my life, turning me into a puppet.  The feeling wasn't mutual, but the climax of the dance was coming, I could feel the rhythm picking up as my feet began speeding along the moist stone floor.  Fortunately my tap dancing shoes weren't on, or rather that I didn't own any so no real sound ever came from my feet.  The safe distance I kept from the purple haired shinobi was far enough that I doubted any sounds of my feet reached his ears.

While my feet were busy tapping their way to the finale, I noticed the shinobi had entered into another section of the temple.  With the sheer strength of my will, I stopped tap dancing.  A small thought in the back of my head told me the dance had finished but I decided to not dwell on such thoughts.  I wanted to stop tap dancing so I stopped myself.  Whatever had a power over me was not going to get inside my head as well.  With a deep breath and a brush of my hair, I regained my composure and walked on, following the interesting shinobi as he moved deeper into the temple.

Slowly, I moved into the main hall, several meters behind the man as he gazed around at the stonework.  My eyes watched him closely, too closely.  My feet mindlessly stepped on a plate trigger and out of the walls shot several senbon.  I dropped to the floor as the senbon flew over my head.  Watching them fly in the air, I realized that more and more of the wall began to erupt in a fury of senbon, the firing rate signalling that soon the other man would be in danger as well.  "Look out!" I yelled, trying to get his attention, although the noise that the senbon made after being shot out from the tiny holes in the walls was plenty warning for him.

Watching the forward rush of the walls as the holes opened fire upon the man, I couldn't help but cringe.  This was all my fault.  First the tap dancing, then my foot absentmindedly set off an ancient floor plate trigger.  What was going on with me?  I felt completely at odds.  It was as if a greater being was detailing every aspect of my life and manipulating what ever I did for its entertainment.  And I didn't like that feeling.  Not one bit.

It was then that I swore that one day I'd get to the bottom of this perpetrator.  My mind thinking first that it could be some sort of jutsu, like a voodoo jutsu that made the victim mimic whatever the user willed.  Well, I wasn't going to be someone's little plaything nor was I just going to lie down and let whoever or whatever it was to take over my life.  This was my life and I would be the only one controlling it, thank you very much.

But, I am kinda lying down... I thought to myself.  For good reason!  I would be dead if I wasn't lying down and this has nothing to do with whatever's dictating my actions!

Then I realized I was having an internal battle with myself and had to snap myself out of it.  My focus returning to the present and my eyes looking back at the shinobi standing not too far away in front of me.

989 WC



Last edited by Suzume on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total


____

Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
Something felt off, only slightly, though he could feel it running through his body. Was it just the fact that he took steps within the temple of his ancestors? Or was it because he could possibly discover what he would do with his unforeseeable future? Maybe it was something else entirely, something he couldn’t place in to words. Thoughts could only produce so much, but they weren’t in place for when the actions were done, just the reasoning behind the actions. So what was it that had him feeling the urge to move, to stretch his legs and fly through the trees? Likely, it was due to the fact he hadn’t been in action in such a long time, feeling overly stiff than he would have had he been performing regular shinobi duties, though he wasn’t anything but ordinary. He was a Swordsman of the Mist. He was a clan head in only name. He was a Sannin of the Hidden Mist. None of those spoke ordinary to him, just an enigma, as he hadn’t wanted any of those; they were placed upon him in some way.

As he got further down in to the hall, everything was thrown out the window. His thoughts, his steps and his breath. Only for a moments time. All of it was interrupted by a voice. He hadn’t expected to hear any voices within there ruins, as he would have been the only one here. No one else should be here. Apparently he was wrong. Yuudai heard them whizzing through the air, Senbon flying through the air. Whoever followed him either clumsily triggered the trap or had done so on purpose. He had time to defend himself with a simple technique or move out of the way, best path being dropping to the floor. Without so much as second-guessing his decision (not wanting to use up valuable chakra; just in case), Yuudai dropped straight forward, as if he missed a step while climbing up the stairs, keeping himself from harshly hitting the floor head first by bracing himself with his arms falling forward first, so he’d be able to keep himself elevated slightly off the ground with his upper body. He was safe for now, but not altogether.

While on the ground, Yuudai turned his head to the left, his hair splaying across his back, right shoulder blade and the ground next to him, as he tried to look over his left shoulder at the perpetrator. His steely blue eyes looked to find a woman, whom he assumed to be around his own age, also on the ground behind him. Scanning the figure, all he noticed were scarlet and silvery-white, vastly different from his colourings. Paying no mind to the physical features, he tried to detect something, anything really; malice, insanity, anything to give away her intentions here. Waiting until the trap had expended all of its ammunition, Yuudai quickly eased himself back up to his feet with grace. On his feet, he looked down and found dust and debris of stone gracing his clothes. Disregarding his appearance, he quickly pivoted around, facing the direction of the person whom found their way to the temple of the Aisu clan. Strands of hair were covering his right eye, though he made no move to fix it. Instead his arms were loose at his side, though in a position in which he could easily grab any one of his three blades in a moment’s notice.

Even if he wasn’t one for words, he clearly needed to do something. It was either have a standoff, wait for an attack, speak, or be spoken to. He took the first move. If this were to be his death, in the place which his clan once held highly, then so be it. “Who are you? What is your purpose here?” Easily, these were rehearsed statements, holding no emotion. The only problem would arise if this was a straggler, a person who wouldn’t raise a hand against him, and then he would likely, may, have offended them. Though, he doubted he would ever see them again (the situation called for him to take caution), as they didn’t seem to be of his village, he would have known in an instant. He noticed no shinobi headband, then again, he wasn’t wearing one either. Yuudai was identifiable to Kiri by name, he supposed. Though his own name, in the outside world, he assumed was nonexistent. He preferred it that way. Yuudai knew etiquette, but the situation didn’t call for it, so long as he didn’t know the persons intention, nor would he be able to fully believe them given a shinobi’s nature.


Running word count: 2122


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Suzume

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S-rank
The man had reacted quickly, dropping to the floor just as I had.  Senbon coursed through the air like speed darts, hitting hard against the walls on either side.  Most fell to the floor with the exception of a few that seemed to have either been shot with more force or found a weak spot in the crumbling walls.

He turned to look over his shoulder and caught sight of me still laying on the ground.  I froze as soon as our eyes met, not sure how to react to him.  Watching his eyes as he looked at me, he seemed to be questioning who I was, showing confusion and discernment in his furrowed eyebrows.  He called out to me and asked of my being there.

"I-I'm sorry!" I yelped back.  This wasn't the best way to present myself, so I instinctively went into my deceptive upbringing instincts and played the part of a clumsy blonde. "I got lost and found this place.  Could you help me?"

I slowly sat up on my knees and began dusting by clothes off.  Looking up at the purple haired shinobi, my lips turning into a hopeless smile as I raised my hands up in a shrug.  "I really am sorry.  I've never really been good at this sneaky stuff."

As I awaited the shinobi's response, I continued the facade with my disciplined training in deception and stood up.  My hip cocked to one side and I rested a hand on my hip, holding my head with the other hand and shaking my head at the folly of unwittingly springing an ancient trap.  I would slowly look up to the man with a look of fright, as if I had finally realized just how lost I had become and hint that he'd need to help me.

Although I kept up this facade, I made sure to keep in mind where all of my weapons were after the sudden fall.  In case this guy turned hostile, which seemed plausible by his rehearsed questions and the fact it seemed I was trespassing on grounds belonging to him.  My mind continued working out possible responses in order to clear suspicion off of me and maybe see if I could pry out some information from this man.

This place must be some sort of old family resting place, though that pegged the question of why it was so unkept.  Yes, it seemed we both would have quite a few questions for each other before the day was done.

1421 WC



Last edited by Suzume on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total


____

Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
Not for a single moment would he be able to take this entirely seriously. But, seeing as how – currently – nothing would come out of acting hostile, Yuudai’s muscles relaxed as his hands loosened and fell lax against his side. He’d have time to react should anything happen, but for the time being he wanted to do what he originally set out to do. He turned to face the direction he had originally faced, prior to the trap being triggered. If a person didn’t know the place they were entering, why enter it at all? Calmly, he spoke out, “You know, I could’ve been a criminal, could still be one, and you had chosen to follow me here. That in itself should provide a sense of danger. But, I suppose, you could have chosen to follow for other reasons, but if you wish to know where you are, I’ll tell you. You are in the temple my ancestors had built.” He paced himself a few more steps forward before pausing again.

Looking over his shoulder, he looked at the female that stood in his ancestral temple. While he couldn’t outright trust her, as per the shinobi line of work, he would deal with the danger when it came. His purpose here was to figure something, anything out. “My name is Yuudai. Aisu Yuudai.” That should provide her with the answer she sought for where exactly she was at the moment. While his name wasn’t as famous, his clan name should certainly be enough of a clue for the stranger that stood here in this room with him. Yuudai didn’t bother asking for her name, assuming she would provide one on her own accord. Besides, her name wasn’t of particular importance at the current moment, but instead how she came across this temple itself. “Just looking around at the area around us, it’s certainly not in the best of shape, so what would you wish to find here?” There was no hostility, just curiosity hidden in his voice. “Certainly this place is a lot more difficult to find compared to Kiri.”


Running word count: 2481


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Suzume

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S-rank
The man had relaxed and turned away, seeming to be a little annoyed at me springing the trap.  That was fair, I had made a dumb mistake.   Really I was a little irritated myself for having blundered in such a way.  Though now I had learned a lot more about this place now that the man was talking to me than I would have learned on my own.  The engravings on the walls only made sense after he explained things.

The way he talked, I was able to deduce a few things about him.  He was no criminal, saying that he could've been eliminated that possibility.  And it seemed he was here to find something.  The way he talked about this place, this temple of his ancestors.  His voice carried over a bit of wonder as he talked about it.  Giving out his full name placed a heavy importance on this place that made me realize my act of being a dumb, lost blonde wasn't the best for the situation.

Yuudai Aisu.  So he was of the Aisu clan and so was this place.  A temple dedicated to a clan?  Seemed sacrilege.  Why make a place dedicated to other people?  I had thought temples were religious.  This clan of his seemed to be very in to themselves.  This usually meant that they had something special about themselves that created such an ego.

My eyes left Yuudai's and wandered about the room once more before returning to see he had started walking again.  I wanted to know more about this place.  I scurried after him and came to his left side, reaching out to grab his left arm as if I was still scared and lost.  This time I kept track of where to place my feet as I moved to his side.  My face wore panic as I gulped and looked to him.  "Please let me stay.  I don't care who you are, just don't leave me all alone."

I would pout until he agreed.  I would stay close, watch what he looked for and see what he would be seeing.  I would learn what he wanted to learn.  This place, this temple, this history of his ancestry was mine to also learn.

"I'm Kōga Suzume by the way,"  I said.  This was how I would test the shinobi, testing the waters in a way, and see if my name carried any weight in this country.  I hadn't done much yet as Kazekage, so I doubted most ninja would know of me, but if he did know, that would give a hint to his knowledge of the outside world.  "Thank you for sharing your name, Aisu-san."

We would continue through the temple and I would be there with this Yuudai every step of the way.  My guard was up and his was most likely up as well.  It was time to learn about the Aisu clan.

1916 WC



Last edited by Suzume on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total


____

Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
As he turned to face forward, to face the end of the hall where the symbol of his clan was enlarged emblemized on the wall ahead, he felt a tug on his left arm. Letting his eye wander without turning his head, he noticed the unnamed female’s hand grabbing on to his arm. Instincts dictated he pull away, but over the past few months, and some more time beyond that, he had become used to individuals being in a close proximity to himself, thus he resisted his primitive urge to draw away from the contact of the white haired woman. Her voice rang in his ear, but his mind was elsewhere, thus truly not taking in every detail of what she was saying, however brief it was. Regardless, he just nodded once he heard the request of not leaving her alone here. Perhaps he had gotten soft, no he always was against any kind of aggression. He was more indifferent towards people and that had certainly changed over time, right now was just a prime example, though a miniscule difference.
 
Once she had mentioned her name, he knew he recognized the name from someplace, though at the moment he didn’t bother with trying to sort out where he had recognized the name from. Regardless, to him the name didn’t change anything. All he truly wanted to do today was once again attempt to clear his head of notions that seemed preposterous to him, the him that existed for quite some time. Taking slow steps forward, with no haste involved, regardless if his arm was still grabbed as he continued on forward, Yuudai let his eyes focus on the emblem of his clan. Yuudai knew if he existed back when the temple was first constructed, he would be against it, but then again his ancestors likely had a completely different mind-set than the man whom wielded Serpent’s Tongue.
 
It had been taught to him by his mother for the entirety of his life to give his name to those whom didn’t pose him a threat; then again this entire thing could be an act on Suzume’s behalf, a thought was lingering though not prominent to his goal. “It’s nothing to be thankful for, just common courtesy.” As he continued forward, his mind lingering on what he wanted to achieve in life, as he had already achieved as much as he could within the village, save for holding two spots he had no desire to hold, at the current moment or foreseeable future (for one would be misfortunate), he wondered what else he could do in life except for defending his village for however long his existence was aflame. Not usually one for idle chatter, and as much as he wanted to be lost in thought, he knew he should at least say something as not to let the silence grow heavy. “If you wish, I could show you the way back to the village. It would be far more interesting than these ruins here.” Certainly, he was still curious as to why she was here. He didn’t buy the excuse of happening across this place, though he couldn’t know the true reason behind it until the facts were stated. “Aside from that, what brings you to the Land of Water?” He knew for a fact she was not from around here. Anyone native to the lands would’ve known about the ruins, where there general location, and where they would be located in relation to Kirigakure no Sato. Something just didn’t add up to him.


Running Word Count: 3086


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Suzume

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S-rank
His eyes, deep blue ocean eyes, looked down at me from the sides of his eyelids.  I could feel his gaze as he looked upon me.  For a moment I just stared back into the ocean of his blue irises.  They were like little pools of water.  Those eyes.  If only I could have jumped in them, swam in them.

And then he turned his eyes forward.  My wits returned to me and it was all I could do to listen and not be reminded of his beautiful eyes.  They were not the reason I needed to stay with him.  No.  There was something to be gained from staying close by this man.  A shiver ran up my spine as if confirming my gut's instinct to stay and follow him deeper inside the temple.  The mystery of this place surrounded me in a cold, misty cloak that rattled my nerves.  My hands clenched.  The soft fabric of Yuudai's kimono was as soft as the fine silk sheets of my bed back home.  I found comfort in that as we started taking steps forward.

“If you wish, I could show you the way back to the village. It would be far more interesting than these ruins here.”  He spoke without looking back, my eyes shifted from looking at him to the symbol graphed into the wall.

"What can be more interesting than something I don't know?" I asked, waving off his comment with my left hand.  "Besides, villages are all filled with the same things.  This place, however, is strange and new.  Isn't that interesting to you too?"

I giggled and squeezed Yuudai's arm after my second question.  Delighted in being with him, hoping that I could slip through any personal walls he might have with my little facade.  If he were to drop his barriers and speak freely of his mind to me, then the shroud of mystery to this place would be unveiled before me.  I eagerly wished for the facade to work, and that the man I now clung to would introduce me to his clan's world.

“Aside from that, what brings you to the Land of Water?” Yuudai continued, pressing gently on the apparent matter that I was an outsider.

How astute.  The man was intelligent, that much was certain.  I never spotted any recognition from him when I introduced myself though he seemed to be lost in thought when I had said my name.  The matter of my name's influence in the Water Country wasn't as important anymore.  Instead, I was being called out.  An alibi would be needed if I still wanted to keep my rank hidden from Yuudai.  Could I find an alibi worth lying about?  Lying at this point, seemed to be counterproductive in treating this man.  No, I would not lie outright but only hide the entire truth from him.

"I came to see a friend of mine."  I said, keeping my answer brief.  Only if he continued poking questions would I say more.  There was no need to make things harder on myself.  "So, have you come to these ruins before?  Do you know your way around?"

It'd be safer to keep his mind on the defensive.  Switch topics, distract, and learn.   That was my objective here.  Too many questions from him could create cracks in my facade or my story.  I would only reveal myself to him once I understood better the individual.  I pulled back my bangs away from my eyes and tucked neatly away behind my ears as we continued our slow walk through the temple.

It didn't take too long before we came to another wall, this time with the clan's symbol so large it stood taller than both of us, spanning from the bottom of the wall to the top.  At the center of the symbol, I noticed the symbol was protruding rather then indented to the wall.  My hand gravitated toward it slowly, curiosity grabbing ahold of me as I went to press my hand up against it.  Unbeknownst to me, as I was too enraptured by the magnificence of the symbol's size to notice, the protruding center of the symbol was in fact a button.  One could see a slight ring of shadow around the center signaling to a keen observer the depth behind the symbol's center and that it could be pressed into the wall.

In truth, this button was safe only for those of the clan, inscriptions riddling to this matter rested next to the symbol on the wall, though the worn stone made the symbols hard to read.  I never even gave them a glance as my outstretched hand reached to touch the center.  My mouth slowly slid agape as I watched my hand stretch for it, my fingers extending to touch the stonework.

2732 WC
2450/2450 Trained Endurance from E rank to C Rank
282 WC Remaining



Last edited by Suzume on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total


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Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
"What can be more interesting than something I don't know? Besides, villages are all filled with the same things. This place, however, is strange and new. Isn't that interesting to you too?" His instinctual reaction to her question was a simple nod. When he truly thought on it, he didn’t know much of the world, in fact he was limited to his lifetime spent in Kirigakure no Sato and his short time spent in Kumogakure no Sato. The world likely held unique places, with the other three major shinobi villages having their own unique atmospheres. Perchance he would one day have an opportunity to see them all. Her laughter rung in his ears, Yuudai himself hadn’t laughed much in life, so it was a welcome sound. The only other people who he heard laughing constantly was his mother, yet things weren’t similar to how his life was growing up. The squeeze of his arm made him shift slightly, though he remained the same distance away from Suzume as they continued to move forward.

"I came to see a friend of mine. So, have you come to these ruins before?  Do you know your way around?" A reasonable enough reason to visit Yuudai’s homeland, though it would be easy enough to lie as well, he decided to accept the simple reasoning. Even if his curiosity had made him wonder for further details, he knew that it would not be his place to look in to a matter, not when it came to personal matters of others.

Letting out a short huff of air, turning his head slightly in Suzume’s direction, while still facing forward, Yuudai already knew what he was going to say before he even produced the words. “I’ve never really been to the ruins before, before today I had only seen them from afar. I never really had a reason to come here before now, so this is as new to me as it is to you.” The last bit of information he didn’t mean to supply, but he had done so anyways.

If he was ever honest with himself, now would likely be the best time for him to do so, merely for the reason that had brought him here to his ancestral temple. His life had stagnated as of late, unsure of what he could possibly do to ever get some sense of excitement, even though he was on to generally stray away from such behaviours, usually falling back to a life which he knew to a fault. Perchance this new mind-set of his had begun to develop, grow unexpectedly, ever since they mayhem that had come with the battle against the Seven Bells Clan, where he had been face to face with each of the commanders and the leader of the clan at one point in time. In the end, however, none of what could have changed him really mattered anymore. All Yuudai truly needed – wanted – to do was do the best he could for himself and perhaps anyone who truly would need assistance. Yuudai certainly hadn’t expected to run in to anyone today, perhaps this may change things for him slightly, though there was a chance this wouldn’t affect him at all, just making a new acquaintance.

Taking another short glance at his newly found female companion, still feeling slightly unused to contact with another person, specifically one whom he had just met – though it had happened once before – he finally took a better glance at her appearance than when he had first seen the woman. Suzume’s appearance appeared to be a stark contrast to his own, fiery scarlet eyes as if they could burn if given the opportunity and such light hair colour that it seemed to radiate itself, he could spot silver and white, displaying such a bright array that it could possibly be blinding if given the lighting. The air itself surrounding her had him at a loss, but that wasn’t a concern of his yet. His eyes caught the motion of Suzume’s hand reaching towards the protruding stone symbol. There, he had noticed a button. He knew there were traps surrounding the temple, likely to keep outsiders away from this sacred ground.

Purely on instint alone, Yuudai reached out with his hand, grasping the entirety of her hand in his uncovered hand. He hadn’t needed to dress for combat today, though he could easily move in his kimono, thus Yuudai had chosen to wear his kimono instead of his more militaristic garbs. Yuudai’s free arm’s hand would wrap around her outstretched hand perpendicularly, making sure to halt the movements of the fingers reaching for the button. As he would try draw her hand back, still grasped in his own, he turned to face Suzume fully.

“Perhaps, it would be best for me to do this. I haven’t been in here, but I know enough that there are numerous traps in here.” Slowly yet almost instantly, Yuudai would draw his hand away from hers, the warmth of her hand would linger, a stark contrast to his own body temperature. As with the members of the Aisu clan, they possess low body temperatures due to their affinity with colder temperatures and the possession of Hyōton chakra, thus Yuudai had concluded that his touch would unlikely be neither welcome nor appropriate to linger. He’d take his now free hand to lightly touch the button, not pressing it just yet, but brushing off the light dust to it. The button seemed to resonate with his chakra as his eyes shifted between Suzume and the ancient script that was barely legible.

After a few seconds that would pass, Yuudai would gently push in the button, emitting a slight amount of his chakra in to the button, he heard a click. The sound that came after the press of the button was clear in his ears and was coming from behind them. Shifting over so that he could see what was going on, the grating of stone against stone easily forced a conclusion to Yuudai’s mind. Perhaps this would lead them – as Suzume was now with him – towards something hidden beneath the temple.


Running Word Count: 4134


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Suzume

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S-rank
Yuudai stopped my hand, his own pulling mine away.  The ice cold touch of his skin sent shivers down my spine.  What sort of man was he to have such an icy touch?  Was this to do with his last name being Aisu?  The tell of it being called ice could very well be for the cold body temperatures, although the name seemed to stick in my brain for more than just that.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but it felt like I knew something about the Aisu clan.  My knowledge of the clans in the Hidden Mist was limited severely.  For the Aisu clan to be ringing a bell definitely meant something.

When the hidden staircase opened up, the stones falling down in sequential steps, I turned to look at Yuudai.  His interest had piqued.  What was waiting for him down there?  Surely hidden secrets of his clan.  Suddenly I felt guilty.  I didn't belong here.  Going down those steps under the deception would be too much.  My conscience couldn't bear it.  I released my hold of Yuudai's arm and stepped back.  My feet anchored to the stone floor as he proceeded down the steps.  

"Aisu-san," I said, the voice now my own.  There was no need to pretend with him anymore.  He had welcomed me in to his clan's most sacred chambers and seemed to have no qualms about me stepping foot in the hidden room.  "I feel that I should be honest with you.  Although I told you my name, it is best if you know that I am the Kazekage.  Go on ahead without me.  What lies in wait for you down there is not for my eyes to see.  Forgive a kunoichi for not being so forthright, it is the shinobi way after all to keep personal matters a secret.

I stood and smiled apologetically.  It was then that I noticed how cold my right side had become.  The side that had wrapped around Yuudai's arm.  Astonishing how cold that man could be!  And then it struck me.  The reason why the Aisu clan name seemed so familiar to me.  Of course!  How could I have forgotten such a clan as this?

The Aisu were known for their ability known as the Ice Release.  Being the only clan that could use Fuuton and Suiton together to form their own elment and produce Ice with their own chakra.  They were one clan to be reckoned with.  Something quite unique in the shinobi world and often envied by several other, less desirable, clans.

"Oh, and Yuudai," I called out to him down the stairs.  "Please come back and help me get back to the village.  I wasn't lying when I said I had gotten lost."

Having revealed who I was, completely and entirely, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.  Though I still didn't feel brave enough or welcome enough to go down the steps with him.  I was glad to have relieved myself of the guilt for hiding my identity from him, even if it was just my position in the village.  Hopefully he, too, would see the openness I had exhibited to him.

540 WC
+ 36 WC Remaining
576 WC Total


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Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
Though it had only been such a short while since his proximity to Suzume had increased, no longer in bodily contact with one another, Yuudai could already feel the absence of the contrasting warmth. Considering, the majority of his life, he had mainly been in close contact with those who shared a blood relation to himself, Yuudai was practically a stranger to the contrasting heat radiating off of other bodies. Even if it had been such a short while, he had slowly accustomed himself to the difference, prior to today’s events, prior to the haze of events that followed the battle against the Seven Bells Clan. Though it had been only one other person, it was enough for him to acclimate himself to the difference, hence not reacting to the differing body heats earlier - the reaction there had been more to the concept of contact. Glancing once again over at Suzume, he noticed her take a step back, her eyes on him. His eyes stayed still, observing her once again, though only for a short period of time before her voice resonated through the room.

Yuudai’s attention was solely directed at Suzume as she spoke, the stairwell that had appeared moments ago forgotten for the time being. Her tone had changed, or at the very least it sounded far more different on the Sannin’s ears than it did earlier when they spoke. When she spoke of being honest, something would rumble inside his thoughts, telling him he wasn’t entirely honest with her either, though there was nothing really specific she had asked for of him. She hadn’t asked his name or who he is. Though, he knew, before they departed, he would supply her with the information, if he could believe what she had said. That she, a person who randomly happened across his ancestral temple, was the Kazekage - the Kage of Sunagakure no Sato. As unbelievable as it seemed, something seemed to click in his mind. He had heard the rumblings of the other kages in the four other major shinobi villages, names of the kages included, though memorizing them wasn’t something he needed to accomplish at that time, so he had put if off. But, the name Kōga Suzume did ring a bell. Perhaps that was where he had heard it, when he had been informed of the Kazekage in passing. Never having thought he’d be in Sunagakure no Sato nor the Kazekage being in his home country - how wrong he was - he had let that piece of information slip by at the time, but the name had been ingrained as one he had heard. He listened to all the information she had supplied, telling him to go on without her and to forgive her, though there wasn’t much too really forgive.

After the moment she had finished speaking, Suzume had stood up straight, an apologetic smile gracing her features. Perhaps it was the fact that she had shared who she was to him that made Yuudai decide to inform her of his stature within Kirigakure no Sato or it could be something else entirely. He couldn’t figure it out, but there was always the chance that she would find out when she returned to the village and asked a few questions, to sate curiosity. Or there was the other side of the coin where she wouldn’t bother inquiring. He was just a Sannin to his village, something he never considered an accomplishment, more so duty than anything else. “There is nothing for me to forgive Kōga-san. It’s not as if you withheld information that I asked for. But, it’s nice to know that you told me your standing.” There was a slight tug of a smile, nothing overtly noticeable, but there to those who looked. Turning to glance once again at the stairwell for a brief second, Yuudai slowly shifted his focus back to the Kazekage, looking directly at her eyes and taking a brief step back. Going a bit more on the formal route, Yuudai would slightly bow and then stand up straight. “I suppose I should be honest as well, though it’s nothing compared to your title. I am Aisu Yuudai, current clan head of the Aisu clan, more so a regent than anything, a member of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist, and a Sannin of Kirigakure no Sato.”

There wasn’t much else for him to remain up here for; it seemed that the time to see what was below was upon him. Turning completely, to face the stairwell, Yuudai heaved out a silent breath. He’d let what he said sink in, though leaving Suzume alone up here wasn’t entirely ideal, though she had specifically said to go on without her. Taking slow steps, should she wait to halt him once again, Yuudai made his way to the descent to the lower level of the Aisu temple. Yet, as he made his way, nothing happened. The first few steps, he hesitated on going down, more towards the thoughts of what he could potentially find down there. Still, he heard nothing. The only time he heard anything was when he knew his head was clearly out of view, it was Suzume. This time he slightly faltered, only due to her calling him by his name instead of ‘Aisu-san’. A simple request, of coming back up and accompanying the Kazekage back to the Village Hidden by Mist. “Of course I’ll return, Suzume.” His voice was strong, carried by the walls surrounding the stairwell, maybe even echoing in the hall Suzume stood within, though he stated that aloud more to himself, but it served a purpose either way.




The descent down was dark, yet there was a faint glow of an icy blue that surrounded him each and every step he took. The stone walls that surrounded him on either side glimmered a pale blue, a subdued hue, not lighting up the entirety of the way, only enough to see three meters ahead of him. He lost count of how many steps he had taken, but it surely felt as he descended more than two flights of stairs when compared to a modernized home. Farther down, the more it seemed that there was light at the bottom, not the supposed light at the ‘end of the tunnel’, but rather a light indicating that something existed down there. Yuudai’s eyes were still adjusting to the darkness that surrounded him, after having been in daylight due to the cracks in the ceiling and the broken windows in the open hall where he had met Suzume. Maybe there was something for him to find down here, not an answer, but at least something. As far as he could presume, there wouldn’t be anything of materialistic value held here. If anything, it would solely hold items of ancestral significance.

After what seemed like countless minutes had passed, when it in fact was solely two, Yuudai had reached the bottom of the stairwell. The entrance where he had first entered from would be like a star in the sky. The surrounding area around Yuudai slowly began to light up as his right foot was the first to reach the ground, the steps no longer underneath him. The entire area began to light up, slowly, but surely. Everything around him had a pale blue shine to it; a thick layer of ice coveted the ground he now stood on. The walls looked as if he was inside of a cave, though a cave carved out solely of ice. Every direction he looked in, he could easily see his own reflection, as if to remind him who he was the entire time. The area that this cave covered, estimated by a simple glance, seemed to be about more than five acres of land, only presuming it was more because the terrace beyond the ice pillars that erected a height of seven meters and there were numerous pillars, so one could not judge the depth of the floor. It seemed as if his ancestors had constructed a castle – though there were merely pillars everywhere – of pure ice below the temple, though he had no clue on why they would need such a thing.

His feet had seemed to carry him on their own, as he hadn’t urged himself to move onward. He passed by the first pillars, Yuudai needed to weave his way past the pillars that were to come, as they had been in a checkered pattern. There wasn’t much he could think on here, except for why this place was constructed, though something certainly did pique his curiosity. He had felt his feet press down on panels, yet nothing had seemingly happened to him. Perhaps it was due to the plates being honed in on Hyōton chakra, thus not activating on him. Maybe his ancestors had built this place to solely accept those that shared the same lineage of themselves, so long as they possessed the blood of the Aisu clan.

As he continued to weave through the pillars, after passing roughly 15 sets, Yuudai notice a brighter glow coming from farther inside the temple. After a whole minute had passed, more pillars seemingly disappearing behind him, yet more appearing in front of him, Yuudai entered a sole clearing, a circular clearing roughly 15 meters in diameter. Keeping the direction he came from behind him, Yuudai looked at the sole object directly located in the centre. There, directly in middle stood an obelisk of ice, glowing what seemed like an almost white. Honestly, he couldn’t figure out anything from this. It had been so many centuries since this place was likely constructed, the tales would be altered over time, so Yuudai concluded that he’d never be able to figure out the reason, yet that seemed to satisfy him, almost. There was never an answer to everything, yet there would always be one. His purpose had been lost when he noticed the stairwell that appeared by pressing the button, almost as if he had nothing to truly fret over and just allow life to lead him forward. He’d have time to figure things out sooner or later, where his life would lead him, perhaps even finding out what had happened to his father, why he had left before he even saw his son’s birth. Walking up to the obelisk, Yuudai rested his right hand against it, a slight humming began to reach his ears, the obelisk seemed to light up even further. The necklace he wore around his neck hummed slightly, and Yuudai felt a pull towards the obelisk, as if the pendant wanted to touch it. His katana, Setsura, had a similar reaction to it, though it seemed to have a higher pitched noise associated with it in place of a pull. Then, slowly, the glow began to fade and returned to it’s luminosity before Yuudai had touched it, his necklace no longer had the pull, though the slight hum was still present within it..

Taking his right hand off the ice obelisk, Yuudai rotated his arm to take a look at his right palm. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, with the exception of a minor tingling, other than that, there was nothing out of the ordinary. A few more seconds ticked by and everything seemed to turn back to normal for Yuudai.

How long had he been down here for? Twenty minutes? Thirty? Or longer? Perhaps, it was time for him to return to Suzume. Turning around once again, facing the direction where he had come from, Yuudai began to make his way past the pillars, the obelisk remaining behind him, but not forgotten.




As he began his ascent up the staircase, the light of day grew larger with each step that accumulated below him. Maybe, just maybe, Suzume had decided to leave by the time he returned, he wouldn’t fault her for it, though he knew he’d feel a twinge of disappointment. The closer he got to the top of the stairs, the less accustomed he was to the light around him, but seeing as how the area he had been well lit, surrounding the obelisk, Yuudai wouldn’t be blinded by the light outside. He continued to move on forward and sooner or later he would know if Suzume had remained waiting like she had said.


Running Word Count: 6224


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Suzume

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S-rank
When he showed the briefest smile to me, I returned it with my own.  There, as he spoke, I felt a renewed calm within me.  Ever since I had come to this place, stumbling upon its ancient stones by blind luck and mishap, I had felt an overwhelming feeling that I did not belong.  Now, having told Yuudai the entirety of who I was and having been told the entirety of who he was, I felt as a guest.  The sense of being welcome in a place not my own.  How long had it been since I had felt such a feeling, I wondered.

As Yuudai's footsteps echoed up to me softer and softer as he continued on, I began to rummage through my mind to pass the time.  When was the last time I had been in such a place?




"Do we have to go, Father?" I remembered asking my father years ago.

"Yes, Suzume," he replied, his voice so cold and stern.  "You know why it is we must go.  You are now of age and you must train."

We walked together down an old road through Suna's sand-swept Residential District.  At this time, it was back when I was just a few days past my own seventh birthday.  This meant that today I was to choose something.  I didn't know exactly what I was to pick out or select, but I did know that afterwards would come training.

All that I knew of this day came from muffled conversations.  When ever my parents had other family members come over to visit, I would always feign sleeping only to sneak away to the corner of the living room.  Listening in on their conversations, I would always learn about things I still didn't understand.  For the longest time the things that I heard from around the corner of the living room went unregistered by my mind.

Now, as my father, mother, and I made our way to Aunt Haruhi's home did I register a piece of information that I had overheard one night.  It had been a week before my seventh birthday.  Aunt Haruhi had stopped by as was wished by my father so they could chat over some opium tea.  My mother always got upset when my father had people over for tea.  It was something about the tea that she didn't approve.  Still, the meetings were held and the tea pot would be drunk dry.

That night, my father had asked Aunt Haruhi that she be the host for the decision day.  At first, she had just courteously waved off the request.  Some sort of joke, she had thought.  "Couldn't be that the daughter of the Kōga carry out her decision day in the home of such a side branch," were her words.  

"The trunk of the tree cannot bear fruit without its branches," my father had replied.

That had been all it took for that matter.  She bowed and accepted gratefully.  I remember hearing her necklace touch the floor, the locket making a soft thud against the wood floor from her bow.  When next she spoke, there was a half-sob that came from her.  My father, as he always did when confronted by real emotion, scolded her for not keeping with tradition and teachings.  Aunt Haruhi never cracked again before my father for the rest of their meeting.

"Stay firm, Suzume." My father ordered, referring to the teachings of Kokoro no Me --Eye of the Heart-- as he rapped his fist upon Aunt Haruhi's front door.  "The heir must maintain composure before the clan."

I had only nodded.  This day was my first day I had ever gone to visit another's home.  Usually it was always one of the other clan families that came to our house to visit.  I'd always go off to play with the other kids in our yard.  The parents would watch and make sure I was treated nicely and make sure we stayed within my family's lot.  So to enter someone else's home for the very first time made my skin crawl and my hands sweat.

My mother had told me to behave just like I always did for special occasions and to not make any trouble.  Stepping into my aunt's home, I made sure to remove my sandals at the entryway before bowing and saying thanks for being allowed to visit.  That was my first mistake.  I only realized this after coming back up from my bow.  The look on my aunt's, my mother's, and especially my father's face were all of surprise.  My father almost turned angry but I'm grateful to her now that she saved me by bowing and also giving thanks.  It was due to her cleverness that I wasn't scolded right then and there for thanking a lower family.  Things like this were a blessing to the branch family, not the head family, and as such the branch should be grateful.

So afterwards our two families got together to eat supper.  A common enough meal was served and after a brief bit of chatting did the decision ceremony begin.  I was lead out to Aunt Haruhi's koi pond that lay in the middle of her home.  Instead of a backyard like my family had, she had what I liked to call a 'middleyard' that was surrounded on all four sides by her home.  It was there that I was presented with a big, wooden stick that was shaved down to a nice clean finish.  Then, a small, straw dummy was propped up before me.

My father put his hands on my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes.  The deepest he had ever looked into them ever.  "Take the stick, Suzume, and hit the dummy in whatever way comes naturally."

For a moment his eyes bounced back and forth.  He was looking at one eye to the next, searching to see that I understood.  Then he stood up, nodded to the rest of the family members that had gathered around me, and backed away to give me room.

I stood there, puzzled.  The ceremony was all new to me and I didn't know so much about what exactly was going on.  I had understood what my father told me to do, but I also knew that my mother had told me never to play or swing wildly with sticks.  So instead of picking the big stick up right away, I just looked at it and then glanced back to my parents.  

It was Aunt Haruhi who seemed to understand what was bothering me.  She knelt down beside me and held my hand.  "Don't worry, Suzume-san, it's okay.  Go on and pick it up.  No one will be upset if you play with it."  She smiled so warmly that her eyes were completely closed.  I had never seen a smile so big in all my life on a grown-up ever up to that point.  Seeing it did wonders and I smiled just as brightly.

I picked up the stick and waited for Aunt Haruhi to return back with the rest of the family.  The stick felt strong and sturdy in my grasp.  My hands moving along it until I found a spot that felt good for me to handle it.  Then looking at the straw dummy, my target, I spun around with the stick in hand and smacked it hard against the side of its straw head.  Immediately following the hit came applause from all of my family members.





A faint smile stayed upon my face.  Such a wonderful memory that day was.  And hearing footsteps getting louder and closer, I turned my head to see Yuudai return from below.  Reflecting upon my memory, I was almost troubled.  It had struck me that I'd never truly felt welcome anywhere else besides here and my Aunt Haruhi's home.  Not even after becoming Kage of the Hidden Sand did I feel welcome by my entire village.  There was no big festival over the new leadership, the circumstances for my elevation being rather regrettable.  Still, after all this time, all these years?

In my reminiscing, I had walked to the other side of the room, my back to the revealed staircase.
"Did you find what it was that you were looking for?" I asked, half calling to Yuudai as he would be facing away from me as he climbed up the stairs.

2007 WC (total)


____

Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
As he reached the final step, now being placed in the hall where he and Suzume had met, where he had departed to see what his ancestral temple had to offer. Yuudai had decided that he would deal with the discovery at a later date; figure out what it meant when he had the time available at hand, though now certainly was not the time for him to search for the meaning. His thoughts at the current time would lead him astray and with the ingrained manners taught to him from a young age, it would not be appropriate for him to preoccupied with something while having to accompany a notable female figure, the Kazekage – the fact still rumbled in his mind – back to the village. His attention would need to be on one thing or the other, and with his thoughts forever being with him, Yuudai already knew he’d be paying his attention to the only other human with him.

As his eyes scanned before him, Yuudai noticed no visual trace of Suzume’s presence, though her voice was easily carried out through the empty room. He would’ve assumed she had left, though considering she had stated she had lost her way, her presence here wasn’t as surprising as it would have been. Her question was a simple one, though for him it was more complex than that. Had he found what he was looking for? Well, considering he hadn’t known what exactly he was looking for, he didn’t have an answer for the inquiry. As he stepped forward, no longer having to worry about climbing stairs, Yuudai walked towards the button he had pressed down upon earlier, the very same one Suzume had been about to press before he had stopped her. Gently pressing his right palm against it, with a minor surge of chakra being pushed into it, Yuudai heard the sound of stone against stone once again. He needn’t look to figure it out, as he concluded the stairwell would conceal itself once again. Turning around, so he’d be facing Suzume’s back, with her being on the other side of the room, began to slowly make his way towards her, knowing that he had nothing left to achieve here.

“I found something.” His answer to the query Suzume had posed wasn’t specific, but his search hadn’t been specific either. If she were to ask further, he’d certainly provide her with the basics of what he found, though perhaps it wouldn’t be the ideal situation for Yuudai; considering it involved his ancestral heritage, and giving that information to an outsider would be considered unsuitable. As he continued walking forward, his pace still slow as he was in no apparent rush to return home.

Considering he only ever visited one other major shinobi village in his entire lifetime, Yuudai was curious about the other villages that existed. “If you don’t mind me asking, what’s Sunagakure like? Aside from all the sand.” The name of the village had given away one thing, the endless amounts of sand in the village and surrounding areas.  He always had a minor urge to see all the major shinobi villages in person, though he knew it was highly unlikely for him to do so unless he received a mission to go to one of the villages, or if he chose, on his own accord, to see them for himself. The only thing stopping him was himself, lacking a real reason to see them except for his own interest to do so. Specifically, one reason he wouldn’t want to visit Sunagakure no Sato, would be the clash it would have with his blood. His blood was opposed to the heat that came with such a village, though conserving more chakra would allow him to maintain his body temperature. Once he was within a meter of Suzume, Yuudai stopped walking, as they’d be leaving here soon enough.


Running word count: 6892


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Suzume

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S-rank
He had found something.  His voice was distant on the subject matter.  Unsure or just concealing? What was it that he found, my curiosity poked at me.  Could it be a new jutsu?  A secret clan technique kept hidden beneath the stone folds of this ancient temple.  Surely, if it was so, Yuudai would be of the skill to master such a thing, being both sannin of his village and one of the Seven Swordsmen.  Truly, this man was someone I shouldn't toy with.  If not a jutsu, then maybe a code of living that once was the clan's motto, lost and forgotten in the passing of generations only to be revived in this age by Yuudai.  My head teased with more possibilities.

It was not my place to pry into another clan's secrets.  My being in this temple was already too much.  Besides, I wouldn't want anyone delving into me and my clan's secrets.  My curiosity would have to deal with the possibilities.  I wouldn't get any further into Yuudai's private matters.  Instead, I focused my mind on his other question.

"There's more to Suna than the sand.  Just as there's more to Kiri than the water and mist that surrounds it." I answered, coming off a bit rough.  It was irritating when all people thought of the Hidden Sand as just Sand people.  We weren't Tusken Raiders.  "If you'd like, you could come and visit.  Once I get back to Kiri, I'll be taking my friend back to Suna with me.  I'd be happy to show you around.  The village is quite pleasant if you look beyond the sand.  Although, I might be a little biased."

I smiled briefly, holding it for a few seconds.  My hand brushed out my hair, untangling it from being trapped in between my back and cloak.  It felt damp to the touch as if I had only just finished washing it.  Had the mist been that thick here?  That was one thing I didn't like about being in Kiri.  How moist everything was.

Being from a dry and arid land, my body wasn't accustomed to such a climate.  "In Suna, you'd actually be able to dry your hair completely." I attempted to joke.  Giving a few soft laughs to further hint at the humor.

I looked down for a moment.  My boots were coated with small droplets of water.  There was nowhere to hide from the wet and the cold.  Maybe this was why Kiri was such a perfect place for the Aisu.  A clan as cold as the ice they could control.  Yet, after meeting Yuudai I knew there was some warmth to them.  In their words and their personality.  Being cold didn't necessarily mean they were bad either.  Just different.

And once we had made our way back to the village, I thanked him for helping guide me back.  "Maybe the next time we meet I can be the one to guide you."  I would say softly.

2521 WC


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Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

Yuudai

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S-rank
The idea of visiting another village was certainly an appealing idea, as Yuudai had been pondering it for some time. The last time he had left the country had been almost a year ago or perhaps it was longer than that when he thought on the fact. Memories of walking through the streets of Kumogakure no Sato had been a while ago, almost as if his trip to the Village Hidden by Clouds had been a distant dream. The clouds practically just meters above the streets on one particular day of wandering about with Suichi at his side. Suichi had been intrigued by the clouds being so low, when in fact they had increased their altitude drastically. Instead of being barely above sea level, they were far above it. The numerous amounts of falls that are present, almost as if every area could be a potential hazard, provided a much different atmosphere than the one present in Kirigakure no Sato. Suichi was also more partial towards the village Yuudai had called home, as he was a creature built for the cold weather and the ocean.

Speaking of Suichi, he had been neglecting the creature, but one thing was for certain. If Yuudai were to ever take a trip to the Village Hidden by Sand, Suichi wouldn’t be coming along with him. Yuudai knew that he would hate the heat. Perhaps, he’d leave him in the care of someone trustworthy, though the individuals whom popped in to mind straight away, he hadn’t heard from in ages. Though, a trip was certainly appealing given the stagnant nature his life had taken, at one point he would have enjoyed such a thing, but he felt something still… lacking.

“I think I’d like to see it in person one day.” He’d listen to her as they walked on, him leading the way back to his home village. As her light jab to the humid atmosphere of Kirigakure no Sato reached his ears, Yuudai let out a light chuckle. “I suppose that depends on the person.” Based on his past experience with different weather, Yuudai already knew his blood would not cooperate with the dry atmosphere present in Suna, but it wouldn’t deter him from visiting. Perhaps, he’d be able to hide the discomfort it would provide him if he ever went to visit.

As they reached the village gates, Yuudai turned to face Suzume, a slight smile on his face. "Maybe the next time we meet I can be the one to guide you." Her simple statement had him slightly confused and amused at the same moment. “Well, that would involve me getting lost and you showing me the way back to the village, would it not?” His voice was laced with amusement with the situation that could potentially arise, though the chances of such a thing happening again were unlikely. “Regardless, I will try and make time to visit Suna one day in the near future. And of course I’ll be sure to visit the Kazekage herself.” After he finished speaking, Yuudai would await for Suzume to say anything further. Once they would depart, Yuudai would give a slight bow of his head with a “Goodbye Suzume.”  All that was left was for him to do was head back home and think on his discovery.


Running word count: 7452

Exit Thread


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Suzume

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Hearing his words comforted me.  So I would get to see him again, my mind felt at peace about that.  As long as we were on a good footing, I would be happy with that.  "Good bye, Yuudai."

The cold, damp air surrounding the Hidden Mist village didn't seem so bad any longer.  Instead, I started to like it.  Having spent time and gotten to know one of the shinobi of this hidden village had really made its impact on me.  There wasn't a feeling of being in a cold sauna where the moistness of people's sweat still clung to the air.  Instead, I was reminded of coming out of a cold rainstorm, the clouds parted and the sun causing the water to rise up into the atmosphere all the while keeping the air cool and comfortable.  Feeling the soft chill from the mist hanging around me, I smiled.  Maybe this place wasn't so bad as I had first made it out to be.

Walking steadily now that I knew where I was and where to go, I made my way back to the Kirigakure General Hospital.  Hopefully Misoka and Kazuhiko were just as fine as when I had left them.  I'd only been gone for a few hours anyway, not like there could have become some kind of big trouble.  They were both done with the majority of their treatment.  Only one more day and things would get better.  Then we could all head out together and go home.

Pausing in the middle of an intersection, my eyes followed the crossing street to my right and gazed over at the setting sun.  There, to the west, was Suna.  My home.  Although I had just begun to like being here in the Hidden Mist, nothing could beat home.  I could feel the warmth of the desert reach out to me through the setting sun's rays.  A brush of heat hugging at my face, giving me a taste of home.

I couldn't wait to get back and tell my parents about the mission, about my visit.  Surely, they'd love to hear I was making friends again.  Being Kazekage and all the paperwork that comes with the job, I hadn't been getting out and active as much as I used to.  This mission had been good for me, although it nearly came at a greater cost.  Misoka would probably never get rid of that scar on her stomach.  Still, at least she was alive.  That was definitely better than being dead.  And we were closer now, too.  I think we'd both realized that.

Continuing on my way back to the hospital, my stomach began screaming bloody murder.  Thankfully not as many people were out in the streets so late.  I hurried to the nearest restaurant I could find, eventually coming to an old café just across the street from the hospital.

The food was good, I could tell just by the smell.  My stomach could smell it too, groaning for more than just a teasing smell and after a few minutes of agonizing deliberation I had come to a decision on what to order.  The deciding was so agonizing because the smell was so intoxicating, making every second that I went without eating more and more painful for my stomach and I, both.  Finally, I sat down with a bowl full of nice chili and pork sausage, a small pint of beer by my side.  It was more Western type food, but that was my favorite.  Needless to say, I gorged myself to the fullest extent.

With a belly full of good food, I paid the chef well and made off with at least one or two more pounds on me than when I had walked in.  Getting across the street to the hospital should have been simple enough, but I had also gorged myself on the beers when I was eating.  And if I had thought crossing the street was bad enough, climbing the stairs to get to Misoka and Kazuhiko's room on the third floor was pure torture.  Eventually I made it to the room, but not after falling several times and collecting a few new bruises.  When I did enter the hospital room and sat down in one of the visitor's chairs, I passed out cold from exhaustion.

3254 WC


EXIT THREAD


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Jutsu  |  Suzume  |  Locker

Intro Theme | Battle Theme | Ending Theme

"Let us dance together, Guest, so that we might come to understand one another."

Missions:
D-0 | C-0 | B-2 | A-1 | S-1

Bukijutsu(Bōjutsu) S  |  Fuuinjutsu S
Katon S  |  Raiton S

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