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Ayakashi

Ayakashi


S-rank
Aya awoke, the morning was brisk, and she had been through a lot. Waking up in her mother's house wearing functionally nothing, sprawled in her bed with her blankets on the floor. Aya often preferred the hefty weight of the thick cotton blankets, though, with her restless nature, they just felt suffocating in more recent days. She would often find herself kicking them off, though, with her affinity for all that was cold, she did not find sleep without them to be too uncomfortable... Waking up she moved to the shower, turning the ivory knob she relished the steaming warm spring water flowing over her head the most relaxing thing that she had dealt with all day, until looking down in the shower she could see the water in the shower begin to stain with blood. Trailing the blood up she realized there was a slight gash in her side, a small nick, little more than a few inches long, and barely a millimeter deep, more than likely from the shadowy image from the forest which had attacked her on the way home. Aya had thought that she had avoided much of her attacks and gotten out without a scrape, but it seemed that she was wrong on that note as well. It was beginning to seem like these assassins were a lot stronger than she had once considered them. Although she had defeated two of them, the spear man who had attacked her and strafe was something else, his fire spreading across the forest floor almost as quickly as Tenmei's heat, like a corrupting vein of green flame. Aya had bested him in melee combat as well as the shield maiden once before, but since then, it seemed that they had since been equipped with these powerful weapons form someone, though it was more likely the Daimyo, it made Aya think that the first assault was merely to test her strengths, and they had done so very well, but, day by day Aya could feel herself getting stronger, the lingering wounds from the Seven Bells war were almost gone, and she was almost restored to her full strength.

Getting out from the shower, Aya stitched up her wound with one of her senbon and some black thread, though it was a little more showy, she liked to accessorize her scars a little, especially while they still looked a little more like wounds. It was like a trophy collection, showing her strength and an immediate visual representation that she was aiding the village in a the same way she would expect anybody else to... Walking into her room she put on her underwear and pants, strapping up her chest, putting on her boots and throwing on her cloak "16th Mizukage" Written on the back of the black trench-cloak in Kanji, as well as equipping her gloves, three swords and her Fuma shuriken and arrows, placing her mask at her hip and tying her head band on the side of her arm like a badge of respect, Aya was ready to begin the day. Walking downstairs, her loose cloak only clasped at chest height so not to reveal anything in the midst of quick movement. What little Kunai and Senbon she had always lining the inside of her cloak should she need them, but that was neither here nor there... Making her way downstairs she could smell the enthralling scent of her mother's cooking. As she took the oriental pancakes she ate them almost salivating as they melted in her mouth, filling her senses with delicious savory sensations as she gave her mother a hug, forcing Aya to wince a little as her mother pressed against her open wound at her side. Smiling, and assuring the woman she was fine, the 30 year old Mizukage exited her abode, walking into the village, a low mist rolling along the stone cobbled streets, stretching high to the heavens in a silent prayer as she interlaced her fingers and rose up onto the tips of her toes before taking a step and letting her arms flop down to her sides.

Moving over to the missions board, she found what she was looking for;

Mission: wrote:Strange unaligned ninja have been seen wearing red within the Nukenin Graveyard capturing bandits and taking them to undisclosed locations, while this would not normally be an incredible cause for concern, we're looking for a Chuunin team or Special Jounin to investigate the occurrence. This mission is a basic scout mission, and should the foreign ninja become hostile, it is within the ninjas best interest to not engage and report to the nearest Jounin or ANBU outpost so that they can be handled accordingly.

Signed:

Ishiki Shibata- Jounin

Aya saw the note on them wearing red, and knew instantly that there was something afoot here. Taking the note, she could not let another ninja take this mission, no matter how low profile they thought it was, this was not a matter for the country. Walking toward the Jounin camp and the ninja who had placed up the mission itself, she proclaimed that she would be handling this investigation personally, as well as any other mission regarding red clothed people in the country. The Jounin did not question, he knew it was not in his best interests to, though, it was more likely that he believed that this was Aya just attempting once again to show that she was willing to do the grunt work for her village in an effort to help them with any problems that might come to pass. Nodding and saluting to the Jounin, Aya asked him to spread the word as she held the scroll, waling toward the north exit of the village. The Nukenin graveyard was not a place that Aya tended to enjoy going to, it seemed that whenever she did, death followed her. Especially after the seven bells war, the graveyard became a bastion for those looking for puppet parts as well as medium grade weapons to sell in the shops. And thanks to the nature of the graveyard, people did not tend to like going there if they could at all help it, meaning that there was still a wealth of tanto, throwing weapons, swords, kunai and other weapons which still peppered the landscape, barely damaged by the strains of time as it hadn't even been a year since the incident... But, if the men in red wanted to find cheap and available armaments, the graveyard was the place to do it, and under the guise of eradicating bandits, it was a pretty descent cover...

One Aya couldn't miss.

So, she continued to walk, watching the beauty of her country go by as the people of the country waved to her, even some travelling Samurai from the Daimyo compound waved to Aya as she passed. Aya walked over to them, bowed, and greeted them in person, taking some time to talk with each of them and ask them about their morning, learning that they had been sent for little more than to gather some supplies for a banquet which was being held within the next couple of weeks, they had volunteered and taken the chance to come and see the capitol, for some of them, it was the first time there. Some of them asked questions about the nature of Aya's swordsmanship, wondering if it was true that she could use any style of combat with her weapons. Aya responded modestly, but offering them if they would like to learn more aptly the styles of combat which she used, that she could one day come to the Daimyo compound and help train the troops in lessons. She smiled as some of their faces lit up, while others seemed less interested in honing their skills in combat, and rather asked her questions about the commerce here, and where they were able to buy the best Sake, in which Aya pointed them in the direction of the bar which was run by two of her own village Sannin who had a talent for drinking and shenanigans, though she sent them in that direction with a light warning about the two of them. Which seemed to be taken lightly.

Bidding the men goodbye, she set off, with a wave and smiles all around, she was happy to build positive relationships with the Samurai as well as anyone within the boarders of the country. She was a woman of the people, and could not be cooped up within the walls of her estate if she wanted the people to see, respect, and love her as a leader.

Such things were important to Aya...

And god knows she would need those relationships one day...

[Training stats. 1466 words.]


____

The Graves of Traitors. (Training/ Plot/ Social.) HiitsmeBaobhan

~ Jutsu List ~ Aya's Stats ~ Item Lockup ~ Jutsu Rej ~
Theme Song
Taijutsu SS-Bukijutsu SS-Senjutsu S || Fuuton SS-Suiton SS-Hyouton SS

EP: 5

Illarion

Illarion


D-rank
It was a strange feeling waking up every morning to feel the rolling presence of the waves beneath you. With awareness of this nautical phenomenon came remembrance of exactly how far Illarion of house Jernigan was from his home country of Teuton. Crossing to the East was no small feat given the treacherous oceans and terrible leviathans that lurked within the depths of the sea. Tales stated that beneath the waves dragon kings with serpentine forms quite unlike the massive beasts that hoarded wealth in the West crafted palaces of shell and ivory where they would subjugate all other sea creatures in their domains one feature that they shared with their reptilian brethren everywhere.

Rising Illarion stretched to work out the kinks in his back and began his morning exercises. Were he at home there would be two sets of these physical forms one without armour and the other with.  Familiarity in plate could save ones life come a time of crisis. All it took was one ill fated arrow managing to slip past ones Archon and then a man's life could slip away swift as the grains of sand in an hourglass. With a good set of armour the bolt would deflect of the sturdy metal carapace and depending on the calibre of the shot barley even register. Some jousting armours could even weigh up to fifty kilograms. Anything short of an arbalest would have a hard time making it through such protection especially with both padded quilt and chain mail underneath.

Following this Illarion had a breakfast of fish , tomatoes and mushrooms that the cook had suggested might be a good addition given his interaction with the locals. Shitake they were called and while they did not in Illarions personal opinion taste as good as the field mushrooms and truffles of his native abode they did have a certain charm to them.  Giving himself one final check over using one of the ships mirrors Illarion readied himself to depart and then with little in the way of fanfare stepped off onto the wharf.  Seabirds callen overhead and the salt breeze was rather refreshing to the senses. Staying in the docks however was not on today’s agenda. There was a lot more to the land of water then just the coastline and it was Illarions job to find out about it so that he may make report to the crown. As he had not been assigned a guide and due in some part to the way that his interactions with the Aisu clan had been going rather well Illarion decided to track down the Mizukage again so that he could glean information from her directly.  

Some might consider this a tad presumptuous given that the Mizukage was the dual leader of an entire nation. However Illarion was no small fry when it came to royal standing either being himself a count as well as an ordained knight. If this was not enough he also had the word of his majesty the King of Teuton to back up his position. Ayakashi was also pleasant enough company and indeed the more he got out into the air the faster he would become accustomed to this land. Heading from the docks and into Kirigaukre proper Ilarion swept his gaze to take in as much of the landscape as was humanly possible. Paper seemed to be used in the construction of houses and folding screens that served as portals into urban abodes. Some were merely functional and plain yet others bore striking depictions of all manner of gods , demons and beasts. 

Several of these screens showed dragons. Long and serpentine these creatures lacked the immense bulk that marked the draconic in his land. Many of the strange reptiles were not even winged instead flying using some form of sorcery or perhaps simply defying nature itself. Flowing whiskers  grew from the sides of their head giving the beasts a sagely air. In his home dragons ranged from little more than mindless beasts to ancient and cunning intellects capable of keeping up with human tacticians and mages without batting an eyelid. If his information was correct however these beasts were something above and beyond even that. While a dragon of the west could live for thousands of years these creatures were said to be literally immortal – deities in their own right. There were several shrines in Kirigakure dedicated to dragons that presided over the ocean.  The veneration of water deities was not surprising really given the Kirigaurians close proximity to the sea. 

Another beast that struck his eye seemed to be some form of unicorn. Either surrounded in flames or lightening the creature seemed capable of harnessing the elements to its own ends. If indeed a creature such as this even existed and was not the product of some fanciful tale then Illarion summarised that it would make a fine mount for any knight. If he could somehow obtain a breeding pair to take back to his home he (and doubtlessly many of his fellows) would consider the act a crowning achievement. Illarion sensed as much as saw the two ninja walking the streets. With a polite and rather formal greeting the knight asked the pair as to where he might find the Kage. The pair looked to each other for a few seconds as if weighing whether it was the correct path to indulge their foreign guest or refuse his inquires. In the end one pointed towards a road that seemed to be leading out of the township into a more rural domain. Thanking the pair Illarion went on his way picking up speed so that he did not miss the Kage and waste his trip. As he made haste up the trail Illarion spotted the mane of blue hair that alerted the onlooker to the presence of Solstice Ayakashi Aisu - Kage of the mist. 

Matching his stride with hers Illarion gave a small bow in way of greeting.

“I hope that the morning finds you well Duchess.”

Ayakashi

Ayakashi


S-rank
Aya began to walk out of the village, with a running step she stood upon the top of a park bench at the very end of the long street, from here, standing elegantly upon the tip of the bench, she could see across the city, not higher than its buildings, but over the heads of her people, from here she could make out the butcher, the baker, the seamstress and many other tradesmen who were beginning their day... doing this, looking at the smiles on their faces and the sweat on their brows reminded Aya every day, as the Mizukage of the village hidden in the mist that this, was what she had to fight for. She knew the names of most of these people, locked away within the recesses of her mind as papers by the dozen in her term of office for each of these people had crossed her desk. The city was also large, making the accomplishment all the more impressive... Though she could think of a reason for it. Aya had stayed in office as Mizukage longer than all of the other Kage in their respective nations combined, and she believed that was in no small part due to the fact that she had a long standing relationship with her village. Not to mention a war in which she had a chance to show her nation her resolve when it came to matters concerning the village. Aya had been a Mizukage of action and reaction, she had not been afraid or even hesitant to act on anything which might threaten the foundations of her village... Yet it seemed once again there was an enemy within the walls of Kirigakure, stalking the streets once again and attempting to snatch the stability out from underneath the nation she loved so much... The thought made her furious. Though... as she stood and stared at the people on the busy morning street, her doubts faded... any thought of her in handing over her title was removed from her mind completely... and she smiled.

Turning and hopping down from the bench she turned on her heel and continued to walk towards the exit, i was not long before she heard the familiar voice and the strange accent of the man which had graced her presence once before. It had been a few days, though Aya found it hard to forget a face, especially as one as new and exotic as that Illarion possessed. His wide eyes and rough skin was not like the warriors of her country. His tall, strong, and powerful stature foreshadowed a training which revolved around strength, skill and fortitude rather than speed, deception and dexterity... Aya praised and respected physical strength, to which she was a tad dismayed that even after having sent Strafe to go and look at their soldiers that it still seemed that Illarion looked as sick as ever, his skin still pale from the plague which seemed to be bringing him and his people to their knees, which, strategically in Aya's personal scenario, could not help but unfortunately conclude that were they in a state of conflict, that these men would barely be able to fight, yet alone hold the front-lines which is where Aya would sent the bulk of their heavy armoured forces. They would succumb to their sickness before being able to swing their blade, and even should they, the blow would be so weak as to bearely inflict a paper cut. Which made them almost useless as an ally in combat save for any wisdom and expertise they might have in the fields of unorthodox strategy... Which was something that Aya was not entirely able to rule out...

Though, that was only if this ended in open war... and Aya knew that their poultry thousand, would be no match for the full force of the Samurai... ... ...

Though the word Duchess made her think, it was not a word she was familiar with, though he seemed to speak it in good terms, it seemed to be some form of title, as opposed to her name, perhaps it was something like a Kage in their land, Aya could not be sure, though she would not question it, having felt like she had discovered the meaning of the word, she took it in stride. Placing her arms behind her and placing one in the open palm of the other as she walked, looking from left to right and observing her path as the soldier continued to walk with her.

Oh... I fare well, i guess Aya Began to speek. Though it seems I find myself in a bind, It seems that the bandit population within my forests has begun to dwindle, and though, I do not for a moment believe this not to be a blessing, I cannot help but think there is something more sinister behind it. Reports have been showing that a particular group of men and women who dress in red cloaks have been abducting the bandits and taking them we know not where... Now, I don't know who these people are, or what their intentions might be, but we know for a fact that the bandits are being taken alive by whoever these men are, I'm on my way now to investigate what's going on, in your condition I would recommend that you not come with me, as this will more than certainly be dangerous, though, as this is also your place of residence, I would commend you if it was your intention to help me...

Aya was hesitant with letting him come along, if one of the assassins showed up, Illarion would not stand a chance in fighting one of them off in his condition, but, by the same notion, if she refused his aid, any offense he might take could be detrimental to their alliance, as these men in the few hours that Aya had spent with them, seemed to run off a very strong sense of institutionalized chivalry, one which was rarely ever seen on any large scale in the ninja world where they instead based their whole lives and mannerisms around building and maintaining honor, as if it were some form of palpable currency... Aya stopped in her tracks, turning to face the soldier and awaiting for his say on the matter, whether he would come and risk his life for a nation he had only newly landed in, or whether he would stay behind and focus more on regaining his health, and so the choice was up to him, but in the back of her mind she could feel the choice that he was going to make. She could feel that his better judgement of him being ill was a pretext to nothing but heroism... Aya had enough experience with that kind of person in this day and age, and it seemed especially rife in the young of today, with their grand notions of a better tomorrow... but, there was a more mature, more wise, and more dangerous hero within the soul of Illarion, one which she could sense, and Aya knew, deep within her very soul that were she to ensure his growth, he would be unstoppable in the world of the ninja.

Although, before she would be able to hear his decision there was a ruckus, a ninja fleeing in the direction of the village at top speed, seeming to be little more than a chuunin, and battered up to say the least, reaching the Mizukage, she gave a report. "Madam Mizukage, the men in red, in the mission, they've been sighted, they struck out at my training squad on the edge of the forest... most of us  scattered, but, one of the Genin didn't make it... I'm sorry Lady Mizukage... they were too strong, and the bandits seemed to be working with them! The other two Genin are trapped, but, he's protecting them, so HURRY, he won't last much longer!" Aya frowned and looked to Illarion, before Grabbing Illarion and beginning to run in the direction of the mess. Aya could not begin to question the woman, there was no time... who did she mean by 'him' was he someone special? Someone she knew? Aya could not tell, but, on arriving at the scene, it was not a long shot as to assume who she meant.

The scene was a set stage, like that of a folk tale, bandits, in the dozens surrounding what seemed to be a collossal white tiger backed against a forest wall, behind the tiger was the two Genin, and behind the bandits, there was a singular man in red, two warped swords on his back, each of them curved hooked and spiked over the hand guards... each of them looked lethal, but, he was not one of the assassins which Aya had seen before... he didn't appear to have the same sum of physical fortitude or strength, and So, it was an easy assumption to come to that he must be one of the subordinates of the Adviser himself... on each of the bandits arms there was the symbol of the Daimyo's prison, which was not a surprise to Ayakashi any longer, each of these men seemed to be veterans of the Seven bells war, each of them Genin - Chuunin in rank with no particular skill other than their weapons training. Many of them were likely not veterans at all, but taken under the wing by whatever veterans could accumulate in one place and create their own small gangs, suffice to say... they weren't threatening to the likes of Aya... but, none the less, they would not live to see another sunrise. Though it seemed that the massive lion was holding his own rather well. With single swipes with dazzling speed he was crushing their skeletal structures with the force of his blows as his massive hooked talons rended through their steel and their flesh and bone alike, single handedly thinning their numbers, but, it seemed that the lion had also been taking his fair share of the brunt.

Swords pierced his impressive hide, blood running down his face sides, arms as not-so-lucky bandits had sacrificed themselves to deal the lion considerable damage, brining it slowly down... ... ... Aya Drew her bow.

Illarion, draw your weapons, use lethal force... Charge with the best of your power, and I will cover you until my quiver is empty. We need to save them~!

1759 words

Total: 3235


____

The Graves of Traitors. (Training/ Plot/ Social.) HiitsmeBaobhan

~ Jutsu List ~ Aya's Stats ~ Item Lockup ~ Jutsu Rej ~
Theme Song
Taijutsu SS-Bukijutsu SS-Senjutsu S || Fuuton SS-Suiton SS-Hyouton SS

EP: 5

Ayakashi

Ayakashi


S-rank
The knight charged the group, but aya needed to act to the best of her ability, Illarion was strong, taking on several of them but leaving the vast majority to Aya's bowmanship, activating a technique as frost ran down the bow, Ice arrows leaped from her string and penetrated deeply into the necks of several of the bandits, with her skill out of juice, she had to move to her natural arrows, running head-first into the group as Aya would let out a harrowing swipe for one of their necks with the steel of the neck of the bow, striking hard as she knocked an arrow and fired it into the exposed larynx of another of the soldiers. Vaulting backwards as enemies charged with a kick to one of their Jaws, Aya gripped another handful of arrows, and with all the speed and style of a rapid fire weapon, unleashed a deadly yet precisionate rain of shots until the five arrows in her hand were no longer there. And another five men dropped to the ground with wounds to the exposed skin of their throats or eyes.

Aya spied another attempt on the Tiger.

knocking a single bolt, Aya aimed down the length of the bow, letting it fly at full draw as the arrow tore through the sky, penetrating the hands of the bandit about to bring swift death to the tiger, buying only just enough time for the tiger to turn and wrap his jaws around the mans head and crush, ending what pitiful life that remained. Aya's bow was good for covering other warriors, letting fly arrows into Illarion's opponents and covering the tiger also, it was not long until the 20 shots were exhausted. Focring Aya to transform her weapon changeling once again into something a little better.

Replacing the string she would extend the pole to full length and erect the blade, bringing it hard down 90 degrees to form a scythe... it was all over...

Aya lunged forward with her weapon of choice and cut out one of the legs of a Bandit, spinning her torso and traversing the weapon around behind her to speed up the weapon she raised a hand for the pole up by her neck as she caught it and with a single sweep bought it diagonally down for another bandit, cleaving him in two. Reaching behind her to catch the weapon at the apex of its swing again she would spin to speed up its traversal, catchying it half-way along the pole as once agsin she bought the weapon in front of her, blocking the strike of a brave bandits sword as the tilted the weapon to bring down the hooked blade for his side, cutting through the arm holding the sword and then through his chest. Reaching around behind her as several men began to run, Aya gripped her fuma shuriken and threw it, catching two men side by side in the back and dropping them to the ground before substituting to the weapon.

From her new position Aya transformed her weapon once again into a glaive, holding it in one hand and raising it at head height she would throw it like a spear, penetrating a ninja and skewering him like a kebab.... three men remained as One was struck down by Illarion, Aya charged another, jumping right before impact and coiling her fist, twisting her body and throwing one leg back as her punch came forward in a single devastating lunge, shattering the man's skull as aya landed, grabbing the man's weapon and hurling it for the final bandit, penetrating his heart and dropping him to the earth... Ending the battle.

Aya, hadn't broken a sweat.

Walking over to the lion, Aya attempted to stem the bleeding of the wounds, but the creature needed attention. Looking to Illarion she asked for his aid to bring the tiger, his strength as a westerner was something to be prized as the two of them would begin to make the treck back to a nearby village. It was there that the lion revealed its ability to speak, claiming that Aya was his intended destination, with no name the Tiger pledged a life debt on the Mizukage, one which she graciously accepted as she bandaged its wounds and bound its injuries with a soothing balm, one of which would allow the deep damage to gradually recover. But it would take some time.

After the threat had been eliminated, Aya and Illarion both moved back to Kirigakure,

An ally had been gained.

[exit thread]

[771 words]


Thread Total: 4006
End: S3->SS 4006 / 2500
Perc: SS->SS-1 1506+1026(Willing Captive) / 5000


____

The Graves of Traitors. (Training/ Plot/ Social.) HiitsmeBaobhan

~ Jutsu List ~ Aya's Stats ~ Item Lockup ~ Jutsu Rej ~
Theme Song
Taijutsu SS-Bukijutsu SS-Senjutsu S || Fuuton SS-Suiton SS-Hyouton SS

EP: 5

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