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1Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:41 pm



Special Jounin
The shroud of lethargy was descending upon him again. Galling as this may be it was no unusual occurrence. When ones internal clock ticked and chimed to the rhythm of worlds beyond mortal ken a level of dissociation was expected.

This morning was particularly baleful in its portents. It had taken all of his will to wrench his physical self from the languid depths of torpor. Shakai needed the raw physicality of duty, the engaging thrill of a mission accomplished. So it was that he forced himself to trudge his way to the bounty board of Konohagakure.

The barman who stood vigil by the board looked up from pouring a particularly wretched customer his morning sake.

"Ain't got much in your line of work sorry. No yokai or yueri rearing their ugly heads today. And as unfortunate as that is for someone in your line of business it pleases me no end. Konoha don't need that kind of unnatural trouble those things cause." 

Shakai didn't bother to dignify that with a response. He didn't draw any pleasure from supernatural beings wreaking havoc upon an unsuspecting populace. The reason why he undertook such missions was simply that he had the knowledge and experience to handle such situations in a manner that reduced casualties. 

He was more than capable of mundane tasks and given his current dilemma he would undertake one post-haste. His eyes alighted upon a particular request and his mind was made up. 

Five minutes later and he was standing outside the dwelling that Shizuka had taken up residence in. The mission that the half yokai had selected involved foot-pads and ne'er do wells something which would interest the Houkyaku girl. In the murky depths of the sordid past she had been done a great wrong which needed redressing. 

That there was little chance she would come across those responsible for such actions in a world that seemed set upon breeding vagabonds and scoundrels was of no consequence. Her hunt was noble and thus Shakai would assist her in any way possible. 

Delivering two sharp raps on the door the otherworldly man called out to the umbral girl. 

"Shizuka, I have an errand that needs my attention. It's not my usual ghostly fare but I think it might interest you all the same. Criminals have taken up residence within the forests of Konoha. However this seems to be not just a solitary cell of cutthroats but rather the vanguard of a much more organised conglomerate. It's likely given their status as spies and scouts that they will have knowledge on a wide range of illegal activities even if they did not directly participate in them themselves."

To tell the truth he would have invited her along even if there was not the possibility of a revelation. He needed her as a connection to the world mankind. She was in may respects his anchor in the otherworldly currents. Profoundly isolated due to the cruel machinations of fate she needed contact as to not let the pall of darkness swallow her. With this knowledge one could be mistaken for thinking that Shizuka depended on Shakai. Perhaps that was true to an extent or perhaps not. Shakai on the other hand needed Shizuka's influence in his life. 

Her heart beat steady within her chest where Shakai's might manage a motion thrice within a morning. Her blood was warm, red and filled with vital essence whereas his was black and brackish and had the viscous consistency of molasses.

In short Shizuka reminded Shakai that too he had a human half. Being with her caused it to surface where it might otherwise lay dormant.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

2Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:01 am



She had been sleeping again... if that's what you would call it. 
Nestled deep within a cocoon of blankets, the young female would simply lay there in the darkness. Sometimes eyes open, sometimes eyes closed, always eyes empty; listening to the sounds of the world curling to sleep until her mind wandered in to the colours of a memory. She loved that moment. That music. That delicate symphony of crickets singing the skies song and the wind that would hush them to quiet. The rustling of soft emerald grass and the soft drizzle of rain drop that fell in between. The restless silence broken up by waking whispers and settling creatures, insects, people and their scratching and knocking and footsteps..... Footsteps.
She had heard those steady foot falls before. The way they slowly crept across the unkempt lawn, Treading closer and closer with their direct surety and stead fast determination. The young woman imagined herself crawling from beneath the mound she had half buried herself under and felt her way across the old wood to sit in the shadow by the door. If only to hear that steady rhythm a little better... a little clearer. A little surer. 

"Shizuka, I have an errand that needs my attention. It's not my usual ghostly fare but I think it might interest you all the same. "


It had been almost a year ago now, when she had first met the rather unorthodox shinobi known as Shakai. Back then, when she was just a timid shadow, nervous of her own memories and scared of the dark; the two were nothing but strangers to one another. Singularly unique, and completely different beings travelling alone on parallel paths until one day they were suddenly... and unexpectedly thrown together on a mission to seek answers from an even more obscure source. It was a short lived task and their time together was brief, but during that fleeting period Shakai and Shizuka had formed a bond... a connection of sorts. With his untold wisdom and unknown strength he loaned her eyes to see another world and a hand to guide her through it. While her enduring persistence and gentle determination kept him tethered to the land they still inhabited. Needless to say, if had not been for him, the Houkyaku would still be wandering through the forest. Lost to ever reaching darkness and the lonely echoes within. 


At first... she just listened. Back resting against the worn wooden walls, knees drawn comfortably close; with one of the blankets still wrapped lazily around her slight frame the chuunin found herself slowly leaning towards the door as she listened carefully to his invitation. An intruiging proposition. It appeared that once again they were to find someone in order to seek some answers. But this time, the source would be a lot less... accommodating. From what she understood, these... bandits, these ruffians, were with holding possibly important information and it would be their job to find them and retrieve those coveted secrets. Straight forward. Simple. It always baffled the female how they would think to send someone who could not see, to find something that was hidden. And to send someone who could not fight, in to the midst of danger. Maybe they just didn't care. Or maybe they just knew better. Shakai knew better. So when the words faded to silence, a petite pale hand reached for the door handle and pulled it open... just a crack. Just enough that he could see the blanket shrouded silhouette and the coral pink lips smile midst the shadows and the barely visible darker hollows where her eyes would otherwise be.

"....wait here....."

Just like that, the creature lurking inside the small wooden house retreated from the door once and starting feeling around the room. Grasping for the kimono hanging haphazardly off a chair. Reaching for the black strips piled near her nest. By the time the the dark sapphire haired female had grabbed the small bag from the table and the water flask by the sink, she was dressed and ready and slowly stepping outside with the small red breasted robin perching comfortably on her shoulder and her delicate fingers instinctively reaching for her companion's guiding arm. 
The sun had not yet climbed to it's zenith but the early morning breeze had since lost it bite. She could smell the musk of past rain and the must of another... and slight wisps of fading chimney dredges in between. But nothing was as strong as the soul trembling anticipation that vibrated through her being when they stepped off the balcony and on to the road. 
On to the next chapter of their stories. 

As for that girl from back then. The one so unsure of her direction and unaware of her strengths. The child unable to walk the path she paved. 
That timid creature from a year ago; she was no where to be seen. 

"So.... did they give you an idea of where these bandits might be hiding? Or did they expect us to make a well educated guess?" She asked quietly, her blindfolded fixed firmly on the direction they were headed. 
"I haven't seen you in a while. I've heard you have been busy doing missions involving spirits and such. Did you find anything interesting... anything helpful? Its just... its unusual that would accept such a mundane task, if you don't mind my saying so"

Her words may have been scattered but her thoughts were as direct as her line of questioning. As much as she had been attending the exam festivals and exploring Spring Valley, and other such places that seemed to come and go with the seasons; as much as the porcelain skinned female understood the other's need for keeping occupied. She missed him. She missed this. These adventures. The challenges. It was a peaceful time for the village hidden in the leaves but she couldn't help but feel that something was looming on the horizon. Just behind the wall of wood and foliage, leering through the darker shades. There was something lurking there and Shizuka Houkyaku had never felt so exposed... and so alone.

But not today. Today was different. 
Today they would be the force behind the forest. 

And these trees would not forget it




Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) ShizukaSig

Locker . Profile . Jutsu
Genjutsu S - Ninjutsu B / Doton S  - Fuuton C

3Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:35 am



Special Jounin
Within the lacquered carapace of his armor the half breed rolled his shoulders , feeling life flow into the stiff joints as he listened to Shizuka's reply. The appearance of the ethereal waif from her abode brought a faint smile to Shakai's lips though it it would go unseen by all save for the spirits of the air. 

" Several areas of the forest were once logged in order to form separate townships. However resident Senju as well as the immemorial sage animals that dwell in the deepest fathoms of the wood disproved of the action and thus caused the forest to rise up and devour the settlements. Thought he major infrastructure is gone there still exist several buildings which are habitable. Apparently the Hokage once sent guards to chase squatters and vagrants from such premises but in recent years the time and ryo has been spent elsewhere on more productive matters. Deserted buildings such as these provide a haven for criminals of all stripes and its highly likely that we will find them there. "

Shakai stopped drawing a slow breath into his lungs before continuing on. While the intake of oxygen was not so important as to a normal human being he still needed a sizable amount to generate sound - telepathic communication fell closer to Shizuka's field of expertise than the huge shinobi's. He resumed the conversation addressing the Houkyaku maidens second question.

" It's true that this kind of job is not really my forte. However there are two reasons that I decided to embark on this mission. First is that these particular criminals are brokers of information who deal in secrets as much as illicit substances or violence. Such men and women act as spiders drawing in vulgar accounts of unspeakable deeds like flies into a web. There is a chance - small though it may be that such miscreants are antiquated with those who have wronged you in the past. One that I could not pass up. Secondly I simply need some exercise lest I fall into slumber for a century or two - that would be most unfortunate. Also criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot who will lose their composure completely when faces with a few spooks.  But shall we go before we lose the warmth of the sun? There's someone I want you to meet in the forest before we reach our destination."

There was another unspoken reason of course. Shakai wanted an excuse to partake in Shizukas company. However calm and eloquent the giant was putting such feelings to words would surely come across as saccharine and so he avoided them entirely.

Shakai held out a gauntleted hand for Shizuka. The half-breed knew that Shizuka through her powers was perfectly capable of making her own way but the offer was there in case she wished to conserve her strength.

As Shakai began to set off into the forest his eyes flickered to the myriad forms of supernatural beings that existed in the forests of Konoha. Normally hidden to the eyes of moral men they showed themselves to Shamans , Mages and of course those who shared their blood. On the trees crawled Kodama small spirits appearing as minute green humanoids covered in swirling patters that represented the life energy of the forest. Jinmenju fruit hung from branches blinking their all to human eyes at the passers by. And far off in the distance a tsuchigumo shifted its massive arachnid bulk through the trees its deadly web trailing behind. 

This was not to mention the spirits of the dead that flowed through the air and soil. Shades caught between this life and the multitudes of others that comprised the grand cycle of reincarnation. Some appeared as beautiful creatures of radiant light and gossamer while others were emaciated skeletal things trailing necrotic vapor in their wake. Being in Shakai's presence Shizuka could if she put any mind to it sense the presence of these entities and know them in a way more fully than true sight. 

Stopping before a clearing near the forest path seemingly no different than any other Shakai reached into his armor and pulled forth a small package covered in twine. From the scent of the parcel it contained tobacco of fine quality not normally found outside Kirigakure. 

Raising one hand with the package to chest level and the other to Shizuka's shoulder to let her know that things were alright Shakai called out to the woods. 

"Nagako I have a gift for you. Come hear us out and you and your underlings may like the proposition we are about to make."
Lowering his voice so that only Shizuka could hear Shakai half whispered. 

"Mistress Nagako is what you would call a boss to the local yokai. Think of her as something between a brothel madame , crime lord and a witch from old tales and you won't be too far off. Her species feed on the chakra of living beings but are not inherently hostile. Feel free to use my eyes to get a better look at her if you wish."

And then from the forest came what appeared to be a human head. Pale with long dark hair and crimson painted lips it was the picture of feminine beauty save for the immensely long neck that snaked behind it like a pale python that wound its way through the trees. Shortly after this a shapely body dressed in a lilac kimono followed. Now in full view one could see that Nagako's neck was well over four meters in length defying gravity as it hovered in the air towards Shizuka. 

The voice that issued from the head bore a sultry tone that would be the envy of any geisha. 

"My my - what do we have here? A little blind girl out in the forest with her chaperone. But aren't you simply adorable. Oh and I can feel talent in you as well, you have the second sight and its powerful too should you let it grow. Back not so long ago perhaps half a millennium or so I am sure the that the villagers here would have recognized you for what you are. A shaman priestess or oracle of considerable talent who having lost her normal vision now sees so much more.... Such a pity that the folk of today are so busy with their blasted machines and ninja games to appreciate these things. " 

Reaching with a perfectly manicured hand Nagako took the tobacco before deftly opening the package and placing its contents into a small thin pipe that materialized in her mouth. Smoke immediately began to wind out of the bowel seemingly without the need to light the dried leaves.

"So what brings you two to my neck of the woods?"


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

4Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:19 am



Whenever there is change
there is also a need for adjustment

That was something that she had learned a long time ago. 
With every passing chapter in life there were going to be things that were not the same as before. There were going to be changes... differences. And if you didn't adjust, then your life would come to a stand still. You wouldn't move forward. You wouldn't progress. And in a way... you would just stop living. 

A few years after Shizuka Houkyaku was born, her family moved from their comfortable forest side home and settled at the base of the glassy glacier tipped mountains. It was a long journey and they hit plenty of obstacles on the way... but in the end the biggest challenge for the three year old was to get used to the sudden cold that would snake around her slight form every time she got too close to the cracked windows. But she did. And the years moved on. Like each season of snow, the moments breathlessly breezed by. So wonderfully simple and ignorant....blissful; until tragedy happened. That mid winter day. That horror painted night terror. The child who grew up with all the colours of the world and warmth of it's creatures; was suddenly thrown head first in to darkness with no hands to keep her from tumbling and no strength to find them.
Through cruel intentions and unfortunate circumstances, her universe had changed once again. But that rule... that always remained the same. Things were different and she needed to adjust. Just as she had done before, the young female needed to embrace this new part of her life, these new people. These new feelings' It would take time but the blinded creature would move on. She would continue and grow. When that last pillar of support crumbled under the weight of flames, when she moved away from those glorious mountains. When she tasted another's colour for the first time.....

The most recent change... the most recent adjustment, however: occurred during that first mission with Shakai, shortly after they had met. 

It wasn't the first time that she had done something like this. They had just been walking in a bordering silence when the young Shinobi allowed a part of her mind to carefully slip to the ground and spread across the soil. A movement so effortless. So easy.....With that perfectly precise amount of chakra and a significant portion of patience she shed that part of her consciousness and simply waited for him to take his next step. To make that connection with the ground so she could slip inside and see through his eyes. See the world as he saw it.... And what he saw was something she would never forget.  
Once upon a time the world was simple. There was sun and snow. Light and darkness. There was just the living and the dead and that was it. Shizuka had to adjust to the idea, that the world she lived in was so much more complicated than what it was all those years ago. 


So when they finally got to their first destination, the Houkyaku female wasn't too surprised. 

Hand resting lightly on the larger male's arm, blindfolded gaze pointed directly ahead at the unseen path before them, the younger, diligently listened to his explanation while keeping her remaining senses open towards their deceptively lively surroundings.
"I have heard of such settlements" she had said after another moment of almost silence. "Mostly I hear of travelers spending the night in the huts. Using them as a sanctuary to escape the night's creatures or local villagers who have gotten lost and need somewhere to hide out until the paths become familiar again. But yes, I have also heard of these settlements being used as somewhat of a base for lower level bandits who don't have the resources to built their own shelter" 

The soft words lingered on the air with hints of confidence and a flash of a girlish smile, pulling at the pale curves of a normally passive expression. Lightening the sterness behind the covered eyes. But it was fleeting. Gone a moment later when his first line of reasoning fully sunk in.  

" There it was again. Those soft words, faltering in emotion but true in conviction. Carving through the after another moment of quiet..
"I trust you with my life. This you know. But I wont put my hopes in rumours and third hand information. I am getting tired of going out with lies and coming back to the same place. Carrying nothing but disappointments and another bad night. So tell me, how true do you think they are this time? Can we really trust this information they gave us?"

Her answer would have to wait

Quite suddenly, the young female felt another... stranger presence subtly slither closer and her unlikely companion draw to a calculated stop beside her, before calling out a woman's name that she didn't recognize.
But as soon as he said it, that presence grew stronger, and she could feel him tense and shifting his larger hand to rest on her shoulder for reassurance. It was a rather simple, yet kind and thoughtful gesture. One she honestly appreciated but did not really need. Shizuka already knew that while he was there, there was nothing to be frightened of. Not even these strange ephemeral entities that she was yet to fully understand. Not even when they started talking about her and what she might some day be able to accomplish. 
So with that taste of confidence forcing back the lump of anxiety in her throat... she took half a breath and placed her own hand on his before taking a quarter step forward to address the feminine creature. 

However, before the words could escape her lips, she allowed her chakra, her fragmented consciousness, to spill out first. Tipping from her slight form to trickle in to the air... to the small bird that rested contentedly at her shoulder. Watching with obedient eyes as the woman cracked and craned her neck around the trees towards the two shinobi. It was through the seemingly innocent avian that she would see just who... just what she was addressing. 

"Madame Nagako" she started to say, bowing slightly to the strange yokai. "My friend and I have been tasked with the unsavory mission of ridding the forest of some of the more... detestable shinobi. And although we are merely required to just free the forest of their presence... there is a possibility that they carry some vital information... important secrets I have been searching for, for many months. We are here today Madame, to ask for your assistance in this endeavor. Will you please help us in finding these miscreants and extracting the information exchange for the gift that we brought for you." 

The words faded but her conviction remained as she stood there, empty eyes gazing sightlessly forward. Her hand still resting lightly... timidly against Shakais fingers. Oh yes. He would feel her concerns and sense her worry. But her voice... her stance, betrayed nothing. 
What if her fears were realised and their secrets were worthless? What if it was another fools errand for those ungrateful shinobi that the yokai woman spoke of? What if it was just like the other times before? Al these questions raced through what was left of her mind.....but that wasn't what was really concerning the young shinobi. What she really wanted to ask... was what would happen if it was true and that they did know something? What if they provided enough light to reveal another path? What if she found enough that she could turn enough of the half filled pages and move on to the next chapter? The answer was always there in front of her. 

Change  and  Adjust. 




Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) ShizukaSig

Locker . Profile . Jutsu
Genjutsu S - Ninjutsu B / Doton S  - Fuuton C

5Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:16 am



Special Jounin
Upon hearing Shizuka's reply Nagako's eyes glistened with the spark of unbridled mischief. All around rustling and chittering permeated the foliage as creatures unseen began to gather en-mass. 

"How delightful"

Crooned the Rokurokubi her gaze fixed on the Houkyaku maiden.  

"A secret must never stay buried. They are like a corpse that way - if they don't unearth themselves in time then one must lend a helping hand in the exhuming. Why both I and my companions would be honored to help you in such an exploit." 

Nagako's serpentine neck curled around looping as if in imitation of the smoke rights her tobacco produced. It was difficult in the patchwork light seeping through the forest canopy to tell whether Shizuka or Nagako possessed the more pale skin. Both would be the envy of high ladies in court who no doubt spent hours cajoling their maids to lather their faces with powders and creams in hopes of achieving the alabaster sheen possessed in the two naturally. 

"In fact I rather think the rabble with me would have been rather upset if they were to be left out of the fun. Scaring hapless bandits is a great way to let off some ... shall we say steam?"

And with that Nagako began to fade from vision. Unlike a ninja this was not the byproduct of some illusion or preternatural speed but rather the transition between physical and spiritual. Doubtless she would manifest again when the time came to take action. Before her final vestige of essence vanished a faint voice could be heard speaking to Shizuka.

"We Yokai are spirits that react to the dreams and desires of humankind. When you encounter the bandits simply imagine in your minds eye what forms of apparition you wish to plague them and it will be so. Shakai's had experience with this sort of thing before plenty of times but what would be the fun in just letting him taking total control over this little gathering. From now until these miscreants run screaming to Iga your will shall guide us."

And then there was simply no trace of the Rokurokubi left at all. 

Shakai's attention once more fully focused on Shizuka. While Nagako was certainly no fool he wondered if putting the Yokai at her command was the right thing to do. It was not that Shakai did not trust her - indeed she was eminently sensible and composed compared to most girls her age. But she had seen and experienced things that most people her age could and should not have to bare. Nurarihyon only knew what kind of beings she would attract. Even if she did call forth something nasty she might be able to control it in any case given the blessing of Nagako and her own will. 

Besides if anything did go wrong he would be there to support her. Just as her very presence was helping to bring him back to the warmth of life and away from the sleep of ages that would likely consume him. That Shizuka was nearing the end of her hope for answers reinforced Shakai's resolve to stay with her - he knew or rather suspected in his gut that this mission was fated. Shizuka would achieve her goal come hell or high water - this world was made of stories after all. And the story would be much more interesting should Shizuka have the chance to face her aggressors.

Opening his mouth Shakai responded to the question Shizuka had asked before the Yokai woman appeared.

"The truth is I don't know if the information is legitimate or not. It did go through the Konoha bureaucratic pipeline so there is clearly some grain of truth to it. However It's my feeling that it was more the tides of fate that have led us to these miscreants. The forces governing this world are not entirely without compassion and vengeance is something that even such inhuman entities can understand. "

Motioning to the small avian with Shizuka , Shakai asked enquiringly .

"Do you think you could use that bird to gain an aerial view of the bandits dwellings? That would give us a massive advantage in combat.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

6Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:01 am



She could still see her

Even after she had faded from the clearing and her voice was nothing but a sweetened echo in her memory, the young Houkyaku could still see her as if she were standing right there. That elongated slender neck, curving around the tree trunks like a curious white python, the bones clicking... grinding together. The oddly scented smoke coiling about her red painted lips and wax sleeked ebony hair. This woman was nothing like the myriad of monstrosities that she had glimpsed through Shakai's eyes during the few times she had borrowed his sight. This woman was different... unique... the rokurokubi as he he called it, looked almost human. In fact, she looked even more human than some of the living she had met before.
It was all very ironic really. They came to this creature for help... for answers and yet, all the chuunin got from their meeting was a strange power and even more concerns. Questions like: how big was the world she had stepped in to? And how much more would she need to learn? How many of these creatures looked like her and how could she tell from the crowd of footsteps that thundered around her every day. She had spent months locked in a dark room when she was younger and yet even now she still felt like she never fully escaped the confines of those four empty walls. 

A small part of her wanted to go back there... 
But that was never going to happen. Her path was set and she would follow it to the end. 

It took a moment. But one again, the mellow deep tones of her companion's voice broke through her silent reverie, and brought her attention to the present moment and her current concerns. 
He was right, of course. There was no way of actually knowing if what they were told was true. Chinese whispers crawling from one political figure to the next, all they had to go on was the eyes, ears, and assumptions of a faceless person at the beginning of the line... and the force that is Fate. Destiny.  If this change was meant to happen and it was time to proceed on the path she had laid for herself; then it would happen one way or another. Until then, all she could hope to do was learn what she could and be prepared for the next twist and turn to come her way. 

"I know, Shakai. I just don't like these feelings of uncertainty. I mean... Even if their information was correct and I could see where they are hiding; There is just so much detail that could be missed. So much left to chance. And chance is a fickle thing. No. I prefer knowing. I prefer to be prepared....." 
The words stumbled, slipped and fell away as she looked back through the trees for a moment. Paused between a breath as if a far away sound had caught her attention and she was listening for the chance to hear it again. But the moment was gone, and with a sigh, the hold was released and her attention was back to her strange friend once again. Her stern expression slowly melting away in to a pale smile. 
  "So I guess it's a good thing I have you as friend, huh Shakai? Now, let's see who wants to come out to play"

With those words left to hang loosely in the air between them, Shizuka reached across to the small red breasted robin sitting nestled on her shoulder and carefully picked it up so it rested lightly on her finger. 
The avian in question, was named Niiro and for the most part he seemed quite content to let the black sapphire haired woman gently pat his crimson dark feathers with the back of her fingertip. But no sooner had the woman withdrawn her loving caresses and whispered a word of direction, the flighty bird shot in to the air and disappeared above the tangle of verdergris foliage above them. Leaving the human owner to stop and stand... very... very still. 

"You can't see much from up here" Shizuka had started, half mumbling to no one in particular. "The trees get in the way. I can only see the patches where the light can reach. But it's enough. It's enough so that that we can see the man made path just ahead of you that curves off around the trees.... oh? Interesting. It reminds me of the path Nagako's neck took. 
Now, further through the trees, deeper in to the forest there is a small clearing... and then a line of trees that curtain the sanctuary. Oh yes, Shakai. They are definitely here. I can see the smoke coming from the trees and the rooftops of the few rotting cabins down below. How many of them are there? I can not tell for sure. But they are armed and they are not too many. Lets see how brave these souls are"

From her vantage point above the world, she called upon the spirits whom she was charged with and imagined a mist. A scarlet tinted fog, curling through the tree trunks, mingling with smoke. Creeping like the breaths of the rokurokubi in to their falsely safe houses and around the legs. But then as these tendrils glanced across the hiding bandits filth ridden skin, a skeletal hand would grab once, then let go before disappearing. Vanished in to the clouded ground like it was never there. It was not much. But a touch enough to wake them and a feeling enough to draw them in to the nightmare she would prepare for them. An honour made for only them. 

"I need you now Shakai. Guide me to the tree line to somewhere I can hide. Watch them as they scurry from their homes like insects and then... crush the week. They are not who we need this night"

Oh no. The ones who deemed themselves more worthy, would only be worthy of the nightmare there was to come. 

Her Nightmare.


Words: 1026
Total: 3410


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) ShizukaSig

Locker . Profile . Jutsu
Genjutsu S - Ninjutsu B / Doton S  - Fuuton C

7Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:56 am



Special Jounin
Old Jiro sat slumped up against one of the shack walls a bottle of cheap sake clutched in one hand. Liver spots marred his tattooed skin causing inked dragons to sprout what seemed to be cancerous tumors. Those who first looked at Jiro would mistake him for a kindly old man with a gap toothed smile, wispy dandelion hair and cheery eyes. Aged he might be but with a cruelty that was black as pitch. A decade spent as a pimp had left numerous dead prostitutes at his feet and after he was accepted into the Yakuza he moved on to killing for hire gutting those who could not pay their gambling debts.

Now he was working in the Intel field training rookies - Jiro hated every minute of it. Several feet away Toshi and Sachiko two younger members under his watch coupled nosily in a decaying futon.  Having worked in a bordello for so long carnal acts didn't bother Jiro at all and instead of paying any heed he merely sipped the rice liquor.

Then the red mist began to creep in. At first Jiro payed it no heed, his vision was not what it used to be and the light could easily play tricks. However as he continued to drink the crimson fog only became thicker. Then something tugged at at his obi jerking the dirty fabric towards the ground. He only caught a glimpse of the emaciated hand but it was enough to make his blood run cold. 

There was a shriek from Sachiko and she sprung naked from the futon staring down as if struck by a viper. Toshi merely gaped as the clawed digits ran their chilling touch across his side. 

Old tales began to run through Jiro's head swarming like wasps with their stinging portents. Everyone knew hauntings were bad news and triply so when it involved a company of unabashed sinners such as his crew. No priest or exorcist would come to their aid and he was not wealthy enough to enlist the services of a necromancer. 

All the stories said that ghosts were hungry. They would want to feast and he didn't want to be anywhere near the killing ground when it happened. Rushing to the door he ignored the two rookies cries for guidance.

Shakai could not keep the grin from his face as Shizuka described the path as similar to the rokurokubis neck. It was a moment of mirth rarely seen in the blind girl. All the more precious for it. 

In response to her words Shakai his his hand firmly clasping Shizuka's led the Houkyaku behind a clump of Jizo statues and shrines to local kami long fallen into disuse. Shakai could already see the vermilion miasma begin to creep through the huts limiting the scoundrels vision. This was a solid first play on Shizuka's behalf. Surely she among all people understood the terror that came with reduced sight for what manner of terrors could hide within the shrouded veil?

The corpses grasp was a wonderful follow up to this. It confirmed the dread that something both supernatural and malicious was afoot but not enough so that the full impact of the horror had been served. It seemed that Shizuka possessed a natural talent for this. Perhaps being able to vent some of the frustration that she had borne for so long was in a way necessary catharsis?

"Allright Shizuka I have put you behind some statuettes and shrines for cover. With your for there's little chance that they will be able to spot you and I imagine that they will be very distracted with their own little nightmare world. I'll give some orders to the yokai and then head in to crack some skulls. If you can keep me covered from blindsides and direct this little shadow play from on high then I think we shouldn't have much trouble with these vagabonds. "

Jiro stumbled from the hut adrenaline screaming for him to flee as far away as possible. Other bandits fumbled for katana and tanto but even now he could see a massive armored figure loom out of the darkness and grab one of his fellows by the neck before pulling him from view. 

His egress was blocked by a gaunt form. A woman wearing a floral kimono and smelling of cheap perfume. And he with dread Jiro realized he recognized her.

"King Yama save me...."

The figure turned to face him. It was Yumi - a whore from back in his brothel days. She had tried to run away and thus he had sliced open mouth to crotch in order to make an example to the others. Now her mouth lacking a bottom jaw simply extended all the way vertically down her body each side left and right lined with razor sharp teeth that glistened wet and ready. Her voice sounded like echoes bubbling up from a sewer drain.

"King Yama has no mercy for murdering bastards such as yourself"

And she reached for him with a cold clammy hand.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

8Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:55 pm




She could see everything


The crimson stained mist, sweeping across the muddy surface like a shallow misplaced tide, and the humanoid like creatures scattering through it's swirls like pebbles. The torchlight sun beams illuminating flickers of steely silver and ivory white and the flashes of elements as they fought off their nightmares. From her circling vantage point, just above the tree tops, the young Houkyaku could see the fear oozing from their miniscule forms as they gripped  their swords, carried their words, and scurried for the tree line, as if the eerily still giants would protect them from what clawed its way from the roots.  Those poor pathetic creatures, they were so scared. So frightened. They were so terrified that she could taste their panic. And it was beautiful. There was chaos unfurling down there. A mesmerising mess. And the kunoichi was so gloriously enthralled by it, that she almost missed the grounding voice of her companion, breaking through a distant part of her consciousness. Telling her the plan from a different perspective, his intentions.... She almost didn't catch the feeling of the reassuringly heavy hand being placed on her shoulder and guiding her somewhere closer. Somewhere so protected that not even she could see. It was a simple gesture, and despite the request, his thoughtful actions kept her safe... and now it was her turn to keep him safe. 

With a gentle tug on the small bird's mind, she guided her eyes down to a branch that allowed her a closer view of the clearing, the chaos... and a better position to keep an eye on the larger Shinobi as he calmly, cooly revealed his potential. Adding to the sadistic assault on the bandit's nerves with his own unique twist. If anyone dared come close, or dared disrupt the performance, if anyone tried to hurt him... the onyx beaded gaze would see. And she would ensure an end to their intentions. Because even though her determined mind focused on protecting her ally and searched for a familiar face; she couldn't help but watch in awe as the spirit clawed out of from the mist and approached one of the elder members of the gang.
How could he know this woman existed? How did he know their relationship? Where did she come from or was she always here and it just escaped her gaze like her prey always did? The questions were as strong as the burnt metallic scent hanging in the air and she needed to see it play out till it's end. She wanted the woman to devour him whole

But first, she needed to play her part

"Shakai. Can you still hear me?"
she called strongly, yet softly as she could as to not give away her position. "Don't stray too far, let them come to you. Let our friend's do the work and then you can play your part. I saw what these people are like, Shakai. They are not people, they just look like them. If they beg for mercy.... they don't deserve it"

So, with her eyes set on the other and her body leaning securely against a statue, she waited impatiently and allowed the performance to continue. 
She would watch as the spirit woman, split in two, grabbed for the older man who backed away, edging blindly towards a corner. Self made soldiers swinging their sword through the mist and the whore running screaming from their shelters. It was almost a shame how they couldn't see that their futile attempts wouldn't save them. And it was only going to get worse. 
Turning her attention, for a moment, to her physical self; she called upon the nearby yokai once again to ask for their aid. This time, she imagined something flying through the air. Leathery bat like wings as cold as the glaciers themselves. Brushing past their arms, skimming over head. She brought them out of their sanctuary and now the chuunin would drive them to their knees. They wouldn't even be allowed the honour of getting close to her friend. But the female was not done yet. There were too many who sought comfort within the cover of trees. So she pictured long, gnarled and twisted limbs growing from the trunks. Winding and twirling together to catch and ensnare any who thought they could get away. Like the old man and cowards like him. 


She hadn't noticed it before. While he was scurrying about cursing, it was harder to see, but now with the trees grasp grabbing him from behind and the woman reaching for him.... Shizuka could recognize the scars on his face and the cracks in his sword. The badly healed collar bone and the darkly chilled look in his eyes. And his voice.... there was no mistaking it. When he screamed out to his fleeing comrades, and cried for mercy from the vengeful harlot; the young girl's body went as cold and as rigid as the wings that flew unseen through the air. This man was there that night. Holding her father down while the others violated her mother. Making him watch as they violated her. He could have stopped them from stealing her sight but the man just stood there and watched with that same scarred grin and that pathetic cowardly look in his eyes. His actions were cruel. And the consequences would be fatal. 

"Wait. That man.... Don't harm him yet. You will have you fill but first.... he must pay penance for what he has done" she begun by addressing the woman who was about to devour the helpless soul.
"Shakai it's him. He is the one we want. Do what you will with the rest. Ensure none leave here intact.... but that man. He is who hold the answers I seek. I want to be the one that carves the answers out and leave him for the mercy of the spirits and it's fangs" 

She was shivering. Trembling all over. It was hard enough to keep her focus split on watching him and searching for the strangers face in the mass of the unknown, but now it was even more difficult. Of course she wanted to keep watch over her ally and make sure no one tried to blind side him, but every time she kept feeling like; if she looked away, he would be gone. And the search would start all over again. Shizuka wanted to keep her eyes on the man, and watch the fear twist his expression in to something inhuman. She wanted to watch his torture as he stood there and watched her own. She didn't want to have to start all over, all over again. Not when she had waited this long. But no. Shizuka needed Shakai more. And it was just enough knowing that he wasn't going anywhere just yet. 

"Clear this area. When there is no one left standing.... that is when we will get our answers" 

And then it would be her turn once again




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9Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:09 am



Special Jounin
The dilapidated hamlet had become a charnelhouse nightmare. A seething abyss of screams ululating from strained throats of the living, dead and things to which were beyond such simple notions. Many of the lesser yokai that had initially been enthralled by the prospect of a nights playful mischief terrifying the foolish bandits had already begun to flee. This was no mere mummers show , no pageantry designed to simply eke out terror without the sting of true danger. This was a sorcerous attack fulled by the darkest of human emotions made pure venom by the barley repressed trauma. 

It had surprised many of the lesser yokai that such pain could nestle and incubate in such a slight figure as Shizuka. Her astral presence set against the dusk a - a lighthouse casting obsidian beams that acted as a summons to all the ancient things that delighted in such bleak and tortured Emotions.

And come the abominations did. 

Deep beneath the soil grey fingers began to writhe. Rusted chains began to snap as the spell that had bound the creature fell away. Exorcism nails long turned an oche hue with age and crusted black with ichor moved as the the skin they pierced flexed and stretched. And from the earth the Yomotsu-Ikusa erupted. Standing eight feet tall and stinking of despoiled tombs the gaunt figure had no head as such merely four eyes adorning its neck. The rusted blade in its right hand bore more similarities with a saw than a katana and the aura of malice it exuded was palpable.

Once it has served it's creator - the goddess Izanami lady of the underworld in her quest wreak vengeance on her unfaithful husband Izanagi. It understood a woman's pain all to well and it knew that the only balm to ease this malady was brutal and decisive retribution. So as a fleeing bandit stumbled past the infernal warrior its blade smashed into the the wretch's legs shattering his kneecaps with a sicking sound. Again and again it brought the saw toothed blade down on the miscreants back the teeth of the weapon tearing cloth and flesh even as the impacts ruptured the victims organs. The bandit wretch unable to deal with the agony slipped from the mortal coil and in an eyeflash the Yomotsu Ikusa had another unfortunate bastard within its vicelike grasp.

It killed for its goddess Izanami who dwelt within the dark halls of Yomi. 

It killed for Shizuka whose pain so deep and encompassing that she resembled an avatar of goddess.

The courtesan seemed so out of place within the confines of the nightmarish hellscape. She was made up in the height of noble fashion and wearing the finest silk kimono embroidered with a tasteful if somewhat odd web motif. One perfectly painted eyebrow rose as a bandit tried to shove her roughly out of the way in his attempt to flee his fate. 

Ivory white hands wrapped around the brigands bearded face and as the noblewomans crimson lips found his her obi seemed to fall away causing her kimono to open and engulf the pair. When the embrace broke the bandit fell to the ground - his belly bloated and distended. From the thugs gaping mouth came a scuttling tide of black hairy forms. The Jorogumo - it's eight bristled legs moving it daintily across the ground away from its young now smiled revealing poisoned mandibles instead of teeth.

Finally and perhaps most shockingly was the specter that was rising towards the far side of the camp. What had once been a mass grave consisting of the bandits victims from the forest had taken on a sinister life of its own. Bones began to form themselves into a roughly humanoid shape towering above anything else in the clearing . A composite skeleton made of dozens of smaller remains. 

With a ghastly ease it broke a fleeing woman's back. Then a lad not much older than fifteen was lifted from the ground and literally torn into two by the apparitions unholy strength. The Gashadokuro sharing in Shizukas rancor meted out punishment with no regard for human life. 

Shakai's head was pounding as if someone were pounding mochi cakes in his skull. The amount of negative chakra in the area had become intense. Whatever those fools had done to Shizuka they were reaping their rewards now. Some rational part of his mind told Shakai that he needed to stop this as he was meant to be protecting the human realm from evil spirits instead of encouraging them. But at the moment he just couldn't bring himself to do it.  

Not that he had much control over the situation now in any case. The Houkyaku girl had become a nexus of negative energy and he needed all of his willpower to stop the new arrivals from tearing the old man who was to be questioned to shreds. 

Somewhere Nagako was screaming at him to help Shizuka regain her composure so that the forest wasn't overrun with more unclean spirits. But as his muscles both physical and spiritual strained with the force of giving one entirely undeserving old man a short while longer to live all he could do was smile.

For the first time in a very long while he felt truly alive.

Let Shizuka have her vengeance, let those who preyed upon the innocent learn the fear of knowing that the night was no longer theirs.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

10Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:16 am




Stop it. Stop this

That is enough


She wasn't quite sure what inspired those half muttered words to slip by her pale down turned lips. Why her stomach had re-tightened and her mind slowly reforming to be one again. There was just.... so much going on down there... so much unraveling before her; at first she thought it was regret. That maybe she regretted summoning forth the monstrous sized yokai from the dankly damp soil, only to watch it lurk between shadowy wooden pillars and see it effortlessly swing its weapon to harvest the skeletons of the fleeing cowards. Or maybe she was uncertain of allowing the horrifically beautiful painted woman to pass through the mist and feed on any man that would dare step over the lifeless husks and fall for her graces. For a brief few moments Shizuka had thought that it was perhaps the fear of the bloodied ivory skeleton that tore apart the bandits and cast them aside like broken toys that had caused her view of the macabre scenery to distort in to something other.... but she was wrong. It wasn't the regret... or uncertainty... or fear. It was anxiety. 
Worry. Right here, right now, in this moment; she had never been so close to delivering justice to the people responsible. She had never been so close to finally taking another step in retrieving what she lost.

Never had she ever been close to gaining something

But so close to losing everything



She knew the voice was hers. She could feel the breath build in her lungs, and the vibrations from down her throat. The complicated twisting movement of her tongue, her lips gently forming words....  and yet it sounded so far away. Distant. Alien. So strange and out of place. It almost sounded like it came from someone other than the waif like petite figure that wandered carefully out from her hiding place and across the otherwordly feasting ground. Almost floating with her footsteps making no sound on the bloodied grass and sightless gaze fixated on her still breathing prey. Closer.... closer... closer. For a moment, halfway to her target she paused in her path. Stopping to stand to the side of her valiant protector, ally and friend, and allowed her fingers to come up and lightly brush the inside of his hand. Almost embracing his steadying fingertips but not quite. It was just one ghostly touch, one fleeting glance, a small but meaningful gesture then the figure slowly... slowly.... slowly continued to walk closer to the man still bound to the crimson stained tree.
The scene was drawing to a close but there was still answers to be heard. So, with the small robin flitting down to land on the female's shoulder the conclusion to this play was set. It was his turn to take the stage and Shizuka Houkyaku couldn't hardly contain her impatience. 

"Are you ready? It's time for you to play your part"

There was not a sound to be heard. The monstrous yokai creatures, stopped to stand frozen in their stance. The finger bone flowers withdrew in to the corpse littered ground. Even the frost brushed leathery batwings seemed to have flown back to the trees they came from. It was like the wind in the trees and the grass itself was holding its breath to see what else the female had in mind. What other terrors she would bring forth from the other side. Little had they known....
The female walked right over to the bandit leader, and stopped just before him. Allowing the rest of the world to appreciate the quiet as she did. Then.... slowly... Shizuka reached behind her head and untied the heavy black blindfold. Allowing it to fall away in to her hands so she could look at him... stare at him through the gaping abyss holes of where her eyes had once been. 

"Shakai" She quietly spoke, the voice rippling the stillness. "Please, make sure he doesn't stop seeing. He will watch as they watched. Ane he will speak when he is spoken to/"
  And what he saw would be the worst of all the frightening creatures. 
A small girl, no older than ten, dressed in a pure white kimono with black, bloody broken winged crows clawing their way from the ruby teared hollows. What he saw was the girl that they had left in the snow all those years ago, back to pry the truth from his jaws. 
  "You remember me don't you? That night where you took your men in to the little house by the mountains. Keeping so quiet that not even the floor boards creaked. You remember what you did right? What you let them do to her.... To me. Why did you let them? How could you just sit there and watch. Did you enjoy it that much?"
Carefully, she knelt down to meet him in the eye. To watch the terror on the man's face as one of the crows reached out its claw to slash at his cheek bone. Drawing a thin hair line of blood.  
  "You remember where they went. You will tell me"


At first, he said nothing. Adding to the silence with gasps of terror and grunting with the struggles. Trying to break free from the wooden limbs that held him tight. But there was no breaking the grip. No getting free. There was no escaping the claws that reached out to carve him open or the genteel ice voice that seemed to patch the emptiness of her gaunt features. He didn't know what it was, but there was something in the silence that stole his voice away. His breath. 
Even if he wanted to answer the strange death, he could not. 
  "Shakai" he heard her implore the elder shinobi again. "Have you heard of the technique called 'death of a thousand cuts'? For every second that passes and until this man has answered... and repented. We shall deliver this punishment"
And so once again, the crow reached out but this time, it squeezed and pulled and clawed its razor beak out from behind the girl's facade before racing forward to cut him once again but this time across his arm. And another a second later....and another....and another....
There was no stopping them no matter how hard he begged. It would soon be clear that there was no point in begging for mercy. There would be none here. Only a moment to breath to be granted to the screaming male. A moment to hear that last question.

"Where are my eyes" 




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11Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:21 am



Special Jounin
It was inconceivable. Were it not for the continuous lacerations given to him by his avian tormentors Jiro would have simply written the entire blighted experience off as a terrible fever dream. The pain was real however and instead of causing him to lose focus and lapse into blessed unconsciousness each gash gave him a hideous clarity. 

Even the demented apparitions who had been nothing but a tumult of bones claws and sable hair stood out in stark detail. But the locus of his terrors was the waxen skinned maiden in front of him. One moment a young woman and the next merely the slip of a girl he had wronged years ago. 

Pinpointing such a victim in an ocean of atrocities was no simple feat. However for some reason beyond his comprehension he did remember. He had taken his turn like the others... little more than a formality really - show the others that he wasn't going soft. By that time he was already getting on in years and any sign of weakness was enough for a young thug to get stupid ideas and put a knife in his back. At his age he was only a shatei gashira a lower field officer. He would never climb any higher in the criminal hierarchy.
For her to be back here now was just too much. Justice didn't exist within this world - that was merely the pretense of the religious and those to weak to accept that reality was harsh, brutal and filled with suffering. Then it hit him. This didn't need to be justice - the suffering had merely caught up to him and was beginning to engulf his entire being with a vengeance. And those two merciless pits black upon black each gaping wide, obscene holes rent in the fabric of hell. 

Fabrications eluded him. And the truth poured from his mouth like locusts from a barren field.

"I watched. Buddha help me I did more than watch. For the love of Amida flay my flesh but avert your gaze. I confess I carried out orders. I didn't see what happened to your eyes - I swear I needed to go take a piss. Before I left I heard Junko tell Daichi and Kenta to make you squeal. She wanted you for her whorehouse but apparently you were too fragile for her to make a profit."

Jiro gave a wet gasp as one of the crows ripped the lobe of his left ear and another tore a strip of flesh from the back as would a child an orange rind. 

"They work in Iwa now. Please just kill me and be done with. By Kannon just end me now I can't stand this. Those eyes..."

Looming over the man Shakai kept one vice-like hand upon the old sinners shoulder. 

By all rights things should still be pandemonium with the inhabitants of Konoha at risk from seige from evil spirits. Each of the three new yokai arrivals were formidable entities in their own right. Shizuka's force of will was proving to be enormous. He didn't know exactly how much longer she could hold them back or if she could banish them to the depths from whence they came. If not he would have to do so himself - a task he was capable of but did not relish in the slightest.

What he was bearing witness to was a raw talent for black magic and a gulf of malice a mile deep. What Shakai should have done was take Shizuka as far away from this as possible so she could heal and perhaps retain what little kept her to the human world. Both of the twin underworlds - the criminal and the supernatural so often inter-meshed would be the damnation of Shizuka's humanity. It would be so easy for her to simply slip into his twilight world become a spook, a shade a damned and broken thing kept fed by the occult - preying on those who had transgressed like some nursery tale haint.

Did she really have any future left as a human? 

Had her human self really died long ago when her adolescent body was defiled and her mind fractured from seeing her parents maimed and cast down like trash?

You damned hypocrite why did you give her the yokai candies? Why did you take her here where she would feel more pain? 

Was this vengeance something that Shizuka needed or was it merely your way of pushing her over the brink? 

Shakai cursed himself for a true and irredeemable bastard.

But he did not stop the torture.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

12Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:34 am



Regret. Guilt. 
They were powerful things


She wanted to believe him. Trust in the words that tumbled from his lips like a cracked fountain. The secrets from that summer night in the mountains. After all this time she wanted to believe that finally, finally after days, months, years; of stumbling around with eyes closed and open hands, the porcelain pale female had thankfully found a solid footing in her fated path once again. But faith was never something that came easily.
The gleam of fear in his eyes at facing down the monstrous fiends on the blood stained battlefield. The shred of guilt in his mumbling lips while he warily watched the beautifully grotesque courtesan inch closer and closer. The regret he felt when he stared in to the eyes of the child he took pleasure in once upon a time. These were strong emotions.. powerful feelings that could make a man say anything to get out of any situation. They could be anyone in order to get out of something inevitable. Their actions, the way they spoke, the words they chose. It could all be a performance with adrenaline fueling the truth and desperation tainting hope. So in the end, the only thing that could tell you what was true and what were lies, was the deep lingering belief that you were right. 

"Yes. Yes, I remember. You did more than watch. I remember...."

The images came, but the words were stuck. 
She could see the flashes of people banging at her door and the wind that followed the men in. The swarm of faces and the forest of legs filling the small space of her home. She could see the expression in her mothers features right before she began to scream for someone, anyone to help them. All those sounds and feelings, the memories. The blurred movements and the fragments of clarity, they all streamed through her mind like an burning film and yet; she could not bring herself to speak it out loud. She couldnt say it even if she wanted to. Even if......
That was it. It stopped. The images racing through her thoughts were suddenly halted by the hand reaching to her cheek, brushing away the dried salted lines tracing down to her lightly trembling jaw. For a moment there, she just stood watching him cower in his slowly shrinking world. As the crows slowly stopped their barrage to be replaced by tears, the female followed him with her empty sockets until finally, the woman slowly turned away and fumbled to replace the blindfold around her eyes. 
There was nothing more to gain here. Not anymore. 

"Listen to me. All of you" the chuunin's voice echoed strongly throughout the clearing. The residual anger keeping the shaking in her voice at bay. 
"Your task here is done and you did it well. Take from the dead, a prize of your choosing and leave this place at once. There is nothing left for you here so leave. My friend does not wish the pains of banishing you"
And then she turned back to him.
  "I am a woman of my word. He is yours. Partake of your vengeance but then you too must leave. This place for the time being is my home and i wish for it to be free of your hauntings and others. Now... let us be" 

Shizuka was patient. Calm. With the temperance of a statue, the Houkyaku stood and waited for the creatures to leave the area. Dragging along what bodies they could carry back to the world they came from. 
And when they were finally gone; that was when she moved. She ran as fast as she could out of the area and out of the massacre and back to the place where she hid. So only the little bird perched comfortingly on her shoulder could see the shaking of her slight form and the hands that covered the shameful state of her features. What had she done? What would she do next? What was this feeling that filled the space where her chakra once was? Whatever it was, it was enough to urge the woman to let go of the chakra hold on the world and creatures around her and drop away in to the darkness once more. Because in some strange way, the abyss she had grown up in seemed more comforting than the world that lay beyond the open barrier of trees. 

"Shakai" the voice called out after a while, the familiar tones returning to the shivering words once again. "Can you.... can you please take me home.  I'm tired. I.... I don't want to be here anymore" 

She didn't want to look at her horrors any longer than she had to.
What had happened that day was terrifying. The creatures her anger had brought out were frightening. But the thing that truly unnerved the porcelain female the most, what really drove that aching desire to go home; was that in some way.... in some twisted unlikely way.....

She enjoyed it. 


Words: 848


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) ShizukaSig

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13Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Empty Re: Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) on Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:32 pm



Special Jounin
And so they slunk away into the darkness. Ancient chthonian things returning to the solitude of ages. Mayhap they would re-awaken in several centuries or just as likely they would slumber till the great ninja villages and the people who had once lived there were but dust on the wind.

In the dim illumination of the gibbous moonlight Shizuka was little more than a wraith. So frail it seemed that a sudden movement would shatter her porcelain exterior. Her request to be taken home was expected and indeed even if she had not made it Shakai would have insisted that she went back to her abode to recuperate after such a harrowing night.

As he lifted her into his arms Shakai could not marvel at how similar Shizuka was to her avian companion. It was a wonder that she did not simply drift away on the breeze. Shakai could not help but inwardly curse the transience of the human condition. It seemed unreasonable that she should be wracked with the afflictions of age. She had already lost so much and still time was to ravage her.
And this was to a degree selfishness.As terrible as this would be for Shizuka he did not wish to stay unchanging while she grew and aged. Having to put her in the ground while he had barley aged a day would probably send him off the deep edge into madness.

"Don't worry Shizuka I'll make sure to take us both home safely."

In the forest Shakai could see Nagako's silhouette among the trees. Her neck writhed and coiled in an agitated fashion though she didn't speak.

Shakai knew what she was thinking.

Nakagako had believed that they were merely going to frighten some ruffians out of the woods. What had actually occurred was a hellish bloodbath perpetrated by malign entities that fed on hatred and vengeance.

Though it lacked much of the formal rituals seen in the modern age the event was fueled by black magic in one of it's most primal forms. Shakai was meant to be here to protect the residents of the ninja villages from such occurrences not help perpetrate them. Human kind had their own laws to punish the guilty without interference from supernatural parties.

And where had these legal systems got Shizuka?

Shakai had not seen the Kage round up a force of elite ninja to track down those who had defiled and maimed an innocent girl. It was this system in which men such as the assailants could flourish - with the knowledge that those in power were much more keen on playing their political games of intrigue. Today it could be Iwa sending spies to Kiri or tomorrow Kumo could be blocking Konoha's trade routes. These and a hundred other things were more important to those in power than the suffering of an individual.

Best just give her a house out of the way and hope that she makes herself scarce.

To hell with that.

Shakai wasn't going to apologize for what had happened tonight. They had taken matters into their own hands and if his superiors didn't like it then tough. One had to use the tools they had and if the tools were somewhat unusual then so be it.


Skulking in the Dark (Mission, Private) Rwtmw0

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