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Misoka

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Special Jounin
What had she expected? A feeling of satisfaction? A surge of power? Happiness, even?
She wasn’t sure.
Sometimes she questioned herself whether the murder of the clan leader had been the right thing to do. Imprisonment might have sufficed to get her message across.
And then she remembered how irrelevant it was to weigh the pros and cons of a decision she had already made and acted on.
Her clan was in shreds and she didn’t know how to put all these pieces back together.
Whereas one side acknowledged her as temporary clan leader, the other continued rebelling against her position. Even then, she found it impossible to distinguish between allies and foes, between people who could be trusted and the kind prone to killing you in your sleep. Misoka couldn’t bring herself to trust anybody.

In the course of only two months, she had come to realize that she was simply not the right person to handle the clan affairs. No matter how much willpower and confidence she feigned in front of her subordinates, the moment she went to bed her scars opened and the nightmares returned, constantly reminding her of the life she had only recently left behind.
There was so much more to freedom than she had known before.
She didn’t have to worry about pursuers anymore, she could go wherever she wanted – and still, the memories never stopped haunting her, making her tense up when it was safe and frown when she should be smiling.
Somewhere along the way it seemed she had lost parts of herself which she was now desperately trying to reclaim.

Her thoughts came to a staggering halt when the sound of children’s shouting echoed through the morning air.
Misoka whirled around, becoming witness to a situation that seemed to occur quite frequently in the Sand Dunes. Four boys were standing in an alleyway, three teenagers – all wearing shinobi headbands - and a child who kept crying for help.
Misoka clenched her teeth. From prior experiences, she knew that one could expect all kinds of crimes happening in the slums, but three Genin threatening an innocent child? That was definitely a first.
Part of her wondered what on earth had driven her to the slums to begin with… well, mostly the fact that she hadn’t paid attention to where she was heading.

“Shut up shit-arse and hand over the money!” One of the teens shouted while the others pushed the child to the ground.

She couldn’t watch any longer. With nothing but anger burning within her, she moved closer, making her presence known to them.
The child let out a gasp of relief. “Please help me!”
The others exchanged gazes, but there was no fear in their eyes; instead they… smiled.
Suddenly something felt off. She couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was that made the back of her neck tingle unpleasantly, but…
When the child’s cries turned into a soft chuckle for the split of a second, she knew.

“Not a bad idea to use the little boy as distraction,” Misoka noted with a frown, stopping in front of the group. “What were you going to do? Steal my money?”

Their smirks dissipated at once. “She found out,” one of them growled in frustration; the child fell quiet.

They didn’t have a plan B? Apparently not, judging from the perplexed look on their faces.
Misoka relaxed. So they were harmless after all and would probably leave any moment.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

“Earth Release: Mud Vomit.”


Their sudden choice to attack took her completely by surprise. She only managed to use her arms as a shield for her face when the sticky fluid washed over her.
The moment she opened her eyes again the boys were already running away with laughter.

This couldn’t be happening. No way.
She had just been hit with dirt. She was caked in mud and wet, her clothes were ruined, not to mention the smell.
Mouth wide open, Misoka needed a few heartbeats to let it all sink in.
And then she exploded, for the sole reason to vent her anger.  

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!”


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
http://www.youtube.com/user/KanameXSisters?feature=mhee

Seiryū

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Chatter filled his ears, the varying sounds that he had grown so used to over the past twelve years, sounds so familiar that they no longer seemed to bother him. Seiryū had grown so used to the majority of topics that came up within the Sand Dune Slums that filtering them out and getting on with his day had become second nature to him. The ease of hearing words and finely tuning them out was a godsend, for the archer would otherwise be constantly vigilant, anticipating any potential threat to him, even if the chance was non-existent. His paranoia had died down, no longer worrying about everything under the sun while turning a corner, but a few lingering issues remained, issues he knew that would continue to persist so long as he never dealt with them, or rather him. Over the course of his life – his life in the slums – that subject never disappeared, never strayed too far away. At first it had started off as innocent childhood want for acceptance, acceptance that he never received from the very first moment he could remember, perhaps even from birth. The constant thoughts about what could’ve been if he lived with his mother often took over, thoughts of a shadowy figure who held no distinguishable features in his mind. He hoped he looked like her to a degree, such that if he ever came across her, she would recognize him – if she happened to be alive. From the moment he was put in the orphanage while not being a true orphan, the importance of the woman he never met took over, the need to at least know who she was, but even twelve years later, he didn’t have a single clue about her person, except perhaps notable features about her that he shares.

Restless from those patterns of thoughts, Seiryū’s mind slowly began wondering over to a more practical way he could try and figure out something about himself. It initially started for dislike before it developed in to something more for the man who sired him, the man who took Seiryū to the Kōga clan compound for the first eight years the boy lived, only to eventually decide he had no need of a bastard child. That loathing in the young boy had manifested in to what it became today, something that never could leave until it was ultimately settled, one way or another. He wasn’t a Kōga, none in the clan had ever accepted him as one, nor recognized him as one. Thus, he was given the family name Imada, something he wondered if he shared with his mother, or if it had been one his sire had randomly chosen upon the whim of a decision that left Seiryū in the slums.

The Sand Dune Slums hardened him, made him aware that while people attempt to do good, there will always be some form of bad that existed. He was living proof of it as far as he was concerned. His life in the slums meant he had to resort to methods to survive, pickpocketing being one of the few skills he picked up over the first seven years he spent here. His short tenure in as a thief slowly delved to being a thug of sorts, though that period lasted far shorter than his life of stealing. When Seiryū had finally decided to become a full-fledged shinobi at the age of eighteen, trying to make up for the deeds he had done, he distanced himself away from that life, though he knew it wasn’t entirely eliminated from his future.

Seiryū often wondered if he could move on from the slums, try moving to a more decent neighborhood, yet as often as the idea popped up, it immediately was discarded. Between having to pay for the essentials in his life and the missions he went on now and then, he felt he didn’t have enough to move out of the slums, nor did he feel he deserved to. It may be a self-imposed punishment, but there was also the issue that he only needed his apartment for sleeping, eating whatever meals he could concoct, and bathing. If that was the purpose of owning a place to call home, Seiryū’s current living situation would suffice.

It was taking too long, as far as he was concerned and while he could display patience, having to wait this long irritated him far too much to stick around. Without a second though Seiryū pushed himself off the wall of the shop he was in, the owner of the shop taking far too long with... well, whatever he was doing. No words were yelled by the shinobi and he pushed himself through the exit and on to one of the many crazed streets of Sunagakure no Sato’s infamous Sand Dune Slums. His right hand went to scratch his clean shaven cheeks, a minor itch suddenly arising randomly. As his purple orbs quickly scanned the streets, his feet, clad in dark brown boots, automatically carried him down the street. His bow and quiver full of arrows bounced off his back every now and then with each step, the motion not bothering him after growing used to carrying the two items for so long. To complete his overall appearance, Seiryū wore a plain teal shirt with light grey joggers. Fashion, he deemed so many years ago, was something never of utmost importance to him, favoring practicality over fashionability.

Having walked for a few minutes and nearing the area where he lived, though it still remained another five minutes away at the casual pace he set for himself, Seiryū’s ears picked up more noises from the streets and some echoing from alleyways. His lilac eyes swept over each one briefly, the turning of his head messing up his dark-brown turned whitish-silver hair, though he never spotted much of intrigue or anything that would cause him to stop for a second and watch – the possibility of intervening to help out someone was always there. Laughter echoed from one alleyway, followed by a group of four – three teenagers and a child – running out and hightailing it down the street. He could never recall having that joy when he was a child and adolescent growing up in the slums, but that also came with the price of never having any actual friends either. He could appreciate it now, but the lack of friends still persists to this day, mainly due to his want for the avoidance of eventually being forgotten about. There was nothing to forget if there was never anything there in the first place. It was one of the few, ingrained, reasons Seiryū avoided getting close to people.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME, I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!”

Seiryū hadn’t been expecting that, though he should’ve been due to the mischievous expressions gracing the four boys who had just ran the way he was initially heading towards. Heaving out a sigh, Seiryū figured he may as well check on the person and see if there was something he could do to help the woman he heard. The option of ignoring the person was available, as several others seemed to do so, but Seiryū’s mannerisms simply didn’t allow for him to ignore the woman, even if she would be fine otherwise. It may not be a cry for help, but certainly the rage behind it had to have some reason, and if he could help in some form or another, he would.

Rerouting himself to head in to the alley the boys had left, Seiryū’s lilac orbs easily spotted the female who had yelled out just moments ago. The aroma that originated from the sticky matter on her did nothing pleasing to his olfactory system. Drawing a connection between the woman’s current appearance, one that was altered by the boys who fled, and the most plausible culprits, Seiryū felt sorry for the situation she was placed in. He couldn’t make out too much of her physical appearance, though he assumed that it had entirely been ruined by the boys who fled and her anger said as much.

His steps slowed down, slowly making his way towards the female instead of rushing to her side. Rushing would just make things awkward and the possibility of her lashing out at him was definitely plausible. Asking if she was alright was thrown out the window, since no one would be alright when they had just been pranked by teenagers. His usual assessment of physical features was thrown out the window at the moment, due to wanting to help and the obstruction of her muddied appearance. The ruined clothes and smell would be enough to put anyone in an angry mood, thus he couldn’t find fault with her outrage. Usually, making light of a situation could help ease people out of it, but it could also result in the anger being directed at him and he didn’t want to be the recipient of her ire. Turning tail and leaving her be wasn’t something he could do.

Concern shown in his orbs, Seiryū paused a bit away from her, just beyond arms reach in case she lashed out physically in her rage. He figured the least he could offer was some sort of assistance, if anything, though he didn’t want to come off as too… familiar? with a complete stranger. “Hey…” His voice came out softly, hoping that she wasn’t one of those people who lashed out when they were angry. He waited a moment, waiting until she heard him before voicing his concern. “I know you’re not fine, so I won’t bother asking.” A slight smile took over his lips, hoping it would lighten the mood and calm her from the anger he initially heard. Offering to take her to his place to get cleaned up seemed to intimate, nor did he know her at all to know how she would react to such a question. Perhaps if he stated that, she would think of him as a creep, a pervert, or someone who may be wanting to take advantage of her. Or his mind simply thought too much and too deeply in to a situation. Instead of dwelling on it too long, Seiryū took a breath and decided he may as well offer whatever aid he could to her, his eyes facing continuing to look at her with the same expression they held when he approached her. “I don’t live too far away from here, so if you want...“ He trailed off, knowing he didn’t have much in the way of being able to get her clothes clean and letting the silence fill in the remainder of his offer. Getting her clothes clean, would be a bit of a problem, though not the end of the world.



1835|1835 Total


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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
As quickly as it had come, her anger evaporated, leaving a mess of other feelings in its wake, first and foremost disgust with embarrassment being a close second.
Tattered clothes she could handle – how not after having spent a great deal of time as vagrant in the past? - , but a top covered in mud, a dripping wet skirt, that was something else entirely.
The awful smell alone prompted her to wrinkle her nose, lamenting her decision to interfere, to let down her guard for a fraction of a moment… why, just why had she walked into the Sand Dune Slums in the first place?
Hesitantly, she tugged at a strand of her hair, cringing inside when all she could see was brown liquid completely covering the original hair color.
There was no denying it: The mud was all over her and there it would stay unless she found a way to clean herself up.
“A shower or a nearby river,” she thought, her mind filled with clear water and perhaps a sponge to rub off some tenacious mud stains, “…just make it fast.”
Much to her chagrin, the Karisuma compound was at least an hour away and she didn’t know of any natural sources of water close to her current location.
A shudder crept down her spine at the thought of having to return home in this state, resembling a mud monster rather than the dignified clan leader she always presented herself as.
In light of her troubled situation, she almost teared up, which was such an uncharacteristic reaction that she quickly wiped her eyes. Crying? Over something minor like that? Had she truly become so pathetic?

The sound of footsteps caught her attention. Misoka tried her hardest to put on an emotionless expression when a young man came her way at a deliberately slow pace as though she might snap like a wild animal.
And strange as it sounded, she was grateful for his careful approach.
It gave her enough time to shut out the voices in her mind that urged her to run, always, always sensing danger.

“Hey…”


She flinched and hated herself for it right afterwards. Why was she so emotional at the moment? She knew how to pretend, she knew how to hide behind a wall of indifference.
And still, her finger tips started shaking, her knees felt weak, her gaze fell to her feet.
All she could think of was the sticky mud clinging to her and the laughable sight that came along with it.
Embarrassment was an emotion Misoka found incredibly hard to deal with.
Was he here to make fun of her? A flush of anger accompanied the thought, ready to burst out if needed.

“I know you’re not fine so I won’t bother asking.”


Upon hearing his words, she lifted her head, examining him more closely. He seemed to be around her age, a shinobi as well, judging from the bow and quiver he carried with him. Her eyes lingered on his arrows for longer than it would be considered appropriate. Her first instinct was to check whether her own weapons were still there, but she quickly decided against the idea.
She was not in a fight. This person wanted to talk. How long had it been since she’d had a conversation with someone other than her clan members?
Her manners must have suffered a great deal.
Then she caught sight of a thin smile grazing the stranger’s lips, which helped directing her attention to his face. He was … handsome, she admitted, at least in her opinion. The combination of white hair and purple eyes intrigued her, giving him a mysterious look.
Even so, she couldn't help but stay wary of him and was unable to conceal it as she normally would. He didn’t laugh at her, nor did he radiate bad intentions, but it still made her wonder why he had come.
The short silence between them, which had felt like hours to her, was broken by his next words.

“I don’t live too far from here, so if you want…”


Though he trailed off, leaving part of the sentence unspoken, the meaning was clear to her.
And she couldn’t feel more surprised. He wanted to help her? He offered her the possibility to get rid of all the mud that was bothering her to no end? A shower?
Her inner voice panicked, screaming “trap” and “danger”, but she had never been quicker to silence it.
She wanted, she needed to wash the dirt and most of all, the terrible smell off her.

“I…”
In an attempt to drain any emotion from her voice, Misoka cleared her throat… to no avail. She still sounded awfully embarrassed and desperate when she gave her soft reply, “I… Thank you, I’d really appreciate it.”

She would wait for him to move and then follow, finally remembering her manners...
"I'm Misoka, by the way." ...and backtracking sheepishly. Why introduce herself now that it was even hard to make out her face among all the mud on it?
"I know that's not really of importance now."


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
http://www.youtube.com/user/KanameXSisters?feature=mhee

Seiryū

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Cornering a wild animal and giving them limited options to maneuver was never the brightest idea, for at anyone moment the creature could lash out physically, trying to make a break for it. That was how Seiryū approached this situation, though with a female human being rather than a wild animal. It was all precaution on his part, not wanting to be the new target and for simply not wanting to make the situation worse than it already happened to be. The moment the ‘hey’ left his mouth, a reaction quickly followed afterwards, she started. He didn’t notice her trembling fingers, for his vision remained elsewhere. His eyes kept watching her face, looking at her turquoise orbs rather than taking in the obvious appearance of a person drenched in, and reeking of, mud. Well, they also happened to be the only notable feature he could see that the mud wasn’t obscuring. It briefly made him wonder what she looked like without this unintended, forced makeover, but Seiryū easily erased the thought, for he was trying to help her first and he could wonder later. If she accepted his offer, he’d be able to see regardless.

His attempt to make light of the situation didn’t seem to help immediately, for instead her eyes looked over him before narrowing down on one particular point, she seemed to be looking over his shoulder. That made one of two things possible, either she was focused upon something or someone over his shoulder or the arrows popping up behind his right shoulder. Not really sensing a presence behind him, Seiryū easily assumed it was the latter of the two, though her eyes remained focused on them for far too long. Had him bringing along his equipment today be seen as a threat to the unknown female? She was already the victim of a prank of three young shinobi and a child. He wasn’t a threat, nor would he be. He’d much rather get out of here instead of fighting off the woman standing before him. Finally, her eyes trailed away from the arrows giving before focusing upon his face. Seiryū hoped his smile would help her relax and see him as trying to help. Or at least simply aid in avoiding being lashed out against.

Finally, his offer of helping her, though it mostly remained unworded, was met by a quivering voice. Seiryū waited patiently to see what she had to say, for her to catch her voice. The emotions radiating from her voice carried numerous emotions, however the presence of anger that had initially been present was no longer there. Instead the myriad of emotions told him more than enough that she wanted an out to the situation and that appreciated his offer. There was nothing saying she fully accepted it, but the desperation that had caught itself in her reply had been more than enough to accept the offer.

His smile became a bit more apparent, an apology about the events that transpired, even if they were completely out of his realm of control. “It’s just a five minute walk from here.” Seiryū mentioned without putting much thought in to it. After the words had left his mouth, he wondered if she would think five minutes would seem like an eternity or if it wasn’t the end of the world. Turning around and taking a few slow deliberate steps back to the street he’d originally been on, Seiryū wait for the stranger, whom eventually gave him the name Misoka, but there was no fully visible face to put that name to right at this moment. Her comment that followed made him supress a small laugh, wondering if it was appropriate.

“I’m sure there’s a pretty face to put that name to after you get cleaned up.” He voiced out as he was about to get back on to the street he came from, turning right on to it. Seiryū had slowed down his steps slightly, taking a more leisurely pace, though would acquiesce Misoka if she wished to move faster towards his apartment. Speaking of, getting inside would be a bit of a pain, since he didn’t want to have to deal with his landlords anger if he brought in mud, even if it wasn’t him, the blame would fall upon him. Seiryū could figure out the solution as they got closer, improvising was something he could do. His head turned to face Misoka, still walking and watching the road, but his eyes flickering towards her. He’d set a pace that she could fall in to step, or just slightly behind him if she wished, but he’d be needing to lead either way. Purple met turquoise for a few seconds, Seiryū’s smile returning once more, but far more apparent than the one in the alleyway. “I’m Seiryū. It’s a pleasure to meet you, mud and all.” He hoped putting a light tone on the current situation would work this time around, instead of potentially blowing up in his face. He wondered, briefly, if she resided in the slums or elsewhere in the village. If it was the former, she would be used to these kinds of antics. If it was the latter, he wondered what resulted in her venturing towards the slums, since no one really went here except those that lived here, criminals of varying social classes, and shinobi on duty. The first she could potentially fit, the second he doubted, and the third was the most likely, he thought.



936|2771 Total


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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
Talk about an uncomfortable situation.
Her boots squished with every step she took, leaving long trails of muddy tracks.
By now, she was certain that the brats must have used chakra-enhanced jutsus as the dirt sticked to her body like glue.
Throwing a quick glance at the stranger beside her, Misoka dreaded the one question he was most probably about to ask: what in the world had happened to her.
It was certainly a question she wished to leave unanswered. She couldn’t possibly tell him the truth.
Oh that, I’ve been attacked by a bunch of kids even though I call myself a Special Jounin. No big deal, is it? Misoka grimaced.
So she thought up lots of different lies, carefully considering which would sound the most convincing. He was a shinobi after all – a fact she had to take into account - and any half-decent ninja knew how to separate a jutsu from a natural cause.
Her ears pricked up at a soft noise coming from the stranger, a chuckle or a huff? Or had she imagined it?
His gaze drifted towards her again while she felt her stomach shift uneasily, her mind hurriedly picking the best untruth it had to offer.

“I’m sure there’s a pretty face to put that name to after you get cleaned up.”

But then none of her lies were necessary. He neither inquired directly where the mud came from nor showed any signs of wanting to know.
A mixture of surprise and relief registered on her face before she realized this wasn’t an appropriate reaction to what he’d really said.
Her lips lifted upward to respond properly to his comment, albeit a little too late, and she hoped her strange behaviour would merely be seen as shy.
The silence returned too fast. It gnawed at her insides, lay on her skin like poison and seeped into her every pore. Words began to form in her head, the words she had been desperately trying to push back to the corner of her mind. They travelled into her mouth and danced on her tongue, wanting to take flight, pleading to be let out.
Involuntarily, she parted her lips before pressing them back together again. Why did she suddenly feel the urge to say that? It was always, always like this.

Misoka swallowed, meeting the man’s gaze once more, just in time to see a clear smile stretch across his face.
She found herself return it awkwardly, fearing that when she opened her mouth, the words in her mind would break loose.
“I’m Seiryū. It’s a pleasure to meet you, mud and all.”
Misoka hadn’t expected him to save her from the silence although an introduction on his part was a natural follow-up to her prior statement.
Another surge of gratitude rose within her. Despite the awkwardness of the whole situation, he was still trying to make her feel comfortable.
And then she couldn’t help herself anymore. The words slipped out before she had the chance to resist them.

“Seiryū-kun,” she wasn’t sure why she repeated his name, perhaps to just forcefully grab his attention, “I want you to know that I don’t take any of this for granted. I can imagine how hard it must be to offer such help to a stranger, inviting me to your house when I look like this. There needs to be a way for me to repay you.”
Her voice sounded grateful and sweet for the most part, but if he was a good observer, he would hear the note of urgency in it. “How much ryo would you like for your 'services'? This is really… the least I can do.”

She smiled even though her heart sank. Why am I always doing that?
She wasn’t lying about being thankful for Seiryu’s help. But deep down, she was also protecting herself, no matter how unnecessarily. By making sure she wouldn’t owe a person, she could continue to keep them at a distance, as far from her as possible.
It was a concept so deeply carved into her brain that she had still not found a way to erase it. It had been the same with Kaizen, with Sanosuke, with Bokuden, with everyone she had met in the last few years.
The demons of her past refused to be tamed, ushering her back behind the wall she had to build between herself and the other people.
And still, she was smiling at the moment, she was saying these things out of politeness, modesty; at least that’s what everyone assumed. They never thought much of it and even laughed about her sense of justice when she insisted on repayment.
Sometimes she wished they could understand.
Sometimes she wished they could see through her layers, down to the shaking and curled up thing she called herself and relate to these emotions.

Stop it, she grumbled silently. Stop thinking and be a normal person for once.


____

Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
http://www.youtube.com/user/KanameXSisters?feature=mhee

Seiryū

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A masked puzzle expression took over him, Seiryū’s eyes watching the woman now known to him as Misoka. He didn’t question the source of the mud, simply because he had been able to put the necessary pieces of the puzzle together – the culprits hadn’t even bothered sneaking away quietly. While her expression and mannerisms denoted something shy, like a child meeting someone for the first time, Seiryū knew there was likely more to it than just that. For one, being a shinobi meant reading into things a bit more, even though Seiryū needn’t constantly assume more than what was actually occurring. The one thing that gave him this inkling of knowledge, something he learned so many years ago in the place he hated, the place he wished would disappear, was the ability to read people. Not to the extent of knowing what they are thinking, but rather her shyness eluded to some other facet of truth entirely. He wasn’t sure nor could he assume anything. He’d been displaced from that clan so many years ago, that while their ability would certainly be useful for him over the past twelve years, his use and knowledge of it dwindled. Now, all that remained of their teachings was instincts. It only occurred every so often, but Seiryū could assume that there more to it than her being shy. Perhaps it was the mud and her not wanting to be found in that situation? Who would want to be caught drenched in mud when they could be dressed to impress, for a lack of better words.

It was all met with a single moment of silence, Seiryū unsure of how to fill it now that he had offered her a place to clean up and introductions over with. While an avid socializer, at times, Seiryū had trouble starting up menial conversations to fill the silence and this happened to be one of those few rare occasions. What did one talk about to a person covered in mud?

Regardless, the time that had passed was far too short for him to think on what to talk about, for Misoka had called out for him, drawing his attention with the use of his name. The use of names always drew one’s attention, and Seiryū was no different than any other stranger in that regard. The first thing she spoke of, not wanting to take his help for granted, made sense, for any civilized human being would be gracious in response to any form of assistance – if one took the world is an optimistic light. His own world was limited to the amount of kindness shown towards him, both from the life he chose and the life ultimately chosen for him. He had control over his future, but where he ended up at the age of eight was no direct fault of his.

Was it difficult for him to offer a stranger a place to clean up? His own home at that? No, not really, at least not in the regard most people would be wary of strangers. His own difficulty remained in the fact that inviting people to his own home gave them the knowledge of where it was. If they knew where he lived, then they could easily appear at his door step at any moment. Enemies posed a threat, and acquaintances posed the possibility of becoming a friend, and that simply wasn’t something he could do… yet. Or ever. He just wasn’t sure, nor did he think he could ever solve the ever revolving issue posed by his own insecurity – he knew it was his own fault for these walls being raised, but they kept him safe.

He didn’t need repayment. He didn’t deserve to be rewarded for anything he’s ever done. If anything, all the deeds he’s done so far are to make up for his own mistakes and offering Misoka help when she needed it was just another deed he needed to accomplish. Misoka shouldn’t need to repay him, but it seemed she was adamant to do so. Perhaps to repay the favour, so she needn’t have it on her mind any longer. He knew that if people were adamant about something, they wouldn’t stop. Seiryū wondered if the woman was similar in that regard to others, not wishing to owe anyone anything, or if it was how she was raised, to repay a favour if it was in her power.

He took a moment to think on it, continuing his steps as they neared the building where he resided. It wasn’t a place he would adamantly call home, he never really had one, but it was a place where he could rest his head and have not as much to worry about. Seiryū cleared his throat, his eyes returning forward to watch the path he knew like the back of his hand. He could travel most of these streets blind, for he knew them inside and out, twelve years of venturing through them had given him that knowledge. “Don’t… just don’t pay me anything.” His voice was a bit distant than his earlier voice, though still retaining the friendly atmosphere he had held with her upon meeting her. “I’d rather, if you had to repay me, give something to an orphanage around here… help them out just a little, if possible. It’s a bit difficult living here, much less growing up, and I think they deserve more than they get.” Seiryū would rather her repayment go to something more deserving, and in this case it could be the orphanage where he spent his first few years in the slums, before finally making his own way around during his early teens. There could be the idea in her mind that the kids around here were no good, just basing it off her knowledge of her previous encounter before she met him. He hoped there would be no inquiring as to why he’d rather her ‘repayment’ goes to something more worthy than sating Seiryū’s financial situation.

Soon, they would arrive at building, two stories high, but there was still another two minutes of easy walking to go. There was nothing special about the building, for it easily blended in with the rest of the slums, a bit beat down and certainly giving off the aura that this place was certainly located within the slums. The inside would be no different, especially the apartment where Seiryū stayed. Seiryū’s own living place wasn’t large, having the same layout as every other apartment in this building. The entrance of his own place was a short hallway that led to the joint kitchen and living room. On the right side wall, upon entering, there would be two doors, one leading to his bedroom and the other leading to the sole bathroom. There were two more doors. One straight ahead that led to a balcony, which overlooked the streets from the second floor. Finally, the last door on the left wall led to a closet, one that was essentially barren. As far as furniture would go, it was limited to the bare necessities; a small, cheap television, a table for four with only two chairs, and a beat-up couch. His room consisted of a single dresser and mattress.



1236|4007 Total


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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
Misoka nodded slowly, listening to Seiryu’s request. First, she noticed his hesitation, then the slight change in his tone of voice when he brought up the orphanage.
Was it pain that accompanied his words? Only a hint of it, barely audible, so well hidden behind the casual atmosphere he maintained.
Could it be that he spoke from experience? Perhaps he personally knew an orphan child or he… had been raised there himself. Or maybe she was just reading too much into it. Either way, she wouldn't dare to invade his privacy and question him. Surely he had friends to confide in.
But if she, by any chance, guessed right… if he had really lost his parents at a young age… She paused, sympathy weighing down her heart. Her own childhood was a time she treasured to pieces, a time when she had been no more than an innocent playful girl who didn’t know about the cruelty in the world and how dangerous it could be to put trust in people.
It hurt to imagine that there were so many children suffering in the earliest stage of their lives, forced to face what it meant to feel true sorrow.

Her smile wavered for a moment when she answered sincerely, “You’re right. I’ll be glad to support the orphanage. Now that you mention it, I can’t help but… feel slightly ashamed that I haven’t given it much thought before. I’ve only recently returned to Suna and there’s been too much on my mind, I guess…”
Misoka trailed off, unhappy with her choice of words, unable to really convey her emotions. Funny how she had always vowed to make a difference and bring justice to the world once she squirmed herself out of her clan’s grip. She became the leader, but was still powerless. The only thing she had managed to change was the gruesome Karisuma tradition of selling the female clan members.
And that, in turn, had resulted into a financial crisis with their only source of income being gone.
Misoka never stopped struggling to make ends meet, taking on one mission after another and ordering her clansmen to do the same in hopes their precarious situation would improve over time.
She planned to work especially hard this week to put money aside for the orphanage.

Seiryu led her to an old, shabby-looking building, which made her briefly wonder about his own personal finances. Her cyan eyes travelled over his body for a few seconds, taking in his casual set of clothing consisting of a plain T-shirt and joggers before flickering towards his home.
Together with the fact that his apartment was located in the slums, it would come as no surprise if he was indeed short of money. Any sane person would move into another neighborhood if given the chance.

Concentrating on the most pressing issue again, Misoka threw an apologetic glance at Seiryu. “I don’t know how I can get in without leaving a muddy trail behind me. But I’ll do my best to clean the floor afterwards.”
A small smile tugged at the corners of her lips, finally reaching her eyes. After all, she was only minutes away from her much longed-for shower.
And then it dawned on her, a thought that threatened to change her mood for the worse again.
She didn’t have any spare clothes with her. Of course not. Who would have anticipated a children’s attack in the form of mud?
Still, no need to panic, she quickly told herself, casting the problem aside for now. That’s something you can deal with after your shower.


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
http://www.youtube.com/user/KanameXSisters?feature=mhee

Seiryū

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He always wondered if his distant voice worked, for no one had ever truly commented on things further than he elaborated. Anytime he mentioned something personal, something that revolved around his own life, his own mistakes, it was always done in a way where he never outright admitted to it being him, but he wondered if the way he phrased things gave off the implications. If they truly were working in his favour, or if it was the exact opposite and he was an open book to be read, even if he attempted to mask it away. Once more, after what seemed countless other interactions with people he met, he was opening up, only in the slightest way, but never admitting to something. It was a way for him to vent a bit, to let out the small bits of frustration that developed over the course of his life. Even with no friends to discuss these things with, what anyone with friends would actually do, Seiryū kept these bits of information scarce and only available to a select few strangers, and this added another one to the list that slowly grew from nothing to something. No one knew the full story, the entirety of the story, except for himself. However, there was one particular issue he could see that set this meeting apart from any other. The other party, Misoka, would know where he lived. He slightly wondered if she would be a person who was upfront about such things, demanding not to be shut out or if the opposite was true. It was a risk, one that other’s wouldn’t even think of as a risk, but he’d be taking it regardless, simply due to the willingness to help being of more importance than his own comfort.

He listened to her honest reply about supporting the orphanage than his own needs, and for that Seiryū was satisfied and pleased, an easy smile taking over his features. He didn’t know much about Misoka – actually, he knew next to nothing about her except for her name and the unfortunate circumstance that befell her just mere minutes ago – but he could assume, to a degree, that she was a genuinely good person, more so than he was. Slight curiosity piqued in his mind, for she mentioned she had been out of the village and from the way it was phrased, he could assume it was for a long period of time. Perhaps a mission?

“It’s not something to feel ashamed over. It’s a bit difficult to know about this kind of thing when it isn’t as widely known when compared to other issues.” He hoped his words would help her forget the shame she felt, he couldn’t fault her for it. It was often the case that people were ignorant of certain situations if they weren’t directly involved with said issue or if there was a general lack of awareness surrounding it. For the first point, Seiryū could conclude she wasn’t an orphan or had a tie to it like he did. Knowing about an issue that didn’t involve a person therefore relied upon the public’s awareness of the issue and orphanages simply didn’t matter to others in the grand scheme of things. Simply, there wasn’t enough talk about this topic, along with numerous other ones.

“Away on a mission?” He would follow up afterwards to fill the void that would be created. Misoka having trailed off from her sentence and Seiryū not wanting to pry too much asked a simple yes or no question that could be elaborated on further, though he doubted it would.

Eventually when they would reach his apartment building, Seiryū noticed her watching him for a brief period of time before going back to the building and then back once more with an apology written on her slightly muddied face. The details he could make out gave him the impression that she was attractive, but the degree to which was still a mystery. “There’s really no need to apologize, I knew what I was getting myself into.” A smile remained on his face, wishing that she wouldn’t be apologetic over a situation he had placed upon himself. “You don’t need to clean it up, you’ve already agreed to repay me. Otherwise, you’d have me owing you back and I can already see that becoming an endless loop that’ll never end.” He gave her a wink, turning to face her just before they would enter the building. He gave some thought to how they could get inside, and there were only three simple conclusions. Two of them involved the building getting muddied one way or another. One was to walk through the building like normal. The second was a more roundabout way, scaling up the side of the building and getting to his room through the balcony, an idea he immediately shot down due to not wanting to be barbaric in a sense. The last was the least likely to occur and probably one that Misoka would avoid at all costs, for it could likely add to her embarrassment thus far in to the day. Simply, carrying her in would likely hurt her pride, even if it meant the floor wouldn’t get dirty. He figured, if they walked in, he could easily come back down to clean up the trail while Misoka showered.

Realizing he had come to a stop in front of Misoka, had she not decided to walk past him and enter, Seiryū would voice the other lingering issue that would be present. “Well… Now that I think of it clothes will be a bit of a problem. I doubt you want to get back in to those clothes once you’ve cleaned up...” His trailing off was due to not wanting to voice out his proposal, even if it was easy to come to the same answer. He already knew of the simplest solution and he figured Misoka would likely have reached that answer on her own as well. She’d just have to wear his clothes, though he didn’t know if she would be accepting of that idea or much rather prefer her own clothing. He figured she would inquire about it sooner or later. Likely before she would hop in the shower.

Just as he turned around, he heard a voice yell out, “Imada! You’re responsible for cleaning up if you’re bringing her in here!” Well, he was expecting that from his landlord, just not at this particular moment. Though, what else was he expecting from his crude landlord? Seiryū’s ears could hear faint murmuring from the man in his mid-40s, relating to the mess he’s bringing in and girl herself, nothing bad, but simply grumbling about the mess she would be bringing with her. Turning his head to face Misoka once more, he offered a grin as he nodded towards the entrance. “And that would be my landlord. Guess he doesn't mind the mud too much.” Taking the lead once more, Seiryū would lead her towards the stairs, and towards the place few people had ever seen the inside of once he began occupying the place.



1221|5228 Total


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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
“A mission? Not really,” she muttered evasively, deciding that no matter how vague of an answer she gave him she wanted it to be a small piece of truth at least. “It’s a long story.”
To her relief, he didn’t broach the subject again, didn’t pressure her into revealing more than she wished to.
For a fleeting instant, she felt something rise between them, akin to a silent kind of understanding, as though they had touched across the space that separated them.
There was something about that person that made him stand out among everyone else she had met over the years.  What really captured her attention within this short period of time was hard to explain and possibly so far-fetched that she hesitated to believe it herself.
For some reason, she sensed a strange alertness inside him as if he were always listening, not to what she said, but to her unspoken words, his violet eyes carefully watching his surroundings even though his gaze wouldn’t move.
Misoka regarded the smile he kept glued to his lips and thought there was something missing in it, a part of himself he guarded with all his might.
She couldn’t say where the impression came from, why she suddenly felt they shared a lot of similarities without knowing each other.

Seiryū’s words cut off her train of thought when he insisted that he would be the one to clean the floor afterwards. She needed a moment to erase the last traces of confusion from her face.
Right. No spacing off anymore. What was she even thinking? No matter what unusual emotion had just overcome her, making her want to know him better and look past his unwavering smile, she wasn’t going to see him again anyway.  
“Uh… sure.” Flustered, she averted her eyes, fearing she might have been staring at him.
Then she racked her brain for a better reply, something funny, perhaps a joke of her own. But as always in such situations, nothing came to her mind.
Her embarrassment grew when he pointed out the same issue she had been trying to avoid before. For once, she was grateful for the mud covering her face, hoping it would conceal the heat creeping into her cheeks. There was no other way, she would have to borrow some of his clothes. Apparently, Seiryū had come to the same conclusion as well.
Just thinking about it made her silently apologize to him a trillion times while her blush flared up again.
Despite all, she attempted to straighten her expression as though his implicit suggestion didn’t faze her.
“If you happen to have any old clothes available… maybe clothes you don’t wear anymore… I really don’t mind.“ Oh no, she couldn’t look at him. Why did this happen to her in the first place? Having to follow a man into his apartment, having to ask for clothes... if she ever met those brats again, they should definitely be ready. “Um, what I’m trying to say is… could I borrow-“

At that moment, a man’s shout interrupted her, “Imada! You’re responsible for cleaning up if you’re bringing her in here!”
Misoka winced inside when she spotted the voice’s owner: a tall, slightly overweight man in his 40s who continued to grumble about the mess she would cause under his breath.
That man turned out to be Seiryū’s landlord though Seiryū didn’t seem to care much.
With an amused smile, he led her into the house and up the stairs until they entered his apartment on the second floor.
The inside fit her expectations quite well, for she hadn’t anticipated anything… how to put it… fancy?
A door to her right stood open, exposing his plainly furnished bedroom: a single dresser and mattress and… dirty laundry. Oh dear, she wasn’t supposed to see that!
At once, she turned away, awkwardly staring at her muddy shoes instead. Shoes… another chill came over her. Maybe she should have taken them off before entering. But… to be honest, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway.  


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
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Seiryū

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When Misoka had finally voice her concern regarding her attire, more specifically her attire after she had cleaned up, Seiryū’s response would be nothing else but a nod of recognition, having reached a similar conclusion as well. His landlord’s interruption did nothing in the way of cutting off Misoka’s sentence, except for cutting it off verbally, the message had already been practically delivered. The concern regarding how his clothes would essentially drown her was a fleeting thought, for while it would likely be an issue for Misoka, at least she would be wearing clothing that was clean compared to the attire she currently had on. He would try his best at finding clothing that would suit her size, but it just wasn’t something he could guarantee. All the clothing he wore fit him and he couldn’t recall if he held on to any of his old clothes, if he still kept them. He could dig around for them, to see if he still possessed them, otherwise it was out of his control and he figured Misoka would be grateful that he had at least something to let her wear. Her expression seemed to change when she brought about the topic, but unfortunately he was unable to realize what it changed to due to the mud.

As they entered his abode, the realization finally set in, someone else, aside from himself, his landlord, and his neighbours, knew exactly where he stayed. The thought made Seiryū pause for a few notable seconds, wondering why he had done this, had offered his help to Misoka. Then the events transpiring through today ran through his mind. The kids laughing and running away. The angered voice letting loose the frustration. His willingness to help someone out. His own aversion to getting close to people didn’t always work well with his desire to help people; in fact it likely seemed to do the opposite. Helping someone meant he’d have to interact with them and interactions would mean communicating, which was a recipe that resulted in getting to know them; and people certainly wanted to know their friends. It was why he didn’t pry further in to questions, like when Misoka had said her leave from the village was a long story. Out of both respect and an ingrained desire to distance himself, Seiryū hadn’t asked further, wouldn’t ask further. She likely had friends who she could talk to about. He was not her friend or even acquaintance. He was a stranger who was helping her out. He convinced himself of that.

The desire to feel accepted was overruled by his need to protect himself. He couldn’t be hurt if there was no one to hurt him. It was a simple, easy solution that seemed to work for him. Yet, why was the desire to be accepted still constantly present? Why, when he was sheltering himself from the outside world, was there this need to have some sort of companionship? Someone he could talk to, to talk about his intruding thoughts, his past, his feelings… everything. These thoughts often led him to thinking about more intimate relationships, something that he never had himself, much less a friend. Seiryū had seen countless couples in his lifetime and continued to see them whenever he went out. Was that in the cards for him? His belief stemmed in the fact that he didn’t deserve it. His life would be forfeit before anyone would look at him like that. After all, he was riddled with a past no one would want to be associated with; he had learned that from the man who sired him; since that was the man who didn’t want anything to do with him in the first place.

Realizing he had paused, Seiryū blinked a few times, getting a grasp on his surroundings. They were familiar, it was his apartment. Slowly, as if he wasn’t entirely sure, he stepped inside fully, looking towards Misoka who was looking down at her shoes. He offered her one of his forced smiles. “Don’t worry about it.” His words were likely failing to convey that everything was fine. His mind wasn’t entirely back on to the matter of Misoka getting cleaned up, rather still lingering in his negative thoughts, but he began making his way towards his bedroom. He found the mess he left earlier, one that he needed to clean up sooner rather than later. Laundry… it always continued to be a pain. He hadn’t been expecting anyone over today… or ever, so he didn’t bother cleaning it up, but perhaps he should have. “I’ll go find something you can wear.” Seiryū muttered out distractedly, as he stepped out of the main room and into his bedroom. Immediately he head towards the dresser, slightly nudging his laundry out of the way, so that it wouldn’t be visible, though it would likely fail to work either way. Opening the middle right shelf, Seiryū immediately went hunting for a shirt and pants. He didn’t know what exactly she would prefer, so he settled on pulling out two shirts. One was a dark gray long sleeve shirt and the other was a navy blue t-shirt. He figure she would choose between whichever of the two seemed more comfortable to her, since his digging ended up with him not finding a single item of old clothing that he held on to… or rather not held on to. As for pants, he moved on to the drawer next to the one he had ruffled through, immediately finding the items he kept in there. He immediately puller out another pair of joggers, one’s that were on the skinnier side, the colour similar to the one’s he was wearing, only a shade or two darker. His eyes glanced past his undergarments, those she likely wouldn’t want... or need. Closing the drawers, with the three items in hand, Seiryū went back to where he last saw Misoka, though immediately turned around and went to the closet in his room to pull out a towel. He had three in total, one that he used and the other two used on rotation when the others needed to be washed.

Finally, he would make his way back to Misoka with the clothes and towel. Extending them to her before immediately retracting them back towards his body. Giving them to her would just get them muddy right off the bat. Seiryū would grace her with a kind expression mixed with a bit of questioning mixed in. “I believe I have everything you would need. Unless I forgot something.” Seiryū commented, looking from Misoka to the things he held in his hands and then back again to the woman, whose appearance still remained a mystery to him. If he would have everything, he would take the items and place them in the bathroom for Misoka’s use. His eyes travelled around the bathroom once, fairly clean, though the only item that would raise questions, he couldn’t outright remove without raising questions. So, he left the box for the hair dye he used where it remained on the bathroom counter, only turning it around to face the wall, instead of the two open directions or the mirror. “It’s all yours. If you need anything, just ask.” He would mention as he stepped out of the bathroom, his eyes raking over the place he knew so well, yet it seemed so foreign at this particular moment.



1268|6496 Total


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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
"No, that’s perfect, thank you,” Misoka assured him before he put the clothes in the bathroom. Anything would be good enough to wear. Right now, she was just itching to hop into that shower.
After Seiryū gave his permission, she quickly walked in, locked the door behind her and allowed herself a long, content sigh.
She wondered whether there had ever been a time when she’d needed a bath more than in that particular moment. Hmm… perhaps that one time in Iwa when she had first been bitten by a ninja wolf, then gotten into a heavy rainstorm before tripping and falling head-first into a puddle and on a stone, which had knocked her out cold. And after all that, waking up in a pervert's house.
Uh yeah… sweet memories, she thought sarcastically, laughing it off and heading for the sole thing she had eyes for in the room: the shower.
Misoka stripped down, stepped into the tub and turned the water on. It came out cold at first, making her suppress a wince, but then the stream thickened and steam rose to her face.
The water beat over her head in muddy rivulets, caressing her skin. She closed her eyes as her mind faded into a blissful dullness she never wanted to wake from.
Of course – an amused chuckle left her lips – she didn’t have much of a choice in that matter as Seiryū probably wouldn’t want her to waste more water than necessary.
Still, her mood continued to lighten once most of the mud had been removed. With a shampoo, which Misoka hoped she was allowed to use, she would then procceed to wash her hair.

A few minutes later, she reluctantly turned off the shower and climbed out of the tub, fresh and clean with shiny skin and no more traces of dirt.
At last. She let out another pleased sigh as she draped herself in a towel, feeling so comfortable that it took her a while to get her thoughts back on track.
This wasn’t her bathroom. It belonged to a man outside whose clothes she would need to put on. No matter how she looked at it, it still struck her as an incredibly awkward situation and certainly not your every-day incident. But there was really no other way around it, was there?
Hesitantly, she threw a glance at her own clothes, coming to the conclusion that even her underwear seemed perfectly ready to be shoved into the washing machine.
“Great. Wearing no bra is totally natural after all,” she muttered under her breath, unconsciously clutching the towel closer to her body.
Furthermore, which one of the shirts should she choose? Both of them were oversized though she had expected as much. The dark grey one looked nice, but she imagined the long sleeves might get in the way.
Alright, the navy blue T-shirt it was then.
Upon lifting her gaze, Misoka caught sight of her reflection, pausing for a moment. Everything about her appearance screamed Karisuma: long, golden hair cascading over her shoulders in waves; large eyes of vibrant color; the flawless face of a porcelain doll.
Somehow she hoped that Seiryū wouldn’t see the connection between herself and her clan. Fortunately, there was a good chance he hadn't heard of the Karisumas before as they had never been a well-known shinobi clan of Sunagakure with their popularity level dropping to the lowest over the last few years.
If someone knew about it, it certainly involved rumors of prostitution and putting virgins up for auction.
She didn’t want to be associated with any of that.
Thoughtfully, Misoka slipped into the pair of joggers, musing why in the world she had even become the leader of a clan she felt nothing but disgusted by. Where was the point in that? Was this really her childish plan of getting back at them, enjoying the humiliation on their faces when she was bossing them around?
Perhaps she should just leave it altogether and let the clan drift off into nothingness. As long as the elders didn’t try to re-establish their sickening ways to make money, they could do as they pleased for all she cared.

The joggers, though skinnier than she’d expected, were still too big, but included an elastic waistband that helped keep them in place.
And the T-shirt, which she had put on shortly after, felt rather comfortable as well, just oversized.
Now if only she could find a hair dryer somewhere. She looked around the room more closely, but it appeared she had no such luck. All she could find on the bathroom counter was a box hair dye… for whatever reason Seiryū needed this.
Giving up the search, she contended herself with drying her hair with the towel.
Then she unlocked the door and slowly stepped out. She couldn’t see Seiryū in the hallway, which made her wonder what he’d been doing in the meantime. Well, what would I have done? He’s probably in the living room, watching TV or something.
Should she call out to him? It might be impolite to walk around in a foreign apartment and they were barely acquaintances, after all.
“Seiryū-kun? I’m finished.”
She would keep standing in the hallway, waiting for him to come, half expecting he might kick her out of his apartment immediately now that his help was no longer needed.
Oh, but a plastic bag for her dirty clothes would be good to hold onto… maybe, she could ask him for this little favor before he told her to leave.


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
Katon SS // Doton A
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Seiryū

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"No, that’s perfect, thank you.”

There was no creak like there usually was when he closed that door, yet he simply didn’t care why that was the case today. A light thud resounded in his ears, followed by a soft click. He was alone once more. Life seemed to want to be kept that way for Seiryū, both from his own control and the influence the world seemed to play on his meaningless life.

The familiar surroundings did nothing to ease his mind away from intrusive thoughts. Rooted in his spot for what was deemed far too long, Seiryū let out a huff of air, running his right hand through his hair, creating a greater mess of it than there initially was. He didn’t bother trying to fix it up, rather he left it how it was, his eyes roaming around the room once more, trying to figure out what to do, how to make time move by. As much as he didn’t admit it to himself, having some form of companionship eased him, to some degree, but it also put him on edge. This meeting should be fairly straightforward from here on out and from past experience would tell him. Misoka would simply want to get cleaned up, gather her things, and remove herself from the slums. There wasn’t much else to it. Who would want to be in the slums longer than necessary?

The sound of muffled water running from the bathroom brought him back to reality; his feet began to carry him towards the living room. While his hunger was getting there, he wasn’t sure what to make of the situation with Misoka, so he held off cooking up something simple for later – for that was as far as his culinary skills went. If she would be leaving immediately after getting cleaned up, which Seiryū assumed was the case, then he’d have time to prepare his meal afterwards. Making a meal now, solely for the purpose of feeding himself while company was present just didn’t seem right. And he couldn’t just make a meal for two, since he didn’t know if Misoka would be leaving immediately, if she had already eaten, or some other reason his mind failed to draw out. Turning on the television was done autonomously. Plopping himself down on the couch, that certainly wasn’t the most comfortable one in the world, Seiryū easily slunk down, giving no regard to his posture for a few more minutes. He could hear the constant, muffled patter of the shower, Misoka likely enjoying the ability to get rid of the mud that altered her appearance.

Resting his head back, Seiryū focus his lilac orbs on a specific spot, where the wall met the ceiling. While he had turned on the television, Seiryū’s eyes were anywhere but there. The noise from the movie drowned out the pattering of the shower. If he looked down to glance at the movie being shown, Seiryū would’ve spotted a vehicle chase – multiple cars, trucks, and bikes chasing after a single oiler tanker. The setting was steam-punk, the vast desert reminiscent of Kaze no Kuni. All in all, the movie would’ve appealed to him, had he chosen to watch it instead of the wall and ceiling. Curiosity got the best of him once more, thinking about what Misoka was like as a person, since Seiryū believed she would be out the door and on her way home once she finished with her shower.

So far, she had displayed traits of shyness, anger, and… something else that he couldn’t put a name to. Honour? Selfless? He wasn’t too sure how to define it. So far, based on her personality alone, she intrigued him. She knew more about him than he did of her and it would likely stay that way if what Seiryū assumed would happen, would come to fruition. She knew bits and pieces of his personality, like he did hers, but none of it was concrete. Perhaps it was all a simple ruse and she was just being friendly. Yet, she knew what he looked like and where he lived. While he didn’t believe much in the notion that a person’s home tells them a bit about themselves, he could help but wonder if it truly had validity behind it. He would get one of the two, the other likely never occurring since this was just a one off meeting, though he could just as easily run in to her again, since they lived in the same village. That was, of course, if her statement of being returning to Suna meant she lived here, instead of being a traveller that came here often.

She likely just wanted to get cleaned up and head home to her family or whomever was waiting for her. Yet, the moment that thought came up, Seiryū immediately wished it gone. The simplest reason of them all drove it away, that he’d never have that. There would never be a family for him, there never really was. It was a desire, a simple one, but the reality of it was that Seiryū figured that it would never become a reality. The slums weren’t really the place for that and he couldn’t… couldn’t give himself the pleasure that would come with trying to live a relatively normal life, the life most shinobi had to some degree. He closed his eyes, no longer having the energy to keep them open. It was not that he was physically tired, but his mind just seemed to intent on focusing on this specific subject that keeping his eyes open just proved far too difficult. Seiryū knew he wouldn’t let himself have the things others would indulge themselves in, whether it be friends, luxuries, or romance. None of those seemed to fit his life, or he in them. Letting himself imagine these things was far more than he deserved, would ever get. The only thing Seiryū felt he deserved and should get in his life is vengeance against his sire and that would not be taken from him.

As much as he willed it to go away, the vague vision of a comfortable home appeared in his mind. All the images were blurry, no real distinct faces, yet one thing stood out from each one, a sense of acceptance. Each mental image that appeared clearly had Seiryū in it, yet everything else were shadows, warm and inviting. Blurring images that he couldn’t make out, yet some were of him alone, him with another person, or with a group of people. “Seiryū-kun? I’m finished.” An eye cracked open, his left eye, as the sound came from that direction. Easily removing him from his revere, Seiryū stood up, leaving the TV on, and slowly began making his way to the hall where the bathroom was located. It seemed she didn’t wish to go anywhere in the house, believing she wasn’t permitted… or she simply wanted to say goodbye and be on her way. Either was understandable.

As he approached, Seiryū would finally be able to apply a name to a face. Her appearance would put several people to shame just from his perspective alone. Her eyes, now that he could take them in fully with the rest of her face, seemed to have a certain glow about them, yet he said nothing. While she was certainly beautiful, the thing that seemed to catch the majority attention happened to be his clothes. She drowned in them, which he knew would be the result. He just didn’t think it would be to this degree. Most males would love a sight like this, and while Seiryū could definitely appreciated, it gave strength to the idea that something like this would never be an option for him, and he just couldn’t seem to make it one.

A half smile, once again, was what took over him. It seemed harder each passing day to be more openly gracious with smiles. He didn’t know where it stemmed from, for what reason it began to develop as each day went, but he certainly wasn’t pleased by the result of his own failure to accomplish such a simple action. “So I was right, there is a pretty face to put a name to.” There was internal hope on his end that his voice didn’t give away his thought processes, that his half-smile was actually decent mask to seem friendly. He waited a second, to gauge a response, before continuing to comment. “I assume you’ll be on your way? Don’t want to keep you held up here if you have a previous obligation, so if there is anything else you need, just ask.” Seiryū’s wish was to keep company, yet that notion was entirely ironic when he thought about it just a second after speaking aloud. The wish to keep a distance always collided with a desire to have company, to be accepted. Yet, to keep speaking to someone… in such a private place… it just gave him no out when things got in to territory he never treaded. His own thoughts confused him, yet made so much sense at the exact same time. The moment someone happened to get too close, Seiryū always drew away, pulled himself out of the opportunity to have a friend, to be secure. It was one of the many reasons he would never be like other people, to have friends, family, significant others; people to rely on.



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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
[OOC: Sorry for the late reply, I was busy yesterday >__< ]

No, she wasn’t in a hurry. Truth be told, she had taken a day off from her clan duties, allowing her to wander around aimlessly, thinking about the purpose of life and all the other pointless things people do when they have no-one else to talk to… when they are lonely.
Her father and Nami were celebrating their first anniversary, which she didn’t want to interrupt no matter how often Nami had invited her.
So theoretically, she did have time to… well, stay for a while? Have a conversation with someone else but herself?
Suddenly, the thought was planted in her mind and there, it took root like a seed in earth.
This is your chance. You want to change, don’t you? Get over your fears and become a more social person. Start talking to a man without constantly questioning his intentions!
Seiryū seemed like the perfect candidate. He didn’t strike her as somebody who might take advantage of her. He wasn’t flirting with her or trying to get any closer at all although she imagined that many males might have jumped at the sight of a beautiful girl in their clothes.
To her relief, it also appeared that he didn’t know the Karisuma clan, for when she scanned his face for recognition, he merely complimented her with a thin smile.
It was another smile which she found hard to assess; not entirely genuine, but not entirely forced, either.
The fact remained that Seiryū was one of the few men who were easy to talk to. The majority scared her away with a single lustful look, which triggered too many unprocessed memories for Misoka to handle.
Still, she was at a loss for words, only replying with a meek “Thank you” and then opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water.
She wanted to change, she really did want to stay and spend more time with another person, but the demons of her past wouldn’t stop pulling at her, urging her to leave, erasing all the words she could use to articulate herself.

For a while, Misoka didn’t say anything, lost in an invisible fight against her deepest fears.
At last, she felt an answer stream out of her mouth, “Can I have a plastic bag for my clothes?”
A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. She hoped he wasn’t completely weirded out by now after she had taken an unusually long time to ask a simple question.
When Seiryū headed for the kitchen, she would follow with a polite “May I come, too?” and then let her gaze wander around the room.
There wasn’t much to see, nothing out of the ordinary at least: an old couch, a table, a small TV showing an action movie.
Misoka stopped in front of the kitchen table and watched Seiryū look for the requested plastic bag.
Alright, now or never. She might have been successfully stalling time with her question, but she would still need to start an actual conversation.
What could she ask him about, though? His work as shinobi? His rank? After all, it was a profession they shared, so it couldn’t be too bad of a topic. Or she could inquire about his hobbies, what he liked to do in his free-time. That’s what small talk involved: things of little to no relevance.

When she spoke up, however, it wasn’t small talk, it wasn’t any of the topics she had carefully laid out in her mind.
“Do you live here alone?”
She didn’t know why she had decided to ask something that entailed so many more unspoken questions, the first being “Where’s your family?”. And her tone of voice was too serious to suggest otherwise.
Part of her felt stupid for jumping to conclusions, for still thinking about the way he had mentioned the orphanage.
Misoka recalled the fleeting connection she had felt towards him. Was it all in her head? Or had she really seen a hint of loneliness in his smile?
Over the years, she had learnt to become a good observer and to see more than meets the eye, but with Seiryū, she was completely unsure.
He was either masking his emotions very well or she was mistaken and he had nothing to hide.
Maybe that’s what had piqued her curiosity.


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
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Seiryū

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His thoughts halted momentarily, watching Misoka once a silence took over the room, the only sound truly ringing through his meager apartment procured from the movie he had playing in the background. It seemed as if the knowledge that they were alone finally sunk in to him and Misoka hadn’t stated whether she would either stay or leave outright. Instead, Seiryū was left to assume she would be staying here until she voiced her desire to leave. Seiryū’s belief was that it would happen at any one moment that she would grow tired of him – like his father had – and leave. He could not fault her if the situation came down to that, simply because she had no connection to him, no obligations. That man, however, was certainly held accountable for his own actions. He uprooted Seiryū out of a home that never felt like a home, only to have placed the child in an environment easily is far worse off than the Kōga clan compound. Yet, after years of being on his own with little to no assistance, Seiryū could not imagine his life there, if that man had accepted him as his own. He knew about clans to a degree, in the sense that he was aware how they generally functioned, but beyond that he only knew of names, but nothing more. He had difficulty identifying a Hyūga who had one of the more notable traits one could associate with a clan.

If he remained in the clan, instead of being orphaned to the slums, would his life have been better off? Would the clan have set his life for him? Married him off to someone? He knew his father had some importance to the clan, yet he never bothered figuring out what he meant to the clan, or what he did. Seiryū figured that had he not been a disappointment he would’ve been kept around – that was the reason he assumed why he was in the slums today. If his father wasn’t of some importance, than what was there to gain from not having a son around? He simply couldn’t understand that ideology, or clans in general. He and everyone else, as far as Seiryū was concerned, were far better off without clan politics and ideologies around.

Misoka’s wish to get a plastic bag for her dirty clothing would be easy to grant, for he had dozens of them piled up inside the cupboard underneath his kitchen sink. “That’s one of the few things I can do that’s within my power.” Was his simple reply, easily flowing off his tongue, watching Misoka for a few more seconds before deciding to head to the kitchen. As he headed towards the kitchen to gather a bag, he didn’t hear any steps following after him, though a brief moment later, he heard her voice once more.

“May I come, too?”

It was an odd request. He wouldn’t stop people from doing things they wished to do, so long as he found them appropriate. In his home, with never having anyone else aside from himself around, Seiryū wouldn’t mind Misoka looking around the place. He didn’t have much in the way of material items to hide, nor was he embarrassed by his lack of furnishings. To him, this was ideal. Only having what he needed to survive. The luxuries could go to people far more deserving of them. “You’re already inside my apartment, so there’s nothing stopping you from stepping in further.” The light tone he used gave way to the amusement he felt in that moment. He couldn’t recall any other people being as polite as Misoka. Formal, sure, but not polite. It took less than ten seconds for Seiryū to open the cupboard, pull out a plastic bag and shut the cupboard.

Seiryū turned around and started making his way towards Misoka once more, this time offering her a plastic bag instead of the clothing he had given earlier. He watched her eyes once more as they looked towards him. He wasn’t sure what to make of the situation anymore. He had helped her, she had something to put her clothes in, would the goodbye be the next occurrence? He assumed it would be, but it was entirely in Misoka’s control. He was home and didn’t have any plans to go out, maybe not until later should the desire to eat something better than his own cooked meals.

“Do you live here alone?”

It was a dreaded question, a loaded one at that – for him. That question opened up an endless pool of further inquiries, depending on how he answered it. Avoiding the question entirely would just create more issues, and that wasn’t a desired event Seiryū wished would come about. Misoka could likely figure out more about him should he answer, but not answering was the worse of two evils. His eyes closed momentarily, blinking open to drown out the thoughts that would arise. Masking emotions seemed to be one thing he learned to pick up from that clan. With a cool air of mostly indifference, yet not unapproachable or uninviting, Seiryū broached the topic, “Yes.” It was short and simple, effectively laying out Seiryū’s living circumstances with no details being provided beyond that, yet he could only assume that more questions would come up, hopefully none that delved in to territory he had kept well-hidden thus far.

“What about you? I take it you don’t live in the slums.” It was both a question of honesty and a wish to keep the talk away from his own situation. Living alone was normal, he rationalized. Living in the slums? Unfortunate circumstances. Beyond that, it would be something he didn’t wish to get in to detail with Misoka. Not because she didn’t seem like a person he could trust, but rather for that very reason. She seemed like a person, if he got to know her, would be someone he could rely on. Someone who he could talk about these things with. And, for that very reason, it was a desire to avoid it at all costs. She, or anyone else, shouldn’t have to deal with his issues. They were his and his alone. He planned to keep it that way for as long as he could.



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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
„Yes.“

Misoka blinked. That was all? No „I moved out from home when I was xx years old”? On the one hand, it wasn’t unusual to live alone at his age, but on the other hand, she found it odd that he didn’t provide any details at all. As if… he was hiding something. Or maybe there was nothing more important to elaborate on in his eyes.
“I see,” she muttered thoughtfully. Had she hit a weak spot? Again, she couldn’t quite say. His facial expression remained unchanged though she felt a faint vibe of coolness radiating from him when he answered her question.
Why? Unwaveringly, she met his gaze, searching for traces of emotion which could give her a better reply than the simple “Yes” he had settled for.
She should let it rest, she realized that. Who was she to meddle in his affairs because of a gut feeling?
Misoka had never considered herself a nosy person unless someone needed her help. This wasn’t the case here, was it?  
However, another simple question wouldn’t hurt, if only to ease her wildly speculating mind.

But before she could ask Seiryu anything else, he beat her to it, “What about you? I take it you don’t live in the slums.”
“Me?” So it was her turn now to reveal more about herself. Fair enough. She didn’t mind talking about her family – two people she would never hesitate to protect with her life.
A smile played on her lips as she answered, “I live on the outskirts of Sunagakure in a small house with my father and his girlfriend – Nami’s her name.” Her eyes softened. “My dad can be quite a handful, always worrying about me. I’m glad he found a cheerful woman like Nami who helps him relax, at least a little.”
Misoka paused, remembering how much effort it had taken to start a conversation and how much easier, in comparison, it was to keep it going. The plastic bag made a soft rustling sound when she stuffed it into one of her joggers’ pockets.    
“Do you see your parents often?” she then inquired, still not completely sure why he apparently avoided the subject or what it was about his family that made him feel so… emotionless?  
Fearing he would give her a “Yes” or “No” reply again, she lightened the mood with a laugh, “Since we are both shinobi, it’s probably natural for our parents to worry about their children. But I won’t lie, my father can be uncomfortably overprotective at times. And Nami hates the work of shinobi because of all the danger we expose ourselves to.”
Silently, she wondered why she had chosen the path of a ninja and held onto that decision throughout all the years that had followed. A major reason must be that she liked to play hero, which not only involved helping people in need, but also the many alluring challenges she had to face. She honestly enjoyed adrenaline kicks every once in a while.
Another thought crossed her mind, making her smile fade into a concerned expression. “Ah, I’m sorry, it’s almost midday! Am I bothering you? I’m sure you’re hungry or something.”
Well, I am. She had skipped breakfast once again that morning, a bad habit she’d picked up from her days as vagrant.


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Profile// Ninjutsu SS// Taijutsu A // Medical Ninjutsu S
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Seiryū

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Instantaneously he felt his answers would not suffice, that answering with simple yeses or noes would only lead to more questions. Call it his intuition or his bloodline at work, either way Seiryū felt this topic of conversation was far from over. He should have known that answering with a “yes” wouldn’t be enough for most people – not even himself, even if he would accept the answer and not inquire further. Diverting the topic away from himself often worked, as people seemed more interesting in relaying their own menial lives to another being, to inform others of how important they truly are, when in reality they’d accomplish next to nothing in their lifetime to make a significant difference. No matter how much effort one put forth, the recognition always went back to a few and those few were the ones that held the power.

It was refreshing to hear about someone else’s life, however. Just the knowledge that not everyone had to face the same issues that plagued Seiryū was more than enough to appeal to him. Perhaps it was the what if’s of his own life, if everything had gone normally that made Seiryū interested in the general life stories others dealt with. Yet the very thing he found appealing to listen to, also happened to be the exact same thing that caused bitterness to swell in him. What had he done to deserve this life? He had set his own course after being left on his own, but what did he do for his father to want nothing to do with him? A plaguing issue that would remain that way and hopefully one day Seiryū would receive his answer, or at the least be able to settle this grudge he had developed over the course of twelve plus years. He was glad that Misoka had a home she was welcomed in and a family that, he assumed, supported her as well. He resisted raising his brow in question of what occurred to her mother, he figured if he didn’t know his mother and rarely ever wanted to talk about it, perhaps Misoka’s situation was similar – minus the family who actually cared. He didn’t bother questioning what she was doing in the slums if she lived in an entirely different area. An easy smile fell in place as Misoka had finished, glad that there was another person living a decent life thus far.

Yet, the smile only lasted for a few seconds before Misoka posed a question in territory that Seiryū did not wish to explore with anyone, much less a stranger. The instant his smile fell, Seiryū’s body entirely paused, time seeming to pause for him. No longer was it just him and Misoka in the room, as for Seiryū the thoughts of his past came out once more, this time rushing forth. A swell of emotions came with them, the majority of them being negative. He couldn’t… could he? He just… wasn’t sure how to answer this question. No one had ever bothered asking about his life that delved in to the territory of his ancestry and that he greatly appreciated. Anger was the first emotion to arise before fading away. Not only did he wish to remain calm, but getting angry over a question just didn’t seem logical to him. Nor would it be fair to Misoka if he did so. She didn’t know anything about him. For that, he’d have to leave his anger away from the subject, no matter how much that man angered him.

His thoughts continued rushing; even as Misoka spoke further of worry and overprotectiveness that parent’s felt towards their children. Seiryū would’ve scoffed at that had his brain not been running on overdrive, trying to find a way of avoiding answering this question. Just replying to it would give Misoka some insight to the life he held so close and secretive. No matter how he would answer, there just seemed to be an outcome that he didn’t want to arise. Seiryū, no matter what he did, would create a new situation he didn’t want to be in. He didn’t want her pity, yet the question itself would bring that about – if he answered honestly. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t bring himself to lie about this, not anymore. Maybe just getting it off his chest would bring him some reprieve? He decided that his answer would have honest integrated in to, maybe keeping a few details out, but it would be honest to a degree.

His mouth opened, words about to escape his mouth, yet there was no sound to them. Instead, his mouth shut and Misoka began to speak once more. His hunger was certainly getting to a level where it would be irritable, yet Seiryū could hold off for a while longer, if need be. “It’s fine. You’re no bother.” He replied, getting off the easier reply off his tongue while his voice and thoughts remained somewhat intact.

Seiryū’s lilac orbs, while usually hiding what he felt, could give Misoka clues to the inner turmoil he felt, assuming she could gather such information like a shinobi would. A neutral expression took over the rest of his features, a slightly shaking hand going to his hair to push it back out of habit. “I… He hesitated, still unsure of how to deal with the question, but also still struggling with if this was a good idea or not, to potentially have someone tied to him, even if the likelihood of seeing Misoka after today would remain in question. They were both of Sunagakure no Sato, though missions could keep both of them busy that they’d never run in to each other. Suna was still quite a large place with thousands of different faces, so just running in to her would be highly unlikely. Clearing his throat, he tried once more, “It’s a bit… complicated. I… don’t see my parents… at all.” There was truth to that statement, for his relationship with his family was far more different than what others were used to, to what the norm was. He didn’t lie, for he had never laid eyes on his mother, nor knew anything about her existence. His father, Seiryū simply didn’t feel like seeing right now, yet he knew one day he would need to. He put on a smile, hoping to alleviate whatever tension his response would bring about. “Honestly, I do prefer it this way. Less to… worry about.” He wasn’t sure why he used those specific words, for in fact his current way of living wasn’t any easier for Seiryū, but he did prefer it this way – and it was the only option he really had, aside from going on a treasure hunt to find his mother, a treasure hunt that had no clues.

He waited, he didn’t know how long, but it was clearly more than a minute before he would feel the need to speak once more – trying to take the conversation away from the territory it had already traveled to. “Are you hungry? I can cook up some ramen… or we could go out to eat?” While the latter part of what he said was supposed to be a statement, it came out as a question, simply unsure of where to go from here. He met countless strangers before, talked with them, but none knew where he lived or anything about his parents. This entire scenario was unfamiliar to him and proceeding from here was an even more challenging concept for him to grasp.



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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
Tension thickened the air. Time drew itself into endless moments.
Misoka watched his skin pale, his lavender eyes widen as he struggled for words. It was incredible how much she could relate to his inner conflict, almost picking up the desperate voices of opposing thoughts swirling in his mind. Do I answer? Do I not? Do I tell the truth or a lie? Can I trust her? She imagined all kinds of questions he might be asking himself; questions she had been confronted with so many times before.
From his reaction alone, every last ounce of hope that she could be wrong about him dissipated. He was shrouded in mystery and there was a dim sadness in those eyes, which he never ceased to try to keep hidden.
A small portion of the fog in that he had locked his true emotions away cleared as the silence continued stretching out between them.
He let his nervousness show with minor gestures by running his fingers through his hair, his gaze glowing with insecurity.
Had she not felt reminded of herself in so many ways, she might not have even noticed the subtle changes in his features; the little signs that told her he was contemplating whether or not to lie.
Something terrible had happened to his parents, she concluded, her chest tightening at the thought.
After what seemed like an eternity, his lips parted.  

“It’s a bit… complicated. I… don’t see my parents… at all.”


The truth. A cold hard truth. Even though she had been prepared for such an answer, it still hit her like a ton of bricks. His parents were dead, both of them. When? How? Her face crumbled into a despairing expression before she could resist, knowing that most people in Seiryū’s position didn’t want compassion. But she had no control over the strong sympathy she felt.  
She knew what it meant to lose a parent.
It was hell. It was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling all day long, falling asleep while keeping your eyes open. It was breathing and suffocating at the same time, wondering how you can still be alive with such emptiness within yourself.
Your world falls apart and you realize there will always be a “before” and “after” from that moment on.

Misoka’s gaze dropped to her feet. Considering that the death of one parent had been enough to rip her heart out and shred it into pieces, she didn’t want to imagine how much worse it must be to lose both mother and father.
Seiryū spoke once more, causing her to lift her head though she couldn’t bring herself to return his smile. “You shouldn’t be smiling. You shouldn’t have to,” she whispered in her mind, slightly shaking her head at his words. “You shouldn’t be trying to downplay your loss. Not for my sake, not for anyone else’s.”
Her voice was thick with emotion when she replied, “I am so sorry.”
It was all she could say and she knew these words were meaningless in the void that the death of a loved one left behind. She wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to hide his feelings from her, that she understood him, so so well.  
Since long ago, she had learnt that time doesn’t heal wounds like those, but simply makes the hurt bearable. It had been five, almost six years and even now, just looking at a picture of her mother would lead to her grief welling up, threatening to drown her.
She had never known greater pain.  

In the quiet moments that followed, Misoka tried to straighten out her features and regain the smile she had mastered so effortlessly before. The atmosphere was still tense, which she felt responsible for after bringing up a rather intimate subject instead of sticking to common small talk.
However, she was glad she had done so. It wasn’t much, next to nothing in others’ eyes, but she believed Seiryū had just let her catch a glimpse of his true self, and she appreciated that, knowing how hard it was to open up to people, especially to someone who was more of a stranger than anything else.

Seiryū’s voice cut through the silence, steering their conversation away from the subject at hand, “Are you hungry? I can cook up some ramen… or we could go out to eat?”

She didn’t mind that their talk about parents was over; she fully accepted it as she would have done the same. The memories were painful and she didn’t want to be the reason he had to dwell on them.
Finally, her lips twitched, curling upwards. For an instant, old habits took over and she thought about declining his offer because she didn’t plan to make any more debts.
But then, for the first time in forever, she let it go.
She was stuck in the past without realizing it, no, without acknowledging it. Somehow the encounter with Seiryū had helped her reflect on herself more clearly than she had ever done in the last two months.
In fact, the victory over her clan had not set her free. She wasn’t free. Not as long as the memories kept creeping up on her.
And at last, she knew what to do as though the conclusion had always been there, but she’d never had the courage to draw it.

“Thank you.”
Misoka poured all her heart into these two syllables, eyes shining with new-found bravery. He wouldn’t understand what had caused this sudden surge of gratefulness, so she made him believe it counted as a “thank you” for his offer to prepare lunch.
“Ramen sounds very nice.”

Seiryu would certainly not need help with making instant Ramen. So she slipped into one of the seats, throwing a casual glance at the television or at least what she could see from her perspective. The action movie had apparently ended and was followed by a history documentary about one of the former, most famous Hokages: Naruto Uzumaki.
In an old interview, Naruto was talking about the will of fire and how it had helped him to achieve all his goals.

“The will of fire,” Misoka thought before nodding to herself once. “He’s right. That’s all I need. My decision stands.”


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Seiryū

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He chewed on the inside of his mouth after he gave his answer, unsure of the reaction that would come of it. Seiryū’s truth had been vague enough that one could interpret multiple ways and that was what seemed to occur once Misoka had said, “I am so sorry.” The thought of correcting her came up, that he knew she assumed the worst that both his parents were dead. One might be, but the other he knew was very much alive and breathing and living a luxurious life. Seiryū’s mouth opened slightly, as if to correct her train of thought, but he remained quiet about the subject. With how Misoka had interpreted his answer, there would be no further line of questioning. If she knew his father had abandoned him, then he could assume there would be more questions. [i]“Did you ever try contacting him? Would he know anything about your mother? Why did he do that?”[i] Those were questions he didn’t want to explore, specifically that latter of the two and the first was something he couldn’t do, not yet at least… or perhaps for a long time.

The concept of correcting Misoka’s assumption came to mind, that she could display anger over being deceived, lied to, if she ever found out. Yet, he hadn’t said they were dead, simply that he didn’t see them anymore. His mother he never saw, there was never a face to put to that title, but he could only assume he shared some features with her. The man he despised, loathed for the past twelve years was very much alive, last he heard. But the last time Seiryū ever saw him was when the man still allowed the young boy to live in the clan compound. Should he bring it up? It’d probably be better to clear the air, yet at the same time, it seemed the diversion of topics seemed to do its job. Letting out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, Seiryū figured it was fine to let it rest where it was. Should any argument come in the future from this, however unlikely it may be, it was simply Misoka jumping to her own conclusion.

“Thank you.”

He wasn’t sure what he was being thanked for, aside from letting her use his shower and wear his clothes, which any decent human being would’ve done. A smile tugged at his lips, easing him away from his earlier thoughts. It wasn’t too often he heard those word directed towards him, though they seemed to become more frequent over time. Was it the fact that more people got to knew bits and pieces of him? Or was it simply people just being kind in general? He honestly wasn’t sure, but he was fine with how things were currently. He was thankful that the topic had diverted away from the issue of his parentage, though while he hadn’t lied to Misoka, he was letting her assumption to pass. As she agreed to have ramen, Seiryū made his way back to the kitchen stating aloud, “Ramen it is.” He fell in to silence as he gathered the items he needed for the instant ramen, enough for two. It was odd, now that he thought about it. He had refused Mari’s invitation to lunch a few days ago, for the fear of getting to close to making a friend, yet here he stood with a complete stranger in his house, about to have lunch. Seiryū wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was it the fact that Misoka was a stranger? Both of them knew next to nothing about his life, so that couldn’t be the case. He honestly wished he could draw an answer out of himself, for this problem he seemed to create for himself. Maybe it was the fact that he had a few encounters with Mari before and this was his first time meeting Misoka? Regardless of what exactly it was, he was glad he had invited Misoka over, even though his intentions were for her to get cleaned up. It was a bit relieving getting that piece of information off his chest, even if the entire truth still remained well hidden.

He wasn’t sure what to say while he waited for the ramen, though he heard the change in background noise shift away from the movie and present an old interview of an old Hokage. Seiryū heard bits and pieces, yet he wasn’t sure what he could say during this time. Misoka had settled into one of the seats at the table while Seiryū waited for the ramen, which shouldn’t take too long either. After a few minutes of waiting, whether it was purely silent or not, Seiryū would take the two cups on instant ramen and place them on the table, bringing along two pairs of chopsticks for both of them. Taking the only other seat at the table, Seiryū stared at his cup for a moment before lifting his eyes to meet Misoka’s shining ones once more. “So, what brought you to the slums today?” Seiryū asked one of the questions that he hadn’t bothered asking earlier, for it just didn’t seem right to ask during that period of time. Of course there was still the issue of cleaning that mess… though knowing his landlord, he’d likely had cleaned it up regardless, making assumptions as to what Seiryū would be up to in his apartment. He could deal with his landlord later, the man was smart enough to not bother his tenants while they had guests over.



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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

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Misoka

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Special Jounin
The wonderful smell of noodles drifted towards Misoka, making her stomach flip in anticipation. She hadn’t realized just how hungry she really was.
Seiryū gave her a hot bowl of ramen, which she accepted gratefully, and sat down opposite her.
Despite her desire to fill her empty stomach immediately, she didn't want to behave like a starved raccoon, especially not in front of a person who left his own cup untouched. He must be in deep thought or not as hungry as she felt.
Alright, take it slow. Misoka counted to ten in her mind before finally picking up the chopsticks and announcing a heartfelt “Itadakimasu!”.
She chewed, swallowed and could barely believe her luck. No way! This was her favorite ramen flavor. What were the odds of that? A blissful expression settled on her face, possibly making her look like a moron at that moment, but she couldn’t stop herself. After all, who would have guessed her day, which had started out awfully, would take a turn for the better?
Much to her surprise, she actually found herself enjoying Seiryū’s company and not solely because he had invited her to lunch. He was neither noisy nor arrogant – two character traits she clearly disliked in a person, more so in a stranger.  
Also, his tragic past touched her, no matter how little she knew about it. In her opinion, his prior statement about not seeing his mother and father at all left no room for speculations… well, it did, but he hadn’t corrected her conclusion so there must be truth in it.
And she of all people knew how much pain the death of a parent caused.

“So what brought you to the slums today?”

What, indeed? Misoka put her chopsticks down, indicating he had her full attention now. The possibility of lying occurred to her, if only to save herself the embarrassment of strolling through the slums with no plan in mind.
But this wasn’t fair. He was honest with her, at least he didn’t give her a reason to believe otherwise, which meant she should stick to the truth as well.  
“Uh, nothing particular. I was so lost in thought I didn’t look where I was going,” she thus admitted, pausing a moment before continuing, “I like taking walks to calm my mind and analyse a … problem.”
In light of the severity of said 'problem', the word felt far too weak on her tongue. She couldn’t quite remember how many nights she had been pacing back and forth in her room, always wondering why her life still resembled a miserable mess and what she could do about it.
“It helps me to find solutions.”
A sincere smile graced her lips. For once, this had really worked. Thanks to the meeting with Seiryū, the vague idea was there, with every minute blooming into a full-fledged plan.
Perhaps she was speaking in riddles, but to explain her clan situation would take hours and moreover, she generally avoided mentioning anything about her clan.

Not that it mattered.
She would leave Sunagakure. In two weeks, maybe three, but it would undoubtedly happen. Once she made up her mind about something, it was near to impossible to stop her.
Therefore, she deemed it unlikely that she would see Seiryū again. At that thought, a strange feeling of regret washed over her. Under different circumstances, they might have become… friends?
Then again, the few friendships she’d made in her life had always been doomed. She shuddered, remembering her Genin team and their fateful mission that had gone so blatantly wrong. Jessi had been murdered, Kaizen had lost a leg and died a few years after.
Her sensei, Gin, was still missing.
And then there were Bokuden and Suzume, the only ones she had confided in. Both had disappeared at one point for different reasons. The small part of her, bitter from a past she couldn’t forget, would shout with glee and continuously tell her it was better that way. She was better off alone. She should have learned her lesson long ago that people could not be trusted.
This strengthened her decision of leaving. It was high time to face her demons or else they would never stop lurking in her mind, driving her away from other people and feeding her bits and pieces of suspiciousness.

Misoka ate her ramen silently for a while and listened to what Seiryū had to say if he had to say something.
But soon, she decided to make use of the rather comfortable atmosphere, which engulfed them ever since having lunch together, and let her curiosity flow. “I was wondering… when did you become a shinobi? And what rank are you if I may ask?”
Was this too personal? Or secret information? She shoved the thoughts aside. Funny how she worried over such things after inquiring about his parents, a much more intimate subject for sure.
Misoka let her eyes travel across the room, taking in the plainly furnished kitchen a second time. True, being a shinobi was not a very well-paid job at the moment, especially after the Kazekage had left. She hoped for Seiryū that this was going to change and he would soon be able to afford another apartment in a different area than the slums.  
With Suzume’s recent return, chances for better wages improved.
Suzume’s return… She’d heard of it, but had refused to go to the official meeting. She couldn’t help but still hold a grudge against the Kazekage for leaving the village in its time of need… and for abandoning her, Misoka, without any notice.
But Seiryū might have attended that meeting. Misoka bit her lip. Did she honestly want to know? What reason could be urgent enough to bury one’s responsibility as Kazekage? Exactly, she couldn’t think of any.
Stubborn and resentful as she was, Misoka therefore added without making an attempt to hide the disdain in her voice, “Well, the shinobi missions aren’t what they used to be anyway. The payment is a joke. I’m curious what or if the Kazekage is going to do something about this now that she’s finally back from her vacation.”


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Seiryū

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Seiryū’s lilac orbs shifted their vision slowly, slowly traveling away from Misoka after he had posed his question and aimed them towards his ramen. He took his chopsticks, fiddling around with them for just a brief moment. The ramen, to Seiryū, was no different than the countless others he had and while he enjoyed the instantaneous meal to an extent, the flavour seemed so bland to him compared to the meals he had eaten whenever he went out to eat. Now it just was another meal he had to fill his stomach, for enjoying this particular meal became a bit of a chore. No longer was having instant ramen something he would somewhat look forward to; instead it just became another task for the day, something he would do to keep himself alive. At least Misoka seemed happy from the expression that had graced her features. He could tell that it was a genuine expression, though he didn’t expect such an expression to be associated with instant ramen, something he couldn’t completely enjoy anymore.

This was different for him, everything about today was different than what he found normal. His days were usually spent alone or just randomly meeting someone he knew and spending an hour or so with them before moving on to do something else with his day. Today had started off ordinarily, having to run a few personal errands for himself and then eventually coming across Misoka. From that moment on, his day deviated from his norm. For one, someone aside from those who lived in the same complex knew where Seiryū lived. Only the tenants of this building knew he resided here, along with the hundreds of strangers in the slums, but none except his landlord ever set foot in to this specific apartment. Misoka was the first. His initial goal was to help out Misoka and that had been accomplished. After that, he assumed she would leave and move on with her day, but she remained here, for however much longer. The company he usually denied himself was a welcome change, but he knew how his mind worked, to a certain degree, and after… whatever this was… had concluded, his life would fall back in to those miserable pieces he allowed – made – himself to keep.

He listened to Misoka’s answer and he could understand her reasoning for taking a walk, for he had done it countless times before, usually resulting in Seiryū ending up someplace he initially never planned to go. Walks, alone, were often refreshing and provided an atmosphere where one could solve a problem without distractions or ease their mind from all the problems the world seemed to offer. For Seiryū, he often found himself trying to ease his own issues, making them disappear by clearing his mind as much as possible. His eyes found her smile, wondering what brought it about for a slight second before acknowledging that there was no need to pry for varying reasons. He knew nothing about her, likely wouldn’t see her after today, and it was just not in his nature to find things out that had little to no relevance in his own life. Whatever Misoka was thinking, it was her thought to own and release on her own free will. Nodding idly in response to Misoka’s answer, Seiryū turned his attention back to his ramen.

He didn’t have much else to add at the current moment, for a couple of reasons. The first was that he enjoyed the silence right now; it didn’t seem thick with tension or awkward at all, from his own perspective. This silence was easing, letting him know that for the time being his mind could relax and not have to constantly raise issues he didn’t wish to explore right now. Just a few minutes ago it had been the exact opposite, when the topic had been about his parents. Yet the transition from then to now, even if a bit awkward, was something that kept his mind at a temporary peace.

“I was wondering… when did you become a shinobi? And what rank are you if I may ask?”

Seiryū already knew that he could answer that question honestly, for there really wasn’t much for him to hide regarding his position as a shinobi. He wasn’t an ANBU or of any dignified rank. He was just another soldier at the disposal of the village, if one wanted to look at it that way. Seiryū imagined, that one day, his life would be lost due to the village in one way or another. Growing old and dying of age just wasn’t something he could see for himself. He didn’t deserve to live a life that would be normal, something people wanted. His would be gone in battle, most likely. No matter what he wanted or denied himself of, he knew that was the most probable answer.

“I believe I became a shinobi at sixteen or seventeen… so about three-four years ago. I’m just another Tokujō.” He didn’t bother asking the question in return, for he figured she would supply with him an answer as she had brought about the topic. The unasked question would only be presented by Seiryū by raising his brow just slightly after answering. A curious expression on display for a few moments, so that after her eyes finished exploring the room, she would be able to note the question that was on display, just not asked vocally. After a few moments, if there was an answer or not, his purple orbs would once more go back to his ramen, his hands one more utilizing the chopsticks to consume a bit more of his meal.

“Well, the shinobi missions aren’t what they used to be anyway. The payment is a joke. I’m curious what or if the Kazekage is going to do something about this now that she’s finally back from her vacation.”

Seiryū easily noted the raw emotions held in Misoka’s voice as she talked about missions and the Kazekage’s return. He wondered what brought about Misoka’s scorn for the Kazekage. His own was tied with personal matters, simply for the fact that she shared the same clan name as that man, that she shared his blood as well. There were a vast number of Kōgas in the village and the Kazekage’s returning announcement had been regarding the loss of one. He could care less about that. He only went there to note anything of importance and that he didn’t have anything else to do at the time. If he was honest, him going or not wouldn’t have made a world of difference, no one would have even noticed his absence. Though, he did get to see that attempt at buying the village’s favour back, fireball show and all. He was not impressed.

A slight smirk took over his features for just a brief moment, purely out of amusement. Instantaneously, he hid it, masking it away. He thought that Misoka could be able to connect some dots if she saw the amusement, though he instantly shut that thought process down, for she assumed his parents were dead… which might be a half-truth (he didn’t know the truth himself). “Well, that’s assuming she doesn’t decide to take another ‘vacation’. Who knows what next event can make her run away from her duties again?” Seiryū’s voice emphasized the word ‘vacation’ for the reasoning behind the Kazekage’s disappearance had been utterly bullshit. What kind of Kage goes in to hiding due to a threat? He saw it as a weakness that she couldn’t handle the heat that came with it. More to it, she didn’t think the hundreds of thousands of shinobi available weren’t of use to her at all. She didn’t even say who this actual “threat” was. It simply could’ve all been made up. He wouldn’t put it past that clan to do that.



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Seiryū|Locker|Jutsu|Theme

Bukijutsu (SS) | Fūinjutsu (SS) | Senjutsu (S) | Ninjutsu (D)
Raiton (SS) | Katon (SS) | Fūton (B) | Suiton (D)

Misoka

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Special Jounin
[OOC: I'm back!! Sorry, we spontaneously decided to stay longer... I hope you're not mad >___< ]

„Oh, it seems we’re the same rank then,“ she said with a smile, pleasantly surprised. She wondered whether he strived to become a Jounin. With the Kazekage’s return, this possibility was available again though Misoka herself didn’t have any plans of ranking up.
Over the years, she’d found that titles meant little to her, especially because they weren’t a safe indicator for a person’s strength. Some of the strongest shinobi in history had been Genin for a longer time than usual.
The reason why she had given her best to be promoted to Special Jounin two or three years ago was simple. She needed more money and this job came in handy.
That train of thought brought her back to their other subject at hand: the bad payment under which Suna shinobi had to suffer since quite a while.
As both Seiryū and she were shinobi, even the same rank, Misoka hoped he would understand her frustration over the current situation and not immediately accuse her of disloyalty to the village.
And apparently, he really did understand. For a fleeting instant, she could make out something like a smirk on his lips, but it disappeared as soon as it had come. Perhaps her harsh wording amused him or he actually shared similar emotions towards their Kazekage.
The latter proved to be true when Seiryū opened his mouth, jokingly commenting on Suzume’s vacation and the possibility of her taking another one.
A chuckle escaped Misoka’s lips and she made no effort to hide it.

“True, she might very well disappear again,” she grinned. “In that case, however, we should really get a new Kazekage.”
Her smile faltered a little when she pondered on Seiryū’s words. What next event? What kind of event was he referring to? This could only mean that he had been to the meeting after all… that he did know about Suzume’s reasons for leaving.
As expected, whatever it was that had made her abandon the village didn’t seem to be of much value, judging from Seiryū’s reaction.
It only piqued her anger more. Wasn’t the Kazekage supposed to be a role model for the Suna shinobi? Why hadn’t the elders simply selected another one in Suzume’s absence?
Fiery disappointment showing on her face, Misoka proceeded to eat her ramen in silence, not sure what to say or how to change the subject before she became too emotional.
When she half-finished her cup, however, it all suddenly came blurting out.

“I was friends with her once, you know,” she complained, her accusing tone more than evident. “But maybe it was just my imagination. Because, I don’t know, last time I checked, friends tell each other if they want to leave the country and are never to be seen again.”
Misoka’s gaze swept down to her noodles while a hint of embarrassment crawled up her cheeks. Had she really just told him something that personal? Him, who she had met just a few hours ago, an acquaintance at best?
On the other hand, what was he to do with the information? She had been friends with the Kazekage - great, a round of applause for Misoka. Seiryū was a special Jou-nin, not an ANBU. She should rather worry about how pathetic she sounded, sulking because she had overrated a friendship. In the end, the trust between Suzume and her couldn’t have been nearly big enough.
Misoka let out a laugh in order to diffuse the tension.
“It doesn’t matter. Friends ditching you… these things happen all the time.” She shrugged, briefly thinking of a way to include him in the conversation or rather, her monologue. “Do you know the feeling?”
Now she couldn’t help but wonder what kinds of friends Seiryū might have. Neighbours in the slums? Shinobi colleagues?
“Or are all of your friends faithful?” she added with an amused smile though she felt this wasn’t the happiest subject for her to choose. Because let’s face it, where were her friends? Relatives didn’t exactly count, did they?


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Seiryū

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Seiryū’s aspiration would never be fulfilled, nor would a sense of accomplishment truly come to him if he climbed further up the shinobi ranks of Sunagakure no Sato. They held no value to him, for Seiryū’s goals revolved around two differing concepts which he aimed to address. Whatever rank the village placed upon him wouldn’t stop him from accomplishing these two responsibilities he created for himself, bother were selfish, but one would provide a service to the community. Whether he was still a genin, remained as a special jounin or eventually rose to the rank of jounin, he’d seek out ways to make his goals a reality, however deranged one was and he knew it wasn’t something normal people strived for.

Then again, he never really considered himself normal anymore. Everyone was better off without him. He found himself like a disease, one that people wanted to get rid of, which had been done once before, but he still existed. Seiryū’s own perception of himself was an extreme that he knew, but there was truth to it due to his history, just from his own experiences that led to who he became today.

The monetary value that came with being a shinobi of a higher rank certainly held an appeal, though it wasn’t as large as one might assume. Gaining more income would certainly benefit Seiryū more than it would hurt him, but either way that money wouldn’t be utilized much, except for the purposes of gearing himself up, attaining food, and keeping this specific roof over his head. Anything more was something he hadn’t earned in life, nor deserved. The rundown building he was living currently was well suited for Seiryū; he felt it suited him well enough, even if people could potentially tell him otherwise. It was ingrained in him, deeply rooted that it was near impossible to remove. There were few scenarios where he could see his life ultimately changing, yet not seemed realistically possible to happen for him. In the end, Seiryū’s ultimate goal was to attain a sense of peace and serenity.

His forced smile returned later on, after Misoka had made a brief mention of the Kazekage once more. The topic of friendship was always something he wished to avoid, simply due to the feelings associated with that specific concept. Hearing the Misoka had been friends with the Kazekage and a special jounin to boot, brought about a round of questions the Seiryū would never voice out. What exactly was her relationship with the Kazekage? Aside from being friends, or supposed friends, there wasn’t much Seiryū knew about that relationship, nor was it his place to explore. However, was able to draw his own inferences from the information Misoka had provided him. It seemed that there seemed to be a round of hurt from the Kazekage’s departure from the village. Could that be the reason the Misoka had recently returned to Suna as well? He couldn’t sure, nor assume, or even bother asking questions he had no right in imploring.

His fingers lightly drummed on the table, Seiryū remaining silent as Misoka talked a bit more on friends before posing a question to him. The option of deceiving her was something that he could easily utilize, yet he felt he already told too many lies, began spinning a web that he caught himself in. Knowing what was true and what wasn’t was something people should be able to easily identify, yet Seiryū had no idea where his personality ended and where his forced nature took over. Was it just him or was it what he set himself up for? Perhaps it was simply best to answer the question as truthfully as possible without divulging more in to the details of how he ran his life. He didn’t have friends who would be faithful or abandon him. He removed people from his life before they stepped in to the territory of being friends. He didn’t know the feelings of being left behind in the sense that Misoka was speaking of, but rather from the concept that he felt isolated and alone due to his own actions. Seiryū placed himself in this situation and it was something he would live with for as long as he could tolerate it.

“I… don’t know what feeling at all or of friends being faithful.” He waited a moment before continuing, allowing Misoka time to absorb what he had said. He figured he could add some more truth to his statement, though entirely unsure on how to go about it. “There’s less room for disappointment when the things that can disappoint you are limited.”  He felt he could elaborate more on the topic, but Seiryū knew that it would be divulging more about himself, even if he had provided Misoka with enough information to come up with her own interpretations about his life. He assumed, by now, she had access to more information about him when compared to people he met up with multiple times.



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It's alright. I've been busy with final projects/exams for the semester, still have ac couple more coming up in a bit.


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I apologize for leaving the thread like this, but I needed to train more jutsus to apply for a rank up. We can continue this thread when you return in a completely new thread if you wish.


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