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Aqua

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Genin
Aqua strode, uncannily alone, down the streets as she searched for a place to have her dinner. It was a weekend, and so normally, she would have gone out with both Keishi and Matsu, her Hyuga and Kimura teammates respectively to celebrate yet another successful week of missions and training. It had become a regular thing for the three of them, and sometimes for their sensei Sumimoto as well, to hang out during the weekends with minimal missions and training sessions bogging down the two days that marked the start and end of each working week, ever since Sumimoto-sensei had suggested they take their team bonding exercises outside of training sessions, in an attempt to first get Aqua to meet other people and get out of her shell as well as break the ice between the male and female members of his team, and had quickly evolved into a tradition that her team almost religiously worshipped, aiming to go out every weekend so they could catch up on life outside of being a ninja, even if they already met one another every other day of the week for at least half the day.

Unfortunately, it seemed as if this week was going to go differently for them. According to Sumimoto-sensei, Keishi and Matsu’s recent stumble during their two-on-one fight against Hirotsugu Senju of her sister’s team in their recent Capture The Flag game had led him to believe that they weren’t taking their training and careers as ninja as seriously as they should have. Granted, she could detect a hint of mischief in his voice as he suggested the two of them follow him on this day for an extended training session when they were supposed to head to dinner, so she believed he wasn’t so much tutoring or lecturing them as much as he was trying to share with them some ideals that would be useful to their tenure as ninja in the future. Either that, or they were just sneaking off for one of their rare but definite ‘guy times’ that they kept her out of. While she was grateful they didn’t consider her ‘one of the guys’ just yet, she was curious as to what they did during their so-called ‘guy time’, which she had busted them for going on on more than one occasion. Well, not exactly busted, but she caught them when they denied it, so she lumped it in the same category.

She wondered if in the future she would ever be brought into their ‘sessions’. Sumimoto-sensei often only hung out with them for the sole purpose of interacting with the male members of her team, though she couldn’t blame him as she was most often in his spotlight during training sessions. It seemed that most of his advice related to her during their training sessions, as Keishi and Matsu often forgot or disregarded any advice that they were given, due to their tendency to be hot-headed. She funnily noted how normally the members of a squad followed the typical cool-headed and hot-headed male as well as the girl who was supposed to keep the peace, just like how it occurred in her sister’s squad, only for her squad to display a slight discrepancy from the norm; she was more or less the only cool-headed member of her team, while her two teammates seemed to border on the more brash side of nature. Curiously enough, though, it was likely because they didn’t fit the usual team composition of pairing up someone with greater grades than those with poorer ones, as they had all performed adequately throughout their time in the Academy.

The sign of the shop ‘Matsushima Dumplings’ screamed out at her from her left, black kanji written on a wooden board that held some sort of allure to it as opposed to the more modern and classy signs that other places hung up nowadays. Black paint on unsmooth wood held a certain sort of… atmosphere to it that the man-made counterparts hung up above the doors of its neighbours to attract tourists failed to clinch. Walking in, she noticed that, as usual, the famous dumpling place was nearly filled to the brim, and it was with a quick wave of a nearby waiter that she was able to ascertain that there was only one free space, indicating that she would likely have to share with someone else should the table permit the number, if anyone were to come after her, and she was sure that they would, considering the fame that this place had garnered with their recent new dish.

Ordering some dumplings from the menu that she’d gotten accustomed to over the years, she sat in silence, wondering not only of what the rest of her team was currently up to, but also of the words that Sumimoto-sensei had dropped on them several days ago, specifically those regarding their Chunin promotion. Despite the constant teasings that they would be put up for Chunin promotion some time in the next few months (or at least for consideration of a promotion to that rank, which she still wasn’t too sure of) she wondered if Sumimoto-sensei had anything planned for them with this sudden act. It was a well known fact that their sensei didn’t simply do things for no reason – no, he liked to add some sort of hidden meaning to everything that he did – but Aqua couldn’t help but wonder if this was simply a sort of ‘reward’ for having stuck with him as a coherent team for the past eight years of their lives, or if Sumimoto was preparing yet another test for them, something to test their mental and physical endurance.

Only time would tell.

WC: 979


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Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
Faded leather boots rested against dirt of a much lighter shade of brown, supporting a woman clad in a tight, practical uniform who had just completed an excruciatingly drawn out excursion from the Land of Earth, travelling on foot at a brisk pace, hurried yet not obviously so. Mikasa shifted her weight from one leg to the other, both hugged by gray tights with leather straps connecting the boots they disappeared into to the belt fastened around her waist, similarly held up by identical straps that went over her white uniform, hidden partially under a small brown jacket. The red scarf usually nesting around her neck had been removed in lieu of the hotter temperatures of the Land of Fire, and instead hung around her neck limply, absorbing the beads of sweat that dropped from her forehead and ran down the sides of her face to her neck.

Mikasa stood still in front of the old-fashioned desk placed within the northern gate to the Village Hidden in the Leaves, her eyes glazed over at the repetitive stamping of paper under paper by the individual sitting behind the workstation. He carried on his work in silence, the rhythmic thumping of his stamp against pieces of paper the only symphony to Mikasa’s ears as her papers were checked and her identity confirmed to minimise the threats of terrorist intentions entering the village. She doubted official papers would be sufficient to clear a commoner of doubt, but given that this was a ninja village, the worries that normally accompanied foreigners were likely handled by the special forces themselves, assigned to watch over anyone suspicious.

Her identification card – the only possession they had requested from her in addition to the papers they’d supplied – was returned to her with a quick gesture, and her fingers swiped it from the man who’d taken his sweet time with her admission, her ears drowning out the robotic drone of his voice calling for the next tourist. Ha! She was hardly a tourist, but you were either a businessman, a local, a foreign ninja, or a tourist, and as her brows furrowed in memory of being relegated to the label of a simple tourist simply due to failing to fulfil the first three’s requirements. The ID was slipped into her back pocket without a thought as she took her first steps into the large village in front of her, sighing in relief that the activity for the day had mostly ended with the sun setting to her right.

“Excuse me, can I help you?”
a sweet voice asked from her left.

Mikasa turned to face the stranger, whose sickly sweet smile betrayed nothing but enthusiasm at her speech.

“Yes?” she asked, sounding monotonous despite having uttered a word monosyllabic.

“You seem new here. I’m one of Konoha’s resident tour guides! Can I help you around the village?” came the enthusiastic answer and question, arms making controlled wild gestures that flowed with the practice of years.

“A meal would be all,” Mikasa answered, inflexions in her voice kept to a minimum though her right foot shuffled slightly.

The girl’s eyes looked up and her lips pursed, before her eyes lit up and she snapped two of her fingers in eureka. “You absolutely have to try out Matsushima Dumplings! They’re one of Konoha’s new businesses, well, new because they recently got onto the magazines and newspapers, but really they’ve been around for-”

The rest of her rant was forgotten as Mikasa saw a patch of blue and green to the girl’s right, and turned her attention to the large cartogram pinned up on the inside of the wall, seeing a small red dot with the capitalised words ‘YOU ARE HERE’ at the northern edge of the circular circumference she took as Konoha’s walls. Her eyes ran through the buildings top down until she came upon the kanji ‘Matsushima Dumplings’, albeit some parts of the name having been scratched out either by accident or just as a casualty of time. Not bothering to bid the girl goodbye, Mikasa left the still-chattering girl, noting ironically that she’d be facing Geste Indecent.

Men and women ran and walked about, paying no attention to the young Ackerman whose feet trod lazily and heavily against the marked out beaten path heading in the general direction and eyes darting about all the shops’ signs for the familiar name of Matsushima Dumplings. No one paid her too much attention despite the sizable spear she carried on her back, owing to the frequency they must’ve witnessed the abnormal in this village. The walk was uneventful and dull, so it didn’t come as a surprise that the shop’s sign and decor was equally so, with nothing appealing to Mikasa as she stepped in through the front door, save the number of people that packed the restaurant to the brim.

A large man, a waiter, she presumed, directed her to a table without question, giving her little time to back out and find a secondary place to eat, not that she knew of any other diners nor did she particularly mind the noise. Her mind quickly made up, she allowed the large hand to guide her to a small table to the side, seated only by another woman, whose peculiar blue hair invoked Mikasa’s curiosity. Nevertheless, she reached for a small dish of dumplings on the self-service tray irresponsibly left unattended, and sat herself down with poise despite the aching in her back and the pulsing in her neck, her willpower soldiering through the desire to slog through her quick meal and find a cheap place to stay.

No conversation would be started on her end, with the only music accompanying their meal the endless chatter of the unmemorable faces around them.

981 words | 981 total

Aqua

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Genin
OOC: Sorry it’s so short, but I didn’t know what to reply with.

Aqua ate her dumplings in silence, lifting them from the small metal dishes on her wooden table into her mouth with the grace from years of practice. The taste of the dumpling exploded in her mouth, a mix of chicken and some sort of vegetable that escaped her mind, she already a slave to the flavours in her mouth that were too cumbersome to fight. The waiter, dressed in what seemed to be rags despite the restaurant’s good business, reminded her that Matsushima Dumplings hired from all sorts of backgrounds, not sticking to simply the middle class for their workforce, though whether the employees got treated poorly or not she didn’t do much research into.

Said waiter placed two more dishes of her order onto her table, leaving only one more to come. At some point, however, said waiter had been called into the kitchen, leaving the tray upon which several dumplings were placed upon. It was at that point that she also noticed someone pick one dish up from the tray, before settling themselves in the seat opposite hers, located at the far right of the room. Said person appeared to be a woman with her black hair, reflecting the overhead lights, fashioned into a bob-cut, framing a face of pale complexion. Her eyes focused on her meal before her, no acknowledgement for Aqua’s presence, not that the Uchiha expected it, considering the circumstances with which the two of them were forced to share a table. While the village was filled with camaraderie, it didn’t mean one had to greet everyone everywhere they went; such was just idealistic.

She wondered about the girl picking the dumplings by herself, not having seen the menu. It wasn’t against the rules, no, but most people opted to see what was provided before they made their choice, hence either the woman who had recently seated herself here was familiar enough with the dishes that she didn’t have to nitpick at the menu, or she was famished enough that she didn’t care. Nevertheless, the two of them would continue in their meal in silence, or relatively so, if the noises around them were any accompaniment to the soundless symphony they shared. It wasn’t until her second dish was finished, and they were relatively small so it didn’t take long, that Aqua finally spoke up.

“Hello,” she said in a soft voice, loud enough to be heard, without drawing attention to themselves, still focusing only on her meal without sparing a glance at the newcomer, but clearly acknowledging her presence in an attempt to build rapport with the stranger.

WC: 444 + 979 = 1423


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Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
“Hello,” the woman with the unusual shade of hair spoke, but a quick upwards glance from her dish of half-finished Mongolian dumplings showed her the view of said woman, focused not on the object of her speech but on the articles of her meal, similarly-sized silver dishes that have lost their shine from age, housing gravy-doused circular lumps with sagging flour-encrusted skin, with two empty platters sporting the remnants of sauce that had crusted on the edges.

Regardless, it brought her attention to the individual in front of her, once more after she’d given her a quick glance before she’d first claimed the rounded, wooden stool standing on four legs. She noted the gray, possibly even black, halter top, bereft of any designs, giving it a smooth texture. A pair of pink, maybe indigo, belts criss-crossed in front of her chest, intersecting at a point just above her breasts, with the point they met hidden by a small metallic emblem reminiscent of a heart with a cross going below the tipped bottom. The rest of the girl’s body was hidden underneath the table, though she spotted silver ornaments going down from just below her breasts to where her body lay hidden by the tabletop, leaving the only article of clothing left to examine being the two long sleeves draping down her arms, flowing across their length and cushioning her skin from the harder wood they rested on. Metallic armor seemed to spread from the top of the sleeves, but they didn’t seem to have the shine or strength that Mikasa had witnessed in other weapons or armor, leading her to believe that their purpose was purely decorative, though with ninja villages, appearances were on most occasions deceiving to the naked eye.

Mikasa lowered her chopsticks, along with them the dumplings cradled gently between the two wooden, polished and shiny lengths. Her mouth continued chewing, her tongue subconsciously rolling up the mashed up contents of her meal before she swallowed. Clearing her throat, she would respond in a sharp, even voice, “Hello,” that one word monotonous as her other exchanges and kept to a strict minimum in an attempt to hide her secrets. Safe as she may be, the word was always used on a relative term whenever she was in a hidden village, and she’d learned as much when she’d studied in Sunagakure along with the object of her search, one Eren who had for so long escaped her search. With so many variables and so many unknowns and so much uncertainty plaguing the search for the one family she’s known and has left, it wasn’t beyond her to suspect that, while the girl herself may not have been the perpetrator behind Eren’s missing status, and while it was likely she wasn’t linked to anyone who was, Mikasa couldn’t ignore the notion that someone else who was connected to the entire conspiracy was nearby. After all, her search for her brother in all but blood had been anything but subtle, despite her valiant attempts at pushing her search in the opposite, less boisterous direction.

When that one word left her lips, Mikasa would raise the dumplings to her mouth again, after having stared at the one roughly spherical object for a second or two, registering her thoughts as they were raised in her mind. No more words would be uttered, as no more words needed to be uttered, for fear of accidentally stepping into the realms of conversation with which the raven-haired girl was unfamiliar with, whether because she was prompted for it, or whether she herself would spill the secrets she’d been trying to keep.

624 words | 1605 total

Aqua

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Genin
The woman was almost as reserved as she herself was, Aqua noted, and that was saying something, for there were very few people that Aqua could list, with fingers remaining even counting on one hand, who shared that title with her, as per her friends and acquaintances’ beliefs. Her upbringing and more controlled and reserved personality had led to her being careful as to what she said, and who she said what with, leading to the incorrect assumption that she was simply suspicious of everyone she came across, instead of the truth whereby she was simply uncomfortable branching out where she found there to be no need. Another person she’d even remotely be able to compare to herself was her sister’s sensei, Mihoko Nara, whose attitude was almost parallel to hers, if only more composed, if such a thing was even possible by their standards. Nevertheless, she found it a necessity (or, not so much a necessity as much as something that was appropriate) to get to know the person she was eating with, at least to join in the atmosphere around them in some form which included a verbal exchange.

Finishing the first of three dumplings in the standard-sized plate served within Matsushima Dumplings, she cleared her throat of the gooey sauce and introduced herself, raising her eyes somewhat to meet the stranger’s, if she would have it. “My name is Aqua Uchiha. What’s yours?” she would ask.

Considering their previous exchange consisted of only two words in total, one coming from each of them, it was a safe assumption that their exchange would stop short of her question and her target’s answer, meaning what was left to continue the conversation would be up to her. With that in mind, following the girl’s answer, Aqua would press on with the conversation, inquiring about the nature of the girl’s choice of food, which she had taken from the tray. Idly, Aqua noted before she spoke that said tray had already been moved from its position during the short time the two of them had spoken, with the waiter likely having returned from whatever debacle had first and initially taken his attention off of the small article containing the food. With that thought though, stowed away in the hidden recesses of her mind, she would continue.

“How is the dish?”

Noting, also, that her lack of response could also be attributed to something other than simply being reserved, as Aqua could tell from her many years of having been falsely compared to random individuals around the town for when they, and by they Aqua really referred to her sister and their two teams, maybe even combined on some occasions, would try to poke fun at her reservations at nearly everything they attempted to get her to do. Arguably, she’d broken out of that shell somewhat, but it didn’t change the fact that she’d understood that some people’s quietness didn’t always arise from an implicit desire to shy away from company, as much as it could have arisen from simply being winded or exhausted from a daunting day.

Running with the possibility of that, Aqua would question as well, “Has it been a hard day?” while hoping that her recent barrage of questions wouldn’t appear as something of a nuisance to the woman she was currently attempting to strike a conversation, or multiple conversations, with.

WC: 577 + 1423 = 2000


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Mikasa Ackerman

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Genin
Mikasa had been in the middle of sampling her dumplings, flicking her tongue over one mush of mutton within her mouth from behind her teeth, when the question for her identity had come, accompanied by the gesture of – or attempting to – look into Mikasa’s eyes to establish what was presumably polite eye contact. While Mikasa had her fair knowledge of etiquette, it was the self-introduction that came with the probing question that spoke of the girl’s genuinely interested persona, bar the occurrence that it was simply a name to throw her off guard. Unlikely, considering they were mere patrons who met by sheer luck, and going off the quick assumption, she supplied her own.

“Mikasa,” the flat and blunt voice supplied, after a quick swallow had cleared her mouth of any offending contents. Her last name, Ackerman, had went unsaid. Idly, she toyed with the idea of slight impoliteness by shielding her meaningless family name when a meaningful one had been supplied, but shrugged it off. They were strangers unlikely to speak again, so etiquette could be excused in favour of keeping as much about herself covert as possible, lest an interested party caught word that she had been snooping around. It wasn’t to do with Konoha’s security, hells was she not seeking a tug with one of the five great shinobi villages, but every man and woman had their agenda, and hers required the fragile touch of secrecy to ensure she wasn’t disturbed.

The two would remain in silence, and it was as Mikasa’s chopsticks went for their next target that the same soothing voice spoke up again, addressing her and asking for the state of her dish. Unnecessary, and likely simply another piece of etiquette she was getting through before getting to the point; after all, people were hardly going to criticise their food, regardless how subpar it would have been, while in the establishment itself. That was not to say Mikasa herself wouldn’t have spoken out if asked, and as chance would have it, hers were delectable. The mixture of flavours within her mouth really exploded with each initial bite, exposing her tastes to the careful mix of three main ingredients, plus the little bits of soy sauce she added to each random dumpling. Having been on the road as much, however, she knew what she was missing in her food when it came.

“The dish is tolerable,” she answered, her chopsticks resting firmly on either side of the dumpling, waiting for the small tug from her wrist.

The next question, however, was slightly unexpected. Mikasa masked her surprise with a facade practiced from youth, rather since the day her biological parents had left for the afterlife, if such a realm existed where she could be reunited with her birth parents, not that she sought the day to come sooner than it should. Her eyes, cheeks, nose, lips, none provided a giveaway as to the mild shock she felt at the question, moreso because she had had a hard day, and the notion of being easily read was something she spent sleepless nights ridding. She scanned this ‘Aqua Uchiha’s face for any veiled threats, taking all but a second to indulge both telling and not, before deciding there was little harm in sharing vague information.

“My day hasn’t been ‘hard’ as much as it has been protracted and enervating,” she responded. As if on cue, she then continued uncharacteristically, “These Mongolian dumplings, while not par excellence, are invigorating when juxtaposed with insipid recipes consumed in raucous environments. The mutton and onion mesh well with each other, but the garlic is too weak to bring out its companions’ flavours,” she finished, welcoming another dumpling between her lips. Deciding that her further indulgence had opened a floodgate of social spirit she’d long since dammed, she let the river take her afloat, providing the next question into their dialogue, “And how are yours?”

664 words | 2269 total

Blake Belladonna

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Genin
There were some secrets in this world that were meant to be kept, and Blake’s entire existence almost fell under that category. She was under constant threat of being noticed by her previous underground gang, considering they lived in the same village. However, requesting a break from the village’s active duty would do nothing but bring suspicion to her sudden request for a vacation, likely unearthing some of her less than respectable moral activities and in turn branding her a criminal, while outright leaving the village would leave her the same fate, only with no walls to guard her from the hands of her previous colleagues.

They were currently occupied, she knew, what with the damage she’d caused their organisation. They’d been set back severely with the loss of the only ninja of the group, forcing them to reroute plenty of their containers and redefine nearly all their smuggling operations, as Blake’s presence in the area normally represented the stationing of a ninja, hence easing the civilians’ fears that anything illegal could have been going on – ironic, for Blake herself was the one authorising and enforcing such criminal deeds. Ninja were often not relocated to her area, since her assistance in their operations meant almost all items got through without anyone being the wiser, while Konoha’s administration continued to scratch their heads at how these operations eluded their eyes despite the ninjas they had stationed around the village.

Her association with the village had never brought upon her any suspicion. For all they knew, she was severely indebted to Konoha for granting her life outside of the Nara compound, outside of her mother’s excessive dependence on drugs that had forced her to leave the old senile woman to her own deeds whilst she found her own place in the world, misled as she now knew it was. The lack of any close bonds she failed to cultivate was attributed to her poor upbringing, causing her to shy away from any form of contact, rather than her making friends in other places and helping them undermine the authorities that she worked for; she was safe from any suspicion from Konoha, but now the same couldn’t be said about the gang that no doubt knew she’d been the one to sabotage their operation.

Her entire existence was now, as she knew it, under attack. Threatened. At risk. Because she’d made the wrong friends, and made the wrong connections, whilst lacking any true help from Konoha; once they knew of her actions they would quicker lock her behind bars. She was at a loss for what to do, and it was a natural instinct to flee from what you misunderstood, which was why she’d been dying to flee from her actions and her situation by drowning herself in as much training or missions as she could, fooling herself that the former would help her stand better against her previous allies turned predators who’d received no formal training, while she believed the lies she told herself that the latter would help absolve her of blame if and when her activities were thrown into the light, whether by purposeful prying of the Konoha government or as a sick way of getting rid of her orchestrated by the devious minds in her ex-organisation.

Either way, she was in danger, and that was the reality she awoke to every single morning. There was no cold sweat, there were no nightmares plaguing her, there was no drama surrounding her situation; only waking up to know that she was in danger. She woke up wondering what actions she could take to further ensure her survival, which had been under attack ever since she were born with the cursed cat ears that were now carefully hidden underneath black bows. She woke up fearing that she’d no longer be in her small, out-of-the-way apartment, having been kidnapped in the dark of the night whilst she was recuperating, and being held against her will be those who would torture her not for information, not as a hostage, but to sate their sick desire for revenge, which she would doubtlessly admit she had earned. Their spite was not one to be trifled with, and she would bear the full brunt of it for her actions.

Despite this, she knew the best way to conceal oneself in a crowd was to draw as little attention as possible – act natural, as it was called. So, she wore the outfit that anyone else would’ve noticed her in, and walked out into the normally crowded streets of Konohagakure, her appearance no more than a speck within the faces of millions as she headed for a spot to sate her afternoon hunger’s cravings. Food was on her mind, and it just so happened she stumbled upon one of the more well-known places, doubling as tourist hotspots, known as Matsushima Dumplings. She stomached the hunger she felt, restraining herself and holding herself in control, walking in unannounced and settling herself down in a recently-emptied table. No waiter came to direct her to a table, but one did arrive to clean up the plates still painted with brown gravy, and wipe the tables of oils and liquids that gave it a sickly shine.

To her left, seated at adjoining tables, were large burly men, surrounding a single girl with a pierced nose. Five to one, but she doubted they were trying to woo her in anyway. She focused on the lack of anyone in the opposite seat, as well as the cleanliness that layered her table, anything to ignore the hunger in her stomach as the waitress dumped her items into a nearby tray and began taking her short but filling list of orders. She watched the woman, clad in a sweaty brown shirt and black shorts to fight the heat that normally washed over the village these days, with an apron tied to her waist, a simple knot behind it. Her notepad was tucked between one cloth string and her hip, held there precariously but not actually slipping out, while the pencil she’d used to take her order was slipped between the ring binders. Both her hands were occupied on the metallic handle of the tray, pushing it carefully past the throngs and throngs of customers Matsushima Dumplings was now experiencing due to a likely return of their Hokage bringing more attention to the hidden village, and in turn people wishing to reevaluate their opinions of this village. So, in simple terms, businessmen who wanted to see if Konoha would be up to their standards.

When her attempts at distracting herself with the now healthier shine the table sported failed spectacularly, she resigned herself to looking around her surroundings. Faces blurred together, holding no clear distinction to her, while a raven-haired woman with hair glossier than her own and cut to her neckline sat opposite a blue-haired girl to her right (call her out on her surprise at the sight of such an unusual colour). Taking it into account that it would likely help her, she decided to try and pry more into the affairs of those around her, apologising to them mentally for the breach in privacy but knowing that deduction would be essential in keeping herself alive.

‘Sorry’, she thought, her lips parting to take in a sudden breath, unnoticeable within this setting, as she resolved to take a better look, stealthier as well, around her. The blue-haired woman and her companion seemed locked in some form of non-verbal communication, as she heard words exchanged between the two at very spaced intervals. They didn’t seem to know each other… did they? Their words, while faint and muffled, didn’t seem to border beyond anything rather than a simple exchange from the blue-haired girl, and a short and brisk answer from the girl who shared her hair colour. Outside of their barely-existent conversation, they mostly focused on the dumplings in front of their individuals, reminding her of her own set of orders that had her salivating. The black-haired girl was wearing what seemed to be a brown leather jacket, and Blake spotted several patches of dirt on it, pointing to possible having come from outside Konoha, as she doubted any patches of mud would be as likely to splash unto a woman’s jacket within this weather, while falls would’ve produced a larger splash and stain than what she currently saw on her leather jacket. Her shirt was mainly white, but it also contained some dirt in various places, seeming like results of smudges rather than accidental food or water spills, and certainly a far cry from possible falls onto the ground, as she suspected those would’ve caused larger smears than the small hand-sized prints located on various parts of said shirt, indicating to the girl’s lack of hygiene or lack of care for such. She wore some form of skirt over her long pants, brown like her jacket but arguably too low on her body for Blake to pay any careful attention to, lest she bring up unwanted attention between them, owing the same logic to the rest of the girl’s outfit, though her red scarf seemed out of place in this hot weather.

The other girl was more noticeable, though with her position across the table, Blake could only see so much of her before the table obstructed her view. That was not to say it was little; no, Blake could tell she was gleaning lots of information from silently scoping out her surroundings, as questionable as her actions may be. Her life had from up till now been surrounded by controversies, and she supposed a few more to help her life long enough to stop her teammates, or figure out how to, would be condoned by some higher power if only as her attempting to balance her karmic imbalance. The blue-haired girl’s hair was styled in a similar manner to the woman Blake had just been inspecting, but her bangs and hair strands certainly seemed to stand sharper, while her outfit was far more revealing. In line with her hard eyes, the neckline down was covered by a sleeveless blue material that stuck to her skin like glue. Perhaps… a more outgoing personality? No, while that would explain the state of dress, considered extremely revealing and supplemented only by empirical evidence of men around her sneaking lustful gazes at her from out of her field of vision, it was shot down by the woman’s quiet nature, though she was making an effort to strike up a conversation of some sort with the woman in front of her. In addition to her skin tight wear, two belts seemed to criss-cross on her breast, intersecting at a point just above her breasts, which she blushed and looked away from as she realised that they were held firmly by the material that left little to the imagination, with the small intersection point marked by what appeared to be a crest of some sort. It didn’t adopt any traditional or conventional shape that Blake could name, even with the multitude of books she read, but it appeared to be a heart placed atop a cross, both painted or crafted from fine silver if the shine was anything to go by; and, by the looks of men nearby, they did little to discourage their gazes to where lechery was at its greatest.

To her left, she paid more mind to the group of six people – five men and one woman – who seemed to be engaged in raucous conversation, imbibed on some drinks and accompanied by laughter of volumes challenged only by the rest of the shop combined. No one was throwing them annoyed gazes though, with the level of noise in the air and the heat already annoying enough that mustering up the energy to challenge five large men and a woman with an attitude to match was more than anyone had paid to eat at Matsushima Dumplings for. The result? The six were ignored and largely just became part of the ambient noises that were hell to listen to, especially as Blake found herself no more than five feet away from the source of the terribly phrased jokes and vocabulary that would make any half-witted scholar roll their eyes in disgust, if not outright fainting on the spot in sheer blasphemy. The five men were large equal in size, standing to, if Blake had to guess, a nice six to seven feet at full height. Their muscles were ripped, courtesy of heavy work or hours spent at the gym, and with the tattoos of various dragons, tigers, and aggressive animals, she could only take a gander that they didn’t lend themselves well to any form of confrontation, opting to adopt the method of most resistance by throwing their muscle on the line and all but scaring their competitors and challengers away to seize their way. Some of them wore shirts, tight enough to see the outlines of their abs, others just foregone the shirts entirely, and Blake regretted that the man sitting directly to her left was one such person, whose body odour was repulsive. Although she herself didn’t possess the features of a cat, despite the cat ears she sported on the top of her head, she’d taken to referring to herself as associated with one, given her liking of the animals and her preference for milk and fish, almost comically resembling attributes that a cat would have, albeit she would likely strangle anyone who dared point out as such. With that, she almost ascribed the foul smell and the intensity with which it hit her nostrils as being related to her more acute sense of smell than most, though without an official checkup at the doctor’s, which she refused to lest it bring her up in the eyes of the authorities for showing up out of any scheduled checkups that ninja were compulsorily meant to go for, she would never truly be sure if her cat-like ears had side-effects on her other appendages, such as whether her reflexes fell under what was normal for individuals her age, and those within her peer group.

Moustaches and unshaved facial hair were wet with the alcohol and booze that they were drinking, and Blake noticed a bottle of wine shattered on the floor, leaving only its poor lower half to consult its glassy remains on its side, any contents just leaking out onto the table and soaking into the wood, owing to the lack of quality that Matsushima Dumplings had taken with reference to their furniture. She didn’t understand if the lack of varnish that should’ve prevented such an occurrence was due to a slight oversight on behalf of the establishment’s owners, or if they were purposefully withholding profits and funds from fixing up the deteriorating conditions of their store, but clearly such oversights didn’t translate over to those of the people, if the customers they were still receiving – for now at least – were any indication of what people thought of the state of their furniture. One of the man slammed his fists on the table as the group of six broke into noisy laughter again, and Blake was almost tempted to silence them if only to scare them away from the site and save her some much needed clean oxygen untainted by whatever stains those people held on their person, but thought better of it for the sake of Matsushima Dumplings, as well as the possibility that they wouldn’t really be intimidated by a girl of her size. Her chakra control, her ninja abilities, they would all come under naught, for it was illegal for any ninja to hard-power their way through any situation, and this was one such situation where the abrupt muscle-shuffling to get what one wanted in the ways of using chakra were extremely frowned upon. It did lend itself slightly unfair to her, as she had to bear the brunt of their annoyances, but eventually she settled her focuses on the only female of the group, noting that she too was in an uncomfortable state of undress, especially for one such as Blake, who while could appreciate the female body, preferred to do so at her own leisure, in private, within her mirror’s reflection of her own figure, not that of another woman’s.

She wore a simple tank top, revealing shoulders, arms, and her midriff, and if one wished to count it, a sizeable amount of her bust. Sweat covered her skin – or was that alcohol, from the odd colour on her stomach? – and tattoos of dragons or snakes and lizards rose up from where the table hid her body to between her breasts, and then rising oddly in a phallic structure between her breasts, likely to entice any male she was attempting to distract. When she laughed, she threw her head back, revealing yellowed teeth and a ringed tongue, and Blake understood immediately why she felt the need to paint such outlandish things upon the skin of her own body. The girl shot her a dirty look, obviously having caught her staring, and soon the group of six were focused on her, and she could tell despite having returned her gaze to innocently looking at her empty table. The man beside her placed a large hand on her shoulder, threateningly, and she shuffled away, unwilling to make a scene in this place.

She could get another place to eat. Causing a commotion here wasn’t worth the attention it would bring her, specifically with the new Kage, who was more likely at the present to forgive her should any of her shadowy deeds come into the light, than would be if she were caught fighting with mere civilians. She excused herself from the table, owing a small bow of apology to the group of six, and ignoring the spit that the woman threw onto the table in a disgustingly disrespectful manner towards her, turning around and opting to find another diner.

3063 words | 3063 total


{Exit}

Kenjutsu: {1500 words, 0 ryo}
Sojutsu: {1500 words, 0 ryo}

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