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Nakajima Naho

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Genin
The Sunagakure Education Program was an interesting piece of work. On one hand Naho thought it was economical, using Genin to brush up each other's skills when the more skilled reserves of Chuunin and Jonin were depleted. And she knew they normally were. Missions demanded perfection the higher the ranks climbed, and manpower couldn't always seek to meet the shortcomings of the next generation, even if camaraderie was preached on a daily basis in the Academy's echoing hallways.

On the other hand, some could say it was bullshit exploits of child labour.

There was no need to sign up. The misleading name was glued onto the headers of dozens of mission scrolls, whether you were the tutee, the tutor, or both. Whenever she and her graduating class met up, the program was often ridiculed as a social event. Genin got paid almost regardless of whatever they did, but free-flowing ryo didn't often generate much complaint, and neither was Naho now that she held the yellowing parchment in her right hand. She knew by heart the inked contents; this was not her first time.

The only information she sought was the location, and scribbled messily in black when she'd first taken a peek was the undeniable outskirts of the business district. Few people met there, not drawn in by the local businesses as much as they were weary of the neighbouring slums. While Naho was familiar with the locality she didn't preach to love the disaster that had left it in such a crumbling state. The black sky of two hours before midnight would also see them coming out to forage, no longer subdued by the hot sun and forced behind whatever shelter they could find.

Not that it was any deterrence in the slightest.




[ 301 | 301 ]

Ano

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Genin
A long journey, for sure.

Not just through the desert. Through the Land of Fire, the Land of Tea. It was simply incapable of being called easy for someone unarmed and unable to defend themselves. Someone like him, that Ano that despite knowing this fact, was rather calm in the face of three people standing before him.

Being only ever the briefest of visitors to the Village Hidden in the Sand, and this present stay being his first in five years, Ano was very unfamiliar with the political scene of Sunagakure at the moment. That was to say: he had no idea of the turf wars, the gang struggles that were taking place all over the city.

It was, of course, inevitable that Ano would find himself in the Sand Dune Slums. He had no love for, and was certainly not used to opulence, or large crowds of people. The residential quarter and the Bazaar were not for him. These run-down houses were reminiscent, even if only slightly, of the ruins in the Sands' Domain, the place he used to call home.

But he wasn't welcome here. Why would a young man, draped in nothing but a small cloth for decency and floating lightly in the air, be taken in as anyone remotely acceptable? He'd been through these paces before, though. That was normal enough for him.

They were at least five years his senior. They were perhaps more developed in the bodily sense than he, but it was their eyes that betrayed their age. Nay, only their inexperience, age had little to do with reality or wisdom. It was the look of hubris, a shame for denizens of a ninja village. Ano had actually entered the place to meet with a higher-ranking ninja, perhaps see if he was able to be accepted here. Not for asylum's sake, or having a home. His motives were purely educational.

He did not care to remember what they had said to him. Words meant little when there was naught to say. Something along the lines of "something something turf something something pay up". Ano only gestured up and down across his person, emphasizing he had nowhere to carry currency or things of value even if he did have any; he gave a shrug and a slightly resigned look.

Everyone got their fair dues, in the end.

390


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🙖nascence🙘knowledge🙠striving🙪musing🙢threshold🙚reverie🙐
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Nakajima Naho

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Genin
Despite the darkness cast by the night sky with only the paltry moonlight to guide them, the slums didn't reek of gloom. Improvised torches lit up junctions and crossroads, some more dignifiedly burning on discarded cloth balled up around a stone jutting, standing degrees above the light provided by burning trash in rusting metal containers. Naho could see plenty from her perch at the corner of one rooftop, overlooking a busy crossroads but better still unrestricting her view of the path blocks down. There was something about hunting that she enjoyed, the back and forth dance of the prey and predator, even if no such necessity was found for this particular mission.

The throngs of people directly underneath sang of barter and trade. Intact clothing was exchanged for their meal of the day, but the situation wasn't as dreary as Naho pictured, nor was it as hopeless as narrated. Their faces betrayed content that they were at least struggling to survive within the safe walls of a ninja village, the safest place for insignificant faces that held no wealth or influence. From beyond the group of people bunched in a circle children ran out and played, the perfect mirror of a perfectly normal scene that played in the day in Sunagakure's housing districts.

But normal wasn't what Naho was here for. Her juniper eyes looked for the face on the scroll, drawn in crude ink and painted in lazily. It was a challenge to spot the defined features of an actual person from meters up with the poor replica of his face, but Naho's sharp eyes would make do. They roamed the streets like a stalking cat before she rose and walked to another corner of the roof, not bothering to blend in with the skyline. There was no hiding hair so red, and there was no cutting hair so proud.

The scene wasn't much different. The homeless made use of crossroads and junctions to house their shops because that's where most of the walls crumbled from exposure to the elements. There was shelter and a sense of seniority when you stood behind an improvised countertop with items messily arranged for show behind you. But a nice addition to the picture was the sight of her target or should she say tutee for the mission? though her smile of accomplishment was quickly replaced by a frown of curiosity with the three shadows closing in on him to note.

Admittedly the picture was two blocks down, away from most of the activity. Naho leapt from one rooftop to the other, making no noise in the interest of seeing the scene play out. Her high school social studies textbooks quoted the underground environment of Sunagakure, but this was far from her introduction to it in person, not when she could ask a yakuza to a round of booze anytime she wanted. The katana hung from her waist and the tanto on her back, and her hand patted the ninja pouch behind her rigth hip as she crouched to a kneel just at the edge of the roof, hiding behind the protective fencing like a girl peeking on her parents' late night movies.

This was almost better.

"Pay up," was all she got in time to hear, and as they shuffled closer, she vaulted over the roof, landing behind the one in the center. As silently as possible. She wanted to play this with a bit of drama.

She stalked up behind one of them and threw a casual arm around his neck. "Yes, pay up," she whispered in his ear.

Her theater instructor would be proud.




[ 611 | 912 ]

Ano

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Genin
But what did he obtain from staying here? It mattered little to actually keep around, what with his abilities.

All it took was a bit of will, that force that could only be considered inside him.

Perhaps...it would be considered cowardice by some. However, Ano was never the type of person to fight. It was not because he was weak, at least directly. There existed so many other ways to solve problems. Fighting took some of the least thought amongst them, and got people hurt where it needed not.

And so he hovered off to the Administration Building. There, he could get answers.

There, permission lay for his strength.

110|500
Ranked up 2 passive techniques D->C.

Ano left the thread.

|OOC: I have failed. All I can do is ask for forgiveness.|


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🙖nascence🙘knowledge🙠striving🙪musing🙢threshold🙚reverie🙐
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