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1 Book Learning (Aki/No Kill) on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:02 pm



Sayuri wandered through the Konohagakure no Sato marketplace with wonder in her mismatched eyes. There were so many beautiful things to look at. Stalls filled to the brim with fine fabrics; shining silks, luxurious velvets and soft wools. She stood at a clothing stall and looked longingly at a beautiful sky blue kimono, it was printed silk, white petal designs blowing like a storm across perfectly designed garment. It was too long for her of course, five foot and four inches meant nearly everything was too big or too long. She would hold the garment up anyway and the colour perfectly complemented the white of her hair and the blue in her left eye. She would sigh wistfully as she placed it back, One day… she thought without sadness, for she truly believed that patience was all it would take. One shop had nothing in it but glassware, finely crafted plates and cups, with hand painted cranes and deer and birds dancing and flying in never ending circles around their outer edges. She had seen some of these things before when she was young in her own family home. But never so many, it was a lot to take in all at once and she found herself becoming overwhelmed with the noise and colours and press of bodies around her, and would look around for a place to escape for a moment and gather her thoughts. As her eyes darted around, like a rabbit wary of being eaten, she spied a shop that looked cool and dark and mercifully empty of all but one person. Well it’s only one person… I’m not going to find any better any faster… okay feet, go! She thought to herself as she would march herself into the shop and stop just inside the door.

The bright sun outside had left her nearly fully blind in the dimness of the shop, so she would stand still blinking, both allowing her eyes to adjust and not wanting to mistakenly walk into anything while she could not see where she was going. It was not the best situation however, she believed it was preferable to breaking anything, even if she did look ridiculous. While her eyes were still dancing with multicoloured sun spots she heard a voice, who she assumed was the shop keeper, ask in an older man’s voice, “Hello my dear, a bit bright out there is it? Do you need help find something, here for something special?” Sayuri would giggle and rub at her eyes with relief, she had been afraid that someone would yell at her or tell her to leave, and she was pleased that it was quite the opposite.

Relaxed somewhat, and nearly able to see, Sayuri would look around the shop, and was surprised at her surroundings. There were books everywhere. In the back of her mind she knew she was supposed to answer the older looking man who was still smiling at her expectantly, but she could not. All she could do was stare. With her hand tentatively outstretched she would move forward to the closest books and gently touch them, like one might touch a newborn bird, she would even coo quietly. “These are beautiful…” The one she had touched was almost the same size as her torso, bound in red dyed leather, and the corners were held together with beautifully engraved and shaped pieces of metal. She felt the familiar lump rise in her throat and the stinging in her eyes as tears welled up. “Did you make these? They’re… I’ve never seen… “



"Light always shines through the dark"

Ninjutsu S-Rank | Bukijutsu (Kenjutsu, Kyuujutsu) S-Rank | Medical Ninjutsu C-Rank | Raiton S-Rank | Fuuton S-Rank
D-1 | C-3 | B-3 | A-1 | S-0
Socials: 4 | Missions: 0

2 Re: Book Learning (Aki/No Kill) on Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:28 am



The older man looked taken aback for a moment as Sayuri began to cry, he had never seen anyone react quite so emotionally to a book before, at least not one that was not in the process of being destroyed. Then a slow smile spread across his face as a realization dawned on him, this girl was not sad, but appreciative, and that was something to be admired and nurtured. So with a gentle hand he moved her slowly out of the way of the very large tome she had been drawn to and hefted it from the table it was laid out on. She watched in fascination as this greying older man, with not much more muscle mass than her easily hoisted the very heavy looking book off the wooden table and lovingly carried it towards the back of the shop, turning his head back towards her as he went. “Come now child, if it’s the story of a lost king you’re interested in you’d best hurry up, I’ve a mind to tell it and the tea won’t stay hot forever you know.”

Intrigued Sayuri dried her tears on the back of her sleeve and hurried after the shop owner, following him past a long green curtain into a comfortable looking, if small sitting room with an arm chair and a tiny chaise lounge. There was true to his word a low coffee table with a tray and on it a recently served pot of tea with a plate of biscuits and sweets. He motioned to the chaise lounge for her to sit while he sat himself stiffly into the armchair. “Please help yourself to tea my dear, and sweets if you are so inclined. If I do say so myself, you look as though you could use some. Now, this is the story of a young man who spent his life wanting to be nothing more than simply happy, but alas life is not what we want, life is what we make. But I will explain that.”  And with that the old man opened the large book on his lap and turned several pages until he made a satisfied “AH!” noise followed by a click of his tongue and then began to read.


The day was stifling.  Most days in Binburg were during the growing season.  Sadly that didn't stop Joseph's father from needing the animals tended to.   Joseph had pleaded with his father to wait until it was cooler, but there was nothing for it.  So, grumbling, Joseph went out to the barn.  Oh how he hated these days, no one did any heavy work if they could help it, and, if you took Martin the general goods store owner as an example, no one did any light work either.

Joseph went about shoveling manure, and feeding and watering the horse, cow and sheep they owned.  "Blasted things" he muttered,  "Why can't they take care of themselves?"  As if they didn't smell bad enough on any normal day, the heat increased the stench ten fold.  He hurried through his work, all the while trying not to breathe in the foul stench of the barn, and looking forward to going to the creek afterwards.  That was the one good thing about these days, normally the creek was a bit too cool to be fun to play in.  But on a hot day it was the perfect temperature.

Impatient now at the length of time it was taking to clean out the barn, Joseph hurriedly pushed some hay over top of the remaining pile of manure.  "I'll do it later" he said to himself.  Even though he knew full well he wouldn't.  Joseph grabbed his shirt, which he had peeled off in an attempt to stay cooler, and headed down to the creek.  He figured he could be gone for an hour before anyone would notice his absence.  Surprisingly there were no other children playing in the cool water, confused he called out to the two children he saw running back to town.  They called back saying there were new people in town and they were going to see who it was.

"Probably just merchants" Joseph mused, he'd go see them in a bit, after a well deserved splash in the water.  Joseph, without anyone to play with, amused himself gathering rocks as his 'treasure' and declaring himself the Paladin King, Clemens.  There was a tense moment when it seemed the King might be overthrown by Pargunese pirates, but good prevailed and the treasure was secured.  As Joseph stabbed the last pirate with his long sword he heard the joyful sounds of laughter coming from the town.  Curious, he put his shirt back on and ran as fast as his legs could carry him back into town, throwing down and forgetting about the piece of wood he'd used as a long sword in the process.

There was a huge crowd of people in the town square.  It looked like, despite the heat,  everyone in the whole town had come out to see the newcomers.  Joseph pushed his way to the front of the crowd, dropping to his knees and crawling through legs where necessary or expedient.  In the middle of the crowd were several people he'd never seen before.  They all had brightly colored clothes,  there was a woman whose skirt was every colour of the rainbow, and a man who seemed to be addressing the crowd who had on an oversized hat that had tiny bells on it.  In the center of the ring of bystanders were two men, one with large pants that had green and purple and orange stripes on them, and the other whose bright yellow coat had long tails in the back and was just a little too big.  

Both of them were juggling vividly colored bean bags.  The man with the striped pants wasn't terribly good at it though, he was constantly 'accidentally' hitting his partner on the head with one of his poorly tossed bean bags.  Every time he missed a throw and hit the man with the yellow coat everyone, including Joseph, laughed uproariously as the second juggler teetered around and looked as though he might fall down from the force of the blows.  Over and over the man with the yellow coat was hit, until finally he spun around comically and fell to the ground in a mock faint.  

The announcer gasped, pulled off his hat and began asking for coins to help pay for the healing of the poor fellow.  The little bells on his hat tinkled as he ran through the crowd, soon the tinkling of the bells was joined by the clinking of coins.  Only a few though, the people of Binburg will not be remembered for their generosity.
Joseph was trying to see if the man in the yellow coat was actually unconscious or not, so he peered intently at the motionless form on the ground.  Eventually he was rewarded with a quick wink from the man, and was just about to jump up and announce this new found fact when he realized that everything had gone quiet in the crowd.  He looked up in awe as several men dressed in shiny armor, carrying swords and mounted on large horses pushed their way through the crowd.  Joseph waited in anticipation, these were Knights!  He wondered what sort of horrible thing someone had done to warrant this many of them.

The lead Knight addressed the announcer "Michael Bricker?" .   The announcer just pointed shakily to the man in the yellow coat, who was still lying on the ground, at least up until the moment the announcer pointed his way.  He rose slowly and brushed himself off.  Joseph was amazed, he wouldn't have dared take his time if a Knight was speaking to him.  "The name is Fancy now." he said as he straightened his yellow coat.  Just for a second it looked to Joseph like Fancy was trembling, but just as quickly as he'd seen in, it was gone.

The Knight cleared his throat and continued speaking "You are the son of Aaron Bricker? Grandson of Michael Bricker?"

"Yes," he seemed less sure of himself now "What do you want with me?"

The Knight raised his voice, ensuring that everyone could hear him "The Crown Regent, Samuel Clemens, has given up the throne.  You are the oldest, living, male relative of the old King.  You are the King of Vanis."

Joseph couldn't believe his ears.  King Clemens had abandoned them?  Why?  Joseph was shaken, if there was ever anyone he wanted to be like it was the Paladin King, he just couldn't believe he would do that.  He couldn't abandon them… could he?  In that moment a small piece of Joseph ceased to exist, and he grew a tiny bit older.

"I'm not the King!  I'm a juggler!  There's gotta be someone else!  What about my father?"

Fancy looked flustered and almost as though he might start crying.

"I am sorry, but your father was murdered three weeks ago.  You are in danger Your Highness, and you must come with us."

Joseph watched, perplexed, as they guided the now very young looking man onto a horse.  Many of the Knights had dismounted and were surrounding him.  Their armor glinted in the sun, but Joseph thought it looked cold and hard now as they began to move away.  He realized he'd been holding his breath for quite some time.

He breathed out and heard himself say "Long live the King."


Sayuri hadn’t realized that her tea had gone cold in her hand or that tears were streaming down her face as she listened to the story. But as the old man finished the story she was somewhat relieved to see a single tear slide its way down his cheek as well. She was often ashamed of her emotions in the presence of other adults, only in that they did not also share them, and it was comforting to see that someone else did.

“That was so awful, why couldn’t they have just found someone else to be King, why didn’t they let him live his life the way he wanted to? It was so unfair!”

She was very upset and the strain of it cracked her voice as she voiced her woe with the emotional turmoil she felt at the story. The old man smiled sadly as he closed the book and answered simply, “That, my dear is what I meant earlier. Life is not what we want. Life is what we make. Michael didn’t want to be King, but life gave it to him and he had to decide what to make of that. Be a miserable King, or a content King.” He stood and placed the book on the table beside the tea tray and gestured for her to come with him to the store proper.

“I think I know what you’re talking about.”

The old man looked at her tattered clothing and quickly returning smile as he showed her to the door of the shop and shook his head in amusement.

“Yes my dear, I think you do.”

{Exit Thread}


Jutsu Training - Crimson Raiton Slash 1800 words + 250 ryo

(10% Word Count Reduction from Natake Clan)

692 words left over


"Light always shines through the dark"

Ninjutsu S-Rank | Bukijutsu (Kenjutsu, Kyuujutsu) S-Rank | Medical Ninjutsu C-Rank | Raiton S-Rank | Fuuton S-Rank
D-1 | C-3 | B-3 | A-1 | S-0
Socials: 4 | Missions: 0

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