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1 The Court of Owls [Contract/Private] on Sun May 07, 2017 12:49 am

Karumo

avatar

S-rank
There was everything laid out before him, big empty room even though he didn't need the space, probably 20 feet in each dimension and in the center, was a large scroll with its sealing formula scribed across its surface as it lay open in the middle of the floor, just like he'd left everything. The room itself was empty and near barren, it's grey walls that reflected no light gave it a natural dimness that was perfect for this sort of thing. Crouching down just behind the scroll, running his eyes over the markings of the formula, Kuchiyose no Jutsu, a technique he'd been working to train for some time now was etched in formula in front of him. Hand on his right knee as his left was pointed down, he leaned forward and let his bangs drop as his eyes closed, taking a mental breath to focus himself.

He knew the consequences of doing this, activating the summoning jutsu without a signed contract. He'd either summon some animal that he was connected to in a form or he could end up like those of legend, pulled through and launched to who knows where in the world or possibly even to his own death. There was such subtlety in the fear that began to encompass him as he acted, holding his right hand up and biting into the side of his thumb, letting the blood flow gradually down it. The room filled with silence, he let his hands slide together fluently for the hand signs, pausing briefly at each one. Oo. Inu. Saru. Tori. Hitsuji. he mouthed the names to the signs aloud to himself in a mumble as he settled in, then with ferocity, pressed his blood soaked hand and chakra into the scroll. Letting it flood out in a pass and activating in a small puff of smoke that consumed him violently.

First it was a change, he stayed knelt down even as his body shifted, the floor was gone, everything was. It was just... smoke? Haze and mirrors at best as his scent was the first to return and strike against his nostrils, it was humid and filled the air with the scent of a forest, dirt and foliage were obvious as those smells filled the air and then the haze began to fade away to reveal the world around him. But no longer was the cold and grey empty space of that room but quickly growing green foliage. He was moving down, closer to it, falling? Karumo's demeanor began to shrink as his arms came in front of him in an X-shape to brace against himself, his eyes squinted as he could feel the wind around him and pressing sharply to his body. His knees moved up, retracting his legs and preparing to find anywhere to brace his fall and possible save his torso from anything painful on the way back to ground.

Not to say there wasn't panic, as the green brush of the canopy opened up and sank to his vision, there was nothing but a hundred thoughts running through his mind. If he could use chakra to grab something and prevent his free-fall, how far the ground was, remembering that he could have anywhere from ten feet to hundreds of feet from the canopy to the floor. Still, the first bit came into contact, rustling was the sound but it didn't give true image of the speed and force of which Karumo crashed into those leave, a few branches, he was tossed to his side as he burned through it. A small grunt as he changed position again, finding his midsection coming crashing directly into a thick branch, knocking the breath right out of him but he didn't feel it otherwise. What he felt was the rotation as his body wrapped around and moved him to fall from his back first, sure it killed his speed and momentum, but if that had been six inches or higher onto his chest he might be reeling from broken ribs and the like instead.

Thankfully his fall the rest of the way down, was... more controlled? In the sense that debris, tree limbs, brush, and vines of all sorts all found their way to making contact with his ever increasing lifeless body, every thump and rotation, new welts and bruises forming as he moved down. Every increase in acceleration and downward velocity was brought to a halt by a new obstacle to break his momentum entirely. To call that sort of fall fun would be an insult, but the last twenty feet down or so was clear, and that's when he came to a heavy thud at the jungle floor, thick grass broke his fall to a degree, enough that he wouldn't snap his neck but it did become dark. He'd passed out, his body taken enough punishment for the time and he dreamed, lightly of nothing in particular, about where he was and how he got there.

One minute inside the village in a testing room and the next moment he was midair in a jungle and in free fall. In his darkness, he didn't find much solace, instead he found himself... wandering around aimlessly? Was he... lost? Where was he heading, he mused to himself from his own omniscient point of view in dreamscape, wondering if this was the hell he was confined to in death. It seemed like eternity, watching himself wander about, staring straight ahead, no path in particular and nothing around him in the void, it startled him greatly. His subconscious was building the image of his own perceived future, nothing in particular to aim for and nothing or no one around to serve and protect in any manner. He was lost in his mind as he felt lost in his own real life. Sweating, his omniscient presence grew eerily nervous, sounds began to flood him and then... the image of him walking away began to shrink? No... instead it was that he was falling? The self he felt aware of disappeared and his speed gaining, it grew smaller and smaller and seemed to disappear but before it could light struck his eyes!

Karumo jumped up gasping for breath, visibly sweating on the jungle floor, his legs out in front of him he found himself sitting among the brush and grass. The sounds of birds chirping off in the distance and crickets around him, wind blowing, and his own breath audibly heard around him. He looked at his palms, focusing on controlling his breath slowly, a shallow tint of sweat gleamed under the indirect sunlight, he wiped them into his pants to remove the moisture. His clothing was dirty now, that ANBU armor he'd wore came in handy just a little bit this time, probably keeping some of the more severe bruises mild, but he didn't have time to think on it. Looking around his surroundings he saw nothing but brush and darkness in the distance, a thick forest almost. Dry and temperate, the wind blew just enough to give an eerie noise across the trees, light enough that a normal person wouldn't hardly feel it and couldn't tell the direction it came in.

Only one thing stood out to him, a lone owl watching him with huge and beady yellow eyes, black pupils intently focused upon him. The sound it cooed out, Hoo Hoo! Hoo Hoo! rang absently in Karumo's mind. He grunted, bringing a knee up towards his chest and placing his hand into it as he pressed himself up slowly, the fatigue and soreness in his joints escaped his mind but not his body. It wasn't until he'd risen to a knee that he'd heard a voice call out from some place around him, "Where did you come from, boy?" The tone was deep and condescending, Karumo's purple eyes flicked up and looked around, but there was nothing. Only that owl twitching and shaking its feathers, as birds so often did to shake away liquid around them or to keep themselves clean.

Shaking his head, Karumo tried to bring himself together, You can't lose your mind now, you've just got here... survival is no small problem, and you're a strategist. You can't be hearing voices, just keep it together... he spoke audibly in his mind and mumbled it hardly to himself as he shook his head and stood up completely, patting some dirt off himself. Seemingly, avoiding any noticeable broken bones, at least none that would prevent him from standing and beginning to move. Then, the voice pierced again, "Don't make me ask twice!" it was loud and commanding, some unknown entity, Karumo looked around again, stepping around and spinning to see if it was behind him instead. Nothing... "Don't tell me you're crazy and deaf! That would be such a tragedy here..."

Karumo turned and looked towards the owl, still the only other entity here, it's head was clocked to the side a bit as its eyes focused in on him. Karumo blinked and gulped a bit, "You?" he paused and waited, the bird's head slowly moved back to vertical and the bird spoke up with a shake of its feathers. "Of course! No one else is here you dunce!"

What Karumo was really unaware of now, was that he had entered the Time-Lost Eyrie (高時萎巣曾, Kōjīsusō). Face to face with an owl who spoke, no idea himself where he was, or how to get away, questions surmounting and nothing to give him any reassurance that he wasn't losing his mind. About to talk to an owl in the middle of a forest he had no recollection of in any form.


[1650 words]
[To be Continued]


____


Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici ~ By the power of truth, I, will living, have conquered the universe.

Specs: Ninjutsu(S)|Taijutsu(S)|Fuinjutsu(S)
Elements: Katon(S)|Fuuton(S)|Suiton(A)|Doton(D)
Completed Missions:
D:4 C:5 B:4 A:2 S:1

2 Re: The Court of Owls [Contract/Private] on Wed May 31, 2017 12:20 am

Karumo

avatar

S-rank
Aries:

Karumo stood and blinked at finding him in such a unique place, under these circumstances he looked ahead at the bird perched upon the limb ahead of him. "Alright, if it's just the two of us here, then where are we? And who are you?" Karumo's lapsed ahead of his running mind, trying anything to get a grasp on where he was and what he was doing.

"No, the question is whoo are you?!" the bird rang out and ruffled its feathers, clearly annoyed as the normal tone and sound of an owl replaced the word within its phrase.

Karumo exhaled heavily, pressure still built into his chest, "I am Karumo Sekuro, the Tsuchikage from Iwagakure no Sato... and I haven't the slightest clue where I am..." he gulped a bit afterwards and let his words fall sullen against the sounds of the forest. The owl's head tilted for a moment, letting the pause of silence and tension grow between them but not moving in the slightest.

The owl's head rotated back to standing and a seeming sigh came as it ruffled again lightly throughout it's body, "Bah! Tsuchikage... a worthless title held for overzealous idealists. All the ever were was as clueless as the low-life ninja they lead and hold their heads over." the birds scoffed with a scraggly laugh along with it, almost taunting at Karumo. The owls old feathers and worn demeanor started to show as a ray of light shifted over it, the bird was far older than Karumo had imagined, and it's voice was aged as well. He pondered for a second on just how old the owl might have been... how many other Kage and Iwa nin it might have run into during its time alive. Still, the thought snapped from his head as he spoke up in retort, "The Tsuchikage I know haven't held their heads over those that serve under them..."

Karumo shot back with gritted teeth and held his eyes calmly, against the very annoyance that was building within him, directly at the owl. Laughter came back to Karumo, the w's of the birds natural language filling in at the beginning of each syllable. "Then you're just the overzealous idealist then..." more laughter filled it's beak in a small pause.

"It seems pretty fitting to me really. Now, I asked you before, where did you come from?!" the frustration on its tone was obvious at this point, Karumo gulped a bit, swallowing the bit of anxiety that had built up in the top of his throat.

"I came from the village, I was training a technique and then I ended up here, falling for some distance..." Karumo's words came out slowly, he felt... vulnerable, releasing this information but maybe it was more his own pride that he feared losing.

"The summoning jutsu, eh... curious that it brought you here of all places..." the owl mused about for a second.

"Where is here, exactly?" Karumo skipped questioning how the owl knew about the summoning jutsu, deductive reasoning perhaps. It wasn't on the forefront of Karumo's mind at this point in time, he could care less really.

"Here, here is where you are, but it means nothing to you. How did you use the summoning jutsu but not know where it would take you? Seems pretty stupid for the great Tsuchikage to stumble all the way here without a clue!" the bird laughed with another hoot as it was seemingly enjoying himself.

Karumo frustratingly gritted his teeth at the owl's own cryptic answers, giving Karumo a taste of his own medicine really. With a frustrated sigh Karumo began to speak up, "Look, I--"

"No boy! You look, this is what I'll tell you, you've ended up in the Time-Lost Eyrie, the name of these forbidden woods in which we owls reside. We've occupied these woods and existed here far longer than you could ever contemplate, there's nothing of value for you here so I'd suggest you be on your way now!" the bird was frank and sat still, huge eyes piercing directly through him.

Karumo rested a bit, letting his own mentality fall a bit, his eyes wandering around the dense forest all around them. The Time-Lost Eyrie... it seemed such an odd and ambiguous name for this sort of place, but then again, the owl was speaking as cryptically as he was if not more. Karumo turned back and sharply looked at him, "So then, how do I get out of here, where are we in the world, where is the nearest place to go?" he poised, hoping to correct his mistake.

"How do you escape from a place you cannot find? That you stumble upon on accident by means not reproducible?" the owl seemed to smirk at the comment.

"If it exists then there are paths around it and places that lead to and from it." Karumo gave into a sigh, as if he were explaining things to a child.

"Oh sure, but you'll never find them."

"Then tell me!" the shortness of Karumo's words had grown, he'd almost gritted his teeth along with it, but the owl tilted it's head in confusion.

"This forest is huge, not a place for travelers, many come and go but few ever find their way in either direction. The fact that you summoned yourself here is already a feat, trying to sign a contract with the owls? I'd be impressed if only you weren't so clueless..."

Karumo blinked for a second, his bit of frustration faded, "Then how am I supposed to leave this place?"

"Are you telling me that you're not here to win the favor of us owls then? It's the only reasonable way to get back, I'd promise you." the owl rotated his head back to normal.

Karumo exhaled and relaxed his mind, "Fine, then tell me, how do I sign your contract and escape back to where I belong."

"Oh, it is no simple feat to sign our contract! We're proud, wise, and all seeing. You have to convince us your worth! Appearing here is not enough for any one of us to reveal our secrets and powers to you, and trust me, there is power overflowing from our arts..." the Owls tone was raised but faded away into a seductive tone, a low smile completed the image as if he was taunting Karumo into action.

"Power... what a fools wish. Fine, then tell me! What would convince you to lead me on and show me the way?" Karumo stood at the ready to hear how he'd reply to his sentiment.

"Alright kid, I'll give you a test then. Should you be able to answer even one of my riddles, then I'll have your name signed onto a contract with the owls, and from there, we'll give you a way to get back home and back to here regularly."

A test, were these riddles trick questions or something of the likes? Karumo thoughts to himself, knowing that immediately he'd have to tread lightly but really, what choice did he have? To wander aimlessly and clueless through the forest in hopes of something? No, if there was an easier path then he'd have to try for that first, before going off to search for some other disillusioned path or hope to return to the village.

"Alright then, you're on. Give me your riddles, I will solve them and sign your contract." Karumo smirked, loving the chance to play a mind game against the owl, wondering what sorts of tricks or riddles would come against him.

Aries simple smiled and nodded in return as their test of wits was about to begin.


[1320 words, 2970 words total]
[To be continued]


____


Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici ~ By the power of truth, I, will living, have conquered the universe.

Specs: Ninjutsu(S)|Taijutsu(S)|Fuinjutsu(S)
Elements: Katon(S)|Fuuton(S)|Suiton(A)|Doton(D)
Completed Missions:
D:4 C:5 B:4 A:2 S:1

3 Re: The Court of Owls [Contract/Private] on Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:05 pm

Karumo

avatar

S-rank
"Alright boy, these riddles are difficult! Not the sorts that anyone can just walk off the street and figure out! And if you lose, I leave here and you never find your way back... are you sure you want to wager it all?" the owl hummed with the mischief he were stirring readily in his voice.

Karumo grunted lightly through his nostrils and replied, "You're not giving me any other choice, are you?"

"Hm, I suppose not."

"Your first riddle! I know all, have seen all, yet I am not conscious. Looking back upon me shows mistakes and also good things. Looking in the middle of me shows opportunities to be exploited. Looking forward upon me shows the effects of decision. What am I?" the owl finished and cocked its head sideways for a brief moment before returning to normal.

Karumo immediately looked down and to his left, thinking through every detail that he could. Know all and seen all... some form of omniscience? Reflecting on the past though at the same time... Showing opportunities to be exploited sounds like... the present? And looking forwards shows effect... the future? But it all seems a bit loose and any individual piece could refer to another thing entirely. No, they have to be connected...

Karumo turned his head back up and blinked, "Time!" he threw the words out proudly, time had to be the correct answer, there was no other way. "You look on the past to see what's done, look at the present to see what can be done, and look into the future to see the affect of the decision." he smirked proudly, no doubt in his mind whatsoever.

The owl though, grinned slyly, "Wrong." he put forth bluntly.

Karumo gritted his teeth and clenched a fist, "What do you mean, how could I be wrong?"

"I won't pretend that your answer wasn't good, but it wasn't the right answer, maybe close though..."

"What do you mean, explain?"

"I'd only be explaining the answer to a child who can't search past face value..."

Karumo's fist tightened a little bit deeper, at the idea that there was more subtext to it? No... that had to be the answer!

"I think you're just lying."

"I won't be called a liar by a fool!" the owl snapped back angrily, "If it will save your ego, the answer is History. You look back on history to see the good and evil in the world, you look at it directly to see the opportunities that can be exploited and you look past history to see the outcomes of those opportunities."

Karumo loosened his clenched fist and breathed out in frustration, he'd lost the first one already and left him only with two chances.

"Maybe you're not so clever as you might think then, you'll have to dig deeper if you want to solve my riddles." the owl chuckled a bit at Karumo's frustration.

"Fine, you're right, next riddle." Karumo spoke shortly, it wasn't like him to be so frustrated over something like this but in the matters of the mind, he knew so few that could keep up with him. Maybe it was his own foolish pride, but he had two more chances, these would be easy, he still believed in his own ability. And on the off chance he failed, well... he'd have to improvise.

"You're absolutely sure that you're ready?" the owls eyes narrowed a bit at him.

"Of course, give me the next riddle."


[601 words, 3571 words total]
[To be Continued]


____


Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici ~ By the power of truth, I, will living, have conquered the universe.

Specs: Ninjutsu(S)|Taijutsu(S)|Fuinjutsu(S)
Elements: Katon(S)|Fuuton(S)|Suiton(A)|Doton(D)
Completed Missions:
D:4 C:5 B:4 A:2 S:1

4 Re: The Court of Owls [Contract/Private] on Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:44 am

Karumo

avatar

S-rank
"So quick to have your fate decided..." the owl spoke up and looked at Karumo directly, though Karumo didn't flinch or waver in any form. Just stood quietly waiting for his next riddle to come about. After the short silence, the owl continued on, "Fine, I will give you your next riddle but be warned, that they are only going to get increasingly more difficult..."

"That is fine, I've already accepted your challenge."

"Right, second riddle then.

There is a basket full of bandanas. 3 of them are white and 2 of them are black. There are 3 men Mifune, Torune, and Juro. They each take a bandana out of the basket and put it around their heads without seeing the cloth they selected or the cloths the other men selected. The men arrange themselves so Mifune can see Torune and Juro's bandana, Torune can see Juro's bandana, and Juro can't see anyone's bandana.

Mifune is asked what color his bandana is and he says he doesn't know.
Torune is asked the same question, and he also doesn't know.
Finally, Juro is asked the question, and he does know.

What color is his hat?"


Karumo paused for a moment and sat down, thinking through the scenario and imagining it out in his mind. Looking up after a short pause he asked, "How long do I have to answer?"

"You have as long as you need, I can sit here all day." the owl chuckled and shook his feathers a bit.

Karumo nodded and sat with his legs crossed in place, setting his hands in his lap he tilted his head down and began to think, intertwining his fingers and pressing his pointer fingers against each other so they would push back, he held this position as he tried to think it through. Putting the various bandana combinations on different people and trying to think through how they would logic it out. The way the odds worked out, the only way that Mifune could know could know what color his cloth was, was if the other two both had black cloths. That wasn't the case so it meant there was at least one white bandana, possibly one of each. It brought his odds to a little bit better than fifty-fifty with the cloth being white. Since Mifune could not make any distinction then the two possible scenarios are that both bandanas were white or there was one white and one black.

And Torune had no idea, either his bandana was white or black as before and if... well, Juro's bandana had a color and if it was black then he knew he had a white bandana but if it were white then he could have a black or a white bandana? So he couldn't know any better and that left Juro knowing. That meant... well, Juro knew that both weren't black because if they were then Mifune would have known. And he knew that his hat wasn't black because if it was then Torune could have deduced that his own hat was white in that instance. Assuming that each were perfectly clever in their deductions but that was all part of the risk of the problem.

A devilish grin grew across his face as he had his answer finally, opening his eyes and standing back up, he looked towards the owl. "White. His bandana is white..." his grin grew neutral as he awaited his fate. The pit growing in his stomach as he wondered where he would end up in all of it the owl glanced at him.

"And that's your answer then?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure that you didn't give up and take a wild guess boy? You can't fool me you know!"

"I didn't guess, it's simple logic."

"Explain it to me then."

"If Mifune knew his bandana color then both of the other bandanas would have to be black. That's not the case. If Torune knew his bandana color then either Mifune would have to know his or Juro's bandana would have to be black in order for him to deduce his color. Because he can't do this either then that tells Juro that his own has to be white in order to fulfill both the conditions of the previous persons." Karumo finished and sat back, he was sure again, his confidence had peaked again on the subject as he awaited his final answer. An odd feeling growing over him and building on his own confidence and ego.

"You're right boy, the bandana is white. Clever enough I suppose." the owl rustled itself and flew down to the forest floor just a few feet in front of Karumo and looked up at him.


[808 words, 4379 words total]


____


Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici ~ By the power of truth, I, will living, have conquered the universe.

Specs: Ninjutsu(S)|Taijutsu(S)|Fuinjutsu(S)
Elements: Katon(S)|Fuuton(S)|Suiton(A)|Doton(D)
Completed Missions:
D:4 C:5 B:4 A:2 S:1

5 Re: The Court of Owls [Contract/Private] on Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:33 pm

Karumo

avatar

S-rank
"So I got one of your riddles right then, now what's next?" Karumo continued on looking down to the owl, feeling a weight of concern build on himself but at the same time he felt relieved he'd at least passed the birds test. It was a nice feeling to know that his mind was still sharp, even if he faltered on the first riddle, he'd learned to dig a bit deeper but thankfully the second one could be solved out of pure logic. Karumo had a curious thought, wondering about what the third puzzle would have been but he kept his mouth shut out of a potential future of learning what that might actually be and having to risk himself on the hardest of the three challenges.

The owl spoke up a bit, "First things first Young Tsuchikage, you can call me Aries. That is the name I go by here in the Time Lost Eyrie and what you should refer to me. Lord Aries, even." the owl chuckled a bit at the notion. Karumo responded with a smirk and restrained chuckle himself, the bird so full of it but his demeanor had shifted just a little, from one with no respect to at least a modicum of acceptance of Karumo's existence.

"Now, you've passed my test and summoned yourself here, for that much, I think that we owls can hold ourselves to you but you will sign a contract with us in your own blood."

"In my blood?"

"With your blood." the bird paused for a moment, pecked at a lone feather on its wing, and made a few hand seals together with the protruding feathers. Oo. Inu. Saru. Tori. Hitsuji. The same signs for the summoning jutsu itself, and with a slam towards the ground, the sealing formula unraveled outwards and a puff of smoke appeared to fill around them before leaving a scroll open in front of the owl. The scroll itself was small and had long vertical blocks cuts drawn into it lightly, like sections of the scroll itself to be written into.

"You will draw your own blood and with that blood, will inscribe your name into the first section of the scroll. Then, you'll spread that blood to your finger tips and press the imprint of your fingertips below your name as a final marking that it is truly you who is signing the contract with us." Aries stood in front of the scroll and waited regally, his head high and his widened eyes watching carefully as Karumo bit deeply into his pointer finger, cutting it open and watching a bit of blood run down from it.

With the bloody finger he began to write his name, Karumo Sekuro, and then placed his fingerprints below his name while Aries continued to explain. "With this contract you will be able to summon an owl to your location at any time to aid you in combat or whatever task. We are living creatures though, not to be thrown away but powerful artisans in many arts and in the world of nature energy. We can make very powerful allies if you train yourself and learn our arts, but for now, I will show you the way back. Remember how you found your way here the first time, the chakra you used and you can find your way again..."

Karumo's head tilted and his eyes drew up as Aries began to form the same series of handseals again, "Alright, I'm ready to learn the way back but what do you mea-" his words were cut off as Aries slammed his wing to the ground again and the words rang out, "Reverse Summoning!" and a sick deja vu of smoke and disorientation ran through Karumo's mind.

The next thing he knew, he was like before, laying on the ground and clueless at where he was. But when he came to, he found that he wasn't lost in some dense forest at all but rather, he was back in the grey and singularly dull training room that he'd started in. The same scroll was before him as there was before, he shook his head and breathed heavily, with everything done and over with and a new ability in his arsenal, it was time to call it a day.


[729 words, 5108 words total]
[Exit Thead]
[Contract Signed]


____


Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici ~ By the power of truth, I, will living, have conquered the universe.

Specs: Ninjutsu(S)|Taijutsu(S)|Fuinjutsu(S)
Elements: Katon(S)|Fuuton(S)|Suiton(A)|Doton(D)
Completed Missions:
D:4 C:5 B:4 A:2 S:1

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