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Shinako

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Special Jounin
The midday sun beat heavily down on the watch outpost. Made of the red sandstone characteristic of the Hidden Leaf’s architecture, it radiated heat, sending undulating waves dancing just at the edges of the vision of those who cared to look. Though the high temperature of the day was scarcely 80 degrees, Nara Shinako found herself sweating. The dark-eyed woman frowned as she scanned the tree-line for signs of movement. She was beginning to worry that the team she was waiting for would miss their designated window.

Absentmindedly she unfastened one of the wooden toggles fastening the collar of her red qipao shirt. She was not dressed for field operations, and was not really scheduled to engage in any. Her assignment that day was as an administrative drop-point for sensitive information coming from the Land of Lightning. The relationship with Kumogakure since the last Chuunin exams had been relatively prosperous, so a relatively inexperienced team had been given the field-op as a secondary task to be completed upon their return. Three Genin led by a Chuunin were not exactly combat ready, but they were not expecting any sort of intercepting force along the way, despite whispered intelligence of raids coming from the Land of Water. Still, the group was almost two hours behind schedule, and had not sent a bird or a hare ahead with any news of delay.

Shinako sighed with worry, growing more agitated with each passing moment. The binoculars she had borrowed lay unused beside her. Upon arriving at the watch outpost, she had found no need for them. Over the past few weeks, her vision had grown inexplicably sharper. She twitched her thumbs impatiently, shooting an almost plaintive glance at the carrier pigeons roosted at this installation, she knew that if the squad did not appear in ten minutes she would have to perform an initial sweep of the surrounding terrain to look for them.

She had been getting more and more out-of-office assignments like this, in preparation for her pending reassignment as a Special Jounin. Someone in the higher ranks was unsatisfied with keeping her behind a desk, and the movement of that invisible hand terrified Shinako. It would not be long before she was given tasks further and further away from home; perhaps asked to be responsible for the lives of others, or even worse, to take lives. She knew she was not prepared for that.

At least she had the solitude of the current assignment to mope through her dour mood. Shinako had arrived just as the regulars of this outpost had embarked upon their shift of patrols that morning. She’d heard nothing from the regular road patrol to indicate trouble, but there was no guarantee that the incoming squad would be taking the road. A few more minutes passed in silence before Shinako began to pen a letter to the administrative building asking for authorization to perform an initial sweep. This day was shaping up to be more of an adventure than she wanted.

500/500


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
About 200 hundred meters north of the outpost building was a wood-and-rope bridge which spanned a massive drop. Getting from the hidden Cloud, River, and Stone villages meant using it regardless if you travel via the road or by the trees. On either side of the bridge was a small clearing witch ushered the dense forests. This gives such an area, a strategical point on any map for intercepting traveling parties. One would thread carefully as the probability of ambushes here escalated.

The four Leaf Shinobi would cross the bridge, running at moderate speed with their arms extended backwards like tails in the wind. As the Chuunin who led the pack crossed first, he squinted his eyes with a newfound sense of awareness, fully lucid of the area's susceptibility for an ambush. In the small clear before the forest, he suddenly came to a skid-stop, with a small trail of dust behind his blue ninja slipper. He wore a green flak jacket over plain clothes and bandaged limbs-- and sported the Leaf's headband around his forehead. He signaled with a gesture and two fingers for the trailing genin to halt their position before entering the shrubs and undergrowth entrance to the forest. There was an unnatural russle in the bushes, much to the squad's chagrin. The genins would gulp, and wait silently with drawn kunai. The Chuunin took a defensive stance, and would hide a small scroll in his jacket pocket (no doubt the one with sensitive information, required to be delivered to the outpost). He flicked out a kunai of his own, as it gleamed with the brilliancy of a well-cut diamond, facing into the thick shrubs a few meters away.

The squad was mildly fatigued, but with this new unknown threat, their energies returned suddenly, in the form of an adrenaline induced panic. Suddenly! From the bushes a shadowy figure leaped! It was none other than Asmodeus. Upon seeing the boy jump out of the bushes frantically, the four Leaf ninja lowered their guards as well as their weapons. Why would they do this? Well that was simple, as the scenario unfolded thus: Asmodeus limped towards the group like an injured animal desperately fleeing from an angered predator.

"H-Help!"
He shrieked! With a thrashed, stifled voice, as if he had sore throat.

He wore a tattered black karate gi outfit, which was ripped and torn in various places. Hot red blood dripped from everywhere; his arms, legs, stomach and his entire face was crimson with pathces of dirt. His hair was a mess, brown with mud, covered with a few twigs and leaves from the forest. His appearance was so shrouded by his misfortune that not even a close relative would recognize him. He staggered towards the Chuunin, as if to fall, but was caught instead. The Chuunin instructed his three wards the assist the boy, as they frantically surrounded and unzipped their bars, procuring bandages and such.

"What happened?!"
The Chuunin asked with an authoritative bellow.

"Wild.... B-Boars."
Asmodeus spoke, barely getting his voice out.

"Ok let's get you to the hospital-- the village is near where we are headed"


"Wait... my sister... you need to save her. She'll only 8"
the boy panted.

"Sister? Where is she?"


Asmodeus pointed west, down the path of the river.

"Ok wait here, we'll be right back"


Since the Chuunin couldn't leave any genin unsupervised, he took them with him. Asmodeus looked as they left, scoffing and mastering himself upright. Somehow, he wasn't in pain anymore, and his breathing calmed. A second later, he jumped back into the forest, traveling atop the tree branches and ignoring the ninja squad who he had sent off on a false quest. A coy grin was on his face, as he reached inside his sleeve to procure the scroll which the Chuunin was carrying. It was pick-pocketed! It happened when he fell into the arms of the Chuunin, giving him easy access to the inside of the flak jacket for a brief moment.

"Mission successful" he uttered, his voice as plain and raspy as can be.


Taking the bandages he was given, the blood all over his body was wiped away as he jumped from tree to tree-- revealing not a single scratch underneath. Now about 150 meters from the outpost, there was a cave of sorts, hidden underneath the roots of large forest tree, and something you would only find if looking for. Inside had the space of a small room. Lying in a dark corner was the corpse of a large boar, bearing cuts to the neck and clearly drained of blood.

"Thanks for the assist!"
he mused, talking to the carcas.

In just a few seconds he dumped the tattered clothes and changed into his usual attire: a regular black shirt and long pants, and cleansed himself of the remaining dirt entirely. Pocketing the scroll, he headed out and continued his journey via the road this time. His hair was still a mess, but at least devoid of twigs and such. Onto the road, he would now be in sight of the outpost should one look far enough.

Eventually, he came upon this structure. He looked upwards into the canopies to see where it terminated, mildly interested. There was a woman, but casually dressed in a qipao of all things. Birdwatching? This was most likely, so he shrugged and waved with a genuine smile, should the woman see him. He was too far from her to speak without shouting, so a friendly wave would suffice to acknowledge such a random presence. He pocketed his hands and would continue walking. His hair was damp from its previous cleaning, and hung down, covering the left side of his face.

The Chuunin and his team were about 1 minute away at this time. They would know something was amiss having been delayed by quite an obvious act, and rush towards the drop-off point to deliver the info scroll and report the incident. Should the Chuunin be obligated to check his jacket pocket for the scroll, he would indeed find one-- a blank replacement!


WC: 974/974

Shinako

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Special Jounin
The administrative pigeons never took very long for correspondence between the outposts. Shinako had waited scarcely ten minutes before receiving her answer. As she stood to strap on her tool-belt and forehead protector, she spotted a young man traveling along the road, and he immediately drew her attention. Tall and almost unnaturally thin, she did not recognize him; even stranger, he seemed to be wearing some sort of elaborate costume. He was coming from the direction of the northern path, and might have information on the squad she was looking for. At any rate, it was her duty to make sure he was authorized to travel the road this close to the village now that she was performing a sweep. She doubted she would arrest him, even if his papers were not in order, but she had to be thorough, for the purposes of finding out exactly what was going on. Her shrewd eyes locked on to him like an eagle hunting prey as he approached.

Giving one last glance out at the trees, she saw the telltale signs of heavy bodies moving through the branches of trees. There were tigers in the area that sometimes climbed clumsily, but by the pattern of movement, she guessed that it was more likely a group of Genin, unaccustomed to stealthier travel. Her attention momentarily split between possibilities, Shinako met the stranger’s genuine smile with one that was merely polite. She wrapped her forehead protector around her waist, just over her sash, and lashed her tool-belt and her weapon kit into place. Then, using a few steps with the supernatural walking practice, Shinako descended the exterior of the outpost, making her way briskly toward the stranger on the road.

She had closed the distance to about 20 meters before something odd registered in her olfactory sense. Lingering in the air, washed away but unmistakable, was the scent of blood. It gave Shinako mental pause enough to halt her physically as well. She could smell it clearly now, perhaps coming from the forest, as though some large animal had been freshly slaughtered. However, she had been keeping watch for hours, and would have noticed such a scuffle. No, it was more likely that the source of the coppery scent was far closer. A chill traveled down Shinako’s spine. She raised her volume as she spoke, keeping her smoky voice pleasant and neutral.

“Hello there. I don’t recognize you from the village, but I was wondering if you could help me.”

415/915


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
Asmodeus noted the quick glances into the forest made by Shinako, and paused his advancement as she spoke and asked for help. It was much to his disliking, for the Leaf squad would be here shortly. While there's a good chance they won't recognize him immediately, it won't take them long to put the pieces together. He contemplated, making sure to master his micro-expressions such that he didn't betray the friendly persona he had just made.

"This woman... Leaf headband?... she's a ninja as well, Tch!, what a drag, I can't let my guard down. If I got caught here, it would be the end of the line for me."

He waited a bit before answering, contemplating his next move. He is aware that if she got too close, the fresh scent of iron would indicate blood was spilled. It was quite easy to make up a lie; he could be a hunter, or he could reveal his leaf headband and say that he was on a mission to get rid of the dangerous wildlife here. But that leaves the approaching squad. If they notice his bloody scent as well, judging by his build and size, it would be to good of a coincidence that he was separate from the incident prior, and being pressed with questions was a highly probable. He needed to act quickly, and respond to the woman before the lack of speech became an awkward silence.

Suddenly, a flying bug caught his attention, as his eyes darted to the side.

"Hrm, this might work! he thought, seeing a green stink beetle flying just about arms reach towards a nearby tree.

"Oh, I just moved in a few days ago... and sure, what seems to be the problem?

He spoke with a seemingly genuine interest, then suddenly flung his right hand at the flying insect, then flicked it with his center finger. It wasn't a regular swat however, he hit it hard enough to destroy the thing mid air. In doing so, he pretended to be mildly disgusted, as if swatting away an irritating fly.

"Urgh, I hate insects."

At this distance, Shinako wouldn't be able to discern what type of insect it was, whether it be a beetle, or a moth. Asmodeus cleverly used the fact that it was hot, to immediately wipe his face with his right hand, thus smearing the extremely potent scent of the stink beetle on himself.

"Phew, this heat is intense! I'm a right?"

He joked, now folding him arm; cleverly spreading the putrid musk onto his other exposed hand. This should cover the blood scent for now, or at least mask it  beyond recognition to any regular human. Asmodeus looked up, waiting for her next actions with a mind thinking many steps ahead, of contingencies and several plans-- one of course, being a quick escape.

"Well this is interesting.... At that distance, she stopped before fully coming down. She either noticed something is off with me, or picked up the scent. So here's the scenario: if she didn't notice, then the beetle's scent would surely be picked up now, thus saving me from interrogation from her and the squad behind me.... If however, she noticed the blood scent before I hid it, she's definitely playing me by asking for help.
In both cases, I need to either play along, or arouse suspicion. Ha, fine, I'll play."


He smiled at her, but now of full interest,

"I'll play of course! For this is one game I never lose!"

Whether it be civilians or shinobi, Asmodeus was confident in his abilities-- yet to meet someone that could rival his level of deception...

626/1600

Shinako

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Special Jounin
The stranger moved with great accuracy in flicking something from the air. The motion told Shinako that he was too fast to be a civilian, but was no more than perhaps a Chuunin might display. She herself had begun moving much faster than that. What really caught her eye was the way he executed the maneuver almost absentmindedly, an analytical trait taught to many in the Nara clan through multi-tasking exercises. A moment later, she located his shadow, and determined that it was within its natural boundaries and at a natural orientation. She was in the master class of shadow fighting, and was seldom out-dueled by anyone but the best, so she was not exactly afraid that this stranger could practice Inton. However, if he could, she wanted to know, and would attempt to find out.

Shinako took several steps forward before the miasma of stench met her nose. The sudden shock of smelling the stink beetle played across her face, and she raised her left index finger to her nose almost instinctively. In that same moment, she discovered that the young man before her was certainly not a member of the Aburame clan, and in the next she discovered that his actions were deliberate. He threw away a line about the heat as he wiped the stinking carcass of the beetle across his face, arms, and chest. Even if she assumed that he had had no idea what the insect was when he crushed it, there was no way he did not smell the putrid odor, unless he was completely nose-blind. It was more likely that he was trying to cover something up, or else he would have reacted to the rotting stench. This, needless to say, was highly odd behavior. The woman coughed once, attempting to clear her nose and throat before moving forward once more, coming to a stop within a few meters of the strange man.

The dark-haired woman turned her right shoulder, the one closest to the vector from which the incoming squad would approach, facing in that direction and simultaneously turning her back to both her own and the stranger’s shadow. She gestured out into the woods, hoping to draw his eye with the gesture of her right hand at eye level, to get him to turn away from his shadow. She watched his face closely as the left arm of her shadow quickly reached out to touch his.

“I’m looking for a squad of Leaf Ninja that should have made it to this location about two hours ago. I was wondering if you might have seen any signs of them, coming from that direction.”

Her voice was all milk and honey this close up.

450/1,365


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
A bead of sweat slid down his face. On the outside, the situation appeared nothing more than a mundane transaction of dialogue for strangers-- but internally, there was an intense battle being fought. Asmodeus noticed the woman's natural response upon being exposed to the insect's stench, but made no comment about it, for there were more pressing matters. She gestured towards a certain direction, asking about the squad he had previously encountered. According to his estimation, they should be arriving within the next few seconds, so time was certainly not on his side.

The boy made rapid glances back and forth, only looking at the indicated direction for a split second before returning to her. Out of his peripherals, he picked up the abnormal elongation of her hand's shadow. His eyes squinted as he concentrated on keeping any outward expression in check.

"That's.... Shadow manipulation!?"

He pondered, now realizing what sort of opponent he was dealing with. Asmodeus had never met another person with his Shadow natured ability before, and was intrigued greatly by this discovery. His primary goal was to get the information from the scroll then sell it to whatever party found it useful, then escape into the village once more. However, as if stricken with a newfound sense of purpose, he wished to know what she can do.

The question now was, should he also reveal his abilities and avoid the shadow contact? There was no immediate danger, however he would then be completely at her mercy later on. This he couldn't allow without first knowing her intentions. Luckily the squad was here. They flew out of the bushes a few meters away from the 2, with the chuunin leading the pack. His hands were stained with the blood previously, as he reached into his pocket and procured the scroll which was blank on the inside.

"Squad 19 returning from Kumogakure! the chuunin said strictly, extending the scroll with one arm, with the other folded behind his back.

He bowed slightly as he presented the package to Shinako, waiting for her to come get it.

"Apologies for the delay, we were met with many complications along the way. Something is amiss, however. After crossing the final bridge, some guy who was badly injured and bleeding, led us on a false rescue mission. W-We may be compromised." he stuttered at the last sentence.

Meanwhile, Asmodeus eyed the woman the entire time with a coy grin,

"You mean this squad?" he said rhetorically.

He kept his gaze fixed, completely ignoring the 4 leaf ninja that appeared, and waited for the moment she would look their way . During this time, the shadow of Asmodeus' hands would unfold and make two hand seals: BIRD > RAT. His real arms were folded during this time, and by now, Shinako's shadow would successfully make contact with his. This was a contingency, but hopefully he won't have to use it and reveal his abilities. His next, natural move would be to exit the area, as his help was longer needed. Also, it would spell trouble for him if Shinako opened the scroll preemptively to check it's contents while he was still here, along with the chuunin's curious dialogue.

It was time to force her hand. He would walk, continuing towards the hidden Leaf village, giving her the opportunity to either apply her Nara jutsu, or disconnect it and let him go.

"Hrm, guess I'll be on my way then?"

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WC: 585/2185.      Chakra: 125/150
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Jutsu used
Spoiler:

1. Name: Spellcaster
Canon/Custom: custom
Rank: D
Type: Supplementary
Element: N/a
Range: N/a
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: Maintainable (5 chakra/post)
Cooldown: Duration used +2 posts
Description: Requires: NARA, MULTITASKER (SC)
This jutsu creates a secondary shadow of the user's hands, which protrude just beneath them (this is independent of other Nara jutsu or position of their shadow.

These 'hands', while 2D, can mold chakra via hand seals, and in doing so, the user is able to cast jutsu without making physical hand seals.

This is useful especially if the user's hands are occupied by weapons such as swords, kunai etc.

Like other shadow jutsu, this one can be negated if within 1m of C-rank or higher Katon/Raiton jutsu, or flash bomb.

2. Name: Shadow Paralysis: Crow
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: C
Type: Offensive
Element: N/a
Range: 40m
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: Maintainable (5 chakra/post)
Cooldown: Duration +2 post
Description: BIRD > RAT
A small section of the user's shadow detaches and shoots towards a target at 25m/s in the shape of a bird's shadow (about foot wide). This 2D shadow can be controlled remotely and traverse any terrain. If this bird's shadow touches ('lands on') the shadow of another person (or animal), that person is rooted for 1 post (they cannot move from that location, but has free movement of the body/chakra within that spot).

This can be overpowered anytime with a STR stat 1 rank higher than this jutsu or greater. (NB: Ninja with B-ranked strength or higher are still rooted until they consciously try to overpower it.)
This jutsu can be destroyed by opponent's D ranked jutsu (which produces light as primary effect) or C rank+ (which produces light as a secondary effect)

Shinako

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Special Jounin
The man’s shadow was moving in reaction to her own. Of that, Shinako had no doubt. His reaction to their shadows connecting had been strange, and he seemed alarmed by the arrival of the squad. She was sure now that he was up to something suspicious, though she was not sure of the exact nature of his operation until the Chunin leader offered his explanation. All of the pieces fit. It explained why this stranger had appeared so nearly ahead of the incoming squad, and why he smelled of blood. Shinako surmised that he had faked some sort of injury and compromised the operation while the squad was taken with his charade. It was all very clever, except for the hasty return to the village.

Shinako felt a transfer of Yin chakra to her shadow; some form of paralysis jutsu less sophisticated than her own. The close contact between the two inky servants lying along the ground meant there was no opportunity to dodge. However, the grip exerted upon her physical body was weak, leaving her in full control of her hands, arms, and torso. It scarcely rose above her ankles. She could feel that she was either dealing with an amateur or an opponent who thought a weak feint in these close quarters was worth more than it actually was.

“You’re not going anywhere. Arrest him.”

Inky hands rose from the base of the stranger’s shadow. This was one of Shinako’s best close-range Inton Jutsu for subduing an opponent. Instead of attacking and pinning his shadow, she would go an unexpected route and add a third dimension to the struggle. If left unchecked, the hands would shoot up the thin man’s legs, wrapping around as they went, impossibly dark against his pants. They would come to a rest, the left against his throat, and the right clenched tightly across the groin of his pants.

At the same time, the confusion on the faces of the tired squad began to fade as they realized what was happening. They fanned out, encircling the two shadow combatants. Shinako frowned deeply at her foe.

350/1,715

Chakra, 230/250:

Name: Konoha Hiden: Kage-kubishibari no jutsu (Konoha Secret: Shadow Neck Binding Technique
Canon/Custom: Canon
Rank: B
Type: Offensive
Element: Inton (Shadow)
Range: User's shadow plus 5 meters
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: 3 posts
Cooldown: Duration +6 posts
Description:
The user produces two hands from their own shadow. These hands move at the user's will, though they are limited to moving across solid surfaces, such as the ground or an opponent's body, and must remain attached to the user's shadow. They move at a rate of 20 meters per second.
The hands are capable of grappling, with a strength of B-Rank, and can deal B-Rank crushing damage to soft tissue and cartilage.



Last edited by Shinako on Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
Aghast! The woman was a little more paranoid than he initially anticipated, and had given orders to have him arrested. The game was afoot! Asmodeus' eyes darted at the squad, then back at Shinako. They took a more serious and focused look, like that of a surgeon's work, requiring an almost perfect of precision devoid of errors.

Indeed, his second jutsu, the paralysis crow's effect was to snare the person who's shadow it touched. Whilst Shinako didn't move form her position, he couldn't tell her strength as a consequence-- as she may not require movement in this position. In any case, Asmodeus felt something he had never before; the perception of another's shadow technique within his own. It was a mild tingle, but the foreign chakra moving towards his was as clear as day.

If Asmodeus were to be any other foe, and not a Nara, having one's shadow connected was surely the end game. However, this wasn't the case, as the situation unfolded as follows:
The secondary effect of his paralysis crow technique was quite novel. For in delaying its appearance, a countermeasure was put in place. As Shinako attempted her neck bind technique, she would soon notice that it didn't quite reach the boy. Looking at the ground, Asmodeus' shadow ripped at the waistline, and the entire upper section disconnected as if paper being torn apart. From the section connected to the woman's shadow, a bird's silhouette had taken life, flapping its wings as if landing within its second dimension plane.
Meanwhile, Asmodeus was free temporarily, as the rest of his shadow disconnected, rendering her technique useless before it could manifest. Utilizing this time, he darted backwards from her shadow, about 3 meters at least from it now. With his shadow reformed, the shadow of his hands started weaving seals once more, as he took out a Kunia. It flipped into position pointing outwards as he took a deep wide, defensive stance.

"And here I thought we could he friends." he mused.

Though smirking on the outside, asmodeus' plans were foiled and he wasn't left with many options, leaving him quite distraught internally. Nevertheless, his aim was to make things go in his favor to the best of his abilities. Suddenly, he threw a shuriken at one of the genin who blocked his path to the dense forest on the right. In response, the 12 year old would hurl himself out of the way, leaving a gap in their human barricade. The hand seals would be about finished at this time-- being that of the substitution technique.

"Can't we talk about this like civilized people?" he gestured at Shinako, almost mockingly.


----------------------------------------------------------
WC:   456/2641          Chakra: 115/150

Jutsu used:
1. Spellcaster (Maintenance)
2. Substitution jutsu attempt

Shinako

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Special Jounin
Shinako had underestimated the cleverness of her opponent. However, she had not, she felt, underestimated his overall level of skill. Such a short retreat without fortification or a counter tended to betray an inability to launch such a tactic. No. The tall man intended to escape. However, he was still well within the range of her Kubishibari, and had seemed to underestimate their speed.

Independent Shadow constructs were disfavored in shadow to shadow combat, for the reason that the shadow grew weaker when separated from the primary chakra source of the body. Shinako’s left shadow hand quickly reached out and grasped the opponent’s shadowy bird by the wing, crushing it and stripping it from her own silhouette in a ‘grip-break’ motion she had learned while watching practitioners of Judo. The right hand shot around the slim man’s left side, forming an inky arc between him and he forest. The only objects large enough to perform a substitution lay beyond the tree-line, and she figured he would imbue an object with chakra to connect himself to a log or rock. Kawarimi was a matter of timing. Luckily for her, the opponent liked to talk.

The hands of the Kubishibari were short-range, but could move quite quickly within that range. As soon as the right hand reached an angle between the criminal and the sun, its wrist contorted and expanded, exhibiting a skill that few Nara possessed. Snapping silently against the air, like an impossibly dark sheet, Shinako’s shadow hand left the ground, flying into the air and expanding to form a massive three-dimensional blind between the stranger, the forest, and the sun. The shadow wall rose to seven feet high, and contoured for five feet around the young man in a semi-dome around his body. As his shadow merged with the shadow beneath the blind, Shinako’s own shadow latched on to the shared penumbra, pinning them both in place. By the time the boy was finished talking, he would already be trapped by her shadow paralysis, extended at a bewildering speed by her shadow’s own shadow. If he attempted his substitution prematurely, his high-speed movement would discover that the black wall formed to cut off his path was quite solid, having taken the place that the inexperienced Genin had so readily vacated.

Shinako’s frown intensified to a glare. It was clear that this young man had not studied the Nara canon of techniques, and yet he utilized Inton. Who was this brigand?

410/2,125

Chakra, 200/250:


Kubishibari: 1 post of use remaining

Name: Shadow Wall Technique (影の壁 Kagenokabe)
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: C
Type: Defensive
Element: Nara, Inton
Range: 1-2 meters
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: 3 posts or until destroyed or dismissed.
Cooldown: 5 posts
Description: The user creates a solid wall of shadow as a form of defense, using either their own shadow or shadows that are connected to their shadow. Their shadow must remain in contact with the wall for it to remain effective. The wall is completely impossible to see through, and spans an area 7 feet tall and and 5 feet wide which can be contoured or flat. The wall is about 8 inches thick. The wall can defend against 1 technique of a rank higher, 2 of equal rank, or three of a rank lower. Due to the nature of shadow techniques, jutsu that produce light as a primary function of the jutsu require one fewer hit to break through the wall.

Name: 木ノ葉秘伝・影縛りの術, Konoha Hiden: Kageshibari no Jutsu (Shadow Paralysis Technique)
Canon/Custom: Canon
Rank: C-rank through A-rank
Type: Offensive, Supplementary
Element: Nara, Shadow Manipulation
Range: 35 meters
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: Maintainable, as per jutsu rank
Cooldown: 4 posts
Description: Accessing their chakra reserves, a Nara Clan member is able to stretch their shadow beyond the limits of their Shadow Bending Jutsu, moving their shadow in a thin line up to 35 meters at a rate of twenty meters per second (speed scales by 10 meters per second by rank or 20m/s at C-rank, 30m/s at B-rank, and 40m/s at A-rank). If this shadow comes into contact with the shadow of another person, the user can cause it to latch on, binding itself to the opponent's shadow. The user can split the shadow to trap a number of enemies corresponding with the rank of the technique (C-rank=3, B-rank=4, A-rank=5). Once the shadows are connected, both the enemy and the user are bound in place, unable to move their bodies or legs. The user's arms remain free to perform handseals or use weapons. An opponent with a strength score of at least one rank higher than the rank of this jutsu when used (B-rank strength>C-rank, A-rank strength>B-rank, S-rank strength>A-rank) can escape from the bind, moving their hands and arms with difficulty after one post, moving their hands and arms freely after two posts, and completely freeing themselves after three. While utilizing this jutsu, the Nara Clan member cannot use any element other than Shadow Release.

(Shadow Paralysis utilized at C-Rank)


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
Asmodeus withnessed her follow-up maneuver, exteding now her other hand's shadow, as it moved at incredible speeds. Much to his chagrin, the thin shadow had replaced the path which he had previously cleared almost instantly, making it impossible to reactivate the substitution without running into that--

"A wall?! thats... impossible?" he pondered.

He was caught off guard by the revelation of a shadow existing in the third dimension. 2D shadows were all he knew, not having muh proir knowlege of his clan's abilities. Since it was one of his primary reasons for coming to Konoha, he couldn't help it but to smile, and accept his fate. That woman was clearly in another league, not to mention he had not planned for such a coercive encounter.

The wall expanded and stole him from the sun's embrace, simultaneously producing a shadow with which was laden with Shinako's chakra. It was an attack as fast as the speed of light, and none of his other parlor tricks could fathom such a speed.

"Well... if you insist." he said politely, as if offered dessert after a meal.

He raised his hands up in submission as the Kunai's grip loosened, slipping its ringed handle over an index finger as it hung benign. You see, Asmodeus is not a fighter, and have won many battles simply by haggling and conversing with the enemy. Now this woman was clearly too dutiful to respond verbally whilst in combat, therefore, giving in was his best bet for a more docile opponent.

The other four persons closed in with their weapons all sharp and pointed to him. Asmodeus felt the familiar grip unto his legs, similar to that of his paralisys crow technique-- and was rooted in place.

"I'm guessing this isn't because you want to ask me out." he said with a joking confidence.

"But if you do, I know a really decent place in the market district!"

It was almost as if he didnt care what was about to happen, perfectly relaxed, save for the intense heat of the atmosphere, which forced a mild perspiration. Maybe the heat was getting to him.

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WC: 366/2491      Chakra 115/150

Shinako

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Special Jounin
As Asmodeus attempted to move his hands and arms, he would discover that Shinako’s Kageshibari technique was far more thorough in its paralysis than his own technique. It extended even to her captive’s neck and shoulders. The shadow wall faded, retreating back into Shinako’s own shadow in a twisting motion, reminiscent of a snake. The dark trail receded until only a thin line between Shinako’s shadow and the stranger’s remained.

The Chuunin squad leader moved forward quickly to arrest the man who had so cleverly bamboozled him earlier, a blatant look of embarrassment overtaking him as he looked to Shinako for confirmation of the action. The dark-eyed woman nodded, and the squad leader patted down the tall man’s elaborate costume until he located the scroll which had been taken.

“Ma’am?”

“I’ll take it.”

Shinako extended her hand and accepted the scroll, never taking her glare off of the criminal. Was he, perhaps, a member of the family from another land? She had met many of her foreign cousins at Clan reunions, but could not place this young man’s face. The Chuunin pulled a stout length of rope from his backpack to bind the stranger as the Genin who had broken formation dusted himself off. The other two lower ranking ninja huddled together for muted conversation. These men were tired, after having come such a long way.

Before the dutiful squad leader could apply the rope, Shinako raised her hand to indicate that he should stop. Looking deeply into the stranger’s eyes, the harshness left her expression. This had been too much excitement for everyone involved.

“You mentioned a rescue mission?”

The Chuunin turned back to Shinako and acknowledged her inquiry with a bow.

“Hm....that’s curious. I wonder if he might actually have a confederate somewhere in the woods, providing support. It was too easy to capture him. They may have already copied the scroll.”

Of course, Shinako doubted any of that was actually true. The squad leader had been duped. However, making an arrest for the attempted theft of C-Ranked information would only create unnecessary work. As the woman spoke, her shadow relaxed quite a bit, a gesture which would be easy for the stranger to feel. Though the two Nara’s shadows still overlapped, Shinako’s no longer held its iron grip. With that, she took her eyes off of him in order to properly address the Chuunin squad leader, invisibly signaling to the stranger that she was letting him go while she was distracted.

415/2,540


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

Asmodeus

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Genin
"Hey, careful down there." warned Asmodeus as the chuunin violated his lower clothing, extracting the scroll which was previously commandeered. "I swear, I've never seen that before in my life!" he panicked like a skilled actor-- though everyone seemed to frown upon his obviously transparent ruse. He then looked at the qipao adorned woman with a blank but curious expression when she released the hold. Whilst the paralysis felt like hell, as if he was buried alive and chained up without remorse, he didn't seem to mind at all. What he DID mind however, was that she blatantly ignored his social invitation and started up some formalities with the other ninja. Asmodeus riled up inside; a feeling of both annoyance and excitement, for she didn't even ask his name-- even venturing to release him? But then again, he WAS covered with a putrid musk from an abhorrent insect, so he figured it was a one time thing. He scoffed, and whispered under his breath, "Hrm, well, you interrupted my operation, but didn't turn me in... so meh, I guess we're even." he shrugged, and turned away, noting her physical and personality characteristics: She was a shrewd woman, fully emersed in her duties and gets straight to the point. However, she is also not very strict with following protocols-- possibly lazy or having ulterior motives-- in any case, very curious and enshrouded with a healthy layer of mystery.

Before leaving, he took a look up, past the gently falling leaves and vine strangled canopy, staring calmly at the cerulean sky. It was a nice day, once you get used to the heat and heavy earthen smell and other mild annoyances. Then suddenly, a comically serious look smacked his face upon realization of the time.
"Fiddlesticks! I forgot about my meeting with the drug kartel this evening!" he cursed, and mentally released all interest in the scroll or the woman. He weaved a single hand seal, then gave her one last look with a tilted head. "See ya soon doll face," and vanished with a flicker.

349/2840

[Attempted exit!!!]

Shinako

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Special Jounin
A drug cartel? Shinako’s eyes swooped back to the stranger, memorizing his features just before he disappeared. She took a step forward, with a look of feigned surprised at her own shadow. The Shadow Paralysis technique was a true Hiden Jutsu, and it would be easy to explain any anomaly in its use, as the village administration was not allowed to inquire into the workings of the technique. In short, she could make something up about a time limit, or a solar flare, or running low on chakra. Fortunately, the remaining squad was unskilled in shadow spotting, and would be unable to refute or corroborate her story.

“Damn….My Shadow Paralysis failed.”

The Genin grumbled something to each other, but she saw their shoulders relax. They would get to participate in a regular debriefing instead of having to file reports for a collar. Shinako nodded shrewdly to the squad leader, gathering from his eyes that he had caught on to what was happening. They exchanged shallow bows, and the young man led his team back toward the village, leaving Shinako to her solitude on the road. There were a few things she wanted to investigate for her report, so she secured the target information in her tool pouch and headed for the tree-line, in the direction from which she had first seen the mysterious stranger come.

As she suspected, the scent of blood was not terribly difficult to follow with the putrid stench of the stink beetle out of her nose. Shinako picked her way through the underbrush carefully, beating her path with her shadow before her feet landed, avoiding twigs, snags, and divots. It wasn’t long before she encountered a wall of odor, signaling that she was close to the site of some sort of slaughter. The exercise of mentally dueling with the stranger was largely moot unless she could verify the chain of events.

The man was tall, but not heavy, and seemed to move very carefully, though not with any sort of highly trained precision. Shinako guessed that he was a lower ranking Ninja, though his attention to detail far exceeded his peers. He left no footprints, and seldom bent or broke the surrounding flora to indicate where he had been. He likely used the same method she did to move through forested areas, feeling along with his shadow to avoid obstacles. Either that, or he was a savvy outdoorsman, if not quite at the level of a tracking Jounin.

Shinako silenced herself for several moments, slowing her respiration and heartrate. It seemed like the movement of several Shinobi through the area had pushed the local wildlife away, leaving an almost unnatural stillness in their wake. The animals feared the motion, and the smell of blood running into the earth. The Shinobi of Konohagakure had long been the apex predators in these forests, and only the boldest creatures dared cross paths with them. A slick, wet smacking sound drew Shinako’s ear, and her head slowly swiveled to the mouth of a shallow cave, cleverly hidden away from sight by a lean-to of foliage.

The orange summer fur of a lone, enterprising fox was visible in the shifting light behind the leaves, tugging away at something. The small beast had not noticed her, and Shinako saw no reason to disturb it. The physical evidence was enough to support the conclusion that the stranger had utilized the blood or some large animal to fake an injury. Judging by the smell from this distance, it was a wild pig. It was not exactly the type of ploy Shinako would have used herself, but it did have a certain undeniable shrewdness to it.

The dark-eyed woman found herself overcome with the smell of blood, and had to move on. Dealing with dead things was not her forte. As she moved toward the rope bridge deeper in the forest, she found herself once again wondering who the brigand was, and what kind of reconnaissance he had run in preparation for this operation. While a more experience team might not have been able to see through this ruse, they would have been far less likely to leave the tall man unsupervised during his short window of escape. Everything here had been planned down to the moment, and only her unexpected arrival had thrown the man off.

Shinako found nothing at the site of the original trap, and took her time traveling back to the village, lost in thought. She knew of 9 Shinobi authorized by the Konoha Nara families to utilize the Clan’s Hiden techniques in public, and each of them practiced regularly at the Nara private dojo near the center of their compound. The Clan took their Hiden Jutsu very seriously, though perhaps not to the extent that radicals like the Hyuuga did. It was odd to meet a practitioner in one’s homeland and to not have at least a passing familiarity with them. So, while Shinako had escaped extra paperwork with the village administration, explaining this strange encounter to the Nara Clan would be unavoidable.

More and more, Shinako was finding that the actual objects of her missions were becoming afterthoughts, and the trend was truly bothersome. In the stories, Shinobi could go on missions and leave them behind unscathed, having learned some valuable lesson, or thoroughly vanquished an enemy. It was not the same for Shinako. These foreign people and places seemed to stick to her, dragging at her clothing, and tacking to her skin. When she woke, sometimes, she swore she could smell them in her sheets, clinging to her hair. She was frowning deeply as she showed her credentials to pass the checkpoint back into the village proper.

Though the entire operation had been delayed, leaving the scroll with her administrator was her ultimate task. She made it her first order of business, stopping by the office for the drop-off and a debrief. In her report, Shinako found herself telling only half of the story. Her description of the stranger was not even particularly detailed. Still, the process took two hours as all of the ‘eyes’ were dotted and the ‘tees’ were crossed. By the time Shinako left the administrative building for the Nara compound, it was late in the afternoon.

Discovering who the stranger was would likely be no easy task. If he were someone easy to know, it was likely she would already know him. In fact, she was familiar with most prominent members from the five great nations, at least by name and description. This was a true mystery, and would not be solved by some mundane method of reference or recollection. While the clan was not exactly scattered, it was not unheard of for a member to become ‘lost,’ and to discover aspects of their generational talent on their own. While Inton was not a Kekkei Genkai, it was, after all, a type of affinity all its own.

As she worked, Shinako devised a plan for how she might reconnect with the stranger. She vowed that the next time they met she would get a better sense of his identity, and see if she could not bring him back into the fold. The elders of the clan began preparing correspondence with the rest of the branches, to see if there were any leads she might follow. Though they were known throughout the Shinobi world for their use of shadows, the Nara Ichizoku did not tend to allow matters of mystery to remain in the dark for very long. This matter would soon be brought to light, if Shinako had anything to say about it.

1,270/3,810

~~~~~~~~~~Exit~~~~~~~~~~

Training:

Shadow Sewing Jutsu: A-Rank, 1,800 Words (2,000 Words minus 10% discount for Quick Learner SC)

Reaction Time: B-Rank to B-2, 1,500 Words.

Total Words: 3,810
Words Used: 3,300
Words Banked: 510


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Ninjutsu: S|Genjutsu: A| Fuuinjutsu: B
Inton: A|Katon: A

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