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Taeru

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Her head would turn back to the other allowing his miss matched hues to rest on him once again her smile remaining, as she listened to him speak dropping a step to make sure she lined up beside him as they walked, attempting to keep to the pace he walked at, noting the bead of sweat that formed on his brow leading to a light confusion, were he still nervous? Or simply feeling the heat once fully clothed? "Ouh, Good. So what's the plan?" She would urge him on as she looped her thumb into her trouser pocket allowing her gaze to flicker off to the village. It wouldn’t take much time before they reached their destination.  

A short time later...

Upon reaching the village and the street leading up to the bazaar she would pause taking a longer step than usual to avoid stepping on a plump slime coated slug that seemed to just be lounging about on the ground, her face would  scrunch up a little before relaxing, relief washing over her as she only just missed squishing the creature. Looking off into the crowded street ahead as her brow arched, she'd assumed the streets at this time would have cleared at least a little compared to the middle of the day, however that didn’t seem to be the case. Her miss matched hues would shift to rest on Anri, wondering how well he dealt with crowded places. biting down on the soft pale blossom pink flesh of her bottom lip, squishing it before chewing it a moment,   she herself whilst she didn't mind the hustle and bustle, she most definitely wasn’t a fan of so much noise preferring serenity by a long shot. She would cast her mind back to the squads meeting recalling that he liked comics, and aimed to become one of the villages oracles. Taking the initiative she would at least try to distract his mind as they continued up towards the crowded streets just in case. And why not learn something more about the kid whilst she were at it? Releasing her bottom lip she would speak up, "So, at the dojo... you said you like comics and aspire to become an oracle? … I haven't really read many comics myself but a couple back at the house read them often, what sort of comic's do you read?" As she spoke her attention would remain on Anri splitting off only as they neared the crowd stepping a little closer to the other as the create a small 'body' so that it would be a little easier to sift through the crowd without losing one another, listening intently for anything that he might say.

She would grip at her jacket, dragging it from her shoulder before slipping into it, leaning forwards a touch her hands would flit over the material straightening the jacket out making sure to cover over the pouch containing Tatsu, such resting at the base of her back before allowing her fingers to trail over her pouches making sure they were all closed and secure before pressing into the crowd, taking the first few steps herself before allowing him to take the lead as to where they were actually going. Her hands would remain out of her pockets and her jacket open, angling  her arms just a touch to ensure any knocks and bumps wouldn’t stumble her nor force her off track and course. The earlier scents that had drifted to them in the breeze as they wondered their way up to the bazaar would only increase from perfume shops to hot meal stalls. The hustle and bustle of busy shoppers unable to drown out the sound of music that still dances in the air from the bazaar's center like a hum in the air. From street venders to the shops even the most unpopular of area's seemed to hum with life showing the strength and vitality of  Iwagakure in an odd glory. The scent of fresh tea would cause her lips to part a touch, the scent a pleasure, even within the noise of the crowd. She would remain close to the other making sure to be able to hear him if he spoke up at any point as she looked out around them, occasionally out of habit when with another looking back to him, a habit she had gained from having to take out some of the others from the orphanage into crowded place.   It would be easy to say that it's harder than it looks to treck out with a few kids that enjoy wandering off when they see something 'shiny' or fell behind absentmindedly.


(Word count:777.)


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Taeru's Theme.
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo
~Oderint Dum Metuant~
Completed Missions: D-4 C-4 B-6 A-2 S-0

Anri Mao

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Genin
"Plan? I guess we can grab something fast to eat and then head to wherever you like. It's what I have so far. You have any ideas?" He would respond as they walked together, wondering if his associate had an idea as to what to do or where to go. Going out isn't exactly top priority on his list of things, at least not yet. Preparations are still underway since that encounter in the forest. He had to be better prepared before he ended up going out on another patrol again, now that he has an idea on how far he is from actually doing what he wishes.

Some time later it seemed that they both would reach the village, where they would trudge through the streets that led to the generally busy bazaar; a location where they could be sure to find food or some sort. He would stop as she had stopped though, ready to ask what is going on until he had followed her own eyesight towards the plump slug that was seemingly lounging on the ground before them. 'Now that's a coincidence..' he would think to himself as he visibly winced upon seeing the creature, receiving flashbacks to the nightmare he had recently, though the wincing would last but a moment, and instead his eyes would look away as he did well to avoid stepping on it, instead peering back towards the busy crowd which populated the place.

'You can do this.. you're not fully Anri right now, you have less holding you back.' He would reassure himself. Honestly, just from the trek up to here his fatigue was already setting in, which only served to make situations like this all the harder for someone like him to be in. Somehow, his mind was read as she would speak up, mentioning how he liked comics and aspired to become an oracle back at the dojo, and while she hasn't read many herself, a couple of people back at her house read them often, and would even ask him what sort of comics he reads. His mind would zone out the surrounding crowd that loomed ever closer as he would think on that.

Frankly, if she saw his room she would probably be weirded out by his fixation on the genre, so it's probably best he didn't go into too much detail in order to help ensure her that he's not completely weird. The question however made life hard in that regard, since an extremely large part of him wanted to ramble on about the subject. He could mention The Crusher; a Yakuza thug given a tattoo that grants him incredible strength and durability, whom of which uses it to help him bring his old gang to justice after they had harmed an innocent child. He could also mention Proud Spectacle; a magician-turned-vigilante, whom of which has no powers, but uses his intellect and the items he has at hand in order to help him create theatrical traps that are sure to ensnare any opponent, with his own physical weakness kept a secret. He had an idea of who to mention though, as it was someone he had always looked up to, even as a small child.

"I like the kind of comics where the protagonist overcomes their own shortcomings for the greater good. There's this one character called the Red Spirit. It was the daughter of this retired shinobi that was born at a time when it wasn't common to see someone with red hair, and in the Land of Iron, at that. It was because of her hair and the fact that her father was a shinobi that she was looked down upon by her community and the samurai and was refused when she wished to become one, so instead she bought a red Oni mask and all black clothing and began fighting against threats wherever they popped up, always leaving a strand of red hair behind as a way to let the samurai know who it was. I've always seen stuff like that, where the main character decides to make a point by doing things that everyone else thought they couldn't do, as something really cool."

He would inform her. While he didn't give what kind exactly that he liked to read, he assumed from what she saw and heard so far that he's mainly into heroes anyways, so he could afford to be a little more specific. "It's not all that well known or appreciated of a series because it ended with her leaving the country after her efforts only served to anger the Daimyo, and after she left the series just.. stopped.." he would give a short pause before continuing on. "...but up until then, it was really cool to see what was basically this outcast that had multiple disadvantages work towards overcoming them."

"Whoops, rambled a bit. Anyways, what about you? What do you usually do in your free time?" He'd ask of her as he stayed close, his attention slowly returning to the crowd, leading to his muscles feeling as though they were contracting as he tried his best to just keep his focus on her.

Wc 881

Taeru

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As she peered back at her comrade the small signs that had begun to pop up of his lack in stamina would for the most part be caught, however the question she posed seemed to at least take his mind off of the crowd and the seeming lack of stamina. She would drop back a touch making sure to stay close to him and hear what he had to say, looking back as much as possible to show she were listening intently to his words, occasionally nodding before replying, “heh don’t worry about it, speaking up and with content suits you.” A warm smile would take hold along her lips, an encouragement for him to feel at ease, “well that sounds like a cliff hanger… I don’t know how I could take that without getting to an actual ending.” Her words held truth, though she hadn’t really read any comics that which she did read or that which had been read to her she had always needed to find the end, quite possibly a slight obsession.

As they broke through into a clearing she would pause to look at him for a moment pondering on his question. Her brows would furrow for the briefest of moments before giving a light shrug, “I train, and dance … though I can’t say I like dancing. It were at one point expected of me by my father, years ago now.” She would pause taking the soft pale blossom coloured flesh of her bottom lip between her teeth to slowly pull it out before continuing to speak, “I spend a lot of time taking care of the others at the house, I like to read od partake in things like chess anything that will test me physically or mentally… though I don’t get much time for games like chess, or the company with enough patients for it anyway.”

Noticing his composure slipping a touch she would speak up again a mix of prodding to get to know him and keeping his mind occupied, this time her accent creeping into her dull tone a little more, leaning a little closer making sure she would be heard by him and none of the buzzling crowd “What did you mean, back at the dojo when you called yourself a runt of your clan?” her facial feature would twist with the confusion her voice had highlighted as her brows pulled together with her head tilting just a touch to one side. She would wait to give a fair bit of time for him to reply as her mind wondered along past the crowd to the shops taking each and every one in, that surrounded them.

As she looked back up at him her hand would shift absentmindedly to brush his arm taking a brief and light grip beginning to speak, “what, ouh umm..” the heat of his flesh a bit more of a shock than she had expected, the heat being what made her realise her own actions as it contrasted against the icey nature of her own flesh, one of the few defects her body owned. The moment lasting but a second as she spoke up again, more a less immediately regaining her composure continuing to speak where she had left off "What sort of food or sweet’s do you like?” She would resist the urge to inspect the heat of his flesh further, wondering if all of the Kanetsu ran such heat, her curiosity peeked again, leading her to wonder of the others ability continuing to speak as she pondered, “we can get anything you like, I learnt not to be fussy so I don’t mind…” She wouldn’t give much of a pause before continuing “Say, what is it like living inside of a volcano? I stayed inside a hollow tree trunk that still blossomed for a little time once but to live inside of a volcano…” her voice would trail off, her curiosity speaking through, easily showing her interest in both him as her squad mate and his way of life along with preference on how life were approached. Her usually cold vibe showing a warm that would seem to naturally flow from her, the switch in her nature seeming oddly natural as she became somewhat more comfortable with the situation they were in.



(Word count:726.)
(Total word count:1503.)


____

Taeru's Theme.
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo
~Oderint Dum Metuant~
Completed Missions: D-4 C-4 B-6 A-2 S-0

Anri Mao

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Genin
Anri would listen in return to Taeru as she spoke, telling him to not worry about it and that speaking up and with content suits him. His body would tense up as his eyes would move away from her, excitement rising up from within. 'Yes! Go contacts! You're not perfect but holy jamoley you're getting the job done now!' He would think with a subtle arm pump of celebration with his left arm. His excitement would remain as she thoughtfully spoke up about the ending to it, mentioning about how it sounds like a cliffhanger and how she doesn't know how she could take it without getting to an actual ending. "Exactly!" He would respond with his excitement remaining, both hands thrown into the air before them before returning to his sides. "I wash my hands of that ending! But then again, I have a theory about what happened to the author. I think they were planning to disappear too, so they made the character disappear like them. That won't do for me though, I'll find 'em and get them to tell me it, for story's sake."

As he finished speaking the two had now broken into a clearing, where Taeru would actually begin talking about herself, offering a light shrug as she spoke about how she trains and dances, though she doesn't like dancing, but at one point it was expected of her by her father years ago. Instead she now spends a lot of time taking care of the others at her home. She does like reading or to partake in intellectual challenges, an example of such being chess. He couldn't wrap his mind around chess himself, not because he didn't know how to play or that he was relatively poor either, but because in the scope of things his moves were more reckless than anything else, and because of that he must admit he had lost more times than won. He preferred puzzles himself, something that required him to unravel something, or a game like Checkers, which is somewhat similar to Chess, only that it's more on-the-spot moving and fast paced.

He would hear her speak about how she doesn't receive much time for games like chess, let alone company with enough patience for it. "Perhaps we can play sometime then. I'm not all that great at it mind you, but at least you'll have someone to play with on it." He suggested immediately in return. He knew the feeling of being the one that didn't have others to really play with let alone interact with on a daily basis. He was sure her case wasn't as serious as his in that regard, as she did have people to talk to at home, but in regards to actual friends, his was at a whopping zero before joining squad. If popularity was a person, he'd be one of the little dog poops that person stepped in on the street.

The tone of Taeru's would change suddenly, however, all the while leaning slightly closer, aiming to speak more quietly than usual. She would ask him about what he meant at the dojo, when he called himself the runt of his clan. His facial expression would be rapid with change, flashing from surprise, to guilt as he looked away for a short moment, to returning to normal as he would look back at her. He guessed it would be best if he gave her the basics now, but left out the gross bits about it being from incest and all that, perhaps word it differently so it doesn't sound as... immoral. "I was born with extreme physical weakness and I've always been easy to tire out physically, so I've kinda been last in a lot of areas." He would point towards his left arm as a means to signify how the rest of his body looks, his finger going from it to the rest of his body. "When members of a clan or family don't wish to... "taint their blood" with outsiders, they um.. well, usually they are one step closer than friends when.. wait, are you old enough to be hearing this? Do you know about the birds and the..?" He would ask curiously. He wasn't looking to discriminate based on age, but just that he didn't know until he was around thirteen, and the more he looked at Taeru, the more he wondered if she even was thirteen. Sure, she was seemingly one of those child prodigy types, but it doesn't take a smart person to know about sex, only someone that's at an age to tell them about it.

"Well, if you do, my parents were close family before then, so that caused complications throughout the cycle. Basically I became extremely frail and weak since the start, Mom died at birth, and dad left when I was young. Typical sob story overall really after the birth." He would continue with a shrug on his shoulders. Honestly, he didn't care much about his parents. He blames them for being foolish enough to make them like this, in his world, they were villains for doing it, nothing more. "It hasn't been that bad of a deal. I heard usually cases like that are fragile mentally too, but I don't think I have that issue. I do wish I got webbed hands and feet though, that would be cool." He finished right before he had felt the cold flesh of her hand brushing his arm, gripping it and making him get startled with surprise, though trying his best not to return to Anri, causing instead for his body to shiver. No wonder why she was so hot back at his home, she's as cold as a corpse! Chances are meeting that sharp contrast in heat made her body react violently.

It seemed she wished to act like that didn't just happen though. As she would ask what sort of food or sweets he likes, leading him to shrug once more. "Any kind really, I'm not picky about that sort of thing. Just as long as it isn't completely covered in grease chances are I'll eat it." He definitely wasn't the picky kind, at least when it came to food. "I'll just get what you're getting, that way we won't spend forever getting something." He'd respond instead, hoping to for the most part hide his indecisiveness. He would then be asked one of the biggies; what is it like living inside a volcano. Apparently she herself stayed in a hollowed-out tree trunk that still blossomed for a short amount of time but in comparison to living in a volcano.. He'd honestly shrug at the question. "It gets really hot sometimes, but overall, usually you get used to it after a while. Some of the clan gets used to it better than others, and a few actually live outside in the village because they don't really like it much. I've usually been an introvert, so I guess you can say I got used to it better than others. It does wonders for helping to burn off calories though."

"What about you? I noticed you have mismatched eyes. I find them really cool, but I'm wondering if it's just you that have them or if it's a thing that runs in your family?" He'd begin with, hoping to get to know Taeru as well as she's getting you know him as well. "Also, what's it like? Looking after others? You said you had some kind of brother, right? Also, what's the deal with the tree trunk? Why did you stay within one? Isn't that a little... cramped?"

Wc 1322

Twc 2203

Taeru

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Her hand would raise just enough to press the back of her index finger knuckle against her lips as she stifled a chuckle, listening to the lad’s excitement build speaking about the comic. The restraint leaving a smile along her lips speaking up in response “If you do ever find out, you’ll have to let me know the ending too now…” glancing back her brow would raise just a touch as she spoke only highlighting her smile in the process.  

After speaking up and offering what she could about herself, his response was something she weren’t expecting, enough to simply pause her in her tracks even for just a moment, the surprise evident enough on her own facial features as her lips parted to form a small ‘o’ shape, it had been ever such a long time since someone had outright offered without a prompt save for her interaction with the Tsuchikage of course. Her expression would return to the smile once again, the action easy along her usually stern features as her head dipped to one side speaking up, “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like that a lot though I must say the last game I played I lost, so I couldn’t say I’m much better.” If truth be told though she liked that game itself, it couldn’t really be said that she was necessarily good nor bad at the game when looking at her win to loss ratio she was levelling out round about now. However, the amount of times she had been able to play in the short years she had been with the orphanage could be counted on one hand, a shy number comp aired to even her time traveling alone. “We could also do something that you enjoy? Maybe read some comics or something…” the response seemed only fair and things he enjoyed couldn’t be too bad, right? Or at the very least she could hope so, she didn’t imagine it could be worse than some things she had been roped into, being quite used to a wide range of different things when living with over twenty others, down to sharing sleeping quarters with them.

As Anri spoke up about his reasons for calling himself a runt of the Kanetsu she would look him over, her miss matched hues gaze not cold as they usually were but more calculating than anything else as she took more of a serious tone, soaking up the information he gave. Though her expression would quickly crack as he asked her about her knowledge, it was certainly not something that had been explained to her at the ‘right’ time. Her chest would stutter as she struggled to hold back a burst of laughter biting down on her bottom lip before tilting her head once again as she spoke up in response, her retort slipping from her naturally, “Do you know what a mizuage is?” though just as she spoke it would fall back into her mind cutting down the laughter that had built forcing her immediately back to her more serious tone, waving off what she had said before speaking up again the change evident, “I’m sorry, Yes I do know.”

As he continued she would nod along, returning to soaking up the information about him, “I’m sorry to hear that… it must have been hard to grow up without them.” Taeru herself were extremely grateful for the time she had, had with her parents and siblings, her memories of them a treasure, just the thought have not having such were enough to be upsetting to the youngster, after all she had been very family orientated, enough for it to leak out into the situation she found herself in, within the orphanage too.

She would chuckle lightly at the comment about webbed hands and feet, seeing the advantage and disadvantage of the deformity the mood lightening again even if it were just a little. “I can’t say I’d like to have webbed hands or feet, but I see the benefit of it…” her hand would shift to her pouch on her left thigh to take her index finger against it as she continued to speak, “but my equipment could work in a similar way, assisting to swim anyway.” Flicking the latch off she would withdraw Amai from the pouch, tucking it up a touch so that she held the ticker end before offering it out for him to take a look, its length spanning just over eleven inches, though through all intensive porpoises the item itself simply looked like a large fan, easily used for dancing or cooling off. “I’m not sure how you’d combat being frail but being weak is always a choice, with enough effort you can become stronger… we could train together sometime if you’d like?”

She would shift back to listening splitting off a small portion of her attention to think about what they could eat that would be suitable for not only the time but that fact he had not long awoken, not wanting to eat anything too heavy that could cause discomfort.  Responding easily to analysis of living in a volcano, “I can understand why some would struggle, It must be even hotter inside than it were at the door, and I usually look for the hotter places, especially since my skin is… um, cold usually.” She’d give a small pause midway through her sentence as though trying to structure it correctly the moment furrowing her brows for a moment.

At the mention of her eye her hand would shift to press her fingertips down against her high cheek bone just below her right eye briefly before leaving her face again, “I was told that I have my eyes because of something my mother did when she still carried me within her, but my eyes started out as an amber colour when I were born, as I grew in the months following they became as you see them now, the others in my family all have a range of brown coloured eyes except my father his were  mix between blue and grey, He said he got his eyes from my grandmother but I never met her.” Once she had finished and he had spoken up again her gaze would drop away midway through his questions taking a moment before looking back up a him, “It can be fun at times to look after others but also tiring? I guess… especially when they first get to the house, everyone seems to act differently so approaching each person can be a struggle but it gets better. Elder brother ... you could say he’s the technical owner of the home, he owns the land but the elders run the orphanage itself on the paperwork side, he’s more hands on with everyone.” She would pause for a moment giving a light shrug before continuing, her accent a little heavier in her voice, “When I were traveling to Iwagakure No Sato, I were traveling alone for a while, the tree offered a raise from the ground and shelter, It was dry and warm enough, it hid me away and protected me until I needed to move on… but all in all now that I think about it, it was a little cramped but  I was smaller back then… still tall for my age but smaller than I am now for sure.”



(Word count:1232.)
(Total word count:2735.)




Exit thread.




Training Speed from C to C3: 1875/1875.
Remaining word count:860


____

Taeru's Theme.
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo
~Oderint Dum Metuant~
Completed Missions: D-4 C-4 B-6 A-2 S-0

Anri Mao

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Genin
It seemed like what he had originally asked Taeru humored her, and before he knew it he was countered with a question in return. 'A Mizuage...?' He would ponder within his own cranium. "That's.. some sort of Geisha thing, right?" He would question in response to the responsive question to his own question. Frankly, he had only heard of the term once before when he had gone through a drawing phase and overheard two people on the street mention such a thing, though couldn't hear the rest of the conversation other than something about a Geisha. All in all, he thought nothing of it, but apparently it's something more than just an off-hand comment as now the person before him is asking him as well. As he tried to think through what one is however the tone of his friend had changed from one that was humored to one that was seemingly more serious, with her apologizing and confirming that she does know.

He would shrug that off alongside her later apology about how hard it must have been to grow up without them. Honestly, he didn't see it as that bad of a life. It was pretty much the only thing he was thankful to have the blood that he had on, as it allowed him to still have a home and to give him the same opportunities as a normal child when other defects like him are generally left to struggle and flop around like fishes on a dock. Honestly, in regards to his dad, while he felt resentment towards him for not being there all those years, he rather preferred it that way, as if the man stayed when he seemingly hated his kid enough to leave his own home and family behind then things most likely would've been worse if he remained. "No need to feel sorry, I'm better off without 'em, I think."

He would glance back to his friend in confusion. "Benefit?" He would ask, having only thought about how cool it would've been to have it as an aesthetic. He could've been Frog-Man instead of Kaji-Sakura, and he could've even made up some cool crime-fighting phrases like "It seems like you croaked on that crime, villain!", but nonetheless, he guessed there were benefits if he wanted to swim better or whatever, though he'd imagine it would be harder to wield a weapon or tool as well. She would mention how her equipment could work in a similar way in regards to assisting with swimming and with that had pulled out a large fan of sorts. She would mention how she isn't sure how he'd combat being frail though being weak is always a choice, and with enough effort he could become physically stronger. He would shrug at this as well. "Perhaps, but then again you never know." He knew about his being feeble, but he had no real way to describe it other than just going straight into proving it through show rather than tell.

"Either way it would be nice to have someone else to actually do that stuff with for once, I haven't really had anyone since..." His voice would trail off into silence as he instead went quiet, deciding to just stop talking right then and there. He wasn't ready to just admit it out loud to random people. Karumo was enough, but he didn't wish to be judged by others as well for it. Instead, after finishing his description of what it's like to live near a volcano alongside his own questions, he would choose to listen with a solemn look upon his face. He would hear her mention how it must be even hotter within than if she was at the door, and that's saying something considering how she looks for hotter places in order to compensate for her cold skin.

She would also mention after touching the area below her right eye how she was told she gained them because of what her mother did when she carried her within herself, though her eyes started out Amber-colored when was born, changing as she grew older. In regards to taking care of others, it was fun at times but also tiring for her, especially when they first arrive... 'Wait, arrive? So she must be living in some foster home.' He guessed internally as she continued speaking, speaking of how everyone acts different so approaching can be a struggle, though it gets better. She also mentioned how her older brother is the technical owner of the home, since he owns the land but not the orphanage itself, and on top of that is more hands-on with everyone.

She also revealed her not being native to the village, as she traveled to Iwagakure, and due to traveling alone she had to find shelter within a tree, where it was dry, warm, and protective, though it was a little cramped, even for her small size. The solemn expression of his would fade as he looked back at her. "So you were like some sort of Chipmunk then." He would say with a light, teasing smile, before looking back and away once more, feeling a dull pain in his legs. "Listen.. something came up and I have to leave early. I really did enjoy this talk though and I hope to talk to you about stuff like this more sometime." He would say as he would immediately turn away from Taeru, wandering into the thickest section of the surrounding crowd, aiming to keep the two separated as he made the attempt to disappear from the streets, hoping to head back home, where he can finally rest.

[Attempting to leave thread]

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