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Stars, so many stars. Without the pollution of the lights of the village, the stars were beautiful, reminiscent of years passed to a time where she lay atop the roof of a family home, her family home, back in a small settlement surrounded by a beautiful yet poisonous flower. Her hands would rest atop her stomach remaining there as she felt each and every little stone the centre carriage road over, though surprisingly the thin road along the mountain side were far smoother of a ride than she thought it would have been. Her fingers would lase together grazing the fabric of her black and red trimmed jacket. Her mind wondering through various memories though one in particular. The sight of the Tsuchikage himself sprawled out dreaming atop the roof of the administration the second time she had ever seen him so close, the trail of thought would chuck her back to the first time she had seen him up close the memory vivid enough that she could feel her kuni gripped within her hand, the cold flesh still heated from the touch of her skittish teammate, A kanetsu to be exact. Her hand would twitch as she listened to the sound of the Tsuchikages voice as he set out the ‘rules’ of their chess game.

She would shift a touch, searching out a comfort between her back, her tessan Tatsu and the top of the carriage. A cool breeze drawing up the scents of the rushing water of the running river just below over the side of the cliff, the up turned earth beneath the hooves the  great beasts that hoisted and dragged the carriages along the narrow path with precision and ease, guided by the merchants, all the scents that surrounded them in the journey to the Tsuchi No Kuni border A place she now called home, the birthplace of a grandmother who’s name she bared yet whos  arms she had never felt, who voice she had never heard yet words that were burned within her mind, ‘A name such as mine is one that is to be endured for that is its meaning, and I throughout all woe and hardship shall endure’ as she heard the words echo within her mind her lips would mouth each word.

Earlier that day…

Taeru’s upper body would dip into a quick bow, the flexibility of her young frame evidently showing in the grace of her movement. Raising she would straighten off to her usual strict stance as the merchants arrived at their meeting point to check on their carriages as their cargo were being loaded. The first merchant to arrive seemed jolly enough, or were it sarcastic? Either way it wouldn’t matter, the man would pause before her before looking around only to rest his gaze on Taeru herself, “You are?” Taeru would for a moment take in the male once more before reaching into her back side pouch to retrieve a small scroll, handing it over promptly as she spoke, her voice like always dull yet laced with a light touch of her accent, that which further separated her from others within the village of Iwagakure No Sato, “I have been tasked with the mission to escort three carriages to the border of Tsuchi  No Kuni, Dono.” The man would take a moment before giving a hearty chuckle stepping to her side to wrap an arm around her, giving a light squeeze as he spoke “So they’ve sent a young pup this time, eh? When will the others be arriving?” Her head would tilt just enough to set her miss matched hues on the male before tilting a little further, “Dono, I shall be the only one escorting the three carriages,” Taeru would watch as the males features dropped into what could only be classed as disappointment and irritation causing her to continue to speak, “I apologies Dono if this news has displeased you…” her word would be cut off by a wave of the males hand only for his other to pat her shoulder again before releasing her as he spoke “It aint’ your fault so don’t you be apologising. It’s just ludicrous that’s all, it’s the last time I let Narico sort out the escort the cheap sod.” He would pause as he watched a few people approach, clearly the other merchants before bumping her arm with his to whisper “since there’s only gonna be you, you can ride with me, I won’t be taking no for an answer.” The man would smile and wink before stepping up to greet and explain to the others.

Present time…

Silently she would listen to the sounds around them, from the sounds of the carriages groaning over each little bump in the road with the weight of the goods they bore, the rushing waters at the bottom of the cliff, to the quiet muttering of the merchants as they chatted away whilst steering the carriages. All seemed peaceful, yet something still rose the tiny hairs on the back of her neck, driving the goose bumps along her flesh, something just didn’t quite feel right. Maybe it was something on the wind?

She would listen closer, taking another, deeper breath in to mull over the scents, nothing. Her hand would raise up slowly, almost as though to grasp up at the stars above. Her hand would however still as something just off from her ring and pinkie fingers, shadows? … no movement, movement from above. High above them, though subtle it was most definitely movement. Not taking her sharp unforgiving gaze from the movement humanoid figures came into view. She would remain still, her muscles shifting as she readied herself for the incoming, her form seemingly so very well overshadowed by the mountainside. She would speak up, her voice remaining low but enough the old merchant to hear her, “calm and steady proceed. All will be well, and our company above shall know what it is to fall.” Her voice almost a dead tone. The old merchant would simply continue with his conversation with his companion though simple she knew from such wording he understood. Their pace never rose nor fell the trust the man held were simply astonishing to say the least.

This would only empower her. Feeling the wind shift her pastel lilac fringe would whip away from her forehead as she began to build up her chakra, a deadly hue would raise showing a dull glowing symbol in the centre of her forehead, that of Jashin before fading down once more. Muttering quietly at first, “Great is the gift my lord has given…” The first would drop down from above their intention the carriage she lay atop, her words would continue, “With my hand adrift like a net,” timing herself just right her hand would swipe over snapping a grasp at the side of the carriage forcing herself over just as her leg rose up to catch the descending invader in the crotch with her leg stretched upwards bending naturally with the impact enough for his feet to touch the top of the carriage lightly before extending her leg once more, his axe dropping immediately from his grasp as he reached for the soft of his manhood a choke released from his parting lips, she would continue, “I shall snatch you from the skies…” her voice raising just enough for the male to catch, twisting she would force the man over the carriage leaving barely enough time for her free hand to whip around with Amai, her tessan, unleashing her chakra in a violent stream through it, her contact pounding straight into the males throat, another choke yet this one bloody. No time for him to react, a continues choke as he dropped from the cliff side to his impending death. Her own form sprawled in the air, again facing upwards as she watched the decent of the other two. Tensing her form and tugging hard on her grip she would form a rolling spin, forcing herself back onto the top of the carriage and onto her feet. Her chakra would flair, changing its channel to her feet and she removed Tatsu from his sheath at the base of her back, these two were smarter, clinging to the cliff side upon their decent to the carriages, for this she too would join them.

Leaping to the wall she would land behind them a short distance off, even with them pausing to watch their comrade fall, had they yet even noticed her form approach? Her voice would continue drawing out the extension of her tessan as Tatsu opened as an ominous green flame danced along the blade to strike the female bandit with the bandits back to her, striking from the bandits coxic to her shoulder blade in a quick clean movement, shedding this time, little blood as the flame seared the flesh with a violent sizzle. The bandits scream more daunting than the action, yet it was the male’s eyes, the distane, the hate, the venom in his gaze, Taeru’s miss matched hues would not waver, allowing the female bandit to take a knee her voice would continue as she too lowered, speaking in the female’s ear yet her gaze remaining with the male. “My cold gaze, your doom…” She would tilt her head into the female bandits as she continued, “My voice no comfort…” The male would launch for hear, forcing her to leave the female bandit catching site of the wound healing slowly, the female would be the one to watch. Tatsu would snap shut to match Amai as Taeru rose the both, crossing them to block the swing of the male’s axe. The sound of the carriages passing them by, such a welcomed sound drawing the males attention just in time for her to push his axe upwards to draw her frame chest to chest merely an inch away from the males raising a hand to his waist to both steady herself and attack as her other hand rose giving Tatsu is full extension, “My embrace is death…” Sending a disrupting flow of chakra into the male, an implant of sensation the male too would scream out as though a fire had been set beneath his skin, under her touch before flowing outwards. Dropping his axe, the satisfying sound of it hitting the ground below them. As the male slouched forward towards her, her movements would not falter as she stepped past him the blade slipping past his throat to coat her arm in his essence, the short sound of a gurgled choke before dropping to the ground in a dead heap.

Yet in all her movements grace she had missed something, her miss matched hues would scour the area in search of the female, a simple mistake but a mistake non the less, her voice elevated to a point she were sure the other would hear, “ Now come…” with that no longer would she have to wait as the cold sting clipped from her waist to her shoulder blade, though partly shielded by her jacket it would still hack through her shirt drawing forth her own essence, such lased with an ominous green glow, staggered veins consuming the area around the wound. “You bitch how dear you.” The bandits voice ragged, a rage within her building as Taeru stumbled forwards twisting to face the women scorned, “Beg not to me but to my god.” Taeru’s body would drop into a crouch, watching more the uneven stance of the female before her. The wound not yet healed internally, an advantage she would use. “Your soul a gift to Jashin," as she spoke the female would charge she too   would launch forwards, yet forcing herself low and to the upper side of the female, swiping at the tendon at the back of her ankles to sever it. The female would crunch forwards before dropping, though her landing softer than her companions as she landed atop his corpse. Taeru would take her time approaching from the wall to place Tatsu away whilst listening to the sound of the carriages continue their movements. In place of tatsu, Taeru would withdraw her Kuni, its beads rattling in the breeze. She would place her left foot atop the female’s hand as the women tensed to attempt to strike her again, a useless act. Taeru would crouch down looking the women in the eyes as the women’s free hand rose to strike her with an open palm forcing her head violently over, Taeru’s face immediately reddening from the strike, such only drawing a smirk to her lips as she placed the tip of her Kuni to the women’s throat at an angel to kill, through gripped teeth the women’s words would come rattling deep within her chest “I shall not beg.” A sigh would leave Taeru’s lips as she finished her verse in a simple sweep leaning down to whisper in the women’s ear, “For your blood shall be mine.” Before driving her blade deep enough to feel the women’s throat tense and relax with every choke before drawing out her blade.

Another sign would leave her as she put Amai away swapping her Kuni to her left hand allowing her right hand to cup over her own wound she would watch the female bleed out to take her last breath. As a formality, she would check both bodies for signs of life finding non, she would move with haste down the side of the cliff to find the first male had not made it to the river itself but to the thin strip of jagged rocks, a broken man. Blood littering the surrounding area of the body, it wasn’t as quick a death as she had expected evidentially but a death non the less. She would again with haste return to the merchants whose pace had slowed, simply by the old merchant, she knew this for sure. A hearty smile would spread along his lips at her approach, causing one in return to spread along her own lips. His partner would take up the steering allowing them all to continue to the boarder without further hindrance leaving the old merchant speak with her. All in all her mission a success even with needing a visit to the hospital upon her return.

(Total word count:2415.)

Exit thread.

Mission word count:1500/1500.
Remaining word count:915.


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

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Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden belong to © Masashi Kishimoto.