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Midori

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Sat in her office, Midori flicked through her paperwork, humming to herself in thought. She had met interesting people during how long she’d been Kazekage thus far, and she’d held her own squad. Yet most of those within the squad disappeared, places that she knew not where they were. Only one such student remained, yet without a squad to build with him, Midori felt… Uncertain in how to proceed. Yet now, as she drug her quill across the parchment, the Kazekage put together what she believed would be a compatible squad, and one with three… Rather different individuals, all of which she wanted to grow, and to nurture.

The first of these, and from her original squad, was Rokumaru Sabaku. An enthusiastic kid, he was clearly a patriotic sort and hard working. Yet she feared for his over confidence, and for his loud mouth, for the shinobi world was not kind to these things. The next, Aiden, was a mystery among them all. A quiet boy, found fleeing a crime scene. It was clear he was good at heart, yet he was timid, and whatever past life he had was causing him some dramatic issues that she knew he would have to work past himself. Yet, what was to stop her from helping. And lastly, Kuno Uchiha. A young boy with a lot of talent, working on a personal investigation into a gang, and having witnessed first-hand how he can work in the field. Yet Midori knew of the contact he had been getting aid from. A reckless influence. He was showing signs of falling into darkness, and while the shinobi world needs its darkness, in this instance, Midori wished to teach – that being within the darkness does not mean accepting it as a part of yourself. Not always.

Three young, influential shinobi of the desert village. With that, Midori wrote up her letter, preparing to once more spread the title of the squad one. To wave the flag of the Lily once more with pride. She wrote the letters, folding them into scrolls, and ordering them to be sent off at once. However, unlike before, she designed each letter with the specific recipient in mind. Personalised.

Dear Aiden,
I apologise for not writing sooner. Things and times have been busy and somewhat of a conundrum for me to sort out, yet, I now have made time. I told you before that I wished for you to train under me, and now is the time if you are willing. I have organised a meeting with two other people who I am hoping will become allies and friends to you. I hope to help all of you grow. If you are willing, please meet me at the outskirts of the slums, nearest to the main bazaar and mystical glass museum at a time of 0110 hours, in two days’ time from receiving this letter. I trust that you have been well rested, and I hope this will help you, and you will work with me on this.

Your friend, Midori.


Dear Rokumaru,
I humbly apologise for how the prior meeting had gone for squad one. I am proud to have chosen you to promote to the rank of chuunin. You have done good deeds within the village. Yet the squad fell apart. I am not afraid to admit it. I failed at being a squad leader. Yet if you will allow me, I would like to revive squad Lily. Allow the flower to bloom once more. I have found two other shinobi who I believe could work well with you, and if you will, I would enjoy having you join the squad once more. I have big plans for the Lilies, and you were there at the beginning. It would be rude of me to not offer you a place at the next step. If you are interested, please come to the outskirts of the slums, near the main bazaar and mystical glass museum at 0110 hours, two days from getting this note. Stay safe until then, and I look forward to reading any further reports.

Your sensei, Midori.

Dear Kuno,
I told you before that I wish to put you into my personal squad. Now is the time. Meet me at the outskirts of the slums, near the main bazaar and mystical glass museum at 0110 hours, two days after getting this invitation. Safe travels, and take it easy.

Your Kazekage, Midori.

The letters sent, Midori got back to work. And as time passed and the next day came, she got ready. Yet unlike before, she wasn’t hiding. At the location and time set, there one hour in advance, Midori stood, wearing her Kazekage attire to make sure she stood out and simply leaning against the wall of a downtrodden building that had clearly seen better days. She had chosen this location for a reason, one she hoped would become apparent to those that she had invited. She just needed them to come…


833


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Kugutsu (S) - Medical Ninjutsu (S) - Fuinjutsu (B) - Fuuton (S) - Doton (C)

Kuno

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The young Uchiha glanced down once again at the brief message that he had received form the Kazekage two days earlier. It had not revealed much at all, only that it was finally time for him to meet his squad mates and train under her as their squad leader. This had been a long time coming, since Midori had assigned him to the squad back when she had promoted him to chuunin. A fair but of time had passed since then, and rumors of changes in the lineup had reached his ears more than once. Regardless, he knew that he would remain as part of the squad simply because the Kage had promised it, and though he did not trust much anymore, Kuno Uchiha trusted Midori with his life. Their various meetings as well as the missions that they had completed together had form a bond to Kuno, and that bond of comradery was not something that he took lightly. He allowed so few people to be close to him since the death of his mother and the disappearance of one of his friends, Lynn, so many months earlier.

But the Kazekage had showed him that she was worthy of his trust, and the trust of the village. Taking that to heart, Kuno was looking forward to working with the other members of his new team, though he was not overly thrilled with the name of the squad. Squad Lily…what ever happened to the numerical naming conventions? Shaking his head and muttering to himself about the floral nature of the squad name, Kuno geared up for whatever Midori had in store. The nineteen year old threw on his regular black pants with the red stripe followed by his usual white shirt. Over that Kuno adorned his Ninshiki robe, adjusting the one armed vestment to ensure that it would conceal his crimson miao dao which he sheathed and strapped to his hip. He also made sure to bring along his kunai and three shuriken just in case, a swell as fastening his Sunagakure no Sato forehead protector into place. Lastly, Kuno reached under his desk and pulled out a small metal box containing the gift he had received from Issei upon joining Ninshiki so long ago. The bracer easily clipped to his left wrist as he flexed his and, remembering how the chakra nullifying device worked. Maybe he would finally get a chance to use it…

After going over his equipment one last time to ensure that everything was in order, Kuno stepped out of the door of his home into the night air and made his way to the closest rooftop, jumping from one to the next and so on until he had made his way into the heart of the city. He had to admit, he was confused as to why the first meeting with the new squad was taking place at night, and why it was happened so close to the Sand Dune Slums. After his most recent visit there, Kuno was reminded just how dangerous they can be, especially at night; not that he expected there to be any trouble for four trained shinobi. But even so, it seemed like a strange place to arrange for a meeting when the Tsumi Sand Grounds or even the Dunes outside of the village could have provided a far simpler place for the members of the squad to get to know each other.

But once again, Kuno trusted Midori, and so he obeyed her orders without question, arriving to a building above the meeting spot approximately five minutes early, as was tradition when it came to the chuunin. He always assumed that early was on time and on time was late. Glancing down from the building, he could see that Midori must have held a similar philosophy. She was standing in the meeting spot, clad in her full Kazekage attire that was simple to spot in the moonlight. Not wanting to risk being late, Kuno descended form his position, jumping from balcony to window ledge and so forth until he landed on the sandy ground about ten metres away from Midori. He waved as he approached the young woman. “Good evening Midori…or should I say good morning? I’m here in response to the message you sent me. Am I the first one to arrive out of my new squad mates?”

WC:733


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:18
"I've learned that love and hate aren't that different. Just look at how I feel about my family."




~Ninjutsu {S} | Bukijutsu (Kenjutsu) {A} | Katon {S} | Fuuton {A}~
~D [2] | C [8] | B [3] | A [0] | S [0]~
Passives: Perception: +1

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
The letter delivered to Rokumaru a few days prior left the boy in a state of excited impatience. Lily Squad, a name that was beginning to grow in him, was being assembled outside the crime-ridden slums of Suna for what Roku could only assume was delivery of overdue law enforcement. His only visit to the 'Sand Dunes' as the locals called it had kept the young Chuunin far away, but if the Kazekage herself was involved than he would risk it. Roku idly wondered what his commander's approach would be to dealing with criminal scum; some of her policies were influenced by a bleeding heart, in his opinion, but certainly she would have a harsh opinion of those disrupting the peace.

He spent the day before making light preparations, mostly out of restlessness. The few weapons he had were freshly honed and packed away while his gourd was freshly filled, and Roku scoped out the meeting point from afar. Whereas he felt comfortable meeting in the deserts outside Suna last time, as the sandy wilderness did not discriminate in being a danger to all, meeting inside the city close to the slum did not sound as relaxing. Luckily the prospect of cracking criminal skulls offset any uncomfortableness he might have been feeling. Would the Kazekage be assessing Lily Squad's ability in combat? Midori had mentioned she had replaced his first two teammates, and he sincerely hoped he wouldn't be stuck with two Genin fresh from the Academy.

Roku hoped they were delving into the slums, at least. The heavy sand gourd strapped the redhead's back was only brought to intimidate his would be enemies, a tactic the Jackal suggested when they'd crossed paths here. He tightened the strap of his gourd as he stepped outside the door of his home close to the Bazaar, locking several deadbolts behind him. With the meeting point only a short walk away Roku guessed he would arrive a few minutes before required of him; after arriving far too early for the initial squad meeting he decided being too early was just as bad as being late. The teen double checked the pockets of his gray cargo pants for his weapons, fingering the three shuriken in his back pocket and the kunai in his front, satisfied with their freshly sharpened edges. If he had the puppet Roku commissioned earlier in the month he would be completely prepared, but he was glad it wasn't ready. Until he purchased a sealing scroll he'd be forced to lug the thing around alongside the gourd.

With few shops open this late at night the streets were sparsely populated; patrols and shinobi were active in the night, often seen heading off on their own business, but civilians rarely risked venturing out after dark. Considering he would be meeting close to the slums, dangerous even in broad daylight, Roku was glad he would be accompanied by his Kage.

Moving past the Mystical Glass Museum Roku was tempted to stop, having never visited before and admittedly forgetting the place existed, but any straying from his path would make him late today. He resigned to tour the facility soon.

Turning the corner of a graffitied apartment building Roku found the spot he was to assemble at, dimly lit by the moon above free of clouds. Expecting to see the Kazekage henged as a small puppet again, he was disappointed to instead see her leaning against a wall as she waited. Close to her was a male taller than himself patiently waiting, another member of Lily Squad he assumed. It was only as he drew closer did he recognize the figure: black hair and pale skin were Kuno's most striking characteristics and Roku fondly remembered first encountering him at the Oasis.

Roku arrived a few minutes short of the scheduled time, holding the strap of his gourd as he approached his sensei and what he hoped was his teammate. "Chuunin Rokumaru reporting as ordered, Lady Kazekage," the redhead reported to the woman as be entered speaking distance. Offering a shallow bow to her, struggling from the effort of shifting the heavy gourd on his back around, he turned to his taller and darker peer. "We meet again, Uchiha. I hope you're here as a member of Lily Squad as well."

WC: 726


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:11
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-3|C-11|B-0|A-0|S-0

Otter Aiden

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Chuunin
Footsteps ran through the elongated hallway of the hospital. Aiden would be at the head of them and covered in blood with his clothes torn ragged and his eyes as wide open as his mouth. The tingling sensations of fear and a noticeable lack of feeling were crashing throughout his body like rampaging waves against the shore. Every few steps he would stumble, though would catch himself at the last second. Why was he running, though? He can only recall what can be described as fear in its' entirety coursing through him and yet he still can't remember. It feels like it has gone on like this for hours, however, and that he still recalls the last time he had forgotten what he had been so afraid of. This thing that was chasing him could be anything from monster to man, from ungodly horror to something completely normal, but whatever it was, it seemed that the first moment he would see it would be the last that he would remember.

Still though, he glanced back, but couldn't see anything as he would crash into a conveniently placed hospital bed just a second later. Tumbling over it and knocking it to its side, he would end up trying to scramble off the floor and back into his feet, but it almost seemed as though his limbs wouldn't work like they're supposed to, like all five of them were belonging to someone else and that he was only borrowing them for the day. Whimpering in fear, he would give up on getting up and begin trying to just run on all fours like he used to, though right as he began, he would already be knocked backwards onto his back. Despite having forgotten it, just looking at it now made him know immediately that the creature had caught up to him, that his end was near. The face terrified him and made him become heavy with guilt. The burned face of an all too familiar female looked down on him and he could swear he could see what looks like charred bone within some of the infected flesh that littered it; Misami.

He tried to word out the words that would plead for his life, but all that came out were mumbling sounds, and all that came out of her would be her now raised broken blade. He would see nothing else but the soft blur that came from her driving it towards him, this was the end.

"No!" He would wake up in a cold sweat, body releasing the pent up tension within as he suddenly unraveled from his ball-like position on his side, almost launching himself out of his mat while succeeding to do so with his blanket. Shaking from his nightmare, he would do nothing else but stare at the wall, teeth clenched shut as the fear slowly flowed out of his body with each deep breath he took. His muscles were soon enough relaxed for him to stand up and his teeth soon became unclenched. It would only be then that he would actually begin to get cleaned up and ready for the rest of the night now that he will sleep no longer.

A few hours and after an extremely satisfying bath, he would be all set. It seemed he had slept throughout the entire day, which is something he didn't mind much at all. He needed the rest lately, even if it didn't come easily to him. Shortly afterwards he would receive a knock upon the door. After receiving the letter and having the courier read it out to him, Aiden would close the door and would place the letter on the floor next to his sleeping mat. Midori organized a meeting with him and two others at the outskirts of the slums near to the main bazaar, and at 0110 hours, no less. He assumed that mean late night/ early morning, though his lingo in regards to telling time is rusty at best. The date revealed it to be two days ago, meaning that more than likely they had stopped by before when no one was home due to his late "activities", though now it seemed he had but an hour to actually get to the meeting.

Putting on a brown short sleeved shirt and black pants, he would set out. With his left hand a like crane he would jump up and dig into the edge of the roof, pulling himself up before heading out in the direction that the meeting would be taking place in, forehead protector in his right hand.

Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, Aiden would generally look around him, checking out the area as he moved. It wouldn't be long until he caught eye of an all too familiar spot, with four faint person-shaped chalk-lines etched into the stone. Wincing, he decided to no longer look around for this trip, and instead just focus on getting to the meeting place. Finally reaching it, he would land upon a nearby rooftop and would look down at the meeting place, where he would see the odd uniform of a Kage draped over an individual, telling him almost immediately that it was Midori. He'd be lying if he said his heart didn't warm up a little upon seeing the leader of the village again, and he almost wondered if taking part in this group could help repay the kindness shown to him. Immediately he would make his way to the ground, landing around six meters away from Midori and five away from his two squad mates. He could only recognize one of the two as Kuno. He didn't forget his face nor the clothes he generally wore; which involved black pants with a red stripe. He wore some kind of robe as well, almost making the Chuunin wonder if there was some kind of dress code.

The other person; a male that looked around his age but with a gourd accompanying him on his back, which almost confused the Chuunin as to why someone would want to carry such a thing around, though then again it was probably a way for him to carry his stuff around. He would look back towards Midori once more, waving towards her with a smile growing and his four foot long tail wag slightly. "Hi Midori." He would then switch his attention back towards what he could assume would be his two allies, making him suddenly realize that he was the last to arrive, quickly causing the five-foot four male's smile to fade. "Ah, I'm late, am I?"

Wc 1117

Midori

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As she waited and watched, one by one, her students began to arrive. The three shinobi she had chosen to work with her closely on bettering the village. As she’d expected, the most… Professional of her students was the first to arrive. A boy of darkness in her mind. Still, as he jumped down from the rooftops, this seemed to emphasise the idea, as if wishing to avoid the normal, path based route and go for a more unseen approach from above. As he said his greetings and posed his question, Midori raised her right arm in response, nodding her head. “You are indeed. Good morning Kuno. I am sure the others will be here shortly.

Next, the… Rambunctious of the trio arrived. Still, his greeting was rather curt and swift in regards to Midori, before turning to Kuno, the large gourd upon his back being something Midori vaguely remembers, albeit perhaps not the same size as prior. It was hard to tell in the dark. Still, she found it interesting and amusing to know that the boy was acquainted with Kuno. The interconnectivity of the village never ceased to amaze her. A soft smile spread across her lips as she spoke, not giving Kuno the chance. “Good morning Rokumaru. Yes, Kuno here is a part of the Lily squad, the same as yourself. There is just one more to arrive, whom I am sure won’t take too long… Still, we may need to wait.

As the last of the squad arrived, Midori offered another smile of greeting. The small, animal featured boy was far more cheerful and in his element than when Midori had first met him under less than desirable circumstances. As he commented upon being late, Midori simply shook her head. “No need to apologise Aiden. I did ask for you all at a rather inconvenient time…” at this, she would turn to look sideways, avoiding direct eye contact as she coughed to clear her throat. “Regardless, I am sure you are all wondering why you are not in bed at this current time. So, I shall start to explain. I’m sure all of you are familiar with where we are, but just in case, I will explain regardless. This is what is currently regarded to as… Well, as our slums. It’s the place where crime seems to gather, the buildings get run down, and where the general populace fear to tread. Since even before being Kazekage, this place has had my attention. Others can disagree with me on it, but, any criminals within these walls and alleys are still people. People with stories, and circumstances that lead to where they got today. I hope one day to get the village to a point where we can divert more resources to this area. Provide better housing, offer more jobs, give counselling to those who may need it. Sadly, we’re still in the early days of enacting such a plan. So, for now, as shinobi, our job is to monitor, and lower collateral.

Sighing to herself, Midori gestured into the area, before turning and, although hard to see due to the fact that her robes were still not fitted to her size, far too large and somewhat silly looking if anyone thought on it too long, began moving down into the darkness, motioning with her hand for the others to follow her as she spoke. “All three of you are equals, both in rank, and, I have no doubt in skill. Yet, all three of you have things that perhaps leave you… Vulnerable as shinobi, and as people. So, starting tonight, starting in these alleys, and starting on this morning… I will sculpt you. Slowly. I hope you are prepared…

Midori walked a bit further down the alley, her steps slow and almost methodical as she gazed from left to right, the only indication of this being the shifting movement of the wide birthed hat. Finally, she turned proper to face the right most war, inspecting it with a thought as she considered it. The wall was rather grimy, although compared to the rest of the “slums” it was relatively clean. Furthermore, in a sloppy mess of kanji and graffiti font, in a black and white paint, the word “war”, bold and large across the wall.

Nodding to herself then, she spun on a heel, turning to face the trio of students. “Right. Well, it seems two of you know each other at least, but, just in case, and despite that, all three of you, introduce yourselves now. State your dreams, your goals, your strengths, and your name.” Sighing to herself, she took a step back, before taking off her hat, smiling as she pointed it towards the graffiti’d wall. “Oh, and while you do so, do a public service. Every change starts somewhere, and some time. The recovery of the slums? I say it starts here, with a single wall. Whether you use jutsu or practical skills to do it is up to you, just… Don’t damage it or make any noise. People are sleeping.

Flipping the hat back on to her head with a grin, Midori then stepped to the side, clapping her hands gently together. “Well then, no need to hurry. We’ve only got until it’s done. Then, I’ll have something you can all do.

890 + 833 = 1723


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Kugutsu (S) - Medical Ninjutsu (S) - Fuinjutsu (B) - Fuuton (S) - Doton (C)

Kuno

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The Kazekage’s greeting was short, but it was still enough to make the young Uchiha smile. She had an air about her that rang of…confidence maybe? She had been looking forward to the meeting as far as Kuno could tell. And so was he, as he had not had a chance to find out who was in his squad yet. Though his question as to one of the members was answered shortly when he saw a young red headed boy with a large gourd on his back approaching and greeting the pair. It was none other than his acquaintance form the Oasis, Rokumaru Sabaku. The memory of their brief encounter earlier on in Kuno’s career only reinforced his smile that was now plastered on his face. He ad enjoyed the company of the boy, but now to be fighting alongside him? That would certainly be interesting. Midori answered Kuno’s question before Kuno had a chance to, but while they waited for the mysterious last member of the party, Kuno stepped over to Rokumaru and gave him a soft jab with his elbow. “I hope you can do a little more than just relax in the Oasis if you’re gonna be on my team.” He chuckled quietly before continuing. “In all seriousness, it’s good to see you again and I look forward to seeing what you can do with that gourd of yours.”

Last but not least, Kuno could not believe his eyes when he saw a young, tailed boy turn around the corner and approach the group. There, running toward the group, was Otter. He apologized for being late, and Kuno took the chance to wave at him while Midori was telling him not to worry about it due to the time of night. It was interesting to know both of his squad mates before this circumstance, but still have no idea what they were capable of. As the Kazekage turned around to begin speaking to them, Kuno only grew more excited. “Regardless, I am sure you are all wondering why you are not in bed at this current time. So, I shall start to explain. I’m sure all of you are familiar with where we are, but just in case, I will explain regardless. This is what is currently regarded to as… Well, as our slums. It’s the place where crime seems to gather, the buildings get run down, and where the general populace fear to tread. Since even before being Kazekage, this place has had my attention. Others can disagree with me on it, but, any criminals within these walls and alleys are still people. People with stories, and circumstances that lead to where they got today. I hope one day to get the village to a point where we can divert more resources to this area. Provide better housing, offer more jobs, give counselling to those who may need it. Sadly, we’re still in the early days of enacting such a plan. So, for now, as shinobi, our job is to monitor, and lower collateral.”

The woman sighed quietly, and gestured toward the Slums before them. Kuno knew them all too well, and if the woman speaking to them was not someone he respected so much, he may have openly disagreed with her then and there. As they stepped into the darkened streets, Kuno’s mind flashed to the image of his mother, bleeding out in his arms in their family kitchen. Yes, everyone had circumstances that brought them to where they are, but everyone also had a choice of what to do with those circumstances. There was no looking past the fact that Kuno could have gone rogue and run off in search of revenge, but instead he had dedicated himself into a ninja that could protect the village and stop tragedy like that from ever happening again. So if criminals chose to be criminals…well, they would get what was coming to them. Kuno was pulled out of his thoughts by Midori’s voice one again as they continued though the slums. “All three of you are equals, both in rank, and, I have no doubt in skill. Yet, all three of you have things that perhaps leave you… Vulnerable as shinobi, and as people. So, starting tonight, starting in these alleys, and starting on this morning… I will sculpt you. Slowly. I hope you are prepared…”

The young Uchiha was not sure what he expected, but when the group stopped in front of a graffiti-ed wall, he began to have his suspicions, which soon proved to be correct. She nodded to herself and then spun to face her students, removing her hat as she spoke. “Right. Well, it seems two of you know each other at least, but, just in case, and despite that, all three of you, introduce yourselves now. State your dreams, your goals, your strengths, and your name. Oh, and while you do so, do a public service. Every change starts somewhere, and some time. The recovery of the slums? I say it starts here, with a single wall. Whether you use jutsu or practical skills to do it is up to you, just… Don’t damage it or make any noise. People are sleeping.” Kuno looked to the wall, then back to Midori, then back to the wall again and sighed. “One moment please,” he said as he stepped past Midori to pick up a small bucket and a rag that were on the ground. He was not sure who they belonged to, but he would be sure to return them when he was done. Glancing about, it did not take him very long to find a valve on the outside wall of one of the buildings and fill p his newly acquired bucket with mostly clean water. Stepping back to the wall, Kuno dipped the rag into the water and began to scrub while he introduced himself to his squad.

“Well, you all actually know me, though I don’t know how much you really know about me. But now I guess you know that I’m no master of Suiton chakra.” He signed and shook his head for a moment as he continued to scrub the wall. “My name is Kuno Uchiha, but like I said, you all know that. My strengths are my ability with Kenjutsu and Ninjutsu, as well as my proficiency with Katon chakra. I can also use some Fuuton jutsu, though they don’t come as naturally to me. Lastly, there’s my Sharingan. Though it is not complete, it is a useful tool for copying jutsu, keeping one step ahead of my enemies, and of course, as a sensory technique for detecting others. As far as goals go…” he paused, unsure of how personal to get with the rest of the group. “Right now I simply wish to become the best ninja I can be. I would like to be one of the Red Sands someday, though for now, I am content in simply working hard and honing my skills so that I can help protect this village.”

With that, though he would continue to scrub the wall, he looked expectantly over to the other two members of his squad, hoping to learn something new about them.  

WC:1224+733=1957


____

:18
"I've learned that love and hate aren't that different. Just look at how I feel about my family."




~Ninjutsu {S} | Bukijutsu (Kenjutsu) {A} | Katon {S} | Fuuton {A}~
~D [2] | C [8] | B [3] | A [0] | S [0]~
Passives: Perception: +1

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
His assumption was confirmed by Midori and Rokumaru gave his raven-haired teammate a friendly grin, rubbing the sore spot where Kuno had elbowed him lightly. Roku definitely hoped the boy hadn't forgotten their agreement to spar; he'd show the Uchiha what he could do with or without the gourd. The redhead stood quietly as they awaited the arrival of their last squad member, peering off into the dark streets as he speculate who it would be. Hopefully someone of the feminine persuasion would arrive. The deadline for them to meet here he came and went and still they were waiting; an irritated Rokumaru was eager to begin, already impatient before he himself had arrived, it was almost enough for him to complain. Fortunately the third arrival joined the trio soon after, jumping from rooftop to rooftop to speed his journey.

Lily Squad's third team member was a stranger, and was definitely strange: a long tail swayed back and forth behind him which Rokumaru couldn't break his gaze from. A tail? Aiden, as the Kazekage had referred to him, had certain characteristics only found in animals like the pointed canines he bared while smiling. Roku thought on how exactly this boy's ancestors managed to gain their animal traits and none of what came to mind was especially flattering. He gave his teammate a small nod and stepped a bit further away, watching the dark-haired tail of his swing back and forth and resisting the urge to touch it.

With her squad assembled Midori began to explain why she had called each of them here. "I am sure you are all wondering why you are not in bed at this current time. So, I shall start to explain. I’m sure all of you are familiar with where we are, but just in case, I will explain regardless. This is what is currently regarded to as… Well, as our slums. It’s the place where crime seems to gather, the buildings get run down, and where the general populace fear to tread. Since even before being Kazekage, this place has had my attention. Others can disagree with me on it, but, any criminals within these walls and alleys are still people. People with stories, and circumstances that lead to where they got today." He could see she still had hope for the people who lived here, unable live up to their full potential due to poverty and crime. Rokumaru listened raptly as the Kazekage continued.

"I hope one day to get the village to a point where we can divert more resources to this area. Provide better housing, offer more jobs, give counselling to those who may need it. Sadly, we’re still in the early days of enacting such a plan. So, for now, as shinobi, our job is to monitor, and lower collateral.” Her long robes skimmed the ground as she walked further into the dirty alleyway. "“All three of you are equals, both in rank, and, I have no doubt in skill. Yet, all three of you have things that perhaps leave you… Vulnerable as shinobi, and as people. So, starting tonight, starting in these alleys, and starting on this morning… I will sculpt you. Slowly. I hope you are prepared."

The gourd-carrying redhead wanted to feel indignant when the Kazekage spoke of their weaknesses, considering she truly hadn't seen what he was truly capable of, but the chance of receiving training from her was enough to silence his annoyed remark. While she was not known for her ninjutsu Midori was still on of the most skilled puppeteers in the Sand and Roku was eager to see her in action. The woman in question faced her squad and called for introductions. "Right. Well, it seems two of you know each other at least, but, just in case, and despite that, all three of you, introduce yourselves now. State your dreams, your goals, your strengths, and your name.” The young village head also warned her charges against wreaking havoc or otherwise causing a disturbance while they operated in the slums before allowing them to speak.

Kuno was the first to arrive and so Roku let the immigrant speak first, watching with approval as the dark-featured teen washed graffiti from the alley wall. Apparantly the Uchiha was already familiar with the Kazekage and the tailed-one Aiden; he certainly was friendly. Kuno was a swordsman as well as a ninjutsu user, using the Katon his clan was famous for as well as Futon. The mention of his Sharingan was news to Roku as the man had yet to activate it upon their first meeting and the redhead knew Kuno couldn't wriggle out of their spar now. Beyond that, Kuno simply wanted to reach his full potential and protect Suna as well as join the elite bodyguard of the Kazekage, the Red Sands, something Roku didn't think was impossible for the raven-haired man.

Kuno finished his introduction modestly and continued wiping the stains from the wall. Rokumaru took this as his turn to speak; he let the weighty gourd's straps slide off his shoulders and deposited the container onto the ground. "I'm sure our sensei and Kuno have heard my grand introductions before, so I'll keep this brief. I am Rokumaru of the Sabaku clan, and through careful use of the Doton, Futon and Suiton elemental releases I command the sand our village is built upon." He rubbed the muscles in his back sore from carrying the gourd around, sighing with relief before continuing. "If my puppet was finished being built I would be hauling that around too. My goals are similar to Kuno's; grow to my peak potential and protect Sunagakure while making it stronger than before, though the Puppet Brigade is what I plan to further my career with."

He took a moment to read what remained of the graffiti Kuno was removing, imagining the sort of lowlife who sprayed it on. "I must admit this is not my first encounter with the sort of people who live here, in these 'Sand Dunes'." Roku looked at the Kazekage, who oozed authority and confidence despite her ill-fitting robes. "I am glad one of your main priorities is the criminal element in the village. Too many seek to destroy the fragile peace this district has for their own ambitions." The Jackal's odd-eyed face crossed his mind at the thought, though with mixed feelings he let pass off him.

With that Rokumaru turned to his remaining teammate, giving Aiden's tail another inquisitive glance. "I would be lying if I said I was not curious about your... physiology, Aiden. Regardless, welcome to Lily Squad." He gave a small bow to the mentioned lad as well as to Kuno, finished with his monologue.

WC: 726+1148=1874



Last edited by Rokumaru on Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:03 am; edited 1 time in total


____

:11
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-3|C-11|B-0|A-0|S-0

Otter Aiden

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Chuunin
Thankfully his friend didn't seem to mind at all that he was tardy, as she did ask for them all at an inconvenient time. He couldn't be able to process a reaction to this in time, as she continued speaking after coughing and avoiding eye contact. “Regardless, I am sure you are all wondering why you are not in bed at this current time. So, I shall start to explain. I’m sure all of you are familiar with where we are, but just in case, I will explain regardless. This is what is currently regarded to as… Well, as our slums. It’s the place where crime seems to gather, the buildings get run down, and where the general populace fear to tread. Since even before being Kazekage, this place has had my attention. Others can disagree with me on it, but, any criminals within these walls and alleys are still people. People with stories, and circumstances that lead to where they got today. I hope one day to get the village to a point where we can divert more resources to this area. Provide better housing, offer more jobs, give counselling to those who may need it. Sadly, we’re still in the early days of enacting such a plan. So, for now, as shinobi, our job is to monitor, and lower collateral.” He remembers the slums well, as while he was not one that was born within them he has lived in them for the majority of his time there. Zaiaku shielded him from this apparently rampant crime, remaining a strong barrier between him and it until recently, when the dam fell and the corrupted water rushed in, and he himself committed the same sins he was once shielded away from within these streets.

He can see why someone that had been devoted towards helping others would keep an extremely watchful eye over the slums in particular. It has to be a terrible feeling, to feel like a spectator to a slow death, so he could see why she wished for their first interaction together to be at such a place. From when he lived there, he didn't see much crime himself, though he would remember the nights when Zai spoke about it, and that was enough for him to share a similar thought soft wish to fix it. He would begin following her when she gestured for them to do so, ignoring the rather silly motions her oversized robes gave as she moved. "All three of you are equals, both in rank, and, I have no doubt in skill. Yet, all three of you have things that perhaps leave you… Vulnerable as shinobi, and as people. So, starting tonight, starting in these alleys, and starting on this morning… I will sculpt you. Slowly. I hope you are prepared…”

The shadows made the female Kazekage look like a moving mushroom as Otter himself took what she had said into consideration. So they're all three of the same level then? Good, he didn't like what she had said in regards to vulnerabilities, though as long as they're all three capable, he didn't mind at all. It was more his confusion on if she had meant vulnerabilities of the physical kind or of the mental kind anyways. She claims to begin sculpting them within this alley tonight, but would she be capable? After mentioning how she'll sculpt them, however, she walked further down the alley before inspecting a wall covered in a sloppy mess of art. This black and white street art was immediately recognized by him to be in the shape of kanji, his own greatest weakness. Instead of visibly attempting to decipher it, he instead looked towards the Kazekage, waiting for her to address it.

"Right. Well, it seems two of you know each other at least, but, just in case, and despite that, all three of you, introduce yourselves now. State your dreams, your goals, your strengths, and your name.” She would then take the cap of the shroom off, pointing it at the wall. As she did this, Otter would look towards his teammates. Thankfully at least he knows Kuno out of the three of them, though considering how he spoke to the other guy, it seemed he knows him as well. This is double good, as it meant that he isn't stuck with a group of people he wouldn't even remotely know. “Oh, and while you do so, do a public service. Every change starts somewhere, and some time. The recovery of the slums? I say it starts here, with a single wall. Whether you use jutsu or practical skills to do it is up to you, just… Don’t damage it or make any noise. People are sleeping.”

It seemed Kuno was going to make himself go first, as he would go over, pick up a bucket and a rag, and begin scrubbing the Wall. Talk about wasting no time at all in beginning his introduction. "Well, you all actually know me, though I don’t know how much you really know about me. But now I guess you know that I’m no master of Suiton chakra.” He was right on that, it seemed that he was out to make a point about it too. "My name is Kuno Uchiha, but like I said, you all know that. My strengths are my ability with Kenjutsu and Ninjutsu, as well as my proficiency with Katon chakra. I can also use some Fuuton jutsu, though they don’t come as naturally to me. Lastly, there’s my Sharingan. Though it is not complete, it is a useful tool for copying jutsu, keeping one step ahead of my enemies, and of course, as a sensory technique for detecting others. As far as goals go… Right now I simply wish to become the best ninja I can be. I would like to be one of the Red Sands someday, though for now, I am content in simply working hard and honing my skills so that I can help protect this village.”

Otter either didn't know about it, or forgot entirely about the Uchiha's proficiency with Fūton, and of course he knew about Kuno's Sharingan. The other male made it clear to him in their last interaction, the double-edged sword of an ability where it can make one stronger but can make them like they're Skeletor. Well mister "I don't like to feel good, I like to feel evil!", he wouldn't mind being this Skeletor's He-man. As far as goals go, Skele-Kuno expressed his content with working hard and aiming to become on of the Red Sands one day. Red Sands, something else he'll have to ask Zaiaku about when the Oni finally comes back, though for now he would nod as his friend spoke, expressing approval that wasn't even specifically desired.

His next teammate took the next spot to speak, the gourd given to the ground as he did so. "I'm sure our sensei and Kuno have heard my grand introductions before, so I'll keep this brief. I am Rokumaru of the Sabaku clan, and through careful use of the Doton, Futon and Suiton elemental releases I command the sand our village is built upon. If my puppet was finished being built I would be hauling that around too. My goals are similar to Kuno's; grow to my peak potential and protect Sunagakure while making it stronger than before, though the Puppet Brigade is what I plan to further my career with." Rokumaru is a nice name, and it seems he was of a clan too, just like Kuno. His gave him the power of sand, it seems, and he already had three other elements on top of that. He definitely won the award in elemental variety out of the three. He's a puppet guy on top of his variety of elements too! If there's such a thing as too much, it would probably be this. Puppet Brigade was yet another thing he would have to ask Zaiaku about, though he assumed it was a group of skilled puppet users from the name alone.

After his introduction Otter observed him examining the sprayed street art, speaking while he did so. "I must admit this is not my first encounter with the sort of people who live here, in these 'Sand Dunes'." The red head then, after speaking seemingly out loud to the rest of them, turned to speak to Midori. "I am glad one of your main priorities is the criminal element in the village. Too many seek to destroy the fragile peace this district has for their own ambitions." Then, to Otter's surprise, he addressed him specifically. "I would be lying if I said I was not curious about your... physiology, Aiden. Regardless, welcome to Lily Squad." With that the other male bowed, and Otter himself would look at the mentioned tail, using his thumb to rub the matted and thick dark blue hairs on it before looking back at Rokumaru. "Thanks, I'm curious about it too." He'd say to his ally with a nod before turning his head to look at Midori, glancing towards her before looking back to Kuno and Rokumaru.

"My name's Aiden, though I go by Otter usually now. I don't have a clan I'm apart of, but I'm close with the Jiendo clan, so I'll just say I'm of that. I use Suiton and Katon and I specialize in Ninjutsu and Taijutsu. I use my claws, tail, and teeth and I know for a fact I'm weak to Raiton and Fuuinjutsu. For goals, I don't have one really set in stone yet, but I guess right now I'm trying to find peace? Stopping urges and learning all that I can are my two main priorities right now, so I'm looking forward to working with you all." With that, instead of being the cheat and using Suiton, he would take off his shirt and would dunk it into the bucket before using it as a makeshift rag to wipe the Wall, wishing to do it in a similar way to Kuno. "Can you control any sand or do you keep the sand you control in your gourd?" The question was directed towards Rokumaru, though his blue eyes were kept on the art on the wall as he attempted to help wipe it off.

Wc 1802

Twc 2919

Midori

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Midori watched as Kuno was the first to act, taking the initiative to look around for something to use, before going and beginning to scrub off the writing on the wall. Clearly showing no sign of water chakra, or any suiton release at all, he made do with a simple bucket of water, using a humble and modest rag to wipe away at the wall. He gave his basic introduction, and Rokumaru quickly joined suit, stating his goals, and what he could do, alongside his name. Although, unlike the Uchiha, Rokumaru didn’t take initiative upon the work at the wall, something that Midori took a minor note of. Then, Aiden spoke up, saying who he was. He didn’t give as much detail as the others, but, that alone was fine regardless. Then, he began to join Kuno in using the water and his shirt.

So, Midori watched for a moment, before deciding to pause from the scene, and look away. Instead, her attention shifted inwards, further into the alleyways that comprised the slums. Silent eyes that soon shifted and fled, people looking out through slit window blinds, with equally slit eyes. Lizards and snakes squirmed among rubbish and walls, coiling and hiding from the noise of the squad within the cracks and creases.

Her arms crossed over each other, and she tapped her left hand against her prosthetic, gently and softly rasping and playing her fingers along the wooden construct. As two of her students began to work at the graffiti, the last simply watching, her mind wandered, and a concern of the state of the area growing and swelling within her mind. The village tended to have its more unpleasant situations happen at this time. And this was the area that tended to have this problem the most. Nobody liked to be up in the early morning – at least, not those that were active at the day. It was too taxing on the body to work under the strain of no rest, or at least minimal rest. Sighing, she shook her head, before speaking up. “Rokumaru. Unless there’s something you forgot to mention in your introduction, I do believe simply staring at the writing will not wash it away. There is a task I wish for the three of you to do – together. And unless you show me that you can do one task, even if it seems menial, then I suppose you can always just go back to bed…

Waiting for whatever response she got, she lazily gestured down the alleyway, regardless of if anyone was looking, continuing to speak. “I won’t be with you on that task, but, long story short, it will be a stealth operation. All three of you are to work together to perform reconnaissance around the streets. If any of you don’t wish to for whatever reason, you will not be faulted. It will be dangerous, with the utmost importance put on the idea of stealth. If you do it, it’ll be an official mission, so you’ll be paid for it, but, if you don’t, business as usual.

Allowing the option to sink in, she continued. “I asked the three of you to clean this wall because even the smallest change is still change. I’m sure it’ll be covered by graffiti again, perhaps even soon. But change is change. We aren’t dramatically changing, or damaging, or using this place. I want this lesson to sink in to all three of you. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, nor where you go. If you want to do something, you have to be prepared that it won’t be easy to achieve your end goal. It takes a long time to walk a long path, and sometimes, the way up is blocked. But, there is more than one way up the mountain – so too, there are multiple paths you may take in life…

With a grin, she stopped, before gesturing to the wall once more.

So, how are you feeling about the fact that you are changing the village, you three?

679 + 1723 = 2402


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~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kugutsu (S) - Medical Ninjutsu (S) - Fuinjutsu (B) - Fuuton (S) - Doton (C)

Kuno

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Kuno could not help but smile to himself while scrubbed the wall and listened to Rokumaru introducing himself. He certainly was a confident young man; the young Uchiha had to give him that much. Even had he described how he wished to better himself and eventually join the village’s puppet brigade, Kuno could not help but have his mind wander back to the idea of Roku’s Sand Release techniques. He still had not seen a member of the Sabaku clan in action, but if they were half as powerful as Roku was confient, then the young man would be a valuable asset indeed. Especially with a puppet in their side as well. Kuno had seen first hand the strength that the Kazekage wielded with her own puppet, and so the idea of having something like that on his side was exciting to say the least.

Otter’s introduction was short and to the point, much like Kuno’s own. The Uchiha had never seen the tailed boy in action, though he was aware of his claws and teeth from a brief conversation the pair had engaged in prior to the squad meeting. It was interesting to learn that Otter also specialized in ninjutsu, like himself and Rokumaru, meaning that they would have some serious firepower on their side in any sort of conflict. As far as Otter’ goal went…Kuno was not sure what he meant by wanting to stop urges, but that was a question for a different time. For now e simply nodded along and moved to a new part of the wall after he had cleaned up his patch. He caught a glimpse of Otter using his shirt to wash the wall, and resisted the urge to tell him off. Instead, he turned his attention back toward Midori, who was beginning to address the group once more after speaking to Rokumaru personally.

“I won’t be with you on that task, but, long story short, it will be a stealth operation. All three of you are to work together to perform reconnaissance around the streets. If any of you don’t wish to for whatever reason, you will not be faulted. It will be dangerous, with the utmost importance put on the idea of stealth. If you do it, it’ll be an official mission, so you’ll be paid for it, but, if you don’t, business as usual.” She paused for a moment, allowing the team to weigh their options. Of course, Kuno had no issue confronting danger and death in the slightest. He had faced down a number of gangsters and even enemy shinobi before, so a reconnaissance mission would not be an issue for him to take care of alone. He was concerned, however, that the rest of his team would not feel the same way. He had never fought alongside either of his new squad mates, and as much as he wanted to believe in them, he had no reason to as of yet. And so, he continued to listen, waiting for any sign of protest from his allies.

“I asked the three of you to clean this wall because even the smallest change is still change. I’m sure it’ll be covered by graffiti again, perhaps even soon. But change is change. We aren’t dramatically changing, or damaging, or using this place. I want this lesson to sink in to all three of you. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, nor where you go. If you want to do something, you have to be prepared that it won’t be easy to achieve your end goal. It takes a long time to walk a long path, and sometimes, the way up is blocked. But, there is more than one way up the mountain – so too, there are multiple paths you may take in life…” With a grin, Midori gestured to the wall. "So, how are you feeling about the fact that you are changing the village, you three?” Kuno glanced back at the graffiti, knowing full well that Midori was right. This wall would be painted over in no time. In truth, Kuno felt that they were wasting a little bit of time. They could already be on this mission if it were not for the small detour they were taking by cleaning a wall in the slums. But he did not protest, understanding Midori meant well at the very least.

Looking up to her, Kuno gave a quick nod. “I hope you are right, Lady Midori. If I’m honest, it does not feel like we are doing much by cleaning this wall. But I trust your judgement. Furthermore, I will be coming along on the mission that you mentioned, and I am ready to move out when you give the word. Just give us the details.”

WC:816+1957=2773


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:18
"I've learned that love and hate aren't that different. Just look at how I feel about my family."




~Ninjutsu {S} | Bukijutsu (Kenjutsu) {A} | Katon {S} | Fuuton {A}~
~D [2] | C [8] | B [3] | A [0] | S [0]~
Passives: Perception: +1

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