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1 Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:51 am

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
He had heard much about what the villages were doing in the desert in the first place, but Rokumaru did not have the resources or contacts to know what exactly was fact and what was a simple rumor. The information came from all sorts of sources; civilians and refugees discussing what they had been told amongst themselves, shinobi of one village claiming another village is here only to cause problems, those same shinobi claiming their own village knew what was best for the people of Suna. Rokumaru did not have time to get swept up in the politics and propoganda that seemed to have descended upon the country, as every moment he dithered lessened any hope of Suna coming out of this untouched.

And so, with no small amount of trepidation after what exactly he had heard of the village’s intentions in this land, Rokumaru decided to travel to the border camp of Kumogakure and hear what they had to say for themselves. The news that Kumo was here to remove any remaining trace of Sunagakure was alarming enough as just a rumor, one that made sense considering the Cloud’s militant and aggressive foreign policy. Then Roku had learned that several of the former clan compounds of Suna had been looted, banners being removed from their resting places and the few remaining statues being destroyed, and it seemed that Kumogakure was intent on removing Suna’s culture and replacing it with its own. Still, he had not seen evidence of this with his own eyes and wanted to know the Cloud’s public agenda for himself.

The border camp that marked Kumo’s presence in the Land of Wind was rather large and well-organized, the village’s discipline and professional atmosphere making itself known in the neat, uniform rows of pitched tents and temporary shelters. The frail redhead had been intercepted by a patrol almost immediately after coming within a few thousand meters of the camp and had stated his intention of speaking with someone in charge to discuss his possible integration into the Kumo ranks. Whether the patrol believed him or not, he had been marched into the camp by two burly dark-skinned men with long blades hanging from their waists.

Rokumaru, upon reaching the entrance to the camp, was stripped of his belongings and searched for weapons. His backpack was emptied onto the sand and it’s pockets searched thoroughly, his two scrolls were unsealed and his gourd checked for anything inside, and the redhead was told his belongings would be returned to him upon leaving the camp. It seemed to be the standard process when Kumo dealt with foreigners, as the shinobi that searched him did so with such efficiency and apparent boredom that it had to have been done by them a hundred times. Though he was uncomfortable with being weaponless ehile surrounded by foreigners, who were known to be rather aggressive towards their competitors, Roku accepted that this was the situation he had gotten himself into.

Unfortunately, now that he was actually in the Kumo border camp, he realized he truly did not have a plan. He had come to this place for answers but he doubted they would allow him to speak with, or even catch sight of, any of the ranking individuals who were of importance in this camp. Instead he waited at the entrance of the camp while he watched Kumo-nin coming and going in groups of various sizes, waiting for someone who looked important enough but not too important to walk by so he could accost them. The guards who searched him sternly warned he would be taken into custody should he attempt to wander further into the camp unsupervised, and ordered him to wait until someone had the time to speak with him.

Rokumaru tried to make himself stand out more in the hopes that he would catch someone’s interest and lure them in for a conversation. The guards allowed him to keep his gourd, the heavy ochre container hanging from a strap over his shoulders, and his Suna headband was wiped free of smudges and worn around his neck where everyone could see.

WC: 700


____

Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

2 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:42 am

Myrddin

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The boy wore a mask of a smile as he slowly made his way through the Kumogakure Camp, it had been a long day and they had gotten a lot done and the truth was that it was wearing the young shinobi down. However the boy refused to show it no matter how tired he truly was, he knew the expectations of Shinobi of his rank and the fact that they should never show signs of weakness whether it was with their subordinates, or their higher ranking commanders and especially near the presence of a foreigner. So the boy pushed through the fact of how tired he was, hiding his weakness behind his smile mask refusing to let even the slightest sign of how exhausted he truly was while he was among his fellow Shinobi. 'I just have to make it till night fall,' the boy thought to himself knowing that once it was late enough he could return to his tent and call it a night and finally get some rest. They had only just arrived in the Land of Wind earlier that day, the journey alone was one of the reasons he was so tired. However even after that long journey was not done, they still had to setup camp and though most were responsible for setting up their own tents and what not up those that finished theirs were encouraged to help others in their completion themselves. The boy had been working for hours now and all in all was absolutely beat, now most of the camp was set up there were still those setting up auxiliary tents up for refugees and others that joined Kumogakure's fight to bring order back to this desolate wasteland. It was nearly time for dinner with evening quickly approaching, and the boy was feeling rather proud of himself as he had nearly made it through the day a smile still on his face with the assumption that nothing was wrong with him to the outside world. As the young shinobi rounded the corner he caught sight of something that spiked his interest, a young boy standing near the entrance to the camp, the mere fact of someone standing near the gate was not what spiked the boy's interest but the rather large gourd the boy had strapped to his back. Raphael had seen gourds such as the one the stranger had before, the Kozai had been on good relations with the Sabaku clan when he was younger and he had seen them often enough when he had come to the village before. The Suna headband around the boy's neck confirmed Raphael's suspicions in his own mind, though he was still curious as to why the boy was here.

Raphael wondered if it might be that the boy too had come in hopes of joining the powerful force that would resurrect this land from the chaos, as he himself had done not more than a year prior? Questions rushed through the young shinobi's mind as he slowly drew closer to the boy, but no matter what questions he asked himself he would not reach the answers that he sought unless he spoke with him. Once he reached the boy he would outstretched his arm to shake the boy's hand, "Hello, my name is Raphael. What is it that brings you here to us?" The boy would pause to allow the boy to reply whether or not the boy shook his hand he would place his hand back down after a second. Raphael would give no indication in his question that he was of a high rank within the camp, and due to his age most did not assume it was so however he had the ability to take care of himself though it would be rather foolish to try and attack even a genin with the encampment surrounded by hundreds of Kumogakure shinobi. As was protocol the boy would not have been allowed within the encampment with any weapons so even if the boy was good with using the sand like those the boy had seen in the past it was unlike that the boy was a threat to the camp. "Your just in time for some food if you would like to join me for a bite to eat?" As with his introduction the boy's tone was that of a cheerful welcome committee rather that of a questioning superior as most of those above him do, Raphael recovered that it was easier to gather Intel when they lower their guard near friendly people and the young shinobi had become quite a good read on people's intentions by reading their body language and the tone of their voice to see if what was telling him was a lie or not.



806

3 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:45 am

Raiu Mizuki

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Special Jounin
Camp Lay-out:

For reference

Discipline. It was a beautiful thing to observe if you asked Mizuki. Kumogakure's camp might mostly consist of tents, but they were properly aligned and structured it such a way it became quickly apparent who held the authority, who served as bodyguards and who would be the first in line to soak incoming attacks. The seemingly compact organisation belied the amount of shinobi actually present, and the doton walls created out of Suna's sand made quick work of surrounding tactics as a couple of entrances were created, vigilant eyes and fuinjutsu making sure no one would crawl over the camp walls unnoticed.

The efficiency in how they dealt with visitors was another of those things that made Mizuki proud to be part of Kumogakure. Instantly halting anyone they didn't know, a thorough search and analysis of the person, clothes, weapons and objects. Anything to kill any potential danger right at its root. One could never be too careful considering Kumogakure would not be the only one setting up camp in the Land of Wind. Spies of opposing Villages would likely try to infiltrate, perhaps assassinate the key figures currently running the show in the Village. What surprised Mizuki most of all was that there were still so many refugees seeking shelter now. People that had remained behind at first, with hope they would rebuild Sunagakure to its former glory. Refugees that had heard about the 'dark messiah' and the 'black storm beacon' now trying to find their way to those same avatars of hope. Avatars belonging to Kumogakure, which thusly made them seek out its representatives.

Few among the new refugees would know that the 'dark messiah' was Mizuki herself. Even in Kumogakure, the gossip spread by refugees barely revealed the Raikage's herald who had travelled to all of the Villages to promote his arrival and draw in those that were interested by the reformation he brought with him. In Sunagakure, it had been a single person planting a beacon of hope to gather the lost and the down-trodden of the war. No, such a story sounded more like the tales of the delirious after all. And yet it had been a true story, the exact details of the entire ordeal only known to Mizuki. The black raiton beacon was how Hastur Miyamoto made his ambitions clear. He strove to make Kumogakure strong again. Disciplined, well trained, a small but powerful force to be reckoned with. And everyone was welcome to join the black storm he would unleash.

The 'dark messiah' was now sitting at a table with a bowl of rice and some vegetables. Those who would lay their eyes upon her would rarely expect a young woman with black hair cascading down the white hanfu she wore to be the chuunin that had once ran through the desert sand to save as many people as she could during the onslaught. Hidden by layers of fine clothes, she bore her personal battle armour, a light leather outfit mostly intended to cover her torso. A midnight black sheathe positioned at her hips indicated a knowledge of iaijutsu, the silver kanji of the Raiu kamon soberly stamped into it as an indicator she was affiliated with one of the oldest clans of Kumogakure, while on her shoulder a grey hawk was partaking in lunch as well as she sporadically fed it small pieces of meat with her chopsticks.

Her blue-green eyes had spotted a friend of hers - Raphael - and was waiting for him to join the table as she was of a mind eating was always better with pleasant company. She would have to wait a little longer as the young man seemed to be conversing with a red-headed stranger, bearing a large gourd on his back but otherwise sporting little that would indicate him as being a shinobi of Kumogakure. A refugee, most likely, seeking shelter among the Forces of Kumogakure. Still, the unusual large gourd made the kunoichi wonder if he was member of those who could manipulate the very sand of Sunagakure much like one of their Kage had done in the past.

If he would join Raphael to partake in lunch, she would wave at them to invite them at the table she was sitting on, eager to hear the stories of this new person and see if he could inform them with the most recent situations and problems in Sunagakure.





741

OOC: Can we go for a 3500 wc, 5 post social?

Zhinu, the Grey Hawk:

Name: Zhīnū
Species: Hawk, Grey
Rank: D
Specializations: Ninjutsu/Taijutsu
Elements: Fuuton
Appearance: [x]
22 inch (55 cm), 1.04 lbs (475 g)
Personality: Zhinü is a hawk of selective taste, rarely allowing the touch of anyone else but those she deems worthy, and not afraid of biting to make her displeasure well-known. A bit of a temper, she expects to regularly soar the skies or will turn to show her back and glare with something akin of an offended pout. More vocal than most of her species, Zhinü has been trained to quickly reply both in positive and negative manners to Mizuki.
Techniques:
Body Flicker Technique:

Name: Body Flicker Technique
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: D
Type: Utility
Element: N/A
Range: Self
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: Instant
Cooldown: 3 posts
Description:
Pet command, "Way Home, Zhīnū".
Gathering chakra within her body, Zhīnū intensifies her natural flight speed to such heights she is able to vanish from sight, leaving nothing but a flicker behind. The use of this technique allows the pet to escape/exit threads.

4 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:34 am

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
Rokumaru patiently waited at the camp entrance for several minutes, forced to put up with the suspicious looks he would receive from the Kumo-nin were close by. He did not fault them for being wary of him; if anything, he expected them to treat him with even more caution and disrespect. He had met foreigners before but Kumo-nin were drastically different from their Konoha counterparts. They were more disciplined, obviously, the camp lacking the usually present ruckus that came with housing several hundred people in one spot.

They were also much quicker to look down on him for his haggard appearance than the more understanding Konoha-nin were, the look of disapproval unhidden on some who walked by, but he could not blame them for having little patience for him. He was just a refugee to them, and a dangerous refugee if they could recognize what the container of sand hanging from his shoulders meant. That did not mean the overly professional demeanor of the guard who was tasked with watching him was appreciated, though. He did manage to learn that this was just one of several camps set up by Kumo, and that he better not be seen around the others any time soon as his description would be passed along.

While he waited, Rokumaru tried to spy any hint of something nefarious taking place in the camp. There was not much to see from his spot beside the camp gate, unfortunately; it seemed the tents were all simply barracks and storage facilities, and the lone medical tent just down the row of tents did not look to be busy tending to any wounded. But still Kumo-nin routinely came into and out of the camp seemingly at random without any indication of what they were up to. In fact, it was rather boring how efficiently and tediously the Kumo shinobi went about their business.

He pictured himself in one of their gray flak jackets that were much less bulky than the grungy tan one he wore right now, feeling the temptation of falling in with a new crowd just to stave off the lonely state he was left in since the village’s fall. Roku wasn’t sure how he felt about the stoic dedication many of these Kumo-nin displayed as they went about their business; before, he had always been enthusiastic about his service to Suna, wanting to be used for the village’s benefit. Could he have that degree of loyalty for anyone again? He doubted it, as his biases were ingrained too deep in his character.

Several people had studied him from afar, content to pass by the outsider without getting dragged into his business, but eventually he was approached by a young male Kumo-nin with rather vibrant blue eyes and blonde hair that stood out from the darker complexions of his comrades, barely taller than Rokumaru himself but seeming to be of a similar age. Slim but fit, with a toned build compared to the redhead’s emaciated body and clothing that appeared to be well-maintained; Roku guessed him to be a Chuunin at least given his age.

The Kumo-nin greeted him in a cordial manner, introducing himself as Raphael and asking the redhead what his business here was while offering a hand to shake. It was a much friendlier greeting than he expected and Rokumaru had to look at the hand reached out in front of him for a moment before realizing what he should do.

He took the stranger’s hand in his own and shook it, now having to smile at the way this Kumo-nin seemed just a bit friendlier than his counterparts. “Sabaku Rokumaru, formerly a Chuunin of Suna”, the redhead introduced himself as he let the stranger’s hand go. “I’m sorry to intrude, but I was hoping to speak with someone who could answer a few questions I had”.

The blonde Kumo-nin seemed willing to indulge Rokumaru for the redhead was invited to have a meal with him, likely just to satisfy the outsider’s curiosity and get the foreigner out of their camp ASAP, and the boy was more than happy to accept. “I’d love to join you, military rations sound much better than the stuff I’ve been living off of out here”. He moved the strap of his gourd into a more comfortable position and straightened the collar of his flak jacket before gesturing towards the camp interior. ”I’m sure you could answer any question I might have. After you”.

He would follow after Raphael if the stranger decided to lead him away, eager to have a further glance into the rows of tents that surrounded them.

WC: 793 | 1493


____

Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

5 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Myrddin

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The strangers introduction confirmed the young shinobi's assumption of the other boy, the fact that the boy had come here searching for answers meant he was one of hundreds that were doing the same. Most of those within this land had heard of the Kumogakure advancement on the land of wind, even in the short amount of time that the full force of the Kumogakure army had arrived there had been a constant flow of those that did not initially flee the land of wind coming forward and seeking help and other accommodations. Most had concerns about why the Village Hidden in the Cloud were actually here, this more than likely had to deal with the advance scouts and other Shinobi that the village had sent out to prepare for the advancement of the full Shinobi force. Those that came with concerns were usually dealt with by higher ups, but considering the activity and most of the higher ups dealing with more important matters the young Shinobi did not see a problem with helping the young Sabaku himself. The fact that he himself was once a Sunagakure genin might also help the boy with connecting to this newcomer and even possibly help convince him in joining the Kumogakure cause, though he would not push the matter he would simply answer the boy's questions and should an opportunity appear to give him a chance to convince the boy then the young shinobi would take it. Raphael had himself contemplated the decision of forsaking the village that he had grown up in just a year prior, he understood the decision would not be an easy one however if this boy showed any interest in joining the village hidden in the clouds the Raphael would to the best of his ability help the boy with that decision.

Once Rokumaru accepted his request to join him for some food, Raphael would bow slightly before leading the way towards the mess tent. "Well Rokumaru, as a Special Jounin of the cloud, as well as a former shinobi of the sand let me be the first to welcome you to our camp. Also I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you with anything else that you might need. You see I joined the ranks of Kumogakure shortly after the destruction of the sand a year ago, since then I have worked hard to rise up within their ranks so that I could return here to help our people no matter what. The Raikage has been kind to me over this past year, I only wish to share this prosperous life with other survivors." Raphael stopped talking as the reached the line of the mess tent, feeling as though he may have been talking the boy's ear off with more information than the boy had cared for. Due to the size of the camp and the number of Shinobi that currently inhabiting it during this time of war, it would be impossible for the kitchen staff to feed them all at once let alone have a place for them all to sit. So instead the mess tent as it was called was constantly open allowing the Shinobi to eat whenever they found the time between their missions, this was the most efficient way for it to operate however it also made the mess tent the busiest part of the entire camp with a handful of different shinobi usually inhabiting it whether they were eating or not. Once they got their food, Raphael would look for a place for them to sit so that they could talk and ear. It was at this point that Raphael noticed Mizuki already at a table waving for them to join her, as they approached Raphael would look to Rokumaru. "That's Mizuki, a fellow Shinobi of the Cloud." He stated so that the newcomer was caught up to speed with who it was that was waving at them, "how have you been Mizuki?" The young shinobi stated as he sat down at the table she was sitting at, after sitting down and allowing the two of them to introduce themselves to each other Raphael was struck with the fact that he had been so busy talking about himself and Kumogakure that he did not give the boy a chance to get a word in edgewise to ask the questions that he had. "I am so sorry Rokumaru, you had said you had some questions. As I said I can answer any question you might have, or at the very least Mizuki here will be able to answer them if I can not."



1586

6 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:23 am

Raiu Mizuki

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Special Jounin
The hawk on her shoulders would preen its feathers once it had been given all its pieces of meat, occasionally stopping to throw a sharp look around with an air that told others she would not be sneaked on so easily. Them ninjas obviously too unskilled to do so. Proceeding with her own occupations, the grey hawk would not move from Mizuki's shoulders during the process even though it disliked the abundance of noise in the mess hall. With Zhinu fed, Mizuki would start picking away at the rice and vegetables in her bowl with her chopsticks. The meal might not consist of much, but the kunoichi had never been a great eater to begin with. She preferred light meals above copious amounts of food, and generally finished with a cup of tea or some sake afterwards. At the camp, tea was not exactly something she'd find and sake mostly being a 'morale booster' than a real drink, so she'd have a simple glass of water.

The two gents in the distance would eventually reach her table as they spotted her, each taking a seat to make themselves comfortable. The familiar shinobi she knew as Raphael would ask her how she was doing, leaving introductions to themselves. She would smile at him with a small bow before replying, "I'm well, thank you for asking. How has your day been so far, Raphael-san?", upon which she'd turn to face the redheaded boy and give him a small bow as well. "I'm Mizuki Raiu, a diplomat of Kumogakure and this my hawk, Zhinu. A pleasure to meet you. I hope you were treated fairly upon your arrival in our camp?"

Raphael seemed to remind something and apologised to Rokumaru before telling him that his questions would be answered at this table. Mizuki nodded, confirming his statement. If this stranger had questions, it meant he had arrived very recently, left to his own confusion as the guards were already too occupied dealing with the vast amount of check-ups they wouldn't find the time, nor bother answering his questions. Rokumaru would certainly not be the only one within the camp left to roam with questions, but he was here now and that meant Raphael and herself could offer him the answers he sought to the best of their knowledge.

"Raphael-san is correct. I can imagine it must not be easy to be in your situation, so please do not hesitate to share your concerns. We will provide you with answers as good as we possibly can. "

Continuing her meal, she would allow her blue-green eyes to linger, ears open to his questions. So did the hawk on her shoulder, who eyed the strange cautiously, analysing him to see if he wasn't about to do any sneaky shinobi tricks on her. There would be none of that, no matter how crowded this place would be. As a shinobi passed behind her, the hawk would turn her head swiftly, squawking angrily at a man who had, to her tastes, moved too closely in her vicinity. Blinking, he would turn around to raise an eyebrow at the foul-tempered bird who merely shot him an angry glare back before she repositioned herself. Turning her back to the three at the table, she would watch the people passing behind Mizuki, ready to vent her irritation.





552
Total: 1293

7 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:20 am

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
The redhead allowed himself to be led away by Raphael who knew where to go, following after the Kumo-nin while looking around at the tents they passed for anything of interest. Nothing caught his eye. Raphael spoke up as they walked to reveal that he was actually a Special Jounin of Kumo, an important detail that the sand user noted, and was actually a former Suna-nin himself; this detail made Rokumaru falter in step as he turned to look again at the stranger leading him through camp, mixed feelings running through him before gratitude for the invitation to ask his questions made him squash down the less pleasant ones.

He listened as Raph explained how he came to be in Kumogakure’s service after the fall of the Hidden Sand and that in the time since then he had been promoted more than once, which meant he could not have been more than a high-Genin when their home was destroyed. His chest ached every time he thought about that day, and empathized with the blonde he followed behind. Raphael seemed to have done well for himself since then, at the least; he mentioned his gratitude for the Cloud and the Raikage, and expressed his wish to help other’s who had lost their home find prosperity there too. That he was here in Kaze no Kuni meant that he cared for either helping his former countrymen, helping the Hidden Cloud, or some strange mixture of both.

I haven’t spoken to anyone from our village in so long...”, Roku muttered as he followed Raphael deeper into the camp, speaking quietly as though he was embarrassed to bring up the subject. “I don’t mean to pry into your business, but do you have family, Raphael? Were your loved ones able to escape the destruction?” He wanted to know how someone else had been affected by that day, when their lives as Suna-nin ended, and he hoped the stranger did not share his own bad luck.

They eventually came to the mess tent where they joined a small line of Kumo-nin and Rokumaru was not stopped from joining them as they gathered food into disposable bowls; while not luxurious, the rations that Kumo offered were much better than the things he had survived off of since the fall of the village. He matched the amount of food that Raphael had taken, although he snuck a few handfuls of fruit into the pockets of his flak jacket that nearly overflowed with sand when he thought the others weren’t looking.

From the tent they moved to a small pavilion that contained a few rows of tables spread out. Immediately after they arrived a black-haired woman seated by herself waved at the Kumo-nin he followed, a rather sizeable raptor perched on her shoulder that Roku couldn’t help but stare at. It seemed the two Kumo-nin were acquainted with one another as the blonde moved to join her at the table. The redhead followed after him but did not take a seat at the table; Rokumaru instead held his bowl of food in one hand while pulling his sand gourd’s strap from over his shoulder and dropping the heavy container on the ground beside the table where the two sat, rolling his shoulders to ease the tension he felt there. It fell onto its side, sinking into the sand slightly, and Roku sat atop it.

Raphael introduced the dark-haired woman as Mizuki, another Kumo-nin, and the two seemed cordial to each other as they exchanged pleasantries; she used honorifics, something he usually only saw the clans or his superiors use. Rokumaru took the time to throw handfuls of rice into his mouth, savoring the chance to have some fresh food since his brief visit to Konoha.

After briefly sharing words with the blonde, Mizuki introduced herself as a diplomat of Kumogakure and a Raiu, though Roku was unsure if that surname was tied to any major clan in Kumo, and that the bird atop her shoulder was known as Zhinu. It seemed to be a common creature rather than a summon, though it did study the redhead with an unusual and uncomfortable amount of cognition behind its glassy eyes. Mizuki exchanged more pleasantries with Roku, asking about his arrival to the border camp. “I expected worse considering Kumo’s reputation”, he responded after swallowing a chunk of dry bread. “I’m Sabaku Rokumaru” he introduced himself with a nod in greeting.

Raphael seemed to suddenly remember the reason he had brought the foreignor here, acknowledging that he had questions and offering to answer them if he was able and volunteering Mizuki to do the same. The fair-skinned woman did not seem to mind, instead sympathizing with him and offering to share what she knew. They looked at him expectedly, two pairs of eyes different shades of blue, and Roku appreciated that they took his concerns seriously. He pulled a few sandy grapes from his right breast pocket and blew them off as he thought about what to say, chewing the sweet fruit silently for a moment. Thinking that he would just say what he thought as it came to him and see where this took him, he set the bowl of food down on the ground beside him. He realized the bird was watching him too, and had to look away from the intense stare only an animal could have.

Rokumaru looked at the two Kumo-nin with a serious expression. “Before I ask, just know that I do not intend any disrespect nor do I wish to upset you. I was only a Chuunin before the Sand was destroyed and much about what happened then and up to now is very unclear to me. Right now it is hard to look past my grief”. He hesitated, before continuing. “I appreciate the time you’ve taken to hear me out today”.

Running through the list of ‘whys’ in his mind, Rokumaru decided to go with the accusations first. “Speak honestly. Did the village of Kumogakure have a hand in the destruction of my village?” It seemed unlikely, but considering what was said about their aggressive foreign policy, it would not hurt to ask. “If this is not the case, is the village of Kumogakure harboring any of the perpetrators who conducted the attack on my village?”

His formerly expressionless face tightened with anger, his mind on one in particular. “I am ignorant of the identities of the attackers, unfortunately. All but one”. He clenched his jaw, taking a moment to let the cold hate that slipped free from it’s compartmentalized space return to where he kept it. “Sarutobi Mitsuo identified himself by name to a number of ANBU, before he killed those that did not flee. Has this man been seen anywhere close to Kumo? I doubt such a prominent shinobi could have gone unnoticed for months.”

He had more questions, many more, but Roku gave the Kumo-nin a chance to answer before bombarding them with any more.

WC: 1189 | 2682


____

Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

8 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:22 pm

Myrddin

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Raphael was caught off guard by the boy's question of his family as they approached the mess tent to grab a bite to eat, though he could not blame him for wondering, in fact the comment the boy made of not having spoke to anyone from the village in a while made Raphael concerned that the boy may have lost members of his family that night. "Yes Rokumaru, my family is that of the Kozai. Though my clan have been servants of the Hidden Sand Village for many generations our compound is actually many miles away from here, and to my knowledge none of them were here at the time of the destruction, save for myself. Though it is possible that some were among those that rose to the village's defense I can not be certain, I was so ashamed of have failed to defend the village that I could not bring myself to return to the compound to find out." Silence lingered between the two after Raphael's words as they made their way through the line and to the table where Mizuki sat. Once at the table when Mizuki asked of his day the boy did his best to put on a smile though he was sure that Mizuki's keen eyes more or likely detected how tired he actually was. "It's been ok Mizuki-San, just another long day. Though it is good to have a moment to relax, I know we have a long road ahead of us." The young Special Jounin stated before allowing the two to greet one another, and then giving the conversation to the boy who had his own questions. The boy pulled some grapes from his pocket blowing the sand off of them and beginning to eat them before sitting his bowl of food down and beginning to speak.

Raphael was not at all surprised by the boy's way of seemingly dancing around with his words as he tried not to offend Mizuki and himself, Raphael had too done similar when he had first left Sunagakure for Kumogakure not wishing to offend anyone within an area he had few to no allies. When the boy asked if Kumogakure had a hand in the destruction of Sunagakure it became painfully obvious to Raphael that the boy had been in the dark about what had happened to their home much as he himself had been before he was shown the light. Raphael glance to Mizuki as the boy questions turned to that of Mitsuo Sarutobi, the boy knew of him but not the others so the events of the past year had not reached this land or at the very least had not reached the ears of this boy. Raphael looked back to the boy when his line of questioning came to a completion, and so long as Mizuki did not choose to speak first he would begin. "First off let me assure you that the fall of Sunagakure was in no way supported by Kumogakure, the destruction of our former village came at the hands of three rogue shinobi. You are right that Mitsuo was one of those, while the identity of the third rogue has yet to fall into light during the chuunin exams the second revealed herself to be the master of the giant eight head snake that rampages through the village that night. She managed to escape her fate back then but has since been tracked down to somewhere within the Land of Wind and is currently being pursued by many of Kumogakure ANBU as well as the ANBU of the other nations." Raphael paused at this point to allow his words to sink in, as well as allow Mizuki to add anything if she wanted to as she had been apart of the village during the actual time of Sunagakure's destruction, before he went on to the next part that he felt might upset the boy. "Now the Chuunin Exams served a purpose more than just as a competition of the different village's Genin, our Raikage set it up as a way to gather all of the Kages together, it was then that Mitsuo revealed himself to the Kages as well as his part here in Suna. While I do not know the details of what was discussed in this summit, I can tell you that Mitsuo was judged by all of the Kages and by the grace of the Raikage granted to remain among the living allowing him to join Kumogakure and serve in the Raikage's quest to right the wrongs that have fallen on this land." Raphael stopped again to asset the boy's reaction to his words, allowing Mizuki to speak if she wished to add anything to what he had to say as well as allowing the boy to ask any questions his comments might have brought up.



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9 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:57 am

Raiu Mizuki

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Special Jounin
The three of them settled around the table with their own bowl of food and introductions out of the way, the meeting instantly gained a serious tone as Rokumaru made his intentions clear before he asked about the destroyers of Kumogakure right off the bat. It was not unexpected. How many times had people asked that question as she guided the people from Sunagakure to Kumogakure? How many times had she heard that as wanderers and exhausted survivors were picked up along the road? And even in Kumogakure, how many times was this not the go-to question in any recent situation? Plenty of times she had attempted to explain what had happened, to various effects. Some had calmed down, others had wailed in sadness, and others still had threatened or tried to attack her as they knew no way to deal with their frustrations. The destruction of Sunagakure was a sensitive topic.

She would flash Rokumaru a saddened smile of empathy when he too asked the question that had burned on his tongue for so long. She couldn't blame him for wanting clarifications. It was his right to know. Raphael would be the first to answer, and perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing to do considering he and Rokumaru shared a similar birth ground. It would be easier to accept the words of a former Suna-nin than those of a pure-blood Kumo-nin as hers, representative of the Raikage or not. So as Raphael answered the first part of the question, she nodded in confirmation.

"I can confirm this. Kumogakure had no connections with the destroyers when it happened. We were going through a change in command at that point, Hastur having taken Lin's position as Kage. The new Raikage found it necessary to make his presence known and sent me as his representative. It was my goal to meet up with the Kazegake, but instead I found an assaulted Village and did what little I could to bring your people to safety. I'm deeply sorry for the losses you and yours have suffered, Rokumaru-san. I was not able to help them all."

The people gathered at the black raiton rods had been but a small fraction. Other caravans had left before and after the gathering, each finding their own destination and luck as they moved away from a life-threatening situation. Genin, chuunin, even deserting Suna-nin had did what they could to protect the escaping civilians. Only the strongest would go to confront the three, and few if any returned from that battlefield. It was still unclear what had happened to the Mizukage as well.

"Exactly. The people who assaulted Sunagakure are Sarutobi Mitsuo, Wandering Sword Saint, and Orochi Risu, the Snake Sage who openly claimed the destruction of Sunagakure during the Chuunin Exams, thus promptly inviting all present ANBU to chase her. The third one's true identity remains currently unknown."

Escaping deserters had hinted at a traitor among their own kind, but no names had been given as the deserters had not seen his face. The credibility of these words was weak, the ANBU not inclined to travel far and wide just to try and find something of a proof in the ruins. If the man himself had not destroyed the evidence, then the collateral damage and the winds of the land probably would have. If this man was a Suna-nin gone traitor, the question remained how he could have orchestrated this all without the slightest of identification and espionage. If he wasn't, then one could only wonder the drive and reasoning behind the sudden gathering of a Sword Saint and an S-rank missing nin just to destroy a single Village. To Mizuki, it was clear the unknown shinobi had been the key to Suna's destruction but without proper proof no one would do anything about it.

Mizuki would wait silently for Rokumaru to digest this new but saddening information, gauging his reactions. As long as he didn't go into the offence she would have no reason to hold him down, but the chances for him to do something like that were slim considering the amount of Kumo-nin here. Sadness, anger, on the other hand would not be curbed. She was of a mind that he had all rights to vent such strong emotions. He had lost more than anyone else could fear to do. No, the kunoichi would allow him his moment and wait for him to come up with more questions if he had them.





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10 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:59 am

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
Asked about the fate of his family, it was gratifying to hear Raphael explain that the Kozai compound had escaped the fate shared by so many others due to its distance from Sunagakure. Possibly untouched, for the blonde never returned to find out. And yet redhead was uneasy about how envious he felt towards this stranger, once another link in Suna’s chain just as he was, now wearing that Cloud on his hitai-ate and giving his loyalty to those they had worked against only a year ago. Speaking about the fallen Sand with fondness despite being in the same company as those who have come to Kaze no Kuni to loot and despoil. Well, allegedly to loot and despoil. If the Cloud was just here to get their share of refugees and tarnish the memory of Suna even more, then Roku supposed he could ignore all that considering he had more pressing matters to deal with. The two did not speak about it further as they sat down.

Seated with two Kumo-nin of no small rank, he asked the questions that were pressing on his mind the most after trying to convey that he was not making accusations despite his words insinuating that there may have been some hidden plot on Kumo’s part. After he finished speaking Rokumaru sat silently and allowed the two Kumo-nin to pick their words carefully, knowing his questions were provoking in contrast to his earlier friendly demeanor. It was quite possible that if Kumo had been involved in any way, even by acting through a third-party, it may have been done in secret to absolve any of its shinobi of the blame. These two may have no knowledge about such conduct even if something of the sort had happened, and really would only succeed at putting them on guard. Still, he needed to know something even if it was some foreign village’s whitewashed version of the truth.

Thankfully the two did not seem offended by Rokumaru’s questions, though they did seem to make a conscious effort to sooth his worries. Raphael looked to his comrade before declaring that Kumo had no hand in the downfall of Suna, and rather it had been the work of three unaffiliated shinobi. It was a relief to hear this as it coincided with the rumors, happy to hear one of those be substantiated. Mizuki revealed that at the time of the attack Kumogakure was busy with a transfer of power between the old Raikage and the new, someone named Hastur. The woman had apparantly been sent to Suna as a messenger/ambassador only to find the village destroyed, which she seemed genuinely unhappy about.

Their words put his mind at ease and Rokumaru continued to throw sandy grapes into his mouth as he listened to their response about the Sarutobi. This topic, to his dismay, did not yield anything that was pleasant to hear.

Raphael said that the most recent Chuunin Exams held in Kumo were a machination by this Hastur to gather the various Kage together. Sarutobi Mitsuo revealed himself to the assembled village leaders, admitting to his part in the distraction of the Hidden Sand and the massacre of its inhabitants. The rogue submitted himself to the judgement of the Kage and had been pardoned in exchange for his loyalty to Hastur and the Cloud.

Admittedly it was not a considerable amount of information, yet it took Rokumaru several moments to process it clearly. The Sarutobi had submitted himself to judgment by the Kage, had been pardoned by the Raikage and was now in service to the Cloud. Whose very camp he now sat in.

He listened to Mizuki reveal the identity of another attacker, another rogue-nin named Orochi Risu, who had also made an appearance at the Exams yet did not end up serving the village for atonement. The third attacker, the turncloak, was still unknown, but he now had another piece of information to aid him. The identity of Orochi Risu alone made dealing with these foreigners worth it.

Rokumaru took a moment to think of what he wanted to say next, deciding to only go with one more line of questioning rather than test anyone’s patience. The redhead nodded, swallowing the last fruit in his possession. “Okay. I can’t say that the Sarutobi’s service to Kumo reveals some hidden obligation, so I can’t hold the Cloud accountable for what happened”. As much as he wanted a scapegoat to blame, it seemed to be a plot between just those three perpetrators.

With that said, there was also the fact that Kumo was here in the desert, doing questionable things. “Now, what the hell are you people doing in this desert? Kumo never had dealings with Suna before it’s fall, never seemed to have an interest in Kaze no Kuni, and yet now there are Clouds swarming the dunes along with the rest of these villages. What is your village specifically trying to do?

Thinking again to the rumors milling around the ruins of Suna, Roku continued. “I haven’t seen it myself, but people say the Cloud is desecrating sacred ground. Looting from the compounds, vandalizing the structures that still stand.” He was already sure he knew what it was all about, Kumo improving its reputation by providing aid to the refugees while getting to wipe clean any trace of its competitor, maybe trying to claim the Land of Wind for themselves, but Roku wanted to hear what the public statement was about all this business. “Are you Kumo-nin taking things from the ruins of Suna? I want to know what you’re trying to accomplish with all this, because we all know it’s not just about helping the people who still live here, but tell me specifically if you’re stealing from us”.

WC: 985 | 3667


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Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

11 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:04 am

Myrddin

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Raphael could not blame the red haired shinobi for having questions as to why Kumogakure Shinobi had come to Kaze no Kuni, the young special Jounin had had doubts himself when he was first told of this movement. Of course the boy was not in a position to question the reason nor could he disobey orders whether he wanted to or not, the fact of the matter in the boy's mind was that it would be better for the land of wind to fall into the hands of the village hidden in the clouds than it would if it fell into the hands of one of the other Kages. Raphael had seen first hand of the power held by the Raikage last year during the chuunin exams, and he has seen the fact that the village of Kumogakure has been prosperous and crime free under his rule as well and the boy wished nothing more than the same for his home land. Raphael's mind traced back to his days in Sunagakure no Sato before everything collapsed and how it was a cesspool of criminal activity, and how like most of the villages the boy had come to just accept it as the way things were and there was nothing to change that. He remembered how strange he had felt the first time he had walked through the gates of Kumogakure no Sato and how clean and well kept it was, criminals were dealt with rather than let free to do as they please there was no slums in Kumogakure like there had been in Sunagakure. Criminals did not rule the village hidden in the clouds, law and order ruled over Kumogakure as well as all of Kaminari no Kuni and that is how Raphael dreamt that Sunagakure would be. Perhaps if it was then those that besieged his home never would of attacked, or at least they wouldn't if what Mitsuo says as to why it was attacked is true.

Raphael would snap back to reality at the boy's question of if they were stealing from the Land of Wind and the ruins of the former Sunagakure no Sato, he had to contain himself not to laugh for the mere thought of being accused of stealing was laughable in the boy's mind however he held his tongue. Instead Raphael would allow Mizuki to answer the red haired boy's questions, after all as a diplomat she would know more about the village's true plan here as well as she had her own way of talking to people as a diplomat should. Raphael felt that if anyone was the face of Kumogakure no Sato it was Mizuki, she had a way with words and always knew what to say no matter the situation so the boy would leave the village hidden in the clouds public image to her.

After Mizuki gave Rokumaru the company line Raphael would look to the red haired boy, "as a former shinobi of Sunagakure my only goal in this is to help my homeland back on to it's feet, and I believe whole heartedly that the Raikage's plan is the best course of action. I believe that Sunagakure as well as all of Kaze no Kuni deserves better than what it had under it's old regime, where travellers need not fear for their lives and I want to believe that the Raikage's path is the way to see that to fruition." Raphael would pause briefly thinking of what his next words should be before adding, "whether you agree with the Raikage's course of action in handling the situation or not, you have to admit that what he seeks is better than things are now or how they were before the fall of our village, don't you?"



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12 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:07 am

Raiu Mizuki

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Special Jounin
A person looking for a scapegoat just to deal with his own emotions was as much a reputable adversaries than any other shinobi. Pain and grief were dangerous emotions to temper, seeking only to be understood and comforted yet more often than not being met with a curbing anger or dismissive attitude. When it came to pain, Mizuki was no stranger, but hers was not one stemming from injustice and bottled up anger. Hers came from compassion and bonds, deaths that were predestined to happen. Expected since years. So she was not surprised to hear Rokumaru discard Kumogakure's lack of incentive in the destruction of Sunagakure almost as if accepting the truth of that was an annoyance on its own. Scapegoating was easier when there was no reason to do so, but this young man was trying his best to find the right person to target. It didn't make his questions any easier to deal with though.

The rumours he had heard... That was, if they were rumours rather than facts... made her blink. She could feel Rokumaru's anger seething at the surface for the transgression he perceived. Partially, he was not wrong. Kumogakure was raising structures and taking down effigies. Kumogakure was, bluntly said, trampling over the few ramshackle ruins that once had been the solid foundations of one of the Five Nations. There was no denying that, but there were better ways of expressing the intentions of the Raikage than the blatant stomping on the graves of noble warriors. Mizuki would weigh her words carefully. Not only to make sure the Raikage's intentions came across properly but also not to unnecessarily trigger the seething rage that was actually aimed at but three people.

"Kumogakure has no intention of desecrating the graves of those who died fighting for their country, Rokumaru-san. We are not heartless or without respect. While I admit it would be naive to believe every person bearing the Kumogakure headband will keep his hands away from possible treasures, you may be assured that we do not favour those who loot and steal or desecrate the graves of the fallen. Kumogakure is militaristic at its core. We are well aware of the sacrifice Sunagakure's forces made for their country."

And that was a fact Mizuki herself would gladly enforce upon all those foolish enough to loot in her vicinity. The slums in Kumogakure had not too long ago experienced a full-on raid which took out dozens of headquarters pertaining to local crime lords based on information gathered throughout the months. She had been foolish enough as a genin to believe venturing in the slums was without risk, and had ended up in hospital because of it, but the facts and paperwork were there. Crime had been taken down harshly, Kumo's militaristic regime enforced by the new Raikage, and if she hadn't been on a diplomatic mission the kunoichi would have been there to execute those that had pried on the weaker for so long. Now the Raikage intended to do the same with the ruins of Suna. Was he right in his judgement concerning a country where he had no business in? That was debatable. But did he intent to tarnish the honour of those who had fallen in its defence? No.

"The ruins of Sunagakure are thrown in a civil war. Crime lords seize the opportunity to rally what is left of the survivors, promising safety while enriching themselves. Organised factions rise to power and smother what little opposition they find, the Ryujin being one of those names that resurface more often than not. What these three criminals did to your country was not just destroy a Village for their own sinister reasons. They left it to fend for itself without any help so that it would slowly bleed out and dry up under the desert sun. The Raikage wants this to end, Rokumaru-san.", she said, taking a brief pause. "I can't deny that his methods are hard but we aim to bring a swift and merciful end as no architect can rebuild Sunagakure as it is now, riddled with factions vying for total control. By destroying every last ruin and broken wall, the foundations will be equalised and Sunagakure's reconstruction can truly begin."

Cut off the leg so the Iryo-nin could regrow it back to new. Cut open a festering wound so the puss could be freed and the wound properly cleaned. That was the idea behind it. A necessary pain intended to heal the wound. It would not be able to heal the scar but it would allow a much needed restoration for the benefit of the Sand. Besides, Sunagakure, or whatever remained of it, still belonged to the Wind Daimyo. Many tended to forget that. No matter the power of a Village, simply waltzing in and claiming a Village for their own could politically be considered an act of war. If that came to be, the whole world could be plunged into war as samurai would raise to the defence of the Daimyo's honour. Seeing one nation here was already risky, but having the four of them grasp for the ruins meant each of them were walking on a thin line. If that line snapped, it would be a political bee's nest few would escape.

"I do not ask you to agree with the Raikage's approach, Rokumaru-san, only to understand what we wish to do. If you can't find it in your  heart to follow our philosophies, no one will judge you for it. In fact, many refugees found shelter in other Villages where their points of view aligned, but every Village has opened their arms to nourish and shelter those who suffered such ill fate. You are just as welcome to join us much like Raphael-san has done before you."

It was a lot of pressure as the naked truth of Sunagakure's destruction was hard to swallow. Tabula Rasa. A complete wipe so a blank slate would remain upon which new architectural plans could be designed. The question was if the refugee before them would see it that way. People who lost much generally didn't want to see even more being lost.





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13 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:18 am

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
If his questions, or rather his blatant accusations had irritated the two Kumo-nin at all then they made no visible show of it. Half the reason he had even shown up was to get back at the outsiders by provoking someone, first enjoy the hospitality while it lasted and try to gather some information regarding the village’s dealings before he got himself tossed out of the gate. He did not want to go so far as to outright attack the Cloud shinobi, as they had yet to truly cause problems for him or those who lived here beyond their alleged looting.

But instead they both continued to be frustratingly understanding; the former Suna dweller did seem amused by his question about the alleged looting being done by Kumo personnel, now introducing anger into the mix of feelings the redhead felt as he sat stiffly on his gourd. The blonde had obviously shed his previous allegiances to the Sand in favor of the Cloud, as the boy did not seem to understand that they were desecrating the graves of so many faceless people. And frankly, though he rarely cursed as he found it impolite, pissing all over the centuries-old legacy that still remained in this glassed graveyard. Had the blonde truly bought into the claims that the Sand was filled with the corrupt and wicked, and deserved every bit of what had come?

Rokumaru listened passively as the blonde spoke of helping their home return to its strength, through the efforts of the Raikage and Cloud. His fears were confirmed when Raphael next spoke of the previous administration’s betrayal of the people they were trusted to guide, and that if the Cloud succeeded then things would not be like they had been. Roku had to begrudgingly agree when the boy dismissed his concerns and claimed that doing something about the situation was better than preventing that from happening, and the optimist within the redhead had to accept that maybe the boy had a point. He shook his head at the boy’s question, though his jaw was clenched and his arms crossed as he grew more guarded.

Curious to see what the woman had to say, Rokumaru turned to her with the same tug in his face that he couldn’t help but frown from. The Raiu actually surprised the boy when she did not outright ignore that any disrespect was taking place at the fallen village’s expense as her comrade did. Instead the dark-haired foreigner admitted that it was very likely to be happening while the Kumo shinobi conducted their business, but that it was not their business to loot from the dead and desecrate sacred ground. Rokumaru even had difficulty determining if the woman was being sycophantic when she had recognized the sacrifices made by those who had not been fortunate enough to escape the destruction of the Sand. The reality was that Kumo could not go about its business in Kaze no Kuni with infringing upon the authority and identity of his fallen home, and that there was no point in complaining about it.

The words were much less accommodating than what had been said before but the calmed him more than any reassurance could; they were shinobi, trained to lie and cheat for the benefit of themselves and their own. Reassurances made him nervous, and distrustful. The confirmation that the Cloud shinobi were unleashed upon the ruins without any real restrictions beyond their own moral code still made him feel rather hostile towards the Cloud, but it was the village’s nature to be ruthlessly opportunistic. One less faction to worry about figuring out, at least.

Mizuki spoke of the power struggle that had been left in the wake of the attack and of the criminals that warred for dominance. She said that it had been a mistake on the part of the attackers to leave behind the mess that they had, and that the Raikage seeked to correct this mistake by subjugating the local population. Again she admitted that the methods used by her village were heavy-handed, but emphasized that a firm and unyielding presence was needed in order to restore balance to the region. And in order to do that, the Cloud wanted to erase every single reminder that the Sand had existed to wipe the slate clean for outside influences to take over.

So that was it: they were going to destroy every memory of this village they could and paint over the cracks with their own mark. Realizing that he stood in a camp of hundreds of people whose purpose was to tear those ruins apart inch by inch, Rokumaru began to feel a bit dizzy. It was fortunate he was already seated, as though he could keep the dread and fear from appearing on his face he could do nothing for the weakness he felt sapping the strength from his body. She did not have the nerve to think he should accept these changes, but she did ask for him to understand that it was what was best for them. Their was no shame in serving your village, and he respected that she carried out her duties despite some guilt about what was happening.

He stared at the sand before him as Roku absently noted she was trying to extend an offer to join the Cloud just as Kumo had, but Mizuki’s welcome could only make him shake his head in sadness. He just couldn’t run off to another village and meekly accept the leash of another village; Sabaku were meant to die in the desert, not on some obscure battlefield doing the bidding of the Cloud.

A few moments passed in silence as the redhead weighed his thoughts, arms crossed as he considered their words. Suddenly all the questions pressing at the back of his mind meant nothing in the face of learning he would have to watch as they tore those ruins down stone by stone, and the novelty of hanging out with foreigners was quickly beginning to wear off. “Then that’s it. Suna’s final chapter.” That it would be written by those who seeked to leech from all that remained here was a bitter pill to swallow, but apparantly fate had other plans in mind for the Hidden Sand. It was not his path to save a mausoleum of glass and corpses, and leaving it to be swept up in dark clouds was his best option.

The redhead leaned over to pick his bowl up from the ground where he had set it and rose to his feet sedately. He had no purpose here, and so there was no longer a reason to rush. Bending over to grip the leather strap of his sand gourd and sling the heavy container over his shoulder, Roku placed the bowl on the table where the two Kumo-nin sat and ate. “I appreciate that you answered my questions; I have no more. It would be best if I left now.” He offered a cordial nod to the woman and her bird, adjusting the strap over his chest to tighten his gourd against him.

He hesitated, having planned to walk off, but his emotions still roiled beneath the surface and Roku would not be satisfied if he did not express his feelings. He looked at Raphael, before stepping a single pace closer and speaking slowly. “You have a duty to your family to keep them safe and to stay alive, Raphael, and for that I am glad to see you under the protection of the Cloud.” Raking a hand over his head and combing his fingers through thick crimson locks of hair, Rokumaru continued. “But the fact you still cling to your identity as a proud Suna-nin while aiding these foreigners in dismantling our home offends me. I understand you have obligations to the outsiders, and do not blame you for following orders, but never claim that this is what’s best for us. Do you not understand that they seek to build their throne with the bones of our loved ones?”

Raising a hand to his neck, Rokumaru traced the hourglass shaped indent that had been stamped onto the metal plate. “Would our ancestors be accepting of the fact you wear a foreign headband yet still carry your Suna hitai-ate as a momento? Does it garner pity when you flash it around to your new comrades like some trophy?

The redhead crossed his arms for a final time, the sand in his gourd shifting audibly as he did so. “I would very much like to have it. It has no business being in the possession of a Kumo-nin. His demand was firm but he did not move to enforce it. The redhead looked at Mizuki for a long moment, making it clear that her input was not welcome. But he would not move to take the item. The blonde had his chance to admit to his true loyalties and retain what affection Roku had for his former brother in arms. No proud Suna-nin could help wipe the village from history and claim it was for its anyone’s benefit but Kumo’s.

1544 | 5211


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Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

14 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:22 am

Myrddin

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Raphael had hoped that the boy would have come to his senses and join in the clouds efforts to rebuilt this wasteland into something worth calling home, even when the boy had said his goodbyes Raphael remained hopeful that the boy would later come to his senses and return. Raphael was about to stand to walk with the boy to the exit, however the young special jounin cheerful mood changed quickly at the red-haired boy's remark, his kind blue eyes darkening as his mood became soured by the boy's assumptions of him and his family.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however on subjects you know nothing about it might be best that you find your silence," Raphael stated as he sat his spoon back down into his bowl. The boy did not move from where he sat nor make any motion to do so, as he spoke he looked down into his near empty bowl without looking at the red haired boy. He kept his words polite, yet a hint of anger could be heard in the boy's tone, however he was able to control himself and not let his anger get the better of him as he spoke. "You have no place to speak of my life nor my choices, but more importantly you have no right to assume what my ancestors would or would not be accepting of, so hold your tongue. My family was connected to every shinobi village, the only reason we were close with the sand village was because my ancestor had a thing for the Kage at the time. Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I have never once said I was a proud shinobi of the sand village nor have I ever sought pity or sympathy for it. The truth of the matter is that I am ashamed of the village hidden in the Sand and my part in it, hell the only reason I even joined the hidden sand was the fact that it was the closest one to my home. The year I was a shinobi of the sand I saw first hand the slums of village and the corruption of my fellow shinobi, but my heart still goes out to the innocent lives and loved ones that were lost that night and those that still live and have to suffer because those that were meant to protect them failed or betrayed them. You can say what you want to about the village and how I am betraying their memory by destroying the past, but in my eyes I am erasing the shame that the village leaders brought upon this land." It was at this point that Raphael would finally look up to the red haired boy, the anger obvious in his eyes but he made no other movement then looking into the boy's eyes while he continued to speak.

"There are only three people within the entire village hidden in the cloud that I even spoke with about my time here in the village hidden in the sand. One sits before you, Mizuki-San helped me to come to terms with things that I could not change in my past as well as my path for my future. The second is the Raikage Hastur, who opened his village gates and excepted me as one of his own Shinobi as though I always was. And the third is Ryo Knetegawa, who like me had once served the village of the sand but has since come to understand the truth of our former home." Raphael paused still glaring into the eyes of the red haired boy to empathize what he was saying to the boy, "The only reason I identified myself to you as a former shinobi of the sand was to help you feel welcome and comfortable speaking with me. I thought that like myself you had come to understand the truth of the former administration, but you are still living in the delusion of what the sand made the world believe it was. I support the Raikage and his mission in this land not because I have some sort of obligation to the cloud, it was my choice to join them and I saw first hand the corruption of the sand village and wish to free my homeland. As I stated I believe whole heartedly that the Raikage's plan for Kaze no Kuni and I Claim it is the best hope for this land and its people, because whether it is under foreign rule or not does not concern me as it is better than what they have now or what they had before." Raphael paused taking a breath as he looked back to his food sitting before him, "As far as I'm concerned you can have the hitai-ate if you want it, I dropped in it the sand a year ago when I made my choice to leave behind this land of sin." Raphael stated in a calmer more mellow tone of voice before waving his hand in the direction of the camp gate, "your welcome to go and find it yourself, I'm sure its out there somewhere." And with that Raphael returned to his meal, having stated his peace with the matter he was now done speaking with the boy and awaited for him to leave.



3949

15 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:55 am

Raiu Mizuki

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Special Jounin
That Rokumaru had interpreted her words differently wasn't something she could notice, but no matter how they were brought to the man the truth behind it was simple. Sunagakure was, indeed, no more. Perhaps that confirmation was what the young man before her was searching for. To hear someone else mention it rather than him willing to accepted the truth of that reality. Mizuki could see her words break Rokumaru's heart as the undeniable realisation of Suna's end bloomed open to reveal a cold-hearted darkness and embrace the last spark of his hope.

Just in that brief moment, Mizuki's empathy shared a same fate - her words had sounded as beautiful as the stars in the night sky, but the truth about those rare pearls was that life could not exist in the expansive darkness that was space. Sharing the plans of the future did nothing to cauterise the wounds of the present. And those wounds ran deep. Too deep to be healed by any sort of offer. In that same moment, Mizuki wondered if this was what she truly believed herself despite having heard the words leave her own mouth.

It was more than understandable that Rokumaru would thank them, unsatisfied with the future Kumogakure intended to bring, and decided for the wiser part to leave the table and leave the camp. As she had mentioned, points of view differed, no two former Suna-nin holding the same values. He had chosen not to align with Raphael or Kumogakure in general, seeking his salvation in the arms of a different saviour. Mizuki would nod, and rise up from the table herself to escort him if he so wished, guaranteeing his safety throughout the camp. She held no hard feelings, no intention to betray a broken man in search of inner peace. But rather than continue his path, he hesitated. Then turned to confront Raphael's thoughts.

What had started as a soothing approach quickly ended up with a bitter sneer in which Rokumaru judged Raphael unworthy of carrying the Suna-headband. It was like a slap across the face, for the young man turned Kumo-nin had just as much suffered great losses at the hands of the same three shinobi whom had orchestrated the fall of Sunagakure. The puss of the festering wound in Roku's heart should not have been spat towards his sibling-in-fate, yet it had. And the result of that came as natural as it could be. Raphael would defend himself, retaliate in kind with his own words. His own suffering and the wound he had tried to hide under the layer of a new Village, a new home, would be laid bare.

When he finished, there would be a moment of awkward silence around the three as those others who had come to pick up the conversation could just as much feel the heavy emotions that were woven within the situation. One would stands up, attempting to raise his voice as he wanted to meddle in the situation, pointing his finger in their direction, but wisely decided against it as Mizuki shot him a silencing glare. This verbal fight was not theirs and she would not allow it to escalate any further than was needed.

"This will suffice, for the both of you.", Mizuki would state calmly yet firmly. It would be clear the diplomat would not take no for an answer. "The both of you have suffered great losses that never should have occurred to begin with. Whether the corruption of Sunagakure was a thing or not, the civilians that lived there did not deserve to lose their home. The corruption should have been hit at its heart, diligent and precise in its execution unlike the blatant display of power and collateral damage that has been served. Do not allow the banner you wield on your forehead protector blind you from the fact you two are brothers-in-fate."

Mizuki would leave a few seconds for her words to sink in. Everyone was entitled their opinion, every shinobi's Way different from the other and thus every man attempted to find peace in his own way. Even if killing was inherent to the nature of the shinobi, that didn't mean they had to eschew respect for life, or the loss thereof, to achieve their goals.

Jumping over the table to land next to Rokumaru, her blue-green eyes would reveal a flicker of compassion, hoping her calm confidence would help in driving away the rage boiling on the surface of the two of them.

"I believe you were about to leave, yet may I ask you once more to remain under Kumogakure's wing and allow us to offer you shelter as you take your time to heal your heartache?", an honest request despite the verbal tussle the two had. Perhaps it wouldn't change Rokumaru's perceptions on Kumogakure but it was the most humane thing to do in this situation. And maybe, just maybe, it would allow him the time to calm his mind and perceive the situation without the cloud of red rage blinding his reason.

Should Rokumaru refuse despite, she would nod comprehensively and walk at his side to see him escorted safely through the camp, making sure his possessions were returned and some basic rations were provided for the long trek through the desert to wherever his feet would lead him.

If he accepted to stay, she would offer him a warm smile and try to change the subject of the conversation to something less emotionally laden in hopes to recover a sense of welcoming peace. These times were hard on everyone, a sense of camaraderie and humanity a growing thirst needed to be slaked by and within everyone. However, barely able to finish her meal, a messenger would appear, dodging an angry peck from Zhinu just in time, before he relayed the information Mizuki was appointed to a new mission. As the messenger would leave to find his next person, Mizuki would bow to the two guys and excuse herself. She hoped they'd be fine.





[EXIT]

1026
Total: 4147
Thread Total: 13307

Spoiler:

-2100 (All stats B-2 to B-3 [remaining 2100 / 4500])
-2000 (A rank - Thunder Cloud Inner Wave)

16 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Rokumaru

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Chuunin
The other male did not take his words kindly, as was to be expected given the kinds of things Rokumaru had said, and had no difficulty with making this clear to the redhead. Raphael denied the assumption that he was ever loyal to the village or proud to be a member of its ranks. That the only reason his family, and by extension himself, inhabited the region was due to a simple infatuation by their ancestor to a Kazekage. He made it very clear that his feelings towards the Hidden Sand were of disgust and contempt due to the inherent corruption and dishonorable behavior of those who followed its banner. That he would use his identity as a refugee for sympathy and pity was a notion that the blonde found distasteful. Beyond all else, Raphael made it clear that his feelings about the Sand and it’s people were very different than Rokumaru’s; he did not see anything in the village that was worth preserving or reviving, and instead he would happily aid the Cloud in removing any trace of that blemish on the desert.

Roku had projected his own feelings on to his former countryman thinking that they shared a positive opinion towards Suna, and hearing Raphael deny his every accusation immediately took the wind out of his anger’s sails and left him feeling regretful instead. His face was passive and blank as he listened to the blonde, though his arms were crossed and his stomach tight with embarrassment. He should have just left, keeping his thoughts to himself, but at least this way he could have some understanding of Raphael’s motivations. The blonde had barely even spoken about his former life to more than a few people, one being another refugee just as they were. And that one, Ryo Knetegawa, shared his belief that the evil and sin that was rooted throughout Suna overwhelmed any positive contribution that Suna had made. Every time the corruption of his village was brought up it made him uncomfortable, as he did not want to let the bad of the village overwhelm what good there had been.

Raphael continued to say that he was here doing the Cloud’s business not because he felt an obligation to the village for welcoming him, but because he actually believed Kumo could do better than Suna did when it came to the well-being of its people. He stated that Rokumaru’s own views towards the Sand were flawed and delusional. In fact Raphael had only mentioned his heritage in the hopes of soothing the redhead enough to help him realize the truth. Obviously the other teen did not care about accommodating him now, likely feeling irritated that he had been nice at all. Having made those comments on assumptions that turned out to be far from the truth, Rokumaru regretted saying them at all. If only because it pained him to hear that another of his former comrades spit upon the legacy of their village and relished its absence.

What really bothered him the most was that Raphael had almost immediately abandoned his hitai-ate in the sand like a piece of trash; the hourglass headband was Rokumaru’s most treasured possession, an item he would be devastated to lose, and yet this boy could abandon his own without a second thought. It clearly showed the blonde had cut all ties to the Sand. He’d given up, just like the rest of them. Unlike most other refugees, Raph was helping clear the path for the Cloud to reign over the desert, but it was not betrayal. He was really, honestly done with the village. Roku thought he had been in the company of a brother-in-arms, someone who could share his grief and understand what had happened to him. Instead, he was the sole occupant of this camp that was not glad that attack had destroyed his home. Alone again.

Raphael returned to his meal after correcting the outsider’s assumptions, and if he expected a reply than he was disappointed. Rokumaru stood where he was rigidly, looking at the top of the boy’s head as he continued to eat, processing the response his accusations elicited and the emotions that followed, a moment of awkward silence falling on the three. Mizuki spared him from responding, as the woman shut down any further bickering and tried to force an understanding between the two. She stated that they should not allow their allegiances to obscure the fact that they had both been through bad times and that there was no justification for the losses either of them had experienced. Rokumaru had no words for her either, and the silence returned as soon as the older woman stopped speaking.

Mizuki left her seat and jumped across the table to land beside the redhead, an unexpectedly quick move that immediately chased the melancholy Rokumaru was feeling while leaving sudden fear and anxiety in its wake, but rather than do anything forceful the woman again offered refuge in Kumo for him. This time, she offered a place of rest for him to process his ‘heartache’, and that was enough to spark his ire once again. Not only did the blonde turn his back on their village but he chose to actively destroy its legacy. Corrupt or not, a den of sin or not, it was their home. They were supposed to make it better than it was, not give up. That Mizuki thought he could come to grips with the reality of Suna in the very place that was tearing its corpse apart was laughable at best, and insulting at worst.

But Rokumaru has indulged his anger and took advantage of their hospitality enough, and forced his pride to remain silent. Instead he shook his head at her offer. “You are generous to offer, but I really must decline. Kumo is not the place for me to sort out my thoughts. But I do appreciate the offer, Mizuki.” At the very least he was leaving with something to ponder, having expected to leave with only disgust and rage for the foreigners, satisfied instead with disappointment and disquiet. “Again, thank you both for your patience.

He contemplated apologizing to the blonde but abandoned the thought, in case the boy did not accept. Rokumaru nodded to the woman and her comrade, and turned to leave. Mizuki made to escort him from the camp but the redhead would wave her off, not wanting company. Whether she would do so anyway was not known, as Roku thought the woman also wanted to make sure he left the camp rather than be allowed to wander freely, and if she followed regardless he did not complain. She was not given the chance, as a courier appeared and delivered to her a scroll before escaping her bird’s beak, and the woman excused herself before leaving. Rokumaru did the same, looking at the blonde for a long moment as his unhappiness with their conversation made him regret that they could not get along, and again he wanted to apologize. But instead the Sabaku turned on his heel and retraced the path through camp that he had been led on, leaving without another word. Another long, cold night buried halfway into a dune was waiting for him, and he carries with him plenty of thoughts and feelings to reflect on.

1239 | 6450
Exit Thread

Training:
Sand Grasp (B-Rank): 1500
Earth-Style Wall (B-Rank): 1500
Swift Spear Attack (B-Rank): 1500
Vacuum Wave (B-Rank): 1500

Discarded WC: 450



Last edited by Rokumaru on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:19 am; edited 1 time in total


____

Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Kugutsu: B-Rank
Doton: B-Rank |  Fūton: A-Rank | Suiton: B-Rank |
Sabaton: B-Rank
-Mission Count-
D-5|C-12|B-0|A-0|S-0

17 Re: Dark Clouds on the Horizon [Private] on Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:02 pm

Myrddin

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Mizuki's statement and theatrics in jumping over the table seemed to quell any thought the red haired boy had of speaking further. Decline Mizuki's offer to join kumo after a moment before thanking the both of them before departing for the exit to the camp with Mizuki escorting him. After finishing his meal the boy would rise from the table and take his leave, he had a long day and the red haired boy had left a sour taste in his mouth. The young special jounin had had a long day, and he knew the days to come would be just as long. The work Kumo was doing in the land of wind was just beginning, and with people like the red haired boy standing in the way of the goal made it to where there is no end in sight. He could only hope for a future worthy for his people, and to the boy that was all that mattered in his eyes, no matter who it was that could forge this new and better world for the land of wind.

Raphael would let out a sigh as he entered his tent, tossing his cloak onto the pile of his things, he began to rub his temples as he replayed everything that had happened since the Kumo forces had done since leaving the hidden cloud village. So much walking and then to get here to the land far worst off than the boy had thought, then they are there helping people and offering them a better life and this boy goes and not only accuses them of wrong doing but then to accuse him personally of being some kind of sympathy seeker. His good mood was over, but he was not angry though he was still slightly annoyed by the boy the biggest thing was that he was tired and ready to get some sleep. His mind still racing from all the events of not only today but everyday that had past since he had left Kaze no Kuni, it was not like he had expected things to just instantly better but he had hoped that people had realized that they had to let go of the past in order to be able to move forward. He laid his head back onto the pillow despite his concerns it would have to be a problem for another day, his thoughts slowly being closed out as if he was meditating until his mind was empty. The boy was very thankful to the monks of the thunder temple for teaching him that little trick when he was first suffering from sleep deprivation, the boy closed his eyes the events of the day nothing more than a distant memory as the boy slowly drifted off into a deep and dreamless slumber.

{Exit Thread}



4419
TWC: 15016 (6EP gained)

Training Strength from B-1 to B-3: -1700
Training Speed from B-0 to B-3: -2400
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