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When Honnari awoke this morning, a tall, dark-haired man knocked on his door. When he answered, he was introduced to a chuunin who said that he was employed at the adminstration's building. Furthermore, there was a note that was waiting for him, and he had to come pick it up in person. 

That made it more a chore than anything else, and with spiteful mutters, he'd add it to his list of errands. The friendly light-eyes of the chuunin dissappeared with a wave, and Honnari stared daggers into his back.

If he hadn't been the least bit interested that someone had written him a note, he would have rolled back into bed. 

Sometime between hair-knot wrestiling and tail busheling, Honnari had neared the administration building, more wanderlust towards the of hokage level of affairs and elitism. Hard to believe a hardy, scruffled man, barely in his thirties, ran this fiery province with a will of iron. Literally.

When he approached, the light-eyed man from that same morning had graced him a second time. He had such a toothy grin. "Honnari, right? Glad you came. The guy here waiting has the patience of a saint."

He saw the confusion register on Honnari's face before he could hide it. A small, nervous smile played on his lips, he probably sees things like this happen a lot. It wasn't what he said though, his words were like vanilla pudding, sweet in their ordinary sort of way, it was the richness of his tones – luxurious and warm. "Someone is waiting for me?"

There was a delicious moment where the chuunin's face washed blank with confusion, like his brain cogs couldn't turn fast enough to take in the information from Honnari's wide eyes. Every muscle of his body just froze before a grin crept onto her face, it soon stretched from one side to the other showing every single tooth. He was a pleasant man, beyond reproach; it was so out of place.

He gestured to a corridor, and smiled lightly. Honnari hesitantly meandered in the supposed to direction of this mystery man. His amble excursion allowed him to access his aquaintances. Could it be Akito, wanting to see him again?

Another chance to fight along side Mokuzai? Or another awkward lunch with Tamago and that drunkard. He cringed at the last one.

The lazy wind pushes against the unkempt grass like a child sending a dandelion seeds on their way: one o'clock, two o'clock, three. Above the white wisps trail and the late spring sun brings a welcoming warmth that coats Honnari as good as caramel over a harvest apple. The sun says it is near noon and somehow his memory of the time is no more than ten minutes, twenty at the most. With a long exhale he can detect the tell tale signs that his brain is still waking from a nap, there are the vestiges of a dream, turning in nonsensical ways, grasping to remain. Then from nowhere comes the memory of where he supposed to be, and what he was doing at this time.

At the end of the corridor, a young boy, hair like jet, and eyes like a violet in spring, awaits in a self-effacing way. He is clad in a plum tinted shirt with straps tracing his shoulders, and one across the middle of his torso. Umbrella to boot.

Unsure, Honnari ask, "You. Were you the one who asked to see myself?"

WC: 590/590

Last edited by Honnari on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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I was smiling daggers into the wall, patiently hoping, waiting, that The courier or whoever they were wasn't going to gone for long. The clock next to me had been ticking away the time for the past hour he'd been here. There were a lot of things to do and I'm going to waste time- actually all my work was cleared yesterday for this meeting so I don't really have an excuse to be angry. Damn my preparedness. I'm too good for me sometimes.

The Hokage said I was clear to train with whoever I wanted, even mentioning someone they hand in mind but so far there hasn't been any word of this 'supposed' person. So I'll be taking this into my own hands! Although it definitely helps when your partner isn't late. (Though to be fair- nope, no fairness allowed here). Truth be told I'm still lucky to be here. Even though I accepted the Kage's position as ambassador I haven't exactly been the best employee... 'How I didn't get arrested for harassment for that one hot guy I will never know'.

The memory of strong muscles and firm biceps flooded his mind and sent a flush through his body, with a very hard reminder that he was still a teenager evident in his body's reaction.

Wow, can puberty come late? Pretty sure I didn't have this problem a year or two ago. Either way, where is the bathrooms? Just as I was reaching for my umbrella a pair of people came through the entrance and I immediately straightened my posture. One of them was easily recognized as the guy who said he'd be retrieving Honnari, which meant that the almost angelic figure next to them was supposed to be the only who was training him. But something was off... While I know looks can be incredibly decieving in this world of ninja and super powered humans, Honnari looked much too thin. Perhaps it was just the shawl hiding their features but this one didn't suggest the strength of a regular ninja, even genin held more weight in their stride than this one. My thoughts immediately soured. 'How am I supposed to ask this...' he paused, deciding on a pronoun, 'person, to train me. I'm probably even stronger than they are right now!' Well, I suppose they could just talk for the day first. Get to know each other before they decided anything.

My suspicions were confirmed when the shawled figure asked if I was looking for them. Their voice wasn't soft per se, more... Relaxed, calm. Tranquil you could say; not the voice of a ninja. Suddenly he felt really heavy loaded carrying two weapons on him. Quietly, I scanned their features once more, looking for any context that might be useful. Grabbing my umbrella with my left, I walked over to my 'tutor'. "Well, that depends, are you Honnari." Offering them my right hand. "My name's Kisei Ushinatta, ambassador for the Sand refugees."

After introductions I'd retract my hand, suggesting that we go somewhere to talk. "Though I think it's best if you lead." He offered.

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Assuming his attendance would suffice, Honnari did not identify himself. He directed his immediate thought to just why he'd be called to the Adminstration's Building, to speak with someone whom he's never met, under circumstances that had still not been disclosed. At least not to himself.

"Lead where?" Honnari said, slightly defensive. "You are not a familar of myself. Who are you, that you may call upon me, Kisei Ushinatta?"

He'd said it himself. He was an ambassador of  Suna's refugees. It managed to wrip at his conscience. Just days ago had he returned from the labyrinth of hostile men, raised glass, and little efface between the people and vulture food. The sizzling hot days, and bitterly cold nights. He could only imagine what he'd bore witness to, agony if any. And what he'd had to leave behind. Heat rained down on them like the breath of hell. The scorched sand shimmered in the intense white rays of the sun.Their hats cocooned their heads in warm sweat, the arid heat burnt at their lungs. Nothing and no-one moved in that penetrating heat unless they were desperate, and they were. The images waded in his head with perefect clarity.

Honnari was there, and he remembered.

His eyes sized him from head to toe. His lean lanky frame was ramrod straight, and eyes that rivaled any wild flower. As a collateral for his rather rude tone, Honnari did indeed shake the boy's hand. His finger tips did not clasp his hand firmly, perhaps because Kisei was still so foreign to him. He lured his hand back in a lightness of action, coddling it to his chest as if it was tender.

To reiterate, he says, "Forgive me my trespass, and foregoing inhospitably. I am Honnari, apostle of the Sun and Moon." Truth be told, Kisei did not look as broken as Honnari might expect. He was not worn from the images, jaded from dissapointment for having abandoned his home. Nor ashamed to have to take shelter with a village whom his own has such a past with.

Kisei's face was flustered red. Adulation towards himself seemed like too big a stretch, and he thought that the heat must have been getting to him instead. Which was not uncommon from the intense summers the Leaf conjured. Heat so rapid to create illusions, wavering images in the street market. Droplets of sweat even riveting off the bridge of one's nose. Where not even the dandies, or the elites of the village could hide their soaked backs. Even the shadows gave no relief.

The heat of the sun, as blazen as the will of Sol. "You can accompany me if you'd like. Though I may ask you to go into subtle detail on your exprience in Suna If I can."

WC: 478/1068

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I could feel nerves pop out of place when Honnari protested them leaving together but I kept a pleasant smile on my face. Just what exactly was this guy (girl[whatever!]) pulling here?! Though I brought it down a notch when they apologized. They didn’t seem to be lying so that was that. Still, I was a bit ticked on how fast they changed directions. “Good to meet you officially Honnari.” I nodded. Clenched jaw loosening up gradually. Deep breathes, this… person, is still part of who you represent. I reminded myself. Just like how the Hokage represents the whole of the village, so I do. Sand or Leaf, both were his people now, and I had sworn in front of their other defender that I would carry the same burden, for both our futures.

Still that didn’t make it any easier not to throw this one out a window or through a wall.

Half interestedly I agreed to Honnari’s request for his time in the Sunagakure, although with a requirement of his own. “Only if you tell me more about yourself when we stop. So lead on, our fates are in your hands.” I verbally jabbed, playfully. With my plans of training shot out the window I was practically free today. So location wise, I was pretty prepared for wherever Honnari decided to take me. Well, except the red light district, pretty sure I’m banned from there still. I shrugged. Not like they can do anything about it once I’m old enough. In the back of his mind however, he wondered if Honnari was even old enough to go to such places. Might explain why they’re so thin. Some jogging or weight training might do them some good, because even ninjutsu or genjutsu specialists, which I'm assuming Honnari was, need to at least be physically fit enough to run from a battle if things get bad. I've seen sand refugee grandmas more physically fit than this. Perhaps its a birth defect, might be rude to ask then. All while in thought I managed to navigate to the front door, waiting or following Honnari depending on their reaction.

It was a warm, blazing, day in the Village Hidden in the Leaves, with no plans or place in mind. The only objective being to talk, and learn more about each other. At least it's my goal that is. Just another easy going day in paradise. Let's hope it stays that way.

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Steeling himself for this encounter, Honnari walks away, knowing that his new acquaintance will follow suit. All things considered, there were still a few steps he must take.

More food offerings. Healthy white sonatas, and more flora-sense for the oil lamps and burners. Then a steep trek up the ravine, tempting closer to his shrine which, when traced up the Naka, lead one to his shrine. 

A bed of the ivory cosmos sat atop a(n) Hokage head, but a venture like that seemed too impractical. While beautiful and tenacious due to their wild growth, he'd just lead them to market instead. The busy clamor and loud throngs of buyers and sellers shouldn't be too voracious with this type of heat. 

Brisk steps would lead them to the linoleum tarps, litters, and trolleys. Telltale signs that the market districts was imminent. Sellers advertising their wares with promises of unmatched prices and product integrity. Business today seemed scarce, which put targets over their heads. Every now and then a seller would become too forward, and Honnari would have to firmly assert his disinterest.

In the distant wavering heat, Honnari could see the botanical stand, operated by a croon, old woman with hair like snow and dark eyes. She smelled like a desert rose and the base-notes of rubbing oil.

Speaking of the desert. "You're from Suna, Kisei? I was there not too recently. I must say, If I hadn't known what circumstances had birthed those towers of glass, they would almost be beautiful."

Honnari twirled the stem of a cosmo through his laced-fingers. He loved the way they marveled his robe. He smirked, and stole a glance at the Hokage mountain. Wondering where she might have gotten them.

"I won't ask you to relive anything, but I would like to know who was responsible. It's something I've actually been thinking about--recently."

Outside his home, here in the Hidden Leaves, he would have never imagined that a place like that could exist. It was as if even god had abandoned it, and men and their beast were free to roam and do whatever they pleased. And they did. Thus turning the place into a circle of hell. And like hell, it was timeless.

The old woman walked to an unseen quarter out of sight. Trusting Honnari as a frequent visitor and customer that he would not take anything. "How rude of myself--" Honnari promenaded to another side of the stand, perpendicular to Kisei. He swept his veil out of his way as he leaned over to smell a colorful boquet. "--did you want to know something about me?"

He seemed restless, contrasting his airy saunters he seemed to glide in. Hands poised in utter delight to the interesting scents and beautiful colors that, from afar, looked like a mosaic.

A few bouquets had been pushed to the back, and Honnari could see why. The flowers lie on the table, their once beautiful petals curling at the edges from the summer heat, already their stalks are limp and when he picked them up their heads fall with gravity towards the table. They must not be native to this heat.

The task of picking out flowers was not really a task at all to him. And it put him in a giddy mood.

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Well, their choice of venue could be better but I wasn't about to complain. The market and merchantile districts we're nothing particularly new. The lack of customers were a strange sight however. I was used to visiting occasionally for building contracts when me and Shouto were still constructing the shop. Just the occasional look through the place for a decent restaurant after a hard day at the forge. It was funny to watch the mostly mild mannered Honnari assert themself at too focused marketeers. Though otherwise they seemed to understand their way around the place rather well. Though I suppose this 'was' their village. Speaking of villages, Honnari was keen on learning more about his as they lead the two of them to a flower stand.

At first Kisei was too shocked by the sudden breach in the comfortable silence, then the... Disagreement, I had with their choice of words. The picture of the ruins was death. People once lived there, and laughed there, and for sure have died there. With nothing to their legacy than a shattered home and a mockery of their homes in scattered glass and ash. However I kept my response civil.

"If you want to know who caused it any of the survivors or those who visited the Chuunin exams can tell you the about the massive snake that destroyed the administrative building. But the Hokage knows of another one, someone stronger than even he is, that also was there." I replied sullenly. I'm still pissed that the Hokage decided to withhold that piece of information from him. Honestly, there was no real reason not to tell him. Meaning One, doing so would conflict with the safety of his village. Two, it would compromise something he wishes to keep intact. Or three, it would cause a revolt.

Damn it, I got too caught up in the moment to properly debate that shitty deal. Now I gotta wait till I qualify as a special jounin before I find the murderer of my village. Just peachy. The mood wasn't totally ruined however, when Honnari asked for a question about them, I was genuinely curious, and a bit pissed at the moment, so I went with something a bit personal.

"What clan are you from? I can't seem to figure you out quite as easily as I'd like. You don't seem to strike me as an Senju or any of that variety. I have heard some details of a Kurama clan in Konoha, though they aren't as mainstream." I mumbled the last part, not wanting to offend them to harshly if they were of that particular clan.

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"If you want to know who caused it any of the survivors or those who visited the Chuunin exams can tell you about the massive snake that destroyed the administrative building. But, the Hokage knows of another one, someone stronger than even he is, that also was there." Honnari leaned in to a bouquet and sniffed around. Smelling for herbal basenotes, and the lingering scents of wet dirt. All signs of freshly picked, well watered product. 

"A snake and two others? Morbid." Honnari sauntered over to Kisei's side, lightly brushing past him. His hands held in a graceful and elegant bearing. He swept his robe out of the way as a rooster hurried between the two of them, along with a  weather-beaten, old man who was equal amounts "very sorry" and disgruntled. 

Honnari was not one to wallow in the misfortune of others, and his sullen response and leering grimace suggested that he might have been prying. Condolences aside, and like god, he would concern himself with such personal machinations. He was here. He was breathing. And nothing was worse than not!

Kisei seemed to dither for a bit. A flux of incredulity and inner turmoil, perhaps? Just a simple boy. Or a boy, but not so simple. His face seemed so war-jaded and tired, with a crippling front that only revealed itself to be fragile. Honnari could almost smell the angst permeate off of him. 

A breeze whispered past and disheveled his veil, the light, summer air danced across his skin, leaving raised hairs in it's path. Red, orange and yellow, in various different shades. All of them floating gracefully on the soft breeze.

It was as if a friendly hand was gently lowering them to the ground. Whispers between these leaves filled the air, whispers and mutters. The air was cool and crisp, like a refreshing drink of cool water after hours in Kisei's desert home. The breeze fluttered around, gently caressing everything it touched with fingers that had been a comfort to so many over their long, lonely years. And existed to the comfort of the refugees of Suna.

He has always loved the wind, for it comes to him so boldly, touches his skin. In coldness it rouses him to wakefulness, an alertness that lets him savour the moments in dryness and rain just the same. In soft breezes it is finer than silk, smoother than water. In the gales it sings through the trees, sending loose leaves on a dancing funfair ride, hypnotic, beautiful. In the summertime wind is cooling, allowing the warmth to gently enter muscle and bone while his skin feels so at ease with the world.

Today, the market is quiet, and he almost finds myself in joyful anticipation, absorbing the bright colours of the new foliage and buds, taking a moment to watch a dragonfly pass by, its back a brilliant- electric blue. Or a butterfly sip at a flowers bloom, fluttering a wild violet.

"What clan are you from?" Kisei trilled.  "I can't seem to figure you out quite as easily as I'd like. You don't seem to strike me as an Senju, or any of that variety. I have heard some details of a Kurama clan in Konoha, though they aren't as mainstream."  Honnari released a stem in his grip.

A clan That thought had all but perished as the years went on, like snow in the sun. Before his self-proclaimed enlightenment, Honnari had attributed all his wails and woes to his lack of a meaningful bloodline. He felt cursed by the cosmos, watching all his childhood's peers come of age, as he withered with age. 

Then it was as if oneday, he felt awakened. He can’t explain it, but he feels different. He even has the sensation to have become a new person, which has nothing to do with the person he was before.

That question, it cut deep. A grin quietly stole his lips. Mortifying. "As fortune would have it-- I do not belong to one--" His daydream warbled, ringing; a faint glitter could be seen peppering the area around them.

"--unconventionally, however, nature energy seems to... gravitate towards me."

WC: 705/2333

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"Interesting...." I trailed off. They don't seem to find their clanlessness as a burden though it did seem to be a sore spot for them, howevere I couldn't help but be intrigued. 'Nature energy huh?' I've come across the term a couple times before when researching clans. It mostly applied to the Jugo clan and their ability to directly absorb energy from the environment around them, it was also a learned ability possessed by people called 'Sages'. But other than that there wasn't much definition to what it actually is. (Honestly my lack of knowledge on the whole thing is a bit irritating.) Though it was fascinating, unless you're trained in the Sage arts the human body simply cannot handle the power Nature Chakra has, hence why the Jugo go into berserk rages. Though Honnari seemed perfectly fine. I quirked my lips pensively as I tried to break down what it could mean. But there was something he could sympathize with, "It seems neither of us belong. A clan is something neither of us have." I wouldn't comment on the statement further, leaving the sheer depth and sorrow of those words sink beneath the waves. Instead of lingering on the the pain of long suppressed memories I'd try to focus on the flower stand, bursting with dozens of options for the curious buyer.

Looking at what the stall had to offer, I couldn't say there was anything that terribly interested him. Floral activities weren't something for beauty as much as survivability in the desert, but even then I never developed too much of an interest in them. There was one that did catch my eye though. Near the left side of the stand were small flowers outlined in white but containing a burst of colors within those lines. There was this one delicate looking one, light pink, that caught my attention. If only briefly. I tilted my head as I leaned closer, examining it with precision, recalling an off comment he remembered Shouto saying at one point within the few days they arrived in the Konohagakure.

("Flowers have meanings too, don't you know?")

Of course I through some random daffodils at him when he said that, calling him an idiot for believing such things. But know, well, I could almost see the romanticism behind it. I cast a glance towards Honnari, their soft features reminiscent of the same flower he had been looking at a few moments before. I couldn't say anything for what they would become in the future, but one could hope that like a flower in spring, they will blossom.

Now he could do a bit of blossoming himself if he did say so.

Picking up and examining a yellow sunflower a question popped into mind. "Hey Honnari, you mind me asking a question about the village?" I asked quietly, gathering my thoughts. "What's your connection here? Like, I came here because I had to." And because I was shipped here against my will. "But I don't know anything about you. Mind sharing a bit about yourself?" Now I'm not the best at explaining what I mean so he could only hope Honnari understood that I'm just asking for him to share more about his past. Though I could understand if it was a sensitive subject for him, they didn't seem to like it when I brought up the question of their clan or lack thereof.

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"It seems neither of us belong. A clan is something neither of us have." Honnari caressed vibrant blooms between his finger tips. He wouldn't have been able to put Ushinatta on a map regardless, but he juxtaposed Kirei's circumstances with his own, and assumed Kisei's was far more profound.

When Honnari looked at him, it seemed like he was staring at an insurmountable distance. Which, quite literally, is what he was. From here to the Sand, seemed like oceans away.  

It was a sacred sort of, seclusion. To know, that unlike so many others, he will not be an heir to any notable type of power.

When Honnari was very young, and a fresh-paced academy student, Honnari watched the other children laugh and play from the corner of a swing-set. How could they be happy when he felt so sad. Part of him wanted them to feel his pain too, so he wouldn't be so lonely with it, but part of him was glad they couldn't, it was private after all. His eyes suddenly swam with tears and he hurried to scrub them from his face. He knew tears would lead to sympathy, and sympathy would lead to more tears.

There were days Honnari awoke and his memories weighed heavy. The morning radio came to him through a haze and the smiles of others were no more real than the sympathetic smiles. It was temporary of course, but in that permanent way; however high he rose and how long he stayed away, this was the base-line he always returned to. 

Honnari watched Kisei sift through sunflowers. Those were nice too. Perhaps a little plain looking for himself, but it radiated a vibrancy that wrung true to it's name. "Hey Honnari, you mind me asking a question about the village?"

"If you'd like."

"What's your connection here? Like, I came here because I had to. But I don't know anything about you. Mind sharing a bit about yourself?

Honnari ambled to another side of the stand with a light airing. A certain gaudy, trill in his stride. "Unfortunate, for you to leave where your home is. As for me, I was born here. A steady family, mostly. I'm not so extraordinary, really." He wasn't an open book by any means; though he made it apparent to bruise over he and his late father's fractured relationship.

"The most notably thing about myself which, so unlike the people here, is that I seek a relationship with God." He laughed. "I'm a dying breed, I suppose."

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It was good to hear that Honnari hadn't suffered anything too terrible in their dealings here, though there was one detail that got me. Their belief in, God... Thoughts brushed against my mind, an almighty force inside of the universe that watched over everyone, defended everyone and guarded their souls after death. I had heard enough to get the gist of it. Sure I cursed "In his name", and all that but couldn't help but laugh at the idea of it. I nearly dropped my umbrella with the heaving breaths it shook out of me. Eventually I got a hold of myself and sent Honnari an apologetic grin. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to offend you it's just...." I paused, not quite sure how to explain it. It was like when Rippa tried to explain to him what an ambassador was.

“You know, to come and tell me, after what happened in the Sunagakure, that an ambassador could save an entire nation…"

It was essentially the same thing with God that he had a problem with. The idea of this, unknowable, mighty being who can solve all problems and do anything was absurd to me. Where we're they when his people were slaughtering each other across an entire world? Where were they when a crumbling civilization needed help. Where were they when my world split itself open and....

I blinked, just noticing the tears cadencing down from my eyes. Geez. Just when you thought you were past all this. It seems I hadn't changed all that much from back then. I blinked again, remembering that he was supposed to say something. "Well, it's just... Me and God don't really get along ya know? But I kinda like how you can have faith in something you can't see, that's a kind of courage a lot of people don't have." I joked. Placing an reassuring hand on Honnari's thin shoulder as I gave the warmest smile I could. "Sorry. I hope I didn't offend you. You're actually a pretty cool guy." I beamed. Guy. Guy. Guy.....

Holy crap, did I just misgender them?! My face tensed slightly, still holding the smile. It was hard to tell with gu- people, like Honnari. If you add a bit of makeup on them you'd be able to confidently call them a girl but if you put them in shorts they could just as easily be a guy! I bit the inside of my lip as I screamed internally. Whatever, I hope that Honnari didn't have a temper as short as mine when it came to their appearance.

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"Well, it's just... Me and God don't really get along ya know? But I kinda like how you can have faith in something you can't see, that's a kind of courage a lot of people don't have." Faith - his seemed to have floated away from him a very long time ago, like a leaf being pulled away on the tide, and into the sea to become lost and alone, likely drowned. Or maybe it never was. 

Honnari directed his attention towards him. Kisei must torture himself over scriptures written a couple of thousand years ago which were then chosen by people, humans, who wanted control, power, money. Much of what they contain is as far from God's true word as Ichiraku is from wholesome soul food. There's some decent philosophy in there but also more psychosis than the clerics would like to admit. Let's face it, a lot of it is utter nonsense.

"Can't see?" Honnari mused with a grin, rubbing a few petals. "They are as real as the Mother Earth herself, as real as the trees, the water, the sky. Look! I have only to open my mind and heart to the power of love and They are there, healing wounds I didn't even know I had."

They were Honnari's compass, his companion and serenity. He could see them, the actions of those around him; he saw They're in faces of newborn babes, He saw them in the nascent light that fills his eyes each morning. God will never be a magician to Honnari, or an omnipotent Santa Claus to grant gifts or wishes. They hears our prayers and is with us in our struggles, but they can only act through the willing heart. Honnari loved the scriptures but he took them in the light of what they are; well meaning works written through the lens of an ancient culture, a different time. He held on to what he knew of them, that they are love, and love does not discriminate between gender, culture, race.  Love does not cast one group out in favour of another. Love does not refuse to understand the hurts of another person or another people. Love seeks to build bridges, to bring out the best in one another. So when Honnari wants to know Their will, He lets their love fill him, and then he knows.

"Sorry. I hope I didn't offend you. You're actually a pretty cool guy.

God didn't need worship and no-one needs to believe in Them. So long as they believe in love and do their best to show grace and forgiveness to others, they're alright by Honnari. And Kisei seemed very down to earth. Honnari was adament in people thinking for themselves, not to blindly follow others and be responsible for what they do. If a person feels severe guilt and commits to positive change it's alright to be forgiven and move forwards. A spiritually well society has happy children and those same blessed smiles carry on throughout their lives.

Honnari knew that someone like Kisei could have a fractured perception of an almighty. How exactly should he react, if a supposed god let home be destroyed.

Honnari smiled, a grin that let Kisei know that despite his helm, he was looking right at him. "Let us play truth or dare. Three choices: One: Let one person suffer billions of times. Two: Let billions suffer once. Three: Destroy all of creation and all hope for future life."

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The power of love? That was insane on the face of it. Perhaps a different me at a different time could believe it. You couldn't rely on higher powers to solve your issues they needed to be dealt by yourself. But I chuckled at Honnari's suggestion of Truth or Dare. "Not sure what kind of Truth or Dare you play, but this sounds more like Truth or Truth, or Truth." I mused. "However...." He pressed a finger to his chin. Truthfully I had already seen the results of all three choices, as depressing as that sounds. He had seen his brother's heart break every time he thought back to a long forgotten world and how all his efforts to try and better it flew down the drain. While he may not show it Kisei knew that it had been a constant pressure on his shoulders. All those he had killed, everything he had tried to protect, none of it mattered.

I've seen billions of people suffer once, because he would never see them again. The last option, to destroy the world, well, wasn't that obvious? My eyes didn't tear up this time, already tired of the grief and tears those troublesome memories brought. If the choice was mine, I would choose my own path. "I would choose to let no one suffer." I answered plainly. "But, the first choice." Isn't the most economical to concentrate the misfortune of the universe than to damn the whole thing with that corruption. For the sake of the world, wasn't it better? But even as I said it I couldn't really bring myself to believe it. That one person's life would be a living nightmare, constantly wishing for death because life simply wasn't worth living. That kind of desperation, it was something I could understand. That was when the tears started flowing. I could almost see them crying alone, with no one to even hold their hand. Suddenly it was as if a river was flowing out of his eyes. "I-I can't make that choice. I have to choose everyone over one person, or no one? What kind of screwy hell is that?" I sniffed pathetically. It wasn't fair. It wasn't."I don't think I can choose."

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From their area came the crying, the sobs only interrupted by Kisei's need to draw breath. It was a primal sound, one people aren't programmed not to ignore. Commuters turned their heads, caught between an impulse to help and another to stay out of bother. But whatever they chose their day had been altered. To be so close to such pain changes a person, even just temporarily. Their own pains come a little closer to the surface; their empathy is triggered. If they choose to walk away they get a little kick of guilt as a punishment, a sharp jab to guide them to do the right thing next time around.

"I-I can't make that choice. I have to choose everyone over one person, or no one? What kind of screwy hell is that?" Honnari stared after the boy. Wondering just what he could have said to make him act out as he did.

He didn't think the riddle was in poor taste, nor did he think could incite such emotion. Ace-like eyes judged that his outburst was strain of that sam angst he smelled earlier. One might not be able to as much as look at Kisei wrong, and he would wail. Paralyzing wails. 

Honnari offered the boy the white sonata he had been twirling; he consoled him with the answer, "The answer was always for you all to choose to be the angels of your better natures and choose personal responsibility." Honnari said, a wind whispering under his shawl. "Although--what happened was out of your control-- you can have your future, your paradise, your Earth, because you will have mastered free will."

He promenaded away from boy. "You may think 'The Power of Love' is-- far fetched. But, Kisei, love can hurt, yet-- it is the only prize."

He could only be firm in his belief, stretching his principles just until they were paper thin. Honnari knew that his views did not often coincide with lives of those around him. And he tried to be as endearing as he could.

Most were not use to suffering. But suffering bred empathy, and empathy led to reverence. Godliness. Light without darkness is blinding, Darkness with out light is an abyss.

One cannot have a single-side to a coin.

WC: 386/3754

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I hastily wiped my tears on my forearm. Cursing my own emotional weakness. Many nights were as teary eyed as this one, especially during the first few days in this world. They were a flood of tears and hiccups. Honestly, I thought I buried these feelings a long time ago. Perhaps the ditch dug was much too shallow.

Honnari was a kind sort. Offering flowers, well, a flower, and comforting words. I absorbed it all. Even if it appeared as if I wasn't listening or didn't care, I wasn't rude enough to shut out proper conversation. This one was an enigma however. Their concept of love and free will conflicted with so much of what I know to be sure. I couldn't make sense of it really, but.. could it be that I don't want to understand? Because, what would it mean, if Honnari was right?

"Sorry for breaking down on you like that Honnari." I whispered. Drying my eyes of stray tears. "I hope you don't take too much offense from this, but I think I'll need to think on this for a while." Pulling out a wallet, I left more than enough money to pay for the flower. Then looking to Honnari, I reached once more into my wallet and handed him my business card. Detailed with instructions of where my workshop/home was and what it is I do. "Come here if you ever want to talk again. I enjoyed today but I wouldn't want to ruin yours with too many tears."

So a slightly sorrowed expression, I smiled at Honnari as I waved goodbye. Flower in hand, I made my way back home. Leaping onto one of the roofs of the market place, I took my time jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Not really feeling the energy to simply Sprint home as he usually did. Honnari's words on love and faith sunk into his throat and didn't let go. I didn't know what to make of it. Beliefs so far different from mine, what was I supposed to make of it?

I thought more on the nature of my world and what Alpha told me. 'A war that had been going on for longer than anyone could remember. Conflict never ending for the power of chakra tech. Up until the very end, when we were judged unworthy of the that power we all strove for, and we we're erased from existence.' "Where did we go wrong?" I wondered. How did such an advanced civilization, capable of working miracles with the power of technology and knowledge. What caused all of it? The answer would probably never really manifest himself and all that would be left we're insignificant guesses and feeble attempts to grasp at the truth.

Kisei spotted the familiar roof of his workshop home, and jumped down a few houses earlier to be able to walk through the front door. This startled a few passerbys but the streets were empty for the most part but he didn't pay too much attention. As he entered the store he was greeted by Shouto, but once again he didn't pay much attention to the words. A slump in his step the Ushinatta walked down to the basement through the hidden door behind the staff only room, also behind the register.

Absentmindedly he entered the passcode to his personal room and fell asleep on the bed.

All in all, today had been a good day. Yea. He totally wasn't seeing he world be torn apart, wasn't remembering the screams of his family, Alpha leaving their mother after she refused to leave, the chaos around them. Kisei found himself crying again, but this time he was alone. No white haired angel to pull him out of it this time or green haired knight to save him. Or even the smile of his first love to keep him warm as the void swallowed them whole.

"I'm sorry Honnari, if only your words were true, maybe then, maybe... I would be be able to let go."

[Exit Thread]
2830 + 691 = 3521

Training Kugutsu to C-rank (1500 words)
Training Kugutsu - C --> B rank (2000)

3500 words used, 21 discarded.

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In Kisei's sobbing was the sound of a heart breaking. Hearts don't snap like brittle caramel or burst like an overfilled balloon. A heart breaks in the heaving waves of a new disturbing reality that has arrived uninvited. It is the one in which their child no longer lives, or their partner is terminally sick. It is entering a life they can't bear and so they break. They aren't the same again, there's just a part of them that had to die so that the rest of them could carry on their duties.

So as Honnari watched Kisei shake with grief, tears flowing unchecked, there was part of him, he felt, that might be breaking too. "Sorry for breaking down on you like that Honnari." Kisei trilled, throwing his tears on the parched ground. "I hope you don't take too much offense from this, but I think I'll need to think on this for a while."

Things felt a little abrupt. Was it something he said? Reciting hos own doctrine seemed like more or less, second nature, and not some dogma worthy of moving someone to tears.

Honnari lips bending, showcasing his trademark halved-grin. He found it most curious that the boy handed him a business card before waving off, and disappearing into the busy clamor of rooftops and the haze of the heat. The old woman returned, and had been standing there longer than Honnari had considered.

"Trouble?" She said, a bit of familiarity that sung to his intuition. "Grief?"

Honnari wrapped a bouquet of White Sonatas in his hand. "I'm not certain. Perhaps, he's experiencing something-- in between?"

"These Suna refugees carry that strife on their shoulders, I guess. Hard to blame 'em. The Sand is still plagued with war. Y'know, Hon?"

"I do. I was there not to long ago. Scavengers and Nuke-nin waging war for the battle of the free state. Most curious, is it not?"

She went to wipe away the curled petals that were littering the display. Her wrinkled eyes sporting moles like a divalent. "Curious, how? What? Under all that brash and gold is a heart of gold, Hon? You cookin' something up?"

He smiled, fluttering his veil with a shake of his head. "Maybe so. Whilst I was there, I wondered after the fact: if only they knew God! And--the salve of God curing the bane; the strain of evil that went unaccounted for."

The old woman's laugh was like an all healing balm. Her giggle was a stone bouncing across a glossy lake, creating ripples of mirth where there had been none. As if her gentle sound could make the lamplight on the stand more golden and the fires burn warmer.

"What's funny?"

"Sounds like the brew of some justice monologue. Kinda like the countless marauders who despised the leaf, and wanted nothing short of it's annihilation."

"What?" Honnari gasped, feigning offense. "Too miltant for your lot?"

"Not really." She said growing slightly weary of their banter. "If it's justice you seek, beware the line between personal credulity and what's right. "Justice” is easily corruptible..."

WC: 532/4286

[Thread Exit]

WC Distribution:

Training two C-Rank Jutsu

Dea of Radiant Wisdom
Seven Primordial Gods

4286-2000= 2286

Training 1-D Rank jutsu

Scattering Plume Technique


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