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Niala

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Chuunin

Mission Taken - Escort the Merchants out of Iwa (B-Rank):

Mission name: Escort the merchants out of Iwa
Mission rank: B
Objective: To get the merchants safely to the border so they can go and sell their goods.
Location: Iwagakure border
Reward: 500 ryo
Mission description: There have been bandit attacks in the passes in the past. Recently these have increased. Protect the merchants from all threats.
Mission details: At some point the caravan of three wagons and six merchants will be attacked. Three chunnin ranked bandits with all D-3 rank stats and Battle axes will descend upon the caravan from above. Kill them to send a message. Iwa will not tolerate bandits. If any of the caravan is damaged you fail the mission.

I’m happy to be home, yet something doesn’t feel right.

The first day back home had been a joyous occasion: all three adults within the home welcoming the trio back: a feast of all of their favorite foods having been planned just as Niala had been hoping for. Talks late into the night had occurred, the adults of the house more than interested as to what Kensaku, Kannon, and Niala had got up to while out on their little adventure. For the most part Niala kept her business to herself: glossing over the darker aspects of the things she had learned, while skipping over portions of her and Kannon’s more private affairs entirely. She had kept her answers as genuine and honest as possible, but she had fallen to sleep that night wondering just how much of that the adults believed, as well as wondering if they suspected that she was now hiding many secrets. She had always been open and honest with her mother and father, Hanae and Genki had proven time and again to be more than supportive. Now though? There were things she wanted to keep to herself, things she wanted to keep private, things she didn’t feel they had any reason to know about. It was just one of the many signs of the way Niala had begun to change. If they had noticed though none of them said anything as they had bid Niala goodnight and watched her disappear up the steps to her bedroom that evening.

Of course, then all hell had broken loose in the household: Genki destroying the peacefulness that was their family, trying to kick Naila out - insulting her and going to attack her. That had been an interesting day, made more so by them moving and then by a union that Niala had wanted for so long. This had lead to the revealing of secrets, and a type of comfortableness with the people she lived with that hadn’t been there before.

Even though she had claimed she was going straight to bed she had in fact lingered with a cup of tea at her desk, going over various scrolls she had picked up as well as some which she had used as notes for her own ideas for techniques she was attempting to create or learn. Most of them, as was Niala’s way, were in depth with giant diagrams that explained in further detail what she was trying to accomplish, while others - the ones she had secured while in Kirigakure - were just basic scrolls filled with the knowledge that should sustain her while attempting to learn new jutsu. Niala had spent the majority of the night reading, well after her cup of tea was empty, and had ended up falling asleep at her desk still fully clothed. In fact, it wasn’t until a knock at the front door occured that she would awaken at all: her face stuck to one of the scrolls she had apparently laid her head down on at some point during the early morning hours when sleep had finally won and claimed her. Even as she heard someone else answering the door, her father Hanae from the sound of the muffled deep voice she could hear, she found herself having to unstick her face from the scroll as she sat up with a soft groan: she felt stiff from having been in the same bent over position for so long, and her body was screaming at her to get up and move.

Days that start like this never seem to end well.

Shifting sideways in her chair she uncrossed one left from beneath the other, moving to stand when a loud crunch sounded out in the quiet room followed by a sharp deep pain radiating up from the bottom of her foot. “Shit!”, she cursed out loudly, immediately lifting her foot to find the remains of the tea cup she had been using the night before scattered in pieces on the floor: the cup apparently having fallen and shattered at some point during the night though the noise clearly hadn’t woken her up. Shifting her leg so that she could see the bottom of her foot she noticed several drops of blood falling to the wooden floor of her bedroom and winced as she took in the sight of the shard of thick glass sticking out from beneath her foot. With ginger and careful steps - walking on the side of her injured foot as to not push the glass in deeper - she cleared the mess on the floor, making sure as she headed over towards her bed that she didn’t accidentally step upon anymore glass.

On her way to the plush, comfortable bed she snagged her bath towel down from its hook, quickly laying it upon the bed when she reached it so that her foot was laying on it - keeping the blood from seeping out and onto her sheets and comforter. Now seated where she could have her leg bent so she could get a proper view of her foot she reached forward and gently touched the glass sticking out of it, wincing and hissing with pain as the slightest touched caused pain to shoot up her foot and through her lower leg. “Fuck…”, she found herself muttering. Releasing her hold on the glass she opened and closed her hands into fists several times while taking a deep breath.

Reaching for the piece of glass once more, knowing she needed to pull it out before she could begin healing her foot, she was about to touch the glass when, “Kensaku, Niala! There’s a scroll for you. Come down here please”, she heard her father call out.

Gods, I really am changing, aren’t I? This isn’t like me at all.

Feeling irritable, and just generally miserable due to the pain in her foot she found herself becoming a bit snappish instead of responding in her usual kind and polite manner, “I’ll be down in a minute!” The silence that followed spoke drastically on how her tone of voice had surprised her father, but after apparently getting over his initial surprise he called out, “Are you alright, Niala?”

Feeling suddenly even worse than she already was she sighed and called out, “Yeah, sorry… I didn’t realize I broke my tea cup last night, I stepped on some glass. I’ll be okay, I just need to get the glass out.” Her answer seemed to appease Hanae as he called back, “Alright, come down when you can. Let me know if you need your mother, she’s next door at the clinic. I’ll go get her if need be.”

Niala didn’t respond as she focused back on the piece of glass in her foot: what kind of medic would she be if she had to go to her mother for help with something as simple as removing a piece of glass from her foot and healing a minor cut? Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly Niala squared her shoulders and reached for the piece of glass again. A hiss would leave her lips as she pulled the piece from her foot, tossing it onto the towel as blood began to flow openly from the wound. A smaller piece followed, and then another, until her foot was free of the destroyed cup. Focusing healing chakra into her hands, both of which began to glow with a faint greenish color, she hovered them above her foot, watching as the wound closed up, pucked shut, and pulled together, leaving only the faintest of lines behind where the glass had been which began to fade from sight until finally all traces of the wounds were gone save for the blood that remained behind. Adjusting the three pieces of glass on the towel so they were out of her way she picked up a clean edge of the bath towel and ran it along her foot, cleaning as much blood from the bottom of her foot as possible. With the pain gone and only the clean up remaining she found herself wondering what the scroll waiting downstairs was all about: she had only got back yesterday, could it be a mission already? Or was there something else? As curious as she was she knew she had a mess to clean up before she could go find out - that was, if Kensaku didn’t bring the scroll upstairs with him.

As her thoughts drifted to her twin she found herself pausing in her clean up of her foot, allowing the edge of the towel to fall from her hand as she lifted her head and stared at the bookcases lining the wall across from her without really seeing them. Her brother: her twin. She had been worried about him since their trip home had begun: his smiles hadn’t quite reached his eyes, he had been uncharacteristically quiet, and instead of walking with her and Kannon he had kept himself behind them - as if keen on keeping some kind of distance between himself and them. She had been confused about the behavior considering how unlike him it had been, while at the same time his distant behavior had hurt as well. It had made her replace the events of their trip over and over again in her mind: had she done something wrong? She honestly couldn’t remember, couldn’t think of a reason as to what could have caused the behavior, but nonetheless even now she felt the familiar pang of emotional pain shoot through her.

Let’s hope the day doesn’t have anymore surprises in store for me.

Pushing the thought from her mind she got up from the bed, mindful to watch her step, and grabbed the waste basket next to her desk. With the trash can in one hand she carefully kneeled down, picking up the largest pieces of glass followed by the smaller ones, filling the trash can with them piece by piece until all were gone from the floor - thankfully, the cup hadn’t shattered into anything too small for her to pick up by hand. With the glass in the basket she put it next to her desk, more concerned with getting the blood washed off the bottom of her foot instead of empty the trash can of glass: at least she didn’t have to worry about stepping on anymore pieces of the broken cup. Heading into her attached bathroom she didn’t bother closing the door as she sat on the edge of the tub and rolled her pant leg up. Turning the water on she waited until it got to a comfortable temperature, adjusting it as needed, before sticking her blood covered foot beneath the spray, watching as the water turned a murky brown color before disappearing down the drain. After a few seconds of this she grabbed her wash cloth nearby and lathered it up with soap, scrubbing not only her foot clean but her hands as well before rinsing off. Shifting herself on the edge of the tub she carefully placed her feet on the bathroom rug before tugging a towel free from a nearby hook and using it to dry her feet and hands, making sure that her feet were completely dry.

Standing up she was about to walk out of the bathroom and head downstairs when she caught her appearance in the mirror: her eyeliner was still impeccable, but her hair was a mess. Pulling the ponytail holder out she brushed her long pale blonde strands until they were free of knots before pulling it back up into a high ponytail. Deciding afterwards that she wasn’t likely going to get a chance to get a shower - still not knowing what the scroll waiting for her and her twin was about - she washed her face quickly, making sure not to smear her makeup before drying it and stepping out of the bathroom.

Now what’s this about a scroll?

Heading over to her bed she balled up her blood covered towel after depositing the three pieces of bloodied glass she had removed from her foot into the trash with the rest. The towel was tossed into the dirty hamper by her bathroom before she headed to her bedroom door and exited the room. Heading downstairs she took the steps carefully - one injury was enough for one day - before heading into the living room and towards the kitchen where she could smell the delicious scent of food. “So what’s this scroll about?”, she called out, hoping that someone had an answer for her.


Word Count: 2,280


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Koizumi, Niala | Chikamatsu | Jutsu | Locker | C-Rank Tracker

Specializations
Kugutsu: S-Rank | Medical Ninjutsu: A-Rank

Elements
Suiton: S-Rank | Raiton: A-Rank

Missions
D: 1 | C: 2 | B: 2 | A: 0 | S: 0
_____________________________

I'm not changing. I've always been like this under the surface. I've just decided to embrace it instead of running from it.

Kensaku

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Chuunin
Tired. Annoyed. Those were the two emotions felt by Kensaku when him, Niala and Kannon returned home from their trip to Kirigakure no Sato. What had initially started out as a trip to explore the Elemental Nations was cut short when word reached them that they had been requested to return home by the orders of the Tsuchikage. The timing could not being more aligned with Kannon’s sudden desire to return home as well. Personally, he did not want to go back, wanting to explore the lands with his sister, away from everyone, away from Kannon. Alas, such a desire would not be met with them being ordered to return home.

Maybe it was for the best that they did return? After finding out the relationship with Niala and Kannon had involved into something physical, something he wishes he could forget or was blissfully unaware of, Kensaku could not look at his sister the same way again. Not because he was disgusted with what she did. No, his issue was with the person she had done it with. While he was okay with her dating Kannon, even approving it, he did not like that it was him that got the privilege. He wanted someone else to. Someone who knew her better than anyone else. Someone like - - -

Because of those feelings, Kensaku figured that returning home, so he could at least get away from Kannon, would be ideal. The trek home was one were silence was prevalent. He kept his distance from Niala and Kannon, only talking to them it was necessary with all the other times having him wander off, giving the couple time for themselves, and getting into trouble that would have shocked Niala and his parents, not like their opinions mattered at the given time.

When the trio arrived home, a feast was waiting for them, as well as their parents. It being a joyous occasion for them all, except for Kensaku who only prevented to be happy with everything. Not even the prospect of eating some of his favorite food was capable of making Kensaku feel anything but annoyance. He had hoped there would not be much talking done, that the parents would not ask them about their adventures, but, the hope was quickly dashed. The parents were asking them what all they did in Mizu no Kuni. While he wanted to say ‘nothing’, or ‘caught Niala and Kannon having sex’, Kensaku kept those comments to him, instead, spinning a believable lie with crumbs of true sprinkle in for them to believe. If they did not believe it? So be it, not like they could force him to tell the truth anyway.

As much as he might want to deny it, Kensaku knew he had changed, and not exactly for the better. No longer was his mind silent anymore, being filled with different voices, many of them being faint as a whisper, with only one, the one who has an obsession with Niala, being louder than any storm. Cracks in his psyche had always been there. They had formed something after evacuating from Sunagakure no Sato doing the village destruction, but, up until recently they never made themselves full known. The first indication of them being when he created his first puppet, Fuhyō, and connected the strings to it for the first time. He felt himself taking a backseat as someone else, another aspect of him, took the wheel, and came to life through the puppet. Though, even in that incident, it did not become prominent. It was only after stumbling over his twin and Kannon, hearing their lovemaking, that the voice became loudly. So, if he had to thank anyone for the voices manifesting louder, it would be those two.

Though the conversation lasts well into the night, Kensaku excused himself earlier than the others, claiming that he was not feeling well. The truth of the matter being something entirely different. Luckily, no one questioned him, bidding him goodnight, something which he returned, and scurried into his room, where he stayed for the remainder of the day. Not realizing the actions of the following day would change the relationship he had with Niala for the better.

There were many emotions one could experience after having their crying sister find them, and telling them that their father had kicked her out and nearly hit her if the hand was not stopped by their mother. That, she watched their father attack their mother, who defended well and managed to subdue the man. That she had learned, from their mother, that the man who they had thought was their father was not. He being just some second-rate nobody with his brother being their real father. A father they might have a chance to know with the brother having likely died while defending Sunagakure no Sato. Sadness. Worry. Anger. Hatred. Shock. Those were, but a few emotions felt when things came to light. It was at this moment that the issues he had with Niala seemed so little in comparison, and he felt bad for distancing himself from his twin.

When they had arrived home, more changes were occurring. They were no longer be living in the house any longer. They would be permanently living in the former home of their uncle, their mother’s brother. It being a better solution than staying in the house with so many bad memories, thanks to that man. The move went off without a hitch, though, Kensaku did pull Kannon aside to give the samurai boy a stern talking to, making it clear what would happen to him if he did anything to make Niala cry. This being not a threat but a promise of an untold amount of pain.

Only after everything was moved in and unpacked that more things began to change between him and Niala; the ordeal with the man having hurt his twin more than he thought possible, and because of this he comforted her. Though, the comforting with be two-fold, for he was also hurting, and Niala knew this and sought to ease his silent suffering. In the end, both of them was able to help one another deal with their issues, and they came out better from it.  That night, Kensaku slept peacefully.

Before the tiniest sliver of morning rays could slither through the cracks of the dark blinds, Kensaku’s eyes snapped open.  He quickly adjusting the darkness enveloping his room. A glance at the clock told him that it was just 4 a.m in the morning. Groaning, he sat up in the bed, knowing well that he would not be able to fall back to sleep, especially now that he is up. The linens were tossed from his body which was hidden amongst the room’s darkness. Slipping on a pair of slippers, conveniently placed on the side of the bed he normally wakes up on, he walked across the room and switched on the light. His room becoming illuminated. A headache was forming from the sudden intense light.

Only when the light had been turned on that one could see he lacked clothing, except for the boxers he wore. Knowing that sleep would not accept him anymore, Kensaku walked into the bathroom and got ready for whatever the day might bring. Emerging out of the shower fifteen minutes later, he slipped on a pair of boxers, dark brown cargo pants, and a light brown t-shirt with a sleeveless black mesh shirt underneath. He did not bother in putting on shoes, at least not yet. Now dressed, and still having plenty of time for himself, Kensaku sat down at his desk. There being various blueprints and notes for future puppets, jutsus, weaponry, armory, etc. things he had thought of doing his time in Kirigakure no Sato. The ideas coming from the different stores visited. Dripping the quill pin into the inkwell, Kensaku began working on a project.

Kensaku did not know how long he was haunched over the desk but that quickly changed when he heard a loud exclamation coming from his twin’s room. The project he had been working on was quickly forgotten with him exiting his bedroom in a hurry and walked towards Niala’s. With it still only been the three of them home, Kannon and Chiyoko having not returned, Kensaku did not have to worry about Niala’s door being locked. Therefore, he just turned the doorknob and stepped in.

“Are you okay?”, He asked, immediately seeing her sitting on a chair, looking at her foot, and several droplets of blood on the floor. Moving to get a better look, he was cautious upon noticing the broken pieces of what looked like a teacup. “How did you manage to do that?”, He questioned, tiptoeing around the broken cup, pushing it to the side to give a better path to walk, though not before grabbing a nearby bath towel “Up you go!”, Kensaku said, lifting Niala up in a bridal’s carry, and walked her towards the plush bed. Placing the towel on the bed first, balancing Niala with one arm, he laid her on the bed, the injured foot being on the towel.

Kensaku winced when Niala cursed, only imagine the pain she might be in at the moment. “Is there anything I can do?”, He asked, wanting to help her as much as he could. Seeing how there was seemingly nothing he could do, he watched as Niala was about to pull out the shards of glass, until she was interrupted by their mother calling for them. There apparently being a scroll for them. “What wonderful timing. . .” He mused out loud, watching as Niala took a deep breath in preparation for what needed to be done. He did not look away as he watched her remove the pieces of glass from her foot. However, he did place a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“Let me.”, Kensaku spoke, after adjusting the three pieces of glass on the towel so that they won’t be in the way, and ran the clean edge of the towel along her foot, cleaning up the blood on her foot, “There. Go wash up, I can pick up the broken glass.” Waiting until she does so, he turned and grabbed a nearby trash can, and carefully began picking up the broken pieces. The pieces that were on the towel was disposed up as well, along with dumping said towel into the dirty laundry basket. Having done that, Kensaku idly sat on his twin’s bed, waiting for her to come out of the bathroom from doing whatever it was she was doing.

“You ready?”, He inquired, seeing her exiting the bathroom, and following her downstairs. There being no need for him to return to his room, for if this was a mission, the stuff he needed was already on his person. Walking down the stairs, Kensaku shrugged his shoulder at the question asked, “I do not know. We will see soon though.”, He spoke, focusing more on the delicious smell of food being prepared by their mother.

Reaching the kitchen, Hanae looked at them in a knowing manner, Kensaku rolling his eyes and shaking his head, “Good morning, mom.” He spoke, the greeting being returned, “Where is this scroll?” Hanae pointed towards a scroll laying on the kitchen table. Walking towards the table, Kensaku grabbed the scroll, and unraveled it, “Seems like we got to protect some merchants safely to the border.” He said, handing the scroll to Niala, giving her a chance to read it, “There is a chance of bandits attacking, so we need to be prepared for that. “ The mission seems like a simple one, but, nothing in the shinobi world was simple that much was a fact. “Do you have everything on you, sister?”, He inquired, sitting down at the table with a plate being placed in front of him and his twin, courtesy of their mother.

“You two can talk about the mission after eating. For now enjoy the meal and this time together.” Kensaku nodded at their mother’s words. A smile small tugging on his face as he took a bite of the food, “Niala, how did you sleep?” Taking their mother’s words to heart, he started up an idle conversation.


2059

Niala

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Chuunin
Oh brother, always here when I need you.

Her head jerked up as she heard her bedroom door open, the glass in her foot sending little shockwaves of pain radiating through her foot and up through her leg: she found herself not surprised that her cursing had drawn the attention of her twin - it wasn’t normal for her to use language like that after all. At her twin’s question as to if she was alright she shook her head no. “I must’ve knocked my tea cup over last night when I fell asleep at my desk. I got up not thinking about it and stepped on some of the pieces,” Niala would explain with a wince. As her twin lifted her after clearing a path through the glass and grabbing a towel she wrapped her arms automatically around the back of his neck, placing her head on his shoulder during the brief moment of contact, lifting it only when she felt his grip on her shift, watching as he laid the towel down on the bed before carefully placing her down, the towel keeping blood from seeping out onto the blankets and sheets below.

She was careful as she removed the three pieces of glass from her foot with a curse and a wince, and paused after healing the wounds shut to watch her brother take a clean corner of the towel and begin to clean the blood off of the bottom of her foot. A gentle smile spread across her face and she leaned forward, kissing her twin on the cheek. “Thank you. Be careful, I don’t want you cut or hurt next.”, she spoke softly before climbing down from her bed, watching her step as she made her way into the bathroom; door being left open as she sat at the edge of the tub and washed her feet. Exiting the bathroom once she was finished she was unsurprised to find her twin brother still waiting for her, all remnants of the glass completely gone.

Nodding to her brother’s question she would head downstairs, curious as to what the scroll was about: assuming it was a mission they were being requested for. Yet, upon smelling the delicious food being cooked she found herself caring less about the mission and more about feeding her empty and growling stomach: Hanae was always a wonderful cook and Niala could feel her mouth water in anticipation. Ignoring Hanae’s look she simply sat down at the table in her usual spot, calling out a “Good morning, mom”, as she did so. Taking the scroll that her brother had picked up and looked over she did as well: she could understand why the mission was B-rank in nature, but she hoped they wouldn’t run into too much trouble. At her brother’s question about her being prepared she nodded her head yes, “Yeah, we can head out after we’re done with breakfast.”, she’d reply.

Leave it to mom to point out what’s really important.

Pushing the mission to the back of her mind for now she focused on the delicious food in front of her, spearing a fork full and popping it in her mouth; a groan of enjoyment leaving her lips. Hearing her brother’s question she smiled, chewing and swallowing her food before answering, “I actually fell asleep while doing some research and creating a few new jutsu - that’s why I was at my desk in the first place. Ended up sleeping there the whole night. Guess I was more exhausted than I thought. Still, I’m surprised I slept the whole night peacefully…”, she’d pause, remember exactly the way she had been sleeping: nightmares plagued her when she was alone, and the horrible dark thoughts returned so easily. Clearing her throat as a means to suppress the memories she continued on, “Still, I got a lot done. I’ve created a few offensive as well as supplementary medical techniques - including ones meant to purge an enemy of positive jutsu enhancements, as well as a jutsu meant to bolster my own allies and myself.” She paused, spearing another bite of food, popping it into her mouth, and chewing and swallowing. “How’d you sleep last night?”, she’d inquire, spearing another bite of food: concern showing in her blue eyed gaze for her twin. She was always concerned for her twin: she knew she wasn’t the only one who this situation affected, and while she hadn’t outright asked him about what he felt after the whole Genki situation - she not liking to bring it up, not wanting to cause either of them more pain - she knew that it had affected him some kind of way. She personally was dealing with a lot of darkness, darkness… and the monster. The inner monster who had woken up that day and not fallen asleep since: as if it had always been there, dormant and waiting for a reason to rear its head. She hadn’t talked about it much, but she knew they were aware of it, especially after the other day.


Word Count: 855 | 3,135


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Koizumi, Niala | Chikamatsu | Jutsu | Locker | C-Rank Tracker

Specializations
Kugutsu: S-Rank | Medical Ninjutsu: A-Rank

Elements
Suiton: S-Rank | Raiton: A-Rank

Missions
D: 1 | C: 2 | B: 2 | A: 0 | S: 0
_____________________________

I'm not changing. I've always been like this under the surface. I've just decided to embrace it instead of running from it.

Kensaku

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Chuunin
Kensaku did not even know why he bothered in asking Niala if she had everything ready for the mission. For, much like him, his twin had a tendency always to be prepared at the moment noticed. It would not come to a surprised if she had her stuff already pre-prepared the night before, in case they had an unexpecting mission the following morning, like this one. Their mother did drill into the importance of always being prepared ahead of time, in case something goes awry. It would keep them from having to scurrying to find their equipment and the likes.

Seeing how he did not see a moment when she could have gathered her puppets and items this morning. He will go on the assumption that she had already packed up her equipment the following night and simply had to grab it before exiting the room. It would be the same thing that he has done, and always has done, to keep himself having to scramble to find the needed equipment. With the only thing, he having to do was to grab the scroll(s) upon walking out of the building. During it that way saves a lot of time and relieves a lot of unnecessary stress that comes with an unexpected mission.

At their mother’s words, the corner of Kensaku’s lips tugged into a smile. Leaving it to their mother to put their priorities in order. While there was a mission waiting for them, sitting at the table, eating breakfast, was not the place for such jargon. What should be focused on was enjoying the comfort of one another, and spending time as a family. Taking a bite of the delicious food, Kensaku realized the atmosphere was something neither of them had when he was around. The man was militaristic, and breakfast talks usually pertained to the missions, or other shinobi related topic, never was it like this. . . never was it peaceful?

Taking another bite of the food, Kensaku shook his head, “You need to start getting more rest, sister.” He spoke, his eyes filled with concern as they stared at Niala, “It is good that you are making strides in your goals, but don’t work too near exhaustion. I don’t want you to accidentally make a mistake out on the field due to being tired.” While he was the last person to be lecturing another when it comes to overworking themselves, his own habits being as bad as Niala’s, he still felt the need to. She was his sister, and therefore, he cared about her well-being. The last thing he wanted was for her to be exhausted to the point of making a mistake that could prove fatal or jeopardize the lives of another. Heaven forbids something like that happened, he would never forgive himself.

Chewing and swallowing a piece of food, he discreetly tossed a glance at Niala’s directly, having held she was surprised to have slept throughout the night. The look of worries in his eyes returned, and his head tilted to the side. Was she having trouble sleeping? If so, why? Could she be dealing with nightmares or something? Why is she keeping it a secret? Why hasn’t she confided in at least him? Why . . . ”You are one to talk, considering who all resides in here.”, The ever increasingly familiar voice shut up the rest of his thoughts. How could he question her when he was hiding something as well?

Any more musing was cut short when Niala questioned him, “I slept well. Woke up around 4 am, and could not fall asleep. So, I put the finishing touches on my new puppet. Now the only thing missing is adding modifications, but the puppet has enough equipment already to make it battle-ready.”, He wonders if there would be a chance for him to use his newest puppet? Hopefully, there will be some opposition on the mission, would give him a chance to test out the puppet in a combat scenario.

Eating the last pieces of food, Kensaku glanced at the clock hanging on the wall, noticing the time, “We should get going. It is no telling when the merchants will show up. They could already be there for all we know. The mission did not give us a timetable. You ready to go?”, Kensaku asked, getting up, and walking into the kitchen, scraping out any food residue, and putting the plate into the sink. Moving towards their already standing mother, he embraced her in a hug, and felt her kiss him on forehead; the same thing being done to Niala, “You too be careful, okay? Watch after one another.”, Hanae spoke, looking at both with pride in her eyes along with concern. Missions are never straightforward, unknown variables can easily find their way into the mix. She just hopes none of that was the case this time around.

Like always, Kensaku paused at the door, waiting for his sister. Opening the door, he followed her outside, not before waving at their mother, and closed the door behind him. The morning sun caressed his exposed flesh, the warmth being a welcoming feeling amongst the chilly temperatures. Looking around, making sure no was in the vicinity, Kensaku moved in front of his twin, and gave her a soft kiss, “I love you.”, He whispered with a smile on his face. His heart pounding at doing such art in public, though, lucky for them both, no one was around to see the taboo art. He did not know why he did it, just felt like it was the right thing to do at the moment.

As much as he wanted to kiss her again, he could not risk anyone catching them, “Come on, love.”, The last part being barely a whisper, loud enough for only she to hear, “Let’s get this mission over with.” What was not said was him wanting to talk to her about the earlier comment, wanting to know what has been preventing her from sleeping, and wondering why she never came into his room doing those times? When it comes to her, his doors were always open. She did not need a reason to come into his room whenever she desired.

Walking down the street with Niala, his fingers accidentally brushing against hers, Kensaku hopes the merchants will be relatively decent people, and that none of them would try anything with his sister. He might just fail the mission if someone tried anything. He did not care if the mission will end up in a fail, so long as he protects Niala.


1109[3168]

Niala

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Chuunin

Such a caring brother I have.

It sometimes amazed Niala how lucky she got when it came to her elder twin brother. The pair had been naturally inseparable since they day they were born. Unlike most siblings that constantly squabled among themselves, constantly tried to outdo the other, who were constant thorns in each others sides, and constantly fighting and arguing and trying to hurt each other, her and Kensaku were quite the opposite. Life wasn’t a competition against each other, but rather a competition that pitted them as a team against the rest of the world. Instead of trying to tear each other down they instead built each other up. There was concern and understanding, love and support, on both sides. While they could have very well turned their interests against each other, turned them into some sort of competition, things were far from that between the pair. She had no idea sharing her ideas and thoughts with her twin, and assumed that he felt the same. She had no reasons to keep secrets from him - in fact, she considered him the one person she could confide completely in: they just hadn’t really had the time to sit down and have a talk that would likely take quite a while. It was a talk she wanted to have eventually, though, preferably sooner rather than later.

So, as her brother spoke of her needing to get more rest, his understanding at her wanting to reach her goals but cautioning against her working herself to exhaustion as to avoid any sort of accidents or mishaps that might happen, she found herself nodding to his words in agreement; taking them to heart instead of being upset or angered by them. She knew he was right: he spoke only the truth. She was pushing herself to extremes lately, between all of the training she was doing both on her own and now with Uncle Daremo, plus working on designs for her next puppet, and pushing herself towards her next rank up, she wasn’t leaving enough time for rest and relaxation. She truly needed to take a break, and she truly needed to face the major issue behind her sleep deprivation head on - but she was going to likely need some help with the latter. Now wasn’t the time, though, not if they were going to get on with this mission after breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast she found herself focusing on the meal in front of her once more, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere as she took another bite that she hadn’t realized until recently that they hadn’t had before. As she chewed and swallowed she realized that part of the reason why things had never been peaceful before was because of him, because of the man who up until recently they had been led to believe was their father. Breakfast table conversations had always been about war, violence, missions, or some puppet modification that would cause the most destruction on a battlefield, or a hundred other topics of similar origins. It had never been calm. There had never been idle conversation, a chance to relax and breath before starting the day. It made her realize just how much she had needed this: this was the way she wanted to continue to start her mornings, in peace and quiet and surrounded by people who loved her.

Shaking the thought from her head for the moment she focused on what else her twin had to say. She nodded as he spoke of sleeping well, glad that he had, though he had woken up quite early. It seemed for him though that that had given him time to finish up the puppet he had been working on - a puppet that while it lacked modifications would still be useful nonetheless. “Very nice. Maybe you’ll get to use it today… I’ve been kind of wanting to try out HarTen a bit more, myself.”, she spoke thoughtfully. While she knew they could potentially run into anything on a mission, considering this was one labeled as C rank she knew either of their puppets could handle it with ease, giving both of them a chance to ‘stretch their legs’ so to speak.

Like all good things they must come to an end.

Unfortunately, as much as Niala would have been content just sitting around and making idle conversation all morning long she knew they couldn’t: they would have to get to the mission sooner rather than later. With the lack of timetable given chances were they could have very well been running late already, and that simply wouldn’t do. Eating her last bite of toast she nodded to her twin’s words. After downing the rest of her orange juice she too got up from the table, scraping her plate clean of any remains of the food, before putting both her plate and glass into the sink and rinsing them off so that they would be easier to wash. “I’m ready to go.”, she spoke once she was finished, adjusting the hem of her black shirt as she followed her brother to the front door.

Hearing her mother she paused and smiled, “Don’t worry, we’ll be careful, and we always watch each others backs.” Stepping outside she took a step away from the doorway before coming to a stop, tilting her head back as she enjoyed the warm feeling of the sun on her face and neck, eyes closing for a moment as a soft sigh escaped her lips. She only became aware of Kensaku having moved in front of her as the sun was blocked, her eyes opening slowly, revealing the blue orbs within. Before she could question him she felt his lips upon her own, a soft kiss planted there which she returned the gesture of automatically. As he pulled away a smile would cross her face, eyes sparkling even as she felt her heart skip a beat and then begin to beat faster. “I love you, too.”, she replied softly. She would follow him off of the porch, catching his words which only caused her smile to grow larger still.

As they made their way down the road, fingers brushing together, her own twitching as they wished to keep the contact. “After we’re done with this mission and we get back home I want to talk to you about some things - mainly why I’m not sleeping. I haven’t been trying to keep it from you, we just haven’t seemed to have the time to talk about it, there always seems to be something that comes up.”

Do we do this discreetly, or do we want to be prepared ahead of time.

Having said what she wanted she focused her attention onto the task at hand: keeping these merchants safe while they took them to the border. “I’ve been hearing news of bandits attacking caravans, the attacks have been becoming more brazen and more frequent. How do you want to go about this? I’ve thought of two separate approaches we could take: either keep things subtle as to avoid giving anything away - which very well might cause the bandits to attack us, or pull our puppets out from the start and be prepared in the likelihood of an attack. Both have their negatives and positives, so I wanted your opinion. Unless you have another idea entirely? I’m also thinking that one of us should lead and the other follow - covering the back and front of the caravan”, Niala would speak, curious as to her brother’s take on things. She had tossed out two suggestions, but was certainly willing to take up another if he had one. As long as they got their task done without the loss of life or limb, without injury or damage to anyone, and more important in a way that allowed them both to return safe and sound home later on, she didn’t care how it got done.

She would wait for her brothers response as she walked, offering up an agreement to whatever he spoke of or decided upon, the conversation leading them up to meeting with the merchants, all of whom were waiting and ready with their caravans in tow. “Hello everyone. I am Koizumi Niala, and this is my brother Koizumi Kensaku. We will be accompanying you on your way to the border and ensuring your safety. If no one has any questions let’s get on our way….”


Word Count: 1,430 | 4,565


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Koizumi, Niala | Chikamatsu | Jutsu | Locker | C-Rank Tracker

Specializations
Kugutsu: S-Rank | Medical Ninjutsu: A-Rank

Elements
Suiton: S-Rank | Raiton: A-Rank

Missions
D: 1 | C: 2 | B: 2 | A: 0 | S: 0
_____________________________

I'm not changing. I've always been like this under the surface. I've just decided to embrace it instead of running from it.

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