In his dream he was breathing as hard as he could as he put one foot in front of the other in his run, forcing himself onward despite the burn in his chest and the pain in his left side. He felt like he had been running forever, and yet he did not dare stop and be left behind. To his front he caught glimpses of different colored fur as giant wolves dashed their way through the forest, only being spotted through the foliage at random. To the sides he heard panting, and every so often he could feel the brush of fur up against him as another member of the pack brushed against him or passed him up – though the sensation did not last long, nor was it ever strong enough to send him toppling sideways. For a while he had been able to hear heavy footsteps behind him as well, but those had long since disappeared nearly an hour ago into the run as those who had started off behind him passed him one after the other.
He had no idea the location they were heading to, or how much further away it was, but he knew he did not want to be left behind: that would be… devastating in his mind to be separated from the pack. The idea of calling out and asking them to slow never crossed his mind either: he did not want to be the weak link, he did not want everyone to have to alter or change themselves for him. So, he continued to push on just as he was, keeping his mouth shut, and attempting his hardest to ignore the burn in his chest as he prayed every thirty seconds or so that this run would soon come to an end.
‘The pack leaves no one behind, Shirou.’, spoke a voice suddenly in his… ear? No, that was not right; as he whipped his head around there was no one there, no one nearby to have spoken so closely in his ear. ‘I am not in your ear, pup, but in your head.’, came another response, meaning that whoever this was – and he had every assumption it was the Alpha herself – they could hear his thoughts: all of his thoughts. ‘That is right, little pup, I can. I can also hear that you are struggling, and your reasons why… the pack is only as strong as its weakest link, but that does not mean we are burdened by them. Your pack is your family, your home, you are supposed to call on us if you need us, or in this case ask us to slow.’
‘I am sorry.’ Shirou responded immediately.
‘No need to be sorry, pup, I understand your reasoning well enough.’, came the Alpha’s immediate response. It was at that point that Shirou noticed he could see more of the pack than before, that they had slowed to a fast walk for them so that he could have time to slow and catch his breath. In several more meters they all came to a complete stop in a very large clearing, each wolf taking up a various relaxed position around while the Alpha moved among them, checking them out. Shirou all but fell into a large lump of grass where he laid, spread out, attempting to catch his breath while sweat continued to pour off of him, drenching his clothing and hair in the process. As the Alpha made her rounds to the group she eventually stopped at Shirou who, as a shadow was cast across his face, opened up his eyes and went to get up. ‘No, lay and rest, pup.’, the Alpha responded immediately as she took to laying down next to him. ‘Tell me something, pup, what clan do you belong to?’
The question took Shirou by surprise, and he couldn’t help but frown as he thought about it. What clan did he belong to? He had no idea, if he was being honest, and he had never truly been able to guess at it. ‘I do not know, honestly...’
The Alpha cocked her head, looking at him for a moment with a look on her face that Shirou could only interpret as sadness: apparently hearing that he knew not what clan he belonged to, what family he belonged to, saddened her. ‘Such a shame to be lost within the world for so long, not knowing to whom you can call your family, your pack.’, the Alpha commented before looking around at her pack before her, each one relaxing or otherwise playing around as they took a break. ‘I could never imagine not having my family with me, not knowing who they might be. It saddens my heart greatly that you have never known which clan, which pack, which family, you truly belong to. You will of course have us for the rest of your days, but aren’t you curious, Shirou?’
It was the first time the Alpha had ever called him such, and due to being startled by such a thing it took him a moment before he could finally nod and response, ‘Yes, I am. I’ve tried to find out about them in the past, but I’ve never had any luck. In the end I gave up consciously looking, though I guess subconsciously the curiosity and hope to find out has always been there.’, he responded, thoughtfully as he sat up and took to watching the wolves around them the same as the Alpha was. What clan did he belong to? Did he have a family out there who were perhaps looking for him? Searching for him? The idea made his curiosity burn, and yet he felt helpless and hopeless all at the same time because he knew not where to start.
‘You know more than you think you do, pup, you just have not realized it yet.’, the Alpha spoke gently, her tender tone of voice meant to calm at the same time meant to give him the boost of confidence that he so badly needed. Shirou of course was confused, and apparently that was felt through whatever means they were using to communicate in his dream. Before he could respond the Alpha continued on with a soft chuckle, ‘Perhaps you need to look at this from the packs perspective. Here you are, barely more than a child in the eyes of the humans, who pulled off a great and grand fete by being able to transport yourself into our world. That took a great deal of skill, skill that most full fledged and highly qualified adult shinobi cannot pull off: many have tried and failed, many more with disastrous consequences. Yet, here you sit beside me, having achieved just that on your very first attempt with no sort of formal training – only with the knowledge of what you self taught yourself. That in itself proves that you are very skilled when it comes to Fuuinjutsu. Can you think of no clan as equally and naturally are skilled as that, my little pup?’
Shirou played with the Alpha’s words over and over again in his head, he had truly never thought about the amount of ease he had had when he had first ‘left’ to meet the pack. He knew it was supposed to be a difficult and almost impossible task for those who had years of formal training (he had brought the best first aid kid he could buy just in case he had ended up causing some various degree of harm to himself that he could have hopefully been able to fix on his own), and yet he had pulled it off on his very first task with nothing more than what he had learned all on his own. What clan could possibly have that much if a boost when it came to using fuuinjutsu? One thought and only one thought came to his mind: Uzumaki. They were famous for their fuuinjutsu abilities, and had been for centuries. Could he really belong to such a famous and well known clan?
‘I cannot say for certain, pup, but perhaps when you awaken from this dream – and yes this is nothing more than a dream little Shirou – you should go and seek out these answers now that you have a base on which to start...’ With a chuckle the Alpha, the pack, and the very world around Shirou faded as he found himself falling out of slumber and awaking with a startled start on his best. Gasping he looked around in the darkness, trying to get his mind to shift from one reality to another. Had that been a dream? Or had he actually ended up transporting himself into the summoning world once again while he had been asleep? Had that conversation with the Alpha actually happened, or had that all been some complex dream that his subconscious had suddenly cooked up so that he’d realize what he would have and should have assumed and guessed at all along?
With a subtle shift of his head he looked toward the clock on his bedside table, the numbers casting a dim red glow in the room as it illuminated the fact that it was only six o’clock in the morning. It was far earlier than he had planned on being up, but he knew that with all that he had just witnessed – whether his brain had cooked up the vivid dream, or the Alpha of the pack had actually found a way to visit him – there was no way he was going to be able to go back to sleep: he would only end up wasting time by laying there and staring at the ceiling while his mind wandered to a hundred different places at once. No, he figured he might as well just go ahead and get up for the day – and maybe get some early morning research in on the Uzumaki clan to see if he could find out if he was actually a member of it or not. He did not really have a plan yet on how he was going to go about figuring this all out but as he climbed out of bed – untangling himself from the sheets and blankets in the process – he was already beginning to formulate a plan in his head. Once untangled from the blankets he headed into the bathroom down the hall, scratching his head, yawning, and rubbing his eyes as he went. Once in the bathroom he closed the door behind himself, double checking that there was a clean towel hanging up on the rack, before starting the water and getting it good and hot. He stepped under the spray, enjoying the heat for a few minutes before washing himself up, starting with his hair and then working his way down his body which now had steam rising up from it due to the heat from the water. Once he was finished he rinsed off and turned toward the knobs; despite loathing the idea of having to get out of the nice and warm spray he shut them off dutifully and stepped out into the cold bathroom, snatching the towel off of the rack nearby and making quick work in drying himself off before wrapping it around his waist. With the towel around his waist he headed out the bathroom, down the hall, and back into his bedroom.
Shirou stopped at his chest of drawers, opening the top and pulling out a pair of boxers before moving down to the second and removing a simple t-shirt in a dark shade of black. Further down still to another drawer he moved where he then pulled out a pair of black pants. The assorted garments were put on piece by piece, ending with a standard black pair of open toed sandals. After standing up from his bed which he had sat on to put on his shoes he headed over to his dresser and grabbed up his weapons pouch, adding that to his being as well. With his weapons pouch secured he grabbed up his Kumo hitai-ate and tied it loosely around his waist before taking off out the door to his bedroom and back down the hallway. Back into the bathroom he placed the towel back on the towel rack so that it would hang and dry before grabbed up a hair brush and running it quickly but carefully through his hair, ensuring that every last knot was out before putting the brush down and heading into the kitchen.
He paused by the bowl of fruit on the counter, contemplating just grabbing something light and heading out the door, but his stomach which decided to rear its head at that moment by grumbling and roaring, made that decision for him: breakfast it was. At least, a better breakfast than he had originally had planned. Opening up the fridge he picked up a old container of take out, cracking the lid and taking a sniff before the scent from inside caused his nose to wrinkle and he tossed the lot of it into the nearby garbage can. He pushed a few bottles and such out of his way before noticing he had enough eggs and bacon to make a decent sized breakfast. With his stomach growling once more he pulled the eggs and bacon out, grabbed a frying pan as well as some seasoning and a spatula, and got to work preparing himself a nice meal – cooking the bacon first, pulling it out of the pan once it was done, and adding the eggs second. Once the eggs were cooked he deposited them onto the plate as well before shutting off the stove and grabbing a fork. He headed to the table where he placed his plate down and his fork before grabbing a bottle of juice out of the fridge and actually sitting down. The bottle was cracked first, a healthy swig taken of it, before he dug in to the breakfast in front of him; eating several bites of bacon before even bothering to start in on the scrambled eggs he had ended up with.
He ate in silence, not so much in a rush but at a decently fast pace: he had every intention of getting to the records office and seeing if he could poke around in the Uzumaki clan file. Most of it was public record, at least the portions he was interested in, and while he was doubtful he’d find his name written in bold print he was at least hoping what he found would point him to a specific place where he could then find what he was looking for. It was a long shot going off of a dream (or was that a vision? He still did not know!) but it was the best idea he had had when thinking about figuring out how to tell what clan he was apart of. He still hadn’t decided what he was going to do with the information when he had it, but that would be a bridge he would cross later on. It took him roughly fifteen minutes or so to eat his entire place, and after downing the last little bit of juice from the bottle he got up from the table and tossed the empty bottle into the garbage before putting his plate in the sink – pausing to rinse it off so that it would be easier to wash later. As the thought crossed his mind he paused long enough to do the same with the pan and spatula which had cooled on the stove in the time he was eating, rinsing both off and leaving them to be fully washed later when he returned home.
Satisfied with his morning so far Shirou headed out the door and towards the administrative buildings, knowing as he did so that what he was looking for could possibly be very close at hand. He entered into the building and headed to the secretary, pausing to ask her as he did so if he could take a peek into the Uzumaki clan files. The secretary headed off, returning with the public records and directing him to an empty room with a fairly large table so he could go through the thick stack at his leisure without being disturbed. It took Shirou nearly an hour just to organize everything, filtering out the useless (at least for now) information so that he could focus on exactly what he wanted. Once everything was organized Shirou poured over it all for hours, going through everything he could find, until finally he found it. It was so small he would have missed it had he not been looking for it, but sure enough there it was – information that matched up with his past, with his history, perfectly. This was who he was, this was the clan that he belonged to: the information was grounding, and he couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face, nor did he bother stopping the urge that had him picking up all of the clan information and beginning to read through it all piece by piece, his mind absorbing the information like he was a dry sponge thirsty for water. This was what he came for, after all.
3104/3000 = Clan Transition complete. ***
3000/3000 = D rank Adamantine Chain unlocked
104/75 = REA to E-1
***Clan rules of the Undiscovered state that the transition word count can be used as training/mission/ect.