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1 Anywhere but here [Sunagakure to Kirigakure] on Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:56 am

Zu

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Genin
Time began to elude him out in this harsh environment as he began to lose track of time entirely. Zu left Kumogakure in hopes that when he returned to Sunagakure that all would have been the same. If only his sense of loyalty did not cloud him from thinking rationally. When he returned it seemed worse off than before. Wild beasts roamed and hunted without any resistance aside from one another. Man was one within those wild beasts that made this land their own. For awhile now people have been pillaging and raiding small communities. This made killing them consciously moral in his mind. Unlike before when his victims were killed when he lost control, these ones he made sure to look in the eyes as he took the light from them. Zu made it a bad habit of hunting the hunters. Somewhere deep inside, he felt that maybe just maybe his endless slaughter would be rewarded with these lands turning back to how they were. Such a foolish child's dream. Time had made him forget even the nightmares he had of the screaming, no pleading for help that never came. Zu was one that made it out alive, leaving everything he built thus far behind. Cowardice and fear drove him away, but a sense of duty led him back after the exams. Not once did it seem like things were getting better, in fact, Zu would debate to himself that it had only gotten worse. For each group he killed, another took their place. Despite him living in total isolation from others, there were small communities that he helped guard. Never once asking for anything in return. It was not until this fateful night that he would feel the urge to leave once again.

Zu was hauling one of the raiders he captured. The man was beaten unconscious but alive. Zu had been tailing these guys for four days now and finally got the jump on them. They had recently raided a nearby settlement of peaceful farmers near the border between Sunagakure and Kirigakure.  If Zu knew their skills with weapons were only tested against those who never have, he would have attacked them much sooner. They put up a decent fight, one managed to graze his left bicep with a thrust, while another managed to take a chunk of skin from his neck as his spine was crushed in a bear hug fashion. The once group of five fearless men, was down to one bound by his hands and feet being dragged back towards the community he just raided. Zu was unsure why not of all times he kept one alive. Why after all this time did he feel the need to keep this one alive. Perhaps it was to finally break him from his loneliness. Maybe with him he can gain others favor. If only he was omniscient. When he arrived the people greeted him with outward spears and cold dead eyes. Three people, two males and one female, stared him down as he approached. Zu threw the man forward still bound as he fell flat on his face in the sand near them. Their eyes widened and whispers within them formed.  Zu spoke aloud, I finally caught the men that attacked you. This is the sole survivor and what appeared to be the leader!

One man broke apart from the trio and stepped forward. His grey hair shined in the moonlight as he walked slowly towards the bound man before shoving a spear deep into his throat and pulled out. The man choked violently before dying. Zu watched as the man did not even watch the other die. After he pierced that man's throat, he never averted his eyes from Zu and walked toward him. His voice was deep and cold as it spoke to him, "Tell me stranger, how did you know he attacked us? Did you watch my fa... us get attacked?"

Zu's eyes widened a little as his words stunned him a little. Silence fell onto them until the man once again spoke to Zu, "Answer me! Why are you helping now that their sins are committed onto flesh?!

Zu stared at the ground and sighed. He had no words for him. It is true, he could have attacked them while they were raiding the small community. Zu did not help because he was unsure if he could contain his killing urges while fighting. If these men put up a fight that was noteworthy, then it would have been likely that no one survived. Zu spoke calmly, "I am sorry."

The older man scoffed under his breath and walked away with the look saying, tell that to the dead. Zu began to walk away, before an elderly female voice spoke out to the two, "We all lost something Izumo,the least we can do is thank the man for making the world a better place. Come boy, let me have a word with you alone."

The other three looked a little worried but knew that her choice was final. Zu followed the older lady into their small town and sat with her in a makeshift hut. Zu sat down across from her at a table as she poured him a cool glass of water. Zu thanked her and drank happily. She sat down and spoke instantly after.

"Excuse him, his family was all killed during that last attack including my daughter and grand daughter. Thank you again sir. she slightly bowed but Zu raised a hand as if saying please do not.

"The least I can do, though can I know why all of you still remain in these treacherous lands?

"I think the question you should be asking is why are you? This is our homeland, and just over the horizon is Konohagakure. We know we can seek asylum there, but this is where we belong. Tell me do you have any family or friends you are looking for?"

Zu's eyes darkened as he began to think of his family being dead, and possibly his only friends too. Zu looked at her old wrinkled eyes and replied to her, "My family died long ago, as for friends, I was hoping to find them here but my searches have not been well. To be honest, there has only been three people who seemed like my friend or someone I could be friends with. I know where two are as for the third, I think he may have died in Sunagakure."

The old lady nodded as if listening but it seemed more like she was dosing off. She coughed a little before speaking again, "Have tried to communicate with the two that you know where they are at."

Zu shrugged and looked down before speaking, "Well they are both quite the distance, one in Kumogakure and another in Kirigakure. When I was in Kumogakure, I never found that one. No that is not right, I did not really look for him because he was my sensei. I do not think he would have been proud of me enough for me to face him yet. As for the other...

Zu's mind trailed off as he thought of Izumi, the captivating heroine that saved him from slaughtering people long ago. He kind of did not get to make much of an acquaintance so he never tried to find her because he thought she would not remember him after all this time. Zu took a slight pause while he reminisced before speaking again, I do not think would remember me."

"Find that one. Trust me, life is too short not to make memories with those who you care about. These lands are desolate and I am sure the friend you are looking for is alive but probably not here."

Zu nodded as the two spoke the rest of the night about various things. She spoke about her life and travels, Zu somewhat felt jealous. Zu left after awhile feeling obligated to find one of them. Perhaps it would alleviate his troubled mind. Little did Zu know that the people he just met died later that night to another attack.

Many weeks passed while he had made his way through Konohagakure to get to Kirigakure. With luck he would find Izumi there and perhaps find some solace. When he made it to the shores of Konohagakure, he felt like he could do it. Make a new life in a new place, and if he found his old friend that he would show her how much he had grown. Zu stepped onto the boat headed towards Kirigakure. Less than a day now till he would arrive.

WC: 1452

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