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1Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] Empty Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] on Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:06 am



Both oars had ended up with Tezuka after the youth decided rowing himself would be a great workout, something the old man who offered to take him across was all too quick to agree with. The two held a quite conversation since they left the dock as the stranger, known as Kani though he admitted it was a pseudonym, shared bits of info on Mizu no Kuni and it’s Hidden Village in exchange for bits of his passenger’s past. Waves lapped against the short raft leaving puddles on the smooth pine floor; the midday sun slowly beginning to descend shined through the thin clouds that hung in the sky, making the sea calm and placid. Or so it appeared, as Kani warned of the strong currents that swept through certain spots and occasionally directed Tezuka to paddle around those he could spot. The dark-haired foreigner seemed to be doing well enough as the older man looked unconcerned, trailing a hand in the water as he watched their path of travel over his shoulder. A few miles of open ocean had separated the island chain from the continent itself, but the tranquil weather made the journey rather relaxing. Sailing did not bother Tezuka as much as he thought it would, as the constant rocking of the boat from waves caused no illness.

“These seas never freeze over, unless there’s a Yuki fighting on ‘em,” Kani remarked upon hearing his passenger describe the cold harbors of Tetsu, his deep baritone voice cutting through the sounds of waves against carved wood. It contrasted with his rather slim, wiry build as the man looked much quieter than he was. “Doesn’t happen often.” He pointed a darkly-tanned, salt-dried hand to point to the right and Tezuka paddled an oar to travel that direction around a current. They had yet to encounter a whirlpool, lucky enough, but he’d have to hand the oars over if they did.

Giving the water a hard push with the oars to speed up, Tezuka maintained a steady breathe to pace himself with the moderate activity. His surprise when the old man seemed even stronger than he was when they had first set off from the dock spurred him to take on the work himself. “Yuki are a ninja clan I assume?” he asked between strokes. Learning about the various bloodlines that each village contained, and those that scattered the globe such as his own, was more fun than he expected due to how varied each of them could be. The fun would end when he encountered and battled those bloodlines himself, of course, which meant he needed to gather information to counter each he came across.

Kani nodded absently as he watched the water, his long gray hair specked with its natural black shade swaying in the ponytail it was held in with a red knot of cloth. “Ice users, they call theirs Hyōton. Mizukage’s blood runs strong with it; been around years and doesn’t look like she’s leaving soon.”  This time he pointed to the left side of the boat where a bluish-black fin broke the surface and grinned at the way Tezuka stared at the spot it disappeared from with concern. “What’s yours made of, fire and earth?”

Ignoring the creature they’d seen, while trying to scoot away from the edge of the raft without the stranger seeing him do it, Tezuka nodded in return. “Ice doesn’t worry me. It’s all the other stuff I’ve heard that lives here.”

“Gossip, probably.” Kani shrugged, though it did not reassure his younger counterpart. “‘cept for the spiders. Those are worse than the stories of ‘em.” Tezuka had yet to hear about anything regarding spiders and looked at the man with a puzzled look, having had enough of the pests while in the stony mountains of Iwa. He must have been seen from Kani’s peripheral vision, as the grizzled sailor made a dismissive motion after. “Don’t cause problems, don’t go wandering off alone and don’t visit the island: do all that and you’ll be fine.”

“Somehow that doesn’t reassure me,” the youth muttered under his breath as he rowed around the spot pointed out to him. Countless islands of all sizes had passed by and Kani did not bother talking about them as apparantly there were thousands, most without real names.

“You know what you get yourself into, ronin. Must not be too bothered if you’re travelin’ alone.” The local reached into his loose black Shitagi-style shirt and retrieved a black container from a pocket within, sipping the water inside before replacing it. He turned around to meet Tezuka’s wary look with a look of his own, a moment of tension passing. Kani turned to look behind him again and the black-haired exile rowed with strong, stiff strokes.

A larger trader vessel rounded the corner of a densely-forested island, moving much faster than they did as it’s two sails and the hidden propellers sent it on its way towards the village as well. The ripple of water left in its wake swept towards them languidly at an angle and as it drew closer Kani leaned his end of the boat towards it, keeping the vessel upright as it bobbed up and down. Now Tezuka was beginning to feel unwell, more from the reminder of the boat’s size rather than any seasickness though.

They continued along the way the ship traveled, just a short distance from the village according to the native of Mizu which amounted to an hour of travel with the raft. “I hope it’s not inconveniencing you to take me across,” Tezuka spoke again, despite feeling a bit inconvenienced himself from the long journey, but Kani waves his concern away.

“I live in the village, just had some business on the mainland. You’re lucky you caught me before I left.” According to his watch Kani had been fishing at that dock they met upon for just under an hour and had planned to leave just a few minutes before the foreigner arrived. Tezuka had just assumed the man lived close by, made his living as a fisherman and ferryman, but apparantly he was neither; was only an angler as a hobby, and didn’t mind taking someone across the waters with him so long as they paid. Tezuka had questioned just how much he usually charged people for the service, feeling like the amount he paid was only fair if portions of it were being taken
by the village as taxes, but Kani pretended to be too busy navigating the water to pay attention. His right hand trailed in the water beside him, sweeping back and forth routinely.

A distant cloud in the sky signaled the fair weather would soon pass but the two continued on at their sedate pace, close enough to their destination that they need not bother worrying if the dark grey blob brought storms with it. The Mizu native gave the cloud only a glance before dismissing it, so the burly foreigner continued to row. “Our laws hold just as much weight as they do anywhere else,” Kani stated as the boat glided past across the shallows of a nearby island, circling around a reef formation that just barely poked out from the water’s surface. “Citizens don’t worry like you do, there’s consequences if they’re harmed. I’m sure you’d be approved if you applied.”

Tezuka rowed silently as he looked across the water past Kani, taking in the view; the cloud was not truly a cloud but a straying wisp of mist, which he now could see hung too low above the islands to truly be a cloud. A massive haze of suspended, smoky water droplets created a wall of white that was completely impossible to look into which broke the otherwise clear blue horizon. Kani pointed with his free hand at what seemed a random spot of the mist, and Tezuka adjusted their course to match his direction. “You should think about joining one of the Four anyway, kid. No one sheds a tear when a wanderer ends up dead. Actually, it’s one less threat to worry about.”

“I’m aware,” Tezuka huffed as he rowed, taking the oars out of the water to stretch his muscles before placing them back in and shoving the raft across the lapping waves. “Just not eager to get involved with any of the villages. The sooner the better, I suppose. But why join Kiri?”

Kani smirked, his wispy mustache quirking from the motion. “Why take some nobody? Kiri invests in its shinobi, so what makes you worth accepting?” His smirk widened to a smile at the way his passenger grit his teeth and glared, and continued on as though he hadn’t noticed. “You gotta pull your own weight, so what can you do?” The older man’s questioning look at the youth was met with distress Tezuka.

“You mean as a shinobi?” he asked, suddenly feeling embarrassed at just how short his list of abilities would be, and Kani nodded.

“Any sort of skill. Combat or otherwise.” The hand in the water slapped the surface and splashed water on the boy, which forced Tezuka to barely restrain himself from splashing back with both oars.

He wiped the saltwater from his face and glared at the man who was too amused for his own good. “What would a sailor know about combat? I thought pirates wouldn’t prowl any waters Kiri claims.”

Kani shrugged, turning back to watch as the veil of mist slowly grew closer to enveloping them. The sheer wall that could not have been naturally formed shimmered and smoked just a few hundred meters away. “Who said I’m just a sailor?” The sound of oars churning the water ceased as the boat slid along slower and slower, but started again after a few moments.

“Where’s your headband?” Tezuka asked, deciding it didn’t change anything about the situation enough to bother.  “Don’t have to wear it all the time, ‘specially on the mainland,” Kani responded as he retrieved his bottle again and sipped it. He held it in his hand between drinks, swirling the liquid inside in a clockwise motion. “Are you supposed to just reveal that sort of stuff?” the youth asked rhetorically with his own amusement beginning to form.

The man shrugged and stowed his bottle back in his pocket. “Not like you couldn’t have figured it out. And now you know just how easy your drowning would be.” He grinned despite the threat dropped and Tezuka couldn’t help but chuckle at the dark humor of it, recognizing the validity of his statement regardless. “This is just a henge anyway. Lots of old sailors on these waters.”

The exile nodded, seeing the sense that made as he really wasn’t going to attempt revealing the man’s identity, not out on the open water at least. His narrow train of thought brought him to wondering what sort of Kiri-nin the man was, but he knew too little of the ranks and divisions to guess close enough. “Business on the continent?” Tezuka questioned, almost rhetorically, but the raised eyebrow Kani turned on him could only mean ‘Don’t expect an answer to that’. Nodding again, he continued to send the boat closer to the veil of mist just ahead. “Why exactly am I rowing again?”

“You offered, and frankly you could use the excercise. You’d have tipped the boat over getting in if I wasn’t heavier than I looked.” Kani laughed to himself quietly at his expense and Tezuka grumbled under his breath, the raft drifting into the cloudy haze that gave the village its name. “Just keep heading straight ‘til it clears,” the local ordered before being enveloped by the mist, a wall of gray that swept past Tezuka a moment later. “Tie this raft to a smaller dock, someone’ll use it eventually,” Kani’s disembodied voice advised from just a few unseen feet ahead.

The shroud of mist that contained the village of Kirigakure was vast according to all publications regarding the location, serving to hide the shinobi who dwell within from foreign invasions. And, had it not been for following the path that Kani had specially said to take going in a straight line, Tezuka may have rowed his vessel directly into one of the countless rock jutting from the water that he only learned where there when his oars smacked against them unexpectedly. The route to the village they followed must have been limited to smaller boats such as this raft, which held insinuations regarding to who used this path, but he would let Kani worry about that.

“So”, the stranger’s voice quietly echoed off the water in a way that made it seem omnipresent all around Tezuka. “What can you do? You mentioned your Kōton, but how much have you been trained?” To the foreigners disappointment the man had seemed uninterested in what he had to say about the samurai or his clan, only in his training using chakra.

The motion needed to keep the vessel moving straight was muscle-memory at this point, and he had difficulty thinking of all he had learned related to Ninjutsu while rowing. “Your Academy jutsu,” he said before his oar caught on a rock, nearly pulling it from his grip. The boat lost velocity and sagged to the right, straying from the course that would make it through the mist safely, but before Tezuka could even think of a way to correct it’s path of travel something was pushing the boat back into position. The thick mist reduced visibility to the point he was no longer sure if they were on the right path they had entered the veil in, so Tezuka trusted that Kani had corrected his mistake and began paddling again while taking care to keep his oars free from the rocks. “There’s little beyond those and my Steel worth mentioning.”

After several minutes of sliding through the thick haze the boat emerged from the mist without warning, visibility clearing up instantly as he broke through to the other side. His first glimpse of Kiri was ruined by the fact that Kani no longer sat in the boat; the black-haired youth stared at the spot he had occupied just minutes before, wondering at what point the stranger had gotte off the raft. He shook his head and continued to row towards the island just ahead of him.

Kirigakure stood just higher than sea level as it loomed across the harbor, the sky above clear from the veil of mist so the sun shined down over the village’s stone buildings rising above the surrounding vegetation. Many buildings were shaped like giant cylinders with flat tops containing trees and other greenery that made Tezuka wonder if this nation ever received snowfall; the flat roof of buildings could never hold the weight of fallen snow back in Tetsu, which must mean the Mist did not experience a cold season. He wouldn’t complain. The endless snow was the part he missed the least.

His raft sailed closer to a small dock for vessels his size that stood at the edge of the harbor adjacent from where he had exited he veil if mist from and he steered towards the end of it where two men dressed in gray vests with porcelain masks stood. They watched his approach without visible reaction, the figure on the left catching the rope Tezuka tossed onto the dock to tie the boat left with. “Can I assume you’ve spoken to Kani?”, he questioned as the boat was pulled against the dock and secured to a post. If they had they did not say so, for they had simply motioned for him to step out of the boat and to follow them. Unsure about the reception but knowing he should abide by their commands, Tezuka stepped up onto the dock and followed behind one of the men into the village while the other walked a few meters behind him.



Tezuka | Jutsu | Locker
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Taijutsu (Strength): C-Rank
Katon: C-Rank | Doton: D-Rank | Kōton: D-Rank
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2Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] Empty Re: Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] on Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:54 pm



From the docks Tezuka was ordered to follow the masked shinobi who had met him at the docks to a destination deeper in the village that he had not been told of. What he had been informed of was that the route he had used to travel to Kiro was a restricted zone, one that was limited to Kiro shinobi and those who were granted access, making his first action in the village a crime. Technically. The shorter of the two masked shinobi seemed to believe his explanation involving the now-absent Kani, but without tangible proof of his supposed innocence there was nothing thy could do but follow protocol. It did not seem like they regarded him as a threat, despite his height and obvious strength, as only one of the two chose to walk behind him as the other walked beside to direct him on where to go.

The exile was lead deeper into the shinobi district, the same district he had landed in that was mostly restricted to foreigners, and to a multi-story building just a few blocks from the administration building he could spy looming over the shorter buildings around it. His masked escort explained that his detainment was necessary until his story and background could be checked out, and that his cooperation would make the process easier for himself. Tezuka, though understandably upset to be put in such a position by the one who had lead him across the waters here, kept his complaints silent as he fell into his practiced subservient behavior and allowed the shorter men to corral him into the building.

This building contained several detainment cells on the upper floors, but he could not discern what exactly the buildings main function was. Surely this was not where they took every suspicious foreigner, as that would have been a hassle to drag them from whichever entrance they appeared from to this specific building; likely just one of many, he decided. His masked escorts were replaced by masked jailors, who asked the stranger to specifically describe the events that lead Tezuka to the dock he had been apprehended at.

He informed them of the man who identified himself as Kani and how the two of them had met on the dock just a short distance from a path from Iwa, and how the man had directed the both of them through the islands and the mist to the dock where he had been found. It seemed that they were aware of who he had been speaking of at least a bit, as his story yielded a few looks between his captors and no further questions regarding how he hadn’t arrived in Kiro. Whether that meant he was off the hook for his trespassing or not was yet to be seen, as the masked shinobi continued to ask questions regarding his travels before arriving here.

Much of what he had revealed to Kani was repeated to the Kiro-nin that interrogated him as Tezuka described his travels from the Land of Iron through Iwagakure, the very brief and uneventful stay that he had spent in the secluded mountainous village, and his journey from that village to this one. He did not explain the details of his exile from Tetsu and refused to reveal such private matters upon their questioning, flatly stating that was samurai business of no consequence to Kiro and would remain private. Whether this annoyed his captors or not was not able to be seen behind the plain porcelain masks they wore; Tezuka idly wondered if it was just a part of the standard Kiro uniform or if they were personnel under a specific shinobi division. He did not ask, as they were not likely to indulge his own curiosity.

Now it seemed like they did not know what to do with him. He was asked about his profession, which he answered truthfully to be that of a rōnin in search of knowledge and experience to return to his home with, which resulted in a slew of questions regarding his current abilities and bloodline. It also resulted in a few more guards being seen waiting just outside the bare white room he was detained in, as though he was only a threat now that his interest in the shinobi arts was ascertained. He had no interest in causing any problems while still in custody though, so he ignored the new arrivals outside his door.

Feeling no reason to be deceptive Tezuka told them of his apparant kekkei genkai that allowed the youth to create a metallic substance from his body, which his interrogators took quite some notice of, but unfortunately his unfamiliarity with the ability did not allow him to answer the more detailed questions regarding the specific uses of the substance. His current mastery over the ability was easily explained, as it was hardly even worth mentioning, but they would not accept his humble dismissals of his abilities until they were listed out before them. The list was, now easily judged due to it being written down, embarrassingly short. He listed his ability to create crude weapons and armor, what specifically could be created, and the very mundane distraction jutsu he had created that allowed the youth to spit up a cloud of abrasive metal shavings.

The shinobi who questioned did not seem at all impressed with his abilities, but he could not blame them for he had such little practice with his ninjutsu. He claimed to be a more accomplished swordsman, citing his years of tutelage under the renowned samurai, but the nods of agreement he received felt almost patronizing. He took solace in the fact that the extra guards were still posted outside, visible everytime someone entered and exited the room, but their relaxed postures and the way they directed their masks in each other’s direction indicated they were having a conversation; it must have been standard procedure when interrogating a suspected shinobi, as they continued to wait just outside the door.

It quickly became apparant to the locals that Tezuka had no intention of causing trouble or attacking anyone, his passive behavior likely a stark contrast to his otherwise burly, intimidating appearance, and that he had simply been in the wrong place due to the Kiro-nin known as Kani. He did not think it was a prank, as he doubted the mysterious man intentionally chose to travel that route just to leave Tezuka alone to be apprehended, but that did not mean he thought he stranger had gotten no satisfaction from the situation the foreigner had ended up in. The man had better not show up again, because Tezuka had plenty of ideas to repay him for this hassle. To think he had even paid was what really irked him about the whole thing.

The masked Kiro-nin thanked Tezuka for his cooperation while also explicitly, and repeatedly, stating that he would not be so fortunate should he be found in a restricted area again. The exile waved them off, displeased with the whole process despite understanding the necessity of it all. Village security must have been very important as there were three other nations who would enjoy seeing the Mist sink beneath the waves, to share the fate that had destroyed the Sand, but it was still a very annoying thing to deal with. A guard waiting outside the door was directed to lead him to the building’s exit and the two walked through the empty hallways and out the lobby. Tezuka was free to go, the guard said, but his presence in the village would be monitored due to the suspicious activity he had already been caught in. The dark-haired youth simply sighed and nodded, not quite sure how far the consequences of the whole fiasco would stretch, so he simply pretended it did not bother him at all.

The masked shinobi made to turn away and return to the building but he stopped to continue speaking with the foreigner after Tezuka quickly asked him what the mask each of them wore were supposed to signify. The Kiro-nin, visibly confused as to how this stranger could not recognize the masks for what they were, answered that those who wore masks were either Hunter-nin or ANBU. Tezuka’s lack of recognition towards the latter term caused the Kiro-nin to explain that they served as the protectors and watchers of the village, counting himself among the ranks, and that the man known as Kani was likely one as well. The ANBU he was speaking to did not seem to think that any of the knowledge he was relating to the foreigner was classified; in truth, though the mask hid his facial expressions, the pauses between Tezuka’s questions and the masked-nin’s answers seemed to indicate this was all information he should have known already. Apparantly each ANBU, with certain exceptions, were identified by the name of an animal to hide their true identity, and Kani was quite a popular call sign among various other sea creatures that lent a nautical theme to the oceanic village. This dampened Tezuka’s hope to find the bastard who tricked him.

The ANBU was growing impatient with the delay and Tezuka asked where he could enroll in the Kiro military, a look that he thought was disbelieving was leveled his way as the masked-nin seemed to ponder the question asked, but the man pointed him to a building just down the block regardless. The masked ANBU returned to the building they had just left and Tezuka watched him depart, staring after him for a few moments, before turning his attention to the building down the street he had been directed to.

Of al the various Hidden Villages there were none that particularly captured his interest or drew him towards it, as he knew so little about each one that he could hardly differentiate between them all. He could only make his decisions based on what was visible and obvious: the surround landscape and climate that each dwelled in, the general population and how the villagers treated him and each other. Whether they had varying morals or beliefs, and strived towards a goal beyond consolidating power for themselves, was unable to be discerned without speaking at length with those who counted themselves a member of the village. Tezuka knew it was of the utmost importance to align himself with a certain group if only to protect himself from those who preyed upon rōnin such as himself, but who he should choose to join was not so easily determined.

Of the two villages he had visited so far Iwagakure was closer to what he was used to, located in a remote mountain range with port cities along the coast, but the weather was rather dry for his liking. Kiriugakure, on the other hand, had some sort of appeal with its warm and humid climate that Tezuka almost enjoyed. Though he had endured the cold weather of Tetsu, acclimated to snow and dry air, he learned just how much he disliked it compared to the moist air and light rainfall that Mizu no Kuni had to offer. The sun that had shined bright on the journey to the village was now creeping behind dark rain clouds that had seemed to form within the time he had spent being interrogated. Sounds of raindrops beating the concrete all round him were a soothing metronome that overcame the clamor that the village made. He let the water wash over him as he walked the path towards the building he had been directed to while watching the ground darken with moisture before him. The village of Kiro, while not truly able to compare to the compound and surrounding settlement that he had called home, still captured his interest in a way the Stone had not.

A bell above the door chimed as the door brushed past it when Tezuka entered the building, one of a few administrative buildings according to the sign posted just outside its entrance. A young woman sat behind the counter directly across from the door, seats on the left while hallways stretched deeper into the building to the right and behind the counter; the woman looked up at his approach, his boots squeaking against the linoleum as he drew closer. The foreigner cited his status as a wanderer and asked to enroll with the forces of Kiro. The red-haired woman did not bother looking him over as she simply handed him a small stack of papers pulled from a drawer beside her and pointed to a seat against the wall before continuing to write on the paper before her. Tezuka thanked the woman, leaning over the desk slightly to see what she was doing; it was sudoku. He grabbed the papers and a pen from the cup on the counter, then walked over to the chairs.

Nearly half an inch thick, numbering over twenty pages, the forms he was given asked for a staggering amount of information and detail; his personal info was a given, of course, and he knew his lineage well enough to speed through the family history section. An entire life was dedicated to medical history, containing far too many diseases and illnesses that Tezuka was not familiar with. Something he did not expect to see was a form that asked him to cite every instance that he had been in battle with a known shinobi, with a subsection where he was to describe every genjutsu experience he has known to have fallen under.

The remaining sections asked various questions with lines below each to answer in detail, asking everything from why he wished to join the village of Kiro to what he would do if a future mission entailed harming his loved ones. The questions were all somewhat vague and meant to apply to almost anyone who would apply, but some still gave the wanderer mixed feelings as he answered each one with varying amounts of paragraphs. Questions that would obviously deny his application should he answer in a certain way were scattered throughout the papers, such as prior experience and his motivations should he be accepted, and he did his best to tell those who would read it what they wanted to hear while making the act subtle enough. His crisp handwriting coated the page as he diligently filled out the forms.

Before he could finish a very tan older man dressed in a doctor’s scrubs emerged from the hallway behind the counter, his graying dark-brown hair tied back in a loose ponytail and a Kirigakure hitai-ate resting on top like a hairband. The doctor instructed Tezuka to leave the unfinished application with the receptionist and bring only the papers detailing his medical and family history as he would also need to undergo a physical exam. The black-haired youth did as ordered, obediently following behind the man after handing the unnecessary papers to the woman. They ended up in a stark-white room with a table built into the wall on one end, a sink with various hygienic items contained in glass cabinets, and what looked like a cushioned bench that rose to his waist covered in white paper across the top. The door shut behind him, and Tezuka began to sweat as the doctor ordered him to disrobe.

2578 | 5305


Tezuka | Jutsu | Locker
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Taijutsu (Strength): C-Rank
Katon: C-Rank | Doton: D-Rank | Kōton: D-Rank
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3Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] Empty Re: Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] on Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:22 pm



The evaluation had lasted the entire evening, a bit of the night, and a bit of the morning after due to just how thorough the local shinobi were in their testing. It had solved one problem of his, finding a place to stay, for at least one night and he had been assigned temporary housing on the outskirts of the village for the next few weeks until he started to generate income. The gleaming, freshly-pressed Hitai-ate with several squiggly lines that signified allegiance to Kirigakure lay in his left coat pocket; he was expected to wear it, but Tezuka felt more comfortable leaving it where it was for now. No longer was he a rōnin, at least for now, but he was not planning to jump into any loyalty for the Mist just yet.

Though just a slight bit sore from the evaluation Tezuka had been informed by the overseeing shinobi-physician that many struggled more than he had with the various physical tests that coincided with a wanderer’s evaluation. First, after being led from the lobby to a private room, the doctor had first began with a full body inspection to identify any ailments, disfigurations or whatever else could potentially disqualify his application to join the village. The raven-haired youth had attempted to protest the rather intrusive and private exam, claiming he was descended from only the finest bloodlines of Tetsu and nearly untouched beyond the numerous scars marring his hands and forearms, but Tezuka was forced to repent as it was explained that this was his only chance of joining this village.

The youth sat patiently as the physician examined his body, calculating his overall body-fat percentage which was uncommonly low for those his age. His eyesight and hearing were tested with a chart on a wall and some electronic equipment a nurse had wheeled in on a cart, and it seemed his perceptive abilities were only average though acceptable enough. His reflexes were tested with a blunt rubber tool and his throat looked into with a small flashlight. Everything had went well thus far, and the physician chatted with him the whole way in a friendly manner as he asked about Tezuka’s journey and reasons for joining the Hidden Mist.

Things became a bit heated when the boy refused to strip naked for further testing, only relenting when it became clear it was necessary for his application to continue. What followed were several tests that were far, far too intrusive and embarrassing even for a trained doctor to perform on him. Though he had never heard the term before Tezuka was subjected to a hernia test, which the doctor managed to get through without making the boy feel groped and violated like some common street walker. A test to evaluate something called the ‘prostate’ caused Tezuka to physically stop the shinobi testing him, threatening to put the doctor through a wall if he continued to try, but the doctor exerted his own will by grabbing the naked wanderer by his throat and shoving him against the wall, suspended in the air by only one hand. Tezuka acquiesced, knowing he really should not interfere with the process as it could jeapordize his chances of joining, though only after it was made clear to him the physician could choke him out and toss his unconscious, naked body into the canals. The doctor was amicable for the remainder of the physical evaluation, amused by how cowed the large and burly foreigner had become, and sent the boy further into the building for more tests with a slap on the ass and a ‘Welcome to the Mist’.

As he was still mentally recovering from having his most private areas poked, prodded and detailed on several pieces of paper, the next tests went by in somewhat of a blur. A guard who had waited just outside the room while his physical was performed led Tezuka to a staircase and the two descended to the basement; the emerald-eyed wanderer had recovered mentally enough to be surprised that any subterranean excavation could be performed on the islands that Kiri stood upon. The two came to a large room with a high ceiling and metal reinforcing all the walls as another Kiri-nin with a flak jacket denoting her higher rank was waiting for him.

Next Tezuka was to begin his combat evaluation, to determine if he was skilled enough to even qualify for a spot among the ranks of the Mist ninja. According to the woman he was much too old to be admitted to the Shinobi Academy, where all natives of Mizu no Kuni went to study the profession of a ninja, and that he would need to show abilities on par or greater than what a newly-graduated Genin could possess. The instructor went through a brief questionnaire that asked Tezuka of his known abilities, followed by another form that detailed his bloodline after he revealed his ability to generate Kōton. Unfortunately for the robust youth many of the questions were about things that he had never been taught; while he did well enough with geography, and could name each of the villages, it went downhill from their. He could not list the ranks that shinobi held, was completely ignorant of the military code that set laws and limitations for each active ninja, and the woman did not even bother going through the questions regarding Kirigakure’s history.

His only saving grace was that apparantly that section of the test was much less important than the combat drills and performances that he was led through, and seemed to excell in. First he was tested with the village’s fitness exam that was intended to keep the active shinobi above a certain level of fitness; Tezuka easily exceeded the highest number of pushups, pull-ups and sit-ups that the test afforded with well over a hundred pushups and several dozen pull-ups, though according to both his instructor and the guard overseeing the exam his mile time was below average those his age likely due to his sheer mass. But he was more than fit enough to pass the test and it seemed he was performing well so far.

As Tezuka explained that his training had come in the form of kenjutsu instruction from several retainers of his clan and very brief instruction in Ninjutsu from his mother, the woman overseeing his evaluation left retrieve two Bokken swords for the guard to test him with. The offensive was left to Tezuka as the guard instructed the youth to come at him with the intent to kill, a reassurance that he could handle anything the boy could throw at him, and Tezu was eager to prove that notion incorrect.

He had managed to do better than the two Kiri-nin expected he would, but only barely: Tezuka had immediately taken the wooden practice sword on both hands, coming at the guard with intentionally clumsy and forceful hacks and slashes that were either parried to the side or sidestepped entirely, so the sudden change to a single-hand on the sword followed by a quick jabs, feinted attacks that preceded harsh kicks to the man’s legs that he dodged and jabs that were knocked aside with the point of the Bokken. The guard obviously had sword training of his own as he managed to block every blow he was unable to parry, and escape the added Taijutsu attacks that were mixed in. It was only when Tezuka forced the smaller, yet stronger guard into a brief bladelock that he managed to actually get a hit; the rōnin had inhaled for a moment before spitting sharp metal shavings into the man’s face, forcing his dark-brown eyes closed against the abrasive substance, and Tezuka capitalized on the opening by sending a vicious knee into the guard’s stomach.

What followed was the guard going on the offensive in retaliation, his quick slashes barely able to be seen as Tezuka struggled to block what he could, though he fell for far too many feints as the male Kiri-nin continued to jab the point of his Bokken sword into his ribs over and over again when Tezuka raised his blade to fend off blows that never came. At one point his vision seemed to be slowing down as the guard continued to grow faster and faster, becoming a blur of motion that Tezuka’s own eyes could hardly follow, and it took far longer than he would admit before the boy realized he was under the influence of a genjutsu. Stepping away from the flurry of sword strikes coming his way to briefly raise a one-handed seal to his chest, sending a surge of chakra through his pathways in a Kani that expelled the foreign chakra influencing his perception. He was rewarded as the guard seemed to see the moment he had broken free from the genjutsu, momentarily halting in his attacks before nodding to the woman watching intently, scribbling words down on a clipboard.

His display was apparantly enough to satisfy the instructor’s requirements, although the guard warned that he should improve his reflexes and speed before attempting to mix Taijutsu into his Bukijutsu. The woman then instructed Tezuka to perform several of the Kōton jutsu that he developed starting with the metal shavings he had blown into the guard’s face. Something the man had seemed somewhat upset about, as while Tezuka had never been forbidden from incorporating Ninjutsu into the spar it was a cheap shot that had gained him his only advantage the entire fight. The youth’s mouth was extremely dry, and a bit cut up, after creating and expelling various amounts of sharp Kōton scraps into a plastic container that had been brougt by another guard. Apparantly for testing, as there were so few Steel users in Kiri that the chances to do so were few in number. He did not bother mentioning that the Kōton would lose form after traveling a certain distance from him, as they could still likely get some use out of the watery metallic substance that was left over.

Tezuka followed this display by creating several versions of his Steel weapons one by one, a bit embarrassed by how they were so obviously flawed and asymmetrical. But the blades he created were sharp enough to sink into the hardened would just a few inches under his powerful blows, eventually shattering from hacking blocks in half, and from those remains he would create the next weapon. His hammers were less refined than his swords were as he had less time to improve their creation process, but even though were able to bend the bars of scrap metal that were brought in for testing with every blow. By the end of the display he was sweating slightly, letting the dented warhammer in his hand melt into his skin as his body absorbed it’s Kōton.

All that remained was for Tezuka to show that he knew the basic Academy techniques every Genin was to know, what apparantly tripped up most untrained wanderers, but he was able to get through these without any difficulty whatsoever. The instructor was apparantly satisfied with what he had to offer as she stated he had sufficient Ninjutsu and weaponry training to qualify for the rank of Genin, though she admitted he was only just above a recently graduated Academy student in terms of strength. But she did compliment his potential, urging him to continue refining his sword skills and his ability to generate and use the Kōton his body contained, and stated her own hope that he could be a strong shinobi that Kiri would be happy to call it’s own. While the words were unexpected, and a bit condescending as the words she spoke seemed like something you would use to reassure an insecure student, but they were friendly enough that he accepted them. The guard was asked to return Tezuka to the lobby of the building and return his forms for the youth to finish, and with a cordial goodbye she sent the two men off so she could finish her own documents.

As they retraced their steps up the staircase and through the building back to the lobby, passing the ninja-physician who performed his physical who gave a teasing and leering grin at the suddenly embarrassed boy, the guard gave him a few tips on his swordplay. Apparantly his basic form was acceptable but Tezuka would benefit from pursuing a more structured form, suggesting he should find a teacher or at least someone to spar against once in a while, and a warning that his large size would prove detrimental without sufficient speed and reflexes to compensate. But that would come with time, the man reassured. Tezuka thanked the man and apologized for the cheap shot he made in his spar with the metal shavings which the guard waved off, stating it was his only chance at getting an actual blow to land and that such deviousness should be expected from a shinobi. As the guard left Tezuka in the lobby of the building the receptionist returned the forms he had been filling out to the youth, then stating that he could rest in a temporary holding room overnight as soon as he finished while his forms were appraised and either approved or denied. The black-haired rōnin sat down to finish his forms, rubbing the bruises that were beginning to form on his chest from the jabs with a wooden sword, and continued to write on the papers.

Soon Tezuka reached the final page that asked for the contact information for his family if he had one, a page that was left entirely blank as he did not have the option of contacting them, and returned the papers to the woman. After flipping through them all to ensure he had finished completely, questioning the final blank page before accepting his explanation that he was forbidden from speaking to his family, she called the guard back into the room who escorted the youth to another room on the third floor of the building. This holding room was minimalist in furnishing and obviously intended to serve only as a place to rest overnight with a lumpy bed, a single sheet on top and a thin blanket, but it would serve his own purposes well enough. The guard told Tezuka that he would return at 0600 hours tomorrow to retrieve him, where the boy could then find out if he had been accepted or denied.

After a dreamless slumber on the bed that was much comfier than it appeared Tezuka was brought to the lobby again where a new face was waiting, a tall slim man with near black hair and a goatee wearing the standard Kirigakure flak jacket, who held a headband and thin pocket book in his left hand while chatting up a new receptionist behind the counter. The man noticed his arrival and congratulated Tezuka for passing the examination that would determine his acceptance, handing over both items to the youth with a genuine smile on his face. The man introduced himself as Ueda Souta, Tezuka’s supervisor until the foreigner had completely acclimated to Kiri, and instructed the boy to study the map of the village found in the pocketbook he had given him. After making plans to meet again later in the week Souta left the boy to explore the village he could now call his own.

2613 | 7918


Tezuka | Jutsu | Locker
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Taijutsu (Strength): C-Rank
Katon: C-Rank | Doton: D-Rank | Kōton: D-Rank
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4Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] Empty Re: Long Walk on the Beach [Solo|Training] on Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:25 pm



Inclement weather seemed to be the status quo above the streets of Kirigakure as thick grey and white clouds shrouded the morning sun, leaving very little difference between nighttime and daytime visibility. Lightly sprinkled rain left the paved stone streets he meandered through wet and black with moisture and the warm, wet humidity of the air was beginning to make his creamy skin stick to the fabric of his clothes in an unpleasant way. Without looking at a timepiece Tezuka could not accurately guess the hour of day, and due to being acclimated to a much colder climate than this he was not able to tell if this was normal morning weather for the bleak, moist village. His aimless wandering led the raven-haired back to another of Kirikagure’s several harbors, where he took a few minutes to watch the vessels entering and exiting port while dangling his bare feet in the tepid ocean water, and he enjoyed the salty breeze that swept across the water. The looming wall of condensed mist that surrounded the Hidden Village formed a stark gray backdrop for the ships sailing across the water in a rather picturesque scene; a drab and peaceful landscape that he could see painted onto canvas and hanging from the wall of a study somewhere.

Tezuka studied the headband sewn to a metal plate that he had received alongside his identification papers, holding the bluish-black strips of cloth and appraising the symbol pressed into the metal. Four symmetrical squiggled lines slanting to the right was how he could best describe the emblem of Kiri which brought to mind water-related image, like the flow of a wave or mist roiling above a body of water. His decision to bow his head and swear fealty to the Village Hidden in Mist was not one that he was yet fully committed to, the bleak atmosphere of the cold and wet village bringing to mind the frigid harbors of Tetsu that he left behind, but it was a necessary step on the path to becoming a true shinobi. The youth found this village in particular to be unusually militant and secluded compared to its competitors, and this quality drew enough comparisons to his native Land of Iron that made it stand out among the remaining four.

The locals of the seat of power in Mizu no Kuni were apparantly well adjusted to the dreary weather as they went about their morning routine methodically, few stopping in the lightly-raining streets to chat and gossip, and Tezuka noted how just like in Iwagakure so many shinobi used the crowded rooftops to traverse the village while the civilians made up most of the foot traffic walking the streets. Not wanting to draw attention to himself prematurely, he kept his headband stowed away in his pack and stayed on the street level. Being on the taller side than average, he could easily peer over the heads of those walking all around him. Only shinobi who also chose to walk on the ground rose above his own tall stature.

Feeling particularly drawn to the sea and having no other pressing business to attend to Tezuka sought out a stretch of beach on the island that was not littered with docks and ships as one of countless ports and harbors for the marine village. To his immense relief he found a beach designated by the village as a recreational site, and with soul-crushing despair he found that the majority of beaches on this island chain were covered in rocks and stones. A group of three school-aged boys did not seem to mind, their shoes laying in a pile while they dug through the shallows for seashells and pretty stones. Not wanting to look foolish by gawking at the rocks and running off, he sat on the beach just beyond where the tide rolled in and unslung the backpack from his shoulders.

Pulling a thin leather pouch he had been given at the administrative building Tezuka opened it to reveal several shiny, though obviously low-quality steel weapons. A handful of shuriken and a three kunai in total, a rather basic set of tools for a humble shinobi, but given that the bundle came with no charge he could not reasonably complain about the scarcity and quality of what he had been given. But in the end, Tezuka arrogantly concluded, nothing that any smith employed by this village produced could possibly compare to the solid black alloy that dripped from his pores, lying in wait beneath his skin waiting only for him to unlock its true potential.

What he could produce at the moment was similar in quality to the garden variety steel he held in his broad hands, sharp and deadly yet rigid and brittle. From the informal lectures his mother had subjected him to as a child, scarce episodes that he never had enough of and missed so dearly, it was his lack of experience with his two base elements that held his Kōton back from its true potential. His Doton was too weak to produce the rich and dense deposits of metal that yielded the strongest steel, nor could his Katon reach a high enough temperature to harden the liquid alloy into its peak form. While what he could do now was acceptable enough to be a cool gimmick it was far from the prodigal level of control that Tezuka had hoped to attain by his second decade. That deadline was drawing closer and closer, and it had been years since his mother’s passing that he had been able to hone his skills. Finding a tutor or sensei was high atop his to-do list, just after getting his bearings on his new home.

He stowed the weapons the village had given him back into his pouch and strapped the leather bag to his left thigh where it was easily in reach. Retrieving a thin, waterproof Manila folder containing the documents given to him after his evaluation, he thumbed through the sheets for the map of the village that had been printed off for him; large sections of various districts were simply blocks of black ink to signify restricted zones open only to the highest ranks of the military and the village leaders, and several islands on the borders of the map beyond the wall of mist were marked with dark red ink and labeled as extremely dangerous zones restricted to all civilians. Some were identified as the holdings of shinobi clans and bloodline holders who were native to Mizu no Kuni, several names of which he could not identify, and he noted with some alarm that the infamous ‘Spider Island’ was not pictured at all on the page. His plans of using the joint as a Katon training ground would have to lay in wait until he could find a guide.

Tracing the streets of the residential district with his fingers Tezuka found the address he would be staying at until he sorted out his living situation, one of several three-story apartment buildings crowded close together to free up more space on the densely-inhabited island. Knowing it would be nothing like the lavish quarters he had enjoyed growing up, more likely to be the bare and minimalistic style of quarters given to itinerant workers he had been stuck in since his departure from Tetsu, he was in no rush to go and get settled just yet. Though the clouds still veiled the sun that he knew was shining in the other side of the grey sky, the wet sea air was beginning to warm as a telltale sign that it would be a warm day in the village, perfect for wandering around lost while taking in the sights.

The burly teen stowed the map back into the folder and the folder into his pack with care not to bend it. His concerns that he had just shackled himself to a land that never stopped raining were assuaged as the light sprinkles grew fewer and fewer until ceasing entirely, and Tezuka ran his thick fingers through his damp hair with relief. He sat silently while watching the waves roll across the rocks and the tide creep up to where his feet lay before retreating just before making contact, doing his best to block out the incessant shrieking of the seabirds strafing the coast above him. The local boys eventually gathered up their humble pile of conch shells and agates before departing. Eventually Tezuka was alone on the rocky beach, barring the strangers walking by a few dozen meters further inland, with only his thoughts and eardrum-abusing squawks from the gulls.

Glancing around to confirm his solitude, Tezuka unzipped a side pocket on his cow-leather satchel and retrieved a paper rolled into a cylinder and tied with a thin ribbon made from pitch-black velvet. He had scrutinized the letter every day he had been on this journey, sometimes twice or thrice when his compartmentalized anguish threatened to break free, but until he had the words scrawled inside memorized he would not be satisfied. The scent of orchids and jasmine could have still remained on the page or it could have long faded; he had rather stupidly become blind to it after spending weeks routinely inhaling the pleasant aroma, clinging to the memories it brought up.

Somehow Megumi managed to retain an optimistic outlook regarding his exile, if her exuberant reminders to be diligent in his training and hasty in his return were any indication, and he managed to draw strength from the hope she had for the both of them. She had written far, far less than he found sufficient as he was supposed to find a way to mail letters or get a courier through the border undetected which was a clear violation of the terms of his sentence. Just a single page, front and back thankfully, of encouraging words and casual conversation as though he was simply spending a weekend out of town. He pored over the letter with a rare, genuine grin across his face before rolling the page up tightly and placing it carefully into the pouch he had designated solely for it.

He allowed himself to bask in he warm feeling of love he still felt from his fiancé that overpowered the ceaseless longing that weighed him down. Tezuka decided he would also add finding a way to get letters back to the fatherland to his to-do list. For now, he would have to be satisfied with the sole letter he still retained from her.

The carefree smirk that Tezuka could never suppress when Megumi was on his mind faded from his visage as his thoughts turned to the other message given prior to his departure; with a sigh of exasperation the teen pulled the ornate, garish scroll from where it had been shoved into the bottom of his pack. The usual petulance that emerged from within whenever his father was involved was satisfied by how crumpled and torn the unopened missive, looking as disrespected as he himself felt. Feeling whimsical and open to cliché, he closed his pack and donned it once again as he stood up with the scroll in hand. His idea of a pleasant beach brought to mind dunes of sand and a scantily clad brunette with deep blue eyes, but this stony shore would suffice for his purposes. Long walks on the beach we’re supposed to be romantic, right? He could use something to drown out the serving rage he held for his progenitor.

With a bit of unexpected hesitation that he forced down Tezuka broke the seal holding the scroll closed and pulled it open. The missive began with no salutation as Lord Kamakura chose instead to begin with reclarifying the terms of his son’s exile, something that was actually rather amusing now that several hundred kilometers separated the both of them. His father cited the judgement of the clan elders that he could not jeapordize the heir’s position, and that Tezuka could only blame himself for the situation he had ended up in due to his growing resentment for his brother. If there was any indication that Lord Kamakura felt regret regarding his decision to discard his bastard son, it wasn’t something he found important to write down. The paper stretched on longer but Tezuka grew weary of reading; he rolled the scroll back up and hurled the missive far into the shallow sea surrounding Kiri. Kicking stones petulantly as he left the beach, Tezuka sought out the apartment that he had been given by the village temporarily.

2119 | 10037
[Thread Exit]

Strength D ~> D-3 - 1175
Speed D ~> D-3 - 1175
Endurance E ~> D-3 - 1925
Perception E ~> D-3 - 1925
Reaction Time E ~> D-3 - 1925
Doton D ~> C-Rank - 1500
Unused WC - 412


Tezuka | Jutsu | Locker
Ninjutsu: S-Rank | Taijutsu (Strength): C-Rank
Katon: C-Rank | Doton: D-Rank | Kōton: D-Rank
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