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1 Lighting the Fires on Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:26 pm

Nova Makato

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A-Rank
Mission details:
Mission name: Lighting the Fires
Mission rank: B-rank
Objective: Rouse the refugees
Location: Land of Wind
Reward: 500 + 1EP
Mission Description: Those who wish for Suna to be rebuilt can only rally for the cause if they are aware it is happening. Inform the refugees from the village’s destruction that Sunagakure is being rebuilt and gain their support.
Development References:http://www.narutosaga.com/t27201-turning-the-yellow-cult-red-nova-yosei-mission
Mission Details: This mission can be opposed by either PC or NPC. While many who live in the slums with refugees would count themselves allies of Sunagakure, there are still those who wish to never see it rise again. There is group of 2 B-rank ninja with all jutsu of one element library, and one A-rank ninja with all jutsu from two elements library who will try to stop the rally(or one PC in place of the A-rank)

Nova stood with her back to the setting sun as she looked upon the shambles of what used to be a thriving village. The carcass of Suna itself lay at her back, far enough that it were out of sight but not out of mind. It's people had not all perished in the destruction however, and as is the nature of ones burdened by tragedy had hardened and strengthened physically and mentally. Though lopsided and made of recovered scrap, the refugees that resided here had come together built a substitute to the beautiful village that had once been their home. Gritting her teeth slightly, Nova pondered what it was that she could do to inspire people who had made it this far on her own. Sunagakure's fall came too early in her life to be able to prevent it, and with little strength and confidence she had been easily swept away in the waves of people leaving for the Land of Water. Her years away from the desert weighed heavily on her, though it was not time wasted. She had left nothing more than a genin, not even certain that she could call herself a shinobi at all with all of her faults. Now she returned stronger, no longer directionless and meek she had a force willing her forward. This will was not exclusively her own, it was for the others vacated from their homes so long ago.

Chewing slightly at the tip of her well manicured thumbnail, she deliberated what she had to say. Public speaking was not a talent she possessed, and as she was well aware her appearance in itself was not one that left the impression of strength she knew her showing had to be an impressive one to gain any support from these hardened people. Within her swimming thoughts, they would wander to what lay within the scrolls tucked away in her faux limb. Upon her departure of the Land of Wind she had possessed only the arachnoid marionette, Kurogokegamu. Upon her return she brought two more, one of her own creation while residing at the mansion of Lord Osada and the other... the other was a being from long ago. Sasori's body, self altered into a puppet of his own design, now sat within a scroll and belonged to Nova. The chain of events that landed him in her possession were convoluted, a mysterious and carefully sealed scroll handed to her by the Mizukage acting as a giftbearer for the Raikage. Nova's face would twist at the though of the Raikage, she had so many questions that were likely to never be answered; How had the Raikage come into possession of an item(or being) of such incredible power? What else waited in his armories are warehouses? Did he know what he was giving to her? And if so what compelled him to do so?

Sasori's presence had certainly been to much for her when she first received it. Even during the waxing of her powers, Nova would have been destroyed merely by the seal that held Sasori in that roll of parchment had Lord Osada not been there to mentor her and give aid. Even after, she had nearly succumbed to the thoughts and wills of the being put in her possession, having come very close to sawing her own arm off for the purposes of Sasori replacing it with a limb of his own creation. It was his desires that had steered Nova back in the direction of his homeland, though it took only took a little urging as the thoughts were already in her head. Nova's weakness had always been action, noble goals with little will to follow them through. That weak will had let her be swept from place to place, but she had struck a foothold here in her home. Seeing the destruction firsthand and its effect on these people had steeled her will, only to be further solidified by a ghost that had wandered these lands. Promised support in her lofty goals in exchange for aid when called upon later on. Should that support do as intended, she should have within her power all that would be needed when finally being called upon.

So now, with the support and strength of those more powerful at her back, she prepared for one of the first trials of many; to rouse the masses and inspire them. With a determined, if unusual gait, she strode into the chaos that was an encampment such as this. Wading through the busy walkways, she beelined for the market center that she had scoped out the day before. Stopping in the center she would find herself being pushed around by the flow of movement and nearly felt like letting it whisk her away. Clearing her throat in a manner to get attention, she would be discouraged by the complete lack of attention she was receiving as the life around her payed her no heed.

For the first time in far too long, she felt a presence in the back of her mind that had been silent for so long. Are you just going to stand there? it caught her so off guard that she would audibly gasp and her hands would flutter to her chest. Nearly she whispered his name aloud before catching herself, S-sasori? I thought you were.... I didn't know if you were there anymore.... A pause would take her as she felt presence fill her mind once more. Are you just going to stand there? Shaking her head and breathing deep, she would make a number of handseals with one hand and the earth below her would rise up, just a circular platform on which she stood. Shooting over the heads of those around her, she would stop two meters above the earth. The eyes of those closest would widen in suprise and look up at her. Like the ripple from a stone stopping in the water, attention would be drawn to her wave after wave. Nearly all eyes were on her in a matter of seconds, though the faces bore the fear borne of those who had already lost their homes once.

Gulping down her fears and indecision, she would brush her waves of lavender hair back over her shoulder and out of her face. Pausing to smooth the black dress that hung just above her knees and to run her thumb across the Suna headband plate that shone on the kneecap of her wooden left leg. “Former residents of Sunagakure... You might not know who I am but I ask for a moment of your attention. I come here with the intent of offering my aid in any way I can, though what I do ask for is your support. You see... I aim to bring the village back to life. Make it home for myself, and a home for all of you.” Breathing in for the first time in what felt like forever, she would look around at the faces turned up at her. In the faces of those that looked up at her, she saw hardship and strife; but there too was a look of caution, fear that merely more trouble would be brought upon them. For a moment, she was at a loss for words and unsure how to inspire them. With shallow breaths, she stood waiting for someone to show some sign of reaction.

1246


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Nova Makato|Jutsu|Locker
Missions
Permanent 30% discount on items



"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break."


2 Re: Lighting the Fires on Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:31 pm

Kisei

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C-Rank
An off day, well, I suppose that’s what you could call it. While technically my services within the land of wind was neseecary anymore, there was still much work to be down here. If not for the people then at least emptying out Alpha’s workshop of deadly futuristic weapons and contraptions, and eventually transferring them to my own workshop in Konoha. Though it has been a lot of work so far, disassembling the larger machines, sealing them away, organizing the out of place blueprints. So yes, this was an off day. A small break from the back breaking lifting and cleaning work. Right now I was looking around for food although with all the battles and conflicts going on around the ruins, well, I don’t know what I was expecting to find.


Suddenly the ground started shifting. It was too close to him to be a sand storm or the rumbling of some battle of a ways. This was too close. My eyes narrowed and a hand flew to the pinwheel on my back. The small tremors made it easy to locate in this small market. My gaze pointed over my left shoulder, where I was surprised, not, to find a figure standing on top of an earthen platform in an all too familiar pose. Over the course of the time I served officially in the Sunagakure forward movement this scene became ingrained into my memory. A proud village nationalist or a bandit leader in disguise trying to sway the masses and bring people to his side. While I did something then, what I could do now was limited. Not out of lack of ability, but simply because I wasn't ordered to do so.

While my heart bleeds for the current state of my old neighbors and country, if I did something to stop this it would be on me alone. Knowing myself I'd probably offend them one way or another and the rant would escalate to a fight, and that wouldn't improve the opinion of the Konohagakure amongst the sands. As much as it was the safest place to go for these refugees to go, many people were still distrustful of the prosperous hidden Villages. Rightfully so, but it was hard enough to save a dying man when they would rather shy away from the hand that saves. Ultimately, until they prove hostile, this isn't something I should interfere with.

Turning to properly face the speaker my face crumpled slightly. They seemed.. it was almost as if I had seen them before. Deciding to get a closer look I reached for my steel umbrella leaning against the wall, opened it and began to walk closer. Ending up in the front row gave a good spot to listen to whatever they were going to rant about. Hm. Let's see what they have.

“Former residents of Sunagakure... You might not know who I am but I ask for a moment of your attention. I come here with the intent of offering my aid in any way I can, though what I do ask for is your support. You see... I aim to bring the village back to life. Make it home for myself, and a home for all of you.”

I was, to say the least. A bit surprised. Rebuilding the Sunagakure was a new one. Looking around, I could find a few interested faces in the crowd. A good number to the lady's credit. Though just as many, if not double, were faces of worry, and concern. Smart people. With a lot of the easily swayed already recruited to lawlessness or the other villages most of those that remained were the more cautious, or stubborn.

Looking back up there, her confidence had begun to fail, poor thing. I was familiar with that feeling so I decided to try and get the ball rolling again. With a flourish of the vantablack umbrella I bowed deeply to the lady with a harlequin grin. "Quite an interesting offer you got going on here Miss. Though what kinda thing are you planning? It's pretty amazing of you to offer your assistance, but the goal, the journey. We got a lot of aspirations for a Sunagakure return, don't get us mistaken, we're plenty excited, but we wouldn't be too opposed if ya had more details. Ya know?" I winked at her supportively. A thumbs up close to my chest but out just enough for her to see. Finishing up my rant I closed my umbrella and lightly stabbed it into the sandy ground leaning on my right side. Hopefully they'd take the hint and get themself back together.




787


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3 Re: Lighting the Fires on Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:08 pm

Rhys

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Genin
Rhys coursed his way through the gaps between buildings that acted as streets for the settlement at a brisk pace. A runner had informed everyone in "The Commons" of yet another person offering to "help" the poor souls that inhabited this makeshift encampment. Trade and travel remain open to all, as there was no real way to police them, but it was wise to keep an eye on those who sought to stir the public. So it was that once again Rhys found himself entering the square, to listen in on the latest "savior of the people". With his faithful companion Reorx at his side they made it to the edge of the populace in time to hear the last bit of the plea set forth by a strangely familiar voice.

"... I aim to bring the village back to life. Make it home for myself, and a home for all of you.”

  The hulking man hesitated for a moment before he reached those gathered to listen to the speaker on the raised platform. His eyes took in the slender woman that beseeched the crowd to join in on her cause. This woman was familiar to him, but he could not place her for the breadth of an instant before it all came rushing back. This was Nova that stood before the people, she was something of a friend before the fall of Sunagakure. Nova and Rhys had worked together once and were set to represent The Village Hidden in the Sand, but Rhys withdrew when the attack came. Almost three years had passed  their worlds had forever been altered, but it had seemed a lifetime. Rhys had put his shinobi training on hold while he helped survivors of the attack set up shelter a safe distance away from the wreckage of their former homes. What was at first just a handful of the injured and the elderly with Rhys had eventually sprawled into a cramped little town of refugees. The able bodied  built stronger structures as time passed with which Rhys provided assistance using his Jinton infused chakra to help move and shape metals for faster and stronger construction. It was nowhere near the grandeur of Sunagakure, but it was a far sight better than many of the other shanty towns that had popped up across the desert. Word had eventually reached the settlement that Nova had gone on to win the Chuunin Exams and had served as a sliver of hope for the displaced survivors those three long years ago. Rhys had heard nary a whisper of her exploits since then, but could see from here that she had not neglected her training. The memories screeched to a halt as Rhys's consciousness vaulted back to the present. Another voice in the crowd said their piece in response to Nova's words.

  "Quite an interesting offer you got going on here Miss. Though what kinda thing are you planning? It's pretty amazing of you to offer your assistance, but the goal, the journey. We got a lot of aspirations for a Sunagakure return, don't get us mistaken, we're plenty excited, but we wouldn't be too opposed if ya had more details. Ya know?"

  There were varied mutterings of agreement and dissent that rippled through the crowd. A few of the people vocalized their opinions, but none more so than one man. "Why should we listen to you at all? We have heard these snake oil pitches before! You promise us  salvation then rob us in our sleep! You can take your 'aid' and shove it up you-"

  "Shinji!" Rhys's booming voice blasted across the now crowded opening of the square to silence the man. His name was Shinji and had been a local trouble maker since arriving a little over a year ago. The man had lost everything in the attack and it had embittered him. The locals allowed him some lenience due to the suffering that they all held in common, but Rhys would not endure his antagonism today especially when it was aimed at someone that Rhys respected. The crowd turned to look at the imposing figures of of Rhys and Reorx the adolescent black rhinoceros. Shinji and the rest of those gathered fell silent  in response to the bulky man's exclamation. The pair pushed forward through the mass of people as a blade through the sand as the people parted before their approach. When they were in the middle of the crowd Rhys flashed Nova a near imperceptible smile that vanished as quickly as it had appeared. Rhys would keep the guise of impartiality for the moment and leave the speaking to others.

  With practiced synchronicity Rhys side stepped to the left as Reorx side stepped to the right revealing the shrunken figure of the woman that had been trailing behind the pair since "The Commons". The ever smiling face of Manaka-ba beamed forward at all of the people that were present. Her hunched form, that barely reached the height of Rhys's waist, slowly hobbled her way forward to get a better look at the key speakers before saying a word. "Shinji is that any way to treat a guest in our home?" The chastised Shinji hung his head in shame as he turned away. Manaka-ba had been the guiding force behind the settlement since it's inception. She had personally gathered the original survivors, including Rhys and Reorx, and had set them on the path toward rebuilding their lives. Though she had refused had official title or office her "suggestions" were often taken as scripture by those who had lived here for some time. The cheerful eyes of Manaka-ba turned to Nova as her smile gleamed bright as ever. "Please dear, continue.". The crowd once again turned it's attention toward Nova.

965

4 Re: Lighting the Fires on Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:43 am

Ryo Knetegawa

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Special Jounin
Ryo walked through the ruins of sunagakure he didn't want to be here, but he knew that he had to be here. He had left his clan the village they had chosen to live in and had made his way to the home he had always known. He had to help the land of wind. He had to bring sunagakure back to life.

As he walked through the slums that had been repaired so that the few people who remained could live in relative safety, he looked to see it. The people were struggling, and he well knew what that was like. Yet, he could see that a few of his clan were moving among the people helping to feed them or treat sickness and wound. He knew that not all the Knetegawa of sunagakure had followed his family to kumogakure or had gone to kirigakure. In fact, if he had to guess he'd have said half of the main branch had stayed behind in the land of wind.

Seeing his clansman made him glad that he not only took off his headband but that he had also changed into the sand colored overcoat of his clan. He would stand out to those who knew his clan colors and those who didn't know his clan then he would at least not look like an enemy. He walked along with his hands in his pocket and felt the headband that was his mark that he belonged to sunagakure. He didn’t put it on yet, as he wasn’t sure that it would be well received in this place. Not many people were wearing Sunagakure headbands, but he also didn’t feel that he deserved to wear the headband again. Instead, he kept it on his person so that he could earn the right to put it back on his forehead. He wanted so much to see the land of wind thrive, he wanted Sunagakure come back, grow, and truly be a shinobi village that would rival the others for power.

He made his way towards the market center to try and see what this new rebuilt section had in store for people. That was when he saw the girl. She had tried to get as many people’s attention as possible and had begun to deliver a speech. She addressed the people around her and told them all that her aim was to bring the village back to life, and all she needed to try and make this dream a reality was the support of the people. Ryo wanted to be a member of that support, he wanted to help her. Then he heard a voice that caused him to nearly stumble to the ground in his shock. He had heard Kisei’s voice. Kisei had been a friend, he had been a teammate, and Ryo had almost been certain that he had died. Yet, here he was alive and well from the look of him. He had to keep himself together as he heard his friend speak out about the fact that the plan had no real meat to it. Ryo had to agree, there wasn’t much in the way of a plan, the general idea of a plan was no doubt. The restoration of Sunagakure, but how would that be achieved? That was the main question at this point.

Yet, it seemed that Kisei wasn’t the only one who decided to speak up. Instead, he heard another voice. This voice was harsh and cruel in the tone of words. Ryo watched the new voice, and another figure start to interact. Finally, seeing that an old hobbled woman was giving the newcomer permission to continue on it was clear that this woman was respected. Ryo didn’t recall who she was from his time, but he wasn’t going to speak just yet. Instead, he wanted to be silent and observe, if these people were part of the restoration of Sunagakure then he would make sure that he listened to them. He wanted to offer help if he could, but only if there was a true hope to bringing Sunagakure back.

697

5 Re: Lighting the Fires on Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:11 pm

Nova Makato

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A-Rank
Nova would look around to the crowd once more, and as their voices would begin to bubble up to fill the silence that came she would clear her throat. No one will believe in you if you act as though you have no spine.., that antagonistic voice was back again. Whispering words in mind that would make her blood run hot and angry. Show them. Give them a symbol to look to from your art, that tone would change for a moment, from one of trying to push through in anger to one of actual desire to see her suceed. It was not in his nature to put any before himself, though her skills and talents were such that perhaps even Sasori were impressed. Her art was beautiful and lasting, even if it were not in the form he found the most beautiful. Though dozens of voices would try make themselves heard across eachother, just a few would register in her mind;

"Quite an interesting offer you got going on here Miss. Though what kinda thing are you planning? It's pretty amazing of you to offer your assistance, but the goal, the journey. We got a lot of aspirations for a Sunagakure return, don't get us mistaken, we're plenty excited, but we wouldn't be too opposed if ya had more details. Ya know?", a face behind those words showed a supportive smile, and hands were giving a subtle thumbs up. Though a quiet moment, it felt intimate and and though it was the encouragement of an old friend. Even if only lasted for a moment, it empowered her further for someones belief in her.

"Why should we listen to you at all? We have heard these snake oil pitches before! You promise us  salvation then rob us in our sleep! You can take your 'aid' and shove it up you-", And from this man came the opposite. The shouts of those who doubted her, saw no worth or value in her words. There were others like it, though these ones pierced deeper. Rather than feelings up dispair and lack of belief, these were insults to her and her honor and strength. It were not something she would accept while sitting down, and rather the blowing out the small flame of her confidence it only began to fan it into the raging fire she knew it had to become.

 "Shinji!”, the sounds of all the rest would cease, cutting off those daggered words coming from that most vocal man. Only two syllables, but it sounded so familiar... Through the crowd they emerged, each so notable from the rest of the squalor but for different reasons. To her right a massive figure, muscle upon muscle with an intimidating visage to match. Masculine and muscular, it was a man she had befriended in a time before she left these lands and had never though she'd see again. Opposite him, a form Nova would never expect trotting through a herd such as this, a rhinoceros. Small would be the accurate description only in reference to a full grown creature of his own kind, though still stood larger than any average pet. And beftween them another warm voice of support, “Shinji is that any way to treat a guest in our home? Please dear, continue."

They think you a guest... Not even a resident of the village itself. Just a visitor.. Sasori made sure she couldn't look past those words. If she were one of the refugees who had not been able to leave, would she have been able to trust someone coming back and saying they have the nations best interest at heart? The doubt was a reasonable one, and she had to prove otherwise. Turning a determined gaze to that voice who inquired more, “I am not here on just a whim. Nor am I a guest. Though it has been some time since I returned, I was born here. During the destruction of our village I will openly admit I was weak, and had no hope to stand up to the forces that came down upon us. Since then I have learned and grown, and trained. In far away lands, not from my desire but from a lack ability to return home. I left Kirigakure, aware of what they are and that the other villages all wish to have a hand in how we live.”

She would let her words soak in for a moment, using the pause to emphasize her point. Turning to the left she would begin a stride seemingly into the air. Before her foot would sink below the other and send her falling to the earth, a spear of stone would rise up to meet it. With the next step another pillar would rise to that foot, while the platform that foot had left would sink and settle back to the earth. This odd gait raised above the heads of those she spoke to would continue as her voice would fill the area once again, “I am here to bring back our livelihoods while keeping our independence. I have returned to the ruins to find that it would be near impossible to reconstruct what was there, though instead I saw it as an incredible resourse to make use of. What once was sand was altered from the power of what happened there, and has instead formed an unusual form of glass, harder than most steels. With this, we will not only be able to make our own supplies from it but perhaps turn it into an industry that we can thrive upon.”

"I know that the news that the village can not be brought back on that patch of land it disheartening, but instead of accepting that as it was I scouted the desert and have found a new location upon which our home can be built. Still the sands and dunes will give us their protection from eyes and armies alike, but we will be on a more resource rich strip of land. Though for now it is no more than sand itself, I wish to built a village structural and sound enough to last the test of time as our last home had for so long." to emphasize her point and abilities, the earth she stood upon would raise even higher, ten meters above the ground. Not only did it grow, but it did alter, from the tan sandstone that lay below her feet to a slick and sheen white marble, streaked with greys and blacks. Now she stood upon a marble ionic pillar displaying her powers to the crowd. ”these are the actions intend to proceed with, support or not. I offer you my aid in hopes that you too can believe in the resurrection of our village, though brighter, cleaner, and new." Raising her hands to the air as if she were tossing a bird back into flight should would smile as a huge billowing puff of smoke would extend upward nearly thirty meters. Quickly the cloud would fade as a massive being of glittering metal would grace the sky, a twenty meter wingspan carefully feathered with intricately detailed metal feathers and a drooping and ornate plume of a tail. As it began a circling path around them, for a final time Nova would address the crowd. “You are under no obligation to follow me. But if you do I wish to lead us beyond what Suna hs known before. When you see this symbol in the sky, if you follow me then follow it and you will not be let down.” With that, the marble would sink to the ground and her head would be even with all others, leaving her more accessible and approachable to those who wish to speak.

[1304 WC]


____

Nova Makato|Jutsu|Locker
Missions
Permanent 30% discount on items



"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break."


6 Re: Lighting the Fires on Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:44 pm

Kisei

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C-Rank
I beamed up a little bit at the renewal of determination in the speaker’s eyes. Now time to show us your intentions frowning mentally in my mind, my facade of a smile concealing these contradictory thoughts. Even as he offered assistance he needed to stay on guard. Too many times were people swayed by fanciful ideals and words into dark causes, and depending on this speaker’s next actions, I’d have hopefully have enough of an idea of their real plan. The resurrection of the Sunagakure sounded wonderful, but at what cost was this expected to be at? Another village wide massacre perhaps? If so, well then, they’ll just have to cross that bridge when they came to it. I made a note of the now mixed set of responses of approval and, distaste. Though didn’t let that shake my focus.

“I am not here on just a whim. Nor am I a guest. Though it has been some time since I returned, I was born here. During the destruction of our village I will openly admit I was weak, and had no hope to stand up to the forces that came down upon us. Since then I have learned and grown, and trained. In far away lands, not from my desire but from a lack ability to return home. I left Kirigakure, aware of what they are and that the other villages all wish to have a hand in how we live.”

So a sunagakure native, who moved to the Kirigakure after the attack, trained, and came back to try and restablish the hidden sand village. I checked off 'background’ just as they moved on to the next part of their argument.


“I am here to bring back our livelihoods while keeping our independence. I have returned to the ruins to find that it would be near impossible to reconstruct what was there, though instead I saw it as an incredible resource to make use of. What once was sand was altered from the power of what happened there, and has instead formed an unusual form of glass, harder than most steels. With this, we will not only be able to make our own supplies from it but perhaps turn it into an industry that we can thrive upon.”

So new economic activities with the promise of a possible new material to exploit. I've been around the more devastated areas and what she said was true. There has been some strange glass around the place, but it didn't seem like much to think about at the time. Hm.. the dramatic use of pillars didn't hurt either. I backed up a bit at their jutsu, but my eyes remained fixed on their words.

"I know that the news that the village can not be brought back on that patch of land it disheartening, but instead of accepting that as it was I scouted the desert and have found a new location upon which our home can be built. Still the sands and dunes will give us their protection from eyes and armies alike, but we will be on a more resource rich strip of land. Though for now it is no more than sand itself, I wish to built a
village structural and sound enough to last the test of time as our last home had for so long."

At this my eyes darkened for a moment.

”these are the actions intend to proceed with, support or not. I offer you my aid in hopes that you too can believe in the resurrection of our village, though brighter, cleaner, and new."

She raised higher into the air and a massive plume of smoke billowed around the crowd and engulfed the lady, clearing after a few moments to reveal a massive mechanical bird above her. Despite being a puppet the detail put into it rendered it to the untrained eye almost lifelike. The skill in its maneuvers granting a grace to it telling of its controller.

“You are under no obligation to follow me. But if you do I wish to lead us beyond what Suna hs known before. When you see this symbol in the sky, if you follow me then follow it and you will not be let down.”

All in all, this was a disappointment. Sure, they had decent reasoning and ideas on what to do and how to go about this. Even a new industry to help fund the construction of this supposed 'new’ village. Though to me, all it sounded like was a rallying call to bring people under banner for power. There was some credit to be given however, they seemed to be earnest in their intentions to help. But there was a certain voice in the back of his head whispering, “This is going to fall back on us.”

Ai? What are you doing here? I asked, mentally of course.

“Do you think people will follow this one, Kisei?”

I thought about it for a moment. The main problem is getting people to believe that rebuilding the Sunagakure is possible, which their speech undoubtedly helped with. The next one is getting people to move to this 'new spot’. Construction will take forever unless you had a sizable workforce. But I think the main question is 'why?’ Why move so far away, from safety, into danger? So no, I don't think so.

Ai's ghostly form seemed to manifest deeper in the physical. He turned his head to me with a questioning look. “Do you remember how desperate you were when you first entered this new world. Starving and dying in a random cave in the middle of nowhere. How relieved you and your brother were when you found this home. Think about the people here now. They're lost, with their home in ashes. Now, imagine, if you could go back. How does that change things?” Ai said sadly, frowning, before ultimately disappearing.

I gave the thought a try. “Going back, there?” a low whisper. At much as he wanted to think that Ai meant the Sunagakure, the smarter part of me knew what 'home’ his partner was talking about. If given the chance to go back. To something more stable, more familiar than the chaos that was swimming around the continent at this moment. The original home of the Ushinatta was nothing short of perpetual war, but still, the idea of where they really belonged. For a moment I could start to understand how these people may feel. They say home is where the heart is, but what if the heart was where the home was? I sighed. I moved closer to the lady, who decided to join the rest of the world at ground level. Deciding not to engage her until the crowd died down somewhat.


1146


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