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1Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:09 pm

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

Morning crept over the Fire Country, the sun peaking over the eastern mountains, casting a blanket of warm orange light and long shadows over the Hidden Leaf. Although winter's hold on the Country was tight, glimpses of spring managed to slip through on occasion. The snow of a week prior had melted away and turned the ground sodden and brown, the clouds had parted to reveal the deep blue sky, and the warmth of sunshine left the village at a comfortable temperature. Villagers were out en masse to enjoy the eye of the winter storm with little more than light jackets to fight against the slight chilly breeze.

Of course, Takao was not afforded the luxury of enjoying the pleasant morning. After fulfilling his morning rituals, consisting of walking his dog, feeding his pets, and making breakfast for himself and Fuyuko, he had been called in to the Administration Office via messenger to deal with mission handouts. Upon arriving at the office, he approached the front desk and addressed the woman that sorted through stacks of papers and scrolls behind it.

"Morning Tomita-chan," He said half-way through a yawn, startling the young woman.

"Oh-- Hokage-sama! I'm sorry, I didn't hear you come in." She replied as she quickly collected herself and straightened the paperwork in front of her. Takao kissed his teeth, opting to let the way he was addressed slide this time despite his penchant for correcting it.

"It's fine. Kaeda stopped by and said something about you guys needing me here for mission hand-outs this morning." Takao said, hands finding their way into his trouser pockets.

"Mission hand-outs? Oh, mm... I think he must have misheard me, we have the hand-outs covered, but we're backed up on lower ranked missions at the moment. I was hoping I could convince you to help out with a few of them today." Putting on her best convincing, toothy smile, she leaned in expectedly, staring at Takao's half-lidded, unimpressed countenance.

"Well... I'm here already, might as well. What needs done?"

"Thank you! Uhm, we have a bunch of them really, but I was thinking maybe you could help out some genin that were interested in a few C-Ranks. I know that you don't usually..." She said, her voice trailing off as she spoke.

"It's fine, I'll help." He said, dismissing the notion that the aspect of working with a squad might change his mind.

"Right! Well, uhm, the first on the list is this one here," Tomita said, handing him a sheet of paper. He took it and quickly skimmed the contents, his already unimpressed expression becoming even more-so.

"These guys again?" Takao had run into the nefarious group of vandals at some point in his past, easily several years ago, and was equal parts surprised and annoyed that their antics persisted. As it would seem, the three 'genin', which in reality were a trio of childish adults, were back to their old habits of sullying the beauty of the village. He pinched the bridge of his nose and resigned to his fate, exhaling the bated breath he held. It was to be expected of a C-Rank mission to be relatively mundane, after all.

"What a pain. Whatever, I'll get it sorted." He said, handing the paper back to Tomita, who took it and filed it away with other taken requests awaiting completion.

"You said something about a squad, yeah?"

"Oh-- yes! Uhm, one moment..." He said, quickly sorting through the mess of papers on her desk.

"Yes, well, it isn't a squad per se, it's just a single genin. In fact, she should be arriving any..." Tomita said, her voice trailing off as her eyes slipped past Takao to the front doors that had just opened, and her broad smile returned. Takao turned to glance over his shoulder as well.

"Oh, right on time!"

TOTAL WC
666

Mission Details:
Mission name: The Litter Bug Gang!
Mission rank: C-Rank
Objective: Stop the gang of troublemakers from littering, and vandalizing around Konoha.
Location: Konohagakure
Reward: 300 ryo
Mission description: There have been multiple complaints from citizens from around the village about the Litter Bug Gang, a genin squad of Konoha. Your job Is to find, and stop three troublemaking shinobi In Konoha from causing property damage. Their crimes range from massive littering to complete vandalism for no exact reason. Be cautioned, however, these aren't children, but young men In their twenties.
Mission details: The genin are armed with the basic shinobi equipment. Three Kunai each, three explosive pouches, and one of them has a stolen rusty katana.

Name: Haizen Tenzo
Age: 26
General Appearance: Poor Looking, muscular, a scar on the right side of his face
Personality: Arrogant,unintelligent, god complex
Motivations: To be an all around nuisance, and do anything that he wants. Basically....YOLO
Fears: Fighting alone, fighting someone stronger than him, being embarrassed In front of his gang, and being arrested.
Other: He lives on the streets, sleeps In the back alleys, and can be seen around town flirting with women. He Is mildly trained In kenjutsu with his katana.

Name: Tadao Fugumi
Age: 23
General Appearance: Rough,lazy,and skinny
Personality: Follower,stupid, Impulsive, coward
Motivations: Being accepted by his gang, trying to become cool, and intimidating. Being feared.
Fears: Being alone, being kicked out of the gang because he's weak looking, getting beaten.
Other: He lives wherever he can, steals food from restaurants, and can be found begging for money on the streets when he Isn't with his gang. He Is trained mildly In ninjutsu with his katon element

Name: Jako Dakkinju
Age: 22
General Appearance: Tough looking, overly muscular, intimidating.
Personality: Knuckle head, relies on his strength, thinks he's the leader of the gang, angry when he doesn't get what he wants.
Motivations: Being the most feared thug In all of Konoha, money, being a menace to society, and showing his dominance.
Fears: Losing his gang, being arrested.
Other: Does any, and everything he wants. He carries the regular equipment, but Is surprisingly good with taijutsu that Is a conjunction for his unusual strength.

2Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:40 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
Chiaki clambered out of bed, sniffling and opening one eye, the other cemented shut by sleep. Wow, that was a great look, she thought as she looked at the mirror next to the bed. Not! Growling she pushed herself off of the floor, her blankets lying in a lump as she stretched and rubbed her eye, trying to get rid of the sleep there. She walked to the bathroom and turned on the hot water, getting undressed she looked at herself. Nope, no changes. She would have to train more to see any change worth a notable look. Shrugging to herself she washed up, ate some breakfast consistent of cereal and some leftover Soba, and got dressed. Today she wore a tight fitting black shirt, almost like under-armor underneath a tight fitting blouse. The blouse was tucked into a skirt and black tights, which were in turn tucked into her brown shoes she normally wore. She looked outside and sighed, grabbing a coat and putting her fists through it. It was black and nondescript, she had stolen it from her father when she had moved out. Later he said he didn't mind. She kinda knew better than that, as she smirked she picked up her keys and locked the door, opening the pouch on her side she tossed the keys up and ran down the stairs, waiting as they fell into the pouch like always.

Her hair streamed behind her like two ribbons, and she thought better of it as she jogged past the first couple of doors and rounded a corner. She tied it back into a bun and nodded to test that it wasn't going to fall out. A bright smile eked its way across her face as she started to pick up the pace.

She sprinted across the hall, down the next set of stairs and burst out into the morning air. A shudder as the cool morning air greeted her and she was off. Chiaki climbed the first building that she was next to, the grocers with a smile and took off across the rooftops. There were couriers, ninjas, and other people running the same way she was, and it was an expedient, if not totally original mode of travel now. A jump, aerial pirouette and a soft landing later she rolled to the ground outside of the Administration Office. There was a bustle about the place, even this early in the morning.

Chiaki couldn't help a grin from creeping across her face as she pushed the doors open to, "Oh, right on time!"

"I ah- ahm. I am not late am I?" She straightened her skirt and jacket, looking at the man from head to toe, measuring him not only in prowess but also in style. She had an eye for people who dressed frumpily, even on missions, and she really hoped that she wasn't going to be paired with someone sloppy. She looked around him with a raised brow at the woman who had said, "Right on time" with a quizzical look. She knew she had to be here, but she was hoping she wasn't late for her first ever mission.

After all, she couldn't help not knowing what time the missions were normally handed out.

Word Count:
557


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

3Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:45 pm

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

"Oh, right on time!" Tomita exclaimed as Chiaki walked through the doors, urging her closer with a beckoning hand. Chiaki had expressed that she hoped she hadn't been late and Tomita shook her head.

"Not at all, you had perfect timing. Come, come, I'll start the briefing since you're both here." She said, pushing a small pile of papers aside to make room for the documents that she needed presently. If and when Chiaki approached the desk, she would gesture toward Takao, who towered above Chiaki, standing a foot and some change taller. He had turned to face the desk after she spoke.

He, having been under the assumption that he would be helping hand out missions, had dressed himself in the classic Jōnin ensemble, consisting of black fitted underclothing, the iconic green vest decorated with red Uzumaki swirl insignias, and black combat-length boots, shined and ready to be sullied on a mission. The sleeves of his black undershirt were rolled up over his elbows, revealing the myriad of scarring that blemished his flesh, depicting a war-zone of healed wounds that stretched even over his hands and knuckles. The trousers were tucked into his boots, and two sets of pouches for kunai and shuriken rested on either leg. Across his back, a sheathed tanto rested horizontally behind a pair of heavy hip pouches. Hanging from his belt was a forehead protector, not worn traditionally but rather draped over the belt and hanging loosely.

"Chiaki-san, yes? This is Takao Kimura," She asked, reading the name off the sheet of paper, using the gesture to introduce the two to one another.

"Since this is your first mission, the administration thought it would be appropriate to assign a Jōnin to assist you and offer guidance, so he will be acting as the leader of this mission. This assignment is fairly straightforward, so I'll go through the details now." Clearing her throat, Tomita continued.

"Villagers have reported their homes and businesses being vandalized in the past week; walls have been painted, trash has been thrown around, windows and doors broken, and the like. From what they say, the vandalism is done at night, and the perpetrators are only ever seen masked and definitive descriptions of their appearance haven't been given. They do leave a sort of calling card behind however, which is how we've identified them as a group of individuals committing repeated offenses and not isolated incidents." Tomita sucked in a breath of air and flipped the paper over, continuing to brief the pair.

"These vandalisms happen primarily in the Hashi, Ichi, and Abira districts, but we're unsure if the perpetrators are working close to their own residences or not, so it would be best to question some of the villagers that have been vandalized in that area."

As she spoke, Takao maintained his half-lidded, borderline disinterested mien. These had been hoops he had jumped through before, so the more she spoke, the more he remembered how much of a nuisance the process was. However, it was a great learning opportunity for a greenhorn, so he would endure it for the time being. His hands retreated from his pockets and folded over his chest instead, listening carefully to the briefing despite his blasé demeanor.

"When you have identified and apprehended the criminals, please escort them to the Military Police Headquarters, and they'll handle their incarceration." Tomita's gaze swept from Takao to Chiaki, her warm, practiced smile worn proudly once more.

"Okay! Did either of you have any questions?"

TOTAL WC
+600
1,266

4Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
Chiaki scooted up to the desk, placing her hands on the table and scanning the documents. She nodded when she had been addressed by her name. “Unless there is another chiaki around here, I am Guanyin, Chiaki.” She would nod once again and turn to look at Takao once more. He seemed cool and collected and would be the leader of the mission?

She seized him up once more. He seemed to be a bit older than her, but not by much, she guessed only a few years, and was handsome, but he had scars on his arms which could only mean that he was either foolish, arrogant, or not careful when he was out on missions. The scars were what put her off, not because they were anything unattractive, but because they meant that he had been foolish before. A small sigh escaped her as she weighed her options. She really needed the ryo for the rent that was due in thirty days and she hadn't had a job in a good long while. Alright, she made up her mind, better a reckless leader than a failed mission. And besides, perhaps he was not that reckless after all? These thoughts floated across her face as she listened to the woman.

She adjusted her own forehead protector which was guarding the base of feet neck and brain stem accordingly. It was the quickest way to kill a person and was the only protective gear she had received thus far. A silent gulp escaped her tiny lips as the woman described them. They wore masks like the ANBU, like that man, the one from her graduating class. Takao looked about her age, and she didn't know too much about him. She didn’t know what Takao was like, what his function within the group was, or how much he would be helping. Would she be taking the front seat to the mission or be the backup while he did most of the work. All questions that were on the tip of her tongue, and the edge of her lips before the woman stopped and they all sank back, deep in her stomach and started to ball up there. Her confidence was fading before the woman had even finished her speech and when she was done. What if they failed?

“I -ah… I guess not, but who else is going on this mission with us? “ she asked politely and gave him an ingratiating smile. She didn't really know if the two of them were up up to the task, especially in a village of shinobi. After all, what would they do if they were high ranking? The last thief that she had tried to catch had mangled the hand of the man who had helped her and, much as this Jonin was handsome, she didn't want to add any more scars to his tapestry. Better to play it on the safe side. Maybe he had a friend that would be coming along, or there were others that might help with the mission. She didn’t know exactly what rank this was, as it was her first, ever, mission.


Total word count::
1079


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

5Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:59 am

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

I -ah… I guess not, but who else is going on this mission with us?“ Chiaki asked, seeming to be curious about whether they would be given additional help. He was unsure if it was due to uncertainty that they would be able to complete the task themselves, or perhaps just wondering if there would be other genin like her to socialize with. He noted her glance at his arms and the markings of old wounds that decorated them as well, but thought little of it. Such glances were common and he was used to them. Shinobi wounds were typically healed in minutes by medical shinobi that were assigned to nearly every team and little if any scarring occurred, however his preference for fighting alone left him without such a luxury, thus the wounds stuck as memories; some of mistakes, some as failures, and some as stripes gained from protecting others that he wore proudly-- but mostly the former two.

His gaze shifted wordlessly between Chiaki and Tomita before settling on the latter, mouth parting to finally speak, having been entirely silent after the former's arrival for no particular reason. Tomita had been doing most of the talking with the briefing anyway.

"Just us two, yeah?" Takao half-said, half-asked, directing his attention to Tomita who nodded in response and confirmed his assumption.

"It's only a C-Rank mission. We'll be fine. Anyway, you mentioned a calling card." He said simply, bringing up the glossed over detail.

"Ah-- yes, of course! Whenever this particular group vandalizes an area, they appear to leave behind the name of their ground, the 'Litterbug Gang'. A bit too on the nose if you ask me, but it's made identifying them rather easy." She chuckled.

Takao knew what it was of course, his past dealings with the group made him wise to their antics, but it was information valuable to the mission regardless. This wasn't just a service for the village after all, it was a learning opportunity for Chiaki as well. He had every intention of acting as her back up for this particular assignment and offer clues or hints when the need arose, primarily remaining in the background. Being thrown into the proverbial frying pan was how they learned best, after all. He knew that the men they hunted were fairly violent as well, but that was a facet he would keep to himself.

"Right. We'll get it done and be back in a few hours." Turning mid-sentence, he faced Chiaki fully now and his arms unfolded. He hadn't any intention of spending his day on the trio of vandals, and didn't expect the assignment to run into the afternoon.

"This is your first mission, yeah? It'll be a good learning opportunity, so I'll take the lead at first to give you an idea on how to get started, then I'll step back and let you take it from there. Tomita-chan said that the vandalisms happened in the Ichi, Hashi, and Abira districts, so we'll start by questioning some of the victims in one of those areas-- you can pick which." He said, starting for the door.

"So, where're we heading first?"

TOTAL WC
+544
1,810

6Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:10 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
Chiaki noticed, for the first time, that Takao had not spoken since her arrival, and if the scars didn’t make her nervous his silence certainly did. She saw his gaze shift between Tomita and her, then settling, finally with a bit of a sigh of relief, on Tomita. She couldn’t help but keep the lump out of her throat with a, she hoped, inaudible gulp. Though if his ears worked well enough, he probably heard it.

“Just the two of us, yeah?” His directness startled her. Her mind started to backpedal, perhaps he wasn’t as careless as she had assumed, perhaps he wasn’t as weak either. Maybe he didn’t need protecting. Her eyes flitted between Tomita and Takao before resting on him once more.

As soon as he said that it was a C-ranked mission again, she felt her face grow hot as she flushed a bright red. Oh, yeah, this was supposed to be a cake walk for a Jounin. Perhaps she should have thought of that earlier. It wasn’t like the higher ups promoted someone for nothing, no matter how many scars they had. Her stomach settled in her shoes again, shame washing over her in cold waves of sweat, one after another. First towards his declaration, and then towards the question. She should have caught onto that. Darnit, so much for showing off her first mission. A small sigh and a shrug to herself. Well, this wasn’t going as well as she had hoped, but it wasn’t like she was going to be thrown out for not asking a simple question.

Chiaki snapped back into the moment as soon as she mentioned the “Litterbug Gang” It was actually quite on the nose, and people who were messy irritated her already. She nodded along with the woman and when Tomita chuckled, she couldn’t help but feel a bit of the pressure alleviate itself. Also Takao might be a bit careless when it came to fighting, but she pegged him as a thinker. He seemed to analyze the situation, much as she did before jumping in. She had to admire that. She was a woman of few words, unless she was nervous, as well, and it was refreshing to see someone, roughly her age, that was like her. She put a hand up to check her bun as she thought of something, an epiphany coming to mind in a sudden rush.

“So, uhm… why is this a C-ranked mission then?” She asked Tomita, a little bit for herself and a little bit for Takao, “I mean, usually apprehending kids is left to D-ranked missions, if I am not mistaken? It is taught in the academy, or I think so… It’s been about 9 years since my academy days, so I am a bit rusty on the ranking system.” She offered an apologetic smile to Takao as he asked his question.

“Oh Y-yeah, It’s my first mission. I appreciate you being willing to take the lead as I don’t have my… er… sea-legs as per the saying. I wish that I would have better prepared, but I suppose you’re stuck with me.” Her self-worth showing a bit in the last sentence, “Please take care of me.” She offered the self-same saying that she would to a class of new classmates. Perhaps this could be the bourgeoning of a new friendship? Well, it probably would be decided on by the mission, whether it went well or poorly.”I actually live in the Hashi district, so we should try there. I might be able to get some people that I know to talk about the incidents. I am actually rather surprised that I don’t know about it. I have been training a lot on my own I suppose so there is that.” The last couple of sentences meant more for herself than him, she let her mind wander to the past couple of days, the thief on the rooftops, and the gentleman in the suit. Her attention snapped back as she gave another sheepish smile.

Total word count: 1773


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

7Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:47 pm

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

Takao's scarred eyebrow slowly rose as he watched the range of emotion wash over Chiaki's face, beginning with her face glowing red, then displaying hints of shame, and finally snapping back into reality at the mention of the gang's name. He couldn't help the faint, rumbling chuckle that built in his chest at the wordless shifts in expression and demeanor he witnessed. Although the chuckle itself was unintentional, he did make an honest effort of keeping it from sounding condescending, and decided to address her question that had been directed at Tomita.

"Probably because the mission contractor or the administration expects some degree of combat. When people contract the village for missions, the administration assigns the mission a rank to determine the prospective difficulty or danger. C-Ranks are the baseline for expecting low-risk combat." He explained, folding his arms and tilting his head slightly.

"Normally this type of thing is left up to the Military Police to sort out, but for some reason they're contracting shinobi instead, so we can expect some sort of resistance." His gaze settled on Chiaki, glancing over the apologetic smile alongside confession that it was indeed her first mission, and the corner of his mouth pulled thoughtfully to one side. She didn't seem like the sort to run headfirst for danger, and her claim that she wasn't quite accustomed to the climate just yet made him consider the fact that she might not take well to the chance of danger.

"But, I've done this kinda thing before, so we'll be alright. Keep your guard up and your head cool, you'll be just fine." His hand rose and he gave her head a light pat; it was a wholehearted attempt at reassurance, done to the best of his ability, but perhaps still falling short as the comfort of strangers wasn't his strong suit.

"He is correct. The mission clients are the Military Police themselves, actually." Tomita chimed in.

"Mm... Evidently they're backed up at the moment and can't spare the manpower to go after lesser criminals, so they're contracting the village instead... and according to them, the descriptions they've gotten aren't much to go off of, but they were enough to determine that there are at least two perpetrators, and they appear to be adult males, so we decided upon the 'C' Ranking for this assignment. These men are very likely unskilled combatants and are just bored civilians, so danger should be minimum, but as Hokage-sama suggested, please do be careful." Sucking in a breath after she finished, Tomita reclined against the back of her chair.

Takao's gaze swapped again, settling onto Chisaki from Tomita as the former suggested they begin their search in the central Hashi district. Given that it was primarily residential, the likelihood of stumbling upon the criminals in the act was unlikely, made even more so by the time of day, but he wasn't expecting to run into them by chance.

"Right then, Hashi it is," Takao said mid-turn, his leisurely stride carrying him toward the pair of doors, right hand waving to Tomita on his way out.

"We'll be back soon!" He called out just before opening the doors, one of which was held for Chisaki, and he started south along the main road, heading for the aforementioned residential district.

As he walked, Takao remained silent for the most part, his penchant for vocal reticence leaving his thoughts to wander and his half-lidded expression blank. Far from antisocial, Takao mused that he was more used to being without proper company on missions given his preference to do them alone, and arrived at the conclusion that perhaps it would be best to strike up a conversation with his charge. After all, the walk there would be done in painful silence if neither one of them spoke up otherwise.

"So," He said after a few minutes of silence on his part had gone by.

"You said it's been nine years since you were in the Academy, but this is your first mission, yeah?" Already prying, he decided that he would let his curiousity wander for once.

"That's a pretty long break. What's got you interested in them all of a sudden?"

TOTAL WC
+725
2,535

8Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:25 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin


“I like the low risk thing, that makes me a tad more comfortable, as it is my first mission.” She reiterated, visibly relaxing in front of them both, no longer fighting the urge to fidget. “As for contracting the military police, do you think that we are up to the task? I mean, I have seen some of those people on the military police, and they’re nothing to scoff at.” She smiled at Takao in the most ingratiating way that she could.

She nodded as he said to keep her guard up and her head cool. She usually did both of those things, but as she nodded he patted her head. She shook it slightly, not sure what had happened and then gave an outraged opening of her mouth before the woman chimed in. Swallowing her words and the broken pieces of her pride she settled on a disgruntled stare at Takao. She wouldn’t disgrace herself in front of this woman, but as soon as they stepped outside he would get the sharper part of her tongue. She was not a girl, she was a full grown woman, and she would make that perfectly clear to him. Tomita started to ramble about their mission being a low risk venture, and then she said something that reverberated throughout the room, or it seemed to.

“Hokage… sama?” She mouthed the words and raised an eyebrow in disbelief. Then, speaking up, she reiterated her mouthing, “Hokage Sama? I had heard that we had a new Hokage, but-” She trailed off and bit her tongue, she had no idea what to say in this situation. She had just judged the Hokage himself harshly, and not only that, but she also was going on a mission with the head of her whole damned village! She better do damage control and shut her mouth. She couldn’t believe that this man, who was probably barely older than her had the responsibility of running a village.

What a turn around! She slunk through the doors like a cat that had been recently tossed outside. She had no idea how to approach the situation at hand. It was awkward enough as it was, and as she stepped out into the cool air she noticed something that she hadn’t before, she was so embarrassed that her face felt fevered and she had started to sweat a cold sweat. Great. Now he would probably think she was nervous. Know what? Screw it, she was nervous. The happy Hokage of the hidden leaf village was going on her first mission with her. If she screwed up, she probably would have her academy diploma taken from her, and wouldn’t be able to do any more missions.

Swallowing audibly, she looked at him and then back at the ground beneath her feet. Don’t panic, this wasn’t the time to panic. He was more handsome now that they were in natural light rather than the artificial illumination of the administration building, and she tried to keep her mind from wandering there. A sigh as she scratched the back of her neck, or tried to, the forehead protector rested there, protecting her most vital and unguarded area apparently the sweat had gotten trapped there. She kept an eye out, and her guard up, as he had asked, but she couldn’t help let her mind wander from their task to the fact that the Hokage himself was helping on this mission.

She gave him a quick glance, and as she did so, he split the silence with a question. A rather embarrassing one at that. Should she tell him? Well, why not, she thought, she was in the class after his own. A great sigh came from her small frame, no less woman than that of her peers, but packed into a tiny body. She looked up at him and shrugged in answer before chewing on the question for a good long two seconds. It seemed like years. How much would she reveal to him? He had to have records somewhere, and if he didn’t he could surely get access to them. He was like the general of the village hidden in the leaves, and the council had political power, but he was the might of the village. Anything that he wanted to know would be at his fingertips. She swallowed a lump down and nodded, “It has been nine years because I didn’t know if I wanted to take up a profession killing and harming people. But recent events have necessitated a change in lifestyle.” She gave an apologetic smile, “I only moved a little over a month ago, and I don’t have enough for next month’s rent. So I was hoping to make some money doing missions for the village, and perhaps get a little exercise while I was at it. Actually my mother is a chuunin and a guard for the hospital, and she made me think of the work as a kunoichi. I am a guanyin, so I…” She blushed and turned her head, not looking at him as she soldiered on through the rest of her speech.

“I wanted to maybe advance my medical technique, go back to school and become a doctor. Or perhaps enhance my skills in the advanced stem cell chakra enough to become a field doctor in my own right. If I get good enough at healing people, perhaps I can even open my own business, and protect those that are close to me.” She turned a bright red, her footfalls on the ground louder than she remembered.

“I want to be the best medical ninja the world has ever seen, that’s my new goal. It was… it was actually my boss’... my Late boss’ dream for me. But I wanted to follow in her footsteps. That door is closed, so I must open a new one. I thought I would honor her dreams for me, or at least give it my all in a try.” She hoped that this would help explain her situation, and add her context to the mountain of paperwork she knew she would have on her. After all, all shinobi, no matter the rank, were to be used in case of war. Enlisted with or without consent. Perhaps this would be a good change for her.

“And there is someone who I need to protect others from.” She murmured to herself, though it would be audible for him should he choose to listen or pay attention.


WC: 2869


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

9Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:39 pm

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

"We'll be fine. I trust that the Administration and the MP settled on an adequate mission ranking." Takao said in response to her inquiry about the Military Police. Truthfully, he chalked it up to laziness or something of the like. It was likely such a petty crime that it was cheaper and easier to request the village to do it in their stead than it was to do it themselves. But he would keep that to himself, for now.

His gaze fell sidelong onto Chiaki as she spoke about the title, and his expression stayed neutral watching her trail off and slink through the doors. In the natural light of morning, he could see that the title had thrown her off and made her more nervous than before. The sweat, the rubbing of her neck, all classic signs that did not go unnoticed.

"I'm not the Hokage," Takao said in response after a lingering moment of silence.

"I was the Hokage, a long time ago. The title just sticks."

No matter how much I wish it wouldn't, he mused, gaze straightening and set ahead. It had been nearly a decade now that he'd held the mantle of Hokage in what seemed to be a confusing mixture of a memory that seemed so long ago, yet merely only yesterday at the same time. It was not a particularly fond memory from a time when the Leaf was laced with strife. His teacher's alleged murder, the Gokage Summit that ended in disaster, the memories of his boiling anger that nearly lead to war; all souvenirs from an interesting, conflicting time.

"I'm not a fan of it. It's fine for the current Hokage, but for me, I feel like people judge me for the merit of the title, and not for the merit of my character." Perhaps a personal touch might help quell her anxiety.

"But I guess it's kinda cool at the same time." He added, not so readily sanctimonious that he would dismiss the desirable aspects of having respect that, in his opinion, was not totally warranted.

When she began to explain why it was that she had only just now taken a mission nearly a decade after her graduation, he stayed quiet, his head turned to split his attention between her and the road ahead. As she spoke, he realized that it was not such an easily answered question that was originally intended to merely stave off the potential for awkward silence as they walked.

Her face flushed and she looked away, causing his mouth to curl upward into a slight, lopsided smile at the adorable display of embarrassment. His hands fell idly into his pockets as they walked, his gaze facing forward as she looked away, opting to focus on the road as he listened, catching her last comment about protecting others from somebody. Only after she was done did he respond.

"Being a shinobi isn't a profession about killing and harming, although those are unavoidable facets of the job. It's about protecting others and self sacrifice-- doing the right thing for the people you love no matter what, and fighting in defense of those that can't defend themselves. You've heard of the Will of Fire, haven't you?" He said, head cocked to the side to look at her as they walked. It was not lost on him that if certain companions were with them, they would be rolling their eyes and perhaps mumbling 'Here we go' under their breath, but alas, no such people were with them, and he continued.

"Love is the key to peace. My interpretation of it is that peace for the Hidden Leaf will come from those who love it and its people, and will do anything to protect it. That's what I think being a shinobi is; doing anything to protect the people you love. I would die for anybody in this village, and I would do so with the knowledge that my Will of Fire didn't desert me in the end." Truly, that was his personal belief and interpretation of the Will of Fire. It was not about world peace or something greater; there was no reasonable way to sustain it on a massive world-wide scale. But for the Leaf itself, there could be peace, and he would do anything to protect it, even if it meant burning those that would threaten such a peace to the ground.

Letting his words stew for a moment in his head, he decided to refocus the topic of discussion, and settled his attention on the goal that she had given toward the end of her explanation.

"It's an admirable goal that you have. I believe you can do it, just don't give up and keep trying no matter what" He said.

"The only way to never achieve your dreams is to give up." There was a hint of wistfulness in his tone as he spoke, just a tinge of it in his words, and when he was finished it was gone.

As they walked, their conversation filled the silence of the journey, and before long that had arrived in the Hashi district of the Hidden Leaf. His gaze settled on the buildings; it was residential, so it was nearly all free-standing homes, plenty of duplexes, and some larger apartment complexes scattered about, all with colourful roofs and well-maintained exteriors. Paved streets were bordered by walls and trimmed hedges in most areas, providing privacy for the residences. Countless streetlights outlined the remarkably clean roads and pathways.

"Right, so, we'll get started by questioning some of the villagers that were victim to the vandalisms. I'll do the first, then you can take it from there." Takao explained, his gaze washing across the buildings as they walked, until they spotted an older man on a ladder painting over large kanji letters painted with red paint.

"There's a good place to get started, and I actually know that guy too-- Yo, Ishiyama-san!" Takao called out, approaching the two-story home, and stopping short of the broken white fence. The man was startled for a moment but quickly settled himself, glancing over his shoulder to the pair.

"Ahh, Kimura-san, you scared me!" He said, slowly climbing down the ladder. Cleaning his hands on the paint-stained rag over his shoulder, he approached the two.

"Sorry. Do you have a minute? This is Chiaki." He said, gesturing toward the shorter woman he stood beside.

"We're investigating the vandalisms and I wanted to ask you a few questions." Takao said.

"They have you investigatin' 'em?" Ishiyama said, one grey eyebrow cocked upward in surprise.

"Yeesh, here I was thinking it was just some bored kids. Must be more serious than I thought..."

Takao chuckled lightly, smiled nervously, and shook his head.

"Well, not exactly, it was just chance. Anyway, did you happen to see who did it?"

"Aye, well, sort of. I heard some commotion the other night 'n looked out the window, 'n two fellas in those cheap animal masks were painting up my wall 'ere. I yelled at 'em 'n they ran-- one of 'em tripped up on the fence 'n hurt his leg runnin'. One of 'em was real short, the other was a bit shorter 'n you, 'n they was dressed in all black 'sides the masks." The elderly man said, folding his arms.

Takao kissed his teeth and nodded, storing the information in his memory. His gaze fell earthward to the broken fence, which provided little in the way of evidence, and was mostly just a mess.

"Which way did they run?"

"Down that road 'ere," Ishiyama said, gesturing to the road that ran parallel to his home, down a side-street off the one that Takao and Chiaki had approached from.

"Uyehara down the road 'ere says she gots an idear'a who did it, maybe you oughta talk t'her." He finished, and Takao nodded.

"We'll do that, thanks for the help." Takao said, passing a second glance over the ruined fence.

"How about I give you a hand with fixing the fence at least?"

"Awe, you got yer mission t'worry about. I'll get'ir done, y'aint gotta waste your time 'ere." Ishiyama said, and Takao shook his head.

"Nonsense," He said in response, raising his hand to form a single hand seal. A copy of himself appeared in a cloud of smoke, identical in every way, and stepped forward.

"It's no waste. Thanks again for your help, we'll he heading off now." Gesturing for Chiaki to follow and waving to Ishiyama and the clone, Takao started down the road that the elderly man pointed them towards, and the clone began to help repair the broken fence. After a short walk, they would arrive at the location Ishiyama tipped them off to, and were greeted by the sight of a house slightly larger than the last with a long yard filled with well-maintained grass, a cobbled path up to the doorstep, and several trees scattered around.

"Alright, you saw how its done, now it's your turn."

TOTAL WC
+1,545
4,080

10Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
Chiaki listened to his explanation and it made sense to her. Nodding along with his words she found herself more relaxed thinking about the possibility of protecting those you loved rather than harming enemies of the hidden leaf. She nodded when he asked, but didnt say anything, of course she knew what the will of fire was. After all, the fourth hostage had made it very well known in his lifetime and she knew that the hokage since had carried that torch. It would make sense that this man, the scarred hokage of the hidden leaf would be on the same track as the rest.

As takao talked about his will of fire interpretation, she thought of her own, "It's different for me I suppose, but it is similar. I would do anything for those who are kind, protect, and love. There are those in the village that I do not trust, but that has to do with my past. I am now more reserved than I used to be, but I still help out the leaf. There is a new mission posted on the board that I was going to take after this one. I know the mission's benefactor, doctor hui. Ah, but I'm rambling. The will of fire means to me, to protect the poor, sickly, innocent, and wounded."

When he said he believed in her it floored her, she didn't think that she could, well, not really. What kind of thing did people see in her that made her seem like she had any sort of potential? She shrugged a bit, some color coming into her cheeks again as she pensively nodded.

"The only way to never achieve your dreams is to give up." The wistfulness in his tone wasn't lost on her. Chiaki looked over and blinked, a questioning brow quirked, but stayed another question. They walked past her apartment and into a nicer part of the district. She looked at the larger apartment complexes, hers was smaller and had less space. Someday she might be able to afford something like these, but not until she started to help around the village more, do more missions. Perhaps this was a good start to that.

She nodded to the questioning, “Sounds like a sound plan to me.” A grin bloomed on her face, her eyes squinting for the barest moment. The tension of finding out that he was a kage, or a previous one in fact, was jarring but the shock was over.

Takao called out to an old man, saying that he knew him and when he introduced her she smiled and gave a little curtsey out of respect. She nodded in agreement to her name and to what Takao said, but didn’t want to interrupt. As soon as he started saying that it was more serious than he thought, she chuckled silently beside Takao. At least she wasn’t the only one that thought that the previous Kage wasn’t needed for litter bugs. Oh well, a bit of laughter was a good medicine, especially since she hadn’t laughed in a good long minute.

When he said that they had cheap animal masks, she nodded, well at least they weren’t ANBU. She would have dreaded it if they had been. The man that she was supposed to defend others from was ANBU, and had the whole of his co-workers behind him. He was charismatic, charming, and it was easy for her to fall for him, and fall prey to him. These hooligans, however, seemed to be more to her task. She loosened her shoulders by rolling them and giving the old man a smile.
Real whort eh? She nodded, well, she was real short as well. Perhaps she would actually have a shot at apprehending these individuals without the use of Jutsu. It almost sounded like a caricature of the ANBU the way he was talking about them. Perhaps they were in protest to the man that she had been molested by? She shook her head at his words, but more to shake the thought she had back and put to the forefront of her mind the facts. One decent sized man with a limp, a gentleman that was extremely short, and a fellow who was a bit shorter than Takao. Interesting.

The rest was Takao extending his helping hand towards the man, the man refusing politely and then a bushin popping up and offering to help. He must know a more sturdy version of the Kage bushin no jutsu, as the shadow clones couldn’t really hold anything substantial and turned to mist if anyone so much as breathed on them.

The woman clearly had money, and she recognized the name, sort of, as a woman who had been fed with a silver spoon so to speak since birth. Her father had treated her for the last five years, and she refused to see anyone but Chiaki’s father, Cado, since. Chiaki, however, had not had the pleasure of meeting this woman and so was at a loss for what to say besides that she had received the mission from the administration office and was looking into it.

Her legs felt heavier and heavier as she walked up and knocked on the door with her fist, her small knuckles tapping reverberating throughout what sounded to be a mostly empty home. Then again, her father had said, Big doors, big problems. She hadn’t been in any particularly big homes before, but the one two-story house she had been in was not cramped for space, and had echoed far more than her mother and father’s flat. She straightened her clothing and made sure her hair was perfect before the door opened.

Before even locking eyes with the woman she bowed her head and offered her name, “Guanyin Chiaki at your service. The village of the hidden leaf has me investigating The Litter Bug Gang on the town’s behest with my partner Takao.” She proffered an open-palmed sweep towards Takao and only then did she look at the woman.

WC: 3895


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

11Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:27 am

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

Guanyin Chiaki at your service. The village of the hidden leaf has me investigating The Litter Bug Gang on the town’s behest with my partner Takao.” Chiaki said, introducing herself to the woman who opened the door and greeted the pair. The woman, an elderly woman that stood somewhere in height between Chiaki and Takao although closer to the former, was draped in expensive looking white furs and extravagant clothing.

"Ohh, fiiiiinally! I've been saying for weeks that I know who done it but nooobody would listen," The woman said, her tone dragging words on for extra emphasis.

"Oh it's just ghastly out here-- come in, come in! I'll tell you all about it!" She said.

"Uh--" Takao exhaled, barely able to groan out the start of his protest before the woman hurried out the door and ferried them inside with gentle pushes to their back. Greeted by an ornate foyer with large winding staircases that eclipsed either side of a central hallway and two branching archways to both the left and right, the woman's extensive wealth became very evident within the first few steps into the home. Marble tiled floors stretched on in every direction from wall to wall, large rugs provided a semblance of warmth in the primarily white-coloured home, and everything about it was just a little too 'much' for Takao's tastes. His eyes narrowed into a squint, accompanied by his eyebrows knitting close together as his gaze washed over the extravagant home.

"Alright dears, now listen to this," Uyehara began, pulling the fur shawl closer as she spoke.

"So I come home from visiting my dear departed husband at the cemetery one day and what do I see-- red paint all over the walls of my home! Just a terribly ugly shade and such a horrid job they did, truly, painting some unintelligible lettering so poorly I, try as I might, just couldn't bring myself to decipher it. Now, distraught that my beautiful home was sullied by these dastardly vandals, I tiredly make my way to the Policeman Office and give my report in detail. Surely this is merely the work of unruly youths, mm?" She said, speaking at length on what seemed to be a single breath, yet her voice didn't fade or falter. Takao's eyes squinted just a bit more.

"Think again! I surely thought so, and for a good week or so everything was business as usual, but oh, fate would not be so kind to me. As I return home from my lunch date with my girlfriends-- don't even get my started on them, oh dear, that's an entirely different story-- but as I return home, I'm greeted by none other than the same ugly shade of red and the same lett..."

"I'm starting to realize why the MP didn't want to do this themselves." Takao leaned closer to Chiaki and whispered, his tone little more than a hush in comparison to the ranting woman who continued to speak unhindered and unaware of his comment.

"...ering that I still can't read, mind you, such terrible penmanship these vandals have. Certainly they could at least have tried to make their deliberate acts of property destruction at least legible, but I digress... I return to the Policeman Office, absolutely fuming that they haven't apprehended the criminals, and I demand that they find these hooligans, and what do they tell me?" Clearly flustered, she soldiered on through her monologue.

Now get this, they tell me 'they'll get right on it', word for word what they told me the last time! Now I surely will not sit idly by and allow for my beautiful home to be subject to the perversions of these petty criminals, so I set out to do some investigating of my own! My searches took me to the various paint vendors around the area and now let me tell you, there are some truly run down shops in the adjacent district, I swear they don't even bother to clean their shelves, the dust was palpable." Fanning herself and finally taking a breath, she allowed for no interruptions and continued with her drawn out explanation.

"I question these vendors and I find one whose entire stock of red paint is gone. That vendor? Kunisada's Paints and Supplies in the Ichi District. He says all of his paint was bought up a few weeks ago and he has yet to receive another shipment. Coincidence? Surely not!" Uyehara said, exhaling a loud, audible sigh.

"So, there you have it, your job is all done. Clearly this Kunisada is using his own stock to inflict these horrid acts of vandalism on poor old me. No thank you's are necessary, you need only do your part and apprehend that criminal!" She exclaimed, once more curling the furs around her body.

Takao, whose eyes had clouded and glazed over during the expression, seemed only marginally attentive to the situation despite having absorbed every detail of her needlessly lengthy monologue. Slowly, his gaze shifted to Chiaki. This one was her's to deal with, after all, so he remained wholly quiet and allowed her to take the reins.

TOTAL WC
+880
4,960

12Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:45 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
As soon as the woman opened her mouth, Chiaki had to fight the urge not to roll her eyes. She was hurried inside like it was her grandmother’s house and Takao tried to protest. Chiaki knew better than to either anger, or disappoint the old woman and didn’t need much encouraging to go into the house. Obviously this woman was used to getting her way, and having dealt with people like her in the hospital and in the herbalist shoppe (or rather tea shoppe if she was ever called out on being a hedge witch) she scurried inside and the door closed behind her. The place was expansive, barely an inch without a bit of trim, barely a stitch of cloth without any embroidery, and barely a tile that wasn’t worth almost as much as her flat alone. She tread carefully on the floors and skirted past the rugs. She didn’t want to get any smudges in places where the village, and ultimately she would be held responsible.

"Alright dears, now listen to this," the woman started, and Chiaki brought out a pen and bit of scratch paper. Her eyes moved to the paper, rather than to the things around the woman’s property. Better to not be seen as covetous, rather than attentive to the woman’s story.

She scribbled down that there was red lettering, perhaps paint was bought from one of the stores around here, and they could tell her who the culprit was, rather than having to make inferences from this irritating woman, try as she might, her attentiveness faded as Takao leaned in and conspiratorially whispered in her ear. She couldn’t help but chuckle silently to herself as she scribbled down that she needed to go to the store and see if anyone had seen someone buy or steal, perhaps, paint like this. It wasn’t a great shade of red, and surely someone had to have a clue as to who bought or stole this paint.

She winced as she remembered the adjacent districts were actually worse off than her own district. She actually helped out with the free clinics there from time to time, less prestigious than the konoha general hospital to be sure, but at least she felt like she was doing some good. She actually felt bad because she might be seen as looking down on them by her mindset. Swallowing past a lump in her throat she nodded as the woman called out Kunisada in the Ichi district. She knew of Kusinada, actually, as her parents had bought some of his paint and hired their own flat painted for a fee that was less than the competitors at the time.

He was having a hard time, as she knew, about two years ago, and if this woman’s accusations got around, nothing could keep his business from floundering. Best to handle this with a quick smile. She looked up from her paper and her eyebrows raised. She had extensive experience with dealing with those suffering from dementia, and she would have to use the same skills that she had to help this poor woman, as she was deluded as well. Though, making false accusations and living in one’s own world, far in the clouds and above those of blue-collar work, as much a statue as the inanimate objects that polluted the room. She looked around once more and nodded her head.

“It is a pity that someone like Kusinada-sama would hire people to defile such a lovely place Miss.” She bowed her head to the woman and paused, “I need to follow up with him and apprehend him it seems, as you have done your work for us. Now, these hooligans are considered dangerous, so you should probably stay away from Kusinada-sama’s place for a while at least, lest there be backlash. Also keeping this between yourself and the authorities-” She motioned to Takao and herself before she continued, “would be in your best interest. I don’t mean to silence you in the least, but I want to keep you safe. It is for the best that the Military Police came to us, as they might have had a bit of a hard time on their hands apprehending this criminal band.”

She waved to Takao, “Takao-sama here, is quite experienced, and should be able to take care of these people for you, no problem, but we want to make sure that we ensure your safety above all else, and that of your property.”

She looked between Takao and the woman, “Takao here is a high-ranking jonin within the village, which speaks to the severity that this village takes your request.” She smiled softly to the woman. “I, personally, will return to make sure that you know when the vandals have been apprehended. That way you can rest with the peace of mind that you have been craving.”

A nod to the woman and she would wait to see if there was anything that she required further, other than that before she started to walk slowly towards the door, giving an admiring look to the expansive home, “You and your lovely home have nothing to fear, the whole of Konoha is behind you.”

WC: 4780


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

13Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:15 am

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

This was not his battle to fight, thus he stayed quiet, enduring the lengthy explanation the woman forced upon them without so much as a twitch in his expression. His poker face-- a visage devoid of conventional emotion and the subtle nuances of reaction-- was something he had perfected over the years as a shinobi, and it had come in handy in his ventures. This was but one of many such that he endured, simply falling quiet after his quip as he listened o and absorbed the abundance of information that the woman spewed ad nauseam. Some of it was whining, some of it was irrelevant, sparsely was the information of use, and the remainder was simple, discardable banter. He had absorbed what information he deemed relevant, and there was precious little to speak of, but it was enough to continue the investigation.

Still, he allowed for Chiaki to retain the lead, and stayed silent as she spoke, uttering her attempts at quelling the woman. She did well, he mused, at sating the woman's delusions. Had he not donned his professional demeanor, he might have cracked a smirk, but for now he merely stayed silent. More than that, he knew more about this than he let on. There was little that happened in the village without his knowing. Eyes and ears were in great abundance, and they were always watching, even now he reckoned. Her eagerness to accuse was yet another nugget of evidence that further swayed him against the prospect of vigilantism.

"A travesty!" Uyehara exclaimed, the back of her jewel-ridden hand resting on her wrinkled forehead.

"My late husband, bless his soul, build it from the ground up with his own hands! These... rascals, I dare call them, violate his life's work and his parting gift to me! Goodness, even just imagining the gall it must take makes me woozy..." She swayed for but a moment and caught herself, steadied on a nearby wall in dramatic fashion.

"But a Jōnin, you say?" She said, her eyes slowly looking Takao up and down for an uncomfortably long period of time.

Takao, having been a mere observer thus far, decided to step up, offering response following Chiaki's own statements rather than endure her uncomfortable gaze. They had all the information they would get from her, at least that he could imagine she would give, and thus any more time spent lingering in her presence would be a waste of time.

"You can rest assured that the culprits will be apprehending and brought into custody by the end of the day, Uyehara-san." Takao said, his head bowed just slightly in a polite manner. He had decided that it was time to move on, and it appeared that Chiaki was of similar mindset as the pair made for the door.

"Yes, yes, please see that they are!" The woman said as Chiaki turned for the door and Takao followed suit, shadowing them closely in their departure.

"And thank you, dear. Indeed it is a true marvel, even for the standards of the Hidden Leaf, is it not? My husband had such an irreplaceable eye for this sort-- truly one of a kind." She said, voice dripping with pride, granting them one last parting comment before waving them off and closing the door behind them.

Had he still been indulgent in the unhealthy habits of his past, he'd have pulled smokes from his pocket and relied on their comfort to relieve the tension she had provided him with. But, having bettered himself, he settled for a lengthy exhale and exaggerated lift of his eyebrows.

"Alright then." He said, hands finding their way back into his pockets.

"Next stop is Kusinada's then, eh, Detective Guanyin?" Teasing with the name, a coy smirk built onto his features as he walked, gaze briefly faltering sidelong to her before settling bow-side. He had noted that as the day dragged on closer to afternoon, more of the townsfolk were about, including shinobi, wandering the streets with a myriad of different goals and destinations. Trained ears picked up on and subsequently blocked out the conversations of passersby, uninterested in their day-to-day affairs if they were of no relevance to he.

"Maybe we'll get lucky and wrap it up there." He said, feigning ignorance.

Sure that they were on the same page, his pace took him in the direction of the aforementioned paint vendor, and within minutes of walking, their leisurely stroll had taken them to the outside their destination. It was a two story tall building, walls painted in vibrant colours as one would expect, sporting a large sign to advertise the name of the business that dwelled within.

"This is still your show." Takao said as he reached for the door, holding it open for her. He would follow her inside and, like he did before, remain silent to allow her to take the lead.

When the pair entered, the bell on the door rang, and their presence was immediately noticed by the middle-aged worker behind the counter who greeted them with a warm, albeit tired smile.

"Welcome!" Kusinada said, folded arms untangling from the counter as he addressed the two.

"How can I-.. Ahh, Miss Guanyin!" His tone quickly adopted the warmth of his smile at the sight of a familiar face.

"It's been quite a while, Miss! What can I do for you two?" Kusinada asked, and Takao looked to Chiaki, expectantly.

TOTAL WC
+920
5,880

14Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:31 pm

Chiaki

Chiaki

Genin
Chiaki watched as the woman swayed and steadied herself on the wall, nodding somberly, her face a mask of empathy. She wanted to make sure that the woman was going to be on her side until she at least left the residence. Chiaki was a kind soul, and thought that the woman, probably, had a reason for being so dramatic. Usually people would keep the company that they would because of their upbringing, but more often than not people would actually adapt to their environment. She wondered if this woman was the same, the person who would change her behaviour to mimic those of the people around her. She couldn’t believe that people would actually act like this, but then again she wasn’t part of high society.

The woman gave Takao a predatory look and Chiaki gulped audibly as her eyes took him in like a piece of meat. She instantly regretted saying that bit of information, but she didn’t know how much the woman would stare. Obviously she was a widow, and obviously she was lonely. Perhaps, Chiaki looked at Takao a bit, really looking at him, perhaps she was thinking that she could ensnare him and bring him in as a new husband. The thought brought a bit of color to her cheeks and she couldn’t help but fight a smile. She started to open her mouth as Takao spoke.

She could sense that he was a bit put off, but that he was attempting to be polite. Chiaki had wanted to move on, and so she did. Moving with Uyehara-san behind them, she nodded to the woman’s pleas to catch the culprit.

The pride seeped through the door as she closed it, and Chiaki wondered how much sadness the door held as well, pride and sorrow seemed to go hand in hand with this woman. She felt like she had played the woman, but a lashing out because of sorrow and emotional attachment was not only dangerous to the hidden leaf as a community, but to the justice system as well. She sighed as the door closed, and Takao mimicked her own sigh with a lengthy exhale. She grinned at him and raised her eyebrows to mimic his own.

“Alright then.” She nodded in response to his own Alright then. Sharing a moment with the previous hokage. It was strange, but as much as his title afforded him, he was still just a man. Just another person. She had grown relaxed. Shaking her head she laughed at the name of Detective Guanyin.

“If I’m a detective then you are a kunoichi princess.” She teased. She noticed that there was a new bustle to the town as the day wore on. She hadn’t meant to spend that much time at the woman’s house, but it was seemingly unavoidable. She went over her notes on her notepad in her chicken scratch kanji. She had written, “Kusinada, garish red paint, sold out, perhaps stolen from? Need more information. Ran through two districts to get here. Point of two districts?” She shook her head and scratched the pen’s bottom to her forehead, grumbling something as they walked on.

“Maybe, but I don’t think so.” She frowned, “To be honest, I think that Kusinada isn’t the culprit, but I need to find out first. After all, if it were that simple, she would have been able to take it straight to the courts. Not that I think they would listen to her because of her melodramatic personality.”

The same vibrant colors that she had seen two years ago met her eyes, but something else that she hadn’t noticed then caught them as well. His roof was in need of repair, as some of the shingles had been cracked or completely shattered. His eaves were warping, and it seemed like his windows were getting grimy. She didn’t know why these things weren’t kept up on, and as they entered the store, she smiled to Kusinada. The words “this is still your show” led her to believe that she was on the right path. Otherwise she wouldn’t have been allowed to take the lead.

Kusinada stood behind the counter, seemingly no business in his store, and seemed a bit greyer than usual. His vim and fervour from only two years ago seemed to be leached from him. She noted the dust on some of the less used paint cans. It was interesting that there was a place, she noted in the corner, where that same garish red was missing. There was dust on that shelf as well, seemingly untouched since the paint was taken off of the shelf. Surely there wouldn’t be something there that they could use, but perhaps...

"Welcome!" Kusinada said, interrupting her racing mind. She smiled and dipped her head to the shop keeper.

"How can I-.. Ahh, Miss Guanyin!" He brightened as he recognized her. She couldn’t help but grin back. She didn’t know how to really respond to him before he started again.

"It's been quite a while, Miss! What can I do for you two?" Kusinada asked, and Takao seemed to defer the question to her.

Clearing her throat, she nodded to give herself a bit of a morale boost, here we go.

“Well, Kusinada-san, we are here on shinobi business. This is Kimura Takao. He is a jonin with the hidden leaf that is actually helping me on my first mission.” She felt like she could be a bit more open with the man, as he was a friend of the family’s. She would make sure that she caught the culprits and make sure that they payed for dragging his name through the mud.

“We are here because we heard that there has been some painting on one of the walls of a prominent member of the hidden leaf. Err… our research led us here because the hue of the paint was the same as some cans that were missing from your shelf.” She nodded towards the missing paint from his store. “And I was wondering if you had any idea where the paint could have gone.” She smiled to him, and hoped that her probing would launch him into a story. Perhaps enough of one where she didn’t have to pry any more than she had to.

After all, she didn’t think that Kusinada was the culprit, but rather another victim in the line of the litterbugs.

WC: 5851


____


"Let me take away your pain, Guest"

15Where Litterbugs Lie. Empty Re: Where Litterbugs Lie. on Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:51 pm

Takao

Takao



Where Litterbugs Lie. D6ehE4O

"Maybe I am," Takao said, glancing to Chiaki, his expression and tone unchanged from their usual monotonous neutrality despite the jovial nature of the conversation.

"Looks can be deceiving, you know." Letting a moment of silence befall them, a smile crept onto his features, cracking the hardened façade he wore.

Following that, she voiced her response in regards to his inquiry about their next destination, and he nodded along. Takao hooked his hands around the collar of his vest and hung his arms lazily as they walked, black eyes casting an unendingly scrupulous gaze upon the crowd via peripherals as they walked. After they entered the shop, he remained silent, allowing Chiaki to retain her lead in the investigation.

A frown built upon Kusinada's visage as Chiaki spoke, but after he caught himself doing so, he replaced it with a polite smile. His head dipped to Takao, who returned the wordless gesture of greeting, and both men allowed for Chiaki to continue speaking without interruption. She inquired about the paint that was missing from the shelves and his face drooped a bit once more, his gaze faltering to the ground.

"Well, Miss, the thing about that is... I haven't had red paint in quite some time. Nearly a month in fact." He said, gesturing to the shelves. They were stocked, more or less, sans one spot, where the shelf label proclaimed that no red paint was available or in stock.

"I've tried to order more, but every time a new shipment comes in, it's stolen from the warehouse before it gets to me." Clearly disheartened, Kusinada continued.

"I've had a number of people come in and blame my son and I for the vandalisms but you see, Miss, we just haven't done it. We can't have done it even if we wanted to, we haven't had the paint in stock. I'm struggling enough here as it is, this sort of thing is just driving me into the ground." His hands slowly balled into fists on the counter, frustrated that something so completely out of his hands had such a negative impact on his livelihood.

As Kusinada spoke, Takao's eyes closed for a moment, letting chakra flood into his orbs. When they reopened, the cold, coal-esque hues had adopted a warm, almost burning orange-reddish colour, flickering like a bright campfire. He stared at Kusinada, watching the fluctuations of his body temperature on such a minute level that he could decipher whether or not Kusinada was lying based solely on the heat he gave off. It was an overlooked facet of the Eye of Cinder that he had only just recently discovered himself, and was enjoying the practical applications of it, using it from minor things such as the investigation to more important matters, such as acting as the Daimyō's 'lie-detector' on occasion. Standing with an unwavering gaze and crossed arms, Takao watched the middle-aged man as he speak, disregarding the uncomfortable glance sent his way.

"W...Well, I'm sorry, Miss, but I don't think I'll be able to help. I don't even know where my shipments have gone, much less who might have taken them." Kusinada concluded, his glance flashing nervously between the pair, although the anxiety coursing through him was focused more so on Takao than Chiaki.

Lamenting for a moment, Takao spoke.

"He's not lying," He said, keeping the chakra coursing through his eyes, just in case there was anything else that Chiaki wanted to ask him that might require an honest answer.

TOTAL WC
+605
6,485

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