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1Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Tragedy in Beauty. on Wed May 15, 2019 2:22 am

Takao

Takao



Tragedy in Beauty. D6ehE4O

The administration building was busy this morning, just as it was every morning. Shinobi were eager to fill their days with assignments and their pockets with the rewards, while villagers had come to voice complaints, request their own missions, or any plethora of other services that the Leaf's administration provided.

He sat at his desk, chair turned to face the large floor-to-ceiling windows, and stared lifelessly at the faint reflection of himself that was barely visible in the glass. He grew restless. His talents were wasted behind a desk that he never wanted. If he had his way, there would be a team of assistants at his back taking care of the statecraft whilst he put his skills to proper use. Even if they were willing, he hated sending shinobi that whose wellbeing he viewed to be his responsibility into battle. The skirmish in the Frost Country was enough to turn him off of the idea entirely.

Takao stood, tucked both hands into the corresponding pockets of his black shinobi slacks, and stared out across the bustling village. He wouldn't spend another day rotting away in this office. His assistant would protest and he would ensure her that she had things handled, just as he did every few days when he found himself too stir crazy to sit still. He knew which task he'd be taking on as well. It would take him away from the village, which he wasn't particularly fond of, but the plea was desperate enough for him to justify it. He called for his assistant, and when she arrived, he began to explain the situation.

"I'm taking an assignment," He said bluntly. "The Heiwa murders, and I'm leaving immediately."

"But-- Hokage-sama, wouldn't it be better too..." The petite woman said, her voice slowly trailing off. He could tell that she knew that her attempts to change his mind would be fruitless, yet still felt duty-bound to try anyway.

"I've been sat up in this office for days. I'm going stir crazy. At least this way I can do the country some actual good." He lifted his flak jacket from the back of the chair and pulled an arm through. "Plus, you handle the administrative side better than I ever could. I don't have anything else to do, so you're not getting more work."

The woman puffed out her cheeks, silently protesting but not bothering to translate her contest into words. Instead, she huffed, hugged a small stack of papers close to her chest, and pouted.

"There is one thing I need you to do, though. Have any women requested a mission yet today? Preferably young, pretty... the sort you'd see in a fashion show." It was an odd request, but it tied into the odd nature of the mission.

"The murders are centered around fashion show contestants. I need somebody that'll fit in."




Takao stood on the platform of the Shinshigai station, where the train tracks branched in every direction out the southern gates. He had the assistant organize for his mission partner to rendezvous with him there, for the trip to Heiwa was a long one. It would be easier and much more convenient for them to travel by train, and it gave him the opportunity to explain the situation a bit better than his assistant's debriefing. The midday sun shone brightly overhead, casting its late-spring warmth across a scarcely clouded deep blue sky. He stood with his hands in his pockets, wearing a half-lidded, blasé expression on his face.

At a glance, he was dressed in typical Jōnin regalia but hued a touch darker, yet one would notice the kanji embroidered on his back in red thread, reading '13' and denoting his line in the prestigious ancestry of village leadership. With laced boots on his feet and thick gloves covering his scar-ridden hands, it was clear that he'd come prepared.

The train slowly eased its way onto the platform where it would rest for a short period. A skeleton crew of passengers departed and the train sat empty for a time as the workers examined the cars, checked the couplings and links, and performed the small bits of maintenance that they did between each trip.

wc

720 | X

2Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Wed May 15, 2019 5:21 am

Sunadokei

Sunadokei

Genin
When Sunadokei awoke that morning she would never in her wildest dreams have guessed this is where she would end up. Her missions as of late had been... less than interesting. She'd been forced to take a day off for paid leave for a mandatory psychological evaluation, been sent on numerous patrols of the city, most nightly shifts. Worst off all though were the petty tasks that amount to menial labor, like mail courier duty and rescuing lost pets. It was demeaning, low paying, and worst of all, boring work. Sunadokei understood she was still technically a Genin, but she was more than qualified to be a Chūnin. The only thing standing in her way was the formality of the Chūnin Exams, which she had regrettably forgotten to sign up for during their last competition. She silently vowed to rectify this injustice at her earliest convenience.

Sadly though, that day was not today. After a modest breakfast of two dozen pancakes, several pounds of smoked bacon, and a full tray's worth of biscuits the buxom Akimichi beauty was ready to greet the day and claim whatever fate destiny had laid out for her. So wishing her mother goodbye and telling her siblings to do well at school, Sunadokei headed off towards the Administration Building where she was scheduled for new assignment. Rather than walk, or run, Sunadokei preferred to roll when she was in a hurry. One Human Bullet Tank later and the spherical kunoichi was rolling down city streets taking up a full lane of traffic. Nimble enough to make sharp corners, and stop on almost a dime if need be; aside from terrifying people with the sight of a three meter wide rolling purple boulder, Sunadokei moved easily throughout bustling morning traffic.

Bouncing over an ox cart and making a sharp right at an intersection, the rotund woman rolled her way into the Hokage Plaza, already bustling with morning activity. She dispelled her jutsu in a poof of smoke, returning to her normal, albeit absurdly curvaceous figure just in time to not get herself wedged in the revolving doors of the building. Sunadokei had done that been for, and the repair work to the bent door frame had come out of her following mission's payment. Nowadays she was more careful with her capacity for destruction, it was easy to forget her kekkai genkai manipulated both size and weight, the later of which grew exponentially in comparison. Square-cubed law was simultaneously the Akimichi clan's best friend and most annoying nemesis.

Rolling her way to the Administration Building as a three thousand pound wrecking ball moving at a speed faster than a horse in full gallop did wonders for working off breakfast, so naturally Sunadokei simply had a second one. There was a small cafe in the building's lobby, a vital source of coffee for overworked and underslept village administrators arriving to work. Sunadokei ordered herself a dozen muffins of various type, had them placed in a to go back, and happily devoured them on her way up five flights of stairs to the Mission Assignment Desk. She let out a sigh, wishing she'd opted for a baker's dozen instead as she tossed them empty bag in a trash can. The line toward was rather long, and though Sunadokei wasn't presently assigned to a team it didn't make things go any faster when she was finally up to the plate for a mission. Standing in line she waited patiently, listening as the mission proctor for the day spouted off an assignment about escorting some bridge builder to the Land of Water. It sounded infinitely more impressive than what she was likely to get saddled with, which was probably another round of patrol duty.

As the line shrunk and it was almost Sunadokei's turn for assignment, an irritated woman clutching a thick stack of paperwork nearly bust through the door. The petite woman had her hair tied up in a bun, bookish spectacles resting on her nose, and a soft scowl on her face. She stepped into the room in a huff, heels clicking on tile floors immediately commanding the attention of otherwise bored shinobi. The proctor eyed her with some concern, then resumed his explanation on the importance of this bridge for trade and goodwill between the Land of Fire and the Land of Water. Meanwhile, the Hokage's Assistant cleared her throat, inspecting the small crowd of shinobi, and began to speak. "If I could have your attention." She said in a sharp, mousy voice trying to sound authoritative. "The Hokage has a special assignment, and has requested I find a suitable volunteer. Someone who can pose as a fashion show contestant, so a young woman, preferably with an hourglass figure and knowing Takao-sama, incredibly large bre-."

The woman trailed off, eyes locked on Sunadokei's titanic bust as the Akimichi woman stared back at her bright eyed and jubilant like a child on Christmas. "You, what is your name miss." The assistant asked, stepping closer to inspect Sunadokei. The curvaceous kunoichi had several inches and if she had to guess, at least eighty pounds on this woman. All of it in her curves if their two figures were the comparison.

"Sunadokei Akimichi!" Sunadokei blurt out her name, almost as soon as the assistant's question left her mouth. "I mean.. Sunadokei Akimichi, ma'am. Eldest daughter of Makaro Akimichi, the twenty third head of the Akimichi clan, and the heiress to his name." She was rocking back and forth on her heels, radiating visible excitement at the prospect of doing some special mission for the Hokage.

The assistant looked her over again more closely, eyes hanging enviously for a second at the vast valley of cleavage exposed at the top of Sunadokei's kimono. "Yes, you're perfect for what Hokage-sama is looking for." The assistant then turn, stepping over to the proctor's desk to speak with the man. "Could you tell me what miss Akimichi's rank and current mission assignment is."

The proctor nodded in agreement. "Yes, of course one moment. Team ten, you are dismissed. Your squad captain can cover any details I might have missed. Seems I have more important matters to attend to." With that the shinobi squad headed out, and the proctor turned to rifle through his own stacks of paperwork. "Let's see, Akimichi...Akimichi... thank god it's always towards the top. Suna-Sunadokei. There it is. Genin, D-Rank, proficient in Taijutsu and Ninjutsu, Earth and Fire release proficiency as well. Seems we have her lined up for... A, Sewer Patrol Duty. Must have drawn the short straw on that one."

Sunadokei's hair stood on the back of her neck. There was a sewer patrol? For what? Alligators? Who in their right mind would willingly take up that mission? Maybe an Aburame, they liked bugs and other gross things she reasoned. What cruel god did she anger to get saddled with that mission. The Assistant though, would prove to be her salvation. She unfurled a mission scroll and passed it along to the proctor. "You'll have to reassign that to someone else, I will be taking miss Akimichi for the special assignment on that scroll. Understand?"

The proctor scratched at his chin, nodding in agreement. "Understood, I'll get the records changed at once. Now, if you two could take this Hokage business elsewhere, I have a lot of squads left to assign and you're slowing down the process." With that he drew a brush and dipped it into his ink well, carefully changing the ledgers to reflect the sudden circumstances. "Team fifteen, if you'd step forward. I have a B-Rank Mission for you..."

The Hokage's Assistant nodded in agreement. "Of course, sorry to inconvenience you." She motioned to Sunadokei to follow her, who was still wide eyed and now further excited by the fact her sewer patrol duty had been reassigned. "Miss Sunadokei, if you could please escort me outside." Not waiting for an answer the assistant stomped off, heels clicking once more against hard tiled floor. Sunadokei was naturally compelled to follow her, hurrying outside after her as the two made their way down the hall to a less busy section of the floor. "I'm happy to have your cooperation..." The assistant said, trying very hard to maintain proper eye contact. "I was asked only to find someone who looked like they'd attend a beauty contest, but you more than fit the Hokage's... personal tastes. He has a marked preference for women who are, how do I put this eloquently. Dummy thicc..." The Assistant paused, looking visibly annoyed at the words she'd spoken. "That is his phrase, not mine. Regardless, you fit it to the letter, exceed it really."

Sunadokei just blinked, slightly confused but still incredibly eager. "Well, you're not the only one who's called me dummy thicc lately. The phrase really seems to be taking off. Hmm..." She thought about it to herself for a moment. When had that expression gotten popular? It was always men who used it, she still preferred to refer to herself as curvaceous, or better yet voluptuous. Not that it mattered much, and it brought a smile to her face knowing she fit the Hokage's no doubt high standards in women.  "Anyways, what was this special assignment the Hokage had for me?" Sunadokei asked, she was eager to get down to the details of this mission, she'd never done one like it before.

The Assistant adjusted her glasses slightly, trying to avoid blushing at Sunadokei's repeating of that stupid phrase. "The Hokage is... particularly fixated with a certain ongoing case. The Heiwa murders, have you heard of them at all?"

Sunadokei rubbed at her chin, thinking to herself. "I think there was something in the papers on them, but I don't read the newspaper much. Sorry, I'm sure my mother would know. She has all the latest gossip." This was true, and Kikyo Akimichi's web of contacts and gal pals was a veritable Surveillance Ops team in and of itself. No bake sale, potluck, or company picnic escaped the woman's knowledge.

"Well it's quite simple." The Assistant stated, disinterested in learning about how much of a gossip the matriarch of the Akimichi household is. "A number of beauty contest contestants have been gruesomely murdered. The Hokage only asked that I find a woman who looks the contest going type, who will be assisting Kimura-sama on this mission personally." The Hokage's Assistant spoke calmly, as she rummaged through her paperwork for the mission scroll copy for Sunadokei.

The same calmness could not be said for the curvaceous Akimichi woman. Sunadokei looked ready to burst with excitement, her smile was wide enough it could blind someone if it caught the sunlight just right. "REALLY?" Sunadokei said, barely able to contain herself. "I'd be on a special assignment with the Hokage himself? Lord Takao Kimura? The Dragon Sage? OhmygoshIcantbelieveit." When Sunadokei's tenure as a Genin began, Lord Rippa was still acting Hokage, but since his retirement Lord Takao had taken his place. Sunadokei had never met the man personally, but held an intense fan-girling towards him none the less. The Hokage was after all, the acting leader of the Hidden Leaf village, and the earpiece to the orders of the Daimyō of the Land of Fire himself. Sunadokei, having been raised with an intense sense of duty, purpose, and a great reverence for those of authoritative positions was now beside herself with anticipation.

The Assistant seemed taken aback by this display, and scowled a bit. "Yes, you would be working alongside the Hokage in field work. I tried to dissuade him from this, but when his mind is made about these things he refuses to take 'no' for an answer. So you will be working alongside side him personally, and myself and the shinobi council will handle village administration in the meantime. Understood?" Sunadokei didn't respond verbally, too busy biting her lip and nodding her head. The assistant then retrieved the scroll to hand to her. "Here is the actual assignment, drafted by the hand of Kimura-sama himself. It details your rendezvous location, includes a set of round trip train tickets, and has all your relevant mission details. I suggest you pack for urban travel, you'll be gone a few days at a minimum."

Sunadokei took the scroll as if it were the commandments of God itself, unfurling it and reading through its contents ravenously. It even had the Hokage's personal wax seal on the parchment, rather than the generic seal of the Mission Assignment Council staff's. When she finished, Sunadokei rolled the scroll up and carefully tucked it away securely in between her deep valley of cleavage. The Hokage's Assistant seemed mortified by this display.

"Did you really just do that miss Akimichi?" She asked questioningly, pointing to Sunadokei's chest. Even from up close it was impossible to tell she was hiding the scroll between her bosoms.

"Do what?" Sunadokei asked innocently, thinking nothing of it. She'd stuffed dozens of Mission Scrolls in her cleavage over the years. It was the most accessible storage place for her, and was second nature at this point.

"Put that scroll in your... bust. Do you not have a better place to keep it? A pocket maybe?" The Assistant said irritably, now visibly flustered.

"Oh, that. I dunno, it's a force of habit I guess. And nah, I like putting them in here. Makes it easy to hold onto and no one is going to be able to steal it off me." Sunadokei's tone grew slightly annoyed for the first time since they met, she didn't like her cleavage being insulted like that. She assumed the comment was born out of envy.

"Fine, well. Do as you wish then, it's your assignment." The petite woman said with a huff, causing Sunadokei to grin with the satisfaction of victory. "If you have no further questions I must be off. I will be swimming in paperwork by morning with Kimura-sama departing."

"Nope, no further questions. I'll head out too, I have packing to do. I'm super excited, I've never met the Hokage in person before." With that the two women parted ways, one to return to a cluttered office and towering stacks of paperwork. The other to go buy celebratory donuts, stuffing her face at the cafe before heading home a half hour later looking several cup sizes more well endowed than she had prior. Sunadokei informed her mother of the special assignment, and the elder Akimichi hugged her tight into a smothering embrace. Sunadokei made for her bedroom to pack her things, while her mother prepared her a special to-go lunch of her favorite foods. A hour later and the young Genin was heading off towards Shinshigai station, duffel bag at her side and dozen barbecue beef brisket sandwiches neatly wrapped in a large plastic container in her free hand.

Sunadokei arrived at the station, having her ticket stamped at the nearest terminal and making for the nearest platform. She'd never ridden a train before. The steam locomotive was a modern marvel of technology. By burning large amounts of coal in a boiler, the steam produced by super heating water tanks near the wheels propelled the hulking steel vehicle forward. It could easily outpace a horse, and outpaced ox carts and wagons by a factor of twenty. Dozens of cars could be affixed to the engines, allowing for very efficient mass transit of people, goods, and materials over long distances. Kohana had the first, and likely most extensive rail network of the greater nations. But even then, trains were a rarity other than in routes to the major cities and ports.

Sunadokei studied the platform, eagerly wolfing down one of her sandwiches as she looked for the Hokage. One would think he'd stand out more, given he was quite literally the most famous shinobi in the village. After a minute, Sunadokei spotted him, standing there watching the engineers inspect the rail cars in his flak jacket and shinobi attire. Sunadokei felt slightly under dressed, sporting only her trademark purple kimono. The Akimichi kanji for 'food' emblazoned on the back in crimson. She had amended her outfit in the name of modesty, adding a cloth wrap around her bust and midsection, to slim her figure a bit and make her chest seem a bit less expansive. It was failing in its task but at least covered up much of her cleavage. Sunadokei down the last bite of her sandwich, swallowing with it her nerves and taking the plunge as she strode up to the Hokage.

As she approached Sunadokei cleared her throat, so she could formally introduce herself. "Hokage Kimura-sensei." She stated calmly, though the nerves could be heard in her wavering voice. "I am Sunadokei Akimichi, eldest daughter and heiress of Makaro Akimichi, twenty third head of the Akimichi clan. I am humbled to meet you." She added, giving a short but formal bow, which always exposed a very generous view down at her cleavage for those taller than her. She continued speaking as she rose back up. Brilliant verdant eyes locked on the Hokage's gaze. "And I am beyond honored I was selected for this special assignment. I promise to do my village, and you proud, and complete this task as swiftly as I am able." This concluded her normal formalities, and the butterflies in her stomach then growled loudly in demand of more food. "Oh, one second." She said, blushing heavily as she reopened her tupper ware.

Sunadokei withdrew a second sandwich, and began rapidly devouring it in a matter of seconds before licking her fingers clean. When she was nervous, she ate, and Sunadokei Akimichi was currently extremely nervous. She would be working side by side with the leader of her entire village, one of the strongest shinobi in the whole world. It was almost too much to take in, which is why she took in more food instead. Her gaze wandered back up to Takao's, and she smiled as she swallowed. "Would you like a sandwich while we wait for the train to board us Hokage-sensei? My mother packed me lunch. They're smoked beef brisket slathered in Akimichi honey glazed barbecue sauce. It's a family recipe. I promise you'll love it." Makaro Akimichi had always taught his daughter one very important thing, food was the fastest way to friendships. Wars had been fought over food, and every human no matter how mighty or how poor had to eat. Offering another food was a kind of basic, primal kind of generosity that transcended culture or greed. The Akimichi clan were gregarious and generous, in spite of their well deserved reputations as gluttons. And Sunadokei Akimichi was far from the exception. "You can have the biggest one if you like." She added, Lord Kimura-sama was very tall after all... and very handsome.



Word Count: 3,280


____

CHARACTER | JUTSU | LOCKER | STATS | TRACKER
Missions:| D: 5 | C: 2 | B: 0 | A: 0 | S: 0 | SS: 0
Specs:
Taijutsu Legendary - Ninjutsu C
Elements: Doton S - Katon A
Posting Color: #642493

3Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Fri May 17, 2019 9:27 am

Takao

Takao



Tragedy in Beauty. D6ehE4O

Although his attention was locked on the workers as they set about their routine examination of the train, his mind wandered elsewhere. The task ahead of them wouldn't be especially difficult, nor did he believe it there would be much risk, but involving a genin in anything with any semblance of a chance that they might get hurt left him itchy. His weight shifted from one foot to the other and his arms folded across his chest. Black eyes gazed lazily from left to right, keeping a constant casing of the platform out of sheer habit. Even at home, in the place he was perhaps most safe, the deep seeded, battle-tested paranoia dwelling within him was as active as ever.

When he heard somebody approach to his right, his gaze wandered sidelong, and the sight was certainly unexpected. When he'd required a girl that fit the description of young, pretty, and could 'fit in' with a fashion show, perhaps his assistant had gotten the wrong idea, or maybe she'd just gone overboard. Takao certainly hadn't expected the figure of his mission partner to be quite so curvaceous. But Heiwa was a melting pot of beauty, and there were more busty models there than not, so as much as she would stand out, she wouldn't look so out of place. If anything else, she would draw plenty of attention, which is just what he wanted.

Sunadokei introduced herself as such, an Akimichi although he gathered that much by the way she ate, and declared herself the first daughter of the clan's head. He held great respect for the great clans of the Hidden Leaf, and the Akimichi especially. While the other great clans had all been involved in some level of controversy, even the esteemed Hyuga, the Akimichi's record was clean, and they'd always been faithful to the Leaf. A polite, albeit lopsided smile pulled at the corner of his mouth and he dipped his head slightly.

"Pleasure to meet you, Sunadokei. I'm Takao Kimura." He said, his introduction paling in comparison, but he'd never been much of one for using titles. He hadn't such an esteemed background either, the Kimura had been with the Leaf since the beginning, but they strayed away from glory in favour of deep-dyed loyalty. "Kimura" was a common name to see carved into headstones in the cemetery.

Very little managed to slip past the scrupulous, cold gaze that Takao held. She was nervous, he determined that much nigh immediately, and ate to quell the anxiety, though it didn't seem to be working particularly well. Perhaps it was the size of the task ahead or the potential for risk that made her so anxious.

"No worries," He said as she opened her tupperware and devoured the sandwich inside. "I'm not sure how much Tomita told you about what we're doing, but we'll be staying in Heiwa for a few days. I'll give you the rest of the briefing after we board. Shouldn't be too much longer." His gaze faltered from her visage for a moment and settled back on the train's nearest car. The workers were wrapping up now, shouting to one another as they checked the final items off their list. The massive iron stallions that the Fire Country held monopoly over were still new, very new technology, and hey hadn't quite worked out all the kinks just yet. Given how popular it became with civilian travel, safety was a growing priority.

She spoke again and his attention lazily turned back to her. Everything about him seemed quite lethargic and exceedingly calm, even the speed his body moved and the way his heavy-lidded eyes shifted their gaze. In contrast to the nervous Sunadokei, it must have seemed like night and day. She offered him a sandwich and Takao, knowing perhaps as much about the Akimichi as they did themselves, if not more, was in no position to deny himself the pleasure of their cuisine.

"Well, I'd be an idiot to pass up an Akimichi family recipe." His smile warmed, betraying the deep monotone of his voice.

She offered him the largest sandwich and his scarred eyebrow rose just a touch, not so much out of suspicion but pleasant surprise.

"I get a special Akimichi sandwich, and I get the biggest pick?" He said. "That's very generous of you. Thank you."

Steam billowed from the train's smokestack and a loud whistle sounded. A conductor further down the line shouted and the car doors opened, allowing the small crowd that had gathered to board. At a glance, they were the only shinobi boarding, which wasn't particularly unusual. Takao was an oddity that preferred the comfort of traveling by train, whereas most shinobi still moved on foot. They were faster to do so, but Takao wasn't in any particular hurry, and it gave him the opportunity to brief Sunadokei while enjoying food and drink. The more expensive tickets came with a nice selection of whiskey, and he was a connoisseur.

"Looks like we'll have to eat on board," Takao said as he turned, moving toward the rear cars, where the luxury cabins were to be found. "We're sitting back here."

Offering the uniformed man posted at the door a pair of tickets, Takao and Sunadokei would be permitted inside. The cabin inside was lined with luxurious padded front-and-back facing seats, carpeted floors, curtained windows, and private tables that seated four. The wide cabin had a manned bar at the front off to the side, which was perhaps why Takao chose a table near the bow of the cabin.

Once boarded, seated, with an iced glass of 18-year aged straight single malt in front of him and an offer extended to her to order whatever she'd like for the trip, Takao removed his flak jacket and set it on the seat next to the window beside him.

"Before I start monologuing about the mission, how much do you know already?" He said, lifting the glass of whiskey to sip from. "I don't wanna bore you with details you already know."

wc

1,045 | 1,765

4Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Fri May 17, 2019 12:48 pm

Sunadokei

Sunadokei

Genin
Sunadokei nearly exploded from sheer excitement when Lord Kimura-sama spoke back to her. "The pleasure is all mine Hokage. I know exactly who you are. I've admired you for a long time." She hoped that didn't sound creepy, but it was the truth. Takao Kimura was the Dragon Sage after all, a man who had made a pact with beasts of legend. His Fire Release was the stuff of legends, and the stories claimed even the heat of a volcano could not burn his body. Sunadokei was besides herself and her cheeks grew flush from embarrassment. She snapped back to normal, mostly, when he changed the subject back towards their mission at hand. "Tomita?" She asked questioningly, mind still jumbled from her hero worship.

"Oh! OH! Your assistant!" Sunadokei exclaimed, bumping her forehead protector with the palm of her free hand. "Right, sorry I'm just... just nervous is all. She never gave me her name... she was a very serious woman. She just told me that she needed someone young, attractive, and the 'beauty pageant going type' for a special assignment from the Hokage himself. I happened to be in the right place at the right time." Sunadokei took more bites from her sandwich, giving herself plenty of time to think. The great steam engines discharged a jet or heated steam from themselves like dragon's breath. The iron horses prepared and ready for their next leg of their voyage. Sunadokei quickly swallowed and continued her story. "It's kinda funny actually Kimura-sama. At first your assistant made it sound like you just wanted an attractive woman for unspecified reasons. I couldn't help but feel like I was getting roped into some crazy sex thing for the Hokage."

Sunadokei cringed at her own words, she wanted to curl up and die. She played it off as best she could, shifting her tone to be more professional as she discussed the subject of their mission. "Your assistant mentioned the Heiwa murders, and asked me if I knew anything about them. I told her I just knew the major details, I don't read the papers much. Something about beauty pageant contestants being brutally murder, and no leads into a suspect. I was informed I would be traveling you to Heiwa for the duration of our mission together, posing as a contestant and effectively being your bait. I only hope I can fulfill my role ably by your side, and do our village proud Hokage-sensei." Her somewhat inspired speech concluded Sunadokei promptly devoured a celebratory sandwich, it barely lasted for four bites before it vanished into the black hole that was her nervous stomach.

It was hard for Sunadokei to ignore the Hokage's casual disregard for seemingly everything. He seemed to move about existing in a state of dulled attention, like he was perpetually in a morning fog from just waking up. His nonchalance with regard to his surroundings, the slow, seemingly bored manner in which he moved about. Was he truly this disinterested or was this a clever ruse? Some way to mask his movements and betray his true abilities? Sunadokei couldn't hazard a guess, taking a bite of a new sandwich as she mulled it over in her head. She nonetheless smiled warmly when the Hokage accepted her gift, beaming proudly at her took her sandwich in hand.

"We Akimichi have a saying Kimura-sama. 'Let them remember us as generous, lest they only see us as gluttonous.' I was raised to also share with those less fortunate then myself. My clan comes from plenty, we've only known plenty. So we make sure to give plenty. We don't flaunt our wealth like the Hyūga clan, or stow it all away like the Aburame. No, offense to the other noble clans..." Sunadokei left out one noble clan, one she felt not worth mentioning. The Uchiha had made their bed and now history had told them to lie in it. They were little better than a distant memory, a collection of wandering descendants of the greatest traitors in Kohana's storied history. They did not deserve the title of 'noble' clan, not anymore.

"Anyways, I know you'll enjoy the sandwich. I could eat them all day... but I only packed twelve..." Sunadokei lamented, noting she'd already eaten through half her stockpile. Her mother had only intended them to last her through lunch, there was little sense packing a 'realistic' amount of food for an Akimichi to eat in their travels. Far simply just to send them with a fat stack of ryo to buy out whatever local vendors suited their fancy. These were just one last going away treat, given to the young woman by her doting and affectionate mother. She lamented she was unlikely to eat anything near as good for the rest of the duration of their mission.

The whistle sounded, distracting Sunadokei from their conversation. She followed along after Takao like a lost puppy dog, handing the conductor her ticket as he stamped it with his hole punch. "Right, I can eat on board." Sunadokei said as she followed him towards the rear cars. "I could eat anywhere, honestly." She immediately felt stupid for saying that, groaning internally. Just because she could doesn't mean it was worth saying. There was more to her than food, but she was so stressed from the special assignment and being working alongside the Hokage it was all she could think about. Another sandwich disappeared by the time the two reached their seating cabin.

Sunadokei handed over her stamped ticket to the train employee, the man smiling warmly and tipping his hat. She slide into her seat opposite Takao, feeling quite small, literally and figuratively. Firstly, Takao was physically much taller, and she was of barely average height for a woman. Secondly, as he took off his flak jacket she again reminded herself he was Hokage, she was Genin. Sunadokei didn't have a fancy black ANBU jacket with additional trimmings due to her rank and status. She had an old standard issue flak jacket her mother once wore. She didn't bring it, it was more for sentimental purposes. It sat collecting dust in her closet, but she used to put in on and pretend she was an elite shinobi heading out on a dangerous high profile mission. She became lost in her day dreams for a moment, awakened by the sound of Takao pouring himself a drink.

The Akimichi woman raised an eyebrow, taking a fresh bite of a new sandwich. She had only two left, and she silently regretted giving the Hokage the big one. "You're drinking, on a mission?" She asked questioningly, trying to sound polite. "I thought the three vices a shinobi was to avoid on a mission was alcohol, gambling, and women?" An ever devout student, Sunadokei was by the book as can be. She figured law and order was maintained only by clear sets of rules, and the best way to maintain that order was to rigorously uphold those rules. She herself had never once drank on a mission, to her drinking was a social activity enjoyed among friends and family over a hearty feast. She finished off her sandwich eagerly as the Hokage replied, listening carefully to whatever his explanation was. As he finished he asked her about what she knew of the mission.

"Only what your assistant told me, the things I covered earlier." Sunadokei replied quickly. "Heiwa district, beauty pageant murders, unknown killer or killers, local authorities stumped. She also gave me this." It was then Sunadokei nonchalantly wiped her fingers clean with a napkin, and reached a hand down into her generous cleavage. A moment later she retrieved her Mission Scroll, which she had kept unassumingly hidden n her bosom since she first tucked it in there several hours ago. "It's a Mission Scroll, classified as Special Assignment and stomped with your personal seal. I assume one of your two wrote it up." She unfurled the scroll, it now smelt slightly of her lavender perfume from its long time in cleavage captivity. "It has locations, addresses, information on the victims, it also had my train tickets and the address of the hotel we'll be staying at." Sunadokei's tone was confident once more, though the butterflies in her stomach saw to that. She reached for her last sandwich, wishing she had dozens more. It was easier to focus when she was eating. Some ninja chewed gum to help concentrate, well Sunadokei Akimichi went the extra mile.

"That's everything Lord Kimura-sama. I mean, Hokage-sensei. I mean... what do you want me to call you?" She asked, taking a nervous bite. "I usually just got by Sunadokei myself, though my friends call me Suna. My father calls me 'princess' but that's just him." She wanted to smack herself at that last comment, it just sort of slipped out. Get your nerves together Sunadokei, she growled to herself in her head. "And please, I don't think you'll bore me with the details. I'm flying dark here, over my head, working with the Hokage himself. I'm a lowly Genin working side by side with the Dragon Sage himself. Nothing you say could possibly bore me." Sunadokei said as she placed her now empty tupperware container back into her bag and poured herself a glass of water. "I'm all ears, monologue away."



Word Count: 1,660 | Total Word Count: 4,940


____

CHARACTER | JUTSU | LOCKER | STATS | TRACKER
Missions:| D: 5 | C: 2 | B: 0 | A: 0 | S: 0 | SS: 0
Specs:
Taijutsu Legendary - Ninjutsu C
Elements: Doton S - Katon A
Posting Color: #642493

5Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Sat May 18, 2019 8:56 am

Takao

Takao



Tragedy in Beauty. D6ehE4O

"Well, I'm flattered." Takao said with a polite smile. It wasn't uncommon for him to receive praise for merely holding the title of Hokage, and much less for accolades he held actual pride in. Granted, he usually kept such accolades under lock and key, so it didn't bother him.

His scarred eyebrow slowly rose as Sunadokei explained the situation with his assistant and the apparent miscommunication, however brief that it was, that lead Sunadokei to believe that the mission was more sexual in nature than it was. Or, perhaps, that their partnership for the mission had sexual undertones. His dull black eyes considered her for a moment before slowly drifting off to the side, half-furrowed brows and heavy lids about all the more expression on his face.

"I... thought that she might miscommunicate that. It was a bit of an odd request though..." He said, quietly wondering if some aspect of it had been clear for not better articulating his intentions. "That's my bad. I'll have to be more careful with how I word things moving forward."

He couldn't help but chuckle at her description of the Hyūga and the Aburame. Both accurate descriptions, in his opinion. The Hyūga were practically royalty in the Hidden Leaf and they sure as shit made it seem that way. On the flip side, the Aburame were an enigma. Years ago, at the peak of Takao's rampant paranoia, he had done his best to learn everything about every clan present in the Leaf, and more importantly, create contingency plans on how to eradicate them if need be. The Aburame had been exceptionally difficult to find intimate information on.

After they boarded and seated each other, she began to question his choice to drink on the way there, and he smiled cheekily. Reclining against the train seat let him find a more comfortable, relaxed position as he drank from the whiskey again.

"You're very right, but a few glasses aren't going to affect me any. Plus, it'll be later on in the day after we get there. We won't be doing anything major until tomorrow. Today, we're just sorting out the living situation for the next few days and getting familiar with the town." He said, sipping from the glass before holding it by the rim in his left hand. That part was due to be explained in the briefing he would give, but it was harmless that he let the information slip now.

Just as he was preparing to give his explanation of what they'd be doing after they arrived and in the few days to come, he watched her pull a mission scroll from her cleavage. The tension that held his mouth closed fell lax but only slightly, and a monotone 'Huh' escaped.

A few moments after they finished boarding and the workers had gone through the various carriages, another loud whistle sounded, this time dampened by the cabin walls, and the lead car began to pull forward. Each of the cars followed, one after the other, pulled by the couplings that linked them. It was a relatively smooth ride, all things considered, as they started south toward Heiwa.

"Takao works just fine," He said, finishing off his glass right after. "It's what I try to get everybody to call me. With varying degrees of success."

"Anyway, like I said. We'll be arriving in Heiwa later today to sort out our living situation. As much as I'd like to wrap this up quickly, the next show isn't for a few days. Which is where you come in, but I'll get to that in a minute." He said, slowly pouring himself a second drink over the ice in the glass. "We'll be going as civilians. There's only a small shinobi presence in the town as a result, so we don't need go raising too much suspicion of ourselves right off the bat. There's a small festival going on right before the show, so we'll have some downtime to enjoy the town while we're there too." The Hidden Leaf wasn't the only settlement in the Fire Country that loved their festivals. Heiwa was the closest thing to a party town that the country had.

"Day two, we'll be going to the police station and getting the case details from them. After that, we'll be investigating a few of the crime scenes. The Tracking Division was already sent through to check for chakra signatures, but they won't be finished with that until after the show, so it's likely there would be more victims, and we're gonna try to prevent that." He finished pouring as he spoke and took a small sip off the top.

"Day three is the show, and that's where you come in. If you're okay with it, I want you in the show. You'll, uh..." He paused for a minute, kissing his teeth as he pondered how crass he would be.

"Well, your... assets will be important in drawing attention. To you. Because then the killer will come to us, I mean." He found himself getting flustered at the prospect of actually articulating his plan to use her body to their advantage, and thus he shrouded the growing embarrassment with a nice, long, hearty drink of whiskey.

"Which reminds me, actually. Give me your hand for a moment."

wc

920 | 2,685

6Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Sat May 18, 2019 11:05 am

Sunadokei

Sunadokei

Genin
Sunadokei blushed heavily when Kimura-sensei made a point about how his assistant Tomita maybe have grievously miscommunicated the nature of this assignment. "I was worried you were looking for a concubine or something is all. I... don't actually know your romantic life." She added, rubbing a hand along her arm as she averted her gaze. "I know the supermarket tabloids call you Kohana's most eligible bachelor though, they rank you higher than the Daimyō's unwed sons." There was a pause as she let her words sink in. "I don't buy those rags... I just skim them when I wait for the cashier to finish my checkout." Her words soft-spoken as she struggled to find the confidence to get her point across. Sunadokei desperately wished she had yet more sandwiches to eat.

The Hokage even chuckled at some of her jokes, which did wonders to alleviate stress from the young shinobi. She had built this larger than life image of the man in her head, it was difficult to chip away at the statue she'd erected in her mind to reveal the truth of the man underneath. Lord Kimura-sama was so reserved, laid back even. Not nearly as severe as Hokage Rippa had been, he had an easy nature about him that she almost had to assume was at least partially a facade to make his enemies lower their guard. She certainly didn't approve of it though, in fact finding it rather agreeable. It reminded her a bit of a laid back member of the Nara clan she once held great feelings for. The loss of her first love still stung heavy in her heart. Sunadokei was always looking to fill the void with something more permanent than food.

The curvaceous kunoichi listened with great intensity as her Hokage explained his thoughts on alcohol during a mission. "So we have most of the train ride as leisure time then? And you're not concerned about alcohol?" Sunadokei said, bright eyed as a thought raced into her mind. She grabbed her own iced glass, planting it on a coaster and grabbing the same bottle of malted liquor that Kimura-sensei had been drinking from. She poured herself a tall glass, filled to the brim in amber liquor. Sunadokei set the bottle back, took a deep breath, grabbed her glass carefully and tilted her head back as she downed its entire contents in one long gulp as if it were an over-sized shot glass.

Setting the glass back down with a clink, she wiped her mouth daintily with a napkin, as if nothing had transpired. "I needed that." Sunadokei admitted, cheeks going rosy red again, though flushed again from embarrassment and not from alcohol. The Akimichi clan had markedly high tolerances for alcohol, owing to their fast metabolisms and of course their kekkai genkai. Though Sunadokei was a featherweight compared to the likes of her father when it came to drinking, she still far exceeded the tolerance of most men she had met in her travels. "A little something to take the edge of Hokage. If that's ok with you." She added the last bit sheepishly. "I promise it won't be a regular occurrence, I'm more of a social drinker, it's less fun without company to enjoy it with. Not that I don't enjoy you though! I mean, you're fine, but we're on a mission is all." Her brain was screaming abort, and she shut herself up rather than embarrass herself further.

Sunadokei eyed the Hokage give his first real display of unplanned emotion since they'd met. His jaw falling open and a soft 'huh' escaping his mouth as she pulled her Mission Scroll from her cleavage. The woman battered her long eyelashes, giving the tall shinobi a pursed lip stare as she reached her hand back into her cleavage compartment. "Get used to that Hokage-sensei, you'll find I keep all sorts of important things in here. Things I don't want any grabby hands pickpockets or enemy shinobi easily retrieving." With that, Sunadokei proceeded to retrieve her kunai, several shuriken, her coin purse, her set of Three Colored Pills, and tube of chap-stick from within her cleavage. She nonchalantly cupped her heavy bust, bouncing it lightly in her hands, lovingly readjusting her top after the rude intrusion of her hand.

The voluptuous woman let her Hokage inspect her assorted items, before gathering them up and carefully tucking them back away in between her bosoms one after another until all vanished from sight. Last but not least was the mission scroll, unneeded if Takao was to explain in detail himself. It slipped in easily and Sunadokei lovingly patted her enormous bust as she finished her task. Not a moment later she felt the lurch of the train as the engine began to pull on its heavy train of coaches with all its might. It was a wonderfully smooth ride, ignoring the initial jolt. Steel laid tracks were far smoother to travel along than an ox-cart or stagecoach along a winding brick road.

"Sorry about that Kimura-sensei." Sunadokei said, still blushing a bit but now beaming with pride. "I am rather proud of my womanly assets, and I make good use of them whenever I can. My mother says a woman's body is her deadliest weapon after her mind. My father says don't listen to your mother, that order is reversed." Sunadokei added a teasing wink, then listened as the Hokage told her to simply address him by his first name. She furrowed her brow slightly, but gave a short nod of acknowledgement. "Alright Kimura-sensei. I'll do my best to refer to you as Takao from now on." Even her promise itself did not actually adhere to her promise, it was hard for Sunadokei to forsake formalities.

Sunadokei sat patiently and listened as the Hokage explained the rest of the details of their mission. She nodded along in acknowledgement, verdant eyes locked on his amber gaze, not wishes to miss a single detail. The whole time the train rumbled along the tracks, moving through the lush forests that surrounded the hidden lea village. The minimum number of trees necessary had been felled to make way for the railroad, and the tall canopy of trees nearly blocked out the skies above. To the animals of the forest the great steel locomotive was a black demon, charging through their home belching smoke and steam like a dragon of old. Deer and elk could be seen on occasion fleeing into the brush, and squirrels and birds headed for the safety of the upper branches of the trees.

Sunadokei waited for Takao-sensei to take another drink from his glass before she spoke. "I have never been to Heiwa, but my father and mother have. They both say it is a lovely village, if not a rambunctious one. I have many suspicions several of my siblings were conceived there on weekend retreats, the dates line up far too well." She felt stupid asking her next question, but the heiress in her felt compelled to. "So you keep mentioning these living accommodations. Will we be staying in a nice hotel? I'm used to boarding houses and seedy inns when I have to travel across the country for missions. Somewhere nice would be a welcome change of pace."

The woman's eyes lit up when she heard the word 'festival'. "A festival? Really!? I love festivals, I hope there's plenty of food. Do you think I can eat as much as I want? Or is that gonna give away my kekkai genkai and out me as an Akimichi?" Sunadokei looked slightly saddened by the thought of that. "If there's any eating contests, I wanna win them. Do you think they'll have carnival games? Will you take me to them? We could pretend to be a couple, you're totally my type. I hope you like short curvy girls." Sunadokei immediately covered her mouth, going red faced realizing what she said. Without hesitation she poured herself another glass, once more downing it in its entirety. Her nerves were not nearly taken off edge enough for her liking.

The effects of this alcohol were more immediate, and Sunadokei couldn't help but grin wryly when Takao for once began to stumble over his words. "And I'll what?" She asked teasingly, realizing what he was trying to imply. "My 'assets' are very important for drawing attention." She said lustfully, cupping her massive breasts and bouncing them heavily in her hands. If Takao was eyeing them carefully, and his eyes were fixated it seemed, he'd be able to see the slight outline of perked nipples beneath the purple silk kimono and the heavy cloth wrap beneath. "I'll draw all the attention in the room. I'm used to it, I've seen a show stealer ever since puberty. I'm sure a man as smart as yourself can see why."

Sunadokei let go of her chest with a heavy bounce, her left hand still idly feeling up the side of her bosom as she extended her right hand on Takao's request. The table was actually too wide for her arm to reach him, well, normally. Her right arm extended in length until her hand reached the far edge of the table. "Is my hand big enough?" She asked sweetly, "If you want I can make it bigger. If you're doing something precise." Her hand then expanded out, until it had the dimensions of a baseball catcher's mitt. It took no seals or jutsu to perform such minute use of her Calorie Control, a fact she made use of whenever it convenienced her. Like reached the tallest shelves of the cupboard. Or changing light bulbs in her bedroom. Sunadokei was nonetheless eager to see what the Hokage had in mind for her,



Word Count: 1,750 | Total Word Count: 6,690



Last edited by Sunadokei on Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 am; edited 1 time in total


____

CHARACTER | JUTSU | LOCKER | STATS | TRACKER
Missions:| D: 5 | C: 2 | B: 0 | A: 0 | S: 0 | SS: 0
Specs:
Taijutsu Legendary - Ninjutsu C
Elements: Doton S - Katon A
Posting Color: #642493

7Tragedy in Beauty. Empty Re: Tragedy in Beauty. on Sun May 19, 2019 12:51 am

Takao

Takao



Tragedy in Beauty. D6ehE4O

Takao's scarred eyebrow slowly rose. He paid very little attention to things like tabloids, opting to keep up to date through the whispers of his administrative staff or the papers that circulated more imperative news about the village.

"Konoha's most eligible bachelor." He said, and the cold exterior of his face finally broke down as a wide, warm, lopsided smile built across his visage and a deep, hearty laugh rumbled in his chest. He tried to take a drink but couldn't settle himself down for another minute of laughter, even as it died down to a throaty chuckle. "I can't believe that. Somebody's just trying hard to get on my good side."

Finally settling himself down, Takao ran a hand down his face, the unexpected smile lingering on his face. He drank from his whiskey and shook his head. Ridiculous. Solely a product of his title. He'd never heard of such things before he retook the mantle and he likely wouldn't hear them again after. Not if he could help it at least. Flattering as it was, it felt disingenuous from a source that hardly knew him before he held office.

Sunadokei poured herself a glass after realizing that their first day in Heiwa and the trip there was a 'free day' to enjoy themselves, and he watched, entertained by the size she'd chosen. With ease, she managed to down the entire glass, earning a pleasantly surprised expression from Takao. He didn't think to speak at first, merely admiring the complete absence of difficulty in her downing the whiskey.

"You know, as impressive as it was to watch you down that like a shot," Takao said, lifting the half-full bottle of whiskey and using it to slide her empty glass closer to him. "The allure of eighteen-year old whiskey is slowly savouring the taste." He popped the top and slowly poured the whiskey over the ice in the glass until it was halfway full. When he was finished, he slid the glass back to Sunadokei, topped off his own, and lifted it toward her, offering a toast.

"Cheers." He said whether or not she returned the gesture, and drank slowly from his glass. The liquid didn't stay in his mouth for long before Sunadokei was pulling out a small loot haul from betwixt the mountains on her chest. He spat off to the side and coughed several times, his composure fully broken from sheer surprise.

"You--" Takao hesitated. "You keep a kunai in there? And shuriken?" He was staring at her cleavage with furrowed brows and widened eyes now, shamelessly of course. "Just... just in there? Won't you hurt yourself? How do you not hurt yourself?" The corner of his mouth tugged upward, not in a smile per se, but an expression of partial confusion and disbelief. The fact that she was fondling herself a moment later quickly dawned on him, and his face flushed crimson red when he caught himself staring. His head shot to the side, occupying his gaze with the passing scenery.

"It's, uh... s'fine." Takao cleared his throat, gathering the shattered remnants of his composure to clumsily piece back together. It was beginning to dawn on him how unaccustomed he was to forward women.

Thankfully, she pulled the conversation away and toward something that he could focus himself on. He managed a smile and set his drink down. "Call me whatever you feel comfortable calling me. I'm not all that concerned about it at the end of the day, it just seems to help people feel a bit more comfortable around me when we're on a first name basis. Don't you think, Sunadokei?" He tested the use of her first name quite casually, eager to see how she reacted.

He listened quietly to her when she spoke about her siblings and inquired about the living situation, and at the admission that she was used to living in less-than-ideal locales when she embarked on missions outside of the village, a faint grin grew.

"We're staying at the Matsuzaki. It's the oldest inn in Heiwa, owned by the same family since it was built. Easily the nicest place in the entire town. Very luxurious. You'll like it." He was excited to show her the place he'd stayed at only once before, but fallen in love with during that brief stay. "I forget the name of the festival, but they have one for the entire week leading up to the show. Lots of games, tons of food, especially some special stuff from the Lands of Tea and Noodles. They're so close after all, it's a great opportunity for commerce."

His arms folded on the table that separated them and he chuckled lightly at her flustered state. It was endearing to watch the way she worked herself up after letting herself ramble, but he didn't particularly mind.

"'course I do. Short girls are universally adorable, that's just a fact of life, and every guy likes curves. We're genetically predisposed to be attracted to large breasts and wide hips." That was besides his own personal attractions to the aforementioned features. He cleared his throat. "Also, posing as a couple was more or less my idea for keeping our cover. We'll fit right in... for the most part."

Takao's black eyes were naturally drawn to movement, and when she bounced her bosom again, his cheeks grew warm and he audibly swallowed. The protrusions in the fabric were noted as well. Thankfully, he was saved by her hand stretching out. He watched as her hand grew effortlessly as she extended it across the table, a product of the Akimichi's unique brand of techniques. His studies into the manner in which their techniques worked had allowed him to produce similar energy-manipulating techniques, though not to the same effect nor effectiveness. He'd never seen it done up close, so he watched closely.

"Normal sized is fine. I'll say now that I don't like the idea of using you as bait. If I thought I could do this easily by myself, I would've done so. But, I need your help, which is why I'm giving you this." Takao said, taking her hand in his. It was much smoother than his, which was rough and calloused, and not blemished by the banded scars that ran across his palm and digits. Takao poured chakra from his hand into hers, pressing his thumb firm against the middle of her palm. A red swirl appeared and grew a tail facing Sunadokei. It looked quite similar to the symbol of the Black Ops. The symbol was quite small and easily concealed as it faded into her skin.

"This is my Will of Fire." Takao said. His hand slid from hers and rested on the table between them, further explaining the purpose of the mark he left on her. "It acts like a catalyst for me to use techniques through. They won't hurt you at all, any negative effects will fall back on me to endure."

As an example, Takao focused chakra in the palm of her hand, using the seal as a catalyst and focal point. The chakra grew dense and swirled, soon becoming visible as a spinning ball of pure, light-blue chakra. The momentum of its rotation, violent and wild yet completely contained within the floating sphere of chakra, whipped up a slight breeze in the train car, moving the curtains and loose hairs on their heads. Takao reclined, letting her feel the dense power of 'Rasengan' for a moment longer before he let it fade. He lifted his drink, sipped from it, and rested his arm across the back of the seats. It was Takao's first time field testing that seal. He developed it after the ordeal in the Frost Country, fully realizing that some situations requires the help of others and that was unavoidable, but he would do everything in his power to protect them.

"This way I can be sure you're safe. If we're ever separated or preoccupied, I'll use that to put another seal on your body that'll let you release one of my techniques at your own will. Just be careful if it comes to that. I don't specialize in precise techniques." He couldn't tell her exactly which technique might be at her disposal for he simply didn't know himself. Whatever he thought would be the most useful in the situation that presented it would be what he inscribed onto her skin, but techniques that didn't boast wanton destruction were a scarcity in his repertoire.

"I won't allow a repeat of what happened in the Land of Frost. Not if I can help it." The solemn tone his voice fell toward followed his gaze. The mission was a pyrrhic victory, at least in his eyes, though it felt more like a defeat. They had succeeded in what they set out to accomplish, but the injuries inflicted onto others were his personal failure. He should've listened to his gut and done it all himself. It was a mistake he wouldn't repeat.

"Anyway. We're free to enjoy the festival as much as we want, so feel free to indulge to your heart's content. I'm sure they'll have a few eating competitions, but you'll have to beat me if you're gonna win 'em." He said, a lighthearted, jovial tone returning to his voice.

For a moment, he was silent, his eyes studying Sunadokei closely. There was plenty he wanted to say. He wanted to apologize for letting her get injured on a mission that she never should've been part of. He wanted to apologize for staring at her chest as well, it felt a touch rude even if she was flaunting them rather shamelessly. He drew in a slow inhale, let it build in his chest, then exhaled in a huff, ultimately deciding against bringing down the mood unnecessarily.

"You look good, by the way." He said, realizing immediately how it sounded. "In good health too, you know? Since the mission. How's your recovery been? I wanted to visit, but the Daimyō needed to meet with me, and by the time I got back you were already let out."

wc

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