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Kashizudoto

Kashizudoto


S-rank
Kashizudoto had not been to the Village Hidden in the Leaves in years. It was ironic; after rising the ranks so quickly, from genin to jonin in mere months, he had completely burned out and retreated to the wilderness for years, allowing some of his peers who he had once rushed past in terms of ability and rank to catch up to him - or potentially even overtake him - as shinobi. He couldn't help it though; he had seen some quite frightening things during his time as a shinobi, and his training in senjutsu under the Raikage Sanosuke Flynt gave him the perfect excuse to escape life as a shinobi and become a sage sitting under a big tree in the middle of nowhere in Hi no Kuni. He ended up befriending the nearby villagers and had lots of fun getting to know everyone in the village, but after years and years of living a calm, laid-back life as a sage, he decided that life was not worth living if it didn't scratch his itch for growth and adventure. It was time to return to the shinobi lifestyle.

But he couldn't just jump back into ninja life; after having gone MIA for years and years without a single peep - having not even sent a message from his trusty messenger hawk - he needed to catch up with the administration and explain himself. By now, they must have assumed he was dead or - worse - that he had gone rogue. His disappearance must have been especially upsetting to the village elders, who had just named him one of the sannin about a month or two before his disappearance. Of course, he figured that the title had already been stripped away from him by now, given his absence.

A lot had changed in the village since his absence. For one, it appeared that there was a new Hokage in town, as he had heard people referring to the "Jundaime" Hokage. He wondered what happened to the old Hokage, Kenta Inuzuka, who Kashi had always liked because he was rather lenient with him and personally encouraged him to keep pushing himself as a shinobi. He was sure that if Kenta was still around, he would understand Kashi's situation, but he wasn't quite sure if the new Hokage was as lenient. Leaving the village - and that, too, on a whim - was quite a serious offense, and he wasn't sure whether returning to the village was even a safe move for him. But, still, he had tired of being a sage. It was time to return to the life of a shinobi.

He had earlier sent his pet messenger hawk Hawky ahead of him to relay his return to the administration. Hawky returned, bringing back a time and date for an appointment with the Hokage. Kashizudoto wondered what this Hokage had on file of him. Certainly, he imagined, the Hokage’s file would include his name, age (18), his rank, and his former title and probably would have a record of the missions that he had undertaken: 2 D-rank, 7 C-rank, 7 B-rank, 7 A-rank, and 4 S-rank missions. Most of these missions were taken abroad: in the Land of Earth, while Kashizudoto was staying there accompanying the Hokage on a diplomatic trip, and in the Land of Lightning during the Kumo-Kiri war, where Kashizudoto undertook a few missions for a fiefdom within the Land of Lightning known as Buma's Manor and sent back to the village a firsthand report of what had happened in the confrontation between the Mizukage Solstice Ayakashi and the Raikage Sanosuke Flynt. Kashizudoto had spent so much time abroad, in fact, that every one of his promotions except for chuunin had to be relayed to him by messenger hawk.

The only other notable thing he imagined would be on his file was be the rate at which he was promoted. Certainly, there were some prodigies who had been promoted to jonin at the mere age of six or seven, but being promoted to jonin at the age of 13 was still a rare feat and one that Kashizudoto had taken great pride in until his burnout. Nowadays, he looked back upon it and felt that it might have been too much too soon, but he wasn't quite sure of it yet. He could only be sure of one thing, and that was that he was still grateful for the powers he possessed.

It was time for Kashizudoto's appointment, and he appeared in the Administration Building right on time. The secretary directed him to the Hokage's Office, and he stepped in.

"Greetings, Lord Hokage," he said, "My name is Kashizudoto Sarutobi."

WC: 784



Last edited by Kashizudoto on Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:59 pm; edited 3 times in total

Takao

Takao


S-rank
The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] D6ehE4O

Dull, coal-black eyes stared clinically at a stack of papers laying untouched on his desk. He would spend the rest of the day going through it all, trying to focus, failing more often than not, and only finishing the stack after hours of tedious work. Each day, every day and without fail, there would be a new stack on his desk. It was a tireless task to run a village, and he scarcely thought that the responsibility should have been his to begin with. The only requirement for being Hokage was to, in the simplest of terms, 'be the strongest'. That title hardly required administrative knowledge and political tact.

Bottomless black pools lifted at the sound of his door opening without a knock or warning. His scarred eyebrow lifted, then both brows furrowed. They usually knocked, it was only polite. A young shinobi stepped in, looking to be in his late teens, with black hair and brown eyes. He regarded Takao with a formality and announced his name, but spared Takao the purpose of his entry. Takao sat for a short moment, expecting something to follow, but when nothing did he responded.

"Kashizudoto Sarutobi." Takao repeated. His words escaped amidst an exaggerated exhale, bordering on a sigh, primarily from exhaustion and forthcoming fatigue. He would've liked to spend the rest of the evening alone, moping over the mountains of work still left untouched, but life was scarcely so benevolent. The name sounded familiar, to some degree, likely read off a report or a record at some point. Takao's memory was a fickle beast, trace remnants and pieces would linger for years after his consciousness consumed them, even if they had long since lost their relevance. Reclining in his chair, his arms folded and he pondered the young shinobi for a moment. The tiredness in his eyes was blatantly apparent, dark rings had sagged his freckled countenance, and half-lidded eyes viewed the world in perpetual placid tranquility.

"What can I do for you?"

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335 | 335

Kashizudoto

Kashizudoto


S-rank
The Hokage uttered Kashizudoto's name. He looked quite tired actually, perhaps exhausted by all the paperwork his desk job now demanded. It seemed that the role of Hokage, given to the strongest shinobi in the village, was rarely given to those who actually wanted to sit at a desk all day and run the village from behind the front lines. But it was essential to have a strong, renowned shinobi to run the village, as it projected strength to the other nations and provided an extra layer of defense for the village in the case of attack.

It was now Kashizudoto's task to explain to this Hokage, who he had never even spoken to before, why he had scurried off all of a sudden after his work was done in the Land of Lightning and why he proceeded to live in what was essentially the middle of nowhere for a period of five years. He imagined that he might have even been labeled dead - or worse, missing - after being gone for so long and without any notice. He did this all on a whim five years ago; having burned out after seeing unimaginable things - and that, too, as such a young kid, he determined finally that he would never ever go back to shinobi life. As such, he figured that not informing the village was for the best; he was worried about what their response might have been to Kashizudoto simply calling it quits. So he retreated to a sort of penance in the wilderness, and what did he find? That he wanted to return to shinobi life not because it was just or even satisfying but because that's where he belonged and being away from shinobi life simply gave him a nagging feeling that he just couldn't shake off no matter how much meditation he did.

"I have an appointment with you scheduled for this time," he said, then inhaling a deep breath before giving the explanation he had been dreading, "I came here because I have been away from the village for a long period of time, and I need to explain myself. Years ago, I was sent to the Land of Lightning, where I sent intelligence reports to Konoha about the status of the Kumo-Kiri war to your predecessor Lord Kenta Inuzuka and undertook some additional missions for a client organization known as Buma's Manor. My last correspondence with the village administration was sent during the final confrontation of the Kumo-Kiri war, where I relayed information about the Mizukage Solstice Ayakashi's deception. I hope this information was of value to the administration."

"But after that, as you might know, I disappeared off the record," he continued, now a little nervous, "I was only 13, and during my time as a shinobi, especially during some of my missions in the Land of Lightning, I saw some horrible things that at the time had me absolutely frightened. During my time in the Land of Lightning, I also accidentally had an encounter with the Raikage himself, Lord Sanosuke Flynt. Though I revealed nothing about myself, I have a feeling he had a clue about where I was from or even potentially why I was there. However, for some reason or other, he decided to take me under his wing anyway and teach me senjutsu, the art of drawing chakra from the nature around you and using it to strengthen your own techniques and replete your own energy."

"But," he continued, almost choking on that word from his nervousness, "Because of all I had seen and the fact that I was just a kid, I had no intention of using senjutsu to become a greater shinobi. I wanted out, and I suppose senjutsu was the perfect excuse for me to leave. I scurried off the wilderness of the Land of Fire and spent the rest of my days as a sage. It was a selfish and immature decision, and I think I knew it. But I just wanted to get away. I was scared and young, and I had seen my life and that of someone I loved almost erupt in black flames. I was scared and so embarrassed about being scared that I failed to even inform the administration at all about my leave."

"For quite a while, it felt satisfying to simply live my life studying, meditating, and socializing with the nearby villagers," he said, "But I think that, over time, I realized that the shinobi life was simply what I was meant to do. I'm not scared anymore, and I'm older now. I want to be a shinobi again."

He paused and looked down a little bit, "I accept any punishment you have for me, Lord Hokage. My absence must have been cause for serious concern, and I am truly sorry." But then he took a deep breath, raised his head up, and in a fleeting moment of boldness, he declared, "But I want to be a shinobi once more. I'll even start over as a genin if you want me to!" He looked down again. He did not typically make such assertive declarations or raise his voice beyond a loud whisper, but he had just done both all of a sudden, and now he was a little embarrassed.

WC: 1686



Last edited by Kashizudoto on Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:00 pm; edited 2 times in total


____

The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] SC5MjRQ

Character | Jutsu | Items
Relationships | Storyline


Jonin | ANBU Captain | A-rank
D: 2 | C: 7 | B: 7 | A: 9 | S: 4

Takao

Takao


S-rank
The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] D6ehE4O

Another individual was returning the to the village after an unannounced absence. His expression didn't change despite the growing annoyance bubbling in his head, festering like an old, untreated wound. Scarred digits danced a dull rhythm of taps against the surface of his desk. Dark ponds focused without wavering on Kashizudoto. If he was watching closely, he might have noticed that when Takao's hands stopped moving, there was not a hint of movement throughout his body. He sat perfectly still, like a statue made of stone, waiting for him to finish speaking.

Takao hardly looked interested when Kashizudoto finished. He heard plenty of excuses and attempts at shrugging off the responsibility of his actions. He noted a common mistake in these returning shinobi during their appeals for sympathy, they always incriminated themselves in ways that he couldn't predict. He hardly needed to look into them directly. Kashizudoto said he had sensitive information and then claimed that one of the old Raikage had taken him in. Given the rising tension between the two villages, it very suspicious, or at least Takao thought so. Finally, he ended with admittance to accepting whatever punishment he gave. Of course, he knew the teenager wouldn't submit to execution, even if it was the traditional judgment for his crime.

"The punishment for desertion is death. Seldom are there exceptions." Takao said when Kashizudoto finished. He was sure that the young shinobi already knew that. He stood from his desk with great reluctance and moved around to lean against the front.

"But I'm not in the mindset of the reckless execution of assets. Instead, as punishment, you'll do something for me to prove that you're capable and trustworthy." His arms folded at his chest and his cold black pools sat unwavering on Kashizudoto.

"If you're not interested, we can end this here." As he spoke, dark black smoke leaked from within his throat, seeping out alongside his cold words. Light built in the back of his throat as if fire was ready to burst from inside.

"Decision's yours."

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350 | 685

Kashizudoto

Kashizudoto


S-rank
As Kashizudoto offered his explanation (though it might have been more accurate to call it an excuse), the Hokage looked on with what essentially amounted to a blank stare, with an expression as solid and unmoving as the one carved onto Hokage Rock. Like most who were trained in the sage arts, Kashizudoto could usually sense the life forms around him. Something about what he sensed of the Hokage's life form seemed to change as he began to offer his explanation; he couldn't pinpoint exactly what sort of change he was sensing, but it was disturbing, almost intimidating, to the boy, who had already been dreading this explanation since the minute he decided to return.

It was apparent from the Hokage's response that he was very different from his predecessor Lord Kenta Inuzuka. While neither seemed to care too much about niceties, Lord Kenta Inuzuka was rather lenient with his shinobi and seemed, at least to Kashizudoto, to be the type to allow his shinobi to mostly do as they pleased as long as they weren't hurting anyone or giving Konoha a bad reputation. It was to his understanding that, during the reign of Lord Kenta Inuzuka, the village turned a blind eye certain shinobi who had defected from the village and/or committed crimes that landed them in Konohagakure's Bingo Book. He was sure that the former Hokage had his reasons; perhaps these missing-nin served a purpose to the village in some form, or they had been expelled for unjust reasons. In any case, it was politics as usual, and Lord Kenta Inuzuka seemed to give these shinobi the benefit of the doubt.

This guy, on the other hand, seemed, at least to Kashizudoto, to to be taking defection more seriously than his predecessor, and what made this all the more apparent was his obvious anger, which leaked from his throat in the form of dark smoke. Cold, serious, and domineering - Kashizudoto knew this type: the tough guy. He was used to dealing with guys like these; after all, he had a dad who fit the description quite perfectly, and while they never got along well for a multitude of reasons, Kashizudoto learned over time how to confront him to get his needs met.

Despite the Hokage's obvious frustration and strictness, it seemed to Kashizudoto that he was at least somewhat off the hook, from death at least, although he would need to know exactly what this task was to make sure it wasn't something worse than death. He reaffirmed, "As I said, I accept any punishment you give me."

Truthfully though, he wouldn't have accepted just any punishment. Execution, maiming, and the like would have had Kashizudoto running like a baby, using whatever powers that were at his disposal - senjutsu or otherwise - to get away from the village, and he was glad that those were out of the question. He returned to the village knowing that execution was a real possibility, but he figured that because of his age, circumstances, and abilities, they wouldn't actually go through with it. He was right, in a way, but he figured, based on the Hokage's tone, that this was going to be quite a difficult task.

Luckily, during his time as a sage, he gained quite a few new abilities that could come in handy for whatever task the Hokage might have had for him. For one, Kashizudoto had spent so much time meditating that his body had blended into nature itself, and this connection was only enhanced by a nature chakra-infused body seal that he tattoed onto his chest; in fact, the only reason the Hokage could even see Kashizudoto standing before him right now was because Kashizudoto willed it. His true form was actually indistinguishable from the natural surroundings, essentially making him silent, invisible, and odorless, producing no tracks within the natural surroundings either - such as footprints, uprooted dirt, air disturbance, or the like - and while Kashizudoto could will himself to appear to these natural senses at any time, such as now, this ability was not something that he had to exhaust his chakra reserves to maintain; it was simply his natural form, one that could, no doubt, help him on missions that required stealth. He had also studied the art of sealing and had become quite good at it, and he was now able to seal weapons and jutsu alike, allowing him to seal incoming attacks and even redirect them at his foe. Adapting the technique of Tsuchikages long passed, Kashizudoto had developed his own version of the Lightened Boulder Jutsu, allowing him to fly and access places he normally could only access with the help of his pet Hawky. But perhaps the most terrifying addition to his arsenal was the contract he forged with Hanuman, the Lord of Monkeys himself, a giant who could potentially raze an entire city if given the impetus to. He had no doubt that whatever task the Hokage had for him, he was up for it.

"What's your task?" he asked, looking quite satisfied and ready to go.

WC: 2545


____

The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] SC5MjRQ

Character | Jutsu | Items
Relationships | Storyline


Jonin | ANBU Captain | A-rank
D: 2 | C: 7 | B: 7 | A: 9 | S: 4

Takao

Takao


S-rank
The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] D6ehE4O

Despite the flames that billowed within his gut and the smoke that seeped from the corners of his mouth, Takao's expression hadn't changed from its blasé countenance. He wasn't frustrated, nor was he angry, nor did he exhibit any particular emotion at all; his lack of such was the product of a decade in the Black Ops ranks. He had a fairly good handle on his anger, all things considered, and when it did show its ugly head, it was rarely as tame as simple wisps of flame in the back of his throat. Takao swallowed down the fire and let it extinguish in the pits of his stomach, escaping as a small plume of dark smoke from his nostrils.

What task would be fitting to test the loyalty of a defector, he wondered to himself. It was no small crime, not in the cruel world they were cursed with, even if the more free-spirited toting their naïvety might disagree. Thus it was to be no small task to right that wrong, and he pondered. A suicide mission would be interesting but hardly befitting, if he wanted him dead then he would have already been so.

He disliked the idea of a Hokage's assassination more than he disliked Rippa's unfortunate demise. He had never shown his late successor much favour and even in death, his opinion did not change. To bend to the Hidden Mist like an obedient, whipped dog, to pervert the great legacy that his predecessors had left for him to nurture, well; none of it sat well with Takao. He hated that a kinsmen had fallen to outside hands but that was the nature of the title. If he'd died so easily then he was not fit to lead, not fit to protect. But a mystery had arisen from the unfortunate demise of his successor and Takao was curious to know who out there in their world of waning peace held the ability to dispatch of a Hokage with such radio silence. He knew of three, and they were all of equal suspicion. Takao's gaze leveled with Kashizudoto, considered him for a moment, then tilted his head just a touch.

"Your task will be to investigate the assassination of the nineteenth Hokage." He said in perfect monotone, betraying the smoke that poured from his nose like a volcano teasing activity. Eventually, with his breathing, the smoke that billowed from within faded away, but the stench of sulfur lingered.

"Not alone, of course, you haven't earned that trust back yet. You'll be shadowed by ANBU and your every move will be recorded with great detail at all hours of the day. You will report daily to the Black Ops Captain whose task force I assign to watch you. I shall assume that any attempts at evading them and any failure to report to the Captain will be an indication that you are renegade. You will not resume your Jōnin duties, have any of your clearances restored, or be an effective Leaf shinobi until you've proven yourself trustworthy."

Takao straightened his posture then reclined slightly in his chair. His hands interlocked digits with one another and rested on his desk. His eyes stared straight at Kashizudoto, and he studied his face.

"Do I make myself clear?"

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Kashizudoto

Kashizudoto


S-rank
As the Hokage spoke, Kashizudoto pinched his upper lips with his right thumb and index finger, as he often did when he found himself deep in thought and just a tad bit confused. The nineteenth Hokage, Kashizudoto had heard, was his old Sensei Dr. Chi Rippa, and he had only learned of this by chance when he was visiting one of the major villages in the Land of Fire to peruse its library. What he had not heard up until now was his apparent assassination, and while it didn't particularly sadden him, it did surprise him that he would fall so easily to a mere assassin. There were few ninjas that Kashizudoto had met who could possibly best Rippa - perhaps Tsuneo Uzumaki or his former sensei the Raikage Sanosuke Flynt, probably the Mizukage Solstice Ayakashi and her goons as well. In any case, it was no trivial task to assassinate the Hokage, and if there was a ninja out there who both had the power to assassinate him and hated Konoha enough to go out of their way and risk their lives to go through with the job, then they must be a powerful foe indeed, and not one that Konoha wanted to have.

"The Nineteenth Hokage, Dr. Chi Rippa," he said, removing his fingers from his upper lip, "He was my sensei many years ago, and I am saddened to hear of his passing. The last time I spoke with him, he was being sent to the Mist to garrison their village while they were away for their war with the Cloud, and I was being sent on a mission to the Stone to deliver a message pertaining to the war. We never saw each other again." He sighed. It was a shame that Squad 3 didn't work out as well as he had hoped, but perhaps being on his own had made him stronger and had given him the impetus to train so that he could take on missions solo. It was also possible, however, that he wouldn't have burned out and left the village in the first place had he had the support of a squad and a sensei to ground him to the village.

"I will investigate his assassination," he continued, "I, too, am curious about the circumstances surrounding his passing. Whatever I learn, I will report to the ANBU who are shadowing me." It was clear that the Hokage didn't trust him yet and that any sort of leniency offered by past administrations had been nullified by the current one. He wasn't too sure what he thought of this Hokage's strong fist; five years ago, he would have been up in arms about his authoritarianism and what not, but now it didn't really bother him as much. Perhaps in this day and age, the village needed a leader who was a little harsh, maybe even brutal, to get things done the way they needed to be done.

"It is very possible I might return from the mission with nothing, not even a single lead," he finished, "But I'll slip into the village in disguise and try my best to find out whatever I can." He paused.

"Is that all, Lord Hokage?"

WC: 3065


____

The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] SC5MjRQ

Character | Jutsu | Items
Relationships | Storyline


Jonin | ANBU Captain | A-rank
D: 2 | C: 7 | B: 7 | A: 9 | S: 4

Takao

Takao


S-rank
The Return of the Monkey Sage - Kashizudoto is Back! [Takao or Invite Only] D6ehE4O

Takao's countenance remained unchanged in the face of Kashizudoto as he recalled his relationship with the former Hokage. It didn't matter much at all to him who the Hokage was, enemy or ally, to the shinobi whose test would not require any semblance of personal interest, but rather the professionalism of a career shinobi.

"The team that is set to track you will be reporting to me daily." He said, his unwavering gaze remaining set on Kashizudoto, staring directly into his eyes with his own cold pools of obsidian.

"If there are any signs of defection again, I will be personally hunting you. It would be in your best interest to keep in close contact with them." It was not directly known to the public shinobi world but Takao's track record for hunting down defectors of the Hidden Leaf was becoming quite favourable for the Leaf. He didn't bother with boasting about it to Kashizudoto, words meant little in the world of shinobi, actions mattered the most.

"The truth exists there, even if it isn't immediately visible." Takao knew that somebody from the Hidden Mist was involved, perhaps not the institution, the country, or the village itself, but it was somebody there. It was a lead that connected everything back to the culprit. "It will merely be a matter of how far you're willing to go to find it."

"Any need for clearances can be acquired through the ANBU Captain I assign to you, at his discretion. Otherwise, you have the same authority as a civilian." Kashizudoto was a risk that Takao would not afford any more opportunities to do damage to the Leaf than was absolutely necessary. He had spent time in the Hidden Cloud, after all, and he had seen firsthand the brainwashing techniques that they'd managed. It was perfectly within the realm of possibility that this was a plant, a sleeper agent, or something along those lines, and Takao was paranoid enough that he wouldn't give him an inch of slack.

"That is all." He said, gaze lingering. "You are dismissed."

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