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Odaya had scheduled a date to be able to follow a doctor in the Kirigakure Hospital and glean knowledge from him, today that date had arrived. As Odaya got ready in his small room in the Hostel his mind wandered back to the C rank mission he and Zanko had accomplished and how his brother ruthlessly murdered the three Hoshigaki who had indeed gone rogue. The thought of their crimson blood pouring from their wounds disturbed Odaya, as did the single word his brother uttered before starting the massacre, “No” was all he said when faced between personal satisfaction and gratifying the Village. The thought of Zanko growing that cold sent chills up Odaya’s spine, while he couldn’t do anything about the past, Odaya knew one thing for sure, he would have to keep Zanko on a tighter leash from now on.

“Why are you getting us up so early?” Zanko’s voice echoed through their mind as he forcibly roused from his deep sleep.

“We have an appointment today, remember?” Odaya asked kindly.

“Oh yeah, we are seeing that stupid doctor or something today right?” Zanko replied quickly.

“Yeah, we are seeing that stupid DOCTOR…” Odaya replied while he rolled his eyes. “…I am hoping that I can learn something from him as far as Medical Ninjutsu goes and use that knowledge to advance myself in the art.” Odaya explained.

“Seems silly to me, but alright, you’re the boss after all.” Zanko replied. “Well I am going to go back to sleep before someone gets a prostate checked…or worse we do! Well you might like that huh brother?” Zanko sleepily joked.

Odaya gritted his teeth at Zanko’s pun on his sexuality, his brother knew that was a sore spot and hadn’t touched it in years. Whatever had caused Zanko to become so closed off; the condition wasn’t getting better, only worsening. These thoughts drew Odaya back to the mines outside of Kirigakure, what had they seen in that mine? The miner they saw there couldn’t possibly have survived his wounds; they were far too grievous and beyond mortal. And more importantly, what was that shrieking and laughter they heard?

“Could you not think about that?” Zanko asked as he felt the memories rushing back to his brother.

“Why you afraid of nightmares?” Odaya teased.

“Yeah” Zanko replied bluntly.

Odaya didn’t know how to respond to this answer, his brother had never been one to openly confess his inner most feelings to anyone, not even Odaya. And with his ever increasing guarded nature this was one of the seldom times Zanko ever was honest about his fears with his brother, it caused Odaya to smile slightly as he slipped on his jacket. After a short breakfast of leftover bread and stew Odaya had gotten from a food pantry down the street he set off towards the Kirigakure Hospital.

The way to the hospital lead through the worst part of the slums, an area that hadn’t yet been touched by the reconstruction since Hao’s attack over five years ago. The people who still lived in the area were plagued by Dysentery from the pure filth they lived in and Malaria from the lack of protection against the constant threat of Mosquitos that had taken up residence in the area. Whenever Odaya wandered into this sector of the village he felt sickened, it was a constant reminder of what had occurred here and a symbol of the people’s own mortality and weakness. Odaya wanted nothing more than to aid these poor and helpless people, to protect them from the diseases that claimed so many of their lives. But for now that was impossible to do, not until he was skilled enough in Medical Ninjutsu. So for now, Odaya had to look onwards as helplessly as they were.

Word Count: 647/2000


After the better part of half an hour Odaya arrived at the hospital, but the sight he found there made him feel no less queasy. Today the hospital had the poor waiting outside because of the lack of space in their waiting rooms. People were packed around the front side of the building to the point that is seemed that they were less of a group of people and more like a sea of faces. While the ungodly amount of people made Odaya feel slightly ill, it also had a positive undertone, today was a busy day which meant he would have plenty to learn.

Odaya confidently strode through a sea of coughing, sniffles, or worse symptoms to reach the entrance to the hospital. Inside the hospital he found the situation to be even worse as he gazed at the sick or injured in pure shock. In fact, the hospital had grown so full that several Jounin had been stationed inside the hospital to protect valuable medicines and to watch out for thieves. Odaya shook off his initial feelings of shock and made his way to the front desk, cautiously.

“State your name and illness or injury and I will be with you as soon as possible.” A woman stated as she busily shuffled through a mass of paperwork.

“Um, I am not a patient. I am the intern here to shadow Doctor Kurisake.” Odaya replied.

The woman stopped her work and gazed at Odaya for a moment, he could tell she was judging him based upon his attire. Her head turned back to a computer screen for a moment as she furiously typed a few things into it.

“Niidashi, Odaya?” She asked.

“Yes, that is me.” Odaya replied.

The woman’s gaze fell upon Odaya once more as she took in his appearance. “Doctor Kurisake had to cancel your appointment due to rather obvious circumstances…” She stated.

“But I made that appointment a month ago!” Odaya said in a distressed tone.

“BUT, he stated that I should take you to the hospital’s study wing and allow you to read the materials there.” The woman continued in a rather annoyed tone.

“Oh…um…right, is there a chance I can reschedule?” Odaya asked respectfully.

“Yes, Doctor Kurisake already rescheduled your appointment for next month at the same date.” She replied.

“Excellent, I am ready to go to the library whenever you are.” Odaya stated with a calm smile.

“Through the double doors, it is three halls down, then you take a right into the stairwell, third floor, take a left, five halls down, and you will find it on your left.” The receptionist stated as she turned back to her endlessly mounding paperwork.

“Oh…um right, thank you.” Odaya replied before standing to head off in through the double doors as she instructed.

Word Count: 1121/2000


After several minutes and many wrong turns, Odaya arrived at the library. Once inside he stood in amazement at the vast collection of medical based books and scrolls. The very sight of this much information racked Odaya’s mind and caused a single question to arise within him. “How could they have amassed this much information and Kirigakure still have a shortage of medical personnel?” The answer was in Kiri’s own self given purpose, they were hunters and killers so few were trained or took interest in learning to be a caretaker of those in need and most sought out the glorified life of death and destruction.

To Odaya this made no sense, the benefit of saving lives and healing injured or broken warriors far outweighed the life of blood and gore. This is because Odaya knew without men like him warriors like those would fall to the grasp of death and crumble before the howling gale of time itself. Odaya understood the relationship of warrior and medic was integral, one could not exist with the support of the other, although tragic it was the way the world worked, for now.

Slowly, Odaya moved towards the first set of shelves, as he walked through the aisle he paid close attention to the various categories. As his fingers brushed the spines of the books he scanned their subject matter, there were books on Anatomy, Psychology, Various Diseases, Medicinal Dosage Formulas, Basic Surgery Guides, and Combat Healing practices. Excitement built within Odaya at the rich bounty of knowledge that lay in his grasp, a door had opened for him to experience the first stage of his dream, to serve the sick and ill.

“Where in the hell are we?” Zanko’s voice asked as it bounced within the most inner sanctums of their mind.

“The hospital library” Odaya replied calmly as he drew a book entitled “Common Combat Healing Practices” from its place on the shelf.

“Why I thought you were playing intern today with Doctor Whatshisface?” Zanko asked.

“Doctor Kurisake” Odaya corrected. “And he had to cancel, the hospital is packed and he was needed elsewhere.” Odaya explained.

“Sounds like an excuse to me, perhaps he heard we were batshit insane and decided to steer clear.” Zanko jeered.

“Doubtful at best, he rescheduled my intern date for the beginning of next month.” Odaya replied. “But if you do not mind I am going to study a bit.” Odaya stated, excusing himself from the conversation.

“Pussy” Zanko replied in a flat monotone voice.

Odaya carried the book back to the table and sat reading the materials found inside for a quite some time. In it he discovered several flaws in his own practice, learned how to better not only himself but counter act mass amounts of damage his allies could receive, how to heal far more grievous wounds, and far more. Odaya immersed himself so deeply in study he hardly recognized the time that had passed by; he had flipped yet another page in his book when he felt a small tap on his back.

“Excuse me sir, but it is nearly 10 PM, the Library will be closing to all non-hospital personnel shortly.” A warm voice whispered.

Odaya turned to face the woman with a blank, stunned stare on his face. Had he honestly been here all day? His question was answered in the form of a rumble emitted from his gut, a sign of neglecting the hunger he hadn’t felt previously. Odaya put on a sheepish smile and rubbed the back of his head before standing up and addressing the young woman.

“I am terribly sorry; I hadn’t even noticed the time!” He explained as he moved to clear the books from the table he had taken temporary residence of.

“No need to apologize, you didn’t do a thing wrong.” The woman replied as she watched Odaya lean over to clean up the books. “You don’t have to clean those up either, that is why they pay me.” She said with a warm smile.

“Oh…um…I am sorry…er…I mean I am not sorry…I mean I am…” Odaya said in a fluster of confusion. “I don’t know what I mean…” Odaya said with a long sigh while rubbing his forehead.

The librarian chuckled at Odaya’s obvious struggle and internal conflict before she pointed at the small pile of books that lay on the table. “Have you read all of these?” She asked in shock.

“Uh no, not all of them at least, I have a few more to read over on Combat Medicinal Practices. Other than that I have finished most of them.” Odaya replied.

“Well select the ones you need and take them home, just be sure to bring them back in a few days.” The librarian replied.

Odaya blinked a few times in shock as the realization of her words set in, he gave a small nod and smile to her as he gathered three books off of the table before scurrying out of the library. Even as he slowly walked home Odaya buried himself in a book absorbing its contents and the knowledge it offered him like a sponge. Odaya hardly recognized when he arrived at the hostel, even managing to bump into the landlord as he entered his room without apologizing. Odaya remained awake for the rest of the night studying how to better himself in the art of Medical Ninjutsu, finally falling asleep when the sun peeked in the morning.

Word Count: 2046/2000

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