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1 Pep Talk [Training] on Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:14 am



Daraku had settled into a room at the far end of the mansion, near the Barracks, so he could watch the nameless henchmen train for hours on end from his window. They were so focused, it was almost crazy. From the rumors he'd heard, they were some sort of army enlisted to the service of the original owners of the mansion, a group of drug dealers or something. This was just based on the whispers among the henchmen themselves, Daraku hadn't heard anything too definitive on it from Tsuyo or anything, but it was still something to think about. A bunch of mercenaries so easily swayed to the service of a mysterious organization. Nonetheless, they were entertaining to watch in battle; some were proficient in their skills, slinging jutsu and swinging weapons around like nobody's business, hitting the dummies with critical precision, while others were somewhat hopeless and had no place in the Bara. They'd be no good in a fight, that was for sure. As he contemplated how to whip them into shape, he figured he may as well just take over as military leader for the Aoi Bara and be their commander. It was a fun notion to play with; he changed his clothes into more form-fitting black battle gear put on the Aoi Bara cloak before leaving his chambers and going out into the Barracks.

By the time Daraku had gotten down to the ground floor and headed outside to the training grounds, the various mercenaries had separated off into groups and taken a break, socializing and whatnot. He waited for the short break to elapse, and when they went back to hitting the dummies, a few of them noticed him standing there, watching them intently. They were sheepish still, not mentioning it and acting as if he wasn't there. Based on Daraku's appearance, he had to be of high enough rank in the organization, which he liked to think of himself as being. His cloak fluttered lightly in the wind as his ice blue eyes bore into each and every mercenary's soul. Finally, one of the braver men in the bunch approached Daraku head-on, walking up to him and standing right in front of him. They had a short stare-down, until the man spoke. "Well. What are you doing here? Just watching us? What do you want?" Daraku smirked.

"I'm Matsuro, Daraku, and since I've got nothing else to do until Tsuyo gives all of us our next task, I've appointed myself as all of you ingrates' military force captain. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm your new superior, and we're going to have some violent fun today. Go back to hitting the dummies like all your friends while I figure out a training regimen that would fit the circumstances and really challenge you guys..." The man didn't walk away, merely stood there, as if he hadn't heard Daraku. Unimpressed, Daraku unsheathed his prized sword, Hikō. "Did I stutter? Get back to training, before I shred you to pieces." Now fairly intimidated, the guy scurried back to the crowd like a frightened mouse. Daraku smiled with content.

"I like this already."

Learning Ninjutsu
Word Count: 544/1,500

2 Re: Pep Talk [Training] on Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:22 am



Once Daraku had formulated a fitting training regimen for the infantry, he found his way over to them again and stood for a moment. They, once again, took no notice of him, and simply continued striking the dummies with reckless abandon. They were certainly motivated, if that counted for anything; maybe Daraku was underestimating them and they were powerful, but that was unlikely, so until they could prove themselves to him, he resorted to unfair treatment and adopted a clear superiority complex. That was more fun than treating them as equals, anyhow...he straightened out his stance and took a deep breath. "HEY! YOU FREAKING DUMBASSES! LOOK OVER HERE AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME BEFORE I END YOU EACH INDIVIDUALLY IN THE MOST PAINFUL AND BLOODY WAYS IMAGINABLE." Surely enough, his harsh yelling got their attention, and now each and every one of their faces was turned toward him, awaiting his next words. "Good. Now, I want app of you to attack me, one by one, and try to land at least one blow. It can be Ninjutsu, Taijutsu, whatever the hell kind of jutsu you use; it's of no consequence to me. Those of you who can manage to successfully hit me will move on to the subsequent stage of this new-and-improved tactical training. Got it?" Based on the widespread looks of confusion that he received in reply, he assumed most of the idiots were still trying to wrap their head around who Daraku was, exactly, but a few of them nodded in affirmative response, which was enough positive feedback for him to proceed.

"Perfect, it's nice to know that a select few of you know how to use your brains. Makes my job a lot Any volunteers that want to come at me first?" No one raised their hand or made a sound. Sad sight, for Daraku; these men weren't as brave as he wanted them to be. He'd make an effort to change that, though, so he didn't fret. Just as he was about to appoint the first challenger himself, a short man towered the back of the army raised his hand. "I'll go first, Daraku-senpai." Daraku smiled at the guy. "You're my new favorite: you even remembered my name. Serious brownie points for you..anyway, step up here and state your name before we begin."

"Yakushi, Odate, sir."

"You have my respect, Odate. You do well here, and I might even make you my own personal pupil. Now, let's begin." Odate nodded, and held up his hand. A blue veil overcame his hand, glowing vibrantly and emitting a low vibrating noise. Daraku knew this technique well, although he had never mastered it himself: the Chakra Scalpel. He kept a steady stance and held Hikō close, in a defensive position. The blade shimmered in the sunlight overhead, a stark silver that left a glare on the paved stones under their feet. Odate dashed forward, feigning a blow to Daraku's chest then aiming low to the leg. Daraku fell for the feigned attack, acting to block it effectively, but realized mid-block that Odate wasn't following through and had changed his stance; in response, Daraku changed his own stance, and as the glowing hand grew closer to his leg, and lunged into a front flip to dodge it. After the successful evasion, he swung Hikō with force enough to break bones, and Odate reacted well, holding up the Chakra Scalpel and blocking the blow. Sparks flew in all directions, and isolated gasps could be heard from the rest of the infantry, who had circled around the two combatants and made a makeshift audience of themselves.

"You're doing well, Odate. I'm going to raise the bar just a little..." Odate raised an eyebrow, leaving enough of a confused lapse in defense for Daraku to unsheathe his second sword, Kage no Ken, and jab at Odate's unguarded back. Odate ducked in time, just barely dodging the incoming blade, and somersaulted behind Daraku to regain his physical advantage. Daraku figured this was as good a time as any to test out his aptitude with Ninjutsu, since he had begun learning it back at Namahage along with Water Release. "Katon: Hōsenka no Jutsu!" A rapid burst of fireballs escaped his mouth, spiraling around one another until they centered around Odate and closed in. Odate looked left and right, assessing his options in a short matter of seconds. He took a scroll out of his back pocket, and unrolled it. Smoke appeared, clouding the area and obscuring the path of the fireballs, and when the smoke cleared, two exact clones of Odate had taken the entire attack, and were now burning. They disappeared in yet another poof of smoke. An interesting kind of clone jutsu, they had survived a multitude of attacks and hadn't even been dispelled but rather released by Odate himself. Daraku studied the scroll that Odate had placed back into his pocket, leaving him vulnerable for a fraction of a second. Odate didn't skip a beat, and threw a kunai at full speed. It ran across Daraku's face, leaving a wide cut along his cheek. Odate had got a blow in successfully, and as such, the requirements of the challenge were complete.

"Got you, Daraku-senpai." Daraku grinned widely. "Good job. You're my pupil now, I guess. Meet me up in my quarters tomorrow afternoon, around 1. We'll train more then. NEXT!" The rest of the army shuddered. After an exciting battle like that, they thought they couldn't even begin to be an equivalent to Odate...but it wasn't their choice. Daraku pointed to one of the buffed guys carrying a scythe in the front. "You're next. Come on up here."

Learning Ninjutsu
Word Count: 1,500/1,500 -Complete-

Learning Fire Release: Phoenix Fire Jutsu
Word Count: 31/1,100

3 Re: Pep Talk [Training] on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:05 am



The following day, Daraku sat outside his chamber, leaning against the wall with an erratic train of thought. Of the three opponents that had managed to hit Daraku during the training  session, Odate was still the most remarkable of them, and their scheduled meeting was now within the hour. Part of him was disappointed in the other eighteen that had sparred with him, but then again, he'd only battled a small fraction of the hundreds that made Aoi Bara's army. That group of 21 that he fought meant nothing, that was just one fragment of the whole. He held fast to that notion as he thought of a different, less individual but still rigorous training method for them. It was odd, he was starting to bond with them, and the idea of their failure brought pain to his heart; they were like his children. He didn't like that feeling, not at all. He hated to deal with emotion, he looked over at the clock on the wall. Still a half an hour before Odate was set to arrive. Time, time, time...

There was a limited number of things in Daraku's mind that were bearable to meditate on. He sifted through his thoughts, memories...pain, death, hardship, tears, leading into defection, murder, further corruption. Was this an existence worth living? Since he'd left Sunagakure no Sato, he'd been living a life of a mass murderer, a psychopath, a heartless monster. Yes, he was already infamous before, but not to this level. He was now an international criminal, and for what? He had goals, well established ones. To become wealthy, to gain power, and most important of all, to regain his clan's glory. What did that even mean...? They weren't all that glorious before, just a bunch of hermetic Shinto worshipers with wild aspirations. And then, things changed, power shifted, Fuiyoka split the clan, and Tsurugi killed so many to solidify the separation. That was where it all went wrong. Daraku had acknowledged this, and that was his primary objective; Fuiyoka, his grandmother, is ultimately the one who ruined the clan, besmirched its name. Her intentions weren't all that malicious, but they were destructive nonetheless.

But what of Tsurugi? What of his doings? Daraku had always admired his father, the one man who truly cared for him. He had loved his father since the day he was born and his crystal blue eyes stared back into his father's forest green ones. His father taught him swordplay, trained him, told him to follow his dreams...watched him grow. But looking back, his father was just as much a source of pain as he was a supporter in Daraku's early years. Daraku remembered the massacre, now seven years ago; Tsurugi had been the one who killed Azami, who was his own wife, and also Daraku's mother. Daraku had always seen this as a direct consequence of Fuiyoka's actions, for what she had done to turn Azami against them, to go to Konoha and abandon them. Now, here they were today; Azami long dead, Fuiyoka a powerful diplomat, and Tsurugi, the same shell of a man who had once considered himself a near king of his clan.

Daraku saw things clearly now. Tsurugi never had to kill the dozens that he did. He wasn't forced; he acted out of desperation, of loneliness, and of pain. And if he hadn't, maybe Daraku's mother would've still been alive. Daraku felt tears roll down his cheeks, as it all stood out bluntly in front of him. He killed her...he killed her...he killed her...HE KILLED HER...! he clenched his fist in anger, and the sobs were trapped in his throat. Fuiyoka was still going to get assassinated for splitting the Ishido, but Daraku's primary objective had shifted. It was Tsurugi who would suffer, and Daraku now wanted nothing more than to be an orphan rather than having such a vile creature as a father. Azami, the one, pure soul in all this world to Daraku, the one who had taught him Medical Ninjutsu and the value of love and healing, was dead because of that...that thing. And thus, Tsurugi would pay in his own blood.

Daraku wiped the tears from his eyes and regained his composure as best he could. He had to adopt a new obligation. If he was going to kill Fuiyoka and Tsurugi, he would have only remnants of the Ishido left. They would be the last survivors of the clan, after so many years of death and corruption, and they would be his only family. He would appoint himself as the new Clan Leader, Patriarch Daraku. It had a nice ring to it, but it would be a difficult task, executed in phases. The first would be murdering Fuiyoka, then rallying the Pursuers to submit to Daraku's banner and appoint a leader for the Konohagakure branch of Ishido. After that, the trip to Sunagakure would be necessary, where the core of the problem would be dealt with; Tsurugi would be executed, and Daraku could fill his rightful spot at the Ishido Castle as leader. From there, the Ishido would be released from their confines in only Sunagakure and Konohagakure; they would be allowed to join any village they was a beautiful vision, but Daraku set himself back at step one. This was where it began.

Footsteps approached, and Daraku looked up to see Odate standing over him. In this light, he looked different; the previous day, he had seemed so young and innocent, even in the heat of battle. Now, Daraku took in the man's appearance for what it was. He was still shorter than Daraku, looking to be five feet and six inches tall, but a thin beard outlined his jaw. His hair was medium-length and gray, pulled back into a small ponytail, and his eyes were a pure white color. He wore an Iwagakure hitai-ate around his neck. "Daraku-sensei? Are you alright?" Daraku gave the guy a half smile and nodded. "Yes, I'm fine. I was just thinking about something that was troubling me."

"What could possibly trouble you? You're, like, a god of war or something."

"It's deeper than that, kid, it's not all about battling sometimes. How old are you, anyways, Odate?"

"I'm only 20." A surprising number, surely. Daraku was only a year older than him. He certainly wasn't expecting such a thin age gap. Looking at Odate in a different light started to pique feelings within Daraku of a romantic nature. He couldn't help it, he was a charmer. He resisted the urge to flirt and instead stood up. "Look, Odate, I've gotta go tie up some loose ends and then get some rest. I've decided that  I'm going to back Konoha within this week, so today will be my preparation day. I'll train you another time, you know where to find me." he said, as he gestured towards the room behind.

"But, Daraku..." Daraku merely shook his head "no", and Odate closed his mouth. "Don't worry, I won't be long and I'll be back as soon as I can. I'll see you around, Odate." with that said and done, he left his chambers, headed out past the barracks and into the main house of the Mansion to inform Tsuyo.

[Exit Thread]

Learning Fire Release: Phoenix Flower Jutsu
Word Count: 1,100/1,100 -Complete- (+10% word count due to Ishido Clan)

Training Ninjutsu D > C
Word Count: 188/3,000 (to be continued in another thread)

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