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Sousetsu Senju

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S-rank
The day soon showed itself as the light from the sun seeped through the window of the Senju's domain, awaking him from his slumber. With his eyes slowly opening, he at himself up before rubbing them with both hands. He looked over to the clock that was placed on his bedside cabinet which told him that it was still the early hours of the day. He exerted himself, flinging out of his bed with a small leap to the floor before making his way to the bathroom in order to freshen up to take on the upcoming events. The water from the head of the shower trickled at first but soon let out the flowing water streams with room temperature. The Sannin pondered for a moment, collecting his thoughts and agreeing with himself before stepping into the little haven.

Once he was finished he made his way to the mirror and showed off his teeth. Toothpaste was applied to his toothbrush before he scrubbed his pearly whites so that they were satisfactory with the Senju.

Making his way into his bedroom once more he withdrew his clothes from the closet at the side of the room, taking out his usual attire of a black jumpsuit, fitting it upon his person before making his way downstairs in order to have his first meal of the day.

The kitchen was spotless, cleaner than most others. He grabbed a piece of grapefruit and cut it in half as the bread slowly toasted. A glass of water was placed on the table as the grapefruit lay motionless on a small plate beside it. The smell of the bread was close to ready before they shot up from the toaster to which the Sannin collected and spread butter over them. It was a nice meal like any other breakfast and served his body with the right nutrients before he readied himself further.

It was approaching midday. The Sannin had finished his cleaning up and thought it was time to make his move towards the administration building. He took his armour from the wall in the hallway. He could now be seen in armour emblazoned with the Senju symbol worn over a simple black jumpsuit, with a distinctive white fur collar. This armour was constructed from numerous blue metal plates, formed into multiple protective guards along the wearers body, in particular: chest, waist, shoulders and upper arms. The outfit was one of the major assets that Sousetsu could be recognized in and how most people knew he leader of the Senju Clan.

On the wall also was a blade. One that Sousetsu grew highly accustomed to on his travels. The blade was still sharp, and stood at three feet and three inches long with a black customized handle with silver linings on the outer blade. He fitted the weapon across his lower back as it remained sheathed. He was now ready for his task.

He made his way outside, locking the door behind him, and leaped from each rooftop he came across in order to reach his destination swiftly. It was a long time since he volunteered for a mission. He might have grown soft over his recent objectives. He failed in saving his clan member from a horrid fate. Expulsion from the clan and village alike. He still does not know why it had to come to that.

He gave up the title of Hokage to a more suited individual. One with the will of fire shining brightly. Ever since he was a Genin, Sousetsu dreamed of becoming Hokage, but his personality deemed otherwise, offering it to the newly appointed one. He seemed to be doing well and with Sousetsu at his side and still remaining in the village, the defenses would surely not falter.

He entered the building. It remained the same as when he last saw it, clean and spacious. Organised even. He formally bowed to the secretary behind the desk who stood up and returned the gesture before he went on ahead to the mission holders office. Knocking twice, he entered and stood before them, tall and stoic, just as they remembered.

"Sousetsu-Sama! Welcome back! a man in the corner yelped for his colleagues to hear. They turned to face him while the director of the place continued to shift through the piles and piles of papers on the desk before them. It seemed her found what he was looking for and cleared his throat as he lifted the sheet of before before reading it.

"Reports of a kidnapper on the loose, deemed an S-rank mission. Do you accept?" the man announced. Sousetsu nodded in reply "Yes, sir." The man smiled, just like old times he must of thought. Still formal to him after so long. S-ranks were very dangerous and the Sannin knew of the situation of the Leaf village, if this were to fail and something happened to the Sannin, the village would in great peril.

" There have been numerous reports of kidnapping in nearby towns, as well as several reports in the main village as well. Witnesses have described the target and one said he overheard the man saying his name was Osya to one of his victims before disappearing with them. Based on the location the target has been assaulting, it is safe to assume he is based out of the South Forest. It is your job to find Osya and rescue the victims. Osya appears to be in his mid thirties and has short black hair, numerous scars on face, 6ft tall and wears a long, dark purple trench coat." The man explained in full detail.

With another formal bow from Sousetsu, he made his way out the door, but as he opened it, one of the men spoke up once more. "Oh, by the way, Sosuetsu. You will be paired up with Uchiha Oshiki, during this mission. It's just safer, ya know?" the man spoke quite nervously on how the Sannin would react. He turned to face the one who spoke up before deeply inhaling from his nose and nodded once again. "I will meet him at the south gate." he replied in agreement.

Words: 1028/3000 [Mission]


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Sousetsu | Jutsu-list |  Locker
Tales of Sousetsu Senju
Main Theme | Battle


Ninjutsu: SS | Bukijutsu: SS | Senjutsu: S
Suiton: SS | Doton: SS | Mokuton: SS

Uchiha Oshiki

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Jounin
This damned world has killed my entire family, and this village is as guilty as the criminals that killed them were. But, that's why I'm loyal to it. This village has made mistakes that are unforgivable; it has ruined people's lives, tortured people, caused wars and shed unbelievable amounts of human blood. So, that's why its all the more important that we work at making it better, at bringing it to a point where its matured enough that its no longer led by people who don't check on people's safety, no longer at risk of being attacked for its mere existence, where I'm not spat at in the street simply for having spinning dots in my eyes. So... given the choice, I'd bring back every innocent who'd been taken before their time, and I'd bring the world into a peace where it would never happen again."

--

It was, perhaps, a sign of Oshi's mental and physical recovery over the issues that had plagued him for a while now that he was being sent off on a mission for the village. It was an S ranked mission once again, which might have been rather a problem for him in any other circumstances; The last S rank mission he had been on, he'd been partnered with that tree-loving lunatic and had ended up getting perforated with so many weapons that he'd been in the hospital for almost a fortnight. Considering the amount of people with high medical ninjutsu skill in the village, that was a rather considerable amount of time, and if it was anywhere but Konoha he'd have likely died of his wounds. He didn't even get the luxury to choose his team-mate, since the mission dictated that he worked with a specialist to do with the area they were going to. they were going to the deep forest, the place where he had first met Ukiyo, and he was apparently doing this mission with her cousin, or cousin several hundred times removed. He wasn't entirely sure of their bond, but he had to hope deeply that this guy was at least slightly more sane than his relative. It would be hard to get to her level of insanity, but it was always possible. It was just a dark possibility, not one that he wanted to focus on at all.

The decree he had gotten was apparently similar to the one that Sou had just gotten. With Sou being the expert on trees and nature, he was the one sent there for his tracking skills with his Sharingan. If it had been Takeshi who had sent him out here on this mission, he might have honestly thought that it was an attempt to make up for not helping him in the Senju matter, giving him a chance to meet the Senju who was skilled enough to become Sannin. But, it wasn't, it was Mitsuhide. From all that he had learned about Mitsu since he had taken over, he was a manipulative but brilliant man, and with that manipulative side in mind, it was hard to believe that there wasn't some larger motivation for him being the one to be attacked. What could that be, he wondered silently to himself. Could it be related to what they discussed on the top of Hokage mountain? Or was it something more personal, trying to get the respective leaders of two of the feuding Konoha families to kiss and make up? With the death of the majority of his clan members, Oshi doubted that it was that, the Uchiha clan in Konoha wasn't as large as some of the other feuding families were, and he'd not seen any sign of them trying to play peacekeepers.

As it currently was, he was standing at the South Gate of the village, wearing something a lot more combat viable for this situation. The person they were attacking was a human puppeteer, so most likely he was going to be someone who didn't like getting into close combat situations. Plus, visual genjutsu would be of little use to him until the end of this little mission of theirs, so he had no reason to wear his hood. Instead, he wore something he hadn't worn in a long time, something that he hadn't bothered wearing since the fight with Ukiyo, something he considered his hunting outfit. A smart white shirt was tucked into a pair of black trousers, which themselves were tucked into leather boots that moved up his leg, half way past his ankle. They looked almost like riding boots, but they were worn and covered in scratches that seemed to come from knives, showing that they were used for something a lot more interesting than horse riding... though he had used it for that as well, he thought, smiling as he remembered that little mission. However, over all that, he wore a long grey cloak, like something one of the ANBU soldiers might wear. It was not, it should be said, an actual ANBU cloak, it just shared the same appearance as one.

The thing about camouflage, he had often told people who asked why he would wear grey instead of black, was that you were aiming to blend into the surroundings, not to make yourself even more noticeable. There were very few things that naturally occurred in nature that was plain black. Mud was a dark brown color, trees were somewhere between brown and grey, and the only real black things in existence were animals, and it would be nigh-on impossible to look like an animal in a cloak, it would require a henge no jutsu for something like that. So, by avoiding using the color black and instead using dark and dull shades of brown, green and grey, he could stand still in a shadow and seemingly turn into the very darkness itself. It was an interesting little trick, but he still hoped that he wouldn't have to use it. If they could catch the killer by surprise, there wouldn't be a fight, and if there wasn't a fight then they wouldn't have to desecrate a dead body more than it already had been by his cruel machinations.

It didn't take long for his presence to be found by the South Gate, and he watched as the Sannin of the forests walked through the area, apparently looking for him. This was Sousetsu, the glorious Senju leader, the one who had competed for kageship but had never quite gotten there. Rumors said he surrendered, other rumors said he threw the fight, Oshi tried not to find out how that little fight went on, considering that he had been just as eligible as Mitsuhide had and yet nobody had bothered to mention it to him. It seemed like someone was spitting at him from above, was it the Daimyo? He had never been a very civil person to the old man, believing him to be a self-important bigot who wouldn't know civility if it came up and bit him on the ankle... which, of course, it wouldn't - Civility would politely knock on his door and ask him in the nicest of terms if he would mind not being so rude to people, and if he could stop discriminating against people for their clan rather than for their actual personage.

At his current position, sitting on top of the gate itself, he kept his legs above the wall and dangled the rest of his body so that his cloak kept up, pinned under his rump, but his face moved down to look and smile at the Sannin, trying to repress a little quake of anger about how he'd been as guilty as the Daimyo was for ignoring his presence within the village. He knew many people loved the man, but he was not a fan of the Senju, all the Senju he'd ever met were either incompetent or just plain insane. He tried not to judge people considering that he had been judged all his life and had never been fond of it, but it was hard to deal with the overwhelming amount of evidence. It was one thing to work off of stereotypes and rumors, but it was quite another to see multiple examples in person. But, even with that little bit of prejudice, he wasn't going to act on it. He had to be better than them to beat them, after all.

"So, you're my assistant, huh?" he asked, trying to be as jokey and friendly as possible, to hide the inner annoyance at having to curtsy to this guy.
"You know who we're fighting, you know why we're fighting him, and you know where we're fighting him... at least I hope you do, or else the person giving you your missions needs to get replaced by someone who actually knew what they're doing. Anything else we need to agree on or can we just get going? I don't like putting off the assassination of murderers any more than we have to."

Mission: 1507/3000


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Character || Jutsu || Plot
Katon |S| Fuuton |B| Raiton |C|
Genjutsu |S| Taijutsu |S| Ninjutsu |C|
Speed |SS| Strength |A|
Mission List || D - 4|| C - 5|| B - 7|| A - 2|| S - 1|| SS - 0||

Jutsu ||Academy - 5 || Clan - 2|| D - 4|| C - 2|| B - 1|| A - 2|| S - 0|| SS - 0|| (16/38)

Sousetsu Senju

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S-rank
The trees waved back and forth and the birds chirped within them as the wind was picking up slightly and briefly. Sousetsu was now standing outside of the administration building looking up at the skies wondering what events would present themselves.

He wondered of his partner during this mission. A Uchiha, but was he like Hao? The mass and notorious criminal who possessed powers that surpassed many. He was a challenge even for the Sannin, ANBU captain and Hokage alike. In the end, he did fall before them but the sheer determination for his goals were horrific, almost intimidating.

The Uchiha were indeed powerful shinobi and a great asset to have on your side but their powers were still unknown to many, including themselves. It was said that they grow more powerful with more hate and anger. Their very emotions were the source of evolving those red eyes. It was in history that the Uchiha clan and the Senju clan were rivals ever since the beginning. The great Hashirama Senju was told to be the only one capable of defeating the great Madara Uchiha one on one. It is quite the story actually, but that was for another time.

Of course, Oshiki would not be like Hao as he still served this village which is more than what Sousetsu needed from him. A man willing to fight side by step even by his ancestors enemies to protect the village was a strange bond to hold. Times change however, and the Sannin is not one to judge out of history or any stereotypical manner for that matter. It would be intriguing how the two would handle the situation. Would there be any conflict? Arguments? Different approaches? Only time could tell.

He began his short journey to the south village gate where he would await the Uchiha for the mission. On his travels he came across the many villagers of the Leaf village, all of which seemed to be happy with the Sannin as he made his way by. Their smiles were contagious as the Senju returned them with his own. The children ran around him, tugging at his leg looking for some attention to which he replied with a giggle and patting them on the head as he continued his walk.

The food vendors waved from their stations, the academy students did so also as they rushed past him, no doubt they were assigned to a mission also but not at this caliber.

The sun peeked out from the clouds in the sky and the wind was ceasing to create a calm day for the people. With his hand shielding his eyes, Sousetsu peeked up to see the ways of nature unraveling before them with that infamous grin he wore so often.

It was midday and almost time for the two set off on their mission. Sousetsu noticed a figure above the village gate, perched upon the wood. Upon reaching the gate and seeing the figure in clear view, it must have been the partner he was searching for. It turned out that this man had the same idea. Upon further inspection, Sousetsu noticed the man wearing an inrtiguing outfit. A smart white shirt was tucked into a pair of black trousers, which themselves were tucked into leather boots that moved up his leg, half way past his ankle. All of which was accompanied by a long and grey coat similar to that on ANBU.

"So, you're my assistant, huh?" the man asked the Senju. Sousetsu giggled in response at the light joke that succeeded in breaking the ice "It appears so." he replied in confirmation that it was indeed him accompanying the Uchiha on the mission. He then went on to make sure that Sousetsu was given the correct information on who their target is. He then continued his small speech to the conclusion of requesting a hasty movement. With a raised eyebrow Sousetsu agreed to this with a nod although was not sure how this man came across him just yet.

"Follow my lead." Sousetsu announced before appearing on top of the gate beside him and dashing forward over the gate to the destination. From branch to branch the sound of wind brushed past his ears. The leaves bristling against one another as each branch had the pressure and the weight lifted off each branch. He turned to the fellow leaf shinobi and nodded once more before he thought of some small talk along the way. "I trust my instincts when I say you might not be that fond of Senju, given our history of course. I assure you, I will cause you no problems. Refusing to study history will repeat the past, correct?" Sousetsu finished as he remained in his pattern of leaping from branch to branch.

He then thought about how the young man would reply to his statement. Would he be cautious or wary of the Senju? He would not blame him of course as some people differ from others.

He thought he should break the ice on his behalf also, hopefully making the man more comfortable in his presence even though he assured that he would receive no problems from this particular Senju. "I have fought against Hao, your relative. I don't know exactly how you feel about that but his death was needed. I do not blame your clan for this uprising of a notorious criminal, nor do I believe that you are all the same. You are all unique but with a common power. Nothing more, nothing less."

The Sannin then wondered if what he said was fitting and not insulting in any way. Sousetsu was a man of nobility, mannerisms was what kept him from trouble most of his life. He then wondered of Ukiyo. The fellow clan member of Sousetsu. She was in the same position as Hao. An uprising criminal from a misunderstood clan. He did not judge her, in fact he embraced her, thanked her for aid in the years she had been a part of the village. Her tricks on the other hand, led to deception, leaving Sousetsu to sulk in the end.

He should have killed her but instead retreated to inform the village of her insolence and betrayal of the village and her clan. An outcast to her own home. Maybe Oshiki felt the same way about Hao? He could not know. He could not just simply ask the Jounin before him such a thing. Only ponder.

The destination was close. The tracks from broken twigs and trampled leaves told Sousetsu the direction of the hideout. He leaped to the ground and picked up the trail from analyzing the features of a traveler who came by this way. "This way." he spoke once more pointing to the north east direction deep within the small forest.

He leaped onto the branches once more and continued towards his new destination. He continued to think about what life this particular Uchiha led. Was he admired? Was he a model figure within his clan or was he the average ninja? The Uchiha were well known in areas such as ninjutsu, genjutsu, taijutsu and bukijutsu, so that was another intriguing trait that he was willing to see in the upcoming battle against the tyrant kidnapper.

He sighed slightly and looked to the man as he leaped from a branch and was sure of where he would land to the next and spoke his mind once again. "I had a member of the Senju clan leave us recently. You may know her. Ukiyo Senju." Sousetsu was now overcome with regret and an overall feeling of determination. He let it sink in a little before he continued with the topic.

The leaves continued to bristle against one another and the sun tried its best peak through the leaves above the two leaf shinobi to try and kiss their skin with its warmth. The wind seemed still in the distance as the trees remained undisturbed. "I was asked to spar by her. She had potential as she also helped against the defeat of Hao. We fought and she did not disappoint me and my thoughts of her. But in the end... I was tricked. Deceiving me in a battle and tried to kill me on separate occasions during it. I tried to reason but her goal was drowning her as did her tears." Sousetsu halted on the next few branches ahead and crouched.

His eyes were now closed and his mind was overcome with thoughts of the various actions of that battle. "I could not do what I was supposed to." Sousetsu looked over to the Uchiha with even more regret dwelling within him before looking down below at the base. "A few days later I was chosen as a candidate for Hokage. How could I become something when I could not do the right thing? It was a heated battle between Mitsuhide and I but in the end, his will of fire burned brighter than any flame I had came across. We have a valiant Hokage who I am willing to walk side by side with. But was it the right choice?" he finished rhetorically as he scanned the area below. He may have revealed what some rumours said but thought little of it.

A small hut was beneath them, hidden among the branches. He turned and nodded to his new found partner in order to approve that this was indeed the whereabouts of their target. He dashed to another branch so that the two were surrounding the hideout from north and south. It seemed too small to operate anything within so perhaps it was a type of bunker that led deep underground.

The Senju leaped down silently and took cover behind the tree on which he was perched before slowly turning the corner to approach the hideout. He scanned each wall and came to the conclusion that there was only one entrance. Signalling the Uchiha where he had left him, Sousetsu entered the doorway cautiously and checked the corners briefly before making his way in entirely.

There were many tools and trinkets to assemble what seemed like human beings. 'Puppetry?' The Sannin thought to himself as he inspected the elements inside. It seemed that the room was empty apart from the various objects. No other being was here and so he began searching for a hidden doorway. He checked the walls, sliding his hand gracefully over the wood but did not seem to find one. He then check the floor, knocking on each brick that surrounded it until one gave off a peculiar sound of hollow. Pushing the stone that was hollow the floor opened up to reveal the tunnel that would surely lead to the whereabouts of the missing people and their target.

He unsheathed his blade slowly so that the metal would not connect with any other material to make a sound and reveal his position. With another nod to his comrade he went down the steps cautiously and continued his journey down the dimly lit hallway. After a brief walk, a light could be seen at the end followed by the sounds of a man correcting himself. He edged up against the wall and remained hidden behind the archway of the entrance to the room. It was large, almost the size of an arena. There were many puppet parts in baskets and other containers with parts hanging out of the edges.

The candles wax had shown that this was formed some time ago and the man was working on a workbench, no doubt on a puppet. Some puppets seemed to differ from others. Some were wooden but others were different, they were brighter than the wooden style puppets. Where were the people however?

Words: 3000/3000 [Mission]

Training: 25/9000 [Suiton S>SS]


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Sousetsu | Jutsu-list |  Locker
Tales of Sousetsu Senju
Main Theme | Battle


Ninjutsu: SS | Bukijutsu: SS | Senjutsu: S
Suiton: SS | Doton: SS | Mokuton: SS

Uchiha Oshiki

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Jounin
He could have grinned at the cocked eyebrow in any other situation, the man was clearly finding something weird about his position and that was something that he delighted in. It was strange for someone who had been so actively pursued by ANBU to become a member to be so fond of making a scene, maybe it was because he was so good at causing distractions. The man was instantly telling him to follow his lead, and normally that would cause Oshi to cock his eyebrow and wonder who made this guy the leader. However, this guy was a higher rank than him, that meant that him ordering him around was a legitimate order, not just one person trying to get another person to do something for them. As such, he got back to a normal position and got ready to follow the man the moment that he moved. Jumping off the gate and onto the trees, he followed the Sannin's lead, moving from tree branch to tree branch, mostly jumping due to the huge difference between the limbs.

This was the village's main way of getting around the forest that they were surrounded with, but he had never really liked it. Suspended this high in the air, a single screw up would cause them to go plummeting to their deaths. He was one of those people who could handle something like that, with his fuuton chakra allowing him to use techniques that would act like a parachute, but still he didn't like it. He wasn't too sure about introducing his own students to what some people called "nature's runway", and was actively considering whether it was safe to do it or not when he heard the Senju begin a conversation that he was clearly not very comfortable with. He had hoped that he would be willing to hide the whole "dislikes Senju" thing, but if this was the way it was going to have to be.. he might as well admit why exactly he disliked this man's clan. The man might get offended, but they weren't here to be friends, they were here to work together. The man was a sannin, after all, if he couldn't take a bit of brutal honesty, he wondered exactly who would be able to.

"I trust my instincts when I say you might not be that fond of Senju, given our history of course. I assure you, I will cause you no problems. Refusing to study history will repeat the past, correct?"
"Actually, Sou, I dislike the Senju because every member of your clan I have ever met has either spat on me because of my blood, something that I can not help, or they were actually physically insane. I don't get the urge to kill people very often, unlike most ninja in our fair village, but currently the only person still living that I would wish death upon is a Senju. Some stupid bitch who thinks that humans are nothing but parasites and actively wants to kill us all to get back to her wonderful world of trees." he said, greatly alluding to that psychopath Ukiyo.

It was true, she had beaten him black and blue the last time they had fought, but now the ground was much more level, and he might actually be stronger than her. His fire techniques were going to be great against her wood obsessive techniques, and he knew for a fact that all senju were weak as newborn children against genjutsu, so he could use that.
"I'm not judging you because of your clan, I'm simply being wary of you since I've already met a fair few lunatics from your family, I'm not calling you a lunatic, just making sure." he said, although by the very implication that he was saying that meant that he had some doubts about the man's mental health

Then the man said something that he hadn't expected.  He seemed apologetic about the fact that he had fought Hao... that was the wrong move. He hated Hao, he would be the second person that he'd wish death upon, if it was not for the fact that Mitsuo had managed to kill him recently. The man who had forced entire nations to their knees, and yet he had been killed by a single man who would then die of a completely unrelated issue within the year. it seemed too bizarre to be true, but there it was. The hao-slayer was dead, and this man was trying to make it sound like he wasn't lumping them all together. That was what he wanted people to do, but the fact that he even had to mention it...

"Let me put the record straight;" he said, clearing his throat. "I hated Hao more than anyone else on this green earth, including that bitch Ukiyo. Because of what he did, people have spat on me in the streets simply for being related to that murderous sack of shit. Because of what he did, my mother and brother were murdered by people he made homeless, and why? Because they were of his blood. They would have killed me as well if I had not been out of the village at the time. So, you know what? I don't care you fought him, I'd be disappointed you didn't kill him if Mitsuo hadn't already done the job for you. hell, I only wish that I had been the one to twist the knife. He was a mad, rabid dog who needed to be put down before he gave anyone else his disease. Now, stop making excuses, and stop making not judging because of the clan a big deal. That's how people are supposed to act. I'm trying not to judge you because your cousin threatened my life just because I have spinning dots in my eyes, and it's making it harder when you seem to think not being bigoted is a reason to sing and dance. It's not, it should be normal. So just stop." He said, his tone making it clear that he didn't want to continue on this line of thought. Their conversation could not get any worse from this point on.

Well, that was what he had thought until the man started talking about Ukiyo. He raised an eyebrow, his face suddenly flushed with anger at the mere mention of her name.
"So, you hate her almost as much as I do? Well, if you're sharing your little story about that girl, I should as well." he said, before catching his breath, the running and talking had made him slightly exhausted after the fortnight without moving, but then he began "My mother, brother, sister and father have all been taken from me. I'm an orphan with nobody but myself to lean on any more. even the boy I fancied got out and got himself killed, that idiot... " he looked away, embarrassed for admitting that he had a crush on someone. He wasn't exactly the most subtle person in the world, but somehow he'd avoided confessing to Suo for over eight years. He kind of regretted that in hindsight, there was just never a good time.

"But, as I was saying," he said, restoring his confidence and his anger "I was looking for a lost dog in the Dense forest when i ran into your cousin. She started demanding I leave because "Humans were filthy", and then somehow she worked out I was Uchiha. She started insulting my clan, and then I told her that my parents were dead and that she shouldn't insult them. Apparently she liked the idea of dead Uchiha, and she laughed and said that she was glad there were less of my kin in the world. I attacked her out of rage... I was a genin, I was stupid, I wasn't strong enough to fight a jounin yet, and she took advantage. She broke both of my ankles, beat me bloody, tried to steal my eyes, before forcing me to crawl home on two broken ankles. Since then I swore I would kill that bitch the next time I saw her, she will die a horrible painful death, suitable for one with so little human goodness in them as her."

He also talked about the whole choice issue, and he felt another spring shoot up through his throat, trying not to run over and punch his partner.
"You know what? You didn't do the right thing. I am as trained as our 'glorious leader', I've done more service, I've lived through much more, I'm more mature and I've got better goals than him. Yet for some reason, in our daimyo's eternal wisdom, he decided to not even mention that the title was up for grabs. He ignored me, left me rotting in my hospital bed, and from what my nurses say, banned them from telling me about Mitsuo's... How could that fucker, I loved him and they didn't even..." he sighed with irritation, wanting to punch something but instead focused on their goal. It wasn't too far away now, they just had to keep going. It shouldn't be very much longer, they just had to push through the forest and get there.

They eventually arrived at a small hut in the middle of the forest, hidden among the branches. This truly did seem like the place, and with Sou checking that he had seen it, he nodded and began to look for a way inside. As his comrade went inside, he waited for him to proceed since there was currently only one entrance. However, he didn't hear anything for a long time, eventually waiting wasn't enough. If he had already seen someone come in from the front door... Concentrating his strength into his leg muscles, he jumped down onto the roof of the hut, performing a jackhammer that broke through the ceiling, leaving him to bounce off the walls  before landing in the middle of the main room of the hut. Nobody was here, it was so strange... he brushed himself down from the dust that had sprung up when he'd broken through the cieling and looked around... this was not going to be easy.

Three minutes later, after having looked through the house, he found himself down the tunnel. Sou had apparently already been waiting there, he'd been hoping that he'd find the man down here, having opened the door to run away, but apparently it was Suo himself who had opened the door.
"So... I take it you've not seen him either?" he asked, grinning wickedly.

Mission: 3000/3000
Ninjutsu (D-> C) 0266/2250



Last edited by Uchiha Oshiki on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Character || Jutsu || Plot
Katon |S| Fuuton |B| Raiton |C|
Genjutsu |S| Taijutsu |S| Ninjutsu |C|
Speed |SS| Strength |A|
Mission List || D - 4|| C - 5|| B - 7|| A - 2|| S - 1|| SS - 0||

Jutsu ||Academy - 5 || Clan - 2|| D - 4|| C - 2|| B - 1|| A - 2|| S - 0|| SS - 0|| (16/38)

Sousetsu Senju

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S-rank
The words expelled by his partner flooded his mind and refused to retort in anyway, simply keeping his mind to himself. He had issues, much like himself, when it came to those who turned their back on him, punishing him for the fictitious crime of being Uchiha. It was unfortunate to lead a life surrounded by hatred, his own cousin Hao, and the many Senju that he seemed to have come across on his many journeys. The Senju seemed to have spat on him, looked down their nose to someone who they thought little of based on his bloodline. Could they really be that cold? Would they not take the time to know the person that they allegedly hate? Sousetsu was always open minded, turning his back against the mere title of shinobi and seeing the person for who they were and to the Senju, this Uchiha just seemed to be more misunderstood as he got to know him little by little. It was famous that the Uchiha clan have always been a clan based on their emotions. It was their burden, yet a precious gift.

He looked at the man before him and gave a concerned look, almost as if he was apologetic but knew his words would not mean much. They were here on a mission and if this was under other circumstances he would try his best to defend the Senju's honor. Of course, Ukiyo had betrayed the Senju also, attacking Sousetsu, the leader of the Senju clan, during a sparring match. Her lies and deceit would surely come back to haunt in days to come, but now was not the time. She would no doubt stay in the wilderness until her time would come strike again where the Sannin would be waiting for the inevitable. It was his duty to fulfill the role of the head of the Senju and correct or punish those within it for their actions.

He remarked upon the speech concerning the Daimyo and how he was not a suited candidate for the role of Hokage despite his abilities, but did the Daimyo make the right call? Having an Uchiha as Hokage was a risk many could not take at this current moment in time. One of the previous Hokage's was an Uchiha and caused more damage to the village than the missing ninja did. Sousetsu would never forget that day when the crystal user shown himself upon the Leaf village and caused havoc among the innocents and shinobi alike.

The hands of the Senju tightened around his blade as he grew more cautious of the area and determined to bring back good news to the Village hidden in the Leaves. It has been too long since the people had something to praise or give thanks too and a mission such as this, where a man has taking many civilians captive, would be put to rest.

He scanned the area one last time, looking for all possible escape routes, but there was none. The room was like a dome. One way in and one way out, which the Sannin and the Jounin occupied with their current position at the archway as an entrance. Before long, Sousetsu began making his way into the room, scouting even more for any surviving people within the room. A few could be seen dangling in a cage, malnourished with dry lips. A voice so harsh with the sound of struggling breaths resembling that of a heavy smoker on his deathbed.

Looking back over the counter of a nearby desk to the target Sousetsu noticed something odd about the lighter pieces of wood which he was dissecting.
Blood trickled down the side but it was not his own.

'He's making human puppets!?' His eyes shot open with a slight horror and disbelief in what he was witnessing. He turned back to the civilians who were now prisoners and used his finger as a gesture to remain silent. They nodded in reply still wheezing from the lack of nourishment that they required. It must have been harsh. Now social outcasts facing their impending doom, the people held their tongues.

The Sannin turned to face the many drawers before him before checking on his partner to search for his whereabouts and signaling him to occupy the target as he searched. The drawers seems to be rusted. It would surely make a creak if Sousetsu pulled it open to search its contents and so needed another distraction. These people needed to be free. It was not a pleasant way to leave this world and their family and friends would want to see them surely. They deserved death by nature, old age, not mutilation and be used as a puppet by their captor.

It reminded Sousetsu of a time long ago in his travels after the defeat of the infamous Hao. Sousetsu had seen many wars and battles unfit for the inexperienced. Only a soldier on the battlefield knew the true horrors of the world as we all know it. How men die for a cause that they are unsure of. Most of the fellow men in arms that he stood beside were mere militia, only fighting because they were within the area and wished to protect their families and property alike. It also served a purpose, giving him a few extra currency and free to salvage after the battles.

He watched as the target began to grow more weary and tiresome of his project. All seemed to go wrong with his curses and profanities being carried throughout the area. The people were scared of this however, leading the Senju to believe that this was an act that led to the punishment of a human within the cramped cages. He was indeed cruel. Sousetsu looked back over to his partner, Oshiki, and nodded once more readying himself for another battle. Sousetsu had never fought against a puppet user before but knew of their weakness, close combat. It would be that which would determine the outcome of this fight and the freedom of these innocent souls.

Training: 1039/9000 [Suiton S>SS]


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Sousetsu | Jutsu-list |  Locker
Tales of Sousetsu Senju
Main Theme | Battle


Ninjutsu: SS | Bukijutsu: SS | Senjutsu: S
Suiton: SS | Doton: SS | Mokuton: SS

Uchiha Oshiki

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Jounin
As they continued to move through the tunnel that almost seemed to move on forever, he could feel a bad feeling about this. Some people would call it paranoia, he himself called it "Soldier's intuition". Sou might have been a higher rank than him, but he was also four years younger than him and had gone through a lot less than he had. The man was strong and wise, but he was a little less prepared for something like this than Oshi was, especially since the Senju never got jumped and attacked by people who wanted their bodies.

Senju had their ability based around wood techniques, people couldn't steal that without taking their DNA, and even then it would require a doctor to be able to do something like that. Most of the people who jumped him in an attempt to get his eyes had little to no education, in fact that was why so many people did it, because they had no sense of self-awareness, they imagined themselves as these all powerful super-beings when it couldn't be further from the truth. However, with all those experiences, he now had a fairly good sixth sense for trouble.

The good thing about a tunnel is that it almost always had one way through it. Sure, there were some tunnels where they were interlocking into the equivalent of an under-city, but those styles of escape methods were few and far between, and generally required group coordination rather than one man working on his own. This tunnel was clearly just made by someone who wanted a way to get into his dark secrets without other people finding out about it. There had been no use for him to have more than one tunnel, since doing that always risked getting lost underneath the surface. It would have been brutally ironic for someone who had been hunted by the village to end up killing himself through lack of oxygen in his own hideyhole.

Moving through the tunnels behind Sou, he realized for the first time that the man had gone painfully quiet. Was there something wrong, had he spotted their target? No, he was sure if that was the case then Sou would have at least given some sort of signal. Was it something that he'd said? He didn't like thinking about that possibility, but it was a possibility, that was the entire problem with this little endeavor. Neither man knew the other, and the only teams that really worked properly were teams that got to know each other's nuances. With the silent treatment he was getting from the Sannin, there was no chance of that happening.

Walking out of the tunnel and into the first actual room down here, he heard the sounds of ragged breathing and, more importantly, swearing... this wasn't a good sign, he thought to himself as he moved against the wall, slowly approaching the area that they were going to have to raid. This area seemed a lot like the hut itself, the same style of walls and floor, except there was the iron-laced scent of blood that was oh-so familiar to him. However, it smelled disgustingly fresh, like someone had just been dissected right now. It was too much for the man to have simply cut himself on accident, but it was too fresh for it to have been a normal dissection. Something was very, very wrong here, and it wasn't the decorations.

Yanking his cloak's hood up so he moved into the shadows, he tried to keep as quiet as humanly possible, before peaking around the corner. The man was standing there, trying to dissect some sort of wood... that seeped red sap. It was not hard to tell that this was not sap at all, but actual blood. Still, he had to make sure... he closed his eyes for a second, activating his sharingan and looking through the wooden pile on the table. Sure enough, there was a very light chakra trail going around the body. This was no simple puppet... this was a human puppet, a truly unforgivable crime against nature.

See, every ninja art in the world has some illegal forms of it, or at least taboo; Taijutsu has the eight gates, which whilst not illegal, are taboo because of the sheer amount of damage it does to the user's body. Ninjutsu supposedly had techniques that could slaughter an entire village at once, although that was only blind speculation, rumors that nobody had gotten around to quashing yet. Everything had it's little thing that caused people to look down upon it and worry about it. The two most worrisome taboos, however, were from the arts of puppetry and summoning respectively. With summoning jutsu, it was said that you could raise the dead and cause them to work for your bidding. The only people who could do jutsu like that had died out in the fourth shinobi war, but it was rumored there were other people who could do that kind of thing.

Puppetry's taboo was much easier to commit, and was all the more terrible for it. Some people took the bodies of their dead opponents as puppets as a sign that they had defeated them, and whilst that was disgusting, it was still understandable. However, some people actually captured innocents and slaughtering them to make their little puppets, both as a scare tactic and to get their abilities. this was one of the few areas where people could abuse a senju's chakra style, and actually he'd fought against one of those before.... probably not a good thing to mention to Sou, he thought quietly.

He must have been kidnapping people from the village and turning them into human puppets. He had often found puppeteers to be down-right creepy, and a lot of them bonded with their puppets in a way that no human should bond with an inanimate object, but this... this was a whole new level of fucked up. He was killing people and mutilating their corpses and for what? To boost his own abilities? That was like those freaks who attacked him to try and get his eyes. A sort of cold anger seeped through his body as he prepared to do what he was going to have to do.

Tugging on Sou's sleeve, he motioned for him to stay back as he built up his chakra. Sou might not appreciate being ordered around by someone who was a lower rank than him, but Oshi actually had a plan here rather than going in all guns blazing. If they did that, they might accidentally hurt one of the prisoners. That would do the exact opposite of what they were trying to do here. they were ordered to kill the man, but it was also the right thing to do to try and avoid hurting people who have already been highly victimized. He needed to be able to free these people, but if he just ran out and got them free then he would leave himself open for the man whilst he broke the padlock. He needed something that would give him a moment's distraction, and since he didn't actually have any decent clone jutsus, he decided that he would have to use THAT ability.

Suddenly, throughout the entire building, the sound of a distant ringing bell could be heard. This would have caused both Sou and the man to jump, since there were no bell towers around here, the closest one was in the village and this sound was nearer than that. As if on queue, a shadow form of him ran past the door, causing the missing nin to begin to wander around the room from his dissecting table. He had not seen what had just happened properly, since not only was he not looking at it properly, but because of the sheer speed of the person that was moving around, but he was definitely sure that he had just seen something. This bought a momentary reprieve for the prisoners, and as the man approached the corner, Oshi slipped around it, launching a kick into the man's chest that sounded across the room.

The eyes of the man, as well as every single prisoner in the cage seemed to open in shock, both pleased shock and highly pained shock as the foot connected square in the middle of the man's chest. The impact of the kick was showing deeply on the man's pained face, firing spit out of his mouth like he was some sort of water fountain, but it was also making a very audible cracking sound. He hadn't been bothering to keep his kick as weak as he normally tried to, they were having to kill the man after all, so a cracking sound roared out as ribs splintered under the pressure of his leg, throwing him across the room. The shattering of ribs apparently weren't the only sound that this surprise attack was giving off, since he made a large thump as he hit against the far wall, slipping down onto the floor, landing on his ass and clutching his stomach.

Now with a moment's freedom, he shot across the room, picking up one of the heavy implements on the table that, quite honestly, he had no idea about what it was supposed to do. Still, the ghost image of his form would be running around the room, getting the man's attention and drawing it away from Sou. Unfortunately for Sou, he would have been caught in the illusion as well, and thus would have had no idea what his ally was doing. This was the problem with his invisibility jutsu, it didn't discriminate between friends and foes. Everyone got caught in it, and everyone was forced into a confusing set of circumstances that just didn't add up.

Soon enough, the prison came unlocked, to the confusion of the man who had just been seeing a strange blur run around the room for a moment or two. The door swung open, but because of the presence of their torturer in the room, they weren't quite ready to escape, their eyes sticking to the maniac who was slowly bringing himself back to his feet, clutching his stomach as his shirt began to run red, his shattered ribs having apparently cut open a wound in his chest that was dripping against his once white shirt, though among the blood of his victims, it was hard to tell which was his and which was someone who he'd victimized. That seemed to only increase Oshi's blood lust as he began to fall back, dropping the illusion that would have no more benefits. There were times when he could use something like that and there were just times when it would backfire horribly.

The man, currently, was pissed and apparently out for revenge against whoever had kicked him in the chest. Oshi couldn't help but enjoy the man's anger, he was a monster who hurt innocent people to get what he wanted, and the fact that he was angry about what Oshi had done meant that Oshi had gotten some revenge for the poor buggers this man's greed and lust for power had taken out of this world. But, since he was so angry, the man was liable to attack anyone who was nearby him, whether they were actually capable of having done that or not. Long story short, he needed the man to focus on where he really was, rather than getting near his prisoners again. If the man attacked them, they would be able to handle it, but the prisoners? they were weak, they were clearly deprived of food and however long they had spent in the cage had made it hard for them to stand up steadily, the cage was barely big enough for them to stand over if they hunched over, let alone standing up straight.

Ninjutsu (D->C) 2250/2250!
Ninjutsu (C->B) 0003/3000


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Character || Jutsu || Plot
Katon |S| Fuuton |B| Raiton |C|
Genjutsu |S| Taijutsu |S| Ninjutsu |C|
Speed |SS| Strength |A|
Mission List || D - 4|| C - 5|| B - 7|| A - 2|| S - 1|| SS - 0||

Jutsu ||Academy - 5 || Clan - 2|| D - 4|| C - 2|| B - 1|| A - 2|| S - 0|| SS - 0|| (16/38)

Sousetsu Senju

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S-rank
Sousetsu gripped his sword tight, allowing his fist to from around it. People behind cages reminded of a time long ago. After killing the infamous Hao Uchiha, Sousetsu set off to aid others from various countries and villages. He himself was a prisoner of war, much like these men and women before him. Losing hope and on the brink of death, with no-one but their neighbour to reassure them, times could be grim and cruel to those without much experience. There was no escape for them but they could not give up for help was here now. If only they had their spirits lifted from time to time. What Sousetsu seen before them were husks. Lifeless and with no hope left. Their faces lifted when the Sannin was by their side but their eagerness must have been ecstasy, giving them the strength to go on. There was hope after all.

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Sousetsu spent the entire summer surrounded by a fence that towered over him. He was trapped in a prisoner of war camp. It was a terrible mistake, not his but the dimwitted, cowardly commander's. The Senju, at this current moment in time, was a mercenary attached to the man's regiment. They were invading the enemy's main port city when the officer miscalculated at the end and the unit's line of retreat was cut off. While the troops were prepared for an all-or-nothing charge, the commander almost casually opted for surrender.

"Don't worry," he had said to his men before they were locked up. "Whatever happens now, the ultimate victory in this war will be ours. Instead of making a stand and dying for nothing, we'll be much better off if we just quietly let them take us as prisoners of war. We'll be liberated right away in any case." This made perfect sense. But the officer completely misread the feelings of an enemy on the brink of defeat.

Having survived many battles, the Azure Beast knew better than anyone how people felt towards prisoners of war after the hated enemy had taken the lives of their friends and loved ones and torched their hometowns. To the members of his platoon at least, as they were preparing to enter the camp, he whispered, "You'd better forget about any rosy pictures. This could be worse than the battlefield." His words proved all too accurate. Life in the prisoner of war camp was bitterly harsh. Day after day, the men were forced to do backbreaking labor on a diet of scraps. The sick and injured went untreated and were not even allowed to rest. To collapse on the job was to die. Indeed, several of the prisoners died not by collapsing on the job but from brutal beatings for minor infractions.

Everyone with access to the camp, both the soldiers assigned to guard duty and ordinary citizens with business there, looked upon the prisoners with hatred in their eyes. Some guards would wave swords at them and boast, "I can kill you bastards any time I like," and certain officers slaughtered one prisoner after another, disguising the killings as accidents. Even as they tormented the prisoners, such men were suffering the deaths of their families and friends in the war, and spending their days in fear of the coming invasion. The camp was a place ruled by hatred and revenge, but also a place shrouded in uncertainty and fear of the day when the captives would become their captors. This tense, complicated atmosphere ate away at the spirits of all, friend and foe alike. The horror of war lay not only in the mutual killing of enemies clashing on the battlefield but even more so in places such as this that were far from the front lines. The Senju knew this with every bone in his body.

A month passed after the platoon entered the prisoner of war camp. The enemy troops were thoroughly exhausted. The fall of the capital was said to be imminent. In spite or because of that, life in the camp was worse than ever. The tasks assigned the prisoners were even crueler than before, and their diet, which was meager enough to begin with, fell below the level needed to sustain life. The military guards bullied the prisoners as if for their own amusement, wounding them, and mistreating them with fatal consequences. All kinds of civilians did their part, too, hurling human waste over the fence into the camp. And even if secret stashes of food might be left for them, none of the prisoners dared eat them for fear they might be poisoned.

Hatred climbed to unseen heights. To one prisoner who moaned "Why are you doing this to us?" a guard spat out the answer, "It's just what your country is doing to us." And it was true. All the young men of the enemy country were being sent into battle, where most of them were being killed. Whole towns had been burned down and transformed into rubble. While the soldiers assigned to guard duty knew that defeat in the war itself was certain, they continued to be victors where the prisoners of war were concerned. And while the captured soldiers believed in the victory of their fatherland and waited for the day when their comrades would rescue them, they continued to be vanquished among victors.

The moans of the prisoners of war could be heard throughout the camp, "When is the war going to end? The war doesn't have to end. Just let them get us out of here! Have we been abandoned by the fatherland?" Sousetsu kept offering the same advice to them again and again. "Be patient," he would say, "Don't give up hope." He knew everything there was to know about war, and so he realized what was happening now. The fatherland's supreme commanders were trying to bring down the capital first and leaving the fall of this military port city for later. The prisoners of war had, in fact, been abandoned. The commander in chief would no doubt say, "For the sake of a great victory, we cannot let ourselves be concerned by a small set back." And he would be right. But precisely because he would be right, the Senju could not convey this to the prisoners, who firmly believed that their side was trying their best to rescue them.

One prisoner after another made plans to escape, and for every one of those there was an informant who exposed his plan to the guards. Both types of prisoner had the same thing in mind, to save himself alone. No one could be trusted. There were even some "'informants' who made up phony escape stories about perfectly innocent men just to put themselves in a little better position with the guards. The only thing awaiting such traitors when the war finally ended would be the revenge of their comrades. As much as they understood this, all they could do was ingratiate themselves with the guards so as to secure their momentary safety.

The fence was not the only thing surrounding the prisoners of war. It was not just their bodies but their minds that had been taken captive. In addition to the ones who died from illness and injury were increasing numbers of those who ended their own lives after a period of mental suffering. Be patient. Don't give up hope. Sousetsu's words gradually ceased to make an impression on anyone. After the men had been prisoners of war for two months, a new guard took charge of Sousetsu's barrack. In place of the young warrior who had been guarding them came an old soldier.

His name was Shinji. When he introduced himself to the men, he remarked with a grim smile, "Things must be getting pretty desperate if they're calling up an old goat like me." The young guard had been sent to the front lines. This probably meant that the battle for the capital had entered its final phase. "I tell you, this war is almost over. In another month, you young fellows will be on the other side of the fence, and we'll be locked in here. Our positions will be completely reversed." Shinji needed no prompting from the prisoners of war, and his voice contained none of the hate-filled agitation of the young guard's.

"All you fellows have to do is hang in there a little longer, be patient, and not give up hope." His words were almost identical to the Senju's, which meant that Shinji, like Sousetsu, had experienced many a battle over the years. "We may be in different positions, but deep down we're the same. You men are unarmed prisoners, and we'll be under your control as soon as you come to occupy the country. I'm what you will be tomorrow, and you're what I will be tomorrow. I don't know how long we're going to go on like this, but if you stop and think about it, isn't it stupid for us to keep hating each other and snarling at each other? Let's at least try to get along." He twisted his wrinkled face into a big grin and laughed aloud. His smile deeply affect the mentally and physically exhausted men. Before they knew it, they were smiling, too. This was the first carefree smile that any of them had managed since their capture, or, rather, since their time on the battlefield.

Shinji's kindness was not limited to words. Of course, the change of a single guard was not enough to substantially improve the prisoners' treatment. The hard labor and meager food were the same as before. But Shinji would speak to them with real feeling. "Sorry for working you so hard, but there aren't any young men left in this town to do the muscle work. We're not making you do these jobs to punish or discipline you but because the town needs your help with these constructing projects. I'm sorry we can't give you anything decent to eat. I really am. But everybody outside the fence is starving, too. We're all in this together, so try to put up with it."

Shinji would try to order somewhat easier jobs for prisoners who had taken ill, and he would sneak them extra food. That is the kind of guard he was. The prisoners started calling him 'Uncle Shinji,' and would even joke around with him sometimes. "We'd be way better off if the other guards were like you, Uncle Shinji,"
said one prisoner, to which Jemii nodded sadly. "I'll tell you what, Uncle Shinji," said another prisoner. "If I had known that there were people like you in this country, I never would have volunteered. I'm not forgetting my place as a POW, but let me shake your hand once." Shinji allowed himself the faintest of smiles at this and gave the man his hand.

"You know something, Sousetsu..." Shinjii said, sitting down beside him during a break in the heavy lifting. It was a clear, beautiful day, but the sunlight pouring down on them had lost its midsummer glare. The season was shifting to autumn. "I'd say you're a little different from these other young prisoners." "Am I?" Sousetsu replied intrigued. "I know you've seen your share of battles. I can smell it on you." Sousetsu's only reply to Shinjii was a strained smile. Shinji seemed to have known what the Senju's response to his remark would be, and he wore the same kind of smile as he carried on the conversation.

"Why haven't you escaped? It would be easy for a man like you to break through the flimsy security they have here." he asked. "You give me too much credit." Sousetsu replied leaving all modesty behind him. "You could make it by yourself, but taking everybody with you would be tough. Is that why you stayed?" Kaim gave him another strained smile, saying nothing. Shinji was right. If he decided to escape on his own, it would be easy for him to climb over the fence. If, however, he manged to gain his freedom, the prisoners he left behind would be punished or, at the very least, would have to live with increasingly harsh security measures. The young soldiers abandoned in the camp would feel only despair. If he was going to escape, it would have to mean getting everyone over the fence. Most of the others, however, were so wasted away that they were beginning to lose even the strength to go on living. Men like that could only be a drag on his own flight to freedom.

"You're a kind-hearted fellow, aren't you?" Shinji said. "And you're a smart one, too, I'll bet." Sousetsu smirked. "What do you mean by that?" answered with wide eyes, as if he was surprised. "Any soldier with as much experience as you has already seen the handwriting on the wall. The war is over. Another three days, maybe a week, and our side is going to announce a total surrender. Right now, we're just making our last stand out of sheer stubbornness. The second the war ends, you prisoners will go free, and we'll take your place." the man looked at the Senju with sincerity, "Yes. And?" Sousetsu sighed slightly. "It'll just be a little longer. Really, all you have to do is hold on a little longer. You must know that as well as I do. So you're probably not even thinking of making the effort to escape." he continued.

When Sousetsunodded, Shinjii smiled and said, [/color]"That's fine. I'm just as fed up as you are with all the pointless fighting and hatred."[/color] He looked up at the autumn sky, his profile marked by a number of deep wrinkles. On closer inspection, the Senju realized that some of those wrinkles were scars left by sword cuts. "Let me tell you something, Sousetsu." he nodded in reply, awaiting for the words to escape his lips. "Our country doesn't have the strength left to make it through another hard winter. I knew that when summer was still here. I just wish we had given up sooner. Then there wouldn't have been so many young men killed in battle, and so many towns burned." Shinji released a deep sigh and added, "When this war is over, we're going to have to do whatever your country tells us to do. We can't complain if we're enslaved or tortured to death by the young men who are now our prisoners of war."

The Azure Beast could not assure him that would never happen. As a mercenary, he would just go off seeking new employment when this war ended, but this was not true of the other prisoners of war. As the conquerors, they would now have peace. They would return to the lives they led before. But how many among them would be able to treat the vanquished people with kindness and respect? "I think you'll know what I mean, Sousetsu, when I say you can be as cruel as you like to us old folks when the fighting ends, but please, I'm begging you, be decent to the young men and to the women and to the children. Don't do anything to them that will make them hate your country. Otherwise, there'll just be another war sometime in the future. Ten years, twenty years, thirty years, maybe even a hundred years from now. I don't want any more of this. Countries fighting each other, people hating each other..."

Standing up, he took a few steps before turning to say to Sousetsu with a smile, "You know, if we weren't enemies, I would've liked to have a drink with you sometime." That was the last the Sannin saw of Shinjii as a guard. The sun was overhead when Shinji left, but he did not come back even after it had begun sinking in the west. The next time someone came into the enclosure it was to the cheers of the prisoners of war welcoming the arrival of their countrymen. "You're going to be all right now, men! The war is over! It's a huge victory for our side!" Shinji's country had agreed to a total surrender. The guards assembled in the tower were stripped of their weapons, and anyone who resisted was killed on the spot.

The soldiers who, until a short time ago, had ruled the camp were herded into the enclosure with whips and under the threat of drawn swords. The prisoners of war, who until only moments ago had been under their rule, now lined up to stare at their former guards, and before anyone knew it, the guards were being cursed and stoned. Hands tied, the soldiers could not ward off the stones, and before long they were drenched in blood.

Shinji was among them.

He stared at Sousetsu, blood gushing from his forehead. His eyes showed no hatred or resentment. He simply gave the Sannin a little nod, looking straight at him as if to say, "Remember what I asked you to do." the Senju shouted to the men surrounding these new prisoners, "Stop it! Stop it! They've surrendered! Leave them alone!" But, liberated from the fear of death and from days of humiliation, his young comrades, wild-eyed and screaming like animals, went on stoning their former guards. "Can't you see who this is? It's Uncle Shinji! Stop it!" One of the soldiers gave him a contemptuous snort and all but spit out the words, "The old bastard was just sucking up to us for when our side won."

Another soldier, the young man who had asked to shake Shinji's hand that day, shouted, "He might act like a good guy, but an enemy's an enemy! And besides, he's just some old geezer from a country we pounded into the dirt." He threw another stone at Shinji. The Beast's shouts did no good. He started grabbing hands that were readying to hurl stones and smashing people in the face, but no one would listen to him. The commander of the troops that had galloped to the rescue just grinned and said, "Good! Good! Get it out of your system!" and he handed swords to the unarmed men. "Kill them all, and raise some victory cries while you're at it! Think of the humilation you endured as prisoners. Now's the time to get even!"

"No, stop it!" Sousetsu shouted. "The war is over!" he pleaded. "Wait, I know you. You're a mercenary. You're just spouting a lot of nonsense. A few good sword thrusts could shut that mouth of yours!" The commander's aides took this as a signal to surround the Senju. "Don't waste your time on him, men! Warriors of our beloved fatherland! Kill these soldiers first, and then we can attack the town. Set fires! Take the women! We won this war! This town, this country, everything belongs to us now!" The commander laughed aloud, but in the next moment, his smile turned into a grimace. His aides were falling to the ground. The Azure Beast had grabbed a sword from one of them, and now it flashed in his hand.

"Traitor! Somebody take him down!" Sousetsu swung around and started for Shinji. But it was too late. The soldiers were already slashing wildly at the former guards, who had no means to defend themselves. Standing amid the hellish scene of human butchery, the Senju saw it happen. The old soldier, who had been kind because he knew all too well the link between war and hatred, fell to the ground without uttering a word, a hateful blade thrust into his back.

Before long, Sousetsu made a break for the camp gate. He ran for all he was worth, a soundless roar reverberating inside him. Why did people have to hate each other so? Why did people have to fight each other so? And why was it impossible for people to stop fighting and stop hating? He did not know the answers to these questions. Saddened and frustrated by his own incomprehension, Sousetsu ran at full speed through the rubble of the town.

A few months pass by. "This is it, Sousetsu," the commander says with a smile. "I am enormously grateful for the magnificent job you've done. You can name your own reward when this war is over." The last great offensive is about to begin. This should bring the war to a close. After all these long, long months as a vassal state, the country that lost the war the year Sousetsu was a prisoner has raised its banner against the ruling power under which it endured such suffering in the last war. The defeated country has spent a hundred years nurturing its hatred for the ruling power, passing the hatred down from parent to child to grandchild. The country that won the war a hundred years ago was too filled with a ruler's arrogance and insensitivity to notice what was happening. The only things that it has handed down from parent to child to grandchild are the scorn and contempt for the "inferior country" under its sway. This war ends with almost disappointing ease. The results are the exact opposite of the war previous.

No one knows on which side the goddess of victory will smile if yet another war occurs a hundred years from now. "All right, Sousetsu, name your reward." The Sannin answers the commander's question softly, "I don't need a thing." With a surprised look the commander continued with another question. "Why not? It's true that you're a mercenary, but you far outdid the regular troops. Our country wants to show its appreciation for your efforts." he assured him. "If that's how you really feel, I'd like you to promise me one thing. Don't make your enemy hate you." The commander gave a puzzling look. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about treating the people of the defeated country with kindness and respect." A shocked expression on his face, the commander laughs and says, "Aren't you the softhearted one!" Sousetsu, however, is deadly serious. "This is the legacy an old man from your own country left me a few months ago." he spoke as he remembered Shinji. "Enough," said the commander, still looking shocked. "Dismissed." Sousetsu  himself has no hope that Shinji's legacy will be fulfilled. The journey he has taken since that fateful day in the camp has shown him only the selfishness and stupidity of the human race. It will be the same from here on out as well. Indeed, nothing has changed since long before he met Shinji. And yet. Back at his post, the Senju gripped his sword and holds his breath.

'It will change someday. They will see someday. I want to believe that. Unless I believe it, I can't go on with my endless journey. You know what I mean, don't you, Uncle Shinji?' Eyes closed, he can see Shinji's face smiling sadly. The order goes out to the entire assembled force to charge. Within the rising clouds of dust, Sousetsu gripped his sword and started to run.

---------------------------------

The sword was still gripped tightly in his hand as his comrade, Oshiki, had begun the assault. Sousetsu forced the drawer open, regardless of the sound that would have been created, and tipped it upside down  to search further into the contents upon the desk. There was a key surrounded in rust. He retrieved it and turned to face the crowd within the cages and opened the locks. "It's a straight path. Go!" he shouted at the crowd before turning to face the opponent and join his comrade.

Lost within his thoughts he was unsure of the previous actions made but moved nevertheless. He was now stationed by the hallway that led to the exit, making sure the civilians were safe as they moved on past him. His blade was before him in a defensive state. With determination in his eyes, he thought about those times with the commander, was he adhering his words now? He did not know but this enemy before him was not a normal human being. He was a beast that had to be put to rest. The two shinobi from the hidden leaf would be sure to do just that.

Training: 5093/9000 [Suiton S>SS]


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Sousetsu | Jutsu-list |  Locker
Tales of Sousetsu Senju
Main Theme | Battle


Ninjutsu: SS | Bukijutsu: SS | Senjutsu: S
Suiton: SS | Doton: SS | Mokuton: SS

Uchiha Oshiki

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Jounin
Music for scene:

Well, at least the crowds were finally thinning, he thought as he watched Sou govern them away from the room. They were going to have to go through the tunnel and out through the hut itself to get out, but as long as they kept the puppeteer himself away from them, they should be able to get there unmolested. Now the puppeteer was coming back at him, something that Oshi would normally have been fine with. He was a strong warrior, he could handle an attack that someone like him made upon him, but unfortunately for him, he was not ready for what the man was actually going to be using against him.

He was a soldier, that fact was something that was hard to miss, but how do you fight the dead? That was something that he wished he knew as his sharingan detected a strange chakra presence between the hands of the man that was roaring back on his feet and... the corpse on the table. He could feel his breakfast stirring in his stomach as the half dissected corpse came up from the table, the chakra hook in his chest allowing his body to be used like a giant puppet, despite his stomach flap still being open, and his internal organs showing. It was probably one of the most grotesque things that Oshi had ever been forced to witness, and considering the state he had found his mother and brother in after their slaughter, that was really saying something.

Picking up a sword that had been left on the table next to him, the puppet began to charge at him in it's unnatural almost weightless gait. He didn't know how to fight something like this, he could normally detect how something would move because of the way that its muscles contracted, but now? No muscles were moving, it was the chakra strings that were making it move at all, and that meant that he was having to guess where it was going to move from the way the strings were guiding it; That was around a hundred times more difficult, but if that was the way that he wanted it... throwing himself to the side, he dodged the first strike, and threw himself down onto the floor as the second attack sliced through where his neck had been a moment before, before rolling to the side as he was attacked once again. He hadn't wanted to use this technique whilst innocents were still in the room, but... He had no choice, this was the only way he could ensure that he didn't die by this maniac's hand.

This technique that he was about to use was something that he had developed initially to try and combat members of the Senju clan. as he grew older and older, he found himself more and more in conflict with them, first Ukiyo then that strange human puppet that they had been forced to verse down in the dockyards. The Uchiha and Senju families had been warring for centuries, although often not actually warring, just political bickering. Whether it was peaceful or aggressive, however, the fact remained that the two clans were constantly rivalling one another, and that he was currently working with the leader of the rival clan. The lord of the Uchiha and the lord of the Senju working together in harmony, their ancestors would probably be confused about what was going on if they were able to see this now, but that didn't mean that Oshi was going to come out unarmed when he was constantly being forced with dissidents from the main branch of the family. Thankfully for him, however, his elements and his genjutsu made him incredibly powerful against members of the Senju clan, but he felt like he had to do more, that he had to bring something new to the table to be truly fearsome.

That was why he had developed a technique called the Ember Cage. When it came to speed, only a very small percent of the population could move as fast as he could, and even fewer could beat him. The only two people he knew who were actually faster than him were Mitsuo, who was now dead, and Ukiyo, who was a missing-nin and thus unlikely to come back to Konoha. But, because there were a small amount of people that could actually beat him in that aspect, he had designed an armour to make sure that even the people who aimed to fight against him couldn't do very much against him. His body was naturally full of fire chakra, just like every member of the Uchiha family before him, and every member that would come in generations after his own, so he had used that and his taijutsu fighting style to design this little beauty.

If Sou had been able to detect chakra radiating off of someone's body, he would notice the entire of Oshi's body lighting up like the fifth of November. A strange black ooze came out of his tenketsu as his body began to cloak itself in a giant carapace of chakra, somehow still allowing him to breathe through the strange new suit that he was wearing. The ooze then thickened into something that seemed almost like an insect carapace, allowing him to move freely but giving it a strangely robotic feel to it whenever he did just from the angular pattern of his body now. That was when it began to glow with the same orange light that came from a sword that was in the middle of being smelted, the sheer heat radiating off his body feeling extremely uncomfortable. It was almost hot enough to boil the water in the air, giving off a strange shimmering appearance as the water in the air rapidly began to dissipate. Yet, despite that, he seemed not to be made uncomfortable by his own incredible heat. In fact, he seemed to be relishing in it, like it was feeding his power source somehow, his face hidden under the chitinous insectoid mass of chakra.

For a moment the man seemed shocked, then deciding that he had to take out this new threat before it was able to do anything to him, the puppet reared back with the sword once again, slamming it straight into the armour's centre, and for a moment it seemed like the sword was about to break through and enter his heart.. then as he pushed the sword deeper against the armour, it began to fall to the floor as molten slag. Further and further the sword was pushed in blind desperation, and yet more and more of the sword just fell apart, becoming useless until the hilt was the only part of the weapon that was left. If the man had been able to understand what was going on, he might have panicked, but whilst he was shocked and confused Oshi shot his hand forwards, touching the cube in the centre of the corpse's chest. Whilst he touched it, he tried his damnedest to forget that he was currently shoving his hand in the middle of an opened chest cavity and that the squishy thing his armour was pushing against was the heart.

Of course, with the chakra cube being made of a weaker material than the sword itself, it melted away, and the sheer residual heat caused the rest of the body to burst into glorious flames, the chakra strings breaking away and causing it to land on the floor. The wood had, apparently, been treated so that it wouldn't catch fire, which was very helpful considering they would have been caught far underground in a burning hut with very little oxygen if it had been able to catch fire. that was why he had been unwilling to use the technique initially, the smoke was causing it to become steadily harder to breathe in here, the oxygen ventilation being very shoddy and a little disconcerting. This battle needed to end quickly or they were all going to pass out from smoke inhalation. He just wished he had some sort of technique to break a hole to the surface, that way they could get some proper air in here, none of that recycled crap that the man appeared to be using to keep this place oxygenated, according to the spreading concentration of smoke in the air.

"You sick fuck.." Oshi said, as he walked forwards across the hut, the ground underneath his feet beginning to glow from the heat that had just passed over them. "You steal people from their homes, you keep them locked up, and then you make them watch as you slaughter their friends in front of their faces, only to desecrate their corpses for your sick freak show... I'm going to burn you... I'm going to burn the HEART out of you." he spat, the water that came out of his mouth turning into water vapour before it could even hit the ground.

Special Information:
Chakra 235/300:
Three Tomoe Sharingan

Name: Ember Cage (残り火檻 ~ Nokoribi ori)
Canon/Custom: Custom
Rank: A (+1)
Type: Defensive | Offensive
Element: Katon (Fire)
Range: Self
Specialty: Taijutsu
Duration: 5 posts (-10 per turn for extension)
Cooldown: 7 posts
Description: Oshi pumps a layer of pure chakra out of his body, forming it into a shell that seems reminiscent of armor, covering his entire body from head to toe. Once that's complete, it begins to glow with an orange light, due to the new heat that it's giving off. It is currently at 75 'c, the layer of chakra coating his body stopping him from overheating despite wearing this burning chunk of energy.

The energy itself is a highly defensive technique. It's able to block 4 B ranks, 2 A ranks and 1 S rank (Physical attacks (e.g. Tai / Buki) count as a rank weaker against the shield , genjutsu / fuinjutsu count as one rank higher. However, only touch-based genjutsu are blocked at all by this jutsu, due to still being able to breathe and see things through the armor) before dissipating, but it also blocks unlimited numbers of any level of attack underneath B rank. Due to the extreme heat involved, weapons under B rank melt into a molten liquid when confronting his defense. Furthermore, because of the sheer heat of the technique, it damages any bare flesh that touches the armor. Burning off the first layer of skin and giving deep heat blisters that cause extreme pain on the victim, they gain new blisters every time they touch the armor, even in passing. The presence of even a slight blister on the victim's body will cause them to punch with - 1/2 a rank of strength. This neither affects Oshi, nor does it stack.
Ninjutsu (C->B) 1505/3000


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Character || Jutsu || Plot
Katon |S| Fuuton |B| Raiton |C|
Genjutsu |S| Taijutsu |S| Ninjutsu |C|
Speed |SS| Strength |A|
Mission List || D - 4|| C - 5|| B - 7|| A - 2|| S - 1|| SS - 0||

Jutsu ||Academy - 5 || Clan - 2|| D - 4|| C - 2|| B - 1|| A - 2|| S - 0|| SS - 0|| (16/38)

Sousetsu Senju

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S-rank
A sharp sense overcame Sousetsu. It was chakra belonging to his partner on this missions, Oshiki, which had somewhat spiked. He turned and transfixed his eyes on the two within the centre of the room, battling one another while Sousetsu ensured the safety of the prisoners. A strange black ooze came out of his partners tenketsu as his body began to cloak itself in a giant carapace of chakra. 'Interesting...' the Sannin thought to himself as his gaze inspected this surprising element. The ooze then thickened into something that seemed almost like an insect carapace. It was developing. Before long, weapons began to melt before his very eyes. He was shocked as this ability was one that he was none familiar with, and to melt weapons that quickly proved that he was surrounded with intense heat.

He glowed with an orange hue. It was no longer safe for the civilians. Sousetsu took it upon himself to make a choice. He had to either assist his new found comrade, or assure the safety of the innocents. This jutsu proved to be one to avoid entirely unless they possessed power water abilities, lucky Sousetsu did. But the same could not be said for anyone other in the room before them. He thought of the situation further. Would the Sannin get in the way? Was the Uchiha still trustworthy enough to keep Sousetsu from harms way? He could not be certain. Whatever abilities this jutsu created could not be known unless experiencing them first hand. That is why he chose to escort the civilians.

"Hurry! Leave the area!" Sousetsu ordered as he protected the rear as they made their escape. He looked once more to the Uchiha and nodded, letting him know that the rest was up to him. He was sure that the Uchiha would want to fight this battle on his own. His body burst into flames as the technique began to intensify causing the chakra strings of the puppets to be singed, removing the puppet entirely from the users grasp. Smoke filled the room hastily. There was little ventilation as the place was too far underground. It grew harder to breathe. Sousetsu covered his mouth with his forearm as the rest of the civilians soon reached the exit accompanied by a small trail of smoke.

"You sick fuck.." Oshi said, as he walked forwards across the hut, the ground underneath his feet beginning to glow from the heat that had just passed over them. "You steal people from their homes, you keep them locked up, and then you make them watch as you slaughter their friends in front of their faces, only to desecrate their corpses for your sick freak show... I'm going to burn you... I'm going to burn the HEART out of you." With this, Sousetsu assured himself that this was not his fight, but Oshiki's. He lowered his head before turning to sprint out of the underground lair, returning to the innocent people and assuring their own safety. 'He will make it...'

Approaching the surface, thuds and large noises could be heard behind him as he exited the vicinity. The people looked at him. Covered in filth. Scared. Sousetsu gave off a sigh before a small smile appeared on his face. "It will be okay."

Many were sobbing, joyous that their lives were spared. Others soon passed out, finally resting in the wide open air that this world had to offer. Sousetsu could relate to their pain. He too was placed in their shoes. But not with Shinji. A more accurate story involving cages which he came accustom to calling 'shells.' And like the name, they too were dark inside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Stop this! Please, I beg of you! Let me go!" A young man's screams echo through the emptiness.

No voice answers him. Crouching in the darkness, Sousetsu counts the footsteps. Three men have come in. The disorderly footsteps probably belong to the young man. The other two are perfectly regular.

"Please, I'm begging you. If it's money you want, I'll get you all you could ask for on the outside. I promise. I won't forget to show my thanks to you. Please!"

The only reply of the two men who have brought the young one here is the clunk of an iron lock opening.

"No! No! Please, I'm begging you. I'll do anything you want. Anything!"

A dull thud is the sound of flesh tearing, bone wrenching. Someone collapses on the floor. A strangled scream. The clunk of an iron lock closing. Sousetsu knows the young man has been thrown into the shell diagonally opposite his own. When you are locked into one of these windowless shells, your hearing becomes acutely sensitive.

"Don't do this! Let me out of here! Please! Let me out of here!"

From the sound of the voice, Sousetsu can imagine a young man's face with boyish traces: a small-time hoodlum hardly a step above a teenage gang member. When he was still on the streets, no doubt, he used to swagger down the sidewalk, his cunning but cowardly eyes darting every which way. The two men who brought him here maintain their silence to the end, their footsteps moving off together. The heavy door opens and closes again. Left alone in the darkness, the young man howls his entreaties for a time, but when her realizes they will do no good, he shouts himself hoarse, spitting out one curse after another until he begins to sob.

"Quiet down there," an old man calls out from one of the inner shells, "It won't do you any good to make a fuss, Time to give up, sonny." This is the voice of the oldest man living in the dozen or so shells lined up in the darkness. He was already here when Sousetsu was sent to this place. It is always his role to quiet and comfort the obstreperous newcomers.

"If you've got time to bawl like that, keep your eyes closed!"

"Huh?"

"Just make sure you keep sucking on your memories of the outside-like a piece of candy!"

Sounds of suppressed laugher come from the surrounding shells. Sousetsu joins in with a smile and a sigh. All the shells in the dark are supposedly full, but few of their inhabitants are laughing. Most of them have lost the strength to laugh.

"Hey, sonny." the old man continues in his role as adviser to the newcomer, "No point making a fuss. Just calm down and accept your fate. Otherwise..." and here a note of intensity enters the old man's voice, "they'll just drag you out of here feet first." This is exactly what happened yesterday to the former inhabitant of the young man's shell. He had been screaming on and off for a day. Then came a day of banging his head against the shell wall. Then nothing... until he was dragged out in silence.

"So get a hold of yourself, sonny. Don't let the darkness swallow you up. Close your eyes and imagine nice scenery from the outside, the bigger the better: the ocean, or the sky, or some huge field of grass. Remember! Imagine! that's the only way to survive this place."

This was the advice he always gave to the newcomers. But the young man screamed tearfully.

"Who the hell do you think you're kidding? Survive this place? And then what? I know what this place is. 'No exit' prison! They throw the lifers in here, give them just enough food to keep them alive, and in the end they kick the bucket anyway—Am I right? There's nothing left to hope for." His shouts turn to sobs again.

This is the reaction of most of the newcomers. Nor are they mistaken. This is a prison. Each of the "shells" is a solitary cell with bars, and the sun shines on a prisoner only on the day of his funeral...

"Everybody dies, sonny, that's for sure. You just can't let your mind go before your body does. Hope doesn't have to fade unless you throw it out yourself," the old man goes on softly. Then he adds with feeling, "This system we live under can't last much longer, either." The old man is a political prisoner. As leader of the anti-government faction, he long resisted the dictatorship until he finally lost the struggle and was imprisoned.

The young man has no ears for the old man's words, however, he continues thrashing on the floor and crying. This fellow won't be in his shell much longer than his predecessor. In a few days, or in less than a month at best, he will go to pieces. The darkness is that powerful. Depriving a prisoner of light is far crueller than taking his life in an instant.

"My my," the old man reflects, "This fellow's not going to do us much good in a prison break." The old revolutionary laughs, it might be a genuine laugh of a bold front, but in any case almost no one laughs in response.

Tomorrow morning- or rather, since there is no clear-cut "morning" in the darkness- after they go to sleep, wake up and have their next meal, another cold corpse will be dragged out wordlessly from another shell.

"Hey, listen. How many of us are here now?" the old revolutionary asks. "Answer if you can hear me!"

"I can hear you," Sousetsu says. His is the only voice.

"Man, this is bad, we were full up a little while ago." The old man gives a dry chuckle.

Sousetsu asks, " I wonder if something's happened out there."

"Maybe so," answers the old revolutionary. "If you ask me, this would be about the right time for a coup d'état or a revolution. My 'boys' aren't going to keep quiet much longer..."

"Uh, what was your name again? Sosuetsu? Have you noticed what's happening? How there used to be a lot more guys getting thrown in here until a little while ago, and most of them real nobodies, not worth sentencing to life?"

"Uh-huh, sure..."

The young man was one of them- nothing but a small-time crook. It just so happened that the storehouse he broke into belonged to a rich man with ties to a powerful politician. this was the only reason they put him in a shell. "The shells always used to be full. They would throw a bunch of men in here and they would die, then the new men would come, and they would die..."

The young man was one of those, the terror of being enveloped in darkness was too much for him, and he went to pieces. He was apparently having hallucinations at the end: "I'm coming Mama, I'm coming. Wait for me, please, Mama..." he repeated over and over like a child. "Where are you, Mama? Here? Are you here?" and he gouged his own eyes out with his bare hands.

"I figured things were getting scary out there-the cops losing control-so the government was really starting to crack down- which is why these shells were always full."

This is what brought the young man here. Blood streaming from his eye sockets, he died muttering in snatches, "What did I do? Everybody knows damn well... there are plenty of men way worse than me..."

"But now the place is empty. Do you know what that means, Sousetsu?"

"Sure. There's so much crime out there now that the government can't suppress it."

"You got it; the whole royal family might be strung up by now for all we know. It's a revolution. It will happen any day now! That means you and I will get out of here. My boys will come and get us. Just hang in there a little while longer."

Kaim nods in silence. The old revolutionary goes on, "Your strong, Sousetsu. Not many guys could stay as calm as you, thrown into a shell and enveloped in darkness like this."

Not even Sousetsu can explain it. It is true that he was strangely calm when they put him in the shell. The darkness was something he seemed to recognize as a distant memory. In the distant past, he, too, may have tasted the anguish of the other shell inhabitants so tortured by the fear of being sealed in darkness.

"How are you so tough mentally, Sousetsu? Does it mean you, too, are a revolutionary?"

"No, not me..."

His crime is hardly worth talking about. He resisted somewhat under questioning when they brought him in as a suspect, and for that he was branded a rebel and thrown into a shell. The old man is probably right, though. The country's dictatorship is almost certainly in its last days.

"It won't be long now. We'll be back in the real world before we know it. I have hope right in here, and it will stay here until I abandon it myself," the old revolutionary mutters as if trying to convince himself.

The prison falls soon afterward. Armed young men come charging into the darkness and open the shells' barred doors. Embraced by his "boys", the old revolutionary goes out.

"Wait." Sousetsu cries, trying to hold him back. But he is too late. Anxious to see the new world following the destruction of the old system, the old revolutionary steps outside and opens his eyes. It is evening. Though the sun is nearly down, its light is still strong enough to burn eyes accustomed to total darkness. The old revolutionary presses his hands to his eyes. And with a groan, crumples to his knees. Sousetsu has saved himself by shielding his eyes with his arm. Not even he knows what caused him to do this. Could distant memories have taught him that the truly frightening thing about punishment by darkness is what happens after the release from prison?

With bleeding eyes, surrounded on the ground by his boys, the old revolutionary searches for Sousetsu. "I came all this way, Sousetsu, only to make one terrible mistake at the bitter end. My eyes are probably useless now."  This is precisely why he asks Sousetsu for one last favor.

"Tell me Kaim, what is the outside world like? Has the revolution succeeded? Are the people happy? Are they smiling joyfully?"

Sousetsu opens his eyes slowly, and just barely, beneath the shade of his hand. As far as he can see, the ground is covered in bodies. The corpses of royal troops and revolutionary troops are heaped on one another, and countless civilians are dead. A mother lies dead with her small child in her arms, the bloody corpse of the child's father next to them, arms outstretched in a vain attempt to shield them.

"Tell me what you see, Sousetsu."

Sosuetsu fights back a sigh and says, "You must work from now on to build a happy society."

The old revolutionary senses the truth. "I won't abandon hope, Sousetsu, no matter what."

As if to say, "I know that," Sousetsu nods and begins to walk away.

"Where are you going?"

"I don't know...someplace."

"Why don't you stay here and build a new world with us? You of all people can do that, I know."

"Thank you, sir, but I'll be moving on just the same."

The old revolutionary does not try anymore to hold Sousetsu back. Instead, as a parting gift, he repeats for Sousetsu the words he spoke so often in his shell. "There will always be hope, wherever you are, until you yourself abandon it. Never forget that!"

Sousetsu walks on. His eyes chance to light on the body of a young boy lying at his feet. The boy breathed his last with eyes wide open in fear. Sousetsu kneels and gently closes the boy's eyelids. He knows deep down, in a memory too far away for even him to reach, that while darkness can be a great source of terror, it can also bring deep and lasting peace.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the looks of it, most had survived thankfully this day. He scanned the area once more. Children playing with one another with smiles worn on their faces. They could finally be children again. Not prisoners. Their lives were given back to them. The mothers watched their children a giggled, some with tears, as they too could feel the same way. Some of the men immediately set out to find sources of food and water. Reaching a nearby stream and picking the various fruit from the bushes and plants. most of the food though consisted of berries which was far less than they required at this time but the water seemed to be sufficient for the time being.

It was growing more silent within the underground as Sousetsu focused his ears on the entrance. Without the use of the puppets, it was clear the victor was Oshiki. A smile on his face accompanied by a smirk. The Uchiha may have been related to Hao, but his heart was different. It was time to return to the village hidden in the leaves. He stood tall. The Sannin's stoic stature proceed him once more as he addressed the crowd. "There will always be hope, wherever you are, until you yourself abandon it. Never forget that!" he repeated as those words were once said to him. They cheered in response with what little energy they had left. They were not forsaken. They were the once who survived. And it was time for them all to return to their homes and live their long full lives.

Training: 8014/9000 [Suiton S > SS]


____

Sousetsu | Jutsu-list |  Locker
Tales of Sousetsu Senju
Main Theme | Battle


Ninjutsu: SS | Bukijutsu: SS | Senjutsu: S
Suiton: SS | Doton: SS | Mokuton: SS

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Naruto and Naruto Shippuuden belong to © Masashi Kishimoto.