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Keiko

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Jounin
This isn't happening.

Short, panting breaths filled her ears, and for a moment, she couldn't seem to identify the source of the sound. Who was it? Something, someone sounded as though they had been running a marathon, or running for their life, their lungs no longer able to take in the necessary oxygen that was so abundant in the air around them. What could it be that could have a person so frantic, so panicked? And then it clicked. The sound was coming from her own mouth, lips parted for an indefinite amount of time, her body instinctively knowing that if she closed her mouth, she would likely be cutting off an ever greater amount of air that would reach her lungs. She was running, carelessly leaving her back turned against the mass of puppets behind her. It was an elementary know-how that she was simply ignoring, never turn your back on the enemy. Never leave your back open. Always have your back covered. At this point, all she wanted to do was get away. Away to safety.

--

It had started this morning, after apprehending some spies that had apparently been relaying information to … well, whoever was attacking the village. After leaving the group of three that she had been with, she had been exhausted and just about ready to go back to sleep. The mission itself had been a piece of cake, it had been dealing with the ten year old that made her want to rip her hair out in frustration. Metaphorically of course, she valued her magenta-dyed hair too much to actually cause any physical damage to it, however minor and short-term the damage would be. It had been immensely frustrating, the entire mission feeling like some sort of babysitting session instead of an actual task given to them to help in this time of need. She had been momentarily dumbfounded when the child has simply run after the people they were supposed to be trailing. What idiocy. She couldn't fathom why the Academy had allowed such an impulsive child graduate, he certainly didn't seem to possess any of the basic skills taught at the Academy. And to top it off - she was surprised the kid had managed to survive, she herself didn't bother putting any effort in getting him out of the dilemma he had placed himself in - he seemed particularly concerned for her well-being, something she was not okay with. Asking if she had sustained any injures would've been acceptable, but to physically touch her … she still regretted her decision of not smacking him. After rather abruptly abandoning her temporary comrades, she had wandered off in search of other places where she could be of use, all the while hoping that nothing would come up. Even after the brief moment of action, she still lethargic, just wishing all this chaos would end so that she could go back to taking a naps, lounging at the pool, and doing the odd mission here and there. Sleep and relaxation was, unfortunately, a luxury at this point in time. And so, giving up on such a fantasy, she picked a random direction and began to walk.

The part of the village she found herself in was relatively quiet … almost strangely so. But one couldn't exactly expect people to linger around do their usual shopping and browsing when they were under attack. Not even many storekeepers were willing to open shop, wooden doors and barred windows bare and unfriendly, keeping those within it safe - as much safety as several wooden planks could provide - and attempting to keep outsiders out. After strolling down several blocks with not a single soul in sight, it was beginning to get increasingly suspicious. Going to get back up would've been the best idea, but she had yet to truly see a threat, surely she would end up looking like a fool if she simply said she needed help because of a gut feeling. Might as well figure out who or what had terrified the people in this particular corner of the village first, she could always rely on her ice to get her to safety. Settling herself into a chair outside of a closed ramen shop, she made the decision to wait - a course of action that she would ultimately regret.

--

Stupid, stupid mistakes. Even in the severity of the situation, it was quite peculiar how her mind still found the time to berate itself. She had been running on foot for a solid amount of time now, and it was beginning to physically strain her. The time she had spent sitting so casually outside the ramen shop seemed so long ago, even if in actuality it had been no more than perhaps thirty minutes or so. It had taken five minutes for the first of the puppet army to appear, ten minutes for her to eradicate a small troop with slight difficulty. And within twenty minutes, she had been on the run, no longer able to use her Stage of Ice technique for another while because she had made the stupid mistake. While fighting three oncoming puppets, standing four feet in the air on her ice, the technique had deactivated after a blow she had received to her ribcage. It likely didn't leave anything more than immense bruising - nothing felt broken, at least - but the fact that a hit had landed on her while she was midair had caught her so off guard that the ice had simply dissipated on the spot, dropping her four feet to the ground. And so she found herself face to face with the expressionless puppets that seemed to tower over her even though they were pretty much her height, their modified weapon appendages brandished menacingly in front of her. Part of her had wanted to stand and fight, to show that she wasn't going to allow herself to lose to these inhuman beings. But she knew her weaknesses, even if at times she didn't want to accept them. It was a fact that close combat wasn't her forte - forcing herself to try and fight on ground without any distance placed between herself and the increasing number of puppets would have been suicidal.

And that's how she found herself running, weaving in and out of the smaller streets in an attempt to increase the distance between herself and the puppets. As much as she hated to admit it, she needed help, whether it be from backup or by other means. If she moved any further, she could potentially find herself luring the large group of puppets towards a more populated area, resulting in more casualties than her own. Damn it … This really isn't happening. She was certain that by the end of this - if they ever did see the end - she was going to develop an overwhelming fear of puppets.




Training: Ice Release: Azure Spiral
1160/1350


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Kitahara, Keiko (#cc3366)
Ninjutsu (S) | Med. Ninjutsu (S) | Bukijutsu (D) | Suiton (S) | Fuuton/Hyouton (S)

Bokuden

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S-rank
Steam spewed from Bokuden’s mouth as each breathe he exhaled collided with the cold Kirigakure air. He detested the weather of this God forsaken place. Everything about it was as gloomy and off putting as the village’s inhabitants. It wasn’t so much the cold that displeased him, he himself came from the mountain village of Kumogakure. The altitude made the air frigid and the nights even more so, but Bokuden often found himself enjoying the cold. There was peace in the cold; a certain feeling of isolation one felt as they stood in the frigid wind that brought him some modicum of calm. Perhaps it was for that reason that he found himself frequenting Sky Point while he was back at home, although that was a bit of an extreme situation. The temperatures at that altitude make it almost unlivable and barely anyone ever goes up there. It wasn’t just a feeling of isolation that one experienced when they made the trek up to the mountain’s peak, you were truly alone. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing however, in fact Bokuden saw that as one of Sky Point’s greatest benefits. Whether it be for training, meditation, or just to get away from the troubles of the world below Sky Point was almost a sanctuary for Bokuden.

This however, was not Sky Point, nor was it peaceful or a sanctuary in any sense of the word. He had been sent to this place at perhaps the most inconvenient time he could have possibly been sent to complete an assignment. The village was in utter chaos; being overrun by some insolent group of missing ninja led by a man named Seven Bells that specialized in puppetry. Bokuden wasn’t sure whether he was more disgusted by the man’s status as a missing ninja, the fact that he even had a following large enough to lay siege to a village, the fact that Kirigakure allowed such a man to not only exist, but thrive with their aid, that they then allowed themselves to be brought to their knees by this man, or that there were this many people who actually practiced the art of puppetry.

It was truly a detestable practice, puppetry was. The perverse offspring of cowardice and weakness; practitioners of the style were at least as deplorable as genjutsu users. It must have been a sad life to lead, being born so pitiful of a warrior that you had to resort to trickery and in some cases even going so far as to use the bodies of fallen shinobi just to scrape together a miserable existence in the shadows of society. There was a difference between strategy & cunning and blatant cowardice. Had he been a lesser man Bokuden might have decided to fight against this Seven Bells and his forces purely out of principle. The less people propagating the use of these infernal contraptions the better. The day that the world will be free of such pitiful practices could not come soon enough.

He would close his eyes and listen intently to the environment around him. The clangs of steel and war echoed throughout the air, competing only with the screams of lives fading through the heavy Kirigakure air. His ears would focus in on a different sound though, footsteps and heavy panting rapidly approaching the alleyways below his position atop the village’s rooftops. He would open his eyes to see a small girl dashing through the alleyways, a handful of those puppets on her trail. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going on in this situation; this girl was running for her life. From the looks of things she could outrun the puppets that pursued her, but from the corner of his eye Bokuden saw another one of the monstrosities speeding towards the girl’s location from the opposite side of the alley, cutting off her escape path.

Bokuden would let out a deep sigh as he stood up and prepared to intervene. Aiming to nip this situation in the bud before it even began he would leap down to ground level before the two parties would see each other and quickly buried himself in the ground below, using the speed of their travel to calculate exactly where the two parties would meet at the intersection and positioned himself accordingly. Once the moment came he would erupt forth from the ground, dragging the single puppet in front of the girl down into the earth and immobilizing it. After emerging from the ground he would immediately dart past the girl at full speed and rapidly slash through the puppets behind her, dicing them into scrap in barely a moment. His combination would end with him casually sheathing his weapon as he turned around once again, walking past the girl without throwing so much as a glance her way. Ignoring her completely he would walk over to the puppet he had buried and would stomp on its head piece, crushing it into the ground beneath them.





Chakra: 340/350:
Name: Doton: Double Suicide Decapitation Technique (土遁・心中斬首の術 ~ Doton: Shinjū Zanshu no Jutsu)
Canon/Custom: Canon
Rank: D (+1)
Type: Offensive
Element: Earth/Doton
Range: 10 meters
Specialty: Ninjutsu
Duration: 4 posts
Cooldown: 5 posts
Description: The user buries himself under the ground and moves beneath the surface. He or she can move in a 10 m radius. The objective of this technique is to drag the opponent under the ground along with the user. The victim is buried beneath the ground up to his or her head. He or she remains trapped and unable to move for up to 4 posts. Once they are buried, the user emerges from the ground once again.

Trained Shinju Zanshu: 600/600 (-20% WC, Gifted)

Training: 248


____

:10


"Good and evil are just words. It is not my place to judge their worthiness."

Character Bio | Jutsu List | Item Locker

Bukijutsu-SS|Ninjutsu-SS|Fuuinjutsu-D|Medical-D||Raiton-SS|Suiton-SS|Katon-S|Doton-D

Mission List: D:12 | C:4 | B:3 | A:6 | S:2 | SS:0

Keiko

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Jounin
Even among the most simple-minded animals, all the way to the fearsome beasts each crowned king of their own habitat … everyone had a basic understanding of hierarchy. Perhaps not as complex as the complex human hierarchal systems, but ranked solely on power, preying on another's natural fear factor to establish dominance. A very basic concept, requiring a simple understanding of who or what stood at a much higher level than yourself, and it took a fool - a suicidal one at that - to ignore this concept, as it would likely result in inevitable death. Fear, as Keiko believed and understood it, was a conditioned and developed emotion, one that stemmed from an experience. But there were times when she had her doubts. After all, what was it that made prey run away from a predator at first glance? Not every mouse could have had experience with a cat before, and yet they still ran, falling prey to their own natural instincts that told them, "Run, you'll die if you don't." It was a mental acknowledgement, one that automatically gave two distinct labels; superior and inferior. Blurred zones could exist and have existed, but no one was equal in power. Put two seemingly equal powered individuals into a death match and one was bound to drop before the other.

Not that a blurred zone existed right now. Right now … it was apparent who was superior.

Keiko was beginning to tire - that much was evident in the bodily signals she was receiving. She was growing weary of running - physically and mentally. Running wasn't her style. Neither was turning her back to her opponent. Her every action in the past hour or so was met with heavy criticism within her own mind, from the moment she had allowed herself to sit down and await the enemy instead of scouting heading and keeping her position hidden. It was exactly what she mocked others for, becoming the careless fool who didn't even have a back up plan. Rash and often times over confident she may be,  that didn't mean getting herself into a dilemma like this. She had no one to blame but herself, and she didn't intend to go down like this.

I need to get to higher ground, just out of their reach … I can't take them on close combat. And there it was again. That regret of not being able to really be of use in a close combat situation, rendering herself useless in situations where she couldn't put a distance between herself and the opponent. Or opponents in this case. How many times has this thought run through her head? That life would be significantly better if she specialized in Taijutsu, or some form of Bukijutsu? Being a rather isolated individual, she hadn't encountered many people long enough to admire their skills for the longest time, but since the attack on Kirigakure two days prior, she was seeing more and more of the benefits of having such specializations. It was beautiful, flawless, the way some people danced across the battlefield, using nothing by weapons on hand to incapacitate enemies, leaving nothing but fallen corpses and broken puppets in their paths. Some didn't even require using excessive chakra, leaving them hardly out of breath after running straight through a band of adversaries.

That was precisely the case now. As she ran, something in front of her caught her eye. But before she could even make sense of it, something - someone - seemed to flash by her, a movement so fast that it took her a moment to identify it as a human. Freezing in her tracks, she turned, watching puppet after puppet fall to the ground, the person sending them back into the scraps that they originated from still an unclear blur, the flash of his blade merely appearing as a trick of the light, occasionally glimmering. Within seconds, it was over. The entire patrol of puppets that she herself had been running from … gone in the blink of an eye, wooden parts sliced cleanly off as though they were made of nothing more than soft putty. Tearing her gaze away from the fallen puppets, she looked up to see the man sheathe his weapon ever so casually, as though completely unfazed by the amazing feat that he had just accomplished. This was something far greater than she was. Someone whose abilities surpassed even the greatest of Kirigakure shinobi, of whom the puppets that had been so much trouble to her stood no chance against. Her entire body tensed as he walked towards her, but without even the slightest acknowledgement, he strolled right past her, moving to destroy the head of a puppet buried in the ground. A puppet … When did that get there? Unless … that blur I saw earlier was this man dealing with this puppet? That speed was … It was unbelievable, almost inhuman.

Who was he? He wasn't of Kirigakure … he couldn't be. She would've heard of him if he was. The man was tall, quite so, his frame making him look authoritative and intimidating, even if she hadn't seen his momentary display of power. The blade that had been out just moments before was now sheathed, strapped to his side for easy access. Questions rang through her head, each begging to be answered, but in the end, she only found herself walking up to him, stopping three meters away. Not that the distance really mattered … even if he wasn't long ranged, the speed he had just shown her was proof enough that she couldn't get able even if she wanted to. "Thank you." The words were soft, a mix of pride and humility, gratitude and wariness. To her knowledge, not all the people who had offered to aid Kirigakure were friendly, and this man could have simply rid of the puppets purely out of self convenience.

"There will be more of them." She added in simply, hoping he'd turn around so she could gauge his reaction. And there would be. Unbeknownst to her, with her inferior sensory skills, there was another patrol marching towards their location at that very moment, ready to take over for the weaker scout patrol that the white-haired man had just obliterated. "You are … here on business?" Best not directly ask him whether he was here to help. If he was a spy or in league with their attacks in any way, he would simply say yes. If he were truly sent here to help, or here of his own accord, it may come across as rude to sound as though he was required to provide assistance.





Training: Ice Release: Azure Spiral
1350/1350


Training: Ice Release: Azure Sphere
930/1800



Last edited by Keiko on Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total


____

Kitahara, Keiko (#cc3366)
Ninjutsu (S) | Med. Ninjutsu (S) | Bukijutsu (D) | Suiton (S) | Fuuton/Hyouton (S)

Bokuden

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S-rank
Bokuden would drag the bottom of his foot against the ground, aiming to scrape off some of the wood chips that had embedded themselves into the soles of his boot after he had stomped on the head of that puppet. "Thank you," he heard a small voice behind him utter softly, almost as if not speaking directly to him, continuing on to say, "There will be more of them. You are … here on business?" The nature of the question compelled him to turn and face his inquisitor more so than her voice or even her very presence in the alley. Turning to face the girl he would examine her up and down suspiciously, raising an eyebrow at her as he took mental note of the encounter. Up close the girl was even smaller than he had estimated from the rooftops, her tiny and frail looking frame looking far too delicate to belong to a shinobi. And yet here this little girl was asking him about business as if she could ever comprehend what “business” entailed for him.

Perhaps he was being too judgmental, an option not out of the realm of possibility given his already growing distaste for this mess of a village he found himself in and all those that were inhabiting it. A shinobi of Bokuden’s experience of all people should know better than to assume anything based on appearance alone. Despite her petite and unthreatening appearance it was entirely possible for this girl to be a shinobi, even a skilled one. Then again, given that he found her running away frantically from such weak opponents as the puppets he had just put out of commission, if that was the case and this was what was considered a skilled shinobi in this village he would only find himself more disappointed than before, albeit not surprised.

“Yeah, something like that,” Bokuden would respond with a tinge of skepticism and apathy in his voice, clearly unsure of what to make of this new person before him, “But if what you said is right and there are more of them on the way, then I suggest that you get yourself sway from here as soon as possible. A person incapable of fighting has no place on a battlefield. As you are now you are a liability to your allies, who can’t afford to worry about protecting every person and still be expected to fight a war.” His words rung harshly, but calmly as he spoke from experience. The fact that she needed to be saved was proof enough that she wasn’t prepared for what a battle like this would entail. To be fair however, with the times of war being long since over the true chaos of battle was an experience typically seen by only a few in the shinobi world. People had become too complacent, comfortable in their peace. The walls of their villages and the borders of their countries provided sanctuary for those unwilling or unable to cope with the harsh reality or the darkness that waited just outside those boundaries.

The very act of laying siege to the village and bringing the chaos to the homes of the villagers was likely as great a psychological weapon as an attack strategy. For a village of a supposedly highly trained military force it was evident that Seven Bells forces had quickly obtained the upper hand in this war. Whatever training many of these shinobi had received was quickly forgotten or discarded once their fight or flight instinct kicked in. Their ranks were broken and a cohesive defense or counterattack strategy was nowhere to be found, leaving the streets in utter chaos. It was more than their village walls that were broken. The safety they had once felt within their own homes had been shattered. The siege turned their worlds upside down, tore asunder their illusions, and sent the sanctuary of their own ignorance crashing down around them.

Whoever this Seven Bells was, he was no stranger to the darkness that lurked outside of the sheltered walls of the villages of major nations. This was not an attack launched by a man who had received all of their strategic training at an academy. This was not about efficiency or winning, it was about sending a message. Regardless of the actual power of his forces, this fact alone made Seven Bells a dangerous man and one that Bokuden lamented possibly having to deal with if push comes to shove. A man who walks in the darkness is not one you can intimidate or reason with. The only way this war would be coming to an end was with the fall of Kirigakure or the death of Seven Bells, neither of which Bokuden wanted to be around for.

“Do both of us a favor and get somewhere safe before any more of those things show up,” Bokuden would continue to the girl, adjusting his coat as he prepared to make his exit, “I’m not from here, so I don’t know my way around. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to come to your rescue twice.”





Training: 1108


____

:10


"Good and evil are just words. It is not my place to judge their worthiness."

Character Bio | Jutsu List | Item Locker

Bukijutsu-SS|Ninjutsu-SS|Fuuinjutsu-D|Medical-D||Raiton-SS|Suiton-SS|Katon-S|Doton-D

Mission List: D:12 | C:4 | B:3 | A:6 | S:2 | SS:0

Keiko

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Jounin
For a moment, she had thought he would simply continue on his way despite the fact that she had addressed him - albeit in a roundabout manner. Nevertheless, it proved effective in garnering his attention as he turned towards her after her comment about having 'business' in Kirigakure. She had thrown in the word on a whim, knowing that wording it in such a way was bound to get attract more interest compared to a "what are you doing here?" And it seemed she was right to some extent, rewarded with the attention she seemed from this stranger.

Even before he spoke, there was a spark of indignation that lit up in her, building bit by bit until her temper threatened spiralled out of control. He looked her up and down as though sizing her up, blue eyes seemingly judging her worth, something that brought chills down her spine. It wasn't creepy in the perverse sense, but eerie, making her want to shrink until she was nothing more than a speck before him - that is, if her pride allowed her to do so. It irritated her that he was so tall; he was at least a foot taller, it appeared. He answered her question rather vaguely, but it was what followed that made her fists clench. "I suggest that you get yourself away from here as soon as possible. A person incapable of fighting has no place on a battlefield. As you are now you are a liability to your allies, who can’t afford to worry about protecting every person and still be expected to fight a war." Get away? Incapable of fighting? … Liability to allies? Just because he gave an impressive display of power in her brief moment of vulnerability, it appeared she was now being severely underestimated. Gritting her teeth, she took a split second to attempt to calm herself down - in vain, as she began to work up a response to the man before her.

"Thank you for your … concern, but your advice will unfortunately go by unheeded. Whether or not I'm a person incapable of fighting, you don't just tell someone to run from a fight that concerns the whole of the village." She replied hotly, eyes narrowing as she crossed her arms in front of her, though lower than where one would normally cross their arms, one hand casually wrapped over the injury to her ribcage. What nerve … to be telling her to run and hide, especially in the middle of this war. She couldn't tell if he was just looking down on her, or if wherever this man hailed from promoting hiding in favour of fighting. Either way, she was offended. Even the regular civilians who were mostly hiding weren't safe, the limited number of safe houses was a growing concern, and even if they were highly fortified, a concentrated attack by the higher ranking enemies would undoubtedly be able to significantly lower their defences - enough to launch an attack on the innocent masses. "Ha, if you consider yourself an ally, you might as well simply ignore those needing protection and just deal with whatever comes up in your path. Since we're this disorganized anyways …" The last part was mumbled, trailing off into silence as she realized she had just revealed her own personal frustrations about the status of the war. Although they were making steady progress in organizing response teams and launching their own attacks against the enemy, the initial reaction had been slow, resulting in the destruction of their residential area, as shinobi of their very own village had chosen to guard other main points instead of aiding the civilians. And this point, she wasn't even going to pretend that she was grateful for the help she received, choosing to ignore that feeling of relief she had felt just moments before. Who was he to tell her to go hide? He was simply a stranger - and likely not from Kirigakure. Many of the foreign shinobi that had arrived to provide "aid" were simply here to get in on the action, the war giving them something to satisfy their bloodlust in such a way that regular missions would not be able to provide.

“Do both of us a favor and get somewhere safe before any more of those things show up ..” Keiko rolled her eyes in a manner that wasn't quite so subtle. The very action demonstrated that she was going to be rather immature about this despite the fact that his advice meant for her to stay safe and not lose her life. It really wasn't the time nor the place to be letting her temper get out of control, but that didn't mean anything to the normally short-tempered kunoichi. There was always time for her to snap back at someone, even if she had to make the time for it. "Well excusee me for not doing you that favour. Though I'm sure you can handle the disappointment. I don't need your guarantee to come to my rescue, you can take your chivalry somewhere else, or just you know, discard it altogether. No need to worry about the 'liabilities'."

The arrival of a new batch of enemies cut short anything else she would say, the brief pause allowing the man to respond in whatever way. This time the enemy were coming from both sides, in greater quantity, and … humans. There are humans with them this time. Puppeteers, from the looks of it. Great, more unwanted company. But thankfully, the brief moment of rest she had received after encountering this strange gave her enough time to gather herself. This time, she would be ready. And the fact that there was real flesh that she could sink her ice into was reassuring. She would prefer to spill real blood compared to dismembering inanimate puppets any day. Facing the side of enemy closest to her, a series of quick hand signs brought forth the form of a large wolf carved entirely out of ice. With a mental command, it sprung forth, charging into the approaching group as it let out an earsplitting howl, suddenly exploding in a shower of ice shards in all directions after reaching a distance of ten meters, embedding into the bodies of puppeteers and puppets alike.

It wasn't very effective in terms of taking them out, but it gave her enough time to break out in a run, each step accented with ice at the sole of her feet, eventually lifting herself up into the air, moving until she was at least four feet in the air. This time, she refused to let the same mistake occur. Ha, a liability. Clearly, she was still smarting from his earlier comment.






Training: Ice Release: Azure Sphere
1800/1800

Training Med. Ninjutsu A>S
262/4000


____

Kitahara, Keiko (#cc3366)
Ninjutsu (S) | Med. Ninjutsu (S) | Bukijutsu (D) | Suiton (S) | Fuuton/Hyouton (S)

Bokuden

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S-rank
The girl’s previously hesitant disposition would fade away as Bokuden spoke, gritting her teeth and furrowing her brow in clear displeasure with his words. Not that it mattered to him really, he only spoke what he knew to be the truth. The fact that she needed to be saved at all, but especially by someone from outside of her village told him everything he needed to know about her current ability to be an asset in the conflict; that is to say none. This seemed to be a recurring theme with shinobi from the village hidden in the mist. It made him wonder how they had managed to survive this long at all if they were this helpless once they were put under pressure. Such a display of weakness from the village’s military force would never be tolerated in Kumogakure.

With a role of her eyes and a seething undertone the girl would respond to Bokuden’s harsh words with a snarky attitude of her own. "Thank you for your … concern, but your advice will unfortunately go by unheeded. Whether or not I'm a person incapable of fighting, you don't just tell someone to run from a fight that concerns the whole of the village. Ha, if you consider yourself an ally, you might as well simply ignore those needing protection and just deal with whatever comes up in your path. Since we're this disorganized anyways … Well excusee me for not doing you that favour. Though I'm sure you can handle the disappointment. I don't need your guarantee to come to my rescue, you can take your chivalry somewhere else, or just you know, discard it altogether. No need to worry about the 'liabilities'."

Bokuden would raise his right eyebrow once more, pausing a moment to gather his thoughts only to be interrupted by the arrival of more of these Seven Bells soldiers. Not just puppets this time however, but it appeared as though the ones pulling the strings had revealed themselves… perfect. His discourse with the girl would have to wait as taking out these men became a priority. There was always that great flaw with kugutsu; defeating the puppet was almost never necessary. All one had to do was remove the puppeteers from the equation and they would be rendered null. At least, that’s what he would have done had the impertinent little girl from before not jumped out on her own, taking action against their uninvited guests.

A swift sequence of hand signs would produce what appeared to be a mass of ice in the shape of a wolf, which would charge forward towards the enemy ranks and explode with a howl causing shards of ice to fire out all around. The frozen shrapnel would shower down in all directions, prompting Bokuden to leap back up to the rooftops to avoid being caught in the spread. The girl herself had made her way out of her own attack’s range by creating what seemed to be platforms of ice beneath her feet which functioned as a stairway of sorts.

Turning his attention back down to the ground below where the attack had struck Bokuden took notice of the icicles which coated the alley floor and the almost statuesque puppeteers who had been skewered by the jutsu. It was an impressive wave clearing technique… at least it would have been had it succeeded. She probably wouldn’t have noticed it, but there was an inconsistency that Bokuden had picked up with his Current Perception; the puppeteers that were skewered by the shards before their eyes were no longer there. Their bodies’ electrical signature had disappeared as the girl had begun to make her escape, no doubt using the substitution jutsu to get out of dodge.

Within moment’s Bokuden’s suspicions had proven to be true, the injured bodies of the assailants disappearing into a cloud of smoke. In their place were puppets almost identical to the ones Bokuden had previously dispatched. Bokuden would quickly move himself closer to the girl’s location and look up at her before taunting her once again in a snarky manner, “The next time you are going to try to prove that you belong on a battlefield, make sure you actually hit your opponent.”





Training Double Black Panthers: 1600/1600

Training: 228


____

:10


"Good and evil are just words. It is not my place to judge their worthiness."

Character Bio | Jutsu List | Item Locker

Bukijutsu-SS|Ninjutsu-SS|Fuuinjutsu-D|Medical-D||Raiton-SS|Suiton-SS|Katon-S|Doton-D

Mission List: D:12 | C:4 | B:3 | A:6 | S:2 | SS:0

Keiko

avatar

Jounin
It was childish, immature, but she was distracted after the little 'conversation' with the stranger, to the point where she was barely focused on the incoming foe. In the corner of her eye, even as she moved up in the air, she had most of her attention focused on the male she had been speaking with, wanting to see whether he would make a move, or perhaps even take the time to respond back to her relatively long tirade of indignation. But it seemed he was much on intent on watching the results of her technique, moving back to clear himself out of the area of effect but generally keeping his attention on the puppeteers. Following his gaze back to her supposed targets, her eyes widened as she noticed the deception that had occurred.

Shit, again. Again! I'm starting to really hate that stupid technique. It was an inward, mental curse, cursing at the easy escape that the puppeteers had from her technique that would have otherwise hit them. This was the second time the substitution technique, so elementary and basic, had managed to help her opponent elude her attacks in a short period of time. Clearly, that was something she needed to work on, to somehow prevent - or at least be prematurely aware - the technique that allowed people to narrowly escape an attack simply by swapping positions with some inanimate object. It was embarrassing to say the least, especially given that she had been trying to prove herself to the stranger who so easily looked down on her abilities … yet now it appeared she was simply digging her own grave, making one mistake after another. It was without a doubt that the tall, white-haired man would have something toe ay about it, and she wasn't wrong. “The next time you are going to try to prove that you belong on a battlefield, make sure you actually hit your opponent.” A slap in the face, the sting far worse that what would've likely resulted from an actual, physical slap. It was a blow to her pride, a comment that she so desperately wanted to retort back to, but the damage had been done. That little slip up only served to prove his point, and if she continued to follow up her big words with little effective action, it would only serve to further taint her image.

She took a moment to glare at him, now at an odd angle as both of them stood at odd heights - her on her platform of ice, him on the rooftops that he had leapt up to. Her mouth opened … then closed. It irritated her that she couldn't respond as she wanted. What was she to say? It was clear he was much more skilled than she - as a chuunin - was even from his brief display against the puppets, his level far beyond her. "… Whatever, just make yourself useful. Might as well show me what makes you so high and mighty." She eventually called out, attempting to divert the attention away from herself.  The puppeteers were regrouping and positioning themselves after the substitution techniques used, those no longer with functioning puppets taking out handheld blades. It was embarrassing. Overwhelmingly so. She wanted to prove him wrong, wanted to bring out a startled expression on his face. But as much as she wanted to do so, the circumstances didn't really allow for it. The fact that they had first met in a moment where she was at her weakest was devastating enough. It wasn't just a meeting on a battlefield, it was a meeting in which he - the very man who was causing her such indignation - had been the one to help her. To save her. And now it seemed it was only going to get worse. With the number of advancing enemy, it would seem she would be here with this man for a while longer, and she wasn't sure she was ready to deal with that.





Training Med. Ninjutsu A>S
933/4000


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Kitahara, Keiko (#cc3366)
Ninjutsu (S) | Med. Ninjutsu (S) | Bukijutsu (D) | Suiton (S) | Fuuton/Hyouton (S)

Bokuden

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S-rank
"… Whatever, just make yourself useful. Might as well show me what makes you so high and mighty." The small girl retorted, the built up frustration clear in her voice and disposition. Bokuden couldn’t help but smirk at the girl’s futile display and subsequent embarrassment brought about by his comments, turning away slightly as to not grin directly in her face. Even Bokuden had some morality in him, after all. There was no need to humiliate the girl. Besides, while he may have not felt threatened by them, these men were indeed dangerous people, and criminals no less. Who knows what manner of murderous, thieving filth this Seven Bells person had gathered and unified under his flag. To be so bold as to lay siege to a shinobi village these men were either foolish or insane, neither of which bade particularly well for this little girl that he had just met or the village from whence she hailed.

“I suppose I’d better step in once again then,” he mused to himself as he brushed back a stray strand of white hair and gripped the tsuba of his katana with his right hand. He didn’t bother replying to the girl directly. Any words he had for her would likely be replied to with nothing but snark and attitude, judging by the child’s behavior up to this point. Bokuden didn’t even like kids anyway, leaving him to wonder why he was even bothering to deal with this girl. However, it wasn’t like he could just leave her there to die either. And so he had already decided that the best reply he could make to her sneering words was to take action and silence her that way.

Without another word Bokuden would leap into action, pushing off with his right foot as if to jump into the air, but instead dashing to the rooftop to his right in the blink of an eye. Just as quickly as he made his first move he would continue to make his way across the rooftops, circling around until he got behind his targets. The whole process would only take a moment or two, being too fast to follow or nothing more than a mere blur to the untrained or unprepared eye. Once behind his prey Bokuden would swoop down at blinding speeds like a bird of prey and immediately begin his assault on the poor souls below him.

He would pay no mind to the mechanical monstrosities that appeared to serve as the main fighting force of his opposition and instead used his clear advantage in speed and power to decimate the puppeteers before they could even think of wielding their puppets against him. His knees bent as he landed on the ground behind the puppeteers and almost as quickly as he landed he would begin his assault. The brief period of silence that accompanied his movement was broken by the clicking sound of a katana being freed from its sheathe, and soon by the whirring of the blade cutting through the air and the sound of the steel cleaving through padding, clothing, and flesh.

Accompanied by the groans and exclamations of dying men it was a masterly crafted symphony of steel and death to the practiced kenjutsu practitioner.
Bokuden’s slashes were as fast as his movements, the naked eye virtually unable to follow without what would be years of training. They were so fast and so precise in fact that his katana was sheathed once more before a single puppeteer hit the ground. As he rose to a full, upright position the enemies around him would hit the ground one by one, each loud thud followed by the clanking and rattling of their puppets falling lifelessly to the ground. “It appears that these men were more skilled in their craft than I had originally thought,” he mused to himself with a haughty grin as he adjusted his coat, “They were able to make their toys emulate them even in death.”

Turning back to face the girl whom he had previously saved, the grin on his face subsided as Bokuden took on a distinctly more serious expression. “And for your information, it’s unwise to make assumptions based off of circumstance,” he said, his icy glare making direct eye contact with her, “I don’t recall ever saying I was your ally. I’m a passerby; a nameless stranger and nothing more. I did what I did today on a whim and am here by a random twist of fate. When I leave you will forget I ever existed. Is that clear?” This was of course a bit of an exaggeration as it was by no mere whim that he decided to help her, that much should have been clear anyway. He could have easily avoided this whole sitation if he so chose, but he had no intention of leaving a girl there to fend for herself. He couldn’t help but smirk at his own over dramatization of the situation, but would wait for an answer from the girl before doing anything else.





Training: 1084


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:10


"Good and evil are just words. It is not my place to judge their worthiness."

Character Bio | Jutsu List | Item Locker

Bukijutsu-SS|Ninjutsu-SS|Fuuinjutsu-D|Medical-D||Raiton-SS|Suiton-SS|Katon-S|Doton-D

Mission List: D:12 | C:4 | B:3 | A:6 | S:2 | SS:0

Keiko

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Jounin
If she had a tail, it would be bristling in fury. Or something like that. She caught the slightest glimpse of a grin as the man tilted his head away from her, a sight that displeased her greatly. It appeared that at this point, anything the man did would only serve to further worsen her mood - even if half the situation (or perhaps more than half) had been created by herself. It was essentially a "digging your own grave" type situation, not that she would ever admit it. Life was much more simpler if you blamed everyone but yourself for a problem, and that was exactly what she was doing now in an attempt to stifle her own feeling of embarrassment. Even if a part of her knew it was wrong to be so stubborn, the situation was one that her pride would not accept.

As she wallowed in her discontented thoughts, she realized that only silence seemed to meet her weak retort, a silence that prompted her to look back towards the stranger - only he was no longer standing in the same location. In fact, he had completely disappeared from sight in the moment she had diverted her gaze to avoid meeting those steely blue eyes should he turn back to look at her. Alarmed, she scanned the area for him, taking several steps back - and moving even higher with her ice as she did so - muscles tense. There was no telling whether her words had gone too far, whether she had caused one too many offences with her immature words. Even if she had named him an ally, it had solely been a rushed conclusion that she had reached based on the actions he had committed in the short time they had been acquainted with each other. So basically … about ten minutes. Good going, Keiko. Your day is going great.

A blur of movement caught her eye, at a farther distance than she would have thought to scan, the blur - which she could only guess had to be that stranger moving at astonishing speeds - leaping from the rooftops to land right among the enemy. Right. among. the enemy. Wasn't that too much risk taking, even for this person? To launch an attack by simply immersing yourself within the ranks of the enemy. Maybe it was because she was one who preferred fighting mid to long range, but his 'strategy' was one that she would label suicidal. In addition to the vast number of puppeteers, there was still their puppets to take care of. And even if they were of low skill, surely he couldn't take them all out. Surely … not. Keiko was known to look down on people, to not show respect unless said respect was earned. To never expect a lot unless she was given reason to. But not once had she ever so severely underestimated a person.

Wide, lilac eyes watched as the bodies began to fall, a pool of red that would stain the bodies of not just those who bled, but their puppets as well, which fell only a moment after their masters, the pause barely noticeable as the mass of enemies simply … collapsed. This wasn't just the skill of a special jounin, or even that of a jounin. It was far more. Indeed, he had answered her challenge. 'High and mighty' was not just an act, he had undoubtedly had the skill to back it up - a fact that made her fingernails dig painfully into her palm.

“And for your information," She started as he spoke to her, not expecting him to do so. Startled, she tore her eyes away from the lifeless bodies of the enemy, finding herself meeting the sharp gaze that she had tried to avoid earlier. It held her in place, commanding, the gaze itself enough to bind her, so that she had no choice but to listen - and acknowledge - his words. "it’s unwise to make assumptions based off of circumstance, I don’t recall ever saying I was your ally. I’m a passerby; a nameless stranger and nothing more. I did what I did today on a whim and am here by a random twist of fate. When I leave you will forget I ever existed. Is that clear?” How overly dramatic. As if she could simply forget his existence simply because he asked her to. But for once, she held her tongue - literally, as she bit down in an attempt to use the slight pain to forcefully stop herself from making yet another unnecessary retort. A simple passerby … a nameless stranger. There was no way this person was simply a wandering ninja - not someone of his caliber. Given her animosity towards him, she probably wouldn't receive an answer even if she tried to press for more details.

"As you wish." She responded in a manner which could be described as comically dramatic in response to his words, even offering him a mock bow. But that was all she could say because frankly, after the way he had devastated the entire patrol of puppeteers, she was left quite speechless. She would have to truly be stupid to attempt to make any other jabs towards his power. So what now? It didn't appear as though there was any more hostile back up, and she was eager to be separated from the location which had caused her so much misery. It was just a question of where this stranger was headed - heading in the opposite direction would provide her pride some time to repair itself.





Training Med. Ninjutsu A>S
1865/4000


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Kitahara, Keiko (#cc3366)
Ninjutsu (S) | Med. Ninjutsu (S) | Bukijutsu (D) | Suiton (S) | Fuuton/Hyouton (S)

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