DECAY: Backstab - Learning to Delegate

[Westlands | Coast | Greater Wind Country]
From the eastern desert plains, to the infamous Westlands and the southern coast with its neighboring islands, the Wind Country covers an array of changing landscapes and other settlements. The people who live there are as diverse and powerful as the lands they live on.

Re: DECAY: Backstab - Learning to Delegate

PostPosted by Tsuneo » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:46 am


Rika felt like her heartbeat was going to burst a blood vessel in her ears. His golden eyes were like a pair of suns, burning across her skin.

She had been preparing to sleep. The few pins she slipped into her hair to keep it in place were missing. Her knife and other weapons were tucked beneath her bedroll. The pieces of leather usually tied so tightly around her for hidden protection were piled neatly in the corner of the tent.

Her arms crossed her chest, holding the shirt she had just removed in front of her. Perhaps more blush-inducing than the compromising position were the indented lines that ran the length of her forearms from the armor and the hidden blade, skin that longed to be free, to breath the night air and relax before having to be bound again.

The picture of delicate femininity, in Rika's mind, was everything she wasn't.

"How about we start with you turning around?"

Dai obeyed, wordlessly, though he didn't show any embarrassment as he did. Rika plunged herself into her shirt as fast as possible, then held her arms behind her back.


She knelt on the floor of the tent, inviting Dai to do so with her. The lantern flickered, brushing their silhouettes against the tent.

"Jekial...I should've known. Blood control. Brutal clan with some brutal practices, though I imagine it woudl be hard not to when the sharing of blood is as common as you said. You know, not too long ago, we might've been enemies. My clan was in the midst of a...crusade, against people with bloodlines. Said you were unnatural beings that would ruin the world. And I have to admit the whole...blood-licking thing was kinda weird."

She found her thumb tracing the memory of the cut on her hand.

"But you know, I'm glad you did it. If my clan is going to go into a future where we live and work beside people with bloodlines, we'll have to learn to accept customs that are different than our own. This was an important lesson to me, and when I go back it'll be a reminder that a man exists out in the world that can end my life because of his bloodline. It'll keep me from falling back into those old ways."

She smiled. A true, genuine smile, that she hadn't felt in a long time.

"I don't need anything from you Dai. To be honest, when I leave, we may never see each other again. I can't stay and fight this war. I have to tend to my own people. But if it'll make you feel better, then I'll seek you out if I think I need your help."

It was a bit odd to say those words. Why she would ever need a bunch of thugs when she had an army of trained hunters at her disposal was beyond her. But anything for this new, odd friendship of hers.

She reached out and took his hands, both of them, her one hand running over the mechanical intricacies with her thumb.

"I'd tell you to be careful, but you don't seem like the type. So I'll just leave you what we Nanaya say.

Good hunting.

- - -

Kyuuen's fingers wiggled.

"I had a team once, you know."

The words floated there between them, meaningless and peculiar.

"It...turned out that it was all a sham. Only Ichigo was a true team member. One was an Iwa spy and the other was an undercover ANBU operative. But for a little while, they were a real team with real fights. Ichigo and the other guy, they never got along. Ever. Always trying to outdo each other, always throwing insults. Got pretty bad there. But I knew how to handle it."

She turned away from his extended hand and folded her hands behind her back, wandering in a gentle circle.

"I knew how to handle it because when I was in my team as a Genin, I was the problem child. I didn't like Suna, I didn't trust anyone because they didn't trust me, and I basically did everything on my own as much as I could until it got to a breaking point. That's when Hana-sensei stepped in. I was already getting medical training from her at the time, and she was so kind and sweet and understanding and loving. But she wasn't that day."

She straightened up her posture, to try and mimic Hana's height, and glared like she did.

"You don't have to like them Kyuuen, but you have to trust them."

"I didn't really get it at first, but after a while I saw that I couldn't survive the missions unless I trusted the others to do their parts. So I never liked them. They were jerks, and prejudiced, and immature, but after a while I did trust them. I said the same thing to Ichigo and Taro. And...I guess I'm saying it again. To myself."

She spun back around and finally took Toya's hand.

"I don't like you yet, Toya. But I do trust you. With my life, and more importantly, with Ryou's."

That was enough for now. She shook his hand off hers and turned back to her tent.

"Now get some sleep will you. Unless these sand nomads pulls some complicated parts out of their ass, that airship isn't going to be rebuilt. And it's a long, long walk to the south cities."

- - -

Moxie actually smiled at that.

"Sorry, Ryou, but Senpu thinks only the strongest emotions will be transferred, since chakra is part experience. For the most part our thoughts will be private."

She rested one hand on Ryou's shoulder and the other on her own, right on the flesh between collarbone and breast. Chakra flowed through her palms, and the Nunojutsu spread open holes in their clothes, exposing bare flesh. She then set her hands back together in quick handseals. Flames of chakra appeared on her fingertips, just as they had when Senpu taught her the technique.

"Might sting."

She pressed her fingers into Ryou's chest and into her own.

The sensation was odd. For her, it felt like she was being healed. That emptiness that had plagued her since that moment at BLOSSOM was finally sated. But in a different way. Before the presence had been powerful and overwhelming, and in a sense she felt lost in it. Her father, protecting her with all of his accumulated might, her own power pale in comparison.

With Ryou, it was the other way around. She was the stronger. And yet she didn't feel like she was overpowering him. He felt...more like a brother.

A brother.

A wave of tremendous sadness overtook her at that moment. She had never felt this way about Pantsu. Not this sort of quiet comfort.

She shoved it away as fast as she could, not wanting the feeling to feedback into Ryou. The last thing she wanted was for him to have to bear her sadness this early on.

The flames sizzled out. She felt strong again, immediately so. Her chakra was stable, and explosive, like it was going to leak out the seams of her body. A whole extra chakra network to feed off of and support her.

Effortlessly her Chakra Threads mended their clothes. Moxie reached out and hugged Ryou.

"Thanks. We'll get rid of it soon as we can."

- - -

"Camels! It is not much, but it is all I can offer."

Moxie bowed. "Thank you, Konoka-san. It's most generous and we won't squander your gift."

He bowed as well, then waddled away, back to his business. They had said so many goodbyes already; to Dai, to Senpu, to Irimara. Even to Ayasato, though she didn't answer them.

"Well, everyone. Let's do our best not to get captured, injured, drugged, or hijacked this time, hm?"

"I...can't come."

The four turned to Rika, who stood beside her camel with a downcast gloom.

"I wish I could. I know you need all the help you can get, but I can't be away from the rest of the Nanaya any longer. There's too much work to be done."

Moxe nodded, and left her camel to walk to her. Then she hugged her.

Mom always said a hug was the best thing to ever give anyone.

"I understand. Take care of yourself, Rika. And thank you, for saving me, and for everything you've done for the Wind Country's future."

"If I can ever do more, I will." The girls separated and Rika walked to Ryou. "Good luck, Ryou. Don't let Toya do anything too stupid, got it?"

Then she stood face to face with Kyuuen.

"Good hunting."

"Yeah. Same."

And at last, one more hug, cousin to cousin.

"Well you certainly keep things interesting, cousin. About what I said before...on the airship. I think I'm going to be okay now. This has taught me a lot, so don't worry about me. But, don't wait too long before you come and visit, all right?"
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Re: DECAY: Backstab - Learning to Delegate

PostPosted by Klee » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:38 pm

Well, he supposed camels were better than nothing.

These animals were no horses, but the prospect of riding south rather than walking came as a great relief to Ryou. And he needed it.

He stood against his camel, dazed and subconsciously rubbing through his shirt at the point where the seal lay seared into his skin. It still burned, just a bit. A subtle sensation, not unlike that of wind brushing, pulling and stinging at the blood of an open wound. He would get used to it for sure - the feeling already wasn't half as subjugating as it had been the previous night, but sensing the occasional absence of the typical chakra content in his body was still enough to take his mind for moments at a time. And at the same time, the feedback excited him so much. He could feel the surge of power that accompanied his access from Moxie's network running from his chest into his entire system, and there was a craving there to use it. He couldn't entirely be sure why. Did he want to see what he could do with so much energy? Or was this just Moxie's tremendous enthusiasm to progress...leaking into him? Probably a combination of both, or something else he would never know the logistics of, and was wasting his time trying to figure out.

Still, the sheer unfamiliarity had rendered him somewhat disorientated for the earlier part of the morning. And half attentive throughout the first few goodbyes.
It took Rika expressing her own farewell to snap him back into focus.

This wasn't exactly one he could miss.

"Good luck, Ryou. Don't let Toya do anything too stupid, got it?"

He shook his head from its stupor when she spoke to him, finally bringing to his realization the fact that the Nanaya was no longer going to be joining them. He'd become so accustomed to her presence over the last couple of days that he couldn't quite deny that the news of her departure came as a bit of a shock.

Damn, he was going to miss her.

As much as every interaction they'd shared had seemed to involve either fighting - be it against or with each other - or him treating her wounds in some aftermath of the former, he'd grown fond of her carefree company. Sure, she'd seemed to have been confronted with as many issues in the fray of the war as the rest of them, but her cheerful, determined and adventurous personality had definitely played a role in helping him to keep everything in a positive perspective. Something he'd definitely needed.

He even laughed at that last comment.

"Hah, you can count on it."

For a moment, the consideration of hugging her rolled over Ryou. He settled for an affectionate knock against her shoulder.

"And you too, alright. Take care, Rika."
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Re: DECAY: Backstab - Learning to Delegate

PostPosted by Uchiha Sasuke » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:08 am

He had seen this coming a mile away, but that knowledge did nothing to ease the heartache.

Toya squeezed her smaller frame tightly, his powerful arms threatening to crush her before he finally released the hold. He swallowed hard, staring into his cousin’s eyes as if to burn her image into his mind.

You’re so strong, Rika. I know that you’ll be exactly the leader the clan needs right now, and they will all realize it as well. I’ll make sure to drop by as soon as I have any time to spare. That’s a promise between hunters.

He quickly swiped at his left eye before any further moisture could form. Damnit, why was it so hard to part ways again? The two Nanaya heirs had missed out on an entire childhood that they could have shared together, and yet it felt like they had made up every lost minute during these few times their paths had crossed.

And now he could only guess how long this next separation would last for. His emotions churned chaotically inside him, but he managed a soft smile. His voice softened to a near whisper.

I really love you, little cousin. I’ll trust that you can handle yourself out there, so don’t go worrying about me either. We’re too good to end up dead, no matter what is thrown at us. So…good hunting.

He slowly turned away and stepped over to join his trio of companions. The world was changing rapidly, and they were all standing in the middle of it. More accurately, they were one of the major catalysts causing this revolution. And now they could only rely on each other to make it through each day intact.

For the first time, their…unique group of four was on the same page, ready to stand united and fight for the same cause. If anyone could hold them together, Moxie certainly was the most qualified candidate.

South we go then. Toward the future of a new nation.

[End Thread]
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