Life Begin Again (OPEN)

[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.

Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:48 pm

"Would you get your head out of the clouds? Let's go! This patrol isn't happening on it's own, you know!" said a boy with white hair as he was looking back along a path that ran through an area with the faint appearance of ruins of a long lost town. There were no standing buildings for miles, yet here there was rubble in distinct lines on the ground showing the possibility of them being former walls and foundations. The person the boy was talking to was a girl no less than a year older than the boy. They were both fairly young, especially for being Westland Rangers.
The girl didn't respond to the boy, and kept her very slow pace, stopping here and there as if caught in a trance over the mere sight of the place the two were going through.
"Good grief, Kou! I don't know what I'd do without you!" the boy mocked, finally getting some kind of reaction from the girl. 'Kou' just gave him a look of frustration and anger. "No need for the dirty looks! Let's get snappy, already! We've gotta be at the next checkpoint before sundown, okay?"
The look on Kou's face didn't change, yet she stomped closer to the boy.
"Just look around you, Teruo! Don't tell me you don't remember anything about this place!" Kou said as she came near the boy. 'Teruo' looked around, puzzled. He then shrugged his shoulders and turned around in the direction of the checkpoint. Kou caught his shoulder and spun Teruo back around.
"You really forgot this place? After all we went through?" the girl exclaimed at the boy, seemingly loosing her own patience. "Don't you see that this is where they first found us?"
At this, Teruo looked astonished and for a moment he seemed to recall blurry memories of the fateful day they were abandoned and had to fight for survival at a very young age. Then, the boy blinked and the memory was tucked away as he shrugged both the troublesome memories off his mind and Kou's hand off his shoulder.
"That place could be anywhere. How can you possibly be sure that this is the place?"
Kou's face scrunched in frustration yet she wouldn't give up so easily. She drug Teruo by the arm some paces, then pointed.
"Look! That old well," she said, making sure he saw it. It was more or less a hole in the ground with rock piled around it. "Remember when we needed water, so you decided to try and climb down into it?"
Teruo looked as if he was drawing a blank.
"You did find water but you also found-"
"Snakes! Yes. I remember that much. I just don't see how you could remember what that hole even looked like," Teruo interrupted showing no signs of coming to an agreement with Kou about the significance of the place, much to her disapproval. She expressed this disapproval verbally.
"You've got sand in your head!" she exclaimed before facing another direction, flailing her arms up and down and stomping her left foot. Kou then let out a grunting noise further showing her frustration towards her foster sibling. Teruo made an uncomfortable smile as he could tell that he really upset her this time.
"I bet you don't even remember me having to pull you out of there so you didn't get bit!"
She went too far this time, thought Teruo.
"Well, excuse me if I don't remember the second most traumatic event of my life! Anyway. We don't have time to remissness over the worst times of our life as we have a job to do!"
Kou then unleashed some quick thinking.
"Water! We need more water right now, don't we?"
"Come on, Kou."
"No, really! Just hand me your canteen and I'll be the one to go down there this time." Kou implored Teruo to consider. The boy showed a face that greatly expressed his dislike of this idea. After a moment of looking from side to side in thought, Teruo snatched his canteen out of the pouch that hung over his left shoulder. He opened it to gauge the amount of water in it, and then just shook his head. Slowly, he then held the canteen out to Kou. She accepted it with a smile and quickly made her way to the 'old well'. Teruo followed her with his eyes at first, and then slowly made his way following after her. She stopped at the edge of the hole, and then Kou took off her backpack. She opened and rummaged through the contents of the bag to produce a long rope good enough for climbing. After finding one of the ends, Kou attached it to a kunai which she then secured to a boulder on the edge of the hole as best as she could. Teruo approached and looked closely at Kou's knot work, thinking that more knots could have been put here and there.
"I won't even be a minute." she assured Teruo as she flung the rope down the hole and began fer descent.
"You do realize that there's still going to be snakes down there," Teruo poked at Kou just as only her head was still visible. She looked up giving the boy a strange look.
"So? It's not like I'm not prepared for them." Kou stated as she then dropped out of sight as she cautiously climbed down. Treuo couldn't shake the feeling on the back of his neck. He scratched and rubbed at it to try and ease his tension, yet he just felt that something wasn't right about this situation.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:20 pm

The air was just as it always had been; had things really changed?
Still, stiffing, sandy... What had changed in this country?

The old dominion had been crushed, and a new republic had sprung up in it's place. Suna's history had finally broken free of the cycle of hatred, death, and turmoil. The days of old have become just that, and a new destiny was dawning for the country; but what had changed? To meet the ends of injustice, thousands perished and building crumbled. Mountains shook with force that echoed through valleys; power in it's rawest form shattered the Earth and etched a new story into walls of destiny. Of course, these ideals and beliefs were probably commonplace during this time. Everything was still fresh and new, and the hope a new future was probably fresh on the minds of all those in Suna...

Except Kumoro.

The thoughts had crossed his mind, sure. But he'd considered all the implications of the war long before it had been resolved; it was his duty, after all, considering he was a participate in the struggle for change. But by this time, he'd already allowed the thoughts to fade to the back of his mind and his focus had re-shifted. The war allowed him the perfect circumstances for intense and in-depth training and experimentation. His skills had jumped several times over and was even recognized by the New Republic following their victory. He was joyous, that much was for sure, but where had it gotten him now?

He'd been interested in further experimentation and testing of his jutsu, but his curiosity had managed to get the better of him once more. Now, he found himself somewhere within the deserted and decaying ruins of some old town or village. To be frank, he wasn't exactly sure what the site was. Upon some investigation, it was easy for him to find discover the layout of the ruins. With no real standing monuments to obstruct his vision, it was easy to see everything and mark specific locations to build a cognitive map. The relative size and shape of the ruins was relatively easy to construct mentally; so if worse came to worse, he'd know where he was as well as where things were around him. That only left one question though...

Who were the two playing around in the dirt hole? As a skilled shinobi, it wasn't difficult to approach the two from behind silently and unseen, but they didn't seem to be up to anything suspicious or particularly nefarious looking. With a quick flash, he appeared just a few inches in the air - in a sitting position - before falling with a light plop on the flat face a small pillar, conveniently placed just twelve yards to the right of the boy. It seemed he was repelling the girl down the hole for some reason... Are they not shinobi? Several questions trickled through his mind, but only a calm expression laid upon his face.

"Well, hello. You look like you could use some help over there... I'm not really one for being physical, but that looks quite tedious." His voice escaped mellifluously and methodically. It was friendly, soft, and retained of hint of ambiguity. His motives to help seemed apparent at first glance, but he also gave off some other questionable feeling. "Don't lose focus, you could drop your friend... We don't want that do, we?" He gave a small smirk as he picked up his right leg and crossed it over his left. His right hand came up to his chin and supported his head and he curved his back slightly and watched the boy at work.

His intentions were non-hostile, but whether the same was true for the others had yet to be seen. If he was going to investigate, he had to be prude, but careful. That always made things so... Interesting.

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:27 pm

The voice certainly surprised Teruo at first, and he looked about to find the source of it. After a split second, the teenage genin honed on the stranger atop a pillar a little to the right. As the stranger mentioned dropping his friend, Teruo became conscious of the thought for a moment and looked at the rope in his hands with caution. Then the genin made a smirk on his own face.
"Hmgh!" came out of Teruo's curled mouth as he returned his look to the top of the pillar. The clever stranger was high up and his features couldn't be made out as well due to the harsh sunlight. As Teruo let go of the rope, the tension went directly to the knots meant to secure it. He would have remarked at his doubt of Kou's knot-work, but he rather just looked at the stranger with a calculating look. "Most bandits... attack first, before they talk!"
During the pause in his comment to the stranger, Terou focused his chakra and gathered it in his hand to form Senbon needles of light chakra. He then launched the needles in the general direction of the stranger. The genin hadn't the slightest clue that he was assaulting an ally. One of higher rank, no less. It could be said in his defense that Teruo isn't one for letting his guard down among strangers. But, he really could have used better judgement as far as taking better note of the fact that Kumoro did in fact talk first before laying a hand on any weapon or show any intent of violence.

~|~||~|~||~|~


Kou suddenly felt her line wiggle slightly. She looked up the hole with a frown, then turned her eyes back on her footing with a shake of her head. The sound of voices could be heard from up above as well, yet Kou just figured Teruo was just impatiently complaining to himself out loud. In a few moments the girl could make out the dry bottom in the dim light, so she let go of the rope and landed softly on her trained feet. There was a... questionable smell that was the first thing Kou could make out in the black of the well.
"We actually drank water from this stink hole?" the young teenager remarked as she reached for the canteens. The second thing she could notice was the occasional sound of a single drop of water hitting the surface of a pool somewhere within the space of the hole which continued as a cave at the bottom. Kou took out another kunai, and positioned it against the bit of sunlight from above to shine a beam of light around the cave. She stopped as soon as she saw a glimmer of reflection off a cool looking, liquid surface. As Kou approached, the smell increased in its intensity and she was starting to gag a little because of it. She was the one who insisted on getting water, so she swallowed her womanly pride to continue until her sandaled foot splashed against the edge of the pool. It had been a couple days since Kou touched water with her hands, so she was compelled to crouch down and put her fingers into the pool before the canteens themselves. At first, she swooned at the feel of the calm water against her skin. Then her fingers touched something soft, hard, and fleshy. Immediately, Kou gasped, withdrew her hand and dropped both canteens as she stumbled backward on her rear. A revelation about the smell came to her before she reached for her pack of matches to confirm with a bit more light. While she was hopeful the revelation wasn't accurate and what she felt wasn't what she thought it was, there really was no doubt in her mind as she lit a match and with a shaking hand held it to illuminate as much of the cave as possible.
"...Oh no," she said as her fears were confirmed at the sight.

The smell was that of death.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

~Takuan Sōhō, Musashi
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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:49 pm

Kumoro watched the boy before him with stale eyes. Not a movement went unnoticed, not a spoken word unheard. "Bandit, huh?" He whispered to himself softly - the boy before him probably wouldn't be able to hear it, unless he had some sort of advanced hearing. Noticing the culmination of light chakra, and the obvious lashing of the arm, Kumoro was more than aware of the incoming senbon. Even off of his gluts, Kumoro popped up to his feet and did a quick and easy laid out back flip. As he flipped through the air, his hands came together quickly to form a small set of hand signs - as he landed, he gracefully placed his hands into his pockets; nonchalantly... Mateki • Mugen Onsa

"You're not a very sharp one, are you?" He let out softly, though audibly, before puckering his lips slightly. In just an instant, a sweet melodious tune escaped his lips. The tune carried itself sweetly through the air, resting on the weak winds. The whistled tune lifted itself from Kumoro's lips all the way into the ears of his assailant; his little friend in the hole probably would hear it as well. It'd be unlucky if she did as well, but... oh well.

There were no other moves made. Kumoro simply whistled his deadly, yet ironically sweet tune as he slowly took steps towards his assailant. With his hands placed within his pockets, and his walk almost ominously slow, Kumoro approached the unknown boy named Teruo. No other words, no other movements, nothing. His purple eyes were gleeming, carefully watching Teruo and the movements he would make. Though they'd sooner all be halted. As the real power of his whistle began to take effect.
If the tune fell upon the boys ears, he'd quickly be locked - chained - in a horrific genjutsu.

The scenery would be remain almost similar, though red. Skeletons and half dead persons littered the area as Teruo would find himself on his knees. His arms were spread apart to their respective sides and pulled out to their length; chained at the wrists by cold steel. His ankles, too, were bound by chains. The only thing around him was a sky of red, like blood, and decaying corpses and bone. A voice rang through the dead and dying air, "You really shouldn't be so impulsive, you know. Look where it gets you..." The voice belonged to Kumoro, yet he was no where to be found. As as his voice echoed and began to fade, the very skin and muscle on Teruo began to melt away as if dipped in acid. The effect began at the finger tips and would slowly work it's way towards his body, and the worst part was, he could feel every second of it...


Spoiler:
Name: Mateki • Mugen Onsa - Demon Flute • Illusion Tune Chains
Rank: B
Range: Close (0m ~ 5m), Mid (5m ~ 10m), Far (10m+)
Type: Genjutsu
Clan: N/A
Description: Mateki • Mugen Onsa is a Genjutsu technique utilized by Takashi Kumoro. To use this illusion he simply needs whistle a melodic tune. Upon hearing the tune, the opponent's mind will enter a barren wasteland. While in this illusion the ninja feels retrained by chains which bind the user as their skin and muscle begins to melt off their bones. Because they are restrained in the illusion, they are restrained in real life as well. This genjutsu relies on the use of hand seals, and solely on the target(s) hearing the tune whistled to activate.

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:30 pm

The flip in the air wasn't something unexpected. Any ninja could do a back flip that well... as in any true ninja(as Teruo saw it). Then the boy of the same age, yet clearly not the wiser noticed Kumoro performing hand seals, midair.
"A split second jutsu. Heh! I've got a counter for that!" thought the boy, being fairly presumptuous at what kind of jutsu the presumed-to-be Bandit was casting. Teruo began making hand seals himself to try and throw off what he assumed would be an elemental attack form of a jutsu from the stranger. All it took was three, yet by the time he got to focusing chakra into his hands, clap them together and perform his Star Light Mesmerize technique, the musical tone that triggered the genjutsu already passed through the genin's ears. This of course was heard just after the comment given by the stranger about the genin not being too bright in the now dim situation.
"I might not be that sharp, but my light is second to none on that aspect!" forced out Teruo, ignoring the twinge of curiosity as well as second thoughts on what faction this stranger was associated based on his statement. Perhaps an ally would have responded to his Sewing Pin jutsu with just more words rather than such in combination with a reactionary jutsu. After Teruo's verbal retort, he quickly found that was all he was able to give as clasps and chains suddenly appeared, bound on his limbs. Instantly, he knew he was in trouble. While Teruo was spellbound by enough Genjutsu to be able to recognize them easily enough to know when he was under one, he swallowed hard as he saw the change in scenery, but it was more his reaction to the discovery that he really couldn't do much to try and release himself from this particular spell. It was well beyond his league for him to do so. Within a few moments, the genin found himself with his limbs out of his control; his legs dropping him down, and his arms being pulled out straight to either side.
"Okay! So-" now Teruo was trying to reason with the more skilled shinobi as he was literally put down on his knees without even getting to physical fighting at all. He was interrupted by the stranger's voice, which just by hearing that voice cued the actual pain the genjutsu caused. "Alright... hrmgh... So you're clearly no-ermph... bandit..."
As Teruo talked, the illusionary pain got worse. He found he was breathing heavily, yet he still tried to bear with it.
"It makes sense, now. You're some-GAH-HAGH!... Just some punk from-HMMGH-Hanabira or or whatever, aren't you?-GGH-HUUGH..."
All of Terou's speech was interrupted by his grunts and verbal exclamations of suffering. He didn't bother looking at the bubbling and liquifying process that his mind was telling was happening to his flesh. After a moment, he pushed back the pain as far as possible to deliver one last unbroken line at the stranger, in spite of the fact he couldn't be seen currently.
"What, got bored of those well kept city streets, so you go for a little stroll around the Westlands to play around with whatever Ranger-rookies you come across?"
After saying this, the boy attempted another stinger comment,
"Bet your mother would be-hegh... HHYYAAAAGGHHHHHHH!"
The pain was too much to ignore and halfway through and he just started to scream, and not just out of frustration to say the least.

~|~||~|~||~|~


Kou couldn't take her eyes off of what she saw. The anguish and tragedy was stunning as it was heartbreaking. The match then burned out, and the kunoichi couldn't stomach or even being to bear lighting another one just to see it all over again. At first, Kou began to crawl towards the hole. She almost forgot what she came down there for in the first place, yet it was understandable from what she witnessed. Catching her self just before reaching the sunlight from the entrance, Kou spun around as she remembered the simple yet crucial canteens she left behind. Naturally, there was hesitation in her body and in her tear filled eyes. A sudden strange melody was then heard from outside the hole. Kou's natural instincts with Genjutsu gained from even the few years she herself studied in such techniques(being her key specialty) kicked in as soon as she noticed something was off about the tune. Her hands formed a hand seal, and she expelled chakra in a kai release. After doing so, she was nearly breathless and panting.
"That was a powerful Genjutsu spell... Just what kind of trouble did that jerk get us in now?" Kou remarked in her head with a troubled expression as she looked up the hole. Quickly, she dashed back into the darkness and ran her hand across the floor until she found the canteens. After stowing them, Kou then dashed back to the hole, and began scaling up the rock with the rope as fast as she could.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
Image
but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

~Takuan Sōhō, Musashi
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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:31 pm

Kumoro watched the boy from about ten feet out as he fell to his knees in clear and visible pain. In reality, his body moved just as it did in the illusion - on his knees, arms out to the sides - but with none of the special effects. Still whistling the tune, Kumoro let his eyes scan over to the hole. He was sharp and had yet to forget about his attackers little friend who'd descended just moments before. He couldn't be certain if she was trapped in the illusion or not as well, so his best bet was to simply keep an eye on the hole. The boy, though in intense pain, struggled to spit out tasteless and meaningless phrases. Prey upon weaker foe? Did he so soon forget that he was the instigator of this assault? Hanabira? This kid was obviously misinformed..not that it mattered.

Kumoro let out a chilling chuckle, "Fufufu... Poor kid." Then, he ceased whistling and took a few steps back from the boy, positioning himself so that the hole was just slightly to his diagonal left and the boy was to his diagonal right - making sure both were in clear view. Canceling his flow of chakra, Kumoro discontinued the illusionary effect of his Genjutsu. His hands were still in his pockets and he simply stood there, watching, for a moment. It would probably take a few seconds for the kid to get his barrings after that technique, but otherwise, he'd be fine...

"I'm no bandit," He said it a cool, calm and collected, voice. "I'm a simple school boy with high aspirations." His purple eyes scanned the landscape slyly. His right hand slowly slipped free from his pocket; his fingers curled slightly and rested on the right side of his face, the index finger reaching up at the his temple."Do I look like a bandit?[/i]" His voice was riddled with sarcasm as he pointed out his obvious thin and small frame, and his black school boy attire. Hell, in fact, he hardly even looked anything like a ninja at all.

His clothes were simple, his face was gentle, and his eyes were calm. He held incredible composure and looked almost harmless. His right hand slipped free from his face slowly, waning out to the side - his palm towards the sky and his fingers still partially curled in position. "Did you forget that it was you who attacked me?"

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:20 pm

As soon as he was released from the illusion, Teruo gained control of his limbs as well as noticed the scenery go back to the way it was. He tried to get on his feet with one leap, yet tripped over himself and Teruo landed hard on his face. The illusionary pain that had gone through him was quickly dissipating, yet now the places where his mind told him were in pain felt a little numb and hard to function properly at first. The embarrassment Teruo felt was written all over his face as he got to one knee, shot a glance at the stranger, and realized how youthful and innocent looking said stranger was. The guy couldn't be any much older than himself... So what was he calling him kid for? Such was the first thought that came through Teruo's mind as he dusted himself off and slowly stood with the bottom of his sandals now touching the ground, facing Kumoro. His expression turned cross at the last thing the stranger said. If it weren't for his arms still recovering from the Genjutsu as well as the still throbbing of his heart, Teruo would've had half a mind to attempt another attack on Kumoro. The bigger factor in what stayed his hands was a shout from within the well.
"He did what!?"
"Here we go," the boy mumbled, rolling his eyes and turning his glance to the side. The owner of the voice could be seen by them both as she made the final few grasps on the rope before half Kou's body poked up out of the hole.
"What do you have to say for yourself, Teruo? Attacking the first person we encounter on patrol without valid cause?" she then asked as her feet hit the ground just beside the hole. "Just what were you thinking, you lunkhead?" Kou added, putting her hands on her hips and looking indignantly at Teruo, half expectingly and half just perturbed.
"What can I say? He creeped me out, and didn't even introduce himself right away. How do you think a Westland Ranger is suppose to react in a situation like that?" answered the boy, returning Kou's stare with a shrug of his shoulders and a fairly annoyed tone in his voice. The girl just made a side glance to Kumoro and then soon back to Terou with narrowed eyes.
"I'd expect a levelheaded response, and a little COMMON SENSE! This guy doesn't look that creepy to me at all!"
"I couldn't get a good look at him, 'cause he was perched on that pillar over there!" defended Teruo, throwing his finger up in the general direction of the structure he mentioned. "And I'm sure you'd find the Genjutsu he used on me a little creepy, to say the least."
"You gave him no choice by attacking him like you did. In any other situation I'd be more concerned for you ignoring what I've tried to teach you about avoiding Genjutsu, but I'll chalk whatever one he got you with as karma or whatever, because you obviously had it coming!"
The two stared each other down, letting Kumoro go slightly unnoticed for a moment. A disgusted look was forming on Teruo's face as Kou seemed to be "against his best interests" currently, and he was silent as the girl continued.
"Like you were telling me before, we've got a job to do out here. You shouldn't go making it harder by attacking before asking questions, especially towards someone who didn't strike first!" stated the frustrated Kou who was letting her built up emotions filter out a little, making her . She threw her arms to her sides and took a firm step forward as she planted the final comment, which was the last straw for Teruo. He shook his head with a spiteful frown and glare.
"Huh! That does it then!" shouted the boy as he turned and began walking off. "I'll just go on my way! No reason to stick around here and get more sidetracked than we already have been!"
"You're not even going to apologize!?" Kou implored her foster brother with another step in his direction, yet her words no longer seemed to hold Teruo's attention as he was set on continuing to their intended destination. The girl showed a touch of sympathy in her expression towards her brother's back, and then she began to follow after him. As she passed close by to Kumoro, Kou stopped and turned to face him. "I'm sorry that lunkhead provoked you. There was no excuse for his behavior. We do have a job to do as we are Westland Rangers. If you want to submit a complaint about Teruo, one of our supervisors should be at our next checkpoint," said Kou in apology and explanation. She then gave a nervous wave of her hand to Kumoro before walking briskly after Teruo.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
Image
but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:38 pm

The boy's slow recovery from the effects of the genjutsu were duly noted and expected; amusing, too. Also, just as he'd expected, his friend - the girl - popped up out of the whole just seconds after he'd spoken. Something he didn't expect, though, was what happened next. The two bickered back and forth like two school children, it was as if they'd completely forgotten he was even there. Slightly puzzled, Kumoro allowed his face to twist slightly as his right eyebrow raised. He literally just stood there, silently, watching the two go back and forth. He didn't interject once, didn't even make a motion to. Just... stood there.

How awkward. These two argue just like a young brother and sister would.
As he stood there, Kumoro not only listened to what was said by each of the two, but also noted their nonverbal reactions. How their bodies physically reacted and how their emotions flared out in the form of facial expressions and voice tone. Calculating and observations - that's just how he was. Finally, the girl said something that pushed the other boy over the edge. Frustrated, he turned his back and started away from the girl; Kumoro let his face sink back into a more collected pose, but for just a second before his eyes narrowed slightly out of confusion.

When approached by the girl, Kumoro gave her his attention. That's right, he'd almost forgotten. His aid in the war generated a new social class. The way of the ninja wasn't exactly the same as it used to be. Now, there were these Westland Rangers roaming around. He preferred the names and ranks of the old way, but it wasn't so bad, really. "Hm? I guess it would be best for me to follow you two then, huh?" His voice sounded more innocent and understanding now. His mannerisms changed a bit as well, he withdrew his hands from his pockets and jogged a bit to catch up to the two Westlanders.

"Hey!" He called out lightly, quickly running out of steam and slowing down. His hands met his knees as his back arched and a few heavy breaths escaped. "I never..." he huffed, "got a chance to introduce myself." He paused again, sucking in a few deep breaths of air before finally finding the energy to stand straight up. "My name is Takashi Kumoro. We can just forget about that stuff back there; it's all water under the bridge, really. Pacing kinda slowly behind the two, Kumoro more sincerely introduced himself.

Then, he inquired, "You guys don't mind if I tag along for a little while, do you?"

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:10 pm

As Kou caught up with Teruo and came beside him, the boy increased his pace showing just how perturbed he was at his sister at the moment. She frowned at his reaction, yet decided to stay back a few paces from him to let him cool off a minute. Then Kou noticed the sound of panting followed by words from the stranger, turning the girl's attention to him now.
"He must have used a lot of energy on that one genjutsu." Kou figured as she had worse fatigue whenever she tried performing genjutsu out of her league of skill. As he introduced himself, the girl smiled slightly.
"Nice to meet you, Takashi san," she said just before Kumoro offered to tag along with them. "Uhm. I don't see why not. We could use an extr-"
"We could use some privacy from strangers, is what," broke in Teruo without looking back, yet his pace wasn't as fast as it was.
"Give it a break, Taer. He said to forget what happened," implored Kou with a glance back to her brother. He stopped and spun around to face his sister.
"Yeah? Well I say we're already a pair, as per Ranger protocol. Therefore we're going to stay a pair and be better balanced and able to survive."
His look was serious, and he held it on Kou to try and shake her into accepting his authority. The attempt failed, though.
"You don't think someone as skilled as him is going to help us in survival?" she asked, more to prove a point which was received, albeit with a grunt as well as resentful narrowed-eye-glance to the side and cross of Teruo's arms.
"Anyway," continued the girl, looking back to Kumoro. "I'm Kamiren Kou. And the lunkhead is Kamiren Teruo. (I call him Taer. sometimes)" stated Kou in official introduction of them both (while she neglecting to say they were brother and sister, leaving it up to particular speculation as to what the connection behind their surnames was, seeing as they weren't related by blood nor looked as they were).
"*AHEM!*" let out the disgruntled and impatient Teruo, who had slowly turned back his glance to the sister. He tapped his finger against his forearm and held his narrowed eyes in an expecting sort of expression. Kou returned his look with one of blinking confusion before she remembered the... partial point of stopping at the well.
"Right, you probably want your... canteen back."
The girl's face and tone of voice showed a resurfacing of the trauma and emotions she felt in the bottom of the well. Slowly, she produced Teruo's canteen which after seeing it, he approached and snatched it in his hands. Immediately he opened the top, and lifted the container expecting a good douse of refreshment to pour into his gaping mouth. When it was just a tablespoon in a half that he found dropped into his tongue, Teruo swallowed what there was and made a flat expression towards his sister.
"What gives, Kou? Did the well dry up or something?" he asked gesturing with his arms spread out at the sides. Kou looked to the side, with tears welling at the corner of her eyes.
"That wasn't it."
"It was the snakes, wasn't it?" Teruo then scoffed with a cruel smile.
"No! It wasn't that either..." Kou stated with a frustrated glare at her brother that slowly turned away as the expression softened to a calm yet depressing frown. Tears slowly rolled from her eyes, starting with the left one first.
"Oookay. So why weren't you able to fill our canteens?" asked Teruo, softly yet with little care displayed in the tone of voice. He sounded more condescending and conceded, which Kou would have acted more like she was used to in any other situation. Instead, she turned away from her brother, crossed her own arms and didn't respond for a good half a minute.
"The water down there was probably poisoned." she said quietly, yet audibly to enough to Teruo for him to partially get what she was saying.
"Poisoned?" he repeated as a way of asking for clarification on the subject.
"Yes, poisoned! Poisoned by the dead bodies that were in it." she replied before burying her face in her hands. A shocked look is all Teruo could manage as this news was not at all expected... that and the natural guilt he felt from acting so heartless towards his dear Kou.
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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:08 pm

Having finally caught up to the two, Kumoro listened intently to the introductions - a kind expression and light eyes painted on his face; never revealing on his inner thoughts. The two shared a surname, which he learned after Kou's introduction of them. He then assumed the two were brother and sister, not solely because of their shared surnames, but because of the way they spoke to one another. They did so in such a way... only a brother and sister could. Kumoro found it amusing that Teruo didn't see how obviously beneficial his presence would be for the pair.

His voice told stories and his mind kept secrets. "Well, actually-" He attempted to interject and explain his worth, but was cut off by a sharp clearing of the throat. He paused in thought. All they wanted was some water? While observing the exchange between the two, Kumoro quickly processed all that was said; and all that was not. Teruo was acting particularly unaffectionate in regards to his sisters feelings - it seemed to be an ongoing trend. Kumoro watched as the conflicting emotional responses took their toll on Kou, and Teruo slipped into dismay.

The two made an interesting pair, that was for sure...

"Kou..." His voice was soft and empathetic. "As a Westland Ranger, you're duty is to protect and serve. There will be times where you're forced to see and experience tragedies like never before; but... As a Knight for Justice, you must remain strong." He took a step towards her, but did not embrace her - or so much as touch her. He simply got ever nearer, to the point to where they where sharing the same air. His right cheek gave a stare to Kou's left check - their heads right next to each other, but neither of them touching. He proceeded to speak softly into her ear. "Be strong, have no fear." His charismatic side began to stand out, but not before Kumoro retracted his presence and turn his shoulder towards the two. His head looked out to the empty plains of sand which surrounded them.

A few moments passed, in silence before he spun around quickly and had a chinky-almost confused look on his face (like this). He spoke abruptly, almost without thought. "Actually, I probably wouldn't be much help to you guys at all! I'm not very strong, and I'm so small... I'm really just a bookworm. I just got lucky before is all!" Belittling his skills with a funny looking expression and his hand behind his head, he looked almost embarrassed. "I can probably help you get some water, though, if that's what you're looking for!" His silly expression never changed, except for the moving of his arm up and down as he half-heartedly rubbed the back of his head. "I'm not completely useless, you know~!" He chuckled a bit awkwardly, awaiting a response from the two.

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"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:43 pm

When she heard her name called by the stranger, Kou didn't pay it much mind aside from removing her hands from her face. The words that followed, however caused the girl to look at him as he tried to comfort her. The masculine authority in his voice was quite supporting, and attractive to Kou to say the least. Her tears slowed to a halt when the boy acme close and put such emphasis on her to be strong and without fear. A touch of red could be seen on her cheeks as she side glanced to Kumoro's head, just beside her own. Before she could give any thought of how to react, the boy stepped back and gazed out to the sands that extended to the horizon.
Teruo was not pleased at all with how close this Kumoro buy had gotten to Kou, and the words he spoke to her. Envy and wrath were both showing in his expression, and steam was practically coming out of the genin boy's ears. His hands raised and each finger was tensed up and "clawed out" and Teruo looked as if he was going to run at Kumoro and attempt to strangle him, before the boy backed away from dearest Kou. The hands were momentarily stayed, yet the expression on his face remained... until Kumoro's swagger vanished in an instant as he suddenly chalked up the skills he showed earlier in subduing Teruo as just luck. The genin's hands dropped, and then crossed over his chest as Teruo leered at the new acquaintance.
An awkward silence indeed followed Kumoro's last statement about not being 'completely useless'. It was broken by Kou, who was able to get a hold of her emotions now.
"You're right. I have a duty as a Westland Ranger. We should report that we found people murdered in this area. I could tell that they were noncombatants by what was left of the clothing they wore, as well as their faces. They died in complete fear, and not as if they were physically tortured. Most likely they were innocent civilians traveling the countryside who got captured by bandits, who then lined them up and killed them one at a time. One had a slit throat, the elder of the group I'd assume, while the rest had a single stab wound to the chest or abdomen from what I could see. If I report it as soon as possible, a crime lab team can investigate and perhaps pinpoint key evidence towards who killed them and left their bodies in that well," explained the girl as her eyes drifted back to towards the hole in question. Kou did find Kumoro to be acting quite strange, yet his encouraging words still struck at heart. "I may have failed to protect them, but I won't fail to serve out justice for them," the kunoichi added finally, clenching her right hand into a fist and bringing to her heart. Treuo looked at his sister with his head tilted to the side slightly.
"Then we don't have much time to spare letting 'Takashi san' lead us in circles, do we?" he shot out at her. Her brother's continued display of negativity towards Kumoro was a little understood by Kou, as she knew how jealousy can often spark in Teruo when she's around other boys. She was more calm about it now, yet still firm in her standing.
"No more of this, Tear. We've still got to refreshen our water supply sooner rather than later. You know how the supervisors are with keeping up on necessities while on patrol~," stated Kou with a full smile now towards her brother. His mouth let loose a sigh, and then Teruo looked at Kumoro with distaste even as he conceded to 'being nice' to the guy for Kou.
"Okay, then. Where would you say a good place to find water will be, 'Kumorz, the Non-Useless' ?"
The nickname her brother made up caused Kou to shake her head before she too looked contemplatingly at Kumoro for him to show the way.
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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:46 pm

Although acting strange and out of place, Kumoro was always watching - peering through his squinted eyes and carefully observing the actions and expressions of Kou and Teruo. Kumoro dropped his arm and straightened his expression a little while the two spoke briefly. In that period of time, he just thought to himself.

The relationship these two share is pretty interesting. It's clear how vital one is to the other, but they bicker like enemies. Teruo is a little hot-head, and seems pretty protective...while Kou seems to be more controlled and emotional. It's probably safe to assume their both about Genin level; but that juts from before...that was definitely an advanced bloodline. That chakra felt strange... And this girl, Kou, didn't seem to be affected by my Genjutsu earlier. Could she posses some skill in the art as well? I should probably try to lay low still and hangout with them for a while. Maybe they'll end up showing me something interesting... Or maybe I can show them something interesting..


"Eck?" Kumoro responded, chiming in after Teruo offered the ridiculous nickname; half confused. "Well, you see," He began softly before taking just to steps out in some random direction - not that he intended to reveal that to the two. "This part of the desert is interesting, because it's actually full of water; not that most people are aware. It's just out of sight, and a little difficult to get to..." As he stopped walking, he crouched down and wiped away at the top few layers of sand for a few seconds. As if that would do much of anything to help. Retracting his hands, he slapped them together a few times and dusted them off. "Actually, the desert happens to be full of these pockets buried deep underneath the sand. These pockets are like small, or even large, deposits of water. Its in these areas were vegetation usually grows, like cacti, small bushes, and herbs." His hands slowly came together, forming a moderate sequence of hand signs at a very slow pace. "Their roots dig deep into the sand and drink from these deposits of water to keep them alive. Thing is, its a pain to get to them for normal people..." He ceased making hand signs for a moment and put his palms to the ground where he'd wiped away the sand.

Two more seconds passed.

Then he slowly stood and pulled his arms up, bending them at the elbow. "But with a little push and pull..." He pulled his arms up further, twisting his palms to face the sky as a stream of water snaked its way into the air from below. It was a bit cloudy from traveling through the sand, however. "You can pull them right out of the ground!" He chuckled a bit before clenching his fists and pulling them apart. At once, the sand separated from the water and fall back to the hot desert ground, leaving about three liters of water hovering about in the air in front of Kumoro. "Heh-heh...And there you have it. Just open up your canteens and I'll fill them up for you." He turned to the two and offered a smile, hoping they'd appreciate his efforts.

Having a natural affinity for Suiton chakra, Kumoro was able to perform a variety of water-based jutsu. As such, he found he was also capable of manipulating natural existing water around him, by injecting even just a small portion of his own Suiton chakra. Such a thing came in handy for the desert environment he lived in. That skill combined with his already superb intelligence and knowledge of the local environment made him quite handy to keep around; and made it safe for him to travel even alone through the desert.

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:42 pm

As Kumoro went on to explain the details of water in the desert, Kou looked at him attentively listening to him with a thoughtful expression as she heard facts she had vaguely knew about already just without application of such knowledge on her end. Teruo looked at the guy attentively as well, only with narrowed eyes and arms still crossed. Every now and then, he mumbled a repeat of Kumoro's words in quiet scoffing. It looked crazy what the guy was doing at first. Did he expect to suck water out of the ground with a straw?
Then the hand seals started, slowly. The speed made Teruo impatient, and he started tapping his foot against the ground because of this. As soon as Kumoro stood, and made the final motions to force water to spring up out of the ground, the genin boy's foot stopped and his head shook slightly.
"Well, I'll be," came out of Teruo's open mouth, in a tone that didn't seem that impressed. Kou was the opposite of course, as her eyes lit up and she leaped with glee. As soon as Kumoro gave the word, she dashed forward, opening her canteen and standing with it out stretched.
"That's really impressive," Kou stated as the water entered her canteen. In spite of coming out of the dirty ground, it still looked just as delicious and precious to the girl.
"Yeah. Something like that," commented Teruo as he stood unswayed by thirst at first, until he slowly dropped his arms to his sides and stepped over towards the "magic" jutsu water himself.
"I would think a Suiton user wouldn't be as adept in combat as other chakra types out in this wasteland, yet I can definitely see the uses for it now. Hm-hm!" giggled Kou. The way Kumoro had her going was making Teruo... jealous. And highly so. Perhaps more for her attention right now than just her brilliant smile and supportive nature she bared towards himself... and not much other people, usually. Kou's canteen was obviously done with first, and as soon as hers was filled she capped it and smiled right at Kumoro. "How could you begin to be useless? You're an asset! You ever think of joining the Ranger division? You'd be a great partner."
"I think he could handle being solo," shot out Teruo with a smug side glance to the one in question. After his canteen was full, the boy lifted it to his lips to take a controlled sip. The look on his face turned to severe disapproval at the taste in his mouth... yet at least he didn't spit the water out in complete disgust. "This tastes like ant piss. If those things even piss at all."
"Beggars can't be choosers, Tear. Heh. You used to be the one to tell me that."
Teruo shot a shocked look at Kou in response to this, which she returned with a wider smile.
"Now, with everything in order, I'd like to finish the first checkpoint of our patrol already. Who knows? The supervisor we meet might have brought some food for us!"
"Optimistic thinking, at best," Teruo said finally before capping his canteen and following after Kou.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
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but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by Mephilis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:53 am

"Heh..." Kurmoro softly and quietly chuckled a bit to himself. Teruo was busy making such an ass of himself, he didn't even realize everything he said had about zero effect on Kumoro. Once the canteens were full, Kumoro filled up his own small water bottle he kept attached at the right of his hip, then allowed what was left of the water to soak the floor. Not that there was much left anyway. Facing the two, Kumoro first replied to Kou, "No, the rangers never actually interested me. And the thought of getting stuck with a hot-head irks me... I'm just a school boy, nothing else.." He, again, watered down his actual skill. It seemed to be a trend ever since those days. So far, in his young life, he'd come across two actual days which seemed to affect him drastically on an emotional level. The first, when the one cared about most vanished from his life. And the second, the day the war began, and he witnessed all that war had to offer. The reality of it all shook him... It bent him a little, and created someone new.

Takeshi Kumoro...

He was silent for just a second, not much longer, but in his mind, it felt like minutes. Thought after thought ran through the neural pathways. But he snapped to before getting too deep in thought."You guys didn't bring food either? Eehhh.... Must have been an important mission for you guys to have forgotten to bring food and exhausted your water supply..." Then, Kumoro had an idea. Following behind the two, headed towards wherever it is their checkpoint was, Kumoro rolled the thought around in his mind a bit. "May ask about how far this place is? I'm already getting pretty tired..." He moped, hunching his back a bit and slowing his pace; taking each step outwardly as if there were thirty or forty pound weights attached to his legs. As if his thin, wirey, frame was no match for the desert heat.

He was lying.

It was all just a show, to see how they'd respond of course. He figured Teruo would likely continue to be a jerk, and probably let out some snide remark. And, he assumed Kuo would probably be a little concerned for him; of course, the two would both probably share the same thoughts: Kumoro's energy levels were pathetically low. Having shown fatigue while originally setting out with the two and again just now! Of course... it was a ruse both times... Why, he wouldn't yet reveal. And it was rather unlikely either of the two would catch on. That gave him room to have some fun and learn a couple of things...

Image
"Do not ask any questions. Don't tell me anything. You have no rights. The only thing you do have is the rope holding the blade of the guillotine, safely suspended above the necks of your friends. Make no mistake, woman. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."

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Re: Life Begin Again (OPEN)

PostPosted by kaidan K » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:00 pm

Teruo knew who Kumoro was referring to with the 'hothead' comment, yet stayed silently vexed by the other kid. He also knew that the guy was by no means just a "school boy". Perhaps he really was trustworthy, Tear thought, just he had ulterior motives in addition to an attitude that just made the genin's blood boil for some reason.

An understanding slant to Kou's lips expressed her slight disappointment in Kumoro's answer to her invitation as she glanced back at the boy. His next comment made her laugh(and a devilish smirk rise on Teruo's face).
"Hahaha! Oh, I wouldn't worry about food too much. That's something we've both learned fairly well how to gather well enough even out here in the wastes, when push comes to shove! My comment was because I just like the thought of not having to waste my arrows so soon on patrol." she said with a gently amused smile towards Kumoro. His following comment broke her smile, though. Both the rangers stopped, with Kou being the only one looking at the boy with sincere concern. Teruo himself was more than compelled to satisfyingly berate Kumoro about this.
"Trying to slow us down, eh? Well, I'll have you know that our checkpoint is due East of here by about 30 or so miles. We don't have time for a rest, because we have until sundown to get there. If you're tired already, just stay behind and find your way back to where ever you came from and-"
"Tear, it's ALRIGHT! I'm sure they won't mind us being delayed, as long as if we have a good explanation!" implored Kou.
"Tehh! Yeah, I bet," came Tear's reaction in such a sarcastic tone. She was probably right about this as well though, so the boy swallowed his pride a little as he offered a suggestion. "We could take an eight minute break, then keep going."
Kou shook her head at her brother, then looked to Kumoro again.
"Would food help? I could run about and find you some grub to keep you going," she offered, already reaching back to grasp her small but powerful bow as well as unclasp the lid to her quiver.
People talk about combining the Way of Learning with the Way of the Samurai,
Image
but when properly combined, they aren't two-they're one.
Only one Way, Takezo.

~Takuan Sōhō, Musashi
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