Crimson

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Crimson

PostPosted by Rai » Wed May 23, 2012 9:34 pm

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In darkness and silence she did she move, using shadow as cover, and chakra to lighten her step, the sounds of the sea and harbor drowning out the rest. There were no Shinobi in this place, which made things somewhat easier for her, but that was not to say that soldiers here didn’t have their own abilities and powers, they were just very different.

This city itself was unlike any she had seen before, and she had seen many, from the Bustling capitol of Fire country, to the industrial Amegakure, to the sand built Sunagakure to the slums of the northern territories. But this one... In some ways it reminded her of Nagata, the entirety of it seemed to be made of stone and mortar, but unlike Nagata steel also dominated its towers and balconies, and the architecture was alien, she wasn’t sure quite how to describe it, but it did have a particular beauty to it. Under different circumstances she might have liked to visit this place and its sights, but on this night, she was here for a different purpose...

It had been a long trek over here, over 2 months at sea without seeing so much as an inch of land. For a time she had even been unsure whether they were heading in the right direction, but once they did find land, it didn’t take long to come across a first settlement, and there the unmistakable crimson banner with a golden menacing griffon at its center stood out like a beacon, they had come to the right place, these were the lands from which the raiding fleet had come.

7 fire country villages had burned under that banner, half a dozen ships, each carrying several dozens of soldiers in turn, had sailed into Fire countries waters, attacking, pillaging and raiding every settlement they came across, leaving behind few survivors. By the time Fire country amassed its own forces and sailed to meet them, the raiding force had vanished, sailed back into the vastness of the sea. But those fortunate few that did survive described vividly the blood red banner flown by the ships of their attackers, and spoke of it with fear.

The Banner was not unknown to Fire country, not entirely, research in ancient archives revealed knowledge of a nation or power from a distant continent having made a similar foray into Fire country and neighboring nations’ waters a few centuries past, the records described intelligence gathered from captured crew and ships, as well as of a great effort to ensure that no single crimson bannered ship would ever make it back home to report anything.

If history was repeating itself, if these raiders had come after all this time for a second look, than this was a test of fire country’s military strength, of it’s defensive capabilities, and this worried them. If these attacks were a simple scouting mission to determine the military might of Fire country as they suspected, a mere prelude to a far larger force, then fire country could not dare let such an attack go without a response, a show of force of their own, especially considering how little resistance they had managed to demonstrate against the raids themselves.

In the short few years since the crumbling of Konoha much effort had been made to establish and strengthen a conventional military force, but it would still be many years before that military force could truly hope to make up for the strength lost by the fall of the Hidden leaf, and though Fire country still had the loyalty of most of the old Shinobi clans, those being scattered and divided made for a far less effective force than existed under Konoha. The lords of Fire country feared with good reason that under such circumstances, resisting and defending against an all out invasion, or even simply conducting an effective war would not only be difficult, but near impossible to win.

Fire countries allies were for the most part in no better shape, all seemed to be facing their own turmoil. It was doubtful that any could provide much assistance, even if they were inclined to, that was assuming they weren’t targeted as well.

These raids quite simply, could not have come at a worse time. Something had to be done to dissuade this distant enemy from engaging in any action yet, something drastic...
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Re: Crimson

PostPosted by Rai » Thu May 24, 2012 8:44 pm

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Three days now in this city, the first having been spent in hiding, but since then she had begun walking among the masses. Though most people here had lighter colored hair and eyes than back home, dressed as a local, and her eyes altered to look more “normal”, she could pass as one of them easily enough as long as she avoided talking with anyone too long, the people here had a particular accent, and though she could manage to mimic it to some degree, prolonged conversations tended to bring questions regarding where she was from.

Most of the city was still abuzz regarding the “incident” in the harbor from a few nights back, where a number of military ships were inexplicably sunk. Though explosions could be heard a long distance away, the Magister and council had yet to give any official declaration as to what had happened beyond calling it an accident. Akemi of course new better, having been the one to place and set the explosive tags behind said accident, six ships had gone under that night, the same number that had attacked the shores of fire country. Though the people here tended to watch what they said openly, particularly around soldiers, she had heard quite a few whispers of suspicion from people in the markets and pubs, few believed in the so called “accident” story, and she had heard more than one mention of unusually larger numbers of soldiers on the streets since the incident.

The people here seemed tense at this, she could feel a certain degree of anxiety from the people around her, particularly when troops were near, this gave her some inkling as to the relationship people the people and the power in these lands. She had thought at first that this might be to her advantage, a people that distrusted their government and resented it could often more easily be approached for aid against it, but having spent a couple of days around them she quickly dismissed the idea, they feared and distrusted strangers as much as they did those that ruled over them, often she imagined that the former ended up secretly being an agent of the latter and that these people had long since learned that it was best not to trust a new face.

So she took her time, wandering the streets, listening, scouting at night, even having her Hawks in the skies above doing the same, she slowly collected information, and devised her own objectives. Her order when she had been sent here were simple but vague. She was here to send a message, one that was obvious without being overt, one that would communicate to the powers of this land that Fire country’s might had a long reach, and that it could strike and strike hard with little effort, that it could strike at any time and with no warning and that they would never know when and from where it would come. She was here to instill fear and hesitation on these people, make them think twice about attacking again. Beyond that, due to how little information had been available about this land, she had been given very few specific or clear cut objectives, it had been left to her to work it out once she arrived.

The ships on that first night were just a start. More symbolic than anything else. Her next strike would be far more significant in scope, or so she intended. What she would do and where she would do it however were still in the works...
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Re: Crimson

PostPosted by GARyu. » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:34 am

The young man strolled down the streets leisurely, after having been in the country for nearly a month now the sights and sounds had become little more than white noise during his morning walks along the dockside. Great wooden ships creaked and moaned in beat with the gentle lapping of the sea against the mortar of the harbor, as if they were waking up and stretching, getting ready for the day. It certainly wasn't the hollow howls of wind that he'd grown up with but something about the sound relaxed him and set his mind at ease. It was during these morning walks that Kousei reminded himself of how he'd gotten to where he was now, and why it was so imperative that he was here.

A few months ago the man had been drowning beneath an ocean of responsibility, managing the new empire that was Kumoteikoku, dealing with the turmoil brewing amongst the clan elders, and between it all trying to unearth where and why his father had disappeared. In an attempt to pull himself out of that ocean and onto shore he'd abandoned all but one of those albatrosses, the search for his father. In hindsight he had his doubts about his decision but it was still too soon for him to turn back now, he'd see this endeavor a little farther yet. His father Ryu had left little trail to follow so Kousei decided he would retrace his father's steps all the way back to the very beginning. That beginning turned out starting very far away from the Land of Lightning.

Before there had ever been a Kyūsaisha there had been the Kyūten's, a noble family whose heritage rooted in very two different places. The first place was home, the Land of Lightning, the second place however was on a completely different continent. A family born in the throes of an almost war, the Kyūten's came about from love born between two enemies a tale as romantic as any. It wasn't until he'd arrived in the foreign land however that he'd realized just how strongly his forefather and mother had assimilated into one another. While many of the customs the Kyūsaisha kept were traditional to the Land of Lightning, their brood still maintained the features of the people here and many other things. Suddenly he understood where their blonde hair and golden eyes came from. Everything down to the architecture, clothes, and even cutlery Kousei was certain they had within Mura No Kyūsai. It had been a surreal first few days exploring the port city, he was certain this was a land his family stemmed from. While a refreshing break from not having any real leads, within a week the sobering truth that he still had nothing substantial set in.

The idea behind his thought of tracing back through his father's life was that perhaps he'd find him along the way, perhaps he returned to some place he'd been happier. The thought tickled him a bit, he wasn't sure his father was capable of emotion let alone happiness, still though one never knew. Plus, without much insight into his father's life before he'd been born Kousei didn't know how far back or even where to start his search. So here he was, in a land he'd never visited before in an attempt to find some clue that he wasn't exactly sure was here.

An exasperated sigh escaped between his lips as he thought about just how hopeless everything seemed. Stopping, his gaze fell on the six half-empty docks a few hundred yards ahead of him. He'd only heard gossip and rumors here and there about what had happened but the tall broken masts and floating planks of wood still dampened his mood a bit. The sinking of the ships had the people buzzing, Kousei couldn't help but let his mind wander as to how he'd handle a situation like this as Raikage. He wondered if part of him missed the weight he'd bore on his shoulders and he was just too stubborn to admit it. He continued pondering as he moved on, rounding a corner into a dreary street market slowly waking up. The fog rolling in from the sea felt cool on his skin and reminded him of home and the clouds that covered the mountain tops. A small figure obscured within the fog caught Kousei's eye, dragging him out of his morning reverie something about it seemed familiar the way it moved was too...cautious. He trailed it for a few minutes, watching it meander through the broken cobblestone streets. The graveling sound that came from walking on the cracked and shattered stone was something that Kousei hadn't been able to quite drown out yet and it grated against his ears. It was then that it occurred to him what seemed so familiar about the person, he or she moved silently. In all the time he'd spent here he'd not seen hide or hare of anyone who might be a shinobi, and only shinobi moved that silently. Furrowing his brow, he adjusted his own footsteps to match the figures, becoming as silent as the fog bank moving in.
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Re: Crimson

PostPosted by Rai » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:39 pm

Several days spent studying the city had allowed her to come up with a list of several possible targets, a large barrack in the southern quarter of the capital housing a significant garrison, but more importantly also acting as one of the largest armory depots in the area. Then there was the ship building yards some distance from the pear where she had sunk those ships on the first night of her arrival. Either would make for perfect targets, but she had settled on something else, the ministry of security , a large complex in the central district, a key headquarter she had learned for keeping control over the city and its citizens, it was from there that the government here held its people with its tight iron grip. Either of the military targets would deliver a strong blow, and she might still target them at a later date, but the ministry, that would deliver a far stronger message, and might prove more burdening a loss then either the depot or the ship yard if only psychologically.

Over several days her Hawks patrolled the skies, keeping track of guard patrols and watch changes at the ministry from the outside, while also looking for weak spots in coverage by the guards. They looked for possible ways of entry, of exit and for convenient points to retreat to if she had to abort, meanwhile Akemi herself scouted from the ground, walking the streets near and around the complex and perusing the shops and inn near it while discreetly using her Byakugan scan its layout. That morning would be the last before she set her plan in motion, this would be her last day to prepare, for once the sun went down, she`d be going in.

Leaving her rented room at one of the inns by the pear, Akemi made her way through fog covered old stone streets as they began to slowly buzz with life. It was several blocks later that she felt it, that sense of being watched, of being followed. Lowering her hood to cover her eyes from onlookers, there dark color shifted to their customary white on white as her doujutsu activated, canceling out the camouflaging effects of her necklace as she turned the next corner.

A short time later, a figure followed, some distance away but within sight of her, his chakra shinning more brightly then that of the common towns folk, more steadily, more orderly... A soldier? Had she been discovered? Had she done something to draw attention to herself?

Without changing her pace or demeanor, Akemi walked on till coming across a small empty street, there once more she turned, bringing her hands together the moment she was out of her followers line of sight, forming a rapid set of hand seals causing a identical copy of herself to appear next to her, that done the real Akemi took to strides before leaping onto one of the buildings to her left, taking cover behind its ledge. The shadow clone for its part walked on for several meters before coming to a stop and turning towards the intersection awaiting the man to follow. The clone, with a quick hand sign of her own, took on the appearance of a blond haired blue eyed woman, as was more fitting of the locals, then waited.
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Re: Crimson

PostPosted by GARyu. » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:50 am

The figure rounded a corner, Kousei wanted to quicken his step as not to lose it but his experience told him better; stalk, don't chase. As the man approached the corner he wondered if he'd still be able to make out the figure with all the fog about. It would appear it wouldn't as he moved past the bend in the street to find the figure standing still now. As he moved in closer his visibility grew and he could make out the figure of a woman now. Finally they stood across from each other, Kousei could now clearly make out the figure he'd been following before. A young woman with long pale blond hair and blue eyes, she certainly looked like a local but he wasn't biting yet, if only for one very apparent fact. The two allowed a few moments of silence to pass between them before finally the man decided it would have to be his part to break it.

"Hello, my name is Kousei."

He beamed a smile in her direction while extending a hand to shake. He wasn't concerned sharing his name amongst these people, simply because it meant nothing here. In this land, his name invoked no power, fear, or remembrance of his former title of Raikage, it was simply an odd name. To someone who came from his world however, his name would do all those things and more. It was partly a test to see if he could get a reaction out of the woman, it was also just part of his personality. Despite being a shinobi, a warrior dedicated to stealth and deciet, Kousei despised lying and rarely partook in the act unless he absolutely had to do so. Even amongst small talk with the people here he told them the truth. He was just a man from a far away place investigating his family's heritage. While it may not have necessarily been the entire truth, it wasn't a lie and it was enough to put anyone he ran into at ease.

Regardless, Kousei had made the first move and the only thing left to do was to wait for the woman to react.
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Re: Crimson

PostPosted by Rai » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:30 pm

"Hello, my name is Kousei."

The blond woman eyed him for a moment, at first showing little sign that the name he had spoken might hold any significance to her, but then, a abrupt shift in her gaze, and suddenly her features so typically local began to revert to her true appearance. Her blond hair shifting to black, her skin tone darkening slightly, and her eyes reverting to their natural state, something that would immediately identify her heritage to this man, if he truly was who he seemed to be claiming to be. His appearance did fit what she knew of the former leader of Kumo, as did his age, and Kousei, even on her home continent was not a very common name.

The clone did not speak, nor did it reach to meet the man’s outstretched hand, rather raising her own hand and pointing behind him to where the real Akemi now stood before fading into fluttering smoke, almost seeming to be melting into the surrounding fog.

"Kousei of Lightning Country and former Kage of Kumogakure."
she said almost as if reading it off some resume.

"That`s quite a name to be claiming. I would have expected to find others to have been sent here, but not one with your... history, unless Lightning country was hit harder than i heard?" she then added making the assumption that he would be here for the same reason she was...

"Out of curiousity if i may ask, what gave me away?" She made a point of not giving her own name just yet, just in case this turned out to be something other than what it appeared.
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