Frozen Scales

Outside the walls of the major cities, the Snow Empire boasts a variety of climates and landscapes. From the frozen glacial desert of the north, to the deciduous rain forest in the south, the four provinces are fun to discover for those who can keep their wits about them. Wild beasts of primitive and dangerous proportions loom in the corners of even its most barren wastelands, and the criminal elements are almost free to roam anyplace that is secluded from civilization.

Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:14 pm

Ever since the day that dragons attacked the capital city, they had been scare to find. Usually confined to the wilds between cities, the dragons had never dared attack a major city since then. While this proved beneficial for the protection of the country from outside forces, and tended to not be a problem for those who lived within, for those people that made their homes out on the wilderness, in the ice sheets and in small towns unprotected by walls and shinobi, the everyday life was a struggle, and they lived in constant fear.

Because of this, it had been decreed that dragons were to be hunted at every chance, that they should be so frightened of humans that they would dare not attack. It was for this very reason that the security of the largest towns hadn't been questioned. But what of the smaller towns? Who would hunt the dragons? Who would make them fear the humans?

"Ugh, do we really have to go all the way out there? Its so far....."

The almost whiny, lazy voice belonged to none other than Kuai Hirameke, a genin of Yukigakure, and a member of one of the few shinobi teams still "active" in the village.While his other teammates and even his sensei were out doing other things, he was recruited to another team temporarily to assist them in a hunt. His clan was known for ther prowess in the frosen wilderness, from hunting and tracking to simple ice fishing and survival techniques. As a genin, he had been through the training, and was well suited to teaching his peers about the wild.

That being said, it still didn't mean that he wanted to.

"I dont understand, they saw a dragon flying around so now we have to go kill it? it didn't even do anything yet, maybe it was just passing by."

As he trudged through the snow, the other people remained silent, their bodies bundled up carefully. They looked miserable as he sounded, but while he focused on the why, they spent all of their energy trying to stay warm, something he wasn;t particularly too worried about.

"Also, why is it that we're walking.... I mean we have other ways of traveling nowadays, we dont have to walk everywhere..."

"Kuai! Does your sensei let you complain this much? Is that how things are done in Team 2?"

Finally the team leader, a Jounin by the name of Uay, spoke up. His dark eyes bore into Kuai's blue, causing him to abruptly shut his mouth, but then a wave of hubris came over him, embarassment at being called out infront of his peers as well as pride in his own team.

"No Uay sensei, in Team 2 we do things that make sense, so I dont have to."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:31 pm

From there the walk became quiet, Kuai's own quick retort surprising even him, but his pride preventing him from apologizing. On the other side, his sensei, though in a position of power, was not more than human. He did indeed prefer to take a different method of transportation, but with his position came the responsibility to teach. What if his students became separated from him, what if they were kidnapped or got lost on a mission. If they never experienced the harsh of the cold wild then he would have done a poor job of training them. That was the only reason they were out there in the cold, walking the whole 2 days journey to a village just to investigate rumors of a dragon in the area.

The only reason.

"So, who here knows exactly how to fight a dragon if indeed we do encounter one?"

Even Kuai was stumped as to what he would actually do. Sure he had his weapons like everyone else, but these were massive powerful creatures and a small band of genin couldn't hope to really take one out themselves could they? Did they even have weak points? Could they even do them damage? He had heard that dragons had skin so thick swords, knives, and arrows would just bounce off. How do they deal with that?

Everyone's silence told the sensei that they had no idea, that they would probably get killed now if they fought one, and he couldn't have that on his conscience. That being said, he would make sure that didn't happen. Taking his fingers, he pointed at his eyes, his ears, his mouth, and his nose.

"Body openings are your best friend. Even though a dragons skin and scales are almost impenetrable to normal weapons, they are still just reptiles. They still have to see, they still have to hear, they still have to breath and their insides are still soft. You take out their eyes and they are blind. You disrupt their hearing and they will be less effective. You stop up their nose and they will have to stop breathing flames to breathe and they cant track you by scent. You close up their mouth and they cant breathe fire at all. You get something inside their mouth and its just like anything else."

As he spoke he demonstrated examples of what he meant, pinching his nose, covering his mouth, and plugging his ears.

"Now while we also use ninjutsu, something that separates us from the regular people, not all of it is as effective as we would like to think. Raw power is definitely not the way to deal with these creatures. You have to out think them, you have to be creative, and you definitley have to use their size and your surroundings to your advantage."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:12 pm

The team took in as much of the information as they could, but seeing as though they were not all friends, and how this team was just a mix of people with no coordination skills, everyone was pretty much just trying to think of what to do in case of a solo encounter. Kuai knew better, he really did, but looking at his two "teammates", he couldn't even begin to try and coordinate with them. Instead, he kept going over his own techniques, and kept running scenarios until he was satisfied that he could manage on his own. HE had taken on all sorts of things in the wild, and dragons, they were just like anything else. Big, dumb, and slow.

Right?

After that, the walk went silent again, and only idle chatter came off around them. Kuai tried his best to keep his dislike for their predicament down, but every now and again it slipped. By the time they reached the nearest town though, he was himself broken and weary, ready for a good nights sleep. Looking around though, it was very quiet, something kuai had a hard time understanding in a village. Sure they were quiet, they had just walked the entire day to get there, but the townpeople, where were they, and why were they so quiet. Looking at the sky it couldn't have been later than 7:00, but there was nobody around, no music, no talking, nothing, just a few people walking silently about their business.

"Odd."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:02 pm

-Elsewhere in the World-


There was always another side to every coin.

Where there was darkness, inevitably there would be light. When there was good, evil wasn't far, and when there was hot, there would have to be cold. Even in the peaceful towns of the world there were those who only seemed at peace. Those who had never known war nor battle nor strife, and those relics from another age, people bathed in a darkness that had been justified by words like "protect" and "serve" that had come to terms with who they were and what they had done. They lived without qualm, without worry, and without knowledge of the future that would burden their lives with unnecessary worry.

At first there was no noticeable change anywhere, the single man on the nearby rooftop was simply sitting up, watching the sky and clouds dance in the streams of wind. He twirled his fingers around, smiling as even the slightest breeze changed the course of certain clouds, a play by the gods that only the carefree could understand. Suddenly though, and without warning, the sky became clouded by a plume of thick black smoke, and as he sat up he could see the disaster as a house burned and a woman stood trapped in a window. Her screams reached even his ears as he rushed to get to her, sliding down the roof and into a small bank of snow. Dashing through the streets he had almost reached the woman and the house when he was confronted with a force he couldn't help but to be awestruck by. Slick black scales and a long coiling tail peeked out from the edge of a building, stopping him dead in his tracks. Before he could do anything else though, a tremendous hissing roar came from behind the structure before it burst into pieces, a large wing and claw ripping through it like paper. Still, he was not one to let the innocent perish if he could, and so he continued on, moving behind the beast as it seemingly searched for something. It had clearly set the woman's house on fire and moved on, and so he kept going, trying to reach her before the flames.

Arriving on the scene, he could do nothing else other than try and bust down the door, damn the flames, and run in. Ramming it, the door collapsed, letting him, along with a breath of fresh air in, flaring the fires up and searing his face. Still he ran, climbing the stairs while covering his mouth, and trying to hear the screams so he could find the woman. The sound seemed to be coming from everywhere, drowned out by the roaring flames as well, but his body took over, moving him to a door and kicking it in, finding the woman standing at her window, clearly uninitiated to the proceedings of fires. Quickly he grabbed her by the hands and pulled her along, dragging her through the house and out the door into the cold snow, rolling his body and hers in its cool embrace.
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:03 pm

By now the sirens were sounding loud as possible, the dragon alert on full blast as the creature roamed the streets. Unfortunately for them, there were no soldiers, no shinobi, no one to help them. They had only themselves, their meager tools and weapons, and the faith that the creature would leave on its own without causing too much more damage.

Their luck was nowhere near so great. the beast let out a terrible blast of fire from its mouth, the tongues of flame licking at every structure in front of it. A pair of houses went up in flames before a swing from its tail leveled them. The smoke was now beginning to block out the sun, mixing with the small snowflakes to form a sort of wet soot that dripped down surfaces. What would they do... What could they do?

His hand was outstretched, fingers curled ever so slightly, his body almost rigid as piercing blue eyes locked on to the beast, staring down the source of very flames that illuminated it. His white hair and grizzled grey beard seemed to scream the mans obvious age, but the quickness that he moved, mounting the dragon from its back and stabbing down between a pair of scales, it told that he had once been quite spry and probably still was. The dragon shrugged of the attack, flinging the man into the air, only for him to smile as he descended. Almost instantly an azure sphere formed and with what seemed like a power unimagined, it struck the dragon, letting off a wave of blue energy, killing off the flames that surrounded the pair.

Beneath his hand, a large patch of ice had formed on the dragon, an obvious discomfort to it. Shrugging the man off again, it broke the icy vest it had acquired and up, up, up, and away it went, skywards into the clouds, blocked from the mans vision by the smoke of its own creation. Finally, it went out of even the public's sight, gone for now, but sure to return.
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:22 am

And so was the scene when the shinobi finally arrived. Houses burned to a husk and buildings trampled. The fires had been smothered by the cold and snow, but not after they had run a portion of their course. Everyone looked on in shock, seeing both the current trouble and the remnants of previous encounters. A funeral near the edge of the village showed even more of the dangers, fresh graved dug and flowers from places unknown laid on tombstones.

Kuai felt bad for his earlier statement about the dragon not having done anything, but he still felt the same about walking there. If they had have traveled differently they could have made a difference in the earlier attack, and possibly ended the threat then and there. As everyone spread out, Kuai took the time to really get a look at the damage. He examined the char marks, the size of the crumbles, analyzing them to try and get a good idea of the size of the dragon. He had seen books with varying kinds of them, and while some were "managable" others required a much larger force than three genin and a jounin. Luckily, from what he could tell it was a small dragon, something without a lot of experience actually fighting back against shinobi. Hopefully they could stop it without it getting any.

"Well, well, well, Who would have thought I'd see you here?"

The voice was familiar to Kuai, but he couldn't place it. It had come from the left of him, a little bit ahead, and yet as soon as he looked up, the voice and face melted together in recognition.

"Grandpa!"
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Indeed, the warm face that accompanied the man only sought to advertise their bond. Rather than ru over to him as he had when he was younger, Kuai briskly walked, trying to seem more mature, he was a shinobi now after all. The distance was short though, and the light crunch of snow stopped for only a moment as Kuai outstretched his hand for a shake, causing his grandfather to laugh out loud.

"Well well well, they sure do grow up quick nowadays. Wasn't it just yesterday you were crying about not wanting to go on your survival training?"

"Grandpa, that was two years ago. I'm all grown up now!"

"Oh, is that so? Two whole years? Time sure has flown then. And what are you doing out here if you don't mind me asking?"

"I'm a shinobi now. I'm out here with a team to investigate and deal with a dragon that's been seen around here."

"I see... So that was your group causing all the chatter today. Interesting."

"Yeah, its not My team though, i'm just a temporary while one of them is in the hospital.... Wait... Granpa, if you live here then why is the dragon even attacking. Why don't you just deal with it?"

"Haha... Kuai, i'm the only reason the dragon hasn't burned down this village yet. I probably could kill it, but then what would you guys be doing with your time. Plus, i'm getting old. These bones don't move as good as they used to."

He smiled as he tussled Kuai's hair, moving his hand to his back as he led him back towards his team.

"Go grab your team and come to my house on fourth street for lunch. Its the third one on the right, clan symbol on the door. You cant miss it. I'll tell you everything I know about the dragon though, maybe it'll be of some use."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:45 pm

Not too long later Kuai's team arrived at his grandfathers house. His temporary sensei, though reluctant at first, agreed to it, the promise of information quite alluring to say the least. When the entered, the smell of foreign spices was slightly overwhelming, only Kuai recognizing some of them as traditional Hirameke cooking. Entering a rather large room, the group sat at a table where they were each passed mugs of warm drinks, their choices ranging from tea to hot chocolate, with the elder two taking a bit of sake as well. Kuai''s grandfather began to give the details of the dragon, and its pattern of attack, however a small alarm rang from the kitchen, causing him to get up rather abrubtly. Moments later he returned with a huge fish on a plate, five sets of chopsticks, and a few bowls. another trip saw a large bowl of rice and a bowl of steamed vegetables, and their conversation was cut short as lunch seemed to be a more appealing topic.

"Thank you sir, we appreciate it much."

"Its no problem, the least of your worries should be a good meal, especially dealing with a situation like this."

"Thats true. I know that you are Kuai's here's grandfather, but I never caught your name."

"Oh, I guess you wouldn't know it now would you. Hozukimaru. Hozukimaru Hirameke..."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Of course the name was unfamiliar to him, and why wouldn't it be. Yuki had stayed out of the throws of the shinobi world for the most part, and an elderly ex shinobi from ages past would have no past here, only a present and a future, a thing he had used to his advantage. At one point he had been one of the most notable of shinobi in Kirigakure, Takigakure, and even Namigakure, but now, he was just some guy who could whip up a few parlor tricks and a decent meal for his guests. That was the way he liked it, and that was the way it would stay, if he could help it.

"Anyways, back on the subject of the dragon...."

And so he divulged as much as he could about the dragon, and after a quite delicious meal, Uay sensei called the group to head to their lodgings on the other side of town.

"If I could have just one more moment with Kuai...."

Uay nodded and let the two have their moment as he gathered his two students and waited. Hozukimaru pulled Kuai into the kitchen for a moment and looked him over, his face oddly serious.

"Kuai... you're 14 and a half now... and its high time you know who I really am, and who you really are and can be."

Placing his hand over a small seal on his thumb, a strange blue kunai appeared, which he handed to Kuai.

"This kunai is very unique, something handed down from ninja in our family. Not our clan though, just this family. There are three of them currently, one for every generation still alive."

"So my dad has one? I've never seen it before...."

"That is because your dad does not have it..."

"But I dont have any other family on his side...."

"Hehehe, there are things even he doesn't know. Keep this between us, but you have an aunt, much closer to your age than his. You will meet her soon."

"What do you mean...Why are you...."

"When you finish your mission come back here and I will tell you more. Hurry along now though, I wouldn't want to keep your team waiting...."

Smiling his normal smile, he pushed Kuai back out the door, instructing him to hide away the almost jewel like kunai.

"But grandpa...."

"Go on..."
Last edited by Hanya on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:39 pm

Finally, Kuai did as told and went with his team, where they set up their lodgings for the night then established their mission parameters. Each of the three genin would take three hours of watch during the night, with their sensei spending the first and last half hours of their watches with them. He had heard that though dragons were supposedly nocturnal by some accounts and diurnal by others, they were truly cathemeral, they acted whenever they wanted to, with no set schedule or habit. Of course this would prove problematic for the clearly daywalking shinobi, since no matter how much they tried they would not be at 100% if an attack came at night. Still, they would have more of a chance than the regular townsfolk, who had been attacked four times at night, decimating a large portion of their town compared to the day attacks. That was the reason for their odd watch schedule, to keep fresh eyes at all times, and always have some sort of backup.

The way the watch was set up, Kuai would be taking the second set, from 1am until just before 4am, giving him time alone to think and train, but his mind was oddly focused on one thing, the crystal kunai burning a hole in his weapons pouch. He wanted to take it out and play with it, to find its secrets, but he knew that this was not the time.

But he really wanted to.
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:36 am

The night went on without a hitch, and it was nearing his shift change when he heard the rustle of the sensei's approach. This man was nowhere near as imposing as his own sensei, but he had a certain feel about him that told that he would do his best to protect them, something he didn't get from his own. He wasn't sure which was better though, the sensei that removed worry, or the sensei that removed doubt and fear. He felt that the way he had been trained by his clan though, he prefered his own sensei, the one that would let him learn the hard way, the one that would let him know the fear of battle and death, and the one that would teach him to soar above it.

Still, it was a welcome sight to have someone else there. He waved as the man approached, and he waved back, without a smile though, probably because he had just woken up from his hour long naps, or whatever he was doing between shifts. The small bit of moon illuminated him just enough to notice the look on his eyes, it was strong. Maybe he had lost people dear to him and that was why he sought so hard to protect those he still had. Kuai's sensei was a wanderer, he had nobody, had he lost them all, or did he never have them to begin with? What kind of things could drive a person to change like that? Two people who probably started off quite similarly he was sure, and yet they were so different.

"Hmmmmm...."
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:00 am

Unfortunatley, his thoughts would not see much answer. A dark shadow passed over his sensei as he approached, something large and ominous blotting out the moon. Both of them looked up only to see a large tail and hear a heart gripping roar. The dragon was here, it was time to act.

"Kuai, go wake up the others and hurry, I will hold it until you get back."

Kuai was not the one to question an order in a serious situation, no matter how much he wanted to fight. This man was his senior, and should have experience on him. If he had a plan, a method, then kuai was obliged to follow. He ran off towards the sleeping area, but was blocked off by a large blast of fire. Turning left he tried to run around, only for another spray to block him in. He headed to the right and could feel the heat of another blast coming to close him in, but was relieved to see a stream of water racing to intercept it, creating a cover of steam for him to run under. Off into the darkness he went turning for a moment to see the dragon designating his sensei as its new target.

"Get the boys, wake them up, get the boys, wake them up."

He kept repeating himself as he ran but stopped suddenly as he reached the hill overlooking their camp. He hadn't even reached the crest when he saw the orange glow coming form below. Breaking into a full sprint, he was already aware of what he was going to see. Lingering flames illuminated a destroyed camp, tents aflame, food gone, and two corpses, nearly ash. The dragon had hit their camp first, but how, and why....

He turned back, there was nothing he could do. He had to go back and help the sensei, he was all there was. Or should he get his grandfather? Was there time?

"Kuchiyose no Jutsu!"

As the smoke cleared, a large polar bear cub stood there, sleepy eyed with a frown on it's face.

"What is it Kuai ni-chan... its so early...."

It only took a moment but he could feel the fire in the background, the pained look on Kuai's face, and could smell burning flesh.

"Whats happening Kuai!"

"I need you to run to that village and look for the house with our clan symbol on the door. My grandfather lives there. tell him the dragon attacked and we need him. Bring him back here and keep going straight. i'm going to help Uay sensei. Go now!"

The bear took off running, not wanting to waste time though he had questions. Kuai ran the other way, back to his sensei, back to the dragon.
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Re: Frozen Scales

PostPosted by Hanya » Tue May 07, 2013 7:23 pm

The minutes and scenery all melted together, images of snow and fire, death and destruction all turning into a whirldwind in his mind. His lungs burned as he made his way back, towards what he knew would be a life and death situation. He couldn't even hear anything ut the wind as his body went on autopilot, his momentum and fright carrying him. it was only the sound of a tremendous roar and a bright orange burst of flame that snapped him out of his zone, his legs finally stopping.

His eyes scanned the distance, seeing exactly what he was up against, where his sensei wasm and anything that could make or break the battle. It was a sparsley populated forest, many of the trees on fire, snow melting intosteaming puddles everywhere. A large dark spot hovered and circled the sky, raining fire down indescriminatley it seemed, torching everything in sight. Had his sensei been killed? Was the dragon that powerful? Had it won the war?

No.

Within the trees, he caught sight of something moving in and out, black, like a flea, avoiding blasts of flame and countering with barrages of kunai and large shuriken. it was hard to see in the dark, but the fires helped, and he thought out his next plan by them. Could he flank the dragon and provide support, or should the try and get to his sensei to launch a unified assault. Was there time to tell him of his students demise, or should it wait? Would he even be able to make a difference?

Of course he would. He was strong, he was smart, and he was a shinobi destined for something. his real sensei had taught him atl east that. In the face of danger there were those who acted, and those who were acted upon. He could either seize his own destiny, or have it decided for him.

It was the easiest choice he could have made.

*Boom*

A small burst of smoke plumed from a scroll at Kuai's side, and in his hand were two fuuma shuriken. He threw them with all his might at the sky, towards the dragon. They came from behind it, from the dark, and though seemingly ineffective, they were a direct hit.

*Tink Tink*

The pair of blades bounced off the dragons scaly hide, causing it to turn towards him for a second, just in time for his hands to finish forming a seal. Moments later, a pair of explosions lit up the sky, catching one fo the dragons wings and causing it to drop down into the forest, into a group of trees.
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