Those Who Live (Seb)

[ \Garyuu no Yamajiro | Chiroptera Forest | Dai Boeki no Michi | Eastern Plateaus | Ruins of Kumogakure no Sato/ ]
The country of Raikou no Kuni, home to countless towns amongst the northern mountains, southern forests, eastern plateaus, western plains, and craggy coastlines, the untamed wild outclassing all. Nomads roam these wilds and Dai Boeki no Michi, the Great Trade Road, while the ruins of Kumogakure no Sato have become a dangerous place where evil gathers, and Garyuu no Yamajiro is rumored to have a group seeking to gain the trust of the reclusive Ryuujin....

Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:28 am

Sebokik closed his eyes as the tune played and motioned for Raika to follow him as they began walking. There was no particular direction yet, just a general feel of adventure.

When the tune ended, Sebokik looked at Raika and nodded his approval, not saying a word. As the last note ended and silence cascaded around them. Sebokik began singing, in a soft but resonate tenor.

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond this illusion
I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high
Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I'm dreaming...



His voice trailed off and once again silence engulfed them. He kept walking in the silence, listening to the soft noises that the world made. There was no guide to his footsteps other than the knowledge that he would find what he wanted in the world.

Sebokik looked back at Raika after a while and gave her a faint smile. "Now there's a motive and a goal."
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:54 am

Raika chuckled softly, gently ruffling his hair as she fell into step beside him.

The tension was slowly easing away, and... it helped her mood quite a bit.

There were still so many little differences caused by his lost memories, but... he was also still himself.

If they kept walking this way.... they'd reach the trade roads soon enough. Originally she had planned to keep to herself in the wilderness, but with Seb's intentions to relearn the world... following the roads would likely help.

Sure enough... the road came into view soon enough, all dirt and wide enough for a cart to pass through with room to spare.

Raika puzzled for a moment, working out their location, before she began moving along the side of the road, gesturing for Sebokik to follow. "Should take... maybe a day to get to the ruins if we keep up this pace, without taking sleep or breaks into consideration."
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:05 am

Sebokik chuckled at her comment and kept up his pace. He wanted to go somewhere and he felt as if he would get there come hell or high water.

"Well Raika, I'll sleep when I'm dead. I seem to have done enough sleeping as of late." Sebokik looked around as the sun peered through gaps in the thick forest leaves overhead. "I've got the world and I'm awake. So what can we do?"

Sebokik maintained walking, though he noticed something strange. The leaves were not as wintry as they had been as of late. The evergreens and occasional maple were looking much more greener than they had the past few weeks. Time seemed to have flown by, right before his eyes.

"Raika. How long were we in the portal and how does time pass here as opposed to in the that other biome?"
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:13 am

"Hmn? We were there about an hour, give or take. And the time there is synchronized with the time here."

Brown eyes looked to him curiously, puzzled by his question. The sun had moved accordingly, everything else looked about the same, just an hour later in the day....

"Lose track of time when you were on your own?"

She'd done that often in her wandering days; one moment it would be the middle of summer, the next it would be autumn.... It was just a matter of falling into the rhythms of surviving off of one's own skills in the wild.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:09 am

"I lost a lot of things when I was on my own." Sebokik peered back around, his voice, previously grim, now cheerful. "Including a taste for ramen! Could you believe it? I no longer desire the taste of ramen anymore. My how the world has changed."

Though the trees were held different leaves and moved differently now to the song of the wind than they did in the winter, these trees were still the same trees as they'd always been. The cover might have changed, but the tree remained the there for all to see. It was an interesting conundrum of nature. The organisms that changed with every season without fail were also the most constant, long lasting presence in Kumo besides maybe the mountains.

"In the end, times flies by and it's only us who stop and hold still or keep pressing onward."
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:08 pm

"Aye."

The fact that time would always flow forward was a constant in this ever-changing world they lived in. The sun would always rise and set. Spring would always come, then summer, autumn, and winter. Years would always pass.

What would become of Raikou in the years to come, she wondered.

Or of....

She quickly shook her head, burying the worries deep within as she gently held one of the sleeves of her kimono, feeling the almost leathery fabric and remembering the man who had made it.

A flicker of his smile, his warmth, only to rapidly remember blood and pain and his face distorted in anger.

Raika shivered, hands clenching to fists as she let her arms drop back to her sides, brown eyes fierce as she banished the memory from the forefront of her thoughts.

Sounds up ahead caught her attention, and as they passed a bend in the road a wagon came into view, its axle broken, and old man and a young boy, likely father and son, working to fix it. The old man's hair was grayed and scruffy, his eyes a bright, clear blue, his build well-muscled as if he worked some skilled trade such as blacksmithing or carpentry. He was garbed in a simple white muscle-shirt and black denim pants, a blue denim jacket overtop. The boy, meanwhile, had long black hair tied in a ponytail, quiet, attentive blue eyes and a more slender build, probably no more than thirteen years old. He was garbed in a similar manner to his father, with the addition of a green-checkered bandana covering his forehead and the top of his head. The father raised his hand in greeting, and Raika did the same, approaching.

"Need any help?"

"Nah, nah, miss. Should just take a little time before we can get movin' 'gain. I hear there's bandits in these parts, though, so take care of yerselves, yeah?" the elder man nodded, grunting with the effort of trying to heft up the wagon high enough for his son to fit a crate beneath it as a prop.

Wordlessly Raika approached and crouched, putting a shoulder under the wagon's back and helping lift it just enough with a grunt, waiting until the crate was properly in place before gently letting the wagon back down.

"Ah, er, thank ya kindly, miss. Yer stronger than ye look."

Raika chuckled softly at that. "Are you sure you don't want any help? We're travelers headed north, out of the forests. If nothing else, the bandits might be more cautious to attack a larger group, right?"

The old man hesitated for a few moments before slowly nodding, wiping his hand on his pants before offering it. "Name's Watanuki. My son over there's Hikari."

The boy nodded quietly in greeting before bending down to inspect the axle.

Raika gently took his hand with a warm smile. "Raika."

The boy bumped his head on the wagon, clutching at his injury with a soft groan, while the man simply returned her smile and nodded. "Well met." Then he turned to her companion, offering his hand once again with a smile.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:22 pm

Sebokik was shocked that they had reached a road after only an hour or so of walking. He was even more surprised by the people with the broken wagon upon it. He had not realized he'd been this close to other people this entire time. Sebokik took in the whole scenario and saw the older man needed help.

He stepped forward to offer his help, but Raika beat him to it. He was still a little rusty with his social skills and the fact that he had to think everything through was slowing him down.

Before Sebokik knew what was going on, there was a flurry of interaction and suddenly Raika had offered the two folks their his and her services on the road. Sebokik was caught by surprise and almost missed hearing what the older man said next.

"Name's Watanuki. My son over there's Hikari."

Sebokik nodded and shook Watanuki's hand with a solemn nod of his head. "My names Sebokik. We're here to work if there is any work to be had."

While waiting for a response, Sebokik glanced at Hikari as well, taking in the longer hair and the strange appearance. He didn't look like anybody Sebokik recognized. Then again neither did Watanuki. Neither did Raika for that matter. Sebokik was having a tough time all around with people.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:38 pm

"Well met, Sebokik."

Raika chuckled softly as the two men shook hands, while she moved lightly over to the boy, crouching down to gently ruffle his hair.

"Hm... feels like you might have a bump there later. Be careful and try not to get yourself hurt, alright, Hikari?"

Her smile to the boy was warm, and he quickly looked down, a faint flush on his cheeks, his mouth working a bit before he nodded. Raika stood then, looking to Watanuki.

"What do you have on hand for repairing the axle?"

The aged man turned to face Raika and scratched at the stubble on his chin. "Well... we've got a can o' sap 'n' some thin sheets of flexible wood, little more 'n a patch job 'til we can get a new one...."

"That's fine for now.... Hikari, were you planning to fix it?" she smiled.

The boy nodded, eyes averted.

"Can I watch?"

Hikari's blue eyes snapped to Raika's suddenly, before he swallowed and nodded, turning to get the materials under Raika's quiet watch before setting to work on the axle, painting the break and the area around it with sticky sap before wrapping the thin sheet of wood around it, Raika guiding the boy's hands whenever they were about to lose hold. Each layer of the wrap was kept in place by more sap, until finally a few nails were hammered in place to hold the edge down tight.

"...your hands... they're warm and deft, and you have a good focus.... I think you could become a great doctor someday, Hikari," Raika spoke softly, quiet brown eyes watching the boy from her position crouched beside him.

Hikari's fists clenched, and he leaned forward to hide his face in the shadows of the wagon before veins bulged at the edges of his eyes as he checked the surroundings briefly before ending his doujutsu and abruptly standing up, only to hit his head on the wagon again and sit down hard, clutching his head. As the woman's gentle hand soothingly came to a rest on his shoulder, Hikari looked up at Raika through tear-blurred eyes.

"Raika-sama... please! You need to come back!"

"Hikari!"

Raika raised a hand to stop Watanuki's reproach, brown eyes resting quietly on the boy who, before the village was destroyed, would have become her student. She shook her head.

"...I can't. It's time that you all stop relying on a tired woman who's come close to breaking far too many times." She smiled gently. "I'm just as human as you are, Hikari. Humans can do great things, but they can also be very fragile. A single blow to the right place can end a life, or do permanent damage. The heart and soul are just as fragile. This is something you need to understand if you want to become a truly great medical shinobi. While we're travelling together... I can give you some of the knowledge I would have given you if everything hadn't happened. But I won't stay or go back... maybe someday. But not now. Alright, Hikari?" She gently ruffled his hair, giving the boy a sad smile.

Watanuki's blue eyes were glancing about, his frame tense at the former sennin's verbal mention of shinobi.

Hikari chewed his lip before nodding. "...yes. Raika-sa--...Raika-sensei."

Raika chuckled softly and nodded, standing and pulling the boy to his feet before looking to Watanuki. "Relax. Nobody's close enough to hear us without ninjutsu. Or if they've got ears as good as Tsuuki's," she laughed lightly.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:47 pm

Sebokik didn't know what to do, so he stayed back and watched the exchange. He could have assisted in fixing the wagon, but the boy seemed to have it under control until he hit his head a second time. Also, Sebokik thought, now that they were offering their services, he might be better used in protecting the wagon as well as scouting out the area.

Sebokik stared intently as he observed Hikari's breakdown and begging. He wasn't sure what to make of it, but Raika's response revealed a lot of many of her previous actions. It also made him wonder about her future decisions and actions. Sebokik decided that he was not able to contribute anything here and so came to the conclusion that he'd better scout the area.

"I'm going to scout the area to be sure, Raika."

He then turned and walked off into the woods.

He walked about half a mile before he stopped. His eyes glowed yellow and then flickered blue.

"What do you think? Can we trust her?"

"She seems to sincerely believe in us. I don't know what she'll do later in her state of mind. She switches between anger and sadness so quickly. Also, we don't know her true abilities."

"I concur. This might be a better path walked alone. Maybe a short partnership before we set off?"

"That's fine."

Sebokik nodded to himself and Nazo as they concluded their silent conversation. He continued his patrol through the undergrowth, circling the wagon in a half a mile radius from the center.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:12 pm

Raika waved as Seb left to scout before turning back to the wagon, observing as Hikari and Watanuki did their final checks on the axle while Raika moved to the front of the cart and of the horse that pulled it, gently petting the horse's neck and making soothing sounds. It was an old mare from the looks of things, with a healthy cream coat and white mane despite her age.

Soon enough, they were ready to leave, and brown eyes blinked pupiless blue as she located Seb, making a quick calculation of his path before nodding to Watanuki.

As the cart began to move, Raika walked alongside it, estimating that they would meet up with Seb on the road ahead soon enough. In the meantime, Raika was pointing out various local plants and verbally teaching Hikari what medical knowledge she could, pointing out that he would need to read a variety of medical texts to get a better idea of it all.

And when Seb finally came into view again, Raika glanced at the side he hadn't scouted on with pupiless blue eyes, a single blink returning them to their normal brown before she waved at her friend with a smile.

"You gonna keep scouting or are you going to come join us? Watanuki and Hikari are wanting to make camp soon since they've been on the road all day."
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:17 am

Sebokik acknowledged Raika and the other two folk alongside her. He kept walking, pointing towards the area he hadn't scouted yet. "I'm going to continue scouting and complete my sweep of the area. You set up camp and I'll find you."

Sebokik kept walking, keeping his calm exterior. His mind was alight with possibilities and different scenarios. He was contemplating leaving Raika for a day or two. He had business he wanted to finish near the ruins of Kumo. Primarily, he wanted to sell a sword and pick up some special items from his house. Sebokik had a list of things he wanted to do that he knew Raika would not approve of. He needed to get away for a day or two to sort a few of those things out. The hardest thing would be leaving.

He remained on his patrol path, thinking and plotting his way out. He didn't know how Raika would react. Either she would come after him or she would be broken hearted. Either way, Sebokik would have to avoid her after that. He did not see a good ending to either of those scenarios.

He was halfway done his loop when he came to a decision. He'd leave when they were sleeping. Even a person of Raika's stature would not be able to stop him then. If he left now, she might be able to follow him, but at night. Not a chance.

Sebokik headed back to camp filled with purpose and was greeted by the beginnings of a campsite.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:44 am

Two sleeping bags and a small fire in the midst of a clearing, the cart parked at its edge as the old mare grazed and watered at a small stream. Raika was perched atop a tree branch, resting her back against the trunk with one leg folded and the other hanging off the edge, the position revealing simple black shorts and an equally black tank top underneath her kimono. Brown eyes were turned upwards to gaze upon the darkening sky, waiting for the first glimpse of the stars.

Watanuki and Hikari, meanwhile, were more focused on dealing with a freshly hunted buck, Hikari cooking the meat while Watanuki spread out its pelt and carefully sawed off its antlers, adding to their trade stock.

Upon the Nara's approach, Raika raised a hand in greeting, though her eyes never left the skies above, lost in thought and observation.

"Ahh, mister Sebokik, welcome back! I'm sorry, we've only got bags fer ourselves, but miss Raika said ye would both be fine in the trees.... Odd place to sleep, that. Hikari's takin' care of dinner, miss Raika hunted us a fine buck, she did! Saved us quite a bit on our rations there."

Watanuki chuckled happily as he surveyed the pelt and antlers.

"Never seen anyone cut a deer so well! I 'spose doctors are more used to it, though, with dem surgeries and all," he nodded sagely before whistling up a lively tune as he set about drying the pelt and storing the antlers in the cart, Hikari still quiet as he focused on the meat, sprinkling a local variety of herb over it that he had learned about from Raika earlier that evening. It would make for a good meal indeed!
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:22 am

Sebokik nodded. He walked over to Watanuki and put his hand on the man's shoulder.

"Pay her. Whether it be in favors or kindness or money. Everyone needs to know their work is valued by others than themselves."

Sebokik turned and jumped clear of some lower branches and landed in a tree directly opposite the clearing of Raika, winking at her from across the gap. He had a broad smile on his face as he unburdened himself of pack and swords and hung them over the thicker part of the branch. He was used to this lifestyle and had been living it for months past.

With a burst of speed and power, Sebokik was suddenly standing in the branch across the clearing. Crouching near Raika, he stared at her as she watched the skies. He was curious as to her fascination.

"Your only fascinated withe sky because you do not believe in the foundations of the world." Sebokik whispered it, but he assumed he could hear it. Then he continued watching her, curiosity and Nazo's urging encouraging his actions.
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Raika » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:48 pm

Her voice was just as quiet as his as brown eyes shifted from the darkening sky to blue eyes, a tired smile on her lips.

"I believe in freedom, something I kept myself from for far too long. Though... even now, while I'm near civilization in this country, I can't take to the skies freely...."

She paused, pondering, before lightly extending her hand for him to take.

"Would you like to look at things differently for a little while?"

If he accepted, if he refused, she would accept it either way; after all, he'd already refused her before. It was no matter... her smile remained, all the same, though her eyes took on a bit more of a spark of life with her offer.

And yet, if he refused, she would remain on her tree branch and enjoy what conversation there was to be had. The sky could be just as lonely a place as the ground, after all....
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Re: Those Who Live (Seb)

PostPosted by Reál Midas » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:21 pm

Sebokik shook his head.

"I love living on this earth too much to leave it."

Sebokik considered her words, his head bowed and eyes directed at the branch in front of him. It took him a few moments, but he eventually came around to make another statement.

"You should not be afraid to achieve whatever you want just because you won't have company of people who can not do what you do." He said this with the utmost sincerity, his face brighter than it had been all day. He was starting to recognize Raika's problem and slowly understand the layers of pain and suffering she had layered upon her self. In the end, all emotional pain was self-inflicted, it just depended on the catalyst.
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