Errand girl

The many towns and cities tucked in the crevices of the world, uncontrolled by any formal power. Some are friendly. Others, not so much.

Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:35 am

Kohaku held her breath. Chijo and she traveled far from the war zone that engulfed Konoha. The only reason for this is because her family was running low on supplies. She was pretty sure her mother has just sent her on a goose chase though to get away from the war zone. Being the youngest, she was always protected. It drove her nuts. "C'mon Chijo," Kohaku's golden eyes fell upon her four legged companion. Chijo tipped in response as both leaped from the path they walked on to hop from branch to branch on the trees above. According to the information her mother gave her before she left, the target town wasn't too far away now and she'll need to be careful of rogue ninjas.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:50 pm

It seemed like Tsubaki had traveled all across the Land of Fire and had seen nothing at all. Everywhere the petite girl looked was met by sights of more and more trees. The forest seemed to stretched forever in all directions including vertically as the trees grew so tall it was hard to tell exactly how high the canopy above was. It had been days since she had seen any sign of civilization.

The tired girl, cloaked still in a tattered white cloak that barely retained any of the priestly appearance it had before, didn't know if she had been walking in circles or if the forest around her was truly infinite. Were it not for the living hive of Destruction Bugs within her she'd surely be dead. The beetles were much better suited to survival than she was, but it wasn't as though much in that way could be expected from a girl that couldn't even breath safely on her own. With a face mostly covered by a large breathing apparatus, the sickly girl pushed on as patches of her insects sporadically returned to her. The small clusters of bugs carried with them food they had collected from the forest. It didn't matter that the vegetation didn't do much to satisfy taste, as Tsubaki never consumed food the way healthy people were able to. Instead, as her insect scavengers returned with what herbs they found the small swarms broke apart the plant life and carried the smaller bits inside the young woman through their usual tunnels only to deposit the nutritious sustenance directly into Tsubaki's stomach. The process was far from glamorous, but it was a means of survival. It was what needed to be done to push on in her personal quest.

Another expedition of her insects were returning to her in, this time carrying something that caught the disenchanted girl's attention. As the scouts hovered in front of her and began the process of disintegrating the food they had retrieved their cloaked mistress stopped. Without a word, Tsubaki extended the flat of her palm and the insects responded accordingly, dropping their plunder and returning back underneath her sleeve empty handed.

Shocked, the girl stared at the small token in her hand in disbelief. Bread! It was bread! Though her method of eating meant that the shred of bun that her bugs had brought back could be enjoyed in no more satisfying capacity than could roots or herbs, Tsubaki silently rejoiced as the small hunk of cooked, kneaded dough meant that she had to be getting close to a village. Reinvigorated, Tsubaki clenched the piece of bread nightly in her gloved hand as she hurried off in the direction her insects had just returned from. Opening her palm to reveal that the chuck of bread had vanished, devoured by the insects that were rushing back under her sleeve, the young girl took to the tree branches as she traveled, trying to get a better view of any village she could be approaching.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:35 pm

*Sniff, sniff*

Kohaku and Chijo stopped abruptly, still high in the trees. "Chijo, do you smell that?" Chijo looked around and barked East-ward. Kohaku nodded, that's what she thought. Someone was near them. "Should we check it out?" The boxer looked - annoyed - at Kohaku then shook her head, her ears and jowls making a slight smacking sound. "I thought you'd say no..." Kohaku's shoulders dropped a bit, "That means we'll have to stay on high alert if they notice us. C'mon, let's move away." She nodded at her ninken companion and again they were off, heading towards where Kohaku's mom told her the village should be located.

As they were jumping from branch to branch, something caught Kohaku's attention. As she was distracted, she jumped to another branch - unfortunately, she didn't notice that the branch was weak. The split second she landed on the branch "Shit," it snapped off the tree and sent her falling. Kohaku fell on her backside, causing the bag that had the little supplies she possessed to bust open. An apple, and a bottle of water rolled a few feet behind her. "Ouch..." Kohaku rubbed her back, "That hurt..." She felt Chijo nudge her leg, "It's okay Chijo, I'm fine." She fumbled around trying to stand up right, then she noticed the broken bag. "Oh no!" She frantically looked around for the last of the food her mother packed her, but it was gone! "Where in the world did it go?" Kohaku scratched the back of her head, listening to Chijo whimper.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:05 pm

Tsubaki's small frame bounced nimbly through the branches, yet still no village was in her gaze. She stopped atop a bark-covered perch as soon as she did see something peculiar, though the strange sight was nothing other than a returning horde of her insects carrying between their black bodies the glimmering shine of a juicy red apple. Dropping the snack, complete with unbroken skin, Tsubaki looked from side to side investigating the treetops as her Destruction Bugs did what they were named for. There wasn't an apple tree in sight, nor should their be since the forest was no substitute for an orchard. She took it, or at least what was left of it, as a positive sign that she was getting closer. Like the laborers of an ant-hill, the beetles within her had broken apart the food down to the core and they showed no sign of stopping there.

It was only after the apple was devoted that the second battalion of beetles returned carrying the more hefty bottle of water. If she hadn't been certain of it from the apple before, the manmade container proved to the young insect master without a doubt that she was on the right track. Catching the bottle as it was dropped, the silent girl didn't order her insects to siphon it away. Instead, she deposited it into a hip-worn pouch, expecting the returned swarm of insects to disappear inside her as she reached across herself only to be surprised when the batch of bugs remained in flight. The buss of the beetles would be nothing but an annoyance to most, but without a word shared between them Tsubaki was able to interoperate the message the bugs were trying to convey with their unusual flight pattern.

Even though Tsubaki lacked the trained shinobi skill of tracking chakra directly, her beetles were natural chakra detectors and devourers. The beetles alerted the girl to the presence of another up ahead, though did not carrying with them any immediate warning of danger. Looking to the side as her beetles crawled underneath her white cloak, the young girl thought about taking a less direct path to the village as he was expecting to find as a means of avoiding the stranger entirely. Still, she chose to stick it out, accepting that finding other humans was also a positive sign that a settlement must be near.

Tsubaki landed on a branch overlooking the pair, the stranger and her pet, and remained crouched down as she tried to access the situation. She was unaware that they were downwind of her, but her insects didn't hunt through scents except when tracking the pheromones of the female beetle. Not being intimidated by them, though not wanting to reveal herself either, Tsubaki planned on waiting them out before continuing on her separate path. Once they left, so could she.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:33 pm

Kohaku gave her best efforts in patching the bag, "Well Chijo, looks like that we're going to have to get to the village soon or nothing to eat - or drink." The dog looked over to Kohaku and gave out a short whine. "It'll be okay Chijo," Kohaku went to pat her on the head but froze.

*Sniff, sniff*

Without moving her head, Kohaku scanned the area. The smell Chijo detected earlier was a lot closer - extremely closer - than it was before. Now it was what to do with it. The unfortunate thing about tracking by smell, one cannot quite tell if the person or object carrying the scent is dangerous or not. Kohaku noticed Chijo stiffened, and heard a low growl come from the alerted dog. Kohaku turned her head slightly and inhaled. Hmm. Abruptly, Chijo started barking - her eyes fixated on a branch south of where she and Kohaku stood. Kohaku turned to look where Chijo was staring, "Whomever is there, come out now." Conflict isn't the best way to go - but it's better than having a follower.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:28 pm

As the stranger started sniffing about Tsubaki tried to inch closer to the tree trunk to conceal herself behind it. What she didn't put together was that hiding yourself visually did absolutely nothing to mask your own scent, which was why she was startled when the stranger called out for her to reveal herself. The shiver that ran down her spine made her want to run, and in all reality that may have been the best option. She wanted to be able to call out and explain herself, but she didn't have such privileges so instead she gave in.

When she jumped down she was still mostly behind the tree. It wasn't until after she plopped down that the petite girl, white hood drawn up, cam around the corner of the bark. White gloved hands raised up at head level with elbows bent, Tsubaki raised her palms out flat as if to gesture a surrender. In reality, she was trying to convey herself as not being a threat. The priestly robes she wore were adorned with several blue crosses, though it was quite apparent she wasn't apart of any clergy, in at least so far as no clergymen go gallivanting around treetops.

Still, all she did was stand there in silence. No matter what the stranger asked her or called out to her with, Tsubaki would remain with her lips as sealed as they were normally kept behind the half-face mask covering her jaw and wrapping around the nape of her neck.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:10 am

Kohaku tensed in her blue-gray jacket as she saw the petite girl, and the fur on the back of Chijo's neck rose for a moment then it laid back down flat. Once the other girl raised her hands up, Kohaku relaxed. She hesitantly stepped closer, trying to get a better look at the girl. Her golden eyes gleamed with curiosity as she took notice of the mask. "What is this?" She pointed half-heartedly at the mask, "Are you sick or something?"

She waited for the other girl to respond, just for a second. Not even putting together that she might not be able to speak due to the mask. "What is your name? Where are you from? Why are you here?" Kohaku bombarded the girl with questions to answer. Chijo barked some, trying to get Kohaku's attention. They have to be somewhere by a certain time. Kohaku turned to Chijo and hushed her.

Kohaku cocked her head to the right, her bangs falling off of her face so both eyes could be seen. The bright red fang tattoos brought out the reddish orange flakes in them as she stared intently at the other girl.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:38 am

Tsubaki shook her head "No" after bend accused of being sick. She hated being asked that, but that always seemed to be the question on everyone's mind. Growing up, that's all anyone every told her she was. Poor little sick Tsubaki. She wasn't like the other kids, the healthy kids. At the orphanage she didn't stand a chance at being adopted what with her albino eyes and skin so pale it had to be protected from the sun. Her immunodeficiency making her susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, and lungs too weak to breath on their own in any capacity except just to keep her alive. So, yes, she was sick, but she'd never admit to it.

The questions that came after were much harder to answer, and were asked with such speed that annoyed the girl even more than it usually did not being able to answer back. Her upturned hands gave a few settling gestures to try and signal "whoa". She couldn't handle questions so quickly.

With the fingers on her right hand opening wide, she summoned out a mass of the insects inside of her. The black beetles came pouring out of her sleeve and immediately took to a hovering flight that remained centered on her palm. As this happened, her other hand extend forward, palm also opening flat but this time to turn to previously surrendering hand into more of a signal for "Stop" just to avoid the stranger from misinterpreting her bringing out her bugs as anything hostile.

Instead, Tsubaki started etching in the air. The tip of her pointer finger became more like a pencil as the beetles that surrounded the palm traced the slim path of chakra she left behind so that floating letters began to form where she was writing. When she was done it read:

I>|A8U2T

While it might have seemed like a jumbled mess, a flick of her wrist caused the whole word to spin around and become much more legible.

TSUBAKI

This time writing the letters already in reverse order, at least from her perspective, the petite girl added beneath her floating name.

U?
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:18 am

Kohaku watched in surprise as Tsubaki manipulated the bugs. She laughed nervously, "Sorry, I must of been asking those questions pretty fast..." Then she quickly shook her head, "I'm Inuzuka Kohaku." She extended her hand for a hand shake. "I assume you are an Aburame?" She then motioned to the bugs. It obvious to Kohaku... from team 8 that had an Inuzuka and a Aburame on it... How many other clans can manipulate bugs.

She cleared her throat, "Why are you here, or what are you doing here?" Kohaku inquired. She bit her lip wondering if the answer to that question would be to lengthy for her to answer. "Is the reason you can't talk that mask on your face?" Kohaku stepped closer - not really grasping the idea of personal boundaries to get a closer look at the contraption upon Tsubaki's face. It interested her greatly because she had never seen one before - only read of them.

"There should be an easier way of communicating, but how..." Kohaku thought out loud.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:46 pm

The beetles that had held their position in forming the letters Tsubaki wrote broke apart and returned to their static state surrounding the woman's forearm. However, the revolving swarm cleared back as Tsubaki reach out to accept that offered handshake with the slightest detection of caution befitting an obligatory germaphobe. Her other hand, in the meantime, waved horizontally to answer the question of Tsubaki's heritage with a "so-so" as she gave a slight wince to skirt the issue.

Tsubaki started tracing her finger through their air to answer Kohaku other question before being derailed by yet another one of the curious Inuzuka's too rapidly asked questions, though one that the bug tamer thought to be on a more crucial subject. Swiping her hand like an eraser through the air, the bugs that hard started to form the letter L cleared away only to have Tsubaki begin to answer the third question with another head gesture to signal "No". It wasn't the mask that kept her from speaking. Tsubaki tried to explain things in a fashion more similar to charades. However, the clenching hand she held up to her throat, already covered by the trailing mask, was little assistance in conveying what she meant. In the end, she reverted back to her more useful asset in explaining abstract ideas and wrote four letters in the air for her insects to spell out.

MUTE

Even without the mask, she'd be silent. Besides her other shortcomings, the lack of a voice was perhaps the strike that most infringed her ability to make friends. Even after she learned to communicate using her insects there was a limit to how much anyone wants to tolerate her usual manner of speaking. Tsubaki's head slumped down a little as it gave a more unenthused shake to Kohaku's out loud thought.

Tsubaki forced herself to try and brighten the mood, however, by bringing back up an overlooked issue with an uplifting snap of her finger. Again, she started by acting out what she meant as far as she could, this time beginning by double tapping her bust with a pointed finger to signal that she was talking bout herself. Next her hand moved up to her eyes with two spreader fingers first indicating to her eyes before she gestured the points out as she acted like she was looking at something. The next gesture was more simple, her simply holding the hand up vertically with exactly four of her fingers raised up for Kohaku to count. She kept the number up long enough for it to be understood before she finished the sentence with the help of her insects by spelling out five letters, though with one repeated once.

VILLAGE
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:13 am

Kohaku felt Tsubaki getting annoyed when she rapid fire questions. She flinched a bit. She watch the bugs change words before her eyes. First she read mute. Then she read Village. "Oh, you're traveling to the village as well?" Kohaku inquired, "I was heading there but then I lost the last of my supplies." She referred to the poorly patched bag that she carried.

"I guess we could head there together. I don't quite think you may know where you're going." The corners of Kohaku's mouth curled upwards into a small smile. She didn't mean it as an insult. She just assumed that Tsubaki didn't know where she was going, because Kohaku was unaware of anyone giving Tsubaki directions. Chijo barked at Kohaku and tugged on the sleeve of her jacket. "Alright, alright," Kohaku looked at the stubborn boxer then she turned her focus back to Tsubaki, "You can come if you want."

Chijo pulled Kohaku by her sleeve and they started walking off, away from Tsubaki.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:45 pm

Tsubaki gave a low nod confirming how lost she was. She didn't take offense to the notion. Tsubaki had been lost for what seemed like months now. Her journey had started at the eastern end of the Land of Fire and since then has taken her deeper into the Fire Country with not so unfrequent diversions into outside lands. It wasn't just an innate sense of misdirection that plagued her, but also a simple lack of formal training. Her insects knew more about navigation that she did and Tsubaki wasn't afraid to admit it, or at least she wouldn't be if admitting it for her was as simple as being able to confess.

Obviously, she wasn't a conversationalist, which was why she wasn't aware of how good of company she could be for a woman who seemed to more easily speak with her hound. All the same, Tsubaki followed, hoping that with Kohaku she'd be able to find that village she suspected was nearby. Her first few steps were rushed, the accelerated pace helping to catch her up to the head start Kohaku had on her.

Not wanting to be a silent burden, nor even an outspoken one, Tsubaki curiously inquired into something through the help of her insects. This time her scribbling consisted of a single letter, one that moved in air respective to the body that had written it.

Y

The only other gesture that followed was Tsubaki's hand moving from where it had written the letter to a pointed position directed at the crude patchwork that had been applied to Kohaku's bag. She was trying to ask what had happened, but her meaning wasn't always properly understood.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:35 pm

Kohaku looked over to Tsubaki when she noticed the Y floating in the air, "Why? Hm?" Kohaku averted her eyes follow where Tsubaki gestured. "Ah! To be honest, Chijo and I smelt you," she pointed out in a matter of fact way, "When we started to head away from your scent, I saw a black cloud and slipped out of the trees and it broke open." She shrugged it off

With each step they took, Kohaku became curious. She shouldn't ask too many wordy questions - she wouldn't get very good answers. Or answers that would raise more questions. Kohaku looked up and took a deep breath, she exhaled with a long huff. Chijo started to pick up in her pace, "Chijo, wait," Kohaku called out and started to hurry along herself.

The dog took off in a sprint, her owner close behind. The two ran and worked as one, it was unusual for them to have to worry about a third person. It wasn't until Kohaku realized that Tsubaki was still with them did she look over her shoulder to make sure she kept up.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by Love » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:42 pm

As Kohaku explained her story Tsubaki listened attentively, as she had grown accustomed to doing. Her chin, covered as it was by the awkward breathing apparatus, rested in a divot between her thumb and pointer finger as a display of her concentration towards what was being said. However, her concentration wavered as she made a sudden, silent realization. Her scent? Black cloud? The supplies that her insects had brought her and Kohaku's sudden misfortune in loosing supplies?

Tsubaki's spine stiffened as she followed behind Kohaku. One of the worst parts was, she couldn't confess, nor was she positive that doing so would be a good thing. At any rate, her guilty conscious would have to wait as the bulldog and her partner started into a sprint. Already behind him at walking pace, Tsubaki wasn't prepared for the sudden uptake in speed.

Doing her best to keep up, Tsubaki trailed only by a slim margin, though it wasn't her pace that was the problem. She really wanted to ask what this was all about, but moving this fast and following behind as she was, there was no way for her to write out such a question. Instead, she had to take it on faith alone that something truly pressing was up ahead. For that matter, she also had to excursive caution as the unknown thing they could be rushing towards could be dangerous. As a precaution Tsubaki waved an arm and sent loose a few sweeping masses of insects that flew faster than her feet scampered. The scouts would search for chakra signatures and try and inform their master of the very thing Kohaku's canine companion was already onto.

Spoiler:
Sorry for the delay, had a paper due.
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Re: Errand girl

PostPosted by nameless » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:51 am

She saw that Tsubaki saw was keeping up with them. She then looked ahead, it seemed that the trees were starting to thin out. Chijo was still a few paces ahead of her master, she lifted her muzzle up to sniff the air. Chijo yipped back to Kohaku.

"Alright, Chijo said we should be there by the time we reach the end of the forest." She didn't bother slowing down, "I can stalk up on supplies and get what my family needs once I get there." Kohaku smiled happily. She knew that Tsubaki couldn't speak to her, it made her feel like most conversations, at least til they get to the village, would be one-sided. She decided to keep quiet for now, making a mental list of everything she needed to get for the journey back.

Let's see, as soon as I get there... Hopefully they'll have a dango shop or a ramen shop, or something! Then I have to get . . . As she ran a puzzled look swept her face as she tried to recall the items her mother wanted to pick up.

As she thought, she wasn't paying attention to the abnormally large boxer who abruptly stopped in front of her. "Ack! Chijo!" Kohaku yelled as she tripped over her own dog.
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