18 Degrees Below the Horizon

[House of the Lotus | Higashikaze Academy | Hana Medical Institute]
The glistening seat of freedom, a blooming city in the dust, and the foundation of all their hope. Hanabira is the capitol city of the Republic of Suna, home to the Parliament, Higashikaze Academy, and the Hana Medical Institute.

18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Oddric » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:33 pm

"I don't know. Are you sure?" The black haired shinobi asked. She turned her head to look at her two partners. One scratched the back of his head while the other stuck her thumb up to the night sky. Well, what the black haired shinobi considered 'night'.

The man shrugged. "Well, Kokuei did say this time. Does it matter if it still looks dark?" He checked his watch and then looked back out to the dark horizon. Hanabira City filled up most of the view from the rock formation that had set up camp at.

"No, no. Look." Insisted the other girl, thumb still pointed up.
"The crow nebula. Totally gone. I could see it an hour ago. There's too much light from the sun creeping up. It's officially dawn."

A scoff came from the first girl. "Wow. Look at you. Some sort of scientist, huh?"

She gave a light smile. "You spend enough nights out here, you learn to pick up on some things." It was that statement that made the woman's older age a bit more apparent to the other two.

Snuffing out the fire, the young man clapped his hands together. "Well, the other teams should just about be getting ready. We should get moving."

"Yeah." The dark haired girl stood up, wiping off her back. "Who's our target again?"

"Well, I wouldn't call him our target. But, Kishner is one of the councilmen under Kokuei's suspicion of involvement with Decay." Said the scientist. "Just remember, we aren't supposed to kill him. We are just keeping his location under surveillance. Make sure he doesn't go anywhere. At least until Kokuei or Elodie get there."

The man snorted. "I don't know how Kokuei or Koomu trusts her."

"Tell me about it. She gives me the creeps. Why does she have so much authority, just because her and Kokuei are fu--"

"It doesn't matter. We have a job, and this is it. Let's quit the bickering and get down there." The astronomer said, flicking the written parchment in her hand before nodding toward the city on the horizon.

Scientist out front, the trio began their descend from the cliff face.




"Uck." Ayatsuri shook his head, hand running down the side of his face. "What a terrible brew. I don't know why I bother." He looked in disgust at the cup of tea on his workbench. Though he wouldn't necessarily call it 'tea'. "It'll never be as good as the shop's." Now she knew her herbs and spices!

For as a good of an inventor as Ayatsuri was, he couldn't say that he would want to put anything into his mouth.

He frowned, straightening his back as he placed his hands on his hips. "The old man's beard didn't do it. Hm." A lichen. A fungi. It was supposed to be good in a brew. He'd have to try others.

Shifting his weight, Ayatsuri moved to the other side of his basement. It was a bizarre combination of puppets, blueprints, and fungi. Specialized lamps hung above the last portion of his sort of 'garden'. Several species of mushrooms grew lavishly. Ayatsuri didn't have a green thumb, but a... fungus thumb? Dead thumb? He had a special relationship with fungi. Contractually, spiritually, mentally. It wasn't exactly something he shared, it was a bit odd. Maybe concerning.

His fingers ran along the tassels of a hanging Parmeliaceae. One eye closed from the dark-colored light, the other examined the fungi. Ayatsuri had trouble sleeping. Nightmares sometimes, other times just insomnia. Being down in his basement helped ease his mind. It always made him feel better, refreshed.

Forearm jerking, Ayatsuri brought the new batch with him to his table. Letting it stew, the fair haired young man leaned forward, finger dunking and releasing the floating fungus, lost in his own thoughts.




Flapping continued overhead, the purple haired Nara watching as his summon made its way to Hanabira City. 'New Suna'. "I can't believe it's here." Kokuei muttered, hand against a natural earthen pillar as he examined the city before them.

"Well, we certainly have been traveling most of the night." Elodie chimed in, arms folded under her bust.

Kokuei gave her an unamused expression, positive that she was cracking a joke. "You know what I mean. Today. This. We're making a move against Decay. I feel good about this." He wouldn't say it out loud, just by how absurd it sounded, but it also meant another step toward finding his brother. Or at least, maybe what happened to him. That's really where this all started. A search for his brother.

She walked closer, head tilted as she looked past the man and to the partially bordered village. "You've talked about it an awful lot. The nomads too. You're all on the same page." Brought together from a hatred of Decay, and rallied behind Kokuei's semi-twisted message of Noriko and her beliefs and her involvement with Decay. Everything crafted so this small army of his would look up to him and believe in his mission. This would be the fruits of his labor. "It's more than you could have hoped for."

Nodding, Kokuei kept his eyes on his crow, which circled the periphery of the city. "Let's hope things keep on that way."

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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Love » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:03 am

"What are we even doing in Hanaberry anyway?" Oichi gripped as her sandaled feet drenched across the sandstone streets of the pinnacle desert city. Her slouched march matched her groggy personality as she continued after the more astute Nara in her forefront. The corridor they traveled down as mostly empty, save for a few desert dwellers getter an early start to the day.

"It's Hanabira!" Edo snapped back, keeping his voice low as he turned his head to respond to the skulking girl behind him as he scanned the faces of those they passed to be sure that none were listening. Correcting the disgruntled Akimichi on her mispronunciation was a lot easier than actually answering her question. The best response he could muster to that prospect was pitifully sufficient to say the least. "And don't worry about it, my gut tells me this is where we need to be."

A gurgle proceeded Oichi's verbal response. "Well the only thing my gut's telling me is that its empty!" Oichi fell forward, her arms wrapping around Edo's armored shoulders allowing the undisturbed Nara to drag her petite body behind him, all the more perturbed by the gripping girl. "Can't we find a barbecue place or something?"

"This isn't the time for that!" Edo shrugged Oichi off of him, literally.

"Find, Miso soup or whatever it is they eat for breakfast in the desert."

"That's not what I meant." Edo snapped, stopping in his tracks and turning were he was. He grabbed ahold of Oichi by the shoulders as though to literally shake some sense into the young woman. "You need to take this more seriously, I don't know what's going to happen here!"

"Well look what we have here," A third person interrupted the pair. She was blonde, and every bit of her confirmed that from the golden hair to her busty endowments and curvy hips. It wasn't clear whether was whether or not she was dressed so skimpily because of the desert heat, or if that was just her normal wears. "Don't you to make such a cute couple"

"We are not a couple!"




"What are we even doing here?" A distempered, as if she'd convey any other emotion, Kaida snarled. She sat perched upon a wooden table in the middle of a wide library. While the table that Kaida used as a seat was clear the other similar surfaces were not. On them were strewn a plethora of maps, charts, and other topographical figures that made little sense all taken separately, but started to paint a picture of the world when placed together. "We're supposed to be working on upgrades, not geography."

"I said we might be fetching upgrades." Akiko corrected, not taking her eyes off of the scroll she was examining in close detail. "Und dat still 'olds tru. Da desert was da birthplace of puppetry, it's 'ere we'll find da supplies I need ta furder me designs." Akiko said, placing the opened parchment down on one of the tables in a strategic location. "'Owever, dat's just one venture. Me ancestors never put much stock in leaving da forests, so me maps in da Codex are insufficient ta say da least."

"So what, you're memorizing all this? I don't see you taking notes." As the peeved woman continued to say her legs, one flesh and the other wood, swayed back and forth impatiently.

"Please." The fiery topped woman shook her head, stepping back from the laid out documents that were finally read. Akiko didn't explain things further. Instead, she merely put her hands together in hand-signs before holding one configuration for concentration. On the surface of the table grew a mossy type plant that covered the whole of the documents. With some churning the plant compiled before taking on a new shape. The plant reconfigured itself into the shape of the shinobi continent, complete with an element of elevation as its surface took on a miniaturized outline of mountains and river ways. Suddenly, the magnificent growth contracted, reducing itself down to a single seed that stored all the information. "Perfect." Akiko smiled, plucking the seed and handing it off to the vine reaching up form one of her Foliage Sacks.

"Whoop-dee-do" Kaida huffed, hopping off of her seat and planting her feet with only a slight hitch in her artificial step. "Can we get going now?" Kaida questioned, placing her mechanical hand on her hip.

"Sure...Wait!?" Akiko's mood became suddenly stressful. "Wat time is it?"

"Idunno, the break of dawn I guess...how am I supposed to know, we were traveling all night" The jet lagged woman said, placing both of her hands upon her back and bending her hip outward to crack her spine.

"Oh no!" Akiko said in a haste, rushing out of the library and down the corridor outside it.

Kaida was in close toe, though the sudden drag on her artificial leg put her several steps behind the rushing green blur. "Hold up a sec, where are you going?"

"I've got to make it, got to get..." Akiko wasn't even able to complete a sentence as she tried to dismiss Kaida’s concerns. The green girl disappeared from the wolf’s sight as Akiko veered a corner and immediately entered into the first door on the right.

Further behind, there was a lag between when Akiko entered and Kaida did in pursuit. By the time the wolfish woman reached the exterior of the door she could hear painful heaves on the other side. More concerned than before, she barged into the room to find Akiko collapsed on the floor strung up on a fixture…vomiting.

Morning sickness sucks.
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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Oddric » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:36 pm

A door creaked open, the man who walked through kept his arm extended to make sure it stayed open as a woman brushed by the man. "So, this is it?" He asked, quietly closing the door as he caught a glance at his partner's backside while she wasn't looking.

"Well, duh." She chuckled, fingers tapping against the handle of her katana strapped to her waist. "Yea don't think 'tis isn't the biggest library in Hana?" As she spoke more her drawl became quite evident.

"Sorry. I don't get around to reading much in the big city." The blonde rolled his eyes, rubbed his shoulder and adjusting his light colored robe.

She smirked. "Yea could do to pick up a couple books now and 'ten, darlin'." Standing still, the woman anticipated some sort of response but the man ignored her and walked past. She took the opportunity to tilt her head and examine his backside.

The man uncrossed his arms and approached one of the many shelves in the library. He ran his digits idly across the books as he turned his head and looked about. "So what's the plan?"

"Find a hidin' spot. Stay low. Wait fer the councilwoman and... I guess wait som'more. We playin' 'tis by ear." The darker haired woman shrugged, walking beside the man now. "She'll be here soon, though. Teeg said she likes comin' in early."

Stopping abruptly, the man jolted his head. His eyes brightened, blue eyes gaining an electric look to them as he took a step away from the woman and shelves. "Wha--"

"Ssh." He hushed, hand against her collar bone. A slow few steps forward and peering past one of the shelves, a table was cluttered with material. He couldn't tell from the distance, but it was a lot of maps and charts. "Someone else is already here."

The slender woman tightened her grip on the red handle, head lowering as she began to slink back and toward the book shelves. They weren't looking for a fight, but they couldn't let their cover get blown.




"Hey, little guy." A young man smiled, one hand wiping a tear from his face brought about by a rather vicious yawn.

A crow sat at the edge of a watchtower. It hopped about along the ledge, looking up at the guard, head bobbing and such. Amused, the man took another step toward the crow. It didn't move, or even flinch. Curious, he slid another foot, now getting quite close to the thing. "Wow. You're a brave fel--"

The crow transformed in a puff of smoke. A swift Kokuei, using one hand to block the man's mouth and the other to grab onto his shirt, brought him down onto the floor. He rose the hand from the guard's shirt and began to wave his fingers. A single, weak, tendril rose from the ground and pressed itself against the man's cranium. He passed out within moments.

Sighing, Kokuei looked up as a more scraggly-looking crow flew into the watch tower. Forming hand signs, Kokuei put one hand against the man's throat and a couple fingers against the crow's head. It transformed into a replica of the man, standing up straight as it gave Kokuei an awkward smile. "Well. Good enough, I guess." He hushed, forming another string of hand signs.

Transformed again into a crow, Kokuei flew from the watchtower and above the first row of houses of Hanabira. From many meters below, another Kokuei watched the crow fly further into the city. Kokuei needed to be in multiple places at once this morning, and he had been practicing.

"All right, know your destination?" Kokuei said, looking to Elodie by his side. "Team Beak will be there waiting for you."

"Yup. Library, I got it." She rolled her wrist, palm pointed toward the dimly lit sky.

"Keep your head down and don't--"

The djinn pushed a finger against his chest. "Listen, I was in Purgatory for years before you came along. Believe me, I can handle myself."

Exhaling, Kokuei nodded his head. "Yeah. I know, I know. Sorry." He looked past Elodie and toward the empty street before them. "I'm nervous. I need this to go right. Everyone needs this to go right."

Elodie gave him a peck on the cheek, tattooed hand patting his shoulder as she walked past. "And it will. This'll work, I have a good feeling about it too. It's destiny." Kokuei gave the woman a small smile as she went on her way.

Watching a moment, Kokuei flipped up his black hood before disappearing into the alleyways.

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"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Love » Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:42 pm

"I am NOT holding your hair back, Red. Whatever you've got, I don't want it!" Kaida protested, hands raised up to suppress the notion down. The wolfish woman leaned back, catching herself on one of the freestanding sinks. Her hands dropped on either side to help brace herself off, though only one of them made a distinct clunk as it struck the porcelain.

"I'm pregnant, ya insensitive mutt!" Akiko hollered back between heaves. She was still bend over in a stall suffering from the aliments her present condition. "Not like it's contagious."

"Better not be." Kaida scoffed, pushing herself off of the sink once she heard Akiko standing up. Kaida's uneven hands came up and crossed in front of her as she did. "Besides, shouldn't warp-boy be the one looking after you? He's the one that made you like this."

The green girl exited the stall with the sound of a flush washing away the evidence of her maternal illness. "Dare not 'is." Akiko explained softly, approaching the sink Kaida just cleared away from and splashing some of the fresh water on her face.

"What? But you two--"

"It's complicated." Akiko interrupted, standing up straight as the water stopped with one hand whipping that what was recently splashed from her jawline.

"But if they're not his, then whose are they?"

"Why does everyone always want ta know dat?" Akiko complained, turning towards the bathroom door while avoiding the question entirely. The green girl started opening the door, only to have the slab caught by Kaida's wooden appendage. "Wat, ya gonna interrogate it outta me?"

"Sshhh!" The mood suddenly changed as Kaida shot Akiko a serious glance before peering her eyes down the hallway they had turned out of to get to the restroom, all the while her nostrils flaring as she intensely sniffed the air.

"There's someone else here...two of them."

"So what, it's a public library innitit?" Akiko dismissed Kaida's suspensions, trying to pry the door open wider, though failing against Kaida's more considerable physical strength. Kaida keeping a firm grip was a testament to how well Akiko's handiwork was.

"Yeah, well not everyone pokes around in the documents others lay out." Kaida pointed out, releasing her mechanical arm to allow the door to swing open.

"If it's really got you so on edge den why don't ya check it out?" Akiko inquired as the two of them exited into the hall. Kaida gave nothing but an affirmative nod, though she didn't get very far into her would be investigation before realizing that Akiko had turned in the opposite direction as the one they had taken to make it to the privy.

"You're not coming?"

"Ya know wat? Ya right," Akiko said as her steps backtracked, eventually changing positions with Kaida as she stepped around the woman. "I'll stay, you go." Akiko's hand immediately raised to quill the obvious objection from Kaida before it could become anything more than a snarl. "OK, time ta fess up, I've not been 'onest wit ya, we didn't come 'ere fur upgrades. I've got all da supplies I'd need fur dose back in da Megami village."

"Then wha--?"

"I'll explain dat, I will, I promise...but fur now I need ya ta trust me." An understanding occurred between the two women as Akiko shot Kaida a definitive glare. "Dat place I told ya about just outside da village? Go dare, find Ayatsuri."

"Alright, but these upgrades better blow my mind, Red." Kaida scoffed as she turned, not for a corridor, but for a window for a more impromptu exit. "Blow my mind!" She repeated as she jumped.

Back in the library Akiko walked in without a concern. Returning to where all of her cluttered was laid out, she pretended to not notice the presence of the others at first. When she finally did call out to them, with her hand on her bulging stomach. "Oh, 'ello dare, would ya two be a dear und 'elp an expectin mutter wit putting dis all away?"




"So, what's the plan...you do have the plan, right?"

"No, golden boy here's just working off of his gut?"

The backslash Edo was suffering would be a lot worse from the two were he to admit that it wasn't really hit "gut" that had brought them all there. It was still a part of him that had brought on the feeling, but something considerably lower that was biding at his feet as the raising morning sun started to elongate its form.

"Listen, I know something about to go down here, so why don't we just get up high and try to scout for suspicious activity?"

"You mean suspicious like that?" Oichi said pointing straight up, having turned her head that way as Edo mentioned getting to higher ground. Her outstretched finger was pointed right at a black bird circling the sky, something not unlike the kind of foul that she herself had signed a summoning contract with. "Those aren't native to the desert."
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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Oddric » Sun May 03, 2015 8:40 pm

The puppeteer took a sip from his tea, standing in front of his creation he had chained up, fuuinjutsu etched out across the wall. Tall, but not towering, the thing was draped in a gray robe. It's left arm was quite large in comparison to the other, it appeared that its forearm was a sort of cannon. The wood that encased the gunman appeared to be ebony of some sort. The thing's skin was dark and it gleamed. A curious gleam. One that didn't seem to be from material alone.

Ayatsuri ran his hand along his puppet, his other draining his cup into his mouth. His eyes ran over the puppet, waiting for something. Or anticipating, rather. There was a bit of fear in Ayatsuri. His creation bothered him, much like the two he had built before this one. This was the third puppet he had built in this... fashion. Even though his instincts told him against it, he kept with it.

"Ah... all right." He sighed, hand rubbing his neck as he moved away from his puppet. He went to the stairs, finger just touching the light switch. He kept his eyes on the gunman for a moment before the room went dark. Ayatsuri climbed the stairs to finish getting ready for his day.




The duo froze, watching the curiously green woman walk toward the cluttered desk she had left. She needn't have the stated that she was pregnant. For one, well, it was becoming obvious. Of course neither of the nomads would have told her that. Secondly, they were made aware that Kokuei was an expecting father.

Exchanging looks, the two seemed to be on the same page. They knew the witch, but it seemed like she wasn't savvy to what was going on in the city. Not yet, at least.

"Sure, darlin'." The woman said, hand off her katana as she approached Akiko. Her partner was a bit slower to tag along, apprehensive of the green girl and what to do with her. They couldn't just have Akiko wandering about in here, especially not with the councilwoman and Elodie coming. "I'd wager to say tha' yea've been in here all night. Are yea... uh..." the dark haired nomad paused at the table, eyes glancing over the clutter,"...plannin' a trip?"

Eyes shifting down a tone, the man blinked, fingers scratching at his cheek as he approached the ladies. "Make sure you cross check some of those. I'm sure they're a bit dated. Boundaries and villages have been shifting and changing a lot in the past few years." He said.

The woman took one of the scrolls, closing it up. "All right, enough with the political nonsense." She bopped the taller man on his head. "Let's help her put all these things away, quick. I'm sure she's tired and whatnot." She smiled at him before looking to Akiko. Maybe this would actually go smoothly.

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"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Love » Wed May 20, 2015 9:34 pm

"I 'aven't da slightest concern fur wat political lines men put down on paper. Truth is, mountains don't move much." Akiko smirked, plopping down in a chair beside the clutter she had created.

"Tired's just da start of it...I'm bloated, hormonal, nauseous, und 'ave swollen feet ya could't believe." Ah, the miracle of life. It seemed those feet were her excuse for why she was letting these strangers tend to the tedious task of cleaning up. "Not dat I've seen dem in more dan a month." At least her bulging midriff casted a consistent shade for her podiatry problems. "'Ad ya two not I 'aven't da faintest wat I might 'ave done, but 'owever can I repay such kindness from strangers?"

"Of course," The pregnant woman, not getting up from her comfortable seat, reached down beside her to where a vine was reaching up from her equipment pouch handing her a couple of seeds. "Why don't sometin ta eat?" With just a pinch of Mokuton chakra the seeds expanded into fully grown apples, plump and juicy as any could be. "Freshest fruit ya'll find dis side of da Fire Country." She boasted, tossing one of the apples at the male in an obvious manner easy for him to catch while placing the other down on the table beside the female as she collected another scroll.

"I'd partake meself, but unless it's smothered in olive oil und coated wit asparagus und bell pepper jelly I'd doubt it satisfy. Da craving's annotter drawback." They seemed to be growing worse with every day. She could have sworn once that she even started craving meats one night, though how she would have known for certain, having kept to a strictly vegetarian diet all her life, she couldn't be sure.




Kaida ricocheted off of the building as she dropped from the heights of the window she had leapt out of. Simple work for a shinobi, but her landing was nonetheless rough as she plummeted with the puppet limbs she still didn't have full coordination with.

Hitting the soft sand with a painful growl, the woman picked herself only so far as to crouch as her hands slapped together in front of her. "D@mn limbs! This mods better work, cucumber! Shikyaku no Jutsu!" [Four-Legged Technique] Once her hand-sign dropped the modification began, her hand shooting out to the side as chakra coursed through them. The physical transformation turned her teeth to fangs, and formed claws on her fingertips and toes. In like form the enhancements Akiko made to the simply puppet forms responded as the chakra reached into the reformed limbs, metal claws extending to pair precisely with the cuticles on their opposite counterpart. What is more is that her ankle seemed to pivot as she took up a stance on four legs to make it more flexible.

In a sprint Kaida shot off down the desert causeways headed for the village's border. The streets were still mostly empty, but that didn't mean that there weren't the occasional bystander she had to swerve to avoid. Particularly tricky was when she shot down a narrow alleyway occupied by three independently distracted persons. Slamming herself again the sandstone wall to the side was all she could do to avoid a worse collision, though she never broke speed in the process.

"Hey, watch it!" Edo turned around and yelled at the speeding wolf having thrown himself against the opposite wall to avoid a similar fate. All three of them, Oichi, Edo, and Inochi were taken aback by the incident.

"Geez, the people here are so rude, don't you think?"

"Uh, guys?" The Oichi timidly interrupted, only pointing up after catching the attention of both of her companions. "Bird's gone." In the confusion that had just happened all three of them had lost sight of the crow they had been tracking.

"C'mon, we gotta get higher up!" Edo cursed, leaping off of the building side to a jump straight up into the air.




Outside of the village, dusted turned up as Kaida slowed to a two legged walk. The physical modification of her technique did not fade, but she controlled her pace long before she would have barreled into the door of the strange wooden hut constructed on the outskirts of a village that had anything but homes such as the one Akiko had pointed out on their way into Hanabari.

Though the riled up woman wanted to burst the door straight down, obviously more distressed about the disturbance in the library than Akiko herself was, Kaida kept to what pittance of manners she possessed and brought her wooden limp up to bang three times against a door made from matching material. "Open up!" The impatient woman howled.
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Re: 18 Degrees Below the Horizon

PostPosted by Oddric » Thu May 28, 2015 8:16 pm

"Somethin' yea ate?" She asked in response to Akiko's symptoms, giving Akiko a grin until she locked eyes with her. "Just kiddin'." The woman said, rubbing the back of her neck, walking over to furl up some of the scrolls.

Putting together some parchment in a small stack, the man eyed the apple that Akiko had grown for them. He feigned astonishment. "Whoa. I guess that green thumb isn't just for show." He chuckled, looking to the lady who had her eyebrows raised, idly stroking the scroll in her hands.

"Oh no. I haven't even eaten breakfast yet." The taller one said, catching the apple regardless. "I get acid reflux pretty easily. I don't want to"

The woman gave the man a playful tap on the arm. Of course, it meant a bit more than that. "Don't be rude, now. If yea gonna whine about it, at least save it fer me later." She gave him a wink, taking a bite of the fruit without a moment of hesitation.

Eyes on his partner as she swallowed the bite of apple, he took the pieces of parchment and turned, looking about the library for someplace to deposit them. He considered putting them back properly, but there were way too many individual things to do that. He wandered off to a nearby bin to place them in instead.

Tapping the apple against the table as she tossed the tightly rolled scroll into a small pile with the others, the dark haired girl looked to the redhead. "So, who's the lucky man?" Of course, she knew who it was. Or rather, she thought she knew who it was. "I'd figure he'd be here helpin' yea out wit' yea... trip." She paused, the question started feeling a bit awkward. "Unless yea mate's a tree or somethin'."




The crow that the Konoha-clan-trio had observed, or at least it looked very similar, as similar as crows could look, it had gone out of sight just barely and perched on top one of the taller structures in Hana.

It was then several more crows came into view, all landing on the same building, meters apart on different parts of the four equidistant ledges. They didn't make a lot of noise, just a bit of incoherent, and likely involuntary, chirping. All but one crow, who stood still and bobbed its head about, observing the other crows. They were communicating, somehow. Telepathically. Body language. Or perhaps through the sacred connection of summoner and summonee. A sacred connection that Kokuei had scarred, literally. It was no longer a joint collaboration that he shared with the crows, it was a dictatorship.




Ayatsuri took a sip of his tea, leaning against the wall of his home as he waited for his visitor to approach. He had set up a device to alert him when someone neared his home. It was a precautionary measure, but maybe it was a bit over the top. There were many things that Ayatsuri did that were more than necessary. Doing what he did, seeking out who he was, it was reasonable that the detective would be paranoid.

As Kaida knocked on the door, Ayatsuri turned his head from the blinking light up along his wall and stared at the door. The voice did not match the sound that was being made from the knock. "Is that... wood?" He hushed, walking toward the door. His eyes moved along the ground, replaying the sound in his head. "Not just an amateur style wood, no no. Compressed. Sturdy. Better than flesh and bone. Something more."

The door opened, a fully garbed Ayatsuri stood at the entrance, taking another gulp of his fungal brewed beverage as he looked over Kaida. "Wow." He said, hand reaching down to touch her arm before stopping himself. She didn't seem like she'd like that. He stood straight again, free hand on his hairless chin. "You are gorgeous!" He exclaimed, face changing as he realized what he said. "Well, not like that. I meant your arm..." He motioned to her entire side. "...not that you're not... you know... I just don't think I would have normally... unless you didn't mind that I..."

He took a moment to finish drinking his tea, tossing the cup back into the house. Without looking, he twiddled his fingers, chakra strings grabbing his airborne cup. Well, he tried grabbing the cup.

Smash!

"Shi.t." He muttered. He had gone through dozens of mugs. "Akiko sent you, right?" The detective placed his hands on his hips. "I recognize her handiwork. No pun intended. And I also don't know of any black market wood-workers in the Westlands who would have done such a great job." He stopped, looking about before stopping on Kaida again. "...Where is she?"

| Request Thread | Characters | Quotes |
"This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules; test ideas by experiment and observation, build on those ideas that past the test, reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question... everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours..."
-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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