A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1081
    Titan in the Playground
     
    igordragonian's Avatar

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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Masuku answer shortly and sternly.
    "Do you stand behind this claim- and admit cheating- or not. It was a simple question. You have failed to give me a clear answer- so I assume you do not, so neither you nor Yoroi would be punished. If I catch any activity that influence the game outside the game- I will decide what to do depend on the violation. I keep my right to punish cheating as I see fit. Now. Vote"

    Raizo:"Then sadly I vote Senko as well"

    Usagi groan. "You know what? I vote Kimiko!"
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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  2. - Top - End - #1082
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    "I told you already, I do not care if you punish Garasu or not, but I did not do anything and will not stand to be punished when I did nothing wrong. Especially when the punishment for cheating is to have violence inflicted upon the accused... Actually, you know what."

    "I do not care if anyone gets caught cheating, you aren't going to punish anyone. If someone is found cheating we will just have to vote them out in-game, because I do not think that an adult inflicting violence on a child is an appropriate response to cheating in a game."

    "Anyway, unless I forgot anyone, and I do apologize it can be hard to keep track in the midst of conversation, there are two votes for me, one vote for Kimiko-san, and six votes for Yoroi-san. I am withholding my vote. so..."
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

    Read my fanfiction here. Homebrew Material Here Rater Reads the Hobbit and Dracula
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  3. - Top - End - #1083
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    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Kimiko:
    She will simply say
    "Senko, I'd advise not harping on this. We have a vote to get on with."
    She says
    "Cast your vote."
    I'm also on discord as "raziere".


  4. - Top - End - #1084
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    Rater202's Avatar

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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Kimiko:
    She will simply say
    "Senko, I'd advise not harping on this. We have a vote to get on with."
    She says
    "Cast your vote."
    "I said that I would retract my vote for now as a show of good faith and what kind of person would I be if I went back on it? Besides, my vote would be superfluous, the majority of votes are for Yoroi-san. I could vote for literally anyone and it would have no effect on the result... Which, honestly, makes my show of faith worthless... Damn it."

    "Still withholding my vote."
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

    Read my fanfiction here. Homebrew Material Here Rater Reads the Hobbit and Dracula
    Awesome Avatar by Emperor Ing
    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  5. - Top - End - #1085
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    igordragonian's Avatar

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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Masuku doesnt seems to listen to anything Senko says-
    She has nothing more to add.

    "10 seconds until the vote end.
    9.
    8.
    7..."
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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    Bazzilion legions of thanks to his highness Emperor Ing for the awesome avatar!

    Who want to join some freeform Naruto Rp?
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  6. - Top - End - #1086
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Flashback to the Past: Growing up Kiri, Full Story
    Meanwhile Mitsuko reminisces on her past on some rooftop, growing up in Kirigakure and her relationship with Ryota Ishikawa:
    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri Part 1: Graduation Day
    Show

    Mitsuko, Age 12:
    Today was the day they graduated. Mitsuko could hardly wait, she was looked down on her clan for being average in Paper release and not having a single shred of talent for fuinjutsu. Despite how much she tried she just kept being found middling. The Ishikawa clan prides itself on excellence. She was already a failure by her clans standards and only good for being put into an arranged marriage, but she promised today that she would begin her journey prove them wrong and become a great ninja despite her clans dismissal. Of course she sees from a distance Ryota, a third cousin of hers and the one she was chosen to be wedded to, she knew. Despite the arrangement, they didn't interact with each other much. Ryota was off doing much more advanced training and when she did try speaking to him, his voice as cold as ice, seemingly not caring for her much. Beside him was Sowagi a warm excitable boy he had been assigned to be academy partners with for his time at the academy, talking excitedly
    "I can't wait to be a ninja Ryota isn't it exciting!?"
    "If you say so."
    "We'll get to be ninja! Badasses going around to exciting new places, meeting new people and fighting to protect our village! I'll be great!"
    "Sure."
    "I'm looking forward to finally being able to explore beyond the village, and sail upon the waves! What do you look forward to, Ryota!?"
    "....Weeding."
    "Wha? Weeding?" Sowagi says confused.
    "Weeding." He repeats in the same cold tone.
    "You give the weirdest answers, my friend." Sowagi says, shrugging it off.
    Mitsuko raises a hand and says
    "Hi Ryota"
    He doesn't respond back as they walk by, Sowagi continuing to babble on. She sighs. Yeah that was the usual response from Ryota in public.

    She of course soon meets up with her own student partner throughout the academy: Akiyashi. She was a low caste, unlike Mitsuko, no family to her name, but unlike Mitsuko she was talented: more skilled in taijutsu, ninjutsu and genjutsu than her, she succeeded at her book studies as well, Mitsuko knew she could never hope to beat her in anything-and she was also Mitsuko's best friend.
    "Hey Mitsuko how you doing?"
    "Fine..." she says "A little nervous. Today is the big day when we finally become ninja you know?"
    "Yeah. I get that, need to be at your best. Don't worry, You'll pass I'll make sure of it." Akiyashi assures her
    "Thanks Aki but we don't even know what the graduation will test for. You think they're going to make us test the academy three again?" Mitsuko asks
    "Can't be. They already did that yesterday and sent home all duos that couldn't even manage that." Akiyashi says, knowing those duos would probably be back next year to try again.
    "You think they're going to make us try and do Hidden Mist Jutsu?" Mitsuko speculates
    "Makes no sense, we haven't gotten any water release training." Akiyashi says back.
    "Weird. Well, whatever it is I just...I just hope I succeed. The clan talks up Ryota like he is the best thing ever while I'm....I'm just his accessory." she says sadly.
    Akiyashi puts an arm over Mitsuko's shoulder
    "Hey. Don't worry about it. Screw what your clan thinks, they don't know what they got, I bet with proper shining even you can shine like a diamond. You had my back when keeping away them clan bullies, and I'll have yours now. Okay?" Akiyashi says with a smile
    "...Okay!" Mitsuko smiles back, feeling better.
    "Alright, lets go in and face whatever awaits us." Akiyashi says. Beside her, Mitsuko felt like she could do anything.

    The students are ushered into what is known at the Kirigakure Academy, as The Graduation Room. It is built from a hollowed out cavern behind a pounding waterfall where little sound could be heard over its rushing flow, they had to water-walk to get to it and the place has darker lighting. Amid it are row after row of little dueling areas drawn on the ground to indicate where people should stand. They are ushered into these rows and their instructor calls out
    "Stand with your assigned partner! Make sure they are on the opposite side of the dueling area!"
    When everyone is in order, the instructor then goes over to the doors of this room, takes out a key, and locks them.
    "What?" Mitsuko says "Aki, why is he locking us inside?"
    Akiyashi is silent, her face serious and firm.
    The instructor walks to the front of the room where there is the most light, with a little stage, very spartan in appearance. He clears his throat and announces
    "As you know students, we assign partners to each of you. With these partners you learn the value of cooperation, coordination, trust, loyalty, teamwork. Virtues that will serve you well throughout your career as a shinobi. But now you must learn something different. Virtues that will be just as valuable, but not as often spoken of. I will inform you now: half you will not be leaving this room alive. Your families will be notified of your failure to graduate, they were informed of the risk when they signed you up."
    Misuko was confused. What was he talking about!? The instructor continues as if delivering any other speech. Sowagi yells
    "Whaddya mean by that!? What the hell!?"
    "The graduation test of Kirigakure Academy is as follows: You are to kill your assigned partner by any means necessary. Thi-"
    SHLCKTT!
    The instructor and the entire class stops and turns to stare in horror at the sound of a blade piercing a skull: Ryota had killed Sowagi without hesitation, a paper blade extended from his clutches. The blade retracts, red with blood and the corpse of Sowagi thumps to the ground.
    "Weeding's done." is all Ryota says
    "But..." the instructor says "...I didn't even finish my speech."
    "So? You said by any means necessary. I don't recall you saying anything about a set time to start." Ryota says back
    "Thats...a good point. Huh. Very well. Ryota Ishikawa, you pass. Please go collect your headband over there wait for the rest of the students."
    He does so wordlessly. The instructor turns back to the rest of the class, all shocked by this.
    "My students, once again Ryota has demonstrated why he is the top of his class. He has demonstrated perfectly the other virtues we are looking for: Ruthlessness. Discipline. Detachment. A shinobi must be prepared to kill anyone in service to his village- including his most trusted allies. Even if they aren't secretly trying to betray you, they might eventually be subverted by a genjutsu, being blackmailed or bribed or some other form of coercion. To allow such petty things to keep you from serving your village and country and thus lead to disloyalty is inexcusable. For shinobi are weapons that kill what poses the most danger to our survival. To be concerned about the life of your target is to fail. On this day you are no longer children, but adults and adults kill.....or be killed. Prove that you can be a real shinobi and kill your partner or die. You may begin."
    It was at this moment that Mitsuko realized that this wasn't a graduation room. This was the room where they took children like her to be murdered by other children. This wasn't graduation, but a deadly hazing ritual to make sure you either get in too deep to ever get back out....or drown. Building the room within a cavern behind the waterfall was to make sure no one heard the sounds of combat and screaming that were erupting around her even now. The locked door was so that no one escaped before it was finished. The dim lightning was probably to make sure no one sees the bloodstains going in.
    Akiyashi charges with a kunai, Mitsuko brings up her own paper blade to block, the two blades clashing.
    "Mitsuko! Kill me." she whispers
    "WHAT!?" she exclaims
    Akiyashi breaks makes a few swings that seemed normal, but Mitsuko knew were holding back because she could block those as well. Akiyashi was normally far more skilled, far faster than this. They clash again.
    "I said kill me!" she insists.
    "No! I-I-I can't! Your my best friend!"
    "don't worry, I'll be fine. Kill me"
    "Dead is the exact opposite of fine!" Mitsuko hisses back
    "Don't worry about it, I'll be fine, do it."
    "Your not making sense!" Mitsuko points out
    "Okay, Mitsuko? I planned for this. Kill me."
    "No you should live! Your....your the talented one, the cool one, the person who was always there and helped me...I'm nothing but a worthless girl...."
    "No. I planned for this." she leans in and whispers "Don't worry I'll live. Just kill me."
    "No! I can't!"
    "You need to. Your not worthless, Mitsuko. You can do this." Akiyashi says trying to reassure her.
    "But whats your plan!?"
    "Best you don't know. You probably won't see me for quite a while. I know I can't kill you Mitsuko so....either we are stuck here forever or you kill me so that least you live." She explains a little.
    "But you...."
    "Don't deserve to live more than anyone else. This my choice, Mitsuko. and I choose for you to live. Kill me, if I stab myself it wont allow you to graduate." She says with determination.
    "....Dammit." Mitsuko says, a tearing rolls down her cheek then throws her into an offensive "Fine! Be that way! Baka!"
    Akiyashi makes a show of putting up a defense, deflecting a few times then gets stabbed in the heart. They stop and she leans in to whisper into Mitsuko's ear
    "Thank you Mitsuko. I am now free. Don't worry. We'll meet again someday...best friend."
    Akiyashi then slumps off the paper blade and falls to the ground, still. The instructor calls out
    "Mitsuko Ishikawa! You pass!"
    Mitsuko her face frozen in terror numbly walks over to the side and takes a headband. It felt heavier than she thought it should and with trepidation, put it on. She sees Ryota standing there passively like a stone looking out at the rest of the class fighting each other, walks over to him and asks
    "How? How you can just....kill Sowagi so easily and not care?"
    "I was told to." he answers flatly.
    "Okay but besides that."
    "He was annoying." He answers in the same frigid tone.
    "Thats really it? Thats why you killed him?"
    "I am a weapon, a shinobi. Its what I do. That and I was told about the graduation ritual from the very beginning of the Academy by the clan head to prepare myself."
    "How can you say that?"
    "Easily. I just did. Were you not paying attention?"
    "....How do I know you won't kill me?"
    "Simple. I'm not allowed. Don't be traitor to the clan and I won't be allowed to kill you."
    "....Fine. Okay." she decides to stop talking to him.
    Soon the slaughter was over. They were taken out of the Graduation Room back out into the world, while the bodies were picked up by Chuunin to be carted off for funeral arrangements.


    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri, Part 2: The Team
    Show

    Mitsuko timidly stands with her teammates: a brash Hoshigaki and a slim Yuki boy, pretty. Her jounin leader addresses them. Her present self no longer remembers their names.
    “Alright you Genin, you got blooded on your first kill, which means your strong enough to be worth training. I don't care about your hopes or whatever, say your names and get along or I'll make sure you fall in line, by force if need be. From this day forth your Shinobi of Kirigakure. You kill for this village, you work for this village, you live for this village and if you want to get anything out of it, you put in the work to prove your worth my time.
    Now! Unlike other villages, we don't do D-ranks. We're soldiers, we're shinobi! We're here to do the real work of our profession rather than chores for civvies like some bleeding heart Konoha-Nin, or workaholic salaryman Kumo-nin. Your here because your killers. Your first C-rank is that there are some pirate raids out on this minor island. We're going to go kill them all.”
    As the team walks through the village to get to the gates, they pass by another team of genin who glare at them and the hoshigaki boy says
    “Jeez, look at that commoner genin team, glaring at us like that. Don't they know their place? We're old clans.”
    “Yeah, older clans on top, newer clans and commoners at the bottom. Thats how it is.”
    “What if they don't want to be on the bottom?” Mitsuko asks quietly
    “Then they're idiots, Ishikawa-san. Don't know how things work, can't expect anything more from commoners, can't understand what their role is, got to make them understand. Nails that stick up got to be hammered down y'know?”
    They go outside the village for the first time, traveling through the misty forests of their land to get to the town and its harbor, paying for a ship to take them to the island where they need to go. They find themselves constantly sparring walking on the water while trying to keep up with the ship as they travel, the jounin not wanting to waste travel time lazing around. If any of them ran out of chakra and got left behind among the waves the jounin said, it would be their own fault for not managing their chakra supply.
    After such practice, the Yuki boy approached her menacingly below decks.
    “You were only doing decent in that last spar, Ishikawa.”
    “Only? I did good enough didn't I?”
    he punches wall next to her.
    “Scraping by isn't good enough! Your either the best or left in the dust in this world! We got to compete with all the other teams for the Mizukages favor! So here's a warning Mitsuko: don't let your weakness drag us down.”
    “Or what?”
    He punches her in the stomach, making her feel as if she about to throw up, her face shocked
    “Or we will make sure that we'll get a better teammate as a replacement- and that they will never find your body. Its all about survival of the fittest, so get fit, or you won't survive.”
    he then stalks away. Mitsuko decides to go to the Jounin, telling him of this and he says
    “What you trying to make me kill them for you?”
    “What! No! Why would you think that!”
    “Yeeeeeah, sure you weren't, you little psychopath. Don't lie to me, your old clan raised, you know what this villages reputation is: The Bloody Mist. We kill our children as a graduation ceremony, and everyone is out for power and willing to do anything to get it, especially the highest clans of the caste system. People die in their struggles all the time. Land of water has been wracked with minor civil wars and uprisings for ages over kekkei genkai, over land, over maritime trade. Spilling blood, is in our blood. So if your going to eliminate someone, have the decency to make sure I can't catch you, we have to make it look like we're a united force to the rest of the world somehow.”
    “and if they kill me first?” she asks fearfully.
    “Then your weak, and as long as I don't see your corpse its not my problem. So don't come whining to me about yours to manipulate me into doing your dirty work for you, I have better things to do than petty clan politics.” the jounin says and walks away, uncaring.
    But Mitsuko hadn't known before then. Hadn't known of the reputation or the power struggles underneath the surface at all. No one had told her. They just assumed that it was obvious, that everyone knew and that you just somehow would pick it up without it needing to be explained to you. An invisible truth, hidden not through any intentional deception but through a fact so large you could only see a small part of it, like gravity or air.
    “Don't be weak” she repeats to herself “Don't be weak, don't be weak” she says as she runs to a bed far away from anyone on the ship to hide and sleep, the mantra being her lullaby until her eyes close, wishing that Akiyashi was there.

    They soon arrive at the island. They ask around the village but oddly enough, the people there don't say where the pirates are, instead they act like the pirates don't exist. Some snicker about how its a shame that the tax collector died so mysteriously before he could get here. Some try to claim that they have the wrong island, that some other island has the pirates. Whatever the answer, none of the islanders are being helpful or cooperative at all. They go back to the jounin and he concludes
    “They're all in on it. This entire town is sheltering and hiding the pirates in passive rebellion. Sigh, why is this becoming more and more common lately?” he shakes his head.
    “You've done what you can, its time for some big boy action.”
    He marches into the center of town grabs the elder, throws him to the ground and begins torturing him with his kunai.
    “Wheres the pirates!? Where are they hiding!”
    The town elder screams and everyone in the town stops to watch, shocked as the elder is slowly, agonizingly stabbed and the blade twists through his flesh as he works it. Demanding answers and getting only screams back a man yells
    “Stop it! What are you doi-”
    He suddenly throws the kunai into that means heart, killing him then pulling it out.
    “The questions wasn't just for the old man. They were for all of you. Where are the pirates hiding? If you lie, I will come back, and the torture will resume, until every single one of you are dead- yes I will make this villages demise as slow as possible until I get my answers.”
    He projects his killing intent to them, and they all cower in fear. Mitsuko repeats to herself “Don't be weak” as she watches this horrid display. Soon they tell him the information he needs to know, and they get going.
    The pirate base they find is some ramshackle buildings and a ship docked on the shore.
    “I'll burn the ship, you three kill those on the shore.” the jounin orders then leap away.
    They leap towards the pirates on land, the Yuki boy killing them with fired shards of ice through their hands, small as bullets, or sliced them open with a ice blade, others he made trip and and fall upon slick frozen puddles then stabbed them while they were down. The Hoshigaki genin meanwhile became more sharklike, charging forward and ripping men's arms off with a great maw or punching through their ribs to tear out their hearts, his strength increased in his shark form, or using his katana to cleave through bone. Mitsuko herself drew her paper blade to cut through foe after foe, adrenaline surging through her in the moment as she killed another with a paper shuriken or choked another out by making her paper blade into a whip. The three genin were demons of surgical terror and horror, far from mindless they were creating a veritable bloodbath of utmost precision.
    One pirate ran away from the slaughter and Mitsuko pursued him into the forest away from the rest. Hearing footsteps behind himself, he pulls out a hand crossbow to fire a bolt at her. She parries it with her paper blade and then jumps forward, punching him to send him falling down. Sprawling upon the ground he says
    “Why?”
    as she stands over him.
    “Why are they such monsters that they send kids to kill us?”
    “Monsters?” she says, confused. “How are we monsters? Kirigakure is defending against your piracy!”
    “Hah!” the rebel says “We targeted government shipments because your taxing us too much, and don't care to help us unless we pay through the nose for your villages missions! Why should we be loyal to a daimyo if we can't afford their tithes and the hidden village is unwilling to help if their resident psychotic killers demand even more money!? Why should we care, when they are too busy fighting their stupid war!?”
    She hesitates. The man had a point.
    “Furthermore look at you! A kid, running around killing people! Normal kids don't do that, normal kids play and have fun and do their homework at school or help with the farm! They turn you into child soldiers to get you killing early, to make you weapons when you can't even begin to question it!That screwed up!”
    “..Your...your just an ignorant villager on an island, you don't know how the world works.”
    “I don't need to, to see that all this is messed up.” he responds back. “Anyone can see it, acting like me? Thats whats hard. But if you acted against it as well, you could change things for the better! You have power we don't! Your lucky enough to be able to stand up to them! You could truly fight!”
    Mitsuko shivers her eyes wide. Betraying...her village? Her clan? It terrified her. It was unthinkable. She'd be nothing, a rogue shinobi to be killed like the rest. Without loyalty, she was weak.
    She begins muttering. “Don't be weak, don't be weak, don't be weak.”
    “You could be better than... what are you muttering-”
    SHLCKTT!
    Her blade stabs through the head, killing him mid sentence. She pulls it out, panting. Mitsuko begins walking back to the rest of her team, repeating as mantra while tears rung down her cheek three simple words:
    “Don't be weak.”


    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri Part 3: The Marriage
    Show

    Mitsuko, eighteen years of age, walks through the gates of the Ishikawa compound. She is a Chuunin now, earned it in a field promotion from fighting Konoha and Kumo nin. Musumi, a nephew of hers greets her
    “Hey Mitsuko, the Clan Patriach want to speak to you, said it was important for the clans future or something.”
    “Okay, thanks Musumu. But why? I'm nothing special.”
    “Don't ask me, apparently the talks for you alone.” he says then walks away.

    Soon she meets with the Ishikawa Clan Leader who gazes upon her, scrutinizing her with his hardened eyes.
    “Um...Greetings Clan Leader, why have you summoned me here?” she says with a respectful bow
    “Mitsuko.” says the Clan Patriarch “This is important for the future of the clan. I have chosen you, to be married to your cousin and my son, Ryota Ishikawa.”
    “What? Why?”
    “I have considered it and think its the best decision. Your only a Chuunin after all this time and show little potential to grow further. Your breeding however is impeccable, and Ryota is far more competent- the best of the best. Its a perfect match.”
    Mitsuko knew what he was talking about: Generally it was considered better to pair a more competent and powerful jounin with a more normal chuunin in such marriages, as two powerful Jounin was just wasting one of them on raising a child when their power can be best used in the field, while a chuunin husband or wife who wasn't as powerful can be relegated to that duty without much change in fighting strength. It made sure all the cream of the crop shinobi were on active duty while the merely average found usefulness for themselves in other ways. Besides, two powerful jounin as a couple tended to end up in arguments and power struggles. This way was more stable. From a military perspective, this all made a lot of sense.
    “I....I...see....” she replies.
    But to Mitsuko she just felt a vise closing in around her, around her heart and soul. She had known at the back of her mind this day would come, but she never knew it come so suddenly. She could not run, could not fight back, could not speak up. It felt as if her life was over already, as if something she had was being crushed under all this expectations through a stare heavy as mountains. Expectation to fulfill her new role in the clan, expectation to do as she was told as was proper of a lady of Kirigakure, as proper of a kunoichi.
    He next speak words of placation, of rationality and reason, trying to soften it, trying to make it look like its the best decision for her, trying to spin it as positively as he can. But it crushes her heart all the same. People think velvet gloves and iron fists are mutually exclusive, but this could not be further from the truth. Those who need to put on such velvet gloves often have the most iron of grips to hide, and those who extend open hands of peace need no gloves to be kind. Sometimes, the iron grip comes those who should be closest to you, looking all the more velvet for its proximity.
    But she repeats to herself: Don't be weak. The will of a shinobi is to endure, no matter what.
    “...I will do my duty. I will marry Ryota Ishikawa.” the words felt like a defeat, despite her effort to say it, her souls folding like paper in front of him.
    “Good. The ceremony will prepared in a week. The continuation of this clan will be ensured.”
    She nods weakly, loyalty was strength.

    One week later, Mitsuko waits for the groom, surrounded by the wedding. Her kimono is beautiful, an intricate thing designed with its dark blue and white clan colors featuring the clan's Mon proudly displayed, while artistic paper crane designs all across the kimono decorate it as if she was a wearing a flock of tiny birds. Her hair is done up in a highly traditional style, her face and posture is the picture of elegance and serenity. The wedding has went all out: The entire clan that wasn't on a mission was there, from its great elders to its smallest children all in similar kimonos, men in black kimonos. A Ninshuist priest waits patiently next to her. Trees full of cherry blossoms line them the procession, little pink petals falling in the wind. Such imagery was supposed to symbolize the fleeting beauty of life. It was everything one could want out of a wedding, no expense spared, no decoration overlooked.
    She hated it. All of it, deep inside.
    Then came Ryota Ishikawa, walked down the aisle, silent. Even in his black kimono and wide dark pants which looked out of place on his slender frame, his presence was like winter, chilling anyone who looked at him. His steps were quick as if he wanted to get this over with as soon as possible, he looks at her not with contempt, for contempt would be too warm for his eyes. He looks at Mitsuko like a coroner looks a corpse on slab, analyzing the machinery of her body, as if he wanted cut to cut her open and look at every bone and organ inside, look at every single wrinkle of her brain and see how her eyes connected to it, like he wanted to study as some biological specimen, not out of joy, or curiosity, but simply to know what tool he was working with and how he could use it- how he could use her. That if he could take her apart and put her back together again like some appliance or radio he would in a heartbeat.
    He doesn't waste any time.
    “Priest, begin.”
    It was not a request, but a command.
    She delivers her lines managing to keep her composure. He delivers his, as flat and uncaring as he says everything else in his life, as if he was reading from a script, as if he didn't fit with anything, anyone, anywhere. He doesn't linger on them, he just recites them like is supposed to. When he is supposed to kiss her, his movements as machine-like, and he lips feel cold and unyielding, barely being a peck.
    They then walk off arm in arm, like puppets dancing on society's strings while people somehow smile and cheer at this facade. Ryota wasn't even performing, wasn't even pretending that he cared about any of this, it was all nothing to him.

    They soon arrive in their new bedroom together, sliding the door closed. Mitsuko thought she'd speak to get this off the on right foot.
    “Hey, I know your probably unhappy but I am to, so lets to get though this to-”
    Ryota suddenly grabs her neck and slams her against the wall, looking at with an unnatural, inhuman gaze, the burst of speed somehow having no feeling behind it.
    “Attention, tool. You are a necessary biological component of my sociopolitical advancement. You are to obey me. A necessary heir must be provided.”
    “What the-!?” Mitsuko exclaims “what are you talking about!?”
    The way he is speaking did not make sense, but then Ryota hardly ever spoke at all, at least to her. Was she seeing a rare glimpse into how he truly thought right now?
    “Your purpose is now reproduction. This is what your design is meant for in your half of the greater social ecology. You must fulfill your purpose to my specific design: The heir must be high quality. We will engage in reproductive acts until the perfect specimen is produced.”
    “But....but why!?”
    “There is no why. This is the structure of things, the cyclical process that has formed in this world. It simply happens. It is now happening according to my directive. There can be no deviation. Pleasure will not be allowed for either party.”
    “I...WHAT!? What kind of man doesn't want to feel pleasure while sleeping with a woman!?” she exclaims, confused.
    “Shinobi are tools. Tools must never feel. Feelings are biochemicals causing involuntary reactions, leftover primitive warning systems of danger or beneficial situations. Allowing such feeling to impact my actions is inefficient and illogical. Maximum effectiveness comes from clarity of mind and full control of oneself. The purpose must be clear and pure: production of high quality heir for the purpose of succession. Nothing else. The social purpose of our union must be achieved.”
    “And if I say thats technically impossible?” she asks
    Keeping his grip on her neck, he pulls her back then slams her into the wall, harder this time, quick yet robotic.
    “Damage upon your body will be accrued through violence. This will continue until compliance is achieved, or termination becomes necessary. If need be, a replacement can be arranged.”
    He wouldn't do that, would he? Mitsuko looked into his cold, distant eyes. They disturbed her for they had not changed since she look into them earlier. There was no fury, or hatred, not even disgust. Just calculation, as if this was all a math equation and there was a variable he was waiting to settle into a constant before he solved it. She cannot even rightly call him insane, for something about him was highly rational, but at the same time incredibly inhuman. Wait, he was often used as an assassin. He would know all the best ways to dispose of a body then lie about it so that one would know the truth. If there was anyone in Kirigakure who could get away with killing her, it was him. Thats why he was not concerned about the social consequences of doing so. Furthermore, the more she thought about it, the more she knew a mere chuunin like her could never hope to beat him in a fight.
    So she reminds herself: Don't be weak.
    “...Fine. I'll do as you say. You'll have your heir.”
    He drops her unceremoniously and turns to the bed.
    “Then let us get started.”
    That night, she repeated her mantra a lot.


    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri Part 4: The Child
    Show

    Four years later she throws Jirou, a four year child, a bokken and takes a stance with her own.
    “Mommy, why are we playing with sticks?” he asks
    “This isn't playing” she says “Your training begins today.”
    “For what?” he asks
    “For being a ninja.” she answers
    “Whats a ninja?” he asks
    “what I am, and what you will become. They are....heroes who fight for our village.”
    “Oh. Okay!”
    She tells him how to properly hold the bokken. It takes a couple tries for him to get it, then another couple tries to get into a proper kenjutsu stance. She begins going through the basic routines for him to memorize while an elder watches. He seemed to be getting but then he made a mistake and the elder hit in the ankle with her own bokken, making him stumble over, crying.
    “Your stance wasn't wide enough. You must be better if you are to be a shinobi” the elder says curtly.
    “Elder, he is a child.” she tries to chide but the elder responds
    “Hmph! All the more reason he needs to be trained fast! We're still at war and we need make him ready early. If he can't fight as soon as possible then he deserves to die. As his mother its your duty to make sure he can fend for himself as a shinobi, to prepare him for the world before it can kill him. Do not be soft on the boy, for the world will not.”
    Over a year she trained him, trying to be curt, trying train him as best she could. Often he would make a mistake and she'd hit him with the bokken once then make him do the drills again. His chores were designed to make him better at being a soldier, and once they got sparring he constantly lost in bokken fights with her, accumulating welts and bruises from his constant mistakes. He had no childhood- it was simply training day in and day out. It was all taijutsu and kenjutsu training, the basics that every kirigakure shinobi learn sooner or later for kenjutsu was a big part of the culture. He soon learned to stop complaining or crying and simply be quiet while he learned. She would punish him for his mistakes while muttering under her breath, “don't be weak”.

    Mitsuko was bringing him before his father to speak with him and offer the bad news. They sit before him on tatami mat and bow then a younger Mitsuko, a softer Mitsuko, says
    "Ryota. We have tested him and...I'm sorry to say but he doesn't have the Paper Release bloodline. He did not inherit it."
    Ryota fixes Jirou with gaze that he couldn't tell whether it cold uncaring assessment or contempt, the eternal icy glare he gives with his amber eyes on his sharp features never wavering, then speaks
    "Then it is The Failure. Consider it disposable. The Mizukage could use more genin scouts for the front lines when it is trained soon."
    "What? But Otoosa-" Jirou begins to say then was interrupted by his father's voice cutting through his own like a leaden blade, not even paying attention to him now.
    "Mitsuko. Tell the Failure it is not to speak to me ever again, and that it is denied from inheriting my position. Only those who can wield Paper Release are worthy of leading Clan Ishikawa. Send it away, we'll begin making a new child immediately."
    "What!? But Ryota this is your own son-" Mitsuko says distraught.
    "No its not, and even if it was, the fact would be irrelevant. Do not defy me again, is that clear?"
    "....Cl.....clear.....Ryota....I won't." She will sadly lead Jirou out of the room, When they were out of it Jirou will look at her and go
    "Why!? What did he mean!? Why wasn't I good enough? Okaa-san!"
    She just looks down at him with tears in her eyes
    "...That is not your concern anymore. Your father has spoken, and we must obey."
    "Mitsuko." Ryota will call "Do not keep me waiting. You must fulfill your duty as a kunoichi."
    "...I must go. Go back to training. Now." Mitsuko says then walks back inside, shutting the door behind her. Don't be weak.


    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri, Part 5: The Purge
    Show

    Mitsuko didn't remember exactly when it began. She only remembers the fighting, the ninja coming for her. She remembers ordering Jirou her son to grab his blade and be ready to kill any that come near him. She remembers the blood of dead Genin on his blade. She remembers running, taking cover as explosive tags detonated her and there, as she uses his paper blade to slash off another head, as she sees clan members erecting stone walls, firing high pressure blasts of water to punch through skulls or simply rip limbs clean off from the force of the water hitting them, of buildings burning, seeing other clan houses burning in the distance. Shouting orders. Scrolls to be carried away. preserved. She runs past corpses of the dead: Father. Mother. Sister. Aunt. Uncle. Nephews. Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.

    She is dimly aware of blood on her clothes, insults from the enemy shouted amid the din. The worst thing about it is that it all blurred together, it was all so horrible no one moment stood as more terrifying than the rest. She remembers Jirou crying. She remembers her not having time for him crying. She remembers Jirou being quiet for the rest of his life after that. She remembers traps being sprung and Kiri clanless falling into stone spikes, or being electrocuted when they step across a line, or get set on fire from seals. Or they die from suddenly summoned animal showing up in response to them coming in and joining the fight for the Ishikawas. She remembers seeing one clan shinobi's clone being poofed, then their second, third and fourth then dying from too many people attacking at once.

    It occurred to her that in the grand scheme of things, such plans and measures were just statistical adjustments. Slight increases in a percentage. A dead body as just another number to manipulate the odds. Warfare like many things was a form of gambling, and the odds of a victory was in favor of the one who had the most to throw away to abuse the odds until they inevitably won- the house sa they say, always wins. and the Ishikawa clan currently wasn't the dealer.

    She runs up to Ryota who is standing look out at the battle emotionless as ever. Maybe slightly annoyed if you look closely.
    "Ryota! Why haven't we retreated yet!? We're taking heavy losses!"
    "....Not yet."
    "WHY!?"
    "The plan is that if we put up enough resistance, Yagura himself will come to crush us. That is when the trap will spring. He managed to usurp the Mizukage first, this is the backup plan."
    "That won't work!"
    "Explain."
    "He clearly has all the clanless ninja on his side! He doesn't need to come to us, he can just keep sending his superior numbers at us until we're drowned in blood and corpses!"
    "She's right." Musumu says jumping in "It doesn't matter how clever your trap is, he has enough ninja that he can afford not to spring it by just making others kill us for him."
    He is silent for a moment, thinking.
    "Ryota!" she says "Your clan is dying around you!"
    "Irrelevant." he says, dispassionate. "He will come for me. He hates me, for what I represent to him."
    She is truly afraid at this point, knowing she never convinced him of anything before. Knowing that deep down he didn't care. For anything. Knowing what kind of person he is. How coldly meticulous he was. Which was of course the problem: sure planning was good and all but he planned too long to put it into action. She would have to try something different.
    "Ryota. He is a shinobi of the Mist as much as you. They don't call us the Bloody Mist for nothing. He is probably just as willing to spend lives as you, and has more bodies to throw into the grinder. You underestimated how quickly he moved to take the Mizukage position for himself. And now its possible your underestimating how reckless he is- or perhaps how much he personally wants to kill you. A man in that position of power? Doesn't need to do anything himself. I'm sure he will be satisfied with someone bringing your head to him. Just as am I'm sure you would be. He is the one with more power and resources than you. Killing you personally is a weak person's plan."
    He considers this for a silent moment.
    "...Very well. We retreat. I thought he would be here by now, but its clear that he is smarter than he seems."
    She only remembers the retreat and watching ninja die even as they run away, and remembers the Ishikawa clan house going up in flames, along with all the knowledge within.


    Spoiler: Growing Up Kiri Part 6: Coldest Goodbye
    Show

    Over the year after they ran from Kirigakure, the Ishikawa clan traveled in constant desperation. They were a traveling military encampment, Jirou was given a crash course in ninjutsu and was now serving as a genin. She now hated Jirou, hated for having to watch over him while their world crumbled around them. The failure she produced and was now stuck with. Their training continued and she would say “Don't be weak!” to Jirou as much to him as to herself. Over the year they gradually lost member of the clan by member, death a constant companion on their flight from their homeland. She had already seen the six year old Jirou kill people. He was learning to live with it. But they were drifting apart, with other clan members handling his training or commanding him more and more often as she her pregnancy swelled over the months.

    When they joined the Sound Village, a chuunin named Tatebaru came by to say that Jirou was going to be on his team and that he was going to handle his training from now on. She shrugged. She no longer cared. Let Jirou do whatever he wanted without her. Meanwhile Ryota didn't seem to care about her the whole time, barely paying attention to his wife, and of course not acknowledging his son at all. He was more preoccupied with planning battles, managing logistics, fighting and winning in his usual glacier-cold way. Not even enjoyment seemed to be the point, for his unreadable expression and sub-zero voice never changed, even Jirou for all how quiet he had gotten she could still see little changes in expression, reactions and subtle shifts in mood, the boy mimicking his father's quiet on the outside but demonstrating humanity at every turn from within. Jirou had a soft warmth his father lacked, his quiet felt like he was actually listening, like he was just waiting to offer his response rather than considering all around him as objects.

    During the battles alongside Sound village, she was practically bed-ridden expecting Kimiko to be born. She only heard of battles aftermaths and Jirou would dutifully report things to her, dutifully no matter how little she thought of him. He was loyal despite it all- he got it from his mother she thought bitterly. Loyal to the end. Even when what he was loyal to was horrible, just like her. Or perhaps he was loyal to the baby to come. Of course he was. What brother wouldn't want to protect their sibling in a family like this?

    It was right before the last battle of the Sound rebellion that Ryota came into her tent, Kimiko had been born a few days ago at this point. He walked up to her, upright as a rod, emotionless as always.
    “Is this the second attempt?” he says, detached.
    “...Yes. She is the child.”
    “Very well. There is not much time. The specimen must be tested.”
    “Wait how she was just-”
    He pulls a strange seal and holds it over the baby heedless of her protests, putting some chakra into it, it glows and he says
    “Paper Release bloodline. Genius level intellect. This one is perfect for my purposes.”
    “She has a name you know, Kimiko Ishikawa?”
    “Irrelevant.” he says
    Then he does something strange: he lightly pokes Kimiko on the head.
    “Why did you-” Mitsuko asks
    He does not answer, instead Ryota will take off the Origami-No-Tsurugi from his back and give it to Mitsuko.
    “Here. This is yours now. Give it to the child when she becomes a genin. My strategical role in distracting and fighting the Nine tailed Jinchuuriki this battle is vital and I will not need it. Goodbye, I will not see you again.”
    He says it all in a matter of fact tone then just walks out as if he said was going to get some milk from a store.
    “Wait! What!? What do you mean by that! Why!?” Mitsuko calls.
    He does not answer, leaving without any further words. She is just left there, clutching an infant in one arm, and a paper sword in the other, not sure why he even bothered to come in here. He only ever treated her like a tool, never caring, never feeling, and she never saw him again after that day. Good riddance. She looks down at the infant Kimiko, sleeping soundly thinking upon Ryota's comment about her:
    ...This one's perfect...
    Her thought strayed to Akiyashi. Was this what her friend died for all those years ago? This life she now lives, cast out from her home, much of her clan dead, much of others about to go to off to die? To produce offspring for some man's purpose that she couldn't even guess at, if he even came back alive to make it come to fruition? It all seemed a sick joke. So she said
    “You will lead a better life than mine, Kimiko. You won't just not be weak, I'll make you strong. I won't fail like last time. I'll raise as best I know in Ishikawa clan's traditions. You will be the shining star of your generation.”
    She looks up out through the tents flap to the rising sun upon what was soon to be a bloody battle, her gaze full of determination.
    “No matter what I have to do.”


    Mitsuko blinks out of her memory reverie, looking upon some children playing in the village, happy and carefree. Comparing it to the life she has lived.
    “Y'know.” she says to herself. “Now that I think back on it, Kirigakure sucked.”
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  7. - Top - End - #1087
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    "Yoroi is excutated!"
    Masuku anounce.
    "And justifngly so! Yoroi was a cultist!"

    Yoroi take a deep breath, get up, giving a stern glare at Senko before joining the other losers.


    "Well! Good night town!" Masuku anounce.
    "Yakuza! Wake up! Kill!"
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  8. - Top - End - #1088
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    For once, Senko isn't quite sure what to do next.

    If the Yakuza want to win, they need to start voting out Ashigaru, and Senko doesn't have a clue who might be one.

    ...She knows that Kimiko is a civilian and Usagi is the suicidal, but that's it, and...

    ...She doesn't know anyone else here. She barely knows Hizuka.

    She considers choosing at random, but if one of the people who voted to hang her this round is killed by the yakuza, that would suggest to eeryone that she's Yakuza and she doubts that she could deflect such suspicions again so soon.

    ...That, and Gowasu being eliminated the night after he was accused of cheating by Menko would draw attention to Senko as well...

    So, she looks at the people who voted to hang Yoroi. Obviously, she can't target Hizuka and Kimiko should probably stay around for another round, so that leaves Miho, Ryone, and Tesumi.

    Choose at random(IE, Rater rolled a die) Senko suggests Ryone.

    Meanwhile

    Menko is staring directly at the two Komoro clan members in the band, ready to make a commotion if they do anything but play their music.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  9. - Top - End - #1089
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    this time it seems the Bye Bye Kitties are focused on the music, at least as long as Senko see-
    but maybe the scene she causeed will make them NOT to repeat it.
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Night Phase: Hizuka
    She will point to Ryone as well, seeing no point in disagreeing with this choice.

    Ryone:
    Unaware of the choices the killers are making, she thinks: the two killers are Hizuka and Senko as per the conclusions she reached last night phase. This day phase, everyone voted out Yoroi. She has no idea what do now either so she votes to protect Kimiko again since that seems to work.
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  11. - Top - End - #1091
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Playing Yakuza.

    With Hizuka's confirmation, Senko redoubles and more confidently votes for Ryone.

    Elsewhere

    Daichi did agree that he'd try to turn over any information that he felt might be of interest to the Sound Village in exchange for monetary compensation and help settling in, and he's hoping to have the mutant branch of the Senju established as a formal clan in the sound village on the grounds that 1: Senko is the most direct living descendant of Daisuke, outside of a few older relatives who would be dead or retired by now, and thus having a nominal clan head position would insulate her from potential backlash to her having the bloodlines of other clans(Daisuke himself would, naturally, be her Regent until she came of age) and 2: Being the descendants of the only survivor of an attempted genocide, the main house of the Senju Clan could be argued to ow the mutant branch reparations, which could be leveraged into the Leaf granting Sound concessions.

    The main limit on the plan, of course, is if Daichi's information is valuable enough to buy land for a clan compound.

    Between his more mundane skills and his emergency funds, he has enough to keep himself and his wards comfortable until such a time as he can establish a more regular income.

    Still, he has compiled what he believes to be the most interesting, to Shinobi eyes, information that he's collected over the years. Some of it a bit older, and some of it more recent...

    ...And some details omitted, misleading, or maybe wrong, which he admits as it's submitted, as insurance to ensure that the village doesn't just take what he has without paying. Not that he distrusts the village, but you never know with Shinobi.
    Spoiler
    Show
    First and foremost, several citations and passages copied from family registrars confirming their descent from the Senju. This is an abridged lineage, just enough to support his claims, the whole thing will be submitted if the deal goes through.

    Second: Rumors are surfacing that the serial killer Rikka the Beetle has been spotted actively in fire country on the past few months... She's apparently looking for "some perfect young thing" to be the model for her magnum opus. Given the rumors about what she does with her victims and the known abilities of the armored puppet she travels in, this is... concerning.

    Third, on the topic of puppets, when he was in the land of Wind not so long ago visiting a relative known to locals as the mad cave witch with an army of lizards, he learned a bit about some of the more advanced mechanical weapons that Sand's puppet users have been working on. Details are brief, but there's a sketch of an automatic kunai launcher and a mechanism that would be concealed into a spearhead and inject toxic fluid into anything pierced by the tip of the spear. More sketches will be provided if this deal goes through.

    Fourth, and what he feels is of particular concern based on the Sound Village's focus on the hope generation: A list of dates and times corresponding to the murders of genin and academy students, samurai, military academy students, young athletes, intellectually gifted children, and young Grand Masters of Shogi. Murders that involve strange sear marks around a cutthroat, as if the blade used to execute the children was hot enough to cook their flesh. There's nothing like this in the Bingo Books, other bounty books, crime reports, and dozens of children from all over the continent have been found dead in these circumstances. Official authorities don't seem to be aware of the connection, due to the time between bodies turning up and the fact that they happen across borders, but it's clear to Daichi that there's a serial killer targeting child prodigies...

    Fifth... The many secret pathways and locations one must use to travel to Mount Myōboku on foot. Dachi strongly cautions that the Toads are highly loyal to the Leaf village and so trying to steal away the summoning contract would be doomed to failure, but Sound might find a use for it regardless... As an aside, the Toad Elder, Gamamaru, was allegedly contemporary of the sage of the Six Paths. Apparently, the Sage's eyes were naturally white, like a Hyuga, but their power was that of the Sharingan. And that he had a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

    Six is a treatise on the medicinal benefits of Jofuku flowers, which are found in the forest of the same name, on the mountain of the same name, which is just inside the borders of the Land of Fire. A map showing exactly where will be provided.

    Seven: After studying multiple ruins associated with the Otsutsuki Clan, as well as a few historical sights alleged to be tied to achievements and interviewing their contemporaries like the White Snake Sage and Gamamaru, Daichi can state with 100% conviction that Kaguya Otsutsuki was a real person and that the Shinju and Ten-Tails were likewise at least somewhat based on real occurrences. He can't vouch for the accuracy of the legends in regard to raw power, but Kaguya allegedly possessed the power of the Byakugan. Daichi himself notes that he doubts in the truth of Kaguya's divinity.

    Eight: Daichi spent a not-inconsiderable time exploring the ruins in the Abandoned Lands to the west of the Land of Rice.

    The history of the Abandoned Lands is somewhat obscure, due to the first Shinobi World War and the conflicts that led up to it, causing the loss of many records from that time, so Daichi begins with a summary of events as he's put it together.

    The Abandoned Lands were once a nation ruled by the Ryu clan, the guardians of a group of creatures called the Genryu. Dragons, supposedly rivals in power to the Tailed Beasts, who each embodied one of the five elements, and who by their mere presence fertilized the lands around their mountain home creating great bounty.

    Certain reptilian and avian creatures living in proximity to Mount Koryu, the home of the Genryu, over many generations, became creatures that the Ryu Clan dubbed Beast-Dragons. Some roamed wild, others were domesticated by the clan.

    However, the Ryu Clan were feared and hated by others for the potential power they wielded and sometime after the Tailed-Beasts were distributed but before the First Shinobi World War, their lands were invaded by a coalition of military forces, though... Daichi hasn't been able to determine who was part of it. Some rumors suggest that a Tailed Beast was seen in the conflict, but no records on which one and nothing concrete.

    The end result, the various Beast-Dragons were hunted to extinction and the Ryu Clan themselves were driven from their lands after being slaughtered almost to a man. Even after all this time records and rumors show that only a handful are known to be alive at any point in time.

    However, mount Koryu, the alleged home of the Genryu, was never taken: People who approached the mountain found themselves becoming exhausted, the more chakra they had the worse it was, and any soldiers who did not use chakra never returned.

    For fear of vengeance from the Genryu, or whatever other force resided in the mountain, no one ever claimed or settled in the abandoned lands. Yes, there have been expeditions and occasional commercial operations, but legally it's not a nation. It's just an empty space on the map.

    Daichi spent some time exploring the ruins in the area, some of which were of the Otsutsuki clan but most of which were of the Ryu Clan.

    He discovered 1: designs for armor that, with special binding techniques and written formulas etched on the interior, could shield someone from external effects that suppress chakra, 2: scrolls that can be used, in conjunction with the armor, grant the ability to use certain ninjutsu without prior training.

    He also visited Mount Koryu, ad found from personal experiance that the chakra surpressing effect on the area is not a myth. He described the ambient energy of the area as being exceptionally potent, like a chakra that was a mixture of raw yang and natural energy with only traces of yin.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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    Across the Shinobi Nations: A Moment with Blood O
    Blood O, short for "Blood Origami", is experiencing a good morning. She is downstairs, eating breakfast that her mother Aisuru had made, both at them and the table.
    "First you graduated the academy and now you've been chosen to represent Kumo in the Konoha Chuunin exams. Your doing well, Blood O. You should be proud, most genin don't get recommended so early!"
    "Aw Mom, its just one step of being a ninja" Blood O says "People go through it all the time."
    "Ah, but your my daughter and your the one going through it now, so its special to me." she says with a smile. "A mom likes seeing her child move up in the world."
    To be honest, Blood O didn't care about the promotion all that much, she cared that there might a certain kind of shinobi there. One she could get revenge upon for what they did. For how they hurt her and her mother. For why she had no father.
    "Yeah moving up in the world." she says "For whatever that means for a freak like me."
    "Now, Blood O don't talk to yourself like that." Aisuru says "Your a beautiful lovely girl, my daughter and always will be. Don't let some bratty academy kids drag you down."
    Blood O remembers the jeers. The insults. People acting like she was some shark, some animal. She remembers the pain. But this was more than that. This was about her family, about getting back at those who hurt and her and her mother. Blood O wonders how her mother could smile through such pain, could ignore the man she loved abandoning her.
    "I know mom. Thanks again anyways."
    "And that goes double for the Konoha Nin when you get there, some of them act like they invented the concepts of peace and love and that we should all be grateful that they are so generous as to share them with us."
    Honestly Konoha wasn't that high on her list of priorities, she was on the lookout for the Ishikawa Clan. They're the ones who needed to pay, personally. Konoha was too....impersonal, abstract for her to think about. The losses Kumo suffered, the edges they were trying to gain over their rival....it was all statistics to her. Cold, meaningless statistics. No one ever fought for statistics. A change in the numbers on a spreadsheet was never anyone's rallying cry. To fight is something inherently visceral, personal Blood O thinks. The reason why, needs to be something you see, something you feel, something human.
    "Don't worry, I don't think they'll be a problem." Blood O says.
    "Heheheh, then you'd be the first Kumo ninja to say that!" Aisuru says, picking up the empty plates "Better get going, wouldn't want to keep your team waiting."
    She hugs Blood O before going into the kitchen to take of the dishes. Blood O pulls her cloth mask over her mouth to hide her teeth and looks at her reason for fighting before she goes out her door: Her mother. The person who raised her all these years. Abandoned and betrayed by her husband, Blood O's father. She was the most loving person in the world, in Blood O's opinion, there was no other explanation in her teenaged mind for this other than her father was cruel beyond reason. She turns and walks outside with resolve in her eyes: the Ishikawas are going to pay.

    Sound Village R&D:
    A chuunin will consider the offer of Daichi, and check available land to give him. The armor designs of course will convince these are indeed valuable enough for what he is asking and the added intelligence is just a bonus. He says that negotiating with the Senju is of course possible but likely to be far more involved if one plans to go that route. Regardless he will successfully acquire a respectably sized plot of land for such a compound in the residential district, the outer edges of it. Due to the new nature of Otogakure, its only existed for one or two decades, and started as one of the few permanent military encampments Land of Rice had during the Third Shinobi War, that soon permanent fortifications built for it, the minefield around th evillage being an early defense that has been leftover. Thus its a common job for the shinobi to have to clear the inner most mines to plant them somewhere else or discard them entirely if the paper mine has stopped functioning. Many chuunin sound shinobi you hear complain even think it a hassle to have the minefield at all due to its dangers and think the village should invest in actual walls while getting rid of the minefield- in theory its only ever going to be useful once, and then it'll be gone anyways. All the land closest to center has already been taken so your land will basically be cleared of mines then begin building with normal workers, supplemented with any genin squads that take helping out with as a D-rank mission to speed it up with their taijutsu granted super strength, speed and so on.
    I'm also on discord as "raziere".


  13. - Top - End - #1093
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Gurasu not very bright without cheating- just play along and protect Kimiko.


    Morning

    "Morning! Everybody up!" Masuku yell with entusiasm.
    She give everyone their ticket and then anounce.
    "There has been a murder-Ryone is dead! She was an Ashigaru! Someone must pay for this!"
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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  14. - Top - End - #1094
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    Kimiko:
    She steps up and says
    "Someone has killed an ashigaru of ours, this is a great loss. All those who are innocent, we must start stepping up our game! If they take out our other ashigaru, we'll have no protection left."
    She looks at the people left: Herself, Senko, Usagi, Gurasu, Hizuka, Tetsumi, Miho, Raizo. By Kimiko's estimation, the two killers, the suicidal, an ashigaru and the four innocent
    "...Indeed." Tetsumi agrees "We have only seven left. We have to get a yakuza out soon. Two yakuza left increases the chances of the innocents losing considerably."
    Hizuka decides it her time to strike.
    "We should vote out Senko. She clearly has been orderly working to make sure each person is taken out yet the last two have been innocent! She is as much a detriment to the innocent as much she is a help at this point, and thus is probably the yakuza, we should just get rid of her now."
    Then Hizuka could point at Gurasu, Raizo and Tetsumi to get rid of either of them being the other ashigaru protecting Kimiko, then murder Kimiko to win.
    "A good plan Hizuka, but before I turn things over to Senko to defend herself, I must inform you.....that you have already lost."
    "Wait what?"
    "Well, from a certain point of view at least. If your playing for Team 5 to win the most points, you have already lost, as Ryone just got murdered by the yakuza. A point is earned for each round of someone stays in and as you may have noticed, Team 3 still has three members and thus the most points, because we lasted for the most rounds with the most people. Yakuza have just murdered out one of your own teammates and thus you are now a point behind, Gurasu and Miho is the only teammates of their teams remaining. Thus no matter what you do now, you will not earn enough points to outscore Team 3, because all three of us have made it one round farther than Ryone did. I think anyone who has figured out the real game by now is that this is a survival game, not of the teams of innocent and yakuza, but of the teams of ninja we're loyal to. We wouldn't be awarded points for staying in if they didn't mean something and if you calculate the number of points for each team:
    Team 3: 12
    Team 5: 11
    Team 2: 7
    Team 1: 7

    Team 3, even if Senko was voted out, would still gain 2 points per round, still one point ahead of Team 5 at 14 and 13. Face it Hizuka, your team cannot win now."

    A fiery battle spirit alights within Hizuka as she proclaims
    "No! Thats not true! If I can vote out both you and Senko, then while next round will Team 3 go up by 2, the round after that will go up by 1, while Team 5 will remain at a steady 2, thus equaling Team 3 at 15 and surpassing you at 17 by the third round after this! Me and Tetsumi just have to stay in! I'll never give up hope, not against you!"
    "Hyu.....hyuhyuhyuhyuhyhyu! You really think you can win, foolish blacksmith? Your already down a member!"
    "I can win! I just have to convince Gurasu and Miho to vote for my side! The power of Determination and Acquaintances will overcome even you, Kimiko Ishikawa!!"
    "But unlike you, Hizuka, I have the far more mighty, elite and prestigious power of Friendship upon my side! Mere Acquaintances cannot withstand such deeper bonds of friendliness and cameraderie that I have with Senko and Usagi!"
    "Ha! Its three and against potentially four Kimiko! Acquaintances have a hope of winning yet if we simply all work together!"
    "Hyuhyuhyu.....then I shall show you the hopelessness of have only mere acquaintances against the power of true friends! Despair, as I open the floor to Senko to defend herself against your accusation!"
    You have a feeling that this round will pretty much decide the game, as if Team 5 loses a member this round, they will never able to catch up to Team 3 in terms of points and the rest of the game won't really matter in terms of team points or anything and will people just be able to have fun afterwards. If Hizuka does succeed here, there is still a second chance to pull out a win from that but this will decide the game in terms of points if Team 5 loses a member here.

    Meanwhile to the side, Naneko and Kazuo whisper to each other:
    "Are....Hizuka and Kimiko having a battle manga hero and villain exchange about hope and despair, over a game of yakuza?" Kazuo asks
    "Yeah, you should've seen them when they played shogi against each other in the academy during recess last month, you'd think the world was ending with how they were speechifying against each other." replies Naneko sardonically.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2022-12-04 at 09:48 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #1095
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    "The people I suggested voting out were a Yakuza, the cult leader, and a cultist. If I were a Yakuza, why would I have eliminated a Yakuza first thing? Think Hizuka-san."

    "...Is this about professional jealousy, Hizuka-san? I note that you said you weren't going to bring up your opinions of my work right before bringing up your opinions of my work earlier. Are you jealous that my research is bearing fruit when yours is not? Is that it? For shame."

    "Look at the facts: Everyone I've suggested to hang has been a hostile. If the innocents want to win, then so far, statistically, their best bet is to keep me in the game. Thus, based on my track record, I would have to assume that anyone who wants to vote me off at this point would be a Yakuza."

    "So, what is it? Are you simply jealous that I am the superior scientist, or are you a Yakuza? Or I suppose it could be both."

    "That said... I cannot help but note something that occurred to me: It is impossible for the Yakuza to win this game. Their win condition is to kill all the other players, but the suicidal wins by being killed. And I am certain that the game is rigged in other ways as well, if we spent some time thinking of it."

    "For example, looking at the people who have been eliminated so far, it is pretty obvious that they lied to us about the roles being randomly assigned. The twitchy nervous kid with the reputation for heroism being the Oni? The anti-social religious who pissed off everyone else the night before being part of the group with the most need for social interaction and agreement?"

    "I can tell you right now that Kimiko-san is an Innocent and Usagi-san is the suicidal. I think I have gotten to know them well enough to know that those would be the most challenging roles for them, and Kimiko-san and I are cut from the same cloth... Not to mention that it would have been exceptionally cruel to make me one of the killers, considering..."


    Senko turns to the band, the master of ceremonies, and any other staff in the room. "You are all getting hazard pay for being in the room with me right now, right? If not, you really should be. If I lose control of my powers I could kill everyone in this room before I am contained. Hizuka-san, back me up on this. You have seen the door on my lab, how its reinforced, how it locks from the outside? You know there is a good reason for that." Senko blinks. "Kimiko-san, Usagi-san, did you ever check if you were getting hazard pay for being on a team with me?"

    That isn't an act. She is genuinely concerned about whether or not people are being adequately compensated for the inherent dangers of being around her.

    "Anyway, at this point I... Honestly have no idea who the remaining Yakuza could be. I do not know any of you, I did not attend the Academy and that was for good reason. I barely know Hizuka-san as 'the girl who has access to the lab because of nepotism' and that is not enough to judge. I think that she is the Yakuza, based on her behavior this round... But..."
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

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  16. - Top - End - #1096
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Raizo point out. "But I dont think this is the only game, so no one should lose hope."


    Usagi:"Pff. Half of the Sound Village have quirky mutations. You cant be worse then my younger self with a scroll- now THAT was a bloodbath!" She say with a grimm sense of pride
    "And I dont know, being a Yakuza is fun!"

    Usagi couldnt help but to imagine herself ripping the others to shreds.


    Gurasu get paler a bit- He wasnt super brave- he just wanted to do his job.
    "Look, I am not the brightest, but, I think Senko... wait- Usagi?!"

    Usagi smiled "What?"

    Raizo:"You said something about it being fun to be a Yakuza?"

    Usagi:"Well... maybe?"

    -----


    The Bar.

    "OOof. Cruel?" Nozojo repeat. "Well... I have been called worse."
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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  17. - Top - End - #1097
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Yakuza Game:
    "How can I be jealous of pure luck? Hide behind your victimhood all you want, but as far as the research is concerned, you got a lucky break. You'll see the fruits of my hard work someday, got to build a fortress brick by brick after all. Don't act like won't benefit from being chosen to the Chuunin Exams over me, just as I will benefit for going there over you. There are potential allies, shinobi with greater skill and knowledge beyond our village, and your competing for the opportunity to propel yourself forward just as I am. If I'm truly being professional, I can't pass up the chance to grab an opportunity to better my research and understanding that I might not get if I lose. You going instead of me? Gets in the way of that, just as me going instead of you gets in the way of yours. There is moral high ground here."
    Meanwhile Kimiko scratches her chin saying
    "Y'know what, I never checked if I receive hazard pay, I got to check with Odayama-taichou about that, he'd probably know. Though I think my bro or the Otokage would make sure to pay for that sort of thing.

    Anyways. What you say makes sense Senko, you have indeed gotten a lot of threats out. What fools they are, to think your brilliant intellect would be challenged by a humble role like innocent."

    She then says when Usagi speaks up
    "Gasp! The true yakuza was clearly Usagi all along! We should all vote her, the fiend."
    "Wait, what about all that stuff about your friends and such?" asks Miho
    "Oh that was all to draw out the real yakuza member, and we did with Usagi with her slip of the tongue, what, you think I was telling the truth there?"
    "That makes sense, it was Usagi who was suggesting most of those deaths first and Senko was just probably backing her because she figured out that they'd be beneficial, while Usagi is dumb enough that she could play yakuza and be challenged by the fact she wouldn't know how to kill properly or something."
    "Yeah if the roles are to challenge us, Usagi clearly is a bad liar which yakuza need to be to work, so it'd make sense a class underdog like her would mess up the role" says Miho.
    Kimiko, Tetsumi and Miho all vote Usagi.
    "What? No you fools! Usagi is suicidal! Team 3 has more points, so they just have to vote out Usagi to win this turn by denying any further points to anyone else!"
    Tetsumi shrugs
    "There are other games, and I don't care about this enough, so if she is suicidal, I don't care."
    "Personally I want to move on to something more physical, I'm not really one for all this mind game stuff" says Miho.

    Meanwhile Jirou:
    He say to Nozojo while viewing them
    "I have indeed paid them all the hazard pay they are supposed to. I also found and punished a chuunin who had been doing some minor embezzlement when going through the ledgers last time I was there, wrote up a few proposals for how our bureaucracy can expand going forward and how it can help Otogakure grow stronger from it, and worked out our budget for the next quarter.

    As for that comment...I personally do not think you cruel, Otokage-sama. I simply think your human. Nothing more, nothing less."

    Oh Kamis no, he is starting to sound like a bureaucrat already. Turns out, Jirou is scarily good at accounting and working out the numbers when it comes to learning to be Otokage, he may not be the best social-wise but he balances the books and makes systems run real efficiently.
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  18. - Top - End - #1098
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    "So you think that the prize for these games is the Chunin exam slot? I am sorry to ay that, Hizuka-san, but... You know that the Exams are politics, right? If our superiors thought that any of us were ready to be chunin, we would be chunin."

    "I mean, think about it: The vast majority of any village's forces are chunin, and that can range from a few hundred to a few thousand at any time. And yet, the chunin exams are held only twice a year, only finalists are promoted, and the finalists are always less than 20 ninja. On a good year, that's maybe 36 ninja getting promoted... But only the Five great vilages, the allies of the host village, and any villages from near bye nations send teams to each exam, with most small villages only sending one or two. Coupled with the host villages's overwhelming advantage in numbers, the typical promotees tend to near exclusively be from the host village or their most trusted allies."

    "The numbers do not add up: The majority of Chunin must be promoted outside of the exams. direct promotions on merit or field promotions or the like."

    "The team that gets sent to the Chunin exams is no the one that the villages most want to promote... It will be the one that most shows off what the sound village can do."

    "And that will be Team 3 regardless of these results. I mean, think about it, what would most strengthen the Sound Village's position in the eyes of Wealthy Clients and potential allies?"


    Senko holds up her arms, drawing her fingers across the tattoo contracts on them as she does so.

    "I stole the Snake Summoning contract right out from under the Leaf Village's nose. Their options are either to cut their losses and admit that the Sound Village stole it, or spin some story about a stronger alliance and then follow through with it and actually form a stronger alliance with us. Either they lose out on the tradition of snake summoners which weakens their position and strengthens ours, or they have to kiss my, and thus, Sound's, ass to maintain it which still strengthens our position. Revealing my existence and status as the snake sage t the chunin exams puts the Leafint he hot seat, they'd have to respond immediately. And that is not even getting into the benefits that showing of my multiple bloodlines, that sound has that technology, technology that the Five Great Villages have tried and failed to create, could bring."

    Senko points to Kimiko.

    "Genius prodigy clan-heir. Always a popular sight at these competitions, lots of speculation, gets the gamblers reaching for their wallets. But, of course, that's just the start. The Ishikawa clan were originally from the hidden Mist village only to flee when Yagura instituted the bloodline purges. If Kimiko-san shows off her prodigious skill to the whole word, it re-enforces the narrative that Yagura was a short-sighted mad man. 'How stupid must he have been, to chase out that girl's clan,' the viewers would say. And she is an inventor as well, Hizuka-san, and hers actually work."

    And to Usagi

    "Last, but certainly not least, we have Usagi-san. The underdog, another popular sight in the exams. People will underestimate her at first, wondering what the Sound Villages were thinking of sending her... Until she shows everyone what she can do. I understand that, before I was assigned to Team 3, Kimiko-san and Usagi-san had an all-out duel and Usagi handled herself masterfully?"

    "...Meanwhile, half the kids still in the game are about to fall for a really obvious trap. People, WHY would Usagi admit to being a Yakuza? She's the suicidal, she wants to be voted out."
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

    Read my fanfiction here. Homebrew Material Here Rater Reads the Hobbit and Dracula
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  19. - Top - End - #1099
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    Masuku note.
    "I never said there can only be a single winning faction- every member of a faction that have completed their winning condition, get 12 tickets." she explain.

    Raizo:"Wow. You seems quite proud of your time."

    Usagi is shocked
    "You have seen through my clever deception?! Well, I wouldnt expect nothing less from my teammates!"

    She shake her head. "Well, me and Senko are Yakuzas together!"


    Gurasu:"So it means... Senko isnt a Yakuza after all..."


    ----

    Bar:

    Nozojo chuckle.
    "You know to push the right buttons. Good."

    Odayama:"...I never asked for hazard pay. I accept my Genins with everything it means."
    Last edited by igordragonian; 2022-12-05 at 02:20 AM.
    Thanks for the OOTSkage of OOTS art, Lord Raziere.

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  20. - Top - End - #1100
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    (OOC: the hazard pay thing is not that important so I'm not going to focus on it anymore than it has, We're not going off-track every time Rater brings up a legal thing.)

    Yakuza Game:
    Hizuka says back
    "Otokage Nozojo isn't that cynical about the Hope Generation. He wouldn't have brought us here if he didn't see potential in all of us. You can make the Kirigakure argument for Miho Kaguya, you can make the genius argument for Mayuwo, you can make the underdog argument for Kazuo, and who knows? maybe your success is just because you went and signed some pact to prop up your work with whatever jutsu they gave you rather really figuring how to make it work and all your doing is either setting yourself up to get assassinated by an "unrelated rogue ninja" or bring a war down upon us just as much as Ameoku is. As for my inventions not working, duel me sometime and you'll see how much my inventions "don't work", right in your face. And see? More than one team could potentially win, I may be wrong, but so are you. But whatever, keep living in your own little world where everyone is an idiot except for you, Senko, you'll fit right in with Kimiko."
    She wasn't taking this from someone who talked about peace then hypocritically started tweaking Konoha's nose when no one was looking.

    "I know its a trap Senko" Tetsumi says "I just don't care because its a game and I don't want to give it my all on something that doesn't matter. There are other games to play, you and Kimiko have proven your really big brain and blah blah blah, so can you just vote for Usagi and take your win gracefully instead of dragging this out? Or do I have change my vote to you to satisfy your mystifying urge to point out your foe is doing something stupid to their face? Because I'd love to meet someone like you on the battlefield Senko, I'd get so many tips on how to kill you better, most people aren't polite enough to their foes, so inconsiderate about their enemies efforts, that they say nothing about them and just let them make mistakes, how rude of them."
    You can hear the sarcasm in her tone.

    "Senko did you not just hear me? I'm not really the best at this game, I just want to move on. Kind of rude to imply I'm stupid like that" says Miho.
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  21. - Top - End - #1101
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    Default Re: Naruto SoundITP IC 1: A Melancholy Song of Hope To Come

    "So, to clarify, the game will not end if the Suicidal is killed? It will only end if all of the Yakuza are eliminated or, conversely, only the Yakuza remain, as in a standard game? Just so that we are all on the same page?"

    Senko meets Hizuka's eyes. "I know things about Lord Otokage that you do not, Hizuka-san, and regardless of what he believes the Sound Village still has to play by the same rules as everyone else. For now at least, and that means showing of, posturing, so on. And that is all I am going to say about that."

    She turns to the others.

    "I apolgoize, but... If the reward is granted for most tickets by the end of the party, then it is in everyone's best interest to prolong this game for as long as possible. Even if you are not any good at it, you get a ticket just for surviving a round. And if I understand our host correctly, then eliminating Usagi will not end the game regardless, eliminating any incentive to vote her out."

    "If you want to end the game, we need to find out who the last two Yakuza are and eliminate them. I believe Hizuka to be one of them, and cast my vote for her."
    I also answer to Bookmark and Shadow Claw.

    Read my fanfiction here. Homebrew Material Here Rater Reads the Hobbit and Dracula
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    Meteor
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    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  22. - Top - End - #1102
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    Across the Shinobi Nations: Reina Terumi, Report in to real superiors
    Reina Terumi, known as Reina Gimei to the Kirigakure around her, is afraid. She walks back to her home amid what is now known as the first ninja village of the Land of Water, instead of the only one. She passes by posters urging people to fight for Yagura and their country, the weather as always cloudy and misty. To make up for the lack of numbers lost from the war and the Old Kirigakure's practice of killing students, Yagura had made every city in the Land of Water a place with a ninja academy, making any spare Kiri Chuunin teach the classes, and furthermore made sure that many chuunin constantly were transferred to different cities to stay for a year on assignment to do this or that to break up any potential loyalties to one city over the whole country. As apart of the ongoing war with the Old Regime, there was a curfew enforced so that anyone caught out after night would likely be an enemy of the state. Another poster exhorts people to be constantly vigilant and report any suspicious behavior to the state, some telling people to join the Surveillance Corps of shinobi- a corps that never seemed to have enough shinobi to survey all of the land of water for its security despite all the efforts to the contrary. The propaganda depicts them as heroic shinobi standing guard stalwart and steadfast, but Reina has heard enough reports of Surveillance corp shinobi dying to know they needed constant replacements.

    The homes of the residences are either old homes stripped of their cultural decorations or new ones made for purely utilitarian purposes. Yagura made every attempt to suppress the old culture, the old symbols and ideas they once had. He couldn't suppress memories so he settled for making sure no one spoke out about them. He wanted this to be a new Kiri, a new nation, a new way of life. To Reina, it was all a cage. She didn't know how she fooled everyone with her claims of using Boil release without genetics, but she feared the day that it would no longer do so. Yet she knew no other life.

    She walks into her home, to report in. Her parents two chuunin without bloodlines of the Kirigakure resistance.
    "Mother, Father."
    She says
    "I was on a C-rank mission to suppress some rebel members, but I managed to use hidden mist technique to route many of them instead of killing them, managed to pass on some intel
    to one by putting it in their pocket while they were confused. Had to kill one that got into plain sight of the team however, so they don't suspect. My team has been chosen to go to the upcoming Chuunin Exams."

    "I see. While the loss of a comrade is unfortunate, we all know the greater cause, Reina. Your infiltration of Yagura's regime is proceeding well." says her father. Her fake one. The only one she knew. Why did the Terumi Clan leave her here, to be an infiltrator from birth? Why? Why her? Wouldn't it be better for someone normal to infiltrate? Someone without this kekkei genkai holding them back?
    "Orders for what to do during the Exam?"
    "After so long of not participating in the Chuunin Exams, Yagura will be seeking to prove the might of Kirigakure and try to appeal to the nations to make money by making people accepting jobs from him. Our war is one of economics. Make sure your team fails. Any possibility of Yagura earning another source of revenue to make up for his losses needs to be cut off." her mother, her fake mother, reasons.
    "Understood."
    "Dismissed." her father says.
    She walks off to her room then falls into her bed, collapsing after a long day. Why her? She felt so alone, and when around anyone she felt nervous about speaking. Her true self could not be revealed. To Kirigakure she was a loyal Genin, who brilliantly devised something to disprove kekkei genkai's exclusive access to advanced elements. To the Resistance she was a infiltrator and soldier, working closer to get into the position to feed vital information to the Resistance or even assassinate Yagura himself. But in the end, she is only a little girl way out of her depth, wishing there was something more to life than this, than evading death while trudging through the crushing despair of the village around her.

    Eventually sleep is merciful and takes her, if only for a time.
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  23. - Top - End - #1103
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    Raizo think.
    "Well... not voting for Usagi is obiviouse, and things looks unbalanced in team 3 favor, there are reasons to suspect Senko as a Yakuza... so I'll vote for Senko."




    Usagi expression sour.



    (Maybe it going for too long... do you want to just summarize it?)
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  24. - Top - End - #1104
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    "Okay, I see I'm beat on this... So that's one vote for Hizuka-san, two votes for me, and I guess everyone else is voting for Usagi-san? Is that the general consensus? I apologize I lost track of the discussion for a moment."

    "...Usagi-san, since unless a bunch of people are about to change their votes you're about to be hung anyway... Would you rather vote off me or Hizuka?"
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    Where my other
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  25. - Top - End - #1105
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    Across the Shinobi Nations: 24 hours with Ami Akaisuna
    Morning:
    Ami does not awake, for she has yet to fall asleep. The One Tailed Tanuki whispers to her:
    <Oi, Another day the sun rises, another day your will erodes. How long until finally give in to sweet relaxation?>
    Once again, she ignores the temptation. She has a bed, but never uses it for sleeping. Its only there to fool anyone who comes into her room that she is normal, essentially being decoration or a makeshift soft table. She had been waiting time for dawn and now was time for breakfast at the Akaisuna household- the clan of the Kazekage.

    Breakfast:
    At breakfast, she drinks some coffee despite the inevitable heat of the desert, energizing herself to make up for her eternal tiredness. Sleep was denied her, so caffeine became her constant companion.

    Morning Training:
    She shows up in the morning to her team to begin her day training, but as always she feels so tired, even with the caffeine energy. She wasn't as far along her training as she should be, but that just makes sense, doesn't it? She had a duty to uphold. Fall asleep, and that unleashes that One Tails. How could she possibly make any progress, when she fights to remain awake each day? She would have to be a genius to become good at any sand techniques at this rate.

    Lunch:
    She eats a lunch with her team, long with more coffee in a bottle she kept to keep it hot. Despite the heat, she drinks it all. She needed to keep her energy up, especially in the desert where the heat could make one lazy, make one lethargic. Despite the caffeine, she moves just as normally as ever, just as quiet as ever, just as shy. No amount of caffeine replaces a good night's rest.

    Noon-Afternoon:
    She tries to do her D-ranks in the village as normal, and as always despite her shy and quiet nature, she ends up snapping at people, ends up being crabby and irritable because she has been awake for YEARS and has not gotten a single wink. But she still, she tried to keep herself under control. As best she can. Because she is a good girl. Because its her duty to keep it contained. Its all for the greater good, even as she busies herself to try and distract herself with whatever meaningless chore or job needs doing like sweeping out the sand from a home or helping building a rock house. Anything to keep moving, to keep working, to keep herself aware.

    Dinner:
    Dinner is as always, awkward. Oh sure it was full of pleasantries and politeness and the family talked about the workings of the village, sharing the gossip, the politics of the day, and so on and so forth, all to keep their pulse on Sunagakure's heart. But they always are nervous and a little awkward about talking to her. She knows why. She is the jinchuuriki after all. And she is not allowed to be mad because its family, its an important duty after all, only the best and greatest ninja get the most important duties after all, which means she is already a great ninja according to them, shouldn't she be happy they say, she will only become greater one day they say, shouldn't she be happy with that, SHOULDN'T SHE!? She drinks more coffee with a big meal. It would be last time today, and she would have to go in for the long haul.
    <You can always take your revenge- just go to sleep and I will take care of the rest. You won't even have to see any of it, just let your mind drift off into peace.>
    The Tanuki whispers to her. She ignores it, as always.

    Evening:
    After dinner, she plays board games with whoever is willing to play with her: Shogi, Go, Senet, Mahjong, other games of that nature. It mattered not if she won or lost, just that her mind, though sleep-deprived was kept occupied, distracted from the real problem. Distracted from the need to shut down. But she was getting skilled at thinking strategically nonetheless. She was becoming one of the best strategy game players in the Akaisuna family, maybe second only to the Kazekage himself.

    Night-time:
    Everyone else went to sleep. She did not. This was the hardest part: to endure once again, about nine hours of darkness with only the Tanuki's whispers as company. She turns on the radio to the midnight station- no one came to shut off the music. They long stopped trying to make the jinchuuriki not play music in the night- there is a reason why she inherited a soundproof room far away from where everyone else sleeps in the compound. While she listens, she cracks open a novel to read. Constant reading during the has made her long ago exhaust all the good highly recommended fiction and stories that one could give her- she had a near unlimited budget when it came to purchasing more books, so of course she now reads through the mediocre, the bad, the trashy, the unknowns, the obscure and the bizarre. It mattered not if she liked the book or not, just that she was occupied with it. She had taken to making snarky comments at all the bad plot points, even making reviews of each story she read, just to give her mind extra to not drift off into sleep.
    <This is unhealthy for you, you know. You have to sleep someday.>
    Of course, this time was also the Tanuki whispered to her the most. The time tempted her with her own bed while she sat upon an intentionally uncomfortably made stone stool. He'd sing lullabies and make up elaborate descriptions of the tranquility and relaxation of just closing her eyes.....and taking a break for a while....intentionally slowing his words, making them smooth. All to better offer that sweet, sweet temptation of rest. It was all manipulation, all a ploy so he could come out. A constant mental siege that like a fortress, she must wait out. She wonders how long she could hold. The Tanuki is ever patient, he never seems to be angry no matter how much she resists. He is patient, she could feel it. Like a predator waiting for the right time to pounce, patiently pursuing his prey until it falls behind the herd.
    <Oi, oi, oi. I know for a fact that you cannot do this forever. The Jinchuuriki before you had the same problem.>
    She would staunchly and stubborn ignore these comments as well, continuing to distract herself in other worlds to escape her own. But sometimes, very occasionally during the night, she'd make a snarky comment and the One-Tailed Tanuki would make a follow up joke at the bad plot she was reading, forgetting himself for a moment and joining in on the criticism of it. Every time she pointed it out he immediately would retract it and begin trying to manipulate her again. There was a chink in the armor of the beast. It wasn't enough for her to like or befriend it, but it was enough to let her know that it was imperfect, that it could be distracted, tricked, that it was something much like a person and not just a force of destruction. And if it was a person, it could be beaten, perhaps outwitted no matter how improbable that was. She just had to figure out how. Soon enough, the darkness beings to lighten as the sun begins to rise again on Sunagakure.

    Morning:
    Ami does not awake, for she has yet to fall asleep. The one tailed Tanuki whispers to her...

    White Oni: Contemplate Options
    The White Oni awaits on a rooftop high rooftop overlooking the Daimyo's palace? Manor? wind ruffling through his dark clothes and breaking upon his pure white oni mask. This was a minor nation, a minor conflict in the grand scheme of things. Perfect. The less people investigating this the better, and the less competent they were, the better. Statistically, most people didn't even look up, even soldiers when they patrol. If any of them did, its not as if seeing him would help them. Is not as if fighting him, would help anyone. Given the lives he has already taken, whats a few more if it comes to that? His cause was greater than any one person.
    "Let see....what are my options?" he says to himself. "Twelve in total. Vengeance obsessed brat? No. The Coward? No. The Long-eared brat? .....No. I think will allow myself some standards for once and not inflict anything upon the disabled or the mute. The Wannabe Anbu? Hm. Maybe, she is of sounder mind, but may be too passive. Though the bone-brat....perhaps the bloodline will allow for better compatibility? Hm. Definitely something to consider. The Bat child...Hm, I think not, too weak willed. The warrior....no. The blacksmith....no, too focused on her own issues, on competing. All thats left are.....hm. Not sure which one of those two are worse. One must make do with what they have. Though....they both have.....Potential. Yes.

    But....it is one thing to have Potential.

    It entirely is another to have the Resolve and the Fortune to realize it."

    He disappears from the rooftop with a body flicker. He will see whether the kami favors them soon enough.
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  26. - Top - End - #1106
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    Meanwhile, at the Party.

    Baku has been sitting still for hours. Part of the plan... Kill the brats, the so-called prodigies of this village. So many at once, how could he resist?

    But his patience has been tried by these... That little carrot top's bragging especially, about herself, about her friends, it's been putting him on edge.

    But she's not the worst. That'd be the blue-haired bitch. That attitude... Just like his first victim.

    It's starting... The itch. He has to do it. Do it soon...

    The most perceptive of people might notice a slight creek as one of the chairs settle, but it's a very quiet one and everyone is engrossed in their own business.
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    Meteor
    You are a meteor
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    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  27. - Top - End - #1107
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    White Oni: Do It Yourself
    As the genin finish their game and begin moving onto other games, he checks the time on a watch while on a roof high above the street, its little second and minute hands ticking away. Hm. Ottomaru's group was supposed to attack any moment now. It was not happening. He did not know why, nor did he particularly care. There were more important things at stake than whatever their issues were with some minor nation under Konoha's thumb. He had a backup plan for situations like this anyways, and next time he'll just purchase a rogue shinobi summoning contract on the black market if he wants some extra muscle.

    He flashes through hand signs, summons two groups of puppets perfectly functional but older surplus models that no one will miss, then summons two water clones of himself.
    "Clone one." he says "Stay here and maintain the clones. Clone two, you go with that group of clones to the chuunin group, fight Ameoku, keep her busy. Say some cryptic nonsense about despair and vague inevitable doom for Sound Village, maybe some teenage-sounding angst and insolence for spice. That should convince them we're apart of Ottomaru's group."
    They nod, understanding their roles. The two White Oni's then body flicker away with their groups of puppets.

    Stage: Set Up
    The genin move on from their game. If anyone cares, Team 3 won. The Genin will then take a break for a lunch before getting to the next big game during the party with some minor games scattered about, Kimiko will inevitably play some game separate from Senko in some manner. Soon however, puppets will come bursting through the windows of the palace, going for the genin first and letting any civilians run- he was not here to kill civilians unless he needed something truly....motivational. Kimiko will coincidentally right next to the seat that Baku is disguised as while this happens and will be drawing her Origami-no-Tsurugi, she prepares for battle against the puppets.

    A similar attack will occur on the bar that the chuunin are in looking upon the events from, the wall being blown open by an explosive tag as puppets come attacking the chuunin within and the White Oni Clone strides in proclaiming in a dramatic voice, putting on a bit of a show:
    "Despair, Otogakure! For death has come to your village. I am the blade of your regrets that will bring futility in his name. Now! Watch as your hope DIES!"
    He speeds forward with a kunai towards Nozojo, making it look as if he is about to kill him. Ameoku arrives just in time to stop him with her own. Predictable, and just what he wanted.
    "Ameoku....right on time. But not even you can stop me, for none can stop what is to come."
    Overly cryptic, a bit cheesy and he was hamming it up to be sure, but it was necessary. And he'd lying to himself if he didn't find acting like this a little fun.

    White Oni: Act like a Supervillain for a child.
    Meanwhile, White Oni will body flicker, appearing near Senko, the puppets expertly calculated to keep everyone else busy. He is wearing a white oni mask over dark clothes obscuring all other parts of his body. He will announce in a deep evil-sounding dramatic voice to her:
    "Behold your doom, Senko of the Snake Summoners. I am White Oni and I will be your death. You are the brightest hope of the future of this village- and I shall snuff it out. For I am the blade of He Who is Futility. However....before I kill you? I will make you give up, surrender, fall to your knees in despair. To only kill you, would only make you a martyr after all."
    He unseals a wooden bokken from a storage scroll, and it glows with chakra in his grip as he points it at her.
    "That will not happen. You will not die for your ideals, for your loved ones or even for your village- you will die, because you will beg for it and only then I will see fit to grant it to you- then I will move on to the rest."
    He lies. This was the first test he needed to do for what he needed. The Test of Resolve. He could not prompt her, couldn't tell her. If she knew this was fake, so would her response be fake. He needed to see true resolve, specifically against a seemingly unstoppable, unbeatable foe, for that is the kind of foe he needed her to have resolve against. If he truly wanted to kill her, it would be simple. Easy. No, what he needed to do, required much more finesse. All of this was theatrics to him, and he was playing the supervillain because he knew children and would-be heroes loved a villain to oppose and defeat, who was he to deny such a fantasy? Everyone loved kabuki theatre for genin. People don't hate villains, they love them because it gives them someone guiltless unite against, an enemy to safely oppose, and he could not afford to give her any doubt right now.
    He speeds forward, swinging the glowing bokken at Senko not to kill or injure, but to inflict pain. Enough be convincing.
    Last edited by Lord Raziere; 2023-01-18 at 03:37 AM.
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  28. - Top - End - #1108
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    Senko

    Firey marks spread across her amr before solidifying, her arm now black as raw iron and with the strength to match as she moves to block the bokken.

    "Ha. Ha," She laughs sarcastically. "Hilarious joke, acting like I am the hope of the Sound Village... Let me tell you something, from one oni to another... I have been prepared to die for the last four years."

    Sit-Rep: Puppets engaging everyone, semi-autonomous? Weapons seem real... Kimiko being attacked by an unknown assailant... This is real.

    Obviously some ulterior motive though, given the hammy acting.

    Still... She had wanted to talk to the clan heads in private before revealing this.

    As Senko pressed back against the broken with her reinforced flesh, suddenly blades of bone erupted from her arm.

    "For the record, I stole this from Futility-san, not a loyal Kaguya Clan member."

    Baku

    The chair next to Kimiko erupts into smoke and a short but wide blade, more a spade than a sword, wreathed in an orange and pink chakra swings at her. Raw heat can be feltradiating from the blade and as the smoke clears a man who looks to be from the Sand village becomes visible.
    Last edited by Rater202; 2023-01-18 at 04:06 AM.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

  29. - Top - End - #1109
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    White Oni:
    She is intelligent and not entirely fooled. Not unexpected. Smart was good anyways, allowed her to see the big picture, allowed her to be curious, things he can use. Sassy as well. But that was a good sign. If she can joke amid this, that is a good sign she is not giving up. But he can't show any of this. He must commit to the act he is playing, ignore the heckling for the sake of the act. His blade bounces off the bones with his initial strike
    "Your stolen power will not save you, behold! Chakra Flow: Bone-Breaking Blade!"
    He channels more chakra into his bokken and in a flurry of strikes, shatters the bones she creates to shards.
    "Your first hope was been shattered. Your second will be just as futile."
    He aims another bokken blow at her to cause pain.

    Kimiko:
    She leaps away from the blade, not even daring to touch it. Anything with heat was dangerous, especially to her paper release. She doesn't know exactly what it is, but even Fire release was bad enough. She draws her Origami-No-Tsurugi nonetheless. There was no room for boasting here, she knew this could be a bad matchup.
    "Paper Release: Paper Shuriken!"
    She calls firing a few paper shuriken from her blade, at first seemingly badly aimed as they go too far left to hit him- then she will use chakra control to make them curve to attack from the side then make a release hand sign to make them explode with the explosive seals folded within.
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  30. - Top - End - #1110
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    Senko

    A bone-shattering is one of the most excruciatingly painful things someone can go through. Senko has a rather high tolerance for pain, but...

    she thought the horrific side effects of her first use of cell grafting hurt, but this... Yeah. This is bad.

    Especially since there are a lot of blood vessels in bone.

    As shards and... honestly quite a lot of blood hit the floor, Senko is forced to retract what's left back into her body.

    This is bad: The bones of a dead Bone Pulse User are stronger and denser than normal human bone. If he can hit hard enough to shatter them then none of Senko's defensive abilities can hold up.

    And then Senko gets hit by another bone-breaking blow.

    ...Though the pain is worse, thats no the only difference between this pain and the previous contender for worst pain in her life: She didn't have the genes for a stress-activated dojutsu then.

    Her vision blurs briefly, but then she looks up and her eyes are glowing a solid, vibrant white.

    The Raizagan's properties are determined by the elemental affinity of the user. Reiko's affinity is wind, so hers fires cool beams that effortlessly pierce most things.

    Senko's, despite her grafting, is naturally yang, the element of life, light, and physicality. His eye beams are bright and warm, behaving like lasers... Until they hit the target, where instead of cutting or burning, they hit like raw kinetic force.

    Senko fires such beams by reflex as the dojutsu activates... And happens to be looking at the White Oni at the time.

    "...Break... That..."

    Baku

    This isn't his first rodeo, he knows that sometimes these so-called prodigies like to get cute.

    He twists at the Shuriken and uses what Kimiko might recognize as Wind Release: Great Breakthrough to blow them away.
    Last edited by Rater202; 2023-01-18 at 01:06 PM.
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    Spoiler: Ode To Meteors, By zimmerwald
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmerwald1915 View Post
    Meteor
    You are a meteor
    Falling star
    You soar your
    Way down the air
    To the floor
    Where my other
    Rocks
    Are.

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