We did it, Ettoku! We saved the city!

User avatar
Kalernin
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:00 pm

We did it, Ettoku! We saved the city!

Post by Kalernin » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:20 pm

Kalernin awoke in the small makeshift camp he and Ettoku-sensei created. His head rest on his sweater he placed on the ground, rolled up for maximum comfortability. He wasn't gonna sleep with his head on a rock, now was he? They made a small lean-to of a few conifers that were destroyed by the previous night's storm, laid against a cliff face, to shelter them from the harsh rains brought upon by the Rainy Season. In the area where the least bit of water penetrated the camp sprawled a fire, quite large in size, though not quite a bonfire by most standards. Even during this time of year, the temperatures were harshly cold, and could bring a chatter to one's teeth. The only thing Kalernin kept strapped to him during the night was his kris at his side, firmly convinced nothing that would pose too much of a challenge would appear. He was even more convinced that it'd be difficult to find them way out here in the country, in the foothills of the eastern portion of the Hokkyou Range, a few dozen miles north of the Azuma River Delta, in a portion of the forest where the trees are most dense.

Speaking for the both of them, they were both rather exhausted from the mission they'd just endured regarding the Jidokami, the barbarian tribes to the north. They were sent on a mission of diplomatic means, which, to Kalernin, seemed strange, because they know what his idea of diplomacy was; kick and scream and shout, perhaps throw a few chairs until you get your way. They were sent to a tribal council member to get the okay to establish a small military presence near the edge of their territory, get ahead of the game before suspicion is aroused.

The peoples were very reluctant to accept this deal, in fact, some in the area were vehemently against it. They figured it was a plan to gain their trust, and then set up bases in the Hokkyou, and near the Cradle near Lake Hinomoto, which they heralded as sacred to their peoples, and seize land bit by bit, or drive them out of their lands. Or worse: Assimilate them. Kalernin thought Ettoku sensei dealt with the situation masterfully, far better than he would have. In fact, Kalernin only seemed to speak when nodding in agreement or reinforcing a point his Sensei had made. However, things did go south.

A couple of the tribespeople got rowdy, and, well, things looked like they went from 100->0 really fast. For a moment, it looked as if Kalernin WAS gonna have to throw a chair or two. A fourteen year old shinobi against a council of warrior tribesman. Would have been a sight to see, their third degree burns would. His confidence is way too high for his own good, and he knew it. But he cared not to fix it.

The deal did get done, and with more lucrative results than hoped for, but it doesn't mean they didn't have to hightail it out of there.

Kalernin sat up from laying down, feeling a bit dizzy, perhaps from doing so too quickly. He looked around and found Ettoku-Sensei nowhere in sight. The Sun wasn't anywhere to be found in the sky, but he could discern that from heat that penetrated the thick clouds that it was about nine AM. He arose slowly, groaning and stretching as he did so, cracked his neck and walked over to the fire. He picked up a pan they took with them, and began cooking some ramen. Hunger is more than likely the most dangerous thing in the wild, he figured. Plus, why go out searching or hunting on an empty stomach?

After they came to a boil, Kalernin feasted upon his breakfast in record time. Literally, he times himself sometimes when eating. This time, he beat his own mentally recorded record of fifty-seven seconds with a time of forty-nine seconds today. He stretched once more as he stood up again, and walked out of their camp. He was still a good fifty to sixty feet above the rest of the valley that stretched out in front of him. Trees, trees, and more trees. The occasional deer and bear were running through the forest, too, but he'd rather not disturb the wildlife. There was a winding path headed around the cliff face, so he figured that was the best place to start. First, he deduced he should secure the camp. He grabbed the rest of his equipment, put on his hoodie, and left once more. He returned about five minutes later with more coniferous planks of wood to add to the lean to, which he placed along the cliff face, and took out a few dozen pieces of obsidian chips, and placed them along the pieces of wood where people would grab the wood to move it for a bit of security. Kal then headed west toward the path, and began trekking it, to begin the search for Ettoku-Sensei

User avatar
Eaterofworlds
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:00 pm

We did it, Ettoku! We saved the city!

Post by Eaterofworlds » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:26 pm

The aches and pains of travel were a nuisance, even to a veteran like Ettoku. He and his first new team member had been assigned something of a diplomatic mission, carrying terms to begin a new military outpost. Really, at first glance at least, it seemed very unlikely to be the more militaristic type missions that the Hide child preferred. He was nicknamed the Mad Bomber Ninja after all, not the silver tongued serpent. But orders were orders and they had followed those orders to the letter and had succeeded in the agreement for the military installation. Ettoku only wished now that it had been a simpler affair, maybe he would have woken up with less aches from the road.

While discussing with the council the final details of the agreement, a bunch of town oafs burst into the meeting and threatened active rebellion and violence against the installation if it became a reality. Ettoku had spent what seemed like an eternity to try and calm down the intruders, resisting any forms of violence that he might have had a quicker result. Eventually though common sense finally won out, when paired with an explosive clay grass hopper being held in the main thugs mouth, and the people spouting threats and violence were suddenly cowed. Apparently even the best of times left the Bomber firmly entrenched in his bad habits.

Now here he was, in the wilderness and sleeping in a lean to just because the time he spent trying to calm a group of idiots made his travel back to the village later than intended. The sun went down, the path got dark and suddenly it was him and a genin not long out of the academy and a lean to. Unfortunately Ettoku was not the type to sleep well in the wilderness, he could manage it but it was far from the comforts he had grown accustomed to in the barracks of Iwagakure. At some point just before dawn, Ettoku had found himself unable to sleep any further and grabbed everything of his and took off. He’d been gone only a few hours, sitting with his feet in the river way down from camp along a winding path down the valley.

”A shame it took you so long to wake. Otherwise we could have been halfway home by now. Did you finish cleaning up and packing up the rest of camp?”

The words might sound like an admonishment but in truth they lacked the bitter condescension of a teacher speaking down to an unworthy pupil. It was very likely that the Mad Bomber simply missed his home and was ready to be done after such a stressful event like those talks at the town. He seemed tired, his clothes a bit disheveled but with all of his gear was with him and ready to go. Though, to be fair, Ettoku was known for traveling light and sticking to the absolute basics in order to cut down on weight and increase overall speed of the unit moving.

”We were due back last night, the Tsuchikage is waiting for me to select the next team member. He probably thinks we are out here so I can drag my feet and put off the decision more. Technically I should not have brought you on this mission alone but I was getting fidgety without any real work to do. But even if the delay was legitimate, it would be best not to dawdle. Ya know?”

Ettoku still had that far away look in his eye, like a man who had something else far more weighted on his mind than the conversation at hand with his student. A student he had never asked for, a student he had taken only because it was expected of him, but a student that was his responsibility. How was he supposed to deal with the fact that in the moment where he held a man’s mouth closed with an explosive statue inside, in those brief seconds when all was at its most tense, Ettoku had decided not to evaporate the man’s jaw and teeth with a thought. When violence was the answer that Ettoku would have normally chosen for such a situation, in order to keep his student safe he had kept from starting a true brawl. Such an out of character political maneuver for him left him wondering whether or not the changes to his life as he stepped into the mantle of Sensei would continue to shift his perspective or give him too much thought towards his students’ safety rather than doing what might need to be done.

User avatar
Kalernin
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:00 pm

We did it, Ettoku! We saved the city!

Post by Kalernin » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:45 pm

"No, Ettoku-Sensei, not completely. You'll come to see in time how forgetful I am. I put the fire out, at least, but the tent is still pitched, and I sealed off the entrance with some twine and obsidian fragments, just in case someone happened to wander by." Kal knew he had to show a better sense of duty at some point in his life. Granted, he's only fourteen, and he realizes this, but sooner rather than later, is what he figured. He knew his sensei deep down didn't particularly WANT to take on proteges, or students of any sort, he did it because he was dutiful; because he had to.

"My apologies for sleeping so much, Sensei. Not used to all the activity, recently. Since the Academy, all I've done is sit at home, read, spar with far occasionally, and seldom put in work at the forge. Even then, those days are few and far in between. I lead a rather... Sedentary lifestyle. That being said, we should probably hurry back, don't wanna keep the Tsuchikage too far behind schedule, and you behind in yours. If I was a burden back there, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get in the way. If it means anything, you handled the situation with poise... Not exactly indicative of your reputation, I'd say, so hats off to ya!" Kal knew he still had much to learn, being a genin, and as a human. How to control his anger, hold his tongue, keep composure, amongst other things, but chiefly those, as that is what seemed to get him in trouble most often.

With the compounding responsibilities he would indubitably inherit, Kal had to get his ass in gear, no small task. He knew it had to start soon, so why not now? Get off on a good food with his new sensei. "Waddya say sensei? I'll pack the camp, you relax? You've done the bulk of the work, so now it's my turn to do SOMETHING. Maybe then do a little bit of endurance training? I overheard you before, last night, saying something about wind sprints. How about some of those? We still got a trek through the forest and foothills, too, and that within itself is a workout, 'specially for someone as lazy as me."

Something seemed off within his sensei, though. He didn't hesitate when he spoke, no, that wasn't it at all, it was more of his word choice. A bit formal, off, to Kalernin. Every superior of his in the past had been rather up front, blunt about how they went about their speech, borderline condescending. Never this regal approach to speech, and it threw Kal for a loop. 'Is Ettoku-Sensei alright? Or is he always like that? Might take a bit for me to get used to, but eh, small price to pay, I guess... He hadn't spent much time with his sensei as of yet, but he figures all the questions he's pondered thus far will be answered soon enough.

User avatar
Eaterofworlds
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:00 pm

We did it, Ettoku! We saved the city!

Post by Eaterofworlds » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:22 pm

The wind whipped through the valley and ruffled the clothes hanging from the frame that was Ettoku. His eyes still stared off into the distance as the Genin who had approached him continued to speak. The higher ranked shinobi ran a finger along the edge of one of the kunai hanging from his belt, barely catching anything that the younger man had bothered to say. His attention fell into place just as the boy was finishing his description of how he had protected the camp site.

”…some twine and obsidian fragments, just in case someone happened to wander by."

Ettoku’s focus shifted again, drifting towards fond memories of combat and not this babysitting detail. He had been listening to the reports of other shinobi, action against an enemy village might become a regular thing in the near future if all things went well. Ettoku could only hope that he and his would be on the front lines, severing supply lines and ambushing patrols who wandered too far from home. The adrenaline of the battlefield was like a drug to the Mad Bomber and he was more than ready for his next fix. As his protégé’ continued to prattle onwards about oversleeping, sedentary lifestyles, and brown nosing about how Ettoku had handled the negotiations when things had gotten out of hand.

”…indicative of your reputation, I'd say, so hats off to ya!”

Reputation. That was a funny thing. The boy was not wrong, the Mad Bomber that other villagers heard about, the one other shinobi were warned about, would have left a swath of destruction in that town and strong arm the members of the council. Instead, cooler heads had prevailed and the Hide boy was still piecing together why that had occurred. By the time Ettoku had raised his gaze to look at the genin boy, he was already gone and readying to pack the camp. This left Ettoku alone with his thoughts and staring off into the stream before him.

”Is this my future? Is this what I am to become? A man not of action, but of politics and words? Worrying over the fate of my students as if they were china dolls to be treasured and protected? No, sheltering does nothing for the development of the skills of a shinobi. To treat them as if they were so fragile would only lead to their detriment as time moved forward and they found themselves in similar situations without me to lead them. If I am to be a leader, a teacher, and remain faithful to my village I will have to overcome whatever fears I have of overshadowing or failing my students and instead urge them to walk similar paths that I have walked. To lead the way and show by example what they should do and how they should think, and if that path is too treacherous for them then they will grow stronger or be broken by it.”

The thoughts found footing in the mind of the Mad Bomber, setting his jaw with a determined clench and his eyes narrowing. He waited there by the river in the valley for a few minutes more in order to give Kalernin ample time to finish packing what little of the camp they were not leaving behind. The only thing that would be left would be to ensure the fire was totally out and head home. While looking forward to a return to his own bed, Ettoku knew that the travelling the main road would definitely invite more conversation from his pupil and that he had best be ready to answer any and all questions the genin might have of his chuunin team leader.

”Looks like the camp is all packed, kick some extra dirt on the embers of the fire and let’s get going. We might even find someone interesting walking the main road now that we are a bit closer to Iwagakure proper. All roads from here on in lead directly to our home, and I’m eager to see it.”

REPLY

Return to “Rock Country”