Oh to be Normal

Kao and Kat

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:38 pm

It had been a long time since Suzume had been in Iron Country. The war had eventually come to even Dragon Country where her Organization, her Father's Organization Chishiki, had been housed, and when it did she knew it was time to move on. She had emptied it of everything important, hidden things in various hiding places left behind by her father's secrets and taken off. She hadn't stayed in one place for more than a few days at a time since. Of course this wasn't just to avoid the war, she knew just a couple days after she had left her former boyfriend Yozei had stood in the ashes of her former home. If anyone she had to keep from seeing what she was now, it was him. She'd had time now to adjust to what she looked like now, but it didn't mean she was comfortable with it yet.

Still, days like today she preferred to have moments to herself to simply enjoy life and what it had once been. Today was a quiet inn just off the beaten path. Skills she had learned allowed her to appear normal for small stints. Though she wore her usual outfit, including her takegasa hat with its little bells, a dark cloak was draped across her seat behind her for when she would need it. She sat at a table by herself and all smiles as tea and sweets were served to her and she enjoyed the attention from the staff for the moment. She appeared and behaved as normally as possible.

"Well isn't that a hell of a glower." she remarked as another passed her table.
Jutsu UsedShow
[Personalized Transformation]
D-Rank Ninjutsu
After channeling chakra through her body, Suzume is able to use this more specialized form of the Transformation Technique to change her appearance to match that which she appeared before she ever attained EGF. This transformation being more reliable than the original Transformation technique, requiring a much more keen eye to see through this disguise. However, this form is insubstantial, and a single attack will dispel the disguise. Lasts for an amount of posts equal to Suzume's (Chakra Pool/2).
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:02 pm

That glower belonged to none other than Akari Kotaru, the youngest and most volatile bannin of Iwagakure no Sato. He was far from home, and he stuck out in the relatively normal-looking crowd of such a small town. Heads turned and conversations quieted when he crossed the inn’s threshold and immediately made his way to the serving counter. His dark cloak rippled behind him as he walked, and his footfalls were eerily noiseless.

“Tea. Ginger. And the spiciest dish you’ve got, I want that too.” Once he gave his order he made his way to the other side of the room, briefly making eye contact with a woman wearing a conspicuous takegasa hat with bells that tinkled whenever she moved her head. When he heard her comment his scowl deepened, and when he saw that the only available empty table was to her immediate left he let out a weary sigh. To say he wasn’t in the mood to socialize was an understatement, and no matter how pretty the woman was – and she was indeed stunning – all he wanted to do was get some food into his belly and rest.

The bannin slumped in his seat then dumped his bag on the table and laid his head on top of it. Kotaru gave a small sigh as fatigue finally caught up with him. The Akari had left Iwa four days prior, and other than a quick overnight romp with one of his favorite “female companions,” he had barely sat still. His mind was stuck on Ume but he was determined to move on. If that meant physically moving forward instead, if that meant putting one foot in front of the other and getting as far away from his problems as possible, then that’s where he would start.

The server approached his table, but instead of placing the tea and spicy beef stew in front of him she accidentally gave it to the dark-haired woman beside him. The mistake irritated Kotarut to no end, and without verbally correcting her he simply began to reach over and grab his meal from the table.
Last edited by Kao on Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:38 pm

Suzume tilted her head slightly as they made eye contact, smirking lightly as his scowl only seemed to get worse at her own remark. She couldn't help a light giggle as she dropped her gaze to her own drink and sipped away at her cup of sake and poured herself another serving. There was no burn of course, no real taste, it was all wasted on her now but she still shook her head as if there was a burning after-taste. The ruse had to be maintained just as her father used to do. She watched the man take a seat at the table beside her and even smirked as his food was accidentally served to her own table instead of his.

When his hand reached over, her hand reached towards his. She meant for only her fingers to touch his wrist lightly but a single tendril slipped out from under her wrist as well and touched him briefly before receding quickly as she smiled at him. "It's a busy night, you might as well join me and let the place get one more table of business." she told him before pulling her hand back.

She shrugged as she picked up one of the sweet buns she had ordered and chewed on it thoughtfully. "No sense wasting another table on just another lone diner really... you can even ignore me if you wish." she added, looking over at him again for a moment. "I'm Suzume."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:10 pm

A normal person would have screamed and recoiled if a strange tendril darted out from someone's body and practically caressed their hand. But Kotaru, of course, wasn't exactly a normal person. Instead of showing any semblance of disgust, the shinobi's brow jutted upward in surprise. The expression was brief, however, and it was immediately supplanted by another frown. It wasn't as intense as before, but it was a frown nonetheless. "Or I can ignore you and your tentacle from here." But even as he turned back to his food and took a sip of the spicy broth, his curiosity began to get the better of him. He was reminded of another woman who used to flirt by showing off her own fleshy limbs.

Despite himself, he spoke again. "Does that usually work for you? The tentacle thing. It's a weird way to get someone's attention." The answer wasn't particularly important. She had succeeded in getting his attention, which seemed to be what she was aiming for. But if her goal was to get a reaction from him then she would have to do better than that. After all, Kotaru had seen plenty of weird things in his day.
Last edited by Kao on Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 18, 2021 7:19 pm

The best Suzume could do was feign a blush as Kotaru mentioned the tendril. Her yellow eyes quickly diverted down to her tea as she took another sip of it. The blush might have been forced for the sake of her transformation and keeping it looking true, but her embarrassment was real. The feeling didn't improve either as he mentioned it again and she snorted in a light laugh to try and cover the feeling and set her tea down again. "It was an accident actually." she admitted, sighing heavily, another forced action to keep actions and appearances as normal as possible. "It's been a few years and I'm just... still not entirely used to it." she admitted, her eyes still down at her tea for a moment before she rolled them in annoyance at herself before she looked at Kotaru a moment.

"At least it was only a small slip up, if I slipped entirely this place would clear out in screams like the last one." she admitted, glancing around before shrugging and going back to her tea. "Does the rudeness always work for you? Or is it the grumpy demeanor that does it?" she asked, attempting to return to a more playful attitude rather than dwell on her own disappointments. After all, as much as she'd slowly gotten used to both her moniker and what she'd accidentally inherited from her father, she still felt it was a curse and hated it on some level. "I gave you my name, you could at least introduce yourself."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:50 pm

Her brief statements told Kotaru quite a bit about her...uniqueness. Now he knew that her condition was a relatively new development, and it was somewhat interesting no matter what her intention had been in telling him. Kotaru, being an Akari, knew what it was like to be considered strange. His eyes rolled in response to her next statement, and after he slurped some more of he meal he added, "This is just my five star personality. But yes, it does work for me. And when it doesn't, I make it work." The shinobi guzzled down the rest of his meal like a starving wolf, all while keeping his eyes on her hands in case a tendril decided to jump out at him again.

The meal was thankfully pretty good, so he waved at the server across the room. After gesturing that he wanted another, Kotaru turned to the woman and gave her a long, thoughtful look. He was never one to freely give out his name, especially this far from the village. When he did it was always either for shinobi-related work or to get in someone's pants. This situation was neither, but he was tired enough to give in. "It's Kotaru. Happy? And don't worry about being shy about your tentacle," he said in reference to her blush. "I've seen way weirder shit than that."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:03 pm

Suzume downed another dose of sake and poured another cup before raising an eyebrow at Kotaru for his comments about his personality. Her eyes flitted to his table a moment with a chuckle. "Well this is where I'd make some quip about you acting like a dick and your... well, its an obvious joke but the table's in the way and I'm not feeling all that inspired. So I'll just settle for the usual cutting remark of 'doesn't seem so five star to me' and we'll just assume it cut you deep." she replied, shaking her head to a light tune of her little bells on her takegasa. Of course the sound seemed to annoy even Suzume as she reached up and removed the hat, setting it on the table with a roll of her eyes. "Stupid noise-maker." she muttered, with a fairly decent impression of a slight slur in her voice, which would be appropriate if she really had already gone through a whole bottle of sake already and could actually feel the affects.

She waved to the bartender to indicate she wanted another bottle and leaned back in her chair a moment before looking over at Kotaru again. "Look at that, you gave your name and didn't turn to dust, what a shock." she teased with a wink. "And its not that its weird just... wasn't what it was supposed to be." she said with a mirthless chuckle and a shrug. "Never believe a crazed idiot, no matter how badly you want it is all." she said with a sigh. "I should have known better... a man offered me power and I took his offer, in his offer he said in his vision I was beautiful... I was also an idiot teenager who missed her father and wasn't thinking straight. To crazy men, crazy things look beautiful."

Suzume sighed as another bottle of sake was brought and she shrugged. "So you're always this grumpy... or is there a particular reason you're out here so hesitant to give a name? Hiding maybe?"
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:42 pm

"Cut me deep? You can't even break the skin with that." As Suzume rambled on, Kotaru's expression shifted into one akin to discomfort. It wasn't the thinly veiled reference to his dick that did it, nor was it the insult to his shining personality. The woman talked, and she talked. And she talked. She even winked at him, which he would normally take as indication that she was interested in him. But all he could think about was how chatty she was. He had almost no idea what she was talking about when she mentioned a 'crazed idiot;' but from the small amount he could understand, it sounded like something she probably shouldn't be divulging to a complete stranger.

"You talk a lot. Has anyone ever told you that?" The new serving of food was set in front of him, but he didn't immediately touch it. "I'm not hiding. I just don't make it a habit to spill my name and guts to strangers." He paused to eat but stopped when the spoon was halfway to his mouth. Her words were irritating as hell and he couldn't place why. "I'm not fucking hiding. I don't hide, shut up. It's none of your business."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:54 pm

Suzume raised an eyebrow as he made an attempt to cut at her about how much she talked and the woman simply shook her head. "Can't say that's ever been a complaint, no." she remarked simply before falling silent. She downed her cup of sake and fell silent, intent on giving Kotaru what he so clearly desired. Though as he told her to shut up she couldn't help a giggle. "Oh my, what a bark." she teased, picking up the last of her sweet rolls and nibbling on it between two fingers.

With a light sigh she simply leaned back in her seat, crossing one leg over the other and closing her eyes as if relaxing. She'd leave things quiet for several minutes as she finished up with her food and pushed the plate aside, sipping at her next cup of sake carefully before asking her next question. "Where are you from?" she asked finally, a hint of simple curiosity to her tone as she looked over at him. A sense of boredom was coming to the young woman's mind, she knew after tonight it'd be time to move on to a new place, she simply wasn't sure where. The world had changed since the war, and curiosity was getting the best of her. 'Kotaru he says... there's a name in the bingo book, a description that could fit... but he didn't give a family name... I'd rather not assume... I could gauge his strength with a jutsu but if he is the same that's like sending up a flare. Stupid. Idle conversation can't harm though.' she thought to herself, letting her mind run rampant rather than her mouth this time.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 18, 2021 11:40 pm

Kotaru rewarded her remark about his bark with a cutting glare, afterwards returning to his food. He ate several bites, appreciating the way his mouth burned and how the spices made him sniffle. Pungent foods were always his favorites, and those closest to him found it amusing that his taste in cuisine matched his often virulent personality. For a brief, heart shattering moment he thought of Ume and whether or not she had ever mastered making foods with the strong flavors he craved. His face fell at the thought, and he shook his head to rid himself of it. Maybe he should have let the woman keep talking. The silence seemed to prime his mind for invasion by unwanted thoughts and ideas.

Suzume asked him where he was from as he scraped the bottom of his bowl wretchedly. "Iwa." He was visibly mentally elsewhere, and in that moment didn't give much thought about disclosing his origins. It fell from his lips carelessly, and there was no effort to backpedal. What did it matter where he was from? He wasn't there now, and he was in no hurry to go back. "I suppose you expect me to ask you the same. I should warn you ahead of time that unless you're from Konoha or Suna, I don't really care. And even if you were from those shitholes, I'm not in the mood to do anything about it."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:15 am

Suzume paused as she was about to take another sip of sake, the cup barely touching her lips as he mentioned where he was from. She quickly lowered the cup as she looked at him a moment. 'So it must be him then.' she thought to herself, though she had no intention of mentioning that she'd read his bingo book entry or anything of the sort. As he went on she couldn't help a chuckle and shook her head. "Neither of those places." she said, waving a hand almost dismissively. "Technically I was born right here, in Iron... though I haven't been back here for years since I left the compound my orphanage was part of before it was destroyed." she replied, shaking her head again briefly.

She picked up her sake cup again and downed the harsh liquid, not even bothering to fake feeling a burn before pouring another cup. Anyone who had drank this much probably wouldn't feel a burn by now anyway she figured. She wasn't even sure he was watching her that close anymore anyway. "Apparently my parents were from Iwa though originally... been curious about it all my life. Wouldn't mine hearing about it if there was anything you could or were willing to tell me about it." There was no cover to the way she spoke now, no fake cheerfulness or attempt to hide her emotions. Just a hint of a hopefulness she hadn't felt in awhile, but knew she shouldn't dare feel.

Even Kenji had shut her down the few times she had ever asked about the place, so why should a stranger tell her after all?
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:44 pm

Kotaru sipped his quickly cooling tea, contemplating the circumstances of her birth. He didn't like the fact that she had two parents who were from Iwagakure originally, especially considering not many civilians would ever be so far from the village let alone outside of county. Maybe they were merchants, he thought, and they had died and left behind a child. There was a tiny chance that she could possess a bloodline, but judging from her appearance that may not have been the case. She didn't appear to have any of the physical characteristics of any of the village's clans. He felt he could safely assume that her parents were likely non-shinobi and had either abandoned her or had died since she grew up in an orphanage. 'Still. Might be good to see what she knows.'

The bannin gave no indication that her background shocked or interested him. As an expert in hiding his thoughts and emotions his expression didn't change, nor did his breathing or the tension in his muscles. He put down the cup and met her gaze, holding it for a long moment. Normally he would boast about Iwagakure's strength and resilience, but the outcome of the recent war left him infuriatingly humbled about the village's place on the global stage. "It's cold. Cold and dry. What exactly do you want to know?"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:39 am

Suzume couldn't help a snort at Kotaru's response as she finished off her sake. Her snort of a laugh was a strange sound, though not necessarily because it was almost forced, rather because it was nearly genuine. "I guess it's a dumb question." she remarked, sighing to herself as she shook her head. She didn't bother ordering more sake. She pushed the cup and bottle aside, dismissing the waitress with a waive of her hand when the woman came by again as if to ask if she wanted more. Suzume took her small shoulder bag off the back of her chair and set it on the table in front of her, pulling a small notebook out of it. The notebook was a few years old, the pages looking fairly dog-eared as she flipped through the pages for what was probably the hundredth time since Suzume was a child. Much of it was her mother's journal, some of it was the translation of her mother's brand band. "I don't know what I want to know, just a stupid question left from my childhood I guess..." A sly grin crossed her lips. "My father would probably say it's a question left from my mortality." She remembered how her father always spoke of his achieving Earth Grudge Fear as if it were the same as achieving status of a god.

And she was considered 'The Oni's Daughter' now wasn't she? All because of this. She just couldn't see it as the same blessing as he did.

Setting the notebook down she withdrew from the bag something she'd found after she'd burned the headquarters of her and her father's old organization, Chishiki. It was a crimson cloth, her mother's Enkouten Brand Band. She ran a thumb of it as she looked at it. When she had hidden the records of Chishiki for safe keeping she had chosen her mother's grave as the perfect place for safe keeping, a place only she and Kenji knew of, and had discovered the original Brand Band in the process. "As a child I accidentally wound up in Konoha once... ever since I've wondered how different Iwa looked I guess." she finally said, chuckling to herself before looking over at Kotaru. "Guess it does sound dumb."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:38 pm

Kotaru was ready to dismiss her for now and mind his own business, but his brow furrowed momentarily when the woman uttered the word “mortality.” He was becoming more and more interested despite himself and despite his deep desire to sit in a dark room in the inn and brood. The shinobi’s lips parted and a comment about mortality hung on he tip of his tongue, but at the last moment he reeled himself in and fell into silence.

His track record with immortal women was exactly one name long, and it had been a glorious sex-filled and blood drenched time in his life that briefly had him ponder becoming a rogue in order to follow at her heel. It was a time he would gladly revisit if it led to a worthwhile distraction. But this woman was different. She didn’t reek of death and nothing about her immediately drew him to her.

But then she pulled out a length of fabric he immediately recognized as something that could have only come from Iwagakure. His best friend was an Enkouten, so the Brand Band in her hands was something he was familiar with. His initial assessment that she likely wasn’t related to any clan flew out the window, and a dark expression flashed through his eyes. It marred his features for only a moment, and he quickly regained his composure.

“Konoha, huh? I’ll tell you now that Iwa is nothing like that place. Not nearly as green and there’s none of that whole “Will of Fire” bullshit they have going on there. Everyone I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting who was from there always spouted that bullshit. It makes them weak in the head. I’ve met the Hokage’s son a few times and he made sure I knew about mushy gushy ‘Konoha love’ or whatever. Iwa is tougher than that.” The bannin sipped on his tea and nearly spat it out. It was too cold. Kotaru set his cup down and held her gaze for what may have been an uncomfortably intense way before he spoke again. ”If you wanna see it that badly, I could pull a few strings.”
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:57 pm

Suzume froze for several moments as he mentioned the Hokage's son, the Brand Band still in her hand before she started laughing. "Hokage's son? Please tell me this world isn't so small after all that you mean Yozei?" she asked, looking at him a moment as she held his gaze in return and laughed again. His comment about her seeing Iwa caused her to shake her head. "When I wound up in the middle of Konoha I was too naive to realize how dangerous that really was. It never occurred to me until later that they could have kept me prisoner, it was my father who had to enlighten me to the dangers of such a thing. If you knew my parentage I think a visit to Iwa would be ten times as dangrous." she admitted, shaking her head a moment.

"Yozei is a mushy sort..." she admitted, a sad tone to her voice as she spoke of her former boyfriend. One hand lingered on her wrist for a moment. It wasn't there anymore, she'd left it in the fire in Chishiki headquarters to intentionally let Yozei think she might've perished in the fire, though it'd broken her heart in a way to let him think she'd died. "I met him that day in Konoha, we even dated awhile. Until I realized he couldn't understand what life was really like. He has no concept of the horrors the rest of us live with, live through, acting as if Konoha is some savior-." She suddenly stopped as if biting her own words in have before a smirk crossed her lips and she shook her head again. It was an old argument rising in her mind again before she turned her head to look at Kotaru again.

"I'm sure a bannin like yourself really could pull strings to get me to Iwa... if my guesses based on hints are right as to who you are." Suzume sighed as she let the ninjutsu fall finally, releasing the transformation in a light swirl of black chakra. The stitching that held her flesh together revealed, including what was essentially a glasgow smile stitched into place on her face that she still hated so much. "But I'm not sure I'd come out of it, and while the child I was still wonders about Iwa, I'm not that naive anymore. Though I'm pretty sure if you had a mind to you could probably drag me there." Her eyes drifted back to the brand band in her hands as she started to fiddle with it again, ignoring the stares she could feel coming to her from around them already and bracing herself for more.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:23 pm

"That's right, it was Yozei," he responded, feigning that he had nearly forgotten the Konoha nin's name. His memories of Yozei were mostly fond ones. Perhaps the same couldn't be said in return, considering he had essentially tortured and beaten the Konoha shinobi when they last met. It had been years since that day in Fur, and he wondered if the kid that ever managed to rank up and narrow the gap in power between them. Suzume interrupted his reminiscing with her own, and he noticed the morose notes in her tone and looked away, not wanting her to interpret eye contact as interest in her love life. He hummed in agreement about Konoha seeing themselves as saviors, but her next statement was rewarded with a deep frown and another glare.

Even though he had been a bannin for nearly a decade now, he still hated the notoriety. He was considerably stronger now but deep down the Akari was still the same kid who didn't want any attention, especially from strangers. "Hints? I only told you my given name. But that's enough nowadays, huh? I-" His voice fell away along with her jutsu and he became very distracted by her new, almost grotesque appearance. With his brow furrowed and his head cocked to the side, Kotaru looked like someone who was appraising a rather interesting and befuddling painting or sculpture instead of at someone who had clearly lost much of their humanity.

"Hmm....good to know you aren't quite as careless and airheaded as you make yourself out to be. But that," he gestured toward the band with a nod of his head, "that's not something you go around showing an Iwa bannin unless you want to be dragged to the village and questioned. But like I said, I'm not in the mood so we'll do it here. Why do you have that?"
Last edited by Kao on Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:45 pm

Suzume chuckled a bit even as her transformation had been falling away, for a moment her father's influence apparent in the sound. "Your given name, your village, your description fits the entry to a 'T', and honestly I'm not sure I need to use my jutsu to check your level of power. I can almost feel it from here, your grumpy demeanor hardly hides it." she admitted. "My father taught me a long time ago to be familiar with S-level threads in any bingo book I could get my tendrils on, could save my life. Or at least not leave me wholly unprepared." She raised a slightly stitched eyebrow as she watched him appraise her, surprised by his shift in demeanor. It had been a long time since someone hadn't run screaming when she dropped her transformation. 'I suppose at his level he's seen a hell of a lot worse... though clearly these people haven't.' she thought to herself, glancing around as others in the inn suddenly began leaving as quickly as their feet could carry them. Some didn't seem to even bother leaving coin to pay for their food and drink behind, others tripped over one another in their haste. Suzume simply sighed and made a mental note to leave behind extra for the trouble she caused.

She heard as Kotaru shifted the subject and reached up to remove her takegasa as she turned her attention back to him. "Well at least no one will interrupt." she remarked, looking toward the bar where she saw the bartender and waitress still huddled. "Excuse me!" the girl called, her demeanor seeming to shift as it seemed her transformation wasn't the only mask she had dropped. "Refresh my friend's tea won't you, dearies?" She watched as the terrified girl got back to work and Suzume pulled her cloak on instead of the hat, pulling the hood up to try and hide much of her face before turning back to Kotaru.

"I pulled it out because I was debating if I should ask you to return it to her clan." Suzume finally answered him, sighing lightly. "It belonged to Enkouten Akane.... my mother." she told him. "I never met the woman myself, from what I've read in her journal," she reached over and touched the worn notebook in her bag she had been glancing through only moments ago, "She had left the village to hunt my father, and instead fell in with him after she nearly died in her attempt. Part of me feels like her Clan should have her Brand Band back... as loathe as I am to part with it... I have very few pieces of her left."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:19 pm

As the woman covered herself with her cloak, Kotaru stood and grabbed the back of his chair. He moved to her side with a few slow, deliberate steps and stood over her. "Careful who you call your friend. I still haven't decided what I should do with you." Kotaru reached down and grabbed the hood at the back of her head, and then he slowly pulled it back to reveal her face. "No sense in hiding it now, Suzume."

He sat down, leaned back, and kicked his feet up onto the table as she continued to explain herself. Kotaru's mouth twisted in contemplation as he thought about her request. Enkouten Akane wasn't a name he was very familiar with, but the important thing was that the woman confirmed she was half Enkouten. Her desire to hold on to something of her mother's wasn't something Kotaru understood given his relationship to his own parents and clan. On top of that, he didn't see the point in returning the garment. "And why would I do that? The Enkouten would ask a shit ton of questions about the band, about you, and I'd end up having to explain why I didn't bring you in. Assuming I don't bring you in. There's nothing in this for me."

The bannin yawned and then turned to her with a raised brow. "Who is your father?"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:31 pm

Suzume shrugged at Kotaru's remarks about her choosing to call him her friend. "It puts them at ease more than my face ever will." she remarked. "Simply a comfort for their benefit." she added, though she grimaced as he pulled her hood back and she shot a small glare at him with her yellow eyes. "What can I say? I hate it." she admitted bitterly.

She watched him for a moment as he settled in at her table, her eyes shifting back to the brand band in her hands. She ran her hands over the cloth before unfolding it briefly. Her fingers ran over the coded wording that she knew held details about her mother's shinobi accomplishments, and even the last entry which was written by her father. It was the final details of her death. As he asked why he'd take it back, she simply shrugged in response. "Maybe they don't even want it, maybe it doesn't matter. Just seems like it would have been important to her." Suzume admitted. "The clan and the village were important to her even after she left, she laments it constantly through her journal... even when she fell in love with father she was still talking about how she had to find a way to get strong enough to take him out herself. How she owed it to her village. She had a mission to complete. Drove her mad in the end."

She tilted her head as he asked her who her father was and Suzume chuckled lightly. "They call me 'The Oni's Daughter' because of him." she admitted, shrugging. "Though you might just want to take me in the moment I say it... even if it is pointless since he's dead now, even though I've kept him alive through rumors and transformation jutsu for years now to keep people from knowing it." She looked at Kotaru for a moment and grinned. "Hiraku Kenji, that is my father... or rather, was."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:15 pm

Kotaru let out a long breath, a mix between a sigh and a groan when she revealed the other half of her parentage. "I really, really wish you had lied." Hiraku Kenji was definitely a name he was familiar with since the rogue was one of Iwagakure's great embarrassments. Now that he thought about it, the woman's appearance was very similar to the descriptions he had read about Kenji, and now that the name was out and in his head, Kotaru was positive that this woman was telling the truth. In fact, Suzume was so unbearably honest that he immediately believed her when she said the man was dead.

The Akari had no desire to be responsible and immediately bring this woman back to the village. But if anyone ever found out the had met this woman, confirmed her background and identity, and he hadn't done anything about it then he would never hear the end of it. He could almost see Tatsuo's look of disappointment. "Village protocol is that I take you to the village immediately for interrogation. Preferably you'd be alive for that but accidents happen. Kotaru protocol is a little different. HEY!" Kotaru turned his head at the end of his statement, turning toward the bartender and beckoning him over. The man approached hesitantly, and the bannin reached into his bag and pulled out a rather large, bulging coin purse. He poured its contents onto the table and after he did a quick mental count, he put roughly a third of the money back into the coin purse and tossed it to the man. "That should be enough to cover all the abandoned food, and to buy every room in this place for the next three days, give or take."

"But-"

In a movement that was much too fast for the poor man to see, Kotaru grabbed the bartender's collar and slammed his head onto the table. "No one else comes into this inn unless I say so. No one, or I turn this place to ashes with you inside. Got that?" The man, terrified, nodded his head and ran off as soon as Kotaru let him go. The waitress turned tail as well, leaving Kotaru and Suzume alone. "Luckily for you, I do a good bit of intelligence gathering for the village and I don't particularly feel like going home anytime soon. Don't make me have to change my mind." He smiled, allowing nearly no kindness to enter the expression. "Looks like you're spending the next few days with me."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:33 pm

Suzume couldn't help a grin and a laugh as Kotaru expressed his wish that she had lied about who her father was. She brought her hands together on the table, fiddling with a ring on the middle finger on her right hand that bore the symbol of the Chishiki organization. "It's almost ironic how much you sound like Kenji, saying something like that." she remarked. "He always hated how honest I usually am... lying has never come to me easily. I've learned, at best, to lie with the truth when the need arose. But I am so tired of lying about my father after years of pretending he's alive when he's not... there really is no benefit in it anymore. I can't even replicate his power when faced with someone of your caliber so why try right now?" She tilted her head as she watched him, suddenly curious as she watched his face for changes in expression and watched him wrestle with his own thoughts.

She looked up at him as he counted out coin and spoke to the bartender, not even flinching as he slammed the man into the table and the young woman raised an eyebrow. "Well... if I still had ovaries that little display might've just made them explode in ecstasy." she remarked with a bit of a giggle.

She simply looked up at Kotaru however as they were suddenly left alone and the woman stood, putting the brand band away in her bag, before turning to lean back against the table and cross her arms to look over at Kotaru. "So then what is your plan for these few days then?" she asked him. "I'm not stupid enough to think I can get away... all I do anymore is move from place to place every few days anyway. So. What do you want from me, Kotaru?"
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:05 pm

This woman was a strange one. At the mention of her ovaries his eyes briefly lowered to her chest. The thought never fully formed, but the way his attention had turned to her breasts even momentarily would have been indication enough that the comment had distracted him for a second. "Simple. I want to know about your father. What he had planned, how he died, where his body is. I need some kind of proof that he's actually dead, not just your word. And I need to get to know you, 'Oni's Daughter.'" As he spoke he performed a long string of seals, forming them as quickly as he could. "My plan is to get the truth out of you and weed out any lies."

Kotaru sat on the table opposite from her, his face stony and glare sharp. "Then, I'll get to know you. Neither of us want to go to Iwa, so it's up to you to get me to like you enough that I agree to come to some other arrangement with you. So keep talking, Suzume. Starting with how Kenji died."

JutsuShow
The Whole Truth
S-Ranked Genjutsu
After performing the needed seals, Kotaru will speak on any topic relating to truth and lies. Once the targets hear this, any time they tell a lie or stray from the truth, they will feel an agonizing pain in their chest. The pain will feel like being stabbed several times in quick succession while simultaneously being burned severely, and the targets will also find it very difficult to breathe without wheezing. The sensation will peak as long as they are not telling the truth, and lessen in intensity when they stop lying. The jutsu lasts 9 posts.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:32 pm

Suzume shifted and scooted back to sit on the table entirely, raising an eyebrow at Kotaru as she noticed the way he'd been staring at her for a moment. She felt confusion wash over her for a moment. '...even like this his mind would go to that? There's no way... no man would be enticed by this, only revolted entirely...' she shook her head, chiding herself for imaging things as she forced herself to focus on what Kotaru said instead and simply chuckled to herself. "You don't mince words at all do you? That's good I suppose." she remarked, realizing that the entire time they were talking Kotaru had maintained his 'grumpy', or rather as she came to realize was a stern, demeanor. But she found herself appreciating it more and more as they spoke.

"I hate to disappoint you, but there is no proof." she told him calmly, hardly aware at all that he'd cast any kind of genjutsu on her. She thought she had noticed the seals, but hardly put any thought into it. What little she knew of jutsu, gen was the lowest on her list of skills of course. She hardly knew anything of it herself, especially in comparison to anything else. "My father was a master of Space-Time techniques, and he was performing an experimental ritual at the time of his death. It's failure killed him... that or it worked so well it destroyed him in our time, but its a moot point as it still means he's dead to us." she couldn't help another laugh as she shook her head. "Honestly I'm not sure you'll believe me if I told you the full story... fact is, he was trying an experimental technique of his own writing, a ritual to go back in time. He was like me." She motioned to her body and held up a hand to show off two or three tendrils as they slithered out before receding back into her flesh as she shrugged at him. "He fell apart. We were in his realm at the time, so I placed his heart alongside my mother's on a statue there. I had a one way ticket out, and I left. Any proof is left in his realm and I have no way back." The woman simply shrugged and shook her head.

She sighed and looked down at her hands. "He kept sputtering nonsense about another chance with my mother. He needed my blood for the ritual, it was before I was cursed like this... I think he was going back for her somehow but instead he died...." the girl sighed quietly and looked down at her hands. It was clear by her tone that if she could cry, she might've. But she suddenly took a deep breath and fixed her yellow eyes on Kotaru. "Unless you or someone you know can find traces of space-time techniques off of a kunai that used to be an anchor... I can't offer you anything. I still have his kunai anchor but that's it, and it doesn't work anymore. I've been studying but I'm not strong enough to go to any realm, much less to break into someone else's."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:44 am

From the moment Kotaru cast his genjutsu he kept his eyes on her. He watched her breathing, her expressions and her body language. If there was any indication that Suzume felt pain, he would pick up on it. But the more the woman talked, the more he noticed that she was having absolutely no reaction to the genjutsu. It was possible - even likely - that she was telling the truth, but he wasn't quick to put anything past Hiraku Kenji's daughter. Halfway through her story, Kotaru's eyes became glued to the woman's chest. For a moment he couldn't figure out what was bothering him, but eventually he realized it was because the woman's chest lacked the telltale rise and fall that came with breathing. 'Ah. I see.

The realization came suddenly. This woman didn't have a human body at all, and there was a chance she couldn't even feel pain. Suzume may have been telling the truth, but Kotaru remained suspicious nonetheless. "How convenient," he grumbled as he held out his hand. "Hand over the kunai. I'll have a look at it." The bannin knew absolutely nothing about space-time techniques, but she didn't have to know that. When he did eventually return home, he could always get Natsumi to look at it. "There's no proof that he's dead, so until the anchor is fully studied he should be considered alive. I have a hard time believing that's the end of him. Tell me about his plans, besides the one about going back in time for your dead mother. Who were his allies? Was there any mention of breaching or sabotaging Iwa?"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:23 pm

Suzume crossed her arms as she spoke, chuckling to herself as she watched Kotaru observe her. She shrugged as he asked for the kunai and held her hand out before her. But her hand was empty. The skin of her arm seemed almost stitched up, just as much of the rest of her was and after a moment the flesh seemed to wriggle and move as something beneath seemed to move along. The stitching was revealed to actually be a thin tendril as it receded from its place and the skin parted as a tendril rose from between the gaps with the kunai in its grasp. The same tendril stretched out and placed the kunai in Kotaru's outstretched hand as Suzume merely smirked, and a moment later every tendril receded and the stitching was back in place just moments later, her arms crossed under her chest once more.

Though as Kotaru mentioned there being no proof that Kenji was dead, Suzume simply chuckled. "Maybe no proof to you, but certainly to me." she remarked. "I watched it happen... maybe to... as my father would have called you, an Iwagakure dog, that isn't proof enough. But to me it certainly is." To his other questions she shook her head at first, part of her unwilling to answer and feeling a pain begin to creep into her chest. It caused her to grimace with the vaguely unfamiliar feeling. It was a burning at first, a feeling she wasn't sure she had felt before, or at least not for a long time.

'Like having lungs again...'

She seemed to clear her throat and found the pain only began to subside as she began to speak again. "Yaksha. Nehan." she said simply. "I haven't seen anything of either of them in years though. They were once his closest confidants aside from my own mother. As for Iwa, it only held his interest in moments of boredom really. A passing interest of 'maybe someday'. His interests were always in knowing more overall. Most of his interests were drawn by unique individuals and chakra, so far that was settled outside of any village. He didn't need to think about invading any village yet."

She looked at Kotaru a moment as the pain that had been in her chest had faded as she spoke honestly in answer to his questions and slowly she put it together and shook her head. "What else do you want to know?"
Jutsu UsedShow
[Bodily Storage]
D-Rank Ninjutsu
Due to Suzume's Tendril body and her lack of organs or muscle, Suzume can use her body to store objects of varying size. By channeling a small amount of chakra within her body, Suzume can absorb something into her body or pull it out by using her tendrils to move the object in question to wherever she wants it to be. This means she can absorb a Kunai into her chest and move it down her arm to her hand, letting it poke out through her skin to be used as a weapon.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:26 pm

Kotaru wasn't sure if Suzume was purposefully trying to get under his skin or not with that display. No matter what her intention was, the bannin maintained his stony expression and remained wholly unamused when she smirked at him. As she suspected he had seen much worse in his day; it would take a lot more than that to unnerve him and garner any kind of reaction. As continued on, he turned the kunai over in his hand to observe it. It seemed like any other kunai on the surface. He started to put the weapon into his bag but he paused at her insult. "I'm no one's dog," he said roughly, "and I don't care what your father would have called me. I d-" Her grimace caught his attention and he cut himself off. 'Is the genjutsu..?'

It only lasted for a moment as Suzume continued, and the tension in Kotaru's shoulders somewhat eased. Suzume didn't seem to be in pain, so for now he continued under the assumption that she was most likely still telling the truth. He wasn't alarmed or surprised at the mention of Yaksha or Nehan, but Kotaru found her information leaving something to be desired. "Knowing more? What kind of stupid- wait." He held his hand up and took a deep breath. Somehow he expected Kenji's escapades to be more interesting and concrete. "So one of the most infamous rogues in recent memory didn't have a plan? Is that what you're saying? What about you, Suzume? You said you spent years keeping him alive in your own way, so people wouldn't know he's dead. Why? Why continue his legacy if there is no legacy?"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:38 pm

His response to the insult only made Suzume giggle. She had seen a wide array of reactions to those same words. She couldn't help but notice that Kotaru's reaction was so tame, meanwhile lower level shinobi tended to react more violently to the words. "Hm." It was hardly a valuable observation, but one she tucked away nonetheless. It intrigued her at the least. Though what really interested her was his reaction to learning more about her father and what he had wanted and his goals. It simply made her laugh again as he seemed, perhaps, annoyed by the revelation. "A plan? No, Kenji never had a plan. He only wanted freedom to do as he wished, whatever he wished, and a village never allowed him that." The laugh that followed was a bit different than her giggle before, as she turned her head and looked away toward the bar as it came from her lips. If she had ever seen her mother in her final days, she would have known it sounded like her mother's laugh in her final days of madness.

His further questions merely left the woman sighing and shrugging at first. Black Chakra began to swirl around her form. "I had my own plans of gathering knowledge, but I never got further than finding a place to call my own before it was burned down in the war. I had to destroy my own dojo when fleeing Dragon Country when I got word Konoha was coming.... but no, I kept his memory alive for the Fear of him. Fear of him kept me alive for a long time. He protected me, even if it was only his memory." When the swirling of chakra was complete the transformation would leave not Suzume sitting on the table before Kotaru. But The Thing that Should Not Be.

"Never could get his voice right though."
Jutsu UsedShow
[The Thing that Should Not Be]
D-Rank Ninjutsu
After channeling chakra through her body, Suzume is able to use this more specialized form of the Transformation Technique to change her appearance to match her late father's form, Hiraku Kenji. This transformation being more reliable than the original Transformation technique, requiring a much more keen eye to see through this disguise. However, this form is insubstantial, and a single attack will dispel the disguise. Lasts for an amount of posts equal to Suzume's (Chakra Pool/2).
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:08 pm

As soon as chakra began to visibly swirl around her like a black fog Kotaru went on his guard. His stance hardly changed, but he let his arms hang at his sides so that he could react at any moment. Suzume's - Kenji's - kunai was still in his left hand, and he gripped it tightly when her formed changed. She might have been truthful so far, but the shinobi didn't have a modicum of trust towards her. There were several tense seconds after her transformation during which the bannin stood motionless, staring. Kotaru's glare could pierce metal and his murderous intent oozed from every pore. This transformation, for all he knew, could be formidable. If she even twitched in the wrong direction, he would take her down.

"So this is him, huh? No one ever mentioned Kenji had such an ugly mug." Despite the change in his demeanor his voice remained steady and with the same tone of mild irritation. "Incredible that the memory of a man with no plan or actual...grand destruction under his belt would generate enough fear to do all that. Gotta say, I'm a little disappointed he wasn't as much of a threat as some made him out to be." He expected some grand revelation to come out of this interrogation, but all the Akari found was a young woman who seemed to know next to nothing. All she could offer was an imitation and incomplete intelligence.

"I'll give you ten seconds to change back to normal. I prefer you the other way."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:19 pm

Suzume, while wearing Kenji's form, laughed outright as he told her to change back. It probably sounded doubly strange as the laugh was in her own voice still, in spite of the shape being that of Kenji's. She shook her head, but a moment later her black chakra swirled again and slowly the visage of Kenji disappeared to leave behind only the face of Suzume. "I'd say most don't prefer my normal face, but I guess it is considered preferable to my father's at least, as bad as it still is." she remarked with an idle shrug and a glance at her own feet before looking at Kotaru again.

"And I never said he wasn't capable of destruction, just that his plans were more about learning all things, even those that were forbidden. Maybe especially so." Suzume said, sighing quietly. "I'm his daughter, not his confidant. He might be a monster to most, but he was still my father. I think even he wanted to hide a lot of his worst parts from me, there's only so much I can pretend. I used what little I knew of his spies and intelligence network to keep up on current events. But the war destroyed nearly everything he left behind. All I can do is keep moving and training until I get strong enough to achieve his level of threat myself."

She tilted her head a moment and looked at Kotaru as if studying him briefly. "Assuming those short term goals of my own don't end today that is."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:31 pm

Kotaru's grip loosened on the kunai once her father's form dissipated. He snatched up his bag and dropped the weapon inside, but he was still cautious. He had met several shinobi from enemy villages in similar "friendly" circumstances over the years, but he never fully dropped his guard for even a second. "That's my point. He could have fucked up a country or two but he never did. Other than kill a few people here and there, the guy was just a nerdy, glorified librarian. The mad genius thing only interests me so much. If that's your goal, Suzume, I can't even be bothered to kill you. Assuming you don't piss me off, of course." The bannin wandered past the woman and looked at the abandoned meals and drinks on nearby tables. One of the cups contained an interesting looking green liquid, but when he sniffed its contents it turned out to be alcohol. Kotaru put the cup back on the table while wrinkling his nose.

"If it were me," he continued, "and I went through the trouble to go rogue, I'd leave a trail of bodies in my wake. Piles of shattered minds in broken corpses. That sounds way more fun than research and gathering knowledge or whatever." He came across a bowl of noodles that was still warm, and after dipping a finger into the broth for a taste test he picked up the bowl and started eating. "I thought it'd take a lot longer for you to tell me everything the old bastard was up to. Fucking boring story...." he mumbled the last bit before shoving more noodles into his mouth. This was probably the most boring interrogation he had ever done. It wasn't fun when the captive was such an honest woman who didn't even have interesting information. But he was still banking on getting something usable from her.

"Get comfortable, Suzume." Kotaru finally found a cup that wasn't filled with alcohol and downed it before adding, "I'm still not letting you leave."
Last edited by Kao on Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:11 pm

Suzume rolled her eyes as he complained, and she sighed heavily as he wandered off and started looking through a few things. She noticed the way he reacted to the smell of an alcoholic drink and tilted her head slightly, pushing herself off of the table and standing on her feet as she looked at him. "So why not do it? You're already out, a Bannin, just start leaving bodies." she said simply, motioning to the back where she knew the bartender and remaining waitress were probably hiding somewhere. "I can think of at least two that'd probably be fun to tear to pieces." she remarked with a shrug as she took steps to follow him through the room. "There's literally nothing in your way of doing so, not even me. Break their minds, show me what an Akari's penchant for violence is really like... I've always been curious." The more she spoke, the more her voice took on the same tone it took with recruits for Chishiki in the past. He dropped to one as if she were telling a bedtime story, smoothing out like silk.

If she knew more about genjutsu, she could have been weaving one, but she had no talent for such things. Not anymore, it was ability she never knew she had that had been lost when she had gained her father's skills and the Earth Grudge Fear.

He told her to get comfortable and the girl rolled her yellow eyes and groaned as she checked nearby glasses herself, not that she needed a drink per se. "How comfortable should I get?" she asked, suddenly reaching out a hand to touch him at his waist, if he didn't flinch away. Tendrils pushed through the stitching in her hands to touch across his waistline, seeking out the touch of skin if it could be found.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:00 pm

"Can't." Initially that was going to be his only explanation, but after a moment he continued on. "It's annoying but bannin can't just do whatever the fuck we want, especially after the war. Besides, the Tsuchikage would probably track me down and drag me back to the village himself. He's the last guy I want punching me in the face." He picked up on her allusion to the inn's two remaining workers and shook his head, but he didn't stop the image of their bloodied bodies from crossing his mind. "I only do that when I have to. I get a little ah...carried away." Kotaru didn't immediately notice the change in her tone. The shinobi had been reminded of his past self, an unapologetically violent boy when he was in the mood for it - and he was often in the mood. Years and experience, not to mention living under the watchful eyes of his best friends and their families, had mellowed him out significantly. But every so often he found it difficult to keep his foul, cruel nature in check and avoid outbursts.

Suddenly he felt a hand on his waist and he flinched and took a step back in surprise. The tendril brushed against the waistline of his pants and an instant later he instinctively grabbed her hand at the wrist. He paused before looking up at her in the eye. The situation was a familiar one: a beautiful woman, the temptation to commit violence, and inhuman tendrils that would send most men running. Normally he would have snatched her up immediately and shown her a good time, but Ume was still etched in the back of his mind. Kotaru wasn't his usual self.

"Maybe not that comfortable," he replied, letting go of her wrist. But there was hesitation in the way his eyes lingered on her exposed hand. "You're ballsy for making a pass at me with those things."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:13 pm

Suzume's eyes narrowed slightly as Kotaru mentioned the Tsuchikage. "Another Akari... if he'd do that himself, must be someone you know personally then. No wonder you feel like you can't do whatever you want." she remarked, shrugging a bit. "I wouldn't mind seeing what it looks like when you get carried away. It's odd how often people feel a need to shelter me from violence..." she chuckled a bit, the way he moved suddenly and grabbed at her wrist only made her chuckle again. Smiling at him she watched him a moment, suddenly curious about just what was going through his mind. She felt like she could almost see it. There was a flicker of something there, but he let go of her and she shook her head and took a step back.

She held up her hand and watched her own tendril seem to dance for a moment in the gaps between her skin. "I thought I saw a look earlier, sue me for trying." she remarked before allowing it recede back into her skin and the stitching moved backing into place. She crossed her arms under her chest with a sigh before leaning back against a nearby table. "I didn't exactly come by this intentionally... though I don't know what I was expecting either. Anyone near and dear to me would run screaming if they saw it, if I let them. I suppose for a moment I was..." She had looked away for a moment as if in thought, but as her eyes drifted back to Kotaru she simply chuckled again and shook her head. "Stupid of me." she mused, appearing to chew on the inside of her lip for a moment in thought.

The girl sighed. "So you want what? More interesting information about my father? Not sure I have much. When he first met me he wasn't even planning on taking me with him... my orphanage was attacked and everyone was killed, even I almost died that night. I'm still surprised he saved me. Or would you rather hear how he used tendrils to torture for information? Stuffing them into every mouth, nose, ear hole of unwilling informants for what he wanted? You say to get comfortable and I'm not leaving... what exactly is it you want to know, Kotaru?" she asked, pulling out a chair from the table and finally sitting down. "Personally, even I'm getting bored now."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:04 pm

Kotaru would neither confirm nor deny that he was close to Tatsuo. Apparently it wasn't common knowledge that they were brothers, and he didn't mind keeping that fact from her. The less people knew about him, the better. "I don't give two shits about sheltering you from violence. I just don't feel like being scolded or worse when I eventually do go back home. I push enough buttons with council members and other bannin as is. You wouldn't believe the paperwork they come up with when you kill the wrong person at the wrong time." He turned and hopped on top of a table and folded one leg under his body. She wasn't wrong in that he had given her a look or two, but he had no intention to do anything besides talk. It was rather odd for Kotaru to want to talk to anyone at length, but heartbreak had strange effects on men.

Kotaru didn't know Suzume well enough to pick up on her body language. It didn't occur to him that her briefly wandering gaze likely meant her condition was hard for her at times. The shinobi also simply couldn't understand mourning a parent, so he didn't make the connection between her body and that it reminded Suzume of her dead father. Instead of showing any semblance of sensitivity, he laughed. "You're bored because your pops was boring. Rescuing babies from a burning building? Who is this guy? Oh, sorry, 'was' since you're convinced he's dead. But the tendril thing? Sounds like a kink to me.

"If you're bored with talking about Kenji, then talk about yourself. How did you get-"
he lifted his hand and waved, gesturing to her entire body, "-like that?"
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:20 pm

"It's a village, of course it has annoying paperwork for all of the fun things." Suzume replied simply, rolling her eyes and sighing. Though she gave him an odd look as he spoke of his trouble with Council Members and the like. "For a loyal village Bannin you sound like quite the troublemaker, Kotaru." she cooed, chuckling and shaking her head. Though her mirth didn't last long as he mentioned Kenji again and referred to him as rescuing babies. She simply rolled her eyes. "It wasn't a burning building and I was hardly a baby." she remarked, sighing heavily as her annoyance showed.

She practically threw herself off the horse as she came close to the inn, stumbling and rolling in the dirt as she did, snapping the shaft of the arrow in her shoulder as she did. Turning she went for the doors of the inn, kicking them open as the men got close and an arrow slammed into Suzume's left side, between ribs, the momentum sending her to the ground. The girl whimpered as she crawled across the room on all fours, sitting with her back against the bar as drinkers scattered.

Just as she coughed, blood running down her chin, the mercenary who shot her was stepping inside, another arrow nocked and ready as he aimed for her head and grinned. "You failed, girlie."

[Reference]
Suzume could still feel the arrows when she thought about that day, one hand moving to touch her side where her ribs once were as she grimaced at the memory and sighed. "The woman who ran the place knew my parentage, she put me on a horse and sent me away as the attackers came. They'd tracked Kenji to us, he'd been visiting, following a trail left by my mother I guess. They were Iwa hunters." She bristled as she spoke the village name but pointedly refused to look at Kotaru as she said it. "Their leader was some Jounin from the village, his name shows up in my mother's journal repeatedly. I rode hard for the inn where Kenji was to try and get protection from him, by time I reached him I had at least two arrows in me already. I was maybe eleven at the time."

Suzume snorted in a mirthless laugh. "One of them had an arrow nocked and pointed at my head before his brain matter splattered in my face from one of Kenji's techniques. I'm still pretty sure he only killed him for some kind of insult or insolence in his presence rather than his threat to me. He'd already admitted to me at some point that if he'd known I existed sooner he would have killed me. Just as he killed his own parents before leaving Iwa."
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

User avatar
Kao
Iwa OOC
Iwa OOC
Posts: 7798
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:00 pm

He hummed in agreement when she called him a troublemaker. That seemed to interest her, perhaps even impress her. Kotaru was starting to think that maybe there was a bit more to her than her first impression suggested. He still found her naive, but there might have been a darkness in her that she inherited from her dear father. Not many people would casually suggest murdering innocent bystanders, after all. He took a mental note of that, just in case.

Suzume's annoyance was a pleasant development from Kotaru's point of view. When people's emotions flared or shifted significantly, he found that was the best moment to learn about people. 'Good,' he thought, 'give me something besides his nonsense quest for knowledge.' His eyes immediately fell on her hand when she touched her side and grimaced as if in pain. After a second or two passed he noticed it wasn't localized in her chest, which meant it most likely had nothing to do with his genjutsu. Suzume refused to look at him for a moment, so she missed the fleeting pleased smirk at the mention of Iwagakure hunters. By the time she looked up again his piercing expression would have already returned.

"Oh that's right, he did kill his parents, didn't he? That's the most interesting thing you've told me about him so far. And he killed a random guy for breathing in his presence. Good for him." Kotaru waved his hand again, this time in a gesture to encourage her to continue. "Keep going. You haven't gotten to the part about getting your tendrils yet."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:19 pm

"Tch." It honestly annoyed Suzume that he kept asking her about her tendrils, about the Earth Grudge Fear. "I was a naive moron who trusted the wrong person, is that what you want to hear about?" she replied, glaring at Kotaru for a moment before looking away as she shook her head. Her eyes darted to a couple different points on the wall as she thought about those moments that day. "His name was Asura. Some disgusting crazed criminal obsessed with flesh and deformities. Toukai Asura I think? One of a few names I actually try not to remember." Suzume seemed to exhale sharply out of her nose, as if some foul stench was associated with the name that she just couldn't get out of her nose fast enough. If she still had a stomach, it might have churned at the memory even.

"He was always raving about his god of flesh. Talking about mutations and changes. I guess I had listened to him too much. I was used to madmen at the time. Between my father, Nehan, and a few others I just got used to hearing sense in their ravings. I trusted madness like it made some kind of weird sense." She sighed and shook her head. "He told me I would be born anew, bathed in the power of K'thnguh!" She spared a single, wary glance at Kotaru before her eyes returned to the wall. "That was the name of his god you see. K'thnguh. I'd seen him mutate and kill entire villages under that name but I had always thought it was intentional. So when he talked about blessing me with some kind of power, raved of how beautiful I would be when he was done..." She looked down at one of her hands for a moment as the stitching pulled apart from her fingers down to her elbow and a mass of half a dozen tendrils was revealed in a swirling mass. She swallowed hard, and if she could cry, she certainly would have. "I never knew I'd become this disgusting heap of a monster." she practically spit the words out.

She shook her head and looked down at the tendrils still, just watching them move as if they moved on their own. "I was studying one of my father's old scrolls, one that he had used to earn the Earth Grudge Fear himself years ago. I put it away before Asura performed his ritual. All I could think about was my mother, how they called her 'The Lady Fae', and how beautiful everyone said she was. It was on my mind so much I could swear I heard her voice."

Suzume swallowed hard again as she watched the tendrils come together as if wrapping together and so the flesh stitched up into the form of a hand again and she looked away. "Hiraku is forever." she whispered, shaking her head. "I'm afraid that's probably a very boring story to you too. Just a naive girl who trusted the wrong criminal. Happens all the time out here, I should count myself lucky I wasn't killed or something." Though as she spoke it was clear she didn't count herself lucky, her voice was cold and a monotone.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

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Kao
Iwa OOC
Iwa OOC
Posts: 7798
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:22 pm

Kotaru nodded his head once, slowly, when she asked if he wanted to hear her story. Of course that's what he wanted to hear. The genjutsu would wear off soon, and now that she was properly frustrated would be a perfect time to hear the raw version of the details. He didn't interrupt her monologue. He didn't take his eyes off her. The bannin stared at her tendrils when her attention was drawn to them but otherwise he looked at her face. He could see the turmoil in her eyes and hear it in her voice. Only then did he begin to understand how much she hated what she saw.

The shinobi was never good at offering words of comfort and reassurance, especially to strangers. In fact it never even crossed his mind. Kotaru was a man who embraced the moniker of “monster.” Although the notoriety wasn’t something he had ever wanted, it had certainly served him well.served him well “It’s not that boring of a story. The tortured soul aspect is a little dull, but.” He punctuated his statement with a shrug.

“And Asura? What happened to him? It doesn’t sound like you would have given him a thank-you card for what he did. But maybe you should. So what if you’re a monster? Anyone who’s afraid of you because you look like that is beneath you. Or they would be if you ever stop crying about it and if I let you leave here and use it.”
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

User avatar
Aes Sedai
Posts: 11305
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Aes Sedai » Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:03 pm

Suzume rolled her eyes as Kotaru made his comments about 'tortured soul'. But she didn't comment in return about it. Not out loud anyway. 'More and more I understand his hate of villages... try to control their people on a leash... chide the rest of us for our troubles... bastards.' She sighed heavily and shook her head, looking at Kotaru again as he asked about Asura and simply shrugged.

"Like a lot of the contacts I made, he went on his way and eventually I stopped hearing from him. I had ways of getting in contact but those ways all involved the place I was staying at. I had a place set up with a place to house people as they traveled, my own cohorts or my father's. But the war brought the villages too close, especially Konoha. I had to burn it all before I left. Everything is gone." She sighed heavily as she remembered burning the Chishiki headquarters. In a lot of ways burning the place down had broken her heart. It was her home, after all burning down the secret headquarters meant also burning down her home and her dojo that was attached to it as well, and was the front to it all. It had also meant hiding a few key scrolls in places she wasn't even sure she could track her way back to now with the way borders had changed since the war.

She had really lost everything, at least for the time being.

She quirked an eyebrow however at the rest of his comments about how others might fear her, yet still she didn't address it. 'What am I supposed to do? Cry to him about losing lovers because of this curse? As if he'd understand with that pretty face of his.... feh. Or even give a damn.' She only shook her head about it and sighed again. "You keep talking like I'm not walking out of here. What are your plans on that then?" she asked him finally.
Karugata Asami ~ Kirigakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ Seven Swordsmen of the Mist ~ #28C4D8 ~ #BC3877
Senkensha Mika ~ Frost Country ~ D Rank Minor Country ~ Kaijuku ~ #E87FC9
Inuzuka Minako ~ Konohagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ ANBU ~ #87DDD1
Akari Ume ~ Iwagakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #006D75 ~ #BAE860 ~ #F9603A
Meiyo Souta ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Bannin ~ #AF1E2D ~ #C49977 ~ #8080FF
Arashiyama Etsuko ~ Kumogakure No Sato ~ Jounin ~ #F99B0C
Hizashi Junpei ~ Sunagakure No Sato ~ Genin (C) ~ #5B77CC ~ #800080
Hiraku Suzume ~ Iron Country ~ C Rank Minor Country ~ #5E99AA ~ #FCA577

User avatar
Kao
Iwa OOC
Iwa OOC
Posts: 7798
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 8:00 pm

Oh to be Normal

Post by Kao » Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:14 pm

Kotaru twisted his lips to the side into a disappointed grimace when she revealed she had lost touch with Asura. He sounded interesting, to say the least, and he could probably provide a gold mine's worth of information if Iwa ever got their hands on him. The bannin tucked away the name and his role in Suzume's transition to look into at a later time. For now, she was right. He still hadn't decided what he would do with her. He hummed in contemplation as he moved his legs so both of them hung off the side of the table. "Well. You've told me a good amount of information and I don't plan on going back to Iwa any time soon. So normally I'd kill you but I'm really not in the mood. You caught me on an off day."

With a glance in the direction that the bartender disappeared, he added, "I didn't expect it to be so easy to get you to talk. I've already paid for for the inn for three fucking days so we might as well use it. Since you burned down your house or whatever it's not like you have anywhere else to be, right? Maybe you'll think of something else to tell me." When he looked back at Suzume his gaze was a touch softer. A wave of fatigue hit him again, and what he needed now was a bed. Kotaru hopped down from the table and snatched up his bag, then he jerked his head in the direction of the stairs that led to the inn's rooms. "Move your ass, Suzume."
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoJounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#209DD3]
Ishiwara SetsunaGenin Iwagakure no Sato[color=#E81D1D]
Awai FusaeA-Rank MNKonohagakure no Sato[color=#D95FEA]
Important NPCsShow
Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
Rock Country Daimyo [color=#AC4A4A]

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