[Graded][Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Sanjuro and Niro

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Sanjuro
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[Graded][Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:07 pm

Pacing back and forth outside the entrance to what could become one of his greatest or worst decisions, Kazuo couldn't help but think a lot of his current anxiety came from the looming nature of the massive castle that housed the Jousai. Also helped to keep the cold out, which was a nice plus. Kazuo looked back to Koji, the massive wolf who had been his partner for the last eleven years, who merely shook his head and laid down in the snow to wait for his master.

"Well you're no bloody help, are you?"

Joining the Jousai meant he was committing to something more intrinsic than just being one of the rank-and-file of Iwa's elite. Yes, serving Iwa was a glorious thing in and of itself, but it was also expected. Everyone served the village in some way. As a ninja or a tradesman, it was simply expected. Joining something like the Jousai was that extra step further, that additional layer of commitment. He knew he wanted to serve, he knew he wanted to do it as part of the elite group that defended Iwa against all threats, but was he ready to do it right now? Right this second. There was still plenty of the world to explore, still a whole lot of things he could do with the flexibility being a rank-and-file Special Jounin gave him that would disappear upon taking a more specialized role.

The bark from behind made Kazuo jump and he glared at Koji before finally sighing, running his fingers through his hair one last time, and turning the imposing doors. He had come this far, there was no going back now. One meeting with what was possibly one of the strongest ninja in recent years, that's all. No biggie, right? "Here goes something, I guess." Lifting his hand, he rapped the back of his gauntlet against the massive doors three times, listening to the cacophonous booming that echoed beyond. With any luck Tatsuo wouldn't be home and he could just skip along home, forget all about this moment of insanity.
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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Niro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Niro » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:17 pm

Three loud knocks rung throughout the halls of Jousai's headquarters, summoning Hironaka, Kinomichi from his room on the first floor. The rather large man lumbered to the door, his face emotionless as he opened the large pair of metal double doors and found himself face to face with a youth almost as tall as he. 'Well, that's a first.' Kinomichi thought to himself as he scanned both the young man and his companion up and down before deciding to speak.

"Are you here for Tatsuo? He is in his office. You may find it down the hall and up the stairs on the third floor. Once you reach the landing, it is the first door on the left." Kinomichi explained before turning and walking himself back to the hallway containing his room, the Katon user not a very talkative character.

Kazuo would be treated to a sight most would in the village had not. The first floor of the headquarters building was large and spacious with many hallways leading off to who knew where on both the left and right sides. Smack in the middle of the first floor, however, was a gigantic spiral staircase made of stone that led both to floors above the first and down to the basement where training rooms and Jousai's access to the Catacombs was located.

Up in his office, Tatsuo was stuck doing more damn paperwork. On the left side of his desk was a stack of yet-looked at forms while on the right side was the stack of papers and forms he had already completed. The left pile was considerably taller than the right, totaling a good three or so feet, while the right pile was maybe a third of its counterpart. The door to his office was open, welcoming in any member of Jousai who wished to speak with him and free him of his predicament.
#MakeIwaGreatAgain
NameVillageRankTeam
Kosuke [color=#DC143C]Miracle CountryC-rank
Tatsuo [color=#5e1105]IwaBanninTeam 18 Jousai
Yoshinori [color=#1fb1dd]KonohaChuunin

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:02 pm

Kazuo cocked his head to the side when the doors opened to reveal a man taller than even he was. It had been a long time since Kazuo had been forced to look up in order to meet someone's eyes, even if just by a little, and that did not help to settle his nerves in the slightest. Before he even had a chance to open his mouth the large man was already guiding him on his way and dismissing him in the same motion.

"Thank… you...?"

Making his way into the halls of the castle, Kazuo took the time to look around and did his best to ignore the scraping of claws on stone as Koji followed him in. It was very spartan in design, mostly hallways, but the massive staircase drew his attention. Following the instructions to go up, he peeked a glance down to see if he could tell how far it went. Whistling, he projected his voice down, and listened for the echo, all the while grinning a little to himself. He liked places like this. The more exploring he could do, the better.

Ignoring his desire to go snooping about, he cut a path down the hall and to the indicated room. Stepping up to the first door on the left, he knocked three times and cleared his throat.

"Akari Tatsuo? My name is Higurashi Kazuo. I'm here about signing up with Jousai?"
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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Niro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Niro » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:24 pm

Kazuo's whistle would carry for a decent fifteen or so seconds before rebounding off of the walls of the basement and echoing back, signifying the space below the ground level was quite huge, possibly even larger than the actual building.

Three knocks on his opened door and a new, previously unseen face appearing in his doorway was almost enough to bring Tatsuo to tears. Finally, someone else was interested in Jousai. Not many of the normal rank-and-file shinobi of the village were keen on exploring the Catacombs, especially after hearing about the gigantic Leviathan worm that had once prowled its depth and that there could, no, would be other horrors of similar magnitude within its deepest regions just waiting for someone to stumble upon them.

Clearing his throat and pushing away the form he was currently filling it, Tatsuo looked at the older shinobi in front of him, his royal purple eyes scanning both the man and his gigantic wolf.

"Well, Kazuo, you're in the right place." Tatsuo swept his right hand out and motioned for the shinobi to take a seat at one of the two chairs in front of his desk. He would wait for him to sit before continuing on. "I'll be blunt; why are you interested and why should I let you in?"
#MakeIwaGreatAgain
NameVillageRankTeam
Kosuke [color=#DC143C]Miracle CountryC-rank
Tatsuo [color=#5e1105]IwaBanninTeam 18 Jousai
Yoshinori [color=#1fb1dd]KonohaChuunin

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:45 pm

There was something off-putting about the eyes of the teenager that greeted him. Perhaps it was just Tatsuo in general. Kazuo had heard rumours of how strong this particular Akari was; it was part of the reason he was interested in Jousai in the first place. Smiling in greeting, he stepped into the room after Tatsuo and took the offered chair, Koji stepping up beside him and sitting, his size enough to put him at almost the same height as Kazuo in his seat.

"Honestly? Curiosity. About what Jousai does, the rumours about the catacombs, and you. I've always thought I was strong, but… if the rumours about you are true then I obviously have a long way to go." Kazuo grinned and shook his head. "Being shown up by someone younger than me hurts my pride, ya know?"

Taking a moment to glance around the office, he noticed the piles of paperwork and mentally shuddered. With any luck if he did end up part of this group, he would be able to avoid that. "Running missions, being part of the rank-and-file, it's great. I enjoy what I do. But sometimes, you need to stand out from the crowd. I don't want to be just some other soldier on the battlefield. One of these days I plan to be a leader. I'd like a chance to stand out from the rest, show initiative, all that jazz. If I get to do those things while doing something important like taking an active role in defending our village, then all the better."
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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Niro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Niro » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:32 pm

"Can't wait until you meet Kota then. Two years my junior and on the same level. You got a bit of work to do, huh?" Tatsuo teased the special jounin, smirking at the young man seated across from him before he leaned back into his leather chair. Taking a moment to gather himself for the long winded explanation he was about to spew out, Tatsuo crossed his right ankle over his left knee and steeped his fingers on his lap.

"Getting into the nitty-gritty of it, Jousai is divided into separate parts. The first section, which is run jointly by Mitsuo and I, is the Ninomaru. The Ninomaru is responsible, primarily, for two duties. Increasing the security of the village's outer defenses is the first while creating and maintaining relationships with the villages and tribes in the surrounding provinces so as to create a widespread information network is the second. Easier to win wars when the locals don't hate you.

"The next division is the Honmaru which Mitsuo runs by himself. The division works to enhance security within the village while also dealing most directly with the Catacombs. It is also sounds like this is where you'd like to be. Plenty of opportunity to explore what lies below either solo or with a team. Due to what's lurking down there, I recommend a team. Who knows what you might run into? Either way, there's plenty of opportunity within the organization both on an individual level and on a village-wide level."
Tatsuo finished his explanation. "Am I wrong to place you within the Honmaru or would you prefer helping out with defense patrols and mingling with the tribes?"

No matter what Kazuo replied, Tatsuo had one last thing that needed to be done before he could accept the man into the organization. Last thing he needed was to let some almost-jounin in who wasn't strong enough and died in the Catacombs. The public outcry was something the organization could do without.
#MakeIwaGreatAgain
NameVillageRankTeam
Kosuke [color=#DC143C]Miracle CountryC-rank
Tatsuo [color=#5e1105]IwaBanninTeam 18 Jousai
Yoshinori [color=#1fb1dd]KonohaChuunin

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:06 pm

"Maa, the number of prodigies among the younger generation really is something else, huh?"

Kazuo listened intently to Tatsuo's spiel, his hand falling to rest on Koji's head more out of habit than anything, nodding at the necessary points and frowning at the others. It sounded like gaining the most prestige would come from working with the Honmaru division. Staying within the village, becoming a known presence, dealing with the thing that was most prominent right now, the Catacombs. In truth he would probably be better suited for the Ninomaru. While his skillset was diverse enough to handle defensive techniques and tackling unruly spirits… "To be perfectly honest with you Tatsuo, while I believe I could handle the work of the Honmaru with ease as well, my speciality does lie elsewhere. I'm a hunter and tracker by focus, a forward scout. Between myself and my wolves we have little issue with spotting danger well before it becomes a threat and enough strength to eliminate it."

Leaning forward in the chair so he could rest his head on his fist and his arm on his knee, Kazuo frowned in thought. "The benefits of being a member of the Honmaru however are undeniable. I'll admit to being more than a little curious about the Catacombs as well. I have yet to actually take a look down there." Turning his gaze to look directly into the strange violet eyes of the Akari, Kazuo took a breath and let out it. "I suppose I'll be happy wherever you decide I would work best."
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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Niro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Niro » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:54 am

"The older generations slacked off, got left behind." Tatsuo winked at the man before he got up from his chair. He reached skywards and stretched his arms, shoulders, and back before moving some papers around on his desk to tidy it up. 'Well, guess we better see what this guy has before we yes or no him.' Tatsuo thought to himself as he stepped out from behind his desk and leaned against the side.

"Best way to find out, I guess, is to see you in action myself. Safe to assume you have the majority of your gear on you?" Tatsuo asked and waited for Kazuo's answer before pushing off from the desk and heading to the exit of his office. "We'll be going down to the Catacombs. It'll give you some first hand experience in it, I get to see where to place you, and I get to deal with a spirit that has been causing a bit of an issue with other parties that have been sent down. Meaning you can also see if the stories and rumors about me are true. It's a win-win for all of us unless you, well, die. So don't, okay?" Tatsuo grinned as he walked down the hallway and began to descend the stone, spiral staircase to the base level.

Rather than stopping at the base floor, however, Tatsuo continued descending the staircase into the basement levels. The scene would give way to the staircase descending into a large, open cavern well lit with multiple torches decorating the sides and another hole in the floor with the staircase protruding through it. Several training mats lined the floors of the first sub level with racks of mass produced weapons off to the sides of the room. He didn't stop there, however, and continued down to the next level where the basement would reach it's final floor.

The final sub level followed the pattern of the first where torches lined the wall but rather than a large cavern it was a narrow hallway. Tatsuo walked the distance to the end of the hallway where it opened up into a spacious room with multiple fuuinjutsu engraved within the floor and two non-descript guards standing atop it. The young jounin walked to the center of the display and motioned for Kazuo to stand next to him.

"Ready?"
#MakeIwaGreatAgain
NameVillageRankTeam
Kosuke [color=#DC143C]Miracle CountryC-rank
Tatsuo [color=#5e1105]IwaBanninTeam 18 Jousai
Yoshinori [color=#1fb1dd]KonohaChuunin

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:53 am

Shaking his head at the comeback, Kazuo stood up as Tatsuo did and motioned for Koji to make his way towards the door. "Maybe. Maybe not. Strength doesn't always equal experience though and I've got that in droves. Don't count us old timers out just yet." He nodded in the affirmative to Tatsuo's question of his gear. Kazuo assumed there would be some sort of physical portion to his acceptance and had come prepared. Unfortunately his other companion would be unable to help him out here but Koji should prove to be more than enough.

Laughing at the request he didn't die, Kazuo grinned right back at Tatsuo. "I'll be sure to do my best, boss." He flicked his long hair when he said that, a full body shudder running through him. "Nope. That feels weird. Don't worry, I'll find somethin'." He clapped his hands together, rubbing them in anticipation. "So, I finally get to see these mysterious Catacombs. Exciting. Lead on then, good sir." With that he followed the young ninja out of the room and clicked for Koji to follow behind.

As they went down the seemingly never-ending spiral staircase, Kazuo surveyed the training room as best he could in the brief glance, he had of it. It was barebones but functional and that was what impressed Kazuo. He wasn't a man who found pleasure in garish facilities, but he knew the politics behind a place like this could have easily lent itself to be a little more over the top.

Then again, the place was a giant freakin' castle. That was plenty over the top.

Coming down to the final sub level of the basement, he blinked as his eyes readjusted to the suddenly narrow hallway. A chill of anticipation ran through him as he followed Tatsuo down, their footsteps echoing off the stone and pounding in his ears as loudly as his own heart was. He paused for the briefest of moments, sucking in a deep breath, before stepping through into the chamber that was the entrance to the Catacombs.

A long, low whistle escaped him along with his breath as he took in the remarkable display of fuuinjutsu. "I… have no idea what half of this means. But it is damn impressive, I'll give ya that." Stepping up beside Tatsuo and calling for Koji to do the same, he looked around and aside from the guards and the seals there was nothing else of note; in particular no other way in or out of the room than the way they had come. "Sure, I'm ready, but how in the hell are we gettin' there chief? … Nope, that ain't right either."
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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Niro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Niro » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:36 am

Tatsuo waited for Kazuo and Koji to stand besides him before he turned his gaze to the guard on the near the edge of the ring of the fuuinjutsu and nodded at him. The guard bowed in response before running through a long string of hand seals, crouching to the ground, and placing a hand on the edge of the fuuinjutsu. Tatsuo turned his gaze back to Kazuo as the fuuinjutsu began to activate, awaiting the look on his face. The entire seal matrix covering the floor shone brightly as the guard's chakra flowed through it and the room began to sink at a moderate pace into the earth. The only light provided to them were the multiple standing torches planted into the ground of the makeshift 'elevator.'

Tatsuo turned his gaze once more to the guard who originally activated the fuuinjutsu and was now standing back at attention on the corner of the platform. "Has the seal be altered to increase the speed of descent or shall we be waiting as long as usual?" He asked, curious if the fuuinjutsu masters had yet altered the seal to increase the speed as he had requested months ago.

The guard nodded before opening his mouth and replying to Tatsuo. "They came in last week and redid the seal. It should go at double the speed now. Our estimated time of arrival at the camp is now only 15 minutes rather than the previous 30."

"Good." Tatsuo nodded as he fell back into silence during the descent, his gaze wandering around the area in boredom for several minutes before looking to Kazuo at his side. "This is the boring part. The descent, as you heard, used to take a half hour. It was excruciating to stand around for so long but the Catacombs are even further into the earth than the lowest section of Iwagakure by over a mile. Their threat to the village, at this point, is minuscule except for the few spirits who match the Genma in pure strength. Even then, those spirits are so deep within the Catacombs we don't have an idea of where they are exactly. Some of the sensors have tried to look for them but unless they use Doton Empathy based jutsu, it's hard."

Soon the elevator's descent began to slow and it settled into the bottom of the shaft. In the same direction they had once stepped onto the plate, a new opening stood but this one was not of man-made building material but pure stone. Torches decorated the outside of the opening as Tatsuo strode through it, beckoning the duo to follow after him.

The sight in front of them was blanketed in darkness with standing torches dotting the area every few meters to provide light. Small tents and crates of supplies littered the area with the outline of a large command tent off in the darkness. Tatsuo reached into one of the supply crates they passed for a moment before he continued his walk. After several moment he turned sharp left and walked several meters before holding his arm out to prevent Kazuo from continuing. In front of them was pure darkness and few torches located around them, making it hard even to see where they were going. The young jounin cracked one of the flares he had taken from the crate with both hands before rearing back in a pitcher's stance and throwing the flare with his full might. The poor piece of equipment rocketed forward with herculean force before vanishing into the darkness hundreds, if not over a thousand, of meters away. Tatsuo looked unamused as he cracked a second flare he had procured from the crate before simply dropping it at his feet. However, he had stopped just before the edge of the cliff which meant the flare not only fell to his feet but into the darkness below before also being enveloped.

"Welcome to the Catacombs."
#MakeIwaGreatAgain
NameVillageRankTeam
Kosuke [color=#DC143C]Miracle CountryC-rank
Tatsuo [color=#5e1105]IwaBanninTeam 18 Jousai
Yoshinori [color=#1fb1dd]KonohaChuunin

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Sanjuro
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[Plotboard] Dawn of a New Era

Post by Sanjuro » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:03 am

Kazuo's attention was immediately drawn to the glowing light of chakra beneath his feet and the distinct hum it was giving off, the hair on his arms and the back of his neck standing on end at the feeling of standing in the centre of such a pool of chakra. He wasn't a sensor and he could practically feel the power beneath his feet. The look of awe on his face would gradually bleed into one of pure glee. Despite his specialized style of Taijutsu, he truly did love Ninjutsu and what it was capable of. Koji, on the other hand, turned around in tight circles sniffing at the ground, pawing at the seals. That dog had so much latent chakra from growing up alongside Kazuo and the ninja feeding the dog chakra-pills that he was massive. When it came to utilizing said chakra, Koji was just a wolf. He knew how to fight alongside it but the use of it completely escaped his animal instincts.

"Consider me impressed. I knew the Catacombs were deep but had no idea they were that far down." He nodded along seriously as Tatsuo explained the importance of exploring and maintaining the defensive watch over the Catacombs. It didn't sound like a prominent threat but could very quickly and easily get out of hand if it wasn't kept in check, especially now that the doors were opened. "I'd ask why the entrances aren't just sealed, but I can guess. Not all the spirits down there are a threat, are they? The knowledge we could gain outweighs the risk of putting it under a permanent live guard instead of closing it off entirely." He stopped to think about that, watching as the torches in the walls appeared and vanished just as quickly as they descended down and down, further into the core of the earth. "That and if there are truly Genma level beings down there, then simply sealing the entrances wouldn't stop them rising up and tearing the village asunder."

When the elevator finally came to a rumbling halt, Kazuo followed Tatsuo off the platform with Koji practically leaping after the Akari, glad to be free of the infernal contraption. He took in the structure, eyes wide, ears pricked as he stretched out his senses to take in as much as possible. The smell down here was… strange. It should be dank, mildewy, like stale air. There was something off about it though. It wasn't a fresh scent by any means, but it wasn't stale either. There was something in the very air itself that set this place apart. Following Tatsuo's lead, Kazuo pocketed a few flares from the supply crate and immediately he felt the air flow shift as they turned a corner, even as Tatsuo put his arm out. There was a vast expanse of nothing in front of them which Tatsuo demonstrated by tossing a flare with such force that even Kazuo blinked in surprise, taken aback by the strength shown by his younger leader.

A half-cocked grin revealed his slightly sharper than normal canines and a glint of excitement was visible in his eyes as the flashed from dull brown to bright amber.

So… these were the infamous Catacombs, huh?

"Let's do this."
Name Village Rank Color Code
Hirohito, Hideki Kirigakure Bannin #0047AB
Higurashi, Kazuo Iwagakure Special Jounin #FFC40C
Akechi, Gendo Cold Country C-Rank pink
Courtesy of SiaShow


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