[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:03 pm

It turned out that the little card that Shizuo had given to Iwamaru before during their last meeting would find some use.

After becoming an official member of the Jousai, Iwamaru has received increased responsibility. Despite being a newly promoted chuunin, he’d acclimated to his new duties and paperwork requirements quite well. Ever eager to prove himself, Iwamaru started inquiring how he might be of use in the catacombs but was stopped shortly after inquiring. His Jousai brethren tactfully explained to him that they needed those who specialized in Tenkujutsu, especially since a lot of the smaller activity had died down in recent months.

Curious about the whole affair, Iwamaru had returned to his quarters, ruminating on the matter. He could certainly learn Tenkujutsu on his own, but he wanted to consult with someone more experienced than he was, really learn about what he was getting himself into before dedicating an inordinate amount of time to learning the art. He was racking his brains for whom he might speak with when his meeting with one Komiya Shizuo cape to mind. Looking around his quarters, he found the card that he’d been given just a few months before.

Before he knew it, Iwamaru was already in the Eastern District, his eyes scanning about for the Reinō Spiritual Ability Research Center. He wasn’t familiar with the area, so it took some time before he managed to find the building, looking to see if there was a receptionist or secretary he could speak with...

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:37 pm

There was indeed a secretary in the reception lobby of the Reinō Spiritual Ability Research Center. There were two, in fact. Two young ladies roughly nineteen years old sat side by side, staring at the entrance as if they had been expecting the young chuunin. At first glance they were identical: their hair was jet black, pulled into low ponytails so that their hair cascaded down a single shoulder; their skin was remarkably pale and free of blemishes; and their lips were painted scarlet. Their facial features were similar enough that they were undoubtedly twin sisters. Upon further approach, however, the two had some small differences. One girl, for instance, wore her hair thrown over her left shoulder while the other wore hers over the right. The sibling with her hair over her right shoulder had odd eyes: the right was dark brown, while the left was a striking emerald green. The other sibling had similar eyes, but it was her right eye that shone like a precious jewel, and hers was that of a ruby.

"Welcome," they chimed in unison, smiling at the boy as he approached. Their expression was, on the surface, friendly. But, most would find their unblinking gaze and barely moving lips unsettling. "Do you have an appointment?" the Left twin inquired, maintaining her smile. "Or do you have some other business here?" the Right continued fluidly. They stared at the boy, waiting patiently for his response.
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Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:57 pm

...Iwamaru didn’t understand why, but these two eerily beautiful receptionists were likely the most terrifying thing the newly appointed Chuunin had laid his eyes on, and he frankly wasn’t sure why.

This pair’s ability to seem so absolutely blank and yet have such profoundly acute vision that it felt like they could peer into the very darkest crevices of his mind without the bslightest bit of effort disturbed Iwamaru in such a fundamental way that he simply had no words for it. Thankfully, his training granted him the resilience needed to face this situation. When fear threatened to consume him, he kept to the script. ”Hello! My name is Tate Iwamaru, and I was looking to see one Komiya Shizuo. Forgive me, this is a spontaneous visit.”

So long as he was polite and to the point, he suspected that it would limit the amount of time he had to worry about his nerves. What was he about to get himself into?
Last edited by ShinobiTruth on Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:42 pm

The Twins stared as Iwamaru introduced himself, and for several long seconds after he finished speaking they didn't move. They hardly seemed to breathe as they continued to stare, their slight smiles never faltering. Seconds bled into a minute, and nearly into another before the girls finally, simultaneously, lifted their left hands and reached into the front of their shirts. Each girl pulled out a long, thin metal pin that resembled a thick senbon with a pink, blunt cap on either end. Then, slowly, they began drawing in the air in front of them.

Pale blue light followed the leisurely movements of their wands to form an intricate pattern that lingered before them. Their lines intertwined to form a large seal nearly three feet in length and width. When the twins lowered their wands, the pattern pulsed. The entire lobby seemed to dim, near tangible waves of chakra oscilating through the room. "Pardon the interruption," the Left began, still unblinking, as the Right finished the sentence, "Komiya-san, one Tate Iwamaru is here to see you."

"Without an appointment."

The last phrase was in unison, and as soon as the last syllable passed their lips the fuuinjutsu faded. "He will be up shortly." The Right twin's smile widened momentarily before falling back to its normal state, and from that moment on the girls said nothing and instead stared at Iwamaru in silence.


Komiya Shizuo had been in the middle of his newest research endeavor. Papers and scrolls and glowing green tubes filled his workstation, scattered haphazardly about as he paced the small lab. He would never admit it but things hadn't been going well, and he had been aching for a distraction when the wall near him began to faintly glow. A fuuinjutsu array had activated, and two familiar and chilling voices filled the lab. At first the special jounin couldn't place the name, but after a moment of thought a face came to mind, along with scenes from a rather unpleasant visit to his mother. After washing his hands he turned off the lights and made the long walk back to the ground floor.

It took him nearly five minutes to arrive, and as he entered the lobby he adjusted his pursed lips and wrinkled brows to a warm smile. "Iwamaru-kun! You actually came. I wasn't sure that you would." Instead of his usual casual clothing, the shinobi wore black slacks, a dark brown, smartly pressed shirt, and a short white lab coat with an ID card clipped to his left breast pocket. "How've you been?"
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Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:24 pm

Cold. Everything felt cold. He wasn’t even sure if he was even alive any more. All he could see where those haunting eyes.

For the first minute or so, everything seemed normal enough. Quiet, eerily so, but still all was well. He’d nothing to worry about other than Shizuo arriving to receive him. He could do this. He was a chuunin, after all. He was responsible and civil. Surely he could handle a brief awkward moment with-

The pupils of their eyes momentarily flickered. No. That wasn’t possible. He hadn’t broken eye contact with them the entire time. He was imagining things. He... he...

His heart caught in his chest. But why? They’d done nothing to cause him to be afraid. They were just sitting there. Sitting, with those unnatural, unholy eyes. A small bead of perspiration rolled down his brow. What? Why was he sweating? He wasn’t even hot- his eyes had moved away from them. A panicked gaze quickly sought them and found them sitting as they were before. How could they sit so still?! Were they even breathing? Were they even alive?! Do something. Anything. Something to give grounds for his sanity, something to prove he’d not descended into madness!!!

Shizuo’s voice broke him from his trance, and he could not have been more grateful. ”Hi, Shizuo- good to see you again, too; I’m looking to learn how to fight spirits, so can you teach me a little bit about them anywhere that’s literally as far away from this lobby as possible?” Iwamaru asked in one continued breath.

He couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact with the twins. Anything, anything but that.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:40 pm

Shizuo had caught a glimpse of visceral panic in the boy's eyes before he snapped his attention away from the girls. The man had to stifle an amused snort at the kid's expression. 'Ah, yes, the terror twins. Should have warned him.' His attention turned back to Iwamaru, who wasted no time beating around the bush. The kid was direct, which was a trait that Shizuo appreciated. "Sure thing, Iwamaru-kun. Follow me." With quick steps he led the chuunin out of the lobby, leaving the eerie sisters to smile at empty walls and shadows.

"You want to learn how to fight spirits huh? That's not a very common sentiment, though I guess more and more people have become interested in tekujutsu and spirits with everything that's been happening recently." A shadow passed over Shizuo's face, his own words reminded him of the near chaos he's faced in recent months. He had seen death, so much death, all because of spirits running amok in the dark abyss beneath the village. Publicly, the unrest in the village was due to rogue spirits in and around the Catacombs. But Shizuo knew the truth and had witnessed most of it firsthand. It made his blood boil and rage flashed momentarily in the depths of his stormy grey eyes.

Remembering himself, Shizuo forced his expression to soften into that of a more docile man who was simply having a friendly meeting with a younger shinobi about his endeavors. "So what brought this about?" he asked delicately, knowing the answer might be personal. "Fighting spirits isn't something that should be taken lightly."
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Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:54 pm

A wave of relief washed over the chuunin as he walked with his senior counterpart. Finally, he was out of that horrid lobby. Before he left, he was going to ask if there was a back door he could take out of this build. That lobby had NOPE written all over it.

Iwamaru caught the momentary shift in demeanor in Shizuo's eyes. These momentary flashes of intense anger seemed to be a trait of his, though he couldn't be certain if this was due to the issue with his mother or something. Considering the topic of discussion, he assumed it was something else, which made him curious, but if there was anything he'd learned from their last time together, it was discretion. Keeping to himself, he simply waited for Shizuo to address him. "Truthfully, I seek to volunteer to fight in the Catacombs," he stated. "Ever since I joined Jousai, I've been looking for ways to make myself more useful to the organization, but when I inquired about volunteering to fight in the Catacombs, they mentioned that they needed those well-versed in the arts of Tenkujutsu. I plan on specializing in Chakra Control, so it seemed to be a good fit."

His eyes focused on Shizuo, drinking in every detail and every word. A happenstance meeting had turned into an opportunity he would not pass up.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:13 am

Shizuo stopped in his tracks, his already porcelain face blanching until the only color was the maroon shadows beneath his bottom eyelids. The word catacombs hissed and echoed in his mind so loudly that he almost missed what the boy said afterwards. The Catacombs was a place he didn't take lightly, and whenever services were necessary he accepted his duties with a stiff jaw and clenched fists. It was hard to picture this kid - or any kid - going anywhere near the Catacombs without returning with scars. Many of those scars were impossible to see.

He swallowed and then cleared his throat as sensation in his legs returned, enough for him to continue walking forward. They entered an elevator that would take them a few levels underground to his lab and office. The special jounin tried to recover by responding with, "Jousai? Wow, I'm impressed. You must be pretty strong. That group is pretty selective and exclusive. Crawling with intense prodigies."

The elevator dinged, and Shizuo led the way to his modest laboratory. His desk was situated at the back of the room, along with a single chair for a guest. "If you're wanting to fight spirits then you've come to the right place. We research them here pretty extensively: how to subjugate them, how to banish them from this realm, and how to use them for our own benefit. I was promoted to an associate researcher just last week, so I finally got a lab. It's technically shared with two others, but most of the time I get the lab to myself. Most of this mess is mine." Shizuo spoke quickly, as if he had been waiting to tell someone about his lab and success. He would have prattled on about his research, but he reigned himself in. "So, what do you want to know first?"
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Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:32 am

...Okay, so this was definitely about the Catacombs. This was not the reaction of someone who had no personal connection to the place. Shizuo's face somehow became even more pale and blanched than before, practically like his mind emptied of all thought for a brief few seconds. He'd come to learn more about fighting spirits and the Catacombs.

It seems he succeeded.

He thought it best to simply go along with Shizuo for now, not wanting to pry. It was clear that there were some deep-seated personal issues that Shizuo had in connection with his work, and that meant that he, more than most, would be intimately familiar with the arts required to go to that place. Quietly following Shizuo off of the elevator, Iwamaru continued. "Well, I'm honestly looking for general information. To start, it's my understanding that while Chakra Control plays a great deal in the use of Tenkujutsu, that it technically doesn't fall under any of the traditional schools of jutsu? That was a little hard to grasp when I first heard it, and I was hoping someone a bit more thoroughly skilled in the subject could shed some light on the matter."

It felt both wise and somehow rather dirty in Iwamaru's eyes to not try to address the elephant in the room and be a support to his fellow man, but the last time he'd tried to interject, things had ended poorly due to his inexperience. It was important to remember which battles he could reasonably fight and win, and for now, that's what he was doing.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:21 pm

The man hummed as Iwamaru explained his interests. His lips twisted as he sat in tohought, thinking of the best way to explain tenkujutsu to the young chuunin, knowing that the art was rather difficult to explain to a novice. Tenkujutsu was a rare art in the village these days, and although there had been efforts to increase interest and proficiency, it was a slow-going process. Many people simply lacked the ability to control spiritual energy. "Yeah, that's correct. In some ways tenkujutsu is similar to the traditional schools of jutsu. The effects of some techniques act like ninjutsu, others act like genjutsu, and you need to be proficient in those styles of jutsu in order to properly use spiritual techniques. But above all, it takes a high level of chakra control to be able to even begin to use tenkujutsu. The rule of thumb is it takes the chakra control that's expected of the average special jounin."

Shizuo paused to make sure Iwamaru was taking it all in. Unless the boy asked questions he would continue with, "Tenkujutsu doesn't actually rely on chakra. Instead you're manipulating pure spiritual energy. Controlling it is similar to how we control chakra, but that's where the similarities begin and end." With that he pulled out two senbon from his hip pouch and placed on in each hand. To his left hand he channeled a small amount of chakra, and the familiar blue light of covered his fingers and palm. To the other hand he channeled power of a different nature, and his hand became coated in maroon, pulsating chakra. The essence of it was visually different than the normal chakra of the opposite hand. It was more ethereal, the flickering light of it unwelcoming and almost eerie.

The light of each hand converged on the senbon, surrounding the needlelike weapons and taking on their shape, extending a few inches from the points. "The most important thing to know about tenkujutsu is this: " He took the left, chakra-coated senbon and pressed it against his right forearm; it broke the skin, and a droplet of scarlet stained his stark white skin. Shizuo then took the other senbon and did the same to his left forearm, but instead of piercing his skin, the maroon light passed through him. He continued on until the senbon itself touched his skin. "The spiritual power used in tenkujutsu only affects spirits. It's useless against anything else."
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Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
Enkouten Kaizen Iwagakure councilman [color=#C65871]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:53 pm

Iwamaru nodded at Shizuo's explanation of Tenkujutsu's most basic requirements. "I see. I'll admit that my training thus far has focused on physical strength and stamina, but my instructors in the Academy and Mariko-sensei always said that I had a natural skill with Chakra Control. Though I'm a ways away from that benchmark, I'm confident I can reach it quickly."

It was at Shizuo's mention of the art itself not requiring chakra that gave the boy pause. An art that doesn't rely on chakra? Iwamaru had never heard of it himself. Even taijutsu, with his chakra-enhanced muscles, would drain physical stamina, which essentially drew from one side of your chakra pool, as chakra was the combination of physical and spiritual energies. With regular ninjutsu, it required both, as your chakra system was essentially part of your body. It had never occurred to Iwamaru that the inverse of Taijutsu could be true. Still, considering that proficiencies with Tenkujutsu also relied on other skills as well, it wasn't quite so simple. It almost sounded like Tenkujutsu had sub-classifications similar to how a Discipline was a Taijutsu subtype or an Illusion was a subtype of Genjutsu.

Iwamaru watched intently as Shizuo demonstrated the differences between chakra manipulation and tenkujutsu manipulation with the two senbon. Iwamaru couldn't ignore the slight chill he got from seeing the maroon energy coalescing around the senbon in his right hand, but he ignored it. People feared the unknown. He was here to learn and conquer that impulsive fear. Nodding after the demonstration. "Alright... So what is a method of training that you'd recommend to try and cultivate my skills with Tenkujutsu once I do get my level of chakra control up to snuff? And, more importantly, is this something that I can cultivate, or would this require a latent talent that I have to possess? Is there a way to check or do I just have to push through and find out?"

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Wed Oct 30, 2019 2:02 am

"It depends on who you ask," Shizuo began, choosing his words carefully. "There's no single correct way to learn how to use tenkujutsu. Some meditate to connect with the spiritual realm, while others learn it by working with spirits themselves to familiarize themselves with what spiritual energy feels like. Others like me just initially kind of...did it with no real instruction. It's a very long story. But that's exceedingly rare." Shizuo dispelled the chakra and spiritual energy from his hands and replaced the senbon into his pouch. He absentmindedly grabbed a tissue from a nearby box and dabbed at the tiny wound on his forearm.

"Since you're asking me, tenkujutsu isn't like anything else you've come across. Even if you have the necessary chakra control, tenkujutsu doesn't use chakra. It's dependent on that control because you need it to tap into the realm of pure, spiritual energy. It's a separate - but adjacent - source of power. I've seen high ranked shinobi with immaculate chakra control who are utterly incapable of using it. It's like wiggling your ears. You can have the tools - the muscles, the control, whatever - but that doesn't mean you can do it. You might be able to train it but there's no guarantee. Tenkujutsu users are rare for a reason."

With that, Shizuo stood and walked to a nearby cabinet and then opened it. He muttered to himself as he shifted through it, the sound of shuffling papers and clinking glass vials filling the room. Finally he found what he was looking for and returned to his seat in front of Iwamaru. In his hand was a dark green ball, slightly smaller than a baseball. It was covered with ridges and dimples, and it seemed to ripple as he turned it in his hand. He offered it to the chuunin and said, "This ball has remnants of a spirit in it. It's still...alive, if you can call it that, but harmless. Then energy inside it is on the same wavelength, if you will, of any tenkujutsu you manage to create. Familiarize yourself with the feeling, Iwamaru. Once you do that, you'll know if it's something you can emulate or not."

Shizuo clasped his hands together, smiling warmly. There was excitement gleaming in his eyes; it wasn't every day he met someone who was interested in tenkujutsu. The more people in the village who could subdue and exorcise spirits from the human realm, the better. "Let me know how things go. I could teach you a thing or two if it comes to that."
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Akari Kanehara Akari clan elder [color=#80A0FF]
Sakata KannaIwagakure Councilwoman [color=#3DA43B]
Hazuki Shuran Jinchuuriki researcher [color=#E854C0]
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:52 am

Iwamaru nodded, his brow furrowing in deep thought. There were a lot of factors that were up in the air, aspects of the process he frankly had no control over. Hard limitations like that were difficult for the chuunin to accept. He wasn't the kind of person who easily gave up on objectives and pursuits he set his sights on. But this wasn't the kind of thing you could simply will into existence. It would require time, patience, grit (which he had plenty of), and... well, luck. It was the wildcard factor that was the most important; even if he had the other three in spades, the fourth would simply have to be willing to be found. On the bright side, it wasn't very far detached at all from his intended training regimen, so at least he wasn't wasting a large amount of time if it turned out he simply didn't have the gift to use it.

Iwamaru kept absorbing what Shizuo was telling him, particularly focusing on the separation of spiritual energy from chakra. He already had to use physical stamina separately from chakra for his Taijutsu. He wondered if he might be able to apply the same principle to separating his spiritual energy and focusing purely on that side of his energy pool. He only had a little bit to go off of. It seemed like this art was more intuitive than trained, in most cases. Still, he would try. He'd never fulfill the promise he made in the Spider's Nest if he didn't.

Watching his tutor closely, Shizuo moved to a cabinet in his office and began to shuffle through a variety of different items and documents, the soft cacophony of sounds reverberating gently off of the office walls. Iwamaru was curious to see what kind of object his search would produce, and his curiosity would be rewarded with a fairly mundane-looking object. At first, it seemed unremarkable, but as Shizuo passed the object in his hands, Iwamaru could notice the faintest bending of the shape of the ball, almost as if it were underwater. Carefully taking the ball in his hand, Iwamaru inspected the feel and shape of the-

Iwamaru felt his chakra shift slightly a few moments after the sphere came into contact with his skin. His surprise on his face was evident, but there was no way for Shizuo to tell it was due to such a change, nor would Iwamaru divulge such. Such an insignificant detail could come because of any number of factors, including even his own psyche playing tricks on him, and there was no point in getting the man's hopes up unless there was proof he was capable. Instead, he met Shizuo's gaze with firm determination and a confident grin. "I can't think of anyone more well-suited to do so if I'm able, Shizuo-san. I'll take my leave and start training right away. With any hope, I'll be back soon. Thank you," he confirmed, giving a firm (not harsh) grip and a nod, acknowledging Shizuo's faith in him and hoping he would fulfill it.

Iwamaru would excuse himself, not wanting to further disturb Shizuo's work and knowing that neither of them were particularly skilled at holding lengthy conversations. Stepping back into the lobby and offering the most courteous departing salutation he could to the freak twins sitting behind the desk the wonderfully efficient and poised clerks, he exited the building and began slowly making his way home. His eyes turned to the small, green orb in his hand. That shift in his chakra system hadn't gone away ever since he let go of the ball. He started experimenting right away. He first noted the changes between when he didn't have contact with the ball physically versus when he did. The change was nearly infinitesimal, but it didn't escape Iwamaru's notice. He started running a small amount of chakra through the orb and back into his hand. Nothing happened there.

He was fascinated by the orb, making absolutely certain to handle it with care. He would slip it into one of the secured pockets on his flak jacket. He didn't normally wear the thing, but he needed the symbol of authority to ward off any questions he might have received when he'd gone to Shizuo's building. Though he wasn't touching it, he was utterly fascinated, and part of him hoped that he was naturally suited for the art...

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:24 am

The shock in the boy's face pleased Shizuo, and he gazed at Iwamaru like a proud older brother. It always excited him when a young shinobi showed interest in tenkujutsu. He regarded spirits as a menace to this realm, and he and the village needed more soldiers who were capable of fighting them. "Take care," he told the boy as they shook hands, and he waved him away and continued with his research.

Upstairs, the Twins were in the same spot, appearing as though they had not moved an inch since the two shinobi had disappeared below ground. Truly, they hadn't. They had waited inhumanly still for potential new guests, guests who would never come that day. The girls turned their heads toward Iwamaru simultaneously when he emerged from the elevator, and their heads and eyes followed him as he departed. They said nothing, only offering the same slight smiles and blank stares as before.

By the time Iwamaru exited the research building the sun had begun its decent below the horizon. The sky was stained purple, red, and orange. It was as if an artist had thrown his paints across the sky, mixing and blending the colors with skill that appeared effortless. The streets around the research center weren't quite bustling, but there were still a fair amount of people walking about. Everything would seem normal to the chuunin, perhaps even tranquil as a brisk, chilly breeze whipped through the area.

But there was danger lurking. Sitting atop a nearby building was a lone hooded figure. The figure watched Iwamaru from above as he ventured through the village from one area to another. The boy was being stalked, a prey soon to fall to a hunter.
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[Sensory Style • [Advanced Target Lock]
B-Rank Ninjutsu
Prerequisites: *[Sensory Style • Beyond Senses], *[Target Lock]; Ninjutsu/Control/Instinct 20
The sensor will activate their sensory jutsu, and focus on one source of chakra they can sense. By channeling additional chakra the user will be able to continue to sense that source of chakra, even if they are moving around, so long as the target is within range. If they, or the chakra source, moves out of range, the user will lose track of them.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:57 am

Okay, Iwamaru just couldn't resist the urge to experiment. Taking the orb out again, he allowed himself to focus more intently on the sensation he'd felt from touching it. It was such a tiny yet fascinating shift. Channeling chakra into his hand, he let the energy sit on his palm, curious to see what the remnants of the spirit would do if his chakra was just out of reach. He understood they were spirits, but there was some spiritual energy in chakra, even if it was mixed in with physical energy. Perhaps it had the ability to naturally separate the two.

As he held the orb, he felt a sudden prickly sensation on the palm that held it. He first mistook this for a good sign, thinking he was already getting a response from his experimentation. Iwamaru didn't realize at the time that the sphere was resonating with a presence not at all his own. His curiosity further stoked, Iwamaru continued walking down his favorite path, a rare isolated alley spotted with a few street lanterns dimly illuminating his way. He often preferred the alone time to simply meditate and reflect on issues he was facing. Often times, they had to do with his father. Most of the time, in fact, his father was often involved. Now, however, it was a desire for peace while he further probed and prodded the strange ball that Shizuo had given him. He was practically like a cat with catnip at this point.

The first sign that something was wrong was the tingling sensation suddenly sharpened into a lancing pain. Iwamaru was tough, but he couldn't help but wince. The pain he felt from it was different, unlike anything he'd felt before. He then noticed that the sphere was siphoning off a tiny sliver of his chakra. The slight smile from his face disappeared at this happenstance. Shizuo had said that the spirit inside was harmless, but had his tampering and exploration done something? Had he been naive to not wait until he got into a more controlled environment?

He felt the sliver of chakra disappear, and in a searing instant, a pair of vicious, eyes, filled with death, popped into his memory. Shaking his head at the sensation, Iwamaru was confused at first. What was that image for? Had the sphere caused this? And why did it look like it was from within the village... at a time of day just like it was right now?

A grim possibility, however slight, entered Iwamaru's mind. W-Was...? Was he being followed?

Placing the ball back into his vest, Iwamaru continued on his way. It was likely just a repercussion due to his own foolishness. Perhaps a psychic flashback of sorts. Yeah. That was it.

He kept his ears open, just in case.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:12 am

The boy was right to keep his ears open, but his pursuer was not one to be heard by the ears of a mere chuunin. Footsteps fell noiselessly, inhumanely so, on the rooftops above as the figure watched his prey's every movement. He memorized Iwamaru's gait, from the way his head bobbed slightly with every step down to the way his feel rolled from soles to toes. Much could be discerned from the way someone walked - injuries past and present, for example - and to a trained eye it could even serve as a way to identify a person. To keep track of a person in a busy crowd.

Iwamaru's mistake was walking down an alley, dimly lit and deserted. It was the hunter's chance to strike the boy down. The moment he resolved to carry out his assassin's mission was when the vision of malicious eyes filled the boy's mind. It was not merely a vision; it was a premonition of death. The figure jumped from his perch and appeared just before Iwamaru, wraithlike in his soundless landing. He was covered by black robes that billowed behind him despite the still air, and his lowered head and hood initially prevented the boy from seeing his pursuer's face. When he lifted his head he revealed that the bottom half of his face was covered by a white, iridescent mask made of silk-like fabric.

But then there were the eyes. Electric blue and devoid of irises, these eyes into the boy's own, and through their lack of human features they conveyed one thing: cold, unfeeling murderous intent.

The figure extended his arm, revealing a dark gloved hand with a blade emerging from the wrist. It had an unnatural, otherworldly glow that was not unlike the technique Shizuo had shown the boy earlier to demonstrate tenkujutsu. But this light was darker, sinister, and it intensified as the figure took a single step forward. In his next step he was directly in front of the boy, plunging the blade several inches into the boy's shoulder and then pulling out slowly as if relishing in the sensation of metal sliding against flesh.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Iwamaru’s foreboding sense of danger grew. There were too many circumstances about that image that lined up with this very moment. The lighting, the angle at which the eyes had been gazing, his isolation from other people. He’d not thought about the path he’d taken, and now that he was on his own, he realized that if he were to be attacked in this area, backup would not be forthcoming. He was now almost certain. That vision had not been any mere vision. It had been a premonition, a foretelling of a future.

By what his instincts told him, a very near future.

’I hear nothing. I see nothing,’ he mentally analyzed, doing his best to remain calm, trying not to waste time on wondering why someone would want him dead. ’If I am being followed, their skills with stealth, at least, are better than my own. If I’m attacked, I probably won’t be able to register the movements of my enemy. I’ll have to react to the pain. My body’s tough. I’m gonna have to use that if this isn’t some terrible case of paranoia.’

Barely a full second after finishing that very thought, the shrouded figure stood before him, practically seeming to morph in from the very shadows. Iwamaru’s yes hardened in shock and recognition. That type of movement told him what he’d suspected: this enemy was fast and remarkably controlled with their body. In a contest of speed, Iwamaru wouldn’t stand a chance.

His eyes barely caught the assassin’s attack, but his body was quicker in the messages it sent. Feeling the blade penetrate his shoulder, Iwamaru stepped in and tensed the muscles around the point of impact, fighting through the pain as he’d move to clinch the assailant behind their neck with both hands. No time for words. No time for questions. Time for action. The one thing he had going for him was Strength. Pure, raw muscle and power, and endurance darn well close to it, too.

If his hands found purchase, Iwamaru’s knee would drive up into his chest over and over until he either escaped his grasp or fell prove to the ground, hopefully unconscious. It wouldn’t be after the exchange that he’d see the Tenkujutsu chakra hovering over his fresh wound, slowly sinking into it. His eyes hardened at the realization.

The chuunin would find out real quick if he had talent for this art as his world slowly started to unravel.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:15 am

Iwamaru was strong, that was certain, but unfortunately lacked the speed and skill to capture his adversary in the hold. The hunter slid through the boy's grip, snakelike and swiftly as if he saw the counterattack coming. Within moments he was at Iwamaru's side, raising his arm again as if contemplating another attack. But instead of delivering another blow the assailant raised his opposite hand and then slammed the back of his fist into Iwamaru's head. There was no follow up attack. In the next second the hunter fled, disappearing completely and leaving only a swirl of dust in his wake.

When the ominous light seeped into the chuunin's arm, initially nothing took place. The light dimmed, and all Iwamaru would feel was the ache and pain of an open wound, and the warmth of blood that trickled down his arm. This false sense of security, however, would not last. The span of eight heartbeats was all the time needed for the poison to take place. The wound would begin to burn, faintly at first, but quickly intensifying until it felt as though his entire arm was aflame. The sensation would quickly spread to his neck, his chest, his torso, down to the tips of his fingers and to his toes. The excruciating pain would be make his heart begin a frantic race, and was enough to bring event the sturdiest shinobi to his knees.

And then, as quickly as the sensation had appeared it would fade away, flowing up from Iwamaru's legs and to his chest, back to the offending wound. The wound itself would periodically pulse, sending a wave of pain throughout his arm and to the side of his neck. If he still had his senses about him and looked at the wound he would see greenish-black, thin veins beginning to protrude from the wound and creep down his skin, like a spider slowly creeping through his body.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:41 am

Iwamaru was able to tank the second hit to the head without too much effort. He was physically stronger than his assailant, but otherwise, he was simply outclassed in every way. Confusion crossed his face as he turned only to find his assailant having vanished, disappeared without a trace. The wound he'd received by itself was not lethal, but the strange energy surrounding the blade that had stabbed him had not escaped Iwamaru's notice. He quickly assessed his options and took to the skies, leaping only moments before the burning sensation erupted from his wound. He managed to skid to a landing, falling over onto his arm as his body was rocked with what felt like fire inside his veins. He did his best not to scream, lest the assailant still be nearby. Still, so potent was the pain that he couldn't help but let loose a low, sustained growl, taking all of his effort to not howl in agony at what was arguably the worst physical pain he'd ever felt.

This was no ordinary stab wound. He'd been poisoned.

He had little experience with poison, but once the pain receded he looked to the area of the stab wound and noticed the foul-looking green-black veins, almost looking like cracks, forming just under his skin. Ripping the fabric off of the sleeve with his good arm, he used the other hand and his teeth to try and roughly cinch off the vessels to that arm in an attempt to slow down what he thought was a toxin in his body, wholly ignorant of the true source of the invasion. Sweat dripped down his brow as he fought to get back up and jump again, taking him to the last place he'd seen a friendly face: Shizuo's lab.

He had to try and get as close to the office as he could, as far as his quickly failing legs and energy would take him. Even if it means he'd end up having to fling himself through the front door body and all, it was the only place near where he knew he had allies.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:32 am

The office building would be exactly as Iwamaru left it. The lobby had remained quiet and near empty, having seen no other visitors since the boy's departure. When the doors burst open, the twin receptionists turned slightly toward the body that had stumbled past the threshold. Initially they didn't move, regarding him as if he were a mildly interesting dying insect that was flailing about in its death throes. Slowly the girls stood and made their way over to the boy, their footfalls making nary a sound as they approached. The Right kneeled at his head, her eyes casually falling upon his wound, and the tentatively extended a pale hand toward it.

She flinched. Her eerie smile faltered as she pulled back her hand and she then stood next to her sister, who took on a similar countenance. Fascinating. Once again the girls pulled out the wand-like rods from their robes and began drawing in the air. Once the seal formed, they spoke simultaneously. "Komiya-san."

A pause. "Tate Iwamaru has returned. And he appears to be dying."



It had been quite some time since Shizuo's heart had fallen into his stomach. The announcement came suddenly and he had intended to ignore the sound of the twins' voices. But the words "Iwamaru" and "dying" had gripped his attention, and within seconds he was flying out of his office, this time barreling up the stairs rather than using the elevator. The special jounin came sliding to a stop, eyes widening when he laid eyes on the boy's wound. "I-Iwamaru!" he croaked, momentarily unable to say anything else as he watched the wound pulse and ooze. What on earth had happened? He immediately wondered if he had miscalculated when he had given the boy the orb; it was supposed to be harmless. That couldn't have been the cause of this injury.

...Right?
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:56 pm

By the time he’d bodily fling himself into the lobby of the lab, Iwamaru was in such pain that he could no longer stand. The space between each wave of searing agony was getting shorter, and even something as simple as breathing was taking considerable effort. Sweat continued to quickly drench his entire body, and the blackish-green ghoulish veins continued to ever so slowly spread across his body. As one of the two strange girls approached him and placed his hand over the wound, Maru could almost feel something inside of his body momentarily pulled toward it, causing an additional wave of pain that rocked his body. Even he could not stop the growl that escaped his lips. It was a fight simply to keep his body under control.

Soon enough, Shizuo’s voice entered the range of his increasingly cloudy sense of hearing. If Shizuo was going to help him, he had to get the word out, somehow. Swallowing painfully, he gasped the only words he could manage. ”A-A... At...tack,” he coughed, breathing becoming more difficult. ”...S... Spi... riiit...”

His vision was beginning to cloud. ’Damn it... Gotta stay awake... Gotta fight...’ he told himself, trying to focus on that one thought with all of the willpower he could muster. He knew what was happening: he was dying. Shizuo was going to do everything he could to save him, but Maru has to do his own part.

Fighting for his life. A very valuable experience, if he could survive.

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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by Kao » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:07 pm

There was no time to be relieved that the orb wasn't the cause of Iwamaru's injuries. Shizuo bent down and hovered his hand over the wound, and the healing light of his iijutsu coated his hand and the boy's shoulder. Something immediately felt off. Just as his mind was whirling with the possibilities and approaching the conclusion that this wound was caused by a spirit, Iwamaru spoke of an attack and a spirit. Shizuo’s fears were confirmed.

"Seal the building!” the special jounin shouted to the twins as he began to form hand seals. He needed to know what this poison was exactly so that he could treat it; not only that but there was the need to keep it from hurting Iwamaru even further. Shizuo had some experience with poisons in the past, but nothing like this. He had never had to cure a poison that he had absolutely nothing about, nor had he ever dealt with poisons that were caused by a spirit. Not only that, but he had always been in a controlled environment whenever had had some in contact with poisons before.

The good news was that Shizuo had encountered some very high level poisons in his tenure as a medic. He had created dozens of antidotes and could do it with his eyes closed — so long as he knew what kind of antidote to make. But not only was this an unknown poison, it was something created by a spirit. Shizuo could feel it; as his hands and chakra did their work he could feel the malevolence seeping from the wound, slowly but surely spreading throughout Iwamaru’s body. It was clearly taking its toll, and the special jounin was worried that it would take full hold of the boy before he could even properly create an antidote.

Shizuo’s mind sprinted as he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an ink brush and a tiny bottle of special ink. The sound of ripping fabric filled the room as Shizuo removed the boy’s shirt and then tossed it to the side. Within a few seconds he was drawing a seal on the boy’s skin. It was a complex array, one he had never drawn before. The brilliant shinobi was creating it on the spot, using elements of other fuuinjutsu that he had either created in the past or had read about.

Once the seal was complete, he touched it to activate it. It began to glow faintly and Shizuo could only pray for its effectiveness. “Stay with me, Iwamaru,” he murmured, placing a hand on the boy’s forehead. As expected the chuunin was burning up. Shizuo began to draw another seal on Iwamaru’s chest, but then he paused and looked to the side. The twins were standing there, not having moved since Shizuo entered the room. They appeared slightly amused, their normally blank eyes now containing a slight twinkle.

“Did you not hear what I said? Seal the building!”

Still they stood, completely unmoving. Not even their chests moved with the telltale rise and fall of breathing. In a rare display, Shizuo’s anger bubbled and threatened to spill over. His hands and forearms began to glow a dark maroon, and his grey eyes turned to steel. “Satomi! Miyuu!”

The Twins recoiled at the names and their eerie smiles melted away completely. There was a long moment in which they glared at Shizuo, their hair appearing to bristle and thicken and their features seeming to sharpen. But the special jounin didn’t falter, and the glow of chakra flared threateningly. The standoff ended with the Twins reverting to their normal state, their smiles returning, and they shuffled off to secure the building. Shizuo returned his attention to the injured chuunin. "Iwamaru. Iwamaru - hey - stay with me. Talk to me, kid. You have to stay awake."
JutsuShow
*[Iijutsu • Medical Diagnosis Technique]
C-Ranked Ninjutsu
Prerequisite: 5 Iijutsu
Perhaps one of the most important Iijutsu techniques to date, the *[Iijutsu • Medical Diagnosis Technique] allows its users to probe another's body in search for medical answers. After focusing chakra into his/her hands, the user will begin to channel it into the patient's body. Using this chakra as an internal extension of his/her hand to feel for abnormalities and other issues, the user is often able to determine the problem after some time and concentration. In order for a thorough examination to provide sufficient answers, the user will focus for up to one (1) post, seeking signs of internal and external damage, organ malfunction and disease among other ailments. Although skilled medical-nin have the possibility to work faster, skill cannot be substituted in for thoroughness.
Jutsu TrainedShow
Containing the Poison
C-Ranked Augment Fuuinjutsu
Pre-Requisite: iijutsu concentration
In some cases, such as when treating a fast-spreading poison, Shizuo uses this seal to slow down or prevent a poison from spreading further within an individual’s body. Shizuo draws a seal on a person’s skin, essentially outlining where most of the poison is located. Once the seal is activated, it slows the poison’s spread. This effect only lasts for 4 posts
The Poison, The Poison for Iwamaru, The Poison Chosen Specially…Show
Dokka
A-Ranked Spirit

A malevolent spirit sealed within a weapon, giving it a peculiar ability. When the possessed weapon cuts, the spirit releases and injects part of itself into the person or object. When injected into an open wound of a person or animal, the detached spirit acts as a toxin that spreads and arrests both tissue and the chakra network. Due to the nature of the toxin, it cannot be cured using iijutsu alone, but must be extracted using tenkujutsu after the poison is neutralized, else the spirit will remain and regenerate the poison.

Dokka’s Bane
A-Ranked Coating Poison
A toxin derived from the body of a malevolent spirit known as Dokka. The toxin takes effect immediately, causing intense pain to radiate from the wound to the rest of the body. The veins surrounding the wound bulge and inflame, turning a sickly green; this will spread as the toxin spreads through the body. Over the next three posts, the toxin breaks down muscle and nervous tissue and the chakra network, reducing the victim’s ability to move and manipulate chakra. By the third post, the victim will be rendered unable to manipulate chakra and will have limited motor movement. By this time, the poison will begin affecting the smooth muscles of the internal organs. Unless the poison is neutralized and the spirit exorcised, the toxin will begin to cause cause organ failure by the 7th post. If, at any point, the toxin is neutralized but the spirit is not exorcised and removed, the spirit will regenerate the poison after 8 posts.
Kao's CharactersShow
Akari KotaruBanninIwagakure no Sato Team 18 Jousai [color=#1fb8a3]
Komiya ShizuoSpecial Jounin Iwagakure no Sato [color=#177ba6]
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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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard] A Dark Turn

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:37 am

The level of pain that Maru was experiencing was transcendental. It felt like all of his senses were rebelling against him all at once, his mind flooded with so much information that he barely felt like he could contain it. Never, ever, would he have imagined that he would fall victim to a poison. The fact that it was attacking his physical body wasn't the only thing that made this experience agonizing. No, it somehow felt like a portion of his chakra had become caustic, even, setting his insides ablaze. His first reflex was to curl up into a ball and draw his limbs into himself, but from the various touches on his skin and the muffled sounds of what he realized was Shizuo's voice, he fought as hard as possible to avoid that instinct. He realized that Shizuo healing him would be more difficult if he conceded to that reflex.

Following Shizuo's instructions were a lot easier said than done. It wasn't like he wasn't already fighting as hard as he could to remain conscious. What else was he supposed to do? He couldn't reply to the special jounin; talking would take too much time and energy. He had to think of something else he could do. Closing his eyes inwards, he grit his teeth through the pulsing pain racking his body and starting trying to parse what specifically was happening to him. He could feel the pain, both physically and through his chakra network, flaring up from the wound in his shoulder and spreading out. He started breathing a bit more slowly, making each breath as controlled as possible. He also started trying to experiment with isolated muscle contractions. If there was a physical component to this poison, the muscle contractions would hopefully help limit the spread of the poison further. He eventually isolated his right pec and trying to keep that muscle tensed, allowing the muscles in his shoulder to be loose enough for Shizuo to easily extract the poison. He also focused on the flow of his chakra network, working to try and consciously slow the flow of his chakra network. Since the time of exposure was very recent, Maru was hoping that by attempting to slow the flow of his chakra that he could limit the spread of whatever was hurting him.

Most importantly, however, he started memorizing what few details he could about his assailant. He'd need to make sure to remember as much as possible to catch this jerk. If he made it out of this, he'd likely have to ask Shizuo for help. This attacker, whoever they were, was clearly superior to Maru in almost every way. There was no way he could go alone on this.

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