[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

ShinobiTruth x Amy

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:48 am

Even through the rain that hammered down on the jingasa and his haori, Hijikata could tell that something terrible had happened at the village he was walking toward. Hijikata had seen and fended off enough raiders and bandits attacking smaller villages to know the signs of recent conflict when he saw them. The first sign was a broken spear haft, the point of the spear snapped off the rest of the blade, likely by the hoof of a warhorse. He did not run, keeping the same controlled pace, as any survivors or scouts would see him with weapons and possibly suspect he was another villain bent on terrorizing them further. Instead, his eyes continued to pick up on additional information. It seemed that the village had managed to repel the invaders somehow; turning the bend, he could see the gates and walls, though battered, still stood. The weary guards stood at attention as best they could, one of them wearing a clean bandage over his face, which HIji could see even from afar.

To his left and his right, in the fields surrounding the village, broken weapons and arrows poked out, scattered in clumps throughout the tall grass. He could see some villagers urgently retrieving the items and loading them into hand-pulled wooden carts. The workers in the field froze as they spotted the rurouni, some of them visibly shaking. When it became evident he would make no move to harm them, they resumed their work with even more urgency than before.

The guards brandished their weapons in Hijikata's general vicinity. "Halt! No outsiders allowed!"

The samurai narrowed his eyes. The volatile mixture of anger and fear in their eyes was clearly evident. Hijikata raised his hands, showing that he was not hiding weapons. "I'm a traveler, friends. Whoever attacked you, I assure you, were no acquaintances of mine," he explained, stopping a safe twenty meters away from the guards as he bartered for his entry. "I simply seek lodging for the night. If you wish, I will aid in the village's defense as payment while I stay here."

The guards were unconvinced. "Why should we believe this story of yours, traveler?" one of them asked, gripping his weapon tightly.

Standing silently, Hijikata sighed. He understood their distrust, but he would not let the stubborn perspectives of two guards bar him from helping more people in the village who might accept his aid. The moment the guards blinked, Hiji burst forward, clearing the space between them right before they opened their eyes. "I come in peace. With the utmost respect, if I sought you both dead, you never would have finished the first sentence you spoke to me," he explained calmly, placing a firm hand on each one of their shoulders. He wouldn't hurt them, move them, or otherwise disturb them. He would simply let them feel the strength he possessed.

The silence in the air momentarily only punctuated by the rain, the two guards withdrew their weapons. "...Report to the tavern, traveler," the second guard instructed. "The mayor will assign you your duties while you're here."

"Thank you both," Hiji replied, releasing their shoulders and walking calmly towards the center of the town. As he walked through the town, he understood why the walls weren't completely destroyed. The bandits that had attacked had managed to penetrate into the village. Most of the damage was cleaned up, and there were no dead bodies in sight, but Hijikata sensed that the loss of life was great.

Walking near the town's center, Hijikata entered the only building that had light coming from its windows, which he concluded was the tavern. The weary barkeep eyed the samurai sternly but realized that if he'd gotten through, he would have been approved by the guards. "Make your order quick, traveler. As you see, we're not keen on outside visitors right now," the barkeep stated.

Giving a polite bow to the barkeep, Hijikata gave his inquiry. "I'm terribly sorry for what befell your village. I was instructed that if I wanted to receive lodging at the cost of aiding with the village's defense, I should come here to speak with the mayor," he explained.

The barkeep's eyes widened a bit in surprise, and his countenance warmed. "Well met, then, traveler. For now, I'm the mayor."

Hijikata would sit down at the bar whilst they discussed their business. In the infirmary, just a few doors down, Tsubaki would be finishing up with her last patient for the day...

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:04 pm

The village had still been in a panic when Tsubaki wandered into the area. Women and children were calling out frantically, men were doing their best to pull the wounded back inside the walls of the village. Small fires were being stomped out, the rain aiding in that venture, and nobody seemed to even see her at first. The grief and anger provided too heavy of a veil. It lifted only when she walked to the front gates, seeing that things were not any better within the walls. They had failed to secure the village and the ransacking had continued throughout their homes and businesses. Usually, Tsubaki had to bargain with herself to help others but in this case she was already tying her hair up and out of her face.

Miss, as you can see, we’re not well equipp-

"I’m a medic and you should let me inside." Tsubaki’s face was emotionless as she spoke, knowing that if she looked frantic it would either make them question her ability or send them into more of a panic.

Well, we need to find the mayor and ask hi-

"Or you could tell me what he looks like and I’ll start working and grab him when I can. You know as well as I do that you are all incredibly vulnerable right now and will be for the next several months and you need as many men alive as possible. Every second we stand here is another precious second gone from their lives. Choose. Now." She forced herself to be stern. What she said was entirely true. Every second that was wasted risked another person’s life. Luckily, it seemed that she had been convincing enough, the men giving her a description of the mayor before waving her inside. Taking a deep breath, Tsubaki steeled herself and set to work.

She had immediately grabbed the help of several nearby women, instructing them to bring her all of the clean cloth and water they could find as well as any medicine they had. She then grabbed several men who were mostly uninjured and began instructing them on triage and basic bandaging. Based on a quick observation she would only be able to see the emergencies that day and everything else would have to wait until over the next couple of days. Once the wheels of care were in motion, Tsubaki didn’t slow down.

Finally, swiping her blood covered hand across her blood speckled forehead, Tsubaki was told that she had seen the last of the emergency patients. Her hands were shaking and she couldn’t catch her breath, most of her chakra gone along with most of her strength. She remained squatting, staring at her palms until two hands lifted her up, directing her to the tavern. As she stumbled through the dark night, some part of her brain registering the fact that it had started pouring instead of drizzling, she briefly thought about if she could clean up. Quickly deciding that she didn’t have the strength to both clean up and go eat. Luckily, the tavern was right around the corner and she was able to make it inside without collapsing.

Slamming her hands on the counter harder than intended, catching her weight, Tsubaki sunk onto the stool, her upper body hunched over the counter. A heavy breath fell from her pursed lips as she spoke to the mayor, her head resting heavily on her palm.

"Lost six altogether, not counting any that were gone before I got here. I don’t think you’ll lose anymore. I’ll have a better picture tomorrow when I have more time to really lay it all out. "

You’ve, quite literally, been a lifesaver, Tsubaki. We’ll discuss this tomorrow, you look like you could use some food, a drink, and a bed. I have all three to offer.

Lifting her fingers in a pathetic attempt at a wave, Tsubaki gave up on any attempt at giving a complete report. He was right that she was too tired. The thought of dragging her body anywhere else was daunting and so she specifically tried to not think about that and only enjoy the sustenance that was provided to her. Ignoring all better judgement, downing the alcohol before she even picked up the chopsticks, silently grateful when he immediately refilled her mug. She would likely have to stay for at least a week to get everyone healed up and bandaged. Maybe longer. Sighing again, Tsubaki tried not to think about what she had signed herself up for.
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:20 pm

Much like the woman, the mayor had offered Hijikata food and drink after having discussed the terms of his guard duties. He'd been worried when Hijikata had stated that he could handle the watch of an entire portion of the wall by himself through the night, but with the demonstration of his skills on an apple, the mayor was thoroughly convinced to allow it. For a while, he was eating his meal in peace, preferring tea to the alcohol. He was very particular about the alcohol he enjoyed, not yet having seen anyone in their village or amongst the raiders that had any level of proficiency nearing his. It was during this silent meal the rurouni was partaking in that another individual entered the scene, much more loudly and with a great sense of exhaustion hovering over her.

Keeping his words to himself, he nonetheless kept his ears open, as the mayor barkeep was the main source of information for the village in its time of disarray. It seemed that this woman was likely a medic and, if the way she spoke to the mayor was any indicator, a person of authority. And much like himself, she clearly was not from around here, her appearance, clothing, and demeanor entirely separate from those of the village around her. The clothing she chose to wore were quite curious in his eyes, but she clearly had her reasons behind those. It had been some time since he'd last seen anyone like her. Spending time among those in a variety of countries, you became acquainted with the traditional attire of the common people, and while her clothing was hardly ostentatious, it was different. Perhaps she was a traveler, like himself?

She seemed drained from the work she'd just finished. By her previous statement to the mayor, it was likely trying to save as many of the injured as possible. It would take time, a few months, in fact, for this village to be back on its feet. He would be here for a while. During the night, he would guard the wall with the other men. In the daytime, he would train the men on simple combat drills and basic swordsmanship, as they had no formal instructor here. In the afternoon, he would rest. There was no telling what sort of work she would have to put in to tend to the wounded. Though perhaps it was a bit ignorant to do so, he wished to express a willing spirit if nothing else. Quietly collecting his plates and setting them on the bar for the mayor to retrieve, he bowed in thanks for the food before returning to his table, where a small pot of tea still sat before him. Pouring himself another cup, he made his presence known. "If there is anything I can do to assist you, Miss, please let me know," Hiji offered, gently setting the pot down. "So long as I have my life and my hands, I wish to be of assistance."

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:07 pm

Eyes lifting slowly from the bowl of food in front of her, Tsubaki glanced at the man who spoke to her. As obvious as it was that she wasn’t from the village it was just as easy to tell that neither way he. Tsubaki had run into enough Samurai in her adventures to know one on sight and even then, he spoke precisely how she would have expected him to. He must have offered to help, just as she had. A kindred spirit who couldn’t stand to see innocent people in pain and suffering. Though maybe not much, it did make Tsubaki slightly more willing to interact with him. People who weren’t nice always pretending to be nice when it was easy to be, to get what they want. But being nice in a situation like this was something that only someone with a pure heart would willingly do. Shaking her head slightly, realizing she was staring, Tsubaki emptied her mug again.

"There’s a lot of heavy bodies to move. I’ll need wood for a fire to sterilize water, splints cut, men held down. Not to mention all of the digging…"

Tsubaki’s voice drifted off as her eyes glazed over slightly. She traveled and helped heal broken bones and burns and sword wounds. She didn’t stack bodies, she didn’t have to think about where to bury someone’s husband, father, lover. This was a dark side of her job that she hadn’t had to face yet and she was simply doing her best to hold herself together.

Lifting her head with a small smile and dead eyes, Tsubaki tried to make things sound a little less depressing.

"What I’m trying to say is, is that I could use all of the help that I could get. These people, they were just...living their lives, yanno? Sustaining themselves, building their families, their homes, their livelihoods. Just people trying to do the best that they can do and that someone would come along and just… trample all over it." A tone of disgust and anger threaded itself into Tsubaki’s voice. "It’s disgusting. That’s all it is."

While talking, the mayor had come out and taken all of the dishes, filling Tsubaki’s mug for a third time. Truth be told, the woman didn’t drink very often but she seemed to have quite a taste for whatever it was that she was being served. Alcohol didn’t usually have a large affect on her due to the chakra held within her body but with so much of it depleted she was actually starting to feel a little lightheaded.

"Why did you decide to stop and help them? I know, assistance till death and all, but really. Why these people specifically? Just an opportune moment?"

It had been a long time since Tsubaki talked to someone this much and she could feel something stirring in her chest the more she got out.
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 pm

Hiji's eyes reflected the sadness that she likely felt in her heart as he nodded in affirmation. "It was by happenstance... but I cannot abandon those that need help when I can provide it," he confirmed, rising and sliding into one of the seats at the bar. "It would be a dishonor I could not bear if I were to ignore their suffering. If my father ever found I did such a thing, he'd likely commit seppuku to preserve our family's honor for my sake."

Perhaps the mention of ritualistic suicide was a bit on the nose for the current state of affairs, but it showed how truly from the heart he was compelled to be here now that he knew the situation. "It is indeed a disgrace, an injustice, when peaceable people are forced to fight for something that should be theirs by right: a simple peaceful life," Hiji agreed. "But so long as there are people like you, good lady, who would also give her all to help these humble and kind people, there is still hope for humanity yet. The spirits have not yet abandoned us."

As the mayor came to take their plates, Hiji nodded to him in thanks. "I will attend to those things once we have had time to talk. My suspicions that you are the chief medic for now seem to have been correct. This means that, above all else, you are the one person I must make sure is safe, well-rested, and as stable as possible. Please, would you bless this one with your name?" Hiji asked calmly, his hands lightly clasped together under his long sleeves.

Hiji knew that whatever spare energy he provided to her would make her job easier, which meant that more lives would be saved. Those bandits would return eventually. He had to make sure that they were all ready. The mayor had essentially assigned him as captain of the guard... or what few of them remained. He expected that he would have to hold the line on his own if another attack came too soon.

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 7:25 pm

Annoyed wouldn’t be exactly the right word to describe how Tsubaki felt listening to this man but it was pretty close. Honor was a good thing to have but she believed there was such a thing of having too much honor. Not to mention the weight of carrying someone else’s honor on your back. She should know - it was a huge part of why she had left the village she was from. Being a part of that, you were never just living for yourself. You were living for everyone in the village, the country. You were living for the government and for their honor and god help you if you went against their honor. Tsubaki would never go back to living a life like that. A life that was held together by promises of threats and retaliation coated in praise.

"You know," Tsubaki started, pausing momentarily to finish her last drink of the night. "One day, maybe soon or maybe years from now you’ll have to make a choice. It will be a nearly impossible one that you might not even be able to make. You’ll have to choose to do the right thing...or the honorable thing. Because sadly, they are not always the same."

Feeling slightly more lively, enough to make it to her room, Tsubaki slid herself off the stool, standing and looking at him now that he had moved closer. There was absolutely nothing about her that was a blessing.

"Tsubaki. Help as much as you’d like but I don’t suggest doing too much hovering, I’m not a fan. You can give me your name in the morning - I’d just forget it anyhow."

Tilting her head in the smallest of bows Tsubaki didn’t stick around for any more conversation. After getting directions to her room she went straight there, falling onto the bed, chastising herself for not washing up first. Luckily, she was asleep before she could feel badly about it.

-------------------------------------------

Tsubaki rose just as the first rays of sunlight began reaching across the sky. Her chakra had replenished a fair amount and she would probably be able to ration it better today as well. Moving quietly as to not wake anyone who was still asleep she headed immediately towards the infirmary. The town was eerie so early in the peaceful morning. The death and destruction surrounding her did not fit the scene.

But then again, who was she to decide what the scene should be.

Walking inside, the samurai from the night before was the first thing she noticed. Mostly because he was about to start stitching himself up from the looks of it. Glancing around the room, seeing that everyone else looked relatively stable, she walked over to him with her eyebrows slightly raised in amusement.

"You want some help with that, nameless Samurai? It’s my specialty after all. "
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:20 pm

Hijikata watched the features on the woman's face quickly sour. Hiji had partially expected this. He meant it not, as he'd intended for his words to be a source of encouragement. It seemed that the scars with woman carried were more than physical. Her words to him in response were not wrong, but they were laced with the bitterness of past experience and regret. For Hijikata, it gave him something to ponder on. He still firmly believed that by doing the right thing, he was maintaining his honor. Perhaps it was ignorance or lack of experience, but he'd yet to find a situation where those two truths could not be reconciled.

For now, she needed rest and space, and Hiji would respect that. To her nod, he would bow. "Right away, Tsubaki-dono," he acknowledged quietly, watching her as she left momentarily before turning to leave the bar. Carrying his bag of possessions, he'd wait before he put his things in his room. For now, he had work to do.

It was going to be a long night.
The first evening Tsubaki had awoken, the ancillary tasks that she'd requested assistance on would be finished before she awoke. However she might have felt about him at first meeting, one thing Hiji likely would have proven his honor useful for was his impeccable work ethic.

There had been another attack during the night. Thankfully, it was nothing nearly as concerning as the first raid. No one was injured, save a small cut atop his forearm he'd received from a wayward arrowhead glancing across it. The enemy had been opportunistic bandits, fierce in their countenance but failing to live up to the skill required for such boasting. Hiji offered the bandits an opportunity for quarter, to simply leave and find their quarry elsewhere. He was no hero. All he could do was protect this town.

They failed to heed his words. Now, the village had ten new swords, and the bandits found their eternal rest with the spirits within a tomb of earth and soil.

Currently donned in his keikogi, an outfit often reserved for swordsmanship practice and strenuous activity, he had the top hanging by the waistline of his hakama as he sat on an empty stool, ready to pierce his skin with a needle he'd sterilized over fire. His eyes meeting the young woman's she seemed in slightly higher spirits than the night before. She'd have more chance to rest once this day was out, as only the seriously injured still needed tending. Nodding, he offered his arm. "You humble me with your generosity. Thank you," he agreed, accepting the offer for help.

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:46 pm

Hooking her foot around the leg of a nearby stool Tsubaki swung it underneath her, sitting without looking. It was clear that she had done that a time or two before. She took the needle from the samurai and set it on the table next to her before sliding the med pack off her back.

"It's not so much a generosity as it is my job," Tsubaki chuckled. "You're here to help these people the same as I am which means you're under my watch too. You won't be much good to them if you get an infection and become bedridden."

Tsubaki spoke with an odd tone of detachment that most could not pick up on. As much as she was there and involved there was always a part of her that refused to become involved. It came off in the way her smile didn't reach her eyes and the methodical way she spoke. Most people just assumed she was calm and friendly and never cared to look any deeper than that.

Pulling a needle and thread from her pack, Tsubaki started by pouring disinfectant solution she had made the night before over the wound. Holding a clean cloth over it, she tilted her head ever so slightly towards the discarded needle.

"Nothing against their tools but I won't deny that mine are far superior. If you're dead set on a bigger, cooler scar though I can definitely use that one."

Assuming the man wouldn't take her up on her offer, Tsubaki began stitching the wound closed, foregoing using anything for the pain. The drugs they had were limited and she couldn't waste precious chakra for anything other than the worst of the worst. And considering he had been about to perform the procedure on himself it was likely he wouldn't mind.

"I take it some bandits tried to get in last night?" She asked, quickly receiving an affirmative. "It's good you were here. There's no other man here who could fight right now. Tell me your name, so I can at least thank you properly. "
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:13 pm

Hijikata shook his head. "Regardless, you have my thanks. There are too few people willing to show gratitude in this world these days," he insisted. "I will not be one of them."

Hiji had a sense of duty to honor where he came from, but hopefully, Tsubaki might see that it also was meant to serve him as well. Of course, it was really meant for piece of mind, hardly an aggressive display of greed or avarice, but it was for himself. Shaking his head mirthfully at the offer for the big needle, he let Tsubaki get to her work, not even flinching as the needle bobbed in and out of his flesh. He would watch in silence, admiring her skill. It was clear that she'd had many times to practice. A rough exterior to be certain, and a sharp skepticism to boot, but she truly had a good heart.

Nodding to the affirmative, he explained. "My name is Hijikata. The bandits were opportunists, trying to capitalize on these people's poor fortune. I gave them the chance to turn away... It saddens me that they rarely listen until only after blood is spilled, if at all," came his reply, his words mixed with grim truth. He remembered the face of each one as they died. He'd also coordinated the bounding of the corpses in large linens, making sure those involved with disposing of the corpses kept themselves clean both before and after the task was done. He personally buried them with their weapons, giving them to their final rest.

Looking at her, he nodded again. "I do hope that the infirmary was to your liking this morning. I did my best to attend to the tasks you asked be done," he mentioned, wondering if there might be other ways he could improve her working conditions.

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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:34 pm

"You giving them a chance was more than they deserved," Tsubaki said offhandedly. There was no malice in it, not even really a note of disdain. Just...facts. There was not a cell in Tsubaki’s body that believed people who would find opportunity in other’s suffering deserved a chance. Their chance came at the option of being a semi-decent human being. If they were going to forfeit that then they also deserved to forfeit their life. Never removing her eyes from her work, Tsubaki couldn’t help but find his willingness irritating. She wasn’t a particular fan of putting on airs and though she did not doubt that this man was sincere, she couldn’t hear his speech any other way. Maybe she was just tired still.

"Everything looks great, thank you."

It really did. Though she might not have made a big deal out of it his work had been apparent to her the moment she walked in. It was something more than just knowing things weren’t how she left them. It was the tidiness, the small details, that stood out to her trained eye. She already knew it would make her day easier. Which was good because people were starting to stir. With a final movement, Tsubaki broke the string and quickly wrapped a bandage around the now closed wound.

"Things are about to get busy around here though and you have other places around here to be more useful. I’m sure I can find you if I need you." Without really giving him an option, Tsubaki shooed him out just as the first groans of pain began to break what had been a pleasant silence.

Sanitising her hands quickly, Tsubaki began to tend to those who were stirring the most, noticing her most efficient helper from the night before stirring to the side.

I’m so sorry, I must have fallen asleep, what can I do?

The woman was earnest and seemed truly distressed by her inability to stay awake all night.

"You did fine, miss, it was a lot to ask of you to watch them all night. Get yourself some water and there’s some bread by my bag over there. After you’ve had a moment to yourself you can help. We have to take care of ourselves too. "

Peeling back a blood soaked piece of cloth, Tsubaki shushed the man gently. He was definitely the worst one that was still alive. He had been pierced almost all the way through though he had also been lucky enough to avoid having any organs punctured. Channeling chakra into the wound, Tsubaki started by applying some numbing to the area. She was sure that it hurt and it likely would for a while if he survived. After that she reopened a small hole in one of his veins and began using her blood transfusion technique. She thought that they had successfully stopped the bleeding the night before but it was still seeping out from somewhere which was obviously not good. She couldn’t afford to use this technique too much though so she was going to have to figure something more permanent out.

Glancing up as she held her hands steady, Tsubaki tried to not feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of her as more and more patients began to awaken.
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:48 pm

Hijikata kept quiet as Tsubaki continued with her work. Her hand was so skilled that even as the needle passed through his flesh, he could barely sense it, even with his sensitivity. For one so brash, she had a powerful skill that worked to the benefit of others. Though perhaps his overly formal and optimistic demeanor irritated her, he hoped that, with time, much like a flower receiving the first rays of spring's warm light, she might be inclined to open up just a bit more. "I'm glad I was able to help," he said, not wishing to aggravate the woman further. It seemed he would have to be patient and bide his time.

Her work done, she quickly bandaged him, almost as swiftly and effortlessly as one would put on clothes. He was certain that, if she gave him the opportunity, he could learn even more than what he already knew about medicine and the human body's limitations. For now, though, she needed him gone. This was her domain, and considering she was charged with keeping the injured alive, she needed to have her space under her absolute control. "Yes'm, and I you," he confirmed, showing mutual understanding of their respective responsibilities.

The men that were still uninjured were busy gathering up weapons outside the village from the conflict. Even the children were tasked with this grim duty. They were reclaiming and making use of as many instruments of war as the enemy raiders thought it prudent to leave on the battlefield. Hijikata meditated on why they might attack this village of all places so fervently, but the cause alluded him. There weren't any precious resources here, it wasn't located on any main road, and strategically it had no significance. What could possibly make this place such an attractive target to raiders and warlords?

The men nodded to him as he joined them, having donned his keikogi once more. "How are the findings today, Muzan?" he asked.

He nodded to the affirmative. "They are good, Sensei. Many of the bandits simply abandoned their swords once the tide of battle turned. The men that still stand will have full weapons and armor. Are you certain that you will not need some?"

Hiji shook his head. "No, nothing of the sort. I have never fought in armor, and I do not know how to use it well. The restriction would make it difficult for me to move around."

He shook his head. "We must teach you when we have time. Making certain you can fight another day means fewer ones that must be healed by the Mystic."

Hiji's eyes furrowed. Who could he possibly be talking about? "Mystic? Your elder said you have no such healer here."

Muzan shook his head again, gesturing back toward the village with his hand. "I speak of the woman who came before you. I've seen nothing myself, but whispers tell her healing ways are beyond the hand of man."

He chuckled, though something about the comment made him uneasy. 'He must simply mean he's never seen a man treat injuries as well as she can. These are a traditional people, still bound by the ignorance of the sexes,' he told himself.

Surely, that must be it...

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Amy
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:58 am

"You really are amazing, miss," Tsubaki's young helper said in awe. The young girl went by Ana and Tsubaki was trying hard to remember that as she was certain the girl had told her several times already. Accepting the cup of tea gratefully, Tsubaki joined Ana in looking around the room, admiring all of the calmly rising chests. It was only just coming up on mid afternoon and everyone was officially stable. Unless something weird happened, it seemed that everyone was out of the woods.

"You have a real knack for this, Ana. Have you considered taking up the role of the towns medic?"

Eyes widening, Ana shook her head emphatically. "Do what you do?! I could never! I don't have any magic!"

Tsubaki chuckled, shaking her own head.

"There are many things I can teach you that don't require magic. I can teach you to cleanse and how to stop bleeding. How to set a broken bone and how to stitch a wound up. You would be a very valuable person to this village."

"You really think I could do it?"

"Definitely. Now that the worst of the worst are doing okay I'll spend the afternoon healing some of the less severely injured. This town needs to recover fast. Since they won't be emergencies, I can begin to teach you a few things."

"That would be amazing! Let me just go talk to the Mayor and make sure he's okay that you teach me and not someone else!"

The girl was practically squealing in excitement as she ran out of the tent, causing Tsubaki to chuckle again. It was good that she was excited. Setting down her now empty cup, Tsubaki left the tent as well, though she was in search of Hiji. If there were any somewhat injured men they were likely either with him or he would know where to find them.

"Hiji!" She shouted when she was close enough, briefly wondering if he would be offended by her familiar use of his name. "How are things going out here? It looks like you've collected quite a bit of materials from the field."

Now that all of the patients were safe, Tsubaki was a lot more relaxed with a slightly better outlook on things. Despite being speckled with blood once again, she almost looked happy.
Last edited by Amy on Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
Chuunin • Iwagakure no Sato • Tanaka Aimi
B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
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Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:54 am

A familiar voice punctured the soft whispers of the breeze dancing along the tall grass outside of the village. Despite his earlier dismissal of Muzan’s comment, the phrasing lingered in the back of Hijikata’s mind, a powerful instinct telling him to be wary. ’Muzan is just ignorant, Hiji,’ he told himself. ’What you already know of Tsubaki is the truth. She is of a rough countenance, but her heart is generous and kind, and she works hard for others. That is all you need know.’

Whatever battle he was waging in his mind, it would be invisible to the young woman as she approached. He nodded to confirm her assessment with a soft smile. ”They go as well as they can, Tsubaki-san. Even in this grim time, these people work hard. They adapt and give their all to survive. We managed to recover enough to fully armor the men that are still able to fight. This will hopefully cut down on the burden you will face in the next battles to come.”

Hoisting a bundle of armor plates on his shoulder, he sighed as he took a moment to crack his neck. ”The fact that you are here must bode well for the injured. I take it the conditions of the wounded are improving?” he posed.

The stitching and bandaging she’d assisted him with were holding up immaculately. He would try to ask her to teach him if he had the chance.

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Amy
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by Amy » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:58 pm

Tsubaki nodded, stretching her arms high above her head. Stiff shoulders were nothing more than a common side effect of the job but it never became less enjoyable to stretch them out. What he said was promising not only for herself but for all those she would eventually leave behind. No basic medical techniques would come close to the healing powers she herself could offer and the more they could prevent the injuries the better.

"That’s a relief. And yeah, everyone’s actually doing great. Had one guy giving me a rough go of it but he’s stable for right now. Took a blade right through the gut. Not an easy wound to deal with especially with almost no equipment. I seem to have found someone with some talent though, so hopefully they train well and can keep the village stocked a little bit better."

It was something that villages didn’t usually take into account for one reason or another. They relied on traveling medics like Tsubaki to bring medicine and heal the injured as they passed through. They never considered what would happen if disaster struck. If they couldn’t get to a larger village nearby, one who had a medic. It was often a disastrous oversight. Most villages only made the mistake once. Hopefully, if this Ana girl was as talented as she seemed she would stick around and be the town’s full time medic.

"I’m on my way to the bar to get something to eat. If you’re not busy you could join me."

It wasn’t that Tsubaki wanted his company exactly, it was more that she felt a little bad about how she had been treating him since their brief meeting the night before. As gruff of an exterior she could give off after much practice she was nothing more than a kind person at heart and this man didn’t seem like he had any ill will towards her or the others. They might not become friends or even acquaintances but they were the only two outsiders right now and in a way she felt like they needed to stick together. The people seemed to currently trust them because they had been helping and nothing bad had happened. But Tsubaki knew how quickly things could spiral out of control when people were afraid and hurt and without a doubt the suspicion would fall on them first.

"Oh, how’s the arm holding up? Does the bandage need to be redone? "
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Jounin • Konohagakure no Sato • Inuzuka Shinrai and Kuro & Toraeru
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B-Rank MNKatō, Tsubaki
Sp. Jounin • Kirigakure no Sato • Araki Kiyo
Genin • Iwagakure no Sato • Notome, Minori

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ShinobiTruth
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[Plotboard Part 1] The Price of Hatred

Post by ShinobiTruth » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:12 pm

Hiji’s internal suspicions eased as Tsubaki appeared to be taking a moment’s rest from her work. She certainly seemed rough around the edges, and he knew nothing of her story, but his perception of the woman ultimately being a kind soul had seemed to be accurate. Now that there was a lull in the intensity of the attacks coming against the village, her inner personality was shining through a little bit more brightly. He had no idea how long they would be together, but with any luck, they might depart as friends.

Hiji nodded as he walked with Tsubaki. ”That is good to hear. Villages with a good doctor are few and far between,” he confirmed. ”And your joint efforts will help these people get back on their feet all the more quickly.”

Hiji blinked momentarily at Tsubaki’s request, admittedly surprised that she would make such an offer. Perhaps this was a sign of good tidings? Either way, he had to admit that he was a bit famished. ”That sounds wonderful. I appreciate the offer. Thank you,” he accepted, his smile a bit wider and his tone warmer.

Walking back into the village, Hiji set the plates of armor down by the smith’s shop as they walked toward the bar. ”Not at all. Your sutures have held up marvelously. With enough rest, I’ll be able to remove them soon,” he assured her. ”Should circumstances permit, before we part ways, I wish to learn from you as well.”

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