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  • #16
    As the ribbons she retrieved became reattuned to their owner's chakra, Hana inhaled a sharp breath, forming a few hand seals. The ribbons lengthened and surged around her form, knitting her into a new person completely: One of the men the two had just killed. She listened to Tenzan's chatter, turning back towards him to offer him some advice. Despite the visage she had adopted, her voice was still her own. She had time to figure out exactly how to masquerade her voice's into the man's, though it would prove tricky, gathering how she hadn't even heard his screams.

    "There's no use dwelling on it now. People are better at certain things than others. I'm sure I'd lose to you in a fight if we were just basing it off taijutsu. My genin teammate, Hyuuga Yuu, far surpasses me when it comes to the physical realm of things. While I'm working at getting better at it, I'm apt to remembering my strengths too. Not all shinobi are built the same after all."

    She offered him a weak smile before taking up a stride next to him. The two continued their journey outside of the forest. While she had her own plan, Tenzan was the leader after all. He had far more experience than her when it came to the field.

    Following the older chuunin's lead, she changed her voice to that of a man's, nearly matching Tenzan in pitch. There were a few key differences, but she had picked up on how he spoke and adjusted hers from there.

    "We only ran into one shinobi, but knowing Leaf, there's probably more." Noticing how she was standing, Hana spread her legs out a bit more, broadening her shoulders. Looking like a man was never hard for her. Acting like one was.

    "I like keeping my head on its shoulders. They can't flush us all out. We should retreat to the mines."

    Hana considered offering tactical advice, what with creating a chokepoint and all, but she doubted a grunt would know much about battle tactics. Her own plan, however, was sound. Slaughtering her enemies from within.

    Last edited by Wess; 10-27-2019, 09:37 PM.
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    • #17
      Going deeper into the mine was a terrible idea.

      He knew that, but only because he knew what he'd do if they were all in one place when their mission was to collapse the mine anyway. As long as there were no innocents inside, it was bound to have a better outcome than the last time he was inside a mining facility. Still, there was no way he'd go for something so obviously not in his favor.

      "Y-yeah.... yeah! You're right. If we can hold out until he gets here..."

      The burly chuunin could barely keephis jaw from dropping. Hana was more convincing than he'd realized, even if looking at her in that form, he could still tell she was a she. He had to try especially hard not to laugh when she tried to stand in a more masculine way; it was literally something he wouldn't have even noticed if she hadn't done it.

      As they entered the mine, Tenzan had to wonder who 'he' was. It was the second time the guy had mentioned this mysterious and apparently dangerous person, but he knew better than to ask--as far as the ruse went, he was supposed to know already. If nothing else, it meant that they were on a timetable. That was fine by him. Destruction came easy for Tenzan.

      By the time they'd gotten further into the mine, far enough that they couldn't see the entrance, Tenzan could hear voices from the handful of men still inside. The mine was dead quiet otherwise, giving him all the cover he needed.

      "Say..." The man turned around, looking squarely at Tenzan. He lifted his lantern up a bit to see the chuunin in better light. "...you're new, aren't you?"

      "...yeah."

      "I thought so! You look a lot like Kenai-sama, just without all the hair."

      Tenzan froze. He felt like his heart stopped. "...do I? Huh." He tried his best not to sound nervous, though he had every right to be. He felt sick. Was it too much to hope that Kenai was just a common name?

      "Hey... you alright?"

      "...I... don't do well in closed spaces." It was a clever half-truth. Tenzan wanted nothing more than to be gone. He looked over at Hana, abandoning all pretense of knowing what to do next.

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      • #18
        No. Impossible.
        canary
        Last edited by Wess; 10-27-2019, 09:41 PM.
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        Ratings Moderator / Ame no Kuni Primary / Kaze no Kuni & Hi no Kuni Secondary / Maeda Clan GM
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        • #19
          The disguised Hana's words weren't terribly comforting. Tenzan was aware of what was coming--even moreso than the first time he'd recklessly tried to subdue Aramaki Kenai. Worse than that, he couldn't actually tell her. Not here. And even if he did, he admonished himself for being such a coward. But then... no one could really blame him.

          To be a Celestial Gates user meant one's entire existence was lived on the edge of a knife, almost literally. The village on the whole hated that the Aramaki family even used them, and while there were those like Tenzan's grandfather who had honed the practice to a higher discipline, there were those who were significantly more reckless--like Tenzan's father. Even the chuunin found a strange relief in the idea that his grandfather's sacrifice hadn't come at the expense flinging the Eighth Gate open.

          The chuunin squinted at the darkness, resisting a reflexive impulse to ignite his own hands to light the way. He trusted Hana thus far, and there was no reason not to continue; if push came to shove, he had to figure out some way for the both of them to survive. An encounter with a Celestial Gates use that could theoretically cheat death made that less likely, but to rush the mission now would jeopardize everything.

          The path was surprisingly wide, and Tenzan kept near a wall mostly to avoid tripping over the rail tracks in the center of the tunnel. There were branching paths everywhere, making his grand plan to collapse the mine much less feasible. Destroying the operation from the inside was going to be impossible. At this point, we'd just have to eliminate every-... oh.

          She hadn't said anything, but it was hard to fathom that Hana hadn't figured that out first. He sighed inwardly. A fight was unavoidable. As he heard voices echoing from a chamber further in, he took several deep breaths. This was going to get very rough, very quickly.

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          • #20
            Last edited by Wess; 11-11-2019, 12:14 PM.
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