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  • [Solo] Ad Meliora

    It smelled like real vegetation. It even felt like real wind. But the breeze that blew and the grass that grew did so artificially, the result of shinobi techniques rather than nature itself. The prisoners called it the 'courtyard', even though sunlight-imitating lights hung from a concrete ceiling. At least the painted blue walls provided some semblance of the outdoors.

    The courtyard's size accommodated two fields which most often were used to play harmless sports. There was no danger of a riot breaking out for all the inhabitants wore the brand of Grass's prison seal, keeping them docile and complacent. It made getting up the energy to be competitive almost impossible. A game of catch was about as active as the jumpsuited prisoners got.

    A small crowd gathered around one corner of the courtyard. Nearby guards kept an eye on it but otherwise didn't interfere. Occasionally a cheer or a chuckle or a comment would be thrown out but for the most part the criminals simply enjoyed the show. A small stone cylinder embedded into the 'earth' served as the stage and upon it danced a number of tiny human-like figures, complete with limbs and a minuscule painted faces. Each one looked to have been created out of scraps, or maybe toilet paper- disposable material not intended for more than one use.
    '
    "Get him, Hero!"

    One of the figures twirled and with a deft flick of its thin arm, seemed to behead another nearby cloth puppet. The cheers went up as the murderous doll gave a bow. That day's story time concluded.

    Not part of the crowd but close enough to observe, a sunken eyed Gemmei chewed on one of the fake blades of grass. Another prisoner sat nearby flipping through pages of a book. "Isn't that promoting violence? Gemmei watched as the on-lookers dispersed."Why do the guards permit it?

    "Because it's art. And it is harmless. The prisoner continued flipping pages without looking up at the girl. Gemmei had a reputation as a sourpuss but the prison seal made it hard to ignore direct questions, even from other inmates. "We're all harmless. We can't do anything with these seals on us.

    Gemmei's lips curled into a frustrated scowl, but only for a moment. The seal branded underneath her left eye began to itch and the feeling passed. Her expression returned to normal.

    "It can't be harmless. That is chakra assisted puppetry. The warden should be throwing a fit.

    "Aipare used to be a prodigy, you know? Even without chakra those shinobi skills can come in handy."

    All Gemmei could respond with was a grunt of disbelief. Somewhere inside her an idea began to take root.
    Ad Meliora
    Last edited by Junge; 06-10-2020, 10:06 PM.
    (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
    (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
    (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
    Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
    Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
    I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
    Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

  • #2
    Weeks later another story concluded. This time Gemmei stood closer, in attendance with the crowd proper. As the paper-thin hero slayed a centipede made up of leaves the puppeteer Aipare bowed and declare that evening's event concluded. As usual everyone dispersed to continue using their free time, but Gemmei stuck around.

    "Doesn't it get boring? She looked down at the old puppeteer as each of the remaining dolls were placed into a small box. "You're telling the same story over and over. Everyone knows how it will end.

    "Do I? Aipare slowly began packing each doll back into a small cloth sack. Every word came out with a heavy gravitas, clearly showing that Aipare was well versed in giving the narrated stories additional weight. "I suppose maybe I do. It's about how the story is told, I think, rather than the end result. Isn't that why you are watching?

    With an accusing finger Gemmei pointed at Aipare's wrinkled face. "Tell me how you are bypassing your seal to use chakra so effectively.

    "Or what?

    "Or nothing. Gemmei lowered her hand, a brief flash of emotion crossing her face before it settled back down to its new normal. "I just want to know.

    "Practice. Aipare breathed in and stood up, looking up as if staring into where the sun should be. "And experience. Live as long as me and you'll get there, too.
    Last edited by Junge; 06-10-2020, 10:10 PM.
    (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
    (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
    (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
    Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
    Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
    I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
    Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

    Comment


    • #3
      Each day blended into the last. As a spinning snake made of lint threatened to engulf the hero, Gemmei still couldn't figure out the trick. She waited until the usual time to bring it up, but Aipare seemed to be expecting it. "There's two sets of strings. Gemmei ran her fingers over the stone stage that the puppets performed on, scooping up some the debris from the slain monster. "What is this made of...silk?

      "Spider thread. Aipare didn't sound as defensive as Gemmei hoped he would be. "It's why I can't give more than one show a week. Takes time and patience to collect it, you know.

      "That's garbage. Gemmei wadded up the trash and discarded it on the earthen floor. "These webs are too flimsy. You're using some technique to strengthen them.

      "Maybe, maybe not.

      Gemmei put both hands on the stage and leaned in to look Aipare right in the eyes. Her eyes didn't hold that same obedient stare common to the other sealed prisoners. "Tell me.

      The reply came back swiftly. "No.

      "Then I'll figure it out myself. Gemmei's voice might have been robbed of its edge and venom, but not at all of its resolve. "Or force you to reconsider.

      "I wish you luck, child.
      (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
      (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
      (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
      Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
      Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
      I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
      Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

      Comment


      • #4
        Results on the first attempts proved elusive. Not an artist in any way Gemmei couldn't craft much in terms of dolls with the limited supplies available in the Grass prison, and more than that making them move realistically was no easy task. The best the girl managed was to give each poorly constructed puppet a sort of wiggle as she jerked her fingers up and down. Her technique was too much for the thin cloth fibers that could be pulled from their jumpsuits, though, and frequently her too cumbersome toys would snap in half whenever she tried to move them around. Trying to force chakra through the material proved equally as fruitless as the cursed brand choked out her molding abilities. The best she could do is pour chakra from her palms like an open faucet, which did little but tire her out and slightly raise the temperature.

        On top of that her storytelling skills left much to be desired. "What do you mean, it's boring? The statement started out angry but as usually faded into a calm tone within seconds. "It's a fight scene. Fight scenes are always good.

        "Hm, no. The prisoner thumbed through the few pages of script with a discerning eye. "It's banal, like something a child would write. There is no build up, no climax, the villain dies in one hit and the hero is unharmed...

        "Those are the same stories Aipare tells. They follow that exact formula.

        "No, not exactly. The prisoner handed Gemmei back her script. "A story should make you want to know what happens next or there's no point to it. What kind of books do you like? You should write like that.

        An emotion the prison seal did not stifle was discouragement. Gemmei glanced over her manuscript, then crumpled it into a ball and chucked it aside. Gemmei didn't like any books. She hated reading. Hopeless. This type of activity was more of fruity cousin's Junichi's scene. There wasn't any way the creatively bankrupt mind of Gemmei could make a compelling narrative that could compete with Aipare's.

        Those Shinshi genes wouldn't let her just give up, though. The clan's art had been crafted through years of trying to get around a seemingly impossible barrier. When the obvious solution failed then the Shinshi method meant looking to turn the problem on its head.

        The idea hit her right in the face during a lunch break, coincidentally coinciding with an actual hit to her face after being accused of stealing a small dish of honey from someone's plate. Conflict. The secret was conflict.
        Last edited by Junge; 06-11-2020, 10:05 PM.
        (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
        (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
        (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
        Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
        Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
        I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
        Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

        Comment


        • #5
          Nobody came to the first four performances. That put a pretty hard dent in Gemmei's plans. The prison seal took many things but it hadn't replaced her innate sense of social toxicity. 'Bitter young girl plays with dolls' wasn't a headline that drew many to her corner of the courtyard. Eventually a risk had to be taken.

          "I'll take that bet. One of the prisoners and his pals snorted as they agreed to Gemmei's proposition. "We ain't gonna get shanked by the guards for doing this, right? You already got permission?

          "It's art. Gemmei sat down on her side of the stone stool being used as her stage. "It's harmless.

          She began her play in earnest. A twisted, coiled napkin in the vaguest shape of a person bobbed up and down as she gently tugged at the strings tied around its limbs. "This is Mao. She's a nasty old witch without a single ounce of goodness in her heart. Gemmei's intonation was as dull as her craft skills, and the attention of her small audience seemed to fade as quick as a toddlers.

          Progressing rapidly through her slapdash narrative Gemmei jumped to the most important bit to try and salvage the production. "But then, oh no! With a jerk the puppet on her other hand snapped off its strings and fell limp. The witch puppet jostled back and forth in a mock attempt at laughter. "The evil witch took down the brave hero! It will be up to his trusty sidekicks to get him out.

          "That's us, right? Now freshly shaken out of their boredom Gemmei's audience now re-engaged. "We just gotta hit the dumb napkin toy with these fluff balls, right?

          "And if you lose you'll have to give us half your dinner for a month!

          Gemmei balanced her puppet precariously as she looked up at her recruited protagonists. "That's the deal. Fail and you have to watch me again next week.

          Each prisoner gripped a tiny down feather between their fingers, intent on launching the small projectile into the girl's frail looking doll. While the small pieces of fluff Gemmei pulled from the prison mattresses weren't a great projectiles, anyone skilled enough would still easily be able to toss the thing and hit a nearby target. Almost all the residents here were former shinobi as well. This was, in a very real sense, child's play.

          "The witch began to cast her spell, Gemmei started as her eyes locked into the fingers of her closest participant. "Armed with the Feather of Light, the hero's friends step up and...


          (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
          (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
          (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
          Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
          Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
          I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
          Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

          Comment


          • #6
            Many weeks later Gemmei moved her show's date to match Aipare's own. Her small audience grew substantially in that time, no doubt due to the draw of her shows having an extra layer of interactivity. "Nobody's killed the witch yet! There had been some accusations of cheating and a few bruised egos. However the only thing the prisoners lost was time, which all convicts have in abundance anyway. Apart from a small slip-up that cost her a week's worth of fish, Gemmei hadn't lost a bet yet.

            Some folks weren't even in on the bet and just seemed to watch the show. Who didn't enjoy a good back and forth struggle!

            "Oh, too bad. The sloppy amateur puppetry of Gemmei somehow still managed to convey a sense of arrogant superiority as the witch doll shuffled and jumped over a new pile of 'bodies'. "It looks like the Old Witch Mao has destroyed the city's only hope. That day's actors all resigned themselves to their failure, as had the fallen warriors from past performances. Gemmei's manipulation of the doll looked clumsy and easily exploitable at first, yet nobody had yet to land a blow on the taunting napkin. Somehow the girl's technique let her dodge the fluffy missiles almost without moving a literal finger.

            This was just the appetizer, though. The bait to lure in her real target. This prison wasn't big enough to sustain an audience for two puppeteers. A familiar voice rattled out from the back of Gemmei's crowd.

            "You'll take one more challenger, won't you, Old Witch?

            Heads turned to look at Aipare, who was standing just outside the rest of the observers. Gemmei made sure to keep an eye out for her competition and was certain this was the first time Aipare saw her show. Her trick couldn't have been figured out already, could it?

            "Recess is over, old timer. Gemmei wiggled her fingers to do the one thing she could with her doll, which was make it flap around in a taunting manner. "Besides, I don't feel like bothering with someone who can't even keep an audience. Maybe next week, eh?

            Aipare seemed to regard this with a cold, distant thoughtfulness. Then came the response. "The puppet has a barrier of cobwebs around it. Nothing as flimsy as a chunk of cotton pulled from a pillow will get through it, no matter how hard anyone tries. This girl has been tricking you the whole time.
            (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
            (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
            (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
            Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
            Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
            I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
            Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

            Comment


            • #7
              A declaration of war! Gemmei let out a low hiss between her teeth as eyes once again turned to her and her Witch. Murmurs spread. Everyone assumed Gemmei was using some kind of technique so it wasn't as if a riot was going to break out, but like a magician who's trick gets revealed the 'magic' of Gemmei's performance would now be gone. Without something to hold their attention the girl's entire plan would fall to pieces right the and there.

              "I don't take challenges. Gemmei's calm, measured tone carried a sharp edge of venom as she spoke to the distant Aipare. "I take bets.

              Already Aipare began approaching the small stage. Gently the experienced puppeteer put the bag filled with dolls down and sat across from Gemmei. "I'll be happy to accept a bet. I just need to touch the Old Witch with a piece of fluff to win, don't I?

              "You can't use your hands.

              "Of course not. Aipare pulled out his Hero doll, which looked like a true work of art next to Gemmei's raggedy craftsmanship. "I'll use one of my dear friends instead. That is well within your rules, isn't it?

              The murmurs of the crowd now began the grins and laughter of an engaged spectators. It would be a puppet fight!

              "If you lose, Aipare deftly began stretching his fingers, his Hero dancing across the stage as if controlled by a mind of its own. "You'll shutter this little sideshow and leave me alone. You can go back to sulking in your corner.

              "If you lose, Gemmei's fingers trembled as she strained to ready herself for whatever tactic Aipare was about to launch. "You have to give me all your toys.

              A brief look of concern crossed Aipare's face, but as with all extremes of emotion the prison seal quickly smoothed it out. "That sounds agreeable.

              The two shook hands and the noose of observers tightened. There wouldn't be any funny business here- it was going to be a straight up brawl between the Hero and the Witch!
              (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
              (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
              (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
              Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
              Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
              I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
              Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

              Comment


              • #8
                It was a show unlike any the prisoners witnessed before. The Hero puppet, Aipare's treasured protagonist, usually moved much like one would expect a doll too. Despite the puppeteers expertise the toy jerked around in only the barest semblance of human movement. Yet right out of the gate it was clear this wouldn't be the usual playful prancing about. "Having conquered the city- Gemmei only got two seconds into her story before the Hero made a move. Gone was the lanky dance of the Hero. Instead the small doll swung into action more like a living creature than a object. The doll's thing stick arm snapped out like a mousetrap, clearing out the protective transparent shield of spider webbing keep the Old Witch protected.

                "Show, don't tell. Aipare's softer voice now carried a previously unheard edge to it. "First rule of storytelling, Witch.

                The Hero lunged forward brandishing a downy feather. A collective, but restrained howl of excitement rippled through the crowd as the deadly piece of fluff easily bypassed the Witch's defenses. She was done for!
                (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
                (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
                (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
                Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
                Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
                I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
                Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

                Comment


                • #9
                  At the final moment the Witch fell, crumpling downward as the Feather of Light shot past her. Gemmei's hands hadn't moved- she simply released some of the slack she'd been holding back, letting her puppet 'duck' as the Hero's attack dipped between the strings. In the next moment she flung her hand away, dragging the Witch to the other side of the stage. A unified groan of disappointed washed through the crowd, but the fight wasn't quite over yet. Both Gemmei's eyes stayed locked on Aipare's hands as her challenger quickly adapted and the Hero scampered back towards where the limply dangling Witch now hung.

                  With more slack Gemmei had to raise her hand higher up to manipulate the puppet, putting her at a strict disadvantage. Aipare's fluid movements were far more accurate than Gemmei anticipated and the Hero began a second thrust with the feathery weapon. Despite the skill that Aipare wielded the tool each attack was very straightforward- clearly the expert was relying on overwhelming speed and precision rather than any gimmick. Yet, somehow, this time the slow Witch's clumsy movements easily dodged. The Hero drew back and tried again, but now the puppet's movements seemed less responsive. Aipare didn't understand at first but quickly came to the realization as the pipe cleaner legs of the Hero dragged across the concrete block serving as their battlefield.

                  Aipare spoke with a tone suggesting impatience. "You spread honey on the stage to catch my puppet's legs, didn't you?

                  "Hey! A cry came out from the audience. "That's cheating!

                  "She's an evil Witch. Gemmei didn't even bother hiding her satisfaction as her puppet once again evaded a certain death. "Why should she fight fair? It was play most foul, as Aipare's commitment to the art meant that the Hero's feet always touched the 'ground' to mimic actual walking. Gemmei the amateur, meanwhile, was totally fine letting the Witch float around above the fray like a ghost. The Hero jerked in stuttering movements as the thin layer of sticky honey continued to ensnare the bottom half of the puppet. Suddenly the match-up seemed a lot less one sided as it became clear Gemmei had prepared for Aipare's antics.

                  A hint of emotion sparked behind Aipare's eyes. "Let's cut to the chase and get to the climax, then.

                  "You get one last chance. Gemmei kept very close watch on the opposing puppeeter's hands. Despite having pulled a couple fast ones on the superior puppeteering of Aipare, the girl's face didn't betray any joy or satisfaction at having done so. Instead all she wore was an expression of concentration, mixed in with the faintest scowl of displeasure. "Then your Hero belongs to me.
                  Last edited by Junge; 06-12-2020, 12:50 AM.
                  (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
                  (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
                  (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
                  Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
                  Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
                  I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
                  Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like any good former shinobi Aipare discarded honor and craft as soon as they proved to be a liability.

                    The Hero, following the long arms of the puppeteer, ripped forward.

                    It was almost like Aipare was throwing a punch with the speed his hands moved.

                    The speed ripped the legs straight off the Hero as he surged forward towards the still frail Witch.

                    Unlike before the Feather of Light now moved with an uncanny amount of human-like exactness which seemed impossible for mere strings to have caused.

                    Rather than a thrust, the feather swung in a wide, diagonal arc, intended to cut off all avenues of escape.

                    Gemmei bit her lip and twisted her own arm to give the Witch a bit of life but obviously couldn't keep up with Aipare's technique.

                    The Hero's blitz smashed into Gemmei's puppet and a combined shout thundered out from the onlookers.

                    That had to be it!

                    The end of the Witch!
                    (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
                    (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
                    (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
                    Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
                    Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
                    I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
                    Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yet Aipare wore an expression not of victory, but one of sudden terror. The peanut gallery couldn't see what transpired in those critical moments. Those who looked at Gemmei would see a familiar sight to all shinobi- that look of killing intent that could stop an ordinary person cold. While it looked as though the Hero slayed the Witch from the outside, those sitting closest to the stage could see otherwise.
                      '
                      "She split!

                      Like two halves of a loaf of bread, the Witch opened up down the middle. Gemmei's carefully crafted napkin toy easily broke apart as she strained to spread both her fingers into a wider stance to accommodate the new shape. As the two pieces of the Witch swung sideways the feather swooped clean in-between the gap and failed to the doll at all yet again. That wasn't the only trick the Witch had left, either! As the hero moved in between the halves of the Witch it became clear Gemmei hit something foul right in the middle of her toy- a single, tiny shard of glass, positioned in between the two halves of the Witch by a taut wire. It lay in just the perfect position to cut the string of the Hero as it passed under her outstretched palm.

                      A very real fear flashed through Aipare. The prison seal could mitigate strong emotions, but it left fear intact. You couldn't control prisoners without it, after all. With time the puppets could be rebuilt, but the toys held a stronger connection than that to the puppeteer. All those stories told with them held a very real weight to Aipare.

                      And now that weight careened helplessly towards the Witch's devious final plan. It would all be over so quick.
                      Last edited by Junge; 06-12-2020, 12:51 AM.
                      (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
                      (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
                      (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
                      Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
                      Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
                      I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
                      Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Spectators never saw the work that went into the craft. At the end of the day the story had to speak for itself, and all the hidden machinations and strings the storyteller pulled might go completely unseen or unnoticed. Nobody watching saw anything special in what happened next. The Witch's surprising dividing tactic cause a brief stir, but the Hero easily came to a complete stop and then spun on its axis. The Feather of Light smacked both halves of the Witch as she swung back inwards, and the deed was done. Cheers rocketed out of the lungs of the suddenly very engaged audience, loud enough that even the guards felt it necessary to step in and break up the activity. Recess was almost over anyway.

                        Aipare remained still in those moments, apart from very quickly closing a palm around the Hero to hold it steady. Of course the victory belonged to the elder puppeteer. This novice Gemmei couldn't hold a candle to what a true professional was capable of.

                        Why did it feel like a loss, then? Both Gemmei and Aipare knew why.

                        Like her opponent Gemmei also kept still, her focus not on Aipare's hands but now her own. The Witch lay discarded like garbage on the stage alongside a tangle of strings. Not Gemmei's strings, of course. Her puppet hadn't been cut up. "So that's how you bypass it, huh? She wiggled her fingers a bit after giving them some rest, eager to try and learn to do what she just watched Aipare pull off. "It wasn't quite a hand seal you made, but...

                        "Tell anyone, Aipare leaned in and whispered in a half threatening, half anxious tone. "And they'll send us both to hell.

                        She silently scooped up her toy and tossed it into a trash bin as she walked back to her cell. She didn't need to respond. Gemmei already got what she wanted.

                        The only thing to do now was to master it.
                        (Rain Chuunin) Oichi Josuke | (Sand Chuunin) Sawamatsu no Motonubu | (Leaf Chuunin) Hyuuga Kannon
                        (Retired Grass Chuunin) Shinshi Gemmei | (Snow Genin) Gonnohyoe | (Mist Genin) Kurusu Ringo
                        (Brigade of Light) Chosokabe Muneshige | (Leaf Chuunin) Hong Feiyan
                        Shichou Clan GM - Shichou Mission Thread Here!
                        Brigade of Light GM - Missions and More!
                        I will do any thread, anywhere, anytime. Just PM me!
                        Wizlab | Swaps | (AP) | RIP

                        Comment

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