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  • Smash the World's Shell


    Josuke's gas mask turned downwards to peer into the large trunk as the trader opened it up. There, nestled among a substantial amount of dry yellow hay, lay the objects of Amegakure's interest. The chuunin scarcely got to look at the strange artifacts for longer than a second before the lid of the trunk slammed down tight.
    The trader rubbed his fingers together. The eye holes of Josuke's gas mask turned towards the imposing presence of his 'partner' for this job, a ronin Amegakure seemed to be employing more often than not as of late. The samurai was reliable. She also crazy skilled. That combination scared the piss out of Josuke. This would be their third job together yet he was still waiting for her to stab him in the back. To add to that paranoia, in her possession was a suitcase of filthy surface money, since Josuke couldn't be trusted not to drop it. With the way the boat was rocking back and forth that possibility felt too real.
    The chuunin spoke in a flat, consistent tone and volume, just loud enough to be heard over a radio blaring some cutesy pop song on the deck above them. A powerful cocktail of medication kept the edges of his terrific fear at bay, almost making him sound professional.

    The trader grunted and pointed an incriminating finger at the young shinobi. He snapped, and Josuke flinched.

    The river beneath the vessel churned as another gust of wind from the storm outside rattled its wooden frame. Some small portholes let in the small amount of light that could filter in through the afternoon clouds. The shadowy bowels of the cargo ship didn't do much to hide the hulking bodyguards of the merchant, though. Then again this man probably wanted his muscle to be seen- shinobi or not, starting trouble in a confined space with so many hostile bodies was pure suicide.

    He turned and held out one of his long arms to the samurai guarding Amegakure's precious funds.
    (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
    "Easy," The samurai said, settling the suitcase down on the floor before her, kneeling down and flicking up each clasp with deliberate theatrics. "This guy looks tough and all but he's actually a coward. Always one step away from a heart attack."

    She pulled bundled bills from the suitcase while obscuring the full contents with the lid. She could feel the merchant leering down the front of her robe. She had set her jaw. "Three, six, nine, twelve."

    She produced stacks of cash bound together with small loops of twine between her fingers as she counted, lobbing them over to the merchant every time she called a grouping. They smelled of stale cigarette smoke and clinical sterile cleaning agents - - something she had learned to attribute to Amegakure. Or, at the very least, Oichi-san. She snapped the suitcase shut again and click-click-clicked the clasps back down before stretching back up to her full height.

    If anything was going to go wrong on something as simple as a buy order, it would be while she was working with the ninja from Rain. He had a habit of attracting trouble, even when there wasn't supposed to be any. He was good at getting out of a pinch, but that was probably experience gained from getting into them. How someone as skiddish as him was so capable to stick that giant nose of his mask into so much trouble was a mystery to the woman: She wasn't completely convinced it wasn't some sort of act.

    "We have an agreement?"

    "I do like the no-nonsense act." The merchant shoved the trunk forward across the table, and as the boat shifted it slid dramatically towards the pair. There was a cracking sound as the samurai's wooden sandal snapped against the trunk to keep it from careening it to the floor.

    "Your turn," She said to Josuke, soft volume of her voice not diluting the barking order. She pulled away from the trunk as the boat leveled out and nodded her chin at the merchant. "You don't even have to dock. We can jump."
    �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
    �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
    �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
    �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
    �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
    �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
    �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
    �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
    �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
    Available for Registry Checks
    Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
    Important NPCs: Higashi

    Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
    (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
    (swaps [AP] items)
    (threads)

    Comment


    • #3
      shunshinbaboomsplash
      Last edited by Junge; 01-11-2020, 01:48 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


      • #4
        there anymore.

        There was a familiar smell in the air, of black powder and blood, and her stomach threatened to turn over for a moment. Even with the pain and the darkness, she could hear the rustling of something coming towards her after the cry to take her out
        �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
        �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
        �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
        �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
        �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
        �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
        �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
        �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
        �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
        Available for Registry Checks
        Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
        Important NPCs: Higashi

        Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
        (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
        (swaps [AP] items)
        (threads)

        Comment


        • #5
          When all was said and done, the suitcase of war funds still held a tidy sum of surface cash. There hadn't been as much to buy so change was expected. Useless to an Amegakure shinobi, of course. Maybe his armed escort could use it?

          The ronin waited outside for Josuke as he hauled the large trunk filled mostly with hay onto his back. Outside the rain drizzled its usually fuzzy drizzle. The forest could be seen from where the boat laid anchor, but not much more. They must have stopped in a sparse rural area with few travellers. Josuke held up the briefcase, offering it to the samurai. As the pair walked into the foliage and outside the prying eyes of the smugglers Josuke unburdened the trunk from himself, plopping it unceremoniously down into the mud.
          Josuke turned, his attention now completely off from the ronin. Sure enough the horse tracks could be seen trailing back upriver. Coincidence? On cue the rain began to intensify.
          Last edited by Junge; 01-11-2020, 01:48 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


          • #6
            HadSomething has felt off all day. This whole operation feels like a set up.paid
            �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
            �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
            �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
            �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
            �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
            �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
            �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
            �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
            �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
            Available for Registry Checks
            Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
            Important NPCs: Higashi

            Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
            (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
            (swaps [AP] items)
            (threads)

            Comment


            • #7
              The offer lingered, like a raindrop dangling from the tip of a leaf. Josuke's mask remained frozen in one direction as if focused on something distant. His hand still held up the light despite the samurai having already moved away from it.

              Seconds ticked by.











              The earth ripped open as the explosive lined chest detonated. A wave of concussive force blew Josuke clean off his feet and tossed his thin body into the forest mud. Debris splattered and tree trunks shattered as the explosion tore into the surroundings. Where Josuke absentmindedly put the crate down to rest only a smoldering crater remained.

              His mask provided only a cursory protection to his senses. Quickly blinking his useless eyes he confirmed they hadn't been gouged out by shrapnel, and shaking his head the medic determined his ringing ears were deafened, but the eardrums hadn't burst. The sudden lack of sight or sound was because of shock, not any physical damage.

              The rain of crossbow bolts that followed, though, would do plenty of harm. An all too familiar series of piercing thunks struck his flank, deflected only slightly by the ceramic armor he wore underneath his protective layers. Even without a clear idea of what was going on his body lurched back onto two feet and his crooked hands flung together into a mess of sloppy hand seals. At this point his survival instinct held full control.

              As each sense returned the awful reality of the situation became more apparent. A shambling, malformed mud beast pulled itself from the earth and hurled itself at the back line of Militia Calvary, lessening their ability to pelt their targets with a barrage of projectiles. Josuke's body jerked at an odd angle to throw itself over a tree trunk knocked over in the blast, then two of him emerged to split out running in different directions. Militia bloodhounds tore into the first, ripping muddy chunks from the clone's throat. Flanking foot soldiers surrounded and tore apart the second with their spears.

              Still huddled behind his log Josuke's entire body froze as his mind went up in flames. The samurai, was she okay? Was it worth checking to see if she needed help, or should he just book it? Now was an ideal time to use that time honored shinobi art of running away, shunshin, but it would mean abandoning an ally.

              Could you really call a mercenary like her an ally? She would ditch him in a second, wouldn't she?

              The voices of the militia grew more distinct as their formation drew tighter.

              Last edited by Junge; 03-08-2020, 10:11 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


              • #8
                Bastards!
                �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
                �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
                �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
                �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
                �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
                �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
                �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
                �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
                �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
                Available for Registry Checks
                Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
                Important NPCs: Higashi

                Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
                (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
                (swaps [AP] items)
                (threads)

                Comment


                • #9
                  A rain of steel fell on all sides. Bark splintered and earth split where the wayward bolts fell. A few pained yelps indicated even the Militia bloodhounds weren't immune to friendly fire. The chaotic blitz was the only way to get the edge over someone like the Iron Maiden.

                  Two packs of beasts swept in from both flanks and aimed for the thick, meaty calves of their prey- and came out with only mouthfuls of mud. Josuke's mud beast swirled and coiled around the tree that the samurai leaned against for support and swatted the animals away with one bat of its otherwise nonfunctional wings. For once Josuke's ninjutsu looked more like a monster than a mess.

                  That was because the real mess was already more than a mile away. Each of Josuke's lurches through the wetlands tore up the vegetation and left a trail even a moron could track. The boy simply didn't have it in him to do otherwise. The distant sounds of battle faded, and eventually died out completely. Soon the only noise the chuunin could hear were the raindrops on his mask, and the pounding of his heart.

                  It was better this way, right?

                  The mercenary was a skilled soldier. She could handle herself. Josuke would just get in the way.

                  Weren't they about to split up anyway? What did he owe it to her?

                  Amegakure always came first!

                  Chest heaving Josuke sunk to his knees and waited. There was nothing else he could do. Nothing.

                  (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
                    �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
                    �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
                    �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
                    �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
                    �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
                    �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
                    �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
                    �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
                    �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
                    Available for Registry Checks
                    Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
                    Important NPCs: Higashi

                    Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
                    (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
                    (swaps [AP] items)
                    (threads)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ame no Kuni's darkness was nothing like Amegakure's. When the sun set Josuke moved much more freely, more used to the comfort of shadow than the horrors of daylight. Hours that felt like days had passed. It was stupid- this was stupid. He told himself that over and over each time he nearly tripped over a tree root.

                      Yet the chuunin, after making a clean escape, now made the arduous journey back to where he completely abandoned the samurai. He knew he was drawing closer to the location as the frequency of crossbow bolts stuck in the mud increased. Eventually came bodies, and the boy knew he arrived.

                      Stupid. Stupid. A biting guilt tore through him as he stumbled across the abandoned battlefield. How could he just ditch a comrade like that? Over something- something as stupid as this! The shame twisted into anger, and he pulled out one of the crystalline eggs. Despite the lack of illumination its many faceted surfaces continued to distort and refract the world around it. Josuke nearly tumbled over a bisected body, stopping his death march as he fell against a tree. A single, haggard sob escaped his lungs.

                      He saw his hunched over form mirrored in the lens of the egg. Torn clothes hung from his drooped shoulders like rags on a beggar. The night vision built into his mask didn't hide the pathetic form reflected in his hand. Was the samurai among these bodies? Even if she survived, how could Josuke face her after leaving her to die like a dog? The oath he swore in secret repeated itself over and over in his head. To serve, especially when needed most. How could he have been so stupid!

                      For a fraction of a second something whipped past his eye. It was there- in the crystal's reflection! Someone stood over him, a feminine frame with long hair- it had to be her, right?! His posture shot up and he turned around, only to see nothing but the dark jungle. More shame hit him like a gut punch.

                      Hallucinations, of course. Along with the mood swings...Josuke was experiencing withdraw.

                      Now came the frustration, directed at many things but mostly himself. He was in a compromised position, endangering the mission, all for...all for this stupid egg! Josuke rarely acted on impulse but something about doing this...it just felt right.

                      His arm snapped around and hurled the precious artifact straight into the nearest tree. It shattered with an ear-cracking crash, and the world fell to pieces.



                      Last edited by Junge; 05-07-2020, 11:33 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
                        Deja vu?
                        �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
                        �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
                        �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
                        �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
                        �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
                        �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
                        �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
                        �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
                        �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
                        Available for Registry Checks
                        Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
                        Important NPCs: Higashi

                        Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
                        (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
                        (swaps [AP] items)
                        (threads)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So much work, for such little payoff! But Josuke knew better than to question orders. It seemed so silly to transport even artifacts as fragile looking as the eggs in such a huge container! Both slipped into his coat without trouble as he nodded in agreement with the samurai.

                          Still, leaving the chest out on the bank of a random river would pretty suspicious. Josuke wheezed in his usual monotone. As he worked the nails out of the sides with a senbon his companion asked the question he was trying to hard to avoid thinking about. But she deserved the truth (or what little truth Josuke knew about), didn't she?
                          With a practiced ease he pried part of the crate loose, then slipped it into the mud at his feet as if the earth itself was liquid. Josuke's surgery skills sure came in handy sometimes, though perhaps he didn't need to be as delicate with this crate. As he worked his gas mask turned up towards the briefcase of cash, now kept in the samurai's safekeeping. He stopped and looked away for a second as if embarrassed.

                          As he jimmied the last few planks apart several slips of harmless looking paper fluttered out from between the seams. Packing material? Not wanting to leave any mess behind the chuunin scooped them up and prepared to shove them into the wet soil like everything else. His heart stopped after lifting one up into the rain.

                          Every molecule in his body screamed.

                          It was as if even his blood came alive and began to howl.

                          Throw it a w a y!

                          Throw them all away and run! The fibers in his muscles strained to fling away from the common shinobi tools he now held in his muddy gloves. It was death, death itself, on tiny slips of parchment! At any moment they could detonate and that would be it! Throw the damn things! Throw them anywhere else but here!

                          Instead he continued to act as though nothing happened. Each piece sunk into the earth just like the pieces of crate. He didn't even turn to look his comrade until he finished. Had she noticed?
                          Josuke's voice remained just as level before, yet his words came out with a cadence only someone familiar with his weirdness would recognize. He realized he hadn't taken a breath in quite some time.

                          Last edited by Junge; 05-07-2020, 07:49 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


                          • #14
                            �Nara Shikagerou, Sennin of Leaf.
                            �Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
                            �Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
                            �Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
                            �Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
                            �Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
                            �Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
                            �Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
                            �Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
                            Available for Registry Checks
                            Engi Tech || Leaf & Stone Secondary GM
                            Important NPCs: Higashi

                            Maybe it's the patterns that make me that made me crazy
                            (a r t i f i c a l f a n t a s y)
                            (swaps [AP] items)
                            (threads)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              On their own, the Rain Militia could be frightening. But it was an understandable, comprehensible kind of fear. Josuke learned about their routines and habits in school, even!

                              Discovering all those explosive tags meant it wasn't just Militia tracking them, though. It meant there was an enemy shinobi. An unknown horror. An unpredictable element.

                              The thought stuck to his mind even as he carved the life out of boys his age. It was a complete metamorphosis from his timid personality, the way Josuke ducked and weaved between bodies as they fell into the earth. In and out his glowing palm slipped, pulping veins and rupturing organs like egg yolks. In the span of less than a minute him and the samurai cleaned up nearly every soul in the unit.

                              A little bit of surprise could make all the difference.

                              Some managed to slip away screaming, but that was probably for the best. Chaos worked in their favor. He set to work immediately even as some of the wounded still moaned and groaned on the forest floor.
                              Josuke delicately slipped an explosive tag under a fallen body and primed it.

                              He cut the string off a bit of tripwire after carefully rigging it, then turned his head back the way they came. A hesitation.
                              A very distant barking could be heard through the rainfall.

                              If there was a shinobi accompanying the Rain Militia, Josuke would just be a liability. Better to guarantee at least Jun'ko made it out alive, right?

                              He held up the two eggs, their luminous shell causing the light to dance across their surface. "You take the artifacts back to Amegakure. I'll catch up."

                              Last edited by Junge; 05-09-2020, 12:10 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

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