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Junge 04-11-2018 06:16 PM

[Leaf/Sand] Sever

“Damned useless child.”


“What about Kannon?”

She only asked the question to the doctors surrounding her once. No one said anything. The man that had been at the door finally stepped forward, as if to offer her some kind of comfort.

“He’ll be regarded as a hero.”

“My son couldn't even leave a body like a decent soldier. I beg you, bring me back something to bury.”


I'll push myself to the limits for their sake. I'll do whatever it takes to prove to the world that I am worth my name and my place in it.
The chuunin exhaled in discomfort. He held the blurry picture up to the sun to get a better view. “I do not believe it. It could be a fake.”

“It isn’t your job to believe it or not. Just recover it.”

“You want her alive?”

“Just the eye. Get it back in one piece, unless you want to embarrass Sunagakure. Again.”

Motonubu’s expression grew more and more sour by the minute. How much more bad news could there be? Then he was handed the dossier on his partner.


“I can't sit around and be passive Hyuuga Yuu for the rest of my life."
"My name is Wisp." He held out his pale arm to shake the Hyuuga's."For the next thirty-six hours, we're best friends, like it or not!"


Night fell quick in the wastelands. As the dusk winds started to pick up Wisp tied his cloak tighter around his neck to shrink his profile. These vast, empty fields of rock and sand made stealth difficult, but that was no reason to throw away even small advantages. Two or so hours of travel to the cliffside fortress still lay before the two shinobi. The Hyuuga known as Yuu kept pace remarkably well. For a genin, that is.

No exchange of small talk or petty banter flowed between the two soldiers. They moved as a unit, from outcropping to basin to dune, with a bare minimum of communication. It wasn't until the massive canyon finally pulled into view Wisp spoke up again with a dark, but childish voice.

"What can you tell me, bro?"

Virtual Dream 04-11-2018 07:17 PM

The country of Wind was becoming more familiar to the twelve year old representative of the Hyuuga clan. His fair skin still wasn’t acclimated to it, yet, the exposed portions of his body having turned red and blistered during the day and still remained warm and burnt during the night. He was never one to complain, not for the weather or for the sudden mission objective or for his new partner. He clutched his desert cloak by the neck as he looked over the dune to the cliffside. Winds, he assumed, had been caught in that ravine and tossed up around here, but the sound was nearly deafening. At Wisp’s question, he poked his head up a bit more – the moonlight reflecting in his eyes made them illuminated orbs, like pearls hiding behind his dark hair and hooded head.

Byakugan, that great boon of the family, allowed Yuu to see what shouldn’t be seen. The heartbeat of the boy next to him, the vibrations of his throat as he talked, the shifting of the sands all around him in intricate and impossible detail, everything was split open to his sight. He glanced over at the blonde boy next to him, then out towards the fortification, focusing his sight as he did so. The manipulation of his eye technique wasn’t entirely natural, as his lenses shifted in shape and different forms of chakra danced them to provide him his various forms of extended sight.

Lots,” He responded. “There’s a lot of guards, for one.

He expressed a number, and then tilted his head, adding a few more to that count. He explained what he could see of the layout, some of the deeper portions of the fortress being beyond the edge of his vision, and after a few minutes of tracing the heat signatures in the air, offered an estimate of the guard’s paths. He let out a sigh as he released the extreme limits of his vision, wiping away a trickle of blood from his nose, and smiled over at Wisp as he did so. “More importantly, there seems to be some sort of meeting going on in there. A large congregation, anyway.

He could still taste the metallic sting of his own blood, so he more vigorously rubbed underneath his nose. The standard combat Byakugan – that was something he didn’t have a lot of issue holding up. Shifting through all the vision for scouting always made something in his sinus act funny.

This is mission has personal importance for me,” He said, finally. He had wanted to say something earlier – maybe it was obvious – but it felt like a lie to an ally not to admit to it. “I’m not one to let emotion get the better of him, but I’m going to recover this corpse no matter what. The last Sunagakure shinobi I worked with...

He sighed. “Would have just gone in, fists afury. I’d highly suggest a more methodical approach. I’m not sure what the standard protocol is, but I’m sure I’ll die against this swarm of people.

Junge 04-12-2018 06:14 AM

Hearing the Hyuuga describe his last teammate put Wisp on edge. He couldn’t possibly be talking about…that chuunin, could he? Wisp shoved the thoughts out of his head at once. Sunagakure was full of muscle-bound, meat-headed shinobi, and there was no point in gossiping like teenage girls over a mutual distaste for taijutsu experts.

While Yuu relayed the information Wisp began the laborious process of squeezing into his armor. He was still latching on his arm guards when the genin suggested a non-direct approach. “Let me give you my plan.” He pulled up the hood of his cloak and secured his customized face mask, letting the night-vision flood his eyes with yellow-green images of the nightscape. “You can walk up walls, right?”


Despite its age the nameless fortress still boasted formidable defenses. Every window was either too small to squeeze through or riveted with thick iron bars to prevent entry. Guards lined every obvious path in or out. Wisp didn’t bother recalling the exact details of this group, the so called 'Ash Knights', apart from the important tidbits. These mercs liked armor, mounted combat, and foiling ninja infiltrations. Most of their contracts were in the neighboring Rain Country which gave them ample experience repelling shinobi. Wisp’s (and by extension, Yuu’s) job wasn’t to eliminate them, though. What a silly notion!

No, the pair only had one goal. Perhaps two, if the body of this missing Hyuuga could be located as well. Yuu hadn’t detected either targets yet, which meant they had new priority: get the boy in deeper.

After slipping through a weakened section of roof (pointed out by Yuu, of course), Wisp tapped twice on his communication unit to signal a successful infiltration. He then wondered if he even needed to do that with the Byakugan’s alleged near omniscience. It felt like cheating, having this Hyuuga outline each movement of the patrols. Wisp liked cheating though, so it all worked out.

Wisp moved slowly through the compound on the pinpoint observing of Yuu. Plenty of low-tech oil lanterns illuminated the halls with orange light. Each room Wisp moved through he released a small, unnoticeable puff of sand. The density of soldiers in the interior meant he couldn't touch the deep areas of the fortress, but for now sinking the outer perimeter into darkness would be good enough.

Wisp said nothing as he finished his part, and retreated just as silently. Why bother talking at all when your partner could see for himself exactly the moment to sneak in?

Virtual Dream 04-12-2018 05:44 PM

Yuu was inside as soon as he was able, clenching his teeth together to keep his nerves from making his jaw chatter, bundling his robe against his body tightly and moving with careful precision from shadow to shadow, sometimes inches away from a passing patrol. His feet were nearly completely silent as he crept through the perimeter like a cat or some sort of ninja, and all that stealth seemed to spill out in a nervous little sigh as the pair of boys reached an empty room. A quick scan with the byakugan revealed the room was for storage, ropes and boxes of counterweights and stacks of lumber. Yuu rested against a pile of wood and shook his arms as if to shake off the anxiety, and looked over at Wisp – his eyes reflecting like a cat’s against the moonlight spilling in.

That meeting hall seems to be swelling up now. I think they might be gathering food,” He said. Too much detail was difficult at extreme ranges. “Of more important news, there’s a cave system here.

The Byakugan couldn’t peer into the absolute darkness of a cave system, but Yuu didn’t feel the need to reveal any weaknesses of his kekkei genkai, to an allied shinobi or not. “We’ll have to navigate past a majority of the facility to get to the entrance, though.

He took a few moments to breathe, then tilted his head at Wisp. There was a sound of commotion a dozen yards or more away, someone swearing loudly and making a ruckus. Yuu slipped back to his feet, arms hidden by his traveling robes, and peeked down the doorway of the storage room with his extended sight. “I guess that sand you were throwing wasn’t just for fun.

As the moonlight was swallowed up, Yuu’s eyes dimmed in the darkness. He turned to look at Wisp, his bright smile fading as soon as he flashed his teeth, and he disappeared back out of the door.

With the cover of near complete darkness, it was easier to make a mad dash to the inside of the fortress proper—skating alongside the wall like an over-sized cockroach.

Making his way to the cave entrance, avoiding that meeting hall, was the goal—but the fortress was a claustrophobic mess. The portions of the inner fortress exposed to the night sky were wide expanses of junk and guards, while the buildings inside were narrow hallways opening to large rooms. It was as if the whole thing was designed specifically to avoid shinobi infiltration. As for that cave entrance – Yuu slowed his pace to a light trot before coming to a stop, a sharp silhouette in the moonlight, as he eyed down the main pagoda of the fortress (or whatever Wind called their round, dune-like buildings).

It was opposite of the major meeting hall, and the perimeter was well staffed with guards. He sucked in air between his teeth, and turned his eyes over to Wisp, as he ducked down behind crates that held filled water bladders. Making it through the meeting hall might actually be a better option than the narrow paths of the perimeter walls. This whole fortress was filled with junk, and men. Apparently this was the headquarters for this paramilitary force, but they really could stand to do some tidying up. All their careful architecture to avoid shinobi infiltration was becoming moot, with all the things to hide in-on-or-behind.

Yuu was still considering how foolish the set up was when he finally settled his vision on a woman leaning against the railing of the main pagoda, her eyes directly locked on his own, a smile on her lips. She tapped her binocular set at him as he settled his gaze on her.


Junge 04-16-2018 03:11 PM

Ugh, caves. Wisp had a bad time with tunnels. Not only were they difficult to maneuver in, he’d been in no less than 4 prior missions this year all involving a tunnel or cave system. Each of those missions also involve said tunnels collapsing on top of him. The always professional Yagyou took the bad news in stride, but tucked his explosive notes deeper into his armor. Better to keep that temptation at bay for as long as possible.

Wisp followed Yuu, because why wouldn’t you let a small child be your meat shield? The pair wormed their way through the structure until coming to a stop outside a particularly well-guarded stretch. If the Hyuuga had spotted their targets he was being tight lipped about it. What had caught his attention?

The answer came quick enough in the form of an insane barrage of arrows which rained on the two shinobis' position. A flurry of solid thunks and pings and whumps filled the air as the projectiles collided with every bit of exposed debris at their location. Wisp barely avoided a pin cushioning by diving behind the largest of the crates. Even cowering against cover the assault continued, more and more arrows pelting the hiding spot. What the hell happened?

“New plan.”
A small bit of sand swirled around Wisp’s fingers as he very obviously jabbed the Hyuuga with it. “That’ll let me know where you are. If you die, I’ll know where to get your body.” Continuing on in his chipper child voice, he added: “And if I don't make it, my body should be easy enough for you to find.

Another volley of projectiles cracked and chipped away at their cover. “We’ll split up. You head into the tunnels, find out if that corpse is there. I’m going to head them as a distraction.” Another few big chunks of the crate exploded away. What kind of arrows were these? After a moment of thinking he removed his heavy iron cloak and offered it to the genin. “This can probably take a few blows for you. Don’t worry about me.” His tiny fists knocked on the thick, dark material encasing his body. “It’d take a battering ram to break through this.”

Right on cue an enormous ballista bolt sundered the crate into a million pieces. With no other time to strategize Wisp rolled opposite of Yuu and broke into a sprint. As he ran he could feel tiny metal objects pelting his protective outer layer to no avail. Ha! Superior Sunagakure craftsmanship wins the day!

Something sharp bit into his back as what must have been a crossbow bolt punctured his side. Armor piercing ammunition, really? Couldn't he catch one break today?

Virtual Dream 04-16-2018 06:02 PM

The Hyuuga boy was, if nothing else, quick on his feet. His taijutsu training in Jyuuken was almost exclusively based around the theory that his Byakugan made him superior at reacting than any opponent might expect, and demanded domination by overwhelming the opponent’s muscle memory. Likewise, something like evading exploding debris was a trick he was more than prepared for. As Wisp moved – fast, unhesitating, even without the crutch of sensory doujutsu – Yuu bounded backwards in response. The box’s debris, the heavy ballistics, seemed to spiral at him in slow motion. Carefully, he considered the spread pattern. He caught his backwards movement with his outstretched leg, rolling from tiptoe to heel, bounding again backwards with a spinning flourish. A splatter of wood splinters collided near harmlessly into his clothing, stinging his skin but not puncturing him – while more deadly shards flew past him, his careful corkscrew spin perfectly timed to evade the worst of the shrapnel. Through his omnidirectional sight, he saw Wisp take a bolt and keep running, and couldn’t help but feel a pang of pride. Sunagakure shinobi seemed to be made up of a lot of hotshots, but doggedly determined hotshots.

As he landed from his second leap, he pulled Wisp’s heavy cloak over his body, ducking down low into the shadows, and started a zigzagging motion through the complex as quickly as possible while throttling his speed like a deer evading predators. It was a Nara clan trick, one taught to Yuu one lazy afternoon by a less than excited physical instruction teacher in the academy, but one that had consistently served him well. Konohagakure was doggedly determined, as well, after all. He couldn’t let these desert shinobi show him up all the time. He plowed nearly entirely into a wall, shoving his weight off of it as he started to wall run alongside it for a few powerful strides before leaping off again, towards that cave network. The lady with the goggles was nowhere to be seen now...Yuu’s Byakugan wasn’t capable of keeping up with everything going on while he was so focused on evading sharpnel.

He double checked that Wisp’s chakra-laden dust was still clinging to his clothing, and started down into the caves. There was a warm, damp feeling to the suddenly tight corridor, the torches dotting the walls making the experience more like sliding into a living body than escaping the desert heat. Yuu moved quickly with his aforementioned speed, until he came to a point where the cave split into three distinct parts. He slowed to a stop, judging each of the paths as quickly as possible. His Byakugan couldn’t penetrate deeply here, dependent on at least some light to operate, and the pitch black sections were just as blinding to him as they would be to anyone else. Thermally, he didn’t see any heat signatures aside from his own, already fading into the heat haze of the cave, and that of the torches. If someone had past through here, it had been more than just a few minutes ago. Yuu sucked in air and held his breath, and kneeled down to the floor, careful not to disturb any more sand and dust.

there, almost imperceptible even to his Byakugan, but the light grooves of something being dragged down the leftmost path. Yuu tossed a kunai into the wall of the left path’s mouth, in case Wisp’s jutsu failed and he needed a guide, and started deeper into the cave network.

...only to come across an other splinter, this time of two. Progress would be slow.

I hope that kid’s doing okay with his distraction...I’m gonna need it.

Junge 04-17-2018 03:48 PM

A pile of junk collapsed as Wisp slid his tiny body into it, letting himself get covered by what appeared to be a dozen stacked wood chairs in various states of disrepair. A friendly shower of projectiles followed soon after. He'd bought himself a few seconds more.

The Hyuuga still moved, thank goodness. Wisp really didn’t want to have to recover two corpses today. He wasn’t being paid well enough for that! One shinobi was hardly enough to hold off an entire band of professional mercenaries as it was. A hot rush of chakra pumped through his palms. A large pressure built within it, a Force Palm technique that could blow projectiles right out of the air…once. Hardly the kind of thing to stave off an endless stream of lethal attacks.

Not only that, but he had to close the gap between the outer wall and the main tower before a flood of soldiers made the job even more difficult. There weren’t even any piles of garbage to take cover in!

A brief, fairly stupid idea crossed his mind, and he went with it. With a grunt he released his Force Palm, but aimed it directly at the stacks furniture he hid within. The wooden objects flew and spiraled through the night air and scattered themselves forward, leaving Wisp dangerously exposed. The barrage at once refocused at his exposed position. Bloody accurate, these night archers!

So he ran.

Arrows and bolts pelted him like raindrops. Wisp felt them collide, felt their steel pointed tips sink into their soft, yielding targets. His arms grew heavier by the second. Heavier, heavier, heavier, until he couldn’t hold them up anymore. Was this the end?

Oh, nah, of course not. He quickly discarded the two chairs he used as shields once they became too burdensome with projectiles and snatched up the other’s he’d spread out around the open area. Once again he took a small moment out of his defying death to pat himself on the back; this child body was so much easier to defend than his normal, hulking figure!

His sprint continued, only slightly hampered by the bolt still stuck in his side. Hopefully the spectacle of this charge would keep the main fore away from Yuu- though Wisp was still trying to find what the next step needed to be to prevent the whole operation from going to hell.

Virtual Dream 04-18-2018 06:21 PM

As Yuu moved deeper into the cave network, the tunnels started to appear less and less natural, until they were obviously human constructed hallways, with wooden walls to contrast the dirt flooring. There was still patches of complete darkness between torchlamps, but there was a cool breeze moving through that suggested some sort of vent system. Yuu traced his fingers against the wall as he scurried deeper and deeper into the complex, a mixture of apprehension and excitement lumping up into his throat. Finally, after what felt like forever, he came to the end of it all – a giant underground cavern, roaring with a waterfall. Several torches lined an area 100 yards below Yuu, and a crowd of cloaked figures – twelve in total – mingled around a large wooden casket. The casket itself was the main attraction, but there was any number of additional crates and chests stacked along the back of the circular ring, flanked by water. Yuu held his breath and clutched to the shadows, starting down the stone stairway slowly.

Yuu, gifted with his supernatural vision, was well enough to read lips – a few of the cloaked figures were discussing the travel here, revealing they had come from all parts of the world. Others were more tight lipped. Before the twelve was a relatively well-dressed man, armored for battle, and two boys a few years older than Yuu, swords on their hips. From what Yuu could tell, from the set up and the mixture of people, it appeared to be some high level black market auction. Things were slowly moving towards the big event, whatever was in that casket. Kannon’s body was the obvious thought, crawling in Yuu’s head like a skittering bug...but maybe it was just parts of Kannon’s body. Was that better? Maybe it was just swords or something, no reason to be so morbid.

Moving forward from here without Wisp seemed like danger, but he didn’t have anyway to signal the boy. He was well out of range of the Byakugan, as well, so he couldn’t peek in to check...if the body was revealed as the center piece of the action, Yuu realized, he’d have to operate alone. Maybe wait for whoever won to start to take their prize home. Maybe try to dispatch this crowd on his own, an unlikely feat even for a student of Jyuuken. Maybe just collect as much information as possible, and return to Konoha for support.

He bit down on his thumb as he considered his options, sliding closer and closer to get a better look.

Junge 04-19-2018 09:54 AM

With a sputter and a gasp Wisp hurled himself across the final stretch, right as the heaviest and nastiest bolts shattered into his helmet. His augmented vision faded at once and he didn’t hesitate to take off and hurl the now useless helmet aside. Safe! He now stood right below the balcony, out of reach of the archers. Life on the line he allowed himself another half second of congratulations. The other half of the second he focused on his tracking sand- uh oh. The genin no longer moved. Had he been slain?

Eh. Not Wisp’s problem anymore. Now he stood right at the threshold of what Yuu had called the main building. The shouting made it apparent at once the chuunin’s stay would not be a lonely one.

To spend his last peaceful half second, Wisp let out a long, piercing whistle. Now came the high stakes game of hide and seek.

Before Midnight

The interior of the cave looked far better lit than outside, despite using the same torches and lanterns. It helped that the walls glistened with moisture and diffused the firelight every which-way. All intended by the sellers, of course! The exotic lighting made their merchandise look more appealing.

From another nearby tunnel came a tall woman with her blonde hair tied in a bun, dressed in the Ash Knight style but without the helmet. “Ah, I’m sorry. Lady,” She nodded towards one of the cloaked figures. “And gentleman. The main event will begin shortly. The catering has- how to put this nicely- we’ve got some rats in the pantry, you could say?” A soft murmur of doubt rose up from the small gathering.

Sensing discontent, the woman brought out the showstopper. “But let’s not delay the introductions! I know some of you have made tremendous efforts to arrive here today and we Ash Knights do not intend to disappoint. Let me assure you –or your masters- that your time has not been wasted. If you would direct your attention downwards…” With that, she threw open the casket and reached inside. “While we have many things to offer tonight, this is the big one, yes?”

With that she pulled her hands up and held a small green crystal jar up to the torchlight. Inside hung something circular with a long tail. “Optic nerve is still attached, as you can see!” She shook the jar to make the eyeball inside spin a bit to face the eager group. “And just wait until you see that white iris!”

Virtual Dream 04-19-2018 10:15 AM

A slow exhale from Hyuuga Yuu, as he spread his arms out from his body. It was just an eyeball, meaning there was the hope for recovering Kannon alive, yet—however slim. Maybe the rest of him had been auctioned off separately, but there was a sliver of hope for his cousin to have survived. He’d have to deal with those feelings, later – there was a number of other feelings bubbling up in his chest. A group of mercenaries, selling his village secrets, his family’s most precious bloodline. Kannon’s detached eye mirrored Yuu’s own, and he felt a bit of nausea play up in the back of his throat as the whole of the thing was taken in by his extended sight.

Yuu’s hands came together with a series of pitters and pats, as he completed handseals, and let out a stream of chakra through the area. The crowd below let out a series of cries of shocks, and the sound of weapons being drawn echoed through the chamber. The blonde urgently barked a command.

They wanted a Hyuuga’s body, so they would get one. Yuu skidded down the rest of the staircase by sliding his feet at an angle, gaining momentum as he fell, and burst into a jump as soon as he reached the platform that lead to the circular platform. Even without his Byakugan, he was fighting at a massive advantage – those trapped in his genjutsu would be in a world of shadows, while he had the advantage of the actual light his magic was obscuring. One of the robed figures closest to him had drawn a sword in the confusion, so that was his first target. A kidney shot was painful enough – with the sharp, penetrating chakra of a Jyuuken student it was beyond paralyzing. He let out a cry and crumbled as Yuu moved past him, a fierce open-palm jab enough to push the man back a few feet...but the kidney itself ruptured.

One, Yuu counted to himself. An other man, seemingly twice Yuu’s height, turned at the noise, and caught a foot to the jaw, followed by a fierce palm to the liver. Two..

“What’s going on?” came a shout. “It’s a trick!” was an other.

The two that spoke out staggered and caught their throats, kunai glistening with fresh blood.


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