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Old 08-02-2017, 11:21 PM   #1
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Tsuchi no Kuni was in chaos.

With the revelation of the current Tsuchikage now taking on the mantle of Daimyo as well, tensions were at an all time high. The PDC had been pushed out of their stronghold, sure, but they were still at large, conducting clandestine operations across the country. Small villages burned, farms were raided, and everything was done under the guise of bandits, leaving Iwagakure to clean up the mess. It didn’t help that animals, fitted with Force Jewels were terrorizing the countryside as well. Everyone in the IWA division faced mounds of paperwork, and Sudao had little time to focus on much else.

In truth, he was exhausted. But more importantly, he was glad to finally be out of the office for what felt like the first time in weeks.

While they weren’t exactly best friends, he had tried to reconnect with his old teammates. He at least owed them that, and after throwing a celebration for the three of their promotions, he was back at work, rigorously trying to forget that he had embarrassed himself. The jewel that glimmered on the nape of his neck wasn’t keen to let him forget.

Even now, it taunted him, allowing its avatar to materialize, if only in Sudao’s mind. It called itself Otohime, and materialized as a noblewoman clad in an ornate, white dress with decorations of the sea strewn across her body. Starfish crawled across her, pearls hung loosely, shimmery barnacles decorated the edges of her ruffled dress – she was beautiful, even if she was only a figment of his imagination.

She walked between him and the chuunin accompanying him, a YAMA soldier that went by the name of Tomo. He hailed from the prestigious Jukoto clan, but Sudao didn’t know much else about him, other than the fact that he seemed capable and eager to serve. He served as Sudao’s bodyguard, not that he needed one: The additional accompaniment was welcome, nonetheless.

The two had to journey from Iwagakure to Daiichi – while the once glorious capital was now in ruins, the rebuilding was coming along nicely with the aid of metal ninjutsu specialists. There was a makeshift capital building where diplomats could meet: Sudao had been tasked to meet with the city’s governing body and make sure that the redrawn districts met code and whatnot – in truth, it was long, dull process.

It seemed, however, that the journey there would be equally as long. So, he simply focused on the dirt path, having been eerily quiet since the two left Iwagakure in the early morning.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:23 AM   #2
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Tomo was taking some time off from beating up coalition members or killing animals that were infused with force jewels, today, he would be picking up and rebuilding. Tomo liked the idea of relaxing and not having to worry about killing someone and that he would be able to help others do well and rebuild what they had lost. It was a trying time and a lot of people were cautious to ask for the help of the shinobi and he wanted to make sure that the Jukoto name was spoken in positive terms. Because of that he would accompany an IWA Dipomat. Though he knew that Diplomats weren’t the fiercest in battle, him being a Jounin showed proof that he had some strength. Plus the man had a force jewel embedded in him.

The conversations between the two were far and in between. It wasn’t awkward for Tomo because he was used to not making conversation but partnering with a diplomat, he thought that he would be given an ear full of conversations and diplomatic nonsense. None the less Tomo was ready to be a house hold name and the thought of getting his name out there to the civilians was all part of the plan.

”So, Sudao, what is the plan when we reach Daiichi? Are we going to go in, pick some rubble up, make a building or two, and talk to some people? Or are we going just to talk and improve the relationship between the Stone Country and the Village? I was told to just protect you and come as a support to make sure nothing bad happens to you in the form of the coalition. I hate those guys, don’t you?” Tomo asked the man, he wanted to make some sort of conversation out of the trip, he still didn’t mind the awkwardness.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:17 PM   #3
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Sudao canted his head towards the form of Tomo. There was something oddly juvenile about him, something that the jounin almost couldn’t place. Maybe it was the way that he spoke, or maybe it was the way that he carried himself, but either way, the chuunin found it oddly endearing, to the point to where a sarcastic response couldn’t squeeze pass his lips. Instead, he spoke lightly, wearing the same frozen, diplomatic expression he was so well known for. Many people had a hard time figuring out what he was truly thinking when he took on the stone-set face. In fact, he could count on one hand how many could, and most of them had been Miko.

“I just need you to accompany me on this journey, Tomo-kun.” His lips pulled back into a basic, reassuring smile. “You’ll probably be reassigned to something more fitting of your station within YAMA once we arrive. As for me,” He paused, gesturing at the large backpack fixated to his back. It was so full, it threatened to rip apart: Scrolls had even been tied to the ornaments and stuffed in compartments meant for water bottles. “I have a lot of paperwork to attend to. Nothing glamorous, mind you. But still incredibly important to the powers that be.”

He fixed his eyes back on the road for a moment. They still had quite some time before they even got remotely close to the old capital, plenty of time for the chuunin to show his worth. He figured that’s what the young Jukoto wanted, anyway – a chance to prove himself in some kind of fight.

You’re in an odd mood today.

Otohime’s voice filled his head. The Aoyama fought back the urge to roll his eyes.

You’re oddly tame. Docile, even.

I’m also not with Kaori or Masami.

I thought that the three of you were friends again.

It’s a work in progress. It also doesn’t mean that Kaori still doesn’t work my nerves.

Hmm…

Plus, consider this a networking event. I’m working with a Jukoto. If our company received an endorsement, just think–

–It’s all business to you, like always. Got it.


He turned his attention back toward Tomo.

“Were you there for it? The assault on Daiichi, that is.”
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:24 PM   #4
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”I wasn’t there, no Iw as off doing some other things when I felt the rumbling of the ground. I wasn’t far from where the earthquake had swallowed the land, however, I was far away enough that the ground I was standing on did not swallow me up. I am grateful for that but I am on this mission to help these folks and get them to know that there are good shinobi out there that are willing to help. Being a part of the Jukoto clan can be considered a burden as well since my cousin was the Kage at the time. There is no doubt my family name has some real bad vibes. I am here to make sure that I get a better name out there to the people. I want to be the unofficial ambassador of the Jukoto Clan. That is another main reason I had come with someone from IWA.” Tomo explained more then he had previously wanted to and as he thought about it, he thought that he might have said too much to the young jounin.

”So where you there? I mean, did you save anyone? Did you get sent out to rescue people?” Tomo asked the Jounin as he tried to inspect him more. His frail body was evident and it seemed like he was more suited to ninjutsu and genjutsu. Behind his neck, a little below the base of his skull the blue gem gleams in the sun of the mid day sun.

Tomo wondered what it was like to have a force jewel embedded in his body, the power, the skill, and the unknown intrigued him a lot. Maybe some day, he would want to get a force jewel as well. There was always something to add to a persons arsenal.

Last edited by Cayuga; 08-04-2017 at 07:04 AM..
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:30 AM   #5
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Sudao’s voice took on a quixotic tone, as he was a bit perplexed by the Jukoto’s reference.

“Are you referring to the earthquake in Jondori?” The more he listened to the chuunin talk, the more it seemed that way. He flattened his upper lip against the lower one; the chuunin had misunderstood his geography. Sudao did his best not to be too judgmental. “I’m talking about the assault, you know, the most recent incident. Though, the earthquake was stressful too.” He paused, letting the statement sink in before continuing. “Probably even more so for the Jukoto.”

“I think most of us weren’t there for the earthquake when it actually happened. By the time Iwagakure responded, it was too late for many of the victims. It was a real shame,” He paused again, appearing thoughtful. “What, with what happened with your… uncle? The old Tsuchikage. But I understand his desire to retire. With his delayed action in dealing with the situation, he very well may have caused the PDC to radicalize.” He turned his gaze back toward the road. “I bet he has a lot to think about.”

“I was there for the Battle of Daichi. I fought hard.” He rubbed the back of his neck, and the jewel he pressed against almost seemed to let out a hum. “My jewel and I both. My squadron was surprised to see a diplomat with such prowess in ninjutsu. It’s not often that I get to work in the field, but when I do… Well, let’s just say that I like to come of as…” He looked up, catching a glimpse of Otohime’s form. “Polished.”

He kept moving, not missing a step. Daiichi was far from being in his field of vision, and Sudao wanted to reach it before nightfall. He knew that the PDC, while they weren’t necessarily cowards, were not above to stooping to ninja-grade tactics. Their main center of operations had been decimated, and they wanted it back. If that meant trading key figures, well… Sudao was, needless to say, not about to be taken as a liability.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:12 AM   #6
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As the two of them spoke Tomo felt stupid, he had made an amateur mistake taking Daiichi as Jondori. He was out of it and he felt like he had just made himself look stupid to the Jounin diplomat. As the diplomat talked about the mistakes of his family and how the previous Tschuikage, he could help but to hold his tongue. Having to think about the fact that the slow response was the main reason the PDC was able to organize hit a strong blow against the pride of Tomo.

As the two continued to walk Tomo wondered how powerful the diplomat was if he had fought in the rebellion in Daichi. Even referring to his jewel as if it was a person he continued to speak about his skill with ninjutsu. Tomo had a lot to learn and if he ever had any hope of getting as strong as the man in front of him he had to train hard. Tomo even thought he might learn a thing or two from the man and that the trip wouldn’t be so wasteful after all.

”Sorry about the geographical mistake. Sometimes, I just get the two mixed up. There has been so much going on lately that I can’t think straight sometimes. Anyways, I am pretty surprised that you are that skilled in ninjutsu, a diplomat always has to be proper and prevent violence. Either way, I think it’s a good thing. You have to be able to protect yourself if you get into a bad situation. You can’t count on anyone else but yourself.” Tomo stated as he kept his eyes to the front of his body. He was still a little awkward at best and he wanted to make a good impression.

So far, he wasn’t doing so well.
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Old 08-04-2017, 04:01 PM   #7
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Sudao offered Tomo a smile.

“Don’t think anything of it. You are a soldier, after all. You can leave the memorizations and negotiations to those of us paid to do it.” For a moment, he thought of Kaori and his eyes narrowed. Literally, his old teammate was the worst strategist that the jounin had ever seen. However, Sudao did have to give him credit – if they’d gone with his original plan, the one to just decimate the facility, then they probably wouldn’t have gotten their promotion. Being able to stand toe to toe with Tanaka Zeisuke was a pretty difficult task, sure, but it was the gold star his record needed to send him to the next level.

Still, the rest of what Tomo said did resonate with him a little bit. He sought to explain himself further.

“People sometimes fail to realize that while diplomats are often sent to negotiate and parley for peace, we also act as direct delegates of the village. I was among those sent to aid Kumogakure in its civil war: While I relayed messages and carried out Iwagakure’s desires while there, I also served the foreign village directly, aiding in its assaults. Regardless, we simply can’t be helpless. Most diplomats, actually, are quite capable fighters. We need to be in case a deal or agreement goes bad.”

The wind shifted, and the jounin narrowed his eyes, and he held up a hand. They were traveling across a mountain path through a deciduous forest – while the trees were thin, they were numerous, and there were plenty of places to hide. He shot a look toward Tomo.

“It seems we’re not alone.” He looked toward the Jukoto, nodding as he shot through a series of hand seals. On the last one, blue veins erupted, following his chakra system in intricate swirls and flourishes, with a sapphire circlet forming around his forehead and dripping the color down towards his eyes, straight across his lids and down to his jawline like they were tears. Otohime, while silent, was clearly visible next to him, and she seemed to be gazing off into the distance, as if trying to catch sight of their followers.

“Prepare yourself.”
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:20 AM   #8
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Tomo was relived when Sudao took no mind to the geographical mistake he had made and Tomo was glad that his intelligence wasn’t in question. It might have been a real issue if people thought he was incompetent. As they continued on their journey Tomo was listening to the facts that Sudao was laying out about how strong he was and how he was a competent fighter. Tomo was excited with what was to come. He was a fighter and if he was able to have a fighter next to him, he was willing to get into a tussle.

It would be sooner then later that they would get the opportunity to fight together. Tomo felt it to, at first it seemed really quiet, there were no more animals chirping or skittering around. Instead there was a feeling of being watched from the silence of the forest. There were a lot of places one could hide and Tomo wanted to be fully prepared for anything.

As his partner enveloped himself with blue veins; Tomo couldn’t help but be a little jealous of the whole situation. He wanted a jewel of his own and maybe if he was strong enough and worthy he could be considered to have one.

Sifting through his own hand signs the stone around his started to come upward. At first it was incomprehensible what was happening but soon enough they began to have shape and out of the dirt two Tomo’s were born. Perfect clones, Tomo was now ready for whatever was coming their way.

”Lets see how strong my skin is today.” Tomo stated referring to his Haganekifu.

The skin of a Jukoto was strong enough to take on projectiles and some ninjutsu. Tomo hoped that there weren’t too many people either. Then again he was with a Jounin.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:42 PM   #9
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A jagged arc of electricity cut from beneath the ground, a glimmer of yellow headed straight for Sudao. Otohime flew towards it on a cloud of bubbles, as if to draw his attention towards its subtly. But the aristocrat had already seen it, flying through hand seals as he spun out of the way, leaping like a trained dancer to safety. The veins coating his body then proceeded to peel off, sharpening into three points and falling like a cat-o’-nine-tails from the center of his jewel while the electricity erupted upward from where he had just been.

Otohime seemed to sense her bearer’s intentions and moved to follow the path of yellow further into the forest. With a flourish, Sudao followed her, darting between trees and swinging from branches, his demeanor having changed. While he seemed driven before, the young man now moved with an intense focus, as if the notion of someone attacking him was grand treason. In all actuality, it was – he just wasn’t about to wait on a court order to extract his revenge.

Standing in the clearing was a woman, clad in all yellow and wearing a lowcut cheongsam. Vibrant blonde hair, an angry expression, and more importantly, two yellow jewels sitting just above her breast, like a badly constructed necklace. She seemed eerily vibrant and equally eager to kill.

But she didn’t move. Instead, her compatriots leaped from their hiding places. Two men, both ones that looked eerily similar save for the colors they chose moved in for a pincer attack. They both brandished claws, each with a chain, and Sudao moved as though he knew what to expect. The launched their chains, forming a barrier to prevent his escape as they connected to one another, and then the two brothers spun, hoping to catch him in their trap while the woman readied her next attack.

They had not been accounting, however, for Sudao’s own taijutsu prowess. As they orchestrated his attack, he reached for the jewel behind his back and produced a magnificent sword, twirling it in his hand just as the two men spun in order to entrap him.

He shoved it through one of the chain’s holes, forcing one of the men to the ground before they could complete their combo. And then he leaped, veins poised like swords as he engaged in a riposte with the other, taking the fight to him.

He trusted the Jukoto to deal with the woman.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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The arcing lightning strike surprised Tomo; he was not expecting something like that and for a moment he thought that Kumogakure might have been involved in the whole situation. They weren’t the nicest of people and then as the lightning continued to follow Sudoa, Tomo watched as he proficiently displayed his skill with the force jewel. Out of nowhere Sudao created weapons and displayed a true skill of a Jounin. As he rushed off against a woman in the clearing he continued to follow suit.

He was not as fast as the two of them but he knew that he would catch up eventually. Finally, the two of them had stopped and Tomo was about to enter the fray before two more men lunged at Sudao. It was at that moment that Tomo knew he had to do something. Throwing his shurikens at the woman he descended into the ground. He had hoped that at least one of them would hit but it seemed like no such luck as he watched from underground the woman easily deflected the projectiles.

Nonetheless, they were more for distraction as he circumvented the woman and arose from the ground behind her. Tomo seized the opportunity to strike and jumping out of the ground he aimed to hit the woman with a chakra propelled fist.

Tomo would land a hit, however, a shield that had instantly appeared behind her diverted it. Breaking the shield into pieces Tomo’s fist lacked the strength to deal a heavy blow and instead pushed the woman a few inches away.

She laughed for a moment before preparing for another attack. Then suddenly, the shield that had crumbled beneath him exploded in a yellow display of power. If Tomo had noticed earlier, he would have seen yellow veins lining the metal disk.

The explosion sent Tomo through the air and crashing into the tree behind him.

Emerging from the smoke, his skin was now hardened. Nearly his whole body had instinctively turned to steel.
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