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Shiki Niyokai

"Wait! Don't touch that..."

0 · 592 views · located in An Alternate Naturo Universe

a character in “An Alternate Leaf Village!”, as played by SilverInk

Groups

This is Team 1 for the RP. Its members consist of Mazaro Tomaro, the Dragon Master, Shiki Niyokai, the Spirit Summoner, Chika Uchiha, the Uchiha's Youngest, Areesia Segewa, the Mind Games Ninja, and Sensei Kazuki, the Storm Ninja.

Description

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Rama Lama (Bang Bang) | Monster | Lion | Frozen | Crazy in Love | Human

[font]" People always say to learn from your past. I can't even face mine..."




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Gia Weston

West, Gee Gee (Secret nickname)

17

Female

Weapon # 5

Feburary 22nd, Pieces

♈ ♉ ♊ ♋ ♌ ♍ ♎ ♏ ♐ ♑ ♒ ♓
{N A T I O N A L I T Y}
Born and raised in a costal city in Oregon. Asian-American
{S E X U A L I T Y}
Heterosexual




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"Was I just a puppet? If that's true what does a puppet do once it's strings are cut?"




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{H E I G H T}
5,4
{W E I G H T
125
{E Y E C O L O R}
Violet
{H A I R C O L O R}
Black
{A P P E A R A N C E}

With fair skin and striking black hair it can be a bit difficult for this young woman to blend in. Which is what she would like nothing better. Her hair is regularly tied back with red ribbon in a high ponytail, or if she feeling particularly sentimental in a high bun. On the rare occasions it's set free from it's constraints it reaches just above her hips. Her frame is surprisingly sturdy as her body has become lean with muscle, although it wouldn't be much good against a stronger opponent. Although if there ever a chance of being able to glare daggers at someone, her eyes would become deadly weapons as their violet coloring is an oddity in itself. Aside from eye coloring there is nothing too abnormal about her facial structure.

While her body has a wiry strength to it, has suffered a few scratches and bruises along the way. Thin scars, only a few centimeters wide dart across each individual rib in precise ordering, clearly not done by a blade. There a few scars along her palms, stomach and lower legs that are jagged enough to reveal at least it was a blade-like weapon that did the deed. Despite all the negative remains of her past, there is one marking on her body that she is hesitant how to feel about, of a ink-black cobra curled up on her hip bone, it's hood flared out ready to strike so it seems. One of the few momentos from her past, that just can't find the courage to get rid of.

With all these 'imperfections' in mind, she can be quite self-conscious about the scarring, especially along her ribs given the fleshy color that remains. Those are some of the newest ones on her body, ones that will result in her completely clamming up. Her general attire is surprising formal for a girl of her age, preferring long sleeves paired with black skirts and a set of small high heels. Nothing too flashy to attract attention, but the outfit seems to alert others of her serious nature.

{O D D I T I E S}

Has a very naive, but eager mindset when she comes across a fun activity (hopscotch, trips to the zoo etc) that traditionally would be the first few memories of a child's life. Her childhood didn't allow that luxury so it seems. It's best to indulge her enthusiasm when a moment occurs.




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"I don't want to be alone again..but I don't want to forget."




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{P E R S O N A L I T Y}
Quiet | Polite | Reserved | Implusive

First impression have a tendency to stick with this young woman, so its best to make your only chance a good one. When first meeting people, she can be polite like any average person, but this pleasantry will gradually fade if strangers start asking about her own life or probe about her day. The facade will fade into genuine disinterest and she can try to make as leave the conversation as possible. Those who do wish for friendship will learn to view her as a skittish stray cat, enjoying your company in silence and on the occasion responding, but fleeing at any sign of affection/curiosity on their behalf. Although it is possible to bait her with stories of childhood or pastimes as her curiosity will override her needs to get away from the situation.

In combat, this polite mask will remain as she finds it amusing for more hot-blooded people to get frustrated at her blank expression in response to insults and jeers. Although she will occasionally slip the mask off for a moment to throw back a polite smile of her own..all to wind them up just for fun. When the actual fight begins, her impulses can get the best of her as she will go for low blows and dishonesty.It's a mere effort to trap her opponent in a calculating manner in an effort to end the fight as quickly as possible. Although, there does seem to be a sadistic fancy in her when she feels the target needs to be batted around a little bit..this may need to be reined in by the Meister.

Her demeanor isn't that she is shy, it's that she feels more comfortable listening to the rambling of the others. Will chime in when needed or feels its appropriate. Although one way to get her to loosen up is to suggest a fun activity that both people can do regardless of the maturity level of some of the antics. An actual smile can appear along with girlish laughter. This is one of the signs that she is gradually stepping out of her comfort zone. Another notable change is she will begin to quip responses with sarcasm instead a merely polite answer..which can infuriating if said quip is below the belt and accompanied by a faint smile. With her Meister she can become, or least will attempt to be bit more physically affectionate and open about her feelings. Although this opening of feelings may be followed by tears of anguish and regret..followed by the return of the emotionless mask. So is better to let sleeping cats lie?




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"I am a living Weapon, this all I have ever known..."




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{W E A P O N F O R M}

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Her Weapon is a hardened leather glove..at least it's what it look like at first glance. Once put on this glove, will become skin-tight around the Meister's hand as Gia's own soul attempts to mingle that of the Meister, some describe this mingling as fleeting strikes of lightning jolting down their veins. It can be a bit painful, if either of the two parties are stressed about the interaction. Once successfully adjusted, small slits will appear on the tips of the glove and if willed by the Meister, small metal garrote wires can extend out. Now what makes these wires special is the soul energy flowing through them, allowing Gia is give them more mobility and to dance around the Meister in an almost snake-like manner. It's up to the Meister to direct the wires at the target and set the speed..while Gia just needs to keep up with each move.

These wires can multiply up to five strings each sharp enough to cut into stone and easily rake across bare skin. These wounds across the skin can be as deep as a normal blade, but at the cost of being small in size. This effort takes plenty of energy and isn't suitable for long-term combat as it is draining on both souls. The preferred operation of this Weapon to wear the target down through inflicting numerous shallow cuts, just enough to cause adequate blood loss from the wounds. Once the target is subdued enough, wires can easily strangle the life out of it with ease. To actually wrap around someone and have a sturdy grip takes energy and can easily render the Meister immobile..but allows the target limited movement as well and the chance of being dragged toward for closer combat..all while bleeding from the wires trying to make a puppet.

{S T R E N G T H S}
  • Flexibility- Given her Weapon Form is literally that of a glove able to send out garrote wires that can be manipulated like a skillful puppeteer in the right hands, it has forced her to flex her body into sometimes uncomfortable shapes to extend her string's reach.
  • Focus- In combat, if given a goal, her mind is relatively blank until that goal is accomplished. She can set aside thoughts of fear, worry, and even the screams of a fellow combatant.
  • Mask- While some call this emotionless mask unnatural, it helps her prepare for combat or rally people up to make mistakes out of annoyance their target isn't provoked by aggressive comments.
  • Quiet- Her quiet nature seems to make people feel at ease and she has heard more than a few life stories despite her young age. While can also be quiet in the physical sense as her footsteps can be silent if she focuses hard enough making her quite the spy if she puts her mind to it.
  • Endurance- Her Weapon form is meant to inflict wounds in quick succession or to restrain a target..not to bring down a raging beast within one blow. The wounds inflicted will slow the target down as blood flows freely down their body...once properly slowly it's time for the grand finale. Endurance is needed for her to properly manipulate the length and speed of her wire's flow sometimes sending out multiple strings..this takes plenty of energy that needs to find somewhere.


{W E A K N E S S E S}

  • Cannot Lie- Honesty was a trait instilled within her since birth as her role as Weapon made it key that she and her partner had to be honest with one another. This had lead to a few brutal question sessions..
  • Emotional Instability- Has a nasty habit of bottling up her emotions and those can overflow in time. When that bottle bursts it is usually anger or sadness that are first to appear on her face. Said breakdowns of either anger or tears can last for hours..unless comfort or a welcome brawl appears.
  • Skittish about her past-Trust is the key to any relationship and even more so between a Weapon and Meister. It can be unfair for the Weapon to hide information about the past given much of it is the reason behind her current emotional problems..regardless she will attempt to sidestep any conversations pertaining to her past.
  • Stress- Cannot handle too much stress without shutting down emotionally/in a physical sense. This stress can be in a literal sense as in using her Weapon form to block a gigantic hammer for an extended period of time can become quite painful to her body. Or in an emotional sense, if she is emotional in combat, her Weapon form may not even send out her wires or even worse attempt to cocoon about the Meister in a misguided attempt to protect them. Those wires can shred through skin if pulled tight enough..what do you think regular clothes if held in the same embrace?
  • Over-protective- While this streak could be beneficial in a long run, it is not the best trait to have given her Weapon form is meant for speed and to inflict damage over time. Has willingly taken a few bullets and knives for her Meister without a single flinch..not exactly the best option to have when your sole means of fighting back is bleeding heavily from her own body after taking a hit for you.
[/center]



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"I want to become stronger to stand on my own. Please don't get in my way.."




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{H O B B I E S}
  • People-Watching: Can easily pass the time by sitting outside on her apartment balcony and watching the flow of the city around her.
  • -Ice Skating. It helps clear her mind as well as gives her the needed mobility to direct her Weapon form wires with more flexibility
  • -Has started looking into finding a classical dance class or two...
{H A B I T S}At least three

  • Will involuntarily start flexing her her hands out of nervousness or anticipation.
  • Before a fight will put her hair into a tight bun, to prevent it from getting in her face. It's become a habit given it was a reminder given to her often.
  • Compulsively shuts down emotionally and will become blank faced if something/someone pushes her too far. Be it positive or negative, she will make an effort to leave the scene as quickly as possible. This is a self-defense mechanism
{L I K E S}
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Ice-Skating
  • Cats
  • Incense/scented candles
[color=#]{D I S L I K E S}[/color]
  • Spicy food
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Rain/ Bad Weather
  • Nosy people
  • Waking up too early
{G O A L S}
  • Develop her self-esteem as an individual without having to latch onto another person.
  • Confront her past and try to finally accept it. Blood, lies and regret included.
  • Revisit her childhood and experience moments that should have happened when she was a kid. Has started compiling a list.
{F E A R S}list]
  • Being alone
  • Thunderstorms
  • Mistakes from the past repeating themselves in the present.




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    " Goodbye is such a final notion. I wish it wasn't something that happens often."




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    {H I S T O R Y}

    There isn't much to say about her childhood given that there was a distinct lack of one. Her mother died when was a mere toddler leaving her in the care of an emotionally distant father. The emotional distance wasn't out of cruelty, but out of love as her father's occupation was that of an enforcer for a local Yakuzia just starting out in a small in which her father had become an enforcer for. His enforcer role is part of a partnership given his gift as Weapon made him an excellent ally in combat or in an individual role as he was able to bring out his garrote strings in his human form..this talent was lost to his daughter. Her own Weapon form hadn't been developed until the age of eight after a mishap at an ice skating practice when she changed to break her fall. Instead of bare skin hitting the unforgiving ice, it was soft leather skipping across it..it was a shock to the young girl.

    Her training as a Weapon began after that fateful day under the supervision of the careful eyes of her father and a few souls brave enough to try wielding the volatile Weapon who's skittish nature sometimes turned the wires on the host out of pure panic. This instinct was carefully curbed by the reassuring words of her father who would be equipped in the other hand, creating an equally deadly united front against any practice targets in their way. Her first mission as the trio was at the tender age of eleven as the situation was getting relatively dire..and the two nearly lost their lives after accidentally being separated as a their Meister had the misfortune of getting both hands broken by falling rubble. Not knowing if changing back to normal would shift the rubble further and lead to another death, her father took a chance and changed back, becoming pinned beneath rock quickly, not before stretching out his hand to get Gia out of range. The saying out of the frying pan and into the fire would apply directly to the situation as enemy gunmen surrounded the helpless girl, as fear paralyzed her into fleeing into her Weapon form without a second thought. Only the quick-thinking of a young enforcer just a few years older than her, halted her pending execution with a singular bullet blowing the brains out one enemy, before diving in to slip the Weapon onto his left hand.

    The clear bonding of Souls was immediate as a surge of power and bloodlust jolted through Gia's veins as the remaining enemy stood immobilized as the razor sharp wire curled around throats, legs and hands tightening with each passing minute all facing their grim reaper who had a smirk on his lips. The arrogant attitude of the Meister was astounding to the timid girl who merely muttered a quick thank you after the battle passed, as a stoic father merely watched the interaction as he was carted away for treatment. The result of the rubble paralyzed him from the waist down rendering him useless in combat and only suitable to coach his daughter from the sidelines. So the timid girl and arrogant teenage would end up forming one of the youngest enforcer partnerships in the entire history of the young gang. The boy's name was Rene, a feminine name one could say if it not for the threat of becoming victim to the youth's knife-nut tendencies if people even looked at him wrong. Then again all Gia saw was Rene as her partner and a mild crush on his roguish smile and devil-may-care attitude.

    Young love cannot last so it seems, as the missions became harder and more dangerous despite her tender age of only sixteen, and Rene's legal eighteen.Their body count of on the job murders was increasing with each passing year. The violence had made the girl's timid attitude into a quiet, but self-assured young woman, although much of the reassurance came from the boisterous Rene. Their relationship was one built deeply on trust for one another..and fleeting flirtations on Rene's part just to provoke a scarlet face from Gia with her rapid protests. Still, it was hard for the elder to deny the rushes of affection the young woman washed over him in combat as their souls danced with one another. However, in the criminal underworld of gangs, nothing can truly be considered sacred.

    The one fact would forever tear their partnership apart..and that was the declining health of her father. Weakness in the Yakuza even from a former high-ranking member was something that could end being a liability to the entire organization. So under the impression of a simple dinner taking place, Rene shot her father point-blank with a pistol without a second thought. The flood gates opened as the life blood of her only loved one flowed onto once pristine white carpet..as Rene pointed out the reasoning behind the assassination..which made logical sense in his mind. What he did not expect next was having a steak knife slammed into his as tears blinded his partner who hurled insult after insult, beating blows onto his chest as grief racked the girl's fragile body.

    An intimate moment was shared that night as feelings of grief and need to be comfort overtook Gia's normally rational mindset. The next morning, Rene woke up alone with a farewell note next to him. The girl vanished without a trace despite all his attempt to track her down..after all Death City isn't exactly on a single map now is it? Her heart was shattered by the man she had come to love for betraying her trust..yet still she longs for the comfort of his embrace. With her fresh start in Death City, this former assassin may have a chance to truly see the light from the eyes of an innocent human once again after all hunting keshin could be a way to atone for her numerous sins..or so she hopes.






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    [img]pic%20or%20gif[/img][img]pic%20or%20gif[/img]
    {F C}

    Chiyuki- Death Parade
    {C O L O R}
    #9414b6

    {P R O T R AY E D B Y
    SilverInk

    So begins...

    Shiki Niyokai's Story

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Mazaro woke up under a tree by the main gate, with the last person he expected to have found woken him up standing over him. The Third Hokage. This caused him to do something that closely resembled stammering backwards. "Old Man Hokage! Oh wow...what brings you here?"

    The Third Hokage laughed a little. "You and Konohamaru (no way he was getting erased from existence) seem to be exchaning vocabulary. Anyways, just checking in on things. I hear you recently graduated, and that you already got assigned a mission? Apparently, this is the first day you are meeting your squad even. Why was that again?"

    "There was a fire in the library" That no one will ever prove I accidentally started. "We only just learned the names of who we are with, but we never really got to introduce ourselves yet". What is taking them so long anyways?

    "Well, I have to get back to work. Have a nice day now!" the Third Hokage said, before he started to walk off.

    "Alright, now....WHERE IS EVERYONE!?!?!" Mazaro yelled. One of the guards looked over towards him.

    "Just be patient Mazaru".

    "IT'S MAZARO NOT MAZARU!" he yelled, again. Mazaro hated that. For some reason, no one could get his name right, at least not the first or sometimes even the second or third times. Some people did not seem to get it at all. He looked at the Dragon etched into his Kunai. He prefered to call them his talons. Mazaro was extremely iffy with Genjutsu, and is Taijutsu could use some work, but he had specialized in Dragon Style Nin-Jutsu. He was inspired to do so because his hero, the Fourth Hokage, invented it. Many people tried to learn it, but it seems difficult for anyone to learn even one more. Mazaro however spent months on end, staying up all night sometimes to learn its secrets. Supposedly, he made more progress then anyone else that he knows of anyways, therefore making him the only one other then the Fourth Hokage to master Dragon Style, or at least have the potential to.

    Mazaro decided to look around again, to see if anyone was approaching. He thought he heard something in a nearby tree, but nothing seemed to be there, so he let it go for now. Its not like anyone would bother with him anyways. It seemed like everyone actively tried to avoid him or ignore him, or just treated him with disrespect. Maybe he would get lucky, and this would be different. But given how everyone else other then Iruka Sensei and Konohamaru treated him, it seemed unlikely.

    Still, he never knew. And he bet once they saw his Dragon Style Jutsu, things would change. They would start to respect him. And one day, he would become Hokage.

    He also hoped that he was not the only boy on the team.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    It was an exciting, but tiring day as Shiki clutched her grumpy-looking Persian tightly in her arms as she walked towards the Main Gate of the village. Dark circles faintly showed under her red eyes as a yawn escaped her lips. The cat mewed as the child's grip loosened and finally the flexible creature managed to escape his owner's grasp. A black collar was proudly around its neck. The cat made small tinkling noises with each step as a silver bell etched with the Niyokai clan's emblem jingled along. The girl's tired voice called out "Not so fast Moon, you know I didn't sleep too well last night", the cat merely slowed its' pace slightly as if it understood the plea in the girl's voice. Then again the cat wasn't exactly normal, as if one could see chakra outline its bulky body and small strings connecting it to the girl's palm.

    Her night had been once again a battle of wills. As voices called out to her in dreams, the dreams were bizarre in itself of places that she could only assume belonged to times of old. Restless spirits clutched her in an effort to get her to come and find their final resting places to imprint a bit of her life-force onto a summoning scroll. Each time she was tempted, her dream would change into a maelstrom of black feathers as the scolding voice of her brother "Honesty, Mew just go to sleep and ignore these beggers. The only Spirit you need right now is Moon and myself. So sleep..and find me soon wont you?". The foreign spirits would fade as tears streamed down Shiki's face as frustration and disappointment in herself as another day passed that she had not found the final resting place of her brother. It was out there somewhere in the vast world. She had to prove herself strong enough to show her parents that she was worthy of being the successor to her brother's wishes..so this was the day that journey began.

    Finally the pair came to the gate as the girl's eyes widened at the sight of the large structure. Moon merely curled her body around the Shiki's legs, her green eyes narrowing as her nose sniffed the air. The fur on the back of the feline's body stood on end as a unmistakable hiss came from her lips in the direction a young boy standing by a large tree. The harsh noise caught the attention of Shiki as wine-colored eyes looked over the boy. Shiki's hands nervously fiddled with the red ribbon hair as she caught whiffs of malevolent energy coming from the boy, just the faintest touch of it. Her brow furrowed in concentration as she sought to find the main source, gasping slightly in pain as her search came to sudden halt as a sharp nip on her hand from her feline friend. Green eyes caught red as she scowled at the cat "What do you mean I am too curious for my own good....I am not being rude!". The Spirit guide merely mewed innocently at the outburst before grooming a single paw. Taking a few hesitant steps forward as Shiki glanced shyly at the boy. She didn't know him all that well, given that she was quite shy with others at least outside her clan. Although the description of the boy was closely matched to the grumbling of village elders of some mischievous prankster.

    A content purr came from the cat at her feet as it lazily flopped onto the cool grass near the tree. Shiki merely sat down next to the white fluffy mass and stroked the soft fur of the Spirit asking quietly "You think I can do it Moon. I mean find big brother..in time. He doesn't tell me anything about his Final Resting always changing the subject if I ask about it. Can't you tell me something about Final Resting places, Moon?". The feline's only answer was a loud meow, a command for her owner to continue the wonderful ritual of petting. Spirits had rules of their own too so it seemed.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha
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    #, as written by Senpai



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    Two fingers poked the forehead of the sleeping Uchiha girl. "Little Sister. It is time to wake up, or you'll be late." Scrunched eyes opened, expecting to see the sight of her older brother. Instead, there was nothing. Not even the closing of her door. It was just like him to make an appearance and vanish before he was ever seen. It made the young girl sigh as she reached for her glasses and placed them on her face. With a sigh, she rubbed her temples and sat up on her bed. Today was an important day, it would seem. She had to meet her team. Due to an unforseeable library fire, nobody even got to know who they were teamed up with. But that only made it more exciting. Perhaps she would be with that neat Aburame boy, or that Akimichi girl. She was legitimately excited to see what was in store for her.

    Taking her time with her morning routine, making sure her hair was brushed nicely through and her hair had its curl to it and making sure her teeth were brushed, she smelled nice and all of that jolly good stuff, she looked in the mirror and forced a smile. She had to smile. She practiced it every day for a long time. It had turned into something sweet and sincere-looking, even when it wasn't. Today her smile expressed excitement and anticipation. She could begin carrying on her dream today now that she graduated. Now that she had a team. Her excitement left her running out the door without any breakfast and her mother calling out to her to wait. "Sorry, mom! I think I'm running late! I have my mission today, sorry!" She called after her mother, despite even that being a bit quiet. She had to make her way to the main gate.

    Despite being positively sure that she was late, there was no one there... Kind of a let-down. Did she forget the write meeting place? Unsheathing her souba only slightly revealed a slip of paper with the details of her meeting place. Konoha front gates, just like where she was. Was she actually early? But the screams of an ever-familiar knucklehead from the opposite side of the gates led her to believe that maybe she was in the right spot. But with him... Well, she harbored no personal feelings against him, but everyone in the village seemed to dislike him. Some even seemed afraid of him. That alone led her to feel cautious around him, but she never necessarily disliked him. Hell, sometimes she even found him funny in class, despite any disruptions it caused. As she looked around for him, eventually discovering him underneath a tree, a shorter figure with white hair approached the gates as well. She knew the face but not the name. Putting on her trademark smile, she waved to the girl. "Hello there." She greeted, deciding to make her way to Mazaro as well. The girl made her way to the grass nearby. Were these two her teammates? She had no idea what either of them could do, apart from what was necessary for graduation, so perhaps it would be something fun to observe.

    "Excuse me," her soft voice spoke at Mazaro once she was close, "I am Chika Uchiha. I believe we're going to be teammates from now on?" She spoke formally, both out of habit and caution. She did not want to anger him if he was someone the village was so wary of. "I hope we do well together, Mazoi." She mispronounced his name as she bowed respectfully, keeping a smile plastered upon her lips.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa
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    From the beginning the mirror had been something Areesia simply wanted to avoid. It never did her any good to look at it. It only served as a stark reminder of what had happened. Three months of her life gone and the months following had been in and out of the hospital. She’d healed physically except for the extensive damage to her vocal cords, but mentally she wasn’t completely there.

    Sure she still went out and trained. It was almost the only thing she ever did. Eating, showering, signing with her mother all of the normal things seemed to go by on auto pilot. She’d stood in front of the bathroom mirror after pulling her hair into a ponytail staring at the vicious red scar running from one side of her neck to the other. Even after so long a time, the tissue hadn’t turned to white yet.

    How she looked wasn’t something she could dwell on today. Today was the first time she was going to be sent out on an actual mission since the accident. Sure, she didn’t have a new squad yet and it was likely to be more of a baby sitting job, but it was still something. Anything was better than being forced to sit around waiting for something to happen.

    Getting to the main gate before everyone had been the original intention, but she had one last stop to make. So she found herself standing before the large gray stone. Ever since she’d woken up and been released from the hospital, it seemed she was always coming to pay her respects.

    Areesia’s hands clenched into fists by her sides. I should have died with them. Everyone thinks it. Seito gave the last bit of his life dragging both of us back to the gates. They all died and yet I lived. Why? To what purpose? She shook her head. The questions were always the same on a continuous loop, but the answers remained in a blank space where they never got answered.

    Taking a quick glance up at the sky, she knew the time was drawing near and she had wanted to get there before everyone else to observe the genin who she was being forced to be with. They could have at least found a few chunin. I’m not that broken.

    That was how Aree found herself sitting in one of the trees, one leg dangling off the branch staring down where the others would be meeting. She hadn’t been the first to arrive, but the boy had been asleep so he hadn’t noticed her arrival. Slowly the other members started to arrive.

    There was a white haired girl who Areesia knew nothing about, other than the fact she kinda wanted to go down and pet the cat. She was a sucker for felines, which was probably why she’d wanted them for her summons.

    Chika Uchiha she knew decently enough. They’d talked in passing, had a lunch or two discussing training once upon a time. Until her little brother had died and she’d gone off the deep end. Now their roles were reserved. She should have been the one holed up in her room refusing to come out, but injuries no matter how life changing they were just came with the territory of being a shinobi.

    The last one being the boy was Mazaro if she remembered correctly. He was a bane to people’s existence all over the village. A prankster. An outcast by pretty much everyone. Funny even though she hadn’t been born to the village and he had, she was more accepted than him. At least until she was the only one who’d come back and lived. Now she understood exactly what he was going through.

    The young woman signed once they were all gathered around. No point in hiding in the tree anymore. Might as well come down. The sensei would be on his way eventually. Areesia let her other leg dangle from the tree before hoping down off the branch. She walked the few paces over to the group. Even though she could project into their minds, she choose not to freak them all out yet. Not everyone especially the genins would have known about the jutsu that allowed her to speak to people.

    Instead she simply nodded her greeting as she leaned back against the nearest tree. Not too close to any of them, but not far enough away that the jounin would yell at her either for not being a part of the group. From here on out it was simply a waiting game.

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    The rest of his squad arrived. And, it was all girls. Mazaro was not quite sure how he totally felt about that, but he would have liked at least one boy to talk to. Now he was outnumbered, especially if their sensei was female. Well, anyways, he had three squadmates to greet.

    Then Chika got his name wrong. "SERIOUSLY!?! Why cant anyone get my name right! Its Mazaro!" he arrupted, loudly. "Right, anyways. Yeah, nice to meet all three of you. My full, real, not mis-said name is Mazaro Tomaro. But if you really cant remember Mazaro, just call me Mazo then".

    For a moment, he thought he had a stomach ache, because there was a stomach pain, but it disappeared as quickly as it showed up. "So, that makes us all comrades then. We are all in the same squad. This means, we have to be friends, no matter what!" Mazaro told them, holding a thumbs up. He was hoping to actually make some friends. Maybe get some people to finally start respecting him. At the very least, treat him better then they already do. BUt anyone observant enough could see he was skeptical anyone was actually going to follow what he said.

    "We should also compare notes with each other, talk about our strengths and weaknesses, and I guess learn more about each other. Find out what each others Jutsu are and their specialties. I guess I will go first. I do my best with Ninjutsu, though I am fairly good at Taijutsu. I know only one Genjutsu, and its a part of the Dragon Style Jutsu I specialize in" he told them. This would likely cause shock on their faces, because the only other person who ever successfully specialized in Dragon Style Jutsu is the Fourth Hokage, the same person who invented it.

    Many people had tried to learn and figure out Dragon Style Jutsu, and a few of them did manage to learn one or two of them, but it took years and years of training and practice. Yet Mazaro had learned four over the course of the last few months, and was working on the fifth. "So yeah. Oh yeah, I am also really good with Shadow Clones".

    To be honest, he felt a sort of connection to dragons. After all, Dragons were feared, and therefore lived in isolation. It was much like his own story. And notably, even though Mazaro mentioned talking about their pasts, he left out any mention of a family. No one knew him that well, but since he was barely talked about except in a negative way, not many people knew he had no parents either. It was something he did not like to talk about.

    He kind of hoped someone else would speak up now. He didn't even realize it at first, but he had dwelled on his own lack of family, and a tear went down his face as he subconsciously muttered "Please don't ignore me like everyone else".

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    Chika flinched at his outburst, trying to correct him for getting his name wrong. She instantly clasped her hands together and bowed deeply in surprise, repeating "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me, Mazabo." Again, she got his name wrong without realizing, as if some cosmic force just led her to get his name wrong constantly. She rose again, retreating from his vision while he ranted about his name. She spotted Areesia on the edge of the group, a pleasant surprise to see a familiar face. Knowing she could not properly speak, she lifted up her hands and signed away a quick "Hello, nice to see you." Her understanding of sign language was basic at best, but it was enough at least for pleasantries. She gave the girl a smile before turning her attention back to Mazaro, who was explaining his strengths and weaknesses. They were all near strangers, save for Chika having encountered Areesia here and there, and here he was giving away his weaknesses... Oh, dear. They let him out of the Academy? He was too quick to trust in a world of ninja... but she found that endearing in a way. A sympathetic smile took her lips as she approached him.

    He had shed a tear, pleading not to get ignored. Something in her gut, maternal instinct maybe, led her to feel for him. Reaching into her jacket, she pulled a handkerchief and wiped away his tear streak before replacing the article. "I'm not going to ignore you, Kazaro. There's no need to cry, okay?" She offered her trademark smile and placed a ginger hand upon his shoulder as an expression of sympathy before removing it and speaking. "But since we are diving head-first into this, I suppose I will share as well. We can't have poor Mabaro being the only one exposed." Raising a fist to her mouth, she cleared her throat and tried to speak with as much pride as she could muster. "I am Chika Uchiha. My strengths lie in Ninjutsu and Taijutsu, which I excel in very well. My Genjutsu ability is still developing, as my Sharingan is very weak." She decided that was a better way to reveal her Sharingan's existence rather than just flat-out saying it. People might find her arrogant or stuck-up or think that she was gloated if she just came right out. That wasn't how it was at all. "I really lack techniques, to be honest, but I learn very fast. In time, I hope to become a kunoichi worthy of being in your squd." Humbleness was a trait often lost on the Uchiha clan, so she surely stuck out like a sore thumb in her family, making itself present in yet another bow to her team. Rising with a softer smile, more like a grin, she took a moment to fully take in her teammates.

    She was... definitely the tallest. She also seemed to carry herself with the most grace and humility of the party. Mazaro was a short little thing, but he certainly seemed overflowing wth energy. Very shounen type of guy. She already knew a bit about Areesia, though she definitely seemed to have changed since her last mission... A sort of painful feeling beat against Chika's heart as she felt sorry for her acquaintance. It was almost like yesterday that they were going out to lunch before her brother -- no, she stopped her thoughts. This was no place to make a scene. And then there was a small, white-haired girl with a cat in her arms. Admittedly, they were both adorable. But she seemed frail, like she might shatter if the wind blew the wrong way. Perhaps she was someone to keep an eye on as they traveled... "So, um, would anyone like to share next? And... has anyone heard anything about our sensei? Who they are, or if they're supposed to be here today?"

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    "hehehe, the fools thought losing Kakashi made me an easy target did they?" said Shinji with a devious smile.

    Passing onlookers may have been somewhat bewildered by the passing passing Jonin, pocketing serious sums of money into his wallet in reckless abandon. Drinking in the lobby had inevitably lead to a brief card game; the Jonin had received their monthly pay and losers of the last month where eager to make up for their losses. Needless to say, Shinji had been marked as easy pickings for his by now widely publicized defeat by Kakashi.

    The looks on they faced as he cleared them out where priceless... so was his own when Kakashi of all people had the balls to remind him that he was late for his team meeting!

    Several minutes earlier

    "Yo" Said the masked Ninja, fortunately detached of his precious on this, his second visit to the Joinin lobby today.

    "What is it this time Hatake? Don't think I have not forgotten the mess you got us into" said Shinji counting his winnings.

    "You do realize that you are late for your Genin debriefing".

    Shinki froze, speechless by the White hair's complete lack of self awareness.

    "Me late?! I could practically set up a watch for water country on your persistent tardiness!".

    "I am not late; a Ninja is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he needs to".

    "...Is that all you wanted to say to me?.

    "No, I wanted to talk to you about Mazaza".

    "Mazaru",

    "Yea, well keep an eye on him, he has had it harder then most. Lord Hokage would brief you about it but he is busy dealing with the fallout of losing most of our records in the library fire so he will only be able to do it when you come back from your mission..."
    ____________________
    End flashback


    Shinji didn't let the hound-dog get under his skin but welcomed the excuse to escape the lobby and avoid any attempts at his money... or his life, by his victims. He quickly body flickered away to the village gate where his cute little Genin had already assembled.

    Before he could get a word in, the boy in the predominantly female group shouted loudly at the tardy Jonin.

    "You're our sensei! Why are you so late!?"

    Shinji puzzled over his student's legitimate question; for a moment he thought he would say the truth, but then he recalled that he had technically spent his time gambling rather then meeting his students on time.

    "The Jonin who was supposed to organize the teams this year had to help an elephant off a tree and missed the dead line". Said Shinji in all seriousness, comforted by the fact that he was simply repeating the words of his college and not making up this nonsense.

    "We have Elephants in the Hidden Leaf Village?" said the student with a disbelieving tone. Shinji tried to look away, imagining the "yea right..." looks the rest of the team was probably giving him, he had after all given Kakashi his own share of those looks.

    "Well, how about we all introduce ourselves? The mission today is fairly vague of it's time tables so we can afford the short delay. Since I suggested it, let me begin. I am Kazuo Shinji and this will be my first genin team. I like traveling, dango, card games and the seaside. I dislike tyrants, traitors and missing episodes of the Nin-Factor. My dreams for the future... I guess I would like to find living relatives. I have a few hobbies, mostly related to my last job but those are a bit gory and have no room in a civilized conversation".

    Shinji gestured towards the lonesome boy beside him, "I would say ladies first but that would be vague so Mazaza... sorry, Mazaru, you can talk now and then choose the next person once you have finished". said Shinji, cursing the Hatake for muddling up his student's name in his own brain.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    -Mazaro dialog written by Mr. Baneling

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    A small squeak of surprise escaped as all three pairs of eyes from her comrades landed on her. The weak-looking girl absentmindedly petting the cat. Shiki's face flushed red with embarrassment as she had only caught bits and pieces of her fellow comrades skillsets. The urge to bury her cherry-red face into the comforting fur of Moon was clearly about to show itself as the spirit cat merely poked the worried girl with the tip of her cold nose before fading away quite quickly. The grasping hands of Shiki now caught only the air before slowly standing up and addressing her waiting comrades.

    Her voice was quiet, but loud enough to be heard "It's wonderful to meet all of you. My name is Shiki Niyoaki..ummm..I am afraid I am not very strong in combat. So Taijutsu isn't exactly my favored talent. However, I am just stepping into the world of learning my clan's bloodline which favors genjutsu and summoning ninjutsu. So hopefully with everyone's help I can become stronger and bring honor to my clan." A small smile came onto the girl's face as she quickly imagined the proud looks of her parents and the gentle pat on her head by her brother. Waving with her tattooed hand as she with a bit more courage in her voice "So just because I am small, don't hold back alright everyone?".

    Her red eyes blinked slowly as she caught the gaze of each comrade and finally her teacher. His attitude seemed to be fairly relaxed although there was something different about it him that she couldn't quite put her finger on. Her smile widened for a moment as she thought of the other elite ninja she had meet in her young life. Some were quite morbid, others boisterous, it seemed each individual person had their own way of coping. Kasu's way was having an extremely dark sense of humor and relentlessly teasing her. Said sense of humor had earned him a few slaps upside the head for repeating some poorly timed jokes to her little ears.

    So, it seemed only one person remained silent. That much she knew after the boisterous announcement by Mazaro. Everyone seemed okay so far..well Moon seemed to at ease to just leave her with a bunch of strangers. Her voice was kind as she posed a question to final girl who was standing a bit apart from the group "What's your story then Miss? I bet you are really talented given how quiet you were on arriving. Even Moon didn't even sense you..and it can be quite hard to trick a spirit. Trust me I know that.." We can start off simply..what's your name?" A curious note had come into her voice at that last portion as her eyes glanced at the red scar on the girl's neck, before quickly looking away scolding herself silently for that.

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    Mentally Areesia was rolling her eyes, shaking her head, and all but conveying her disappointment. Seriously, there had to have been some mistake. Surely, they didn’t mean for her to have to put up with the nonsense she could see coming from the only male genin in the group. This was turning out much worse than when she’d met her first squad. At least all of them had been much more serious about themselves and their training.

    Chika she understood. She didn’t mind the girl at all. She quickly responded back to the greeting, but slowly enough so the other could understand it. That was one thing she liked about her. She was willing to learn her new language and not expect her to just use the jutsu. And it seemed she was being pleasant to the boy by not denying him his request. The other girl in the group however, Aree wasn’t too sure about. She didn’t seem like she was going to be able to handle the stress that came from being a shinobi.

    There is no way I’m playing into this little game. I’m a chunin. Why did I get stuck with a full genin team… I could be going out on missions or leading two genins on my own… Why am I stuck with this? I know I’m not that broken.

    No matter her thoughts she knew there was no escaping what had become of her fate. She was stuck with the three brand new, wet behind the ears, genin. The jounin who was leading them was late and if it was Hatake she would understand. Hell, in her mind it would have made things a lot better. He was a great jounin and she admired him. He alone would make having to deal with her situation a lot more bearable.

    Before anyone else got the chance to speak, the boy was yelling at their newly arrived sensei. Areesia sighed before turning to his location. Her green eyes narrowed. He was young, probably not that much older than she was. Now she wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out.

    But the words he said; she knew them and she gave an inward laugh, a small smile forming on her lips. It was utter nonsense. Of course Mazo didn’t seem to understand that. Could he really be that daft?

    The thing that bothered Areesia the most was that she felt like they seriously wanted her to go about and act like she was a genin with the rest of them. This was so stupid. More than once she highly considered just turning and walking away. There had to be some other type of recovery she could do. Or why not just go straight back into the swing of things? She really couldn’t stand the idea of being with a fledging squad. Having to watch them grow together and form bonds like she had done with her own squad was just a stark reminder of what she had lost.

    And then the girl with white hair was speaking, which the chunin knew that was going to leave her last. Great. This really was the last thing she wanted to being doing. But it was something in the girl’s, Shika’s words that gave her pause. Bring honor to my clan… I wish I could do that. Either my mother’s or my father’s, whoever I got the gift from. Are there more of them out there, others who can do the same as me? Or am I the only one? At least no one has yet to ask me if it goes any further. They probably won’t for a while since everyone only learned about it months before the mission… Aree shook her head to clear the thoughts from her mind as the conversation became fully directed at her.

    Turning her gaze to the young girl, she caught the cast away look she was used to getting. Only it didn’t make it any easier. She hated the pity, the looks, all of it. Why couldn’t someone just treat her like the shinobi she once was, still is.

    She looked at each of them in turn trying to decide on how best to do this. Only Chika, to her knowledge, would be able to keep up even a little bit. So she knew she had no choice. Focusing her chakra she expanded the mind speaking jutsu so that it covered the area around the other four people present.

    My name is Areesia Segawa. Chunin. She hoped the rank alone explained why she could apparently sneak up on a spirit. I was here before you two, the boy was asleep. What else could she say really? She wasn’t meant to be with them. Why should they get to know what she was good at or lacking, rather getting extensive training in? But she knew she had to play nice. I’m best at ninjustu and taijustu. I receive extensive training in genjustu to work on increasing my strengths there. And yes to go ahead and answer your questions. No, I can’t verbally speak anymore. Yes, it’s because of the scar on my neck. And no I don’t want to talk about it. And yes, I’m fine. I really don’t need this recovery crap.

    The last statement was pointed at Sensei Shinji. She’d even turned her head to him so he would know it. She was waiting for their reactions. She knew most people freaked out the first time hearing some strange person’s voice in their minds. Especially with the way Mazaro reacted to things, she expected him to blow things out of proportion. Chika already knew so she expected nothing there, but still she hated having to go through this every single time. She was ready for the headache to be over and get on with her life.

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    (For progress reasons, and to make sure we don't get stuck in front of the front gate for another few rounds, part of my post is now, and the final part will be after when we got on the road. Hope no one minds. To be clear though, you still can and really should reply to anything at the gate while at the gate. I am trying not to rush things, but we have a lot of adventures and we need to get started! :D)

    (Alright I admit it, I am also impatient. lol)

    "Thank you" Mazaro told Chika. He smiled, if just for a moment. The name Uchiha was well known though, and even with her consoling words, once she introduced herself he froze. The Uchihas were one of the closest clans in the Hidden Leaf Village. It was just another reminder he was alone.

    Mazaro listened to everyone speak. However, while everyone had been speaking, as soon as his sensei got his name wrong, he errupted. "You have to be kidding me! Its Mazaro! Not Mazaru! Not Mazari! Who is making all these spelling errors with my name! IT IS MAZ-AR-RO (The second R does not actually exist, it was for phonetics purposes) TOMARO!"

    The voice in his head caught him off guard. "WAIT WHAT?!?! Who was th....oh, that was you!? How did you do that! That is so cool!" Mazaro said. "Now I have to find some way to compete with that jutsu! Oh man, this is going to be a test of my abilities..."

    After he had vented and the shock wore off from the voice in his head, he took some deep breathing, and almost instantly regained his happy, semi goofy composure. "Alright, now, to repeat myself. My name Mazaro Tomaro. What I like is respect, being a ninja, Ramen, a hot water bath, and more Ramen. Oh, I can also play the flute. What I dislike is everyone disrespecting me all the time, mis-saying my name..." he glared at everyone around him. "...and seafood. As for my dream...."

    This resulted in Mazaro freezing for a moment. Not because of his dream, he knew what his dream was. But, their sensei's dream was also deep down his dream, and about the one thing someone could say to make him extremely depressed. He had no family either, no living reletive he knew of anyways. No one adopted him, and no one wanted him.

    However, his passion and fire seemed to lite him up all of a sudden like a Christmas tree. "My dream is to become the most well respected Ninja in the HIdden Leaf! And in order to be that, it means I will become Hokage! That is my dream! To get the respect of everyone in the village!"

    It was doubtful anyone had ever seen a change in emotion that quickly. Still, as everyone else was introducing themselves, he started to walk down the road. "Come on people! We have no time to lose! We have to prove to everyone we are the best of the whole village!"

    Then something occured to him. "Uh, hey guys? Or, guy and girls? Which way are we going again?" He asked with a slight blush.

    --------------------------------------Flashback!----------------------------------------
    "You cant let this happen! We cant trust the boy!" one of the Third Hokage's advisors told him.

    "Why? For not getting a choice of recieving the Nine Tailed Fox? That is no reason not to trust him. Besides, he passed...in essence. I won't deny him this".

    "I admit we need to do something...but we cant bar him from his dream. That would be cruel, and unjust of us" Iruka told them.

    "I agree...which is why I have the perfect solution. Areesia needs a squad, correct? Lets say there are no more openings on any of the squads, and attach her with their squad" he told them.

    "Well, that is actually surprisingly accurate. But who will be the sensei? Areesia is a Chunin, and we are keeping this secret with Jonin and above only" Iruka asked.

    "Someone who can be both sympathetic, and has great combat skill. While we cannot speak today, I believe that once he returns, we shall inform him of the truth reguarding Mazaro. This way, he gets an opinion on the boy before he learns the truth".

    "So, he will have four people to keep him in check, two of which are veterans of combat. Alright, we can live with this" the advisors said.

    "Then this will be our plan! Send the squad orders at once! This will give Shinji some time to read up on them before meeting them" the Third Hokage mentioned. "Kakashi?"

    Kakashi appeared before them and took the paper. "Don't worry, I will do this right away". He then disappeared again.

    "I really hope he actually does get in immediately this time" the Hokage mentioned with a sigh.

    ----------------------------------------Flashback over....but....MEANWHILE!-------------------------------------

    The masked shinobi met up with the group. "So, you understand what to do?"

    "Yeah yeah, we grab the kid with the Dragon shaped Birthmark, and haul him off back to our pre-arranged rally point. We get it".

    You better. Hiring all of your men was not cheap, but it will be worth it to get the nine tailed brat. After all, your group does specialize in kidnapping ninja from any land. "Just remember, you do not get the rest of your pay if you fail. Do not disapoint me, or I will find you....and make sure you remain silent. We cannot let anyone know that we took him for being the nine tailed brat. So stay focused, and make sure you do not take any chances".

    "Oh, do not worry. When we are done, not even his sensei will have the power to go after us" they told him.

    (Ominous things are ominous. I thought I would add all this as a friendly reminder that nothing ever goes simple for the protagonists)

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    #, as written by Senpai



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    One again, the boy freaked out about his name's mispronunciation. Did she mess up again!? She instantly bowed deeper than she had in apology, "I'm so sorry, Maruto!"" She blurted out without thinking. What was it in her that caused her to never get this name right and not even realize it? Hopefully he wouldn't have time to freak out, due to the surprise entrance of their sensei. She hadn't looked him in the eye at first, but couldn't resist a giggle at the sound of her sensei's joke. On top of that, Mazaro's reaction was rather endearing if he actually did believe that. "Oh dear, did he actually believe that or is he in on the joke? Either way, oh my." She thought to herself before listening to her teammates introductions. When it came to Areesia, it was more or less stuff she already knew. She had been acquaintances with her for a few years now, after all. And she trained with.... she stopped her thought process before jealousy would take her. No more negativity consuming her. Not anymore. Mazaro liked baths, respect and ramen... Well, that was something. She could easily use ramen to try and bond with him. The rest, well, respect was earned. And a bath... pink touched her cheeks as she shook the thought from her head. "No thanks..." She muttered. Shiki was good at genjutsu and taijutsu? What a strange combo. She seemed so small and frail, though. Could she really do taijutsu? It didn't seem likely, but hey. She would take her word until she displayed otherwise. Perhaps from someone else's perspective, Chika herself seemed frail. She decided not to judge.

    Her sensei expressed his likes and dislikes as well. Recalling them, he likes traveling, dango, card games and the seaside. Looking at him, more color returned to her cheeks. Instantly, she turned right around. She found her sensei... well, easy on the eyes. Trying to dismiss thoughts like that, she took a deep breath and tried to push away the mental image of eating dango on a seaside walk with that sensei at sunset. How inappropriate... He mentioned having gory hobbies, and his dream was to find living family? There was a tragic backstory there, she knew it. But in this world of ninja, it made sense. It was no surprise. With her sensei now here, she decided to repeat herself from before and tack on details like he did. "Hello, everyone. I am Chika Uchiha. I excel in Ninjutsu and Taijutsu, and I am trying to work on Genjutsu skills... I lack many real techniques, but I learn things very quickly." How to word her Sharingan this time without seeming egotistical or entitled...? "I- I am sure you are all aware of the Sharingan's existence. I have awakened mine, but it is still very weak. To help you understand what I can do with it, I can see other's chakras. I can also see well without my glasses on, haha." She laughed softly to try and share that this was a joke. "I am able to see more clearly with my Sharingan active, and I seem to notice things better, quicker, more clearly. I hope to help you all with my eyes as much as possible."

    She sighed and took a deep breath. They were all probably tired of listening to her repeat herself, weren't they? But she felt it important for her sensei to know her own capabilities right now. "I like fruits a lot. I enjoy the dawn and campfires as well. I also enjoy spending time with my brother. I don't like coffee and bitter foods. I dislike illness, rashness is also a burden sometimes... I'm not sure. There isn't a whole lot I really dislike. And my dream..." She stopped to think, a melancholy look in her eyes as she tried to figure out a way to word this. Was simply making her family proud a good enough goal? Would it be better to say something about self-improvement, or even changing the world? She hesitated, opening her mouth slightly to try and speak, but nothing came at first. Taking a quick breath, she raised her head proudly. "My dream is to make my family proud of me and gain the approval of my clan. I will make things right between all people of our village and prevent people from dying needlessly... That is my dream." Yes. That was all correct. The green of her eyes flashed red for a split second as her eyes seemed to react to her resolve, though she hadn't really noticed.

    She remained quiet for a few seconds before hugging her arms to her stomach. "I'm sorry for taking so much time for myself. I really look forward to working with all of you. It is a pleasure to meet you all. I look forward to working with all of you from now on. Mabuto-kun. Shiki-chan. Areesia-chan. Kazuo-sensei." She said each of their names in acknowledgment of them all individually, as a show that she'd been paying attention to them all. Well, she tried in Mazaro's case, anyway. Stepping back and bowing at them all as she spoke, she rose and felt rather uncomfortable with all of this light on her. But someone else was bound to take it in a second, so she would endure it.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Shiki's eyes widened as a cool voice echoed in her mind before flushing slightly "Please forgive me Areesia-chan..I hope I didn't offend you. Maybe one day you and Chika-chan can teach me how to properly speak to you using sign language? I am certain it could come in handy in a field operation." A quaint smile came onto her face as she felt herself become relaxed as each of her fellow team members spoke a bit about themselves. So this was the start a team bonding, and so far it was going relatively well.

    A small laugh escaped her lips at the passionate outburst by the only male teammate before clapping her hands together in excitement "I am certain with that attitude and energy you will definitely be able to become Hokage, Mazaro-kun." The boy's eagerness to get started on the road was infectious as almost took a step down the road herself. Stiffening in surprise as it felt as if a cold hand held onto her shoulder as she looked down the vacant street ~Big Brother? Is that you?~. Rotating her shoulders just once as she released the smallest seal on her summoning tattoo after taking a few steps away from the group. With summoning it had become almost a secondary reflex, one her parents had break a habit of given that not all people appreciated bird feathers in their morning tea. A singular crimson droplet fell to the earth as a flurry of jet black feathers overtook her small frame.

    Only the faintest sound of "Summoning Jutsu, Raven!" came from the feathery tornado as the feathers drifted peacefully in the air as the girl's small frame became visible once more. The feathers seemed to fade into nothing as the bird perched on her arm became defined. The raven itself seemed to be a bit larger than the natural breed with beady red eyes. Currently it was attempting to either fix or pull out the bright red ribbon situated in her silver hair. Poking the bird's feathery chest with a single digit as the young girl whined "Really Corus, it's fine. Stop fussing." The bird merely rolled it's eyes and gave the offending digit a teasing peck before ruffling its feathers as it took in the humans surrounding it. If the bird's sharp looking claws were hurting Shiki's skin at all, the girl's cheerful face did not show it as the bird made himself at home on his new resting post of sorts.

    Finally the bird settled itself on her left shoulder, still puffing itself out proudly "Everyone, this is Corus, I am certain he wouldn't mind scouting ahead of us if needed". The proud puff seemed to deflate slightly, fixing Shiki with a challenging cock of the head as the girl coughed under her breath "If I ask politely and nicely I mean. Better Corus?". The bird merely gave the girl's head a gentle tap with its beak before fiddling with the few stray hairs that had fallen out of Shiki's high ponytail in an almost parental way. Shiki merely batted a hand at this behavior, before resigning herself to the grooming with a sigh of defeat. Even her summons thought she needed to be babied. Eventually she focused her attention on her teacher "Where exactly are we going on our first mission, Kazuo-sensei?"

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    "Kazuo sensei", Shinji could only smile and recall the beginning of his old team on a similar cloudless sunny day such as this, the world seemed brighter back then. Sure he might have been an asshole back then, but even in the beginning when he tried to distance himself from his teammates he still felt something he hadn't felt in a long time; a sense of home and belonging.

    Shinji had arrived in time to hear Shiki's explanation of her skills, most likely initiated by the students themselves to their credit. Kakashi had really missed out; this team might have passed his bell test on the first try.

    He would have to work with Shiki on her Taijutsu, Shinji recalled that her brother and his former teammate also had a lot of room for improvement when they started – despite being ok with the basic academy Kata's. For the time being she would act as the team's support but Shinji had no intentions of letting her get comfortable in that role.

    Mazaru… Mazaro, he stood corrected, was the one Shinji suspected would come to play the role of the beating heart of the team. He was loud, attention starved and clearly driven. Many Jonin would have seen these traits with disapproval, but Shinji welcomed it and hoped the 'youthfulness' of his only male student would bring the team together in times of crisis.

    "Right, I apologize for mispronouncing your name Mazaro, It is a somewhat unique name but I will make sure to say it right in the future". Said Shinji, wondering if maybe buying the aspiring Hokage some ramen once they got back from the mission would make up for his error. Shinji silently noted Mazaro as a frontline fighter and wondered who to pair him with as the team's muscle.

    Areesia was the one he feared would prove to be the teams black sheep. After his own teammate's death, his squad had also received a replacement teammate who had lost both teammates to the Iwa nin in the chunin exams. The bitter loner never worked well in the team and thought their work as well as his new teammates beneath him. Shinji feared a repetition of that all too familiar tale.

    Areesia's 'mind talk' technique was an impressive skill to pull off for someone of her age but Shinji had received prior warning from her folder which had thankfully been stored in the hospital during the library fire. Her words confirmed his fears, and reminded him only too well of his own original genin introduction while still recovering emotionally from his training in ROOT.
    Shinji knew that he would have to have a long private conversation with the chunin, but for now he let it slide and decided that she would join Mazaro as a frontline fighter; hopefully the two would influence each other for the better.

    Quickly communicating with the sign language he knew, a version adapted for missions, Shinji told his mute student that they would "talk later".

    Chika Uchiha was living breathing evidence that some preconceptions could bite you in the ass sometimes. She held to little of the Uchiha's outrageous sense of pride but wasn't too humble ether. Shinji decided that her combination of Taijutsu and her affinity for presumably destructive fire techniques would make her a good rear guard. If the team was ever ambushed she would be able to keep the enemy busy and engage him with fire jutsu without fear of hurting a team member, in head-on engagements she could maneuver towards the flanks of the enemy.

    Just as he was about to conclude the conversation, Shiki surprised him by mumbling something; Shinji was quite sure he had misheard and the Raven summon caught his attention and made him forget about it.

    "I will conclude this conversation by including myself in your earlier discussion; I am something of a Genjutsu specialized so I will be able to train you in the art during our training sessions. Though my Ninjutsu may not be on par with my abilities as a Genjutu specialist; I pride myself on my Lightning-Water collaboration techniques which I am told are distinctly unpleasant, I am also trained in wielding a Tanto blade. I am the village's resident Rat summoner, but they do not appreciate being called outside my professional needs, so I am afraid an example will have to wait".

    Pausing thoughtfully, thinking of how he could individually train each one of his students, Shinji dismissed those thoughts to the back of his mind and refocused on the mission at hand.

    "To answer your question Shiki, Mazaro; we are to deliver several scrolls to the nearby Hashiwa village, which specializes in making some very fine sake…so I am told". Said Shinji, somewhat put off by the mention of the village's specialty in sake production. He wasn't about to tell his students that what they were delivering where most likely Sake shipment orders for Konoha's businesses. That would probably make them complain.

    "The quartermaster owes me a favor so I was able to organize some backpacks and supplies for the mission, which I expect will take two day's there and back. In the future you will be expected to organize your own supplies and have a backpack ready for a long mission at all times. If any of you have a problem, talk to me later and I am sure we will be able to sort something out".

    Standing up, Shinji gestured towards the nearby quartermaster's office. "You will find several bags ready over there; tell the quartermaster that I sent you. I have to take the scrolls from the mission office, we leave in fifteen minutes".

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    If there was one thing she wasn’t going to be sharing it was her likes, dislikes, and her dreams. Because really, she didn’t want to sound like a broken record. Honor, respect, all of it. She just wanted to prove she was worthy of being allowed to stay. Plus, being one of the best shinobi in the village would be great too. She had no aspirations as high as Mazaro, but she still wanted to be one of the top. She had a long way to go to getting there and a lot of other shinobi ahead of her, including the genius she trained under since she was six years old, at least when they both could, himself more than her. Even with her jutsu, she still felt like a failure.

    Shiki had said something to her and she had to take a moment to remember what it was. She wasn’t offended. She was used to it now. She just didn’t like all the questions and stares, the backward glances and speaking behind her back. But at least this time it had been more from curiosity. None of the genin save Chika had probably even known or seen her before now. Her right hand formed a small circle and then her thumb went between the index and middle to form a k. She would teach her.

    It was Mazaro who’s reaction displeased her. He really thought it was something to one up? Yes, he was very much a child. She would give almost anything to not know the jutsu and be able to speak again like a normal person. She frowned and did her best to ignore him. He was just a childish, little punk.

    When their sensei started speaking to her in what she knew now as condensed sign language, the same she’d learned for field work, she knew he wouldn’t be so bad. But the message? She was going to get it. All she could do was a small sigh and nod her head. She would accept it simply because he was a higher rank than she was and orders were orders. She would deal with the genin team even though she wanted to be back out in the actual field doing the same missions she used to. The chance to run into her team’s killer would only be a plus.

    Their mission this time? Delivery of scrolls. She’d done it a lot when she had first left the Academy too. Now all it did was make her groan. There would be no real chance to stretch her legs to get back into the full swing of things with this. Even though she believed she was perfectly fine physically and somewhat emotionally, not likely of the latter, she still had to prove it to herself. The training exercises wouldn’t compare to the actual thing.

    I wish I had known we would be leaving for a few days. My bag is packed at the house…
    The bag she hadn’t come back with from the mission, but had been one of the first things she’d done after being released from the hospital. The second, after being cleared to workout again, had been to seek out Itachi for his next available training times. The first time back after months had been brutal. She’d been extremely grateful for it though.

    With a shake of her head she headed off to grab a bag. She didn’t care which one; she just grabbed one and headed back to the main gate. There she glanced through the contents quickly enough. The bag was decently stocked. It would do until she could get her own. Had her house not been so far away she would have gone back to get her own, but the trip simply wasn’t worth wasting the effort. So she leaned her back against a nearby tree trunk and watched the sky while still keeping an eye on the other three.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Mazaro continued to walk down the open road. They had already made good progress, but they still had quite a good ways to go. It was already about noon, and right now the road they were on was arcing right. To the left of the road was a cliffside, and to the right was flatland, but both sides were filled with dense tree coverage. Mazaro was passing some of the time by playing his flute. "SO once we are done with this, they will start giving us harder missions right?"

    As they kept walking though, Mazaro resumed playing his flute. It helped make things a bit less lonely. Granted, he did have squadmates now, and hopefully friends eventually, but still. Even with introductions, that alone did not seem to change anything. Maybe it was just a feeling that would not go away easily because he was used to it.

    That was when Mazaro heard something break on the barren ground under him. He instinctively started to jump back, but the paper bomb had already triggered. However, while the trigger had been in front of Mazaro, the paper bomb had been carefully concealed behind him, causing the explosion to send him flying in the opposite direction.

    Suddenly, a net shot out of the trees to the right of them and was aimed straight at Mazaro. Several other nets were also fired at the others. Mazaro jumped up to dodge it, but then a second net shot out of the trees and was going to hit him dead on. He quickly summoned a shadow clone using the Shadow Clone Jutsu, and used the clone to dodge mid air. However, as he did that, a third net shot out of the trees which not only was headed right for him, but he was moving in its direction as well".

    "Dragon Style! Dragon Wall Jutsu!" he yelled, which resulted in a dragon appearing out of some sort of dimensional rip and coiling around him. The net hit the dragon and disrupted it, causing it to disappear in a puff of smoke. Mazaro fell out of the smoke and hit the ground, but immediately when he did, a net shot out of the ground and engulfed him.

    A man appeared on top of the cliff wall. He seemed to be a bit shocked by Mazaro's Dragon Style jutsu, or that he just ran in like that, but he refocused on the others. "Attention Leaf Ninja. We can do this two ways. We can fight and kill or detain all of you, or you can simply let us leave with that runt, and we can be on our way. Besides, from what I hear, no one particularly likes him anyways. We would be doing you a favor. And before you try anything boy, know that the net you are in disrupts Chakra flow, and electrocutes you any time you move. SO I would not try anything".

    Mazaro moved in the net, and it sent enough electricity to cause him to scream out in pain....before turning into smoke. It was a shadow clone! Suddenly, Mazaro jumped up out of the smoke. (He was using Dragon Style Dragon Breath Jutsu to keep the real him from falling). "I wont make it that easy! You forget, that I have learned more of the Fourth Hokage's Dragon Style then anyone else! Dragon Style! Dragon Swarm Jutsu!"

    Suddenly, five dragon heads with very long necks broke through the ground beneath Mazaro and one of which he landed on, while the others sent fireballs right at the leader. This even surprised their leader even more, who had never even heard of Dragon Style before, except that the Fourth Hokage invented it, and supposedly the only one ever able to master it. The only exception apparently being this kid. The Dragons were truly a sight to behold, and Mazaro's combat prowess, while needing work, was exceptional given his age and inexperience. It was one thing to hear someone claim that they had been able to master some of the Dragon Style Jutsu, but to see it....that was a different story.

    However, that was when not one, but five nets were shot directly at him. He dodged them, but he had not noticed the twenty or so men that emerged from the forest, all with net launchers, that shot right at him as he was falling and unable to control his direction. Before he could manage to do a shadow clone or substitution jutsu, a net hit the real him, which caused him to not only scream out in pain, but cancled out every jutsu he had active right now.

    He tried to make a handsign, but the net only gave him more and more pain the more he tried. Mazaro screamed out in pain, but notably he never called for help. This was not because he had it handled. It was because he did not know how, not anymore. No one had ever come to his rescue before, no one except Iruka Sensei. Mazaro did not call out for help because every time he did that when he was young, no one came, or people simply laughed at him or avoided him. SO Mazaro simply forgot how to call for help anymore. He did not even know how to use teamwork, for that matter. Because for all his life, he had been alone.

    So all he did was scream out in pain, and try to fight something he couldn't get out of alone. "You ignorant brat! The contract might be for you to be alive, but that does not mean we cant just beat you to near death! Do you know how valuable those nets are?!"

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    #, as written by Senpai



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    It all seemed to happen so quickly. Everyone was making introductions and being sent to gather things for their first missions as ninjas, Areesia being the exception to the first. She really did remind her of her brother in a lot of regards, especially in her ability to not really communicate much. But the way that flute of Mazaro's screeched as he triggered the trap brought surprise to the Uchiha girl. Had she not been who she was, her reaction times to it all might have been slower given the situation. But almost immediately at the sight of the first explosion, her eyes took on the crimson hue of Sharingan. This allowed her to follow the situation just a bit more closely. She thanked the heavens and stars for her prowess with Taijutsu right now as she drew her souba with a speed uncommon of a Gennin. Instantly sliding on her feet to narrowly escape the net aimed at her, she could feel it fall to the ground behind her. She had to pay no mind to the, surprisingly incredible, jutsu that Mazaro was pulling off to help protect her team. Those nets had some kind of chakra-nullification. The surprise of it all left her unthinking to detect chakra in them or wonder if it was just a device. That wasn't important right now. What was important was following the nets attacking her comrades.

    Mazaro didn't need to call for help. To Chika, these people were her allies. She wasn't going to leave an ally alone if she could help it. Dashing in front of Shiki first, she jumped in the way of the net and spinned in the air real quick, the parallel blades of her katana slicing the nets into disconnected pieces, so that even if the effect was still active on the ropes, the smaller girl could easily just climb out. Her summons.. spirits? They would help her as well, she was sure. Areesia... she knew Areesia could handle herself. Not only was she technically a Chuunin, but she knew things about her. There was no way a net would stop her. She repeated the leaping fly-by spin cut on the net in front of Kazuo Shinji, whether he needed it or not. He was in the path to get to Mazaro. She knew she wouldn't be able to do too much else after the real fighting began, so rescuing people more capable than she was priority. Her entire expression was mostly calm as she kept slicing through the nets aimed at her and her friends, but in the reds of her eyes, one could easily see fear. She knew if it weren't for her Sharingan, however weak, that she wouldn't be able to do much in this scenario. She was just another Uchiha, she knew it...

    But that wouldn't stop her from finishing what she had to do! "Maziko-kun!" She called out his name to grab his attention... despite not realizing that the name was a tad too overly-feminine to be correct. Hopefully the calling for him would get him to calm down for a split second as the twin blades reached through the net and sliced upwards, then again to the horizontal slash. Jumping to the other side of him, the blades grabbed hold of the rope between them and yanked it off of him. With him free, she quickly sheathed her blade and dropped to a knee. All of that cutting through electric rope... it channeled into her blade and through her hand, that was for certain. Only now did the pain come to a realization as the shock, metaphorical and physical, jolted through her body. The Sharingan was replaced by the emerald color once more, stained by the tears of pain. She just needed a moment to recover, she knew it. But would she even get to while they were this out-numbered?

    And why were they after Mazaro to begin with? He was just some screw-up ninja, from the rumors... just why?

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    'I can't use the collaboration jutsu here, the genin will get hit' realized Shinji as he assessed the situation presented by the attack, he would have to bring the fight to the enemy but could not do so while his students remained under immediate threat. A net caught up with him as he dodged back and forth trying to intercept the attacks before they hit his students. Shinji moaned in pain as he felt the charge in the nets and responded by sending his own electric currents into the fray, overloading the net's influence on his chakra system.

    It so turned out, that confronting a Jonin lightning user with an electric net was not the best of ideas as he saw the net disintegrate into dust.

    Shinji would not have normally replied to his enemies, he did not subscribe to the tradition of holding a conversation during a fight. However, he realized that his squad needed some sort of moral reinforcement and decided to do so anyway.

    "I cannot comply with your request, these are my students and my responsibility and I shall protect them onto death". said Shinji before he was forced to evade several dozen Kunai thrown in his direction.

    Shinji advanced in an attempt to reinforce Mazaro's impressive but ill-considered attack. He saw Chika move as well, wielding her blades to cut through the incoming nets and covered her approach with thunderbolt strikes aimed at the net launchers. When Chika got caught up in the current whilst trying to free Mazaro, Shinji realized that he would have to use more advance techniques to protect his student and give Chika the time to recover.

    Increasing his speed, Shinji charged ahead towards the enemy. Forming the seals in quick succession, Shinki created several water clones ordering them to continue protecting his students while he took out the attackers.
    satisfied that his clones where taking position, Shinji continued his thunderbolt bombardment of the enemy pausing to attack with the water style ripping torrent jutsu. The foe tried to surround him with their numbers and moved to engage him in close quarters. Shinki responded by striking them with a seemingly ineffective blast of water exhaled from his mouth.

    "Is that all a leaf Jonin can do?" taunted one of the enemies, stepping into the pools of water remaining from his attacks - not noticing the danger until the last second because of a thin layer of Illusion.

    "No, I am just getting started" answered Shinji, forgetting his supposed battle composure as he brought his right hand to the ground, releasing a lightning charge which spread below his opponents through the water. Shinji jumped away, ignoring the screams below and summoned his rat swarm to exploit the breakthrough and kill those who survived his lightning attack.

    Inspecting the charred remains of his opponents, Shinji saw that several other enemies where still on the field. He would have preferred the water formation wall technique to protect his squad against the attacks, but without a nearby water source such an effort would not have been effective. 'Time to move to Genjutsu', thought Shinji as he moved on to attack the next group of enemies.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Smoke covered her vision from the sneak attack as Shiki attempted to clear her eyes from the harsh air. Aside from the dark smoke there was a faint shout of a jutsu followed by a burst of flame despite the thick smoke. The flames were hot even from this distance..was that Dragon-Style Jutsu. That question remained to be unanswered as she found herself separated from the group and being targeted by a singular bandit.

    Sparks danced through the air from both ninja and their nets as Shiki gripped a sharp kunai in a white knuckled grasp as combatants friend and foe alike danced about. One of bandits charged at her with a feral grin on his face as he readied a net. Fear seemed to immobilize the small girl as she stood stoic, not even raising her weapon in a defensive pose. Tears crowded in the corner of her eyes as she thought ~This is it. I am going to die...Why can't I move?~, not even these desperate thoughts shook the primal fear freezing her in place. The enemy ninja suddenly lit the net on fire with a free hand burn or eletricute the girl without a second thought before letting out a yell of pain as claws were racked across his masked face. His hands were alight with fire as well..a new type of weapon so it seemed?

    ~Move now!~ A masculine voice ordered her head as Kurso unleashed a flurry of attacks with beak and claw as the girl stepped back until her back was against the base of a tree trunk. Fire pulsed from the ninja's hands as Kurso was batted away with a few single hits, letting out feeble caws of pain. Heat flooded her face as she instinctively ducked a ball of fire headed her way, it seemed the ninja was merely toying with her as each step was menacingly slow. Finally it seemed her body got the message to fight back as she feebly tossed a spare kunai at the combatant. The blade was knocked away with a single hit as the ninja growled "Come on girl, don't be stupid. You wouldn't want me to maim you. Instead of merely burning you to a crisp now?". Cold grey eyes caught her startled red ones as she rapidly formed seals "Feather Dancer Jutsu!". A sudden emergence of feathers covered her from view as the enemy swung at the sudden assault, merely batting at air before stopping as the genjutsu cleared away seconds after appearing. The flames in his fists seemed to turn a hotter shade of white as he yelled "Trying to mock me, you stupid brat! That's it, pray to the gods because after I am done with you, not even your spirit will remain!". Suddenly it felt as if a light went off in her head as she bit her lip before calling out "Now Kurso! Final Hour Jutsu! ". A screech answered as another cloud of feathers appeared hovering above the back of the ninja, a few feathers glinting in the sunlight as Shiki swung her summoning hand down.

    Grunts of pain came from the ninja as two feather knives slammed into his back. Ripping the blades free as the ninja hissed "You think your little tricks are going to stop me? Think again brat!". Once again fear rippled through her as her situation was looking dire. In close combat she wasn't any match for a fully trained ninja, it would be like a flower fighting against a flood. Her eyes darted around in hopes of any allies would be able to come to her rescue. Few seconds later, her back was slammed roughly against the solid bark as a hot hand gripped her throat "Should have just given up brat.." hissed into her ear as she felt flames lick up her body as the man had literally decided to set the tree on fire with her pinned against it. Restrained whimpers came from her throat as she attempted to grasp at the kunai at the man's belt slicing her tattooed palm against the sharp point of one of the knives before being stunned as her back was slammed into the trunk once more. A faint squeak echoed in her ears as blood dripped from her hands onto the roots of the tree. A faint spark of hope lifted her heart could this tree be inhabited by a nature spirit?

    Her previous lessons of her heritage were lessons how to properly form an agreement with a spirit regardless of how temporary it would be. Many of these negotiations were settled by offering gifts of treasures, gold and in some legends exchanging a day of service for a night of love under the stars. Nature spirits were the easiest to call upon, given that the favors were simply to do a simple task such as water their home, find a beautiful flower or just talk with them. Tree spirits were the rarer sort to come across given their shy nature and secluded homes deep within the bark of trees. Red eyes grew clouded as felt into the spirit world seeking assistance from the host of the tree. Said host was a moss-green vine covered creature outlined in a feminine way "Please help me!!!", the spirit merely cocked its head to the side in attempt to figure out what was talking to it. The spirit let out a silent scream of pain as a bit of its vine flesh was burnt away suddenly.

    In reality Shiki's eyes widened as the flames continued it's journey up the base of the tree. If a spirit's attachment to the mortal was destroyed, as would it's connection between the two worlds. Many Spirits loathed and loved humans and all their wonders, shy nature spirits found their occasionally generous nature welcoming. To loose that light in a quiet woods would be devastating. The roots of the tree began to shift slightly, barely noticeable as the Spirit attempted to move into the human world. Shiki would have to become an anchor for it as fatigued radiated as her chakra was drained but she could feel the soft skin of the spirit just peeking out of the burning bark of the tree. The grey eyes of the assailant widened as it could feel the unnatural moss color glare of the spirit as it flicked out a single hand. The Spirit was faintly visible to the human eye as chakra lined its skin, siphoning off Shiki's chakra .Harshly ripping up from the ground with loud cracks as once struggling roots curled around lower body of the intruder squeezing tighter with every second. Eventually the fiery fists turned to defensive strikes in an effort to burn away the roots, but there were too many to burnt through as the spirit had dwelled within this tree for many years, nurturing it with chakra of its own. The roots crept slowly up to the man's neck ready to make the final strike

    Sensing the spirit's murderous intent as Shiki quietly whispered "No. Don't..please..". Yet her request was over-ruled as the spirit was overflowing with rage at having it's home nearly destroyed. Not even the single plea of its anchor would change its mind. That was the downside to dealing with nature spirits, given their simple minds. Problem-solving was abandoned for natural instinct and emotions ruled over logic, and given the nature of its summoning it was clear this spirit was in an aggressive mindset. The problem with using blood as an starting point was that it was easily swayed by the spirit's natural mindset in comparison to using chakra to bind it to the human world which could be monitored and adjusted by the summoner. Blood was filled with the primal emotions of the summoner..while chakra was pure as mountain water.

    Tears finally broke over the banks of her eyes as she shut her eyes tightly as sickening cracks echoed in her ears. The roots had broke the man's neck with a single squeeze before receding back into the earth, with only the shifted earth evidence of their mobility. The clouded look in her eyes vanished as the spirit faded away back into the spirit world as the girl sank to her knees blankly staring at the body before her. Fatigue made it painful to even think about moving, much less go into an offensive state. Had she just murdered someone with her own hands? Guilt came to her mind as she was helpless to calm the frightened and angered spirit, tears streaked down her cheeks as shame followed. Her heritage was meant to be an anchor and ally to spirits, not to be selfish or controlled by them, a comforting mew broke her thought process as a puffed out Moon stood in front of her ready to defend her mistress with her nine lives. Even a watery-looking Kazou-Sensi stood guard near by. A clone? Now hopefully the rest of her comrades survived as well.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    When Areesia had said this was only going to be a babysitting job, the battle alone confirmed and denied her statement all in one sitting. The genin were doing fairly well on their own for being a newly brought together team. And whether or not this was actually real or just a very elaborate first test from their sensei, she loved it.

    A smirk had covered her face the moment everything started. The adrenaline pumped through her veins. This was the feeling she had missed. And yet she knew the dark side to the same feeling. From where she was standing, watching the others and the opponents, she could see another battle, one much darker. If any of them died here she knew she was cursed. And their sensei’s words didn’t help to ease her mind on the subject.

    At the beginning when the nets had first started being thrown, she’d used substitution and body flickering to avoid all of them. It hadn’t been easy at the start, but she had managed. Losing her ability to use chakra would all but completely cripple her. She wouldn’t have even been able to speak to the others. Her injury was really starting to annoy her to the point she wished even more than she had died with the others.

    The chunin had made it to the tree line where she could watch the battle. A quick assessment told her the rough number of enemies and their positions. There was no way she could spread her jutsu to cover the vast area to get into everyone’s mind. She wouldn’t be able to read that quickly. No, she’d have to focus on one person or… Another smirk formed on her face. She would have to get into the middle of everything and the others would have to react quickly. She wouldn’t be able to hold everyone for too long even though her chakra control was high.

    Without a second thought, she was back into the fray, kunai in hand. Despite months of lying in a bed, losing muscle mass and only have a few months after being released from the hospital, the girl was still in great shape. She’d made sure of it. There was nothing more important anymore than her training.

    Battling her way into the dead center of the fray, she put herself closest to the most opponents. She used Shinji’s water clone to guard her back through most of the fighting and so she could do what she needed. Focusing her chakra, she could almost see the tendrils heading straight for everyone except those on her side. She had the leader in her sights, him the most important.

    Finally, she smiled. The fighting stopped. The only ones moving were on her side. She took a deep breath and let it out unsure of how long she was going to be able to hold them. Areesia looked towards Shinji. She thought about speaking to him, but she didn’t want to waste the chakra right now especially if she would be needed to get inside anyone’s head. He was smart enough from her own evaluations to know to get something done quickly.

    The chunin turned her attention back towards the leader. She was curious. Why go after a genin especially one like Mazo? Unless this really is just a test from Kazuo-Sensei. If it is, it’s highly elaborate for just a test. I’d like him more for it, but still. Turning her head she looked over her teammates. The girls seemed to be okay for the most part. She was impressed. They were highly skilled and reacted very well for the circumstances. She just wondered how they would do under worse conditions? And then there was the problem child.

    Aree frowned when she looked at the boy. All of this for him? It didn’t make sense. They were missing something. Though he did have an impressive array of skills, he’d shown off, but that wouldn’t be any reason to go after him. There were plenty of other shinobi much more worthy of attempted kidnapping.

    The chunin brought herself back around to focus. She had to keep her chakra up so that they would stay paralyzed. She just hoped they got this done in time. A lot of people meant a lot of chakra and even though she had a good deal and used it well, she could already feel it waning. Internally, she cursed at herself. Next time, she wasn’t saving people’s asses at this great an expense.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Mazaro was in such great pain, that even when Chika freed him, the pain still coursed through his veins. For a moment, he thought he felt....something....start to take over him, but it was a passing feeling. Still, the surge of chakra he felt was great. He made the handsigns despite the pain. "Now its my turn! Dragon Style! Dragon Swarm Jutsu!"

    "What the...." one of them said. "His chakra should still be disrupted! Where is it all coming from!?"

    As Mazaro stood on top of one of the dragon's heads, suddenly ten to twelve nets were fired at him. "Dragon Style! Ear of the Dragon Technique!"

    Mazaro focused his chakra inwards, into his reaction speed, overall speed, and his ears. He then threw a kunai or a shuriken at every single incoming net with increasing accuracy, hitting each and every one before they had a chance to hit him or his jutsu. Another dozen were fired, but this time from different points up on the cliff. Using his Tai-jutsu technique again, he hit them all out of the air with a single kunai or shuriken. Nets were incredibly light, so any good force combined with enough weight would knock them away.

    "Now its my turn!" he yelled, as he amassed his chakra with the dragons that were attacking all the men around them. "Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu!"

    The Multi-Shadow Clone Jutsu was an advanced technique, and one that would prove fruitful considering what he did. While there were significantly less clones then there should have been, they were all riding dragon heads...it was a taxing way to get beyond the four or five he could currently manage to bring out, but it was the only way to do so.

    The Dragons proceded to direct their attacks not just at the men, but the nets and any net launcher they could destroy. No doubt, they would start running soon. But instead, several of them seemed to pull out scrolls. Their leader, who was only barely able to move thanks to paralysis from Aree, started to take out a scroll. "Alright everyone! Lets use our one time only Instant Jutsu Scroll!"

    "What the..." Mazaro said. "Hold on a second, there is no instant....oh damnit! Everyone take cover!"

    Suddenly, several of the men who then opened their scrolls that had been provided to them by their employer suddenly exploded. There was no jutsu inside them, and an instant jutsu scroll was not even something Mazaro believed to exist. It was actually a large collection of paper bombs. Along with the explosives they were already in possession of, this resulted in several rather large explosions. Mazaro quickly jumped to Chika's side. "Dragon Style! Dragon Wall Jutsu!"

    "Wow...." Mazaro mentioned. There was a large pointed piece of hard wooden bark that had been stopped mere inches from his head. As he dispersed the jutsu, one of the men ran up from behind Mazaro, but he threw a Kunai right into the man's chest. One reason that not only was he an attacker, but he was about to open the same scroll. Mazaro had no intention of being blown up today. "You okay Chika?"

    Mazaro looked around to see how everyone else was doing as well. There had just been a lot of explosions. All of his dragons got taken out, as well as the shadow clones. Still, he felt like he had chakra to spare for some reason.

    "Hello!? Is everyone else okay?" Mazaro asked, hoping that everyone was okay.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    #, as written by Senpai



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    Whether acknowledged or not, it seemed that Chika had bought enough time for her allies with her defensive maneuver. She had leapt before her allies to eliminate the preliminary round of nets, allowing them more time to react to the others and launch their own attacks... the cost, the electric energy channeled within the nets transferring down her blade. She had found herself having limited movement and it didn't seem to be dwindling much. All she could do was watch. And watch she did...

    Everyone's techniques were so impressive. Mazaro's Dragon-Style, Shiki's spirits... Kazuo-sensei's clones and Lightning-style setup... Areesia's body flickering technique that seemed not to surprise her. They were all so impressive. She'd be lying if she didn't feel lacking to the group. All of them seemed to have a mastery of their domains so young. She had little more than a barely-awakened Sharingan. At least playing the martyr like this would help the true heroes shine through. At least that was how she saw it.

    The young girl took a deep breath at the sound of Mazaro's callings. "You okay, Chika?" She smiled at him having never referred to her with an honorific. It made her almost feel like she belonged naturally, as if she had always been with this team. Giving a soft nod, she whispered, "Yes, I'm fine... Cutting those ropes made my arms feel numb. I apologize for not being more useful, Mabiro-kun..." There were still men left, Areesia keeping them paralyzed. Would there be much time left for them? She didn't want to risk it. Though her arms were limp for the time being, she managed to rise to her feet. It sure was lucky that she was good with Taijutsu as she dashed quickly at one of the men. Tripping him onto his back with ease, she repeated this until the remaining men were all on their backs or fronts.

    Leaping into the air, her eyes once again took on the crimson hue of Sharingan. With what little feeling that came back to her hands, she managed to use her speed to form six hand seals, trying her hardest to ignore the pin-prick of invisible needles that coated her arms. "Fire Style: Phoenix Sage Fire!" Her cheeks puffed up instantly as a volley of small fireballs spewed forth from her pale lips, searing into the enemies. They certainly wouldn't be killed by this, but they'd certainly be hurt. With a pained grunt as she fell back to the ground, she took a knee and gasped for air. She hadn't nearly dented her chakra threshhold, but the chakra disruption of the nets seemed to still phase her... but hopefully she could prove herself useful to the team. Hopefully this bloodline trait of hers could make her relevant. With how incredible her allies were, dead weight was the last thing she wanted to be...

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    The sight of several dozen bandits grasping for a piece of the physical world to guide them in broad day light may have puzzled a passing trader, but to Shinji the affair was more of an experiment into the effects of sudden blindness on working people.

    "You...bastard, what did you to me! I can't see!" said one of the bandits before Shinji knocked him out, keeping the man handy for further questioning. Despite the easy victory, casting the genjutsu had been far more difficult then Shinji was accustomed to for some reason.

    "You baka! what do you expect after pumping unsupervised electric currents into your chakra system?" . Said a small four foot humanoid black rat by Shinji's side. Most summoners would have been surprised to see their summons appear without being called, but Shinji had become accustomed to this habit of theirs long ago. Most rats where egocentric with a sharp tendency to avoid work like the plague, but Rikard and his litter where quite literally a different breed.

    "I don't recall calling for your aid, did you not receive a commission to manage Rat Central's labor exchange?" Asked Shinji, fending off several of the sword wielding bandits who had not been rendered blind by his Genjutsu.

    Covering his back from one of the sword wielders, the rat shared the agitation of his kin for having had to fight in the first place but seemed to uncharacteristically revel in his victory once he had defeated his foe.

    "Whats the point, nobody ever turns up; its the reason that job is so hard to get your paws on. Anyway, your Chakra control is a mess because your network is all fuzzed up from the contact between your electric currents and the net's current. It will take a good nights rest to repair the damage but for the time being don't count on your more advanced Genjutsu's to work properly". As if secretly collaborating with the rat's attempts to undermine his summoners competence, two of the blinded bandits seemed to regain their sight and attacked. Shinji and Rikard wasted no time in dealing harshly with their enemies and ending their lives rather then prolong the battle.

    "It was that or lose the ability to use chakra in this battle, at least ninjutsu seems to work alright" answered Shinji as he took out the remaining bandits still trapped in the Genjutsu.

    Shinji flickered back to his genin, confident that he had taken out most of the net launchers. To say that he was impressed with the abilities of his students was a sure statement. Though he technically had one chunin in the group, Shinji suspected that all of his students where all pretty close to chunin level already. The sudden explosions left Shinji with little time to plan a complicated defense, but fortunately for him several pools of water left over by some of his his water clones gave him enough material with which to cast the Water Formation Wall Jutsu.

    The wall had grown six feet in height before it crumbled under the strain of the attacks. But the wall served its purpose and protected Shinji and the students behind him at that moment from the attack.

    "Alright everybody, well done, pull back into formation, we are breaking out of this kill zone". Said Shinji, sighing as he noticed Rikard had buggered off, probably to loot the bodies of the fallen enemies.

    Characters Present

    Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Time seemed to have slowed down before Shiki's eyes as she watched her comrades take down bandits one by one. Her eyes widened at the impressive displays of talent ranging from Mazaro's dragons spewing fire, followed by equally dangerous fireballs from Chika. Areesia's movements were a bit hard to follow given her speed, although she cringed in sympathy as multiple bandits found themselves slammed onto the hard dirt below with each attack. Could that be what is called a Body Flicker Technique? Her awe seemed to break at the sound of a knife embedding itself into the tree trunk behind her, quickly getting to her feet with renewed energy as she clutched a kunai in her free hand as she flexed her summoning hand readying herself for another round of summoning.

    Dodging the attacks from surprisingly clumsy bandits who appeared to be under some type of genjutsu. A small squeak of surprise escaped her as a series of explosions rumbled around her. Followed by torrent of water formed a liquid wall quite solidly in front of her. ~So cool~ Shiki thought impressed by her teacher's display of technique. Glancing at her comrades, a few looking a bit worse for wear given strain of some chakra draining techniques, a faint smile came on her face as she quietly said "Aressia, what was that technique you were using? I could barely even keep up with your movements.". Her question was genuinely curious and if a bit envious. She had always wanted to be able to move about as quiet as the spirits did even on the brightest of days, perhaps a scroll in her family's vaults would have something among those lines?

    At her sensei's order, she stepped back into the far end of the formation. Her techniques were best used in a far ranged manner, given that her Final Hour Jutsu could be used as a storm of knives if she just had a touch more control over it. With a few seconds of seals, a familiar weight settled on her right shoulder as a pristine-looking raven shifted his body around ready to take to the skys at a moments notice. This time she wouldn't be afraid, it was her chance to show that she could be helpful to the team. If push came to shove, she could attempt to contact a wandering spirit..nothing as dangerous as the tree spirit before, but equally useful in surprise attacks from below. All that would be needed was an adequate distraction and time on her side to bring the spirit fully into the human world which could take bit more coaxing than just a plea for help.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    Angry beyond all reason at this point, Areesia was cursing herself. There had been a lot more of the people than she had originally thought. Which meant only so many had been caught by her jutsu. It hadn't been enough. She was just to the point of thinking about expanding the jutsu for the others when the water had surounded them all just as the explosions went off.

    The chunin released the enemies she'd held as soon as it happened. No need to lose any more of her chakra. She made a mental note to talk to Itachi about redoing this battle so she could improve from it. The water fell from around them and she stepped back as she listened to their marching orders. She fell into place with a small sigh. There were so many questionsh that she had, but knew couldn't be asked until they had a camp site up and secured.

    Aree heard Shika's question and turned to her. Sure she didn't have to look at a person to talk into their head, the only had to be within the jutsu's field, but it seemed to freak people out a lot less if she was looking at them while they held a conversation. If the genin couldn't follow the movements, it meant it was the one she'd used to help keep her from the nets.

    It was the body flicker. It doesn't take much to learn it. Course, she didn't know if it was because she'd caught on quickly or had Itachi forcing her to learn it before he returned. So while she spoke about it being easier she was only speaking from her own experiences and not another ninja. She hadn't found it that hard. What had been hard had been moving fast enough when her trainer had returned. That day had been brutal.

    As the team started moving on again, she couldn't help but wonder what they were going to do now. Sure they would still complete the mission, but things would change when they returned to the village if the battle hadn't been staged by their jonin. And there was still the conversation she had to have with the man. While she wanted to go to him about it first more to get it over with and to show she wasn't afraid of it, given their current situation she was going to let him come to her. She hoped he wouldn't try and grill her for her response if they weren't safe. He never would have made jonin, at least she didn't believe he'd deserve it if he didn't wait until they were clear.

    She sighed. Being back with a team seemed like nothing but drama. Even her team wasn't this bad, but she had to get used to it because her orders weren't likely to change any time soon. Adjust and move on. A shinobi had to be ready for anything, even if it meant baby sitting three genins, who had done rather well on their own during the battle. And still there was the issue of them wanting the only male genin in their squad. Too many questions and no time to get them answered yet.

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    Character Portrait: Mazaro Tomaro Character Portrait: Shiki Niyokai Character Portrait: Chika Uchiha Character Portrait: Areesia Segawa Character Portrait: Kazuo Shinji
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    "Are you kidding? You were extremely useful! You got me out of the net, and you dealt with a lot of those nets with excellent precision!" Mazaro told her, as he dismissed the dragons as it seemed like the rest of the enemies had been dealt with. After all, with nothing left to deal with, they had to keep moving on. "At least you didn't get trapped in one of them, although to be fair, they had to use a lot of nets to succeed".

    Mazaro rumaged through one of their pockets for a moment, but did not find anything. "I wonder what these guys wanted, anyways? I think they said something, but I was too busy getting electrocuted to hear it. You guys hear what they said?" He asked as he continued to look around the now calm battlefield. Anyone who was not dead or otherwise disabled had run off, and what had errupted into a noisy battle had gone almost as quickly as it came.

    "My bet is that they were hired by someone who wanted to stay anonymous. I mean, why else hire these guys instead of elite Ninja, right? Whoever did this could have hired elite Ninja, unless of course they were from the leaf village or something, but who...." Mazaro started, but he stopped talking instantly, causing silence to follow. Mazaro squeezed his hands tightly, trying to hold back tears. Because honestly, knowing how people thought about him and treated him, he could believe someone from the leaf village tried this. And this made him upset.

    "We should just move on" he said with an almost bitter coldness, much different from his normal warm, inviting voice. Clearly something was bothering him. "Lets just get as far as we can before nightfall, okay?"

    And meanwhile, deep down, something festered inside him....something evil.