Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
My Usual Online Time
Completely Random
Writing Levels
Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both, prefer a mixture.
Favorite Genres
I am fine with many genre's so lay it on me and we can decide if that genre will work.
Genre You DON'T Like
I don't do anything with vaginas, sorry.
A Free Meal!
Kirigakure | Ramen Shop | Claire Rose and Nishi Hirashima meet as the former had requested her sensei to join her for lunch. The meeting starts with an apology from the genin, who hopes to mend things with her sensei. | A collab between Oetje Oetje and Celestial Scorpio Celestial Scorpio |

After deciding to apologise to Nishi, Claire sent in a request to meet up together. It seemed to be the fastest and easiest way to talk with her leader. Once the request was processed she began to make her way to the location she asked to meet in. Since she had yet to eat lunch Claire picked a small ramen shop to meet in. It was close to her home, affordable and decently delicious.

Tucked away in the busy streets she entered the building. Aside from ramen they also had a few different teas one could drink. Ordering plain green tea Claire sat down and waited for Nishi to arrive. Of course she was unsure how long that would take and if the woman would show up. She was hoping the jounin would stop by so this conversation wouldn't take time away from their next meeting or mission.

Walking towards the meeting place, Nishi didn’t think much about the imminent meeting with her student. She had decided to go without expectations and just hear out what Claire wanted to say. What was more weighing on the jounin’s mind were other matters. Such as the current political standings, some vague rumours and fact that she hadn’t heard much regarding the so called Suzu insurgents. Not that she minded that the last group was silent. If anything, the Republic could easily go without a resurrected Suzu clan. Their place was much better to stay as a footnote in the history of the Republic than attempting to become once more an influential part.

Entering the establishment, Nishi threw a lazy glance around. Spotting Claire, the jounin would stride towards the genin. "You requested me?" The woman asked in a calm and polite tone, as she took a seat.

Hearing footsteps approaching Claire looked over to see Nishi and then the question was spoken. ”Yes. I just wanted to talk about what happened during our last meeting.” She started, her tone held a nervousness to it as she spoke. ”I finally understand or well hope I do. I wanted to apologise. I let my own beliefs cloud my duty. And I said some harsh things that weren't necessary.”Trying to stay composed she glanced at the menu and gestured to it.

”Would you like some ramen? My treat. I know it doesn't make up for everything but I know from here on out there will be tough decisions. Some I may not want to make but I have to. I thought this would be simple but being a shinobi is so much more than I realized. Of course I don't have my sister to explain things to me but I do have you, someone still around with experience. And well I'll definitely need help becoming better at all of this.” Exhaling it was a mouth full and she spoke fast to get it out but she managed a smile as she looked back at Nishi.

The woman’s right eyebrow slightly perked up by the first comment of Claire. Letting the girl speak, Nishi features didn’t hint to what the woman was thinking or feeling regarding the apology of Claire. While not a fan to be treated, certainly not by somebody that was a subordinate of hers, Nishi decided to slowly nod when Claire declared it would be on her. Only for the genin to continue with stating she realised that being a shinobi meant a lot more than she had expected.
"You do,” Nishi said, in regards to the Claire’s statement she needed help to become better. "And I am still interested to teach you.” Nishi added.

Leaning forward, with her elbows on the table, Nishi continued.
"I shall accept your apology. I have to say that things would be different if you were a chuunin. The thing is that you’re a genin. I expect you to make mistakes. To not understand some matters and shall let bygones be bygones. As long as you learn from it, you will have some support from me.” The jounin paused. "But I don’t like to repeat myself. What you need to understand is that you are a genin. You don’t understand everything and perhaps you never will. In all honesty, I might have years of experience, knowledge on political matters and yet I don’t know everything. Anyhow,” the tone and phrasing of the woman took a turn around, becoming ‘softer’.

"I guess I would like something with chicken. And beans.”

Her smile grew bigger and she nodded once the jounin finished. ”Thank you for understanding. From now on I am going to do my best.” Ordering Nishi ramen with chicken and beans, the cook added herbs to flavor and Claire got her own beef and pork ramen. The aroma from the steam rose in the air as the bowls were set in front of the pair. ”Can we train some time together? I know I have a ways to go and you might wait to send me on more missions but I don't want to just sit around. And well I know we will have team training but I want to train even before and after those sessions. More on my personal growth than team growth if that makes sense.” Slurping her ramen the taste was aromatic but hearty. It might not have been as delicious as pricier ramen but it still hit the spot.

Nishi wasn’t sure if she was as eager as Claire. But she decided to not bother the genin with her cynism. Once the order was given, Nishi leaned slightly back in her seat. She had expected this exchange to go a tad different but was quite content with how it went.
The request of Claire made Nishi consider and weigh her options.
"We can. I can teach you some matters, I figure that can be useful for you. Some skills will take more than just my guidance. Patience and constant practice on your end will also be required.” Nishi replied as she slurped some of her dish. It was as good as it had smelled. Clearing her mouth, Nishi continued.
"It does. I wager that Yukimi will require some certain guidance before I can pull off any great result from a team training.” The jounin added. "The question is, however, what direction you want to take? I can try to teach you matters of subterfuge but if you aren’t interested, it will certainly slow down the progress.”

Claire thought for a moment if she truly wanted to learn techniques in the subterfuge path. Shaking her head at the question she looked at the other. ”I only suggested that when I didn't want to accept having to do the extreme of killing. If it meant they would survive but be subdued.” Taking a sip of her tea she bit her lip. ”I may not like the option of fighting but I doubt I'd be good at subterfuge. I really want to focus on what is the best and strongest for me. Whether it be strategy or brute force. I am not sure where my strong suit is but if we find it then I can train to better myself in that way.”

Tapping her finger on her glass she set it down and took another slurp of ramen before finishing her words. ”My sister was graceful. She fought for what was right. For her own beliefs or for the greater good, I am unsure. I just want to be like that. So all I need to do is find my stride and my methods and maybe I can be that person.” Pushing the empty bowl forward, aside from some broth, Claire looked into her cup of tea. ”What do you think would be best for me to learn and strive for?” Even deep in her mind she still clung to revenge and maybe she would have it but she knew that wasn't a good reason to be a shinobi. Especially wanting to be like her sister who wasn't that way.

Enjoying her dish while listening to Claire, Nishi considered how to respond back. There was a hint of a smile as Claire stated she doubted she would be good at subterfuge. Considering what she had seen from Claire, Nishi couldn’t yet make an exact statement what the girl’s strong suit really was. There were a lot of different fighting styles and then also a lot of different ways how one could approach a fight. Or attempt to evade it.
Finishing her dish, Nishi found herself asked by Claire what she thought was would be best.
"Well, to start, you are you. I hate to be somebody to pierce a bubble but forget about your sibling. I have seen a lot of people weighing themselves to their brothers, fathers, mothers and grannies. And nine out of ten basically got disappointed or desperate. Besides, ideals aren’t going to save you from being shanked.” Despite the harsh and brusque phrasing, Nishi did try to bring it as polite as she could with her tone. Leaning slightly back, she would not yet touch her tea. Allowing it to cool down first.

"Other than I doubt you even know what the great good is, that all won’t help you to find what will make you stand out from other shinobi. I don’t know yet what your strongest suit is. Luckily, there are some exercises and training to figure that out. But,” the hint of a smile seemed to return to Nishi’s lips. "All in due time. Right now, I would just advice to not lock yourself to a certain ideal. Or that you need to follow somebody’s footsteps. The world would be a dull place if we all started to do that, trust me.”

By now she was starting to get used to the other's more blunt nature. Taking in the words she nodded and thought to herself as it grew silent. After a few moments her face turned to Nishi. ”You’re not wrong. I am me and I shouldn't try to be exactly like my sister. I guess I wanted to be like her so she didn't just disappear. If I could be like her then she'd still be here in a sense.” Sighing she couldn't help but smile. There was no fighting between the two of them but an actual conversation. Unlike before.

”I will try my best to be as open minded as I can be. And to make a name for myself. I'll just have to remember my sister and accept she is gone and no one can be her. Thank you for helping me. It's been awhile since I have really just spoken to someone about all of this, the last person being my mother.” Claire couldn't help but laugh at the last part. Of course her mother would support her and not try to be realistic about the situation.

Leaning back in her seat, Nishi was content that Claire took her advice. She couldn’t relate to what the girl said but did understand where the desire came from. Everybody honoured their death in their own way, Nishi thought to herself. When the genin thanked her and even laughed.
It provoked a faint smile from the jounin, who subtly nodded.
"You are welcome. Just try to remember that I am here to help. If you guys fail, it will look bad on my record, after all.” The jounin responded, in a polite tone.

"But I should take my leave soon.”
The jounin stated as she would slowly get up. Throwing a look at Claire, Nishi seemed to consider something. Only to nod towards the genin.
"Take care for now. I will soon have you summoned for a training.”

Watching the other stand up and move to leave Claire nodded. 'I will make the record look as good as I can and I'll be at the ready for training. Have a nice day Sensei.” Turning to the worker behind the counter she pulled out a hand full of money and paid for the meal. Smiling and thanking them she stood up and also made her way out of the building. Taking in the conversation and really letting it sink in Claire now was curious if it would go this well with Yukimi as well.
 

Gerontis

"Teddy Bears never forget."
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Probably both, depending on the situation. Am at least comfortable with both.
Favorite Genres
A lot. Can't really pick a few out as it depends on the lore etc. etc. etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
I don't really dislike any, but I guess that I don't do a lot of superheroes or high school ones. Not that I am not interested in them. Oh dear, I am rambling.
Going to Move
| Empire of Akino | Konohagakure |
Hiron Hon
| Leader of Team 9 | Major General of the Third Division | Member of the War Council |
GlitchyBugger GlitchyBugger , ChromeHound ChromeHound , Nim Nim , Jason Targaryen Jason Targaryen , @~\The Talentless/~


From the sight of it, the absence of clouds seems to promise a clear day. That was good, in Hiron's opinion. He wouldn't mind some rain though. Or perhaps something fiercer. Perhaps it would make the trek less enjoyable but that wasn't the purpose of it at all.
Once more, the jounin would go through his equipment. Next, to the usual shinobi gear, he decided to take a long tanto with him. Together with some papers that would come in handy later. Not to forget, a map.
The idea to get on a caravan or arrange some mounts could get them easily to their location. But the idea was quickly set aside. Having things easy and set out was what made most of these current genin and chuunin weak. Compared to the generation that had to survive the horrors of war? They wouldn't last a week without having material and equipment set up for them.

Being completely certain he was ready, Hiron would head towards the main gate. Going through one of the checkpoints at the inner wall, the jounin didn't think or doubt much about his team. They already had the message to get fully packed and geared up, together with the time and location at which Hiron wanted them to rally at.
Arriving at the location, Hiron watched the activity at the main gates. A large amount of city guard, together with on-duty shinobi and soldiers made security tight. People that came in and out were scanned, checked and some even questioned. Not the most polite welcome or exit one would imagine when thinking of a great city like Konohagakure. But Hiron could appreciate the discipline which the security worked with.

Waiting on the location where the team was to gather up, Hiron went through the plan once more through his mind.
They would leave Konohagakure on foot. Heading eastwards, they would follow the main road towards the Tokugawa clan lands. Those routes were quite safe. Not only because of its close proximity to the boundaries of the royal crownlands but also because that the Tokugawa weren't joking around. More so, Hiron put some faith in that they could make some stops at the communities of Hons settling in Tokugawa lands. From those locations, he could get more supplies in case they were in need of it.
After that, they would keep heading east but not going by the road heading to Vindex. It would be good training to head off the road and start heading towards their goal while seeing how well the team could survive without the luxuries of civilization.

If he had to estimate, this would be roughest on the genin. Who weren't likely used to being out in the 'wild'. No ability to rely on facilities that would keep them fed, warm or healthy. No walls to either provide them with any security. And at the same time, be alert for anything that could prowl the perimeter, in search of a next meal.
A soft sigh escaped Hiron as he did harbour some hope that the more experienced lot on the team would be able to withstand the hardship. The worst case scenario would be that he was going to face a kind of mutiny. Then again, Hiron thought to himself as he rolled with his left shoulder, that could be very interesting.
 

GlitchyBugger

[Snarky British Remark]
Writing Levels
Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Female
Miko Training 2: Electric Boogaloo
Hyuuga Compound, Empire of Akino
(Written by Jason Targaryen Jason Targaryen and GlitchyBugger GlitchyBugger )

A sparring match between cousins in order to personally gauge Tomiko's ability with a pop quiz to accompany it.

Followed by a brief skip forward to the main gates of Konoha.
__________________________________

”Is there any goals really for me in the sparring match, or is it just kinda don’t get beat up?” Tomiko asked as she started to stretch before the match. Figuring it would probably not help any matters if during the spar she pulled a muscle or something equally stupid. She was certain that Kyoi would actually kill her if she did something that dumb. Meanwhile she was thinking about how she would handle a fight against Kyoi. She already knew that she would need to stay out of gentle fist range. Yet at the same time, Kyoi had her monster-hair that would be an issue. Distraction? She could also simply try to run away. Might defeat the point of a spar but it would result in not a total failure.


There was a brief pause upon being questioned as to whether there’s an actual goal to the sparring match. ”The goal? If I told you that, you would only focus on that one aspect, for example not getting beaten up. You know by now that something like that is easier said than done, even in training. We’re going to work on improving in general, this helps to cover your weak points as well as enhancing the fields where you excel.” Kyoi lowered her stance, furrowing her brow and lunging forward for a simple palm strike aimed for Tomiko’s left shoulder.


”For example, thinking someone will wait for you to get yourself ready to fight, whether it’s training or actual combat.”


The good news was that Tomiko half expected Kyoi to try to strike early. The bad news, was that Kyoi was really fast. Tomiko twisted to avoid the strike, but still felt a semblance of pain in her left shoulder as it wasn't a perfect avoidance of the attack. Using the momentum, Tomiko whipped around and went for a sweep of Kyoi's legs, aiming to complete the rotation quick enough to catch her cousin off guard.


A glancing blow, she’d give her cousin a couple of points for actually expecting her to attack before the traditional start of a sparring match. But even as Tomiko was attempting her counter sweep Kyoi leapt forwards into a roll and righted herself in one smooth motion, turning on her heel and facing Tomiko once more with her stance at the ready. ”Hypothetical scenario. Your team is out on a mission tailing a group of fugitives, one of your number is caught by their group and threatens to kill them if you don’t leave or surrender, Hiron is not there to help you right now. What do you do?”

Immediately after speaking she makes another frontal assault, leaping forwards with the obvious intent to slam both her feet into Tomiko’s chest.


Tomiko used Kyoi's roll and temporary lack of visual contact to load her wristbow, hoping to keep the fact the weapon was now loaded hidden from her cousin. Hearing the situation, Tomiko frowned as she started to charge the bolt. With Kyoi's attack, Tomiko was able to deftly enough dodge to the side with a simple hop, quickly firing the charged bolt towards a chakra point in Kyoi’s knee with the hoped of catching her cousin off guard. ”Disengage and regroup. We can mount a joint attempt later, but going alone might be a disaster.” The girl responded to Kyoi's question.


Kyoi’s kick missed and she landed on her back, she was aware of Tomiko’s bolt and kicked up in order to roll backwards and get back to her feet quickly, the bolt sailing past her knee seconds after she moved. Once she was back in position, watching Tomiko for the slightest of movements Kyoi spoke again. ”Okay, you regroup with your other team member and prepare to pursue the fugitives, yet they’ve covered their tracks. The other member of your team is the Uchiha boy, Yiko, what would you use with your combined capabilities to track Shikaroku down?”

As she spoke she formed the Snake hand seal and her hair burst into life, swirling around itself and lurching towards Tomiko with a wide net ready to ensnare her.


Tomiko watched as Kyoi started to form a seal, and her hair burst to life suddenly. Tomiko had always hated that technique, it was completely creepy. ”I can track any signs of chakra used by the enemy with my Byakugan, otherwise we would need to look fo-” The girl said before being cut off as she made a simple hand sign as the hair got close to her. ”-r tracks or other signs of movement.” She finished as Kyoi’s hair would succeed in grabbing the previous chakra-charged bolt that Tomiko had substituted her position with. She quickly wove handsigns as a beast made of lightning chakra suddenly manifested, charging towards Kyoi’s back. ”I don’t think either of us has very many tracking skills or abilities.”


Everyone liked to overlook the substitution technique, to be honest Kyoi had overlooked it to a degree, had she not activated her Byakugan to confirm her catch she probably would’ve had less time to react to the charging beast behind her.


”Clever.” Was all she said, releasing her lions mane technique as the lightning beast was blown away by Kyoi’s Gentle Fist: Body Blow and without missing a beat she turned on her heel and her hair was back on the offensive, the brief spin spreading her reach as it would lash out from all angles in front of Tomiko to snatch and bind her. ”Let’s say you somehow track them down and find them gathered in a clearing. You can tell that there are three of them in the group, Shikaroku is restrained and looks to be beaten up, presumably during an interrogation of sorts. What do you think you should do?”


Tomiko knew she would not escape this time around, Kyoi’s hair spreading in all directions around her. Acting in the moment, Tomiko lunged towards her cousin. Reaching one hand towards the woman, the other arm extending upwards and seeming to spark slightly as the only warning for the attack Tomiko had planned. The girl opted not to answer at the moment, simply focusing on moving herself towards Kyoi and slightly left. Aiming to use her left foot to change direction if her cousin moved to dodge. The Hyuuga was determined not to be made a fool this time around.


A direct charge from the front with guised intent based on the positioning of her arms, were it not Kyoi and her Byakugan up against Tomiko someone else may have fallen for the feint, but she could see the build up of chakra ready to discharge as soon as she came in contact. So she wouldn’t touch Tomiko at all, instead she’d relinquish control of her hair once more to unleash a flurry of consecutive vacuum palms.

They weren’t full strength as she didn’t want to kill Tomiko, but they were still going to hurt, the first three were directed at her chest, following with one for each shoulder to immobilise her arms and taking up a common Gentle Fist stance.

”Eight trigrams, thirty two palms.” Her final follow up attack, provided Tomiko was too winded to evade, would likely finish the girl off for this match.


Tomiko yelped out in pain as she felt bruises all along her chest and arms. She was knocked firmly on her rear by the attacks, and her eyes went wide as she heard what Kyoi said. She had to move, and now! The girl pushed herself to her feet, although she was unable to move her arms. Trying to catch her breath still, the Hyuuga knew the technique well enough to immediately push off the ground and keep trying to move away from Kyoi directly. Although she would not be escape the full impact, Tomiko hoped to avoid enough to keep fighting.


A few strikes caught, though the awkward angle Kyoi had to strike from meant it was difficult to get a solid hit in. Once she saw the state Tomiko was in after her onslaught, she stood more or less at ease. ”Alright, that’s enough for now. Time for some reflection, we can cover the hypothetical scenario in a moment.” Kyoi began, initially using a quick technique in order to weave her hair into a neat ponytail for the time being. ”Presuming you’ve been thinking about it over the course of our sparring match, tell me what you think you could have done better.”


Tomiko was knocked once more flat on the ground, simply laying there for a few moments while she breathed heavily. Trying to catch her breath and groaning from the injuries, she held up a finger towards Kyoi before pushing herself up into a sitting position. ”Ow, Kyoi-chan.” She said softly before thinking for a few moments. ”I think I was doing alright up until I got cornered by your creepy-hair technique. I was trying to avoid getting hit and find an opening to use to get you or get away. ‘Cause you’re way better than me at the whole close quarters and fighting thing. Yet everybody has weaknesses that can be used to win, or as a chance to escape and fight another day.” She said, having to pause a few times in between for breathes after their spar. ”Then you cornered me and I went on the offensive because I didn’t think I could get away and I lost. I don’t know what I could’ve done there. I can’t outrun that technique and you caught me on the offensive.” She said, her tone taking a slight change that betrayed her as being annoyed with the conclusion of the spar.


The silence left behind after Tomiko finished her self-critique lingered for a minute as Kyoi looked at her cousin, a slight raise of her brow as if questioning the girl’s judgement. That air of negativity was something to challenge. ”So? You went into the situation knowing what I’m capable of and made the best of it, there were things you didn’t use and things you did use. Remember what we’re having this match for, to cover weak points that you’ve identified yourself and general improvement of your capabilities. One of your weak points that I’ve seen is battlefield control, as soon as I introduced my hair into this as a viable attack vector you couldn’t think of many ways, if any, to counter it and gain an advantage, right? You used substitution to escape it once, that’s clever in and of itself as most people tend to overlook that technique. Honestly, if you can figure out what to do to improve from here based on the result of our match, then you’re headed in the right direction. Perhaps you could come up with something based on your bow in order to turn the tables in your favour? I wont say what, of course, that would be against the point of this training. Depending on how long we have I could probably drill a couple of Gentle Fist techniques into you, we can go over that later though.”
After the miniature lecture Kyoi dipped down into a squat in front of Tomiko. ”Before we continue, what would you think is the correct action to take in that hypothetical scenario I gave you? You’ve got time to actually think now, even if you normally wouldn’t on an actual mission so think of this as a mock exam.”


Tomiko nodded along but remained silent as Kyoi spoke. At the mention of teaching her some gentle fist techniques, the young girl's attention was snagged quite clearly for a second before Kyoi moved on. Hearing the last question, she sighed for a moment. ”I would follow them until night. I know nothing about Yiko beyond his Sharingan, so I don't know nor think I should risk taking them on during the day. I'm small and quiet. I can wait until night and sneak in, take out the enemies while they sleep and get Shika out. I wouldn't stand a chance against them in a straight fight so it would have to be quiet.” She said, looking towards Kyoi after having thought about her answer for a bit. She knew her strengths, it was smart to play into those when she could.


”Based on what little you know about Yiko’s abilities and your lack of knowledge on the enemy, that’s definitely an option you could consider.” There was a hint of disappointment to Kyoi’s words, but she continued.

”The other option is that you kill Shika to remove all leverage they have and to prevent any chance of him leaking whatever he knows to them, while not all genin-ranked shinobi are susceptible to torture, a lot of them are and they’ll know more than the rogues who are hiding outside of the villages. Besides you don’t want them to try and ransom him off or dispose of him in some other way. You might not get it, but at times you will have to do something like that as an act of mercy to your comrades, especially if you get dragged into a war like most shinobi do.” As blunt as she was being, it wasn’t a topic that Kyoi enjoyed, even Tomiko would be able to see that.

”Build up a resistance to your emotions so that they don’t affect your ability in the field and so you can prevent that” she tapped Tomiko’s previously burnt hand as an indicator, “from happening again, alright?” Without giving the younger Hyuuga a chance to respond, Kyoi would rise and crack a wry smile. ”As my first assignment, learn what your teammates are capable of so that you can better formulate plans, your effectiveness as a team will go through the roof. I’ve got to start on your progress report for Hiron. We’ll have a normal talk later.”

__________________________________________
A number of days later, Hiron requested team 9 to gather with their equipment and meet him at the main gate to Konoha at a specific time and day. So being a very responsible adult, cousin and shinobi, Kyoi made sure to pack her own gear properly and strong-armed Tomiko into making her preparations at the same time, though she wouldn't lend actual assistance in determining what to bring. Along with Kyoi's usual equipment and provisions, she made sure to bring additional medical supplies just to be safe.

The morning of the excursion's due date, Kyoi was ready to leave more or less as soon as she was awake, stopping by her cousins room in order to make sure she was awake and ready to go as well. "I'll be going on ahead, try to not forget anything."
____________
( Gerontis Gerontis )

Before long after leaving ahead of her cousin, Kyoi would arrive at the Konoha main gate to meet with Hiron, arriving somewhat ahead of time for the sake of certainty. "Morning, sir. You're looking somewhat eager about something today, is it the weather or just anticipation for the journey ahead?" Greeting Hiron with a bow and a question she didn't expect an answer to just to probe to see how familiar she could act before he drew a line, Kyoi waited to see what exactly Hiron would say, if anything.


 

Nim

Active Identity Unknown
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine with both
Favorite Genres
Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller, Modern, Fandoms
Off once more
Karma Minami
Chuunin, Konohagakure


  
Having some time to spend with her siblings and grandmother was certainly something she appreciated. But now, it was time to gear up once more. The message from Hiron stated they needed to be fully packed and ready. With that in mind, Karma made sure all her gear was set, prepared a fair amount of rations, and said goodbye to her family once more. Once all was done, she started making her way towards the designated meeting spot of departure.

Walking through Konohagakure, Karma had her Naginata on her, with the blade covered by a cloth as she always did during off missions times. Her mind did go to the weapon at least a couple of times, as the blade had been sharpened the best it could be, and Hiramo had guaranteed he had done the best work he can do on the blade. The staff itself was also smoothed, so no splinters showed. But, despite all the work, it was still very apparent to her that she will need to get a new Naginata soon, as later meant she would be weaponless. And that wasn't a thought she liked one bit.

Arriving at the main gate, Karma briefly looked around. There were numerous people walking around, passing through the security checks into and out of the city. She quickly caught sight of Hiron and Kyoi, who were both already there. After approaching the two, she offered a respectful nod towards them ”Morning, both of you." She said, before looking around. It appeared as though none of the genin had showed up just yet, so Karma decided to keep any questions she had to herself for the time being. Better that way, as Hiron wouldn't need to repeat himself more that way.
 

Aliceee

Fierce Rebel
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays
Posting Speed
One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept
Genders You Prefer Playing
Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Fine doing both/Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, modern and magical.
Genre You DON'T Like
Scifi, yaoi, some horror, furry.
The Battle of Lorstedt
Lightning Country | Far North, Sanosuke territory |
The battle between the Regency Forces of Uijtsune and the Warriors of Grotnar, jarl of Langanes.


An eerie silence would be the only welcome as the soldiers marched on. They were wary for any ambush ever since that they had crossed the mountain passes, which effectively made up the border of the Sanosuke clans. Uijtsune and his officers had expected heavy resistance from the Sanosuke there, trying to use the cramped space to deny any incursion into their land. But the passes were left undefended and nothing but the cold temperature remained there. This would lead to some officers claiming that the Sanosuke had fled upon sighting their forces but Uijtsune remained unconvinced of that. Instead of moving instantly into the territory of the Sanosuke, Uijtsune had set up a reliable garrison to guard the mountain pass. Allowing to build up a supply route and arranging the next plan before moving into the valley.

Scout parties would be sent into the valley in which a small town was settled, that of Lorstedt. These scouts were instructed to be wary for any ambush tactics and to avoid conflict. Every scout party would, however, return to the camp of Uijtsune with the same report: not a living soul was to be found in the valley. This only started to increase morale and the drive from Uijtsune's forces as his officers to push further. Still wanting to buy the idea that the Sanosuke had just packed and left these easily defendable positions, Uijtsune did slowly start to move from his position.


  

The march towards the city was slow but Uijtsune was well aware that if they were caught in an ambush that they could lose the number of troops to further push into Sanosuke territory. A few scout parties were moving ahead of the vanguard, a constant of riders moving back and forth to keep the communications up.

Sited at the middle of his army's marching formation, Uijtsune threw a glance at the woods to his right. He couldn't spot any movement or sign of life. And the more ground they took from the Sanosuke without a fight, the more the commander started to doubt the wisdom of taking the fight to these northern Chonobi. Before, he had attempted to convince the Regency council that attacking during winter was foolish. The council wasn't, however, convinced and argued with reasons that the Sanosuke were simple barbarians. That they relished a fight and would be easy prey to lure in.
Though not entirely untrue as Uijtsune had seen the Sanosuke at work during the Great War and Shoji's oppression, the commander was well aware that they weren't mindless beasts.

Deep in thoughts, Uijtsune would be ripped out as a rider approached him and his guard. Letting the rider go through, Uijtsune listened to the brief report.
"Lord, the scouts are at the settlement. But no sign of any inhabitant or resistance. What are your orders, Lord?"
Not comfortable with the situation, Uijtsune slowly nodded.
"Move into the settlement with the vanguard. Take any captive in case you find them. We will move in with the rest soon after."

The rider grinned, saluted and steered his mount to gallop away. Waiting a moment, Uijtsune threw a glance at the sky. Dark clouds prevented him from sighting the sun but he was hoping that the gods were watching over them. All of them.


  

Wood would splinter as doors were kicked in. The search into the homes and buildings of Lorstedt by Uijtsune's soldiers went without a problem. None of the denizens were found and this started to make Uijtsune worry only more. As day slowly turned into night, the commander would set up some security and made clear instructions that he didn't want them to slack around, still believing that the Sanosuke were up to something.

But a few days would pass without any sighting of a Sanosuke. As feared, Uijtsune would notice that some of the troops were starting to get either bored or slacken their tasks. Without being able to give a reason to keep them sharp, Uijtsune started to send out foraging and scout parties away from Lorstedt. Two of his officers did come up with the idea to let a part of the forces drink some of the booze that they had found upon moving into the settlement. Something that Uijtsune didn't want to allow but decided to, to keep morale high.

When the cover of darkness came, there would be a large fire made within the centre of the small town with a number of soldiers being allowed to enjoy the found alcohol.


  

Narrowing her eyes, Asami started to grin. The darkness of night allowed her and the others better sight of where the soldiers of Uijtsune were located and patrolling. Throwing a look at her left, she would barely be able to spot the other group of warriors that were lurking in the cover of the treeline.

So far the plan had been working better than expected. The enemy had moved in and taken the bait. There had been some trouble as a part of their fighting force were becoming more jumpy with the second. Something she could understand as these people weren't excited to see their homes being invaded by what they considered foreign scum. Luckily, none of them had moved out on their own to attack any of Uijtsune's forces. Nor had the enemy advanced far enough to locate their hideouts in the woods or deeper into their territory.

Hearing something, Asami threw a look over her shoulder. A man would close in the distance and crouch at her left. The dark made it difficult for her to see his features but it became clear who he was as soon as he spoke up.
"The others are ready. Waiting for the signal." The man speaking being the hersir (leader/bailif) of Lorstedt.

"Good, then we move in." Asami said, gripping the shafts of her weapons tighter. Rising up, she would hear the faint rustling of noise as others followed her example.
"Feast upon them, my beasts.~"
A soft chuckling resonated as the group started to move forward.


  

"Fuck this cold. I don't understand how people can live this far north." Katsutame grumbled as he peered into the darkness. "I tried to take a piss yesterday and could just feel it freeze nearly--"

"Stop your whinging. If the captain hears you, you're done for it." The other soldier, Michisue, responded. Peering into the darkness, there wasn't much that they could see. Clouds were covering the sky and thus the light of the moon couldn't make their jobs easier. "Just a bit longer and we can be relieved. I do hope that the booze will not taste like boar piss."

"It probably will though," Katsutame chuckled in return. He was about to say something but suddenly tensed up. Gripping his spear tight, he moved a few paces forward. "Did you hear that?" He asked, his tone giving away his rising anxiety.

Michisue frowned as he attempted to hear anything that could have alerted his fellow soldier. He couldn't see much far into the darkness but hadn't heard anything. "No? What is it?"

Moving another few paces forward, Katsutame narrowed his eyes as he lowered his spear. "I am sure that I just saw something moving there. Maybe we should investigate."

Stepping forward, Michisue narrowed his eyes as he tried to catch on what Katsutame had seen or heard. His heart started to skip beats as he thought that he saw a shadow moving up ahead. "I think..."

Suddenly a loud fart escaped Katsutame, surprising and shocking Michisue. The reaction provoked a burst of loud laughter from Katsutame, who rested his weapon against his right shoulder. "I got you there! Oh, I didn't think you would fall for it. I now even need to take a piss."

Growling a curse towards Katsutame, Michisue turned around as he wanted to walk back to the torch, longing for the warmth and light. "I hope you will piss yourself soon." Hearing no reaction in return, Michisue half turned around. Only to be greeted by an axe slammed into his face.


  

Various groups moved in silently. Taking out the perimeter guards, they would hold their positions as the bulk of their force started to march in an organised manner towards Lorstedt.
With the enemies exits, save it for the northern passage, cut off, Asami was confident in that her plan would work. Pulling her axe out of the unfortunate guard, she would beckon to be followed.

Out of the darkness, a group of Sanosuke emerged. They seemed more than eager to shed the blood of the invaders for their trespassing.
 

Aliceee

Fierce Rebel
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Operation: Cursed Night
Kirigakure, the capital of the Republic of the Water Country.

Part 3

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Part 1
Part 2
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A collab by Team Mika - 14.

Summary:

The team has been given the objective to rally and then make to the villa of a certain merchant. The goal is to make it seem as if the villa has been raided by Suzu insurgents. Though the security isn't tight, it won't be an easy mission for a team filled up by genin and only one jounin - to watch and lead their every move. Soon enough, the genin of team 14 learn what horrors can await in the night.


  

Everyone was up and over. Then Mika spoke about not leaving a person alive. Of course that didn't sit well in his stomach. Did everyone mean even people who wouldn't fight back? As their leader came to the door and took position, Aito followed. Not much was spoken and the silence could be cut with how thick it was. Watching Taishiro take up opposite of Mika when she gestured meant it was his and Aya's job to go in. Eyes locked when he glanced at her and she readied her katana. Biting his lip he nodded as his hand gripped one of his own blades, his other hand ready on the second sword he carried. Feet grinding into the ground, Aito looked at Mika and nodded once more to show he was ready.

The jounin was about to say something. Her lips already parting from each other. But instead of an order, the woman’s gaze swiftly turned as she noticed something in the corner of her eye. Before a sound could leave her, the door cracked underneath a heavy weight. The world itself seemed to tremble for a moment as the air would be loaded with tangible violence, overwhelming team 14 and taking them by surprise.

Aito and Aya would be each overwhelmed as a guard slammed against their back. The men were taller and physically more stronger than the girl and boy. What was worse was that they wielded their clubs quickly, aiming for the teens arms and head.
The door would crack and two guards rushed out, attempting to overwhelm Taishiro and Mika. The close space in which the scuffle happened meant another disadvantage, as Mika realised that most ninjutsu had the chance to wound an ally.

As his back was struck the genin stumbled forward from the force. The club striking his forearm causing his grip to soften on his blade. By now the man was attempting to strike again but this time at Aito's head. Slipping forward he was now on his hands and knees to avoid the weapon. Instead of reaching for his first katana he rolled over to face the guard. His hands begin to weave before he looked around. If he had used his genjutsu it could cover the team but it also meant they couldn't see either past the petals.

Stopping Aito gripped his second katana and unsheathed it. Hopefully the man didn't see he had two blades. Using the metal to block the first strike, a second came and caused the club to inch closer to his face as the strength behind it was more powerful. Both hands on the sword, one on the hilt and the other opposite to support against the blows. If he even tried to grab his second katana the first would give way and his face would meet the club.

Thankfully, Taishiro was at least a little prepared for the sudden violence that swallowed up the team from the apparent ambush. Fighting freakish creatures like they had before was one thing, but thankfully fighting people was something else. Something his father had helped him prepare a bit for before he became ill. His hand already being on the small sword, he was quick to react. The man came in with an overhead swing of the club, which Taishiro deftly dodged to the side of and brought the sword upwards in a quick cut. It made a distinct sound on contact, but not like it had struck home as Taishiro realized the man was lightly armored. Swearing mentally the genin shifted his grip and watched for openings in the man's stance and armor as the two eyed each other.

Then the stillness was broken as the much heavier man surged forward and hit the boy squarely to cause him to stagger back as the club once more came at him trying to catch him while he was off guard. The boy twisted to dodge but still took a rough hit along his side. Grunting, the genin reeled from the hit and gripped his sword tightly. As the next attack came, he dodged to the outside this time and managed to avoid the attack. Noticing how his opponent favored his right side, Taishiro knew he needed to exploit this. As the next attack came, Taishiro prepared once more to dodge and try for an attack to wound his opponent’s dominant side to make the fight go better.

As she got herself into position to strike when Mika gave the signal to. She attempted to mentally prepare herself for what was about to come. The death of what could be innocents, possibly criminals, children even. Things no one would ever want on their hands. Yet here they stood about to wash them in it. Before anything else could happen though a sudden collision into her back sent her sprawling to the ground, landing hard on her stomach causing the air to leave it in one quick motion. Gasping for oxygen to make its way back into her lungs, she turned her head and then body, swinging her katana in the process. Dodging the club that was meant to bash her while she was down her blade cut across the man’s armor. She got back to her feet and took a quick glance too see what was meant to be a surprise attack on them, taking a reverse effect and being a surprise attack on them. She wondered how this happened until it hit her like a sack of bricks. It was her that was spotted when aiding Taishiro up the wall.

Having no time to curse her error she brought her blade up to block the incoming swing. Yet the man was much larger and it took her all just to keep her grip on her now vibrating hand as the force caused her to stumble backwards. She took a swing at the man who did his own dodge and countered with a quick jab to her face dazing her in the process. As her head pounded from the pain she had to think of a quick way to slow his movements down. When the man came in for another swing, she would duck under it and bring her right leg up and then down, slamming it into the man’s knee. The man buckled and winced a bit before pushing her away.

Stumbling backwards from the man’s shove, he also followed it up with another swing which she dodged but he followed up quickly by grabbing her hair with his free hand. Lowering her head forcibly he brought up his knee, cracking her in the nose with it. Pain surged instantly as she felt blood pouring from what was most likely a broken nose. The man seemed intent on ending it with the next swing. Holding her in place as he reeled back, yet as he did since he was holding her in place and she needed a way out. She brought up both her legs, feeling where he was gripping her hair grow more in pain as if the hair was being forcibly ripped from her head. She then brought both legs down on the man’s knee once more and instead of a buckle, she saw the man’s leg bend backwards as he yanked back instinctively with the hand holding her hair ripping some strands out in the process. Yet the man collapsed on the ground with a shout of pain.

With a shout of pain as one leg was bent backwards, broken from Aya slamming her legs into his knee. She gripped her sword and moved over to him. Positioning herself above him and brought her sword up and then down. Not piercing his chest but his skull, the sounds he had been making being silenced all at once.

Surprised, Mika attempted to react as good as she could. The guard that attempted to hit her with his club wouldn’t experience any satisfaction. Capable of using her arm to block the man’s movement, Mika grunted as she attempted to lash out with her other arm and fist. The blow did land but the man quickly recovered as he attempted to attack again. Due to the small space, he couldn't wield his club to its full potential. However, Mika couldn’t draw her knife without giving the man an opening as she attempted to keep herself close.
A few blows would be exchanged between the two but nothing that could turn the tide between them.

The guard then attempted to step back as he winded his arm back, wanting to smack hard with his club. Instead of dodging or backing out as well, Mika lunged forwards. Tackling the guard down with her weight, the jounin managed to scramble quickly on top of the guard as her hands shot towards his face. A pained scream started to erupt from the man as the woman would start pushing her thumbs into his eyes. Trying to push Mika of him, the guard attempted to hit the woman.
Leaning away for a fist, Mika pressured more force into the man’s eye socket. The sickening sensation of fluid started to press against her fingers as she would pull her right hand back. Drawing a knife, the jounin plunged the weapon deep into the man’s throat. Only to quickly tore it open and turn around.

Now able to watch her students, Mika just saw how Aya finished her fight. Turning her gaze quickly to the others, the woman already pulled a kunai. Narrowing her eyes, she threw the knife and kunai towards the remaining guards. A soft blue hue followed the blades, as they soared through the cold air.
Before either remaining guard could pose a further threat to either Taishiro or Aito, they would collapse and fall on the ground. The thrown weapon deep into their neck.
”Collect yourselves.” Mika sternly instructed as she threw a glance into the interior, not showing a single second of concern for the genin. ”We got to hurry up.” Stepping inside, there were no other sounds or signs that anybody else was in the residence. Only a man standing in the opening of a door, his composure rather calm. Like he had been waiting for them. He was just as tall as Mika but his attire did little to have them wonder if he was muscled or not. Holding a katana, the man casually eyed the intruders.

Drawing another kunai, Mika spoke softly to the genin. ”You three go upstairs. Kill everybody.” The jounin would softly inhale as she then moved forward. The guard reacted, much faster and agile than the others. He attempted to strike at Mika with a swift blow, that was barely parried by the jounin. Pulling his weapon back, Mika wanted to move forward but was stopped in her tracks as she recognised the feint.
Stepping aside to avoid being skewered, she would manage to move forwards and bash the man into the hallway. Leaving room for the genin to scurry upstairs.

As Mika finished the other fights the other two were in, Aya kept looking down at the dead guard beneath her. She kept the sickening feeling in her stomach down best she could, as she could feel her arms trembling ever so slightly. Following Mika inside the building a man seemed to be waiting for them, yet instead of fighting him she gave the order for them to go upstairs and kill everyone. It still was hard to hear that phrase come so lightly, she had so many questions but knew she shouldn’t ask them. Instead she simply nodded as she took off upstairs, wondering if these people would be awake or asleep when death would take them.

The first door she came to and opened had a little boy in it, looking at her with wide eyes as she stared a bit shockingly at him before she entered and closed the door. The boy let out a little whine as he ran to his bed and covered himself with the covers shaking a bit as he peered over the edge of them to look at her. Aya was equally shaking as she took a deep breath in, walking closer to him as the hand holding her katana was shaking obviously. Yet the boy being young didn’t recognize this as fear, only moving back until his back hit the wall stopping him from moving away.

Stopping in front of him he would start crying, which caused Aya to wince a bit as she grabbed one of his pillows. Pushing him on his back, she placed the pillow over his head and held his legs down with her leg. She could feel him trying to escape frantically, and she had to bite her lip as she placed her sword over his chest and pushed it down further and further until the frantic movements would halt entirely. The kill was done but she took a bit to collect herself as the feeling in her stomach rose and rose, as she did her all to keep it down as much as possible. Why did it have to be a child out of everything she had to kill tonight?

The relentless blows had halted and the body above Aito collapsed to the ground, lifeless. The kunai and blood glistened faintly. Catching his breath Aito stood up and looked at the man that stood in the door. Mika's words taking a moment to sink in. Everyone? As the two began to fight the genin's feet ran on their own as he made his way up the stairs. Moving to the closest door his brain registered he entered. A man sat in a chair facing Aito. It took no time for him to speak. “I have all the riches you would need boy. Gold, silver, and plenty of it. Take what you want and we can forget this ever happened. My lips are sealed if yours are.” Gold and silver? A bribe? As his brain worked to process everything he shook his head. ”I-I can't. No one. No one is allowed to leave. Or live. It is an order. Please just.. just let me do it in one cut.” His words shaky as he spoke and stepped closer, blade in hand. A simple cut to any major artery and the man would bleed to death. Quick, easy and least violent.

Yet as Aito drew closer, body tense and breathing heavy the man waited until the younger male was within reach. His arm began to move towards the other and a knife had been revealed as it swung towards Aito. A cut to his arm as blood began to rush from the wound. Wincing in pain the genin moved back and shook his head. The man only charged at him swinging violently, his intention was to kill. Dodging a few swings Aito cut across the man's chest, staggering him but not stopping him. Another attack digging into the genin's thigh as the blade stuck in flesh. Panic filling him and audible grunts of pain, he closed his eyes as his katana was forced up and forward. Blood could be heard hitting the floor as he opened his eyes. Feeling a hand around his throat, clamping down, Aito gasped. The man didn't stop his assault, it was him or the boy. Struggling to compose himself he swept the blade down at an angle, opening the other's abdomen. It was silent. The hand loosened before it left Aito's throat and a thud echoed.

Shaking as his eyes moved down he saw the man covered in blood, the floor below began to puddle with the liquid. No signs of life as he exhaled. He had just killed a man. Who may or may not have been innocent. Pain surged through his leg and he looked down at it now. The knife still embedded in his thigh. His katana fell to the floor as he shakily reached for it. Yanking it out Aito yelped in pain and his own blood poured out and down his leg. Tossing it aside he collapsed to sit on the floor, ripping a piece from his shirt to tie around the wound to ease the flow of blood. Sliding his katana in its sheath he closed his eyes as tears ran down his face. Bringing his knees to his chest he rested his forehead on them as his arms clung to his legs. His arm and leg hurt but seemed to grow dull as he just sobbed. The heavy scent of blood clung to the room, him and the deceased man.

Taishiro watched with wide eyes as the man before him was felled by the weapon buried deep in his neck, before Mika told them to get inside and kill everybody else. The boy simply nodded in response before dashing inside after the other two. Soon enough, he found himself staring at a woman who had been trying to move towards the stairs. The wife, perhaps? She seemed old enough to be the spouse of the house. As he approached, the woman tried to flee. As Taishiro was blocking the only exit, she turned and tried to sprint back towards her room. The boy hesitated, if only for a moment, as he realized that he was killing a woman who may have not done anything wrong herself.

Swallowing hard, he took off after her. Taishiro knew that he had to complete the mission, being rather fast he closed the distance soon enough. Arriving as she tried to slam the door to her room on him, but using his shoulder he slammed it open. As she tumbled back, Taishiro quickly moved into the room with her, staring down at his victim. On the outside, his hand shook but he seemed determined to end her life as the woman began to plea, knowing she had nowhere to run. On the inside, turmoil took over his stomach as he practically pleaded with himself to let her live. Yet he still moved, staring just below her eyes so he didn't have to look at the woman’s terrified expression. Pulling his sword the boy stabbed directly down, a clear kill shot towards her throat. As her screams died, he whispered a small apology and turned to leave the room. His steps unsteady, as the boy felt sick from what he had just done.

There wasn't much commotion that could be heard from downstairs. As the genin would commit to their tasks upstairs, Mika would climb the staircase herself. The jounin was covered in blood, notably her hands and left arm. But it was hard to distinguish if it was her own blood or that of the last remaining guard. For a second, Mika would wait in the hallway as she listened intently. The only one that left a room was Taishiro. Whistling sharp, the jounin would gesture a command to the genin, that he had to stand guard at the staircase.
Immediately after doing so, the woman moved towards the next room. Brusquely opening it, she threw a glance in. Nobody.
Taking the next room, she would be confronted with the sight of Aya. It was clear that the genin was shaken by something and while Mika had some personal sympathy for the girl, there was no room for feelings on this mission.

Walking towards Aya, Mika grabbed the girl by an arm and started to pull her out of the room.
”Get your damn act together, Aya.” Would be the harsh sneer, that accompanied the motion of dragging the teen out of the room. ”Guard the staircase with Taishiro.”

Already turning to another door, Mika’s eyes narrowed. It hadn’t been closed.
Approaching the door, Mika would be greeted by the sight of a dead man and Aito sitting on the ground, sobbing.
With a firm stride, Mika would first inspect the dead man. Ruffling through his pockets, she couldn’t find anything of importance. Turning her attention to Aito, the woman once more moved with a certain determination.

”On your feet.” Mika grumbled as she used her left hand to brusquely pull Aito on his feet and push him forwards. ”Get moving, now.” She instructed further. She would be prepared to shove the boy out of the room if he wouldn’t bring the strength to walk out of it by himself.
Once back in the hallway, Mika whistled hard to gain the team’s attention. ”Stay ready to get moving out. Anybody who complains or slacks, will be left behind.” Throwing them a harsh look, the jounin started to head towards the staircase. ”And if you don’t like me, I am willing to bet you will hate what the ID will to anybody that remains here.”

He was caught by surprise as the hand had moved him up and out of the room. Aito hadn't even realized Mika walked in and rummaged through the dead man's body. Putting weight on his leg hurt but he continued to move towards Aya and Taishiro. The command to be ready to move only solidified that what just happened in the home was bad. And worse would come. ”What's the escape route?” The boy could only muster enough to ask the one sentence as his eyes just stared at the Jounin's feet.

Taishiro nodded, but seemed a little unsteady after what he had done. Still, he forced himself to try to remain focused and walk forward to the stairs. Taking up a position to guard the stairwell as he had been instructed, his eyes looked around and watched for any other threats. He didn’t know if they had gotten everybody, as he was unsure if one of the other two had killed an extra target or not. He felt sick to his stomach and his mind stayed on the woman he had murdered in cold blood. Wondering if he would get rid of that face any time soon, or if he would be haunted for life.

Still shaken by what she had just done, the door opening without warning surprised Aya as she saw Mika looking displeased at her and walking towards her and yanking her by the arm out of the room, lecturing her to get it together. Being told to guard the staircase with Taishiro, she could only look down it and tried to get the struggle the little boy had put up out of her mind. As Mika was walking towards the staircase, she cast a look towards her, then saw one door was cracked open slightly. Where her eyes caught the sole single eye of someone before it whisked away behind the door.

”Oh shit, watch the stairwell.” Aya satted as she ran to the door and yanked it open to see a young woman, freeze in place as she looked to be heading to hide under the bed. Aya took a deep breath in and walked towards the woman who shook her head and held up her hands to show surrender. Only for Aya to plunge her sword through the woman’s chest and yank it out. The servant lady gasped for air for a bit as she fell into Aya, clutching her a bit before falling to her knees then her side.

Taking another deep breath as her hand trembled, Aya looked down at her clothing stained with the woman’s blood and walked back out of the room and rejoined Taishiro. Not saying anything but just waiting for Mika’s order

With the genin being moved into place, Mika was about to instruct them as Aito brought up the question on how they would escape. ”Same way we moved in. Follow me.” Not checking if they even followed her, the jounin moved down the staircase. The genin would witness the result of the scuffle between the last guard and Mika, which had trashed a bit of the hallway.

Exiting the home, the same way that they had came in, Mika would gesture them to be silent and standing still. Listening, the woman attempted to detect something but then beckoned them to follow her. Like before, Mika would climb first over the wall. Only this time, to position herself to pull up and move the genin over the obstacle. Once they had made it all over, Mika led them away from the estate.


  

The mission was a failure. The genin hadn’t performed horrible but the objective hadn’t been brought in. She was well aware of that. The goal had been to capture and bring in the target for questioning. Something that was impossible to do with him now being killed by Aito, which had been on her orders.

Luckily, the Intelligence Division wasn’t without her tricks either. Something that Mika had been well aware off. The recently deceased merchant’s body was taken in and the jounin assumed that they could still pierce through his recent memories. A process that was anything but fun to think about, still as invasive as it would have been if the man was brought in alive. News soon spread across the city that the Suzu insurgents had lashed out and broken into an estate, briefly causing some panic on where they would attempt to strike next.

The fact that her team had managed to pull it off without being killed or screwing up her orders was what made Mika most content. Though she was convinced that the genin needed more training, Mika made the decision to allow them some rest.
 

conman2163

Long live Carolus Rex...
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Bad News Anbu


Gedric Hon

Summary: A short post involving Gedric being whisked away to the capitol to take up the mantle of Raikage.

The ANBU had come into his office as quietly as they always did, mask covering his face to hide the emotions and identity of the wearer. That had been the first sign to Gedric that something was amiss. ANBU did not visit him, hell, he rarely received visits from the shinobi attached to his command, but suddenly one of the most elite members of the shinobi corp had strode into his office. The second indication that something was amiss was the letter in his hands, and the tension that seemed to follow them. They had bowed and then stood, delivering the news in short, simple sentences. ”Lord Commander, the Raikage is dead, this letter is from him.” Questions swirled through his mind as the letter was passed over and Gedric falter for a moment before he opened the piece of paper. The seal had already been broken.

“Hereby I, Takeru Destrushia, decree the following:

In case of a premature demise, I appoint Gedric of the Hon clan to be my successor. That he may be guided to become the Sixth Raikage. May he have fortune in the wars to come and manage to establish in times of peace. May the Gods bless and favour him and his.

Takeru Destrushia,
Fifth Raikage.”

It was short and simple, and to the point. Clearly it had been written as a contingency. Gedric sat down the letter on his desk and folded his hands, leaning backwards. He looked over at the ANBU. ”How did it happen?” The ANBU tilted his head to face Gedric.

”Poison, Lord Commander.” Gedric couldn’t help but wonder how such a thing could have gotten past the Raikage’s guards. This was war, how could they not be careful of assassins? He quickly grabbed an ink and quill and wrote out a message to his new first division commander, who had been promoted up recently from the ranks of the brigade. He then rang the bell on his desk to call a servant, handing them the letter to deliver, then he stood slipped on his crimson cloak, fastening in place the ivory broach, and buckled on his sword. He turned to the ANBU. ”How many of you are there?” The ANBU told him of the small detail of guard ANBU that had come along to secure Gedric and spirit him away to Kumogakure. ”Very well, we will move fast to return to the city. We must avoid uncertainty as much as possible.” Then they left the office.
 

Nim

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”Operation Dreadful Kiss, The End”
Ino Namikaze | Sworn Sword | Unknown Location

  
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

  
Some time has passed since she had begun her attempt to take the life of her target, Kataoka of Torazo’s street. Looking at the bit of light that shined from the very narrow crack at the wall, Ino tried seeing if she could spot anything through the small crack, but to no avail. All that came through was the light that indicated it was sometime during the day.

And that crack served as the only indication that the outside world was still there. During three weeks of starvation and torture after torture, she kept focusing on the crack and the bit of light it provided. Sighing, she listened to the rustling of the door to her prison being undone, and thought back to how she ended up in this place.


  

Three Weeks ago

Kneeling at the corner of an alley, Ino watched as Kataoka stepped outside of his hotel, accompanied by his usual guards. Knowing this meant that her time limit had began, she quickly turned and walked with hastened step to the back door of the hotel. Waiting for a few minutes, the door opened, and an employee stepped outside, dressed in a cleaner’s attire. After throwing a pair of trash bags, he turned around, only to be grabbed by Ino.

Once the man was unconscious, she quickly grabbed his attire and changed into it, while also tying up her hair into a knot and concealing it behind the white, plain hat the man had. After ensuring the man was properly tied up and concealed within a dumpster, she turned to the staff entrance and knocked on it, and after a moment the door opened. A guard looked over Ino for a moment before allowing her entrance.

Stepping inside, she quickly scanned the surrounding area and found the cleaner tools. After taking a step towards them, the guard suddenly grabbed her arm, stopping her ”Hold on. Aren’t you forgetting something?” He asked. Ino immediately started to think of ways she could knock the man out, but also knew that doing so would immediately mean exposure. And that was the last thing she needed. But before she could do any move, the guard gestured to a spot besides the door ”The kitchen trash can. Better put it back. Don’t want to get into trouble again with the boss, do you?” He asked, and Ino was quickly to shake her head. Going to the trash can, she picked it up and begun making her way to the kitchen, following the signs that led there. After performing the task, she quickly returned to the cleaners station and grabbed some gloves, a mop and a bucket of water. Without saying another word, she passed by the guard and began making her way up the stairs of the employee staircase.

Having learned how Kataoka operates and how paranoid he can be, especially with his little secret, Ino believed that even when he was out of the inn, he wouldn’t leave his room without a guard. Peeking into the first floor, she spotted no guards. Making her way to the second floor, the place still seemed empty. Finally, the third floor had guards next to two different rooms. One of the guards seemed more like a Samurai, in his formal attire. The second guard, however, was clearly one that fitted with the guards Kataoka hired.

She began to clean the floor with the mop and water, and also knocked on each door and called out that it was cleaning time. Most rooms had no responses to them, so she just moved on to the next, while continuing to clean the corridor floor. Upon reaching the Samurai, the man gave her a serious glance, before shaking his head ”Kataoka-sama already arranged for a weekly cleaning time. No need for you to enter.” The man said. Before Ino could move to the next door, the armoured man turned to her ”However, he did request from one of your staff members to get his delivered towel and robe. Make sure that is attended to.” He said, sounding as stern as he looked. Nodding to the man, Ino resumed the pattern of cleaning the floor and moving between room doors, until she reached the end of the corridor. On her way back, she took note that the second guard was now walking away, escorting a woman.

Once she was back in the employee staircase, Ino knew exactly how to enter Kataoka’s room. The only problem was the Samurai, who she really did not expect. Did the man had deeper relations with the Iron country than the intel provided? She didn’t know, but she had no time to find out. Quickly making her way down the stairs, she went and once more followed the signs to the main counter. Both men who were there gave her a questioning look as she approached them ”I’m sorry for the disturbance. The guard by Kataoka-sama’s room inquired about a delivery that should’ve arrived by now. Wanted to pass the message.” She quickly told them, and offered a bow before turning around.

”Wait a second. I know the delivery you mean.” One of the two men said, and took out a brown, sealed package ”Take it to the guard. The last thing we want is to keep Kataoka-sama waiting for anything.” He said, and handed the package over to Ino. Nodding, she quickly turned and made her way to the staircase. After going up to the third floor once more, Ino approached the guard, and showed him the package ”Excellent. Hand it over.” He said, and Ino did as such. The guard then unlocked the door, and stepped inside. Before the door could fully close behind him, however, Ino put her foot, preventing it from closing.

Immediately noticing something was wrong, the Samurai turned to look at the door, only to see Ino opening it, sliding inside and closing it behind her. The man put the package aside and placed a hand on his sheathed sword ”You did not receive permission to enter. You are now in violation of both the Inn rules and Kataoka-sama’s rules. Due to this, I must inform your superiors and Kataoka-sama of this. You can expect to be fired and potentially expelled from Yatari.” He informed her ”If you leave now, I will inform them that it was nothing more than a mere mistake.” He added, giving her an opening to leave without punishment.

Ino, however, had no intention of leaving the room. Her only chance at the Samurai was to knock him out fast, and potentially without him taking out his sword. Without any notice, she made two quick steps towards the Samurai, who seemed less than threatened ”Clearly you lack proper judgement.” He muttered, before trying to shove his elbow into her chest with the now close proximity.

Quickly moving to the side, Ino grabbed his elbow and tried to move his arm to behind his back. However, this proved futile as the man managed to keep himself in the exact same position as he was. The next movement he made caught her off guard, as his elbow suddenly moved in the exact direction she wanted, only with more force and a wider angle. Getting hit on the side of her arm, Ino could feel how the bones in her right arm had cracked. Although, with that type of force and his slow movements, she now had another idea.

The Samurai turned around, taking out his sword in the process. However, he couldn’t see the incoming kick of Ino, which struck the hand that held the sword. With the grip loosened on the weapon, she quickly sent another kick, only this time to be stopped by the man with his other hand ”It is also becoming clear that you have some kind of training, albeit not the greatest one. Perhaps self taught?” He spoke, and then made a swift movement, knocking Ino off balance and sending her to the floor. Tightening his grip over his sword, the man moved the tip of it to Ino’s neck ”Reveal your employer, or I will be forced to take further steps.”

Simply staring at the man, Ino made no indications that she will speak. The Samurai, not showing any emotions, kneeled down while keeping the sword’s tip close to Ino’s neck. And before a moment passed, a fist came rushing towards her face, and then everything went black.



  

Present time

The door opened, making Ino snap back to the present. Two men stepped inside. One was the Samuai who knocked her out before, albeit without his helmet. He had a brown, trimmed beard with stripes of grey, and no hair on the top of his head. He also possessed a rather nasty looking scar that went from his right ear all the way to the right side of his nose. The last notable thing he had was his piercing blue eyes, that clearly showed he had seen more than a fair share of battles.

The second man, who was much shorter and fatter, was her target, Takaoka of Torazo’s street. He came and sat down on a stool in front of Ino, who was shackled to the floor of the room ”Alright, we’re starting this once more. You came to my room in an attempt to assassinate me. Who sent you? Tell me, and I’ll be more inclined to end all of this.” He said, clearly displeased with how long this has been going on. After receiving nothing but silence from Ino again, he rubbed his eyes ”Look. It’s simple. I’m trying to make a deal with you here. And I have little desire to tell mister tough guy behind me to rough you up again. So why don’t you just tell me, and we’ll both go our separate ways?”

Once more, he received merely a glance from Ino. Clearly getting irritated, he gestured to the Samurai to do his thing, while he grabbed the stool and moved it to the back wall. The Samurai, while not pleased, took out his sword and approached Ino. Grabbing her by the neck, he forced her to a standing position, which made the many torture marks all over her body much more visible. He put the sword against her leg and began slowly slicing it, with the blood coming out rather rapidly.

While she had been suffering for three weeks, Ino had managed to find two weak spots. The first, whenever the Samurai sliced her, he loosened his grip over her neck. The second was her arms being able to reach the sword, which she confirmed after supposedly trying to stop him a few times. With both weak points in mind, she waited for the second slice to commence. As soon as he loosened his grasp over her neck, she moved her head slightly back and her hands to the sword. As both men’s attention appeared to be on the inflicted wound, Ino knew it was now or never.

Biting into the Samurai’s hand, the man was caught completely off guard, which loosened the sword enough for Ino to overpower his grasp. With a swift movement, she lunged forward, and pierced his armor right through the chest. The Samurai, appearing shocked, just stared until the sword was removed from his chest, and then he collapsed to the ground. Kataoka also appeared shocked, and quickly started to make way towards the door.

However, the sword’s blade reached his neck. Ino, staring at him, gestured for him to hand over the keys to the chains. Sweating like mad, the man shakingly handed the keys over ”P-please, there is no need to do this. I-I-I have money. I have influence. I can arrange a new L-life for you anywhere you desire.” He spoke up.

”You are a man who values information. You always have been this way. Believed that knowing everything about everyone is the way to run it. That was your downfall.” Ino spoke up, with a rather weak voice, and grabbed the keys with her free hand. A second later, she made a swift movement with the sword, and blood began pouring out of Kataoka’s neck. The man just stared at her, before collapsing to the ground as well. Dropping the bloody sword, Ino kneeled down and unlocked her shackles. Finally free, she kneeled and checked Kataoka’s body. As expected, he had a pen and a notebook on him. Opening it revealed it contained details of his daily plans, which included visiting both his prisoners. Making a big circle around this detail and writing down the address of the second prisoner, Ino tore the page out, before putting the notebook back on Kataoka.

After giving a final look at the two bodies, she turned to the door and approached it. Opening it with what little strength she had remaining, she started to stumble out, falling down a couple of times as she made her way to what she assumed was the exit. Once she finally arrived at the door, she opened it, and was greeted by the full force of the midday sun. Stepping out, she saw the building she was at was, like the other location, somewhere in the city of Yatari. But unlike the other one he normally visited, this one appeared to exit into an alley. Perhaps a location Kataoka used frequently for more extreme measures.

Moving to lean against the wall of the alley, Ino let herself slid down to the ground against it. She looked at her two wounds on her legs, and understood that by making this move, she effectively also executed herself. As she bit the Samurai’s hand and grabbed the sword, the blade her cut into a vital area, and the bleeding was heavy. Without having the strength to get to the main street, she had no chance of getting help in time. Tightening the grasp over the page from the notebook, Ino figured at the very least, even if the Empire would consider it a failure, the last action she would make would take any suspicion off them.

Breathing deeply, Ino noticed her vision was becoming blurry. She didn’t have long. Knowing this, she closed her eyes.

Zakito. I’ve done many wrong things in my life, but you helped me in more than one way. Thank you.

After sending this final message through the telepathic link, Ino took another deep breath. Then her hand fell onto her lap, and no more sounds were heard from her.
 
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►Tomiko Hyuuga◄
►Team: Team 9 Genin
►Location: Konohagakure || Hyuuga Compound

  

"Shit! Shit where is it!?" Came a small voice through the household within the Hyuuga compound, the owner of said voice currently tearing apart her normally very neat and organized room. Her gear had already been stowed days before when Kyoi had strongarmed the girl into packing, despite her having planned to do later that very day. After a few long minutes of searching, the girl sat back and looked back at her disaster of a room. "Did I really lose my ninjato already? Ancestors." The girl said in a frustrated tone, before shaking her head and getting to her feet. She, unfortunately, did not have time to continue her search. Picking up the bow, quiver, and pack full of the standard of ninja tools and gear that genin were expected to bring along for a mission. Along with a few extra flash tag, smoke bombs, and explosive tags as well as a notebook and pencil to write in it with. Before stepping out, the girl stopped and looked over at the half-mask on her counter. Letting out a small sigh, she scooped up the half-mask and quickly put it on. Then dashing out of the house and waving her parents on the way out of the small house. As she ran towards the meeting point, the girl tied her hair back into her usual ponytail. Thankfully, she had been up early looking for the weapon and was leaving not long after Kyoi. Tomiko knew she would be on time to the meeting, but the young Hyuuga liked to be early if she possibly could.

Instead of weaving her way through the crowds, Tomiko took to the rooftops. Wanting to make up for the time that she was losing, Tomiko made the simple tiger handseal and became a blur. Using the body flicker technique, she quickly tore across the city rooftops at a rate faster than could be traced. She made a direct line for the meeting point, seeming to appear out of thin air just after Kyoi bowed and greeted Hiron. With the half-mask still pulled up and hiding her lower features, Tomiko was content they couldn't see the little grin on her features. Giving a polite, and ever elegant bow as she had been taught since she was a little girl first towards Hiron, then the others who had arrived. "Good Morning Hon-Sensei, Minami-San, Biǎojiě" The girl said in a polite tone, using the Hyuuga word for cousin towards Kyoi instead of a generic greeting. The greeting one which was generally considered to be of the most polite ways one could greet another in the clan yet not of one's direct family.

Then turning her attention back towards Hiron, she spoke up once more. "Tomiko Hyuuga, reporting in as ordered sir." She added, ensuring to report in just to make sure that the Hon didn't get irritated with her for not doing so. She doubted that he was gonna particularly be impressed with her making sure to report in. She just didn't want Hiron particularly upset with her, the girl would be lying if she didn't admit to the fact that the Jounin intimidated her quite a bit. She looked between everybody present, wondering a bit how she would handle whatever it was that the world was preparing to throw at them this time.
 

Aliceee

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Back at the Capital
Kiyomi Homura I,
Akinian Empress | Konohagakure, the Imperial Akenian capital.

A week ago


  


The ride back had been rather pleasant. Accompanied by her retinue, there still had been an experience of freedom. Being able to ride on horseback was a much more pleasant manner of travel than to sit in a carriage. Not to mention that it gave her time to think.

As she would ride towards the main gate of Konohagakure, escorted by her Sworn Swords and followed by a few carriages, Kiyomi reminded herself that she should get started on some of her plans. The leaders of the Taika clans would come together at Vindex. A meeting that Kiyomi had managed to organise and start, giving the idea that she still trusted the Taika. At the same time, the Allthing would funnel the most prominent leaders of the Chonobi clans towards Ardara.
Thus creating the situation that she could start with various plans without much opposition from various political leaders within the Empire.

The streets that the royal retinue would move through were cleared out by the city watch. Many curious people did flock to catch a glimpse of the stern Sworn Swords and of their Empress. Riding next to Katashi, Kiyomi spoke up.

"Once we are back, I want to call in on the members of the War Council for a meeting." She threw a sideways glance at Katashi. "I am aware that Lord Hon is away but I know how he can get to Konohagakure. I trust that you can send your men to collect the other members?"

"Yes, your Majesty," Katashi responded. Upon the question, Katashi subtly nodded. "I can have my men send the moment that we are back at the palace."

Content with the answer, Kiyomi couldn't resist smiling. "Very good." Without a warning, Kiyomi would make her mount move a bit faster. Causing her to slightly break formation and winding up riding in front of her Sworn Swords.
Some people started to cheer and up ahead, Kiyomi could see that various people moved on to balconies and rooftops.
It was good to be back, she thought to herself.

 

Aliceee

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Akino's War Council
A collab between: Roran Hawkins, FrostedCamel, Oblivion, Gerontis and Aliceee.
Konohagakure, the Imperial Akenian capital - Royal Homura palace, The War Room


A week ago

  

Summary:

Kiyomi calls the members of the War Council to the Royal Palace. The council meeting discusses a few possible options to expand the Imperial Military, to which the members of the council react with various suggestions and opinions. Eventually, the collab will end in an interaction between Katashi and Kiyomi, who discuss a certain promotion that occurred during the meeting.

The sound of the rainpour outside was barely noticeable in the room. Candles were lit as there wasn’t much light coming through the windows as a dark grey blanket of clouds hid the sun away. Kiyomi didn’t mind the weather. It added something grim and if anything, the coming meeting would hold grim topics. Yet, she couldn’t help but feel somewhat eager to start the council meeting. Various miniatures were placed on the large table. Representing the various locations of Akenian forces but also that of foreign forces, from what could be gathered of their intelligence reports.

Kiyomi’s gaze moved to the north, to the Earth country. Where reports first made them all believe that the Akinian military was the largest on the western continent, they started to uncover the vast numbers upon which the Earth country could rely. Its standing army was twice as large as that of Akino. Kiyomi wagered it would be much more if they considered it vital to draft their levies into arms. Then her gaze went to the Claw and Fang country. If anything, the latest reports showed that the Fang was no threat to the Empire in terms of numbers or resources. That, however, didn’t take away that they were a thorn in the side. The next country that drew Kiyomi’s attention was that of the Iron country. There wasn’t much that could be said about the Iron’s military. Only about what was recorded about previous conflicts that other nations had waged against the small country. Yet, the reports on Abaddon's Gate said enough. They weren’t a trivial minor power.
Leaning on the edge of the table, she was tempted to play a bit with the miniatures. Knocking those who resembled the foreign armies down and placing an Akinian, as if they already had scored a decisive victory. Her eyes narrowed as her right hand slowly moved up towards the middle of the table. She had to lean far forward to grab and lift the miniature that resembled the First Brigade. It weighted nothing in her hand and she eyed the small object. Placing it back, she would place her hands at her back for a moment.
Dressed in more formal attire, she would briefly cast a stern gaze upon the table. She almost felt the need to pace around and consider how she could best convey her desires to the War council. Obviously, she wasn’t looking out for their approval. If anything, she could do what she desired. But to act without advice wouldn’t be favoured.
Deciding to sit down in the large but comfortable seat at the head of the table, Kiyomi crossed her legs for a moment. It was clear that the teen was eager to get the meeting started. But for that to happen, the members of the war council had to arrive first.

The rain certainly didn’t improve Zakito’s mood. The walk to the Royal Palace wasn’t a short one from his office and it forced him to carry a bag to safeguard his papers against the dreadful weather. Once he reached the Palace, Zakito released a soft sigh. He was offered some aid from the servants, taking his jacket and asking what refreshment he would like to have during the meeting.
Stating that he would like some warm coffee. Once that was arranged, Zakito headed towards the Council room. He coughed before entering, causing the Hon to wonder if he was catching a cold. Hopefully, that wouldn’t be the case but that was a worry for later.
”Your Majesty,” Zakito would salute towards Kiyomi before entering the room. He quickly eyed the young monarch but was content to see that she seemed somewhat eager. Which did mean that the troublemaker had some plans stirring. Placing his own bag down next to his seat, to the right of Kiyomi’s seat, Zakito sat down.

Miyazato Nozaki hated the rain. It made his old joints ache and it played tricks on his head. He nursed a small flask of liquor as he walked to try and get rid of the headache that plagued him. As he approached the palace he couldn't help but feel a bit of pride welling inside him, pushing back against the ache in his joints and his head. A burst of energy to get his old bones moving. Something to strive for, a goal for the future and his beloved Navy lay within those walls, he'd be damned if he'd let it slip away.

As he entered the palace he was greeted by servants that took his rain drenched jacket and offered him a selection of drinks for the meeting, he asked for some tea before moving to the meeting room. Knocking on the door he stepped inside, “Your Majesty.” He said with a salute and a short bow. The girl, the Empress, seemed anxious, like she wanted the meeting started an hour ago. It was a good sign, meant he wouldn't have to fight as hard if she was open to suggestions. He strode around the table and took his seat nodding to Zakito Hon as he sat, “Lord Hon.” He said with a respectful nod and a smile, “It's been a while.”

Heading towards the Palace through the rain brought some memories back. Bradán whistled a cheerful tone as he wondered briefly how this meeting would go. He had prepared something for it but it was just the question of how the Empress would think of the ideas. Not to mention that Bradán was certain that Nozaki would be there. Which caused a grin to dawn on Bradán's lips.
Entering the Palace, he would give his coat to a servant. For a moment, Bradáns gaze lingered on the young woman. He couldn't help but envy those Sworn Swords, for working in such a fine environment. And near such fine maids. As he was being asked what he would like to drink, the offered beverages weren't any of his favourites. But he decided to settle on some tea to drive out some cold.
Walking towards the council room, he would knock on the door to herald himself.

"Your Majesty," Making a deep bow towards the young Empress, Bradán would shift his attention to the two other men. "Lord Admiral, Lord Hon." Once more Bradán would make a bow, but less deep this time. Having done the formal necessity of greeting the others, Bradán would take a seat next to Nozaki. "Ain't it some nice weather outside, heh?"

Nodding a greeting towards the Sworn Swords guarding the doors towards the meeting room Kensuke manoeuvred his way past them shielding a cup of hot tea he’d requisitioned from the servants here for that purpose. he’d insisted to carry the cup to his seat himself, since he was going there anyway, and was about to carefully open the door with his shoulder to avoid spilling his drink when one of the guards did it for him. He paused momentarily, and then nodded again and walked inside. He left a trail of liquid on the floor owing to the rain outside, which he’d thought refreshingly nice. It carried some irony in his opinion that it was dreadful weather when he was summoned to a war council. Politics! He would have shuddered if not for the cup of tea.

”Empress.” He said with a deeper bow of the head as he put the cup down, waving his hand after spilling some of the boiling drink on his hand. Kensuke then grew a bit of a smile. ”Zakito-sensei.” He jested at his former teacher. Relations between them might never be the same, but at least he could still poke fun at him this way. He also saw two individuals inside whom he knew only by merit of having been at a previous war council alongside them before. He nodded a greeting to them in turn. ”Good morning.”

The trip from Vindex wasn’t long or tedious, as they managed to beat most of the worse weather before arriving. Not that he minded, to him it was just another weather to plan through. After all you had to experience the weather to know how to deal with it, least that’s what he had always thought. Handing his jacket to a servant who then took his choice of beverage giving a bit of an amused smile, one that said ‘why did I bother asking’.

Making his way to the council room, guards awaited outside the door to which he gave a closed fist salute to before the doors were opened by them. Seeing that basically everyone was here, he would give them all a salute as he clapped the Nimatsu on the back in a friendly manner as he went and took his seat to the left of Kiyomi. Giving the empress a salute solely for her, he couldn’t help but have a grin at how excited she seemed today. ”Your Majesty.” he spoke before taking his seat.

Entering the palace, Hiron would undo his jacket. Giving it to a servant, he would order some water. Not a big fan of coffee or tea, he was certain that alcohol was barred from a meeting like it was before. Rolling with his left shoulder, he headed towards the designated room, where the council would meet. Nodding towards the guards, Hiron would open the door by himself. His gaze rested on Kiyomi for a moment. He wanted to say something but would salute towards the people in the room. Only to follow it with a bow towards Kiyomi.
”Your Majesty.”

Heading towards his seat, Hiron would take a seat. He had his papers at the ready, placing them on the table in front of him. Briefly his eyes moved his gaze to the various miniatures that were positioned on various places.

She offered a firm nod to all that entered. Her hands were folded in front of her, on the table. Her eyes sharply eyed each of the men that entered the room. It was if she was counting down if they were on time or not. But no word passed the teen’s lips. Just a faint smile remained present on Kiyomi’s features. There was briefly a shift in the teen’s expression. Almost as if she would stand up the moment that Hiron came in sight. Her lips parted but she would stay seated.
"I believe we all are present? Good! Means we can get started." Kiyomi announced as she would lean a bit forward.
"I have gained reports from the various intelligence teams and operations. I could bore you lot with the precise details but frankly, I believe that a summary would suffice more than enough for now."

Turning slightly to the left, Kiyomi would pick up a slim stick. Placing the end of the stick at where the border between the Akinian Empire and Earth Country began, she began to speak up.
"Seems that previous estimations regarding the Earth Country’s military were wrong. They have a standing army that is stationed on various places. Even despite a change in the ruling dynasty, their total forces would outnumber us two to one. Their quality, discipline and equipment is in general inferior to ours. However, they are a large threat if they desired that."
Using the stick, Kiyomi gently moved two miniatures that resembled Akinian forces to the border.
"We have currently the Second Division underneath the leadership of Sigurðr stationed at the Grass. I don’t reckon that there is any cause that the Earth Country will invade us. But if they would desire, then they would overwhelm us. And I find that frankly quite concerning. I was led to believe that our military was one of the best. You gentlemen assured me that I wouldn’t need to worry about the safety of my subjects before," Kiyomi’s voice turned stern as she pointed at the border between the Empire and its northern neighbour.
"And that isn’t all."

Kiyomi would point at the border between the Empire and the Claw country.
"Then there is the Fang country. It is pretty common knowledge that speaking of a Claw country is actually speaking of the Fang. They have occupied the entire region for six decades. Despite many speaking against this and condemning, nobody actually did anything. This passivity is now costing us. Refugees drip into the Rain province and while that might not sound bad, the Fang is trying to move operatives on Imperial soil. Already actions have been taken to deter them but I think that it won’t be too crazy to call out that the Fang is just waiting to attack. Despite that their legion is much weaker and can’t pose too much of a threat. It will still be costly if they manage to damage the Fourth Division at the western borders."
Moving the end of the stick to the border with the Wind country, she continued.
"Cause it just takes one chance for the Wind country to launch attacks on us. I doubt that they are going to take risks but if we are unable to hold our own against the Fang or being in a conflict with the Earth, they will spot a chance to invade the River province. Then, there is the Iron Country."
She moved the end of the stick to the small border that existed between the Empire and the Iron country.
"If anything, my intelligence operatives haven’t been able to sniff much out about them. I have received some reports on the fortification that they build in the only pass that exists between the Empire and their country. Which is, truly, something disheartening. I doubt that they will have plans to pick a fight with us but I figure it is wise to not assume that they like us. Certainly not when they have build a fortification that even make the defences of Konohagakure look like a mere, rotting palisade."

Moving the stick away and placing it at the left of her seat, Kiyomi sat down once again. She shot each of the present men a look.
"So, I only see some options myself. Either two more divisions will be trained and equipped, which should just be about what I can afford. Or we plan preemptive operations to reduce the chance for some of our neighbours to pose a challenge. I figure it might be best to quell the threat that comes from the Fang. Seeing that they will be the least sensible when it comes to diplomacy."

Bradán listened to the words of the young monarch. It still amazed him how much of a military mind a young woman could have. If she had been his daughter, he would have been both proud and worried. Despite her experiences in military activities and even leading the defence of a siege that seemed hopeless, Bradán couldn't help but wonder what kind of teen she would be if she hadn't experienced such gruesome affairs.
Listening intently to the words of her majesty, Bradán remained silent. His gaze followed the end of the pointing stick to the various places that Kiyomi spoke about. The various miniatures seemed so harmless while they resembled such large problems. The painted table that resembled the known world seemed also so much smaller.

Once Kiyomi was done, Bradán threw a glance at the others before he spoke up.
"Your Majesty, I would like to state that it is vital that we keep the defences sharp and at the ready. The idea to recruit two new divisions would be certainly beneficial. Certainly, with the threats that seem to come from all sides," the Yamanaka began as he slightly leaned forward.
"But I must say that I haven't heard anything about the Imperial Navy in your words. It is true, however, that some of these threats have a navy that won't portray much of a threat to our coasts. But some do. The Wind country has a fleet that is much larger and composed out of better war vessels. In the case when they do decide to attack, I highly doubt it will only be over land."

Pausing, Bradán wanted to gesture to Nozaki. But he decided against it. It also cost the man some effort to not turn to his usual and more preferred form of speaking. Then again, you couldn't call the Empress of Akino by 'lass'.
"In the future and possible event of a war with a threat like the Wind country, we will face an overwhelming might on the seas. Your coasts from the River to the province of Frami will be under constant threat of raids and attacks. I have been told several times that the Chonobi have a legacy of fearsome warriors on land but also on the sea. I think it would do your reputation and the safety of the realm well if we would direct some funds to the navy."
Straightening his back, Bradán felt a bit nervous as he wasn't entirely sure how well it would pay for reminding Her Grace of her Chonobi heritage.

]Nozaki sighed slightly as he settled into his chair and tried to get his aching joints comfortable. He watched with interest as the young Monarch pointed to the figures on the map and spoke of each nation as if they were enemies for this exact moment. He leaned a bit forward, regretted the decision when his back began to ache and quietly leaned back. The Empress had a strong mind, and seemed keen on the details, no doubt she had the best tutors the Empire had to offer and the work she put in with them showed in the way she spoke with ease about the matters before her. From the look in her eyes Nozaki decided she’d make a fine commander given a few more years and a whole lot more experience in true war. Despite Her Majesty's past accomplishments she was still green in Nozaki’s eyes, yet unproven in a real military action. The defense of her current legacy was impressive, but Nozaki was sure she had had far more experienced men at her side, guiding her and offering their minds to the growing strategist in front of them. He liked this girl. His Empress.

He almost knocked Bradán over as he seemed to agree that the army was in need of more men and resources of fresh units and materials to go with them, but was happy his joints had ached so much he couldn’t bring himself to swing at the man when he realized he was merely agreeing with the Empress before offering something tailored more to his and Nozaki’s likings. Nozaki nodded and murmured in agreement as his second-in-command spoke. When Bradán finished Nozaki nodded in thanks at the man seated to his side before he too spoke up, “I’m inclined to agree fully with my Second, Your Majesty.” he said placing a hand on his chest and bowing his head slightly as if to apologize for anything he might say, “The condition of our Navy is pathetic at best… and abysmal at worst. We have nearly thirty ships, a good strong number on paper but seven have been in for repair for nearly two years, waiting on the funds necessary to fix them, of the remaining twenty three?” he shook his head and moved his gaze from Bradán back to the Empress, “Twenty are Chonobi longships. Good for raiding coastal villages and attacking merchant vessels but utterly outmatched by the Galleys of the Wind and the Republic.”

He sighed and leaned forward, fighting against the growing ache in him as he did, “Our remaining three ships are captured Galleys from the Great War, old Water Country designs. Aging and falling apart, barely held together by spit and glue. The Navy is in terrible shape.” he stated knowingly, “If we’re to defend against any future aggression from the Wind or the Republic, the Navy requires more funding, more ships, a place we can shore up year round and receive repairs from our own rather than fishing villages that hold our ships hostage as they wait for payment.” he nodded, “And we need to work on creating our own Galleys, things to stand against those of the Wind and the Republic. But I fear it will be years until those plans come to fruition. Far too late if what you have just stated is true. If these countries truly do grow their strength and array themselves against us.” he finished and took a sip of the tea in front of him before settling back into his chair, his expression as neutral as when he’d started, he’d merely been stating fact after all.

Zakito listened to the words of Kiyomi. He was well aware with the situation. Despite small changes, it wasn’t that much different from how things had been in the past. Only now they had a larger land force and more control over their neighbouring regions, which had served in the past as battlegrounds. Crossing his arms out front of his chest, the man kept his gaze locked on where Kiyomi pointed as talked about.
His eyebrows slightly rose as she continued. He had a few things to remark but decided to hold his tongue. It was going to make her look bad if he would speak just against her or try to correct her. When she came with her solutions, Bradán and Nozuki replied.

”They aren’t wrong.” Zakito spoke up. ”The Daimyo never invested much into military affairs. Least of all in a functionable navy. If it would come to a clash with the likes of the Wind or Republic, our shores would be defenseless. Even when I tried to offer him council during my tenure as Hokage. Despite,” Zakito gestured to the southern region of the Empire, ”That you could raise a levy of a fleet of longships. They were a pinnacle in the past days. Maybe still faster than a large galley but in terms of fighting them, you would lose only more resources that could be best used otherwise.” Pausing, Zakito turned his gaze towards Nozaki and Bradán. ”What kind of place would you reckon to be most suitable to dock and expand more vessels for the Empire?”

The Miyazato inclined his head respectfully to the Lord Commander, “I appreciate your words Lord Commander, the Daimyo did the Navy no favors during his time ruling.” he then turned to the table in front of them and studied it for a moment, his eyes scanning over the coasts of their nation as if Bradán and him hadn’t decided where their new homeport would be located months ago if they were given a go ahead on the plan by the Empress and the Council. He reached forward and took a random figurine from the board and placed it on a portion of the map located beneath Keishi and in between both Yakimara and Cho lands but kept his fingers around the carved figurine. He surveyed the map again before nodding and letting it go.

He turned to the Empress and gave her a smile while using one hand to lay out flat on the map in front of the newly placed figurine, “Matoya Bay.” he said as he nodded as if they’d all know the place like he did from studying the maps, “Stretches three kilometers inland, is over two and a half kilometers wide, and the entrance is narrow enough to raise a chain across but not so narrow we couldn’t fit a good number of fighting ships side-by-side out of it to force our way out if we were blockaded in.” he traced his finger from the figurine out to the sea, “Easy access to the Southern Oceans which are likely to be our biggest warzone if it comes to it,” he moved his finger back to Keishi, “as well the infrastructure of Keishi is close to support its construction, and” he moved his finger to the location of a Homura Dynasty holding, “Night’s Grove is less than a days march away and could easily provide protection in the event of an all out war.” he turned to Bradán and gave him a grin as he removed his hand from the table and leaned back.

“Of course, there is more to the strengthening of our navy than simply building us a home port.” he finished.

Sigurðr would listen to the words that her majesty spoke, he eyed the map as she pointed out the potential threats should a weakness be sniffed out. It was a tad surprising to know the Earth Country’s military had become double theirs in size, yet he couldn’t help but feel that she was giving them too much credit. Their military has been in unfavorable situations before and they came out on top. Yet he would let the young girl speak, keeping a stern expression but was proud of the woman before him. Such a young youth yet so determined to keep her people safe. Such traits were important in leaders. As Kiyomi came to what she deemed her solutions Nozaki and Bradán would speak up about the poor state of the Navy.

Zakito would speak up first, stating that they weren’t wrong even giving his own input from his dealings with the Daimyo. Agreeing that if it came to a clash with the Wind or Republic that their shores wouldn’t stand a chance. To which Zakito asked where the most suitable location would be, which would be in Matoya Bay. The way he explained it sure seemed like it would be the ideal location yet with what he said about the poor state of the Navy came another question. ”How long would it take to build a suitable naval force? Another consideration is how much resources would it require as well? You said yourself that our current ships would stand no chance against the galleys they would engage.”

Listening intently to the members of the War council, Kiyomi’s attention fixated on Bradán and Nozaki. Zakito would confirm the sorry state of the navy, which made Kiyomi frown and feel the need to pace. Staying silent and listening to the men, she weighed the options. She really wanted to expand the land forces for various reasons. But it was now clear that if she would keep ignoring the naval force, that she would be no better than the daimyo. And she wanted to be anything but on the same term as the past lords.
Placing her elbows on the edge of the table, she folded her hands together.

"Matoya Bay," she repeated softly. "I see. It would be a shame to ignore the potential of improving our naval might and just stay behind our rival’s naval prowess." Her eyes narrowed as she locked her gaze on the pointed place. Then she shifted her gaze to Bradán and Nozaki.
"I am willing to invest some finances as resources into this plan. But I am not entirely sure how much you both will want to see this plan realised. How fast could you two move progression with a full division upkeep and with a double starting capital?"

The young Nimatsu lord sat and watched the other councillors speak their mind on the first two topics at hand. The increasing threat from the Earth country was to be met with the recruitment of additional regiments in order to prevent the border forts from being overrun, whereas the lack of a navy was to be compensated for matter of strategic importance and prestige. The jounin felt ill at ease being here, as he was not half the politician these men seemed to be, and felt that his opinion and advices would fall on deaf ears. Yet, he had enjoyed a thorough and lengthy education of all matters fighting and military. It was almost a cruel twist of irony that the younger brother, raised to become his clan leader’s right hand man, bodyguard and constable, had become advisor to the very threat his father has sought to shield them from. The irony was not lost on Kensuke. Yet at the same time, his sister had turned her politics around and this position had become one of vital importance in furthering those swiftly. Despite everything, she had convinced him of the importance of his role in this for the survival of their clan.

”If I may?,” Kensuke interjected once Kiyomi had inquired after the costs of raising a new navy. ”I will readily admit that I am not a renowned admiral, but I must object to the suggestion of raising a navy to counter potential threats from the Wind and the Water.” He said plainly. ”I understand that our navy is in terrible shape as things stand, but that only reinforces my thoughts. The time and resources expanding our navy would cost us are far too great for the merit a navy would bring us. Consider this:” He said, and stood up to walk around the map on the table. He walked over to the coastline and indicated Matoya Bay. ”As things stand, we have no vital interests overseas. Our trade is chiefly overland, nor do we have outlying islands of great economic significance that we ought to protect. So the only objective of building ourselves a large navy - and the costly infrastructure to support one - would be that of intimidating our rivals. Be it a matter of prestige or a matter of increasing our strategic readiness, that is not a favourable exchange. All the more since the costs of building a navy capable of matching, nevermind threatening would be exorbitant.” He continued to speak, fully convinced it would earn him the ire of the older representatives who had apparently set their minds to increasing naval funding. ”Konoha’s fate has always been decided overland in the past, and I am highly doubtful that this will change for Akino in the near future.” He said, shrugging.

”And I would argue that in the case that we are subject to a naval invasion we ought to have a standing army ready to meet their vanguard while we show them why a naval invasion is a logistical nightmare. What little navy we have and what local forces would be easily overrun by an invasion are better suited to ensuring that any invading army would find itself quickly running short on vital supplies, incapable of either advancing or retreating in good order.” The jounin reasoned while he returned to his seat and sat down in order to sip from his tea. He made a face when he discovered it had cooled substantially since he’d stood to deliver his point. ”As for your original point, Your Grace,” He said with a smile that ill-concealed his smug attitude, ”I think that any public show of force such as recruiting more men might draw the ire of our neighbours. If the Earth’s troops are numerous but less-equipped than ours, let’s focus on those odds. Expand on the fortifications at our most important border forts and increase their ability to wither sustained siege. Let them weather a tide of enemies in a siege of attrition and delay while we concentrate our forces in order to relieve them, or hurt them in a way that their numbers work against them. Supply lines.” He said with an overly familiar wink to the Empress which he hoped he had hidden well enough from the others present.

A subtle smile dawned on Bradán's lips as the conversation continued. He was slightly worried about what impact his words would have. Nozaki followed, however, and they even gained the interest of Lord Hon. Which relieved Bradán quite a lot. Despite he had the idea that Kiyomi respected each member of the War Council, trying to hold them in equal regards, the Yamanaka would never blame the young Empress for picking the likes of Zakito or Hiron above them all. Those two were quite responsible for the fact that this young lady was now their Empress.
The talk continued as Bradán let Nozaki speak further. He was certain that Nozaki could seal the deal and upon hearing the answer of Kiyomi, the Yamanaka mentally released a sigh. The dream of a true navy for his fatherland was so close now.

Then Kensuke Nimatsu spoke up and Bradán shifted his attention on the young man. Waiting for the Nimatsu to be done, Bradán stood up and spoke up.
"Ser Nimatsu has some valid points. Sure, what is the point of defending your shores when most of the enemies are overland." Bradán began as he nodded towards Kensuke.
"But can the coast and seas truly be ignored that much? A lot of damage was sustained during the Great War. The Water Country was able to land armies on our shores. And despite the brave resistance of the Cho and Sarutobi on the east coast, they weren't prepared to face off against the enemies galleys and forces. Much damage was caused and much of that could have been avoided if the daimyo had invested into a naval force."
Bradán pointed at the southern point, where Nozaki had stated he wanted to establish the naval base for the Imperial Navy.

"If we establish our naval base there, we already can work on deflecting any naval attack from the Wind country. Which will be costly, sure. But it will pay off. Each enemy ship we will sink means that we spared our people from how many enemies? A hundred? Two hundred? We will safeguard her Majesty's reputation even. Because I remember how many people were discontent, feeling abandoned when they heard of how little our navy could do at the time of the Great War."

]Pausing, Bradán settled his gaze on Kiyomi.
"It will be costly, your Majesty. But if you would allow us to establish this base and grant us the right to levy some resources like manpower, we can ensure that within a year that our navy will become something else entirely." He gestured to the coast of the Cho and Sarutobi.
"We already have the resources. Tools, knowledge on building ships and experienced builders as sailors. If we didn't calculate it wrong, we could produce every 200 days a war vessel. With a trained crew. I can personally attest that longships are great. Longships are fast and agile. Give me a pair and I would be able to set a large portion of the Wind country's coast ablaze in a few days. But in terms of naval combat?"
The Yamanaka shook his head, already betraying the answer to his question.
"Boarding is the only option a longship and its crew have. I have managed to capture a few galleys but it is something that wasn't easy. If we would be able to use the right resources, then with your approval, we could make something out of the Imperial Navy. In a few years, no neighbouring power would then dare to oppose us on the waters."
Once he was done, Bradán sat down.


  

The sounds of boots resonated through the hall. Despite the grandeur and a large number of people working and basically living in the royal complex, there were no people in these halls. The western wing was isolated from curious servants and many others by walls, stern Sworn Swords and even the occasional Ghost ANBU that prowled around in secrecy.
Kiyomi didn't mind the bustling activity in the palace but the western wing was where she could conduct some matters in more privacy and being comfortable about it. Her study room was great but had its limits. Certainly, with the winter cold, it wasn't always easy to create some warmth all the way up there.

Just a few moments ago, she had concluded a meeting with the War Council. The meeting had gone well and Kiyomi had made her decisions, based on the advice and suggestions of her advisors of the War Council.
There was also the matter of the rank and importance of the Scholae. A position that was still new and though implemented, there were various matters that needed to occur before the Scholae ranked could work the way that Kiyomi wanted them to. This, of course, would go with informing several people in command. Then followed by more notifications, messengers sent to the provinces and clans. Making it clear that these Scholae were people trusted most by the throne, being her eyes, ears and hands all at the same time.

Entering a spacious room, Kiyomi ignored the lavish decorations or art that was present within the space. On a table, there was a large map laid out with a member of the Sworn Swords, standing at the ready with a small table with more pieces and material at the ready.

”Your Majesty, may I?” Katashi inquired, as the door behind them closed.
Heading to the table, Kiyomi threw a glance over her shoulder before turning around. The tone in the man's voice gave away that he didn't feel well about something. Curious, Kiyomi gave a nod to indicate that Katashi was free to speak.

”I understand what you want to accomplish with these Scholae,” the captain-commander began, ”Not to mention that you seek to elect those who have gained your trust. But I wish to state that I am worried about some of these people that you picked as potentials for this prestigious rank.”

Almost instantly, Kiyomi's right eyebrow perked up. The desire to take a defensive stance, her arms crossed out front of her chest, flared up. Knowing already whom Katashi was going to bring up, Kiyomi placed her hands on her back. Presenting an open stance, much like she had seen when Hisoka or Zakito received somebody's honest opinion regarding something.
”You are worried? Then please, do elaborate further.”

”Some people that you elected already or have an interest in, are quite competent. And I have little to doubt about their trust if we regard the background checks. However,” Katashi paused for a brief second, ”I like to express my worries regarding Lord Nimatsu. I understand that you trust him but I have my concerns. His sister tried to rally support against your rule. The whole decision regarding marrying that woman from the Wind was already enough to make me distrust the lot.” Katashi seemed rather more cautious than normal. Kiyomi wagered it was due to the fact that she had stated before when she brought up that she wanted to promote Kensuke to the role of Scholae.
”He might be competent with a sword but I don't think you can entrust him with a station so serious as that of a Scholae.”

Waiting for Katashi to be done, Kiyomi would let a second pass to consider his words. The fact that Kensuke was doubted by Katashi wasn't that surprising. Katashi had already shown he had a healthy distrust towards others. But Kiyomi couldn't help but amuse herself with the idea that the man was perhaps a bit envious on the bond she had with the Nimatsu clan leader.
”Lord Nimatsu's sister is somebody I don't trust. She seemed to have pulled off her actions and haven't given me any more reasons to consider her a threat. That doesn't mean I have forgotten about her acts in the past.” The last sentence was added with a tone that implied enough. ”Lord Nimatsu, however, has been a good supporter before I even got this position. Did I ever tell you of the incident at the chuunin exams in the Rice?”

The question was met with a subtle head shake. ”I wasn't that competent in fighting. I didn't yet by then receive training from the likes of Hisoka Uchiha. I already had befriended Lord Nimatsu and he was leading a team to defend a position. Making sure that I wasn't going to be snatched away and then have the Nibi being ripped out of me. Which, as you might guess, would result in my death. A rather unpleasant one, from what I have been told. I never had asked Lord Nimatsu to defend me. Surely not against the odds that he was facing with his team. He could have moved away and been certain that he would survive the chaos and ordeal. But he stayed. Even made a shadow clone to be sure that I could be guided away. Without anybody asking, he risked his life for me.”

It remained silent as Katashi would then lower his head. ”I apologise, your Majesty. I didn't wish to anger you. I merely wished to brief you with my thoughts. I didn't know about that.”

Kiyomi flashed a warm smile as she waved the apology away with her left hand. ”All forgiven. I didn't inform you of it before the meeting. Just know that I got my reasons to entrust Lord Nimatsu with a rank this important and prestigious.” The young empress would turn on her heels to turn to the table with the laid out map. As she approached, the nearby Sworn Sword would start placing figures on the map. Figures that represented forces or certain people, information gained by the latest reports of the Zero Teams.



 
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Aliceee

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A Miyazato Advisor
A collab between Admiral Frost and Empress Aliceee
Konohagakure, the Imperial Akenian capital - Royal Homura palace


Around 5 days ago.

  


Summary:
Nozaki Miyazato, the Lord Admiral of the Imperial Fleet, is summoned to a meeting with the Empress. The two engage into a conversation regarding the Imperial fleet. Not to mention a possible voyage to a southern island nation, that possibly could yield beneficial results for the Empire.


The room was empty, save it for the scrolls and maps on the table. From a first sight, it looked a mess. As if a person had decided to just pick up a bunch of scrolls and maps and throw them all across the desk. A small pile of four books were even present but it was unsure if they were there to prevent one of the maps to roll back into itself or because the responsible person had searched for something into their contents.

The rumbling of thunder outside didn’t do much to distract Kiyomi out of her concentration as her eyes peered over the laid out map in front of her. The soft scent outside of the bad weather was faintly present, penetrating through the room’s own scent of papyrus and ink. When somebody knocked on the door, Kiyomi made a wave that seemed quite absent-mindedly as one of the Sworn Swords opened the door. Allowing a servant to walk in and place a chair near the desk, before he would bow and walk backwards away from the young empress.
A light frown dawned on Kiyomi’s brow as she slowly placed a finger on the spot. After the meeting with the War council, she had decided to try to do some study of the region and maritime affairs on her own. She wasn’t very fond of the sea. Only time that she had traveled it was for that one mission with Hayate. It had been underneath the radar and Hayate wouldn’t likely remember much of their way to the Sea country. But she had felt anxious to be on a ship, surrounded by water. Whereas she could walk and run over water by focusing chakra at her feet, the lack of sight of land had certainly been disturbing.

Nozaki handed his raincoat over to an attending servant and quickly made his way to the Empresses study room for his meeting. He was more than happy that the Empress had taken Bradán and his suggestions and decided to see them through, that a time in which the navy was once again a power to be reckoned with was at hand, even if this was merely a beginning. He made his way down the corridor, following the servant that he motioned for him to follow before they stopped at a door and the servant knocked politely. He straightened his clothes and shifted the weight of the scrolls and papers he had brought with him as he waited for the door open. He hoped that he hadn’t forgotten everything he should have brought, Bradán hadn’t been around to double check his work and frankly he didn’t trust any of the other staff officers that had come out to support the meeting with the same level he did his second in command.

The door opened slowly and a Sworn Sword stood to take in Nozaki and the servant before he nodded and moved aside to let the older gentlemen enter the room. The first thing he noticed was the rather unkempt appearance of the office. Papers were strewn about and maps unfurled on the desk that the Empress sat at, the books were an odd addition and he was mostly sure they were put to weigh down the maps but he couldn’t be positive. He strode forward to the desk and offered a salute as he bowed, “You Majesty, Lord Commander of the Imperial Navy, as requested.” he said as he held his bow.

As the door opened, Kiyomi glanced up from her work. A soft smile dawned on her lips as she seemed more than eager to already cut to why she had requested Nozaki’s presence. Only for at the last moment seemingly to remember her position and the difference in command chain and social status. Placing her right hand as a fist on her chest, offering a resolute salute in return, Kiyomi subtly nodded towards the chair that had been brought in for the admiral to take his seat.
”Lord Admiral, sir, I am happy you could come on such a short notice. I hope I haven’t requested your presence at an unfortunate time.” Kiyomi began, the usual necessities to start off meetings like these.

Leaning forward, there was a faint glint in the piercing jade eyes of the young monarch. ”It has been several days after the war council meeting. I have taken the liberty to conduct some research of my own into naval affairs. I am certain that my knowledge pales compared to your experience and understanding of naval affairs and how they should be conducted. If anything, I do understand some of the concerns that the other members of the War council had. Regarding the efficiency and actual rewards that could be reaped with having an actual Imperial navy at work. Certainly now with the Republic being a shadow of what the Water country once was.”

Turning a map around, Kiyomi seemed to be fully focused on telling the admiral everything that she had learned and soaked up from the last few days of self-study. ”The Republic still has one of the largest fleets. But they are suffering from a lot of internal problems. If we were to establish a good naval base then all we need to do is to get the resources and people. Then start producing these war vessels and we will enjoy both the security of a large and disciplined land force and soon navy that can protect our coasts as provide a deterrent from overseas countries.” The young monarch took a second to breathe, her eyes flashing up to look from the map at Nozaki. ”I will have to state that I can be a tad impatient. So please, do forgive me. But I do wish to learn from you how long it might take to build up this naval base that you had in mind. How long does it take to build one of those ships?”

Nozaki rose from his bow as the young Monarch greeted him. He offered a small smile and stifled a laugh at the idea that he could ever be summoned at a bad time by the highest seat of power in the nation, “I assure you there is no better place I could be right now than here, Your Majesty.” he stated as he moved to take a seat as the Empress had prompted. He took a moment to ensure that his papers were organized correctly even though he’d done it countless times on the walk over and tuned in to listen to Kiyomi as she began to talk. He kept his face neutral as the young woman touted her want to learn all she could while at the same time managing to put a compliment to him in her humble little show of bragging.

He wrinkled his brow as the Empress went on to talk of the disarray present in the Republic and how if they took advantage of the situation now they could have a force ready seemingly before the Republic got its legs back under itself. He resisted the urge to shrug at the monarch as she moved on to how long it would take to get everything set to a position in which they could begin construction and have a ship ready. He sifted through the stacks of folders he had brought with him and snatched one out, quickly surveying its contents on the estimated total costs and time needed to build the proper facilities and then to construct and field a galley he would nod slightly and push the entire folder on the table for the Empress to look through, “Expenditure estimates, timeframes, labor requirements, logistical hurdles and planning, requirements for the laborers such as housing and food, even worst-case scenarios your Majesty.” he said as he pulled his hand back from the folder and sat back up in his chair.

He didn’t quite need the documents, as he’d run through the numbers and plans so much that he’d already memorized just about every stray mark on the documents. He brought another piece of paper up, a pricing and timetable sheet that he knew rather well, “My Second argued for quite some time that the Yakimara were our best bet for construction, but the Rokakku Dominion out bid them by a considerable amount.” he said as he passed the paper over, “The company that has been put forth is subsidized by the Rokakku, so they’re clear as far as not suddenly cutting from a deal, and on top of that they’ve had a hand in almost every major construction that the Daimyo himself had ordered up until the change of hands, some of which are currently Crown holdings as I understand it. Solid experience and a large skilled labor force. They estimate 365 days until the base can be considered truly operational, another 135 to be considered completed.” he took a breath as he motioned to the original folder, “That one contains another interesting piece.”

He shifted in his seat, “A price estimate from the Cho, River, and Yakimara.” he said as he wondered just what would happen with his next suggestion, “The Cho come in as the most expensive but have promised the fastest build time by nearly two months. The Yakimara and River are both about equal in terms of price, though the River guarantees delivery of a complete ship by about one week shorter than the Yakimara.” he grinned slightly, “Now all of these offers add into account supplies that would need to be bought by the builders to necessitate construction, not supplies that we could… requisition… from our most Noble of Clans. The Cho specifically have as far as I am aware a large shipbuilding industry, and thus they have already aged timber and supplies ready for use, with a bit of…” he struggled for a moment for the word and cursed his age as he did, “persuasion we could significantly lower the costs of construction of all three contracts, though the time frame of a 190 to 250 days total. Personally I suggest we accept all three contracts, and have them build at the same time. They’ll all be supplied with the bulk of our knowledge on current Republican Galleys and our own captured ones, whichever of the three makes the best Galley I say we employ past that point, some competition to spark ingenuity if you may. I doubt the River or Yakimara will stay committed to the timeframes they bid with if they learn that the Cho intend to out build them by two months.” he studied the Empress a moment before sitting back in his chair.

“Though that could lead to construction issues if they cut corners. In the end the choice is yours. We award one contract or three for the ships and see which create the best. We may even come out of it with three more than acceptable shipwrights, which would leave us in quite a handy place for further construction.”

Still leaning slightly forward, Kiyomi intently listened to Nozaki replying. The fact that the man came prepared was something she appreciated. The smile on her lips widening as she tried to suppress her own enthusiasm, wanting to appear formal as professional as one could expect from an Empress. The information that Nozaki presented was taken by Kiyomi as she lowered her gaze at the presented papers. It was evident that the teen wanted to already dive in and find the answers to the various questions she held but reminded herself that she wasn’t alone. Focusing her attention back at Nozaki, Kiyomi subtly nodded at various points to indicate that she understood what he told her.

There was a small frown, a faint sign of discontent, as Nozaki stated that it would take a year for the naval base to be built and considered operational. Glancing at the papers in a quick attempt to hide her own small frustration and impatience, Kiyomi nodded before she locked her eyes back at the admiral.
The following explanation of Nozaki was met with a light frown briefly appearing on Kiyomi’s brow. Upon hearing on the three names that could provide what they required and the price, Kiyomi straightened her back as she considered the options.

”I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cho indeed have a large amount of such supplies. Undoubtedly meant for their own means. But,” Kiyomi cupped her chin for a moment with her left hand, pondering on the suggestion of Nozaki, ”I like your idea, Lord Admiral. Perhaps we can take all three in contract. Maybe we should also investigate on where they get their supplies. If there is perhaps a third party or clan that provides them with the said resources. Though,” once more a frown formed on the teen’s brow. ”I imagine that these three,” Kiyomi referring to the Cho, Yakimara and River, ”won’t be overly pleased with us trying to bypass them. Yes,” she nodded as she seemed to almost talk to herself at this point, a smile flowing on her lips, ”I think your suggestion will be good. I am quite curious to see the results. It also brings me to another point of what I wanted to discuss with you.”
Once more the teen leaned slightly forwards as she spoke further.
”From what I understand is that these galleys are the dominant force on the seas. But I was wondering if there wasn’t already some ideas or theories on how to perhaps build various types. I am aware that I can’t compare naval warfare to that of land, but as there are various swords that can deliver a different result when striking with the same technique, can’t the same be said for naval vessels? If we invest in various designs, wouldn’t that improve our efficiency in gaining dominance over the surrounding seas?”

Nozaki nodded as the Empress weighed in on what he had said, and began to take mental notes on anything that he would need to possibly check upon later or that he could answer more fully at a different time. He smiled slightly at the Empresses misunderstanding before waving a hand slightly, “Your Majesty you misunderstand. I do not intend to bypass the three shipwrights, I intend to bypass only their resourcing. We shall supply the resources, a significant relief on the overall cost that they can incur and even must pay themselves before construction is complete, but we shall still maintain their pay for their labor incurred in the construction.” he said hoping that had cleared up what he had intended, “Though I must agree, sourcing even the basics of materials will greatly reduce costs, if the State can have a hand in every step of the production process, it will greatly reduce incurred costs.” he said as he scribbled on a small piece of paper for moment before looking up, “I will get my staff on it immediately.” he added as he looked up.

He noticed the excitement building in the young Monarch and for a moment struggled to remember how old the girl really was as she held such a position above him before remembering the number and writing it off as immaturity, something that, given time and the proper instruction from her tutors would surely be hemmed to a more manageable degree. He raised an eyebrow as the Empress brought up her interest in other types of ships. He gave the young woman a grin before nodding.

“There are indeed multiple kinds of galleys. They depend on the size and amount of rowers, though for the time being we shall be building the most numerous of the versions, it’s known as a ‘Trireme’, the Aegean Republic and Sea Country are actually believed to be credited with the development and creation of the first Galleys, which were quickly in turn sold to the Water Country.” he said as he felt as though he’d suddenly taken the position of one of the Empresses myriad tutors before reluctantly agreeing with himself that he was one of the Empresses tutors.

“The more banks of oars changes the type of galley. Triremes are among the most reliable and simplest to construct and maintain, the number of oars or rowers confusingly changes the name. Though it is a safe assumption that the more oars the larger a galley becomes, and thus it’s class changes. The larger galleys, from what we’ve gathered are called anything from Quinqueremes’, meaning five banks of oars or rowers are present, to ’Polypiremes’ which can be a general catch all for things containing more than five banks. These classification of ships are monstrous in size, cost and upkeep. Though nigh on invincible even a nation so heavily focused as the Republic has likely only double digits of these type. They’re normally command ships for massive fleets or battlegroups in honesty.” he nodded and felt an intense need to have brought along diagrams of the ships in question for his impromptu teaching.

Then there are slightly larger, faster versions of the galleys that we’ve met in battle against the Water Country known to them as ’Akiyama Rammers’. My understanding, however limited, is that they have one more bank of oars than a Trireme while being constructed of lighter timber and thus making them far faster while still maintaining a high amount of durability and combat capability through techniques unknown to us. Though we have no true documentation or technical specifications of these ships, they are likely cheaper due to a change in materials used. To get our hands on their specifications or, even better, an entire Akiyama Rammer would be quite a boon to everything we are attempting to accomplish here.” he finished before quickly speaking again, “There are smaller versions of galleys, though their roles can be supplemented by the Chonobi Longships quite easily.”

The misunderstanding caused Kiyomi’s cheeks to faintly flare up with a reddish taint, giving away that she wasn’t entirely happy that she hadn’t followed it exactly. Nodding, she kept listening to Nozaki as he replied back in turn.
The names that Nozaki pronounced without a problem was something that Kiyomi attempted in a mutter but they were quite foreign to her. But it didn’t do anything to reduce her curiousity or eagerness to delve more into the affairs of naval warfare. The mere idea of having a monster of a ship made Kiyomi consider. Her own fear of being on open water was for a moment all forgotten with her imagination of being the owner of ships that could break the mere idea of the Empire’s enemies at considering to invade their coasts.

”I am certain that we won’t need to engage the Republic in trading their knowledge on how to build various types of ships. If they are even willing to consider to sell us knowledge, they will demand something quite pricey in return. Likely even seeking to humiliate us in the process. Then, I also don’t trust them enough to tell me how to build a box out of wood. However,” the frown of before found its way back to the teenager’s brow, ”I doubt that they will allow us to sneak in and steal information. Perhaps I can see what the Intelligence Division can provide on possibilities on acquiring information or even people that are willing to talk.” Making a mental note to see what Meisa could accomplish, Kiyomi frowned as she turned her attention full back at Nozaki.

”The Aegean Republic? I am not entirely familiar with the Southern island realms. Not very surprising, seeing the limited interaction we have overseas with anybody at the moment. But would it perhaps be worth the time and effort to mount an expedition towards this certain Republic? Perhaps if we assert that we are interested in knowledge and the prospect of friendship, we can acquire some more information that we would have otherwise to steal from the Republic, right?” She asked, already figuring out what could be the next logical steps if they were going down that route.

He’d expected as much when it came to attempting to gain any form of knowledge from the Republic, especially in relation to their precious navy. He sighed softly and nodded agreement to the young woman’s assertions on how they would likely be met if they attempted such a thing. “Though I’d say that a ground operation would be the most risky, I also must assert that we don’t necessarily desperately need these plans now. Only that they would greatly increase our capabilities if we were to somehow come into possession of them at any time.” he replied with a smirk.

He gave a small laugh at the words of the Empress and waved an apology, “Most nationes wouldn’t allow a rival to sneak in and steal information, though that’s normally the reason for the sneaking, to not get caught.” he stated before quickly moving on to her question of the Aegean Republic. He knew little of the nation as well, though he was sure that if he looked hard enough in the library of the Homura University he’d be able to find all he wanted, or he could ask the Empress to find a subject matter expert on the country. “I too know little of them, though I’m aware they are quite the culturally and technologically advanced nation in comparison to even us.” he shrugged, “And given their willingness to share their galley designs with the Republic I can’t see a reason that given some proper motivation they wouldn’t share with us as well.” he stopped and cocked his head to the side slightly, “Is there anything in specific you wish to gain from the Aegean’s if this becomes something you truly wish to pursue?” he asked as he readied his paper and pen once more.

”I understand. Though I do want to make sure that the future navy is not behind in terms of quality with our neighbours. But, I shall keep the option to steal the Republican’s secret on the side for now.” A small smile followed as Kiyomi listened to Nozaki’s answer on her previous questions regarding the Aegean Republic. The fact that Nozaki knew little of them didn’t bum her out.
”They are more advanced, even to us,” Kiyomi slowly replied, as if she needed to take in the information and process it slowly to understand it. Rising up from her seat, the teenager would cup her chin with her left hand and started to pace behind her desk.

”The most important thing that I want to gain is their understanding of building ships. I agree with you, Lord Admiral. If they are willing to share with the Republic, then why would they exclude us? Of course,” Kiyomi briefly stopped her pacing as she pondered out loud, ”they could have some information regarding us. Perhaps our good neighbours, the Republic decided to inform the Aegean Republic that we are a menace. Barbaric, stupid or whatever they might consider us. However, if we would come with some token of friendship. Not just wealth but more.”
She continued her pacing once more as she continued to think out loud. ”They are also culturally advanced, which means that we could attempt to share some knowledge and even our own ideas of culture with them. We’ve got ample amounts of scholars, poets and what not. They could attempt to connect and learn from these.. Aegeans. And at the same time, in return teach the Aegeans something.”

Halting her pacing, Kiyomi scoffed lightly. ”Though, I don’t imagine we can turn them into allies. If they are anywhere near the Sea country, then they are too far away to be valued as direct allies. Not to mention that I am not much interested in the Southern island realms. If they were truly as magnificent, then surely, we should have heard and taken note of them before.” Turning back to Nozaki, Kiyomi seemed to consider something that was brewing in her mind. ”I do think it might be interesting to delegate this future expedition in the hands of somebody capable. To be open with you, Lord Admiral,” the facial expression of Kiyomi started to shift. A more serious and less eager expression started to take hold.
”I don’t like the idea of crossing open waters myself. I assume that is going to be the case if a diplomatic envoy has to be sent to this Aegean place. But I also don’t trust a lot of people. How would you feel to be the man that organises this expedition? I shall make sure you get what you need, of course. Diplomats, poets, scholars, soldiers and perhaps some gifts to impress these.. Aegeans.”

Listening as the Empress seemed to speak more to herself than to him Nozaki simply sat back and nodded, “Their expertise could increase our workflows and timetables considerably.” he agreed as she went through her thoughts on the matter of the Aegeans. He hadn’t quite toyed with the possibility of exchanging cultural knowledge with another nation as a way of opening relations, though he couldn’t deny the merit behind such a thing. If the Aegean Republic was truly and advanced land then it would only make sense to be able to trade more than money with them in exchange for whatever they might want in return.

He felt his heart sink as the Empress finally got to where she was going with everything that she was saying, she wanted him to lead a delegation to the Aegean Republic in attempt to gain their knowledge. He sighed slightly and gave the Empress a smile, “Though I can’t vouch for the safety of the seas to ease your mind, I can vouch for the exhaustion in my bones.” he said jokingly, “Though I’ve still got it in me for time at sea, hell, what kind of an Admiral would I be if I refused to sail?” his smile grew wider as he waved a hand, “You get me the people and whatever else you might think I need? A list of what you’d like me to pursue and offer in kind? I can arrange the ships of course.” he said with a nod.

Her gaze locked on the admiral, Kiyomi smiled faintly when Nozaki replied in return. ”I will not mind if some extra matters are arranged to ensure a comfortable voyage.” The young Empress would then nod slowly. ”I will get to work on that soon. I already have various in mind that can aid you in this mission. Though, you’re free to enlist the help of your own people. That second in command of yours was quite capable during the last meeting. Then again, I would be surprised with meeting a Yamanaka that isn’t clever with words.”
Once more taking a seat, Kiyomi would continue. ”However, we aren’t in a rush to contact the Aegean Republic. I find it more pressing that we focus on laying focus on the developments at home. Once the naval base is going properly, I entrust you can start making arrangements to head to this southern republic.”

Nozaki nodded thankfully at the Empress as she expressed her want to ensure a comfortable voyage for all involved, “It would be most appreciated if we weren’t sailing under a deadline or combat conditions of course. It is to be a diplomatic envoy, the diplomats, artisans and thinkers shall be less than comfortable to begin… Anything we can do to ease their voyage and their anxieties will be greatly appreciated and returned in their dealings I’m sure.” he said as he nodded some more, “I can make such arrangements, though at some point I will need a date in which you would like us to depart by and numbers of those involved from your side of this. Otherwise I can handle everything else.” he told the young Empress before raising an eyebrow, “Will this be all for today?”

Subtly, the corners of Kiyomi’s lips tilted slightly upwards. ”I think so too,” she replied regarding Miyazato’s comment on a comfortable voyage for all. ”Yet, I have heard about dreadful monsters lurking in the southern seas. I would be most intrigued to hear if those stories are true or not. But perhaps those Aegeans can provide an answer on that.” The question of Miyazato, if this was all was briefly met with Kiyomi visibly pondering.
”No. There is something else. I have already caught word of a diplomatic envoy traveling from the Lightning country, seeking an audience with me. Usually, I have Lord Hon being there with me. However, Lord Hon is attending to other pressing matters of state. If you would, I would be most grateful if you graced the meeting with these diplomats at my side.”

Inclining his head toward the Empress he’d give a grin, “Though diplomacy isn’t exactly my strong point… I’d be honored to stand at your side for such a meeting.” he told the young monarch as he wondered just what the Lightning could be up to to send an envoy to the Empress directly. “I can be ready at a moments notice once they’ve arrived Your Majesty, simply send for me.” he said with another nod.
 

Aliceee

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A Diplomatic Meeting and Trade
A collab between conman2163 conman2163 , FrostedCaramel FrostedCaramel and Aliceee Aliceee .
Konohagakure, the Imperial Akenian capital - Royal Homura palace


  
A diplomatic delegation arrives in Konohagakure, a few days ago. Finally, they are allowed to have a meeting with the Empress in the Throne Room. There the delegation enters an exchange with the Empress, through the present Lord Admiral. The talk doesn't go too favourable for the diplomats but a deal is eventually made, in which the Akinian Empire promises to provide aid to the Raikage's side. For a hefty price.


The meeting would take place in the throne room. There were ample guards, both Sworn Swords as Tiger Claws, that were at strategic positions to intervene as quick as possible but yet not being direct way. Save it for the dozen of Sworn Swords that formed a blockade for the stairs that led to the throne.
Sitting on her throne, Kiyomi waited patiently. She had learned many of the rules and tricks of the political game. And honestly, she was curious what this envoy from the Lightning country had to bring to her. There was the brief hope that they would be from the Sato but she didn’t bring her hopes up. If that particular Sato wanted to pay her a visit, she would have already known. This envoy seemed more of the official kind.

Usually, she would request the presence of Zakito to be with her. But other pressing matters had demanded his attention. Needless to say, Kiyomi had decided to request the presence of another advisor to be with her as she would hear out what the diplomatic envoy had to tell her. There was the brief idea to postpone the meeting by a day. It was the mere fact that she had the power to do so with impunity. After all, who was going to punish her for deeming the diplomats from the Lightning not as important as her other duties and affairs?
But she would shove that temptation aside, subtly gesturing that the envoy could be let in. The guards at the double doors of the spacious hall would open the entrance as the guards outside would escort the diplomatic envoy into the spacious hall. Silently watching the envoy, Kiyomi enjoyed the fact they were forced to look up at her, sited on the large elevation, on which the throne was build. As the guards escorted the envoy into the room, a servant would speak up.

”You all stand in the presence of her Majesty, Kiyomi of the Homyra dynasty. The illustrious and wise Empress of Akino, the Blue Flame, Tamer of the Nibi, Sovereign of the royal dominion of Konoha, the founder of the Guardians, defender against the Shoji Oppression, the Second Lightning Flash, the Fourth Hokage’s apprentice, the White Wolf’s protegé, the Hope and Guardian of Akenians. The Protector of Laws and Justice, blessed by both God as Valdar, Signý and Lord Akumu. Furthermore, you stand in the presence of Nozaki of the Miyazato clan. The Lord Admiral and member of the prestigious War Council, advisor to her Majesty.”

The herald would gesture towards the throne, that the envoy could move forward but none would be allowed to climb on the first of the two platforms that led to the third, where Kiyomi sat on her throne - and at her right, standing Nozaki Miyazato. The young monarch remained seated and silent, the bright jade coloured eyes giving no reflection of her thoughts as she waited for what the envoy desired to discuss.

Four figures entered as a part of the envoy and walked to a respectable distance from the foot of the steps. All four men, three dressed in clothes common to the Taika nobles of the Lightning; the Lords Ryuuzouji Morikane, Kira Morouji, and Tozawa Narihira; and a fourth man that was dressed in more common garb, an insignia of a crimson dragon on the back of his tunic. His name was Reeve Audouin, one of the trusted lieutenants of Gedric Hon, the current Lord Commander of the Lightning, though the country was currently split in two fighting itself. They approached, and all four bowed to the Empress. The first man to step forward was a tall, slender figure with dark hair and grey eyes. He looked to be in his forties. He bowed again to the Empress, speaking as he did so, though adjusting his volume accordingly so that his voice might be heard evenly through the bow. ”Greetings Your Majesty. My name is Lord Morikane of the Lightning Country, Chief Diplomat and speaker for the Raikage’s Delegation.” He rose up, and then gestured to the three other men, each of which bowed again as their name was said, each offering a similar greeting. ”These are the delegation’s other diplomats, Lords Morouji, Narihira, and Lieutenant Colonel Audouin. We come to you on behalf of the Raikage of the Lightning. It is this delegation’s honor to extend the greeting of the Lightning to you and your realm, Your Majesty.” The man did not yet speak of the full intentions of the delegation, if only for the formality of an opening exchange before the diplomatic talks.

Nozaki hadn’t quite gotten used to the new duel-role life he was leading, standing as the head of a navy not fit to guard a small puddle and somehow still this position garnered him the power to stand a the side of the most powerful individual in the land as an advisor to the Empress Herself. Nozaki pulled at the cuffs of the fine dress uniform with its perfectly laundered creases and the embroidered rank stripes easily discerning him at the rank of Admiral to straighten it out before the men entered the room. He stretched his neck as he silently loathed the fact that he had to stand for the entirety of the meeting that was about to begin. He rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet a moment in an attempt to relieve some of the stress on his joints before coming to a halt as the Sworn Swords opened the doors to the Throne Room and let in a small group of four men. He took a moment to watch their approaches, the three far more formally dressed men were obviously of noble lineage, evidenced by the way they carried themselves across the room and the fine fabrics they wore, while the fourth was very evidently not a noble of any regard. Military was easy enough to tell from a quick glance, with a clipped walk that spoke of a need to complete something efficiently and clothes that had no place in the grace of even of a lesser Noble like those he had arrived with, much less in the presence of the Empress, a head of state.

He bit back a small amount of disappointment and rage at the pure disrespect that something as simple as an outfit could convey before the four men stopped at the foot of the stairs in front of the Sworn Swords and began to introduce themselves. He was appalled that the Chief Diplomat of the Lightning Country would allow a Lieutenant Colonel to dress so brazenly for what could likely be considered one of the highest level diplomatic talks of the decade. As the Lord Morikane finished his introduction Nozaki wondered just what had gotten into the Lightning in general. Saving his Empress her breath he’d respond in kind to the introduction, “The Empress is pleased to have you and your compatriots at the court Lord Morikane.” he said as he made a very slight bow of his head, “Do extend our greetings to the Lord Raikage.” he said as he would gesture with only a flick of his wrist at the four men.

“Lord Morikane, do inform us of the purpose of this audience, the Empress is quite busy and has taken time out of her schedule out of respect for your Lord, not you.” he stated as a small amount of annoyance rose in him at the fact they didn’t announce their reason for coming with the introduction, instead leaving it to the one that was allowing the audience in the first place the question of finding out their reasoning, as if they were looking for some sort of assurance that they had been noticed at all by the jade-eyed Monarch.

If Morikane was annoyed at the quick dismissal of his greeting, it was not shown in either his demeanor, or his calm face. ”Of course Lord Miyazato, we are gracious that her Majesty might take time out of her schedule to do so and would not wish to prolong this meeting. We come here on behalf of the Raikage to discuss possible intervention from the Akinian Empire against the Regency Council who has unrightly taken the throne from the true heir to the Lightning realm, his Majesty Keitaro Ranzaki, forcing him to flee the capitol. We would seek to call upon the Akinian Empire to assist us in restoring his Majesty to the throne, and removing the upstarts who now seek to control it.” He said simply.

Silently, Kiyomi observed the exchanges that occured right in front of her. Placing her hands on her lap, she would hide a smirk behind a mask of apathy and calmness. Well aware of that there was some turmoil ongoing in the north of the continent, Kiyomi hadn’t really found of much interest. There had been other matters closer at home that had demanded her attention.
When the envoy introduced themselves, Kiyomi remained silent. Nozaki took the word and replied on his turn and while it seemed that the words of the Lord Admiral didn’t impact the young empress, it certainly did. Feeling slighted and yet amused, Kiyomi would finally turn to somebody.
A very subtle hand gesture started before she would lean slightly towards Nozaki, her lips pressed on each other until the man leaned towards her.
”If they want my support, they better come with something good.” She whispered to Nozaki. ”I, frankly, can’t care more or less who sits on their throne.”
Once done, Kiyomi would straighten her back and return to her former pose, looking down at the envoy.

Watching with a sense of disinterest as the Lord made his case for coming before the Empress he’d wonder on just how it was expected that they would even slightly believe that one side was the true ruler over the other without some sort of evidence to back their claim, after all, he was positive that both sides had “evidence” that stated they were in the right with their claims. When Morikane finished the older Admiral noticed the movement of the Empress and carefully leaned down as to block the young Monarchs lips from being read by the delegation at the foot of the steps. He nodded slightly as she spoke before rising again and cursing his age as his joints protested the movements.

“The Empress is intrigued. Though she requires to know the terms of such a request, and most importantly, what you have to back your claim over that of the Regency Councils.” he stated as he clasped his hands behind his back and watched them politely from his perch.

The peace delegation was quiet for several moments before he responded. ”But of course, of course. It would be unwise to march to war without a reason. His Majesty Ranzaki was the designated successor of the previous ruler, and upon his death, the Regency Council took control of the throne under the pretense that His Majesty had murdered his father for the throne, though they have provided no proof. The only reason they were able to take control was because the next successor to our late monarch is too young to rule without council.” The Lord’s eyes moved between the Admiral and the Empress. ”Were the Akinian Empire to lend us aid in running the traitors out though, the Lightning would be obliged to offer fleet basing rights in our ports, as well as steeply reduced taxes on imports from the Akinian Empire.”

Hearing the delegation’s words, Kiyomi’s facial expression didn’t shift. The monarch only narrowed her eyes briefly as the delegation made their proposal. Much like before, Kiyomi gestured for Nozaki to lean in so that she could whisper a response to the Lord Admiral.
”Tell them that they are stupid. As if I will risk my own resources for some fleet basing rights. They probably know we don’t have much of a navy, the jerks. Furthermore, the Raikage can’t provide economical measures for he ain’t the daimyo. If they want my troops, they should come with something way better.”
The tone was much like the phrasing, quite displeased, but as Kiyomi would resume her pose, the facial expression was once more neutral.

As the delegate from the Lightning laid out his reasoning for their claim being the true claim, Nozaki couldn’t help but wonder how he, and more importantly the Empress, were supposed to believe something as simple as word of mouth. He clenched his fist in place of bringing a hand to the bridge of his nose at the realization that an entire civil war was about to take place with no more clear reasoning than a “he said, she said” situation between those at the head of it all. Once more the flash of movement from Kiyomi drew him in, placing himself again firmly between her and the delegation he’d nod slowly as she spoke, “As you wish.” he whispered before rising to face the delegation, wondering how to spin what she’d said into a more diplomatic response.

Taking somewhere in the length of nearly thirty seconds to straighten out his uniform before even seeming to notice the delegation again he’d offer a placating smile, “The Empress is greatly displeased Lord Morikane.” he said with a slight nod before waving a hand at them, “You come requesting aide. Men and arms? Resources? For nothing more than fleet basing rights and reduced tariffs?” he allowed himself a small dismissive smile before continuing, “Hardly worth it to spill our own blood for a Kage. Further, the Empire will continue on without a small lowering of tariffs on the goods we export to your lands.” he paused and seemed to focus on his ribbons at his chest for a bit, straightening them slightly one way and then back the other, “You’ll have to do better than that Lord Morikane.”

The delegate remained neutral in looks as he gazed at the Lord Admiral once again as the man leaned over to speak with the Empress. No look of annoyance at the obvious delay was displayed, on the contrary he gave an indulging smile to the Admiral. Yes, he did not think the Akinians would like such a thing. Fleets basing rights and reduced tariffs were a paltry reward for fighting a war, it was true. Still, it was not all they had to offer. ”But of course, of course Lord Miyazoto, it would be unwise to take such a deal. We would offer, in concert with the fleet basing rights, a fleet of warships built for the Akinian Empire, thirty ships.”

Still sitting as if she was made out of solid material, unchanging to the words that were exchanged between Nozaki and the northlings, Kiyomi waited a moment after the second offer was made. Once more, like before, Kiyomi gestured Nozaki for what she thought on the matter.
”That is slightly better. But I don’t still view much interest in sending troops to fight a war that isn’t mine.” Kiyomi whispered, starting to sound more irritated with the prospect that the meeting wasn’t going like she wanted it to go. ”I also am not going to send my men to possible deaths and mutilation for promises. I want at least… twenty ships before I give my support. And I want one of those large galleys, we spoke about.”

Nozaki felt his pulse rise as the Lightning Delegate offered something far more enticing than his original offers. He forced his mind to slow down as he silently did math in his head and laid out as much as he could of the logistical and administrative part of the promise of some thirty ships would create for a nation, not even counting the fact that those offering it weren’t even truly in power or a position to offer such a thing. He smiled slightly at the delegate, more so because he was happy he’d been so recently studying his own reports on the steps and costs to build a fleet for his own nation.

Leaning down once more for the young Empress to speak to him he’d nod once and bring his lips to her ear this time, “I’m going to change your conditions. You can be upset with me later if it’d please you Your Majesty.” he whispered before moving to stand up once more and face the delegates. He gave an approving nod in an attempt to make them think they’d gotten them before talking, “The Empress is far more inclined to this deal. But she requests a change in the conditions. Her Grace is unwilling to spill Akinian blood for a mere promise.” he paused and glanced to the other nobles offering them all a smile before continuing, “The Empress believes that you must provide the necessary materials to the Empire for twenty ships of varying classes and requirements as well as the coin needed to pay for skilled labor to construct said ships before she is willing to agree to commit forces for your cause, furthermore the Lightning will be entailed to supply the further ten ships worth of materials and coin for construction to the Empire following the committal of troops as deemed necessary at the time.” He paused and wondered how much he could push such a deal in their favor, “As well, the Empire will be entitled to request additional coin and materials for unforeseen construction difficulties as we see fit. Of course, such an agreement will need to be laid out in writing before any such thing can be considered final.” he finished with a smile as he ran through the math one more time. Six thousand Golden Suns, some… He held back his gasp as he realized the monstrous amount of money and materials that the Lightning would be indebted to the Empire for.

He leaned back in to talk with the Empress, unprompted this time, “Your Majesty. If this works, we are looking at an investment of some thirty six million Silver Shields alone in coin and material from the Lightning, not including any overhead we request for unforeseen circumstances… There’s no way they can provide such a thing, even if they win.” he said as he waited for an answer from the young monarch. The girl was smart, though he had a feeling even this might be above her head, as it seemed above the delegations for sure.

”Lord Miyazoto, we cannot provide such an egregious amount of money and raw materials right away, given the current state of our country as it is. You will not require the full amount of money and materials to begin building the ships, no? We would be willing to immediately ship the materials and coin to build three ships, with the material and coin to build seven others arriving in monthly shipments over a course of reasonable time, beginning to be provided once your forces engage in action. Furthermore, once it has been assured that His Majesty rests on the throne of the Lightning, we will ship the coin and materials to build twenty more ships. All with allowances made for construction difficulties and the like.” His eyes flashed as he figured up the total expenditure that the Lightning would expend to ensure the support of the Akinians. Such a debt would be massive, but if paid out reasonably could be managed. ”The Raikage has many ships in the fleets anchored at our ports. Perhaps we could arrange to have a number of those ships to be given to the Akinian Empire on loan until your ships were built? Say that same number that you ask us to provide immediately?” Of course there was no guarantee that the Lightning would get back the ships that he was providing to the Akinians, but in the large fleet that the Raikage had at his disposal, some twenty ships would not be amiss. He also knew that he would, in any ensuing negotiations over the specifics of the deal, would have to make sure that he set a finite allowance for the “construction difficulties” that might occur, to avoid any continuing payment to the Akinians that the Lightning might have to make.

When Nozaki said he would change the conditions, the old man was too fast for Kiyomi to stop him or saying anything. It irked her slightly already that the Admiral took matters into his own hand. But nothing of the irritation flowed to the surface. She would deal later with Nozaki’s act, if the result wouldn’t please her. Waiting, Kiyomi listened intently as she tried to remember the calculations of before.
Once Nozaki leaned in again, Kiyomi was at the ready to mark it clear that she wouldn’t tolerate individual actions that could compromise her ambitions. But as Nozaki gave her some insight, the young monarch threw him a meaningful glance.
”Very well." She replied in a hushed voice, trying to not sound too happy regarding the deal. Then the delegate from the north spoke again.

Listening to the delegate, Kiyomi considered it. The desire to speak up herself, breaking the layout for this meeting that she had made herself, was getting present. But instead she once more beckoned Nozaki to lean in.
”I doubt they got the ships I desire. I will promise to send some forces if they can exactly provide me those that I want. And I am not talking about triremes. I want quadriremes, a polyreme and some quinqueremes." She whispered to the Miyazato. ”If my conditions aren’t met properly, I might consider to actually honour my alliance with this Regency council. One way or the other, Lord Admiral," the soft whispering voice of the young woman started to gain something threatening, ”I will get what they promised."

As the delegate seemed to propose a counter offer just as Nozaki had he listened and wondered just what sort of ships the Lightning actually had to spare in their current state for the Empire. Leaning down to listen to the Empress once more he’d take mental note of the ships that she would ask for and rise back up with a smile on his face, “Lord Morikane. The Empress will not accept the offer of ships on loan as you suggest, instead we insist that materials are provided to the Empire for construction of various ship types as earlier stated, we shall formalize the number and type with you later shall you accept.” he stated before shifting slightly where he stood and moving his gaze from one delegate to the next and then back to Morikane, “The Empress wishes to remind you that, given our current agreement with the Lightning, and thus the current ruler which by your own words is the Regency Council, we will be inclined to uphold our Alliance with the Lightning against any dissident factions that claim the throne and threaten the peace of the realm. Of course,” he waved an open hand at them, “The Empress is willing to revise such agreements if a more promising offer is to be brought to her council.”

There was a slight crack in the facial expression of the man as he looked upset for a moment about the obvious threat. They were now being extorted. The Akinians were basically holding a dagger to the backs of the Raikage’s faction. Provide the gold and resources, or suffer the consequences of the Akinians joining in on the side of the Regency. Still, the man quickly addressed the crack in his mask and became calm faced once again. ”Very well, Lord Miyazato. In return for the aid of the Akinian Empire, the Raikage will provide the resources and coin for the ships that you wish to build.” The man replied, his voice cool and smooth. The mood of the deal had been turned around on the delegation.

Resisting to smirk after they received the answer of the delegation, Kiyomi considered what they should do now. If they could get their hands on the resources, their plans regarding their naval force would gain a large boost. The financial cost of those resources would be quite a bit and she figured that sending a meagre platoon could be used as argument that the Imperial forces didn’t do enough to hold their end of the bargain. Beckoning Nozaki, Kiyomi would wait for the admiral to lean in.
”I shall mobilize two battalions in preparation. I expect the first shipments of those goods. If they don’t cut their end of the bargain short, they can count on more forces. However, those forces shall aid them. Not work underneath them. If I get one report indicating that Akenians aren’t treated fair or being threatened, I will pull them out and consider something less benevolent."

Smiling down on the delegation as they spoke, Nozaki began to wonder how it came to be that Lord Morikane had come to be their chosen diplomat, surely the true diplomats of the Lightning had chosen to side with the Regency if this was all that the Raikage’s faction could muster for such an important meeting. Though it didn’t matter, he was happy they’d landed the Lord Morikane and not some more adept diplomat.

Leaning back up from the Empress Nozaki would gesture a hand toward the delegation, “The Empress will promise two battalions prepared to assist in your suppression of the Regency Council’s forces. However; they shall act under their own conscious and will take no orders from your forces. Advise them, keep them apprised of your actions and plans, and they shall assist. Order them and instruct them on how to wage the art of war? And they shall be recalled immediately and actions will be taken to ensure the safety of the Empire.” he stated calmly as he pulled his hand back, “We shall draft an agreement for you by daybreak tomorrow, all you will be required to do is review and sign it.” he nodded.

Morikane was seething, furious at the outcome. All of those resources for the deployment of just a measly two battalions? He would have scoffed had the Raikage not been a position of needing to make sure that the Empire would not intervene on behalf of the Regency. Instead he had to restrain himself to silent anger at the decisive outcome of the diplomatic interaction. Still, ever mindful of his appearance, Morikane would nod respectfully to the pair. ”As you wish, the battalions of the Empire shall operate of their own accord. We will be prepared to return to sign that agreement tomorrow then.” He and the rest of the delegation bowed. ”Now we must take our leave, If you might excuse us.”

Listening and watching how Miyazato told the delegation her response, Kiyomi was quite content. A silence plagued the hall after Lord Morikane requested that they could be excused. Kiyomi kept her attention on the delegation, enjoying it slightly to let them wait in utter silence without receiving an answer if they could take their leave and rest out. Throwing a sideways glance at the lord Admiral at her side, Kiyomi would rise up from her seat. Placing her hands together in front of herself, she would shoot one last look at the delegation before turning half around. A subtle nod was given to Nozaki before Kiyomi would take her leave first - through the door that was present at the flank of the throne.

Listening as the Lightning Delegation answered their demands Nozaki would find himself holding back a smile as the man seemed to want to end this meeting before anything worse could become of his side. He stood where he was as the Empress rose and gave him a nod as she she would leave the chamber, “The Empress will allow your leave.” Nozaki told the men of the delegation as he would stay where he was top watch them leave the room.

The diplomat offered a simple bow in exchange for the words of the Lord, and then turned on his heel. The other noble’s did so as well, with only the commonly clothed Lieutenant to be last, and the entire delegation left the throne room and Lord Nozaki behind. The meeting had certainly not gone well, and an air of displeasement followed the delegation as they made their way out of the palace.
 

Oetje

Stormraven
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Group Roleplays
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One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
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Really sporadic. My schedule is somewhat of a mess at times.
Writing Levels
Intermediate
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No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I can go with both. I am rather flexible.
Favorite Genres
I like a lot of genres such as magical, modern, fantasy. Anything with an interesting plot.
Genre You DON'T Like
Anything that is too focused on something that I don't feel too comfortable with. Such as furry.
Priorities
Yone Tsuji | Genin of Team 19 | Amegakure, capital of the Rain province | The Imazaki post-office, Northern District of the city |


  

The scars of the assault and violence that had occurred on the post-office were nearly all gone. Mister Nomura was behind the counter, reading something. It was one of those days that they had it relatively calm and easy. Most of the packages and orders were delivered and done.
Yet, Yone couldn't help but feel a bit restless as she was waiting in the establishment. With her own schedule for training and being assigned to missions getting more prominent, she didn't have much time to work for mister Nomura. The old man, however, didn't seem to mind it much and was rather happy every time she showed up.

A lot of employees had resigned from working at the office. The traumatic experience had proven too much. But stubbornly, mister Nomura had found new employees and business was thriving as never before.
Leaning against a nearby wall, Yone shot a glance at the old man. He was drawn into the novel he was reading.
Turning her gaze to a window that provided a view on the nearby street, Yone frowned. She saw a few people running, which piqued her curiosity. Pushing herself from the wall, the genin walked towards the window.
More people seemed to run but Yone couldn't figure out why. They seemed either panicked or excited to the genin.

"I will be right back. I am going to check on something." Yone said, already heading towards the door. A soft grumble was given in return from Nomura, as he flipped another page, continuing to read his book.

Closing the door behind her, Yone frowned. Once outside, she could hear faintly some sounds that weren't to her liking. But it took a second before she figured out what they could be. Throwing a look into the direction of the main street, the genin's eyes narrowed.
Not sure yet, Yone decided to investigate it as she ran towards the end of the street, that led to the main street.
Closing in the distance, Yone didn't need to go all the way to realise that the people were anxious and panicking. With the chaotic and violence sounds in the distance, Yone was able to piece the matters together.
Turning around, the genin started to run as fast as she could back to the post-office.

"Hey! Mind being a bit more quiet?" Nomura grumbled as Yone barged in and slammed the door behind her. He had a stern look on his face. But the expression shifted away as he noticed that Yone seemed close to panick.
"What the devil..."

"We need to seal the door! Now!" Yone nearly shouted in return. She was able to lock it but she wasn't entirely convinced that it would hold people out.
Coming from his seat, Nomura quickly walked towards the window that provided a view on the main street.

"Dear Taishaku, not again." The words left the lips of the old man as a whisper. He gasped for air, quickly turning towards Yone.
"Leave it! Come!"
Grabbing the teen by an arm, the old man pulled her away from the door, towards the nearby couch that was reserved for customers, usually waiting for their package when they decided to pick it up from the post office.
"Help me with this."

Both Yone as Nomura would start to push the couch towards the door. Using their strength, they attempted to do it as fast as they could. Just as they were about to press the piece of furniture to the door, they could hear some aggressive banging against the door.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck." Yone frantically started to cuss as she tried to push the door.

They could hear some sounds outside, that were far from peaceful. Glancing up, Yone briefly saw a man glancing through the window.
"The window!" Yone said, feeling her heart skip a beat. Before either she or Nomura could react, the room would be filled with the sound of glass shattering.

Hearing some cheering, both Nomura and Yone looked at the broken window. A man attempted to climb into the post office.
"Go to the back! Lock it!" Nomura shouted at Yone as he would move up. The old man picked up a piece of glass and rushed towards the man that attempted to move into the building. Before the intruder could lash out, the old man unleashed an angry roar while he gripped the piece of glass firmly in his hand.

Frozen for a second, Yone witnessed how Nomura frantically started to stab at the intruder and use his other hand trying to push him outside.
Getting up, the genin would sprint through the room and vault over the counter. Once she landed on her feet, Yone used her shoulder to slam the door to the back open and head to the only other exit.
Hearing some sounds coming from the front, Yone quickly retrieved the key for the back of the establishment. Locking the door, she would turn and sprint back.

The scenery in front of her caused her eyes to widen as a scream to escape her lips. Vaulting over the counter, the genin rushed towards the window.
While Nomura had managed to hold off the first attacker, he was now on the ground. Blood was creeping on the floor, slowly flowing out of a wound on the old man's head. A man had managed to get in and raised his club.
Before the weapon could reach down, the man was tackled by Yone. Her speed and weight wasn't enough to topple and drag the intruder to the ground but enough to stall his first attempt of attacking Nomura.

Gripping around the man, Yone tried to push the man back to the window. Only to feel how she was grabbed by her waist and with some effort pulled back. Trying to figure out who pulled her away, Yone would feel an intense pain at her skull, coursing through her body. Then the world became black.


  

Slowly she would come to her senses. Grunting, Yone tried to open her eyes but a splitting headache made it difficult to get moving. Trying to move up, she couldn't make much sense of the blurred mess that her eyes revealed.
"Nomura?"
The name escaped the teen's throat in a hoarse fashion. Coughing, Yone started to regain her vision. Spotting Nomura still in the same position, she didn't remember seeing smoke before.
The realization then dawned on her as she threw a look over her shoulder.

Spotting the fire, the genin didn't think anymore. Moving towards the old man, she uttered the man's name again. But he didn't respond in any way back.
Managing to reach him, Yone tried to ignore the pain at her skull. She knew of one healing technique but with the headache, stress and panic there was no way that she could properly focus on it.
Glancing at the door, she noticed that it was still barricaded by the couch. Turning towards Nomura, Yone attempted to lift the man but he was too heavy for her alone. Attempting another try only resulted in that Yone slipped and fell. A few splinters of glass penetrated the sleeve of her right arm, causing her to groan.
"Somebody! Help!" Yone plained out, hoping that somebody could hear her.

Yet no reaction came.
Shooting a glance at the floor, it was filled with glass splinters. Swallowing some of her pain away, Yone got up and moved once more to Nomura. Grabbing the man underneath his arms, Yone attempted to drag the man towards the window. Managing to do so, she would try to heave the man further up. But she collapsed almost to the ground.
Coughing, Yone blinked a few times as she wanted to attempt again. Only to fail even faster.
"Somebody!" She tried to shout once more, only ending up in coughing as the smoke started to fill more of the room with the fire spreading.

Placing Nomura down, Yone turned towards the couch. Moving towards the furniture, she tried to keep her breathing to a minimum - which wasn't obviously going to help.
Putting herself against the couch, Yone started to struggle as she attempted to move the piece of furniture aside so that she could open the door. Giving it her all, she could feel how the couch started to slightly move.

Hearing a couch behind her, Yone immediately halted and threw a look at Nomura. The old man groaned and slightly moved but not enough to comfort Yone.
Wanting to shout something, Yone coughed and could feel her strength starting to wane. Focusing once more on pushing the couch, the genin managed to create enough space to open the door.
Spotting the key still in the lock, Yone would start to unlock the door and push it open. The second of fresh air was almost exhilarating.
Moving around, Yone kneeled once more down at Nomura. Hearing the old man grunt, Yone would wrap her arms underneath his. Following it with starting to drag him outside of the burning building.

Finally, outside, Yone attempted to shout once more for help. She noticed that there were some people but everybody was running away.
Unable to register the tears that rolled over her cheeks, Yone would start to drag Nomura towards where the people were running. Until she noticed that a few young men ran up to her and started to lift Nomura up.
 

conman2163

Long live Carolus Rex...
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day
My Usual Online Time
8:00 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Generally both. Better make sure I know who is leading and who is following though.
Favorite Genres
Pretty much all of them
Genre You DON'T Like
Yaoi
A Poor Host

A collaboration between Conman and Alice

Summary: As the Raikage's delegation sails into the port of Arkanes, they are quickly arrested. After a long wait, the leader of the delegation is lead before the lord of the port, Hallbard the mad, who is quite the negotiator.

Ever since the conflict, the activity within the port of Arkanes had reduced. Traders from other port cities within the Lightning Country had stopped coming. There were still ships coming from other countries, like the Snow and Sky. Even an Imperial vessel could be spotted within the large harbour of the city of Arkanes. Today, however, there were an unusual amount of guards patrolling the docks. Sighting of a vessel moving into the port had caused the local authority to be on guard.

By the time that the vessel was about to anchor, there was a force at the ready to move on the ship. Both warriors and dedicated Sanosuke shinobi from the Jarldom of Arkanes were on the verge. Archers had a good view and capability to unleash death on the deck of the ship.
The first thing that the people on the ship would hear was a shouting instruction to lay down their arms and slowly embark from their vessel.

The delegation was present on deck, and any weapons they did have, they quickly tossed in front of them. The personal flag of the Lord Commander’s mercenary company flew from the mast of the ship, a crimson sword upon a black background. The ship’s crew deposited their swords in a pile upon the deck, then returned to their posts. At the head of the delegation of seven men, stood one of the Raikage’s minor Taika Lords, Endou Munetoshi. He tapped his foot impatiently. ”We aren’t here to fight you, we bring an offer and a deal on behalf of the Raikage.”

Despite the words, the present Sanosuke would confiscate the weapons. Then the men would be taken away from the ship. A man started to shout something in Chonobi, pointing at some parts of the ship.
The delegation would be moved to a nearby building, where they were being seperated and guarded by several Sanosuke. It would take a hour before a few more guards appeared within the small confines in which Endou Munetoshi was held. One of the guards held a brown sack in his hands. Without any explanation, the guards would move on the Lord, binding and blinding him.

Guided out, the man would then be guided through. The walk would take some time but eventually, it became clear that he was being moved to another location. At a point, he was being put on a chair and the brown bag would be removed from his head. Revealing he was in a spacious hall where three hearts were lit up. Providing the space with comfortable heat, compared to the frigid cold.

A young woman sat on a nearby bench at a table, staring silently at the man. Her features were difficult to distinguish with the paint on her face. On a wooden carved throne sat an man. He was bald and various marks and tattooes could be seen on his scalp. The lower part of his features were much different. The large beard seemed more close as if a yak had decided to lay down on the man’s chin, died and became attached. A smile pierced through the rough beard as he made a subtle nod to Endou.
”Welcome to Arkanes.” He spoke in a thick accent, that would have betrayed his culture and heritage, if it wasn’t for his looks already. ”How are you doing?” An amused tone was clear in his voice as he asked the casual question.

The Lord was not pleased to be bound and blinded in such a fashion, lead for close to an hour through the place they had come to parlay at, and then being deposited in such a fashion before the one he presume was the Jarl of the place. At least he hoped he was the Jarl of this place, he was already feeling insulted enough. The smart greeting came from the man and Endou made his best efforts not to roll his eyes and request to be returned to his ship so he could leave at once. He doubted the Raikage would look favorably upon him for returning empty handed after such a trip. At least the bag hadn’t smelled. His face was amicable, and a tolerant smile was on his lips. ”My journey was well, though I must say it has come to a strange conclusion. You are the Lord of this hall, I take it? I thank you for your welcome, and your hospitality, though I might ask you to loosen the ropes you have around my wrists while we talk.” He raised his hands, which had been tightly bound in front of him. ”The Raikage sends his greetings.”

A grin almost split the lower part of the man’s face in two as Endou replied on turn. ”Aye, that I am. I doubt you goatfuckers down south ever heard of me though.” The man raised his right hand to briefly comb his beard. ”I don’t think I will loosen the ropes. I don’t know who you are. Nor do I remember having invited anybody from the Raikage’s lot over here.” The man’s tone slightly started to shift. The ring of amusement starved away as he would get up.

”But know what? I will humour you. The name is Hallbard. Jarl Hallbard and Hallbard the Mad for those who like to humour me.” The jarl further spoke as he would walk towards the diplomat. Taking a seat at a bench nearby, the large man sized up the bounded diplomat.
”So eh? What is your name, lad?”


The man sighed and he would have scratched the back of his head, but alas, the ropes around his wrists prevented it. He chose to ignore the “goatfuckers” comment and did not say anything as the man combed his hand through his beard, looking like he was moving a hand through a birds nest rather then any facial hair Endou had ever seen. ”Ah, well it is unfortunate you will not release me from the bindings, but I understand your hesitation.” He smiled politely instead of tolerantly. ”Jarl Hallbard, my name is Lord Endou of the Monetoshi. I doubt you will have heard of me in the North as well. I come to parlay on behalf of the Raikage. We tried to send messengers to inform you before our arrival, however, it seems none of them have reached you.”

It remained silent for a few seconds. Halbbard didn’t remove his gaze from Endou, simply staring at the man. ”I doubt you ever will understand my hesitation, goatfucker.” The jarl would lean back as he frowned. ”You say that you’re here to parlay on behalf of the Raikage. Noble intention but,” the jarl shrugged. ”I don’t see a reason why I should parlay with somebody that I never met. Or never will meet at this rate. Frankly, I think you are here now to first explain why I should listen and then, if you manage to convince me not to feed you to the fishes. Perhaps then we can talk about your Raikage.”

The man blinked twice, as if not quite comprehending the danger that the man had just placed him in, and completely ignoring the continued goatfucker insult. He had been told this was a simple assignment, take the message north to the Sanosuke, meet with the Jarls, give them the offer and if they refuse leave. There had been no mention of danger, except for perhaps on the ocean. His polite smile remained on his face despite the clear and present danger, although it faltered for a moment. ”Jarl Hallbard, while I appreciate your hospitality, with respect, I have no quarrel with you to be taken up. The Raikage’s offer is one that will benefit the Sanosuke in the long run. We do not come with daggers up our sleeves in this deal.”

”My hospitality? You call this hospitality? Dear gods, and they call me Mad.” The jarl bellowed a loud laughter and it would take a moment before he could manage to snicker it back to chuckling. ”You do much better at being a jest than attempting diplomacy, lad. I sincerely doubt that they know what talent is if they didn’t put you into such a role. By the beard of Valdar, I might even keep you here as entertainment.” The amusement would, however, vanish as Hallbard leaned forward.

”Now, you state that the Raikage has an offer that will benefit the Sanosuke? Eh? That is awfully kind of the bloody bugger.” Despite the growing smile, there was a dangerous glint in the jarl’s eyes. ”I am not in the position to parlay back regarding all of the Sanosuke. If your Lord didn’t tell you, he is awfully funny too. We ain’t like those scumbag Hojo. Nor like those decadent Alaricus. We don’t follow one person like they smeared honey to their arsecheeks. But I will hear what you got to say.” Once more, Hallbard leaned back and gestured Endou to speak further.

Endou hesitated. He wondered for a moment just why the Raikage hadn’t seen fit to inform him that the Sanosuke don’t follow one ruler, or that they would need to pick a port carefully as one of the Jarls was absolutely bonkers. ”I presume you understand that the Raikage’s offer is one made in exchange for the help of the honorable Sanosuke Jarls, yes?” The young lord asked carefully. “I wish to clarify this, just so we have no false pretenses.” The dangerous look and smile on the face of the Jarl truly revealed as to why he was called Hallbard the mad.

”Uhu, the honourable Sanosuke Jarls,” Hallbard repeated. Letting a silence echo, the jarl slightly shook his head as if he disagreed with that statement. ”Speak your offer before I will have you be readied for the next Thing. Unless you still prefer to be delivered to the fishes.”

The lord steeled himself and prevented his fear from creeping onto his face, his polite smile was intact, and he nodded amicably. ”I would have presented the formal agreement in writing, however it was left upon my ship. We offer the Jarls a five year reprieve from a quarter of all taxes paid to the Lightning Country, and a ten year reprieve from any troops that would normally be presented to the crown. During the ten year period, should Sanosuke steel be needed, we will pay to the Jarls an agreed upon sum of coin to be kept by them or distributed amongst their men, as they see fit. Additionally, no Sanosuke steel will fall under the command of Hojo or Alaricus commanders during the ten year period.” He fell silent after presenting the offer, praying that the madman didn’t decide to slaughter him and toss his body into the bay.

”Mmmm,” visibly pondering on what he had heard, the jarl threw a glance at the woman that was still present in the room. He spoke something in Chonobi to her. The woman calmly replied, to which Hallbard grumbled. Turning his attention to Endou, the jarl spoke again. ”Good offer. You could say that only a madman wouldn’t accept it.” A grin spread on the lips of the jarl as he winked.

”So I won’t.” Rising up from his bench, Hallbard would hook his thumbs behind his belt as he looked down on Endou. ”Your offer means that I am to either convince the other jarls. Or in the end meaning that we go past the mountains and into the fray. Frankly, I don’t like either ideas. Now, you are lucky though.” The man raised a hand and pointed with his thumb to the woman.
”I want to hang you during the next Thing. I doubt you know much about our custom, goatfucker. But you could consider it a honour. She, however, believes we should send you to the other jarls. I think it would be quite amusing to have you ride backwards on a donkey. Though I want to try out a goat or sheep, I am scared you will try to shag the poor critter.”
Pausing for a moment, the jarl nodded towards the diplomat.
”What do you prefer?”

”It is unfortunate that you would refuse.” The man would reply, though on the inside now he was terrified. He did not move as the Jarl spoke of hanging him. It was not certainly the most desired outcome of the meeting. Thankfully, the woman, who seemed sane enough, prevented this by saying they should send him to the other jarls. He smiled politely some more, though it faltered momentarily again. ”I would appreciate if you sent me on to the other Jarls, Jarl Hallbard.”

Nodding slowly, Hallbard would turn and walk back to his throne. A loud sigh escaped the jarl as he took back his place. ”You would? Shame then. Cause you’re going to stay here for some time. I will send the other jarls a message. I won’t have you leave and then give them an offer they can’t refuse.” The jarl slightly frowned. ”Are you sure thought that you don’t want to be hanged? It sounds pretty bad but it is just an one-time thing, really.”

”A tempting offer, considering the information my superiors sent me with Jarl, but I am afraid I still must decline.” He bowed the best he could in his bindings. The danger seemed to have passed for the moment, though he was still on edge. ”If I might enquire, Jarl, where will I be staying, and where will the crewmen of my ship be staying as well?”

”You will be a guest of honour, of course. I got a tidy room at the ready for you. As for your men? Well,” Hallbard’s expression shifted as he was about to announce some uneasy news. ”We started to cut one up. Another will be hanged. The rest? I am not sure what to do with those lads. They are in their ‘rooms’ for now.” Flashing a smile, the jarl spread his arms. ”But at least you can always make the choice, my dear jester! I will have a noose at the ready for you when you changed your mind. Until then? I will inform the other jarls of your Lord’s most generous offer!”

Two guards would move up to the chair where Endou was seated. Pulling the brown bag over his head, they would move him away, to his new ‘chambers’.

Endou’s mouth stopped working, his jaw opening and shutting for several moments as Hallbard revealed that a few of his men were already dead. He didn’t have many as well, maybe at best some twenty or so, plus the six other men who had come with him as part of the delegation. Not to mention that if all twenty of those men died, even if the six others survived there was no way to sail the ship, as none of those six knew anything about sailing. Silently, as he was lead away, Endou decided he was never going on another diplomatic mission again.
 

ChromeHound

The one who gets stabbed a lot...
The Discovery
Shikaroku Nara | Konoha Genin | Team 9

Tucked away in the Nara clan's hidden library, Shikaroku had lost all track of time. His nose buried deep in a book, the Nara's eyes scanned the pages intently, processing the information within. He had been down here for hours, searching for information. The books down here held many of the secrets of his clan. If he was going to get answers, it would be here.

Tossing the book aside, Shikaroku let out a frustrated sigh. Another dead end. So far none of these books contained any information about what he was after. Glancing down where he had discarded the book, Shikaroku let out another sigh and bent down to pick it up. Something caught his eye and Shikaroku frowned. Leaning over further, he caught sight of another book that was trucked in the back of the lowest bookshelf. Unlike most of the books here, this one held no writing on the spine, nor the cover. Instead, there was an intricate symbol imprinted on the front of the book. A symbol that was all too familiar...

Reaching out tentatively, Shikaroku's hands trembled as he grabbed the book. A strange feeling crept over him as he traced the symbol with his finger. Hesitating for a moment, he began to open the book when a sudden jolt of pain shot through him, coming from the mark on his chest. Pulling back, Shikaroku frowned. It seemed he was finally on the right track.

A noise from outside caused him to turn quickly, looking towards the entrance. Several moments passed with no further noises and Shikaroku let out a brief sigh of relief. Crap... What time is it? Realization flooded through him as the Nara remembered he was supposed to be meeting with his team. Placing the book in his bag, Shikaroku turned and began making his way out of the library.


  

Making his way towards the meeting point, Shikaroku glanced upwards, wondering what the day would bring. He had made a quick stop at his house after leaving the library, gathering the rest of his things. Hiron had not provided them with many details, so Shikaroku had been certain to prepare for the worst. Adjusting the strap on his bag, he saw a group gathered ahead.

Approaching the others, Shikaroku saw he was one of the last to arrive. Bowing his head slightly towards Hiron, Shikaroku remained silent, offering a nod of respect towards Kyoi and Karma before glancing around to see when Yiko would arrive.

 

FrostedCaramel

God's in His Heaven, All's Right With the World.
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Long Knife - Part VIII Yamada Suzu "Rabbit"| Imperial Palace, Konohagakure
  

Suzu makes her report to the Lord Commander of the Sworn Swords pertaining to the Zero Team she extracted from the Claw Country. It does not go well.

A collab between Aliceee Aliceee and the Frostiest of Camels

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
  
The sounds of armoured boots together with the sound of mumbling talking, clanging steel of plates of armour, jingling of chainmail and more resonated through the halls. Sitting in his office within the Royal palace, Katashi was discussing some matters with a few of his officers. The current situation seemed to be quite good. The recruits were doing well and picking up fast, despite the stern and long trainings that they were put through. Then with the latest success against the Zealots, Katashi had no reason to be in a bad mood.
The discussion between the Katashi and the present officers would come to a halt as the door would be opened to allow in a member of the Sworn Swords.

”Rabbit,” Katashi said the codename slowly as he slightly frowned. The present officers would step slightly away to allow Katashi look at the woman directly. ”I am looking forward to your debriefing. Please, speak.”

Suzu couldn’t exactly say she felt anything like she did when she first took off to enter the Claw Country, but she was slowly getting there. She had returned to the Royal Palace after a few short days of rest after she’d been smuggled back into the Empire and even managed to make a short trip to her apartment to grab clothes that actually fit her before moving directly to the palace proper. The Tiger Claws that had been at the secondary gate she’d come through had given her a little trouble about credentials at first until a Sworn Sword she’d known arrived to set things straight and everything following that had gone smoothly enough.

As she entered into the room she couldn’t help but notice the extra people present, something she would have rather gone without. Saluting to the Lord Commander she’d take a few steps forward to allow the door to close behind her, “Of course Sir.” she replied quickly before flashing quick glances at the other officers, “Shall I wait?” she asked, politely implying that she wouldn’t speak in front of the other men unless ordered to.

Katashi slightly leaned back in his seat as his gaze was fixed on Suzu. There was a brief silence following the question of Suzu. Then Katashi gave some tasks to most officers, leaving only three remaining in the room. ”You can speak freely now.” The man replied on his turn, folding his hands together as he awaited Suzu’s reply.

Allowing herself to relax slightly as the Lord Commander cleared the room of a handful of the officers she’d peer briefly between the three remaining. She knew all three, and felt that anything she’d say to Katashi would be relayed to them anyway. Spreading her feet slightly she moved her gaze back to the Lord Commander, “The mission was a partial success my Lord. I succeeded in capturing the mark, Captain Hitaro, as instructed. But it wasn’t without issue Sir.” she stated, “The Zero Team that was to assist me lost two members in the process, three total counting slightly before I arrived. And I was seriously wounded and unable to travel back for nearly a month. That place is anarchy made manifest, Sir.”

A second of silence followed as Suzu finished. None of the present men seemed in particular bothered by the report. It was almost as if they already knew that the Claw was a lost cause but just didn’t seem find any use to argue against the decision to spend resources on gaining intelligence. Katashi then spoke up, subtly nodding to Suzu. ”Good. I take it that Hitaro has been confined then. It is a shame for those Zero Teams. But that isn’t our responsibility. If that was all, you’re permitted to take your leave.” The captain-commander then slightly leaned forward, his gaze and attention already shifting to one of the officers.

Suzu kept her gaze forward, passing well over the seated figure of the Lord Commander and to the wall behind him as he spoke. She was no stranger to being reprimanded, and she was sure she was about to get the reprimand of her career with the next words to come from her mouth, “Captain Hitaro is being kept company by the Zero Team Sir. In a safe house not far from the edge of the city. I can have him retrieved by nightfall with an escort if that suits your desires.” she said confidently, not allowing any hint of the fact she knew she was in the wrong to slip out in her words.

All of the attention was once more focused on Suzu. If there had been any tension before, it had been very minimal to what the words of Suzu caused. Despite being a man of calm composure, the eyes of Katashi’s widened and an officer’s lips parted. But yet none of the men spoke yet as they were dumbfound by what Suzu revealed.
”You say that the Zero Team or what remained of them is from their post. Waiting nearby to be picked up?” The anger growing in Katashi was evident in his tone as he would slam a fist on the table a moment later. ”Who’s plan was it for them to move out of the Claw? Who gave that permission?”

Holding her stare at the wall she didn't have the time to notice any of the men in the rooms change in postures or expressions from her word, but the words of Katashi were enough to know just about all she needed. She'd never known the Lord Commander to be particularly easy to aggravate, so when he slammed a fist on the table causing the other officers to jump slightly she added it to her list of notable accomplishments in her head.

“Lord Commander I suggested they put an end to their mission Sir. Their team was mission in effective and at the rate they were going, not to mention the increased level of readiness of the Fang following my job… They would have ended up buried in a mass grave with their comrades very soon. It was the only logical next step.” she stated as she quickly moved into reasoning as to why she had made such a call, “The Empire can not afford to lose operati--”

”Silence!”

The voice of Katashi raised in volume as he ordered Suzu to silence. The slowly growing red complexion seemed to go well with the man’s current atire. Turning to one of the present officers, Katashi almost barked the order that the head of the Intelligence Division should be informed with added note that they would need to prepare an extraction team to move on the team that Suzu had brought back from the Claw country. Turning his attention back at Suzu, the Sarutobi seemed to be smoldering with anger. Which was likely the cause for him to not speak up right away.

”You were sent with a very simple order. A task that could be accomplished with ease. Of course, the fucking Claw is a fucking chaotic cesspit! People die, you idiot! Those Zero team members were there to provide intel and keep…” Katashi seemed to halt himself as he inhaled. His right hand moved up to his nose, pinching the bridge. ”You daft idiot,” the man muttered together with some more curses in Chonobi. Managing to regain some of his composure, Katashi exhaled his following breath slowly before speaking again.

”You will be dismissed and for the moment, discharged from future services. Seeing that I consider this bordering on treason, I will make the following steps to assure that you won’t harm the Empire’s interest until somebody with more authority can decide on what to do with you. For at the moment, you shall present your weapons and armour. You shall remain confined and not allowed to speak with anybody without my or any higher might’s consent. Do you understand?!”

Suzu stopped her speaking immediately and for the first time in a very long time felt that she was in the presence of someone far more dangerous than she was as the Lord Commander sat and brooded at his desk before barking out orders to the officers present. She'd miscalculated. The reprimand was far worse than that, more a punishment and a treat of high treason at that. How could he not see the value in what she'd done? The usefulness of conserving their resources far outweighed the shit job they would have been able to continue in the Claw, but the Lord Commander either didn't see it or knew something more.

She didn't nod as he listed out all she would do, didn't confirm his words until the order came to tell him if he understood. A small smile threatened her lips as she spoke, “Understood Sir. What of the Zero Team?” she tacked on at the end, full well expecting to be hit for the insubordinate move.

”None of your damn concern. Officer Musaki,” Katashi sneered in response. ”Officer, take Suzu to where she belongs. Take her out of here before I will do something that I will get punished for.” The man further barked as he clenched his hands into trembling fists.


  
They'd thrown her into the detention area of the Palace, a sub-basement of the actual basement that was used to house prisoners and high value targets like her man Captain Hitaro. She wondered for a moment if he too was sat in a cell down here, the occasional yells of guards or cries of anguish from however many people were truly held prisoner the only thing to tear her mind away from the thought.

The cell was simply a small box, walls on all sides and over her head, only one in a row of similar boxes that lined the long room five deep. She had a bench to herself which she was currently occupying and a beautifully dirt-crusted wall through the small head-level slit in the metal door to stare at as she waited for whatever came next.

The sound of boots marching down the hall started to sound, first faintly but clearly moving towards Suzu’s cell. As the sounds of boots started to loud, they also came to an abrupt halt. Clearly indicating that they were just outside the cell of Suzu.
A few mechanic sounds of a key being inserted resonated loudly through the cell. With the door opening, bright light entered the sombre place. Briefly some of the light would be blocked as the silhouette of a person would mark somebody entering the place. Followed by two more. The sounds of armour made it clear that these were guards but they didn’t approach Suzu. One carrying a torch would seem to wait for another person to enter the cell.

”Ah,” the young voice almost cheerfully entered the somewhat spacious cell and bounced against the dark walls. Garbed in a dark blue dress, Kiyomi didn’t seem to be bothered much by the grim and moody surrounding. Spotting the person in question, her eyes briefly narrowed as if she had to ponder if she wanted to engage a conversation with Suzu. ”Suzu Yamada,” the young monarch said the name in a slow and polite fashion as she would take a few steps towards the chained woman. ”You must understand that my curiosity was quite piqued when I received word that Katashi had got upset by a Sworn Sword. One that apparently committed a crime against the realm.”
The young woman’s left eyebrow slightly perked up. ”Against me.”
The two words were spoken in a slight lower voice, giving away a less friendly tone.
”Have you been given any food or drink yet?” Kiyomi asked, folding her hands together as she waited for the answer.

Suzu wasn’t sure at first if the sound of guards approaching was for her or not. They could have simply been passing through on a patrol of the detention center but when they stopped outside of her cell she found herself watching the door out of curiosity for the next step in this process. The mechanism of the lock grinded for a moment as someone worked its key and then it opened with moan. The light that flooded in caused her to attempt to raise a hand to shield her eyes which came to a sudden halt as the chains about her wrist stopped her from moving them any further than about chest height. She turned her head instead, squinting as the guard at the doorway entered the room followed two more. She wondered what was so dangerous about a chained up prisoner that they had to bring so many guards to simply open the cell before a fourth person entered the room.

As quickly as she realized who had entered Suzu cast her gaze to the ground, the least she could do in lieu of kneeling for the Empress. She didn’t confirm who she was to the Empress as she spoke her name, it wasn’t a question as much as a statement, that she knew her name. She silently wondered if she had been so shaken by her experience in the Claw that she’d not foreseen this turn of events, of her detainment and barring as a traitor, why she hadn’t listened to Atlas as he so very much warned her of what would happen to them if they left. Or if she simply couldn’t have predicted the completely overblown reaction of Katashi at the news.

She kept her gaze down as she shook her head at the Empress’s question, “Not yet Your Majesty.” she spoke to the ground.

The answer of Suzu was met with some silence. The young monarch threw a look at the chains. Placing her hands at her back, the young woman would instruct one of the Sworn Swords. Without any obstruction, the commanded guard would stride forwards to Suzu. As he started to undo the chains, Kiyomi turned towards the other Sworn Swords. Ordering one to get some refreshments. By the time that she turned her attention back to Suzu, the later would be unchained. Waiting for the nearby Sworn Sword to take a step back but still relatively close by to protect the monarch, Kiyomi spoke again.
”I am not going to cut around the bush, Yamada.” Kiyomi’s tone was polite but the undertone seemed to present a sliver of a threat already. ”I don’t like what you did in the Claw. It obstructed some plans I have in the making. You took away a pair of competent ears and eyes in that region. Regardless of your reasons, it allows the Fang to operate without me being aware of what they are doing. Even though it is quite known what atrocities are committed by them.”

Letting a pause follow, the hint of a smile grew on Kiyomi’s lips. ”However, I am not keen on losing experienced operatives. It might please you to know that the people you have brought back are resting and able to return to their families. Obviously as it befits the Zero team, you won’t likely ever recognise them on the street,” the young woman raised her right hand as she made a small wave. ”And don’t worry about Hitaro either. The beloved captain is proving his worth quite well. Providing to be quite the source of information. Shedding some new and interesting insights on the Fang’s plans for the Claw.”

Taking a step closer to Suzu, the voice of Kiyomi became softer. ”For this time, I disagreed with Katashi. I understand his points and concern. And I am not really always lenient towards people that directly or indirectly thwart my plans.” A second of silence followed. ”But,” taking a step back Kiyomi flashed a smile as she nodded, ”I am happy you managed to accomplish your mission. As well preventing that Atlas squad or what remained of it would be taken down by the Fang. I hope that I can count on your future aid. Perhaps willing to help me to make sure that their sacrifices haven’t been for naught.”

Her monarchs words cut deeper than any weapon had ever managed to for Suzu. She was dedicated without fault to her Empress, to the ideas and aspirations of the young woman, to be told she had disappointed her was easily the worst injury she'd ever sustained in her line of work. That she'd displeased the monarch caused a sense of dread to grow in her and she swallowed back the stale taste in her mouth as the young Empress went on.

With her chains undone Suzu brought her eyes up to watch Kiyomi curiously. She wondered why the girl had allowed such a thing, figuring she was still in the hot seat for undermining her plans. She resisted the urge to question “why” as Kiyomi stated she'd disagreed with Katashi and decided to be lenient for her transgression against her.

“Thank you Empress.” Suzu stated as she dropped to a knee, causing the guards to shift forward slightly at her sudden movement.

“My life is yours, Your Grace.” Suzu said as she kept her eyes low and saluted from her kneel, “Whatever you command.

A silence followed after Suzu’s words. The expression on Kiyomi’s face didn’t shift as she seemed to wait for something. After a few seconds, the empress spoke up once more. ”Good. It pleases to hear me that.” A subtle gesture followed from Kiyomi to indicate that Suzu could rise up.
”Soon enough, I will be calling upon your services, Yamada. For now, I think you will want to rest up. In a more, comfortable condition than where we find ourselves in at the moment.” Pausing once more, Kiyomi locked her gaze on Suzu. ”Is there anything else you want to ask or bring up, Yamada? Before I will leave you to find more desirable accommodations.”

Suzu kept her gaze low as the Empress seemed to take a moment to think on her words. She rose as indicated but kept her head slightly bowed as the monarch continued to speak. She knew she’d gotten off rather easy considering everything that had happened though she didn’t mind that was how things had played out. She brought her eyes to lock on the young monarchs as she did and listened without a hint of what she may be thinking as she was asked if she had anything more to bring up, “I take it I will be sent for by someone directly from you Your Majesty? Not from Katashi?” she asked as she kept herself still where she stood.

There was a second of silence as Kiyomi seemed to consider the answer on Suzu’s question. ”It will be from me, Yamada. You are selected for a special op. Only this time,” the young woman would keep her gaze fixed with Suzu. There was some tension rising, a threat being made clear without the monarch’s tone shifting.
”I would like to advise you to not lose sight of your objective.” Once more letting those words sink in, a smile crossed Kiyomi’s lips as she would continue.
”That shall be all. Enjoy your rest, Yamada.”

She bit back the sour taste of disappointment in her mouth as the Empress spoke and bowed her head in remorse as the young woman smiled at her, “I shall stay true Empress.” she replied as she stared at the ground.
 
Last edited:

FrostedCaramel

God's in His Heaven, All's Right With the World.
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Operation Black Sheep - Part I Yamada Suzu "Rabbit"| Imperial Palace, Konohagakure
  

Suzu arriving to the palace at the specified time, receives her mission from the Empress and leaves with all haste to execute her target.

A collab between Aliceee Aliceee and the Frostiest of Camels


  
The instruction for Suzu to meet and gain her briefing for her next mission was delivered by another Sworn Sword. The briefing would take place within a more quiet wing in the royal palace. One that was reserved for the Empress and any fortunate soul that was given access to move past the heavily guarded section. But today, Suzu would be one of the select few that would be allowed to walk the western wing, where the most prestigious meetings would be held in lavishly decorated rooms and the hallways filled with the most expensive, elaborate work of art such as sculptures, tapestries and paintings.

The guards at the only known entrance of the eastern wing would allow their fellow Sworn Sword through, as the double doorway would be closed behind Suzu.

An odd silence was present within the hallways. The usual servants that roamed and worked in the gigantic complex weren’t anywhere to be found. Nor wouldn’t there be the usual jingling of chainmail or clanking of the royal guard’s armour. Just an odd sort of tranquility.

Sitting in one of the rooms, Kiyomi was reading a small book. The binding of the book didn’t reveal much over what it was about. From the looks of it, the young woman seemed drowning into the small work. Her eyes were half closed as she was biting on her lower lip. Despite facing towards the entrance of the room, she didn’t seem to catch on that somebody entered.

Suzu wasn’t sure what to think of what was going on. She’d returned to her small apartment following her release and had spent the time there resting as she nursed the throbbing in her shoulder down to a dull ache and tried to figure out just what it was that had caused her to even be released at all. She had settled; after a long while of thinking; on the idea that she was now, more than ever, expendable at the slightest misstep, easy to justify the summary execution of a servant of the Empire when she had been shown to break the rules on more than one occasion. She figured whatever the special mission was would end with that, her killing to clear the Empress from any sort of thoughts of wrongdoing. Pin it on a rogue operative and everything would be alright in the long run.

Despite all of the thoughts pervading her mind and filling her with doubt she had arrived to the palace before the specified time and been escorted through the parts more known to her by a servant before she was ushered into a wing of the massive structure that she had only been assigned to a couple of times at best. She gave a simple nod to a fellow Sworn Sword as she moved past them and down the oddly empty halls. She had checked all of her weapons at the front as usual and had been instructed to wear no armor for the meeting, and now for the first time ever felt more uneasy than she ever had as she moved about the ghost town of a wing she had been allowed into. The idea that perhaps this was to be her end crossed her mind. An empty wing, a rogue agent slain by the loyal Sworn Swords of the Empire as the operative attempted to harm their liege. She flexed her hands as she turned the final corner to the room specified.

Instead of a cadre of armed and armored Sworn Swords awaiting her arrival she found only the Empress, reclined in a chair and seemingly swallowed up by the book in her hands. Suzhou rose a hand to the open door and hesitated a moment before knocking softly, “Your Grace. Suzu Yamada, as requested.” she stated with a bow that she would hold.

"Suzu Yamada," the young monarch repeated with a polite tone. A smile crossed Kiyomi’s lips as she would close the book and place it on the nearby table. A subtle gesture was given to Suzu that she could raise from her bow.

"Good, now that you’re here we can get started. I had to double check your record and what has been saved about you. Correct me if I am in the wrong," the monarch continued on a rather polite tone, "but you served with the ANBU, before being recruited into the Sworn Swords. Meaning that you’re quite at home with subterfuge, no?"

The young monarch’s head slightly tilted to the right as she kept her gaze locked on Suzu. "I am more than aware that you’re quite competent in the fighting department. And surviving the horror that is the Claw country at the moment, I have no need to doubt some of your skill. But what I will be asking is going to be perhaps a tad… unorthodox."

A pause followed, as if Kiyomi had to consider once more while eyeing Suzu if she was up for the task at hand.

"I will need you to assassinate somebody for me. And make it look like the Zealots are behind it. Not that much of an issue. Until," the smile returned and seemed a tad more mischievous than what it had looked before. "You consider that you will even have to fool the likes of everybody in the said area. For this target, I can’t even entrust the aid of any shinobi force or military garrison in case something goes wrong. Which you likely already deduced by now but if you are to be captured, you will not granted to life another day. We can’t let you spill important information."

She rose from her bow as the Empress motioned for her and began to speak. She fell into a respectful stance and simply stood in silence as the young girl seemed to breeze over her record as if reminding Suzu of her own deeds. She nodded intently at the Empresses question, “That is correct Your Majesty.” she affirmed to the girl as she continued to wait for where this was truly headed.

Nodding again she’d chime in as the Empress spoke about the unorthodox mission she appeared to have for her, “Nothing new about unorthodox Your Majesty. If I must pose as a Zealot to keep the realm safe then it shall be done.” she stated confidently, not having any actual qualms with such an idea. There had been times in which she’d done similar things to keep a cover or get near a target.

As the Empress went on about how she would be swiftly removed if caught in order to uphold the Empire’s, or perhaps she meant the Empresses, standing Suzu raised an eyebrow. “The target is within the Empire then? Someone high enough and close enough to be… an issue for you?” she said as she motioned at the monarch, “Removal of a political rival is far from abnormal, though I can understand the need for secrecy to uphold your reputation Empress, especially if they’re someone from your own realm. Do explain further Your Majesty, I apologize for interrupting.” she finished with an apologetic bow.

The corners of the young monarch seemed to tilt upwards, quite pleased with the response of the Sworn Sword. Waving the apology away, Kiyomi responded on her turn."That is alright. But yes, your target is somebody that can pose a threat to my rule. Despite my current reputation, not everybody is quite thrilled with me being where I am. They would rather see somebody else. Not something that I would execute a person for. The opinion of the sheep don’t harm the wolf.”

Pausing, the friendly demeanor seemed to shift. "However, it is clear that the target ain’t a sheep. He has some ties to the Earth country and that alone can make him somewhat of a thorn in my side. Not to trouble your consciousness any further, I need the target to be intimidated. So, I need you to kill his future wife. I am certain that he is longing for that happy wedding day. But you will be there as well. And make sure that he doesn’t get to enjoy the prospect of marriage.” The young woman said it like there was nothing wrong at it. More so, she continued. "There won’t be any help, as I stated. And you got to use your talents as good as possible to get the desired effect. Tomorrow, you shall leave for the capital of the Grass province and make sure that Governor Kunihiko IV of the Fujima dynasty gets the message.”

Nodding respectfully at the Empress as she spoke on her current standing among the other leaders of the Empire, Suzu wasn’t in the least bit surprised that her guess had been correct when the Empress made her reasons for calling Suzu to her clear, though she was surprised with the candid nature of the Empress when compared to other times they’d briefly spoken. A connection to the Earth Country wasn’t necessarily a death sentence as far as she had ever known, so beyond that what the Governor had done to deserve such a cruel wedding gift was beyond Suzu, but it didn’t change her view on the orders. Holding her tongue for a moment to ensure that the monarch had stopped with what she wanted to say Suzu would raise an eyebrow for the young woman, “Would you like this to be… Public? Or Private? Obvious as a message, with an unknown sender…? Or appearing as an accident?” she questioned the Empress.

"Making it public or even private would sure to send a clear message. However, fear isn’t always the right way to inspire loyalty. It only works for so long. That and when you start to take away things, people will eventually have nothing to lose.” Kiyomi said, as if she needed to reason with somebody that wasn’t present in the room. "Make it appear as an accident. I believe that will be tragic enough. Dying on your wedding day. Terrible fate but alas, can’t be helped in this case.”

The smile of before still remained present on Kiyomi’s lips. "I do think that if you can manage this without causing disappointment, I will have much more thrilling tasks for you in the future. Do you have any questions, Yamada?”

Nodding curtly as the Empress expressed her wishes for the death to appear an accident, Suzu wouldn’t jump at the prospect of more missions in the future. If she failed she’d die, if she succeeded of course there would be more missions, it was the life she had known for so long, dangling such a thing as an exciting mission in front of her filled her with nothing, not even curiosity.

“None Your Majesty.” she said with a bow.

"Splendid! You got a day to prepare yourself for the travels. I take it that with the cold, the road will be quite safe towards the Grass province. Though be a tad cautious. No telling what lurks around these days.” The empress flashed a smile as she then subtly nodded towards Suzu, indicating that the Sworn Sword could take her leave. "Good luck.”
 

~\The Talentless/~

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24/7 I am a lifeless dweeb
Writing Levels
Give-No-Fucks, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm fine with doing both, being aggressive or being passive.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Scifi, Modern Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Libertine, Furry, Action/Adventure.
Genre You DON'T Like
I do not like school type Roleplays, unless it has to do with supernature stuff, or a school for the gifted. Otherwise, I can't do it, I already go to school, don't need to go to a fictional one.
Into the unknown

Yiko Uchiha | Konohagakure | Team 9

Yiko spent the last few days in the training field, he wanted to better himself in using ninja tools, especially after having that session with karma, he couldn't stop focusing on the mistake he made in the fight, he couldn't let that go. He did a lot of experimenting with both the uses of wire and both kunai and shurikens, while using his lightning jutsu's. The whole thought of using it on the field seemed rather exciting for him.

He had gotten the message of what was next on the list for team 9, bit of a road trip, he had packed up everything he would need, and then some while at the Uchiha compound. Walking out of his Aunts flower shop with a rather large bag, he waved to them goodbye, and walked off to the meetup point he was told to be the days before. He was in no rush, he had time, and didn't want to waste energy trying to get there early. The trip ahead of them seemed a bit daunting at first, spending time in the wild for a long period of time seemed a bit much, but the more Ko thought about it, the less it seemed to bother him. He had spent nights just accidentally sleeping outside under a tree, that started as a nap, but turned into waking up the following day, so he felt confident enough in sleeping outside. On top of that , they had Hiron, and the two new comers to the team incase he needed help or anything.

Looking up at the sky, completely ignoring the noise of everyone else around him, he watched as a few sparrows flew over. lucky bastards. He thought to himself, before looking back down to see his team waiting for him, last person to arrive as always. "Goodmorning team" he spoke softly, before his eyes fell upon karma, who he gave a respectful nod towards.

 

conman2163

Long live Carolus Rex...
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day
My Usual Online Time
8:00 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Generally both. Better make sure I know who is leading and who is following though.
Favorite Genres
Pretty much all of them
Genre You DON'T Like
Yaoi
A New Task

A collab between Conman and Lesli

Summary: A brief meeting is had between Aiko and Orun, and the team leader gives her subordinate a new task

It would have been easy to send somebody to the inn, in order to get and guide her student through the city. But Aiko decided for a few reasons to do it herself. One of them being to be certain that they were there and hadn’t managed to cause any issues. Arriving at the inn, she would speak briefly with the innkeeper. The plump man made it clear that none of Team 8 had done anything that one could describe as troublesome. Which was a relief but also made Aiko wonder if her students would be content staying in a room for days. Probably reading or meditating.
She would have been much different from them when she had been their age. Certainly when it would be to a foreign and new place.

The first who Aiko decided to pay a visit would be Orun Hyuzu. Climbing the staircase, she was quick to find the room where he would be residing. Knocking against the door, Aiko waited a moment for a response.

Orun was not exactly enjoying himself per say. He was never much of a reader or a meditator. When he had time he spent his days enjoying the wilderness or out on the training fields, practicing for combat or perfecting a technique. In this instance, he was not permitted to move around the city, instead basically confined to the inn. While he did not like it, he did not question it, if Aiko decided that it would be best for the team to spend time in this place for whatever reason, he would trust her. For now he was whittling, the dragon he had shown to Yumi during their time at the bar beginning to take shape with various details. The wood shavings were carefully guided into a wooden bowl, showing practiced care and ease. As soon as he heard the knock at the door, he set the knife, bowl, and carving off to the side and went to answer it, looking a tad surprised that Aiko had appeared to knock here. ”Aiko, what can I help you with?”

Waiting for the door to be opened, Aiko nodded. ”Something small.” Entering the room, the woman placed her hands behind her back as she would skip formalities, cutting straight to the point. ”We will be for a while in this city. I am mostly consumed to attend to various meetings and have to divide my attention between some matters. Seeing you’re the second highest ranking operative on Team 8, I want to deploy you in various tasks. To start make you become feel more at home with directing a team and what comes with it.”

The jounin paused briefly. ”I doubt it will be easy. But for at the moment, I think a good start will be to assign both Satia and Neji to your care. Kazumo is occupied with something and I haven’t yet seen enough on how you interact with Team 4.”

”Aye ma’am.” Orun responded briefly, as he stepped aside so that Aiko could enter the room. He had no refreshments to offer her, but this wasn’t exactly a greeting call. ”I would not ask for easy ma’am, I’ll do my best to take care of them. Is there something specifically you had in mind, in regards to the tasks you mentioned ma’am?”

”Currently, I need somebody to go through some more combat training with Neji. Seeing your talents and his, I consider that you could best focus on training him in using weapons. I will let you decide which will be most beneficial or what you can provide him.” Aiko started, giving an answer regarding Neji. It would be somewhat different with Satia though.

”Satia is still a genin, though, quite creative. I want you to focus on her hand to hand fighting. She has shown some aptitude for it but it won’t hurt having you train or exercise with her.” Aiko further explained, now waiting for Orun’s reply or potential questions.

”Aye ma’am, i’ll begin training both of them immediately. Orun turned to face Aiko, crossing his hands behind his back. ”Is there any particular place that you would prefer me to give them instruction at? It was my understanding that your orders were to remain near the Inn, and I cannot say that civilians may appreciate us swinging swords in the street, or trading blows with our fists.”

”Good. I am not sure how long the matters around the Allthing will last. So I will give you three days. In total,” Aiko added, to clarify the exact amount of time. ”My orders were indeed that. I am not sure how much you or the others are aware but people will do a lot more than not appreciate you lot being around. Let alone carrying weapons in the city. Nasty history of the city.”

Fetching something out of her pocket, the woman raised her hand. Three symbols would dangle down from thin rope as Aiko explained her plan further. ”Three symbols that you three are under my care and protection. It will prevent that many will lay a hand on you three. Seeing that you and Satia already speak Chonobi without arising disdain from the locals, I hope you can keep Neji out of problems. Cause,” Stepping closer, the voice of the woman shifted. Her tone was polite but the threat became clear in the phrasing. ”If they find out that an Uchiha walks these street, we will be experiencing a lynching party. And just so that you know, a few powerful people would be quite happy to see it happen.” Holding the three symbols, attached to the ropes, towards Orun, Aiko continued.
”I have arranged that you guys can train at a nearby barracks. Make sure that the guards see the symbol. They already are informed by my people. As long as you prevent that any of you doesn’t do anything stupid, you can go there and come back. No detour. Clear?”

Orun had not thought they would be in such trouble in the city if certain members of their party were found out to belong to the Uchiha or other clans in general. He knew the city clearly was not fond of outsiders, but he hadn’t considered that members of certain groups might be unappreciative of their presence. ”Aye Ma’am, keep Neji out of trouble and keep your symbols at hand to identify us. I’ll make sure there are no detours to and from the barracks.” He took the symbols and slipped them into his pocket.

”Good.” Aiko replied, a small nod following as she had to take in the order as well. ”If things will calm down, I will let you know. From today on, we will be starting with getting you some experience in leading.” The jounin would slowly bow her head, if ever slightly, towards Orun. Clearly intending to walk towards the door, Aiko would halt after a few steps.

”In case that you do wager a challenge. Seek out the leader of Team 4. Learn, talk and later on I might even have a task involving that.” Locking her eyes with Orun, Aiko waited to see if he had any questions before she would take her leave.

Orun was happy, if only a little bit, that he had finally received an assignment good for the rank he was. Stepping out of the way so Aiko could reach the door, he nodded. ”Aye ma’am.” Was his simple reply, before waiting for Aiko to say anything more, or leave. It had been a remarkably short meeting, and for a moment Orun, most impolitely, wondered if this all could have been sent as a message instead.