Naruto: Shadow of the Beast

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by Kattekerma, Aug 11, 2015.

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    The leaf village was generally a very beautiful place. Colorful and peaceful, residents of the great village hustled and bustled about, going about their daily routines, though, but not Hyosuke Yamanoue. Hyosuke smiled softly as he continued neatly packing things into his sling bag. All of it was things he deemed important. After all, today was the day that he would meet his sensei for the first time. He already knew who some of his team was, one of them having been in his class.

    Hyosuke cast a glance at the lemur on a bed in the sun near his window. "Chiko." He said just loud enough for the lemur to hear him. Its ear twitched, showing that it heard Hyosuke. Hyosuke waited another moment, finishing up packing his small bag and fastened it around himself. He paused, looking in the mirror before deciding he looked good enough. "Chiko, I'm going." Hyosuke didn't even wait for the lemur to chitter nor get up as he approached the door, holding out his arm for the lemur to climb on.

    As he opened the door, Chiko jumped onto his arm, running up until he was around Hyosuke's neck. "Well, let's go meet our team and sensei, hm?" Hyosuke couldn't hide the excitement in his voice as he closed his room door.


    Elsewhere, a blonde-haired woman was nearly drunk when she bolted up right. "No!" She yelped, disturbing the peace that was the small bar. Pulling on her mesh shirt sleeve, she spun around on the chair. "Jeez, I'm gonna be late." Running a hand through her hair, she looked around the bar. It seemed as if everyone had let their guard down once again and gone back to their own conversations.

    "Late for what, Ritsu?" The bartender asked, polishing a glass.

    "I'm gonna be a sensei." Ritsuko bragged, pointing a thumb at herself. "But I can't be late!" She downed the rest of her drink in one go and dropped a few bills onto the counter. "See ya!" She ran out of the bar, disappearing in a puff of smoke. When she touched down, Ritsuko was closer to her apartment, once more and she was just outside the door. Unlocking it, Ritsuko quickly went in, grabbing things and stuffing them into a scroll before she left her home again, intent on getting to the meeting place before her new students.

    OVERVIEW (open)



    Nearly 100 years after the passing of the Naruto generation, a new generation arises, as well as new problems. The newest genin on the block--Marako, Maiko and Hyosuke have their work cut out for them if they want to be the best. And it doesn't look like their way to the top will be a cake-walk either.

    With danger at every corner and a semi-mysterious sensei who seems to be out to kill them (occasionally) will these three prevail or sink under the pressure of being a ninja in this world that doesn't seem to accept them?


    The Takakumo Arc is the very first Arc of Part I of Naruto: Shadow of the Beast. In this arc, Team Four goes to the small fishing village of Takakumo with the premise of a 'special mission' which turns out to be a D-Rank mission to help an old man with his farm, however the more time they spend there, the more they realize that something isn't right. It all culminates to Marako's kidnapping and a fight between him and his new rival, a young boy named Mamoru Koriyama.

    Cast List (open)

    Team Four (Team Bakuhatsu Ban-Ban)
    • Akera Ritsuko [Jonin Sensei; 26; Alive]
    • Maiko [Genin; 16; Alive]
    • Arita Marako [Genin; 12; Alive]
    • Yamanoue Hyosuke [Genin; 13; Alive]
    • Chiko [Animal Companion to Hyosuke; 4; Alive]

    Team One [Konoha]
    • Motoyasu Kishara [Jonin Sensei]
    • Yone Kai [Genin]
    • Miyazawa Kyojo [Genin]
    • Takashita Shino [Genin]
    Team Two [Konoha]
    • Otaka Komine [Jonin Sensei]
    • Akera "Kichi" Kichirou [Genin]
    • Jirahara Minoto [Genin]
    • Lebroy Suni [Genin]
    Team Three [Konoha]
    • Kagami Tetsuo
    • ???
    • ???
    • ???
    • Hokage: Uzumaki Hiro
    • Raikage:
    • Mizukage:
    • Kazekage:
    • Tsuchikage:
    • Seika Yamanoue [Hyosuke's Mother]
    • Yamanoue Family
    • Sousuke [Sensei Friend of Ritsuko]
    • Arita Shizi [Marako's Father]
    • Arita Kurimu [Marako's Mother]
    • Sophie Yamanoue (Hyosuke's Cousin)
    • Hyosuke's Aunt Miyako and Uncle Shinsuke
    • Ayako (Takashi's daughter)
    • Old Man Takashi [Deceased]

    • Takakumo Arc
      • Mr. Arc
      • Kage-sensei​
      • Kōriyama Mamoru

    • Yama Mountain: The Mountain separating Konohagakure from Takakumo Village. It is hard to traverse if one does not know the terrain. The actual mountain's name is lost to history and has ironically been become "Yama Mountain" to those who live around it.​
    • Takakumo Village: A small, close-knit fishing village that's big on the agricultural front. For two years, it went unnoticed that it was under the control of a local gang.​
    #1 Kattekerma, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  2. Marako sheepishly dug through his clothes, pulling out what he deemed appropriate for the days to come. Today was the day he had always dreamed of, he was finally a Genin and now he was going to have a group to call his own! The sheepish and tired look on his way soon shifted to more of a delighted smile when he realized what exactly was going to happen today. Like rain seen on a cloudy day, it all came down on him all at once, his dreams were becoming a reality. He wasn't waking up early for training, he was waking up early to start the journey of a lifetime.

    He closed his bag of items and just before he rushed through the door he stopped. He turned around and grabbed his book that he hadn't finished reading yet, how could he forget about this? After all, he is a book worm. Then he was off. He kissed his mother good bye and as he left his home waved good bye at his father who was coming back from buying groceries.

    "Good luck Marako!" He called out but Marako simply kept waving, not looking back. This town saw him as a hero, and it's about time that he lived up to their expectation. He ran towards the site where they would meet and stopped a couple meters away, so he can catch his breath. But when he got there a strange girl, with her back against a tree, was waiting.



    Maiko had waken up early that day, she wasn't going to waste any time getting out of that damned Orphanage. She hated all the people there, and didn't want to say bye to anyone. She was sure that they would be all happy to see her gone by daylight, not that she cared. It was around five in the morning when she awoke and they were supposed to meet in an hour and a half.

    She packed all that she needed, a couple pairs of clothing, her toothbrush, and a teddy bear Shinji gave her embarrassingly enough. She blushed as she held the stuffed animal, it was a pink teddy bear that had the words, "I love you" stitched on them. She took a deep breath, looking around the room she hated oh so much before departing.

    She waited at the site until somebody showed up. Her back was against the tree as she rested, knowing that when she did meet with her sensei the road ahead would be a lot tougher. "Hm?" She heard coming up the road. When she looked over she saw that boy the village all loved, Marako.

    "Hey." She mumbled, not being one for conversations
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  3. Hyosuke landed near the two, surprised to already see them. "We should've left earlier..." Hyosuke snapped his fingers. "U-Uh, hello!" He greeted quietly, pulling at the edges of his shirt. "I'm Hyosuke--er Yamanoue Hyosuke!" He bowed to them then took in their appearances. The girl looked to be much taller and older than he and the other boy, the one he recognized from his class, also know as a konoha's promising new hero, Marako Arita.

    They both looked capable, like ninjas compared to Hyosuke, who was just kind of... there. He inwardly frowned, trying his best to stay positive. Chiko chittered, moving around until he was settled on top of Hyosuke's head. Curiously, the lemur watched the movements of the clearing's other two occupants. It was silent for a moment, and awkward. Hyosuke's cheeks burned in embarrassment. This was torture.

    "Oh jeez!" A new voice interrupted them. A blonde woman skidded to a halt just behind Hyosuke, rubbing her head. "Jeez, jeez..." She held the scroll out. "You guys are already here! Thanks for showing up early, jeez." She sighed before calming herself. "Okay, well that's fine. That's just how it has to be."

    Ritsuko looked them over, easily pinpointing their personalities. "So we've got the frigid chick, the awkward boy and the town hero, hm?" She pointed to each of them respectively. "Well that's just fine by me. I like diversity!" Ritsuko rolled out her scroll. "I'm a little sad though, I wanted the first meeting of Team Bakuhatsu Ban-Ban to be really great! Like," She formed hand signs as she spoke, "I wanted us to go off with a bang! Ha!"
    #3 Kattekerma, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  4. Marako watched the girl and she stared right back at him, they were making eye contact and he could swear she was staring into his soul. He blushed and started scratching the back of his head, looking around for the other member or their sensei. "Hi..." He waved but she just looked away, she apparently didn't care about his existence. He has heard about the girl before, the monster of the village. But, what made her a monster? She looked just like any other person, except for the strange hair and the markings on her face.

    Suddenly he jumped out of deep thought, noticing the boy who was in his class back when they were still at the academy. He was so shy, and his cheeks, they were pink. 'What...he has a lemur?' Marako thought to himself and waved at him. "I'm Marako Arita, but you can call me Marako!" He smiled again, ignoring the fact that Maiko watched the two of them in complete silence.

    "Strange boy and hero of Konoha? Great." She whispered to herself and sighed.

    That was when Ritsuko made her grand entrance, a beautiful blonde woman who reeked of alcohol. Marako looked over, he was caught in a daze. She was so young, and he's never seen her around before. 'She's our sensei?' He contemplated with himself. That's when she pointed each one of them all, Marako the town hero, everyone usually called him that. But this time, he was flushed, it was coming from a beautiful woman.

    But her comment to Maiko was taken differently. "Frigid?" She mouthed, repeating what her sensei said. It made her blush in anger as she crossed her arms and looked away. But after she made the comment about starting it with a bang Marako could've swore he heard a cricket making fun of her terrible joke.

    "Yeah, well," He scratched the back of his head, "We're all here and ready for duty I guess." There was a couple seconds of silence and Marako was determined not to let that turn into minutes, "What's the scroll for?"
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  5. "Haha!" Ritsuko winked at him, "I'll get to that in a minute," She slammed her palm down onto the scroll, "But for now, let's introduce ourselves, hm! Starting with you, lemur-boy!" Ritsuko pointed at Hyosuke with her free hand as she gathered up whatever was within the scroll. Hyosuke yelped quietly at her declaration and looked between his two teammates.

    Chiko hopped off of Hyosuke's shoulder, approaching Ritsuko and sniffing around her. She reached out, ruffling the animal's fur as it squeaked before moving on to Marako. Hyosuke didn't even seem to notice. He was much more concerned with this introduction-thing.
    Marako seemed friendly enough, but it was just as their new sensei had said, the other one was a little... cold. He looked from the young sensei to the other two before he exhaled. "M-My name is Yamanoue Hyosuke and... um... how do I do this?"

    "I don't know," Ritsuko shrugged, standing to her full height, which wasn't much. "Um, just your name and, like maybe your specialties. I don't know. An interesting fact maybe?" Hyosuke frowned. She suggested it, shouldn't she know what she was having them do?

    "Alright, I guess..." Hyosuke replied, "My specialties are close combat, though I don't like to do it and I'm intermediate with healing abilities."

    "Oh, we got ourselves a med-nin in the making hm?" Ritsuko said, turning around to face them. In her arms were various fireworks. "Okay, frosty, you're up next." Ritsuko gestured to the girl, "Then you, home-town hero, and I'll go... then we'll use these!" Her eyes sparkled as she gestured to the fireworks.
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Maiko listened to the boy speak, noticing how awkward he was whenever he spoke about himself or anything. But he was a healer, those are rare to come by now a days. Maybe he won't be completely useless after all. But in the eyes of Marako, he was pretty cool. He just needed to get used to everyone and he wouldn't be as strange.

    Maiko looked over when she was up, there was a couple seconds of silence. She finally decided to speak up, her voice being clearly heard for the first time by all three of them. Actually, come to think of it, she has never opened her mouth during her years in the academy. "My name is Maiko. I am very skilled when it comes to combat when it's up close and personal. I'm not very social, and I don't expect myself to succumb to friendship with any of you."

    "What's your last name?" Marako spoke up and was taken aback by the glance she gave him.

    "I have no last name. I have no family." She simply answered, as if it didn't bother her. Then she went back to crossing her arms and spacing off.

    "Well uhm, it's my turn." Marako cleared his threat and bowed, "Hello everyone, my name is Marako Arita. I like reading books and fighting, uhm...let's see. Oh I have this mask," He held up a mask that he would always wear when he would train (it's in the photo for him ^.^). "It's kinda like my lucky charm. I'm an all around fighter and well, I can't wait to work with you a-" He looked at Maiko he didn't pay him mind. He really didn't like her thus far. "A-all." He finished his introduction.

    "What're the fireworks for exactly? I thought we were going to get a really cool mission as soon as we met." Marako asked, scratching the back of his head.
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  7. "That's great!" Ritsuko looked excited, "You're all a wonderful bunch, I'm sure. But Maiko," She gave the girl a pointed look, her happy demeanor seemingly diminishing, "You don't have to be friends with these to so much as you have to work with them. They're your teammates right now and that's that."

    Hyosuke looked from the two then at his lemur who didn't seem to get the memo that Maiko didn't want to be friends. "Chiko!" Hyosuke harshly whispered, but the lemur didn't seem to care. Instead, he rubbed his tail against Maiko's leg, curling up at her feet. Hyosuke frowned. He didn't want to go over there at all. She was just a little scary.

    Ritsuko looked them over, a smile returning to her face before she broke out into a loud laughter at Marako's words. "Ha! Seriously? Who told you that? Was it Sousuke? He's such a lie," Ritsuko shook her head at the academy sensei's antics. "No," She recovered, "There's no 'super cool' mission you're going on. Not any time soon, at least."

    "Well let me introduce myself." Ritsuko smiled brightly at them, "Team Bakuhatsu Ban-Ban's sensei, Akera Ritsuko! My specialties are downing three beers in under a minute and half and pretty much stealing all of the hokage's candy." She nodded at her accomplishments, "As for what we're doing with these, we're gonna set them off to mark our first time as a team! Then we're gonna take a picture together!" Ritsuko gestured to the camera on the ground.

    Hyosuke raised a hand, Ritsuko's attention drifting to the boy. "Um... it's daytime, though... why would we set off fireworks?"

    "Because it's fun!" Came Ritsuko's answer. She quietly added, "And I need to get them out of my house..." She walked around, handing each of the three two, leaving four for herself. "Okay, we're gonna write a dream or a wish or a goal on them and set them off! Don't tell anyone or it won't come true!"

    Hyosuke looked down at his two fireworks. This was pretty childish if he did say so himself. He looked to his new sensei, hoping that this was a mistake and she was just some random woman who wanted to get rid of fireworks. But she did have a Hitai-ate tied around her left arm. Maybe she was a chunin playing a trick on them?

    Hyosuke didn't know at this point, but it looked like everyone else was complying with her wishes, so he might as well. He pulled out a marker and began writing on the paper of the firework.
    • You Get a Cookie You Get a Cookie x 1
  8. Maiko nodded lightly at what her sensei said, she understood that very well. She aspired to be a ninja ever since Shinji, so she knew what it took to become great. Leadership skills, teamwork, and comradery. All of that she was willing to have, but that didn't mean she wanted to make friends. She felt something soft touch her leg and looked down, she was met with the big bulging eyes of a lemur.

    She blushed and tried shooing it away with her hands, but it stayed there, just watching her. She looked around at the sensei, then Marako, and then the shy boy known as Hyosuke. He pointed down at the lemur, but when she did so he looked away. Did he really think she was going to hurt him or something? Of course, they still saw her as the monster she was. But this animal, it was different.

    She bent down and with her index finger scratched it under the chin. She smiled softly but quickly stopped when she caught Marako staring at him. A light blush stained her cheeks as she glanced back at her sensei who continued to introduce herself. Once she was done she handed them fireworks and instructed them to write their names on it.

    "Uhm, Sensei Ritsuko," The girl spoke up, curious as to what she was trying to do, "What's your plan behind this all?" Her inquiry very specific, her voice still almost monotone and emotionless. But she was actually cracking, maybe it was all those years of silence making her seem so damn cold.

    While she asked she started writing on her two fireworks. One said the words, "Be a strong Ninja" and the other was much more touching and sad for the 'cursed child'. "Be accepted" was written on it in cursive.

    Marako wrote, "Be the strongest Ninja of all time" and "Make Konoha proud". Marako was still in thought about what he had witnessed with the girl and the lemur. She had a heart after all, poor girl just wanted attention. Something he was too intimidated to give her at the moment.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. "Hm?" Ritsuko looked over at Maiko, taking in her question. "My plan? I just want us to become closer as a team! You guys are gonna be together for a while, it's good to get to know one another."

    Ritsuko then turned back to her fireworks, scribbling on them with a chunky marker. She didn't have words on her first firework, instead it being crappy pictures of the four of them and Chiko. On her second one she wrote "let them succeed." Satisfied with her handiwork, Ritsuko stood up, smiling widely.

    On Hyosuke's fireworks, he wrote "Learn to speak up" and "Become a great healer". After he finished, he looked up, seeing his sensei and Chiko run towards the middle of the clearing. Skidding to a halt, the woman jammed her two fireworks into the ground, snickering. Hyosuke followed her over, doing the same thing.

    "Okay, kids. Do any of ya know a fire jutsu?" She asked them once they were all surrounding her. Hyosuke shook his head. He didn't know many jutsu, considering only his mother had the training of a ninja, even then her knowledge was limited to mostly healing based jutsus with the occasional defense and shield jutsu. He learned all he could from her, but they weren't exactly fire-jutsu people. His family on his mother's side leaned more towards earth and water based jutsu.
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  10. Maiko raised an eyebrow as everyone rushed over to the spot where she stuck fireworks into the ground. She slowly walked over to the spot while Marako was excited and ran over besides them all. When he heard the question given to him by his sensei he nodded.

    Marako was trained by his father ever since he was a child on how to fight. His father was once a ninja, now retired, he would always tell him stories about how he beated the bad guys. He would also talk about how his partners would always be there for him and save his butt on occasions. Then suddenly as a child Marako spoke up about how he wanted to be a ninja.

    -Flash back-

    (Play this while reading: )

    "Honey, have you seen my Hitai-ate?" His father, Lionel Arita, called out before turning around to see his son wearing it. He had a big smile on his five year old face.

    "Papa, I want to be a strong ninja just like you!" He said giggling as he threw some fake punches at the air.

    His father was taken aback, he watched his son. He was born was a genetic disease that gave him snow white hair that some compared to the legendary Jiraiya. His son was short for his age and not very strong, he was actually a sick boy. But from the look in his eyes he could tell his son was serious. This boy is going to be great. He just knew it.

    "Well, I'll tell you what. I'll train you, but you can never give up. No matter how hard it gets." He asked his son, bending down on one knee to look his son in his eyes.

    "I promise I won't papa!" He smiled.

    "Well come on then, meet me in the back yard." As they both walked out into the back yard Marako snapped out of his deep thought.

    -Memory ends-

    His father was the reason why he knew what he did, all of his jutsus were taught by his father and mastered by him. Obviously it took time, but the wait was worth it.
    He steadied his hand, ready to use his jutsu with a very small amount of power.

    Maiko on the other hand just shook her head, "I-" She blushed,"Remember when we learned about the greatest Kazekage of all time, Gaara? You know, he could only bend sand. Well, I'm the same way, except I can only use water. I um, have never learned any jutsu's." It was obvious this might have been an insecurity for Maiko. One she didn't share often.
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  11. Ritsuko nodded, looking between her three students. "Ah, the Kazekage, Gaara." She nodded sagely. "A girl water version of him." She nodded again, "Well that's just fine and dandy, you'll find your way, I wasn't as great a ninja as I am now when I first started, ya know." She flexed, making Hyosuke chuckle slightly at her antics, "So I guess you can light 'em up, hero." Ritsuko stepped back a smile still on her face.

    Hyosuke took a step back, watching Marako light up the fireworks. Chiko ran back, coiling his tail around Maiko's leg. Hyosuke glanced over at Chiko, eyes wide for a moment before he looked up at Maiko. Obviously the lemur had some sort of attachment to the girl even thought he was pretty sure the two had never met. He didn't mind people playing with Chiko or him taking a shine to others, he just hoped Chiko wasn't annoying Maiko.

    He really didn't want to get on her bad side. Ritsuko looked at the three of them before snapping her fingers and running back over to her scroll. She grabbed the camera and ran back over, snapping a picture of the three looking oblivious. "Oh yeah, totally keeping that one." She then held the camera out, letting herself get into the picture before she took it. All that was seen of her was half her face, being her right eye and half of her wide smile.

    "Ooh! My first team! So fun!" She squealed. Hyosuke watched her for a moment. She acted nothing like the senseis in he academy, nor did she act like the sensei of the kid who worked in the flower shop. That man was calm and poised. Serious. But she wasn't. Hyosuke frowned, were they actually going to learn somethings or was she just going to fool around with them and have them set off fireworks and take pictures. But then again, Hyosuke mentally berated himself, he shouldn't be judging her like that. She was a sensei for a reason, even if she didn't look like it, dressed casually in her one-sleeved kimono, held together at the waist by bandages.

    Hyosuke needed to be more positive. That's what his mother always said. And it seemed like Maiko and Marako trusted her enough not to bolt right when they met her, so maybe she was the real thing, despite not looking like it.
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  12. Maiko nodded at her sensei, a female version of the greatest kazekage? She seemed to like that idea. She looked over at Marako who was making signals with his hand, suddenly fire burst from his fingertips. He began to light up every firework when suddenly Ritsuko took a photo of all of them. In the photo Maiko was smiling down at the lemur and Marako was making this awkward face as he tried focusing his chakra down at his fingertips.

    "Was that necessary?" She asked, a blush stained her cheeks. It was obvious she didn't want to be photographed, especially not smiling.

    Before Ritsuko answered her at all she took another photo of the whole group together. Hyosuke's shy face watching Marako light up the fireworks, Ritsuko's half face smiling at the camera, and Maiko stubbornly looking away from the camera. Chiko seemed to know exactly what was happening as he glanced at the camera, his striped tail still wrapped around Maiko's legs.

    Before Maiko could keep arguing she was interrupted by the popping of fireworks. They couldn't see them, but they definitely heard them. The sounds of the erupting gunpowder popping in the air led to a smile on Marako's face. "I wish we could see them." He whispered under his breath so only Maiko and Hyosuke can hear him.

    Maiko was surprised he even spoke to her at all. But she just grinned lightly, almost a half smile. "Yeah...fireworks are cool."

    Finally after the fireworks stopped going off Marako looked over at his sensei,"What now Sensei?" He asked. He always expected them to have awesome training sessions, missions and other things as soon as the day came by that he was a genin. But the harsh reality was he was still new into the world of being a ninja, and he had to accept that. Maiko only wondered what other creative things Ritsuko had in mind.

    Then suddenly her stomach started to rumble and she put her hand over her stomach, "I forgot to pack breakfast." She whispered under her voice.
  13. “Completely.” Ritsuko stuck her tongue out at Maiko. All of these photos were needed. So she could show them later one how much they’d changed and grown. Plus, Ritsuko was a sucker for scrapbooking and this would be the perfect picture for it. She could see it now, a whole nice page with that photo on it. Amazing. She stared up at the barely visible puffs of smoke in the air. “Maybe next time we’ll set them off at night.” Ritsuko shrugged. It was the point of the message, not the actual fireworks she cared about.

    “They’re pretty great.” Hyosuke agreed with the two, smiling lightly. Ritsuko watched with a soft smile as her students all seemed to be getting along a little bit. Once they were over, Hyosuke, along with Maiko and Marako turned to look at Ritsuko who had begun positioning the tripod with the camera on top when Marako’s question hit her. It was a good question, Hyosuke thought. He was curious what this unconventional sensei had in mind next.

    “Well first we’re going to take a formal picture and then.” Ritsuko slammed her fist into her open palm, “We’re gonna have a test to gauge your current strength. Once we do that, I’ll be able to come up with a training regimen that will help all of you reach your maximum potential.”

    Hyosuke blinked. That was an answer he wasn’t expecting from this happy-go-lucky sensei. “Picture time!” Ritsuko pressed a few buttons on the camera before running over to the three Ritsuko’s stomach started to growl, she giggled, giving them a full-toothed smile, “Okay, picture time then food time then training test! Everybody squeeze in!” She yelped, pulling Maiko and Hyosuke into closer.

    The two were smushed up against Marako in an attempt to get them all together. The first picture was rather uncomfortable for them all. However, Ritsuko let her grip slacken on the two and Hyosuke sneezed, blurring himself in the second photo as Chiko ran up Marako to perch on Ritsuko’s head.

    “Woah!” Ritsuko yelped, pushing Marako forward and nudging Maiko. The third photo happened to be a mish-mash of their current predicament. Ritsuko trying to get Chiko off of her while Hyosuke knelt to help Marako up. What a team this was going to be.
  14. Maiko sighed after the fireworks were over, well, that was the end of the most fun she had in a while. But it didn't take her long to notice her sensei, Ritsuko, putting up a tripod right in front of them. She ran her fingers through her hair, "Here we go again," She sighed but couldn't help but feel excited when she heard her mention some type of training. Maiko was always a big fan of training, at the Orphanage, she would spend most of the day outside trying to better herself. It ended up working out, she was a fierce competitor in hand to hand combat. Probably the best one out of all three students.

    Marako on the other hand was an all around fighter, he wasn't advanced anywhere except for the fact that he knew a handful of jutsus. The two of them couldn't really go deep into thought about what they were going to do though because ritsuko was prepared to take a couple photos. "Again?" Marako looked over in disbelief, she was carrying a tripod with her this whole time.

    In the first photo Maiko had this look of anger as her face was being smashed up against Marako's, while Marako tried his best to keep a smile in the awkward position he was in. Then Hyosuke sneezed forcing Marako to move away in disgust, that caused his head to bump against Maiko who grunted in anguish as she held onto her head. In the third photo Marako found himself on the floor and the nudge by Ritsuko to the already off guard Maiko forced her to fall on her butt.

    Chiko pounced from her head over to Hyosuke's shoulder and he was probably the only one in the third photo that didn't come out blurry.

    "And this is why I don't like photos." Maiko rolled her eyes as she cracked a smile at her sensei.

    After all the fiddling around with the photos, they went to a near by ramen restaurant to get some warm ramen to eat. Marako sat between Ritsuko and Hyosuke as Maiko sat at the end all by herself. That was until Chiko ran over to keep her company, she caressed the lemur's fur as the chief walked over to the counter. He was an older man, probably in his late fifties, with grey hair starting to sprout out over his balding head. He carried a notepad with him while he wore his chief uniform.

    "Ah, Marako, nice to see you around here again," He said with a chuckle, "What can I get for you all?"

    "The usual please," Marako answered politely.

    After he took down Ritsuko's and Hyosuke's order he paused and looked over at Maiko, the cursed child. He raised and eyebrow and looked at those three again, "She's not the other member is she? You do know, she has the markings of the beast."
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  15. “They’re great! Better than expected!” Ritsuko cheered, looking at the three of them. These pictures were great in her opinion. They really captured what the team was all about. And that seemed to be awkward first meetings. It wasn’t long after that they were in a small ramen stall getting something to eat. Ritsuko smiled widely, licking her lips as she glanced over the menu.

    Hyosuke wasn’t too hungry, he’d had a little something to eat that morning and they’d only been out for maybe an hour or so, a glance at his watch told him. Hyosuke looked up, seeing the tail end of Chiko run over to Maiko, who sat far away from them. He was decided that it would be futile to tell Chiko to come back or scold him later on because it didn’t seem like Maiko minded much. Well, at least someone was breaking down the girl’s walls. Hyosuke knew she didn’t want to be friends, but that was a little harsh.

    Hyosuke ordered a simple soup and Ritsuko seemed to get at least four dishes. “Can you eat all that?” Hyosuke commented before he could stop himself. Ritsuko looked over at him bewildered before she smiled.

    “You don’t talk much, Hyosuke!” She instead commented, “You can be…” She snapped her fingers, “Shijima!”

    “Isn’t a nickname supposed to be shorter than an actual name?” Hyosuke questioned, “And why Shijima?”

    “Cause you’re so quiet.” Ritsuko nodded, “It’s just until we can think of a better nickname!” She looked up at the older man, her eyes narrowing slightly. Hyosuke caught it, looking over at Maiko and then down at the table. Yeah, he knew she was the beast child, but he was courteous of people’s feeilngs and didn’t want to bring it up. He didn’t want her to dislike him more than she probably already did. “Yes, she is our third member and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk down about her as if she’s a monster.”

    Hyosuke wasn’t too surprised at Ritsuko’s answer. She seemed the type to vehemently protect someone. “Maiko?” Hyosuke spoke up, Ritsuko and himself surprised, “Come sit with us?”
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  16. The old man was startled by Ritsuko's sudden outburst. He furrowed his eyebrows ready to say some rude things but noticed the look on her face. He simply grunted and walked over to Maiko. In a low murmur he asked her, "What would you like?" His voice was grouchy. It was obvious the man wanted nothing to do with the girl. Maiko looked up at him and quietly ordered ramen.

    ( Play this while reading the next part:


    "Maiko?" Maiko's heart started beating rapidly when she heard her name, was that boy really talking to her? Wasn't it embarrassing enough that she was called a monster already and she needed her sensei to defend her? She went from looking down at the table over to Hyosuke, her light brown eyes watched his. Her lip quivered slightly when she heard the next part, "Come sit with us."

    Marako was looking over, beaming at her with his full tooth smile. He put his hand behind his head and gave out a little laugh, "Yeah come on! We're partners, aren't we?" She watched them all. Her sensei, with a happy go lucky attitude who seems to know what she's doing, a shy boy who knows a thing or two when it comes to healing, a boy with bright white hair who seems to be known by everyone, and then a lemur. Then it was her, the monster. But they accepted her, for who she was not was she was born with. To them she wasn't a monster. She was Maiko.

    She smiled and nodded before standing up and sitting over by her sensei. She looked at the group and shook her head at how kind they were towards her, "You guys are something else."

    Soon after the little heartfelt moment they all got their meals and chowed down. Marako was the first to finish and he looked over rather startled at how Ritsuko stuffed her face with four dishes of ramen. He just sat there, mouth wide wondering how she could possibly have such an appetite for a lady. Once everyone was done with their meals, they were led by Ritsuko Sensei to where they met in order to continue on to the next step. The Training Test.
    • Love Love x 1
  17. Ritsuko nearly drowned in her ramen while Hyosuke ate his food rather politely. He wasn't at all like Marako and Ritsuko when it came to eating, though he did save a few noodles for Chiko, who slurped them up without much thought. Hyosuke scratched the lemur's head, smiling down at the little animal. It seemed like he was becoming the mascot of their team... Bakuhatsu Ban-Ban. They'd have to convince her to change the name. They were Team 4 if he wasn't mistaken. "Damn skippy we're somethin' else! We're your team!" Ritsuko slurped up the last of her noodles. "Ah, that was really good, don't you think? Well, it's time to go!" She pointed her finger in the air, slamming down a few bills. "Marako, this food is good but I'm never coming back here!" She enthused cheerily.

    Hyosuke could only assume that it was because of the way the old man treated Maiko. This woman was certainly protective of her students. It almost put Ritsuko in a new light. Almost. That is, until she tripped over the stool and dragged it down with her. After setting it right, Ritsuko ran out of the stall. "She certainly doesn't act like a sensei..." Hyosuke commented as they followed her back to the training grounds. Ritsuko stood in front of them, a smile on her face once they all arrived.

    "Okay!"Ritsuko clapped her hands, "Now, it's time for the training test!" She cheered wildly, Chiko doing the same. Hyosuke looked down at the little lemur before turning his attention back to Ritsuko, "And for this, I have devised the most perfect way of getting to know all of your strengths and weakness through a simple test." The gleam in her eyes made Hyosuke think that this wasn't going to be such a simple test. "Do you see that mountain up there?" Hyosuke's eyes followed the blonde woman's tanned finger as she pointed up towards the large mountain in the distance.

    Hyosuke nodded, looking over at his two teammates, "Mount. Aoi Arashi." Hyosuke said, "Known for the strange blue-colored rain that falls near it's peak."

    Ritsuko nodded, "Right, so you do know." She took a step forward, "Let me explain why this is important." Ritsuko held up a finger, "So this mountain is basically your test. I want you to somehow--I don't care how--get up the mountain and retrieve one of the flags I've placed up there.

    That sounded easy enough to Hyosuke, but he still couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't going to be that easy. Ritsuko seemed like the happy, laid back type, but she didn't get to where she was just by being like that, Hyosuke was sure. He looked down at Chiko who stared back at him with beady eyes. The lemur then climbed up him, wrapping his tail around Hyosuke's neck.

    Ritsuko looked at each of them, smiling before she raised her arm. "And... go!" She brought her arm down quickly, not stopping until it hit the ground, shaking it underneath their feet before she dissappeared. Hyosuke recovered from the sudden shock and hopped away, heading towards the mountain that looked... further away?
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1
  18. Maiko sighed and shook her head when Ritsuko fell down, she got tied up by a stool. God is this really her sensei? Looks like she truly is something else. She stood in between Marako and Hyosuke, a cold sweat running down her forehead when her Sensei ran out. "Tell me about it..." She agreed with Hyosuke.

    The three of them were walking to the site calmly, not wanting to waste any energy they might need when the test began. But the walk there was awkward, no conversations, just the sound of their feet stomping against the dirt path that led to the site. Once they got there they were all greeted by an excited Ritsuko. Marako knew from the time he saw her, she had something in mind, something that wouldn't be so fun for them.

    She started talking about a mountain in the distance and what Marako feared was soon to come. They had to climb it and retrieve a flag that she left at the top. Now, Marako had no problem running, but he had a fear of heights so climbing that was going to be a problem. Then it hit him, did she know he was scared of heights? Was she doing this to try and connect them more as a team or was he just overthinking it far too much?

    Maiko was bewildered, she didn't expect the training to commence so quickly. Marako sprinted off, his speed probably the best one of the group due to his short size and lightweight. He sprinted past Hyosuke and Maiko ran after him but slowed down when she saw Hyosuke, "Hey...can you keep up?" She asked, not looking at him. She wasn't being nice, she just saw this as returning the favor.

    Marako was making some good time as he sprinted for the mountain but was caught off guard when it looked farther, "What- how the hell?"
  19. "U-Uh yeah!" Hyosuke said, running along side Maiko, "Her shaking the ground just caught me off guard a little bit," Hyosuke admitted. He was probably weaker than the other two when it came to running. Hyosuke was better than most, but speed wasn't his forte. Either he was sticking back to help with the injured or he was a heavy-hitter due to his size. Hyosuke looked up at the mountain again. "Don't you think..." He started. He couldn't believe how much he'd been talking today! It was probably a new record, Hyosuke was sure. Chiko squeaked, Hyosuke casting a momentary glance at the lemur as his eyes widened. "Traps?" Hyosuke was quick enough to jump out of the way, pulling Maiko with him as a large wooden log nearly slammed into him. Instead, it hit the tree behind them. Hyosuke widened his eyes. When did she have time to step all this up?

    Up ahead, Hyosuke could see an oncoming log coming close to smashing into Marako, but he seemed none the wiser to it coming. Hyosuke stopped, allowing another log to passby, this time with spikes on it before they continued running. Wow, she definitely put a lot of work into this. He should've known it wouldn't be as easy as go up the mountain and capture the flag.

    They'd be up there for a while--if they even made it up there--considering Ritsuko-sensei hadn't told them where exactly the flag was, but that was alright, Hyosuke pretty much knew teh mountain like the back of his head. He'd been up there so many times for healing herbs and to play that it didn't at all phase him that they were going to the mountain. What concerned him instead was the fact that the closer they got, the farther the mountain seemed. Was there something he was missing about it?
  20. Marako gasped as a log seemed to appear out of thin air, rolling right for him he swiftly jumped over the log with spikes protruding out of it and kept running. Then from the side of a tree, a broad plank with nails poking out of it swung over, trying to hit him.. He jumped down and went prone, the trap missed him by a hair string. He looked over as he saw his two allies run past him, they seemed to be talking about something. He quickly pushed himself up and caught up with them. "What the hell, is she trying to kill us?" He asked.

    "I knew this wasn't going to be easy," Maiko told him as she finished thanking Hyosuke for the help. She pointed up at the mountain,"She's definitely doing something. The faster we run the farther it gets. Then there are countless of traps coming for us." Distracted by the conversation she almost didn't notice an upcoming log. Water from the container on her back slithered out and slashed it in half,saving her and her allies from injury.

    Marako almost didn't even see it coming, he was glad he had her there to help him, or else he would've been a goner. He kept running besides them and the mountain continued to get even farther. "Do you think it's a type of Jutsu?" He asked dodging another one of the spikes from the trees.

    "I'm not sure, all I do know is Ritsuko Sensei may be crazy." Maiko yelled out, when suddenly she tripped. A rope trap grabbed her by the ankle and lifted her upside down under a tree. Marako stopped but she just yelled for him to keep going. "I can handle this damn it, just go!" Now it was a time for Hyosuke and Marako to make a decision, help her and risk getting caught by traps, or keep going and let her deal with it by herself.

    "We're a team." Marako replied stubbornly and ran back to help her.
    • Love Love x 1