Private End of the Rainbow <Private>

Uzu

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Oct 23, 2012
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A roar of blood escaped from Toushin’s lips as he hovered over the toilet bowl in his home. A couple worried knocks from his daughter at the bathroom door had been explained away as a night of hard drinking haunting him an hour ago, but now he wondered how wise it had been to hide his condition. Toushin wasn’t doing well. The fight with Yong had not only drained what little energy he had at his age, it had also sped up the cancer that he thought was under control. Turned out that using the black blood to enhance his strength, which it allowed, had all but killed him. He had needed every last bit of it just to keep up with the missing shinobi’s tireless strength, and in the end still lost the fight. The fact that Uzu continued to do anything else but occupy a hospital bed in a cancer ward was nothing short of a damn miracle. The last month had gone by with a blur as his protege moved ahead plans by leaps and bounds. Things he thought he’d never get to see was coming into fruition…but at the same time, as the assassin stared into a bowl of blood, he knew his time was coming. The older man’s golden eyes brimmed with tears for a moment as he thought of all the things he was going to miss now, but they were quickly brushed away. There was only one more step to tilting the Undergound’s balance naturally back towards light for a decade. Eventually, someone was going to find a way to take advantage of things, move enough money to get stuff done, and once again start the race for Underground leadership; it was the way. However, with Kana keeping peace as a ghost, Uzu hoped to extend that decade into at least two. It would be more than enough for the top side to get enough together to finally wrest control from those beneath, which would all but destroy the Black Market. Reaching up for the handle the assassin tugged it down to flush away the evidence of how badly the cancer was eating him, and quietly stalked back to his bed.

The next morning, Toushin awoke at his normal time feeling the effects of last night pounding against his head. A weakness took his entire body as the elder found it nearly impossible to even move. With what little strength he could muster his hand shakily reached up to the nightstand where a small black box rested. Lifting the unlocked lid he grabbed at the paper pouches inside and managed to fix one between his fingers. With as much concentration as he could muster, the assassin brought the packet to mouth, raised his dry tongue, and pinched the paper. A blue powder escaped the package and settled under his tongue for a moment before turning into a liquid that absorbed right into the muscle. A blinding pain struck the back of his skull and without control the assassin found himself being sick again within the bed as blood stained his sheets and strength slowly crept into his atrophied limbs. Uzu’s breathing went from ragged to normal after about five minutes, and the assassin lifted himself out of bed with the same grace he usually had.

The medicine was something Tama came up with, of course, and was supposedly a compound made from combining chakra crystals, condensed animal souls, and various other chemicals that held names beyond his pronunciation. It forced the chakra coil to create chakra from nothing and feed a body that couldn’t produce their own chakra for whatever reason. Originally it was patented as a special type of Soldier Pill, but the military quickly found out that a lot of troops were flat abusing it and using it to boost their chakra pools for high-cost ninjutsu. The military banned it after only half a year of public research, but, that never meant that Tama stopped making it. The most recent form of the medicine removed the euphoric high the old pills caused, but left the powder unbearably bitter…and still addictive. Toushin, with all of his willpower, could feel his body calling for the powder after only a half day of casual work but he still managed to withhold himself. As the assassin stared back down at his bloodied sheets, he wondered how much longer before he started taking the dreaded “2-doses” that Tama warned him of. Apparently the biggest draw back of the medicine was the same of a laxative - use it too much and your body forgets how to do the thing your making it do naturally. Toushin’s chakra system was already in a horrible state from his fight with Yong, and the powder the mad scientist gave him was all that was allowing him to continue on the dangerous path he treaded. If he ever got to 2-doses, the scientist promised he’d be dead within the week.

The side-effects was really showing in his body, too. Where once he had remained in excellent shape despite his age, now Uzu’s skin was starting to sag. His body was quickly starting to resemble his nearly 70 years of life for the first time ever. Drawing on a looser fitting suit and deciding to wear his ANBU mask to keep his illness from showing, the assassin escaped out the window of his own home and started his way towards the safe-house that Kana resided in. Breakfast wasn’t something he had time for, and even if he did, the blood constantly filling his stomach made it hard to keep any solids down. Each step to the house as he bounded across rooftops brought another shock of pain, but Uzu ignored it as he always had. Within the hour of leaving his home he arrived at the lone window of the apartment. It was three stories up and against a flat wall that he managed to stick to with chakra. Reaching up to his headset, Toushin tapped it on and sent in the coded message to his protege before knocking on the window to tell her where he was.
 

Nakamura Kana

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Oct 22, 2020
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It was still early in the morning, the sun yet to fully embrace the village with its warmth and Kana was awake. It seemed as if she was always awake now and found very little time to actually rest. This morning was one of those moments, and she looked to embrace it. Stirring awake she would stumble out of a dirty bed covered in sand, dirt, and blood from recent adventures. She was young, and yet she was beginning to understand what her elders meant when they complained about aching bones and muscles when they first wake. Shifting towards the kitchen she would open the freezer and remove the entire box of ice that she had prepared the evening before. Slow steps with soft moans along the way, Kana would inch her way towards the bath tub and filled it with cold water before dumping the ice inside. Looking over the cabinet, she would locate some lavender oil and pour it in as well. While being inside the ice bath would be torture she would finally find a true sense of relaxation.

Gathering a few things she would place her baby blue silk bathrobe on a nearby hanger and a towel nearby the bath tub as well. Shutting the lights in the main room and now the bathroom she would slowly inch her way into the freezing beyond. At first, it was a shock to every nerve end that struck the frigid liquid, and that sensation did not stop until she was fully submerged. The water would quickly grow murky from the debris that covered her skin. Taking another oil she would drop it into the water, a chakra filled liquid that would begin to eat away at sediment within the water. In turn, it also acted like a soap that with little effort cleaned her form while she relaxed her aching bones.

It would seem as if the young girl got no breaks though. Minutes into her first process she could hear her headset ringing and a soft knock at the window. It was early, and after all she had done of late her patience was beginning to wear a bit thin. So, it would seem out of character for the normally well composed Kana to shout from the tub.

"You may come in. You know I'm here."

Uzu would be allowed to enter the unlit room from the window in a stealthy manner that she had become accustom to entering places. The first thing he would notice is the smell, it was actually quite peaceful considering the morning he had been through. Almost as if she had some sort of right idea of how to deal with the stresses that this job brought along with it. Uzu might also notice that Kana was beginning to partake in small luxuries again now that she had money to burn. Fine linen sheets that she clearly brought along with her, the clothes she had were tailored and of better material. Even the meager meal packets had become fully prepared meals that she allowed leftovers to sit for later instead of scrounging for every last drop of replenishment.

Kana, however, would not move from the tub and simply signal to the man of where she was located. Her voice seemed annoyed but as she finished the sentence you might realize it was simply common amounts of pain that she was struggling through.

"Just come in here. I'm too sore to move right now. You can turn on the lights if you want."

Still lying within the tub full of ice protecting her form from view by the older man she would stare up at him. He might first notice the odd marks and bruises on her arms and shoulders. After all, squeezing into tight spaces and shimmying in unnatural ways left your body deformed due to such tasks. Closing her eyes she could only imagine what the next tasks might be.

"Before you tell me more of what's happening. I have a few things to share. I've been doing lots of research, and my biggest fear is that all we're accomplishing may truly be for naught. There are people waiting in the wings to take over the business we disrupt, and there's no way to combat the unknown within an entire village, at least not the way we're doing it."

Frustration was apparent. Though it didn't see her determination falter in the slightest.

"I think we need more help and I have a good place to start."

Pointing over to her bedside table, Uzu would find a small envelope with a full file on her best friend and the closest thing she could consider family. A gifted and brilliant Kunoichi who was older than herself named Juri. Someone whom she trained with and helped train the past few years. The biggest loss of taking on this lifestyle and devoting herself to a cause beyond herself was the loss of this friend. In truth, she hoped to be able to reunite with the girl she considered her sister.

"I'm also looking into searching out some of these new players, and what influence they may have. What talents, and where we can maybe use them."

The more time that went on, the more Uzu would begin to see the growth is in his pupil. How she was becoming independent, and that thought might be a scary one. Though she was still loyal, perhaps to a fault in what she believed to be right and true. Though now, with all this off her chest was the first time she would look at the man, he seemed... different. Perhaps it was age, or perhaps it was a weakness he wasn't yet willing to show her. Would she have to directly ask the man.... perhaps she would.

"I saw you fight the foreign invader that found his way into our village. I saw what happened at the end. Are you okay? Are we still on track to continue our plans, and are you fit to do so?"

As the last words trickled out, Uzu may be able to hear concern in the young girls voice. While she was becoming independent, it was clear she still relied on the older man for a guiding hand and path in this crazy world. It would be about ten to fifteen minutes at this point and Kana would ask for some privacy for a moment as she stepped out of the water, dried off, and securely fastened the silk robe around her frame before letting the older gentleman know it was okay to turn around.
 
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