I DID Warn You All... [Open]

Shinrya Kahako

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“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!” Kahako nearly jumped out of her skin at the sheer volume in which her titled was called, nearly dropping a box she brought in from outside, she turned to see Susumu holding a scuffed and badly beaten chest piece with an ANBU captain insignia on it.

“Where on earth did you find that?” she asked as she opened the box and began to take its contents out.

“In that box of stuff you told me to remove from dad’s closet. ALONG WITH IS DOPE ANBU MASK!” Bouncing on the balls of his feet, Susumu produced from behind the chest piece that held the insignia of an ANBU captain. “Who’s is it?! It’s awesome!”

Kahako turned to look at the mask, recognizing only the call sign associated to mask. “Huh,” she said, just now learning who her husband was when he was ANBU. It explained the flirting. “It was your fathers,” she stated before returning to her task at hand. There was a moment of complete silence and stillness. Which wasn’t most certainly like her son.

Kahako quickly turned to her attentions back to the boy, fulling expecting him to be getting into trouble. Instead, he held an expression of awe as he stared at the mask like Christmas came early. “You’re telling me… MY FATHER WAS AN ANBU?!”

Kahako chuckled. It had been years since Ayumu held the title of ANBU. He actually stepped down from the sennin position when Susumu was born, and—just like the both of them—neither parent regaled the boy with the adventures of their past. Half of it was classified, the other half… just wasn’t in their nature to tell. “He was. I was there when he was prompted to mempo.” She laughed lightly at the memory. It was also the day he asked her out on a date. Apparently, it was a really good day for Kogami Ayumu. “Ah, but you have to keep it a secret,” she said lifting a finger up to her lips. “People are not supposed to know the identity of ANBU, it’s strictly forbidden.”

Susumu nodded enthusiastically. He always found his father to be amazing for simply being the Raikage, but to learn his father was also ANBU? “I have the coolest dad, ever…” He spoke in a hushed tone as he lifted the mask up to his face and looked at her. Kahako couldn’t help but chuckle. “Do you want to try it on?” she asked. “There shouldn’t be any harm since it’s so old, and I’ll help you into it…”


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Shinrya Kahako should have never let her son and his imagination within 60 miles of ANBU getup. For the past hour, a twelve-year-old boy in armor that was two sizes too big hopped from rooftop to rooftop, treetop to treetop, acting out an elaborate ANBU mission that involved a covert infiltration of a secret underground base to rescue some damsel in distress who was conveniently related to the Shogun. He swung his crafted blade with surprising graceful precision at imaginary enemies. Currently in his story, he and his damsel were almost free from the dastardly henchmen who pursued.

At which point, led him into the shadow of the mountain that held Sileo Tempestas. Slowing to a stop, Susumu, with his father’s mask on, looked at the rock formations, wondering idly, just how the ANBU came and went from their base of operations.

“All I know is… it’s gotta be underground…” he muttered, rubbing his chin, thinking. ‘That would mean the only way to get to it would also be underground.’ Leaning back, Susumu pondered on all the locations with which one could enter the Sileo. “Hmm… would they have a front door?” he asked himself aloud. “No no… A front door would be way too obvious… one is probably at the gates... but going to look for one there will take too long… it’s too far… Maybe a side door…”

And with a decision made, a nod of his head, and a level of determination in his heart. Kogami-Shinrya Susumu made the decision to do something he really shouldn’t be doing as an Academy Student.

He was going to break in and see what awesome things went on in the Sileo Tempestas.
[spoilername="OOC"]Entered with NPC Susumu

Topic is open to all! Academy Students/Gennin interested in joining him on his dastardly adventures or nag him all the way? LET'S DO THIS!!

Any ANBU around wanting to... you know... not look bad cause an academy student is about to break into the Sileo?
You got an hour before I post again. hehe~

The longer I'm left alone... the worse this will be for my beloved ANBU people!<i></i>[/spoilername]
 

Jomei

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You’d be surprised just how often this sort of intrusion was occurring as of late. The hollowed passages of the Sileo Tempestas were all spread throughout the hidden cloud like the veins of all things— through them flowed the force of justice like blood from the pumping heart. To enter this sacred place was like becoming a viral cell demanding the attention of white blood cells, or worse, a clot demanding immediate surgery. But a boy was nothing to concern the many masked ones who protected the Hidden Cloud so vigilantly. No: ever since a gracious donor provided the village with three hundred and sixty-two cameras, the passages of the Sileo Tempestas had become the most thoroughly surveyed premises imaginable.

“Looks like another kid… Please don’t threaten to eat this one” were the exact words of Kaji Okada as he busily worked from the Command Center, and dispatched Rhokul to deal with the child. It almost goes without saying that sending a drago— I mean, a skulking, fearsome, giant reptile to guard the passages of your expansive underground lair served as a perfect means to keep misguided children from repeating the offense. In lieu of the first offense by Izura Uchiha, and again by another miscreant named simply Panahime, Kaji actually added Rhokul to the payroll— buckets of fried poultry became a daily export for the reptile and all his kinsman, courtesy of the Vice Commander. And so the stone-laden halls became a playground for the long-scaled one as this boy became a mere plaything for a many-fanged beast.

The hollow halls were vast indeed, or so Susumu was led to discover as his journey became what seemed like endless amounts of wandering. Many of the halls included inclining and then declining stars that seemed to go on for quarter-miles, deadly if you happened to take a fall. And once he managed to find an end to one hall, it only forked into two or more passageways. Many of these passages simply led back to the surface in random places around the Hidden Cloud, and nearly none of these included understandable placards. Cruelly, the shadow-drenched reptile merely traced the steps of the boy for some time, letting him grow bored of all the wandering before ever creating traces of his presence. A sudden crack of shifting stone echoed in the hall behind Susumu— the first noise he’d hear in some time. However, turning about revealed nothing. Then came a disturbance of the overhead light, which began to flicker and wain. Popping sounds struck out as all the lights behind the boy began to vanquish one after another. Crack. Pop. Bang. It was like a chorus as darkness crept towards him, and the wide halls began to feel so small, more like a tomb than a mysterious realm of adventure. Then the beast began a slow march, letting his presence be felt as he filled the dark space and stepped forth just enough for the lights to reveal an outline of a large reptilian form, as red as a devil’s tongue. “Is it lunchtime already?” snarled the great beast, unleashing soft plumes of smoke into the remaining low-lights. “I like my roasted brats medium-rare.”

- Entered the Thread as Kaji Okada & Rhokul
 

Shinrya Kahako

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First, he made sure he was properly in stealth. He would be a terrible imaginary ANBU if he walked up in broad daylight, just looking for a door. Caught immediately, and the game would be over. Then, he slowly made his way up the mountain, looking for a disturbance either on the ground, or along the cliffside.

Maybe there was a door covered by genjutsu? Susumu frowned at that. They didn’t really cover genjutsu in school unless you were gifted with it. Fortunately, his grandmother was, so there were a lot of books about it lying around in the mansion. Despite his grades, Susumu was surprisingly gifted at learning something new. And he often learned as much from a book as he did from practical application. Recalling a particular jutsu, he began the appropriate signs before applying an small amount of chakra.

“Cancel” he whispered. And just like that. A door along the cliffside was revealed. Smirking, Susumu checked his six before darting to the metal casing and slipping inside.

Only to be met with a non-descript hallway. Well… that was a little underwhelming. But not to be deterred, he started making his way through the maze. “These things go deeper than I realized.” He muttered to no one, as the skipped down a flight of stairs, clearing about five steps at a time before hitting the landing with a quiet “Yosh!”

And on and on it went. Not once did he encounter another soul. “Dang, are there really not that many ANBU?” he said a little louder, getting braver as time went on. There were a couple instances where the paths lead upwards and to a door, but--cautious that it would be the surface—he didn’t turn around for fear there would be people guarding the other side. By the time he backtracked to the nearest crossroads and started down a third path, Susumu had crossed his fingers behind his head and started to hum.

That’s when a loud crack made him leap what felt like a foot in the air. Left hand gripping his scabbard, right just above the blade’s hilt, Susumu whipped around to find… nothing. “The hell!?” His head on a swivel, goosebumps rising on the back of his neck as the lights flickered around him. He was being watched.

Straight out of a horror movie, the lights shorted out, one after another in both directions until the one just over his head remained. Susumu exhaled a shaky breath through his mouth, eyes shifting back and forth as he tried to locate the cause of the supernatural occurrences. He heard tales that the Sileo was built atop a gruesome battleground. Was the labyrinth haunted?

“Is it lunchtime already?” snarled the great beast, unleashing soft plumes of smoke into the remaining low-lights.

Susumu whipped his body to where he heard the voice, his peripheral blocked. Behind the mask, the boy’s eyes dilated at the sight of a red, scaled beast. Fear consumed him, and the lizard tasted it in the air with each flip of his tongue.

“I like my roasted brat medium-rare.”

The adrenaline kicked in: Fight or Flight. Smoke clouded the hallway, slowly obscuring Susumu from any possible escape route he might take. And yet, amid the fear, a wide, cocky grin rose to his cheeks. When scared shit-less, posturing is your best defense. Fear and excitement tinged his voice before he began tossing up a series of handseals.

“I don’t know… you’re a pretty over-sized salamander… instead of lunch, have you ever considered going on a diet? You look like you ate the rest of the zoo."

With a poof, a clone appeared, and both it and Susumu was off running into the smoke and towards the beast, drawing his blade. At the last second, both leapt in opposite directions, hitting the wall with a planted foot before, ricocheting to the ceiling and sticking a landing on all fours. “You’ll never catch the great Odachi!” he said, shouting his father’s old call sign in the heat of the moment. Distract and retreat. That was a common ANBU strategy, right?
[spoilername="OOC"]stopped. I’m off today, and have nothing better to do, haha[/spoilername]
 

Daigo

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Journal Log #6:

From the bottom of the mountain’s shadow, he trekked upward. This was nothing new for him as he liked walking long distances to clear his head. Self reflection was his curse to bare though he did it without complaint. After all, it was the only way to police himself. He had to constantly remind himself that being an high functioning sociopath was not the end of the world. He was a person who really desired to fit in with society and develop bonds with others.

He just had a difficult time of doing so internally all this time. And yes, he wants to be a better man...or rather... he wants to appear to be a better man so he could manipulate and deceive people more easily. Sociopathic tendencies, what can ya do about it. That was unavoidable, but he tried his best. He indulged in self improvement skills until he believed himself ready to return to his new branch; a worthy participant.

That being said, he had been away for quite some time. He was still aware of his duties somewhat, but he had taken some time off after Daisuke’s death and never really got back to his training. Just to be clear, Daigo never withdrew nor transferred branches as that could lead to him never being allowed back into the anbu branch. Instead, he focused his energy on slowly building up his reputation and completing his missions with as little client dissatisfaction as possible.

Daisuke’s friend, Saito, brought Daigo on because Daisuke believed that he needed guidance and discipline and surely much has changed since then. Still, a secret entrance was close by and he didn’t bother to radio ahead as he wanted to experience of seeing the sileo alone after all this time. He observed his surroundings before moving forward, entering the secret base and stumbling around its corridors slowly, taking in every moment.

He lightly touched the walls and keenly listened to every echoing foot step he made as he explored what seemed to be a endless level of staircases and hallways. He reminisced about the first time he had come here. It wasn’t anything special. In fact it was rather quick. He was handed an trainee mask which held in it an symbol allowing him to enter the sileo. He had never been assigned any gear nor given an codename. He was truly wet behind the ears in most respects to the branch.

Beginning to feel a little uneasy being alone down there for so long, Daigo summoned some company just as he turned down the path leading him to fellow shinobi. Once he heard the comments on roasted brats, Daigo could help but speak when he was nervous. “Make an good first impression. That is always best.”, he thought just before he spoke.

Hello. I’m sorry to interrupt. I’m Kaguya Daigo, an trainee. Today is my first day...have I come at an bad time?”, he asked.

topic entered with daigo and saburou (canine summon) to make things a little more appealing.
 

Jomei

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Only the God of a Thousand Scales knew if the skulking reptile was taking this hunt seriously. While Kaji Okada may have asked for this favor from Rhokul, everything the great beast did was of his own volition— if he was in the mood to douse the boy in a mote of flames, there was certainly no one to stop him. “Run boy run,” said the fork-tongued hunter with a chortle. His great tail wafted through the plume of smoke, spreading it thin as his keen eyes stared with pupils narrowing to focus on the fleeing lad. Rhokul was a hunter first and foremost, yet when he gave chase to The Great Odachi he did so lazily, melting into the darkness slowly. You never saw the villain run in a horror film, after all. “Bah ha ha” exaggerated the beast as he vanished. “All paths lead to the pit of my belly, Odachi the fool” came the echoing call of Rhokul, traveling the long tunnels after the racing lad.

Back at the Sileo Central Command, Kaji let out a laugh of his own. Studiously, the Vice Commander was keeping tabs on the scenario despite the work piling up in the office. Rhokul was rarely this animated, Kaji knew. It was quite a relief to see his friend having fun with work that was honestly below the status of his greatness; much junior lizard-kin would have rather fought Kaji than take on babysitting, but Rhokul had a certain kindness to him despite his unrivaled power and experience. He was an incomparable ally, and even more so, a friend.

Rhokul, amid the lazy chase, caught wind of Daigo Kayuga as he appeared at a fork in the path. “Another one?” Rhokul was perplexed and eyeing this second human cautiously, as everything from his physique to scent suggested a different kind of company than the boy he was playing hide and seek with. The old lizard made himself scarce and hidden then, even releasing the presence of his light dimming shadows. The cave-tunnel was as normal as the empty space could seem once Susumu encountered the initiate. Talk of monsters roaming the Sileo Tempestas was unheard of— normally. Anyone in their right mind would assume the boy to be crying wolf if he foretold of what he just saw, or touched in the mind.

Some Actions
- Rhokul canceled Absolute Void
- Kaji watches on through Surveillance Feed. Activates Lulz.
- Rhokul hunts the real Susumu with Chakra Sense
- Rhokul activates Active Camo and enters Stealth, stalking the Shinobi!
 

Daigo

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OOC: I was waiting all this time for more anbu to show up over the holidays, but I guess no one else is interested.

IC: It seemed that his question was answered with unsettling silence. Deep within the lion’s den stretching across all of kumogakure, Daigo was out of his depth. He was somewhat lost, had clearly heard voices ahead of him, but once he moved further towards the conversation he found himself alone again. Just then, Daigo’s company walked just behind him. At first, only the crimson red glowing eyes could be spotted in the dark. His footsteps echoed throughout the dark hallway, his every breath brought about an hellish warmth to Daigo’s neck.

I could have sworn that I heard something. Perhaps this facility has defenses intended to deceive a trespasser with sensory tricks.” the cerberus mentioned before he began to sniff around. His olfactory skills were superb and less likely to deceive him. After all, who ever heard of smell or taste genjutsus. The three heads sniffed and sniffed only to confirm that there were others around prior to their arrival. The cerberus assured Daigo that he wasn’t alone in the tunnels, which only creeped out the trainee even more.

Hey,Saburou...this might just be my nerves getting the best of me, but do you ever get the feeling like you’re being watched? You know that is why some people are afraid of the dark. It’s not the darkest that frightens people, but what might be lurking in the dark...like a ghost who can’t move on from this world or maybe a unstoppable serial killer!”, he added clearly having watched too many horror movies. The two continued down the hallway hoping to reach the command center quickly. Occasionally looking over his shoulder, Daigo couldn’t shake this feeling.
 

Shinrya Kahako

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“Tch,” Susumu muttered as Rhokul taunted him. “I can always make a couple extra paths out, Oversized-Gecko-san…” he chided back before dipping sharply to the right. For a second, he heard a third entity. A careful set of steps in one of the crossroads ahead. Worried it was another monster from the abyss, he took a left, away from the clicking of leather boots.

Susumu long since lost his way out, but he knew up seemed to be a good direction. He was so over this adventure the moment mini godzilla entered the fray. Other shinobi? He could handle. Give them his name, and he’d be escorted out to the safety of disapproving parents. Talking snake-demons who could control the lights, and fire and smoke? Nope.

Noooooope, nope, nope, nope.

But as more crossroads past by him, the harder it was for him to find an upward slope. The lights became fewer and far between, and the walls appeared more jagged. It wasn’t until his lungs gave out and he approached the last fork in the road with fluorescent lighting did he come to a complete stop to try to regain his bearings. All roads ahead were dark.

Susumu lifted the mask off his face before nearly falling to his knees to catch his breath. Every muscle in his body screamed at him for running so fast for so long. “Did I lose them?” he asked no one in particular before daring a glance from whence he came. He waited for the tell-tale sign of life behind him before looking forward once more.

With his pulse nearly back to a normal pace, he recalled the hand seals for a weak light-emitting jutsu he learned from his mother. “Surely, I can find a way back up.” he said to the eerie silence. Something about it told him to not venture any further. Maybe a natural intuition to turn back, but the thought of encountering… whatever that lizard was did not sound appealing in the tiniest bit.

And so with a gulp and a breath, Susumu with his little light, walked into the dark. How deep could these tunnels go, anyway?

Actions:
-Running from Daigo, poorly attempting to run from Rhokul.
-Casting Spirit Lantern r1
-Walking deeper into the ...abyss?
 

Jomei

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There were many secrets to the underground lair of the ANBU. Many reasons why the Sileo Tempestas was off-limits to outsiders and watched so closely. As Susumu continued sprinted through the passages, he took one fatal turn while aiming to avoid the other human in his company. There was a marking on the wall serving as a warning, yet both Susumu and Rhokul missed it as they went deeper into the winding halls. Most of the halls walked regularly by the ANBU were finely hewed with the craftsmanship of expert’s jutsu. The held patterns to them, and even works of art engraved if you made your way closer to the ANBU’s most-used areas. However, the path where Susumu led their chase was quite the opposite.

The lights were not so secure on the walls, barely hanging light bulbs and many were in disrepair. The walls lacked any distinguished tiling and were simply structured with dense rocks to keep them from caving in. The occasional steel casing could be found wherever there was a danger of a cave-in, but otherwise, Susumu had come upon a genuine cave tunnel.
Never straying too far behind, Rhokul was growing tired of the game but did not want to be a spoiled sport until the boy showed some remorse for his deed. The titanic salamander sought to see a show of fear from the lad but found himself feeling concern first. “Stop this game at once” demanded Rhokul, finally sounding more like a babysitter than some fearsome monster, yet the echo of his command could send shivers through your spine. Whether this caused Susumu to halt or not, he’d step upon a particular pad of dirt and a stone which submerged under his foot, triggering an elaborate turning of gears behind the gray walls. And then Rhokul emerged, now angered and no longer playing the game of shadows. “Look at where you have led us, you menacing child” lectured the old reptile. “I’m not here to eat you… no, you’re returning with me—” Rhokul was silenced by a large sliding sound to his rear, and a clunking of something heavy on the move. Suddenly the light of the passageway behind the lizard and boy was blocked by a massive grey sphere. The size filled the cavern almost perfectly, just short of rubbing against the walls as it dropped. It was smoothly designed, perfectly round and shiny like polished steel. With a boom the boulder landed, and the slope of the ground had it rolling forward slowly like a marble before the plunger launched it. “...Run boy run” bade the lizard, this time without that jovial tone, but in all seriousness.

All the meanwhile, the ANBU training found his way to where he originally intended to go. Like a good boy, Daigo found the place Odachi the Great originally intended to find before the game of cat and mouse ensued. Nameless shinobi appeared, few and far between, going about their business with masks donned and missions ahead most of them. Some waved to Daigo as he passed, while others did not, but none questioned his presence. The Sileo’s main quarters were not a small place by any means, but traversing the facility was easy for those who reached the central complex and knew their way. A pair of double doors led to a massive central floor with Cloud banners hanging in the hall. A central stairway led to the Central Command and split off to the left and right to two balconies which led to the barracks and training facilities, opposite of each other. On the first floor was the logistical command beneath the barracks, and a cafeteria on the bottom right level.

The central Corridor of the Sileo Tempestas was fairly quiet at this hour, as not many shinobi mingle here unless the entire branch gathered for an assembly. There was only one individual lingering about at the moment— an elderly man with an almost lemon complexion, a white beard, and wore haze gray coveralls. There was a flat cap on his head, hiding his eyes, and tall black boots on his feet. He was pushing a wide broom along the floor, just going about his business. There was a legend of this man that said he was secretly the protector of this facility— he was a vigilant guard with no mask, only his tools and the name “The Janitor.”
 

Daigo

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After further trekking through what seemed to be a endless tunnel, Daigo and his pal managed to find an door which upon opening, lead them to an marvelous site. Daigo had only laid eyes on it maybe once before hand and had apparently forgotten damn near everything about this place. If he were an more dramatic shinobi, he would have dropped to his knees and cried aloud while singing praises to lord Raiden for bestowing such an site upon his unworthy eyes. He waved to every person who crossed his path regardless of whether or not they acknowledge him back.

Daigo’s mind set was simple. He didn’t have to like his teammates in order to work together. If they were cordial, then great. If not then it was no bone out of his body. Daigo would then attribute what Saburo said about others being in the tunnel to these men and women. He stood there in the center of this hub of anbu activity when one of Saburo’s heads teased, “Why not take an picture. It will last longer than you will at this consequential command center. Standing around like a idiot really should not be your first impression made on others.

He was so excited that he nearly performed the snapshot jutsu just to keep the memory fresh, but his reasoning overcame him. If he were to storage this image in his brain and another unauthorized shinobi were to kill him and take his memories, he could unwillingly provide them with what might seem like useless information to him, but great information to others. Daigo took a deep breath before pacing forward even more.

While normally quiet, he intended to be a inquisitive jerk like Daisuke was. He wanted to know everything there was to know about this seemingly wonder place. The barracks where he would eventually sleep, the cafeteria, the training facilities, he intended to explore every inch by the days end, but he would need a person who knew their way around this facility, the ends and outs on an daily basis. Over to the left was such an person. Daigo wasted no time attempting to be a pest and chat up this person.

Hello, good sir. I’m Daigo and this is Saburo. We are rather new here and we were hoping to speak with you for an moment.” he said trying to be as polite as he could. He had to remind himself to smile as that what people normally did when desiring an good first impression.

[mft] WC: 400
 

Shinrya Kahako

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Like a child caught in a haunted house with the man with a chainsaw, Susumu heard the tell-tale voice of Rhokul before he saw him. Nearly leaping half a foot in the air, he had to struggle to both keep his lantern lit, and try not to piss himself. When the boy landed, he felt the ground below him shift ever so slightly before ominous clicks and creaks made their way around the hall from the other side of what was suppose to be a natural wall.

This time, he saw the red frog of doom appear from the shadows, however much less terrifying and exceedingly more pissed.

“Stop this game at once” the lizard barked at him in a way that reminded him much of his father. But Susumu could pay little, if any, attention to the ranting and raving with all the noises going on behind the wall. “Uh… lizard… sir?” Susumu said, trying to interrupt the creatures ranting. It was the sound of something heavy hitting the ground, and both their eyes beholden to the sudden lack of light behind them that finally lead to perfect silence. “...Run boy run”

This was probably the moment when Susumu finally realized just how much he fucked up.

Clutching his father’s ANBU mask tightly with one hand on his head, Susumu ran faster than he did when fleeing from the lizard beside him. Chakra fueled his steps, but the light rumble shook the ground beneath him increased with each passing meter of the dark expanse they entered. Daring a look back did no favors for him, as he realized that even with his chakra, the momentum of the death trap was quickly causing it to catch up to him.

The high-pitched scream that echoed through the long tunnel halls was all the proof anyone needed that he probably was not ricking dry pants anymore. Staying alive kind of matter more right now, though, so the embarrassing realization was put on a very far back burner. “EXIT! FIND AND EXIT!” he shouted to the lizard who was slowly starting to pull ahead. Exhaustion from the earlier charade began to weigh on him, and it would be much longer before the Raikage’s son was nothing more than a pancake beneath a mountain.
 

Jomei

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The thunder of the boulder rolling behind the boy and lizard was enough inspiration to keep them sprinting like runners on a hundred-yard dash. Rhokul was moving on all fours as quickly as he could, pushing the sinewy fabric of his muscle mass to their absolute limits. He was faster than Susumu— which was reasonable when considering that the boy was not a shinobi by any means. So the titan lizard tackled into the boy and lifted him, tossing Susumu onto his back and shouting for him to “hold on or get rolled on!” The path they ran was turning darker with every step and the overhead lights were stretching out the distance between their occurrences. Suddenly, only Rhokul’s reptilian eyes could adjust to the oncoming pitch darkness surrounding them but failed to attune fast enough to tell what was waiting for them ahead.

Suddenly the tight tunnel space came to an end, and so did the ground for a cliff edge. Rhokul’s raking claws found nothing but air and darkness. If Susumu found a grip on Rhokul he found his escape from the boulder’s chase, but then experienced the terror of a sudden falling sensation. The boulder jammed into the portal of the tunnel they fell out of, failing to follow the lizard and lad through to their sudden fall.

Even Rhokul failed to contain his terror and let out a long lasting roar as they plummeted in a long fall. The draconic beast was a legend living amongst his clan. He had never felt this kind of dear and disgrace as he considered what was surely their oncoming demise… He had failed his clan and even his pact and was doomed to have the light of his existence extinguished in some unnamed abyssal crevice. He even failed to save the boy, thought Rhokul before registering a sudden flicker of light.

It was the light of flames— several glowing orange and red in the distance before vanishing into— water. Cold water was a shock to the system when Rhokul hit it with a great splash and enough force to break a supple human’s body. Luckily he took the force before Susumu, so long as the boy managed to cling to him for the fall. And then, fully submerged, Rhokul struggled and thrashed in an attempt to register up from down, and seeing nothing but black, murky water in all directions. The air rushed out of his snout as he panicked, full of surprise and confusion, and never a good swimmer. Under the waves, it felt as if he spent a lifetime trying to fight the water in a climb to the surface. He struggled with the same tenacity he used to fight his foes, though this time his foes were suffocation below the depths, fatigue from the boulder dash setting in, and unexplainable pain from hitting the hard, stale water.

He finally surfaced, gasping for air as his head arose first. “Boy” roared the lizard, “where are you boy!” He had never thought he’d show such concern for any human other than Kaji himself, but Rhokul was frightful for young Susumu. He barely even registered the vision surrounding the pool where he was wading— the candle-lit entrance to three more, albeit structured tunnel entrances. There were chiseled steps at the edge of the water leading to them, but Rhokul couldn’t be concerned with them yet. “Don’t go drowning on me now, kid” cried the great beast, fearful that he had failed to save the lad. The pool itself was massive; more like an underground pond than anything, with what could have been endless depths. Barely keeping afloat, Rhokul was too terrified to dive in search for Susumu, in fear that he’d fail to surface a second time. He was slow to swim to shore though, half from the regret of possibly leaving the child to die, and half from a feeling of disability in one leg. He thought the pain was just shock and superficial, but Rhokul continued to feel the agony as he stroked the waves.

-- Meanwhile

The cold eyes of The Janitor were hidden by his rugged old cap, but Daigo could still feel them staring hard. The old guardian was giving the apprentice anbu a visual pat down, inspecting him for authenticity. He was speechless at first and gripped the long wooden handle of his mop tightly as if it was a weapon in disguise. Maybe it was. Maybe he could have lifted it out of the water of his bucket and spun it to unleash an array of water bullet jutsu. Currently, he faced Daigo with the mop as if he were holding a loaded gun with his fingers on the trigger. His thick beard and mustache hid his frown in a constant snow-white poker face. “Do I look like a receptionist?” asked The Janitor, though he was dripping with sarcasm. “New check-ins take those steps straight ahead… Talk to the Vice Commander in Central Command.” Then, the old maintenance man lifted his mop in a non-lethal fashion and dropped to the floor, mopping.

If Daigo followed The Janitor’s directions, he took a long set of cascading stairs which brought him to another set of thick and heavy double doors. An unremarkable shinobi dressed in typical anbu, a hooded jacket, and no mask burst out the doors first with two binders held to her chest. She took a quick left, ignoring Daigo and rushing along her way. One door remained open behind her, cueing Daigo to make his entrance before the pressure caused it to close again.

Entering the Central Command Office, Daigo would discover the absolute nerve center of the Anbu Organization. The Sileo Central Command was no small facility, rather it was a large Operations Center full of tech and resources to aid the branch in research, strategizing, and commanding the Cloud’s protectors. The space had a large oval shape with staircases diving the room into open levels— to the back was the Commander’s console where Kaji occupied it with empty coffee cups and stacks of binders with inch-think reports. Varnished espresso wood and stainless steel surfaces gave the room a sheen. There were two more stations on the level below that, occupied by an aid and analyst, both coming and going as they worked. Below that was the central floor-level section of the room, the area containing a large roundtable which housed the crystal of scrying. The far side of the room was covered with shelves of books and scrolls with ages of research at the ready. Above the library row was a large map revealing a layout of the Sileo Tempestas in full, which resembled a subsystem map akin to railcars or subway routes. The opposite wall was covered with glowing screens that revealed cameras mounted throughout the tunnels outside— but none of them revealed Rhokul and Susumu…
“Come on Rhokul, where are you?” Kaji grunted as he pressed buttons on the console below the wall.
 

Daigo

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Duties.

The Janitor brushed him off with ease while giving off an intimidating presence. Daigo couldn’t help, but start to feel a little truculent given the stanger’s posture. Such was the coping skills kaguyas learned at a early age, but then the man directed him towards the check in station and went on about his business. Daigo would do the same. He’d follow Saburo Hoshi up the stairs while wondering who was more excited to be in the headquarters. For someone who didn’t seem to care about this place, the three headed mutt sure seemed to be enjoying the sights. That in itself raised some concern from Daigo.

Damn he’s big. I’d rather not have him drawing too much attention to us right now. Not until we learn the ropes anyway.”, he thought chasing the hellhound up the stairs. His heart began to beat faster than an rabbit trying to outrun a fox as he approached the command center entrance. He had no idea what he was in store for, but his blood was pumping harder and more frequent than an incarcerated man who hadn’t felt the touch of a woman in many years.

Come on, lard ass. You’re far too slow for someone who couldn’t shut up about trying to find this place.” Saburo Hoshi added while at the top of the stairs. “Hey, Saburo Hoshi. Wait a moment won’t ya? Listen, you’re big as fuck. You gotta use an transformation jutsu or something before we get in there. We shouldn’t be drawing attention to ourselves at all” he asked. After a little more back and forth, the cerberus complied with his master’s wish, only transforming into an black and white husky-like dog with one head.

Introductions.

A beautiful woman in an rush brushed him off as she passed by, seemingly ignoring anything he had to say. The command center was much more grand than he originally thought. Research, glowing screens, even high tech security cameras, this place had it all. Daigo was turned his head so much, you have have thought he was a owl. He and his dog took an tumble down some stairs while horsing around. Thankfully there were no broken bones. Dusting themselves off, an man of interested was seen before them both. He seemed to be looking for someone and Daigo had all day to make friends and earn favors. It was back scratching 101, you scratch mines and I’ll scratch yours. Though he didn’t know this man’s rank or title, he had to try.

Excuse me sir. I’m sorry to bother you, but I could help but overhear...” Daigo would go on to introduce himself and Saburo and explain why he was there.

[mft] wc: 450
 

Shinrya Kahako

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The sudden lack ground took Susumu by shock for only but a second before he grasped onto the scaly, thick neck of the lizard who scooped the boy onto his back. The sudden crash course in learning to ride an animal for the first time did little wonders, forcing him to use all his might to hold on.

But the ride didn’t last very long. Just as the boy lifted his head high enough to check their distance from the boulder (which was pointless, because he could see jack), the ground fell away beneath Rhokul’s feet. Screams echoed around him as the suddenly weightless feeling took him by surprise. Seconds felt like minutes in free-fall, and his body braced itself for the oncoming, painful impact.

And indeed it was painful, but not nearly as painful as he believed it would be. Breath expelled violently from his lungs, his body naturally took the reactive gulp of air in only to take a breathful of water. Instinctual panic warred with military training as his mind shouted to hold his breath but his body begged for oxygen. The darkness of the cavern did little in helping him determine up from down, so he stopped moving and let bouncy do it’s thing.

A moment later, he broke the surface of the underground pool. “H...Here… I’m here!” he sputtered coughing up water as he struggled to stay afloat. Following Rhokul’s voice and the dim light at the shore, he dragged his exhausted body to shore, collapsing next to the lizard and breathing heavily. “I… I think I’m gonna stop skipping my ninjutsu classes,” he wheezed between pants. “Pretty sure they woulda taught me something about stopping that thing.”

Cracking an eye to the lizard who probably just saved his life, he noticed the creature struggling to stand, but not due to exhaustion. “Are you okay?” he asked. Pulling himself up, he strained his eyes further to see how far they fell. He could barely make out the cliff’s edge, the boulder wedged firmly in the entrance to the cave effectively cutting it off.

“Why would ANBU set up traps so deep in the tunnels? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have them at the entrance?” Shaking his head in confusion, he re-casted his lantern jutsu, giving him a good look at Rhokul’s leg. Noticing the strange contortion, Susumu set his lantern down. "I… I think it’s broken, but I’m not sure. Does it hurt? My mom taught me some really basic medical jutsu. I can numb the pain if it does.” He began looking around the room, trying to spot something he could use as a brace.

But really, was there anything in nature that was shaped to brace a reptile’s leg?