Lucky to be Alive! [Open/Requesting Med-Nin]

Kazu

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It was a quiet Sunagakurian evening. Above-ground, the moon was just starting to reach high up into the sky and was almost at its zenith; below-ground, the dim flickering of artificial lights painted a serene picture of twinkling lights buried periodically in the deep dark corners of the Sunagakurian caves. There were many people that thought it looked beautiful — a tired looking man with disheveled hair and wrinkled scrubs that had clearly been slept in, was one such individual who seemed to be taking his break time to stand outside, inhale a relaxing stick of cancer, and admire the small beauties in life before returning to his endless slog.

He was the first to notice the oddly shaped figure, moving at worryingly high speeds, directly towards the Omni Prime Medical Facility. At first, the medic was confused and perplexed wondering why the silhouette he could just barely make out seemed so strange. Then, he realized that it wasn't one figure, but two! A small child, no more than thirteen or fourteen years old, seemed to be carrying someone over their shoulders? But...that didn't make much sense either. Also, what was that long, thin, rod-looking thing in the boy's hands?

"HEEEEEEEEEY!" The kid called out to the man on break, and suddenly the man wished he hadn't been staring so intently. "HEY, I NEED SOME HELP OVER HERE!" That got the man's attention. Instinct kicked in: dropping his cigarette, and rushing to meet the kid halfway, the man realized his break would have to wait.

"What in the world-?!" The man started to ask questions, but stopped when he saw the knife wound in Ryuzaki Ryohei's side; his entire left side was soaking wet with blood. The medic didn't stop to say anything else, or even take a moment to look more closely at the peculiar white short-staff the boy carried, instead immediately lifting the man off the young boy's shoulders and carrying him with the strength of a man used to moving heavy things quickly. "Never mind, there's no time. We need to get him inside, now!" The young kid followed close striding behind the medic no further than an arm's length or so, like a worried puppy dog. Bursting through the front doors, the trio must have looked a peculiar sight.

"I need a Med-Nin here, now! This man-"

"Ryohei," said the young boy defiantly, with a touch of anger in his voice as his knuckles tightened around the weapon in his hands. "He's not just some man. He's Ryuzaki Ryohei. He's my father...He..."

"Kid, listen, we're going to do everything we can, but you need to let us-" Unexpectedly, the ground began to rumble. An unnatural feeling, like a wave of energy, but something more. The medic-who-was-off-duty-but-who's-now-on-duty, being more of a nurse than an actual chakra-wielding doctor, merely felt the tremors. He just felt an earthquake; though a particularly nasty one at that. The whole building shook, sending not just him and the kid stumbling around, but even causing such a panic as to make well-seasoned medical officers shrink back from their duty and authority.

The hospital was in chaos, and Ryohei was bleeding out. The young boy with charcoal black hair and flaming red eyes, one Ryuzaki Kazukura, was growing worried. Not just about the situation in the hospital, either; as a shinobi in training, he was well attuned to the nature of chakra. What had felt like a particularly violent earthquake to everyone else was like a wave of miasma washing through the very earth below him. A taint, a curse, or some other sort of vileness could be felt like a bad taste in the back of his mouth. Kazu did not like this one bit. Where's a medic when you need one? Kazu wasn't sure, but his eyes scanned the shaking room for any hints. There has to be one around here...

Unconsciously, Kazu tightened his grip on the spear of bone. Its jagged edge and serrated point were hardly at home here in the hospital, but Kazu had almost completely forgotten he was even still carrying it. He hadn't had even a moment to think back to earlier in the night, when he'd first pulled the bone spear out from his arm, or consider any other details surrounding the event. He was in shock. A stupor. He wasn't even conscious of the fact that all his scrapes, bruises, gashes, and welts from his earlier training had healed themselves, too. All that mattered right now was saving Ryohei's life. Hang in there, father. I won't let you die.

[ooc]
This thread takes place directly after the events in my Character History laid out in my [OCR] and also at the same time as the Sand Chaos Era earthquake that occurred [HERE].
 

Kasen

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Having returned from Tea, Kasen's first priority was to head to the hospital to check the status of things. It would also help her rule out that Kaen hadn't been admitted. She still couldn't shake the feeling that something had happened to him, but she knew he could at least take care of himself if it came down to that. Kasen was wearing her light blue scrubs and white doctors coat; her glasses were perched on the end of her nose. She hadn't entirely intended on taking a shift tonight, but she had been here and due to the quakes there had been an increase of villages coming in with not enough staff to accommodate. The medical department was lacking these days. In fact, she hadn't even seen her mentor in years. Times were hard for the Sunan medical teams.

On a normal day, Kasen would be seen making her rounds in the hospital, having polite conversations with patients and staff alike, perhaps even stopping off at the cafeteria for a coffee, or entering one of the research labs to work on some of her enhanced prosthetics. It had really taken her some time to pick up the craft again, but she had really been close to a breakthrough of an adaptive prosthetic that could essentially serve numerous purposes beyond that of a standard limb substitute. However, today was not that type of day. No, today was absolute chaos. Every second it seemed she was getting pulled in different directions. Check out this patient, assess this one, did this one need surgery, which patient needed what medications, could she stand in for a nurse that desperately needed a break. Kasen was one of the few doctors still staffed by the hospital that actually could help with chakra infused medical techniques, and her ability to use advanced water techniques as a substitute for healing and get the same, if not better, results meant she was almost always pulled in for the more extreme patients that arrived.

As if on queue, Kasen heard someone calling for a mednin. Kasen looked over the patient she was currently working on, noting they were basically finished. She turned to a nurse who was bringing over more supplies. "Ok, she's good to go. I want you to get this wound properly dressed and process her papers for release. If she has nowhere to go, there is a service representative here that can get her get connected with emergency services."<i></i> As the nurse nodded her head in understanding, Kasen threw quickly turned a corner to wear the voice had shouted. Kasen's eyes narrowed momentarily as she saw who had come through the doors carrying a man who's condition was looking rather critical. "Gary..."<i></i> The blue haired woman sighed. Of course it was Gary! The guy barely did his job as it was, always taking smoke breaks, sleeping in the on-call rooms when he could be doing rounds, and acting like he was doing all the hard work alone, then would complain that no one else ever did their jobs. Kasen sighed. She didn't get in to this line of work for the people she worked with, she did it to help the patients. Kasen made to move towards the group when the hospital shook once more. She had felt the shocks all the way in Tea but nothing quite as aggressive as this. Man fell to the ground or stumbled given the strength of the quakes. Kasen had reached out and grabbed on of the safety rails to avoid taking a spill herself. Samebizu was starting to feel unease and restlessness, her own energy flaring inside Kasen as the quakes happened. I don't like this. This is not right. Kasen didn't have time to settle the giant shark's anxieties at this very moment.

Kasen used the rail to reach the trio of people just as the quakes started to settled down for a moment. "Gary, help me get him on one of the beds! Now!"<i></i> The other medical professional looked up as Kasen briefly before scrambling back onto his feet, helping her hoist the man that was quickly losing blood onto one of the hospital beds that were quickly becoming few and far between. Kasen and Gary grabbed the bed and were maneuvering it back into one of the corners of the medical bay that had been setup as an extended area to account for victims of the tremors. Kasen waved for the third member of the party to follow behind. "We've got this, but you're going to want to stick close. What happened?"<i></i> After all members were present, Kasen would draw back one of the curtains to give them a slight bit of privacy as they worked. Kasen briefly glanced at the staff made from what looked like some type of bone that had been splintered off. Clearly he wasn't one of the regular villagers.

Turning her attention back to the man that was bleeding on the table, the woman began to assess the situation. "Knife wound, deep, potential risk for organ damage and internal bleeding, Gary, let's get an IV started and some pressure dressings applied, BP's showing hypotensive episodes in the low 70s, vitals are unstable."<i></i> Gary at least was competent enough to follow the orders that were given to him. In the meantime, Kasen took the time to assess how she was going to deal with the knife and the blood loss. Going straight in to deal with the blood situation could have been bad because the knife would need to be removed first. It seemed she didn't have much time to think before the man was crashing. "He's crashing. Ok, we're going to just have to do this."<i></i> Without notice, to the horror of Gary, Kasen rips the knife from the wound, causing blood to start to spill out. Reacting quickly, a flash of light nearly blinds the room as Kasen places her hands over the injury sight, sending chakra into the dying man's body, forcing organs and skin and blood to regenerate at a vastly rapid rate [Using Angelic Blessing]. Though the man's clothes and body were still saturated in his blood from the wound, it at least appeared that his body was starting to respond well.

Despite the fact that Kasen may have potentially saved the man's life, as the glow faded, Kasen found herself starting to slump onto the ground next to the patient's bed. Her breathing was labored and her body was shaking from the effort that the practice took. Repairing bodies from near death at a moment's notice, despite her training was still always difficult when having worked as tediously as she had the last several hours. "Gary...numbers...now."<i></i> A few moments passed, but Gary was able to look at the monitor that the patient had been hooked up to. "BP is rising and vitals are stabalizing." Kasen sighed. "Great. I'm not sure that he's quite out of the woods yet...I want hourly updates."<i></i> As Kasen hoisted herself somewhat back into a standing position, she finally had time to properly assess the young man that had come in with him. It didn't outwardly look like he had been harmed in the least bit. Kasen held her hand that was still grasping the knife out towards the boy. "Here you go, try not to use that in here...or that. At least until I get a juice box or something, ok?"<i></i> Kasen waited for the charcoal haired boy to take it from her.
 

Kazu

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Gary had never really aspired to go very far in his medical career. He liked being around the busy environment — when he felt like it — and there was no shortage of excitement for him. He had a cozy life at home, enjoyed his time off, and felt a sense of accomplishment that came from doing honest work in an imperfect way. He’d never really been the leading type, either; it was with great personal relief that he fell in line behind Kasen’s orders, much more at home following directions than he was at making calls himself.

The blue scrubbed doctor directed Gary-the-lazy-nurse to help her hoist the unconscious Ryohei onto a medical bed; the only things she paused to do were to reassure Kazu, and ask for more information. Kazu, struck equally by her cool-headed professionalism in such a stressful situation and a vague sense that he thought she looked pretty, stood in awe for a moment or so before realizing she had asked him a question. Embarrassed, but trying not to show it, he avoided her gaze, answering while she closed the curtains.

”I…I’m not sure. I was looking for him in the hallways, and then I turned a corner and saw a woman standing over him…” His fists clenched, the right one squeezing the pommel of the short bone spear until his knuckles were almost the same shade of white. ”…she said she wanted him dead…and then I saw the knife in his side, and I couldn’t just stand there and let her…so I…I…” Looking down at his hand, as if remembering the incident, his eyes widened as he realized for the first time that he was still holding the spear. What in the world is happening…

Kazu didn’t have time to get lost in his thoughts, though. The doctor was in, and there was work to be done. Lots of medical jargon flew over his head; Kazu didn’t know a word they just said. What can I even do here, now? I’m just in their way. Shaking off that thought, Kazu knew he was here: he would see his father healed, no matter what. If there’s anything I can do to help, then I’ll do it. For now, that meant standing aside and letting the professionals do their work without interruption. Even when things got hairy, and when even the doctors looked worried, the least Kazu could do was wait.

That’s not to say there wasn’t still plenty to see. While Kazu didn’t understand the medical terms this doctor used, he most certainly could watch her work. Terror filled his stomach watching her pull the knife out of Ryohei’s side; yet, he couldn’t help but gaze on in wonderment at the light pouring out of her hands as it stitched up the split skin and muscle. Did she do it? Is he going to be okay? He only just had time to worry about his father — seconds after, it was the doctor he began to worry over. It seemed that last technique was the final straw; she couldn’t even hold herself upright any longer. From the ground she asked Gary-the-nurse-who-does-better-under-authority for Ryohei’s status, which seemed to be stable. He’s…he’s going to be okay! Kazu was overjoyed — relief was plain on his face.

Satisfied that her patient wasn’t about to die, the doctor turned her red-haired head back to examine Kazu. And, apparently, to give him something. Ew. That was the first thought to go through his mind. I don’t want that! But, knowing how much she had just done for him and his father, he forced himself to accept the knife, bloody and all, from her. He had to set the bone spear down first, leaning against a small table next to the bed, but he did so quickly so as not to keep her waiting.

”Uhm, thank you Ma’am. For everything. I…don’t know what I would have done without you…” He let his words trail off. Not really sure what else to say, his crimson red eyes stared at her knowingly — piercingly — as if he were trying to read her thoughts. The scrunching of his forehead, which Kazu did when he was thinking or concentrating (which was almost all the time), almost made him look angry. ”You’re tired. Wait here a moment, I’ll be back.” Without waiting for her to respond, Kazu sets the bloodied knife down on the table and scurries out from the curtains.

A moment passes, then a shriek from one of the nurses down the hall makes its way back to Kasen, before she can hear the sound of running footsteps getting closer. Kazu bursts in through the curtains, in one arm a half dozen juice boxes, with a triumphant smile on his face. ”These are for you!” He hands them over to her, and only on closer inspection could it be seen that the little bit of blood from the knife that had gotten onto his hands had smeared all over the juice boxes and his arm, though Kazu has noticed nothing abnormal. ”I can help with other stuff too, if you need it? I didn’t see a lot of doctors just now, but a whole lot of patients — until he wakes up,” Kazu motioned towards his sleeping father, ”could I help out a bit? I'm Kazu, by the way.”
 

Kasen

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Perhaps giving the boy the knife back wasn't such a smart idea. The look of disgust on his face seemed to show through, despite the fact that he tried to hide it from her. Kasen figured it was probably something to do with the fact that it was covered in blood, or perhaps that it was something horrifying since it had just been impaled in the man he had come in with. However, he did still take it from her, even if he sat it down a moment later. Kasen had been working around blood for so long, she had forgotten what it was like to become disgusted by such a normal fluid. Kasen's eyebrows scrunched together and her face reflected a mild curiosity and confusion when the boy ran off quickly down the hallway telling her that he would be back.

Kasen stuck her head out, past the curtain that had flown open when he ran through it and heard the screams of people moving out of his path as he ran wodn the hallway. "Um, ok?"<i></i> Where was the medical shinobi going to go? She still had several hours left in her shift and people still kept pouring in because of the quakes. In fact, she was probably going to see at least 20 more people before the shift was even over. Kasen waved Gary away as she decided to oversee the man's stability herself. Gary could go hide in some other hallway; he had at least served a purpose today, which was more than he usually does. The man's vitals were remaining strong, but his heart rate and blood pressure, despite coming up, were still not at a point where Kasen considered him to be very strong. The blood loss was most likely the cause of that. She marked down in his charge for the nurses to put him on a round of medications that would help. The chakra that Kasen had sent into his body would only circulate so long before dispersing and any further healing would need to be done on his own, despite that most of the fatal damage had been healed. She still speculated that he would wake up within a few hours.

A few moments later, Kasen heard yet another shriek before the sound of the curtains whooshed open once again. Kasen turned back around to once again see the boy. Her eyes traveled down to the handful of juice boxes that filled his arms to the brim. "Oh! Um, thank you! You really didn't have to do that...Here, let me help."<i></i> Still not feeling squeamish about the blood, Kasen picked up half of the juice boxes and helped distribute them out to some of the nurses whom were surely just as tired as she was. She allowed herself to keep a couple though. Kasen wiped off the blood, mostly for sanitary reasons, and allowed herself to have a drink. "Hello Kazu, I'm Kasen. It's nice to meet you, although I wish it had been under better circumstances. I could use an extra hand since Gary left. Follow me."<i></i> Kasen quickly finished her juice box and moved a couple beds down.

One of the nurses on duty handed her a clipboard with the pre-examination chart filled out. "Ok, Kaguya Nina, age 7, fell into a small pit as the earthquake cracked part of Suna and broke her arm. Despite her ability to regrow bone at will, the bones in her arm are not healing straight. Re-breaking them only results in a more crooked arm. Chakra isn't going to fix this one, considering her body should have healed this up already. Kazu, do you think you can help me place a cast over her arm? I think we're going to have to let this heal naturally."<i></i> The young girl held her arm close to her, looking at the two of them with a hopeful expression. Several pieces of bone shrapnel was scattered around her where she had tried to regrow and fix the bone herself, but to no avail.
 

Kazu

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Gary, having done his deed for the day, did not object when Kasen sent him on his way. Off to do who knows what (probably taking a “well-deserved” nap in the on-call room), Gary was not seen again for the rest of the day.

As Kasen accepted the juice boxes from Kazu, the young boy smiled as if he’d been praised by a teacher. ”I know, but I wanted to say thank you somehow! You look like you’ve been helping so many people today, and…well…I thought if I helped you for a change, that might start to make things even.” The young boy did not seem to understand that to Kasen, this was a job; an expectation. Had anyone else besides Kazu’s father been the one with the knife in their side, Kasen probably would have handled things absolutely the same way. But to this child, she seemed to be a model of empathy and good will. Kazu was watching her with something close to reverence. ”I know I can’t do much, but I can listen to instructions well and carry things!” If nothing else, the kid had spunk.

Kazu didn’t have to wait long for Kasen’s response. His eyes lit up and a huge grin broke out over his face when she agreed to let him help; following the doctor, the pair moved just a few beds down the long row of closed off curtains. There’s so many other people in here… Kazu, having gotten so wrapped up in his own struggle to make sure his father was okay, nearly forgot that a massive earthquake was still threatening the village as they spoke. People must have been pouring in for the last few hours today. That reality was slowly sinking in for the young boy, but there was no time for pondering now — Kasen was speaking, and so Kazu brought his attention back to her.

”She can regrow her bones?” Kazu looked curious. He looked like something was on his mind, but after a moment his eyes hardened and his will strengthened. ”Okay, I can do that. Just tell me what to hold, and where, and I’ll do it.” In turn, he directed his attention towards Nina — the young girl who seemed unsure of what precisely was happening, yet slightly at ease due to the calm way in which Kasen was handling this — and gave her a warm smile. ”Nina? I’m Kazu, nice to meet you. You’re real brave, you know? Don’t worry, we’ll get you all better!” The young boy hoped that what he said was comforting to the girl nearly half his age, in what he could only hope was a good imitation of a caring older brother. That’s how Enishi would have done it. Kazu had never had a younger sibling, but he imagined that this is what it would be like.

Whatever Kasen’s orders to the impromptu intern were, Kazu would do what he could to listen. He didn’t have a wide range of medical knowledge, but he certainly could follow instructions. “Hold here,” and he held. “Do that,” and it was done. Not once did he question her orders, or wonder why they had to do things one way and not the other. Until halfway through, that is, when he suddenly asked, ”Auntie Kasen, how does it work? Re-growing bones, I mean. I’ve…never heard of that before.” Kazu seemed to be focusing on his assigned task without exception; yet, even if Kasen looked at and addressed him directly, he would not take his eyes off his work. It was as if he were avoiding her gaze. ”Are there lots of people who can do that?”
 

Kasen

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It was refreshing to have such a young spirit take interest in the works of the hospital staff. Perhaps it was just a thank you, or a task to stave off boredom, but Kasen had never really had the opportunity to teach anyone, so even if just for the moment she was happy to oblige Kazu's questions. It even appeared that Nina had taken an interest in the questions that he was asking as well. Perhaps she was also curious. The blue haired woman smiled. "Yes, Nina and her family can manipulate their bones with chakra. It's kind of a rare gift. Nina is just young, so she hasn't quite mastered the abilities yet.<i></i> The young girl in the bed seemed to huff at that. She hadn't intentionally fallen into that pit and it certainly wasn't her fault that her body wouldn't allow her to fuse the bones back together properly. It was apparent that the girl just wanted to have her arm fixed instantaneously, but the aquatic doctor couldn't oblige since the bones had adjusted themselves past the point of correcting through advanced healing methods.

Despite Kazu indicating that he didn't feel he could do much, keeping patients mood content and calm was really half the job. She was quite happy to see that she could focus on placing the cast, while Kazu held her attention. "Hi Kazu." Nina smiled when he called her brave. She was quite shy, but she seemed to enjoy Kazu's praise quite a bit. Since the bone in Nina's arm was currently broken still, probably aiming to repair it again, Kasen was able to make quick work of applying the cast. She first slipped over a light "sock" for Nina's arm and wrapped another piece of thin cloth on top of that one. In the critical areas, Kasen appeared to place a piece of durable plastic that lightly fit around the arm. "Alright Kazu, hold this in place and I'll apply the casting tape. Nina, would color would you like?"<i></i> Nina seemed to treat the idea of a cast with a little less disdain when she heard she got to pick the color of it. Nina looked at the assortment of colors that Kasen had laid out beside them consisting of the necessary medical supplies. "I would like pink!" Giving a small nod, and a kind smile, Kasen would wait for Kazu to hold Nina's arm in place as she would begin to wrap the casting tape around it. The cast would leave her fingers and thumb exposed, and would fall just below the elbow to allow for flexibility. When Kasen was done wrapping, some water would lightly created a film on her hand, completely under control as she would lightly press down on the cast. "This allows for it to harden."<i></i> Even if nobody was really interested in what she was doing, she figured it best to explain anyway.

When they were all finished, Kasen would go about packing up the excess supplies while Nina awed at her cast. "Isn't it cool, Kazu!!! Would you sign it?" Nina held out her arm with the cast, a large smile plastered on her face. A pen lie nearby on a medical tray if Kazu did want to sign it. A few moments later, Kasen would retreat just outside of Nina's medical bed, filling out some paperwork to discharge her. When Kazu joined her, she would hand the chart off to one of the nurses. "Not bad. You have incredibly still hands. Around here, that's a highly sought after skill."<i></i> The blue haired doctor seemed to be caught off guard momentarily when Kazu called her Auntie, but she attentively listened to him inquire about Nina's abilities. As she opened her mouth to respond, a woman, most likely Nina's mother, appeared in front of them looking incredibly angry. "I leave for 10 minutes and when I come back, you morons have her in a cast! She can regrow her bones she just needs someone to streamline her chakra to help them be straight! What kind of hospital is this?" Suddenly, her eyes caught sight of Kazu standing next to Kasen. "And who is this? He doesn't even look old enough to be in here? Don't tell me this crackpot hospital has some kind of bring your kid to work day! And in the middle of a disaster!" Normally, the water court hybrid was able to keep her cool; it's what made her well suited for the job. However, sometimes even belligerent patients needed to be put in their place from time to time to keep the peace.

"I'll have you know, this is my nephew. And he just helped make it so your daughter doesn't live with an arm she can't straighten. Given how well your bloodline heals, her arms should heal straight within a week. Just bring her back and we will remove it. You can take Nina home whenever you're ready. Have a nice day."<i></i> The woman seemed to at least appear to look somewhat embarrassed and went to collect her daughter from the bed. Kasen sighed. "Sorry Kazu, sometimes people get on edge and we have to do our best to adjust ourselves according to the situation. That, or we call in security."<i></i> Kasen pointed over towards the door where some of the journeymen of the village had been stationed by the door. "Anyway, to answer your question, we have some family lineages here that have always been able to do it. It's just part of their heritage, but from how I understand it, somehow they just subconsciously will their bones to grow or retract or form shapes, and instinctively they do. Kind of like, I can't explain how I can do this, and yet I can."<i></i> To demonstrate, Kasen lifted her hand and one second, where a physical form had been, her hand down to her wrist was now water. She flexed her fingers to show that she still had control of the form and a moment later her hand has returned to normal. "We all have gifts; we just have to embrace them."<i></i>

As the two stood talking, another nurse dressed in pink scrubs would hand another chart to Kasen before walking away. "It never stops."<i></i> Looking over the chart, Kasen's blue eyes grew wide and would lightly grab Kazu's wrist and take off back towards Ryohei's bed."Fantastic news! Your father's awake!"<i></i> Kazu should certainly be excited. It appears he was healing far faster than expected.
 

Kazu

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Kazu listened intently to Kasen’s medical instructions, and inconspicuously to her comments about Nina’s heritage. He never paused in his work, nor did he seem to push the subject farther, but whenever the subject of Nina’s bone manipulation abilities came up the boy’s ears seemed to prick up ever so slightly. If he was interested in talking more about this subject, he did not voice it. Not yet, anyways.

A rare gift, huh? No matter the ‘when’ or the ‘where,’ Kazu was always thinking. He was used to it — it was a part of who he was. Auntie Kasen said her last name was…Kagulin? Kuguya? Kokuya? Ah…crud. Kazu wasn’t very good with names, but he knew that he’d heard something important just now. In another circumstance, he might have fixated on that little mental snag until he found a way to untangle that thought; today, he had other responsibilities.

When Nina smiled at him, her shyness a tad endearing, Kazu smiled back. Ever since he was young, the adopted Ryuzaki had a knack for attuning himself to others’ emotions. Another rare gift in this day and age, and certainly even rarer in a family that thought of nothing else but fighting and winning; Kazu, though, had never thought much of it. Why should he, when no one else seemed to? I don’t want Nina to feel scared. I want to make sure she's okay. He didn’t realize it, but that sort of empathy was not all too common in the world of shinobi. To Kazu, who grew up training in the Ryuzaki Estate, it was not a personality trait to flaunt around others. Since a young age, he feared talking about it around others of his family would make him a target for “toughening up,” as some of the Clan elders would call it. Try as he might to hide it, though, Kazu had a gentle soul below all the combat readiness: when Nina asked him to sign her cast, Kazu couldn’t help but blush a little and smile nervously. Kazu joined Auntie Kasen on the other side of the curtains just as soon as he’d added his name as the first addition to Nina’s brand new pink cast — the young girl seemed really eager for him to do so, and it was really too difficult for him to refuse.

"Not bad. You have incredibly still hands. Around here, that's a highly sought after skill."<i></i> Kazu was caught off guard. His mind was still reeling from all the information he was trying to soak up, about who he was and what he might be, while at the same time wrestling with emotions and feelings he was unequipped to process. His vocabulary was sorely lacking in the realm of emotional language, leaving him to figure out for himself how to grapple with this unseen, sometimes painful, force. ”Oh! Uhm, uh…thank you. I was just doing what you told me to…no big deal…” What was this feeling inside of him? This sort of…warm glow…radiating out from his face? Is this…pride? His father didn’t talk like that often to him, so the feeling was somewhat new. He was not sure, but he wasted little time in steering his mind back on course. It happened a lot; he was starting to get good at it.

Suddenly, there was yelling. Kazu blinked, tuning out of his thoughts just in time to catch the full brunt of a mother's wrath clash against the ire of a doctor scorned. Trying to keep a calm face, but failing to keep his eyes steady as they ping-ponged back and forth between the pair, Kazu decided this was not his fight. Usually, when someone came running up to the kid and yelling, he would tend to dig in his heels and fight back; somehow, he didn't think a rebellious child would break through to this woman in the same way that Auntie Kasen's words did. Kazu waited until he could see the mother's back, head hung in shame, walking away.

"Sorry Kazu, sometimes people get on edge and we have to do our best to adjust ourselves according to the situation. That, or we call in security."<i></i> His eyes followed her pointing finger to the doorway flanked on both sides by burly Journeymen, and Kazu realized just how little he really understood about hospitals. How did I not notice them before? "It's no problem, Auntie. But uh...I don't think you really need them." The kid was trying not to let the corners of his mouth turn upwards — trying not to let the small smile show — but he was not yet so good about keeping humor to himself. "You made a face scary enough to petrify a Sandworm!" Kazu even let himself chuckle a little, despite the risk of getting a scolding himself. Sharing a moment to laugh in the middle of a stressful day was a nice relief.

Auntie Kasen, whether wanting to change the subject off of how scary her face could be or wanting to fully sate the young boy's curiosity, would bring the subject back to Kazu's questions about how Nina's abilities worked. Kazu's attention once again seemed to strain to pull in every bit of info surrounding this subject, but perhaps it was just young inquisitiveness? Surely, that was it. Although, if she looked closely, Auntie Kasen might even notice a wrinkle of frustration appearing along the boy's forehead. Over what? Instinct, huh? Is that really all there is to it? The frustration seemed to abet when he saw her quick demonstration of her own abilities; in fact, the boy's eyes grew wide with amazement and wonder. "WHOA," he exclaimed, "that's SOOO COOOOL!" Kazu was so impressed, in fact, that he almost missed that most important nugget of an idea. A phrase, that would stick with him, and lodge itself into his brain, slowly maturing and developing until, one day, Kazu would understand the true depths of its meaning. "We all have gifts; we just have to embrace them."<i></i> Kazu hardly realized how important of an idea that was, at the time. Gifts, huh? Auntie Kasen sure is gifted, but...what about me? He was too young yet to understand, but this lesson would stick with him a long time.

Kazu seemed lost in thought, again, as Kasen checked over the charts the nurse in pink had given her. This would certainly not be the time for that, however, as out of nowhere his adoptive caretaker would grab his wrist and pull him along with such force that it threatened to put Kazu in the same bed Nina had been in moments ago. While confused at first, her smile and comments about his father being awake quickly alleviated all of that — where as she had been pulling him to start, suddenly he grabbed her wrist instead and began to drag her along. "C'mon, c'mon! Hurry, Auntie Kasen!" The young boy looked genuinely happy and at ease.

When they got to his room, Ryohei seemed to be awake and staring calmly around the room. Kazu didn't notice, but Kasen certainly would: every so often, the man's eyes flickered over to the bed-side table where the bone spear-sword had been leaned against. Next to, of course, the bloodied knife. Ryohei's gaze would then settle on Kazu, whose grin looked like it was about to split his face in half. The boy looked like he was about to throw himself up into his father's bed, had the man's gaze not been so keenly focused on Kazu. With a raspy voice, filled with strain and struggle, he asked simply, "Kazu...is this Sunagakure? Why...why did you bring me here?" Kasen would notice Kazu freeze a little. Clearly, this was not what he'd expected to hear. Ryohei's eyes moved intently to Kasen, his demeanor calm and collected, with a touch of ferocious dominance. He looked every bit the hardened Volcanus, and brother of the Konungr, of the Ryuzaki Clan; the fiercest rivals of the Sunahoshi, and a clan of fighters who were not often seen in the village. They lived elsewhere, away from it all. Hence, Ryohei's question. "Doctor, please tell me what happened. I...shouldn't be here."
 

Dominus

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For decades, the Ryuzaki, one of the few "Pure Blood" clans still remaining in Wind Country who could draw their lineage back to a specific First Man, was safeguarded by the Daimyo, Ishii Shiro. Once news of the alleged injuring and defeat of the Daimyo began to make circles around the "underworld" and the "civilian world", many of the assets he had held on to for so long would begin to fall into the hands of other prying eyes. Eyes that had waited for what felt like their entire life to break free from under the thumb of the Daimyo and establish themselves as the main agency within this land. One such group had longed for not only the blood of the Ryuzaki but one of the prominent figures of the clan to be caught outside of the estate so they could get their hands on them. Now that the Daimyo could no longer hold them back, it was now open season for those seeking the Ryuzaki, and one of the highest names on the list would have been one Ryuzaki Ryohei. The rumors of him taking the mantle of the Vulcanus of the clan would not have traveled around the countryside and even if it had, only a few would know what it meant, one one of the groups who did understand that position, happened to be present in the Omni Prime Medical Facility.

The nurse, a middle-aged man, would happen upon the scene of a child with a wounded man who had exclaimed, to the present medical-nin, that he was 'Ryuzaki Ryohei. His eyes would grow wide upon hearing this and he would immediately duck into an unoccupied room before fumbling through a specialized headset, one that was not hospital issued.

"Mongoose reporting. Vulcanus spotted in Prime. Weakened State."

He would jam the earpiece into his ear before darting back out of the room. He would keep his distance but keep his eyes on the boy, the blue-haired woman, and the injured man. As they continued to work on saving Ryohei, the nurse would continue to watch and wait, until finally, he would hear a buzz light up in his earpiece.

"Retrieve at all cost. Reinforcements on scene."

"Roger."

Suddenly, a scene that might sound oddly familiar to Kasen, whether she was awake to remember it or not, would once more play out in the hospital. Stumbling into the lobby of the Omni Prime facility would be a man who, while clenching at his throat, would suddenly erupt into flames. Still moving, the man on fire would continue to stumble through the lobby area as panic would immediately begin to set in. An alert would begin to sound within the hospital but before it could go on much longer, an explosion would engulf a random patient's room in a floor above Kazu, Kasen, and Ryohei that would cause the building to rattle and shake once more. Now panicked individuals would begin to both flood from above and below the floor the three individuals found themselves on, bringing chaos straight into their laps.


From within the wreckage of the room that had combusted, two figures would appear, covered in armor and wearing masks, and would begin to make their way, slowly, into the hallway. What would be their next move?

"Mongoose", the nurse who had been watching Ryohei, would begin to play to appropriate part as he would approach the group of three.

"We are needing all shinobi's assistance protecting this hospital! I am helping relocate all injured persons to a safer location as this is all getting sorted out! You sir!" He would point to the injured Ryohei, "Would you and your son be able to follow me?"

If one was to glance around, the nurse would be doing something that other nurses and doctors, who were not shinobi, were also doing. So there wouldn't be any red flags... or would there?

What is your next move, adventurers?

OOC:
 

Kasen

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It was surprising that despite being taller, and theoretically stronger, than Kazu, she was able to be pulled along as if she weighed nothing. Kasen nearly struggled to keep up given the young man's excitement but it pleased her to know it was at least out of joy and relief. When they finally managed to make it to the room that the hospital had set him up in, Kasen felt the release of Kazu's hand from her own and she waited in the doorway as Kazu bound over to Ryohei's bedside. It was endearing to see such happiness, and knowing she had at least taken part in some of that. Not every case that passed through these corridors ended up being happily resolved. Sometimes people were too far gone, or the news that they would be receiving would not be ideal. Despite their best, the doctors that resided within these halls were not miracle workers, despite how some might label them as such. Kasen's mind drifted back to her poor mother, whom suffered from some kind of mental illness. No, not every story could end in such an uplifting way.

Turning her focus back to the two that resided before her, Kasen managed to catch what Ryohei had said. The way he had spoken those words, "I shouldn't be here", left Kasen with a chill that ran through her spine. This did not have the tone nor the weight of someone who was asking a question about the circumstances that led to them waking in the hospital. These words were spoken with the weight of someone who knew that nothing good would come of their presence being here. Now, Kasen had recently started training under the order of the Oracles. She hadn't quite had the time to throw herself into studying much, but she knew that the name Ryuzaki at least held some weight within Wind Country. If that was the case, and he was indeed being targeted for the attack that led him to being stabbed, where was his security? Kasen needed to try and control some of this while also gathering information before things got too out of hand. Things might need to be handled a bit more delicately than she initially assumed. "You were brought here due to a near fatal stabbing, we..." Before Kasen could get another word out, a loud alert filled the hospital just as the floor above them exploded in a loud blast.

Upon first instinct, Kasen would reach over and pull Kazu towards her, hugging him tight and trying to protect him from some of the debris and fire that was about to fall on him. She didn't think the young man incapable, she just had always had the instinct to protect others first. The building shook, nearly throwing the medical shinobi to the floor. Kasen looked around her, feeling the sizzling heat of the flames bearing down on them. "This isn't good, we need to get out of this room. Kazu, help me grab Ryohei. We're moving. Now!" Kasen released Kazu and quickly moved towards the bed, shifting Ryohei in a way that would allow him to slip his arm over her shoulder so that she would bear most of his weight on one side and waited for Kazu to get on the other. As they would make their way out of the room, the commotion would take them over. Given the alert and the explosion, in combination with the overwhelming amount of people present in the hospital, things were turning into chaos. One of the nurses approached the group informing her that all shinobi were being redirected to protecting the hospital. While the protocol was not out of the ordinary, in fact, it was quite in line with standard procedure, Kasen felt a connection to this family. She refused to leave them until she knew they were safe herself. "These two are under my care. I will get them to a safe destination and then I will turn my attention towards securing the hospital. Please, help the others." It was simple enough statement, and not a direct defiance of orders. There should be no issue with this.
 

Kazu

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Why is father being so…why can’t he just…I don’t understand…

Kazu’s expression was filled with regretful pain. For as long as he could remember, his father had been a hard man. Some would call it strict, but Ryohei himself had never seen it that way; to a man born of combat, this was mercy. Cruelty would be allowing young Kazu to grow up without the tools he would need to survive and thrive in such a world where warriors needed exist. Ryohei had made a promise, a long time ago, to show Kazu the road to peace — in his eyes, the only way there was to carve, for yourself, a bloody path forward. Mercy, indeed.

Ryohei watched Kasen intently, his eyes searching for the truths hidden behind the obvious. Yet, even he could not have foreseen what was about to happen: the entire floor trembled, again, but this time it was not from the Great Quakes which still seemed to rock the village with aftershocks. An explosion, directly above them, was about to send the rubble of debris falling on top of himself and…without thinking, Ryohei pushed Kazu out of the way, into the arms of the equally quick-witted Doctor for safety. Injured as he was, a little bit of fallen drywall and fire was no danger to him — with one swift motion of his arm, he swatted the rubble away like he would an irksome fly. Pride, however, was a dangerous thing; the old dragon winced in pain as he brought his arm down to clasp at his newly opened wound, a few dribbles of blood oozing through the bandaging that Kasen had just worked so hard on. It didn’t seem to stop him, however.

”They’re coming for me...they must have found out…somehow…” The man’s mutterings slowly died down; his eyes darted this way and that, as if considering enemies all around him. He seemed not to hear the panicked sound of people fleeing from danger, or feel the sweltering heat suffusing into the air, though the sweat that began to bead on his face said otherwise — to both.

For Kazu’s part, the young boy had been too shocked to do much else beyond allow the grown-ups to dictate his fate. He didn’t resist as Auntie Kasen held him close underneath her, though he did seem loathe to see his father in such pain again. What do I do? How do I help? Everything was happening so fast, Kazu could barely keep himself together. The normally focused and collected young warrior, put in this emotionally turbulent situation, reduced back to a frightened child. Spiraling. Spinning. What do I do? What do I do?

”Kazu, help me grab Ryohei. We're moving. Now!” Kazu blinked, then moved. The thoughts swirling in his mind faded and his body took over. He had his orders; like a good soldier, he followed them. The two of them went to either side of Ryohei, Kazu on his right and Kasen on his left, but the man hesitated for a moment.

”Kazu, bring me those.” He gestured towards the bone spear-sword and the knife. Knowing there was no time to question, Kazu grabbed them both and held them out for his father to take. There was some sort of emotion, buried deep within himself, that Kazu couldn’t quite figure out at that moment, but that he knew was there. It gnawed at him from the inside, like a burning question in the pit of his stomach, but he swallowed it down further. Taking the knife, Ryohei effortlessly slipped the thing into his sleeve. It was as if it had never been there to begin with. Then, he laid his hands on top of Kazu’s, the spear-sword held between them, and spoke gravely. ”This is a part of you. It always has been, and it always will be.” Kazu began to open his mouth, to ask a question, but a look from Ryohei silenced him. ”There’s no time to explain. Keep it with you; you’ll know when to use it.” With that, Ryohei let go of Kazu’s hands and the spear-sword. Draping his arm over Kazu’s shoulder, the man nodded towards Kasen — he was ready.

Kazu didn’t really understand, but his grip tightened on the pommel of the spear-sword all the same. Carrying it in his right hand, the pointed tip facing down and behind him, Kazu focused on supporting his father’s weight alongside Kasen. She was guiding them through this chaos — and thank Suna for it, Kazu thought to himself — when another hospital staff member approached the trio. Kasen seemed to be handling it, so Kazu stayed silent. He looked the man up and down as inconspicuously as possible, taking in everything he could in the moment, while trying not to draw attention to the weapon he carried. As for Ryohei, he kept his eyes down and winced in pain as more blood slowly seeped through his recently re-opened wound.

Neither father nor son was completely relaxed, however; both now knew the full danger of letting their guards down for even a moment. They were in deep water, with sharks swimming all around them.
 

Kasen

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Time seemed to stand still in the burning hospital as the man that Kasen had never seen at the hospital before and herself were squared off in a staring contest. Pieces of the hospital started to crumble further as the silence grew. Kasen watched as the man's false genuine expression of help turned to one of anger and malice as he glared at her, his face starting to twist into impatience and rage. "Hand him over, you bitch." The man seemed to signal to those around him to start moving in on the target. Kasen saw more people dressed in nursing clothes and combat gear alike. "Kazu, you need to go. Now." Kasen knew the boy was strong, having ventured all the way helping his father, but she was worried about how quickly he could get out another exit in the hospital. As the men pushed forward on them, a rumble shook the hospital as another explosion was heard in the distance. Kasen saw out of the corner of her eye a wheelchair propped against the hospital walls. "There, help Ryohei into that chair. I'll create a diversion and catch up with, just keep going and do not look back." Kasen ushered him forwards, hoping that he listened to her. She would be alright.

The man that had tried to take Kazu and Ryohei away finally lunged at Kasen, managing to grab her and tackle her to the ground. Kasen wrestled with the man for a moment before snarling at him and opening her jaws wide to sink her teeth deep into his shoulder. The man screamed out in pain, ready to start swinging at her, but Kasen took this moment to kick him in the groin and shove him off her. "You're so DEAD, you freak!"Scrambling to her feet, thick droplets of blood fell from Kasen's teeth. The bitter taste of iron lingered in her mouth. She was breathing heavily, her eyes clouding black just ever so slightly, but the blue's of her iris was still visible. The other men started to push in around her like a pack of wolves. Kasen's eyes were trained carefully on them. "Not so tough now, are you girl?" The man, now heavily bleeding from his shoulder laughed at her. Kasen remained still, much to their confusion. "Well? Not even gonna fight back? Say something. It's not as fun when they're not panicking." Kasen raised one of her hands, the pipes above them started to shark and a loud roar of water was heard traveling above them. "Do not ever think that you can come into my hospital, and threaten me, or my hospital." Suddenly the ceiling burst and several pounds of water crashed down upon the group of men. Another few hand motions later and the temperatures around them dropped significantly as Kasen froze the waters in place. The men were now no more than fancy ice sculptures standing in a crumbling corridor.

Sighing, Kasen shook her head, taking a deep breath, and feeling some of her senses coming back to her. She didn't feel a deep bloodlust like when she was a child, but part of Same's animalistic instincts stuck with her. Kasen flicked her headset to life, placing a call out to the village. "This is Shinku Kasen. The Omni Prime Medical Facility has been attacked. I need immediate assistance from any nearby shinobi willing to help secure the hospital, help evacuate patients, and get this fire under control." Flicking off the headset, hoping her call was heard, Kasen hurried down the hall, hoping she could catch up to wherever Kazu and Ryohei had ended up. She could only hope that they made it out.

Meanwhile...

"Ryoheiiii...." A deep, raspy voice called form within the embers of the flames. His body was engulfed entirely in fire, yet he did not appear to flinch as if in pain. His skin was charred and dehydrated. While his form was indistinguishable from a man, he was clearly something else entirely. This creature was what was clearly responsible for the explosions that were going off throughout the hospital. Everything his touched, a hungry fire extended out past his hand, quickly consuming everything in it's path. He caught up to Kazu and Ryohei, despite his unnatural slow movements. "Ryoheiiii....Muuust....Diiiiiie...." The speech pattern of the man was almost mindless and broken, like he was struggling to form the words. Whatever he was, his only prerogative was to see Ryohei perish at his hands. Explosions would continue to go off around Kazu and Ryohei, effectively trapping them within the walls of the hospital. If Kazu didn't react quickly, the man would soon be upon them.
 

Kazu

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Kazu’s eyes darted between Kasen, the seemingly genial man, and then back again. ’This seems like some sort of stand-off, but why?’ There didn’t seem to be anything malevolent about him…at first. However, when Kasen gave even the slightest bit of pushback against the man’s plans, the façade dropped faster than chunks of burning hospital roofing. The act was over.

"Hand him over, you bitch." At this, Kazu’s eyes furrowed into a deep glare — he didn’t take kindly to the man’s tone, or his choice of words. ’He’s going to regret that.’ Kazu wanted to stay and fight, to show this snake a thing or two, and in his peripheral vision, he spotted a number of the other “hospital staff” converging in on them. They all looked like they were itching for a fight. To Kazu, this only made the idea of staying to fight more tempting. But, like a knife through butter, Kasen’s voice cut through Kazu’s combative illusions rather quickly. "Kazu, you need to go. Now. There," his gaze followed along where her fingers were pointing towards a wheelchair pressed up against the wall, "help Ryohei into that chair. I'll create a diversion and catch up with, just keep going and do not look back."

Reality closed back in on Kazu. ’How am I supposed to fight, and protect Father? I need to get him out of here, and fast!’ With the amount of adrenaline currently coursing through the young boy’s body, it was slightly difficult to think further ahead than the next punch. But if he was to make it out of here, with his Father alive, then he’d have to force himself to abandon his instincts. Despite every muscle fiber in his being telling him to stay and fight, he knew that path did not include a future where his Father lived long enough to see him grow strong. ’And damn it all if I’m going let him off the hook without acknowledging me, first!’

Reluctance plain on his face, Kazu nodded his understanding towards Kasen as he helped a limping Ryohei over towards the wheelchair. He could hear the sounds of struggling behind him, and almost turned back to help. Easing the injured ‘dragon’ into the seat, Kazu managed to sneak a glance back as Kasen sinks sharp, pointed teeth deep into the man’s shoulder. The squelching of flesh being ripped to shreds is not something Kazu will soon forget; however, at the very least, he now knew that staying to fight would have been a pointless venture. ’And I thought the face she made earlier was scary!’ The last thing he saw before grabbing the wheelchair and sprinting down the hallway with Ryohei, was the sight of Auntie Kasen, razor sharp teeth dripping with blood, squaring off against a school of unfortunate little fishies.

”Give them hell, Auntie Kasen!” It was the last thing he screamed over his shoulder as Father and son took off in pursuit of an exit.

Unfortunately, that task would prove difficult. Every hallway they passed through was on fire, sporadically falling chunks of ceiling threatening to squish the both of them, and navigating around the already crumbled bits, strewn all over the floor, was not easy. They couldn’t slow down, though. Kazu raced faster and faster, threatening to crash every other second, as the two of them dodged and weaved around tight corners and burning wreckage. Drifting around corners, and skidding at the last second around debris, Kazu somehow felt like he was having deja vu. 'It's like... I'm drifting through a dream. But that's not possible... I've never even been to Tokyo before! Wherever that's supposed to be...'

That’s when everything went wrong. Turning a corner, Kazu found himself at a dead end; this wouldn’t, normally, have been a big deal, except for what he heard next. "Ryoheiiii...." Behind him, approaching father and son, was what appeared to be a man — except, he was completely on fire. Seemingly unaffected by the flames which wreathed its body, this non-human man stepped closer and closer. "Ryoheiiii.... Muuust.... Diiiiiie...." Kazu realized there was nowhere to go. This creature had them pinned. Panic began to set in. Fear began to take hold. ’We’re trapped,’ he anguished, ’I…I can’t stop him…’

No!

Something reverberated deep within himself. Faced with what appeared to be the end, backed into a corner with no way out, something inside Kazu snaps. The child, who overthinks and is afraid more often than not, let go of himself for a moment. Thoughts ceased. Doubt ended. Possibilities extended. Without realizing what he was doing, Kazu planted himself in-between the advancing creature and his father. His eyes were locked on the soulless eyes of the flaming monster approaching. He felt no fear. There was no hesitation.

Kazu had a singular purpose: to completely brush aside that which stood in his way.

His father, Ryohei, was screaming at the boy. ”LEAVE ME, BOY! YOU CAN’T FIGHT THIS THING! SAVE YOURSELF, AND GO!” But Kazu could not hear him. A vein pops in Kazu’s temple, and the air grows heavy with an aura of power. His eyes never leave the soulless one’s. His body reacts without his direction — with the flame-man growing near, Kazu leaps forward to gain speed, launches himself into the air, and thrusts his foot out for a solid kick straight to the creature’s chest. It lands square in the center, but the result is unlike anything Kazu had ever done before.

The impact of the kick caves in the creature’s ribcage immediately, the being’s entire body bending backwards from the shockwaves. It almost looks like a water balloon hitting against a solid surface in slow motion. Then, as the force of the impact continues forward and through the creature’s torso, the body rebounds backwards from where it came walking from, and flies down the hallway in a nearly parallel line to the ground. The sound of the body slamming into a solid surface, as well as the dust kicked up into the air, seems to indicate that at least one wall was completely decimated and knocked clean from the force of impact. As Kazu lands from the kick, his feet crack the flooring beneath him as the momentum carries him skidding a few more feet along the ground — pulling up more flooring as he skids, the trail of his landing is marked cleanly into the hallway.

A moment passes. Kazu blinks. He stirs from his position, and turns back to face his father. ”What… what just happened? Did that really just… ?” His body had moved without his mind’s direction. By letting go of those doubts and fears which locked him in place, something primal within his body was unlocked. Something that he had no understanding of, but which he instinctively knew how to direct — if not control.

Kazu had just accidentally unlocked the First Gate.

Ryohei could only stare in tempered awe at his son. His face was a mask, but he seemed to be musing about...something...to himself. For the moment, he stayed silent. For the moment, he simply watched the boy blossom. Kazu, on the other hand, looked to be slowly coming back to his senses. The unimaginable focus, rage, and purpose which he had discovered was merely an accidental brushing up against his potential; he had no concept of what, or how, he had done so. But instead of wondering about things he had no answers for, he instead turned his attention to what they could solve: how to get out of this building.

’I can’t just knock down walls… this place might collapse on top of us if I knock out the wrong support beam.’ He would need to be careful. He had to get them through the walls, without compromising the structural integrity. ’If I could just slice through some of these walls, then we could…’ His thoughts trailed off as he realized exactly what needed to happen. But he would have to trust in himself. Trust that he could do what he thought he could. Closing his eyes, Kazu tried to clear his thoughts as best as he could.

With a tensing of his muscles, and a surge of chakra, Kazu forced the growth of new bones in his spine — out of the back of his neck, where the top vertebrae connects to the neck, a small extension pierced out of the boy’s skin. Reaching back, he pulled straight up. ’That’s a rather...weird...feeling.’ But he kept going. He needed something jagged; something serrated. He focused on maintaining rough edges on the newly made bone, trying to visualize what it was he needed. A saw.

Ripping the last bit out, Kazu felt the new bones in his back shifting into place. It truly was an odd feeling, but the more important thing was the jagged saw blade of backbone that was now in his hands. ’With this, I can cut my way through the walls, and leave the load bearing components in tact.’ Walking up to the wall at the dead end, Kazu began the work of trying to saw through the wall with fire and debris falling all around him. ”Don’t worry, father, I’m getting you out of here. Just you wait. We’re almost there...”

Ryohei grunted in acknowledgment, but kept an eye on the end of the hallway. Almost like he expected the flame-man to get up again. Kazu grimaced while he worked; they weren’t out of this yet.

[ooc: This post is part of an upcoming Kinjutsu Application.]
 

Kasen

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Hurrying as fast as she could down the hallway she had last seen Kazu turn down, Kasen just hoped that he had made it out. She knew they were still on the first floor of the hospital, but the hospital was still large and immaculate it would be harder to find an exit out the deeper in one went. Her white sneakers skidded on the floor as her white doctor's coat whipped around her. She could still feel the blood dripping down her chin as she ran. Her lab coat was spattered with the blood of the man that assaulted her in the hallway. She would need to deal with those later, but for now she needed to get to Kazu and make sure everyone was properly evacuated from this part of the hospital.

After running for several minutes, Kasen heard several large crashes. She came to a stop, listening as the noise grew closer to her. "What the..." Suddenly, some creature came smashing backwards through the wall, slamming right into her body. Kasen felt herself projected backwards with him. Kasen, thinking quickly, managed to change her form and splashed every which direction as her liquidated form took over. She quickly reformed, shifting back. At least now the blood on her chin was gone. What had hit her like that? The man that had been on fire. Looking now towards the wall, she saw several several walls had holes blasted through them in a straight line. Kasen winced, knowing the repairs were going to be costly, but her eyes widened again when she saw Kazu several walls over. Had he done that? Suddenly, the thing behind her started to groan again, indicating that he still had some life in him. Embers started to glow on his skin, like a weak fire desperately trying to contain it's life force. Placing a quick water snare on his limbs, Kasen knew it would not hold him long, but for now she needed to get Kazu and his father out.

Leaping over the holes in the walls, Kasen caught up to where they were. Kazu appeared to be sawing through one of the walls. Kasen, having a fairly decent layout of the hospital, ran up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, good job holding your own there. Sorry I had to leave, and that you had to see me like that." Despite the praise and the apology, Kasen knew that there was no time to waste. "I like your initiative, but that's gonna have you cutting into a medical supplies closet on the other side. We don't have much time, that thing is getting back up, but help is on the way. Follow me." Pointing towards the opposite wall, Kasen pointed towards what looked like a small silver square. The medical shinobi pulled out an ID card, and held it up to the small square. Suddenly, there was the sound of a click, and part of the wall opened up, exposing a long corridor. "Sometimes it's hard for the doctors to get around the hospital quickly, so we have service hallways that lead to different parts of the facility. Let's go." Kasen would wait for Kazu and Ryohei to enter, before flicking her ID card across an inside panel, closing it up. Suddenly a loud slam was heard on the opposite side of the wall that had just sealed. "Ryoheeeeiiiiii........" The mangled, muffled scream could be heard even through the wall. Flames were not consuming the walls at least, but clearly their opponent was still weakly trying to get to them with all it's force. Kasen knew that if they could just get to the end of the hallway the main entrance would be on the other side. She could heard in the distance that the thing was still slamming itself into the wall.

Reaching the end, Kasen would swipe her ID card again, seeing the panel open up. Several members of the ANBU and main branch were swarming in, escorting people out and going after the people that were attacking the hospital, many were preparing water jutsu to put out the fires. "They're down that hallway." Helping Kazu make it to that last stretch to the outside, Kasen finally breathed a sigh of relief. That was...until someone tapped her on the shoulder. Looking up, Kasen felt her eye twitch. "So, like, does that mean I can go home now?" Kasen threw her hands up in disbelief. "Fine, yes, Gary! Just go home!" The man turned up one side of his face into a satisfied smirk before he sauntered away. Kasen rubbed her face in frustration. At least it seems like things were becoming secured. Turning back towards where she assumed Kazu and Ryohei were, she gave them a relaxed, tired smile. "How are you guys doing? Things got tough there for a second, but I'm very proud of you Kazu. And Ryohei, it seems like you're physically doing better, despite the trauma I'm sure this visit has caused. Perhaps we can make arrangements to do a...home healthcare checkup instead?" Kasen tucked some hair behind her ear. She hoped her attempts at lightening the mood would ease the intensity on the two men.
 

Kazu

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2012
3,398
Yen
210,650
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OOC Rank
S-Rank
Sweat beaded on Kazu’s forehead as he pushed and pulled the crude bone saw through the small gash in the wall that he had been able to make. The flames licked at his skin, the heat hammered away at his head until he nearly felt woozy, and his muscles were all beginning to burn from the exertion. But he didn’t stop. ’I have to keep going,’ thought Kazu, ’I have to get father out of here.’ It was a noble cause, but young Kazu had not yet realized the full price of being headstrong — or, more poignantly speaking, stubborn. Grit and mettle was not always enough; pushing through problems with brute force could often times lead to ruinous disaster.

Thank Legatus for Kasen.

"I like your initiative, but that's gonna have you cutting into a medical supplies closet on the other side." Kazu blinked at the sound of her voice, almost barely not recognizing the words she said due to the pure adrenaline coursing through his mind, then once again when her meaning finally clicked into place in his brain. Not even the flames surrounding them could account for the shade of red his cheeks quickly became as he realized how foolish his plan had been. Ryohei, still sitting in his wheelchair off to the side, tried his best not to show the amused smile creeping onto his face. We don't have much time, that thing is getting back up, but help is on the way. Follow me.

”Ah. Right. We had better get out of here, then. Uhm…”
Just as his cheeks had begun to return to their normal color, they spotted again. ”…which way is out, exactly?” Ryohei was trying very hard not to chuckle.

Pointing to a small silver square on the opposite wall, Kasen pulled out her medical ID card and held it up to the strange device. Like magic, a set of hidden doors opened to reveal a corridor behind the wall. "Sometimes it's hard for the doctors to get around the hospital quickly, so we have service hallways that lead to different parts of the facility. Let's go." Kazu didn’t have time to be amazed, or wonder how that had worked — electronic doors and card readers were far from common out in the rural areas he’d grown up in — instead, he dashed towards Ryohei and quickly wheeled his father around and through the door. Not a moment after they had crossed the threshold, Kasen flashed her ID on an identical silver square on the inside wall. Just as the doors closed, a loud and muffled scream, accompanied by banging fists, sounded from the other side.

’It’s that man…the one I…fought?’ Kazu’s memories of his encounter with the mysterious fiery man were hazy, at best. Kazu remembered a surge of emotion, and then before he had known it the man flew down a hallway like a sack of potatoes. He supposed he must have been the one to do that, but how was beyond him. ‘Either way, I’m glad he’s locked in there. Doesn’t seem like he’s getting out soon.’ Following Kasen down the hallway, Kazu tried to push those thoughts out of his head as he wheeled Ryohei steadily along.

It was a great relief to see the outdoor plaza when they opened the doorway at the end of that hallway. Masked shinobi, hospital staff, and patients alike were all scrambling around in the courtyard, trying to make heads or tails of what had happened. Kasen quickly motioned to a few of them, exchanged words, and then the group who had approached ran straight back into the hospital. ‘They must be emergency services, of some sort,’ thought Kazu. The young boy was beyond relieved to be out of danger, at last, and almost moved to hug the blue haired woman who had been so incredible throughout this whole ordeal. That was, until a certain medical official came out of nowhere to tap her on the shoulder.

"So, like, does that mean I can go home now?" Kazu didn’t think anything could have been scarier than when he’d seen her take a shark-sized bite of those thugs back in the hospital. The look of frustration and annoyance that he saw now easily took the cake. "Fine, yes, Gary! Just go home!"

Kazu shook his head in disbelief as the man practically strutted off towards the rest of the village. ‘This Gary guy is a real piece of work. Thank Legatus I’ll never see him again!’ Turning his attention back to Kasen, who managed to give Ryohei and Kazu the most tired grin that the young boy had ever seen, Kazu beamed at the medical hero who had saved both his and his father’s life that day. "How are you guys doing? Things got tough there for a second, but I'm very proud of you Kazu. And Ryohei, it seems like you're physically doing better, despite the trauma I'm sure this visit has caused. Perhaps we can make arrangements to do a...home healthcare checkup instead?"

”Thanks to you, Auntie Kasen, I think we’re right as rain! We never would have made it out of there in one piece without you!”
It was a miracle that the boy’s smile didn’t split his face in half. “I concur with the boy — we owe you a great deal, ma’am.” Ryohei’s inclined head, coming from a proud warrior, said much. “I think, with Kazu’s help, I’ll be feeling well enough to make my way home in a few days. Until then, we’ll both be staying in one of the local inns.” Ryohei’s words fell off for a moment, as he observed the way Kazu was staring around at the various shinobi handling the tumultuous situation. The Ryuzaki were warriors, who trained their own kind outside the usual rigors of the Sunagakurian system, and were hardly associated with the village at all. Ryohei realized that Kazu had never had any experience with shinobi, until today. A thought seemed to cross the old dragon’s mind.

“Kazu.” Upon hearing his name, the boy’s attention snapped back to the conversation at hand. Although the boy’s mind could wander easily, he was still brighter than many and an incredibly capable young lad. That much was clear, after tonight. “How would you feel about continuing your training here, in the village?” Kazu’s eyes grew so wide that it seemed like they threatened to pop right out of his head. A satisfied grin came over Ryohei, as if he’d known this was how the boy would react. ”Do you really mean that, father?! Yes! Yes, I would love to learn here! This place seems so big, and there’s so many people, and everything seems so exciting!” Ryohei chuckled, letting the boy tire himself out on his own.

“I have one condition.” Kazu’s excitement waned slightly at that. Ryohei’s grin had not faltered an inch. “I want you to seek out this one, specifically, for training.” Ryohei’s eyes slid over towards Kasen, a look of thanks and hopefulness in his eyes. “She’s a sharp one. Learn well from her, Kazu, because it is clear that you could learn a great deal from her.” Kazu’s smile returned back to its full might again, nodding vigorously in agreement. ”Yes, father, I understand. Auntie Kasen, I’d be honored to study under you!” Satisfied, Ryohei turned to address Kasen specifically.

“I owe you my life, Doctor. If you are ever in need of anything, please call upon my — or my clan’s — services. I would be honored if you took young Kazu under your wing.” The older man inclined his head once again, this time even deeper than before.

The trio would continue to exchange pleasantries until, inevitably, the responsibilities of informing the various ANBU and Medical staff of what had occurred became too urgent for Kasen to ignore. Ryohei and Kazu, meanwhile, would need to find an inn to stay in for the night. Father and son would part ways with the kind doctor who had saved them both, promising to let her know where they were staying at so they could arrange an ‘at-home’ checkup and insisting on treating the woman to anything of her choosing for the incredible services she had provided them.

It had been a very long night, for everyonewhile not everything that had occurred was able to be answered or explained, everyone involved was owed a full night’s rest. Well, everyone except for Gary, that is.

[ooc: Topic Left Unless Stopped.]