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Eimin Panahime

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Silhouettes. Beneath a crescent moon, a fearless mind was a bold one and a bold one was a foolish one, all the same—Silhouettes trailed, with a hellbent and narrow beating heart left to pursuit. Patience and wits were spent well within her stay in the village, between the therapy, an obedient student and a crazed fiend in sheep’s clothing, her mornings as well as late evenings were surveillance in disguise of exploration for flowers, bugs and views of the village she happened to be owned by. As a sheep, she was naive and cheerful, her mornings were defined as following the herd, academy sessions and after school, her free time was spent among the alleyways, city streets and undoubtedly, sky diving off cliffs into lakes with minor wounds to show from that—To the eyes mostly watching with report formed in hand, the sheep was obedient in attempts to be a normal girl with a normal life. Expect, a mask was a mask for a reason, she didn’t mind removing some of her flesh with it too. Within her habits of a fiend, those innocent childish behaviors were nothing more than her successful attempts to dance between the hues that watched her, within her innocent exploration, she had been scouting out the location of her goals and the centerpiece was the grounds of becoming an ANBU…

Stuck to a pattern for those a bit clever, those with hues that could spot the smallest of lies and pretending, she was witty enough to already have a counter... Perhaps twice, once or not a chance within her week of the year she spent, she would explore a bit farther with a single goal in mind—Scouting out the location of her centerpiece. Sometimes were mountain flower picking, some days were following a trail, awhile another were simply catching the highest view of the village and with a sureness to skip around and dare not to get close the tunnel ways the shadows of society used. On the rare sight, something she was able to spot more clearly out of some of their habits, she could manage to take notice of an Anbu or two, cutting off her exploration that day and picking it up another, just to move to another location within fragment of a mile radius. It took time, but she managed well.

Needn’t to ask, the concerned and ill thoughts of her therapists surely resented the idea and undoubtedly denied such a desire that would to become an Anbu and thus, she concealed herself more and danced harder than ever around their questions—Muted, always. She murmured words, everso rarely and sometimes, those words only resulted in something more of misunderstanding or this itching feeling inside her transforming into clawing… Supposedly, that was why Yuii was chosen to take her as a student, someone she met up earlier that day too. Maybe. That’s why… Panahime choose to force her steps a bit more carelessly than normal.

—————————————

An inch short of midnight. Caressing against the ivory smooth cheek, the breeze whispered isolation as the moon allowed limited luminosity, allowing the petite frame of a little girl to lurk. Those once sapphire hues turned into cerulean with her pupils in the perfect narrow diamond—Caught among the grace of the moon, as her body was consumed by the shadows. Silhouette donning masks ruffled the terrain with low murmurs of conversation as they performed some action against a stone wall of the mountainside cliff, causing the gentle sound of rocks grinding together to sing out and be heard quite well for the little girl within the distance. As the two silhouettes advanced in the narrow opening, the stone started to move back in place and without a second thought, not a single doubt nor a shiver in her step. Hopping out of the shadows, the darkness itself, the small frame of a girl leapt forward, squeezing between the closing stones with almost crushing time—Luck had her side, she happened become a sandwich.

Wiggling out of the entry way. Panahime, the little girl, was greeted with darkness, pitch black with no light to guide her and surely those Anbu were already far ahead—Palm against a stone surface of a wall. Naturally, a genin fresh out of graduation would’ve been freaking out… Well… A Genin around her age wouldn’t have even attempted such a plan, let alone infiltrate a hideout belonging to specialized black operatives. Needlessly to say, she was attempting to not only sneak into such a hideout that homed dozens that could not only outrun her, but end her life faster than she could blink her eyes and that was putting it nicely. It sounded right, because that was what she was doing and wasn’t fazed with a lick of fear about the outcome.

Controlling her breathing to be gentle and quiet, despite shivering from the cold. Trailing her hand down the wall, all the way to the cold and damp floor, she patted the rough surface of the ground as she moved to her knees—Crawling along the ground seemed to be ideal due to being unable to see and she didn’t have echolocation. Uncomfortable for all it was forth, the rough ground grinded her palms and knees like sandpaper and for the most part, it was painful and that was a concept that was all apart of her body… Hardly her mind, pain to her was just the basis of living and she was well versed with it; pain was nagging that she ignored. And on change or chance, a spider or creature of some type crawled over her hand, which called her to stop for a moment and gently place it out of her path.

Losing the track of time, it felt like hours. As she moved forward within the cave temple, the rough stone ground steadily turned smooth, within the distance was a dim flicker of light. Crawling closer and closer to this light, she was able to take into note of the change of her surroundings. Turning the corner, her right hand lifted to guard her burning hues with the adjustment of lights that graced her. As she slowly dropped her hand. Once stone walls were simple walls made neat with designs, as the floor held a rustic design of sorts and before she could begin to get any farther of attempting to take in all the detail, possibly a path to go or a door to take… She heard footsteps nearing.

With a haste, she motioned to her feet and tugged herself into a small crack of a corner, hoping the shadow casted there was going to guard her—Sunk into the corner crack. Back against the wall and couched downward in a curled ball. She attempted allowed the shadows to consume her once again as she attempted to calm her cold shaking body as she waited for the footsteps to pass. Wonderful<i></i>, she thought.
 

Jomei

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Though she had come to this place driven by many things, the child quickly discovered the hostilities of the winding paths that laid within the Sileo Tempestas. Lamps ran along the ceiling, but many of them were in disrepair, leaving long stretches of absolute darkness through the tunnels. These paths led all throughout the borough of the Hidden Cloud like veins through a body, delivering the village’s secret protectors wherever they were needed most. Incidences such as this— a stranger taking advantage of the sloppy missteps of Anbu who didn’t secure their passage, were incredibly rare, but two in one month was unprecedented. And so, the protection of the pathways was taken a bit more seriously…

These footfalls were striking unlike a normal humanoid pattern if there ever was one. They also fell with quite a bit of distance between them, as if whatever joining Panahime in that corridor might have been leaping about, yet the movements sounded slow and skulking. This large hollow space suddenly felt much smaller, and as the child hid in her crevice, a case of claustrophobia would have meant absolute panic. The overhead light began to flicker as if it were shorting out, betraying what limited sight Panahime still retained. It was then that something revealed itself— not openly but in briefly visible portions when the dancing light reflected off of it. Something large and coated in darkness, certainly not human— joined the girl in this space. A denizen and keeper worthy of fear and horror, at least that was a reasonable first impression. The creature’s flesh was toned, scaled, and a flat crimson color which blended closely to the claystone walls. Panahime crossed the line between bravery and foolishness in coming down to this lair, a place so unwelcoming to trespassers. What a demise it would be, to never be seen again, forever lost in the stomach of some fiend chained by the Anbu.

And with a pop that dying light was vanquished, and the space turned as cold as death and just as black. Relying on hearing and scent, the girl’s senses might have heightened from the sensory deprivation. There was nothing but the cold stone to her back in the corner she so foolishly tucked herself, with nowhere to turn. She’d feel a flow of stale air brush her skin, all the deep breaths of what stood before her. “Luck you, I gave up eating human flesh years ago” spoke a smooth, deep voice which bellowed as if spoken through a copper tube. Then, alive with a yellow luminescence shimmered a golden orb rich with flecks as richly colorful as a treasure trove, and a vertical slit widening at its center, black like it’s surroundings: the eye of a beast. The eye blinked with eye-lids which swept over it in cautious layers, revealing this creature’s reptilian desire. “I could smother you in flames and turn this room into a massive stone oven.” The large reptilian then backed away, creeping deceptively and slowly. Was it about to lunge for an attack?

“Don’t you think that’s enough Rhokul?” another voice came from behind the mammoth shadow, this one sounding smaller and like a human male, calm and humored. He was lacking fear, clearly company to the monster, and making steps around it on a course for Panahime. “Leave the rest to me before you scare her to death” bade the man, who shooed away his companion, creating a sudden flow of new air in the chamber once the large creature left. A smell a cinder was all that signaled the sudden departure of Rhokul, gone through interplanar travel in the blink of an eye.

Then that man’s chakra swelled and cyan sphere of light formed, revealing the image of a masked man, an ANBU behind the glow, alone and at home in his surroundings. Raven hair swept over his silvery visage, which resembled a sculpted, angular design with eyes seeming shut with narrow slits and emeraldine orbs glowing behind them. His physique was deceptively wiry, with a haze gray cloak donned to fight the bitter cold of the dusk hours. With his every move, the cloak revealed glimpses of leather and cotton clothing, and an immaculate sword resting at his waist with a fine emerald embedded in the pommel. “Give me a reason why I shouldn’t have let my companion roast you” the man demanded, promptly living up to the reputation usually tied to an anbu fascination. “More than your curiosity” he added, wholly expecting that to be spat out first. “It better be good or else your little field trip is over.”

- Kaji Okada has entered the thread.
 

Eimin Panahime

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Entrapping herself. Tucked into the farthest depth of the corner she could’ve managed, she found herself in quite the situation and one that wasn’t going to be easily escaped… Because something other than human trailed these tunnels and, it seemed, she just had the honor. Containing her bodily shaving, the trembling coursing through her shaking body, kept itself internal. Coiling, her knees pressed into her chest, her arms around her legs as her chin laid to rest atop of her knees—“That isn’t human</I><i></i>” That was the simple surface thought. Grinding her teeth together, she made sure not to make a sound and from her nose, the shivering-gentle, almost inaudible exhale and with the close of her hues, she took a deep quiet, but sharp breath and held it. An inch between flight or fight, the flickering of the light hadn’t eased her choice and the advancing steps seemed to press her harder for one. She didn’t bothering asking if they noticed, if it had noticed, because that was obvious.

Daring to peek, as those blue hues of her attempted to look over the corner—Darkness consumed her. That wavering light dispelled the little vision she was left with and thus, hasty in her reaction. Sinking into her corner. A hand trailed itself down her ankle, those fingertips sought out the safety of a blade and for a moment, that instinct had been false. There had been a time long ago, where it was normal and natural, her body trained to conceal and deal with situations like this, but… Gripping at the bare wrappings against her flesh, there hadn’t been a weapon there since her delivery to Kumogakure and thus, that war was long since over—Equipment, she had none. So. Here she was. Alone. Without a word to anyone. Within the darkness that reminded her. Waiting. Her shaky lungs begging for air, she dared not to breathe in a fear of what seemed to be waiting in the darkness and for a moment, as those steps she heard cease. Maybe. If she didn’t move. It wouldn’t believe her to be there. Maybe. Within this darkness, it couldn’t see her… She hoped, but if not. She supposed she could wing it from here.

A creature had peered into her corner, knowing well and quite well, she did not belong and that she was there, just because she couldn’t see it, did not mean it couldn’t see her. Invading her space, she braced. Filling the void between her and this beast, the cold air danced within the space. As cold as the depths of an ocean, the exhale washed over her much like a wave of ice—Smooth as a vanilla sheet with a silver wrapping. A voice had spoke out between the darkness, directing its words to the coiled and trapped child, attempting to merge into the corner and thus, vocalized that it knew she was there. Lifting her head from her knees, she dared to directly peer into the darkness that held a creature that addressed her and as those blue hues sought out the creature held to the darkness—The farthest thing from human or animal, stared upon her.

Like a flame, a brilliant honey coated hue with an ebony slit as a pupil stared straight upon her; massive and beautiful, that hue was not something of a friend or ally. Her hues snapped to the one orb that looked upon her with a threat, one that she knew she was far to week and out of her skill range to counter. “D-” She tried to speak, in panic too. Parting her lips, she attempted to speak out against the idea of baking her alive, in place of her words, she coughed with a single hand pressed to her mouth to conceal it as the creature made its move to depart from the corner, into the darkness. She attempted to lock the desiring fits of coughing in her throat as she uncoiled to motion out of her corner with a haste. But, that attempt was for not, as much as she was on haste to get out of that things sight or awareness, she heard another voice. This was more humane, humanoid in mind and, she supposed a bit more friendly, addressing the creature as Rhokul, something she couldn’t say for her own life, she was horrible with names.

Trailing her hues within the darkness, once again, but to the newer voice who had steps that were on path for her, she heard something heard mention within the darkness and that wasn’t something she heard enough to make out—However, the smell of a dying camp fire danced within her sense of smell and for a moment, she could’ve swore the suppressive feeling she felt… Just vanished.. Like it didn’t… Exist? So. It could’ve been an illusion? As her mind thought that far, her space was once again invaded by another being, this time, as a being, it was human.

Once a dark void, a light of cyan danced in the formation of a sphere to grant her just enough vision to see what stood before her—Held to a mask unfamiliar, a person taller than herself, massively so as she was still coiled to the corner. Messy strings called hair fell over his mask and by a shift judge of his attire, he held himself equipped with a blade that would’ve been more than enough to cut her down and before she could gloss over the clothing itself, the male addressed her with a question, one that desired reason in place of why she didn’t get new warm crimson tan with a glossy finish of seasoning.

Hitting the back against the wall as she wiggled a little farther back, she uncovered her mouth to release a sharp and heavy cough, awhile holding all the others, just to speak up with her hand covering her mouth. Speaking wasn’t something she liked to do, but she had to get the point across. And it seemed, the excuse of curiosity was out of the question. “<I>Anbu. To join.” She murmured in a whisper. With a held breath, shaking out of her lungs passed her shivering lips, her voice was soft like a fresh plushie, but shaky like the earth when it quaked—Reflecting either fear or freezing.
 

Jomei

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Though unorthodox and risky, the child wasn’t too off track from her goal to join the ANBU— Kaji would have the mask of whoever slipped and allowed this girl to enter. “Clever girl” was a thought he contained, “clever but foolish.” Kaji then raised the spirit lantern of spooling chakra closer to have a good look at her, ensuring her to lack any notable tools of the craft or tricks up her sleeve.
“You could have waited for the Open House and Orientation Days,” said the masked Kaji, making a joke meant to go over the child’s head like a passing breeze. Of course, there wasn’t such a thing in ANBU— never that— in fact, it wasn’t like the esteemed division to take in volunteers. “If you wish to join anbu, I suppose it’s not too soon for your first lesson. ‘Come with me.” He bade Panahime to rise and moved back a single step, offering some space between himself and the girl. This lesson he spoke of was most-likely a deception; probably showing her the nearest exit and imparting some type of jutsu to wash her memory of the experience. She’d have to follow this man, but his intentions were anything but clear. A truly clever girl would have done anything but test the water against a full-fledged ANBU with a home-field advantage.

Kaji began a slow march, letting the timid child keep pace with him as he sought to lead her somewhere. Where we’re headed isn’t far, so now’s a good time to elaborate… Think of this as your interview” he said, albeit generously. “Who are you?” While Panahime didn’t know the stranger well (or at all), she should have recognized this kindness which was entirely optional. If she wasn’t a mere misguided youth, Kaji would have handled the intruder harshly, systematically impairing her before dragging her quivering body down the same hall they were striding now. “You look like you’re fresh out of the academy kid… not just some kid whose red ball rolled away. This took some time and skill. Who is your master?” He expected the girl to mention some bush league academy name skilled enough to give the girl basics, but lacked in training on moral integrity.
Kaji would find them later and give them an earful, or so he figured. A proper tongue lashing. "You can believe they're going to hear about this."
 

Eimin Panahime

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Huh…? Narrowing her hues. Crashing into the moon, the girl had missed the joke as she tilted her head with lips that almost dared to murmur what. Taking it quite literal if there had been orientational days or whatever an open house was, they did a damn good job at keeping that hidden from her—Lifting her right hand to over her hues from the light that angled for a better look. She had been braining over what had been said. She couldn’t escape how bad this truly was for her and with a quiet heart, her guard hadn’t found itself dropped as she counted her options, a narrow and little as they were. Even when he spoke the music to her ears about joining the ANBU, she hadn’t been so easily… Excited by the idea as her hues behind the palm looked for her escape plan. She hadn’t found any trust within this person, however, she couldn’t outrun this person nor would that stone wall open for her, she almost got killed by it.

Defeated, she had to accept the fact what the man suggested as her first lesson wasn’t something worse than death—She hadn’t been a person fond of losing her memories nor something worse than that… With her habits and lack of friends, she was glad to have a diary or five and she simply had to believe in her behavior to repeat all this over again in such a case of worse was to happen. “Cool!” She forced herself to chirp happily, at least, pretend to be naive and stupid, a child who is merely a child, even though internally, she was having more complexed thoughts. Burning a smile over lips with a clapping of her hands to match such mask. As if her whole body had all it’s fear and worry wiped clean and this man just became her best friend just because they were in the same village… This was so painfully stupid, she suppose she could think Ikko for teaching her this behavior.

Despite the exit, she knew the easiest revealed wasn’t always best… He didn’t seem stupid or careless and she doubted she had the physical strength and speed to both push and outrun him; she didn’t even know the place too. She didn’t have anything on her as means of protecting or escaping, such as a kunai or smoke bomb. So. She did what she had too. Dropping her palms to the icy stone ground as she chirped, she pushed shivering body to its feet and proceeded with the ANBU—Tucking her arms into her sleeves to keep warm. As he suggested, she follow and ignored her panicked survival instinctual, which was a very small and depressive thing compared to other Shinobis.

Keeping within his far peripheral vision. A single foot to the right and lagging a few inches behind him, if she needed to wiggle out of his sight and do something last second without a choice—This seemed like a good way to stay prepared for it. Listening with grave attention to the words spoke to her, they were between generous and prying, as this is what interviews were to her. Kindness and trust were a hand in hand experience that always led to her getting hurt or endangered, something that was distasteful within this situation. Being kind didn’t mean the person cared, giving trust didn’t mean getting it back. So. She choose her words really well, quite well actually. Panahime was an unique name and one that could easily be tracked, he had asked who she had been and all he needed was the common answer.

Shifting her blue hues from the lengthy hallway to the man. Her lips parting to form her name, she spoke. “Everyone, I am Eimin.” She said within her interesting way of speaking. However. Once the Anbu trailed on the line of questioning her graduation from the academy, even going as far to speak about time and skill with the ending note of who was her master. She had no choice but to answer those honestly. “Hours. Nine hours ago was my graduation. As of seven hours ago… Believe… Ka… Ka… Yuii.” She had trouble attempting to the last name, Kagetsu was too harsh on her tongue. So. She had to say the first name. She hadn't quite realized the course of her action, but she felt as soon as that name was said, she had to cover the tracks she left open.

Once these words left her mouth. She crossed her arms and stopped. Simply stopping within her tracks with her narrowing hues and once struggling over speech something changed. She didn’t want to test the waters, she didn’t want to get aggressive. Those cerulean hues of hers sparkled with a crimson and for a moment, her own chakra, for a fragment of a second became visible within a lilac and faded as easily as it appeared. Her demeanor changed from the shivering timid girl to serious and solid. As her lips parted to speak. “You can’t tell her about this. I rather my head roll from my shoulders with my existence becoming nothing more than ash to sand.” Apathetic within her voice she paused for a single second. She hadn’t found herself bluffing in the slightest. It felt like someone took a needle and popped the bubble she had around her. Or pulled a mask from her face.
 

Jomei

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There was only one name that could make Kaji Okada deviate from protocol, and the miscreant child could barely speak it when Kaji asked her. Though, as the girl stuttered the name Kaji was instantly sure; of course, it was — “Lady Kagetsu Yuii.” Kaji pronounced her name in its entirety, even honoring her with an official honorific like absolute strangers should. “Of course she’s Yuii’ student,” Kaji thought.
Until that very moment, Kaji had a simple course of action in mind. He was going to find out the truths behind this strange little Eimin, then wipe her memory of the encounter and leave her standing on the doorstep of wherever she called home. It was protocol and it was simple, but nothing could ever be so easy if Yuii was involved. “You’re going to get your Master in trouble, sneaking places that you have no business” lectured Kaji. He knew Yuii was often too lax with her disciples, though he never gave her criticism for it. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know better, she was the Main Branch Sennin… Perhaps she was just a dose of sugar in a salty world, offering a kind hand while Kaji was always firm with his pupils. Unwavering.

“Enough with the wax poetic” Kaji cut in once the lass went on about her existence and the like. “If you want to be a shinobi you’ll have to learn that consequences come with your actions. ‘Whether its disobeying orders, cheating, or failing a mission… You have to pay the price for coming up short, Eimin.”

Their walk through the winding corridors of the Sileo Tempestas was not a long one but must have felt like hours of marching to her doom for the youngling following Kaji. But as Kaji and Panahime approached the double doors which led to the Sileo Tempestas itself, Kaji turned to face the child and raised a hand to his face. “Don’t get the wrong idea by what I’m about to do,” Kaji said sternly, maintaining his rigid tone even though he was secretly going out of his way for this child. “This doesn’t make you one of us” he added coldly as he suddenly removed his mask. His handsome face with angular features was revealed with bronze, deceptively youthful skin, his signature frown hiding porcelain white teeth, and soul-searching eyes with emeraldine orbs beaming at the girl. Kaji proceeded to force his own mask over Panahime’s face, and it adjusted to fit her magically and instantly. “Secret identities are coveted in the ANBU, and normally having an initiate walking around bare-faced is considered a compromise. ‘Keep my mask on” he barked at her, even though the device would feel trapped on her at first like a prisoner’s iron mask. It was already moist within from being worn— gross. Panahime’s vision would suddenly feel cramped behind the eye slots of the restrictive mask, which Kaji needed to disguise his uncanny eyes. Kaji snatched the girl by her risk, expecting her to lag behind due to the confusion the mask imposed. “Come” he bade the child and proceeded into the great Sileo Tempestas.